Loneliness

Chapter 18

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling. Blah blah blah. should just put a blanket disclaimer on the site for all the idiots that could possibly believe we actually own these stories or make any kind of a profit.


Harry wasn't sure what number detention this was. He'd lost track after the second week, and hadn't bothered counting since then. Instead he sat behind the desk, mindlessly copying out directions for potions from the book Snape had given him. It was mind numbingly boring, which was probably the point. From the front of the classroom, Snape hovered around one of his many, many potions cabinets, idly sorting stock. The Potions Master would occasionally glance in his direction, his eyes searching, but Harry always had his head down.

This was the routine these two stubborn individuals had adopted.

Until now, it had not been broken once. Each detention was the same. Harry arrived, collected the book left conveniently on Snape's desk, and returned to the exact same table every day to endlessly copy notes, head bent down for the duration. Not one word had been said between them after the first detention, except for when Snape would dismiss him, and Harry would leave, massaging his stiff neck.

Today was different. Today was the day Harry couldn't focus on the wrist aching notation, and finally snapped. It had been boiling slowly for weeks now, rising closer to the surface every day, and he couldn't take it any longer. Harry had to know what Snape was doing, why he kept watching him, why he had so severely punished him.

Harry stood, knocking his stool over, and slapped his quill down smartly on the table, making a loud thump and clatter in the dungeon room as the stool rolled backwards. 'What is your problem!?' The words burst out of him loudly, echoing. Snape froze with his back to Harry, tense.

'I'm talking to you,' Harry said; quiet now, assured that he had the older wizards attention. 'Do you think I'm blind? I see you watching me. All the time. You have something you want to say to me? Do you?'

Snape was silent.

'I know you were in the same year as my parents. Did you know them?'

At the mention of Harry's parents, Snape's back became even tenser, and he lowered his head as if under a giant weight.

'Talk to me!'

'Get out.' The words were so soft Harry wasn't sure he had heard correctly.

'What?'

'Get out!' This time Snape shouted, whirling around and gesturing emphatically towards the door.

Harry took a step back in surprise, his body tightening in anticipation of attack. When none seemed to come, he eased only slightly and stared right into Snape's narrowed eyes. 'No.'

Snape reached into his robe and grasped what Harry could only guess was his wand. 'Get out, now!'

Harry blinked, taking in the situation. Snape's threatening gesture seemed to indicate he was deathly serious about his words, but was he bluffing? Harry could not tell and didn't want to take the chance that the professor was. Decided, he sighed and grabbed his bag from under the desk.

'Fine,' he said, as he made his way towards the door.

'Do not come back.'

Harry paused at the door, surprised at those words, and at pain in the other wizard's voice. He glanced back to see that Snape had once again turned his back to him. Shaking his head in confusion, Harry left.

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