Chapter 6 :Bad news
Severus Snape woke up abruptly, panting, drenched in cold sweat, tears soaking his cheeks and covered with the remains of his dream.
A dream… only a dream…
Severus did not know whether he was relieved or disappointed. On the one hand he was happy to know that he had not hurt Harry like he thought he did; and on the other hand, his body still wanted the young and delectable Gryffindor so very much. That detention, which had occurred over a month ago, still supplied Severus's twisted mind with a good deal of images for his dreams and for his wanking sessions, which were becoming more and more frequent. The detention had happened exactly as his most recent dream depicted, except for the fact that after seeing Harry on his hands and knees, Severus had not taken him, but had sent him away rather forcefully and he had furiously wanked after that, tears streaming down his face in desperation.
What really disturbed him about this particular dream was that he had dreamt it from Harry's point of view… Well, what his point of view would have been had the dream really happened. Usually, he either dreamt the whole thing from his point of view only (and usually they were nightmares in which Harry ran away from him in disgust) or from a very willing Harry Potter's point of view.
Trembling, he left his seed-covered bed to go to his laboratory to continue his research on the damn potion, never mind that it was 3 in the morning. After more than a month of research and experiences, he still had no clue about how that substance was created.
Potion lessons with his fifth year Gryffindors/ Slytherins had become nightmares. He could not teach with Harry in the same room. Hell, he could not do ANYTHING with Harry in the same room,aside fromgetting hard and wanting to shag him senseless or hug him while whispering wows of eternal love. Disturbing really…
Hours later, in the Gryffindor tower, the object of such an intense obsession was waking up, totally oblivious to being the centre of his potion master's life.
Harry stretched deliciously, enjoying a state of complete relaxation after a good night of sleep. He had totally forgotten his detention with Snape, the ones with Umbridge having angered him far more. The Christmas holidays were coming along and the DA was getting on quite nicely. If only Umbridge and Voldemort did not exist, he would be completely happy. As it was, the shadow of Voldemort was becoming more and more consistent and Umbridge seemed to have made a goal in her life to infuriate Harry in every way possible, banning him from playing quiddich being a very stinging one.
Harry had a sudden surge of anger at that thought and ranted in his head for several minutes on the unfairness of it all. And Dumbledore was doing nothing! He would not even look at him in the eyes anymore. Frustrated, he then got up of bed in a brisk manner and dressed for breakfast.
He did his morning routine silently, as all his friends were still asleep, and escaped the dormitory and then the common room to go to the great hall.
The day went on easily enough till potions.
Potions had become most odd. It had never been anything pleasant for Harry, as Snape took great pleasure in humiliating him in almost every lesson, but now it was disconcerting. Snape no longer taunted him. He no longer mocked his potion skills or his parentage. In fact, Snape acted as if he no longer existed, apart from those few times when he would look at him with that mad man stare that sent the creeps up Harry's spine. And this had been going on since their bumping into one another months ago.
No matter how badly Harry failed his potion, Snape would not utter a word. Just like today, though Harry had spectacularly failed his potion (thanks to his now permanent partner, Neville Longbottom), Snape had not even looked at the content of his cauldron, had not even come close to it. It was so obvious that Hermione felt the need to whisper to him about it.
"Professor Snape has been behaving really oddly for the past few weeks. What have you done to him to make him like that?"
"And why would it be my fault! I didn't do anything to him!"
"Mister Potter, please kindly refrain from exchanging heated love words with Miss Granger. Five points from Griffindor and see me after class."
Hermione's face turned bright red as the Slytherins laughed and whistled at them and as the Gryffindors looked at them strangely. Harry felt confused. That was the first time Snape had spoken to him in weeks and that was to comment on simple whispering during class. The man had not said a word last week when he had almost blown up the whole classroom with his failed potion for God's sake! And here he was, obviously absolutely livid just because he had spoken during his class. Harry could see the man shaking from restrained anger.
At the end of the class, Harry dutifully came up to his teacher's desk while his friends slowly escaped the classroom, sending him worried or pitiful glances.
He waited patiently for Snape to shout at him and insult him, but Snape was shuffling papers and doing his best not to look at him. Harry waited some more in the now stiflingly silent room, but Snape did not seem in any hurry to punish him.
"You wanted to see me, sir?" Harry asked in a slightly annoyed voice. He hated waiting, especially for something as exciting as being mocked by Snape. Furthermore, what was the problem withthe teachersthese days? None of them seemed to be able to look at him in the eyes anymore.
Snape flinched, then pulled himself together.
"Indeed, Mister Potter. I wanted to make very clear that I would not tolerate any flirtatious attitude within my classroom, further more you…"
"I was not flirting with Hermione! She was just… asking me if I was ok."
Snape looked up sharply at him, meeting his eyes for the first timesince his detentionand looked visibly relieved. Then, suddenly his eyes glazed over againand a peculiar emotion, that Harry could not recognise, invaded his gaze and Harry shivered. A strong feeling of uneasiness and of déjà-vu went through him. The way Snape was staring at him was exactly like that time near the Gryffindor tower or during his latest detention with him. Harry started fidgeting under his teacher's insistent stare and whipped his now sweaty hands on his thighs.
Snape shook violently at that and his breathing became laboured.
Harry looked at him with curiosity and a small amount of concern. Snape had not been behaving like himself for about a month now, especially with him. With this thought, Harry's brow furrowed and he took a step back. What if this was not Snape? What if the man in front of him was a follower of Voldemort using polyjuice potion? That would not be the first time it happened Harry thought grimly, remembering Maugrey Mad-Eye in his fourth year; and that would certainly explain the strange looks he was receiving from Snape, especially the one which madehim look like a mad man on a killing rampage.
When he backed away, Snape made a strange move, as if to prevent him from doing so and he had that odd pained expression again. Doing so, he lost his balance, weakened by many sleepless nights, and started falling.
Concern won over suspicion and Harry caught him in his arms to prevent him from meeting the cold, hard stoned floor.
"Are you alright, sir? Do you want me to go with you to the infirmary?" He whispered in the folds of his teacher's robes, Harry still being so short that he only reached Snape's shoulder.
Snape seemed to lean into him just a second before violently pushing him away.
"Don't touch me, Potter! Get out of my sight before I take points from your pathetic house!"
Harry stared at him, dumbfounded, and then hurried away before the threat became reality. He did not look back to see if his teacher had another of those dizzy spells. Whatever was the matter with Snape, it certainly did not concern him. See if he cared for a bastard like him…
Once his student out of his general vicinity, Severus quickly closed and warded the door before doing what he usually did after encountering Harry Potter: he wanked. Only this time it was much more intense. He had touched the boy, just like a month ago. Not only that but the beautiful idiot had hugged him, had put his slender arms around him and had whispered words of concern for him. This was too much for Severus who came in his hand, stifling a sob.
It was getting worse. He was no longer reacting only to sexual stimulus (even those only suggested by his perverted mind), but he was also reacting, and even more strongly, to acts of tenderness and care. To his utter mortification, he was starting to behave exactly like those insipid heroines of romance novels. A wave of panic and despair threatened to overcome him once again, and once again he fought with all his might to control it.
No lunch or diner for me today. I have to find an antidote before becoming crazy.
As he was perusing the love potion books of his personal library, he could not help but remember the way that Granger girl had whispered in his Harry's ear, like a lover asking for a rendez-vous. Severus's blood boiled in his veins as the ugly feeling of jealousy invaded his system. How did that insipid know-it-all dare try and steal his Harry from him? Severus vowed to make her life even more hellish than it already was by his hands. Realising where his thoughts had gone, Severus became even more horrified and took a whole shelf of books on love potions and immediately opened one to look for clues on the type of potion he might have ingested.
A few nights before Christmas, Harry had a nightmare. A nightmare which turned out to be a vision. In that vision, he was a snake and he attacked Arthur Weasley in an unknown place, leaving him bleeding to death. Waking up in a horrid state of pain and sickness, he alerted his friends, especially Ron, who had been woken up by his screams. Everyone had a hard time believing him, even McGonagall, but eventually he was sent to the headmaster's office. Albus Dumbeldore, after asking him several questions, trusted him, and with the help of the portraits of previous headmasters he managed to find Ron's father and send him in St Mungo's hospital in the shortest time possible. During that very night, Harry and all the Weasley staying at Hogwarts were sent to Grimmault Place for the holidays in order to visit Arthur more easily.
Severus was in his lab still researching when he received an owl from the headmaster demanding him to report to his office immediately. The message was short and held nothing of the usual affection the headmaster was used to showing him every time he asked him to meet him. Severus felt himself go pale and the hand holding the missive started to shake. Albus demanding him to report to his office… the coldness of the writing… That could only mean one thing: Dumbledore had discovered his attraction to Potter and was going to sack him for it.
This time he could do nothing against the despair. Hogwarts was his only home… What was he going to do if… when he had to leave? And the worst thing was that this was not his first concern. His first concern was that he would never be able to see Harry again, to smell his sweet scent, to caress his soft hair, to…
Severus shook his head of these thoughs. There was no use to them just like there was no use to him postponing the inevitable. Squaring his shoulders and trying to tell himself that perhaps, against all odds, Dumbledore did not know, Severus left his rooms to the headmaster's office.
"You wanted to see me, headmaster?" asked Snape while cautiously entering the room. Dumbledore was sitting at his desk and looked very grave, no twinkle in his eyes. His serious eyes followed Severus as he made his way to his desk and he started to speak without offering tea or sweets like he always did. That detail made Severus's blood run cold.
"Indeed, Severus. Certain… alarming… facts have come to my attention and they concern both young mister Potter and yourself."
At that moment Severus felt his heart stop beating and drop to his feet. Albus knew… the headmaster knew. There was nothing to be done anymore. He was going to have to leave his only home…
"I deeply regret what I have to do to you, Severus, but I am afraid I don't have the choice considering the situation."
Severus actually felt tears prickling his eyes and drove his nails into his palms to keep from crying.
"Please…" he chocked out but could not continue pass the lump in his throat.
I'll manage to find a cure, I promise, but please don't sack me, please don't send me away from Hogwarts and from Harry, cried his mind when his voice would not function.
"I really am sorry, Severus, but we have to think of young Harry here. This situation is and will become intolerable for him if we don't do something immediately. To such dramatic situations, drastic measures have to be taken. You understand, don't you?"
Severus could not move, could not think. His whole world was crumbling and falling apart before him and he could do nothing but stare at the headmaster, his eyes begging him not to do this to him.
"Oh for pity's sake, Severus, don't make such a face. It's not as if I'm signing your death warrant."
Yes you are Severus's mind contradicted with anguish.
"I am only asking you to give Harry Potter Occlumency lessons to teach him how to protect his mind from Voldemort. I know you greatly dislike him, but surely you can make an effort and be civil to him for the sake of our cause."
Severus's brain came to a stop. Occlumency lessons? That meant Dumbledore did not know, Dumbledore was not sacking him, Dumbledore was not sending him away from his home! His mind cheered with joy. But wait a minute…
"I can't and I won't teach him Occlumency! You do it!" If I find myself alone with the delicious looking brat, I will not be able to control myself and my sick dreams will become reality. I managed, I still do not know how, not to attack the boy on his last detention, but with spending so much time with him, I will not be able to hold back.
"Severus, we already had this conversation. You are the only one that can do it. There is no other choice; I told you the situation is desperate. Arthur Weasley was attacked and Harry saw it all from the attacker's point of view. There are no doubts now that Voldemort knows of his connection with Harry and it is only a matter of time before he tries and makes use of it. The only way to prevent that monster from playing with Harry's mind and controlling him is for him to learn Occlumency. I cannot teach the boy myself; too many secrets are at stakes. You are the only option left. You will give Harry Occlumency lessons every Monday evening at 6 o'clock, as I believe your schedules coincide on that day."
"That is an order, Severus."
With that final word, Severus nodded and left the room to floo to Grimmauld Place so as to inform the man he now desperately loved of his latest misfortune.
The meeting with the boy himself had not gone all that wrong. It was that insufferable dog that was the problem. The arrogant bastard had insisted to stay with them as he explained to the boy what the headmaster expected of them and had been incredibly insulting, even raising his wand against him. On the other hand, his presence in the room had made Severus angry and helped himfocus on something else than Harry Potter, and thus had made Severus able to avoid the humiliation of sporting a hard-on in front of his worst enemy.
But now, within the safety of his rooms, all Severus could remember of this confrontation with Black was the way Harry had stood up to protect him from his godfather (or so he wanted to believe), the way Harry's hand had touched his chest to keep him away from Black, the way Harry's so perfect green eyes had blazed with fire and anxiety…
Snape groaned with desire and resignedly opened his trousers to give his body a pale substitute of what it really wanted. Something he could never have…
To be continued…
I am so very sorry for the delay, and I have no excuse, except an annoyingly persistent lack of inspiration. I hope the following chapters won't be as difficult to write as this one, but I cannot promise anything.
Once again I apologize to all my readers and I thank my reviewers whose encouragements finally helped me out of this inspirational slump. Thanks to all of you.