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Two weeks later Harry, who had filled out nicely sat at the kitchen table of number twelve Grimmauld place looking over a pile of blue prints with excited eyes. Severus who was also looking more relaxed sat beside Harry giving suggestions as a magical pencil drew in lines and instructions neatly and precisely. Harry let out a soft laugh at something Severus said before pointing at something on the page and making a change causing Severus in turn to laugh. Ron Weasley watched them from the doorway an amused and slightly hopeless look on his face. He supposed he deserved it, he supposed that they all deserved it after leaving Harry in that place. He had betrayed his best friend for the last time it seemed, Harry upon his return hadn't said a word to any one besides Severus. At first he had hardly smiled at all, he'd carried around a haunted look that showed the hells he'd been through. Slowly though, Snape had managed somehow to put the light back into Harry's eyes. His nightmares, which had been occurring nightly when Harry had first arrived waking every one with his terrified screams and frantic pleading had also receded though he'd never forget the look on Severus' face when his mum had suggested he put up silencing charms after the fourth night of being woken up. Nor would he forget the cold unforgiving laugh that had surrounded them before he spoke.

"Oh, no Molly. We want you to hear them. We want you all to know what happened to him in that dungeon, want you to know how he screamed till he was hoarse from the pain because you couldn't be bothered to lift a finger for the boy who you had dared call son!" And with that he'd returned to Harry calming drought in hand leaving a pale and shaken Molly Weasley behind. After that Harry's nightmares had lessened gradually, but his mothers had increased. Hermione who had refused to accept that Harry was in an illicit relationship with a teacher also received a tongue-lashing from the potions master after walking in on them kissing and calling them disgusting. Harry had shrunk into Severus' side his face pale his hands clutching the older man's shirt causing the professor's rather protective side to take over. When all was said and done Hermione was left pale and shaking on the ground after being hit with a curse that would force her to see the torture Harry had gone through as if it were happening right before her. He shivered remembering her screams, if it hadn't been for Dumbledore who had been called when no one could figure out what curse was cast…Hermione might have lost it. As it was she was mighty accepting of the relationship now though she still stayed as far away from the pair as she could. Ron though, Ron could see plainly that the two literally couldn't be torn apart now. At first he'd done his usual thing and flew of the handle leaving destruction behind before finally he pouted fuming silently and watching the two with critical eyes. It was only then that he noticed the little things. Things that maybe the others hadn't seen, like the way the potions master watched Harry when he thought no one was looking, the way he took care of Harry even though Harry had no clue he'd done anything. He saw the way Harry's eyes would brighten when they landed on the older man, the way he couldn't seem to help touching the man, as if to make sure that he was real and to reassure himself and Severus of something that Ron doubted he would ever understand. Sometimes their eyes would meet and it was as if they had left the world and gone to a place where Ron would never follow. He wanted to be jealous at first, but when he saw it he couldn't help the feeling of peace that flowed through him.

"Need something Weasley?" Severus' voice demanded slicing through his thoughts and leaving him dazed for a moment as he registered that the man was looking at him dangerously his arm wrapped around Harry who was leaning into his side relishing in the protection Severus provided. Ron found himself smiling softly as he looked the man in the eye returning the hard gaze.

"Yeah," He said confidently. "Hurt him and I won't rest until you're dead by my hands." He swore solemnly before letting his eyes land on Harry who had whipped around and was looking at him with a bewildered expression. Ron smiled. "Also, if you need anything I'm here lil' bro." He said softly. Harry tilted his head to the side and seemed to be considering it for a moment before a smile slowly crept onto his features.

"Severus told me you know." Harry said quietly. "How you'd yelled at every one when they wouldn't do anything, how you'd almost gotten expelled for trying to leave the grounds when you'd heard where I was being hidden. Thank you." He said. Ron blushed brightly till the tips of his ears were a bright red; he was never good at this sort of stuff.

"No problem Harry." He said quietly meeting the professors' eyes. He was surprised though, to see a small smile on the mans' lips before he nodded in acknowledgment.

"I will hold you to your vow Weasley." Ron nodded awkwardly in return before with a smile turning and walking out of the room.

Harry smiled softly as a fresh breeze tickled his senses. When he opened his eyes his smile grew at the sight of their entwined fingers twin rings glinting in the light as bright and shining as the day. They're hands, though scarred and in Severus' case stained contrasted beautifully with their white sheets Harry thought. The smell of lilac filled his nostrils as he lay contentedly on their bed the feeling of safety wrapped firmly about him, a safety he associated with dark eyes and soft words a safety that was Severus in every way. He smiled as he felt small kisses being pressed along his shoulders and neck. "Good morning sleepy." Severus whispered nuzzling his neck and tightening his grip around Harry. Harry laughed softly and let out a yelp when he was lifted off the bed and carried out the door and into their kitchen before being set down gently on a chair. Severus leaned down and kissed him deeply before pulling away and setting about making breakfast leaving Harry dazed and breathless. He watched his husband making breakfast completely ignoring the fact that he was naked…which now that Harry thought about it…the man had a nice arse…As if catching what Harry was thinking Severus turned and sent him a suggestive smirk purposely flexing the muscles in his arse and making Harry moan. An indignant hoot made Harry laugh as Hedwig soared into the room nipping Severus' exposed arse on the way and causing Harry to clutch his sides in laughter at the look on the man's face. "Bloody owl…" He mumbled shaking his head before glaring at Harry with a raised eyebrow. "What are you laughing at?" He asked before retuning to his cooking as if nothing had happened though Harry did see him rub the small red spot when Severus thought he wasn't watching. Harry hid his laughter as he stroked Hedwig's feathers and untied the Daily Prophet from about her leg. Deftly he unrolled it only to freeze at the article his face growing pale at what he saw.

"S-Severus…" He said weakly tears falling from his eyes as he looked at the headline reading it over and over again as if the words would change. Sensing that something was wrong Severus quickly turned off the stove and rushed to Harry's side looking at the newspaper when he realized that he wasn't going to get a reaction out of Harry. What he saw made his jaw drop and his entire body shake. Severus flinched visibly when the sound of the floo lighting filled the cottage. Suddenly Ron was in the room grinning like a fool, he didn't even seem to notice that they were both naked.

"YOU-KNOW-WHO IS DEAD!" he shouted happily before their state of undress hit him and his face reddened. "You're n-n-n-n-naked!" He squeaked pointing a finger at them while covering his eyes with his other hand. Harry, despite the tears that were still dripping down his cheeks let out a laugh as relief, the hilarity of the situation, and something else entirely washed over him. He was sure that he must have looked rather mad with tears flowing down his cheeks while he alternately sobbed and laughed until finally Severus pulled him against his chest and the laughter died away leaving just the relief and that other indiscernible emotion.

"We're free." He finally managed to choke out. "We're finally free!"

Later he would find out that Voldemort's greatest weakness had been what he'd considered his greatest ability; the ability to lord over people. To wield power and demand respect because no one was more powerful than himself, literally. His Horcruxes, parts of himself were naturally just as sly as he was and just as powerful. After years of soaking up the magic from the air around them they'd all wanted the same thing- to be the most powerful. The Horcuxes destroyed each other fighting for dominance until there was only two left, the one in Harry's scar, and the one residing in Voldemort. When Harry had bonded with Severus the horcrux was forced to leave him by the ancient magic in the spell. In a desperate attempt to save it's self the shard of Voldemort's soul the last one he'd created and thusly the one which was most similar to him in power and knowledge as well as insanity fought him for position of his current body. The fight destroyed Voldemort from the inside out and by the time one shard had conquered the other his body was releasing its last breath. Voldemort was dead. Killed by his equal because the one horcrux could not survive while he yet lived and because Harry was the one hosting the horcrux he had a power that the dark lord knew not. For the rest of his days Harry would shake his head at the irony of it and laugh as he remembered how long it had been before Ron was able to look their professor in the eye again. Once again the wizarding world would get up and dust herself off again as another dark wizard was laid to rest and by the time Harry had passed away at a ripe old age of one-hundred and thirty-two hardly anyone even knew about the dark lord Voldemort. Harry died peacefully surrounded by his and Severus' children and grandchildren and great grandchildren allowing his last breath to leave him just as Severus' did.

-The End-