As Harry walked down the corridor, towards the Great Hall, he couldn't help but ponder the words Dumbledore had said. It warmed Harry to think that there were traces of his mother in him. He was tired of hearing how much he looked like his father, desperately wanting to see his mother when he looked in the mirror. 'But I do,' thought Harry. 'She's in my eyes.' Harry smiled to himself as he walked through the doors of the Great Hall.
Severus Snape waited as the gargoyle outside of Dumbledore's office slowly moved. 'I talked to him yesterday,' thought Severus, as he started up to the office. 'What can he possibly need now?' Knocking on the door, Severus heard a faint "enter" before he opened the door.
"Ah, Severus," said Dumbledore as he raised his head from a book and looked at the Potions Master. "Good of you to come so quickly."
"Yes, well I was curious to see what you needed. If I can recall, we had quite a lengthy meeting yesterday."
"I am sorry to have pulled you away from anything important, Severus, it's just that I have a favor to ask of you," Dumbledore noticed a brief hint of apprehension sweep over the young wizard's face. "And please, Severus, there is no need to worry. This favor has no need of you outside the castle." Dumbledore could see the tension in Severus' face life slightly.
"What can I do for you then?" asked Severus as he took a seat across from the headmaster.
"Well, I had a visit from Mr. Potter today," said Dumbledore, noticing the tension in Severus' face turning into a scowl.
"What has Potter gotten himself into now?" answered Severus who couldn't help but spit out Harry's name.
"Ah, Severus, you are too quick to judge," said Dumbledore, smiling slightly. "You see, I was wondering if you could brew up a supply of Dreamless Sleep potion as well as a healing potion that eases the after effects of the Cructius."
"What does this have to do with Potter?" asked Severus, eyeing the old man suspiciously.
"Harry has been experiencing terrible nightmares," said Dumbledore, his face saddening a little.
"Well, he doesn't remember them. I believe Harry has some kind of connection with Voldemort. His nightmares are a result of this connection. In time, as the connection gets stronger, he will be able to remember these dreams."
"Okay, but what is the healing potion for?"
"That is for Harry also," continued Dumbledore. "He tells me that when he wakes up, he feels the after effects of the Cructius. Another result of his connection with Voldemort, I am sure."
"How long has he had these dreams?" asked Severus.
"Since Voldemort's return," answered Dumbledore.
Something happen then that Severus did not expect. Never, in his entire existence, did he ever believe he would pity Harry Potter. Severus had been under the Cructius before, quite a few times actually. But to wake up every day to that pain? Severus had a hard time wrapping his mind around that one.
"Now, the effects of the curse are mild for the time being, but I am afraid they will get worse. For this, Severus, I need you to develop something to break this connection he has with Voldemort."
"I will start on it right away, Albus," said Severus as he stood up to leave.
"Thank you Severus. This means a lot to me and it will to Harry," said Dumbledore as he walked Severus to the door. "You can give those potions to me and. . ."
"No need Albus," Severus said, cutting off the headmaster. "I am to see Mr. Potter this evening. . . for detention."
"Ah. . .that will be fine," said Dumbledore, eyeing Severus suspiciously. "Severus, I know that you and James had your differences but that's just it. You and James. Harry has a lot on his plate right now. He really doesn't need a rabid Potions Master at his throat. If not for Harry, do it for Lily. I know you cared for her. Just do it for Lily."
Severus left quickly without another word. He had no desire to let Dumbledore witness the number of emotions that crossed his face. 'He just had to bring Lily into it, didn't he?' thought Severus as he walked down to the comfort of his dungeon.
Harry sat at the noisy Gryffindor House table but was in no mood to add to the noise. Hermione looked up from her own dinner and looked at Harry. She frowned slightly before returning to her meal. Just then, Ron voiced what Hermione was thinking.
"Harry, are you okay? You haven't said a word all night."
"Yeah, I'm okay. Just thinking," responded Harry without looking up.
Hermione bit the side of her lip as she gained the courage to ask Harry what he was thinking about. She was a little afraid she might upset him.
"Harry? Um. . .what are you. . .thinking about?" Harry noticed the slight uneasiness in her voice.
"Hermione," began Harry. "I am so sorry for the way I have treated you. You too, Ron. I talked to Dumbledore today and he made me feel a lot better. He even said he would find me something for my nightmares. Don't worry. I won't blow up when you ask me questions."
Ron and Hermione smiled at him.
"Unless they are completely idiotic," added Harry. Ron and Hermione laughed at this and Harry joined, really laughing for the first time in months.
"So what else did Dumbledore tell you?" asked Ron as he reached for another piece of roast.
"Well, I asked him about my eyes and my hair. He said he really didn't know what was causing it. He did tell me that, without my glasses, I look more like my mum." At this, Harry smiled proudly.
"You know," said Hermione. "I have seen a difference in your face. I mean, you used to be a carbon copy of your father, at least from the pictures you showed me. Now, you just look different."
"As much as I like looking like him," said Harry. "It's kinda nice being my own person."
"It's a good thing you got your father's hair color, though," said Ron. "If you got your mum's hair, you could pass off as a Weasley!"
"Thank Merlin for that!" said Harry as he threw up his arms in gratefulness. "What's the matter Ron? Are you sure you don't want another brother?"
"No thank you!"
Harry smiled and then looked down at his watch, a gift from Hermione for his last birthday.
"I'm going to head up to the library and start on my Transfiguration and History of Magic homework before I go to detention," said Harry as he got up. "I'll see you guys in the common room afterwards."
Harry left the Great Hall and started up to the library. The library was completely empty except for the librarian, Madam Pince, who never seemed to leave. Harry, finding a table in the back, pulled out his homework. For Professor McGonagall's class, they had to write an essay on ways in which Transfiguration could be used against the dark arts. 'I'm going to save that one for later,' thought Harry. He then looked at his History of Magic work. Professor Binns had been unusually nice and gave them a choice of topics to write an essay on.
Harry scanned the list. "Write about the role Gerald Hickbee played in the formation of the International Federation of Wizards in 1789." "Explain the significance of the Salem Witch Trials on the Wizard/Muggle relations in America." The list contained several more fairly boring topics until Harry came upon one that wasn't so bad. "Research and write about an important witch or wizard in your family and explain why they were important."
Harry liked this topic but realized that he didn't know much about his family. He knew his mother's side a little, but she was a muggleborn and Harry doubted there were any other wizarding relations. Harry knew his father was a pureblood but that was all he knew It dawned on Harry that he know so very little about his own family.
Sighing at the list, he decided to do his essay on Gerald Hickbee. Harry left his table and went to look for a book on his essay topic. After a quick search of the "H" section, Harry found a rather large book on the subject. As he started towards his table, a book suddenly caught his eye and he stopped to look at it. He pulled it off the shelf and examined the front cover. It was titled "History Charms." Harry opened the book and looked through the table of contents. The book seemed to be full of charms to date objects and learn about their history. 'Sort of a wizard version of carbon dating,' he thought to himself. Running a finger down the table of contents, he suddenly stopped when his finger ran by a chapter on family lineage. Harry's heart leapt. His Gerald Hickbee book forgotten, Harry ran back to his table and sat down, plopping the book in front of him. Turning to the chapter he was interested in, he read:
"There are several charms in which the caster can create a family tree of sorts. Developed by wizards in the late 14th century, they were first used to prove a person's claim to nobility in their family. Today, there is not much use for these charms and some even go so far as to doubt their reliability."
Harry finished the introduction of the chapter and suddenly realized that it was five minutes to eight. Packing his things quickly, Harry checked the book out and rushed to the dungeons.
Severus lightly drummed his long, pale fingers on the surface of his desk. Looking at his watch, he thought, 'Two more minutes and I can give Potter another detention. Maybe even something with Filch.' One minute. . . thirty seconds. . . ten, nine, eight, seven, six. . .
Suddenly, the door to the Potions classroom flung open and Harry entered.
He had obviously been running and was very out of breath. Severus scowled slightly over losing the chance to punish Harry further.
"How nice of you to finally show up, Potter," said Severus. He couldn't help but spit out Harry's name every time it passed through his lips. "You will be labeling potions. On the table there are the bottles and a list of what they are. Attach the labels with the spell-o-tape and ten put them in that cupboard over there," Snape pointed to a cabinet at the back of the room.
"Yes, sir," said Harry. He was a little surprised at the fact that he got off easy with this detention. On the other hand, two hours with Snape wasn't exactly a joyous occasion.
Harry got to his work quickly. Snape sat a his desk, grading summer homework. He looked up and watched as the boy labeled the bottles quietly. Deciding that he wasn't going to let Harry get through this detention with out a little verbal abuse, he put his quill down and walked over to him.
"Tell me, Potter," said Severus, leaning back on the desk in front of Harry. "How did you manage to get the potion right. Obviously you did it on your own, since you couldn't have cheated off of Granger."
Harry looked up and met Snape's black gaze. 'What is the point of explaining myself when he'll just accuse me of something,' he thought.
"Well, Potter? I'm waiting."
"I read my Potions book over the summer," answered Harry, looking back down to his work.
"The famous Harry Potter actually had time in his busy life to do some simple Potions homework? Impressive, Potter. Maybe you do have a brain in that big head of yours. More than I can say for your father," Snape smirked at the look on Harry's face after this comment. Harry continued to look down at his work.
"What, Potter? No snide remark in defense of your dear father?"
Harry desperately tried to hold his temper. He wanted nothing more than to spit out a line of obscenities at Snape's face, but knew that he had to live through the rest of the year. He looked up and saw that Snape was walking back to his desk.
"Professor, why don't you ever say anything about my mother? You obviously have enough to say about my Dad. Did you hate my Mum, too?" Harry looked up to see that Snape had stopped in his tracks.
"What did you say?" said Snape without turning.
"You've spent the last four years berating me about my father. What about my Mum? You've never said a word about her. Is it because she was a muggleborn? Not worthy of you ridicule?"
Snape still did not turn. Harry could see him take a deep breath and then he shook his head slightly.
"Get out, Potter," said Snape in nothing more than a whisper.
Snape turned around to look at Harry. He had a fire in his green eyes Severus had seen to often in his own memories.
"Answer my question, Professor," Harry had managed to spit out his name quite harshly.
"Potter, if I answer that question. . . No, I'm not going to answer that question. Get out," Severus turned his back to Harry once more. He could hear Harry's footsteps walking towards the door when he suddenly remembered his conversation with Dumbledore.
"Potter." He could hear the steps stop.
Harry turned around from the door to look at his Potions teacher. Snape reached into his cloak pocket and withdrew a small leather bag. Holding out the bag to Harry, he said, "On request of the Headmaster."
Harry took the bag and turned towards the door. Severus took another deep breath and closed his eyes.
Walking back from the dungeons, Harry looked at the bag Snape had given him. Opening it, he found two potion bottles. One was labeled "Dreamless Sleep." The other was not labeled but had a note attached to it. Harry stopped walking and unfolded the note. It read:
"Take a sip of the "Dreamless Sleep" potion just before going to bed. It should take care of the nightmares. If you feel any effects of the Cructius, take a sip of the blue potion. When you run out, speak to me and I will refill your supply."
The note was not signed. Harry wondered at whom he should ask for more. Dumbledore or Snape? He figured Snape had brewed it, which in itself was not a comforting thought. Harry sighed as he put the note in his pocket along with the potions and made his way back to the common room.
"So how was detention?" asked Ron as Harry walked through the portrait hole.
"Interesting," said Harry as he sat next to Ron on the couch in front of the fire.
"That's not a word I'd usually associate with Snape."
"What happened, Harry?" asked Hermione as she walked down from the dormitories. "You were gone for, like, thirty minutes. That's a bit short for a detention."
"Yeah, well I think I pissed off Snape," said Harry, smiling slightly. "He didn't yell at me for what I said and that was the really scary part."
"What did you do to him?" asked Ron, smiling at the fact Harry got away with pissing off Snape.
"I asked him why he never said anything about my Mum. I actually wanted to know why. I didn't think it would make him so angry."
"What did Snape say when you asked him?" asked Hermione.
"He didn't say anything. He just told me to get out," said Harry, reaching into his pocket and pulling out the bag. "Then, before I left, he gave me this."
"What is it?" asked Hermione as she took the bag from Harry.
"It has a sleeping potion and a healing potion in it."
"And Snape made them for you?" asked Ron as he took the bag from Hermione. "You're not going to use them, are you? You may never wake up."
"He said that Dumbledore asked him to make them," said Harry, taking the bag back from Ron. "I'm going to use them, whether Snape made them or not. I really need to sleep."
"Did you start on your History of Magic essay yet?" asked Ron as he pointed to a piece of parchment in front of him.
Harry suddenly remembered the book he found in the library.
"I went to the library to start on it but then I found this book and sort of forgot all about it," said Harry as he pulled the "History Charms" book out of his bag. "It's got all these different charms and stuff that date objects and tells you about them. I checked it out because it had a chapter on family lineage. I don't even know my grandparents' names on my Dad's side. I figured that maybe I could find a famous witch or wizard somewhere in my family and do my essay on them."
Hermione took the book from Harry and started to flip through the pages. She stopped on the chapter Harry was talking about and started to read through the different charms.
"Lets see. . . Well, here's a basic family history charm. You need a piece of blank parchment and a drop of blood from two family members and a drop from yourself," read Hermione.
"Well, that one's out," said Harry. "Any others that don't involve blood?"
"Um. . .oh! For this one, you need a family heirloom."
"Family heirloom?" said Harry, raising an eyebrow to Ron and Hermione. "I don't. . .wait, what about my invisibility cloak? Do you think that's a family heirloom?"
"Invisibility cloaks are really rare and I doubt they are even made anymore," said Ron. "It was probably at least your grandparents at one point."
"I guess it's worth a shot," said Harry as he stood up. He ran quickly up to the dorm room and a few moments later, came back down with the silvery cloak under his arm. "Do you need anything else for the charm?"
"A piece of parchment," said Hermione as she read over the charm. "That's all. The book says that you have to be a blood relative to the family of the heirloom to cast the spell."
"Well I don't think I have to worry about that," said Harry. "Okay, so what do I do?"
"Hold the parchment in front of you, cast the spell on it, then touch the parchment to the cloak," said Hermione. "The spell is 'Familia Progenies'."
Harry said the spell a few times to make sure he was saying it right, then took out his wand and cast 'Familia Progenies' on the parchment. The parchment began to give off a faint golden glow.
"I think you did it, Harry," said Hermione. "Harry, touch the cloak with the parchment."
Harry took a corner of the cloak and touched it to the parchment. The faint golden glow flickered a bit before going away completely. Harry held up the parchment. Nothing happened.
"What does the book say is supposed to happen?" asked Harry as he examined the parchment closely.
"It says that a list of family members will appear almost immediately after the object touches the parchment."
"Hmm. . . It didn't work," said Harry as he picked up his wand. "Let me try this again."
Harry cast 'Familia Progenies' on the parchment once again, concentrating extremely hard. Instead of a faint golden glow, this time there was a illuminating yellow glow from the parchment. Harry touched the cloak to the parchment and again the glow flickered for a moment before going out.
"Am I doing this right?" asked Harry as he looked up from his blank piece of parchment.
"I think you are," said Hermione. "Let me try it. My necklace belonged to my great grandmother so it should work." Hermione took out her own piece of parchment and cast 'familia progenies' on it. It had the same illuminating yellow glow from it. Setting down her wand, Hermione took her necklace and touched it to the parchment. As soon as she touched the parchment, gold lines of flowing script appeared, revealing the names of her family members.
"Let's see," said Hermione as she looked over the list. "It says whether or not they were a wizard or not. Look! My great-great-aunt Gertrude was a witch!" Hermione showed the two boys the fact that she had a magical relative proudly.
"Hermione, how'd did you get it to work? I said the spell like you and everything!" said Harry, as he looked at his own piece of parchment.
"Maybe it's the cloak," said Ron. "Do you have any other things that belonged to your parents?"
"No," said Harry. "Just my cloak."
"What about Lupin or Sirius?" asked Hermione as she looked up from her parchment. "Or Dumbledore! Harry, didn't he give you the cloak? Maybe he has other things of your parents."
"Yeah, maybe," said Harry. He couldn't help but voice the disappointment he felt. "I'm going to bed. See you in the morning."
Harry gathered his books and his bag and walked upstairs to the dormitories. Changing into his nightclothes, he sat down on his bed and took out the sleeping potion Snape had given him. He looked at it for a few minutes, debating whether or not to use it. Deciding that a full night's sleep was worth the risk, Harry uncorked the bottle, took a small sip, and set the potion on his table, next to his broken glasses. Within a few minutes, Harry was enjoying a dreamless night, the first in months.
And just in case anyone has read this fic somewhere else, I also have posted it on several other fan fic sites. Usually I'm under the name Helluin or penpunk. Just so people know, this is totally my work and not plagurized. Thanks!