Severus was cleaning up his classroom after his last class of the year. He heard the knock that came at his door, but chose to ignore it. He was done with students until tonight's Leaving Feast. It was always hell to put up with First Years on the last day of term. He heard the door open in spite of his wards and turned, expecting Minerva or Albus come to ask him to attend the annual staff party after the students left tomorrow. One of them always tried, and once or twice they had both tried. Always in vain. He turned with an immediate 'no' that died on his lips.

Potter was standing bashfully at the far end of the room, blushing a brilliant pink and chewing his lip in front of the closed door. Severus studied the younger wizard carefully, and watched as he drew a deep breath and stepped further into the room.

"Erm, could I perhaps have a moment?" Potter asked, his tone barely more than the mumble Severus had warned him against time and again.

Severus crossed his arms over his chest. "You may," He answered uncertainly.

Potter stepped further into the room. "Hermione said that I was officially no longer a student as soon as my NEWT's were complete. Is that true?"

Severus nodded. "I suppose, technically. Though you are still the responsibility of the school until you arrive at King's Cross, you are legally a functioning member of society once your NEWT's are completed."

Potter released his breath in an audible whoosh. "Okay, um…" He stepped closer, very near to Severus, and thrust his hand out. "Here."

Severus unfolded his arms and took the familiar card he had already refused once. He looked at the Gryffindor uncertainly. "What favor would you ask of me?"

Potter looked down to study his shoes as he spoke. "I was wondering…erm, that is, could I possibly…um…"

The younger wizard trailed off as Severus reached out and lifted the stern chin. "I am up here," he reminded the Gryffindor gently.

"Kiss me…?" Potter blurted. His blush deepened as Severus' eyes widened in surprise.

Before Severus had time to form an appropriate response, or even think of how he wanted to respond, Potter took his silence as consent and pressed forward. Their lips met in a shy, hesitant kiss, and Severus froze. Could he do this to himself? A stupid question. He already had done this to himself. Ever since Potter had stood between him and his relatives, ever since that impossibly smaller hand had touched his wrist and the Gryffindor had pleaded mercy on his relatives' behalf…Everything since then had only served to strengthen the emotions he had felt that day.

Before Potter could pull away entirely from the one-sided kiss, Severus pulled the younger wizard further towards him. He eagerly returned the kiss, and Potter willingly submitted to his greater experience as the kiss deepened. Severus felt his heart thunder in his chest, his fingers trembling as they glided along perfect skin into tousled hair, cupping the back of the Gryffindor's head to draw him even further into his embrace. Potter's back arched towards him as Severus leaned over the smaller frame. The world stilled, and time slowed. Nothing around them existed until the need for air drove them apart.

Severus placed his forehead against Potter's. "You know," He murmured breathlessly. "You're never going to be rid of this if you don't stop asking for things that are no favor to give."

Potter chuckled as the card was slipped into his pocket by nimble fingers. "Don't suppose you're in the market for a roommate?"

"It's a bit early to be picking out curtains together."

Harry laughed. "Didn't we do that last summer?"

Severus' eyebrow rose precariously.

Potter chuckled again. "Alright, granted. But I'm not talking about moving into your bedroom. I was just thinking it would be easier than finding a place of my own until I get my NEWT results and find out what I can do about work. Not to mention, there's still a lot of work I didn't get to finish last summer. I was going to completely redo the bathrooms, and maybe the kitchen."

Severus groaned. "I feel as if I should tell you 'no' merely on principle."

Harry grinned. "If it helps, I was considering letting you help pay for it this time."

Severus' eyebrow rose again, this time curious.

The Gryffindor smirked. "Mind, I said considering. You'll have to use that silver tongue to convince me."

Severus, taking this as a challenge, kissed the brat soundly.

Potter drew back with a groan. "That definitely helps your cause," He murmured.

Severus rested his forehead against the younger wizard's. "In all seriousness" he began softly. "My home is always open to you, Harry."

The Gryffindor's smile returned. "Thanks…Are you saying you're open to picking out curtains together? Because the ones in the kitchen are honestly horrid."

"My father picked out those curtains, Mister Potter."

Harry chuckled. "Then I count my blessings that you got your mother's taste."

Severus gave his own dark chuckle before drawing the younger wizard into a slow, passionate kiss. As his heart reached out to the young man submitting to his ministrations, he wondered if the Gryffindor had noticed that he hadn't actually replied. Silence, in this case, was most definitely consent.