All belongs to J. K. Rowling…I'm just having fun in her world.
NOTE – This story is a direct sequel to Remembering Me. If you haven't read that yet please do so before reading this or it will make no sense to you!
A Harry and Snape guardianship story - Non-Slash. Will follow the events of book 2 (loosely) but will be mostly Harry and snape centered - of course :)
Remembering Me: Into the Serpent's Lair
A Strange Encounter
Mondays … three sets of double potions, two of them with first years! They were always the worst – blank, wide-eyed stares; clumsy, uncoordinated fingers and the attention spans of doxies… Still, it could be worse; he could be facing days of instructing them on basic wand theory and having to oversee constant, repeated attempts of 'Wingardium Leviosa that would ring in his ears until well after midnight.'
He grimaced at the thought – instructing Harry on the basics during those first few days the boy had come to live with him had been maddening. Endless erratic arm movements and mispronounced incantations. No, he was certainly thankful those days were over.
With that thought in mind he began to feel a little better about his Monday schedule now when weighed up against what Minerva and Flitwick had to put up with. He smirked a little before scanning his eyes down the rest of the columns – his lesson schedule for the term. It had arrived that morning as he and Harry had sat down for their final breakfast together.
Later that day Harry would be flooing to The Burrow to spend the final couple of days of the holidays with the Weasleys before school started. The arrangement was made to allow Snape some much needed time by himself to prepare for classes without Harry being under his feet as well as organise some other more personal matters which he'd spent a lot of time considering over the last few days.
The school term had crept up on him suddenly, yet as he looked back over the past weeks it seemed almost a lifetime ago that he had taken Harry from the Hogwarts infirmary (rather unwillingly back then) and brought him here, to his home, to care for him.
It had been a long and at times difficult road, not only for Harry but for himself also – coming to terms with the past, dissolving his long-term perceptions and assumptions of the boy and his life and finally realising he needed to step up and assume responsibility to the promise he had made all those years ago for the sake of Harry's future.
Snape threw his class schedule down on to his desk with a sigh and closed his eyes for a moment, listening to the occasional, muffled sounds from Harry's bedroom where the boy was packing his school trunk before flooing to the Weasleys. At least, that was what the child should be doing. He'd had to practically haul Harry in from the back garden by his ear to get him to start packing.
'But there's heaps of time… I'm not going until later this afternoon!'
'You will come inside and pack this instant, I am not having things left until the last minute, there are too many other matters that need my attention. Now in!'
Harry's trunk wasn't going with him to The Burrow, Snape was taking it straight to Hogwarts instead to save the hassle of an extra piece of luggage for the Weasleys, but he'd made it more than clear that it was Harry's responsibility to pack. Of course, he'd have to go in there soon and check the child had packed properly and not forgotten anything. Harry was looking forward to his 'extended stay' at The Burrow so much that it seemed the fact that school was starting again in a few days time had taken a back seat in the boy's mind. It wouldn't surprise Snape at all to find that Harry had forgotten to pack his texts books or his potion ingredients or even his school clothes over the thought of having unlimited time to play two-a-side Quidditch and eat the mountain of desserts and treats Molly always seemed to have when the boy went around there.
Snape shifted in his seat a little, leaning his elbows down against his desk as he rubbed his dry, calloused hands together. Over the last few days he had been busy harvesting needed potion ingredients from his array of plants which were all now abundantly growing in both the back and side gardens, hence the state of his hands.
Harry had accompanied him on most occasions, assisting where possible while continuing to chat animatedly, as Harry did, about anything that seemed to cross his mind. Despite the chatter being mostly general, occasionally it was punctuated out of the blue by very specific questions. Harry's memory had, for the most part, returned although a few small, fuzzy patches were still missing here and there which was the cause of most of the questions. Snape, however, usually found himself unable to assist due to his limited dealings and understandings with what went on in the boy's life before these past holidays.
Of course, since the start of the holidays Snape's involvement in Harry's life had drastically changed. Their previous teacher-student and rather hostile dealings with each other (mostly from Snape's side) had evolved into what was now a type of father-son relationship. Snape could no longer deny, not to himself or to anyone else, the connection and duty he felt towards Harry now.
For all intents and purposes Harry was now his child, especially since the guardianship had officially gone through. He'd even said that to Harry back during their visit to Diagon Alley and again afterwards when Harry had questioned him about it in a way that had almost seemed to be asking for some kind of assurance that their new relationship was solid.
No, there was no doubting that his relationship with the boy and vice versa had completely transformed and now it was a matter of taking that out of the confines of the home and into the wider world.
Snape flicked his eyes open and looked down at the various rolls of parchment spread out before him – class schedules, lesson plans, Head of House duty lists… He had three days effectively to get organised before classes officially resumed and usually that was plenty of time, but now he also had other personal matters to put his attention to - there was no getting away from the fact that he was now, effectively, a parent on staff and needed to make some adjustments accordingly.
He exhaled sharply at the mountain of work that lay ahead of him, before swiping his class schedule up once more in order to cross reference it against his lesson plans for the first week.
The clock on the mantle of his study fire ticked on against the scratching of his quill for several moments, punctuated with the occasional muffled sound from Harry's room as if it were all part of some rhythm until suddenly the pattern of it all was interrupted by a rather loud and unremitting thumping sound emanating from the vicinity of Harry's bedroom.
Snape's brow knitted together and he placed his quill down with an audible sigh, abandoning his professional duties to attend to his now 'parental' ones.
Harry knelt down by the side of his open trunk, toppling a pile of books on the floor next to him as he did so, and threw in several rolled up pairs of socks. He leaned back against his heels then and looked around his room where clothes, books, quills, parchment, potion ingredients and underwear were strewn from one end of his room to the other. Severus would have a fit if he walked in right now.
Harry wasn't sure why he was having such a hard time packing, it wasn't as if he didn't want to get back to Hogwarts, on the contrary, he couldn't wait to see everyone again and start second year classes as well as getting back into Quidditch. Maybe he was just too focused on getting to Ron's that afternoon or maybe it was the fact that it was such a nice day outside and Severus had dragged him in from flying to do it. Whatever the reason, all he knew was that he'd been at it for half an hour and all he had in his trunk were three pairs of rolled up socks, his Gryffindor scarf and two bottles of ink.
He brought a hand up and scratched his nose, deliberating on what he should pack next and trying very hard to ignore the sunshine and perfect flying conditions outside his window. Maybe he should put the stacks of books in before his clothes… or maybe the other way around?
Before going to school last year he hadn't worried too much about packing neatly, just tossed everything in together, but seeing as Snape had said he would be coming in to check, Harry thought he had better do at least a half decent job. He wouldn't put it past the man to make him take it all out and re-do it.
He picked up one of his new textbooks and glanced at the cover – 'Potions Grade 2'. He felt a sudden anticipation rise up in him at the thought of potion classes this year, an anticipation he knew Ron wouldn't understand or share, but he couldn't help it. Since Snape had begun to allow him up to his laboratory these holidays and actually been teaching him some of the finer arts of potion brewing Harry had unearthed the fact that potions was actually a subject he quite enjoyed. He was actually looking forward to Snape's classes now and proving to his new guardian that he had been taking in everything he'd been teaching him during the past few weeks.
He placed the book back down with the others, thinking…
Despite his eagerness to get back to Hogwarts it did feel a little strange to him; so much had happened and changed since the end of the last school year. From Ron's reaction to Snape becoming Harry's guardian and to the various looks they had received during their shopping trip to Diagon Alley (most notably from Dean Thomas) Harry knew it was going to be a little difficult trying to explain to people.
One thing was for certain – it was definitely going to be different having Severus as his guardian not just his teacher. Even though the man had said he would keep the parent thing and the teacher thing separate there was no getting around the fact that the man had eyes in the back of his head and seemed to know instantly when you were up to something.
Still, despite Ron's previous hesitation at the thought of having a 'parent' on staff Harry wouldn't change it now for anything. Other kids seemed to take their parents almost for granted, but for him it was a nice feeling knowing someone was going to be looking out for him now. It was weird, but he felt more settled than he had ever felt before. He knew where he stood and what was expected of him and where the lines were. He knew he still stepped over them occasionally… but that's what was nice – having someone there to pull him back in.
Finally deciding to pack the books first, he gathered up the ones that had toppled from the pile and placed them into the bottom of his trunk. Thoughts of the last school year flashed through his mind as he did so – all those nighttime wanderings he'd done. If he did that now there'd be some serious explaining to do if he got caught. Even having his cloak to take he'd still think twi…His cloak!
Harry immediately bolted up off his heels. He couldn't believe he hadn't thought of it until now! Severus was probably hoping he'd forget about it but as if that was going to happen! It was still locked away after Harry had gone snooping for his broom and found his broom and cloak in Snape's study cupboard all those weeks ago. He'd go and find Severus right now and ask for it back, it had to be packed after all, didn't it?!
Pushing the rest of the messed up pile of books out of his way Harry got to his feet and made a beeline for his bedroom door. Severus had said he was going to be busy in his study for the next hour and didn't want to be interrupted but he only had to ask him, didn't he? It wouldn't take long.
Set on his mission, Harry got as far as twisting the handle of his bedroom door when suddenly there was a rather loud 'pop' from behind him. He jumped at the sound and turned back automatically, his eyes widening in disbelief and mouth falling slightly open at the sight before him.
There, right on his bed, was a most strange looking creature – a large, round head, bat like ears and eyes as big as tennis balls.
Harry took a step back, taking a breath in ready to call out to Severus but the creature got in first.
'Harry Potter, such an honour it is,' the creature stated, bowing so low his nose almost touched the bedclothes, before hoping down onto the floor.
'Who… who are you?' Harry managed to get out, taken aback that the little creature could not only talk but knew his name.
'Dobby, sir… Dobby the house elf.'
Harry's eyebrows rose instantly.
'Like… like the elves at school?'
'Oh yes, some of us work there, sir… not Dobby though, sir,' Dobby stated, shaking his head slightly and pulling at the rather dirty rag which was wrapped around him.
Harry took a hesitant glance to his bedroom door before taking a step back towards the middle of his room.
'Why… why are you here, I mean… in my bedroom?'
Dobby fell silent for a moment, continuing to pull at the bottom of his filthy rag.
'Tis difficult, sir…' he finally squeaked. 'Oh, if they knew I was here, sir!'
'Who? If who knew you were here?' Harry pressed, taking a few steps closer.
'Dobby's family, sir…the wizarding family Dobby is to serve… Oh, if they knew sir!' Dobby suddenly wailed. 'Dobby will have to punish himself most egregiously.'
'Punish? For coming to see me?' Harry asked, shaking his head in confusion a little. This was making no sense.
Dobby looked suddenly alarmed, a choking sound beginning to emanate from his throat before he began to beat his little fists against the side of his head.
Harry instinctively ran forwards.
'Don't! What are you doing?' He cried as he reached forwards to grasp Dobby's flailing stick-like arms.
'Sorry… sir,' Dobby stammered once Harry had intervened and stopped him from pummelling himself further. 'Tis difficult, sir… most difficult… oh, if you only knew!'
'I don't understand,' Harry said, letting go of Dobby's arms, 'maybe… maybe I should get Sev… I mean, Professor Snape?'
'No! Harry Potter, sir,' Dobby exclaimed quickly as Harry turned towards the door. 'No one must know I have been here… you must not say anything, sir, please, sir.'
Harry sucked his bottom lip in and looked between Dobby and his bedroom door for a few seconds, unsure what to do. He should get Severus…he knew that's what the man would expect him to do… but the little elf seemed so alarmed at the thought…
'Well, ok… maybe you should sit down then,' he finally offered.
Dobby looked up at him but instead of the offer settling the elf down like Harry had hoped Dobby's eyes immediately began to brim with tears.
'Only if you want to!' Harry added hastily.
'W…w…want to? No one…never… been asked to sit down… as an equal…' Dobby stammered in his squeaky little voice.
Harry stood on the spot, still unsure as to what he should do and why the elf, Dobby, was here in the first place. He watched on with uncertainty, as Dobby seemed to compose himself and then tentatively followed Harry's offer by climbing up to sit on the bed.
'Oh, Harry Potter is truly good, sir… Dobby has heard of his greatness but of his goodness Dobby did not realise.'
Harry wrinkled his nose up a little.
'Of the triumph over He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named,' Dobby said in a suddenly much quieter tone of voice. 'And not just once but now… a second time… just weeks ago!'
'Oh… that,' Harry intoned heavily, 'is that why you're here, because of what happened with Voldemort?'
'Ah! Speak not the name, sir!' Dobby shrieked, putting his hands up to his bat-like ears.
'Sorry,' Harry said hurriedly, 'I just… I still don't understand why you're here.'
Dobby looked up at him, his hands dropping from his ears slowly.
'Harry Potter is a good wizard, sir,' Dobby stated carefully, 'so brave and noble! But Dobby must come to warn Harry Potter… even if Dobby must punish himself for it,' Dobby said, reaching up again and pulling at his ears.
Harry winced as Dobby squeaked in pain.
'Punish yourself… but you don't need to do that,' Harry said quickly, trying to stop the elf from pulling any harder. 'You're family wouldn't like you to be hurt…'
'Oh, Dobby's family expects Dobby to punish himself, sir. Dobby's family even reminds Dobby, sir.'
'Reminds you?' Harry repeated, trying to get his head around it. 'Well, they can't be very nice people then…'
'Oh!' Dobby squeaked and twisted the bottom of his ears. 'Oh, Dobby has said too much, Dobby has spoken ill of his family!'
Oh, please stop!' Harry implored. 'You… you said you've come to warn me… about what?' Harry suddenly asked, trying to distract the elf away from hurting himself further. It worked, Dobby let go of his ears and set his large, tennis-ball eyes to Harry once more.
'Oh, terrible things Dobby has heard… terrible things being plotted and planned, things that will happen at Hogwarts, sir,' Dobby said, shaking his head and leaning into Harry.
'What things? Who's plotting them? Not Vol… I mean, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?' Harry changed quickly to stop any further distress on Dobby's part.
Dobby's eyes widened and a squeak emanated from his throat. It was as if he were fighting a battle against speaking further.
'No… sir…tis not…' He finally managed to speak a little breathlessly.
'Well, then I don't know who else would want to do anything…'
Dobby suddenly lurched forwards and clutched at Harry's arms, an intense look behind his eyes.
'Harry Potter must promise not to go back to Hogwarts this year, Harry Potter must not be put in danger…'
'Don't be daft, of course I have to go back, it's the start of term and…'
'No! Harry potter is too important, sir…you must not go back to school…'
Harry's forehead creased at the elf's fierce insistence.
'I have to, besides, I don't live with the Dursleys anymore so if I didn't go to school then who would I live with? Professor Snape is there 'cause he's teaching.'
'Harry Potter must tell Professor Snape he is not going, sir,' Dobby pressed.
'I can't do that!' Harry stated, shocked that Dobby would even suggest such a thing.
'Professor Snape cares for Harry Potter, Dobby has been watching, sir, and seen it with his own eyes,' Dobby continued. 'Harry Potter must tell him he is not going. Professor Snape will do what is best for Harry Potter.'
'Been watching?' Harry repeated slowly before coming to a realisation. 'Hey, it was you in the living room that evening… behind the sofa! I knew I saw something!' He exclaimed before lowering his voice once more as Dobby merely looked back at him closely. 'If something dark really is being plotted at Hogwarts then… then we should tell Professor Snape,' Harry insisted, making a move to get up.
'No! Dobby told Harry Potter… nobody must know Dobby was here. Harry Potter must look after himself and not go to Hogwarts, sir! Harry Potter must find a way…Oh, the dark things I've heard, sir… such dark things from…' Dobby suddenly stopped mid sentence and before Harry could stop him he lurched off the bed and straight for Harry's chest of drawers where he proceeded to bang his head against them over and over again, causing a loud, thumping vibration around the room.
'Oh, Dobby stop! Please!' Harry cried, running forwards in alarm. 'Please don't do that!'
'Dobby must, sir…' Dobby stated squeakily between thumps. Harry was just about to try to pull the elf away when there was a sound from outside in the hallway and Snape's voice filtered through sounding rather stern.
Dobby stopped immediately and looked up at Harry.
'Harry Potter must find a way… do not say of my being here, sir, please. Oh, would be most terrible for Dobby!'
And with that the elf vanished with a 'pop' just as Harry's bedroom door flew open.
Snape emerged in the doorway; a hand leaning on the door handle as his eyes roamed swiftly around the room, which in its current state looked like a raging hippogriff had been through it.
'What on earth are you doing in here?' Snape asked sharply, advancing into the room and having to step over several items to do so.
Harry straightened up, his eyes looking down to where Dobby had been a moment before and then back up at Snape. Dobby had been so insistent, almost terrified at the thought of someone knowing he had been here. Harry hesitated for a moment before finally answering Snape's question.
'Er…packing,' he answered simply.
Snape raised a dubious eyebrow, his eyes sweeping over the mess once more.
'You have been up here for over half an hour and this is all you have packed?' He questioned, casting a long finger to the open trunk on the floor.
'I was… sorting stuff out… before I packed it I mean,' Harry said, shifting from foot to foot slightly.
Snape's arm dropped to his side.
'What was all that banging a moment ago?' He pressed on further, surveying Harry closely.
'Er…' Harry faltered.
'Well?' Snape prodded, taking another step forwards, his eyebrow still raised.
'I was… I was…killing a bug that flew in my window,' Harry offered quickly. 'I was trying to squish it with one of my books,' he added as Snape simply stood looking at him.
'I see,' Snape answered, sounding less than convinced, 'and where is this squished bug?'
'Oh, er… I didn't get him, missed, it flew back out again,' Harry said as he pulled at the bottom of his t-shirt.
Snape folded his arms and Harry fell silent, waiting. He knew his answer hadn't exactly been very believable and he hated having to lie but the alarmed look that had crossed Dobby's face at the prospect of someone knowing he'd been there played in Harry's mind.
'I don't know what you've been up to in here since I left you but I want all of this packed, you hear me?' Snape said sharply after a moment. 'You've had more than enough time. I shouldn't come in here after half an hour and find your bedroom in this state!'
'Sorry,' Harry said.
'Stop playing around and get it done,' Snape ordered firmly, taking a last sweeping look of the dishevelled room before turning back towards the door.
'Oh wait!' Harry called out just before Snape disappeared from view. The man turned back to him.
'Er… you need to give me my cloak,' Harry said after a small pause, wondering if he had picked the best time to ask now seeing as the professor seemed a little annoyed with him, as well as the fact that he had just pretty much lied to the man's face.
Predictably, Snape's eyebrow rose once more.
I do not need to do anything, Harry,' He answered smoothly.
'Well, I mean… may I please have my cloak?' Harry amended quickly. 'I need to pack it,' he added, holding his hands out in front of him like he always did when he was making a point.
Snape surveyed him for several long moments before responding.
'I'm not so sure you should have an item that is such a temptation for you, I think it would be better off staying in my possession until you are older and perhaps a little more… responsible.'
Harry's eyes immediately widened at such a statement.
'Professor Dumbledore gave it back to me last year, he thought it was ok for me to have!' He exclaimed rather hotly.
'I am not Professor Dumbledore,' Snape responded without pause, 'and I would say that that was rather poor judgement on the Headmaster's part, wouldn't you? How many times did you go wandering off at night when you should have been in your dormitory, asleep, hm?' Snape responded smoothly.
Harry pressed his lips together and dug a big toe against the floor.
'Well?' Snape pressed.
'Not that many,' Harry replied a little sheepishly. 'I know you took it away during the holidays while I didn't have my memory and stuff but you didn't say anything about forever! Please, I promise I'll be responsible,' he added vehemently after a moment longer.
He waited, holding his breath, watching Snape who stood in consideration with folded arms looking down at Harry carefully.
'Very well,' Snape said evenly after some hesitation, 'however,' he added at seeing Harry's suddenly jubilant expression, 'I am trusting you to not be tempted to act unwisely with it, am I understood? Any foolishness and it comes straight back to me where it will remain until I think you are ready.'
Harry nodded, now looking a lot happier than several moments ago.
'I will get it for you once the rest of your things are packed in your trunk,' Snape added turning back towards the doorway.
He moved out of Harry's room, leaving the boy to it, and strode across the landing again with the intention of heading back to his study. When he got there, however, he stopped outside the door wondering if he should bother getting back to his schedules and planners right now. Harry would most likely be finished packing within ten or fifteen minutes now that he had prodded the boy to get moving a little, then Harry was sure to come hammering at his study door for his promised cloak.
That damn cloak! What Dumbledore had been thinking giving such an item to a child was beyond him. The temptation would always be there to use it for mischief. Of course Dumbledore's thinking was that it was something that Harry could have as a connection to his father… James Bloody Potter…but that didn't mean the boy should have had it straight away. What was wrong with holding onto it for him until he was older and hopefully more responsible to think through his actions a little better?
Snape shook his head as he passed by his study and made a beeline for the kitchen instead. Harry had been without the blasted cloak in his possession for the last few weeks what was the point of the boy having it now? It would certainly be a lot safer (not to mention put his mind at ease knowing he didn't have to wonder whether Harry had succumbed to night time wanderings again) to leave it in his possession or even better, leave it here at the house altogether.
Of course he could have put his foot down, he was at perfect liberty to do so, but he wasn't sure that decision would be worth the amount of whining and carrying on it would create on Harry's part.
Well, he had agreed. Now it would just be up to Harry whether he kept possession of it or not. With that thought, perhaps it could serve as a good learning tool for the boy in having the temptation there but learning not to succumb. Yes that was it - That was the reason to agree, Snape decided as he put the kettle on the stove and lit it underneath.
He stood, leaning against the counter. 'Killing a bug!' Harry had certainly had that look on his face – the one that meant there was something more to the story than what he was giving. Still, there was nothing else untoward that he, Snape, could see (apart from the fact the room looked like a Bombarda spell had been cast in there). What ever the boy had been up to hopefully his appearance had nipped it in the bud. Snape sighed, drumming his fingers against the counter as the water began to boil.
'You have packed all of your school clothes, the new ones?'
'All of your school books?'
Harry nodded, leaning down and pulling aside his school robe to reveal two stacks of books underneath.
'Why'd we have to have so many this year? Last year there were heaps less books,' Harry noted as Snape leaned down and checked that they were all there.
'Let's just say your new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher has a… vested interest,' Snape replied in a rather contemptuous tone.
'Professor Lockhart you mean? The man in the picture at Flourish and Blotts?' Harry questioned, noting the tone in Snape's voice.
'You only have one Defence teacher, do you not?' Snape responded, flicking through a pile of clothes (which were all rather haphazardly folded) on the other side of the trunk.
'These are not very well folded,' Snape stated after a moment.
Harry shrugged. 'I tried to fold them but it's hard to get them all in, besides, they're only going to be coming out again aren't they?' He offered rationally.
'Oh, of course, how silly of me,' Snape responded dryly. 'Why do anything? Why put your shoes on if they're only going to come off again? Why wash your dishes when they're only going to get dirty again… in fact, why get out of bed at all if you're only going to get back into it again?'
'Alright… alright…I get it,' Harry said to which Snape smirked at him a little.
'Well, it seems like you have got everything at least,' Snape nodded after another moment, straightening up and moving over to check nothing was left in Harry's drawers or cupboard.
'Can you take this for me?' Harry suddenly asked as Snape finished his inspection and shut the top drawer. Snape turned to find Harry standing there with the art box he had given him for his birthday in his hands. 'It won't fit in my trunk, not with all those books and everything,' Harry added, shrugging though looking at Snape intently.
'You wish to take that to school do you?' Snape queried, stepping back towards him.
'Yeah, of course,' Harry nodded, seeming a little surprised that Snape had asked. 'Can you take it for me?'
'I suppose it will not be a problem,' Snape agreed after moment. 'Leave it on your desk and I will see to it when I leave.'
'You won't forget will you?' Harry asked a little worriedly as he placed the art box down on his desk as Snape had said.
'Since when have you known me to forget anything, Harry?' Snape asked pointedly.
'Yeah, I guess,' Harry nodded.
He turned back from his desk then and looked at Snape with a rather eager expression on his face before holding his hands out.
'Well… can I have my Cloak then?' He asked expectantly.
Snape folded his arms, tapping an index finger against the opposite elbow as he surveyed Harry for a long moment. Finally, he retreated from the room, retuning a moment later with Harry's cloak folded up under his arm.
Harry put his arms out again ready to take it but Snape stopped short just out of reach.
'I am doing this against my better judgement so I hope for your sake you do not let me down. In my mind an invisibility cloak does not belong in the hands of a twelve year old,' Snape said firmly, his dark eyes looking steadily at Harry before speaking again.
'I wish to make it perfectly clear to you that there is to be no late night wanderings…'
'I know,' Harry nodded, reaching out for it again.
'And no sneaking around where you shouldn't be,' Snape spoke again.
'I won't,' Harry responded doggedly.
Snape furrowed his brow slightly but passed the cloak into Harry's waiting hands. Harry took it from him readily.
'Hmm…' Snape murmured, getting used to Harry using his first name was still something to be worked on. 'Just remember what I've told you. I don't want to even get a hint of it being out of your dormitory. Any foolishness and it comes straight back to me, am I understood?'
'I know… I know,' Harry said a little dismissively at Snape's continued lecturing as he placed his beloved cloak into his trunk, but Snape wasn't satisfied enough with the lacklustre response.
'Harry?' Snape pressed, grasping him by the arm, turning him back around to face him and putting a hand under Harry's chin making him look up. 'Am I understood?' He emphasised again.
Harry blinked back at him.
'Yes, I understand,' he said; knowing Snape wouldn't let it go until he got his answer.
Once Snape let go Harry leant back down and closed the lid of his trunk. He was just about to lock the latches into place but Snape got in first, flicking his wand casually towards the trunk making the latches click together on their own.
'How old will I have to be before I can do that?' Harry asked, inspecting the now closed latches with a slight look of awe on his face.
'Do what?' Snape uttered, stowing his wand back into his sleeve.
'That,' Harry emphasised, 'doing spells but not having to say anything?'
'A little older, you usually start developing the skill in your sixth year,' Snape noted. He hadn't expected to ignite any interest in the boy by performing, what was to him, such a natural occurrence, merely he wanted to get Harry's trunk closed and locked leaving less temptation for the boy to go back in and take anything out to add to what he was taking to The Burrow.
He glanced around the now tidy room once more before speaking again.
'I presume you have packed the things to take with you to the Weasleys?'
Harry straightened up from inspecting the locks, the brief look of disappointment on his face at having to wait four years more before being able to reproduce what Snape had just done, changing instantly.
'Yep, it's all here,' he said, his voice now bouncing with the usual excitement it held before going to The Burrow as he produced his back pack for inspection, 'and no Bumble either, see!' He exclaimed almost a little cheekily as he opened up the bag for Snape to examine.
Last time he had taken that particular bag to Ron's it had been for the sole purpose of smuggling Bumble, his cat, out with him - A decision that had not ended particularly well for Harry, though it had given him an insight into how much the professor had begun to care for him.
'Just as well,' Snape commented in a low and rather ominous sounding voice. Anyone else would have flinched a little at the harsh tone yet Harry now grinned appreciatively, coming to the recent realisation that that 'put upon' tone Snape often gave held a much different meaning than the sharp, stern tones the man used when Harry was in actual trouble.
Harry closed the bag up once again and set it on his bed.
'You are bringing Bumble still, aren't you?' He asked, turning suddenly serious again.
'Of course I am you silly boy, what do you expect… that I would consciously leave her here to fend for herself?'
'I dunno,' Harry shrugged, 'you don't really like her that much… you might use her for one of your potion ingredients and then tell me she ran away.'
'What an enlightening suggestion,' Snape said smoothly. 'There are several potions that could benefit from - '
'Oh don't!' Harry cried quickly, his face screwing up at the thought.
Snape smirked. 'You are the one which brought up such a thought, are you not?'
Harry scrunched his nose up further.
'Oh stop fretting, she'll be in my quarters at Hogwarts when you get there,' Snape sighed. How many times did he have to confirm this to the boy?
'Do you think I should introduce Hedwig to her when I get to school?' Harry questioned with sudden thought.
Snape furrowed his brow as he moved back towards the doorway. What was it with the sudden inane questions? What did it matter – they were two animals, both being kept in separate areas of the castle for goodness sake. The way the boy was carrying on it was as though they were siblings meeting for the first time.
'What a good idea, perhaps you could take them for a little tea party down by the lake,' Snape stated with amusement.
'You know what I mean,' Harry huffed.
They were both his animals now, they should get used to each other at some point – after all, during the holidays both Hedwig and Bumble would be coming back here to Snape's home just as he would be. Hedwig had only been staying at The Burrow during these holidays because of the situation Harry had found himself in.
'I doubt it is necessary, Harry,' Snape finally replied, shaking his head at the absurdity of the conversation he was having, 'animals are animals; I do not think we need to worry about personality clashes. Now, it's almost time for you to go, is there anything else you think is important and need to tell me?'
Harry fell silent, pressing his lips together in consideration as he weighed something up in his mind. He hadn't been truthful when Snape had initially come into his bedroom just seconds after Dobby had disappeared and lying was a huge no-no under Snape's roof.
Perhaps he should tell Snape that the house elf had been there in his room, warning him about something… but then, what had Dobby warned him about exactly? Something being planned? Dobby had been so vague and according to him it had nothing to do with Voldemort and Harry, for the life of him, couldn't think of anyone else who would want to do anything 'terrible' at Hogwarts.
So, if he did come out and tell the truth what exactly would he tell Snape? Besides, the whole notion of Harry telling the man that he wasn't going back to Hogwarts was ridiculous. Plus, Dobby had practically pleaded with him to not divulge that he had been there in the first place, the elf had looked positively terrified at the prospects of someone else finding out he had been there. So what was he to say to Snape exactly? 'I can't go back to Hogwarts because I think something is being planned by someone but I don't know what and I don't know who and I can't tell you how I know'?
'Well, what is it?' Snape pressed at seeing Harry's confounded expression. Harry looked back up at him.
He had to say something otherwise it would look real dodgy…
'Er…are you going to bring my bike to Hogwarts for me?'
Snape looked back at him with a less than amused expression, an eyebrow raised once more at the question. Thinking on your feet when Snape was looking down at you was not one of Harry's strong suits, that was for sure.
'Get your bag,' Snape said after a moment, not even making an attempt at answering. 'I don't want you turning up late at The Burrow,' he added, pushing Harry towards the door once the boy had picked up his backpack and slung it over his shoulder.
'What about my broom?' Harry asked suddenly, realising too late that that was a perfect question he could have used just a moment ago to cover up his internal debating over Dobby.
'It's waiting by the fireplace for you,' Snape said resignedly, propelling Harry out of the room and on to the upstairs landing with a hand to the base of the boy's neck.
Downstairs, Harry lingered by the fireplace as Snape retrieved the small pot of floo powder for him. Bumble was watching nearby, her bright amber eyes fixed to Snape the whole time.
'Here you are,' Snape said, turning back and offering the open pot to Harry. Harry looked down at it quizzically for a moment.
'Aren't… aren't you coming with me?' He asked slowly.
Snape shook his head.
'No, there is no need for me to come; I think you are old enough to manage yourself. Mrs Weasley is expecting you to arrive on your own, just make sure you speak your destination clearly.'
'Oh… ok,' Harry murmured softly, a little deflated by this.
He looked up at Snape silently for a moment before dropping his bag and his broom down by his feet and stepping forwards.
'Bye then,' he stated, before wrapping his arms around Snape's waist and hugging tight.
It took a moment for Snape to react. He had expected some kind of goodbye but not like this – he was going to see the boy in two days after all. Still, he supposed it was going to be a little strange that the next time he would see Harry would be at school and there'd probably be no hug of greeting there in front of the entire student body. He put the pot down on the mantle and, feeling rather glad he wasn't at the The Burrow at this moment, reciprocated Harry's farewell, wrapping both arms around the boy.
'Goodbye, I will see you in two days,' he stated smoothly, patting Harry on the back a couple of times. 'Make sure you do what Mr and Mrs Weasley tell you.'
'Yep,' Harry answered, his voice a little muffled against Snape's chest. 'Don't forget my art box… or Bumble,' Harry reiterated again before finally pulling away and taking a look around the room.
It was a rather strange feeling this time – leaving for The Burrow but knowing he wouldn't be back for a while.
'Come on, get your things,' Snape prompted, letting Harry go and clicking his fingers towards the bag and broom on the ground. Harry nodded and turned away, picking them up and giving Bumble a goodbye pat as he did so.
'See you later, Bumble,' he said before standing up again and stepping into the fireplace.
'See you at school,' he said once more, taking a handful of floo powder from the pot Snape offered him again.
'Hm, I'll be waiting,' Snape nodded. 'Behave yourself,' he added pointedly to which Harry simply smiled and nodded then threw the powder down with clear direction,
Hi all! It's good to be back writing!! Work has been draining me of late but finally found time to get this together. As I said above, this story is going to follow the events of book 2 (loosely) but is going to be mostly Harry and Snape centered :)
Thankyou so much and kudos to Snapesyukuai for help with the title... yes, I did like the double meaning :)
I hope you like and please review.
Also, I have a quandary…I seem to have many quandaries of late!…So I'm throwing this out to you. Would you like to have Harry call Snape 'Dad' further down the track? I am unsure as in some fanfics I read I don't like it when that happens and then others I do. I was wondering what you think would be appropriate for this story… would it fit?
Ok, thanks and hope you enjoy Harry's 2nd year.