Harry and Hermione spent the next week at the Weasleys' house - in the usual chaos and confusion, the babble of a dozen voices (nevermind there were certainly fewer people present, the twins liked multiple voices). Hermione, as was usual, was trying to learn the wandless magic that Harry had picked up over the past thirty days. That it wasn't going well was a massive understatement. Harry was content to watch, occasionally demonstrating what he could do (small things, never the warspells that Snape had taught him).
Harry was still having a hard time coming to terms with what Snape had done. On the one hand, it had been rather a nasty trick, not even telling him what he was being taught. Or that it would take him more time to learn spells when he was doing it wandlessly. On the other hand, it had worked, and the skill was invaluable - because Snape was right, they were going to war, and that wasn't something you messed around with. Harry had the rather uncomfortable urge to both thank the Potions Master, and scream at him. While the second was a familiar feeling, the guilt that came with it was not.
Harry actually enjoyed the sessions with Hermione - it was fun watching her not be good at something, for once. Although the hex she sent his direction when she caught him smirking was not-fun. He was actively surprised with himself, with his increasing annoyance at the sheer boisterousness of the Weasley family - oh, it was alright for small periods of time, but he found himself wanting to find some space (often up on his broom) just for the sake of quiet (being with Hermione was helpful, because she was generally content to be reading, or something else that didn't require constant attention).
What was worse is that Harry found himself... almost missing Snape. That was a thought that would have had him convinced the person giving it was nutters, a week ago (yes, after training. He wouldn't have believed that he could, would, actually look for the callous man with the icy eyes).
Wanting to relieve some frustration, Harry got his broom out (flatly ignoring Ginny's offer of a Quidditch partner - he wanted to think, not be bothered by others). As he flew circles in the sky, he thought, I really do owe Snape a lot... I should find a way to thank him. Of course, the thought of Harry Potter formally thanking Severus Snape was ridiculous, Harry thought, So I'll just have to do better... Frowning, he thought carefully, as if there were hidden pitfalls all around him. Knowing Snape's temper, that wasn't far from the truth. What does Snape loathe? What does he hate to do? Harry thought, remembering... I'm not going to stop doing what's right, even if Snape feels like he has to prevent me from sneaking about. I won't do it if it's not important, of course... Harry said, flushing at the memory of Ron and Hermione sneaking out with him for a late night picnic third year. Shaking his head to clear it, Harry went into a barrel roll, letting out a hoot of glee. Snape loathed having to deal with Neville, but with luck that wouldn't be an issue next year - and even if it still was, Harry doubted he could fix the issue. Pausing for a moment, Harry remembered who else Snape was constantly complaining about. An instant later, a wide grin broke through the grimness on his face. Got it! Harry thought.
[a/n: Harry's always been a bit quieter than Ron. Here he's actually got something productive to think about, so it's no surprise that he wants a bit of space to do it.
Anyone know what idea Harry's got? I know, no clues, feel free to guess. There'll be a second update while still at the Weasleys. Featuring a more annoyed Hermione.
Write reviews, kids! I will update faster for reviews!]