Harry awoke on Monday positively not ready to start the week. His scar was aching after another horrid vision of Voldemort’s Deatheater meeting. He would never repeat what he saw even one begged for him to reveal, but let’s just say his first was visit in the morning was to the bathroom to sick up. After he barely touched breakfast, making a disgusted expression, and ignoring Hermione’s motherly questions of whether he was alright. His anger flared at that and he left the Great Hall in a hurry. Of course he was not alright! Noseless-face has been using the Cruciatus curse on his followers – as well as brutally murdering muggles every day – and Harry was forced to watch. Not to mention Toad-face’s constant torturing sessions… Oh and obviously Dumbledore had to throw the Greasy Git into the mix! His occlumency sessions were almost as bad as Umbridge. Almost. Harry reached into his pocket to check his timetable: DADA first period. Just his luck.
He waited patiently outside of Snape’s office, having left dinner early. Hermione found out about the Toad’s detentions and was constantly pestering him to go and cry to McGonagall about it. Harry was yet to give in, and the Ron joined saying “mate, she’s right, you know” and he couldn’t help but throw the pumpkin juice in the ginger’s face. Yes, his anger was out of control, he knew. That is why Harry left the Great Hall without eating once again, and instead took a stroll through the empty areas of the castle. By the time he calmed he realised he had an occlumency lesson and not wanting to be late; he ended up at the Greasy Git’s office too early.
“Potter!” a voice boomed next to him and Harry jumped out of his skin.
“Merlin sir, can you not walk so silently?”
Snape merely scoffed “Honestly, Potter.” under his breath and let them in to the office. They originally had these lessons in the classroom, but after bruising himself on the stone tiles over and over, the Potions Master decided a bit of carpet under him couldn’t hurt. Harry took his usual seat while Snape stayed standing drawing his wand. Without a moment to settle, the Greasy Git was in his mind flipping through his memories of the past days. Suddenly, his breath caught as Snape halted the memory of his last detention with Umbridge.
“I have finished.” Harry spoke and placed the quill on the desk, “May I leave now?”
“That is Professor to you Mr Potter. I am your professor. Learn some manners boy.” the pink lady spoke without looking up from her tea. For a moment, he was reminded of the Dursleys calling him that same name, but he quickly shook the thought away.
“May I leave now Professor?”
“I see no improvement in your attitude Mr Potter.” she said as she took a look at the bloody page in front of him, “Perhaps another page, Mr Potter? Surely the message has yet to sink in.”
The memory vanished and the office in the dungeon returned. Harry’s eyes focused just in time to see Snape lunge at him. He had no time to move despite his trained instincts from learning to narrowly miss his aunt’s pans back at Privet Drive. Luckily, the potions master merely took his right hand and pushed the sleeve up. Not so luckily, that was where his scar from the Toad was and Snape grabbed his wrist tight not allowing Harry to yank it back. Waves and waves of ire were rolling off the man, and Harry almost cried out in fear.
"She dares?!" Snape spat, and Harry just stared.
After, the man dropped his hand and wet to his private stock of potions. He grabbed a blue coloured potion and returned to Harry kneeling next to him as he applied the substance to his hand. The silence was unbearable, and even worse, Snape was the one to break it.
“Have you talked to your Head of House?” he questioned somewhat calmly, which Harry found concerning and answered with a sheepish shake of his head, “Well, you should.”
With that they were back at the occlumency training. It wasn’t until the end of the session, when his oxygen intake seemed non-existent, that Snape spoke once more.
“You are to come here straight away after another detention with her, understood?”
Harry was sure Snape kept quiet about his torturous encounters with the pink toad, until McGonagall asked for him to stay behind after transfigurations. Ron attempted to stay behind to wait for him, but a swift glance from their Head made the ginger apologise and back out of the classroom. Harry sighed and made his way slowly to the front. McGonagall motioned him to follow through to her office where they took a seat, tea and biscuits laid out.
“I thought you knew Mr Potter that should you have any troubles while at Hogwarts, I am your first point of contact.” Harry winced at her disappointed tone and her cold gaze turned concerned, “Is it true Harry? Miss Granger came to see me last night but frankly I did not wish to believe it. It wasn’t until Professor Snape interrupted my breakfast that I thought it was something I needed to look into.”
Harry grudgingly stretched out his right arm and rolled up his sleeve. McGonagall gasped and he wondered what her reaction would have been to the inflamed scar before Snape treated it. She swore colourfully then glared at him and Harry understood; he was not to mention this encounter to anyone. The fiery lioness dismissed him with a promise to deal with the situation, after making him eat a few biscuits and drink two cups of tea.
Everyone in the DA was talking about the McGonagall vs Umbridge standdown. Some joked that the Gryffindor would take the Toad down in an instant should it come to duelling, while others were discussing what if the pink lady fought back. It was only the Golden Trio who did feel the need to laugh around, for having actually known what McGonagall meant by ‘medieval methods’. Harry’s hand went to cover the sentence on his skin as he entered, worried that somehow his peers knew to look there first. Luckily, a bit of a demonstration of his stag patronus quieted and distracted the crowd.
“The incantation is expecto patronum. Say it with me, expecto patronum.” their synchronized voices filled the room, “Now comes the hard part. You need to think of a really happy memory while casting.”
After various tries, half of the DA managed to cast a wisp of silver, and at least 10 people produced a corporal form. Harry counted that as success.
“Potter. What do you want?” the potions master snapped while tidying his desk, getting ready to leave for dinner. Harry took a deep breath. He could do this.
“I am unable to attend tonight’s session of remedial potions, Professor.” he blurted out, much less calmly he wanted. Behind him, a remaining Slytherin snorted but quickly left after he saw his Head look up furious.
Snape flicked his wand and the classroom door slammed closed. “Explain.”
“Erm, I have a detention with the Toa- I mean Professor Umbridge sir.” Harry flushed, and internally cursed himself while the man looked amused, “Professor Umbridge gave me a detention, sir, for tonight.” he tried again and saw realisation hit the potions master.
“Did you tell her you had a prior engagement?”
“I tried, but she wouldn’t listen!” Harry’s anger rose at the unfairness of the situation, “I didn’t even do anything this lesson, I swear! I stayed silent, didn’t backtalk when she belittled me and suggested Vold-“
“Don’t say his name.” Snape interrupted and Harry realised he was ranting. Not to mention he was ranting to the Greasy Git. He firmly shut his mouth and shrugged.
“Very well, Potter. I will see you after the detention. As you remember, you were supposed to come anyway should this situation arise.” With that, the door reopened wide, and the potions master exited with his robes flowing perfectly after him.
Harry wasn’t sure how long Snape sat like a statue his black eyes lit with fire. He had arrived from his ‘detention’ and found the man impatiently waiting for him with the Murtlap essence – as he now understood – ready to be used. No words were exchanged as the potion was rubbed into his skin, and neither after as the potions master seated himself and kept stock still. Eventually, the greasy black hair moved side to side as Snape shook his head and started the occlumency lesson.
He was admiring the scales on his beautiful snake when his beloved spy decided to show up. The man’s pale face was hidden by the curtain of black, as he kneeled at his master’s feet. He stared at him a moment longer and he felt a smile curl on his lips.
“You can stand, Severus. I understand you have news for me?” his voice sounded as of a strong leader. The man carefully stood, never once making eye contact. Of course, his spy knew him well.
“I do, my Lord. The Ministry Toad has taken it upon her to bring back punishments from the middle ages.” Severus spoke evenly, but an underlying tone of annoyance could be heard clearly, “She started using a Black Quill on Purebloods, my Lord.”
“My, my, Severus. You surely aren’t saying you came to me because you cannot stop her?” His spy’s eyes widened a fraction and he visibly shrunk.
“No, my Lord, of course not. I just thought you should be informed of her actions.” Severus bowed his head.
“Pity. I am in the need of someone to…punish.” His spy looked up alarmed, just the way he liked it.
“Crucio.” He flicked his wand and the man fell to the ground twitching.
Harry awoke in cold sweat. His breaths came out as pants as he rapidly searched for his Invisibility Cloak and left the dormitories. Snape was with Voldemort. Snape was tortured. Snape reported Umbridge. Harry’s mind spun with thought and he nearly ran right into the pink toad. He froze. Her back was to him, as she stood right before the school gates. Suddenly, a pop was heard as someone apparated by and the man of his nightmares strolled up the stairs.
“Ah Professor Snape! I was worried you were never to return from your quick errand. What a shame it would have been.” Umbridge squeaked into the silent corridor and blocked the man’s way, “Oh dear Professor. You look positively awful. Perhaps you should refrain from your nightly outings.”
“Move aside, Dolores.” Snape said through clenched teeth and Harry could see his shaking hand tightening his hold on his cloak.
“Oh professor! No need to be so cold. Surely, you can tell your High Inquisitor where you have been?” She really has a nerve, Harry thought watching the events fold out.
“Mov- High what?!” He saw the potions master was losing control and really wanted to see Umbridge get flattened. “You know what you are woman? A power-hungry harpy who believes torturing children will get them to obey superiors!”
Umbridge gasped, “As if you don’t use your Death Eater ways to deal with the brats!”
“You’re on probation!”
Harry’s jaw dropped. It was time to interfere. Taking his Invisibility cloak off, he quickly pushed the potions master aside to stand in the pink toad’s line of sight as she recovered. Snape stared at him in disbelief and Harry just motioned him to get out of there. Thankfully, the man understood and left into the shadows. Umbridge’s eyes refocused and she squinted at him.
“Mr Potter! What are you doing here after curfew?”
“Sleepwalking.” Harry was pretty sure he heard Snape snort in the background.
Kill the spare. The words echoed in Harry’s mind all day. Kill the spare. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Kill the spare. He wasn’t sure whether it was good or bad that there were no classes that day. Kill the spare. They could have been a good distraction, he supposed. Kill the spare. Though he doubted he could have concentrated. Kill the spare. Harry ended up leaving his friends in the common room and get some fresh air. Kill the spare. He actually ended up sitting near Hagrid’s hut. Kill the spare. The half giant was on leave for whatever reason Harry was not privy to. Kill the spare. It was quiet there. Kill the spare. Until he heard grass scrunching under black heavy boots. Kill the spare. Harry looked up to see the potions master walking towards him with a determined stance. Kill the spa-
“I am not sure what your intentions were yesterday, Potter, but I am inclined to tell you that…” Snape looked to be struggling to find the right words, “I’ll be waiting in my office with some Murtlap essence, when your detention is over.”
Harry stared after the man walking back to the castle. That was a ‘thank you’ he thought, and his face brightened. He helped Snape get away from Umbridge and Snape thanked him. Harry laid back on the grass, laughing aloud.