This is a dark story...as the rating suggests. SS19 wants to push the boundaries even further. She gives one warning.
That was it.
Dedicated to skaterkep, for "We are all travellers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is a best friend."
Chapter One: Occlumency
He was late—which was a bad thing. He had meant to be on time...yet had drifted off to sleep whilst reading a text for History of Magic the next morning. His nightmares had awoken him—and now he was ten minutes late. With any of teacher, of course, he could just plead homework. With this teacher, excuses were worthless and most of all pointless. He would earn only a harsh glare and sharp, sarcastic words.
So he sprinted down to the dungeon, taking the staircases two or the ambitious three stairs at a time—and skidding to a halt outside the Potions' Master's office door.
He knocked three times, straightening his robes with his other hand, steadying his breathing and preparing himself for the wrath. There was no answer. He knocked again. "Professor? I'm sorry I am late..."
He leaned on the door—and it moved. He pushed the door open, stepping into the darkened office.
Instantly, a familiar smell stifled his nostrils—he remembered it well, as living with his house-proud aunt, he had cleaned more surfaces in his childhood than any other person he knew. It was disinfectant.
He was suddenly curious—why would his teacher be using a Muggle disinfectant? With a flick of his wand he could clean any item he desired! But the smell was so strong—and he knew he was not mistaken.
"Professor?" He asked again, wondering if this was a really bad time. Perhaps it would be best if he just left right—
"Potter!" A hiss from behind him. He froze, biting his lip for a moment. He thought he had escaped this torment for another week!
"What the hell are you doing here?"
Harry turned, instinctively uncomfortable at the rage pulsing through Severus Snape's voice. "I...I thought we...Occlumency lesson..." He stammered, disgusted at himself and his fear—but Snape was a formidable person when angry. He looked at his teacher, who stood with his hands clasped behind his back, a vein pulsing in his forehead.
There was a short pause—and Harry swore that a slight frown creased Snape's forehead—and then..."You are late, Potter."
"I was doing homework." Harry replied—it was worth a try.
Snape simply stared at him. "Of course." Then he turned away.
Harry was taken aback—that was not the sarcastic response that he had been expecting...the pointed remarks that Snape prided himself in, intended only to wound the recipient. He looked away, still inhaling the scent of disinfectant. "Sir..." He started—but Snape did not react to his voice. He was looking for his wand.
Harry thought this was all quite peculiar—never had he seen his Professor so...so...unreactive. But he gathered his thoughts together and prepared for the mental attack.
The sharp pain across his forehead was too much and he cried out, trying to block his precious memories from Snape's prying eyes—almost instantly the other withdrew. "I told you to practice." Snape said neutrally, lowering his wand.
"I have been practicing!" Harry replied acidly.
Snape just looked at him. Harry saw dark lines under his eyes. His sallow skin had much less colour than usual. He didn't look well. None of this was right. There was something very wrong here.
Snape raised his wand again, "Legilimens!"
Again, he was submerged in the fight to keep his mind hidden—a losing battle—for Snape was just too strong for him. He tried to push him away mentally—diverting his attention—forcing him to see something else. It worked—and he felt a flare of triumph.
Then Voldemort's voice filled his head.
"You will lose everything you have ever held dear."
Again, Snape withdrew—this time hurriedly. Harry closed his eyes for a moment, blocking out the sound of Voldemort. He raised his gaze to Snape—who had turned away.
There were more words inside his head.
"I will take you."
Snape was staring at him now, eyes narrowed. He didn't say a word—but Harry thought he had paled.
It was a surprise attack—and Harry was not ready.
"Is this what you want? Try and deny me..."
Voldemort's words were unfamiliar to him—
And he was plunged into darkness. He felt fear press him like physical walls. He was trying to breathe, yet he couldn't. His throat was too constricted and his chest too tight. There was echoic noise and roaring wind and screaming silence—he tensed every muscle, terrified.
And then, on top of all this, a voice.
A voice, torn with all things—pain and anxiety and desperation.
"Please. Please—no—please don't!"
But that was not his voice.
It was not his voice pleading—begging.
It was Snape's.