Severus and Harry spent a few lazy days around the manor. In fact, they rarely left their bed the first two days. Harry's leg bothered him as Madame Pomfrey said it would, making his physical therapy difficult, but Harry refused to give in. He would walk normally again even if it killed him.

Their lives settled into an easy routine. For someone who lived in a manor, they lived extremely simply. Both were content with just the presence of each other, they didn't need things to distract themselves with. Mornings were spent on physical therapy and general exercise. Early afternoon was usually occupied by a nap or some other activity that could be done in a bed. Or a bathtub. Late afternoon was usually when Harry lost spectacularly to Severus in several games of chess.

In the evenings they would sit in front of a fire (purely for the aesthetics, it was charmed to give off no heat as the summer was already nearly upon them) reading or talking. Now, with all that they had been through, they were beginning to learn each other's pasts. Severus already knew much about Harry's life, but Harry knew only the bare facts of Severus' past. They were working on filling in the details, however.

At the end of the vacation they returned to Hogwarts. There was a week of classes, then the end of year exams, and school would be over for the year. Harry looked forward to the summer. Severus was going to take him traveling for most of the summer. The Snape family had several properties all over the world. Harry, having never been allowed to travel with his relatives, was very excited about the idea of traveling all over Europe.

It was hard for Harry to keep up the charade of being paralyzed. It had been decided for him to wait until next year to reveal his recovery, just in case the Death Eaters tried to organize themselves. He had to try to keep his legs as still as possible lest anyone become suspicious. It was especially hard when he spent all day sitting. He relished returning to the dungeons so he could get out of that blasted chair. He still couldn't walk very far, and his strides were more like those of a tentative toddler than a person who had been walking for years, but it was better than sitting for hours on end.

None too soon for many people, school was over. Harry at least had a nice vacation to look forward to once. He said his goodbyes on the Hogsmeade platform, Ron nearly having to pry a teary Hermione off of him. The train left, and Harry rode the carriages back up to the castle.

In their rooms Severus was packing up what they would need and warding his potions stores and ingredient cabinets. They would go to the manor first for a few days before leaving for France and a small Chateau that had been in Severus' mother's family for centuries. They would spend a few weeks in the French countryside and a few days in Paris before going to Italy and Severus' late Grandfather's winery.

"Ready?" Severus asked, holding out the portkey that would take them to the manor. Harry took one last look around the dungeons, feeling oddly nostalgic before taking the portkey.

XxXxXxXxXxXxX

Harry's birthday fell in the middle of the week they were spending in Paris. Severus had bought a medium sized apartment in Paris to use as a retreat during the summer months a few years after he started teaching. Harry had told Severus about the tradition he had of staying up until midnight for his birthday. Severus felt a slight hint of anger towards the Dursely's as Harry described his lonely birthday celebration.

On the night before Harry's birthday, the two of them stayed up talking late into the night. As midnight drew nearer, however, they were content to just cuddle, for lack of better word. Severus would forcefully deny he did anything even close to cuddling.

The two were comfortably wrapped in each other's arms on the couch, in front of a fire that had dwindled down to mere embers, casting the room into dark shadow. The only sound in the room was the two men breathing and the ticking of the antique grandfather clock. At last the clock struck midnight.

"Happy birthday, Harry." Severus whispered as a chocolate cake with seventeen lit candles appeared on the small coffee table between them and the fireplace. Harry's only answer was to kiss Severus.

"Thank you." Harry whispered as he pulled away. Before anything else could be said several owls came in the open window. Harry immediately recognized Hedwig, who flew straight to him. Harry untied the package she was carrying, recognizing Hermione's writing. Pig and Errol were next, carrying a large parcel that held presents from both Mrs. Weasley and Ron. There were two Hogwarts owls, one with a present from Hagrid and one with Harry's Hogwarts letter.

Hermione had sent Harry a book, as usual. This one was on curses. Ron had sent Harry his own chess set. Mrs. Weasley had sent a small cake and assorted pastries, always trying to fatten Harry up. Hagrid had sent treacle fudge.

"That's not all Harry." Severus said once Harry had opened his gifts from his friends. Severus left the room for a moment, coming back with a gift wrapped in green and silver paper. Harry gave him a questioning look.

"You didn't think I was only going to give you a cake, did you?" Severus asked. The sheepish look on Harry's face gave him the answer he needed. Looking down to hide his blush, he began to carefully unwrap the small gift.

"It's perfect." Harry said, lifting it out of it's box. Severus had found a necklace to match the one Harry had given him for Christmas. Harry could feel the powerful wards and charms contained within the necklace.

"I've connected it to mine, so that we will be able to sense each other, to an extent." Severus said.

"Thank you." Harry said, pulling himself into Severus' lap so as to kiss him. Kissing soon degenerated into something much less innocent.

"Severus?" Harry asked, a bit breathless

"Yes Harry?" Severus said, feathering kisses along Harry's collar bone.

"I want you to make love to me." That simple phrase escaping his lover's lips was enough to pull Severus' attention fully onto the younger wizard beside him.

"Are you sure, Harry?" Severus asked, brushing a bit of hair out of his face.

"Yes Severus. We've been together several months now. I want you to take me, Severus. I want to be yours." Harry said quietly, staring straight into Severus' obsidian gaze. Severus read the truth in Harry's own eyes and captured the smooth lips below them in a passionate kiss.

"We should go somewhere more comfortable." Severus said, pulling Harry up. The two were soon nothing but a tangle of limbs writhing on their bed.

"Love you." Harry whispered, nuzzling Severus' neck as the two basked in their afterglow.

"I love you too, Brat." Severus said quietly.

XxXxXxXxXxXxX

Time flew by for the two lovers. Harry surprised the hell out of the entire school by walking quite normally and casually into the Great Hall just before the first years entered to be sorted. Hermione eventually figured out Harry's 'boyfriend' was actually their potions master, and while she disapproved at first, after reading the rule book and finding nothing forbidding it and being forcefully reassured that Severus had not coerced Harry in any way, she accepted them.

Telling Ron didn't go quite so smoothly, however. At first he had thought it was some sick joke. Then he felt betrayed by Harry - betrayed because Harry had completely forgiven all of Severus' sins, sins against Harry himself, against Gryffindors, and the wizarding world in general. Needless to say, their friendship was never quite the same.

NEWT's were soon upon them, with frantic studying and Hermione landing herself in the hospital wing in need of a strong calming draught. Harry was confident he had done well enough to get any respectable job he might want. He no longer wanted to become and auror - he'd had enough fighting for one lifetime, thank you very much. Now he was faced with the dilemma of figuring out what he really wanted to do.

XxXxXxXxXxXxX

At midnight on the eve of Harry's birthday, exactly a year after he and Severus had first made love, Severus proposed to Harry. Harry had replied with a tearful yes, and Severus had teased him for being a Sentimental Gryffindor even though he himself was close to tears of joy. The two decided to have a bonding performed as well as a marriage ceremony.

Bonding was a tradition of old, and was not very common anymore, usually only practiced by purebloods. There were several different bonds of different strengths and uses. Some were designed for those in arranged marriages to ensure an heir was produced and the happy couple didn't off each other before the honeymoon was over. Others were used for those truly in love and would only work if the love was as deep as the bond they wished to form.

Severus and Harry chose one of the oldest and most potent bonds. It would bind them mind, body, and soul. They would be able to sense each other emotions, though their thoughts would remain private. If one of them died, the other would shortly follow. Their souls were connected for all eternity, fated to find each other even if reborn into a new body or moved to another plane of existence.

The bond was performed in solitude, only Harry and Severus in the privacy of Snape Manor. The spell was performed and consummated close to a month after Severus had proposed. Once consummated, bondmarks appeared on the inside of their left wrists, the place where a wizard's magic flowed closest to the surface of their body. On Harry's wrist was a small Snape family crest - a snake wrapped around a potion vial. On Severus' wrist was the Potter family crest - a crossed sword and wand with a lion's roaring head above and between them.

Two days after the bonding, Harry and Severus were wed in a small, private ceremony. Both wore elegant robes of emerald green with golden accents. Severus' hair had been thoroughly washed and pulled back into a loose ponytail at the nape of his neck, a few strands escaping to frame his face. Harry had discarded his glasses in favor of a sight correction potion. Since there had been no engagement rings, the wedding bands were a bit different than muggle wedding bands. Severus had given Harry a silver band with a stone of green jade that perfectly matched Harry's eyes. Harry had given Severus a similar silver band, but with onyx instead of jade.

Severus was given two weeks leave from Hogwarts for their Honeymoon. It was spent on the small island Severus had taken Harry to for Easter. Harry decided he had never been happier in his life. That is, until the topic of a family came up and Severus informed Harry that there were spells and potions that would make it possible for them to have their own biological children. Harry was ecstatic, but decided to wait a short while. He wanted Severus all to himself for just a bit longer.