Chapter 11

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Harry was silently fuming when he arrived at the Potion Master's office in the dungeons. His hands balled into fists, his heart beating in his chest, hard like a drum. He took a nervous breath, not liking the feeling of someone getting the better of him, and then knocked on the door.

When Snape opened the door, he said not a word, but simple ushered Harry inside with a gesture. Once insider, Snape closed the door behind him and wandered over to his desk, upon which Harry's stolen objects had been laid out in a neat row.

Harry kept his outward composure, not going to allow Snape the satisfaction of seeing his fear. He had been caught. Somehow. His curiosity about exactly how he had been caught was overridden by the fear of expulsion. The death white walls of Waltham's mental hospital was all he could see, closing in around him once again.

'You have nothing to say?' Snape said, his voice a quiet monotone, giving away nothing.

Harry locked eyes with his head of house. 'Am I going to be expelled?'

'How would you feel if I said yes?'

Harry narrowed his eyes. 'I won't play your games. Either I'm expelled or not.'

Snape's face was blank like stone. 'You don't fool me boy. I'm not like the rest of them. I can see beyond your façade. I know you're afraid. And you should be. I could have you expelled, and trust me, that would not be good for you.'

Harry clenched his teeth. 'So what?'

'So you need to give me something,' Snape said. 'A reason not to do that.'

Harry was silent. He didn't know what to say. Specifically, he didn't know what Snape wanted him to say. If he did, he would have said it within an instant, whatever it was, to keep him here and away from those white walls.

When Snape saw that nothing was forthcoming, he pointed to the stolen items and said, 'why did you do it?'

'I dunno,' Harry said, honestly.

Snape finally showed some sign of humanity and pursed his lips. 'You don't know?'

'That's what I said. I dunno. I just do it.'

'If I took these to the Headmaster, he will expel you.'

'I know.'

'I'm not going to do that.'

Harry was only mildly surprised. Snape was hard to read, but he sensed something from the wizard, some connection - possibly to his parents. Snape had some interest in him, and wouldn't allow him to be expelled. That being said, he had not been certain if this was the case, at least before now. Now, he considered it to be confirmed.


'I have my reasons,' Snape said. 'But you need to return these items to the people they belong to. You don't have to do it in person. Return them stealthily if you like. Just make sure you do. And after that is done, never steal again. I don't care what you need to do to stop yourself, just do it. It serves no purpose. It is a pointless act. A useless rebellion that is not needed anymore. Stop it. Understand?'

Harry nodded.

'Say it.'

'Yes. I understand.'

Snape magicked the stolen goods into a little brown sack and held it out to Harry. 'You may go.'

Harry took the bag and went to leave. Snape stopped him at the door with a few last words.

'The Dark Lord was fond of theft as well.'

Harry froze. His hand, reaching for the door handle, shook. He clenched it into a tight fist. A few moments passed, then he relaxed and left, slamming the door behind him.

Harry stormed carelessly through the castle on his way to return the items to his hiding place, from which Snape had stolen them at some point during the last few days. How dare Snape compare him to the murderer that took his parents from him? He was not like that monster. He wasn't!

'I'm not. I'm not. I'm not like him.'

Harry didn't realise he was crying.

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