Potions and Snitches
Snape and Harry Gen Fanfiction Archive

Summer Storm

The week had gone by at a snail’s pace. Sluggishly Harry dragged himself out of the mass that were his tangled bed sheets. Over the last few days, the weather had steadily grown worse with a heavy storm announcing itself through sweltering temperatures and crackling air.

On Friday, Harry had already endured three beatings from his uncle, each of them for reasons getting more preposterous each time. The first had been on Monday because Harry had forgotten to roll up the garden hose. Well, he hadn’t forgotten exactly, it just wasn’t neat enough for his Aunt who had no qualms tattling on him when her husband came home. The second rapidly followed Tuesday and this time Harry hadn’t even the slightest idea what he could’ve done wrong.

It didn’t matter anyway. He just bore the brunt of his uncle’s rage stoically, clenching his teeth to not give Vernon the satisfaction of making a sound. Although that seemed to anger the man even more. Wednesday had been good, in Harry’s books at least. Nothing had happened, he finished all his chores in time and was even allowed to have some dinner after his relatives had eaten and he had cleared up the kitchen. His luck was short lived however, for Thursday saw him getting the daylights beaten out of him again. Thus, he had quickly learned to not get into his cousin’s line of sight while he was watching TV, even if that made dusting the living room impossible.

So, Harry thought it wouldn’t have made a difference after all. If not for his cousin, he would have taken the brunt of Aunt Petunia’s outrage at discovering her china wasn’t wiped sufficiently enough.

He was so sick of it. He could own up to his mistakes like not making sure the hose was rolled up decently. But this was going too far. In all the other summers his relatives had never been this inventive when it came to creating false crimes he had to get punished for. In hindsight, it almost felt like the build-up for the day it would all hit the fan.

Friday morning dawned with grumbling thunder in the distance. Harry got down the stairs to make breakfast. His count announced just 50 more pancake batters to be made. That wasn’t so bad. 50 were just two times 25. He could make it through that. The calendar he always draw upon returning to Privet Drive showed a good third of this dreadful, abominable business that was his summer out of the way.

No more time for pointless calculations, he began making coffee. Just in time he managed to fill his uncle’s cup to the brim and slowly made his way over into the living room balancing the hot beverage in one and a plate with eggs and sausages in the other hand. Maybe on another morning everything would have gone smoothly. Maybe on another day there wouldn’t have been this stupid damn thing to interrupt the perfect routine.

In his concentration to get the coffee onto the living room table unspilled and in time, Harry stumbled and as luck would have it, Uncle Vernon chose this moment to make his appearance in the doorway and thus in perfect line for the coffee and food to get splashed all over his crisp shirt, freshly ironed by Harry just yesterday. He cursed at the hot liquid burning his front and quickly ripped open the shirt, a few buttons flying to the left and right in the process.

He turned to his nephew with a manic gleam in his eyes, his face rapidly turning an impressive shade of red.He couldn’t even get out words at first as he puffed out large breaths to process what just happened. Harry had stiffened where he stood in a mess of food and shards of crockery. The tiny hairs on his arms stood up as if electrified.

“BOY! You have gone too far this time!

“But- it was an accident!”

Stupid, Harry. Very stupid! Since early childhood, it had been hammered into him to not contradict his relatives. Why did he have to start now of all times?

“I’ll be late to work, but you will finally learn!”

Harry swallowed thickly.

“What are you waiting for, boy? Bent over!”

He just stood rooted to the spot. Please not again. Not this soon after the other ones.

“Do I have to repeat myself?”

“No, sir.”

Quickly he went over to the table. Apparently, it wasn’t fast enough for his uncle however, because he suddenly grabbed Harry’s collar and forced him down harshly on the kitchen table. Harry’s cheek connected painfully with the hard wood and his glasses, never the sturdiest ones, bent slightly. A moment later, he heard the telltale whoosh of the leather being pulled free of the loops.


When the belt landed on his already mangled back, he couldn’t supress a scream.

“Quiet, boy! We wouldn’t want to wake up your aunt now, would we?”

“Gnnhhh,” he squeezed his eyes shut trying desperately to summon that peaceful state he could withdraw into during most of his punishments. This time though it didn’t seem possible at all.

When his back finally couldn’t take it anymore and the welts from the past week broke he let loose another pained scream that he was sure to be punished for threefold.

“Dad?” a soft voice called out behind them. The blows stopped.

“Dudley, back upstairs!”

Harry slowly rolled his head around to find his cousin shuffling into the kitchen still clad in his pyjamas.

“What are you doing?” he asked sleepily.

“Just teaching a lesson. Go back to bed, son.”

“But I’m hungry, dad.”

That seemed to take the wind out of Vernon’s rage filled sails. As if remembering he still had to get to work, he slumped somewhat and let the belt glide to the tiles.

“Boy! Clean up this mess and make your cousin some breakfast!”

Harry tried to muster up the strength to drag himself off the table but his knees gave way beneath him.


He scrambled frantically. Uncle Vernon was at his side in seconds.

“Do I have to do everything myself, you good for nothing brat!”

He heaved Harry up by his collar and the teen just stood there dazed and shaking for a few moments. His uncle grabbed the front of his shirt and pulled him close. Harry could see every quaking hair of his moustache.

“If I hear one complaint about you today, boy – just one! Heaven help you, this will seem like a trip to the beach compared to what I’m gonna do with you!”

He shook Harry for good measure.




“Yes, sir.”

The first sign that something wasn’t quite right was of course the front door.

The faint knocking sounded again. Not yet having retired to bed, Severus dragged himself up from the sofa. Who could it be, he wondered. Maybe some neighbour needed his help? No, unlikely. Very unlikely. He wasn’t a bad neighbour, had always been polite and had once or twice helped old Mrs. Marble carry home her groceries. Obviously, without reacting to her constant attempts at engaging him in conversations. One day one family hosted a neighbourhood barbecue and for a short moment, Severus had actually considered going there. Before remembering that he had absolutely nothing in common with any of them.

No, he had fended off any form of friendliness from his neighbours and now they knew better than to approach him. The only one who visited him was Ben who seldom came in through the front door. Mostly he just hopped the garden wall squashing some poor little plants in the process.

Although, Ben as good as never was so careless, Severus had to concede. He had never trampled on the thyme, whatever Severus claimed in his fake reprimands.

The knocking had subsided and there was a thudding noise at the door as if someone was at the same time leaning on it and sitting down. Severus quickened his stride. With a bad feeling, he opened the door and was at once greeted with a load full of lanky teenage boy crumbling at his feet. Immediately, Severus was on alert.

“Ben? What happened!”

He crouched down and shook Ben’s shoulder warily.

“Ben? Ben!”


“Ben, talk to me!” Severus’ voice was loud with panic even to his own ears.

You didn’t want to care and now look at what you have done, some inner voice remarked ruthlessly.

“Shhhh!” Severus made to silence it.

“Sss- sir? You there?”



“Yes, it’s me Professor Snape.”


“Yes, I’m here. What’s wrong? Come on, talk!”

Ben tried to sit up. Severus quickly reached out to stabilise him.

“Easy there. Let’s get you to the sofa.”

“Was - didn’t - it’s - all my fault,” Ben gasped breathlessly between taking step after small step only holding himself upright with the help of Severus’ arms. They made it into the living room where Ben collapsed on the threadbare sofa without further ado.

Severus rushed into the kitchen to get a wet cloth and an ice pack for the formidable shiner he could see forming on Ben’s nose already.

“Take this,” he instructed with more self-assurance than he felt in that moment.


Severus watched Ben struggle with holding up the ice pack while simultaneously trying to clean up some of the blood still merrily gushing from his nose, before stepping in and wrestling the cloth out of his hand. The bleeding teen resisted him with strength Severus hadn’t thought him capable of under these circumstances.

“For Merli- for god’s sake. Give it here already.”

Severus grabbed the cloth impatiently and begun dabbing it around Ben’s chin and mouth.

“No, I c-n do it mys-lf,” Ben pressed out bubbling blood. Severus hissed slightly.

“Clearly you aren’t in any condition of doing so, let me assure you.”

Ben became ram-road straight on the couch but allowed Severus to clean him up.

When that was finished, they were left staring at each other. Severus was the first to blink to break himself out of the situation. He cleared his throat awkwardly.

At school he never had to deal with situations like these, not even with the much less dangerous cases of homesick first-years. Speaking of which, they were a league of their own. His Slytherins, knowing that he wasn’t their go-to guy for such things always searched comfort elsewhere and all the other students, well, he didn’t even have to worry about them coming anywhere near him outside of class or detentions.

Now however there was a boy sitting on his sofa, looking like he had lost a litre of blood and a fight with a world-class price boxer.

“I’ll make tea,” Severus decided to get back a notion of control.

On his way to the kitchen, he surreptitiously threw a diagnostic spell over his shoulder. When no concussion or broken bones appeared in the reading, he breathed a sigh of relief and continued on to the kitchen to brew some tea mixed with a tiny amount of a variation of pepper-up. Once, he had wanted to create a muggle-version of the all-rounder for the mother of one friend of his. It was never finished. After leaving the Death Eaters though and with much time on his hands to kill straying treacherous thoughts, he had come back to this project.

It hadn’t roused his interest a second time for nothing. Normally, potions drew on the person’s magic acting like a quick starter so the healing magic would kick in faster. For muggles that wasn’t possible of course. But Severus Snape wasn’t the youngest Potion Master in a century for nothing. After a good half year of research, he had found a formula that combined the properties of some common remedies also known to muggles. The kettle started whistling.

Upon returning to the living room, he carefully handed Ben the cup and sat down in an armchair facing the sofa. Ben slowly sipped the warm brew but didn’t really seem to perk up. The pallor didn’t leave his face and his hands clamped around the cup trembled slightly.

“What happened?” Severus asked again.

“Got hit by a baseball, see?” he pointed at his swollen eye.

“No really, Ben, what happened?”

“Greg’s what happened,” Ben muttered darkly.

“Greg? I thought your mother wasn’t at home?”

“She wasn’t. Not really anyway,” he trailed off.

Severus wasn’t stupid. He had some ideas as to what happened in that house and could piece together the rest.

“‘M tired. Can I sleep here?” Ben asked blinking heavily.

Under normal circumstances, Severus would have never allowed this kind of proximity. But this wasn’t normal, was it? He was reminded uncomfortably of all the times he himself had wished for a safe place to stay for the night. He could at least provide it now.

He got some sheets and bed linen and made swift work of arranging them around the quickly falling asleep teen. Had the diagnostic charm not confirmed the absence of a concussion he would have worried a great deal more. He helped Ben lie down. With the blanket tucked around him and the boy apparently drifting off to sleep, Severus turned to go upstairs. A soft voice coming from the sofa held him back.

“No, stay. Please stay here.”

He swallowed around the lump suddenly locked in his throat.

“You- you want me to stay?”

“Yes. Please sir, just until I’m asleep.”

Damn Hufflepuffs!

Severus slowly approached the sofa again. He couldn’t fathom why he would feel this insecure in his own living room.

There was a stretch of silence that weighted heavy on the two.

“Sir, thank you, it’s-“

“-really no problem, Benjamin,” he coughed slightly.

“Ben,” came the small voice.


It was quiet for a moment.

“It’s Severus.”


“My given name.”


“Yes, that’s me - Severus.”

Chapter End Notes:
Hope you liked it :) Comments and reviews always welcome! What will Harry do and what happened to Ben? Find out next Friday and have a nice weekend!

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