Occlumency is on Monday
Disclaimer: I, Hpfanficfan, give my word that all characters within this fiction belongs to JKR, Warner Bros and/or Bloomsbury. All terms and words pertaining and with any relation to the Harry Potter universe do not belong to me. No copyright infringement is intended and no monetary compensation has been received for the making of this fiction. Blah blah, legal mumbo jumbo blah blah.
Summary: Harry hates Mondays. Occlumency is on Monday. Every Monday was the same, but this one would be different, and this one would change, everything. During a brutal Occulmency lesson, Harry snaps and breaks down; and Severus saw something in Harry that he has never seen before; and something in himself that he had forgotten existed.
Rated T for language. Warning: Strong language, profanity
A/N: I always liked the idea of Harry snapping at Severus after he says something horrid. Harry breaks down and Severus comforts him awkwardly. They have a conversation and Severus ends up his mentor or something. This story runs somewhere along that line.
Beta'ed by Lady Mage.
Occlumency is on Monday by Hpfanficfan
Chapter I: Animosity
Monday. Monday. Monday.
Harry hated Mondays.
Occulmency lessons were on Mondays.
Harry hated Occlumency.
The first Occlumency lesson had been a wretched disaster, and it all went downhill from there. Every Monday it was the same thing; the Potions Master would invade Harry's mind again and again with Legilimency, but there would be no positive result of any sort from their lesson. Snape would get angry and start in on the insults, and Harry would have to take it all without a word. In the beginning, the quick-tempered Gryffindor would retort and backtalk his professor, but that only led to more angry words, detentions, and point deductions. In the end, Harry just got used to it and simply stopped caring.
The end of those tedious lessons would find Harry both physically and emotionally exhausted, ready to collapse into bed for another night of restless sleep.
Harry thought that this Monday would be the same. He would go to the lesson, endure the attacks, suffer the insults and try not to break down before the night ended.
But he would be wrong. This particular Monday would not be the same, in fact, this Monday would be very different, and it would change everything.
7 O'clock and it was time for "Remedial Potions".
Harry forced himself down to the dungeons, where awaiting his arrival would be another brutal night of painful, unforgiving memories.
Harry tried, he really did, but how was one suppose to 'clear his mind'? How could one just think about nothing, empty his or her mind of conscious thought and just...be? Harry did not understand and at this point, he did not want to understand. As far as Harry knew, Professor Snape could care less whether he learned or not.
The young wizard signed with melancholy as he came upon the dungeon door. It was five minutes to seven; Harry was early for once, not that it would matter to Snape, he always found some reason to deduct points. Harry knocked thrice on the lab door and waited. A few seconds later, a familiar voice, cold and full of disdain, emerged from behind the stone walls.
"Enter," the voice uttered.
Another Occlumency lesson had come calling. Harry put on his face of indifference and answered.
Severus Snape the esteemed potions master and Legilimency and Occulmency expert sat at his office desk moodily. Another Monday had come; another night to be wasted, another hour of tiresome Legilimency, another lesson with Potter making a complete and utter mockery of the refined art of Occlumency. As if Severus Snape did not have enough on his hands, Dumbledore had to shove Potter onto him for hourly sessions of Occulmency every week. Every second day of the week that is; every Monday to be exact. This was the precisely why Mondays were the Potion master's least favourite day of the week.
A large stack of third and fourth year essays sat in two neat piles on his desk. The magical clock showed the time to be exactly five minutes before seven. Potter should be here any time now, thought Severus as he scribbled a 'D' on the paper before him. Was it just him, or have kids these days ceased evolving? It was true, the homework he marked, instead of getting better, seemed to get worse and worse as the year wore on. Where had all the competent students gone?
Severus groaned with annoyance when he heard a tapping from the door, spelling the stack of essays away he uttered one, single word.
Harry opened the door and walked warily into enemy territory, he braced himself for the jeering comment that always started the night and it issued faithfully from the Potion master's mouth just as he closed the door.
"Mr. Potter," Snape said in an even, monotonous voice, "on time for once I see, I was beginning to think you were not capable of such simple tasks."
Harry ignored the stinging remark and simply sat himself down on the familiar chair, awaiting the attack he knew would come. He tried to breathe easy even as his heart drummed with trepidation, the Gryffindor knew and dreaded what was to come.
"Dare I hope there be an improvement today, Mr. Potter?" Snape jeered with contempt. "Or will it be the usual...failure?"
Harry again ignored the insult, there would be more where those came from, he would ignore them all, as he always did.
"Legillimens!" The attack came, as usual, from out of nowhere.
A wave of memories flooded Harry's vision.
"Get to your cupboard now, runt!" Uncle Vernon gave him a hard shove and slammed the cupboard door in his face. Harry laid in the dark cradling his cheek where Vernon had struck him. It wasn't his fault he did better than Dudley on the test; Harry had even made an effort to do badly, he didn't think his stupid cousin was that bad.
"That's my china, you stupid boy! You be paying for that, just wait till Vernon gets home. I'll have him teach you something about clumsiness. And how dare you waste perfectly good food!" Aunt Petunia screamed at the young boy crying on the floor. "Clean that up now and don't even think about supper tonight, or tomorrow for that matter!" The woman swung a rag at him and stomped out of the room. Harry crawled on his hands and feet, picking up the pieces of broken china and wiping the floor clean of soup, all the while trying to stop the tears.
"Pathetic as usual, Potter. If it is possible, I do believe you have gotten worse!"
"Freak! That's what you are, that's all you'll ever be!" Dudley and his gang chased 7-year-old Harry into an alley. "What's wrong, freak? Nowhere to run?" They laughed and jeered as they advanced on the smaller boy.
"Miserable little parasite's even more worthless than his mother, and that pitiful husband of hers!" Aunt Marge taunted with a look of absolute disgust on her face. They were laughing at him, all of them, they were always laughing at him.
"Your incompetence never cease to astound me, even the dimmest Muggle would have been able to resist me by now, by instinct if nothing else!"
"Get to work and stop that snivelling, or I'll give you something to cry about!" Vernon whacked Harry upside the head, sending him tumbling.
"Oh look, the poor little freak is upset," Dudley taunted, "Wanna know why Santa didn't get you a present? Cause you're a freak! That's what dad says, you're bad and nobody loves you."
Aunt Petunia, tearing up a Christmas card Harry made; Uncle Vernon, locking him in the cupboard while the family went to the May Day festival; Dudley, buried in a room full of birthday gifts while Harry tossed away the wrappings; Riper the bulldog chasing him up a tree, tearing the legging of his trousers as his relatives urged the dog on, never ceasing their jeering laughter.
"Again, Potter! How many times do I have to say it? Clear your mind!" Snape shouted angrily.
On and on they went, again and again, memory after memory. Over the next hour Snape continued to tear the memories from Harry's mind and berate him when he failed to block the relentless attacks. Finally, much to the relief of both men, the Potions Master withdrew, lowered his wand and stowed it away.
The Legilimency attacks had stopped, the verbal tirade, however, was not half finished. Harry had fell out of the chair. He knelt, panting and heaving on his hands and knees, gasping for air. The emotions he was feeling only made the physical exhaustion worse. Though he was glad the attacks had stopped, Harry struggled to deal with everything that he was feeling; sadness, resentment, hopelessness, dejection and most of all, anger.
"Nothing! No improvement whatsoever! What a joke, Potter. Not even Longbottom could be so incompetent," Snape ridiculed, nothing could be more frustrating to a teacher than a student who did not learn no matter what you did. "Do you not even try? It has been months, Potter, months! Looks like the Boy-Who-Lived should be called the Boy-Who-Failed, again and again and again! What do I have to do? I have instructed you lesson after lesson, practice, practice, practice. You must clear your mind! You may not care for these lessons, Potter, but these are essential to not only your own wellbeing, but that of others." Snape continued. Harry felt his anger surging forward like a runaway train with broken brakes. If Snape didn't stop soon, he wouldn't care what the consequences are, he was going to snap.
"Why do you think I am doing this? For my own enjoyment?"
Well, actually Harry believed just that; that Snape used these lessons as an opportunity and excuse to ridicule him.
"Certainly not!" Snape continued. "If Dumbledore had not insisted, I wouldn't be in this situation, teaching some hopeless, ignorant brat who have no desire to learn. You are as pathetic as your pitiful father; a little popularity and you let it all go to your head. James Potter was the same," Severus ranted, "always holding himself on a pedestal, thinking he was so smart, think he knows everything, think he was better than everyone else when there was nothing in that pea sized brain of his but Quidditch and pranks."
Harry clenched his teeth together and glared at the tall wizard, who piercing black eyes stared at him full of undeserved hate and bitter resentment. His breath quickened as he met those eyes; Harry couldn't help but think how meaningless this all was. If only Snape could let go of that stupid grudge everything would be fine. None of this was his fault, why must he be condemned for his father's sins?
"Tell me, Mr. Potter, how many lesson have you come to?" Snape questioned. Harry did not answer. "Sixteen that's how many! Sixteen weeks and you are as amateur as the first week. I do not understand how even James Potter could have fathered such a useless, dimwitted child."
"Oh, would you just SHUT UP!" Harry snapped, his anger finally boiling over as he sprang to his feet. "I have had enough of your condescending crap!"
Snape's face turned a shade deeper.
"Careful how you speak to me, Potter," the Potions Master snarled dangerously. "That will be 20 points from Gryffindor for disrespect, and 10 more for that foul mouth of yours." Harry ignored him, way too riled up to care. He just couldn't take it anymore. Everything; every word; every cruel jibe, every taunting, mocking sneer the Potions Master had ever said to him came back stampeding. A tidal wave of repressed anger came rushing forth.
"I don't care! For the last time, I am not my father, I am nothing like him! I am not like you either!"
"Silence!" Snape barked, "Fix that attitude of yours, or I shall fix it for you." But Harry carried on, looking up at the taller man and meeting the glinting eyes.
"I don't give a shit about my attitude! Tell me, Professor, do you like what you see?" Harry asked painfully, fully expecting the Potions Master to jeer and confirm his suspicions. "Cause if you do, then you just some sick, twisted bastard who..." But Severus cut him off.
"Do you think I enjoy these lessons? Trust me when I say I have better things to do with my precious time. For months I gave my time and energy to help you achieve something you obviously do not care to achieve. You should be grateful I am even considering teaching you, if it wasn't for the headmaster, I would have thrown you out of my office long ago."
"Why don't you just throw me out of your office now? It'll be better for everyone!" Harry yelled.
"Be careful what you wish for, Potter. You have no idea how much I would like to do just that. Consider yourself lucky, but let me warn you, I am rapidly losing my patience. Keep this up and not only will you find yourself out of an Occlumency teacher, you will find yourself in detention for the rest of the year!"
"Fuck Occlumency! Fuck detention. I don't god damn care! Why do you hate me so much anyway? What have I ever done to you?"
Severus curled his lips. "Bite your tongue, you insolent boy! Stop this childish nonsense immediately! Another vulgarity out of you and Gryffindor will find themselves out of the running the house cup, wouldn't want that to happen would we?"
"Who cares! Those points are overrated!" Harry snapped, his chest rose and fell as he sucked in quick, harsh breaths. "Answer my question, why do you hate me so damn much?"
"I do not hate you, Mr. Potter," Severus purred. "If I hated you, you would know."
"Oh sure, of course you don't! Whatever gave me that idea?" Harry scoffed sardonically, throwing up his arms. "I knew my father and his gang always liked you too. They liked you so much in fact, they practically worshiped you! My father was just your bestest pal, wasn't he? He simply adored you; Sirius and Remus and the whole lot of them!"
"What drivel are you speaking of?" Severus tried to keep his temper in rein under the impossible circumstances.
"You hate me, admit it! You have no reason to, but you despise me and treat me like shit." Harry screamed, not caring for the fact that Snape now looked livid. He couldn't stop himself, not even thinking about what he was saying, Harry carried on, letting the words form on their own.
"I treat you no better or worse than you deserve, you irreverent child!" Severus growled with rising ire. How dare the Potter boy speak to him like that; if his Slytherins ever dare to address him with such disrespect they'd find themselves sore in the rear for days. "I am warning you for the last time, Potter. You are perilously close breaching my patience and when they give, things would not go in your favour."
"Fuck you, Snape! Now I really understand why my father hated you so much and why you were ever so unpopular, you're a sorry excuse for a human being. They were right, you are a coward; nothing but an ugly, greasy, Snivellus!"
Harry fell so hard, he didn't even have time to catch himself before slamming his head on the hard dungeon floor with a loud crack.
Harry moaned; he's had the wind knocked out of him before, but this was really something. He felt like a hippogriff had just reared him in the head; a full-grown, adult hippogriff. The strike came out of nowhere; one minute he was yelling his head off, and the next he felt as if it just about had been knocked off. Harry groaned some more as the jagged pain flaring from his left cheek to the other side of his head, (somewhere above his scar), made his head spin. Harry swallowed, a salty taste lingered in his mouth. Warily, he pushed himself up, sitting sideways with one hand covering the newly formed gash and the other on the floor supporting his weight. The whole world swirled when he opened his eyes, Harry quickly squeezed them shut. A pair of worn spectacles lay bent on the floor, but Harry could care less at the moment, they were rubbish anyway.
Severus went white with fury the instant the last syllable escaped Harry's vocals. In the blink of an eye, his hand had rose and fell with a gruesome strength, driving the small Gryffindor to the floor.
Severus's heart skipped a beat, he froze.
What had he done? He had hit a student, and not just any student, this was a student he had no authority to discipline. Not only that, he had striked Harry Potter, Dumbledore's Golden Boy; the headmaster would be furious. Furthermore, he had hit him in a way that was not only inappropriate, but brutal. But that dreaded name, Potter had to go and call him that despicable name, out of everything, anything. Not even 'coward' had gotten such a rise out of him.
Snivellus…the name James Potter and his gang of Marauders bestowed on Severus, had not been heard by the potion master for nearly two decades. And now all of a sudden, this spoiled, arrogant scamp of James Potter dared utilize that name! Nobody called him that and got away with it.
Still, he should not have done what he did. He was more than out of line. Forget about getting sacked, forget about Dumbledore; he'd be last week's leftover mashed-potatoes when Minerva and Poppy found out.
With a grunt he bent down and hooked his hand under Harry's chin, ignoring the slight flinch issuing from the boy. With another hand he guided Harry's arm away from the cut. After looking at it for a moment, he sighed with relief. It looked worse than it was, Potter was fine.
Harry twisted his head away when Snape reached for him. His professor had hit him. He couldn't believe Snape had hit him, and so viciously. Not even Uncle Vernon had hurt him so badly before. Rubbing at the hurt, he felt blood down the side of his head, god, that hurt. His cheek throbbed painfully on the other side.
He must be so angry. What was I thinking yelling at him like that, and calling him that horrid name. I am not my father, I'm not, isn't that what I've been trying to convince him all this time? I've just gone and proved myself wrong, now he'll be more convinced than ever that I am an exact replica of James Potter, the egotistic, bigoted bully who took pleasure in hurting people. That's true, I'm not like them, and I'm not like him.
Harry felt miserable; the anger and resentment he felt moments before were replaced with guilt, regret and a touch of fear.
He's going to kill me! I'll be in detention forever, if I'm lucky enough not to be expelled...ten times over.
When the Potions professor reached for his face Harry pulled away, almost instinctively.
"Stop, don't move. Let me see," Snape chided. Harry didn't like it, but he let the Potions Master turn his head towards the light. Was it his imagination or did the man sound genuinely worried? Nah, must be the blow to the head.
Snape pushed the messy locks of hair out of the way and examined the wound, it was bleeding, but not badly. Harry grimaced and bit his lip as Snape's ministrations only seemed to made things worse. But the rough, sandpaper like hands that had struck him so severely before was surprisingly gentle.
The Potions Master pinched the bridge of his nose and signed in relief. "It's fine," he said, "it's just a cut, not too deep." Harry felt woozy, his bruised cheek and still bleeding cut pulsed with sharp pain as the rest of his head ached dully.
He helped the boy to his feet and put him in the chair again. "Wait here, Potter." With that, Snape turned out of the room towards his potion stores.
But Harry did not wait. He just wanted to get out of there before Snape had a chance to tear him apart.
TO BE CONTINUED...