Chapter 2 : Traitor
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Chapter 2; Traitor
All Harry heard was a cry of his name when something solid with curly, out of control hair collided with him
“Mione?” Harry yelped as she snuggled her head against his chest, he gently patted her curls.
“We... we thought you were dead!” she wept and Harry could now feel wet, hot tears soaking through his old red t-shirt.
“We? Is Ron here?” Harry asked as he scanned the fourth floor corridor.
This seemed to bring Hermione back to awareness and she quickly spun around looking frantically for a certain red head.
Finally they spotted him, moping around the corner. His eyes were red-rimmed and had large bags under them. His back was hunched and his clothes were ruffled more than usual.
“Ron...” Harry breathed, before he rushed forward and strongly embraced his best friend.
Ron breathed out a sigh of relief when he felt Harry hug him. He was alive, solid, breathing and he was looking well. It wasn’t some sick twisted dream; the slimy git had gone and saved Harry and he was back with them.
They stood there for a long moment, long enough for Harry’s eyes to grow hot, before they heard a choked sob and a body collapse to the floor.
The two boys spun around and both lunged forward towards Hermione, who as soon as they were in her grasp, grabbed them both and wrestled them into a smothering hug again.
She kept repeating Harry’s name over and over in a whisper that did not even begin to explain the agony and relief she was feeling. Ron’s quiet hushes were the only other noise, than Hermione and when they finally broke apart Harry was not surprised to see Ron’s arm around Hermione, gently stroking her back.
“I’m okay” Harry whispered and his best friends looked at him and gave him weak smiles. “I’m okay” he repeated before breaking into a fit of giggles.
“Harry!” Hermione admonished, as though it was wrong that her best friend was laughing after what he had been through.
“Mate! What are you laughing at?” Ron asked as he roughly wiped his eyes with his sleeve.
“I never thought I would see you again. I thought I was going to die!” chuckled Harry but eventually those chortles turned into sobs and he once again found himself wrapped up in Hermione’s arms.
“Oh Harry!” She gasped as she clung to Harry’s hair and fitfully tugged on it.
“’Mione... that’s probably making him cry harder” Ron sighed as he literally lifted her off of Harry.
Harry simply smiled gratefully until he wrestled them into another hug.
Severus Snape strode around a corner on the fourth floor of the castle and came across a startling sight. He saw the Gryffindor trio in a fierce embrace and if he could make out Potter’s face he was certain he could see tears rolling off of his cheeks.
Granger was restlessly shifting her feet and clinging on to Weasley and Potter. Weasley was trying to hold himself together, but was clearly failing and Potter was staring in to space. His eyes still as dead as they were in the cell, but they now had hot tears spilling out of them, which seemed to enhance the deadened affect.
Unexpectedly the boy’s eyes locked with Snape’s and he saw into the Harry’s thoughts. He felt the pit of emotions Harry was hovering over trying to suck him in. He watched as the Dark Lord advanced towards him once again for another round of torture. As soon as the visions came they went and a startled gasp came from the boy’s direction.
Snape’s black eyes focused back on to the group, but they were now split apart and Harry was looking at Snape with such a look of fear and distrust it was as if Snape was going to unleash upon him what Voldemort had.
“Sir” Hermione said anxiously, her eyes scanning back and forth between the Professor and Harry.
Severus merely tilted his head, spun on his heel and strode away from them.
“I know he saved your life mate and he has a heap of respect from me now, but he is still a really creepy guy”
Harry glanced at his red-haired friend and then looked back to the spot where Snape had just been standing. How much had he given away? Did Snape see how much fear, loneliness and shame Harry was trying to bottle up? Would he tell the Headmaster? Would he announce it in class to all of the Slytherins?
Harry felt bile rise in his throat and suddenly he doubled over and hurled his meager excuse of breakfast on to the floor.
Ron quickly grabbed his mate by the arm and supported him with his shoulder. Hermione quickly banished the mess and took Harry’s other side.
“To Madam Pomfrey then” she ordered as they carefully lugged Harry to the hospital wing.
Harry attempted to protest but his effort was futile and before long he was back in Madam Pomfrey’s clutches.
“Really, I’m fine. I might have just had too much to eat at breakfast or something”
“That’s rubbish Harry! You barely threw up any food” Hermione snapped as she forcefully shoved him back onto a bed whilst Madam Pomfrey went to get a stomach potion.
“She’s right Harry” Ron sighed
“What’s happened to you? Have you gotten soft on me?” snapped Harry as he picked up his wand and twirled it in his hands.
Ron and Hermione shared a significant look that Harry failed to notice before Hermione launched in to speech,
“We were all really worried about you Harry. Especially Professor Dumbledore, I’ve never seen him so anxious”
Harry looked at her and grunted.
“Seriously mate. The Order was a mess; people were starting to question if you were still alive after the first three days. We figured you would have had to be if Voldemort hadn’t made a big show of your death”
“Ron! Don’t talk about it so bluntly!” Hermione scorned
“Its fine, keep going” mumbled Harry, his brow creased and his eyes focused blatantly on his wand.
Ron looked at Hermione with an exasperated look before continuing,
“Anyways, we had everyone looking for you. Even Mundungus can you believe it? To tell you the truth I’m certain he was quite pleased it wasn’t him that had messed up this time”
“The Order member who was following me didn’t mess up. He stood no chance, there were at least eight Death Eaters there, two of which I am positive were Bellatrix and Malfoy” Harry stated factually, before raising his eyes and looking at Ron who had turned a deep shade of red and was refusing to make eye contact with Harry, “what?” Harry asked
“Nothing, I’m just angry that Malfoy managed to escape again. Sickening really that the Ministry has lost total control of Azkaban”
Hermione nodded her head in overt agreement.
“Mr Weasley has told us a little about the lengths the Order went to get you, but in the end it was just Snape”
“What did the Order try and do?” Harry asked, trying to change the topic off of Snape.
“Well, obviously everyone grilled Snape for details as to where Voldemort’s lairs were, he seemed surprisingly patient with everyone”
“Except Lupin” interrupted Ron,
“Yes, except Lupin. Anyway the Order went in to a fit of frenzy; Mundungus was out every single night questioning the people he is in business with. Mr Weasley basically tore apart the Ministry looking for information, Shacklebolt abandoned the Prime Minister for a while to help look for you and I don’t think Tonks slept at all”
“Mum went insane mate, she went off her tree when Fred and George created an explosion when a potion went wrong. Not her usual crazy, she went wild. She was throwing spells around, nothing dangerous obviously, but she was mental”
“What’d Snape do to Lupin?” Harry said glancing out to the Quidditch pitch and noticing it was empty and then it dawned on him that the school year had not even started yet, his birthday hadn’t even been. Yet most of the teachers were still here, just for him.
“Well, it was more what Lupin did to Snape” stated Ron grimly “He just lost it one day, he was screaming at Snape. Saying that he knew Snape knew more but he hated you because of your dad and was refusing to share. Snape stirred him of course, but we all knew he didn’t know anymore, Dumbledore had told us so. Still Lupin wouldn’t believe him and eventually he drew is wand and so did Snape. Snape went to the offensive when Lupin started to attack him. He was throwing nasty spells as well Harry”
“You cannot even begin to imagine the look on Professor Snape’s face Harry. He was livid, I was surprised he didn’t put Remus in a bodybind Harry” Hermione murmured “So after that account, I think it was... two days later that Snape disappeared. No one knew where he went. Just left one day in a real hurry, but that’s when we got word that you were back here Harry. That he had gotten you out and that you were safe”
“Yeah mate and apparently Snape’s position was comprised, obviously since he was being hunted down by Death Eaters once he had gotten to you. I can’t believe he went in completely on his own, he didn’t tell anyone. I don’t think he thought he would to make it out alive”
“But he had a special portkey!” Harry said “Surely Dumbledore would’ve known he was going”
“Nah, Dumbledore made us all one of them, just in case we got lucky and found you at some point. Snape went in entirely alone”
Harry felt a pit of guilt open beneath him, he had screamed at Snape after the man had risked everything for his enemy’s son. He hadn’t just risked his position for the Order, he had risked his life.
“Are you guys staying at Hogwarts tonight?” Harry whispered, still deep in thought
“Umm... no Harry, we’re not... is that alright?” Hermione said placing her hand on Harry’s which caused his eyes to flicker to hers.
“That’s fine” Harry reassured her and they began to chat about less important and far less depressing matters. Before long Ron had checked his watch and said that had to leave.
“We’ve got to go mate, I said to dad we would meet him down at the Three Broomsticks. Oh yeah, he says he’s sorry about not coming up, but he has important Order business to deal with”
“Tell him that’s fine, I hope to see your family soon” smiled Harry before accepting a handshake from Ron and a fierce hug from Hermione
“Owl everyday” she whispered in his ear, before she gave him one last squeeze and left with Ron.
Harry sighed and took his glasses off before placing his head on his pillow and attempting to fall asleep, but each time he was on the brink he would think of his screaming match with Snape and snap back to being alert.
He had stepped out of line and he knew that once he was better he would severely pay for it. Yet, despite this, what scared him most was that he now owed Snape his life and there was nothing he could do to fix that, not to mention that the man had seen into Harry’s mind.
Harry’s stomach twisted in knots when he thought about his next encounter with the severe Potions Master.
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