AN: Thanks for the great praises being sung to me ::smacks self in head for having way too much Halloween candy:: I know I should be saving some for the actual trick-or-treating, but it's 3 Musketeer bars and Rolos. I can't resist, even though it tends to make me... well. Nevermind. Here's the story.
Severus felt a prickling at the back of his neck. Following the instincts that had saved his life more times than he cared to count, he turned around to find an intense pair of green eyes watching him.
This was not what he needed this morning. Not after finding out about everything that had happened in the Great Hall while they were off on that stupid, wild goose chase. And half the culprits involved didn't even remember doing whatever they'd been caught by the Creevey boy's camera.
Determined to ignore Potter, he managed to make it almost all the way through the day without thinking of the man and his kisses. At least until the seventh year Double Potions class of Gryffindor and Slytherin. It was all Severus could do not to stare at Potter.
Finally dismissing them, he sat down in his chair and closed his eyes in relief.
Severus' eyes snapped open to find Potter standing in front of him, the door closed and the room empty but for the two of them. Pulling his mask back on, he snapped, "Potter. Five points from Gryffindor for your cheekiness in addressing me improperly. Now get out."
Potter gave a little smirk - a disturbing image to see when it wasn't in his mirror. The man leaned over Severus as Potter's face hovered mere centimeters over his.
"Severus. We need to talk."
Oh Merlin. Those four words lead to pain.
"No. We don't."
Potter moved even closer, so that the space separating them was mere millimeters. "I think we do," he whispered as he moved the last little bit to brush his lips against Severus'.
Sweet. So sweet. Severus decided to let himself enjoy the moment. Then he caught himself. No, this wasn't what he should be doing.
Pushing Potter aside, he rose and stalked over to the door. "Potter, that's enough! Now get out before you'll be spending the rest of the year with Filch every night in detention!"
A minute later, Severus laid his head against the door, his chest heaving with excited emotions. Sweet Merlin, but he could swear that he'd seen a quite predatory glint in Potter's eyes.
Harry restrained himself until he was a couple of hallways from the dungeons. Finding a deserted classroom, he shut the door and, with a quickly cast Silencing charm, let out a whoop of joy. He knew he'd seen something, and just by Snape's... Severus' reaction, it was plain that the man was trying to hide his emotions.
Harry wasn't about to let him.
When he had woken up this morning, he'd decided that he would do everything he could to woo his Potions Master, and by the reaction he had gotten today, the plan was well set into motion.
Severus was ready to tear down the walls in the dungeons in frustration. Each class and meal time and any time he saw Potter anywhere in the castle or on the grounds, he seemed to be targeted by those green eyes. They pierced through the tough hide Severus had built up in the last twenty years to protect himself with the ease of a hot knife through butter. And it was obvious the man knew what he was doing.
Those green eyes looked like they were watching him with hunger and want and all manner of things nobody ever looked at Severus with. He knew he wasn't the best looking man in the world, so why was someone with Harry's - Potter, damnit - looks watching him?
Harry sighed as Sna - Severus - ignored him. His obviously foolproof plan for wooing the man was going off the deep end very fast.
Well. He had two choices about this. Personally, he wasn't sure if the first one would work, and the second practically assured him a place in St Mungo's, because that's where Ron and Hermione would put him if he asked for their help. So now he was trying to figure out which was the best option to go with.
Option one consisted of sending little notes to the object of his affections, but he was pretty sure that the man would just chuck them into the nearest trash bin and try to ignore him like he was right now. Even though Harry knew, just KNEW that he was getting to Sna - Severus - he was going to have to do something pretty drastic if he wanted anything more than the occasional heated and confused glances he was getting from the Potions Master when he thought Harry wasn't looking.
Which is where his friends came in. Harry knew that Hermione was one of the most brilliant students to have ever crossed the Entrance Hall at Hogwarts, and Ron was a wonderful strategist if his record of winning the last 2,435 straight games of chess he'd played was anything to go by.
There was only one way to find out, and if Harry was lucky, the Memory charm he had studied last night would come in handy if things headed the way he expected them to.
The couple in question looked up from their spots on the couch in the Gryffindor common room that they typically made out on after supper. Of course, it being only four in the afternoon, no such activity was going on by the looks of suffering on Ron's face as Hermione had her books spread out over the both of them.
"Hey, mate!" Ron greeted him.
Needless to say, Ron wasn't all that happy when Harry got done explaining why he needed their help.
"Out of your mind, you are," the red head exploded. He shook his head and looked mournfully at Harry. "I don't know what Mum's going to say when she hears you're in St. Mungo's."
Harry sighed and looked at Hermione. The brunette was eyeing him speculatively.
"Did you shag him yet?" the girl asked.
Harry stared at her in shock. Definitely what he hadn't been expecting. "Well, no."
Hermione smiled at him, totally ignoring Ron's sputtering next to her. "Then do so. He'll get the point then, especially if you do all the things he doesn't think you'll do - " she raised an eyebrow at Harry's confused look. "A nice dinner, maybe a really great gift he wouldn't expect."
Harry nodded. Hermione's advice was running closely to what he'd been thinking. Scary thought, but it might just work.
Severus knew he was in DEEP trouble the moment he saw Potter walk through the doorway to his classroom. It was obvious that he was up to something, and Severus had only the time it took to teach the last potions class before the holiday break - the last class in all before the break - to figure it out. It was a lose-lose situation as far as he was concerned. Over the last couple of weeks, he'd noticed that he had quite the dirty, perverted mind Black had always said he did.
Okay, so it was a completely different Potter and he felt very differently about the two. James Potter had never inspired him to think about him in a sexual way. No, that had been mainly ways of trying to get the git expelled, along with his stupid friends. Harry Potter, on the other hand... it might have started the same way, but the direction his mind had taken since Halloween was far removed from what his father could have ever made him think.
Since Halloween, Severus had been torn between continuing as he always had been. It did have its points, in that he had been satisfied - sort of - with the quality of his life. He got to mold young Slytherins and try to keep them out of harm's way and at the same time was able to torment the other three houses for all that he'd gone through as a student. Worked perfectly well.
But now... As much as he liked all of the above quirks of being Potions Master and Head of Slytherin House at Hogwarts, something had changed the way he looked at life. In particular, one green-eyed savior of the world who watched him with all the intent of a lion stalking its next meal. Of which he most certainly was the main course.
Oh, it wasn't quite as bad as he'd thought. And he'd thought about it. He hadn't woken up with such wet sheets since he was a teenager, and frankly he was feeling pretty happy that he could keep it up several times a night. Of course, this wasn't taking into consideration that the cause of such feelings involved a certain student who had a wicked tongue and liked to make the most wonderful noises.
Severus' imagination had taken all that it could from that one most wonderful - torturous - kiss and ran away with it.
Eventually came the moment he had been dreading since Potter had walked into the room: dismissing the class. Somehow, he just knew that the man - he couldn't think of him as anything other than a man after some of the steamy dreams he'd been having - would find some reason to stay behind. And that was detrimental to Severus' health. Most certainly.
Sure enough, Potter fobbed off his friends with an excuse and shut the door behind them. Locking it. Sealing it shut with a very powerful Silencing charm. And there was a disturbing twinkle in the green eyes that swiftly approached Severus as he stood, shocked to a standstill, at his desk.
A foot from him, Potter stopped and gave a feral grin.
Severus blinked in confusion for a moment. Well. That was different. But it couldn't hurt, could it?
Severus tiredly blinked the sleep out of his eyes. He wasn't this tired most of the time, and he didn't understand why. Stretching slightly, all movement stopped when his hand hit something warm and solid and not at all what should be in his bed.
Oh, dear sweet Merlin, what did he do last night?
Slowly, slowly turning onto his side, he was greeted with the peaceful countenance of Harry Potter. The man's even breathing was so totally unlike Severus had ever seen it. The golden-pale skin glowed faintly in the fading glow of the fire, the slight flickering over the features on his face giving a mysterious feeling to the atmosphere.
His eyes moved down to the lush expanse of bared skin on the man's neck. Severus wished for the tiniest moment to taste it before he made himself move on to one of the most beautiful bodies he'd ever seen. Broad shoulders tapered into a slim waist, steel-like muscles stretched over soft looking skin.
Only to be stopped by the waistband of a pair of boxers.
'Why is it a pair, when it's only one piece of clothing?' Severus asked himself in a disjointed manner, before looking down at himself to find that he was wearing his boxers. 'The same pair I put on yesterday after my shower. Good,' he thought.
Or maybe not.
Pieces of last night finally began pulling themselves together to reveal a quite nice evening. Potter... Harry - he was in bed with the man, and even though it didn't feel like they'd done anything physical, he supposed it would be polite to call the man by his first name - had somehow managed to find out all of Severus' favorite foods for a nice, quiet dinner. Then they had spent several hours talking over events that had taken place during the war, sharing a bottle of wine Harry had procured.
It was at the end of the bottle that Severus' thoughts grew fuzzy. He seemed to remember Harry saying something about heading off to bed, but it wasn't coherent enough for Severus to be confident about what had gone on after that.
"Morning," Harry's sleep-roughened voice pulled him out of his thoughts. The sound reminded him of being deep in the Chamber of Secrets. Then it had crawled across his skin and making him itch with desire. Even now it had the same effect, only this wasn't with the aide of a spell. Just Harry.
Severus didn't answer verbally. Instead, he watched as the green eyes slid open to reveal a pleased look. It was like nothing he had ever seen on Harry's face before; it was as if he was smiling in contentment with just his eyes and that he had nothing else to project but that single emotion.
Suddenly Harry's face was getting closer, and it wasn't until he was an inch away before Severus realized he had been the one moving. Blinking, he pulled back. He went to close his eyes when he saw a flash of disappointment and dejection pass through the green eyes across from him. He was tempted to do something to counter it, but knew that would just give Harry the advantage and Severus would not let that happen.
Moving to the edge of the bed and sitting up, Severus heard a deep and sad sigh, just loud enough to catch his attention. Surreptitiously, he looked back at the man in his bed and found a drawn and rejected look on Harry's face. That stopped him in his tracks, as he realized that Harry was being quite serious about this. Even up to five minutes ago, he had thought that this was only to finish what had happened almost two months ago and that would be the end of it.
That was why Severus had resisted, even though he'd been tempted to accept Harry's invitations - blatant or not - to finish that kiss. And now it was looking as if the worrying had been about the wrong subject. Instead of fending off Harry's advances, he should have been trying to figure out a way to follow through the feelings that had been building since Halloween - the warm and contented feeling he gained from talking to the man in those rare moments when he could let his guard down, and those moments when, even in the middle of the crowded Great Hall, Harry managed to send a smile at him, regardless of who might be watching and Severus' reactions.
Turning around, he found that Harry had buried his head in the pillow and Severus was afraid of what he'd find. While that wasn't a comfortable emotion, he was more concerned with what the other man was feeling.
The man looked up, a startled look on the tight face. Those green eyes, though, were dull and flat looking, most unlike their usual sparkling and emotional appearance.
"What is it you want, Severus?" Harry asked, his voice echoing what his eyes were showing.
Severus directed a steady look at him. "What do you want to happen?"
"Happen?" Harry asked.
Severus nodded slightly. "You want something from me, and I would like to know what you are going to do about it."
Harry sighed, and Severus thought he wasn't going to answer.
"I want to be with you for as long as you want me," Harry replied in a quiet, unsure voice. "To talk to you like we did last night. And to kiss you. And argue with you about Sirius and Dumbledore. And...."
Severus watched as Harry's shoulders slumped as silence stretched through the room. He didn't know what to say for the first time in his life. He had never been confronted by such a serious, *personal* hope? - dream? Severus wasn't sure what to call it. All he did know was that something inside him thawed.
The bed shifted and Severus looked up to find Harry getting off the bed and grabbing his robe.
"I'm sorry," Harry said, and Severus wasn't quite sure if he actually heard tears in his voice or not. "You don't want the same thing." The robe was half-buttoned. "I'll leave then." All the while Harry kept his face turned away from Severus.
The robe was fully fastened and shoes were slipped on.
He was almost at the door when Severus went into motion, spurred by the fact that he was letting this... beautiful... thing slip between his fingers.
No. He would take Harry up on his offer, consequences be damned.
Sliding off the bed, he stalked over to the door and stood in front of Harry. Resting his hands on the man's shoulders, Severus leaned forward and rested his forehead on Harry's.
"Yes. I'm going to take you up on your offer," he whispered before brushing his lips over Harry's. As he responded, it was all Severus could do to not ravish him on the spot.
Making himself pull back, he saw that Harry was wearing a soft smile, and, letting his emotions show for the briefest moment, returned it.
Harry squirmed in his seat, anxious and nervous and all sorts of emotions that made him want to visit the bathroom to revisit his last two meals.
Today was Graduation Day. Capital letters. As in, it was also the day he and Severus were going to announce their relationship to the public.
Truthfully, though, it probably couldn't be that much worse than when Harry had told Sirius that he was dating Severus. That had not be fun. At all. Harry cringed at the memory.
But, things in that quarter were much better, especially since Remus had threatened Sirius with something that neither man would tell Harry, but he could take a fair guess that it had something to do with Sirius having to sleep on the couch for the rest of their natural lives. No sex could be a powerful motivator at times.
Not that he and Severus had actually been doing anything like that.
Harry was proud of himself for keeping his hormones as reigned in as possible and keeping it in his pants. No, instead of going that route, both he and Severus had decided that they were going to take this nice and slow.
The bright side of announcing their relationship today was that it was the last agreed-upon step before they took that path, and Harry couldn't wait. In fact, his perverted and dirty mind had quite a long list of things he'd like to do to Severus' body, and he was very willing to start right in on it.
"And finally," Dumbledore was saying, "I'd like to congratulate the graduating class on an eventful seven years - " Harry felt most of the Great Hall's eyes on him " - and to wish you luck as you begin your next adventure."
Harry and rest of the seventh years stood and threw their hats into the air in the traditional manner, before slowly filing to their family and friends as the house-elves set up the buffet-style tables for food.
Winding his way to where Sirius and Remus were standing, Harry was stopped several times to meet his classmates' parents and to talk to various professors. Smiling and trying his hardest to be polite when all he wanted was to go find Severus, he eventually got to where he'd originally been headed. When he got there, he was pulled into a giant hug by Sirius and a more easy-to-breathe one by Remus.
"Look, Moony!" Sirius was saying. "Our little Harry, all grown up!" He gave a fake sniffle and wiped an imaginary tear away.
Remus sent a Look at Sirius before turning to Harry. "Today's the big day, isn't it, Harry?"
He nodded, ignoring Sirius' scowl. "Sev said that he'd come get me after he'd talked to the Slytherins. After that, he's all mine." Again, he ignored Sirius' antics as he added fake gagging to the show.
"Well. That makes me feel a lot better," came Severus' voice from behind Harry, sending a little shiver down his spine at the sound. The man's voice had caused Harry many emotions over the years, but it was this tone that he liked the best, even if his body tended to physically react to it.
Harry smiled and grabbed his hand.
As he did, silence fell over the couple of groups that had been standing next to them. It grew when the others saw what had shut the others up.
Harry smirked inwardly as the Slytherins' jaws dropped, the Ravenclaws' studied them carefully to see if this was a joke or not, the Hufflepuffs were either flushed or wishing to run away from the sight that their Potions Professor was actually human.
But the best.... Oh, the reactions of the Gryffindors. Harry's classmates had known he was seeing someone, but never in their entire lives would they have guessed it was *Snape* of all people. SNAPE!
Well, Hermione and Ron were the exceptions, as the two of them were shaking their heads. Whether it was in embarrassment for Harry or exasperation at his bold outing, he wasn't sure which.
Dumbledore broke the silence as he strode up to them.
"Ah, Severus, Harry. I see that you've decided to quit hiding," he said with a sly wink.
Harry wrinkled his nose as Severus glared at the headmaster. 'Really, that man is impossible sometimes,' Harry thought as the crowd began to quietly talk, still unsure if anything else was going to happen.
Dumbledore winked at them again, repeating the action for Sirius and Remus before making his way over to the table that held the Muggle candies. Once he was gone, Harry smiled at Sirius and Remus.
"I'll see you tomorrow, right?" he asked, reminding the two men that they'd promised him a trip to Godric's Hollow, where'd they started to restore his parents' old house.
Nodding, Remus dragged Sirius out of the hall before he could say anything he wasn't supposed to.
Turning to Severus, Harry gave the man a bright look.
Severus nodded, an almost imperceptible smile hovering on his lips.
Smiling, Harry made his way out of the Great Hall, Severus' hand in his. After all, they had some personal business to attend to.
Yes, I know it's pretty sappy, but I'm blaming that on the fact that I was ambushed, by one of my friends from work, to watch the first Tenchi Muyo movie with her before dragging myself home.