Summary: In the week immediately following the Tri-Wizard tournament, Harry is having issues dealing with the death of Cedric. When his ever changing mood swings begin to concern the staff, Snape is brought in to 'help' Harry with his problems. AU.
A/N: Back in October, I did a contest on my Shadowarwen Yahoo Group regarding writing a Ghost Story for the Halloween season. The winner got to choose what type of story they wanted, and this is the product of that. The winner was Shoonasasi and she requested a story where Harry wasn't handling the death of Cedric very well and becomes angry. Also, Snape is enlisted to help. Shoonasasi, I hope you enjoy what I've written so far. There should be about 4 or 5 more chapters following this one.
"Mr. Potter, would you care to actually pay attention in my class? Or would you prefer to stay after to better understand the acidic tendencies of the potion you are currently brewing when it eats through your skin?!" hissed Snape, utterly frustrated with Potter's lack of attention for the umpteenth time that day.
It wasn't the words that got through to Harry, but the hateful tone in which it was delivered. He glanced up and met onyx eyes that more than likely wanted to bore into his head to discover his deepest, darkest thoughts. And how easy it would be, considering his mental state at the moment.
"Sorry, Professor," he mumbled, not actually sorry in the least. He had more dire thoughts on his mind, direr in fact, than the 'acidic tendencies of the potion he was currently brewing,' he thought nastily.
"Not sorry enough. You'll meet me tonight at eight for your detention, Potter. This makes…four this week, doesn't it Mr. Potter?" he asked, raising his brow as if calculating the exact number in his head. "No, allow me to correct myself. This makes five," he said mockingly, garnering a half-hearted chuckle from most of the class. Even his friends were becoming irritated with his constant detentions and losing points from their house.
Harry glared in return, and not just at Snape, before turning his seemingly wandering attention back to the potion in front of him. He made an actual attempt at keeping his focus for the remainder of the class hour and did manage to do it. Before long, class was dismissed and with a final scathing reminder from Snape to be in his class that evening or else, he walked from the room without looking back.
Out in the hall, it didn't take more than a second for his thoughts to drift to the subject it seemed to be perpetually stuck on these days: Cedric's death…and how it was his entire fault.
"Where are you going, Harry?"
His attempt to ignore his friends was failing miserably as they came up behind him later that evening. He'd just wanted some time to himself. Was that so much to ask? Apparently his friends didn't understand him as much as he thought they should.
"I'm going to bed. Where are you going?" he asked in return, the sarcasm clear in his voice. He didn't want to deal with his friends right now. They should know what he was going through, but they just didn't get it.
"It's not even nine o'clock," pointed out Ron helpfully. "It's way too early for that, mate. Why don't we go and see what Dean and Seamus are up to? Or maybe we could go to the kitchens and get something to snack on before we do actually go to bed."
Harry shook his head. He knew Ron was trying to instigate him into doing something other than walking away alone. They were just trying to draw him out, but he didn't want to. Now wasn't the time. He wasn't ready yet.
"No thanks," he muttered, walking by them.
Hermione grabbed his arm and pulled until he stopped.
"It's not your fault," she suddenly stated emphatically.
Harry stared at her as if she'd just spontaneously grown another head.
"Sure," he said noncommittally and continued to walk away. Or tried, at least. Hermione's grip remained firm on his arm and either he wasn't as strong as he thought he was, or Hermione was developing some serious upper arm strength.
"You're going to listen to me, Harry!" she yelled, tears starting to gather in her eyes.
Shocked from the sudden emotion in his friend's eyes, he almost found it in himself to start caring. But the feeling didn't last and the anger started bubbling up before he could stop it. This seemed to happen a lot…especially when people told him Cedric's death wasn't his fault. Yes, that's what Hermione had been talking about earlier. Cedric. Only, she didn't seem to get it yet. It was his fault. All of it was. Cedric would still be alive and kicking today if it hadn't been for Harry Freaking Potter.
Finding the strength he couldn't seem to gather earlier, Harry yanked his arm out of Hermione's hand with a little more force than was absolutely necessary.
"Don't touch me!" he hissed out, and brushed passed her, again with a little more force than was absolutely necessary. Hermione nearly fell to the floor but Ron caught her at the last second.
"What is wrong with you!?" he heard them yelling after him, but again, he just didn't care.
Even he didn't quite understand why he was so angry all the time. It seemed a strange emotion to be feeling after what he'd been through, what he'd seen. He thought he should be experiencing other emotions…like sadness, grief, pain. However, the regret and the guilt which constantly flooded him were almost unbearable…and the anger seemed to be a way to push those feelings aside. The guilt was unimaginable. If he'd just taken the cup and left Cedric behind. Why did he always have to be so damn giving? So damn nice? That was his shortcoming, he'd finally figured out, and he wasn't going to let it get anyone else killed. He'd already lost one friend and he didn't plan on losing any others.
The end result wouldn't exactly be altogether pleasing, but he was willing to do whatever it took to keep his friends safe. And, as the anger seemed to constantly build and build, he discovered he felt less and less. It was as if the anger was just taking him over. And he didn't care to stop it.
The next morning, Harry was up and out of the dormitory before the other boys' alarms had even considered going off. The hallways were dark and deserted and it was just as Harry wanted it. He didn't like having to deal with everyone else and their constant stares and contemplative looks. It was really the looks that were getting to him, too. They all were wondering how Cedric had really died and what part Harry had taken in it. Or so he thought.
And of course, it made him angry, as everything else these days was making him angry. He had only just recently gotten out of the hospital wing and there were, thankfully, just a few short days left before the end of term. He wouldn't have to put up with much more of people's crap for long.
He started heading for the Great Hall, thinking he might grab something to eat before classes began, but as he turned the corner, he saw Professor Snape standing up ahead, speaking with Professor Dumbledore in the corridor. He didn't want them to see him so he quickly and quietly went back the way he had come. Luckily, he wasn't seen and he made a quick trip to the kitchen instead.
Dobby was immediately at his feet as the portrait swung shut behind him. Harry felt the familiar annoyance creeping up in him and very neatly side-stepped the little elf and took a seat at a nearby table. Dobby didn't seem to notice his favorite person's untoward attitude.
"Oh, Harry Potter, sir. It is too early to be up! Harry Potter should be resting!" he said adamantly, but he was still getting a plate full of Harry's favorite breakfast foods ready as he spoke. He slapped it down on the table and shoved a fork in front of the teen. "Pumpkin juice?" he asked, but the glass was already full and in front of him before he could have actually made a decision.
Harry didn't speak to the elf and managed to eat a few bites of the extremely full plate before he shoved it away. Taking a small sip of the pumpkin juice, Harry gingerly placed the glass back on the table and stood to go.
Dobby moved in front of him and large concerned eyes peered into Harry's. "Don't you want more?" Dobby asked, trying to take Harry's hand to presumably lead him back to the table.
Harry shook the elf off. "No," he muttered angrily. The portrait swung open at precisely that moment and Harry quickly made his escape. He didn't see the disconsolate look on Dobby's face or the very determined one that followed.
Harry spent an hour uselessly sitting in the library waiting for the day to begin. The other bad thing that went with getting up so early was the quiet, and the time it gave him to think. His thoughts were definitely on the utterly bad side as he found himself thinking about Cedric's dead body staring blankly up at him with eyes that would never look upon anything again. He thought about seeing his parents coming out of Voldemort's wand and everyone else that the evil little cretin had killed. He thought about how things probably would have been so much better for everyone else if he had just never been born.
All of his depressing and morbid thoughts came crashing to a halt as he heard footsteps out in the corridor. Someone was coming. Harry glanced at his watch and noticed how much time had passed since he'd been in there. Classes were set to begin any minute. People must have been walking passed the doorway for a while now and he'd been too deep in thought to notice.
He didn't have his bag or any of his books. His departure from the dormitory hadn't been very well thought out, he realized. And then it occurred to him. 'Why even go to class. It's not like anyone will care if I show up,' he thought bitterly. And that was precisely what he did. He skipped.
Harry groaned and even considered stomping his foot on the floor in his extreme irritation. The day was almost over and he'd thought he'd actually gotten away with it. And then here came the big, annoying abomination himself: Snape.
With deliberate slowness and with his aggravation showing clearly on his face, Harry turned to face his professor. His extremely angry professor. Inadvertently, Harry found himself moving backwards as all emotion slipped from his face.
"What?" he asked, disrespect obvious in his tone. In the back of his mind, he briefly recognized that he normally wasn't this suicidal. Honestly, provoking Snape's wrath wasn't something he would have normally done in a million years before his mysterious anger issues.
Snape advanced on him like darkness descending to never let the sunlight shine through again. Dramatic. Grabbing hold of Harry's arms, he surprised the teen by actually shaking him a bit.
"Your impudence is about to stop, Potter!" he yelled angrily, and started walking down the hall, having to practically drag Harry since he wasn't being cooperative at all. "I see you didn't attend any of your classes. And you had the audacity not to attend mine. Is the curriculum not good enough for you now, Potter? Is that it? You think that since you witnessed something horrible you can turn into a blathering little brat and get away with anything?! Well, think again, Potter!"
Harry snatched his arm out of Snape's grasp and turned on him.
"No, I'm quite thrilled with the curriculum, Snape. I've just discovered that there isn't any damn point!" he yelled, not caring what his professor had to say on the matter. He wasn't sticking around for anything the man had in mind. Most probable would be expulsion.
"Don't you dare walk away from me!" he said, the words coming out almost in a hiss.
Not stopping for a second, not even considering it, which was very unlike him considering Snape's mood at the current moment, Harry continued on down the hall.
All suicidal tendencies aside, this was probably the best Harry had felt in a long time. It was the adrenaline, he figured, since he'd never even dreamed of doing something like this to an authority figure. Ever. And considering he could hear Snape's pounding footsteps on the stone floor coming after him, he was actually a little surprised that he wasn't a little more concerned for his own safety. Oh well.
He felt the hands wrap around his arms and then suddenly he was up against the wall with Professor Snape's glaring face inches from his own. Still, he felt nothing. Not even fear. Dimly, he wondered if something was wrong with him besides the obvious. Well, obvious in his own mind. He knew he wasn't dealing with what he'd experienced during the Tri-Wizard Tournament. He knew he wasn't dealing with Cedric's death, and subsequently, pushing away his emotions was the way he was dealing with it. Which meant he wasn't dealing with it at all, as he had already pointed out to himself many times in the past two seconds.
So, even though he was most definitely staring down his own expulsion, as he'd never seen Snape look more pissed in his entire life, he really just didn't give a damn.
Words were spewing out of his professor's mouth, but he wasn't listening to him, but was listening too much to his own thoughts to pay attention to what he was saying. It was like Snape was talking but nothing was coming out. Sensation began to come back because he felt it as Snape grabbed his arms more powerfully and was almost surprised when he actually felt the pain as his back came into contact with the wall behind him rather forcefully. Ouch.
Harry was aware now that apparently classes had let out. Or, at least, a portion of them, either that or just some of Gryffindor, because it appeared they were the only ones in the hallway. How interesting. He was rambling…his thoughts were rambling and he just didn't care. As per the usual.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?"
The Gryffindors currently marching towards them like their own personal army about to embark on a rampage were mostly the guys from his own dormitory and the Weasley twins. Oh, and there was Hermione. Huh. As he realized who the group consisted of, he figured they must have been out looking for him. Perfect, he growled internally. Looking into their eyes, he could actually see outrage in them. That was new. They were normally looking at him as if he were mental and needed a hug. Or a straight jacket.
Then he realized the look wasn't for him. It was for the man roughly holding him against the wall. He'd momentarily forgotten he was there. He shook his head as if that would clear it and wondered if someone had slipped something into his drink earlier to make him feel so out of sorts. It was really disconcerting. But he knew that wasn't the real reason.
As wands were suddenly brandished and fighting positions were engaged, Harry knew this was becoming serious. Honestly, was this necessary? They looked like they were about to take on half the school instead of one teacher…granted, Snape was probably about to kick all of their arses, but that was beyond the point.
Snape gave a sarcastic roll of his eyes even though he was staring down a bunch of angry teenagers with wands. Then he let go and Harry was able to step away from the extremely uncomfortable wall he'd been leaning against. Harry brushed out his robes as if he was trying to straighten them only to have someone else grab hold of his robes and yank him away. This was getting old very fast.
Pushed behind a wall of Gryffindors as if he needed protection, Harry found himself rolling his eyes, almost in commiseration with Snape. What the hell? He didn't just think that. His thoughts were scattered and strange and rolling around in his head. Focusing, he realized he was numb to everything…well, except that pesky tinge of anger that kept popping up in his thoughts. He was annoyed that Snape had caught him, irritated that his friends thought he couldn't defend himself, angry that they had been obviously checking up on him, and just all around pissed off. Feeling rushed back and Harry wished he was comfortably numb again. That had been nice.
Ignoring the stand off behind him, Harry started down the hallway in the opposite direction. He needed some air. He'd make his way outside somehow.
"Harry, where are you going?" asked Ron, looking at him with deep concern.
"Is this the reason you've been acting out?" Hermione went into head-shrink mode and Harry found himself rolling his eyes again. "How long has this been going on? He can't treat you that way, Harry!"
Harry shrugged his shoulders as he continued walking. "He wasn't doing anything," he muttered, his thoughts turning dark once more. Seeing a flash of Cedric's eyes as they went from being lively and alert to suddenly being hauntingly dead. Nothing more…just dead. A shiver went up his spine.
"Harry!" she was becoming more adamant, especially upon seeing the shiver apparently. He hadn't meant to let that show. "You can't let other people abuse you! I know you probably think its normal because of your stupid relatives, but honestly Harry! Would you stop!" she was yelling now and spilling some of his background information without thought. That pissed him off.
"Do you mind keeping your nosy little thoughts to yourself, Hermione? Just SHUT UP!" he screamed.
"Potter! You're coming with me!" Snape had apparently had enough of the attitude.
"The hell he is!" and Ron was apparently just as protective as he was a few moments before, even if he did just rip into Hermione. It figured, especially when he didn't need his and his friend's considerable protective tendencies right at that moment.
"This is a school matter, Weasley, and unless you want to join your friend in expulsion, I suggest you make your way back to your dormitory! That goes for the rest of you as well!" yelled Snape. He pushed passed the group of students and made to grab Harry's arm.
Not in the mood to be man-handled once more that evening, Harry ripped his arm out of Snape's grasp and growled, "Don't touch me!" before stomping his way towards the Headmaster's office. If Snape wanted him expelled, so be it. He'd even hurry to process along if it would get him the hell away from everyone faster. Less than a week of school was left and he was already wanting out. That wasn't normal. He didn't want to go to the Dursley's, per say, but at least he'd be ignored there and not the center of attention like it was here.
Snape went after Harry, his robes billowing up behind him, his entire stance screaming anger.
Even with the threat of expulsion, Ron and company weren't about to let Harry be alone with a Professor who just obviously almost did personal bodily harm to him. With Ron in the lead, they stormed after the two of them.
Harry flung open the door to Dumbledore's office, seemingly startling the man as a lemon drop fell from his hand as he hastily stood up.
"Harry, what is it?" he asked, coming around the desk. He'd never seen the boy look quite so angry before. It was very worrisome. Especially after all the talk he'd overheard his staff discussing in the halls. He never thought the day would come when Harry Potter, golden boy extraordinaire, skipped classes and mouthed off to his teachers. Now he thought there might just be a little credence to the rumors.
Before he could utter another word, Professor Snape and a band of Gryffindors stampeded into his office. Dumbledore eyed them curiously before offering them all a seat.
"Would anyone care to explain what is going on?"
Harry spoke up before anyone else had a chance. "I skipped classes, I got caught by Snape here," he pointed a harsh finger in said Professor's direction, "and…"
"Professor Snape, Harry," corrected Dumbledore.
"Oh, who gives a rat's arse if he's a professor or not! I'll call him whatever the bloody hell I please!" yelled Harry, and everyone else in the room gasped. Even Professor Snape. No one ever thought Harry would curse, let alone yell so vehemently at the Headmaster.
"Mr. Potter! Mind your tongue," hissed Snape, unable to fathom the boy's disrespect.
Harry just looked at the floor, only a little repentant. He was surprised to actually feel remorseful, even if it was just slightly. It wasn't something he was used to feeling as of late.
Albus sighed. "Please finish what you were going to say, Harry," he asked politely, hoping it would diffuse the sudden anger the boy had just exhibited. He simply couldn't fathom how angry he was. It should have been something he noticed sooner; however, as he had a sinking feeling, he knew where it was stemming from. And if that was indeed the case, something needed to be done.
"Fine…" he mumbled as if the entire situation was just putting him out. As if he had something better to do. "After Snape caught me in the corridor, I pretty much mouthed off to him and tried to walk away from him. He got angry and now he's going to try and get you to expel me," he said hatefully, leaving out a few details he wasn't really keen on sharing. Ron, however, was more than happy to fill in the gaps.
"Don't forget he had you slammed up against the wall with his hands wrapped around your arms so tightly I'm sure there are bruises by now!" he said, glaring hatefully at the older man. "How long have you been using him as your personal punching bag, Snape!?"
Harry rolled his eyes.
Dumbledore saw the look and motioned for Severus to explain. "Potter blacked out or had some kind of episode while I was attempting to tell him the error of his ways. I shook him a bit and he may have hit the wall inadvertently, but I assure you, Professor, I was not using him as my 'personal punching bag,' as Weasley puts it," he explained, glaring at the red-headed pain in his arse.
"Severus, even though Harry was having some type of issue, please refrain from shaking him in the future," rebuked Dumbledore.
Severus glared at the older man but nodded his consent. Honestly, Severus was sometimes irritable, and he sometimes used questionable tactics when dealing with his troublesome students, but he would never hurt them intentionally. This was something Dumbledore knew all too well.
"You can't believe him, Headmaster! You didn't see what happened in the corridor. Tell him, Harry! Tell him what happened!"
Once Hermione started in, Harry was half tempted to just get up and leave the office, no matter that he hadn't exactly been punished or expelled yet. Not that getting up and leaving could possibly make things worse than they already were. But, at that point, yelling sounded pretty good. And, since he was perpetually always angry, he decided right then was a good time to do it.
"Hermione!" he started, "Snape has not now nor has he ever hurt me in any way, shape or form! Now shut the hell up!"
"Harry James Potter! That is not the way we talk to other students in this castle!" Dumbledore was utterly shocked at Harry's behavior. "Especially since she is your friend! What in the world has gotten into you?"
"I'm the reason people keep dying! That's what has gotten into me!" he screamed.
Before anyone could stop him, Harry flew out of the door and down the stairs. Those still in the Headmaster's office could hear the echoes of his footsteps long after he was out of sight.
Albus lowered his head as he placed his hand against his heart. "Oh my," he couldn't think of anything else to say. Which was a first.
"We've got to do something. I'm so worried about him. He's never acted like this before, and I…I'm not sure what he'll do," whispered Hermione emotionally. "He's just so angry. It's not like him at all."
"And just what exactly is it that you're worried he'll do?" asked Snape, looking mildly interested in his student's behavior.
Hermione and Ron shared a look before a combined nod of their heads let the others in the room know they had decided to share their wisdom.
"We're worried he'll go after You-Know-Who. When he isn't storming around the common room or the dorms in a fit, we hear him muttering about how he should have stayed and killed him. So, it wouldn't be that far fetched to believe he'd go after him. Don't you think? And with summer holiday coming up, I just don't think it is going to be a good idea to let him go back to his abusive relatives so all he can do is think about what he should have done. Because I'm afraid he'll try to go and do it…kill You-Know-Who." She laid their thoughts out on the table and let the only two adults in the room decide what should happen.
Dumbledore seemed deep in thought and Snape just looked like he'd known all along that Harry had been feeling that way, which made Ron want to roll his eyes and glare.
"Can't Harry come and stay with us at the Burrow?" Ron threw his two cents in. "I mean, he'd be safer there…well, in the sense that he won't have all day and all night to actually think about putting anything he might plan into motion. We could keep an eye on him. And you know…he'd get to eat and stuff."
Snape was becoming more and more confused the more the two talked. "Would he not get to eat at home?" he asked sarcastically, thinking the two of them were just being idiotic. It wasn't like it would be the first time.
Ron really did glare then. "No. Why would they feed him? They hate him."
Shaking his head, Snape didn't really pay any more attention to them. He assumed Potter had laid it on thick one night to his friends about how pitiful his life with the muggles was. He wasn't going to listen to more of the brat's drama. No one would treat Potter any less than a hero. Especially not his relatives. The boy's relatives were probably just strict and after spending months on end where he got away with everything, he had to gripe and moan when he got back home at the idea of doing any sort of chore. Severus was sure of it.
"I'm sure Mr. Potter will be just fine at home," started Snape. He definitely didn't want Albus to get any ideas in his head about letting the brat stay at the school. He absolutely refused to deal with the child on more than the normal school term basis.
"Actually, I believe they might be correct about this, Severus. If he's at home, he'll be more inclined to think of ways to escape the house and steal out to do only Merlin knows what. If he decides to go after Voldemort, it will be only a matter of time before he tries it. We simply can't take the risk."
Severus sighed. Of course Albus would fall for it. Now the boy was going to be running around the castle all summer long, because he knew Albus would never let Potter beyond the protective wards of either the school or his own home. The Burrow was out of the question.
"So, he can stay at my house?"
Dumbledore sighed at the hopeful lilt in the red-head's voice. "Unfortunately, it wouldn't be safe for you and your family, or Harry for that matter, if he stayed at your home. I'm truly sorry, Mr. Weasley."
Ron shrugged his shoulders disappointedly. Honestly, even though he would love to have Harry over most days, the idea of having the moody individual who had taken over the Harry he knew and could get along with, wasn't all that appealing.
"That's okay, I guess. But, where is he going to stay then? Here?"
Hermione seemed to be rather thrilled with that idea, but Ron couldn't fathom why. Oh wait…yes he could. It was a school with a massive library. Any normal person would have run screaming in the other direction at the idea of spending their summer holiday stuck in a school. But, Hermione wasn't normal. So, that explained it.
"That is something I need to discuss with Professor Snape in private. If you all would excuse us?" Dumbledore politely showed them to the door, though Ron couldn't understand why he would need to talk to Snape about Harry staying.
As the door shut behind the Gryffindor's, Snape started to get a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach.
"I have the feeling I know precisely where this conversation is going," he said hatefully. He knew the Headmaster all too well. He was a scheming and diabolical old man. And, he was going to get his way. He always did.
"Severus, I'm sure you don't," the older man smiled gently at him.
"Oh, I'm sure I do," muttered Snape, and he settled uncomfortably into the chair behind him. "What am I supposed to do with him?"
Dumbledore looked genuinely surprised that he had guessed. "Keep him occupied and…talk with him. You both have very turbulent pasts. You have more in common than I'm sure either of you wished to. But, nevertheless, I believe the two of you could get along if you only tried."
Becoming nearly as angry as he figured Potter had become as of late, Severus growled, "Have you forgotten what else you have already asked me to do? How can I possibly take care of Potter if you expect me to reintegrate myself into Lord Voldemort's ranks? I'd be killed as soon as anyone discovered it. And believe me, with Potter staying in my home, it wouldn't take anyone long to figure it out. And if it wasn't death, you know what he would ask of me! Have you gone completely daft? I can't have the boy in my home without risking death or simply being forced to give the boy to him. I highly doubt that would be what you had in mind for keeping Potter's thoughts away from attacking the Dark Lord!"
It was fairly obvious that Albus had thought of this as well, as the next thing he said nearly shocked the life right out of the younger man. "You won't be going back to him. At least, not yet."
Struck speechless, Severus could only stare. "What?" he asked numbly a moment later. "Is Potter now more important than getting any pertinent information out of the Dark Lord? You remember how it was back then! How many lives will be lost because I'm being forced to stay at home and pamper the little Potter brat?!" he finally yelled.
"You know there are other ways to retrieve that information, Severus. And, as a matter of fact, I believe Mr. Potter is more important. If we have any chance in hell of surviving this war, we're going to need Harry. And, right now isn't the time for the boy to act," Dumbledore's voice was steel and Severus knew the man meant every word he said and there would be no contradicting him. "Furthermore, you will do this for me. And you will do this for Harry. And yourself."
Feeling like he had somehow let the Headmaster down, Severus nodded his head in agreement. He would do this duty. "Very well, Headmaster. When shall I let him know?" he asked. Deep down inside where he wouldn't let any of his emotions show, Severus was very much looking forward to telling the brat this lovely information.
"Tomorrow, after the last class has ended. You will take him with you to Mountain Lake Island. The lighthouse and cottage still stand, do they not?"
Severus sighed. "Yes, I believe so. But, I'm sure it is practically in ruins by now. My family hasn't lived there in centuries."
"Well then, I can assure you that will be one way to keep Harry occupied. He will help you restore it to its original condition. And he won't do all the work, Severus. You will help him."
That was a bit of a low blow, in Snape's opinion. As if he would make a child work completely alone on restoring that place.
As if sensing the man's irritation in mass quantities, Albus apologized. "That was ill of me to say, Severus. I know you wouldn't treat the boy that way. However, I do want you to promise me you will keep your temper in check when dealing with him. If you don't think you can handle him, I need you to let me know immediately."
"I can definitely handle him, Albus. Make no mistake."
"Very well, I suggest you get packing then. And do try and break it to him gently," he said, locking his eyes on Severus' and not letting go. "Don't make him more upset than he already is. You know as well as I that he will not appreciate this at first."
"I won't piss him off, if that's what you're saying."
Albus raised his brow. "Do try not to."
Severus smirked. "I won't."
A/N: Just so you know, if it seemed like the rest of the Gryffindors weren't in the Headmaster's office even though I had written them all storming into it…that's because they just really weren't that important at that juncture. So, just imagine they were really quiet, okay? But, they were there.
Also, Snape won't always be a bastard…keep that in mind.
And…my stories aren't complete without angst…so, this will be chock full of it. Eventually. I Love angst.
Remember, Harry is going to be out of character for a while, because he's an ANGRY little fella! This is how he is dealing with his grief at the moment. That will eventually change.
As always, please review to let me know what you think….love it, hate it…whatever.
Next chapter should be up in about 2 weeks.