Title: Rules of Storytelling
Author: Emily Waters
Summary: Snape is glaring, Harry is smiling, life is going on.
Rules of Storytelling
It was hate at first sight.
It really was.
It would have been fine if the boy had had the common sense to be intimidated by him. But no. The boy just kept smiling at him with obscene innocence, and those pure green eyes stared at him with more affection than was appropriate under the circumstances. The circumstances being that he, Severus Snape was The Evil Bastard ™, presumably Voldemort's agent, while Harry Potter was The Boy Who Lived.
Snape glared at him.
And still, the boy was smiling at him.
"Five points from Gryffindor."
"That's all right, Sir. I understand. Other professors are playing me favors. I'm ok if you take some."
And there was that smile again.
The child's smile haunted him. The child's blind trust enraged him.
"Sir? Sir? You're limping! Are you hurt? You were trying to protect the Philosopher's Stone, weren't you?"
"Sir. I know you wouldn't harm Neville's toad. You were juts trying to scare us into being careful. But I wanted you to know that I believe in you."
"Sirius! Careful! Don't bump his head! You know he was just trying to protect us. He didn't know you were innocent. Careful, dammit!"
"Professor Snape, you know, with the Dark Lord reappearing, it's a good thing you're on our side. It'd really suck if you weren't."
"Sir, did I ever tell you, you have a wonderful sense of humor?"
"Go on, Professor! Hex Sirius! Hermione, Ron, I'll bet you five galleons Snape will wipe the floor with him."
"You know, I'm really looking forward to the Occlumency lessons. I'm sure I can learn a lot from you."
"Oh. Huh. My father really was a nasty git. You know, him dying at Volde- The Dark Lord's hands, I'm wondering now, maybe he had it coming? Come to think of it, my mum wasn't muchnicer to you... maybe she had it coming too... Wait, where are you going? Did I say something wrong?"
"No, Tonks, Snape is right. Your Patronus is lame. Sir, would you mind taking a look at my nose? I think Tonks might have healed it wrong."
"Buckbeak, you stop that right now! Professor Snape, I'm sorry about that. He gets weird sometimes. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you I still trust you, and I'm sure you had a good reason to cast AK on Dumbledore. Either that, or it was an accident."
And then, there it was. He was on the floor, bleeding. Life was draining from him. And Harry was standing over him.
"See, I knew it! I knew you were on our side all along."
"How?" Severus whispered.
Harry's wand pointed at him, magically healing the horrible wound and clearing the snake venom at once.
Harry's eyes twinkled mischievously. "The bottom line, you just don't do that sort of shit. You don't loathe someone who's clearly a tragic and mysterious figure, no matter how unpleasant they are. As far as rules of storytelling go, that really decreases their chances of survival. It's like... like making someone wear a red shirt and sending them on an away mission on Star Trek."
"Who on what?"
"Never mind that, Sir. Take my hand. Let's get you back to school."
"Sir. Did I ever tell you that you have incredibly sexy eyes? They make me think of dark tunnels."