Title: When Destiny Is All You Have

Author: FlossPyromaniac

Rating: M

Notes: Thank you to then people who did review and said such nice things. Explanation and excuses at the end. This chapter for everyone's who has stayed with me despite everything. My thanks to the lovely winnett who jumped in at the last minute and as usual, SLASH, ATTEMPTED SUICIDE, BAD LANGUAGE.

Disclaimer: I have my own personal Severus to do with what I wish – don't you?

As usual - I own nothing except the 'plot' contained within and a few of the spells. All other credit to J.K Rowling

Chapter 14; A Consensus

Pain. Big, disturbing pain. The kind of pain Severus hadn't felt in years, when he used to lock himself in his dungeons to forget that his arms still shook from Cruciatus. That he had just seen another person tortured, killed, destroyed. Had it all been a dream? The Dark Lord could never just fall like that. Too simple. Nobody dead. Hadn't he seen this before? The bodies of everyone he'd every met strewn across the battlefield and his 'master' rising triumphant. Had he started dreaming again? Hoping? It could never be over. What made him think it could? He would be trapped forever. He would open his eyes and everything would be the same. He would tell the warm, hard body lying next to him to go and then…

Body? A actual person in his bed?

How had he managed to get someone into the castle? Hell, how had he allowed someone into his rooms? Barring Albus, no one had been in these rooms since the previous Potions Master vacated them. It wasn't like him to be so careless. How the hell had this happened? He never gave into temptation no matter how much he had drunk. Ever. How could he have possibly let himself get into to this situation?

And where was the other person who should be occupying this bed? Gods, where in the nine circles of hell was Potter? Had he been sent back to the Tower? Had he dreamed that? Potter standing by him, with him against Weasley? It couldn't be possible. But it was… surely he would not have imagined that.

No, he hadn't gone back. They had come back here together when Albus had told them about Lucius and Weasley. He had been numb, they both had. He had opened a bottle of scotch and they had drank. Drank to forget. Or to remember. Was that before? Severus had never questioned his decisions, his motives when it came to alcohol. They had fought, he remembered. He had goaded, or been goaded, let himself be taken in by invective and pushed back as always. Harsh words exchanged on both sides and then…

Oh fuck.

Fuck. Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck.

He had slept with a student.

He had slept with Harry fucking Potter.

He was beyond screwed.

This could not be happening. It was a dream, it had to be. It had to. There could be no explanation other than that. He would close his eyes and Harry Potter would no longer be lying naked in his bed.

He's still there.

It was real? It was real.

Harry was still there. Still naked. Still so bloody tempting.

No. No. This is not the time to think that!

It was inappropriate before. How had he let himself become enamoured with a student? One of his own students at that. Someone he would have to teach for the rest of the year. Someone who had trusted him.

He had broken that trust.

He had been drunk and angry and hurting and not only had he lashed out at the one person he needed to protect, who had needed support himself, but he had then taken advantage of him.

He was going to be fired.

Everything he had, everything he had left now that The- Voldemort was gone would go too. There would be nothing left. Who would employ a former Death Eater other than Albus Dumbledore? Who could stand someone who would take advantage of the charge under his care, barely old enough to legally do such things?

The fact that Harry had turned seventeen only a few days earlier pressed itself rather insistently on his mind.

What would he say to Harry when he woke up? How could he ever face him?

There were no excuses to offer.

He could hear a slight groan as Harry turned beside him.

He had hurt Harry. He must have.

They had been so rough, so angry and uncaring at the time.

Had…

No, don't. Don't think it.

Had Harry even had sex before?

What if… what if he had taken his innocence? He had never stopped to ask, to wonder. It had come about so quickly; there was no thought for just how young Harry was.

If he had done that to the boy…

He was moving. Shifting next to him.

Merlin, he was going to wake up.

What the fuck was he going to do?

He was saved from any more internal agonizing by Harry shooting bolt upright in the bed.

'Ron! No Ron please come back. Don't be dead. Oh please don't be dead. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Please just wake up. Come back. Please. Please… come back.'

Severus couldn't take it.

Harry crumpled next to him. His whole body shook as he begged for someone to do something; for Weasley to be alive.

It was too much.

Severus scooped the boy into his arms. Held him while he sobbed. He was damned already. He would not let Harry suffer more, not when he could at least do this. There would be time for recriminations and excuses later. Right now he was needed.

'My fault. All my fault. I'm so sorry. Merlin forgive me. Please Ron, don't be dead.'

'Harry. Harry, listen to me. Harry, please listen.'

The body in his arms began to calm. Grief and confusion warred in the eyes that turned up to him.

'You said please.'

Well, he hadn't been expecting that response.

'Yes.'

'Oh.'

A silence dragged on. Someone needed to say something. Anything to break the painful gap that was left as they sat clinging to each other. Hadn't he wanted to say something?

'Harry, it wasn't your fault.'

'How can you say that? All those things I said? I drove him out. I wanted them gone, I did, but I never wanted him dead. He's dead Severus, and it is my fault.'

Harry's voice broke. He cringed in on himself, waiting for confirmation, for retribution. Merlin, he truly believed it was his fault. The child harbored a guilt complex a mile wide.

'Harry. Harry! It was not your fault. You argued, true, but it was because he couldn't understand what you were going through. He knew better than to leave after what he had been told. It was not your fault. No one expected Lu-Malfoy to move so quickly. It's tragic, but it was not your fault.'

'How can you be so sure? What do you know?'

'Insolent brat. I know everything.'

Blink.

'You are not the only person to lose someone, nor are you the only one who has felt it was because of them that the other was lost. You can try your hardest and you will still fail to save all of us. This will pass and eventually you will see that you were not responsible for Ronald's every action.'

'I… I don't know. I can't believe that he's gone. He was an arse, but I miss him.'

A derisive snort.

'I know what you mean.'

Those eyes were back. The ones that knew and saw far too much.

The conversation could not be avoided any longer. They needed to talk about what happened, and Harry needed to get off his lap right this instant.

'Harry, do you remember what happened last night?'

The body stiffened in his lap and carefully slid over to its own side of the bed.

'Harry… I wish to… apologize to you. What I did to you last night was… inexcusable. You are here under my care; convalescing and I took advantage of you. I gave a student alcohol and then proceeded to… I'm sorry. You are my student and I should never, never have put you or myself in a position where this could happen. If you wish to file a formal complaint against me with the Headmaster, I will not stop you. You can be back in the tower by this evening.'

'You're kicking me out?'

What?

'I don't understand.'

'You want to get rid of me now?'

'Harry, what I did to you was wrong. Don't you understand that?'

'No. No, I don't. What I understand is that we were both hurting last night and we took what we needed from each other. You didn't do anything to me I didn't desire.'

'Harry, I am your teacher and… what do you mean nothing you didn't desire?'

'Severus please, you couldn't tell? I've been lusting after you for days. I was angry and upset last night, we both were, but that just meant there was nothing stopping me. You did nothing I didn't want.'

Oh.

'I don't want to leave and I don't want to go back to pretending I don't want you. I know it's improper. I don't give a fuck. It doesn't change the fact that right now, I need something. I need someone. Hell, Severus. I need you. Let me have this. I can't say it will be easy, because I know it won't but I want this. The only problem here for me is if you don't feel the same. If you don't want this too, tell me now, and I'll leave here tonight.'

Oh Gods. What was he going to do now?

This wasn't right. In the eyes of everyone else it would be nothing but coercion and abuse of his position as a teacher. This was the saviour of the wizarding world. They would string him up for what he and Harry had already done. By all rights he should just tell Harry that he didn't feel that same way, that last night had been nothing but a mistake and to send him as far away as possible. He would just have to forget how he felt. How Harry made him feel, even just a little, for the first time in years. How much he cared for the brat. How it felt to…

Okay, that was decidedly not helpful.

This was the right thing to do. It was the only thing he could do.

Harry wasn't thinking straight. He had tried to kill himself less than a week ago! There was no way that he knew what he wanted, or what was best for him. The child hadn't even planned to live this long a few days ago, and now he wanted to get into a relationship?

No. Harry would go back to the tower and Granger and Albus would help him to recover and he would go back to teaching the little brats the proper method for skinning shrivelfigs.

Except, they wouldn't be enough to help Harry, would they? He had already shown just how easy it was to push Granger away, that she wouldn't tide him through this and it was blatantly obvious that the brat didn't trust Albus enough to talk to him. He would be dead before the month was out, if he wanted to be. With no friends that would stay with him as he pushed them all away and this rejection…

Oh Merlin.

If he rejected Harry nowIf these… feelings were inappropriate before they are doubly so now.

Oh. it would only do him harm. Could he take it? Severus was under no delusions about his appearance, and under other circumstances Potter would never have looked at him twice, but even a rejection from him right now would be a blow. Who would look after Harry if Severus would not?

Was that really a good enough reason? Wouldn't it be worse if Harry found out his reasons were just for his mental health?

Just for his mental health? And the fact that he hadn't come that hard in years had nothing to do with it.

Damn, where do these thoughts come from!

He wanted Harry, he couldn't deny that. Well, he could but maybe it would be better for them both if Severus admitted that he felt it too.

They could go back to their separate lives. Harry would make several more suicide attempts before finally succeeding with no one left who could truly stop him. Severus would drink himself to death within five years with no one to care about, to focus on. After all, what did he have left now?

It would not last, Severus was all too aware of that. It was two people clinging to something to save themselves from drowning, only for a little while, but maybe it was just what they needed.

It would have to be kept quiet and if the press ever found out…

Severus shuddered.

Maybe, just now, they could have everything.

Maybe it would be enough.

Severus Snape was not a man who liked uncertainty, but in this case he would make an exception.

For Harry Potter, people always did. Why should he be different?

'Severus? I… I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you – I'll just go. I don't have that much down here so it won't take me long to collect everything and…'

'Harry.'

Those eyes were looking at him again, filled with hope and doubt and hurt. He wanted to make it all go away.

Could he? He was not handsome. He was every inch the Greasy Git they painted him as. He was hard and sarcastic and opprobrious to everyone. But he was wanted. For now, it was enough.

'I do not believe this is sagacious by any means. You are young and I am old, far older than you. If anyone were to find out, it would mean disaster. No one would believe there was no coercion involved.'

'Severus…'

'But somehow I think you may just a worth it.'

'Really?'

'No you ridiculous, insecure brat, I hate you and I'm planning to kill you in your sleep tonight and use your eyeballs for a potion.'

'I hate you too, Severus.'

'I'm glad we're agreed.'

Those damnable eyes were shining now. Harry was… happy. Somehow, inexplicably the boy was happy because of him.

It occurred to him that Harry was talking.

Best to put a stop to that.

With the wicked smirk that all Severus' house were famed for and taught to perform and perfect early on, he grabbed hold of Harry. The talking abruptly ceased.

'Gryffindors are far too loquacious.'

'Severus? Are you planning to do anything or am I just supposed to sit here and…'

He crushed his mouth to Harry's, finally taking what he wanted. This time, it was all sweetness that he could taste. This was a kiss of exploration, filled with promise of things to come. Their mouth moved together and Severus was caught, snared by the catamite doing remarkable things with his tongue.

He never heard the Floo in his bedroom flare into life.

Never saw Albus' head come through or his eyes widen in shock.

'Severus? If you would care to step through into my office?'

TBC

A/N: Okay, I know this was really, really late anyway, but it would have been up a week ago if hadn't got all fucked up. So yeah,Hi. Remember me? Yes, I realise I promise you this chapter over 2 months ago. In between that time I have had some fairly serious exams and all my time was either revising or actually taking the buggers. I hope that all of you are still around here to read this. I realise I'm not a good enough author to leave you all hanging for months on end and then keep coming back, however I don't have huge commitments from now on except for a course in a few weeks. So, I promise to try and get a chapter up a few, and if not feel free to contact me at flosspyromaniac . livejournal . com and ask why the hell I haven't updated. So yeah, I'm not dead and I am going to get my arse in gear. Oh, and yes this isn't the whole chaoter. Therre's some NC-17 flashbacks at the beginning that obviously I shouldn't really post here and for the momnet if behaving. Howevere, if you're over-age go to hpfandom . net and findFlossPyromaniac.My thanks to:

Gnomeish/DebsTheSnapeFan/Sevvie lover/Black Sorceress/Miki23/It's the voices' fault/just deej/Phoenix Chaotica/ Goldensong/wulfie-squeeker/Chopsticks-The-Mighty/mariana/CanYouLoveTheImaginary/Jeni/Lady Lily3/Trollbogies69/lollenk/steffles24 and (OMG) ShivaniBlue.

Any comment you want to leave even if it's just good/bad/ugly would be greatly appreciated.

Floss