Prologue.

Trelawney stared at the bottom of her whiskey glass and sighed. Damn that Umbridge! she thought. Sure, she wasn't a very good teacher, but it was a job and Hogwarts was her home. Her gaze wandered to her bookshelf and to a particular book. A Guide to Divination by Timothy L. Smith was the perfect book. Something Trelawney really should have used for her classes, but the facade had become useful. No one needed to know about her powers of prophecy.

Mysteriously, this special book somehow found itself in the bag of Harry Potter. But it wasn't until Harry was in his room in the house on Privet Drive that he noticed it. Why he started to read it, Potter wasn't quite sure. Regardless, it occurred to him that divination was one of the few magics a Muggle could do too.

Night time...

Harry quietly turned on the tap and let a little bit of water into his scrying bowl. He sloshed it three times clockwise, sprinkled salt into it, stirred three times counterclockwise. Potter poured the water out and then refilled the bowl.

Silently, he made his way back to his room and shut the door. He'd already tried water scrying before and had found it fascinating. The swirling images hadn't made any sense the first time, but he was slowly getting better. This night he wasn't sure what to ask and his focus was erratic. The first time he had asked about Voldemort all he had felt was pain so he dumped the water to stop the images. There was no way he would do that again.

Finishing his ritual, he concentrated on the bowl of water. After a moment of complete silence, he picked it up in his hands and swirled the water round. Images started, flickering before his eyes like watching a colourful train go by.

Show me the world.

Pain and suffering lurched to the forefront, making Harry cry out. A war, such a painful war... Heartache. Death. Misery and misers. Fire and blood, so much blood.

Show me life! he pleaded.

Flowers bursting before a glorious sun, butterflies surrounding them. Two friends, meeting each other after a long time apart. Lovers, walking hand in hand through the green meadow of their fantasy. A child born to a single mother, glowing with happiness more brightly than the stars above.

Harry withdrew from the myriad of lives he was watching. He was then staring at a huge golden ball of tangled gold threads with a kind of peace he had never felt before. Smiling, he picked a thread and touched it lightly with his mind.

This was the past, he could tell because all the colours had gone, only a few flashing here and there. It was child in a bright yellow coat, trying with all her might to move a rather large snowball towards the even bigger one at the edge of the yard. Her sister, in a green coat, came over and helped her. The little girl laughed loudly and made a show of pushing harder. The two of them easily got the ball moving until they arrived at the larger one. The brother appeared in a black and blue coat and helped the older sister lift the ball on top of the other.

The little girl cheered and rushed off to make the final piece. The older sister and brother shared a smile before the sister dashed after the little one. She showered a pile of snow over her and the the little girl shrieked with delight. Quickly making a ball in her little hands, she threw it back at her sister. A snowball fight began, all three of them laughing.

Harry withdrew again, chuckling as he went. The golden ball came before him again and Potter sighed. Maybe he shoulder try another one, this time he touched a thinner band.

This, Harry guessed, was the present because of the stream-of-consciousness way the vision played out. The dark-haired man was walking down the sunny streets of London, but kept looking over his shoulder. He came to a flower shop and he stared at the entrance with fear-filled eyes before entering. There was another man working behind the counter, and the dark-haired one seemed to relax slightly at the sight. The fear crept back when the young man looked up and noticed him with a smile.

"Jared, I wasn't expecting you until after work." the man behind the counter said.

"Yeah, but... I couldn't wait any longer." Jared approached hesitantly and made his way round the counter.

The other man grinned. "Wait for what?"

Jared suddenly went on his knees and the grin fell, clearly he hadn't been expecting this response. Jared opened a tiny ring box and looked imploringly up at the other man.

"Will you marry me?"

The other man gasped, tears filling his eyes. "Oh, yes! Yes!"

The vision faded and Harry came back to the golden ball. He wondered briefly what would happen to the couple and followed the same thread until the gold colour was faded slightly. It branched off at that point, going every which way and Harry chose one of those.

"JARED!" came a pained scream.

"I'm so sorry Max..." Jared whispered from where he lay bleeding on the ground.

"NO! You can't die! We've only been married two years!"

"Two glorious years, Max. Please... Let me go. Love again for me, won't you?"

"I can't, I only love you... Jared, don't go!"

Inevitably, the head on collision Jared had just been in had no survivors except his husband.

Harry wept as the vision faded. It wasn't fair! He pushed the golden ball away and he was suddenly back in his own room.

Three people were there, all of them looking at him strangely.

He sniffed and wiped his eyes. "Um... Get out of my house?"

"We're sorry for breaking in, really. But we feared what was happening to you."

"Nothing happened." Harry snapped, wondering what right these people had to even ask.

"You found the power of time, that's concern enough. Come with us, and we will teach you how to harness that power and eventually become a mage."

"What do you mean the power of time? I have no power over it."

"Oh, but yes! Unlike the rest of us, you can see everything happening at once. You can see what is fixed and what is not. The past, present and future are at your fingertips. This power... It's more than this world needs in just one person."

"Great. I'm a freak, yet again. Well, we better get going before my relatives wake up."

What Harry didn't realize was just how long he was going to end up staying with his new teachers. It was by his own choice, but he had also not expected to come back.

Chapter One. "No one's here and I fall into myself. This truth drives me into madness; I know I can stop the pain if I will it all away." -Whisper by Evanescence

Harry Potter's lack of arrival for his final year of school off the train worried Dumbledore. He wasn't concerned until the end of the feast when both Weasley and Granger asked if he knew where their friend was.

A search party was immediately set out, but they came up empty handed. All they knew is that he had had willingly disappeared from the Dursleys close to the end of the summer.

Voldemort clearly didn't have the Golden Boy as he had organized search parties as well when the fact became known to him.

The Dursleys could care less, they wanted him gone for good.

As the new school year wore on, Professor Snape found himself affected by Potter's disappearance. Before, he had claimed the boy had simply runaway from the consequences yet again. Hope and sadness had nothing to with it.

But when the Gryffindors didn't taunt the Slytherins in class anymore, Severus became suspicious. They all looked as though all the vibrant recklessness that defined Gryffindor had left with Harry Potter. Everyone around him grew subdued and in response, Snape was more fierce. He often felt as though he was the only one who knew Potter would come back to them. Knew that the Golden Hero wouldn't dare leave his disciples behind.

By the end of the year and still no sign of Potter, Snape admitted to himself that life without the Golden Boy was dull and terrifying. Voldemort was becoming more and more powerful as he took advantage of the peoples loss in hope.

The second year without Harry Potter was beginning to tell on everyone. The Great Hall was not filled with as much happy chatter as it had been in previous years.

Professor Snape started cursing the boy every time something went wrong. Everything was Boy Wonder's fault, from breaking glass to Dumbledore's lemon drops. How dare he leave!

"I don't think he's coming back..." Minerva said with a sigh, pushing her dinner around the plate once more.

"Nonsense!" Severus snapped. "He'll come waltzing in here when the war is over! When no one needs him anymore."

"How could you, Severus? You are downright foul these days."

"How could he leave us?" Snape countered and Minerva was silent. "That's right, we expected him to be there, to save us all. Where is your saviour now?"

"He's yours too." she whispered quietly and both of them fell into silence.

The third year was even worse. Half the students were kept home due to the escalating war. The halls were deafening, students rushed to class without speaking. Even the staff was at edge, half expecting Voldemort to be just around the next corner.

Severus too, was at his last straw. Something had to break.

Chapter Two. "If I could wave my magic wand, I'd set everybody free." -Presto by Rush

Harry hissed as the vision ended and his eyes focused once more on the mirror in front of him. He'd been checking his robes, hoping they were appropriate for the ceremony, when he thought of going back to Hogwarts. He had watched the thread running through Hogwarts school and grabbed it, curious to know how everyone was doing after so long.

It had been strangely focused on Snape and Harry felt sorry for causing such an affect on the potions master. The man was at a breaking point and Harry was glad he was returning after the ceremony.

Heaving a sigh, he looked over his attire. He had on tight fitting black trousers tucked into matching high leather boots. A midnight blue silk poets shirt hid the toned muscle beneath and a crimson robe topped it all. Weapons, of course, were hidden everywhere on his person. Compliments of one of his teachers, Jack Millington whom happened to be an old army weapons expert.

An hour later, Harry Potter was officially a graduated Time Mage. His teachers were thrilled that he was going back to his old school, knowing full well the war that raged while they had sheltered their student.

"Goodbye, Harry. And do tell me you remembered the potions book I gave you?"

"Of course, Mauve. Even though you've taught me so much more."

The brown-haired woman flushed and stepped away, allowing him to come to his next teacher.

"I'm sure we will see you again. Always remember to be constantly aware."

Harry chuckled. "Yes, sir."

Michael kissed his cheek. "I hope you find him."

"Finding him isn't the hard part."

Michael laughed. "Then I hope you are successful in seducing him."

"Very funny, Michael. And I will come back, you can count on that."

"Constant vigilance, Harry!" Jack shouted in greeting, reminding the Gryffindor yet again of Mad-Eye Moody.

"Yes, how can I forget? Really, Jack."

School at Hogwarts had been continuing as normal for the past two weeks. Normal, except for the fear that frayed at the edge of every persons mind. It was breakfast time when Harry Potter decided to appear.

The only reason no one rushed to greet him was because of how different he looked. If he had been jaded before, he was more so now. Green eyes were narrowed and cold as they surveyed the Great Hall. His lips were drawn into a bitter scowl and the stance he took was clearly defensive.

Those powerful eyes finally landed on the staff members, looking at each one of them as though looking into their souls. Coming to Dumbledore, Harry stiffened and pressed his lips into a thin line. He had seen so much of what Dumbledore had done and will do, Harry had long lost his faith in the old Headmaster.

His gaze moved on, coming to Minerva whom he smiled slightly for. Beside her, Snape was gripping the table with white knuckles clearly fighting a battle between anger and joy.

"Harry..." Minerva McGonagall finally choked out. "We thought you were gone."

Harry chuckled and moved to greet her. He held her hands in his and bowed with a smile.

"Really, Professor? Have you lost so much faith in me?"

"We all did, you insolent brat! You disappeared, remember?" Severus snarled, standing and shoving past McGonagall.

Harry turned back to Minerva. "I'm sorry, but I couldn't tell anyone. I needed things to be the way they are now. This was the best possibility."

"For what, dear Harry?" asked Dumbledore.

Potter almost hissed at the man, but settled for a sneer instead. "Nothing for you to know, old man."

"But Harry, where did you go?" McGonagall asked, finding her voice again.

The smile he gave her was bright. "Bring the Order together and I'll tell everyone- Oh, dear."

Harry frowned at the thread that belonged to Professor Snape; it was glowing like mad. He followed it down to the dungeons and into the Slytherin's private chambers. He leaned against the doorframe and watched as his normally stoic potions master kicked his furniture and threw plate after plate at the fireplace.

"You know, the Professor Snape I remember would never have a rash idea and decide to go through with it." Harry said in an even tone, watching the thread pulse and glow more brightly.

The potions master whipped around to face him, clearly surprised at Harry's casual arrival.

"How the hell would you know?" Snape growled, "more importantly, how did you get in here?"

Potter brushed the question away with a wave of his hand. "I have a way with wards. Now won't you tell me exactly why you plan on killing yourself?"

"I have no intention of that sort whatsoever!"

"No," Harry started sarcastically, "you just want to run to Voldemort and tell him you're a spy. Sounds like a death wish to me."

Snape finally stopped kicking the couch and looked at Potter. "How would you know about that?"

"I just do."

Snape was suddenly very close to him, seething with anger. "Then I suggest you keep out of other peoples' business."

Harry looked skyward and sighed. "It is my business to be intrusive, especially when it has to do with you."

The Professor threw his hands up in the air and walked back to his couch and sat down on it. Harry smiled when the thread stopped glowing and veered off in a different direction.

Potter watched the thread for a little while longer to make sure Snape didn't try anything else just as impulsive. He chuckled when one possibility was Snape hexing Harry and then strangling him.

"Care to share what is so amusing, Potter?"

"Oh, just the future." and he left.

That was cryptic. Stupid foolish Potter. When the young man had appeared in the Great Hall, Snape hadn't expected the casual coldness with which he acted. And it didn't help that Potter had grown taller and looked like a rugged Roman god.

No one saw Harry Potter again until the next Order meeting and it drove Snape insane. How dare he come back only to leave again! Severus sat at the long table, arms crossed and scowling darkly out at the world.

Potter arrived just on time, as silently and suddenly as before. He swept in, as graceful and smooth as a feline. He smiled sweetly at them, his green eyes glittering like the winter sun on ice.

"Well, it's rather nice to see all of you again. Shall I start at the beginning?" Harry moved along with his story without pause. "During the summer before my seventh year, I had begun the practice of scrying. I focused on water, because that came quite easily to me and was the most convenient.

"One night, I made the mistake of not asking a specific question. The average person would have stopped the visions immediately, unable to bear the pain and suffering that comes first. I, of course, found myself with the ability to look at the past, the present and the future.

"Three teachers found me then, as they monitor all spikes within the second plain. I suppose you could say they appealed to my hero complex and I agreed to let them teach me how to harness my power."

"Explain to me again what this power is?" Professor Snape asked, somehow managing to make it sound like both a question and a demand.

Harry's eyes warmed when they looked at the potions master and he sighed. "It's rather complicated, but I've already told you the gist of it."

"Try me, Potter."

The Gryffindor only smiled and turned back to the rest of the Order. "Kingsley and Tonks, when you get back to the Ministry lock your offices and leave. I don't care where you go, just be out of there within ten minutes of your arrival.

"Moody, I need you to stay behind and watch for anyone trying to get into Auror's offices. I suggest to prepare for an arrest."

"Hold on a moment here, why should we trust you? What's going to happen?" Moody demanded, slamming a fist on the table.

That cold smile was back again. "Just do it, Alastor." and Potter disappeared once more.

At the Ministry Alastor Moody couldn't believe he was actually standing guard at the Aurors Department. As soon as Potter had vanished, Dumbledore insisted they follow the boy's orders. That was just it! Potter was but a boy! Well, perhaps a young man by three years past... But still! How in nine hells did Potter know what was going to happen?

Moody grumbled aloud and sat down heavily in a chair. This waiting was beginning to be tiresome. Nothing was going to happen and they were all wasting good work hours.

Footsteps echoed through the empty hall and Moody stood in attention. A familiar figure swept into view, looking down his aristocratic nose at the world.

The bugger! Moody thought, waiting to see what Malfoy would do.

Lucius glanced around to make sure no one was there and tried the door to Tonk's office. Finding it locked, he pulled out his wand and spelled it open. After about two minutes of searching, Malfoy stepped out of the office and closed the door behind him. He tried Kingsley's office and spelled that open too. It didn't take him as long to find what he was looking that time. He came out with a gold necklace hanging from his gloved hand.

It was an object that they had found on their most recent scuffle with the Death Eaters. They hadn't figured out what it was yet, but it was clearly of some importance.

Moody cancelled the invisibility spell and leapt out of his hiding place. "Stop right where you are, Malfoy!"

Lucius' expression turned from shock to utter devastation, his eyes suddenly taking on a haunted look.

"No, please! You don't understand!"

Moody chuckled as two other Aurors took the necklace and restrained the man. "I didn't take you for a beggar, Malfoy. Stealing from the Ministry is enough to be brought before court, then we'll see what else you've done."

"But it wasn't-"

"Shut it, Malfoy!" Moody hissed, firing a silencing spell at him.

"I refuse to be interrogated, Headmaster! You won't get your answers from me!" and Potter stormed out.

Dumbledore sighed and looked at the other two Professors in the office with him. "You see? He refuses to tell me anything."

Snape and McGonagall shared a look and left. They found Potter leaning against the wall, looking rather frustrated.

"Professors." he greeted, straightening to face them. "I suggest we take this discussion elsewhere."

Both of them frowned, but followed Harry anyway. Oddly, they ended up in the potions classroom. Harry settled himself on top of a desk and waited patiently for them to start.

"Harry, how did you know that Mr. Malfoy was going to steal the necklace?" Minerva asked cautiously.

"I already told you how. I can see the future."

"But the future-" Snape started.

"Is constantly changing, I know. I can see that, all the possibilities and as the present or past changes them, I see them take on a new path."

"How can you manage to keep track?"

Harry laughed at that. "That's part of my power, the ability to distinguish each life line from the next."

"And you see everything- everyone- continuously?"

"Basically, yes." Harry pursed his lips. "I'm sorry if it's hard to grasp, I really can't explain it any other way. Time is a very strange thing... To normal people, it's a line that is unfailingly constant and solid. I see it as a huge ball of tangled thread, constantly changing shape. I know how to pick out the tiny changes and how to fix them if need be. Not everything is meant to be fixed, some things... Well, they have to happen."

The Gryffindor acquired a dark distant look, remembering the anguish he used to feel while watching people he loved die in the future, or even strangers. It had slowly become the same to him, all the faces blurred and lost their meaning. Bad things happened, death lurked at every corner. But there was happiness too, not much compared to everything Harry had seen. It had made him bitter and rather cold, but it helped to be able to turn off those emotions. Caring for every single soul on the planet earth was a waste of energy.

Therefore, he had decided to stick to those closest to him. Remus, Ron and Hermione had faded in his mind. He knew he couldn't stop their deaths, but he could save others. It was one of the reasons he had avoided contacting them, knowing they would want to speak with him. Harry wasn't sure he was ready to see them, only to lose them again.

But Professor McGonagall, Hagrid, Flitwick, Pomfrey, Hooch and most of the staff, they remained his friends. And Snape... But he was different. Harry tried not to show how the Professor made him feel, but he feared the spy being able to read him so well. Potter had had the advantage of knowing how the two of them would end up, but getting there was the hard part. Snape was nowhere near ready to admit anything to Harry.

He'd disappeared again before realizing it and huffed at the street before him. It would have been nice to stay with McGonagall and Snape, try and ease their shock. But he had more important things to do.

Potter strode to the Ministry entrance and made his way down to the courtroom. He burst through the door just as Minister Rufus Scrimgeour lifted the gavel to begin.

"Harry Potter! What are you doing here?" Scrimgeour exclaimed, the Wizengamot and audience erupting into murmurs and shouts.

Harry strode to the front, glancing briefly at the accused, Lucius Malfoy.

"That is none of your concern, Minister. I've come to clear Mr. Malfoy's name."

"And exactly what evidence do you have against his crimes? He's already confessed to half of them!"

"No," Harry snapped. "I can prove he has been under the Imperious Curse for quite sometime."

He conjured a pensive in the air beside him and inserted the correct visions of the past.

"Go on, look." he bade the Minister.

Scrimgeour scowled and dipped his head into the pensive. Harry spun on his heel to face Malfoy and waved his hand, ending the curse. The man slumped in his restraints as Potter untied him.

"Why are you doing this?"

"Because unfortunately, Draco needs a father that isn't pushing him to take the Dark Mark. And you're mostly innocent."

"How did you know?"

"I just do. I suggest you take your son somewhere safe and remote, away from this war."

"I can't just leave... Like a coward."

"I suppose, but if you stay Voldemort will find you and kill you. I can't change that."

"They'll hate me..."

"Yes, but isn't it better to be hated than to be dead? You can have a life, Lucius. Wouldn't that be a nice difference?"

Malfoy sighed and looked away from the strange Harry Potter whom had just saved his life.

The Minister had finished look through the pensive at the moment and called Harry's attention.

"Potter, how did you acquire these memories?"

The Gryffindor smiled mischievously. "From witnesses, of course."

Harry held his hand out to Malfoy and the man looked up, confusion knitting his brow. The young man cocked his head with a smile and Lucius took his hand.

They immediately Apparated to the halls of Hogwarts.

"What of my wand?"

"Oh, you're not getting that back until you need it. Right now we're going to contact Draco and then you can go into hiding."

Professor Snape happened to walk around the corner just then and stared wide-eyed at Malfoy.

"Potter, did you not just help to convict Mr. Malfoy a few nights ago?"

"Yup. Only so that I could prove that he's innocent. Well, mostly anyway."

"Of course," the Professor looked as though he didn't want to know more and continued on his way.

The young man's soft laughter followed him. "He's learning not to ask, I'm glad. I only wish Dumbledore would do the same."

The Daily Prophet was having a field day with speculation about the return of Harry Potter. Even more so with his winning defense of Lucius Malfoy. By which, Severus Snape was doing a little less scowling. This new Harry Potter, taking charge and cursing Dumbledore. He couldn't figure out why Potter hated the Headmaster so, but the young man refused to inform the Headmaster of anything. The rest of the Order was greatly surprised when strange missives appeared, giving orders and notifying them of the next meeting.

Which was in a few minutes and everyone had already arrived at Headquarters. Everyone except Dumbledore. Severus felt this was very wrong. If Potter didn't trust the old man, should they? But why?

Harry arrived with his unusual grace and gave them all an empty smile that made Severus shudder. His eyes seemed to catch the movement and Harry's expression warmed to something more earnest. It had a way of comforting him that Snape didn't want to think about. Why was this intense man so fixated on him?

Potter sprawled in one of the dining table's chairs and produced the necklace (Slytherin's locket) that Malfoy had stolen.

"This, ladies and gentlemen, was one of Voldemort's Horcruxes. It was a lucky find by the Ministry Aurors and dangerously so because no one knew what it was. I have destroyed it, it is no longer a threat. But there are four more. We," Harry looked pointedly at Snape, "cannot destroy Voldemort until they are all gone."

Severus filed the look away for later and asked the more prudent question. "Where are they?"

"Not all in one place, unfortunately. The first is the Hufflepuff cup, which is in Bellatrix Lestrange's vault at Gringotts."

"I assume you have a plan," said Hestia Jones.

"Yeah. But I need someone to stand outside to make sure no one notices my breaking in." Harry rolled his shoulders uncomfortably, as if he was ashamed to be asking for help at all.

"I'll do it, Harry." a soft voice came from the far corner. Remus Lupin stepped out of the shadows and nodded to Potter.

That empty smile lit the Gryffindor's face again. "Why do you hide, dear Remus? I don't bite."

"You've been avoiding us too, Harry." the werewolf accused lightly.

He paled, but his fake smile never wavered. "True. I admit I've been on a rather busy schedule." he turned to the rest of the Order. "Thank you all for coming, you will receive another note when the next meeting is."

Confused and dejected, they left grumbling to each other. All except Snape and Remus. Snape, because Harry hadn't disappeared this time and thought he'd better take advantage of that. Remus, because Harry really wasn't acting the way he had three years ago.

"Harry," Remus came closer, sitting next to the young man. "you disappear for three years and then come back only to avoid those who care about you the most."

At these words, Harry continued to smile but his eyes grew blank, staring at a fix point on the wall.

"I can't change it, Remus. Please don't make me feel more guilty than I already do."

"Change what? Why should you feel guilty? Do you see my death in the future? Is that what it is?"

The smile collapsed into a hard frown and his nose flared.

"Wouldn't that be more reason to spend as much time with us as possible in the present?"

"Leave, Remus." was the only reply.

Lupin looked slightly taken aback, but did leave. After a long moment of silence with Snape watching him intently, Harry spoke.

"I suppose you have some questions as well."

What he intended to ask left his mind in light of Potter's reaction to the werewolf. He wasn't sure why he thought what Potter wouldn't tell Lupin, he'd tell Snape.

"Do you see their deaths?"

"Everyday. And there's nothing I can do to change it. No matter what I do the ending is the same."

"So why not spend what little time they are alive with them?"

"Because I don't- Because I'm not..."

It was the first time Snape had heard any hesitation in Harry's voice since he had come back.

Potter gave a loud sniff and looked at his hands in his lap. "I just can't. I'm not strong enough to keep from seeing it while I'm with them. Jack didn't teach me how to block my power."

"But you live in the present, how can you give so much focus to the future?"

"I do, you're right. But the closer I am to a certain person, the better I can see their thread. It's like being in an IMAX theatre, you can't help but see the screen because you're so close to it."

"Excluding whatever an eye-max theatre is, what is it you mean by 'thread'?"

A small smile curled Harry's lips, but faded quickly. "Do you remember how I said that time is really a big ball of yarn? Well, every life, every person, has a thread inside that ball."

"Ah. So you wish to avoid your friends because being in their presence forces you to watch their deaths?"

"Basically, yeah."

"Then how can you stand to be close to me?"

Harry broke into laughter then, wiping away the tears that had fallen unnoticed. "Oh, Professor. You are the one person that keeps me grounded."

Snape frowned. "Why is that?"

Bright emerald eyes looked at him, the sadness long gone. "You'll figure it out," Potter's hand briefly covered his, "don't worry about it."

And the young man disappeared.

Chapter Three. "I would walk on water just to be with you." -'Walk On Water' by ?

Remus Lupin was meeting Harry at the entrance to Gringotts in five minutes. The young man hadn't shown up yet and Lupin was getting restless. Who was this new Harry? Who was cold almost to the point of being heartless? Why was he avoiding his friends?

"Remus! Wonderful to see you!" a lie, of course, but Remus didn't need to know that. Harry bounded up to him, beaming. "Okay, all you gotta do is keep guard while I crash through their wards. I should be undetected for the most part, but you never know."

"So you'll be running from the goblins?"

"And possibly Bellatrix when she finds out her vault was broken into..." Harry trailed off, pursing his lips. "Then again, it's still possible she might not arrive in time."

"This sounds like a very reckless plan, Harry. Are you sure you don't want me to go in with you?"

Harry waved a hand. "Oh, you can't follow me. Don't worry, it'll be fine."

The valiant Gryffindor disappeared and reappeared about an hour later. He ran past Lupin with the goblet in his hand and a small fire breathing dragon pursuing him. With a great cheer, Harry whipped around to face the blind dragon and grinned. He held up the goblet in triumph, waiting a split second and then making a dash for Remus.

He took Lupin's elbow and with a crack of Apparation, they were standing in the halls of Hogwarts.

"Sorry about the show," Harry apologized, though he was still grinning. "Thought I'd drop you off here."

"What about the Horcrux? How are you going to destroy it?"

"Short of a small nuclear explosion," Harry frowned briefly, "I'm not sure. But I'll figure it out."

"Not here, I hope?"

"Oh, dear Merlin, no! Really, Remus, what do you take me for?" Harry replied with a grin.

Remus scowled. "Since you came back, I have no idea what to take you for. Every time I draw a conclusion, you surprise me."

Potter smirked in a rather Slytherin way. "Excellent. I'll leave you in Dumbledore's capable hands."

Just as he left Remus and vanished around a corner, the Headmaster appeared at the other end of the hall.

The Boy-Who-Lived somewhat accidently ran into Severus Snape whilst in the process of disappearing as always. The pair ended up in a quint apartment. The Professor swayed and Harry caught his arm.

"Professor? Are you alright?" Snape didn't seem to hear him. "Come, rest on the couch a moment and I'll get you some water."

He guided Severus to his couch and bade him sit down. Harry put the goblet down on the counter and produced a glass of water. Ever so gently, he cupped Snape's chin and tipped his head back, forcing him to swallow the water. Potter set the glass down and watched the potions master's eyes flutter closed, still holding his face.

A short moment later, the black orbs opened to meet green.

"Hi. Are you feeling alright?"

"A-A bit. Water?"

Harry handed him the glass and the Professor drained it. "Why?"

"I'm not supposed to bring people with me. It's much different than Apparating."

Severus made to get up, but the Gryffindor stopped him.

"Don't move, I'll get you some sugar." Harry then returned with a jar of honey. "Take a spoonful of that and I'll be back in second."

The Slytherin frowned at the small jar, wondering if Potter knew it was his favorite. With the reverence of a child, he twirled the spoon to gather honey. Then popped it in his mouth before a drop could fall. A small bang made him jump whilst still sucking the sticky substance off the spoon. He turned towards the kitchen, glad to find his head didn't spin at the movement.

Harry had his wand pointed at the Hufflepuff goblet which was currently blackened and smoking. Potter cursed softly and steadied his wand again. Without a word, a sudden flash of white light and the blackened cup sported a sizable crack in the rim.

"How did you do that? Especially with no incantation?"

Potter looked at him and smiled winningly. "Waving a spoon at me doesn't get your point across nearly as well, Snape."

He almost pouted but managed to scowl and placed the spoon back beside the jar.

"But to answer your question, being a Time Mage and all, I have the advantage of being able to twist things into a different shape. Like I can change the present to influence the future, I can break the molecular, or quantum would be the correct term, structure of objects."

"Quantum, Potter?"

"Don't make me explain, it'll only give you a headache."

"Try me."

"No. You'll end up flinging that spoon at me and then mourning the waste of honey. Telling me all the while how all Muggles are clearly insane and need to be admitted into St. Mungo's."

"If you say so, Potter." Snape said, looking skyward. "Is this where you live that you've taken me to?" he continued, finally taking a look around.

"Yup. Michael helped me find it and Mauve helped me decorate. I think they both have good tastes."

"Indeed. I assume those would be two of your three alleged teachers?"

"Yes, Jack is the third. Potions and magic from Mauve, visions and history with Michael and defense with Jack."

"Did you not mention before that these people are Muggles?"

"Yes, as the Ministry would label them." Harry answered stiffly. "Just because they don't use wands, doesn't mean they can't do magic."

"Wandless? Wouldn't-"

"No," Harry interrupted. "it's not really wandless. They just have different objects with which to channel their magic. Each suited to their unique abilities. Mauve has her herb knife, Michael has a crystal pendent and Jack... Well, his is an arrowhead."

"And yours is still your wand?"

A mischievous smile spread across Harry's face. "Nope, it just comes in handy for the conventional spells."

"Well?"

Harry held out his hand, palm facing the floor. A short moment later gold dust seemed to rise from the floor into Potter's hand. Then with a sudden sweeping gesture, Harry had grasped in his hand a tall staff. It was an elegantly craved cedar with a clear crystal ball held delicately at the head.

Gently, Harry handed the staff to Severus and he took it with a look of deep admiration. He could feel Harry's magic throbbing from it like a beating heart. The potions master gasped when it briefly connected with him, sending a wave of love and passion through him.

Harry sat down beside the man in the throes of ecstasy and took the staff from his hands. He made it disappear in another shower of gold.

Leaning over, Harry whispered in his ear, "come for me, Severus."

Snape's hips bucked off the couch and he cried out. A while later, Severus blushed for the first time in years.

"Don't look so embarrassed, my magic will always have that affect on you."

"W-What? What do you mean, Potter?" the Slytherin managed to muster a scowl despite the earth-shattering orgasm he'd just experienced.

The Golden Boy only smiled. "I won't be so bold as to answer that," he paused, his eyes becoming unfocused. "You ought to get back to Hogwarts, you will not feel his calling from here."

Snape shot up, unconsciously gripping his forearm. "There is no place safe from the Dark Lord's calling."

A warm hand slipped into his. "My home is. You're welcome to Apparate here anytime, if I am here or not."

The Professor simply stared at him, aghast. "I appreciate the offer, Potter. But I still cannot see how-"

"Just... It's a ward I invented, okay? Now please, I don't think you want to miss this particular meeting."

The reluctance and pain in Severus' eyes made Harry want to cry, but he knew there was nothing he could do.

"Come back here when you get back, if you want to."

Snape nodded stiffly and Apparated to the edge of Hogwarts grounds.

Chapter Four. "You tell me things, I know you're not supposed to. And you leave me just out of reach." -'Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses' by U2

The Ravenclaw diadem was easier to obtain, it didn't risk any lives or involve anyone except Harry for that matter. But the next one had to and Harry had to wait for events to arrange themselves correctly. Until then, he avoided the situation by visiting his Muggle teachers.

The illusion didn't last and it wasn't long before Harry once again found himself in the halls of Hogwarts.

"You!" Harry spun on his heel, facing Severus with a blank inquiring look. "You've been gone for months! Where did you go this time?"

"Home. Then for about three days I visited my teachers."

Severus clearly didn't except such an honest answer and stepped back. "Well. You've missed-"

"Professor, do you really think I don't know?" Harry suddenly gasped, his eyes unfocused as a vision assailed him. He reached out to Snape and the Slytherin caught him, wondering what was going on.

"Dear Merlin... Severus, I'm so sorry. I never expected this so soon." Potter whispered, staring into his dark eyes.

The next thing Severus Snape knew, he was being pressed against the wall with wet lips sealing his. He pushed Harry away, appalled at his own reaction and Potter's boldness.

"What do you think you're doing?" Snape panted, still breathless with arousal. It was then he realized why the kiss had been so wet, Harry was crying. "Why do you weep? Am I such a shameful thing?"

"No, Severus, never. No..." Harry moved a little closer, brushing a strand of hair out of Snape's eyes. "No, I love you too much."

The second kiss was much better and Severus allowed it, unsure of what was really going on but enjoying it anyway.

"Then... Then why are you crying?" Snape asked when Harry finally let him have air.

"Because... I neglected you when you were in pain. I promise you that it will never happen again."

Severus kissed him this time, gently and hoped it was reassuring.

"Thank you, Severus. I wish... I wish we had more time."

"We don't? My next class is not until tomorrow." Severus stated, attempting to steal another of those amazing kisses. But Potter withdrew, stepping back just as Dumbledore came around the corner.

"Ah! Just the person I wanted to see! Harry, Severus, do come with me to my office," he paused, giving them both a serious look, "I have some rather important news."

Harry and Snape met each others gaze and the potions master sighed. They both followed the Headmaster to his office and waited patiently for the old coot to share his new found information.

Albus steepled his fingers together and stared at them over the rim of his half-moon glasses. "As you know Severus, Voldemort has been planning an attack on Hogwarts for the past few weeks now. I have just received news from Kingsley that his Death Eaters have been gathered and are on the move."

Severus, for his part, didn't visibly react and Harry's expression only twisted into one of great displeasure.

"Ill-timed bastard," Harry muttered. Louder, he added, "right, so they'll be here by the evening and we'll fighting in the dark."

Harry stood, meeting Dumbledore's eyes. "I suggest you prepare for a full-scale battle and get the students out of here."

Chapter Five. "I would hold your hand like a lifeline to my heart/Underneath the thunder we'd be warm." -'If I Had Only Known' by Reba McEntire

The rush of preparations took up the rest of Severus' day, but apprehension kept his eyes glued to Harry. Whom somehow managed to always be in the same room.

Their eyes met yet again much later and the next thing Snape knew, he was locked a gentle embrace. Soft kisses covered his face and gentle hands touched his body in reassurance. The potions master sank into it, drinking up the affection Potter gave so freely.

"I hate to ask anything of you, Severus..." Harry whispered, placing another kiss at the edge of already parted lips.

"Anything, Harry..."

"When the time comes, will you kill Nagini?" Another kiss, this time a little closer.

Snape turned his head to meet those lips. "Yes," he hissed as he darted out a tongue to lick Harry's lips. He knew very well what Potter had just asked of him, knew the pain Harry had taken to ask. They kissed roughly, tongues imitating the grinding of their hips. Killing Nagini had been part of Severus' master suicidal plan anyway.

The sound of someone loudly clearing their throat parted their lips. Severus transferred his lips to the Gryffindor's neck. Harry glared over Snape's shoulder whilst pulling the man closer.

"Quite inappropriate, the both of you." McGonagall scoffed, shrugging off Harry's menacing look. "The students have all been sent home, only the fifth to seventh years remain. We are ready as we can be, Harry."

"Good," Harry gasped when Severus suddenly bit his shoulder, "it'll be a few hours yet... Oh, God, Severus..."

Seeing the couple were not about to find a more private place, McGonagall rolled her eyes and fled to her chambers.

Potter's hips bucked and he groaned while Snape moved down his body. Teeth scraped on a sensitive nipple and Harry turned them round. He pressed Snape to the wall, kissing him fiercely as he fumbled open their clothes. The Slytherin shuddered with every brush of fingers to skin but when a hand curled around his cock, he started to shake. The stroking hadn't even lasted a moment when it stopped and the hands stroked his sides in soothing manner.

"Sh, Severus... Not so soon." was whispered into his ear and he calmed, though he still gasped for air.

"N-No one ever..."

A quiet chuckle came and his cock give a twitch. "I know, it's my magic. You'll get used to it, sort of."

"S-sort of?"

"Hm-mm," and lips pressed to his neck. A hand traveled down, cupping his balls and then fingering his hole. Snape arched and squirmed, wanting so much more.

Suddenly a spark of magic was shot inside him and hit his prostate dead on. His world went black, though somehow he knew it was just a lubricating spell.

"Not yet, my love..."

Severus struggled to obey, slowly getting a grip on reality and opening his eyes to meet green. Harry lifted his leg and the potions master moaned in understanding. Held in the Gryffindor's strong arms, he wrapped his legs around Harry. Leaning heavily against the wall, he slowly lowered himself unto Harry's cock. It was ecstasy, after so long a time to be stretched and invaded so deeply.

"Oh, Harry!" he moaned, finally seated fully and gripping Harry's shoulders.

"Severus..." and he lifted Snape slightly, only to slam back into him. Both of them moaned in unison and Harry did it again, again and again... Until they reached the point of no return and Severus swore that as Harry came, a wave of magic was sent over him.

He screamed as he came hard without even the slightest touch and his world turned black again.

Coming to, what felt like days after, Severus found himself not only dressed and clean, but held tightly in Harry's warm arms. He nuzzled the shoulder closest to him and received a kiss to his forehead in return.

"I love you."

A little shocked, Snape withdrew to look at Harry. Finding only earnest and raw emotion, he smiled. It was the first time he'd felt happy in quite a long time.

"I love you too," he echoed. Severus wasn't sure how, but it was true.

If possible, Harry's eyes seemed to grow brighter at his response. "You know what's funny? I wasn't expecting that."

"But your power..." he trailed off because Harry was already shaking his head.

"That's not what I mean. I just didn't dare hope that particular possibility would happen."

"A good thing, then?"

"Oh, yes."

"Excellent," he said and kissed his love soundly on the lips.

"Mm... You are so very sweet, Severus."

He scowled, "I think not!" and playfully pushed the man away. Harry only laughed and took his hand.

"Come, let us prepare for this battle."

Chapter Six. "Cursing, God, why?/Falling for every lie/Survivors' guilt/In us forevermore." -'Kinslayer' by Nightwish

Harry ducked and rolled, barely escaping the span of fire three inches from his face. He sprang up and pointed his staff at the perpetrator, blasting the man off his feet. The Gryffindor hissed as he stormed forward through the broken line, apparently getting to Voldemort was harder than he thought it would be. Potter used his staff like a sword as he struck down Death Eaters and Dark Creatures alike.

Someone threw a hex at his back and Harry whirled around, blocking the spell with his hand. It came from McNair, whom was occupied by Snape as he tried to attack Harry. Another blast from his staff and Severus was running to his side.

"Where is he?" Snape asked.

"Just a bit more, I think it's only one more line to break through."

"Those are..."

"The werewolves, I know. Just stay close to me."

It felt like hours when they finally did defeat the werewolves and there Voldemort was. He did not runaway like a good coward, but stood and waited for his enemies to come. Nagini was coiled around him as he manically fired off spells at those who dared approach.

"Count of three and I'll take down his shield. Kill Nagini then, I'll take care of the rest."

Severus nodded, taking a deep breath and steadying his wand.

"One, two, three..."

Voldemort looked pretty surprised when his shining shield dissolved and he had to duck to miss a jinx. Severus took down Nagini quickly and the dead snake fell from its Master's body.

An inhuman cry of rage sounded from Voldemort and he faced Harry.

"You will pay for this!"

"So will you," Harry replied calmly. He waited for Voldemort to attack first, letting the spell be absorbed in his shield. "Go, Severus. Hermione will need your help."

Potter focused on his arch enemy and called upon the power of Time. It twisted and gasped under his hands, not used to being handled at all. He pointed his staff and the palm of his other hand at Tom Riddle.

"May you rest forever in the hands of time undone." His voice reverberated across the battle field just before a blast of golden light took down everyone present.

A few moments later, they all awakened and forgot for a minute to fight each other, looking around and asking what had happened. 'I don't knows' went around for a short while longer until someone fired a spell and the whole thing started up again.

"The Dark Lord is dead!" came a sudden cry and almost half the wizards and Dark Creatures made a run for it. Some were stopped and apprehended without much resistance, but many managed to escape.

Severus wasn't really paying much attention to the arrests going on, all he knew was that the fighting had stopped and Hermione Granger was dying in his arms.

"Professor... Is Harry alright?"

"I am not sure, Ms. Granger. Help will come soon, I assure you." His voice sounded steady, but Hermione could see the despair and hopelessness on her Professor's face.

"I'll be fine, Professor. Go find Harry, I'm sure he needs you."

"Nonsense! Please, Miss Granger..."

Hermione attempted to laugh, but blood got in the way and she coughed. Snape held her until it subsided and gently laid her down in his lap again.

"I'm dying and there's nothing you can do. Just... take care of him, will you? He may have lost us a long time ago, but he won't lose you."

"I will..." to the potions master's horror, Hermione took another gasping breath before she stilled and moved no more.

"NO! No! No... come back..." He clutched at her dead body for another moment before forced himself to let go and stand.

He surveyed the battle field, looking for that shock of raven hair. When he did not find it, Snape began to despair, wandering towards the spot where Voldemort had been. Severus noticed a golden hem of a dark red robe and rushed towards it.

The Boy Who Lived lay face down in the mud, still as death. With shaking hands, Snape pushed Harry to lie on his back. Eyes were closed and his mouth drew no breath, so Severus felt for a pulse. Nothing beat under the cold, pale skin.

An anguished cry tore itself from Severus and he wept. Snape wept as he picked up Harry's body. He wept as he brought his lover into Hogwarts, as people began to weep with him. He wept, as he kissed those lips one last time and laid Harry down in the Great Hall.

Then Harry stirred, green orbs opening and looking around blindly. "Severus?"

He clasped the outstretched hand and couldn't help the absolute joy running through him. "Harry! You're alive!"

"Of course I am... But, why is it so dark?" Harry asked, sitting up. "I-I can see... I can see you, but it's not the same..."

Severus reached up to caress his lovers cheek. "Perhaps the blast blinded you?"

"Blast? What blast?"

"When you killed the Dark Lord, a bright golden light spread across the battle field."

Harry frowned at this. "I don't understand... That was just magic."

"That may be, but magic can have many adverse affects."

"So... If I'm blind, than why can I- Oh... Severus, I can't..." Harry attempted to get down from the table, but stumbled and almost fell if Snape hadn't caught him.

"Let me guess, you can see people, but not objects?" Severus said with a slight quirk in his lips.

"Very perceptive, Severus." Harry walked forward a few steps, stopped and spun in a slow circle. "How many people are here?"

"Seventeen, Potter." answered Moody, coming out of the crowd.

"Yes, I'm getting the hang of this then... Thank you, Alastor. You have sacrificed much for this battle. But I believe my priorities lie with the Headmaster."

Harry took another few steps before beckoning Snape to his side. "I need you to tell me what's really going on. I'm having a bit of trouble telling the difference between the present and the future."

Supported mostly by Severus, he walked just outside of the Great Hall and the pair met Albus Dumbledore.

"Harry! You're still alive!" exclaimed the old man.

"Indeed, Albus. You knew that I had known your plans all along, yet you still went through with them. How could you, Dumbledore? After all we've done for you, you'll still have us die for the purity of the Wizarding World."

Glancing at Severus, the Headmaster attempted to deny Harry's accusations.

"Don't bother keeping up a front for your spy, he already doubts you." Potter let go of Severus and stepped up to Dumbledore. "I suggest you run far, far away, and never return. Should I ever hear you have even a minimal effect on Muggles or Wizards, I will hunt you down. And I will kill you."

Supposedly to emphasize his point, a shower of gold appeared in Potter's right hand. It solidified into his staff and he thrust it at the Headmaster.

"Go. Before I send you half way across the world." Harry hissed.

"But Harry, surely-"

Potter thrust again with his staff, hitting Dumbledore square in the chest. The Ex-Headmaster disappeared, making Harry smile as he leaned heavily on his staff.

"What did he do?" Moody asked, coming up behind them. Harry turned to face the Auror slowly, the smile still gracing his lips.

"Albus Dumbledore has many crimes, where should I begin? I suppose the one that would shock you the most is this: he has orchestrated this war since the beginning. Tom Riddle was but someone to blame it on and so turned a poor boy into the Dark Lord. Planted every seed of doubt, prejudice, and conviction. Upon hearing the prophecy, he arranged it so that Voldemort found my parents. In that event, most of Voldemort's Death Eaters would have left, if the Imperious Curse had not been instilled in the select few. It was really by chance, that my dear Severus played right into Dumbledore's hands. That way, Dumbledore would have an ear in Voldemort's courts and take the necessary actions to keep control."

"But Harry-" Snape started, taking Harry's hand.

"I'm sorry, Severus... But it's true, he used you the whole time."

"No, no it can't be!" The potions master slid to floor with a look of wretchedness, still clutching to Harry's one free hand.

"Severus... Do not lose heart, it's all over now."

Heaving a sigh, Snape shook his head and looked up at Harry.

"Please, continue." Severus whispered. He leaned against Harry's legs and did not get off the floor. Potter smiled affectionately down at him and combed the beautiful black hair while he spoke.

"The possession of the Philosopher's Stone at Hogwarts was an attempt to bring Voldemort back, only to be thwarted by myself. And so continued my school years. Unfortunately, when I reappeared with my new found powers, he decided that his plan had to be executed and my death imminent. He gave Voldemort cause to doubt Severus, which naturally grew until Voldemort only invited him to meetings as a plaything. No longer was information passed to the Order. Coming to the date of the final battle, Dumbledore had planned on Voldemort taking over the Ministry and then coming here, but Tom was impatient. He would have found someone else and started it all again if I hadn't just stopped him."

Everyone looked rather shocked at this long story. No one seemed to the notice the oddity of Severus Snape seated at the feet of the Boy Who Lived. Like a king and his servant, eternally carved in the stone of time.

Chapter Seven. "I wanna do it till we're both about to drop/As long as we got it together/Then we're never gonna stop." -Next Go Round by Nickelback

Harry scowled at the people around him and then looked down at Severus. "Come, I think we both need some rest."

"But the-"

"They can handle it," Harry said, taking his hand as Snape stood.

"Your tendency to interrupt me is quite infuriating, Mister Potter." the potions master informed him as they walked through a shell-shocked crowd of Gryffindors.

A dark chuckle answered Snape. "Say it again, Severus."

"Your tendency-"

"No, no. Not that part." Harry flashed a naughty smile as he made his way down the stairs. It was harder than a straight floor, but his staff seemed to help for some reason. The present was very confusing to focus on for Harry. The world was dim or black in certain places, lit only by people and the things they interacted with. Some people were brighter than others, some so dim Harry had to really concentrate to see them.

Severus, on the other hand, was so bright he lit Harry's whole world. As long he was around, the present fit in a rivet that didn't move. It helped Harry tremendously as he tried to figure out how this new sight worked. Of course, it was still quite a shock to find that when he opened his eyes, darkness remained.

"Mister Potter?"

Another chuckle. "Yes, that's the one."

They had come to the bottom of the steps, finally. Harry had to lean against his staff for a moment as exhaustion began to take over.

The Slytherin put a gentle hand on Harry's shoulder. "Will you be alright?"

Harry looked up at his lover with a sly smile. He snaked an arm around Snape's waist and pulled him close.

"Of course, I'll be alright. As long as you're here." Harry brushed his lips against Severus'.

"Right here?" Severus cursed himself for sounding so breathless.

"Perhaps a little closer," Harry tipped his head, as if he were seriously considering the issue. "But we might want to get to your chambers first, just in case Minerva is wandering the halls again."

Severus winced at the memory, he couldn't believe he had acted so shamelessly in front of his respected friend and colleague.

Harry snickered, "come."

The word, unfortunately had a completely different effect on Severus, much to his chagrin.

"Oh my," Harry said, limping his way down the hall, "my magic must be returning."

"This is ridiculous! How can I not-" Severus cut himself off and kicked a wall in passing.

"Like I said, you'll get used to it somewhat."

"Just when will that be? You try being sexually aroused just by one word!"

Harry waited for Severus to open the door before responding. "I'll show you, don't worry."

Snape scowled and moved through his chambers to the bedroom, leaving Harry to find his own way. Which he managed, all he had to do was follow the brightest golden thread. The image that greeted Harry when he entered the bedroom took his breath away.

The Slytherin had taken off his teaching robes and shoes, leaving only his frock coat and trousers. He lay on the bed with one knee up, obviously waiting for Harry, but his expression was distant.

Harry sat next to his lover, making his staff disappear with the same motion. He placed a hand on the other man's knee to call his attention.

"Is something wrong?"

"I am not sure... I want you so intensely it hurts and I can feel this love pouring from me, but where did all this come from? And so suddenly? I had no wish to be submissive at all a week ago."

"I can't tell you that, but as to the submissive part... Perhaps you simply want to be taken care of? In more ways than one?"

"And who in their right mind can fall in love so quickly? Love! It's not supposed to exist!" Snape rambled bitterly, looking away from Harry.

"I know I moved too quickly..." Harry admitted with a sigh, "the war was pushing ahead."

"I do not regret what has happened-"

"Neither do I."

"But what does our union have to with the war?"

Harry suddenly looked uncomfortable and shifted on the bed. "Well... In all the other possibilities you went through with your suicidal plan. You died in my arms, telling me you finally realized it wasn't Lily you were in love with, but me.

"And if rushing a relationship was all it took to save your life, I wanted to go through with it. Because damn it, Severus, I love you and I wasn't about to let that happen."

Severus touched the hand on his knee. "Than I thank you for it."

Turning back to Snape, a smile lit Harry face and he leaned over to kiss his hand. It had the desired effect and Harry's smile turned into an evil smirk. Severus gasped and he spread his legs for Harry. The Gryffindor shrugged off his robe before crawling between Snape's legs and finding his lips. They kissed intensely, hips lifting and groins grinding into each other.

"Oh, Harry!" Severus moaned when the young man moved down to his neck while unbuttoning his coat and shirt. Harry kissed, licked and bit his way down the pale expanse of flesh. The potions master was writhing and shuddering by the time Harry got to his trousers. Slowly and with great care, Potter pulled them down with the Slytherin's briefs.

Harry nibbled his way to the inside of his lovers thighs, teasing the flesh until it quivered beneath his lips. He heard Snape beginning to gasp and his body started to shake.

"Breathe, Severus. Don't hold back."

Wanting to taste the potions master for the first time, he wrapped his lips around the head of Severus' cock. Severus came with a loud moan, rising into Harry's mouth.

Five minutes later, Snape became aware that Harry was still smirking between his thighs.

"You are still clothed." he stated.

The Gryffindor dipped his head. "Indeed, I am. Shall I rectify the situation?"

A slight shudder went through Severus. "Yes," he demanded breathlessly.

Harry smiled and stood to take off his clothes. When he finally stood naked, cock jutting out proudly as he met Severus' gaze.

"Still worried about coming so fast?"

Snape only shook his head, unable to form the right words while staring at the Roman god that was Harry.

"Good," and he took the place of his throne between Severus' legs once more.

Still in awe of Harry's beauty, the potions master looked rather surprised when his cock filled out again. Another shudder went through him.

"This is ridiculous..." he moaned, throwing his head back both in exasperation and pleasure.

The vibrations of a husky laugh so close to his cock had him lifting his hips in silent demand. Harry obliged and slowly sucked his lover's cock into his mouth. He pressed his tongue to the bottom of the cock and Severus groaned above him. The Gryffindor reveled in the new taste, sucking every tiny drop of pre-come from his lover. He throughly enjoyed the helpless reactions from Severus. Harry began to lose his control just as Severus came for the second time inside his mouth.

Rising up, he kissed with swollen lips to exchange the taste of come with Severus. Heat rushed through him and he pressed his lover into the mattress. Lips and tongues still joined, Harry reached down and ever so gently prepared Severus with lubricant that seemed to come from nowhere.

At the first nudge, Snape's eyelids fluttered and he melted, arching under Harry. By the second he was beyond paying attention to the individual sensations. There were only the waves of pleasure that swept through his body and promised more.

"Severus," Harry called to him and he moaned. "Severus, open your eyes."

The potions master obliged, doing his best to focus on the green orbs above him.

"Don't hold back," they commanded, just as something much bigger entered his body.

"Harry..." Severus was lost, arching and thrusting up, wanting more and more. He felt as though a prolonged orgasm was working its way through his veins. Testing and over-stimulating every nerve synapse.

"Yes!" Harry thrust harder, his control tripping over the finish line and letting lose a blinding orgasm with a scream.

A few hours later, Harry woke enough to wave a hand over them to clean the bed. He pulled Severus into his arms and fell asleep once more.

Another few hours later saw the couple sharing a slow, sensual kiss. They broke apart to gaze at each other and Harry pushed a strand of hair out of Snape's eyes.

"See? I told you that you'd get used to it."

Severus chuckled, "Yes, I see now. That was..."

"Indescribable?"

"Yes."

"Incredible?"

"Harry..." Snape chided.

"It was, wasn't it?" The Gryffindor acquired a dreamy look. Severus just smiled and snuggled back into his Roman god's warm embrace.

"I hope I am not immune," Severus stated, his voice muffled by the nipple his lips had found.

Harry gasped above him. "I can still... Do this," and he touched a finger tip to the back of Snape's neck. Like a tiny spark of electricity, his magic arced unto the Slytherin's skin.

"Oh, Merlin..." Severus moaned and gasped, pressing himself against Harry. He forgot his endeavor to seduce Harry as the young man drew a string of magic down to the base of spine, just barely moving into the cleft of his buttocks.

The determination came back to have Harry at his mercy and he turned them so he was straddling Harry's hips. The little devil had the audacity to smirk at him and send another shock of magic to the same spot. Severus fell forward onto his hands in reaction, canting his hips in time with the waves of pleasure.

"I can make you come, just like this." Harry said with awe and his voice hitched.

Already breathing heavily, Snape tried to gain control and swallowed thickly. The very thought was enough.

"Perhaps- ah! next time."

Harry's hands moved to caress his thighs, giving Severus a tiny space in his mind to think. The Slytherin leaned down and teasingly brushed his lips against Harry's. He moved to the young man's neck, leaving a wonderful amount of marks there. Potter groaned and squirmed under him, the potions master noted with pleasure.

Then those dexterous hands moved and spark of magic nudged his entrance. It slowly climbed its way up and by the time it hit his prostate, Severus was inches from screaming out Harry's name.

As he breathlessly managed to gain control again, he could feel the oil slicking his insides.

"Oh, God, Severus... Please..." he heard Harry pled. He rose to assess his lover; Harry was flushed and his eyes looked straight into his, as if he were afraid to misplace Severus.

Never taking his eyes off those green orbs, Severus slowly lowered himself unto Harry.

"Oh..." Harry moaned, a shudder going through his body.

Severus was gasping for air when he was fully seated, the sounds Harry made pushing him to move once more. He lifted his hips up, then slammed back down. Harry shouted his name in response and begged for him to do it again. The potions master obliged, knowing nothing else until Harry grabbed his hips. He thrust up with a force and angle that had Severus seeing stars.

"Come for me!" Harry ordered, his hand moving to hold his lovers cock. With one finger tip at the point of Severus' cock, he sent a spark of magic.

Snape didn't have time to register what Harry had done, but he again felt the orgasm coming slowly through every tiny nerve in his body. Then the release in a rush that left him quite unconscious.

Chapter Eight. "They suck you in like cigarettes/while hanging you out to dry, yeah/making you feel like a hypocrite/because you cannot lie, yeah." -Cigarettes by Seether

The morning after the battle, Professor Minerva McGonagall was determined to find the estranged lovers. Naturally, the first place she checked was Severus' chambers. She knocked several times, but received no answer until she heard a shout. Concerned, she tried to the door only to find it locked.

"Merlin, Harry!" came another scream that had McGonagall pursing her lips. She walked away, muttering under her breath that there was no way they were going to get away with spending a whole two days in bed.

In the early afternoon, she came back fully prepared to bust down the door. Unfortunately, she didn't get her chance, as a rather smug and debauched looking Harry Potter answered the door.

A frown chased away the happiness as his eyes found her. "McGonagall?"

"I apologize, Harry, but we are quite desperate for help in re-building the school."

Green eyes glazed over and Harry shook his head. "I-I don't want to..."

"But you must, Harry. You are a hero now, you have to-"

"No, Minerva! I will not-"

"Harry, what's going on?" came the surprisingly soft voice of Severus Snape, an arm coming around Harry's waist as he opened the door wider.

Minerva saw the chance to coerce her colleague. "Severus, we've been needing help to re-build-"

"And we're not helping!" Harry interjected, clearly becoming furious as he glared accusingly at a point just behind McGonagall. She fought the urge to look over her shoulder, knowing it was just due to Harry's blindness.

"Why ever not?" Severus asked, but Harry remained silent. "Harry whatever vision you see, it's still Hogwarts. It's the least we can do, if only to give the future students a complete home."

Minerva attempted to placate Harry as well, "it's only to re-build, you don't have to go to any of the celebrations or ceremonies."

Harry's frown deepened, but he dipped his head in acquiescence. "I will help, but it is not myself with whom I am concerned."

He turned heel and strode back into Severus' chambers, his robe billowing out behind him.

"Then who is he so worried about, Severus?" McGonagall asked as they both stared at Potter's retreating figure.

"I wouldn't be surprised if it was me," he said, closing the door without further ado. Minerva looked on in shock, but left in hopes that the pair would help them anyway.

Severus found Harry in the bedroom, securing the sheath for a short sword around his hips.

"I highly doubt you'll need weapons while levitating stones."

"Yeah, well... I don't go anywhere without all my gear." Harry said, shrugging on gun holster. Next came a long sword across his back and another knife strapped to his left thigh.

"Were you wearing all of that before?" Severus asked, fighting to keep the quiver from his voice.

Harry shot him a mischievous look and waved his hand, making all the weapons invisible.

"Yeah, but I don't think you were paying much attention to my getup at the time." Harry spun in a circle, making his robe swirl up so Severus could admire the taught arse under it. "These pants are just as tight though!"

"Indeed," Severus whispered as he cupped said arse and kissed those wicked lips.

"Mm... You're very good at this, Severus. I'm already hard."

Snape reached down to squeeze that hardness and said, "too bad you'll have to wait."

Harry ground his hips against Severus. "Who says?"

"Your conscience?" Severus hated that it sounded like a question.

A chuckle. "We could go with that."

"Will you tell me what you're so worried about?"

Darkness fell like a curtain over Harry's face and he sighed. "Well, it's either fill an obligation and face the consequences of my fame, or hide away from the world."

"I'm sure I can manage your fame just fine."

"Will you? I'm afraid of what they'll do to you..."

"What can they do except slander my name? With you by my side, I doubt Azkaban is a destination for me."

Harry fought a smirk and failed miserably. "That's pretty arrogant coming from you."

Severus chuckled and kissed the corner of Harry's lips. "I love you too. Come, we must help Minerva before she sends out the Aurors."

The professors were not moved by their appearance, but the student volunteers and the Ministry Aurors stared.

Minerva lead them to the most damaged area and showed them the building process. All three of them were doing their best ignore the whispers and dirty looks.

"...once you've got the ingredients together, just add some water. When it's mixed," she climbed on top of a fallen stone and pointed with her wand to the chuck missing out of the tower. "spread it out here and levitate a stone on top. Don't forget to ward it before with the spell I taught you."

"Of course, Minerva. Thank you." Severus said. The pair got to work quickly and with a glare from McGonagall, so did everyone else.

As dusk fell and it became too dark to work and the laborers went to the Great Hall for dinner.

"Not so bad, was it, Mister Potter?" Snape teased. "A little hard labour for the celebrity."

Harry flashed his lover a smile and laced their fingers together as they walked. "I can only hope it will stay this way."

With a crack of Apparation, Harry took Severus to his apartment in Muggle London that evening.

Severus shivered in Harry's arms. "I can feel your wards... There are so many of them."

"Yes, they took a long time to build." Harry said, then kissed Snape's nose before going towards his kitchen. "I'll make us some tea."

He stopped suddenly and turned around. "Severus, could you... Sit by the counter, there?"

Severus nodded and made himself comfortable on the breakfast chair. He stared at the book lying on the counter, it reminded him of something...

"Harry?" he called softly.

"Yeah?"

"Did you know that Hermione Granger died in my arms?"

There was a soft clatter and Harry put down pot of tea. "Yeah, I... Saw it couple times. I'm sorry."

"When you told me that you saw their deaths, I never thought twice about it. She said... She told me to take care of you."

Harry wrapped his arms around the Slytherin and set his jaw, fighting off the tears that threatened.

"As long as you're here, Severus." the Gryffindor assured him. Snape gave a loud sniff and burrowed into his lover's chest.

"I forbid you to leave me," demanded a muffled voice.

Harry gave a huff of laughter. "I promise I won't, Severus."

They stood in their embrace for awhile longer, Harry continually bestowing kisses to the top and forehead of Severus Snape.

"Let's have our tea, shall we?" Potter proposed, but Severus seemed to have a different idea as he slipped a hand under Harry's shirt. "Mm... Or we could leave it and warm it later."

"Indeed. Shall we move to somewhere more comfortable?"

"Oh, Severus..." Harry whispered, pulling him closer and forcing his mouth onto Snape's. With his tongue, Potter had the Slytherin melting against him and writhing for more.

Severus' legs wouldn't support him as his mouth was being plundered, he fell onto Harry, whom caught him easily. Potter hoisted him up and he wrapped his legs around his lover. They started to move to what Severus supposed was the bedroom, but he could care less as he attempted to kiss back. But Potter wouldn't allow it, growling and purposely clacking their teeth together.

He fought it but it came out anyway, the potions master whimpered. Then happened to move his hips just the right way to get some friction between them. Harry slammed him against a wall in response and pinned him there with his body.

"Be still a moment," Harry whispered breathlessly. Severus complied with effort and the next thing he knew there was a sharp tingling over his skin. Potter had banished their clothes and Severus gave a long drawn out 'oh'.

Snape's mouth was conquered yet again by his Roman god. Whom met no resistance, only a dilating body, swallowed whimpers, and wandering hands. The feel of Harry's skin underneath his hands satisfied Severus in a way he couldn't explain. Then he found the long, solid cock, and caressed it gently whilst holding on to Harry's shoulder. He hardly had time to enjoy the weight of it in his hand before Harry shifted and touched a finger to his entrance.

"Ah - Ah - Ah!" escaped the sounds with each ripple of pleasure as Severus felt himself suddenly well-oiled and relaxed.

"You are so beautiful, Severus." Harry whispered, his bright green eyes staring into his dark soul.

Snape only gasped in response, holding the gaze as he shifted to allow Harry entrance. With reverence, he lowered himself down, biting his lip to keep from coming. Fully seated, they stared into each others eyes without moving for what seemed like an eternity, one which Severus didn't want to give up. But a shudder stole through him that demanded he move in order to release the pressure.

"Harry..." he moaned as he slowly moved up and down on his lovers cock. It was a slow, sensual build until Potter seized his hips and drove them both faster towards the edge. Every nerve ending exploded into a vision of stars and Severus screamed as he came long and hard.

When he woke, he was lying on a comfortable bed with Harry wrapped around him like a cloak.

Thinking Harry was asleep, Severus whispered, "I love you."

"I love you too."

Apparently he had been wrong, but that was alright. The words were nice to hear requited, especially with the kiss pressed to his neck. He could get used to that.

(chapter 8 part 2: "They're hanging you out with their whiskey breath/And leaving you out in the sun, yeah/Making you feel like a hypocrite/because you cannot run, yeah.")

The next day began much the same way the one before had, except that McGonagall did not need to drag them out of bed. They managed to have breakfast peacefully and without jumping each other as lustful looks were exchanged.

When it was time to Apparate, they embraced and shared a sweet kiss. Lips still locked, they arrived at Hogwarts and it was a long moment more before they separated.

"Bloody fairies..." muttered a worker as they walked by.

The lovers shared a brief look of concern and Harry shrugged. He had expected such, he just hoped it wouldn't escalate. Just as they came to the area McGonagall had set them to work on, a woman pushed past Severus, almost knocking him to floor.

"Excuse me, madam! I believe this hall is wide enough for the three of us." Severus snapped at her, but she ignored him. The potions master was just about to say more when Harry shushed him.

"Don't let it get out of hand," he whispered.

"But Harry-"

"Trust me on this, Severus."

Their work progressed as it had the day before, the section was almost closed off now with their help. As lunch time rolled around, the lovers were more than ready for a bit of refreshment.

"Severus... With the war over, are you going to continue to teach?"

Snape raised an eyebrow at the Gryffindor. "I would think you already know the answer."

"Not really, you know that."

"I believe I will. It will be much easier without the war hanging over us all."

"Or Dumbledore."

Severus hung his head at the mention of his old mentor. "It's strange, without him here."

"Well, you don't have to worry about him anymore."

"You say it so easily, Harry. But all I have is your word that his intentions were otherwise malicious."

"And some damning evidence-"

"I am having trouble seeing it that way. Everything was for the greater good."

"What good that was!" Harry took a calming breath and turned to Severus. "He hurt you and I can't forgive that."

Snape jerked away from Harry's gaze, but his hands found Potter's and linked in reassurance.

"But without him, Harry, I would not be here."

Pain entered Harry's eyes and he kissed the corner of his lover's lips, a gesture that never failed to make Severus smile.

"Hey Harry, wanna have a couple drinks with us tonight at Hog's Head?" asked one of the Ministry workers.

Harry cast a look of suspicion at the man and was met only with open friendliness. "Alright, Severus and I will probably be finished dinner by seven."

The man grinned and clapped Harry on the shoulder. "Brilliant! We'll look forward to it."

Dinner itself saw Harry pushing the food he had cooked around his plate. Severus picked up on his lover's mood and cleared the table while Harry sat brooding.

"I'm sorry I've been such awful company tonight, Severus."

"Indeed. I would have thought you were looking forward to going out tonight." Severus said, setting the dishes to clean themselves. He came back to the dinner table and settled himself in Harry's lap. He kissed the scarred forehead whilst running a hand through the unruly raven hair.

"I am, but my mind keeps flicking through what might happen and most of them aren't good."

"Oh, Harry. Try to be optimistic," Severus frowned at his own words, "I never thought I'd say such a thing; but perhaps it would be a good thing for you to gain some friends."

"Speaking of which, and Severus I really doubt I know how to make friends anymore, I haven't seen Neville or Luna since I got back. Didn't they keep going to school?"

The Professor shook his head. "No, I believe they eloped and finished their schooling in Beauxbatons. Not to escape the war, mind you, to escape Dumbledore. I believe he was attempting to rope Longbottom into being just like you.

"I doubt word has gotten to them yet that the war is over."

"Oh... I had no idea they were even into each other." Harry wrapped his arms around Snape and pulled him closer, nuzzling his neck.

Severus let lose a guttural moan and laughed breathlessly. "We don't have the time if you told them seven."

"Mm, but you are far too much fun to tease." Harry said, standing while still keeping Severus close and Apparated both of them to the Hog's Head.

"I hate that, you need to warn me before you Apparate." Severus scolded him, even as his hands affectionally ran through his lover's hair.

"Nonsense, this way you don't get sick from the Side-Along."

"How would you know- Never mind." Severus huffed and kissed the insufferable brat. They shared a long kiss outside the pub before separating and going inside. They found the other workers quickly and sat down at the table. A few glares were sent Snape's way but they had the sense not to say anything.

Harry ordered them both firewhiskey and allegedly did not attempt conversation, but listened to the others.

"Harry! Tell us how you killed You-Know-Who, I hear it's a thrilling tale!"

Potter glared at them. "It's Voldemort and no. I don't really want to talk about it." He took a deep breath and decided he better socialize since he agreed to this. "I hear the Ministry is having a tough time cleaning up the mess he left though."

They seemed to take that with enthusiasm. "Oh Merlin! That's half the reason I volunteered to help re-build Hogwarts!" One of them exclaimed.

"I'd say! My wife is up to her neck in paperwork! She says they'll never get through it if they insist on keeping up the bureaucracy system." The one across from them said, sloshing his drink in Harry's direction.

Letting them rant, Harry took a sip of his glass. The alcohol burned down his throat in a pleasurable distraction. He really didn't like this socializing thing, Harry would much rather be at home worshipping Severus on the bed. The thought made him shift in his chair and throw a heated glance to the Slytherin.

Snape caught it and smirked in amusement. Their evening continued with Harry giving the others small suggestions and drinking more. The next thing the Gryffindor knew he was one his fourth drink and couldn't see a thing. The blackness wavered and flashed random pictures, a black girl running across the desert sand towards a quaint hut, Severus alone with the workers outside the pub, a man taking a young lady home to his apartment... Blackness again and Harry panicked, he needed to be away from all these people.

"Severus?" he felt for the thigh that brushed against his.

"Harry? Are you alright?" a hand held his chin and Harry shook his head.

"I'll be fine, I just gotta get to the loo. Point in the right direction?"

The potions master did so, still frowning in concern for his lover. Harry clumsily stood and stumbled his way across the pub, but did make it to his desired destination. He felt along the counter until he felt the cool porcelain of a sink. He thanked whomever that wizards had seen the genius in indoor plumbing. Turning the tap on cold, Harry splashed water onto his face and tried again to see the world around him.

For a moment, it worked and he saw the bathroom and his reflection in the mirror. Then it switched to a scene where the workers they were drinking with were dragging Severus out of the pub. Harry shook his head and winced when it brought on a throbbing headache. He had seen that vision a million times since they'd been asked out.

"I will not allow this! Do not come any closer!"

Severus' panicked voice echoed in his mind and Harry groaned. Why did this one persist? He splashed his face again, attempting to clear the buzz of alcohol from his head.

"I said no closer! I will hex you!"

"Oh, ya canna try, Sssnape." slurred one of the advancing workers, a particular burly man. "S' just proves yar a Death Eater. Attacking wizards 'aving a nice drink a' the pub."

Suddenly the man took a swing at Severus and his wand clattered onto the cobblestones. The potions master fought back, but the three men had him down within seconds.

"Bloody ponce, ya dinna deserve ta be with 'Arry!" A hard kick landed in his ribs.

"Yeah, he's got better girls to fuck than you!" Hands squeezed his throat.

It occurred to Harry that perhaps the vision was happening in real time which was why he couldn't see anything else. The Gryffindor ran out of the bathroom and knocked over a good many chairs trying to get to the front door. He stumbled down the street for what seemed like ages, following the sounds of angry voices.

When he came upon the right alleyway, the world lit up like a light bulb then dimmed suddenly. The brief flash was enough for Harry to blast the three men off his Slytherin. Harry rushed his lover's side, but the man was still unconscious. He felt for the dropped wand and then Apparated them to Hogwarts.

The buzz of the firewhiskey was wearing off and Harry managed to register the magic lining the walls of Hogwarts in order to make his way to the Hospital Wing. Madame Pomfrey was less than pleased to be awakened by racket coming from her infirmary, then she saw Harry Potter laying Professor Snape onto one of the beds. She immediately set to work, relieving the man of his cloths in order to better assess his injuries.

"This looks like a deliberate beating, Mr. Potter," she stated as she set a broken rib and conjured wrappings to hold it in place.

"Yes, ma'am. I didn't get to him soon enough..."

"What happened?"

"We went out for drinks with some of the other workers. I had a bit too much and went to the loo. I guess they didn't like that Severus was with me..."

"I see. Well, with the right potions, he should be fine enough to leave within four days."

"Yes, ma'am."

"You should rest, Mr. Potter. He won't be conscious for a while yet."

"May I take a bed here, Madame?"

Pomfrey shot him a sympathetic look and nodded.

"Poppy?" Harry's voice sounded slightly panicked.

"Oh! yes, Harry. I'm sorry, I had forgotten," she said in assurance.

The Gryffindor didn't move for a moment, reaching out to Snape and finding his hand. He squeezed the limp hand and gave a shuddering sigh.

"I'm sorry, Severus... I should have been there sooner." He stood and made his way to the next bed.

The next morning after Madame Pomfrey finished making sure Professor Snape was healing well, she determined to examine Harry. He refused her prodding on the point that he was not the one who was injured.

"That may be, Potter, but you are clearly blind. At least let me determine the cause."

"Fine," he answered, finally sitting still for her. She pointed her wand and murmured a good many diagnostic spells before coming to a conclusion.

"Seems your retina was completely scorched. But that means your iris and pupil should have a milky film, not normal clarity and your usual brilliant green."

"Could it be my magic, Madame?"

"Perhaps, but I should have been able to detect that."

"Might be hiding."

"And why would you do that, Mr. Potter?"

Harry shrugged and leapt of the bed he was sitting on. "How is the Professor doing?"

"Quite well, I'm surprised at how much he healed through the night."

The doors suddenly opened to admit Headmistress McGonagall, her expression clearly concerned for the motionless figure on the bed.

"What happened, Poppy? I heard some of the workers were involved?"

"We, or rather I, was invited for drinks yesterday evening," Harry answered, "I brought Severus with me, which they clearly weren't expecting. After a while, I had a bit too much to drink and went to the loo. They dragged Severus out of the bar and... One held him down while the others..."

"Oh, dear... I can't believe any of the people here would so such a thing! When you see those men again, Potter, I give you permission to apprehend them."

Chapter Nine. "Well you stole it 'cause I needed the cash/And you killed it 'cause I wanted revenge/Well you lied to me 'cause I asked you to." - Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses by U2

When Potter did see those men again, he did nothing. He met their guilty expressions with pain filled eyes and walked away. Harry berated himself everyday that Severus didn't wake, he should have been there sooner, he should have known what the vision really meant. Why, oh why hadn't he done anything sooner?

Severus woke to the feel of a hand rearranging his hair and opened his eyes. Though it took a moment to focus, he could tell it was Madame Pomfrey.

"Poppy... What happened?"

She took a deep breath before responding, "let's just say if Harry hadn't gotten to you when he did, you wouldn't be awake right now. If you like, you can go back to your chambers. But I suggest a day of rest before you start working again."

"Where is Harry?" he asked as he stood and put on the robes Poppy provided.

"I imagine in one of the greenhouses, scolding himself for not getting to you sooner." The Medi-Witch gave a small sigh. "Please tell him he's being ridiculous, Severus. It is maddening the way he goes on like that."

Once he found his Harry, sitting on one the stools in Greenhouse Three, he was angry enough to spit fire. How dare the boy wallow in self-pity and guilt over such a trivial thing? Severus had been through much worse and could handle himself, thank you very much.

"Potter!" he snapped, stepping inside the doorway.

Harry's head whipped up to look at him, but the joyous grin vanished as Snape stomped towards him.

"I hear you've been feeling guilty. What a sad, poor thing for the hero of the Wizarding World to be brought down simply because his lover had been in small spat."

"W-What?" The Gryffindor looked shocked.

"Really, Potter. Moping around for days? Neglecting the work you could be doing for the Headmistress?"

"I-I... Severus, I haven't-"

Snape waved away his protests. "Regardless, you should not be here, but out there rebuilding the school."

"But you-"

"Madame Pomfrey has required a day of rest for me, I will have dinner ready for you at your apartment this evening."

Harry just stared at him with wide eyes. "Are you serious? Four days without you, worrying that something would go wrong, and you want me to sit back? Leave you alone?"

"Yes, Harry. You must learn that I can take care of myself, you will not always be there. Be assured that I can stand without you." He said the last bit more gently, but kept his stern tone.

"Oh... A-Alright then. Can I have a kiss?"

Severus smiled and leaned forward. "Of course."

Snape kept the kiss brief, knowing all too well where it would lead if prolonged.

Dinner time couldn't come fast enough for Harry and he injected his sudden energy into the building process.

When Harry did finally arrive he was exhausted but looking forward to holding Severus in his arms again. His arrival was met with loud voices coming from the kitchen. By the sound of it, Severus was shouting at something that kept wailing in response. It took a Harry a moment to discern the images flashing before his eyes from the erratic future and the present. Finally, the image of the present asserted itself and he saw that Dobby had somehow arrived and was currently the victim of the potions master's wrath. The House Elf was crying away and tugging on his ears while Snape yelled angrily and gestured with a wooden spoon in hand.

"Severus?" Harry called, hoping to distract the man from hitting the poor House Elf. His lover whirled round and his features almost relaxed into a smile.

"Harry. You're home." He put down the spoon and approached the Gryffindor. They kissed much too briefly for Harry's taste and Severus turned his attention back to the simpering House Elf.

"He arrived just as I was finishing up. Apparently he wanted to make sure I didn't poison you," Severus explained with a heavy sigh.

Amusement pulled at Harry's lips. "And the death threats?"

"Completely necessary," he said seriously. "It kept trying to do everything with magic and I wanted to make everything myself. I'm afraid we'll have to improvise on desert."

Harry chuckled darkly and pulled Severus closer for chaste kiss. "I can already think of few ideas."

"I expected as much," Severus said, his smile a touch smug. "If you can get rid of the creature, we can get on with dinner."

It was Harry's turn to sigh. "I'll try my best."

"Master Harry! Dobby has come to make sure you is safe!" The House Elf cried out and ran towards Harry, tears already forgotten.

"As you can see, I am perfectly fine, Dobby. You can go back to Hogwarts now." Harry said, keeping his voice level in hopes the creature would listen.

"Dobby still isn't sure if Professor Snape-"

"For God's sake, Dobby!" Harry snapped, he hated the assumption that his lover was out to get him. "Severus is my lover, and you would do well to remember that!"

"Surely he has made Master Harry think-"

"DOBBY!" Harry's magic crackled around him, unfortunately causing Snape to gasp and close his eyes. "Make anymore assumptions and I will never call upon you again. I suggest you avoid coming here without my express permission."

"Oh, Dobby will iron his hands! Dobby is so sorry! Dobby will-"

"You will do nothing of the sort, Dobby." The Gryffindor sighed, reigning in his magic. "Just go back Hogwarts and respect my rules." Harry hissed as the elf finally popped out of existence.

There was long moment where Potter relished in the sudden silence before turning back to the potions master. He smirked when heated black orbs swept over his form appreciatively.

"I'm sorry, Severus. I didn't mean to lose control."

"On the contrary," the Slytherin stepped very close to Harry, just barely not touching. "I have much in mind for this-"

"I thought you wanted dinner first?" Harry interrupted, stepping away and going to the kitchen.

"Harry..."

He guessed it was supposed to be a growl, but it sounded a lot more like a plea. "Come, Severus. I want to see this lovely dinner first."

The Gryffindor walked into the living room and was greeted with quite the romantic setting. Severus had found four tall red candles for the centre piece and they glowed beautifully. The food smelled even better and Harry's stomach growled in response.

Arms circled his waist and a hard body pressed against his. "There, you've seen it. Now?"

Potter tried not to laugh. "But I'm famished! And it looks divine."

The body disappeared from behind him and reappeared sitting at the table. "You're a fucking tease, I hope you know that."

"I don't want to ruin this beautiful set up by shoving my cock up that gorgeous arse of yours right on the table," Harry said with a completely straight face as he sat down opposite.

The potions master growled in answer and crossed his arms in a huff. Harry forked a mouthful of steaming rice and stared at Severus until he too began to eat.

"I've worked all day, Severus," the Gryffindor pointed out gently.

"I know."

Silence stretched between them as they ate. They were almost finished when Severus abruptly stood and disappeared into the kitchen. He came back with a wine bottle in hand and poured them both a glass. The red liquid was clear and seemed to glow under the light of the candles.

Harry picked up the glass by its stem and smelled the wine. It was sweet and heady, like it was young and strong.

The Gryffindor looked at Severus over the rim of the glass. "Naked grape?"

His lover raised a surprised eyebrow. "Indeed. I did not expect you to appreciate something as exquisite as wine."

Harry chuckled and took a shallow sip, rolling the liquid around his tongue before swallowing. "Naked grape is my favorite kind of wine."

Snape's lips spread into a self-satisfied smile and he sipped from his own glass. "I thought it described you perfectly."

Potter grinned. "Young and strong or sweet and naked?"

He took another sip, clearly taking great pleasure in the taste of the liquid. "I prefer naked, but the others are just as suitable."

"I shall do my best to fulfill your wishes, Severus." Harry stood and shrugged off his outer robe. Severus looked on in wonder, unconsciously taking another sip of the wine that had suddenly turned into an aphrodisiac. Potter offered his hand and Severus took it with love shining bright in his eyes. He lead Snape to the living room and sat on the couch. The potions master made to join him, but a hand on his hip stopped him.

"Undress and finish your wine," Harry ordered.

A thrill went through Severus at the blatant command. He took a another drink from his glass before putting it down on the coffee table. Severus proceeded to shed his robe and draped it carefully on the arm of the couch. When he started on the buttons of his frock coat, Harry spread his legs to display the straining erection between them.

Without magic it took much longer than Severus was used to. By the time he was relieved of the garment, Harry was restlessly shifting in his seat. The thought that he, Severus, could reduce Harry Potter to such a state, aroused and amazed him.

Severus had another drink and he was pleased to notice that there was one more mouthful left. He glanced at Harry's glass to verify that it was in the same state. He began on his buttoned shirt, making quick work of that and let it settle on top of his folded coat. He gulped down the last of his wine and his hands fluttered at the belt of his trousers. They rested lightly on his hips and he stared at Harry through the veil of black hair that had fallen forward. The young man was breathless, hands pressed firmly on his thighs, and green eyes roaming up and down Severus' body.

He shuddered and then undid his belt and trousers. Snape pushed them down slowly. The Slytherin gave an involuntary sigh of relief when his rock hard cock met the cool air of the room. Pulling them off completely, he bent to place his trousers with the rest of his clothes. Straightening, he thought for a moment Harry was going to lunge at him but the Gryffindor seemed to quell the urge.

"You're beautiful, Severus," he whispered, "so absolutely beautiful."

Severus seized the initiative at the words and straddled his lover where he sat. Harry's clothes disappeared and they both trembled. Hands ran up his bare thighs and cupped his buttocks. Snape rocked his hips and held Harry's face in his hands. He tilted it up for a kiss and did so with fervor. Harry let him for the moment, moaning and groaning all the while. Severus let go of the Gryffindor's mouth and they breathed heavily into each other.

"I want to take it slow," Harry whispered as he ran his hands up Snape's back.

"Merlin, Harry, not now." Severus spread his legs farther and settled so that Harry's cock brushed his entrance.

Potter's face twisted in pleasure. "Severus..."

"Please, Harry," he begged, rocking his hips again. The lubrication and relaxation spell turned his bones to liquid. Severus unconsciously began to shake as Harry's magic aroused him further. The Gryffindor pulled him down, entering him in one swift move. Snape threw his head back and arched with a loud moan. Without consciously thinking about it, he moved his hips into an urgent rhythm. He heard the words 'beautiful' and 'love' just before he came. Every nerve fired at once and it felt as though his climax touched every pore of his skin.

When he was again aware of the world around him, Severus found that his lover was gently lying him on the bed. It was the second time in Harry's bedroom and his Roman god took up the view. Snape didn't mind; he would look around later. For the moment, he tangled his fingers in Potter's hair and kissed him soundly.

"Mine," Harry breathed into Severus' mouth. "Always mine."

"Yo-" Potter cut off his response by running a line of magic down his chest. "So yours..."

Harry moved at a more sedate pace, following the lingering vestiges of his magic. Then the feel of Harry's lips around his cock for the first time that night had him arching off the bed. It was so sweet and blissfully wet.

Snape was tittering on the edge when the wetness abruptly disappeared. He protested with a loud whimper and bucking his hips. A hand on said hips soothed him until he simply lay quivering on the bed. He felt a kiss being pressed to the inside of his thigh and moaned.

Harry came back up and kissed the edge of his beautiful lover's lips. "I wanna try something different..."

Severus would have licked Harry's boots if it meant another earth-shattering orgasm. Then Harry moved so that Snape's cock brushed his entrance.

"Harry," he moaned in acquisition. Harry promptly turn them so that Severus sat between his thighs. Except this. He was already shaking his head and struggled out of Harry's embrace.

"Not this way," he begged. Harry obligingly moved them back and tried kiss away the frown that had formed on Snape's forehead.

"Love," Harry murmured. "What's wrong?"

Severus looked beseechingly into Harry's emerald eyes and lifted his hips. "Like this, Harry."

The Gryffindor seemed as though he wanted to reproach him then thought better of it. They shared a long kiss more out of comfort than lust. Letting go of his lips, Harry slowly guided himself down onto Severus' cock.

Losing himself once more, a thrill went through him at the look of ecstasy gracing Harry's countenance. The tightness surrounding his cock was a whole new sort of bliss. Knowing it was Harry had stars shooting at the edge of his vision. He was muttering incoherently, he was sure of it, as Harry began to move above him. It didn't take long for either of them to reach completion at that point.

Coming back down to earth much later, Severus breathed in the musky scent of Harry Potter and snuggled closer to warm firm chest. Arms tightened around him and a kiss was placed to the top of his head. It made him smile in a way he would vehemently deny to anyone but Harry.

"Severus." There went Snape's contentment. He hoped Harry would forget the incident if he distracted him enough.

"Yes, love?" Severus tried to pull the young man into a kiss, but Harry held him back. He gazed searchingly into the potions master's dark eyes.

"What happened?"

Damn the Gryffindor for being too insightful. Severus sighed and looked away. "It's nothing. Besides, don't you already know?"

"No. Though I could find out, I want you to tell me."

Severus was silent for a long time, warring with himself about whether he should tell Harry or not. If it mattered at all in the first place. He glanced at Harry's open expression and felt himself giving in.

"The Dark Lord desired entertainment and had me conduct it. I refused to submit to him that way and attempted to remove myself from participation. He demanded it regardless and I - I..." Severus buried his face in Harry's chest and tried to block out the memory so he could speak. His mind went wonderfully blank and he continued. "I took an aphrodisiac and raped many Muggles."

"Oh, Severus..." Harry whispered and kissed him. "I promise to protect you, always."

Snape gladly accepted the kiss, insanely happy that he had found someone who cared enough to promise such things.