TEARS OF HEALING
A/N: I'm back with my fourth Snarry story. I deleted That Special Touch since I felt that I did not and currently cannot do enough research on blindness, Braille etc. and was therefore not familiar enough with the material I wanted to write about. I also apologise to those who took the time to read and review the deleted story. So I decided to revert to something that has been done a million times before. But then, the plots for my previous Snarries have also been done a million times before.
It is Harry's seventh year. Harry has to resume Occlumency
lessons with Snape, including duelling sessions after Voldemort
discovers the pleasure of severely disrupting Harry's sleeping
pattern during Harry's seventh year. Voldemort sends Harry such bad
visions and nightmares that Harry starts searching for drastic
measures to be able to sleep properly. Dumbledore decides to kill two
birds with one stone: teach Harry how to defend himself properly
against Voldemort and get Severus and Harry to bury their
resentments. For once and for all. After a series of volatile
lessons, Harry starts to "filter" his feelings in a diary and
gradually learns Occlumency. The insight the wizards gain into each
other's minds and memories establishes a tentative understanding
between them. While Harry learns to control his emotions, Severus
realises that keeping his feelings trapped and festering away in
bitterness is self-destructive. Slowly, the two wizards develop a
bond which grows increasingly stronger and sensual even as Voldemort prepares for
war on the wizarding world…
This is a slash story. Don't like, don't read. It will be sensual and seductively homoerotic in later chapters...in compliance with the M rating, of course :-)
The characters and universe in this story do not belong to me; they belong to J.K. Rowling.
Severus Snape was glaring at Dumbledore. He had not been so angry since the Headmaster had given him a shampoo and hair care set last Christmas. Severus had wanted to send the whole thing back, but it was bewitched to refuse any attempts to return it to its sender. So he had used it. And it had worked. Naturally. It had been a rather expensive set. And Severus had got the extremely unsubtle hint. In this case, he was close to getting apoplexy.
"I refuse to teach Potter Occlumency again," he whispered, a muscle twitching ominously in his jaw. His slender fingers were clutching the handle of his teacup very tightly. A crunching sound and a couple of porcelain fragments running down his fingers made him loosen his grip quickly, and he hastily set the cup back onto its saucer. Dumbledore pressed his fingers together in a neat steeple.
"Severus, Voldemort has discovered that sleep deprivation is an exceedingly efficient method to destroy someone. Harry's friends are worried because Harry has been secretly taking Sleeping Potions. He is currently in the hospital wing and has been diagnosed with Sleeping Potion addiction."
"What a martyr," Severus exclaimed with mock pity.
Dumbledore was silent.
Why don't you teach him, Albus?" the Head of Slytherin asked bluntly.
"It is impossible, Severus. I simply do not have the capacities to do so at the moment, and you are aware of it, my dear boy – quite apart from the fact that you would…push him better than I would or could."
Severus's lip curled into a characteristic sneer.
"I would push him over a cliff if I could."
"Severus," Dumbledore said sternly, "that is a very unkind thing to say."
"He is just like his father."
"You are just trying to see James Potter in his son. You are searching for a reason to hate Harry."
"Searching for a reason?" Severus snorted derisively. "I do not need to search for a reason. I have more than enough reasons to think that Harry Potter is an arrogant, conceited and pampered-"
"Sugar, Severus?" Dumbledore interrupted him quietly, gesturing at a sugar cube hovering above a dainty sugar bowl.
Severus refused the offer curtly, fully aware of the fact that he had just been stopped in what had been in danger of turning into a rant.
"Well, Severus? What is your decision?" Dumbledore asked firmly.
"With or without a Pensieve – my answer is no. Potter will never learn Occlumency; and leaving that brat alone with a Pensieve…" His knuckles turned white as he buried his fingers into the armrest of his chair.
"Severus. Please," Dumbledore said softly, "it is urgent. Harry has to master Occlumency. His sleeping pattern is completely disrupted; and besides getting over the Sleeping Potion addiction, he has his NEWTs to study for. He has to learn how to control his emotions and thoughts if he wants to defeat Voldemort. You are the only one who can teach him."
"After all the encouraging things that have happened, Albus? You do know what a close friendship that brat and I have?" Severus reminded him sarcastically.
"He is not a brat. He is seventeen. An adult. He is more, if not yet completely, mature. And although he resembles his father strongly, Severus, remember that he is kind-hearted, like his mother Lily. If you tried to get to know him properly, Severus, instead of judging him on the basis of past quarrels-"
"Fine. I will teach him," Severus said coldly, "although I regard the ingestion of Sleeping Potion for two months as most immature."
Dumbledore leant back.
The Potions Master threw him a glacial glance.
"I regard it as part of the price I have to pay for this." He flexed his left forearm.
"You are free to regard it in whatever light you wish, Severus. I personally do not intend this task as a punishment or a price to pay, and you know it. This is not only about you, my dear boy. It is about strengthening Harry and weakening Voldemort."
Severus did not respond, preferring to shrug slightly and compressing his lips in a thin disapproving line.
"When are you going to disclose the delightful news to Potter?" he asked finally.
"As soon as his addiction wears off."
"It will take a good two or three weeks, considering that he has been ingesting it for two whole months," Severus said in a bored tone.
"The sooner, the better."
"There's something else which occurred to me, Severus."
Severus took his teacup and sipped at the hot beverage as if for fortification.
"What else?" he asked warily.
"It would be a good idea if you gave Harry duelling lessons as well."
The teacup shattered onto the floor and Severus's high
cheekbones became ominously flushed. A slight vibration seemed to run
through the floor of the office.
In the meanwhile, seventeen-year-old Harry Potter was lying in a hospital bed with a hammering headache. Vulnerable and deprived of natural sleep, he stared at the ceiling with bloodshot eyes while Madam Pomfrey scolded him.
"The Sleeping Potion you took prevented insomnia and nightmares alright, young man! It has also reduced you to this state."
Harry blinked tiredly.
"There is only one thing which can ward off Voldemort's – oh, stop flinching like that, Ron – attacks efficiently, and that is-"
"-Occlumency," Ron finished Hermione's sentence. The two Gryffindors were sitting anxiously at Harry's bedside. The matron had reluctantly allowed them to stay in a ward since they were Harry's closest friends and had notified her when Harry had suddenly fainted away in the middle of Charms.
Harry uttered a ghostly laugh and averted his face from them. Hermione sighed.
"Maybe if Dumbledore taught him…" Ron said slowly.
"Yes. Maybe. But I don't think so. He didn't teach Harry last time."
"That's because You-Know-Who was possessing Harry. He's not doing it now. I mean, now he's sending nightmares and horrible stuff to Harry, but he's not in him."
"No, he's not," Hermione said thoughtfully, "but someone like Dumbledore has rather a lot of responsibilities, he wouldn't have time."
"Would you stop planning every single step of the way for me?" Harry snapped, "I've got a fucking headache!"
"Mr Potter!" Madam Pomfrey exclaimed, "Language! And you two are agitating instead of calming him. Off you go."
Hermione and Ron left, and Harry continued staring at the ceiling while Madam Pomfrey told him that he would experience withdrawal symptoms over the next two weeks, and that nothing could be done about it.