Title: To Cast These Spells

Author: DragonLight

Rating: PG-13

Pairing: HP/SS with a touch of HP/RL

Disclaimer: All characters and places belong to JKR.

Summary: Harry comes to terms with his destiny

Beta: Huge thanks go to my wonderful beta, Isis

Note: TCTS is the 2nd in a three story arc, and is the sequel to To Dream These Dreams


Harry lay on his bed, curled on his side as his stared at his drawn curtains. He felt as if he hadn't moved in days, which was possible, if Ron was to be believed. His stomach growled, but he ignored it, rolling over to his other side.

School ended tomorrow. Everyone was going home. Everyone but Hermione; she hadn't woken up yet. Something about having too much magic drained from her. How that happened he had no idea. Her parents had been distraught when they were told their daughter was in a coma. Not that Harry could blame them; he was upset too. He hadn't wanted to see them when they visited. It had been his fault; he had done it. And no matter how much anyone told him otherwise he wouldn't believe them.

The curtains opened, and he sighed. How many times did he have to tell people that he didn't want to talk to anyone? He refused to turn over and see who it was.

"Get up, Potter."


"Now. And pack your things. You have fifteen minutes."

"Until what?"

"Until I personally drag you from this school. You will be spending the summer holidays with Lupin. I am to escort you there. Now, move."

Harry listened to his quiet footsteps leave before rolling over. He sat up and swung his legs over the bed. He wasn't going back to the Dursleys this summer. Small comfort. He would have preferred to hear that Hermione was okay. That she was awake and didn't blame him for almost killing her.


"I fixed your room up a bit, Harry."

Harry lifted the handle of his trunk and started to drag it up the stairs. He only got a few feet before it was taken out of his hands by Snape. Once in the room he dropped it at the foot of the bed, turned and left.

"That was nice."

"What did you say, Harry?"

Harry turned to Remus. "Nothing. Snape just left without saying anything."

Remus shrugged. "That's Severus for you. He's rather brusque at the best of times." Remus spread his arms wide. "So, what do you think?"

Harry turned away from the door and looked around. The room looked nothing like it had the last two times he stayed here. The beds had been placed against separate walls. It didn't make the room look bigger, but it did make some room for a small table and two chairs. A battered wizards' chess set was laid out, its pieces strangely still. The canvas that sometimes contained Sirius' Great-grandfather, Phineas Nigellus, was still hanging over the fireplace. The curtains and bed hangings looked new, and the walls had been freshly painted. There was even a stand for his Firebolt.

"When did you find the time to do this?"

Remus shrugged. "Dumbledore kept me away from missions for a while. I needed to amuse myself somehow." He pointed at the now-empty canvas. "Hope you don't mind about him. Said he wanted to stay in your room. I was going to move him."

Harry shook his head.

"I was going to take out the other bed, so you could have the room to yourself, but then I thought you might want Ron to stay with you when he comes to visit."

"I can have company?"

Remus nodded. "Of course. But I'm afraid only Ron, at the moment. When Hermione's better-"

Harry realized that he must have stopped smiling from the contrite look on Remus' face.

"When she's better, she can stay too. I fixed up another guest room for her and Ginny. Anyone else is out of the question. Dumbledore forbade it."

Harry nodded. "It makes sense. I suppose the house is still hidden to the best of the Order's capabilities."

"Yes." Remus paused in the doorway on his way out. "Dumbledore told me to inform you that you will still be having lessons with Snape once a week. During the holidays he can't afford to do more than that. Supper will be ready in about fifteen minutes. I know it's no End of Year Feast at Hogwarts, but I made your favorite in exchange."

Harry smiled. "Thanks, Remus."


Harry sighed and flipped back to the page before; he stared reading the passage again, but it made no more sense then the first time. He pulled the sheaf of parchment toward him and started flipping through his hand written notes. Nothing. Either this had made sense to Harry the first time he had read it or he had forgotten to ask Snape to explain it to him. Probably the latter.

"You missed lunch. That book must be interesting."

Harry looked up; Remus was carrying in a sandwich and goblet on a tray. He set it down next to him. "Not really. It's pretty boring, but I have to reread it because there are some points that I need to ask Snape about when he comes tomorrow." Harry took a bite of the sandwich before going through his notes again. He could have sworn that he had gone over the whole book with Snape. He sighed in frustration.

"Perhaps it's on this sheet?" Remus bent over and picked up a piece of parchment off the floor and handed it to Harry.

"Thanks." He looked it over quickly and found the definitions that he needed. "It must have flown off the top of the pile."

"What is all this?"

"Notes. Snape went over the concepts I didn't understand. I took down the things that I would need to remember." Harry took a sip of his pumpkin juice and watched as Remus leafed through the book on Legilimency that Snape had pushed into his hands on their way out of the castle.

"Why do you need to learn this, Harry?"

He shrugged. "Dumbledore never told me, just said that Snape would be taking over my lessons since I had successfully passed the realm of 'pure Occlumency', as he called it."

Remus set the book down. "Is this what Snape is going to be teaching you this summer?"

"I don't know. Probably. Though it's mostly practice now. Maybe there is something else I need to learn." Harry opened the book back to his place and started rereading the passage, glancing at his notes as he needed to. He could feel Remus watching him, but after a minute ignored him. He flipped through his handwritten pages again. "Damnit!"


"I lost a page. See." He turned the parchment toward Remus. The end of the page ended mid-sentence, the next page was a different topic altogether.

"Are you sure?"

"I numbered them, corresponding to the chapters of the book. I did learn something from Her-Hermione." Harry swallowed hard.

Remus didn't say anything about the break in his voice. Harry was thankful for that much. "Maybe I can help. What do you need to know?"

"Just the meanings of some runes. I had a list of all the pertinent ones to this field, but half of them are missing now."

Remus stood and went over to one of the bookshelves that lined the walls of the study. While he was looking at the spines, Harry stuffed the rest of his lunch into his mouth. He was finishing off his juice when Remus returned, a thin book clutched in his hand.

"Dictionary of Runes. I'm surprised you don't have one."

"Never took Ancient Runes. Snape handed me one of those when I first asked, but it didn't help much. The definition and interpretation of each depends on the context." Harry shrugged. "It ended up easier for him just to go through them with me."

"All right then, get a sheet of parchment and we'll go through them. I'm warning you, I wasn't the top of the class in Ancient Runes."

Harry grinned and pulled a blank piece of parchment and an inkwell and quill over. He tried his best to ignore it when Remus placed his hand over his wrist for a minute; after all, it was nothing.


Harry was dozing when Snape stormed into the room. He blinked the sleep out of his eyes and turned to stare at his professor. "Is the meeting over already, Professor?"

Snape nodded. "Curses, eta through kappa levels. Recite."

Harry took a deep breath. This hadn't been what he was expecting, but he could do it. They had covered most of those during the last half of the school year. He started slowly, but gained speed as he fell into a rhythm.

"You forgot three. Again."

Harry sighed. This time he went slower, pausing between each of the levels to make sure that he didn't miss any. When he finished he looked at Snape. He had moved to the corner of the room and had set up some sort of target.

"Acceptable. Cast them."


"Cast them. Those words cannot possibly be above your comprehension level, Potter. There is your target." He sat down in a chair not far away.

"What does this have to do with Occlumency or Legilimency, Professor?"

"Nothing. Now stop questioning me and cast."

Harry took a deep breath and stepped toward the dummy. He started with the first he had named. When there was no comment from Snape, he moved on to the next. Every once in a while Snape would stop him to correct a mispronunciation or a wand motion, but other than that he was left to destroy the target with minimal interference.

Casting the last spell, he stepped away.

"Practice and learn the next two levels for next week."

It was then that it occurred to Harry that he had just spent the last three hours performing magic. "Aren't I going to get expelled?"

Snape walked over and handed him a small piece of parchment, the size of a license. He looked down at it, reading the words over and over again.

"It's a dispensation, Potter. It cost the Headmaster quite a few favors to obtain that for you, so do not abuse it. You are only to perform the spells that I set you to practice. No cleaning spells, no Exploding Snap, nothing that involves casting any spell that is not approved by me. Is that understood?"

Harry nodded. "Professor?"


"How is she?"


There had to be more than that. Harry licked his lips nervously. "Is she all right?"

"She has no memory of what happened."

That was good news, wasn't it? If she didn't know that he almost killed her than she couldn't be mad at him. But it also meant that she couldn't forgive him. He swallowed hard and sat down on one of the chairs; he didn't know if his legs would support him.

"Good night, Potter."

Harry could only nod in response.

On his way out the door, Snape's knuckles brushed the top of his arm, whether on purpose or not, Harry didn't know, but either way he found some comfort from the touch.


"There's an easier way to memorize that level." Remus sat down in the chair across from him. "I used to help Sirius when he was being tested at various points in his Auror training."

"Does it hurt to talk about him?"

"Sometimes. I think it hurt more when he was sent to Azkaban -- then, it felt like he had died. When he escaped, after, he had lost a large piece of who he had been. It had been chipped away by the dementors. He was very focused on you, Harry, more than anything. Most of his memories that were still intact were of James and him, much younger." Every word was said slowly, as if Remus was trying to convey something to him, but Harry had no idea what. "There were times after Azkaban that he seemed different. He wasn't the same, and because of that our relationship was different."

Harry looked away. Remus looked so sad, so lost. He didn't know what to do or say that could alleviate his pain.

"Sometimes I feel that my Sirius died 15 years ago instead of just one year ago." Remus was looking at the corner of the book that Harry had set on the table, his arms were folded on his lap; neither said anything for a long while.

"Let me help you." Remus moved his hand to point at the list. "These are in order of strength; it's easier to look at them alphabetically, and then assign a number to them to tell you which are the strongest. It's interesting that in this set, you can break them up into groups of five, still alphabetically. Look, the strongest five all start with letters at the end of the alphabet. It continues that way in clusters. Just a little trivia for you." Remus stood. "I'll let you get back to work."

"Thanks, Remus." He bent over his book and scribbled some notes down in a ledger, his finger tracing underneath the words in the book as he copied them down. He didn't say anything when he felt Remus' fingers comb through his hair.

"Don't forget supper tonight, before your lessons with Severus. And Ron is coming to visit tomorrow."

Harry nodded still intent on his work, but when the door shut behind Remus he stared at where he had been sitting for a long time before returning to what he had been doing.


"That's not fair. You get to cast spells this summer." Ron moved his knight, taking his queen. Harry had realized some time ago that he never stood a chance at beating Ron at chess. "I have to help mum with the house, without magic. It's horrible."

"Well it's not like I can cast anything I want. Only what Snape says I can."

"That's bad luck, that is. I think I'd leave the country if Dumbledore made me take lessons with him."

Harry moved a pawn. It was a bad move, and he was going to lose the piece, but he couldn't see a better one. Better a pawn than his castle. It didn't help when the piece refused to move the first time he ordered it there. Bloody chess set. "He's not that bad."

"You can't mean that, Harry. It's Snape."

Harry shrugged and watched as Ron beat him in the next two moves. He hadn't seen that coming. "How long are you allowed to stay?"

"Just a couple of days. I'm going to see Hermione after..." Ron bit his lip.

"Tell her I said hello."

"Sure thing, mate. Are you sure you don't want to ask Remus if you could come with me? I mean, she's at St Mungo's in London, it's not that far from here."

Harry shook his head a little quicker than necessary. He wasn't ready to see her; he still felt awful for what happened to her. "Maybe I'll ask him to take me sometime next week."

Ron set the pieces back up on the board, pointedly not looking at him. Harry had never asked if he blamed him for what had happened to Hermione, nor was he ever going to. It didn't matter to him really. It was enough that he blamed himself.

A knock sounded at the door and both Ron and Harry turned to look when Remus popped his head around the door. "Supper's ready; it's in the kitchen on the table whenever you're ready. Nothing much tonight, just sandwiches, as I have to go to an Order meeting. Don't get into any trouble, and stay away from the parlor door. Understand?"

They both nodded dutifully, and listened as Remus shut the door and went down the stairs. "I borrowed one of Fred and George's Extendable Ears."

"Won't work, Remus casts an Imperturbable Charm on the door every time."

Ron sighed. "Shall we go down and eat, then?"

Harry nodded and led the way down stairs.

When they entered the kitchen it already had an occupant. Snape was sitting at the table with a cup of tea when they entered. Ron stopped dead in his tracks, but Harry brushed past him and sat down at the table, leaning over to slide the plate of sandwiches toward him.

"Didn't anyone teach you proper manners, Potter?"

"My aunt, but I never took her lessons to heart." Harry started to reach over for the pumpkin juice, but stopped. "But I'll see what I can remember, if you want. Please pass the pumpkin juice, sir."

Snape took one hand away from his cup and pushed the jug over. "You know that Lupin keeps some butterbeer in the top cabinet on the left."

Harry thought about going to get it, but thought better of it. Remus brought out a couple bottles for supper every once in a while, but the pumpkin juice was fine for tonight.

"Your friend seems to be stuck, Mr Potter. Sooner or later someone will want to enter the kitchen."

Ron made a strange squeaking sound from where he was still standing.

"Sit, Ron. I won't promise to save you any food if you don't."

Ron quickly moved to sit down next to Harry on the far side from Snape. He grabbed half a sandwich and started devouring it. "Do you think Remus would get mad if I nicked a butterbeer, Harry? Mum never lets us have any at home."

"Go ahead." But Ron didn't move; he was staring at Snape with wide eyes. Harry stood and went over to the cabinet himself. He sat the bottle next to Ron and went to dig through the drawers for a bottle opener.

"Oh for heaven's sake." Snape pointed his wand at the bottle and muttered something. Ron dived underneath the table. "Stop that racket, Potter. I came in here for some peace."

Harry sat back down at his seat. "Ron, is something wrong?"

Ron shook his head and sat back down, his eyes glued to the open bottle. Hesitantly, he reached out for it to take a sip. Harry rolled his eyes. It wasn't like Snape had poisoned it or anything.

The door swung open and Bill walked in, smiling at Harry and Ron before turning to Snape. "Professor, everyone's here. The Headmaster told me to come and get you."

Snape nodded at him and stood. "I would like to talk to you tonight, Potter. After the meeting. I will expect you in the study. Don't bother bringing any books. I won't waste too much of your time." He glared at Ron on his way out.

"Dad and I will see you before we leave to say good-bye, Ron." Bill grabbed the half of sandwich that was on Ron's plate before leaving the kitchen with it and his half-finished bottle of butterbeer.

"Unfair, that."

Harry laughed and passed Ron the jug of pumpkin juice and the plate of sandwiches.


"Lupin told me that you didn't want to see Ms Granger with Mr Weasley in two days."

Harry shook his head. "I can't. What if she remembers what I did? What if she hates me?"

"I'm sure that neither will be the case, Potter."

Harry shrugged and brought his heels to rest on the edge of the chair so he could hug his legs. Snape was wrong, wasn't he? "What's going to happen when she does remember? I know Hermione, and she'll find a way to find out what happened. I'll lose one of my best friends, and it will be my fault."

"You seem to think very little of your friends."

"I don't!"

Snape arched an eyebrow. "Are you sure of that? You certainly aren't acting like someone who trusts that his friend will understand that he wasn't in control of his actions."

Harry bit his lip. "I should have been. It never should have happened."

"You will go to see Ms Granger."

Harry shook his head. "No. No, I won't."

"It is your assignment for the week. If you fail to do so, I will make sure that you will not pass your first Defense practical, Potter."

"That's not fair!"

"Life isn't fair. I thought that was a lesson you had already learned." Snape stood and stalked out of the room, leaving Harry alone.


"I'm glad you came, Harry. Ron's seen me a couple of times; he told me that you're staying with Remus." As usual, Hermione's eyes asked him too many questions to answer.

He sat down in the chair by her bed, and took her hand in his. "Yeah. I've been studying lots. Can't get behind in any of my classes, you know. Been working extra hard on Defense. Even been practicing some advanced stuff."

She looked at him for a moment in silence. "That's good, Harry. I hope that you're working hard. You don't want to disappoint anyone."

He nodded. She had never been slow on the uptake. "How are you feeling?"

"Tired. They won't tell me how I ended up like this, though." Her voice was quiet and curious, and Harry looked down to where her fingers were threaded through his, not able to meet her eyes. "I think it has something to do with you." His head shot up, and when he saw the trusting look in her eyes it felt like he couldn't breathe. What was he going to say to that? What could he say? "Tell me, Harry. Whatever it is, it's eating you up inside. I don't want to see you like this."

"I can't," he croaked.

"Yes, you can."

He shook his head, but even as he did he could feel the story pouring out of his mouth. He watched her face the whole time. Sometimes she would nod her head, and then her eyes would go round and horrified. Her fingers tightened on his, and he wanted to pull his hand away; he didn't want to see the disgust he knew was going to cross her face at any minute. By the end his voice was barely a whisper. "I almost killed you."

"It'll take more than a nightmare to kill me, Harry. You're stuck with me." She bit her lip. "But you've got to promise me something."


"That you'll do your meditations every night, and that you'll never forget to do them again. I couldn't bear to watch you suffer more."

He nodded; there was nothing else to do. His hand tightened on hers, and he leaned over to press a kiss to her forehead. "Don't know what I'd do without you."


The damn dungeons always felt colder than they really were, and he was stuck down here for the next three days. Alone. Well, not quite, but it wasn't like Snape was any real sort of company. He just kept glaring at him, and Harry couldn't get the thought that it had something to do with Remus out of his head.

They hadn't done anything. Not really, at any rate. Remus had just kissed him. The press of Remus' lips against his had surprised Harry to no end, and at first he had just stood there not doing anything. But then Remus had slid his arms around him and Harry felt safe. No, safer than he had felt. Maybe it was because Remus was older, or knew him better than most of the students his age. For whatever reason, it had felt more right than anything he had shared with his peers, so he kissed back.

Snape had walked in to take Harry back to Hogwarts while he was still in Remus' arms. He hadn't stopped scowling since, except for when he was growling at Harry to do something or other. For the first time in almost a year, Harry hadn't been able to wheedle an answer out of the old bastard. All he wanted to know was why he had to come back to Hogwarts early, why he wasn't allowed on the train with the other students. Why he couldn't just be treated like a normal student for once.

Damn them all, and damn Snape once more for being a tight-lipped prick.

"Potter, stop sulking. You have... company." The last word contained more vitriol than he had heard Snape mutter at anyone.

Harry didn't say anything, just walked through the door to the small guestroom Dumbledore had requested that the castle open up to adjoin Snape's room. That was another question he'd have for the Headmaster when he met with him tomorrow. Why couldn't he have just stayed in the tower?

"Hello, Harry." Remus looked at him from where he sat on the corner of the bed. He looked as anxious as Harry, himself, was feeling.

"I didn't expect to see you again until the Christmas holidays."

"I just thought that I'd stop by to say hello. I had to talk to the Headmaster about something."

Harry nodded and stepped closer. What was he supposed to do in this situation? It was awkward; he had been thinking of Remus as no more than a guardian for most of the summer, and then the kiss. He swallowed and stopped a good five feet away.

"Harry, I think I should explain my actions from the other day."

"It really isn't necessary."

"Yes it is. I was trusted as your guardian and I went beyond that. I want you to understand why I did what I did." Remus was staring down at his hands, his face averted, so that Harry couldn't make out the look on his face. "Over the past year I learned a lot about you as a person, as someone who isn't just my friends' child. You've matured in many ways, and yet in others you've retained your youth. You are nothing like James," he paused, "or Sirius. I'm thankful for that. And I've realized that it's something I want. That you're what I want. I let what I see in you go to my head, misplacing your trust in me as a guardian. I hope that you can forgive me."

It didn't really make sense, what Remus was telling him, but in its own way it was nice. Harry didn't say anything; instead, he listened to the sound of their breathing in the small room and just looked at Remus. He still wasn't looking at him. "There's nothing to forgive. It was... nice."

Remus finally looked at him, for just a moment, before standing and closing the distance between them. He settled one hand on Harry's arm and his other on his cheek. They were of a height and Harry found himself staring into his amber eyes, not overcome with any great emotion than a bit of nervousness knowing that he was about to be kissed again, but not knowing what to do. He kept thinking that Snape was sitting right outside, and he probably knew what Remus was going to do, and that he would be getting even more grief for the rest of the time he was here before school started. Then Remus rubbed his thumb over his bottom lip; it burned a little, and Harry didn't know if it was because he had been biting his lip too hard or if his lips were chapped.

He was the one that leaned forward first, the tension in the stance just too much. His lips were soft, not at all those of a teenage boy. He lifted his hands to grasp at Remus' arms; the muscles were tight underneath his fingers, and Harry realized that Remus was a man. It was a fact that he had always known, but the differences between the boys his age and the man he was kissing became more apparent. His muscles were developed, not in the stages of awkward growth that he, himself, was still in. Remus tightened his grip, drawing Harry closer, and the feeling that Harry had been waiting for washed over him. Security. But it wasn't as strong as he had felt before. It wasn't enough.

He pulled away.

Remus was staring at him, and Harry couldn't bring himself to look him in the eyes. He felt that he had betrayed Remus somehow, that he should say something or do something. But Remus stepped back slightly, putting just a bit of distance between them. He felt his fingers run through his hair, making it even messier, but he didn't mind. It was what Remus did. His thumb traced his cheek lightly, but Harry still didn't look at him, couldn't. Remus tilted his head up just a bit, and Harry closed his eyes. He wasn't uncomfortable, just disappointed, but he couldn't figure out why. Remus pressed his lips lightly to Harry's again, just for a second before stepping back, and dropping his hand.

"There's something missing." It was a really stupid thing for him to say, but it was the truth.

Remus nodded. "Not every kiss or action will hold everything that you want or desire. Even if it's with the one person that you love more than anything. I wish that it was different, but it's not. Still..."

Harry finished the thought. "It was nice. Better than the boys here."

Remus grinned. "I have more practice."

On his way out the door Harry stopped him. He pecked him on the cheek quickly. "I'll write."

Remus nodded and walked out. Harry heard him wish Snape a good day, in that cheery voice that Remus set aside just for him. He almost laughed when he heard Snape grumble at him to get out. That man was in a perpetually bad mood, and it got darker and worse everyday. Unfortunately for him, he had to live with him for the time being. He debated going out to get the book he had left sitting on the couch, but thought better of it. From the sound of Snape's agitated footsteps he was in a worse mood than he had been in earlier. He decided to just study another subject. He picked up the Legilimency book and flipped to the chapter on side effects and mind control. Maybe he could figure out what happened to Hermione.


"You weren't on the train." Harry looked over his shoulder. Ron had just walked up behind him.

"I was already here. Have been for days."

"What for?"

Harry shrugged. "I wish I knew. I was supposed to meet Dumbledore a couple of days ago, he was going to tell me, but our meeting got cancelled."

Ron lowered his head until he could safely whisper in his ear. "Dad had a meeting the day before yesterday."

If anyone had heard him they would just think that Ron had been talking about a department meeting or something since his dad worked at the Ministry, but Harry caught the double meaning.

"I figured. Snape hadn't been around, but thanks for the confirmation."

"Don't tell me you've started watching him."


"Watching him. Keeping track of his activities."

Harry shook his head. "I've lived down in his quarters for the last week. Kind of hard to miss the fact that he wasn't there; no one was breathing down my neck."

Ron looked horrified. No other way to describe it, and Harry supposed that it made sense. Living with Snape was disconcerting.

"Was Hermione on the train?"

Ron nodded. "She stopped to talk to some Ravenclaw that's in her Arithmancy class. Wanted to know what they covered at the end of the year, and all. Did you do the Transfiguration essay McGonagall assigned? I did it yesterday after I finished packing. Totally forgot about it the entire summer. I only glanced through the book, so I want to see how much I got wrong."

"I'll show it to you when we go up to the tower. Though you're supposed to be the better student, you're a prefect."

"Shut up, Harry."