A/N: Well, then. New chapter, some smut in this one. Hope you like it. :)

Chapter Fifteen

Severus sat in the silence, not wanting to leave, but not really wanting to stay either.

"I don't understand", Severus said quietly, but didn't look up. He didn't want to look up and for once he didn't force himself to do anything he didn't want to do.

"You know I couldn't have told him", Albus Dumbledore said, and still Severus didn't look up. "He was a child. He didn't need to know that he-"

"I understand that. I don't understand how it could happen", he said. He couldn't remember the last time he had interrupted Dumbledore. The man was an incredible wizard, he had taken Severus in when he had needed it, and treated him better through the years than most other would have done. Severus usually respected him, very much, but right now all he could remember was Harry's hand dropping heavily in his lap, all he could feel was his despair.

"I should speak to Harry about this first, but you can sit in then as well. He seems calmer with you", he said and Severus mustered up a glance.

"That was not what we were discussing", he said, his voice harder than he'd meant to.

"I trust you", he said after a small pause and Severus knew it was both a warning and a blessing.

He nodded.

Hours later, in the bathroom adjacent to Harry's room, Harry stared at himself in the mirror and pushed his wet hair out of his face. He was afraid to go lie down, because he was afraid to fall asleep again. Because he was afraid of him.

He stared into his eyes, as if he could see him there, see him like a black splotch in the green. He wished he could cut him out of himself, just cut a piece away, like a tumour. He wished he was just a piece of flesh, easily removed. But no, he was in his mind and in his brain. Even if that part he left after him the night his parents died disappeared, even if he could remove that, Harry would still have his own memories of him. He would still be a part of who Harry was, just like everyone else who had had an impact on him.

He felt dirty. He felt disgusting. But he also knew that that feeling wouldn't go away even if he scrubbed himself raw. He'd tried though. He'd spent the night in the bathroom, standing under the almost scorchingly hot water he'd gone numb. Sweetly, pleasantly numb.

He fingered the scissor in his hand, and when he looked back up, the mirror had fogged up again. He couldn't cut Voldemort out of him, he thought as he brought the scissor up to a strand of black hair, but he could do something else.

He let the hair fall down to the floor and then grabbed a new lock and cut it off. He liked the sound of the scissors as it clamped together on the wet hair, a metallic, hard sound.

He did it again, and again until his hair had gone from hanging down along his shoulder to something similar to his old haircut, the one he'd had before. It was shorter, and it was slightly more uneven than before, but it was something similar.

"Harry?" The voice came from behind him, hesitantly. It was Ron's voice.

"Yes?" Harry said and turned around.

He had walked past them, all of the younger Weasleys and Hermione, in the staircase. They had looked scared and shocked. They had heard, they had listened through one of the twins little handy ears.

"Harry, are you all right?" he asked, and wiped out any doubt about having heard Harry's conversation with Dumbledore.

"No", Harry mumbled. "But I'm better now."

Without warning Ron hugged him and then gave him an awkward, manly, pat on the back.

"If you're going to eavesdrop you might as well sit in next time we talk", Harry said and Ron gave a small smile.

"Yeah, sorry", he said and Harry pushed past him to his bed. "Can I stay, or are you...?"

Harry turned around, still smiling. "Of course you can."

And he stayed and they talked. About their life now, about Ron and Hermione and what had happened since Harry had left. They both sat on Harry's bed, Harry leaning against the headboard and Ron leaning against one of the tall bedposts.

"What was it like? With... With him?" Ron asked after they had exhausted every other subject. They had managed to stay away from Harry's time with Voldemort for a while, but they couldn't avoid it forever.

"It wasn't... It was bad at first. They kept me in the cellar, where they kept all the prisoners. I had my own little", Harry searched his mind for something that could describe the dirty, cold room they kept him in, "cell. But after I had stopped fighting them and... Anyway, after a while I moved up to a room in the upper floor."

Ron looked at him seriously, while he fingered the hem of his T-shirt. Harry looked down at his lap. "I did fight at first. I want you to know that. I didn't give in that easily. But..."

Harry thought about the lack of food and water and the continuous pain and humiliation. The silent, empty hours alone in dread of the next visit from the Death Eaters. That had almost been worse, the times he was left alone with his thoughts.

"We tried to get you out of there", Ron said quietly. "Sirius hardly ate or slept the first months, he just sat up hours after hours trying to make up the perfect plan. But after a few tries, after we lost Mundungus, we had to realise that they had you under too close supervision. I'm sorry, Harry."

Harry smiled at Ron's sweet intentions. "That's okay. They weren't bad to me. Not after I'd learned how to behave. They fed me, they didn't hurt me, I had clothes and a warm place to sleep."

Ron nodded, but looked doubtful. He was right, it hadn't been exactly like that, but Harry didn't have to worry Ron. It wouldn't help to tell him.

"Did you know, before Dumbledore told you?" Ron asked.

About sharing a body with Voldemort? "No. I didn't. I still don't quite understand."

"I think he'll come back to talk to you again. He has to, he can't just leave it like that", Ron said, angry on Harry's behalf.

"You're right", Harry said.

"Do you feel different now?" Ron asked.

Yes. He felt different. There was a dark tangle of emotions deep in his stomach that he couldn't even begin to unwind.

"Not very", Harry lied and managed a tired smile.

"By the way", Ron said, as if he could tell that they needed to change the subject again. It was good that they took the serious talk in small portions. "Sirius and Lupin were talking about you starting school again. They told me to talk to you about it."

"I don't want to", Harry said. He didn't feel like he had anymore to learn. He knew all he had to, probably more. The Dark Lord valued education. "I could just take my OWLs and NEWTs without going back to school, right?"

"Yeah, that would be good", Ron said and started to scramble up from the bed. "You know, if you want to work somewhere after this."

Harry almost laughed out loud. He couldn't imagine anything 'after this'. What could he work as? An Auror? Putting away people he'd fought beside? No.

"I like the new hair", Ron said and disappeared out the door.

Harry was left alone and actually managed to get some real sleep. He woke up late in the afternoon. He'd felt someone's eyes on him even in sleep and, true enough, Sirius was sitting in the chair in Harry's room.

"I didn't want to wake you", he said as he leaned forward.

"Thanks", Harry said and gave a loud yawn. He loved doing things like that, it seemed so normal.

Sirius seemed to like him doing things like that too, because he gave a big smile. "Are you okay, Harry?"

Harry frowned. "Yeah, sure."

"Because you don't have to be afraid to tell me anything", he said, and leaned forward.

"I know", Harry said quietly and relaxed against the pillows.

Sirius put his larger hand over Harry's hand and squeezed. "Do you want me to sit here while you sleep?"

Harry nodded. "Yeah. Yeah, I think I could sleep better with you here."

Sirius' hand lingered and Harry looked over at it. "Can I have my hand back?" he asked, a little laugh in his voice.

Sirius wasn't smiling and now Harry couldn't see what was funny either.

"Sirius?" Harry let the name out in a quiet puff of air.

Sirius didn't meet his eyes, he just looked down at Harry's hand in his own hard grip. It was starting to hurt now and Harry could feel a small panic starting in the pit of his stomach.

Sirius let his hand wander up Harry's arm. "What are you doing?" Harry asked and this time he did look up.

"You're not at all like James anymore", he said, and there was something strange in his voice. "But I like you even better now."

Harry couldn't remember that he'd seen him move, but suddenly he was pinning Harry down on the bed, pressing his wrists hard against the headboard.

"No", Harry managed, but it only came out as a small sob.

Sirius looked down at him and smiled.

"Harry?"

The person who spoke wasn't Sirius, it sounded like Ron. Harry looked around to try to see him, but there was just the two of them in the room.

"Harry!"

The room seemed to sway, like Harry was about to faint or loose consciousness. The hands that tied him to the bed seemed to fade, not disappear completely, because he could still feel them, and it was still impossible to get away. The thing, that was supposed to be Sirius but was slightly wrong in some way, gave a noise of frustration and was gone, just gone, and Harry drifted from the room and opened his eyes to a room just like it, but empty this time, except for Ron that was looking down at him with concerned eyes.

"Harry, are you okay?" he asked, and Harry looked down at himself. Yes, he was. It had just been another dream. "Hey, answer me", Ron said and Harry swallowed.

"I'm fine. It was just a dream", Harry breathed.

"Your dream?" Ron asked and Harry remembered that he'd told them about the nightmares.

He shook his head. "No."

"I..." Ron said, sounding shocked. "I didn't wake you, cus you seemed fine and I know you need all the sleep you can get. But then you started screaming and..."

Harry sat up and tried to swallow that lump in his throat. "I'm all right now."

Voldemort was trying to mess with his head, trying to turn him against them. He knew that and still the dream had seemed so real. Unsettlingly real. Harry hadn't been able to tell the dream Sirius apart from the real one, not until he had begun to wake up and time had run out. Then he had noticed it, the way his face was wrong somehow, like a painting of him rather than the real thing.

"Harry... I think you should do what Snape said. You could talk to me, or Hermione, but... You know, we probably don't get it like he does. I think you should tell him about your dreams. Maybe that'll help?" Ron sounded like he was just as much offering helpful advice as he was asking Harry what he should do.

"Ron, you should go get some sleep", Harry settled with and Ron nodded.

"Just don't keep it to yourself, Harry", he said, before he shut the door quietly.

Ron was smarter than he gave himself credit to be, so Harry decided he would follow his advice. It probably wouldn't help to keep it inside, Harry realised that. But if Harry was going to "share" - he even thought the word with a sort of despise - Snape had to do the same.

Some uneventful days passed, with just Harry trying to spend as much time as possible with Sirius. He wasn't going to let Voldemort screw this up too, he would not let that dream destroy Sirius for him. By pure stubborn resistance and spite Harry managed to push it out of his head. Harry of course didn't tell Sirius about it and he just seemed happy that Harry wanted to spend time with him.

Snape came to visit four days after he'd had that nightmare. Harry knew he was coming, he had heard that they were having a meeting that evening, and Snape never visited unless there was a meeting with the Order. They - meaning Sirius - understood, or maybe didn't even notice, if Snape snuck up to Harry's room after a meeting, but if he came just out of the blue it would be impossible to pretend like he wasn't coming just for Harry.

After waiting four days for Snape to knock on his door, Harry was a little surprised when he didn't knock and they just walked into each other in the hallway one day.

Harry didn't say anything, he just looked up at Snape until he opened his mouth.

"Harry", he finally said. "I was looking for you."

"Hey", Harry said and then they were quiet again, until Harry smiled and pulled Snape into his room.

He had gotten more things for his room, they had bought more clothes for him and Sirius and Lupin had given him some muggle books to read. It looked more lived in now, and Snape seemed to think so too. He asked before he sat down on the bed, and Harry smiled at that. It made him think that he actually belonged here, that he was entitled to say whether or not he could sit down, because it was his bed. He'd never felt like that with the Dark Lord.

"Of course you can", Harry said and sat down next to him, leaning his head against his shoulder.

And then he told him, and Snape listened. He told him all about the dream and the last few days, and how he felt about what Dumbledore had told them, and Snape ran his hands through Harry's trimmed hair and didn't say anything until he'd stopped talking.

"He wrecks everything. Even now, even when I'm away from him, he manages to-" Harry said, but stopped, because Snape understood.

"Albus is coming tonight", Snape said. "He'll explain about... everything, after the meeting. Do you want me to come?"

Harry wondered quietly. Did he? Would Snape think less of him because he was... tainted, infected with him? Maybe, but Harry wanted him there anyway.

"Yeah, I want you there", he said and looked up at Snape.

"I like it when you talk to me", Snape said after a short silence and Harry smiled.

"I like it when you talk to me too. I would like it", Harry changed and Snape's hand stopped moving through his hair.

"What would you like to hear?" he asked and Harry let his hand stroke Snape's palm as he talked.

"Do you have nightmares?"

"Yes", he said and gave a small nod. "Frequently. I used to drink a lot of Dreamless Sleep Potion, but eventually that stops working, you get immune."

"What are they about?" Harry asked, and looked up at Snape. Snape kept looking at his hands, where Harry was still running his fingers over the slightly hardened skin of his palm. His hands were always pleasantly chilly, always such a welcome contrast to everything else.

"They're about", he said and stopped himself, his fingers curling slightly. "Well, they're about death. And pain. Not unusual."

"Your death?" Harry asked and kept his eyes on Snape's face.

"Sometimes. Yours as well. Deaths I've caused", he said, his mouth moving slowly and precisely, like he was afraid that if he lost control of it, it would start saying things all by itself.

"Do you dream about the Dark Lord?" he asked and Snape nodded. Of course he did, Harry wouldn't be able to name a Death Eater who didn't.

Snape turned towards him, with just a blank look on his face, and Harry smiled at him before he kissed him softly.

"I love you", Harry said and nuzzled his neck, pressing his cheek to Snape's cheek.

"I love you too", he said and turned to kiss him again. "I love you, Harry."

The kissing was always needy and soft. It was all sorts of wonderful all at the same time. Snape loved him, and everything he did showed him that. He touched him like Harry was the most precious thing in the world and Harry loved him for it. He loved him for how he... loved Harry, as simple as that. And he loved him for just... He loved him for telling the truth, he loved him for the cool contrast that he was from all the lies.

Harry moved Snape's hand to his leg, and Snape uttered a kind of moan against Harry's neck.

"Wait", Harry mumbled and Snape pulled away and watched as Harry moved further up on the bed. "There. I don't want to fall off."

Snape looked at him with something that Harry could only describe as hunger, and then he leaned closer over Harry's body, putting a hand on each side of Harry's hips. Harry hadn't felt this needy and wanting for a very long time. It was like he was burning everywhere, and Snape's expression was only making things worse.

"You're perfect", he said and looked Harry up and down. "You're perfect, do you know that?"

Harry bit his lip as he watched Snape edge closer. Those cold fingers of his moved up under Harry's shirt and Harry sucked in a breath when his mouth followed, licking slowly, lapping at the smooth skin.

Perfect. Yeah, it was, really. Harry forgot. When Snape touched him, it was just the two of them. Nothing else, no pain, no memories, no nightmares. It was like it had finally gone quiet after having years and years of buzzing in the background. Snape was silence and darkness compared to a world of noise and flashing light.

Snape was ridiculously focused on what he was doing, making wet trails up Harry's stomach and torso, his dark hair hanging down on either side of his face, and Harry could only watch in fascination as he slid his shirt further and further up his chest and then tasted him, felt at his scars and blemishes.

Harry gasped when Snape closed his mouth over Harry's rock hard nipple and moved his tongue over it teasingly, again just lapping, just enough that it could be felt.

"Bite me", Harry breathed and Snape looked up for a second before complying, biting down just hard enough on the fragile skin and Harry almost cried at how good it was. It hurt, but just enough. Just enough to bring a sting, a sharpness, to everything, to the way his body almost buzzed with pleasure, how every part of him that was pressed against Snape seemed to hum in anticipation.

Snape kept worrying the bite with his tongue, sending little sparks of pain and thrill to Harry's groin.

"Please", Harry whispered and Snape pulled himself away from his task and let out a warm breath.

"What do you want?" he asked and Harry just bit his lip again, and Snape took that as an answer.

He let his hand slide down beneath Harry's underwear, finding Harry's erection, wrapping his fingers around it fondly, all while keeping his eyes on Harry. Harry closed his eyes, but he could still feel Snape watching him, his eyes burning in the dark.

He squeezed his fingers tight and Harry sucked in a breath. His mind felt completely empty, completely blank, his whole world was just the slight movement of Snape's hand, only the feel of his fingers against his skin.

He came quicker than he would have liked to, but it was inevitable. He bucked up into Snape's hand, felt the pressure building up and then, with a small whimper, he came, and all his muscles seemed to spasm at the same time as he emptied himself in his pants and in Snape's hand.

Snape milked him to his last drop and then softly removed his hand, wiping it on the bed.

He pressed a cool kiss to Harry's sweaty neck and then lay down next to Harry, hugging him tightly against him, ignoring the shirt that had ridden up around his waist and how his pants were half unbuttoned.

"Severus? Do you want me to...?" he asked, but Snape just shook his head.

"No. Some other time", he said quietly next to Harry's ear, and seemed happy just to lie there.

And they spent another half hour not thinking about anything but their little silent, happy cocoon, until Harry fell asleep and dreamt pleasantly empty dreams.

A/N: Yes, the hair scene was a bit emo, I know.

Randomly changing subject: I do like Harry/Sirius, but not in this one. Sirius is like his dad, and I thought Voldemort would take advantage of that, would try to force them apart.

Anyways, hope you liked it and please review. :)