A/N I've read some 'Harry/Severus/whoever is thrown into Azkaban' stories lately, but the ones I liked best aren't finished - glares at LAXgirl and Marietsy- so I figured that to ease the waiting, I might as well write one myself. It's probably gonna be lousy, since I like the extravagant display of power in these stories. Don't say I didn't warn you!Azkaban
"Note to self: If I ever get out of here, write a book on how Occlumency works against Dementors. Perhaps more of the little dunderheads would bother to learn it then."
He paced the small cell where he had spent the past three and a half years and shivered. His once black robes were greyish/brown now with dirt, and his shoes…well…he preferred to ignore their condition. The Dementors left him alone now, when they discovered he had adapted his shields to keep them out. Still, it was maddening, this confined space, with only his own thoughts to occupy him.
No, mustn't think his own thoughts. It would hurt. Especially if he'd remember…
SHIT! Too late.
The memories flooded over him.
"ALBUS!" he cried out in despair before he threw himself on the mattress in the corner, shaking uncontrollably.Elsewhere, far away, in a castle somewhere in Scotland
The old Headmaster sat behind his desk, trying to concentrate on the paperwork.
"I can't concentrate," he said softly to himself, "I haven't been able to concentrate since…"
His eyes filled with tears. It was too painful, even after three years.
It had been Moody, naturally, who had brought in the reports of the raid. They were very clear and to the point. Twenty muggles and three wizards had seen the Death Eaters descend upon the village. They all described the one in charge as tall, thin, and with a silky voice. At one point his mask had fallen back and one of the wizards had recognized Severus Snape.
The muggles and other two had merely described him as 'Satan himself, with long, greasy black hair and a large nose. Pale skin. He laughed as his friends murdered, taunted his own victims in that icy, silky voice before ripping them apart with either his magic stick (as the muggles described it) or his bare hands.'
The Aurors had been on the spot quickly, as well as the Order. In the fight that followed, Molly Weasley, Kingsley Shacklebolt and three other Aurors had died. Snape had escaped.
They had arrested him in his dungeons at Hogwarts, where he had, unbelievably, returned after the raid. There had been no need for a trial, the evidence was clear. He was thrown into Azkaban, and only Harry's interference, and insistence that he might one day be useful for information, had saved him from the Dementors Kiss.
Oddly enough, it had also been Harry who had raged at Dumbledore for hours, insisting that he demand a trial, that Veritaserum be used, that he employed his Legimency skills to search Snapes mind.
They had discarded the boy's requests, of course, and told him to worry about his training instead of a traitor.
He knew that Harry had gone to Azkaban to visit Snape once, a month after his arrest. The boy had never spoken of the man afterwards, and he suspected the visit had convinced Harry of the Potion Masters guilt.Azkaban
It took him a long while this time to calm himself. Over an hour of digging through memories until he found the one that could protect him from his own thoughts.
Funny, how the boy that considered him his enemy was now his only ally. He kept the memory as close as possible these days, but when his thoughts overwhelmed him, it took him a while to find it.
He had been in Azkaban a month, and had just started to learn to shield his mind from the Dementors, when one of the human guards approached.
"You have a visitor, traitor. He will most likely kill you, like you deserve. So I let him keep his wand to make it easier for him."
Harry had entered, and Snape knew for sure he was finished. He nodded to the boy.
"I'm ready, Potter. I know you will not think me worthy of any…favors…but I hope you will make it quick."
He had closed his eyes and waited for the curses to rip his body apart, but none came. Instead, Harry had looked around the bare cell, and transfigured a mattress, a small table and two chairs from some of the rubble laying around.
"Sit down, Severus. I'm not here to kill you."
He opened his eyes in surprise. Cautiously he walked towards the table. Harry pulled out a flask.
"Pumpkin juice. Since Azkaban is not known for its haute cuisine, I thought I'd bring you some."
Warily he accepted the flask, and drunk greedily. It had been two days since they had brought any food and water, and he was thirsty.
Harry sighed and waved his wand again, this time transfiguring his handkerchief into a blanket.
"I thought the Ministry would at least provide prisoners with the basics," he said, disgusted.
Snape finished the last drop of juice and nodded.
"They usually do. I'm the exception. Why are you here, Potter? And more to the point, why are you being…Merlin forbid…kind?"
Harry looked at him. "You didn't do it."
"I'm not even sure what I'm supposed to have done, they never told me."
Harry's eyes widened and he handed him a file. Snape read it and grew pale.
"That wasn't me! It wasn't!"
The boy frowned. "Molly Weasley died that day. Did you hate Molly?"
Snape's jaw dropped. "I could never hate Molly Weasley. She was very kind to me, in Grimmauld place…is she…is she really gone?" He hated how pathetic that sounded.
Harry grimaced and wiped angrily at a tear that ran down his cheek. "Yes, she is. I don't believe you did any of this, Severus, and I came to tell you that. I've been telling Dumbledore and Hermione and anyone who was within my reach, but they don't listen to me, as usual. But I swear to you, I will find out who framed you, if it's the last thing I do. I'll get you out of here."
He had stared at the boy in shocked disbelief. "You? YOU, of all people, believe me to be innocent?"
Harry suddenly blushed. "I believed it before. Now I know for sure. There was Veritaserum in the juice."
Snape snorted suddenly. "How very Slytherin of you."
The Boy Who Lived grinned. "I was supposed to be in Slytherin. I chose Gryffindor instead, because I had just met Malfoy and didn't want to be in the same House. I think it's time I started appreciating my Slytherin side."
He stood up to leave.
"Thank you for coming…Harry." Snape said, hesitant. "Even if you can't prove my innocence, I'm glad at least someone believes me."
Harry smiled at him. "Try not to go insane, Severus. It might take a while, and I don't want my efforts to have been in vain! You better work on keeping your own mind."
Snape glanced at the door and leaned closer to the boy. "Don't tell anyone, but I've been trying something that might just work."
Harry left determined, leaving a slightly relieved Snape behind.
Three years had past since then. Snape had never really believed Harry could help him, but the memory of the boy helped him keep his mind.
If only Albus had been like that. The man he had considered his father threw him in this place without a second thought. Without even a word. Without even looking at him.
He buried his head in the blanket that had thinned considerably over the course of three years, and willed himself to sleep.