A/N: This is my first attempt at writing FanFiction and I'm exceptionally excited. Feedback would be much appreciated, also no flames please. Otherwise, every kind of criticism will be well received! =)
A big thank you to my beta-reader Pipidae!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor the Characters of it. That right belongs solely to J. K. Rowling!
Warning: This will be a Severitus story and later on male/male. Also, this Story will mention child abuse.
Note: This story is rated T just to be on the save side. I'll see how the story progresses, maybe I'll have to chage it.
Summary: With Ron and Hermione turning away from him after his name came out of the goblet, Draco Malfoy acting weirder than ever and now having to return to his abusive life at Privet Drive, without any chance of help, Harry's only hope is one Severus Snape.
Chapter One - Broken Friendship
Walking down the hall, Harry took a deep breath and tried to imagine it was a beautiful, normal day, nothing wrong at all. But the illusion was destroyed as Harry watched two Hufflepuff girls walk by silently, eyes downcast and shoulders slumped forward.
Harry tried to keep the pictures of Cedric staring at him with empty eyes out of his mind. Fruitlessly, like always. It hadn't even been a month since the older boy had died and Voldemort had gotten his body back.
The students of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and Durmstrang Institute for Magical Learning had left the week prior and the exam results had come out. Now, in the third week of June, the Hogwarts students were getting ready to head home after an exciting school year.
Everybody seemed perfectly content to leave behind Hogwarts and the horrors which took place there the past year, to have a happy summer holiday with friends and family. With the exception of Harry, that is. He couldn't imagine something worse than leaving the security of Hogwarts.
Well, maybe facing Voldemort (again!) would be just as awful, or seeing someone you know die (again!), or…okay, so maybe there were worse things than leaving Hogwarts. That didn't make it any easier, though, or make the reasons why he didn't want to leave disappear.
For one, he couldn't keep Cedric's murder out of his head, nor Voldemort's resurrection, or being tortured with the Cruciatus curse.
How could people just forget what happened to one of their own? But not only were his nights haunted with horrors only few could imagine, but when he would arrive at King's Cross his not-so-lovingfamily would pick him up to take him to his so-called-home.
Harry didn't even want to imagine how his Uncle Vernon would react to being woken up at night from his nightmare-induced screams.
His cousin wouldn't be any help, either. Dudley had too much fun using Harry as his own personal punching bag to care if he got enough sleep, or if Uncle Vernon took his unprovoked rage out on Harry.
But how bad could it be? His Aunt Petunia would take care of him, right? His only mother-figure would protect him, right? Wrong! When Harry's aunt wasn't ordering Harry around like a house-elf she was screeching at him about his so-called abnormality.
So why should he be happy to leave the only place he ever wanted to call home?
Hogwarts kept Harry sane. Privet Drive, on the other hand, had the ability to drive him crazy.
Harry sighed and looked at his two best friends, who hadn't even realized that Harry was neither taking part in their conversation (bickering) nor paying attention to them.
As soon as they had left the Great Hall Ron and Hermione had started arguing, which left Harry trying to ignore them.
It wasn't really difficult to keep their annoying voices out; by now Harry was used to it. Maybe he should feel bad about the fact that he and his two best friends were drifting apart from each other, but Harry just couldn't bring himself to care.
It all had started at the beginning of the past school year. Harry, Ron and Hermione had started their fourth year at Hogwarts and were just as excited as everybody else when Headmaster Dumbledore had announced that this year Hogwarts would be hosting the Tri-Wizard Tournament.
But while Hermione and Ron were disappointed when they were told that only students aged seventeen and older would be allowed to compete, Harry was delighted. This meant that Harry could have a normal school year, without anybody trying to harm, or worse, kill him.
Harry should've known better. He had been horrified when his name came out of the goblet. However, he would have been able to handle it, with his friends by his side. Only they were the first to abandon him.
Ron had been jealous that Harry would be allowed to compete and get the "honor" of being a Champion, not to mention the prize of one thousand Galleons.
Hermione, on the other hand, had been angry at him for breaking the rules and trying to get attention, assuming it had been done to show how much better than everyone else he thought he was.
Also, not telling them what he supposedly had done was apparently an insult to the trust they had given him and proved what a horrible friend he was.
Nobody had cared that Harry hadn't put his name in the goblet or asked an older student to do it for him. Harry had thought that his friends knew how insecure he was and that he hated the attention he got. Wrong again.
After the first task they had apologized, said they should have believed him, and Harry had forgiven them. But since then nothing had been the same.
Harry always seemed to be the third wheel, while Ron and Hermione did everything together and didn't seem to care that Harry still felt like he had when they hadn't spoken to him.
Also Harry had come to the realisation that the way Ron and Hermione were acting towards him, both now and before, didn't really give the impression that they cared one bit about him.
Sure Harry had tried to hide the bruises and cuts every time he came back to Hogwarts, but shouldn't Ron have gotten a bit suspicious in second year, when he saw the bars on the window? Even Fred and George had interrogated Harry and it hadn't been easy to fool them (who knew what Uncle Vernon would do to Harry if somebody found out about his punishments?). To fool Ron would have been easy enough, but he didn't even bother to ask one question. What did that say about your best friend?
Hermione also never said anything about the fact that he always owled her for food in the summer. Honestly, wasn't it normal to get worried when your friend asks for food, because he doesn't get enough at home? Not one word did he hear about it.
Once more Harry looked at his two best friends and wasn't sure if he could call them that any longer. Harry felt like he didn't know them anymore, more though, he felt like he never had known them before.
He knew that it wouldn't be long until something happened and their farce of a friendship would be revealed as the nothing it already was.
Unsurprisingly, Harry didn't care a bit.
Entering the potions class room, the last class before the summer holidays, Harry tried to ignore the Slytherins, who were shooting glares at him.
Harry sighed. Ever since Cedric had died and Harry had announced Voldemort's return, the snakes had been worse than ever. As was to be expected, considering a lot of their parents were Death Eaters and would now be hunted down more viciously than ever.
Harry still couldn't believe that Cedric was dead, but he only needed one look at the Hufflepuffs moping around the castle and nearly flooding the halls with their tears to remind him that the boy who had become a close friend, while they both tried to survive the tournament, was indeed dead.
Harry shook his head, trying to clear his mind and to stop worrying about the past. Sadly, that wasn't quite as easy as Harry would have liked it to be.
Taking his seat next to Hermione in the Potions Classroom, he forced his thoughts to stay fixed on school related subjects.
Before Potions they had had Transfiguration and it seemed like the teachers didn't care that exams were over. Apparently they were of the opinion that the last day of school was the perfect time to introduce the subjects of the following year.
As if anybody would prepare the subject over summer holiday. Except for Hermione, of course.
Harry's thoughts were interrupted by Professor Snape entering the classroom with a bang and striding to the front.
Harry rolled his eyes, Snape really should think of a new way to intimidate his students. That act had gotten old after first year.
Harry kept watching the Professor. In the last two weeks Professor Snape was even harsher towards Harry than usual, without Harry being any the wiser as to why.
Sure, he had always hated Harry, but now he was taking it to a whole new level. Detention for accidently dropping a knife? Snape was treating him as if all the problems in the world were Harry's fault.
Professor Snape let his eyes roam over his class. "Next year we'll work first and foremost with healing potions and other concoctions which are not categorized as such but are often used by healers nonetheless."
Harry's head snapped up while he tried to keep his excitement of his face.
At the beginning of the year, Harry had realized that something had to be done, or he wouldn't survive the next summer with his relatives, or at least not without permanent damage.
So for the first time since the first potions lesson, where Snape had squashed every wish to excel in his class, Harry had made an effort in potions. He had relearned everything from first to fourth year and after only a couple of potions lessons it had showed, that apparently Harry had inherited his mother's talent in potions after all.
After Harry was certain that he wouldn't kill himself by trying a new potion on his own, he had started with healing potions and everything that might be of help during his summer at Privet Drive. By now he knew the whole topic by heart.
And now it seemed to pay off.
It seemed like Snape had seen something on Harry's face and had misinterpreted it as nervousness, or something else the Professor could use to humiliate him, seeing as he kept his eyes now firmly on Harry.
"Two potions we'll be working with today are the Strengthening Solution and the Boil Cure Potion." Professor Snape continued.
His eyes still on Harry, the smirk firm in place he asked: "Potter, tell me what is the main ingredient in the Strengthening Solution?"
Harry could nearly feel Snape's delight at being able to humiliate the boy-who-lived.
At the corner of his gaze Harry saw the smirks of the Slytherins and had to work hard to keep his own smirk from showing. Harry had worked for months with healing Potions. This was a piece of cake!
"The main ingredient in the Strengthening Solution is salamander blood," he said, and bit his lip to stop himself from laughing at the shock on not only Snape's and the Slytherin's faces, but on Ron's and Hermione's as well.
At that thought Harry stopped for a second. He was a bit unfamiliar with the prospect of gloating about something his once-best-friends had done. But then Harry shrugged it off. What reason did he have to care about them anymore?
Harry had to stop his thoughts there, because Snape was back in control of himself and looked thunderous. "Yes, it seems like Mr. Potter finally used the little brain he has."
A few Slytherins snickered, but to Harry's surprise, Draco Malfoy was just watching, not showing any emotion. Normally Malfoy would be just as delighted as his fellow snakes, but in the past few weeks, something had changed in his behaviour, something Harry couldn't quite place.
"Let's see how well you can handle a question on advanced potion making. Name all the ingredients in the Boil Cure Potion." And the smirk was back.
Harry smiled slightly and answered. "Dried nettles, crushed snake fangs, stewed horned slugs and porcupine quills, which are to be added after taking the cauldron off the fire."
Now the whole class was gaping at him silently and Harry had the weird urge to check his finger nails, as he had seen Draco Malfoy do, when he thought the person talking to him wasn't worth the effort.
Harry had to keep himself from rolling his eyes again. Sure, he wasn't that good at potions, but that was not because of lack of talent. More like self preservation. Who knew how Snape would react if this were a normal occurrence? Heart attack most likely, after which he would sue Harry for attempted murder.
After that Snape left Harry alone.
Harry left the potions classroom and circled his shoulders. That had been an intense lesson. The term "Snape breathing down his neck" had gotten a whole new meaning. Snape had been even worse than last week, and Harry had thought he had been at his peak back then. Also, it seemed to irk the man even more now that Harry had been able to brew a flawless potion.
Harry sighed, when he saw Hermione looking disapprovingly at him. What did she have to nag about now? "What did I do?" he asked, exasperated.
Hermione narrowed her eyes. "You know exactly what you did! I know you and Professor Snape don't see eye to eye and that you wanted to pay him back for trying to humiliate you, but stealing the answers to his questions from my notes, only so you could take revenge for his treatment of you is wrong, and you know it!"
Harry gaped at her. Did he just hear right? "What? I didn't steal anything! I knew those answers because I studied healing potions. I didn't even look at your notes," Harry snapped angrily. How could Hermione think that? Oh, he forgot, because only Hermione is allowed to have all the answers, and anybody who tries to steal her spotlight is delusional. And she had called him an attention seeker?
Behind Hermione, Ron took a step forward and snorted. "Come on, mate. Even I know that is not true. I could accept you cheating to pay back the greasy git, but lying to us? Your best friends? That's low!"
Harry stared at Ron. Wow, how had he never seen how jealous his friends were? They were acting exactly like the kind of people he wanted nothing to do with.
Hermione held her chin high. "Don't be ridiculous Ronald! Cheating is never alright, even in Professor Snape's class. But I agree, lying to us is too much. I don't know what has gotten into you or if you let the attention you got because of the tournament get to your head. In the last couple of weeks I witnessed often enough how you stole my answers and got the praise for my hard work. However, I won't stand for you treating your best friends like this. You should re-eveluate what you deem important through out the holidays. I, of course, will accept your apology once you remember what is important again."
With that, she walked away and after Ron had stopped trying to understand what she had just said, he followed her.
Harry stood there, not knowing what just happened. Did those two just really accuse him of letting the attention of the tournament get to his head? For Merlin's sake, people had ignored, ridiculed and glared at him because he'd had to compete. And they thought he was capable of lying and cheating out of a petty reason like getting revenge on Snape? Yes, that friendship was definitely over.
Still, he looked after them sadly. It was nevertheless a shock to see his only friends walk away from him like that, he hadn't had anyone before them.
He took a shuddering breath.
Suddenly he felt a burning sensation behind his eyes and blinked repeatedly. Harry shook his head. He could do this. He had known it was coming, it was only a matter of time and it wouldn't be a great loss.
He needed friends he could trust and who trusted him in return.
He hadn't had anybody before he came to Hogwarts, he could deal with being alone now.
Also it would have been easier, if he had at least one person to stand beside him. For example, Sirius…
Again Harry blinked away the wetness in his eyes. He wouldn't go there. He didn't need Sirius, he could take this on his own. He had too. After all…Sirius apparently thought of Harry as the biggest disappointment in existence.
Harry turned around, his shoulders slumped and walked away, not noticing the shadow behind the door of the potions classroom.
A/N: Reviews would be great! I'd really like to know what you think of this story! Thanks!