Chapter 25

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.

'You wished to see me Severus?' Dumbledore asked, entering his office from the door leading up to his private chambers. Snape was waiting in his usual spot by the fire, which lay dead for now.

'I did,' Snape said, turning to face the other wizard. 'I spoke with Potter this morning.'

'Indeed,' Dumbledore interrupted, 'as I did last night. Harry is very guarded. He did not tell me much, and I could tell he was uncomfortable with my line of questioning. However, he seemed sincere, as far as I could discern, when he spoke of not wanting to hurt anyone.'

'You questioned him?' Snape asked, sounding rather irate.

'Calm down, Severus,' Dumbledore said soothingly. 'It was hardly an interrogation. A few simple, harmless questions.'

Snape took a breath to relax.

'What did you wish to see me about?' Dumbledore probed.

'It would seem that a part of the Dark Lord has been living inside Potter, right under our noses, this whole time.'

Dumbledore clutched at the back of his chair and lowered his head. He sighed. 'I see.'

'Potter told me that ever since he could remember, he has had dreams, in which a snake, made of fire, talked to him. And he said, that sometimes, after having those dreams, he would wake up and everything would be on fire. Last night, he snake revealed itself to him, and claimed to be the Dark Lord. '

Dumbledore, still griping the chair, manoeuvred himself into the seat. 'This is disturbing news indeed.'

'What's more, Potter said the snake claimed to live both inside, and outside him.' Snape touched his arm, where Voldemort had branded him, almost unconsciously. 'The Dark Lord, however weak he may be, lingers in our world still.'

'As we feared.'

There was a moment of silent as both figures pondered this news.

'But, Albus, how can a part of the Dark Lord live within Potter?'

'I have a theory, but I would not care to share it yet,' Dumbledore answered. 'I must look into some things first. Is that all?'

Snape pursed his lips when Dumbledore refused to share his theory. 'There was one more thing he said. Something about a flaming green skull burning on the ceiling when he awoke. What do you suppose that means?'

Dumbledore looked thoughtful. 'It could mean many things. Perhaps Harry expelled the part of Voldemort that lived inside him? Though, we do not have enough information to confirm this.'

'That was my thought also,' Snape agreed.

'I will look into it. Thank you for bringing this news to me.' Dumbledore gestured to the door, a signal that this meeting was over.

Snape walked to the door, but stopped before it. 'The year is nearly over,' he said. 'Have you made your decision regarding Potter and his fate?'

'I am undecided. Despite my misgivings, the boy does show some promise. I assume you still think Harry should be spared?'

'I do,' Snape said firmly.

Dumbledore tapped his fingers on the table. 'Very well. Let us hope we do not regret this decision.'

'The boy will live?' Snape seemed surprised.

'The boy will live,' Dumbledore confirmed.

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