"This is so unfair, you know?" Draco complained at Severus, who had given him detention during today's potion lesson. "I was only teasing them a little. There was no harm done."
Severus looked at the blond boy with a stern glare, "Mr. Weasley and Mrs. Granger are Harry's friends. You don't have to like them but you should at least show respect of Harry's choice of friends if you want to be Harry's friend also."
Draco huffed and crossed his arms, "There was still no reason for you to give me detention."
"No? What a pity. I would have needed your help but if you don't want to, I may ask Mr. Zabini to do me a favour instead," Severus said with a smirk.
The blond looked up curiously, "What favour?"
With a bored voice, Severus explained, "Harry need some flying practice in his bat form but as you believe there is no need for your 'detention' as it were, I will have to find someone else who will want to fly with Harry a bit."
"No. No, I will do it. I will go flying with Harry," Draco exclaimed.
Severus arched an eyebrow with false surprise on his face.
Draco looked hopefully, "Please, let me go flying with Harry."
"You two have to behave and stick to the rules, can you really do that?" Severus asked, now stern again.
"Of course I can," Draco said offended.
Severus ignored the rebuttal and continued, "No longer than an hour. You keep away from the other students. No stunts. No trying to get over the lake and do not go too far over the forbidden forest, you must stay close the castle."
Draco rolled his eyes, "I know."
Severus glared at him, "You say that you know and yet still you manage to get yourself into trouble."
"And you never forget to punish me for my mistakes," Draco pointed out.
"You will do good to remember that," Severus warned and then dismissed the child with a simple wave of his hand.
"Where do you want to go?" Draco asked happily, as he told Harry that they are allowed to fly for a bit.
"Severus took me to a rock on the other side of the lake. It was nice there," Harry said wondering if the other boy knew which place Harry was referring to.
"Yeah, I know that place but we aren't allowed that far away from the castle on our own. I can show you something else though."
"Ok," Harry shrugged his shoulders.
Soon two bats were sitting on the windowsill of Harry's room. Harry realised suddenly with a sinking feeling, that he would have no way to communicate with the blond boy as he had done with Severus.
Draco looked at Harry expectantly and as Harry bobbed his head, Draco spread his wings and took flight. Harry followed him in a close distance not wanting to get separated with Draco. Draco flew around the castle and he climbed higher and higher in the air.
Harry recognised the Gryffindor Tower and the Astronomy Tower but still Draco went higher. On the highest top of the castle, Draco sat down on a weathercock. Harry landed next to him but as a sudden blast caused the weathercock to spin Harry fluttered up again in distress. He didn't feel comfortable or safe on the fast spinning metal perch, so he flew down a bit and landed on a platform with battlement where he could be secure and away from the weather. There he transformed back into his human form so he could communicate with the blond who had followed him down.
Draco transformed beside the brunette. "He, you can't just fly away like that. I'm responsible for your safety."
"Safety? I'm not sure if Professor Snape would consider the weathercock as a safe place to be," Harry said frowning.
"Spoil sport. It's fun to spin with the wind," Draco grumbled.
"Well, I don't like it," Harry said and looked down towards the windows of the Gryffindor Tower. He missed his friends and he longed to just fly down and look how his friends were fairing.
Draco watched Harry as he stared longingly to the tower below. "You miss your friends, don't you?" Draco observed.
Harry sighed deeply, but nodded.
"Do you want to fly down and see them?" the blond asked.
"Do you think we are allowed to?" Harry wondered.
Draco shrugged his shoulder, "No, but he isn't here right now and I won't tell him."
Harry considered what to do. "I'm not sure," he said unhappily, unwilling to get in troubles with the strict adult vampire.
"We will just fly down to have a look and then we will be away again. Nobody needs to know. It's night and it is normal for bats to be out at this hour. So even if someone sees us, there is nothing unusual in it, is there?"
"No," Harry agreed and then gave Draco a small smile, "okay."
Draco returned his smile and said, "Well, go ahead. I'm right behind you!"
With that Harry transformed again and flew down towards the windowsill of the third year boy's dorm.
Sure enough, Hermione and Ron were there together. They were discussing something, both looked very worried. Harry landed and looked inside of the window, which was cracked open slightly.
"Ron, that's ridiculous. I'm also worried about Harry but if there was really something wrong is with him, Professor Dumbledore would have said something," the girl said.
"But where is he? He is not in the hospital wing. It's nearly two weeks now and we haven't heard anything about what happened to him since Snape dragged him away. I tell you, there is something wrong. You heard Malfoy today. I swear he knows something," Ron answered.
Hermione sighed, "Well, it was strange what Malfoy had said but why would Professor Snape have anything to do with Harry's disappearance? Professor Dumbledore would know if he held a student prisoner. He cannot just hide Harry and still teach classes."
"But Snape was the last person who saw Harry and Draco knows about it. We should ask him. You don't have any Polyjuice potion left, do you?" Ron wondered.
Hermione just shook her head and looked pensively out of the window, that is until she noticed the two bats staring at her. She screeched and hid behind Ron.
Ron looked puzzled at first but then followed her gaze. "That are just two bats. Are you afraid of bats?"
Hermione shook her head, "No, but they are looking at us."
Ron looked amused and shook his head, "You're just imagining it." Nonetheless he took the pillow of his bed and tossed it against the window. One of the bats flew up immediately but the other seemed to stare at him disbelievingly. Ron stepped closer and waved his hand. "Sod off!" Then he tossed his pillow again.
Finally Harry fluttered up and followed Draco who headed back to Harry's room. Harry had understood every word of his friends and knew that Draco must have said something to them to make them more worried as they already were.
As soon as he landed he transformed back and demanded in an angry voice, "What did you say to them?"
Draco looked surprised, "Nothing. I teased them a bit, as I always did with you and your friends."
"Nothing? That's the reason why we never got friends," Harry yelled enraged.
"No reason to yell. You know I changed my opinion about you," Draco pointed out.
"Well, you obviously didn't changed your opinion about them, did you?" Harry asked and crossed his arms.
"Why would I? They are still the same," Draco said, now getting angry.
Harry starred at the blond in disbelief. "You just like me, because I'm a vampire now, don't you? You give a shit about me, you just like what I have become."
"No. That's not true. I am your friend. I always wanted to be your friend," Draco pointed out.
"You are not my friend," Harry said, glaring hateful at the other boy. "And you will never be, if you don't stop messing with my real friends."
"Fine," Draco yelled and glared back. Then he stormed out of the room banging Harry's door close behind him.
He didn't get far though as he nearly ran into Severus, who grabbed Draco by the arm and asked, "What is the meaning of this?"
"Nothing. Just Potter," Draco growled.
"Potter? If you are back at on surname level, you cannot tell me there is nothing wrong between the two of you," Severus pointed out.
Draco frowned "Well, we had an argument. Can I go now?"
"No, you may not. I want to know, what the two of you did and why you are quarrelling," Severus said and lead Draco to his study.
Draco hung his head as he realized, that he will not be able to keep him or Harry out of trouble. Soon Severus would know everything. Sighing he looked up and explained everything that happened. Severus wasn't happy to hear, that Draco encouraged Harry to visit his friends.
"I told you to stay away from other students, didn't I?" Severus asked.
"Yes, Sir, I'm sorry, but Harry looked so lonely. I thought he would cheer up a bit," Draco tried to appeal at Severus' heart to his new charge.
"That was a very stupid thing to do. You should have come to me with that. Do you really think that now, that Harry got a look at his friends he will miss them any less?"
Draco hung his head again. "No," he whispered.
"You will wait here until I return. I have to speak with Harry first, then I will consider your punishment," with that Severus swept out of the room and knocked at Harry's door.
As he got no response, he opened the door and strode in, only to find an empty room with an open window.
"No. Damn it, Harry," Severus swore to himself and looked out of the window. He had a strong suspicion were Harry had gone to and without a second thought he transformed and flew out of the window. He headed for the Gryffindor Tower and sure enough there he found the boy.
He was shocked though to see that the stupid boy was in his human form kneeling on the small windowsill and trying to stick a piece of parchment through the window crack.
'What in Merlin's name are you doing' he growled through his telepathic bond.
Harry gulped as he heard that voice in his head. He had hoped to be back in his room before Snape was finished with questioning Malfoy on the earlier incident.
'I'm leaving a message to my friends so they won't worry so much.' Harry answered angrily.
'You will do no such thing. Take that out immediately!'
'I will not!' Harry hissed in his mind. 'I will not leave my friends in the dark, as you all do.'
Furiously Severus replied, 'You have completely lost your mind. You will reveal yourself.'
'Not if you leave me alone,' Harry growled.
Severus couldn't believe his ears. This insolent boy obviously wasn't aware in what deep trouble he was getting in to. Severus flew over Harry's shoulder, grabbed the piece of parchment with his feet and ripped out of the boys hand.
"Hey, give that back!" Harry yelled.
'Transform, you stupid boy!' Severus hissed and flew around Harry's head.
"Harry?" the boy suddenly heard a voice from inside the room and Harry realised that he yelled the last words aloud. Gulping he transformed and followed Severus down and away from the window.
And not a second too late, because the window opened and Hermione looked out. "Harry? Are you out there somewhere?"
If she saw the two bats flying away or not, Harry didn't know. His mind was suddenly spinning. He knew he was in trouble and slowly realised how stupid he had been. What would he have told Hermione if she would have seen him? He came too close to breaking the main rule, which was 'never expose yourself'. Snape was going to kill him.
He knew no apology could change what was in store for him. So as he landed in his room, he bit his lip and prepared himself for the storm.
"I'm beyond any rational thinking right now," Severus admitted breathing hard to keep himself from yelling "I'm in no condition to go through your punishment. I want you to stay in this room until I come back but rest assured you will go to bed with a smarting behind."
With that Severus left the room and left a shell-shocked Harry behind.
As Severus entered his study, his eyes fell on Draco, who was still waiting patiently. "Out!" Severus bellowed and the boy jumped.
"W... what about my punishment?" Draco asked in a low voice.
"Please, leave my sight before I spank you senseless," Severus growled. His eyes were burning dangerously with fury.
Draco gulped and then fled the room. What ever Harry had said, he clearly did a tough job on his godfather. Draco hadn't met this version of Severus who was beyond anger.
Harry still stood in the middle of his room unable to move from fear. Tears were streaming down his face and his body trembled. If Severus was that angry, that he couldn't even spank him, then, so Harry was sure, the man would abandon him. Harry wondered where he would be sent, clearly the Dursleys were out of question. Harry tried to gulp down the lump in his throat but he couldn't.
He didn't want to leave Professor Snape. The man had showed kindness and understanding towards Harry like nobody had before. Sure he was stern but that was just because he cared, at least Harry thought so. Now he wasn't sure anymore.
Finally Harry backed up until his back hit the wall and he slowly glided down to the floor. He hugged his knees and wept in misery. He had no idea how long he sat there and cried. He never heard his door open and close or the steps coming nearer. He barely registered a voice calling his name but as a hand landed on his shoulder, he jerked violently.
At first he looked disorientated but as soon as he realised who was crouching down in front of him, he launched himself at the man and cried, "Please don't sent me away. I will give up my friends if I have to but please let me stay."
Severus lost his balance with the sudden weight around his neck. He sat down on the floor and pulled the distraught child on his lap.
"Harry," he said perplex, "I'm not going to send you away, why would you think that? I just needed time to cool down first. I promised you a spanking, didn't I? Why would I say that, if I planned to send you away?"
"I'm too much trouble," Harry explained.
Severus sighed, the last bit of anger left his body. "No trouble you cause can persuade me to abandon you. You cannot get out of your punishment that easily. I'm here for you, no matter what."
Harry sniffed and wiped his nose with his sleeve. Relief washed through his body. He loosened his grip on the man and looked up, "I was quite stupid, wasn't I?"
At that, Severus just arched an eyebrow and Harry lowered his head again. "You are going to spank me, aren't you?" Harry stated.
"Harry, what you did, was very dangerous and nearly lead to your exposure. You sat in human form right outside the Gryffindor common room. What would have happened if anyone had seen you?" Severus asked in a very stern voice.
Harry bit his lip and cast his eyes downwards, only to have two fingers under his chin which guided his head up again. Harry locked eyes with his professor but he was unable to answer. Severus just waited and finally Harry whispered, "It would have caused an uproar."
"There is a big possibility that within the whole chaos you would have fallen from the windowsill and transformed in front of the others. This would have risen suspicious of you being a vampire and you can be sure the ministry would have had you in custody faster than you could say 'I'm sorry'. You have to understand that there is nothing I can do to help you, if they find out. Not without risking my own live and endangering the whole club."
Harry gulped, he clearly haven't thought things through. "I just wanted to tell my friends, that I'm okay."
"Why didn't you come to me?" Severus asked.
"I... I was angry with Draco. He said something to them and they were worried. I miss them and I thought you wouldn't let me talk with them."
"I do not intent to keep you from your friends, Harry. Quite the opposite, I try to train you, so you can be with them again."
Fresh tears rolled down Harry's cheeks. "I'm sorry. It's new for me to have someone I can rely on."
Severus whipped the tears away. "We will work on that, okay?"
At that Harry nodded, a brief smile flitted across his face.
Severus sighed once more stroking a hand through Harry's hair and said, "I guess you must be hungry. Do you want to postpone the spanking until after dinner?"
Harry looked uneasy at the mention of the punishment that awaited him but he knew he would prefer to sit comfortably though dinner. Harry didn't even want to move from his position on his Professor's lap but he knew there was no way around the inevitable. So he whispered in a low voice, "After dinner would be soon enough."
"Well, then," Severus patted Harry's back and the boy slowly stood up. With an elegance swift movement, Severus also stood and leaded the boy to the kitchen.
"What about my friends?" Harry wondered during the dinner.
"I will have to talk to the headmaster. Mrs. Granger heard you and as annoying as she may be, she is a clever witch after all. We will have to tell her something but I'm not sure yet, how much we can entrust to her."
Harry hung his head again. Wondering one more time, why he didn't talk to Professor Snape before he did such a stupid stunt.
After dinner, there was no time left for stalling the punishment. And soon enough, Harry sat crying on Severus lap. His bottom smarting awfully. Severus arms were wrapped around the small body as he whispered comforting words into Harry's ear.
Harry closed his eyes and absorbed all the comfort he was receiving from the man. Deep down, he was glad that Severus had spanked him. It made him believe Severus previous words all the more. The man was there for him and not pushing him away, no matter what. Harry sighed and relished the warmth of Severus' body. It didn't take him long before he slipped into a deep sleep still in the potions master's arms.
Severus realised Harry had fallen asleep immediately but he wasn't ready yet to let the boy go. He held onto the sleeping child a bit longer to calm his nerves. He had nearly lost his boy today and he didn't want to think about what would have happened if someone had seen Harry sticking this stupid message through the window. He still wasn't sure if anybody had seen the boy. He would need to talk to the headmaster soon to discuss what to do next.