After All
Pairing: HP/DM (graphic); HP/LM (non-con); HP/SS (implied)
Rating: R
uthor's Note: This is quite possibly the sweetest, most uplifting ending that I have ever done. I don't feel all that great about it, but I did want to try something new so... don't hate me too much.
Several Years Later

The monument was hideous. It was made of square black pieces of marble and shaped like a cube that floated two feet off the ground, each square baring the name of someone lost in the war.

Harry stood in front of it, staring at the names numbly. The dedication ceremony was going to take place in an hour. Already, Diagon Alley was filling with Witches and Wizards, all in their best attire. After today, Harry doubted that he would be able to find a time when he could come here alone, un-harassed, to visit the memorial.

He ran his finger over the name of Remus Lupin and watched it disappear, replaced by the smiling face of the last Marauder to die. He'd died killing Pettigrew and the looked of satisfaction on his face just before the curse hit him had told Harry that he was satisfied. Harry hadn't told Tonks that, she'd been devastated enough without adding to it.

More names, more faces, each one as painful as the last. Hagrid, and Kingsley, and an Auror named Triana that Harry had only known for two days before she was captured, tortured and killed, her mutilated body left on the steps of the Ministry. Her killers had been caught and had never made it to Azkaban.

Finally, he'd made his way around three sides and came to rest next to the name he'd been looking for. He touched it and a young face replaced the name. A smiling boy of seventeen with sharp features and bleach blond hair, the visible tops of his Hogwart's robes pressed sharp and crisp over his shoulders.


Harry smiled. He couldn't bring himself to cry anymore, hadn't been able to for months, but that didn't make it easier.

When Draco had left Severus' house that day, Harry had been furious. It had taken both Josh and Severus to keep Harry from rushing the door and trying to take off after him. After two days restrained to a bed, he'd given up, knowing that even if he did find him, it would be too late; Draco had most likely already taken the mark.

He hadn't gone back to the Weasley's, though he'd contacted Hermione and Ron and had them meet him at Godricks Hollow. His hate for Severus had been spurred by the man's idiocy in letting Harry's lover leave, but in the end, he couldn't keep it up. The more of them that fell, the fewer people he had, and the less will he had to be angry with anyone. Besides, when it came down to it, he knew that it was Draco he was truly mad at.

After Remus had died, Harry had gone to Severus' home to tell him, because Severus couldn't have the Daily Profit delivered to his house. Harry had been stopping by once a week to tell him what had happened and who had died. That week he started to tell him and he'd broken down. It was like when Dumbledore had died and Harry had been so angry with him for sacrificing himself without asking Harry. It was just bloody like that, because Remus had sacrificed himself to avenge Sirius and Harry's parents, but if he'd bothered to ask, Harry would have much preferred having him alive to having revenge. Why did everyone had to go and die because of him?

That had been the first night they kissed and Harry had been horrified with himself, if a little proud, because everyone was probably rolling around in their graves right about then. Served them right for going and getting themselves killed – if they'd been there, none of this would have been happened.

Josh had been living at Grimauld Place, another of Harry's weekly stops. Molly Weasley had never held anything against Harry, she had always smiled when she saw him, given him big hugs and stuffed him full of food, even after Ron had died and Harry'd had to turn Percy over to the Auror's as a Death Eater.

After the kiss with Severus, Harry had gone straight to Grimauld Place, hoping the clear his head. Instead, he had only gotten more confused.

Molly all but lived at Grimauld Place, taking care of the ghostlike Josh, who crept soundlessly around the mansion, peering in from around corners and staying in the kitchen only as long as it took to eat. At least, that was the way things had been when he'd been there the week before.

Harry had come in, closing the door quietly behind him, expecting that he would be sneaking up the stairs to Josh's room. Instead, he'd been bowled over and found himself with an armful of exuberant boy. Molly's mothering had drawn the boy out and now he was all talk. Even the portrait of Sirius' mother had stopped shouting, because apparently all it had succeeded in doing was making Josh more curious about her. Now a days, she resided peacefully behind the drawn curtain.

They'd eaten lunch and Josh had asked Harry all sorts of questions about the muggle world that Molly hadn't been able to answer. Harry promised to bring him a CD player and some music next time he came by. After they'd eaten, they'd gone up to Josh's room, which was the same one that Harry had stayed in when he'd lived there.

Harry had done something that he hated himself for, but something that he needed to do. He'd asked Josh about his captivity and about the roll Severus had played in it. He needed to remind himself of what the man really was.

"He never touched me really, not like the others. He'd watch them, but he never participated. Sometimes, when they were insistent enough, he'd whip me or torture me, but never anything really sexual." Josh blushed and bowed his head, but his voice never wavered. "Not to say that I don't think he wanted to. That's what scared me the most, though, when were at his house. When he watched, he'd get excited and I could see it that he wanted to, even if he never did. I think I was afraid he'd change his mind."

The room was silent for several minutes and it was Josh who spoke first, looking up through a row of messy bangs. "He likes you."

Harry flustered, "No… I mean, not like… that. I'm his student is all and, besides, he's… old."

"Still, I saw the way he looked at you. He likes you. Is that why you trust him, because he likes you and he's never done anything about it?"

"No, god, no, I trust him because…" Harry stopped. He wasn't really sure why he trusted Severus, actually. "I just do."

Josh shrugged then and dropped it. "Where's your friend, the one that's always getting bossed around by the bushy haired girl?"

Ron and Josh had never talked when Ron was still alive, mostly because Ron said it was creepy how much Josh looked like Harry, especially now that he was well fed. "He's back at the Hollow with Hermione, having 'alone time.'"

"Oh." Josh thought for a moment and his eyes lit up in realization. "Oh!"

They'd talk after that. Harry had broached the subject of Josh going home after the war, an idea that had been met with immediate and stubborn resistance. Josh insisted that he didn't want anyone using magic on him, not even to remove his memories and he couldn't go home the way he was.

Harry kept his hand on Draco's square so the picture wouldn't fade. "Hey, love. I talked to Josh this morning. He said he wanted to use my cloak to stop by his house and make sure his parents were okay. I think he's reconsidering going home. I hope he is." So many people had lost family that Harry would be happy to see Josh regain his.

He slipped back into his memories, because they were easier than the present. When he'd gone to see Severus the next week, they'd pretended nothing had happened. The same thing the next week and the week after, until one evening, when Harry was injured and so frightened by almost having lost Ron that all he'd wanted was comfort and Severus was the only person there that he trusted to take that comfort from. Snape was locked in his house, he wasn't going anywhere and no one was going to find him.

He'd regretted it, at first. What would he tell Draco? Severus had said he should start with, "Want to have sex? You can top!" Because, he'd rightly pointed out, Draco forgave almost anything when it was accompanied by sex.

Harry had never gotten the chance to try that. The final battle had been waged two weeks later and Draco had thrown himself in front of a hex that Voldemort threw at Harry before Harry had even turned around and seen him there. He'd been so enraged at the realization that there was another traitor in his ranks that he'd reacted too late to Harry's own attack.

When the serpent-like man was on the ground, dead for all intents and purposes, Harry had grabbed a large rock and beaten his head in, just to be sure. Some of the Order still looked at him askance when they thought he was angry, but that didn't bother Harry.

His hand slipped from Draco's picture and it faded out, replaced by the name. He was glad they'd chosen that picture. By the end of the war, Voldemort's continual tortures had taken their toll on Draco. He had scars on his face and his nose had been broken at least twice. More often than not, he was seen wearing a harsh expression and harsher black robes, made to blend in with shadow. This picture of his lover, taken in their sixth year – he touched the name again, just for a moment and smiled – this was Draco.

Ron's name was beside Draco's and Harry chuckled, ignoring the rustle of curtains that said someone had come in. "Sorry, mate. If they'd asked, I would have had them put you with Bill." Bill's name was on the other side, with the other members of the Order.

"Talking to yourself again, Potter?"

Harry looked up to see his sour faced lover standing with his arms crossed, his lips curled in a sneer. "Just spending some time with them before I have to let them go."

Severus' scowl deepened - a sure sign that he was worried. "You let them go over a year ago."

Harry smiled a little, somehow reassured by this. Yes, he had let them go. "No need to fret, Sevvie, I'm only saying goodbye."

Severus grabbed Harry's arm, pulling him away from the monument and towards the exit curtains. "Call me that again and you will be sleeping on the couch." He glanced back at the floating cube, eyeing it as if it were something dangerous.

Sensing what his lover was thinking, Harry slid his arm out of Severus's grip and clasped hands with him. "Don't do that."

Severus looked at Harry, "What precisely is it that you think I am doing."

"You're jealous that your name isn't on it."

"Hm. It is a monument to war heroes."

"It's a monument to dead war heroes, Severus, besides, you spent the majority of the second war holed up in your house."

Severus's mouth twitched in what Harry almost thought could have maybe formed into a smile, but it was hard to tell with Severus because he didn't smile very often. "I wasn't there because I wanted to be."

Harry just managed not to laugh. "Bugger that, you never leave the house anymore and there's no death sentence on you."

"I leave the house."

"To go to the grocer and refill your ingredients and that's it."

"Impudent brat."

"Snarky bastard."

"I put up with your presence in my house every day, the least you could do is afford me a little respect."

He took one last glance back at the monument, silently thanking Draco. Not that he thought this was what Draco had in mind when he'd asked Snape to take care of him, but Draco was gone and Harry had to move on. He squeezed the hand in his.

Besides, he thought perhaps Draco would have approved. If Harry had to have another lover, Draco would have rather it be someone who wasn't as good looking as he had been, had a much more volatile personality and was perpetually cranky. At least that way, Draco could always say he was the better of the two.

"I love you too, Severus."

Severus didn't response. Harry didn't need him to.