A/N: Sorry about the time between updates. Life has not been agreeable. This chapter is dedicated to anyone who is unhappy. Because we need someone on our side. This chapter is on the shorter side because I wanted to stop at a certain point and let you all speculate. on a completely different note, has anyone seen the live action of Nodame Cantabile? It's wonderful.

Disclaimer: Usually I copy/paste my disclaimer from old chapters, but since this is the third time I've had to write this out, let's just leave it at "SF does not own Harry Potter."

Musical Magic

by Shiruba Fokkusu

"You are of course aware of the effect music has on wizards, yes?" Snape asked, not even bothering with a sneer.

Harry almost rolled his eyes, but figured that it was a reasonable question. After all, he'd known nothing about the connection between art and magic until that year. "Vivaldi told me enough."

This time, Snape did sneer. "In that aspect, Antonio is wrong. Many of his beliefs are wrong."

Wrong? Snape just admitted that music affects people, and that was basically Vivaldi's theory anyway. "That's exactly what you said!" Harry argued. He wasn't afraid of earning more detentions; he had pretty much sworn away all his afternoons to Snape anyway.

"The idiocy of your generation!"

Harry scoffed.

"And of my generation," Snape added as an aside. Concentrating more on Harry, Snape continued. "I said that music affects a wizard. Art by itself does no such thing. Music is separate from art!"

Harry was tempted to scoff again. "Are you high? Of course music is art! It's a performing art!"

Snape smirked, and Harry wondered what was so funny. "Did you ever learn philosophy in your muggle school?" Snape asked abruptly.

What was Snape getting at, just randomly changing the topic? What did philosophy have to do with anything?

"Or perhaps did you ever learn of Pythagoras? Or, as you have now restarted to play the violin, have you learned anything of music theory?" Snape asked with supercilious brow.

Harry could feel his cheeks reddening as he had to shake his head at every single inquiry. "I stopped muggle schooling when I was ten. They don't teach philosophy to ten year-olds," Harry reasoned. After all, there was no reason for him to know any of the stuff. Not even many wizards dabbled in philosophy.

Snape grilled him. "And your excuse for knowing nothing of music theory? If I sat you down in front of a piano and asked you to play a C major scale, would you be able? If I told you to play a diminished seventh chord, could you do it?"

"I never learned the piano, Snape," Harry growled, "and it's not like any of that stuff is important to my music anyway."

Snape scoffed, much how Harry had scoffed earlier. "You are not playing simple music: folk tunes and rock music! A violinist ought to be aware of the elements in a piece. You ought to be able to identify what a composer was aiming toward in composing a piece. You cannot merely play with a blind ear, Potter. You must know the theoretical techniques! Great Merlin, I need to lock you up and have you listen to some good jazz."

Maybe Harry did wear his emotions too obviously, because it seemed that Snape could instantly tell how shocked he was that Severus Snape liked jazz. "What?" the man said defensively.

"Nothing, I just figured you'd like the most straightforward kind of music, like Baroque or Classical."

Harry experienced a frightening thing when, instead of curling up one end, Snape's mouth curled at both ends, as if he were smiling. Harry cursed mentally when he realized that Snape was smiling. At Harry. "Obviously, we do not know each other, Potter. I enjoy many kinds of music, much of which you probably don't know exists. As for jazz there must be some kind of precision to harmonize, and most improvising jazz musicians know music theory. As for Baroque and Classical, well, Mr. Potter, I find that, much like you, I'm not partial toward Classical music."

"Yeah, okay. Well, if there's nothing else, I think I have homework to do, and things to work on," Harry said, trying to get out of this detention/meeting/psych session.

"Where'd you get it, Harry?" Seamus asked, concern overcoming his voice.

"Huh?" Harry responded intelligently.

Seamus shook his head angrily. "Harry, you've no idea how dangerous that stuff is!"

"What stuff?" Harry wondered. Seamus seemed to lean toward Harry, and Harry leaned further back accordingly. And he sniffed him.

"At least you don't smell like that anymore. I'm telling you, Harry, you don't ever want to be involved in that kind of stuff. I swear, if it happens again, I'll tell Hermione, and she'll set you straight, whether you want it or not!" With that, Seamus turned his heel and walked away.

Harry just looked on, wondering what that confrontation was all about.

"Hey mate, what did Seamus want with you?" Ron asked, walking up to him.

Harry shrugged. "I have no idea. Something about smelling bad?"

"Oh, you mean how you smelled when you got back from Snape's yesterday. Yeah, don't ever use that cologne again. Smells weird."

"Er, okay," Harry said, wondering what Ron was talking about.

The composer was wringing his hands and avoiding eye contact. "Gatto? With a child! Heavens no, I meant, that, Gatto er, he, that is, Gatto, if he ever had children—"

"Do you think I'm dim?" Draco hissed, "You are a horrible liar. Tell me the truth, or so help me, I'll go straight to Severus, and he'll tell me the truth."

The portrait seemed to pale, but Draco couldn't be sure. "Fine. Severus doesn't know, you can't tell him!"

"Can't tell him he has a kid? Who would keep that from a father!" Draco almost shouted. He was only tempering his voice because he had always been trained to keep a refined tone.

"The child told me not to tell. He really doesn't have the best relationship with him, so he doesn't want Gatto to know—"

"Aha! So it's a boy. Who knows Sev, but doesn't have a good relationship." Draco snorted, "but that could be any kid not in Slytherin." But this boy knows Vivaldi. That would narrow it down.

Draco simmered quickly. "Okay, I won't tell a soul," Draco said, smiling sweetly. That didn't mean he wasn't going to find out who the heck this kid was. "So, when should I come back?"

Vivaldi looked relieved that Draco was backing off. "I will get back to you through Gatto. Thank you for understanding," Vivaldi said with a sweeping bow. Draco nodded, feeling not a bit guilty for deceiving the composer. Not a bit.

"Potter, even I have lost track of how many detentions you have earned. No doubt, it would amount to more than a year's worth. I believe I am being lenient when I decide to move your detentions to Saturday, seven in the morning for two hours until a time at which I have seen your behavior improve."

"I thought you considered me a musician," Harry grumbled to himself, "And musicians would be nicer to each other. 'Cause they're all on the same side, really."

The man gave a short, sharp laugh. "You would be surprised at the dissention among us musicians. Ever heard of Camille Saint-Saëns?" Snape asked, looking through his shelves diligently. He pulled out some sheet music and shrunk the pages.

"Yeah, Carnival of the Animals, Danse Macabre, some kind of violin concerto, a really famous cello concerto…that's all I know that he composed."

Snape nodded, as if satisfied with Harry's paltry answer. "Did you like his music?"

"Er, yes, I suppose. Danse Macabre was amazing, but it wouldn't be as good for a single violin."

"Have you heard of Stravinsky?"

Harry had no idea how they were connected. "I'm not sure. I don't think I've ever played any of his works," Harry admitted.

"I'm sure you've heard at least part of his work," Snape said disbelievingly. "Perhaps Firebird? Rite of Spring ring any bells in that empty head of yours?" Snape walked over to a high shelf and summoned a tiny vial full of silver stuff. Harry recognized it—a memory. And there, the pensieve that had gotten him into trouble the year before.

Harry brushed off the insult. "Kind of…I didn't listen to much Western European music."

Snape sneered, "Of course you didn't." He grabbed Harry's wrist and making sure he had a firm grip, pulled him into the pensieve, and they landed in a large concert hall. Snape gestured for them to stand to the side, since all of the seats were taken. Harry looked at his strange surroundings; everyone was dressed in an old fashion, and it was strange, even for wizards. They looked like muggles from the 1900s. On the stage, not incredibly far away, were dancers dancing some strange tribal rite.

He heard something like a low oboe resonate through the old air. "This is the opening bassoon solo. Very nice, isn't it?" Snape didn't seem to care for the dancing, so Harry tried to concentrate only on the music.

Harry wondered what Snape was getting at. Sure, it was a nice bassoon solo, but he couldn't understand what was so great about it. Then, there! "Sour chord," Harry commented hesitantly. Was this an amateur performance or something? No, there were too many people attending for this to be an amateur orchestra. "Er, another sour chord?" he said to himself, listening to the discordant sounds. Even the spectators in the memory started whispering to each other.

"Boo!" was heard from a listener somewhere, and additional discouragements followed in angry succession.

"It is in the score," Snape simply said. Harry didn't know how Snape was able to read his mind without legilimizing him, but somehow, the man was able to see his doubt. "Do not look so incredulous, Potter. Here." Snape unshrunk the parchment he had taken earlier and handed it to him. He started making his way toward the stage from where they were, following whoever had the memory in the first place.

Harry looked down at the mess of notes, sharps and flats strewn all over the place. "What key is this in?" he asked, trying to understand what kind of song it was. He looked down at the score, noting the instruments, and busying himself with seeing how instruments were called on the Italian score. He noticed a word beside a line of music and snickered.

"What is so entertaining Potter?" Snape growled, as he continued walking toward the stage, though Harry could not see if they were following anyone or if Snape was moving of his own accord.

Harry worried his lip, wondering if he should tell the irate man. He shrugged in his mind—might as well, since he had detentions until he graduated. "It says fagotti."

Snape blinked. Twice. "Your immaturity astounds me."

"It's just funny," Harry tried defending himself, "A long time ago, I learned that the Italian 'violin' came from some random Roman goddess for joy or something. But the bassoon? The Italian for bassoon is a bundle of sticks?" Harry snickered again.

"Is that it?" Snape snorted, as if he were containing his laughter. They stopped right in front of the stage, close enough that they could see into the pit containing the orchestra, and close enough to have the jarring music disturb Harry's senses. The music was nothing compared to the ruckus the audience was making, though.

Harry looked at him, head cocked to the side. "Well, yeah. What did you think I was think—Professor!"

Snape folded his arms, looking away as if embarrassed. "I said nothing."

Suddenly, they heard a shout. Snape leaped onto the stage with unexpected grace and looked at Harry to join him. Harry tried to imitate Snape's jump—after all, the man was at least twenty years older than him, and Harry was supposed to be hin his prime—and landed clumsily, as if he had tumbled from the floo network. He swiftly forgot his ungainliness as he looked out over the crowd.

"What's going on?" he asked, not realizing he asked aloud.

Snape merely walked further onto the stage, looking behind the props and the stage and the curtains. Harry's eyes widened as he turned to the violent audience and saw punches thrown and people hit with canes. Shouts filled the theatre, and chaos was everywhere. Snape stopped well into the stage so that Harry could see a man, perhaps the choreographer, shouting numbers in some language, probably Russian or Albanian, to the dancers who probably couldn't hear the music due to the noise of the angry throng of people. The lights started flickering, but from his new perspective, he could see a different man fiddling with the lights in a vain attempt to calm the crowd. Harry had no idea how that would help.

"That's Camille Saint-Saëns," said Snape, nodding toward a section in the audience, from which there was a man rising from his seat. He looked disgusted at the music and the orchestra, and in a dignified manner, left the theater. Harry could only assume that this was Saint-Saëns.

"And that's Igor Stravinsky," Snape pointed out. On the stage, Harry focused his gaze on a man on the verge of tears looking out over the heated audience. The man turned and fled the scene, and Harry could only feel sorry as the scene melted away, the chaos remaining in the one memory.

"Wow," Harry said, as he set solid foot on the dungeon floor.

"Indeed. You have just witnessed, Mr. Potter, the power of music."

"You mean noise!" Harry argued.

Snape rolled his eyes and took the sheet music back from Harry without any malice. "You didn't even hear the whole thing, and you're already judging it? What stupidity!"

"You're saying I'll like it more if I listened to the whole thing?"

Snape did not reply, but he did place the memory back into the vial and stoppered it. He levitated it back to the high shelf and replaced the sheet music in its proper place. "Perhaps. Remember you have detention next Saturday. And get out."

Harry hovered outside the door to the dungeons, wondering what just happened. Snape didn't tell him to 'get out' with any malice. In fact, it sounded like it was just a normal, if neutral, dismissal.

Saturday night was a quiet affair in the Room of Requirement with Ron and Hermione, but Harry couldn't stand the noise or the lights. Harry pulled a dampened napkin over his eyes and groaned. "I'm so tired of everything." He'd been working of his assignments all day, since the past week had been a blur of Snape, Snape, music, and more Snape.

"He acts like he's being all gracious, moving my detentions, but you know, it would be even better if he'd just cancel them! It's not like I do anything, anyway!" He didn't hear the squeak of the door.

"Harry--," Hermione tried to interrupt.

"I go there, and he drills me on music of all things, and generally just makes me feel uncomfortable and stupid. And he's always saying that Vivaldi's wrong, and he never explains himself, and he expects people to just accept everything he says as gospel truth. He's so arrogant!" Nor the two pairs of footsteps.

He felt Ron's hand tightly gripping his shoulder. "Harry, please, shut up!"

Harry yanked his shoulder away from Ron and growled, "No, this needs to be said! I know how to handle mean Snape, Slytherin Snape, unfair biased Snape, but I have no idea what to do with this strangely civil Snape. I can't handle so much change in one year, and I almost wish Snape would go back to being the unreasonable bully."

"Harry!" both Ron and Hermione shouted.

Turning his head to the side, he opened his eyes. He slipped the towel slightly off, and glared at his friends, snarling, "What!" Their frightened expressions told him that there was something wrong. Something really wrong. With a resigned sigh, he said, "He's right behind me, isn't he?"

"No, Potter, I'm right in front of you."

Harry wrenched his head forward, ignoring the painful whiplash, and imagined that his face held the same expression as his friends'. "Uh, hey Professor. What're you doing here?"

"I expect you in the dungeons in ten minutes," the man simply said before turning on his heel and disappearing.

"I wouldn't want to be you right now, mate," was all that Ron said, patting his back.

Hermione only frowned. "We tried to warn you. Just go, it's not like anything else is going on today. Just be back before curfew, please?"

Harry sighed. "Yeah, yeah..."

The boy's rants didn't disturb him. Not at all. Did he even realize that he was being civil with Potter Jr.? When did he start being 'civil Snape,' anyway? Severus growled. It was the music. He was so enamoured with music—or maybe he was trying to recapture Lily in a boy who was obviously like his father.

But neither Lily nor, god forbid, James, had perfect pitch. And it had been bothering him all day. The ability to determine pitch without aid had been explored by scientists and wizards alike for centuries, maybe millennia. Many thought it was genetic, but he knew that, as skilled as Lily undoubtedly was, she did not have perfect pitch. And Potter Sr. was the least musical man in the history of man. So, if this Potter had perfect pitch, it was only Severus's duty to cultivate the boy's talent. To make the boy realize his gift.

Even if it tore at his heartstrings and clawed at his mind.

Ten minutes later, he sat at his desk opposite a miniature James. Severus unsheathed his wand and waved it once. A pleasant, somewhat high-pitched sound buzzed in the air, an A sharp, Severus concluded. He looked at Potter, wondering what the boy would reveal if he legilimized him right then and there.

"Tell me, Potter, what note do you think this is?"

Potter looked at him strangely, and Severus didn't mind. If their roles were switched, he'd be confused too. Pausing only that second, Potter said, "I'm not sure. It sounds like an A sharp."

Severus snapped his eyes onto Potter's and resisted the urge to delve into the boy's mind. "What, not a B flat?" Severus asked him.

Potter's mouth opened as if he were going to say something, but closed it and furrowed his brow. "No, it's…different from a B flat."

This was interesting. "How can you be sure?" Severus wheedled.

The boy's hands were clenched, probably more because of his confusion rather than anger. "I can't be sure, Snape. It just is."

"Ah. Try this one." He magicked another note, in a different octave, just in case Potter's relative pitch was any good.

"That's C. Sounds like middle C," Potter said confidently. And before Severus could ask why he thought so, the boy added, "It sounds like the second finger on the A string. Definitely."

Severus nodded. He tried not to show his excitement. Perfect pitch! Even if it was a Potter, it was Lily's son. And Lily's son was a prodigy with absolute pitch. If only Lily were here to be proud of her child, because no one else would—Severus stopped thinking right there.

"Well, Potter, I guess you've never tested yourself for perfect pitch?"

The boy's eyes widened. "Is that what you've been doing? I have perfect pitch?" the boy asked, his voice bordering on delight. Severus almost regretted testing the boy. This was only another ability to add to Potter's ever growing list of the Boy's-Who-Lived talents.

"Mozart, Beethoven, Bach…I—them!"

Severus was suddenly disgusted at the boy. He thinks he's at the same level of the great composers? Ha! Severus snorted and sneered, "Don't think you're so special, boy." Was that a flinch, Mr. Potter? "Perfect pitch doesn't automatically put you at the same caliber of the greats. If you assumed so, then I would also be among them." There! That should put the boy in his place. He must not be used to sharing his gifts.

Indeed, it seemed Potter paled and stiffened. Well, that wasn't quite the reaction he was seeking, but it was a reaction all the same. "Potter, get out. You still have detention next Saturday," this time, he remembered to inject as much venom as he could into his tone. Potter would never have to worry about him being civil again. He slammed the door once Potter was standing the hall. "Civil, indeed," he muttered angrily to himself.

Classes dragged on for Harry, and he realized he should have been happy at the lack of Voldemort so far that year when he was called to Dumbledore's office.

"Harry, I hope everything has been well this year?" the old man asked, looking him in the eye.

Harry remembered to keep the room at the forefront of his mind in case Dumbledore was suspicious. "Er, relatively uneventful, sir. So, I guess that's not the only reason you called me up here," he said, wanting to get straight to the point. He was supposed to meet Vivaldi today.

"Yes, well, I have been meaning to tell you a few truths. Some very hard-hitting truths," the weary man sighed. "And I've been trying to let you grow up without having to worry."

Harry didn't feel anger this time. Sympathy, for the old man and his sad, sometimes misled attempts to bring good, was Harry's primary feeling. Fear and indignation struggled for second, one dreaded what the truth could be, and the other felt offended for having been kept from the truth. So he just nodded.

"Tom Riddle…well, we'll start before that. Merope Gaunt."

And that started the trips down memory lane. He grew to understand the Dark Lord better than anyone else, even Dumbledore. For only Harry could understand, not condone or excuse, Riddle's decisions. Harry had no hatred for muggles, but he could see how someone could grow to hate his oppressors, his bullies. It seemed Riddle never had a Hermione, or a Ron, never had Dumbledore as Harry had Dumbledore. He had endless ambition, hatred for those who hurt him, and no loving support system.

"Horcruxes. Seven of them."

And Harry wondered if he would have walked that very same path if Riddle hadn't done so before him, if Harry didn't have his friends and Remus and Dumbledore and Sirius, and everyone else who loved him.

"Only one deed can split a soul as Tom Riddle did. And he split it many times."

And Harry left, his mind filled with 'what if's.

Draco was faring no better, but for a completely different reason. The disillusionment spell revealed far more than he expected. Far, far more. Vivaldi's room, to think there was another room—! To think, Draco would have never guessed that Vivaldi's room could be created in the strange room. The same room he had been using to hide—but he wasn't going to think about it.

Days ago, when he'd miserably walked toward the room of hidden things, he hadn't expected to see Potter and company walking back and forth in front of it. Did they know how to find the room? Draco was amazed when he saw the three casually walk into a room completely different from the room he had been seeing for the past few months. He was tempted to go in. But he decided not to. At least, until Severus Snape came gliding down the corridor.

The man hesitated before the door, but didn't hesitate long. Draco slithered through the door just as Snape closed it behind him. The room was exactly like Severus's closet. The chairs, the piano, the bookcases, even Vivaldi was there! And boy, was the composer shooting him panicked looks.

There was really no risk for himself, Draco thought. After all, if any of them did see through the disillusionment charm, then Severus would just chide him and let him go. It wasn't as if the room were restricted for the use of a few people.

He heard Potter complaining, the drama queen. "I go there, and he drills me on music of all things, and generally just makes me feel uncomfortable and stupid. And he's always saying that Vivaldi's wrong, and he never explains himself, and he expects people to just accept everything he says as gospel truth. He's so arrogant!" Both Severus and unseen Draco took a few steps forward.

A frightening thought hit Draco. Harry Potter knew Vivaldi. Harry Potter had contact with Severus. Harry Potter was a musician?

"Harry, please, shut up!" Really, Potter, listen to the weasel and stop yapping. Draco's head felt like it would explode from the new and shocking information.

"No, this needs to be said!" Draco felt nauseous. "I know how to handle mean Snape, Slytherin Snape, unfair biased Snape, but I have no idea what to do with this strangely civil Snape. I can't handle so much change in one year, and I almost wish Snape would go back to being the unreasonable bully."

Vivaldi said that Snape didn't know he had a kid, so why was Potter claiming that Sev was being nice? Draco hadn't seen Severus be anything but unfair toward Potter.

"Harry!" both Ron and Hermione shouted.

Draco snickered. "What!" Potter yelled. Draco watched with glee as horror grew upon Potter's face. "He's right behind me, isn't he?"

"No, Potter, I'm right in front of you." Draco almost couldn't stifle his laughter.

"Uh, hey Professor. What're you doing here?" What, no 'Snape,' no 'greasy git'? What was wrong with these Gryffindors?

"I expect you in the dungeons in ten minutes."

"I wouldn't want to be you right now, mate," Weasel said.

"We tried to warn you. Just go, it's not like anything else is going on today. Just be back before curfew, please?"

"Yeah, yeah..."

And Draco followed Potter out the door, and raced to the dungeons, ending up at Severus's office before Potter. He couldn't infiltrate Severus's office. It would be a serious breach of trust; the room was completely different from Severus's office.

Ah, but the potions classroom, now that was completely different. Draco had no qualms about sneaking into the classroom. After all, it was a classroom! He stood in a darkened corner in the back, strengthening his charm. If it failed now, he wasn't sure how he'd explain himself, because he was sure Severus wouldn't appreciate his eavesdropping in this particular case.

He expected something grand, something dramatic, something…more than Severus asking Potter to identify sounds. How lame. Who cared if Potter could tell that a random sound was, what was it, an A-sharp? No one, except apparently Severus. Draco glared at them, glared at Severus' growing excitement and Potter's confusion.

Severus looked entirely too happy. Of course, the man wasn't smiling or laughing, but even from the back of the room, Draco could see his eyes sparkling. Severus Snape generally had bored eyes, uninterested in the mundane, the doxa, as he had once put it. But now, those black orbs sparkled with exhilaration, and dare he say it, happiness.

Draco remembered a time when he was child, and Severus's happiness could only be caused by a hug from little Draco, or a badly drawn picture. These days, all Draco could cause in Severus was worry and doubt. These days, Severus's happiness could be caused by Potter identifying some stupid random notes! Draco fled the scene before he could vomit at the sight of a happy Severus and an oblivious Potter.

That was how Draco found himself under another disillusionment charm, sitting in front of the room. It was in the middle of the week and Severus was busy doing professorly things, like grading and shouting and drinking wine.

He couldn't wait forever, and he couldn't go into Severus's closet. So here he was. He opened the door to the room, desiring that room, the same room Potter had been in a few days before.

"Draco!" Vivaldi said in surprise, not at all unhappy to see the boy again.

"I know."

Vivaldi cocked his head to the side, his wig almost sliding off. "You know what?" But the man was rapidly paling, as if there were an invisible painter brushing white oils onto Vivaldi's already pale face.

It didn't matter if Draco was wrong. He would just continue to investigate. He was a Slytherin after all, and he was clever if nothing else. Any idiot could put two and two together. One, it was a boy, so that ruled out half of the Hogwarts population. Two, it was someone who had (or used to have, Draco thought bitterly), a shared animosity with Severus, and that ruled out a fourth of that half. Lastly, it was someone who knew and dealt with Vivaldi on a regular basis. Draco knew that Vivaldi had only one other student apart from himself. And if that was Harry Potter, then Severus's mysterious son had to be none other than the Boy-Who-Lived.

Draco smirked. "You know what I know." Draco hoped he was at least confusing the man a little. Having a befuddled opponent made things easier. Draco couldn't believe his luck—the blackmail potential in this information as astounding! He'd never have to listen to Vivaldi prattle on about music ever again!

The man let out a sigh, one of those resigned sighs, as if there were no hope. "So I do. And apparently so do you. Tell me, young Draco, what do you intend to do with this new information?"

Apparently Vivaldi was not as stupid as Draco thought him. "I thought it would be clear," Draco sneered, "I won't reveal to Potter and Severus that I know of their blood relation, and you won't tell Severus when I skip these ridiculous sessions."

Draco scowled when he saw the composer shaking his head slowly. "I think not."

"Then I'll tell Severus," Draco countered.

The composer let out another bone-weary sigh, and it was starting to annoy Draco. "I suppose you'll do what you must. Personally, I would rather Gato know. It is young Harry who doesn't want him to know. You would actually do me a favor, since I would not bear the guilt for telling him."

"But you're the one who slipped that Severus even had a son!" Draco protested. It wasn't fair! The one Slytherin-like thing he thought he could actually do, and it falls flat.

Vivaldi smiled sadly. "I must atone for that. But it remains that I am not the one who will tell Gato. Go ahead."

Draco glared at the painting. Telling Severus, would that be a good thing or a bad thing? Telling had no adverse effects for him personally, he thought, but what would it do to Severus? Draco wouldn't fool himself into thinking he knew everything about his godfather. He didn't know how the man's mind worked. Then there was Potter.

For Potter, things could go either of two ways: one, the more likely, Severus denies Potter and things go back to the way they were or become worse, or two, the impossible, Severus accepts Potter and Draco loses his godfather to the Golden boy.

But Severus would never abandon Draco, and though Draco didn't know his godfather completely, he did know that his godfather loved him unconditionally. Right? But that scene in the potions classroom…it seemed Severus and Potter were getting along swimmingly. Where did Draco fit in all that? If he did need saving from the Dark Lord, Severus would be there, right? After all, Potter was the symbol of the light; Severus, one of the Dark Lord's most trusted Death Eaters, couldn't be all fatherly toward Potter. But then, what happened in the potions classroom? Perhaps it was a ploy!

Yes! Draco thought triumphantly. It could only be an act to lure Potter into the Death Eaters' clutches. Severus being Potter's father could only help the Dark Lord. Unless Severus wasn't acting, and genuinely didn't hate Potter…it was music after all, and if Severus had a weakness, it was music.

It all came down to one decisive question: did Severus really hate Potter?

Draco's thoughts were making little sense.

"Before you go, though, Severus asked that the next time you visit, I have you see a memory he found for you."

"Is it his?" Draco asked suspiciously. It seemed like a random afterthought, as if Draco telling Severus about Potter was no longer a problem.

"His pensieve, but not his memory. He keeps certain memories that he finds useful. He thought this might make you appreciate what you have."

Pfft! Please, Severus didn't intend to show him a memory about some poor child with no money and no parents, did he? Draco knew very well how fortunate he was, and he didn't care that other people were less fortunate. It wasn't his problem.

"It might interest you. But of course, it is not here. If you wish to see it, you must ask the room to recreate it here."

Did Draco want to waste his time looking at an old memory? As if! He scoffed and walked toward the door, his mind drifting away from whether he should reveal Snape and Potter's shared blood and toward what that memory might be. What could Snape possibly want Draco to see, and why did Vivaldi not care if he saw it at all? Vivaldi was taking an awfully passive stance lately, and it bothered Draco. What could that memory be?

Draco didn't see the smile on Vivaldi's face as the pensive materialized on a cushioned chair. But Draco did realize that he wanted to find out whatever Severus wanted him to know.

Throwing all caution to the wind, Draco hovered before the pensieve and leaned down into its depths.

A/N: Usually don't have author's notes at the end, but I wanted to see what you guys think the memory will be about. I can tell you right now that it's not in canon. It's something from history. I wonder if anyone will get it...if you want me to reply about how close/far you are, just mention it in a review *cough*