Chapter 1

The Dark Lord was on the move. Severus Snape felt the dark mark beckon him once more to his master’s side. Hurriedly, he moved through the corridors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, to alert Dumbledore to the calling.

Professor McGonagall ushered him through the portrait hole, and into the Headmaster’s study urgently; her expression even grimmer than usual.

The look on Dumbledore’s face told Snape that he already knew what was about to be said, and this was merely a final acknowledgement of the facts.

As Snape confirmed their worst fears, Dumbledore nodded gravely.

“What do we do now?” Snape asked.

“We do as Voldemort does, and rally our troops,” Dumbledore replied.

“Idiots and children against the Dark Lord?” Snape raged suddenly, “Do you really think we can win this armed with school children?”

“Severus, we have what we have, and must make the best use of it. Firstly, I think it’s time we both spoke to young Mr Potter.”

“Potter?” Snape frowned, “Why?”

“My dear Severus,” Dumbledore smiled enigmatically, “Young Harry is our secret weapon.”

Snape snorted derisively, “After his behaviour this past few years, he’s not much of a secret is he?” he sneered, “The Dark Lord has spent more time in Potter’s head than any Potion’s homework!”

Dumbledore chuckled, “Ah, but Mr Potter himself does not understand where his true power comes from.”

“And where would that be?”

“You,” Dumbledore smiled.

“Me?” Snape gasped.

“Only you, and I, know that it was the potion you developed with the lifeblood from yourself and James and Lily Potter, that allowed Harry to survive the original onslaught from Voldemort. After the attack, Harry was weakened by the death of his parents. However, he still retains his bond to you. Along with the residual magic he took from Voldemort that night, he is infused with a mixture of light and dark magic that is entirely unique. No other wizard alive has the same intrinsic power as young Mr Potter, but you are the catalyst for that power, either you, or Voldemort. We must make sure that it’s you, Severus.”

Snape sat down a little more sharply than he’d intended. A small house elf appeared at his elbow, and handed him a cup of steaming hot tea.

“I still have a few surprises left in store for Voldemort and his Death Eaters,” Dumbledore smiled, as he sipped his own tea, “But you and Mr Potter are by far the most important. The others can deal with the Death Eaters, but it is up to you and Harry to deal with Voldemort.”

“Headmaster, I...” Snape began.

Dumbledore held up his hand, and Snape fell silent. “We are all bound to this fate, Severus, and you are only too aware of this fact. I know that you and Harry have not always seen eye to eye during his years here.”

“He’s reckless!” Snape spat, “Reckless, and foolish. He disobeys orders, and he has his father’s arrogance.”

“We must put our past grievances behind us, and look to the future,” Dumbledore insisted, “Harry is a very gifted young wizard in his own right, and I’m sure that some could construe his recklessness as bravery.”

Snape snorted.

“But first,” Dumbledore swept his hand over the pensieve before him, “I think we need to talk to Mr Potter, and explain everything.”

Sitting sipping his tea, and trying not to look too perturbed by the idea of Harry Potter knowing his innermost thoughts, Snape waited nervously for a knock at the door.

“Come in, Harry,” Dumbledore called out.

The door opened, and a smiling Harry Potter wandered in. As he noticed Snape sitting in the high-backed chair, his smile disappeared.

“You wanted to see me, headmaster?” Harry asked, surreptitiously eyeing Snape.

“Yes, please sit down,” Dumbledore gestured to the chair that had miraculously appeared next to Professor Snape’s.

With an air of discomfort, Harry slipped into the chair, and waited.

“Harry, “Dumbledore leaned forwards, and steepled his fingers, “There are things about your past, that it is time you knew. We have waited until now, because to alert you to this knowledge too early, could have proven disastrous.”

Harry looked puzzled, and Snape couldn’t help but feel the smallest of twinges of sympathy. What the boy was about to find out, would change his whole outlook on so many things, and probably horrify him to boot.

He, and Harry had never seen eye-to-eye, and Snape had occasionally wondered if he’d been entirely fair over the years? Of course, he always came to the conclusion that he had, and that he’d done it all for the boys own good. However, to discover that you are inextricably bound to the one person you most dislike, and who dislikes you in equal measures, would be a shock to anyone.

Snape watched as Dumbledore explained everything. He saw the horror on Harry’s face, and was the recipient of several shocked and wary glances.

“ mean that, Professor Snape saved my life that night?” Harry stuttered.

“No, Potter, magic saved your life that night. Magic extracted from your parents, and myself, and channelled through you. When mixed with your own intrinsic, and uncontrolled magical abilities, it took The Dark Lord by surprise, which was why he was defeated,” Snape stated coldly.

“I, I don’t quite understand what this means?” Harry frowned, “What does this have to do with now?”

Snape sighed, “Yes, as I feared, your much vaunted intelligence is yet another figment of the popular press surrounding your miraculous and overblown life!”

“You’re the one who’s been lying for the last seven years!” Harry raged.

“How dare you!” Snape was on his feet, when Dumbledore swept them both silent with a flick of his hand, and a gentle smile.

“Sit down, Severus, please?” Dumbledore asked. “And Harry, Professor Snape was simply carrying out my orders. I instructed him not to tell you about the events of that time, in order to protect you.”

Harry’s eyes flashed resentment, and Snape sat reluctantly down, wishing for all the world that he could be somewhere else.

“It is a simple truth, that the two of you are linked by this powerful magic that was formed when the potion, and the exchange of power fused together,” Dumbledore explained, “Alas, I fear that you both must learn to put aside your petty differences, and try to understand each other, in order to reform this bond. Only with your combined effort, can we hope to defeat Voldemort when the time comes.”

Snape and Harry shot each other withering looks.

“You should both remember that the ultimate goal of your co-operation, is the defeat of an evil that could not only destroy our world, but also that of the Muggle folk. So much is at stake, gentlemen, I beg you to bury your misgivings about each other, and try to rekindle the understanding that lies within you both.”

“You ask a great deal, headmaster,” Snape said at last.

“Of that I am aware, Severus,” Dumbledore smiled, “And I know that it will be hard for both of you to look past your differences, and find your shared power. All I ask, is that you try, for all our sakes?”

Harry was staring at his hands, and Snape at the wall somewhere beyond Dumbledores head.

“I’ll try,” Harry said suddenly, in a small voice.

Swallowing his pride, Snape nodded curtly, “As will I,” he snapped.

Dumbledore smiled, “That is all I can ask from you both, your very best effort. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do, and a guest arriving shortly. I suggest that the two of you try to find common ground, before you wander into the unknown together?”

Both looking slightly confused, Snape and Harry stood up and left the room together.

“Potter, be in my chambers in ten minutes, we can try a few basic spells, maybe it will highlight this…this magical bond we appear to have?” Snape said awkwardly. Harry merely nodded, and scuttled away.

Snape closed his eyes, and sighed. This was looking to be a very bad day indeed.




Severus Snape could feel a Harry Potter shaped headache forming in his left temple. This was the most demanding and appalling of situations he’d ever faced. He never felt that he was genetically geared to deal with teenagers, especially those who felt themselves to be above mere rules.

They had been working at this all day, with no results beyond a teenage tantrum, and a venom-spitting contest, which had almost certainly been a draw.

Harry sulked quietly in the corner, slamming down books, and making dents in an old Snape family heirloom of a cauldron.

Suddenly there was a knock at the door.

“Come!” Snape snapped, hoping it was someone with a message stating that the war had been cancelled, and it had all been a huge mistake.

The creaky door swung open, and a head popped around it.

“Oh, Harry, there you are?”

Snape looked up, right into the eyes of Remus Lupin.

“Remus!” Harry yelled, and flew across the room, throwing his arms around Lupin, and hugging him tightly. “I wondered what had happened to you?” he said almost breathlessly, “I haven’t heard a word from you in months?”

“Oh, I’m sorry about that, Harry,” Lupin smiled, “But I was away on ‘important business’, you know how it is?”

Order of the Phoenix, business, Snape thought, but what could this wreck of a man possibly do when the time came? He knew just how weak Lupin’s lycanthropy was making him, and from the looks of him, it was getting worse.

“I understand,” Harry grinned, “I’ve missed you.”

“I’ve missed you too,” Lupin said with genuine affection.

“Oh please, if you two want to be alone, I can arrange to leave?” Snape sneered, feeling like the wicked stepfather all of a sudden.

Lupin’s face darkened, “Still as charming as ever, eh Severus?” he said tightly.

Harry glared at Snape, and Snape glared back.

“It’s time for lunch, why don’t we go up to the Gryffindor common room, there’s no one else around today, we can talk?” Harry said.

“Good idea,” Lupin replied, “That’s if you’re finished here?”

“Oh, I’m finished here, all right,” Harry replied with a growl.

“I expect you back here by two, there’s still work to be done,” Snape insisted.

Without a word, Harry walked out, and slammed the door.

Things were not going well, not at all well. No matter how he tried to connect with the boy, he seemed to push them further and further apart. What was it that Lupin had, that he did not?

Dumbledore had told him that Harry had spent the previous holiday with Lupin at Sirius Black’s old home, and he’d wondered, out loud, what on Earth possessed them to allow the boy to live with a werewolf?

Dumbledore had merely stated that ‘the werewolf’ loved the boy like a son, and felt that he owed it to Harry’s parents and godfather, to give the boy a little friendship and happiness.

Snape had insisted that it all sounded rather unhealthy to him, but since he had no say over Potter’s future, what did it matter what he thought?

Now Lupin was here, poking his lupine nose into things, and probably making them even worse at this very minute.

Snape slumped down into his chair, and held his head. It seemed beyond the very realms of credibility that he and Potter could come to any kind of an agreement, let alone reform a bond strong enough for them to channel through each other.

For his part, he’d done exactly what James Potter had asked, he’d watched the boy reach manhood intact and without losing limb or reason. What more could he do? What more should he do?

At five minutes to two, there was a soft rapping at the door, and Snape called for the person to enter.

Gingerly, Harry Potter crept into the room, and simply stood, watching as Snape mixed the brew that Dumbledore had just ordered.

“I…” Harry began, then he cleared his throat and spoke more clearly. “I’m sorry, Professor Snape.”

Snape’s head shot up, and he suspiciously looked around for other sniggering students lurking in the background, or maybe Lupin holding a wand to the boy’s head?


“I said, I’m sorry,” Harry repeated. “I do understand why we’re doing this, and I might have been a bit…well…juvenile about the whole thing so far?”

“Juvenile?” Snape repeated.

“Yes,” Harry’s gaze fell away, “You’ve always hated me so much, it’s hard to believe that all these years you’ve really been protecting me,” he explained. “Remus just explained a lot of things, about why you don’t like us, any of us, well, my dad and Sirius anyway, and that you have very good reason to mistrust us. I’m sorry, for everything. For the stuff my dad and Sirius did, and everything.”

Straightening up to his full height, Snape glared, “Mr Potter, it is not your place to apologise for your father, or for Sirius Black. Their sins are not yours. Anyway,” he said a little more softly, “Your father apologised himself, on the night…well, the last time I saw him. Sirius Black and I had personal issues that go back much further than their petty torments at Hogwarts, so please, feel no obligation to apologise on their behalf.”

Harry shrugged, “Okay, I’ll just apologise for me then. I’m sorry if I’ve acted like a stupid kid. It’s hard letting go of prejudices, no matter how pointless they are.”

Shocked by Harry’s words, Snape was momentarily speechless.

“Apology accepted,” he said at last.

Equally shocked, Harry looked up, and tentatively smiled. “Thank you.”

“However, we still have a great deal of work to do if we are to reform this bond that Dumbledore is so sure still exists between us,” Snape sighed.

“Why, why don’t we try getting to know each other a little better first, before we start trying to channel magic?” Harry suggested, “We’re so uncomfortable with each other, it’s really hard to ‘feel’ where you are, in a magical sense,” he finished hurriedly.

“And what do you suggest?” Snape asked, feeling more than a little apprehensive.

“I don’t know?” Harry thought for a moment, “Have you ever been fishing?”

“Fishing?” Snape asked.

“Yes, it’s a Muggle pastime.”

“Hardly,” Snape replied with a grimace.

“It’s very relaxing, and we could, I don’t know, talk.”

“We can talk here!”

Harry sighed, “Yes, but this is your room, and your environment. It can be a bit intimidating sometimes.”

Shifting uncomfortably, Snape huffed slightly, “Oh very well,” he mumbled.

“Great,” Harry replied, obviously trying hard to sound positive, and not entirely succeeding. “I’ll sort out a couple of rods, I’m sure Hagrid has some, and I’ll meet you down by the lake in an hour?”

“As you wish,” Snape didn’t look as Harry rushed from the room, but he let out the breath he was holding after the door clicked shut.

He had to give the boy credit for admitting his failings, and apologising. And at least he was making an attempt to patch up their distant and uneasy relationship. He wondered for a moment, what Lupin had said during lunch, to change Harry’s mind? Maybe, if he was so good, the werewolf could talk The Dark Lord into giving up, and save them all a lot of trouble? He realised at that moment, just how much resentment he held for Lupin, for no other reason than his easy, and comfortable relationship with Harry. If only he could find that middle ground with the boy, this whole sordid affair might feel a little less overwhelming?

Busying himself to finish off the potion for Dumbledore, Snape tried not to dread each grain of sand that fell through the timer on his desk.

‘Fishing’. He shuddered.



It was a pleasant day outside, though a little chilly. Snape headed for the lake at just before three, in the vain hopes that Harry had changed his mind, and run away from school, but the figure sitting hunched on a box in the distance crushed that particular idea.

He hadn’t really noticed before, just how ‘adult’ Harry was looking all of a sudden. Now almost at the end of his seventh year, he’d shot up in height, and now stood several inches taller than Snape was himself. Still lanky and youthful, his shoulders were filling out; thanks to too much Quidditch practice, and he’d grown his hair out slightly.

Snape couldn’t help but think how like James he looked now. It was probably the hair that did it. James Potter had always been frightfully vain about his shoulder-length hair, which was rough and unruly, but gave him an air of glamour that Snape never really understood.

Yes, Snape thought, Harry would be eighteen soon, and officially adult. His promise to James Potter would technically be at an end; that was, if they lived through the war that loomed overhead like a dark cloud.

Suddenly Harry looked up, and smiled. Snape almost looked behind him to see who the boy was smiling at, until he realised that the smile had been for him.

“I’m glad you came,” Harry said, gesturing to a box placed next to him, “Sit down, and I’ll show you how to cast off.”

Biting back an acerbic remark about turning up because he’d said he would, Snape sat down on the box and looked around.

“Now what?” he asked.

Harry handed him the rod, and showed him how to flick it towards the water. He copied the action, then frowned. “And?” he asked.

“Well, that’s it. We wait for the fish to bite,” Harry explained.

“You mean we just sit here, and do nothing?”

“Um, well, yes.”

Snape shook his head, “I always said that Muggles had entirely too much time on their hands,” he muttered.

Clearly ignoring the grumbling tone, Harry settled a blanket over his knees, and sighed, “So, Professor, what shall we talk about?” he asked.

“I have no idea?” Snape growled, “The definition of the word ‘tedium’?”

“How about…the night my parents died?” Harry said at last.

Snape almost dropped the rod in the water. He wasn’t expecting this quite so soon.

“What about it?” he asked at last.

“Tell me what you saw, what you felt.”

Closing his eyes for a moment, Snape wasn’t sure he wanted to relive those feelings. They had shaken him to his very core back then, and he wasn’t convinced that he could clearly put into words the emotions that he’d witnessed that night.

“Well, your father came to me and asked if I could supply a potion that might protect you from The Dark Lord’s powers. It was an impossible request, of course, wizards, fine, strong, adult wizards, were dying all over the place, unable to withstand his wrath, but Potter felt that I might have the answer,” Snape hissed sarcastically.

“Yes, but you did have the answer, didn’t you?” Harry said suddenly.

Snape stopped, and was momentarily silent, “It wasn’t quite that simple,” he stressed.

“But it was exceptional magic, though,” Harry replied, impressed, “I mean, it took Voldemort completely by surprise!”

Allowing himself a moment of unscheduled pride, Snape continued, “It was a theory, and you were the test subject,” he insisted, “Just remember, you could have turned into a dung beetle.”

Harry laughed, and suddenly Snape felt a little more relaxed.

“Professor, why did you help my dad? From how I understand it, he could have jeopardised your position by asking you for help?”

“Yes, that’s true, but I’m afraid the Potter family as a whole have never been too concerned with rules,” Snape said, but for the first time, he didn’t intend to be scathing, “He was afraid for you. He knew they’d been compromised, and their time was short. I think…” he stopped. Was this really the right thing to say to the boy?


“I think he knew that he and your mother would die, at that point, and he was desperate.”

“So why did you help him?” Harry asked, “You had no reason to? You didn’t even like each other?”

“Your father, for all his failings, was a very brave man,” Snape said quietly, “Like and dislike have nothing to do with it. Any man who stands his ground, and defends his beliefs when he knows that the odds are against him is to be commended.”

“But, why did you risk being weakened, by using your own lifeblood in the potion?” Harry asked suddenly, “I can understand my parents, they loved me, and wanted to protect me. I could have understood Sirius even…but why you?”

For a moment, Snape couldn’t think of an answer. It was the first time he’d ever really considered why he’d simply not just asked James Potter to provide three samples for the potion. It would have worked just as well had Sirius Black been the third, as it did with his own blood.

“Oh, well, we had no time,” he said quickly.

“Ugh,” Harry said suddenly, “I’ve just thought about what I drank that night,” he shuddered, “I think I feel sick!”

“I’ve seen you and Mr Weasley eat, Potter, I can assure you, you’ve ingested worse in your time here,” Snape said with an almost smile.

“So, how did it work, exactly?” Harry asked, when he’d finished grinning.

“To this day I’m not entirely sure,” Snape admitted, tugging on the fishing line aimlessly, “The aim was to provide a triumvate of power. If you’ve ever paid attention in class, you’ll know that three is a very powerful number in magic. The power of three wizards combined has been used for centuries to provide shields and barriers, used as a protection, but it has never been channelled through another person until that night. In theory, the power could have torn you apart, but it didn’t. Something within you channelled it, and turned it into a weapon. Possibly your intrinsic magical ability, since all magical children are born with this gene? We’ll probably never know, but as luck would have it, it did work.”

“But, you saw it,” Harry asked, “You saw it all happen?”

Snape sighed, “Not quite ‘saw’ it happen, more like I felt it happen to begin with. The initial pain was in my forehead, here,” he touched his head, and heard Harry gasp, “Yes, Mr Potter, exactly where your scar is. That pain disabled me, and I fell to the ground. Soon after that, I was assaulted by images, and pain, flashing green light and overwhelming emotion.”

“You felt when my parents died?”

“Yes. Somehow, I even knew which one of them was feeling the pain.”

Harry was quiet, and Snape wasn’t sure if he’d said too much.

“My dad died first, right?”


“Then my mom died trying to save me.”

“All I know is that you were in her arms when ‘he’ broke into the room. I could hear her begging for him to spare you, and I could feel her fear. When he…once you were alone, I did everything I could to provide protection. I used incantations, but you were a long way away, and even though by then I could see you in my mind, maybe even see through your eyes, there was little I could physically do to stop him from killing you.”

“So, what happened?” Harry asked.

Snape took a breath; this was the part that was hard to explain. “When your mother died, she left behind an…’emotional’ surge. It was tremendously powerful, but then I suppose love usually is. So I ‘collected’ it and threw it back at you, coupled with the last strength I had from the triumverate potion, it caused a huge surge of power to be channelled through you. With your natural ability, it took The Dark Lord by surprise, and it ‘shattered’ him.”


“Yes, that’s what I saw. It was like watching a mirror break into a million small shards, but each one still reflecting something. Something dark and fathomless.” Snape suddenly became lost in the memory.

“Are you all right, Professor?” Harry’s voice said suddenly.

“Yes, Potter, fine,” Snape snapped back to reality.

“I’m sorry, I suppose I didn’t realise that it must have been painful for you too?”

Snape shook himself, “It’s necessary that you know this,” he explained, “If we are to develop this ‘bond’ into any kind of a weapon, you must understand what it contains. I will not lie, and say that this is comfortable for me, but I’m sure that it’s just as uncomfortable for you,” he explained.

“It’s a little weird,” Harry admitted.

Glancing over at Harry, Snape sighed, “Alas, Mr Potter, we cannot always choose our allies in war, and they are often not our friends, or even those we would prefer to spend time with.”

Harry’s face darkened, “Peter Pettigrew was my dad’s friend, that didn’t stop him betraying them.”

“Pettigrew will get what’s coming to him,” Snape snarled.

“Professor…” Harry said unsurely, “Why did you betray Voldemort?”

The question almost knocked the breath from Snape’s lungs, “Because it was the right thing to do,” he said quickly, but he knew that there was so much more to it than that. When Harry said nothing, Snape took a breath, and decided that maybe he should try to explain it all.

“You should understand how this all began,” he said, “Tom Riddle had been the finest Slytherin student since Salazar Slytherin had given his name to the house. He was a natural, but he was also not a pureblood. He had a theory that you could ‘cleanse’ dirty blood from a wizard by actions and thoughts alone, which is what he spent many years doing. There have always been, and I suspect will always be, wizards from pureblood families, who feel that allowing Muggle-borns into Hogwarts dilutes the natural talents, and abilities of wizard kind. It is, of course, utter nonsense, since we are all the same race, and magical ability is simply a matter of genetics, just as eye colour is, but prejudice, as you’ve pointed out yourself, is not built upon reason, but upon emotion.

When people are unkind to you, you find a reason to hate them, even if it is an unreasonable reason. When I attended Hogwarts, I grew to resent the Muggle-born students, just as Mister Malfoy does today, because they were different, and because I had been educated to believe that they somehow were worth less.

When you start off in life with this belief, it is easy to then see the object of your prejudice as less than human. When one holds this view, it becomes more acceptable to hurt, and injure without recompense or guilt.”

By now, Harry was watching Snape very carefully, totally wrapped up in his words.

“Ignorance should never be an acceptable excuse for evil, Mr Potter, that was a lesson I learned very quickly, and painfully. When I finally came to my senses, I saw The Dark Lord for what he really was; not an inspiring leader, but a vicious bully who fuelled his own needs and desires with the blood of innocents. I returned to Hogwarts, and sought out Professor Dumbledore. I still had the blood on my hands…”

Snape suddenly became distant, as the worst memories of his life flooded back.

“Blood, whose blood?” Harry asked.

Snape turned and looked at Harry, overcome with the horrors of his past, “That is a story for another time, Mr Potter,” he said with a strained voice, “Needless to say, I saw the error of my ways, and I pledged myself to Dumbledore’s cause. Since I had no ties to anyone involved, and was openly hostile towards most of the people opposing The Dark Lord, I was never suspected. Very few people knew that I’d returned to Dumbledore’s side until the very end, and even then, the knowledge was shared by only a handful of people.”

“Like my Dad?”

“Yes, Mr Potter. Your father, and Remus Lupin being the only two that I was aware of at the time.”

“Remus?” Harry gasped.

“It was one of the reasons that Sirius Black suspected Lupin was the traitor, because he’d caught him speaking to me. Lupin was sworn to secrecy, and couldn’t even tell Black why we were having such a covert conversation.”

“So that was it?” Harry said with open-mouthed amazement. “I always wondered what it was that made Sirius suspect Remus?”

“Yes, well, they always did have such a ‘unique’ relationship,” Snape sneered, before realising what he’d said, and to whom. He shot Harry a slightly embarrassed sideways glance.

“What does that mean?” Harry asked.

“Nothing,” Snape replied quickly. “As I was saying, I discovered that I could move quite freely amongst the Dark Lord’s people without raising suspicion. It proved to be very useful, to be so invisible to one’s peers.”

“It must have been a very frightening time, never knowing who you could trust?” Harry said with a slight shiver.

“Trust is always a dangerous thing, you should be very careful to whom you pledge allegiance, and to whom you swear friendship.”

Harry looked over at Snape, “That sounds like a really lonely way to live, never trusting anyone?” he said sadly

“Yes, Mr Potter,” Snape said with a hint of bitterness, “Your parents thought so too.”

Harry looked away, and for the first time, Snape felt a small twinge of guilt at being so forthright.

“My apologies, Mr Potter, I meant no offence,” he mumbled, fully expecting a stinging retort.

Instead, Harry shrugged, and shook his head sadly. “No need to apologise, you’re right,” he said.

Feeling that maybe it was time to leave the subject until another day, Snape lifted the fishing line from the water, and studied it.

“Is this supposed to do something?” he asked.

A smile crept across Harry’s face. “Well, not really. I’ve never actually seen a Muggle catch a fish this way, but I’m assured that they do.”

“What other pointless pursuits have your Muggle kin tortured you with these past years, Mr Potter, do enthral me with your knowledge of inane pastimes?”

Harry thought for a moment, “Have you ever played ‘dominoes’?” he asked.



Later that afternoon, Snape and Harry returned, fishless, to the castle, and Snape agreed that Harry could leave early to spend some time with Lupin.

As he was walking out of the dungeon, Harry stopped, and turned around. He seemed hesitant and unsure, but determined to say something.

“Was there something you wished to say, Mr Potter?” Snape asked.

“Erm, well, I suppose I just wanted to say that…well…I rather enjoyed this afternoon,” Harry replied.

“Oh?” Snape’s mouth opened and then closed again. He was quite at a loss for words.

“I just wanted to say that,” Harry blushed slightly, and closed the door behind him.

Sitting down in the armchair, Snape poured himself a cup of Tanglewort tea, and sipped it slowly. Maybe the afternoon hadn’t gone so badly after all?  He and Potter had parted without yelling at each other, and even though he hadn’t said it, he’d quite enjoyed the afternoon himself.

Maybe it was time he took his own advice and tried to look past his petty prejudices, to see the boy, no, the young man who is actually trying to make this work, rather than the irritating child who had been the bane of his existence these past years at Hogwarts?

There was so much at stake, The Dark Lord was on the move, and this time he’d be prepared.

Snape looked down at his hands; if he tried, he could still see his lovers blood dripping from his fingers. No one knew that he and Regulus Black were lovers, not even Voldemort, but somehow Sirius had discovered their secret quite early in their relationship. The hatred that existed between them was based upon Sirius’ prejudice against his brother being involved with someone as lowly as Snape. For all his protestations, Sirius was as bigoted as the rest of his family. Oh, he loved his Muggle born friends, and he’d have died for them, but he hated the thought of his brother loving someone from a poor wizarding family.

Snape rested his head on the back of his chair, and sighed; he needed to leave the past behind if he was to make the necessary connection to Harry Potter.

Regulus, Sirius, and James, must all be put aside so that he might clear his mind.

Today, he’d taken the first step.