Fic: Everybody Knows 3/15 (Harry/Severus, NC-17) Title: Everybody Knows Author:winoniel Rating: NC-17 Pairing: Harry Potter/Severus Snape Warnings: Graphic Violence; slash; Harry is 17, bottom!Snape Disclaimer: This story is all mine, but is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. Summary: Harry has grown tired of the wizarding world. He feels that he just doesn’t have a good enough reason to fight for it. Author’s Notes: Written for Togsos in the 2008 Snarry Holidays fic/art fest. This is AU from mid-HBP; beta admirably performed by Hikisp04; greatest of thanks to the Snarry Holiday mods!
Harry carried the Prince’s copy of Advanced Potion-Making under his arm as he made his way to the dungeons. He was preparing himself to eat some crow. How could he have been so blind? It was obvious from the picture Hermione had found that Eileen Prince was related to Severus Snape. He’d spent all of his free time that afternoon going through old copies of the Daily Prophet, and he was sure that he’d come to the correct conclusion. What was curious was how the book had gotten away from Snape. Well, Harry knew that such information would not be forthcoming, but he could still ponder, couldn’t he? Anything to keep his mind off what was about to occur.
Harry had made a duplicate copy of the book, and was planning on coming clean (relatively speaking, of course) about it. He was also going to throw himself on the mercy of Severus Snape and beg for another chance at Occlumency lessons. He was going to grit his teeth through insults about his father, Sirius, his intellectual shortcomings, and his lack of work ethic because Snape had something that he wanted: the ability to shield his mind from both Voldemort and Dumbledore.
He checked his watch. It was still Snape’s office hours, though they ended in 10 minutes. Perfect! There would probably be no one else there, plus Harry could make a quick getaway, if necessary.
Reaching the door, Harry knocked.
Pushing the door ajar, Harry stepped into the room.
“Why, Mr. Potter, couldn’t wait until your detention to see me again? Whatever could this mean?” Snape’s silky, dark voice wafted from the shadows. Forcing himself to not make a fool of himself by trying to peer into the corners of the room searching for the Potions Master, Harry simply walked up to the front of the room and tossed the book on the desk.
“I came here, sir,” he began, “to admit that I lied last night. The spell I used was written in the margins of this old book that Professor Slughorn loaned to me at the beginning of the year.”
Snape smirked knowingly, then, actually seeing the book, snatched it up in spite of himself, his fingers moving restlessly over the old, familiar cover as he leafed through the pages. He snapped, “Lying and stealing? Twenty points from Gryffindor, Mr. Potter. Why would the noble Boy-Who-Lived lie about having this book? Didn’t you buy your own copy when you realized that you could indeed take N.E.W.T Potions?”
“I did buy my own copy, sir, but you—” Harry caught himself before he let on what he knew, then continued more cautiously as Snape’s eyes narrowed in suspicion, “—have to admit, if you were to look at some of the suggestions, that many of the comments are dead useful. Whoever had written in their amendments of Borage’s spells was a genius! For the first time I began to understand why things worked, and it was fascinating! Yes, I was doing so much better in potions class, but it was like having a tutor, no one was doing the work for me!”
A genius? Severus was stunned. He knew that he should have been finding out how much Potter knew about the spell and whether he had tried other spells in the book, but his curiosity was overruling his logic at the moment, and he was loath to curb it. “So, your egotism at having put one over on your Head of House and me aside, Potter, why did you decide to tell the truth now?”
Harry took a deep breath, then looking Snape straight in the eye, responded, “Two reasons, sir. One is that I wanted to ask a favor of you, and the other is that I thought you’d want your book back.”
Snape, his body suddenly still, with one finger frozen at the point of turning a page, glanced sharply over and hissed, “What makes you think that this is my book?”
Yes! Gothcha! Harry would have leaped up and punched the air if he weren’t standing in the snake’s den, trying to out-Slytherin the Slytherin Head of House. He smiled slightly, leaning his hip against the desk, relaxing his arms by his sides. “Hermione found your mother’s name and a picture of your mum in the school yearbook. I must say, the resemblance is uncanny, sir, but I searched many of the copies through an extensive period of dates, and there’s no record of any Snape attending Hogwarts.”
“That’s no proof,” Snape scoffed.
“Ah, you’re correct, sir. Actually, it was just a stab in the dark, but your reaction told me my hunch was right.” Harry crossed his arms over his chest, grinning like a cat with a mouth full of cream.
“I have said nothing about it being my book!” Snape bit out through clenched teeth.
“No, but you’re holding it like it’s your child,” Harry said, amused when Snape set the book down hurriedly, “and you knew to ask about the book after I used the spell. How else would you have known where I’d gotten it, if you hadn’t invented it? As I said, it was just a guess.
“And I don’t know if it is just the way you explained things to yourself, as opposed to a class of ‘dunderheads,’ but it has made me think more about how magic works, and I’ve gotten better in all of my classes, though my improvement in Potions was the most noticeable. I have never excelled at schoolwork.” Harry held up a hand to still Snape’s ready retort, and then quickly continued, “At the Dursleys’ I was punished if I did better than my cousin. When I met Ron on the Hogwarts Express, I really wanted to fit in with him, as he was the first friend I’d ever made. He wasn’t concerned about schoolwork, so I made sure I wasn’t either.” Harry hadn’t planned on being so forthcoming, but Snape didn’t seem as spiteful as normal. He was looking almost like Harry was a potion, and Snape was trying to decide the next step to take in his brewing.
Interested in spite of himself, Snape asked, “What about your friend Granger? Why couldn’t you have picked her to model yourself after?”
“Well, she only started hanging around us after the troll incident at Halloween. By that time, I’d already gotten the name for being an average to indifferent student. I was lazy, I admit, so it was just easier. Besides, you must admit that she is really not the type of student anyone else wants to be known as.” Harry’s wide smile was infectious, or would have been if Severus knew how to truly smile. He quickly decided to get the conversation back on track.
“So,” sneered Snape, “what favor could Hogwarts’ own cover boy want that is not being showered on him already? Your own scribe to take notes in class? Perhaps someone to help clip your newspaper articles?”
Here goes, Harry thought, choosing his words carefully. “Professor Snape, would you give me Occlumency lessons again if I promise to make learning it my priority?”
Without pause, Snape’s head snapped up, and he answered. “No. I have better things to do with my time. It would be a waste, as I find it difficult to believe that even with your new work ethic you would ever improve enough to make a difference to your well-being.”
Harry leaned back again, but his serious expression was a marked contrast to his previous amused smile. “Perhaps not, sir, but what about yours?”
Interesting, he actually know how to negotiate? What else is the embodiment of Gryffindor hiding? Severus asked himself as he sat gracefully in his chair. “What are you suggesting, Potter?”
Harry shrugged slightly. “Simply this, sir. You’re not thinking what you can get out of this. My learning Occlumency means that Lord—” Snape hissed, and Harry caught himself, “Lord Whats-His-Name can’t learn of your work for the Order from me. It’s self-preservation on your part.”
Severus laughed maliciously, “How very Slytherin of you to mention that, but the Dark Lord already knows that I am in the Order, and there’s nothing new your mind could reveal to him.
Harry sagged with disappointment. He’d tried everything he knew. He would have to learn Occlumency by himself. Turning towards the door, he said, “Very well, sir. Thank you for your time. Good night.”
Surprised, Snape sputtered, “That’s it? No pleading for me to do it for the ‘greater good?’ No appeals to my ‘better nature?”
“With all due respect, sir,” Harry snorted, and Snape realized that he’d never heard that many ‘sirs’ emanate from the boy’s mouth in all of the years he’d taught him, “We both know that you don’t have a ‘better nature.’ As for the ‘the greater good—’” he spat, incensed, then took a moment to calm himself. “Well … as I said … Oh, forget it…. Thank you for your time. Good night.”
He again turned towards the door, and for the second time, was prevented from leaving by Snape’s interjection, “So the Golden Boy has finally decided to do what he should have done years ago? It figures that you would put your mind to it now, after willfully disobeying orders from your headmaster, deciding in your arrogance that you knew better than everyone else, yet again following your foolish Gryffindor instincts, and—” here Snape paused. He’d started to say something about getting Sirius Black killed, but not even in his loathing for the Potter spawn would he add to the idiot’s well-known feelings of guilt. He continued, “—after your dogfather’s death.
“Well, well, well, it seems that I have something that you want desperately, hmmm…..?” Snape rose from his desk, and slowly stalked around Harry’s frozen frame.
“Very well, Potter. We shall resume your Occlumency lessons. They shall be instead of your Saturday morning detentions.” Snape waited, spitefully, for Harry to mention the Quidditch match again. “No complaints?”
“No, sir.” Harry shook his head, not wanting to appear too hopeful.
“Then, I shall see you at 10 am sharp. Good night.”