Potions and Snitches
Snape and Harry Gen Fanfiction Archive

He ran towards the Gryffindor common room but stopped before he got there, panting. He had to hide. He wished for his invisibility cloak, safe in his trunk. He couldn’t even Accio it, as his trunk was locked. If he hid down here somewhere and she went up the tower that could buy him more time. To do what with he didn’t know, but he knew he had to hide somewhere. The Room of Requirement was floors away, as were the dungeons. He was nowhere near any of the secret spots on the Marauder’s Map. He ducked into the nearest bathroom. He was shaking. He paced back and forth in the empty room, his footsteps echoing. He looked at his hand. It was a red ragged mess and it wasn’t healing up like it had before. She had promised him the cane and taken away Hogsmeade, the complete and utter cow. He had never hated her more than he did right now.

He went to the sink and turned the tap. The gravity of what he’d done was starting to weigh down. He’d lost it on Umbridge. He slipped his hand under the warm water and hissed as the fresh cuts stung. He’d destroyed her office. Those rancid kitten plates had crumbled like dust. It had felt so good to destroy all that stuff, but now what? What would happen? No doubt she would inform McGonagall. Would he be suspended? He gulped. Expelled? He leaned heavily against the wall. He couldn’t be expelled. He imagined trudging up the Dursley’s walkway in disgrace. They’d laugh at him and then they actually would find a school for incurably insane children and ship him off. His heart pounded. No more Hogwarts, no more magic. What had he been thinking? He destroyed a teacher’s office!

He heard noises in the corridor. Voices, female voices. One sounded like McGonagall’s rough Scottish brogue and the other, Umbridge’s voice two octaves higher than normal. Neither one of them sounded very pleased. Harry froze when the bathroom door flew open and McGonagall was standing there. He stared at her, certain he looked as panicked as he felt. She was as startled as him for a moment before she pursed her lips, casting an annoyed, stern look at him. She stared into his eyes and called back to Umbridge, “he’s not in here!”

Harry blinked. His lips parted and he stepped back. What?

McGonagall narrowed her eyes. She pointed at him and and mouthed “stay.”

He nodded and she shut the door. Harry pushed his hands through his hair, exhaling. She was the second teacher to have lied for him. Harry heard exclaiming further down the hall and he crept over to the door, pushing it open ever so slightly. What he wouldn’t give for an extendable ear…

“He destroyed my office, Minerva!” Her voice echoed around the empty corridor. “Out of nowhere!”

Out of nowhere? Bullshit! She provoked me!

“Dolores, please stop shouting. What on earth happened?” McGonagall sounded supremely annoyed.

“I want that horrible boy expelled! The Ministry will be informed, Minerva, oh yes they will…” Their voices receded towards the tower. Umbridge probably thought he was in the common room and it seemed McGonagall wasn’t correcting her. All the more reason not to go there. Harry arched his back and stifled a shout, crashing to his knees when the Nox rubrum attacked his system. He’d actually forgotten about it, still activated from the stupid essay trick he and Ron had tried and utterly failed to pull off. Merlin, why hadn’t he just accepted the smacks earlier today? He could still hear their voices, very faint now as they echoed off the tower walls.
His chest seared with pain. That was new. He gulped. Was the potion attacking his heart now? Had it advanced to that degree already? This was bad. He had to see Snape but the dungeons were so many floors away. There was no way he’d make it there without collapsing and hurting himself. There was nothing for it. The common room was closest and then he could floo right to Snape’s office. His hand was bleeding again. He dug in his pocket for a spare tissue and came up with Snape’s handkerchief. He tied it around his hand, knotting it over the broken skin.

Umbridge’s voice again, coming closer. She must not have found him the common room.

“—couldn’t have gone far! Maybe he left the building—he’s a rule breaker!”

“Dolores, use sense.” McGonagall sighed. “It’s nearing midnight.”

“He’s a coward and a liar! He probably went outside to see that half-oaf Hagrid.”

“Then go check!” McGonagall’s shrill voice was touched with sarcasm.

Harry nodded. Yes, go outside. Go into the Forest and get yourself eaten.

Harry peered through the crack in the door as McGonagall approached alone. Her tartan dressing gown swirled in a good imitation of Snape’s billowing cloak.

Harry limped out of the bathroom, rubbing his chest.

“Potter!” She blurted. “What the bloody hell happened?”

“I need to see Professor Snape.” He heard himself beg. Tears leaked down his face. “Please, I’ll explain about Umbridge, but I need to see him first. My, my chest, my heart won’t stop racing.”

She nodded, thankfully, and he followed her to her office nearby. He collapsed on the sofa and she threw a handful of floo powder into the fireplace and stuck her head in. He heard her voice, muffled, saying something about “Potter” and “chest pains…racing heart” and then within a minute Snape was stepping out of the fireplace. Despite the late hour he was still dressed in the same clothes Harry had seen him in this morning. Did he ever sleep? Who cares? Harry had never been so relieved to see him.

He saw Harry on the sofa, his face ashen and covered in tears. He pulled two potions out of his pocket and knelt down beside him.

“Drink.” He popped open a vial of brown liquid and gave it to Harry. He downed it in one go, making a face at the bitter taste. “Another.” Snape handed him a slightly larger vial of something oily and yellow. Harry drank this one too and almost gagged.

“Good lad.” Snape sounded impressed. “Those are nasty.” Snape put the empty vials back in his pocket and rested two fingers on Harry’s carotid artery, taking his pulse. It fluttered wildly under his fingertips and gradually slowed as the potions reacted. After a moment, he said, “how do you feel?”

“A little better.”

Harry sat up and Snape dropped to the sofa beside him, adjusting his robes. He pushed his sleeve up. McGonagall discreetly left the pair alone. There was no more she could do. Harry sniffed and rubbed his eyes. He was so tired. He was so tired of this potion and of Umbridge and her stupid painful detentions and these stupid painful spankings.

“Come.” Snape’s took him gently by the forearm and started to guide him towards his knee. He paused. “Are you crying because of the Nox rubrum or something else?”

“It’s fine.” Harry said in a hoarse voice.

Snape sighed. “Are you still sore from the last spanking or did that finally clear up? I need to know where to hit you to cause the least amount of damage.”

He sounded tired and Harry felt bad. Snape had been off probably doing important stuff for class or the Order or something and now he had to waste time on him. Harry scrubbed his uninjured hand across his eyes.

“It’s fine. Let’s just get this over with.” Harry muttered. He was so worn out.

Snape wanted to find out what was actually wrong, but they needed to take care of this. “Take your trousers down.” Snape said.

Harry was still in his school things, having fled from detention. He threw his robe to the floor and unfastened his uniform trousers. “It’s getting worse.” Harry said with a helpless shrug.

They’d done this enough now that Harry knew exactly what position to get in. He left his underpants on and got over Snape’s knee, sighing in frustration that he had to do this yet again. Snape summoned a textbook off McGonagall’s shelf and wandlessly transfigured it into a paddle.

Harry glanced over his shoulder and huffed. His top half was supported by the sofa cushion so that made things more comfortable. Small mercies, he supposed. He pulled his glasses off and buried his face in folded arms.

Snape wasted no time. He raised the paddle and brought it down hard on Harry’s right buttock. He jumped. Snape smacked the left side, then right, then left. It didn’t take long for Harry to start kicking involuntarily. His cries were stifled into his arms and after about a dozen smarting whacks Snape paused. “Here.” He pulled a fresh kerchief from his pocket. Harry took it with shaking fingers and wiped his face. His chest felt much looser now and his knees no longer ached.

Snape opened his mouth, closed it, then spoke. “For what it’s worth, Harry, you’ve been dealing with this whole mess admirably.” He rubbed his hand up and down Harry’s back. “Most adults would struggle. You’ve done very well,” he added in a softer voice. He squeezed Harry’s shoulder.

“Thanks.” Harry said. “You’ve, er, you’ve been good about it too, I mean, all things considered. You don’t, like, hit me in front of people. I thought you’d be a real arsehole about it all. The first couple times really sucked but….it’s okay now. Oh, ah!” More pain sparkled through his body.

“What?” Snape asked.

“Keep going.” Harry moaned.

“Harry, get up.”

“What? Why? It’s still happening.”

“I want you to go over the chair. I can, ah, be more effective if I’m standing.”

“No!” Harry didn’t know why, but he didn’t want to be in a position that would remove him from Snape’s lap. This physical contact, such as it was, was comforting and Harry hated to admit that being over the man’s warm leg and getting pulled to his side in a near embrace helped him deal with all this. The physical closeness was comforting.

“What? Why not?”

“I want to stay like this, just keep going!”

“Alright.” Snape shrugged and raised the paddle high. He whacked Harry a few more times, concerned when the Nox rubrum still wasn’t letting up. Snape transfigured the paddle into a wooden hairbrush. He cast a mild stinging hex on it, hoping that the heavier implement and sharper pain of being smacked bare would end the attacks faster.

“I need to take your pants down.” He said.

Harry was buried in his arms and made no movement.

Taking that as an “okay” he tugged Harry’s pants down, baring his backside. Snape hissed. He was awfully red and it looked so sore. Snape was disgusted with himself. This wasn’t discipline. When he spanked the unruly Slytherins it was well-earned whacks over his knee with the paddle. The students stayed fully clothed and his hand never touched bare flesh. He’d decided long ago that leaving clothing in place and making his methods of correction very clear to parents and their unruly brats would remove potential complications that could arise. He never wanted to be accused of any kind of abuse. This situation right now with Potter was exactly the kind of thing he strove to avoid. He was beating the boy. Potter’s essay lie had warranted detention and a lost grade, not a long, hard paddling. Why the hell hadn’t Harry just let him take care of it after Weasley left the office? He should have insisted. He felt like a monster, but he corrected himself. It wasn’t him, it was the potion. He was only doing this because of the potion.

He swore under his breath and said, “I’m sorry, Harry.”

Harry tightened his arms around his head. Snape smacked the hexed brush against his rear with a horrible loud pop! The skin under the brush head turned white before fading to an angry crimson.

Harry jolted. His legs flew up but trapped as they were under Snape’s, he succeeded in only kicking the man hard. Snape grunted and, wanting to get this ordeal over with, peppered the backside in hard, fast slaps.

Harry sobbed and kicked and Snape stopped after six whacks. His bum looked incredibly painful.

He rested his hand on Harry’s back and smoothed over the tense muscles. He couldn’t see a clock from here so he simply waited, absently rubbing Harry’s back, bringing his hand up to his neck to rub the tight shoulders. He slipped his fingers around to Harry’s hot throat and felt his pulse. Fast, to be expected, but not like it had been earlier. Harry’s sobs slowed and stopped and he mopped his face with his damp sleeve.

“Anything?” Snape asked. He pulled Harry’s underpants back up.

“No.” He said, his voice thick with tears. “Think s’gone.”

Snape shifted and reached into the pocket of his robes. He produced a small tub and popped it open. “I have more cream. Do you want to put it on or shall I?”

Harry’s shifted and lifted his head. “I’ll do it. Gimme a sec….”

Snape nodded. “This one is the cooling cream I gave you before but with a numbing agent added.”

Harry got himself upright and hissed. Both hands rubbed his sore flesh and he closed his eyes, riding the sting.

“Here.” Snape got up and pushed the cream into his hands. He turned his back to Harry to give him some privacy and also to take a few breaths to center himself. He heard the scuffle of cloth and the faint pop of the tub opening. Harry hissed and swore colorfully as he smeared the cream on. When every inch of sore flesh was coated he grunted and pulled his clothes back into place.

Snape put his hand on Harry’s shoulder. “You did well.” He said sincerely.

“Thanks.” Harry wiped some tears from his face.

“Here.” Snape produced a healing potion from his pocket. Harry gulped it down.

“What were those potions you gave me before?” Harry asked.

Snape let out a small sigh. “They were to help your heart. I wasn’t sure if they’d work, given that the Draught of Asphodel expressly states that attempts to heal the pain before punishments given are useless until after the discipline. Now that I know the ingredients in the Nox rubrum, and have studied them extensively, I knew to add Adder’s Fork and Mallowsweet to a basic cardiac potion to hopefully bypass the Manticore mucus in the Nox rubrum that makes the healing potions ineffective. I learned from a colleague that Nox rubrum may attack the heart so I brewed these several weeks ago on the off chance you would do something foolish like not seek me out when you began getting attacks.”

“Oh.” Harry’s eyes were starting to glaze over as Snape explained. “Thank you.” He said. “You probably saved my life tonight.”

“Possibly.” Snape pulled a candy from his pocket and handed it over. It was similar to the raspberry one but this was lemon flavored. Harry popped it into his mouth and some tension seemed to drain from his shoulders. He felt a lot better now. The pain of the spanking was fading fast. He turned away from Snape and pulled his robes back on. He sniffled and rubbed his sleeve over his face. Fresh tears sprang from his eyes. He couldn’t stop crying.

“What is it?” Snape asked.

Harry shook his head.

Snape suddenly felt very, very tired. He transfigured the brush back into the book and focused on tamping down on his own annoyance.

“Harry,” Snape said after a few moments of Harry’s shaking shoulders and silent sobs. “It’s after midnight. I’m tired. You’re tired. Why are you crying? Somehow I don’t think it’s only because of that beating I just gave you.”

Harry pressed his sleeve against his mouth. His glasses were all foggy. He liked when Snape called him Harry instead of Potter or even Mr. Potter. It gave him the sort of warm feeling as when the Professor praised him or put his hand on his shoulder. Things had changed between him and Snape and Harry no longer saw him as just ‘the great bat bastard of the dungeons.’ Snape’s presence now reassured him, made him feel like everything would be fine.

Snape leaned against Minerva’s desk, watching the boy fumble for words.

“Harry.” Snape’s tone was as gentle as Harry had ever heard it.

“She hurts me.” He blurted.


“Umbridge.” He whispered.

“Hurts you…?”

“In detention.”

Snape paused. This is not what he was expecting. He folded his arms and regarded the boy.

“How does she hurt you?” He asked, his voice concerned. Harry had no idea Snape was capable of that tone.

“She cuts me. Her quill does.”

“Show me.” Snape said in a cold voice.

Harry pushed his left hand out of his sleeve. Snape saw his own handkerchief tied around Harry’s hand, the cotton rusty with dried blood. Icy rage gripped him. He clenched his jaw and unfolded his arms. He beckoned and Harry offered the hand. Snape untied the kerchief and his eyes widened at the blood-smeared skin. “What does that say?” He asked, unable to make out the words amidst the ragged flesh.

“I must not tell lies.” Harry said. Snape was silent, still holding Harry’s hand in his own. “She has this quill that when I write on a piece of paper, it cuts whatever I write into my hand. She gave me seven nights’ detention writing lines.” Harry shook his head, looking worried. Fresh tears filled his eyes. “It used to heal up on its own but after yesterday it won’t go away.”

“Blood quill. How many times have you written this?” Snape nodded at his hand and tilted it, eying the marks from a different angle. Gone was the gentle tone. Snape sounded as upset as Harry had ever heard him. It was only by the soft way Snape held his palm that Harry knew he wasn’t upset with him. Harry shrugged and said a number. Snape swore loudly.

“She took away Hogsmeade too.” Tears leaked from his eyes. “This is the first time I can properly go because Sirius signed my form, and, I know it’s just Hogsmeade but I’ve been looking forward to it so much and I’ve had such a shit year. I mean, this potion has been bad enough but Ron and I were fighting and I have the stupid O.W.L.s coming up and I haven’t studied at all and I have so much homework I thought I was more on top of everything but I made a list and, like, I may as well just jump off the astronomy tower because all the homework will kill me anyway and then I lied to you because I was freaked out about that essay because it sounded important and honestly it never occurred to me that you’d give me an extension so Ron offered his and I’m probably going to fail everything anyway because fuck my life.”

Snape stared at him, mouth slightly agape at the sudden deluge. “Anything else?” He asked.

“I was using the chilling cream on my hand. That’s why I needed so much. You didn’t hit me too hard last time. I lied so I could get more cream.”

Snape was relieved, then immediately annoyed. “You lied to me?”

“I’m sorry!” Harry wailed.

“Merlin, child! I thought I’d given you nerve damage!”

“Please don’t be upset. I can’t take any more whacks!”

Snape closed his eyes and took a deep breath to get his annoyance under control. Potter was right. Any more smacks would surely bruise or draw blood.

Harry babbled. “I really was using it because I was hurt, just not for my bum. It helped, kind of. I am sorry for making you think it was my backside but I couldn’t tell anyone the truth. I was too embarrassed.”

“Fine.” Snape took another deep, composing breath. He abhorred lying. Potter’s case was rather unique though and if he truly had been using the cream for an injury then Snape supposed he could let this slide. “It’s fine.” He said. “I’m not upset. I’ll let this one slide given everything, but if you ever lie to me again about anything you will absolutely get spanked.”

Harry shook his head fast and Snape pushed the confession from his mind. The last thing that needed to happen right now was another bloody beating. “Anything else?” He asked, dreading the answer.

“Hermione’s been nicking supplies from the potions cabinet.” Harry blurted. He clapped his hands over his mouth, horrified at what he’d just admitted.

“Granger.” Snape growled and clenched his fist. “I knew someone was getting at my supplies.”

“But please don’t be cross with her, she was doing it to make me healing potions and calming draughts and she made me Essence of Murtlap for my hand.”

Snape glanced down at Harry’s ravaged hand, looking a bit sad. He shook his head. “Let me see again.”

Harry obediently offered his hand and Snape tilted it towards the light, examining the cut skin closely. “I may be able to fix this. Murtlap certainly will help reduce inflammation and soothe the irritation, but it won’t do anything for the cuts. Same with that cream. If you had come to me I could have given you something that would actually have helped.” Snape saw Harry nervously picking at his cuticle.

“Dare I ask if there’s more?” Snape’s brows were sky high. He hadn’t meant for this evening to turn into a confessional but when in Rome…

“Um.” Harry fiddled with his fingers. “Okay, don’t get upset.”

“I’m promising no such thing. What else?”

“I, uh, may have destroyed Umbridge’s office?” Harry flicked his gaze up to Snape’s and away again. “Though in my defense, she spanked me in detention and she kept calling me a liar—”

“What?!” Snape bellowed, pushing himself off the desk.

“Don’t get upset!” Harry held his hands up, placating, “I’ve been in so much trouble today already!”

“I’m not upset with you, I’m upset with her. She spanked you? Why didn’t you tell me?!”

“She barely touched me! Honestly.”

Snape opened his mouth, closed it, then with a tight jerk began pacing the length of the windows, lost in thought.

“Snape, sir, really, I hardly felt it. I had my robes on. She used her hand. Though she did say she’d cane me this weekend in detention…”

Snape scoffed like that was the most absurd thing he’d ever heard.

Harry watched, nervous, trying to figure out what Snape would do next.

“Alright.” Snape muttered after a few moments. He took a deep breath and pushed some hair away from his face. He strode towards Harry. A few months ago Harry would have cringed and cowered from a furious Snape swooping towards him. Now though, it didn’t bother him. He was very familiar with how the man acted when he was upset and Harry knew it wasn’t him he was upset with. Snape got into the boy’s space and Harry smelled his potion-spice, smoky scent again. Weirdly, it relaxed him. At what point did his body start equating the unique smell of the man with relaxation and the sense that all would be well? “You,” Snape pointed at him, his tone low and deadly, “are not going to have detention with that….woman, anymore. Understand?”

Harry nodded. He had the feeling Snape wanted to use a very different word than ‘woman.’

“Furthermore, you will go to Hogsmeade even if I have to drag you there myself. You will spend your money frivolously and eat rubbish all day with your little friends.”

Harry nodded again, unable to speak. Snape sounded and looked so very angry but he was saying wonderful things.

“Why did you destroy the office?”

“Um, because she was being horrible and she spanked me, kind of, and wanted me to write more lines with the blood quill and she keeps saying I’m lying about Voldemort’s return,”

Snape winced,

“and she said I’m lying about the remedial potions and she took away Hogsmeade and said she’d cane me.”

“And you’d had enough.” Snape said.

Harry nodded.

Snape straightened up and smoothed his shirt.

“What’s going to happen? Am I expelled?”

“No.” Snape pulled his wand out. “Hold up your hand.”

Harry did. “What will happen to me for this? For what I did?”

“Nothing at all if I have anything to say about it.” Snape sounded supremely irritated.

Harry untied the stained handkerchief and held his hand up. Snape gripped Harry’s wrist and pointed his wand at the wounds and muttered a long incantation under his breath. The wand tip glowed white and tendrils of something shimmery reached for Harry’s hand. The skin stung and pulled and Harry winced. He couldn’t help trying to pull his hand away but Snape held tight. Harry clenched his eyes closed. When Snape released him, Harry looked. The skin was clean of smeared blood. The edges were less ragged and the cuts themselves looked smaller.

Harry smiled. “Oh! Thanks, Professor.”

“You’re welcome. How many more days of detention do you have?”

“Well it was supposed to just be ‘til Friday but then she extended it so I’d miss Hogsmeade.”

“And we’ve already established that you are not missing Hogsmeade, thus you will finish off the next three days of detention with me.”

“Oh…with you? Er, why?” Harry had hoped that Snape would just cancel it. Maybe he couldn’t?

“Harry, do you trust me?”

Harry stared at him for a few seconds. “Yes.”

“Three days. Starting tomorrow evening at seven.”

“Yes, sir.” Harry said.

“Bring your school work. All of it.”


“Anything else?” Snape asked, trying to sound encouraging and pretty sure he was failing. This evening had not gone where he imagined and he’d hoped to be asleep ages ago.

“No, sir.” Harry said. “Er, thanks. I’ll go back to my dorm.” He headed for the door.

“Here.” Snape went to the fireplace. “This is faster.” He flung a handful of powder in and announced the destination. Harry walked into the fireplace and was gone.

Snape rubbed his hand over his face. That boy would be the death of him. His relationship with Harry had changed wildly this year. He honestly wanted Harry to be, well, happy was a strong word but he wanted him content and confident. He liked that the boy no longer cringed and cowered before him like the other students did. To Snape’s surprise, Harry could be funny. They shared a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. Harry also stood up to him now and he found himself rather impressed by it. So few students had the stones to snap back at him when he was grouchy. He found that he would actually miss the boy’s company once Harry took the antidote and they put this awful potion behind them. How strange. He was proud of Harry for enduring this potion as well as he had been and he wished he could give the boy something other than a ‘good job.’ He deserved it after this terrible year.

He leaned off the desk. He had to talk to Minerva and Dumbledore if he was around before exhaustion felled him and then he was putting this foul day behind him.

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