A/N: Eep. Please don't kill me for delaying so long in getting this posted. First I had writer's block, then I had school work, then I was holding out, hoping that perhaps I'd get 100 reviews before putting this up. Alas. Here it is. Better late than never, ne?
Disclaimer: This is the last disclaimer I'm going to put up. I'd like you all to know that I am making no money from this; it is intended for entertainment purposes only. So I'm not trying to steal anything from the lovely JKR.
7:30 A.M. August 16th, 1997
He was just setting breakfast on the table when Harry walked in. "Good morning, Mr. Potter."
Harry yawned as he sank down into a chair across from his professor. "Good morning, sir." They ate in relative quiet for a few moments before Harry decided to try and speak with his professor. "So, Professor Snape, if you don't mind my asking, do you have any specific plans for the day?"
Snape raised his eyebrow at his student. "Well, I wasn't expecting the Spanish Inquisition this morning."
"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!!" Harry grinned over his eggs.
"Quite." The professor smirked, "But, if you must know, I do have plans."
The teacher and his student engaged in a brief staring contest for a few moments before Harry threw up his hands in exasperation. "Alright. I give." He cleared his throat, "Care to share any details of these mysterious plans with me?"
Snape spared a brief thought that Harry looked rather cute when he was frustrated. Cute? Where did that thought come from? Snape glared at the voice in his head and told it to shut the hell up. "If you insist. I'm spending the day with Malachi. He has agreed to help me collect some potions ingredients from a forest in Northern Ireland."
"I see." The Potions Master noted that it seemed as though Harry was speaking with rather forced politeness, and was having difficulties keeping his emotions in check. Harry leaned back in his chair. "Should I expect you back in time for dinner tonight?"
"I'm not certain. I should be back in time... unless Malachi insists on eating out somewhere."
Snape smirked inwardly as he saw fire flare up in his student's eyes. He decided not to antagonize Harry any further, and let the boy collect himself. "Alright," he finally said. "If you're home in time, I'll have dinner ready. If not... then I'll just invite Draco over."
An inexplicable flash of jealousy coursed through him. Snape laughed to himself. Jealous? I'm not jealous. I have nothing to be jealous of. Harry and Draco are not, nor will they ever be in a relationship. And I don't have feelings for Harry. He's my student, for one, the Savior of the Wizarding World for another... and a Gryffindor to boot. "Always good to have a back-up plan."
Harry arched an eyebrow. "Indeed," he mimicked.
He was just setting dinner on the table when he heard the front door open and shut. "Just in time, Professor," he called from the kitchen. "Dinner's ready!"
"Dinner sounds wonderful... but did you only make it for your beloved professor?" Draco slipped into the kitchen and settled down at the table.
Harry felt a flash of disappointment before he brought his emotions under control and scowled at Draco. "Of course not... I was just expecting him to be back by now, that's all."
The blonde wizard was silent for a few moments, simply watching as Harry sat down across the table and started piling food on his plate. A wicked grin slowly crept onto his face. "Harry?"
"You fancy him, don't you?"
"What?!" Harry spluttered and stared in shock at Draco.
Draco crossed his arms over his chest, leaning back in his chair. "Yes, you definitely fancy him," he pronounced quite smugly. "I can see it in your eyes. And you're jealous that he's out with another man right now."
Harry sat shocked for an instant before he masked his emotions and settled in his chair. "I have no idea what you're talking about, Draco," he said coolly. "Professor Snape is merely my teacher, and, for the moment, house-mate. I respect him, sure, but I'd hardly call that an infatuation with the man. And I most certainly am not jealous that he is out with another man at the moment."
"Uh-huh. Sure." Draco grinned. "Harry, I know you better than that. I can see right through all the masks you put up. 'I am super-calm Harry' only comes out whenever you are incredibly upset by some revelation." Harry fidgeted slightly under his friend's scrutinous gaze. "You just figured out for yourself that you fancy him, didn't you?"
"Yes," Harry mumbled softly as his face turned beet-red. "But there's no hope. He's seeing some bloke named Malachi, and they seem to be having a rather good time."
Draco simply smirked. "Harry, my dear friend, has anything as simple as that ever stopped me?"
"No, but I'm not you, Draco."
"So? Who said I wasn't going to help?"
Harry blinked, slightly confused. "Help?"
"Of course, Harry." Draco's smirk intensified, "I want to see my godfather happy."
"And you think that being with me would make him happy?" He snorted, "Fat chance of that, Dray. He barely tolerates me!"
"Oh, so anyone who 'barely tolerates' someone will cook them breakfast every morning? Would they buy them expensive and extremely considerate birthday presents? Would they spend the majority of their day in the company of someone they don't really like?"
Harry shook his head slowly. "I guess not."
Draco snorted, "Of course not. Don't be a stupid git."
"Yeah." They sat in silence for a moment. "So what are we going to do about it?"
Over the next two weeks Draco's visits became a regular occurrence. The Potions Master became slightly suspicious as Harry and Draco tended to spend their days locked in Harry's (heavily warded and silenced) bedroom. He began to suspect that there was something going on between the two young men, and that thought brought intense feelings of jealousy.
Draco and Harry didn't really get very far in their plans. Harry insisted that many of Draco's plans were far too direct, and would simply scare the Slytherin man away. It was at these times that Harry mocked Draco for being too Gryffindor with his schemes.
Harry did have some semblance of a plan, however, and it mainly involved subtly flirting with his professor (who wouldn't be his professor much longer, as Draco pointed out). He didn't know how well his plan was working, as Snape was a very hard person to read. Harry did have some hope, especially after the news that Snape was no longer seeing Malachi.
7:25 A.M. August 31st, 1997
"Someone is up rather early this morning."
Harry grinned broadly as he took his seat across from the Potions Master for breakfast. "I've got a lot of things to do today, professor."
Snape arched an eyebrow, "Such as?"
"Oh, you know. I've got to go to Diagon Alley to get supplies, meet up with Ron and Hermione, stuff like that."
"I see." He took a sip of his juice. "Well, I will be heading back to the school at some point today."
"Alright, sir." Harry grinned again, which unknowingly hurt the professor's feelings a bit (as he thought Harry was glad to see him go). "But I'll see you tomorrow for sure."
"Of course." Snape gave Harry a brief smile. "But I just wanted to... thank you for allowing me to stay here this summer."
"You don't need to thank me, sir, it's been quite pleasant having a house-mate. And you're always welcome in my home."
A slight pink tinge rose on Snape's cheeks. "Well, thank you anyway, Mr. Potter."
"You're welcome, professor."
Not long after he'd finished breakfast, Harry headed up to his room and packed all of his clothes, and other essentials he thought he'd need for the school year (not that he wouldn't be able to simply floo back to the house if he forgot something). It didn't take long to fill his trunk, and when he'd finished, he simply apparated to the gates of Hogwart's.
Harry quickly unpacked his clothes and other essentials, arranging them in his rooms. The apartment was warmly furnished in deep reds and blues, with silver accents. Harry found that he was definitely going to be able to make himself at home here. After all, Hogwart's was the first true home he'd ever found. He was happy that he was not going to leave this place behind after the school year was over.
As it was still quite early, Harry decided to settle down in his living room and read for a while. He picked a random book from his bookcase and sprawled out on his couch. As he opened the book, there was a knock on the door. Harry set his book down, and quickly answered the door. "Ah, Harry, my dear boy," the Headmaster smiled, his blue eyes twinkling in full force, "I was wondering if you might join me for a spot of tea in my office?"
"Of course, Albus." Harry followed the Headmaster out of the Teacher's Tower and to Albus' office. They sat and tea was prepared in silence. "So," Harry finally began, breaking the silence, "what did you bring me up here for?"
The old wizard sighed. "Not to bring up this old argument again, Harry," he said quietly.
Harry cleared his throat, "I apologize."
"It's quite alright, my boy. I quite deserve it." He sipped at his tea, "Though I do harbor a secret wish that you might forgive me before I die." They sat in silence a few moments, each lost in their own thoughts. "Well," the Headmaster smiled brightly, "I thought you'd want to be out of your rooms when Severus arrived back, so he doesn't spoil your plans by being back so early."
"What?" Harry nearly choked on his tea. "What plans?"
The Headmaster's blue eyes twinkled brightly. "Who said anything about plans?"
"No one." Harry glared at the man across from him. "So you said that Severus is arriving back soon?"
"Yes. You're not at Grimmauld Place any longer, so he has no desire to stay in an empty house when he could simply come back to the school. He should be here any moment, really."
"I see." Harry finished his cup of tea.
Severus Snape trudged up the path from the gates of Hogwart's, levitating his luggage behind him. He quickly navigated through the school, making his way to that solitary portrait of Merlin. "Severus, welcome back."
"Thank you, Merlin." Snape went through the portrait hole and up the stairs to his apartment. He took his time unpacking and settling back into the one place he'd ever truly called home. When he'd finished, Snape decided it would be better to go see the Headmaster before the old man sought him out for a cup of tea.
He stepped out of his apartment into the quad and his eyes were immediately drawn to the door directly across from his. The door was no longer blank. Instead, it had 'Harry Potter, Defense Against the Dark Arts (N.E.W.T.)' written on it in that flowing gold script. Snape stared blankly at the door for a few moments.
Harry flooed to the Leaky Cauldron from the Headmaster's office. He stayed there for a while, drinking tea and simply watching patrons come and go. When he tired of people watching, Harry ventured out into the Alley, where he ran into Draco. Draco dragged him around to a few shops before they decided to stop and eat ice cream.
Ron and Hermione spotted the two of them as they were enjoying their ice cream, and subsequently dragged Draco and Harry with them as they finished their shopping. Draco and Harry joined Ron and Hermione, and the rest of the Weasleys at the Burrow for dinner. Draco and Harry thanked Mrs. Weasley profusely for the wonderful meal before apparating back to Draco's summer flat.
The two young men discussed what Snape's reaction would be, how Harry would deal with it, and how it would affect Harry's plans. Draco and Harry talked quite late into the night, and finally Harry had to excuse himself so that he could get back to school, because he was going to have to get up early for the staff meeting.
Harry apparated back to the gates of the school, quickly making his way to the Teacher's Tower and up to his apartments. He changed quickly and went to sleep.
The next morning, Harry arrived early to the staff meeting. He took a seat towards the head of the table, near where he figured Dumbledore would be sitting. The staff trickled in slowly, each of the teachers greeted him, silently wondering why he was there, but they figured the Headmaster would explain Harry's presence.
Dumbledore soon arrived, and sat at the head of the table (as Harry'd expected), leaving only one seat empty and only one person missing – Snape. Just as 9:00 A.M. came around, Snape stalked into the room and took his seat.
"Now that we are all here," the Headmaster began, "we can begin the meeting. First, I'd like to welcome you all back. I do hope you all had enjoyable vacations." There was a general affirmative murmur that spread through the room, and Dumbledore smiled. "Excellent. Secondly, I'd like to welcome back Remus Lupin to our staff." There was a light smattering of applause. "He will be taking up the DADA post once more, but only for this year, and only for the first through fifth years." The teachers started whispering amongst themselves, asking why Lupin would only be staying on for a year and why he wouldn't be teaching the N.E.W.T. class. "The reason for this," the teachers fell silent as the Headmaster began to speak again, "is that next year, the post will be taken up by Harry Potter. Harry will be taking his N.E.W.T.'s this Christmas, and in the mean time he will be teaching the N.E.W.T. level DADA class."
"Congratulations, Harry," McGonagall beamed across from him. The other teachers shared her sentiment, except for Snape, who remained stonily silent. Harry tuned the rest of the meeting out, for he was too busy watching Snape.
When the meeting was over, Snape was the first teacher to leave. Harry wanted to go after him and explain why he hadn't told Snape ahead of time about his appointment to the teaching staff. However, Harry was sort of kidnapped by the rest of the staff to be taught how to get the classroom ready for the year, and to discuss his revision for his N.E.W.T.'s.
Unfortunately, Harry was kept busy for the rest of the day. He barely had time to return to the Tower to get ready for the feast. Harry dressed in his green/silver/charcoal Mandarin ensemble, having decided earlier in the day that he was going to sit with the rest of the staff for the feast.
Harry was one of the last of the staff to arrive in the Hall for the welcoming feast, and he reluctantly slid into a seat in-between Remus and Professor Flitwick ("Oh, Harry, you must call me Filius now!"). He'd been hoping to sit next to Snape, but it seemed that the fates were working against him tonight.
When the students finally arrived, many shot him curious or shocked looks, positively stumped as to why he would be sitting up with the teachers. Harry paid little attention to the sorting, choosing to send surreptitious glances towards the Gryffindor table, Draco, and Snape. Then there was the feast itself. Harry didn't eat very much. He was feeling slightly nervous about the Headmaster's speech, which came all too soon for his liking. He tuned out most of what the old man was saying until he got around to re-introducing Remus. "I am very pleased to welcome Remus Lupin back as our Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. Sadly, he will only be with us this one year, as he is only here to train the professor for next year. Harry Potter will be teaching N.E.W.T. level Defense, and will become the sole DADA professor next school year. I trust you will all treat him with the same respect you show the rest of the staff, even though he is slightly closer in age to the rest of you than we are." Dumbledore winked, and scattered giggles were heard through the hall. "So now, before we go, let us all stand and sing the school song!"
After the students had been dismissed for the night, Harry had been accosted by Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and a few other Gryffindors from his year as to why he did not inform any of them ahead of time about his appointment to professorship. He apologized profusely, saying he'd wanted it to be a surprise, which they all agreed it was. He excused himself as soon as he could, simply wanted to retire for the night, and possibly get a word in with Snape.
Of course, right after he'd managed to slip away from the Gryffindors, he'd been cornered by Draco about how Snape had taken the news. Harry related the days events, but Draco remained optimistic and told Harry not give up quite yet. Then he sent Harry off to go find Snape and talk to the man.
Harry trudged up the stairs to his level in the Teacher's Tower. "Why didn't you tell me?"
He was slightly startled, but didn't let it show as he turned to face Snape. "I wanted to surprise you. And I knew you'd argue about it, accusing me of getting special privileges again."
Snape arched his eyebrow in that ever-annoying fashion. "Oh? Hmph." He crossed his arms over his chest, "I rather resent that statement."
"Are you trying to say you wouldn't have ranted about it?"
"No, I'm simply saying that I resent that statement."
Harry sighed and leaned against the door to his quarters. "Look, Professor Snape, I wanted to tell you, but we had such a peaceful time at Grimmauld Place, and I didn't want us to start arguing constantly like we always used to. It's been rather nice being on good terms with you. You're a good man, no matter how nasty you can be at times, and I rather enjoy your company. I just didn't want to ruin our truce."
Snape was silent for a few moments. "Call me Severus," he said softly.
The Potions Master cleared his throat. "I said, Mr. Potter, to call me Severus. We are colleagues now."
Harry stalked up to the man, coming nose to nose with him. "Only if you call me Harry." He stared into Snape's black eyes.
A hint of a smile ghosted over Snape's visage. "Alright, Harry."
"Good, Severus." They stayed like that for a moment before an impulse swept over Harry. If I leaned forward another inch or so, we'd be kissing... And so Harry threw caution to the wind and closed the small gap between himself and his former professor. It was a mere pressing of lips, but Harry could see the fireworks behind his closed eyes. He gasped, and (oddly enough), Snape took that opportunity to deepen the kiss.
Harry felt Snape's arms snake around his middle, pulling him flush against the older man. He melted into the embrace, and lightly wrapped his arms around Snape. Harry felt like he was in heaven, but all good things must come to an end. Suddenly he felt himself pushed away. "I... I'm sorry, Mr. Potter... Harry." A slight pink tinge graced Snape's features. "I shouldn't have..."
"I'm the one who kissed you first, you know." Harry folded his arms over his chest.
"But we... we can't. You still have not technically graduated. And, contrary to popular belief, I have a rather strong set of morals that I live by. I will not carry on a romantic liason of any sort with someone who is still technically a student."
Harry's gaze darkened. "Very well, Severus. When I am no longer a student, we shall talk about things." With that final statement, Harry retired to his rooms before Snape could say anything else. Snape sighed and went into his own quarters, quickly falling into a restless slumber.
A/N: Again, many apologies for taking so long to get this out. But hey, the first kiss was worth it, wasn't it? Don't worry. They will get together... eventually. Severus has a very weird set of morals, so don't expect it to happen quickly.
Thanks to everyone who reviewed!!! I really appreciate it. My thanks and love go out to: Oreopet, Lazuline, Alia D (I hope your questions were answered!), Felinity, Sylvanus Snape, Iaurhiwen ( Thanks! I'm flattered!), Elisandra1, Freestyle-death, tree potter, Starr Light1, Leeanna-Marie-Malfoy, CassaAndra, Oh Slashy One, sesshyluver03, Najila Malfoy (Yes, Snape really did have a date), Super-straight-girl-from, barbarataku (I'll see if I can't get myself or one of my friends to draw some pictures), Red-chan, Enivrement, Dark Catalyst, Raven's Light, darkanglefrmhell, angel of darkness 4585, Asmodina, Elebereth, Kimi-1983, and Jess the Great!!! (Thanks for forgiving my slip up, Jess! )
Thanks again all you lovely people. Yeah, she lives on reviews, you know.Yes, I do, Mal. So do us all a favor and stop reviewing so she'll die! Mwahahaha! Mal... if I die, you die, too. ...Oh. Uhm. REVIEW! Review as if your lives depended on it! Because mine does!!! Yep. Thanks again, and see you all next chapter! –Aiko (and Malachi).