Mistakes, Mixups and Manipulations
Yet again Harry had been awoken from his peaceful slumber. Nightmares regularly plagued his dreams, but none like this, this would turn his world upside down. Not only his world, the world, everyone's world.
He had been told that his dreams of Voldemort were true, if that was the case then there was a big chance that this was true also, and this seemed so much more real, somehow there was no doubting this one. There was only one way to find out...
"Professor, professor! Please, open the door.!" Harry found himself outside of the head of Slytherin's quarters, banging on the door, desperation in his every action.
"Potter, what the hell do you think you're doing, banging on my door at such a ridiculous time?" Severus sneered down at the boy who did nothing but added to the stress in his life.
"I-I had a-a dream, about Voldemort, could it possibly be true? Please sir, I need to know." Harry was panicked, surely, if anyone knew, it was the person who supposedly spied on the Dark Lord.
Severus looked straight into the panicked youths eyes, what was he supposed to do? He had not been instructed on how to deal with this. "Erm... come in Potter. Have a seat... erm... tell me, you know... what your dream was about?" He finished in a question, he had never acted without orders before, either from Tom or Dumbledore. What he hell was he supposed to do with an hysterical Potter?
Yes, Severus was a spy, he knew what he was told to do, his orders, he lived and breathed them, he had never been without them. However, he did not spy on the person most assumed. No, his role was most complicated.
Harry obeyed his potions professor, giving the man a worried glance as he walked past him. He had never seen the man so vulnerable, so nervous, it would have been quite compelling had he not been so scared.
"Speak Potter, what is the matter?" Severus tried to revert back to his usual tone, his worry not allowing to have the effect it usually had. He sounded more curious than snarky.
Harry started, the man's voice was not harsh, it was timid, cautious even… curious, it seemed as though he was somehow trying to revert to his usual self. "Well sir, I had a- a dream, about the Dark Lord, accept- accept, he wasn't evil. Could it be true sir, it seemed more realistic than the other dreams I have ever had about him. He was-was trying to talk himself into killing me, he thought-thinks it would be easier to stop Dumbledore if I am out of the picture. He has never wanted me dead, he never tried to kill me. Please sir, I need to know if it's true." Harry didn't care he was begging at the moment, he couldn't kill a man who wasn't evil, who was trying to fight for good. This was so confusing!
Severus froze. What to do? He needed advice, Tom wanted Harry out of the way to get to Dumbledore. But would Harry voluntarily move out of the way if he knew the truth? "Give me a minute. Don't move… please."
Severus tore from his sitting room, leaving a confused and nervous Harry behind.
"Tom! Tom!" Severus called through the floo to Riddle manor, hoping the man would hurry and tell him what the hell he should be doing.
Severus was in a near panic when Tom entered the room. "Oh Merlin, Severus what's the matter?" The form of Tom Riddle approached the shaking potions master before him, stroking the mans back to calm him as much as possible.
"Harry- it's Harry. He knows, he knows! He had a dream about you, he thinks it's true. He knows, or wants to know if you're good, or misunderstood. What do I do?" Severus spoke this so quickly it was only with a practiced ear that Tom could decipher what the man was saying to him. It would have been pointless asking Severus, the man whom he considered a child to repeat what he had said, the words wouldn't have come out any clearer either.
"Where is he now child?" His boy was so vulnerable, he had been since he rescued him from his horrible muggle father and ridiculously weak mother. But Severus was his and Tom loved him.
"In my quarters," Severus gasped out, "I asked him to wait. I know you were trying to talk yourself into killing him, but what if he can be of use? Tell me what to do. Please."
Tom could not believe the way his child had turned out, his gorgeous little boy had turned into quite the vulnerable adult. Severus could have been such a strong character, a strong man, but he was still a child, his child. "You did the right thing Severus. Tell Harry the truth, try and persuade him to come to me, to us. If he wishes for a meeting with me, set it up and let me know as soon as possible."
"Yes sir," he almost sagged with relief, but he had a job to do.
"Potter?" Severus returned to his rooms to find them empty. A feeling of dread coursed through him as he scanned the room for the teen, where could he have gone?
A tapping at his door bought him back to attention, he sprinted over and virtually ripped the thing from its hinges. "Potter! Where did you go?"
The lad paled, obviously unsure of his professor now he seemed to have regained his former personality. "Erm... I needed the toilet, and I couldn't find you, and I didn't want to use yours- you know - without permission. I-" The boy was babbling.
"It's ok, I'm sorry. Please come in, we have much to discuss." Severus cut him off, mildly amused at how much Harry reminded him of himself when he thought he was in trouble with Tom. Not that he ever was, but the mind's a funny thing - especially when it disconnects itself from the mouth.
The boy who apparently didn't survive the killing curse followed Severus into his rooms, settling himself back on the sofa, he waited for his professor to settle himself before bombarding the man with questions. "So... sir. Is- is it true?" Damn his stupid stutter.
Severus took a deep breath, his actions now could be the turning point of the world, the false, cruel world they lived in. "Yes, it is."
"How?" Harry's voice was little more than whisper.
"By false miracles and delusions... Harry, not everything is as it seems." Severus sighed, how was he going to explain his position, the real Tom, what Dumbledore had been up to... and the extent it went to.
"Will you tell me?" There was a pleading in the young mans voice that Severus would never be able to say no to, it was almost... alluring.
"I shall tell you what I can." Severus conceded.
They spoke until the early hours of the morning, Severus telling Harry all he could, all he knew and the reasoning he assumed from it. Harry for the most part, had taken it well, he had listened, taken in everything that Severus had told him and asked constructive questions. It turned out that Harry had had his suspicions about Dumbledore for a while, ever since fifth year when he had not taught him occlumency, had not trained him.
What he was told made sense to an extent. Voldemort never tried to kill him as a child, apparently. He was already a spirit by then, ripped from his body by a spell from Dumbledore that was supposed to kill him, or even if someone did try to kill him. When Voldemort was ripped from his body, he did in fact become insane. The pain had driven him so far from reality that it wasn't until he was bought back to his body by Harry blood, Wormtail's flesh and his father's bone did he begin to regain his sanity. Not to mention at the time he thought Harry was going to be the next Dark Lord, something was said about it in some prophecy.
He never asked Quirrell to house him in his body, Quirrell had done the spell himself, causing Voldemort to be attached. Quirrell had hoped to get the power Voldemort possessed by having him attached to him. The man was dying anyway and wanted to get to the philosophers stone to try and save himself from the disease he had picked up from travelling.
After the forth year Voldemort had been determined to get the prophecy made about himself and Harry, for there was a prophecy, but nobody knows what it was. When Harry didn't even attempt to kill Voldemort, Voldemort determined that Harry must not have been dark. Surely a dark wizard would have killed or, if not used some other dark curse, not just merely attempt to disarm. He did not want Harry at the Ministry, he was shocked to see him there. He had sent his fellows down to see if the way was clear and then Voldemort was going to go and fetch the prophecy himself.
Last year was a fiasco, he wanted to take over Hogwarts, he wanted to finally free the school from the most manipulative headmaster the school had seen, but somehow, he had been thwarted. The headmaster had left the school rendering the journey a waste. All the young Malfoy lads efforts going to waste, not to mention the few followers that had gone through to help had been thwarted by none other than Harry Potter. It was at this time, and only at this time that Voldemort had started thinking he would have to kill Harry to get Dumbledore.
It seemed so unbelievable, but somehow Harry knew it was true. "But, sir, how did the images get into my head if he didn't put them there?" Now he just wanted answers.
Severus sighed. "I do not know Harry, all I know is what I have been told, what I have seen. I am not trusted completely by Dumbledore, he thinks he has me convinced that Tom is evil, it does not make him trust me completely though. He could have been drugging you, or putting you under some kind of spell."
"I guess it would have to be a slow acting hallucinogenic, he was nowhere near me when I had that vision of Sirius, I was in my History of Magic exam." Harry frowned in thought, not noticing Severus' scowl.
"Harry, there are no slow acting hallucinogenic, not any that would control what you saw. Someone would have to have put a spell on you." Severus was not going to lie to Harry, he may have had to be mean to the boy before, but now he didn't have to now, he was even under orders not to. Not that he had ever wanted to, but an order was an order.
"But then... who?" Harry wondered aloud.
"It could have been anyone in that hall," Severus told him.
Harry's eyes widened, "do you think Ron... or Hermione?"
"It is a possibility."
Harry gulped and nodded his head. "So you are really a spy for Voldemort. "He was obviously trying to change the conversation until he could sort out his thoughts, Severus didn't mind, he could cope with Harry knowing everything, especially now he knew he wasn't going to be the next Dark Lord, now he wasn't going to be Dumbledore's.
"How did you end up coming to Dumbledore?"
"It is a long story, but I will shorten it. Tom saved me from my parents when I was younger, my father was abusive, my mother was weak. Tom put me through Hogwarts, he taught me everything I know. When Dumbledore cast that spell on him I was caught by him and bought to the castle, he had me under the imperious curse for a while, he made me work as his potions master. Eventually I fought the curse but still did as the man said. I had nothing else." Severus drew a well needed breath, it was hard to talk about this, but somehow he knew Harry would never use it against him. "When you came back from the graveyard I knew I had my dad back, I knew I had to make sure he was ok. I helped him, fixed his mind with legilimency." Severus said the last as though he was proud of himself for it, like a child that had been praised.
Harry was in awe of the man, he was endearing and Harry wanted nothing more than to look after him, maybe that is what Voldemort had seen in him.
"What happened when you fixed him?"
Severus looked down at his shoes. "To begin with he thought he had lost me, he thought I was Dumbledore's, but I will never be Dumbledore's." He looked deep into Harry's eyes. "Dumbledore is evil, I will never be his. Tom asked me to stay at Hogwarts, I would be safe and be able to pass on any information about Dumbledore to him, and of course, you." Severus smirked, "of course I never got to find much about you, Dumbledore told me to be horrible to you. I had to obey." There was almost a plea in Severus' voice to the end, he wanted Harry to understand, he needed him to understand.
Harry was gob smacked, Dumbledore had ordered Snape to be horrible to him. "I understand," he finally managed to squeak out. Harry shook his head. "Why does Voldemort look the way he does if he isn't Dark?"
Severus again looked at his feet. "I don't think you want to know the answer to that Harry," he told the boy honestly.
Harry took a deep breath, "my world has already been turned on its head, please, just tell me."
"Your father tried to curse me when I was younger, he tried to turn me into a snake, permanently." Severus' voice was hollow, it was a difficult memory for him to remember, he was the reason Tom, his dad, looked the way he did and he knew it would be just as difficult for Harry to hear it, he didn't want to cause Harry pain, but he didn't want to lie to him either. "Tom got in the way of the curse and put a shield up, it contained the majority of the curse but still transfigured him."
Harry's mouth was agape. "Wh-what h-happened to my-my d-dad? Was he punished?"
Severus snorted, "of course not, your father got away with everything, even nearly killing me."
"He didn't get punished for that!" He knew the story of Snape going to see Lupin when he had been transformed. A ridiculous 'joke' that his father and Sirius had decided to play, Snape would be dead now were it not for his father getting cold feet at the last minute.
"I want to meet him."
Severus nodded, he knew exactly who Harry was talking about, "very well, but tomorrow, or should I say later." He corrected glancing at the clock over his mantelpiece, "get some sleep, we will go in the morning, later in the morning. It's a good job it's the weekend."
Severus conjured the teen a blanket and pillow before leaving for his room. He would send a quick message to Tom before going to sleep himself. He would want to prepare for the arrival of Harry Potter.