Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in this story, for all belong to J.K. Rowling, but I don't think she would mind if I borrowed them for just a moment.

Summary: When Harry is alone in the Astronomy Tower, dealing with the loss of his godfather, professor Snape finds him and offers his advice.

BREAKING THE SILENCE

CHAPTER 5

Harry looked at the small note that had been delivered to him this morning during breakfast. He read it one more time, but already knew the content by heart:

"Meet me at my office at 7 PM. I want to show you something. – Snape"

The reason for this meeting was not given in the note, but Harry thought he could guess it. Tonight, it was exactly one year ago that Sirius had died. He wasn't sure if he wanted to talk to Snape tonight. Actually, he would have preferred to be alone. Yet his feet were carrying him to the dungeons at this very moment. He did not know why he went. Maybe it was fear for Snape's anger, maybe it was faith in him.

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"It's a year ago now that he past away," Snape began. "And I want to offer and discuss something with you."

Harry sat up straighter, growing curious. Snape seemed a little different. Nervous perhaps. He wondered what could make his stern professor nervous.

"I want to take you back there. One last time. I want to take you back, so that you can end this for yourself."

"Back to the ministry?" Harry whispered, a little shocked. "I don't know, professor. I don't think I can do that and I don't think I want that."

"I will be there with you. You won't be alone. Let me tell you something: Years ago, when my grandmother had died, I did not dare to go back to her house. I was scared too. Until one day, I felt I was ready and went there. It immediately felt like it did when she still lived there. Comfortable, trustworthy and safe. It brought me a lot of closure, to just sit there and reflect. It helped me a lot and I think it will help you too."

"Okay," Harry decided for himself. He was surprised when he heard himself say it. He didn't know why, but in a strange way, it seemed the right thing to do. He couldn't really explain or justify it, but yet he added: "I'll go with you."

"Very brave, Mr. Potter," Snape's voice did not display a hint of sarcasm.

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Harry stood in front of the big wooden door to the rectangular room in the centre of which stood the ancient archway that was hung by the black veil. Yet he didn't dare to enter. Now, it seemed a mistake to come here. A stupid mistake. He turned away from the door, to Snape. "I can't do it," There was despair in his voice. He hated it.

Snape nodded with an understanding look. "It is hard, I know. But take your time. Just try it."

Harry turned back to the door and put his hand on the knob. He closed his eyes and slowly opened it. It took a full minute for him to gather the courage to look. When he did, he saw it. The black veil, fluttering slightly, just as it had done the last time he was here. Harry approached it, slowly, as if in some kind of trance. His footsteps echoed on the stone floor, but he did not hear it. For his eyes, Sirius' last moments played over and over gain. He saw him dueling with Bellatrix, a jet of light hitting him in his chest, him falling slowly through the veil. Harry came closer and closer to it, his ears now filled with a faint whispering which seemed to come from inside the veil. He reached out to it, his hand coming closer and closer to the curtain, until Snape's strong hand grabbed his arm and pulled him back.

"Don't touch it," He warned sternly.

"Sorry," Harry said softly. "What do we do now?"

Snape sank down on his knees in front of the veil. "Sit down," Harry sat down next to him. "Close your eyes and listen."

Harry tried, but opened his eyes after just a moment. He did not want to listen. It scared him in a way he could not explain. "There's nothing there. He's gone." He made an attempt to get up, but Snape pulled him back.

"Sit down, Mr. Potter and listen!"

"What do you want me to hear?" Harry almost yelled at him.

"Voices," Snape told him calmly. "Voices of those who have passed beyond."

"Can you hear them?" Harry answered skeptic.

"Yes, and you can too. Try!"

Harry said down again and closed his eyes. He heard faint whispers, soft voices calling out his name. "Can they hear me?" He asked, eyes still closed.

"I don't know," Snape answered. "Talk to them,"

Harry hesitated for a moment. It seemed weird to just start talking to a black veil. What if he got no answer? And what if he got one? But the thought of his godfather speaking to him once more persuaded him. He started to whisper, very softly and very careful: "Sirius, I don't know if you can hear me or not, but I want to try. I want to say to you that I'm sorry. I'm sorry for getting you in the position that caused your death. I miss you, Sirius. I miss you a lot. You were the person that I trusted most and now you are gone, like my mum and dad. I don't understand, but I don't blame you. You couldn't help it. I just want to tell you that I love you. And I ... I just hope that you'll wait for me, you know, up there."

Harry bowed his head, trying to cover and prevent the tears streaming down his face.

"It's okay to cry, Harry," Snape told him silently. Then he stepped away, giving him some space.

The boy was sitting in front of the veil and for the first time, he let it all out. He held his head in his hands and sat there on his knees, rocking slowly back and forth. Harry cried for minutes, until he was interrupted. His sobs stopped and he wiped his tears away with his sleeve. He looked intently at the veil, seeming to listen. Snape tried to hear something, but he couldn't. Harry however, could. In his head, he heard the familiar, soft voice of his godfather and he felt a warmth and a light spread through his whole body. It was something he had not felt for a very long time. It was that rare feeling of pure happiness that you only seldom had. After a few minutes, he got up and turned to Snape.

"He says it's nice up there. And they're waiting for me."

Snape smiled at him. An honest, true smile that Harry had never seen of him before. He hesitated for a moment, and then returned it.

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Again, they stood at the open windows of the Astronomy Tower. Harry looked at the stars, just like he had done before and thought about everything that had changed. Gone was his despair and self pity. His real self had returned, in a way. He had not forgotten Sirius. Not at all. In fact, he remembered him again. Everything about him that Harry liked, had come back to him. It wasn't shadowed by his own grief anymore. Sirius was Sirius again, and he was waiting for Harry. He promised. Harry had faced it. He had faced his sadness and fear. And he wasn't afraid anymore to admit that he was happier now, nor was he afraid to smile again.

Snape felt relieved and happy about how it all went today. Potter had changed and he himself had changed too. He had softened up and noticed that he cared. He cared about Potter and his other students. He realized that he liked his bond with the boy. They were so different, yet they shared the same illusion. An illusion that seemed much more real after today than ever before. Snape knew now for sure that they were also waiting for him. He wanted it, thought it and believed it.

Severus Snape looked down at Harry Potter and his dark eyes met Harry's green ones. Without either of them speaking another word, they both knew the silence was broken.

THE END

This was it. This was 'Breaking the Silence' and it has helped me a lot. It helped me recover from the loss of my grandmother, Wub, who died on the 14th of April, exactly four months ago. This is my tribute to her, but not only to her, but to everyone that we have to miss. I will always remember who she was and I will always love her. She was a strong, intelligent woman, liked and loved by many people. A woman you could always go to, and she deserved much more than the way she died. But I will see her again. I share Harry's and Snape's illusion. She and my grandfather stand on one of those hills, waiting for me. I want, think and will always believe that. Thank you.