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The Past Effects of Popularity
Severus Snape stood in the shadows waiting to board the Hogwarts Express dreading his fourth year of getting beaten up by Gryffindors and shunned by his housemates. He was entirely surprised when a beautiful, mysterious, green-eyed, young man moved far too close to him and smiled.
"How do you know me?"
"My name is Harry. I've come a very long way to see you. Suffice it to say that we have a mutual friend."
"Try again, Harry, or what ever your name is really. I have no friends."
Harry leaned closer to whisper, "You will."
"You just escaped from St. Mungos. Didn't you? Funny. You don't look dangerous."
"I am though. I have something for you." The beautiful man reached into his pocket and pulled out a bottle.
"What is it?"
"It's called Popularity Potion. Test it first. When you're certain that it's not poison drink it. It will change your life, Severus Snape. With any luck at all it will change the whole world."
"So, what is it like to be a drug dealer? Try the platinum blond seventh year over there. He's filthy rich and a complete arse."
"Severus, this potion is not a drug. I don't really know what it is. Its magic will make you popular."
"Look Harry, there is no such thing as Popularity Potion. If this is meant to be a practical joke then ha ha very funny. Which of the dunderheads sent you over here?"
Severus looked suspiciously into the crowd of Hogwarts students that was gathering. No one seemed to notice either Severus or Harry. Someone sly then, a Slytherin, Severus reasoned. A Gryffindor would be stupid enough to be pointing and laughing by now.
"Severus, how can I convince you that this is not a practical joke?"
Severus looked up at Harry but seemed to be turning the problem over in his head trying to find a solution.
"I'm sorry, Harry. I do not think that you -can- convince me."
"Do any of them know that you prefer wizards?"
"All the Slytherins know. Maybe the whole school does. Either way, it is pretty thin blackmail material."
"Do they know you that have a birthmark shaped like a crescent moon on the inside of your left thigh? Do they know you had a female pet tarantula named Edward whose fangs you milked for venom for your grandmother's Rheumatism Tonic? Do they know you like to dance to Mozart in the nude?"
"Are you from my future?"
"We are lovers?"
"And you are content with me?"
"Content? No! When you're not being an absolute prick you make me deliriously happy. Most of the time, you manage to do both. May I give you your first kiss, Severus?"
Severus stiffened slightly regarding Harry with large black eyes. "All right."
"Not here. We're trying to work on your popularity. Remember?"
Harry took Severus by the hand, led him into the middle of the crowd, and in a clear voice announced, "Severus Snape. You are the best part of my life. Accept this kiss as a token of my commitment to you and as an offer of a future together. Until I can see you again, I want you to date anyone lucky enough to catch your eye. My next kiss will be from you because I never want to kiss anyone else as long as I shall live. Your touch has spoiled me for all others. You are the most courageous person I have known. You have rescued me from death and made my life worth living. I love you, heart, soul, mind, body and magic."
There were gasps and whispers of disbelief. A couple of the girls in the crowd sighed. When Harry pressed his body to Severus, Severus realized for the first time the true extent of Harry's magic. He felt it coursing around him and through him. The sensation was beyond any words he could think of and he could think of quite a few. Harry's fingers stroked up the back of Severus' neck nestling into his long greasy black hair. Harry's right hand cupped his chin tilting his head just so. When their lips met, magic crackled and sparked all around them causing the crowd to jump back.
Harry's tongue made love to his mouth, tasting, stroking, and teasing out responses from his own tongue. The hand that Harry had touched to his face slipped around his waist. His own arms wrapped Harry grateful for the support. His senses were overwhelmed. He wasn't sure that he could stand on his own anymore. Harry's kiss was so much more than a kiss. It was a taste of life itself and of his own future. It made him feel right with the world and in sync with the universe. He and Harry, Severus realized, were parts of a whole. Severus, who had always felt alone and unloved, knew that he could never feel that way again.
The kiss ended; but Harry did not let go. He held him looking into his eyes with magic continually passing between them. It was all there- love, trust, respect, and understanding, all things that Severus knew of only in the abstract became concrete and tangible while looking into Harry's emerald eyes. Just as the Hogwarts Express arrived Harry pulled Severus into a long hug.
"Is it possible to be jealous of one's older self?" Severus whispered in Harry's ear.
"I am such a lucky man, Severus."
"No, Harry. Apparently I am. I'll take the potion because you want me to take it."
"You're not even going to test it first?"
"Of course I'm going to test it, you gorgeous idiot! Even though I trust you, I still want to find out how to brew it."
"Afraid I can't help you there."
"Did I brew this?"
"Yes. You also invented it so I suppose it would be all right if you want to sell the formula or something."
"When will I see you again?"
"Not for a long time. Don't wait for me, Severus. Live, have fun, and turn yourself into a shockingly well experienced lover."
"For your sake?"
"Yes! That's one thing in the future I definitely don't want to change."
"Can you tell me some of the things that you do want to change?"
"Sorry. I can't."
"Did I tell you not to tell me?"
"No. But someone we both trust did."
"Harry, I have to go now or miss the train."
"Thank you for my first kiss."
"I'll see you, Severus."
"On my life."
Harry watched as the Hogwarts Express pulled away from the station waving and blowing kisses to a shorter, younger version of his greasy git Potions Master.
"Race you there, Severus," Harry whispered when the train was out of sight. He apparated to Hogsmeade, took the Time Port Key out of his pocket, activated it, and then flooed to Dumbledore's Office.
"Is Severus still dead?"
"Alive and well, Harry. Everything is fine. Much better than we expected in fact."
"Severus never joined the ranks of the Death Eaters. Because of that, Riddle got into the habit of doing himself much of what Severus had done for him. Riddle accidently destroyed himself not too long after he possessed Professor Quirrell just before the start your first year at Hogwarts."
"A potions accident!"
"You are joking."
"No my boy. Happily, I am not. The brewing of potions was never Tom's strong suit."
"Is Severus here?"
"Alas, he is not our resident Potions Master, Harry. I did offer him that position but could not talk him into accepting it. Currently, Severus Snape is the Minister of Magic."
"Popularity and politics do tend to go hand in hand, my boy."
"So, he won't remember me at all then?"
"No one forgets his first kiss."
"How did you- oh, never mind."
"Harry, in order to achieve a gain one must make a sacrifice. When the timeline changed your life altered also. Because Riddle was no more your school days were- well, quite ordinary, really."
"Cedric? Sirius? Ginny? Ron? Everyone who died in the war?"
"All alive and well, Harry, though you are not close to any of them. Few remember you as The-Boy-Who-Lived. The fame did not follow you with Riddle being already dead. You were sorted into Slytherin House, and-"
"Albus, my celebrity for the lives of people I care about including Severus? That's my big sacrifice?"
"Mainly, Harry, yes. There were some subtle differences-"
"Tell me another time. Right now, I have to go."
Severus Snape immaculately groomed and finely dressed sat behind his desk scowling at yet another thinly disguised proposal intended to turn werewolves into second class citizens. How such proposals made it to his desk at all Severus couldn't guess. He had inadvertently entered politics by campaigning with Lupin and Lupin's lover Black for werewolf rights.
"Excuse me. Minister Snape?"
"Yes, Mr. Weasley?"
"I'm very sorry to interrupt, sir. There is a young man held by security insisting that you will want to see him. He has no appointment and will give his name," Percy quickly checked his clipboard, "only as Harry."
"Yes, Minister. Shall I tell security to remove him?"
"Certainly not. Send him in immediately."
He thought about Harry often, for years, but had nearly given up hoping. Severus rose from his desk when the young man entered. He recognized those green eyes but remembered Harry looking older last time they met.
"Thank you for telling me not to wait for you."
"You're welcome. You look beautiful, Severus."
"Please be at least sixteen."
"I'm eighteen. Lucky for you, Mr. Politician."
"If you hadn't kissed me in front of everyone I would have convinced myself that you were a wile of my imagination."
"I wish I could say that it was all part of the plan. Truth is that I was sort of improvising that bit."
"Was your plan successful?"
"Wildly. You're alive."
"Ah, then thank you for that too."
"Are you seeing anyone?"
"Single. Up to now, I seem to have had problems finding the right man. Would you care to have dinner with me, Harry?"
"I want the rest of our lives, Severus. Dinner's a fine start."
"Do you have a last name?"
"You are Harry Potter? James and Lily?"
"Were my parents, yes."
"I'm so sorry, Harry. I was with Sirius when we caught up to your godfather."
"Pettigrew was my godfather?"
"I shouldn't have assumed that you knew. I suppose that Lily and James picked Peter because, of the four of us, he was the only one at all likely to take a wife and have children of his own. None of us imagined he would betray your family."
"I'm glad that you were there with Sirius that day and that you cared for my parents."
"Not only me, Harry-"
"We have an entire history of which I know nothing."
"Yes we do. Well, we did."
"Can you tell me about it?"
"I don't see why not. You probably won't believe a single word."
"As I recall you can be quite convincing."
"My methods are at your disposal, Minister."
Their lips met. Their magic mingled. After hours or decades, across time, and although they were parted by death itself, theirs was a kiss that was worth the wait.