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Harry came out of the pensieve, wanting to retch after what he'd just witnessed in Snape's memory. Everything he'd come to believe about his father had been shattered to pieces, and he gripped the long potions table in front of him so hard his knuckles turned white. The offending bowl rested innocently there on that table, still so close that if he wanted, he could swipe it to the floor to banish its contents. That wouldn't help. Gasping and fighting not to double over, he drew a few ragged breaths as he squeezed his eyes shut against the unwanted images now permanently etched in his mind.
"Potter! How dare you. How dare you."
At the sound of Snape's sharp, menacing voice with no hint of his usual silken tones, Harry's eyes snapped open. Emerald met onyx, but Harry couldn't hold his gaze for long or bear the sight of the potion master's pale, livid face. Shame burned Harry's cheeks, and he had to look away. Harry should never, never have let curiosity get the better of him. "I didn't...I didn't mean to," he stammered, swallowing hard.
Snape swept toward him, black cloak billowing behind him. He seized Harry by the collar and shook, hard. He looked like he wanted to choke the life out of Harry. "Arrogant. Meddling. Just like your father. Get out. GET OUT! Your Occlumency lessons are at an end." He practically threw Harry from him.
"I'm not like him," Harry choked out, stumbling, his arms just managing to break his fall. He stood and faced Snape, the icy dread in his gut at being found snooping into Snape's private memory melting away, leaving only anger, disappointment, and revulsion. Snape had told him what his father had been like, and he'd refused to hear a word against James. Harry had idolized him too much. His breaths still came heavy, ragged, shaking his thin frame. "You were right about my dad. You were right. He was...he was like my cousin. Like Malfoy. A bully."
The thought of that Malfoylike sneer on his own father's face as he'd tormented Snape sickened Harry, and bile rose in his throat. He shook his head, backing away toward the door, wanting to run and never see Snape again. Wanting to hop on his broomstick and fly until the wind blew all of this from his mind.
Snape stared at Harry as though he'd grown two heads, as though this were the last thing he'd expected Harry to say. Harry felt a familiar brush against his mind, not as invasive as what he'd become used to in his Occlumency lessons, but enough to know what Snape had done. Some of Snape's fury seemed to dissipate, and he fixed Harry with a cold, thoughtful expression. Suddenly, Snape seemed to age ten years, weighed down by a secret grief. "Perhaps you are more like your mother," he said, his voice so soft Harry barely heard it. "Now go."
Harry didn't need to be told a third time.