DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of it, JK Rowling and associates own all rights, no infringement intended, no money is being made, unfortunately.

WARNING; HP/SS Slash if you do not like do not read remember you have freedom of choice. Reviews appreciated but no flames, as I will trash them.

People can get away with saying the most cutting things to others by saying "Just Kidding" not realizing the damage they are causing or sometimes not caring. Harry comes to that realization when he almost lost the man he loves because he refuses to see what his friends are doing.

Chapter 1 The Fight

The dark room was silent lit only by a dying fire, suddenly the door burst open hitting the wall with a loud bang, and an angry voice filled the room "I don't see what the hell the big problem is. I am not asking you to live there; I just want to enjoy a special night with you and my friends. I don't think that's too much to ask"

Storming into the room the man flung his hand at the fireplace and it suddenly leapt into flames. With another wave of his hand, the candles in the chandelier flared into light.

It was a beautiful study with rich redwood panelling and inset bookcases lining the walls. Over the mantel of the large fireplace hung an oil painting of a storm at sea, you could swear it was alive with tossing waves and flashing lightening. Interposed among the many volumes lining the shelves were assorted glassware of various sizes and shapes, some were open and obviously empty while others held strange liquids that moved or glowed when touched. Two deep brown leather club chairs sat at either end of the fireplace and in-between the two was a mahogany pedestal table holding a wizarding chess set made of mahogany and ivory. Further back from the chairs was a long couch with deep cushions that you could sink into while to either side were sturdy tables holding an assortment of scrolls and books. There was a deep blue and green Oriental rug spread on the floor its intricate pattern seeming to come to life in the flickering of the flames. It was not what you expected to find in the dungeons of Hogwarts. While plainly a mans room it was not a formal room, anyone could tell it was lived in by the book open on the table, the chess game in progress, the afghan tossed over the back of one of the chairs and a parchment partially written on and laid on the side table with a quill and ink bottle.

Turning, the broad shouldered young man threw off the robe he was wearing, clad in a tight fitting turtleneck of deep aqua that showed off his chest and shoulders, black jeans that fit his long legs to perfection; he stared in aggravation at the door waiting for his companion to enter. Harry Potter, the youngest DA professor ever to teach at Hogwarts, was not in the best of moods. Arms folded across his chest he watched while the other man swept into the room, even as angry as he was he had to admire the man's grace, just watching him move made him want to jump the him. He gritted his teeth and continued staring, watching as Severus Snape, Potions Master, Hogwarts Professor, Ex-spy, his lover of 10 wonderful stormy months and the most aggravating person he had ever dealt with in his entire life calmly placed the books he was holding on the roll top desk in the corner. "Are you listening to me Severus?"

"Yes, and no my answer has not changed. I do not care if you go to the party just do not expect me to tag along. I will be here when you return."

"Give me one good reason why you don't want to come and that my friends don't like you is not going to cut the mustard this time," Harry said.

Severus sank into one of the chairs and looked at Harry pacing around the room. "Harry, we both know that your friends have never accepted our relationship, hell they didn't like that we were friendly. They like me even less now that we have been shagging since you came up to teach. It will be one more night of listening to them make snide remarks without being able to hex them. So tell me why I should have to put up with it."

Harry stopped pacing and glared at the older man "I told you to tell Me when they say something and I would shut them up."

"Harry that wouldn't do any good, they would only smile at you, say they were only kidding, and you would back down as usual." Snape snapped back at him. "You and I both know that words hurt, saying that they are only kidding does not make the pain go away, it just makes it worse. I am tired of being insulted and having it brushed off as a joke. If I say anything then they all talk about how I lack a sense of humour because after all They are only kidding!

Standing he looked at the man he loved and said, "That is what always happens and it will continue to happen and I for one have had enough." Turning Snape walked towards the door in the back of the room that led to the potions lab.

He froze mid-step when he heard Harry mutter, "I don't know why I bother." Closing his eyes at the sharp pain that seemed to sear through his chest he turned, but before he could speak, Harry spoke louder.

"I swear Severus Snape if you don't come back here and settle matters you will regret it."

Snape's face went blank even has the pain seemed to settle directly over his heart. "Is this where you tell me that if I don't do what you want then we aren't sleeping together until I do" he sneered "or is it the one where we're over unless I do what you say. Either way that is emotional blackmail and not something I will put up with Harry, not from anyone, not even you."

Harry stared at him blankly for a minute "Huh what the hell are you talking about" wondering if he had missed part of the conversation.

"I'm talking about your threat to make me regret not going along with your requests. Moreover, if I did give in to your request this time what about the next time I refuse to go along, and the time after that. I am sorry Harry but I cannot do that. You decide what you out of this relationship and let me know." With that, Snape walked slowly from the room closing the door with a quiet snap.

Harry could feel the wards going up on the potion lab's door and while he knew he could break them, he felt frozen and unable to move. For some reason he couldn't seem to take a deep breath 'What's going on here' he thought 'one minute we're arguing like normal then we're breaking up!' Shaking his head, he turned and walked numbly to the door leading into the hall, opening it he waited for minute hoping that Sev would come storming back out, when nothing happened he then walked out into the hallway. Closing the door behind him, he leaned back for a minute fighting tears and wondering what he was supposed to do now. There had to be a way to fix it. Hearing a low cough in front of him, he muttered with out opening his eyes "leave me alone" as an afterthought, he added "please."

A slow drawl made him open eyes as he heard Draco Malfoy say, "What in Merlin's name happened to you Potter, you look like shite, are you okay?"

Harry just stared at his fellow teacher and did not say anything but the misery in his face pretty much answered the question.

"I think you need a drink, probably several, come-on Potter I have a large bottle in my room. You can have a few drinks to get comfortably numb and then tell me all about it." Taking Harry's arm Draco began dragging the young man down the corridor. He continued speaking "It's not like there's anything else to do on a weeknight and it sure as hell will be more entertaining then lesson plans."

Severus sat on a stool in the dark potions lab listening quietly. He felt the wards as the outer door opened then closed and felt Harry staying by the door. He had always known when Harry was near. Even has hope had begun to rise it dropped again as he felt him moving away from the dungeon. His shoulders sagged under the weight of his fears. He had always known that there would come a time when Harry would walk away just not that it would come so soon. Harry was young, handsome, powerful, rich, and most important a very good man at heart, in other words someone not destined for the likes of him. Standing he walked to the mirror hanging on the back of the door and stared at his image. Muscles that ached in bad weather from the years of Cruciatus curses, old before his time, lank black hair, a big nose, scars over much of his body, a reputation as a Deatheater, a snarky sarcastic evil son of a bitch; someone no one in his right mind would ever pair with Harry.

Shaking his head, he remembered his shock when Harry had thrown himself into his arms. The knowledge that this was only a delayed reaction to escaping death, had not stopped him from enjoying what he was sure was to be his only night to touch this beautiful young man. He had been positive that in the morning Harry would regret his actions and pretend that nothing had happened but at least he would have the one night to keep him warm. Then one night turned to several then to a week then a month and continued for the last 10 months; The most wonderful 10 months of his entire life. He had loved Harry since he was in his sixth year but would never have said anything. Grateful for Harry's offer of friendship, he knew that he would never have dared to hope for more.

When it was evident that more then a one night stand was offered he had accepted gratefully, always knowing that there would be an end, but grateful for the chance to build memories that would last the rest of his life. He just wished it could have lasted longer but he knew that if he had let Harry continue speaking, he would have given in and done what he asked, every time that he asked, until he had nothing left, not even his self-respect. Not even for Harry could he do that.

He needed a drink he decided, when a man felt the light in his life leaving he deserved to get a little drunk. Walking to the cabinet in the far corner he reached in and pulling out a bottle of brandy he transfigured the stool into a lounge and sitting began drinking straight from the bottle slowly running the memories of the love they had shared through his mind. 'Better get used to this' he thought 'this was all he had left. He would not make things hard for Harry; he knew that Harry felt that the castle was his home the only one he had eve known. Nevertheless, he knew that he could not continue to teach here, seeing him every day; watching Harry take a new lover. That would destroy him. Maybe it was time to take up one of those offers from the large labs.' Considering his options, he began to empty the bottle.

Pushing Harry into a chair Draco walked to the liquor cabinet and pulled out a bottle and a couple of shot glasses. Shoving a glass into Harry's hand, he poured a shot and said, "Drink it." Harry blinked at him, looked at the glass, shrugged, and drank it down in one gulp. Suddenly Harry shot out his chair choking and grasping his throat. With tears streaming from his eyes, he shouted in a wheezing voice "What the fuck was that!" "Firewhisky 300 proof, guaranteed to break anyone out of shock or your money back," Draco said calmly, taking a small sip from his glass and shuddering slightly. "So what happened tonight, besides the obvious of course, Sev and you having a major fight?"

Harry sank back in to the chair and dropped his head into his hands. "I don't know. One minute we were arguing like usual, the next he was breaking it off and walking away. I don't even know what I did or how to fix it." He looked at Draco out of tormented eyes, he knew that Draco and Sev went back a long way and no matter how obnoxious the other could be he was also Harry's friend. "I can't lose him Drac, I've loved him since my sixth year and if he walks away from me I think something inside would break, and I would never be able to put it back together again. What do I do?"

Draco looked at his onetime enemy and said in his quiet drawl "Tell me exactly what happened and don't leave anything out." So Harry told him everything that he and Sev had said hoping that an outsider would be able to see where they had crossed lines.

After he finished speaking Harry waited for Draco to say something. Draco refilled the glasses, looked at him, and asked, "Do you really want the truth?"

"Yeah" Harry said.

"Well Sev was right about your friends" and as Harry opened his mouth to protest Draco held up his hand. "Wait and hear me out first." Harry nodded and settled back in his chair picking up his shot glass he started to take a drink. Suddenly he jerked his hand down with a grimace and placed the glass back on the table. Draco laughed and getting up offered him a butterbeer instead.

"First of all like I was saying Sev is right. Your friends are constantly putting him down and they do it because you allow it. They know you will not back him up or really put a stop to it. What message do you think you are sending them? That you are only in it for a short time; that you do not care that deeply for him; that he is just a casual shag and once he's out of your system you will walk away. Therefore, to them he is fair game; this is what they are getting from your non-actions. Now what do you think Sev is getting. He is thinking pretty much the same thing you know; that you value your friends more then your relationship with him; that all he is to you is a casual fuck..."

"I love him damnit, he knows that"

"Does he, have you told him so or are you waiting for him to say it first." Harry could not look him in the eye.

That was what he was doing, waiting for Sev to say it first before putting his heart on the line. Dropping his head back in his hands, he said, "Fuck I've really messed things up haven't I."

"I'm not done yet" Draco warned. Harry just waved for him to continue. "Okay as to what happened in your rooms tonight that was easy."

"Okay Oh Great Mind Reader what happened" Harry asked sarcastically.

Draco just gave him one of his patented smirks "think about it airhead, here is a man with a lot of pride; his lover tells him that if he doesn't do what he wants he is going to make him regret it. He's not going to take your threat to end the relationship lying down so, he ends it first..."

"Wait" Harry spoke up fast "I wasn't threatening him with that or with sex or anything like that. That would not be fighting fair. I only meant we were going to keep talking until we cleared the air even if it meant all night. That all I meant I swear."

Draco shook his head mockingly "Harry, Harry, Harry you're talking to an ex-spy, ex-Deatheater, a true blue Slytherin and you thought he would think that your threat meant you were going to talk all night? Get real Harry, where the hell did you leave your brains."

Harry groaned and put his head back in his hands "Gods I'm so stupid, of course he took it that way."

Draco just patted him on the shoulder "I would guess he's been waiting for you to break off since the beginning. I know the way he thinks. He believes he's not good enough for you, too old, too scarred, too evil, too nasty, too...."

"Shut up" Harry growled his hands still covering his face as he tried to think of way to make it up to Severus.

"Anyway" Draco continued as if Harry had not spoken "if you are going to stay broken up, the new Muggles study teacher has been eyeing Sev, and I'm sure he would love to console..."

"I said SHUT UP" Harry was on his feet again his hands clenched "Severus is the best thing that ever happened to me, I'm the one that doesn't deserve him not the other away around and I'm going to keep him one way or the other."

"First, I am going to deal with my friends then I am going to tie that stubborn sarcastic bastard down and make him realize that this is a relationship by god and he is not getting out of it just because we have a little fight. He is mine, I am his, and it is going to stay like that whether he likes it or not. And as for Devons you tell him to keep his slimy hands off what belongs to me or so help me he'll find out what being at the bottom of the lake in cement boots feels like." Tossing down his bottle, he stormed out of the room.

Draco sank back in his chair raised his glass in a toast and said with a smile "Good luck Sev your going to need it." Laughing he finished his glass and decided to see if Devons wanted to go play some billiards down in Hogsmeade. Who said weeknights were boring anyway.

tbc