A/N: This begins the sequel to "You've Forgotten Who I Am" - a story following the journey of Severus Snape and Harry Potter. When we left off, Harry had returned from his journey to the Department of Mysteries where Sirius Black was killed by Bellatrix Lestrange. Severus Snape continues in his role as spy, having successfully explained his actions that night to Lord Voldemort. This story marks the sixth year of Harry Potter at Hogwarts School of Witchraft and Wizardry...
Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns Harry Potter
The Truth is Hidden in Memory
Chapter 1 21st June, 1996
It was a hot summer's day as the hordes of Hogwarts students crowded onto the Hogsmeade station. The Hogwarts Express stood gleaming in its grandeur as porters worked quickly to guide students aboard. The screech of indignant caged owls was drowned out by the voices of the students as they celebrated the end of the school year. The seventh year students were particularly exuberant as they revelled in their freedom, under the watchful eye of Hagrid. Several of the younger students – some of whom should have known better – had already fallen victim to the series of traditional pranks which were always played out before boarding the Hogwarts Express. The students laughed good-naturedly though and enthusiastically boarded the train, sporting their new hair colours.
Harry Potter stood towards the back of the crowd. He had already discarded his Hogwarts robes, in favour of a t-shirt and a new pair of jeans he had recently acquired. His trunk stood beside him, with Hedwig secured in her cage and perched precariously on top. Harry smirked slightly as he noticed Hedwig was studying Ron Weasley's hyperactive owl with much contempt. It seemed she found Pigwidgeon's behaviour offensive. As they reached the platform Harry led the way decisively towards the last carriage. Students parted before him like the Red Sea, and whispers followed him. Scowling slightly, Harry increased his pace until they reached the final compartment. Opening the door with more force than was strictly necessary he stood back to allow Hermione and Ron to precede him through.
They had just finished storing their trunks when the Hogwarts Express whistle blew and slowly the great train started forward, steam billowing behind it in great clumps as it picked up momentum. Harry leant forward, locking the compartment, before turning back to his expectant friends. To their credit they didn't immediately bombard him with questions but Harry could tell they were both extremely curious.
'I'm not going back to Privet Drive yet,' he began. 'Remus is meeting me at King's Cross and taking me back to Hogwarts for the next few weeks.'
'Why does Dumbledore want you to stay at Hogwarts?' Ron asked in confusion.
'He doesn't,' Harry answered simply. 'Severus does.'
Ron's eyebrows shot upwards in surprise at the use of Snape's first name, and even Hermione looked at him curiously.
'So you don't have to go back to your relatives?' Ron asked unsurely. 'Mum always said Dumbledore was adamant you spent part of the holidays with the Dursleys.'
'Yeah I do have to go back,' Harry admitted, 'but not for a few weeks. And Severus is coming with me. He knows my aunt,' Harry added quickly at the astonished looks Ron and Hermione were giving him.
Harry shifted uncomfortably as neither Ron nor Hermione said anything. He looked up in surprise though as he heard Ron start to laugh.
'Blimey Harry,' he began, trying to contain his laughter. 'That's brilliant! Can you imagine Snape with the Dursleys!'
At Ron's words a vivid picture of Aunt Petunia's face if she ever saw Severus standing on her doorstep in full Wizard robes caused Harry to dissolve into laughter as well. Hermione looked on disapprovingly as the two boys laughed hysterically but Harry could tell, by the slight twitch of her lips, that she too found the idea amusing. When Harry and Ron finally quieted down, Hermione spoke.
'That's wonderful news Harry,' she said. 'I wonder how he managed it?' she added thoughtfully.
'I don't know,' Harry said truthfully, recalling the conversation he had had with Severus that morning.
Harry had woken to find himself in the private room of the Hospital Wing, on Severus' bed, with the man himself reading in the bedside chair. It looked as though Snape had already been up for several hours. Harry had sat up in surprise, only vaguely recalling falling asleep on the floor the previous evening. His movement had caught Snape's attention and he'd looked up from his book, before deliberately closing it and placing it on the side table. It was then Harry had caught sight of his packed trunk beside Snape. In that moment Harry had felt as though he'd been punched in the gut. It must have shown on his face because Snape's own gaze flickered to the trunk before returning to Harry's.
'I spoke to Albus this morning,' Snape began slowly. 'He has informed your relatives that you will not be returning for the next few weeks. However, it is necessary,' he spoke the word with distaste, 'that you be seen catching the train.'
'So, I'm not really going back yet?' Harry had asked carefully.
'No. The Headmaster has arranged for Lupin to meet you at Kings Cross and return you to Hogwarts.'
'Still it's good news,' said Ron cheerfully, interrupting Harry's thoughts. 'Care for a game of chess Harry?'
'Sure,' Harry agreed easily.
After several back to back games of straight defeats, Harry finally gave up. He was no match for Ron, and he doubted he ever would be. The last game had been particularly decisive with Ron winning in less than ten moves. It took Harry several minutes to coax his own pieces back into their box, all of which were very vocal in questioning his intelligence.
'I'm starving,' Ron complained, as his own pieces were happily packed away – all of them wearing smug looks.
'I told you eating all your sandwiches at once would be stupid,' said Hermione from behind her book.
Ron pulled a face, causing Harry to laugh. Hermione sent the pair a withering look before returning her attention to her book.
'You can have one of mine,' Harry offered, pulling out a slightly crushed turkey and cranberry sandwich the House Elves had given him.
'Thanks mate,' Ron said, starting on the sandwich eagerly.
Harry caught Hermione's disapproving look, and moved to sit next to her.
'So,' he said, sitting down close enough that Hermione had no other choice than to put her book down and speak to him. 'What are you reading?' Harry asked cheekily.
That earned him a rather enthusiastic smack over the head with the heavy tome she had been reading.
'You know very well Harry Potter that this is my Ancient Runes textbook,' she said sternly, although the effect was ruined as she struggled not to smile.
'Hermione,' Harry said in exasperation, 'you can't study on the way home from Hogwarts!'
Hermione raised an eyebrow at that, but Harry ploughed on.
'You can't,' he insisted stubbornly. 'Besides you owe me a game of Exploding Snap.'
'Fine, but don't blame me if you lose again.'
Harry smirked before summoning the pack of cards from his trunk.
The trio spent a good hour playing Exploding Snap. Halfway through Ginny turned up and the game became even more competitive as Harry and Ginny teamed up against Ron and Hermione. By the end all of them had managed to singe their eyebrows off at some point. As the final deck exploded Harry expertly ducked, leaving Ginny to face the oncoming explosion. Reappearing Harry burst into laughter as he caught sight of the soot stained Ginny, her red hair smoking slightly and giving her the appearance that her head was on fire. Ginny didn't appreciate Harry having avoided the explosion and launched herself at him. Within minutes Ginny had extracted her revenge as Harry lay gasping on the ground, courtesy of a tickling hex, much to the amusement of Ron and Hermione.
'Alright, alright,' he gasped out. 'I'm sorry! I'm sorry!'
Ginny held the hex for a moment longer before lifting it and offering Harry a hand up with a wry smile. Ron sent him a sympathetic look, which gave Harry the impression he had been on the receiving end of Ginny's hexes before.
'I'm going to the bathroom,' Harry announced, still red faced. 'I'll see where the food trolley's at,' he added as he stepped out of the compartment.
Harry was halfway down the carriage when he noticed Cho Chang come out of a compartment a few metres ahead of him. Harry hadn't spoken to her since their disastrous date. He wasn't sure what was going on between them anymore but a part of him regretted how badly it had ended between them. Summoning his Gryffindor courage he called out to her.
'Cho!' he called, hurrying to catch up with her. 'Cho, wait!'
She turned around, stopping in surprise as she realised who it was.
'Can I talk to you for a moment?' Harry asked quickly before he lost his nerve.
Cho shrugged, and Harry took that as a yes. Looking around he spotted an empty compartment. Stepping in he waited for Cho to join him. She followed him reluctantly, but Harry noticed she was blushing slightly. The sight gave him some hope, and he felt his stomach perform a feeble flip in anticipation. Shutting the door he turned to face her.
'I wanted to apologise for Valentine's Day,' he began hastily, clenching his sweating palms behind his back. 'I was a right prat. I didn't mean to make you think I liked Hermione...I mean I do like her, but only as a friend. She's like my sister really...' he realised he was rambling and stopped himself.
'Anyway, I just wanted you to know I'm sorry,' he said sincerely, when Cho still hadn't spoken.
'I'm sorry too Harry,' Cho said quietly.
She wasn't looking at Harry; instead she was studying the carpet. Harry shifted uncomfortably as the silence dragged on.
'I was sorry to hear about your aunt,' Cho finally offered, lifting her gaze.
Harry was shocked to see she was close to tears.
'Are you alright?' he said hastily, reaching out a hand to her shoulder.
'You were gone for so long Harry,' Cho began, her eyes boring into Harry's, desperate for him to understand her. 'I was so angry after our date. It took me ages to realise how stupid I was being, and how selfish. I can't believe I thought you'd find it easy to talk about Cedric with me!'
A few of the tears managed to escape, falling silently down her cheek. Without really thinking about it Harry pulled her into a hug, letting her rest her head against his chest as he breathed in her woody scent. They stood like that for a few minutes, Harry gently rubbing her back as her tears continued.
'By the time I was ready to talk to you,' Cho finally continued, stepping out of Harry's embrace, 'you'd left.'
Harry wasn't sure what to say so he stood in silence as Cho hastily rubbed the last of the tears from her face.
'Michael Corner asked me out a few weeks ago,' she said quietly. 'I said yes.'
It was all he could think of saying. Vaguely he realised his stomach had stopped flipping. All he felt now was a sense of regret, as though he'd let something slip through his fingers and had only now just realised.
'You're a great person Harry,' Cho continued, 'but you deserve someone better than me. We're not right for each other. We've too much history.'
Harry nodded numbly, hardly taking in what she was saying. Cho studied him for a moment before she seemed to come to a decision. Stepping forward she stood on tiptoes, capturing Harry's lips with her own briefly. Before Harry could even register the fact that Cho had kissed him, her lips had left his and she was stepping back.
'Bye Harry, have a good summer,' she said as she stepped quietly out of the compartment.
Harry remained where he was for another five minutes, playing the conversation he'd just had with Cho over and over in his mind. Surprisingly he realised he wasn't angry that they'd broken up. Instead he felt relieved. It had ended at the best possible time with the best possible outcome. Cho was right, they weren't really right for each other. Still he couldn't help but feel somewhat sad that he'd just been dumped. He guessed that was just a normal response from his self-esteem though. Shaking himself out of his thoughts he left the compartment for the bathroom.
On the way back to his own compartment he was stopped by the sudden appearance of Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle, who seemed to have been waiting in ambush.
'You're dead Potter,' Malfoy snarled, closing the distance between them.
Out of the corner of his eye Harry caught sight of Ernie Macmillan, Hannah Abbott, Susan Bones, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Anthony Goldstein and Terry Boot all scrambling for their wands. Harry wondered how Malfoy had ever made it into Slytherin when he clearly lacked the cunning the house was famed for. Staging an ambush outside a compartment full of DA members was not one of Malfoy's more brilliant plans. Smirking slightly, Harry faced off against Malfoy.
'Really?' he asked. 'I'm not the one who's outnumbered here.'
'What are you –' Malfoy began, but before he could finish the compartment door burst open and the DA members spilled out into the corridor.
With great satisfaction Harry hit Malfoy with Rictusempra! before stepping back and watching with pride as his DA members hit Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle with a range of hexes – all of which Harry had taught them. By the time the DA was finished with them, Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle resembled nothing more than giant slugs.
'The nerve of him!' Ernie exclaimed breathlessly from beside Harry.
Terry Boot suggested putting the unfortunate Slytherin students into the loft of an abandoned compartment. It took Harry and his friends twenty minutes to manoeuvre Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle, after which Harry bid the DA members farewell before returning to his own compartment.
'What took you so long?' Ron asked as Harry stepped back into their compartment. 'Is the food trolley on its way?' he asked, sticking his head out the door hopefully before closing it when it was obvious the trolley had not reached their carriage yet.
'Sorry, didn't see it,' Harry said as he sat down next to Ginny. 'Malfoy held me up,' he added as Hermione looked up from her book.
'Malfoy!' Ron exclaimed. 'What did that git want?'
'Something about his father,' Harry replied easily. 'He didn't get to finish. The idiot attacked me in front of Ernie and his friends. Anyway, I don't think his mum will be too happy when she sees him.'
'So what else were you doing?' Hermione asked curiously, as she smiled appreciatively at Harry's story.
'Oh I ran into Cho,' he said embarrassedly.
Hermione raised her eyebrow at that but it was Ron who spoke.
'What's – er – going on with you two?' he asked quietly.
'That's what we were – um – talking about,' Harry admitted. 'She...well...I guess she just broke up with me.'
'Oh Harry, I'm so sorry!' exclaimed Hermione.
'Yeah, tough luck mate,' Ron said from beside him, clapping him on the back.
'Did she say why?' Ginny asked coolly from her corner.
Harry jumped; he had forgotten she was in the compartment. For some reason he felt himself blush at the thought that Ginny had heard him talking about Cho, but he shook the thought from his mind before it could take root.
'Ah, yeah,' he began hesitantly after an awkward pause, 'yeah she did. She's going out with Michael Corner now.'
Ginny's brown eyes were boring into his own and Harry found he couldn't look away, but his answer seemed to have satisfied her and she turned back to her magazine, which he recognised as The Quibbler.
'Corner?' muttered Ron before whipping round to stare at Ginny. 'Weren't you going out with him?' he asked accusingly.
'Yes,' Ginny replied calmly, not looking up. 'Obviously I'm not anymore. He got rather sulky when Gryffindor beat Ravenclaw. Bit of a sore loser really, so I dumped him and he ran off to comfort Cho instead.'
Ginny's pronouncement seemed to cheer Ron greatly.
'Always thought he was a bit of an idiot,' he said turning back to Harry. 'Good for you Ginny. Hopefully you'll choose someone better next time.'
Harry missed the look Ron shot him, distracted by the sound of the approaching food trolley.
'Well,' said Ginny packing up her magazine in anticipation of the trolley's arrival, 'I've chosen Dean Thomas, would you say he's better?'
'WHAT?' roared Ron, standing up to face Ginny.
Ginny simply ignored him, raising her eyebrow scathingly as though tempting him to continue shouting. Ron seemed to realise he'd made a mistake and sat down quickly.
'Dean,' he muttered to Harry. 'Can you believe her? I mean one of our roommates. And Thomas – if I get my hands on him – '
'I think you're overreacting just a little bit Ronald,' Hermione cut in derisively.
'What?' he asked, turning angrily towards Hermione. 'She's my sister – '
'And I'm quite capable of making my own choices thank you very much Ron,' Ginny said as she stood to get some coins from her trunk. 'Now if you'll excuse me, the trolleys here.'
Harry couldn't help but think that the trolley had arrived just in time to prevent an all out sibling war. It appeared though that Ron's hunger was more important than Ginny's boyfriends, thankfully. Harry purchased a large stack of Cauldron Cakes before distracting Ron with talk of the League results. The rest of the journey passed quickly, and before Harry knew it they were being ushered through the barrier onto Kings Cross Station.
The Weasley family stood waiting to receive them. Mr and Mrs Weasley were both dressed in their finest Muggle clothing, which Harry noted was almost passable. Fred and George stood with them – wearing matching jackets made from some lurid green material – whilst Lupin stood politely beside them. Harry smiled brightly as Mrs Weasley raced forward to embrace Ron and Ginny.
'Oh Harry,' Mrs Weasley said as she engulfed him in a tight embrace. 'How are you dear?' she asked, pulling back so that she could get a proper look at him.
Harry realised with a shock that he now stood a head taller than her.
'I'm alright,' he replied honestly, smiling tightly as he watched Fred and George showing off their jackets to Ron.
Mrs Weasley looked doubtful but she stepped aside to greet Hermione, allowing Remus to approach him.
'Hello Harry,' he said warmly, offering his hand for Harry to shake.
'Remus,' Harry greeted fondly, a genuine smile gracing his lips.
'You've grown,' Lupin commented as he took stock of Harry. 'You're as tall as me now.'
Not as tall as Sirius though, Harry caught himself thinking.
'Yeah,' he replied.
Lupin seemed to sense his discomfit.
'Shall we head off then?' he asked.
Harry nodded and moved to farewell Hermione and the Weasleys.
'I'm sure we'll see you before the end of the holidays Harry,' Mrs Weasley stated, shooting an oddly furtive look at Lupin before embracing Harry once again.
'I'll write to you when I get a chance,' he said to Ron and Hermione.
'You'll have to tell us how it goes Harry,' Ron said eagerly, and Harry knew he was talking about Snape meeting the Dursleys.
'How what goes Ronald?' Mrs Weasley asked.
'Ah, nothing Mum,' Ron said hurriedly, dragging his mother back towards the twins.
'Bye Harry!' Hermione said, giving him a quick hug. 'Bye Professor Lupin,' she added before joining her parents who were talking animatedly with Mr Weasley.
Remus moved to stand beside Harry, picking his trunk up with ease before moving towards the exit. Harry followed with Hedwig clutched tightly by his side. Out on the street Remus made his way towards a back alley.
'Professor Dumbledore suggested you might like to spend some time sight-seeing in London Harry,' Remus said quietly as Harry joined him in the alley. 'It's up to you though,' he added.
Harry got the impression Lupin was rather unsure of Harry's answer.
'That'd be brilliant,' Harry said without hesitation.
'Excellent,' Lupin replied happily. 'I'll just send these back to Hogwarts then.'
'Trixty!' he called clearly.
Instantly a small House Elf appeared, the Hogwarts crest sewn into her pillowcase.
'Please return these to Gryffindor Tower,' Remus requested politely.
The Elf nodded before vanishing, along with Harry's trunk and Hedwig.
'Alright Harry, let's go.'
It was dark as Harry and Remus made their way up from the Hogwarts gates. Remus had taken Harry to Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and Buckingham Palace before stopping for dinner in a local pub. The evening had been a whirlwind of activity and it wasn't until he was striding up towards the school that Harry finally remembered that he'd needed to speak to Remus. Since regaining the memory of the incident in the Pensieve, Harry had been desperate to confirm what he had seen. He didn't doubt that his father had indeed bullied Severus but he had to believe that there was more to his father's character. Nor could he understand his mother's apparent aversion towards James Potter.
'Something on your mind Harry?' Remus asked quietly from beside him.
Harry stopped, glancing sideways. The moon was waxing, casting enough light for Harry to see the older man. He'd stopped and was looking at Harry expectantly but even in the half light Harry could tell he wore a careworn expression.
'I...it's uh...' Harry broke off, unsure of how to begin.
He looked up at the stars his eyes automatically travelling towards the brightest star. Sirius.
'Did Sirius tell you that Professor Snape was teaching me Occlumency?' he asked suddenly, looking back down at Remus.
The man seemed surprised by his question, although he hid it well.
'Yes, he mentioned it once or twice,' Remus answered with a rueful smile.
'When we had lessons,' Harry continued, once more shifting his eyes towards the stars, 'he would always put aside memories in a Pensieve before the lesson began. He was taking precautions, in case I should ever manage to enter his mind by mistake.'
Harry paused, looking over towards Remus who was listening intently albeit with a slight frown of confusion.
'The lessons were a disaster,' Harry said frankly. 'I didn't want to learn from him. Every lesson he'd tell me to clear my mind before sleep. But I never did.'
Harry let out a sigh, not for the first time regretting his reluctance to learn Occlumency properly.
'Just before the Easter break, I'd arrived for a lesson when Malfoy barged into Severus' office.'
The name slipped easily from Harry's lips without thought causing Remus to stiffen in surprise. Harry didn't notice, so intently was he studying the sky as he continued.
'They'd found one of his Slytherin students in a toilet – Fred and George had pushed him into a Vanishing Cabinet – so he left to help Madam Pomfrey. He was in such a hurry though that he didn't wait to see if I'd left his office.'
Harry looked sheepishly back towards Remus who was studying him with a curious expression.
'I take it you looked in the Pensieve?' Remus asked knowingly, after a moment's pause.
'Yes,' Harry breathed out, colouring in shame. 'I was so angry with everyone; frustrated that I wasn't being told anything. The Pensieve was just sitting there...I told myself Snape was hiding Order information from me...that I'd get some answers by looking in the Pensieve. So I looked,' he trailed off.
Silence stretched between the pair. The moon grew brighter as it rose higher, bathing the grounds in moonlight.
'It wasn't Order information,' Harry said morosely, his voice cracking slightly as he broke the silence. 'It was a memory of your fifth year,' he continued, looking directly at Remus. 'Of your Defence Against the Dark Arts OWL.'
Harry knew immediately that Remus knew exactly what event he was talking about. He shifted uneasily beneath Harry's gaze, turning instead to look towards the beech tree beside the lake.
'My father attacked him because Sirius said he was bored,' Harry continued resolutely. 'My mother asked him why...and he answered that it was because...,' he broke off staring at Remus beseechingly before finishing quietly, 'because he existed.'
Remus turned on the spot, running his hands through his hair before abruptly sitting down on the lawn, gesturing for Harry to join him.
'Your father,' the man began quietly, 'was a good man Harry. Never doubt that for an instance.'
'That was the fifteen year old James you saw Harry,' Lupin continued. 'We were all stupid at that age. We never once stopped to think.'
'I'm fifteen though,' Harry cut in angrily. 'What they did wasn't funny – it wasn't a joke! Snape used to tell me that my father was an arrogant, bullying rule-breaker. I used to think he was lying – that he simply hated my father for some reason. But he wasn't lying! He was the only person who ever told it how it was!'
Lupin sat calmly beside him, waiting for him to finish.
'What I regret most from my school days Harry,' Remus said quietly into the silence, 'is that I never once stopped James or Sirius. I was so glad to have friends that I never once questioned them. I knew it was wrong though and sometimes I'd think I'd have the courage to stand up and stop them – but I never quite could.'
'Did they ever stop?' Harry asked helplessly.
'There was too much bad blood between Severus and James, Harry,' Lupin replied honestly. 'James couldn't stand the Dark Arts and Severus...well Severus knew more about the Dark Arts than any first year rightly should. You have to understand that both James and Sirius were intelligent and incredibly popular in school Harry. James alone was one of the most talented Quidditch players of our time. I think Severus envied the attention James received.'
'That's no reason to curse him!' Harry protested.
'You're right Harry,' Lupin replied calmly, 'though James only bested Severus when it was two or more against him – much to our displeasure. Severus was much too able a dueller to allow James to best him.'
The thought that Severus had fought back gave Harry some comfort. Although he wished that his father had taken the high road and left Severus alone. Regardless of Snape's obsession with the Dark Arts he hadn't deserved to be strung up before the whole school by James Potter.
'In the end,' Remus continued, 'James grew up. He stopped the mindless hexing and he learned a thing or two about humility. Mainly from your mother, Lily,' Remus added with a wistful smile.
Harry smiled at that. He'd known Lily would never have stood for bullying of any kind.
'In the memory,' Harry began hesitantly, 'she seemed to hate him?'
'Ah yes,' Remus said, laughing slightly. 'When we first arrived at Hogwarts Lily couldn't stand James. He was far too interested in showing off his Quidditch talent and sauntering around Hogwarts like he owned the place. She was friends with Severus at the time and well...Severus was quite happy to study for hours on end with her. He was much more interested in books than James ever was and of course Lily loved to study. Eventually though they drifted apart. Severus moved on to his Slytherin friends and in the end they stopped talking altogether.'
Remus broke off, realising he'd drifted off topic. Although Harry seemed just as interested in his mother's friendship with Severus as he had been in hearing about James, Remus noted with surprise.
'Anyway,' Remus began again, 'Lily and James started dating in seventh year. By that stage James had deflated his ego a bit, grown up and become much more sensible. He used to have this habit of asking Lily out every chance he got. He stopped that at the end of fifth year and I think that's when Lily and he became proper friends. Of course he asked her out once more at the start of seventh year, and well...,' Remus finished with a slight smirk, pulling Harry into a bear hug 'the rest is history.'
Harry laughed as Remus ruffled his hair, leaning back as the man released his grip but kept his arm thrown lightly around Harry's shoulder.
'James was so proud the day you were born,' Remus said softly, giving Harry's shoulder a slight squeeze. 'I remember the look on his face when he came out of the room to tell us all. He looked completely shell-shocked but he was beaming like an absolute idiot. Sirius was beside him the moment he came out, demanding to know whether he had a godson or goddaughter. James just looked at him for a moment before he answered. I have a son! A beautiful son – Harry James Potter. Well as you can imagine Sirius was beyond excited, we all were. We were yelling like idiots and Sirius transformed straight into Padfoot without thinking. Of course that was about the time we got kicked out of St Mungo's, much to Lily's amusement.'
Remus stopped speaking and Harry realised with embarrassment that his eyes were watery. He rubbed at them surreptitiously as the warm feeling Remus' words had created spread throughout him. No one had ever told him about his birth before.
He chuckled slightly at the thought of Sirius turning into Padfoot in the middle of a hospital. As he laughed the unease he had been feeling about his father and Sirius faded away. They had been stupid at school but they'd grown up and become better people. He still felt sorry for Severus but he suspected most of James and Severus animosity had revolved around Lily – something he was sure Remus didn't seem to realise. Harry looked towards the castle at the thought of Severus. The man had been right that talking to Remus about James Potter would help.
'Well Harry,' Remus said, cutting into his thoughts, 'I best get you back to the castle.'
Harry nodded and the pair stood quickly. Remus glanced uneasily between a battered pocket watch and the distant lights. Stowing his watch in an inner pocket he set a brisk pace as the pair continued towards the school. A thought seemed to come to Remus and he stopped suddenly, looking towards Harry in concern.
'How did Snape react when he found you'd seen that memory?'
'Err,' Harry began, unsure of how much he could say. 'He wasn't happy.'
He left it at that but he could tell Remus knew he was hiding something.
Hogwarts was eerily quiet without students. A restful silence encompassed the castle, broken only by the sound of pacing footsteps echoing around the Entrance Hall. Severus Snape was not a patient man. His black robes billowed ominously as he turned on the spot and retraced his path across the Entrance Hall. His head snapped up at the sudden sound of the castle doors opening. Striding forward he crossed the Hall to find himself face to face with Remus Lupin and behind him, Harry Potter. Severus felt himself relax slightly at the sight of Harry but it did not stop him from accosting Lupin.
'What took you so long, wolf?' he snarled.
Severus had been pacing in the Entrance Hall for the last half hour after Dumbledore had finally seen fit to inform him that Harry wasn't missing after all, rather Albus himself had suggested that Remus take Harry to dinner.
Remus took a step back in surprise at Severus' tone. Snape did not seem to realise that his evident relief at seeing Harry unharmed had coloured his tone.
'My apologies Severus,' Lupin answered politely. 'I was not aware that you were waiting for Harry. Albus asked only that I return him before curfew.'
Severus scowled, but checked himself rapidly at Lupin's undisguised tone of curiosity.
'Unlike you Lupin,' Severus began scathingly, 'I cannot afford to waste my time aimlessly wandering around London with Potter. Headmaster Dumbledore has seen fit to assign me as Potter's babysitter whilst he remains here and I do not appreciate being kept waiting. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have work to do.'
Scowling darkly Snape turned away from the confused werewolf, moving towards the dungeons. Reaching the stairs he stopped to wait for Harry. He was still by the castle doors and seemed to be attempting to reassure Lupin, Snape noted with relief. It would be unwise for Lupin to suspect that something had changed between Harry and himself.
'Potter,' he called impatiently.
Harry broke off at his name and Snape watched as the boy hugged the wolf goodbye. It was a simple gesture of affection but for some reason the sight of it cut at Severus like a knife to the heart. Angry and confused by his feelings of jealousy Snape turned smartly on the spot and not waiting to see if Harry followed, fled to the refuge of his private rooms.
A/N: Well, apologies for the delay in finally posting this! It had been mostly finished for a while but I can only blame Mass Effect 3 (anyone who has played this will understand...) and the fact that I was away on holidays for a week without any internet. Thanks to everyone who has continued to review "You've Forgotten Who I Am". I've also started a second story: "Remember Who You Are". This isn't related to this story arc but you may find it interesting if you enjoyed "You've Forgotten Who I Am". This chapter was very much an introduction but I can assure you that there's a lot coming up (I'm pretty excited!). Feel free to review :) Until next time!