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Nie wyrażamy zgody na kopiowanie i umieszczanie naszych ficków i tłumaczeń na chomikach itp.
Ariel & Gobuss
| Chapter 27 - "Lies lies lies" |
Beta Reader: Leviosahex
Thank you girls!
27th. Lies, lies, lies.
Why does it feel like night today?
Something in here's not right today.
Why am I so uptight today?
Paranoia's all I got left *
"Harry, what's wrong with you? Your head is about to fall into your scrambled eggs." Hermione's voice tore Harry from a state of stupefied unconsciousness, just before he slowly drifted into the realm of sleep. He jerked his head up, opened his eyes, and tried to focus on his friend sitting across the table.
"Nothing," he mumbled. "I just didn't get much sleep. That's all."
"You look like someone who hasn't slept for a month," the Gryffindor said, watching him closely.
Harry shook his head. "I'm fine, Hermione, really. Don't worry about me," he said trying to smile, but he knew it wasn’t very convincing. Fortunately, Ron, who was sitting next to to him, was more interested in breakfast than in the health of his best friend - he had just devoured the second portion of scrambled eggs and bacon. Harry had been extremely grateful for his friend’s blindness and total lack of imagination on many occasions, and this morning was no exception. Hermione was a problem though. It seemed that her favorite hobby was to watch him and worry. She could easily win a prize in the category of the most meddlesome student in the school. He really didn't need her sympathy and tendency to pry into everything, although he knew she had good intentions, it was just…too annoying at times.
Slowly he began to feel fed up with all of it. He wanted to be left alone so he could have time to think. Even though he’d had all Sunday, it had been so full of responsibilities that he'd had no time for himself. Ginny had kept asking him when they would finish cleaning the bathrooms, and she had only backed off when he had gently, but firmly, refused her help. He hid the fact that it was more to do with the possibility of Snape catching them again, because if he did then all hell would break loose. Then Quidditch practice had lasted almost all day due to the upcoming match against Ravenclaw, and there had still been a pile of homework to do before the end of the day. Only at night, when he had gone to bed and closed his eyes, had the pictures come... and the thoughts. Thoughts that had been lurking in the depths of his mind all day, and only, under the cover of night, had they come out of hiding and attacked. They hadn't let him sleep. They had tortured him all night, making him toss and turn, shake, and hide his face in his pillow. Fear was strong, and Harry had been overwhelmed with doubts. The scraps of words he'd heard; disconnected threads that had begun to weave together; concerns that he'd pushed away had started to reach out and touch him.
I'm afraid that he might hurt you. He’s too close to Voldemort. We don't know if he’s really on our side. I have a bad feeling.
He tried to chase away those words, but they were in his mind and when he tried to do anything, they just grew louder and clearer.
I'm afraid... that he may deceive you to finally give you over to Voldemort. Why would he suddenly become so interested in you? He always hated you. What would so suddenly change his attitude towards you?
"Harry, where have you drifted off to again?" Hermione's voice once again broke through the fog surrounding his mind. He looked at her in confusion.
"What? Oh. Nowhere. I was just... lost in thought. Sorry," he muttered, not looking her in the eye.
"I asked if you had read the notes for History of Magic. You know, we have a test today, in case you have forgotten."
"I haven’t forgotten. I've read notes," he lied.
"What?" Ron spat food back on his plate. "History of Magic? Why didn't you remind me Hermione?"
The Gryffindor threw him a disgusted look.
"I told you about it three times. Once when you were relating the last Cannon's match to Neville, then when you was relating it to Ginny, and again when you were trying to relate it to Lavender Brown, but she didn't want to listen to you and quickly ran away."
Ron made a hurt face.
"You know, you could choosen a better time..."
"Yes, the only time when it's possible to tell you anything is when you are eating. That's why you are hearing about it now. Good luck on the test," she smiled unpleasantly, stood up and marched away in a proud step.
Ron looked at Harry.
"What a snarky monkey. She did that on purpose."
"Yeah... " Harry muttered, but he barely heard the word. The only thing he could see was Severus' receding back.
With the corner of his eyes he glanced towards the Head table, trying not to be obvious.
Damn it! Severus looked at him again, as if sensing Harry's thoughts. But it was impossible that he could be so good at it, right? He hadn’t noticed anything was wrong... yet?
Harry quickly lowered his head and returned to his breakfast.
This wasn't about the fact that Harry didn't want to sleep. He really wanted to, but thoughts weren't the only thing that had been attacking him at night. The images were much worse. As soon as he closed his eyes, he saw Voldemort's face, contorted with his cruel smile and his yellow teeth covered in Harry's blood. He saw Snape. Retreating. Leaving him. Abandoning him.
Silently, Harry shook his head, trying to remain unnoticed, especially by Snape.
Many times he had tried to convince himself that it was only a dream, but the harder he tried, the more he knew that wasn't true.
Why had he dreamt about Voldemort and blood for a second time? Why was it the second time Snape had appeared in his dreams where he apparently had no intentions of helping him? And even worse, it now looked as though... Harry swallowed hard... as though Severus had taken him to Voldemort himself, and then just walked away.
Was it a warning? Or simply his subconscious fears? Fear that Severus might be someone else rather than who he pretended to be. That it was just one of his masks.
He closed his eyes, feeling like something sharp was squeezing his heart. He wished this dream had never come. He wanted so badly to forget it, not to let it break the threads he had managed with such difficulty to stretch between him and Severus. They were very thin, and even the slightest stress could damage them. And now...
He sighed deeply, once again trying to chase those thoughts away.
He knew one thing - Hermione could be right. He would have to check it. Otherwise, he'd go crazy.
And he would have to steal a small portion of Dreamless Sleep Potion today during detention if he wanted to get some sleep. No more dreams like that! Ever!
But how to do it so that Severus wouldn't see anything and wouldn't become suspicious? The biggest problem was that Harry could never hide anything from him. He always had the impression that Snape knew about everything. Because if not - why had he been staring at him the whole time? His gaze had warmed his neck and made him want to disappear, to dissolve into thin air.
Harry rubbed his tired eyes and tried to stifle a yawn. He pushed the rest of his breakfast away, muttering that he was no longer hungry, and told Ron that he would meet him in front of the class. The boy only nodded his head, because his mouth was too busy.
Slowly, Harry walked into the hallway, staring at the floor. He was in the middle of a yawn when he heard a voice behind him:
He turned and saw Professor McGonagall approaching him.
"What is it, Professor?" he asked, seeing her serious intent eyes.
"The Headmaster would like to see you," she said, stopping in front of him.
"Headmaster?" Harry blinked. "Dumbledore has returned already?"
"Professor Dumbledore, Potter," the teacher corrected him. "Yes. And he wants to talk to you immediately."
"What part of ‘he wants to talk to you immediately,’did you not understand?"
Harry felt a little dazed.and his head began to hurt.
"Well, I’ll go to him, then," he said as he moved toward the headmaster's office.
"Potter!" McGonagall's voice stopped him on the spot.
"Yes, Professor?" he turned to her.
"Aren't you forgetting something?"
He frowned. Chronic fatigue didn't help with thinking quickly.
"Snotty-taffy," said the teacher. Harry stared at her.
McGonagall rolled her eyes.
"The password, Mr. Potter. Now hurry up," she added. "And go to sleep earlier tonight."
Harry nodded and walked down the hall.
Damn! If she noticed something was wrong with him, Snape had probably also realized it.
And what did Dumbledore want from him? Had something unexpected happened during his trip? Had he discovered something that he felt he needed to tell Harry immediately? The reasons could be numerous. Anyway, Harry would be very pleased to learn how the war was going.
When he entered the office, the Headmaster was sitting in his chair. He looked much more tired than before he'd left. Dark circles under strangely faded eyes had widened and his face was covered with a network of deep wrinkles.
"Welcome, Harry," he said. His voice was torn and rugged, as if he'd lost all his vigor. "Sit down."
The boy obeyed and waited impatiently. Dumbledore leaned back in his chair and thrust a serious look at him.
"How are you, Harry?"
The boy stared at him.
"Uh... pretty good, Professor."
"You don't look good."
‘Just like you,’ he thought, but didn't say it aloud.
"I've been studying a lot."
The Headmaster shook his head thoughtfully.
"As you've probably noticed, my trip was slightly extended. I hope that there wasn't any... unusual incidents during my absence. Nothing I should know about, Harry?" the man looked at him over his glasses.
The Gryffindor shook his head.
"No, it's all right, Professor. There wasn't an... unusual incident."
"Are you sure, Harry? You didn't notice anyone watching you? Nobody asked any questions about my trip? Nobody became suddenly interested in you?"
Harry bit his lip as Hermione's words echoed in his mind but again he shook his head.
"No. Why do you ask, sir?"
"Hmm..." Dumbledore looked at the fireplace where a fire was blazing and crackling quietly. He seemed immersed in his thoughts. "Remember when I shared my concerns about spy at Hogwarts with you?" Harry nodded. "Well now I am almost sure," the Gryffindor's eyes widened. "You are probably wondering where I've been all this time, but you see, my boy... I can't tell this to anyone because I still don't know how... " a shadow of sorrow and pain crossed his face.
Dumbledore turned his head and looked at Harry with faded, fuzzy eyes.
"...Voldemort knows about almost all our movements. Again he was one step ahead of us and because of it... " the Headmaster closed his eyes for a moment and sighed. "...we've lost one of our most valuable and most experienced... friends."
Harry's eyes widened suddenly, and his heart leaped into his throat.
Dumbledore sighed again. He seemed to be even more tired than before.
"Oh..." Harry couldn't say anything. The news shocked him. Moody was, after all, the best. How could it be possible that he had died? Anyone but him.
"And Emeline Vance and Hestia Jones were seriously injured. At this time, they are at St. Mungo's. We managed to catch two Death Eaters, but before we could learn anything from them, they'd committed suicide."
"Oh," Harry repeated, but found that it was too little, so he added: "Can I do anything, Professor? Maybe I would be able to help you in..."
"No, Harry. Your place is at Hogwarts. It's too dangerous. You have to finish school and become skilled in many areas, before..."
"But I've already been fighting," the boy replied, frowning. It seemed to him that Dumbledore still treated him like a child. "From first year when..."
"No," the Headmaster interrupted him sharply. "You survived because you had much luck. You are too valuable to us. You have much to learn before you can stand in a fight."
"But I can't sit idly when so many people are being killed!" Harry raised his voice, anxious because of Dumbledore's attitude.
A man bowed his head and looked at him over glasses.
"Harry... All those who are fighting in this war are not doing it only to defeat Voldemort and his followers. They're also trying to protect you. You are our... so to speak... ultimate weapon. Some people... have given their lives so you can remain so, therefore, you must respect their sacrifice and study as thoroughly as you can."
Harry gritted his teeth. He didn't like his tone. He didn't like the words. Why did everyone decide for him? Why couldn't he do it his own way? Why did he still have to sit back and watch as...
"I don't agree," he drawled. "I don't agree at all. I want to fight. Right now. And if it's so important for me to be trained, why doesn’t anyone want to teach me what is really important? I'm learning about senseless plants, the Wizard Wars, the stars, and how to read tea leaves. Why doesn’t anyone teach me something useful? Something that would really help me win? At least how not to get killed."
Dumbledore looked at him without a word. Harry felt his heart beating very fast, and his hands tremble.
"What do you mean, Harry?" the man asked gently.
"Dark Magic!" he shouted, clenching his hands into fists. "I mean Dark Magic. Spells which can destroy the Death Eaters, not just stun them. Curses which you can't protect yourself from. If I have to defeat Voldemort, I must fight the way he does! I must know how to... " he suddenly stopped when he realized what said he was saying. A sharp pain pierced his heart. He looked at the floor, before continuing weakly.
"...cast the Unforgivables..."
After a few moments of silence filled only with his heavy breath and quiet cracking of fire, Harry heard the creaking of Dumbledore's chair. He saw that the Headmaster had got up and walked over to the fireplace; his hands were clasped behind his and he was staring at the portrait hanging above him.
"I don't blame you for these thoughts, Harry," he said after a moment. "I thought that too, when I was your age... I thought it was the only way, the only path… That you can only defeat the enemy with his own weapons. How wrong I was... It was your mother who made me realize it," Harry felt a pang in his heart. He bit his lip. "She made me realize that the greatest weapon we have... is love. Only love can fight the greatest evil. Only love can save us. Because it is a weapon that our enemy doesn't have and never will," Dumbledore turned to Harry, who was still sitting in his chair, and gave him a sad smile. "I ask you to think about my words carefully. And when you feel that you know exactly which way you want to follow... I will not stop you. This is your choice. Do what you desire most," Harry felt a chill that slid on his skin. He shivered and nodded. "You can go now. I don't want to keep you. You have lessons."
The Gryffindor nodded again. He had a strange sense that a lot more had been said than what lips had uttered. As if behind these words there was something else hidden.
He got up and walked towards the door.
"One more thing," the voice of the Headmaster stopped him. He turned to him again. "Take care of yourself, my boy."
"Alright," Harry said quietly. "Goodbye, Professor."
Dumbledore nodded and turned back toward the fireplace. Harry, as he was leaving, glanced at the portrait which the Headmaster was looking at. In the picture, he could see a fair-haired young man with a broad smile. He definitely stood out among all the gray-haired and gray-bearded Hogwarts Headmasters whose portraits covered walls of the room. Harry had no idea who this boy was and he really didn't have time to think about it. Dumbledore's words were running through his mind. He felt confused. He couldn't think clearly. He stopped and shook his head, feeling dizzy. He leaned against the wall, closed his eyes and sighed.
Two roads... This wasn't an easy choice.
But... hadn't he made the choice a long time ago?
Harry dozed off at almost every lesson. He failed the test on the History of Magic completely, but he spent the rest of the lesson carefully writing down every word Binns said, just so he could stay awake and not to let painful thoughts attack him. For the first time in his life he had more notes than Hermione.
Potions were coming inexorably, and Harry had never feared the lesson as much as he did now. His head was hurting even more than before. His eyes were closing, and the muscles seemed so heavy and inflexible, as if they were made of iron. On top of that he was haunted by memories of his dream, by its images and unwanted thoughts. He knew that in such a state he wouldn't brew anything decent today. He would have to be careful to make sure his cauldron didn’t explode in his face, and also ensure that Severus didn’t see anything - though he doubted that the latter was possible.
The beginning of class was quite promising. Harry tried to behave normally when Snape came into class and began criticising the Gryffindors. Meaning - he tried not to pay attention to it and was nodding at Ron's quiet rumblings. The teacher gave them work to do, and sat down at his desk to watch their progress. When his eyes stopped at Harry, the boy held his breath, feeling painful sparks whirl under his skin. Hoping to mute his heart which was beating loudly, he started to crush and cut beetle shells, but he couldn't resist, his eyes from time to time wandering towards the black silhouette. Sometimes their eyes met, and when they did Harry lowered his head and tried not to think of Snape's retreating back, plunging into darkness, and Voldemort's terrible smile.
Because of fatigue and the thoughts that filled his head, he almost added cobra venom into his potion instead of scorpion's, which would have lead to a huge explosion. Fortunately, Hermione noticed in time, and stopped him at the last moment. She proceed to try scold him in a whisper, which was a somewhat comical sight.
Harry added the little shredded pieces of chameleon's skin, which was an essential component of the Elixir of Invisibility, and then left the potion for ten minutes. It had to be set on a medium fire, and soon change color to an intense orange. He looked into the oily, bubbling liquid and felt his eyelids get heavier, and his head turn to stone, which was extremely difficult to keep on the neck. The image before his eyes began to blur, the colours dimmed, light turned into bright, hazy spots. His eyes closed unwittingly.
Suddenly he felt a heat in his pocket. Confused, he opened his eyes and looked around, not knowing where he was and what was happening. The potion had long lost its intense orange color and now approached a dangerously explosive red. On the surface a huge, trembling bubble, which could burst at any moment had formed...
Harry leaned over and quickly subdued the fire. The bubble dropped. The boy sighed with relief and looked around the room. Hermione was in the storeroom, and Ron struggled with a spoon which seemed to get stuck in a thick goo which was supposed to be his potion.
Great, he'd almost fallen asleep right above his cauldron... but something had woken him. What was that?
Harry suddenly felt the heat in his pocket once again. His heart started to beat harder. Discreetly, Harry pulled out the green, glowing stone and easily read the words glowing brightly:
Wake up, you foolish boy! Your cauldron is about to explode!
He quickly put the stone back in his pocket and swallowed hard. He looked at Severus and nodded his head in silent thanks. The man looked at him deeply concerned, and Harry didn't like it at all. Therefore, he quickly lowered his head, cursing his fast beating heart, and looked at the top of his desk.'
‘He knows!’ was the only though in his head. ‘He's realized something is wrong’.
He must remain calm. He must pretend that everything was alright. Maybe Snape was just... worried about him?
Suddenly Harry felt the growing heat again. He hesitated.
Why was he so afraid of this man? After all, it was just a dream. After all, Severus was... was...
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, before reaching into his pocket and glancing at the stone. In its depth he could see the bright inscription:
What is wrong with you?
Harry felt his heart jump in his throat. He clenched the jewel in his hand and sent a quick reply:
Nothing. Sorry. It won't happen again.
Harry dared cast a furtive look at the Potions Master, who narrowed his eyes and looked at him with the same deep concern. It seemed that Snape didn't believe him. It wasn't surprising. The Gryffindor himself wouldn't have believed himself. He felt jittery and confused. And he probably looked just like that.
He’d tried to sort everything out but somehow it just wasn't working.
Maybe Hermione was right? Maybe Snape really was on Voldemort's side? Maybe he was the spy, and became interested in him so he could bring him to his Lord later?
No, it's impossible. Severus could have already done it - for example, he could have cast the Imperius or Confundus at him. No, there had to be something else.
After all, Severus cared about him... he could see it in his eyes when they were having sex. He could see how he affected the man...
But it's Snape. He'd said himself that he could act well. That he could force his mind to do anything...
No, it's not true! It couldn't be a game!
Harry rubbed his tired eyes and looked at his completely failed potion.
It was all for nothing.
He clenched his fists and bit his lip, fighting with something dark and sticky, something that entwined his heart with cold cobwebs.
Was it all... the truth? Or just a cruel lie?
He smiled bitterly to himself. He wasn't able to look at Snape who had just announced the end of class and was walking around the classroom, looking at the results of the students' work.
Had it been planned from the very beginning? Was he being used so Snape could achieve some unknown goal?
He heard Snape verbally abusing Neville for his failed potion, but at this moment, he didn't care.
Why had he come to him in the cupboard? Why had he done what he had? Why was he always so... mean? If he really wanted, if he really cared...
He heard Snape scolding Ron. His low, sharp voice, which always drove him to the point of boiling... He felt a tremor in his stomach, and he shut his eyes in helpless rage.
Why had he allowed this to happen? Why had he let him...
A shadow fell on Harry's shoulder. His knuckles turned white from the grip he had on his stirring rod, and when he looked up and encountered the gaze of black, fathomless eyes, which narrowed and for a moment seemed to examine his soul, Harry knew that he would let them penetrate absolutely anything...
Snape moved on, without any commentary. And he'd seen how Harry had ruined his potion. He felt the surprised looks of his friends, but he didn't pay them any attention.
He was floating in a void, and in the silence his ears could hear just one word:
As soon as the bell sounded, Harry quickly packed up and, ignoring his friends and the warmth he felt in his pocket, ran out of class.
Harry once again washed his face with cold water and looked at his reflection in the mirror. He looked as if he had not slept for a week. Red, sunken eyes, and pale complexion would tell everyone that something wasn't right.
He'd tell Snape that he'd been simply studying all night to catch up.
He needed a dose of Dreamless Sleep. He had a plan. Risky, but it was better than asking Snape for it. Snape would ask questions, and he could do it in such a way that he always got an honest answer.
Harry looked at the message in the stone that had started to fade:
Do you think you can lie to me?
The boy looked at the mirror again.
He must remember that he couldn't drink anything. He couldn't forget. And also... no, later. He had no idea how he could do it anyway. He would have to ask someone for help, maybe Luna?
He closed his eyes and breathed deeply, struggling with fatigue.
Yes, it was a good plan.
It had to be, considering he had no other.
With heart throbbing madly, Harry went to Snape's office door. Several first year students from Slytherin passed him quickly. Repeating the plan in his mind, Harry raised his hand and touched the door, which opened immediately.
He slipped inside, pulled out his wand, and whispered a spell:
"Accio Dreamless Sleep Potion."
Nothing happened. Harry swore softly under his breath, then looked around the room full of jars and bottles.
Snape had probably enchanted all potions to prevent someone from summoning them. Otherwise, each student could easily steal them. Damn that thrifty Snape!
After all, it must be here. Severus was always ready to provide any kind of potion. On tiptoes, Harry approached the shelves and started his search. His heart felt that it was almost in his throat with anxiety. He watched the door leading to the private chambers of the Potions Master with the corner of his eye.
He had little time. Too little.
Names began to blur before his eyes.
Decoction of mongoose's blood, Exterminating Potion, Fire Breath Potion, Warming Potion...
There it was!
Harry grabbed a small bottle, and set an empty bottle of potion he'd gotten from Snape in its place. Quickly, he hid it in his pocket along with his wand and turned around.
At the same moment the door to Snape’s chambers opened and Snape appeared. His eyes narrowed sharply when he saw the Gryffindor standing near the shelves. Harry broke in a cold sweat.
"What were you looking for there, Potter?" the man growled, suspicious eyes piercing him.
"N-nothing," he whispered, feeling his hands shake. He quickly put them behind his back. "I came for my detention and... " think! Think! "...my shoe got untied, so I stopped to lace it."
Snape's eyebrows rose.
"And that is why you decided to go around my table?"
"No... " Harry felt like his mind evaporated from the effort. "When I bent down, I saw a mouse, and I wanted to... um..."
"Catch it?" Severus finished, his voice dripping with mockery.
"Yes, but it fled under the shelves and I... I failed," he whispered, knowing now that he lost.
"It's really very interesting," the man said. "I didn't know that your calling was to catch mice, Potter. Therefore, maybe you should change your form with Mrs. Norris? She could certainly lie more convincingly than you," he finished, every word turning into an icicle. "And now, give me what you stole."
"I... I... " Harry croaked. He could feel the ground disappear under his feet.
Snape held out his hand.
"Don't make me search you," he growled, scowling at him.
Harry bit his lip.
All for nothing.
He walked over to the man, took the potion from his pocket and handed it to him without a word. Snape looked at the bottle and for a moment his face became pale and his eyes widened. He quickly composed himself though. He looked at Harry, and hissed angrily:
"Why didn't you ask me for this, Potter?"
Harry had the impression that the words turned into missiles, and that there was a lot more anger than at the first sight. Anger and... something else that Harry found was difficult to describe. Those words hit him, pierced him to his very soul.
He understood. There was grievance. Fear. Uncertainty.
Or something like that. Or all of them.
"I..." he tried to explain. "I didn't want to bother you. I took the potion, so you... " ’wouldn't ask questions’, he finished in his mind, but aloud, he said: "…wouldn't worry."
"How very kind of you," Severus snorted, thrusting a piercing gaze in him. "And so it has nothing to do with the fact that you look like a lunatic? And you probably had another dream you want to forget about?"
Harry felt an icy shiver travel down his spine.
"I... I mean... " he stammered. "I had a dream in which I was being chased by herd of spiders, and I'm very afraid of them. And that's why I wanted to take it."
"Really?" one of Snape's eyebrows rose. "Spiders? Or maybe even…mice?"
Harry bit his lip.
"I knew that if I told you this, you would laugh at me," said the Gryffindor, looking straight into the man's eyes. "And that's why I didn't want you to interfere. Now, can you give me the potion?"
Severus' eyes narrowed. He seemed to be thinking about something. After a moment, his face softened and a crooked smile appeared on it.
"Very well. I'll forgive you this time, Potter. But if I catch you ferreting in my office once again, you'll bitterly regret it. The next time you come and ask me if you need anything," he said, handing him a bottle of potion.
Harry couldn't believe his luck.
He did it! He really did it!
He had not expected that everything would go so smoothly. After all, Snape hated when someone tried to steal something from his inventory. But maybe Harry was a better liar than he thought himself?
"Thank you," he muttered quietly, feeling incredible relief.
Snape stepped back and let him pass first. Harry entered Snape’s chambers. He heard the clatter of the door closing, and at the same moment felt a hand on his neck. A strong pull backwards almost made him fall over. He hit the door, and Snape clenched his hand in his shirt, pulling him towards him. He brought his face, that was burning with anger, right up to Harry’s frightened one.
The boy looked straight at the wand pointed at his forehead. He couldn't breathe…then he heard whispered words:
And everything went dark.
He felt someone's presence, but he couldn't locate it. He felt as thought he was floating in a void, and all around him he could only hear echoes of his own words. No, they were not words, just thoughts.
He looked to the side. Right next to him, in the air, a window appeared. He didn't want to look, but he couldn't resist. Something compelled him.
He saw himself. Snape was pressing him against the wall. He saw Snape turn into Voldemort. He saw the man walk away. He heard his own piercing scream:
"Severus! Don't leave me here!"
His heart felt as though it had been flooded with an icy wave of terror. Exactly the same as in a dream. He couldn't move. He stood and looked at himself, imprisoned by Voldemort, and he wanted to scream, just like then, but couldn't open his mouth. Through the fog of fear, he felt a different feeling - surprise and anxiety. But they didn't belong to him. They belonged to someone nearby.
He tried to close his eyes and cover his ears but he couldn't do it. It was as though he was being controlled by some alien force that he couldn't fight.
The window went away. Sounds appeared. His own voice. His own thoughts. Everywhere. Louder and louder.
I don't trust... I need to check... he can't suspect... Voldemort's spy... suddenly interested... was right... he knows... he will betray... bring to Voldemort... I have to do something... impossible... what is happening?... why?... why?... wh...
Echoes started to recede.
Harry was plunged into emotions. Someone's emotions. Surprise and fear. He felt it so clearly... Shock and agitation so strong that they were almost tangible... But somewhere away from him.
Then he felt something else. Determination. Purposefulness. Pain.
Something exploded in his head. The window appeared before him again. He saw himself - he was running from spiders like in his second year. They were chasing him, and he had no wand. He ran and ran, but they were getting closer. Soon they'd catch him! He wanted to scream but couldn't. He felt that he was missing something important, something he'd been just thinking about, but he couldn't remember what it was anymore. There was only fear. And spiders approaching quickly. The moment they almost caught up with him, the window went away, and the darkness around him suddenly filled with light.
He blinked and looked at black eyes staring at him.
They were burning.
"What's going... " he started to ask, but didn't finish, because Severus abruptly moved away from him and pulled him towards the door.
Harry had a feeling that something had happened, but he didn't know what. He remembered he came to Snape for his detention, and that he wanted to take a Dreamless Sleep Potion, because he’d a nasty nightmare of spiders who were chasing him. Strange, though, he'd never been afraid of them before... everything else seemed to be blurred.
He looked at the man and saw an unusual agitation on his face. His mouth was clenched into a thin line, all the facial muscles tensed and in his eyes there was a raging storm. But before Harry had time to speak, to ask a question, he was pushed out the door, dragged through the office and thrown into the hallway.
When he regained his balance, he looked at Severus with complete surprise, but the only explanation he received were words uttered by trembling voice:
"I said I'm busy, Potter. Your detention won't take place today."
The office door slammed shut with a loud bang.
Harry stood in the hallway and tried to understand what had just happened. He felt very confused, his head throbbed painfully.
Snape had thrown him out again for no reason. It would be enough to say that he was busy and Harry had to leave. He'd just wanted to get a potion against those nightmares. Spiders chasing him was not a pleasant dream.
He took a bottle of potion from his pocket and looked at it thoughtfully.
He felt really tired. He sould probably just go to bed.
* "Papercut" by Linkin Park
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