DISCLAIMER: DO NOT OWN IT (unfortunately)
A/N: Last chapter! I really, really hope you like it. It goes by quickly, but I really like it . . . it was . . . interesting? . . . to write. Anyway, I have an idea for a companion fic to this one; one from Severus' point of view from chapter 7 up until Harry starts his first year at Hogwarts. I don't know when I'll be able to write it, though.
Chapter 8 - The Return
Severus Snape dropped his tea cup as the memories returned.
"Welcome, my newest Death Eaters. I have a special gift for all of you: one who has defied me. Defied us. By the end of tonight, there will be one less who is against our cause. Bring him out!" Severus paled when he saw who it was.
"Ah. Hello, Mr. Woshda. I hope your stay has been comfortable?" Harry just glared at Voldemort. "No manners, I see," he said flatly. "Crucio." Harry's screams echoed through the woods. "Now," he continued when he lifted the curse, "you will address your superiors."
"You are not my superior, Tom," Harry answered quietly, but defiantly.
"Crucio!" He held the curse for five minutes. "You will not address me by that name. I am Lord Voldemort." Harry stood up, then turned in place, looking at the Death Eaters. His eyes caught a very familiar set.
"Severus," Harry hissed. Severus didn't answer. "So, this is how you repay friendship. With betrayal. Are you enjoying this? Will you enjoy seeing me tortured to death? Well, if this is the path you choose, I hope you're happy at the end." Harry turned back to Voldemort.
"How touching," Voldemort sneered. "Ten rounds," he told his servants. "Make it good."
Then the torture started. Harry had to give them the credit that they were creative. By the time it came to Severus' turn, Harry couldn't stand anymore. But no curse came. Harry looked up.
"What, changing your mind, Snape? A little late for that, don't you think?" No answer. "Come on, do it! Hex me! Curse me! Show me what our friendship means to you." No answer. "Come on! Do it, Snape!"
"Flagriea!" Snape hissed, and Harry burst into flames. They weren't real flames, but it felt like it. Snape canceled the fire after five minutes.
Half an hour later, Harry was wondering how he was still alive. He was not only in pain, but he felt . . . weird. Like he was going to disappear. Wait, maybe I'm being pulled . . . Harry wasn't able continue his thoughts before he blacked out.
"We have to find him! I just remembered him disappearing!"
"Severus, do you have any idea where that meeting was?" Dumbledore and Snape sat in silence for the next few minutes. Then there was a power surge.
"What was that?"
"I don't know, my boy, but it came from the Forest." Snape was out of the office before the headmaster finished.
Harry slowly woke up, vaguely wondering why, and how, he was alive. It didn't match up with his last memory. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a black blur. The blur handed him his glasses, and all Harry could do was glare when he saw who it was. He didn't notice that the man's eyes were moist.
"I'm sorry, Shadow," whispered Snape.
"Were you happy?" sneered Harry. Snape didn't answer right away.
"No," he said. "I chose the wrong path. I'm sorry."
Harry just turned over on his side, his back to Snape. Snape took the hint and left.
"Where did he go!"
"I don't know, Master," replied Snape.
"Crucio!" Severus screamed from the pain. "Where is he?"
"I do not know, my Lord. I have not spoken to him for two weeks before this."
"Back to the circle." Snape bowed and went back to his place. In reality, he thought he did know where Harry went. Back to his own time. He wondered slightly how his future self would be like. Harry had refused to tell him, but Severus had a feeling his once-best friend knew.
What have I done?
"Harry!" Remus said to Harry, who was once again stuck in the infirmary. "I was just told you were back! Actually, I was just recently been told you were missing! To the past at that!"
"Hello, Remus," Harry said, sullenly. "So, you know what happened?"
"That you were Woshda? Yes," Remus answered. "I was only told about two weeks ago, though. What happened? I was told that you have serious injuries. How . . ."
"Voldemort," Harry answered, and Remus began to look grim.
"Even in the past you can't escape him, can you?"
"I guess not, though, most of it was my fault. If I just kept my mouth shut . . ." He didn't bother finishing.
"You should talk to Severus. He's . . . worried about you. I think he regrets what he did."
"As he should!" hissed Harry. "I don't want to talk about him! Ever!"
"Okay, Harry," Remus said quietly. "Okay.
Harry refused to talk to Snape when he started up classes again. Snape, on the other hand, attempted several times to talk to Harry. He wrote letters, held him after class; nothing worked. Even the headmaster tried to help, with no luck. One day, Harry burst into the teacher lounge, to the surprise of every professor in there. Harry stalked angrily and dangerously up to Snape.
"You betrayed me to your Lord, Snape! Did you really hate me that much!"
"Harry . . ."
"You have no right to call me Harry. You betrayed me. You said that I betrayed you, when all I was doing was trying to help you! Was that what it was? Payback? You were right. I couldn't trust you. You are, after all, a Slytherin."
"As are you, Shadow," hissed Snape.
"Yes, but I didn't give up my best friend to be killed!"
"I told you, I'm sorry!"
"As did I, before, but did you listen? I don't know if sorry is enough, Serpentine."
"What . . .?" asked McGonagall and Flitwick, but they were cut off by Snape.
"Then what is?" Harry paused to think.
"I don't know," Harry answered softly, the adrenaline starting to leave his body, now that what he wanted to say was out. Snape closed his eyes.
"I didn't understand what you meant when you warned me about them. I did after they brought you out. After you disappeared. I knew then that I chose wrong. You were the only one who cared, Shadow. Please," Snape begged. Harry had calmed down after his rant. The tone in Snape's voice was weird. Snape never begged. They just stared at each other for several minutes before the other professors in the room were no longer stunned.
"What is going on here?" asked McGonagall.
"Minerva, do you remember a young man by the name of Harry Woshda?" Dumbledore asked. She nodded, then it seem to hit her.
"You mean . . .?" Dumbledore nodded.
"Mr. Woshda is really Mr. Potter. It explains his absence for the past six months, the recently remembered memories, and Mr. Potter's current outburst."
"How . . .?" Flitwick started, but was interrupted by Harry speaking.
"What happened to Sel?" he asked, despite the voice telling him he didn't want to know.
"She was killed."
"By Death Eaters, I assume?"
The room was silent.
"I'm sorry, Shadow," Severus whispered. "I truly am."
"I know," Harry whispered back.
It took some time, but once again, Harry and Severus began to trust each other. In fact, it took the rest of the school year. Because Harry was ahead in D.A.D.A., they were able to bring him back to the school to say that his personal training outside of Hogwarts was finished, but Severus decided to take up teaching him.
When summer came, Severus refused to let Harry return to the Dursley's, despite Harry saying he'd be fine; that they were better now. Instead, Harry moved in with Severus, with charms on him in case of unwanted visitors (namely, Death Eaters).
The two wizards avoided talking about their past. They were happy now . . . or, at least as happy as they could be with the current war, but the past brought up thoughts that neither wanted to think about.
Basically, neither could decide whether the end of the pain justified the means it took to relieve it, and they probably never would.