Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and make no profit from this story.


SOME may have blamed you that you took away

The verses that could move them on the day

When, the ears being deafened, the sight of the eyes blind

With lightning, you went from me, and I could find

Nothing to make a song about but kings,

Helmets, and swords, and half-forgotten things

That were like memories of you - but now

We'll out, for the world lives as long ago;

And while we're in our laughing, weeping fit,

Hurl helmets, crowns, and swords into the pit.

But, dear, cling close to me; since you were gone,

My barren thoughts have chilled me to the bone.

-William Butler Yeats

Some days Severus Snape wished that humanity had never pulled itself from the primeordial ooze. Some days he thought maybe it would be ok if Voldemort did win because eventually he would destroy all of man kind and then the things that Voldemort did to people could never happen again because there wouldn't be people. Some days the screaming never seemed to stop ringing in his ears.

It took all his remaining energy to apparate away when the Dark Lord waved his hand. If he wasn't so tired Snape would worry about splicing himself but, as it was, he could barely think. Instead his mind kept traveling to the way his hands shook and the way his muscles still twitched in memory of the cruciatus curse they'd been subjected to.

There was the familiar blurring and the heavy shock as he found his feet on the edge of the Forbidden Forest. Heavily he fell to his knees and let his eyes slip closed for a second to catch his breath, one hand curled protectively along his side where his abdominal muscles screamed in protest.

Open your eyes Severus. You can't let yourself fall asleep here, he told himself. When he dragged open his eyes, bracing himself to stagger upright, a blue vial filled his sight.

"You'll be needing this." But that wasn't the voice of Dumbledore, who so often held forth that same vial to him.

"Potter? What are you doing out after hours?" He rasped but he was too tired to be angry.

"Trying to help you. Now drink the potion."

He took it, feeling his muscles unknot as the liquid fire made a cool path down his throat and under his lungs.

"Dumbledore sent you?"

Potter shook his head. "No. I saw the meeting and knew you'd be coming."

"And decided you'd like a sight of me down on my knees? Is that it Potter? Thought it be funny to see me like this?"

"Stop being like that! Do you really think I spend all my days planning ways to make you miserable? In case you didn't notice, I was trying to help! I even brought you some Dreamless Sleep!"

"Why?" Severus Snape eyed the younger man suspiciously, waiting for the snide comment or the sneering laugh or for the camera to flash.

This time Potter's voice was soft and weary. "Because we're both human beings Snape. We're not Voldemort and I help people when I can. Nobody deserves the Crucius."

More steady now, Snape rose to his feet. His gaze never left Potter's face and he thought he saw something there that he never had before. Maybe it was the lighting or just how tired he was, but Snape thought there was a depth there and an age.

"Very well. I accept the Dreamless Sleep. Where is it?"

Wordlessly Potter pulled the vial from his robe pocket and handed it over.

"Go back to your dormitory Potter. If I see you out again I will take points."

The younger boy turned to go, then stopped and marched back over to his professor.

"What now Potter? Do you want a detention?"

"Hello Professor. My name's Harry Potter. I'm in Gryffindor, my favorite color is red, I like flying and my favorite subject is Defense Against the Dark Arts." Potter stuck out his hand.

For a second Snape could only stare at his student, mystified. Then, to his surprise, the corner of his lip twitched in a small smile. He shook hands with Potter. It was surreal. He wondered if maybe he'd really been driven crazy by the Crucius and was dreaming all of this. "I am Professor Severus Snape. I'm a Slytherin, my favorite color is burgundy and I teach Potions."

Harry's smile was small but it was there. "Goodnight sir."

"Why Potter?"

And the smile was not there, only a boy older than any boy Snape had ever known before. "Because we're running out of time Professor. And I don't want to end it still hating you."

And for some reason as he watched the small figure walk back to the castle, Severus Snape felt cold inside.

Author's Notes: Please review and tell me what you think! Otherwise I'll never know what kind of stuff you guys like.