Author Notes: Hello everyone! =) I just finished my last exam for this semester at college, today and I decided that`s a good reason to post this story as some kind of celebration.=)
It`s the sequel to "Furry Matchmaker" and the story will make more sense to you if you have already read this story.
By the way, the cover image for this story was taken, while I was in London myself, after I enjoyed dinner at the same restaurant, which is mentioned in this story.^^
Appreciation: Big thanks to YenGirl.*hugs* Again, she beta-read this story in record time and she found errors, which I hadn`t realized where there. ^^ Thank you, dear, you improved this story a lot!*big hug*
Support on fluffy paws
Today was the big day.
Narrowed blue eyes stared at the door which had been closed behind the wizard for over an hour. Toffee couldn't remember a time when her human had spent so much time in this particular room before. Her snout twitched in disgust as she remembered what was in this room – a large pool and a small pool both of which could be filled with water, bottles with dubious substances which smelled like various herbs, and some other equipment whose uses she hadn't figured out yet.
No wonder her human spent little time in this room every morning every evening. Still, she didn't understand why he had to wash himself under a stream of hot water when there were much better ways to get clean. Licking her paw, Toffee stroked the fur on her head and nodded. Yes, definitely much better ways to clean oneself than getting wet, but she supposed since humans weren't as flexible as cats, they had use that stupid room if they didn't want to smell funny.
Toffee's whiskers twitched as she tried to suppress a smirk. Her human definitely didn't want to smell funny today of all days since he wanted to impress that younger human male after all.
Still, it made her wave her tail in agitation. She didn't understand what kind of mating ritual her human and the young man with the gifted hands had started. When a male cat wanted something from her, he would just stalk her and try to impress her, until she was either convinced of him or he received a new scar from her. Then again, she had never been together with a male for more than one night. It just wasn't in her nature to stay together with another of her species for a longer period of time.
That must be the difference – humans stayed together longer than cats if they liked each other. That is why her human had to use a different mating ritual than male cats did!
Toffee meowed contentedly now that she had figured it out.
"Have you been sitting on the bed the whole time?"
Toffee blinked lazily up at her human and saw the long, black fur on his head hung down to his shoulders and looked like how her fur did after she had been stroked for hours. Her blue eyes wandered farther down and saw his chest was bare, but there weren't any remaining water drops, which meant that she wasn't in any danger of getting wet if she got near him.
"You can stay on it for once, but don't think that I'll allow you to sleep there."
As if she wanted to sleep in the same bed as her human! He must have come to that conclusion because she liked to wake him up by jumping up onto his bed and licking his face when it was time for her breakfast each morning.
Toffee let a small meow escaped her mouth as her whiskers twitched again when she remembered the delicious food her human served her each morning. She knew that he prepared it himself each week and then put it under a stasis charm.
"I don't have time for you now," her human informed her as he went to his wardrobe. "I have to get dressed. Harry and I will meet in about an hour at the entrance of Hogwarts and then we will go to London via portkey. I just hope that everything goes well."
Toffee meowed her reassurance. It was obvious the younger male wanted her human too, but if he should hurt him… the Siamese cat glanced at her claws before focusing on the older wizard again who was still staring in his wardrobe as if he hadn't decided on what to cover himself with.
She felt a bit sorry for humans because they didn't have enough fur to keep themselves warm for a long period of time. Her eyes narrowed at the fluffy white material her human had slung around his hips. She didn't understand why he chose to cover the lower part of his body and not the upper. After all, his masculine parts were covered in some fur while his chest wasn't…
"What should I wear?"
Toffee postponed solving this riddle and focused on her human who was staring helplessly at her. Obviously, you had to choose a different style when you were performing a mating ritual, she realized, otherwise the wizard would have already worn his usual black robes.
"I know I can't impress Harry with my looks, but I also don't want to look… like the mean professor who taught him in the past."
Meowing in exasperation, Toffee jumped from the bed and went into the wardrobe.
"Toffee! I don't have time to play hide and seek with you now. This date is very important to me!"
Toffee rolled her eyes. Why did her human always think she wanted to play whenever she tried to help him?
It was a shame she couldn't tell him what she was doing. Her glowing eyes darted around the garments hanging in the wardrobe. Most of them were black and covered too much of her human's body. That was fine for dealing with the youngsters in the castle, but not for impressing his intended mate.
"Toffee, that's enough! Come out of there at once!"
She ignored him and concentrated on her task. A surprised meow escaped her mouth as she spied it – the perfect clothing for her human, although she hadn't seen him wearing it before.
Moving the rest of the clothes aside with her paws, she poked her head out of the wardrobe and rubbed her head against the chosen clothing.
"Toffee, you… Oh! I had completely forgotten about that shirt."
The Siamese cat covered her snout with her paw to hide a smirk as her human accepted what she had chosen for him and took the dark green, velvet button down shirt out of the wardrobe. She waited until he was dressed in it before she made herself comfortable on the bed again, her eyes closing.
It wasn't long before her human finally announced that he was ready to leave. Toffee blinked up at him as he stroked her head and noted that he hadn't only covered his chest, but also the lower parts of his body.
Oh well, maybe humans didn't need to impress their intended mates with the length of their masculine parts, although that was a shame in case of her human. Many males had to be envious of his length! But since humans were so complicated, showing off what they had was probably a different part of the mating ritual between them.
"I'll tell you later how it went, Toffee."
She only meowed quietly in response and heard her human leaving the room and then the front door closed behind him. Now, waiting was the only thing which was left to do for her.
Toffee sprawled more comfortably on the bed. The best way to pass time was a nap.
It was almost seven o'clock.
Harry stared nervously at his watch. He had arranged with Severus to meet in front of the entrance of the castle. They would use a portkey to go directly to London to have dinner at a nice French restaurant before going on the London Eye.
The young wizard fumbled in his trouser pocket for the handkerchief which would serve as their portkey. Since they were working on rebuilding and modifying the wards of the castle right now, it was possible for them to use a portkey right in front of the castle.
Still, Harry wouldn't have minded walking over the grounds with Severus until they had passed the wards. Maybe they would even get the chance to hold hands. Harry felt himself blush at that thought. It was one of his favorite fantasies ever since Severus had agreed to go out with him as well as the one about kissing Severus while on the big wheel. A sappy smile spread over Harry's face as the image of that scene appeared in his mind's eye.
"I never thought I would see the day when you look forward to a meeting with me, Harry."
Startled, the young wizard turned around, only to find himself staring at the Potions Master of his dreams.
"I…" Harry didn't finish his sentence as he took in Severus' appearance and swallowed. The dark green button down shirt hugged the tall form of the Potions Master and looked like liquid velvet had been poured directly onto his body to fit him perfectly. The dark trousers… were just as perfect.
Harry forced himself to look up at Severus' face instead of ogling the long legs and how the fabric of the trousers hugged the slim hips of the Potions Master.
"Do you still want to go out or have you decided differently after checking me over?"
Harry blinked in surprise. Severus' question was phrased like a joke, but that didn't fool him. By now, he had learned to differentiate when Severus made a real joke and those words had sounded much too… worried to be one.
Severus had already been insecure about their date in the first place and it had been obvious that he hadn't truly believed Harry when the young wizard confessed his feelings to him. Maybe that was still the case.
A determined look entered the green eyes; Harry hadn't been sorted into Gryffindor for nothing. He wouldn't give up and he wanted Severus to know how much he meant to him and that he looked absolutely dashing. With that thought in mind, he looked Severus up and down again and allowed a cheeky smile to curl his lips.
"I might reconsider going out with you after finally realising what you always hide under these horrible robes… and just take you to my quarters at once!"
When dark orbs widened in surprise, Harry felt his cheeks heating up. He quickly looked away. He had spoken without thinking and only realized now what his words implied. Sweet Merlin, it wasn't that he hadn't thought about sleeping with Severus, but he really didn't want to rush anything.
They hadn't even had their first date yet and he…
"As inviting as that sounds, I think we have a reservation at a restaurant first."
Taking a deep breath, Harry met Severus' eyes. Slight amusement was mirrored in the dark depths, but in the forefront was understanding and appreciation.
Harry felt himself relax as he directed a relieved smile at him.
"Then we should use the portkey now!"
He held out the handkerchief to Severus before he could say something else to make a fool of himself and felt the portkey whisk them away to London.
The French Restaurant, called "Café Rouge" was located in a building which looked like a storage depot. The ceiling was high and arched and the walls were covered by small windows, which made the building appear even more open.
But better than the ambiance or even the delicious Merguez, spicy fried sausage on toast, was the fact that Severus was able to spend time with Harry. He admitted freely to himself that he hadn't believed this date would work out. Yes, he had been sure Harry would soon realize his mistake in asking him out and tell him that he just wanted them to be friends and nothing else.
Severus would have understood such an action. After all, he was nothing to look at especially in comparison with the handsome young man walking at his side right now. He didn't even look half as good as Harry did although he had spent over an hour in the bathroom… and dressed in one of his very few colored shirts that Toffee had found.
Still, Severus was certain that Harry's compliment at the start of their date had been sincere. In fact, everything about Harry's behavior told Severus the young wizard was sincere about him. Instead of pretending they were mere friends, Harry made sure that the whole restaurant knew they were on a date by holding Severus' hand as they walked in the door.
At first, Severus wanted to strangle him for it as every patron looked their way, but then he decided against it. After all, no one had ever wanted to be associated with him before, not even the men he had dated in his younger years. Not one of these men had ever bothered to go to a nice restaurant with him, talk about every topic that came up and even walked with him towards the Tower Bridge.
Harry was definitely the first to do so and Severus allowed himself a smile as they left the restaurant. He couldn't remember the last time he had had such a nice dinner.
"So what are your plans for the future?" he asked, the smile on his face deepening as Harry turned to him.
A surprised gleam appeared in the green eyes before an answering smile brightened Harry's face.
"I'm going to study for my NEWTs this summer together with Hermione and Ron, so that we don't have to go back to Hogwarts for the next school year. We are going to take our NEWTs at the Ministry."
Severus arched an eyebrow. The last time, they had talked about this topic, Harry hadn't been sure on his plans for the future. That was when he had gone to Harry's quarters to look for Toffee. Maybe they had both been too busy noticing each other's closeness to really focus on the conversation.
"I thought you haven't decided on that yet?"
His eyebrow rose even higher when Harry's smile turned sheepish.
"Well, if I come back for my last year at Hogwarts, I would be your student again and that would mean that we couldn't… you know, go on like this."
Severus bit back a grin as he saw the young wizard blush at his own words. On the one hand he wanted to tease Harry about his shyness and on the other hand… he wanted to kiss him for making such a warm feeling spread through his chest with his words.
But he couldn't kiss him in the middle of the street!
It wasn't that Severus was ashamed of his sexuality or of Harry, but he just couldn't relax when strangers were watching him. He took a deep breath to control himself, but the warm ache in his chest remained. No one else had ever taken his feelings into consideration, when they made a decision. No one!
"That's a good idea… or don't you think so?"
When insecure green eyes looked up at him, Severus found his fingers intertwining with Harry's before he could think twice about it.
"It's a… good plan. I'm glad that you obviously overheard Minerva asking me to stay on as the Potions Professor of Hogwarts for at least another year that day."
This time, Harry didn't blush as he grinned at Severus. When their eyes met again and Harry drew closer to him, Severus believed the young wizard was about to kiss him, but he only whispered into his ear.
"Let's go somewhere we can be alone."
Severus didn't get a chance to ask Harry what place he had in mind as the young wizard led the way, never letting go of Severus' hand.
He was such a child!
Harry winced inwardly. It wasn't normal for a man of his age to blush for no real reason. But then… when had he ever been what others would call normal?
He had been chased by a madman ever since he was a baby and he had never had the opportunity to figure out his sexuality during his school years like his peers did. Hell, he hadn't even had the opportunity to go out with any guy yet… but that wasn't too bad.
Harry smiled slightly as he led Severus to their destination. Others might have more experience than he did, but at least he knew that he truly wanted to be together with the man he was on a date now and that neither of them was looking for a one night stand.
And that was why this date had to be perfect!
The dinner had been great, just like their conversation. Now, Harry wanted to top everything with a trip on the London Eye. It wouldn't only give them a perfect night view of the Tower Bridge and Big Ben, but they would also have the chance to be alone. Unfortunately, after they got their tickets, they still had to queue up behind other couples who obviously had the same idea.
"Are you too tired to walk to the Tower Bridge and that is why you want to see it from above?"
Harry shook his head and slipped the tip of his wand out from his shirtsleeve. He kept it out of sight from the security guard who was ushering the people in front of them into the next available compartment.
"Confundo," Harry whispered as it was their turn to enter the next cabin. The security guard blinked at them and one moment later they had the whole cabin to themselves instead of sharing it with four other people.
Harry turned to grin at Severus who was looking at him in surprise.
"No, I just wanted to have a place to ourselves, where we will have a nice view and won't be interrupted by anyone."
The Potions Master shook his head and Harry thought he saw a small smile on the thin lips before Severus went to one side of the cabin. It afforded them a nice view of the Tower Bridge as the high wheel started to move.
"You would have made a good Slytherin."
Harry chuckled slightly as he went to stand next to Severus. The cabins were much bigger than in other Ferris wheels, even the bigger ones. Five steps were necessary to cross the cabin from one side to the other and the walls were completely made of glass so that nothing could disturb your view of the skyline of London.
"But your shirt gives you away, you're a real Gryffindor."
Harry glanced down at his dark red shirt and then at Severus' green one before shaking his head.
"I don't think these colors have anything to do with Slytherin and Gryffindor… at least not today. They are…complementary colors."
Harry watched, fascinated as Severus' Adam's apple bopped up and down in his throat. He wasn't surprised when Severus didn't say anything in return since he was a very private person. That was why he had wanted them to take a trip on the London Eye. Severus wouldn't want to kiss him in public and since Harry didn't know if they would have a chance once they returned to Hogwarts, he had decided to create the perfect opportunity for a kiss.
Now that it was here, he only had to take it.
Harry bit his lower lip as the big wheel took them even higher and he saw the Tower Bridge shining brightly. It looked majestic against the night sky. If he were to turn around, he knew he would also see Big Ben, bathed in bright light, but he wasn't interested in that view right now. He was only interested in… Oh to hell with it!
As soon as Severus turned around, Harry slung his arms around his neck and drew him down for a kiss. Unlike their first kiss, he didn't have to wait at all, before Severus returned the kiss.
Their lips met in a feather light dance, tasting, touching and teasing each other before their tongue came into play.
Harry almost lost his balance when Severus deepened the kiss, but was saved by two strong arms which held him close against a warm body. He pressed even closer to Severus, basking in the warmth that flooded him as their tongues danced to their very own rhythm.
If the big wheel were to get stuck now… Harry wouldn't mind in the least.
Blessed be the impulsiveness of Gryffindors!
Severus never expected a day would come when he would think that. But now, with his lips still tingling from his shared kisses with Harry, he couldn't help but feel happy that the young wizard could throw caution to the wind.
The Potions Master had also wanted to kiss Harry, when they had stood side by side in the big wheel, but something had held him back... old insecurities he hadn't been able to get rid of yet. But maybe, he would be able to let go of his doubts if Harry kept holding his hand like this as they walked towards the Tower Bridge.
"The ride was much too short, don't you think so?"
When sparkling green eyes looked up at him, Severus nodded at the happy expression in Harry's face.
"Indeed, but just because it is over doesn't mean we can't kiss anymore, does it?" he answered.
A smile and a blush graced Harry's handsome face at the same time.
"No, it doesn't. I…"
Severus didn't let go of Harry's hand as they both spun around to the speaker. Two familiar looking young men stood there in Muggle clothes. Hogwarts student, Severus thought, but neither were of his House or good at Potions, otherwise he would have recognised them at once.
Severus glanced at Harry who was staring at the two men in surprise. He hadn't recognized them at first, but after hearing their names, he knew who they were. Both were Gryffindors and in Harry`s year, mediocre at Potions and unremarkable at other things.
Two pairs of round eyes stared at Severus and then moved downward to where his fingers were still entwined with Harry's. They grew even rounder before jerking to Harry as if seeking an explanation. When Harry didn't say anything, Seamus swallowed.
"We didn't expect to meet you here, Harry," Seamus said. "Ron and Hermione told us we couldn't meet at the pub today because you had already planned something."
"As you can see, they have told you the truth," Harry answered calmly.
"Eh, but Ron and Hermione didn't uh… mention that you had planned something with uhm, him," Dean added, sounding uneasy.
"Mind your own business and move your arses somewhere else!" Severus finally snapped at them. He was fed up of having to listen to their stammering instead of spending time with Harry alone.
The irritation in his voice was unmistakable and Harry finally replied Dean, but the words were not what Severus was expecting.
"No, they didn't know what I had planned."
Severus turned to stare at Harry, as did the two young men, before they finally shrugged and bid goodbye. By then, Severus couldn't find it in him to be happy about it. He understood that Harry didn't tell everyone about his private life, but that he hadn't even told his two best friends could only mean one thing.
"You are ashamed of… me."
Severus only realized that he had spoken out loud when the young wizard stared at him.
"No! Why would you think that?"
"Because you haven't told Miss Granger and Mister Weasley about our date and I'm of the opinion that you tell them everything."
"Well, yes, but this… it's…"
Severus swallowed hard as he saw the inner fight in Harry's eyes. There was no doubt in his mind that the young wizard was trying to think of a nice lie to cover why he hadn't told his best friends about their date.
Severus didn't want to hear any lies, he just wanted… to have someone who wanted him, who wasn't ashamed to declare his feelings for him in front of his friends and family. Yes, these were ridiculous thoughts and not worthy of any Slytherin to even think about, but… that was what Severus had hoped for after their date had gone so well this far.
That was also the reason why he felt so disappointed now. The warmth from before had disappeared, replaced by a freezing cold which cut right into his heart.
"Severus, I just wanted to…"
Even though Severus knew it was a cowardly thing to do, he reached inside his pocket and grabbed the portkey he had created for emergencies.
"Home", was all he needed to say before he was whisked away to Hogwarts. He couldn't bear to listen to anything Harry had to say right now.
He was back!
Toffee lifted her head. Her senses told her that her human had come back alone and that meant she wouldn't be interrupting any kind of mating session. It was really funny that humans needed so much time before they finally gave into the needs of their bodies.
Jumping down from the bed, she went out to the living room to greet him. She meowed quietly as she went over to where her human was sitting on the couch.
She meowed in surprise as she was lifted up by her human and pressed tightly against his chest. Normally, she didn't like that because it messed up her fur, but she allowed the wizard to cuddle her against him. After all, he was her human… anyone else would have already gotten scratched.
Her whiskers twitched when she recognized the salty scent of tears and felt how her human was trembling. Her eyes narrowed to slits. Had the younger one dared to hurt her human?!
If she found out that he had, then she would make sure that he would regret it dearly as long as he was in this castle.
"Harry is ashamed of me! He didn't tell his friends he was going out with me this evening… he tells them everything, but not that…"
Toffee rubbed her head against her human's cheek and licked at his tears the way she would lick at another cat's face to comfort him or her.
When she had first come to live with this wizard, she didn't know what he was talking about. Cats never told each other about their adventures with other cats. They were loners and it wasn't as if they were looking for a special someone like humans did. But after all these years of living with a human, Toffee learned why it was so important for them to be recognized as someone's "girlfriend" or "boyfriend". She also understood that her human had never been called "boyfriend" by anyone in all these years she had spent with him.
She did remember that he had come home one night many years ago after a date with some wizard and had told her a similar story. A low growl escaped Toffee. She hadn't thought that the young wizard was like that one and she was sorry that her human had to hurt because of her wrong judgment.
Well, she would make sure that he regretted it… no matter how good he was at stroking her.
"The date started out nicely. We had a nice meal and then we even kissed each other on the big wheel and we went for a walk after that… holding hands, but then…"
Toffee blinked slowly up at her human. That didn't sound as bad as the other date he had told her about all these years ago. No, this sounded more like… the misunderstanding her human had had with the old, crazy wizard one time.
Toffee didn't know what that had been about, but her human had been as depressed as he was now and he had also thought that his friend was ashamed of him, before the ancient one came to his quarters and cleared the misunderstanding. Her whiskers twitched. Maybe this was a misunderstanding too… and she didn't have to lose the talented young wizard.
But how could she find out if that was the case?
She was sure her stubborn human would never approach the younger one now, so that meant that… a frantic knocking sounded at the door, interrupting her thoughts.
"Severus! It's me, Harry. Please open the door, I have to talk with you!"
Toffee almost purred contentedly when she recognised the younger wizard's voice. He sounded anxious which cemented her belief that it was just a misunderstanding. She nudged her human with her snout, urging him to answer the door.
"No! I don't want to see him… not now… not ever!"
Toffee nudged him again with her paw this time, only to meow in surprise as she was picked up and put firmly on the floor.
"Even you don't understand me."
Indignant blue eyes glared up at the wizard who sat hunched over on the couch. Usually, Toffee would have cuddled with him to make him feel better, but this time there was only one way to cheer him up.
Determined to rectify this situation despite knowing very well she wouldn't get petted for weeks if she was mistaken, she marched over to the door and jumped up, her front paws reaching for the handle.
"What – Toffee, no!"
The Siamese cat heard her human's horrified voice and saw him leaping up to hurry to the door, but it was too late. It had already opened wide enough to allow the young wizard to step inside before her human could reach her.
Toffee ignored her human's glare as she jumped on the mantelpiece to glower down at the young one. If he made things even worse, then he wouldn't leave this place without some very deep claw marks.
What had gone wrong?
That was the question which repeated itself over and over again in Harry's head as he made his way back to the castle and ran down to the dungeons as fast as he could. He realised it must have looked odd to Severus that he hadn't told Ron and Hermione about their first date, but that certainly wasn't a reason to just leave him like that.
After all, many of Harry's peers went on their first dates without telling their best friends about it beforehand. He had listened to enough arguments about such occurrences during his years at Hogwarts. Most of the time the best friends had been angry at their friend for not telling them about the date and not…
Harry took a deep breath to clear his head as he finally came to a stop in front of Severus' quarters. He had hoped he would get an invitation from the Potions Master at one point, but as things stood, they had to figure this misunderstanding out first, before they could proceed with their relationship.
And Harry wanted to proceed. He had sworn to himself that he wouldn't give up and he wouldn't. Steeling himself for whatever was to come, he knocked at the door.
"Severus! It's me, Harry. Please open the door, I have to talk with you!"
As the seconds ticked by, Harry wondered if he would have to find a different way into Severus' quarters when the door finally opened. Stepping inside, he opened his mouth only to close it again as he noticed Toffee jumping from the handle of the door onto the mantelpiece and Severus glaring at her.
Harry gulped. So, it wasn't Severus who had opened the door for him, but his pet. That didn't look good… but he hadn't been hexed so far, so there was still hope.
"Severus," Harry took a step towards the Potions Master. "I don't know what I did wrong, but I'm sorry."
Severus turned to him, a dangerous sneer on his lips that was odds with the moist shine in his eyes.
"You don't know what you did wrong?" The voice of the Potions Master was dangerously quiet.
"So, it's fine if the Savior of the Wizarding World makes someone believe that he is interested in him, but in truth is so ashamed to be associated with him that he can't even tell his best friends about it?"
Harry shook his head in disbelief.
"No… I don't know how you got that idea into your head, but I'm not ashamed of being seen with you! Why should I?!"
"Why shouldn't you?!"
Harry almost took a step back as Severus' glare slammed into him. He was reminded of his Potions lessons again, but he forced himself to hold his ground. He didn't know where this conversation would lead them, but he felt that it was important.
"I'm a former Death Eater, I'm nothing to look at, I have a nasty temper and to top it off, I'm twenty years your senior!"
Harry shook his head.
"I thought that we had already discussed that. I don't care how old you are or what you have been… and I think you look great!"
If possible, the sneer on Severus' face only intensified.
"Don't mock me!"
Harry wanted to grab his hair in frustration. He didn't know what was wrong, but maybe it would help if he explained why he didn't tell Ron and Hermione. Taking a deep breath, he started talking again.
"I'm not mocking you, I meant what I said! I also wanted to tell Ron and Hermione all about our date, but I didn't want them to interfere."
"Because they wouldn't approve of your choice for a date!"
It wasn't a question, but Harry still shook his head.
"That's not it! They already know I have fallen in love with you! It's because they would have given me all kind of tips for our first date. I would have gone completely mad if they had done that, because I was already so nervous about our date."
Harry waited for Severus to say something, but the Potions Master just stared at him as if he had never seen him before. It was probably a good sign that he hadn't started screaming at him, but Harry wanted to make sure that Severus truly believed him.
Shaking his head, he made his way over to the fireplace, took some floo powder and threw it into the flames. From the corner of his eye, he saw Toffee jumping down from the mantelpiece and Severus marching over to him, but he got down on his knees and focused on the two people who came into view in the green flames.
"Harry, has something happened?"
"Hi mate, do you want to come over for some Butterbeer?"
Harry forced himself to grin as not to worry his friends, they would get the whole story soon enough.
"No, not now, Ron. And yes, something has happened, Hermione."
"What in Merlin's name are you-"
Harry heard Severus coming up behind him and hurried to say what he wanted to before the Potions Master could cut the connection.
"I had my first date with Severus this evening and…"
"What?! Why didn't you tell us? We could have helped you prepare for a great outing! What did you wear? Where did you go? I hope you didn't-"
"Hermione, leave him alone. I'm sure he has his reasons for not telling us… which he will explain in detail, when he comes through now, right, mate?"
Harry gulped when he saw the expectant faces of his two best friends. Oh yes, he would have something to explain after springing such a surprise on them, but he had still more important things to do right now.
"Sorry, guys but I…"
"Harry is still needed here. He can talk to you two tomorrow."
The young wizard only saw Ron and Hermione's gaping faces as they recognized Severus before the connection to them was cut. He stood up slowly and turned around to see Severus staring at him with an expression full of wonder.
"Harry, I… have to apologize."
Harry had just told his friends that they had gone out together and they… they had accepted it!
Severus almost couldn't believe it. It was too wonderful to be true. He took a deep breath and then met the wary gaze of the young wizard.
"Harry, I… have to apologize."
It was good that he had such quick reflexes, Severus mused. He was just able to grab Harry in time before the young wizard could stumble backwards into the fireplace in shock. The surprised green eyes told him everything he had to know as he helped to steady Harry on his feet.
"I know that I don't make a habit of apologizing, but in this case, it's justified. I have made false assumptions of you just because of former, bad experiences and I'm sorry for that."
Severus held his breath as he waited for Harry to react to his words. He had just given him some information about his past. If Harry wanted to get back at him for making such a scene then he could easily do so now. Of course, Harry could also just turn his back on him and leave his quarters or…
Before his brain could come up with anymore horrible scenarios, two arms were slung around his waist and Harry drew him close.
"Whoever was ashamed of being with you was a total idiot… but I'm glad that he was an idiot, otherwise I wouldn't be able to hold you like this now."
Severus swallowed hard as he looked into Harry's bright eyes.
A finger covered his lips and prevented him from continuing.
"It's okay. This evening didn't go exactly as planned, but the outcome is good as it is, isn't it?"
Severus shook his head and nodded at the same time. Yes, Harry was right, it was perfect to hold him in his arm while being inside his own quarters, but that didn't mean that everything was so easy.
He had made a scene and he had wronged Harry… that couldn't be so easily forgiven.
"Harry, I ruined the whole evening just because I misjudged you… how can you forgive me so easily?"
To his utter surprise, Harry only smiled at him.
"You didn't ruin the whole evening, Severus. There is nothing to forgive… we have already agreed that we have a lot of things to learn about each other and sometimes that might end in a fight, but… I'm willing to do that, if you are?"
Severus took a shaky breath. No one had ever wanted to invest so much in him and he didn't think if he deserved it, but since Harry had offered… who was he to reject it?
"Yes, I am willing to try."
Those words were worth the brightness shining in Harry's eyes just before eager lips sealed over his. Severus forgot all his doubts for the moment as he concentrated completely on the feeling of Harry in his arms.
No claw marks needed in this case, then!
Toffee nodded contentedly at the two wizards who were too busy licking each other's snouts to pay her any attention. That was fine, she had done enough for the evening and she just hoped that the two wizards could go on from here without her help.
The Siamese cat yawned silently as she made her way over to the bedroom. Usually she slept in the living room, in her basket with its comfortable Egyptian cotton covers and pillows, but she didn't want the two wizards to feel disturbed if they noticed that she was still there. Since she was sure her human and the younger one wouldn't need the bedroom tonight, she could have the bed instead. As far as she knew, humans would need a few more mating rituals before they started with the actual mating.
Toffee jumped up onto the bed and laid down in the middle of the wide expanse. As her eyes closed, she hoped the two wizards wouldn't need any more help with their mating rituals for the time being.
With that final thought, she drifted off to sleep, content at how well she had solved all the problems for her human today.