Naturally, reviews are welcome... g
Author's Notes (reference for entire story):
This is a Snape-mentors-Harry story.
Canadian spelling, British terminology.
levati-o -onis: f lightening, easing; relief, comfort; lessening, mitigation. (The New College Latin & English Dictionary, March 1995 edition)
The majority of Brits (according to my Scottish beta reader, Loui) refer to cellular phones as 'mobile phones'.
by Trudy A. Goold
Harry Potter is copyright © J. K. Rowling. No infringement of that copyright is intended by this story.
Harry Potter and the Sensitive's Gift is copyright © 2003, Trudy A. Goold.
PROLOGUE: Thoughts and Visions
Snape leaned against the wall outside the hospital wing, a cold feeling growing in the pit of his stomach.
He'd known, of course, ever since the Dark Mark had started to become clearer, what Dumbledore would be asking him to do. That still didn't made it any easier. Nor did the fact that Potter, his two Gryffindor partners-in-crime, and his insufferable godfather had all witnessed him showing Fudge the Dark Mark.
Voldemort returned - it was the nightmare of the entire European wizarding world. He'd known that it was happening, of course - the Dark Mark had been growing clearer for the past year. Now he was just going to have to figure out how to convince Voldemort that he hadn't betrayed him. Thanks to his confrontations three years ago with Quirrell - at the time, he hadn't known that Voldemort was 'possessing' the man - that wasn't going to be easy; and it wouldn't help that he'd saved Potter on more than one occasion.
As for Potter himself... the boy was going to be a problem, Snape thought, as he pushed himself away from the wall and started down toward the dungeons. Brat that he was, Potter had a natural talent even greater than his father's for attracting trouble and getting out of it smelling like the proverbial rose; but between Rita Skeeter's latest article about him, and the combined issues of Diggory's death and Voldemort's return, Potter was going to be having problems.
It was most likely a good thing that he'd be living with his Muggle relatives again this summer; they wouldn't be getting news of the wizarding world, and so wouldn't be treating him as though he were a bomb about to go off. Certainly not the way he would be likely to be treated if he were to stay with a wizarding family - other than the Weasleys, who would be having their own problems to deal with, Snape suspected.
Not that he cared for, or even particularly liked, Potter; but much as he hated to admit it, the boy was their best weapon against Voldemort, even now - if only because they had faced each other four times, and Potter had managed to make it back, alive, from each confrontation. That made him an invaluable symbol of hope - as long as that bloody Skeeter woman didn't keep trying to dig up dirt on him. And whether that idiot Fudge believed it yet or not, the wizarding world would need that hope.
Snape sighed as he reached his quarters. It was going to be a long summer.
The screams echoed in Harry's mind as he jerked awake, aggravated by the pain from his scar.
Tensing, feeling phantom pains from the Cruciatus curses Voldemort had thrown, Harry waited.
After a few minutes had passed he came to the relieved conclusion that - for once - he hadn't screamed in response to either the vision or the pain. That was good - the last thing he wanted to do was wake up the Dursleys. Over the past week and a half, ever since he'd left Hogwarts for the summer holidays, Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia had made it very clear that they didn't want his nightmares disturbing their sleep.
Sitting up, Harry wrapped his arms around his knees, stared out the locked and barred window up at the night sky, and tried to work out just what had disturbed him so much about this latest vision. Of course, all his visions of Voldemort were disturbing, but this had been more so than most - which was a bit strange, because it had just been a Death Eater meeting, not what they called 'fun'.
For that matter, Harry realized suddenly, as he shifted position slightly on the bed and felt the phantom pain again, this was the first time he'd actually felt any pain during or after a vision, except for the burning from his scar. So why was he suddenly feeling twinges from the Cruciatus? And were the two things - his disturbance and the phantom pain - connected?
He supposed it was possible; after all, nothing else had been different for him. Now he simply had to figure out what that connection was, if it existed.
Standing up - a bit stiffly, due to the pain - he pulled up the loose floorboard and took out the notebook he'd been sent by Sirius just before the end of school. The note accompanying it had said to use it to record the visions he had of Voldemort, so that he'd be able to send Dumbledore descriptions of what he saw before the memory blurred. Harry had also found that if he wrote them down, they didn't tend to haunt him as badly - and considering the torturing and murders Voldemort had committed just over the past week or so, the less they haunted him, the better.
It was while he was writing the description of the room and the Death Eaters who had attended the meeting that Harry abruptly realized what it was that had disturbed him so much.
There had been one Death Eater there who hadn't spoken at all; and who, for most of the meeting, had remained as far from Voldemort and the Death Eater Harry thought was Lucius Malfoy as he could get without appearing suspicious. His name had never been mentioned, not even when Voldemort had beckoned him forward to punish him for not knowing Harry's current location; but Harry had recognized that particular Death Eater's silent stalk. How could he not?
Snape had been at the meeting - and had apparently claimed he didn't know where Harry was for the summer.
Obviously, Snape had returned to spying - because Harry had no doubt whatsoever that the Potions master did know where he was; and even if he hadn't known, Dumbledore trusted him and probably wouldn't have hesitated to tell him.
Harry continued to write down the details of the vision, and when he had finished, sat back and re-read it.
He'd been right; the only difference from the other Death Eater meetings he'd witnessed over the past two weeks had been Snape's presence.
So why had that disturbed him? He'd already known that Snape had been a Death Eater, known that he'd become a spy for Dumbledore, and guessed that Dumbledore had asked him to reprise his role as a spy. All of that meant that he should have expected to see Snape among the Death Eaters at some point. And he should have been relieved - well, kind of, at least - to see that Snape was still alive; and that his visions were no longer Dumbledore's only source of information about Voldemort's plans, since it took some of the pressure off him.
So why was he still disturbed?