Warnings: child abuse, depression, suicidal tendancies
Summary: Devoid of the will to live, Harry decides that it is simply time to end it all. Too bad for him that one of his professors had to come and screw it up.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. I am simply borrowing them; therefore, do not sue me.
Chapter 19: Shattered Trust
Harry wasn't entirely sure how he had ended up on the couch again when he awoke there in the morning. He didn't remember having any more nightmares though, which was good.
He got up slowly, and saw Snape sitting at the table eating breakfast and reading a newspaper. He went to join him.
Snape smiled at him. It was surprising how much a simple smile could change the professor's face so drastically. Harry had never seen Snape smile before just recently. The fact that Harry could make Snape, the dour, greasy, bitter potion's master smile, was quite an achievement.
"You slept in late, lazy boy." There was no sting in the words. "You missed breakfast in the hall, you're lucky it's a Saturday."
Harry ordered some food for himself. He noticed Snape paying attention to how much he ate, so tried to finish most of what was on the plate, even though in his opinion the house elves had been much too generous in their helpings. He made sure Sylrissin got some milk, and then sat back, fully sated, gently stroking her scales as she curled round his wrist.
He left soon afterwards, knowing that Ron and Hermione would be missing him, and not wanting them to raise even more of a fuss.
Harry found Ron and Hermione in the Gryffindor common room. Hermione was working, and Ron was not. Despite Hermione. From looking at them, Harry wouldn't have thought that they were in a relationship. Maybe Malfoy had just been trying to stir up trouble between the three. Not that there wasn't enough already.
They wouldn't stop pressing him with questions about where he'd been and what was wrong with him. Harry didn't know how to act around them any more. They had blamed him for not trusting them, but when he did they instantly proved that they couldn't be trusted after all. He couldn't explain all of that to them.
"I'm really fine you guys. I just couldn't sleep, so I went for a walk. One of the professors found me. And no, Ron, I didn't get into trouble."
Hermione watched him for a few seconds as though debating how much further to take this. Evidently her curiosity won out.
"Headmaster Dumbledore told us, you know."
Told them what? Told them what?
"Where you were last night. He came to reassure us that you were safe, and he said that you were staying with Professor Snape. He said that you'd stayed with him over the holidays too. We just wanted to see if you would tell us by yourself. We gave you a chance. Why didn't you tell us?"
"And why the hell were you staying with that creep?" Ron burst in, unable to refrain from adding to the conversation.
Harry felt betrayed once more. By Dumbledore again. Every one was trying to do what was best for him, and they all kept on making things worse, aggravating things that ought to be left alone. Professor Snape was the only one who listened without judgement.
"I had to get some potions from him for my nightmares last night, and fell asleep there once I'd taken them. And I was there over Christmas as he's trying to develop a potion to stop my visions. He's helping me."
That was actually a really good explanation. Hermione still looked suspicious though.
"I got the impression that it was something else." she said.
Before Harry had a chance to defend himself, Ron butted in again. He really couldn't stand being left out. Harry supposed that was what having so many siblings did to a person.
"You had to stay with that greasy old git. Why the hell didn't you tell us? We could have rescued you!" Harry's protestations that Snape really had been trying to help him were drowned out. "He could have tried to poison you! I can't believe you went back there last night."
Harry was fed up now. So much for them trying to understand him. The storm rose once more, and this time it was unleashed.
"Shut up! Just shut up will you." Everyone in the common room was staring at them now. But Harry was too far gone. He couldn't even hear Sylrissin hissing at him to calm down through his rage.
"You don't know anything. You don't know how I feel, you don't even know who I am anymore. Stop trying to interfere. Stop trying to make me be someone I'm not."
Hermione was finally getting angry too. "Well, if we don't know how you feel, it's because you don't tell us. You never talk to us anymore Harry, and we're your best friends."
"Are you?" Harry asked, his voice going cold. "Best friends shouldn't have to be told. Best friends should know. Best friends should be there."
He ran out of the room. No one came after him.
He didn't talk to anyone for the rest of the day.
He went out and sat on the field again, out of sight of the castle.
Malfoy was already there.
They didn't speak at all.
Harry showed Malfoy Sylrissin. The other boy slowly ran his fingertips down her body in awe, as she hissed her approval. Hermione never had been able to find out what kind of snake she was.
They still didn't speak. They watched the wind playing with long grass off to the side of the field. They watched the birds. They watched the Hufflepuff quidditch team come out and start to practise. Practise would be starting for Harry soon too. He wasn't sure if he wanted all of the pressure of trying to win on him. After all, if he failed, how would everyone treat him. Potter wasn't allowed to lose. But he wasn't Potter.
They left before sundown, neither having spoken a word.
Harry woke with the darkness still in front of his eyes and the screams still resounding throughout his skull. He wanted to get up. He wanted to walk in the corridors of the cold castle until dawn. But Snape had said he couldn't. Snape had said that he had to learn to deal with it.
So he lay back down and prayed for peaceful sleep.
He woke up screaming again. When the shaking stopped he went to the bathroom and washed his face clean of the quickly drying sweat. He looked around for a knife. No. That wasn't allowed. This was impossible! There was no way that he was going back to that bed.
He went down to the common room, taking his wand with him in case he decided that he wanted some biscuits, and sat in front of the fireplace again, as he had the first night back. He rocked back and forth on the rug until he drifted off.
He woke again, not screaming this time. And this time his shivering had a different cause.
It hadn't been the darkness this time. This time he had been able to see. And Remus had died in front of his eyes.
He wiped the tears away with the back of a hand and headed down to the dungeons. He left Sylrissin asleep in front of the fire.
About half way there he realised that it hadn't been a vision, just a normal nightmare. Which made it no less distressing. Of course, he hadn't taken the dreamless sleep potion. He had run out the night before and forgotten about it. He could ask Snape for some now then. At least it was a legitimate reason for going down to his quarters. He might have become angry otherwise. No matter how nice he had been the night before.
Harry reached the entrance to Snape's chambers. It was scary that his feet automatically brought him here even when his mind was off somewhere else.
The portrait was empty. Harry stared at in for a moment in shock, before tentatively inquiring "Serminysa?" No answer. She must be off wondering around the castle somewhere. Harry knocked on the door. Snape was going to kill him. But there was no answer. He knocked again, much louder. Nothing.
He stood back and the trembling started again. It had never occurred to him that Snape might not be here. After all, he always had been in the past when Harry needed him.
Harry was cold.
He sat with his back against the portrait and waited.
Severus trekked back to his quarters after a meeting with Albus. It had been frustrating. Meetings with Albus always were. His dark mark had been burning painfully again. And there was nothing he could do to make it stop. He just wanted to lie down and sleep. And never get up. And never have to see anyone else ever again.
He practically tripped over the body lying on his doorstep. Harry. Merlin, this was becoming ridiculous. Much as he did care about the boy, and he was too tired to argue with his inner voice when it told him that he did, all he wanted now was to sleep. And rip his own arm off. Harry couldn't keep coming here every time he had a problem. The boy had to stand up on his own two feet or he would never get anywhere. He had to deal with some things by himself.
Snape's arm really hurt.
Part of him felt very guilty, it was worried about why Harry was here, for all he knew the boy needed to see him for an important reason. But the rest of him was too tired. So tired.
His arm really, really hurt.
"Boy, what do you think you're doing here?" uttered sharply and irritatedly.
Harry woke from his doze and looked up.
Harry scrambled to his feet and tried not to look pathetic. But he was so tired. And he couldn't sleep.
"Sir, I'm sorry but I just..."
"I've warned you before, Mister Potter, about being out of your bed at all hours. You do not have a right to be treated differently than everyone else. That will be fifty points from Gryffindor."
What? But, why? Why was he Potter again? He didn't understand. He had done something wrong then. And the professor was angry. Sure, he knew that he wasn't supposed to be out of bed now, but there was a reason. Why wouldn't the only person he now trusted listen to him? As an afterthought, Harry noted that the Gryffindors were going to be very, very unhappy with him for losing all of those points. Especially since he had lost his temper with his friends yesterday.
"But I needed..."
"Twenty points. Now leave."
"But, Severus, please."
Snape whirled round angrily. Harry was in shock himself. Where had that come from? He hadn't meant to say that. It had just slipped out. He had a vague memory of hands holding him and a voice reassuring him that it was Severus. But maybe that had been a dream too.
"One hundred points. You are not welcome here now, Mister Potter." The tone was ice. The words were steel.
Harry nodded stiffly and turned away.
It had been a dream then.
It had all been a dream.
He walked for a long time. Snape wasn't speaking to him. Snape hated him.
The Gryffindors wouldn't be speaking to him. Not after he had lost them so many points.
His friends wouldn't be speaking to him. Not after he had told them that they weren't his friends.
He didn't have anyone.
He wanted desperately to talk to Sirius. He needed to see Sirius. He wanted to be held. To be hugged and told that everything was alright.
But he had no one.
He remembered how Sirius had screamed. He remembered how Lupin had screamed. But that hadn't been real. He didn't think. It was so hard to think.
He stumbled, and fell to the floor, barely catching himself with his hands. The pain from the impact jolted through him and made his arms scream with pain. At least it wasn't the darkness though.
He crawled for a while, then made it back to his feet.
He ended up in a bathroom. He wasn't sure exactly where in the castle he was. It didn't matter. Everything was out of focus. Maybe the spell on his eyes was wearing off. Hermione had liked him better without the glasses, but Ron said he didn't look like himself any more. Was that because the glasses were part of Potter's image, and Ron had only ever seen Potter?
Potter wouldn't be in toilet crying like this because he had no one, no relatives, no friends, no one who cared.
Potter wouldn't have spoken like that to his friends. Potter wouldn't have gone to the dungeons and lost so many points. Potter would have somehow managed to save Sirius.
But there was no Potter anymore. He was never coming back. And what was left of Harry couldn't take anymore.
Harry transfigured a toilet roll into a knife. A proper knife. He hadn't cut with a proper knife before. Had never had a chance. Just the razor that he had found by accident.
Snape had told him not to.
Snape hated him. Snape had told him to go away.
He cut. He cut again.
He wasn't sure if it was helping.
The image of Remus dying blended with what he remembered of Sirius' and Cedric's screams, until it was them that he saw dying in front of his eyes. And there was so much pain.
And he cut.
He glanced up into the mirror.
Snape wasn't there.
That was when he remembered that he wasn't in Snape's chambers. That he wasn't welcome there.
He cut again, the other arm.
A little too deep.
He fell to the floor.