"For the last time would you leave me alone."
Severus stopped outside the staff room.
"Oh come now, Harry, you know you want to. It's not like I'm asking for forever, just a bit of a fuck from time to time."
Severus identified that voice quickly, it was Max Richards the new charms professor.
"I have never given you permission to use my name Professor Richards, do not presume to do so. I am in a relationship, and new though it may be, I am very deeply in love with my partner," Harry lied.
Severus shook his head. It was common knowledge that Potter never left the grounds unless he had to.
Richards seamed to realise that as well. "Really? Who with?" he sneered.
Severus heard someone walking up the hallway towards him, not wanting to be caught eavesdropping he opened the door.
Richards had his back to the door, Potter looked up and blushed. "Snape!"
Richards turned around. "With him? You're kidding, or lying, which is it?" he demanded.
Severus crossed his arms and growled.
Minerva entered the room. "To my knowledge, Mr Potter does not lie, or kid, about anything important," she said having heard Richards' last comment.
The rest of the staff filed in and the end to the week meeting started.
Richards hung back at the end of the meeting, trying to catch Harry alone again.
Harry left as quickly as he could, following Severus out of the door. "Wait, Harry, Mr Potter. You can do better than him. Why don't I come to your rooms later and I'll show you?" Richards leered suggestively at him.
"I can't do better because there is no one better. I won't see you tonight or ever."
Severus put a hand on Harry shoulder, although he couldn't say even to himself why. "Ignore him, he can't help being a dickhead. He was when I taught him too."
Harry allowed himself to be guided away. "These are my rooms," Harry said stupidly, when they stopped walking.
"Your powers of observation are astounding as ever. Well open the door," Severus said quietly knowing they had been followed.
Harry lent forward and whispered to the portrait, which swung aside easily. When the portrait closed, again Severus dropped his hand.
"Thank you," Harry said dropping unhappily into a chair. "Please take a seat."
"No, thank you, if you would excuse me, I'll take my leave." Severus left quickly, trying to ignore how tired Potter looked.
Harry watched him to wondering why a man who hated him had helped him. Pushing it out of his mind Harry showered and changed out of his teaching robes. Fridays were usually spent marking and getting ready for the week to come. Harry piled his marking, textbooks and everything he would need on his coffee table, along with a bottle of wine and some munchies from the kitchen, which was more than enough to feed an army.
Making himself comfortable he sighed in frustration when he realised his new quill was still in his bag. Standing back up he walked to the door and opened his bag.
The knock at the door startled him. Opening it, he saw the grinning face of Professor Richards, who was wearing a red silk robe.
"Hello, Harry. I saw the old git leaving; I guess you got rid of him. So can I come in?" The leering man pulled out the sash on his robe, which fell open showing only a scrap of material masquerading as underwear underneath.
Harry turned and waved his wand at the table, the contents of which flew into his bag neatly shrunk and packed.
"I already told you no, I have plans, none of which involve you." Harry pushed the stunned man out of the way, closed the portrait, and stalked off.
Harry tentatively knocked on Snape's door. The man in question opened it quickly. "What do you want Potter?" he asked tetchily.
"Sanctuary!" Harry said seriously.
Snape stepped back allowing him entrance. "What have you done this time?"
"Max bloody Richards turned up at my door in a red silk robe and dropped it open leaving him all but naked, I swear it was almost enough to turn me straight. I had my bag in my hand already, so I gathered my stuff and I was here before I realised where I was walking to." Harry looked at the sofa but didn't sit.
"Dear god the man has no shame. Sit. What do you intend to do about him?" Severus asked sitting in a chair.
"Talk to Minerva I suppose," Harry shrugged.
"Don't bother, she'll only encourage it. 'You really should find a nice young man to settle down with'," Severus said in pitch perfect imitation of Minerva's voice. Harry burst into laughter.
"You too? Hermione says the exact same thing to me, but at least she's stopped telling me I need to go out and experiment, accompanied by handy tips and diagrams," Harry grimaced in remembrance.
"Diagrams?" Severus asked.
"Trust me, you don't want to know."
Severus nodded in acceptance. "Minerva won't leave me alone. She's tried setting me up on blind dates twice in the last few months, without telling me. I've met her for lunch and she's brought someone along. 'Oh look who I just bumped into, oh is that the time, I must dash, you two stay and have lunch'," Severus imitated again scowling.
Harry was grinning. "How long before they ran from the table crying?" he asked, enjoying the first civilised conversation he'd ever had with Snape.
"The first one lasted until the starters arrived, the second ran as soon as Minerva left. I hadn't even said anything," Severus surged.
"That's impressive. Ex-student?" Harry asked.
"Yes, you'd think she'd know better. What had you intended doing before Richards interrupted you?" Severus asked.
"Marking, a bottle of wine and some snacks, nothing exciting." Harry said eyeing his bag.
"And it's all in that bag?" Severus gestured.
"Yes." Harry confirmed.
"Very well, you may stay."
"Really! Thank you, I packed the wine and snacks if you want to share," Harry offered.
"Very well, I'll get my marking and some glasses," Severus moved to do so.
They sat in a companionable silence marking, occasionally commenting on the idiocy of students. The bottle of wine was soon gone, Severus produced another.
"Um, professor, I was thinking." Harry started nervously. "I may have a way to get Minerva off your back and Richards and Hermione off mine."
"Oh? How? I've been trying since I started teaching here, she's only getting worse."
"Well, um." Harry stammered.
"Spit it out, Potter," Severus demanded.
"We could pretend to be together. Richards already thinks we are." To Harry's surprise Severus actually seemed to be considering it.
"I'll think about it. It's past dinner time, shall I order from the kitchen?"
Glad not to have been kicked out, Harry nodded.
They ate the meal in silence, each considering the possibilities. Finally, Severus broke the silence. "Very well, Potter, I'll agree to your little scheme. It will have to be planned properly, it takes a lot of planning to be purposefully indiscreet. Come back tomorrow." It was a clear gesture of dismissal; Harry packed up his things quickly.
"See you tomorrow then," Harry left before Snape could change his mind.
The next morning Harry woke with groan, his head pounding. Thanking all the gods he could think of that he always kept a hangover potion in his bathroom, he got ready for breakfast.
Severus was already at the table when Harry arrived, he was scowling at the room in general.
"Morning," Harry said cheerfully
"Do you have to be quite this happy in the mornings?" Severus quipped.
Harry was a little shocked. It was rare for Severus to talk in the mornings, except to yell at misbehaving students. Then Harry realised this was Severus's way of starting their arrangement.
"Only when I have a good reason to be," Harry returned with a smile.
"Oh? What gave you reason today? Did you manage to put your shoes on the right feet first try?" Severus asked him.
Minerva dropped her fork in shock.
Harry laughed. "Yep, and..." Harry lowered his voice, "matching socks."
Severus's lips quirked. "Congratulations, a landmark indeed.
Harry smiled and grabbed some toast.
"If you'll excuse me, I have several potions to make or I'll have Poppy after my blood," Severus drank the last of his tea and rose from the table.
Harry took a deep breath and took the plunge. "I'm at a loose end today. I managed to get all my marking done last night, could you use someone to chop for you?"
Severus's eyebrows rose as the only outward sign of his shock. "Very well, but if you make a mess or blow something up, you'll be cleaning it."
"How is it, I'm nearly thirty and you can still make me feel like I'm about to be given detention?" Harry asked wrapping more toast in a napkin.
"It's a skill," Severus deadpanned.
They left the hall together, none of the students took any notice, but Minerva watched them go gaping at the sight.
Severus closed the door to his private lab. "I intend to hold you to your offer," he said as he did so.
"I wouldn't have said it if I didn't mean it. Just tell me what you want me to do."
Severus gestured for Harry to sit at the bench and gave him some roots to chop. Much to Severus's shock Harry chopped them exactly how he wanted them. "I see you're not entirely stupid. Who taught you? You never showed such aptitude in my class."
"Well if you taught as passionately as you write I would have learned a lot more," Harry said with a small smile.
"What are you talking about?" Severus asked, pushing the next set of ingredients towards Harry.
"I learned more from your old school book in one year than I did in five years of your classes. The passion in your words made me feel more passionate about the subject. Does that make any scene?" Harry asked looking up from the daisy roots he was chopping.
"What book? What are you talking about Potter?"
Harry rolled his eyes. "If we're dating you should call me Harry or people will know we're lying."
"Very well, Harry. What book are you talking about?" Severus asked forcing himself to use Harry's name.
"An old text book of yours, I have it in my rooms. I'll get it for you, later. It took the three of us nearly all year to work out you were the Half-Blood Prince," Harry reached for the ginger to grind.
"I haven't been called that since before you were born," Severus said wistfully. "I want that book back. Merlin only knows what's in it." Severus tried to remember.
"I'll get it for you tonight, Severus."
When the ginger was added, Severus let the heat flash up high for a few seconds then bottled the potion. "That's all that is required at the moment."
"I thought you said you had a lot to do today," Harry asked surprised.
"I lied. This way no one will wonder where you've been all day. I've had several thoughts about letting people know we're off the market. Shall we sit down?" Severus didn't wait for an answer he just led the way into his sitting room.
Harry watched him for a second before following, thinking 'Sneaky snake.' "So what's your plan?" Harry asked interested in what the older man had come up with.
"I sugges thatt we are seen going for a meal together, or to a show." Severus steepled his fingers and waited for Harry's response.
"Well, traditionally, if you want to do the full date thing, we should go to the movies then for a meal, perhaps a walk afterwards. Then home," Harry said, drawing from what he'd read or seen on television rather than personal experience.
Severus nodded. "That would be acceptable. But it is too late today to arrange, and not advisable on a school night."
"Next Friday, then, but we should spend time together before then too, like today."
Severus nodded. "Very well, I suppose it wouldn't hurt if we we're seen together occasionally. We could patrol together, or arrive at dinner together," Severus suggested.
"Yes, and if we were late everyone would notice," Harry agreed.
"I keep an eye on the corridors most nights, and I know you patrol almost every night too. We could do it together this week," Harry offered.
"I've never seen you out patrolling," Severus said surprised.
"I never said I patrolled, I said I kept an eye on the corridors," Harry grinned. "I'll show you Monday. Curfew is at eight, if you like you can come up to my rooms after dinner. I'll show you the secret of why I've given more detentions than you in the last two years for curfew breakers."
"You haven't!" Severus said in mock horror at the prospect.
"I have! I checked." To Harry's delight Severus's lips twitched in amusement. "What other coupply thing should we do? Harry asked.
"Well, couples tend to enjoy physical contact," Severus said not quite meeting Harry's eye.
"True, but, I can't imagine you walking down the hall holding hands, and no one else would believe it, unless someone saw us when they weren't meant to. Best stick with unconscious things, like I could brush hair out of your eyes or squeeze your hand as I left the table. People would accept that, I'm a very tactile person and your letting me without killing me would speak volumes," Harry said trying to be practical.
"That's actually very well thought out, Harry," Severus said meeting his eyes again.
Harry laughed. "You needn't sound quite so surprised. I do have a brain you know, just because I don't flaunt it like you do, with your long words and posh voice," Harry teased.
"It took years of practice to achieve this particular turn of phrase. I don't intend to change now," Severus said, raising his chin defiantly.
"Nor would I ever ask you to, I always liked the way you talked. Even when you're insulting someone, it sounds poetic," Harry said with a slight blush.
"Kissing," Severus announced.
"Pardon me?" Harry asked confused.
"The other thing couples do. It might help to be caught kissing," Severus explained, regaining his composure.
"Well," Harry hesitated.
"This was your idea, if you're not willing to go through with it..." Severus said angrily.
"It's not that, it's just the first few kisses are awkward and obvious to everyone that it hasn't happened before," Harry said trying to calm Severus down.
"What are you suggesting?" Severus asked warily.
"Well, practice makes perfect, so they say, so we should practice," Harry blushed.
"Very well. No time like the present."
Severus stood and Harry followed a few seconds later. Severus stepped forward and cupped Harry's face kissing him gently on the lips for just a moment.
"I think in the interest of believability, we should kiss for longer," Harry said his lips still tingling.
"Agreed," Severus caught Harry's lips for a harder kiss, gasping when Harry's tongue darted out teasing his lips for entrance. Severus opened his mouth and began to explore the contours of Harry's mouth with his tongue. Eventually the need to breathe separated them.
"That was... that was definitely convincing," Harry said breathlessly.
"Indeed," Severus agreed
"I should go." Harry said reluctantly. "I won't be around tomorrow, I spend every other Sunday at the Burrow."
Severus took a step back dropping his hands. "Very well. I will see you Monday."
"Yes, after dinner my rooms. My memory isn't that bad," Harry grinned.
Harry made it back to his room in record time and dove into a very cold shower. "Merlin that man can kiss," Harry said to the empty room.
Monday went tortuously slowly. Severus was almost ready to drown himself in a bottle of scotch by the time his last class finished.
There was a tentative knock on his door. Looking up he saw a scared looking third year Slytherin student, holding a piece of parchment.
"I was told to bring this to you, sir," The boy said holding out the paper.
Severus took it, noticing it was spelled for his eyes only.
This kid is getting on my last nerve. Don't worry, I'm not asking you to punish him. He already has detention and lost ten points.
I wanted to let you know I have a bottle of lava whisky if your day has been as bad as mine has, we can share it.
I sent the kid, because I knew the walk down to you would terrify him. I thought it a fitting punishment after was he was doing to the girls sitting in front of him.
Severus looked up at the pale terrified boy. "What Mr. Ball, did you do to those girls?" He asked in a dangerous whisper.
"..." The boy whispered.
"I found some snakes in the grounds and I put them in their bags," the boy said louder.
"Were they your housemates too?" Severus's tone was deadly now.
"Mr Ball, it is bad enough to pick on a girl, but on one of your own house! Your house is meant to be your family. You will make a formal apology tonight in front of the whole house," The boy nodded. "And Mr Ball, using snakes as a scare tactic in the class of the only living Parseltongue is just plain stupid. Go to dinner."
Severus sat next to Harry to smile at him, "I got your note, that bottle will definitely be required."
"It's already on the table ready for us. Try the steak and kidney pie, it's very good."
Minerva who was on Severus's other side was getting suspicious and Richard's at the end of the table was glowering at them. Neither man took any notice.
When they arrived at Harry's rooms a little later, both men were amused at how easy it was to irritate and intrigue the people around them by just having a civil conversation.
Harry poured them each a large glass of the strong amber liquid and they sat comfortably on the sofa.
"Are you going to tell me your secrets of patrolling now?" Severus asked after the first sip.
"You've been ding to know since Saturday, haven't you?" Harry asked reaching for his wand.
"I'm merely interested," Severus denied.
"Sure you are," Harry summoned a scrap of parchment smirking. "I solemnly swear I'm up to no good," Harry said, tapping the parchment.
The parchment unfolded and covered the table, now displaying a detailed map of the school. Little dotes were scurrying all over it. "Your house seems to have congregated." Harry observed.
"Hmm, yes, I ordered Mr Bell to make a public apology in front of the whole house. Out of curiosity what did you do with the snakes?"
"I emptied my bedside drawer and filled them with bedding to create a nest. The only reason Bell caught them is because they're pregnant. So they are going to stay with me until the baby's come."
Severus shook his head. "Gryffindors."
"Oh dear." Harry said still studying the map. "Minerva is on her way to your rooms."
"Where did you get this map?" Severus asked, watching the dot marked Minerva McGonagall stop outside his doors.
"The twins gave it to me, they stole it from Filch, and Filch confiscated it from the Marauders. Family heirloom." A loud bong sounded to show curfew had arrived.
"How do you give detention without being there?" he asked, ignoring where the map came from.
"I use a voice throwing trick. I don't always use my own voice, I do a passable Filch, and well, the other one I'm good at I don't need to do if you're here already."
"I dread to hear your imitation of me, I'm sure it's terrible," Severus sneered.
"I don't know, I made a first year cry when I was a student," Harry said shrugging.
"I didn't know you had it in you," Severus said impressed.
"It had been a bad week, I lost my temper, I didn't even realise I sounded like you 'till afterwards."
"Show me your voice throwing trick," Severus asked.
"Alright. But you have to do Minerva at least once," Harry smiled.
They spent two hours watching the map and talking about all the things they'd never been caught for during their school days.
They agreed to enter the forest the next evening to search for ingredients for Severus and interesting animals for Harry's class.
They found several roots and flowers Severus needed to make a new experimental potion, and Harry persuaded one of Aragogs family to pay a visit to the school, on the understanding that if he harmed or tried to harm anyone, he would be killed.
As they left the forest, Severus took Harry's hand in his.
Harry looked up at him inquiringly.
"In case anyone is watching, The man explained. "Perhaps now would be a good time to practise kissing to be caught," Severus suggested keeping his eyes forward.
"Well, we don't want to be underprepared. And if anyone I watching us they would expect us to kiss goodnight," Harry said reasonably.
They stopped in the courtyard outside the main doors. This time Harry initiated the kiss. He wrapped an arm around Severus's waist and used the other hand to pull Severus's head down and kissed him lightly.
"Goodnight Severus. I'll see you tomorrow," Harry said, not moving from his position, their lips still almost touching.
"I have a prior arrangement for tomorrow night," Severus said a hint of real sadness in his voice. "With Minerva," he clarified at Harry's upset look. "However, we can meet for lunch. I'll help you prepare for your spider visit," Severus offered.
"That would be great. Thank you," Harry's wide genuine smile was infectious and Severus couldn't help but return it.
Severus gave Harry another quick kiss. "Goodnight, Harry."
At the main stairs, they separated.
Harry had arranged for the kitchens to bring a picnic type lunch to his classroom for himself and Severus. He'd also asked Dobby to bring it before his class left, and pretend to be sorry for interrupting, but under no circumstance was Dobby to harm himself in any way.
His fifth year students were very interested to watch the little show they got. Harry dismissed them five minutes early knowing the gossip mill had well and truly been set in motion.
Severus arrived ten minutes later, and with a quick wave of his wand moved all the desks to one corner of the loom leaving a large space in the centre of the room.
"Well, that's the preparation taken care of. Lunch is ready. I asked Dobby to bring some of your favourites," Harry said, picking up a plate from his table and handing it to him.
As they ate, they talked about Hermione's new boyfriend, who she was refusing to tell Harry anything about and Severus told Harry about the weekly evening he had with Minerva ever since he'd started teaching.
"Your class will be here soon. What year are you teaching?" Severus asked as the bell rang for the end of lunch.
"Year seven, I have four of each house this year." Severus started to leave. Harry stopped him. "I think its normal procedure for couples to kiss goodbye."
"I suppose." Severus put his hands on Harry's shoulders and kissed him chastely, before deepening the kiss.
Harry's classroom door was flung open. Professor Richards barged his way in followed by Harry's students. All of whom stopped dead at the sight that greeted them.
Richards gapped at them. "You fucking cradle robber! He's too young for you. You'll just use him and his money. At least I'll spend it on nice things not potions crap. You're just an old ugly Death Eater!" That was all he managed before he fell to the ground paralysed.
Harry stood with his wand in hand looking furious. "You. Do. Not. Insult Severus Snape within my earshot. He is one of the bravest, loyal, honest men I've ever known. You are a creepy pond slime that doesn't deserve to call itself a teacher. I've lost count of the number of students that have come to me for help because you don't explain something properly."
Severus laid his hand on Harry's shoulder to calm him. "I'll take him up to Minerva." Severus flicked his wand and the paralysed man floated a few feet off the floor preceded Severus out of the door passed the shocked students.
"Severus," Harry called. "Don't hit him into too many walls."
Severus smirked but said nothing and the students giggled as they watched them go, Richards bumping into the ceiling. Harry shook his head in amusement. "Well, I did only mention walls. Come on you lot, inside, we have an interesting lesson today."
As the students and staff were going into dinner that night, they saw professor Max Richards coming down the stairs, his trunks floating behind him. By this time, the whole school knew what had happened. If Richards had counted on leaving quietly he didn't count on how much the house elves loved their Harry Potter, and that they would do anything to keep him happy.
Before Richards could get far every student in the vicinity found themselves near a large basket of eggs. Grinning at each other they began to fling them at the man who had been pestering their favourite teacher, and insulted the one they most respected, and feared but no one would admit it.
Richards ran, when he was getting to the end of the range of the best throwers, he slowed, giving the older students time to charm the remaining eggs to follow and pelt one of the worst teachers in Hogwarts history.
Harry, Severus and Minerva sat at the teachers table eating, all pretending nothing was happening.
"Now I need two new teachers." Minerva commented idly.
"Two? Who else is leaving?" Harry asked interested.
"No one, I just can't keep teaching transfiguration as well as the headmistress duties, it's too much. Any suggestions?" She asked her colleagues.
"Hermione was always good at transfiguration." Harry offered.
"And as much as I'm loathed to admit it, Lupin was the second best student in our year for charms. Lily always teased him about that." Severus contributed.
Minerva nodded. "I'll contact them both directly. Can I fire call from your rooms, Severus to save me a walk back to my rooms?"
"Certainly," Severus nodded, finishing the last of his meal. "Shall we?" He stood followed by Minerva. "I'll see you tomorrow, Harry," Severus said.
Harry smiled up at him. "You sure will."
An hour later, Harry got a Fire Call from a very excited friend. "Isn't it exciting? Remus and I will both be working at the school from Monday. It's wonderful," she babbled.
"How did you know about Remus?" Harry asked amused.
"I, um, he told me," she stuttered.
"Hermione, you're wearing one of his jumpers inside out," Harry grinned.
"This is my jumper. And I just threw it on to answer the fire call," Hermione said plucking at it.
"Hermione, I bought it for him!" Harry laughed.
Remus appeared sheepishly at Hermione's side. "We didn't know how to tell you cub, we thought you might be upset."
"Why would I get upset that two of my best friends are a couple. And you're perfect for each other. If you're given joint quarters you might have enough space for all your books," Hermione blushed and Remus laughed.
"Thank you for recommending us Harry, I know you had a part in it." Remus said with a smile.
"I recommended, Hermione, Severus recommended you Remus, said you were second best," Harry grinned at his blushing mentor.
"By a hand full of marks, no more than five marks. Lily never did let me forget it though," Remus smiled. "Trust Severus to remember that."
"Harry, I'm going to claim you tomorrow night, to help us unpack. Professor McGonagall said she'd come and bring help too," Hermione begged shamelessly.
"Alright Mione, I'll bring some wine. And you should start calling her Minerva," Harry closed the connection glad to have Hermione and Remus coming.
At Breakfast the next day, Harry sat next to Severus. "So, were you there when Minerva made the call?" Harry asked.
Severus smirked. "I was."
"The sly old wolf," Harry sniggered.
"Hmmm, I think Miss Granger will be more than a match for the big bad wolf."
"I've been roped in to help unpack tonight." Harry said regretfully.
"So have I," Severus admitted.
Harry's smile widened. "It won't be too bad then. Shall I ask Hermione to show you her diagrams?" Harry teased.
"Don't you dare, brat. I'll see you tonight."
With that to look forward to, Harry's day went much quicker. Not bothering to go to dinner Harry went to his room to change and get some elf made wine. He followed the Marauders Map to a hallway on the fifth floor and knocked at the portrait entrance.
"Harry!" Hermione squealed. "How did you know where, actually, never mind, I know how you found us. Come in." She pulled him into the room, "Minerva will be here soon. The kitchens are bringing us up some food. I don't know who she's bringing."
"Severus," Harry supplied.
Hermione didn't listen. "All the boxes are labelled, we just have to get them in the night room and organised," she continued to babble.
"She's a bit excited," Remus said at Harry's side.
"I noticed," Harry laughed.
"So, Severus is coming, is he? That's good of him," Remus was smirking.
Harry blushed. "Shut up, Remus."
Remus laughed and moved to answer the knock at the door. Hermione was still talking, unaware that on one was listening. "Hello Minerva, Severus. Do come in, don't mind Hermione, she'll run out of steam eventually."
"Hello Remus, Harry," Minerva greeted.
"Lupin, Harry." Severus nodded at them.
"Hello Hermione," Minerva tried, she paid no attention.
"Severus, could you do your, 'you naughty student, me big bad scary teacher' voice?" Harry asked, making the man's lips twitch in amusement.
"Miss Granger, cease and desist this instant," Severus commanded.
Hermione dropped the pile of books she was holding and squeaked. Harry and Remus burst into laughter, even Severus and Minerva smiled slightly.
"Sorry, I get carried away. It's just so good to be home."
Remus hugged her. "I think I can safely say everyone in this room knows exactly how you feel."
Hermione looked up and was met with nods from the other occupants of the room.
"Come on Mione, tell us what you want to do. It's probably the last time you'll get to order Minerva and Severus around without fear of reprisal," Harry teased drawing his wand.
Two hours later, everything was unpacked and arranged to Hermione's satisfaction, and the group was sitting, each with a large glass of wine. Severus had a stack of books he was borrowing next to him.
"Will you come to dinner tomorrow night Harry? We can catch up properly. It'll be fun, come about six and we can..."
"Hermione!" Harry almost shouted. "You're railroading again."
Hermione looked sheepish. "Sorry. But you will come, won't you?"
"Sorry, but I have plans tomorrow night," Harry said firmly.
"Oh, come on, Harry. I know what your Friday night plans are," Hermione scoffed.
"Oh really, pray tell?" Severus asked quietly.
"He goes to bed early with a film or a book, a romance, without fail. And before you came back to Hogwarts you used to have a curry too," Hermione teased playfully.
Harry sighed, "I miss curry."
"You should be out finding a man," Hermione said crossing her arms.
"I've been telling Severus that for years," Minerva agreed. "He needs a nice supple young man to keep him warm in those dungeons of his."
Harry and Severus shared a look.
"Exactly," Hermione nodded fervently. "I bought some wonderful books but Harry refused to look at them. Honestly, I don't think he even knows what frottage or rimming is! And there's one on the proper technique for oral stimulation. It even has diagrams."
"Oh Dear God!" Harry stood rapidly. "Hermione I love you, but I don't need your books I have always been a, learn-by-doing type. Time for a tactical retreat. Good night all."
Severus caught Harry's arm after seeing the gleam in Minerva's eye when the diagrams were mentioned. "You're not leavening me with these harpies. Carry this for me." Severus shoved half the stack of books into Harry's arms.
They left quickly, ignoring the soft chuckle and amused look they were getting from Remus. Harry walked Severus to his door. "I'll collect you at five o'clock," Severus said as he opened his door.
"I'll be ready. Where are we going?" Harry asked.
"You'll find out tomorrow. Good night, Harry."
Harry moved a little closer. "You should really give me a goodnight kiss, just in case anyone's watching," Severus leaned down and captured Harry's lips in a sweet kiss.
"Night Severus. See you at five. Oh, what should I wear?" Harry asked, hoping it wouldn't be too formal.
"Smart casual will be fine. Now go!" Harry turned and scurried off missing Severus running his fingers over his lip and whispering, "Before I won't let you leave."
At four-thirty, Harry answered the knock at his door. He'd known Severus would be early. To his credit Harry's smile only faltered slightly seeing Remus standing there. "Hey Remy, what can I do for you?"
"Actually Hermione sent me to bring you to dinner and I'm not to take no for an answer. She's right you know, it's not good for you to be alone all the time. It's the weekend. You've no need to be alone," Remus answered honestly.
"I have plans Remus. Ones I don't want to break," Harry said firmly.
"Really?" Remus asked disbelievingly.
"Yes, I'm going out," Remus crossed his arms, still clearly unconvinced.
Severus turned the corner. "Lupin, Harry, is there a problem?"
"Harry's just going out, apparently. Was there something you needed Severus?" Remus asked.
Harry summoned his coat. "I'm ready when you are, Severus."
"It seems I have everything I need, Lupin. Good evening," Severus turned and started walking slowly until Harry caught up. He then took his hand.
Harry looked up in surprise. Severus said nothing.
They walked to the edge of the grounds, having bumped into several students who gaped at them.
"Where are we going Severus?" Harry asked, more excited than he was willing to admit.
"Well, I thought, if this were a real date, we would start with a movie. Hold on tight and I'll apparate us there."
Harry did as he was told. They apparated to a dark corner and joined the queue for tickets, Harry grinning like an idiot the entire time. "I've never been to the pictures before," Harry confessed as they waited. Harry confessed as they waited in line for popcorn.
"I came for the first time in my twenties. If you don't know what you like we'll get a selection, but if you get nachos with cheese they're all yours," Severus said as they stepped closer.
Harry grimaced. "I don't like cheese much. What's the salsa like?" Harry asked.
"It's very good. But spicy. Not something you want to eat if you're planning to kiss someone who hasn't eaten any." They moved to first in the line next to be served.
"Will you share them if we get them?" Harry asked, suddenly finding a display of different size cups fascinating.
"I believe I would yes." Severus said after looking at the younger man in amusement. "I also recommend salted popcorn and malteasers, the combination of salt and sweet is delectable."
Harry nodded. "And to drink? We could get a large and share."
"Very well," Severus went up to the next available server and ordered. Harry paid after arguing that Severus had paid for the tickets.
"You do realise if you eat all of that you will explode." Severus teased as they found their seats.
Harry smiled, "I only have to eat half."
They were sitting in the bigger more comfortable seats on the back row, in the corner. "If this were a real date" Harry started as the lights went down. "I think there are rules that say if you're in the back row, kissing should be happening at some point."
Severus put his arm around Harry's shoulder and pulled him closer. "I've always been fastidious about following rules," Severus kissed him until the movie started, and some ten minutes later. Even then, Severus didn't let Harry go, pulling him against his chest. "I believe this is how we would sit, if this were a real date," Severus said calmer than he felt.
"You're right Severus, we wouldn't want to be caught doing it wrong," Harry said putting an arm around Severus and settling in to enjoy the film.
By the end of the film all, the food they had bought was gone. They left with the rest of the customers. Severus didn't let go of Harry's hand. "There is a fair not far from here. We could walk down if you would like to," he offered hopefully.
"I'd love to," Harry gave Severus's hand a little squeeze.
When they arrived, Severus looked nervous, "I've never been to a fair before."
"I worked in one when I was a kid, it was worth sleeping outside for," Harry smiled in remembrance.
"Sleeping outside?" Severus asked surprised.
"If I got back late I would be locked out. So I stayed at the fair ground doing odd jobs. I was paid for it too. It was nowhere as big as this," Harry tugged Severus's hand. "Come on, I'll win you a teddy bear."
Severus was impressed despite himself as he watched Harry on the shooting range. He didn't miss a shot and soon he presented Severus a teddy with a shy smile. Unable to resist temptation, Severus kissed Harry softly. "If this were a real date, that would be the proper way to say thank you."
The teddy was black with a green scarf. Severus would never admit it to a living soul, but he loved it.
After they had walked around for the while, they stopped at the ferries wheel. "Shall we?" Severus asked pointing at it.
"Harry nodded. "Alright. Do you know the rules of the wheel?" Harry asked as they took their seats.
"More rules, do tell," Severus quipped.
"Well, if we get stuck at the top we have to be naughty. It's the rules, if this were a proper date."
Severus's hand drifted to his pocket and as they reached the top, the ride stopped. "Oh dear, look we've stopped," Severus's barley suppressed a grin.
Harry climbed into Severus's lap straddling it. "We'd best be a little naughty then." Harry was careful to keep his erection from touching Severus, not wanting to scare the man off.
Far too soon, the ride started moving again and Harry took his seat. Both men were breathing heavily.
When they were walking again, and both more, under control, they held hands again.
"Shall we go for a meal now?" Severus suggested. "There is a curry house a few streets away."
"I love curry," Harry beamed.
"As do I. But please tell me you don't stick with korma."
Harry laughed. "God, no. But I don't go as strong as vindaloo either." They started walking. "I have an idea."
"Oh? Should I sit down?"
Harry slapped Severus's arm. "No, I think we should get a selection of everything and take it back to school, we can spread out in my rooms and be more relaxed as we eat," Harry suggested.
"Very well, but we must get popadoms."
"Definitely," Harry agreed fervently, "and dips. Have you noticed one of the joys of curry is we can finish it the next day and it will taste just as good?"
"That's why we should buy plenty, so there is enough for tomorrow too," Severus agreed as they entered the restaurant.
Harry carried the teddy and Severus carried the bags of food. "I'll see you back at Hogwarts," Severus said as he popped away.
Harry waited a few seconds to give himself time to squeeze the teddy and spin around giggling happily. Pulling himself together, he popped after Severus.
When he arrived, he didn't see Severus anywhere, until he looked towards the lake. "Everything alright Severus?" Harry asked as he joined him.
"Fine, I have merely changed my mind."
"Oh," Harry said disappointed.
"Yes, we should eat here, it's a lovely view," Severus said as he quickly transfigured a pile of leaves into plates and cutlery and a larger one into a red and green checker blanket.
Harry set the teddy on the blanket and sat down too. As they eat their dinner they talked about the film they'd seen and watched the merpeople have jumping contests.
When he was full, Harry lay back on the blanket. "Can you see Mars?" Harry asked searching the skies.
Severus lay back to look. "No, it's not bright enough tonight."
"Good," Harry sighed in contentment. "We should head back," Harry said reluctantly.
"Very well," Severus helped Harry up and packed away the remaining food, returning the leaves to their original form, apart from the blanket, which was folded to take with him.
When he looked at Harry, he saw that he was blushing. Reaching across, Severus ran his thumb along Harry's cheek. "What caused this?"
"When we arrived the castle was almost in darkness. Look at it now." They both looked discreetly over. Both occupied towers were all lit up and what looked like half the second and fourth floors' windows were also awash with light.
"We're being watched then? Have they seen you looking?" Severus asked, moving closer.
"No, I kept my back to the castle mostly," Harry couldn't say any more as he was being kissed passionately, and his body was being pulled flush with Severus'. Both men groaned as their erections touched through the fabric of their clothes.
"Come on, let's go in before I forget I'm not sixteen anymore," Severus said regretfully.
Harry grinned, and picked up the teddy. "I'll carry this, save your reputation."
"My reputation is in tatters already I'm sure."
When they got to Harry's door, Harry turned to face Severus. "If this were a real date we would kiss goodnight," He said as he wrapped his arms around Severus's neck and pulled him down for a kiss.
"If this were a real date, one kiss would not be sufficient."
Harry giggled and allowed himself to be kissed again, "I just realised, this isn't our first date, so, I can invite you in."
Severus followed Harry into his rooms and watched him put the food under a stasis charm in the kitchen.
"I've been thinking," Severus said when Harry joined him on the sofa
"Good thing I'm sitting down," Harry teased, using Severus's words from earlier.
Severus ignored him. "If we wish to make this convincing, we should do it properly. I'm not the type of man to have short-term relationships. People would suspect if we broke up too quickly," Severus said earnestly.
"That's true, and I'm stubborn, I wouldn't give up on a relationship over some simple teasing," Harry agreed as Severus nodded.
"Just so were on the same page, what do you consider long term?" Severus asked.
"Well eternity seams fair. Do you think it will be long enough to convince them?" Harry asked.
"It should be, perhaps a little longer," Severus gave Harry a small smile.
"Well, if this were a real relationship, we would be in bed and naked by now," Harry said standing up and offering his hand to Severus.
Severus took the hand and stood. "If this were a real relationship, we would be there every night.
"Perhaps, we could find a bigger set of quarters, just to do it properly," Harry suggested as he led the way to his bedroom.
"I'll make the arrangements. Now, if this were a real relationship, we would be kissing by now."
Harry smiled and complied.