Summary: Harry is poisoned by Romilda Vane with a potion known as Lover's Rest. He falls into a magical slumber that can only be broken by a kiss from the one he loves. Unfortunately, no one, not even Harry, knows who this person could be. Severus is sent into Harry's dreams to help the Seventh Year discover the answer, but he gets more than he bargained for when instead he gets to know the real Boy Who Lived. Can he reconcile this new 'hero' with the spoiled, selfish brat he thought he knew? Can they discover together who Harry might love before the Wizarding World puts the comatose Savior on display?
A/N: Note, Harry defeated Voldemort Sixth Year (it will be explained). Sorry to Neville fans, I had to cut out his involvement in the Final Battle, as well as most everyone else's. Also note, since I've had complaints, for the purposes of this story, and most likely every HP story to follow, Harry and Severus are gay. If you don't like it then don't read it. However, if you can look past it, my roommate hails this as being poetic and sweet.
Harry huddled further into his coat against the cold rain drops falling around him, shrinking between his shoulders as an unseasonably cool wind blew even more rain into his face. Thank Merlin for Hermoine's spell that protected his vision from the wet weather. Tomorrow, he and his friends would be headed back to Hogwarts for the last time, but today they were still at the Burrow. Unfortunately, Ginny's sad eyes, pleading for an explanation about their break-up, had encouraged him to make a solitary walk to the nearby village and had left him walking back in the rain. He couldn't help thinking of how pathetic it would be to show up for his last year with a summer cold. Why couldn't he have just loved Ginny like she and Ron wanted?
The Gryffindor gave a startled shout as someone bowled him over, his feet slipping on the wet dirt road. He glared up at the young woman who'd run into him. She was pretty, with curly black hair, no more than sixteen, and looked vaguely familiar. He tried to regain his feet, but slipped again in the mud.
"A thousand apologies," The girl said, reaching down to help him up.
Harry sighed. "No worries," He muttered, reaching up to grasp her wrist as dainty fingers wrapped around his own. "Just try to be more-ow!" He yanked his hand out of her grip, turning it over to see a long, shallow gash on his palm. "You cut me!"
The beautiful stranger smiled apologetically. "So sorry, Harry Potter, really. It's…" She reached into the sleeve of her cloak and withdrew a small dagger. "It's just an old habit, because of the Death Eaters."
Harry narrowed his eyes and stood. "You're a witch?"
The girl nodded. "Mm-hm." She expounded on this by withdrawing her wand from her other sleeve and casting a cleaning spell on her dagger, banishing the blood and water dripping from the blade.
"Do you go to Hogwarts? I swear I've seen you somewhere," Harry murmured.
The girl ducked her head, but not before he caught a blush rising on her cheeks. "Romilda Vane, at your service. I actually just came from the Burrow looking for you. Seven Years and I never realized you were staying just down the road from me each Summer."
Harry frowned. "Hold up, you're the girl who sent me chocolates last year that were poisoned with Love Potion. You're the President of that stupid Fan Club," He said, growing angry. "Whatever you want, I'm not interested."
"N-no, I know," The girl, Romilda, said quickly. "I just…wanted to apologize, for the chocolates."
"You could have done that last year," Harry growled. "I hope you learned from that disaster that you can't just make me fall in love with you."
"O-oh, of course, I know that now," She looked up with a strained smile. "Well, um, goodbye."
She moved to go around him and Harry let her go. He huddled back into his coat, tucking his hands into his jacket pockets. By the time he reached the Burrow, he would forget about the odd encounter, consumed once more by thoughts of his failed romance with his best friend's sister. Behind him, though, something strange had happened to the face of the sweet young girl. Her features had twisted into an ugly, vicious snarl as she walked away.
"You do love me, Harry, and I'm going to prove it to you and the rest of the Wizarding World. I'll show those other girls in the club, you're destined to be with me."
The next day, Harry got onto the Hogwarts Express with his friends. Hermione had discovered the cut on his palm when he'd returned to the Weasley homestead, and now all that remained to remind him of his strange encounter was a thin white scar that would no doubt fade in the coming weeks, as most of his scars did. The witch had been concerned over the girl, who'd already once tried to attack Harry, getting hold of his blood, but had relented when Harry explained that she'd cast the cleaning spell on the dagger while he watched. This had had the unfortunate side-effect of leaving his friend time to argue with Ron, who had yet to come clean with her about his feelings.
Harry heard the snack trolley rattling outside their compartment and he leapt to his feet, grateful for the reprieve as his friends stopped arguing long enough to gather at the doorway with him. He slid open the door and grinned at the kindly old witch who ran the cart.
"Something from the trolley, dears?"
"Ooh, Harry, could you get me a sandwich?" Hermione inquired pleadingly. "I left my money in my trunk and it'll take forever to get it out of the rack. I'll pay you back when we get to the school."
Harry smiled at his friend. "Don't worry about it, 'Mione," He told her, wrapping her in a one-armed hug.
"What about me, Harry?" Ron asked from his other side. "I'm starved. Could I get some licorice wands?"
Harry rolled his eyes. "Neither of you would be hungry if you'd stopped arguing long enough to eat lunch." He nodded to the trolley lady. "I guess a sandwich and some licorice wands."
The woman passed them off. "And for you, dear?"
Harry furrowed his brow. "Um…do you have anything gentle on the stomach?"
The elderly witch looked at him sympathetically. "Upset tum, dear?" She began rifling through her cart and came up with a small bag of brown candies. "Here we are; Tea Toffees. As you suck on them, they become warm sips Earl Grey with a hint of lemon. Perfect for the tickle in your throat and the frog in your stomach."
Harry grinned. "That's perfect," He said, taking the bag and handing over the money he owed. "Just what the Mediwitch ordered." He closed the door to the compartment and resettled himself in his seat.
Hermione watched him carefully. "Are you alright, Harry?"
The Boy Who Lived shrugged. "Just a little nausea, probably from being out in the rain yesterday. I'll be fine."
The girl frowned. "How's your hand?"
"I dunno," Harry murmured. He looked at his palm. The area around the thin scar was a little red, and slightly swollen. "I think it might be infected." He answered, holding his hand up for his friends to see. "I'll keep an eye on it. If it gets worse, I'll go to Madame Pomfrey. Promise."
His friends seemed to accept this, though Hermione looked like she wanted to say more. Instead, she let the subject drop, and Harry slid along the bench to watch out the window at the passing landscape. He opened his bag of candies and slowly began picking them out, one-by-one, to suck distractedly, taking some small comfort each time they began to melt. It was almost exactly like sipping at a hot cup of tea, and it did wonders for his stomach and mood. He sat in this attitude, slowly eating his toffees, as the Hogwarts Express hurried him and his friends on their way to their final year of school.