Title: Verisimilitude

Author: GrapeSmshr

Rated: R

Coupling: HP/SS slashy goodness

Disclaimer: As much as I wish it were so, these charas don't belong to me.

Thanks to: Crazy Mary-J... You have been the pillar that held my sanity together in writing this... I owe you great many thanks, plus some nice fanart when I get the time.

A/N: Last chapter! I mean it this time!


Chapter 14: Epilogue

Groaning in exasperation, Severus threw the thick text from the table and was most satisfied by the residual thump it made when hitting the ground. He had been in research mode all bloody day and had yet to find what he was after. Having meticulously combed through all of his texts, he realized with a groan that he would have to pay a visit to Knockturn Alley the next day.

Deciding to take a much needed break, he spelled the book back onto the desk and flopped down on the sofa, rubbing his eyes tiredly. What time was it, anyway? The hours tended to blend together on days like this. He tried to remember if he had eaten anything at all since he woke up, but he couldn't recall. He was so exhausted that he wondered if he was even hungry at all.

Apparently he wasn't the only person wondering. Ten minutes later, he heard the portrait door swing open, letting an exquisite aroma waft into the room. He looked up to see a tray of food being held out in front of him.

"I figured you hadn't eaten in a while," Harry said as he set the overflowing tray on the table, "so I decided that we should have dinner down here. You look beat." He reached a hand up to lightly trace the dark circles under Severus's eyes.

"I am," Severus admitted, gratefully accepting the bowl of soup offered to him. "I am so frustrated right now. There is so much more work to be done, but I just cannot look at my texts any longer. Not tonight, at least." He ended his rant with a scowl, starting and almost spilling hot soup all over himself as Harry squeezed his shoulder reassuringly.

"You'll figure it out, don't worry," Harry encouraged.

They began eating in comfortable silence, just enjoying the other's company. Every single day, Severus grew more and more amazed at how much he valued and depended on Harry's presence, on just the fact that he knew he could rely on seeing Harry all the time, could kiss him, could touch him...

It had been six months since Severus was brought back to the land of the living. At the end of term, Harry had moved into Severus's quarters. He spent most waking hours there, anyway. Most sleeping hours, too. The change had been most welcome for both of them.

But that was only the smallest of the changes. No, the shock that brought the activities of the castle to a screeching halt was Severus's announcement oh his retirement so that he could devote his attention to potions research and testing. No one ever thought they'd live to see the day when he willingly relinquished his position. Even more unbelievable was the fact that he announced his hopes of Harry wanting to keep the earned position and to take up an apprenticeship to study for a title of Master.

It didn't take much persuasion on Harry's part. While he was disappointed in not working with Severus any longer, he was excited about the new opportunities that he had been presented with.

Their current schedules were extremely hectic. Harry internationally floo'ed to Germany every weekday morning around four a.m. to study with Herr Orten. He arrived back at Hogwarts in time to enjoy breakfast and then flit off to class. Severus spent this time either in their quarters or the library doing research, occasionally heading over to his private lab to test out a potion.

But each evening, they ate dinner together and spent the remaining time just relaxing and catching up on the day's events, spending many evenings in Draco's company or in the company of Harry's former Housemates, whom Severus had grown to tolerate and even enjoy conversing with, although he would never admit it.

Finishing dinner, they retired to the bedroom. It had been a long day for both of them, and they were eager to call it a night. They stripped down to their undergarments and slipped into bed, Harry with his arms around Severus, whose face was pressed against Harry's throat. This was their standard way to sleep, not giving up any time of their skin-on-skin contact.

There was nothing Severus loved more than to have Harry in his arms, to be close to him. And while skepticism ran rampant through the general population, he couldn't see them ever splitting up. He had a ring hidden in the top drawer of his bureau to enforce it.

He was through with holding back, waiting for life to come to him. Through gambling for the verisimilitude of happiness. No, this time he was acting for Harry, for himself. No more gambling.

They had already won.



Verisimilitude - the quality or state of appearing to be true; probability

Man, oh man, it's done. Done. Finished. I can't believe it! I'm so happy yet sad too. I really did enjoy writing this fic. It was my first Harry/Sev, which I'm sure I mentioned before, and it was quite refreshing to write a different pairing than I'm used to. Just in case anyone is interested, I have another Harry/Sev fic in the works at the moment, so keep on the lookout for it!

I just want to say thank you to every single person who read, every single person who reviewed, especially those of you that have supported me from the beginning. I am just so awed and so thrilled that this fic was enjoyed, and it makes me want to write all the more. A special thanks goes out to the small handful of people who have read my other works and decided to take a chance with this one. Appreciate it!

You guys are seriously the best. I love all of you! Until next fic, then. Peace out!