TITLE: Harry Potter Always Gets His Man
DISCLAIMER: Belongs to J.K. Rowling, etc.
BETA: The marvellous Maidengurl and the snappy Silvarbell
NOTES: Snarry, Humour. Featuring everything!Harry or cliché!Harry (submissive!Harry, slut!Harry, cross-dressing!Harry, masculine!Harry) This was going to be the sequel to "Pink," but wouldn't shape up. I think I finally got it to where it's okay, though.
SUMMARY: One-shot. Harry schemes to get Snape, but Snape's playing hard to get. What is it that the man wants? Harry doesn't know, but he's determined to figure it out.

Harry Potter Always Gets His Man

Harry sat with his legs crossed at the knee, one foot swinging in the air nervously. He looked from Ron to Hermione, back to Ron, then back to Hermione. The café around them bustled, filled with chatter and happy patrons. Harry found himself wishing he'd picked a less public place to do this, but hopefully it would keep Ron from making a scene.

"Go on, Harry," Hermione said patiently, waving her hand over her hot tea. "You wanted to tell us that…"

"That you're running for Minister," Ron guessed. "That you're considering having your nose done. That you're not, in fact, Harry Potter at all, but someone that looks remarkably like him. That you're having a nervous breakdown? Come on, mate, don't keep a bloke in suspense!"

"That I'm attracted to men." Harry bit his lip reflexively, nearly drawing blood, and cursed.

"Wha?" Ron gaped.

"Are you? Since when?" Hermione queried, going about it as scientifically as always. Harry half expected her to take out a clipboard and start taking notes.

"Since…uh, sixth year, about. I mean, I noticed I had sort of a crush on Professor Snape, and it just sort of went from there…"


"Shut your mouth, Ron. And teacher crushes are perfectly normal," Hermione added. "Are you sure it wasn't a fluke?"

"Considering Seamus and I ended up spending our seventh year lunch hours in the boy's bathroom wanking each other off? And the fact that instead of forgetting about Snape after graduation, I actively look for excuses to visit him? Hermione, I'm gay. Trust me on this."

"All right, Harry," Hermione accepted.

"SNAPE?" Ron repeated, looking distinctly green.

They both ignored him.

Harry considered telling them both the truth about Snape, but decided it wouldn't justify his attraction. How could he explain Snape to them? How could he make them understand how, in the days leading up to Voldemort's downfall, Snape seemed to be the only constant in his life? He thought back to the tense night when, during an Occlumency lesson, Harry had finally broke down and yelled, "What would you have me DO?" and Snape shrugged tiredly, saying, "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war, perhaps?" in that low, sexy voice of his, and how Harry'd stared at him. Harry had marvelled at how worldly the man was, to know a Muggle quotation like that. Then he threw back his head and laughed, laughed hysterically, until he was crying, and Snape awkwardly stood beside him, running long fingers in circles on Harry's back.

"Why are you telling us now?"

Harry looked down at his uneaten muffin, shrugging. "Because I want Snape. I've decided, finally. The moment Voldemort died, I stopped thinking about war, and started thinking about Severus. I want him. And I can't do this by halves. So…I want to know if you're okay with it. Are you? Are you both going to be okay with me being queer?"

Ron opened his mouth, his eyebrows lowered, and Hermione surreptitiously tapped him with her wand. "Gosh, mate, good for you!"

Harry stared at him. "Ron? Are you all right?"

Ron smiled. "I'm fabulous, thanks for asking. The truth is; I just want you to be happy. I could tell that something's been up for a while now, but I just figured you'd let us know what it was when you were ready. I'm really happy that you trusted us enough to tell us, Harry."

Harry gulped, round eyes jerking to Hermione. "What did you do to him?"

"Nothing!" Hermione insisted. "I just—cast a little teeny spell that clarified things for him. It's a spell to create psychosomatic harmony."

"It does what now?" Harry cocked his head to the side, puzzled.

"Negates cognitive dissonance."

"Thanks for clearing that up."

Hermione rolled her eyes and sighed, as though being asked to explain to an Oxford graduate why things fall down, as opposed to up. "I got rid of all the little lies in his mind, all the arguments he's had with himself over this, or could have with himself over this, and just left the one big truth."

"I'm still not sure I understand," Harry told her honestly.

"Look, Harry, we go about every day lying to ourselves. It's a defence mechanism. We can't deal with being honest—really honest—to ourselves all the time, and we all have areas in our lives where we make excuses, or rationalize. Do you understand so far?"

"Well…yeah. Like I've told myself for the past three years that I wasn't really in love with Snape, I was just hung up on him because I couldn't have him, and that if I ignored it, it would go away. Yeah, we all do that."

"Well, I made Ron incapable of doing that—in this particular situation, anyhow. It cuts through all the rubbish, all right? It gets to the…heart of the matter."

Harry looked at his oldest friend, who was staring at his sandwich, confused. "You mean…you really accept me, deep down?" he asked.

Ron set a hand on Harry's shoulder and looked him in the eye. "Absolutely. We've been through a lot together, and it would be crazy to let something like sex tear us apart."

Harry gave a wobbly smile. "Thanks. And thank you, Hermione. You always know the best spells."

"Right. So, now that that's settled," Ron went on, picking apart his sandwich and removing the limp lettuce, "how are we going to get you into Snape's bed? I can't reckon it'd be that difficult. The man probably hasn't had a good shag in…ever. I bet it'd mellow him out if he did."

Harry flushed, exchanging a surprised look with Hermione. "You—you mean, not only do you accept that I'm gay, but you're offering to help me in my quest to get in Snape's pants? Severus Snape? The greasy git to end all greasy gits? Hermione, this is not the Ron I know."

"What are friends for, if not to get you laid when you need it?" Ron pointed out reasonably.

Hermione rolled her eyes, looking irritated. "Look, I'm glad you want to help, Ron, but why don't you leave the actual planning to me? I'm the brains of the outfit, remember?"

"That's true," Harry admitted, while Ron gave her an indulgent grin. "Do you have any ideas?"

Hermione looked thoughtful, revert to her default expression. "Well, first we'll have to find out what he likes in a prospective lover."

"They don't run screaming when they see him?" Ron guessed.

"You're not helping," Harry grunted.

"Maybe he likes it if they do run screaming when they see him."

"Very funny."

"I don't think it'll be too hard, Harry," Hermione told him gently. "You'll just have to sort of…push his buttons, until you find the right one."

Harry squirmed, not really sure about all of this. "What buttons?" he asked. "The man has never shown any real interest in me outside of…you know, torture. And I've never seen him attracted to anyone."

"Well, you don't socialise with him," Hermione pointed out.

"And you don't hang out in the sheep pen, either," Ron bantered.


He just laughed. "Sorry. Here, if you want my opinion, Snape likes to be in charge. He's kind of a control freak. I'd bet that he likes a girl—or bloke—that lets him make the decisions, type of thing. Lets him be the strong one."

Harry thought this over. "You know, you might be right. He does spend an awful lot of time bossing me about. Maybe he'd be happier if I just did what he said."

Hermione nodded. "I think that's a good first idea to try. When are you going to see Snape again?"

"This weekend," Harry told them. "So if Snape likes his lovers delicate and shy, I can do that. It's worth a shot, at any rate."


Harry knocked timidly on Snape's door, swallowing hard. "Enter," said a deep voice, and he took a deep breath, pushing inward. The man stood imperiously next to a steaming cauldron, glaring down into it. He glanced up to see Harry, and his glare darkened even further. "What is it you want, Potter?" he demanded.

Harry licked his lips. "I need your help, Professor," he said in a breathy voice. "I haven't been sleeping well, and was wondering if you would sell me some dreamless sleep potion."

A shade of something like sympathy seemed to cross the man's features. "Yes, the war has left many sleepless, myself included. You can buy the potion just about anywhere, though. Why come to me?"

"Er. Because I can't trust anyone else," Harry responded. Even though it was the first honest thing he'd said since he entered Snape's room, the man looked at him more suspiciously than ever.

"Well…I haven't any on hand. If you need a bottle by tonight, you'll have to wait until I've brewed some."

"I can do that," Harry chirped agreeably.

The man went back to stirring his cauldron. "Sit down and don't touch anything," he ordered.

"Yes, sir," Harry responded in a dulcet voice, sitting as gracefully as possible. A few moments passed. "Is there anything I can help with?"

"God forbid."

Harry frowned. "So…what? You just want me to sit here and look pretty, then?"

Severus scowled. "And keep your mouth shut, although I'm sure the entire combination is well beyond your capabilities."

"No, I can be quiet. I really can. Like a mouse," Harry offered.

The silence stretched on as Snape finished the potion he was working on, and began Harry's. Every time the man glanced up, Harry gifted him with a small, demure smile.

"Are you ill, Potter?" the Potions Master inquired after some time.

"No, sir. Why?"

"I've never seen you sit still or be quiet for so long. I had to assume death was quickly approaching. I just wanted to be certain," he added, "so I could make sure I was watching if it were."

Harry tried not to grind his teeth, but wasn't entirely successful. "You asked me to sit and be quiet," he said. "I'm only following your orders."

"First time for everything," Snape muttered, shrugging.

"Supposedly," Harry said softly. "You know, speaking of firsts, there are an awful lot of things I've never done." He watched the man from under his eyelashes. "Too busy with the war, and all…there are so many things I'd like to try, too. It would have to be with someone I trusted, though. You don't want your first time to be with someone you can't trust."

"Mmm-hmm," Snape said, not seeming to listen. "If you want someone you could trust, I'd suggest Hagrid. He's got time on his hands to baby-sit you, if you have the notion to go traipsing about the Continent and 'finding yourself' or whatever other nonsense you're interested in."

"That's not what I meant." Harry made a face.

"Well, I certainly haven't the time to chum about with you."

When he finally ladled the potion into a small bottle, Harry got to his feet, timidly walking over to the cauldron. "I can't tell you how much I appreciate this," he said quietly. "I don't think I've slept in a week. It's so sweet of you to agree to this," he added.

Snape looked highly insulted. "Don't get all soppy over it. It's just a damn dreamless sleep potion."

Harry put a hand lightly on the man's arm. "Now you're just being modest," he teased. "Wow, you have such muscles under all these robes. Who'd have guessed you were so big and strong?"

Snape pulled his arm away. "Aren't we feeling twee today? In any case, I take a measure of pride in being able to craft whatever potion is needed for whomever needs to take it. I didn't do it for you; I did it for me. I'm anything but sweet, I assure you."

Harry turned away from Snape and swayed a little, lifting his arm and pressing the back of his hand to his scar. "Oh, I don't feel very well," he murmured, fluttering his eyes shut. "I haven't slept in soooo long." Snape was right beside him. It was time to make his move. Harry swooned, dropping backward.

Snape stepped away, and Harry fell to the floor, smacking his elbow on the hard dungeon stones.

"OW! Dammit!" he growled, sitting up and rubbing his arm.

"Serves you right," Snape told him, beginning to clean his work area. "That was the worst acting job since Victoria Spelling starred in Kensington, SW7. What are you playing at, Potter?"

"You are such a tosser," Harry growled, getting to his feet. "You let me fall to the ground like a sack of potatoes!"

Snape stared at him incredulously. "What would you have had me do?"

"You're such an IDIOT! You were supposed to catch me and sweep me away to sleep in your bed until I'd recovered! Don't you know anything? Forget it." Harry managed to get to his feet and storm to the door, Snape shaking his head all the while.


Harry was sitting at the table in his flat, putting ice on his bruise when Ron and Hermione Floo'd in. "Hi," he grunted shortly.

"How'd it go?" Ron asked cheerfully, heading straight for the pantry and pulling out the only thing edible—an old bag of crisps.

"Oh, just swell," Harry spat. He glanced at Ron. "What the bloody hell are you wearing?"

Ron showed off his sweatshirt with the bold words 'MY BEST FRIEND'S GAY, AND THAT'S OKAY!' emblazoned across the chest. "I've started a club!" he announced proudly. "Hermione's helping."

Harry swallowed with trepidation. "A club? What kind of club? A club for blokes who have gay friends?"


"Good God. Hermione, would you please remove that spell you put on him?"

"Sure, Harry. What happened with Professor Snape?" she asked.

"Oh, nothing. He just didn't notice that I was coming on to him."

"Obviously, you weren't being forward enough," Ron said sagely. "If he's that blind, you need to come on stronger. Don't leave any room for doubt."

Harry looked to Hermione. "Honesty is the best policy," she affirmed.

Harry sighed. "All right. I'll give it a try."


The door to the potions classroom swung open, and Harry posed in the doorway. His shirt was undone, his trousers were as tight as he could buy them and still be able to walk, and he'd smeared just a dab of clear balm on his lips, making them shine. He was being honest; he just figured he should wrap it up in the prettiest package possible.

"Hello, Professor," he purred.

Snape, who was leaning over a student, glanced up and sneered. "What the devil are you doing here?"

"I forgot my potion," Harry told him, undulating into the room.

The man gave a great sigh, clearly unimpressed. "Very well. Osrick, you'd better go back to your dorms. I'll tutor you some other time."

As Osrick hurried away, throwing a baffled glance at the Professor's visitor, Harry gave the man a suggestive smile. "Remedial potions?"

"Actual remedial potions," Snape informed him. He looked at Harry's chest. "Did you forget how to work your buttons again? You see, you slip the little wooden or metal bits through the holes on the other side, and that keeps your clothes fastened."

Harry laughed huskily. "I prefer to leave my clothes undone. Saves time in the bedroom."

"Hah. I always knew you'd amount to nothing more that a laze-about." He straightened up. "Wait here, and I'll get your blasted potion." He looked slightly leery of Harry. "I'm sure you've other places to be, and I certainly have better things to do than wait on you."

As the man entered his supply closet, Harry tugged nervously on his shirt. Enough skin? Too much skin? "Right," he said loudly. "I'm always busy. Places to go, people to do. Everyone wants a piece of Harry Potter."

When Snape returned with the vial, the younger man grinned. "Now, how can I go about thanking you?" he asked, winking.

"You could try removing yourself from my presence," Snape offered.

"Or I could pay you…handsomely," Harry said, invading the man's personal space. He slid his hands up Severus' chest. He could feel the heat coming off the man in waves, and god, it felt good. "Anything you want…anything at all," he whispered into Snape's ear. "Do you want a piece of the great Harry Potter?" He bit Snape's earlobe.

"AUGH! I knew it was all a pretence so you could maim me!" Snape squawked.

Suddenly, Harry found himself bouncing head over heels out the door like a tumbleweed gone far astray. He staggered to his feet, trying to smooth out his scruffy hair. "You bastard!" he snapped, his voice rising unhappily.

"That's right! Don't try pulling that again, either!" Snape told him, still keeping his wand pointed at the youth. "And stay out!" he added slamming the door on Harry.

"And round two goes to Snape," Harry said tiredly, dragging himself up the dungeon stairs. "Cripes, I'm starting to think he's more trouble than he's worth."


"Still a no-go with Snape?" Ron asked, opening the door and waving Harry in.

"I arsed it up again," Harry moaned. He fell onto the couch, resting his head in his hands. "The man's an absolute lunatic. Did Hermione take that spell off of you? Are you back to normal yet?"

"Well, I still have a vague urge to dress everyone I know in rainbow robes and march around waving pithy placards about love and rights, but I'm sure I'll get over it. Anyway, what happened?"

"I came onto him. He cursed me straight out the door. End of story."

"He did what?" Ron was outraged. "And you let him get away with it? Did he do it because you hit on him, or just because you're gay? Never mind. Fine, I'll damn well sort him out myself, then. Where's my Floo powder? I'll give him the old twisted todger hex, that's what I'll do!"

"Ron!" Harry laughed despite himself. "Calm down. And besides, you can't go off on anyone who has a problem with my sexuality," he reasoned.

"You're my best mate, and I'll bloody well beat the snot out of anyone who can't deal with it," Ron grumbled.

"Well, it may not have been so much that he couldn't deal with the gay bit, as much as he didn't deal well with me biting. Apparently, that doesn't turn him on." Harry frowned. "What if he doesn't even like blokes?" he wondered aloud. "What if it's birds or nothing?"

Ron shrugged. "Can't help you there, mate. Unless you're willing to do a potion or something, and I'd have thought even a gay guy wouldn't want to surrender that particular treasure."

"I sure as hell wouldn't!" Harry yelped in agreement. His shoulder sagged. "But maybe I could compromise."


"Oh, Merlin, not again," Snape moaned. "What now, you horrid little runt?"

Harry pasted on a smile. He'd tracked the man down in the staff room, where he was having coffee and biscuits. "There's going to be a big celebration in a couple of weeks; it's a reunion for those of us who lived through the final battle. Professor Dumbledore put you and me in charge of the seating arrangements. He asked me to meet with you about it."

The Potions Master threw down the copy of The Daily Prophet he was perusing and huffed. "Fine. I suppose I can spare—Potter, what in God's name are you wearing? Is that a skirt?"

Harry flushed, but stuck his chin out stubbornly. "It's a kilt. See? Plaid. It's a green plaid kilt."

"It's a good three inches above your knees, and it's pleated," Snape spat.

"Look, do you want to get this over with or not?"

"Fine…sit over there. Why are we being asked to do this, again?"

Harry shrugged. "Couldn't tell you. But look at it this way; it's either this or do the refreshments. Would you prefer that?"

Snape gave a slow, evil smile, his eyes glittering roguishly. "Yes, I rather think I would."

Harry rolled his eyes. "You couldn't poison everyone."

"Watch me."

"It's a moot point, because we didn't get refreshments, we got seating."

"Just don't put me anywhere near you."

Harry pouted. "Fine. Maybe I'll sit next to Draco Malfoy. He's a handsome bloke, and quite the catch since he switched sides." He watched Severus closely for signs of jealousy, but the man merely snorted.

"Yes, do that if you really do want a spot of poison. Draco Malfoy detests you."

"I bet I could change his mind about me," Harry replied, airily gesturing to himself. His fingertips brushed Severus' quill, knocking it out of their shared inkpot and off the table. "Oops!" he said brightly. "I'll get that."

Harry got up and walked over to the quill, bending down. He heard Snape make a noise behind him, and smiled in triumph. Sure, it was contrived, but it seemed to be working. "See something you like?" He glanced over his shoulder, winking.

Severus Snape was clearly flustered. Harry thought he looked rather attractive that way. There was definitely something very exciting about making the cold Potions Master lose his composure.

"Potter…I realize that the war affected you, but really. Lacy pink knickers? What is the world coming to? Look, there is no shame in…well, yes, there is. There is some shame in being so fragile of mind that you need to be locked away in St. Mungo's for observation, but nevertheless I strongly urge you to admit yourself. I think you're having a nervous breakdown."

"I am NOT! I just happen to have slender hips, and they fit me very well!"

"What sort of a daft reason is that?"

"Just shut up and let's get back to it, all right? You're sitting by me."


"Yes! Minerva to your right, and Albus to my left, and—"

"I'm not sitting by you," Severus told him flatly.

"All right. Shall I put Hermione on your left, then? She's been dying to ask you all about the recent developments in the Wolfsbane Potion. What about Mundungus? He wouldn't object, I'm sure."

Snape looked like he was either thinking furiously, or just plain furious. After several moments, he let out a whoosh of air. "Oh, balls. Fine. I'll sit next to you. If you clothe yourself decently. A robe is one thing, but I am not spending the evening trying to act normally whilst next to the poor man's Chevalier d'Eon de Beaumont."


"God, you're annoying. Look it up, if you've a notion. Will you put on a proper outfit or no?"

"Yes," Harry said through clenched teeth. "But I don't understand why you're so upset. I could do a potion to make me a girl and then go in a skirt. Would that be better?"

"For whom?"

Harry twisted restlessly in his seat. "But I bet I could be a cute girl. Don't you think I'd make a passable bird? Would it be easier for you to…you know, stand having me around, if I were a girl?"

"No! Damn you, you're a disaster no matter what you've got up your skirt. I can assure you my objections to your company are less due to piddling things such as your physical makeup than to your extreme ability to aggravate me. Your personality, Potter, is repellent."

"Same to you!" Harry roared. "You're not exactly some sort of paragon of congeniality, you know!"

"My, shall I give points to Gryffindor for words of more than one syllable?"

"Fuck you, Snape."

As he was stomping out the door, Harry could have sworn he heard the man say something like, 'Just when you were getting interesting,' but chose to ignore it. A man could only take so much.


"Gah!" Harry was yelling, his hands fisted in his hair. He was visiting Ron and Hermione again, trying to make sense of things. "He just doesn't get it! What am I going to do? Am I going to have to beat him over the head with a great big sign reading 'YOUR COCK + MY ARSEA THUMPING GOOD TIME'? He's so dense!"

"Maybe that's your problem," Ron speculated as Hermione smiled and shook her head. "Maybe he's more of a bottom. I've been doing some reading, and not all blokes that act all domineering and rigid are natural tops. Maybe he needs a good rodgering, that's all."

"That's possible," Harry said thoughtfully, dropping his hand from his hair. "Maybe he just likes his men forceful and passionate. I could take that one potion—the Brawny Brew—and then see if he likes me."

Hermione's forehead was wrinkled. "Harry, I don't think that's such a good idea…"

"Don't, Hermione. Just don't. If you talk me out of it, you'll…talk me out of it. I'm losing my nerve as it is."

"But Snape's kind of paranoid, and he's the type who always—"

"Don't! Please? Just don't."


Harry had never felt better. Or more masculine. Hormones were coursing through him, his body was a toned, sculpted dream, and he was sure Snape would notice him now. This was going to work. It had to.

Snape wasn't in his room, so Harry asked around for him, and Professor McGonagall informed him that he was in Dumbledore's office. She led him there, looking at Harry rather dubiously from the corner of her eye.

Harry grinned at the men as he entered. "Could I borrow Professor Snape for a moment?"

Dumbledore's eyes twinkled madly, and Harry got the uneasy feeling that the man was trying not to laugh. Perhaps he'd taken a bit too much of the potion. "Back to finish the seating arrangements? Lovely, lovely. Of course you may borrow Severus. Er. Just be sure to bring him back in one piece."

"Headmaster, this is exactly what I was complaining of," Snape groaned. "It's very irritating, dealing with a bedlamite. I thought I'd be rid of him when he graduated. I need to get my work done. Make him leave me alone," he demanded petulantly.

"Nonsense. I'm sure Harry only means to be friendly." He beamed at Harry, who couldn't resist winking at the man. "Go on, go on. I'll speak with you later."

"Oh, all right then," the Potions Master growled, getting to his feet. He followed Harry reluctantly from the room, his shoulders hunched. "Where are we going?" he grumbled as they made their way down the hall. It was a sunny Hogsmead weekend, and the corridors were nearly empty.

"I thought your bedroom?" Harry suggested. His confidence was pulsing through his veins like a drum.

"I think not," Snape said, aghast.

"Oh, you want it right here?" Harry whipped around, shoving the man against the wall. Snape had a good few inches on him in height, but in Harry's current, burly state, that meant nothing. The man struggled, but Harry kept him pinned.

"Get OFF of me!" Severus protested.

Harry tried to suck Snape's lower lip into his mouth, but the man kept turning his head. "Don' wanna," Harry murmured. "You can't make me." He raised his head to look the Potions Master in the eye, and gave him a wolfish smile.

"If you don't get away from me this instant, I'll—"

Harry covered Snape's mouth with his hand. "Look, you rotten old bugger, I'm trying to give you—OUCH! Fuck! Hey!" he yelped, yanking his hand away from the crooked teeth.

"Coleos Cearuleus!" Snape snarled, poking Harry with his wand.

Harry crumpled into a heap on the floor, bleating for help. The Potions Master tore off down the hallway as though the hounds of hell were following him.


Harry glumly swished his drink around in his glass. He was both skulking and sulking, huddled away in a corner, avoiding the rest of the party. It had taken Hermione almost two days to figure out how to relieve Harry of his blue balls, and the moment she did, he thoroughly humiliated himself even further. He also wouldn't soon forget crawling back to Dumbledore's office, stumbling up the steps, begging to borrow his Floo and no, nothing's wrong, I don't need to see Pomfrey, good grief get out of my way, old man!

Not to mention Dumbledore patting him on the shoulder and assuring him that Severus would come around once Harry backed off a little.

"No, he won't," Harry had said bitterly. "He loathes me."

The headmaster merely shook his head sympathetically. "Hardly. I doubt Severus has enjoyed himself this much in years. You must understand that he's not the most trusting of men. Persistence is the key, Harry, especially in a situation where someone is playing hard to get."

"Playing what? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?"

Hermione came over and gave Harry a weak smile, interrupting his reminiscence. "Do you want to dance, Harry?"

"No. I want to curl up and die. Or maybe pound Snape's ugly face in. Take your pick."

She sighed. "You can't keep brooding like this. It's not good for you. Everyone else is having a good time, and they'd be happy to cheer you up. Look at Molly and Arthur, out cutting a rug. Aren't they sweet?"

Harry rolled his eyes. "Yeah, wonderful. I really want to watch the happy couple and wonder where I went wrong. That's helping a lot, Hermione."

"Fine," she said, throwing her hands up. "But I'm warning you; if you don't stop moping and snapping at everyone, we'll just keep taking turns at you until we get some kind of result."

Harry glared at her back as she left. He'd thought the party a great idea at first—a fantastic way to spend more time with Snape—but now he wished he could just leave. He hated loud noises, and he was crap at dancing, and it was horrible trying to make small talk with people. He took another gulp of champagne, wondering when it would end.

An hour later, just about everyone had approached Harry, trying to get him out of his funk. Hagrid had offered to take him outside to show him the baby chimera he was raising. Remus had tried quizzing him on various defence spells. Dumbledore had offered him candy, and Tonks told him she could turn into Snape and let him kiss her, if he liked, which had been mortifying.

Harry was just about ready give up and make a break for it when he felt a warm breath on the back of his neck.

"Still pouting, Potter?" Snape inquired from behind him, and Harry nearly leapt out of his skin.

"Don't do that!" he snapped. "I hate it when people sneak up behind me."

Snape shrugged. "That makes two of us," he muttered, lifting a glass to his lips.

"What do you want, anyway?"

"To torment you, obviously."

Harry sighed. "You're so good at that."

The man's lips twitched. "You've really no idea."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Harry searched Severus' face, but found nothing useful.

Snape's eyes glittered, but he didn't answer. "Do you know what your worst trait is, Potter?" he eventually asked.

"No, but I'm sure you'll enlighten me," Harry said sourly.

"Too right I will. You assume too much. You're arrogant. You waltz around expecting people to give you what you want the moment you decide you want it. You're bloody irritating."

Harry's lips thinned. "Well, that—that masterful summation of my character is just what I needed. Brought me right to my knees. I'll never be the same. And how the hell would you know, anyway? You're barely ever in the same room with me for more than ten minutes at a time!"

"That's more than enough to have you pegged," the Potions Master sneered. "I know your type. Fuck and run, that's you."

Harry blinked. "Are you…how much have you had tonight?" He looked round and realized that most of the room was staring at them, and tugged Severus more into the cover of the shadows.

"Don't you take that impertinent tone with me, boy! I was drinking before your mother finally unlocked her legs for your father. I'm—I'm perfectly sober."

Harry frowned. "You're pissed as a lord. God, what do I see in you?"

Snape suddenly did seem very sober, eyes locked on Harry's, looking as though he were about to issue a challenge. "I said no." He was quiet a long moment. "That's all. That's the only reason you're interested. I wouldn't be enough to keep your attention. It's been less than two weeks since you started pursuing me in the first place, and already you've gotten bored with that."

Harry's blood began to boil. "That's bollocks!" he shouted. "The only reason I've stopped chasing after you is that I'm being hexed six ways from Sunday!"

Snape's shoulders hunched, and he looked distinctly surly. "You've probably gone through the entire Falmouth Falcon's team roster since you got bored with me."

"I'm not some kind of slut! I mean, I know I came on a little strong, but that's just because I was trying really hard. Why do you always have to make everything so difficult? I'd never 'fuck and run,' as you so delicately put it."

"Oh? You'd do what, then? Worship me and treasure me and devote yourself to catering to my every whim?"

"No! Well—I—I. I'd treat you well, at least. I wasn't looking for a brief shag. I wanted to get to know you and travel the world and—and—and all right, shag! At least sometimes," Harry added fairly.

The Potions Master was inscrutable. "What do you mean, 'travel the world?'"

Harry shifted uncomfortably. "There are a lot of places I haven't been. Like France, and Egypt, and the States, and your bedroom. I was hoping to sort of…I dunno. Take a cruise, or something. Do wizards take cruises?"

Now the man's eyes were beginning to gleam. "Not cheap ones," he said. "What kind of cruise? The kind with those Muggle whirlpool baths, and room service at any hour, and mints on the pillows, and scandalously-priced cocktails?"

"Um…yeah, I guess. If you wanted." Harry looked hopefully at the Slytherin. "Do you want to? I mean, I'm really not looking for a quick tumble."

"Well…while I certainly wouldn't agree to being a quick tumble, I might consent to the role of a sort of gigolo. An expensive gigolo, mind you. And you'd have to pay up front. That way even if you did get bored and run off, I'd still get something out of it."

Harry scowled. "I'm not enough for you on my own merit?"

Snape looked away. "I suppose you're attractive enough, when you keep your mouth shut, which is never."

"Gee, thanks. And what if I didn't get bored and run off?"

"Then you'll have shown me, won't you?" The man's lip curled up at one corner.

"You…don't think we'll fight?" Harry asked almost shyly.

"Undoubtedly. But arguments are one of the few enjoyable experiences I can generally get out of you, so I shan't mind. Besides," he added dropping his voice to a whisper, "I'm sure the makeup sex will be phenomenal."

Harry laughed a little bit breathlessly. "Right…right. Ah, so how much am I going to have to dole out before you deign to doing the 'phenomenal' sex part of it, anyway?"

Snape's eyes seemed to be fixed on Harry's lips. "Well…I suppose a demonstration wouldn't hurt. Just to show you its value."

"Really?" Harry's eyes grew round as the man trapped him against the wall, plunging his tongue into Harry's mouth. After a few moments, Harry's eyes fluttered shut and his hands fumbled their way up to the Potion Master's shoulders, clutching hold of them.

By the time they broke apart, Harry felt flushed all over, and he could swear his palms were sweating. Snape seemed to have a bit of heat colouring his face, as well, though it was nothing compared to the heat in his eyes. The tip of his finger traced Harry's lower lip, and the youth groaned softly.

"Well," Severus murmured. "For a first attempt that was not as poor as it might have been." He leaned forward again as if to kiss Harry, but halted abruptly, glancing about to make sure no one was looking at them. "Perhaps we ought to finish this elsewhere," he suggested. "As you're more attractive when you're not talking, I think I ought to experiment with keeping your mouth occupied."

Harry shivered. "Oh, yes. Please," he begged. They casually edged their way toward the door. "You know," he remarked with a cheeky smile, "If I'm any good at this, you might end up being the one to pay me."

Snape threw him a wicked smile. "You'll have to be good, Potter. You'll have to be very good."