Harry opened his eyes and blinked rapidly. He could feel the hard floor of the dungeon was back underneath him, as the chill of cold stones was beginning to seep through his clothes. He was back inside Snape's office. Yes it was dark, but never this dark!

And then he comprehended what had happened - he had fallen into a heap on the floor and his robes were covering his head.

He sat up slowly and looked around, his head splitting with something close to a migraine. Perhaps he hit his head when he fell? He couldn't remember.

And Snape? Oh Merlin, Snape would kill him! Harry felt terror clutch at his insides. He was dead for sure - unless he could get out now.

He got up, weak and drained from the magic, glancing around wildly for any signs of his professor. The teenager was muddled, he didn't know what he should feel now. Pity? Anger? Hate? Fear? They all seemed not quite right. None seemed to make sense any more.

'But I do know one thing,' thought Harry as his eyes watched two bloodshot eyeballs revolve slowly round to stare at him from inside their glass jar.

Snape would sure as hell want revenge.

He shuddered involuntarily. Maybe he'd end up pickled in one of those jars too?


Making as little noise as he could, Harry backed up toward the door, keeping his eyes on the shadows for any sign of movement. The candles in the sconces flickered, their small points of light reflecting in some of the less dusty glass jars.


In his horror, the sixteen-year-old's throat went completely dry, yet he didn't even want to risk the noise of swallowing. His heart was thumping loud enough as it was. It was eerie how the Potions Master seemed to have completely disappeared.

Holding his breath, Harry placed his finger and thumb on the door latch and began to raise it upwards as silently as he could. Just when it was high enough -


A door banged somewhere in the castle above, causing Harry to flinch and almost loose his grip on the latch.

But he didn't, and Harry let out some of his breath in relief. Now all he had to do was pull it open. Slowly and noiselessly, he soon had a gap six inches wide -

"Close the door, Potter."

Harry's blood could have stopped in his veins at the sound of that voice. He could run like last time - the door was half open - he could make it -

But he was on the verge of something very important here. Another little secret everyone was trying to keep from him perhaps. From "Precious Potter's delicate ears?"

"I said - close the door," repeated the voice dangerously.

Harry obeyed at once. Dropping his hands to his sides in resignation he went to turn around.

"Stop!" snapped Snape. "Did I say you could turn around?!"

"Er - no, Sir," stammered Harry, unnerved. Would Snape make him face the wall for hours like one of his primary school teachers used to?

"Keep your eyes on the door," came the snarled order. Harry heard chair legs scrape across the stone floor. There was a slight pause before Snape spoke again. This time his words were laced with the more familiar sarcasm.

"Now - why didn't you let me have that memory? Hilarious enough to treasure, is it?"

"No it isn't, Sir," replied Harry tiredly. What the hell was Snape's problem? Six months he'd carried the memory about with him, six months since Snape had thrown him onto the Dungeon floor in rage, leaving bruises which were so sore they had stopped him from lying on his arm for well over a week. Six months - and had the man ever seen him laugh? No!

Snape's voice was low, and dangerously soft. "Then - let me have it back."


"Potter," came the deadly hiss. Even though he couldn't see him, Harry could picture exactly what unpleasant facial expression would likely be aimed at the back of his head. "That is my past, and you have no right - no business with it -"

"I know!" replied Harry hotly, painfully, as he felt some of his anger give way to the guilt. Guilt? Why should he feel guilt - Snape had just raided in return without permission!

But even as he thought that, he knew in some ridiculous way he felt guilty for the Marauders.

Snape made a disparaging noise in his throat. "Potter, if I find the Headmaster has requested this, then obviously he will be seriously displeased - "

"The Headmaster!" sneered Harry vehemently curling his fist into a ball. "Do you listen to the Headmaster? I don't think you bloody well do! And I don't care what he thinks anymore! He's -"

Harry stalled, just catching himself before he launched into a rant. That wouldn't do - he had done so well to keep his temper down the past few weeks - it was just Snape being his bloody wind-up merchant self as usual.

"Careful Potter," came the soft tone. "I don't think your Head of House would approve if you earned her house a minus score before the beginning of term –

The teen took what was supposed to be a calming breath, but it didn't really work, resulting in his next remark coming out much more rudely than he wanted. "Whatever! I think you should be far more worried about how pissed off Voldemort just was!"

Oops. Harry tensed, ready to duck or dodge anything that might be slung at him. But nothing came. Snape was completely silent. After twenty seconds, Harry was even tempted to turn around, to check if the man was still there. But then another question came -

"How did you reverse my spell, Potter?" enquired the suspicious tone.

Harry swallowed yet didn't reply. He really didn't want to reveal to his critical professor that Voldemort had managed to manipulate him - yet again.

Snape repeated the question in a more tense tone, and finally in the deadliest of snarls, before Harry grated his teeth and finally gave in.

"I wanted to keep it," he began uneasily, "but not why you think I would. Not for that - horrible scene. That's sick. But it's all I really have of my mum that's better than pictures. Harry scowled. "So - I got upset, and Voldemort - he - he - sort of - knew - that – er – Sir." Harry could almost sense Snape's eyes narrowing as he stuttered out his explanation. But at least he'd allowed him to speak this time.

"How very ironic," came the almost gleeful reply. "Perhaps if you had thought to let me have what was mine in the first place, you wouldn't have angered the Dark Lord."

"No, you've got the complete wrong idea," replied Harry slowly, staring intensely at the door latch. "I didn't anger him. Not at first anyway – I know. I only made him feel ill." He began to turn to look at his professor warily. "You made him angry. In fact," he muttered, looking the man in the eye. "I could feel his look of hate was meant for you."

Pale as he naturally was, Snape clenched his teeth and turned several shades paler.

Harry threw his gaze downwards onto the flagstones and felt a chill run up his back. Half of him had been reluctant to say what he did, because it went against his theory that Snape was working for Voldemort. Without this, his whole reasoning for why his Godfather died wouldn't work. He had found it easy to blame Snape until this bit of "evidence" had come along.

But there it was, he had sensed hate - the same sort of hate as he felt Voldemort channel with Dumbledore last year.

And how could Voldemort hate Snape if the man was on his side? Unless of course it was another bit of trickery - ?

There was a projected silence. Harry was wondering if Snape was thinking along the same line he was, or whether he was just plotting his usual revenge, when a stab of alarm brought him back to the words he had heard as the pensieve memory had ended.

Had that howling voice been Snapes? It had to have been - even though it didn't seem directly connected to the memory. And it couldn't have been present day Snape either. Obviously, for he had heard things smashing - and there was nothing on the floor of the office.

Harry bit his lip nervously. Those few uttered words, whenever or wherever in time they belonged did not suit Snape one bit. Snape as he knew him could never sound like that. He snarled, sneered, whispered, leered and smirked.

Harry raised his eyes in curiosity. Snape was sat back at his desk, eyes glittering, back straight, all trace of "weak" emotion completely buried. Harry decided there and then (If for his own sanity, or not) that some other person had to have uttered those words. For it certainly wasn't this Severus Snape.

"Now - about Occlumency," began the professor coolly.

"No way - I won't, I refuse - to - not with you," replied Harry nervously, once he had got over the surprise at the sudden change of subject. "Not even if Dumbledore forces me to - I -"

Harry cut himself off, as Snape was on his feet and leaning menacingly over his desk.

"But what if - I - force you to, Potter?" whispered the Potions Master dangerously, an eerie gleam in his eye.

Harry swallowed. "W-What? No -"

"Be quiet!" snarled Snape, his face colouring. Striding quickly around his desk, he swooped down upon the protesting teenager, to hiss a threat through clenched teeth.

"You will call me Sir, or it will be detention - you will show me respect, or it will be detention - and this year, I will be ensuring - every - single detention you get will be an extra Occlumency lesson!

Now - is that fair?"

Harry cringed noticeably as the enraged professor's mad black eyes came within a foot of his face.

"IS THAT FAIR, POTTER?!" bellowed Snape, spit flying.

"Y-Yes sir."

"Good," replied Snape curtly, a ghost of a smile seeming to flit across his face. "Tomorrow, in my office, eight o'clock. Use that Invisibility Cloak and don't let ANYBODY see or hear you."

Harry swallowed; his dry throat was back. "Yes - Sir."

Snape gave him a dismissive glare before whirling around and stalking back to his desk. "Now, get out of my sight."

Harry was sure he had never opened a door latch so quickly. As he jogged up the corridor he tried in vain to comprehend what he had just said "yes - sir" to.

Biting back a curse, and the temptation to punch the nearest wall, or painting, or whatever seemed remotely deserving of it, Harry stormed back up to Gryffindor Tower with barely a sideways glance at other people.

Yes, Dumbledore had got his way again. But what in Merlin's was going on?