Disclaimer: I do not own any Harry Potter characters, locations and anything else recognizable in that realm. No money has been made from this endeavor and it never will be. My only consolation is that I own plush Fluffy doll. No joke. He is sitting on my bookshelf right now. He guards my Harry Potter books.

Warnings: Slash! Just like my previous three stories. Harry/Severus. I will give additional warning before chapters that have more adult content. Also, bad language, AU, OOC, WIP and I really don't know what else to put….Oh, like all my other stories, please disregard books six and seven. They are both wonderful books, but I just don't use them in my little universe.

A/N: Back in the saddle again! I just can't seem to keep away from writing. Oh! By the way, I have a Beta now! What is a Beta you ask? Why a Beta is a super-high-charged electron that is emitted by certain types of radioactive…what? Not that kind of Beta? Oh, you mean a person who helps me out by catching my mistakes; that kind of Beta. Yes, I have one those now as well! Let me introduce you to Invader Shawn. She will be helping me with my writing and generally being awesome.

Becoming Real

Written by – Point of Tears

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Prologue

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Run.

Dodge.

Run.

Block.

During battle, thoughts become simplified. It all has to do with instincts. Survival of the fittest. After all, if being faced with the prospect of being chased by a ferocious beast, and a rabbit were to think, 'Should I run? Yes, I think I should run. This beast looks quite scary. Yes, running is definitely my best option. Or is it? Which way should I run? I ran a lot before breakfast. I am slightly tired. That way looks slightly…,' chances are the rabbit would not get to finish this internal monologue and the ferocious beast would find himself with a rabbit dinner.

Instincts.

It is all about instincts.

Harry Potter was functioning on pure instinct right now. No, he wasn't being chased by any ferocious beast—though if you asked him, he would allude to something of that effect—but as he danced among the sea of curses and hexes, his instincts were in overdrive. It was almost as if he were having an out of body experience, Harry realized as he did another block maneuver and then sent a hex in the direction of his attacker. His body was moving and reacting but there did not seem to be any engagement from the brain. The eighteen-year-old didn't know if that was a good thing or not, because even if thoughts were simplified in battle, he was pretty sure that one still needed their brain in order to live through a fight. His mind didn't seem to be able to keep up with his body.

Harry jumped out of the way of some unknown green hex. "Expeliarmus," he threw the spell at what he hoped was the general area of his attacker.

"Surely, you did not expect such a low, childish, ineffective spell to work!" he heard from the opposite direction.

'Darn it, I guess surely I did,' Harry berated himself.

The young man ran behind a nearby tree and panted, trying to gain his bearings and prayed that his brain would finally wake up and let him know a spell that would actually work.

"Hiding, are we? How courageous." taunted the snide voice, "I always knew that when faced with real danger you would turn tail and run like a scared little dog."

Harry growled as his hackles were raised. He turned around from behind the tree, "Stupe—"

He didn't get to finish as a hex flew through the air and hit him in his right shoulder. The effect was instant and Harry soon found he had no feeling in his right arm. The Gryffindor let out a series of cuss words under his breath as he reached over with his left hand to retrieve his wand before it fell to the ground. He whipped back around to seek short-term asylum behind the tree once more. He had walked right into that one.

"Idiot," he whispered fiercely to himself.

If he was functioning on instinct alone, then Harry was prepared to say that at this point his instincts….

Well…

Stunk.

'I'm just so sick of fighting,' Harry thought as he tried to wipe the sweat off his brow with the sleeve of his ratty jumper and made sure that his useless right arm was behind the tree and not dangling out in the open.

His attacker was playing with him.

Like always.

And Harry was falling for the games.

Like always.

Harry could sense his combatant coming closer. He was trapped. As soon as he left from behind the tree, he was going to be at the wrong end of a wand. Finally, it seemed his brain decided to come to the party when a small spark of an idea entered the front of his mind. He carefully pulled out a small hand mirror that he kept in a side pouch at his hip attached to his jeans. Hermione had suggested they carry such things in case they encounter such beasts like a Basilisk again. Harry crouched down, propped the mirror up on the ground by his foot, and got his mark in his sights. The man was still a few meters off, walking slowly, confidently. The teen would only get one chance at this. He pointed his wand, shaking slightly since he was a little unsteady with his left hand, at the mirror and whispered a binding hex. The light from his wand bounced off the mirror and refracted towards the man walking towards him. Harry silently sent a prayer that it worked.

He heard a cry of anger coming from behind him and took that as a sign that his hex had hit. He quickly ran out from behind the tree and to the far left of the battle area. A burst of orange light flashed in front of his eyes, causing him to halt his running. At that same moment another hex hit him in the side. Bright green eyes widened as he felt his limbs—those still able to move—begin to harden and freeze up.

'Petrificus Totalus,' Harry thought bitterly, 'Great. Bleeding fantastic.'

Gravity took hold and Harry began to topple backwards from his displaced weight. Finally, he saw stars as his head connected with the cold, hard ground with a sickening—

THUD!

'Ah, that felt nice.' Harry thought as he looked up at the treetops and the grey clouds peaking through the browning leaves. The cold of the November morning finally began to bite at his skin. With all his running around, it was the first time he had been aware of the weather in hours. Now, in the stillness of it finally being over, he couldn't help but think that he liked the fall. It was an off thought to have after losing a fight, but Harry just chalked it up to the fact that he was still high on adrenaline and his brain was still unwilling to really engage.

'You seem to be thinking now,' a voice in the back of his head spoke, 'and all it took was getting a concussion!'

In the stillness of the cold air, Harry heard the crunch of leaves under feet as the victor in their battle walked over to him. It perplexed Harry that he hadn't heard the leaves during the whole time they were running around, but now the noise seemed to be deafening. He wouldn't surprise in the least if the previous silence from the dried leaves was due to some interference from the formidable dualist that, if the sound of his footsteps alluded true, was only a few footsteps away.

Apple-green eyes looked over as what little sunlight was blocked out by the shadow of the tall, dark, long haired, austere man fell over him.

"That was, by far, the most uninspiring, unpolished, predictable, and brainless bit of fighting you have accomplished in a long time, Mr. Potter," Severus Snape said in a bored tone. Harry noticed, though, that the man's left arm was bound tight to his side. Uninspired or not, at least he had hit the guy.

"Did you even bring your head to the session today? Obviously not. Although, I am not surprised. In a real battle, you will not have a set time of when it is about to begin. If you cannot even come up with a plan now, what hope do you have? None. That is what. You were pathetic today."

Harry felt his anger begin to rise at these words, but because of the spell, he was unable to do anything about it.

"What? Nothing to say in your defense? Or do you, for once in your miserable life, agree with me that you are not fit at this point to hold that wand you have," Snape said with a self-satisfied smirk.

Harry really wished he could say something right now. Oh, how he wished he could say something. However, he knew that anything he said right now would not be anywhere near proper and would probably get him in trouble with both Dumbledore and Hermione. That, and probably would cause Snape to kill him, but boy, did he really have a few choice words to say right now.

He just hoped that his eyes conveyed half of what he was feeling, but since Snape's head wasn't bursting into flames, he guessed not.

"I believe," Snape went on as he continued to smirk, "that you need some time to sit and think about what would have been a better way to have conducted yourself during that duel. I am sure that one of your little lackeys will be by eventually and shall assist you."

The shadow receded and the crunching of the leaves resumed as the Potion Master walked away from the immobilized boy-who-lived. Harry listened as the sound of the dark, lanky haired man walking away got lighter and lighter until he could hear nothing at all but the occasional rustle from the wind going through the trees. His stomach, as if on cue, growled. He had overslept by ten minutes today and, as a result, Snape had marched him off without breakfast. Harry wondered what time it was now. His stomach gave another grumble.

Harry let a long, deep huff come out through his nose and hoped that Ron or Hermione—more likely Hermione—would see Snape return to headquarters without him, and would come to investigate. Otherwise, he was in for the long haul.

"That's it…if this war doesn't kill me…Snape will.'

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Thank you for reading the Prologue!

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