After Dark

Pairing: SS,HP (sorry, just couldn't seem to get it to happen)

Summary: Just like in his first year, Harry bumps into Snape while he's wearing his Invisibility Cloak, only this time, it ends differently.

Disclaimer: J.K Rowling is chief, I'm not even an Indian.

A/N: For Q, because I want her to feel better soon J

After spending five years at Hogwarts, Harry was used to creeping around the corridors in the dark, concealed beneath his Invisibility Cloak. He'd learnt how to avoid pretty much every trick staircase and door-that-wasn't-really-a-door in the school, and even discovered secret passageways that the Marauders hadn't known about. But all of his experience didn't stop his heart from beating faster and his palms getting sweaty when he looked down at his map and realised he was stuck between his two least favourite members of staff; the caretaker Argus Filch, and his Potions Master Severus Snape. Normally when stuck between the two, he'd try and sneak past Filch, but tonight Mrs Norris was prowling along beside her master, and Harry had often wondered whether the Invisibility Cloak worked on cats. Deciding to take his chances with his greasy haired Potions Master, he slinked against the wall, walking as silently as his increasingly lanky frame would allow.

As he walked past Snape, it seemed harder and harder to get enough air as adrenaline pumped through his veins. He's going to see me, he's going to hear me, he's going to know I'm here… But Snape just prowled past, his customary black robes billowing behind him. Just as Harry thought he'd made it, he caught his foot on his robes and stumbled slightly against the wall. Standing stock still, he closed his eyes and prayed that Snape hadn't heard him, even though he knew there was definitely something wrong with Snape if he hadn't heard him, to him it seemed like he'd made so much noise it had probably woken Ron, who was sleeping on the other side of the castle.

When Harry opened his eyes, he was hit by a sense of deja-vu - Snape was reaching his hand out towards him, just like he had in his first year. However, this time it didn't stop just before he touched the cloak, this time he ran his fingers over it. Harry felt the cloak bunch up where Snape tightened his fingers around it, but just as he was about to rip it off, Filch came up wheezing behind him.

"Something wrong Professor?" Filch asked, giving Snape a strange look.

"No, nothing," Snape replied, dropping his hand.

Harry did a double-take - Snape was protecting him? What on earth is going on?

"Well, enjoy the rest of your evening," Filch said, clearly suspicious, before walking off.

Snape waited until he had gone around the corner before reaching for Harry again and snatching off the Invisibility Cloak.

"Potter!" he growled, his yellow teeth barred, though he didn't seem surprised.

"Professor," Harry replied, keeping his tone as neutral as possible.

"What are you doing out of bed in the middle of the night?" Snape asked triumphantly.

Harry knew his third-year excuse of 'I'm sleep walking' wouldn't cut it, so he drew himself up to his full height before murmuring, "sorry, sir."

Snape glared at him suspiciously for a moment, clearly expecting Harry's 'exceedingly arrogant' true self to reveal himself at any moment. "The Headmaster might play favourites and allow you to use that cloak Potter, but you can be sure that I won't. Starting tomorrow you will complete two weeks detention, and fifty points will be taken form Gryffindor house."

Harry blanched slightly at the amount of points being taken, but unsuccessfully attempted to cover it up by running his hand through his hair.

Snape scowled. "Show me your hand," he demanded.

Harry raised his hand, palm facing upwards, to show the Professor.

"The other way round, Potter," Snape's voice was silky, dangerous.

Swallowing hard, Harry turned his hand the other way up, revealing the cut which still hadn't healed, I must not tell lies.

Snape's eyebrows contracted. "Did she do this?" he asked softly.

Harry didn't have to ask who 'she' was - there was only one person in the school who would do this to a student - not even Snape would go that far.

"Yes." Harry admitted, for some reason feeling sick that a teacher had found out.

"My office, Potter, now," Snape said, his eyes glittering dangerously.

Harry didn't know why, but he felt even worse know that someone, other than Ron and Hermione, knew - like it somehow made it more real.

Harry followed Snape to his office, the air thick; uncomfortable and absolutely silent - Harry didn't dare say anything else. Once they reached Snape's office, Harry hovered around the door, not sure whether he should go inside - Snape hadn't exactly invited him.

"Mr Potter, how do you suppose we will be able to discuss this if we are not even in the same room?" Snape asked, sarcasm seeping into his voice. He was turned away from Harry, looking out of the window overlooking the grounds.

In the several seconds it took Harry to step inside the office and wring his hands nervously behind his back, he realised why it was odd that Snape was looking out of the window. It wasn't because, from what Harry could see of Snape's face, he looked appreciative of the landscape, it was because there was a window below ground. But then Harry realised - if Snape really was so admiring of the view, he could have charmed the window there.

"Professor…" Harry said uncertainly, while he wasn't nervous around teachers anymore simply because there were teachers, Snape was a bit of a loose canon and Harry had never found out what set him off. When he received no reply he continued, "are you going to tell the Headmaster about this?"

Snape turned slowly, "yes," he said simply, though he seemed to struggle with the word. "I am also going to ensure that you will be in detention with me for a very long time, getting caught out of bed after dark is very serious and if I let you off lightly you will no doubt go spreading rumours to your little friends that I am growing soft, and then what would we have?"

Harry didn't reply - he had no idea what they would have.

"Anarchy," Snape said softly, and Harry had to stifle a snort, he was sure no one else would describe a slightly unruly potions class as an attempt to overthrow the government. But then Harry realised what Snape was doing and his mouth fell open - Snape was trying to help him.

"Mr Potter, you are going to begin collecting flies." Harry obediently shut his mouth, still staring at Snape. "And please inform your young friend Mr Weasley that if he disrupts my classes once more, he will be in detention for the rest of his school career. " Snape turned away from him to look out of the window once more before saying, "bring your books here tomorrow at seven sharp, I'm not letting you touch my potions supplies. Not get out of my sight."

Harry didn't need to be told twice - he ran out of Snape's office, slamming the door behind him and scampered back to the Gryffindor common room. He sure had a lot to tell Ron tonight.