The second week started before the crack of dawn, a time that Harry Potter hated just as much as Severus Snape did... or nearly, at least. Snape seemed to have abysmal depths to his hatred.
"Get ready to run, Potter" Snape said, and as Potter began to disrobe, Snape did likewise. At Potter's questioning look, Snape quirked the corner of his mouth, "Running helps you think, and it happens that I have thinking to do as well."
By the end of the day, Potter thought that it was worse when Snape ran alongside him. For one thing, Snape never faltered, never tripped, and always had enough breath to call him out if he did anything sloppy or stupid. Running behind Snape was even worse, for fear that if he lost sight of the man, he'd never see him again. "Spells, all of them." Snape rapped out, his voice as crisp as a snapping ruler. Despite the fact that he was bone tired, Potter started to cast, trying to ignore the fact that some spells seemed to come to him better than others. He had to learn. Harry knew better than to protest at how tired he was. He had tried that the third day, and had gotten only, "If you can't fight after a short hike, you don't deserve to be in the field." Short hike, of course, being thirty miles.**
The week got better, at least from the perspective of Harry filling out - Snape was still the invulnerable, invincible, indomitable machine... and Potter was still tripping over his own two feet. It was infuriating.
Dumbledore showed up at the end of the week, and Harry was trying to figure out why he was feeling a bit more cautious around the man. Snape broke off from their run to talk with Dumbledore, and - to an unheard question, responded, "I can't play the immovable mountain forever, can I? The unstoppable boulder is more fearsome, anyway."
The next day, Snape simply looked at Potter and said, "Amuse yourself. I will be back tommorrow." Potter stood, still exhausted from yesterday - but too paranoid to not start stretching - one never knew when Snape would return, and "amuse yourself" did not mean "sleep till noon."
[a/n: thanks to all the reviews from last chapter! Nipped and tucked, I may be changing things around a bit, but I'd rather not make changes that aren't necessary to the story - leaves the work a bit more grounded.
**Snape's not being abusive. He's not got Potter running under full pack (yet!), and I've done 20+ with 30lbs on my back, and it was fine.
I think I've got about one more of these, before we swing back to the Order... I am restraining myself with difficulty, and will undoubtedly find another story to shoehorn some of these ideas into (Particularly the one asking Potter just what the hell he was thinking with Ron Weasley. Snape's calculations have Ron's death at 30% likelihood - by the time of this training. And Snape doesn't think Ron is likely to improve that much. But I am (with difficulty) ignoring this entire plot, as to get on to the real story. Just as soon as Draco stops dragging me offcourse...)]