Potions and Snitches
Snape and Harry Gen Fanfiction Archive

Survival Training

In hindsight, it almost felt like a bad omen thinking about survival. Well, survival yes. But on what conditions? Wouldn’t it have been easier to just give in? To finally quit? To just embrace the familiar darkness and to not see, not feel, not think anymore?

There was, however, just the tiniest spark somewhere inside of him. He didn’t even understand where it was coming from or why it hadn’t burnt out already, but it was there.

Thus, Harry blinked open his crusted eyes, rolled over and pressed his feet to the floor where the sunlight had already warmed it.

Litter service buzzed further down the street. He took a moment to ground himself. Just sat there quietly, breathing, letting out some of the ache permanently locked inside his chest. Maybe he should try meditation. Bet Snape wouldn’t have heard of that one. For Harry it sounded suspiciously like all those times in Occlumency lessons when Snape had yelled at him to clear his mind, to empty his dunderheaded brain.

How Harry had learned to hate these words last school year and then bitterly hate them some more after the Minist-

No, don't think about that. Not now. Just get on with the-

“Potter! Up! Breakfast is waiting!”


He yawned. Encounters with his uncle though never exactly pleasant always meant some better sleep. The only problem was that after a decent night the effects of the many others were just more pronounced. He struggled to his feet and pulled on the same shirt and shorts as yesterday and the day before that and the day before…

On his way down the steps, he promised himself to be more careful today with both his chores and his uncle. It wouldn’t do to aggravate him or his own back any more than necessary. He didn’t know what to think of this whole ordeal. Again he let out a large breath.

Sure, it wasn’t fantastic being punished this way but it wasn’t exactly illegal, was it? And he grew up with it so who was he to complain about the belt? Except, it freaked him out every time he saw his uncle pull the leather through the loops. For Harry the practiced ritual was worse than the hits. Physical pain would fade eventually. But this was just another routine, just another thing drilled into his mind, ingrained into muscle memory. The opening of the buckle, sure as rain in Scotland, pulling it free of the loops, sure as sun in Spain, doubling it over, sure as sand in the Sahara. If some movements he just saw a lot of times were this deeply embedded, he didn’t even want to start thinking about the movements he himself had to go through.

This was just added humiliation. Having to bend over a desk, offering himself up for whatever his uncle deemed necessary. It threw his mind for another loop and the bad thing was that his uncle knew it.

Having to assist in his own punishment was just twisted. Well, Umbridge knew that as well the old toad.

He couldn’t deal with these mind games.

Therefore, Harry just did what was expected to spare him from more, at least. Quietly bending over, placing his cheek on the smooth wood, stiffly enduring the falls of the belt, withdrawing more and more into his own mind, his peaceful mind. Well, Snape should have thought about trying this for Occlumeny lessons, maybe then Sirius would still-

Tearing his mind away from those sinister thoughts, he finished setting the table. Through breakfast his uncle kept giving him satisfied glances. Harry ignored them as well as he could. A satisfied Uncle Vernon meant a small amount of peace at any rate.

Shopping was always the chore he hated most. Sure, it was good to be out and about and getting to stretch his legs wouldn’t hurt. But he absolutely hated the whole procedure of grocery shopping. What was the point in grabbing some random shit, placing it in a basket, unloading it at the checkout, grabbing the things again, shoving them in some bags only to unload them again at home and putting them away once again? In all these years of human civilisation no one had come up with a better idea? Not to mention one had to pay for the whole farce as well.

Snatching the note where she had left it for him he made his way outside and into the heartlessly burning sun.

Another thing he absolutely loathed was his new haircut. But when he came back from school on the last day, she had been adamant to get rid of the locks. Now he looked nothing like the daredevil cop from Speed, a movie his mother had insisted to drag him into the cinema for some two years ago. Probably only because of the auspicious title. At first, he liked to imagine himself as the brave and somewhat suicidal (if his stunts were anything to go by) Jack Traven, but every look into the mirror made it clearer that he looked more like a navy recruit from a terrible B-movie.

Another issue with his new short hair was that it did absolutely nothing to shield him from the sun.

His nose was burned anyway from the relentless training the school seemed hell-bent on putting them through. Maybe to make up for the whole summer. He listlessly kicked some stones until they skipped away at a badly aimed shot. Down the lane, some Mum hung up freshly washed baby rompers that would clothe a whole armada of them effortlessly. He greeted her and could see the confusion in her eyes before they lightened up somewhat and she smiled back.
When he came back half an hour later, she was doing socks and he really didn’t envy her.

“You back already?”
“Seems like it,” he pushed open the door with his shoulder and brought in the bags.
“Don’t get smart with me.”
He started putting the milk and cheese in the fridge.
“Brought me something?” she asked leaning in the doorframe.

Wordlessly he pulled some cans out of one of the bags and put them down on the table.
“What?” He looked up from storing away some toast.
She reached out her arm and crooked her fingers. He groaned, but handed her the six-pack.
“Well, well well.”
She hit him over the head. Then she was out of the kitchen and could be heard flopping down on the sofa.
The buzz of a freshly opened can made him sick.

“Put some pizza in the oven will you?” she shouted.
“Not your bloody housekeeper.”
But he said it to himself only.

“And Ben? If you’re done you can bring the bloody cat over there. It’s his anyways.”

Chapter End Notes:

How'd you like Ben? I have some (hopefully) nice ideas for the next chapter, so stay tuned :)

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