Those Eyes That Burn

By Tiger 4/27/06

SUMMARY: A conversation between Dumbledore and Snape concerning Harry. Snape must face a few demons of his own past as a result. Set sometime during HBP. NOT SLASH.

DISCLAIMER: I in no way own Harry Potter or its characters. I only own the plot to this story.

Severus Snape was not a happy man at the moment. He was not happy about the situation Draco's mother put him in, nor was he happy about how he had received his current position. Apparently, no one wished to risk their own precious neck to teach children how to fight. It was no secret in the Wizarding world that Defense Against the Dark Arts was a cursed position. Severus had been all to happy to accept the job he coveted. What he didn't like was that he seemed to be the last resort for the job.

Despite it all, he had to admit that he rather relished the look of horrified surprise on Potter's face when Dumbledore announced his new position. That was what kept him going most days, torturing Potter and his friends. He was childish, he supposed, to keep up a feud that the boy had nothing to do with other than an accident of birth. But revenge felt sweet nonetheless.

"Severus," Snape groaned inwardly at the sharpness of the headmaster's voice. He was in no mood for another argument with the headmaster. He cared for the man as he would a father, true, but he was just as irritated with the man as he would have been with his own father. Especially when the sharp tone was directed at him. He quietly got up to open the door for the headmaster.

"What do you want, Albus?" Severus asked with a sneer on his face. No need for the headmaster to know that he was only slightly troubled.

"You know perfectly well what I wish, Severus," Albus Dumbledore stood regal in his anger. "We've been through this man, many times."

"Ah yes, the Potter boy," Severus said with more sneering. He seated Dumbledore in a chair.

"Why must you treat him as a criminal? You know perfectly well that he is not," Dumbledore let his gaze pierce through the younger man.

"As I've been saying for the past six years, Headmaster," Severus hoped that by invoking the title he would be able to cut the conversation short. "The Potter boy is just a boy, not a celebrity and must be treated as such. He has proven himself to be a persistent rule breaker, just like his father was." He really didn't mean to spit that last word out so cruelly.

"Is that why you've been punishing the boy?" Albus knew exactly what this was about. He had been a food to not see how deeply the Marauder-Snape feud ran. "You're punishing him because you can't punish James."

"I am most certainly not!" The nerve of the headmaster! Snape thought. Even if his accusation was rather true.

"What would Lily think of it all, I wonder?" Albus paused. "What would she think if one of her dearest friends treated her only child the way you have been?"

"Do not mention her name, Lily is head!" Snape shouted. He paused momentarily. He had said it. Lily was dead, after all of the years after the even, he said it.

"Should you not then respect the memory of the dead?" Albus asked softly. "You know this as well as I, Harry is her living memory."

Severus pushed away the sudden guilt he felt. "But you know as well as I, Albus, that Potter is the living memory of his father more so than his mother."

"Are you quite sure, Severus?" Albus rose to leave. "It is late, I should be going." He showed himself out the door.