Sorry for the long delay! Had a dream last night about Severus and it inspired me to write this chapter. I hope you all like it!
Saturday had arrived, which meant that Harry could get to sleep in a little longer than usual. However he woke up quite hungry and decided to go to the Great Hall for a bit of breakfast. Students were still bustling about, laughing and having a good time with each other. The staff table however, was solemn. Snape and McGonagall seemed to be huddled together and murmuring to each other while holding a parchment.
Harry walked over to the commotion, scratching his head and holding a yawn at the same time. "Mornin', what's going on over -ere?" Harry looked up and saw Snape's face paler than usual; a serious look was etched upon his face.
"Potter," McGonagall began, "we have a problem." She stated directly, handing him a letter.
Harry's eyes darted from the Headmistress to Severus and then looked down at the letter. It seemed crumpled and was ripped in the edges, the ink had blotched certain areas of the parchment.
To the two-timing nobody,
We know you're alive. We won't keep it that way; you're going to pay for what you did.
The letter was unsigned. Harry looked back up; he was completely used to threats by this point.
"I'm assuming more people want to come and kill me?" Harry said unenthusiastically.
"No, Potter" McGonagall said worriedly, "it's meant for Severus."
Shocked, Harry looked up. NO!Harry cursed under his breath. "What's going on?! Who sent this?!" Harry addressed Snape this time, his face remained unchanged.
Snape remained quiet, his eyes were dark and unfocused.
"Calm yourself Potter!" McGonagall whispered angrily under her breath. "He received it this morning, by owl."
"How did…!? Who would…!?" Harry spat angrily.
"We're going to figure it out. Nobody else knows of this right now but I should at least alert the teachers for any wrong-doings. It may just be a practical…"
"NO!" Harry spat. The whole table jumped up from their seats, Snape's mouth parted slightly, his hand slightly raised as if he were just about to reach out to him. "This isn't a joke!"
Snape's mood had now changed, his eyebrows furrowed and his nose had twitched. "Calm yourself, boy!"
The fact that Snape had called Harry a boy infuriated him even more; he clenched his fist into a tight ball.
"Severus is right Potter; we just thought it would be best if you knew. We'll look into it." McGonagall stated and peered at Harry from under her spectacles just like Dumbledore had always done. She gave Severus the parchment and put a hand on Harry's shoulder. "May I have a word, Severus?" He curtly nodded and they walked a couple steps away from the table. Harry sat down and buried his face in his hands yet attentively tried to pick up on the conversation.
"Is there something you'd like to tell me Severus?" She asked worriedly in a hushed tone.
"I guess there are many people who would like to try to kill me." Snape said lazily.
She waved her hand, "No, no" she asked impatiently. "I meant about Potter."
Harry tilted his head and Snape looked directly into his eyes for a mere moment. Harry blushed and reached for a glass of orange juice which he dribbled on his chin. Snape raised his eyebrows. "I don't understand what you mean Minerva." He replied bluntly.
The headmistress leaned closer to Snape, knowing she might be overheard and whispered something that was meant for Snape's ears only. He gave a curt nod and left the Great Hall. She returned to her seat and struck up a conversation with Professor Sprout to her right. Harry was dying inside; he wanted to know what they were talking about. Does she know? Did she find out? Harry's mind was flustered. Snape was receiving death threats now. Who would want to hurt him?Now that Harry thought of it, there were probably many people. Harry would have been one of them if he didn't see Snape's true side. Harry couldn't wait to leave the table so he could re-join Snape, he wanted to be with him. He wanted to protect him.
McGonagall turned her head and noticed Harry's agitation; a small smile was planted on her lips.
"You may go."
Harry looked back at her, slightly confused. "Uh, r-really?"
McGonagall's eyes smiled and returned back to conversing with Professor Sprout who looked like the most confused person at the table. Harry muttered his thanks and jetted out of the Great Hall, no doubt causing some stares on his way out. He skipped as many steps as he could to reach the dungeons but when he got there, there was an eerie silence. He knocked on the enchanted door but there was no answer.
He now darted to his office. Panting and overwhelming thoughts of Snape being hurt were clouding his mind. He burst through is office door and reached for the bottom drawer at his desk, rummaging through the parchment. A silky voice emanated from the corner of the room.
"And what exactly are you looking for?"
Half of Harry's head emerged from the desk. Severus Snape was standing with his arms crossed in the corner of the office; his back was to the wall.
"I uh-uh. You." Harry stammered.
"And what would I be doing in the bottom drawer of your desk?" He replied smoothly, an eyebrow arched.
"Uh-I don't know." Harry shot up and kicked his bottom desk drawer shut with his foot.
"Do you remember that night in your third year?" Snape began, his face teetering on disgust. Uh Oh!"Your spare bit of parchment? Is that how you found me that night?"
Harry tilted his head in confusion. "Which night?"
"The mirror." He concluded.
Harry thought hard, he know he shouldn't lie. "Y-yes and no." Harry gave up, he reached into the bottom drawer and took out the Marauder's Map and unfolded it on his desk. With a tap of his wand the insides of the castle walls appeared. Snape unfolded his arms and leaned over the table, his hands gripping the sides. "The Room of Requirement doesn't appear on the map. So I thought if you didn't appear in the castle, you'd be in that room."
"You know how I feel about this map." Snape snarled.
"I-I'm sorry." Harry stammered, he hadn't seen Snape this mad in a long time. "I just-"
"Just what?" Snape's eyes bore into Harry's, strands of hair were curtaining the sides of his face.
"I wanted to find you. I wanted you to be safe." Harry circled around his office impatiently. "I want to protect you."
"Sit." Snape ordered. His long slender finger was pointing at the edge of the desk.
"Uh-okay…" Harry hesitantly sat on the front of his desk. Their eyes were intensely focused on each other.
"You worry about me." Snape stated. His hands returned to gripping the sides of the desk, his head was now hung low.
"Yeah I do. A lot actually." Harry wasn't sure if he could touch him. He raised his hand and pushed away Snape's stray strands so he could see his face.
Snape looked up, his face was drawn into misery. His dark eyes were glistening, his mouth agape.
"I know I probably sound crazy but I'll do anything for you. You saved my life, I want to save yours." Harry said.
Severus backed up from the desk. "Don't." Snape snarled once more.
"Don't what?" Harry reached for Snape's robes but was unsuccessful.
"Don't pity me." Snape spun around and started to head to the door.
"I don't. I'm sorry. Come back…please." Harry pleaded, he jumped off the desk and reached for Snape's hand and spun him around for a hug. They gripped each other tightly as if the world were about to end.
"I don't." Harry repeated. "You mean everything to me right now."
"Everything?" Snape asked, preserving the silky tone in his voice.
"Yeah…promise." Harry smiled through Snape's robes. He smelt the earthy fumes once more. Snape's fingers were intertwined in Harry's hair.
"Your head is still as big as it was. You think you can save everyone but you would just get in the way instead." Snape said, finally letting go of Harry and keeping him at arm's length.
Harry winced. "You're kind of a rollercoaster of emotions aren't you? One day we kiss and the next you treat me like your former student again."
"Emotions…they're weak. I would prefer not to show them. You've seen me at my worst." Snape said very quietly.
"You keep saying that…" Harry said impatiently. "You have nothing to hide from anymore, you're free. We're free." Harry added.
"Apparently, not free for long. I have some rather unruly admirers." Snape said, his lip now curling.
"I don't know why you're smiling." Harry said while pacing his office. "Wait! We can go see Dumbledore!"
"I'm sure Dumbledore has had enough antics to deal with during his lifetime. Don't bother the Headmaster from a portrait." Snape said, slightly annoyed.
"Wait…" Harry had stopped pacing and looked up at Snape who arms had resumed being folded. "What did McGonagall tell you?"
"The Headmistress…" Snape began, "told me something that should not concern you. Don't meddle in others affairs."
"Right…" Harry looked disbelievingly. "Well, I'm going to go see Professor Dumbledore, are you coming?"
"And watch you make a fool of yourself? I thought that happened enough during our duel. You're also increasingly stubborn" Snape smirked. He headed to the doorknob and glided out of the office. "Come." He commanded.
Harry put away the Marauder's Map and ran to keep up with Snape's strides. "Where are we going Sev?"
Snape kept looking forward, his eyes unfocused. "We're going to the Headmistress' office. And who gave you permission to use any disdainful pet names?" Snape snarled.
"Yes…Professor." Harry began to stare at the floor while his feet continued to pace alongside Snape's, his mood completely shifted.
"You may call me Severus."
Thank you for reading! And thank you to those who comment, follow and favorite this story. It really does mean a lot and I hope you could leave me some more comments to keep me going!