This belongs to the House Which Time Forgot series. It makes sense in that universe.
Warning: Corporal punishment of a seventeen-year-old.
Harry knew he was drunk. He had never been drunk before, but he knew he was at the moment as sure as he knew his own name. He was Harry Something, his adopted father was the black bat, and he was drunk.
"Are you sure we shouldn't take him to the house?" Hermione asked worriedly from the passenger's seat of the flying car.
"No," Ron, who was driving, whispered back. "He's fine. Look, he's walking up to the house."
"He's drunk," Hermione insisted. "He's about to fall over. Someone should help him in the house and take him up to bed."
"I'm not going with him," Ron declared, "and facing the wrath of Snape. And you're not going either. Harry'll be fine."
Hermione bit her lip as she watched their friend lurch up to the front of the house. It was the night of Harry's 17th birthday, and they had gone to celebrate in the small town near Snape and Harry's house. A whole crowd of people had been there to celebrate with him, but Sanpe had never shown up. Halfway through the evening, the guest of honor had decided to drink his first firewhiskey. As the evening had progressed, Harry had continued to drink, and by the end of the party, Ron and Hermione had been left with a room full of presents and empty trays and glasses and one very tipsy friend.
"Why couldn't Snape have come to the party?" Ron demanded from the darkness of the car. "Why is it our responsibility to get Harry home?"
"Snape doesn't like people or parties," Hermione replied.
"Well, he should have been there," Ron said. "Harry was coming of age and he wanted Snape to be there."
"Why is he going around the house?" Hermione whispered as she watched Harry round the corner.
"Probably going to sneak in the back. He's fine," Ron put the car into gear and it gently rose up off the ground.
"What about his presents?" Hermione asked, thinking of the trunk crammed with gifts.
"We'll bring them by tomorrow," Ron promised.
Harry made it all the way down the path to the back without falling over. When he first came here five years ago, there had been a solid wall inclosing the back yard, but recently he had convinced Snape to put in a gate.
But the gate kept moving on the wall, swaying back and forth as Harry neared it. He was extremely dizzy, and his legs did not want to keep moving. Why couldn't the gate stay still on the wall?
Swearing slightly under his breath, Harry put a hand out for the latch. His fingers closed around empty air.
"Stay still," Harry ordered, trying not to fall over.
He reached for the latch again, and his fingers brushed over it before falling off clumsily.
Whimpering and whining at the unfairness of it all, Harry lurched forward and grabbed the latch.
He pulled on the handle. The gate did not open.
He pulled again. Still nothing.
Harry took a deep breath, ready to throw a tantrum until the latch opened.
He grabbed it again, and suddenly he remembered that he had to press down on the latch to get it to open.
Stumbling into the backyard, Harry looked around himself wildly, suddenly aware that he was all alone.
How in the world did he ever get inside the backyard all alone? Where was the person who had opened the latched gate for him?
Wait, Harry Potter had opened that gate, hadn't he?
Harry glanced around, hoping to see Harry Potter. No, no Harry Potter in sight as far as he could see.
"Figures," Harry slurred as he went towards the house, "no one's ever around when you need them. Might as well be all alone."
He couldn't remember how to get in the house, but when he stopped to think about how to get inside, he couldn't remember why he needed to get in the house. What was so important inside?
Light flooded his world, and Harry cried out, shielding his eyes. It was like standing in the middle of the sun.
A moment later, he realized that a door to the house had opened, and he was looking at the light from inside.
"Pretty light," he smiled.
But something was coming out of the light – a dark shape.
"What are you doing?" Snape roared as he barreled out of the house. "It's three in the morning, and I've been waiting for you to get back. You are not allowed to be out this late – are you drunk?"
"No," Harry said and then giggled.
"You're drunk," Snape insisted. "You are completely, sodding drunk. How did you get home?"
Harry drew himself up and announced, "Harry Potter brought me home."
"You are Harry Potter."
"If I'm him, then who brought me home?" Harry asked, smirking at his own logic. Snape was so stupid. Snape was standing there, all three of him, looking so stupid.
"You got drunk at your own birthday party?" Snape bellowed. "How much did you drink?"
"No thanks," Harry replied. "I don't care for anymore to drink, but I wouldn't say no to another drink."
Snape reached for him, and Harry started back, scared as all three Snape came towards him.
A wave of dizziness washed over Harry, and he felt hot and sick.
"Wait!" Snape commanded, but it was too late.
Harry leaned over and threw up all over the bed of exotic flowers. And not just once.
Bitter and acidic, the bile came up. And he kept throwing up until his eyes swam with tears and he felt dizzier than ever.
He leaned over the flower beds, trying to breathe and not fall over. Gradually, he became aware of two hands, one on his back and the other on his right shoulder, balancing him.
"Stupid boy," Snape's voice came out of the darkness. But the hands did not move.
"Ugh," Harry groaned. "Don't feel good."
"Come on," the hands shifted to his upper arms. "Upstairs to bed."
"No," Harry replied crossly. "Want to sleep right here."
But Snape made him stand and shifted Harry's left arm over his shoulder. Supporting Harry, Snape walked them to the backdoor and into the house.
Vampyr was in the kitchen, whining and sniffing Harry. The smell of alcohol and vomit was stronger in the kitchen without fresh air to blow the scent away.
"Down," Snape ordered as he helped Harry towards the hallway.
"I can't go up those," Harry complained when they reached the base of the stairs. "It's too high."
"You're going up to bed," Snape said decisively. "And since you were horrid enough to insist we build onto this house, you have another room now, and you're going to sleep it whether you want to or not!"
"Meanie," Harry pouted as he leaned on Snape to get up the stairs. "Want to sleep and you're pulling me."
"Shut up," Snape ordered.
"It's my birthday."
"And you're bigger brat than ever."
Somehow they made it up the stairs, and then Snape proved himself a worse tyrant than ever as he actually made Harry strip down to his underwear before getting into bed.
"Don't want to!" Harry whined, pulling away and trying to get to the bed.
"Stand still," Snape growled as he began unbuttoning Harry's shirt. "Hands up."
"I can't," Harry was near tears.
With many death glares, Snape got his shirt off and made him sit on the bed to get his shoes and socks off. Harry flopped back on the bed, flinging his arms out and stared up at the ceiling, almost in a coma.
"All right, trousers off," Snape ordered.
Harry did not move.
"I have to do everything," Snape sneered as he unbuttoned and unzipped the trousers. "Come on, just lift your hips up a little. I swear, Harry – this isn't right at all. You are too old to be undressed like this. It's not appropriate and I don't like – don't go to sleep!"
Harry's eyes had drifted shut.
With another growl, Snape grabbed him under the arms and pulled Harry to stand up straight. Harry made a deep, guttural noise of protest, but Snape leaned Harry against his shoulder to pull his trousers down, noting with disgust that they were splattered with vomit.
Harry leaned his head on Snape's shoulder and let his eyes drift shut.
"I'd be spanking you right now, but you wouldn't feel a thing," Snape said as he lowered Harry back to the bed. He pulled the trousers off and then he made the mistake of looking down.
In only his shorts, Harry lay on the bed, his face relaxed in sleep, so innocent and vulnerable that Snape wanted to growl once more. Harry might be of age now, but he was still just a boy. A very naughty, inconsiderate, disobedient boy – but still just boy who needed guidance and reliance on a father figure.
"Happy Birthday," Snape said. He rolled Harry over on the bed, a hard task as the boy was getting to tall to move easily. Then Snape pulled the covers over him, making sure he couldn't roll off. "You better pray that morning doesn't come too soon."
Snape turned to leave, just as Vampyr slipped into the bedroom, to sleep beside Harry's bed.
Pain – the whole world was full on pain.
Harry groaned as he opened his eyes and raised one hand to shield his eyes. Why was the light trying to kill him?
Stumbling out of his bed, Harry tripped his way to the bathroom and gingerly splashed some cold water on his face. His mouth tasted nasty, and he tried to remember what he had done last night to feel so bad now.
During a hot shower, teeth-brushing, and dressing, Harry recalled each part of the previous night though he found he couldn't remember past drinking a lot at his party. He hadn't meant to drink quite so much. He had been a tiny bit annoyed that Snape had refused to come to his party. Well, maybe more annoyed, especially after he had begged Snape to come, and his father had refused.
Now that he was seventeen and of age, Harry decided right then and there to never speak to Snape again. He didn't need anything from the old bat, and he could easily pack up his things and leave this stupid house forever.
Harry wanted to march into kitchen and make a big farewell speech, but he found that walking down the stairs became a lot of jarring pain and he had to drop into his seat to keep from falling over.
"Drink this," Snape set a vial in front of him.
Harry glared down at the nasty concoction. "Don't want it."
"Drink it," Snape ordered, his voice hard.
"Drink it, or I'll cane you."
Harry looked at Snape with eyes full of hate, but as Harry couldn't imagine a punishment on top of the agony of his hangover, he picked up the vial. Muttering something mean about Snape, Harry tossed back the potion.
For a moment, he thought he would throw up again, it was so gross. But then the potion settled in his stomach. A few seconds later, he felt the pain ease away. He could keep his eyes open without the light burning and his body did not ache so much.
"Thanks," he muttered, reluctant to show Snape any gratitude.
"You'll thank me in a minute," Snape snarled. "Get up and lean over the table."
"Because you're about to get a strapping."
Harry sat up indignantly. "For what?"
"For vomiting all over my flowerbeds," Snape pointed towards the window. "This is the second time you've ruined them, and I'm not having it. Over the table with you."
"You're mad if you think I'm letting you punish me," Harry declared. "I'm not speaking to you ever again, and I'm not letting you strap me ever. I'm seventeen – I can leave if I want to."
"You're not leaving," Snape decided.
"You can't stop me," Harry argued. "I walk out that door and disappear if I like."
"You step out that door, and I'll tear down this house," Snape shot back. "It'll be nothing but a pile of rumble."
"You bastard! You know how much work I put into this house. I made you fix it up. You touch the house and it'll be the last thing you ever do!"
"I'll burn it to the ground," Snape threatened.
"You will not! I'll stop you."
"How can you stop me if you leave?"
"Oh, I'll be the one staying and make you leave."
"It's my house, stupid boy."
"We'll see about that!" Harry jumped out of his seat, planning to get his broom and fly to the Ministry of Magic to contend the rightful ownership of the house.
Then powerful hands grabbed him by the shoulders. Harry gasped at the outrage of being manhandled when he was now of age, but before he could protest, Snape had whirled him around and bent him over the table.
Harry felt humiliated at being tipped over the table at seventeen as easily as he had been at eleven. How did Snape stay so strong?
However, the table had a harder time dealing with Harry's height and weight at seventeen and it rocked dangerously for a second before settling down. Harry had been begging for Snape to add a dining room to the house and get a bigger table, but the man had refused so they were stuck with the old table in the kitchen.
The glass vial rolled off and broke on the floor. Snape had heavy hands on his shoulders, pinning him down on the table.
"I'm not getting strapped!" Harry roared. "No, I won't! I'm not a child and you can't treat me like this anymore."
"I don't let my son go out and get drunk," Snape's voice came from above him.
Harry felt so frustrated that he couldn't speak. He slammed his fists down on the table. "You're not my father. Fathers show up at their sons' birthdays. You were hiding out here, and I hate you."
"You've always hated me."
"Well, now I really do. I'm leaving forever."
"We both know what is going to happen," Snape sneered. "You'll run out of here and hide somewhere. And once you get hungry and tired enough, you'll come back, all defensive and sulky. Then we'll talk, and at the end, you'll get strapped. So let's save us both a wasted day and punish you now."
"That's not fair – I have stuff that I want to say. If I get strapped, I'll be crying too hard to talk to you."
"Then that's just an added benefit."
Harry jerked his body out in frustration, hating that his eyes were already stinging with tears. He hadn't been punished in a while, and he really was too old for it. Seventeen, and Snape still wanted to use corporal punishment on him. But ever since Harry had turned fourteen, Snape had decided he was too old for a simple hand-spanking and had graduated him up to Snape's thick leather belt. Harry had been less than appreciative.
In the last five years, Snape had mellowed considerably and often went out of his way to make sure Harry was comfortable and healthy (ever since Harry had gotten sick in the cellar, Snape worried about him catching cold and was particular about Harry wearing his coat and not going out in the rain). Snape's insults had grown less and less with each passing year, and they could actually go for whole days without seeing a single sneer from Snape.
But in his right to discipline Harry, Snape was unbending. No matter what Harry did or said, Snape belonged to the old school of thought where to spare the rod was to spoil the child. Harry never felt in any danger of being spoiled, but Snape never wanted to hear that. In the time when Snape deemed a punishment necessarily, Harry had tried all manners of dealing with the discipline from taking it as quietly as possible to bellowing at the top of his lungs, from submitting immediately to running away for the whole day, and from arguing with Snape about it to starting to cry before Snape even started.
"Stop it," Snape ordered. "You know I always let you say what you want after we're done. If I let you talk before, you'll be trying to get me to change my mind instead of saying what you really feel."
"I'm saying what I really feel," Harry insisted. "I don't want to be strapped. And I didn't do anything wrong."
"Harry, you're going to hold yourself still or you'll find yourself in much more trouble. I'm the adult, and I make the decisions."
"I'm an adult, too," Harry said, but his tone was a definite whine.
Snape said nothing.
The silence of the room grew oppressive and uncomfortable.
Making unhappy sounds, Harry adjusted himself on the table, wiggling back until his feet touched the floor and reaching out to grab the opposite edge of the table. "How many?"
"Twenty-four?" Harry protested. "I wasn't even that bad. Ten!"
"I've never given you less than twenty since you turned fifteen," Snape retorted. "And now that you're adult, as you keep pointing out, I think a full two dozen will do nicely."
"Happy sodding birthday," Harry muttered to himself.
He could hear Snape pulling his belt free, and Harry thought the world was really, really unfair. Voldemort and his evil plans were awful and all that, but Snape's punishments were the most unfair thing to have ever happened to him. Even the Dursleys never made him submit to this. They locked him in a cupboard and forgot about him – that had to be better than being the one person that Severus Snape was allowed to punish.
The first lick caught him in surprise, and Harry hissed at the pain that burned across his bottom. "Not so hard. Rotten sadistic."
The belt began to fall with a steady rhythm, and Harry began twisting his hips on the table to get away until Snape put a firm hand on his back.
"Stay still," Snape ordered after lick eighteen.
"I'm trying, but it hurts," Harry panted. His eyes were filled with tears, and he knew they would spill over at any moment.
"Of course, it supposed to hurt – it's a strapping."
"There's something wrong with you if you want to cause me pain," Harry tried breathing through his nose to stem the tears.
"There is something wrong with you if you want to stay out all to all hours, worry me half to death, and come home drunk," Snape retorted.
"I wouldn't have if you had been there," Harry meant to be stoic, but he broke on the last words, and then the tears came. With the last six strokes, he cried freely, not carrying anymore.
Outside Vampyre started barking and howling as he always did whenever Harry got really upset. The dog didn't seem to mind the yelling, but the moment Harry started crying, Vampyre put up such a fuss that he could no longer stay outside.
Growling, Snape set the belt on the table and went to the door to wrench it open. "Get in here," he told the distraught dog. "He's fine, wailing over a few taps with the belt."
Harry released the edge of the table and reached back to rub once before folding his arms on the table and burying his head down in them. His shoulders shook with sobs.
Vampyre anxiously put his paws up on the table and began to lick Harry's neck and what he could reach of his face.
"Get down, you mangy animal," Snape directed. "Harry is going to get a hold of himself and tell me what was so important about my coming to his party."
Harry yanked his head up, eyes blazing. "I was coming of age. All my friends showed up – everyone that knew me was there. Everyone but my sodding, ugly father who couldn't be bothered to show up!"
Harry grabbed the belt and flung it as Snape. Snape stepped out of the way, and the belt fell to the ground.
"I told you I wasn't going to come," Snape ignored the throwing.
"I thought you would change your mind like you always do. You act horrible, but you usually change your mind at the end," Harry stood up straight, wishing his eyes weren't full of tears and his rear end wasn't throbbing. "You could have come, just for a few minutes."
"I thought you would have a better time if I wasn't there."
"If you were there, I wouldn't have started drinking."
"You better believe you wouldn't," Snape snapped. "And if I catch you drinking firewhiskey again, I double that number until you swear you'll never look at the bottle again. I'm not having a drunk in this house or this family."
"You could have come for a few minutes," Harry mumbled. He looked down at the floor, and two more tears ran down his cheeks.
"I'm going to have to hug you, aren't I?" Snape said, disgusted.
Harry made no reply; he wiped his eyes with the back of his hand.
"Of all the awful things you make me do," Snape stepped up to him and grudgingly held out his arms, "this is the –oof!"
Harry grabbed him in a hard hug, laying his head down on Snape's shoulder for a second. He knew Snape did not like crowds of people, and he knew the man felt awkward around hoards of Harry's friends. It still wasn't fair, but Harry understood. He held Snape tight before pulling back.
"I'll fix you some breakfast," Snape stepped towards the stove.
"No, I want my present," Harry said. Already he felt better – the sting in his rear was beginning to disappear. That was one good thing about getting older – his body seemed to get over punishments quicker than when he was smaller.
"I didn't get you a present," Snape scoffed.
"Yes, you did," Harry reached to rub the top of the dog's head. "There's no way I would turn seventeen without you getting me something. What is it?"
Shaking his head, Snape opened his mouth, but then he stopped himself. "It's not exactly a gift, but . . ."
"Yes?" Harry was eager. "What is it?"
"It's – it's –" Snape glanced around hastily. "I got you a – it's a –"
"What is it?" Harry was nearly jumping up on his toes.
Snape dropped his hands in defeat. "You know that new study you had built? The one under the new bedroom that you sleep in now?"
"Yes?" a slow grin spread over Harry's face.
"I'm going to let you build that dining room you've been asking for," Snape said glumly. "And you can use the space upstairs to enlarge your bedroom and mine."
Harry stared at him for a second. Then he let out a whoop of joy and ran to hug Snape again.
"Yes!" Harry cheered, hopping up and down as he held onto Snape's arm. "I've been asking forever. We're going to have a real dining room and bigger bedrooms. Oh, yes, finally."
"But you are to have some decorum," Snape insisted. "No marble floors in the dining room or walk-in closets upstairs. Modest rooms, Harry."
"We're going to have more rooms," Harry grinned ear to ear. "A dining room big enough to fit ten people with floor-length windows and a huge chandelier –"
"And I'm going to build a new gable to my bedroom and I'll have room for a bigger bed."
"No bigger bed!"
"I'm going to have room for that Quidditch cabinet, the one that can hold three brooms and trophies plus all the gear."
"There will be no Quidditch cabinet."
"I want the kind with the doors that open up and show you all the scores of your favorite team, updated daily," Harry went on. "And I might as well have the ceiling raised a foot or two into the roof. I like the domed look – very modern."
"Harry," Snape growled in warning.
Harry glanced back at his adopted father. "This really is the best birthday ever."
Snape looked like he had been sucking on a lemon. He nodded the smallest bit.
"Come on, let's go get catalog books," Harry urged as he ran into the other room to get his wand and wallet. "We can spend the day in Diagon Alley, designing new plans. Who do we want to help build? I like those people we used last time though they were a bit shady about the amount of paint used in the study. I know they kept the extra galleon for themselves because I saw that man admiring that shade a little too much. I want to eat something when we get there. Oh, and I'm going to need space for all my new gifts. You wouldn't believe the size of some of the things I got. Neville gave me a whole aquarium to grow squids . . ."
As Harry clamored up the stairs to change to his work shoes, Snape shook his head in despair.
"Bleeding-heart idiot," Snape growled at himself. "You should have just let him run away for good."
"Can we get new furniture for the study?" Harry hollered from above.
"We get new furniture, and I'm getting a new son," Snape spat as he strode into the hallway.
"Or maybe new curtains," Harry went on. "I don't like the green. I think dark red would look nice."
It was going to be one very expensive birthday gift. Snape tried to comfort himself with the thought that they would be spending most of Harry's money, but that would barely make a dent in the Potter fortune and Snape's house would be the one to suffer the most.
"Blasted boy," Snape sighed as he glanced around the house. Harry was everywhere – there wasn't a single corner that didn't have something to remind him of the boy.
Snape leaned against the wall, ready to wait patiently for his son to get ready so they could go out together.