Disclaimer: Never was mine / Never will be mine I am making no money from this story. Everything belongs to JK Rowling and Warner Bros.
A/N: This is a little one shot that I did for a Round Robin (HPRndRobin) group I belong to. It is a Spring Fever challenge set by the lovely deirdre-riordan. Check out the RR's profile for some wonderful stories. This is a mindless little piece of fluff, and I hope you enjoy it :) Also I should warn you Severus Snape and Harry Potter are a little OOC in this fic!
Spring Fever Challenge by deirdre-riordan.
The challenge: Spring Fever (y'know, sun shining, birds singing, people shacking up) is a real ailment in the wizarding world. One or both of our favourite boys manage to contract it. What the 'disease' entails is up to you, as is how to get rid of it, and it can be as rare or as common as you please. The story must include a bouquet of flowers publicly given as a gift, as well as the statement, "Potter, don't tell me no one's bothered to explain to you about the birds and the bees." Must be Snarry, of course, but throw in as many secondary pairings as you like.
All right, have at it!
Beta read by the amazing Niamh Tirneanach.
Following The Three Steps Of Tradition.
The sun had eventually broken through the dull winter clouds. The snow had all but melted, and the daffodils had started to break through the formally frosted earth. The birds had started to become a familiar sight once again, picking up twigs and moss to build nests for their future chicks. Harry stood on the main steps of Hogwarts and took a deep breath; spring was definitely in the air. Harry glanced across the grounds at all of the new life springing up; he loved this time of year, it was so new, clean and fresh.
Harry are you coming in for breakfast?
Harry turned around and smiled at Ron. Yeah mate, just taking a moment.
A moment of what? Ron asked, a little confused.
A moment of peace, Ron.
Oh, well breakfast has started, you coming?
Harry smiled at his friend and took one final look at the fresh new season spreading itself over the Hogwarts grounds.
Winky, is you sure the potion is in everyone's food? Dobby asked his slightly hung over elf friend. He was worried about her, she had let up a little on the butterbeer, but she was still drinking too much of it for his tastes.
Dobby, is worrying too much, Winky is a good elf. Winky has put the potion in everyone's food and drink.
I knows you is a good elf Winky, but this is important!
Winky makes sure everyone has some. She looked on the verge of tears again. Not wanting to upset his friend further, Dobby accepted her word on it and gave her a big smile and went about his business.
Severus had again been up all night. He knew he shouldn't pull all nighters, but this particular project he was working on was so fascinating. Now that he was no longer Albus Dumbledore's spy for the light - he had been found out six months ago, and barely managed to escape with his life –- he was able to pursue projects he had put on hold for years. This particular one he had been working on for nearly twenty years! It had all started when he himself was a student; he had loved the subject of history, but found the lessons taught by Binns only to be useful as a cure for insomnia. So he had started to think of ways to make the lessons more interesting, unfortunately real life and the Dark Lord had gotten in the way for the best part of twenty years one way or another.
Because he had saved Potter (again) from the clutches of the Dark Lord, he was now free of his obligation to Albus. It had happened right in front of the Dark Lord, so his cover had been blown. It had been a messy battle where he and Potter had both been injured, but some of Potter's luck must have rubbed off on him. He managed somehow to drag both Potter and himself to the outside of Riddle Manor and beyond the anti-apparition wards and get them both to safety, where he had promptly collapsed from a nasty hex that had landed square in his chest. Potter had raised the alarm and the next thing he knew he was waking up in the infirmary the next day. Alive and no longer a spy! He still had to remain within Hogwarts for his own protection until the war had ended, but it wasn't such a bad life. He had libraries full of books and potion labs full of ingredients to keep him occupied. Albus always made sure they were fully stocked and that the latest books were made available to him. Bless the sentimental old fool,' Severus thought.
So with all his extra free time he had gotten back to some of his unfinished projects and unexplored ideas. This particular project he was working on had gone unfinished for far too long for his tidy mind to comprehend. The basic principle was to make history come alive – literally! His plan was to make it possible for students to actually feel as though they were walking through the pages of history. With the correct spells and potion he believed this was possible. Instead of just reading about the goblin rebellions, students would be able to actually stand on the battlefield and witness it first hand. Making it more memorable and far more exciting than listening to Binns drone on.
He had the potion already finished; it was a powdered concoction that you had to sprinkle in a circular pattern and then stand within the circle. It was a very mild psychotropic drug that would not damage you, but allow you to open up your mind and, with the correct spell, would allow you to relive the pages of history, very much in the style of watching memories through a pensieve. The spell part was almost complete, it just needed some fine-tuning and then he would have to run it by Albus for approval.
Severus heard his clock chime and saw the hand move towards Time to teach class.' He grumbled to himself; he was hungry, but he had completely missed breakfast and now had no time for it. He spat out a, Bugger,' to no one in particular, grabbed a pepper-up potion to keep himself awake, cast a freshen up charm on himself and headed out of his quarters to his classroom to teach the next generation of miscreants.
Harry was sitting in his N.E.W.T level History class listening to Binns drone on. He was so bored; it wasn't even that he didn't like the subject; it was fascinating to him, it really was so full of fantastical things, but Binns ruined all of that for him. Harry made a solemm vow that he would marry the person who could liven this class up. Harry snorted to himself at that thought, who would want to marry him? He had yet to fulfil that stupid prophecy and do away with Voldemort. Who was going to be interested in him when he had all the worlds evil wrapped up in one neat package chasing after him?
Dumbledore had mentioned something about putting him under the Fidelius Charm when it came time for him to leave Hogwarts in about six months. He didn't want to hide away like a frightened rabbit, but he could see the sense in it. He wasn't sure if he trusted the charm all that much; it hadn't done a lot for his family! Then again they had a double-crossing secret keeper. Harry briefly wondered whom he would choose to be his secret keeper? It would have to be someone no one would suspect; so that ruled out Ron and Hermione, everyone would think it was one of them. Dumbledore was an option, but again it was a little obvious. Trelawney! Harry snorted to himself, no one would ever suspect him of choosing her, useless bint! And that was precisely the reason he wouldn't use her. He had to find someone he trusted his life to, someone whom he knew would never betray him, no matter what happened to them, someone who was strong, cunning, wise and, most of all, powerful. Harry sat up with a start; there was only one person who fitted all of the criteria, Snape!
Snape though? Could Harry ask one more thing of the man? Snape had saved his life once again after he was stupid enough to fall into Vincent Goyle's trap in the library. Goyle had handed him a book, and first off he should have been suspicious that Goyle had even had a book. The damn thing was a portkey! And again Snape had saved his ass, revealing his role as a spy at the same time. They both could have died if it wasn't for his Professor's fast thinking. Harry made a decision to go visit his Professor right before lunch was served.
Severus was glad when class was over; he had been sneezing quite a bit. The embarrassing thing was his own anti sneezing draft had failed to work, and to top it all off, his eyes had started to itch a little. If things didn't improve by tomorrow he would have to go and see Pomfrey, not that he wanted to, but he couldn't brew potions sneezing all over the place. A faint knock at the door brought him out of his musings; he went to bark out permission for the person to enter when halfway through the word, enter,' he had sneezed again. It had been such a violent sneeze that he had finished bent double in his chair. The next thing to enter his vision was a white blur; he squinted, trying to clear his vision when he heard a concerned question.
Sir, are you alright?
Severus didn't need to be able to see clearly because he recognised the dulcet tones of Potter right off. Yes, thank you Potter, Severus answered, taking the offered handkerchief.
You should see Madame Pomfrey about that cold, sir.
It's not a cold, Potter; I think it's an allergy of some kind. Was there something I can help you with? As I am sure you did not come here to discuss my health. He finished in a clipped tone. He might have eased up a little on Potter in the last few months after he realised what a blessing not spying anymore was, but that didn't mean he was about to be overly nice to a Gryffindor! No matter how alluring he was. Severus gave out a snort of laughter at that thought, as if he would have a chance in hell with the world's favourite saviour.
Is something funny, sir?
Severus looked at the young man stood before him clearly for the first time since he had entered his classroom. Potter was wearing an expression of confusion. No, Potter, nothing is funny. Tell me, what is it you wanted?
As Potter leaned in close to him, Severus suddenly became very aware of everything. He found that he was holding his breath though for what reason, he wasn't sure. Sir, is it possible for you to place a few privacy wards up? came the whispered words. Severus just nodded dumbly and took out his wand and was glad when Potter created more space between them. He cast the spells and looked at Potter once more, with a raised eyebrow. Sir, are you sure you are alright? You look a little pale.
Potter, Severus ground out between clenched teeth. For some reason he just wanted to get out of there; it was strangely confining in the large classroom with only the two of them in it.
Sorry sir, I wanted to ask you something, something really important, but I would understand if you just said no or if you didn't feel like having that kind of responsibility...
Potter, quit rambling and get to the point!
And if you apologise one more time I shall hex you into next week. Now a strange fogginess was taking over his brain; this was not good.
Sor... right. Professor Dumbledore has talked to me about placing me under the Fidelius Charm, and I was wondering if you would be my secret keeper?
Severus pinched the bridge of his nose, he was sure he had just entered an alternate universe and that Potter had just asked him, him! To be his secret keeper. Potter, Severus started, but was unsure as to where to take it, or even how to finish it. He looked back up and blinked a few times rapidly. Potter seemed to be sparkling just a little bit. Strange.
Sir, please think about it. It might not come to that.
Severus was finding it hard to concentrate on what Potter was actually talking about because the sparkling around him just kept getting brighter. I will think about it, Potter. Now if there is nothing else?
Thank you sir. With that Potter left the classroom, but not before Severus had caught him giving one last glance in his direction.
Harry left Snape's classroom a little worried, he knew the man was too stubborn to seek medical help himself, but he didn't want to intrude in his Professor's life too much by talking to Pomfrey on his behalf. Especially without permission to do so. He much preferred the relationship he had now with Snape. Since Snape had been found out to be a spy and he had gotten over his initial anger, he had mellowed a little. Well, maybe mellow was too strong a word, but he had definitely relaxed a little towards Harry.
Harry doubted he would ever be best friends with the guy, but he did respect him and in his own way he had to admit, if only to himself, he kind of cared a little bit for him. He was a git; there was no getting around that, but he had grown on Harry so much so that he wanted to see the man happy and healthy for a change. Harry knew Snape had sacrificed so much and had gotten little in return; he deserved a little happiness if he could get it. He wouldn't see Pomfrey, but he could always drop a hint to the Headmaster when he saw him next. That way it would be the Headmaster who had to get Snape up to the infirmary.
Harry's chance arrived as lunch was finishing, he had dropped a few obvious hints that he was worried about Snape's health. Harry smiled to himself as he watched Dumbledore head off in the direction of the dungeons. Snape didn't stand a chance!
Severus was coughing and spluttering away to himself when he felt a strong grip place itself on his shoulder. He whipped his head around, and relaxed when he saw Albus.
My dear boy, you should be in the infirmary.
I am fine, Albus. I just need a little rest and some food.
Yes, you shouldn't skip lunch; it is not good for you.
Or breakfast, or supper, Severus mumbled to himself. Actually he couldn't remember the last time he had in fact, eaten.
Severus. The tone was a little shocked. Again strange.
I know, Albus, I should take better care of myself. I've just been a little caught up in my research of late.
How long? Severus suddenly became aware of how serious Albus had become. He had skipped meals before and all Albus did was invite him for tea and sandwiches on the spot. Why wasn't he being asked for tea and sandwiches now?
How long what, Albus?
Since you last ate a meal in the Great Hall?
Well, you know how it is... Severus trailed off, knowing it was useless to lie to this man. Somehow he always made him feel like he was an eleven-year-old student again. A couple of days, he concluded.
Oh my! Albus suddenly sat down in the seat opposite him.
I shall go to the kitchens now and get something to eat...
It's not that which worries me so much, Severus.
Well then what is it that does?
The food for the last five meals has been mixed with the antidote to prevent an outbreak of Spring Fever. Severus, you missed those meals and you have not been inoculated this year.
Severus paled a little; surely it couldn't be the first, no, now the second day of spring? Oh bugger!
Indeed, my boy.
I need to get out of here. Severus started to get up from his seat.
Severus, sit down it cannot be all that bad. Now, from your desire to flee I am guessing there is someone in this school who has caught your fancy? Severus was sure he could detect the teasing in that tone, that would stop when Albus found out exactly who.
It matters not, it is highly inappropriate, Albus. I will suffer the consequences, it cannot be all that bad.
Nonsense, Severus, you have a lot to offer a potential mate and from your answer I am guessing it is a student? Severus paled even more. I am hoping that this particular student is of age?
Now Severus was a little annoyed. Of course, Albus. I am not into children in any shape or form!
So what is the problem?
Albus, you know of my preferences, I do not believe the young man in question would be interested. And the fact that I am the greasy git of a potions professor to boot, just stacks it up against me.
Why do you have such low self esteem, child?
If you are told something enough you eventually start to believe it.
Albus frowned at him. I will hear no more talk like that from you, young man! Now on to the business at hand, to cure you of your Spring Fever, you must follow your heart's desire and court this young fellow while following the three steps tradition dictates.
I most certainly will not court a student!
Severus, you are a Potions Master are you not? Tell me about the antidote.
Yes, sir, Severus said, rolling his eyes. Four equal doses must be taken from the first day of spring, if the first dose is not taken on the first day of spring the victim will suffer Spring Fever for one year until they can take the antidote the following spring. All that stuff you said about following your heart's desire is unproven hearsay.
It most certainly is not. I had a friend once who nearly went insane until he eventually plucked up the courage to start courting his heart's desire. He told me he could tell straight away it was she, he could see her aura sparkling like glitter. Severus, if possible, became even paler. I see that you have already come across this phenomenon. So who is it, young man?
You are going to kill me, Albus.
I most certainly am not.
Harry bloody Potter, Severus whispered and he looked down at the floor not daring to look Albus in the eye. When the silence became too much and the desire to sneeze started again, Severus looked up at the Headmaster and had to do a double take. The mad old fool was grinning at him like a Cheshire cat. You're not upset? Severus asked warily.
Upset? Of course not, my boy! I think that is wonderful news. I always knew you two would get on famously if you could just put your differences aside.
Albus, Potter hates me.
Nonsense, who do you think it was who dropped some rather cleaver hints to me that he was worried about you?
Potter, was worried about me? Severus could not believe that. No that was cruel of him to think, Potter worried about the world and his mutt.
Yes. Now, first things first, you must make your intentions clear to him.
Albus, this is ludicrous.
Severus, I have every faith in you. If you do not wish to be ill all year then you must do this. Severus groaned to himself, why did he have to get so caught up in his work and forget to eat? If he had just eaten the blasted meals he would have survived this humiliation and when Potter had left Hogwarts, he would have placed the young man out of his mind for good. He had been living by his own personal mantra of out of sight out of mind' for about the last six months. It looked as though now that had come around and truly kicked him up the ass.
The following morning Harry was glad when he spied Snape in his usual seat at the head table. It looked as though his hints to Dumbledore had worked, Snape still looked a little out of sorts, but at least he was eating. Because of his Snape watching he missed the gasps from his fellow housemates. When Hermione prodded him in the ribs, he scowled at her. Don't look at me like that Harry, Hedwig is trying to get your attention to land. Harry didn't really understand until he looked up and saw Hedwig with a huge box, it was so unusual for him to get mail, let alone parcels. He cleared a spot with the help of his friends and Hedwig dropped her package in front of him and gratefully took a rest next to the box.
Harry cautiously opened the box and gasped at the dozen perfect long stemmed red roses within. He had never been given flowers before, and never red roses. What does the card say? Hermione squealed.
Harry reached for the folded piece of parchment and read it:
I wish I could have given these to you in person, but I did not wish to publicly embarrass you more than necessary. I only hope you can forgive my cowardice in this matter.
I suppose I should pose a few questions to you before I attempt to take this further. For it would be my deepest regret to make you feel uncomfortable in any way. First and foremost I should inform you that I am a male. Does this pose a problem for you? Are you currently single and open to the idea of being courted?
I would very much like to know the answer to these questions. If they are not the answers I desire, I shall not pursue you any longer and I shall nobly take my leave of you and I shall never bring this up again. Your owl will know how to find me.
Harry, who are they from? They are beautiful. Hermione said wistfully.
I don't know, the letter was not signed, they claimed I can get in touch with them via Hedwig if I want to. Harry noticed the rest of the hall broke out in whispers concerning his mystery package. Harry looked over the letter again and grabbed a spare bit of parchment and his quill and jotted down a reply and gave it to Hedwig to return to his mystery sender.
As soon as Severus had spotted Hedwig enter he had wanted to leave; he did not want to see Harry possibly laughing at his gift. He was a little rusty at this whole courting thing and was worried red roses may have been a little old fashioned. One of the reasons he couldn't at first run a mile was because Potter was looking at him, but as soon as Potter's attention was on the package Severus had left the Great Hall for the safety of his office. He was waiting for Harry's reply, and he had not wanted to receive it in the Great Hall; how embarrassing!
A few minutes later Severus heard Hedwig scratching at his door. He pulled himself together and opened it; the owl flew in and landed on his desk holding out her leg. Severus untied the small scroll and sat down as he fed the owl a few treats. He opened the parchment to read his reply:
It feels strange not being able to thank you at least by name for your lovely gift to me. But, thank you, they are beautiful.
I am trying to work out if you know me really well, and know my desire to keep things private, or if you are just really shy? Either way works for me; it's bad enough the whole school is gossiping about me again, but at least they do not have a name to go with it.
To answer your questions, no it does not really bother me that you are a male, and yes, I am open to the idea of being courted. I look forward to your next move,
P.S: I should warn you that if this were some kind of cruel joke, you would have failed. This letter has been charmed so that you will never be able to repeat anything that you have read. If you do you shall have a most heinous illness! Most people are foolish in underestimating me, but I like it that way.
Severus couldn't stop the smirk from gracing his lips. Potter was a lot more devious than he had thought possible. He was briefly intrigued as to what the consequences would be, but decided he would just ask Potter if things went the way he hoped they would.
Harry was lying in bed trying to think who the roses, that were currently in a vase next to his bed, were from. He had been racking his brain all day. The flowers were not cheap, which would suggest someone with money. Not that that was a problem for him, he had enough money of his own to last a lifetime, so money didn't interest him, but it was nice to know that if this went as far as a date he wouldn't be expected to foot the bill! Harry had noticed the handwriting had been charmed in such a way that it would not be recognisable. Which would suggest it was someone with enough magical knowledge to pull off such a tricky charm. So it had to be a 7th year at least, or maybe someone who had already left Hogwarts. He didn't know many people who had left Hogwarts, the Weasley's, but they were all straight as far as he knew, and they were like family. There was Oliver, now he was cute, but Harry knew him to be straight, he had been invited to the wedding next year.
There were the members of the Order, but most of them were too old except Kingsley –- cute, but dating Tonks. Remus – not really his type, he loved Remus as family, but found him to be a little too sweet for his tastes, a little too nice. The only other member of the Order that was even within a mile of his own age was Snape. Harry burst out laughing, as if Snape would send him flowers, or would he? Harry stopped laughing immediately. Could it have been Snape? What did he think about it possibly being Snape? He wasn't as disturbed as he thought he should be. Snape was cute in a dark gothic forbidding kind of way. He was definitely powerful enough to have cast that handwriting charm without breaking into a sweat, and he had reason to want to disguise his handwriting. Harry would have immediately recognised that spidery crawl written on any paper.
There was no conclusive evidence that it was Snape, the letter was slightly formal and a little old fashioned in style, which again pointed to Snape. And whether he wanted to admit or not, Snape did know him, quite well thanks to all the times Dumbledore had forced them to work together. Harry rather liked the idea of it being him; the idea of having charmed Snape of all people did have a form of perverse pleasure in it.
The following morning Harry could not keep his eyes off the head table and in particular Snape. Snape had even frowned back at him at one point, and Harry couldn't help but smile. The idea of it being Snape was definitely starting to become very appealing. He spied Hedwig come flying in with the morning mail call; he was hoping it was another letter from his mystery man. Hedwig landed and held out her leg to him. Harry untied the small package and opened it.
Before I say anything else, Bravo! I loved the idea of the hex; very imaginative. I must say I will never underestimate you again.
I am glad to see the response to my inquires was positive; as tradition dictates I am to give you my second offering. I can only hope that you will like it and it will persuade you of how serious I am in pursuing you.
Harry looked inside the envelope again and saw a thin long black velvet box. He pulled it out and opened it, it was a masculine gold bracelet made from rare Welsh gold. Harry smiled and immediately looked up at the teacher's table, but Snape was nowhere to be seen.
As soon as Severus had spotted Hedwig flying into the hall he had snuck out of the side door. He remained behind it, watching Potter through the crack, and almost smiled himself when he saw Potter smile at his gift and letter. He headed back towards his office through the back corridors because he didn't want to be seen sick and weak because of all his sneezing. This god damned Spring Fever had only settled down a little after he had started to actively pursue Potter, but Severus was sure the disease was not happy that he had not admitted that he was the mystery letter writer. But he had endured worse than this before, and he refused to give into a little Spring Fever. If the disease had its way, he would have already grabbed Potter by his hair, clubbed him and dragged him back to his quarters or even the closest surface would do!
Severus returned to his office and grabbed another cup of tea before he had his first class of the day, not that he was looking forward to it. Just before he left, he heard Hedwig return with a reply; he quickly untied it and put in his pocket until he could have a chance to read it.
Even before the lesson had begun, the letter was burning a hole in his pocket. To rectify that problem, he gave the 4th year Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws a test so he would not have to pay attention to them. Or sneeze all over their sub-standard work, which was a bonus.
To my mystery man,
Your gifts are becoming more lavish and I still feel it is unfair that I cannot thank you at least by name. But I have a feeling you are not ready to give that up yet, but you will! The bracelet is beautiful; you have amazing taste.
Hermione gave me a book last night telling me all about the three step traditional courting ritual for wizards, so does this mean tomorrow I will be receiving another gift?
But before you do, tell me a little about yourself. You seem to know me quite well and yet I know nothing about you. If you want to pursue a relationship with me then I will need to know a few things, such as, do we have anything in common?
I hope I hear from you, Harry.
P.S: This parchment has also been charmed.
Severus looked up to his quiet classroom and noticed no one was paying him any attention, good! He picked up some parchment for his reply.
Thank you for your swift reply; I suppose your request is only fair.
Unfortunately there is not much to tell about myself. I do enjoy going out to the theatre when I get the chance. I also enjoy reading. One of my other passions is spell writing, many do not know this about me, this is privileged information. I am currently working on a spell to liven up history lessons. It is almost complete; if I can get the Headmaster to agree maybe this could be our first date? We could take a walk through history together.
Tell me what you think.
Harry read the letter for the third time, the first part had sounded like Snape, but the second part hadn't. He had no idea if Snape was into spell writing and the last sentence had almost been, romantic. Was Snape capable of romance? If these letters were from him then yes, he was. Though he had never come across as the romantic type before, maybe they were from someone else. That thought made Harry a little sad, he had totally convinced himself it was Snape and now he really wanted it to be Snape. Further investigation was required into this matter.
Severus looked over the note he had received not ten minutes ago from Harry.
It's a date, mystery man!
He actually had a date with Harry Potter, though whether or not Potter would stay more than 10 seconds after he found out who his mystery man was, remained to be seen. A knock at his door brought him out of his musings. Enter, he called, and in walked his date.' Severus had to blink a few times to clear his vision from the sparkles that kept jumping around Harry's aura and that set off another round of sneezing. It was so embarrassing to look ill in front of Potter. Mister Potter, was there something you needed? he asked wearily.
I was after some advice.
I am not good at giving out advice, and shouldn't you be going to your own head of house for advice?
I was too embarrassed to go to a woman. The advice I need is more man-to-man. So the choice was, Filch, Flitwick, Dumbledore or you. Since you are closest to my age, I decided to come to you.
What exactly do you want to know? Severus asked, afraid of the answer.
Yeah, stuff about, well I am sure you have heard the rumours of my mystery admirer?
Severus' eyes widened. "Potter, don't tell me no one's bothered to explain to you about the birds and the bees?" Severus hoped to hell someone had, he did not want to have to deal with a blushing virgin. He had never really heard anything concerning Potter's private life before, and had never even thought he might be a virgin still.
Potter blushed a little. It's not that I don't know the technical ideas behind the process. It's just the small things that I need some advice on.
He watched as Potter, leaned over the desk and fluttered his eyelashes at him. Severus had to control every impulse not to grab the brat and throw him down on the table. Yes, like is it a good thing to use your tongue when kissing? Severus watched as Potter traced his lower lip with his tongue in a very suggestive manner. He cleared his throat and decided to go into lecture mode, well as close to it as he could get with his constant desire to sneeze and squint at the sparkles dancing around and the now sudden flush of heat he could feel running down his chest.
If I must do this, Potter, it all depends on whether you or your partner like it or not. It is a personal preference.
Do you like it, sir? Severus swallowed at the penetrating look Potter was giving him.
That is a little personal, Potter, he managed to croak out.
Sorry sir, I didn't mean to cross any lines. Severus watched as Harry got out of the seat he was never invited to sit in and smile at him. I shall leave you in peace now, sir. Good night.
Good night, Potter, Severus said quietly as his student left the room.
Once in the corridor, Harry grinned to himself; it had to be Snape. Harry had purposefully licked his lips right when Snape was looking to try and get a reaction, and he could see the desire in the other man's eyes. Even if the worst happened, that Snape was not sending the letters, Harry believed he would have a shot with his professor.
Harry waited patiently at the Gryffindor table for his third and final gift to arrive; according to the book Hermione had given him, the third gift had to be something personal. He wondered what personal gift Snape would give him, if it were Snape sending the gifts, and Harry dearly hoped it was. He had already spotted Snape looking a little uncomfortable at the teacher's table, still looking as though he was suffering a sever case of hay fever. But Harry knew it couldn't be hay fever, because wizards didn't suffer from it. Hedwig flew in carrying an envelope and landed by Harry, stealing the bacon rasher from his plate. Harry didn't care; he just wanted to open his letter.
As tradition dictates I am to give you a gift of something personal to me. After thinking long and hard about this, I have decided on what to give you. Inside this envelope you will find a key to a classroom on the fifth floor. Come along tonight at 9pm to receive your gift.
Harry looked at the initials the letter was signed with again, SJS? Okay the two S's' could stand for Severus Snape, but he was unsure about the J. Did Snape have a middle name? Harry decided to send a quick reply back with Hedwig:
To my mysterious SJS,
It is a date and I look forward to it.
It had been a hideously long day for Severus, and now it was nearing 9 o'clock. He had entered the classroom he had asked Potter to meet him in and had set everything up. He had an inkling that Potter had an idea it was he who was sending him the gifts. He had thought about Potter's actions in his classroom the previous evening, and that was when the idea that he knew something popped into his head. Maybe Potter wasn't that dumb after all. What he was worried about was how would Potter take all this? Was he just going along with it as a bit of a joke, or was he able to envision something happening between them? Severus was brought out of his musings when he heard a key turning in the lock. Severus stepped into the shadows and waited for Potter to enter.
Harry cautiously entered the dark classroom; he couldn't see very much and his senses were on full alert, but he didn't sense any danger. It had to be Snape, only that man was capable of making Harry feel wrong footed all the time. As he neared the centre of the classroom he heard a whispered incantation and everything swirled around him and he found himself standing in a sunny meadow with a strange battle going on in front of him.
Not the most romantic setting, I know but it demonstrates my gift to you.
Harry spun around and came face-to-face, well face to shoulder with Snape. Sorry, sir I don't understand...
Severus, I feel sir' is a little formal considering that I have been attempting to court you. This spell, is very personal to me, it is something I have been working on off and on for years. I have only just perfected it, and you are witnessing its world premiere.
Is this the spell you mentioned in one of your letters?
Indeed, it is a project that has been very close to my heart. You may choose a different period, if you prefer.
Harry smiled at him. No, this is fine. Can we get closer?
Severus took out his wand and mumbled another incantation and they were in the thick of the battle. There is no need to worry, you cannot be hurt. You are perfectly safe within this environment, Severus told him. Harry was impressed; this man had actually made the pages of history come alive! He vaguely remembered a promise he had made to himself about marrying the person who could liven up history class. That thought made him smile. He could understand how hard it must have been for Severus to reveal something so personal about himself; Harry was touched, and he liked his gift a lot.
Severus allowed himself to relax a little, it seemed as if Potter was not going to run away in horror. Maybe his earlier guess had been correct, that Potter had worked it all out. How long have you known it was me, Potter? Severus blinked at the sparkles still dancing around Potter. The sneezing was under control, but the sparkles kept on going; he hoped they would stop soon, as they were most annoying!
Harry, please. I worked it out the on the night after the first letter arrived.
How? Severus had thought he had been quite discrete.
You forget I know very few people in the wizarding world. Especially ones who can afford expensive gifts.
But many people know you.
True, but none of them really know me; the letters were too personal. And Hedwig would not accept letters from anyone I didn't trust.
So that lead you to me?
Nearly. I had it short listed, and you were on it. I hoped it was you.
Yes, you are kind of hot with the whole brooding thing only you can pull off, and you do it so well, Harry said with a grin. Also the whole dark wizard thing you have going on for you is very alluring, you also do that so well. Without a hint of pretentiousness, I might add.
Severus smirked and let out a snort of laughter. I like black, and there is no pretentiousness involved.
I know, because no matter how much you might try to hide it, I know you are not a dark wizard; you have worked for the light for too long. By the way, what does the J stand for?
You signed your last letter SJS.
Jeremiah, I like it.
Now when exactly am I going to find out the answer to my question from last night?
Last night? Severus enquired, then he spotted Harry slowly licking his lower lip and raised an amused eyebrow. I see. Harry nodded at him. You have yet to officially accept my offer to court you.
Well I tell you what, why don't you kiss me, and then I will give you my answer.
Highly inappropriate, but doable.
Why is it inappropriate?
Did you actually read past the text that mentioned the three gifts?
Umm, no. I got a little distracted.
Severus rolled his eyes. Typical. No physical contact should be made until the courting has officially begun.
Wizards are so stuck in their ways, it's a wonder they made it out of the Stone Age. But if that is what will make you happy... Severus had decided he had listened to enough of this babbling from Potter to last a lifetime and decided to shut him up with his own request. He pulled the young man towards him and brought their lips together in a kiss. As much as his Spring Fever was demanding he throw Potter on the floor and have his wicked way with him, he kept the kiss slow and passionate, not wanting to scare him at the first hurdle. He heard Potter moan as their tongues met and duelled for supremacy over the kiss. Severus regretfully pulled back before the kiss could become out of control; Potter was still his student.
So was that satisfactory? he asked, smirking at the dreamy look on Potter's face.
Oh yeah! But why did you stop? a flustered Potter asked him.
You have yet to give me your answer.
Yes. Was that clear enough?
Now where were we?
Harry, you are still my student. I will not do anything inappropriate.
What? You mean I have to wait until I graduate before I can have you? Oh you are a cruel man!
Git! Severus smirked once again at the outrage Potter was showing; it was almost cute in a petulant way. He couldn't resist and decided to shut him up once again with a kiss. It might have been an unusual setting, standing in the middle of the 1436 goblin rebellion battlefield, but the kiss more then made up for the unusual setting, and at least he didn't have the desire to go around sneezing anymore!