Written for SNARRY-A-THON10: FIC on snape_potter community at ij/lj/dw

Title: Only In Their Dreams
Author: Ari aka kayakaari aka CarlisleAliceJazzCullen!
Other pairings/threesome: Mentions of Harry/Ginny and Harry/others.
Rating: M
Word count: 12,417
Warning(s): Harry is in his sixth year but any naughty stuff is in his dreams. Pre-slash (M/M) If that squicks you, please do not read.

Prompt: 220 - 6th year: Harry tries a "dream enhancing potion" with notes from the Half-Blood Prince, which lets Snape start sharing his dreams. Harry doesn't know who he's sharing them with (he visualizes some idealized HBP), but Snape takes full advantage. Bonus points for making their final conflict ("don't call me coward!") all about the dreams somehow.
Summary: Harry takes a dream enhancing potion and quickly becomes addicted to his nocturnal dates with the mysterious Half-Blood Prince. What happens when Harry's addiction messes with his chances for a real relationship with Ginny?
A/N: I don't quite think this is what the author wanted… it certainly isn't my original interpretation of the prompt but HBP is quite a complex book and I didn't really want to kill off Albus or have any battle scenes so… this is what you get!

Only In Their Dreams

Harry awoke with a start. He had finally done it. He'd made the Prince's dream enhancing potion several days ago but only last night worked up the courage to take a full dose. He still wasn't sure how exactly it worked but last night he finally saw the Prince himself.

"Harry?" Hermione began hesitantly. It had all begun almost a week ago when she had disapproved of his making- with intention to consume- an unknown potion that apparently 'enhanced' his dreams. That it came from the Prince didn't help matters much. When he took a partial dose of the potion that first night and dreamt of communicating with someone, she fretted and even threatened to report him to Pomfrey, McGonagall, or worse, Dumbledore. Since their argument, he had barely said a word to her. She knew through Ron that he had sealed the drapes around his bed last night and they both probably guessed that he'd taken it again.

"Hermione," he nodded in cold greeting.

She hesitated nervously but, ever the Gryffindor, she continued, "Did you take it? You did, didn't you? Oh, Harry! I wish you hadn't, at least not without telling Ron first. That way he could have kept an eye out if anything went wrong."

"Nothing did."

"But it could have," she insisted.

"So, what happened, mate?" Ron interrupted and Harry was excited enough to cooperate. "Did you see him again?"

Harry had seen him the last time. Not all at once but in fleeting images of an eye here, a strong jaw there…

"I did see him. Nothing much happened though. We just… talked, again," Harry grinned, remembering that deep velvety voice.

"Who talked?" Ginny interrupted, her arm was wrapped around Dean's and Harry felt a little of that nagging jealousy that had plagued him since they'd returned this year.

"Harry," Hermione began with the superior air of one who is going to report on the foolish behaviour of another, "has taken a potion that 'enhances' his dreams. He was just telling us how this allowed him to 'talk' to the Prince."

"From the text book?" Ginny gasped, worry and anger warring for dominance in her features. "Oh, Harry, you really should know better. What if-"

"What if nothing, Ginny. It's not like that. It's not dark magic, even Hermione had to admit it and it's definitely not Voldemort or my scar would hurt. It's just my dreams at work. He didn't say anything to me really… I said hi, he said hi, I asked if he was the Half-Blood Prince and he nodded. I tried asking what his name was but he didn't answer- most likely because my dream self doesn't know."

"But the simple, friendly conversation, Harry, don't you see? That's how it starts!"

"Ginny, don't worry. There is nothing to worry about. Nothing," he repeated, glaring at each in turn, lingering longest at Hermione's stubborn face.

That night Harry slipped another full dose into his pumpkin juice during their late night 'study and snack' fest. Hermione had come up with the study part but faced with the boys' constant complaining about needing brain food she had quickly introduced hourly five minute snack breaks. He knew he hadn't been observed because the other two were arguing, as always. He only hoped the cold drink wouldn't affect the potion's potency.

Half an hour of studying later, Hermione put away her Runes essay with a satisfied smirk.

"Ron, I think you need to write faster than that. You've only written a few inches in the last fifteen minutes. Are you stuck? Let me check it, maybe I can help," Hermione held out a patient hand. "Ron, the essay, please. Ron? RON!"

The sleeping boy shook awake, yawning so that Harry soon yawned as well.

"We might as well go to bed, 'Mione," Ron stumbled to his feet, grabbing what he hoped were his books and Harry jumped to join and assist him. He was still sulking so he didn't wish Hermione a good night but he nodded briskly before dragging his roommate away.

In spite of how embarrassed he felt even as he did it, Harry went to the bathroom, changed into his nicest pyjamas and combed his hair before bed. It might be only his dreams but he still wanted to impress.

The Prince was tall and slim with jet black hair and dark eyes. He was Harry's ideal dream man, which was surprising in and of itself as Harry never realized he had an 'ideal man'. He couldn't deny the thrill he had felt at seeing the pale, elegant wizard. It hadn't felt like a dream at all and even now as he settled into the bed, Harry had the disconcerting feeling of remembering the Prince rather than dreaming about him.

At some point in the night Harry must have turned onto his stomach because he felt a light touch brush over his t-shirt clad back. He tensed, either in fear or eager anticipation or perhaps even a combination of both. His bed seemed to suddenly widen as the dark robed body lay beside him. He shivered as warm breath caressed his ear.

"You came back," the mysterious voice purred, "and so soon."

Harry could only nod in response. He swallowed audibly as a tongue brushed against his ear. "To… talk?"

Harry nodded dumbly again, and, though he couldn't see the face, he swore the voice smirked. "You wish to talk," Harry whimpered as his lobe was pinched between teasing lips, "but you don't say any words."

"You," Harry struggled for coherence but it seemed that there was a switch to his brain just under the skin behind his ear which the Prince was currently flicking on and off with his tongue. He tried again, "You… speak… I… listen."

"You want me to speak?" Harry was back to nodding and whimpering. "While you listen…" Harry squeaked as the lightly teasing hand suddenly gripped his arse.

"What do you wish me to speak of?" The voice was still sexy but no longer deliberately seductive and the Prince was now sitting primly on the bed, his slim back turned to the completely startled Harry.

"Why did you stop?" Harry blushed even as he asked, turning even darker red at the response.

"I wasn't sure you would appreciate it. Are you gay?"

"Um… no? I don't know… I liked when you did that though."

"Of course you did, you're a teenaged boy."

"And what about you?"

"What about me?"

"Everything… anything… I don't know anything about you. How old are you? What's your name? Who… eeep!"

The Prince apparently didn't want to answer any questions and had turned to Harry, thrusting one sure hand down the Gryffindor's loose pyjama pants, cupping his package in a gentle massage.

Harry fought with himself for a few moments. He needed to breathe but he didn't want to end this kiss. Surely his dream self shouldn't need air right? "Gah!" he cried, pulling his head away and gulping great mouthfuls of air. Okay, so maybe he still needed to breathe after all. He was relieved when the Prince didn't stop his ministrations.

The strong hand had slipped beneath Harry's underpants and was now stroking his burgeoning erection firmly but lazily, in tandem with the slow but determined sucking around his neck and collarbone. For a brief moment Harry worried about the marks sure to show the following morning. Then he remembered he was sleeping and this was only a dream. It surely didn't matter.

Harry gripped the longish-shortish black hair. It was currently shoulder length but he rather thought it had been much shorter when they first met. It was then that Harry also noticed that the slim but well built body had become a little thinner too.

He pulled back and looked at his seducer. The face was mostly the same, just perhaps more angular and Harry wondered what it meant.

"You wish me to stop?"

Harry grabbed the departing hand, shoving it back into his crotch. "No, don't stop!" he panicked a little, sighing with undisguised relief as the steady strokes resumed. "In fact, I wouldn't mind at all if you went faster."

If he could speak at that moment, Harry would be sure to compliment the Prince's hand technique. This was infinitely better than any wanking Harry had done for himself. Surely he should know what his body liked better than some stranger? But then again, this wasn't a stranger but his subconscious seducing him in his sleep.

Further analysis of the bizarre situation was cut short when what little blood remained in Harry's head and extremities rushed to his cock. He arched, spasmed and flopped as though being electrocuted. His self-induced orgasms had never been this strong. He wondered idly if he'd ever be satisfied with just his own hand ever again.

Grinning foolishly, he flopped his head over to look at the man in his bed. The gorgeous man who was currently smirking at him in a disturbingly familiar way.

Harry gasped, "When you do that, you look just like…"

Professor Severus Snape opened his eyes suddenly, and then squinted as the relatively weak fire light seemed like direct sunlight in comparison to the darkness beneath his lids.

Harry Bloody Potter.

He wasn't sure just exactly how the brat had done it but Hogwarts' own Boy-Wonder had brewed the dream sharing potion that Severus had invented in his youth.

Invented but never tested.

Who would he have tested such a potion with? He had created it with the hopes of one day convincing Lily to take it. She was his first crush but while in his dreams he was always the dark, mysterious, smooth and seductive Lothario, the second he opened his mouth he managed to amuse or offend her. He hoped to reach her in his dreams where he felt most confident and so he had created the potion. Of course he had called it a 'dream enhancing potion' so others wouldn't know his true intentions but he could never have lied to *her* about the potion's true nature, so perhaps it was all a waste anyway.

He supposed that Potter could have gotten the recipe from his father. Potter Sr. and Black had a nasty talent for stealing Severus' spells and using them against him. Had they tried this one- on each other? On Lily?

With long strides he moved to his kitchenette, grabbing a beautiful and delicate crystal decanter and a matching tumbler for his drink. He would not consider the possibility that his potion had been used by Potter to seduce his Lily. With a toast to finality, he closed the door firmly on further ludicrous speculation. Potter Sr. wouldn't have dared! It was impossible and that's all there was to say about that.

Anyway, he had his own problems to worry about in the here and now. However he had gotten it, Harry Potter had taken the potion. He suspected Granger had assisted in making it but it seemed out of the annoying girl's character to experiment on an unknown potion. She was a learner and user of established magic, not a creator. Surely Potter hadn't managed the potion on his own. Yet there he suddenly was, knocking at Severus' Occluded mind.

The Potions Master threw his quill onto the desk and tossed the final poorly done essay with the others. Ravenclaw essays were clever if sometimes uncreative, Slytherins' were clever and creative, if perhaps not so accurate, Gryffindors' tended to be uncaring and daring- perhaps they were too creative and certainly they were rarely clever.

But Hufflepuff essays… He glared menacing at the pile he'd just marked. The badgers had to be the poorest excuses for students ever. They were neither clever nor creative, neither daring nor cautious. No, they were simply insane. The students wrote romantic fantasies with seemingly no care for the realities of alchemy or basic logic. Even when they were correct he felt tempted to remove points out of sheer annoyance. It was only Albus' reprimand after Pomona complained early on in his tenure that kept him from deducting points. He still couldn't understand their insistence on adding unnecessary words to their responses. Who stirred three 'loving' turns clockwise? Was he supposed to care that they 'gratefully' added the eye of newt that their lab partner 'thoughtfully' extracted for them?

He felt a throbbing headache coming on as it always did after grading the badgers. Going to his private rooms, he settled into the comfortable chair Albus tended to use. Though Severus would never let anyone know it and never used it in the presence of others, he sometimes found that chair to be the most comfortable. Sipping on a cup of strong tea, he took a deep breath and closed his eyes, carefully clearing his mind and organizing his thoughts into separate little compartments according to level of importance. It was during this usually peaceful process that he felt the hesitant pressure against his mind. It was so gentle he hadn't immediately registered it.

Although he was wary, he knew that the wards to his private rooms had not been breached. Whatever or whoever this was, the intruder wasn't physically near him.

Using careful manoeuvres, he went close enough to see but not be seen. To his absolute surprise, Potter emerged, looking around the empty 'room' in Severus' mind he'd breached with obvious bewilderment.

"Why are you here?" Severus asked, hopefully disguising his voice. Potter was a poor Legilimens, this made no sense.

"I… I took a dream enhancing potion but I wasn't sure it was working. I seem to have gotten stuck here in this empty room. Where are you? Who are you?"

It had taken a moment before Snape understood but, with great surprise at the confession, he remembered only too well what the 'dream enhancing potion' was.

"Who do you think I am? You took the potion, surely you have some idea."

"Are you the Half-Blood Prince?"

"Yes," the answer escaped without his permission in response to his shock at Potter uttering that title with, was that awed admiration? "You know of me?"

"Yes, I admire your work. You're brilliant!" Potter gushed.

Harry Potter, scion of James Potter, son of Lily Evans, gushed with barely disguised hero worship at the altar of Severus Snape. Immediately his plan to question the boy before kicking him out of his head was discarded.

Even if it was only in their minds, he would enjoy this adoration. Apparently the sleeping Potter was cleverer than his waking self. The sleeping Potter respected Severus. He frowned as the boy stepped towards him.

"What are you doing?"

"I want to see you."


"I want to get to know you. Please. I think we could be such good friends."

Severus sincerely doubted that and decided that now was the time to wake Potter up with the shock of his life. Hesitating briefly to wonder if he should use a glamour, he decided to simply bare himself to the young interloper.

To his surprise, instead of the look of horrified disgust he expected or even the fear he hoped for, Harry smiled broadly at him.

In the mere seconds it took for Potter to become Harry and for the look of foolish helplessness to be replaced by sheer joy, the scrawny but equally arrogant James Potter clone with hideously thick glasses morphed into someone else. This Harry Potter had a slightly more rounded face and his Lily-like eyes shone without the glasses. The most compelling thing was that the smile seemed genuine. It had been a very long time since anyone had seemed genuinely happy to see Snape.

Determined to resist being drawn in by the Dream Harry Potter, Severus prodded at his mind for instances where the brat had been insufferably rude and disrespectful towards him. The second the flood of memories began to surface, Potter's appearance began to change hideously.

Always the scientist, Snape tested a theory. He thought pleasant things about Harry and Harry appeared ever more attractive. Then he thought unhappy, sad or pitiful thoughts about the boy and immediately the smiling face warped.

He experimented with several emotions and thoughts for a while before drawing three primary conclusions.

For one thing, while he could not change Potter's basic physical make up- he hadn't, for instance, been able to give the boy breasts or rabbit's ears, his own emotions and thoughts quite literally changed the way he saw him. It was a similar but extreme version of real life in which 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder'. He wondered then what Harry was thinking about him and how it affected what the boy saw considering the pleased grin still gracing his features.

The second thing he learned was that the character of the vision seemed to influence its appearance. No matter how negative his thoughts of Harry became, the demonization of his features would not stay. The features would swirl and warp until a less attractive but normal Harry Potter appeared. The more the boy smiled, the more attractive his image became. This made Snape wonder all the more about what Harry was seeing. Perhaps only the person who consumed the potion was affected and Harry could not see the real Severus.

His third observation, which was actually Potter's, was that they could not really see one another. Although he instantly recognised the brat, it wasn't until Potter begged him to 'tell me more about yourself because the more you say, the clearer I see you' that he realized that Potter actually appeared to be a bit of a blur. He suspected that he could see Potter more clearly than he could be seen because of his stronger Occlumency.

He had just resolved to investigate the matter further when Potter suddenly began to fade. After waiting almost an hour for the boy to return, Snape concluded that the potion must simply have worn off.

For the next three nights Severus prepared tests and questions and waited for Potter to return but was without luck. He had just begun to wonder if he had merely had a post-Hufflepuff, alcohol-induced hallucination when the boy returned.

He had spent the last two hours meditating and Occluding his mind, a weekly exercise that he practised ever since he had learned Occlumency and settled in his bed with the latest Potions journal when the timid prodding of his mind began.

"Hello again," Harry waved shyly, joining him on the bed. "I like this room much better than the last one and you're so much clearer tonight!"

Being caught in a moment of relaxation with his shields dangerously down startled Severus. He Occluded his mind reflexively, kicking Harry out of his bedroom and into a dark metal cage.

"Hello? Hello!" Harry yelled. There was surprisingly little panic in his voice which was instead a study in regret and worry. "Please don't go! I didn't mean to startle you. I liked your bedroom. Hello? Prince?"

Severus refused to say anything, forcing his rapidly beating heart to quickly calm to its usual unbothered pace.

"Listen, I wouldn't have entered straight into your bedroom and invaded your privacy like that but I don't really have control over how I enter these dreams, do I?" Potter's usual impatience was beginning to show in response to the silence. "Prince, believe me when I say that I would go if only I could but I seem to be stuck here until the potion wears off and considering that I took a full dose tonight, who knows when that would be. Please come back. Please?"

Snape remained quiet and considered Potter's words. It seemed he couldn't kick Potter out but he could make the boy think that he'd left.

"It figures," Potter mumbled. "Even in my own dreams I can't keep people around."

"From everything I hear, you have many followers when you're awake."

Potter smiled as the room revealed itself. It had changed to a small sitting room now and he was in a comfortable armchair facing the fireplace. The Prince was in a matching chair, sitting across from the small round table that separated them. Long slender hands and thick black hair hid most of the face but Harry could see one dark eye watching him.

"Following the Boy-Who-Lived, sometimes with mindless adoration and sometimes with jealous hate. I'm not a fan of their Golden Boy. Don't care for him much but he isn't me."

"Really," the Prince drawled. "And just who are you?"

Harry grinned and leaned across the table, presenting an upturned palm. "Hi, my name is Harry Potter, pleased to meet you. I like flying, treacle tarts and Defence Against the Dark Arts is my favourite subject in school. I'd like to get to know you and I hope we can be friends."

The Prince eyed the hand warily for a moment before taking it. "I'm the Half-Blood Prince, I like Potions and Defence Against the Dark Arts but I'm not a student. I reserve the right to reconsider any attempts at friendship."

"Lumos," Severus sat up in his bed and looked around his room. He sneered at the telltale damp spot on his crotch and spelled his clothing and bed linen clean. Running a lightly trembling hand through his damp hair, he thought back to tonight's events. Checking his mind carefully, he found no signs of Potter. He supposed that waking up so suddenly had ended the connection.

A part of him wanted to lower his shields a little to see if perhaps the boy was still there but he didn't dare. What on earth had he done? After that last shared dream where he had actually enjoyed chatting with the boy, he looked forward to a visit tonight. Unfortunately, it had been a busy day filled with two accidents in his labs and he fell asleep while waiting for his visitor. When he awoke to the sight of the boy stretched out on his bed, those tight firm buttocks clearly visible under the thin pants, he couldn't resist the urge to provoke the boy. He was only supposed to frighten Potter out of his wits, not seduce him.

Feeling himself harden at the recollection of tonight's tryst, Severus had to admit that he enjoyed it very much. He was deeply disturbed by his actions but, he reasoned with himself, it was only a dream. He wasn't actually doing anything to a student. He wouldn't. But was that any reason he couldn't enjoy these little nighttime escapades? He hadn't felt horrible after spending hours getting to know the real Harry Potter, so why should he feel any differently about a mutually enjoyed wank?

In spite of the abrupt end to his last dream, or perhaps because of it, Harry was eager to have another dream but he had no potion left. He couldn't quite remember what happened at the end of the last dream but he had a feeling he had come close to finding out something significant.

He only had easy access to two-thirds of the ingredients though and didn't want to wait until the next Hogsmeade weekend to buy the others. He decided that he would simply borrow them from Slughorn and return them at the weekend. Snape still seemed to manage the supplies and Harry knew better than to try to get the ingredients after hours and decided to swipe them from the supplies cupboard during class. That way at least he'd be able to prepare some of them beforehand, limiting how much time he would need to spend in the lab that night.

Unfortunately Snape choose that lesson to visit Slughorn. They stood at the front of the class as students prepared for the day's potion brewing. A quick movement in his peripheral vision caught Snape's attention and he spotted Potter pocketing something. He watched as the ingredient was returned and another pocketed. Neither ingredient was needed for that day's potion but he knew only too well just why the boy needed them.

Smirking he stepped into Potter's way as the boy hastened to his seat.

"Mr. Potter, did I see you with valerian roots? Surely you don't plan to use that in today's potion?"

"No, Sir," Harry swallowed and defiantly met the professor's eyes before the gentle probing reminded him why doing so with Snape was foolish. He struggled to break the contact or clear his mind but the flustered frustration served only to trap him in the gaze.

There was a startled gasp as an image of the Prince flashed across Harry's mind and the contact was suddenly broken. He hurried to his seat and away from his DADA professor.

"What was that about?" Hermione whispered as he returned to his seat.

"Yeah, Harry," Ron looked pleased. "What did you do to make the greasy git look so shocked? I think I even heard him gasp!"

It was Snape who had gasped? Harry looked up but it seemed that the dour man had already left the room. He shrugged at his friends, his equally confused look being the only reason Hermione didn't press him further.

Snape silently stalked Potter as the arrogant brat predictably made his way down to the labs that night. He sneered as Potter was able to enter without triggering any wards. He would have noticed the breach but Slughorn hadn't stirred. Knowing Slughorn as he did, the old Slytherin would have accepted any lie Potter managed to come up with anyway.

Slipping behind the boy, he hid in a dark corner of the room. To his surprise Potter seemed to be brewing alone and more than that, he appeared completely confident and at ease with his work station which happened to be better organized than ever during class.

Satisfied and, though he would never admit to it, impressed that the potion had been correctly and efficiently made, he waited until Potter cleaned up all evidence of his late night brewing and disappeared from the room.

Lying in bed later that night, Snape considered the enigma that Harry Potter was turning out to be. His mind was so caught up in memories of the previous night's activities that he didn't immediately notice when Potter joined him.

"You're here… I worried you wouldn't be," Potter smiled shyly, taking tentative steps towards his nocturnal friend. "I don't really understand what's going on between us. This potion is supposed to be dream enhancing but… I mean, shouldn't it enhance dreams I usually have? I've never had dreams like these. And if you're simply a figment of my imagination, why do you seem to be so independent?"

Potter smiled sadly but didn't appear to be seeking a response. "I'm sorry if I said something to offend you last night, but in the future, promise me you won't just rush off like that. Talk to me, okay?"

Severus tensed as Harry joined him on the bed, entwining their fingers and gently brushing his thumb over the stained digits.

"Do you want me to stop?" Potter asked, not slowing his ministrations. "Have you changed your mind about last night? Do you regret what we did?"

Snape looked deeply into Potter's eyes but Legilimency didn't appear to work on the Dream Potter. He was completely distracted by the image of himself he'd seen in Potter's mind earlier today. Severus was not a handsome man, inside or out, yet the image Potter had formed of him was gorgeous. True, Dream Potter didn't wear his glasses but such delusions seemed far fetched, even for this stupid Gryffindor.

"Why did you take the potion?"

"I hoped you'd come back."

"I don't mean tonight. Not just tonight. Why did you take it in the first place? Surely you know it's dangerous to take an unknown potion?"

"You sound like Hermione. I took it because I knew I could trust you."

"Me? You do not know me."

"But I feel like I do! I connected with you from very early on. Something about you speaks to me. I admit that I didn't really think that you would be a part of my enhanced dreams- at least not this way- but I still hoped on some level to meet you. I knew that if I ever met you we'd like each other."

The Prince snorted but Harry persisted. "Come on, after last night, you can't deny we feel something for each other!"

"Teenaged hormones."

"Okay, maybe that's what I was feeling, but what's your excuse? You said that you aren't a teen," Harry smirked and shifted closer to the Prince. He leaned closer, brushing his lips tentatively against the other's.

All plans for proper behaviour once again abandoned Snape and he descended hungrily. Dream Potter's lips were so unbelievably soft. He idly wondered whether the real lips could even compare. He pulled away at the inappropriate thought but Potter used the opportunity to latch onto his neck.

He pulled the smaller body over his, gripping the narrow hips and thrusting upwards. Potter soon caught on and matched him grind for grind. He rolled them over, pulling Potter's oversized t-shirt off in the process as Potter unbuttoned his nightshirt. He pinched the small nipples as he suckled on the exposed chest and neck. He groaned as Potter mimicked his movements perfectly. If only the boy was half as quick a learner as a student!

He slipped his hand into the loose pants and gripped at the firm Quidditch-toned globes. Potter wasn't wearing anything underneath this time and the knowledge made Snape moan in pleasure. He pulled one hand around to grab the leaking cock as Potter did the same to him.

Harry whimpered in pleasure as the Prince laced their fingers and wrapped their hands around both erections, stroking them together and yet against each other at once creating unbelievable friction. He cried out as he came, his erection even more powerful than the one the night before.

"That's… amazing," he panted in awe and the Prince chuckled.

They chatted for several hours after that, their bodies entwined on the Prince's bed. They spoke about Harry's childhood with the Dursleys and about the Prince's own unhappy childhood with neglectful and abusive parents. They spoke of their favourite subjects and Harry felt even more connected to the Prince. He found it curious though that although they had 'met' over Potions, the subject was quite possibly the only one they had not discussed to date. He tried once but the Prince changed the topic quickly, himself only once asking Harry about whether he liked the subject and withdrawing the question before Harry could even respond.

They ended the night on their third mind-blowing mutual wank which this time ended with such intensity that Harry awoke with a start. He stared dazedly around the dorm, confused for a moment about his whereabouts. He flopped back on to his pillows and moved to run his hands through his hair when he realized his right hand was in his pants, lightly holding his sticky soft member.

"G-good morning, H-Harry," Neville whispered. "I… erm, I could teach you a good silencing charm, if-if you like."

Harry groaned in mortification at the realization that he'd not only forgotten to close his drapes but also to put up his silencing spells.

"Thanks, Neville, but I already know. The twins taught me, I just forgot last night. Did everyone hear?"

"N-no, I don't think so. I think they're all still asleep. I went to the loo and I heard you. I thought something was happening…" Harry could hear Neville's blush. He cast a quick tempus and realized it was only 5:40am.

"Sorry about that, Nev. It's early still though, we should go back to bed," Harry said, rushing to the bathroom to clean up a bit.

As it turned out, Neville wasn't the only one who had heard Harry. Seamus had awoken during one of the earlier orgasms and delighted in spreading the tale of Harry's very sweet dreams.

Unsurprisingly then, Hermione, Ron and Ginny found a way to corner him on their way to breakfast.

"Harry, how often have you been taking the potion?" Hermione asked but he ignored her.

"Do you meet the same person every night?" Ginny seemed more fascinated than upset. Harry seemed aware of the Prince and there didn't seem to be any negative side effects like with her diary experience. She was still a little worried but more curious now.

"Yes," Harry replied warily.

Ginny nodded and Hermione looked at her thoughtfully. Harry worried. He would never understand girls.

"What do you think would happen if I took the potion the same night as you do? Would we meet in the same dream? Would I meet your Prince Charming?" she teased, chuckling at Harry's blush.

"I don't think so," Hermione mused though she seemed to be considering the merits of the idea. "It really seems as though you should meet someone you really wanted to meet." She frowned.

"Unless the Prince designed the dream so that anyone who took it would have their dreams enhanced by his royal presence," Ron guffawed at his own joke but Hermione seemed excited at the idea.

"That's a good idea, Ron! It sounds like something the Prince might do!"

"But…" Ron looked startled. He didn't mind the Prince. He looked apologetically at Harry and hoped his friend wasn't angry with him.

"Then we should test the idea. I'll take the potion the next time Harry does."

"No." Ron's tone was final and he started to turn an angry red. "I won't let you put yourself in danger again Ginny."

"So you do think Harry's putting himself in danger!" Hermione exclaimed gleefully just as Harry fumed, "What are you trying to say, Ron?"

"I- I," Ron looked from his friends to his sister in a silent plea to all for understanding and Ginny had mercy on him… sort of.

"If I take the potion at the same time Harry does, Hermione can sit with me and supervise in case something goes wrong and you can check on Harry. He's taken it several times and nothing seems to have happened but if it will make you feel better even though it would be for this one night only, Hermione would be with me."

"Hang on," Harry began to object but Ron and Hermione had made up their minds.

"You'll both take it tonight, Harry," Hermione instructed. "The sooner we sort this out, the better."

That night Harry was indecisive about what to wear. He didn't want to dress up if Ginny was going to be there because she would question him about it but if she wasn't, he needed to look his best for the Prince.

"Honestly, mate," Ron griped. "What's taking you so long in there? Let's get to bed."

Severus Snape spent an extra fifteen minutes on his grooming that night. Even though his nocturnal lover didn't really see him and even if they only met in his dreams, the simple thrill of having a lover to meet up with was enough to bring out these silly feelings in him. He was embarrassed by his own foolishness but didn't let that stop him from his extended ablutions that night.

Settling in his bed, he quickly cleared his mind and set up the room where he would meet Harry. They wouldn't rush straight to the bedroom, as much fun as it was. He pictured the Hogwarts grounds near to the lake for their rendezvous tonight. He and Harry had discussed DADA quite a bit and while they did not get along in the classroom setting, he rather hoped they could enjoy a mock duel on their date.

They would enjoy any sexual interactions at the lakeside, not because Severus was a romantic, of course, but because it would be convenient. He chose not to acknowledge that it took a mere thought to change their surroundings since that fact was irrelevant.

Standing on the windy grounds, Severus turned with a smile to greet Harry. The young man looked delicious as always and Snape felt his pants constrict around his growing erection. He smirked as he considered that practising DADA might be delayed for a while.

Harry looked around them nervously as he approached and Severus smirked. "You're wondering why we're out here tonight," he kissed Harry in greeting as they met each other. "I thought that perhaps we could enjoy a duel, just for fun…"

Harry smiled and leaned into him, "Get our blood pumping?"


Severus and Harry guiltily jumped apart at the sound. Ginny cried out from the bushes she had appeared in, "Harry, is that you?"

Severus looked into the distance and froze at the vision before him. He could not see the new arrival clearly but the red hair was undeniable. "Lily," he whispered.

His previous bravado evaporated in that instance and he was overwhelmed with guilt. Somehow Lily had managed to get into their dreams. She would be furious with him, he knew it. He resisted the urge to run but just barely.

"Harry who is that… you?" Ginny stared dumbfounded at the Prince and Harry struggled to speak. Before he could manage any words Ginny continued, her rage growing. "What do you think you're doing with him? Go away!"

Severus did not have to be told twice. Shame he had not previously felt suddenly overwhelmed him and he woke with a violent start.

At that very moment, Harry jerked awake. Sitting up he looked around the dormitory.

"H-Harry?" Ron was frightened by the wild look in his friend's eyes. "Harry, mate, it's alright. It's me, Ron," he added when Harry seemed to look right through him.

In the girls' dormitory, Ginny groaned in her sleep and blinked awake. She recoiled violently at Hermione's tentative touch.


Ginny stared at Hermione for a brief moment before she recognised her friend. "Hermione," she looked around the room. "Is that really you? Where are we?" She didn't wait for any answers as she seemed to regain her senses. "We were outside. I think we were on the lawns near the lake. Harry was there and… he was there too."

She frowned in obvious concentration. Hermione was curious, "Who, Ginny? Was it the Prince? Did you see him?"

But Ginny could not remember anything and Harry was too furious to speak to any of them. For the next four nights in a row he took the potion but the Prince did not show up. He wasn't sure what had happened but he knew that Ginny's angry words had chased his dream lover away. What upset Harry even more was that the Prince had planned an actual date that time. Harry had been looking forward to duelling with and learning from the brilliant man as much as he looked forward to making love outdoors. If the Prince could make Potions interesting, imagine what he could do for DADA which Harry already loved!

"Harry, you're being ridiculous and upsetting Ginny! What's wrong with you? You know what it is, of course," Hermione began for the fourth time that afternoon.

"No, but I'm sure you'll tell me. What's wrong with me, Hermione?"

"I don't mean it like that, Harry. But you have to admit that only a few weeks ago you were pining over Ginny and looking like your heart had been ripped out whenever you saw her with Dean and now you're making her cry over something she may have said in a dream to someone who you're supposedly only dreaming of but who she met and who refuses to return to your dreams now! Can't you see something's not right and normal here?"

"What's new? When is anything ever right or normal when it comes to me?"

"That's not what I mean, Harry and you know it! But don't you wonder just exactly how this potion is working?"

"You checked the ingredients."

"I know and they seem safe enough although I am still checking out the effects of their interactions but what about the chant you say while making it? It seems to be some sort of riddle. Please stop taking the potion, at least until I can figure it all out."


Later that night Harry returned to the dungeons to make a new batch of potion. To his chagrin, Hermione and Ron invited themselves. She stayed with him, making notes as he made the potion and nagging him as he worked while Ron avoided the arguments by playing look-out.

Unknown to the squabbling friends, Professor Snape was already in the lab when they snuck in. Hiding in a dark corner farthest from them, he listened as Hermione filled in many blanks. Apparently his conscience had caused him to waste a week with Harry. It was Ginny Weasley and not Lily who had invaded their dreams!

While he rankled at Granger's suggestions about his nefarious motives, he had to agree with her that the dangers of taking the potion over a long period of time were unknown. Although he knew that the addictive properties of the base potion were mild, not even he could be sure about how the chant would alter the ingredients or how the sharing of dreams would affect either party over time.

He was quite pleased when Hermione accused Harry of being obsessed with the Half-Blood Prince and the boy merely blushed in response. There was something thrilling about knowing that Harry's friends knew about their relationship… sort of.

Granger was nagging Harry about further experimentation. She wanted the recipe but Potter had not brought his book. Impressively he was making the potion from memory and she hadn't been able to determine the quantities of the ingredients he used since he'd premeasured many. Potter refused to give her the recipe or the chant. He snapped at her for suggesting that she join him in the dreams. He was impressed that Potter was even resisting the tears she was now employing.

He could however tell that Potter was breaking under the pressure, especially now that Weasley had joined the fray. He waited impatiently for Potter to decant the potion and clear away the bulk of the ingredients before saving the boy.

Revealing himself dramatically, he sneered, "Be careful with those hypogriff tears in the lab, Ms. Granger. You may ruin some ingredients. As for your concern about those ingredients you just listed, none of them are dangerously addictive unless used continuously over a period of years. I am surprised *you* haven't read that somewhere." Sniffing disdainfully at the startled trio, he continued, "What are you doing out of your tower after curfew, Mr. Potter?"

"We were practising Potions, Sir," Hermione announced quickly.

Amused at her Slytherin cunning- after all, how often had he and Harry had 'remedial potions', he chose not to deduct points for her interruption. He also chose to accept their lies.

"Indeed, Ms. Granger. The three of you were practising while Mr. Weasley sat at the door and there is only one cauldron?" The girl looked defiant but at least had the decency to blush. "Very Slytherin excuse from you, Ms. Granger." He smirked as the girl looked horrified to the point of tears at his words.

"Ten points each from Gryffindor for being caught out after curfew! Go to your rooms, immediately, and be thankful that I do not put you in detention for the rest of the year! Go!"

The friends scampered from the room, Harry struggling to keep the vials from clinking or worse, breaking.

That night, Severus got ready for bed and cleared his thoughts. He imagined the sitting room they first talked in, adding a few extra features to the bare room such as a few of his favourite books stacked in a pile on the table between them and adding a tea set as an after thought. He wasn't sure if they could drink the tea but he didn't have a chance to try it out before his guest showed up.

Harry blinked. For the first time in almost a week, his dream self was not surrounded by a plain featureless white room.

"Hello, Harry."

The ache that had been weighing down his heart this past week lifted immediately at the sight of the Prince and Harry resisted the urge to jump into his lover's lap.

Several hours later, Harry awoke with a huge grin on his face and absently scourgified his clothing and bed linen. He and the Prince had spent hours chatting about Ginny, Ron and Hermione, about DADA theory and Potions and even about Quidditch. Making their date even better, they went flying. He wasn't quite sure who the Prince was and, though he would never admit it to her, he knew Hermione had a point. The Prince clearly wasn't simply a figment of his imagination but he seemed to be very well informed about Harry. Though that worried him a little, Harry was more excited about the Prince's genuine interest in his flying techniques. There wasn't anything of the usual fan-like adoration, just a curiosity and admiration for Harry's signature daring moves. The Prince had sat behind him on the broom as they flew through the air, chasing a snitch.

It seemed only a natural end to the lovely date that they took the sexual side of their relationship a step further. The Prince had given Harry his first blow job and Harry had given his first in return.

It was a strange experience because although Harry felt everything done to him and everything he did, there were no scents or flavours to accompany the activities. He wondered how the Prince smelled and what he tasted like. That small issue aside though, Harry had thoroughly enjoyed the date. He wasn't even upset that the Prince had suggested that they limit their meetings to twice a week until they knew the side effects of the potion.

Several months had gone by and Snape had to admit that the relationship between him and Harry, such that it was, had proven beneficial to them both. For his part, hours spent with Harry provided a much needed outlet for stress relief from his combination of teaching and spying. His colleagues were pleased and curious about what they called his 'relatively good mood' while ironically his work with designing false scenarios for his dates with Harry actually helped him with his Occlumency. Albus and Minerva had figured out that he was in a relationship but did not take their meddling any further than frequent nagging.

Harry had also confessed to him, or rather, to the Prince, that even Granger finally accepted that there were no obvious negative side effects to their dating and that, if anything, the 'enhanced dreams' seemed to have kept Harry's visions and nightmares under control. Harry had further mused that the girl was distracted by Weasley's attraction to the silly Ms. Browne. As much as he disliked the obnoxious know-it-all, Snape could not understand what such an intelligent girl could possibly see in the youngest Weasley male, no matter how often Harry tried to explain it to him.

Their rapport had continued to grow, although their sexual activities had slowed pace considerably ever since the Lily/Ginny misunderstanding. There had only been three hitches in their relationship to date.

The first came compliments of Mr. Weasley's pathetic attempt at humour. He tried to tease Harry good naturedly by commenting that perhaps Harry was just one of many in the Prince's conquests but his speculation had genuinely disturbed Harry. It took Severus several sexless nights to convince the young man that he did not have a parade of other lovers. It surprised him just how low Harry's self-esteem was considering that he was the much adored 'Saviour of the Wizarding World'. Their second disagreement was not completely resolved and involved Ms. Weasley. Once the young lady had ended her relationship with Mr. Thomas, Potter's old crush on her had somewhat resurfaced, much to Snape's chagrin.

This had led to their third and largest disagreement which also remained unresolved. Harry wanted Ginny but he also wanted the Prince. He demanded answers to his questions about the Prince's identity and basis in reality. Severus knew Harry was right- he would be a fool to give up his chance at winning the Weasley chit's heart if the Prince was only a figment of his potion induced imagination.

Yet, he distracted Harry with sex whenever the topic came up but he could see that the young man was becoming restless. It was affecting both their dream relationship and their real lives. Harry's use of the Sectumsempra on Draco Malfoy had simply made the situation worse. Severus took his anger out on Potter but he was truly angry at himself. Having gotten to know the boy, he had discovered the real Harry Potter and knew that Harry had a pure and innocent heart in spite of all he had experienced in life. While it was true that the boy had certainly inherited some of his father's arrogance, Albus and the others were correct in their assessment that Potter also shared Lily's kind and tolerant nature. Not that he'd ever tell them that.

It bothered him that his dark spell had corrupted Potter. While he felt that the boy should not be so coddled as Albus encouraged, even he had limited the DADA he taught Harry in their dreams to the most powerful defensive spells he knew. Now that he knew that the source of information was his old text, he tried to retrieve the book but the boy had hidden it.

He was upset but not too surprised that Harry hadn't taken the potion in the weeks since he'd almost killed Draco but he still missed their meetings.

Harry was unbelievably thrilled for Ginny. Rushing in to the common room he captured her lips in rapturous embrace. The silence in the room was deafening and they pulled away from each other, embarrassed. He looked at Ron and for a moment panicked at his friend's hesitation. Once approval was given, however, he pulled Ginny away to find some place more private.

They kissed again and Harry was enjoying himself. Ginny's experience showed; she was brilliant at kissing. He loved the smell of her, the taste of her and even the feel of her. He pulled her closer trying desperately to deepen the kiss and spark that thrill that came from kissing.

She pulled away from him. "Wow, Harry! That was lovely but I need to breathe!" she giggled. "That was intense," she chuckled, tenderly rubbing her lips.

"Really?" Harry looked confused. "You really think so? You enjoyed it?"

"Of course, Harry. Didn't you?"

"You're a brilliant kisser," he replied evasively. She was a brilliant kisser, that was true, but the kiss was lacking. Harry smiled weakly at Ginny, happily snuggling her into his chest so that she would not see his face. He remembered the first time he and the Prince had made out. He remembered worrying that real life would never compare favourably and now it seemed he was correct. He really did enjoy kissing Ginny but their eagerness and passion did not translate into a feeling of rightness such as he experienced with the Prince. Was he gay after all? The Prince was the only guy he found attractive but kissing Ginny was so disappointing.

"Harry," Ginny looked up, concerned. "Is something wrong?"

Harry was torn. He didn't want to lose Ginny. He'd wanted her for so long. Yet if he didn't feel that special spark with her, was it right to string her along? At the same time, how did he even know if that spark happened in real life, he certainly never felt it with Cho.

"You know you can talk to me, right?" Ginny sat cross-legged in front of him, taking his hands into hers and looking directly into his eyes. She blushed slightly and swallowed before whispering weakly, "Is it because of the Prince? Does he kiss you better?"

Harry could feel the heat of a completely consuming blush. He could hardly deny it now. He wondered what to say but Ginny's sad smile confirmed that she knew her guess was correct. She nodded sadly and pulled his hands to her lips.

"I'm not gay, Ginny! Honestly! I've wanted you for so long, all year in fact. I hated seeing you with Dean and I swear it had nothing to do with him. It was you I wanted. I just don't know… I'm so confused. It's… have you… Oh, Merlin! When you kissed Dean, did you ever feel, you know… a spark? I," Harry's blush worsened and he could no longer look Ginny in the eyes. "You must think I sound like a fool. I want you, Ginny. Really, I do… and I really did enjoy kissing you, it's just… it feels like something's missing but I don't know… the Prince isn't real, you see. What I imagine I'm feeling in my dreams might not be for real… It IS a dream enhancing potion after all," he joked weakly.

Ginny pulled his face towards hers and rested their foreheads together. "Harry, I certainly enjoyed kissing you. The spark can be real. I felt it with Dean… at the beginning," she added sadly. "I admit that I haven't quite felt it with you but then I felt it with Dean, for all the good that did, right?"

She kissed Harry once more, a gentle brush of the lips. "Listen, Harry, I want this as much as you do, okay? But not if you're not sure… The Prince, he isn't real, Harry, but maybe your feelings for him mean something. So, you might not like this suggestion but listen to me, okay? I think you should…" she swallowed her fears and continued sadly. "I will wait for you, Harry. I will wait while you experiment a bit, okay? Kiss some other people- both male and female." She placed a finger over his lips as he prepared to object. "Not a real relationship, okay? Just a kiss or two… just to see what you like, yeah? I hope you'll come back to me but if you find what you're looking for, I will try to be happy for you, I promise."

"But Ginny, that's not fair for you."

"No, Harry, what wouldn't be fair is ending this when you might just be confused or continuing this when your heart's not really in it. I want you but I want you when you're ready for me, when you're sure- at least more certain than you are now, okay?"

Harry nodded and kissed her again. He struggled to hold in the tears that flooded his eyes. This was why he loved this girl. This was why he wanted to be with her.

"Don't tell Hermione, but I guess you guys were right about that potion. I'll never forgive myself if it's ruined what we're destined to have," he sniffed, kissing her again. She really had quite nice, soft lips. "Gin, how did you know? About the Prince, I mean?"

"I can see the look in your eyes whenever you talk about him. It's obvious that you've grown to feel more for him that just adoration for his brilliance in potions. But he isn't real, Harry. Try not to forget that, okay? It isn't healthy for you to fall in love with a potion-induced dream."

"I know, believe me, I know."

It took less than an hour for the Greatest New Hogwarts Romance to make its way around the grapevine. By the next morning, stories of the affair were on everyone's lips. The tales ranged from one extreme to the other. Some said that Harry and Ginny had spent the entire night making love in the Astronomy Tower and that she was now pregnant while others said that the couple were engaged, still others claimed that the relationship was not new and that the couple had merely come out in a spontaneous moment after the game.

Most people were happy or jealous. Severus Snape was furious. He'd thought that Potter had been avoiding him because he was upset about the Sectumsempra but now it appeared that the young man's nights were occupied with the damnable Weasley chit. It seemed Potter had made his choice and with the arrogance of his father, hadn't even bothered to spare Snape a night to say goodbye. He should have known better.

Sitting in detention yet another Saturday, Harry scowled at his DADA professor with naked hatred. The man had used every opportunity to increase his detentions and picked on him with even worse bias than before, a feat Harry hadn't imagined possible. Worse still, he'd apparently begun picking on Ginny too. Picking on Harry's potential girlfriend was horrible enough but since Harry had spent almost every spare moment in detention, he hadn't exactly had the chance to kiss very many others and he worried that Ginny would tire of waiting.

So far he'd kissed three persons he trusted to be discreet. Kissing Neville was okay but although the gentle boy was a surprisingly good kisser, Harry knew he wasn't in a hurry to do that again. Neville either apparently.

Luna Lovegood was a fun kiss. Or ten. Harry really enjoyed kissing Luna who felt it her duty to assist Harry in his quest. She taught him the kissing techniques of several- he suspected imaginary- species and tribes. He went along with it because she was fun to kiss and he really quite liked Luna. Still, she informed him that she wasn't the one because she didn't feel that way about him. That ended that.

His third kiss was quite surprising and one he wasn't prepared to let anyone know about. He literally ran into a drunk, sobbing Draco Malfoy just outside of the Room of Requirement one night after detention. The blond menace had grabbed Harry, rambling on and apologizing about some nonsense that Harry couldn't make out. Harry hadn't reacted at first, images of Draco bleeding on the bathroom floor danced before his eyes. He was so distracted that he didn't immediately realize what was happening until his enemy's firewhiskey flavoured tongue thrust into his mouth and he pushed the boy away. Malfoy hit the wall behind him and fell on the floor in a drunken sleep, much to Harry's relief.

He hoped the Slytherin's lack of reaction the next day meant that he didn't remember the act. Harry had to admit he was impressed that in spite of being so drunk, Draco had been his second best kiss yet. Only Ginny had been better.

Harry smudged the detention card he had been rewriting when Snape hissed suddenly. He looked up and saw the man grab at his arm.

"Luckily for you, Potter, detention is dismissed for today. Mark your place and go! I'm sure Miss Weasley will be thrilled for your presence. Try not to break you nose in your haste to rush to her," he spat venomously.

Harry ignored the bitter jibe. He really couldn't see what his relationship, such that it was, had to do with Snape. As much as he despised the man though, he couldn't help but be nervous as the git left to his dangerous task.

Harry did not in fact rush to Ginny's side. Partially because he couldn't since she was in Hogsmeade with friends and partially because he was tired and just wanted to rest a while.

Flopping onto his bed in his dormitory, he crossed his arms over his stomach and considered Ginny, the Prince and, in spite of his attempts at distraction, Snape and Voldemort.

It should not have been a surprise to him then that as soon as he fell asleep, he was overwhelmed by a vision. Voldemort was furious with one of his Death Eaters. Harry couldn't quite tell who it was but the writhing body appeared to have Snape's lank hair.

"Harry! Harry!" Ron shook him awake. "You okay, mate? What was it, a vision?"

Harry nodded weakly. "Nothing to report though. He was angry and using the Cruciatus on one of his goons. I don't know why he was angry though."

"Who cares," Ron shrugged. "They joined him so they deserve it." He dropped a bag of Honeyduke's candy on Harry's bed and began regale his still sleep-addled friend with tales of his day.

Several hours later, Harry lay in bed again but this time he was surrounded by snoring dorm mates. He was tired but dreaded falling asleep. He did not know if Voldemort was still furious and did not really want to find out. Though he hadn't told Ron or Hermione anything, the more he thought about it, the more convinced he was that it *was* Snape being punished earlier and the possibility haunted him. He didn't like Snape but did the man really deserve such punishment? Harry hated the thought that Snape was making such a sacrifice for the Order. It made it that much harder to hate the bitter man.

Looking in his trunk for a book or some other distraction, Harry spotted his last vial of dream enhancing potion. He looked at it; it didn't appear to be expired. He had been avoiding the Prince for weeks now since the Sectumsempra incident and felt bad about it. He really wanted to talk to someone about his guilt but his friends were no good in this situation. Hermione was too practical, Ron too judgemental, Luna too… Luna-like. The Prince had been his perfect friend all year and if nothing else, he supposed he owed it to the apparition to apologize for his absence, silly as it seemed.

Snape Apparated just outside Hogwarts' wards, thankful once again that he hadn't splinched himself. His knees buckled and he fell forward onto the ground. Taking a few deep, fortifying breaths, he struggled to sit up. A sudden cold downpour drenched him but cooled his aching skin.

"Severus, my boy," Albus looked at his favourite Slytherin sadly. He admired the stoic sacrifices the anti-social man made for the cause. Although he knew the man would never admit to it, he was convinced that Snape would make the sacrifices even without the compulsion of his vow, after all he rarely had to resort to mentioning it. Whether this was because of hatred for the man who had murdered Lily or simply because Severus had finally found his way, Albus could not be sure, but he believed in the integrity of this man. Dumbledore might be pragmatic to a fault but even he could not coldly watch the man suffer.

He stood next to Snape as the man took a variety of potions from the supply box he kept in the headmaster's office. He was eager to find out what had happened at the latest meeting.

"The Dark Lord is growing impatient with Draco's slow progress," Snape told his tale. He had lowered his Occlumency shields and was in the process of withdrawing several memories of the meeting that the headmaster requested when Potter suddenly appeared in his head.

"Prince?" Harry gasped as he walked into a Death Eater meeting. He instinctively reached for his scar but it did not throb so he knew this wasn't a vision or real life. In fact, it felt rather similar to a pensieve memory. "Hello?" he whispered as that memory disappeared and was replaced by a private conversation between Voldemort and three Death Eaters including Snape and Bellatrix Lestrange; he did not recognise the third person.

He hugged himself nervously as the second memory suddenly disappeared, leaving him in a familiar white room. Well, as familiar as featureless rooms go.

"Prince, are you there?" he whispered, worried for the first time that he still did not know how to end one of the dreams. Who was the Half-Blood Prince? The person he saw did not look like Tom Riddle but what if he was. It did not seem to Harry that Riddle would have come up with any sort of title that seemed to celebrate or even acknowledge his half-blood status but perhaps this was Riddle before the diary. And yet that did not make any sense. His Prince was older, at least in his twenties.

Harry suddenly remembered several instances when the Prince's appearance seemed to change with his or Harry's changing moods and emotions. Had Harry's desire to see the Prince a certain way blinded him to reality?

"Harry," the Prince appeared in the room. "Now is not a good time. I will be with you in a while. Will you wait for me? I am so happy that you've come back to me but I must finish doing something."

Harry stared at his phantom lover in disbelief. After what he'd seen, was he expected to just sit around?

"Are you a Death Eater? Why was Voldemort here?"

Albus watched worriedly as Severus' eyes seemed to go out of focus for a while after he'd released the memories. His concern only grew when the Potions Master seemed to snap out of the trance with violent shock.

"Severus?" he called but his spy had already fled the room.

Harry awoke with a start as he always did whenever the Prince ended their shared dream with such abruptness. He wondered why the Prince had several memories of Snape. He disliked Snape but if the Prince was using him to spy on his professor, Harry didn't think he'd ever forgive himself. Yet it didn't make any sense- all Snape related topics had been mostly avoided between them. He felt uncomfortable at that observation. Why had the Prince avoided talking about Snape?

A mixture of guilt and concern drove Harry to rush to the dungeons at dawn. He knew that the DADA professor could be found in his private lab in the dungeons before breakfast most days.

"Potter, what are you doing here?" Snape hissed as Harry stumbled into him.

"Sorry, sir, I just wondered how your meeting went."

"How… touching," Snape drawled.

Harry ignored the response, "I had a vision… it was brief but I saw Voldemort punishing you. What-"

Snape was angry with the meddling Gryffindor. "That is not your business, Potter," he spat, desperately changing the topic. "Even when you're with Miss Weasley you cannot clear your mind of other people's business long enough to focus? Lucky girl."

Harry irritably denied rushing to Ginny after his aborted detention. Snape did not believe the denial. He was furious with Potter lying to him. "Legilimens!" he snarled.

The sudden invasion of his mind shocked, worried and then angered Harry in quick succession, ironically blanking his mind. Before Snape could access any visions though, Harry's angrily retaliated.

"Legilimens!" his responding shout came only a second or two later and the intensity of his emotion caused him to penetrate the other's mind for only the second time. To his complete surprise, Harry saw several of his dreams, including last night's brief conversation, flash by.

"Get out!" Snape shouted, physically and mentally shoving Harry away from him.

"You," Harry whispered in shock. "How… why…? You're the Half-Blood Prince! That's how you knew the counter-curse to the Sectumsempra. You invented it. You… you've kissed me," his voice lowered until it was nothing but a hoarse whisper.

Snape looked shocked, worried, angry and confused, three more emotions than Harry thought that face capable of expressing. He briefly considered that he should be disgusted but his curiosity and teenaged hormones got the better of him. He needed to know if the spark was real, even if it was Snape. Choosing to act before thinking could distract him, Harry lunged forward.

Severus Snape stumbled backwards in shock, his back pushing up against a cabinet. Harry Potter was kissing him. The kiss was every bit as intense as those they shared in the dreams only he knew that this was no dream. He could taste Potter, a faint hint of chocolate and some other candy concoction lingered in his mouth and between his teeth. He could smell Potter, a strange mixture of sweat, standard Hogwarts toiletries and a uniqueness that was pure Harry.

They separated but only because of a desperate need for air. Severus stared at his own hand as it caressed the messy black hair. With curious detachment he marvelled as the real life Potter pushed his head back and sucked on his neck with the same hungriness that Dream Harry always employed.

Harry tangled his fingers in the surprisingly non-greasy hair. He inhaled deeply as he sucked on the exposed neck, memorizing the scent of his Prince. The hair smelled strongly of standard Hogwarts shampoo and he mused that Snape must have washed it after returning from the Death Eater meeting the night before.

"I'm so sorry," he began unbuttoning the high collared robe, hopin

to expose more of that delicious neck. "I know that I don't say it," he licked along the outer shell of the right ear, "and I don't often show it," he bit and then suckled on the ear lobe, "but I really," he humped the lean leg, "really," he nibbled along the sharp jaw, "really," he bit on the thin bottom lip, sucking it into his mouth before releasing it with a pop, "appreciate the things you do for the cause." Harry kissed that exquisite mouth again. The thrill was almost overwhelming in its intensity.

Snape grabbed the tight globes of Quidditch toned buttocks. Harry felt even more amazing in real life. He ground their erections together, groaning at the feel of it, even through his many layers of clothing.


The sound of rambunctious Slytherins making their way to breakfast quickly brought Severus back to the senses of which he'd obviously taken leave. He was kissing Harry Potter, the brat who he needed to hate on pain of death, his student! His many critics would have a field day! The so-called Hero of the Wizarding World and a Death Eater. Not that he cared about his critics but he did care about Albus' opinion and nothing good could come of this. Teacher-student relationships were not forbidden under certain circumstances but neither he nor Potter were purebloods betrothed by parental consent and Potter was not quite 17, the two most acceptable scenarios.

He pulled away from Potter's lust-driven humping.

"What," Harry looked shocked. Snape sneered at the foolish gape.

"You are not a fish, Potter, close your mouth."

Harry shut his mouth with an audible snap. "Where are you going?" he called as Snape opened the door.

"To breakfast, Mr. Potter," Snape sneered. His angry scowl dared the shocked Slytherins to stare at him.

Harry ran after Snape, only the curious stares of the students around him keeping him from demanding that the man continue what they'd started. If he'd felt any more sparks during their kiss, he'd be on fire.

Breakfast was unbearably long that morning. Harry snapped at his friends and struggled to pay attention to Ginny as he kept an eye on Snape. It was a Sunday morning and Snape did not have any classes to rush to after the meal. He did not know where the man would go but he intended to follow. This wasn't over so easily. Not by a long-shot.

Harry finished his breakfast abruptly when Snape stood up. Ignoring his friends, he tried to follow the man.

"Harry!" Hermione and Ron trotted after him.

"You cannot come with me!" he snarled.

"Mate!" Ron grabbed his arm and turned him to face them. "Why are you following the greasy git?"

"We want to help you," Hermione insisted.

"You can't!" Harry hissed angrily. "I must do this alone. Trust me, please!"

He swore as he rushed through the doors only to discover that Snape had gone.

"Professor Snape's gone towards Professor Hagrid's cottage," a nervous second year who had been watching volunteered and Harry was so happy he kissed her, rushing off without seeing the thrill on her face, envy on her friends' and shock his friends' faces.

"Snape! Snape!" Harry called after the retreating figure whose brisk pace never let up. "Snape, talk to me!"

"There is nothing to talk about, Potter. It cannot happen, surely even a rule-breaker like you can see that!"

"That's not what you were saying when we were making love all those nights over the past year!"

Snape looked desperately around, relieved to note that they were alone. Potter had clearly gone mad, shouting such suggestive claims. Typical brainless Gryffindor!

"Snape! Come back here and face me! What we have is real, Snape or Prince or whoever you are!" Harry was beginning to lose both energy and ground to Snape's long strides and it was making him angry. "Don't think I'm going to let you run away from this because you're afraid. Fight for us, you coward!"

"DON'T call me coward!" Snape angrily turned back towards Harry, his running walk causing his robes to flap loudly around him.

He met Harry along the way. Grabbing the infuriating brat around the neck, he hissed in his face, "Don't call me coward."

Hermione, Ron, Neville, Luna, Ginny and about half a dozen curious second years stood in complete shock just outside the school doors. They had tried staying inside, simply watching in respect for Harry's demand for privacy until they saw Snape turn back in obvious fury, his angry words carrying clearly on the wind.

They could not imagine what would possess Harry to accuse the man of cowardice but they would not leave their friend at the mean professor's mercy.

Never in a million years could they have imagined the scene that met them. Harry and Snape were devouring each other with the passion of lovers.

Ginny's memory of her one shared dream suddenly returned and she fainted in shock. Ron and Neville rushed to her aide as Luna proceeded to distract and confuse the younger students with an impromptu lecture on the mating habits of the Crumple Horned Snorkack.

By the time that other students joined them outdoors, Snape and Harry had already disappeared from sight and the second year students' stories of the Boy-Who-Lived kissing the Great Greasy Git of the Slytherin Dungeons were openly ridiculed.

"Potty and Snape kissing?" Malfoy snorted at the embarrassed Hufflepuff, "In your dreams!"