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The Tortured Soul by purpleygirl [Reviews - 0]

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'No way!' cried Ron. 'I'm not letting them get away with that. They scared the hell out of … er … those first-years.' His expression shifted from angry to embarrassed before he recovered. 'And,' he added hastily, 'we can get them back, can't we, Harry, mate?' He grinned and put an arm around Harry's shoulder.

Harry shrugged him off.

'Aw, come on. It'll be fun. It'll be the opposite of what they did – they've got Headless Hats, we've got … er … a Torso-less Cloak,' he ended lamely.

'Oh, I get it.' Ron's excitement was doing nothing to halt Harry's growing irritation. 'You want to use the Cloak to scare Fred and George with a floating head? That's pretty childish, Ron.' He picked up his pace down the corridor. 'There's more important uses for an Invisibility Cloak than silly things like that.'

Ron was staring at him as if he had just Transfigured into a toad. 'What's up with you? OK, just lend it me then. I'm getting them back if it's the last thing I do.'


'Why not?'

'Look!' He met Ron's stare. 'I don't have it any more. OK?' He turned away angrily.

'What do you mean you don't have it any more?' asked Ron slowly. 'Where is it?'

Harry didn't reply straight away, but Ron clearly wasn't going to give up. 'I gave it to my dad … Prongs,' he belatedly corrected himself.

'You saw him?'

'No, I … I gave it to … to Snape.'

He was afraid he would have to repeat himself, he had said it so quietly. Consequently, he hadn't had the chance to brace himself when Ron shouted in his ear.

'You did WHAT?'

Harry turned his reddening face on the curious glances being thrown at them as everyone made their way to the next classes.

'Of all the crazy things… D'you really think that git's gonna give it to your dad? You're nuts.'

Blood was rushing to Harry's head. 'Yeah? Nuts for wanting my dad safe? Nuts for taking the chance – and anyway, what do I lose even if he doesn't give it to him? A stupid kids' toy, that's all it is here with me. At least I'll have tried.'

'Snape'll just use it for himself. That what you want?'

'It's all right for you,' said Harry, his patience slipping away. 'You know your dad's safe! I don't know anything … no one tells me anything!'

'And that's another thing,' said Ron, apparently undeterred by Harry's rising voice. 'How come you've heard nothing from him yet? No letter or anything. You'd think—'

'Yeah,' Harry cut in. 'I suppose you're gonna say Snape won't let anything through. Been chucking his letters on the fire? Well, maybe it's because he doesn't want to contact me. How about that?'

He immediately regretted the remark. He had not told Ron or Hermione anything of what Snape had said about James losing all memory of his past and his family. He had not dared to listen to the niggling thought that had been forming since then. He could not blame his dad if he did not want to remember his past, what he had lost, what he had believed was lost – perhaps it made it easier for him to do what he had to do now, to pretend to Voldemort, after what he had done to his family, that he was on his side – it did not make it any easier for Harry.

'Don't be thick,' said Ron.

Thankful that Ron had not taken him seriously, he released a deep breath that took with it some of his frustration. 'Forget it,' he said. 'Come on, we've got classes to get to, and Hermione'll nag us if we're late.'

He was relieved to see Ron's worried expression change subtly at the thought of the impending scolding.

And he was glad Ron didn't bring the subject up again all day, and seemed to have forgotten the whole episode. He didn't feel in any mood to argue while trying to practise Occlumency during classes and breaks. And he was even happier when Ron said nothing to Hermione about it. Another argument with her would be even worse than one with Ron.

But he did regret handing the Invisibility Cloak to Snape. Once he had thought of giving it to his dad, he had wanted him to have it straight away. Why couldn't he have waited a few more days? Monday had seemed to come around again faster than he had imagined it would. He'd had all weekend to take in just what a stupid idea it had been to give it to Snape to pass on.

In the evening, Snape gave no indication he had done so yet. Harry did not dare to ask. It was difficult to deflect Snape's Legilimency spells with it on his mind. His head was pounding again. As Snape withdrew, he clutched his scar. His hand was damp with sweat.

'Poor effort today, Potter. I hope you're not using a little headache as an excuse?'

'No, I'm not. It hurts more when I practise.'

Snape had gone quiet. Harry looked up – or rather squinted as much as his throbbing head would allow – to see Snape had narrowed his eyes. 'Explain.'

'It's just the scar.'

Snape paused. 'When?'

'When I practise.'

'So –' Snape drew a finger over his thin mouth as he studied him, '– so before sleep?'

'And in classes.'

Snape stopped. 'What classes?'

'All of them.' Harry shuffled to a chair. His head eased a little as he sat. At least his eye sockets weren't on fire any more – he was thankful for once Snape's office was as gloomy as it was.

He felt Snape's gaze flitting over him. 'When else do you practise?'

Harry shrugged. 'At meals. In between classes.'

Snape was staring openly. 'When do you not practise?'

Harry stayed silent. It was clear from the way Snape was glaring at him as though he were doing something wrong that he was gearing up for a petty argument.

'You expect me to believe you are doing all this, when last term you did nothing?'

Harry didn't care what Snape did or did not believe. 'It's important. That's what you said before Christmas.'

'It has been important from the start. Nothing has changed.'

'You said Voldemort could read my mind – he could find out about my dad through me.'

'Do not say the Dark Lord's name! The pain in your head should be warning enough!'

Harry glared back as he waited for Snape to calm down.

'Your head must not hurt all the time, because you would stop.'

'No –' Already Harry was feeling the first twinges of reflexive anger Snape usually inspired in him. 'No, I don't – because it's important.'

Snape looked dubious. 'So let's see if I have this right. You practise all day, morning, afternoon and every night before sleep. And your head hurts each time. And you carry on?'

'Yeah.' Harry held his cynical gaze. He resented the continuing insistence he was lying, particularly about this, and especially coming from Snape. 'Yeah, I do.'

'Even supposing this is true –' He ignored Harry's glare '– did it not occur to you how foolish it is to test your link to the Dark Lord?'

'Isn't that the whole point of it? To stop him using the link?'

'You're overdoing it, Potter. Far too much.'

'How can I overdo it? It was you who told me to practise. Now you're saying it's too much?' Snape was obviously trying to make a big deal of it as an excuse to give him a hard time. 'Can't you make up your mind?'

'Is it that which hurts the most?' Snape's eyes were boring into his scar as if it was about to spring to life.

'How can I be overdoing it?' Harry repeated, as much as anything in an effort to ignore the creepy way Snape was staring at his head.

But silence had descended. Harry wondered if Snape had heard him. He had emptied his gaze, and for a few long moments it remained that way. Eventually he said as though coming to a decision, 'It seems the link you share with the Dark Lord is having adverse effects when you attempt to close your mind so frequently. Besides the adverse effects on your concentration in classes,' he added with a glare. He frowned. 'Your age may also be a factor – your mind is young and vulnerable. You simply do not need to practise so deeply and so often.' His mouth twisted into a sneer. 'Why is it from one extreme to another with you, Potter?'

'Because I don't want Voldemort to know what I'm thinking!'

'I told you not to speak his name!' he spat through yellow teeth. 'Now – as for the possibility of the Dark Lord knowing your thoughts – I don't believe it exists.'

Harry sat up. 'Why? You said before that—'

'I'm aware of what I said.' Snape regarded him calmly. 'However, some information has since come to light that gives me reason to believe he cannot know your thoughts.'

'What reason? How do you know he can't?'

'It is enough that I know.'

It was clear Snape would not explain, no matter how many times Harry asked. He felt himself tense up again. Why didn't anyone tell him anything?

'Besides,' Snape went on, 'what is there in your brain the Dark Lord could find so useful? Please – enlighten me on what could be so devastating if he discovered it in the … depths … of your mind.'

'Weren't you listening?' Harry was gripping the seat of his chair. No one seemed to listen to him any more. Dumbledore was away at the Ministry all the time trying to convince them of Voldemort's return. Lupin always had somewhere else to be when he saw him at the Castle. And they had refused to let him into the Order. 'I told you – I don't want Voldemort to find out about my dad. I don't want him to find out he's risking his life to spy for us.'

He thought Snape would pull him up on the name again. But then his black eyes narrowed and his lip began to curl. 'I see,' he said at last. 'First that … parcel. And now this. I've already made it plain. There will be no meetings, no letters – so I suggest you give up this childish attention-seeking.'

'Don't you get it?' Harry shouted, his anger getting the better of him. 'I'm not doing this to get his attention!'

'Do not raise your voice to me, unless you want Gryffindor in negative figures this year.'

'I don't care about stupid bloody points.'

'Ten points from Gryffindor for foul language.'

Harry stared at a corner of the table. If it were not for all the practice he was doing outside their lessons, he knew he would have found it almost impossible to put aside his hate enough to repel as much of Snape's Legilimency as he was managing to do. He turned his indignation back to him. 'Haven't you ever wanted to do whatever you could to make sure someone you cared about was safe?'

Snape's face was like stone. When he spoke his voice was almost a whisper. 'You are to stop this. Only fools wear their hearts proudly on their sleeves. You are handing yourself over to be crushed like a fly.'

'But I know it's working!'

'SILENCE! You will listen to me!' He seemed suddenly consumed with fury, his face contorted like a crazed animal. But Harry's anger permitted only fleeting shock. 'You are not to continue with these attempts beyond what you were told.'

Harry made himself take several breaths before speaking. 'Fine,' he said between gritted teeth. He met Snape's rage; he had no intention of discontinuing anything.

'By next week,' said Snape when he had composed himself, 'I want you in a better position to resist me properly. As you are now, you are utterly useless.'

Harry stood to leave; together with the pain in his head, the frustration and anger he had been building toward Snape seemed to propel him from the chair.

'Do only what I told you to do,' he heard Snape say as he left. 'Clear your mind every night before sleep and no more, you understand?'

Harry understood all right. He understood they all thought he was still just a kid trying to get attention. Nobody ever took him seriously in his efforts to be a responsible adult. He had never been able to drive back Snape's attempts to get further into his head as much as he was lately, and it was rare he found himself reacting reflexively with Stinging Hexes and the like as he had done at the start.

He would not stop now, when he was achieving so much. They would see he was no longer the kid they believed him to be.


He rarely had breakfast, and he had not seen Potter at lunch. But at dinner Snape scanned the Gryffindor table, and spotted the full dream team halfway down its length.

There was Ronald Weasley chatting with the know-it-all Miss Granger; and next to Weasley sat Potter, contemplating his food. If the boy was not meditating on his steak, he had better be ruminating on what new levels of greatness he had reached today. Because otherwise, he was plainly trying to do exactly what he had been warned not to.

Miss Granger had turned to draw him in to the chat. She looked annoyed to find he was not listening to her; a well-placed elbow signalled her irritation. Potter flinched. And it was cartoon-like in its exaggeration. Miss Granger's face burned red while Potter fumbled across plates to retrieve the fork that had leapt clean out of his hand. He was saved by a wave of mirth as Lavender Brown pulled globs of his mash from her hair.

Snape looked to his side as he made a move with his own fork. Everyone at the staff table was engrossed in talk or their meals. If things carried on as they were, though, it would only be a matter of time.

Just the other day Dumbledore had asked him in passing to try not to overwork the boy. He had dismissed the remark. Potter was no packhorse. But after the boy's little admission yesterday, he was beginning to understand. Clearly one or other teacher had been speaking to the Headmaster.

'I hope you aren't giving Potter too much work to do, Severus,' said Minerva next to him. Flitwick had quit her side, leaving her deprived of conversation. 'The poor boy has enough on his plate.'

'Yes, I imagine being a celebrity is a full-time occupation.'

'I am Head of his House, Severus – and I've received expressions of concern. Potter has been noticeably distant in classes, even visibly in pain.' She turned her gaze down the hall with a frown. 'Even now he doesn't appear altogether present. Does this have anything to do with the private lessons you're giving him?'

'Potter has to learn.'

'Not at the expense of his schoolwork. It doesn't matter how good an Occlumens you are if you can't even Transfigure your way out of a jam.'

'I've told him not to overdo it. He is insistent.'

'Well, he must be commended at least for putting so much effort in. I wish he showed the same enthusiasm for the rest of his education. But you must try harder to convince him. I'm sure Dumbledore would agree.'

Snape caught the hint. Mercifully Dumbledore was away at the Ministry again. 'Regrettably,' he said, forcing his voice to reassurance, 'I did not learn he was going to such lengths until just recently. He must have misunderstood my original instructions. I have set him straight, but of course it will take him a little time to shake off the habit. Meanwhile, I shall continue to keep an eye on him.' That was exactly what he now had to start doing, he realised as he stared down the Gryffindor table.

'So shall I,' said Minerva, and she took her leave.

He watched Potter continue to take in slow forkfuls of food. If news of the levels of his idiocy reached Dumbledore, the Headmaster might take matters into his own hands – he might take Potter's attention-seeking seriously and try to persuade himself the boy should know the full truth about his father. Snape worked his food as he looked on. The one thing he had learned from his recent audience with the Dark Lord was that he believed completely that Potter knew everything. If the Dark Lord could really intrude into the boy's mind at will, he would have discovered otherwise long ago. Plainly, then, though some Occlumency was warranted as a precaution against their curious link, these excesses were entirely not.

He could not deny that he himself had years ago found a deeper satisfaction in Occlumency as he had practised more strictly and increased his skill in the art. He had triumphed over the emotions that had tried to take hold of him.

But Potter was younger than he had been then, and there had been no magical link to the Dark Lord to cause complications.

Of course, the boy believed he knew best, just like his father. He would end this stupidity soon enough on realising his pathetic exhibitionism was getting him nowhere, when he understood his dear fatuous father would not be rushing to his side to congratulate him for such asinine behaviour. But another trait of his father was stubbornness in his self-assuredness, right to the end. Snape could not wait until then. He needed to keep this from Dumbledore. He needed to make the boy see sense.

The others around Potter were leaving the table. Potter reluctantly got up; he had barely made an impression on his plate, from what Snape could see. Was the boy so arrogant as to believe he could make great strides in Occlumency on an empty stomach? He concentrated his stare on Potter's unreadable expression as the boy trailed after his chattering friends. He would not dare to do something so reckless in his class – would he?

The next morning he got his answer.

When he knew Potter thought he was not looking, he glanced up from the mess in Longbottom's cauldron, and caught him plainly at it. His brainless friends had not noticed a thing. Or perhaps they were used to the thin sheen of sweat on Potter's forehead and the vacant gaze.


He turned his wrath toward the source of the small voice and saw Longbottom's eyes widening with terror under his glare. He sent it to the boy's supposed Befuddlement Draught. 'Get rid of it, Longbottom. I wouldn't give that shambles to a toad.' The boy made a sound like a whimper and dropped his wand in his haste to clear the potion before his absurd pet could be made to suffer the effects of his handiwork.

Snape returned his attention to Potter – who quickly averted his gaze – and as he did a spasm seemed to run through him. His eyes screwed shut and his hand flew halfway to his head, before he stopped it and forced it down.

Snape strode across. 'No marks again, then, Potter,' he said as the fumes from the wretched potion reached his nostrils. 'Evanesco.' He breathed in the freshening air over the emptied cauldron. 'Feeling ill, Potter?' He held the boy's sheepish gaze for a moment, making sure he registered his disapproval. 'Hardly surprising, with that abominable stench you managed to create.' Some sniggering broke out behind him, and Potter reddened. Snape turned to the class. 'Settle down, everyone. The properties of Befuddlement Draughts and Confusing Concoctions,' he said as he made his way to the front, 'often come up at Ordinary Wizarding Level. I want an essay from each of you detailing the composition, the effects and what you did right today –' he looked around at Longbottom '– and wrong.' Longbottom dropped his eyes. 'And why. To be handed in the next lesson.' He ignored the collective groan. 'Bottle and label your potions and bring them forward. Clear your places before you leave.'

He took his seat and looked beyond the flurry of students and through the first hasty deposits on his desk. Over the growing line of glass vials misty from still-hot potions, he saw Potter leaning on his schoolbag, appearing for all the world as though he was about to take a nap in his class.

Potter had already earned a detention – he would take great care to shake the boy's arrogance from him fully this time.

He considered the finer points beneath the prattle and the clink of glass as he looked on through the steady movement around him, until he became conscious of a stationary figure at its edge. Draco had placed his potion alongside the others, and was now gazing at him with a curious expression. 'Is there a problem, Mr Malfoy?'

Draco blinked, appearing to have only just realised he had met his eyes. 'No, sir.' He smiled. 'No problem at all.'

He returned to his desk, and Snape watched him clear it. His smile had reminded him of one of Lucius's disquieting smirks. The boy seemed to be becoming more and more like his father every day.

Which reminded him.

'Potter! Stay behind.'


It was the same gloomy, mouldy room of Harry's recent dreams. He turned to his right as usual and saw the door ajar.

Pushing carefully so it did not creak on its rusty hinges, he took two tentative steps through the doorway and into the empty corridor. The dιcor was just the same here – peeling greenish-grey wallpaper above musty wainscoting. And just as in the room behind him, a weak light was straining to reach the dirt gathered at the wall and lining the floorboards.

There were muffled voices coming from somewhere down the corridor. Harry was moving toward them, and before long found himself standing in front of a closed door where the voices were strongest. He leaned in to hear them better.

'…only antidote's Antisanisee,' a man said.

Harry heard a heartless laugh in reply. 'Shame he won't be able to run along and find any in time…'



Harry lifted his head and squinted into Ron's worried face.

'Mate, you fell asleep.'

'What?' Harry rubbed the side of his face. It felt as though something painful had been pressing into it, something shaped very like the buckles on his schoolbag. He rearranged his glasses and touched his tingling scar; his headache was hanging around. Sitting about in here was not helping – the room was still heavy with heat from brewing potions. He got up, making an effort to shake off some of the drowsiness.

It seemed Hermione had already left for Arithmancy. But he couldn't have drifted off for more than a few minutes – if anything there was more of a bustle and clatter as the last of the ingredients and equipment were being tossed hurriedly into cupboards. He peered around the darting figures to the front of the class. 'You don't think Snape noticed?'

'You were saying some weird stuff,' said Ron, picking up a book from the floor.

'Was I?'

'Something about your Aunty's sore knee.'

'I remember –' He concentrated on what the people in his dream had said '– Antisanisee.' Hadn't they called it some kind of antidote?

'Yeah, that sounds like it. What's it mean?'

'How should I know? It was just a dream. Doesn't mean anything.' It had been the same room again. Why did he keep having these dreams about a strange room? 'You ready?' he asked as Ron stuffed another book in his bag. He could not wait to get out of the dungeons for some air.

'You sure you're up to it? Why don't you just skive off Divination? You could do Snape's essay instead.'

Their usual seats at the back were only a few steps from the door, and Harry was already beside it when he heard Snape.

'Potter! Stay behind.'

Ron gave him a sympathetic shrug. Harry had little choice but to stand by as Ron left with the last few Gryffindors.


'Sit.' Snape moved to the classroom door and carefully closed it.

'I've got Divination…'

'I wouldn't care if you had an appointment with the Dark Lord himself, Potter.'

Harry dropped his schoolbag onto the nearest desk and sat.

'So. It appears you are, predictably, ignoring my instructions.' Snape remained standing and looked at him down his hooked nose. 'Perhaps I was not clear enough on how much Occlumency practice you are to do? Was I, Potter?'

'You were clear. But you don't understand—'

'Oh, I do. I believe you are enjoying it. You are once again the centre of all attention – the place which gives you greatest pleasure.'

Harry stared at a pile of clean cauldrons stacked against the wall. He would not take Snape's bait.

But Snape was not giving up so easily. 'But perhaps you think you know better than me? You are an expert in Occlumency, you understand how to control—'

'I know what I'm doing is right.' He glared at Snape's lack of concern. But how could Harry expect him to understand? Snape didn't give a damn about his dad's safety – but at least Snape knew whether or not he was safe. 'You don't know what it's like.'

'No, I didn't have the privilege of growing up a celebrity. How vexing it must be to discover somebody has not been showering you with the attention you plainly deserve.'

'He's not just someone. He's my dad.'

'Which makes it all the more important that you get his notice. He is, after all, the standard by which you set yours.'

Harry twisted the strap of his bag in his hand. He felt faint from the closeness of the dungeon air and the blood rushing anew into his aching head. He could barely think after the particularly challenging few days he'd had trying to concentrate on Occluding his mind. It seemed the more he tried, the more light-headed and nauseous he was from the headaches, and the more difficult it became to focus. And when he did open his mind again, it was taking longer to pull his thoughts together – after practising all yesterday lunchtime, he'd had to stay behind in the dormitory for several minutes so anyone trying to start a conversation in the common room wouldn't think he'd been replaced by an inarticulate robot.

'You will not succeed,' said Snape. 'Believe me. You will not gain his undying gratitude. There will be no words of pride or praise.'

'You don't get it.'

'But I do, Potter. You are no longer satisfied with the blinkered admiration of your peers, of the imbecilic reporters at the Daily Prophet. Your father would have relished it all, but you are growing bored already it seems. What is it, Potter? Not getting enough column-inches lately? Your popularity waning?'

'I'm not doing this to get his attention. I'm not doing it to get anyone's attention!'

'That is just as well, because trust me – you are his last concern. Now sit back down.'

Harry was only aware he had got out of his chair by the start Snape's words gave him. 'Because he doesn't know me?'

'Oh, he knows you, Potter. He knows you only too well.'

Harry studied the sneer. 'What have you been telling him?'

'What's to tell? Everyone knows you take after him exactly. But perhaps,' he said quietly when Harry made no move to reply, 'perhaps he should be informed about this – he would be genuinely proud of this stupidity. Especially when it lands you in the hospital wing or worse.' Snape's black eyes were keen, calculating. 'Is that what you would like? Do you want him to pay a visit to your sickbed in St Mungo's?'

Harry's head was light. He felt he might drown in the sheer determination of Snape's disinterest in James's welfare. The torchlit walls around him were falling back – he didn't feel safe standing – but he would not sit down. 'I want to make sure my dad's safe.'

'Don't we all.'

The distance in Snape's cold gaze suddenly felt real; he was no longer within arm's reach. Harry knew he would not be able to change Snape's view – he was dreaming – he had fallen asleep in class again, and someone was talking. 'What's that supposed to mean?' It was his voice, but they weren't his words. His words were someone else's, and Snape was voicing his reply when he finally heard them. 'You don't need to pretend he'd even do that.'

There was a frown on Snape's pale forehead. 'Do what?'

'Visit me in St Mungo's.'

'Really?' Snape's emotionless voice fell away uselessly.

'Because I know he's got his own life – a new life.'

A strange, almost satisfied expression was forming on Snape's face. 'True, Potter. Very true.'

It was like a wave of relief.

His friends still did not know about James's memory loss. They would simply confirm what Harry had been suspecting. But here was someone who did share that knowledge, and he was confirming it. Harry had been dreading it; but now that his suspicions were fact, all he could feel was the numbness of release.

'I thought he was dead anyway. I'm just glad he isn't like Lockhart.' He saw Lockhart's vacant expression as he had been carted off to St Mungo's.

Snape was speaking again – something about him ending up in the bed next to Lockhart if he didn't listen to him.

'You don't need to pretend he ever talks about me that way – like I'm his son. Because I know I'm not any more. Not the way he sees it.' There was a feeling of loss, but determination, and a sad sort of happiness – not for him, but for his dad. The emotions were coming from somewhere, but he didn't know where to put them. 'Why wouldn't he want to get away from his past? He can't remember it, and why would he want to, with everything that's happened? I don't blame him. In fact I envy him.' Was that a new one? Where did that one belong? 'I'd give anything to do what he's doing – to have the opportunity to make a difference without everyone knowing my name everywhere I go. No more staring or pointing just because of who I am. If I could make a fresh start away from all that, I'd jump at the chance. I'd take it – and why shouldn't he? He doesn't remember who he was, so why shouldn't he?' That one seemed to have been dealt with. He turned to the next one in line. 'But I do have the responsibility – it was my fault I found out he's alive and a spy – it's all my fault. And Voldemort is not going to find out that he – or anyone else – is a spy from me.'

He had reached the end of the line. There was something deeply calming about the silence that followed. Everything was in its place – not because he had forced the thoughts and feelings to go where he chose, as he was used to doing lately – but because he had allowed them to find their own paths.

So they had left him here.

He was still in the dungeons, in the Potions classroom.

And Snape was still looking at him. Harry felt the first shudder of panic, as though he had just landed here by Portkey. He remembered how badly he needed fresh air; the room was still laden with potion fumes. Snape was standing only a few feet away; if he put out a hand he could have touched him. He would be completely helpless if Snape chose to test his Occlumency now.

What was the point of all that practice if he couldn't control himself at other times? And to Snape, of all people.

Oh, God – Snape!

Now Harry did hear the thud of his heart and taste the tang of adrenalin. It was, as usual, hard to tell what Snape was thinking. Harry needed air more than ever. He would have to skip Divination after all, just to clear his head – and he needed to clear it before he could make a start on tonight's Occlumency practice. A brisk walk to the lake might do the trick; it had worked the other day when he'd needed to get away for a bit.

'So – I'm late for Divination.'

Yes, the lake, he thought as he left the room without looking back. Don't think about what Snape might be planning to do with all the ammunition he had just given him. He looked forward to reaching the lake and getting back to focusing on his Occlumency.

The Tortured Soul by purpleygirl [Reviews - 0]

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