Title: A Long Awaited Sentiment
Summary: Harry Potter, aged eighteen, disappeared on the train ride to Hogwarts before the beginning of his seventh year. Severus Snape wanted to stop it, but didn't. Just when Harry thought his troubles were over, he finds himself battling a young (but no less dangerous) Lucius Malfoy and a bizarre attraction to Snape, of all people. HarrySnape.
This Chapter- Harry disappears, Snape is sarcastic, and Hermione wants to be in a fantasy novel.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter, and everything even remotely related to it is owned by J.K.Rowling, Warner Bros and various publishers. I am not J.K.Rowling, Warner Bros or any type of publisher. Therefore, Harry Potter does not belong to me. I never claimed it did. So don't sue, plzkthnx.
Warning: Listen up, because I'm only going to say this once. This story is slash. It contains Harry Potter (a man) having a sexual relationship with Severus Snape (also a man). If this is not your cup of tea, click away. I don't want to hear your objections to it. Really. So don't feel the need to flame me for it. I warned you.
Author's Note: The edited beginning chapters- enjoy!
Notes about the AU: Harry Potter, Severus Snape and all other characters in their seventh year are represented as being eighteen years old, in order to comply with Australian laws, which, as an Australian, I must abide by. If you have a problem with this, I suggest you do not read this fan fic, because this will not be edited until the laws are. Thank you. Furthermore, this fic began in 2004, and is not HBP or DH compliant.
Notes about the Music: Music is a pretty important part of this fic, at least for me. All chapter titles are from the lyrics that preceed each chapter, and each set of lyrics are great to listen to when reading.
If you want to
I can save you
I can take you away from here
So lonely inside
So busy out there
And all you wanted
was somebody who cares
I'm sinking slowly
So hurry hold me
Your hand is all I have to keep me hanging on
Please can you tell me
So I can finally see
Where you go when you're gone
-All You Wanted, Michelle Branch
Chapter 1- All You Wanted
1st September, 1997 10:36am
Harry shifted in his seat and pushed a hand through his hair as he watched another "happy couple" pass by the open door to his compartment. After defeating Voldemort shortly after turning eighteen, he had found himself, yet again, alone. While his friends, Ron and Hermione in particular, had found themselves in happy, normal relationships, Harry hadn't had anything lasting over a month. After all, when you spend most of your time cramped in a stuffy dungeon with a greasy potions master, trying to figure out ways to kill a snakelike Dark Lord, finding romance wasn't exactly easy. And with the defeat of Voldemort had come the the increase in Harry's fame, not to mention the continual staring Harry found himself subjected to. Of course, there were a few who didn't appear to worship the very ground Harry walked on- mainly Gryffindors, like Ron, Hermione and Neville who still saw Harry for what he was. Snape, as expected, didn't treat him differently either, still his snarky, horrible self despite having worked with Harry for so long on the potion that had finally weakened Voldemort enough to be killed. Snape too had been tied to the evil wizard, but now they were both free. Harry intended to make the best of his new-found freedom. But as the train sped along, taking him back to Hogwarts only a few short weeks since the Final Battle had taken place there, Harry found his sense of heroism kick in, and, as if his legs were moving of their own free will, he was marching out into the corridor to investigate the yelling which had started mere minutes earlier. Two boys, no older than second years, were attempting a duel, in between swear words and rather lame comebacks which reminded Harry unpleasantly of himself and Draco Malfoy. Nobody seemed to have noticed his presence. Hermione was trying to talk to them both, calm them down, while Ron looked like he was barely suppressing the urge to cheer them (or more specifically the Gryffindor one) on. The Prefects meeting must be over, Harry thought, sparing a glance to the other curious heads poking out of compartment doors. The Gryffindor boy, whom Harry did not know, muttered a curse Harry vaguely recognised as something similar to the Jelly-Legs Jinx, and he barely registered the Slytherin moving out of the way before a streak of silver light hit him and he disappeared.
1st September 1977, 1:45pm
Harry managed to moan rather pitifully as he sat up in bed and cautiously peeled his eyes open. He was in the hospital wing, but something was definitely off. A new pot plant, different paintings hanging on the walls, and no scratches on the wooden bed frames. As he noticed this, he was annoyed to realise that the feeling in the pit of his stomach, the one which said that it wasn't just Pomfrey redecorating, wasn't going away any time soon. Just then, Madame Pomfrey came bustling out, but she looked different too- younger. Determined not to make a fuss or do anything rash until he sorted a few things out, and rather proud of himself for showing this sign of maturity, Harry pushed away a nagging voice that said despite having a weight lifted off her shoulders, it was highly irregular for Madame Pomfrey to look like she'd de-aged herself twenty odd years. He stayed silent as he waited for her to come over to him; she was currently getting some potions out of a cabinet to the left side of the room.
She bustled over to his bed, three vials clutched in her hand, and Harry noticed her tense grip, and the lines marring her forehead and damned Snape for teaching him to be so damned observant.
"Now, young man. I don't care what Professor Dumbledore says about giving you a chance to explain yourself- showing up, unconscious, no less, looking like James Potter without a hint of identification on you- I refuse to heal you completely until you tell me exactly who you are and what you are doing here." She said sternly and Harry furrowed his brow.
"Erm. My name is Harry Potter- you should know me, you've only treated me a thousand times, Madame Pomfrey." He said, forcing a smile and hoping to goodness Pomfrey had just gotten on the wrong end of a Forgetfulness Draught.
"A thousand times? Really, such lies are unnecessary. But you said your name was Harry Potter? So you are a relation to James? Is he aware you're here?" Pomfrey asked. Harry ignored her question, he was deep in thought. Something was definitely not right. Harry got out of bed and walked over to a mirror, despite Madame Pomfrey's objections to stay in bed. He looked the same. So why did the nurse not remember him? He decided to go to Dumbledore. He may have harboured some not-so-happy feelings towards the Headmaster since the end of his fifth year, but Dumbledore always seemed to know what to do, and had been instrumental in the war effort. Madame Pomfrey objected weakly as he left the room, but did not do much else to stop him. Harry took the familiar path towards the headmaster's office and started reciting the names of all the candies he could think of. Eventually, he found that bubble gum did the trick.
Walking up the stairs to the wooden door, which he knocked on, he blinked as the door flew open straight away.
"Hello, dear boy. May I ask how you got the password to my quarters?" Dumbledore asked him, looking up from his desk. Harry noticed that he looked quite a bit younger too. Perhaps Snape had slipped all the staff a de-ageing potion?
"I just guessed candy, sir. You are rather predictable when it comes to sweets," Harry replied.
"Hmm. I've been told as much by Professor McGonnagal. I must ask you how you've come to realise this without ever meeting me?" Dumbledore questioned, frowning slightly.
Harry's eyes widened.
"You…you don't know- who I am?" Harry asked him, becoming rather panicked. Was this the work of some escaped Death Eaters?
"Unfortunately, no. Do tell me how you came to be in Hogwarts. Incidentally, I would also like to know why Madame Pomfrey has released you from her care while you still have bumps and bruises," Dumbledore said, gesturing for Harry to sit down on one of the comfortable chintz armchairs across from his desk.
Something occurred to Harry. It all seemed rather sci-fi, but he couldn't help asking. "Headmaster, what is the date?"
"Why it's the first of September, 1977."
Dumbledore saw the look of horror which flashed across Harry's eighteen-year-old face before the boy fainted.
1st September, 1997, 10:37am
Severus Snape watched in horror as Harry Potter disappeared right in front of him. He had come to investigate the fighting in the hallway, but wasn't in time to stop the Gryffindor. Not that you really wanted to, said a nasty voice in the back of his head, the one which often popped up to make scathing remarks about Slytherin favouritism and sounded remarkably like his mother. Of course, Severus didn't actually want to stop Harry. It would change the past, their past. Severus sighed, something he never usually allowed himself to do in front of others, and walked off to find Dumbledore, who was taking the Hogwarts Express this year for 'a new experience' and was most likely chomping down lemon drops. He didn't have to go far, however, because it seemed the Headmaster had witnessed what Severus had and was currently trying to work out what had happened to Potter. Almost immediately the silver-haired headmaster called a meeting with the teachers, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.
"Now, it is most important that we find out what has happened to young Harry." Dumbledore began, slipping into his role as leader of the group easily after so many years of running the Order of the Phoenix.
Hermione sobbed loudly and Severus could not prevent the sigh that escaped him as he buried his face in his hands, attracting the attention of everyone in the compartment, who all thought that Snape would be rather pleased that he would not have to deal with "the Potter brat".
"Severus?" Dumbledore asked gently, touching his shoulder slightly. Snape shook him off.
"Yes, Headmaster?" The Potions Master replied wearily, feeling a lot older than his thirty eight years.
"Are you all right?" The headmaster asked.
"Peachy." Severus replied sarcastically.
"Severus." Dumbledore warned, and Snape just glared at him.
"Fine. I know where he is. Your brilliant mind has once again outwitted my feeble attempts at hiding the truth." He admitted finally.
Everyone in the room gasped and Severus fought the urge to roll his eyes. Honestly.
"What? Where is he?" Ron snapped angrily. Severus ignored him and turned to the headmaster.
"Severus? Where is he? We must go and get him." Dumbledore urged him.
"You'll find that a bit hard." Severus told him.
"Why?" Dumbledore asked, grey eyebrows furrowing slightly.
"He's in the year 1977." Severus informed the group.
1st September 1977, 2:23pm
Harry was quickly enervated by Dumbledore. He sat up quickly and looked at the headmaster, extremely worried
"Sir, did you just say 1977?" he checked, making sure he had heard correctly.
"Yes, indeed I did. Are you all right?" Dumbledore confirmed, helping Harry up to his feet.
"I am so screwed." Harry stated more to himself than to the older man.
"Why are you 'screwed'?" Albus asked, utterly confused.
"Because I'm not in the right time." Harry explained, trying to understand what had happened.
"Right time?" Dumbledore's eyebrows were raised.
"I come from nineteen ninety seven. My name is Harry Potter." Harry informed him. Dumbledore looked faint.
1st September 1997, 10:40am
"Nineteen seventy seven? Did you just say that my best friend is in nineteen seventy seven?" Ronald Weasley shouted at his professor. Everyone ignored him.
"How is that possible?" Dumbledore asked, staring at Severus.
"Do you remember the exchange student we had that year? Alexander Redfern?" Severus asked, looking back at Dumbledore.
"Yes, but I don't see what that has to do with anything..." Dumbledore began, but the Potions Master cut him off.
"He erased your memory of his true appearance and his true identity. They are the same person. I was the only one who knew. I recognised him the second I saw him in his first year. He doesn't really look like his father that much." Severus said as an afterthought, looking rather sad.
"Harry is Alexander? But then-"
"Yes." Snape confirmed.
"And he obliviated me?" Dumbledore asked, incredulous.
"Just after he arrived, he realised what was happening. You couldn't know who he was." Severus explained, and Dumbledore nodded in understanding.
"But then why didn't he obliviate you?"
"Why do you think? You know what…what happened." Severus said roughly.
"Professor?" Hermione spoke up, her tears now gone. "Do you mean to tell us that Harry is back at Hogwarts in 1977? And you two knew each other?" She asked, wondering how on earth this could have happened.
"Always the smart one Granger." Severus snapped, Hermione looked offended.
"Yes, he is there.'" Snape continued. "He'll be there for a while, if things are the same. Unless he changes something…" Severus trailed off, looking slightly worried.
"And why didn't he obliviate you?" Hermione pressed on.
"Because…because…we were…" Snape struggled to find the right words, something that happened extremely rarely and often made him feel a bit out of sorts, and closed his eyes. "We were…close."
"Amusing, Albus." Snape said dryly. "How else do you wish me to explain it?"
"In this situation Severus, I believe that the truth would be the best explanation." The headmaster advised, his eyes doing that twinkling thing that drove Severus mad.
"Do you truly believe that they would think I was telling the truth? I don't even believe it sometimes!" The potions master sighed. "This is so fucked up."
Dumbledore gave him a look which clearly said that he did not approve of Snape swearing in front of students.
"I demand to know exactly what is going on!" Ron shouted at his teacher suddenly. He was very confused and wanted answers. Snape couldn't have cared less.
"Mr. Weasley, you are in no position to be making demands. I will, however, answer select questions. Anything I find too...personal, I shall not answer." Severus told him, giving him a look that scared most students to death (and, in some cases, tears, although this was mainly reserved for Neville Longbottom).
"Fine. What were you talking about when you said you two were close?" Ron asked.
"Well, I was the first student to meet Mr. Red- Mr. Potter that day..."
1st September, 1977 , 2:28pm
"Professor? Are you okay?" Harry asked, putting a tentative hand on the Professor's shoulder after five minutes went by in silence. Dumbledore blinked, and turned to face Harry again rather slowly.
"My dear boy, did you just say you were from 1997?" The twinkle in his eyes had dimmed a lot, something it often did when he was worried.
"Yes. I don't know how, but I must have gotten sent back in time." Harry told him, forcing a smile. The sunlight which had previously shone through Dumbledore's large window was dimming as grey clouds spread over the blue sky.
"My goodness. And you said your name is Potter?" Dumbledore observed him.
"Yes, I am James Potter's son." Harry replied distractedly. How the hell had he gotten in the year 1977? Then it occurred to him, he could not let Dumbledore know any of this! It could change the future. He had to obliviate the old man.
"Headmaster?" he said tentatively.
"Yes, dear boy?" Dumbledore said distractedly.
"I'm really very sorry about this. Hora Obliviate!"
Dumbledore was caught by surprise and all his memories of the past hour were erased. While he was distracted, Harry quickly dashed out of the room. He headed out to the bathroom once he was past the gargoyle and looked at himself in the mirror. I need to change my appearance, he thought to himself.
Harry had been taught a glamour charm when he was being trained by Snape in the war. It had been especially useful in the Final Battle, preventing Voldemort from spotting him too early and allowing several important Death Eaters to be captured before they all Apparated away. There were still a number of very influential Dark wizards out there, though, who had managed to evade capture, much like those that had done the same after the First War.
"Aspectamen mutare", he said, eyes closed and thinking of his desired appearance.
When he opened his eyes, his hair was longer and straight. His nose was slightly bigger, his eyes were blue and his cheek bones were more pronounced. It was only a few changes, but he was completely different. Not at all recognizable as a Potter or an Evans.
Harry hurriedly rushed off to the Hospital wing, he had to obliviate the matron as well, or his plan could be ruined. Sliding through the door, he spotted Madame Pomfrey looking in the Potions Cupboard. Quickly casting the spell, and pausing briefly to ensure Pomfrey had not been harmed, he ran off back to Dumbledore's office, intent on introducing himself to the Headmaster with a new identity. Searching his mind for a new name, he came up with "Alex Redfern." Alex being the name of a boy who he attended Primary School with, and who wasn't as horrible than the others had been under the influence of Dudley. Redfern for the last name of a character in a story his second grade teacher had read him. It would do.
Soon, Harry arrived in front of Dumbledore's office. How was he supposed to get up there if he wasn't supposed to know the password?
"Uhh…Headmaster?!" He called, hoping that the old man would hear him.
Thankfully, it seemed that Dumbledore had been alerted to his presence, because the gargoyle stepped aside, letting Harry pass.
The 18-year-old walked up the stairs calmly, and rapped on the wooden door.
"Enter" Dumbledore called out. Harry nervously walked into the office. He hoped that his spell had worked, and that Dumbledore had forgotten him. Obliviate spells, when performed on powerful wizards such as Dumbledore, sometimes didn't last permanently.
"And who might you be, young man?" Dumbledore asked.
"My name is Alexander. Alexander Redfern. I…I was with my relatives in Hogsmeade when we got separated, I thought you may be able to help me." Harry, or "Alex", made up quickly.
"I see. Shall I contact your family?" Dumbledore asked kindly, reaching for a piece of parchment.
"Uh, no. You can't. They don't want me. I'm glad I got away. I was wondering sir, if I could maybe…stay here. And learn magic at the school."
"Do you not go to school?" Albus questioned.
"No. My guardians teach me at their house." Harry told him, shoving his hands in his pockets and trying to act as innocent as possible.
"Well…I don't see why not. You wish to be an "exchange student" of sorts?" Dumbledore asked. "Of course, we shall need to see that you are up to the standard of your fellow wizards.
"Yes sir." Harry said, relieved at how easy it had been to convince Dumbledore to let him stay.
"Very well. Now, I don't believe I introduced myself. I am Albus Dumbledore."
"I know sir. I, erm…I've heard about Hogwarts. That's how I knew where your office was." Harry explained.
"Ah, excellent! Now, I have several spells I wish you to perform, so I am able to see your standard. If you are not at the level of our new seventh years, I'm afraid I will need to place you a year below." Dumbledore explained kindly, and Harry nodded, inwardly smirking. After being personally trained by Severus Snape and Dumbledore himself, not to mention defeating the most evil wizard since Grindelwald, Harry had utmost confidence in his spell-casting ability.
It was as he expected. Dumbledore asked him to perform some transfiguration he had learnt several years previously, as well as demonstrate some Potions theory, and several Defensive spells. Harry had absolutely no trouble with Defence or Transfiguration, but when it got to Potions, he stumbled. Not even Snape, whom Harry had learnt was the most accomplished Potions Master in his proper time, had been able to teach Harry to be good with Potions. The theory was relatively easier, as theory could not blow up in your face, but Harry still stumbled over a few of his answers.
"Perhaps I shan't place you in a Potions class, Mr. Redfern, unless you wish it?" Dumbledore asked, a serene smile gracing his features.
Harry grinned sheepishly, but shook his head. "If you don't mind, sir, I'd like to be in a Potions class. Perhaps I'll learn something in a proper school."
Dumbledore looked hesitant, but nodded. "I suppose, as you seem to have read about our school, that you also know about our house system?" The old man questioned.
"Yes, I do sir."
"Very well then, are you prepared to be sorted?"
"Yes." Harry replied nervously; he hoped that he would not be put in Slytherin as the sorting hat had wanted in his first year.
"Okay, now, place the hat on your head." Dumbledore said, handing the old hat to him.
"Ah…I know where you belong, Alex Redfern. " said a voice. Harry was worried. The sorting hat sounded like it knew who he truly was. This piece of ...material could ruin everything.
"Do not worry." The hat spoke again. "I will not reveal your secret. I know the trouble it could cause. But, as repayment, you shall allow me to put you in Slytherin. I know you do not want to be in that house, but you are best suited for it. SLYTHERIN!" The hat yelled out its final word so that the headmaster could hear it as well. Harry sighed. He knew it was the only way that his secret could be kept safe. He looked up at the headmaster, who was obviously shocked.
"Well," the old man said, coming out of his astonished stupor, "I think I will call up a student to take you to your new house."
Dumbledore walked over to his desk and spoke into a tiny machine which was whirring on his desk.
"Would Severus Snape please come to my office?"
Harry looked puzzled. This system was not in use in his time. He wondered why Dumbledore stopped it. And why was he asking Snape up? Didn't he say he was getting a student? Was Snape younger than Harry thought?
Dumbledore motioned for Harry to sit across from him, and they waited a few minutes before Snape showed up. Harry gasped when he saw him. He was a lot different. His hair wasn't as greasy, it was actually rather smooth, and was pulled back. His skin was still pale, but Harry thought it rather suited him. His robes fit him excellently, and Harry could see that the body beneath was nicely toned. Now that Harry thought about it though, this Snape wasn't all that different from the man he remembered. Just younger. Snape had, when Harry was honest about it, always had a certain appeal, despite his rather unconventional appearance. However, the older Snape, whom Harry assumed wasn't much different from this younger version, was so snarky that any appeal anyone else might've noticed was completely squashed by his insults.
"Severus," Dumbledore started, shocking Harry out of his stupor, "this is our new exchange student, Alexander Redfern. He has just been sorted into Slytherin, and I hoped you could show him around."
"Yes Sir." Snape replied politely, but he had a tinge of annoyance in his voice.
"Follow me." He said, turning to Harry. "Alex" complied, not wanting to get on the man's bad side, eighteen, or, Harry supposed, thirty eight, as he knew him.
"So," Snape asked, as they walked along to the dungeons, "Why are you only starting school now?"
"Umm…well, I did home tutoring for most of my life. I guess I just wanted to do 'normal' school." Harry shrugged, unused to conversation with Snape not revolving around Potions, detention or Death Eaters.
"Why are you here early? Aren't the others supposed to arrive later?" Harry asked, more uncomfortable with the silence than the conversation.
"Yes, but I'm different. I stayed here during the holidays."
"Why?," Harry asked, genuinely curious.
Snape stayed silent for a few moments, obviously contemplating his answer.
"My father and I had a few disagreements last summer. Dumbledore thought it best that I stay here during the holidays." He answered finally, in a tone that indicated that that was all he was going to say about the matter. Harry decided to change the subject to something he had been curious about for a while.
"So…what are teachers like here?"
1st September 1997, 11:10am
"We talked about classes and such for a while, and I showed him the dorms and other tedious subjects. Of course, at the time, I had no idea that he knew it all. He seemed interested, though." A 38-year-old Severus told Harry's friends and the curious Professors in the train compartment.
"By then it was almost night and we decided to go down the hall to get seats for dinner." Severus continued. "Over the next week or so, we became friends. Then several months later, he left, the end." Severus finished hurriedly, and made to move out the door. Dumbledore stopped him with a hand on his arm.
"Severus, aren't you forgetting a rather important piece of the story?"
"No, headmaster, I believe that is all of importance," the Potions Master said in a dangerous tone, sweeping past the older man and out of the compartment. Dumbledore sighed and turned to the rest of the compartment's occupants.
"I am sorry for Severus' hurriedness. I believe this day has been rather hard on him. Excuse me." Dumbledore said quietly, before moving out the room and sweeping off to find his Potions teacher.
Ron and Hermione looked at each other.
"If you'll excuse us, Professors, I think we'll take our leave as well." Hermione said, standing up and pulling Ron up behind her.
"Of course Ms Granger," McGonnagal said.
The two Gryffindors followed the headmaster's path out of the compartment, and walked off to find an empty compartment that they could talk in. When they found one, Hermione shut the door and locked it to have privacy.
"Can you believe this?" Ron asked as Hermione sat back down across from him.
"No, I honestly can't. I cannot believe Harry has gone back in time. I mean, honestly, this is something you'd expect to find in a fantasy novel." Hermione said thoughtfully, and Ron got the suspicion she was actually rather jealous.
"I meant him being in Slytherin! And friends with Snape!"
"Honestly, Ronald. You know the sorting hat wanted to put him in Slytherin back in first year. And I think there's more to Professor Snape than we know. He was probably quite a bit different when he was eighteen." Hermione told him sternly.
"Snape is Snape. No matter what age." Ron grumbled, folding his arms across his chest and looking out the window to watch the countryside speed past.
"Ron! Why can't you accept that not everything is black and white?!" Hermione said exasperatedly.
"I know it's not! But 'Mione! It's Snape!" Ron yelled, and the shadows of several passing students stopped at the sound.
Hermione lowered her own voice to a near whisper. "I didn't say I agreed with it, Ron, but I'm sure Harry has his reasons. I say we wait to judge their friendship until Harry comes back, and we get the full story. I definitely think there's something Snape isn't saying."
"Well duh." Ron responded when the shadows had moved on.
"Ronald! Now, we know Harry is safe, and that's what matters."
"I suppose." he shrugged.
"Now, did you do your homework this summer?"
Meanwhile, Dumbledore had finally caught up with Snape and was currently discussing the situation with him.
"You must tell them Severus!" Dumbledore told him, raising his voice slightly in warning.
"Why?" Severus asked, his voice raising as well, his mouth forming a scowl.
"Because they are Harry's friends, they have the right to know."
"They would hate me even more Albus and what good would that do?! Weasley would try and kill me! And after I spent so bloody long training him, that is not the idle threat it would have been before! Besides, I do not know if Harry wishes for them to know."
"Very well, Severus. I cannot force you to tell them, but I do wish you would. It will be a shock to them, when Harry comes back "
"I am not telling them anything they don't need to know. Especially as it is likely that nothing will occur to shock them when Harry returns."
"You must do what you feel is best," Dumbledore said, sighing wearily. Severus stalked off again.
2nd September, 1977, 2:38am
Harry groaned and turned over in his new bed. It was too early. Someone was shaking him.
"Redfern! Redfern! Wake up!" Severus Snape's voice said into his ear.
Harry shivered as Snape's breath ghosted over his ear. "What do you want Snape?" He asked, still incredibly sleepy.
"Come with me." Harry glanced out the window, and noticed the moon was still high in the sky, and rain was pattering against the glass.
Harry sat up, intrigued, and shrugged, following Severus out the door of their dorm. Severus led Harry through a series of passages and out into the corridor Harry recognised as the one where the kitchens were. Sure enough, Snape walked up to a bowl of fruit, tickled the pear and walked in, motioning for Harry to follow him.
"What are we doing here?" Harry whispered.
"Having a snack." Severus replied, motioning for a house elf to get them a pot of tea.
"At three am?"
"Two thirty, actually. Problem?" Snape raised an eyebrow.
Harry gazed at the teen. He was certainly different in this time, or maybe he wasn't, maybe Harry had just never seen the real Severus Snape.
"Not at all." Harry said, smiling slightly.
"Then sit," Snape said, pulling out a chair and giving a mock bow. Harry chuckled and sat down.
"So what exactly is this little outing for?" Harry asked, his mouth quirking into a smile, watching the house elves buzz around with teapots and beginning their breakfast preparations. This was familiar. This was home.
"Well, I thought since we couldn't really talk before, with everyone there, that we could talk now." Snape suggested.
"Okay. Is there anything in particular?"
"Actually, there is. Why are you here?" Severus asked, turning his attention, previously focussed on the House Elves more than anything, directly onto Harry.
"You woke me up at an insane hour of the morning and dragged me here." Harry told him with a grin. Snape scowled.
"Here at Hogwarts, Redfern."
"I'm an exchange student." Harry explained again.
"Yes, but why now?" Snape asked, putting emphasis on the "now".
"Well, my relatives, they…they weren't the nicest of people. They didn't really like me, and thought of me as a burden." Harry paused, wondering if he should tell Snape about how the Dursleys treated him. "They beat me."
Severus gasped and, seemingly unconsciously, put a hand over Harry's.
"That's terrible." he said, frowning.
"Well, you get used to it. Learn how to dodge, and all. I've got great reflexes." Harry said with a forced smile.
"You shouldn't have to get used to it." Snape said, almost angrily. A house elf pushed a cup of tea into his hand, and Harry noticed it shook slightly.
"Okay, okay, enough about me! How about you? Why are you here? Early, I meant?" Harry asked, trying to steer the conversation to something slightly less morbid, and less likely to get Snape angry.
"My father…he beat me too." The cup in Snape's hand shook a bit more violently. So much for that.
"That's awful. Why?" Harry sympathised, adding sugar to his won tea for something to do with his hands.
"Well…have you heard of the Dark Wizard Voldemort?" Snape asked.
"Yes." Harry said, thinking about how much he really had heard about the evil wizard.
"Well, my parents believe that he is right, that all muggle-borns should be killed. But…I don't. So when I refused to take the Dark Mark, the symbol of his leadership he places on his followers, they got upset. Dumbledore found out before they killed me, and he rescued me. But Lucius Malfoy, the one you met today, remember?"
"Yes." Harry said, urging Severus to go on.
"Well, he's been trying to get me to follow Voldemort too. He says I'm special and that I would be useful to the Dark Lord."
"And what do you think?"
"I think that it's stupid to kill someone because they have tainted blood."
Harry smiled softly, he really liked this Severus. He seemed more understanding, friendlier. Maybe, even with their past, or rather, their future, they could be friends.
End Chapter 1.