"Concentrate, Harry!" Hermione thwacked the poor boy over the head with a scroll of parchment.
"Ow! Hermione, if you keep hitting me over the head, I won't be able to concentrate!" He grumbled, taking the parchment from his friend and stuffing it in his bag beside his leg. "Now, shut up!" He smirked on the inside at her being lost for words. For once.
"Fine. You can practice this on your own. I'm going to bed!" She glared at him as she packed her things and left the old classroom.
"Good night," he replied smarmily, closing his eyes once more, trying to focus on being calm and still. He was finding it easier now that Hermione wasn't there to breath down his neck.
For the past month, Hermione and Harry had been working on finding their Animagus forms. Ron, for some reason wasn't interested. He'd turned quite pale, then quite red and said that he'd rather remain a human. That was fine with the two brunettes; they scheduled to meet once a week in the same old, unused classroom down near the dungeons. It was so out of the way that not even the Slytherins would be a problem. Harry actually became rather fond of it.
After ten more minutes of meditation, Harry finally felt something at the back of his mind. Kind of like a tugging sensation. He focussed on it and tried to bring it forth, hoping he was finally going to see what his Form was. After a month of reading and meditating, he felt he was finally ready to at least know what he would be turning into, if not be able to actually do it.
He mentally grasped the tugging sensation and pulled it to the forefront of his mind. In his mind's eye, he saw a small, black, furry creature with a lolling tongue and wagging tail. It was a puppy.
The next thing he knew, Harry heard a small pop and a weird, almost tingly, sensation running through his whole body. He opened his eyes and watched as the room suddenly got bigger.
What the hell? He looked around himself, trying to determine what on earth had happened. He took a step forward, to see if he could at least still move. He could move, but it was rather odd. He was on all fours, and his shoes were no longer on his feet. He could feel the cold floor under his… paws? He looked down, and sure enough, tiny, furry paws were supporting his fluffy little body. He squawked in surprise. Or, he would have, if he was human. The sound that came out was more of a yelping bark. It sounded rather cute, if he did say so himself. But now was not the time for dwelling on how cute he thought he was. He needed to know how to get back to being a human.
He remembered the books saying something about focussing on what he looked like as a human and willing himself to change back, concentrating on sending his magic throughout his body in a self-transfigurative spell. Mentally shrugging, he gave it a try, figuring he had nothing to lose.
Trying this method for twenty minutes and getting nowhere, Harry came to the conclusion that it just wasn't going to work. So, he quickly formulated a Plan B. Get help.
But from who? He wondered, plonking his cute little bottom on the floor. He absently scratched behind his ear as he pondered who to go to for help. He didn't even realise he was using his back paw to do it. Sighing, (whining) he got up and decided to go to McGonagall's room to see if she could help. She was a Transfiguration expert, after all.
It was no use. He was lost. Apparently, the castle was different when he was a puppy. He growled. It just wasn't fair. He got up and tried to follow a scent. It was musky and pleasant. He had no idea what it was, but it was strong to his new nose and he liked it. What could go wrong? He followed his nose deeper into the dungeons, stopping only when the smell lead him to a wall. That's strange… it just stops… He sniffed around a bit, hoping to find some trace of it. Nothing. He sadly plonked down in front of the wall again and half-heartedly scratched at a stone with his little nails and sighed.
"I say, what on earth is wrong?" He looked up at the painting he hadn't noticed before. It was a dour-looking man with dark hair and green robes. He was in a potions lab, a cauldron simmering on an open flame.
I'm a poodle! What do you think is wrong! He yipped at the man, hoping something could be understood.
"There, there, no need to get bitchy…" he smirked at his wit and left his frame. A minute or so of barking angrily brought results. The wall in front of Harry opened up to reveal shiny black shoes mostly covered by black cotton robes. He looked up into the face of Hogwarts' resident Potions Master. He looked surprised to say the least.
"What is going on?" He looked around for a moment, trying to see if there were any students lurking about. After a couple of seconds, he looked down at the shuffling sound. Harry belatedly got the idea to make a quick getaway. "What do we have here? A familiar wandering around? One of my snakes is in trouble… dogs aren't allowed." However, Snape scooped Harry up and took him inside.
"I'm assuming you're hungry?" Severus looked at the puppy he'd sat on his desk. It was tiny, completely black and had big brown eyes and a cute little button nose on the end of its little muzzle. It was a pedigree English Cocker Spaniel, if he wasn't mistaken. Quite a fine specimen, too. One of his snakes was very lucky to have such a familiar. The poor little thing was shaking, obviously afraid of the huge human before him. Severus realised it probably wasn't a good idea to put a puppy on top of his paperwork. Something could happen. He quickly picked it up again and moved it to the hearth. He knelt before it and said "Stay," before going over to his desk once more, summoning a House Elf to bring some food suitable for a puppy.
Soon, he was placing some mushy leftovers from dinner, on a silver plate, before the puppy on his hearth. He watched as it looked at him, its head tilted, as though asking if the food was for him.
"No, I thought I'd ask for mashed leftovers and eat them like a dog. Of course it's for you," he rolled his eyes at the puppy.
Timidly, it stuck a little paw on the side of the dish, dragging it closer to itself, as though it didn't want to move any closer to the human. Severus snorted.
"Hurry up and eat, dog. I'm going to bed soon and I'd rather not leave you to roam around and destroy my quarters. You will be sleeping in my room." He narrowed his eyes at the adorable little thing before going to sit on his couch and reading a Potions journal.
In no more than five minutes, the puppy was finished, the plate licked clean. Severus rolled his eyes again. Cockers were pigs.
"Good. Come along. It's time for sleep." He strode to his room on the other side of the living area and looked behind him to see the dog trailing sleepily after him. He sighed, deciding it would be faster to carry it rather than wait for it to catch up.
He picked it up and held it close while he carried it to his room (after all, he didn't want to drop it, it wasn't as though he was fond of the blasted thing). He noticed how easily it fit in his hands.
You're far too small. One of my students has some explaining to do.
Taking a pillow from his bed, he sat it on the floor and placed the puppy on it.
"That is your bed for tonight. You will stay on there unless you have to… relieve yourself." He flicked his wand and an old newspaper flew from a nightstand to arrange itself on the floor in the corner of the bedroom, away from the bed. "You will use the paper for that." He flicked his wand once more and a small bowl of water appeared next to the pillow. "In case you need a drink during the night. It is the weekend, so I expect a lie-in. Do not wake me."
Assuming the animal understood his tone, if not his words, Severus left for the bathroom to get ready for bed.