Disclaimer: Not mine, no money made, belongs to that brilliant woman over in jolly, old UK. Notes: This story if for Nymphy for being the author of the 200th story posted at HPFandom.
"He's out to seduce you," Harry Potter stated to his once long-time enemy, turned friend, Severus Snape.
Severus scowled, before taking a bite of his dessert. As he chewed, the frown lines around his eyes deepened as he looked down the table at his former student, Draco Malfoy, who had become the new Charms professor when Flitwick became headmaster after Albus Dumbledore's retirement.
"What in Merlin's name would give you that idea?" Severus looked to his right, where Harry was seated at the Head Table.
"You mean you don't recognize the signs?" Harry quirked an eyebrow and when Severus shook his head, signed in exasperation. "Well, first off are the fancy chocolates he's been leaving you at supper time. Plus there is his smile, whenever he smiles at you it becomes just a bit more predatory, like when a cat stalks and catches a mouse."
Minerva McGonagall, still the Deputy Headmistress, heard the tail end of what Harry said and she laughed and responded, "Honestly, Harry. You know cats can't smile."
Harry's eyes crinkled with laughter. "I know Minerva, I was primarily thinking of all the cartoon cats like Tom and Sylvester."
Severus and Minerva looked at one another quizzically, before aiming identical questioning looks at the younger wizard.
"Muggle television, animated drawings," was all Harry would say. He knew trying to discuss Muggle ways eluded most of the wizarding society.
"Ah, of course, why didn't I think of that," Severus replied in his sarcastic voice.
Harry snickered. "As I was saying, before I was eavesdropped upon," here Harry paused and cast a meaningful glance at the Transfiguration professor, "Malfoy wants you or at least something from you."
"Hmm, intriguing. I'll definitely pay more attention then." Severus turned back towards Malfoy and Harry missed the look of satisfaction that passed over Severus' face.
Harry spluttered and coughed, as he had been swallowing some pumpkin juice when Severus made his comment.
"What?" Harry shouted out and everyone around him turned to look at him in question, he turned bright red. Severus silently chuckled, he typically didn't want the students to see past his usual grim exterior, but Harry saw the laughter in his eyes. Harry watched as Severus quirked an eyebrow at him. "What are you thinking? If you encourage Malfoy, he may think you're interested."
"Perhaps I am, Harry. Merlin knows I'm not getting any younger and I'd like to find some companionship for the long duration that is a wizard's life."
Harry's eyes widened comically. Harry hadn't thought much about Severus' age or lack of companion, he had thought their friendship was all that might be needed. Then again, he thought of Ron and Hermione. They had been friends for over 10 years now, and those two were not married and prepared to settle in for a long life together, though they did not exclude Harry from their lives.
Harry frowned and noticed several things as Severus turned back to the last stage of his lunch. The long, stained fingers that wrapped themselves around a fork, the sallow skin of a man who went outside so infrequently, though Harry tried often to change that, to the long, dark eyelashes that swept up and down as Severus blinked and scanned the Great Hall. The dark strands of the older man's hair stood out in contrast against his skin as they clung to an ear or cheek. Harry knew that Severus tried to keep up his appearance as best as possible, but spending hours teaching 'imbecilic' children potions, then spending an inordinate amount of time in the evening doing research or brewing potions for the school took it's toll. Then there was the prominent nose, slightly bent near the bridge, some would say it ill fit the Potions Master, but Harry thought it suited the man well.
In fact, overall, he considered Severus to be an attractive man, not classically beautiful, but appealing in an earthy way. Harry gulped when he realized where his thoughts were suddenly going and he turned and focused his attention to his own dessert, which he had been neglecting up to that moment.
He took a bite and found it difficult to swallow past the lump in his throat. 'Severus is my friend, that's all. Right?' he thought to himself. He looked again at the man to his left from the corner of his eye and thought of all the times they had spent together the last two years and scene after scene of caring, comfort and of familiarity that came as something of a surprise, yet to his heart was very welcome.
Harry realized that perhaps he could have something more with Severus, especially now that he knew the other man was looking for a permanent relationship. But how could he compete against Malfoy? 'Instead of chocolates, maybe something like flowers. They smell good, look beautiful and once they die could be used as potions ingredients. Yes, most definitely flowers. Now, which kind would be best?'
Harry grinned, pleased with himself and it did not go unnoticed by the man sitting next to him.
Harry put his plan into motion that very evening. He went to Diagon Alley between Muggle Studies classes and purchased a bouquet of red roses and babies breath. He figured he would start as he meant to go on, and declare his intentions immediately and red roses stated it best.
He took the flowers to the owlery and since Hedwig was already out sending a message, he gave the directions to a school owl, asking that they be delivered at supper. Then Harry departed to finish the rest of his classes for the day.
Harry rushed after his last class and went back to his chambers to freshen up and made it to the Great Hall just steps before Severus and ... he paused in his step as he saw Draco lean in to say something to the thin, pale, dark-haired man he hoped to make his own. Harry's fists clenched, he ached to shove one of them into Draco's unmarred face.
Harry turned into the hall before he did something rash. He went to his seat and waited and watched for the two men to enter. It was still early and only a few of the other faculty members had arrived yet. No students were yet present.
As if the owl knew of Severus' entrance, it flew in almost as soon as the man sat down and delivered the flowers without waiting for a treat.
Harry peered under his lashes as Severus smiled at the gift and lifted the bouquet to take a deep inhalation of their heady smell. Then Harry became stunned, as Severus turned to Draco to thank him for the flowers.
"What?! No! They're from me, Severus. I sent you the flowers," Harry shouted capturing the attention of all the occupants currently within the Great Hall.
"Why ever would you do that Harry? Is it some special occasion that I forgot?"
While Severus asked these questions, Draco left his seat and came closer to hear the exchange.
"Because I..." Harry paused then tried again, "because I..." Yet the words would not come. He was terrified that maybe Severus couldn't feel the same way.
Draco spoke up, "Honestly Potter, do you hate me so much that you feel you need to steal what I'm after?"
Harry jumped up and got right in Draco's face, "This has nothing to do with you, you wanker. Severus is mine. Not yours. I love him and I can't let him get away, especially to someone who can't love him the way I do."
Draco smirked and said nothing to Harry in response. Harry felt a hand touch his shoulder and felt the words Severus whispered ghost passed his ear, "Am I yours, Harry?" The husky timber in the Potions Master's voice caused Harry to shiver with pleasure.
Harry turned to face Severus and answered shyly, "As long as I can be yours, Severus."
Harry looked up into the deep, dark eyes of the man he has just realized only a few hours ago that he loved, but perhaps had loved all along.
Severus smiled with delight, then his gaze shifted to someplace behind Harry. "Thank you for your help, Draco."
Harry stood there befuddled, looking back and forth between Malfoy and Severus, causing his head to swivel comically. "Thank Malfoy for his help with what?"
Harry watched as Draco smirked again and walk back to his seat. Harry looked once more at his friend and hopefully future lover, and saw the almost identical smirk grace the older man's lips.
When Harry looked up into Severus' eyes however, he saw a brightness and warmth that Harry couldn't possibly miss the meaning of. "His flirting was all a ruse to get you to realize what was between us. I'll admit it was an underhanded, Slytherin thing to do, but it was the safer choice when it came to risking my heart."
"You mean, you've cared for me all this time?" Harry was delighted, but bewildered that he hadn't noticed the other man's feelings for him.
Severus knew what Harry was thinking and draw the young wizard closer to him. "I have loved you for years, but I hid it well. I waited until I felt the time was right, for the both of us, before prodding the situation along. You're not upset with my scheming?" Harry heard the uncertainly in Severus' voice and felt a pull to the put the other man at ease.
"You wouldn't be Severus Snape, the man I love, if you didn't scheme." Harry reached up and caressed Severus' cheek gently.
They stood there like that for several minutes before they were interrupted by the arrival of several students.
Harry and Severus took their usual seats, but it was under the cover of the tables for the rest of the world not to see that things played out in the most unusual way. Harry reached for and grasped Severus' hand and squeezed it gently before twining their fingers together until the meal was served.
Such a pattern would be followed for the rest of their days. In public, they would show a restrained, circumspect love for one another, but in private they let their love run free.
A/N: Since there is a rating restriction at FFnet, I've also got another new Snarry story at HPfandom dot net called Short, Sweet Death. Visit my bio page at: hpfandom . net / eff / viewuser.php?uid=1