VII. Severus Snape

It really wasn't much of a surprise when the Dark Lord came to visit him again. It seemed that he wanted to pump Severus for all the information that he could offer, which was quite a lot, considering that he had spend the last few years under Dumbledore's thump. He, of course, couldn't give away all the information and he seriously wondered what the Dark Lord needed some of the titbits for, seeing as he seemed to want to know everything there was to know, but who was he to question the man's sanity?

So, when he again knocked on his door on a rainy Friday afternoon, Severus acted as normal as possible.

'How are you Severus?' the Dark Lord asked pleasantly

'I am good my Lord, though soon school will start again,' Severus replied, hoping that he wouldn't have to deal with the man as often when he was at work again

'Ah, yes, you are now the potions teacher at Hogwarts… it is quite sad how a promising career such as yours can dissolve isn't it?' he asked and Severus had to use all of his willpower not to sneer at him. Who's fault was it that he didn't have much of a choice in the job department?

'Yes, my Lord,' he said instead and was a bit proud of himself to be able to remain so calm, he actually had planned to make a potion today and not get insulted. He lead the way to the sitting room where a house elve had already prepared some tea and snacks.

'So, Severus, I'd like to know what you can tell me about the Potters,' Voldemort said as he lowered himself on the couch

'The Potters, my Lord?' Voldemort just raised an eyebrow 'What would you like to know about them? They are dead. Or do you speak of their spawn?'

Voldemort sighed and took his time by taking a sip from his tea

'What can you tell me about them?' he repeated slowly, as if thinking Severus was too stupid to understand him if he spoke too fast 'If I remember correctly you were in the same year as James Potter, where you not? '

'Yes… my Lord, I did share certain classes with that… man,' he spat the word out like it hurt him to even admit that James Potter was human and did he imagine it, or was there a gleeful spark in the Dark Lord's eyes as he said that word with such hatred?

'There is not much one would want to know about this person, he was a bully, taking every chance there was to torment and humiliate those that were weaker than him, as long as they weren't in his own house, without ever getting a fitting punishment for his actions!' he exclaimed, sneering also at Dumbledore's insufferable favouritism for Gryffindors 'Not that he ever did anything wrong in the old fools eyes, seeing as he always favoured his little group. He and his little followers wouldn't even stop at physical pain, not that them demolishing schoolwork wasn't enough already!' he finished his little tirade, and by the look in his Lord's eyes, that was exactly what he had wanted to hear.

But why would he want to know about these things? The Dark Lord has come with weird question more often lately, never explaining what he wanted with this knowledge.

Maybe he wanted to have some dirt on the now deceased light martyr? Well, he could have that if he wanted it. It wasn't like it would bring the Dark Lord any good.

He just didn't like the weird glint in his Lord's eyes.

'Ah, but Severus, I had heard that Potter had saved your live once?' he asked suddenly, sounding falsely placating and slightly amused.

'Saved me? Saved me?! If it wasn't for him and his little gang I wouldn't have been in mortal danger to begin with! It isn't really saving someone if you just changed your mind about killing them!' he screamed, seeing red. How dare he even bring up that god awful life debt?!

'Oh?' the Dark Lord asked raising one eyebrow enraging Snape even more 'How did that come to be? Surely a simple prank couldn't be lethal?'

'Yes, of course a simple prank, right? Because getting lured into a trap to meet a werewolf is just a simple prank isn't it?!' scratch seeing red before, he felt like exploding now. It wasn't like him to lose his temper like that. His own training enabled him to hide his emotions almost always, aside from maybe some disgust showing through at some times. But Potter had always managed to rile him up like that!

'But he hasn't really been punished for this, right?'

'Of course Potter wasn't punished for this! He was, if anything, hailed as a hero for saving me! He was never punished for anything! Being the spoiled brat that he was, he always got out of every mischief he did without a scratch! Out of ridiculing, out of harassing, out of bragging and ruining other people's work, out of ruining people! And why?! This person didn't even need a reason to bully someone! He just did it for fun! Him and his little Marauders! Always good for a laugh, as long as someone is hurt!' he finished his rant, slightly out of his breath and red faced.

As he looked at the Dark Lord he saw a very satisfied smirk on his face, that made Severus' stomach sink with a very bad feeling. But before he could properly place the look in the other man's face, or the feeling in his stomach the smirk disappeared and was replaced with a neutral expression.

'Well, thank you very much about this conversation. I won't even start with Mrs Potter, seeing as where it went when you talked about her husband,' the Dark Lord said, while setting his teacup down and Severus couldn't believe his luck. He was sure, that he wouldn't have been able to say anything bad about Lily.

'It was a pleasure to meat you again, Severus. Let us meet again, at another day, for I have some work to do now,' he said, and both man stood up.

'My Lord,' Severus said, while bowing deeply, as a parting. Voldemort just nodded his head in acknowledgement and exited his house.

When the Dark Lord was gone, Severus sighed in relief.

He was still alive, and that was an accomplishment in itself, when dealing with that person, especially considering his rant about Potter.

He just hoped that his next meeting with the Dark Lord would be far in the future.

He still needed to figure a way out to reveal his rising to Dumbledore and the order.

~oOo~

He was right...

Had been right all along!

His parents were nothing like he had hoped, and all he had feared! It didn't make any difference if they were alive or dead. He would still be living with mean people... he felt nearly thankful to Tom for killing his parents... at least now the world had one Petunia and Vernon Dursley less! And maybe he would have been like Dudley, had he grown up with them. He shuddered at the thought.

His tears still hadn't stopped streaming down his face as he clung to Tom, who sat on the bench in the park they always met at.

He had started crying at some point during the scary man's speech about his father.

He felt so sorry for the poor man, he couldn't remember the complicated name, it was something like severe, who had obviously been bullied just like Harry himself had been, if not worse. And that by his father!

He wanted to go to the scary man and hug him, and comfort him, and tell him that he was so sorry for everything that his parents had done. But he couldn't.

Tom had told him to stay just next to the seat he himself sat on and not utter a word or move.

It seemed, that Tom had somehow made some magic, so that Harry could be neither seen, nor heard, by everyone but Tom himself.

Harry didn't understand why that had to be done, but he complied easily knowing that there must have been a good reason for it if Tom wanted it.

Maybe the scary man was shy or wouldn't have talked this freely about his parents, if he knew that their child was listening too. Not even his uncle had told him just how mean, and cruel his parents had been.

So, seeing as he could neither comfort the poor, scary man, nor be comforted by Tom at the moment, for the scary man would have seen him then, he had started crying silently until they finally left.

Tom made them appear in their park again, and lifted the magic off of him, before Harry launched himself at him, and sobbed uncontrollably into him.

Tom held him the whole time, and told him that it was fine, and rubbed his back gently, until Harry calmed down enough to just cry silently and not sob, like before.

Slowly Harry lifted his head, and righted himself into a sitting position on Tom's lap, to look into his eyes while he talked to him.

'Th-' he swallowed the lump still present in his throat 'thank you...' he murmured making Tom raise an eyebrow at him. But he didn't look annoyed, but rather amused

'What are you thanking me for?' he asked gently making Harry feel warm inside

'For... for still bein' with me. You could have a- abandoned me like everyone else, seeing as my parents were so mean...' he mumbled hesitating. What if Tom would still leave him, after putting him back to his relatives? He didn't want that...

'Why would I leave you now, little one?' Tom snorted 'I knew about your relatives, and they were on the other side in this war. I was already speculating about their character after they stayed in the middle of a warfront with a young child,' Harry's head snapped up to meet Tom's eyes again at this.

'Why didn't you say anything to me then?' he asked feeling slightly betrayed. Why had Tom left him in the dark if he knew?

'Harry,' Tom sighed 'I was only speculating about their character. I could have been completely wrong. There could have been certain circumstances forcing them to stay in the war zone. I couldn't have told you something without knowing if it was true now, could I?' he asked and Harry looked down slightly ashamed.

'Oh...' he murmured and felt bad for accusing Tom of hiding things from him. Of course Tom just didn't want to hurt him.

'You know I wouldn't lie to you, right, Harry?' he asked gently and Harry nodded blushing. He felt so stupid for accusing Tom like that. It wasn't like he had ever done anything to gain Harry's mistrust.

'I'm sorry Tom, I was just...' he started, but didn't know how to continue. Luckily Tom seemed to know what he meant as he smiled at him

'You were just angry and confused about what you found out. It's absolutely normal. Just don't ever think I would do anything to hurt you Harry. I've grown quite fond of you,'

At this Harry felt tears leak up in his eyes again. It was so very nice to have someone who cared about him. He hadn't known this feeling of safety until he had met Tom. He sniffed loudly at the thought and tried to keep his tears at bay.

He still had to return to his family, right?

Tom looked concerned at the sudden display of unhappiness in Harry's eyes again and made to wipe his tears away with a handkerchief that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. Most likely he had somehow gotten it with magic

'What is it Harry? Are you still upset about you parents?' he asked and Harry shook his head

'I-' he started trying to speak around the lump in his throat and his hiccups and sniffs 'I w-wanna st-stay wi... with you!' he exclaimed and entwined his little arms around Toms neck, hugging him as much as he could

'You want to stay with me Harry?' He heard Tom ask next to his ear and nodded his head fiercely

'Really? You would give up your live with your family to stay with me?' Harry nodded again and Tom put his hands under Harry's armpits to lift him a bit away from the embrace so they locked gazes again.

'Harry, this is very important, do you really wish to come with me, and live with me?' he asked with the most serious expression Harry had ever seen

'Y- Yes...' he said quietly but earnestly

'You would give up your current live, and not return to it? Would you do whatever I tell you to do when you come with me?'

Harry nodded again, his gaze not once wavering. He would do everything, if it meant that he could stay with Tom, that he could stay with the one person that cared for him. And it wasn't like his live with the Dursleys was good. Anything would be better than living with his family.

Tom stared at him for a long while, seeming to search for something in his eyes. After a while a smile spread over his handsome face and he hugged Harry close to him again.

'Very well, little one. I will let you live with me,' the smile that spread over Harry's face at these words could surely be felt by Tom 'But you have to wait for just a bit more before I can take you with me. I need to prepare a few things first,' he explained letting Harry back away from the embrace so he could look at him again.

'Yes, I'll wait Tom! Thank you so, so much!' He burst out happily and leaned forward to kiss Tom on the cheek in his happiness. As he realized what he had done he backed away again, blushing furiously. He had never done this, nor had anyone ever kissed him. Was it fine to do something like that?

But Tom just chuckled slightly making Harry blush even more. He liked Tom's laugh. He laughed far too seldom. Tom smiled at him, and Harry decided that he wanted to see Tom happy more often.

'Good, then it's decided, I will meet you in this park again in three days, and if by then you still want to come with me, I will take you along,'

'Of course I'll still want to come with you!' Harry exclaimed indignantly 'Why ever would I not want to be with you Tom? You are the best and most awesomenest person there is, Tom!'

Tom chuckled again and fondly ruffled through Harry's untamable locks of Hair

'And you are the cutest boy there is.' Harry blushed again at that. He wasn't "cute"! He was a boy, and boys were cool, not cute! Just as he opened his mouth to say just that to Tom he spoke up again 'In three days it is then. The usual place and the usual time. Bring everything you want to take along and don't tell your relatives that you are leaving. I'll be waiting for you,' he explained and Harry nodded to show that he had understood.

They stayed there for a while, Harry on Tom's lap, without really talking, just enjoying the presence of each other, before both went their ways.

Harry, for the first time in his life, looked forward to come home that day.

In three days time he'd never ever have to go there again.

~oOo~

Yay, chapter 7 is done!

What do you think is the important thing that Voldemort has to do, before he can take Harry along with him? :)

I'm really sorry for taking this long with the chapter, but I had a serious case of writers block, and just couldn't write this in a way that I liked... and then, one day, it all came in one go... I hope it goes on like this! :D I will at least try not to take this long again with updating! X(

So, please Review and tell me what you thought of this chapter! :)