See Chapter 1 for headers and disclaimer. Reminder: this is Slash. If you don't like, don't read.

Spoiler warning. Some mention of events in Order of the Phoenix and a deviation from the canon within (ie. Character did not die).

Warning for Canon OOCness- At the beginning of this fic, I described Draco Malfoy a certain way for a reason. You will see more of it.

Thank you all for the wonderful reviews and emails. They are just what the starving author needs.

To Have and To Hold

Chapter 4 - Secrets

"What do you think of Potter?"

Draco Malfoy glanced across the field to where the Gryffindors were congregated, their collective attention focused on the useless half-giant of a teacher. Then he turned back to Blaise Zabini. "I try not to," he said mildly.

"I'm serious."

Draco gave Blaise his full attention now. "What do you mean?"

"Well, honestly, I think he's hot."

Draco couldn't help his snort.

Blaise rolled his eyes but his gaze wandered back to the Gryffindors. "Have you looked at him lately?"

Draco humored his best friend by attempting a thoughtful look. True, Potter had striking features but he usually looked tired and stressed. When he wasn't using glamours. Draco knew about them. Draco knew a lot more about Potter than he would ever mention to Blaise. He shrugged. "If you're into that tragic sort of exhausted hero type."

Blaise clucked his tongue. "Beyond the fatigue," he said with a sigh. "Draco, you are the hottest wizard in Hogwarts-"

"Someone has to do it."

"But you are my best friend and I can't hit on you."

Draco dramatically shuddered. "And I appreciate it."

Blaise nodded. "Tell me you wouldn't mind scoring with him."

Draco sent another glance across the lawn then eyed his friend. Zabini was good looking enough, as striking as Potter was with dark hair and light blue eyes, but Blaise's recent Gryffindor spree was starting to worry him.

"Blaise, what are you going on about?" Draco demanded. "Half the school wants to score with Potter. 'Course the entire school would rather score with me, but I guess the Boy-Who-Lived wouldn't be a bad consolation." He added a dramatic sigh. "I can't be everywhere at once."

"Not for lack of trying," Blaise quipped

Draco smirked then realization dawned. "Are you asking for my permission or something? If you want him, go get him."

Blaise gave him an appraising look. "So you're not interested?"

"If I had wanted him, wouldn't I have had him already?"

"Well I guess," Blaise said. "It's just that with all your history, I was thinking that you might want to try channeling some of that passionate hatred in a different direction."

Draco's brows shot up. "Interesting thought." He spared another look toward the Gryffindor trio, but shook his head. "Sorry. Don't see it happening."

Blaise returned a big grin.

Draco furrowed his brow. "I thought you were interested in scoring with the Weasel."

"That was an experiment." Blaise shrugged it off. "To see if the Gryffs cared about inter-house sex."

Draco was surprised. "Sex is sex."

"Right," Blaise agreed. "Besides, Weasley can't kiss for shit."

Draco's gaze wandered back to the trio and his brows lifted. "And what makes you think Potter can?"

"It'd be worth finding out," Blaise said confidently. "If he can't, then hell, I can at least say I shagged the Boy-Who-Lived."

Draco blinked at him. "That's pretty lame you know," he said. Blaise had always been a shallow person, especially about sex, but Draco didn't think he was stupid enough to underestimate Potter.

Blaise shrugged and turned a predacious leer back toward Potter. "Ask me if I care."

Draco was about to caution him when he felt hands encircle his arm.

"Are we still on for tonight, Drakie?"

Draco flinched at the name. Merlin, sometimes he hated girls. He turned a brilliant smile to Pansy Parkinson. "Of course, my dear," he answered smoothly. "Same time, same place."

Pansy's face lit up and she beamed at him.

It wasn't easy being a sex-god.

Potter entered Severus' office cautiously the next evening. Severus had only seen Harry at meal times but other than slight tiredness, he looked better. Severus had magically scanned him at lunch and hadn't found any glamours. So despite the brat's lack of cooperation in the 'stay' department, he must have slept.

Severus stood up as Potter moved into the room and the brat immediately pulled his wand.

"Potter," Severus warned.

"Just keep your distance," Potter said. "Or I swear, I'll hex you."

Intrigued, Severus crossed his arms, leaning against his desk. "Problem?"

"Yes," Potter said. "Every time I'm with you now you're either kissing me or dousing me with potions."

He has a point.

There was the problem again. Severus wanted to take care of the fool boy but ravish him as well.

And you can't do both, why again?

Severus frowned. "You need it."

"The kissing is fine," Potter said. "But the potions I don't need all the time. I'm not a baby. I've been taking care of myself since I was as baby and-"

"Potter, I'm trying to help you," Severus pointed out. "You shouldn't have to do everything yourself."

Potter nodded slightly as he put his wand away. "I know, but I don't want to sleep all the time."

Severus straightened, glad to have made some headway in that area. Maybe he'd have a semblance of compliance now. "I have been giving you a variety of potions, Potter. How do you feel?"

"I feel fine. Great actually."

Severus smirked. "Exactly."

Potter gave him a sideways glance. "Oh? What did you give me?"

"A simple derivative of the Restorative Draught with two puffapod seeds and a pinch of gillyweed."

Potter studied him a minute. "It can work that way together?

Severus almost replied caustically but then noticed Harry's genuine interest. It reminded him that there was a discussion they needed to have.

"Yes," he replied. "The chlorophyll in the gillyweed-"

"Reacts to the pod flower," said Potter with dawning. "I get it."

"So I see, and now you will tell me about this miraculous knowledge of yours," Severus said.

Potter looked away nervously.

"You do wish to spend – quality – time with me, don't you?"

That got some definite interest as those eyes lit up. "Oh yes. I do."

Severus smirked.

"Don't smirk at me," Potter said miffed. "It's more that just teenaged hormones."

Perceptive. Another fine attribute to add to the growing list.

"Very well," Severus agreed. "We can see where this little mutual chemistry of ours goes, but I cannot stress enough the importance of secrecy."

"That's not a problem," Potter said, waving it off as he fell into one of the chairs in front of Severus' desk.

Severus had seen Potter fall into that chair dozens of times in the past, usually after tiring training sessions, but he'd never looked so at home, like he belonged there.

Couple of kisses will do that.

"I've hidden enough secrets," Potter went on. "And with my cloak, once you give it back." He flashed one of those quirky smiles of his. "It should be easy."

"It may mean more remedial potions," Severus pointed out.

"Aren't I already taking those, for the Occlumency?" he countered. "I'm here aren't I? Dumbledore was very emphatic that I continue."

"Indeed." Severus eyed Potter's relaxed posture with relief. Now that Harry knew Severus wasn't going to force feed him potions, his demeanor had opened up. "And can you trust Granger and Weasley?"

"How do you know they even know?"

Severus raised his eyebrows.

Potter looked away. "Oh yeah. The potions lab," he muttered. He looked back, meeting Severus' gaze with confidence. "Yes, I trust them. They have always kept my secrets for me. And I know Ron won't tell this one."

Severus didn't even want to know why. "As for those other secrets, I will have to know them as well?"


Severus sighed. "Potter, I have more or less been your personal instructor for a year and a half. If you have abilities which could further advance your training, I should have been told about them."

Potter grinned almost smugly. "At least you know I can keep a secret."

"Impertinent brat," said Severus, scowling.

Potter frowned at his response and shot back, "How do I know you can?"

Severus blinked. "I beg your pardon," he said indignantly.

"You told Dumbledore about the visions."

"Mr. Potter, did it occur to you that the reason that the headmaster is granting me all these allowances is because I have been the one to come across your problems? Didn't the headmaster know of the visions?"

"To a degree. Yes," Harry admitted.

Severus nodded. "Sometimes you have to sacrifice small amounts of information, to substantiate security for the greater need."

Potter stared at him. "Translation, please?"

"I threw Albus a bone to ensure I could claim your charming company for myself."

Potter blinked, his expression slightly pleased.

Severus smirked. "Now, these talents of yours..."

Potter sat up straighter. "Well the potions skill was out of necessity," he explained. "I couldn't sleep, and I couldn't block out the pain."

Severus had witnessed the transferred pain from the visions. He nodded.

"And despite the fact that I have a high tolerance for it-"

"Oh," Severus interrupted. "How have you come to that conclusion?"

"Well I don't pass out from it and with the extent I've felt-"

"Oh? You think you know about pain first hand?"

Potter met his stare steadily, then lifted his brows. "Voldemort didn't invite me to the graveyard my fourth year for tea, Professor."

Severus' lip curled ever so slightly at the sarcasm.

Amusing, too.

"From what I heard, it was for your blood."

Harry nodded. "That and to prove to his minions that he was stronger than me. He cast all three Unforgivables at me that day. Only one of them worked."

Severus blinked.

"So he used that one more than once. The first time I was tied up. The second, he was pissed off because Imperius didn't work on me."

"You do have a problem obeying."

Severus was relieved to see the quirky grin again. He wanted the facts but he didn't want to go through some sort of trauma therapy here. Severus had heard the recount of their wands locking, so he didn't need elaboration on that. Harry didn't bother mentioning it.

"Then there's the whole possession thing." Potter waved this off as well, as if he was sure Severus knew.

"Tell me," Severus said.

Harry scowled and Severus wasn't sure if it was because he didn't want to go over it yet again, or because he wasn't sure if he could trust Severus.

"Do you trust me, Potter?" Severus received a hesitant nod. "I can better protect you, even from the Dark Lord, if I know your past experiences with him and how he affects you."

Potter stared at him, as if measuring him. Severus returned to his desk and sat down, resting his arms on the surface.

He met Harry's gaze and held it. "Anytime you're ready."

After a deep sigh, Potter told him. Everything from when the Dark Lord touched his face in the graveyard and he thought his head was going to explode, to seeing things from Nagini's mind. Severus listened in attentive silence, his brows lifting occasionally.

Then Harry reached the point when Voldemort possessed him his 5th year at the ministry.

"I just wanted to die to end the pain. It was worse than Cruciatus. And it felt like death was the only thing that would stop it. Voldemort dared Dumbledore to kill me therefore killing him as well, but Dumbledore couldn't."

Fascinated now, Severus urged him on. "So, what happened?"

"I thought of Sirius."

Damn dog. Always interfering.

"And everything he's tried to do for me. How he's always come running to help. He almost got killed trying to save me at the Ministry two years ago. Dumbledore said it was love. The love I felt. He said that Voldemort couldn't bear to be within me at that point and that's why he left my body."

Okay. We can acknowledge that Harry has experience with vast amounts of pain.

"You don't believe the headmaster?"

"I guess I have to." Harry was staring off into nowhere, his expression serious but not anguished. "I don't have much experience with love," he continued. "Aside from my friends, Sirius is the only person I care that deeply about. He's been the closest thing to a father I've ever had."

Now there's a frightening thought. But at least it wasn't James Potter himself.

Severus had to agree. With everything that had happened to the boy, it was a wonder he wasn't at St. Mungo's.

Good, strong, solid constitution.

"Very well. These talents of yours aside from potions..."

"We've focused mostly on spells and charms I could use in battle. I can do every spell in Aldnton's book."

"Oh?" A brow arched in surprise. Severus was impressed despite himself.

Impressive, indeed.

"Yes and I can block anything Hermione throws at me," Harry said grinning.

Severus frown at the display of arrogance. "Proud, are we?"

The smile melted off Potter's face and the mask snapped into place. "Of course. I've grown so accustomed to being patted on the back and praised, that it just comes naturally."


"That's why I've kept it all to myself for fear of my head getting so swelled that-"


The brat stopped his rant and stared stonily back.

"You don't have to be so touchy," Severus told him. "If I say something you find objectionable, say something."

Old habits die hard.

"I thought I just did," Potter replied, his chin inching up, his expression unreadable.

"No, you went into defensive mode."

Harry blinked. "Is that what it was?"

"I'd say so."

"I thought you liked sarcasm," he said suspiciously.

"I can appreciate it, but not when it's masking bitterness and cynicism."

Harry looked away. "Sorry," he mumbled. "Story of my life."

Severus stood over him, and lifted his face with his fingers. "Self-pity doesn't suit you either, Potter."

He shrugged, but there was a crack in the mask.

Time to redirect the conversation.

For once Severus wanted to argue with his inner voice. He wanted to kiss that bloody mask off again.

The look in that green gaze reflected what Severus was thinking.

Harry's lips curled into a soft smile. "What would you suggest?"

Was he being catty or just plain provocative?

"How about we return to the topic at hand?" Severus suggested. "Will you allow me to test you on these defensive skills?"

The smile faded to a frown and Severus wondered if it was because he had let go of Harry's face or at the suggestion to go back to work.

Harry relented. "Sure. That would be fun."

"I have quite a bit more experience than Miss Granger, Potter. I hope it will prove more a challenge than fun."

Severus had meant it as a taunt but he received that quirky smile from Potter.

"What else?" Severus inquired.

Potter shrugged. "Other than that, I've practiced advanced charms and some transfiguration."

Very well rounded.

"That covers the important aspects of your education," muttered Severus. After a moment, something else occurred to him. He speared Harry with a suspicious look. "You've master the animagus transformation, haven't you?"

Harry brightened. "Yes. Want to see?"

Severus wasn't surprised. "No, no," he said quickly. "You're still weak from fatigue. I wouldn't want to risk a transformation."

Harry looked disappointed. "I'm not that weak," he said, with what could have been a pout.

Makes you just want to nibble on that bottom lip.

Severus ignored the voice, wondering if Harry had wanted to show-off but then reconsidered after his earlier rant. He had been keeping all this bottled up and a little praise wouldn't be amiss.

"I'm impressed though," said Severus, and Harry's expression lit up again. "Tell me," he bade.

"Hermione looked most of it up and helped with the correct initiation charms."

Severus nodded. "And," he prompted.

"Well at first I was afraid I'd end up a snake, what with Voldemort and Nagini and all. Then I was sure it was a stag like my-"

"An animagus form doesn't always assume the same shape of a patronus."

"So I found out."

"Out with it, Potter."

Harry smiled. "Black panther."

Severus smirked. "Don't be absurd, Potter, there's no such thing."

Potter's quirky smile blossomed fully then. "That's what Hermione said when Ron called it that."

"I'm sure the Gryffindor walking encyclopedia disabused you of that fact."

"Right, well it took a couple of hours, but we decided I was a jaguar."

"Of the melanistic variety, I imagine," Severus said considering the information.


Severus looked up and smirked. "Black, Potter, didn't Granger explain that."

"Oh yeah." He turned his face away self-consciously.

"It is very intriguing though."

"Yeah, according to what we found out, I could actually crush Voldemort's skull with my jaws if I got close enough."

Wouldn't that be a hoot?

"Well there's the challenge, isn't it?" Severus replied instead. "He wouldn't let you get within 10 yards before transfiguring your big cat into a kitten. Then, being the nasty Dark Lord he is, he would promptly crush you under his heel."

Harry winced at the vivid imagery. "Yeah, I know that. It's a nice fantasy though."

"I think a 17 year old boy would have more interesting fantasies," Severus murmured and had to admire the color that suffused Harry's face.

He blushes so nicely.

"Well when Vold-I mean the Dark Lord is in my head half the time, it's difficult. But I've had some better ones recently." The smile was back.

Bloody hell.

How could Severus have forgotten about that? If anything, that could be the one thing that could keep him away from his Harry.

My, my, possessive already. And just when did it become Harry?

"What?" Potter asked curiously.

Apparently his expression had betrayed his concerns. "Potter, the Dark Lord can not find out about anything we've done."

"He won't."

"How can you be sure?"

"Because when I'm awake, I can feel him if tries to get in," Harry told him. "It's only when I'm asleep or especially weak that-"

Severus shook his head sadly. "I won't endanger you."

Yes, and you'd become Harry-bait faster than you can say 'Lunch for Nagini.'

"What?" Harry looked puzzled.

"Maybe this was a bad idea-"

Potter leapt to his feet, surprising Severus.

"Hold on a minute. You're ready to risk your job and damn everything else to be with me, but mention the Dark Lord and suddenly you're squeamish?"

"Potter," Severus warned.

"No," Harry insisted. "I'm sorry, but Voldemort's ruined everything else about my life, I'm not going to let him ruin this."


"I'll be lucky if I live to graduation so I'm not going to miss one bit of life that comes my way." He paused for a breath and Severus could help but notice his heaving chest. "And-and, if you're not interested anymore, well, then-then, well I'll find myself another Death Eater to have sex with."

Well that won't do at all.

Harry crossed his arms, glaring over the desk at him and Severus couldn't help himself. He burst out laughing. Despite that particular theory being one of his greatest fears, Harry's impassioned tirade was just too adorable.

"Come here," Severus instructed and Potter did without hesitation or fear. In fact, his chin inched up defiantly.

Severus stood up and took a hold of Potter's expressive face. The he kissed away all thoughts of anyone else but him. By the time Severus lifted his head, Harry was clinging to him and breathing heavily. He eyed the bruises he had left again on Harry's throat. The brat would have to bruise easily.

Admit it. You like having your mark on him.

Severus ignored it and held Potter away from him by the shoulders. They really needed to get some work done. Severus needed to know how far Harry could protect himself.

"OK let's test your Occlumency"

Potter steadied himself, a little disoriented by the sudden change of atmosphere. Severus let go of him and put some distance between them.

"I told you," Harry said, staring at him oddly. "I don't-"

Severus didn't give him a chance to finish. He pulled his wand. "Legilimens."

For a moment there was a flash of something, might have been a memory, might have been an emotion. Severus couldn't tell, by then it was gone. All that was left was nothing.

"Very good, Potter."

"Like I tried to tell you, it's only when I'm tired or sleeping that he can get in."

Severus nodded. "Perhaps we can come up with a potion," said Severus, pacing several steps. "Something less addictive than the one you make. More tolerable for frequent usage."

Potter perked up. "I started something, but I can never get passed a certain stage."

Severus turned to him again. "Really?"

"Yes. I started with a flobberworm base and I've been working from there but I can't seem to keep it stable without making it addictive."

Severus agreed. "It's very difficult to avoid using flobberworms in a sleep draught."

Potter nodded. "So you'll help me?"

There was so much hope in that one request that Severus wanted to curse anyone who had ever disregarded the boys needs.

Look in a mirror.

Severus ignored the voice, having every intention of making restitution. He moved to stand in front of the boy again and lifted his face with a gentle touch.

"Potter, have you not been paying attention to anything I've been saying?" Severus said mildly. With more conviction, he added, "I want to help you. I will help you."

Harry nodded, looking up with un-masked green eyes. "And will you kiss me again?" he whispered. Potter took a hold of the front of Severus' robe, his head tilted, offering his sweet mouth.

"We're supposed to be working, Potter," Severus said roughly. Remembering the taste of those lips didn't help. It seemed his mind wasn't his own when Harry was in the room. He was continually drawn to the brat.

"Incentive?" Potter said, his breath against Severus' mouth.

I've heard very good things about incentive programs.

As Severus crushed his mouth over Potter's, he tried to remember why he had thought this could be even remotely wrong. Such perfection could only be a gift from the gods. He felt hands on his skin and pulled back. Potter had opened his robe and half the buttons on his shirt. Curious fingers played over his chest, over his nipples which pebbled under his touch.

Groaning, he turned Harry against the desk and all but ripped the t-shirt off his smooth body. Satin covered muscles rippled under his fingertips as he explored Harry's chest with his hand. He arched and groaned, and Severus moved his mouth down to his favorite spot on Harry's throat.

Lifting his head, he pulled Harry against him, their naked chests rubbing together. Potter moaned and attacked with his mouth again, kissing Severus fervently as he pulled awkwardly at Severus' robe.

"Whoa," Severus breathed, pulling back. "Slow down."

Potter looked confused for a moment, then reached out for Severus face again.

"In case it escaped your notice, Potter, we are in my office."

"What no wicked fantasies of taking me on your desk?"

Severus blinked in surprise.

"No? Oh, maybe you're a bottom."

Severus blinked again then smirked. He promptly kissed the smug look off Potter's swollen lips.

"Okay. Not a bottom," Harry said, voice hoarse with passion. "So, what's the problem? It's not like I'm a virgin."

Severus' eyes moved over Harry's face, his fingers tracing the delicate angles of his jaw and cheek. Then he met the green gaze. "Oh?"

Potter looked away. "Well not exactly."

Severus turned his face back. "What do you mean 'not exactly'?"

"Well I've been with a girl – well woman."

Snape's brow shot up. "One of your many conquests?" He couldn't help the smirk.

Potter frowned. "Oh yeah. That's it. They line up for me, don't you know."

There's that defensive sarcasm again.

"Potter, do you think I believe everything I read?"

Severus retained the grip on Harry's face so he averted his eyes. "Can't keep up with my sordid reputation."

"Yes, I remember. So what's the truth?" Severus pried. He continued the slow caress on Harry's face and he leaned into the touch. "What was her name?"

Potter sighed. "Helen or Helene or-"

"Don't you recall?" Severus said with amusement.

Potter's eyes opened and his chin edged up then he sighed resignedly. "Actually I don't," he admitted. "Sirius didn't want me to die a virgin so he took me to a – a-"

Severus blinked. "Are you telling me he bought you a woman?"

"Only for a couple of hours," he paused. "Well an hour."

Severus snorted.

"I don't think she was very good," Harry grumbled. "But maybe it was me."

Severus considered him. He recalled what it was like when his own preferences were unsure. "Did it ever occur to you that maybe female wasn't your preference?"

"Well yeah, but not until after you-" Harry cut himself off and looked away, obviously not wanting to have revealed so much.

"Are you implying that I am the first male to-"

Potter glared now. "I would've gotten around to-"

"When?" Severus challenged. "When that godmutt of yours took you to a gigolo? That probably would've turned you completely off sex."

"Could we not mention sex and Sirius at the same time, please."

Couldn't agree more.

Severus smirked. "I think I can manage that."

Harry grinned again, looking positively debauched, with his kiss-reddened lips and mussed up hair. Half-naked in Severus' arms, it would be very easy for Harry to coerce Severus to agree to anything.

"As long as you're in such an agreeable mood..."

Severus frowned, wondering if Potter had learned Legilimancy while he wasn't looking. "What?"

"Maybe you could manage to kiss me some more," he suggested.

You're the first man to touch him. No one else has felt those responses, heard those exquisite sounds of desire.

Severus' thoughts were getting the most of him and his body was responding enthusiastically. He gave little resistance as Harry finally managed to push his robe off his shoulders. His shirt was disposed of quickly after that and then just the feel of Harry's hands over his back and sides took over his senses.

As Severus started exploring Harry's chest with his mouth, he felt fingers at the bindings of his trousers. Potter groaned, but Severus didn't know if it was from Severus' sucking his nipple or frustration.

"I want to touch you," Harry murmured into Severus' hair.

"Not here," Severus said, moving his mouth around Harry's shoulder.

Potter's head fell back again as Severus moved his tongue up his throat again. "Floor? Couch? Bed? Where?"

Severus lifted his head again, his hand lifting again to Potter's face. He trailed it over his forehead, brushing the fringe away from the scar. "Eager are we?"

The green gaze met his and Severus was startled by the trust in them. He nodded. "Yes. Don't you want to?"

"You have no idea," Severus said unwittingly but he was rewarded by a smile. "But-"

Severus' arm scorched and he growled, pulling away from Potter and clutching his left arm to his chest. Surprised to see Potter on the floor, he kneeled down beside him.

"What is it?"

Then he noticed Harry's hand pressed to his forehead.

"It hurts when he calls his Death Eaters?" Severus asked with concern.

"I was never sure," said Harry. "But sometimes, it seemed to hurt for no reason."

Severus nodded. This was the first time he had been in Potter's presence when the Dark Lord called so it was reasonable to assume that when the Dark Lord called his followers, Potter's scar would hurt.

He helped Potter to his feet then collected his discarded shirt and robe.

"Get dressed, Potter," Severus told him. "I've got to go."

Potter magically repaired his damaged t-shirt and pulled it over his head. "Are you sure you should go?"

"I have to go, Potter," snapped Severus. "He's called us." Severus straightened his robe and looked to Potter who stood silently watching. "What are you waiting for?"

"I, I, um-"

"Spit it out, Potter."

"Right." Harry turned, moved to the door and waited until Severus' un-warded the room. He turned back, the face of stranger looked at Severus. "Be careful, Professor."

Severus watched Potter leave.

He was worried about you.

Severus warmed at the thought as he grabbed a handful of floo power and tossed it into the fire.

It didn't take long for the Headmaster to answer.

"Ah Severus," Albus said pleasantly. "How was your session with Harry?"

"I'll have to tell you later, headmaster. I've been summoned."

Albus' face twisted into concerned regret. "Oh my. You will be careful, won't you?"

Same thing every time.

Severus nodded. "I must go."

"I will see you later."

Severus pulled out of the fire, collected his things and left the dungeons.

Harry convinced himself that Snape was just in a snit because Voldemort called him. They had covered so much ground that it would be inconceivable that he would turn so cold so suddenly.

Yeah, that had to be it.

He thought about the evening. It had been wonderful. And he could trust Snape. He knew it now. Snape would protect his secrets, and be there for him. Snape would help him with the potions and his defenses, and he could have all the kisses he wanted.

And more than kisses. Harry couldn't wait for that. Snape didn't even seem disappointed that Harry didn't have much experience. In fact, he looked pleased.

And he had made Snape laugh. Harry knew Snape had a bizarre sense of humor, dark and sarcastic. Who knew he had an off-color one too?

And there was more too. Harry was sure of it. He wanted to know it all. He wanted to know everything there was to know about Severus Snape.