Hello all! Remember me? I know I haven't written anything in awhile, but I hope you didn't write me off completely. This story is more or less complete, so you shouldn't have to wait long for updates. But I must thank Chloe, my wonderful beta, who helped me out so much with this story. You can find her on LiveJournal as cleodoxa. But that's all for now, hope you guys like the new story...and don't forget to review!

Part One

"It's official!" Harry announced as he walked into Grimmauld Place."I am the newest Auror recruit. According to Official Representatives of the Ministry, 'Experience holds much more value than a test score ever could,'" he said in a snooty impression of what he imagined the person who wrote his acceptance letter would sound like.

"That's great, Harry," Charlie replied with a smile before leaning in to give his boyfriend a congratulatory kiss. "I knew you would get in."

"Where's Sirius?" Harry asked, surprised he wasn't being welcomed home to lots of food and drinks. Sirius never passed up an opportunity to celebrate now that he had been granted his rightful freedom.

"He just went out for a bit," Charlie said with a smirk. "He should be back any minute now."

Harry knew that meant he would be back with those things he had expected to be waiting for him. Sure enough, Sirius walked through the front door, arms loaded with bags.

The three men were soon joined by Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Fred and George, Albus Dumbledore, and surprisingly Severus Snape. Harry was sure the man was only there because Dumbledore manipulated him into coming.

Even though the past four years had been spent working with the man, they weren't exactly friends. Harry had given up his suspicions of the man after he gave up his role as a spy in an attempt to save Ron and himself from Voldemort. Harry hated thinking of that day when he had made the biggest mistake of his life.

They were only fifteen years old, but he still should have known better. Death Eaters had captured Hermione during the summer when she was on holiday with her parents. When the Order entrusted Snape to check out the situation before they would take any action, Harry and Ron decided they would save her themselves, instead of waiting. They were both distrustful of Snape, and didn't think he would have tried to save Hermione. Unfortunately, Voldemort had suspected Harry of doing just that, landing themselves into Voldemort's trap.

Hermione was dead before they arrived. Harry and Ron ended up trapped in a small room with about twenty Death Eaters waiting for them, and were quickly disarmed. As they called Voldemort and waited for him to arrive, they tried to duel the Death Eaters Muggle style. After the first hit landed, they were cursed with a multiple of dark spells to restrain and torture them.

Ron got the worst of it, likely because Voldemort ordered them to leave Harry for him to finish. Before Voldemort arrived, Severus managed to turn an empty potion vial into a portkey and take them back to Hogwarts. The curse injuries Ron sustained were too severe, and he passed before they could get him to Madame Pomfrey.

Harry's entire life changed that day. He lost his two best friends, and decided it was time to stop being a child who lead people into danger and start being smart. Ron and his' poor rescue attempt proved that defeating Voldemort would take more than enthusiasm. He dropped Quidditch, focused on his studies, and took extra lessons from anyone who was willing to give them. Most of said lessons happened to be lead by Snape.

They worked closely together for four years preparing Harry for the final blow. Voldemort managed to perform an ancient ritual in order to prevent death, but when he attempted to kill Harry as a baby, he marked him with a part of his own power. This left Harry with the ability to bypass the ritual, since it had recognized Voldemort's magical signature on Harry. That is why he was the only person able to defeat him, which he managed after years of training.

Unfortunately, not before losing many more near and dear to him. Ginny and Percy died as well, so the Weasley family was very thin nowadays. Remus, Hagrid, Professor McGonagall and a large portion of the student body had died in the final battle, which took place at Hogwarts when Voldemort burst through the wards.

But now that it was all over, Harry was set on living his life. He knew Ron and Hermione would want him to go on, no matter how much he grieved. He was going to be an Auror, he had his godfather, and a wonderful boyfriend.

Charlie and Harry came together when their lives were full of darkness. While Harry lost his two best friends, Charlie lost two brothers and a sister. They both were in need of comfort and found it in one another. That's all it was at first, but as the war moved on and Harry came of age, they decided it was time to become official.

None of the Weasleys questioned their relationship. The times were dark and if anyone could find love, age differences didn't really seem important as long as they could be happy some of the time. But now things were looking up, so Harry planned on being happy most of time.

"I'm a bit drunk," Harry said as he got ready for bed. "I should really stop allowing Sirius to convince me to just have one more all the time. It's never just one."

Charlie laughed huskily as Harry shimmied out of his trousers and slid into the bed. He pulled his young lover close to him and kissed him on the forehead.

"You know you can never say no to him." Harry smiled, knowing his boyfriend was right. Sirius was always so depressed during the war, and seeing him as happy as he was, it was hard to refuse him anything. "I got a letter today."

"Yeah, from who?" Harry said lazily.

" Mr. Lambert." Harry stilled. Mr. Lambert was Charlie's boss from his old job in Romania. After Ron died, he came home to help put the family back together. But with the danger still present, he decided to leave his job and help out in the war effort. "Harry."

"I don't want to talk about this," Harry answered, desperately postponing the dreadful conversation he did not wish to have.

"Ignoring it is not going to make it go away. He offered me my job back, and then there isn't really a place for me here anymore."

"Yes there is!" Harry said with more emotion than he thought he could muster after he had so much to drink. "Right here. This is your place, with me."

"As much as I love being with you Harry, I have to live my life. I can't just hang out here all day waiting for you to come home. I need to work."

"Okay, but that doesn't mean you have to leave the country! I'm sure you can find something around here." Harry said, hoping Charlie would heed his advice but knowing it was unlikely.

"There aren't many dragons in Britain. Besides, you're going to be so busy at the Ministry, you wouldn't have time for me anyway." Charlie said trying to lighten the situation. He didn't want to leave Harry, but he had to get on with his life. They all did. It was just a shame his life was in Romania.

"It's that easy, is it? You can just say goodbye like that. Are we going to pretend nothing ever happened between us?"

"Of course not! You will always be special to me Harry, always. But we knew when we got together it could never be forever. There's no point in stalling."

"You're right. We knew it wouldn't be forever then, but I was also pretty certain I wouldn't be around to have a future. But now I do, and what do I have? You were it, Charlie, and now you're leaving me too."

"That's not true Harry! You have plenty of people who love you. All the people who came here to congratulate you tonight for starters. All of your friends! And me, I do love you Harry."

"But not enough to stay." It wasn't a question, because they both knew the answer.

Charlie went back to the Burrow the next day. He was leaving in a week, but he thought it was best to spend his time there. Harry didn't protest. He wanted Charlie to stay, but he couldn't have him around all week, knowing he was leaving him. He thought it best to end it right away.

Sirius tried to cheer him up by planning their days out for them with pointless adventures. Harry went because he knew Sirius wanted to make up for all the time he missed, but it didn't do much for his spirits.

On the day Charlie was meant to leave, Harry declined Sirius' invitation to the zoo. He knew Charlie wouldn't leave without saying goodbye, and no matter how painful it would be, he wanted to see him off.

It was only lunch time when Charlie arrived. Harry invited him in to eat. Harry tried his best not to seem too affected, and managed throughout their whole meal. When it was time, Charlie kissed him gently on the lips, causing a single tear to fall from his eyes. He wiped it away before Charlie noticed.

When the door was closed, Harry allowed himself to cry freely. Knowing how Sirius would most likely get pissed before even thinking of coming home, he didn't expect to be interrupted in his heart break.

"Potter." The voice of Severus Snape in his drawing room was most unexpected, but Harry couldn't fathom the reasons he might be here since he was overcome with embarrassment. Not that Snape had never seen him cry, but those occasions were for acceptable reasons. He had a feeling the man would not be so accommodating when it was a matter of the heart.

"What are you doing here?" Harry whispered, hoping the man would ignore his crying.

"It's not important," Snape answered. "What's wrong with you?"

Harry was sure he would be mocked, but didn't really care in the moment. He just wanted to say it out loud.

"Charlie went back to Romania. For good." No sarcastic remarks followed, which both surprised and pleased Harry.

"I see." Snape sat in the chair across from Harry, and both just sat in silence for a long moment. "I'm not sure what to say in a situation like this. I don't suppose telling you Charlie Weasley is a barbarian would help much?"

Harry looked up and glared at his former professor.

"Listen Potter. I don't have much experience with such things, but coming from a casual observer, relationships come and go at your age. You can't expect your first long-term relationship to last a lifetime. You're young, handsome according to your many admirers, and not to mention quite a powerful wizard thanks to yours truly," Harry rolled his eyes at the remark, but smiled when he realized Severus Snape was actually trying to comfort him. "You will meet someone new and start the whole thing all over again."

No more words were spoken after that. They must have sat there in silence for over an hour. Snape did go and fetch them some drinks, but no other interaction between the two was made. It was odd, but nice, having Snape be so normal, but he began to get curious about his behavior.

"So, what did you come here for?" Harry asked. Snape then smirked wickedly.

"Just to tell you your dogfather got arrested by the Muggle police. He needs to be picked up."

"What?" Harry shouted as he stood up and frantically paced the living room. "Why did you wait so long to tell me?"

"Relax, Potter, he's not in any real trouble. He apparently got out of hand at some zoo." Snape's voice was laced with amusement. "Besides, you didn't look like you needed the added stress when I first arrived."

Harry nodded. Although he wished he had been told immediately, he knew he would have had a hard time handling the situation before Snape managed to calm him down.

"Just go get some Muggle clothes on and we can go down there." Harry nodded and went off to the stairs to get into his bedroom.

"Wait a minute," Harry turned quickly, wondering why this wasn't the first question to cross his mind. "How come you got a call and not me?"

"Maybe Black has finally decided to make amends with me," Snape said mockingly, "Or maybe I happen to be the only person he knows with a telephone." Harry laughed and headed upstairs imagining how horrible it must have been for Sirius to have to call Snape in this situation.

"I'm here to pick up my godfather." Harry said as he reached the desk at the police station.

"About time," the woman said. Apparently, a name was not needed for some reason. Harry only dreaded what kind of havoc Sirius had caused. "It should just be a moment, have a seat."

About five minutes of sitting awkwardly staring at each other. Snape and Harry saw the door to the back open and Sirius walking out still handcuffed by a policeman.

"Harry!" He said excitedly, shoving himself toward Harry as if to hug him, but couldn't because his hands were behind his back.

"Sirius, what did you do now?" Harry said laughing and shaking his head. The police officer went to the desk and was gathering paperwork and a bag of Sirius's belongings, where he saw his wand quite obviously.

"I just wanted to feed the penguins." Then he leaned in to whisper. "I summoned some fish from the tanks! They don't know how I got them!" Then he started laughing joyously.

"Excellent idea, Black," Snape drawled. "That's a good way to attract the Ministry's attention. Performing magic in front of Muggles. Brilliant. Or maybe you just miss prison life so much, you thought you'd give the Muggle system a try?"

"Shut your mouth, Snivellus. No one asked you to come," Black spat, no longer laughing.

"If it wasn't for me, no one would be here at all, so I'd shut my mouth if I were you. Next time, I may be inclined to leave you here." Then Snape left. Harry waited for them to remove Sirius's handcuffs and retrieve his wand. Then he apparated them both home.

Harry's life seemed to go by in super speed after that. He was constantly busy with one thing or another. His Auror training had begun, which kept him working 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. Not to mention the occasional studying.

On the weekends, Sirius always had some new activity for the two of them to do. This always included massive amounts of alcohol, vomiting, and spending the rest of the weekend recovering. The actual activity really held no purpose, since neither of them could hardly remember it.

Although Harry was extremely tired from all this, it did keep his mind off Charlie. But he still couldn't help his thoughts from lingering on him when he was trying to sleep. It was hard not to, as he was sleeping alone for the first time in years.

It was difficult, but Harry was getting by. In fact, Harry was certain everything was going to be fine until one day Sirius had to ruin it.

He met someone.

Danielle Swine was her name. She was a couple years younger than Sirius (about the same age difference between himself and Charlie). She was in Hufflepuff during her Hogwarts days, and now ran a Muggle bookshop her mother owned. Of course she was beautiful, sweet, and a lot of fun, but Harry still couldn't help but hate her for taking Sirius away from him.

Harry knew it had been selfish of him to think it would never happen, but he couldn't help feeling neglected. Their weekends together slowly became the three of them, and Harry was getting sick of their love fest.

He tried to be understanding, considering Sirius had only had the occasional one night stand since his imprisonment, but he hated feeling so alone. Sirius had always been the one stable thing in Harry's life, but now even that had changed. It was worse being with the two of them than to actually be alone.

So he started to make excuses on why he couldn't go out with them. But in all honesty, Harry didn't think either of them minded. He was sure Sirius was only insisting he went along so he wouldn't feel left out. But third wheel status was certainly not any better than being left out.

So they went out, and he was alone.

Every once in a while, Sirius and Danielle would stay in and she would cook. 'Why couldn't they go to her house?' Harry would constantly ask himself. They invited Harry to eat with them, and he would oblige only because he was hungry and had nowhere else to go.

And that is where the problem was. He really had nowhere else to go. He didn't have any friends.

Sure, he could have went to the Burrow, but he was sure someone would mention Charlie, and he wasn't ready to have that talk with his family. Fred and George had their own flat, but they also both had girlfriends. The last thing he needed was to be the third wheel in another person's relationship.

He spoke to a few of the others in his Auror class, but he wasn't close enough to any of them to really hang out with them. Then again, that was sort of his goal. After Ron and Hermione, he distanced himself from everyone. He spent most of his time with Charlie after that, unless he was at Hogwarts. Then he spent most of his free time training with Snape.


He knew they weren't exactly friends, but they got on well enough. After the time Snape had tried comforting him after Charlie left, he felt the man wouldn't mind the company. He wasn't the only one with no friends. Besides, if anyone understood the need to get away from Sirius Black, it would be him.

Harry walked the halls of Hogwarts, clutching a bottle of firewhiskey. He was greeted at the gate by Dumbledore, who let him inside with open arms. When he explained what he was doing there, the Headmaster practically beamed. According to him, it was long overdue that Professor Snape and himself become friends. Harry only hoped Snape felt the same way. He was sure it was a crazy idea to begin with, then with Dumbledore's enthusiasm, he was certain it was absolutely insane.

Bringing the bottle of firewhiskey was his idea of a peace offering. Also, Snape would be less likely to cause him bodily damage if he was loosened up a bit.

He ran into a few stray Slytherin students running around the dungeons. They all whispered behind his back, no doubt wondering what Harry Potter was doing roaming the Hogwarts dungeons. Harry wished he had thought of this idea before the school term started, and could have just met the man in his house. Then again, the only place he'd ever been alone with Snape was at Hogwarts so it seemed an appropriate meeting ground.

When he reached the familiar door which lead into Snape's private rooms, he briefly thought of running away. He probably would have if he didn't know Snape would find out once Dumbledore undoubtedly told him about it the next day. Plucking up as much courage as he could, he knocked on the door.

"Potter." Snape drawled, as he opened the door, "Did Black get into trouble again? Cause you're barking up the wrong tree; I won't help him again."

"No, nothing like that, It's just, I.." Harry stammered suddenly feeling like an idiot. "I just thought maybe we could spend some time together or something."

Snape narrowed his eyes at the young man in curiosity. "And why would I want to do that?" he asked, wondering what the boy really wanted.

"I thought you might want a drink." Harry then held up the bottle he was clutching at his side. Snape stared at him, then the bottle, and slowly he moved to the side allowing Harry entrance.

Harry, holding his breath in anticipation, let free with a loud sigh. He made it past the first barrier. Now he just had to make sure he didn't say anything to insult the man, or he might not make it out alive.

Overall, the night was successful. Harry and Snape drank through the bottle within a couple of hours. It was fair to say they were quite pissed by the end of the night. Harry told him all about Sirius and his girlfriend, and how he was in desperate need to get out of the house.

Snape, taking any opportunity to insult Sirius, enjoyed this part of the conversation. Harry admitted to the man he had limited friends he felt comfortable talking with, leaving the unspoken words that Snape probably felt the same, and it left a bit of awkward tension. Snape managed to clear the air, by asking about Auror training, even if it was obvious he didn't really care.

Other than that brief moment, Harry would say everything went well. Snape invited him to come back anytime he felt the need to get away from his godfather, as long as he brought along another bottle to accompany them.

And Harry did.

Every weekend he returned to Hogwarts, only Snape would meet him at the gate instead of Dumbledore. He told Sirius he was hanging out with friends in his Auror class, not wanting to admit he was spending his time with Snape. He knew Sirius would just try and insist he hang out with him and Danielle, thinking he must be desperate to want to spend time with Severus Snape.

But Harry enjoyed their time together. He completely forgot about the heartbreak which was Charlie Weasley when they were together. They talked about Snape's abysmal students, or Harry's incompetent classmates. It was the perfect get away from reality.

They easily fell into the new friendship together. They were two people who felt out of place in their world, and found comfort in one another. Everything was great until about six months after the first night.

Harry was just got home from his Auror training, and was getting changed into some Muggle clothing (which he always felt were more comfortable), when there was a knock at the door. And when he opened the door, there stood Charlie Weasley.

It was odd to say the least. He had only been to the Burrow twice since they broke up, but he did keep in touch via Floo calls. Any time Charlie was mentioned, Harry clearly felt uneasy, so they tried to avoid the topic best they could. Which is probably why no one bothered to mention he was coming for a visit.

"Hey," Charlie greeted with a grin. "Can I come in?"

Harry wanted to say no, and get to Hogwarts as quick as he could, but knew it would be rude.

"Yeah," Harry said after a minute of stunned silence. "Yeah, come in."

Harry lead Charlie into the kitchen and offered him a drink, seeing he had nothing to say. He wasn't sure what the man who broke his heart six months ago could possibly want to say to him.

"Why are you here?" Harry blurted when it became clear that Charlie wasn't going to be forthcoming.

"Just wanted to see you," Charlie answered. "See how you're doing. It's been a while. I'm sorry I didn't write or anything, it's just..."

Charlie paused. Harry never bothered wondering why Charlie never wrote to him, and to be honest, he didn't really want to know. He took that as a sign they would stay out of each other's lives as best they could.

"It was hard for me to leave you Harry," he admitted after a few moments. "I knew if I stayed in contact with you, it would have been too hard. I would have wanted to come back, and that would have been a mistake."

Harry, now getting angry, stood up and tossed his glass into the sink.

"So what are you doing here now, Charlie? Are you over me now? Is it easy to see me now, is that it? If you want to cut ties, fine, but you don't get to decide when to open them up again. Who says I want to see you?" He shouted at the man.

"I just thought maybe we could be friends," he said lamely. "But if you don't want to, I'll go." Charlie got up from his seat, with one last sad look at Harry, walked out of the kitchen. Harry wanted to just let him go, but knew he was acting a bit immature. So he called him back.

"Charlie, wait," Harry said stepping out into the hall, noticing Charlie was halfway up the stairwell. "Stay. Really, I'm sorry. It was just a shock seeing you is all. Please stay. I would like to be friends."

Charlie smiled and walked back down the stairs, and followed Harry back into the kitchen. They had a couple more drinks, talking about the last six months of their lives, and finally the ominous subject of lovers cropped up. Charlie admitted to dating a bloke casually, but it was nothing serious. Harry was a little upset nonetheless, reluctant to admit he hadn't even thought about dating someone else. Which lead him to do something stupid.

"I'm seeing someone," he lied easily. "It's not serious either yet, but I'd like it to be." The lie was stupid. Harry didn't have any idea how he would explain this when Charlie went back and told his family. It would end up getting back to Sirius and then he'd have a million more questions to answer. But for some reason, he didn't want Charlie to know the truth was that he never got over him.

"Oh," Charlie said, surprised. "That's good Harry. Someone from Auror class?" Harry nodded, realizing it was the only lie that made sense. Sirius likely told Mr. and Mrs. Weasley he's been going out with his classmates. They were always worried Harry was shutting himself out, so naturally they would question Sirius about what he was doing. The Weasleys, in turn, would have told their son if he ever asked about him, which was probable. Charlie wasn't a mean guy, and even though he didn't write to Harry personally, he would want to make sure he was okay.

"I'm actually suppose to meet him tonight," Harry said, wanting nothing more than to get out of this conversation. "I'm a bit late actually." Which wasn't a lie, but he was going to meet Snape, not his imaginary boyfriend.

"Oh," Charlie said again. Harry got a bit of satisfaction realizing he was shocking Charlie. It was too bad it was all a lie. "Well, I don't want to keep you. I'm here for the week though, if you want to come to the Burrow. Catch up a bit more?"

"Yeah, I'd like that." Harry answered. "I'll pop by Sunday most likely. Sirius will probably want to come, so hide the liquor." Charlie laughed nervously, and Harry smiled.

"I guess I'll see you then, then. Yeah, I'll see you then."

"Bye," Harry answered, feeling quite please with himself.

When Harry apparated into Hogsmeade, he was surprised to find Severus waiting for him. He was an hour later than when he usually arrived, and couldn't believe the man would wait all that time for him.

"So, you are coming tonight then?" Snape drawled. "I thought I would have to purchase my own drinks tonight." Harry rolled his eyes. "Wait a minute, it seems I will have to. Have you forgotten something?"

Harry realized in his haste to get out of his house, he left the bottle on the kitchen table.

"Oh Merlin," Harry whispered. "I'll just buy a new bottle off Rosmerta, I'm not going back there." Not that anyone was there, but he came to Hogwarts to get away from his life, and once he was here, it was hard to leave without being too pissed to care anymore.

"Dogfather getting in the way again I see." Snape said with a smirk.

"Actually, it wasn't Sirius." Harry admitted. "Charlie's in town. He went back to his parents, but I just don't want to go back there."

"Well, considering the circumstances, I suppose I could supply the drinks tonight," Snape said, surprisingly sympathetic. "But let's not make it a habit, shall we?"

They walked back to the castle in silence. When they arrived at Snape's rooms, he opened a small cabinet with his wand, which seemed much larger in the inside then it did from the out. There were about ten bottles inside, some wine, others liquor. Harry scowled.

"All this time you've been sitting on this and only offer tonight?"

"Hogwarts teachers don't rack in the galleons, Potter," he replied easily. "I won't refuse a free drink when it comes so willingly. Besides, you never once complained."

Harry rolled his eyes, but accepted the wine glass Snape handed to him. They had their usual weekly check up conversations, before Snape asked the inevitable.

"If you don't mind me asking, what did the barbarian want?" Harry didn't bother correcting Snape when he referred to Charlie as such. It used to bother him, but now it was a little endearing.

"Wants to be friends." Harry sighed. "I know his intentions are good, but, Merlin I just wish he hadn't come. I felt like such a loser. He comes and tells me how wonderful his job is and how he has been dating this stupid bloke. And here I am, brooding over him, six months later. It was horrible."

"Six months may seem like a long time, but being your first love, I'd imagine it takes a lot longer than that to recover."

"You imagine?" Harry asked, curiously. "Haven't you ever been in love?"

For a minute, Harry though he made a grave mistake. Snape seemed to pull into himself at the question, and Harry was afraid physical violence was a likely reaction. But as soon as it came, it was gone.

"Yes," he answered shortly and honestly. "But that was a long time ago." Harry, happily surprised with Snape's admission, smiled.

"How long did it take you to get over it?" Snape looked up then, staring right into Harry's eyes, and a sense of depression welled up inside him. Snape didn't need to answer, because Harry already knew.


Later into the night, Harry confessed about his lie towards Charlie about pretending to have a boyfriend. He regretted the lie greatly, but could not take it back now. The only thing worse than where he was at now, was for Charlie to find out he was lying. He may be still stuck on the man he loved for four years of his life, but he didn't want him to know that. Especially not since he knew Charlie didn't feel the same.

Snape didn't seem to think this course of action was entirely wrong either; in fact, he encouraged the idea full heartedly. He even amended his Sirius issue, saying the man wouldn't think much on it. Considering he spent every weekend with Severus, unknowingly to him, the man would just believe he'd been hiding this boyfriend of his.

Harry thought on this, agreeing, most likely because he was a bit drunk by this point. But in all honesty, it made sense. Sirius has been trying to get Harry to move on with his life, and if he thought he had a boyfriend, he was likely to stop pestering him about what he got up to on the weekends. So in reality, his lie would prevent him from lying to the godfather whom he loved.

"So this girl you loved," Harry asked bravely, "What was she like?" Snape narrowed his eyes at him in a way that would probably frighten Harry normally, but with his alcohol consumption, he just responded with a lopsided grin. "C'mon, you know all my secrets."

"Are you really that blind?" Snape asked, successfully confusing Harry.

"What do you mean?"

"I'm gay, Harry." Snape said, not at all ashamed. Harry never even considered that a possibility. But truth be told, he never really thought of Snape being with anyone until tonight. All of his professors, current or former, were all a-sexual beings as far as he was concerned.

"How come you never said anything before?"

"Well I don't usually talk about my orientation while I'm teaching, and until recently, that's the only conversing we have ever done." Harry nodded, not really understanding why he expected Snape to volunteer this information previously.

"Well, what was he like then?" Harry replied instead, quickly getting use to the idea of his former Professor who happened to share the same inclinations towards men as himself.

"He was a Death Eater." Harry choked on his fifth glass of wine at the answer. "We both joined up together. We were way over our heads, had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. He wanted out. We both did actually, but we were both too afraid to admit it to each other. Once you're a Death Eater, you can't be trusted, no matter how much history was between you. He tried to take down the Dark Lord on his own. Voldemort killed him."

Snape never used the Dark Lord's name aloud. He hated to, but anytime he talked about Regulus, he had to. He wouldn't be ruled by fear when he came to him, not again.

"I realized after that, there was no out. I wasn't strong enough to take him down myself, so I went to the only person he truly feared. I started working for Dumbledore the day of Regulus' funeral."

Harry, in complete awe of being warranted this sort of trust from Severus Snape, almost missed the last part.

"Regulus? But you can't mean?" Snape nodded, ashamed to admit the one man he truly loved, happened to be brother of the only living man he truly hated. "Whoa. I'm guessing Sirius doesn't know about this."

"As you know, the Blacks were self righteous purebloods. They couldn't have a gay son, it wouldn't be allowed. We had to hide, but that never mattered to me, I was just happy to be with him. I never needed anyone to know."

Harry then said the only thing he could think of.

"I'm sorry."

"No need." Snape said, refilling his glass. "It was a long time ago. The feelings I've had for him will always be with me, but I've grieved and accepted things for as they are. Not to mention, I've done my part in avenging his death."

"You never wanted to try it again?" Harry asked, "Being in love, I mean. Do you ever miss it?"

"I can admit there are times when I've thought about it, but with the life I've lived for the past twenty years, it wasn't really practical."

"How about now?"

"I'm too old to trouble myself with such things," he replied. "I've grown content with my life, and don't think I'd be too accommodating to change. I can say though, I do miss the sex."

Harry laughed at that, knowing how the man must feel. He'd only gone without sex for six months and sometimes felt like clawing his own skin off. He couldn't imagine living for twenty years without it.

"Have you ever considered having a purely sexual relationship then? I'm sure that wouldn't be too much of a burden on your content life." Harry said with a smile.

"Oh, I've thought about it. I think about it. I always think about it," Snape answered causing Harry to laugh again. "But I'm not the most attractive man, no side comments please, and I'd rather avoid the inevitable rejection which would come with looking for such a person. It's easier this way."

"I've thought about it briefly too, but I wouldn't even know where to begin." Harry admitted. "Charlie is the only person I ever even kissed! I can't imagine going to a bar and trying to pick someone up. The whole idea has disaster written all over it."

"I'm sure you wouldn't have as much difficulty as you suspect." Snape answered, and Harry was sure he was a slight change in color to the man's cheeks.

"Would you take me home then?" Harry asked, without thinking. He was sure this would be an end to their conversation, but was pleasantly surprised when Snape looked up at him with a smirk.

"Truthfully?" He said, "If you came up to me in a bar and asked me to take you home and have my way with you, you wouldn't have a chance to change your mind before I had you."

Harry blushed, quite obviously he might add. It was odd to hear Snape say such things about him, but in truth, it was also arousing. Then Harry began to think whether he should ask Snape to do as he said he would. They got on well enough as friends. They both were in love with men they could no longer be with, and were too scared to go out and try and find someone else. There was no need for them to suffer sexually as well. And with his brain cloudy from the wine, he saw no dire consequences from them enjoying each other's company in bed.

"We should." Harry said, now leaving Snape a bit confused. He couldn't believe Harry was suggesting was he thought he was suggesting.

"Can you clarify that for me?"

"We should have sex," Harry answered, "Just as friends of course. I mean, if you meant what you said. If you'd want. You don't have to, if you think it will make things weird. But I want to, if you do."

No more rambling was necessary for Severus. He got up and took Harry's hand and dragged him into the bedroom without a second thought.