Disclaimer etc.. See part 1 http://www.fanfiction.net/read.php?storyid=1028935

Author's notes: I said this wasn't going to be a WIP. But I needed something to keep me going
on my cleaning spree tomorrow. Sorry to those of you who don't like these. Again. Pledges has
not been forgotten. This is another case of brain fuzziness. Its my version of a vacation. The next
chapter of that will be out sometime soon. Either right before or right after I get on my airplane.

Part 2

Harry let the silence continue for a few moments before speaking again, "It's strange isn't it, to
think of him that way? And then it's not. You could see him do it, couldn't you? He is capable."
Harry turned away again, eyes unfocused. "Very capable."

"What happened?" Severus' low, rough voice held a touch of fear at what he might hear.

Harry continued to stare out the window, lightly brushing the glass with his fingers, "It's strange
to see green grass again." He said suddenly, the statement seemingly incongruous with their
previous conversation.

Severus let out a startled, "Excuse me?"

He gestured to the image outside the window, "The grass, that was, at first anyway, the hardest
thing to understand. Most wizards aren't as familiar with science as muggle children often are. I
had to go into muggle London and buy a biology textbook to understand. Of course, if I had
thought about it, I would have known to ask you, you would have had the answer, but at that
time, I wasn't really talking to anyone." He was babbling and Severus was letting him. "The grass
was blue." He finished shortly.

He heard the creaking of furniture that signaled that Severus had stood up, Harry imagined he
could feel the body heat of another person a few feet behind him.

"Interesting," Severus said from directly behind him, "It was the chlorophyl?"

Harry nodded absently.

"What type of blue was it?"

Shrugging Harry answered, "It depended, is everything all one green here?" Harry laid his hand
on the window, still staring out of it aimlessly, "The forest was beautiful, at night, all that blue.
Dark blue, almost navy. There literally wasn't any sky. You couldn't tell where the tree ended, the
stars felt like glitter had been aimlessly tossed by some careless child."

"You spent a lot of time in the forest?" Severus hadn't moved any closer, but his voice was quiet,
just loud enough to carry.

Harry gave a bark of nervous laughter, "Some might say too much."

A small snort, "Including me."

Harry stiffened. "The house colors were also different."

"I had assumed so, were they even the same houses?"

Harry nodded, "Surprisingly yes. The same names, the same traits, just... different colors."

Severus finally stepped up beside him in the window, "Slytherin was blue." He stated, obviously
already putting things together.

"That's correct, blue and silver, to match the most common variety of snakes. Ravenclaws were
Crimson and silver, Hufflepuffs yellow and copper and Gryffindors..." Harry trailed off
remembering his first startled realization of his house's new colors, "Gryffindor was green and
gold."

"The horror." Was Severus' dry response.

"Thinking back, it was such a petty thing to be angry over." He leaned forward, resting his head
on the window, "I wasn't handling it very well. Suddenly shoved into a place that was so different
from everything I knew, but so similar." He closed his eyes. "There were so many little tiny things
that were changed. There's a philosopher that talks about a butterfly flapping its wings and
causing a monsoon thousands of miles away. That's what it felt like, the small changes in the past
spiraling into large differences in the future."

Severus stayed quiet waiting for him to go on.

"I... I wouldn't... couldn't believe that it was him at first."

"Dumbledore?"

"No, my father."

Severus' sharp gasp of surprise caused him to open his eyes and look at his companion. Any
discomfort that he had initially felt about being in Harry's presence had obviously melted away in
favor of curiosity. A scientific mind such as his would not be able to resist. Suddenly it was too
much, he couldn't be alone in the room with him anymore.

"I think I need some sleep. Thank you for indulging me." Harry said quickly, walking to the door.

Severus looked very surprised for a moment before hiding behind a veil of annoyance. "Very well,
Mr. Potter."

"Harry."

Severus stepped out of the door and repeated, "Harry." with a put upon sigh.

"Severus," Harry called as the tall figured moved away, "Please, don't tell Albus more than you
have to and don't let me.. Don't ask me to be alone in a room with him yet."

Severus stared at him intently for a few seconds before giving a sharp nod, turning on his heel and
walking off.
______

He woke up an undetermined time later to an insistent knocking at his door.

He staggered awkwardly to the door and was surprised to reveal Severus standing there with a
tray of food. He blinked stupidly at his visitor until he spoke.

"Your manners, I see haven't changed a bit." Thin lips curled in a ghost of his normal sneer.

"Oh, right, come in," Harry moved out of the way, "I wasn't expecting you."

Severus inspected him, "Obviously."

He blushed in embarrassment at his state of dress, or rather, undress. He'd been so tired when
crawling into bed that he's simply removed his robes and pants, not even bothering to check if the
guest room came with extra clothing, since he had none, other than what he had been wearing.
"Sorry." He mumbled.

Severus swept in and placed the tray on the small table in the corner, "Dinner."

"Thank you." Harry inspected the trays contents.

"I spoke to the headmaster, we agreed that it might be better for you to remain scarce until you
are better acclimated to your new environment. Because when we do finally 'let you out of the
infirmary' there will be chaos." Severus took a chair at the table and began to removed the food
from the tray.

Harry stiffened momentarily and then took the other chair, "You're eating with me?"

Without stopping his movements, Severus answered, "You seemed so enamored of my presence
earlier and I find the main hall tiring."

Harry raised a knowing eyebrow, "You're just curious about the alternate universe."

Severus flushed guiltily before answering, "Partially." he shoved a plate in front of Harry, "Eat."

Harry looked the enticing food before him and did just that. After clearing his plate, in what was
probably record time, Harry looked up to see Severus staring at him curiously.

"What?"

Severus silently pointed to something on his chest.

Harry gave a lopsided grin, "Did I spill something?" He looked down and his eye caught an errant
sparkle and he froze.

"Your necklace caught my eye."

Harry slowly raised a hand to the gold chain around his neck. "I didn't realize it was showing."

Severus nodded. "Did you leave someone behind?"

Harry shifted the necklace in his hands and revealed not one, but two rings on the chain, "No. He
left me." Harry unfocused for a moment, "It wasn't anything as official as a marriage, but it was
enough for us." he shrugged, "It was all we had time for."

Black eyes blinked repeatedly before responding, "He?"

Harry gave a wry grin, "No one was more surprised than I was."

Severus snorted. "You have changed a great deal. I never would have thought you would allow
me to sit here and interrogate you on such personal matters, " Severus added in lower tone, "not
that I would have wanted to."

Harry laughed, "I'm used to it. To me, this isn't that unusual." Harry reached for a piece of bread
and chewed on it thoughtfully, "Though you are being a bit more polite about it than normal."

Severus gave him a wary look, "We were... friends?"

Harry leaned back in his chair and raised an eyebrow, "Hard to believe, isn't it?"

"Nearly impossible."

Snorting in amusement, "That's exactly what you said, in fact." Harry straitened his posture,
placed his hands in front of him, finger tips lightly resting on fingertips, raised an eyebrow and
said, "In fact, I find this entire situation, highly improbable and in the morning I fully intend to
analyze my food and find out what drug you used."

The man sitting opposite him, in a very similar position, twitched his lips and nodded his head in
defeat. It was, after all, something he would say. And probably did.

They continued to eat in a companionable silence until Harry was full. He gently pushed the plate
away and sighed in contentment into his chair. "I supposed I should take advantage of the fact
that you're here and tell you some more. It might help me organize my own thoughts. It will also
allow you to give the rest of the staff tender morsels of information and hold your advantage over
them for your general amusement."

Severus just sat there silently waiting for him to continue.

Harry searched his mind for the easiest of the painful memories to talk about, he finally settled on
one that might give him common ground with his companion. "He was the same there as he was
here." At Severus' puzzled glance he continued, "Dumbledore. He was the same sweet, old man
with his addiction to lemon drops. The problem was, is that he was smarter and a hell of a lot less
arrogant and *that* is what made him 10 times more dangerous than Voldemort."

Severus made an indistinct noise of agreement.

Harry absently tangled his fingers in the gold chain around his neck as he continued. "Dumbledore
had figured out that while fear and promises of power were a good way to keep his followers in
line, he had also understood the advantages of wrapping it in a pretty package." Harry silently
rolled up his sleeve, "Tell me, doesn't, The Order of the Phoenix sound so much nicer than Death
Eaters?"

Once again, Severus gasped in surprise. That black piercing gaze was fixated on the beautifully
drawn tattoo on his left forearm.

"Even I wasn't immune." Harry's low, trembling voice finished.

Severus blinked for several seconds, "Even I cannot believe that you would be drawn in with
promises of power."

His head hurt with the irony, "You're right, I wasn't. He caught me at a vulnerable time, when I
wasn't sure who I could trust. He made a very convincing argument for the poor persecuted
rebellion. It didn't help that it was him and that his group used that name."

Nodding, Severing asked, "Did you win?"

Once more Harry's eyes unfocused, reliving memories of recent years, "Yes, eventually, at a
price."

Severus' own hand went up to gently touch the place on his arm where his own mark rested, "Do
you know why it didn't disappear."

Harry focused in on him again, "Oh, it did."

A raised eyebrow at the obvious contradiction.

"It came back, when I got here, it came back"

"Because Albus is alive." Severus concluded for him.

"Yes." He confirmed. "In a little while I'll go to him and see what he can do about removing it."

Severus leaned forward, balancing his elbows on his knees, "You're afraid of him."

"I thought that much would have been obvious."

With knowing eyes and sad voice, he asked, "What did he do to you."

Harry tensed at the question and thought carefully before answering, "What didn't he do?" He
carefully edged up his shirt until a small sliver of stomach could be seen. In the glittering candle
light, thin, silver pale scars could be seen, "For one thing, he did this. Took hours. He laughed the
whole time." He pulled the shirt back down, "I learned that a laugh is not inherently evil, its what
the owner of that laugh is doing that makes it the stuff nightmares are made of." He raked an
unsteady hand through his messy hair, "And that one definitely caused nightmares."

"I'll see that a quantity of dreamless sleeping potion as well as some mild mood relaxers makes
their way here." Severus announced.

Harry's head shot up in surprise, "Thank you."

"Do not thank me Mr. Pott- Harry, I too know what it is like to watch your nightmare walk
around in the daytime."

Harry got up from the table and stood in front of the window again, "How much have you told
the headmaster?"

"He has, strangely, abated his curiosity for now, our conversations have not gone beyond your
general well being."

Harry's hands curled into tight fists, "The bastard was always too observant for his own good."
His body took on a familiar tension and awareness. It took a conscious effort to relax again, step
down from battle readiness. "I'm sorry, 10 years of thinking one way will not go away with one
brief nap."

The sounds of dishes being stacked punctuated Severus' response. "It did not expect it would,
though it pains me to think it would require 10 years of mental and physical torture for someone
to form the same opinion of that meddling old man that I had."

Harry snorted, "If it makes you feel better, I had that opinion well before I left here. I just tended
to express it with gentler language."

Severus verbally bristled and stood up with enough force to make his chair rock back, "No, it
does not. Despite my... gentler demeanor of late, the thought of having anything in common with
you turns my stomach."

Mentally Harry compared the two men he knew as Severus and decided that they had essentially
the same motivations, as well as the same faults. "Of course it does, Severus." He paused
knowing that Severus was more concerned with Harry being like *him* rather than Severus being
like anyone else. "I don't suppose if I asked you to stop thinking you were the most loathsome
creature in all of existence, you would?"

A shocked silence preceded Severus once again stepping up to stand next to him at the window,
"Not all of existence," an almost imperceptible shake was heard with the next indrawn breath,
"and no."

Harry's voice was laced with sarcasm, "You didn't the first time I asked you either."

"On my way here I was accosted by Mr. Weasley and Ms. Granger, they want to visit you." The
disdain in Severus' voice was evident.

"I..." he hesitated, "I'm going to need some time for them as well."

"You don't wish to see your friends?"

"I need forgive myself first." he felt old memories surging upwards, "That thing on my arm caused
a lot of pain. Watching your best friend die because you made to worst mistake of your life is not
something I want to remember."

"I know." Was all Severus said.

That was different. Of course the details on their personal histories would be different, but it was
surprising. "Severus," he said suddenly, "tell me that you trust him. Tell me you would lay your
life down for him. That he is fighting the just cause."

Severus turned to face him, "He is." black eyes studied him for moments before adding, "How do
you know you can trust me?"

Harry shrugged. "Because I have to trust someone."

The usual sarcasm laced his voice as he responded, "You're putting an incredible amount of faith
in me."

Harry finally turned away from the window and met Severus steady gaze, "Just returning the
favor."

Severus raised an eyebrow in question.

"You're the one that collected me after Ron died. Made sure I didn't neglect myself into oblivion.
Gave me a scathing lecture on feeling sorry for myself. I asked you why." Harry's fingers tangled
in his necklace, "You said that, 'Any son of James Potter would not willingly betray their friends,
jump in uniformed and make rash decisions based on their own idiotic misunderstandings of the
world, yes. But betrayal wasn't in our blood.'"

Severus gave a derisive snort, "Then I must have known James Potter better there."

Harry gave a wry smile, "You would have had to, seeing as how he was your friend for more than
5 years before I even appeared."

Eyes widened in comprehension, "Then it wasn't just overtired rumblings."

Severus was obviously referring to his one remark about his father earlier, "No it wasn't." Harry
turned back to the window. "Dumbledore set the attack for much earlier, his strategy was based
on the fact that a pregnant women would be a detriment to defense. He didn't count on my father
being pissed to high hell after she died." He shook his head, "It was an unusual mistake for him,
though considering he had sent a henchman to do the dirty work, I supposed there could have
been some miss communication among the ranks."

"Who betrayed them?"

Harry closed his eyes, "No one. He was too good at hiding in plain site for people to be that
worried about him." he shook his head, "It was a mistake they paid for dearly."

"What are you going to do now?" Severus was expressing genuine curiosity. He must have gotten
extremely caught up in the story.

"I want to do nothing. I fought my Dark Lord, had my share of pain and misery and suffering. I
want to go far away and forget that Voldemort ever existed." And it was true. He wanted a quiet
house in a quiet neighborhood with a quiet, but interesting job. And repress. He wanted to do a
whole hell of a lot of repressing. "What I *will* do on the other hand? That remains to be seen."

Severus made a noise of distaste, "Whatever happened to you, you're still a Gryffindor, through
and through."

Harry opened his eyes and turned a hard look on his companion, "I'm not looking forward to
doing it all over again, the battles, the planning sessions, the blood. In a few days," he pointed a
finger at himself, " I'm going to walk out of this room and I'm going to have to be prepared to
kill a man that I trusted for years, loved like a father and would have protected with my very life."

"Dumbledore?" Severus looked a bit surprised and immediately took a defensive position.

Harry shook his head sadly, "No. Tom." he straightened his posture, stealing himself for whatever
Severus might throw at him, "Tom Riddle."

"At least you will not have to look at his face."

Harry let out a bark of laughter, "He is rather unrecognizable, isn't he?"

Severus coughed, "If you wanted to be polite, yes." He let the words sink in before continuing,
"Dumbledore is worried about you, he does know that there is something going on."

"I figured that out when it was you at my door."

Severus stepped closer and placed a warm hand on Harry's arm.

Harry jumped and looked at the hand as if it where a spider crawling up his arm.

Severus leaned in and spoke in a low voice, "When I say this, I speak from experience. You
should not leave your fears to fester. Meat with him tomorrow," he straightened up, "I'll even
deign to be in your presence once more, if it will help."

Harry briefly squeezed the hand still resting on his arm before quickly walking away, to the other
side of the room. He was silent for several minutes before answering, "Fine. Tomorrow. Have the
house elves send me breakfast, I'll expect you two sometime after that. Feel free to tell him
whatever you feel is necessary." Harry was suddenly aware that he hadn't put on any pants after
he'd answered the door. The physical contact had left him feeling incredibly naked and exposed.
"I'm going to get some more sleep, I'll see you tomorrow." He rushed out of the main room and
into the bedroom leaving Severus to see his own way out.
______

The next morning found him well fed, dressed in clean clothes left by the house elves and pacing
frantically from one corner of the room to another.

The sudden knock on the door nearly stopped his heart. He automatically felt for his wand before
answering the door.

Severus had obviously orchestrated it so that only he was visible. "May we come in."

Harry looked around nervously, "Hold on." He backed away from the door and stood near the
fireplace. "Ok."

Severus stepped inside, he was followed by a very worried looking Albus Dumbledore. The older
man spotted him right away and moved towards him.

"Stop!" Harry yelled and then more calmly, "Just... stay there for now."

Albus nodded.

The three of them stood there, staring.

Finally, Albus spoke up, "How are you feeling?"

Harry eyed him warily, "Well rested."

"I meant-"

"I know what you meant." He interrupted, tensely. "I'm as well as I can be, at the moment."

Albus nodded again. "That is something. Severus told me about your... mark. I would like to try
and remove it."

Harry rolled up his sleeve and stared at his arm, "Is it possible?"

Albus considered the question carefully, "I have a vast amount of knowledge to draw upon, and
Severus has allowed me to question him on his own mark, I believe I can do it."

Harry's eyes flicked in surprise to Severus, before settling back down on the headmaster. "Fine."
he thrust his arm out, "Do it. But move slowly."

Carefully Albus glided toward him, Severus did the same, hovering on the outside of their
conversation.

"I need to touch you," Albus said, "and draw my wand."

"Slowly." Was all Harry said.

Albus did as he asked. A low murmuring sound could be heard, Harry assumed it was some sort
of charm.

Slowly, a tingling sensation coursed up and down his arm. It increased steadily and soon became a
buzz and then sharp arcs of pain. His muscles contracted and he clenched his teeth. He'd sworn he
would never scream in front of this man again.

The pain spread and soon he had trouble standing. Then suddenly- nothing. He collapsed forward
in a heap, hands went up automatically to stop his fall and found themselves tangled in a
surprisingly soft beard. Both figures sunk to their knees in an effort to stay balanced.

"It's gone," Albus said softly, not moving. "I only wish you hadn't needed me to remove it in the
first place."

Harry slowly looked up, muscles still twitching a bit. He examined the face of the man who had
caused him so much torment and a damn broke and his loose fists pounded against the
headmaster's chest, "You hurt me! I trusted you and you hurt me!" He yelled. The emotions, held
at bay for over a year, feelings he supposedly dealt with by finally killing his tormentor, welled up
inside him. They coursed through him, leaving a burnt painful trail. "You hurt me..." his broken
voice persisted.

A deep, tightness welled up in his chest and he ran out of energy quickly. He slumped forward,
ragged sobs wrenched from him, unable to stop them he let them go, finally reduced to wailing at
the injustice. Arms came around him in comfort and the chest beneath his cheek rumbled.

"I'm so sorry," it said, "so sorry."

TBC...

Author appreciates donations. Thank you.