A/N: Greetings, Harry Potter fans! This is my first attempt at a Severus/Harry bonding fic. It does NOT contain slash. It's already finished; I'll upload one chapter every Monday. Again, this is my first attempt at Snape and Harry, I've tried my best but I am by no means perfect. Still, I hope you enjoy the story.

I am missing something.

Severus Snape was not a stupid man. Being a spy, he was often more observant than most normal people were. It was something he had come to learn, something that was necessary to stay alive. After all, if he could not read the Dark Lord's body language, then how would he know how to respond without getting himself – and everyone on the Light side – killed?

But as he sat in his office, late one night, he could not help but think he had missed something, something big. The day had been absolutely hellish; Potions class with third year Gryffindor's and Slytherin's had been a nightmare with two of them getting into a fistfight had been bad enough and then having to deal with Potter being in his office was even worse. He knew those lessons were doomed right from the very start and he was right.

First the boy was lazy and refused to do the work and then he had the nerve to go snooping into Severus' pensieve the second his back was turned! He could not stand for such a blatant invasion of his privacy, and nor would he, Dumbledore be damned. So he did exactly what he wanted to do in the first place: throw Potter out of his office and canned the lessons.

But there was something bugging him about their exchange. Potter had been quiet. He did not fight Severus, he did not say anything, in fact. He just ran from the room as if he was on fire. That was not the arrogant, rule breaking boy Severus had come to know in his potions class.

And then there was his reaction when they got back into Severus' office. The boy knew Severus was angry, any blind fool would have known that. But he flinched. The Potter brat, the Golden Boy of Gryffindor, had flinched and, perhaps even unconsciously, tried to put as much distance between him and the irate Potions master. The way he looked up at him...the only thing on Potter's face was fear. He had been genuinely afraid of him, even more so when Severus raised a hand to open the door to get rid of the boy.

He hated – the word didn't seem strong enough for Severus to admit it, but the boy's reaction reminded Severus of himself...the way he had been when his father got angry with him. The way he did what was asked without so much as a peep, the way he tried to create some distance, the way he had flinched...not to mention the very white face the boy had had when caught in the pensive.

It was almost as if he...no, that cannot be possible. The boy is a pampered prince at his home! Severus thought, shaking his head. But even as he tried to convince himself of that fact, images flitted through him mind...a young boy running from others, a black haired kid trying to get away from a dog, the feeling of happiness when he looked into that blasted Mirror of Erised…the deep anguish he felt when he saw the Diggory boy die in front of him...and the clothes – if they could even be called that; they were nothing more than rags – in all of the memories prior to him coming to Hogwarts.

Severus was not a stupid man. But he had missed something, and he was going to find out what.