L'Enfant Préoccupé

Chapter One - The Latest Lesson

After Sirius had insisted, in the fireplace not so long ago, that Harry force Snape to re-start his Occlumency lesson, things between Harry Potter and Severus Snape had been more then tense. At certain times it got so bad that Harry feared to breath incorrectly. Neither man had been cordial to the other, and it had, in fact, been getting slowly worse with each passing day.

"Potter, pay attention!" Snape snapped. He was getting very sick of the fool boy never paying attention to the growing importance of these lessons. Severus ran a hand through his hair and turned back to face the boy. "Potter, I don't know if you have yet realized the importance of these lessons. The Dark Lord is growing stronger with each passing day, with each hour even. The rest of the Wizarding World might not been to keen on the idea of accepting that, but we know that it is true. If you cannot learn how to do such a simple thing as Occlumency, then you, fool boy, will be so easily corrupted by him. He will have no trouble ending your pathetic little excuse for a life."

After Severus said those words, he knew he had hurt the boy. Even if he didn't like Harry, he knew that the boy did have a lot on his mind. He, after all, was expected to save Wizard-kind from destruction. He had never asked for that. Then again, Severus had never asked to become a spy, and end up having to teach such a poor excuse for a student.

"Sorry, Sir." Harry said, avoiding the older man's eyes. Harry wasn't going to give in to the greasy old man. He was going to get it right, he had to get it right. If he couldn't, then everyone he knew would die. He would die. He would even be responsible for Snape's death, if Voldemort was to read his thoughts and see that Snape was indeed a spy.

"Right, we'll just try it again, Potter." Severus said wearily. This would be the last time for today, he was just to tired. The dull ache that was always on his forearm tired him out greatly.

Severus muttered the usual spells to start the mind-reading process. As usual, he felt Harry try and resist him, Severus even thought that this time he might actually be able to hold off the forced entry into his mind, but as always, Harry became distracted and Severus easily gained entry into the boy's thoughts.

He was able to see his true feelings, his secrets, his innermost desires. Severus was about to stop when he saw the edge of a memory forming. It was not very clear, almost as if Harry had tried very hard to block the memory from his mind forever. Severus knew that he should stop, that it was not for him to see into the boy's thoughts, but something in him would not allow him to stop. He had to see what that memory was, he had to see what Harry was trying so hard to forget

(The Memory)

"Boy! Get down here right now! You should have started breakfast five minutes ago, you little twerp!" Shouted Vernon Dursley. Harry slowly started down the hall, he knew what was coming. He was going to be, once again, beaten by his uncle for starting serving late.

It usually didn't matter what he had done, if Vernon had a reason to beat him, he took it. Anything and everything seemed to annoy his uncle. The simple fact that he existed was more then enough for Vernon to want to obliviate Harry permanently.

When Harry walked into the kitchen a fist was immediately slammed into his nose. Harry felt it break, but knew that eventually the pain would gloriously knock him out. Harry made no effort to retaliate against his massive uncle. He knew it would be simply useless. Vernon once again punched him, this time hard in the stomach.

"Why, you stupid child, have you started our meal so late?"

"I'm sorry, Uncle Vernon. I guess I fell asleep."

"You dared fall asleep when my family was sitting down here, half starving!"

That was when Harry snapped. It was if the resistance that had been building up inside of him had finally reached its boiling point. Before reasoning could once again take over, Harry shouted, "Starving! Ha! You and your whale of a son could go weeks before you'd even begin to feel hungry! As for your whore of a wife, she could just as well eat the two of you, and still be eating when you both started to rot! I'm the one who sits locked in my cupboard waiting for a chance to steal the scraps from your plates when you throw me down the stairs to go and wash them! You stupid ass!"

That was when Harry realized he had gone to far. Harry saw all of the color slowly drain from his uncle's massive face, and then watched it slowly fill up with more color then ever before.

Harry tried to duck out and run to the door, but his own small footsteps couldn't match his uncle's massive strides. Vernon caught on to Harry's shirt and wheeled him around. At first he said nothing, he did nothing but stare into Harry's eyes in an effort to make the boy feel small and insignificant.

After what seemed like an eternity to Harry, Vernon picked him up and carried him up the stairs to his bedroom. Harry didn't know what was going to happen. He had never seen Vernon this angry before. He feared the beating he was going to get, but also feared the reason why Vernon was taking him to his master bedroom. In his heart, Harry secretly knew what was to come.

As Vernon half carried, and half dragged Harry, Harry willed himself to close his eyes and think of something different.

He thought about flying as his uncle roughly through him down onto the bed.

He thought about Quidditch as his uncle tore of his clothes.

He thought about Ron and Hermione quarrelling over house-elves as his uncle removed his own clothes.

He thought about the sorting hat's songs as his uncle roughly positioned him beneath him.

He thought about playing Wizard's Chess with Ron has his uncle entered him in one swift motion. He thought about nothing as he slowly fell into unconsciousness.