Disclaimer: Everything related to Harry Potter is owned by JK Rowling.
A/N: I know that we don't necessarily need the recap, but I thought it'd be good to remind everyone how crappy Harry's life has been. Enjoy. :)
A young seventeen-year-old man with jet black, untidy hair drew in a deep breath as he sat with his hood-covered head against the window of the Hogwarts Express. It would be his final year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Somehow, he knew deep down this year would also be his worst year ever, and that statement was definitely saying something about his previous years.
The young man's first year at Hogwarts, almost seven years prior to that day, was marked with strangeness and various attempts on his life. The very first attempt someone made to kill the young man named Harry Potter occurred during a Quidditch match against his House's archrivals, Slytherin House. Someone had cursed the young man's broom while he was flying. Had it not been for some seriously amazing counter-curses uttered, Harry would have plunged over forty feet to his death. The second attempt that year occurred in the school's creepy forest near the dead of night. At the start of the new term, students learned that the forest was off-limits. However, professors at Hogwarts on occasion did assign detentions there, which was how Harry had found himself in that predicament in the first place. The third attempt made that year was by the same wizard that had made Harry an orphan. It was safe to say that Harry didn't have a very good first year if a person only counted the near-death experiences.
Harry's second year wasn't that much better, though. He had a deranged house elf named Dobby that attempted to save his life throughout the year, only to make things worse for Harry. The house elf had blocked the entrance to Platform 9 ¾, which made the young man and his best friend, Ron Weasley, steal Ron's father's car and fly it to Hogwarts. The two boys at the time nearly crashed the car into the famous Whomping Willow tree that stood on the grounds of the massive castle. Later that same year, mysterious petrifying attacks occurred throughout the school, which Harry later discovered was the result of a basilisk that one of the Founders of the school wanted to use in order to purify the school of Muggleborns and other undesirables. By sheer dumb luck, the young man had managed to save the day yet again and prevented the death of Ron's little sister, Ginny. However, preventing that death nearly cost Harry his own life since the basilisk managed to pierce his arm with its teeth. Luck, though, was on his side, and Headmaster Dumbledore's phoenix Fawkes sacrificed a few of its tears to heal him.
Third-year wasn't any better. Harry had believed throughout most of the year that his godfather, the notorious Sirius Black, had been the one who betrayed his parents and had been the reason his parents died. This belief, however, proved to be false after he learned that a friend of his parents, Peter Pettigrew, who was supposedly dead, had actually faked his death in order to escape punishment. The only actual attempt on his life that year was by another of his father's friends, Remus Lupin, who unfortunately was a werewolf. Harry had the unfortunate pleasure of being near Remus on a full moon night. Only because of Harry's other best friend, Hermione Granger, did Harry manage to survive.
The following year marked the first death that hit Harry hard. The same dark wizard, Lord Voldemort or Tom Riddle depending on whom a person asked, that Harry had met on two previous occasions murdered a student from the Hufflepuff House, Cedric Diggory, in front of him. The death occurred during the last event of a widely celebrated and extremely dangerous tournament that Harry found himself entered in, unfortunately.
Fifth year another death marked him. This one was devastating to Harry because it was his godfather's death. The blow crippled Harry and drained him emotionally. It caused him to become extremely depressed and full of rage for the witch who had killed Sirius.
Then last June, Harry's sixth year, the final straw of the dam that held his emotions back broke with the death of Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts. If it had just been old age, Harry wouldn't have felt so much hatred, but it hadn't been old age. Severus Snape, Harry's longtime most hated professor at Hogwarts, murdered Albus Dumbledore by sending a hate-filled Killing Curse at the older wizard, which sent Dumbledore off the Astronomy Tower. To that very day, Harry still hated Snape with a passion and vowed to repay the wizard with a casting of the Killing Curse himself. An eye for an eye seemed like a beautiful plan of revenge. Thus, the reason why Harry was shrouded in darkness and not sitting with his usual companions, Ron and Hermione. He couldn't allow any of them to prevent him from killing Snape, and he knew the man would be there. The arrogant bastard wouldn't be able to stop himself from going, and when Harry met him…oh…there would be hell to pay. That was damn sure.
Harry drew in a deep breath to calm himself again. He knew that whenever he got this riled up thinking about Snape that the memories would replay. He couldn't bear to view them again, not the millionth time that summer. However, Harry was too late. The memories of that fateful June replayed like a silent horror film.
"We need to get you up to the school, sir…Madam Pomfrey…" Harry's sixth-year self said.
"No," said Dumbledore. "It is…Professor Snape whom I need…"
"…I can run and get Madam—"
"Severus…I need Severus…" reiterated the wise white wizard.
Seventeen-year-old Harry Potter closed his eyes to prevent the tears. Dumbledore had been so insistent that Harry get Snape, the same man who murdered Dumbledore in cold blood. The scene that haunted Harry's dreams then played, and his rubber band of emotions snapped. Tears fell as the darkness crept in his mind bringing him back to that fateful night on the Astronomy Tower.
"Severus, please," begged Dumbledore as he stood at the top of the Astronomy Tower.
The long ebony wand of destruction rose slowly and pointed towards the poor white wizard who begged and pleaded for his life. The two words spoken in hatred cast the curse that stole the life of the greatest wizard of the century, and a man Dumbledore trusted wholeheartedly and completely spoke the words. Betrayal pierced Dumbledore's heart at the same time the green jet of light hit the older wizard. The familiar hatred then filled Harry as he remembered his duel with Snape.
"Fight back! Fight back, you cowardly—" Harry screamed. He then attempted to send every spell he knew at the murderer. However, Snape blocked the spells so easily that it was as if they were just mere annoyances. After trying to cast several of Snape's own creations, Sectumsempra and Levicorpus, though, it sent Snape into a horrific frenzy.
"You dare use my own spells against me, Potter? It was I who invented them—I, the Half-Blood Prince, You'd turn my inventions on me, like your filthy father, would you? I don't think so—NO!"
Harry had thought if he had just reached his wand then he could send that bastard to the depths of hell. However, Snape had been quicker and the holly wand was gone again.
"Kill me then. Kill me like you killed him, you coward—" screamed Harry.
"DON'T CALL ME A COWARD!" roared Snape like a feral creature.
Harry didn't know how to explain his hatred, but he chanted very quietly so no one passing by could hear him saying coward repeatedly. He'd use that one word against Snape. All summer, Harry had thought about how he'd confront Snape when they met up again, and he was certain that one word would do the most damage. Just uttering it in Snape's presence sent the man over the edge. It would be dangerous, of course, but every year had at least one attempt on Harry's life. At least this attempt would be one Harry could prepare for before it happened.
"Did you hear the news?" a young Slytherin with long chestnut hair said haughtily.
"Nah, what?" the Slytherin's friend replied.
"Snape's the new headmaster. In fact, that's the only reason I'm coming back to that idiot school. Mum nearly had a tizzy over it."
"It's about time we had a Slytherin in charge." The two Slytherins then moved passed, which made it so Harry couldn't overhear anymore.
However, Harry had heard enough. His stomach clenched unnaturally, and he felt sick to his stomach. How could anyone give a murderer the position of his victim? It was sickening to hear. It gave him more reasons and made Harry even more focused on completing his mission.
By the end of the night, Severus Snape, bastard of the dungeons, would be as good as dead. Harry didn't care if he ended up in Azkaban for the murder or not. The only thing that mattered in his mind was killing Snape. Snape hadn't given Dumbledore any mercy when he had killed him, and Harry would be damned if he gave courtesy to that git. Harry had already decided that as soon as he saw Snape in the Great Hall, the phoenix-core holly wand would come out before slashing that murdering bastard to pieces. His conscience, which surprisingly sounded like Dumbledore, whispered its familiar phrase.
I'd trust Severus Snape with my life, his conscience whispered. Harry shook his head, though.
That's why you died, sir, trusting the wrong person. I'll make it right. I'll make sure that bastard doesn't hurt anyone else. Harry then felt a strange peace wash over him. For Dumbledore, he thought.