Happily Ever After

Groaning loudly, Snape slowly regained consciousness in the Infirmary, a few hours later. The hazy fog started to lift in his mind. However, that meant that he unfortunately was lucky enough to see an instant replay of everything that had happened in the past twenty-four hours. Another loud groan escaped his lips, but this one was out of pure disgust at himself.

"Good evening, my boy," a soft voice spoke from Snape's left side. "I would ask how you were, but I believe I already know the answer."

"I am an idiot, Headmaster," Snape quietly replied.

"Yes, well, love does tend to do that to us, my boy."

"Not about that, Albus," Snape harshly hissed. He couldn't believe the old coot thought he was talking about his confusing feelings for Aurora, as if he wanted to talk to a man that reminded others of a grandfather. "I am referring to how I made Amortentia without realizing it. I am a potions master. I should be able to tell instantly what ingredients will create what potion. Instead, I end up drugging myself and making myself be a total fool in front of the entire school."

"My boy, there is no need to chastise yourself over it. It happens to the best of us. However, perhaps it was your subconscious trying to get you to reveal your feelings for her. The mind does funny things when it concerns matters of the heart."

"Yes, well, I believe we both know the danger that poses, though. After all, fools wear their hearts on their sleeves. I cannot afford to do so, and neither can I ask Aurora to either."

"I see," Dumbledore quietly replied as he looked over his half-moon spectacles at Snape.

"You're scheming. I can see it. Do not interfere, old man. You will regret it," Snape threatened.

"I fail to see how I am scheming, my dear boy. I am merely pondering Schrödinger's Cat."

"Ah, yes, and how is that going for you, Headmaster?" drawled Snape. He didn't believe a word the old man said. He knew from experience that when the man got that strange little twinkle in his eyes that it wasn't a good sign.

"Quite well," Dumbledore jovially responded. "You will have to forgive me, my boy, but I must leave. I have some rather important Order business to attend to," he said before walking away. He turned around, though, when he reached the doors. "I am sure you both have numerous things to discuss."

"Both…? I do not understand, Headmaster."

"Oh, you will, my boy. You will." Dumbledore then walked out.

Nearly two seconds later, Aurora Sinistra appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the room. She quickly whirled around with a look of confusion on her face, but she stopped moving moments later. Her dark eyes came to rest on Snape.

"You're awake," Aurora said.

"So it would seem," Snape replied evenly. Someday he would learn to run the other way when he saw that damn twinkle. Of course, Dumbledore would make him face this situation. The man loved to interfere. Snape heavily sighed before he glanced towards her.

"Well, um…how are you feeling?"

Snape had to bite the inside of his cheek to refrain from being sarcastic with Aurora. He understood that she felt horribly awkward standing in front of him, but her asinine comments were starting to annoy him. He calmly drew in a deep breath.

"I am well. You need not worry about me professing anything else to you in the nearby future."

"Oh, I don't mind," replied Aurora offhandedly. Her face instantly reddened as she caught her words. "Oh god, I didn't mean…I…um…well…you know what I mean."

"Yes, for once I do," responded Snape. He then glanced away. Well, this was extremely uncomfortable. He wished Aurora would just leave, but he knew she couldn't. Dumbledore would have ensured that he told her everything before he'd release them. Rolling his eyes, he knew what he had to do. "When I professed my feelings for you, I was under the effects of Amortentia."

"I know. Poppy told me. I also know that we can't do anything because it's too dangerous."

"Yes," Snape replied rather surprised. Aurora seemed to be taking it rather well. "However, that does not change my feelings for you."

"Only that you can't act on them," Aurora responded calmly.

"Correct. It is out of protection that I don't. Do you understand?" She nodded. "Excellent," Snape said with a soft sigh.

"Oh, yes, I understand perfectly, Severus." Aurora's voice was tight, and her eyes narrowed into slits as she glared at him. "You're being a royal ass." Her fist then hit his shoulder. "Do you honestly think I can just switch off my feelings for you like some damn robot? I am not you, Severus. I can't hide behind barriers to ensure that I don't get hurt like some people we know."

"I am not hiding."

"Now you're just lying to yourself, Severus. You are most definitely hiding. Do you know what, though, Severus? Barriers break. I wonder what would happen to you if yours broke. I guarantee you that it wouldn't be pretty. So go ahead, Severus. Hide yourself away even more so you don't get hurt. After all, we both know that you're a coward."

"Do not call me that, Sinistra," Snape growled.

"Why? Are you afraid to hear a little bit of the truth?" Aurora mocked. "Only a coward would hide behind his barriers so that he didn't feel."

"Do not call me that," Snape replied in a deathly low voice. He watched Aurora lean in towards him. He could see the determination and stubbornness in her eyes.

"Coward," Aurora responded matching Snape's tone.

Snape took her completely off-guard when he quickly sat up and yanked her down to his level. His lips angrily covered hers before he deepened the kiss. It was as possessive as their first, but a bit rougher than before. Moments later, they drew back and panted as they tried to catch their breath.

"I am not a coward, Aurora. I am only being rational." Snape then closed his eyes. Even to him, his words sounded so empty. "He will try to use you to influence me either by your harm or death."

"I am well aware of the risks, Severus, and I'm not afraid. That potion proved that I'm your weakness already. Even if we weren't together, he'd still use it. We both know that. Shouldn't we be happy together, Severus?" He stared at her for a long time before he gave her his answer, a soft kiss.