Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, nor am I making any profit from this story.
(A.N. Now with most of the mistakes fixed. Please inform if you find any more of those pesky things. Thank you.)
Of Changes and eternities
Well well well, who would have thought…? Me, the great Harry Potter, was standing in front of the door of what was supposed to be the home of one Severus Snape, with a plea for him to let me in none the less. At this point I was even prepared to beg, but still hoping that I could get out of this with my dignity intact. Ordinarily I would run away as far and as fast as I could, as would any other normal person who had the 'pleasure' of sitting in one of the man's lessons, but this was me, and nothing was normal when it came to me.
So here I was, standing under the one story porch space supported by two stone columns, trying to gather the courage to actually knock on the door. There was no bell, just a big metal handle to knock, which looked pretty old and so did the whole house. Maybe from the late 18th century or maybe somewhere in the middle of the 19th, but in very good shape. I'm really not that good with history or architecture, but it looked like it was in gothic style and was more what I would call a castle than a simple house. Reminded me of Hogwarts a little. The building on its own was three stories high and the two upside-down 'v' shaped roofs were making it look even bigger and more magnificent.
There were not many windows; that wasn't a big surprise, since Snape had lived in the dungeons, but those that I saw were in true Gothic style: tall, narrow and with beautiful carvings around them. The doors that I was standing in front of were not an exception. They were wooden, heavy and, like the windows, full of iron patterns, which, I am sure, were quite difficult to make, but the beauty is really worth it. The whole house was made of grey stony bricks, also, the roof was covered with grey, old tiling; as I said, just like a castle. There were also two tall, big chimneys, made of the same grey bricks as the whole house, with pointy metal bars on the top of them. That was a good sign, which gave us hope that it won't be as cold inside as the exterior of the house indicated. Kind of like Snape, not that Snape is all warm and fuzzy inside... Actually, this house fit Snape's personality perfectly. It was tall, dark, old and alone… I didn't see any other houses around here, just quite a few trees and though it was winter they were still beautiful with a blanket of snow covering their branches, but aside from them, I couldn't see any other house near here. The house also looked strong, which Snape really was, also had that mysterious aura around it, which reminded me of a horror movie, Dracula to be exact. Not that I'm saying Severus looks like a blood thirsty vampire or anything, but he has that 'charm' that can scare the wits out of even the powerful of men and he does that with only a few words.
I'm almost there... Maybe I should have fire-called him first. He really does not like surprises, or unexpected guests for that matter… now that I think of it, I wonder if he remembers me. We haven't seen each other for years, five to be exact. Even though I had changed a lot, he should remember his probably most annoying student that he ever taught, as he once referred to me. I mean he did save my arse more times than I could count. Still, now that I have grown out my hair, my trademark scar isn't visible anymore and he won't be able to say that I'm once again showing it off. Another change is that I don't wear those glasses anymore; now I have contact lenses. I also have grown a lot and I can proudly announce that I now stand at 6 feet. If I remember correctly, Snape is similar height or at least not very far from it, so he won't be able to look down on me anymore.
But I still hope that he remembers me. I can't imagine how awkward it would be for me to introduce myself to him, 'Oh hello, Professor Snape, remember me? Harry Potter, your most hated and annoying student, so would you mind letting me in now?' Yeah, that would work really well. I can already imagine his face turning into a scowl then yelling at me for being annoying and stupid and closing the door in my face. That would be the best option. I don't even want to imagine the worst scenario, since Snape probably knows more dark curses than Voldie himself did…
But enough with the negative stuff! He will not hex me. He will not hex me. He will not hex me! There, now that I actually believed it, I knocked on the door.
I couldn't hear any steps. Maybe he's not home? Maybe he does not want to let me in. Maybe I got the wrong house once again…
I got a little more hope when the heavy doors started to move, but instead of the usual permanent scowl that I was so used to seeing on Snape, I was greeted with a tall, lean and a lot younger man, about my age, quirking an eyebrow at me. He looked exactly like Snape, just a lot younger. There was the same hairstyle, though a little less greasy. I could barely see his eyes over the shadow, but I was pretty sure they were black and then there was the skin. White, flawless skin. Not your usual white as in pale skin, but white as chalk skin. Maybe it was just my eyes, but it looked like the man was glowing… I think I'm more tired than I thought. This could not possibly be the Snape we all know and… well love would clearly be a too strong word, so we'll leave at 'know'. Maybe it's his son or something? Did Snape have children? Well, we all know the way to find out...
"Excuse me, could I speak with Mr. Severus Snape please?" I asked in the most polite voice I can manage.
The eyebrow was still quirked at me, but now there was a smirk gracing his face. This man had to be related to Snape somehow; only he managed to get away with that facial expression.
"Mister Potter, I believe those contact lenses are doing you no good at all; your vision is even worse than I remember…" he drawled and that voice, it had to be-
"Professor Snape!" I almost shouted the question in surprise and stepped a few steps back away from him. If I thought the man was confusing before…
"Congratulations, Mr. Potter, five points to Gryffindor for your keen observation, even if it is from the second time," he spoke again, an amused look on his face, and I just stared at him dumbly, hypnotized by that flawless white skin of his and everything else that this man wanted me to believe was Severus Snape. Why the hell did he look like that? If this is really Snape, he owes me an explanation! Is he wearing a glamour? A charm? A spell? A plastic surgery? What… I'm running out of guesses, the last one is highly unlikely, but there is still a faint possibility. I could have gone on rambling in my head, but he crossed his arms around his chest and interrupted my little musings,
"Mister Potter, as much as I find your impression of a fish pulled out of the water amusing, I do not wish to stand here the whole evening until you find your voice again and ask me to let you inside, so might as well come in now." I'm pretty sure he was waiting for me to move, but I just continued to stare at him.
"Oh, for pity sake, Potter! Just get inside! Now!" he growled. Seems the wit, sarcasm and temper are still there, just not the body…
He moved into the house expecting me to follow and that is exactly what I did. He led me deeper into the house trough a spacious and quite dark hall to a room on the right. It seems that it was the living room. The first thing that I noticed when I came into the room was the gigantic fireplace. It was grey, just like the chimney and the whole outside of the house. Patterns and carvings of some mythical creatures covered the whole thing and at the moment, the fireplace was the only thing lighting the room. Up on the ledge were a few random things that I didn't particularly pay attention, though no picture frames that most people like to put on their fireplace. And right above it was a painting of something that I couldn't see that clearly in the dim light of the fireplace. In front of it were two big, dark leather armchairs and a little coffee table in the middle of them. The armchairs were both worn out, but still looked nice and it was a sign that Snape actually had company occasionally.
The wall behind the fireplace was all grey stone, just like the outside of the house, though all the other walls were plated with some dark red wood. Probably cherry wood or something. A grandfather clock and a little round table were standing in each corner by the stone wall, levelling it out nicely.
The wall, opposite to the one with the door that I was standing at, was pretty plain. In the middle of it was a glass case filled with fancy china, though judging by the amount of dust on it, the china was last used about a hundred years ago. On each side of the glass case were two tall windows, well, at least I assume they were windows since they were covered with long dark red velvet curtains, which might I add, matched the hearthrug. The wall opposite of the fireplace was, well, there wasn't a wall there, only a giant, old bookcase filled with books with worn out spines, varying from unbelievably thick to just a few pages. He probably has even more books in this giant house. Trust Snape to have a library in his own home. The bookcase was the reason those two windows in the front of the house were so dark. Right in front of the giant bookcase wall was a big writing table with a similar looking chair as the two armchairs behind it. There stood a little muggle lamp on the table. And another round rug on the dark hardwood floor, just like the one by the fire, just bigger.
"If you are quite finished staring at the furnishings of this room, I would advise you to take off your coat, since I assume you didn't just come here to say hello to me, which you still haven't accomplished by the way, but to actually have a longer conversation with me. The hanger is right behind your back." I turned to look and indeed there was a coat hanger. Starting to unbutton my coat, which had probably just a few buttons less than the robes that Snape used to wear at school, I tried to keep one eye on the other occupant of the room. Snape was going a book case to my left that I had missed, right beside The Bookcase Wall and opened a cabinet between them. Then I heard a few clinking sounds and then Snape returned with two glasses of amber coloured liquid.
Finally finished with my coat I hung it and went further into the room. I was right, it wasn't cold like in the dungeons, it was quite warm really, another surprise from Severus Snape today. After I hung my coat, Severus, I wonder if he will mind if I call him that, motioned me to sit down on one of the chairs in front of the fireplace and then gracefully walked to me, handing one of the glasses. I looked at it for a few seconds before sipping a little.
"It is scotch, Mister Potter, not poison. I saved you too many times to just poison you so easily; there would be absolutely no fun in it." He snorted the reassurance and sat on the other chair opposite of me, then continued, "Assuming you had gotten your voice back, please do tell me what are you doing here, at this hour and how in the blazes did you find out where I live?" I looked at the grandfather clock; it read ten eighteen.
"Wow, sorry about the time. I guess it took me longer than I thought to get here." I smiled at him.
"Yes, and it took you even longer to actually knock on my door and we are not counting the time you spent staring at me and other meaningless things," he retorted back and I was fighting a blush. To conceal it I just lifted the glass with the throat burning liquid and pretended to take a really long sip. I can't believe he knew I was standing outside his house all that time and he didn't just open the door… although this is Snape, even if not looking like his normal self, he is still quite a bastard. Damn, I think he noticed my blush, which was greatly surprising, because the lighting in the room was very dim, since he was now smirking a little. His smirks always made me feel uncomfortable, but now on his younger face they gave him that predatory look, like he knew something and I didn't. Not that the smirk didn't have that effect earlier, but now it annoyed me even more! I took a deep breath.
"Ok, so you want me to tell you everything straight forward without all those small polite talks."
"Oh, you do remember me so well," he answered me sarcastically.
"Ok, so here goes." Another deep breath for me "I need to live with you for a while," I stated bluntly.
"I beg your pardon." He raised an elegant eyebrow "Please do enlighten me as to why, of all people, you need to live with me?" He said it as it was the most outrageous thing he had ever heard. Well, it probably was… here I am, the one who always annoys the hell out of him, asking for shelter in his house. Now that I think of it, it really does sound outrageous.
"And now comes the hard part." I sighed. "So Severus, you don't mind me calling you Severus, right? Anyway, you had heard about the stupid new law that the Ministry had thought of, after the war had ended? The one which says that after the war a lot of people had died and now, to prevent the extinction of old wizarding families, the last descendant of that family must find a bride, marry and have a child for the line to continue at the age of twenty-three?" I finished and waited for him to give me a signal that he knew what I was talking about. Severus nodded, as if giving his permission to speak again and so I continued, "Well, the problem is that I am already twenty-three and I don't have a bride."
Snape faked a shocked expression. "Mister Potter, I thought you, of all people, the glorious saviour of our world, The Boy Who Lived, would be battling brides off with a stick. That is quite shocking!" He was smirking at me, obviously proud with himself for the annoyed expression I now was wearing.
"It's not like that! I have a ton of women throwing themselves at me, yelling they want to have their virginity taken by me and have my babies, among other disturbing and embarrassing things, but that is the whole problem!" I shouted now.
"Potter, do remember that you are in my house. I am merely a few feet away from you and have impeccable hearing, so please, do refrain from shouting." He narrowed his black eyes and I mouthed 'Sorry'. "So what may be the problem that you are not taking a bride?"
"The problem is that I don't want a stupid bride. Why marry and knock up a girl I barely know and then be forced to live with her? I don't want that, I want love and all that other stuff people have… not that you know much about love," I whispered the last part incredibly quietly and I wondered if he had heard it.
"Ah yes, the foolish little Gryffindor still believes that people can do what they want, find their true love and live happily ever after?" he snorted.
"Like you didn't want to find someone you love…" I looked at him, trying to read his facial expression, but his face was unreadable. And it was even harder to do that, since this was not the man I was used to calling Snape.
"You came here to talk about your little problem, Potter, not me, so talk before I decide your visit has lasted long enough," he hissed, his voice cold ant cutting like a scalpel. Hmm… love… Need to make a mental note, never to mention it around Snape.
"Fine fine," I said in a beaten tone, "So, as I said before, I am already twenty-three and need to hide from the Ministry. At my birthday I got a letter notifying me that I had to find a bride and all that or 'there will be consequences.'" I said the last part in a scary voice making a little motion with my fingers for an emphasis and the man snorted. "I ignored the first one, and the second one and the third letter, but when they started coming in hundreds and filling my house same way the Hogwarts letters did, I couldn't really ignore them. So I moved to Hermione's and Ron's place for a while, then Sirius', then Remus' and all the other friends that were willing to let me in, but the Ministry was always able to find me …" I sighed again.
"Ahh, so after you ran out of friends you decided to visit your enemies. Lovely. Maybe you should give the Malfoys a visit, I'm sure they would be delighted to see you." Severus sipped a little from his glass.
"You're not my enemy, Severus." I ignored the Malfoy visiting part. "I'm not saying we're best friends or anything, but I really need your help. I know you are no longer forced by Dumbledore to help me and I'm asking you this as a great favour."
"The Great Saviour is asking me a favour… how could I possibly say no to you…" Every word coming from his mouth was dripping with sarcasm.
"Ok, I get it, you don't like me and I'm definitely not the best room mate for you, but please! You are my last chance." Wow, I'm doing this really well; I'm shamelessly begging Severus Snape for a corner in his home… What did this horrible world come to. "It took me months to just find out where you lived! I searched everywhere and made a fool of myself several times going into the wrong houses and looking for you. Well, the last house I visited was painted sunny yellow in Florida, so it was quite stupid to think that you would actually choose a yellow house in a place that sunny. This is your day, Snape, I'm actually begging you! Do you want me on my knees?" I was so hoping that he wouldn't say that he wants me on my knees. I had enough embarrassment for a day…
"As much as I would love to see you on your knees." He smirked, yup; today is definitely Snape's field day… "I will spare you the embarrassment. This house is quite big and I will be able to find you a room." Yeah, out of the other ten rooms aside from yours that this huge house has… "Though you do know what you are getting yourself into. There are rules in this house and I hope you will follow them better than you did with school rules… the first rule I use here is no magic. As long as there is no magic you are safe here from the Ministry, so please, do actually mind that rule. And another thing, I do not wish to have my house flooded with your letters, so if the Ministry somehow manages to actually find you, you are flying out of here at the first letter. Did your little mind process that?" I nodded dumbly completely ignorant to the insult implied there...
"So does this mean I can actually stay here?"
"Stupid boy, when I asked, did your mind process everything, you should not have nodded since it is clear you are as dumb as you were in school," he snarled.
"I will ignore all your insults right now and I would actually hug you as a thank you if I didn't know that you would hex me into the next week at the first touch."
"Ah, so you do remember my temper, that is quite impressive, but I'm not taking back the insult about you being stupid."
"Great!" I didn't even care right now. I gulped the remaining scotch from my glass "So, um, where do I sleep? And a tour of this castle would be delightful." I wonder if he spiked the scotch with something because I'm actually happy with the fact that I am going to live with Snape. Yup, I'm going out of my mind, but Snape is a lot better than a stupid girl that I don't know and have to fuck, not to mention he's probably prettier than a lot of the girls, while he's looking like that. Ok… that was shocking… I actually thought of Snape as attractive. I clearly need some rest.
"Mister Potter, please do stop thinking, as much as I encourage that process; it would not be wise to over strain that brain of yours. Now if you would follow me, I will show you the room where you will be sleeping. Tours will have to wait until morning." He stood up, taking my empty glass and placing it with his own on the coffee table. Just then, I remembered the question that had been nagging me from the minute Snape opened the door.
"Severus, why do you look like that?" I finally voiced the question.
"Like what?" he asked me innocently in return.
"You know, not like your old, well old self…"
"And it took you so long to ask that. I thought you would be yelling the first time you saw me at the door. Sorry to disappoint you, but I am not obliged to answer any of the questions that I do not wish to." There goes the 'he owes me an explanation' part. "Now, when are you going to bring your things here, since I doubt you will want to live in that." He looked at me from head to toe and smirked.
"Oh, things! Right! I have them waiting outside the door." I grinned.
"So you were expecting me to let you in so easily?" he asked quirking an eyebrow and looked at me smirking.
"No… I was really really hoping that you would be so sweet and let me in."
"Foolish boy, you of all people should know that I am not sweet," Severus snorted "Now come, go get your things, it's already eleven. Though with your talking and spacing out I'm surprised we finished that conversation this early."
So, I quickly went back and took my two suitcases from the outside and the other man led me up the stairs. They were quite big, old, made from dark wood as all the floors, with shaped parapets and surprisingly not creaking! Upstairs I saw five wooden doors. Like I suspected, this house probably had about ten rooms. I wonder why Snape needs a house this big. He lives all alone anyways. Well, now there's an exception. That would be me. I didn't get to see what's inside any of the other rooms. As Snape promised, I would get the tour of the house tomorrow. Severus led me to the room right around the stairs. This house definitely wasn't the brightest one in the night, but with the few lights that were on I managed to see what the hall looked like. Just like the living room, the whole space was plated with wooden plates. The floor was probably stone because there was a thick dark green carpet everywhere. Green. Something Slytherin, old memories… The room that I got was right next to Snape's and the man said I should go to sleep now and unpack in the morning and I believe I heard a quiet 'goodnight' before he disappeared into his own room. I wonder if it is all black.
I said goodnight, even though I doubt that he heard me and entered the room that Snape, now Severus, so generously had given me. It was in the same style as the whole house, all gothic and stuff though this room wasn't that dark. It had two windows and a balcony. The walls were covered in pale creamy colour with gold and red trimmings and all sorts of patterns. No wonder the man gave me this room; with the Gryffindor colour combination, he probably can't stand even looking in this room. Still, I liked this room; the furniture was from lighter shaded wood. I had a four-poster bed with crimson red bed sheets and three pillows of the same colour, two nightstands with a drawer on each side of the bed, and a bed bench at the end of the bed with the same coloured cushions as the sheets. I saw a writing table with a chair beside it, kind of like the one in the living room, just smaller. There was also a drawer chest with iron handles and a two-door wardrobe. I doubt that I can fill those two with clothes… this room is clearly too bright for Snape's tastes so it was probably decorated for a woman. Great, that must be another reason he had put me here… But I'm not complaining; this room is truly beautiful. Even if I'm not a girl, I can still appreciate it. It's strange to think that there could be a woman is Severus' life… well, before not really, when I think about it now… Ok this needs to stop! It's the third time today that I refer to Snape as attractive! He's probably wearing some glamour, or maybe a potion gone wrong or something! That man owes me an explanation for making me think these stupid thoughts about him! However, that will come tomorrow, now I'll go to sleep and hope Snape doesn't kill me if I annoy him, since I'm at his mercy now. That is a scary thought…
Morning. The most horrible part of the whole day. Especially when you are lying in such a damn comfortable bed like this one and you know that in a matter of minutes you will have to move and get out of the warm heat surrounding you. Yup, I'm really not a morning person… I bet Severus is already up and thinking that I'm a lazy-ass… well, he always thought that I was a lazy-ass, but now he has evidence to prove it with. Hmm… a bathroom does sound lovely at this moment, but I don't want to get out of bed; who thought that Snape had such comfortable beds. And we at school thought he was so grumpy because of the lack of sleep… yes, that was strange. Well, the need to go to the bathroom won over the need to lie in bed and sleep some more and I rolled out of the bed. Bathroom, where can I find a bathroom… aha! A door! Let's hope it leads to a bathroom not some torture room, who knows… I walked to the door and opened it. To my delight, there was a simple bathroom. There was a bathtub, a sink, a cabinet above it, a mirror and a toilet. Oh, I almost forgot the rug. The colours were the same like in the room, nothing unbelievably fancy, though it definitely was not a small bathroom.
After I was done in the bathroom I looked around for my clothes where I left them last night. Since all of my clothes and other necessities were in my trunks, the first thing I needed to find were my pants. After that task was accomplished, since I left them on the bench at the back of the bed, I opened my trunks and looked for a clean shirt. Maybe I shouldn't unpack everything yet; Snape could decide to throw me out after thinking this entire thing through. So I decided to go downstairs and look for the man of the house.
The kitchen wasn't that hard to locate. It was in the exact opposite side that the living room was. Severus was sitting on a chair by the table and reading a newspaper. Kind of like he used to do at school.
"Good morning, Severus," I called to him.
"Morning, Potter, do help yourself to breakfast, since I don't have any maids or a house elf," he answered me and continued reading his newspaper. How did he get a newspaper if nobody knew where he lived…?
"Severus, since we are going to live in the same house for a while, would you mind calling me something other than 'Potter'? My given name would do just fine…" I smiled at him, even though I'm pretty sure he didn't see.
"You know, Potter, I actually do mind," he said, with emphasis on my surname, lifting his head from the paper and locking me with his black piercing gaze.
"Oh come on… we live in the same house now! I'm not asking you to marry me, just call me by my given name! Besides, it's kind of weird when you are not my teacher anymore and you don't even look like a teacher." He lifted an eyebrow.
"Yes, we live in the same house, my house," he drawled, "So it is my rules that we follow and in my house I will call you Potter until I decide to do otherwise," Severus finished, a smirk gracing his face.
"You enjoy the fact that I am at your mercy, don't you?" I folded my hands on my chest and pouted.
"Yes, actually I do enjoy that, immensely, Mister Potter…" Damn, he said my name in that deep and low voice of his, liking my reaction. "And now that we established that, I would advise you to eat breakfast and go unpack your things, then I'll show you around the house," Severus finished and hid his face once again in the newspaper.
"Right! Breakfast." I stood up and looked around the kitchen. Light brown marble floor, though not at all shiny, more worn out; all the cupboards and cabinets were from some rich coloured wood that I failed to identify. The design of the furniture here matched the whole house too. All the cabinets were full of carvings, just like in the living room; there was a stove, also a big fridge. Hmm… a sink, breadbox, a microwave, another thing in the 'surprise to see' category, salt, pepper, everything looked like a normal kitchen, a bit worn out, but still a normal kitchen. And then it hit me: I had no idea where the hell anything was and if I mess the whole kitchen up, the other occupant of the house will not be happy, since I remember from school his tendencies of being all clean and tidy.
"Umm, Severus?" I asked politely and he sighed.
"You have no idea where anything is, now do you, Potter?" he asked folding the newspaper and standing up from his seat. I shook my head no.
"Well, just don't expect me to make you food every morning…" he exclaimed, walking to the cabinet next to the stove and getting a frying pan out of there.
I watched amazed as Severus Snape moved around the kitchen. He worked the same way he did in the potions lab. In school he walked around with grace and confidence, now it showed even more in this new body. I watched as he took some eggs out of the fridge and then I heard his voice.
"Potter, it would be nice if you stopped staring at me that way," he stated and I snapped out. How does he do that? He was not even looking at me now! Damn him, it is as if he can read my mind or something; even at school he knew when I was not listening in his classes. The damn git. He turned a little and I could have sworn that I saw a smirk appear on his face.
"I'm not staring; it's just strange to see you like that. Without your black billowing robes and all that, not to mention the totally different looks…" I said the last part somewhat accusingly, since he refused to tell me what happened to him yesterday.
"Well, you'll just have to get used to me if you're going the live here, though not to me making breakfast for you…" he answered, completely ignoring the accusing tone I used. And here I was so proud of it…
"So when are you going to tell me why are you looking twenty years younger?" Maybe if I annoy him with that question he will finally answer it? It never worked that way before and he just got mad, but there is a first time for everything right?
"Mister Potter, I would advise you not to push the question, because it might end with me shutting you up forcefully and we do not want that now, do we? I will answer when I find it necessary." He did that again! How does he do that! I am going to go nuts if he keeps knowing what I think.
"Alright alright…" I raised my hands in submission. "I get it, not to annoy you with my questions…" A few minutes later my breakfast was done and Severus gave me a plate with two scrambled eggs, bacon and a cup of coffee.
"I hope this breakfast isn't too poor for the great star of our world?" he snarled.
"Thank you, Severus, I assure you that I will be making my own breakfasts, now that I know where a lot of things are here," I reassured him.
"That's a relief." Severus sat down at the other and of the table and got back to reading his newspaper.
"I didn't know you cooked, and in the muggle way too?" The breakfast tasted awesome. At school I doubted that he knew how to make a sandwich himself, since the elves did all the cooking there; hell I doubted that any of the teachers knew anything about cooking and in the muggle way, too! And here, once again Severus surprised me.
"And here I thought you said there will be no more annoying questions…" he sighed, "Cooking, Mister Potter, is a lot like potions; it requires precision. If you follow the recipe correctly, you can make anything, if you decide to improvise, you firstly have to know what you are doing, if not you can poison yourself. Simple as that, though you didn't understand that at school, so I doubt that you will now," he finished.
"So that's why you're so good at it, the food is delicious."
"So glad I could please you…" He answered nonchalantly and hid his head in the newspaper once again.
I finished my breakfast quietly, wondering if Severus had already eaten and when did he wake up. Now that I noticed it, he was wearing only a black bathrobe and a piece of that porcelain chest was visible. If I didn't know who this man at the other end of the table was, I would have been drooling over him, but since he was Snape, I refrained from that action.
After breakfast I washed my dishes and asked for that tour of the castle. He scowled at me and said that this was a simple house and not a castle, but still led the tour. On the first floor, aside from the giant living room and the kitchen, there was a dining room with a table, fit for at least ten people and my tour guide said that he never, in all the years he lived here, had used it. There was also a bathroom. Right next to the kitchen was a laundry room; Snape also made a note that he will not do my laundry, and on the opposite side of the laundry room there was a little storage room. We went back in to the hall and right under those big stairs, I noticed a door; it reminded me of the cupboard that I had lived in for so long, but Severus said that it was the door to the basement. Snape said that that was where he stored his potion ingredients, since many of those things were rare and needed to be kept in the dark. I was forbidden to go there since I was almost as graceful as Neville Longbottom and could destroy everything there in mere seconds. I did not argue with that statement; I did have a record of breaking things a lot. Passing the dining room to go upstairs, I noticed another door there and asked Severus where it leaded. He said to the back yard. I, being oh so curious, went to look. It wasn't as much a back yard than a big terrace with a roof and then about a mile long snow covered field that went until the dark forest at the one side of the horizon… It was quiet and peaceful here. Something I really wanted for a long time.
Next came the second floor. Two of the rooms I already knew as mine and Severus', right next to each other. The one on the opposite side of Snape's room was another spare bedroom and next to it was a closet. On the far right side of this floor was another door. We went in there and my earlier suspicions were confirmed; Snape had a whole library in his own home. The room was split into two sections by another giant bookshelf and I was scared that the thing would break from the amount of books piled on it from both sides. Every singe wall in that room was covered with bookshelves, except for another little cabinet with alcohol; books were piled on the floor, though not just randomly, I noticed; they were alphabetically sorted. I mean, who does that? There was also another fireplace and another leather armchair with a little table aside. Dark wooden colour dominated the room, aside from the floor, which was covered with dark green carpeting, just a shade darker than the one in the halls. Damn, how could one person have so unbelievably many books? I asked him that and he answered that when not working, he had nothing better to do and this was for his own pleasure, not some schoolbooks about potions. Hmm… Yes, that was quite understandable, since Severus was not working at Hogwarts anymore and I did not know if he worked anywhere at all. I made a mental note to ask Severus about his job. After the library, I saw a balcony. It was just like the one in my room, just bigger. The balcony was the only source of natural light; everything else was lit by muggle lamps that hung all over the hall. The third floor stairs were a lot smaller than the ones to the second floor. When we climbed up, I was faced with four more doors. The first ones lead to the attic; my guide advised me not to go there either, since he himself did not know what was inside there and was not prepared to be cradled by a ton of junk that was probably piled there. Next was the door to another balcony, which was connected with another spare bedroom. Last, but not least was the room that Snape had made into a potions lab for himself. Severus said that he was working for the hospital at the nearest town, with that answering my question did he have a job at all. He said that he was making various potions for the hospital for an equally valuable payment.
The tour was over and we both went to the living room to establish a few other things than where I sleep. I was, once again, reminded of the 'no magic in the house or around it' rule. Severus explained to me that the closest town is three miles from here and it is a muggle town, so the people don't know anything about magic.
"So how can you sell your potions, magical potions, to the hospital, I mean if they don't know anything…?" I was quite curious now.
"In the town I'm known as kind of a doctor. People use my potions as medicine. I do not give them anything drastic, something that would make a broken bone heal in ten minutes. Nothing that would give them the slightest impression of me being a miracle worker. I give them mild doses of my potions, but they still work a lot better than muggle medicine and I have a good reputation for them here."
"Wow, five years and now you're a doctor too! Who would have thought… looks like potions actually is a valuable skill everywhere," I admitted.
"Yes, it is. Too bad you didn't listen in any of my classes," he noted.
"Yes, though I doubt that I could have made a very good Potions Master anyways… so, Severus, what else don't I know about you?" What kind of skeletons do you have in your closet…?
"Some skeletons, Mister Potter, are not meant to be taken out of the closet, you know."
"Ok, this is getting annoying… stop reading my mind!" I said in slight frustration. Severus arched an eyebrow and looked a little bit startled by that, or maybe that was amusement; I could not decipher.
"I do not know what you are talking about, Mister Potter," he said in that 'I know something that you don't' voice that only he could manage. I took a deep breath.
"Every time you're around me, you always seem to know what I'm thinking… that is annoying!"
"I do know you quite well, Potter, it is not hard to determine what that little mind of yours is thinking about." I sighed in frustration.
"Thanks, that helped…" I replied sarcastically, "And here I thought I was going nuts."
"I do not think that is quite possible in your case." I glared at him. "So, what about your work Potter? I heard you are not an Auror. What happened to the 'I will be an Auror and fight evil' and all that?" The other man asked me nonchalantly.
"Well, I decided that I have had enough fighting evil for one lifetime, not that fighting the most evil wizard in the whole wizarding history wasn't fun and all, but I got tired of that." It was true; spending seven years of my life fighting Voldemort was all the evil wizards that I can handle.
"And what about Quidditch? I couldn't hear the end of Minerva's bragging about her 'great Gryffindor team seeker and his bright future in the Quidditch world'…" Snape rolled his eyes.
"Yes, she did try to 'encourage' me to play professional Quidditch, and by encouraging I meant forced me, saying that I was an exceptional player and all that stuff. But I didn't want that, I wanted a quiet and peaceful job."
"And what is peaceful enough for our great Harry Potter?"
"I worked in the Department of Mysteries. Examining all kinds of dark artefacts and other similar stuff, you know."
"Ah yes, I do remember you being quite good in Defence Against the Dark Arts class, though I thought it was only because Lupin liked you a lot… So you just wanted to disappear from the papers and all that, am I correct?"
"Yes, that is exactly right," I agreed.
"What? No accusations of mind reading this time?" he asked with fake surprise. I chuckled.
"No, none of those. For now…" Once again Snape rolled his eyes. "So what do you do around here?"
"Look around you, Potter, I'm in the middle of nowhere, in a muggle house with no magic and no constant work schedule that I have to live by… there is nothing to do… Did you expect amusement parks and other 'fun' things?" he said that as though it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"Ok, I got it, no fun. What about the town? Do you go there once in a while?"
"Yes, when I require food or books, and when my potions are needed," Severus answered and looked at me like he was waiting for something horrible to happen. Oh, I will give him horrible…
"When is the next time you are going there? Maybe you want some company? You could show me around the town."
"Potter, you actually want to go somewhere with me? I believe you lost what little mind you had over those years," he snorted. Yes, I believe I had lost my entire mind! I want to go somewhere with Severus Snape! Though it might not be all that bad, I mean we are having this civil conversation right now, which proves that we both can act like two grown up men. Yes, and Snape's company does beat sitting the whole day indoors… so, on with the begging!
"Oh come on, Severus, I'm living here, I need to know my way around…" I heard a deep sigh.
"Fine." Well that was easy. "But you will have to behave yourself." He narrowed his eyes at me and I put on a shocked expression.
"But I am always on my best behaviour!" That did not seem to convince him. "I will be on my best behaviour… happy?" I tried quietly grumbling the little promise.
"Not in the slightest," he snarled, "But I guess that will have to do… now go take a shower and put some normal clothes on, we're going in thirty minutes. I need to deliver my potions," he exclaimed and stood up from his seat.
"Thirty minutes?" I asked dumbfounded.
"Yes, Potter, do you need more time to make yourself pretty? I expect you looking presentable." I pouted. What does he take me for? I'm a grown up man and he treats me as if I'm still in school. Damn, he's still annoying!
"You're wasting your valuable time thinking… that process takes up too much time and gives a lot less results than desired…" he said before leaving the room, probably to change his clothes too.
I finished my grooming fifteen minutes early, wanting to show Snape that I can work a lot faster than he thinks, but he wasn't impressed since he was already sitting on a chair in the kitchen, all dressed in black, nothing new there, but the style of clothes was quite new… He was wearing black jeans, black shirt underneath and a black overcoat, that went just above his knees. Shiny black shoes accompanied the outfit. He was wearing something that I would, and damn he looked good in those clothes! Tall, lean, skin looking white as snow in all that black, damn he's every girl's dream… and, at the moment, mine…and why am I thinking that again? Oh, yes, because I'm going out of my mind! That's right, and now he's smirking at me… I wonder what don't I know this time…
"So you are finally ready, Potter…," he snarls, "Though better than expected. Now come on, we're leaving." He stood up and motioned me to the door.
I walked out, a little blinded by the brightness of the snow, but still happy to breathe fresh winter air again. Severus locked the door and joined me. I noted that he had a briefcase; that was probably where he was carrying his potions.
The walk was long and Severus told me it took about an hour and a half to get there. He didn't have or want a car or anything of the sort; he said he preferred walking. The rest of the walk was uneventful, just fields of white, shining snow. Neither Snape nor I talked and the silence surrounded us trough the journey. This was not the kind of deafening silence when you feel awkward and just want to scream, this was the kind where you are glad the moment of quiet isn't disturbed and I noted how perfect this place was for Snape. He liked quiet; you could see that from the way his classes were too scared to even whisper. I liked silence too, though it was rather a new thing to me, since most of my life I lived in the city with all sorts of commotion and stuff going on, but I'm looking forward to this change of scenery.
Finally, I was able to see the outline of the town in the horizon. The sun, trying to come out of the thick clouds, was making the buildings look brighter and brighter as we got closer. We entered trough the gates of the town that said 'Welcome' and finally there was civilization! As we walked to the tall white building that Snape said was the hospital, more and more people were acknowledging us. Well, they were acknowledging Snape; people were nodding to him and saying hello, a few girls even winked at him, though he seemed to miss that.
"Wow, you're really popular here!" I exclaimed, honestly surprised. I never imagined Snape as a very likable person…
"I'm not popular, I'm just known here, that's all," he answered and nodded to some old man who lifted his hat for him.
"This looks a lot more like popularity to me…" I murmured.
"Popularity, Potter, is something you have in the wizarding world, when people are trying to get your autograph, shouting your name at random occasions and other stupid meaningless things; what I have here is respect for the things I do," Severus stated proudly.
"You might possibly be slightly right, but the good thing in all this is that people are not scared of you here. That is a great improvement for your reputation you know…"
"Yes, and I care so much about my reputation," he answered, sarcastically of course.
"When I was dressing up you said you needed me to look presentable…and why else was that, if not to keep your good reputation here!" I smugly reminded him. Ha, maybe this will be an argument with him that I will actually manage to win! That would really help my ego.
"I only said that in hopes that you will not dress up as a moron and look presentable for your own sake. Though you seem to have managed that task quite well I might add."
"Can I take that as a compliment, since I think that is the closest that I will get to one with your Snape-ish language?" I asked in a fake hopeful tone.
To my surprise, his very nonchalant response was, "You may, if your desire for compliments and recognition is that strong." That was quite unexpected, but before I could think about it Severus informed me that we were there. And in fact, we were standing at the front door of the hospital building. The minute we entered, the smell of medication washed over me. I always hated hospitals… Severus did not seem to mind at all though, as he walked straight to the nurse at the register who, at the first sight of him, smiled brightly and greeted him with a sweet voice. I was standing a few meters away from them and was not able to hear the conversation, but I didn't want to intrude; this was Snape's work after all. The conversation didn't seem to last long and I watched as the nurse politely stood from her seat and shook Severus' hand while at the same time shamelessly batting her eyelashes and quietly giggling. Who would have thought that someone would want to flirt with Snape? With the old Snape, no one, though now, even I would not mind flirting with him. If I did not know what kind of git he was most of the time.
He seemed to have finished talking with the nurse and she politely pointed to the stairs. He nodded and turned to me, motioning to come with him.
"I hate hospitals," he quietly murmured to himself.
"Why do you hate them so much?" I asked.
"The annoying nurses are one thing…" Severus snarled, "Then there's the smell of medicine, blood and dying people…" he sighed and walked further up the stairs. I sniffed the air. No blood or dying people. Strange, I just didn't like them of the medicine and doctors, trying to be all nice and all…
We reached third floor and stopped by the 321st room. There wasn't a name or anything indicating which doctor's room was it and I decided that maybe this was the medicine cabinet since Snape was bringing them 'medicine'. He told me to wait on a seat by the door, while he walked into the room without even knocking.
I waited, and waited, and waited, and waited a little more, until finally, after an unbelievably long and boring twenty-six minutes, Severus came out of the room. I saw a glimpse of a dirty-blond haired man who shook Snape's hand and Severus' verbal response was, "Goodbye and I will be needing a lot more than luck with him." After that, the door closed and I was faced with a strange looking Severus. Not strange in a bad way, but just strange… there was something in those black eyes of his, something shining, but I decided that it was just the hospital lighting.
"So who will you be needing more than luck with? It wouldn't be me, would it?" I asked slyly.
"Oh don't flatter yourself so much, not every single conversation I have is related to you…" he answered me grudgingly and turned for the stairs. I followed.
"So where are we going now? How about that tour of the town?" I really wanted to look around, see what was around here; after all, I will need to know my way around, with me living here and all.
"A tour will have to wait. If you remember correctly I said I need to buy food for you," he reminded me and suddenly I remembered something!
"Severus, you don't need to buy me anything! I mean I am already living in your property; we should share these things like food and stuff. I do not want to live on your money, I have plenty of my own. I could pay you a rent too! How could I have forgotten that!" damn, Snape didn't even mention anything about repaying him for all his generosity of letting me live in his own house!
"I don't need your money Potter. If you so wish to pay for something, you could pay for the food, but I absolutely refuse to take money for you're staying in my home." He objected. Since when was Snape so generous?
"Though you are not my favourite person in the world, I was taught that if I have a guest in my house, I am responsible for their well-being." He, oh so kindly, explained himself to me.
"If you say so Severus, but I am fully prepared to pay you a rent. Just so you know." I informed him. "Now where were we going? Where's the grocery shop around here?" Snape ran a hand trough his raven black hair in what seemed to be frustration and murmured "straight forward."
And straight forward we went. Severus said that this was the centre of the whole town and there were no cars allowed in this part. I looked around and tried to grasp everything around me. Though the sun still had not managed to penetrate the tick layer of dark grey clouds, the town still looked really beautiful from where I was. Well kept, no garbage laying around like I was used to in the big city, all the snow was shoved out of the way and though the trees weren't green this time of year, they were planted one after another, trailing the whole long street. The buildings definitely did not look new. Not old and gothic like Severus' house, but they still told their story about the deep roots of the town. A lot of them were renovated and made into shops, boutiques and other similar things that would make any shopaholic woman happy. Though nothing too fancy, holding on to the traditional and old architecture of the buildings. Though I bet only the centre of the town is this beautiful, everything else must be like in any old town, alleys and trash and similar stuff.
As we walked further to the destination Severus had in mind, many of the passing people knew Snape and greeted him. However, I was having a lot of attention too. I wonder why, nobody knows who Harry Potter was here and I was pretty sure that I didn't have anything on my face.
"Wow, I feel like in one of those conventions that I was forced by the Ministry to attend, where all the people wanted to say hi to me and shake my hand and everybody knew me and stuff, just this time it is you who the people want. So how is it, being popular here?" I mused aloud
"It is the third time I am repeating myself that I am not popular here and it is getting really old," my companion grumbled "and it is quite annoying… I preferred if they didn't know me, since as you know I am not the most talkative person"
"Ha! Now you know how I feel," I stated proudly.
"Yes, but unlike you Potter, I do not encourage all that by waving and greeting the people, I simply choose to ignore the lot of them," the raven-haired explained to me as if I was an imbecile.
"You always seem to ignore most of the things that you don't like, though that statement isn't entirely true… you're not ignoring me," I said happily.
"How could I possibly ignore you when you are always in my sight" that was more of a statement than a question. I opened my mouth to reply something really smart, but did not get the chance to even start when Severus pulled me a little to the right side and pointed to a grocery store.
"Our destination Potter"
He led me into the building, grabbed a bag and went deeper into the store, I, of course, followed. Snape looked around the products, checking all their expiration dates and what other things were made of. He looked so human like this! I couldn't get my eyes away. I was so used to seeing him in his dark billowing robes in school, I'm not mentioning the totally changed looks, but he always did everything with his wand, well except for potions 'only a moron wouldn't know that you can not use your wand in making the potion. The magic will pollute the potion and it will be ruined' I quoted him in my head. That was the Snape I knew, this one was something different that I have to learn about. I love to learn about mysterious, dark and forbidden things.
Severus seemed to find the things needed and went for the cash register. I looked at the bag. There was mostly the basic stuff needed to survive: bread, toast bread, milk, coffee, tea, some meat, some fish and a piece of cheese. A few other random things that I didn't care to notice. The girl at the cash register smiled brightly at Severus, I felt completely ignored by the way, though he did not do the same to her. And it was a good thing, I doubt that I was ready to see a smiling Severus Snape… When Severus was giving the girl the money she tried to brush her fingers with Severus', though he didn't seem to notice. After that, the girl gave him his change with a sweet 'there you go' then came a 'goodbye and please do come again', the words said in an unnaturally sweet voice, and she waved us goodbye. With all that Snape didn't even murmur a single word.
"You do know she was flirting with you Severus, right?" I asked. It couldn't have been that he did not notice…
"Now why would she do that?" he asked nonchalantly, handing the bag to me. I was a little taken aback. I doubt that Snape would really appreciate me saying that the girl was trying to flirt with him because he looked hot… did he just smirk at me of did I imagine that again?
"I don't know, you go ask her," I finally replied.
"That is highly unlikely to happen," he snorted and then we continued our walk back in quiet. That is until I decided to break that silence with another question.
"So… why are all the people staring at me now?" I asked "I get the part where you are popular here," Snape emitted a sound of annoyance that could have been mistaken for a growl "oh sorry, well respected, but why are they looking at me like that? Do I have something on my face or something?"
"No Potter, you do not have anything on your face," he answered not even looking in my face to check if what he was saying was true. "They are looking at you that way because you're new here and because you are walking with me." the black haired man put his briefcase, which he was still carrying, into his other hand.
"What's so special about walking with you?" I asked sceptically.
"In all five years here Potter, they haven't seen me walking around with someone else than my colleague from the hospital, so you're someone new to talk about here."
"Bloody fantastic!" I almost yelled sarcastically "I cant even live here unnoticed…"
"For pity sake, Potter, deal with it! You've dealt with that nonsense when you were twelve, now you're twenty-something and acting like a brat."
"Twenty three" I informed him and then, "I'm shutting up."
"Oh joy, I wonder for how long…" my raven-haired companion mumbled.
I decided to give Severus the pleasure of a quiet walk home and didn't say a word. If the fact that he did not glare at me indicated anything, he seemed pretty happy with that. When we stepped trough the door I was given the task to unpack the groceries and put them in their places while Severus went to the basement. Hmm… Probably putting away the new potion ingredients he got from his colleague in the hospital.
The next month that I lived there was quiet. We talked quite a lot. More than I thought Severus would have been willing to, but strangely, it all felt natural to talk with him. We talked about many things, argued a lot too, with Severus winning the argument of course. I started to notice a pattern. In the morning, Severus would always be awake and dressed in his black bathrobe when I wake up. He never eats breakfast, says he already ate. When I asked him why he wakes up so early he simply shrugged and said he has insomnia.
After that, the man usually went to brew his potions and I, being so thoughtful, asked him if I could help. He, as expected, grumbled something about me being incompetent in that field and that I could ruin everything, but he still let me help. I mostly did the easy stuff, like chopping, grinding, stirring or getting Severus the ingredients he needed. Some other times I just sat there on a chair by the brewing table and watched as the man skilfully and yet so gracefully accomplished all the tasks. I would ask questions and Snape would grumble that I was annoying and disturbing his work, but he would still answer them. To my own surprise, I had actually gotten better at making potions, if the 'good work Potter' and 'yes, that's right' that would sometimes slip from the Potions Masters lips, were any indication.
As Snape had promised, he did not cook food for me, or for himself for that matter, so I had taken the liberty of cooking lunch, dinner and supper for both of us. Just like back in school, the stoic man didn't eat much, but he didn't criticize the food I made either, so I decided that it was rather good. After every meal, the man would always wash the dishes.
Severus went to the town quite often I noticed, since I walked there with him. Usually he would get a call from the hospital and in just a few minutes, he would be ready to go, with his black briefcase, filled with potion bottles, in hand. Most of the times I went with him, sometimes he would leave without me since he, once in a while, got calls early in the morning and didn't want to wake me. Other times I myself didn't want to go, that usually happened when I was too engrossed in one of the books that I got from Severus' library. We would go there for other reasons, like food or books, not that Severus needed any more of those, too. In town, people still stared at us, which I was getting used to, since I had a lot of practice in the wizarding world. The girl at the counter in the grocery store would flirt with Severus and he, being oh so observant, either didn't notice that or just simply ignored it. He could have at least given the girl a chance; she was trying so hard to get even a little bit of is attention. Though this was Snape, so asking for something like that was like hoping that bananas would grow in Antarctica. Another thing I noticed at the town involving Severus' looks was that men too were winking at him… as strange as that thought was, I started to wonder about my old Potions Masters sexual orientation, because he seemed to acknowledge those winks. In his own Snape-ish way at least…
Our evenings were mostly spent together too. Snape had this tendency of going for walks, usually at six or seven in the evening and I accompanied him. Well, at first I just tagged a long and 'annoyed him' as he had stated. It took about two weeks until Severus himself started referring to me as 'company'. The walks were all around Snape's lands. The biggest part was taken by the forest. He said that he inherited the whole land and the house and a bunch of other stuff that he didn't want to talk about, from his parents when they died. I understood that the subject of his parents was not the most comfortable thing to talk about for Severus, so I left it at that. The walks usually took about two hours. I would never had thought that spending lime like that with Severus Snape would be so pleasant, though he didn't stop being a sarcastic git, miracles like that just didn't happen, but his sarcasm and wit were quite amusing when they weren't directed at me.
Other times, when the weather was bad or we just didn't feel like walking around, we spent the evenings in the living room reading quietly or drinking scotch, for which I had grown great appreciation, and just talked.
Another few months and it was already spring. The white thing we call snow had almost fully melted, leaving just a few little white dots on the lands. The air was getting warmer and I stopped wearing my winter coat, though Severus was still wearing his black one, the same one he used in winter, but when asked, he said he liked this one a lot, that's all. The sun was setting later and the days were getting longer and brighter, though not sunny. I doubt that even in the middle of summer it will be all sunny, but I do not mind it that much, as long as it is not raining 24/7.
Speaking of rain, there was one hell of a thunderstorm outside. The lightning was striking everywhere, illuminating the skies and colouring them in a light shade of purple, right after that followed the roaring thunder. I don't mind lightning, but the thunder is quite annoying, I'm not saying that I'm afraid of something as stupid as thunder, I'm not a little kid, its just that I get a freaky feeling when the loud and powerful crashing sound goes trough all your body. It's just not a pleasant feeling for me. Severus seems to enjoy that kind of stuff, because he was looking quite pleased just sitting there and watching the storm outside trough the living room window. Well, one might say that he is just looking blankly outside, but I can tell the difference in his expressions, after all, I am living with the man. I learned to see the little changes in his expressions. When he's happy, well, happy is a little too strong, satisfied or pleased would do better in his case; when he's angry and that is not a pleasant thing to face, an angry Severus Snape, even with his changed looks he was as scary and intimidating as he was when he as teaching me at school. Therefore, right now I would say that my roommate was quite pleased. I stood next to the armchair that Severus was resting in and looked trough the window. The second I gazed outside into the storm, a giant bolt of lightning stuck, dividing the sky in two, and it struck straight into a tree about a hundred and fifty feet away from our house and it instantly caught fire. I yelped a little, but the sound was muffled by the thunder that came right after. However, it seemed that Snape still heard me. The man looked up at me smirking and asked:
"You're not scared of a little storm are you, Potter?" the damn git.
"The little storm just burned your little tree only a few feet away from the house we are resting in, please excuse me for not feeling oh so safe when this house could be the next thing the lightning stuck…" I stated and crossed my hands on my chest.
"Do not be stupid Potter; this house has a lightning-rod." Severus answered calmly to me as if I was a stupid child and turned his head back to the window.
"That makes me feel so much better" I rolled my eyes.
"Well, it should." he reassured me and I looked trough the window again, and again lightning stuck. Though this time it wasn't as near the house as the last time, I still decided that I had enough storm-watching and turned away from the window. A hot bath would be nice, I thought, and left Severus alone in the living room.
I started climbing the stairs to my room when I heard the loudest thunder crash yet. It startled me like hell and I lost my balance, falling down the stairs. The instant I was on solid ground I saw Severus standing in the doorway looking completely horrified. That's a new expression, I thought, but then I felt something trickle down my forehead. I touched it and then looked at my hand. "Blood" I murmured and looked at Severus sheepishly, it did not hurt really, it was just a little shock and I felt stupid for doing something like falling down the stairs, but the look on Severus' face shocked me even more. The man was pale, dead pale, his whole body shook and his eyes, for a moment I could have sworn that they were turning red. They were glistering with sheer horror and something else that I could not identify. His posture was absolutely different from what it usually was too, it looked like he was the one in pain, a lot of pain, like he was holding himself from something, then I noticed his hands. They were gripping the doorframe so hard it was starting to break, his nails digging into the hard wood and leaving deep marks there. If I tried something like that my hands would be bleeding and full of splinters, but in this case, the wood was getting a lot more damage than Severus' hands. He was just staring at me in that weird way, then, instantly peeled his hands from the door frame like it burned and bashed trough the front door into the pouring rain, yelling angrily something along the lines of 'clean the blood!' and with that, I was left all alone in the house with a bleeding gash along my hairline.
I stood up, holding on to the staircase. My head was spinning a little, my hands were shaking and my elbows and butt hurt a little too from the fall, but that was the last thing on my mind right then. What was wrong with Severus? He looked at me as if he was afraid of me or something, terrified really. It couldn't be that he was afraid of blood… he had been in both wars, he must have seen so much blood in his life, it couldn't be that… but then I have no idea what could be wrong. I walked to the doorway and looked at the doorframe. The wood was cracked in the place where Severus' hands were placed; it's a good thing the whole doorframe did not split from the pressure. How the hell did Snape do that? And just when I thought I new a little more about the man…
Deciding to ask Severus himself what happened with him there, I climbed up the stairs again and walked into my bathroom, still holding on to walls and other hard surfaces for support. Reaching the bathroom, I poured some water into my hands and washed my face. I did it again and again to wash off the shock and the blood. Then, taking some disinfectant from the cabinet, I poured a little of it on the wound. It stung, a lot. After that, I put some healing salve that I found in the cabinet too and sat down on the edge of the bathtub.
I wonder where Severus is now, he didn't take his jacket or anything and it's still pouring outside. He will get a cold. I wonder where he went. Maybe I should go look for him. Maybe he is not feeling well. Maybe - ? God, why am I so fussed up about him! He is a grown up man, nothing is going to happen to him and he can take care of himself! Seriously, I was the one who just fell down the stairs… though nothing serious, but Severus could have at least stayed here. Why am I so worried and well, maybe a little hurt that he didn't help me and left me there alone, but I'm sure he has his explanation too... I ranted like that a little more in my head and then decided that it would be better to wait for him downstairs. Therefore, I went there. Sitting down in the same armchair that Snape was sitting before he left, I looked trough the window. It was already dark outside, I couldn't see anything, but I could hear that the storm was still raging. The only good thing was that the lightning and thunder had stooped. So, I waited… and waited… and fell asleep still waiting…
I was woken up by a little noise the front door always made when opened. That had to be Severus. I looked at the grandfather clock, and even though it was dark, I was still able to read the time. One a.m. The moment I turned my head away from the clock, the lights went on and I saw Severus standing in the living room doorway. His posture was not his usual proud one. He probably was freezing and I could still make out the little rivulets of water on his jet-black hair; it meant that it was still raining. I think he was looking at me, but it was hard to say since his hair was all over his face, shielding his eyes from me. I stood up from the armchair and quietly said I will get him a towel. He did not object and I left him standing alone in the doorway. When I got back, he was sitting on the edge of the table and simply looking at the floor. Putting the towel on his head, I went to light up the fireplace when I heard his quiet words.
"I think you should leave Harry…" Harry? That had really surprised me, both my name on his lips and the things that he said, so I turned to him. He didn't even move the towel over his head. Sighing I went to him and did it for the man.
"Why? What's wrong? Why did you leave like that? Did I do something wrong or something? And where were you all this time? You could have gotten a cold or something!" I showered him with questions when I could finally see his eyes. He didn't respond for a while, just stared into my eyes and I did the same thing. Then his lips moved.
"The blood…" he whispered and I just stared at him dumbfounded. So it was my blood… "The way it was trickling down your face, down to your neck… the way it glistered… the way it smelled… so unbelievably tempting. The fact that it was yours made it even worse. It was so hard to refrain myself… so fresh, so warm…" Severus was now mumbling under his breath, but I still heard his words so clear, and they made me feel uneasy… "You're scared…" he stated, "I feel it, which is why you should leave this house Potter. Things like that cannot happen again, for both our safety," I snapped after he finished his speech.
"What the hell are you talking about? Yes, you are scaring me! Talking about my blood like… like you are obsessed with it! What is wrong with you? Why is it not safe for me? My presence was quite fine just a few hours ago, what changed in you?" I finished panting a little… then I realized that I was holding him by the shoulders and gripping hard. Instantly letting go of him I stepped back a few feet away from him. "Severus?" I asked him, but he didn't answer me. I waited for an answer, but it didn't look like one was coming anytime soon. "Severus?" I asked again.
"You really should leave Potter," he stated again and again it was back to Potter.
"No!" my reaction startled him and he lifted his head to look at me "I am not going anywhere! Not until you explain me why and what the hell is wrong!" I once again shouted at the raven-haired man in front of me.
"I think you would be better off without knowing the truth Potter." He answered, this time not in a whisper, but in his usual cold and stoic voice.
"Yes, everybody seems to think that hiding things from me is somehow going to make everything in my life better! Well, it's not and I think I deserve to know the truth!" I countered.
"Potter, you are stupid." He stated as if that was a fact of life. "Stop acting like a moron and listen to the advice I am giving to you! This is not something you need to know, this does not concern you at all and you will be better off not knowing everything."
"Come on Severus" I started, this time in a softer tone, thought I bet he still could hear the anger in my voice "we lived here for more than a half a year, I think you can trust me. Just tell me. It can't be that unbelievably bad…" I tried to coax him into telling.
"Yes Potter, it can be!" hmm, didn't seem to work…
"For Merlin's sake! Just tell me what the hell is wrong with you! "
"Foolish Gryffindors… Always like this…" he shook his head with disappointment. "Fine! You want to know what is wrong with me?" he half yelled. Looking like a wild animal going after his pray, he slowly stalked to me, but I did not move an inch "What's wrong with me…" he repeated in a softer, quieter voice. Leaning closer to my face, he whispered to my ear "I'm dead Potter…"
Well that was unexpected… I stumbled away from him looking at him as if he was insane. He might as well be! Dead… how could he be dead? He must be fucking with me, just to make a point that I should not put my nose where it does not belong. However, joking and things, childish like that, really were not Severus' style. I looked at him shocked, but his expression was stoic, I could not make out what he was thinking… not that I was ever good at that, but this time it was scaring me a little.
"You're scared." He stated once again, then slowly asked "didn't I tell you that you would have been better off without knowing that?"
"Stop screwing with me Severus! You are not dead, you're standing right here, living, in flesh and blood!"
"That is where you are wrong. Mister Potter" He stated calmly.
"Are you drunk or high on something? Did you go to a bar while you were out?" that was the only logical explanation that I could think of for Severus' behaviour.
"I am neither drunk nor high as you say."
"Then what is all this bullocks? Tell me!"
"This is the reason I didn't tell you Potter! You are yelling! Not believing me! You're scared of me!"
"No, I am not!" I yelled back at him. "Yes! You are!" He growled stepping towards me and I backed away from the man. That kind of behaviour of his truly scared me. I knew what Snape could do when angered, but I never seen him look so animalistic "You see?" he asked, stating his point in frustration. I just cast my eyes down, knowing that at this point he was right.
"Well, if you wouldn't go all yelling and growing like a wild animal, I would feel a lot more comfortable." I mumbled not looking at him not sure if my voice could even be heard.
"Sit down Potter," he ordered me in his teaching voice and I once again felt like I was little, sitting in his class. I obeyed and sat down in the armchair by the fire. A lot more comfortable than the chairs in his class, I made a little note. Severus did the same in the chair opposite of me.
"Ok, so let's cover this like grown up men that we are. Are you capable of acting like an adult for a few minutes?" I just nodded not really hearing the question or the sneer in it.
"I am dead, I was born like that, I never been alive, I need blood to function properly, human blood, or in short I am the blood sucking monster that you people call vampires." He finished his little explanation, but I just stared at him as if he suddenly sprouted pink butterfly wings and declared his undying love for all things sweet and fluffy. Severus? Dead? Vampire? I did not like the words 'Severus' and 'dead' in one sentence. I did not want Severus dead… I liked Severus…
"Close your mouth Potter, it's really unbecoming." He looked annoyed, but I couldn't keep myself.
"A vampire?" finally it started to kick in a little.
"Yes, the blood sucking monsters that most of the imbecilic population always relates to bats." He calmly, well as calmly as I suppose he could, explained to me.
"Well, you do kind of resemble a bat… wait! What?"
"Oh, for pity sake, Potter! I just said that I could kill you every god damn second you spend here! You should be running to your room and packing your bags! Can't you get a hint when it's shoved in your face?"
"Wait wait wait! You can't be a vampire!"
"Just like I can't be dead?" he arched an eyebrow. I just stayed quiet for a few moments after that, glad that he was willing to be patient and give me sometime to think.
"Who else knows?" I finally asked and Severus seemed to sigh in relief that I was not yelling and going nuts anymore.
"Dumbledore, most of my kind and another person, but I doubt that they are alive anymore."
"Nobody else from school? No teacher? No one? How could you hide something like that? Weren't the children in danger…" but after those last words everything made a lot more sense. Severus just grimaced and nodded.
"Yes. Now you see why I did not tell anyone. Dumbledore knew, you can't hide things from the old meddling coot, but from everyone else, including you… it was just safer that way, for all our sakes," he finished.
"But how could you hide that really, I mean you require blood and doesn't the sun burn you? Wait, is that the reason you look so young?" I was now interested, completely forgetting the fact that I could be his lunch, or breakfast judging from the clock.
"First of all, yes, I do require blood just as you require water, though I do enjoy human food too, I just do not require it as often as humans do. Now, since I was born as a vampire, from a very long and proud line of vampires, the sun does not burn me, I appear normal, as any other wizard and yes, that is why I look like this. Though this is how I truly look and how I will look for the rest of the eternity."
"Eternity? As in, you will live forever? But how did you look different in school?"
"Yes, that is a gift and a curse at the same time. I will live forever, until someone finds a way to kill me. And the last question was stupid, really stupid, even for you Potter. How would you react when the potions teacher who started teaching at Hogwarts when he was twenty-three, would look exactly the same way after twenty years of teaching there? I thought that even your mind was big enough to comprehend that."
"Hmm, yes, that was quite stupid of me… so Severus, how do you get food? I mean, do you, you know…" I hesitated "hunt people?"
"Don't be stupid Potter" he sneered at me "though the pleasures hunting for live food are not foreign to me I do not hunt. Then I would have to be constantly on the run and I do not like that kind of life."
"Then how do you eat?" I asked sceptically.
"Guess what I take from the hospital as payment for those potions." He answered my question in that annoying 'I know everything better than you' voice.
"Blood? Seriously? Who is that doctor friend of yours anyway?"
"He is also a vampire," Snape stated.
"Great! Just my luck to find a peaceful town to live in which is inhabited by vampires. Just my bloody luck." I crossed my hands on my chest and glared at the fire.
"We are the only two of our kind living around here."
"Okay, but if he is a vampire, how could he be a doctor, I mean he is constantly working with blood!
"That is a thing called self control. Not something you might know a lot about. Human blood is a great temptation, we can smell it everywhere, if we listen enough, we hear it moving in their veins, but if a vampire is well fed and has a strong will, he can control himself quite well, even to an extent of working with the same blood. Kind of like a person addicted to candy and working in the candy shop." I stared for the umpteenth time that evening. The way this man described that bloodlust… I started to appreciate Severus' self-control in a completely new level, but there was another question that was really bugging me in that particular moment.
"So, what happened to you back there, when I fell down the stairs?"
"I saw your blood," he answered simply.
"But that talk on self control? You are well fed are you not? I mean just this morning we went to the hospital and all," I felt baffled by that.
"Yes, I truly feed regularly but your blood… that is an entirely different story. God, it smelled like nothing else I had ever encountered, so god damn tempting… You always were a test of my self control in absolutely everything, but this time I almost let go and gave in." He then let out a cold chuckle "You want to know why I let you stay with me here, in my home?" he asked and I could barely move my head to nod. "Because you smelled so nice," he said smiling in a strange way, as if he was laughing from his own stupidity "Smelled so nice?" I repeated questioningly.
"Yes Potter. And I was a stupid man, letting you stay here. Stupid and weak. I let myself give into just a little of that temptation. Kind of like when you see something you greatly desire just a few feet away from you, but you cannot have it. Torture don't you think? But the moment I saw the blood trickling down the side of your face, down to your neck…" he swallowed, and that was kind of creeping me out again "That is why you should leave this home Potter. It was stupid of me to let you in here in the first place" now Severus was staring deeply into the fire and for a minute, I thought that he wanted to put out with his cold stare. For another minute I though he might succeed.
I decided to speak again.
"But you didn't do anything to me Severus. I mean, you gave me one heck of a scare, but you didn't hurt me." I tried to make him feel better; he looked like he was eating himself, which was really unlike him.
"This time… the next time I might not. I might bite you, drink your blood and even kill you! Don't be stupid, Potter, don't even think about staying here!"
"Severus. I trust you!" I yelled back at him and that seemed to shut him up for a few seconds.
"This is not a matter of trust! I cannot guarantee your safety. I am content in my will when you are like this, but even now, I can smell the remains of blood on your skin. The next time you get a paper-cut, I can't guarantee that I will not do something I will regret."
"Then I'll just have to stay away from books and all will be well" I tried to joke, but judging by the glare aimed at me, Severus didn't seem to be amused by that.
"Please Severus, I can't leave, I don't want to leave, I know I'm intruding in your life, I always seem to be doing that, but I can't leave, I'm hiding remember? Please, I trust your self control." Severus just snorted at that… the bastard…
"So you choose a blood thirsty vampire that could bite you at any slip up of his control, instead of a girl that whimpers at every single word of yours and will do anything for you?" the man raised his right eyebrow, clearly knowing he had won this argument.
"Yes, we covered that the day I moved in."
"The day you moved in you didn't know what I was. If over all those months I thought of you a little higher than I had in school, I would like you to know that I am back with thinking that you are a complete imbecile." He drawled narrowing his eyes at me and I just rolled mine.
"Well, I too still think you are a bastard, though much better than you been at school and I prefer you over a flock of brain dead women wishing to carry my children any day." Take that you stuck up bastard!
"I don't know if I should take that as a compliment or throw you out of the house this moment."
"Please do the first one," I asked trying to look sweet. Judging by the roll of Severus' eyes, the look was not as convincing as I thought. Then his expression turned serious and he spoke:
"One slip up Potter… I smell one drop of that blood of yours and you are as good as sitting in the middle of the Ministry. Got it?" he finished in that really scary growl and I was certain he was not kidding.
"Yes, of course Severus! Thank you!" I smiled at him, finally after that long and quite serious talk and he, as usual, just rolled his eyes at me.
"So, umm, would I be prying in too much if I asked you about, you know, being a vampire?" could I possibly sound weaker at that point? The last word was said so unbelievably quietly, I almost thought he wouldn't hear me.
"No, I suppose you have some right to know who you are living with, though I am still considering the idea of ruining my cover by using magic and using an Obliviate on you. Would save a lot of time…" he sighed, "first of all, I'll clarify a few myths about my kind that were created my muggles, just to save you the trouble of filling my home with garlic. Vampires are not afraid of garlic. Cross, another thing I am not afraid of and it will not burn my flesh nor do any other damage that you saw in those imbecilic movies. Next are bats, lovely creatures and useful in potions, but I cannot turn in to one. As you could so obviously see by living with me, I am also immune to sun, though there is some truth in that myth." I raised an eyebrow, an imitation of Severus' usual expression, willing him to explain further.
And he did explain a lot. I learned that there were vampire classes. Four of them to be exact. The first class was pure-blooded vampires, like Severus, they were considered on top of the whole hierarchy. Because in hierarchy, heritage was everything, next came the ones who were turned by a pure-blooded vampire. There weren't many of those, since not many pure blooded vampire families were willing to let a human into their circle, not wanting to 'taint' the blood line, but those who were actually turned, were considered very lucky and should consider themselves honoured to be let into such a family. Next came the simple vampires, who did not have pure blood. And the last ones were the poor souls, who were left not fully turned by a selfish and stupid vampire. They were the ones responsible for all the scary myths and stuff that muggles created. Afraid of the sun and totally consumed by their blood lust, they were the monsters that muggles described as vampires for ages, the disgrace of the vampire world. Severus said that there was a special, police, if you could call them that, who hunted those poor creatures, it was either them, or the vampires would wander off into the sun and simply perish.
Then I asked Snape about all the powers that vampires were suppose to have. The powers, I learned, were not a myth after all. The man, the irony of me calling him that, said all vampires were stronger than humans were. The amount of strength was measured by their position in the hierarchy. As always, pure-bloods were the strongest. In the package also came the heightened senses of smell, sight, hearing, taste and touch, as well as somewhat of a sixth sense. Snape said that was essential for hunting. Occasionally came a vampire with another power, such as mind reading. When I asked if Severus could read minds, he was quiet for a few seconds and then nodded solemnly. That was shocking. So all the times when he knew in school that I was up to something, he actually just read my mind. However, Severus was quick to deny that fact. He snorted and said that he had seen hundreds of dunderheads being 'up to something' and he did not need to read minds to know that, it was clear in our faces. He also said that he rarely used that gift of his, because he, of all people, appreciated his privacy, and reading minds would go against his morals and make him a hypocrite. The man explained that he only read the mind of Voldemort; that was why he was so good at being a spy. Hmm, yes, that really explained a lot. He didn't talk about Voldemort after that; it wasn't a very good topic for any of us that had participated in the war against the mad man.
Severus did not talk about his family much either. He repeated that he was from a very long line of vampires, that his family was one of the oldest and most respectful ones in the vampire world. Though that was quite enough, I didn't expect Severus to tell me all abut his childhood, how he played in the sandbox and all that.
Next, he told me a few things about their kinds eating habits. He was reluctant to talk about that at first, said that it was not something I desperately needed to know, but with a little coaxing, I got him to speak. That was quite weird to hear him speak about that, about the blood lust vampires feel, how strong it was, but it explained a few things about Severus himself, about him rarely eating breakfast and eating so little on other meals.
That night I didn't ask any more questions. Severus had already let me in so much into his life, into his oh so very private life and I was grateful, knowing how personal these things were for him. I wonder if he had ever told anybody else the things he had told me. Well, Dumbledore was an exception; that man knew everything and I mean everything. Oh, right, he said that there was another person that knew about him…
I don't know what happened after that, I remember just sitting curled up in the armchair staring into the fire, the clock was showing 4am in the morning, the storm outside had calmed down. The only things that I could hear were the few raindrops, falling from the roof and hitting the windowsill outside, and the silent smoulder of the fire. Then everything became all fuzzy and then I did not think or hear at all.
I suspected that Severus had carried me up to my room, because I woke up sprawled all over my bed. I was wearing the same clothes so Snape did not take the liberty of undressing me. A few minutes later, after I had a good stretch, yesterdays events kicked in. Perhaps all that was just a dream? Looks like I'm going to have to find out the hard way… asking Severus. It was already past noon, I never slept that long, so I hurried, washed only my face and brushed my teeth, deciding that a shower will have to wait after breakfast maybe. Hurriedly I ram down the stairs, wincing a little and absentmindedly touching my forehead where the little wound was. Damn, it really couldn't be a dream…
Reaching the kitchen, I found Severus already dressed in his black coat.
"Good morning" I waved to him a little.
"I do believe it's already the middle of the day Potter, glad you had finally woken up."
"Yeah…" I smiled sheepishly rubbing the back of my head, "so where are you going?"
"I am going back to my family. I will be gone a few days since the trip is quite long. When you run out of food, I left some money here. I am counting on you to take care of the house Potter, which means I expect it to still stand and be in perfect shape when I get back here." He finished taking his briefcase and checking the things inside it.
"Few days, why? And why didn't you tell me sooner?"
"Yes Potter, a few days, maybe a week, that is still unknown. The reason of my visit there is quite literally you. Because of your stubbornness and wish to know everything that you should not know, I have to go and inform them that another human knows about me and the whole vampire world. And the last question is quite stupid; I could not have informed you sooner because I did not know that I will have to be making such a trip until yesterday myself." He finished.
"Oh" that was all I could mumble. So that wasn't a dream, Severus was really a vampire and lusting after my blood. Lovely. "So where is the rest of you family living?"
"The rest of the family, it would take me about an hour to tell where they all live, I believe you wish to know where the elders, that I need to see, are living. And they are in Germany," he said, reading something on the label of a potion he was bringing with himself.
"Germany? How are you planning to get there?"
"I will turn into a bat and fly there of course!" he answered calmly and I lifted an eyebrow at him. I think I am really rubbing off of him. "By plain Potter, you ask the most idiotic questions." He murmured.
"But what am I suppose to do here while you are gone?"
"Whatever you have been doing with me here. I do not think my presence had given you so much entertainment, you will manage. All I ask is that you make sure the house stays here and you are still alive." He finished, locking his suitcase and looked at me all ready to go.
"I can take care of myself quite fine," I pouted. That was childish and Snape made sure I knew that by rolling his eyes.
"So what are you whining about then? You know where the spare key is. Good bye." And with that he walked right past me to the front door. I murmured 'bye' to him, but the door was already closing, so I doubt that Severus had heard me. The next couple of minutes I spent watching him walk to the town where, I knew was a train station that will take Severus to the airport. Just as I watched him disappear from the horizon, I finally felt how empty this big old house was. I made myself breakfast, which consisted of tea and two pieces of toast.
The next couple of days were unbelievably boring and uneventful. Before I always lived alone and that didn't really bother me at all, but now, that I was used to living with someone, with Severus, it was really lonely. I was used to talking with him, arguing, and just simply him being here. After three more days, I concluded that I really missed Severus. This revelation would have deeply shocked me about a half a year ago, now it was just normal. In that time I had cleaned the whole house. I know Snape usually did all the cleaning, though he didn't even mess the house in the first place, always putting his things where they are suppose to be after he used them, but still, there was a lot of dust now. Though I still minded the 'not go into the basement' rule. He said to have the house in one place when he comes back and if I go there and break something, the house might not actually be so safe if those potion ingredients were mixed. Even I know that from my first year potions lessons. I left his lab alone too, for the exact same reason I did not go to the basement. Not having anything else to do, I spent most of my time reading the books in Severus' library and drinking his scotch.
With Severus gone, I didn't go on walks and staying inside was really starting to kill me; therefore I was happy that I finished all the food left in the house. The man bought a week full of supplies for me the morning before he left. Now I could go to the town. A walk outside would clear my mind a little. Taking a shower and putting on my usual clothes, I got a jacket from my closet, since the weather boy on the telly said it would be warm and sunny, so far it looked warm and sunny so I decided to trust the weather boy this time. Grabbing the money that Severus left me on the microwave and shoving then into my back pocket, I walked out trough the door. I sniffed the air. Nice, it smelled like spring. Even though it was already April, it still was quite cold, until just a week.
The walk to town was really long, without Severus I didn't have anyone to talk to, with him, even if he did not talk back to me, I knew that he was listening. Now it was just silence, except for the birds who decided to revel in the sun and keep me company. After an hour and a half walk I reached civilization. The town looked alive. There were tones of people, which was surprising considering the fact that this was quite a small town. Among all those people I saw the doctor that Severus was always meeting in the hospital. He smiled and nodded to me and I did the same. He had no idea that I knew about him, about what he was. Damn, Snape didn't even give me the man's name. Oh well.
I was glad that people now knew me and did not stare like they did the first time Snape came here with me. I reached the grocery shop in just a few minutes; it was packed with people too. Hmm… it has been six days, if we are counting today, since Severus left, he should be coming back soon, he said only a few days and it was already past that… With my thoughts on Snape, I walked around the shop and searched for the things that I needed.
The line at the cash register was unbelievably long and I spent at least fifteen minutes standing with my bag, waiting. The girl at the register smiled at me, though not the way when Severus was with me, and said hello. While scanning my things she politely asked where my friend, that I usually come here with, was and then inquired his name. I quite unwillingly told her Severus' name and said that he was gone on a trip. Just before finishing scanning all my things, she asked when Severus was coming back. I do not know why, but I roughly, and quite rudely, might I add, told her that I did not know and quickly, taking my change and my things, left the store.
I didn't know why I acted that way with the girl. She was just interested in Severus; it was quite obvious from the times that I had seen her in the shop with Severus, that she liked him a lot. Then came the disturbing part. I did not like that she liked Severus, the feeling was something like jealousy; I didn't want her to like him. That was the disturbing part, I felt possessive over Snape and it was absolutely outrageous! I didn't know what to think of myself.
Walking back, I considered the faint possibility that I might possibly, kind of, maybe, actually like Snape a little, in the romantic kind of way. That would explain the 'me missing him' part and the possessiveness with the cash register girl. With the realization made, I decided that this was not such an unbelievably nice day after all. Like that wasn't enough, it started to rain. How cliché. Sunny and warm my arse! That is what I get for trusting that weather boy. Now the walk home was even longer than the one to the town.
When I finally reached the house, my clothes were all wet. The jacket that I wore was absolutely soaked, the shirt underneath it too, I bet even my underwear was wet. Thank god, or some genius, for plastic shopping bags, at least the groceries were looking better than I was. Hair dripping and in my eyes I started rummaging trough my pockets for the keys. After about ten minutes of searching each and every pocket that I had, it finally registered that I did not have the keys. How could I possibly be so stupid and leave the keys inside! Moreover, with Severus away! How the hell am I going to get in! Who knows when the man will be back? It was official: this was the worst day of my life. Well ignoring all the days when I was fighting Voldemort. Severus was right, I was an idiot. Well at least it wasn't raining on me anymore under the porch. Though with me being all wet I'm probably going to get hypothermia this way. So I sat down on the ground, closed my eyes and waited for something. I just was not sure what that was.
Not really sure how much time passed, but when I opened my eyes it was pitch black outside and still raining. However, something was off. There was a dark figure hovering above me. I blinked a few times, trying to determine who the person was, when the figure sighed.
"Potter, I asked you just two simple things, and you couldn't even accomplish them…" Severus! I tried to say something, but my throat was sore "Great you moron, you could have gotten hypothermia like this!" he lifted me, surprisingly easily, off the ground, putting the grocery bag on his wrist.
"Keys… left home…" I offered a skimpy explanation while leaning on his shoulder.
"Imbecile. How did you manage to live trough those twenty three years!" he growled.
"Had you, saving me…" I spoke and Severus unlocked the door. It was nice and warm inside, just like when I came here the first time. Severus went to the kitchen to put the groceries and I was left leaning on the wall in the hall. When he came back from the kitchen I smiled at him a little and he just stared at my accusingly and then rolled his eyes.
"Come on Potter" he sighed and lifted me up again, this time bridal style. I was once again surprised how easily he did that, but then again he was a vampire and they were a lot stronger than humans were. I was carried up to my room in just a few seconds, faster than I would have made there on my own accord and Severus sat me down on my bed.
"Take off your wet clothes, I'll go make you some hot tea," he said. I just managed a weak 'thank you' with an equally weak smile and Severus nodded and left my room. Taking a deep breath I walked to the closet and took some dry clothes. I was right even my underwear was wet so I had to get new boxers from the closet too. The moment I finished changing my clothes, Severus walked into my room with a big cup in his hands.
"Go lie on the bed Harry." He said a lot more gently, I must have really looked like shit. I did what I was told and Severus then handed me the steaming cup. I thanked him once again and tried to sip a little. The goddamn tea burned my tongue and Snape murmured an 'idiot'. After that, I drank my tea gingerly, not wanting to burn my tongue again and the other man was just sitting on a corner of my bed, watching me. When I was done with the tea, I felt quite better and was now able to say a normal thank you. The tea did miracles, but Snape corrected me that it was the potion he put in my tea that did the miracle.
"So Potter, how long did you stay down there all wet and brooding?" he finally asked.
"Umm… I don't know. I don't usually have a watch with me, but I left home at about 3pm, it took me about three and a half hours to get to town, shop and get back here, so probably from 7pm or so. Why? What time is it now?" I asked. The man looked at is wristwatch, which I didn't even know he had and spoke:
"It's half to eleven now Potter. Where was that little mind of yours when you left the house without your keys? What would you have done if I hadn't come home?" he accused me.
"I don't know, I just forgot the keys, it could have happened to anyone. And I do not know, maybe I would have gotten to the hospital, to that friend of yours who works there. I just haven't thought about it that far." I answered truthfully.
"Of course, you never think about things far. And I don't think you should go to him in case something like this happens." Severus sighed and looked trough the window into the dark.
"Why not?" I was once again confused. Why wouldn't Severus want me to go to his friend? Was it because of my blood or something? But I wasn't bleeding and he said that the person was a doctor, working with blood all the time.
"Just because Potter." He stood up from my bed and walked to the door, "Good night" and with that, he left my room. I shouted good night to him, hoping heard me. Something was clearly on Severus' mind. Maybe that had something to do with is visit to his family or something… Too bad he is not one who is up to sharing his feeling anytime. Looks like I will have to get that my own ways. But first sleep, suddenly I felt so unbelievably tired. I quickly changed and turned the lights off.
Morning came fairly quickly. Well, if you call 2pm morning, then yes, it came quickly. Yesterdays little pick-nick in the rain had its toll on me, even with Severus' magnificent potion and I felt a little dizzy when I lifted my head to look trough the window. After spending my usual ten minutes in bed trying to determine if I wanted to get up yet or not I finally decided and got up to the bathroom. Taking a quick shower, I dressed up and went down to look for Severus and perhaps get a few answers from the man of the house. To my great luck, I found him in the kitchen, making something that looked and smelled suspiciously like breakfast for me.
"Good morning, or day to be precise, how are you feeling?" Snape asked not even turning around to look at me.
"Morning. I'm fine, my head is just spinning a little, but otherwise that potion really did a miracle on me." I said, still standing in the doorway "And how are you?" I innocently inquired.
"I am fine, what gave you the impression that I felt otherwise?" he answered my question with another one then took the kettle off the stove and poured the water into two mugs. The whole kitchen smelled of coffee.
"Well, you acted weird yesterday and I thought that something might have happened to you while you were on that trip. So did anything happen? Good, bad?"
"Sit down at the table unless you wish to eat standing in the doorway." Severus mumbled and put a plate of eggs and bacon and two mugs of morning tea on the table. I sat down at the table obediently.
"I thought you didn't want to make a habit of making me breakfast." I smirked at him.
"If you do not like, I am not forcing you to eat anything, you can go and cook the food yourself." the man mumbled sitting down at the table and looked at me as if I was the most ungrateful person on the planet.
"No! No, I'm very grateful, thank you Severus, it's just that it is unexpected, that's all," and with that I then dug in to my food.
"Well, you looked so poor and pathetic yesterday so I decided to do something nice to you for a change."
"You have been doing nothing but sweet things since I came here" I said with a mouthful of eggs, I didn't even know I was that hungry until the food was in front of my face, and Severus just glared at me. "Oh sorry, that statement would ruin your reputation as a heartless bastard, sorry." I smiled and continued eating. Severus was quiet for the rest of my meal, occasionally taking a sip from his own mug.
When I finished my food, I decided to try again with the interrogation:
"So Severus, what happened?"
"I already told you that everything is fine with me." he grumbled, taking the newspaper that had been laying on the table and pretended to read it, hiding his face from me. That was a sign of annoyance.
"And you're so grumpy just because the sun is out then, right?" I asked sarcastically.
"I'm not grumpy, as you say, I am always like that and the sun has nothing to do with it." He answered turning a page; he seemed a little more interested in the newspaper now.
"Oh come on… I know you well enough to see that something is troubling you! Maybe I can help or something…" I tried, taking a sip of my tea again.
"No Potter, you can not help, not in this matter. Furthermore, you are, as usual, the cause of my distress, so please leave this matter in peace." Severus was getting agitated if the grip on his coffee mug had any indication. Well, at least he admitted that something was wrong, that is a start…
"Well, if it is because of me, then it should be fitting that I did something about it. And what did I do again?"
"You were an insolent, stubborn brat, refusing to leave me and wanting to know everything!" Snape ran a hand trough his black hair in frustration.
"So Mommy and Daddy didn't really like the idea of me knowing about your kind?" at least we were getting somewhere now.
"That's not exactly the case, and I didn't go see my parents."
"Then what is the problem?" Severus sighed. The ice is broken!
"I need a walk."
"I'll come with you and we can talk!"
"Alone." He stated grimly. Ouch… that was sudden and unexpected. Severus ignored the hurt look I was giving him and walked out, leaving me alone in the kitchen with two half-finished mugs of coffee. Now it was my turn to sigh. He will probably be home late like last time he went alone. Damn… My talk will have to wait 'till then. Wonder what so wrong with me knowing about them, that Severus is so upset about…
So I once again waited and waited and cleaned the house again and waited some more. I was glad to know that Severus was so kind and left me another one of his potions with a label 'nausea'. Well, at least I suspected that it was for me, since it was left on the countertop. After all that, I decided to just simply sit in the living room, reading a book that I had started, and wait for Snape.
The waiting took a little longer than I expected. Severus came home at half to eleven. At least this time it wasn't raining outside. He once again sat down in the armchair in front of mine and simply stared at me for a few minutes. I could not take the awkward silence anymore so I broke it first,
"Are you going to tell me what's wrong now?" I asked him and he just looked down.
"They want me to turn you." He murmured quietly and it was my turn to stare at him.
"Yes Potter, oh… that is the best thing you can say after somebody tells you that they have to turn you into a blood sucking monster… very articulate Potter," Severus snarled.
"Sorry, but that information is quite overwhelming, you know."
"Overwhelming or not I am not joking, so please move that underused brain of yours and do the smart thing for once, leave, so I could tell that you ran away scared." The man oh so subtly suggested me.
"But Severus, that would absolutely ruin my reputation as the brave Gryffindor!" I tried to joke a little, but Snape did not seem to like it:
"Potter!" he growled, "this is of no joking matter. This is your life we are talking about here! I did not save it so many times just to take it away myself! You have to leave, for your own good; it will be easier for both of us!" this was the first time I actually heard a quiet wave of desperation in Severus' voice and that was strange to hear from him.
"Since when are you one to take the easy road?" I questioned him.
"Potter!" he started again, but I did not give him a chance to continue,
"No Severus, you listen, I know you, and if you really wanted me to leave, you would have made me leave, either by magic or simply thrown me out with brute force, even though that's really not your style. Therefore, my point is that you actually want me to stay here. Isn't that right?" After yelling all that out, the last sentence came out surprisingly quiet, but it made Snape bow his head down a little and hide his eyes from me under his curtain of hair. It meant that Severus was thinking. After a minute of two of dead quiet, a sigh was heard.
"So, perhaps I might like your company in my home a little," that was nice to hear and I know that it took a lot from the man to say that he liked company, my company for that matter, "but that does not mean anything Potter. This is not about what I need," he was back on his track again, "you cannot expect me to actually turn you into a vampire, that idea is even more preposterous than Albus' pink robe that he wore on Valentine days! I cannot believe that you would even consider something like that!" come to think of it I did not really give this idea all that much consideration. Nevertheless, it would not be all that bad.
"You didn't consider anything did you Potter?" He once again snarled at me.
"I thought you didn't like to read minds, the privacy and all that," I reminded him and he just rolled his eyes at me:
"I don't need to read your mind Potter; I can understand what you wee thinking by the dumb look on your face." I gave him a glare and then continued our little battle that had risen.
"But seriously, how horrible would it be? I know I would have to drink blood to survive and all that, but you seem to have this thing all worked out, not to mention I would have powers, not that I need any, but that wouldn't hurt," I smiled at him, content that I had given him a good argument on the subject. I never thought I would be fighting so hard just to be with Severus.
"Merlin, you really are that daft aren't you… and the public really wouldn't notice their hero never aging and living forever. As stupid as those people who worship you are, they would notice this and then I would be the one who would get the blame of turning the worlds greatest hero into a blood sucking monster."
"Severus, I don't care what the public says, I mean it's none of their business and if they would try to say anything bad about you I would be there to deny it."
"My hero…" he murmured sarcastically, "It is not all that easy as you put it Potter, there are other conditions. Pure-blooded vampires do not simply turn random humans, I had already told you that, it is considered a great honour for a mortal to become one of us and it doesn't happen that lightly."
"So you don't consider me worthy?" I asked, a little offended by that.
Severus gave a really long sigh, then stood up and went to the alcohol cabinet. After a few seconds, he came back with two glasses of scotch. He shoved one of the glasses that he came back with into my hand and sat back in his seat. I took a sip from the glass and for a moment, I felt like the evening when I first came into this house. Another minute in silence and I cleared my throat, urging him to speak.
"It's not that I do not find you worthy Potter, but there are other strings attached in being turned by a pure-blooded vampire. As I said, my kind likes to be kept in secret and the more outsiders know about us, the bigger the threat of being exposed. Therefore, to prevent that, the elders, the ones on top of the hierarchy, decided that when a vampire tells about himself to a mortal, he has to turn them. I had already told one person about myself, with the exception of Albus, he was well aware of our kind."
"Yes, you once mentioned that. So did you turn that person?" I asked.
"No. Usually vampires know those rules and only tell the person they think are worthy. Worthy to become their life companion, which is a big deal, considering the fact that vampires live forever. That is the only reason that pure-blooded vampires decide and are aloud to turn someone, that is why it is considered an honour for a mortal, that a vampire chose them as their life companion and made them an equal to themselves." Severus gave another long sigh after that long speech and fell quiet, giving me time to register. It all made sense in some, a little twisted, way, so I decided to ask one of the more random questions that were floating inside my mind.
"So why didn't you turn that other person?" Severus looked a little taken aback, probably by my question of choice, but still answered:
"He ran away from me when I told him everything."
"Ran away? Just like that? Weren't those elders of your mad, scared that he would tell everyone?"
"My family told me they killed him." hmm, they seem to take this idea unbelievably seriously, "he didn't agree to keep his mouth shut."
"God, you guys keep things easy don't you… so you yourself decided to tell him? Who was he?" I am pretty sure that I was prying in too much into Severus' past and everything, but I was always curious, he said it himself and this time I will just push him until he himself says it is enough.
"He was my lover." that came probably quieter than Severus had intended. That says a lot more than I expected, I didn't even know he liked men in that way.
"Didn't even know I liked men, did you Potter," he sneered and I decided to ignore that.
"So how long were you together?" I asked next.
"Five years" he grumbled. Clearly not his favourite subject.
"After five years of being together he just ran away because of something like that?" I half shouted.
"I don't need your pity Potter!" Severus hissed, "This is not something I feel particularly happy to discuss with you, or anyone for that matter, so let's just leave it at that." he then growled in his most scary voice and I knew this was end of discussion. Clearly, Severus now said it was enough and I didn't push it. The living room fell quiet except for the quiet crackle of the fire.
"So will you leave now?" he asked me.
"Would you turn me?" I asked him in return.
"Potter, Harry, I already told you what the costs of you being turned are. You would be my lover, Potter. Do you seriously wish that upon yourself?" he said, as if he considered being with him a curse or something of the sort.
"Would you take me as your lover?" the words came out of my mouth before I could stop them. I held my breath in anticipation, not sure if I would feel happy or disappointed if the answer was negative.
"I would," was the quiet response and I let out the breath that I was holding. Relief washed over me. Severus wanted me… but did I want Severus? The only answer that came into my head was yes! I wanted to be with Severus Snape, as absurd as the thought would have sounded half a year ago, now it was the most natural thing. Then the man stood up, and for a moment I thought he might leave again. But he did not, he just went to refill his glass and I stood up too and walked to him.
"So will you, Severus?" I asked, this time very sure of what I wanted. He drank the whole glass of scotch in one gulp and I decided to take some things into my own hands. I kissed him. I actually kissed him. And the touch of our lips… I never fantasized about kissing Severus before, mainly because the idea that Severus Snape would want to kiss me was obnoxious to the last syllable, so I didn't have any expectations on that matter, but at that moment I knew I wanted that to happen again and again. However, it was probably that way just for me. Severus' body was stiff and his lips unmoving. Well, it was worth a try…
"I thought you-" I started, moving away from the other man, but he then released a near animalistic growl. Severus moved so fast, I didn't even manage to blink! In the fraction of a second I once again felt the sensation of those lips on mine and they were moving, coaxing me to open my mouth and let his tongue in, with an occasional nip at my bottom lip. Complying and letting the other hot and wet muscle inside my mouth I could taste the scotch that the man just had had and something entirely Severus; something that I instantly became addicted to. Hoping that my touch wouldn't break whatever spell both of us were under, I tentatively put my arms on Severus' broad shoulders and slid them to wrap around his neck. This action seemed to encourage the man I was kissing and I felt his hands wrap around my waist and press me flush against his lean body. This was the closest I have ever been to Severus and for a moment I wondered how did I manage to live that long without his touch, but my mind decided to completely shut off when Severus carefully navigated us trough the room, lifted me on the writing table, almost knocking off the lamp, and slid his hands under my shirt. Those hands traced up and down my waist, leaving a burning trail behind and I loved every touch. Wanting more contact I snaked my hands into his hair and Severus growled again, breaking the kiss, and moved downwards, hastily opening, or practically ripping, the majority of the buttons of my shirt and started kissing and nipping at my neck and the junction between the neck and shoulder. The touches and feelings were intense and I was panting and already half hard from his ministrations on my body. But when I felt a particularly hard bite on my neck, the thought of him turning me right here, right now, crossed my mind and I lifted my chin up to give him better access, but Severus just inhaled deeply and whispered the words "so tempting…" his voice dark and deep, like chocolate, covered with lust. He then kissed the bite-mark and turned to whisper seductively into my ear:
"Do you want this Harry?" he asked and I moaned at the way my name rolled over his tongue "Do you wish to be mine? Belong to me?" this was my last way out, my last chance to say no, but with the way I was feeling, 'no' was the farthest thing away from the answer that was in my mind, so I voiced it out to Severus…
"Yes… yours!" Severus seemed pleased with my answer because he had his predatory look on his face and his midnight black eyes were once again tinted red. I licked my lips in anticipation.
Then Severus did something I didn't anticipate at all. He stopped all ministrations, lifted me up with such grace, such ease, as if I was just a rag doll and threw me over his shoulder, then started walking towards the stairs. His hand rested on my buttocks and I could just hear the smug smirk on his face at the squeal I let out when he squeezed there.
Not more than five seconds and we were upstairs and in Severus' room. At any other given time I would have looked around, considering that this was the first time I was in here, noted that the room wasn't completely black as I first thought, and noticed other things, but at this situation all I cared about was the enormous bed with silk sheets, that Severus threw me on. And then the sensation of him undressing me was back, though now it wasn't that rushed and frantic as it was in the living room, now Snape took time to undo the buttons of my pants, his hands lingering in one place or another. Slow kisses on my now completely naked chest, and I wondered how, trough all this haze, did I manage to actually work his jumper off over his head without ripping it or strangling Severus. Now his equally naked upper body slid against mine as he once again moved to lock our lips.
I was hard. Almost painfully so and I made Severus know by lifting my hips up to rub at Severus' thigh. I was pleased to find an equally hard erection poking into my hip.
And then his hands and mouth were back, though this time Severus took time to do everything. His touches weren't as frantic as they were in the living room; he took time to fully undress me, running his hands all over my chest caressing every inch of my body as if it were something greatly precious and I simply lost myself.
My body did not belong to me anymore. It belonged to Severus, I belonged to Severus, I yearned for his touch, his hands, his lips, his body, and he did everything he wanted with me, I felt as if floating in heaven from his soft touches. Severus used that to his advantage and I was awakened from my drugged like state only when a long slick finger circled my opening but not going in. I got up on my elbows and gave Severus a kiss as encouragement then lied back and waited for the pain of the intrusion. There was none. All I felt was a tingle and the wonderful feeling of Severus' warm fingers inside me. One after another the fingers slid inside me, stretching me and rubbing that wonderful bundle of nerves deep inside me that had me writhing and moaning Severus' name over and over again. Then all ministrations stopped and I looked impatiently at the man above me as he removed his fingers from me.
"One last chance before I take away your life and give you a new, different one. Then there is no turning back" Severus hissed and I saw it in his eyes that he was doing his best to restrain himself, his hands were shaking, his breath uneven and his eyes glistering red. Yes, no turning back.
"An eternity with you sounds wonderful, Severus." I tried to look confident with that decision and hoped that the man would see it. It seemed that the look worked after all, because Severus nodded and lifted my legs up on his shoulders.
This time there was pain, but it was mixed with pleasure as Severus slid inside me and at the same time bit my neck, his now long fangs sinking into my flesh. He moaned and that sound sent shivers of pleasure down my spine, all I could think of was Severus as he moved inside of me creating a fast and steady rhythm while is mouth never left my neck, greedily drinking my source of life. This combination of sweet ecstasy and pain seemed to create a volcano inside of me, which threatened to erupt any second. Severus was at his peak too, he gave three hard thrusts and I came, shouting my lovers name and spilling my seed on both our stomachs. This seemed to pull the man over the edge and he too came, removing his sharp teeth from my neck with a strangled groan and spilling his essence inside me.
Just a few seconds passed after our pleasurable convulsion I felt Severus slip out of me and at that second I started to tremble. I felt so cold, nauseous and tired at the same time. Then sharp pain shot trough my whole body and I screamed. Then I felt warm hands on my cheeks, holding my face and heard the voice of my lover.
"Shh Harry… Just a few seconds longer." He caressed my cheeks with his palms "your body is dying… I'm sorry…" he hushed me and kissed me lightly as another scream of pain escaped from me. Then, just a few more seconds, as Severus said, just as everything was starting to get dark and blurry over the edges, I felt something warm, wet touch my lips and smelt blood. Instinctively I leaped up and grabbed the source of blood, which, after a few seconds of sucking, I realised was Snape's hand. The little voice in my head said to stop, that now I could hurt Severus, but the realisation that the horrifying pain stopped was stronger and I drank as much of the metal tasting blood as Severus let me.
A minute or two and the blood was gone just as unexpectedly as it first came. I felt much better, more alive than before; I felt a lot more things than I did before. I could smell the sweat from both mine and my lover's bodies, the unique smell that was just Severus. At that moment so many things were around me, so may feelings, smells, everything was so distracting, overwhelming… a second later I looked at Severus, who was lying on the bed right beside me, panting hard and I smiled.
"Is this how you always feel Severus?" I asked quietly.
"Yes. Distracting isn't it? You'll get used to it in a short while, but this is how I felt all the time when around you, which was quite often in the past year." He smirked at me and I just smiled and kissed him.
"Severus? Should I feel this sleepy?" I whispered.
"Yes, you should. Your body just died and your head and senses are overwhelmed by all this new information and feelings, so it is quite normal to feel tired and want to sleep."
"Will I have to sleep at all from now on? You don't seem to sleep a lot…"
"Not much, from four to six hours until you get used to everything and then you will be fine with just two hours. Why do you think I was roaming the halls of Hogwarts most of the nights" he smirked at me and pulled the silk covers over our naked bodies.
"I knew there was something wrong with you then! No normal human could have stayed awake the way you did!" I exclaimed and gave my lover another kiss. He just snorted but answered the kiss.
"Come on, sleep now… we have a whole eternity ahead of us for that. Besides, tomorrow I will have to teach you so many things about being a vampire." He said in a voice that promised a lot of new experiences and by the somewhat sadistic smirk on his face, I concluded that there will be lessons harder than potions.
"Like you said, a whole eternity for that…"
This is the place where people say thank you and dedicate their stories to someone. Well, I'm happy to announce that there will be no thank you's or dedications from me, since I don't have a beta or anyone else I could thank for the help with this story! And since I'm not in the mood to dedicate it to anyone in particular, it will be to all the people that actually read this and leave a review!