Author's note: Thank you so much for your support. I don't know but this chapter is just unusual and a bit different.
Chapter 16: The Roar of a Lion
Harsh words upon dragged insults that was the game they were playing. They were destructing themselves, reaching low points, hurting each other to numb the pain. Harry would be in detention all night or Snape would be in his quarters all day, but they'd never came face to face.
Not a word was said after Harry send the letter. No response, they were trying to go back to how they were before but it was meaningless. They progressed just to fall again. Every memory tore at them unmercifully. Building walls, securing themselves, they grown cold and bitter. Harry true to his words kept his wounds fresh. Snape would purposefully give Draco extra points during classes and then look at Harry, observing him for any reaction. Harry wasn't stupid, he knew what was happening, the little game they were playing, but he pretended to never notice it. He overlooked it as if it was nothing but a speck of dust in the open horizon. There, but never the center of his conflicts when in reality it always was.
As always, his ego, his pride, did not allow him to consider this as the main source of his conflicts. It caused him to return the pain at every opportunity he got. He'd never pay heed to Snape, miss meals purposefully knowing that it mattered to Snape, he'd go that far to where he would almost break the rules just to see Snape's reaction.
Reaction, anger, they wanted something from each other, anything but ignorance.
Harry sat on the Gryffindor's table waiting for Hermione.
"Hey Harry," Hermione said as she took a seat beside him.
Harry nodded. Breakfast started as usual and Harry helped himself to some pumpkin juice.
"Is that all you're going to have?" Hermione asked disapprovingly.
"Perhaps," Harry responded with a shrug. He returned to his book, hiding his face behind it. A week had passed since he posted that letter and in the last week he couldn't even look at Snape's face. He'd look at the board, at his notes, but never at Snape's face. Finally thinking of how ridiculous that was he looked up from his book and his eyes searched for Snape. When he realized that Snape was looking at him too, he continued to scan the crowd, pretending to look for someone else. He saw Ron and yelled for him to come over. As breakfast continued, he didn't dare look at Snape again.
As he was finishing his pumpkin juice he felt odd, different. He examined the empty glass for any indication of dark magic or anything else for that matter but he found nothing. Putting the glass down he got up and before he could get any far he felt himself shrink. Oh god, he knew this feeling. Looking down he just stared at his furry paws and on complete instincts he roared, completely embarrassed afterwards. Daring to look up, he saw everyone in the Great Hall staring at him, wide eyed, forks hanging in midair and mouths open.
"You're animagus is a lion…. I had my suspicions," Hermione said after a while shaking her head.
Roaring again Harry felt himself grow larger, sighing inwardly at the consequences.
Opening his eyes he looked down, he was normal. Looking up he blinked owlishly at the staring faces.
"What?" Harry asked grabbing his bag. If he pretended like it was nothing they'd probably lose interest and resume breakfast casually. With that thought in mind he turned around but literally stumbled backwards.
Dumbledore stood in front of him in rage and anger.
"Mr. Potter, follow me." Harry sighed. An obvious action followed by a hasty exit, how typical for a teen. Harry walked behind Dumbledore, swallowing the lump in his throat, he could technically feel the anger radiating off the old man.
Dumbledore stopped at an empty corridor, Harry stopped too, glancing around.
"Mr. Potter, Professor Snape wanted to talk to you about the assignment you handed in, it would be delightful if you could see him after dinner today."
Harry already had his mouth open to fire a straight face no but seeing the look on Dumbledore's face, it left no room for argument.
"You may go to your classes no." Dumbledore started to walk away leaving a baffled Harry. Harry regained his neutral expression after a while and begin to walk to his first class of the day, lost in his own thoughts.
"He said nothing about my animagus form, heck he didn't even acknowledge it." Harry's head was spinning, "Was he going mad or Dumbledore seriously brought him to an empty corridor to tell him that Snape wanted to see him. Either he was losing it or Dumbledore was up to something. There was definitely something wrong here."
As if that wasn't enough to his troubles, potions was his first class. Harry blinked and shook his head, trying to focus on his work. Snapped walked in wearing his usual black attire, Harry felt the dark eyes burn through him but little did he pay attention to them. He continued to write what was on the board and began to get the ingredients afterwards. Halfway done making his potion, beads of sweat began to form on his forehead. Harry wiped it away and took a moment to look around, most kids were still trying to figure out how to begin except Hermione who had started the potion but was nowhere near as close to finishing it as Harry was. Harry continued working, not bothering to take another glance.
Finally, a few minutes later it was done, he was the first to finish. It seemed the right color and he doubted he had made any mistakes, the powers he possessed made him learn potions so well that he could do it blindfolded, that and the fact that he spent so much time in the library hiding from Snape that he adopted some handful potion techniques.
Carefully putting it in a vial, he realized that he still had 15 minutes of class left. He needed a distraction, he didn't want to face Snape, at least not so early in the day. He pretended to reread the instructions, seeing if he made a mistake, knowing very well that he did it perfectly. After a few minutes, he knew that he needed another distraction, kids were getting suspicious, after all his potion looked right so there was no point in checking it.
"Mr. Potter, you seem to be done, rechecking? Ah, of course, you must be surprised that your potion for once seems passable." Harry knew that voice in and out. His fist curled slightly and his forehead creased. He continued his work, not bothering to look at Snape. He knew that Snape wanted a reaction but he wasn't going to give one anytime soon.
"Everyone, Mr. Potter seems to be done, can anyone tell me what he did wrong?"
Harry felt at peace knowing that his silence killed Snape, that his lack of words drove Snape to the edge.
The whole class was silent, not a single hand was raised.
"5 points from Gryffindor, can anyone tell me or should I deduct another 5." Snape had his eyebrow raised and his eyes were firmly on Harry. Harry looked back with the familiar neutral expression, the one that revealed nothing.
Hermione raised her hand. Harry was slightly surprised but his face betrayed not the slightest of hints.
"Yes, Ms. Granger?"
Harry was sure that he had made no errors but he awaited the answer patiently.
"Professor, can you tell us what he did wrong because we happen to be under the illusion that Mr. Potter not only performed the work perfectly but did it before the given time."
Harry's lip curled slightly though not enough to be noticed.
Snape closed the book in his hands sharply and looked straight at Hermione.
"Another 5 points from Gryffindor." Harry looked at Hermione and could see the hurt in her eyes evident. His peace was washed with anger as if Snape made him swallow a flame. No one ditched his friends.
Harry raised his own hand, his eyes fixed on Hermione's clenched hands.
Snape's eyes gleamed and his lips curled slightly, visible to Harry.
"Yes, Mr. Potter?" The words were dragged and mocking but Harry was about to end the game they started. Snape wanted a reaction and he was going to give one.
Harry turned sideways so he was facing the class and Snape.
"Everyone," there was a pause as eyes shifted, "what I did wrong was I finished the potion with such perfection that our dear professor couldn't handle it." The words were laced with sarcasm. "What I did wrong was I'm here, listening to a professor talk bullshit on what, he doesn't even know about." Some mouths were hanging open, others were curled into smiles. "What I did wrong was I mistook our dear professor for human." Harry ignored the voices that erupted. "WHAT I DID WRONG WAS I TRUSTED A PERSON UNWORTHY OF ANYBODY'S TRUST." Harry was shouting but they were lessening his burden so he continued to empty them.
"But what I did right was I realized that some people never change. What I did right was I didn't give the title of my father to you. What I did right was I finally told you professor that you mean nothing to me, that you're that thing which I despise and loathe so deeply that I wouldn't even care if you died this moment!"
The anger hushed and Harry's eyes widened slightly when he looked at Snape. He didn't mean it, no he didn't mean it the slightest. Snape's eyes were glassy.
The Gryffindors began to hoot and clap in the background, Harry looked at Hermione who was standing their looking baffled. She shook her head and Harry knew what this meant. He had gone too far.
"SILENCE! 30 points from Gryffindor and detention Mr. Potter for the rest of the week." Harry could feel the dreadful vibes Snape was giving off. Oh god, 40 points from Gryffindor in a day and he already made 2 people mad, this was not a good start thought Harry. The class was silent again and the familiar fear and tension was back in the room. Snape was about to say something else when the bell rang and Harry rushed out.
Harry played with his food. Hermione and Ron sat on either side of him.
"Harry," Ron started.
"I know," Harry stated.
Dinner started as usual though Harry was lost in his own thoughts.
"That's the worst thing you can say to anyone that loves you." Ron spoke after a while.
Harry turned his head, "What do you mean?"
"Harry I know you didn't mean it but how easily you told him that he meant nothing to you, that his death would please you." Hermione continued. "Harry, he wanted to be your father, how easily you told him that you were glad he wasn't."
Harry lowered his head.
"Harry, he still loves you or he would've never acted this way in class when you talked this way to him. You saw his eyes, didn't you?" Harry remembered the glassy dark eyes.
"Harry, he didn't even show up for dinner." Harry looked up, all the professors were chatting but Snape wasn't there.
"Harry, go to him." Ron said smiling.
Harry thought for a moment.
"No, don't think buddy, just go."
Harry got up and just in time caught Professor McGonagall's eye. She smiled at him. Harry looked at Dumbledore who was gleaming at him.
He now understood what was going on. They planned this. They knew he and Snape would most likely have an argument. Wait, wouldn't Snape tell him himself if he wanted to talk about an assignment he handed in. The old man made up the nonsense about the assignment and he, the Harry Potter fell for it.
Harry glared at them and he could see their smiles broaden.
"Some lunatic teachers we have in this school." Harry muttered. His friends looked at him in curiosity but Harry brushed it off.
Harry entered Snape's quarters. His heartbeat getting faster as he spotted Snape who was in a plain white shirt standing in front of the fire.
"You wouldn't care if I died would you?"
Harry didn't get time to respond because when Snape turned around, Harry felt his heart shatter. The echo resonated into his ears and the silence that followed afterwards was just a signal for the storm that would be coming.
Author's note: NOT WHAT YOU THINK!