A/N- Sorry about the extremely long update...this is an icredibly hard story to right. I trigger myself everytime i look at it. In a way it's helping me heal myself, but other times its to painful to even look at. But I'm trying to be better so I'm going to finish this story, and for all the Readers who keep saying that Someone as put together as Hermione would never do this. Think again, I was actually like her, but when traumatic things happened, some people feel so out of control of the situation that they need to get a grip on themselves and reality. Think about it...self mutilation is what it says self. You can control the scars on your body...it gives you a bit of control back..
Chapter 37: Planning
Severus sighed as he took in the blank look Harry was now sporting in his direction. He shouldn't have been all that surprised if he was being honest. Horcruxes weren't something they learned at Hogwarts, nor was it something brought up in normal conversation. For one to know about Horcruxes they had to have looked deep into the dark side so to speak.
Horcruxes were made by taking the life of an innocent for no other reason, other than because you wanted to. Albus had been going through it with him and Severus still couldn't wrap his head around it. Then again the Dark Lord had always been a bit insane, and since the man was obsessed with immortality he could see him using this to his advantage.
"What are they?" Harry finally asked when it seemed his teacher had gotten lost in his thoughts.
"Horrible things, I would never want you hear about. I wish I could spare you, but I can't," Severus said regretfully.
Harry waited patiently as the man told him about them and what they were and could do. He listened in horror as his Professor told him that Voldemort had indeed made more than one, but when it was pointed out to him that the diary in his second year was also one he relaxed a bit. He knew it was possible to destroy them at least; they just had to find the rest of them. The problem was Harry wasn't even sure where to look first, and he was grateful that the Headmaster seemed to have that part covered.
As Snape left him to digest the information and to check on Neville, Harry took that time to contemplate his life. He sat there unmoving on the chair for a moment, trying but failing to stop his train of thought. Was it selfish of him to still wish that Snape had of let him go? If he had died, he wouldn't have to still deal with this mess, and the one that was created. He was always doing Gryffindor things, and always mucked them up.
As he sat there, his brain was already forming a plan; only this time he would do it right. He would defeat that mad man and then only after that he would take himself away from him and no matter what anyone said, Snape himself included; Harry was joining his family. They wouldn't know what hit them, because this time he was going to take the Slytherin route about it.
Oblivious to what Harry was plotting Severus was currently looking at the boy on the bed. The child that he had ridiculed for years, the boy he hadn't thought twice about how the child might be feeling. Nor how the boy had hurt and now looking at him he couldn't help but feel guilty. He had failed them all, but he had failed these two boys the most. Two children, both boys of the Prophecy; where he had practically killed his best friend because of leaked information. He shook away the thoughts as he stared at the boy, but he wasn't willing to disturb his sleep, that he so desperately needed.
He could see the dark bags underneath the boy's eyes, when was the last time he had slept. Why hadn't Minerva checked on him? Why hadn't he cared? It was his responsibility to take care of all his students, he had failed him. Taking a deep breath, he took a seat in the chair next to the bed, his head dropping into his hands. He was so ashamed.
~*~*~*The Next day~*~*~*~*
Neville woke up with a gasp, in unfamiliar rooms. He tried to remember what the hell had happened and the last thing he remembered what that boy Emery! Had taken him to Snape's quarters of all places; why did he bring him here. He was too caught up in his worry about the man waking up and finding him hear that he didn't see that said man was currently standing in the doorway. He had just gotten on his other shoe when he heard the silky voice that belonged to his Professor.
"Good Morning Mr. Longbottom, and just where do you think you are going?" Severus asked quietly.
He had been sleeping when the alarm around Harry's room had alerted him that one of the boy's had woken up. After transfiguring a bed for Emery he hadn't wanted either child to wake up alone. He was still unsure of where he stood in regards to the Longbottom boy. He obviously couldn't treat him like he did, as the boy had reached his breaking point. What if Harry hadn't gotten to him when he did? It was too horrible to think about, considering that the children were still grieving. He could only imagine how Harry would take that; no doubt the boy would blame himself.
"Hello Professor, I'm going to my dorm," Neville said quietly, with more confidence then he felt.
He hated being in this man's presence, he could feel it whenever he was around him. That the man thought he was worthless, just like everyone else. Like he didn't deserve to be here, as if he would never amount to anything; didn't the man know how that would make him feel? The feeling often felt suffocating, which is why he tended to do horrible in potion's than any other class. How could he concentrate and work when he felt like that every single day?
"I think not Mr. Longbottom, Emery brought you here for a reason," Severus stated calmly.
"Correction, Emery needs to mind his own damn business. I was drugged and I do not appreciate it," Neville said, his fear giving way to his anger. How dare he? How dare this man think he had any control over him? This changed nothing, and he would not be fooled into believing him.
Severus was shocked to say the least, as he had never thought the scared boy in front of him would grow a backbone and to speak to him of all people this way. But this was okay; he could take angry Longbottom over one that had given up all hope. This one at least had the will to live.
"I beg your pardon?" He said quietly.
"You heard me; do not act like you give two shits about me or what I do. I know what you really think of me, and though some days it hurts, I'm okay with that," Neville said carelessly.
"What do you mean Mr. Longbottom?" Severus asked, ignoring the language. He knew that the minute he corrected the language the child would close up and he didn't want that in the slightest.
"As if you don't know, I'm not as dumb as you think I am. I can be brilliant if someone would give me the chance, if they would show me the correct way. You don't get to pretend that you care," Neville said gritting his teeth as the back of his eyes stung.
"I care Mr. Longbottom, I care for all of my students," Severus replied coming into the room a bit more.
"No you don't, you only care for the Slytherins and the ones that you don't deem as failures. I know where I stand with you; I'm the worst student you've ever had in your classroom. I'm neither deaf nor stupid," Neville said bitterly.
"Contrary to what everyone else thinks, I do have feelings, and I get how Harry felt and that scares you to the point where you want to help me," he said cynically. "You want to help the worse student to ever pick up a cauldron," he said laughing mockingly. "How does it make you feel knowing that I think of killing myself because of what you tell me every day?"
Severus felt his blood run cold at the child's words' the boy as cruel as his words had been he had struck a nerve. He felt massive amounts of guilt on Longbottom's part to know that he aided in this boy's attempted suicide. He would need to go back into his pensive and view some classes. How could be so harsh? He knew the child was a dunderhead when it came to potions but he never bothered to figure out why. Which was interesting as the child was brilliant in Herbology. And that went hand in hand with potions.
As Severus's guilt intensified, Neville shook his head sadly as he made his way towards the door. His Professor looked deep in thought, and he was going to take that risk. He was getting out of here, he didn't want nor did he need this man's help. He could see it now the man taunting him for failing to kill himself. He wouldn't have failed if his idiot nephew hadn't stopped him. He didn't care that he didn't have his wand, it's not like it mattered as it belonged to his father and never worked correctly for him anyway.
He was just scooting passed the man when he felt a tight grip on his arm, and instinctively he snatched his arm away but the grip stayed firm. His heart was thudding in his chest, but he was still mad and he turned his glare towards the dark gaze that was now looking at him sorrowfully.
"Let me go," Neville said quietly, he had never felt anger like this before. Who did Snape think he was? He was done being silent, he was done taking all this abuse. He was just so tired of it all; that he wanted it to stop. He wanted to end it all; there was nothing here for him so why fight it.
"And if I do, where are you going?" Severus asked softly.
"As if you care," Neville said his eyes narrowing in anger.
"I care," Severus whispered.
"You don't, don't say things you don't mean. We both know you don't care about me," Neville said his voice rising in hurt and anger. How dare he lie to him? Did this man actually have no heart?
"I care Neville, I was wrong and for that I am sorry," He continued on as if the boy hadn't spoken.
Neville glared at the man angrily, his anger starting to deflate as he took in the man's words. He wanted to stay angry, because when he allowed himself to feel, he always got hurt in the end.
"You're a liar," Neville said biting his lip harshly to stop the tears, "You slimy Slytherin, you're lying. You think telling me you care even though you don't is going to help me. I am beyond help, a stupid dunderhead, not worthy of being in your classroom. So I know you don't mean what you say," Neville stated his eyes betraying his words as they filled up with traitorous tears.
"I care; you're not a worthless dunderhead. You are a brilliant in Herbology; you deserve to have a chance to learn like every other magical child. You are not a squib and you will one day grow up to be a brilliant wizard, but in order to do that you know what you have to do?" Severus asked, his eyes never leaving the blue ones of the boy in front of him.
"What?" Neville whispered in spite of himself. He shuddered as he tried hard to suppress the emotions inside of him.
"Live, you have to live. Your parents would not want this, Frank and Alice would be so proud of you if you overcame this. I'm sorry Neville, I never meant to make you feel this way," he said quickly.
"It doesn't matter what they would want, they are dead," Neville said softly. "The only ones who would actually care whether or not I died aren't even aware," he whispered as the first of his tears started to fall without him realizing it.
"I would care, and I would mourn for a brilliant wizard who had left way too soon," Severus told him carefully.
"Perceptions of people always change when something traumatic happens. If Harry hadn't died, you wouldn't have cared for him or for me. If he hadn't lost it, you would have continued to hurt us, until one of us couldn't take it anymore. That's how it's works. They never care for you, they only pity you," Neville said grimly.
"I do not pity you," Severus said softly.
"I don't believe you," Neville murmured before yanking his arm free. "I'm not afraid of you anymore, and I'm not afraid of your hurtful words. Because where I'm going words won't hurt me, nothing will. I will be free from everyone and their judgments," he said softly.
Severus watched the boy silently, as he stared in his eyes. He could see the rage burning behind those blue eyes, but he could also see the hurt in them so he knew that the boy wasn't yet gone.
"You aren't going anywhere," Severus stated matter of fact before stepping in front of the boy to block the path.
"And you're going to stop me? Its against the rules for a teacher to raise a wand to a student. The moment you do Hogwarts will react and the Headmaster will be floo in," Neville stated calmly.
"Who said anything about stunning you? I am a potion's Master," Severus told him quietly, his tone light but they both knew the situation was anything but.
"So you're going to drug me then, is that it?" Neville asked sarcastically before straightening up and looking at the man. "I'm not that pathetic first year that was terrified of you. There are worse horrors in this world, then a Professor getting his kicks out of terrorizing students," he replied before shaking his head.
He wasn't going to fight anymore, as he backed off and turned to go back to the bed. He was shaking in his anger, but he let Snape think that he had won this round. But Neville knew when the man left, he would get out and slip into the shadows. He always did, and no one had noticed. He knew this incident hadn't changed anything; nothing at all.
Severus sighed as he closed the door behind him, walking a few feet before leaning his forehead against the wall. He couldn't do this, he was not the right person to help the Longbottom child heal, maybe not even the right one to help Harry. He shook his head, what was Albus thinking.
Hermione sighed as she looked around the deserted dorm room blankly. She wasn't sure what was wrong with her. Why did she feel so numb? She shook her head before standing up and making her way downstairs; ignoring the concern looks in her direction. She quickly made her way outside of the Tower. She just wanted to be alone, she just needed peace for a moment. She sighed as she started sprinting up the stairs, only focused on thing; The Room of Requirement. Hermione never made it, she found herself colliding once more into a solid body, but they didn't let her fall. She tried to smile weakly at them, to show that she was okay but she knew that Blaize could see through it.
"Where are you going so fast today?" Blaize asked her quietly, his arms holding onto her wrists easily.
"Just out for a run," Hermione found herself saying softly. She was surprised how easily the lie rolled off her tongue.
"Well in that case, lets take a run outside. I need to talk to you about something important," he murmured, not at all believing her. He could see the wild look in her eyes and it frightened him to his core.
Hermione wanted to push him off, but a part of her could not and would not hurt one of the few people who actually seemed to care about her. She took a shuddering breath before nodding and following the dark skinned boy, noticing slightly that he was grounding her with his tight grip.