This story was inspired by—well, let's just say I've had personal experience with a David and a life lesson on how to stop people from messing with you.

Disclaimer: I own a copy of all the books, but not the franchise and/or copyright.

Twelve-year-old Severus Snape trudged down the long path to his house. He had just finished his first year at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. It had been an alright year, he supposed, if you ignored the fact that a huddle of stupid Gryffindors had gotten their kicks from constantly harassing him. And stupid Evans had acted like his friend sometimes, but had she ever actually tried to make them stop? No.

All in all, little Severus had decided to have a bad, brooding kind of day, and he would be darned if he would let anything or anyone try and stop him. So inwardly he was rather pleased that the next door neighbors obviously had company over and was showing him off, because it gave him a great reason to be sulky and noncompliant.

It was because of this that after he had deposited his second-hand trunk in his room, he ventured back outside to take a gander at the visitor. He looked to be around thirteen or fourteen, just old enough for Severus to consider him "groovy"—("blast it all", thought Severus in irritation, "why couldn't he be younger than me?")—had blonde hair that stopped just short of his shoulders, and was wearing blue jeans and combat boots instead the slacks and dress shoes that would have been appropriate for such a visit.

Severus was immediately put into a genuinely bad mood—this visitor was obviously older and groovier than he was, as well as muggle, so it was going to be nigh on impossible for Severus to act superior without looking like an idiot.

Despite this hold back, however, Severus wandered over to the neighbor's lawn to meet the new person. As soon as his neighbor (an older lady who enjoyed gossiping far too much for her own good) spotted him, she called out his name and waved him over.

"OH, Severus, dear! Come here, come here—you simply must meet my grandson, David." she cooed sweetly. Severus nodded politely.

"David, this is Severus. He lives right next door. He's a year younger than you, but of course you two can still play together." Severus flinched, and was relieved to see that David had, as well—twelve and thirteen year olds didn't play.

"Now, Severus. David here is from America—isn't that exciting? Now—oh, Edna!" Another gossipy old lady from down the lane had come down to, well, gossip. David's grandmother immediately turned to her and invited her inside, leaving David and Severus with instructions to "Play nice, dears!".

After a moment of staring at each other, David broke the silence with a drawl that put Severus' drawl in training to shame. "Waaay-ell," he drew out, with an accent that screamed "I am an American from the South!", "Guess we're just stuck here, ain't we?"

Severus, deciding he was young enough to get away with the sulky little kid routine, responded with a borderline whiny "I can't just hang out here, I have problems to take care of!" To his alarm, David just laughed.

"Well, I reckon I give pretty good advice. Hit me with your problem." David stared at Severus as though daring him to not bare his soul to a complete stranger.

After a moment's consideration, Severus decided to throw caution to the wind and actually told David the problem. "Well, I go to this boarding school, and there are these guys who always mess with me…"

"Ah!" said David eagerly, "I have just the solution! Why, you will be amazed at just how magnificent my solution is! In fact—"

"Oh, just spit it out already." Severus snapped irritably. Even at his most generous, Severus had little patience for people who babbled.

"Aw, fine. It's easy. Just kick'em in the balls." huffed David. At Severus' incredulous look, he expanded a bit. "Look, you're a guy. I'm a guy. We both know that if somebody kicks one of us in the balls, we're going down. No questions asked. You get a guy in the balls once, he'll never mess with you again. Guaranteed."

Severus shook his head in disbelief. He should have known better than to ask advice of a stupid muggle. Luckily for him, David's grandmother chose that moment to call him into the house. Severus gave a hasty goodbye and hurried back to his own house, eager to get away from the crazy American.

Time passed—years went by—Severus Snape suffered through the abuse of those lovable bullies formerly known as the Marauders for five more years. It was the summer before his seventh and final year at Hogwarts when, to his surprise, David reappeared in the hosue next door. Intrigued by this sudden reappearance of an old acquaintance, Severus made his way next door where David was outside.

He appeared to be doing some sort of manual labor—on closer inspection, Severus realized he was installing decorative window shutters on the front windows of the house. He had a wet towel draped around his neck and was only wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans.

When he looked up and noticed Severus, a sudden grin crossed his face and he turned fully to face him. "Hey, look who it is. Mr. I-have-a-problem. So tell me, did my advice help you out?"

Severus snorted. Of course he hadn't followed the muggle idiot's advice—who would honestly walk up to another wizard and kick them in the balls? It simply wasn't done. "Ah, I never did try that. Ethics and all, you know." he explained.

"So they still bother you?" demanded David.

"Well, yes. Why?" muttered Severus rather defensively.

David just sighed, took the towel from around his neck, twirled it expertly, and used it like a whip to smack Severus' arm.

"Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Stop that!" protested Severus as David hit him over and over with the wet towel.

"Whatcha gonna do?" David challenged, not letting up.

"Errrr…" Severus stalled, thinking of what he normally did when Potter and his cronies harassed him. "Cry?"

"YAY!" squealed David, hitting Severus harder.

"Uh..Um…" sputtered Severus, trying to come up with an answer that would make David stop. "Hit you?"

"Try and hit me", David offered, only to whap Severus' arm before he could even get close to David's body.

"Argh! Kick you in the balls?" Severus tried, obviously flustered.

"NOW we're getting it. I'm so proud!" beamed David as he finally stopped hitting Severus with the towel.

Severus spent the rest of the summer brooding about the stupid muggle and his stupid ideas. At the end of the summer, he decided to just forget about it.

The first day of class at Hogwarts found Severus in his usual start-of-year position—hanging upside down in midair complements of James Potter's wand. Ten minutes later, when Potter and his buddies finally got tired of tormenting him, Severus found himself smashing head-first into the ground. Furious, he stood up and drew his wand—then abruptly stopped himself and put it back away.

This action provoked a laugh from Potter and Black—"What's he gonna do without his wand?"—but Severus had decided that it was time for him to be more proactive. Ignoring their laughter, he calmly walked over to Potter and gave him a firm kick to the groin. The laughter abruptly ceased as Potter dropped to his knees with a wail of agony and Black lunged forward to exact revenge for his best friend, only to have his own family jewels assaulted by Severus's foot. Severus noted with satisfaction that Lupin hadn't been present in the first place and Pettigrew was already halfway down the hallway running in the opposite direction.

To be safe, Severus made himself scarce before Potter and Black could recover. In the following days he found, however, that none of the Marauders seemed brave enough to come near him. In fact, he wasn't really bothered by them at all for the rest of the year.

After his graduation, Severus returned home as always. It would be a short visit this year, but Severus really only had one thing in mind—to get David's address from his now positively ancient next-door-neighbor. After, all, no matter how snarky, broody, and downright unpleasant he may be, he had always been one to give thanks where thanks were due.

And he owed David the muggle American a rather large thank-you.