TITLE: Harry Potter and the Obligatory Sequel, Epilogue
DISCLAIMER: Belongs to J.K. Rowling, and a nod to Mrs. Simkin's Bathtub, which is an excellent and terribly amusing read that I encourage you to look around for.
BETA: The Incredible Irisgirl12000, and help from the fabulous Djin7, and all further mistakes are mine.
SUMMARY: The aftermath, in which there is celebration and silliness—and yes, smex. But hopefully tastefully done smex.
And with this chapter, The Obligatory Sequel is complete! I present here a link to all chappies for your edification and enjoyment. This is also the end of StarryGazer. I will probably not be posting further stories under this name, so I offer my sincere appreciation to those of you who've enjoyed my stuff and bid you adieu. Oh, and feel free to drop me an email address, if you'd like to keep in touch/read future stories under other names.
I Guess I'm Just the Snarrying Kind
"Thanks to the bravery and a wonderful display of inter-House unity between a former alumnus, a staff member, and our own Harry Potter, today we begin a new era in wizarding history. None of us present tonight will ever forget the death of Voldemort, and I sincerely hope we can take from it a few lessons—cooperation, conviction, and camaraderie may overcome even the strongest man, if that man stands alone. Hatred, persecution and fear bring nothing worthwhile to those who live in thrall to them. Remember this and rejoice: the Dark Lord is dead!"
After the clapping died down, Dumbledore raised his cup in salute. It was two weeks since the fall of Voldemort, and he was recovering nicely without the dark cloud hanging over his head. "To the cunning and courage of Severus Snape," he said. The Great Hall cheered. "To the sacrifice and selflessness of Lucius Malfoy." The Hall fell respectfully silent, bowing its head a moment. "And to everything that is Harry Potter!" The room roared in appreciation, stomping feet and banging glasses on the tables.
Harry, bright red, tried to duck, but Snape's hand snaked out and held him in place. "No, Mister Potter. If I have to deal with it, you have to deal with it," he said, a waxy smile frozen on his face.
Harry gave a slight sigh, knowing the man was masking a certain amount of pain. "Look, I keep telling you; everyone makes mistakes. It's not your fault Malfoy's dead."
"It is," Severus insisted. "I've never botched a potion up so badly. To compound the guilt, I was absolutely convinced he'd betray us in the end."
"Yes, well, I thought he'd do a runner or something, too, but I guess he was a good egg in the end," Harry said helplessly.
As Dumbledore finished his speech, the Minister of Magic rose took the stand. "I declare this day to be a wizarding holiday, our very own Independence Day!" There was thunderous applause, especially from the students—any day that meant no classes was something to be heartily supported.
"It could have been you," Severus whispered, staring at the table.
"Stop it! It wasn't, so just stop!" Harry retorted, frustrated. He wondered what he could do to take Severus' mind off things.
Dumbledore cleared his throat, and distracted the room from the heroes' argument by taking to the podium again. "I also wished to tell you that, due to the celebrations planned, the recent upheaval, and the distraction it has been for students and teachers alike, this year's tests will be cancelled." Everyone cheered except for Hermione, who seemed upset all her studying would be for nothing. Ron slipped an arm around her to comfort her, and they smiled at each other, suddenly in their own little world.
Harry leaned over to Snape, speaking from the corner of his mouth. "The headmaster already passed me."
"He said he had the power to do it, and he didn't want me having to face the stress of tests on top of everything else. He made me do some demonstrations for him, but he did up my diploma himself. Everyone else will have to make up the tests in the beginning of the fall," he added smugly.
"Is that so?" Snape thought this over, then turned and gave the boy a long, appraising look. Harry blushed twelve shades of red.
"Severus…" Remus' voice interrupted from their left. Severus' head swivelled. "I just wanted to say you did a wonderful job. And—and thank you, for watching over Harry."
"You're welcome," Snape grunted. He made a gesture, and a house elf hurried to his side. "Bring me the goblet that's sitting on my desk." The elf popped away and promptly returned bearing a steaming cup. "This," he informed Lupin, "is for you. Your Wolfsbane Potion. I've made a few adjustments, so you might notice a different taste or some minor side effects. Keep track of them, but don't bother me about them unless they're life-threatening."
Remus stared at the potion.
"Well, go on. I didn't poison it, if that's what you're worried about. I do have a vial on me, but I'd hardly waste it on you."
The werewolf smiled. "It isn't that. It's just—I'm surprised. And touched, Severus. I'm really very touched."
"In the head," the Potions Master grumbled.
Remus gulped the whole thing down, licking his lips afterward. "It's…quite good. A marked improvement."
"Yes. I hope it didn't destroy the formula's beneficial properties. If you dropped dead now, I'd have to consider it a failure…that, or a raging success. Hard to decide, really."
Minerva was giving the two professors a disgustingly soppy look. "It is good to see the two of you getting on so well," she said.
Severus rolled his eyes. "The only Gryffindor I'm interested in getting on with is Potter, and I trust I don't have to draw you a picture," he said tartly. To his disgust, the woman chuckled. "Stop bothering me and go quaff your punch, would you?" he grumbled.
A short while later, Albus and Minerva were dancing, and Remus was falling asleep in the soup. Everyone seemed occupied, and no one was looking at the heroes. "Time to make our exit," Severus whispered in Harry's ear.
Harry was out of his seat like a shot.
"Discretion, brat," Severus cautioned, sliding an arm around the boy and shielding him a bit from prying eyes. "Now is not the time to call attention to yourself, though I know it goes against your Gryffindor nature not to beat your chest and swing from the chandeliers."
"Um…what if Remus comes after us?" Harry whispered nervously as they slipped from the room, nearly running down the hall, hand in hand.
"He won't," Severus promised with a hint of suppressed glee. "The adjustment I made to his Wolfsbane Potion contained a powerful sedative. He probably won't wake up for ten to fifteen hours."
"Severus," Harry scolded, laughing. "That's awful. You shouldn't do things like that! Did you slip something to Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall, too?"
"Trust me, you don't want to know."
Harry laughed harder. "Is that why they were slow dancing?"
"I didn't force them to dance. I just made them more amenable to the suggestion." They rounded the corner and Severus yanked open his chamber door. "Inside," he ordered.
Harry shuddered at the tone, his eyes falling closed. "I love it when your voice gets all rough like that," he whispered. Snape shut the door behind them, sweeping Harry into his arms and kissing him hard.
"I love you," the man mumbled, Harry's breath sweet and warm against his lips.
Harry broke away and grinned crookedly. "You used to have such a difficult time saying that. Getting used to it, are we?"
"I don't think I ever could." Severus moved from Harry's mouth to his neck, leaving a series of love-bites there.
"Did you—did you and Lucius ever—?" Harry asked worriedly.
Severus pulled away and gave him a small smile. "No. It never would have worked. We're both Slytherins, and one of us would have had to trust the other enough to bottom."
"Oh…good." Harry looked relieved, but still a little awkward. He didn't seem to know what to do with himself, or where to put his hands. "Are you—are we really—?"
"If you want it," Severus told him gently.
Harry nodded enthusiastically. "I was just worried you'd make me wait until the school year officially ended or something."
Severus nipped his ear. "I think," the man told him, "that you are about as legal as you're ever going to get. Now shut up and let me ravish you." Gentle hands tickled the back of Harry's neck.
"Oh…oh! Wow. Yes, sir," Harry breathed in the man's ear.
They didn't make it as far as the bedroom.
Snape did manage to keep them moving, tangled and stumbling though they were, until they reached the den. There he gave up and waved his wand, his chair crouching low, stretching and becoming something good enough to be going on with—or good enough to be getting it on with, at any rate.
Harry perched on the edge, his hands folding and unfolding in his lap. He gave Severus a shy smile. "Um, aren't you going to sit down, too?" he patted the area beside him.
Snape took a long moment to memorize Harry—coltish, awkward, and radiant with ingenuous eagerness. His hair was as messy as ever, and his eyes seemed wider than usual—whether in fear or the thrill of anticipation, Snape couldn't tell. He pushed the boy back, and Harry ended up sprawled and squirming, his limbs splayed languorously, his eyes glassy and feverish, whimpering with pleasure as Severus undid buttons, his lips chasing the movements of his fingers. Harry flushed when the man exposed him, suddenly shy and trying to cover himself.
"Don't," Severus implored, catching his hands. "You really needn't. You're beautiful."
Harry's eyes softened, and he smiled tentatively. "I want to undress you, too," he insisted. He reached up to the man's collar, breath hitching as the first button came loose. "I swear, I'm going to remember that for the rest of my life," he said in a hushed voice. "I wanted to do that for ages."
Severus smiled patiently, allowing Harry to have his way, stroking and petting the boy as he went. Harry didn't get halfway down the man's robes before his mewls became whines of impatience, and he kept pressing himself into Severus' hand. "I—want—you," the boy panted, sending a thrill down Severus' spine.
"Down, then," Severus told him. "Just lie back and enjoy it, and I'll take care of you. I'll take care of everything."
For nearly the first time Severus could remember, Harry did as he was told, sweetly and compliantly, his eyes shining with trust. He let Severus' hands wander all over him, caressing and penetrating, smoothing away the tension and pain. "I love you," he whispered hoarsely.
Harry brought Severus' fingertips to his lips, nipping, sucking and kissing them. "I've loved you for so long that I ache with it," Harry said in a hushed voice. Severus' index finger slipped between his soft lips, into that wet, heated cavern, and Harry hummed contentedly around it.
Severus swallowed, closing his eyes and trying to control his racing heart. He did not want to rush this—and he didn't want to hurt Harry. "I love you, too. You make me feel—you—make me—feel like all the decisions I've made…were the right ones. You make me feel blessed to be myself. I doubt you can appreciate the wonder of that," he added.
A twist of hips, and Harry's hand tightened on Snape's arm. "I—think I can appreciate a lot of wonder right now," Harry responded, his eyes unfocussed.
"You're all right?"
He nodded, trembling from the tips of his hair to the tips of his toes. "It feels…full," he whispered. "But—but not bad. Different."
Snape began to move slowly, eyes intent on that delicately grimacing face, trying to be gentle. He'd never had to worry about that sort of thing before. It was both empowering and terrifying—Harry was lovely, smooth, almost unscarred. The skin of his stomach was unblemished and pale, like bone china, but warm and soft to the touch. Snape desperately didn't want to break his young lover, to make him weep or bleed.
He shifted, lifting one of Harry's ankles into the air and caressing it. When he leaned forward to kiss Harry, there was a gasp. Those brilliant eyes, usually so clear, had gone glassy and dark. "Ah. Now that would be your prostate," Snape informed him. "It…er, is supposed to give a pleasurable sens—" he cut off, both at the look on Harry's face and his own more physical enjoyment, and had to try again. "Pl—pleasurable—sensation when—oh, bloody hell. You know what I mean," he finally panted.
"I really, really like my prostate," Harry replied in a strangled voice. "That's, like, more exhilarating than anything. Do that again," he pleaded.
Severus did, savouring the rosy rapture on Harry's upturned face, his lower lip caught between his teeth. "Your body is a furnace…in which sinners may be reborn," the man rasped.
Harry merely groaned softly, wrapping his legs around the man. He couldn't speak. He pulled Severus down, winding his arms around sweating shoulders, grunting, "This—everything—perfect."
It was perfect. It was two bodies, lovingly twined, a gentle rocking, soft cries and warm kisses. It was perfect.
It was magical.
Afterward, Snape carried the boy to bed, risking a thrown back. Harry was pliant and content, drowsing quietly in his arms. "Let's get married," he murmured.
Severus nearly fell over from shock. "I beg your pardon?"
"Well, what else am I going to do with the rest of my life? I don't want a job. I'm sick of trying to be everybody's everything. I just want to be your—your husband. I want to be a househusband, is what I want."
Severus tenderly set him on the bed, pulling the blankets up and wrapping them around the youth. "You wouldn't last as a househusband," he said fondly. "Cleaning and cooking would fast become dull, and then you'd get into mischief, as you always do. Before two weeks had passed, I'd come home to find you sprawled on the kitchen table doing unmentionable things to yourself with a carrot or something of that nature."
"Is it always about my libido?"
"I don't know. Is it?"
Harry huffed. "I still want to get married," he mumbled sleepily. "You've got to make an honest man out of me."
Severus swallowed hard. "Yes, and we all know what an authority I am on that. We'll just see how you feel about things in the morning," he whispered. Harry didn't answer. He was fast asleep.
The next morning, they woke up in Paris. They were still in Hogwarts, but Hogwarts seemed to have taken a vacation in the middle of the night.
While Harry was still asleep, Snape looked out the window, let out a holler, and ran to the Great Hall. "What the devil's going on?" he demanded of the headmaster.
The illustrious wizard shrugged in bemusement. "I haven't the foggiest. I'm afraid it's just one of those things."
"Well—well—can you make it go back?"
The headmaster shook his head with mock sadness. "I fear not. The castle has developed an agenda of its own, and it seems to want to take a brisk hop around the continent. I think it rather needed a holiday. I got up to use the loo round two in the morning and found us outside Berlin. I know you're upset, my dear boy, but I don't suppose it will stay here very long. Once a school has started to roam, it never knows when to stop."
Severus blinked. "Thank you for your words of encouragement."
The man beamed. "Think nothing of it! So glad to be of help!"
"Ginny! Ron! Where is everyone?" Molly Weasley struggled through the Floo, looking distraught. She spotted the headmaster and hurried over. "Albus! There are reports that Hogwarts went missing, but when I tried the Floo, it took me straight here. Are the children safe?"
"Of course, Molly," Albus placated. "Right as rain."
Harry came running in half-dressed. "There you are!" he exclaimed at seeing Snape. "Did you know the Eiffel Tower is outside your bedroom window? I thought I was losing my mind. What are you doing out of bed, anyway?"
"What are you doing looking out of Severus' bedroom window?" Molly Weasley demanded.
"Molly, I have bad news," Dumbledore interjected. "I feel I should tell you in private. You see, it's about Ginny…My office, if you would?"
Harry grabbed the man's arm, pulling him aside for a moment. "What…um—what will happen to Ginny?" he asked in an undertone.
Dumbledore gave him a sympathetic smile. "What will happen to any of us? She made a very unwise decision."
"Yeah, but she's still just a kid, and—she's—she's sort of in love with me. Love makes you do crazy—even stupid—things sometimes," he said wisely. "I can say that from experience."
The Headmaster nodded. "We shall just have to see, won't we? I admit that her actions may cause some difficulties in her family." Harry paled. "But, I think perhaps, with your good character reference, she may overcome. And I think we'll let Molly decide how the girl should be punished. I don't see the need to bring the Ministry into it, do you?"
Harry shook his head. "Thank you. She's—got some problems, but she's like my own sister. Weird as that sounds. And hey, maybe now Mrs. Weasley will stop trying to sic her on me," he said flippantly, but he had a difficult time forcing himself to smile. The Weasley family was in for some rough waters, and he couldn't help but feel responsible.
"Your compassion does you credit," the headmaster told him solemnly. "I'm very proud of you." Harry managed a real smile then, as Dumbledore led Molly away.
Severus felt deeply grateful. Let her worry about her own brats, for a while, so Severus could sort his out.
"Where were you? I woke up and you were just—gone," Harry said, agitated. "Oh, God, don't tell me everyone was right—that that really was all you wanted from me! If you think that you can just boff me and walk away like it meant nothing—" Harry's voice was hoarse with anger and unshed tears, his hands balled at his sides.
"Look—don't—" Severus got out. "It's nothing like that, you temperamental twit. Don't have a nervous breakdown on me. I'll—do whatever need be done. I'll marry you if I must, all right? Please shut off the histrionics," he pleaded. "You'll be producing snot next, and it's all downhill from there."
Harry managed a watery smile. "You'd really marry me?"
"Marriage—some sort of commitment ceremony—bonding ritual involving public sex—whatever. Just stop weeping like a misbegotten Camille!"
Harry threw his arms around the man. "And everyone will be there, right? And we'll go on a nice honeymoon afterward? And—I'll have everything. You, the world, everything."
"Honeymoon? Good Christ, Potter; you're in a castle that is currently spending the summer leaping all over Europe. This is not enough for you?"
"Oh. You're right!" Severus saw Harry smile slowly, and groaned inwardly. "Where are we now? Paris, right? Let's go! I want to see the Mona Lisa and that Arc thing of Napoleon's and the Eiffel Tower and—"
"Or we could just stay inside," Severus interrupted hastily. "And have mind-blowing sex. All the time."
"For the whole summer?" Harry replied incredulously. "Anyhow, I'm sure we'll find time for that, too."
Severus had sudden visions of being dragged over every square inch of the Continent, forced into joining sweaty groups of Muggles, wandering about and being made to endure long lectures about what supposedly historical thing took place at any given location. Severus Snape now had a new synonym for 'torture,' and it was 'tourism.'
"And d'you have a camera? Maybe I could borrow Colin's. I want to get lots of pictures of us. I have—we have—a lot of unhappy memories. I think it's time we started making nicer ones, don't you?"
Severus looked at Harry's hopeful smile, ran a fingertip over Harry's lower lip. "All right," he murmured. "Perhaps being able to capture that and enjoy it anytime I wanted would be worth a bit of torture."
Harry looked confused for a moment, then grinned broadly. "See, that's pretty much my excuse for being with you."
Snape thwapped him upside the head. "Precocious bugger," he growled.
Harry's smile only stretched wider, like the future unfurling. "Greasy bastard," he retorted. "You know you love me. And you're stuck with me. Forever."
Severus bent his head, pressing a kiss to the lips that could form such a glorious smile. He took Harry's hand, ready for Paris. "Let's get started, then."
Harry laughed, looking down at his rumpled clothing and then at Snape's. "Shouldn't we change first?"
Severus waved his wand, and they were both suddenly immaculate. "Better? Now hurry up." He smiled, feeling almost giddy. "We've only got forever, and I don't want to waste a moment of it."