- Harry Potter/Severus Snape
- Harry Potter Severus Snape
- Slash Angst
- The Harry Potter at Hogwarts Years
- Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix
Published: 01/12/2005Updated: 02/09/2005Words: 146,361Chapters: 30Hits: 275,831
Green Eyes Sublime
- Story Summary:
- When Harry returns to Hogwarts for his sixth year, only Severus seems to truly notice how deeply Harry's despair goes. Since Dumbledore is as blinded as everyone else, Severus decides to take matters into his own hands and help. But doing that means opening up his own soul and secrets to the Boy-Who-Lived, because Harry isn't going to just heal in one day. SS/HP, SLASH and depression related theme.
- Chapter Summary:
- When Harry returns to Hogwarts for his Sixth Year only Severus seems to truly notice how deeply Harry's despair goes. Since Dumbledore is as blinded as everyone else Severus decides to take matters into his own hands and help. But doing that means opening up his own soul and secrets to the Boy-Who-Lived because Harry isn't going to just heal in one day. HP/SS SLASH and depressing thoughts.
- Author's Note:
- Thanks: To my wonderful beta readers Amanda_Saitou and Philo whose wonderful help kept me sane.
Black and White Contrast
There were no stars in the sky.
No moon offered its shine of mercy upon the little white house with its brown roof and mahogony doors. Not even the light of the street lamps could be seen anymore.
The whole world seemed dark and cold.
There would be no one to see the six figures in black as they approached the front door. They walked like demons of death.
Harry ran towards the house without footsteps. His breath escaping like thick clouds of mist, invisible to all but himself.
"NO!", he shouted again as they blew the door apart and began to enter.
Then, suddenly, he was inside the house too.
He was standing in the corner of a little girl's room. She was sleeping, curled upon her bed and there was a Death Eater standing over her with his wand out.
"Filthy muggle. Bane of the earth," the dark figure sneered with hatred. "We will rid ourselves of the disgusting filth that you are to our world. You deserve no more than to die, begging at our feet."
"Wake up!" Harry shouted, standing on the other side of the bed now. "Open your eyes! Wake up and do something! You can't just lie there!"
The little girl opened her eyes, then screamed.
The Death Eater crushed her jaw with a single spell.
"Do you know who I am? Do you know what we are?" Voldemort asked.
Harry was no longer standing in the little girl's room.
Instead he was within a circle formed by the Death Eaters. Beside him the parents of the little girl were holding their heads and screaming. The little girl, levitated from her room, seemed to be beyond the point of screaming anymore.
"Crucio!" The screaming increased.
Sightless eyes, raw hoarse voices, then blood streaming from their nose and mouths, their bodies convulsing on the floor. Harry could only watch in horror.
"Stop it! Stop it!"
The curse was lifted and almost immediately the screams seemed to stop. The three figures seemed to have fallen unconscious.
"Get up!" one of the Death Eaters commanded.
They struggled back unto their knees.
"Filthy muggles. We will cleanse our world of your existence."
"Leave them alone!" Harry shouted again taking a step towards the figure that had spoken. However, something was happening to him because his surrounding was blurring.
The muggles began to scream again, louder this time as if they were being torn from the inside out. Harry listened to the gurgling sound of blood in their throats, but there was nothing he could do. The scene was already fading and swirling.
There was a thick mist blowing in and the ground beneath Harry's feet, as always, had already begun to harden and crack....
Harry's scream ripped through the stillness of the room, piercing the darkness and bouncing off the Silencing spell, which luckily prevented it from waking all the other occupants of the dorm room.
All the other occupants except Ron, that is, who had been sharing the enclosure of the spell with Harry for several nights.
Hermione had taught them the intricacy of the spell and how to set it up to work in the way they wanted. Ron was forever grateful every night.
Without thinking he bounced from his bed and shoved both his and Harry's separating curtains aside. Ron was beside his best friend offering words of comfort long before Harry got conscious again.
By the time Harry had stopped screaming, trembling and whimpering from the pain of his scar, Ron had a basin, the Scourgify spell and Harry's pensieve ready to be issued in order.
"Are you okay now mate?" he asked once Harry had finished retching in the basin and the spell had been performed hopefully for the last time that night.
Harry nodded his head, watched as Ron cleaned him and the bucket, then collapsed unto his bed, willing the pounding in his head to diminish.
"You don't have to do this Ron. Not every night. You should be sleeping and not anticipating my nightmares."
Ron levelled him with a look of amusement.
"We're best mates Harry, of course I have to. It's in my contract," he said lightly. "Are you ready for the pensieve?"
"I don't know if it was a vision. It could have been a nightmare."
"Then just put it in and let Dumbledore decide. It could be important to the Order. Better to be safe and store everything like Dumbledore said."
Ron reached out and pulled Harry back into a sitting position then watched as Harry tried to focus on the dream he had just experienced.
He handed him his wand and Harry closed his eyes tightly as he began the process of filtering his memory into the bowl.
'I only need the first part...just the first part of the vision and no more....'
"You guard your secrets well Harry Potter, but not for long. I can already feel your mind weakening. You're making it so easy for me now."
Darkness. Always so dark...and an air of fog and cold; Harry felt surrounded but he couldn't just stay and be tormented. He had to find a way out of the darkness. There had to be a way out.
The more he walked was the less sure he was about finding an exit.
It went on in what seemed forever and the more times he was forced within, to face the emptyness, darker and deeper it seemed to get.
It was endless.
"Tell me Harry Potter. Tell me your secrets and the secrets of old Dumbledore. Perhaps I can help you. Let's make a trade. Your secrets for your sanity. I have helped others like you before. I have pulled them from their abyss and given them the affection that they crave. Give me what I want and I will save you."
"Don't you have better things to do with your time? Like pouting over your own failures? For someone who claims to have the power to help, you don't seem like a very sane wizard either," Harry replied. "I wonder, Tom, what sort of an abyss do you carry inside? It's probably almost swallowed you by now."
Voldemort fell silent for a few seconds, but Harry barely noticed. He was trying to focus on the sound of his footsteps on the hard ground, instead of the voice being carried within the thickness of the fog.
"Alright Harry Potter, keep your secrets for now but understand that eventually I will know each and every one of them as if they were my own. You can barely see through the cloudiness of your own thoughts. How do you expect to continue fighting me? You are so weak. Why don't you just give up? Give in to the darkness. You would feel so much better."
"Speaking from experience? How sad, but excuse me if I prefer not to take advice from something as unfortunate as you."
The fog laughed harshly, but Harry just kept walking. He wrapped his arms tighter around his body, trying to spare himself from the cold that seemed to be seeping into his body.
So cold...so dark.
Harry knew he had to find a way out.
"Why do you even try so hard? Why when there is obviously no hope? You're deluding yourself. Do you think that just because you stopped cutting yourself you're suddenly stronger? Did you feel proud of yourself? Were you all nice and bubbly inside, and did the world seem oh so much brighter?"
Laughter sounded in the air again.
"Of course not! It was just as dark, and everything was just as painful. Nothing changed did it? You were still one of the pawns of Albus Dumbledore and the world still looks to you to save them from me. You are right where you were before."
"I will never cut again. I don't care what you say. I don't need to do it anymore and I won't go back," Harry said softly.
"Look around you Harry Potter. What do you see? Is this your perfect sanctuary? I probably don't even need to be here because you are doing a lovely job of destroying your own self. Do you wonder what will happen if you can't find a way to heal? Does it frighten you when you're here and realize that it's getting bigger? You can't even see anymore. You could walk off the very edge of your own soul and not realize because the emptyness is endless."
"Go away," Harry snarled, already loosing what little patience he had.
"Not until you start listening to me. I told you what you must do to let me help you."
"I would rather die that bargain with you."
"Have it your way then. Soon enough you may as well be dead."
"Did you know that Snape was back to working for the Order? I thought they'd give him a break since he still has to be teaching us. I was outside of Dumbledore's office yesterday and I heard them talking. I mean, I didn't know. It's not as if he looks stressed out or anything."
The three were sitting together on the floor in Charms class practicing one of the three most complicated concealment charms on inanimate objects. They had already tried the charm on Harry's scar and failed, and they would master it with Hermione's help anyway. They had unanimously decided to use the class the way they always did during practice periods: hold a discussion or share some news.
Harry nodded to Hermione.
"I knew. He had to ever since the Death Eaters attacked the Tri-embassy of International Relations and Muggle Protection. It's the same with Remus. I don't think I've been able to get an owl out of him since January. They're all on the alert. Luckily Voldemort is still only sticking to small things here and there once again. Otherwise we would have no Potions teacher and I would have no second godfather."
"I understand the concern for Remus, but who cares about Snape!"
Both Harry and Hermione sighed, though not entirely for the same reasons.
"We're in Sixth Year and he's still the only person at Hogwarts qualified to teach us Potions. This is a crucial time in our education Ron. We need him to remain capable of teaching us. So, we have to be concerned about him. He is fighting for the side of good too, don't forget it. It's unfair to worry only about the other members when he's an important member too," Hermione pointed out.
"I still don't like the greasy bastard."
"Yes Ron. We've established that. No huge surprise there," Harry teased.
"Yes well it's never too late to say it one more time," Ron said pointedly.
"Good guy or not he makes our lives a living hell. Even you Harry! You've been doing so much better in Potions now and it's as if he takes your success as a personal insult. Would it kill him to reward one measley point to Gryffindor one of these days when you get his impossible potion right?"
"It's just the way he is Ron. You know that."
Harry would have protested more, but for two very good reasons he decided not to. The first was that it would take way too much words to explain how Severus did tell Harry that he approved of his better grades in Potions on one or two occasions; and it was that approval that kept Harry determine to stay relatively good in the class. However, that would mean disclosing the fact that he saw Severus late at nights purely out of the desire to be in the wizard's somewhat soothing presence. And an explanation as to how and why Harry would want to be seeing Severus would demand a lot more words of explanation.
Reason number two was that Harry had a headache.
It was a continuous headache that seemed to radiate from the scar on his forehead and never gave him a second's rest. If Harry decided to break his first reason then his second reason would no doubt increase and all he wanted to do was to have a lie down on a nice bed and sleep the pain away.
"Harry, are you okay? You don't look so well."
"Ron, when was the last time you thought I looked well?" Harry asked smiling. "It wasn't by chance before the constant streams of visions started on my brain, was it?"
Instead of answering, Ron turned to his girlfriend. "'Mione, isn't there a potion Harry could take to make him better? Maybe a spell too? He doesn't look very well and I'm not sure he should be forced to endure classes if he has headaches all the time now."
"Still here. Sitting right by you." Harry pouted softly but Hermione had already begun to answer.
"Well, my guess is that there has to be a few that he can try. The problem is, he can't use anything that will intercept the visions. They've been useful to the Order and we don't have any right to stop them just because of a little headache -"
"It's more than a little headache Hermione. How about you have a go at enduring it for one full day and see how little you think it is."
" -But maybe a numbing spell would work. Oh wait, no. That would make his head feel heavy and would be just as bad. Hmmm...a Calming Potion might work. We wouldn't want him to be too calm though so maybe he could alternate between it and a Pepper-Up Potion. It would be good for him too. For his depression I mean. A depressant and a stimulant is how Muggles treat depression so I wouldn't be surprised if it worked. Of course, maybe a variation of the Dreamless Potion might work too. It contains Pixie Powder and everyone knows that's a good remedy for pain. It's soothes. We obviously don't want him not dreaming, which is what the large amount of Pixie Powder does, but too little would mean it would be useless..."
Harry shot Ron a glare and in his defence Ron shrugged helplessly. Hermione seemed to have gone off in her little world of knowledge.
"Hermione. 'Mione! Even if you did figure out how to brew Dreamless Potion properly and exactly how much Pixie Powder we would have to use to edit the potion, wouldn't we have to balance all the other ingredients too?" Harry pointed out.
Hermione looked at him almost as if he had grown a new nose and was tooting.
"Wow, Harry, you're right! Would you believe I forgot all about the compensating aspects of potion changing? We can't have less Pixie Powder without more of something else and that would have to be something that wouldn't affect the potion and it can't cancel out the effect of any other ingredient. Which I'm almost certain it might have an effect on the 'Sprinkle of ocean salt' since that's always such an unstable reactant. So we would have to increase the amount of 'lion tears' that we add, decrease the 'Sicilian sap'..."
Hermione's eyes went wide. "...and that would ruin the entire potion."
"Then that rules out the option of changing the potion then," Harry said wryly.
Hermione gave him an appologetic look. "Oh, I'm sorry Harry. I really thought we may have hit upon something for a while there. Goodness! How does Professor Snape do this. It has me baffled right now. Me! Maybe I should do a bit of research."
"Let it go 'Mione. The man's a madman. I don't think you should try and compete with him. Maybe that's why this new invention doesn't exist anyway. Maybe it just can't be done."
Ron gave Hermione a quick kiss on the cheek and reluctantly she appeared to drop the idea of improving the Dreamless Potion.
"Well I suppose you will just have to stick to alternating between the Pepper-up and the Calming Potion then. You may as well feel better emotionally if not better physically," she said.
Ron gave her a look of what he believed to be support.
"'Mione, Harry doesn't need emotional help anymore. He's better now. You know that. He said he stopped that whole...well you know...that whole thing. He doesn't need potions to make it come back."
Hermione gave Harry a searching look.
"Well just in case, Harry. You can try it," she said softly.
'Just in case, I'll ask Severus about the Dreamless Potion thing too.'
"Tempus fugit, Harry Potter."
"What are you talking about?"
"How time flies when you are lost. Day turns to night and night to day. Endlessly. You are it's prey, trapped in it's revolutions. You are wrung dry and left needing. What you desire, only I can give you."
"You are wrong. Tempus sanos, and I do intend to heal. Maybe it takes months but I will heal. Time will heal me."
"How? You're already lost. Time moves without you; despite of you. Do you even know what day it is? What hour? What month? In here, lost, you are helpless and insignificant."
"Lost perhaps, but not insignificant Voldemort. As long as this place exists, then I also exist. You did say it is inside of me. I will heal and when I do you will regret this."
"So brave, little Gryffindor. What makes you think you will heal? What makes you think that there is a way around this? I told you, your mind is already weakening. I don't even have to try too hard to get you in here anymore."
"I won't let him down."
"You protect him even now? From who, Harry Potter? Yourself? Your demons? You think you can fight them alone? What about him, your 'tower'? The one who holds you together even now."
"I can fight them alone...and...he is busy. I won't take up any more of his time than I already do. The whole world is busy. The whole world has to fight you. We will win."
"Too busy. Too busy for you. Doing what I wonder? Tell me. You realize that I will know soon enough. Who is this man that you spare your agony from? Who is he who you struggle on so desperately for?"
"I would rather die than betray him or his trust."
"You would rather die than do so much Harry Potter. How meaningless your life must feel."
"He...he is my meaning."
"Not for long, Harry Potter. Soon my will is all that you may know."
Harry opened his eyes and almost dropped his wand.
Within the pensieve the thin threads of memory had formed an ocean and he could almost watch as the swirling images played their scenes out. He forced his eyes away from the enchanting silver color unto the concerned face of his best friend.
"Give me it, I'll floo it to Dumbledore for you," Ron said. "You need to get back to sleep."
It took a few seconds before Harry's brain registered the words.
"Ron! You go back to sleep," he muttered, but Ron only laughed.
"I will as soon as I floo the pensieve for you and you're all settled asleep again too. I want to be sure that you're okay. That was quite a bit of screaming you were doing and you did the whole 'Cruciatius curse' thing again. Scared me half to death as usual. I'm half waiting for the brain damage to kick in and knock you out cold before I go to sleep myself."
Harry glared. "No. Not tonight Ron. Tonight I get to be responsible and floo the bloody thing myself! Go to sleep. I've already kept you awake long enough. I'll just take a little Calming potion when I get back and everything will be fine."
"Are you sure?"
"I'm sure. Go to sleep."
"Tick tock, Harry Potter."
"How many things have passed you by already? Are you forgetting? How does it feel to be so lost that you cannot even fathom the way out?"
"What are you doing to me?"
"Me? This is your anguish remember. I am only here to remind you of why you have this darkness in the first place."
"How generous of you. Stop playing games with me."
"Games? Where is he?"
"Who is he?"
"Why is it so important to you?"
"You said it yourself, he holds you together. If he crumbles will you fall?"
"If I crumble, will you fall?"
"No I will rise, and burn your grave in my wake."
"Well there is my answer to your question then."
"Brave little Gryffindor. How brave will you be by the end?"
Harry knocked as softly as he dared upon Severus' door before grasping the funny door-knob in his hands and turning it.
Tonight, the sight of the knob sliding through the wood made Harry feel a little nausious.
"Please be awake...Please," he begged silently.
As soon as he entered the room and had the door firmly closed, he walked right into the hug that Severus had, already entirely prepared for him.
In silent gratitude, Harry wrapped his arms around Severus' neck, burrowing his face somewhere between the crook that his arm made and the feel of warm flesh against his face. He breathed evenly through the pain in his head and the weakness that his entire body felt. He was borrowing emotional strength, he knew, but Severus didn't seem to mind so much these days.
Harry nodded a little. "Headache. Everything else hurts too. I'm so tired. Hurts so much."
"Let me see what potions I have. Perhaps one of them can help. I may not have been able to improve the Dreamless Potion but I have been working on another. It isn't entirely ready though. Doesn't matter, I'm sure it will still help."
Severus tried to untangle himself but Harry clung tighter.
"No don't leave me. Please don't. I don't think I can stand being alone. It's so dark...I don't want to go back. I can't...I can't...please Severus."
Severus rearranged the position they were in so that he could look into Harry's eyes. There was so much pain reflecting in the emerald surface that Severus began to wonder how much was entirely physical and how much was not.
"Harry what's wrong? Tell me so I can help you."
Harry shook his head although he winced at the pain and the nausea it caused.
"No. You don't understand. This is right. Being here is right," He said almost as if he was sorting through a mist of confusion in his mind. "I'm in the dungeon, in your quarters. The carpet is creme and you're here. It's about two in the morning and I'm here with you. That makes it right. I know where I am and what I'm doing. That makes it so much more right than anything else."
Severus became instantly confused and worried.
"Harry," he said softly, moving his hand so that he could cup the back of Harry's head through the nest of soft black hair. "Harry...have you been cutting again? Has the desire become too much? Tell me. I won't get angry. I need to understand what you mean."
"No. Not cutting anymore." Harry laid his head gently back unto where he had it before, nestled against his arm and Severus' neck. "I wouldn't without telling you. I don't want to cut anymore anyway."
"Then what is it? What has you so upset? You were acting quite normal throughout the entire day and all the days before that. What happened tonight?"
Harry shook his head again. "Not just tonight. I can't fight anymore."
But his soft words were muffled by his arm.
"What? What was that you said."
"No!" Harry returned to looking into Severus' eyes once more. "You shouldn't have to worry about me. I shouldn't even be here. You have so much to worry about and I should not be demanding time you don't have."
Severus' expression darkened. "I will decide what I do with my time, Harry. I dislike when you jump to conclusions, especially in situations like these."
"Don't be angry."
"I am not."
Severus firmly unwound himself from Harry's grasp but Harry made no sound of protest. Both stared stubbornly at each other until Severus finally pulled out his wand and levitated Harry length-wise unto the velvet couch.
Harry didn't think he could, even if he wanted to.
Severus left, then quickly returned with a vial of orange potion which he handed unceremoniously to Harry and stood towering and firm until Harry drank the entire thing.
Harry's headache immediately decreased to a dull throbbing around his scar and forehead.
"I feel...ill. For some reason I forget things now. It takes me a good ten seconds to remember what day it is about ten times a day. I honestly forget and that's frightening. I sleep more than I should at times as if I haven't slept in days and at other times I can't get my eyes to stay closed long enough to fall asleep. And then, there are all these...other things," Harry finally said when Severus remained looking at him expectantly.
"I thought that after I stopped cutting it would all go away and I would be better and for a little while it was. I mean I have lost the urge to self injure entirely and I don't get irrationally angry around Malfoy more than normal anymore, so I must have healed a little. Except that, these days, with everything else that has replaced it, I wonder. Did I heal or did I just get worse?"
Severus nodded at the confession. "I understand, but what you should remember is that stopping is only the second step. There are many more steps to go before you heal entirely."
"But what if I never heal? What if it swallows me whole."
Severus sat down behind Harry with a soft sigh. Harry adjusted his position so that his lower back was pressed against Severus' thigh and his head was resting on the crook of Severus' neck and shoulder.
"You are a Gryffindor and a Slytherin, Harry. You can survive this."
"But what if I don't Severus? What then."
"Then nothing," Severus replied softly. "You may not feel strong now, but you will be soon enough. There are many others who have survived Harry. You will be no exception."
'But I already am the exception Severus. I have Voldemort fighting me inside. He will not let me survive.'
Harry nodded despite his inner thoughts. "Alright, but you will be here for me, right? I still can come here and breathe, even though I don't self injure anymore?"
"Yes. You may always come here if you need," Severus replied in an uncharacteristic soft tone.
Harry laced his fingers through Severus' and wrapped himself in the warm embrace of both arms. Then he closed his eyes tightly and tried to convince himself to fall asleep, and that the darkness was all a lie, because with Severus he was safe and in Hogwarts, Voldemort could not hurt him.
When he finally fell asleep, Severus stayed awake to make sure that there were no nightmares to worry about. He sat in the semi-darkness with only the sound of Harry' steady breathing in his ear as he wondered what parts of the explanation Harry had ommited on purpose.
And some time during the night, he pulled Harry tighter into his arms.