A/N: Time for something a little different, I guess...
I don't own harry potter or anything related to him, and hope you enjoy my story as it is. Thanks for reading and reviewing.

Chapter 7

Brain training.

*One Week before the school year started*

Severus Snape had been many things in life. He had seen, and even been part of, the worst and best parts of humanity, his role as a double agent causing him to tread a fine line. He had held his position at Hogwarts for many years, seen many children who had left him with disdain for the next generation. But he had never been as confused about one particular student as he was with one Harry Potter. The boy looked exactly like his father, and sometimes Severus felt the need to hex him through his hatred for James, but he knew the boy was smarted than that. He had tried to trap the dark lord, proving the Headmasters suspicions to be true. Voldemort was still alive, in some form. True, the boy seemed kind, like his mother, but he still had that Potter arrogance that drew him to danger like it was a game. It was these qualms within himself that kept Severus in more of a spectators position. He was sure big changes would happen around the castle. Harry Potter had never had a normal life and, even in his first year, had shown that it was just going to get wilder. Hogwarts knew that the dark lord was back, it was a matter of convincing the rest of wizarding Britain that would be the first task.

Walking into the headmasters office he prepared himself for what would have to come in future.

"You wished to speak to me Headmaster?" Snape said, looking at the older wizard evenly.

"Yes Severus, please come in. May I offer you a lemon drop?" Dumbledore said, waving towards the bowl on his desk.

Turning the sweets down, the Potions Master took the seat available to him. Getting straight to business he took the offensive on his discussion. "What are we going to do about the Dark Lord?" He asked the tired headmaster.

"We'll have to wait and see where he pops up next. Between Mr. Potters attempt at catching Voldemort and that monstrous dragon destroying the Great Hall, the students didn't know what to think. The ministry inquired as to what was happening in the school and the official statement was a professor sadly committed suicide, and a dragon attacked our school. Not really sure where the dragon came from actually... Hagrid may have had something to do with it..." Dumbledore stated, trailing off into his own musings for a moment. "Either way, it is far too soon for the world to know that Voldemort is still alive. We need to find out how he did it. How he survived." He continued grimly.

"And what of the boy?" Snape asked, his own musings on the Headmasters choices starting to take deeper root in his own mind.

"He is powerful. I'm not sure, but it's almost as though there is someone else taking root in his body. And he knows more than I would like to admit he should." The Professor sighed. "I wish I could get closer to him, but I fear that he might actually be able to undo the good we've done over the years. His Lordship means he could be a powerful ally, or a danger to our way of life. I would ask that you help me observe him, and we'll try to get him back on the path of light."

Severus nodded in acceptance, readying himself to go, before one more question struck him. "How did we keep the Prophet from hearing about last year's events?"

Dumbledores face darkened at that. "Sadly I had to rout the mail, stopping all transmissions between here and the Prophet, before I released my statement. After that, I had the goblins help keep people away while the helped fix the damage. Easy enough, if you have the gold." He added with a smirk.

"Very well then, good night Headmaster." Severus said, taking his leave.

*Back to real time*

"That's not good enough Harry!"

The group had spent the last couple of nights, following the disaster of a DADA class, working on the basics on occlumency. They had obtained an empty classroom where Hermione, Neville and Luna could focus on meditation, while Harry was continuing where his studies with Snape left off. So far, Lily was unimpressed.

"What the hell have you been doing? Just sitting on your arse and hoping for the best?" She growled. She had put Harry to the test, probing his mind, and found that he basically had no resistance. Other than to try and fight back, that is.

"Look, I'm sorry. But I have been busy." Harry argued back. The icy glare from Lily was nothing compared to the mental berating he received.

"Busy with what? You locked up the diary, but haven't even started on the other horcruxes. The ministry has been convinced, by Dumbledore, that Voldie hasn't come back. And in all honesty you've spent more time dwelling on the other timeline than actually improving anything." Lily thundered in his mind. "Harry, I died for you once. But you need to improve; you need to be better because I don't want you under his control again." Tears were in her eyes, as her volume lessened considerably.

"Mum..." Harry said, through their link. "All my life I wished that I could have met you. That you could have been there. I'm sorry, but I was just trying to enjoy this time a bit before everything went to hell." They were both silently crying now, both wishing they could say it all out loud.

"I know, and I guess you got that from your father and Sirius. They both just liked to take it a day at a time... Even with a war on..." Lily mentally sighed "Actually, I'm glad you found such great friends. Hermione is absolutely lovely, and really cares about you. Neville is reliable, and honestly you and he would have been raised together. Luna is pretty funny. I like her quirky attitude, and I seem to mother her a lot... But she likes it and I guess I like being needed."

"Hey, I need you too." Harry replied. "But I guess, not as much. And it is really good to see her happy."

Hermione was watching the two, the others still sitting with their eyes closed. 'I wonder if Harry and Lily...' She wondered to herself for a moment. Both her friends were locked in an intense gaze. They both looked like they were about to burst into tears, and Hermione had no idea why, or even why there was the slightest pang of hurt in her chest. Not only did she have to see these two in such pain, but something deeper was nibbling at her mind... Something green eyed and hideous.

Harry had always been at her side, he'd been her first friend. Hell, they'd even shared a bed together. She thought that he was amazing, but sometimes a bit foolhardy. She didn't know why this was affecting her so much. He was her best friend... Why would he see her any different.

Hermione's thoughts were interrupted when she realised there was a pair of deep green eyes staring at her. Her heart almost skipped a beat, until she noticed the red hair that fell around the offending items. "Nope, she's still alive." Lily said as Hermione came back to Earth. Her friends were all around her, looking concerned.

"Sorry.." Hermione mumbled, blushing in embarrassment. "I just got lost in my thoughts."

"Well, that's where you're going wrong." Lily said with a small smile. "You gotta turn this thing off." She continued tapping the brunettes forehead. She turned to face everyone. "You're all doing fine, but you have to keep practicing." She directed that last word at Harry, who was looking at his feet. "Now we should get back to our dorms, before curfew."

The group made their way to leave, splitting up to their separate houses. Harry thought about his conversation with Lily, while Neville thought about what he'd learned and Hermione was wrapped up in her own concerns. 'Why do I even care about Harry liking Lily? I should be happy for my friend.' She sighed inwardly, she felt rotten for being like this. Harry had always made sure she was happy, and had been by her side since day one. He knew she would be by his side no matter what, especially after the incident with Quirrell. Hell, she didn't even know if she was even old enough to even think like that.

Before she had even realised what was happening she had already mumbled a goodnight to her friends and made her way to her room. Deciding to kill some time to help her calm down a little she wrote a letter to her mother, maybe the elder Granger womans insights would help.

"Did you sense the wrackspurts around Hermione before?" Luna asked Lily as the two got ready for bed.

"No, but she did seem to have the signs." Lily sighed, knowing not to try and refute the girls beliefs. "Maybe something's on her mind..."

"Well, maybe she's jealous." Luna said, crawling into Lilys bed. She had a habit of doing it, regardless of what Lily wanted.

"What do you mean?" Lily asked, pulling a blanket over the two of them. "Surely she doesn't think I'm interested in Harry." She added with a disgusted face.

"The feelings between you and Harry are strong, but Hermione doesn't realise that they're different to the bonds she could have with him." Luna said matter-of-factly.

"how do you know these things Luna?"

"I just see them. Sometimes in dreams, sometimes in the air. And one time a rat actually smelled like a dirty old man." Luna laughed at the last one. "It was really odd, though I can't remember exactly where I saw him."

Lily was perplexed at the young blonde for a moment, but decided to accept it as her just being Luna. She shrugged and cuddles into the blonde, who was nearly asleep herself. "Goodnight Luna, maybe we'll figure it out tomorrow."A/

A/N: Here's a new chapter for you all to enjoy. So... Enjoy XD