I Don't Love You.

Severus locked his door behind him and treaded lightly through his quarters to the small room which served as a living room, leaving the lights off and allowing himself to be led by instinct. Having lived by himself for the majority of his adult life, he'd grown accustomed to the lonely silence and dusty emptiness which now seemed to be part of the house. However, after a few paces he noticed a change in the small space in which he lived. The word which instantly came to his head was 'disturbed'. Although nothing was physically different, something didn't feel right.

Someone was in his home.

He drew his wand and quietly tiptoed towards the living room, keeping his breath as shallow as possible. As he got closer he began to pick up sounds-a small cough, robes rustling, a sigh- but nothing confirming who it was or why they might be there. Just as he stepped into the room, a lamp was switched on. He blinked and stepped back, hesitating for a moment as he was dazzled by the light. He paused just long enough to notice that it was Potter in his home, and that was the only reason he didn't curse indiscriminately about the room.

"Potter! What the hell do you think you're doing here? You have no right!" Harry remained unfazed.

"Sorry Professor. I was wondering if we could talk?"

"What? No, we can't. Get out!" Harry sighed.

"Okay. I'll see you tomorrow, Professor." He heaved himself from the sofa and left the room, turning to smile as he past Severus. Severus stood rooted to the spot long after he heard the click of the door closing, still in a state of shock. Once he'd recovered he reasoned that it had been part of a dare and Potter had drawn the short straw. He had a cigarette and a cup of black coffee before taking fifty points from Gryffindor and falling into a deep sleep on his sofa.

'' '' ''

Five weeks later

"Evening, Professor."

"Get out of my home." Severus said it almost as a duty, with all authority in his voice replaced by a tired reluctance. He collapsed onto the sofa and closed his eyes, breathing deeply and trying to relax, lest he have another nervous breakdown.

"Would you like some coffee?" Harry pottered about in the adjoining kitchen, getting two matching mugs from the top cupboard.

"No thank you." After a pause his eyes flew open and he turned around in his seat, glaring at Harry with indignant surprise. "What do you mean 'would I like a coffee?'. It's my coffee! It's my house! Now will you please leave?" Harry wandered in from the kitchen with the mugs and handed one to Severus, who was disgusted to notice that Harry knew how he liked his coffee. He sat down heavily next to Severus and put his feet up on the table. Severus tapped his knees with his wand and Harry took his feet down again.

"What are you scared of, Professor? Worried that you might like me, if you gave me a chance?" Severus snorted with derision.

"I will never like you, Potter." Harry smiled subtly.

"No, I don't suppose you would."

'' '' ''

Two months later

Severus escaped the vibrancy of the seventh year's end of year party and stood outside in the cool night air, leaning against a wall and lighting a cigarette. A couple stumbled outside, the girl giggling shrilly. They noticed Snape standing sullenly in the shadows, took one look at his raised eyebrow, and scampered back into the Great Hall.

"Hello, Professor." Severus sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.

"Potter." He reclined against the wall.

"Not enjoying the party?"

"I'd sooner cut myself into little pieces in order to make it easier for Hagrid's mutt to eat me than go back into that hell." Harry laughed quietly and pushed himself up from the wall, standing in front of Severus and folding his arms. Severus tried to ignore him but found himself growing increasingly uncomfortable under the scrutiny of the seventeen-year-old boy. He realised with a sort of horror that he was going to miss Potter when he didn't return the following year. "Can I help you?"

Without warning Harry stood on his toes and lightly pressed his lips to Severus'. Severus felt his stomach knot but was unable to put his finger on what the feeling behind in was. Fear? That would make sense, considering that he was in a somewhat compromising position with a student twenty years his junior. In an attempt to cover up the other, not-so-unpleasant feelings he grasped at this one and roughly pushed Harry away, immediately moving so he was no longer trapped between him and the wall.

"What, exactly, do you think you're doing?! How dare you be so presumptuous? That was inappropriate and is simply unacceptable! I suggest that you go back to your party and we forget all about this." Harry glanced at his above his glasses and smiled coyly, gently biting his lower lip.

"Okay. Goodnight, Professor."