Disclaimer: Thanks JKR for letting us borrow your awe inspiring characters. It helps to keep our lives occupied…well in my case anyway…lol

This plot was also inspired by "You'll Be In My Heart" by Phil Collins. Great song…:D

A/N: This is set pretty much straight after Sirius' death in OotP. Personally I think Harry and Severus need to put aside their misunderstandings and get along…. I believe that's all it is… misunderstandings. If Severus knew who Harry was…instead of the image of James he believes him to be, then I think the world would be a better place! I do hope you enjoy this story anyway!

I'll Be There Always

I can't cope with this, I thought as I pushed my way through the heavy kitchen doors at Number Twelve Grimmauld Place and sat down at the deserted table. I glanced briefly at the ticking hands of the clock on the wall.

3:00am

I felt like I haven't slept a wink since it happened. Since he fell though the veil. I can't cope with it; the pain and the regret of losing someone I had just barely begun to know.

That was the cruel irony of life, I mused bitterly. Let's give Harry a taste of what he wants then snatch it away. A hollow laugh escaped my lips. That was exactly what Snape said to me two nights after it happened.

To the shock of nearly everyone in the Order, Professor Snape had come up to me that evening, now almost two weeks ago and said something that I had given up hope hearing from anyone let alone him. A soft smile crossed my lips as I recalled that evening.

I sat in the library of Grimmauld Place reading a book, yet not actually reading it. My eyes had skimmed over the same words for what seemed like the thousandth time. I couldn't concentrate, everyone was avoiding me, I could tell. Their eyes would avert whenever I looked up.

I just wished someone would come to talk to me about Sirius. I need - My thoughts were interrupted by a shadow that I felt over me. I looked up surprised to see the face of Professor Snape peering down at me.

"Sir?" I ventured, when he still remained silent. I was suspicious of him yet curious to find out what he wanted. He never had anything good to say to me, I thought bitterly.

"Potter, I want to - to." he paused, trying to find his words. My eyes widened, it must be important what he haws to stay if he is stumbling over his words. Professor Snape never stumbles!

"I want to offer my condolences on the passing of your godfather." His black eyes bored into mine as he waited for a response. Suddenly it seemed, as I returned his gaze that the past five years had never happened, that I never hated Snape, that he never hated me. All because of that one statement, that one offer of contrition.

No one had said that to me yet... Oh yes, everyone was sorry he died but no one seemed willing to address how much Sirius meant to me. To the shock of Snape and everyone else in the room for that matter, I stood up from my chair and wrapped my arms around him in a tight hug, almost burying my face in his voluminous robes. I heard a collective gasp from the people around the room, including Ron's

"Are you mad, Harry!"

It felt like such a weight had been lifted from my heart, as I felt Snape sigh and slowly placed his hand on my back, returning my hug.

"Potter, I think it would be wise to let go now." he whispered in my ear, with a trace of amusement. My mind was swimming; it was hard to comprehend this. I always assumed he would hate me, it seemed as sure as I would breathe air.

I quickly pulled back from him, almost afraid that he would take it all back. It had never occurred to me before now how much I seemed to want him not to hate me.

"Sorry sir, I-" I begun when he silenced me with his raised hand.

"No apologies are needed, Potter. Come, let's go into the kitchen, there is something I need to explain to you." he raised an eyebrow at me ands I nodded quickly and followed him into the kitchen. I stopped at the table and watched as he applied a locking and silencing charm around the room.

"Sit, Potter." he ordered as he sat down in the chair across from me.

"I must admit," he began, "that I did not expect you to react so well to me. If I may ask, was there a particular reason why?"

"I-I-I mean, noone has actually said that to me."

"Nobody?" Snape repeated incredulously.

"And the moment you said it, I realised how much I really needed to hear it."

"I'm glad I said it then."

"Thank you sir, but there is something I want to ask, why?" I blurted out, "You-you hate me!"

"Ah-yes, now comes the explanation." he stood-up and went to the window and looked out. "It begins and ends with your mother, Lily."

"My mother? How? I don't-" Snape held up a hand to stop me.

"Please, save your questions for when I have finished." I nodded and looked expectantly at him to continue.

"It began the week after I had unknowingly delivered to Dark Lord the prophecy which led to your parents' death." He paused and pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration. Obviously this memory was hard for him to recall. I swallowed nervously, no matter how many times I was told that Snape delivered the prophecy to Voldemort, it still was a shock. I remember I was very angry when I first heard it but I've matured since then. "It was when Lily and James discovered that the Dark Lord was after them." he continued, "Lily had come around to my home, needless to say I was surprised. She asked for my help to protect you."

"Me?" I interrupted; I couldn't help it, suddenly alot of things made sense.

"Yes, she asked me to do everything in my power to save you. Have you heard of an Unbreakable Vow, Potter?" I shook my head.

"Well, it bonds the caster and the recipient as well as anyone else involved, in this case as well as anyone else involved, in this case you. It is an assurance that a promise will be kept."

"Sir, why did she choose you of-" I stopped myself with a hand over my mouth.

"Of all people?" he finished for me with a wry smile. "Yes, I asked Lily the same question. Her answer was 'You'll always be in my heart'. Evidently to her I was the person she trusted the most. I think it stemmed back to our Hogwarts days where she would repeatedly persuade James to leave me alone. We always helped each other; in turn I tutored her in Potions."

"So you are bound to protect me because my mother asked you?" He sat back down across from me and looked me straight in the eyes.

"Yes I am."

"Then why did you hate me so much when I started at Hogwarts?" I asked curiously, it was something I had to know. I hope he would answer, this new Snape I was seeing, I liked alot.

"You must understand Potter that I became very bitter when your parents were murdered because I felt wholly responsible and the thought of you just hurt me so much. I know I didn't have to worry about my vow until you came to Hogwarts as Dumbledore protected you at your Aunt and Uncle's house. Over the years, I put it out of my mind and almost forgot. Until I saw you that day in the Great Hall, I saw those brilliant emerald eyes and I saw Lily and all that bitterness came pouring back. For that I sincerely apologize. I could never handle my anger and grief properly as Dumbledore always reminds me." I didn't know how to respond, I finally had the answer to the question that had been eating away at me for five years.

"I think I understand, sir." I said carefully, still unsure of what to think.

"That's enough for now, Potter. It will take time."

A comfortable silence fell over the room as we looked at each other. I felt tears pricking at my eyes as my thoughts churned over in my head.

He hates me all that time because I reminded him of the mistake which cost my mother her life.

Then I couldn't stop it, tears rolled silently down my face. Snape looked startled for a moment then reached across the table and took hold of my hand.

"Come stop your crying it will be alright. I will protect you from all around you. I will be here don't you worry." I knew then that I had always had someone who cared for me, but neither of us knew it until now.

"For one so young, you seem so strong." He continued still maintaining eye contact. "How I'd love to keep away so you stay safe and warm. This bond between us can't be broken; I'll be for you always. Life is never fair, Potter. It's let's giving Harry a taste of what he wants then snatch it away. I may never really have like Black but I came to respect him because he cared for you and that's all that mattered in the end."

I blinked away my tears and nodded giving him a small smile.

"Come now Potter, everyone is probably thinking whether I have done away with you yet." He said his lips twitching upwards in a smile. We both laughed and walked together back into the living room, ready to face the sea of astonished looks from the rest of the order.

So there I was sitting at the kitchen at 3am musing about my newfound relationship with Snape. It's been a few weeks and I have felt better than I have in years but today I found the two-way mirror still wrapped in my bag that Sirius had given me for Christmas and a wave of regret and sadness washed over me.

"Skulking around the kitchen Potter at this ungodly hour?" a deeply amused voice spoke up from the shadows.

"One could ask the same of you sir?" I retorted. Snape came out of the shadows and sat across from me.

"What's wrong?" he asked softly, grasping my now cold fingers.

"It's just Sirius, I miss him so much and I tried to find you to talk but everyone I asked looked at me as if I was mad. Why can't everyone understand the way I feel?" I demanded angrily, running my free hand through my hair.

"Don't listen to them, because what do they know? They just don't trust what they can't explain. I know we're different but deep inside us, we're not that different at all."

I looked gratefully up at him and squeezed his hand.

"Thank you sir, I'm glad you're here for me."

"I think you've earned the right to call me Severus, not while we're in class though!" he amended sharply. I laughed softly.

"Of course, I would never disregard your trust, Severus." I knew I meant it when I said that. "You can call me Harry you know."

"I can do that…Harry." We sat in silence for a few moments listening to creaking sounds of the old house.

"I think I should be getting up to bed then." I said reluctantly breaking the silence.

"Yes you should Harry, you need to sleep."

"Goodnight then, Severus." I stood up and walked to the door, as I had my hand on it ready to push it open, he spoke again.
"Remember Harry, just look over your shoulder, I'll always be there. And in the words of your mother; you'll be in my heart, always."