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A/N: Yes, I've written another story that takes place in a tree. What can I say? I like trees. Speaking of which, this one goes out to Iamatree, whose review of Hair of a Dog gave me a spark of inspiration.


Stupid, twittering birds.

Severus Snape hates sunny days, and has the pale complexion to prove it. They seem to bring out the worst in British teenagers, who seem to think it’s suddenly acceptable to gallivant around laughing and acting generally dim.

Speaking of dim, I wonder where Potter and Black have gone off to? No doubt they’ve found a nice shaded tree under which to polish each other’s wands, he thinks, scathingly.

All of a sudden, the birds fly out of a nearby bush excitedly. Severus turns, and sees something he never expected to see.

The Grim.

Massive, black and hairy it sits, just past the bush in question, staring intently at Severus and conveying his forthcoming doom with piercing eyes.

Instinctively, Severus shrieks and runs. He can hear the beast bounding after him, but he knows better than to look over his shoulder for even the shortest of seconds. A tree, just near the edge of the lake, suddenly seems very hospitable. In nothing short of a miracle, he scrambles up the tree, but not before the Grim latches onto his left ankle. Severus kicks as hard as he can, and an odd coupling of girlish squeals and gruff swear words escape him before he manages to pull his leg out of harm’s way.

Unfortunately, his shoe has decided to stay behind in the slobbering jaws of the monster, and it suddenly dawns on Severus that Grims don’t bite.

Grunting, and shifting dangerously on his branch, he reaches into the pocket of his robe, thinking of all the violent ways he can teach this dog a lesson, but his wand is not there! Panicked, he scans the grass below. There, about fifteen metres away, he can see his wand lying abandoned on the ground.

Buggerfuck! he thinks, and looks down. Below him, the beast is happily ripping the sole from his shoe.

“That’s my favourite shoe, you bastarding hellhound!” he shouts, by which he means it's his only shoe. Then, as if it understands him completely, the dog looks up and smiles (yes, smiles!) lopsidedly, with a shoelace dangling from its mouth.

Severus closes his eyes, presses his fingers against his temples, and tries to summon his wand. He’s never managed wandless magic before, but maybe one just has to be especially desperate for it to work.

Errrrrrrrgh. Errrrrrrrrgh.

He opens his eyes. Nothing, save a burgeoning headache.

“You! Go away! Take the bloody shoe and go drown yourself in the lake!” he shrieks, thinking perhaps all the dog needs is a good talking-to. In answer, the dog jumps on its hind legs and scratches the bark of the tree with its front paws. It throws back its head and lets out a loud, bellowing howl before baring its teeth in a growl.

“Alright, alright,” he mutters. It was worth a shot.

Severus wishes he had something to offer the dog, in lieu of a limb, to gnaw on. Too bad he isn’t in the habit of carrying around cutlets in his robe pockets.

He breaks a small branch off and waves it around. The dog’s eyes follow the stick.





If he can just make the dog go in the opposite direction, he might be able to make a run for his wand…

He releases the stick, and it lands about 20 metres away, near the edge of the water. The dog watches the stick fall, and then turns back to Severus, who is poised, ready to jump from his branch as soon as the dog goes. Except he doesn’t go.

Another failed attempt, it seems. Obviously, this dog never went to obedience school.

Might as well get comfortable, he thinks, and swings a leg over the branch.

He thinks about all the homework he could be doing at the moment, and curses nature, as well as spring, for making him take a walk in the first place. He decides he should never again leave the sanctuary of the dungeon common room. Just as he has always known, sunny days bring nothing but trouble.

Wait. There was a reason he was walking across the lawn to begin with: Hogsmeade.

It’s a Hogsmeade day! No wonder the grounds are devoid of human occupancy. All the chipper, sunstroked little students must have gone bounding off to the village as soon as breakfast finished, while Severus was in the library.

Well isn’t that just peachy. What luck.

Soon enough, boredom sets in, and Severus begins to make lists in his head.

People I hate, in no particular order:

Potter and Black. Pettigrew. Lupin. Dumbledore. My father. Bellatrix. Goyle. Peeves. Shacklebolt and McKinnon. Quidditch players (all of them!) That third year who laughed at my hair. Dogs. Sunshine…

Ingredients in a befuddlement draught:

Ten piches of Sneezewort, three leaves of lovage sliced vertically, eighteen tendrils of scurvy-grass, gathered during high tide…

Ten lists later, Severus has shredded every leaf within arm’s length. The dog, reclining on its side below, has been thoroughly peppered with bright green confetti. It looks bored, and gazes longingly at a family of squirrels nearby.

You’re hungry! Go eat them, now! Now! Severus concentrates on the commands as hard as he can, hoping he can make the beast move using only the power of his mind. Unfortunately, the Imperius curse does not come easily without a wand.

Just as he’s about to give up, the dog stands, alert as a sentinel. All the shredded leaves on its side flutter down into the grass as it watches the squirrels chasing each other.

“That’s right, go along now, you little shit,” Severus whispers. The dog’s ears perk up and it starts staring up again at his tree-bound prisoner with renewed interest.

Severus scowls. So close, and he had to open his fat mouth.

After chewing all his fingernails down to the quick, Severus glances down at his warden. The dog looks as if it might be getting too comfortable, so he slips off his remaining shoe and throws it, hard, at the dog’s head.

Needless to say, the dog does not like this.

It jumps as high as it can, falling just short of Severus’ feet, gnashing its teeth and barking angrily. Severus laughs and swings his feet, and the dog gets even angrier. It stalks back and forth around the trunk, looking for a way up. It claws at the side of the tree, trying to get to him, while Severus just laughs and laughs.

“Stupid buggering dog,” he taunts, “too bad you weren’t born to climb!”

After ten minutes of raging, the dog resigns itself to stalking peevishly.

Unable to stop making lists, Severus thinks of all the potions that use dog parts. Then he assures the dog he’ll make nice use of it once he has his wand back, if as nothing more than squid bait.

“I’ll make a parasol of your skin,” he promises, noticing the heat in his cheeks which foretells sunburn.

While peeling small chunks of bark from his branch, Severus wonders if the dog has been enchanted, possibly as another of Black’s pranks.

Black thinks he’s so clever. Probably didn’t even have to enchant the stupid thing, dogs are so obedient!

He frowns and throws a piece of bark. It bounces off the dog’s back.

Reasons I hate dogs:

They smell like a manky old shoe (probably because they’ve been eating them.)

They are insolent, flea-ridden creatures with pea-sized brains.

They bite.

They are relentlessly obedient to everyone but me.

They are walking rubbish disposals.

To test this last point, Severus throws down a crumpled bit of parchment from his robe pocket. Sure enough, the dog eats it.

Across the grass strolls a girl with dark red hair that glints in the sun like a beacon.

Evans. She thinks she’s such a saint. Severus briefly entertains a fantasy in which the dog chases her and Snape has to rescue her.

Unexpectedly, the dog sees her and ducks behind the trunk of the tree. Severus wonders if maybe it’s safe to climb down, but the dog growls a warning that keeps him firmly planted on his branch.

“Stupid dog. Evans isn’t that scary,” he mutters, watching her lope down the hillside towards the gates. The dog growls menacingly in answer.

She’s probably the last person off to Hogsmeade today. Must have had a tutoring session or something of the like.

Though he doesn't find her scary, he's glad she hasn’t spotted him in this tree. For such a popular girl, he thinks she’s kind of a loner, like him, going by herself to the village after everyone else had long since left. He watches her until she disappears from sight.

Another half hour passes by. Severus starts to doze off, and in doing so nearly slips from his branch. He catches himself just in time to hear the dog wheezing (laughing?) as it rolls around in the grass grinning at him. Bloody dog. Rubbing his nose in it that he can’t even go to Hogsmeade. Not that he’d want to be amongst the flocks of chattering imbeciles buying sweets, but he could use a trip to the apothecary. And he was so hoping to breeze by the Shrieking Shack, in case any underclassmen were skulking about, to debunk some rumours and whatnot. Drop some hints about what might actually be causing all the ruckus.

Severus sees movement out of the corner of his eye. Someone come to rescue him? No, it’s just a stag, standing at the edge of the forest. The dog stares at it intently, and Snape thinks, “Go get it! Go get it!” as hard as he can, trying to will the beast to leave.

For once, it works! The dog barrels off toward the stag, and Severus slips from the tree, vowing to hex the dog into mincemeat when next he sees it. By the time he reaches his wand, both animals have disappeared into the forest. He tenderly makes his way across the grounds, still saddle sore from the branch, having given up on Hogsmeade entirely.


Tramping through the underbrush, with flecks of sunlight bouncing around their heads, Sirius and James make their way back towards the castle.

“I can’t believe you wasted a perfectly good Hogsmeade visit, Padfoot,” James says, shaking his head disbelievingly.

“Wasted? Oh no, Prongsie old pal, never wasted. I had a smashing afternoon, thanks.” Sirius laughs.


A/N: I had fun writing this, and I tried to keep it lighthearted. I'm open to suggestions, and if I feel inspired I might change this into a short story collection called "The Misadventures of Padfoot." For now, though, it remains a brief drabble.

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