Guuuuuuuuuys, I know you want them to remember and I'm already messing with the original plot just to speed things up a bit but please do keep in mind that the poor fellows DONT EVEN KNOW THEY ARE MISSING MEMORIES YET. They haven't even realized something is going on yet. That's changing now, though.
Sorry for the late update, I know I promised the chapter for the weekend. But something came up.
WARNING: If I have to put up warning for two guys kissing, I guess it's only fair I put up warning for heterosexual kissing as well :D We're going to visit Ron and Hermione's wedding, and they will be in love. :3
PS: You probably dont care but I did get my chocolate Easter bunny :3 Mom (age 62) delivered it a day later, jumping in my room, giving out bunny noises. It was the most adorable thing I have ever seen her do.
Secrets of Midnight
Severus woke up feeling a soft paw on his face and something sniffing in his ear. It took more than a minute to realize where he was and what was happening. And more importantly, in whose bed he was currently lying. Potter. His stomach clenched from the idea of that.
"Shh, leave him, Teddy," came the well-known voice as a mere whisper, which sent a shiver down Severus' whole body. The man assumed the wolf pup had turned back into his human form again, as now it was the soft child hands that kneaded his cheek.
"He's spiky." The boy chuckled, while his other hand was playing with Severus' black hair. "But he's soft here."
Severus could hear Potter's light laugh. "Come Teddy, don't wake him."
There was a child on his face Severus thought, he shouldn't feel this content.
"I won't." Teddy answered, clumsy hands all over Severus' arm and shoulder as the boy tried to climb over him to see his face. "He's sleeping." He whispered right into Severus' face, the childish voice making the man smile.
"Is he really?" Severus murmured back with that soft smile still on his face. He opened his eyes just to see bright blue eyes staring wide open at him. Then Teddy let out a loud squeak and tried to retreat but Severus grabbed him to hold him gently down where he was, while quickly drawing his wand from under the pillow. He whispered a Levitating Spell and suddenly Teddy was hanging upside down in the air squealing and giggling and laughing loudly.
"Uncle Hally! Uncle Hally!" The boy shouted for help between fits of laughter but it never arrived.
"That's your mess." Potter laughed with a shrug. "I told you not to wake him." He looked at Severus, his gaze warmer than the morning sunshine. "Good Morning."
"Good Morning to you as well." Severus couldn't help but smile at the young man, who offered him his bed in the middle of the night. "Shall I feel special, or do you wake every guest like this around here?" He flicked his wand, while giving a sly grin to the boy up in the air. Teddy started swaying closer to the ceiling than to the ground, his loud, cheerful giggles echoing all around the house.
"You're special all right, but when you have an almost three year old around, it's not really a surprise to wake up like this." Potter laughed, leaning back on his elbows, watching the boy above them. "I'm just surprised he didn't lick you."
"He wouldn't dare." Severus remarked in a low voice then lowered the child onto the blanket he had been sharing with Potter before.
"I made you something." Teddy giggled as his small legs touched the ground again. He climbed to the end of the bed and came back with a piece of paper. He scrambled back in between Severus and Potter, then he dropped his head onto the older man's shoulder. The soft light-brown, almost blonde curly hair tickled Severus' neck.
He looked down on the paper. There were two stick men on it, but it was barely recognizable that they were even people. But no matter how hard Severus tried he couldn't figure out what the yellow and grey strings around them were.
"Who are these people, Teddy?" Harry asked, leaning closer, his magic once again, brushing up against Severus, much more fervently than during any previous occasions. What happened between them in the other room yesterday? His contemplation was disturbed by the little boy's answer.
"Uncle Hally and Uncle Seeus." The boy said quietly, his head still resting on Severus. When did he make it into uncle? And why?
Severus pointed at the lines around the two stick figures. "And what is this?" He asked but the boy didn't answer to him. Why did it seem important? It was just a drawing from a child. Why was it still so familiar, yet not at all recognizable? "Teddy, what are these lines around Uncle Harry and... Uncle Seeus?"
Teddy giggled again but Severus was so full of anticipation for the answer, he didn't even dare take a breath.
"Magic." The boy laughed and pressed a sloppy kiss on Severus' cheek, smearing saliva all over him.
Severus turned towards Potter who was watching the drawing with a frown on his face. The warm sensation that burned inside him forced his eyes wide open and it took him a second to realize that something warm was indeed pressed to his chest.
The ring was burning hot against his skin, yet its touch wasn't painful.
Severus stood in the kitchen with a huge mug of delicious black coffee in his hand. He couldn't stop his fingers, which relentlessly moved over his chest and stomach, enjoying the touch of the silk shirt on his skin.
Potter's silk shirt, to be precise. The younger man had taken his blood stained one and given him this without even the slightest pause. He spent the night in Potter's house, in Potter's bed and now he was wearing his shirt. This shouldn't have felt so acceptable, given this so called friendship had only been established for a day. Yet it did, and more than acceptable, Severus thought. It felt right.
He heard the front door open and then close quietly. He suspected who it would be, but still reached for his wand; old habits die hard, especially when you had to serve a lunatic for almost two decades.
"Severus!" Remus Lupin cried in surprise when stepping into the kitchen, he noticed him.
"Lupin." Severus reacted with cold politeness in his voice. He did spend the previous day with this man's child, being polite was the least he could do. But maybe there was something else as well.
"What... what are you doing here this early?" The werewolf asked, pouring some coffee for himself. He seemed very weak and pale, but that did not surprise anyone, who had knowledge about his condition.
"I needed a book." Severus answered shortly.
"That was yesterday." Remus smiled knowingly. "He's my husband, did you honestly think he wouldn't mention something like you showing up after five years of silence?"
"It's good to know that Black is still unable to shut his mouth." Severus remarked bitterly.
Lupin just laughed at that. "So what brings you here this early in the morning?" He asked again with a slightly sharp edge in his voice.
Severus smirked at his old enemy. "I never left."
Lupin's eyes widened slightly, no one would have noticed, it almost eluded even Severus, except he was expecting that reaction. The blue eyes, just as Teddy's, bright and intelligent, racked his body up and down.
"Wait...isn't that Harry's shirt?" The werewolf asked slowly, head tilted to the right. At that second, Severus knew exactly what crazy thought appeared behind those blue eyes. Yes, Remus Lupin, his childhood nemesis was thinking about Severus Snape fucking the famous Harry Potter.
Severus had to admit, he liked the thought very much indeed. He raised his eyebrow and let the tip of his mouth curve up just a bit. He was enjoying the situation more than he should, but at the same time, he did not have any wish to renew his enmity with the most important people in Potter's life.
"I was brewing a potion for Potter. After it was ready, your son turned ill and I was concerned about... his wellbeing. Dragon Pox isn't unusual at his age, and Potter had informed me that he is not an expert in making the antidote for it, while I myself had prepared it several times." Severus explained, looking out the window.
"That doesn't explain why you have his shirt on right now." Lupin answered.
Severus looked at the man and was surprised to see no disgust or contempt in the kind eyes.
"Teddy had a little bit of accident with magic." Potter walked in too with the boy in his arms and the miniature lion at his feet. "He made a lion."
"He what?" Lupin exclaimed.
"Made a lion out of a plush toy. It then scratched him. That's why Snape needed a new shirt. His is a bit bloody." Potter explained. "But don't worry, he's okay now and they became friends during the night." He added hastily.
"Daddy!" Teddy squealed happily, trying to jump out of Potter's arm to get to his father. Lupin took the child and kissed him.
"Hello pup. Did you really make a lion?"
"Aham. Look!" The boy motioned towards the ground where the mini animal was lying lazily.
"Dear Merlin." The werewolf breathed amazed, looking first at Potter then at Severus, his gaze filled with astonishment. "I don't know what to say."
"Let's start with a thank you to Snape." Potter noted conversationally. "He made them friends. And helped me with him all yesterday."
"Oh really?" Lupin grinned and looked at Severus, who tried to act nonchalantly and just tipped his head slightly. "Well in that case, thank you, Severus."
"I was expecting Sirius. What happened to him?" Potter asked.
To Severus' surprise, Lupin blushed lightly, before pressing the little boy to his shoulder and covering his ear with his hand. "Me." He confessed when he was sure his son could no longer listen in the conversation. "He's a bit tired at the moment."
"Okay," Potter groaned, "I see." He shook his head then he added. "So, see you at the wedding, then?"
"Yes. I don't know when we can make it there though, probably just around one. Sirius needs some rest"
"I'll be there in about..." Potter looked at his watch. "... an hour. What about you, Snape?" Severus snapped up his head upon hearing his name and blinked at Potter.
"Excuse me?" He drawled.
"When will you come to the wedding? It starts at two. We will be there sooner, helping Molly and the others out. But of course you don't have to be there that early."
"And what exactly makes you think I will even appear?"
"Well, you did make a promise to a little boy, did you not?" Potter grinned shamelessly.
"Well Severus, it's not nice to break a promise like that..." Lupin smiled too, before he could protest.
"We shall see." He assented reluctantly. He had no intention to go to the wedding, neither did he want to break a promise he made to a small boy.
"Alright, we need to go." Lupin said, waving with his free hand then turned around.
"Lupin?" Severus called after him, deliberately ignoring Potter's head that turned towards him. "You're not taking the Wolfsbane Potion, are you?" The almost relaxed atmosphere in the kitchen cooled down with several degrees.
"No one can make it." The werewolf answered distantly. "Harry is the best potionist in the family and he's working hard to produce a working one but even he can't make it."
"I understand that I'm not family, but you should have just asked." Severus murmured feeling a bit fed up with idiots. He considered the other man for a moment then took a notebook from the counter and wrote down his address. He held it out to Lupin. "I expect you to collect the first portion a week before the next full moon." He instructed.
Lupin stared at him, frowning. "Why would you do that?" He asked in a low voice, almost as a whisper.
Severus looked at Potter for a second then snapped his eyes at the little boy fidgeting in his father's arms. "Because no boy should be afraid of his father." He answered softly.
After walking his godson and Remus out of the door, Harry went back to the kitchen with the mail in his hands. Snape was still holding on to the mug of coffee, though Harry was sure it hadgone cold a long time ago. Seeing his own shirt on the man sent a warm sensation through his body from the first moment he had seen him in it and it did not change even later on. His previous urge to kiss the man renewed yet again. How many times was it already? When they woke up next to each other, when Snape prepared coffee for both of them, when the man offered help with the Wolfsbane Potion and now. Given they had been up for only about twenty minutes, Harry started suspecting that he had developed a new obsession.
He paged through the letters absentmindedly. He dropped the first two on the table, they were just the monthly report from Gringotts and the Ministry. The third one was from Hagrid, who was spending more and more time in France with Olympe. He smiled and placed the postcard on the cupboard, next to the other ones. The last one didn't have any sender, nothing indicated where it came from. It was just a simple white envelope. Harry closed his eyes and swept his palm a few inches over the paper, searching for harmful charms, but he did not find any, so he tore the envelope open.
His eyes roamed the content of the letter that fell out, skimming the words in a fast pace.
"What?" Snape queried hastily stepping closer, when he noticed how Harry suddenly paled. The younger man thrust the letter into the other's hand as if it was contagious.
Snape read it too, murmuring under his breath. He looked up at Harry when he finished and groaned frustrated, "Fuck."
All of a sudden, Harry forgot the letter and basically everything else too, while that one word echoed in his mind. "Did you just say fuck?"
"Don't be that surprised," Snape sneered, rolling his eyes.
"I am." Harry reacted honestly.
Snape blinked exasperatedly. "Fuck." He repeated. "Fuck." He said again, stepping closer to Harry, who was staring at him incredulously and aroused. "Fuck. Fuck. Fuck." With every word, he came closer to the younger man. "Fuck." He whispered, leaning to the Gryffindor's ear.
"Me-" Harry moaned harshly and hoped he didn't say it out loud. Judging however, by Snape's quirked eyebrow and the way he stepped back hurriedly Harry assumed he did say it aloud. "Khm... meanwhile..." he corrected himself, trying to save his dignity, "I assume something must be done about this." He tapped the letter in Snape's hand.
He stepped away from the Slytherin and waved his hand. Two glasses and a bottle of Firewhiskey appeared on the table.
"Potter, it's only eight in the morning." Snape remarked,
"Yes." Harry nodded before he downed a half glass of whiskey. "And someone just told me, in details, how they want to murder me."
"Drinking yourself to stupor is still probably not the best way to handle the situation." Snape sneered. "I thought you would be accustomed to such letters by now."
"That's the thing." Harry looked up and emptied his glass. "I never had to deal with this kind of stuff."
"You never received any threats after you killed the Dark Lord?" Snape asked disbelievingly.
"Of course I did." The young man scoffed. "I ended the bloody... man. But I never personally dealt with it. The Ministry does. All the threats considering the Phoenixes go to them. Even yours. Minerva made sure of that."
"Are you telling me you never actually read any of those threats?"
"I read a few, but that's not my point. This place is still under the Fidelius Charm. You can't send an owl here, unless you know exactly where you have to send that bird. See where I'm going?"
"They know where you live." Snape nodded.
"They know exactly where I live. They can walk through the original wards."
"Please tell me you have other wards drawn around the place." Snape groaned as he pinched the bridge of his nose.
"Of course I do! Wait a second, didn't you feel them, when you came through?"
"Well I sensed them, but they were not warnings."
"Wh... But how is that even possible? They are still up, I can feel them." A revelation hit Harry like a hammer. Something was going on here. The threat was long gone from his list of priorities.
"I think you have a bigger problem than my person." Snape noted with a sigh.
"I might have made a mistake." Harry murmured mostly to himself, looking around, hoping that his wards might give him a sign.
"Because your wards let me come through?" Snape snapped, and Harry looked back at the man, suspecting why the smooth, dark voice turned suddenly distant and cold.
"Well... yes." Harry acknowledged but before he could explain further Snape interrupted him angrily.
"You should have noted I am an unwanted guest here, Potter. Believe it or not, I have better things to do with my life than waste it on babysitting a child, not to mention spending any more time in your illustrious company. I did not want to be here." Snape spat sneering, turning around with a swift motion and marching towards the door. His voice cut like a sharp blade.
"That's a lie." Harry said quietly, his own tone the exact opposite of the older man's, shaking and uncertain.
Snape spun around. "A lie, is it now? Did you think that this was what I secretly dreamt about all these years? To spend my days longing after the friendship of the famous Harry Potter? To watch over the spawn of the two men who made my childhood a living hell? Keep your fucking book, Potter, because I'd rather deal with that imbecile Oblansk, even if he does not speak English, than to remain in your debt once more in my life."
"For the love of Magic, don't you realise what's going on?" Harry shouted at the man.
"Oh I do." Snape sneered. "For the great Harry Potter, I am no more than a puny mortal, not even significant enough to be welcomed in his home." The Potions Master turned around again and headed towards the door with resolute steps.
"You bloody idiot!" Harry groaned exasperated. "Don't you see? My wards are treating you as family!"
Snape stopped dead in his track. The silence in the kitchen was almost tangible.
"Repeat that." Snape said softly.
"If anyone tries to step through the wards, they send me a... a sign. If I want the person inside, I can key them into the wards, temporarily or permanently. If I don't, I just don't do anything and the wards will take care of the person. Sirius, Remus, Teddy, Hermione, and the Weasleys. They are permanently keyed into the wards."
"How did I get keyed into your wards?"
"Snape c'mon, you're supposed to be the intelligent one here!" Harry moaned, driving a hand through his hair. The other man turned back slowly and his black eyes stared intently at Harry.
He was deep in his thoughts for a second then Harry could almost see the exact second when the thought click in place.
"You didn't get a signal when I stepped through." He said and there was no doubt in the deep voice.
"Exactly." Harry nodded. "There is only one person, who can come and go through the wards which then don't send the warning sign. And that's me. All the other times, even if it's just Ron jumping in to grab a bite while I'm not home, I know about it."
"Maybe you were surprised when you saw me and you did not notice." Snape argued stepping closer, but Harry could hear he wasn't convinced that would be the case.
"You know it doesn't work like that. You feel it. I can't explain how, but you do. It's like a pinch, or a caress. There's no way I would miss out on it, no matter how shocked I am. Not to mention I still don't feel you in my house."
"You don't feel me?" Snape asked with a raised eyebrow.
"This house... it's... how should I say it... It's interlaced with my magic. I worked on it for five years and I used both normal and magical ways to clean it. I know if there are other people in the house, I know where they are exactly, in what corner of what room. I don't feel you. You walk freely. Does that make sense?"
"You explanation does, what is happening does not." Snape sighed. "Why did you not mention this before?"
"I did not even realize it until I had the letter in my hand. At first, I thought the wards are wrong and that's why you could walk in like that. But they are not, they are functioning perfectly."
"They must be wrong, Potter."
"Unless..." Harry started hesitantly.
"No. That's impossible." Snape retorted immediately.
"How, would be a better question. How would it possible for me to have your magical signature?" Snape asked.
"It is possible." Harry stated not liking where this was going.
"Potter, there are two ways for that to happen. One is to be linked to each other, as in magically, and I am quite certain that is not our case, as I believe I would remember consummating any bond, marriage or union with you. The second option is blood relation."
Harry's insides froze with that last sentence. He took a deep breath. "That can't... You didn't... You and..." Terror gripped into his heart and he couldn't finish the sentence.
Snape stared at him incredulously. "Do not even ask me the question you are thinking of right now."
"You can't be my father, right?"
"Oh for Merlin's sake, are you fucking kidding me?!" Snape shouted and rubbed his eyes as if he was trying to get the image out of his mind. "How can you even ask that?!"
"Answer me, Snape, can you or can you not?!"
"Bloody hell, Potter do you realize that the thought itself causes me almost permanent impotency? Didn't I tell you I was gay?"
"Accidents happen," Harry snapped, feeling like his blood was boiling. It couldn't be, not Snape. Not the only man he was attracted to. Panic clenched his guts and clouded his logic. "Please, just say it!"
"Potter, as a child you were the spitting image of your father, of James Bloody Potter! Do you think that was, what, a coincidence?" Snape shouted then grabbed the collar of Harry's shirt and pulled him closer. "I'm attracted to men and men only. I could never even get hard enough to fuck a woman, not to mention, I have never wanted more than friendship from Lily Evans. I most certainly did not have sex with your mother, Potter. We are not blood related."
Harry dropped his head, letting his chin rest on Snape's firmly seizing fist. The relief that washed over him, made him suddenly dizzy, the sick feeling in the pit of his stomach slowly dissipating. His panicked thoughts swirled in his mind, not making any sense at all.
"And I even have proof of that." Snape noted softly now. "If I had your blood in me, Albus wouldn't have sent you to live with your uncle and aunt; you would have stayed with me. Now answer me, where did this idiocy come from, Potter?"
"I don't know," sighed the younger man. He shook his head to gather his thoughts back in an orderly fashion. Snape let go of him. "I just hate not knowing. Being in the dark. This doesn't make any sense, Snape, and I hate that I don't know what's going on."
"Like seeing only a few pieces of a puzzle. It's not just that you do not have all the pieces or cannot fit those you have together, but you cannot even see the picture you need to create. Frustrating, I know."
"It feels like back then. It feels like once again, I'm part of this... bigger picture. And this scares me, Snape, because the last time we both had to die to get all the pieces to fit together."
"You won't die, Potter." Snape said determined.
Bitter laugh broke out from Harry's throat. "Yeah, and what about you?" Harry queried looking into the obsidian eyes. "Can you promise me that you won't do anything stupid to save me? Can you promise me this won't end like last time?"
"We both survived last time." The older man remarked quietly.
"We both died last time." Harry corrected. "I doubt we would have another chance to choose between staying and moving on."
"Potter, you cannot know how this will end. Don't panic about something you're not even sure about yet."
"I'm sure something is going on, I just don't know what. Don't you see the signs?"
"What signs, Potter? All I see is that there's something wrong with your wards. That is all."
"You're lying again. This is my bloody job, Snape. To spot things that are weird, that do not fit. You moving unnoticed across my wards does not fit. You knowing about the cinnamon does not fit. Your mark almost completely fading does not fit."
"What cinnamon, what are you talking about?"
"The cinnamon in the coffee. There is no way you could have known about this. Small things like this, don't you see it, Snape, that's what makes the difference."
"I am glad you finally realized the importance of the details." Snape commented sarcastically. "Care to elaborate on them now?"
"No one knows I put cinnamon in my coffee when I'm upset. No one; not one single person. That's a fact. You seem like you do." Harry stated, with a questioning gaze. He wanted explanation but he knew no one could give it to them.
"I was not even looking at what I was doing back then, Potter, I was indescribably frustrated at the moment."
"Even worse," Harry laughed. "You instinctively put the cinnamon in the coffee, Snape."
"And why would I have instincts about your coffee drinking habits?"
"I think we're finally asking the right questions." Harry sighed, looking at his clock. "Oh Merlin, it's almost nine. I have to go." He took the Healing Potions of the Mythical North from the middle of the table where they had left it yesterday after lunch. It seemed like the morning Snape appeared on his doorstep had happened months ago. "Don't forget this."
They walked to the door quietly, both of them deep in their thoughts about the previous conversation. Snape opened the front door and after a moment of hesitation walked through it. The endless, questioning black eyes met Harry's gaze, who just shook his head.
"Still nothing." Harry laughed without the slightest happiness in his voice. "Not even a tiny twitch."
The Potions Master nodded and turned around and stepped on the upper stair.
"Promise me." Harry called after him.
"What?" Snape stopped, but he didn't look at Harry.
"That you won't do anything stupid to protect me again."
"You seem to forget who the reckless Gryffindor is here, Potter." Snape answer with his back still on Harry.
"You died in my arms, Snape, I'm not likely to ever forget that." Harry murmured but knew Snape heard him, because the older man's shoulders tensed suddenly. "Promise me you won't do anything stupid like that again."
"I promise." Snape said, staring firmly at the small park next to Grimmauld Place.
"Why do you think you can lie to me?" Harry asked somewhat hurt. His voice remained calm but firm as he went on. "Don't you fucking lie to me again. Not you."
"Who do you think you are, to make a demand like that, Potter?" Snape queried in a low tone, but finally looked at Harry.
"Your equal, Snape." Harry answered simply. He was tired and confused and he hated feeling like this.
Obsidian eyes were buried into his. Snape's intense gaze burned his mind, like the ring on his chest burned his skin. Harry held the intent look. "I promise." Snape said finally.
"Don't forget, two o'clock." Harry nodded, letting a small smile appear on his lips finally.
"What are you going to do against the threat?"
"It should be okay," Harry shrugged." The writer of that letter paints a very vivid picture, but there's no need to panic, right? My wards are still up." A green wall of magic flared up between them for a second, as if to indicate its presence. "See you then."
"Stop looking around, Harry! You're making me nervous now." Hermione cried, slapping his arm. "He will show up."
"It's already past six, he's not coming." Harry groaned disappointed. "That bastard. He promised. To Teddy I mean." He added quickly.
"Of course we're only waiting for him because Teddy wants to see him, right?" Hermione smiled evilly.
"Well, of course." Harry affirmed a bit too quickly. "Let's sit down. I can't take this anymore."
They walked to the main round table and sat down, Harry on one side, Ron, and Hermione on the other. Harry took a moment and looked at his newlywed friends. Hermione was absolutely stunning in her white dress, while Ron was wearing beige wizard robes with beautiful golden and maroon sequins and pearls around the edges. Harry couldn't decide if it was the lightning in the tent but the two seemed almost radiant as they looked at each other. Hermione cupped Ron's chin and pulled him closer. The young man grinned then kissed her tenderly.
She leaned away, eyes still closed and Ron pressed one more soft kiss on her lips. Hermione smiled at her husband then looked back at Harry and blushed upon noticing his gaze.
"You two are beautiful." Harry smiled at them. "Absolutely amazing. I'm just so happy for you."
"Thanks mate." Ron grinned. "Can you believe my luck, though? She's clever, she's pretty, she can cook and she's also my best friend." Ron took Hermione's left hand in his; their matching wedding rings glinted. "I just love her so much."
Hermione laughed but leaned closer to Ron and whispered something in his ears that made the redhead blush madly.
"Hermione..." Ron murmured. "Don't do this to me, we still have to be here for hours!"
"You know, little brother..."
"We still don't understand..."
"Why a smart witch..."
"Would marry you of all people..." The twins arrived, clapping their brother on the shoulder, before sitting down as well. They were slightly sweaty from dancing and grasped quickly onto a bottle of beer. They grinned as they said, "Cheers!" and clinked their bottles to Harry's glass of Firewhiskey.
"Well you know how they say love makes you do crazy things." Harry noted and was rewarded with a kick under the table, whether from Hermione or from Ron remained unknown.
"Speaking of which..." Hermione spoke suddenly, looking at something behind Harry. "He couldn't leave the swishing cloak, could he?" She smiled.
Harry looked behind him but still heard as Ron commented giggling, "Holy smoking gargoyle shit, not for nothing Harry, but even I would give him a try if I swung that way."
He turned to his best friend so fast, his neck cracked. "Shut it, Ron. You just got married. Behave yourself." He pushed himself up from the chair before he added. "And besides, I don't know what you're talking about."
Harry gave Hermione one last desperate glance, fixed his tie and turned around to welcome Snape.
The older man eyed Harry as they walked towards each other and Harry couldn't help but do the same. Snape looked exquisite as the dark blue, silk-like cloak billowed behind him like liquid darkness. It covered an elegant three-piece muggle suit that consisted of a white shirt, a black waistcoat, which was embroidered with even darker motives and an also black coat with two silver buttons. Snape wasn't wearing a tie, but a royal blue cravat was tied under the collar of the shirt around his neck, and Harry wondered if it was to hide the scars on the white skin. His black pants fitted perfectly around the longs legs, and Harry couldn't help but want to see Snape from behind and without the cloak to observe how it fit on the firm backside. Harry was torn between watching adoringly the outfit and wanting to rip it off from the man.
"Hello Snape." He pressed out the moment they were close enough.
"Good Evening, Potter."
"I'm glad you could make it. Teddy will be delighted." Harry smiled. Teddy wouldn't be the only one feeling happy at the man's arrival. "He's around somewhere dancing, probably with 'Enne."
"'Enne?" Snape looked back at him, with a raised eyebrow.
"Fabienne. She's a Weasley too. Bill and Fleur's daughter." Harry informed him, slightly surprised that the man even cared. "Please join us, the table's right this way."
Harry motioned towards their main table and they set off. They walked silently next to each other a couple of steps, but then Snape seemed to freeze. Harry searched the room for what startled the man and spotted Head Auror Gawain Robards looking straight at them.
"Potter that man over there... Is he not the one you stunned in my ward five years ago?" Snape asked slowly.
Harry laughed. "Yes, that's the one. He's my boss now." Snape gave him an incredulous look. "I know, believe me. He's a sadistic fucker. The only reason I'm still an Auror is that our team has the best rates in CIC and that were he to fire me, not just the media but the rest of the Aurors would be very upset too."
"And why is that? What is CIC?" Snape asked as they arrived to the table. Ron stood up to welcome his ex-professor and answer the question while at it.
"CIC stands for Captured and Imprisoned Criminals. In many cases, the Wizengamot can't send the bastards to Azkaban because of lack of evidence or other crap. In other words, everyone knows they did it but they get out for some reason." Ron held out a hand, which was immediately accepted by Snape.
"Mr. Weasley, congratulations on your wedding." The Potions Master nodded.
"Thank you, Sir." Ron grinned. "And as for why the other teams would be upset... Well, Harry here is the best curse-breaker in the whole freaking department. And he's brilliant with potions too. The Aurors would have lost many people if Harry hadn't been there. You know, your team is your family out there, Sir. You wouldn't want to lose your family in action and the Aurors realize that having Harry among them is vital to that." The redhead looked at Harry apologetically now. "Sorry mate, I know you hate him, but we had to invite him."
"I know, Ron, no worries. I can deal with him." Harry laughed.
Hermione stood up too, shyly smiling at Snape. "I'm glad you could make it, Sir. Honestly, I was surprised when Harry mentioned you might come after all."
"You look absolutely beautiful, Mrs. Weasley." Snape commented as he bowed his head slightly towards Hermione and Harry realized with a tiny bit of envy in his heart that Snape was treating her warmly, as if they had been friends for years. "I must apologize for my delay. St. Mungo's need for the potion I contacted Mister Potter about became very urging during the forenoon. I had to produce it as soon as possible, hence my unpunctuality."
"It's alright, Sir." The bride smiled, "As I said, I'm just happy you could come. And please Sir, call me Hermione; Mrs. Weasley sounds as if you were talking to Molly." She added bashfully.
Snape smiled at her, which made her blush lightly. "Thank you for your invitation, Hermione, and congratulation to your wedding. Surprising as it may seem, you do not appear to be under Amortentia or any other love potions, so I assume you do love Mr. Weasley." He held out his palm and Hermione slid his fingers in it. Snape took them to his lips and placed a soft kiss on the back of her hand. Harry heard his own surprised gasp and Ron's jealous growl simultaneously. "My offer still stands; let me know if I can help you."
Hermione seemed to have blushed a deeper red as Snape let go of her hand. "I do love him, yes. And I think I won't be needing your help after all." She smiled at him enigmatically.
"Is he flirting with my wife?" Ron asked suddenly, looking at Harry who watched the scene wide eyed. "Are you flirting with my wife?" He queried again, this time from Snape, who raised an eyebrow in response.
"Don't be daft, Ron. Professor Snape is not flirting with me." She laughed.
"Hermione, I am not your professor anymore and I have been sending you flowers for five years now, I believe it is high time you start calling me Severus."
"I don't bloody believe it," Ron cried and looked at his brothers, who were still sitting at the table. "Did you see that? The git is fucking hitting on my wife!" He said outraged but there was something comical in it, as if even he didn't believe a word he had just said.
Harry laughed, feeling awkward, as suddenly he just remembered Snape's sentence from the previous night. 'I could never even get hard enough to fuck a woman...' What was going on between Hermione and Snape? And why was she suddenly be allowed to call him Severus? And more importantly, why wasn't Harry?
Snape shook hands with the twins then they sat down and Harry was pleased to notice that even though there were several empty seats around the table, Snape chose the one right next to Harry. Ron eyed Snape suspiciously, as if the man could jump up any time and steal his wife but nothing of sort happened. Though Snape's attention was focused on the bride, they were only discussing Hermione's work on the new legislation about half-breeds. Snape seemed to find it remarkable and complimented her on it several times. Harry meanwhile was chatting with the others, having some doubts about these magically refilling goblets they ordered for the wedding being a good idea.
Who knew how many glasses of Firewhiskey later, his leg brushed against Snape's idly. The man, who by that time had consumed ample amounts of whiskey himself, did not seem to notice it. Harry shifted slightly and this time their legs bumped against each other more firmly. Snape looked at him questioningly and Harry leaned closer so that no one would hear them.
"What's going on between you and Hermione?" He asked, feeling much bolder now that he had drunk a bottle of whiskey, or at least it felt like that was the case.
"Nothing at all." Snape answered, his lips twitching.
"Then how come she's calling you Severus now?" Snape's eyes closed for a second and he took a deep breath.
"As I said earlier, I have been sending her flowers for years."
"Are you having an affair with her?" Harry asked suddenly, knowing that even if that were the case, which was impossible, Snape would deny it.
"Mister Potter, you seem to be having serious doubts about my sexuality." Snape raised an eyebrow, smirking lightly. "How should I prove to you that I am indeed homosexual?"
Harry had several ideas about that, all of them ending with Snape having his cock up in Harry's ass. He cleared his throat, trying to stay composed. "I'm sorry. You could never get hard enough to fuck a woman, was it?" Harry quoted back.
"Indeed." Snape smirked. "I am surprised you are upset that I have been pleasant with your friends."
Harry wasn't upset Snape was nice with the others, he was upset the others were granted privileges he wasn't.
"Can I call you Severus too?" He asked quietly and Snape closed his eyes again. When Harry next saw the obsidian orbs, they seemed darker.
"Absolutely not, Mister Potter," was the answer.
"Why? I do not remember ever receiving a single flower from you." Snape reasoned and Harry could note the hint of mirth in his tone.
"But you did sleep in my bed. Right next to me." Harry argued.
"And isn't that true." Snape laughed lightly. "I have slept in the same bed with many people, Mister Potter. That is an act, which does not grant you any right to call me by my given name. I am afraid that privilege requires a more strenuous activity executed between the sheets."
Harry knew he was staring at the man with his mouth hanging open.
"However do not worry, Mister Potter." Snape's eyes seemed to be stuck on Harry's lips for a second, but then he looked away. "There are other means for you to acquire that right. Voldemort called me Severus and I assure you, I neither had sex with him nor did we send flowers to each other."
Harry burst out laughing at the mental image of Voldemort picking flowers for Snape on a great field. Snape looked back at him and smiled, then emptied his glass.
"You two seem cosy over there." Fred spoke with a lopsided grin.
"Care to tell what's so funny?" George added.
Harry just shook his head and giggled some more. The conversion went on but Harry listened only with one ear. He was still smiling though, as their legs were still touching under the table.
"I can't wait to open the wedding gifts." Ron said cheerfully. "We're going to get a lot of Muggle stuff because of Hermione's relatives and I can't wait to try them out."
"Oh right, I almost forgot." Snape spoke suddenly. He drew his black wand and tapped it to his outstretched palm. As he slowly pulled the wand away from his hand, it seemed to create a circle of waving magic about an inch above his skin.
The single white rose that emerged from the magical ring as his wand rose higher and higher looked very lush and animate, it seemed as if it were vibrating with life itself. Harry stared at the flower mesmerized, taking in the bright white petals and the dark green leaves that shined with energy.
Snape held the rose towards Hermione, who gazed at it amazed. "You finally figured it out then." She smiled at the dark man.
"A white rose? Really?" Snape asked back surprised but pleased. "That's not why I chose this, however. While red roses represent more like passion and love, a white rose shows you true love. They have many magical qualities and are often used to represent bonded couples. This one here is magical too; I charmed it." Snape looked at Ron for a second then his gaze snapped back at the bride, who meanwhile took the rose carefully in her hand. "As long as you two love each other, it will keep blooming and never fade away."
The dead silence around the table was deafening. Everyone stared wide-eyed at Snape, who seemed suddenly worried.
"If you do not like it..." He started but Hermione interrupted him right away.
"No! That's not it!" She pulled the rose closer to her and Ron, as if afraid Snape might take it back. "It's just..." She faltered and looked at her husband for help.
"Well we have never..." Ron shook his head, he couldn't finish the sentence either.
"We've never realized..." Fred chimed in, staring at the white rose too, and uncharacteristically nervous enough not to say whatever was on his mind.
"What these coward chickens are trying to say is," George spoke loudly, "that we've never realized what a fucking romantic you are."
Laughter broke out around the table and even Snape smiled at that. Hermione tried to give George a slap on the head, but he evaded it.
"Honestly Hermione, don't tell me you didn't expect a deadly potion that says 'If you need a way out' or something instead of the enchanted white rose of True Love. This isn't a gift you would expect from Professor Snape!" George argued.
"He's right, 'Mione." Ron nodded. "I thought it was going to be something slimy and weird." Ron added looking apologetically at Snape.
Hermione did slap his husband on the back of his head, who only giggled and kissed her. "I love it, Severus, it's absolutely beautiful." She said then beaming at Snape.
"Now that the reputation I have built for sixteen years has been utterly demolished," Snape spoke reluctantly, "I feel a little addition would not do any more harm. The rose does not have the usual scent."
Ron sniffed it and grinned at Hermione.
"Yes, Mr. Weasley is right. The rose, much like love potions, smells differently to everyone, depending whom their love is."
Harry wondered for a second if it would smell like Snape for him. "Have you sniffed it?" He asked the older man, while the others were busy with admiring the flower.
Snape looked at him for a second, a dark glint in his eyes. "I would not dare."
"Why?" Harry asked quietly, feeling drawn towards those black eyes. The alcohol in his system made him feel suddenly dizzy.
"What if I don't even recognize the scent? Or even worse, what if I do?" Snape asked back and Harry found himself facing the same question he asked himself a second ago.
He stood up and held a hand towards the older man, not noticing that the table quieted around them. "Dance with me?" He asked with hammering heart and his voice sounded like begging to his ear.
Severus realized he had been playing a hazardous game all night, but this was something he would not have expected even in his deepest, darkest dream. He gazed at the long fingers that stretched towards him invitingly for some time that felt like hours, however couldn't have been more than mere seconds.
When he finally slipped his fingers in the other man's hand, Potter let out a heavy sigh and smiled, pulling him up then towards the dance floor outside the tent.
"That's Dean Thomas' band." Potter said conversationally. They walked to a spot that was several feet from the other dancers and darker too, as the candles floated over the crowd only. Severus found himself overly aware of Potter's soft touch on the tip of his fingers as the younger man guided him on the grass; he wanted to blame the whiskey he irresponsibly consumed, but knew somewhere deep that were he completely sober, his awareness wouldn't change. "Do you remember him?" Potter asked then, stopping and turning towards Severus.
"Or course." Severus answered, aiming for the nonchalant tone as well. "Your year, also Gryffindor. Average in Potions."
Potter stepped closer and Severus' heartbeat became noticeable faster. What was happening? And wasn't he doing something to prevent it?
"Harry!" Lupin shouted walking towards them with Teddy in his arms. The boy seemed exhausted and almost asleep. "Glad we could catch you." He seemed to notice their entwined fingers but smiled. "I'm sorry for interrupting. We're about to head out. Sirius is still tired and well... Teddy's not in any better shape." He laughed, nudging the little boy, who hearing his own name, looked up sleepily from his father's shoulder.
"Uncle Hally! Uncle Seeus!" He yawned.
"Hello pup." Harry grinned at him and pressed a kiss on his forehead. "Did you have fun?"
"Aham!" The boy smiled then stretched out a hand towards Severus, expecting a kiss from him too. The man looked at Lupin who didn't seem to be against the idea and angled the boy so it would be easier for Severus to kiss his forehead.
"Good night, Thaddeus." He smiled warmly at the little man. "How is his fever?" He asked from Lupin then.
"Oh he's feeling perfect, thank you." Lupin nodded then reached into his pocket. He took out a piece of paper and gave it to Severus. "If you need anything." He said, smiling. "Alright, see you both later."
"Tell Sirius to get better soon, I still have to kick his ass in our next Quidditch game." Harry laughed as he waved goodbye. Severus uttered a quiet goodbye too, before he opened the small note. It was the address of the Wolfden, Teddy's home. It felt unexplainably nice that Lupin trusted him enough to reveal this information.
He turned back towards the younger man and he wasn't surprised to see the green eyes looking intently at him, however the intense gaze sent an unexpected shiver down his back.
"Shall we then?" Potter asked breathless.
"I must confess Mister Potter, I do not usually dance." Severus said apologetically slipping the note into his pocket then took Potter's right hand more firmly in his. He stepped closer, still maintaining a proper distance and put his right palm on the Gryffindor's hip, while Potter's other hand rested on his shoulder.
"If you dance half as good as you do other things, we won't have a problem." The man smiled up at him and Severus was surprised to notice how tall he suddenly seemed.
They swayed lightly in the darkness; Severus took the lead instinctively and Potter went with it without any comment. Gradually, their moves became more synchronized, and after just a few minutes, it felt they had been partners for a lifetime. Severus' attempts to look at anything other than the man he was dancing with failed miserably. He regarded the other dancers, then the band for mere seconds, the bright stars held his gaze for almost a half-minute but then it was unavoidably on Potter again. Their eyes stayed connected for a minute or two, green eyes bore into him, into the depth of his soul until it was just too much and one of them finally looked away. And the circle started again: dancers, the band, the stars, and finally each other.
The singer's voice was deep and rich, soft like cream, but he didn't hear it. It was Potter's breathing that vibrated in his ears. He wasn't listening to the songs anymore, the rhythm of their dance more like intuition than strict moves to a certain beat. There had to be a song, Severus realized, because Potter's steps were too much in harmony with his.
Potter's hip slipped from under his touch as he pushed the other man out in a spin, trying to get a bit more distance between them so that he could breathe again, or at least think; that would be enough really. But Potter, always the one who turned Severus' careful plans into utter chaos, returned from the turn one step closer.
"I thought you didn't dance." Potter gasped as Severus' hand slid from his hip to his waist.
"No, not with anyone." Severus answered finally realizing he indeed had too much drink. They were close, close enough that he could see himself reflected in Potter's glasses. There was still at least half a foot between them, yet he could feel the warmness that radiated from the other man.
"This is nice." Potter said in a low voice. His hand on Severus' shoulder moved, his fingertips brushed the older man's neck. "I like this."
"I myself find it less appalled with every passing second." Severus confessed too, almost smiling. Potter's fingers reached his hairline now, and were buried into his long raven hair. The sensation wasn't supposed to be maddening, yet the softly caressing fingers burned his senses.
The younger man's radiant smile showed again. "You know..." He started hesitantly and Severus feared what he would be asking. "We're dancing right? And that's something you don't do with everyone, right? You really should let me call you Severus."
There it was again, his name; something he had heard a million times, but not like this, not from Potter. His groin twitched every time at the sound of Harry Bloody Potter uttering his given name. It was something that had never caused any awareness in him previously, only when that one infuriating person spoke it.
He leaned to Potter's ear and let his lower lip brush against the shell. "Absolutely not, Mister Potter." It was more than enough that the other man's very presence made him hard recently, he didn't need verbal stimulation too.
Potter, the bloody idiot, laughed; another sound that made Severus even more aroused, how it was possible at all, he did not dare contemplate on it. The Gryffindor's palm was on his nape now and Potter pressed their bodies closer until their chests touched. Severus could swear he felt the resonance of another ferociously drumming heartbeat vibrating against his ribcage.
The rhythm of the music became faster but in the same time much quieter. They were dancing away from the crowd and the noise into the darkness and isolation. Just the two of them, moving under the stars in seaming serenity, while in reality every touch caused a storm of emotions inside them.
When Severus finally tore his gaze from the green eyes, he noticed that the floating candles were only fireflies now, and the music they were dancing to was nothing more than the crickets in the grass. When did this happen? Who was leading whom here? Was it a good idea to let this happen? There was enough alcohol raging through his bloodstream at that moment that he discarded the questions, rather than to deal with them any time soon.
Instead, he acted out of instinct. His hand drifted slightly on Potter's waist, his fingers caressing the younger man softly, yet firmly enough so that there would be no misunderstanding. Their heads were next to each other, and as he couldn't look at the other man, Severus simply closed his eyes and conjured him up in his mind. He pictured his radiant smile, his bright green eyes, his sinful lips.
"Potter, this is probably not the right course of action." He whispered; he was at Potter's ear already, voicing the last of his doubts seemed necessary before the world around them would go mad.
"Yeah... probably..." Potter moaned back right into his ear. He could feel the young man's lips as they formed the next words. "Good thing I'm a brash and imprudent Gryffindor then."
Then it happened and all changed. Potter pressed his legs between his and if noticing Severus' state of arousal eluded him so far, he realized it now. The young man's appreciation was voiced in a form of a lustful moan, something Severus echoed upon noticing the hard shaft that pressed against his own thigh. As they danced, their bodies shifted against each other, Potter was pressing closer and closer, they were moving chest to chest, hips to hips, groin to groin. Hand tore at his hair, he gasped in pleasure, and he pulled the young man as close as possible.
Severus almost fell over when the impossible brat took his earlobe between his lips, wet tongue sliding on the soft flesh. "Let's get out of here..." Potter breathed against the shell of his ear. "Come home with me..."
He swung Potter around again, but this time he didn't let him do a full turn. The second Potter's back was on him, he gripped onto the younger's man hip with unyielding force and pulled him wildly to his front. Their hands, still entwined, rested around Potter's stomach, while they swayed with restrained passion. Severus only knew about one other activity that sent such fierce emotions down his body.
"I am warning you Potter, be sure you know what you are asking for." Severus whispered darkly.
"Oh, I am." Potter groaned as he pressed his firm arse against the older man's groin. Severus made Potter stay in that position as he kept on moving slowly against the other, knowing exactly how tormenting his actions were. Potter slithered one hand into Severus' hair again, his back arching back onto Severus, while he tilted his head to the side. Severus took the offering with enthusiasm. He licked over the exposed skin and then bit down on it softly, drawing another moan out of the younger man. The bloody Gryffindor tasted divine.
Potter's not so gentle tug in his hair made his eyes shoot open, which in the end saved their lives. The bright green light that soared through the night air was noiseless like Death himself.
Neither the alcohol in his body, nor his aroused state mattered at that moment, as his instincts kicked in and he shoved Potter out of the way from the deadly spell, that eluded him in mere inches. He could smell the burning, stingy smell of the Killing Curse.
He stepped behind the tree Potter was standing too, right after he sent a Stunning Spell towards the attacker.
"Really?" Potter screamed towards the mysterious person far away from them. "Did you really have to do that right now?"
"And of course," Severus laughed, "that is your biggest problem at the moment." They both shot a few spells towards Potter's assassin and ran behind another tree, thick enough to provide cover for both of them. "Why is it that there are people constantly trying to kill you, Potter?"
"Guess it must be my charm." Potter grinned, before summoning his Patronus. "Ron! We need help! Get the others!"
Weasley's Jack Russell showed up immediately next to them, both Patronuses beaming like a beacon. They had to move soon.
"Harry, where are you?"
"Under bloody attack in your fucking backyard, Sir." Potter reported in official tone. "Two assailants showed up so far, at least one of them using Unforgivables. There's a civilian with me, Sir."
It was almost fascinating to watch Potter switch to Auror mode in less than a second, calling his best friend 'sir'. But Severus still resented the status he was just given. "Civilian, Potter? Me?"
"Who's with you, Harry? The others are on the way," barked the dog.
"Snape's here too." They had to duck and run to another tree. "There's five of them now."
There was silence in the other side for a second, then Weasley spoke hesitantly again, "Harry, what exactly were you doing with Snape out there? In the dark? Alone?"
"NOT now, Ron!" Potter shouted and Severus felt like laughing if there wasn't another Killing Curse after Potter. He pushed the man away again so the Curse burnt a nasty hole in the tree. "Over and out!" The Auror growled the minute they heard the arrival of the other Aurors and he vanished his Patronus. The darkness was blinding for a second but both of their eyes adapted quickly. Potter grabbed his hand and they started running away from the fight.
They pulled behind another old tree, panting heavily, listening to the noises around them.
"I believe we are going the wrong way." Severus noted quietly, when Potter placed a hand on his black wand to stop him from firing any spell.
"No, we're not. We have to get you out of here." The Auror whispered back, leaning his back against the tree to catch his breath. "You're a civilian. And this isn't your fight." Severus was about to growl back a spiteful answer but Potter spoke again, "You can argue as much as you want, I won't let you go back there. It's regulations. Civilians first."
Severus stepped closer and the Auror frowned then closed his eye firmly and draw a hand over his face. "Merlin..." Potter moaned painfully.
"Are you hurt?" Severus asked with concern.
"No, it's just my head."
"The scar?" Cold panic screamed up in Severus but Potter's answer calmed him immediately.
"No, just a regular headache. I have been having them a lot, recently."
Potter wasn't alone with that, that was for sure. "Well, deal with it later, someone is approaching."
They moved away quietly from the rustling steps in the grass. Potter held up three fingers, which confirmed Severus' fear that they were outnumbered. Driven by a sudden idea, he pushed Potter towards the nearest thick tree. He covered him with his whole body and drew his long cape around them. He mouthed the Concealment Charm he casted, so that Potter could read it off his lips, which the Auror did indeed, because he nodded mutely. Severus watched and listened carefully and intensely to everything around them. The noises were getting closer, but if his Charm was strong enough the assassins would take them as a part of the tree.
It was imperative that when the assailants would arrived next to them they remained absolutely motionless and soundless. He looked at Potter and their gaze connected again. The green eyes widened and Potter gasped, his headache must have been worse than Severus imagined. The Auror's eyes roamed his features as if he was seeing Severus the first time, as if he were waking up from a curse. Severus' heart clenched when he realized he detected something like fear in those eyes. Fear and confusion, yes, but Potter was still hard against him; he could feel the erection pressed against him in their intimate posture. Well, he knew this time would come, when the alcohol stopped clouding Potter's mind, he just hoped it would take a bit longer.
The Gryffindor bit his lips to prevent another painful gasp to break out from his throat. Their attackers were getting closer, just a few more steps and they could see them. Severus leaned to Potter's ear, whose eyes were now closed tightly. "Hush, Potter, or we both die." He whispered so quietly, he wasn't sure he even uttered a word. But he must have because Potter suddenly moved fast like a poisonous snake. His arms went around Severus, one on his waist the other around the middle of his back and pulled him in even closer, while he sunk his teeth onto the base of Severus' neck.
Severus was terrified, yet he almost came as he felt the Auror's wild bite into his flesh, even though it was covered by several layers of clothing. He let out a shaking breath against Potter's hair, trying to numb its sound.
The moment the assassins walked next to them, they both froze against each other and didn't even dare take a breath.
"They must have Apparated away, when the others attacked." One of the assailants said quietly.
"Yeah..." The other agreed. "Jugson won't be happy."
"Shit." The third one groaned. "Let's go back." There were three loud pops, and the men were gone.
Potter pushed him away right that second, and let out an audible moan that sounded very painful.
"Holy fucking shit." He murmured clutching his head between his hands and bent down so that his elbows touched his stomach. He must be in agonizing pain, Severus thought watching the Auror.
"That is one hell of a headache, Potter." Severus remarked, placing a calming hand on Potter's shoulder but he flinched away from the touch and winced in agony again.
"Tell me about it." The Gryffindor mumbled.
"Come home with me, I can give you some potions to alleviate the pain."
Potter simply laughed at the offer and it felt like a stab in his heart. "Yeah, I'm not going anywhere with you." The young man twisted the knife cruelly.
The words definitely sobered Severus enough that he felt bitter again and sneered at the other man. "As you wish. Then suffer as much as you like."
"I haven't felt this bad since Voldemort." Potter groaned, staggering.
"Then will you let me help?"
Potter looked at him frowning, then shook his head. "No."
"I can help." Severus didn't want to believe he was almost begging for Potter to accept his offer. Why did he care after such ruthless rejection?
"I know you can." Potter grasped his head again.
"Then why? Is my help too degrading to you suddenly?" Severus spat angrily.
"What?" Potter looked up, his headache forgotten for a second. "Of course not! There are people after me, I can't stay at your place now, can I?"
"My home is undetectable, my wards can protect you." Severus argued, stepping closer.
"Too many good men have died or gooten injured while helping me. Including you. I told you, I don't want the past to repeat itself. I don't want you getting hurt because of me again."
They were silent for a few minutes, Potter's erratic breathing and the crickets being the only sound in the night. Severus felt irritated at the younger man's sudden behaviour.
"You have to go home." Potter said stiffly, almost like an order.
"And leave you here in this state? Bloody unlikely. You almost bit a piece out of me just now!" Severus snorted.
"Why is it so fucking hard to understand that I don't want you here?" Potter barked, looking up annoyed at the stars. "Just get the fuck back to safety! Please."
"Potter," Severus cried. "What on earth is wrong with you? Have you forgotten who I am? I am not a bloody damsel in distress, who needs rescuing!"
"Sir, I'm warning you," Potter snarled in his official tone again, "that was a direct order from an Auror. Do as I say or I make you."
The evil smirk on Severus' lips showed how he felt about that threat. "Do try, Auror Potter."
Potter didn't move but Severus had enough. He grabbed Potter and smashed him against the tree. He raised Potter's hand over his head and held them firmly there. "Why?" He asked, observing the green eyes, which suddenly seemed tired.
"Don't you understand?" Potter queried instead of answering, dropping his head back.
"Explain." Severus demanded.
"They know where I live. They know where I am."
"And...?" Severus drawled.
"And I'm not here alone now, am I?"
"The exact reason, why I should stay beside you."
"No, the exact reason, why you have to get away from me as soon as possible."
"But you-" Severus started but the Auror interrupted him right away.
"I will find somewhere safe, but please go now. You have to go away."
Severus tightened his grip on the younger man's wrists to make a point and uttered a soft, "Potter-", but the impossible Gryffindor twirled his arms, wriggled some and grasped Severus. Everything happened so fast and he did not understand how did he end up against the tree, with his right arm twisted behind him, Potter's strong grip making sure he wouldn't move. Severus tensed against the restrain and realized one wrong move and Potter would dislocate his right shoulder. He arched himself towards Potter, who was watching him intently, his eyes nailed to Severus' lips.
"Don't Potter me, Snape, I'm not your student anymore, you don't have to protect me. I'm a trained Auror and I can take care of myself." He looked into the Slytherin's eyes as he went on speaking. "But I told you, I can't have you getting in the crossfire. I need you out of here and in safety before any harm comes to you."
Severus smirked again and pressed his wand into Potter's throat. He knew he had managed to surprise the other man, just by looking into the green eyes. A part of him wanted an actual wand-fight with Potter, he imagined it would almost be as satisfying as foreplay if not sex itself.
"Your safety is priority to the whole Wizarding World, Potter. I have had my fare share in the war do not forget that. I know how to protect myself. And anyone else for that matter." The smirk froze off from Severus' face as Potter pressed his own wand deeper against his abdomen right next his hipbone.
"Believe me, Snape, I will never forget what you've done for me during the war and trust me I know how brilliant you are, that's not even the question here. Maybe I'm important to the community and they want me safe, I don't care. My priority right now is only you." Potter sighed heavily and releasing his arm, stepped away from Severus. "Quick, please, go now. We will talk later. I need you to go now."
Severus felt weird as he stepped away from the younger man. He heard Mr. Weasley's cries for his friend in the background.
"Snape..." Potter started apologetically, surely noticing how the atmosphere changed between them.
Severus looked back at him over his shoulder. "I wish you the best, Auror Potter." He said, before he Apparated back to the cottage.
Severus had been roaming the kitchen aimlessly for an hour now. There was still no news from the bloody idiot. Not that he expected the young man to show up just to calm his old professor, but he could at least send a letter, Severus argued with himself. Fawkes chirped on his shoulder, he hadn't moved from there since Severus arrived home. He looked out the window; the rain was still falling heavily, like the questions in his heart.
Why did Potter refuse his help? Did he think Severus wouldn't be able to protect him? Hadn't Severus proven that many times over the years? He was a bloody spy for sixteen years, for Merlin's sake! Why was Potter so concerned about his safety? And why the bloody hell couldn't he forget the young man's lean body against him?
To calm himself, he started preparing tea. He measured the leaves into his cup and was about to pour the hot water on them, when he noticed some movement in the corner of his eyes. He looked out of the kitchen window again, and lightning struck down at that second, bringing brightness to the garden.
Potter stood out there, looking lost, and completely drenched. He took a hesitant step towards the house then stopped, turned around and rushed towards the small white gate. Then he stopped again, and looked back at the cottage over his shoulder, deep in thoughts. He massaged his temple, then carded his hand through his wet hair.
Severus went to the front door, not even noticing the pleasant smile on his lips. He opened it and leaned against the doorframe. Potter was in the middle of the stone covered road, his back to the house. He spun around once more with a determined motion, but seemed surprised to notice Severus in the doorway. He stopped dead, like a statue in the middle of the garden, but then took a couple of feeble steps backwards.
Severus found himself praying that the idiot would not run away.
The Gryffindor in Potter must have woken up, because the young, wet man took a deep breath and walked up to the porch.
"Well?" Severus asked, stepping away from the door and motioning Potter inside.
"I told you I would find somewhere safe." Potter shrugged, walking into his home, dripping rainwater all over his carpet, which was something Severus felt utterly acceptable at that moment. He pointed towards the kitchen then went upstairs to get a towel for the man.
As he walked back into the room, he found Potter with his arms drawn firmly around himself, hugging his own body, staring out into the rain. His eyes seemed immensely sad, and he flinched from time to time.
"What happened?" Severus inquired quietly, putting the warmed towel on Potter's slightly shaking shoulder.
The young man kept staring outside as he answered in a morose tone. "They were ripping my wards off one by one. I could feel them breaking them. I still can, it's like an echo. The wards, my magic, were fighting back, but I wasn't inside so it broke eventually. I feel... desecrated. Dirty." Their eyes connected in the window's reflecting surface. "Twelve Grimmauld Place is gone."
Severus looked at Potter, not the reflection but the real one, who finally turned around and sighed. "I'm officially homeless." He said with a crooked smile, seemingly in a bit better mood, as he started drying his hair with the white towel.
Severus shook his head. "You are always welcomed here." He smiled teasingly at the young man when he added, "I always wanted a dog. I guess a wolf is not much of a difference."
"Oh shut it!" Potter laughed, throwing the towel at him, but Severus caught it just in time.
"Tea?" He asked, motioning towards his cup and the box of tea leaves next to it.
"If you could add a bit of whiskey to it that would be perfect." Potter nodded appreciatively.
Severus took out a bottle of Ogden's Old Firewhiskey from the cabinet. "And what if we leave out the tea?"
Oh yes indeed, they are getting drunk together. Alone. That should be fun ;)
Soooo what did you think of this chapter? Other then, still no memories? I know and I'm SOOOO SORRY about that! Well, Harry did remember one certain memory here actually, while pressed against the tree by our dear Potions Master ;) More of these memory snippets come next chapter.
What do you think of the DAANCE? I dont dance so it was really hard to write it.. What about the Rose? I like that gift. I think it was really sweet... Oh and yeah, curious what's going on between Severus and Hermione? Hm? HMMMM?
I have never regretted anything more than the idiotic idea of starting the titles with a time of the day. I'm like running out of times and it's ridiculously hard to find a word that describes the main plot in the chapter and starts with the same letter and even happens at that specific time... Seriously though...