Disclaimer: The Harry Potter Universe belongs to JKR and anyone she legally lets use them. Not me.

Harry clenched his hand around the note in his hand. Experimental potion. Won't be present for dinner. Eyes squeezed shut, Harry let out a shuddering breath. Was this the end?

Severus sat in his lab, eyes watching the cauldron of boiling water, his mind elsewhere. Rising, he began to pace around his lab. It was as if, after so many years, after he had finally begun accepting that this was real, this was truth, the universe had decided to extract revenge. Severus stopped at his desk, and in an act of deep rooted frustration, swept all the papers off the desktop. Leaning against the polished wood, Severus slumped his shoulders. Would there be no more happiness?

Harry sat at the pub, calm like a fall stream. He looked through his disguise at the men adorning the chairs and the dance floor. And yet he could not bring himself to do what he had come to do. Is this all that is left for me?

Severus sat by the bed, watching his lover. Harry had come home drunk, smelling of stale sex and alcohol. Severus could not bear it. Could not sleep in their bed. Severus dropped his head against the back of the armchair. How had it come to this?

Harry left to play Quidditch. At nearly thirty he was almost at the end of his prime. But he had to get away. Will distance make the heart grow fonder?

Severus watched Harry fly away from him, his knuckles white from his grip on the railing of the Astronomy Tower. Would he return?

Harry returned, months later. He had exchanged letters with his lover. But he had not seen him. Opening the grand doors of the Great Hall, Harry walked down the side to the Head Table, his eyes sweeping over those present. A frown appeared as he realized who was missing. He looked up into the sad eyes of the Headmistress. His heart clenched. Had Severus…?

Harry swept down to the dungeons, almost running until he came to the portrait in front of Severus' quarters. He didn't know the password he realized. But the portrait, taking pity on the wild-eyed man in front of him, swung open and Harry climbed through quickly. He froze as his eyes landed on the still form of Severus Snape, in an armchair, eyes on the fireplace. Oh Severus…

Severus took a sip from his wine glass. It had been months since he had seen his Harry. Maybe this was the end? There would be no more? Severus closed his eyes in pain. He should've known not to give in to Harry's seduction. He should have known.

Harry choked back a sob as his eyes settled upon his lover. Severus seemed to have lost two stone. His eyes deep set in his gaunt face, dark circles deep. White as winter snow, his skin held no warmth. Pale, as if he had not been outside for a long time. Was this from Harry's absence? Did that mean Severus still...

Severus looked up when he heard a sound in his room and let out a tiny gasp. Harry stood in the doorway, wearing his cloak still . He seemed to be surprised.

"Harry?" Severus whispered, surprise lacing his voice.

Harry seemed to revive himself, then took the two steps towards Severus. Falling to his knees before the man, he whispered, "Severus."

Severus raised his right hand to gently cup Harry's cheek. Harry lent into the touch with a sob.

"My love." Harry choked out, his hands coming up to rest on Severus' knees.

"My beloved." Severus replied, softly.