It's only a matter of perspective, really.

Harry mused on this matter as he walked down to the dungeons for what felt like the sixtieth time in the last two weeks. After his rather inauspicious return from the past, he'd woken once again in the Hospital Wing, only this time with Sirius holding vigil at his bedside. Harry secretly suspected that Snape would have been more than willing to fill the post had Sirius not been there. Not that Harry would ever ask the man – he'd only deny it – but Harry now knew that Snape would always be there if he had need of him.

Well, after he had woken, he'd received a positive flood of visitors, wanting to know if he was all right and where on earth he'd been. He'd only told Ron, Hermione, Lupin and Sirius the full truth, showing them the pictures the Marauders had taken and laughing about them. There were some that even Harry hadn't seen – the one when he'd been in the hospital bed and surrounded by the both Marauders and Lily for example. That one Harry treasured the most.

It had only been later, when he was back in Gryffindor Tower with Ron and Hermione, that he'd allowed himself to cry a little for the parents he'd lost twice. They had been so full of life, so happy with their lives and it just wasn't fair. It had made Harry's hatred for Voldemort burn stronger – made him certain that one day he would sort that good-for-nothing sadist once and for all! He may not have twenty years in front of him to learn everything he could, but he was confident of what he already knew and had realised that anything else on top of that was a bonus. And if McGonagall taught him to be a proper Animagus like she'd promised... well that would be just awesome!

And as for the future... well... he had no idea where he was going to go next summer, but the Headmaster had made strong hints about Snape wanting to take him aside and start training him properly. Even a month ago Harry would have violently protested about having to spend so much time with the bad-tempered, snarky Professor, but now... it was strange how peculiar events could bring you closer to someone. Maybe this time he'd even allow Harry to see Sirius every now and again – that is if the man hadn't been sighted by the authorities recently.

Still musing this, Harry raised his hand to open the familiar dungeon door. It shook a tiny bit as he grasped the handle, but he was nowhere near as bad as he had been. There had been points over the last few weeks where he hadn't even been able to hold a quill, and Hermione had had to take notes for him, all the while shooting Harry sympathetic looks, which strangely weren't as annoying as they had been before. Everyone had their own way of dealing with things, and while Snape's brusque manner wasn't everyone's cup of tea, it worked well enough for the man himself – just as Hermione mothering him worked well for her.

"'Evening, Professor," Harry stated breezily as he hurried into the room. "Anything you need me to do?"

Snape glanced up from the cauldron he was glaring at. "Good evening, Potter. As a matter of fact, today we shall be focusing on your offensive spell repertoire. There are glaringly obvious holes in your knowledge that even the most basic of First Years would be able to spot. After that if we still have time, we shall work on various healing poultices and spells. Now, take up your duelling position."

It was, Harry reflected as he took up the familiar duelling position – silently imagining being able to best Snape for once – only a matter of perspective.

A/N: Well, it took me ages but I'm pleased with the results. Please let me know what you think of it and press the shiny, pretty review button! Special thanks to 'brightmagic' for thinking up this idea in the first place and to Mila for allowing me to bounce ideas off her – Sirius's 'Fruit Salad' spell is entirely her invention!