"You are no longer Dumbledore's Golden Boy, Potter. Now you are as 'plebian' and unfavored as my Slytherins and myself." Snape paused, "You will learn eventually that you no longer have the same privileges as you once did."

"Why?" Harry rasped, looking at the man clothed all in black sitting on the bed across from him.

Snape sighed, before standing and moving to sit on the edge of Harry's bed. Pomfrey would have a fit, especially since the snake bites on his neck were still not completely healed, but he couldn't bring himself to care. For so long, people had deluded this poor boy into believing that they cared about him, and now his little dream world had come crashing down.

"Because you have power, a lot of power," Severus said, gently resting a hand on the boy's blanket covered leg, "Because they fear that you will abuse your power, as so many have done before you."

"But I won't," Harry protested, unable to believe what was going on. Why weren't Ron and Hermione and Ginny up here visiting him? He'd nearly killed himself defeating Voldemort, was it too much to ask that his friends spare a thought for his wellbeing?

"They won't believe you," Severus calmly replied, easily anticipating what was running through Harry's mind. Really, Potter is far too predictable. "You're friends are worried that you will turn. Have you not wondered why, in the days that have passed since that final battle, I am the only one who you have seen? You and I are the only wounded who are outcasts, who are feared and mistrusted; I because of my past, you because of your power."

"It's been a week," Harry sighed, leaning back against his pillows and closing his eyes, hoping once more that this was just a dream. Opening his eyes, Snape was still there. Damn. "What will I do now? If everyone hates me…"

"I would love to help you ponder that scenario Potter, but I will not be here much longer to help you," Severus replied, rising to go back to his own bed. Really, he had no idea why he had chosen to attempt to comfort the boy in the first place. It had to be those eyes; Lily's eyes. Wide open and innocent, as sad as Lily was the first time Petunia called her a freak. He looks do much younger, so lost now.

"What? Where are you going?" Harry asked, attempting to sit up. He was still severely drained from fighting Voldemort; his magic and energy levels had been down to nearly nothing. A week later and he was barely strong enough to sit up on his own, but both his strength and his magic were slowly returning.

"As soon as Poppy is able to heal my wounds, I plan on leaving the wizarding world all together. I have lived in the muggle world before, and it will be relatively easy to do so again." Severus had no idea why he was telling the boy any of this, but he had to admit he was enjoying this a bit. It had been so long since someone had looked at him without fear, without resentment, and had actually seemed to want to talk to him. Severus was solitary by nature, but after so long it became tiring.

Harry bit his lip. Why did Snape leaving make him so upset? The man hated him, had always hated him, but he had also nearly died trying to save his life. Why? Why did he do it?

"Why?"

"Why what Potter?" Severus asked, slightly confused. What is that insufferable brat thinking now?

"Why did you save me? Why did you risk your life for me? Why are you being nice to me? Why are you going to leave?" Questions poured out of him. Harry had only meant to ask one, but after that first one the rest rushed out, as if he was afraid the man would leave before he could find out the answers he wasn't even sure he wanted to know.

Severus arched one fine, dark eyebrow. "Slow down Potter, I can only answer one question at a time. And, in return, you will answer a few questions of mine. Agreed?"

Harry only nodded. Snape was the only one who seemed to want anything to do with him anymore. What was he going to do after Snape left, if the whole wizarding world was out to get him?

"I promised your mother before she went into hiding that I would protect you to the best of my abilities. That is the reason that I nearly died for you in the Shrieking Shack; because my death would have saved your life. I have never truly hated you. I hated the fact that you looked exactly like your father, one of the many people who made my life hell. I also had an act to keep up if I wanted to continue to live when the Dark Lord returned. A Death Eater couldn't be seen being kind to the boy-who-lived, not if they valued their life, which I did. And I am leaving because it is my best option. It will be simple enough to create a new life in the muggle world, only venturing into our world as needed and using glamours. Of course, the goblins at Gringotts would know who I am when I went to withdraw money from my account, but they will not tell anyone." The answers rolled easily off his tongue. There was no point in lying to the boy at this point; what was the worst he could do?

Harry began to chew on his bottom lip again, thinking over everything Snape had told him. Of course, those answers only made more questions spring to mind, but he'd have to wait because it was Snape's turn now. The man's questions surprised him.

"Did your relatives abuse you? What do you plan to do now?" Snape's last question was said slightly quieter, but made Harry's eyes widen in surprise. "Do you want to come with me when I leave?"


A/N: I realize that I have other stories that need updated (and several are close to being completed) but I couldn't get this idea out of my head after I read that prompt. It's currently a rather odd one-shot, but I may add more later on if I get a new idea in between working on my other stories. Yes, I realize that both Harry and Severus are kinda OOC, but they both nearly died, so if that doesn't make you let go of old grudges I really don't know what else would.