"I can't bloody believe this," Harry whined, narrowing his eyes at the television screen in a feeble glare.
Severus didn't even look up as he continued to flip through his newspaper. He was sitting comfortably in a new army green couch that he'd just bought from IKEA last week. It set him back a bit, but every penny was well worth it, especially for times like these when was reading one of the best newspaper articles ever published. Besides, what else would he use his meager retirement money on?
"Stop acting surprised, Harry. You've known for the past two weeks now this was going to happen," he said, not the least bit sympathetic towards the boy sitting in a stylish, black armchair.
Harry shook his head. "But I still don't understand. Why Malfoy of all people," he asked in a mix of seventy percent curiosity and thirty percent jealousy.
Severus rolled his eyes at the ridiculous question. Harry had been quite emotional when TLC had called three months ago to say that they were letting him go. Apparently, TLC didn't approve of their TV show hosts making out with the guests, and Harry had broken several rules in his contract by doing so. Normally, Severus would have laughed at the irony, but he was getting punished for the Contract Calamity as well.
You would expect that a newly retired professor would be having the time of his life as he enjoyed time away from all those sniveling dunces. Unfortunately, this was not the case for Severus Snape. He spent his first day of freedom clearing out his retched office and signing the final papers with Dumbledore. Then, Harry had called him about getting fired. Being the kind boyfriend that he was, Severus made a quick stop at the grocery store before shoving a gallon of Ben & Jerry's in Harry's hand. Right after Harry started ranting about the unfairness of it all, Severus retreated back to a cozy cottage he'd inherited from his parents years ago. During his time at Hogwarts, the cottage was too far away for him to make the commute, so he ended up being a live-in faculty member on campus. Once he was free from Hogwarts' claws, he thought that he could spend the rest of his days dozing in his bed or flipping through chemistry journals. What he didn't realize was that he still had one tie to Hogwarts.
Harry renting an apartment five miles away from that horrid university plus a boyfriend who lives almost two hours away minus a car plus an unlimited texting plan equals one annoyed Severus Snape. In the end, Severus gave in and decided to spend half his week back home and half his week at Harry's place. The arrangement had been pleasant for a while, and at the very least, Severus got a new couch out of it all. He was fairly confident that things would have continued on fairly well, but of course TLC had to call and ruin everything.
"Perhaps they finally realized that brunettes aren't always smarter than blondes," he guessed, half-jokingly.
Harry snorted and then started to smile a bit. "Well, I guess I should be happy for him. He can finally prove to Lucius that he was born to work with hair and fashion," he reasoned, remembering what Luna told him about what happened to Draco the day of their graduation. He couldn't really hate Draco anymore after hearing about how his life at home.
Severus, for his part, was proud to hear that Harry was being mature for once and attributed the change to his own doing. "You're probably just jealous because Draco actually has something to do unlike some other people here," he said, shaking out the page of the newspaper for emphasis.
Harry's grin broadened, and Severus could tell that Harry was proud of Severus's improvements as well. "Yes, well, you can't expect everyone to be featured in the New York Times for creating a new vaccine, can you?"
Severus raised an eyebrow in a show of amusement. As he'd recently learned, Harry could barely put together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Asking him to create a vaccine would be an inevitable failure and a threat to society.
"If it's any consolation, you won't be the only lazy slacker for too long. My manuscript is almost finished, and then I won't have anything to do until they finish looking it over," he explained.
At the moment, Severus was a busy man. He was doing research for new chemical discoveries as well as trying to publish his first ever chemistry textbook. His colleagues had laughed at the former Hogwarts professor for doing something that was still professor worthy, but Severus had his reasons. As much as he despised the institution, Severus couldn't very well leave the hapless Hogwarts chemistry students in Slughorn's hands with a clean conscience. To resolve the problem, Severus was writing a book for them to use so that they had the chance of graduating with a proper science education. Harry, on the other hand, had been spending his days doing whatever he was in the mood for.
"Actually, I wouldn't be too sure about that," Harry corrected, his eyes adopting a naughty gleam. "I wanted to surprise you with some really good news."
Severus closed his eyes, already feeling a strong migraine coming on. "I thought we had already gone over this. I. Don't. Like. Surprises."
"But this is a good one! When TLC fired me from 'What Not To Wear,' they told me that they had recommended me to Bravo to be a contestant on 'Project Runway.' They are doing a special season just for men's clothing, and some people from TLC thought I would be interested in it. Just a week ago, Bravo called and told me that I had been accepted. Isn't that bloody fantastic?"
Harry was bopping around like a child with a sugar high, a total 180 from his earlier mood. Sadly, Severus just couldn't muster the same level of enthusiasm. Even though he often complained about Harry's unemployment, he secretly enjoyed all of the extra time that they could spend together. And now Harry was going to leave him.
"That's great," he mumbled half-heartedly, not even trying to mask his displeasure.
His boyfriend was too psyched to notice, and Severus silently wondered how Harry had kept whatever it was a secret for so long. "That's not even the best part, Severus!"
Though it might seem surprising, Severus had actually seen bits and pieces of "Project Runway" before. It was a competition with young designers from all over the country who completed weekly challenges in hopes of making it to the next round. The contest lasted forever, and if Severus remembered correctly, it would involve Harry rooming with another young male designer. He frowned.
"I talked to the director and convinced him to hire you as my model!"
Completely caught off guard, Severus accidentally dropped the newspaper, allowing Harry to get a good look at his expression of utter shock. "I beg your pardon."
Foolishly, Harry misinterpreted his confusion for excitement. "Hard to believe, isn't it? You're the newest contestant on 'Models of the Runway!'"
Oh, no. Severus was not going through that again. "I'm not doing it," he refused adamantly.
Expecting his boyfriend to be more joyful, Harry let his smile drop to a slight frown. "Actually, I kind of assumed that you would be interested, so I already signed the contract."
Severus blinked and then blinked again.
Without saying a single word, Severus left the living room and entered his makeshift chemistry lab, making sure to slam the door. He carefully surveyed the test tubes and decanters sitting in neat lines on the bookshelf, trailing his fingers along a few of the vials. Now, Severus Snape was not an expert assassin by any means, but he was pretty confident that he could find some way to kill Harry Potter without being tried for murder. And with a grunt of triumph, he lifted up a mysterious bottle filled with a bright red liquid.
"Horns of Death," he read with a grin that no man should EVER wear.
A/N: Poor Harry better should be very, very worried…
Just kidding, Snape is just having one of his I-want-to-kill-Potter moods. He'll get over it.
I sincerely want to thank all of the readers who have taken the time to read this silly, little story. I really hope you enjoyed it! Leave me a review to tell me if my first fanfiction story was god-awful or semi decent/tolerable. Maybe (if I hear good things) I'll write something else in the future.
Also, a special thanks goes out to werekat, evilqueen06, and Rori Potter for the chapter six reviews. =)
I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!
Marginal Benefits 3