JK Rowling owns Harry Potter and all that goes with him. Also, I am not JK Rowling.
I own the poem.
Friedrich Nietzsche does not own much currently, but he was the one to write Human, All Too Human.
There was, as far as I know, only one Rosetta Stone, and it was found by Captain Pierre-François Bouchard and deciphered by Jean-François Champollion.
I never was to Whipsnade Zoo and have no idea if they have parrots and swamp dragons. Honestly.
I apologise to anyone whose ideas were stolen unconsciously, or whom I forgot about.
This is very different from And yet…
I don't see anything but angst that could drive Harry into
Severus's arms. Also, it can be read on its own and I recommend
to those who have not read And yet…
to start with this one,
especially if you don't want to have the ending spoiled.
And since I'm already ranting, I want to get this off my chest: writing this story felt like burning icons you have been praying to since you could string words together. It was terribly, terribly difficult. I had to quite forcefully defend a point of view I absolutely disagree with. I actually like Harry, and I realised half-way through the second chapter that I made a big mistake trying to maintain the first person POV – I had to remind myself after every other sentence that Severus would not do that because he hates Harry, would not say that because he hates Harry, would not agree to that because he thinks Harry is an idiot… murder.
Er… well… I'll just stop ranting now.
So, to say something that actually does have a point… Pantogogue is unbeta'd but completed, only waiting to be posted. It has 32 chapters altogether, excluding the side-story Metamorphosis at Dawn, which is also completed and will be posted chronologically where it belongs, starting around chapter 20, 'The Martyr'.
Thus read, enjoy and send lots and lots of feedback.
Warnings: slash, chan, sexual situations, strong language, violence, suicidal tendencies, character death, attempted non-con, alcoholism, Dumbledore bashing, Lupin bashing, light McGonagall bashing (it is Sev's POV);
Err… don't get scared. Really. It's not nearly as bad as it sounds. Just a bit of darker… bonding.Pantogogue
- (n) a medicine once believed capable of purging away all morbid humoursForeword
I have mourned you, but I have to ask your forgiveness, nevertheless – I cannot bring myself to feel the guilt I should feel. Somehow…
I'm not explaining myself well. There are points in anyone's life, when they have something they want to share – be it success in sport, good grades, or just a new friendship – and they want someone to appreciate it and be proud of them. In those instances most people my age turn to their parents or, in the less fortunate cases, their guardians. At one point in time you were that person for me, but now I have no one to make proud of me, so I sort of stopped trying. It would help if I believed my parents were watching over me, but…
It's just my bloody luck that I don't believe in afterlife (which makes it all the more ridiculous and insane that I'm writing an unaddressed letter inscribed with your name). During the ten years since my parents died until I met Hagrid, I prayed to every single god I've ever heard of to get me out of that place. They never did, so I stopped believing. It seems rather ironic to me that in the end it was (according to the Bible, at least) Satan who saved me… And as a payment he gets to keep my soul.
Which works for me, as I – apparently – don't believe in afterlife. Isn't life simple when you have your priorities straight? Well, I reckon nowhere near as simple as death (assuming I am right and there is no afterlife), but I wouldn't know about that, would I? So I guess I'll keep muddling my way through it, and deliver as much of the evil toadies as I can before I bite it.
It helps that I don't care anymore.
In resignation your Godson, HarryFamily and Friends
"We were in luck," I hear the Headmaster say, as I walk up to the hospital wing with a case of freshly brewed potions in my arms – the flasks are too fragile to levitate. What does Dumbledore do in the hospital wing on this day at this time? "Firenze was with Sibyll when she gave us the prophecy, and we were fast enough to avert a catastrophe," the old wizard explains to someone, presumably Pomfrey.
"I'm fine!" whines a disturbingly familiar voice, and my knuckles – gripping the handles of the casket – go white. I want to hit my head on the nearest wall, or, yet better, turn around and stalk back to the dungeons, but I refuse to let this… person's presence dissuade me from my goal. I grit my teeth and walk on towards the ajar door.
"Sir… Ma'am… I really am fine!" Sure. As though the brat ever said the truth. Although, it is a bit strange of him not to exploit whatever ails him to get some pity. "Look, he did it before, I survived without medical attention. I'll survive now."
"When was this?" hisses Pomfrey, and the irrational yearning to skulk back to my quarters returns upon hearing the tone of her voice.
"In June… in the Ministry," replies a quiet, properly cowed voice. I halt at the door, unwilling to interrupt just yet – better to let the medi-witch rage at Dumbledore and Potter. Couldn't happen to nicer people, really.
"Albus Dumbledore!" she yells, and I cringe even out of the reach of her fury. "Are you telling me that you left a student with a severe trauma without checking in here-"
"There were more important matters to solve at the time, Poppy-" Dumbledore tries to placate, but, as well as I know Pomfrey, it was the incorrect answer. I am proved right a moment later.
"What is more important than the health of your students?!"
"Are you questioning my leading of this school, Poppy?" the Headmaster asks icily. I know that tone. It's like a bucket of cold water being emptied on your head. It shocks the recipient into stupor – very few expect the kindly old man to be made of steel somewhere under the surface. But he is.
I enter in the following silence, ignore the group and cross the room straight to the cupboard.
"Good afternoon, Severus," Pomfrey says pointedly. I nod to the group instead of greeting, and let her seethe all she wants to. So far I was lucky and avoided having to look at the poor, undoubtedly temporarily crippled Boy Wonder, and I would very much like to keep it that way.
"Look," Potter interjects, and I have the most disturbing idea how he is the voice of reason in their little dispute, which is, frankly, inconceivable, "just give me whatever you use to treat the after-effects of the Cruciatus." I feel my back straighten independently of my will. I don't know if it's the memories, or just hearing the name of the curse, but it gives me shiver. Against my will I take a half-step to the left, and inconspicuously look at Potter.
He is sitting on the edge of a bed, trying to suppress small tremors that I know all too well and he would not be able to fake if he tried. Whatever happened to him, I…
…am sure it was his fault. I shake myself into a semblance of sanity and observe the boy closer. His hair is worse than ever, a tangled mess with the exception of the fringe that hangs limply, semi-covering his face. It casts shadows which, I am sure, accentuate rather than create the dark circles under his eyes. His Adam's apple is sticking out, and I could count the tendons in his neck from here. So… lack of appetite and insomnia.
Oh, the poor, poor Golden Boy. Who would have expected such a tragedy? My attention, however, is drawn back to the tremors, which, frankly, are disturbing. Why does Potter ask for after-Cruciatus treatment? The obvious conclusion is… well, obvious, but if that were the case, wouldn't he be given that treatment immediately, without the need for questioning?
Although, as far as I know, he did not get that particular treatment last time he was under Cruciatus. The incompetence of the Hogwarts staff – especially concerning Potter – is ever astounding.
Pomfrey storms across the room in a huff; I slide out of her way to allow her to pick what she needs from the cupboard. Albus questions.
"Why would you ask for that, Harry?"
The look Potter gives him is priceless. I am glad my face displays only the range of emotions from displeased to enraged, but, Merlin, the brat's innate expressiveness allows him to put an entire rant about the old coots incapability, senility and general folly into a single stare in an impressive fashion. Though I would strangle him if he looked like that at me… right now I'm torn between snapping at him, and – silently, mind you – appreciating the putdown Dumbledore has been dealt. As far as I'm concerned, he deserves it… once in a while.
"Because this felt similar, just about ten times worse," Potter states deadly.
My first instinct is to dismiss his words as more attention-seeking, but the way the statement was delivered prevents me from doing so. He has been under Cruciatus – the Dark Lord's Cruciatus, which is a level of pain on its own – before. I am inclined to believe that, while he no doubt exaggerates, the pain of whatever happened to him today might have been worse than the Unforgivable. In that case I am glad I never experienced it. Were it anyone but Potter, I would feel guilty that a student – a child – had to suffer such pain.
"Whatever it is, Headmaster, I don't want to hear it." The deadliness creeps from the boy's voice into his expression, and I hold my tongue from issuing a biting retort, because this is Dumbledore's problem to deal with – and I dearly wish it on him. I refuse to delude myself – Dumbledore made many really bad choices, and some of them even regarding his pet Gryffindor. He should owe up to them… on the other hand, Potter is a mere student and this is a show of disrespect that goes nearly unparalleled… it is a dilemma.
I remain silent.
"If you insist," Potter says, "give me the potion, and then let me go. Or bind me to the bed. Or shackle me to the wall. Whatever you think is the wisest precaution that might enable me to survive – and helps you redeem everyone else."
While the imagery is rather amusing, the look in Potter's eyes expresses clearly that he means those words as he said them… but why would anyone (even Potter) expect something like that from the Headmaster?!
I flee the room (in a dignified way, of course) as soon as possible.
I enter most of these meetings half a step behind Dumbledore, simply because they are usually called together to discuss information I have brought straight from the Dark Lord. In those cases Dumbledore is the second to last to enter the room – me being the last. Therefore it is an unusual feeling to walk into an almost vacant chamber and survey the empty rows of chairs. For a moment I am faced with a rather unusual decision; I actually contemplate sitting in a back row, but in the end settle for haunting a comfortable-looking shadowed nook. I'm fairly sure that the Headmaster had not counted with me sitting – since I never do so – and woe be me should I attempt to steal another's rightful place – I'd be called the Death Eater I am and promptly turned over to the Ministry… The strange thing is, though, that I am not used to sitting because there never is place left for me.
I wonder, is he doing this on purpose? To remind me of something? To make me feel yet more unwelcome in the Light Club?
Why is it then that Fawkes prefers my company to most of the ingrates' that will be filling these seats in the next few minutes?
"See Snape?" comes a disdainful voice from a middle-aged couple sitting down on the opposite side of the room – as far away as possible from me. McKinnons. "Lurking in the corner like a bat… small wonder he's not upside down!"
Some people can graduate, find a job, found a family, bring up their children and spoil their grandchildren, and you still only have to look at them to see that they were – are – Gryffindors. I think that the seven-year-long exposure to unhealthy amount of red in their Tower makes them – at least those who were not before – blind. Add a bit of gold, and they are also true, righteous and pure. And, unfortunately, their colours tend to rub off on the monsters they spawn.
A moment later one of the greens enters. He is on the small side, and his clothes – Muggle style – are way too big for him. For some unfathomable reason he wears a kerchief on his head. He looks around uncertainly – it is probably his first time to a full-scale meeting – and much to my surprise takes a position mirroring mine. He moves slowly, as though there were weights on his hands and feet, past all the chairs to the niche, fits against the wall, and it is as though he wasn't there… I only see him when I know what to look for.
Other two greens follow, crossing the room and settling down in the first row, and then the main body of the Order starts trickling in, and no one notices either me or the young man opposites.
For a while I entertain myself watching him watch the in-comers, but he shows no reaction to anyone and I give it up. The room is full now, with wizards and witches of all ages (seventeen and up), Houses, skin-colours, blood-purity levels and persuasions. Lupin enters, uncertain on his feet and unhealthily grey, held upright by Jones on his right side and prodded by Fletcher behind him, who takes unhealthy pleasure in his position.
These people sicken me. Paradoxically, I am helping to save the world for them.
"Remus! You made it!" yells an over-exuberant woman that after a few moments of concentration changes her shape into something recognisable, and thus outs herself as Nymphadora Tonks. I look away from them, but, unfortunately, nothing of any interest to me is happening. The Dark Lord has one good idea – being the first one in every meeting; the incoming Death Eaters do not dare linger or speak up, and thus I am not forced to waste half an hour of my life suffering the witnessing of old pals' re-union.
Then, finally, the Headmaster walks in, and the room falls relatively silent. My eyes stray to the opposite niche, and I notice that whoever it is who occupies it does not keep his eyes open, lest they would shine from the shadows. Strange. I would not have expected such measures from anyone in the Order… I skim the 'audience', and it hits me that there is no empty chair – he was not counted with either. He knew about the meeting, apparently, but I hazard a guess that he was not invited. I will have to keep an eye on him.
"Good afternoon, Order," Dumbledore says, and the crowd takes the last word as an order instead of an address, though it was meant to be both. They fall silent, hanging on his lips. "Thank you all for coming on such short notice – I am afraid I bear grave news. Harry Potter's family was… slaughtered today."
The crowd – predictably – has a lot to say, but nothing stands out from the general hum. Lupin looks even paler and attempts to stand up, but whoever sits on his other side stops him. I shiver. It is the second time in my life that I feel pity for Potter. Not even he deserved to have his relatives (no matter how hateful) executed in front of himself and then suffer an equivalent of an Unforgivable. If he had not been depressed before, it is certain that he is now. Perfect. The Saviour is going Dark… Now that little project blew up in Dumbledore's face quite spectacularly.
"Where's Potter?" shouts Moody, and expectant silence falls. Dumbledore lowers his head for a moment, sighs, and then looks up.
"He is currently in the hospital wing. He sustained no serious injuries, but Madam Pomfrey insisted on keeping him there until tomorrow." I surprise myself by having no internal remark to add to that, except on doubting the venerable Headmaster's word on the seriousness of the Golden Boy's state. I was under the impression that he had suffered. "I allowed Mr Potter to remain within Hogwarts while he recuperates from the trauma." Ah, here Dumbledore denies his words – no serious injuries suddenly become trauma.
Molly Weasley apparently catches on, or simply has a different idea.
"Albus, you cannot possibly leave the boy here, alone, to deal with the tragedy on his own…" Tragedy? I have an inkling of how Potter's relations treated him, and I am slightly surprised that he is not laughing his empty head off. But that would be so unbecoming for a Gryffindor. Come to think of it, a depression is also rather unbecoming for him. He is supposed to have the emotional range of a teaspoon. "Let him come to the Burrow," Molly pleads, "we would all love for him to stay. We have as good as adopted him-"
"I am afraid it is not safe, Molly," Dumbledore replies gravely. "I have considered sending him to Grimmauld Place with Remus, but keeping him at Hogwarts seems the better choice." I wonder – just for the sake of exercising my mind, naturally – what Potter had to say to that. "With a great luck today, we were able to prevent other casualties, rescue Mr Potter, and gain information on Voldemort's next attack-" he pauses, so that those flinching and exclaiming at the name get a hold of themselves, and then lets the bombshell drop.
"He will strike here."
Nearly two hours of intense arguing later I am nursing a headache and the desire to get the Hell out of here. It is finally granted after the joint forces of nigh half of the Order convince the Headmaster to keep Potter safe in the Headquarters, nicely away from all the war frenzy. I do not much care – the boy will get into trouble either way, it is only a question of where he can do more damage. I am inclined to believe that leaving him in Headquarters drugged, Stunned, bound to bed and Silenced would be the safest option, but nobody (save possibly – ironically – Moody) is likely to listen to that opinion.
I am the second one to escape the room, much to my surprise – until I realise who the one who escaped before me is. The mystery lurker of the opposite niche, in all his five feet of height and several acres of clothes.
"Fleeing already? You might miss the catastrophe."
"The peripetia was more than I could handle, thanks," he replies in a suspiciously quiet voice, and I am startled by the sophisticated sarcasm. Although I only see him from behind, since he refuses to face me, it is obvious that he is but a boy. From this distance I see that the clothes were not originally his, just as the kerchief was not – at least I do not think any teenager with a shred of dignity would pick this kind of flowery pattern, not to speak about the fact that he is male. At least he looks and sounds male.
I aim my wand at him, but, as he does not see it, he walks on.
"Halt," I command, and his steps falter. "Who are you, and how did you know about the meeting?"
He half-turns, and I see that he is also holding his wand. A sapling like that does not intimidate me at all and I am not wary of confrontation, but the fact that he infiltrated the Order despite the security worries me.
"Ah, thank you for complimenting my disguise, Professor. My resources were rather limited and, see, I managed to get in and get out without using a spot of magic to hide my identity."
I lift my wand, trying to control my temper lest I blast him to pieces.
"You don't want to be doing that," he mocks, and my grip on the handle tightens, "Madam Pomfrey hates her patients being cursed."
He finally faces me, giving up on the attempt to escape, and I find myself staring into a pair of unfocused green eyes. He pulls his glasses out of one of numerous pockets of the overlarge trousers and puts them on.
"Do you recognise me now?" he asks cheekily.
"Potter!" I grit my teeth, but fail to prevent a burst of red sparks from the tip of my wand. I simply cannot seem to control myself in the presence of this ingrate. He feels himself above mortals, just like the Dark Lord, but the Dark Lord at least has power to enforce that impression. Potter is but a snotty little idiot who gets away with anything.
"Who, pray tell, invited you to an Order meeting?" I force out. He shrugs. Gods, it is such a pity that the Headmaster would kill me if I wrung his neck.
"No one. But the security is somewhat lacking, isn't it?" he says offhandedly, and the grimace of expression I wear distorts further. I hate that he – the tragic simpleton – is right. If he could just saunter into the room, make himself comfortable and listen, and all that without using magic at all, it sounds alarms. Someone seriously neglected something.
Before I can counter that proclamation with something suitably chastising for this incredible idyss, he lets his wand down, pulls off the hideous kerchief, and runs a hand through his hair. "If Dumbledore doesn't give me the information I need, I have to get it myself."
Oh, so little Boy-saviour feels neglected, that is it. He is not told enough, so he has to disregard completely all the rules and all his instructions, and make another mess to land himself in.
"The Order is doing everything in their power to protect you-"
"Oh, and it worked so well so far… I am overwhelmed," he spits with typical arrogance. "Who do you guess will be the first to figure out that with a bit of a positive reinforcement I would be the best one to protect myself?" He cannot be serious? After what happened a month ago, one would think that his Highness admits at least that he does need protection. But, no, he does not.
"You, the totally inept-"
"At Occlumency?" he cuts in before I get into a nice stress-relieving rant. Merlin, how I hate this red-and-gold monster with all his self-assuredness and cockiness and… "Perhaps." He shrugs. "Note that I said 'positive reinforcement'." He dares sneer at me. "Consistent instruction and respect towards me as a person would also not be superfluous." He seems to have read a dictionary over his stay with his relatives. While it does him a world of good, it is disconcerting to hear something half-way intelligent-sounding come out of his mouth. "Though I don't believe you capable of either, Professor, so do not trouble your stressed mind over it. Forget that you saw me, and let me at least die on my own terms when I was forced to live on others'."
He turns away from me, completely ignoring the fact that my wand is still aimed at him, and sets out on his way down the corridor. It strikes me quite suddenly that no one came out after us, but then I realise that we are two turns from the entrance to the chamber where the meeting was held in a direction to the hospital wing rather than the Entrance Hall where the members would be going.
"Potter, your attitude is… nauseating." Poor misunderstood Boy Who Lived. No one loves him, no one dotes on him, no one pities him… So he makes it up to himself. As much in love with himself as his father used to be.
"Wow," he replies dispassionately. I curse myself as I realise that I am actually following him instead of detaining him. "That coming from you, sir… perhaps you would remember a self-conscious little eleven-year-old that awaited his first ever touch with Potions with bated breath… only to be humiliated by a hateful bitter man, with no understanding whatsoever of what he had done to deserve such hatred…" What a tragic picture he paints… so incredibly biased. He has the nerve to accuse me?
I cast a Petrificus, but he side-steps it easily, despite not having looked.
"That was low, sir. What had the innocent first-year done to you that you despised him so much? Yanked your hair when he was a year old? Because I cannot remember one instance of having offended you before I started Hogwarts."
"I do not have the capacity for pitying you."
"Of course not; you use up all your pity on yourself," he shoots back, and it makes my blood boil simply because it is about the same thing I have mentally accused him of less than a minute ago. "Besides," he adds, "I don't want your pity. I just wanted to see whether your conscience was truly atrophied." I cannot be sure, but I think I hear a smirk in his – otherwise rather tired – voice.
"And what astonishing discovery have you made?" I say, deciding that it is simply not worth the effort to track him throughout the entire castle when I can just go back and report all to Dumbledore. He will deal with it, I shall wash my hands and go prepare to die, whether in the attack on the school, or immediately thereafter when the Dark Lord realises that I have betrayed him.
"It is not," Potter says with a sneer that I am fairly certain he copied from me. He is not overly handsome (which is strange, for even I admit that both his parents were easy on the eye – if not on the ear and other senses). It takes me a moment to realise what it is he speaks of, and when I do not respond anon he concludes what he thinks of my conscience: "You have none."
I do not know whether to laugh at his back, or curse him. I settle for the Slytherin reply.
"Congratulations, Potter. You have discovered sarcasm."
"Oh no, sir," he says easily, and it unnerves me that he has the patent Slytherin tone down better than even Draco Malfoy (who, unfortunately, while having an overabundance of ambition severely lacks in the cunning department). "That was not sarcasm – that was stating a fact." He halts and pretends to think for a while, and I notice that he has in the meantime arrived at the door to the hospital wing. He glances at me, hooks his right thumb on the waistband of his troll-sized trousers (I would very much appreciate knowing where did he get that kind of clothing – probably filched it off his relatives), and braces himself before speaking again: "Are you, by any chance, getting off on insulting people? Well, Gryffindor boys' dorms are an adventurous place, but I haven't heard of that particular kink before."
For just a moment I am stunned into silence. The insults he has dared to deliver up to now were the simple, childish name-callings. He never crossed the line into personal offence… And he certainly never made any sexual references. It is disturbing, especially combined with the cold gaze he is giving me. I am inclined to believe that he does suffer a trauma, and should be in bed with a dose of Dreamless Sleep Potion before he blows up and damages either staff or property of the school.
But I am still his better, and letting this go unanswered would only serve to swell his head further.
"Ah, now I finally know what Gryffindors do instead of studying to achieve such dismal grades." I cringe as I listen to myself. Disturbing, indeed. But Potter merely stares at me.
"I find it intriguing that you tend to single me out for your sharpest barbs, sir. Do you, perhaps, harbour some secret lust with me?"
I have been the victim of the Langlock spell in the past, despite being its inventor. This is what it felt like. I cannot think of anything to say save 'Avada Kedavra', and I cannot afford to voice that particular thought, especially since my wand is still aimed at him.
When I do not respond at all, he shrugs, pushes the door open, and disappears from view.
Torn between blind rage and indignation at the daring of the boy who made me bite my tongue, I stalk back to the chamber. Most of the Order has trickled out by now, but several members remain behind, consorting in seemingly random groups. I have no place among them – they are either the Potter-minders or the officially not existing inner circle (on the off-chance that those groups are not the same). A few of them glance at me, and the air grows more humid with how unwelcome I am.
"Headmaster!" I exclaim over the buzz, and Dumbledore takes his sweet time to pull himself out of a conversation with the three Order Aurors. There will likely be a massive last-minute recruiting in the Law Enforcement. Lupin's pet Metamorphmagus does not look too happy about it; Dumbledore, on the other hand, twinkles like a loon.
I sneer at the four of them. They (with the notable exception of the Headmaster) grimace right back.
"What can I do for you, Severus?" he asks benignly, and with a chuckle adds: "I was under the impression that you wanted to be out of here as soon as possible – what with how you all but shot out of the room…" He just cannot stop himself – to him this is funny, just like it was funny when Potter hung me upside down and stripped me, just like it was funny when Black sent me after a rampaging werewolf, just like it is funny every time I come crawling to him because my legs will not keep the weight of my bones and skin upright.
"Get out of here, Snape," growls Moody, training both his eyes on my face. I think he can see the inside of my skull, fortunately, my thoughts remain private behind my mind shields. He does not like that. "I've got something to talk about, and I don't want you running off to tell your Master."
I do not dignify that with a response, simply because there is nothing I can say that anyone would listen to. They think they know and they do not care about 'truth' as long as they like their 'lie'.
"Alastor!" Dumbledore admonishes, to placate me (which will not work, as I see through it) and for the sake of appearance (which no one cares about, as is apparent from the round of scoffs). Moody is on the verge of protesting even to that, but fortunately the Headmaster silences him. As usually when it comes to a confrontation between us, all eyes are on me, as if I was the paranoid maniac with homicidal inclinations.
"What can we do for you, Severus?" Dumbledore says, not as benignly as before, using the slight rephrasing to remind me that I am an outsider here – I am not welcome. For an insane moment of insubordination I re-consider telling him about Potter. It is petty, but it is the only way I can defend myself without causing harm to be punished for… though, technically it could be a betrayal. And Potter is certain to let it get out that he was in the meeting, and that I know about it…
…or is he? I… want to know. I want to know it enough to take the risk.
"I came to tell you that I have a reason to believe that the security of this meeting was compromised."
"Of course it was! You were present!" exclaims a female voice from behind a larger male. All I see from her is the top of her fancy hair-style, but she obviously thinks herself smart, witty and brave. A handful of others snicker, and Dumbledore twinkles like a pair of little stars. If I was not as embittered as I am, this attitude might have come close to crushing me – that is why Slytherin breeds tough slippery bastards. Because, among wizards and witches like these, it is the only way we can survive. I brace myself and tonelessly say not what I originally came to say, but an edited version.
"None of your seats were free, Headmaster, and yet there were three standing people in the room. So," unless you have trouble counting, "we have had an odd pair of ears listening in. Good evening, gentlemen," I bite out and stalk out into the hallway, measuring the distance to my chambers in the dungeons with fast, long strides, trying almost desperately to convert all the hurt I should not be feeling into rage I can later pour out into sheer destruction.
A/N: Well, it is a start of a long journey... for Severus and Harry. Look forward to the next instalment and review!