CHapter 1, breakthrough

"Fine, I'll try and teach him again!" Snape snarled at Professor Dumbledore.

"Severus, please for me, don't take out all those old wounds gained from James, on Harry. Harry is not James, do not blame him for what happened." Dumbledore said quietly but his blue eyes held a warning.

Snape sighed in frustration. "Don't worry I won't harm a hair on golden boys head."

"Severus, try to do more than not harm him, Harry is suffering more deeply than anyone knows. Be patient with him." Dumbledore put a hand on Snape's shoulder. "Be kind, everyone appreciates some kindness."

Snape's mask dropped for a second and he gave Dumbledore a haunted look as he remembered a time when Dumbledore granted him kindness.

He gave a curt nod and exited his office.

He encountered Harry in the hallway with his ever-growing menagerie of Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville and Luna. "Potter, get to my office." He snarled at him not pausing to stop but walking to his office at a clipped pace.

Ron cast Harry a sympathetic look while Hermione squeezed his arm in support. Dumbledore had warned Harry that Snape would have to continue the Occlumency lessons, it was just too dangerous for Dumbledore to do it and Snape was the most skilled instructor in school.

Harry went reluctantly, very reluctantly, he had argued with Dumbledore against the need for the lessons, with Sirius gone, he just didn't care if he ever learned them.

He had barely walked into Snape's office before he was snarled at.

"All right Potter now that you've got your way again and fooled Dumbledore into doing what you want, let's get something straight."

Harry glared defiantly at Snape, he hated him almost as much as Voldemort. He interrupted: "I didn't fool anyone, I told the truth. I don't want these lessons!". Then as an after thought he added, "If you're still mad at me for looking into your pensieve, I am sorry. I shouldn't have done it and I'm sorry for what my father did, but I'm not my father!" he shouted the last bit at Snape.

Snape smirked sarcastically, "And the Dark Lord wants you over for his next tea party!"

Harry's anger rose. "I'm not lying!" He yelled at Snape, frustration and anger evident on his face as his green eyes blazed. "I don't want to take these lessons, I don't care, it's too late, Sirius is gone."

Snape smiled at him maliciously. "Yes Sirius is DEAD, but don't you care about Ms. Granger, Mr. Weasley and the rest of your entourage? Do you really not care if they follow Sirius into the veil or perhaps like Cedric end up dead at your feet?"

Harry blanched. Before he could respond to Snape's words, Snape waved his wand and shouted "legilimens". Harry was completely unprepared. His last conscious thought was that Snape obviously wanted to punish him for looking at the pensieve.

The memories came racing, he was back at the ministry of magic and he once again felt the incredible unbearable pain he experienced when Voldemort possessed him. It lasted only a moment before Snape ended the spell.

Harry found himself collapsed to the floor and gasping for breath, his heart racing wildly as he trembled.

Snape had considerably paled when he saw Harry's memory. Dumbledore hadn't given him all the details. With disgust and anger he reached down and grabbed Harry by the scruff of the neck and pulled him to his feet. "You have to concentrate and be on your guard at all times. The Dark Lord would have enjoyed knowing how much you hurt."

Still shaking from the aftereffects Harry turned accusing yet pain filled eyes on Snape and managed to hoarsely whisper. "You are just as cruel and evil as Voldemort."

A surge of anger coursed through Snape. His hand shook and with narrowed eyes at Harry's insult he waved his wand again. "legilimens".

This time Harry relived Bellatrix Lestrange's curse on Sirius and then saw again, as if in slow motion Sirius fall though the veil. He also relived Lupin grabbing him to prevent him from running after his godfather into the veil. He heard his mind pleading with Dumbledore to kill him while Voldemort possessed him so he could see Sirius again. All of sudden the memories ended. Harry had collapsed onto the cold stone floor yet again. This time uncontrollable tears coursed down his face as he shook like a leaf. He brokenly whispered. "Sirius. I miss you."

Snape stood still, frozen by what he had seen. Dumbledore's words washed over him and his own pledge not to harm Harry gnawed at him. He swallowed heavily, guilt tugging at his soul. Potter lay huddled on the floor taking deep breaths trying desperately to control his emotions. He slowly tried to rise to his feet. Instinctively Snape reached out grabbing him just above his elbows "Don't get up so fast Potter."

Harry's head came up and he glared at Snape. In a tear filled choked voice he demanded. "Get your hands off me, I hate you, I hate you! You hoped that Voldemort would kill me, you no doubt celebrated when Sirius, when Sirius." His eyes flooded with tears and his voice ended in a sob. He started to slide back down the wall; his shaking legs unable to hold him up. Snape went down with him. His heart felt like a knife had pierced it when Potter had looked at him with those green tear filled eyes, Lily's eyes. Racking sobs shook Potter's body as his hair fell over his forehead and he succumbed to a flood of long held back tears; years of anguish all cumulating in this moment.

Snape stayed close to the grieving boy but didn't touch him. "I didn't want Sirius dead, and I don't want you dead." He took a deep breath. " I could have said no to Dumbledore but I didn't. I want to help you." Snape quietly spoke close to Harry's ear.

Inhaling sharply and getting his emotions under control momentarily, Harry choked out, "Liar, Dumbledore made you." He pushed hard against Snape to try to knock him back away from him. He hated so much for Snape of all people at Hogwarts to see him like this. He never cried in front of anyone, he almost did once in front of Lupin but he wiped away the tears, the only other time he almost did was when Mrs. Weasley held him after Cedric died. Yet here he was in his enemy's office and he couldn't fight off this awful all encompassing suffocating raw pain. Angry with himself as well as with Snape he again pushed at him.

Snape grabbed his arms and calmly yet sternly said. "Stop it, none of this will bring Sirius back!". Harry's fists closed over Snape's robe but then another wave of pain and loss washed over him and his head dropped to hide his face. Snape's arms wrapped around Harry's shaking shoulders. Harry tried to fight against him but Snape's grip tightened and in a firm whisper he responded. "Shush, stop fighting this, you need to let go, let all that pain, frustration, hurt and helplessness out." Before Harry consciously realized what he was doing, he found himself sobbing into Snape's robes and whispering "Sirius" over and over again.

Snape rested his chin on Harry's black hair. As he grew quiet, Snape loosened his grip and pulled back. Harry's hands immediately came up to wipe the tears from his face.

"Don't be embarrassed." Snape said quietly.

"I'm not." Harry responded louder than he meant too.

Snape stood up. "Good, if crying in front of me, or rather on me doesn't faze you then we should be able to move right onto occlumency again."

Harry closed his eyes tightly, misery washing over him. As his throat closed up he managed to croak out "Please no". He felt too awful to even get up let alone continue with this lesson. He felt sick and dizzy. He put his hands over his face and concentrated on breathing.

He felt Snape's hands grab him by the shoulders again and lift him to his feet. "Don't worry I wasn't serious Potter, you are in no shape to do anything useful tonight."

Harry nodded and attempted to head to the door. He wavered, feeling suddenly like he was going to be sick.

Snape once again grabbed him by the shoulder and guided him over to a comfy old recliner then left him for a moment. Harry collapsed into it and felt too miserable to even look up. He heard a bottle being uncorked and then Snape held the bottle to his mouth. "Drink this." His stomach lurched violently and Harry turned his head away.

"It will settle your stomach." Snape explained patiently, still holding the bottle up to him. He had also added some dreamless sleep potion, but decided not to tell Potter, he was sure Potter had no inclination to spend the night asleep in his office.

Harry glanced up at him and then with a barely audible whisper said, "thanks" before slowly downing it in gulps.

Snape took the bottle back to be refilled. He grabbed a warm comforter and placed it on Harry who had instantly fallen into an exhausted sleep.

He then sat down across from him with a deep frustrated sigh. He had been deeply disturbed to learn that Potter had asked for death from Dumbledore when Voldemort possessed him. Dumbledore had kept that quiet, no wonder he was worried about him. Dumbledore was right, as usual. The boy who lived, suffered unbearably. When Potter had last looked at him with those wary, haunted, long lashed eyes, Lily's eyes, the realization had fully hit him that he didn't really hate Potter. He may have hated James Potter once upon a time but he never hated Lily. If she could see what had happened to her baby she would be pleading with him to take care of Harry.

Snape sighed deeply again, looking at the sleeping teen, regret edged heavily in his voice. "I'm. I'm sorry Potter." He closed his eyes; it was torture saying that aloud even if no one heard him. Years of bottled up hate against a dead enemy's son were hard to release even if it was just into the silence. He opened his eyes again staring at Potter's limp form and softly added "I really don't hate you. I can't hate you because" he paused then added in a tormented voice barely above a whisper, "I loved your mother."