Grazhir :: Harry Potter :: Snapshots: One Winged Angel :: The Conversation

The Conversation

Category: Discarded Scene

Notes: This was the original idea for the first “Occlumency” lesson with Severus. Obviously, I thought better of it once I got around to that point, and things went in an entirely different direction.


Without warning Snape asked, “Are those books proving to be useful, Potter?”

Harry looked up, startled. Snape was, to all outward appearances, deeply engrossed in the book before him. “That’s rather difficult to determine, sir, but I believe so. I arranged for a kind of test, and it seemed to work.”

Without raising his eyes Snape said, “Indeed. And has the headmaster invited you up for any friendly chats?”

“No, sir. The last time I spoke with him was at, er, the house. When he . . . suggested . . . a continuation of the lessons.”

“Mm.”

It was at least ten minutes later when Harry’s concentration was broken again, this time by Snape saying, “I would suggest you steer clear of the headmaster’s supply of sweets, Potter.”

“Sir?”

Snape looked up, his mouth twisting slightly before he said, “He has been known to lace them with various things, Potter. It would be unfortunate indeed if you were to unwittingly accept one that prompted you to be very honest.”

“Do you—all right, professor. Thank you for the advice.”

Snape narrowed his eyes, then said, “What is it?”

Harry shook his head. “It’s none of my business, sir.”

Snape snorted and looked back down. Another ten minutes passed, at which point he slammed his book shut and let out an exasperated snort. “Potter, why are you being so damnably respectful of late?”

Harry blinked in surprise and looked away for a second. “Because, sir. T—it was pointed out to me that if I’m trying to put the past behind me with one person, I should try to do the same with you. While it may not affect how we deal with each other, it is to my benefit to grow up in some respects. As I told—” Harry bit his lip and glanced at the ceiling. “I should treat you with the respect you deserve, and brush off what I cannot change. You do deserve respect for many things, and I shouldn’t ignore those things simply because we don’t get along.”

“I see. And if I continue to view you as an arrogant, spoiled, reckless waste of breath?”

“That’s your prerogative, sir.”

“Of course it is. I’m so very glad you realize that. So am I supposed to believe this isn’t all a ploy to get me to give you lessons again?”

Harry shrugged. “You will if you choose to, sir. And if you did, I would do my best to learn from you. But no, I don’t expect anything to change. I’m simply doing what I ought to, what I should have done from the beginning.”

“Is that so. Well then, I think you won’t object to answering some of my questions.”

Harry shrugged again. “I’ll answer what I can, sir.”

Snape sneered and laid his hands flat on his desk. “Did you steal boomslang skin from my office your second year?”

“No, sir.”

“Then who did?”

“I can’t answer that, sir. To do so would be to get someone else in trouble.”

“Why was it stolen?”

“Polyjuice potion, sir. And no, I wasn’t the one to make it, though I did use it.”

“And the gillyweed that was stolen from my supplies?”

“I didn’t steal that either, sir, though it was stolen for me as it turned out. I had not figured out how to manage the second task, but someone had, and made sure I had the gillyweed.”

“And I suppose giving me a straight answer would also get someone else in trouble.”

“Yes, sir, it would.”

“And if I used veritaserum to verify those answers?”

Harry shrugged a shoulder. “I’m sorry, sir, but I don’t exactly trust you at this point to stick to just those questions. I would have to decline.”

“You think you would have a choice in the matter?” Snape countered.

Harry smiled faintly. “Without consent? He would know what you’d done, sir. I’d make sure of it.”

Snape narrowed his eyes. “As if I couldn’t obliviate you. I think you’re bluffing, Potter.”

“Am I?” Harry was, in truth, beginning to get very nervous. He closed his eyes and sent out, :Tom?: He was very relieved when he heard an answer to his call.

:Is there something wrong, Harry?:

:Snape is—just look at my memories from the past half hour, okay?:

There was a moment of silence, then, :Are you sure?:

:Just do it!:

Eventually, though he had no objective way of knowing just how long it took, Harry heard a mental sigh. :I see. Harry, do I have your permission to borrow your body for a few minutes?:

“Problems, Potter? Can’t think of anything to get yourself out of this one?” asked Snape snidely.

:All right.:

He felt it then, like something was being poured into him. Harry opened his eyes, though it was Tom controlling his actions for the moment, and smiled. “Oh, he did think of something, Severus,” he heard himself say calmly, and not in his own voice. “And rightfully so, considering what he just allowed me to experience. So, you’ve been harboring notions of using force against Harry? Did you really think I wouldn’t find out what you’d done?”

Snape sat back quickly, then sneered. “An interesting little trick, Potter. Do you honestly think this will convince me of anything?”

Harry’s body rose to its feet, still smiling, then launched into several sentences in a language completely foreign to Harry.

Harry, merely a watcher, was surprised to see how quickly Snape’s face paled at whatever it was Tom had said.

“Convinced now, Severus?” he heard himself say.

“Yes.”

“Then I expect you will not be pressing this issue, or any others like it, ever again. I told you before that I would protect Harry, and I meant it. Do I make myself clear?”

“You do.”

“Splendid! Though, I think perhaps I may just lurk for a while. And perhaps you should come see me when you have a moment, hm? I’m sure we’ll have lots to talk about.”

“As you say.”

A moment later Harry felt a release of that odd pressure, though he could still sense Tom in his mind. :I think we’re all set now, Harry.:

:I think I’m glad you can actually do that, Tom.:

:Well, I never expected Severus to get . . . like that. I wonder why?:

:I told you he doesn’t like me.:

:Yes, well. With your permission, I will lurk as I said, at least until you are safely back in your rooms.:

:That’s fine. Of course, I was bored enough in here that I should have seen if you had time to talk earlier.:

:You can always check next time. If I’m not in the middle of something, then of course.:

:I don’t think he’ll try anything now, Tom. I have no idea what you said to convince him, but it worked. Now he’ll never know when you’re actually paying attention.:

:This is true, but I intend to at least try to find out what caused this.:

:You aren’t going to hurt him, are you?:

:Why, Harry, is that concern? I’ll behave myself, you have my word.:

:All right. He was being almost nice until. . . .:

Some time later—Harry had by then stopped noticing the odd looks he was getting from Snape—he was startled by the sound of a throat being cleared and looked up.

“Time is up, Potter. You may go.”

“Thank you, sir. I’ll see you next time, then.”

Snape muttered something he couldn’t quite catch as he quickly stowed his belongings and slipped out the door.