Here's an extra long chapter for you guys, enjoy :D
Harry sat on a bench outside of the 'Junk Shop' in Diagon Alley; the place reminded him of a second hand store, like the ones in the muggle world.
It had been four days since he had overheard Malfoy and Riddle, and he still hadn't come up with a solution.
At the moment Harry was trying to write Severus a letter, inviting him to the flat but he couldn't figure out what to say. He had been trying to write the letter for days but ended up just scratching out everything he wrote because he thought it sounded stupid or it had too much information or it didn't have enough information.
Harry had mostly stayed inside for the last few days but he had thought maybe a little fresh air would help him write his letter. He had been wrong.
Harry sighed loudly and crumpled up another letter. This was useless; his letter would probably never make it to Severus at this rate.
Harry was about to stand up and go back to the tattoo shop when he heard a rustling behind him. He turned and saw an empty chip bag rustling in the wind. Harry shook his head, even in the wizarding world people could be pigs.
Harry reached down to grab the bag so he could throw it out, when he realized that the chip bag wasn't rustling in the wind but there was actually something inside of it. Harry gently poked the bag but tightly clutched his wand at the same time just in case, you never knew in the wizarding world.
Then a tiny, furry head poked out of the opening in the bag and Harry realized it was a kitten. The cat looked up at him "Mew..."
Harry slowly held out his hand and the tiny kitten walked all the way out of the chip bag and rubbed its head against his hand, purring happily. Harry gently scooped the kitten up into his arms, because he feared it might run away. The kitten however just continued to purr and burrowed into Harry's sleeve.
Harry looked down at it, the first genuine smile he had in days gracing his lips "Where did you come from?" he whispered softly.
The kitten looked up at him letting out a mewing noise.
Harry admired her markings. She was a light grey and white tabby with the most beautiful blue eyes. Harry didn't know how old she was but she looked pretty young.
Harry scratched under her chin as he wondered what he should do with her. He couldn't just leave her, who knows what would happen to such a tiny kitten if she was left in the middle of Diagon Alley, one of the busiest shopping places in Wizarding England.
"Well" Harry said "It looks like you'll be coming home with me. I hope Ziggy doesn't mind." With that said, Harry made his way back to the tattoo shop.
Harry quickly made his way into the tattoo shop, with the little kitten still tucked against his chest. Harry looked around and noticed that Ziggy was at one of his tattooing stations. He had his head bent down as he drew something on a paper in front of him.
"Glad to see you were out getting some fresh air for a change," Ziggy said without looking away from his drawing.
"Uh yeah," Harry said "I was tired of being coped up inside." Ziggy shook his head, still not looking up.
'Better get it over with' Harry thought "So Ziggy, I was wondering what your policy was on having pets in the flat?"
This got Ziggy's attention; he looked up at Harry with an eyebrow raised. "Thinking about buying an owl or something?"
"Not exactly," Harry said lifting the kitten up a little so Ziggy could see her "I found this kitten just outside of the Junk Shop and I didn't have the heart to just leave her."
Ziggy got up from his chair and came closer "Interesting," he said quietly, studying the kitten in Harry's hands. "Sure, she can stay."
Harry was a little surprised; he thought it would have been harder than that.
Ziggy chuckled when he saw the look on Harry's face "What you didn't think I was just going to turn around and toss her out the door did you?"
Harry shrugged his shoulders "I was pretty sure you wouldn't throw her out the door but I thought you might tell me to bring her back to where I found her."
Ziggy shook his head again "I like animals, so therefore she can stay. Just don't bring an owl home, if you need to send some post I have some shop owls you can use." At Harry's questioning look he explained "They leave a bloody mess, no matter how hard you try to keep it cleaned."
"Oh" Harry said with a chuckle.
"So what are you going to call her?" Ziggy asked.
Harry frowned, he hadn't thought about that. He looked down at the kitten; she was practically asleep in his hands. Her tired eyes blinked up at him and Harry noted how beautiful the kitten's blue eyes were. "Saphira" Harry whispered.
"I could see that" Ziggy said, he held out his hand to Harry, wanting to hold the kitten.
Harry passed her over.
Ziggy rubbed the kitten's belly and she purred loudly.
"So um," Harry said "do you think she's a kneazle or something? My friend has one and I've never been able to tell a kneazle apart from a normal cat."
"Hmm," Ziggy contemplated, looking at the kitten from all angles. After a while he looked at Harry and said "nope, she's just a regular kitten, no special magical abilities whatsoever."
Harry nodded and took Saphira back from Ziggy when he held her out.
"I think I should go feed her, she was looking for food in a chip bag when I came across her" Harry explained to Ziggy.
Ziggy nodded his head and Harry headed up the stairs.
Harry placed Saphira on the floor when he walked into the flat. He walked into the kitchen to get her something to eat. Since he didn't have any kitten food yet, he would have to buy some the next day, he instead opened a can of tuna to give her. He placed a bowl full of tuna on the floor along with a smaller bowl of water.
Saphira excitedly zoomed over and began to eat.
Harry sat down on the couch and watched her.
As he sat there he thought about his still unfinished letter and wondered why he was having so much trouble writing one. Surely Severus wouldn't think he sounded stupid in a letter, no matter what he wrote. He would though, most likely, think badly of Harry if he didn't send something.
With that decided Harry whipped out a quill and parchment and quickly wrote his letter. He would go ask Ziggy if he could use one of his post owls, once he was finished.
Severus heard a tapping on his window and quickly looked up to see what it was. A small brown barn owl sat on the ledge of his bedroom window, looking in at him.
Severus sighed and quickly went to open the window.
The bird flew in and landed on Severus' old, shabby bed, with a squawk.
Severus shot the bird a glare "Shut it" he hissed at the bird. Hopefully his father hadn't heard that, his parent's bedroom was right down the hall from his but it was quite late so hopefully his dad was sleeping.
Severus sat down on his bed, beside the small owl and took the letter from him. He expected the bird to fly off but it just sat there turning its head from side to side almost like it was saying 'What are you waiting for? Read it.'
Severus opened the seal and took out the letter.
I hope your summer has been alright so far. Mine has been okay, though it's kind of lonely here. My mother is away on business and she won't be back for at least three weeks so I'm stuck by myself.
I've been doing a bit of reading, and spending some time with the owner of the building. His name is Ziggy, he's a real interesting character, and I hope you get a chance to meet him.
I was hoping that you would be able to come for a visit, obviously. I miss you and I want to be able to spend some time together before school starts again. You're welcome to come whenever you want, if your parents let, you could even stay for a while. The flat is in Diagon alley, right above the magical tattoo store. You can't miss it.
Hope you can make it.
I've told Kirby (the owl) to wait for your reply because I wasn't sure if your family owned an owl.
Looking forward to seeing you soon, hopefully.
Severus folded up the paper and looked at the barn owl still watching him. "If only it were that easy" he said to the tiny thing.
The owl gave a quiet hoot and Severus rolled his eyes "Like you can even understand me."
The owl fluttered its feathers and hopped closer to Severus.
"I suppose you would like me to write a reply?" Severus asked.
The owl blinked.
Severus stood up and stumbled across the room to the small desk in the corner. He got out a pen and paper and sat down.
He chewed on the end of the pen for a moment trying to think of what to say. He had been working at the local grocers for the last three summers and he had the money to take the knight bus if he decided to go but he knew if his dad found out he would never be let in the house again.
But he wanted to see Luke.
He thought about the boy almost every second of the day, he wanted to be with the other boy more than anything and Luke obviously wanted to see him too.
That settled it; he would deal with the consequences later.
Severus wrote his message.
I asked my parents and they said I could come.
Since you've said you're free I'll come tomorrow in the afternoon.
See you then,
Severus read the letter over a few times, it was lame but it would do.
He waved for the owl to come over to him and then handed it the letter. The owl took it and then flew out of the window.
Severus sighed and sat down on his bed, he was tired but he had some packing to do if he was going to leave tomorrow.
So he painfully got to his feet and got to work.
It was morning and Severus had just got up an hour before, he had only gotten four hours sleep the night before.
Severus looked around his room, it was pretty much empty. Severus had thrown everything that was important to him in a small duffel bag that he owned. He didn't want to leave anything valuable behind just in case his father wouldn't let him back into the house.
Severus felt eyes on him and turned to the door of his room, his mom was standing in her work clothes which was strange because she normally didn't work during the week. She was watching him.
"Yes mom?" he asked "Do you need anything in particular?"
She had a slight scowl on her face as she walked into his room "What are you doing?" she hissed.
"I'm just cleaning up a bit" Severus easily lied.
She clucked her tongue and looked at him disbelievingly. "I have to go into work today and your father isn't happy about it. He is in a foul mood and I don't need you screwing around and making him even angrier. You know what he's like on days that I have to work."
"Yeah I do" Severus said angrily.
"Don't use that tone with me" she said "You're not the only one who has to deal with him."
Severus glared at her "If you don't like 'dealing with him' why don't you just leave him?"
His mother looked outraged "How dare you speak to me like that!" she said slapping him across the face.
Severus raised his hand to his stinging cheek, managing to hold back his hiss of pain.
"Just make sure you're home on time tonight" she spat before she walked out the door.
Severus glared at the spot where she had been standing.
He heard her footsteps echo down the hallway and go downstairs. He heard his parent's voices arguing and then there was a slamming of the door.
Severus waited for it, and then a few seconds later he heard the loud, baritone voice of his father shouting up to him.
Severus hurried down the stairs "Yes?" he asked when he got to the bottom.
"Your mom has gone to work" his dad grumbled and Severus could smell the booze on his breath.
"Yes" he answered the affirmative.
"And you're leaving for work?" he asked.
"Yes" Severus answered.
"Fine. I need you to pick me up some beer before you come home" his dad said.
Severus closed his eyes in frustration "Dad you know I can't do that."
"And why not?" his father thundered.
"Because I'm not old enough to buy beer" Severus stated.
"You good for nothing, son of a bitch!" his dad screamed, grabbing him by the hair and pulling upwards. "You're a no good faggot, you can't do anything right."
Severus closed his eyes as spit flew from his dad's mouth onto his face.
His father punched him in the gut, hard "Get out of my face" he yelled "And if you don't have any beer by the time you return. You'll. Regret. It."
Severus nodded and hurried upstairs. He grabbed his duffel bag, looked around his room one last time and then left through the back door.
"Stop pacing" Ziggy ordered as Harry paced the length of the shop for the sixth time.
"Sorry" Harry said looking guilty "I'm just so excited."
Ziggy chuckled "I'm sure he'll be here soon, why don't you sit down while we wait."
Harry groaned but sat.
He was becoming increasingly impatient.
Severus' letter said he would be there in the afternoon but he hadn't mentioned an exact time.
Harry kept looking out the window and sighing when there was no sign of Severus and it was driving Ziggy mad.
"Here" Ziggy said standing up and shoving a folder into Harry's hands "If you're just waiting, you might as well be doing something useful."
"What is this?" Harry asked looking through the folder; it was full of tattoo designs.
"Just look through it and make sure they are all in the correct order. For example a rabbit should be under animal."
Harry looked up at Ziggy with a look saying 'Do I really have to do this?'
Ziggy raised his eyebrow at him.
"Fine" Harry said looking through the tattoos.
First he looked through Animals.
There were monkeys, bulldogs, lions, bears; nothing too extraordinary and none out of place.
Next was Dragons.
They looked cool but weren't anything special. Not something he would want to have tattooed on his body, not even when he saw one of a Horntail.
Next were Flowers.
Harry sped quickly through those, though there seemed to be like a thousand.
Once Harry was finally through the flowers his eyes caught on the next category.
Harry's eyes gazed over the first few as his fingers brushed over the page.
He wasn't sure what it was but something about the silvery elegance of each patronus caught his eye. All of his attention was consumed by a tattoo of a mustang patronus that was shaking its glowing mane, when the bell on the door chimed.
Harry looked up.
A very tired looking Severus Snape stood in the doorway with a duffel bag over his shoulder.
Harry jumped to his feet, the folder falling off his lap and onto the floor. "Severus" he said with a wide smile, approaching the other boy he gave him a hug.
Severus hugged back but it was slightly awkward.
Harry moved away from him "I'm so glad you could make it" he said, and then he turned to Ziggy "This is Ziggy, he's the store owner."
"Nice to meet you" Ziggy said coming over and offering his hand to Severus.
"You too" Severus said taking it.
"Luke has told me a lot about you, he said you are the best potions student in the whole school." Ziggy said trying to make conversation.
Both boys blushed at his comment.
"Uh yeah..." Severus said embarrassed.
Thankfully they were all saved from the awkward silence that would have followed, by the bell on the door chiming and a customer walking in.
Ziggy went into professional tattoo artist mode and Harry pulled Severus up to his flat.
When the door was shut behind them and they were finally alone, Severus put his bag down and Harry grinned at him mischievously.
Severus couldn't help but smile.
Then Harry pulled the other boy to him and kissed him, Severus felt a twinge of pain in his chest but ignored it. He focused all of his attention of Luke's soft lips instead.
"Merlin I missed you" Harry said when they pulled apart.
Severus didn't say anything he just kissed Harry again, hard.
When the two finally pulled apart they were both gasping.
"Here" Harry said grabbing Severus' bag "I'll show you...jeeze Sev your bag is heavy...I'll show you where to put your stuff."
Severus followed Harry into his room and Harry threw the bag on his bed, hearing something clink together inside. He looked at Severus in question as the other boy quickly moved to his bag and opened it.
"Sorry" Harry said "I didn't know you would have anything fragile inside."
Severus shook his head "Don't worry about it, you didn't know. Besides it's fine."
Harry looked at what Snape held in his hands, it was a small, beautifully engraved, china box. "Why did you bring that?"
"I...it was my grandmother's, I always keep my money in it" Severus explained.
Harry thought that was a little strange; surely there was something better than a china box to carry your money in. That thing looked like it could be easily broken. Harry looked over Severus' shoulder and into his bag.
"Wow Sev, you sure brought a lot of stuff with you. By the looks of that, I'd say you planned to stay for months. Not that I would mind, you could stay if you want to." Harry said.
Severus blushed and quickly closed his bag.
Harry thought Severus behavior was off "Why did you bring so much stuff?"
"I just wanted to make sure I had everything, just in case" Severus said.
"Just in case what?" Harry asked.
Severus felt like smacking himself, why had he said that? "It's nothing; I just have trouble packing light."
Harry was going to ask if there was something Severus wasn't telling him but then they heard a tiny "meow" from behind Severus and they both turned to see Saphira sitting behind them. She was looking at them inquisitively.
Severus, thankful for the distraction, bent down and held out his hand to the kitten "Who's this?" he asked.
"I named her Saphira; I found her the other day scrounging around for food and decided to keep her."
"She's cute" Severus said rubbing the kitten's tummy as she rolled on the floor.
"Yeah" Harry said "And she's overly friendly, she loves everyone." Harry said.
Severus pet Saphira for a while until he felt Harry behind him and stood up.
Harry kissed Severus' neck and wrapped his arms around the other boy's waist. "I really did miss you" he whispered into Severus' ear, letting his teeth graze over it.
Severus shivered and turned in Harry's arms, locking his mouth onto Harry's.
Harry walked backwards to the bed, bringing Severus with him. He sat down, lying back and pulled Severus gently over him. Severus went willingly.
Severus stretched out overtop of Harry and began kissing down his neck. Harry groaned and ran his hand through Severus' hair.
Severus almost winced when Harry pulled slightly, his head still hurt from that morning. Severus ignored the pain and ran his hand down Harry's chest, playing with a nipple through Harry's clothes.
He felt Harry's hands reach down and gently tug on the hem of his T-shirt and he pulled back in alarm "What are you doing?" he asked.
Harry frowned "I...I'm picking up from where we left off. Remember?"
Severus pulled back even farther so that he was kneeling above Harry. "Maybe we should take it slower."
"What?" Harry asked "But you were more than willing last time."
Severus struggled for an answer; he didn't want Harry to see the bruises on his chest and stomach. "But I've been thinking about it, I think we might have been going a little too fast before."
"Oh...well okay, if that's what you want" Harry said, he didn't want to make Severus uncomfortable.
Severus was relieved "Thanks, it is."
Severus went to get off the bed so that they wouldn't have another close call like that again. But then Harry gasped.
Severus hadn't realized that while he was trying to stand up his t-shirt had lifted off his back and Harry could now see the ugly purple bruising.
Severus' face turned bright red as shame filled him when he saw the look on Harry's face.
He promptly pulled his shirt down and sat on the end of Harry's bed with a groan, his back to Harry.