Loneliness

Chapter 8

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Fawkes the Phoenix let out a squawk as Severus entered the Headmaster's Chambers. Dumbledore was nowhere to be seen, so the Potions Master approached the fiery bird and gave it a little pat. He had received a summons by way of Patronus, so he knew Dumbledore wouldn't keep him waiting long. Sure enough, the door leading into the headmaster's private chambers opened shortly and Dumbledore appeared, draped in sparkling blue robes and carrying a thick, worn looking book.

'Thank you for coming Severus,' Dumbledore said, as he slid the book back into its place on the bookshelf behind his desk.

'A little light reading while you waited?' Snape quipped, somewhat mockingly. He was still angry with the old wizard following the conversation they had, right here in this very room, the night Harry Potter had arrived at Hogwarts.

'Indeed.' Dumbledore ignored the scorn behind the words.

'You wanted to see me?'

Dumbledore seated himself at his desk. 'I trust you have been keeping tabs on Harry like I asked.'

'You didn't ask anything,' Severus said, but took it no further than that. 'I have, however, been watching him very closely.'

'And what have you found?'

'He does not reveal much about himself. He is very guarded, especially for a child his age. I have found him to be quite intelligent though. He is quiet. Not a braggart, like his father, although he is very arrogant, his is a more subtle arrogance. He does not trust easily,' Snape turned to look straight at Dumbledore, 'which is understandable.'

Dumbledore titled his head ever so slightly, the only sign of his uneasiness. 'How so?'

'Do not think me a fool Dumbledore.'

'You used Legilimency on him,' Dumbledore said, matter of fact.

'You should have told me,' Snape said accusingly.

'And what would that have accomplished?'

Snape's emotions finally got the better of him and he exploded. 'Abuse is nothing to treat lightly! You sat back and did nothing while… while…'

'Harry,' Dumbledore said, 'his name is Harry. And I am well aware of what I did, or did not do.'

Snape took a deep breath. 'You promised me. You said he would be safe. You lied to me.'

'I did not,' Dumbledore protested. 'I had no reason to expect Harry would be treated so badly at the time, and you never asked, not once, how he was doing.'

'Save your justifications. You think he's a monster, and maybe you're right, but you're the one that left him with those… Muggles!' Snape spat out the last word. 'Who knows, if you had done something, we might not be in this situation!'

'Alas, we are.' Dumbledore held up his hands. 'Nothing I can say will erase what I have done. You may rant at me all night. I will sit and listen. Or we can move on and see if we can solve this problem.'

Snape sighed, and then turned his back to Dumbledore once again.

'Good,' the headmaster said. 'Did you perchance discover anything interesting when you used your Legilimency?'

'Like the fact that he's stealing from people?'

'I know. The boy is clever though. I had no real proof. I thought Veritaserum would be overdoing it at this stage.'

'Don't do anything,' Snape said. 'I don't want you anywhere near him. He's my student. I'll deal with it.'

'As you wish. Is there anything else?'

Snape thought about the one clear image he had gleaned from Harry Potter's mind – the mousy haired Muggleborn that had hit him like a stone the moment he had used Legilimency on the boy. He wasn't sure why the girl was of such interest to Potter, and as long as that was the case, he was certainly not going to tell Dumbledore about her.

And so, 'no,' he said, 'nothing.'

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