Note: This story takes place after the books (ignore the epilogue and death of Snape's character).

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and characters. All rights reserved to J.K. Rowling. I am not making a profit from this fan fiction.

Pairing: Severus Snape/Harry Potter

Warning: Future chapters to contain sexual content between to male characters.

To Protect

Chapter One

The bite of winter was in each brush of the breeze against his arm. Harry curled further into the confines of his wizard's coat to stave off the cold and possible lingering entities as he went further into the darkness of the Forbidden Forest.

No sane person would venture these grounds so late into the evening, but he was given little choice as he used what little illumination his wand offered to light his way. Branches emerged from the earth in greater degree as he pushed deeper inside the forest. The soft calls of insects and animals alike kept his ears tuned and alert for approaching danger.

"Must you be tardy for every appointment, or do you envisage me as a patient man, Professor Potter?" the deep baritone quieted the surrounding chirps of bugs. Harry paused with a breath and merely bowed his head at the hidden man.

"My deepest apologies," he replied coolly.

"Come along Potter," Snape sneered as he entered the field of illumination.

"Where is the portkey?" he asked knowing he would receive only silence in answer. As was usual, his tall counterpart gave him no reply and merely led the way.

Now a professor at Hogwarts, Harry continued as an active member of the Order. Despite the demise of Voldemort, there were still active followers who continued the legacy and despite the efforts of the Aurors and ministry, one very threatening group was on the trend to corrupt the new freedom and peace that the Dark Lord's death had brought about.

They traveled in silence for several minutes until reaching a clearing of trees where an old shoe sat on the bare earth.

"A shoe," Harry asked with a chuckle.

"Is it not to your liking, Potter? Is a mere shoe beneath the savior of the wizarding world? My sincerest apologies..." Snape's eyes flashed with anger. He seemed to be once more in a mood. Harry had grown accustomed to Snape's remarks, so he was little affected by this one.

"No, I was merely entertained," he said simply before coming beside the grumpier of the two. He picked the small leather shoe up from the ground and ran fingers over the weathered shine of the heel. "Shall we?" he said holding it out to the older man with a smile. "We would not want to be tardy for our would we?"


"Just get on with it Snape," Harry quickly interrupted the rant, and Snape tapped the shoe uttering under his breath before they were flying through equilibrium.

"Harry!" was shouted as their feet hit the carpet. Molly took him up into a tight hug, as she was prone to, before releasing him with a grin. "How you have grown!"

Snape scoffed behind him, "Yes, in ego and not in height."

"Oh hush," she hissed to the man behind him before giving him another once over. She fixed his cloak before stepping back beside Mister Weasley. "Yes, you have become quite a fine man indeed..." she remarked, a glint of emotion swirling her eyes. Harry smiled at his adoptive mother before turning to Ron who sat beside a very pregnant Hermione.

"Hello you two," he said fondly before making his way to them.

"I see we are to have a reunion in place of a meeting," Snape added angrily to the bustle of voices. Harry ignored the remark and pulled both of his closest friends into his arms.

"I've missed you two," he said with a squeeze of his arms.

"As we have missed you," Hermione said as she wrapped one of her arms around his waist. "You seem thinner..."

He pulled away with a smile. "You are imagining things..."

He had indeed lost a great deal of weight. He was stressed beyond his years with the upcoming end of the year and the increasing activities of the Death Eaters. His nights were interrupted by nightmares of the war and the loss of life that was often a reminder of where he had failed. He may have defeated Voldemort but at the expense of others.

"Harry," Hermione said softly, pulling him from his daze. "The nightmares..."

"Shall we all sit and begin the meeting?" he interrupted eager to drop the subject. She was silenced but not for long, he was sure. His friend, if anything, was persistent and stubborn when it came to his health.

The meeting consisted of a list of names they had discovered through their investigations. Not much was brought forward that they were unaware of at the moment, but Harry had been diligent with his investigation of the recent disappearances of muggles in London. Though he had little time to focus on it, he had spent a good bit of his holiday following up on several of the locations they were last seen.

"...and finally," he added after he had listed the final missing muggle. "I was able to locate a witness to Henry Goodman's disappearance. I will be meeting with him soon to get his testimony."

The room was quiet before the heavy atmosphere lightened. "Shall we call it an evening?" said Arthur standing from his chair. "I think that we have discussed what we could this evening."

Everyone stood and after a few farewells, Harry and Snape made their way over to the portkey. Neither had spoken since before the meeting, so when the older man cleared his throat, Harry's eyes were immediately drawn to him.

"You did a satisfactory job, Potter."

Harry was struck before the familiar swirling engulfed him, and he was sent off balance into the firm chest of the man before him. The heat that came with the impact was almost as striking as the whispered words before their descent. When he had finally steadied himself, he could only gaze dumbly at the tall man before him. Snape regarded him with a sneer, pushing Harry away from him roughly.

"I am just as capable of recognizing effort when it is put forth, Potter." Snape seemed almost insulted by Harry's reaction. Harry quickly snapped out of his daze and smiled brilliantly at the usually aloof wizard.

"I would have never believed it if I had not heard it for myself, professor."

"I still maintain that you are a blithering imbecile, however, Potter." Snape snaked around Harry before making his way out of the forest. Harry followed closely behind, smiling despite the insult. It was the first time that his efforts had been recognized by Snape. It was something that deep down he had pursued for as long as he had known the man.


"I will expect two feet of parchment on the subject of werewolves upon our next lesson," Harry said over the sea of second years. "You are dismissed."

The voices filled the room as several students departed and others made their way to his desk. The usual surrounding of questions on the lesson began, and he found his answers were unusually listless as he replied. His head was still far away repeating the compliment he had been paid the evening before.

Harry could not help that his mind often wandered to Snape in his moments of weakness. Despite his every effort to dispel them, he had grown increasingly aware of his attraction to the crass wizard. There was simply no logic to explain his attraction and as he would often deny the straying hand after a particularly realistic dream involving the older man, he could not deny the wandering of his gaze whenever they were near or the thumping of his heart when Snape's eyes would connect with his at the head table. Nor could he deny the increasing desire to be in the powerful presence the Potion's Master excreted.

Shaking away the thoughts, he focused on the faces around him before sneaking off to his office during his free period.

He was huddled over his parchment when a soft knock sounded at the door. Lifting his head, he waved his hand through the air and the door opened to an individual he had been longing to lay his eyes on. Snape stood just beyond the threshold, regarding him with one of his unreadable expressions. He walked into the room, closing the door behind him and crossed his arms against his chest.

"Professor Snape," Harry said coolly as he set aside his quill and tried to calm his rapid heartbeat. Though his face remained smooth, his body was shaking beneath his robes. "To what do I owe the pleasure..."

"Oh spare me Potter," Snape quipped before walking to stand before him. "I could do without your usual polite banter. I require your services this evening. Am I correct to assume you are without other engagement?" The smirk was not lost on Harry. His face drew down with the insult.

"If you mean to say that you find it hard to believe I would have prior engagements that do not directly deal with school matters, I would say you are to presume incorrectly..." he stated nonchalantly as he drew the quill across the parchment once more. "I am otherwise occupied with company this evening. I am sure you can find someone else to assist you." His mind was screaming at him, pushing him to accept, but the logical side of him -it was often much more stubborn than its counterpart- refused to be put to use by a man who insulted him at every opportunity.

"I find that very difficult to believe," Snape replied as he rounded the desk to stand beside Harry. Ignoring the man, Harry continued to put quill to parchment. "Pent up, Potter?" His quill strayed as he jerked at the soft spoken words and soft warmth that touched his ear. His face felt hot as he shakily set the quill down.

"I am not sure what you mean to imply," he stated smoothly despite his embarrassment.

"Do not play naive Potter," Snape replied as he bent over Harry from behind. "I doubt you are innocent to the world of pleasure."

Harry curled his hands to fists as the words sent his already rapid heartbeat into overdrive. He was sure his heart would beat right out of his chest at any moment if he allowed this to continue. It was the first time he had ever known Snape to speak of anything in the field of intimacy. He, for good reason, believed the man incapable of any kind of intimacy.

"I believe this is the first time in our acquaintance that you have been unable to retort Potter." Harry could hear the man smirking and before it could go further, he was pushing from the desk and standing to glare at the older wizard.

"You overstep your bounds, Snape."

"Have I hit the nail on the head Potter," Snape said moving closer before smirking and crossing his arms nonchalantly. "I have need of your services. You will accompany me this evening and cancel your previous engagement."

Harry was speechless as Snape left the room as silently as he came. There was not a word he could fathom to describe what had just transpired. He sunk into his chair and let his arms rest lax at his sides. He had right mind to chase down Snape and demand an explanation, but then he might get himself caught in an even stickier situation than the one before. He feared that more, so he immediately sent word of his cancellation with a reporter he had previously spoken to and prepared himself for a night of unknown destination and activity.


Though he had toyed with the idea of standing up Snape, he would be forced to deal with the repercussions of that action in and out of work, so he decided against it. He fixed the crease in his dress shirt as he stood before the entrance to Snape's quarters. He did his best to calm his rapid heartbeat but to no avail as he whispered the password sent earlier via owl. Why the man wanted to meet here and not somewhere a bit more appropriate, Harry was not entirely sure.

The painting opened and revealed the passage which he immediately set to. When he reached the door hidden at the end of the corridor, he was a ball of nerves. He rubbed sweaty palms against his trouser-clad thighs before knocking softly. 'Nice...start out with a pansy arse knock...that is sure to instill your confidence' his inner voice echoed. The door swung open, and he proceeded inside with one hesitant step. It was the first time he had been in Snape's quarters and to say that he was surprised, would be false. They were everything that he imagined they would be.

Every item was meticulously placed in its home. There were various labeled ingredients neatly stored on shelves lining the wall. A cauldron simmered at the corner of the room just beside a desk scattered with vials of differing color. A clock ticked softly atop the mantel of the fireplace. The soft glow of the fire lit a good portion of the room before it was swallowed by the darkness. Several windows were drawn closed by high curtains that reached the ceiling which was a good twenty feet above. Harry was sure that he could easily fly within these rooms on his broom.

Snape was sitting on a fire lit sofa holding a book as a quill scratched against parchment beside him, untouched aside from magic. Harry regarded the man's profile. Though he was aged by his years, his face was surprisingly handsome in a very aristocratic sort of way. With a long, curved nose, high cheekbones, and a sharp, strong jaw, he was the epitome of masculinity in all of his refinement. Snape's hair had stayed about shoulder length all these years, but it looked as though he had been taking care of it as it had lost its oily appearance.

"Are you to stare at me all night like an imbecile Potter?"

"Well pardon for not entirely understanding my purpose for being here," Harry hissed. Snape gazed at him, a hint of mischief touching his lips before setting aside his book and motioning for Harry to sit.

"I require assistance on an order of a rather tedious potion," he began as Harry took the chair near the sofa. "This potion requires a great deal of attention and will take an entire week to brew. It was at the request of the ministry and thus needed promptly. As I am not capable of around the clock brewing without the assistance of potent potions, I require your services."

"You would trust me with the creation of such an important potion..." Harry said in disbelief.

"As much as I would like to believe it false, you are very capable despite your early years, at concocting potions. I have already requested your assistance and as it is imperative this be conceived quickly, the Headmistress has given her consent that you and I are dismissed temporarily from our lessons until the successful creation of it."

"Wh-why?" Harry was almost speechless but managed that one question.

"I am not at liberty to discuss it," Snape replied impassively. "Your cooperation in this does not require you have any information on the matter. Is that understood?"

Harry knew when to argue. This was not one of those occasions. He nodded as he sat back into the chair. "When are we to begin?"

"I have gathered the necessary items, but I will need a few stray ingredients that are required fresh. We will be leaving immediately in the morning for their retrieval. You should gather three to four days worth of necessities as we will be traveling to retrieve them."

"Wait," Harry held up a hand as his eyes widened. "We are going somewhere...and worse still, we will be staying outside of Hogwarts?"

"Your brilliance in these matters does truly astound me Potter."

"If you expect my help, Snape, you will answer my questions."

"I will answer your inquiries," Snape said angrily as he stood from his seat. "However, I will not repeat myself. You may be a colleague, but you are still my junior in all definition of the word, so you will regard me with respect."

"Must everything be an argument with you?"

"Indeed," Snape retorted with a smirk before continuing. "These ingredients are rather difficult to find and as I am expecting that a few of the locations may not turn up a find, we will need to prepare for staying outside of Hogwarts in the meantime."

"Where will we be traveling?"

"Ireland," Snape replied simply.

"What time do we leave?"

"At dawn."

"I will return then," Harry said as he stood. Snape's form stopped him from progressing from the door.

"I will send an elf to retrieve your things. You will stay in my quarters for the evening."

"What?!" Harry was dumbfounded. Snape's returning expression gave way to nothing. "I do not see how that is necessary."

"It is necessary because I deem it so. You are repeatedly late for our appointments, and I will not miss the chance for retrieving our ingredient due to your inability to arrive on time, Potter."

"I can be here on time," Harry argued. "I will set an alarm."

"I doubt any alarm can wake your deep sleep state." Snape was laughing at Harry with his eyes. It only inflamed his anger further. "I do not trust your word. You will stay here the night, and I will not be pressed further on the issue. Is that clear?"

"I am not a child, Snape." He was biting out his words. Snape seemed unaffected by his heightened anger. "I will not stand by as you belittle me to our days as student and professor. If you demand respect, you must first pay it in turn."

"Is that so?" Snape retorted softly. He approached Harry, who was shaking with frustration, and reminded Harry why he had first feared being alone with the other man. "You are trembling. Is it due to anger...or excitement, Mister Potter?"


"I am not oblivious to your stares, Potter." Snape's lips were drawn close to Harry's ear and a jolt ran the length of his body. A warmth spread through him from below with the intimate act. "Do not delude yourself into believing I was unaware of your unwanted attention."

"I don't..."

"You may have defeated the Dark Lord," Snape continued intimately whispering each word into Harry's ear. "But your mind is still easily penetrated and your thoughts rampant whenever I am near you."

'Oh Merlin...oh Merlin...' Harry was renewed in his shaking, however for an entirely different reason. Pure fear. Fear of discovery. Fear of consequence of his immoral thoughts.

"Do me this favor," Snape said almost flush against him "and I will ignore those stares and you can continue your adolescent infatuation."

"I am an adult," Harry responded after his brain finally caught up. He pulled away and caught the hint of a smile on the man's lips before it disappeared into indifference.

"Only in number, Mister Potter," Snape replied evenly. His eyes were daring Harry to retort, but Harry would not be baited. Instead, he pulled away, hoping the little bit of distance would help calm his overly sensitive body. He was found out, and the shame was slowly engulfing him. He could only swallow in hopes of pushing it down. It had been the first time in a long time he had felt anything close to crying. Men were not suppose to want other men. Harry was already different and a freak to begin with; he did not need anything further to drive that reality into the minds of others—especially not the man currently involved.

Snape had been regarding him silently as if reading every one of his thoughts. Harry sealed his mind away and wiped the emotion clear out of his body. He did it when Vernon would berate him on being a freak and unwanted. He had done it when he was starved and locked beneath the staircase. He did it when he thought of the death of Cedric, or of Remus, or of Fred. He turned it all off and merely nodded. The eyes that greeted him were riddled with curiosity, but he could care little as he sat himself down into the chair.

"Potter..." Snape began but took a seat back on the sofa and returned to his book.

An elf delivered his belongings to the room shortly after they were ordered, and he was once more brought to the forethought of his fears. He would be staying with Snape, alone, for the next week at least; the idea that the man was aware of his affections was enough to renew his fear from previous. He would be no doubt teased and berated an inch of his life by the sadistic man before him. How he could possibly fall so irrevocably into any sort of attraction to this individual was the biggest mystery thus far. Still, the fact that despite his earnest protection of his thoughts, Snape had easily penetrated his mind like they were back in his school years.

"I have arranged the guest room beside my own and will wake you, as I doubt you will be unable to rouse, at dawn. If you should require anything, the house elf is at your disposal."

"Yes yes," he replied idly. That reply earned him a sneer from his taller counterpart before the man disappeared from sight. Disappointment bellied. He was not sure as to why he felt the hard curling of his stomach at the thought of their night ending, but he did his best to ignore it as he settled into the room.


"Potter," the deep baritone echoed in his dreamless state. He turned over and curled himself further into the warmth of his bed. He heard the irritated sigh before he was flushed with the ice cold morning as his comforter was torn from him. He grunted in disapproval and opened his eyes reluctantly.

"You do not disappoint in my assessment of your sleeping habits, Potter."

"Oh shut it, Snape."

"What was that Potter?" He immediately knew his mistake at the hissing reply.

"Sorry," he replied sheepishly. "I'm not much of a morning person."

"I had deducted as much. Enough pleasantries Potter," Snape said with a pinch to the bridge of his nose. "Quickly dress yourself and gather your belongings." He said nothing more as he left Harry to himself; cold and frustrated, Harry began to feel the heat of embarrassment. He was hard, as he was every morning, but Snape was no doubt entirely aware of that fact due to the removal of his cover. Cursing his life, he dressed quickly as told and gathered his belongings to meet the man who was probably impatiently waiting in the living chambers.

Snape was dressed surprisingly in fashionable yet smart attire. His hair arranged about his face as the collar of his dress shirt peeked through an emerald vest which he covered with a blazer and then an overcoat. Harry was very aware of his now blank stare at the man but unable to look away as each movement of the man's slender, potion-stained fingers addressed the buttons and righted creases.

He was in a simple t-shirt and jumper, a heavy coat for when the cold was too much, but otherwise a usual state of dress for his days off. He suddenly felt very under dressed. "Should I..."

"We will portkey," Snape interrupted as he led the way out of his chambers. Harry merely followed the man and matched his speed. Soon they were outside the grounds and once more a small item had been chosen for the portkey. He held onto the notebook and spun into oblivion with his older colleague.

Green hillside stretched as far as the eye could see as they arrived at their destination. A low fog danced beneath the peaking hills as sheep sporadically peeked their heads out before returning to their meal. He looked about curiously before realizing that Snape was already walking away and quickly chased after the dark figure now disappearing into the fog.

"What are we searching for?" he asked the man as he finally caught up and matched the quick strides.

"Leprechaun gold."

"Oh Merlin," Harry groaned. Leprechauns were nasty creatures and territorial. Getting their gold was a task even seasoned collectors had difficulty obtaining. It was much more difficult to find as Leprechauns would regularly change its location to keep others from taking it. It was often used in potions requiring Leprechaun protection magic which was often used in an antidote to poisoning.

"Are we brewing an antidote?" Harry asked, stalling Snape in his progression.

"How did you deduce that Potter?" Snape looked at him with a spark in his eyes.

"Leprechaun gold is often used in poison antidotes..." he replied softly. 'Buck up Harry. Show him your confidence,' his mind screamed, and he straightened his back in response.

"Very good, Mister Potter. I had you pegged for inadequate in all matters unrelated to the Dark Arts, but it would seem I was mistaken in that assumption. We will be brewing an antidote, but I will reveal no more on the matter. Your questions in regards to the potion that do not directly affect its concocting will be met with silence. Am I understood?"

"Yes," Harry replied softly despite himself.

Snape pulled out a notebook from his pocket and quickly scanned its contents. "The location should be just beyond that hillside. If I am correct, it will be hidden within a patch of earth just beside three south facing stones." Harry listened carefully as the location was described, and they set off to find the three stones.

Hours passed and they had yet to find the location described. Sweat beaded at his brow, and he wiped it away with the back of his hand. "We are getting nowhere," he groaned in his frustration. He looked to the man just a few feet from him, but the other looked very little affected by the inability to find the location. As cool as a cucumber as muggles would say. He gave an inward sigh and came beside Snape.

"It will have disappeared by now," Snape replied almost to himself. "The gold is only visible in the light of dawn. We will need to return tomorrow at dawn."

"And what are we to do until then?" Harry asked in his frustration.

"We will locate another of the ingredients which should be less difficult to find." Snape was brushing stray grass from his trouser leg before resting his gaze on Harry. The light of morning streamed through the raven locks and gave an incandescent glow to the man's pale flesh against the starkness of his obsidian eyes and locks. Harry once more shook away the thoughts of how handsome Snape was now that he was less decayed by the dark mark and stress that came from being a spy.

"We will need several fresh four-leafed clovers," Snape added to the silence. Harry was suddenly feeling rather aware of their being alone on this hilltop with nothing but stretches of land about them. The beauty of their surroundings was lost on him as he became increasingly more nervous with the man of his desires standing before him.

"Right," he breathed.

"We should eat however before we begin our search." Snape was drawing closer and pulled Harry to himself before the wave of Apparation sent him further into the embrace of the older wizard's strong arms. He was immediately pushed away once their feet hit the ground. He righted his disheveled clothing, keeping his red-tinted flush cheeks from view as he did.

"You must know this area well enough to Apparate," he commented lightly.

"Your observations are quite astounding Potter. I often wonder how I could possibly conceive you a complete imbecile with deductions such as those." The sarcasm was dripping from every word and was not lost on Harry. He chose to ignore it as he finally gained control of his emotions staining his cheeks.

"We will stay at the McFarlen Inn for the evening," Snape said while making his way to the run down inn. The walls were riddled with cracks from age; many spots revealed the inner bricking of the walls giving the inn an aesthetic of the old world. Harry quite liked the appearance of old buildings, weathered by the years, and took an immediate comfort in the homey air as they entered the lodgings. A man of violent red hair and beard stood behind the counter. His eyes immediately lightened at the sight of the two of them.

"Ah Professor Snape," he bellowed as he came around to greet them. "I wondered when you would pop back in. I had started to believe that I would not see you around these lands any time in the near future, lad."

"Indeed," Snape replied dryly. "We have need of a room."

"Two rooms," Harry added quickly.

"Of course," the large man bellowed with a chuckle. "I'll show you the way."

"We will have need of only one room," Snape said as they traveled the length of a small corridor that felt as though it would crumble around them.

"Is that so?"

Harry was losing his patience. He was not sure of the reason that Snape would demand they share a room, but he was neither short on money or frustration as he once more cut it. "I will need my own room."

Snape rounded on him as the large man left a key in his hand and made a quick exit. He must have sensed the oncoming argument. Harry would not have continued to stick around if he was in the other man's shoes.

"Inside," Snape hissed. He opened the door and with what little dignity Harry had, he brushed passed the taller wizard and walked inside the room. To say that the room was small would be quite an understatement. The cot in the room would barely fit one body let alone two and there was little floor room.

"I will definitely require my own sleeping quarters," Harry whispered to himself. He felt the man's presence behind him and immediately stiffened.

"Is this not an ideal situation for you, Potter?" Snape whispered intimately into his ear. Harry covered said ear and drew away.

"I do not see how you came to that conclusion!" his voice was strained to a whisper to keep others from hearing their conversation. "Whatever you may or may not know of my thoughts, you clearly are making this arrangement impossibly uncomfortable. I may have been your student once, but I am no longer that boy. I can find my own way back to Hogwarts." He brushed his clothing as if ending the conversation and gathered his belongings which he had set on the floor as soon as they had entered. Snape stood directly in the way of the door.

"You still react very much like a boy," he stated with a smirk. "Easily angered and prone to flight. The only part of you that is truly Gryffindor is your stubborn idiocy, Mister Potter. You cannot simply disregard your responsibilities as you see fit."

"I would not be forced to 'disregard them' as you've so put it if it not for your constant belittling. Who would ever subject themselves to a sadist like you for longer than they were required to?!"

"Yet you harbor an affection for this 'sadist' so what would that conclude you were Mister Potter?"

"A bleeding imbecile!" Harry all but yelled. "Of which you are so kind as to remind me of at any given opportunity, so I doubt that you would argue me on that point. I cannot fathom this part of myself and believe me, I have sat for hours trying to figure out how it could have possibly been conceived but have yet to come to any sort of understanding." He was breathing heavily by the end of his speech. Before he could think better of it, he continued with a softer voice. "I admired your loyalty to my mother, and your service in the war. Before I knew it..."

Snape was near as he trailed off and their mingled breathing the only sound that filled the small room. There was a tension in the air, and it felt as if any moment, it would break.

"My loyalties were out of guilt," Snape finally said breaking the silence. Harry was stricken by the sudden admission. He gazed into the man's fathomless obsidian depths.

"It was love," Harry said simply. "You loved her and thus you wanted to protect her only son. I have come to understand this."

"Do not presume to know me, Potter." Snape shot Harry down with a glare. "You cannot begin to understand me nor would you want to. This affection you have for me is ill-placed. You will grow passed it, and you will return to your hatred once it is gone."

"Who is presuming to know the other now?" Harry argued. He was met with eyes that seemed as cold as the marble they resembled. "I am twenty-three years old, and it is the first I have felt this sort of..." he was getting ahead of himself. "We need to come to a sort of understanding if this partnership is going to work."

Snape scoffed at the word. Harry continued with a raised brow. "I know it seems below such a great wizard as yourself, but you were the one that came to me for the help, may I remind you. If I am going to assist you in this, we will need to treat each other in a manner that will allow this partnership to be a success. Feelings and history aside, we are colleagues and will need to communicate in a respectful way in order to get through this week."

Snape seemed to ponder Harry's words before he let out a long breath. "As I loathe to admit it, you have made a very valid point on the matter. I will strive to be a bit more...civil" his mouth curled around the word with disgust "if you will strive to keep your numerous questions to yourself. Rather, I would prefer it if you spoke little to not at all this entire week."

"Now Professor, that is an impossible task and you know it," Harry teased. It was the first time that the air between them seemed to relax. They were interacting, but it was neither hostile nor professional.

"Yes, indeed. You would be quite incapable of silence," Snape responded dryly. "If we are to be spending a good deal of time together, I would prefer it if you referred to me by my given name."


"Without the adolescent stuttering if you would."

Harry could not help the smile that crept to his face. "Fine. You must call me Harry then..."

Sna—Severus was sneering, and it caused Harry to chuckle against his will. "Oh come on. Harry is hardly a difficult name to pronounce."

"You test my patience Potter."

"Yes yes," Harry said as he continued to chuckle. He set his luggage on the floor and sat on the cot. "Now it is your turn to explain why you require us to share a room. I may remind you of the naïve boy I once was, but I am not, Severus. Who is after me and why have they placed my protection in your hands?"


End Note: I am not too sure where I plan to go with this story but feedback is appreciated.