I own nothing but the plot.
Severus sat at his desk glaring at the students that were brewing potions.
'How things were easier before HE defeated the Dark Lord.' Severus thought to himself.
The potions Master had not had an easy time teaching after everyone found out that he was on the side of the light the entire time. Most of the students still feared him but now they KNEW that he wouldn't chop them up and use them as potion ingredients.
Severus almost wished sometimes that people thought that he was really on Voldemort's side. At least then the students would try to brew a descent potion. He missed the way the students would cower just by looking at them. Now he needs to yell or move quickly toward them to get that reaction that he so enjoyed.
There has only been one student that has never cowered in his presence, the student that was now in his last and final year at Hogwarts. The boy, well man now, that was the one that caused the Dark Lord to fall, the one and only, Harry Potter.
Severus quickly looked over at said man, leaning over a bubbling cauldron, 'At least he still tries to pass my class.' Severus thought. 'The only reason Granger hasn't slacked off is because she still has to be perfect in everything.'
At the thought, Severus sighed, and then once again focused on Potter. He couldn't help but wonder why he tried so hard. He is the one person who could slack off and nobody would care. He killed Voldemort for crying out loud. Hell, he's already been offered a job at the ministry. He turned it down though. But seeing as Arthur Weasley is not the Minister of Magic, the position will always be available if he should want it.
Every class, Severus sat there, watching Potter, trying to figure out why he worked as hard as he did. Not just in Potions, but in all of his classes. Potter worked harder than any other student in the school. During a class about half-way through the year, not long after the Christmas holidays, Severus had to know.
"Yes, Professor?" Harry answered after adding a handful of cactus flies to a simmering cauldron.
"Could you stay after class, there is something I need to speak with you about."
"Yes sir. Did I do something wrong?"
Severus stood up from where he was sitting and walked over to peer into Potter's cauldron. "Everything looks good, there was just something I needed to discuss with you."
"Okay sir." Harry wondered what his professor needed to speak with him about but decided not to dwell on it, he would find out soon enough.
Severus walked back over to his desk, sat down, and thought about what he would say to Potter after class.
Once class was over and everyone had bottled their potions and placed them in the proper holder for their professor to grade later, all but one student left the classroom.
Harry left his books at the desk he recently occupied and walked over to stand in front of his professor's desk.
Severus sat there for a moment just looking at Potter before he spoke.
"There has been something that I can't quite figure out and I would like for you to help me acquire the information."
"But sir," Harry stated, "What could I help you with? You are one of the smartest people I know. You're just messing with me aren't you?"
"Not at all Mr. Potter, in fact you are the only one who can help me with this particular inquiry."
Harry was a bit unsure on what he could help his professor with but he would try none the less.
"Alright," Harry said, "What is it?"
"I would just like to know why it is you work so hard. I even believe that you almost surpass Miss Granger. You out of everyone could slack off but you don't. Why?"
Harry wasn't quite sure what he should say to his professor's short rant.
"Would you rather I slack off sir?"
"Of course not, that's not what I meant. I just want to know why."
"Well sir, it's mainly because I want to prove that I deserve what I get and not because I'm Harry bloody Potter. I don't want everything to just be handed to me."
Severus was quite surprised by the young man's answer. He had thought that Harry had always liked the extra attention. "You mean you don't like the attention that Dumbledore, Magonagall and everyone else has given you over the years?"
"It's a lot better than the way the Dursley's treated me. At least I never have to go back there. But no, I just want to be treated like anyone else."
"The Dursley's? You mean the muggle family that raised you?"
"Raised me? More like enslaved me." Harry had said softly hoping that Snape didn't quite hear him. Then he said louder, "Yeah, that's them."
Severus had heard that bit at the beginning and once again decided to get down to the bottom of that statement. But now would not be the time. He had kept Harry after class long enough. "Mr. Potter, would you like to join me for tea this Saturday afternoon?"
"This weekend is a Hogsmead trip sir. We won't get back until late that evening." Harry didn't want to turn him down. After everything that had happened with the war Snape had become his favorite professor and Harry hoped that one day they would become friends.
"I see," said Severus. "Maybe another time then."
"Sir?" Harry said, hesitating on if to say this next bit. "I am free on Sunday afternoon."
Severus sat there for a moment, shocked. He thought that Potter was using Hogsmead as an excuse to not have tea with him, but to actually suggest another day took Severus off guard a little bit. "Sunday?"
Harry nodded with a slight smile gracing his lips.
"That would be fine. Meet me here at noon on Sunday."
"We are going to have tea in the classroom?"
"No, we are going to have tea in my chambers, but unless you know where that is, you would need to meet me here. Then we will go to my rooms."
"Oh, okay. I'll see you then sir."
Severus gave him a slight nod before Harry gathered his things and left the room.
Severus sat there and thought about what Harry had said earlier. 'Raised. More like enslaved.' He didn't know exactly what Harry meant by that, but he would surely find out.
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