TITLE: Worthy
AUTHOR: Sammymc
DISCLAIMER: Harry Potter and Severus Snape are creations and property of JK Rowling... and whomever she chose to give the rights too. This is fan-fiction and therefore is not real or to be taken as serious fact.
SUMMARY: A little post-liaison talk and reflection.
NOTES: Part of the Severus Snape Fuh-Q Fest 2nd Wave (In response to the Easy-Pairing Severus/Harry (aged sixteen or older). )
Thanks to Lady of Arundel for betaing for me

Harry was never sure when it was going to happen or why. Just that it always happened precisely when he needed it to.

When he had a fight with Ron, and was being given the silent treatment. When it all became to much and the whispers and stares made him feel like some animal to be goggled at in the zoo. When Draco Malfoy's cold and hateful words hit just a little to close to home. *Then* it would happen.

But it was something he had no defense against that brought it about the most often.

Because Harry always made up with Ron after a little while. A good glare from one of his ever present friends was sufficient to stop wayward eyes from following for to long. And calling Malfoy a ferret or insulting his own Death Eater father usually shut up the bloody-albino-git for at least a little while.

But the dreams, that was something else altogether.

Whenever he woke in the night from another nightmare, screaming silently, mouth stretched open in unmistakable terror, scar angry and painful when morning came, he knew that *it* would happen yet again the following night. That Severus Snape would take one look at his face, eyes locking with his own, and find some reason to give him an unwarranted detention, and it would happen again. Because there was no one else who could soothe that pain, no one who could make that hurt disappear.

Harry knew he would find himself stretched over a desk or on the threadbare rug covering the dungeon floor in front of the fireplace. He knew that he would soon be lying naked and wanton under his professor. That he would pant and plead, sweaty, aching and needy for this man who he both despised and loved. That's just the way it was.

Because Harry Potter hated Severus Snape and Severus Snape hated Harry Potter.

It didn't happen often, not every time Harry got a detention. Most of the time he ended up scrubbing out cauldrons and organizing potion ingredient bottles. But always when Harry was at the end of his rope, barely managing to hang on.

That was when he'd find himself being kissed and touched. That was when Snape made love to him for hours on end.

*That* was what made Harry love him. Harry knew Severus Snape better then the older man thought he did. So, Harry knew that the most important thing in Snape's life was his position at Hogwarts as Potions Professor. It was what kept Snape going most days. Yet Severus was willing put that in jeopardy. The way Harry smiled at him when they were alone together was enough to get him fired for sure. But, Snape still put it all on the line to give Harry the small bit of comfort and affection that he so desperately needed from time to time. Because that was what it was.

It was never some man shagging some child. It was Severus Snape giving Harry Potter what he needed to survive, to keep going, to live.

It was warmth and compassion. Harry felt content and relaxed in Severus's arms. Like the world couldn't hurt him. Like Voldemort didn't even exist. Harry felt safe in his Professors arms.

He couldn't ever remember being that completely safe before. Never in Hagrid's hut, or Dumbledore's office. Not at The Burrow, or Gryffindor tower. Certainly not at the Dursleys'. Only in the arms of his Potion Teacher.

Harry sighed and felt long arms tighten around him in response.

"Stop thinking so loud, Potter..." The voice was soft, familiar, and held an order in it that was undeniable.

"I can't help it..." Harry whispered in response. He snuggled backward into the strong body behind him. They had ended up on the rug again, a warm blanket thrown over their bare bodies.

"What are you thinking about that can't wait another few hours?" that smooth voice asked again. Harry let his head fall back to rest on one pale, boney shoulder.

"Everything. Nothing. You. Me. Us...." he whispered. A single long finger traced down the scar on his forehead. He shivered beautifully in his lover's arms.

"That's a lot of stuff to think about, after such a hectic night. Wouldn't you agree... Harry?" he asked. Harry's body convulsed against the taller one, at the sound of his name spoken that way. Snape smiled at him. Harry purred, shifting like a cat in his arms.

"How do you feel, Harry?" he asked, his mouth close to Harry's neck. He exhaled on it and watched Harry tremble. Harry had always been so responsive. Harry blinked open his green, green eyes to look up at him, before sliding them closed again. He was so tired.

"Hmm?" was his murmured reply. Severus was losing him again.

"How do I make you feel, Harry? Tell me.." he requested, fingers moving to brush back unruly black hair. Harry's eyes blinked sleepily.

"There are too many things to count, Sev. Half of my emotions conflict with each other..." Harry whispered. He turned in the arms, moving close again as soon as they were face to face.

"Tell me anyway.." the elder pressed. Harry paused before answering. He looked up into black eyes and began to speak, suddenly much more awake.

"Warm, comfortable, content, satiated, horny," he grinned at that one. The smile faded to seriousness. "You're so different when we are alone that sometimes I get scared. Confused even. Like I don't know who is the real you. Then nights like this happen and I know you couldn't possibly be the cold-hearted Bastard you so often pretend to be. You make me feel real... like I'm more than the Wizarding World's Golden Child. There's more to me than The-Boy-Who-Lived..." he paused waiting for a response. None came so he continued. "I feel wanted when I'm with you, instead of merely tolerated," he continued. His hands went to Severus's face. "You make me feel needed.... but above all of that... you make me feel *safe* Severus. Like for as long as you are with me... nothing can hurt me..." he sighed. "I've never felt this cared for in my entire life..." he finished. His head dropped down suddenly. His forehead pressed into Severus's neck, a few tears escaping his eyes. They met with the pale neck below him. Snape made a strange sound and pulled him up higher, forcing Harry's face up so he could look at him properly. He smoothed away the tears and offered a small smile.

"Then I shall continue to be here, Harry. To keep you safe..." he answered. Harry gave him a bright if teary smile. His head came to rest on that bare shoulder again. He let his eyes fall closed, sighing again. Snape bent, giving him a careful kiss. Harry grinned and wrapped the blanket closer around them, letting his arms wrap around the thin body beside him. He stifled a yawn. "Sleepy?" the Professor asked pulling him closer. Harry nodded moving even tighter against him. "Then rest... gets some sleep. I'll wake you in a little while..." Harry did have to go back to his dorm soon. Harry let himself fully relax in the warm embrace.

"Sev?" Harry whispered sleepily.

"Yes, Harry?" Harry sighed in response, shifting position slightly to get more comfortable.

"Hmm... How do I make *you* feel?" he whispered. The Professor paused watching as the sixteen year old boy drifted to sleep in his arms. Only when Harry was fully asleep did he respond.

"Worthy..." he whispered, holding the smaller body close.