Albus Dumbledore walked calmly through the dirty and narrow corridors of the infamous prison, refusing to acknowledge his missing twinkle. Next to him the ever scowling Potions Master, Severus Snape, stepped gingerly around a puddle, his thoughts resting on the person they were about to visit.
His thoughts were echoed by the elderly wizard, but where Snape thought of the innocence and guilelessness held by the famous prisoner the headmaster thought only of how he could regain the trust he had lost and how he could turn the situation to his advantage.
Surprising many Severus had supported the young man's claim, not publicly because of his espionage, but he had been able to make his beliefs clear to him before he was imprisoned. It had been a great balm to Severus' soul that he had been able to reassure him in the face of his friends accusations.
They eventually slowed to a stop outside a nondescript cell, one that seemed identical to each and every other in the dreary prisoner. Severus fancied, however, that there was a difference, that the inhabitants innocence shined through the steel and stone.
Accused of using not one but two unforgivables the young man had been placed unceremoniously on trial and then tossed into the cell like so much garbage. Severus knew that while the young man had cast a crutiaus on Bellatrix it had failed and he had been distraught at the thought he could turn out like the Dark Lord.
The door creaked open and Severus got his first look at the prisoner in two long years. He eagerly sought out the eyes hidden by dirty hair and gasped in shock at the lifeless look in the formerly sparkling emerald green eyes.
Severus leaned back in his chair with a relieved sigh, finally free of the idiots he taught he groaned at the loud knock at his door. Throwing it open he blinked in surprise before snarling at the intruder.
"What do you want, Potter?" He sneered, "You have three seconds before I assign you a detention."
"Can I come in, Professor?" Harry asked instead, already slipping under Severus' arm.
"Certainly, make yourself at home." Severus announced grandly to the empty corridor before turning to face his student. His breath caught at the sight of the young man sitting down and wriggling to make himself comfortable in the large chair. The sensation of his rooms being invaded by another so unusual that his heart felt a twinge of loneliness.
To make up for this uncharacteristic emotion he poured himself a glass of fire whiskey and sneered again at his student.
"Speak, boy, or has the devil stolen your tongue?" asked Snape impatiently taking a drink of his fire whiskey as he sat down.
"I want your wizard's oath that you will never tell a soul what I am about to tell you, ever." Harry told him seriously, desperately hoping his suspicion about his professor's curiosity would cause the man to agree.
Severus looked long and hard at his student, weighing up the pros and cons of hearing what could be teenage angst or could be valuable information before his innate curiosity over rode his common sense. His decision made he nodded once.
"I give you my word as a wizard." He agreed, taking a sip of his whiskey.
"I cast the cruciastus at Lestrange." Harry rushed out in one breath, the force of his confession moving to his feet.
Spitting out his mouth full of whiskey Severus was about to reply when the youth began to rant.
"They expect me to save them all, the whole lot of them; as long as they don't have to lift a finger they don't care about me. It's just 'let's wait for the saviour, he can sort it out. Fucking idiots. Why me? Why did he choose me? The fates must really hate me. You! All of you, even Dumblefore, expect me to win and guess what. I am your only hope to destroy him once and for all."
Severus watched enthralled as the raven haired menace began to pace the floor, gesturing wildly to emphasise his points.
"Either must die at the hands of the other, for neither can live while the other survives!" He turned and glared at Severus for a moment, "Can you believe that shit? I must have done something fucking dreadful in a previous life. To think, it could have been Neville." Harry announced with a dreamy look in his eye, "I could have being Neville Longbottom."
"A bumbling incompetent?" Severus couldn't help but interrupt.
"That would have been better then this." Harry told him firmly, "Anything would have."
Bright green eyes flashed angrily at Severus and he continued in a low voice, all the more effective for the truths he uttered.
"I've to save the world." He announced calmly, "If I survive or not does not concern them. They do not train me, they do not involve me except to demand I carry out certain tasks like learn occlumency with no understanding of what it was or how it was achieved. How do they expect me to defeat Voldemort? Laugh him to death? Stun him and take him to Azkaban? I hate Dumbledore, more then I hate myself, I've learned so little that can help in this school that I wish I had gone to Durmstrang or someplace. The teachers they have had here is ridiculous; a stuttering, possessed fool, a vain idiot, a werewolf, a death eater and a pen-pusher. What do they think I am going to do? Set a Grindilow on him or scare him to death with a boggart?" Harry kicked a chair angrily.
"The grand total of five years of expensive education in Defence Against The Dark Arts at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the premier magical school in Europe, is that I know not to trust anyone, that I can resist the imperio, the cruciatus hurts like hell and that the so called Darkest Lord in a Century is not as clever as he thinks he is, but that he is incredibly determined and vicious. That he was a half blood, his father a muggle and he had a childhood like mine.
A wild gesture caused a small wind to blow around Severus and he pulled his robes around himself a little more securely, listening intently to the revealing diatribe.
"I know everyone will say I'm evil, dark, for wanting her under that curse. For wanting her to feel every bit of the pain I know it gives and I can't help but agree to an extent. I wanted her to know how much I hurt and yet I couldn't even do that. Couldn't make the damn curse stick! If I can't cause pain how on earth am I going to be able to kill?"
Severus was suddenly face with a pair of agonised green eyes as they looked bessechingly into his.
"I can't murder someone! I just can't!" Fists suddenly began to fly and Severus braced himself to take the punches the young man seemed to need to throw.
"I can't do it!" Harry began to scream. "I can't just kill someone in cold blood. Not even him! Let's completely ignore the fact that I don't have the know-how, if Dumbledore saw me with dark magic books he'd either obliviate me or throw me in Azkaban. Even if I kill him he'll probably still throw me away like a broken arrow."
Harry sunk down to his knees, anger disappearing as despair descended, hanging around him like a thick cloak. "I'm tied. To Dumbledore because of my power and to Voldemort because of a prophecy…"
Severus watched the young man carefully for a second, when he had agreed to a wizards oath he had regretted it the moment the gryffindor had revealed his flirtation with Unforgivables but his regret had mutated into amusement at his plea to become Longbottom and then to a wince when he had briefly referred to the ill fated occlumency lessons. Recognising the truth of the youth's words he walked briskly to his personal library and selected several tomes that he knew would be invaluable. Mostly concerning Occlumency and Legillimency he tried to ignore the small part of him that felt responsible for the young man's failure to learn the obscure arts. He placed them carefully in the youth's lap.
"I better get them back, Potter. They have been in my possession for a very long time and I don't have the money to replace them."
Impossibly deep green eyes stared into his as he felt himself evaluated and couldn't help the small flicker of glee when he appeared to pass. Potter merely looked down at the books and he heard the small gasp and smirked with satisfaction.
"Yes, it was written by Salazar Slytherin. Do not reveal it, do not show anyone else it and most importantly do not lose it!"
"Professor, I don't know what to say." Harry whispered as he gently caressed the priceless tome. "You helped me so much just be allowing me to rant. The books, well, thanks." A shy smile was sent his way and Severus sneered down, slightly less severely then normal.
Severus watched as Potter gained his feet and started to make his way towards the door.
"I'm sorry for looking in your pensive," the soft words floated through the silent room and Severus froze, waiting for the comments he had expected for the last several months.
"I'm sorry for my father and godfather. I can't condone their actions but I can't stop loving them. They died for me. Dad for me and mum, he didn't even last five minutes but he did his best. Sirius risked everything to come to the Ministry. No matter if you liked him or not he still came to save me, even though they would recapture him." there was a pause before Potter continued, a faint questioning tone to his voice. "I wonder why Dumbledore believed us so quickly that night. Do you think he was worried Sirius might oppose his plans for me? After all he never went to the Ministry, never told me about Sirius or how to protest his incarceration." Harry sighed and resumed his walk to the door, "I will never understand why so little was done against Remus and Sirius after what happened. I have no idea how you came back to the light.
The last words he uttered were emphasised by the soft bang of the closing door, leaving Severus staring at the wooden door in surprise, he had never really trusted the headmaster but he could ensure the manipulative old man didn't twist another's life like he had his.
End Flash Back
They entered the cell to find the young man crouched in a corner apparently catatonic. His normally malnourished frame was emaciated and frail causing Severus to fear for his life. Moving forward to establish his actual state Severus missed the flicker of intelligence in the dead eyes or the small flair of magic as his hands touched the cold and clammy hands.
There we go! what did you think of that?! edited brilliantly i think its brilliant review for me and take care everyone cya! debs