By the time Harry met up with Draco and Snape in the professor’s private quarters, he was too exhausted to do anything but sit in the nearest chair and groan. He’d been dodging Ron and Hermione all day, unable to come up with a decent excuse for having disappeared the entire night – without leaving a note, as Ron had pointed out before he managed to escape his dorm room.
“Harry?” Draco rubbed the back of his neck gently, and Harry sighed as his tension eased bit by bit. “Severus thinks he may have found something.”
“Really?” Harry’s head jerked up and Draco’s fingers fell away, sliding across his neck to rest on his shoulder. “What? What did you find out?”
“That’s what I’d like to know,” Draco said dryly. Harry heard the impatience in his lover’s voice and reached up to rest his hand over the blond’s, squeezing gently.
“I’m not entirely certain this pertains to you at all.” Snape took the chair across from Harry and Draco, looking like he’d gone a few rounds with Voldemort. The expression on his face was one of intense concern, and while Harry had discovered within the past two days that his professor was most definitely not the cold-hearted bastard he’d originally thought, he hadn’t been quite ready to admit that Snape actually cared, either. Looking at him now, however, he found himself likewise unable to deny it.
“Sir?” He prompted a bit shakily after a moment. Draco’s hand tightened almost painfully on his shoulder as the castle itself seemed to hold its breath. Harry was suddenly very sure that what his professor had to say had quite a bit to do with them, actually, and wished quite madly for a moment that he was back in his cupboard under the stairs with the old familiar worries of life as a ten-year-old ‘freak’.
“Last night, I had a dream,” Snape began, “or what I suspect may have been a premonition.” Harry was momentarily distracted by the red tint to his professor’s cheeks, and resisted the urge to laugh. ‘Big bad Severus Snape, blushing. Ron would never believe me.’ He wondered what Snape must have foresaw that would make him look like that.
In light of his amusement, Harry was not at all prepared for his professor’s next words. “In it I had what I have come to believe a very real and very serious conversation with the Four Founders. The conversation was about a prophecy concerning, I’m afraid, the two of you. This morning I found the same prophecy in an extremely old and rare Dark Arts text.”
“Dark Arts!” Harry stood up, angry and more than a little bewildered. “Illegal magic! Why would you be reading something like that, anyway, huh?”
“Sit down now, Mr. Potter,” Snape practically snarled at him. Harry obeyed, but crossed his arms in defiance and stared his professor down. The brunet had never met a man more complicated than Severus Snape, and he hoped he never did. He tapped his foot, impatient, and turned his glare up a notch. There was a hint of something that might have been regret in Snape’s eyes when he continued.
“You’ve much to learn, Mr. Potter,” he said, his tone somewhat sad. “The Dark Arts are a powerful tool for all Wizards and Witches, and they are not bad. Magic is magic; only a soul can be Dark.”
Harry had absolutely nothing to say to that, so he just nodded. For the moment he would just listen. Contrary to popular belief, Harry was neither naïve nor trusting, not after being raised by the Dursleys. What the man said made a lot of sense, and Harry was too smart not to listen.
“In truth, it was only after Salazar Slytherin lost his mind and began using magic to hurt and kill Muggles that there was any such thing as the ‘Dark Arts’. That was just the Ministry’s way of trying to take control.” Snape shook his head, obviously disgusted. Harry nodded again. He didn’t know what else to do; once again, someone was flipping his world around, and once again, all the brunet could do was hang on for the ride.
“In any case, the prophecy is rather complicated, and I’ve yet to do more than guess at its full meaning. Listen:
Many years from now, on the very spot I stand
Three shall come together, to save our precious land
The Hand shall guide the Lovers, leading them to peace
The Bond shall be created, thrice by magic’s tease
Power the world knows not, they’ll set it all to rights
They’ll prepare each other with Secrets, meeting most late nights
The day when Dark meets Light, the Three shall stand aside
In the crash will many die, only the Chosen will remain alive
I have reason to believe I am the Hand, and that the two of you are the Lovers. This particular prophecy was written by the Founders together exactly three hundred years ago, and it has been considered a myth by many for most of that time. Now, however, I believe we’ve proven them wrong.” Snape sat back, his eyes flicking to the side as a blush rose in his cheeks again. “In my dream, the Founders showed me the two of you when you first met in Madam Malkin’s, when you next met in the Room of Requirement, and when you third met … in my guest room this morning.”