Written for the amazing Accioslash. Why? Because she's amazing!

Beta'd by the equally amazing Perverse Idyll. She's the one who put the spit and polish on this story and made it shine!

The Unforgivable Curse

Severus stormed through the winding hallways of Grimmauld Place, a look of unmitigated fury twisting his face into an ugly caricature. His right hand clutched his wand and he flicked it angrily, as though practicing spells he would soon be uttering in an outburst of rage.

As he climbed the stairs from the basement, he could see Harry's cloak hanging by the door. Good, the brat was home; no need to firecall him. He'd be unwinding in the sitting room with the day's Daily Prophet and an ice-cold Butterbeer, as was his nightly routine.

Furious, Severus flung open the door. He pointed his wand directly at Harry and screamed "Crucio!"

Harry didn't even flinch. He looked up from the article he'd been reading and asked lazily, "What's she done this time?"

Undeterred, Severus crossed the floor in three long strides and shoved his wand directly under Harry's nose.

"Look at this!" he demanded. "Just LOOK at the destruction your demon spawn has caused!"

In the hallway, the portrait of Mrs. Black started to scream.

"Good job, Severus," Harry said, calmly taking a sip from his bottle.

Quick little footsteps rushed down the hallway as Kreacher hurried to his former mistress' portrait.

Severus didn't move his wand from in front of Harry's face. "Potter," he said, his voice dropping to an angry hiss. "I insist you look at the destruction your cretin has inflicted upon my wand!"

He shook the object for added emphasis.

Harry glanced down at the wand under his nose and suppressed a smile. The tip was dented by dozens of tiny pinpricks.

"I've no idea if it has been irreparably damaged," Severus said, sulkily. "Nevertheless, she has gone too far this time. I demand that you banish her from this house at once!"

As though on cue, a tiny calico kitten ran into the room, fur standing on end, no doubt startled by the portrait still screaming its ire.

Spotting Harry, the kitten let out a high-pitched squeak and trotted towards him, leaping up onto his lap and sitting squarely in the middle of the article he'd just been reading.

"If you didn't want a pet, Severus, you shouldn't have brought her home."

Severus looked down his nose disdainfully at the small ball of fluff.

"You know damned well Minerva plied me with Firewhisky. It wasn't my idea that you needed 'a wee pet.'"

Severus had had his doubts about attending the first annual gathering of former Hogwarts alumni, and at this moment he considered it his biggest mistake since taking the Dark Mark. He had drunkenly stumbled from the Floo with a terrified kitten stuck fast to his head while he bellowed in near hysteria for Harry's help. Once the frightened feline had been dislodged, Severus had shaken his finger at it as though brandishing his wand, slurring, "Crucio! Crucio!"

The name had unfortunately stuck.

"Look," Harry said, in as reasonable a voice as he could muster. "You know we have a baby in the house. You have to be careful about leaving your things lying around. It's not her fault that she mistook your wand for a toy..."

"I was brewing, I'd only laid it down temporarily," Severus interrupted, looking carefully at his damaged wand tip.

"Yes, well, you should have secured your laboratory. There are things down there that could seriously harm her, if not kill her," Harry admonished.

Severus raised a single eyebrow in interest, and Harry shot him a disapproving look.

"This is not an isolated case. Before this she slept on my starched shirts. I'm still picking fur off them. And may I remind you that her first night here she shat in my shoe!" Severus tried not to shout, sensing his perfectly valid complaints were falling on deaf ears.

This was too much for Harry; he rolled his eyes.

"A simple cleaning spell cleared up the mess."

"That's not the point!" Severus retorted haughtily. "It's the principle."

Harry took a deep breath before replying.

"Perhaps in the morning we can firecall Minerva and ask her to pop by and give little Crucio a lesson in feline etiquette."

The edge in Harry's voice was not lost on Severus. Being that Harry was the more powerful of the two, it wasn't in anyone's best interests, particularly Severus', to make him angry.

"I see that my protests are falling upon deaf ears and that my personal belongings must take a back seat to that vile, vibrating creature."

Severus excused himself and stalked out of the room, returning to his laboratory. He was far too angry to find solace in his experiments and instead sat alone in a huff.

It was hours before Harry appeared, bringing him a bowl of soup and a scone. Later still, when Harry came to beckon him to bed, he grudgingly agreed to retire.

However, at the sight of Harry crawling naked into bed and shooting him a "come hither" look, Severus decided he could put off being sulky until morning. Right now there were more important issues at hand, such as rubbing said hand along the curve of a perfectly formed arse.

In the wee hours of that same morning, Severus awoke from a deep sleep to the feeling of sharp little pins jabbing his chest. He cracked an eye open to see Crucio kneading the sparse hair that grew there, attempting to make it soft and welcoming.

Severus grimaced at the annoyance and moved the arm currently pinned by Harry's dead weight, intending to disentangle the interloper and fling her off him. But the disturbance woke Harry, who smiled groggily and reached over to give Crucio a scratch on the head.

"So cute," he murmured before snuggling in close to Severus and closing his eyes.

Severus glared at the tiny kitten still needling his bare chest with her sharp little claws. Finally she decided that he as as soft as he was going to get and settled down, curling her front paws underneath her and purring happily.

Relieved that she stopped sticking her pins into him, Severus sighed. Harry was extremely fond of the little cat, and it had been entirely his own fault that he'd allowed Minerva to talk him into such a ridiculous situation in the first place. He supposed he could make an effort to get to know the little monster.

Darting a look to ensure Harry was, in fact, asleep, he reached up and gave the tiny head an even tinier scratch.

Fingers still lingering in her soft fur, he closed his eyes and went back to sleep.

End