Title: Just the Two of Us.
Summary: Hp/Ss. Two yrs after the Deathly Hallows. Both of Age. Warning! M/M explicit Sex. Slightly OOC.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters in my story. I do not own the world that J.K. Rowling has created. J.K. Rowling owns Harry Potter, the rest of my characters and the world in which my story takes place.
"You can go in now Mr. Potter."
Harry nodded his thanks to the perky blonde witch and strode into Minister Kingsley's office. His eyebrows pulled together in confusion when instead of seeing Kingsley he was greeted by the odd sight of his boss and leader of the Aurors Arthur Weasley and odder enough Severus Snape. Harry stopped just outside the threshold of the room and coughed nervously, "Arthur what're you…"
Arthur stopped his words by raising a hand and motioning to a seat in front of the desk. Harry moved forward but like Snape stood slightly behind the chair. Arthur looked amused, "Now that we're all here I believe we can begin. You may be wondering why the minister asked you both to be here…"
"Speaking of the minister, why is he not here?" Snape asked his dark eyes flashing.
Harry felt his skin tighten at the sound of that voice. He hadn't seen Severus Snape in over seven years. Not since the Battle of Hogwarts when Harry had saved the man from Voldemorts snake Nagini. He'd seen the man a few times after that night, at Gala's and around the ministry but had never stopped to chat. After all it wasn't as if they had ever been bosom buddies. But somehow even now that deep and silky voice made him feel like the naughty child getting caught doing something wrong back in Hogwarts.
Snape looked better than he did while he was teaching, that was obvious. His skin was no longer sallow, but a creamy, supple looking milky white. His shoulder length black hair was pulled back by a black leather band, but no longer fell limply or looked dull with grease. It was terribly soft looking and when it shined in the light there were hints of blue in the strands. Even his eye's appearance had improved. The black half moons that lived on the skin under his eyes had disappeared and the lines pulling at the corners were gone, leaving his eyes looking fresh and deep as black pits. And all though he still wore those thick, dark cloaks, Snape's body looked refreshed. He was holding himself in graceful way, no longer looking like an overgrown bat.
Harry forced his eyes from Snape and back to his boss. Arthur was standing now too, his eyes cautious, "The minister couldn't be here with us but asked me to be here to tell you both about your mission."
"Mission? What mission Arthur?" Harry's eyes flicked over to Snape and saw that the man was frowning at the head Weasley with confusion on his face too.
"Well Mr. Snape it's about your veritaserum x potion." Arthur flushed when Snape's dark eyes flashed dangerously but plunged on, (rather bravely, Harry thought), "You set in an application requesting time off to go abroad for certain rare and dangerous ingredients, correct?"
"Yes, that is correct. But why would it concern you or Potter?"
Arthur puffed up considerably with pride, "Well I am the head of the Auror office and when the minister asked for me to assign one of my best Auror's to the case it became my concern."
Harry and Snape both stiffened. Harry leaned forward his forehead wrinkled, "What case am I supposedly assigned too?"
"Well you are to accompany Mr. Snape abroad and act as his guard as he acquires what he needs for his new version of Veritaserum."
Both Snape and Harry began speaking loudly and quickly, both voices filled with indignation and outrage. "Mr. Weasley you can't be serious!" From Harry and a menacing, "Like I would need that bloody brat marauding as my guard, he's more likely to get me killed!"
Then Harry was glaring at Snape, "I'm bloody good Auror, not that I 'would' risk my life for yours, again!"
"Oh have you gotten over your, 'I'm a hero and must try to save everyone, including those who do not need my help' thing then?" Snape snarled back, his eyes flashing.
"You weren't saying that when Nagini was at your throat!"
Fire burned in the blackest part of Snape's eyes and his mouth opened with a low growl, but Mr. Weasley slammed in palms onto the desk and shouted, "Enough! You two act like such children. There will be no questioning this. Harry you will accompany Mr. Snape on his journey and Mr. Snape if you attempt to elude or dissuade Harry in any way from doing his job, you will be barred from your funds and laboratory. Understood?"
Snape looked ready to argue a bit more, but Harry just nodded and stood. Without looking at the potions master he said, "I suppose we should begin arrangements for our trip." He set his jaw and nodded to Arthur, "I'll see you for dinner later Arthur."
Arthur smiled in relief. Clearly he had been worried that his adopted son would be angry with him about his latest mission. Harry cleared his throat, "So Snape, should we take it in your office or mine?"
"Like I would step a foot into the cubicle you call an office. You may come down to my lab." Snape stood in that graceful way and without another glance at Arthur or Harry strode out of the office.
Harry let out a huffy little breath but hurried to follow the taller man. He lagged slightly behind Snape, not wanting to have force small talk as they walked to a lift. Snape rang the button once, his lips tense and arms crossed. With a ding, the lift opened and revealed a small redheaded woman, who was immediately familiar to Harry.
Heart clenching, Harry blinked in surprise, "Ginny, hello. What are you doing here?"
"I came to see Dad and Ron. What're you…" Ginny started when she saw who he was with and her startled eyes flickered back to Harry. "Er…Everything all right Harry?"
Feeling a flicker of amusement, Harry's eyes flickered to Snape. He watched the man's eyes roll obviously and resisted the urge to chuckle. "Yeah everything's fine. Mr. Snape and I just have to business to attend to."
Ginny stepped out of the lift and nodded, "Okay, I'll just see you at the burrow tonight then. Er…shall I tell mum to expect you and a…guest?"
"Yes I'll see you later and nope it'll just be me."
The redhead smiled and stepped forward to embrace him, "See you later Harry."
Harry watched her walk off before realizing that Snape was already in the lift, ready to push the button. He hurried into the lift and they both rode up in silence. Once Snape finally led them into the office, Harry leaned up against the door and waited quietly. Sure enough, Snape turned around with a low curse. "As it seems we are both forced into this situation, I say we go, get over with and come back as quickly as possible. It will take me a few days to set all my affairs in order but I believe we should meet here in two days, ready to go. Nine o'clock in the morning seems a reasonable time. I would bring enough clothing and supplies to last a few weeks or so."
With a nod, Harry pushed off the door, "Alright that sounds reasonable. I'll meet you here in a few days' then."
Snape glared at him, "Another thing Potter, I'm not pleased to have you going as you always seem to be underfoot. But this potion is of great importance to my career and to the ministry, so I'm going to ask that you take the next few days to focus on that thought, try to grow some emotional maturity."
Anger flashed into Harry's gut and he scowled, "Please do not delude yourself into thinking, that I'm still that fifteen year old boy who enjoys getting on his teachers nerves. I'm not, I'm twenty-four years old and professional Auror. I just want to do this mission, come back and be done with it. I'm not any happier about it then you are."
He thought he saw surprise flicker in those pitch black eyes but refused to question it, "I'll meet you here in two days, nine am." Without another word he turned and walked out of the office, leaving Snape standing there silently staring down at him.
"I can't believe you suggested Harry dad! Are you trying to get Harry killed or thrown into Azkaban?" Ron gave his father a disgruntled look around the mouthful of potatoes stuff inside his mouth.
"Honestly Ronald, I think Harry is mature enough to make it a few weeks with Snape. And from what I know Snape wouldn't do anything that would jeopardize his potion making. Supposedly this new potion he's making is going to revolutionize the way the ministry is going to handle interrogations with prisoners." Hermione spoke as she spoon fed her small daughter mashed carrots.
Harry rolled his eyes and chuckled, "Let's hope so, if the way the meeting went today was any indicator Ron might not be far off his guess."
"Well, you'll just have to be the mature one then Harry. It's time for you both to get over this little feud." Hermione laughed as her daughter turned to spit the food out directly onto her father's shoulder.
Ron gave a slightly disgusted and amused look but shook his head, "You just don't get it Hermione, Snape tortured Harry for years, and it's not just something he can get over."
"Hermione's right Harry, this mission is more important that your and Snape's mutual dislike of each other. I only picked you because I know you can leave the past in the past and focus on the mission at hand." Arthur sighed from his seat at the head of the table, even though his face was tired, his eyes were alert on Harry's.
"I know and I told Snape as much today. As far as I'm concerned this is just business."
Harry finished his glass of wine and sat back in his seat. He watched absentmindedly as Hermione and Ron finished feeding little Rose, and attempted to clean her up with little success. The child was quite the firecracker with the perfect amounts of both her parents' personalities. They were happy, Ron and Hermione, married right outside of school. Ron had followed Harry to the Auror's and Hermione was working on opening her own department in the ministry, dedicated to the assimilation of muggle born children into the wizarding world.
His friends were happy as was his adoptive family. George and Fred's business was still booming and quite popular. Ginny had joined an all female quidditch team, Bill and Fleur's young child was doing spectacular and the two were already talking about another, much to Mrs. Weasley's delight. Percy was engaged to his Ms. Penelope and Charlie was doing well in Romania with his dragons. Remus and Tonks child Teddy was being raised by his grandmother and was excelling at changing his appearances.
The only one who didn't seem to be advancing in his life plans as much as everyone had expected was Harry. He'd tried dating a few witches, even a few wizards but they'd either been after his money and fame or they just didn't interest him for long enough for him to make a commitment. He lived in a reasonable flat in London but he knew it wasn't exactly the type of place he wanted to settle down in. Sometimes he got lonely and worried that he would never find someone to settle with, that he would end up alone for his whole life. And it was the moments like this that he would get saddest, surrounded by all the happy Weasley's comfortable and happy with their lives.
Pouring himself some more wine, Harry swallowed it back and stood, "Well I've got a trip to plan, so I best be off."
There were several protests but Harry just smiled and waved them away, "I really can't stay. But thank you for the dinner Mrs. Weasley. Arthur, Ron I will see you at work tomorrow. Ginny it was great to see you as always and yes I will bring you back your book before I leave Hermione."
His surrogate family smiled at him and each gave him a strong hug. Harry flooed back to his home and landed with a thud on the hardwood floor. Looking around his comfortably lived in apartment. He gave a disappointed sigh and slunk into his kitchen to pour himself a strong scotch. His life was just so…dull lately. No lover, no family to call his own, nothing more than this dingy little flat.
A tap at the window drew his attention and he opened it. A large black owl flew into the kitchen with a hoot. Harry gave the unfamiliar owl a distrustful look, "What've you got for me then."
The owl gave him a slightly disgruntled look and held out its leg. A small black envelope was tied to it. Harry reached forward but something in the birds eyes made him hesitate, "I curse birds that bite me, be aware of that."
Giving him another slightly more sullen hoot, the owl hopped forward. Harry gently removed the note and the black bird jumped into the air and flew out the window. Opening the envelope he scanned the letter. It was a note from Snape, his handwriting graceful and precise. It was just a simple list of types of clothing he should bring, what not to bring and again the time they would be meeting.
A strange feeling pulled at Harry's gut and with a start he realized he was excited. Yeah, it would be terrible being in such close quarters with Snape for weeks, but the idea was also exciting. Finally some conflict and drama in his life, it was exactly what he needed to break out of his monotony. And there was no way that travelling around Europe with Snape for two or more weeks could be boring, Harry thought with a wry smile.
"Mr. Potter I'm surprised that you made it on time. Is Ms. Granger still in charge of waking you every day?"
Harry snorted and rolled his eyes, "I'm sure her husband wouldn't appreciate that, although she does help me pick my clothes out for the week."
"They actually married? I don't know whether to have higher hopes for the next generation of Weasley's or to feel amused that Granger's children lost out on her exceptional memory." Snape rolled his eyes and looked around for Harry's bags, "Are you not ready?"
"I am. I've shrunken my bags. It's easier than carrying them around." Harry smirked and pulled out his wand, "Are you?"
Snape nodded, "I am." He strode into his lab, past his hardworking employee's and into his office. "We can apparate from here."
Harry's lips pulled down a bit, "Where are we headed?"
The older man must have noticed his frown because a malicious grin popped up onto his face, "Oh, you don't like to apparate then?"
"I'm not a fan, no." Harry scowled and kicked at the floor, he hated admitting the weakness to anyone, but especially Snape.
He expected the next comment from Snape, "I can't believe it, the great Harry Potter afraid of apparating. What would his hordes of adoring fans think?"
"I am not afraid of it! I just don't particularly enjoy it." Harry scowled at Snape, his eyes narrowed, "Where are we going anyway?"
"Albania. And no need to fret Potter, we can only do side-along apparition. We have to be discreet about where were going and I can't take the chance that anyone is following you or has a trace on you."
"What about you? We don't know that someone isn't tracing you." Harry didn't exactly enjoy the fact that he would have to trust Snape with his safety during apparition.
"No need to get that look, I'm not going to splinch you or ditch you somewhere Potter." Snape sniffed as though this was an idea he'd thought of but had to abandon. "I've accepted the fact that you're to come along. And anyone, no one would be following me. 'I'm' not the one that has reporters and stalkers following my every move."
Harry conceded this was true and gave a rather brave nod of his head, "Alright then."
Snape held out his arm and stared at Harry with a slightly disturbed look on his face as he said, "Come on then, let's not waste any time. The sooner we can get this done the sooner we'll be rid of each other."
Stepping forward, Harry hesitated before grabbing the arm. Glancing up, he stared into Snape's bottomless eyes and noted the hesitancy there also. It gave him a nervous but also relieved little tug in his stomach. Clearly Snape wasn't as ready to go on this journey with him as the older man thought. The pale but surprisingly plump lips pulled into half a sneer, one that clearly held a dare and Harry smirked back.
Reaching out, he grabbed the lean arm and closed his eyes. He heard Snape make a low huff and wondered how long it had been since the older man had actually physically been touched. But before he could really delve into the thought, they were spinning in that gut wrenching and terrible way. He was pressed into Snape's body in that uncomfortable tunnel of magic and he tried not to shiver at how cold the man's body seemed to be. He forced his mind away from his troubling thoughts and waited for his feet to land on stiff ground.