Summary: Harry slips Snape a love potion. So why isn't it working? HP/SS slash, one-shot.

Rating: M

Warning: Slash (same-sex relationship) between Severus Snape and a 16 year old Harry Potter. Read at your own risk.


Harry knew that he was going to die.

Of course there was no way this could end well. When Snape discovered (as he eventually would) that his least favorite student in the world had slipped him a love potion, there could be no doubt that the former potions master would save the Dark Lord the trouble of killing the Boy Who Lived and murder Harry Potter himself.

But Harry really didn't care. How long could he realistically expect to live anyway, with Voldemort, the greatest dark wizard of all time, wanting him dead, and legions of death eaters more than eager to assist their master in this particular effort? All in all, Harry didn't have all that much to lose. Perhaps Snape would even kill him more swiftly and mercifully than Voldemort. Afterwards. After the frenzied kisses, after the night of impassioned lovemaking, filled with sweet, impossible words of love that would become false by morning.

Once. Just once. To see those cold black eyes filled with tenderness, just once... It would be worth it.

Harry had no idea how his obsession with Snape had begun. When did that icy voice first make him shiver? When did the inscrutable black gaze first cause something to twist so strangely and pleasurably in his heart? When did he first begin dreaming about Snape at night? Not the usual tedious nightmares about Snape ridiculing him in potions class, but those other dreams that haunted his nights. Dreams about Snape's soft, full lips pressing against his own, dreams about Snape...Snape!...doing all sorts of delicious, forbidden things to him, touching him, stroking him, riding him, pounding him mercilessly...

He didn't know. He only knew that he couldn't take it any longer. He couldn't bear that cold look of hatred that felt like a stab to his heart. His twisted feelings for Snape had become an open wound.

Just once... He needed Snape to love him, just for a few enchanted hours. And it was going to be tonight.

Harry was having detention with Snape as usual. He didn't even try to avoid detention anymore. Sometimes he riled Snape up on purpose, simply so he could sit in Snape's office and write lines while the dark gaze rested on him, as it did tonight. Snape's glance always left Harry's heart and limbs aching with a strange sweetness that made him feel slightly dizzy.

Wild autumn storms raged outside, and raindrops tapped a frenzied rhythm against the windowpanes. But Snape's office was warm, and a fire blazed in the fireplace, casting a warm golden glow over the desk and the pale man sitting behind it.

Harry could feel his heart thundering in his chest. The small vial of amortentia, stolen from Slughorn's stores in the night, was safely tucked away in the pocket of Harry's robes, and any minute now, Slughorn himself would be knocking on Snape's door...

There! A light rapping on the door. Snape tore his dark stare reluctantly away from Harry, who was yet again writing "I must not be an impertinent brat" three thousand times in his best handwriting, and went to open the door.

Harry could hear Slughorn's familiar pompous drawl: "You sent for me, Severus?"

"Sent for you? Why on earth would I send for you?" Snape's voice was chilly.

"But I received a note from you..." Slughorn sounded slightly offended.

"A note? I didn't write you a note."

Harry drew his breath deeply, heart pounding wildly. This was his chance. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the small vial, unstoppered it with an unsteady hand and quickly poured a few drops of the shimmering liquid into Snape's still unfinished cup of evening tea on the table in front of him. The dark tea in the delicate china cup gave off a slight mother-of-pearl sheen for a moment before returning to its normal hue. Heart still hammering in his chest, Harry picked up his quill and began writing again.

A few moments later, he heard the door close, and Snape resumed his seat in front of Harry.

Harry wrote in silence, not daring to look up. He could feel his cheeks burning, and he sensed the master's glance lingering on him. When was Snape going to reach for his tea? Surely, he was going to drink it soon? No, Snape simply sat there, staring darkly at him.

Finally, the words "Three thousand lines complete" appeared on the enchanted parchment, and Harry handed it to Snape without looking up. "Here. I'm done." He got up and started walking towards the door.

"Just a moment, Mr. Potter." The cold, smooth voice stopped him in his tracks. "I need to check your work first, if you don't mind."

Harry sank back down in his chair without a word. The master scanned the handwritten pages carefully while reaching out for his tea cup. Harry held his breath. Snape lifted the cup absently to his lips.

How long ago was it that Harry had first noticed the soft curve of Snape's mouth? He couldn't remember anymore.

Snape sipped his tea slowly.

"What's the matter, Mr. Potter? You are staring at me."

Harry flushed. "I'm sorry, sir..." The tea was finished now. It was going to happen. Any moment now, Snape would gaze into his eyes, the customary cold hatred replaced by tenderness and desire. Any minute now, he would reach out and run his fingers longingly over Harry's burning skin. Any minute now, he would throw his arms around Harry and mutter declarations of love.

"What the hell is this?" Snape frowned slightly. "Look here, Mr. Potter. In line 2246, you have written "I must not be an imperious bat" instead of "impertinent brat". Did you really believe that your little "error" would escape my attention?" His voice had a dangerous dark softness to it that Harry knew only too well.

He glanced up and met Snape's icy stare. The potion is not working. Merlin, why is the potion not working?

"Detention again tomorrow, I think, Mr. Potter. Six thousand lines tomorrow. I dare say a little extra practice will rid you of the habit of making careless errors." Snape's face was impassive as he put the pages aside in a pile on his desk.

Harry's heart plummeted. The love potion was not working. Of course it wasn't working. How could he ever have thought that it would? Snape's hatred for him was probably so deep that no potion on earth could penetrate it.

"You may go now, Mr. Potter." Snape's voice was frosty.

Harry swallowed. He got up and walked slowly to the door. "Professor?" He paused with his hand on the door handle.

Snape had begun writing on a piece of parchment. "What is it, Mr. Potter?"

Harry hesitated for a moment, struggling to find his voice. "Can I... can I ask you a question about potions, professor?"

"Perhaps it has escaped your attention that I am no longer your potions teacher. If you had been awake in class, you would have noticed that I now teach Defense Against the Dark Arts. I suggest that you bring your no doubt inane potions questions to Professor Slughorn."

"Professor Slughorn doesn't know as much about potions as you do, sir." Harry flushed as Snape glanced up in surprise. "I have a question about amortentia, sir."

"The love potion." Snape raised an eyebrow.

"Professor Slughorn told us that amortentia always has an overpowering effect on the one who drinks it, but a... a friend of mine slipped someone the potion, and it had no effect at all. The person who drank it still feels the same way about my friend as before. How... how could that be, sir?"

Snape sighed deeply. "Oh, for Merlin's sake, Mr. Potter! Even you should know better than to fiddle with powerful potions like amortentia." He put his quill down. "I know I will regret asking, but what unfortunate young lady did you attempt to poison with your imperfectly brewed love potion? I have seen your miserable potions work, Mr. Potter, and I am not at all surprised that the object of your affections did not fall swooning into your arms after drinking your ill-brewed amortentia. I have no idea how you have managed to hoodwink Professor Slughorn into believing that you are a talented potions maker, but I have seen enough of your sorry concoctions over the years to be free from that particular delusion."

Harry swallowed. "There was nothing wrong with the potion, sir." His voice came out as a whisper. "I... I stole some of Professor Slughorn's amortentia, which he had brought to class to show us. Yes, I know, ten thousand extra lines... But I still don't understand why the potion wasn't working. Is it possible for someone to dislike another person so intensely that love potion won't have any effect on them?"

"You stole love potion from Professor Slughorn?" Snape stared at him. "I hardly think ten thousand lines will suffice, Mr. Potter. I need a little time to think of a more suitable punishment for your outrageous offense." He shook his head slowly. "I suppose the young lady in question was lucky to drink Professor Slughorn's expertly brewed potion rather than your own; she is likely to suffer fewer peculiar side effects. As for why she was not affected by the potion, I can only assume that you neglected to add a strand of your own hair to the potion to direct her affections towards you. A very basic error, but I have come to expect those errors from you, Mr. Potter."

"I added the hair to the potion, Professor."

"Did you?" Was there a slight glint of interest in Snape's black eyes now? "In that case, the potion must have had the desired effect. Anything else would be impossible."

Harry looked at the carpet. "It didn't."

"Intriguing..." Snape's voice was soft. "Assuming that you are telling the truth - and I am the first to admit that this is a rather far-fetched assumption on my part - there is only one explanation possible."

"What?" Harry glanced up.

"Amortentia," said Snape quietly, "always induces a powerful obsession in the one who drinks it. It will cause a person to become consumed with desire for another. The afflicted person will spend all his or her waking moments pining away for the beloved, longing for the other's presence, yearning for a kiss, for a touch. It is not possible to remain unaffected by the potion. It is easy to tell when someone has drunk love potion; the victim's behavior changes radically. He or she will stop sleeping and eating, and think of nothing besides the one desired person. The only circumstance I can imagine under which someone could consume the potion and appear to be unaffected would be..."

Harry whispered: "What, Professor?"

Snape sighed. "Well, I suppose this is good news for you, Mr. Potter. A person could theoretically appear to be unaffected by the potion if the feelings induced by the amortentia are indistinguishable from the emotions he or she had before. In other words, the amortentia you surreptitiously fed your victim would have no effect on someone who is already obsessively in love with you."

"What?" Harry felt dizzy. "But that's not possible..." He tried to read the master's face, but his features were expressionless.

Snape picked up his quill again. "I assume that the object of your affections is your studious friend Miss Granger? She is to be commended for trying to conceal her unhealthy obsession from you. I am pleasantly surprised to learn that she possesses that level of self-control."

"The potion doesn't work if someone's already in love with me?" Harry stared at Snape, heart beating furiously.

Snape looked up, irritably. "I believe that is what I said, yes. For Merlin's sake, get out of my office now, Mr. Potter. Go and find Miss Granger and live out your little adolescent fantasies." His lips curled in an expression of distaste.

Harry felt his cheeks burning. "It's not... not Hermione."

"Isn't it?" Snape appeared slightly taken aback. "Well, whoever she is, she apparently shares your obsession. Now go."

Harry's mouth felt dry. It was difficult to speak. He mustered up all his Gryffindor courage. "It's... it's you, sir."

"It's me what?" Snape didn't seem to be catching on.

Harry took a deep breath. "I put the love potion in your tea, sir. Earlier this evening, while you were speaking to Slughorn at the door."

Snape sat frozen for a moment. His normally pale face was ashen now.

"You - you put amortentia in my tea?" His voice came out as a whisper.

Harry nodded, wordlessly.

"Is this your idea of a joke, Mr. Potter?" Snape's voice grew hard. "Ah, but of course it is. This is precisely the sort of prank your father would have pulled. How terribly amusing, to slip love potion in the potions master's tea, to watch him pining for the Boy Who Lived, to laugh at him with your friends..."

"What?" Harry glanced at Snape, bewildered. "How could you think I would do something that cruel?"

"Oh, I don't know; you dislike me a great deal, don't you, Mr. Potter?" Snape's voice was frosty.

Harry shook his head. "I'm... I'm in love with you."

His glance was fixed at the carpet, and he didn't dare look up. He heard Snape draw his breath sharply. Then a chair scraped, and he heard Snape's footsteps across the floor.

"Veritaserum." The master's voice was trembling. "I need to find out what is at the bottom of your extraordinary behavior, Mr. Potter. Here. Drink this."

He handed Harry a small vial containing a clear liquid. Harry glanced up and met the inscrutable black eyes of his teacher. He drank the liquid without a word.

"Good." Snape sat down across from him, black eyes boring into Harry's soul. "Now, kindly answer my questions, Mr. Potter."

Harry nodded.

"Are you..." Snape swallowed audibly, "Are you... in love with me-?"

"Yes." Harry glanced up and saw a deep flush brush over the master's otherwise pale face.

"And how long have you felt that way?" Snape's voice was unsteady.

"I don't know exactly. A year? Six months? I have tried so hard to brush the feelings aside, but I keep thinking about you, and I keep dreaming about you at night."

"You dream about me at night?" Snape closed his eyes for a moment. "What... What do you dream, then?"

Harry felt his face burning. "Sometimes I dream about you kissing me softly and tenderly, about you holding me in your arms. And sometimes I dream about you in my bed, making love to me..."

"Making love to you?" Snape's voice was almost inaudible now. "You... you want me to make love to you?"

"Yes. Oh, Merlin, yes." Harry looked down. This was the end. Snape was going to kill him now. "I'm... sorry, sir."

Snape's chair scraped against the floor again. Rapid footsteps against the floorboards. Snape was close to him now, bending down over him... Harry closed his eyes.

A hand stroked softly through his hair.


Harry glanced up, heart racing. Snape's eyes, impossibly black, met his. The next moment, he felt Snape's mouth against his own, kissing him softly. The gentle touch sent a shock through Harry's body, and his heart beat so hard he thought he was going to die. Without thinking, he reached up and wound his arms around Snape's neck, burying his hands in soft black hair. A slight moan against his lips, and then Snape fell to his knees in front of Harry, kissing him so fiercely that Harry thought his heart would stop.

Finally, Snape broke the kiss, and he pulled back and stared at Harry. "Oh, God. Oh, God..." His breath was ragged, and his voice was a whisper. He brushed Harry's face with his fingers, slowly and wonderingly.

Then Snape whispered softly: "I love you, Harry."

Harry gazed at him, bewildered. "Even before the potion?"

A slight smile now. "Yes, Harry. Even before the potion." The black eyes glittered now.

"Since... since when?"

Snape's kisses traced the line of Harry's jaw. "Since when? I have no idea, Harry. The first time I saw you, you were a mere child, and I thought the very sight of you was going to kill me. You were your father come back to life, you see, and I half expected you to torment me as he did. But then I saw your eyes, her eyes, and I realized that I was in for torment far worse than anything your father had ever inflicted on me. To be reminded of Lily every time I looked into your face, to be reminded that she was never mine but his..." Snape swallowed. "But the years passed, and one day I realized that you were no longer a child, but a man, and that you were beautiful... I wasn't in love with you. Of course I wasn't. I reminded myself every day, many times a day, that I wasn't in love with you, and that the curious stab I felt in my heart whenever I saw your eyes was not love. Not at all." Snape breathed softly against Harry's mouth: "It appears that I was wrong..." He caressed Harry's mouth gently with his own.

Harry returned the kiss with abandon. They began to tear at each other's clothes, and before long, they sank down on the floor together.

Snape brushed his fingers slowly over Harry's burning skin. "Are you sure you want this, Harry?" he whispered.

Harry shivered under the master's touch. "More than anything. I love you." He stroked Snape's face with a trembling hand.

"I still don't know if I dare believe that..." Snape's voice was hoarse.

Harry smiled. "Can't lie. Veritaserum, remember?"

A slow smile spread over Snape's face. "Ah, yes. I forgot about that. Well, in that case, Mr. Potter, would you be so kind as to tell me truthfully what you wish me to do to you right now?" Harry looked into the dark, burning eyes. Then he told the potions master exactly what he wanted him to do.

And Snape did. Over and over, right there on the floor of his study, while the rain whispered against the windowpanes, and while the Boy Who Lived came undone in his arms. Harry surrendered himself to the master's frenzied strokes, to the strange tenderness of his kisses, and to the strong arms that held him until morning came.

"You had better go now," whispered Snape against his hair as it was beginning to grow light out. "But please promise me you will come back tonight."

Harry looked at Snape and grinned. "Of course I will. Detention, remember?"

"Detention?" Snape sounded slightly surprised, as if the word was entirely new to him. "Ah, yes, that's right. I forgot. You... you were an impertinent brat, weren't you?" He kissed Harry lightly on top of the head.

"Mhmmm. And you were an imperious bat..."

Snape rested his head against Harry's throat and laughed.