What lots of other people might be thinking about Harry...
A/N: OK, a little break with tradition here, as I can't always do things from Harry Potter's point of view... what do Harry's friends and surrogate family (and maybe one or two of his enemies) think of him? Like when he's not around?
At this point, I'd just like to give a dedication to Dzeytoun, whose work has influenced me for a long time, with his "Here Be Monsters" fanfics and related stories. He really knows how to get into a character's head and write something from their perspective.
CHAPTER 5: EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION
The Order of the Phoenix was wrapping up another meeting in Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place, and Dumbledore left for Hogwarts to take care of a few matters there.
Lupin went up to Sirius' room, which was still made as though he could come back any day and live it in again. Not too much unlike Harry, the last Marauder would dwell upon things in what was once Sirius' room.
What became of us? He kept thinking to himself over and over.
"Remus?" came a female voice from the doorway.
He turned around to find Tonks, leaning on the doorpost and with her hair in its spiky pink state.
"What can I do for you, Tonks?" he asked hoarsely.
Tonks came over and sat on the chair which went with the desk. "I just wanted to see how you were doing," Tonks said openly, deciding not to dance around the subject. "I miss cousin Sirius too."
Lupin remembered Tonks from her own Hogwarts days; she had only been a first year when the Marauders were in their final year. Sirius had honestly tried to find time for Tonks, but with everything going on that year, both at Hogwarts and outside of it, it just didn't work out.
"I tried to talk to Harry about what happened," Lupin suddenly blurted out. "'Tried' being the operative word. He really didn't say anything to me. I spilled my heart out to him, and he didn't say anything at all."
"Nothing at all?" Tonks queried.
"Well... he blamed himself, but that was about it," Lupin answered lamely.
"He's going through a rough time, and everyone has their own way of grieving," Tonks said philosophically. "Although, if anything, someone should have talked to him after he watched Amos Diggory's boy die. Even Aurors get counseling after the first time they see someone die on the job. Wizard or Muggle, friend or enemy, Auror or civilian... doesn't matter, somebody talks to them."
"Couldn't have said it better myself, lass," Moody said, making a clunk with every other step as he walked into the room. "I wouldn't have minded talking to young Potter myself, after what happened with the Tournament, but I was recuperating myself."
"How ironic, when you consider it was pulled off by your imposter," Tonks said, resisting the urge to smirk as she thought about just how serious it was.
"No need to remind me," Moody grumbled, resting himself against the wall, as Lupin was sitting on the bed and Tonks was occupying the chair. "I've heard rumors from the house elves at Hogwarts, though, as well as a few of the portraits, that Dumbledore and young Potter 'talked' about something after the battle in the Department of Mysteries. Whatever happened... well, I dunno, but it's also worth noting that there's now more office space than there was before."
The other two guessed that just maybe that Harry had thrown a fit, but neither of them voiced that theory aloud.
"I just feel horrible about how now, when I'm more-or-less Harry's new guardian, the first thing I want to talk about to him, he doesn't want to talk about," Lupin admitted.
"Could be worse," Moody said with a shrug.
"How's that, Mad-Eye?"
"You could have to be the one giving him 'The Talk,'" Moody with a wicked grin.
Lupin winced while Tonks looked a little disgusted with how Moody said it.
"Dirty old man," she muttered.
"Well, either way," Moody said, getting serious again and getting to the point, "And I don't mean to belittle what happened to Sirius, but he still has us. And let's face it, he probably needs us as much as we need him."
"Well said, Moody," Lupin said quietly, wondering about that prophecy in the Department of Mysteries which that whole battle had been over.
Elsewhere in Grimmauld Place, in one of the guest rooms, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were talking amongst themselves.
"I know I've probably said this countless times already," Mrs. Weasley said, hugging her husband close to her, "but I'm really worried about Harry."
"As am I, dear," Arthur said to his wife. She looked a little healthier than she did a year ago, when she had lost some weight in an unhealthy fashion from fear and stress. However, if it was possible, she looked both better and worse at the same time.
"I've come to see Harry as a seventh son and even Hermione as a second daughter," Molly admitted, as though this were some kind of confessional. "I'd be just as upset if anything happened to them as if anything happened to my own biological children, Merlin forbid. Especially after what happened to Gideon and Fabian..."
Molly's maiden name was Prewett, and her older brothers were Gideon and Fabian Prewett. She remembered how suddenly they had been killed by Antonin Dolohov, and she had had never forgotten it... or entirely gotten over it, for that matter.
"In some ways, they have become like our own surrogate children... sometimes, Harry and Ron can be just as inseparable as the twins," Arthur observed.
"Or, from what I've heard, as inseparable as James Potter and Sirius Black..." Mrs. Weasley trailed off as she remembered Harry's late godfather. "Oh no, what have I said..."
"I keep thinking about that night about a year ago when Harry first came here," Mrs. Weasley admitted. "When Harry just wanted to know about what was happening, I got into a fight with Sirius right in front of Harry... I made it sound like a custody battle, as though Sirius was trying to take Harry away from me, when Harry might not even be considered mine to begin with..." Tears welled in Molly's eyes as she vividly remembered how she acted towards Sirius.
"I'm sure Sirius wasn't that upset over that argument, Molly," Mr. Weasley said honestly and with reassurance.
"I'm not so sure about many things anymore, Arthur... maybe I do drive people away, as much as I don't mean for that to happen. Bill moved to Egypt, Charlie moved to Romania... and Percy..." Here Mrs. Weasley broke off and she began sobbing at the thought of her third son.
"Listen to me, Molly," Mr. Weasley said firmly. "You did not drive any of our children away from us. Bill and Charlie only went to those countries because that's where their careers took them." After a moment, he also said a little jokingly, "Besides, there are no Egyptian tombs or decent dragon reserves here in the British Isles, or at least the last time I checked."
After a pause, Mr. Weasley also went on, "As for Percy... I may have been more responsible for what happened with him than I would have liked to admit."
"But you were right, Arthur, and you had facts to back it up," Molly said with a hiccup.
"Yes, I may have been right in why he should have listened to Dumbledore," Arthur admitted. "But the problem was, whatever good points I had, I completely buried in the argument I stirred up, in how I presented those facts to Percy. By Merlin... in the end, I probably sounded just as fanatically devoted to Dumbledore as he sounded fanatically devoted to Fudge. All I wanted was to reason with him, to convince him to work with us, and in the end I threw it in his face in a rather un-diplomatic fashion."
Mr. Weasley snorted softly. "I may not have been able to support you or our children as much as I would have liked, but I always tried to make sure that they were never lacking love and support." After another pause, he then said bitterly, "Maybe I've finally failed in that regard too."
"Don't say that, Arthur," Mrs. Weasley shushed him. "Because if anything... maybe the power of love and family will be what gets us through this, /together/."
They both continued to sit there, lost in their thoughts.
Elsewhere in Grimmauld Place, another couple was talking... although these two adolescents might not consider themselves a "couple" in the romantic sense of the word.
Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger were talking in another one of the guest rooms in Grimmauld Place. The young redheaded wizard and the young brunette witch were like the unspoken surrogate brother and sister to Harry Potter, even though no one may have used the words "brother" and "sister" before to describe them.
Ron was staying at the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix whenever he could for his own safety, while Hermione's parents were in London for the day and so Hermione took the opportunity to visit Ron and his family.
They were both concerned about their friend, who had gone through his most stressful year so far, culminating in the death of his godfather who had been killed before he could see his name cleared.
They both sat on Ron's bed, looking at where the note from Harry lay on the floor, crumpled, from a few minutes before when Ron had chucked it in disbelief.
"Nothing to talk about?" Ron asked rhetorically and incredulously. "Who does Harry think he's fooling?"
"Maybe there's much to talk about it, but he doesn't want to talk about it, Ron," Hermione said in an attempt to pacify her friend's indignation.
"I'll say," Ron scoffed.
"He's been through a lot, and you know that, Ron," Hermione pointed out.
"Of course I know that!" Ron exclaimed, jumping off the bed and pacing back and forth. "That's just it! He's there with those awful Muggles where I can't do anything to help him, and he won't even take advantage of the fact that we can still keep in contact! And don't give me the excuse of how our letters could be intercepted when they're being handled by the Order of the Phoenix itself!"
"I wasn't going to say that," Hermione said quietly.
As if snapping out of a trance, Ron stopped where he was and turned to look at Hermione. "I'm sorry, 'Mione, I didn't mean..."
"No, that's fine, Ron, I know what you meant," Hermione clarified. "I'm beginning to go a little stir crazy myself..."
"It's times like this when I wonder if I'm even that good a friend to Harry," Ron said quietly, more to himself than to his friend.
Hermione certainly wasn't expecting that from Ron. "Why would you say such a thing?" she asked, unable to believe what she was hearing.
"From the start, Harry was a friend towards me, and it didn't matter to him that I came from a large, poor family with little if any influence. He may have been the Boy Who Lived, but he was still just another wizard the same age as me, and once who was learning about the Wizarding community as he went along. As time went on, Harry got chosen for this and that, such as being a first-year Seeker for the first time at Hogwarts in a century, but I said nothing because I was happy for him.
"I remember in fourth year when he suddenly somehow became the fourth champion... After having been his friend for a few years, I don't know why that bothered me, and to this day I still don't know why, but it just did. I wanted to do something which people would recognize... something to make me something other than the youngest Weasley son... but I never wanted to do it by deliberately removing someone else from people's attention..."
Ron's voice trailed off here and went silent, while Hermione thought about what he said. "Ron," she addressed him calmly and encouragingly, "while I agree that maybe how that wasn't your finest moment, it's certainly not something which Harry or I would condemn you for, and it's something we're all past. If you look at things differently, I may not have been such a good friend either."
Ron looked at her, dumbfounded. "What are you talking about, Hermione?" he said disbelievingly. "Of course you've been a good friend."
"I'm also the one who used to blindly trust all professors and anyone in a position of power and authority," Hermione pointed out, shaking her head a little. "I was so naÃ¯ve... just because all my teachers back in primary school were good people, I expected the same out of all my professors at Hogwarts. Especially with every professor we've had for Defense Against the Dark Arts... with the exception of Lupin, all of them have turned to be evil or liars or both. Before I even got on the Hogwarts Express for the first time, I thought of the Wizarding world as some kind of utopia, where magic made everyone's lives better. The Muggle world may be far from perfect, but the Wizarding world, or at least here in England, has problems which its Muggle equivalent has long since moved past."
They were both silent for a moment as they both contemplated her words. Ron went back over to the bed and sat down next to Hermione again. Running a hand through his hair, Ron said, "What I meant was... I think part of what I meant, about me not being able to help him... I feel guilty about how he's done so much for me, and yet here I am, unable to even talk to him."
"In other words, Harry's the hero who helps everyone, but who helps the hero?" Hermione paraphrased it.
Ron thought about it for a few seconds before saying, "Yeah, I guess you could put it that way."
Ron sighed and continued to look ahead at the wall on the opposite side of the room. He was so lost in thought that he didn't notice Hermione slowly take his hand in hers until he felt it.
Something about the way Hermione was holding his hand made it so that Ron couldn't let go of it even if wanted to...
Just as Ron shifted on the bed to move a little closer to Hermione, the door suddenly opened.
In a flash, both of them had retracted their hands as Ginny walked in. Whether or not she saw her brother and best friend holding hands, she acted as though she didn't.
"I heard that Harry sent us a note," she told them. "Where is it?"
Ron gestured to the crumpled note on the floor. Frowning, Ginny picked it up, smoothed it out and read it. Unable to find something to say about it, Ginny shook her head, crumpled it up again, and threw it into a corner.
"He can't keep doing this," she said under her breath as she walked out.
Dumbledore went to Hogwarts to meet with his colleagues in the staff room (minus Mr. Filch, who was in Hogsmeade at the moment, and Hagrid, who was taking care of some task in the Forbidden Forest).
"We in a few days time, I will help to bring charges against Dolores Umbridge for the indiscretions she made while she was Headmistress here at Hogwarts," Dumbledore told them.
"Whether or not she was really ever a Headmistress at all is still debatable," Professor Sprout snickered to Professor McGonagall, who suppressed a grin. There were a few titters scattered all over the room. The only indication that Dumbledore may have heard the Herbology professor at all was the small twinkle in his eyes. Either way, he continued.
"Her single yet abominable misdeed was the use of an illegal device, similar to a Blood Quill," Dumbledore went on in a serious tone.
"Why do you say it was 'similar,' Albus?" McGonagall asked, frowning. "It functioned like Blood Quills do."
"With the help of Professor Binns, did some research on the subject," Dumbledore explained. "The Blood Quill was invented by a professor at Durmstrang several centuries ago who believed strongly on corporeal punishment... and was also noted for not liking children and adolescents, I might add. He created the original batch of Blood Quills, all of which have been tagged and located to this day. If Umbridge had used one of /those/, the wards here at Hogwarts would have alerted me. Yet for some reason, this one did not. My guess is that somehow, Umbridge got her hands on the old Dark Arts texts, detailing how they were made, and made one of her own, and they were slightly different in how she made them, which is why the wards did not go off."
Clearing his throat, Dumbledore went on, "If have asked you all to compile the names of students who may have been tortured by Umbridge." (Here, they all reacted slightly in different ways to the use of the word "torture.") "I ask them at you pass them forward now."
All the professors did so, especially all four concerned Heads of Houses: McGonagall, Sprout, Flitwick, and Snape.
Dumbledore noted how it was about a dozen students, including Harry, who had been subjected to Umbridge's wicked quill. /That's about a dozen more than it should have been/, Dumbledore thought bitterly.
"Very well. I shall go by Mr. Potter's residence tomorrow and get his testimony. After that, we will have all the evidence we need to put Umbridge on trial."
Snape snorted quite audibly.
The rest of the staff turned to look at Snape, shooting him sharp looks, because as far as they were concerned, he was being just as rude as a diner who had just belched in the middle of a restaurant. McGonagall in particular shot Snape a very strong look that almost made him feel like a rule-breaking student again.
"Is there something you would like to add, Severus?" Dumbledore asked him politely.
"No, I am merely getting tired of hearing about Potter every time I turn around," Snape scowled.
"I daresay that young Mr. Potter has been mentioned no more than usual," Dumbledore said casually.
McGonagall decided that now was not a good time to bring up how Harry Potter wanted to be an Auror but needed to pass N.E.W.T.-level Potions in order to do it.
"Actually..." Dumbledore said distractedly. Turning to McGonagall, he said, "Minerva, weren't you telling me the other day how Mr. Potter needs to take N.E.W.T.-level Potions classes in order to become an Auror?"
/Thank you, Albus/, she thought with some exasperation.
"You know full well, Minerva, that I do not allow any less than an 'O' from a student's O.W.L. exam to enter my N.E.W.T.-level Potions classes," he reminded her in his usual unpleasant matter.
"I am well aware of that, Severus," she said sharply in return. "But if it happens that he did not get an 'O' on the Potions O.W.L.-"
"Which I doubt he did," Snape couldn't help but interject.
"Severus!" she hissed, starting to get really angry.
"I only brought up the topic because I feel that it's relevant to how we need Mr. Potter to be able to fight Voldemort," Dumbledore said to break their argument, and ignoring the gasps at the sound of Voldemort's name. It's a good thing that Rubeus has other things to do at the moment, Dumbledore realized, because he would not be too happy at all to hear Severus talk about Harry this way.
"There we go again, with the Potter brat!" Snape exclaimed, his voice going up a notch or so. "Surely he can't be that important to the war effort, Headmaster! Just because he was lucky enough to survive the Dark Lord the first time around doesn't mean he'll be the one to save us all!"
It took every ounce of effort Dumbledore had to not give a rueful smile. If only you knew, Severus, if only you knew.
Meanwhile, Snape continued his diatribe. "And before you think it, I will know if you use the war as an excuse to make sure that Potter gets to take whatever classes he wants..."
"Severus," Dumbledore said calmly and yet so firmly that Snape stopped talking at once. Everyone present also noticed the look in the Headmaster's eyes (not to mention the lack of twinkling) which indicated that he was clearly not amused.
"For all intents and purposes, Severus, I have done my best to make sure that Mr. Potter is treated like any other student," he said calmly. "Of course, some circumstances cannot be helped, as destiny may have some other things in mind."
Snape's eyes narrowed as he realized something, especially after the word "destiny" was said. "This has something to do with the prophecy, doesn't it?" he muttered.
All the onlookers straightened themselves out a little at the mention of the lost prophecy. It was certainly safe to mention any business relating to the Order of the Phoenix in front of the Hogwarts staff, since they were all members or at least knew about it (except for Filch, given how he sided with Umbridge the previous year).
After a pause in which Dumbledore said nothing, Snape went on. "That's it, isn't it?"
"What happened in the Department of Mysteries and after that in regards to Mr. Potter is his own business, and mine."
"But how can we know that we can trust Potter, after everything that has happened?" Snape pressed on.
"That, Severus," Dumbledore said seriously, "is a matter between Mr. Potter and myself."
Why must you do this, Severus? Dumbledore mentally lamented. Why must you make a spectacle out of yourself like this?
Snape moved to speak again, but before he could say anything, Dumbledore cut him off "And before you continue with your litany against Harry Potter, know this: I have only treated him differently on occasion whenever the situation called for it. As hard as this may be for some people to believe, he desires a normal life, and not the one of celebrity which some people keep forcing upon him. While I do appreciate everything he has done for us, I have not allowed that to blind me. It would be fair and safe to assume that if things were different, and he were not the Boy Who Lived, I would treat him as I would any other student... but I have not given that much thought, since this is not the case for the reality in which we live."
Snape wisely stayed silent and sat back down, the expression on his face looking darker than usual.
"Now... are there any other matters to discuss?" Dumbledore asked pleasantly, moving on past Snape's rant. After a silent moment in which everyone shook their heads. "Thank you for your time," Dumbledore then said by way of concluding the meeting.
Snape swept up out of his seat and out of the room, with his black robes billowing behind him.
For all your knowledge and cleverness, Severus/, Dumbledore thought sadly as he watched his Potions professor depart the staff room, /you can be so foolish and oblivious sometimes.
Snape made a beeline straight for his office. Sealing the door behind him, he settled himself into the chair behind his desk.
He allowed himself to let out a longing sigh as he gazed around the room at all the various pickled dead plants and animals floating in chemicals of various colors in their jars. The specimens themselves proved to be useful in multiple ways. First of all, they helped to unnerve any would-be intruders (not that his office was ever really broken into). Secondly, they helped to unnerve any misbehaving student whom Snape was dealing with (a technique he had even employed against Potter once or twice). Also, he liked to pretend that these unfortunate specimens were people whom he loathed, much in the same way a person might burn someone in effigy.
Harry Potter was almost always the first person to come to mind these days.
Severus Snape's hatred for Harry Potter extended back to the Potions master's own school days at Hogwarts, when he fought with James Potter. The senior Potter and his merry little gang of bullies, consisting of Black, Lupin and Pettigrew, always took pleasure in tormenting Snape more times that he cared to remember... not that he could forget all the injustice done to him, even if he wanted to.
But by far the worst thing they had done to him (outside of when they tormented and humiliated Snape in front of the other students after their Defense Against the Dark Arts O.W.L. exam) was when they baited him to be ripped apart by that werewolf Lupin during the full moon at one point in their sixth year. By all accounts, they should have been expelled at the least and imprisoned at Azkaban. Snape's near-murder, their relatively light punishments were all topped off by how he now owed James Potter a magical life debt. Snape had probably never been so furious in his life.
To Snape's utter shock and disbelief, the troublemaking James Potter had been made Head Boy in their seventh and final year at Hogwarts, with Lily Evans as the Head Girl. Not that Snape wanted the Head Boy position for himself, but he felt that even he could have done a better job at it than Potter!
Snape could have let it all go, but there was one final thing which Potter had said to him at the beginning of their seventh year which truly capped off his undying enmity and apathy for Potter. Potter caught Snape in a corner one day, glowering at him and obviously thinking about all the times he made Snape's life miserable. With that jaunty smile of his, Potter said three words to Snape which he shouldn't have: "Get over it."
That truly cut Snape to the bone. Potter made his life a living hell for many years, and he told him to "get over it"? No, that was all wrong. Who did Potter think he was!?
After the Potters were murdered and their son Harry became the Boy Who Lived, Snape didn't know what to think. On the one hand, he didn't have to put up with the senior Potter any more. On the other hand, their loss was truly a great one, especially Lily, whom Snape had occasionally gotten along well with.
And so, with his new job at Hogwarts, Snape was granted a ten-year reprieve from having to deal with any Potters. The most he had to worry about and deal with were the complaints of everyone outside of Slytherin who said that Snape was overly biased in favor of his own House, especially where points were concerned. Actually, Snape had done the arithmetic: It turned out that how often he gave Slytherins points and took away points from the students of other Houses helped balance out for how often the rest of the staff took away points from Slytherin and gave points to other Houses.
As for everyone's general negative opinion of Snape... he just figured, let them think that. He purposely didn't show his "softer" side, but if one saw it, they might be surprised. Whenever he had to, Snape had protected younger Slytherins from bullies of other Houses (most often Gryffindors), watched after students who lay seriously injured in the hospital wing after some terrible accident, ranging from a Quidditch accident to a spell gone wrong, and had occasionally comforted Slytherins who had to deal with "family emergencies."
And then came the day when Harry Potter finally came to Hogwarts. Everyone was nervous but excited that the Boy Who Lived was coming to Hogwarts, while Snape was nervous yet worried. How much would young Potter be like his wretched father? Snape was more than willing to give Harry Potter a chance, to see if he wasn't like his arrogant father.
Snape remembered with unease how Potter looked almost identical to his father at the age of eleven years old, aside from those green eyes which he obviously got from his mother - and, of course, that scar in the shape of a lightning bolt. While young Potter was trying on the Sorting Hat, Snape took a few deep breaths. Just a minor inconvenience/, he told himself. /After all, Severus, you of all people ought to know about how appearances can be deceiving, especially between fathers and sons...
"GRYFFINDOR!" the Hat then shouted, forcing Snape to grip the table as he fought to keep his emotions in control. Later on, during the Welcoming Feast, Snape just happened to make eye contact with Potter. While he did his best to keep an open mind and an unreadable, emotionless face as he took a good look at Potter, there was something sickening about seeing Lily's eyes framed by James face. Even from his distance, and between how Snape was both a skilled Legilimens and just good at reading people's emotions, he could see that young Potter felt dislike for Snape.
Muggles had something called the "Nature versus Nurture" theory. Aside from genetics, which said that a person got half of his or her physical characteristics from the father and half from the mother, the theory posed the question: Were personality and behavioral traits also passed biologically from parent to child, or were they learned from whoever raised and taught them? As time went on, Snape began to have a sinking feeling that in the case of Harry Potter, Nature had won out over Nurture.
As Potter suddenly looked away for whatever reason, Snape turned his attention back to other matters at the Staff Table and did his best to think no more of Harry Potter. It had been enough anyway to see that amalgam of Lily's eyes and Potter's face, which Snape almost considered to be like some unholy fusion of his savior and bane from his adolescent years.
During the first week of school that year, Snape heard about how everyone had talked about and treated Harry Potter. The fact that Potter himself had done nothing about it told Snape that he truly relished in whatever attention he got, just like his father. And then there was that first Potions lesson, where he and Potter had finally came face-to-face. For Snape, that lesson had been final proof that Harry Potter may as well just have been an extension of James Potter.
As the years went on, Snape found himself hating Potter more and more as Potter's escapades got more outrageous and went without any serious, fitting punishments for them.
Potter's first year... he was rewarded with the position of Gryffindor Seeker and a new Nimbus 2000 for flagrantly disobeying Madame Hooch's orders. When Snape first heard that, he did a double take to make sure he had heard correctly. Snape was so outraged by this reward for misbehavior that it made it all for the harder for him to focus on undoing Quirrells' curse on Potter's broom during the first match of the year against Slytherin - and, of course, that blue fire which someone had applied to his robes didn't quite help matters either. Then there was Potter's detention in the Forbidden Forest for doing who-knew-what in the middle of the night with Granger and Longbottom - too light a punishment, in Snape's opinion, since he knew that James Potter and his friends liked to defy rules by sometimes going in there, and so Harry Potter must have enjoyed that too. And, of course, there was when he and Weasley and Granger took on Quirrell at the end of the year when Dumbledore could have done so himself. The Headmaster would have surely made it back in time!
Potter's second year... he and Weasley made an unforgettable and stupid entrance by crashing a flying car into the Whomping Willow. If it had been any other students other than Potter and his sidekick Weasley, they would have been expelled, but no, they got to stay! And Snape was willing to bet that Harry and enjoyed his detention with Gilderoy Lockhart after that, being the attention-seeker that he was. Then there was that one incident in Potions where a Swelling Solution exploded over the class, and which Snape initially suspected Potter but ultimately couldn't prove. And finally, he and Weasley had coerced Lockhart into helping them on their harebrained crusade to save young Miss Weasley from the Heir of Slytherin and his Chamber of Secrets.
Potter's third year... while Snape didn't know how he had done it, Potter had somehow snuck into Hogsmeade and had attacked Draco Malfoy, but thanks to that conniving Lupin, he was forced to write it off as an attempt by young Malfoy to somehow get Potter into trouble. But then there was the end of the year where Snape had finally cornered Black, but somehow, Potter and Granger had helped him escape. Oh, he knew that Black was innocent of betraying the Potters, after he had calmed down and Dumbledore had explained it to him. But as far as Snape was concerned, Black had done so many things wrong that he still deserved the Dementor's Kiss.
Potter's fourth year... Snape initially suspected that attention-seeking brat to have somehow entered his name in the Goblet of Fire, but that proved to not be the case. However, Snape just knew that Potter had been out and about that one night when he had nearly been caught by himself, Filch, and the fake Moody all at once.
Potter's fifth year... by far the worst one yet. He made things easier for Umbridge without realizing it, forced Dumbledore to flee from the school as a fugitive, neglected to study Occlumency, and to top it all off, looked into Snape's worst memory as the Head of Slytherin was off tending to Montague.
And, of course, let us not forget Merlin-knows-how-many lives he has endangered along the way, Snape added in his mind.
In one of his desk drawers, Potter's letter still sat there, unopened, even a day or so later. Should Snape open it and have to bear whatever Potter had written for him, or should he destroy it while he had the chance?
In the end, he decided to just leave it in his desk, unopened.
At this point, Snape decided he had dwelled about Harry Potter long enough. He had other things to do.
/Hopefully, I will not have to see him again until the start of the next year/, he thought to himself.
How wrong and yet surprised Snape would be in a very short time.
(End of chapter 5.)
A/N: Initially, chapters 4 and 5 both dealt with Harry writing back and forth to the others. I decided to put all of the correspondence into one chapter and instead devote this chapter to see what lots of other people might be thinking in regards to Harry Potter.
I know lots of people like to bash Ron just because of his "lapse in loyalty" as I call it during their fourth year after Harry got thrown into the Triwizard Tournament. It can be great for betrayal stories, but it can also be seriously done to death (I'm speaking from experience here). However, even he can be wise and serious when the situation calls for it, like in Book 2 where he "sagely" points out to Harry that they weren't allowed to join the Welcoming Feast after their arrival to Hogwarts because their professors didn't want people to think that it's clever to arrive in a flying car. There was also the morning after Harry overheard the adults talking about Sirius Black "betraying" Harry's parents in the Three Broomsticks in Book 3, when Ron and Hermione try to talk some sense into Harry. Besides, in this story, Ron has to grow up too, and for all we know, maybe being attacked by several brains in the Department of Mysteries had something to do with it.
The thing with how Umbridge's evil black quill may not have been an "official" Blood Quill... I used this to explain my theory on, if how Hogwarts should be able to detect Dark objects or their being used, then why Dumbledore never knew or did anything about it. I know lots of people love the whole Evil-Dumbledore thing, but like with Traitor-Ron (as mentioned above), it can be easily overdone. Will get more into the shortcomings of Dumbledore soon...
Also, as for the question of how trustworthy Harry is and how it's a matter between himself and Dumbledore... Sound familiar at all? Dumbledore more-or-less told Harry the same thing about Snape in Book 4 after Harry saw the memories in Dumbledore's Pensieve. Who knows... maybe Dumbledore can treat both Harry and Snape the same way sometimes?
Snape is probably a classic example of a perfectionist, especially with how perfectionists know how to hold grudges. Sorry, just some insight that came to me recently. Even if he is, for all intents and purposes, a downright jerk, he can still right about how Harry has occasionally gotten away with things which most other students wouldn't have.