The first few days after the battle of Hogwarts Harry Potter spent alone, usually sitting down near the black lake. Even though Voldemort was dead Harry couldn't seem to smile, but he couldn't seem to feel anything except overwhelming grief. His thoughts started first on Remus and Tonks, knowing that their son would grow up without his parents. When he thought about Remus his mind would drift to Sirius and his grief seemed to overtake his senses, it felt to Harry that it went right to his very soul. He realised why he was feeling it now when he never did right after Sirius died, he had heard the prophecy and knew that it would come down to him, that everyone could die unless he could fulfilled the prophecy, that consumed his every waking hour, even consumed his dreams. So now it was over Harry was finally realising that he really was alone, completely alone, Sirius and Remus were the closest Harry had to family. When Harry felt this grief start to overwhelm him he would quickly hide behind the bushes before anyone saw the tears falling down his face. Little did he know that there was one person who saw that Harry Potter was not coping, but he was also the only person that knew the full extent of what was causing the young man's pain.
Severus Snape had been found alive when Neville, Seamus, Dean and Ernie had gone to retrieve his body from the shrieking shake. Thanks to the care from the healers who worked tirelessly with everyone that had been injured, Severus survived with only a few more scars to add to all his others. So he stood at one of the windows up on the fifth floor staring down at Harry Potter who had his head in his hand and even though Severus was high up, he could see Harry's body shake with his sobs. Severus knew Harry usually told his two friends, Hermione and Ron everything, he believed there is one thing that Harry would not reveal to them, this piece of news Harry would keep to himself. Which was another reason Harry Potter was having such a hard time, knowing the truth, knowing he shared his soul with a piece of Voldemort's soul and knowing Harry would always keep that information to himself. Severus had watched the Weasley girl sit beside Harry, she even tried to kiss him but all Harry did was shake his head and pull away, but he never spoke. Severus could tell that Ginny Weasley was confused and hurt by the way Harry acted, but he knew she would never find out the reason, not from Harry and since he, Severus Snape was the only person alive who knew the truth, the reason behind Harry's depression would remain his secret. He wasn't sure if he should try to help Harry or if he should just keep an eye on him, without the boy knowing of course. No Severus thought to himself, no, not a boy, a man, a young man who was suffering, Severus saw it, no one else did. But it seemed the girl that liked Harry couldn't see what was right in front of her face, it was clearly etched all over Harry's face. Severus knew that some people only saw what they wanted to see, they were blind to everything else. Severus also observed Ron and Hermione sit beside Harry, Hermione seemed to look concerned, but Severus knew she was a very bright young woman who had been watching Harry since the day they met, so she knew something was wrong, Ron on the other hand looked a little angry when Harry refused to speak especially about his sister who was hurt and confused right now, all Harry did was shrug which made the red head's temper rise. These people were supposed to be Harry's closest friends, but only one apart from himself saw the pain this young man was in. Severus had also observed the way Harry was when he overheard a conversation between Minerva and Harry, the young man asking to remain at Hogwarts, that he wished to help with the repairs. Even though Severus knew Harry had strong feelings towards this old school he knew that was not the only reason Harry asked to stay. He did not want to leave, that was for a couple reason, the first was how everyone would treat him now, the second because to Harry this was his home and he did not want to leave home. He had lost his family so he wanted to keep hold of something that meant a lot to him, Hogwarts, a place he might have endured pain and suffering, but a place that meant more to Harry than any other student that came before him.
Severus walked down towards the lower levels ready to begin work when he overheard a heated argument between Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.
'Ron, you need to open your eyes, Harry is suffering right now. Something was in that memory from Snape, something that made him go into the forbidden forest and surrender to Voldemort. Harry's in pain right now and if I was to take a guess which I hate doing, I would say he's seriously depressed. Remember, as far as he's concerned he's alone in the world, especially since Sirius died. He feels like there isn't anyone out there that he can talk to, even us.'
'Fine, he's depressed, then why won't he talk to us when he used to tell us everything?'
'Ron,' Hermione sighed in frustration, 'Harry never told us everything, he told us the basic's, what we needed to know and that's all. He grew up very differently to us remember, he couldn't talk or voice his thoughts or even his opinions in that house. You saw the bruises, if he dared to say anything they would hit him, so he learned to stay quiet, learned to keep his feelings bottled up and stopped them showing. We had very different lives growing up, we had loving parents, family Ron, Harry had no one then all this on top of it. It's a wonder Harry hasn't lost it before now. Right now I don't believe he would, but I think he needs to talk to someone, not us, I'm talking about a someone that knows what they are doing, someone like a professional, someone that knows how to deal with depression.'
'There's no way Harry will talk to someone, he's wary of strangers, won't trust anyone except us, my family, Neville, Luna, McGonagall, maybe a few others. After Sirius died Harry kept pulling away from Dumbledore but he did from us as well. So how is anyone supposed to help, if you are right about this depression, Harry won't talk.'
'I don't know, I had one idea that's going to sound crazy. Apart from you and I, there is only one other person alive that Harry might trust. You saw the look Snape gave Harry in the shrieking shack, you heard what Harry explained, that he had been best friends with his mother. Right now Harry has no family, not after Sirius and Remus died. Believe it or not but Snape is the closest person to Harry because of that friendship with Lily Potter. Snape is also a type of person that does not care that Harry is some hero right now, so maybe it should be him that tries to get Harry to talk.'
'Okay, so Snape was friends with Harry's mum but he hated Harry so do you really think he would care about Harry's state of mind, I doubt it, he's a bastard.'
'Maybe, but the look in his eyes that day, the way he spoke to Harry. There's something there, I know it and maybe it's what Harry needs and one reason is he won't hold back, he will tell Harry what he thinks, what he believes Harry should hear.'
'Maybe, but I doubt he would do it or that Harry would willingly be alone with Snape let alone talk about what is troubling him. Anyway,' Ron sighed, 'we should get back to the Burrow, mum keeps saying we can't stay away for long and since Harry refuses to talk to us there's nothing we can do.'
'No, there isn't, but I know you Ronald, you're hungry, so fine let's go. We'll try talking to Harry in a few days, I'll bring up the subject of talking to someone, maybe even Snape.'
Severus waited until he heard their footsteps fade before he moved around the corner and thought about what Hermione and Ron had said. Would Harry listen to me just because Lily was my friend, would he see me as the closest person he has left, closest to his family. Severus wasn't sure about that but he did want to help the young man, before it was too late, now he just had to work out how.