Having cast the Sectumsempra spell on Malfoy in HBP, Harry has to deal with the consequences. This story is written from Harry's perspective and starts in the bathroom directly after the curse hit Malfoy and Snape rushed in and healed him. The text in bold letters is a direct quote from the book.

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of the other characters in this story, and I don't make any profit, either.

Warning: This story contains corporal punishment

Beta: JadeSullivan (Thank you so much!)


Snape supported Malfoy across the bathroom, turning at the door to say in a voice of cold fury, 'And you, Potter ... you wait here for me.'

It didn't occur to Harry for one second to disobey.

Feeling sick he slowly sat down on the wet, bloody floor, trying to ignore the wails of Moaning Myrtle that grew louder every minute. Finally he got up, looked into a mirror that wasn't cracked and tried to wipe off the flecks of blood on his cheeks.

Harry continued waiting.

Although he dreaded the moment that Snape would be back, the time seemed to drag endlessly.

At last the door to the bathroom opened again and a still furious potions master stepped in. 'Out!' he yelled at Moaning Myrtle, who dived into the next toilet and disappeared.

'How's Malfoy? Will he be alright?' Harry asked in a rather shaky voice.

'He will be, but not thanks to you, and that does not lessen the trouble you are in!'

Snape stared into Harry's face. 'Who would have guessed,' he spat in a waspish voice, 'the Chosen One using Dark magic on a classmate. Who taught you that spell?' he shouted suddenly.

Harry flinched; he knew that question was coming.

'I didn't know what that spell did, honestly! I read it somewhere, in some book…I forget which one it was...' he finished somewhat lamely, looking at the floor.

Snape grabbed his chin, raised his head and stared into Harry's eyes. Close your mind, thought Harry, but he knew it was no use. His copy of 'Advanced Potion Making' came to the front of his mind, opened, revealing the notes inside. The book disappeared swiftly and Snape's face came into focus again.

'You liar,' was all that Snape said before he went to the door and opened it. 'Come along. We are going to see the headmaster.'

Harry closed his eyes in horror.

When they finally arrived in front of Dumbledore's office, Snape again said, 'You wait here, Potter.'

Harry nodded and his teacher knocked and entered, closing the door behind him. At first Harry was tempted to listen at the door, but he thought he was in enough trouble already. He could hear both Dumbledore's and Snape's voices; they seemed to be having some sort of discussion inside, but Harry could not understand the words.

When the door opened again, he swallowed hard, stepped inside, hardly managing to look into Dumbledore's face.

The headmaster looked more serious and angry than Harry had ever seen him. 'Harry, Professor Snape told me you used a life threatening curse on Mr. Malfoy, is that true?'

'Yes, Professor, but I didn't know that it would do that, and Malfoy hexed me first, so I shot a spell at him and missed and then he tried—'

'No, Harry,' Dumbledore interrupted him. 'Do not try to make excuses for what you have done. I am sure that it was not your intention to harm Mr Malfoy seriously. If you tell me so, I will even believe you that you were not the first to raise your wand. However, you are in your Sixth Year and definitely should have your magic under control. There is absolutely no excuse to cast a spell at another person without knowing exactly what it does. Do you understand me?'

'Yes sir', Harry whispered. The disappointment in Dumbledore's voice made him feel even more terrible than before.

'As soon as Mr Malfoy is out of the hospital wing you are going to apologize to him.'

Harry nodded silently. That wasn't going to be fun, but he agreed that it was something he needed to do.

Dumbledore peered at him over the top of his half-moon spectacles. 'Professor Snape and I have agreed on your punishments,' he continued. 'You will serve a number of detentions with Professor Snape.'

Harry nodded again. He was expecting this. And now that he was finally learning of his punishments, the rhythm of his heart began to steady.

'However', Dumbledore carried on and Harry's heart thrummed again, 'we have agreed that in your special case, we unfortunately will have to resort to corporal punishment as well.'

'Corporal punishment?' Harry repeated stupidly, wondering if he had understood correctly. 'But—'

'Yes Harry, corporal punishment,' Dumbledore answered, with a slight edge to his voice. 'I am fully aware that caning hasn't been used at Hogwarts for decades, not since I became Headmaster here, to be exact. But I am sure you see yourself that what you have done cannot be dealt with by simply handing out a few detentions. Any other pupil would have been expelled for certain. However, considering your safety and the tasks that lie ahead of you, expulsion is no option. Can you understand this, Harry?" he finished rather kindly.

Harry cleared his throat. 'Yes, I can' he said quietly, avoiding Snape's eyes, who in that moment induced even more fear in him than normal.

Dumbledore also cleared his throat. 'Good. Now I am aware, too well, of the mutual dislike between you and Professor Snape. Although you will serve your detentions with Professor Snape, I am offering to mete out the corporal punishment myself."

Snape drew in his breath as if he was going to say something, but Dumbledore merely looked at him and he remained silent.

Harry thought about that offer. Surely any punishment handed out by Dumledore couldn't hurt as much as by Professor Snape? He was by far kinder, and after all, he was an old man and could use only one of his hands properly.

But, Harry wondered, would he even need his hands, how is a caning done in the magical world anyway? Snape, no doubt, would not be easy on him in the least. But while he shuddered at the thought of the humiliation of Snape being allowed to wallop him, the idea of being caned by Dumbledore was just unbearable.

He gulped and tried to find his voice. 'Sir, thanks for offering, but I think...erm, I'm okay with Professor Snape doing it.'

He cast a quick sideways glance at his potions professor whose face betrayed no reaction whatsoever.

'Very well,' said Dumbledore and considered him for a moment. 'In this case, Harry, I want you to be in my office tomorrow night at eight o'clock for our next lesson. Severus?'

The latter nodded, went to the door and opened it. Harry looked once more into Dumbledore's eyes.

'I'm really sorry,' Harry whispered sadly. Then he dropped his head and went out of the office, followed by his potions master, who quietly closed the door behind them.