Ok, re-uploaded chapter one, so it really is the first chapter with no doubling back.


Harry was sitting on the end of his bed at the Dursleys' when a familiar flash of fire caught his attention. Turning his head, he saw Fawkes perched on the desk in his room. He stood up and went to the familiar bird.

"What do you have there?" he questioned, as he noticed a scroll in the Phoenix's talons. He took the scroll, and nearly dropped it as the bird burst into flames and disappeared once more.

Slowly, he unrolled the parchment, and drew in a sharp breath as he recognized Dumbledore's handwriting.

Dear Harry,

I must first tell you how much I regret leaving you a message in this manner. I'm sorry for leaving you, but I knew what was to come. First, do not hold anything, yes ANYTHING, against either Professor Snape or Draco Malfoy. Professor Snape did nothing I did not ask him to do, and Mr. Malfoy, I pray, is not beyond hope.

Ever since I put the Horcrux on my finger, I have been dying. I did my best to give you all of the information you need, but I'm afraid I failed. Remember your last promise to me...to obey everything I say...this is my last order to you, Trust Professor Snape, in the end; he will be able to teach you what I could not.

I trust you, Harry.

Harry stared at the parchment in his hands...knowing that he must, even if he didn't know how, follow Dumbledore's last command.

He slowly sank back down on his bed. He saw Snape kill Dumbledore. He saw the look of sheer loathing the man had on his face. You can't cast an Unforgivable unless you mean it, a voice whispered in his head.

He looked over the letter one last time, folded it carefully and placed it in his pocket. He would keep it from Ron and Hermione--for now.

His birthday would be in a month...then he was gone from the Dursleys' for good. He padded down the stairs and found his friends sitting at the table talking to each other.

He spoke up. "You guys, we need to start talking...and planning." They looked up at him, and nodded. He pulled up a chair, and gave some parchment to Hermione. "Hermione, can you write this down?"

Hermione quietly consented.

"We need to learn more. I think after the wedding, we should contact Remus and McGonagall. We're still not ready to go head to head with Voldemort, and they can help teach us. I also think we should work before then on learning wordless magic."

Ron balked. "Harry! I thought we were taking a break from school...at least, I mean, you said we aren't going back to Hogwarts..."

Harry cut him off, "Ron, we have to learn it in order to fight. The Death Eaters have years on us when it comes to working magic-both light and dark. The only way we're going to win is by keeping our mouths shut..." and our minds closed, his memory finished. "I also think I need to learn Occlumency," he whispered.

"I think I might be able to find a book that can help you with that, Harry, but I don't think you can learn it sufficiently without a Legilimens around to help; maybe you can ask McGonagall about that."

"I only know of three; one's dead, and the other two I'm not about to approach," he gloomily replied.

They sat in silence, each fidgeting a bit before Dudley crashed through door. His eyes opened wide, and he squeaked as he saw the three wizards sitting at the table. Never removing his eyes from the three, he slowly backed out of the kitchen.

Ron suppressed a laugh. "When is that Muggle cousin of yours going to figure out that we aren't going to hex him if he comes in here for a bite to eat?"

Pulled out of his reverie, Harry smiled. "I don't know, it may not be a bad thing...this is the first summer I think he may actually lose weight."

"Harry, anything else you can think of for the 'To Do' list? I think I'll make a trip to Diagon Alley for some books we can look at," said Hermione, tapping the parchment in front of her.

Ron stood up. "Not alone you're not. Besides, I think we could have some fun at the twins' place. I'm sure they've got loads of stuff for an unsuspecting Muggle...or three."

Hermione shot him a look, shook her head, and sighed. "Will you be alright here alone for awhile, Harry?"

Harry nodded and grinned. "Yeah, I think I'll be fine." He fingered the folded piece of parchment in his pocket as he watched them leave the house.

"Blocked again and again and again until you learn to keep your mouth shut and your mind closed, Potter," Snape's voice taunted him.

Harry trudged back up the stairs and into his room. Even then, Snape was teaching me, Harry thought, while he was slicing me apart. He paused for a bit while he sat heavily on his bed, going over the events of that night in his mind. No, he didn't do that until later...then he was just blocking me... I was the one attacking. I was attacking because he killed Dumbledore! Dumbledore pleaded. The only time Dumbledore had ever plead before was when...

Harry was sharply reminded of Dumbledore in the cave. Moaning in pain and fear as Harry tipped one glass after another down his throat, hating himself more and more for hurting his mentor in that way. Hating...nothing compared to the hatred and revulsion Snape had on his face as he killed Dumbledore. He KILLED Dumbledore. And then he taunted... taught... me.

Harry looked at the parchment again, knowing that he had to do this. He had to trust Snape, just like he had to get the memory from Slughorn. Whatever it took. But they had been fighting. I have no reason to trust Snape, after all this time; for six years, all he's done is made my life hell. All over a hatred of my father! He did everything he could to hurt me! He took Remus from me...he KEPT Sirius from me. He Legilimized me until I couldn't think. He did everything he could to make those lessons fail. I have no reason to trust Snape!

Harry was pacing the floor, running his hands through his hair, finally sinking to the floor with his head resting in the heel of his hand. He saved my life...in first year, on the Quidditch pitch. In third year, from Remus, and he thought from Sirius. And he wasn't the only one trying to make those lessons fail. I HAVE NO REASON TO TRUST SNAPE! Once again, his fingers found the note in his pocket. Except that Dumbledore says I must.