A/N This story originally was meant to be fairly short and purely be about some aspects of human emotion. The first 7 chapter are just that, however, it has changed and grown on me and will probably lead into a sequel that will be based on this... anyway it is not canon compliant and is set at the beginning of Harry's 7th year. Professor Dumbledore isn't dead etc etc...
Warnings: Will contain male/male sexual content. Rated M for a reason!
Chapter 1 Anger.
0830hrs Great Hall
Harry was relieved to be back at Hogwarts after the long, boring summer holidays. Not that his relatives had been particularly awful this summer, but Hogwarts was his home, and since it would be his last year at the school, he planned to enjoy every minute of it. He smiled contentedly as he sat down at the breakfast table in the Great Hall with his friends, Ron and Hermione, and spread out his new timetable, eager to see when he would be able to fit in time for extra Quidditch practice. The first thing he noticed, however, made both his good mood and his contended feeling disappear.
His first class that morning was Potions.
"Fuck," he muttered under his breath as he looked at the parchment in disgust.
"Ughh, double fuck," he said more loudly when he saw that Potions was the first class of the day, every day.
Ron, who was sitting opposite Harry, looked up from his plate of bacon and eggs and frowned. "What's up mate?" he asked.
"We've got Potions first thing every day," Harry managed to respond through clenched teeth. It was all he needed to say to be understood by his friend of 6 years.
"Oh yeah. I know. Its crap, isn't it?" Ron spluttered around a mouthful of food. "The Git's teaching Defence this year too, and we've got that every day as well," Ron screwed up his face in resigned disgust but didn't seem over bothered by the dreadful way they would have to start each day for a whole year.
"You have to be bloody kidding me!" Harry replied scanning the timetable again.
"Nope 'fraid not. I forgot you weren't at the Welcoming Feast so missed all the announcements. Snape's teaching both subjects this year. They couldn't find a replacement for Slughorn."
Harry slumped forward in his seat and banged his head on the table a few times before resting it there in despair, his good mood now only a fleeting memory.
0920hrs Potions Classroom.
Harry had only been in the Potions classroom for twenty minutes, but his concentration was already slipping. Snape had sneered at him from the moment class had begun, and although he was trying to block out the constant barrage of barbed comments and contemptuous glares, he hadn't been too successful.
Taking a deep breath he tried to focus on grinding the snake fangs he needed for the potion they were brewing, but Snape's sneering voice broke through to his consciousness once again.
"Are you completely incompetent Potter? Twenty points from Gryffindor and detention with me after dinner tonight," Snape barked.
Harry whipped up his head and looked at Snape in disbelief. His hands were shaking, which made the pestle he was holding, in a white knuckled grip, rattle slightly against the mortar.
"What? I haven't done any..."
Snape cut him off abruptly by darting across the room, planting his hands on his desk and towering over him. Harry leaned back slightly in surprise and dropped the pestle onto his desk, the noise of which seemed to echo through the silence that had descended on the room. It took all of Harry willpower not to snap at his classmates to stop gawking - it wasn't as if it was an unusual occurrence for Snape to be treating him like this after all.
"Why does it not surprise me that you have yet to learn to keep that mouth of yours shut? In the six years I have had the displeasure of teaching you have I once listened to your inarticulate excuses? Have you ever managed to persuade me to change my mind on any given punishment?"
Harry opened his mouth to protest, but nothing came out. The ball of anger in his gut grew.
Snape snorted at him before stalking back to his desk in a billow of robes.
"Detention tonight and tomorrow night for having the audacity to question me. And as for not having done anything yet...I clearly stipulated grind not bash the snake fangs!"
"But it's Quidditch trials' all week Sir!" Harry managed to splutter through clenched teeth. Anger was bubbling in his veins, causing his face to flush, and his heart to pump faster.
Snape whipped back around and glowered. "Will you ever learn, you imbecile? Do you think I give a damn about what mindless activity you have planned for this week? You have now earned yourself detention every night this week, for sheer stupidity," Snape said in a menacing tone.
"Bastard!" Harry muttered louder than intended, his anger making him lose a little of his control.
"Fifty points from Gryffindor for inappropriate language directed at a Professor." Snape said with a smirk. "Keep it up, Potter, at this rate you will go down in the annuals of Hogwart's history for losing the highest number of points for their house in one day!"
Harry lowered his gaze and bit the inside of his mouth to stop him from screaming at the evil, sadistic git. He wanted to punch the sneering bastard in the face and break his large, ugly nose.
1400hrs Defence Classroom.
When Harry entered his last class of the day - Defence with Snape - Harry's foul mood and anger had not eased much since the morning. He wasn't entirely sure if he was now just angry at Snape, or whether he was more annoyed at the constant barrage of well meaning comments from Hermione about being more rational and controlling his emotions. Neither of his friends seemed to be that bothered about having so many classes with Snape, but he supposed they hadn't had to endure the taunts and humiliation the Professor bestowed only on him - nor had they had the dubious pleasure of his company alone over the years. Hermione seemed to think Harry was overreacting a bit and kept reminding him Snape was on their side, but Harry couldn't care less whose side he was on. As far as he was concerned he was an evil git and that was all there was to it.
As soon as Harry entered the Defence classroom however, he noticed that all the desks had been removed, and there was only a single row of seats neatly positioned around the wall. There was no other furniture in the now brightly lit room and it reminded Harry of how the Room of Requirement had set itself up for the DA sessions. The thought that they were finally going to be taught practical Defence spells and strategies lightened Harry's mood instantly, but before he could get too excited about the prospect of some practical sessions, Snape's voice boomed out reminding him who their teacher was. His momentarily brighter mood dissappeared.
"Find a seat quietly, and don't bother taking out any of the textbooks on Defence, " the commanding voice of the Professor instructed. The students quickly sat down as a quiet murmur of excitement ran around the room. Snape slowly started looking down the row of seated students as he started speaking again, "This term, you will be solely concentrating on your duelling skills since there is no advantage to be gained by knowing the theory behind defensive strategies and spells if you cannot cast them. However, to master the advanced techniques required, you will need to..." Snape paused and slowly turned to look directly at Harry before continuing, "...control your emotions and discipline your mind. Something, I fear, will be impossible for some of you."
The disaster that had been Harry's Occulmency lessons, which Snape was obviously referring to, had been one of the worst experiences Harry had ever had to endure, and he couldn't believe the bastard would goad him with the memory of them. They had both entered those lessons with an agreement that anything that happened in them would be confidential. Why Harry had believed the bastard would keep to his word, he didn't honestly know, but he was shocked at the obvious betrayal and glared at Snape with anger clear on his face. As soon as their eyes met, Snape smirked and turned away causing Harry to almost call him a lying, untrustworthy, snivelling bastard, but he swallowed down the urge and closed his eyes. If the bastard wanted to break his word, two could play at that game, but Harry resolved that he would find a more opportune moment to reveal some of Snape's memories.
"Bloody hell mate, he's really after you this year," Ron muttered in Harry's ear once Snape had recommenced pacing in front of the class and was out of ear shot, but Harry was too angry to attempt to respond to his friend. The tension across his shoulders', that had been there all day, increased, and his head started to pound.
"Harry, stay calm. You know the reasons why he needs to treat you like this!" Hermione hissed in his ear as she placed a gentle hand on his arm.
Harry grunted and shook his friend's hand away. Hermione truly wasn't helping in her constant attempts to calm him.
"Each Gryffindor will be paired with a Slytherin for this class, and you will remain with the same partner for the entire term," Snape continued. "I suggest you work together to refine your skills out of class as well as in, since to fight an enemy you must first understand them."
There were loud groans from both Gryffindors and Slytherins at the prospect of spending time with someone from their rival house.
"Mr Malfoy, you will be with Miss Granger. Mr Weasley, with Miss Greengrass. Mr Longbottom, with Miss Parkinson..." Snape had to raise his voice to be heard over the groans and complaints at his choice in pairs; however, a silence fell over the class when Snape finally turned to Harry.
"Mr Potter, how unfortunate. There appears to be an odd number in this class. You... will be paired with... me."
Malfoy and a few other Slytherins sniggered. The Gryffindors gasped. Harry couldn't believe the sadistic git was goading him like this, and looked up to see black eyes full of sneering amusement focused on him. Not breaking the eye contact, Harry tried to show the bullying git he would not be intimidated by him, but Snape only raised a superior eyebrow before turning his back and continuing in his normal lecturing tone.
Harry hardly heard a word of what Snape said - he was so angry it made his ears buzz, but he got the basic message that the object of the lessons for the next few weeks would be to learn how to anticipate the actions of an attacker. To achieve this, one member from each pair was to cast as many minor hexes at their partner, using varying techniques and timing, whilst the other, was only to try to block. Normally, Harry would have been at least a little nervous at the mere thought of having to duel Snape - they had drawn wands on each other on a few previous occasions, although never with an audience, and none of these occasions had ended favourably for Harry - but his anger and bad mood allowed no room for any hint of nervousness.
As soon as the class started arranging into their assigned pairs, Harry stalked up to Snape with his wand drawn, ready to defend himself immediately. He didn't trust the Death Eater not to start attacking him without the formal pre-duel agreements customary in formal duels. However, rather than Snape taking the attacking role as Harry expected, it was with no small amount of surprise that he instead quietly informed him that he wanted Harry to attack. In fact, the Professor even gave some helpful instruction on stance and timing prior to the practice session commencing. Harry didn't know how to react to Snape giving him helpful advice; it was not something he ever thought would happen, and although his earlier anger was still there, his mind could not comprehend the unexpected and unusual change in Snape's attitude toward him. However, as the duel progressed Harry's anger returned as Snape deflected or countered every spell or hex Harry cast, with what appeared to be no effort at all, and he found that he would have preferred the usual tirade of sneering remarks and belittling comments on his lack of ability than the silent, uninterested, bored attitude. By the end of the class, Harry was exhausted both mentally and physically, and stormed out of the classroom as soon as the they were dismissed. If he stayed one minute more in the presence of his most hated Professor he might just give in to the urge to throw one last hex at the Git whilst his back was turned, and the last thing he needed was more detentions or to be expelled for attacking a teacher.
"Harry, you need to calm down!" Hermione said grabbing his arm once she had caught up with him in the corridor.
"Calm down? Calm down! Are you serious? Didn't you see what happened in there? That bastard was goading me and trying to humiliate me!"
"I don't think he was Harry. I actually don't think that was what he was trying to do at all."
Harry turned to look at the thoughtful expression on his friends face.
"Have you lost your mind Hermione? Of course he was! He hates me and loves nothing more than making me look stupid and incompetent!"
"For goodness sake Harry, you have to stop this. I am sure Professor Snape paired with you for a very good reason. You need to know how to fight someone of his ability and..."
Ron caught up with his friends and spoke over Hermione, cutting her off mid sentence.
"Bloody hell mate, that git was a complete bastard to you in there! He really does hate you eh?"
"See!" Harry spat at Hermione, who huffed, flicked her hair back, and stormed off. Ron looked at Harry in confusion, but Harry just rolled his eyes and shrugged his shoulders. Harry was too caught up in his anger to see that Hermione might actually have a point.
1900hr Professor Snape's Office.
Harry's anger had not dissipated by the time he was due in Snape's office for his detention. In fact, it had got worse. He was seething. He had just spent the last half-hour with Professor McGonagall, who had informed him that she had appointed Ginny as the Quidditch Captain for Gryffindor. She explained that it would be better for the team if the Captain could give of his or her time unreservedly, and since Harry would not be able to participate this week, she felt she had no other choice. The Head of Gryffindor seemed as upset about this as Harry, but Harry knew she was right. If it hadn't been for Snape, he would still be Gryffindor captain and be looking forward to the rest of his year. As it was, he wished he was back at the Dursleys' - at least there his humiliation was in private. It was in this mood that Harry stormed down to the Dungeons and knocked on Professor Snape's office door.
The sneering voice of the Potions Master instructed him to enter and the sound of it made his stomach lurch.
Snape ignored Harry when he entered, and continued to ignore him when he walked further into the room, focusing instead on whatever it was he was reading.
"I'm here, as requested, for my detention, Sir," Harry spat through clenched teeth.
Snape sighed and put down his quill, "Indeed you are," he replied, looking Harry up and down as he slowly rose from his seat and walked around to the front of his desk.
"Tonight you will be resuming your Occlumency lessons. For some reason, the Headmaster still holds the belief that I am the best person to teach you this skill," Snape informed him calmly.
Harry's stomach sank. "What? I don't believe you! Dumbledore said the lessons with you were a farce! There is no way he would ask you to teach me anything if he had a choice!"
"I am fully aware what our lessons were, Mr Potter, and farce is too mild a word to describe the complete incompetence you showed for the skill during them. However, Professor Dumbledore has indeed requested that I try again. He seems to think you have matured over the last two years and may now be able to find the discipline required to master the shielding of your mind."
Harry wanted to scream, to hit out and smash something, anything, but preferably the evil git in front of him.
"Clearly, you are still unable to control your emotions or discipline your mind; therefore, I plan to take a different approach this year. You will not question my methods and will do as I say without argument, is that clear?" Snape spoke slowly in an annoying bored monotone.
Harry was speechless. He couldn't believe Dumbledore had asked Snape to start these lessons again. He knew it was essential that he learnt to shield his mind, but the last person he would learn anything from was the man standing in front of him.
"Is that clear, Mr Potter?" Snape repeated.
Harry nodded whilst trying to calm his pounding heart.
"We will begin immediately," Snape informed him calmly.
Every muscle in Harry's body tensed as he remembered the pain and anger he had expereinced previously when his mind was invaded by this man, and he tried to focus his mind whilst waiting for the first Legilimens to hit. But Snape did not reach for his wand; instead, he leant back against the front of his desk, folded his arms, and looked intently at Harry before speaking again.
"Close your eyes" Snape eventually whispered quietly.
"Sorry?" Harry asked in confusion.
"I said close your eyes. Are you deaf as well as stupid?" Snape sneered, his calm demeanour slipping slightly.
"I heard what you said, but why the hell do you want me to close my eyes?"
"Do as I say, Potter, unless you want this week to extend to the entire term."
Harry emitted a low growl, but warily closed his eyes.
"Tell me what you are feeling right now."
Harry opened his eyes again; he wasn't just going to stand there and answer questions about what he was feeling. He found it difficult to talk about his emotions at the best of times and to share anything personal with Snape was just not going to happen.
"For fuck sake Potter, just do as I say. Close your eyes, and try to answer some simple questions, or we are going to be here all bloody night."
Harry was shocked by Snape's language. He had never heard the man swear before, and it concerned him that Snape was about to lose his temper, so he closed his eyes and tried to quell the urge to slap the bullying bastard in the face.
"Tell me how you feel," Snape asked again.
"How the fuck do you think I feel?" Harry said, not giving a toss about his language.
"Well, it is obvious that you are angry. You have never been exceptionally skilled at hiding your emotions Potter. Tell me who it is you are angry with."
"Who the hell do you think?" Harry said having to fight to keep his eyes closed and not just grab the sadistic git and punch him.
"I presume the answer would be me," Snape answered with what sounded like a hint of smugness in his voice.
Snape's smugness only served to increase Harry's anger. "Too bloody right it's you!" he spat in response.
"What is this anger making you want to do?"
"I want to slap the smirk off your face. I want to grab you and ..." Harry was cut off mid rant with another question.
"What sensations do you associate with this anger Mr Potter? Is your stomach tied in knots? Are your muscles tense and shaking? Is your heart racing? Is there a heat rising from your gut that is consuming you?" Snape's voice had dropped to a low resonate whisper.
"I suppose all of these things. That's what most people feel when they are angry, is it not? Look. What is this about?"
Harry opened his eyes to find Snape standing about two feet in front of him, staring at him intently.
"Keep your eyes closed, Potter," Snape said quietly not taking his eyes of him.
Harry growled but obliged. He was a bit confused by the look in Snape's eyes and wanted to close all images of him out.
"So let me recap. Your muscles are tense; you feel hot and flushed; your heart is pounding, and you want to... grab me, slap me...in other words...touch me?"
Harry opened his mouth to respond, but the words were lost when he felt the briefest press of warm lips against his. His eyes flew open in shock. Snape was standing so close he could feel the man's breath on his face, but it was the look in the black eyes that made Harry's breath to catch and his heart to stutter. They radiated an intense emotion he couldn't immediately decipher.
Was it anger? No, not anger.
Oh God Harry thought, as his mind went blank and his anger vanished.
"Your detention is over," Snape barked before sweeping out the room, leaving Harry trembling.
A/N please let me know what you think! LHx