Disclaimer: Don't Own, Don't Sue.
Chapter Three: Never Seen—
The house creaked under his stalking footsteps as he walked down the hallways, everything craning over to him in perfect ease. The house was old and it smelt of mildew. No one had been down this hallway in a long time, down this house in a long time for that matter.
It wasn't dark, gloomy, and it carried no foreboding memories that created flashbacks of horrific track. Not that he expected anything dark. It was Harry Potter's small house wasn't it. The one thing he had managed to possess rightfully for himself before the final battle. Before his death.
Severus Snape didn't want to do this, but he knew it was time. Everyone had been pushing it away long enough. No one wanted to sort through Potter's things, no one wanted to go to that point of acknowledgement. That was why it was him, Professor Severus Snape, stalking down the hall to the dreadful task.
He wasn't overly fond of the boy, never had been. But his respect had grown. When he had come back to Hogwarts in his Sixth Year, he was different. He strived to become the best he could, he didn't push away from friends, and though he attempted Occulmency he never really got anywhere.
He got far enough though. He achieved what he wanted and that's what mattered in the end. Even if Snape didn't understand why controlling the link of pain to his scar was important. It somehow was.
He finally reached the last room, Harry Potter's study, where everything had collected dust, build up in little fortresses it seemed, piled upon everything that had been left in the same disarrayed form as it had been six months before when Harry rushed from the room, to the battle that would end all.
Snape curled his nose in disgust, not wanting to do this so much. Only his respect for the boy led him this far, nothing more. Sighing, he realize that to escape the tedious pain of sorting, he stalked over to the desk, figuring that that was the best place to start.
He had been right, it hadn't been fun.
That is until he reached the bottom piece of paper at the bottom of the last drawer, slipping it out carefully as he felt it crinkled from age. Interested, he looked at it, and realized that it was an article.
"Bloody Potter and his fame." Snape snarled, but he couldn't help but feel a pull to read the article. What was it about? Why had it never been published. Pushing his disgruntled thoughts, he forced himself to read it. Curiosity killed the cat didn't it?
At least he had nine lives.
The brutal truth of The-Boy-Who-Lived. Everyone has their flaws and their triumphs. Over the years of Harry Potter's life, he has been ridiculed, claimed insane, worshipped, but beneath all this, and beneath the other lies that swamped him, he had a deeper story. The brutal truth. The kind that crushed people's ideals of Gods, Heroes, Legends.
Harry Potter was by no means a boy of luxury, having grown up in a cupboard under the stairs, but he cares not. That's not the truth to be spoken of. Nor that he only wished that everyone would forget who he was. No, the brutal truth of him and Tom Riddle, otherwise known as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. The man that one day in the summer, not only spared Harry's life, but gave him the answer to something that would have otherwise destroyed him.
What is war? That was all he wanted to know and the only thing he couldn't figure out until a disguised Tom Riddle told him and then in turn spared his life. Why? Not even Harry knows that.
That's what leads to the brutal truth. The truth is what comes from the question of 'What does Harry expect from this war?' And the brutal truth of the Boy-Who-Lived. What he expected of this war?
"Not a damn thing beside useless death on both sides of the game." Came the reply. "I don't expect to live, and I don't expect many more to live."
"Then do you have a request?" the questioned was asked. Harry Potter went dazed at the question, as if a distant memory suddenly plagued his mind. He did not reveal what it was, but it could easily be assumed it dealt with the Riddle meeting of the summer.
"Request," he echoed for a moment. "I guess I would have to request…tea. Tea with Tom Riddle." To say shock followed that would be, I believe, an understatement. "Because I don't want him thinking I'm rude."
He later explained that You-Know-Who claimed him rude a while back.
"Do you expect He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named to die?" it was the question that all wanted to ask the hero. And hear his response that the man would do so at his hand valiantly so.
"No," Harry responded. "That's just a hope."
The brutal truth of Harry Potter…he's not the Hero he want him to be, and he has no whims to being so.
It was never published. Never seen by the eyes of the public. No one wanted to deal with the panic, the chaos, the loss of hope that it would have created.
But it was just enough for Harry to have it.
Snape was shocked to say in the least, but even in private he didn't show it. It was against his nature. He had taught the boy Occulmency on Dumbledore's whim, but never before had he seen this side of him.
He wished he had.
The respect he had suddenly gained by reading what he read, came a bit to late.
"Ah, what's done is done then," Snape rubbed his eye as he set the article onto the desk. "You won the battle nonetheless Potter, you prolonged the war, but you knew this already."
He stood up. This wasn't for him to do. It was for someone else, Remus Lupin perhaps. He wasn't close enough to the boy to do so.
Walking from the room, the article lying on the desk, he paused and glanced back. Only once, that was all that was needed. Then he would walk out, never to return, to memories or dreams. He had moved on.
Heroes were only brought on by the naïve. War was recognized by the wise.
Harry Potter was both, all combined in one article was that was never published.