Title: Of Hell and High Water
Rating: M for adult themes
In the story: The story jumps from Harry's to Severus's point of view, shown by the solid line.
cccccccc indicates later on
A/N Hey guys, this is my first f-fic so please be kind, constructive criticism is welcome and tell me if I get too soppy. R & R please!
A/N 2: Hey everyone. I have decided that i'm going to revamp some of the older chapters (I know the grammars not so great) while i'm doing some of the new ones. My beta is currently too busy to help, so if anyone is interested in proof reading some of the new chapters, please drop me a review or a private message. Thx : )
He felt the hands, groping, hitting, hurting. He tried to move, to fight back but all his limbs were restrained. He heard the maniacal laughter, the stench of alcohol was near overpowering. He hurt so badly but there was nothing he could do; he was totally helpless. The darkness was stifling, he couldn't breathe…
'Turn him over' said the voice. Cold terror flooded through him as he realise what was about to happen…
'HARRY, WAKE UP!' Ron yelled. He was becoming accustomed to waking his thrashing friend up in this manner. It was the third time this week after all. The emerald green eyes snapped open as he toppled off the bed. Harry gritted his teeth against the pain flooding through his body, his left arm by far the most of all which he covered protectively as he looked up to see his friend's concerned face.
'Another vision?' Ron asked worriedly.
'Just a nightmare' he muttered.
'You want some water?' Harry gave a mute nod; he was shaking in an effort to not cry out. The second Ron turned around he pulled a blue vial from his pocket, uncorked it and took a large mouthful. Quickly he put it away as Ron came back. He felt his muscles start to relax as the pain relief potion began to take effect.
Ron looked at the pale teen, trembling slightly on the floor before him. He had known that 6th year wasn't going to be easy for any of them, Harry particularly, but he was becoming more and more worried that Harry needed help. He handed over the glass and took Harry's right arm, heaved him up onto the bed, ignoring Harry's flinch at the touch of his hand.
'You wanna talk?'
'No.' Harry felt bad at pushing Ron away, he did it to Hermione too, but neither of them could help. The truth would only upset and disgust them, and he realised that he would have to let them go eventually. People close to him just got hurt.
Both teens went back to bed, or Harry at least pretended to. As soon as he heard Ron's rather loud snores, he crept down to the common room, relit the fire with his wand and began rereading and adding things to the essays they had been given for homework. It was still early Friday morning and no one else was awake.
Harry had began to like homework this year. Homework didn't bite or demand answers to questions he couldn't give. It didn't ask him why he hated physical contact or things to that extend. It was safe and it gave him an excuse not to talk to other people. As a result he was receiving better marks. Hermione thought it was brilliant, of course, and Ron though it slightly strange but acceptable. Harry never told them the real reason for his interest- he said it was because he needed better marks to become an auror, although personally he doubted he would live that long.
As time pasted, people started rising and getting ready to face the last day of the first week of term. Harry went to dress and wake Ron. When they were ready they met Hermione and went down for breakfast with the rest of the early risers. They had taken to it to avoid the rest of the school stares, or so Harry said, they still gave The-Boy-Who-Lived funny looks for telling the truth about Voldemort's return. Actually Harry liked it because then they could escape the rush of students trying to get to class. He hated being jostled in a crowd getting to lessons. It was awkward for him not to mention painful.
It was their second last lesson of the day and Harry had desperately been trying to think of a way of getting his broken left arm mended without drawing attention to himself. He had to do it today. Ron said he wanted to play quidditch that afternoon or Saturday morning and it would look strange if Harry refused his favourite game. He had already looked up various potions, stronger than the ones he had used before, but all required ingredients he could not get and the thought of stealing them from the Potions Master scared him. Merlin knew what Snape would do to him if he got caught and then he would be asked what he wanted them for… No, potions were out of the question and the spells he had researched were too advanced, he didn't want to risk getting it wrong and losing all his bones again like Lockhart had done in second
The bell rang and they got up to leave. Normally Harry would wait for the crowd to pass but it was potions next and he didn't want to be late for that. True, Snape had laid off him since his godfather's death but not that much.
He felt the prick of tears at the thought of Sirius, the heavy burden of guilt and grief, but he quickly brushed them away. Now was not the time. He wouldn't give the professor something to use against him.
Severus Snape rubbed his temples in an effort to rid himself of the migraine he felt coming. He was not in the best of moods. His Dark Mark had been aching on and off all day and it had been a long week.
As he made his way to the dungeons, his thoughts turned to Harry Potter.
All the teachers had been told to keep an eye on him since his idiot godfather's demise. The boy had been acting out of character, he had noticed in one of the earlier lessons that week. He had been skittish almost, stepping back when someone came close, starting at loud noises, especially when Longbottom had blown up his cauldron, stupid boy. Merlin alone knew why, or how, Longbottom had made it to 6th year potions.
Snape waited in the shadows of a corner while the class of Gryffidors and Slytherins walked through the winding corridor and down the stairs to the dungeons. He saw the raven head in the mass, near the back with Weasley and Granger. The boy stopped at the head of the stair to tie his shoe, gesturing for the other two to go on. Snape curiously watched as Potter pulled a blue vial from his pocket, take two mouthfuls and put it away…
Harry took two large mouthfuls from his blue vial and put it away. An idea had hit him: stairs. If he accidentally fell down the stairs and broke his arm it wouldn't look suspicious at all. He took a deep breath, made sure no one was looking back at him and let his body fall. He tumbled down the stairs, bouncing, spinning, rolling and landed in a heap at the bottom. He was immensely glad that he had doubled dosed on the potion. He was going to hurt after it wore off.
Hermione and Ron rushed forward to her friend's side, the rest of the Gryffidors also coming to lend their help to their fallen comrade.
Harry feigned pain, setting his teeth and grimacing -which wasn't hard with so many people so close to him and staring at him. His hand unconsciously felt for the small rock hanging around his neck.
Snape strode over to see what the commotion was about…
Severus strode over to see what the commotion was about, though he already knew. He saw Potter being helped up, cradling his left arm. He bent to look at it. It was immediately obvious that it was broken, Severus just wanted to see how Potter would react. As he reached out to examine the arm he felt the boy flinch away and nearly step back. It was only Granger and Weasley, who were standing too close behind, that stopped him. Suspicions were beginning to form in the back of his mind. He released the limb and snapped at the red head to go to Hospital Wing with him.
The rest of the class went in and did as they were told, starting the potion they were brewing and making notes.
Thirty minutes or so later, the Potter came in, and started on the potion as well. The class was working silently, if not a bit restless, waiting for the period to end. He decided it was safe to go put some notes in his office. He got up, gave the class a glare for good measure and opened the adjacent door to his office.
As he deposited the papers in the draw, he heard a crash in the classroom. He sighed. He should of known better. It was impossible to leave these two particular houses together for more than five minutes without them trying to kill each other. Quickly he took a swig from the migraine potion that always stood on his desk.
He went through and into the room only to see Potter and Malfoy facing each other, wands out, ready to attack. Seeing Snape, they both quickly lowered their wands and stepped back.
'Detention Potter' Snape sneered. The Gryffidors glared at him, whispering angrily while the Slytherins smirked. Potter looked down in a resigned fashion. That was definitely not what he had expected, normally Potter would be furious at the injustice and glare at him.
The bell sounded and the class packed up quickly, eager to escape to the weekend.
'Put all samples on my desk, Potter stay behind to arrange your detention. Class dismissed.' Snape said idly, his thoughts elsewhere.
Harry packed his things and walked over the front of the classroom, stopping just short of the desk Snape stood behind. The professor looked at him but he refused to meet his eyes, instead he looked at his feet. He cursed himself. Why did he have to rise to Malfoy's bait?
'Potter, the headmaster wishes you to start occlumency again.' Snape said coldly, he didn't sound happy. Harry felt himself pale. Snape would be able to get inside his head again. No, he couldn't allow Snape, of all people, to see those memories. But what could he do?
'I assure you I am not looking forward to it either.' Snape sneered, Harry could hear the mockery in Snape's voice at his reaction.
'Your first lesson shall be on Thursday 8 o'clock, next week and your detention on Monday, same time. Do not be late Potter.' With that the potion master turned and walked out the room, cloak billowing behind him.