by ataraxis and with lots of help and love from taranswann
"Well it's about time!" was said again, but this time Harry heard it in what he thought was Dumbledore's voice.
"What did you say, Headmaster? What is about time?" Harry mumbled in a groggy voice.
Harry blinked, thinking that just minutes ago he hadn't been asleep and had been kissing Severus.
"That you two are waking up. That combined spell that hit you from Mr. Malfoy and Mr. Weasley knocked you and Professor Snape into a coma for almost 7 days."
As Harry laid there, looking at the older wizard and digesting his words, he heard a groan from what he assumed was the next bed. Harry knew instantly that it was Severus. Harry smiled and turned over to look at the man, who perhaps had not just given him the most perfect kiss of his young life.
He watched as Severus blinked at the sudden light and change of scenery and watched as comprehension dawned over the other man's face. Severus frowned.
"None of it was real, was it, Headmaster?" Severus asked in a serious tone.
"No, my dear boy, the coma induced state you were in these last several days has all been part of the combined spell that Mr. Malfoy and Mr. Weasley sent at you and Harry. It created a dream bond between the two of you. I can only assume that the dream bond had an agenda and that you two have met the requirements now that you are both awake?" Albus asked with curiosity, for once, not in the know of what had happened.
"Mr. Potter and I resolved some of our differences during the dream," Severus paused and when he noticed Harry wince, stopped completely. Severus sighed, he knew it would be of no use, the headmaster was a wily old wizard, and would know that more was going on, sooner or later. "Harry and I..." Severus looked into Harry's eyes when he said that and saw the happiness blossoming within and knew that he had decided the right course to take, "have started on a path to a more positive relationship."
Harry did a snort worthy of Severus and slowly sat up in bed and swung his legs over the side. Before he could take one step, Poppy magically appeared and said to him, "Not on your life, Mr. Potter. You've just woken from a week long coma, therefore you will need to gain your strength back. So you just lay right back down, this instant."
"No, buts!" Poppy waited, while tapping her foot impatiently, for Harry to lay back down. Harry huffed, but did as she wanted.
He looked over and saw Severus smirk, but with no real malice behind it. Harry frowned, thinking over the last days of his dream. If none of it had been real, then there were some questions that needed to be asked. He watched as the headmaster was about to get up and leave.
"Headmaster, wait," Harry requested urgently.
"Yes, Harry, what is it?" Albus sat back down.
Harry didn't want to sound crazy, but he really had to know if it was true. "Does the castle talk? I mean, in our dream, the castle talked to Severus and myself, as if it was sentient." Harry played with the covers, his fingers nervously twisting them back and forth, dreading to ask the more important question.
"No, dear boy, not in the sense I think you mean. The castle has been imbued with centuries of magic, but it doesn't have a life of its own. I know it seems like it at times, with the moving staircases and rooms that can appear from nowhere. However, it does have a sort of awareness to those who inhabit the castle and it responds to that." Harry looked over to see Severus' pleased reaction. Harry had known that he hadn't liked the idea of his future being chosen for him, that Severus wanted to control his own destiny, and now that the silliness of having a talking castle tell them that they were chosen as Headmaster and Assistant was gone, their options on how they lived their life were given back to them.
Harry sat there, continuing to fiddle with the sheets when Severus barked at him, "Ask him Harry, ask him about Remus."
"What is this about Remus?" Albus looked from back and forth between the two.
"Has Remus been in to see me?" Harry asked reluctantly, afraid of the answer. Now that he was awake and aware, he realized that Remus' behaviour before the accident was as it had always been the last two years, and was more than likely not Bellatrix Lestrange, pretending to be Remus and causing dissension between his friends and himself.
"Yes, my boy, he has been in to see you, and if I assume correctly, he is feeling very contrite over his behaviour to you these last years. I think this accident and your not waking up immediately has made him realize how insane his behaviour has been. Give him a chance, Harry. I know you were hurting over Sirius' death, but so was Remus. Just be aware of that, when you talk to him next time." Albus' face was saddened, but there was a gentle light hidden deep in those blue eyes as he reached over and patted Harry's hands, causing Harry to calm himself.
Harry nodded, he would see what Remus had to say, and keep an open mind. Harry leaned back against the pillow and closed his eyes, thinking over everything he had shared with Severus in the dream. He smiled, aware that something good had come out of their time together in the bond.
Albus left the two men quietly, each absorbed in their own thoughts.
Harry was startled when he felt the bed dip and his eyes flew open. He grinned as he saw Severus settle next to him. Harry leaned up and wrapped his arms around Severus, ecstatically happy that Severus wasn't going to push him away and had actually made the first overture to be together.
Severus nuzzled Harry's messy mop of hair and Harry grinned against Severus' neck. "So, are you an animagus for real? Or was that just part of the dream?"
"Yes, I am an Egyptian Temple Guardian Snake, and before you ask, we aren't bonded, not in the physical sense as I have not injected you with my venom to make this happen. However, in my mind I know that we are." Harry pulled away and looked at Severus and before the older wizard could blink, within his arms was a very heavy snake whose fangs were extended and waiting. Noir's eyes stared at him intently, and Severus knew that Harry was wanting to finalize the physical bond between the two.
Noir watched, tension coiled tightly through his body, waiting for Severus to react, he stayed motionless. He was satisfied to see Severus roll up his sleeve of his nightshirt and expose his wrist to him. Noir knew it would hurt initially, but that a nerve deadening saliva coated the outside of his fangs and would help dull the pain once his fangs penetrated the skin.
Once the bonding venom was injected, Noir changed back into Harry and the two lay down silently for a while in Harry's bed. Before Harry drifted off to sleep, Severus spoke in gentle whispers, "You do realize that my cover has not been blown, and I will have to spy once more?"
"Yes, I know, but perhaps we can make some of what happened in our dream, happen for real. Perhaps Vold... Riddle will ask Noir to bond with him, forsaking you and in turn cause Nagini to help us instead," Harry spoke with optimism.
"We can try, it certainly can't hurt, and it will be good to have another pair of eyes to watch what happens at the Death Eater meetings."
Before either drifted off to sleep, Poppy entered the ward and made Severus get back into his own bed. Neither were happy about that, but they knew if someone unexpected came in to visit them, they couldn't afford to jeopardize Severus' position within the Dark Lord's ranks.
# # # #
The next morning, both men woke around the same time to the smells of breakfast. They each ate their hearty breakfast gladly and afterwards, the doors to the Hospital wing opened and in marched Ron, Malfoy, Hermione and Headmaster Dumbledore. But before the doors could completely close, Harry noticed Remus entering quietly as well.
Harry watched from the corner of his eye as Severus entered into the role of Head of House and spy. It was back to the sneering, smirking, Gryffindor-hating Severus. Harry didn't mind it so much anymore, because he now knew it was all an act.
He waited for Severus to verbally flay Ron for spurring 'Mr. Malfoy' to act inappropriately during their dueling lesson, then strip more points from the House of Gryffindor than Slytherin. To Draco Malfoy, Severus frowned severely upon, but nothing else was done. However, both knew what the other young man was capable of, and they would never underestimate him again, they would definitely be watching his every movement from here on out.
After, Ron and Malfoy were sent on their way to detention, Hermione gave Harry a hug, but mentioned that she really need to get back to her studies and that she would see to it when he was feeling better, that he caught up on all that he had missed. When she left, Harry rolled his eyes in mock-annoyance and Albus just smiled his typical know-it-all, been there-done that grin. He too left soon afterwards, leaving Remus standing silently by the door, uncertain of his welcome. Harry saw Severus give the werewolf a meaningful look of displeasure, before he turned over and feigned sleep.
Harry looked at the last Marauder with a pang in his heart. Remus' hurtful words and accusations of it being all Harry's fault for Sirius' death still rang in his ears.
Harry scooted over in his bed and patted the space he had made beside him. Remus gave a tiny smile and approached the bed with what looked like trepidation. "I don't bite, Remus." He knew Remus would get what he was saying and hopefully find it a little funny. Anything to ease the tension between them.
Remus smirked and nodded in understanding. "No, but I do, thankfully though not this week."
Harry and Remus sat there, looking at each other for several silent moments, each too afraid to broach the real reason Remus was there, but Harry was rapidly realizing that not talking wasn't accomplishing what needed to be done. He decided to grab the wolf by the tail and yank. "Why Remus? Why the hurtful words? You knew I already blamed myself for Sirius' death, why couldn't you have helped ease the pain of guilt? Instead you just heaped more unto my shoulders?"
"Oh, Harry. I was blinded by my grief. Sirius was the last true friend I had, and had just recovered him after the mistrust and loss of that friendship with all those years wasted in Azkaban. I lashed out at the one thing I felt secure enough to blame. I knew you wouldn't hit back. I'm sorry Harry, I never meant to hurt you like that. I know, my words of apology won't heal the words of hate and hurt I poured onto your grieving heart, but give me a chance to prove that I mean them?"
Harry sat there for a time, looking at Remus, then looking at Severus; Severus who had never really forgiven anyone for the hurtful way he had been treated when he was a student, who had retaliated and lashed out at the world and kept his heart hidden to protect it. Seventeen years it had remained hidden, but no more. Harry didn't want to have that happen to him, so he knew that he would let the healing process for Remus and himself begin. Harry nodded and sat up and hugged Remus gently, wrapping his arms around the thing shoulders of the man who was his last link to his family. "I forgive you, Remus. Your words are enough, for me."
Remus sighed and returned the hug, one-hundred fold. "Thank you, Harry. Thank you!"
Harry sat back and smiled, seeing the tension ease not only from Remus' shoulders but also from Severus' whole body, though the other man had not moved from his curled position facing away from them. Harry yawned, hoping that Remus would take the hint and leave so that he could have a few more moments alone with Severus before the real world intruded once more. His ploy was successful, and Remus left, but not before ruffling Harry's hair plaufully and handing him a bar of chocolate. Harry laughed and shook his head.
Once Remus was gone, and all was quiet in the Hospital Wing, Harry hopped up from his bed and scurried to lay down besides Severus. "We'll both have to leave soon. Madame Pomfrey is sure to come back any minute and tell us we can go."
Severus turned onto his back and laid Harry's head down on his shoulder. "Yes, I definitely need to go back to the dungeons to find out what has been happening with my classes since I've been in here."
"Can I come down later tonight, after dinner and spend some time with you?" Harry asked with an innocent smile.
"Maybe, as long as you have a way of getting to the dungeons without being seen, I'm sure I'll look the other way." Severus smiled, though Harry couldn't see it.
"Oh, you know I'll find a way. I promise you." They settled down to rest for a few moments, knowing their time was limited.
Poppy Pomfrey was predictable as usual, and evicted them both from the infirmary with strict instructions to take it easy and to return if they suffered a relapse. Harry rolled his eyes and laughed silently on the inside, though his body gave away his mirth to Severus.
"You go on, I'll stay here a few seconds and leave after you." Harry pushed Severus out of the bed, and watched as the older man reached for his wand on the bedside table and then transfigure his bedclothes into his usual all-black attire. Severus leaned down and gave Harry a quick kiss on the lips and then strode away with his robes billowing.
Harry watched as Severus left the infirmary first. They had made plans for Harry to meet with Severus after dinner, which was still almost 10 hours away. Harry knew just what he'd do in the interim, he would plan a seduction and research a human bonding. Harry's animagus form, Noir, had already bonded to Severus and it was a life bond for both of them. Harry knew it was a risk to take, given both their precarious positions in the war, but joined he knew the two would be unstoppable together. Harry's courage and stupid death-defying antics, with Severus' logical, methodical thinking and knowledge would carry them far.
So, he wanted to take it to the next level. Already, he loved the Potions Master with his whole heart, and tonight he would do it with his entire body and soul.
# # # #
Harry wore his invisibility cloak down to the dungeons, and he followed the directions Severus had given him to the letter to find the personal chambers for the Head of Slytherin House. Standing outside a plain looking door, Harry knocked three times on the left panel, and four times on the right, and then once more on the third; the door opened.
Severus was sitting on the sofa in front of a warm fire when he heard the knocks. He knew it had to be Harry and couldn't help the smile that pulled up the corners of his mouth. He didn't know how, but the young man had found a way into Severus' closed heart and seemed to be quite comfortable there."Good evening, Harry," he called out softly without turning around.
Harry left the invisibility cloak on for the moment, and walked around quietly, like a ghost, looking at the life of Severus Snape that was on display. The room was no different from the dream, therefore nothing new could be learned except from Severus himself. Therefore he approached Severus, silently and with a his hand still covered by the cloak, touched Severus gently on the cheek.
Severus was startled at first by the light touch, but then closed his eyes and leaned into it. He knew Harry had been walking around the room, but couldn't tell exactly where he had stopped. Then tenderness of the touch sent pleasant shivers through his body and he sighed with contentment.
Harry knew as soon as he saw Severus relax at his touch, that his plans for this evening were perfect. He dropped the cloak to his feet and sat down on Severus' lap. "Let me love you for always, Severus. Let me show you what the two of us together can do, the love and power that will make the light shine forever more on those that love us and would do good by us; make the light that would cleanse this world forever."
Severus' eyes lit up and filled with joy and love as he recognized the start of a familiar bonding ritual. He nodded to Harry that he accepted and took both of Harry's hands in his."I will love you in light as in darkness. I will follow where you lead, stand beside you in this world and the next, forever and beyond," Severus said softly, his eyes never leaving Harry's.
Harry moved from Severus' lap, never letting go of their joined hands and tugged Severus to stand with him. Together they spoke the final words, to set the final bonding in place before the giving of the 'sacrificial virgin,' which was the last act of the ritual. "We enter into the light together, never letting the shadows that may fall upon our path to sway this union we enter into together as one."
Severus' eyes drifted closed as he felt a tingle of magic tickling him from the inside. He tried to hide a giggle at the incredible feeling, but couldn't, so instead, he leaned forward and pressed his lips to Harry's softly.
Harry felt a tingle of magic just before Severus kissed him and as his eyes closed, he could swear that the room beyond his eyes glowed brighter than the mid-day sun. As the light faded, Harry re-opened his eyes and the sparkle in both pairs of eyes would have set Albus' to shame. Harry grinned mischeviously and said, "Now for the really fun part."
Severus laughed and swept Harry into his arms and twirled him around before setting him back on his feet and giving him a passionate kiss. "I love you, Harry Potter!"
"Why Professor Snape, I had no idea you could laugh with such freedom and giddiness. It's quite," Harry smirked, "startling and let's just wave the magical wand and put you back to the Snarky Git I have come to know these past several years, shall we." Harry took up his wand and tapped it gently against Severus' nose in playful abandon.
Severus' eyebrow rose at the tap on his nose. "Brat!" He grabbed Harry around the waist and pulled him roughly against his chest. He nuzzled Harry's neck for a moment before biting down hard, eliciting a squeak of shock. He then stepped back and threw Harry over his shoulder and carried him to the bedroom, where he deposited him none too gently on the bed. "Is that better?" he asked with a mild sneer.
"Merlin's beard, YES!" Harry reached up and roughly brought Severus down onto the bed to join him. He was going to make sure that this moment lasted in their memories forever, even if he had to go steal Albus' pensieve and dump it in to revisit often.
Severus landed on Harry's chest knocking the wind out of both of them for a moment. He set his hands on either side of Harry's broad shoulders and pushed himself up to stare down into the bright emeralds that held so much love. "You're awfully pushy! Did you know that?" he stated firmly, amusement clear in his eyes.
"Only when I know what I want, then I go after it with all that I am. Today's meeting with Remus taught me that lesson in short order. I had let our relationship become strained and almost to the point of crumbling, but the dream made me realize I can't do that any longer. I let the dream explain away Remus' attitude towards me, when I should have made us work it through and face the situation head on. So from now on, I'll be forthcoming and upfront about how I feel, what I want and right at this moment, I want you and I to make love and set the world alight."
Severus rolled his eyes. "You also talk too much. Did you know that?" Severus cut off any reply Harry might have made by sealing his lips over Harry's. He stretched his body out over Harry's, nudging his legs apart slightly to settle between them as the kiss grew hotter. They gasped as their cloth covered erections rubbed together, sending shivers of pleasure through them both.
They broke apart on a gasp and Harry muttered, "You're right, Severus. For once, anyway." Harry dived back in for another kiss, in what he hoped would be a lifetime of them, they were so perfect. Perfect in the sense that every teasing glide of tongue on tongue, or lip pressed to lip filled him with inescapable pleasure, love, happiness and need.
Severus' hands began to explore his new husband's body with a soft, delicate touch. He slowly began undressing him, teasing each newly exposed bit of flesh.
He licked along Harry's lips, up his jaw to his ear, where he nibbled gently and blew warm air in, relishing in the shiver that passed through Harry's body. He licked back down to Harry's throat, then up to administer the same attention to the other ear. He then worked his way back down with kisses, licks and nips until he reached the top of the t-shirt Harry wore under his robe.
Severus gave Harry another kiss before sitting up, resting between Harry's parted legs. He ran his hands up Harry's chest under the cotton shirt as he stared into warm, loving eyes. His breath caught for a moment as he stared in wonder at the young man he had bonded with just a short time before. He reached out to caress a soft cheek and smiled when Harry turned to kiss his palm. "I love you so much, Harry," he whispered, his voice filled with emotions he never thought he would ever feel.
"And I love you, Severus. I wanted you to know that I would always be with you, no matter what form I take. I will be there to protect you, love you, stand by you, and even fight you if the need ever arise. Oh, I know we will have glorious fights, and even more splendid reunions afterwards. I look forward to that more than anything else we will encounter." Harry rolled his eyes, "I'm doing it again, aren't I? Talking to much. I'll shut up now."
Severus just shook his head and searched for all the finer ways to make Harry use his voice for something other than words.
And the two of them found several ways in which to express their love that night. First, Severus introduced Harry to the pleasures of making slow love and Harry was hooked for all time on Severus' touch, voice, and wonderful sin-inducing mouth. After the last part of their bonding was complete, and Harry sacrified his virginity, they were interrupted in their post-coital bliss.
"Well, praise Merlin. Finally! I didn't think you two would ever get it on. And just to set the record straight, Albus Dumbledore is very wrong and just plain barmy, I am so quite sentient... ," warbled the castle incessantly in an excited trill. The chatter of the castle continued on, but both men tried to phase it out as they looked at one another.
Severus looked at Harry with wild eyes and his head dropped down and landed against Harry's shaking body. Harry's chuckles filled every corner of the Potion Master's bedroom.The End