The Draught of Asphodel by Ttime42
Summary: When Harry accidentally drinks a brutal potion with roots in dark magic, he has to reluctantly rely on Hogwarts’ prickly Potions Master to fix the outcome.
Categories: Healer Snape, Teacher Snape > Professor Snape, Parental Snape > Guardian Snape Main Characters: None
Snape Flavour: Snape Comforts, Snape is Kind, Snape Spanks, Snape is Stern
Genres: Angst, Family, Fluff, Hurt/Comfort
Media Type: None
Tags: Alternate Universe, Injured!Harry
Takes Place: 5th Year
Warnings: Physical Abuse, Physical Punishment Spanking
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 15 Completed: Yes Word count: 67467 Read: 29964 Published: 16 Jan 2023 Updated: 13 Jul 2023
Minerva McGonagall is a Good Friend by Ttime42
Minerva McGonagall was having a very long week and it was still only Tuesday morning. The students had come back last weekend from the winter holiday and the whole castle was abuzz with activity again. Lessons had started yesterday and she had gone to bed exhausted from a full day of being back with students who were having trouble focusing after two weeks away. Her thoughts strayed, as they had been often this past term, to Harry. She hoped the lad had a good holiday. After that frightful business with the vision of the snake and then being whisked away to Black’s, not to mention the potion he was enduring with Severus, she sincerely hoped Harry had a quiet and relaxing break. No one would ever accuse Severus Snape of being nice. He wasn’t nice. He was strict and he was firm and he could be a right arse to his students. She hadn’t been exactly thrilled when it was decided that he was to be the ‘master’ half of Potter’s potion problem. Snape and Harry had never got on and it was unfortunate for both that they’d been thrown together like they had. Minerva wished they got on better. In some ways, each reminded her of the other.

Both of them came from muggle families who had a less than appreciative view of magic. They were both only children, hadn’t grown up with indulgences and, like many children, both of them found Hogwarts to be a safe haven, a place where odd, unusual, or strange children could finally be ‘me.’ They had the same dry wit and spoke fluent sarcasm. Severus harbored a lot of bitterness about many things but she knew that he had it in him to be a patient and, well, useful teacher. She knew firsthand that when he was relaxed and feeling confident some of his sharp exterior would fall away and he would actually be pleasant company. He kept that side hidden well. If he would lighten up around Harry and not treat the boy like a thorn in his side she thought they could get along like a castle on fire.

Harry was a, loyal, kind boy but he was a rule breaker. He could find mischief blindfolded with both hands tied behind his back. Severus could be exactly what Harry needed if he would just be willing to sweeten up some of the bitterness and provide much-needed guidance and structure. As Harry’s Head of House, she had tried to provide that for him and to an extent she did, but she just didn’t feel they had made a strong enough connection. He respected her, sure, but he didn’t look up to her. The rules continued to snap in half, year after year. Severus and Harry could be a perfect pair if they could each sand off some of their more bristly edges—Severus especially.

During her free period that afternoon, during which she’d meant to get a jump ahead on grading, a knock sounded at her door. She opened it, expecting a student with questions about the classwork and assignments. To her surprise it wasn’t a current student, but a former one: Severus Snape.

“Severus.” She said, mildly surprised. His eyes were downcast and he looked tense and troubled and in bad need of a stiff drink. She supposed her grading could wait. “Come in.” She stepped aside. “Would you like some tea?” She didn’t wait for a response. She had been about to magic up a cup for herself, so she simply made two. Snape wasn’t especially friendly with anyone, but they sat together at meals and would rib each other fondly about quidditch and now and then would run into each other in the corridors and catch up. They ranted about the school governors, troublesome students, and lately, Dolores Umbridge. No one liked Umbridge. Mutual dislike of Umbridge had united the school in a way it had ever been before. When Severus was a student him and Minerva had a good relationship as well. He’d been a brilliant boy and while Transfiguration wasn’t his strongest subject, he’d applied himself and tried and that was all she ever could ask.

She gestured to her sofa and he went and sat with her, each of them with a cup of tea. She knew something was wrong and she knew if she just started talking that eventually he’d come out with it.

“It’s nice to have the students back but you know how it is with lessons and getting into the swing of it all again. Today in class I had to confiscate two nose-biting teacups and one student managed to turn themselves into a canary!” She sipped her tea. “That was a pretty good bit of magic, really. I wasn’t too upset. It was fascinating the way the canary was the same size as a human….rather scary, actually. I wonder where he got that spell?”

“I made a mistake.” Snape said. Those words tasted gross in his mouth.

“Oh, well how good of you to join the rest of us.” She put her cup in the saucer with a clatter. “You’re not immune to making mistakes, Severus.”

He glanced at her. She saw the sullen light in his eyes. He certainly hadn’t slept well.

She set the saucer and cup down on the low table. “What happened?”

“Potter.” He muttered.

“How is that going?” She asked. She’d been keeping a distant eye on Harry this term. He seemed alright. More subdued than normal, but alright. Him and Hermione were sticking close so McGonagall wasn’t too worried. That girl had a good head on her shoulders.

“I think I went too far.” He admitted.

“Oh?” She said.

Snape recounted what had transpired the previous night, from the way he and Harry were both losing patience, to Harry breaking into his mind and seeing a terrible memory, to him losing it on the lad and beating him mercilessly before chucking a heavy glass jar at him. His neck was flushed pink by then end, embarrassed. “I completely lost control. I was lecturing him about control and clearing his mind and I lost my own head, just like my father would do with me—” His voice cracked and he went silent. He had called Harry a ‘dirty boy.’ His father had called him that and hearing those words slip out of his mouth had been a sickening combination of mortifying and disappointing.

She squeezed his hand. She knew a bit about Tobias from Severus’ student years. What she knew didn’t impress her. He was a muggle, he was a mean drunk, and he took his problems out on his wife and son. That was enough to be going on. “You’re not your father.”

“I know.” He stared at her coffee table, lost in thought. “I don’t want to become him.”

“You won’t. You’re admitting you don’t want to, which sounds like more than he ever did, so you won’t. So now, you’ve admitted you made a mistake. What can you do to fix it?” She asked.

“Fix it?” He stared at her. “How can I ever be allowed in the same room with him again? I’m lucky if Dumbledore doesn’t sack me! I attacked a student.”

“Severus. Albus will not sack you. Go to Harry, tell him you’re sorry. Properly apologize. Teachers can make mistakes too. And teachers can apologize, yes, even you can apologize to Harry. You say he saw a memory of yours. Was it about his father?”

Snape looked at her, surprised, and nodded.

“I remember how they were. A bunch of little gits, and all in my house!” She rolled her eyes. “I did hear about some of the awful ways they tormented you and I did cane them for a few of those occasions. James and Sirius especially.”

Snape hadn’t know that. She had also caned him once or twice for the ways he’d retaliated against his tormentors and he had trusted her enough to do so. Snape gave as good as he got and he had never been a wilting flower. Tactfully, neither of them mentioned those occasions.

“But isn’t it time to move past some of those memories?” She asked. “It was twenty years ago for pity’s sake! Everyone’s an immature git when they’re fourteen. Let it go for your own peace of mind. End this grudge against Harry for actions that he’s innocent of. None of what his father did to you is his fault. Tell me, when he saw this memory, how did he react?”

“He was upset. Though that might have been because of me…”

“Did he laugh? Did he seem proud of his father?”

“No.”

McGonagall put her hand on his knee soothingly. “You may have hated his father, but you loved his mother.”

Snape froze. Her words slammed into him like the Hogwarts Express and he felt sick. What would Lily say if she could see how her former best friend was treating her boy? He looked down, feeling like a bully being called out on his childish behavior. He was a bully being called out on his childish behavior. He was ashamed. He had to do better by Harry. He couldn’t tarnish Lily’s memory by making her boy terrified of him.

“He’s only fifteen, Severus. You are the adult in this situation. You are the teacher. Harry is rather in a bind here. He has to see you for punishments even if he’s done nothing that would warrant physical chastisement. Do you still spank your Slytherins?”

“If the little brats deserve it.”

“Yes, if they deserve it. Harry may mouth off in class or break a rule here and there but those don’t warrant physical punishment. He doesn’t deserve this and he’s getting it anyway. Be mindful of that.”

He rubbed his hand over his face. “You’re right. Merlin, you’re right.” He asked in a quiet voice, “what if he doesn’t accept an apology?”

“Well,” she patted his knee. “Then you’ll have to accept that.”

He nodded.

“Oh, and Severus?”

He looked at her. She raised a brow, disappointed and stern.

“Don’t let something like this happen again, hm?”

“Never.” He said, feeling like a he was twelve and being scolded for forgetting his Transfiguration homework. “Never. I did come here for other reasons too.”

“Oh?”

“The potion may get stronger.” Snape said. He cast a quick warming spell on the tea and it was soon piping hot again. “The Nox rubrum contains Agrippa, which when combined with Anjelica—as it is in this case—causes the potency to rise.”

McGonagall braced herself. “So what would that mean?”

“If I am correct…this is conjecture, but, he may need stronger reprimands to appease the Nox rubrum.”

McGonagall rubbed her temple and muttered something unpleasant under her breath.

“Likely,” Snape continued, “I’ll probably just need to hit for longer periods of time. Or harder. Like I said, conjecture, but, I think as his Head of House you should know and perhaps prepare Potter.”

“Yes, thank you. I’ll speak to Harry.” She said.

“I’ve been in touch with several colleagues since last term.” Snape said. “The good news is an antidote does exist.”

McGonagall perked up. “Oh that’s excellent Severus!”

He nodded. “As to the nature of it, we don’t know. It may be something else to drink, it may be a ritual, it may be…” he shrugged. “It’ll likely be another potion to consume but realistically it could be anything.”

“Well, keep trying. As ever if I can do anything…”

He set the teacup down and stood, preparing to go. “Thank you for the tea, and, and everything.”

“You’re welcome.” She squeezed his hand. “You could be exactly what Harry needs, Severus. If you could move past whatever vendetta you have against the boy, you could be exactly what each other need.”

“What do you mean?” Snape asked.

“Well, face it. Harry is a chronic rule-breaker and you have something of a reputation for, ah,” how to be delicate about Snape’s iron control over his classes and students? “maintaining structure.”

“So?”

“So I think that you and Harry could be good for each other, assuming he accepts your apology. If, once this mess is mended,” she gave him the raised eyebrow again, “you were willing to take a more active role in Harry’s life—”

Snape scoffed. “He doesn’t need me. He wouldn’t want me—I’m the biggest bastard on the staff!”

“No, you’re not. Umbridge is.” McGonagall said. “Just consider it.”

Snape paused. “Consider what?”

“Being a positive male figure in Harry’s life!”

Snape stared at her. “Have you taken leave of your senses? Did you forget what I just told you? Harry disliked me before this potion and after last night, he definitely hates me.”

She rolled her eyes at the dramatics. “Harry will forgive you. He’s a kind boy. He has a good heart. He won’t want to hold this grudge. Did it ever occur to you that maybe he’s disrespectful to you because you started your relationship by being disrespectful to him?”

Snape frowned.

“As long as you are sincere in your apology, he will forgive you.”

“Minerva…”

“I’ve known that child for five years, Severus. I am right about this!” She snipped.

“Fine.” He said. He wasn’t going to win this. “I will apologize, and let’s say for the sake of argument that he forgives me. He is NOT going to want me as a ‘positive male figure’ in his life. It’s me. Me.”

“Now you are just being difficult. You are not nearly the bastard you claim to be.”

Snape huffed. “He has plenty of positive male figures! Albus—”

“Is a busy man who runs a large school and is often away from said school.”

“Fine, Lupin—”

“Is a werewolf who is dealing with his own issues.”

“Alright,” Snape threw his hands up. “He likes Hagrid.”

“Everyone likes Hagrid. But Hagrid, bless him, does not have the ability to handle Harry’s needs.”

“Arthur Weasley.” Snape shot back.

“Has seven children and works full time.” Minerva added.

“Black?” Snape said, desperate.

“Was recently released from Azkaban after twelve years of false imprisonment! The man is still learning to take care of himself. Foisting a teenager upon him, godfather or not, would be cruel.”

“He has an uncle.” Snape said weakly.

McGonagall stayed silent and simply raised an eyebrow at that. “Would you want a better relationship with Harry? With Lily’s boy?”

“Harry and I have too much history.”

“A masterful avoidance of the question.”

“I don’t know.” He said, teeth grit. “I doubt Potter wants anything to do with me after yesterday. I will apologize and go from there.”

She nodded, satisfied. “Be patient with him and keep your more biting witticisms to yourself.”

He thanked her again and bid her farewell before she could scold him more. She closed the door behind him sat at her desk, pleased and a touch misty-eyed. Just because her students grew up didn’t mean they stopped needing her.

-

Harry took a deep breath and knocked on Professor McGonagall’s office door Tuesday evening. She had an open policy for her Gryffindors to come and see her about anything, day or night. Her door was always open, so to speak. She had official office hours—all the teachers had to—and this post-dinner visit was very much outside of them. He wanted to get this off his chest while it was still fresh. Harry fidgeted as he waited for a response. Ron and Hermione had offered to come with him but he’d said no. He appreciated their support but wanted to do this part himself. It would be embarrassing enough.

The door opened. “Mr. Potter.” She said, peering at him over the tops of her glasses. She didn’t seem surprised to see him at all. “Come in, lad.”

He moved for the chair in front of her desk, but she gestured him towards the sofa. Harry hesitated. She only had people on the sofa when there was An Issue. He wondered if he was somehow in trouble with her. He sat stiffly and watched Professor McGonagall sit down beside him. Now that he was here, he wasn’t sure what to say or where to start. It was all so awful. This potion was making his life hell and Snape was making it a thousand times worse and he should be able to handle this, shouldn’t he? He was The Chosen One, or whatever. It was just a little pain, but it was—

“Harry.” McGonagall’s cool hand touched his, which he realized now was clenched in his school robes, the knuckles white. He angrily wiped his eyes. Why the hell was he even crying? So stupid.

“Harry, it will be alright.” She said. “Take a breath…there you go.”

She waved her wand and a glass of water appeared. He took it and drank.

“There we are.” She said. “Now, what is troubling you?”

Harry stumbled over the first few words, but then it all poured out. How he felt stupid for taking the potion, how he’d been fighting with Ron, how he hated the spankings, how last night had been horrible, how Snape hated him and he hated Snape and how awful this entire thing was. “It’s really not the pain of it.” He said, fidgeting. “I can deal with that. I can deal with getting hit…like, I understand that’s how the potion works. He’s just awful about it. He hates me! I’m not doing Occlumency with him anymore. I don’t care.” He folded his arms and shook his head. “I won’t. Not with him.” Then, “is there a way someone else can take the Solis argenti?” He asked. Then in a small voice, “could you?” He figured he could take whatever McGonagall handed out. She at least wouldn’t call him names while she smacked him.

McGonagall had listened carefully the whole time he spoke and she sighed. She didn’t know he’d been fighting with Ronald for most of first term. That was unfortunate timing.

“It’s not that simple, Harry. Now that Professor Snape has taken the Solis argenti, it ‘matched’ with your Nox rubrum. According to the potion rules, that can’t be overcome.”

Harry nodded. She was right, he knew she was.

“Professor Snape feels great remorse for last night.” She said.

Harry scoffed. “I doubt that.”

“He does, Harry. Truly.”

“I never want to see him again.”

“If he apologized, would that change your mind?”

Harry laughed. “Snape will never apologize to me for anything.”

She let out an exasperated breath. “But if he did.”

Harry shrugged. “If he meant it, yeah I guess.” When he was eleven he’d found out the magical world existed, with unicorns and dragons and wands and spells and flying brooms and all things wild and wonderful that he could have never, ever dreamed of. Somehow though, Snape apologizing to anyone, least of all him, seemed like the stuff of myth. “If he apologizes,” Harry growled, “he can never say that to me again.” His voice was cold and he rose to his feet, pacing back and forth. “He can, like, hit me or whatever. Whatever needs to happen for the potion, fine, I can take it. But he can’t talk to me that way. He can’t call me names and he can’t lose control and take whatever problems he has out on my arse and chuck things at me!”

“I agree.”

“He can’t be cross with me over something my father did.” He practically spat the word.

“I agree.”

Harry stopped pacing and threw his hands up. “I didn’t do any of that stuff that I saw in his memory. It’s shit that it happened to him, but it’s not my fault!”

“I agree.”

He stopped pacing and stared at her.

“Did you expect me to disagree with you?”

“No. I don’t know.”

“How are you now?” She asked.

He shrugged. “Alright.”

“Would you permit me to see the damage?”

He paused. His first reaction was hell no but a vindictive part of him wanted her to see the marks. He wanted her to know that Snape had messed up. He wanted her to be disgusted by the man’s behavior.

He came over and fumbled with his trousers. He turned around and pushed them down to just below his backside before yanking at his robe. She helped him hike it up and her mouth pursed into a thin line at the red marks and dull bruises. “Merlin’s beard.” She muttered.

“Professor,” Harry said quietly. “Do I deserve it?”

“Gracious, Potter, no.”

“That’s what Hermione said. But I saw a memory, Snape’s memory, and in it my dad was being awful to him. Since my dad was awful to him, can’t Snape be awful to me?”

She dropped the robe. Harry fixed his clothes. “Mr. Potter.” Her voice was stern. “It doesn’t work that way. No one gets to punish you now for wrongs committed twenty years ago by your relative. Your father may have bullied Professor Snape when they were children, but Severus was hardly helpless! He gave back as good as he got and then some. Your father and Sirius never got on with Professor Snape and he never got on with them, much like yourself and Mr. Malfoy.”

Harry made a face and finished zipping and buttoning. They both sat back down, Harry very carefully.

“Are you in need of the hospital?” She asked.

“No. I took some potions.”

She waved her wand and floated the tin of biscuits over. Harry took one and crunched.

“You don’t deserve this Draught of Asphodel. Neither of you do,” she added. “I understand that you may hate him right now and may never want to speak to him again, but if you can, please give Professor Snape another chance, Harry. He made a mistake. He lost control and said unpleasant things to you and hit you far too hard, and that wasn’t right. Let him apologize, can you give him that?”

“I don’t know. I mean, do you really think he’ll apologize? To me? ME?”

“You might be surprised,” she mumbled. “And Harry, please keep me informed. I care about you. This potion is ridiculously unfair and you’re not alone in dealing with it, alright?”

He nodded. “Okay. I will, and I know I don’t deserve the potion or Snape’s temper.” Hermione had said the same thing. Her and McGonagall were two of the smartest people he knew. He wasn’t going to argue.

She nodded. “Yes. If something like what happened yesterday with Professor Snape happens again, if he goes too far again—which I’m sure he won’t—you have my permission to disarm him and come to me immediately, even if it’s past curfew, even if I am in the middle of teaching. We’ll deal with it. But I think you’ll be okay now.”

“I, I appreciate you being willing to help with this.”

“Of course, Mr. Potter.” She squeezed his hand. Harry nodded. He felt better, he really did. He was glad he’d come and talked to her. There was a plan now and he was glad she knew and was on his side.

“Okay.” He stood up. “Thanks, Professor.”

“Take another biscuit, Potter.”

He grabbed a chocolate one.

“You can always come talk to me about anything.” She said as they made their way to the door. She paused, then added. “Keep me updated on this. I want to know what’s going on.” On the off chance this didn’t go smoothly, if Harry rejected the apology or if Severus did a half-arsed job of it, this whole situation would be hellish moving forward. That was a problem for another day though.

He nodded. “I know. Thank you.”

“Go on now before curfew.”

She watched him leave and closed her door. She hadn’t gotten much grading done today but that didn’t mean she wasn’t productive.

-

Harry was feeling better the next day and he went to class. His first period was Potions and he was glad he was going to get seeing Snape out of the way early in the day. He made it through the whole class without incident. He sat up straight. He didn’t talk out of turn with Hermione and Ron. He didn’t pass a note. He didn’t raise his hand. He didn’t do anything to draw attention to himself at all and at no point did Snape even make eye contact with him. When the bell rang, he let out a relieved breath. He was packing his stuff up into his bag when a shadow fell over the table. He looked up into Snape’s dark eyes.

“Mr. Potter, please see me.”

It was impossible to discern anything from his tone. “Yes, sir.” He said in a tight voice. Snape swept up to his desk at the front of the room and Harry swore under his breath.

“It’s probably nothing.” Hermione said.

“Yeah, he wasn’t pissed off at all with you today.” Ron added.

They walked out the door, leaving Harry alone with the Professor.

Harry hoisted his bag. He dragged his feet to the front of the room. He stood stiffly before Snape’s desk. What was he going to do now? Grab the paddle and finish what he started? Find another jar of something horrible to chuck at him?

“Harry,” his voice lacked the usual bite. “Would you meet with me during my office hours this morning?”

I don’t want to. I never want to see your ugly face again. “Yes, sir.” He said.

Snape regarded him for a moment.

“Thank you. Dismissed.”

Harry left and wondered what all this was about. He wondered through History of Magic until his free period before lunch. He paced before the Potions classroom door until the class let out and Snape’s office hours would begin. The bell rang and the students, third years, streamed out. When they’d cleared away, he took a few minutes to steel himself, entered the empty room, and found the office door open. Snape saw him coming and Harry didn’t need to knock. He paused though and wiped his sweaty hand on his robes before stepping back into the dragon’s den.

The room was as it always was, tidy, devoid of broken glass or busted animal skeletons. “Have a seat.” Snape said, gesturing with his red-ink quill to the armless chair in front of his desk. Harry slumped into the seat, then thought better of it and fixed his posture and sat up straight. He touched his tie, ensuring it wasn’t askew, and tugged his robes to arrange them. He didn’t want to provoke anything. Snape slashed over the unfortunate student’s essay a few times (Harry had seen plenty of those slashes over his own essays in the past) and put the quill aside. He folded his hands on the desk and leaned forward.

“Harry.” He paused and looked down at his hands, thinking, before he looked up at the boy. “On Monday night during our lesson, I went too far. I lost control of myself and I was upset that you viewed that particular memory. I took my anger for your father’s childish behavior out on you. It was unfair of me and I humiliated and hurt you and you didn’t deserve that.”

Harry stared at him, his mouth open in shock. Was Snape under the Imperius curse?

Snape paused and said, through teeth that were only a little bit grit, “I apologize.” His teeth grit a little tighter. “I hope you can forgive me.”

Oh he was definitely under the Imperius curse. Or maybe someone who had never met Snape had used polyjuice potion and this was an imposter. Harry still stared at him. Snape raised his brows. “Are you alright?”

Harry snapped his mouth closed. “Ye-yeah.” He cleared his throat. “Sir. I…wasn’t expecting an apology.”

“I went too far.” Snape admitted. He leaned back in his chair, seemingly more relaxed now that he’d apologized. “I wasn’t smacking you to appease the potion but to satisfy my own anger. It was completely unfair of me given your already unfair situation with this potion…” He paused, then found himself saying to his hands, “my own father was a hard man. A very hard man. Abusive, even.” As Snape said it, he realized he was admitting it to himself as well as Harry. He’d never said this out loud before and weirdly he felt much better for doing so. “It’s hardly an excuse…but…this situation you and I are in is, difficult, for me. The longer it goes on, the more, ah, difficult it becomes.”

Harry gulped. He hadn’t known that about Snape. The man going mental on him like his own father would have made a little more sense now. Somehow knowing that Snape had been abused, that his father would go mental like Uncle Vernon sometimes went mental, made it a lot easier to forgive him. “I’m sorry,” Harry mumbled. “You shouldn’t have been abused.” He felt he should share something of his own. “My relatives basically neglected me my whole life. Though, you saw some of that. My friends say it was abuse, but the muggles never, like, hit me or anything. They, they hated magic. My uncle especially.”

“Yes.” Snape said, thinking of Tobias, slightly drunk and armed with a cane. “I know the type. Petunia’s always hated it.”

“Yeah.” Harry nodded. “Wait. How do you know that?”

“I was good friends with your mother when we were children. Petunia hated me because I was magical like her sister.”

Harry’s eyes went round as the moon and he leaned back in the chair. “What? You knew my mother?”

Snape stared at Harry. Minerva’s words still bounced around his head: you could be exactly what each other need. He was surprised with himself for sharing that much. He rarely talking about his childhood with anyone, much less students.

“Yes. We were good friends.”

“What was she like?”

“Kind, thoughtful. Accepting. Extraordinary.”

Harry still looked stunned.

Minerva’s words, You may have hated his father but you loved his mother, popped back into Snape’s head. He would do better, for Lily’s sake. He had to.

“Your relatives were wrong to neglect you, magic or not. In any case, I cannot excuse my actions,” Snape said. “I’m not my father.”

“Neither am I.” Harry said desperately. “I didn’t know what I would see. I wasn’t trying to see anything in your head. I was trying to defend myself!”

“Which is exactly what you should have been doing.” Snape nodded. “I was attacking your mind and you pushed back. That was an excellent reflex.” Snape paused, then said very quietly. “Do you accept my apology?”

Harry nodded. “Yes. But…you can’t do that again!” It felt weird to be telling a Professor—Snape of all people—what he could and couldn’t do.

Snape hesitated. “The potion dictates…”

“Whatever needs to be done for the potion, fine. Hit me with a paddle, whatever. I can take it. But you can’t be upset with me for things my father or Sirius did. You can’t call me names, and like, scream that I’m insolent and arrogant and chuck things at me!” He stood up. “Look at what you did.” He shoved his clothes down and turned. He was glad to see the pained wince that crossed Snape’s face. The man physically flinched back, like Harry had just clapped his hands loudly in his face.

“That will never happen again.” He said in a serious voice as Harry fixed his clothes. “I promise you, Harry.” Snape sounded as somber as Harry had ever heard him. “I understand. You’re right.”

“They were pricks to you, and I don’t know, maybe you were a prick to them, but none of what happened was my fault.”

“You’re right.” He said. “It won’t happen again.”

Harry nodded. “Then I accept your apology.”

“Good. Th-thank you.” Snape said.

Harry stared at him again in shock. Snape had said ‘thank you’ to him. To him!

Snape rolled his eyes and stood. He went over to a cabinet and Harry gulped. He returned a second later with a little pot of salve. “Put that on the bruises. They’ll fade overnight.”

Harry took the little peace offering and nodded. “Okay. Er, thanks.”

“You don’t need to thank me.” He waved his hand. “Go on, Potter. Stay out of trouble.”

“Yessir.” Harry grabbed his bag and hurried from the room.

He told Ron and Hermione what happened. He glossed over the bit where him and Snape had chatted about their childhoods—that was still making his own head spin—but he told them about the apology and the pot of salve.

“Wow.” Ron said, eyes wide. “He really said he was sorry?”

“Yup.” Harry was surprised by how much better he felt. He stared at the carved wooden pot. Snape was still an arse, but he’d apologized and he’d given him stuff for his bruises and that wasn’t nothing.
The End.
End Notes:
Thank you everyone for the reviews!


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