Severus: You just had to pick that stupid, cliche holiday again, didn't you?
Me: Yup! *smile*
Harry: But look at it this way, Sevvie! You're alive, so isn't it kind of worth the cliche if it means you get to be with me?
Severus: *grumbles and stalks off*
Me: Grumpy butt...Anyways, the usual diddy - I don't own the characters or anything, J.K. Rowling does. I'm just borrowing them to have some fun. Please read and enjoy.
Harry looked from the small, wrapped gift on the table in front of him, up to the tall, dark man now sitting at the Teacher's table. After Voldemort had been defeated, the students of Hogwarts were offered the chance to restart the year at the following term. Nearly all of the school had taken that chance, wanting to get the education they should have received, but couldn't with the presence of the Death Eaters in the school. The few who didn't take the chance were pushed up into the next year and had to fill in the gaps in their learning themselves.
Albus had brought Severus Snape back to take the Potions class over again, and on the first day of classes, Harry was struck by how much the man had changed. Though his personality was different, his appearance wasn't. Severus looked healthier somehow, and Harry felt his old attraction to the man resurface. It was only a few weeks into the start of term when Harry finally slipped about his attraction during a detention session while muttering to himself.
"Don't know for the life of me why I like the slimy git!" Harry mumbled, his arm buried in a vile smelling cauldron as he tried to clean the remnant potion from it. "He's still the same cruel, snide bastard he was before..." Harry let out a soft sigh and shook his head. "But still...there's something more to him, I just know it...And damned if I don't love that about him..."
Hearing a low cough behind him, Harry stiffened, his eyes growing wide. He didn't need to turn to know Severus was watching him and had probably heard most or all of his muttering.
"It's not healthy to talk to yourself, Potter," Severus said quietly, placing a hand on Harry's shoulder and turning him. He looked down at the younger man with a look Harry wasn't able to read. Swallowing the lump in his throat, Harry struggled to calm his nerves as he looked up into Severus' face. After a long pause, Severus whispered, "Did you mean it?"
Harry looked at him, uncomprehendingly for a moment before realizing Severus was referring to the last part of his muttering. Looking down at the floor, Harry nodded slightly. Slipping a finger beneath Harry's chin, Severus brought his face up to look at him and Harry's eyes widened. Severus was smiling for the first time he'd ever seen, and it made a hesitant smile tug at Harry's own lips.
Before he realized what had happened, Severus leaned down and pressed their lips together.
Severus had made the 'rules' of their relationship clear from the beginning - it was to remain a secret, and there wasn't going to be any sex for quite some time. Harry had accepted these things easily, despite how much he had wanted to scream with joy and jump the older man. But he knew that it was important to Severus, and that had made it an easy thing to accept about their being together.
But today, Severus had seemed to break his own first rule. He'd entered the Great Hall through the doors the students used, not the door behind the staff table. Though that was strange, nobody thought anything of it until a Ravenclaw girl pointed out the small, red wrapped gift in his hands. Professor Snape was giving someone a Valentine's gift.
Harry's eyes locked on Severus as he made his way towards the Gryffindor table, setting the gift down in front of him and walking away without a word. The gossip that erupted through the Great Hall was immediate, but Severus didn't seem to hear any of it. He made his way to the staff table, sat down, and began eating his breakfast with his usual blank expression, as though nothing had just happened.
Now, Harry sat looking between the still unopened gift and Severus, unsure what to make of the situation. As Ron nudged him for probably the fifth time since it happened, Harry sighed and began unwrapping the small gift. It seemed like the entire Great Hall's eyes were locked on him as he did, and he felt a little annoyed at Sev for putting him in this situation.
Beneath the paper was a simple black box, and Harry opened it slowly, reaching in and withdrawing the small object that was inside. Holding it up, he turned it in the light and smiled. Inside the glass sphere, the Gryffindor lion was etched in red and gold tones with lifelike detail. Between its paws, it batted around an equally lifelike golden snitch as if it were a kitten toy. Every now and again, the snitch got free of its captor and began flying away, only to be pounced on, playfully, by the large lion.
As the Gryffindor's took in the gift, they began to pass its description along to the other tables, and soon the whole Hall was in a bit of an uproar of gossip again.
Severus had managed to avoid him since the scene at breakfast, but Harry smiled as he pulled his Potions book from his bag. All he'd have to do is stick around after class, and Sev wouldn't be able to get away. The gossip over this morning's events had yet to die down even a little, but the fear of the Potions professor's wrath had silenced the students around Harry for the time being.
When the class was finished, Severus left and slipped down the hall before Harry had a chance to try and stop him. Knowing it would do no good to try and catch up to him, Harry sighed and packed up his bag to leave.
By the time dinner rolled around, Harry had spent an uncomfortable hour in Defense Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, and in the library trying to ignore the gossiping students around him. He'd tried again to catch Severus in private, but the man seemed to be a step ahead of him today, and had avoided him successfully yet again. As Harry joined the rest of his house in the Great Hall, his eyes glanced up towards the staff table, and he bit his lip nervously.
Severus still hadn't arrived, and he had a feeling the gift giving for the day wasn't quite finished. As he turned his attention back towards the table, he momentarily caught eyes with Dumbledore, who smiled at him knowingly. It seemed he was most likely in on the fun of the day, and obviously approved. With a sigh, Harry began picking at his plate, his heart racing nervously as he waited for Severus to enter the Hall.
It was almost twenty minutes before Severus finally showed up. Just as most of the students were getting up to leave, he strode into the hall with another small gift in his hands. All the students who had been prepared to leave froze and watched as Severus made his way over to the Gryffindor table for the second time today.
Stopping behind Harry, Severus waited for him to turn on the bench and face him and smiled. Kneeling down before him, he tried not to laugh as Harry's eyes widened in surprise. "Mr. Potter...I believe our relationship has been kept a secret for long enough, don't you agree?" Harry nodded at him, still wide eyed with shock. Severus removed the lid from the gift he'd brought, having kept it unwrapped for just this purpose.
Harry looked down and gasped. Inside was a fine, silver chain, supporting an intricately designed charm. The charm was the Slytherin snake, done in dark emerald and bright silver for maximum contrast. As Harry looked at it, he recognized it as something Severus had kept in a locked case within his private rooms - one of the few remaining mementos from his family. Harry had asked him about it once, and Severus had smiled slightly.
"It's kind of a symbol of engagement to my family," he had said. In place of a ring, it was what his father had used when proposing to his mother. When his family had died, his mother had left it to him, and although at the time, he'd been certain it would never be used for a proposal in his lifetime, he'd kept it.
"Harry..." Severus' voice pulled Harry out of his thoughts, and he looked up to meet Severus' eyes again. The man was still kneeling before him, smiling, and Harry had to remind himself to breath as he took in how handsome the man looked when he was happy.
"Y-yes?" he asked, his voice cracking from nerves. He knew what this meant, but he was still afraid to hope it was really happening.
Severus dropped the box to the floor after removing the silver chain, holding it before Harry and waiting to clasp it at the back of his neck. "I don't want us to have to hide any longer, Harry...Will..." Severus paused to take a deep breath, somewhat grateful for the total silence in the Great Hall at the moment. "Harry, will you bond with me?"
Harry looked into his eyes and saw the traces of fear there. A small smile tugged at his lips as he realized Severus was actually afraid he'd somehow refuse him.
"Of course I will, Severus," Harry whispered, finally allowing himself to smile. Severus relaxed at his words, and he leaned forward to clasp the chain around Harry's neck. As he pulled back, he placed a small kiss against Harry's lips and the two of them sat there, smiling at each other, completely forgetting that they were in a crowded room.
Then, the silence broke.
A loud mix of applause, cheers, and angry yells erupted around the hall. The staff were all smiling and applauding the scene, caring only about the happiness of the two men. While Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff houses, for the most part, were cheering and applauding the two of them, the Slytherin and Gryffindor tables were expressing a mixture of anger and support.
Finally, Dumbledore stood from his place at the staff table and called the Hall to silence. It took several moments for the students to calm themselves down. When they finally had, Harry gripped Severus' hand for comfort as he felt the mixture of angry stares and happy smiles directed at them.
"What we've witnessed here tonight is a cause for celebration, students!" Albus said, smiling in the direction of Harry and Severus.
"Why aren't you putting a stop to this?" shouted a Slytherin, angrily. "Isn't this illegal?!" screamed Ron from the Gryffindor table. Harry turned to look at him and saw nothing but anger in Ron's face before he turned away from him. Harry's heart sank at the sight of his best friend turning away from him, but Severus squeezed his hand supportively and he smiled at him.
Albus cleared his throat and raised his voice over the angry protests being shouted throughout the Hall. "Mr. Potter is of age to be with whomever he wishes. And since their relationship began, Professor Snape has handed Mr. Potter's class work over to another staff member for grading to avoid any kind of favoritism." Many of the protests were quickly silenced by Dumbledore's statement, but it was clear that several students had a different problem with their being together that couldn't be soothed so easily.
"Harry? Severus?" The two of them looked up at Albus at the sound of their names. "Myself and the rest of our staff here would like to congratulate you. Now!" Albus said, turning his attentions back to the students. "I believe it's getting a bit late, and it's time to go our own ways for the evening."
Harry and Severus stayed behind to thank Albus and the rest of the staff for their support, and to field the congratulations of a few students who wished to give it. When the Hall was empty, the two of them slipped out the staff door and walked to Severs' rooms together, happy to avoid the main hallways that they knew would probably be filled with students wishing to voice their distaste for the newly revealed relationship.
Severus ushered Harry into the living room with a smile, retrieving two Butterbeers from the kitchen before sitting beside him.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Harry," he said, raising his Butterbeer in toast. Harry laughed softly and did the same before taking a sip. Setting his Butterbeer down on the coffee table, Harry snuggled up to Severus affectionately and was rewarded with Severus' arm coming around his waist and holding him close.
"What changed your mind, Sev?" he asked, looking up at him. Severus smiled, placing a kiss on Harry's forehead.
"You did, Harry." Harry gave him a confused look and he chuckled. "I knew you weren't happy hiding things, and that you did it only because it's what I wanted. I finally decided it was time I did something like that for you. Today, I was finally ready to face all the negativity I'd been afraid of, because I knew I'd be facing it with you." Harry squeezed his hand and smiled, leaning up to place a kiss on his cheek. "I think I needed to be sure I was strong enough not to run away when things got difficult before I was ready to put you through that with me, Harry."
"You're stronger than you give yourself credit for, Sev..." Harry murmured, leaning in to kiss Severus again. The older man pulled Harry into his lap suddenly and wrapped his arms around his waist, pulling him close and kissing him passionately.
Severus: I...I hate you so much...
Me: *shrug* Meh, you hate everyone. As long as you don't start poisoning my food, I'll live.
Me: *glare* Excuse me, but I believe I'm entitled to one bad pun every now and again, thanks...Jackass. Anyhoo, hope you enjoyed, and thanks for reading.