Summary: Based off the Dido song 'Sand In My Shoes.' Harry is back from a much needed vacation, but can't seem to keep his mind off the unexpected man he met there. Snarry.

Warnings: Sexuality (though nothing too explicit), Fluff, some Language, talk of Child-Abuse focusing on Neglect. Kind of OOC I guess.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling nor 'Sand In My Shoes' from Dido, obviously, which I have shamelessly borrowed lines from and twisted for my own evil purposes. Hehe, there are a few other tiny references in here, none of which I own. Kudos if you catch 'em.

A/N: I do not plan to post the lyrics to the song, though I do recommend either looking them up, listening to the song itself, and/or watching the music video as inspiration comes from that as well. If I was more talented I'd try to make a trailer video thing for the fic with the song, but I'm rather stupid when it comes to that sort of thing, so I'll just have to tell people to watch the regular music video and hope they comply. Oh well.

0000000

Sand In My Shoes

With a sigh, Harry dropped his travel case to the ground beside his bed, turning as he did so to stare around his flat with an impassive face. The walls were a boring beige, enhanced in no good way by the grey carpet beneath his feet. With hardly any personal knickknacks of any kind, his flat scarcely looked any different from when he first moved in six years ago, the only telling point being the clothes and few personal items he did not take with him strewn all about the house from his frustration and haste to leave two weeks prior.

"Home sweet home," he mumbled, heading to the flat's kitchenette to get a glass of water, grimacing at the stack of dishes waiting for him. He never did have the time to worry about doing the dishes if he had actually managed to eat at home. Usually he just picked something up on the way to work. Filling up a glass from the tap with a sigh, Harry leaned against the counter and sipped the cool liquid, mind thrown back to just the other day when he had been sipping some iced lemonade and holding hands with...

A passing car honking its horn jerked him out of his reverie. It seemed obscenely loud after the quiet he had been blessed with, especially as late as it was at night. "Snap out of it Potter!" he hissed shaking his head. "It was just two weeks..." But even he could not deny that they had been the best two weeks of his life. Growling softly at himself, he set the glass down to head to the bathroom, needing take a bath to wash away his thoughts.

Sitting on the toilet seat after turning on the tub's faucet he untied his shoes and slipped them off, sand falling out as he did so. Mesmerised by the tan crystals he again lost himself to his own mind, recalling walking on the beach and running from the waves as they lapped at his ankles...

Harry splashed in the water, kicking up the foaming spray at his dark companion. Laughing he danced around in the waves, feeling happier than he ever had before. He scooped up some water in his palms and flung it above them, the other's man's quiet mirth shattered as a full out water fight commenced, the third one for just that week...

Slipping on the linoleum, Harry landed hard on his tailbone and cracked his head against the porcelain side of the tub, water rushing over his head and drenching his front as it overran the edge. Groaning, Harry rubbed his head before getting up on his knees to turn off the faucet, mentally berating himself for slipping off into fantasy again.

Sitting again in the puddle on the floor Harry wondered if it would be so bad to just leave the unpacking for tomorrow, to just, for one more night, forget he was back in his damned London flat, forget that before these last two weeks, a beautiful two weeks he felt should have changed the world, he had been happy in his work-driven life...or at least, content, before he knew he could just get on a plane and fly away...

000

000

Shading his eyes with his hand Harry paused for a moment once he stepped outside of the cab, staring up at the impressive hotel he would be staying at for the next fortnight. He had but one bag; just enough to hold enough clothes for the two week stay and any personal hygiene accompaniments he had thought to bring. Pushing his sunglasses higher up on his nose he made up the few stairs into the main lobby and finally over to the reception area.

"I have a reservation under the name of Potter, Harry," he informed the man behind the desk, having had no thought for an alias this far from Britain.

"Ah, yes, right here," the man nodded after checking the computer. "Room 1408."

Thanking him Harry took the key and headed up to his room, dropping his bag in an armchair as he turned around a corner and through open glass doors to the sleeping area. He frowned at the flower print on the walls before completing the circle to walk through the bathroom and back to the small parlour. Deciding he had better things to do than stick around the hotel resort he grabbed his swimming trunks and other accessories for the beach, wondering how he ever allowed Hermione to badger him into taking a vacation when dark wizards were running wild.

000

Several years working as an Auror gifted one (unless you were Tonks) with a sense of balance and grace, something truly indispensable in chasing down crooks and dark wizards alike. However, it seemed years of training and condition as an Auror and before eluded Harry that day when a young muggle boy bumped into him as he ran past.

"Bugger it!" Harry had sense enough to exclaim as he was sent sprawling, landing haphazardly across another beach dweller who just so happened to be innocently resting on a towel underneath a large beach umbrella. Picking up his head enough to yell at the kid's back he exclaimed, "Bloody little blighter! Go back to school!"

"It is the summer Mr Potter," a distinctly familiar voice drawled beside him, causing Harry to stiffen.

Slowly lifting himself up by his arms Harry just as slowly twisted his head around to stare at the person he was laying on. Gulping as he took in the individual beside (and below) him, who was currently propping his upper body up by his forearms and staring at Harry through dark shades and an uplifted brow, Harry stammered out the only thing that crossed his mind at that precise moment. "You don't have any clothes on."

"I most certainly do Mr Potter! I'm wearing swim trunks just as you are," the other sniffed. "This is not a nude beach after all, though I do know where a nearby one is," he then grinned wolfishly.

Realising he was still laying half across his old professor, Harry scrambled up, the thoughts previously kept at bay by the other man's bare chest rushing to the forefront of his mind now. "You're supposed to be dead! What are you doing here Snape!"

Idly brushing a few stray bits of sand off his chest Snape was silent a few moments before lifting his face up to stare at Harry. "I am currently trying to lie down on the beach. I would think that much was obvious," he drawled with another raised brow.

Flushing a little at that Harry hated how Snape always made him feel like a first year again. "I meant what are you doing here, alive, when I saw you die!"

"What can I say Potter, I'm Lazarus raised from the dead," the thoroughly alive man said with no small amount of sarcasm as he sat up and spread his arms wide. "After all I have done for the world, are you seriously telling me I do not deserve a few moments respite on vacation?"

"N-no, of course not sir," Harry shook his head; chagrined to realise he really was starting to sound like a first year. "But...here?" Harry couldn't believe the coincidence that led him to vacationing at the same spot his once dreaded Potions professor was.

"I had thought no-one would recognise me here," Snape grumbled, and by the slight furrow above the man's shades Harry could tell the man was glaring at him. Hell, he could feel the man glaring at him.

"Well, it's not my fault I had the same thought," Harry muttered back, scratching at the back of his neck uncomfortably, eyeing the man who, though he now sported a shorter hairstyle and a hint of facial hair, as well as a tan, still looked undeniably the same. With a sigh he started to pick up the things the boy had made him drop when he had bumped into him, frowning when he realised he could not find his own shades that had been knocked off.

"Looking for these Potter?" Snape smirked. When Harry looked up he saw his shades were dangling between Snape's fingers. When he reached out for them however Snape moved them away. "Uh, uh, uh," he shook his head. "What happened to your regular glasses Potter?"

"I wear contacts now," Harry huffed. "Much easier when chasing the enemy."

"Hm," Snape murmured as he tilted his head slightly to the side. "You do look much more...hm...dishy without those cumbersome things. Draws more attention to those amazing eyes of yours."

Clenching his jaw Harry looked away momentarily before turning his gaze back to Snape to fully glare at him, "Yeah, my amazing green eyes just like my mum's," he bit out. "Can I have my sunglasses back now?"

Frowning Snape stood up, the motion so fluid Harry couldn't help but appreciate it. "I did not mean that Potter. It has been years, and once I finally allowed myself to acknowledge certain things I was finally able to leave the past in the past." He eyed Harry before laughing (actually laughing!) and holding out the sunglasses. "Close your mouth Potter before a fly wanders in."

Snapping his jaw shut Harry snatched the shades away and hurriedly put them on. He couldn't believe this (practically naked!) man could be his old Potions professor, for the Snape he knew never laughed, wore as much clothing as possible, and did not reveal facts about himself, no matter how trivial, much less said anything that could be construed as a weakness. Not to mention the fact he was supposed to be dead.

"I still can't believe you're alive," Harry breathed, all irritation draining away as he ran his gaze over Snape's very alive body. "I saw you die..."

"You saw what I wanted you to see Potter," Snape waved it away like a minor irritant. "I could never be free unless the wizarding world thought I was no longer among the living."

"No wonder your portrait wouldn't show up," Harry said in wonder. "I tried to get you a portrait in the Headmaster's Office, but it would never show up no matter what I did." Now that he thought about it, Dumbledore had seemed entirely far too amused by that...

"You tried to get me a portrait at Hogwarts?" Snape asked aghast. "Why ever on earth would you do that?"

"Because you're a hero and you deserve it," Harry frowned, petulantly crossing his arms until he realised how he must look and dropped them. A breeze off the waves drifted across his chest at that moment, causing him to remember that not only was Snape half-undressed but he was as well.

"An anti-hero, perhaps, or maybe even a Byronic one?" Snape queried amused. "I would get far more action that way." Snorting he softly shook his head in exasperation. "This is not a book or a fairytale Potter, heroes are the strapping young lads like yourself who marry the pretty damsels in distress and have lots of babies," he drawled in obvious disgust.

Lips quirking, though he wasn't sure how he liked being called 'strapping' by his former professor, Harry couldn't help but playfully retort, "Well then by your own standards I could never be a hero, for I do not think I could ever marry a pretty little witch and sire a brood of children."

"What do you mean by that Potter?" Snape lazily sneered. "Don't you have that Weasley chit to infect with your seed?"

"It didn't work out," Harry said, his lips quivering still. "Turns out she didn't like being with a bloke who, what were her exact words, liked to take it up the arse." He grinned when Snape made a chocking sound. "Easy there Snape, you're lookin' just about how McGonagall did when I told her how much I preferred co—"

"You most certainly did not say that word to her!" Snape interrupted, face actually turning a bit pink.

"No, no, of course not," Harry smiled easily and gave a little chuckle. "My way of telling her was way more fun." At Snape's reluctant curiosity, he elaborated. "I asked her if she remembered the forbidden love between Grindelwald and Professor Dumbledore. I then pointed to myself and said 'me too.'"

"You didn't," Snape groaned, covering his face with his hand.

"Did too," Harry grinned back. "Her face was absolutely priceless."

"I can imagine," Snape faintly muttered. "So tell me Potter," he continued after a moment as he made to sit back down, motioning for Harry to join him. "Have any dashing young men on a leash at the moment?"

"No," Harry frowned as he rolled out his own towel besides Snape and laid down on his stomach under the shade of the large umbrella. "Haven't for a while actually. I've just been focusing on my job mostly." To the point of ignoring his friends and his own health, apparently. Or so Ron and Hermione had said. "Haven't had time."

"Pity," Snape smirked, not sounding sympathetic in the least.

"What about you Snape, any young things throwing their bras and knickers at you?" Harry questioned, leaning on his forearms as he glanced over Snape's body again, liking the way his arm muscles stood out as he leaned back on them, legs crossed. He also liked the way that position made the older wizard's stomach dip enticingly in a bit.

"Knickers if we were perhaps being kinky, but if any young male I was currently seducing wore a bra they'd be kicked out of my room faster than you could say Crucio," was the sardonic answer.

"Male!" Harry exclaimed shooting up into a sitting position. "But I thought you liked...you loved my mother!"

"Aye, I did," Snape agreed. "She was the first one besides my mother to show me any care, so I immediately became infatuated with her. And no-one could deny her beauty. I became enslaved to her, to an obsessive level, especially after her death.

"My near-death however allowed me to finally release it all, and as I have previously stated I became free as I have never been before." He gave a very relaxed shrug, obviously much more carefree than he had ever been before as well. "I find myself drawn to men now, though occasionally a few females draw my interest."

"You never answered my question," Harry frowned.

"Why so interested in my sex life Potter?" Snape softly inquired.

"Maybe I need to check to see if I have any competition," Harry playfully bat his eyes. They then widened when Snape moved closer to him, a (dare he think it?) seductive smile playing across his lips he continued to lean towards him, ending up with Harry lying flat on his towel and Snape above him.

"Oh, I can assure you Potter, even if Adonis himself were pounding at my door there would be no com—"

Whatever further words Snape might have said were smothered out as his and Harry's lips met as if by magnets, even though Harry had had no intention of meeting Snape's deliciously thin lips. But, mmm...any other thoughts were flown swiftly from his mind. Who knew Snape could be such a good kisser?

When they finally pulled back for air Harry's shades were dangling by one ear and he lazily swatted them away, still lethargic by the powerful kiss. He stared up into the shades covering Snape's eyes and realised with a shock that he wanted to see those familiar black orbs. Orbs that once haunted his nightmares and he was pretty sure would soon haunt his dreams. Slowly reaching up with both hands Harry pulled the glasses away and set them aside, eyes instantly captivated in Snape's endless black.

"I'm not looking for a lasting relationship," Snape said. "Much too complicated."

"Neither am I," Harry smiled. "Much too time consuming."

"How long are you here for?"

"Two weeks."

Snape's lips spread into a slow smile. "Perfect." He then lowered his head to enter another heated session of mind-blowing snogging.

000

"So you've just been living like a muggle these past few years?" Harry questioned as they lay in bed, one hand idly playing on Snape's bare chest.

"More or less," Snape shrugged as well as he could with both hands behind his head as he stared up at the ceiling. "Just taking each day as it comes, taking my time as never before."

Frowning Harry tilted his head up a little as he laid on his side, staring at Snape as if he had just declared himself king of the world. "How can you waste valuable time like that, just being frivolous? I'm practically about to go into convulsions just lying here."

Moving his head a bit to stare down at the shaggy head farther down the bed one of Snape's eyebrows rose. "I thought you enjoyed wasted time? As a child you more often than not were engaged in some frivolous activity or another."

"I've changed," Harry shrugged this time.

"So I've seen," Snape's other eyebrow rose to meet the first. "A prestigious Auror with a spotless record, hasn't had a vacation in Lord knows how many years, not to mention your new preference..."

Stilling his hand as it travelled down to Snape's smooth abdomen above the bunched up sheet Harry sat up just enough to rest his head on his other hand as he leaned on his elbow. "Who else is going to capture the bad guys?" he asked without waiting for an answer. "I know that the Ministry was catching criminals far before my time, and I don't mean to sound arrogant or overconfident in my abilities, but each guy I catch is one less on the streets. And when I set my sights on a guy I don't intend to let him get away."

Snape merely quirked his other brow at Harry's phrasing. "From what you've told me it seems like you hardly ever allow yourself to live Potter."

Frowning again Harry met Snape's eyes. "I'm alive right now. I train all the time so that I stay alive. I didn't defeat a dark lord just to be killed by some petty crook from the streets trying to rob old ladies of their pocket change."

"I did not mean it in quite that way Potter," Snape sighed. He pushed himself up on his elbows as his eyes traced Harry's features. "You've told quite a bit about your job, but you have hardly mentioned your friends. The only real time you've mentioned Mr Weasley was when you talked about partnering with him as an Auror. I assume he and Ms Granger finally tied the knot?"

"Uh...yeah. A year ago I think." Frown deepening Harry realised he could not remember much about the ceremony, much less the reception. Actually, if he recalled correctly he had stuck around just long enough to give a speech as best man and then he had left for more Auror duty. Shaking his head he returned to the present to stare at Snape. "Hermione was the one who actually convinced me to take this vacation."

A hungry look gleamed in Snape's eyes as he leaned over. "Then it is to young Mrs Weasley that I owe my gratitude and thanks," he growled low in his throat before pouncing on Harry.

Harry laughed for what seemed like the first time in years.

000

"Calm yourself Potter...and stop fidgeting!"

"Why are we doing this?" Harry groaned. "It's just wasting time..." A sharp glance from Snape silenced his tongue, though the look on his face more than spoke of his agitation.

"Potter...just shut up and enjoy it," Snape grumbled, running a hand down his face.

"I just don't get it. All we're doing is sitting down and drinking fruity beverages."

"It's called relaxation you ninny," Snape huffed before taking a sip of his piña colada, a drink Harry was still surprised to see him with.

Huffing Harry sat back in his white lawn chair on the beach, staring out at the waves and listening to children shrieking in laughter as they chased the surf. He too took a sip of his drink of choice, watching Snape out of the corner of his eye as he did so.

He loved the way his laryngeal prominence bobbed when he swallowed, or when Snape darted his tongue out to lap up the stray drink on his lips, moistening those lips could not stop thinking about. He never thought Snape would be one to lounge around on a beach, but clearly the man did this often, if the tan was any indication.

"I never took you for a beach dweller Snape," he commented.

"And I never took you to be someone who would forget to have fun," Snape retorted. He merely raised a brow over his shades when Harry gave him a dirty look, obvious even through his own shades. "Truth hurt Potter?"

"You've cut me to the quick Snape," Harry said heavy with sarcasm. "My heart bleeds."

"If only it were that easy Potter," Snape distractedly mumbled, slipping his sunglasses a little down his nose as he watched a well toned young man walk past.

"Oi! Keep your eyes to yourself you old lech!" Harry exclaimed.

Snape grinned over at Harry unabashedly before slipping his shades firmly back on and leaning back. "Well it is not like you are currently parading past me showing off your skin."

"Oh yeah?" Harry drew out with smirk. Throwing his shades off Harry stood up from his seat and walked a few paces away as he brushed whatever sand managed to get on his trunks off. Throwing Snape a charming smile, he then preceded to saunter by, making sure to exaggerate the swaying of his hips and the fluttering of his eyelashes. He glanced over at Snape to see him struggling not to laugh, which of course cheered him on.

"How's this for a parade Snape?" he laughed walking back to stand before their beach umbrella and began posing. Flexing his own modest muscles Harry grinned over biceps causing Snape to snort.

"Show me some more flesh and we'll see," Snape smirked. "Your gay parade could use more...colour."

"Didn't you get your fill last night! I seem to recall being told this is not a nude beach, Snape," Harry shook his finger at the older man.

"More's the pity," Snape easily commented as he closed his eyes, leaning fully back in the chair with his hands behind his head.

"Dirty old perv," Harry accused with a fond smile as he went to retake his own seat.

"I try."

000

"I never took you for a romantic."

Snorting Snape gave Harry a wry glance. "Please. It is well known such courtship matters tend to lead to mind-blowing sex."

Finding it far easier to laugh these past two days than almost ever before Harry hooked his right arm through Snape's left as they walked on the moonlit beach. A few grains of sand had slipped into his shoe, but he oddly found the slight discomfort, well...comforting. Snape's own lips twitched, reminding Harry that this man was not the man he thought he had known. Actually, the man's thin lips looked very kissable.

"Potter!"

Grinning Harry pulled away after stealing a quick kiss and started walking again, Snape pulled after him by his arm, still sputtering. "Don't act like you didn't like it Snape."

"On the contrary Potter," Snape growled, stopping and spinning Harry around in his arms. "I am merely displeased that you took it no further."

Contentedly sighing Harry melted in Snape's arms, his only thought being, But damn, this boy sure can kiss.

Lingering over the younger male's lips after another vigorous round of snogging, Snape smirked, his hands tightening on the fit waist. "Potter, you look flushed."

"And who's to blame for that fact, huh Snape?" Harry blinked trying to gather his bearings again.

"I think you could use a quick bathing Potter."

"Looking to join me?" Harry coyly murmured.

"Hmmm, no." Suddenly flinging Harry away Snape's smirk grew, with Harry's hurt confusion taken away almost instantly by outraged shock as he fell into a splash of frigid water, the gentle waves lapping over him as he gaped at the taller man. "There. That should cool you off," the once austere man sneered with no menace, a chortle clearly trying to break past his lips.

"You...bat!" Harry exclaimed, trying to stand up only to slip on a piece of flotsam underfoot sending him careening back into the water, his head going under momentarily causing him to sputter out the salty liquid. Snape started laughing in earnest. Growling, Harry shifted a little against the sand before he launched himself at the other man, sending him down into the sand and wrestling with him until they were both in the water. "Hah—ack!"

Flipping Harry over, Snape straddled him in the waves, splashing him in the face in clear amusement. "You were saying Potter?"

"I...splutter...hate...cough...you...gag...Snape!" Harry growled, using his training as an Auror to twist his legs around knocking Snape into the surf and flinging a handful of water at him. "Take that you bloody berk!" He then took off with a laugh further down the beach, a spray of water kicking up around him as he ran in the waves.

"Oh that is going to cost you boy," Snape growled, a definite gleam (some might even call it a twinkle, you know, if they wanted to die or something) in his eyes as he took off in mad pursuit.

000

Harry stared over his coffee mug at the man sitting before him across the small table, abnormally large nose stuck in the muggle newspaper that had been delivered to the room. Taking a small sip of the steaming brew he mused over where life had taken the both of them. Snape had been living like a muggle these past years; a life of simplicity with an easy-going nature that still seemed foreign about the dark man, as natural as he made it seem.

Snape smiled now, he laughed and joked around, and he truly seemed to have left the past behind him and started a fresh new life. He seemed content.

Harry, on the hand, realised that he probably was not content with his own life. Ever since the war ended he had seemed far too serious, according to his friends, and hardly did anything but train or work anymore. He hadn't even realised he wasn't exactly happy with his life until he had met up with Snape the other day, and realised the stark contrast between them. It was weird actually, he would have taken Snape as the serious one but it seemed as if their roles had been reversed.

"Potter, stop staring at me."

Smiling behind his cup Harry shifted his white terrycloth robe around himself as he shifted his gaze to look out the balcony doorway. The huge glass doors were thrown open, the gauzy cream curtains twitching slightly in the breeze carrying the salty tang of the ocean air. "You know," he began with a slight frown. "Your room is bigger than mine. I don't have a balcony."

"Because you're a deplorable guest Potter. Who knows what indecent acts you would do before the balcony windows," Snape said as he lifted his own cup of breakfast coffee, never taking his eyes from the newsprint. "Now stop sticking your tongue out at me before I put it to better use."

Sucking his tongue back into his mouth Harry grinned. "What, again? I swear you are insatiable."

"Comes with the age," Snape snorted.

"Gonna miss me when I leave Snape? You'll have no one to have mind-blowing sex with anymore," Harry teased.

"Au contraire, my fine featherbrained friend, I'm sure to find many other attractive little offers," Snape said smugly, finally glancing up from the paper to quirk a brow at Harry. "Though I must admit this has been by far the most enticing one yet."

"I bet you say that to all the blokes," Harry grumbled good-naturedly. "Well, then I suppose I'll just have to myself unforgettable," he grinned.

"Trust me Potter. Since the first moment I set eyes on you you've been unforgettable," Snape mumbled with a hint of bite.

Snickering Harry thought he probably had to agree. After all, how many eleven-year-olds fought giant smelly trolls in a girls' lavatory? Or battled overgrown serpents at a mere twelve-years-old? Or took on an entire dementor army, or...

Shaking his head Harry realised that even when he faced certain death (that he always somehow managed to escape from) he had always laughed it off and went on with his childhood. What had happened to those carefree times? When had he changed so utterly that he would rather faceoff against dark wizards than celebrate the happiest day of his best friends' lives?

"What is it now Potter?" Snape's dark voice snapped out at him, jerking him out of his musings.

"Huh?" he asked ineloquently. Snape, however, ignored the chance to belittle him and merely set his newspaper down as he bore his gaze into Harry's.

"You're sighing and moping and looking like someone just told you your owl just died," Snape huffed. "In fact, you look even worse than you did when I first laid eyes on you here."

"One, I don't have an owl after Hedwig did die...still don't know who killed her...and two...I was just thinking," he shrugged.

It was again a reminder of their changed circumstances when Snape didn't immediately take the bait to put Harry down.

"Must have been something depressing, to make you look so woebegone," Snape lightly sneered as he got up, his own terrycloth robe swishing about his legs as he moved to stand behind Harry's chair resting his hands on the younger man's shoulders. "You're tense," he murmured, flexing his fingers against the robed shoulders before he began rubbing them.

"Mmm," Harry moaned his eyes fluttering shut. "You have such magic fingers," he slurred as Snape worked out all his kinks.

"I know," Snape smirked. "You told me so last night."

"Dirty, dirty," Harry mumbled, too focused on the strong fingers kneading his muscles to form a more coherent reply.

"Tell me what you were thinking Potter, and I'll reward you with a little extra work of my fingers," Snape said suggestively, leaning his head down to whisper into Harry's ear before nibbling on it.

"Ugn!" Harry moaned, eyes shooting open before falling shut again when Snape's mouth trailed down his neck to press a chaste kiss on the flesh there, where neck met shoulder.

"Tell me," Snape whispered again.

"Just the differences...of my childhood compared to my life now," Harry mumbled, this time not with pleasure.

"I thought we had agreed not to dwell on the past, or the life that awaits us outside of these two weeks," Snape murmured as he drew back though his hands continued to massage Harry's shoulders, pushing the robe down his arms to get better access to the skin there.

"Yeah, I know," Harry acknowledged. "Just that...seeing you again has brought it all rearing back."

Snape paused, causing Harry to let out a little moan at the loss of motion. When Snape started up again he let out a little sigh. "I am sorry if running into me has caused you any distress," he quietly offered, the apology, misguided though it was, another showing of how much Snape had changed. At least it was for the better.

Bringing his hand up to capture Snape's Harry twisted around a little in his chair to stare up at the older man. "Don't say that," he murmured, squeezing Snape's still twitching fingers. "I'm glad I've run into you." Bringing the tanned hand to his mouth, he applied gentle kisses to it, his eyes locked onto Snape's.

A curious gleam entered those obsidian eyes, though it was gone far too swiftly for Harry to even begin to guess what it was. It was quickly replaced by the gleam he was already very familiar with, and felt an answering smirk tug at his lips.

Yes, Harry couldn't help but muse with a smile as the other man pulled him towards the large bed waiting for them, Snape truly did have magic fingers.

000

"No!"

"Come on Snapey, don't be such a stick in the mud."

"Only because you kindly allow me to have my wicked ways with you as the mood hits am I letting you get away with that horrid appellation, but just once!"

Sighing, Harry pouted out his lips as he lowered the garish hat in his arms, his eyes getting all wide and moist in the cool air of the tourist shop. "Snape..."

"Potter, I've seen enough crocodile tears as a professor to adolescents to last me a lifetime, and frankly I'm a little offended that you would think such a thing would work with me," Snape huffed as he crossed his arms with a disdainful snort.

"Fine," Harry muttered eyes now completely dry. "I was just trying to have a spot of fun. You see tourists wearing these sorts of things all the time."

"Have you ever known me to be one to follow the crowds?" he sneered.

"Only Slytherin, Death Eating ones," Harry cheekily grinned back, years of experience helping him dodge away from Snape's angry hand.

"Oh, so you think you're funny now do you?" Snape mocked.

"I've been called it before," Harry playfully grinned, then sobered up as he suddenly looked thoughtful. "Of course, more often than not they added 'looking' after it..."

"Oh hardy har har," Snape rolled his eyes.

"Personally, my favourite was Lippy the Lion, but that's American television for you," Harry shrugged.

"When did you ever watch American television?" Snape scoffed. "Weren't you too busy being shoved into a cupboard or something?"

"Hey! Never underestimate sound travel. Dudley listened to that telly set so loud I'm surprised you didn't hear it all the way in Scotland, teaching children at Hogwarts, one of which I would eventually become. Of course not for a while, because I'm so young and you're so ol—mph!"

Harry found that Snape's invading tongue was a very efficient silencing technique.

000

"I can't believe you talked me into buying this ridiculous game," Snape grumbled as he set the five small pigs in the centre.

"They played it in primary school once," Harry shrugged as he approached the table where Snape was setting the game up and set their drinks on it.

"Why did you never have this knack for subtlety when you were younger?" Snape scoffed. "'They' played it in primary school, meaning you never did?"

"Well...Dudley always threw the pigs at me when I tried to join in," Harry grinned back good-naturedly. "It's okay though, because one time my accidental magic kicked in and one of the pigs somehow flew up his nose."

"It sensed a kindred spirit," Snape deadpanned causing Harry to laugh.

"Perhaps," he chuckled. "Though Dudley's all right now. Did I tell you we're on Christmas card terms? Sometimes I even go to see him, though perhaps not so much anymore," he frowned. "I don't really have time for it."

"Of course not," Snape sneered. "What could be more important than languishing away in a job you don't even enjoy anymore? Certainly not family or friends."

"I don't dislike my job," Harry frowned as he set out two hands for both him and Snape. "And it's not that they're unimportant, it's just that...well...the bad guys aren't going to catch themselves."

"Are there not other Aurors who could do it while you spend time with those closest to you?" Snape lightly pressed as he took a quick drink of his beverage before the game began.

"I'm sorry, but have you seen the incompetency of the Ministry? Some of our best men and women died in the battle against Voldemort, and those left or the new ones meant to replace the others are hardly stellar quality," Harry snorted. "I've had Aurors who have been Aurors longer than I've been alive ask me for advice on things. It's not my fault I feel like it's my place and duty to rid the world of evil."

"No, I suppose not," Snape had to agree. "After all, being targeted by megalomaniac sociopath as a wee babe, and then groomed to be a weapon, tends to leave a mighty psychological impact on a child."

"Besides, I look positively smashing in my red robes," Harry said waggling his eyebrows. "Reminds me of Gryffindor."

"Hm," Snape snorted. "I dare say you look better with them off."

"Dirty old man!" Harry mockingly gasped aghast.

"I have an idea," Snape purred. "How about we turn this into a game of strip Grab a Pig?"

Eyeing the other man up and down for a moment Harry's eyes lingered pointedly on Snape's crotch. "I'd like to grab your sausage," he grinned.

"Are you always so vulgar Potter?"

"Only around you," he laughed in honesty.

000

"That must have been pretty harsh for you," Harry murmured stroking Snape's hair as the main laid against his shoulder in bed.

"Not really. My mother might have been good to me when Tobias wasn't around, but when he was she could be almost as brutal as he was in cutting me down. I'm sure you witnessed at least one of the many arguments they had about me and our situation in life during our failed Occlumency lessons."

"But she was your mother, surely it upset you for her to die," Harry continued.

"I knew she would eventually, and honestly death was much better than what life had previously dealt her. I think perhaps the hardest part of it was that it happened so soon after your mother declared she wanted nothing to do with me," Snape shrugged.

"She didn't know what she was missing out on," Harry grinned tilting his head down to kiss his former professor's brow, his hand straying down from hair to lower back.

"Watch it Potter," Snape growled, though by the way his hand similarly drifted down Harry's stomach he could tell the man was not serious.

"Oh, I'll definitely be watching something," Harry playfully agreed.

000

"Potter, your swimming skills are abysmal."

"Excuse me for not having had a proper teacher. Learning to swim because you were tossed in the pool by your obese cousin when your four-years-old doesn't necessitate proper tutelage. I mostly learned to stay away from pools after that, and the only other time I've really gone swimming was during the damn Triwizard Tournament debacle, and I had Gillyweed to thank for that."

"Ah yes, the thing you hold most precious...tell me honestly now, was your little fling with Miss Weasley merely a substitution for the relationship you could not have with her older brother?"

Scowling Harry splashed some of the pool water at Snape who frowned back at him. "Ron was my best friend and nothing more you prat. Besides Hagrid, he was my first real friend, and I guess kind of symbolic to everything I wanted. It almost always made me want to laugh whenever he showed signs of jealousy of my fortune and fame, until one day I just flat out told him that I was jealous of him and that I would have given both up in a heartbeat for just one more minute with my mum and dad. The subject never came up again."

"Who would have thought a Weasley could learn?" Snape drawled standing up from his chair and approaching the pool. "Move aside Potter."

"You're gonna come in?" Harry grinned doing as he was told and allowing the older man into the water.

"I'm going to teach you how to swim so you're not an embarrassment to yourself, or more importantly, to me as I have to be seen with you," Snape sneered. "Now come here and place yourself in my hands—not like that Potter!"

"Heh, sorry," Harry sheepishly grinned as he righted his swimming trunks again and laid himself out on Snape's hands as he was instructed. "Just don't tickle me."

"Trust me, I'm saving that for later," Snape smirked. "Now just relax and allow yourself to float, imbecile."

"Your imbecile," Harry smirked back. His look faltered for a moment though when something flickered in the man's dark eyes at his words and his fingers twitched a little on Harry's back.

"Indeed," the man murmured. Clearing his throat Snape then began instructing Harry on the finer points of swimming, his smooth cadence drawing Harry's thoughts away from the glimmer and onto the lesson.

000

Bright morning light filtered in through his curtains, causing Harry to groan and try to bury under his covers. It was a bit strange actually, as he usually woke up before the dawn so he could get to work that much sooner.

"Wake up you lazy cretin," a dark voice sneered as a hard hand swatted him firmly on the arse. "We're going to be late."

Yelping Harry shot up and glared accusatorily at the man standing beside his bed. "What are you doing here? I thought I locked my door," he frowned.

"Wizard, remember Potter?" Snape drawled as he rolled his eyes to the ceiling beseechingly. "Would it kill you to use your mind once in a while?"

"Probably," Harry yawned. He looked Snape up and down for a moment before grabbing his hand and pulling him towards him. "Come into bed with me."

"Nuh uh uh Potter brat," Snape chided as he took his arm back. "As tempting as you look right now, and as delicious as I'm sure your morning breath is, we have plans today."

"No we don't," Harry pouted.

"We do now. We're going to market and getting some fresh produce for dinner tonight. Now get your lazy arse out of bed and take a shower so we can go," Snape ordered.

A devilish smile growing on his face Harry's eyes positively sparkled with mischief. "Only if you take one with me."

Sighing Snape knew arguing was a lost cause, and honestly there were worse battles to lose. "Why do I have a feeling we won't be out for at least a couple of hours?"

"Why Snape," Harry grinned with mock innocence. "I never knew you were an expert in divination."

"Oh boy."

As it turned out, the shopping trip had to be delayed for a day and all they had for dinner was whipped cream and strawberries, and a couple drizzles of chocolate sauce.

000

"Mmm, you were right Snape, this was worth it," Harry moaned as he took another bite of the delicious roasted veggies in front of him. "I never knew you could cook so well. Much better than room service, though I wouldn't say no to what we had last night either," he impishly grinned.

"We'll have to do that again before the week is over then," Snape replied as he tore a piece of chicken off the bone with his fingertips and held it out to Harry's mouth, who happily took the offering. "Your plane back home is in just a few short days is it not?"

Swallowing the food that suddenly felt nothing more than like a tasteless lump Harry nodded. "Oh yeah, I guess it is. This past week has just flown by." Nibbling his lip a little, he wondered how he was ever going to get used to not seeing Snape every day again...ever again, actually.

"What's wrong Potter, food not to your taste? You're looking mopey again," Snape commented.

"Just thinking about the huge stack of things that are probably on my desk by now," he easily lied. "Did I tell you they're promoting me to Head Auror?"

"Head Auror, really? How fascinating," Snape drawled. "I assumed you would be happy with all the work though."

"Oh...oh yeah, I guess I am. It'll keep me busy." And from thinking of you, he wanted to say but had not the courage. "Do you ever miss it, wizarding Britain?"

"What Englishman could ever say he did not miss his mother England?" Snape sighed. "But I have a new life now, and returning would be far too complicated for my tastes. Do you have any idea what I would have to go through if it was revealed I was really alive all this time?"

"You wouldn't get into any trouble with the law. They all know what you did and why," Harry frowned.

"I have you to thank for that I'm sure," Snape sneered. "Having the Head Auror on my side does come with distinct advantages though, I must admit," he smirked running his knee on the inside of Harry's thigh. "But it's not that that I worry about. It's all the praise and goodwill I would most likely receive, thanks for you. I told you Potter, I'm no hero."

"You're my hero," Harry smiled batting his eyelashes.

"And you have the worse lines I've ever heard," Snape scoffed.

"Oh, and if you were trying to pick up a bloke, what would you say?" Harry sniffed crossing his arms.

"Simple, all I'd need is one word," Snape wolfishly smirked. "'Now.'"

Harry was amazed to realise how well that line worked.

000

"I thought you hated frivolous activities Potter," Snape sneered.

"It's not frivolous if you're with people you...are currently shagging," Harry grinned. "Now come help me with the Lightning-Struck Tower."

"You want me to draw a Tarot card?" Snape frowned.

"Oh, sorry, that's just what I call it. I meant the Astronomy Tower," Harry mumbled digging in the sand.

"Oh, do you want me to make a little dead sand Dumbledore too?" Snape mocked. "Perhaps a little sand Dark Mark?"

"No need, we have yours," Harry continued blithely on. "Now stop being melodramatic and if you're too sensitive to do the tower make Hagrid's hut."

Pausing for just a fraction of a moment Snape got on his knees next to Harry started helping him make his sand castle replication of Hogwarts, starting with the Tower. However, he was only able to get it a few inches high before it all tumbled back down again.

"Potter! How the bloody hell do you keep your side from falling down?" he grumbled.

Harry smirked at him and gave him a sardonic eye roll. "Wizard, remember Snape? Would it kill you to use your mind once in a while?"

As it turned out, it was more deadly for the sand castle for Snape to use his mind, as well as Harry's face, which promptly met said castle.

000

"I look ridiculous."

"Well that goes without saying. Come on now Potter, it can't be that bad." A rustling of material as the curtain was drawn aside. "I stand corrected. You do look ridiculous."

"Gee. Thanks," Harry drawled in a deadpan.

"This wouldn't be happening if you had remembered to bring some nicer clothes," Snape snorted.

"The nicest clothes I've got are my red Auror robes," Harry grumbled pulling at the scratchy shirt he was currently trying on.

"Before this little vacation they were the only clothes you wore," Snape shook his head as he started circling around Harry inspecting the garish getup. "That bright blue would look better on the Weasley boy," he grimaced.

"We're not really boys any longer Snape," Harry laughed at the other man's serious expression.

"Too true," Snape smirked, slapping Harry on the bottom as he passed it.

"Hey!"

"You could try the green one. I told you it would bring out your eyes."

"Since when have you become a fashion guru? Maybe I should just wear all black."

"Sorry Potter, but that's my look," Snape haughtily sniffed causing Harry to laugh.

"Maybe I should just go in my knickers then," Harry grinned as he picked up a pastel pink dress shirt.

"Please. Do."

000

"See? What was all the fuss about? You look positively delicious in that green shirt," Snape purred as he and Harry walked towards the resort party.

"I try to avoid green things in my life," Harry said pulling a face.

"Then what are you doing consorting with a Slytherin?" Snape chuckled.

"I guess I'm dazzled by the sparkling silver," Harry smirked leaning against Snape's side as they approaching the music and dancing.

"I'd hardly call myself sparkling," Snape murmured.

"You're sparkling to me," Harry grinned. "Now dance with me!"

Laughing Harry pulled Snape's hands until they were in the middle of the dancing crowd, his bright smile bringing one to Snape's lips as well. The man looked amazing, Harry couldn't help but admire. He was no longer that pallid, yellowish colour but a rich, healthy tan; even his teeth were slightly better taken care of. The lank hair Harry was so used to being long and greasy was now shorter than his own and very pleasurable to run his fingers through, with a matching goatee to go with it.

And the black eyes, which had previously been empty and cold, were now full of life and vitality and an acceptance Harry could only hope to achieve. The smiles that came so easily to the man's thin lips only reminded Harry of how foreign the concept had become to him; he hardly ever had case to smile in his life, except recently. It seemed that Snape had given Harry new insight into life, and a new appreciation for the simpler things. Had it truly only been two weeks?

That thought brought Harry up short, though, and as the music entered into a slower song he sighed as he rested his head on Snape's shoulder.

"Problem Potter?"

"Can you believe these past two weeks have gone by so quickly? I'm leaving tomorrow you know..."

"Indeed I do. Back to working endless hours at the Ministry, ignoring your friends, avoiding everything healthy for you...sounds like fun," Snape drawled.

"We had fun though," Harry grinned, his mind going back to the night water fights on the beach, to lounging in the sun sipping fruity drinks, to the countless other frivolous activities they had performed during his vacation. Not to mention the mind-blowing bedroom activities.

"Perhaps the memories will serve as a reminder about how to live your life from now on," Snape commented, bringing his arms around to hold Harry close with one hand and run his fingers through the unruly hair with the other.

"Oh yes. Now I just have to find another ex-professor to enter into a relationship with. I wonder what Flitwick's up to," he playfully suggested.

"I do have to say something about that man," Snape smirked. "He is the perfect height."

"Dirty old man," Harry sighed with a slight smile on his lips. They danced in silence for the next few songs, each just basking in the body warmth and presence of the other, the last rays of the sun igniting the sky around them.

To Harry it was the perfect last night to a perfect vacation.

000

"It was a pleasure seeing you again Professor," Harry grinned as he stood outside his taxi.

"And you as well Mr Potter. Though I do suppose I'll have to find another tropical island to waste my time on. The last thing I need is Longbottom to find his way to me," Snape grimaced.

Pushing down the irrational stab of jealousy Harry just smirked. "Oh I'm sure. How many other Gryffindors have you seduced?"

"Just your mother," Snape said in a perfectly serious tone of voice.

"Ugh! Gross!" Harry grumbled shaking his head to dispel the image now residing there. "You truly are a sick, sick man."

"You're going to miss your plane Potter," Snape rolled his eyes. He helped Harry into the taxi, leaving his hand resting on the younger man's shoulder for a moment before stepping back and closing the door.

Harry watched the man step back onto the curb and then the car was moving, and as much as Harry wished to, he did not look back to watch the man fade into the distance.

000

000

The blaring of another car's horn again jerked Harry out of his memories, startling him so severely that he banged his head against the hard porcelain tub for a second time that night. Frowning he rubbed at the sore spot and stumbled up, growling at himself for acting so stupid.

Why had he allowed himself that time to reminisce? It wasn't like it could change anything. He had had two blissful weeks and that was that. He wasn't ever going to see that man again and that was that. It was stupid to ever think otherwise.

Just as it was stupid to fall in love with the man.

"You're so stupid Potter," he grumbled as he leaned against the wall. "How could you allow yourself to fall in love with Severus Snape? Just forget about him already!"

Just then, the doorbell rang, causing him to frown. Who could that be? Well, obviously it was Hermione and Ron. They were the only ones who knew when he would get back into town, being as they were the ones that made him take the damned vacation. Sighing he left the bathroom to head into the front room, not even bothering to draw his wand as he opened the door.

"Can't you just come back in the morning, I really don't want to deal with anything right now," he mumbled.

"All right then Potter, guess I'll just leave then."

Eyes widening Harry took in the tall, slim figure leaning against the doorframe, the barest hint of a smile on thin lips. Black eyes flicked up and down his length, taking in his slightly wet clothes, an appreciative light entering their dark depths. Harry could only stare.

"Taking a bath then Potter? Pity I have to leave, I so would have loved to join. Ah, perhaps another time then. Ta," the man breathed before pushing off the frame and turning to walk away.

"Severus, wait!"

Black eyes turned to stare back at him, a challenge ignited within, one that Harry was more than willing to accept.

A soft smile settling on his lips Harry opened the door a little wider. "Would…would you like to come in?"

"Why, I do believe I would. Harry."

And Harry realised, watching Severus's lips quirk up in a answering smile, that the world did change. And he would have it no other way. The door clicking closed behind them sent shivers up his spine. It was time for a new beginning.

0000000

Fin

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