Well, it's been a long long long time, to steal a line from The Beatles. Hihowareya. I'm very sorry for pretty much abandoning all my readers and disappointing everyone who has more recently read this, only to discover I hadn't updated in…well…a long time. So, I have decided to finish at least this story! I haven't written fanfic in alongtime, so I hope that I can finish this in a satisfactory way for everyone. Some of this was written alongtime ago and some of it was written today. It's not a very sexy chapter, but do not fear, there is some of that sexiness to come!
Severus Snape, Reluctant Lover Chapter 3: What the Slytherin heard.
Harry slowly awoke the next morning to find that he was craddling his laptop in his arms. He shook his head while chuckling, a little embarrassed that he had fallen asleep while chatting. He sat up against the headboard and pulled the computer onto his lap. At least he'd managed to shut it before drifting into dreams. Last night's chat was still open when he lifted the screen. He scrolled to the bottom to reread the conversation.
4eyes: I thought you'd be on.
TheMaster: waiting for you, of course.
4eyes: I just got through explaining everything to Remus. He was very surprised but I think it'll be alright.
4eyes: What does perhaps mean?
TheMaster: it just means that he was very angry with me. no more secret little meetings, or the werewolf will be out for my blood.
4eyes: That's not the impression I got...
TheMaster: of course it isn't. you're his ward. he isn't going to be harsh on you. it's just different between us.
4eyes: Different between you, how? He seemed to know an awful lot about your ...romantic past, shall we say...
4eyes: Are you there?
4eyes: Well, why is Remus so upset with you? He never seemed to have anything against you... from what I've seen about the past.
TheMaster: you mean in my memory?
TheMaster: it's no matter. I've long forgiven you for being a nosy little brat.
TheMaster: lupin knows that I've had a lot of issues with relationships... or lack there of... in the past. I assured him that I have only honest, if not good, intentions this time around.
4eyes: So, then... if he's not happy with us meeting, than how are we supposed to conduct a relationship?
4eyes: Because there is no way that I'm taking a step backward to an online relationship.
TheMaster: I would also prefer to talk to you in person. I must admit that your company is rather pleasent. if not tempting.
4eyes: Which is why I suppose Remus is worried.
TheMaster: well, give me a little time and I'm sure that I can figure out something that we can all agree to.
4eyes: Good. I know you can think of something.
TheMaster: I'm glad that you can muster up some confindance to throw my way.
TheMaster: are you there?
TheMaster: bugger all... did you fall asleep?
TheMaster: well, I suppose that if you stayed awake much longer, I'd have to take points off of Gryffindor for you falling asleep in Potions.
Harry chuckled at the last comment, having not seen it before dozing off. He closed the ChatterBox and turned off the computer just as his dorm mates were starting to stir.
"Morning, Harry," said Ron, who was stretching his arms above his head.
"Morning," Harry replied as he stowed the laptop in his trunk. Ron yawned and sat up groggily.
"Hey, how'd it go last night? Hermione and I stayed up as late as we could manage and I didn't see you get in."
"It went fine," Harry replied quietly. He glanced at the others, but they weren't paying any attention, instead putting on their school clothes with blank expressions. Harry turned back to Ron. "Lupin knows... about, well... that."
Ron's eyes widened. He knew exactly what "that" meant.
"Did he lose it?
"At first I thought he'd done his nut. He paid him a visit but by the time Lupin got back he was ready to accept it."
"You're kidding," Ron exclaimed. At this, Seamus looked in their direction quizzically.
"What're you lot on about this early. Don't you have any respect for a poor man's groggy head? None of what you're saying makes any sense, at any rate." Seamus brushed at some lint on his robe. "That, and it sounds like you're talking in reverse, to boot."
"Sorry, mate," Ron said sheepishly.
"Ah, don't you mind him," said Dean as he opened the dormitory door. "The firewhiskey he smuggled in last weekend has destroyed his ability to think."
Ron laughed as Seamus pushed Dean out the door. After a glance at the now curious Neville, he and Harry dressed and walked quickly together to the great hall for breakfast. Harry wouldn't answer any more of Ron's questions until they got there because he knew he'd just have to repeat himself for Hermione.
Ginny and Hermione were already there, the latter chewing on toast and reading her History of Magic book. As they sat down, Hermione closed her book with a soft clap and looked from Ron to Harry.
"Good, you're here. I've been dying to ask you about what happened yesterday!"
"Dish the dirt, Harry," Ginny said, leaning around Hermione. Ron gave her a dirty look. "What? I want to know what happened, too."
Harry sighed. "What do you want to know?"
Hermione and Ginny spoke at the same time.
"Why'd you get back so late?"
"What did Lupin ask you?"
Harry laughed. "Alright, alright. You first then," he said to Ginny. "Lupin asked me where I was around the time of the 'crime.'"
"And where were you?" Hermione crossed her arms, "Because you never told us that, either."
Harry looked around to make sure no one was in ear shot. The only other Gryffindors were sitting at the other end of the table, so, after a quick glance about for extendable ears, Harry felt safe to continue.
"Okay. I was with Snape."
Ron shrugged. "Yeah, that's what I guessed. What did Lupin say?"
Harry blushed. "He was wondering why Snape didn't tell him I was with him, because Snape was acting like he thought I was guilty. He can't treat me any differently or people would suspect. So Lupin kept asking me questions."
Hermione frowned. "While you were on truth serum? That's hardly fair."
"I don't think he meant to," Harry replied. "I think he was just worried. He finally got it out of me that Snape had taken me to his chambers-"
"He took you to his CHAMBERS?" Ron's face turned red. "I thought you had an agreement!"
Harry put up his hands. "Shush! No, no. It was nothing like that, Ron. He invited me in for some supper because I didn't eat anything earlier. And we kissed a bit. That's it."
"You told Lupin all that?"
Harry nodded. "Yeah, he wasn't too happy about it. He said he was disappointed in my decision and told me to sit and wait for him to return. When he came back he'd calmed down a bit and told me that as long as nothing happened during the rest of the school year he wouldn't stop me."
"You're lucky," Hermione said. "My father would have flipped if he'd found out I was involved with an older man."
"My father would have flipped if he'd found out I was involved with a man, period," Ron said. "So you're outed to Lupin, then?"
"Yeah," said Harry. "But it wasn't that big of a deal because... and this is the best part..."
"Get on with it," Ginny said, leaning so close that her hair fell into the butter.
"Lupin and Sirius were life partners."
The other three were completely silent for a few moments. Hermione and Ginny's eyes looked funny, like they were about to start crying, and Ron was very red.
"That's so tragic," Hermione managed to say after a moment. "Poor Professor Lupin."
Ron coughed a bit, and then said, "Er... so what else did he say?"
"Not too much," Harry shrugged. "Except that in the past Snape was quite the heart breaker."
Ron coughed again, this time from laughter. "That's rich."
Harry glared at Ron, who quickly stopped laughing.
"I... sorry, mate. I'm trying to get used to the fact that he's your..."
"Your... er, boyfriend." He said the last part very quietly.
Harry grinned. "And don't you forget it."
"Oy, there's butter in my hair!"
"I can't believe that didn't work," growled Draco Malfoy while poking resentfully at his breakfast. "They're all softies when it comes to that fat-head, Potter."
A few tables over, Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny were noticing the defeated look on Malfoy's face.
"Look at him," Ron said. "We should have known he was bluffing about knowing your secret."
Hermione nodded. "At least we know he's up to something now. Malfoy should be avoided at all costs. Who knows how far he's willing to go?"
Harry frowned at this. The four friends were silent for a moment and then:
"He's been trying to one up me for six and a half years, now," Harry said. "There's only a couple months left of school and something tells me he's going to do everything in his power to come out on top before we graduate."
"Well, the answer is simple," said Ron. "We can strap him to a thestral and tell it to fly to South Africa."
At this, Harry, Ginny and Hermione laughed so hard they all choked on their breakfasts.
"Now, why didn't I think of that," Harry asked with a grin.
"I can tell you right now I expected much better work from a 7th year class. I can only hope that certain of those among you aren't inclined to sire any brats or wizarding kind has a very dark future ahead, indeed." With a flick of his wand, Snape sent the graded parchments on his desk to their respective owners. Harry was delighted to see that instead of his usual low grade, he had received an E. He glanced over to see that Hermione had made her usual O with 115 percent.
"Why do I want to be an auror again?" Ron groaned and shoved his paper into his bag. "I suppose I'm not allowed to have any children."
"That's alright, Ron," Harry said. "Hermione has more than enough brains to pass on to make up for any lack on your part."
Hermione blushed at this and Ron looked nervous.
"There's quite a bit of time to go before all that, mate," Ron sputtered. Hermione opened her mouth to speak, but quickly closed it as Snape stalked by.
"Alright, class. Today we will be reviewing five different potions to prepare for your NEWTS. Yes, it is looming on the horizon, it will be here before you know it, and I will not be happy if you lot of dunderheads make me look bad. The potions are listed-" He waved his wand. "-on the board. I want you to answer these questions-" Another wave. "-about each of them. You have until the end of class to complete your answers and you will answer them ALONE."
As he said this last word he looked over at Ron and Hermione. The latter looked slightly indignant.
"Well, really-" she muttered under her breath.
Soon the dungeon room was filled with only the sounds of scratching quills and heavy sighs. Harry was desperately trying to remember the properties of Ackriny Root when Snape announced that they had ten minutes left. He hurriedly moved on and answered as much as possible. He was surprised to find that he'd filled up about 3 feet of parchment when Snape flicked his wand to collect their work. He grinned at Hermione.
"It's amazing what I can do when I'm freshly motivated," he said. Hermione smiled back, but Ron looked a little pale.
"I'm doomed," he wailed, staring at the three inches of parchment he'd managed to fill whizzing past him to Snape's desk.
A moment later the bell rang for the end of class. Most everyone grabbed their things and made a beeline for the door, but Harry was taking his time.
"You two go on," he said. "I'll be just a moment."
"Alright," Ron said, narrowing his eyes suspiciously. "Don't be late or Lupin-"
Harry blushed. "I'll really only be a moment, mate."
When everyone was gone, Harry approached Snape.
Snape turned around and raised an eyebrow.
"Yes, Potter, what is it?"
Harry glanced around one more time to ensure that there was no one else in the room.
"I wanted to know," he said in a lowered voice, "That is- I wanted to make sure that I earned this."
He gestured to his graded paper. Snape raised an amused eyebrow.
"Are you suggesting that I would play favourites?"
"No, of course not," Harry said hurriedly. "I didn't think you would. But I'm not used to this kind of grade in this subject..."
Snape gave a quick snort of laughter. "Think nothing of it. You've shown much improvement."
"Thank you, professor."
Snape leaned forward, with the pretense of picking something up off
"You must stop this blushing thing you do or you'll get both of us in trouble," he murmured with a smirk and then straightened up. "Get to class, Potter. I'm not giving you an excuse this time."
Harry nodded, trying his best to not blush and left the class room. A moment later, however, his face went absolutely pale as he noticed who was leaning just outside the door. Malfoy. He might have imagined it, but he thought he saw a flesh coloured string poking out of Malfoy's pocket. Malfoy glared and pushed whatever it was out of sight. The Slytherin then strode past Harry, knocking him hard with his shoulder as he passed.
"Watch it, Nancy boy."
"Do you think he heard," Hermione asked in a whisper.
"I don't know," Harry replied. He still hadn't regained much colour.
"Mr. Potter," Lupin said, turning from the board upon which he had been writing review pages. "Please get out your book and try to concentrate."
"Sorry, sir," Harry said, quickly getting his book out of his bag.
"We'll talk later," Hermione muttered. Lupin wrote the last page down and turned to the class.
"I'm sure you're getting this in all your classes, but I must stress the importance of your NEWTS. They affect your future immensely. Your future employment opportunities will be many or few depending on how many NEWTS you receive. All clear? Good. Now who would like to tell me..."
"Harry, you need to eat something." Ginny spooned some stew into a bowl and gently shoved it towards Harry. "What's wrong with you?"
Hermione leant forward. "Malfoy may have overheard Harry talking to Snape after class."
"What were you two saying? 'Your hair smells particularly lovely today,'" said Ginny, doing a horrifically accurate impression of Snape.
"Oh, don't," said Ron. "That's creep- I mean... just don't."
But Harry didn't seem to notice any of this. Ron nudged him and Harry jumped.
"Look, you can't have said anything too revealing, right?"
Harry looked down at his hands. "Not anything blatant, but certainly enough to infer... I don't know."
"How do you know he heard you, anyhow?"
"I think I saw an extendable ear sticking out of his pocket. That, and he called me a nancy boy."
"Perhaps it was a coincidence. It sounds like something he might call you anyway," Hermione said. But Ron was glaring towards the Slytherin table.
"Extendable... I told Fred and George to pay more attention to their customers. How could they sell Extendables to Malfoy?"
"I'm sure they're much too busy, Ron," said Ginny. "Besides, there's owl order, not to mention the fact that anyone could have bought them for Malfoy."
"Yeah, well," Ron snorted. "They should jinx all their products so they can't be used by Slytherins."
"That is an excellent idea, but too little, too late," muttered Harry sullenly. "I'm sorry Ginny, thanks for this, but I'm just not hungry."
Harry glanced across the room to see Malfoy smirking in his direction. He curled up his lip in disgust and stood up.
"I'm going back up to the dorm to lie down," Harry said. "I'll see you three later, all right?"
The other three murmured their affirmatives back and Harry shuffled away, doing his best to avoid a glance at the instructors' tables. The last thing he needed was for Malfoy to notice him sending furtive glances at Snape.
Nobody was out in the halls as Harry made his way upstairs. He supposed that they were all enjoying their dinners, not a care in the world except for school work and petty gossip. He has just reached the last staircase that led to the Gryffindor dormitories when a noise made him pause and glance back.
"I'm not in the mood, Malfoy."
"Not in the mood?" Malfoy sounded angry enough to spit. "I'm not in the mood to let you get away with charming the pants off of everyone, Potter. And I think I know who's pants you're charming right now."
Harry took a step forward and wrapped his hand around his wand. "I have no idea what you're talking about, you conceited arse. Why don't you just crawl back into the festering pit you came from and leave me alone?"
Harry saw Malfoy's wand arm stiffen.
"How dare you talk to me like that! I am worth TEN times more than you. Why can't anybody see that!" The last word was punctuated by Malfoy's fist slamming into Harry's stomach. If he had been expecting anything, it wasn't a physical fight. Before he could recover there was another blow, but this one was wild and unaimed. Harry lifted his arms up to protect his face.
"I wish you were a nobody! You are a nobody! You're not important… you're…. disgusting… you disgust me!" Harry reached out and grabbed at Malfoy's arms, failing the first few attempts but finally catching ahold of his wrists like he was capturing a snitch out of the air. Malfoy was strong, but Harry's grip was stronger and he was angry.
"What is wrong with you," he asked the other boy. "Don't you think that I would rather be a nobody than have to deal with the things that have been thrown at me?" He shook Malfoy hard. "I am sick of you following me around, trying to trip me up, trying to-"
He thought at first that the Slytherin was intending the headbutt him, but instead Harry found that he had been cut off by the one thing he would have never expected. Malfoy slammed his lips against Harry's pushing, capturing the Gryffindor's lower lip in his teeth. Harry wasn't sure if he was biting him out of anger or - or something more. Something different. In the moment of disbelief, Harry had let Malfoy over-power him, but now he quickly wrenched his head out of the other's grasp.
"What do you think you're doing?"
At the sound of his voice, Malfoy seemed to snap out of the situation and he roughly shoved Harry to the floor.
"Don't you touch me," Malfoy sneered, backing up. "I'm not like you. Don't try to make me like you."
In an instant, Harry was alone.
"…ok. That was… shit."
I hope this was a good installment! I'm a little scared to hit publish...errrrrrrr, okay. I'll do it. Hope you don't tear me apart to much in the reviews...until next time, 7 years from now...
I'm just kidding! Put down your knives!