I promised myself and my friends that I wouldn't do it. But.. everyone knows how rabid plot bunnies can be... especially while driving.

This will be my first (and probably only) Harry Potter fanfic. It was inspired by Stabbing Westward's 'Save Yourself' (which is what the lyrics placed here and there are from), while I was driving home from work one night. It's been bouncing around in my head for a /while/.. and I've been trying to deny it.

Obviously I lost.

Disclaimers: All characters were created by J. K. Rowling (since I have no clue who 'owns' them now, I'll just claim I didn't create them). The lyrics to the song 'Save Yourself' were written and performed by Stabbing Westward. Only the story concept is mine (I don't /think/ anyone else out there has done one like this one yet).

Warnings: May contain language unsuitable for young eyes, and it jumps POV. This is set somewhere between the beginning of Harry's fifth year, and the end of the series. There is probably a lot of OOCness, but thoughts sometimes /can/ be out of character. If some people saw into my mind and heart, they'd /never/ know it was /me/.

Unexpected Comraderie (working title)

I know your life is empty
And you hate to face this world alone

Even behind the hatred I can see it here and there, especially knowing what I do now. You don't really mean to be the sardonic bastard that you are. I think it's all just a cover up for what hides behind eyes of black ice. From things that I've heard, and things I figured out for myself, you must have been lonely, downtrodden, and like I was.

I sometimes wonder if all this is some kind of a dream, and that I'll wake up back in the broom cupboard under the stairs, a few weeks away from my eleventh birthday. But then I usually find myself either snapped out of it by one of my friends, your snide voice, or by a bludger whipping by my head.

My life improved. From what I heard, yours remained a nightmare. Whatever your reasons, I don't blame you, if that helps, which I'm sure it doesn't. As people always point out, I am my father's son. I don't want the fame that I have, and if I could I would gladly share my spotlight with others, or gladly let someone else /have/ it for a change. Fame brings as much loneliness as being a nobody – sometimes more. Sure, you have a lot of 'friends', but who is to say which of them will stand by you? How many people want to befriend me because I'm Harry, or because I'm 'The Boy Who Lived'? I know what you're going to say - I have Ron and Hermione. I do, and they like me because I'm Harry. But Draco Malfoy tried to befriend me our first day of school. Why? Because I am The Boy Who Lived, and I'm a Potter. Was it any surprise that I declined?

But I can understand the miserable part. I /can/. Don't tell me I can't. For eleven years of my life, and even now during the summers at the Dursley's, I lived, and live now in misery. Hated by my only living relatives for being 'abnormal' and a 'freak'. Until I met Hagrid, I was slowly losing hope of ever being happy. There must be something that can make you happy – other than torturing me. There must be something, someone who helps you lose yourself for a while.

So you're searching for an angel
Someone who can make you whole

In so many ways, you and I are so much alike. If only you would see past me as 'The Boy Who Lived' and see me as 'Harry', not 'Potter' for a change. I might have liked you better if you hadn't singled me out from the first day to make my life Hell. Sometimes I think I know why, but sometimes, I think you do it just because you still have issues with my father, and so you take it out through me. What does that accomplish?

You saved my life on several occasions, tried to protect me, but you still treat me like you hate me.

I know that you've been damaged
Your soul has suffered such abuse

I know your life has been a misery. I was one of the ones to keep an eye on you in those vital first months with your aunt and uncle. Though I did not see, and I did not know what transpired in the years that followed. I learned much later. In ways it was good that you were downtrodden in your early years. It kept you from being the egotistical brat in one sense, but you still had arrogance. That first day I singled you out and you decided to get cheeky with me made me think that perhaps they hadn't beaten you down enough. I know I was wrong, but I can't take back what I've done, and I won't apologize for anything that's happened. In time you may understand that it was all for your own good. You turned out to have confidence despite what your aunt and uncle did to you, and that confidence has led you into many dangerous situations, and back out of them somehow. You have saved lives, though you don't yet know how many.

Perhaps we are alike in ways. Like I said, I can't take back what happened that first day, and I don't apologize for it. It was probably better that you disliked me as much as you did and probably still do.

But I am not your savior
I am just as fucked as you

I know you have seen me as a monster in past years. But I never hated you, Harry. I saw you as your father most of the time, since you acted the same with your pranks and rule breaking. It angered me that you could get away with so much, just because you are 'The Boy Who Lived'. But quite a bit of your rule breaking has saved lives, uncovered truths, and has been ... as much as I hate to say it, useful.

You are correct in saying that my life was a nightmare. I refuse to go into any details about it, however. I will admit that I am shocked to see that you began to trust me more since finding out that I was a Death Eater. After what happened to your parents, I would have thought you would have hated me further. You are also correct in saying that my life has remained that nightmare. Even if you knew what I had to do this very day, you would not sleep for weeks, no matter how well the rest of your life may be going. But this was something I took upon myself. It was all something I took upon myself.

You are also correct in that I have saved your life, and I have protected you. Even though I have tried so hard to get you expelled from Hogwarts. I sometimes thought it would be better if you were not here. There must be another place that can protect you better. I have learned otherwise. You are safe here. We all do look after you. Yes, even me. Sometimes, especially me. I never much liked your father, but he... and your mother... never deserved what happened to them. And believe me, Harry, if I had the power to do so, I would go back and sacrifice myself in their stead.

You can not save me
You can't even save yourself
I can not save you
I can't even save myself
so Save Yourself

The cups of tea had long ago stopped steaming, and each was only half empty. On either side of the small table, two raven haired figures, one young, one gracefully aging, sat staring down at their teacups.

"Why didn't you ever tell me?" the younger one said at last, quietly, his green eyes looking back up.

The other smiled slightly as he returned the gaze. "You never gave me half a chance, did you? I will be honest in that I don't blame you. Though I am glad that you did finally confront me. I'm quite sure that you expected none of what has happened in the past-" He took out a small pocket watch and glanced at the time, raised one eyebrow, then replaced the watch, "three hours."

"No, sir, I didn't."

"And I'm sure what you expected was for me to escort you back to Gryffindor Tower, and take house points from you for being out of bed at this hour?"

"I expected worse, actually."

"Then why, Harry, did you do it?"

"It's been weighing on my mind since the end of last year. I've seen more than I should have, and I know it. But the rest of the years past..." he trailed off for a moment, "got me thinking recently. My first year, you saved my life at that Quidditch match. Though, I had thought, after hearing the story from Sirius and Professor Lupin about my father saving you, that you had only returned that favor. But there were other things. Times where I could swear you were following me in the halls, watching my every move. Especially during my third year."

Severus picked up his teacup and looked at Harry over it. "I did save your life for other reasons as well. You are a student, after all. There was no way I was about to let a student die if I was present. And you... if you had been killed any of your years here, I don't want to think about what may happen. There is much more in store for you, though none of us can possibly guess what it may be." He sipped at his rapidly cooling tea and watched as Harry took all this in. "I have been known to follow you, yes. But, I did so in the hopes that I could stop you from falling into whatever dangers you seem to keep falling into."

"Why?" Harry looked up. "And why do you act like you hate me?"

Severus put down his cup, and sighed. "It has very much to do with that which I have been asked to do. I am watched, carefully. If I make one wrong move, it could tear apart the fragile web that our side has woven. A single hole in that web could be disastrous."

Harry murmured softly, "Even the strongest of spider webs is useless if it is not woven tightly enough to capture its prey."


Silence descended on the two of them for several moments. Finally, it was Severus who broke the silence.

"You should get back to bed. If I recall correctly, your first class is with me, and is a double period."

Harry nodded, and stood up. "Thank you for hearing me out, Professor. And for explaining."

Severus smiled as he, too stood. "It was no trouble. Like I said, I don't hate you." He paused, and smiled – though small, it was genuine. "Perhaps we could talk again. I'm sure you would like to hear stories about your father from my point of view?"

Harry returned the smile tentatively. "I would like that." He picked up his cloak as Severus moved towards the door.

"Be careful getting back, but be quick about it," he warned.

Harry nodded and pulled his cloak on, vanishing. "I will," his voice said quietly. "Good night, Professor Snape." Quiet footsteps took him outside the door.

"Good night, Mister Potter." The footsteps were almost inaudible as the boy vanished along the corridor.

Severus closed the door, and leaned against the door frame, feeling almost lighter than he had in years. At least one of his nightmares would go away at last.

Do you think I should continue? I had thought about it.. but I don't know... Also, if anyone has suggestions for a better title, I'm all ears (eyes?).