It was the last day of term, everyone was relaxed and in high spirits, especially the seventh years for most of whom it was the last day they would ever spend in Hogwarts.
Harry Potter was sat with his back to the doors, animatedly discussing the merits of Parsletongue spells with Hermione Granger. Harry had matured greatly since his sixth year, at the end of which he had finally managed to defeat Voldemort, although too late to save his beloved godfather, by what Snape would call 'Potter luck'.
Lucius Malfoy had managed to weasel his way into the school on the last day of term and threw something at The Boy Who Lived. The seeker caught it reflexively and was whisked away; the ball was, in actual fact, a portkey.
He was deposited at the Dark lord's feet. Melodramatic as always Voldemort began a duel rather than just finish the teen off. His familiar, Nagni, was nearby as usual. Harry just happened to land beside her after being blasted off his feet. He was looking at her warily just before casting the Killing Curse. As a result he spoke in Parsletongue. Unfortunately for Voldemort it increased the power behind the curse; he was hit and died instantly. That was the end of the Dark Lord. But not his followers. The Aurors were still working on rounding up all the Death Eaters.
Harry got the portkey to take him back to Hogwarts, reminiscent of his fourth year, where he told the by now frantic headmaster what had occurred. Harry Potter became a hero again. The public adored their Saviour.
As Hermione was lamenting that only Harry could perform Parsletongue magic the doors opened and the Potions Master swept in. Instead of going to the head table as was customary Snape surprised everyone by heading straight for Harry Potter, he had practically ignored him for the past year.
Snape stopped behind Harry and took a folded piece of parchment out of his robe pocket, He threw it onto the table with a sneer and waited for the almost ex-student to turn around.
Harry did so, slowly, without looking at the parchment. He looked the man straight in the eye.
"I believe one of your fan club left this in my classroom, Potter. Be warned, it is not a dumping ground for insipid followers. Do try to control them. Should I find any other such communications in my dungeons they will be passed around the Slytherin Common Room for their entertainment." Snape spoke clearly enough for the whole hall to hear his words.
With a flourish the professor left.
Harry turned back to his fellow Gryffindors. Opposite him Hermione was frowning at him, "Do you know anything about that note, Harry?"
"No, Hermione." He insisted quietly. Glancing down he wondered just what it was the feared Potions Master had accused him of having a hand in writing. 'The only way to find out…' Harry cautiously opened the note. There were only two words on it. The Boy Who Lived's mouth dropped open and his eyes went as wide as Dobby's in shock.
Ron, next to Harry, noticed his friend's reaction and leant over to read what was written. It was blank. Catching his girlfriend's eye he shrugged.
She questioned her friend, "What is it, Harry?" Hermione guessed it might be charmed so that only the intended recipient could read it.
To her surprise Harry blushed, only faintly, but it was there nonetheless.
Harry's eyes dropped back to the parchment clutched tightly in his hand in disbelief. There, in Professor Snape's unmistakable spidery handwriting, were two distinct words. He let the note fall to the table in shock. Everyone close to him was staring at the apparently offending parchment, trying to read its contents but it was no use. Spelled to only appear to Harry Potter were written the words 'marry me'.
Once he overcame his initial stupor Harry snatched the note up and placed it in his book bag for safekeeping. Ignoring all the queries of his fellow Gryffindors, Harry carried on eating his breakfast before leaving the Great Hall without a glance towards the staff table.
The green-eyed young man didn't get the chance to be alone at all that day. His friends monopolised his time. After quickly realising that he wasn't going to tell them what he had read they changed the subject. Harry injected the odd comment here and there but for the main part was silent, deep in thought.
It was obviously not a prank; Snape hated them with a passion, having been the victim of too many in his youth. 'Good job I'm not a romantic.' He thought ruefully. His lover, pragmatic as ever, had chosen a very discreet and simple method for asking his hand. Now that the chock had passed Harry could see the humour in the method chosen. Severus had just proposed in front of the whole school and no one knew. He snorted quietly to himself, drawing the attention of his friends which he quickly waved off.
Ron and Hermione looked at each other and them to Harry. What in Merlin's name was going on? Harry had been subdued and distant ever since he read that note. Hermione had even attempted to get into his bag and break the charm on the parchment but it had never left Harry's sight if not grasp so her efforts were futile.
"Harry? Are you ok, mate?" Ron asked.
Harry finally snapped back to reality. "Yeah, Ron. I'm fine. Sorry."
"Merlin, what was in that note?" He asked with an easy grin.
Harry met his brown eyes and smirked, "You don't want to know."
The Golden Trio and the other Gryffindors under the tree joked around for the rest of the day.
Later that night, at the celebration feast, in a movement eerily reminiscent of the events earlier that day Snape stalked over to where Harry Potter was sat at the Gryffindor table.
All of Gryffindor, all the hall, watched with bated breath and undisguised curiosity, even anticipation. Harry Potter and Severus Snape's animosity was infamous. Was Snape going to hex him?
"Well, Potter, what do you have to say for yourself?"
Harry didn't hesitate, looking straight in his lover's eyes, he replied, "Only one thing, sir…yes."
Then Severus did what no one ever expected and smiled. It made the man look younger, more approachable. Mouths dropped open.
The man reached into his pocket and drew out a small black box. Eyes strained to see what it contained. He revealed a ring and gently slid it onto Harry's left hand ring finger.
Bodies hit the floor in sheer shock. Professor Flitwick fell of his stack of books.
Harry leaned up and kissed his lover briefly before the man went to the staff table and proceeded to glare at anybody who dared to look at him.
Therefore it was Harry who was stared at, questioned relentlessly. Whisperings broke out like wild fire across the hall.
Hermione spoke first, Ron was unable, "Harry, what are you doing?"
"Err…getting engaged?" Was his quiet response. Harry desperately wanted to leave the hall, all those people watching him was making him very nervous and when he was nervous he got snappy.
Ron finally recovered enough to gasp, "Snape!"
Harry rolled his eyes in irritation, "Yes, Ron, Severus."
"How long have you been seeing him?" Hermione demanded to know. Obviously his calling the man by his first name hadn't escaped her notice.
"About seven months."
Severus stood up then and made his way once again to Gryffindor table. The whole hall watched his progress. This time Harry stood as well and left with the Potions Master leaving the entire Great Hall starting at the doors blankly, wondering what had just happened.
"Bloody hell." Ron's loud exclamation was the only sound to permeate the stunned silence.