Rating: PG-13

Summary: Sequel to "Hard to Say." Hermione gives Harry the push he needs to confront Severus. Picks up after Sev walks away from Harry, who is singing on the street corner for money.

Warnings: Angst, Romance, AU, OOC-ness

Spoilers: None

Author's Note: Originally a songfic, the lyrics have been removed from this fic to comply with FF rules. Song lyrics can be found here: www (dot) lyricsplanet (dot) com (slash) index (dot) php3?stylelyrics&id37374

For the original version of this fic, please check out my livejournal:

www (dot) livejournal (dot) com (slash) users (slash) Harry (underscore) sev (slash)

What I Really Meant to Say

Harry finished his song and sat down on the corner. Seeing Severus today had had more of an effect on him than he would have thought. Shaking his head, Harry picked up his donation box and saw that he had enough money for a cheap cup of coffee.

Twenty minutes later Harry turned away from the Dunkin Donuts counter and found himself face-to-face with Severus Snape. Harry jumped and sloshed hot coffee all over himself. He winced in pain and immediately used his napkin to soak up some of the liquid. Then he looked up at Severus.

Severus looked down at Harry. Up close, the young man looked even more frightened and small. Severus longed to help Harry clean up the coffee, but didn't think that would be a good idea. Instead, he asked, "How have you been?"

Harry looked up at Severus. After five years, all the man had to say was 'how have you been'? Harry noticed that the man looked tired and wished there was something he could do. Instead, he answered, "I've been fine."

That was a lie and both knew it. However, neither of them commented on it. Harry asked how Severus was. "Still teaching at Hogwarts?"

xxx

Severus shook his head. "I quit a few years ago. I'm just here visiting Albus." Severus didn't know why he had told Harry that. All he knew was that he had to leave. Harry was probably meeting somebody here, and Severus would be in the way. It was just a coincidence that they both ended up in the same coffee shop. Harry wouldn't still want him, so there was no reason to prolong the agony.

The man behind the counter handed Severus his coffee. Not knowing what else to do, Severus accepted his coffee and turned to Harry.

"I guess I'll see you around."

"Yeah," Harry agreed, a fake smile plastered on his face. Severus nodded in farewell, turned, and walked out of the coffee shop.

xxx

Harry watched Severus leave with a heavy heart. Severus clearly didn't want anything to do with him, otherwise he would have invited him to drink at one of the empty tables in the shop. Harry felt tears sting his eyes again. As he was blinking away the tears, he felt someone walk up behind him. Turning around, he watched Hermione walk up.

xxx

"You're an idiot," said Hermione by way of greeting.

"I know that," said Harry stiffly. "Wait...why?"

"You should go after him!" declared Hermione.

Harry didn't need to ask who ''he'' was. "What's the point? He's clearly moved on. He didn't love me then, and he doesn't love me now. End of story."

"No, not 'end of story,'" chided Hermione. "I heard what he said. He told you where he was staying. Why would he have told you that if he didn't want you to go after him?"

"He was making polite conversation while he waited for his coffee," Harry told her.

"What harm would there be in asking?" asked Hermione. "What do you have to lose?"

"My dignity?" ventured Harry.

"Harry, dear," said Hermione in a patronizing voice, "you spend all of your days singing love songs to the man on the streets of London. I'm afraid you don't have much dignity left."

Instead of conceding her point, Harry frowned. All right, so he had wasted five years of his life singing of his love for Severus on the street corners of London. It had made him enough money for coffee each morning and a few meals a week. Harry thought about what Hermione had said. Really, at this point, what did he have to lose?

xxx

Harry made his way up the hill to Hogwarts for the first time in over five years. The mere sight of the castle brought back painful memories for Harry, so he could only imagine what the inside would bring.

When he got to the front of the castle, Harry didn't know whether to knock or not. Deciding that he didn't want to risk Filch's answering the door, Harry simply walked inside. Then he ran up to the Headmaster's office. If he was lucky maybe he could catch Severus before the man went to speak to the headmaster. If not, he would have to wait for Severus to finish talking to Albus.

Harry made it to the gargoyle just as Severus was about to walk past it.

"Wait!" Harry shouted, running forward.

"Harry, what are you doing here?" asked Severus, setting his coffee down.

"I-love-you," panted Harry, coming to a halt in front of the older man.

"You what?" breathed Severus, hardly daring to believe what he was hearing.

"I love you," repeated Harry. "I've loved you for the past five years. I know that you don't love me anymore. Well, you never loved me to begin with. I know that, but I had to tell you anyway. I just couldn't let you walk off again without at least letting you know. Not that I expect you to love me, understand, I don't. I don't expect anything from you. I just, well, like I said, I had to tell you."

Harry realized that he was rambling and quickly shut his mouth. Then he waited with his head down for Severus to respond.

xxx

Severus stared down at Harry in shock. Had he heard correctly? Harry loved him? Had been in love with him for the past five years? Was that why Harry had looked so sad when he was singing. That why Harry looked the same way he had when he and Severus had first gotten together over six years ago?

Severus's lack of response pushed Harry to speak again.

"It was a mistake to come here," whispered Harry, tears forming in his eyes yet again. "You don't care about me anymore. I understand. I'm sorry for wasting your time."

But Severus wouldn't let Harry disappear again. This time when Harry turned to leave, Severus reached out and pulled Harry back. Severus dropped to his knees in front of Harry.

"No, Harry, don't leave me again. Please. I fucked up. I fucked up big time. This is all my fault. I love you. I love you so much. I loved you all those years ago, but I was afraid. I was afraid that as soon as I admitted my love to you, you would leave me. But you left anyway. Then I saw you singing and assumed that you had gone on with your life. I'm so sorry. This is all my fault. Please don't leave me again!"

Not it was Harry's turn to stare down at Severus in shock. Severus loved him? Severus had been afraid? That wasn't possible, was it? Shaking and uncertain, Harry stepped closer to Severus and pulled the older man up. He didn't like Severus's being on his knees. He didn't like looking down at his love. Once Severus was standing, Harry looked up into the face of the man he loved.

"You promise you love me?" he asked in a whisper. He wanted so much to believe it, to believe that Severus loved him, that all it would take was one more admission, and Harry would be Severus's for life.

"I promise I love you," Severus whispered back. Then, hesitatingly, Severus lowered his neck and brushed his lips against Harry's. The kiss quickly became more passionate as the two poured all of the feelings they had repressed over the past five years into the kiss. Harry wrapped his arms around Severus's neck and tangled his fingers in Severus's hair. Severus pulled Harry closer to him and continued to kiss him as if his life depended on it.

A sudden clapping startled them both away from the kiss. They both sprang apart to see Dumbledore standing on the steps, clapping. He smiled at the blushes that appeared on Harry's and Severus's faces.

"No need to be embarrassed," Dumbledore said. "I think it's about time the two of you realized how good you are for each other. Now, Severus, about our discussion..."

"Professor, it's my fault he's late, I—" Dumbledore cut Harry off.

"My dear boy, I'm not upset by his tardiness. On the contrary, I was merely wishing to change my offer a little. I was hoping Severus would accept his position as Potions professor back. As you are here as well, I was wondering if you would like your old position as Defense Against the Dark Arts professor back."

Harry and Severus stared at the headmaster before exchanging looks with each other.

"What do you think, Harry?" asked Severus. "Do you want to teach again?"

"I will if you will," answered Harry.

"Well, it's settled then," said Severus, turning to Dumbledore. "Looks like we're staying."

"Excellent," said Dumbledore, clapping his hands together. "Would you two like your old rooms back?"

"That would be nice, thank you," said Harry.

"Then I shall go fix your rooms," said Dumbledore. "If you two would like to wait in my rooms, I think you'll find they offer a little more privacy."

Harry and Severus blushed again as they followed the headmaster up the stairs. As Dumbledore went to call several houselves to fix the dungeon quarters, Harry and Severus stood in the middle of the room, their arms wrapped firmly around each other.

"I love you," Harry whispered, leaning up to kiss Severus.

"I love you, too," replied Severus.