Red Moon, by sorciere noire

Published on Ffnet on 08-02-11

Translated by Paperblank

OoOoOoOo

Severus Snape wearily looked up from his cauldron and saw Albus Dumbledore entering his laboratory. The Potions Master dropped the last ingredient into the Wolfsbane potion he was brewing, clucked his tongue and sighed.

"You're going to waste my time, yet again, Albus," the man groaned, his black robes billowing around him as he turned towards the Headmaster before focusing on his brew. He hoped the old man would understand his message 'No time to chat'.

The old man wasn't flustered at all ; he took a sweet in his pocket, unwrapped it slowly and put it in his mouth greedily.

"Albus, you're overstepping your bounds ! Speak, for Merlin's sake, if you have anything remotely interesting to say ! You may have time to waste, but I do not !"

The old man wasn't even vexed by the cold tone of the Potions Master remarks and said "I have received this morning a new Ministry directive, my boy."

"I don't care." The Order's ex-spy interrupted Dumbledore. "This is no concern of mine."

"But it is, Severus."

Snape hid his worry and went on stirring his potion carefully. When the Ministry was meddling with Hogwarts, it was never a good thing, especially for him.

"What do the imbeciles want this time?" he asked, his stomach churning with anger.

"You know you're the last Potions Master..."

"I've already told you that, Albus. To the point !"

"They want you to take an apprentice." Dumbledore knew shouts and vehement protestations were coming and waited.

Snape turned towards Hogwarts Headmaster for the second time and his black eyes were glaring furiously at the old Professor. At least, the old man wore a decent wizarding robe this time.

"You have to train one of two choices, there is no other alternative," Dumbledore insisted.

"What exactly do you mean by that?" Snape asked in a low voice.

"Draco or Harry."

"Absolutely not !"

"Would you explain me why?"

"Draco must take the mantle of Lucius's heir. And it is not, I repeat, not conceivable that Potter become a apprentice of mine. It is completely out of question."

"Is he that bad? It seems to me I heard he made tremendous progress..."

"Tremendous, indeed," the snarky man whispered and then added in bad faith . "But it doesn't mean he'll make an acceptable trainee."

"It will then be Harry," Albus decided. "I'll inform dear Rufus immediately, he'll be delighted."

"Not Potter, Merlin's balls ! You scheming old coot know what he... represents for me !"

"Another good reason to choose him."

"Are you thinking about what his life is going to be like? I don't believe being a half-breed's partner is an exciting and desirable dream for him !"

"How would you know that, Severus?"

"Poppycock ! He loathes me and you know it !"

"It is not true !" The old man thundered at the assumption. "You would be well advised to make the best of the chance you have to mix with him."

Snape didn't answer, but he knew it wasn't imaginable that Harry become his apprentice. He would never be able to restrain himself if the luscious young boy was under his nose every day. An apprenticeship was months and months. It would be unbearable.

Albus left the laboratory. His mission to help a certain young man was successful.

OoOoOoOo

One week later, Harry Potter was putting away parchments and quills after a gruelling class before slowly getting back to the Prefect's room he inhabited for the last few months. He was eighteen and working on his NEWTS after defeating Voldemort. He wasn't thrilled by an additional year at school but he had a plan – something that could help him greatly in the future – so back to Hogwarts it was.

Dumbledore thought it was entirely necessary. Of course. Nevertheless, Albus was helping him. He had convinced him and, with the Headmaster's help, he was sure his plan would be successful. Well, at least, nearly sure, because Snape was terribly contrary.

Harry wanted to be an apprentice, more than that Snape's apprentice. He had improved drastically in Potions' class and every other option was distasteful to him, so he had chosen the course of his life on his own. His life – his destiny – was not only becoming a Potions Professor, but it was with Severus as well.

It seemed surreal for Harry to want to get close to Snape because of his feelings, but he felt sure of himself. He had never spoken about it to anyone. It was his secret and he kept it close to the chest. He wasn't ashamed to love an older man, whose looks were striking – like a slap to the face – because he had seen Snape could be beautiful. He had seen beauty in the Potions Master's face during Order meetings, during battles and even after.

Wild and gorgeous beauty, which touched his heart deeply. Fiery personality, which inflamed feelings he never thought possible for Snape.

Fortunately, not every class was important. In Harry's mind, there was only Potions, as it was the topic in which he wanted to shine. That was why he was meeting with Draco Malfoy and his snappish Professor every day in Snape's classroom.

OoOoOoOo

The young man threw his book bag on his bed and looked outside the window. The snow hadn't stopped falling for the last three days. A thick layer of flecks was covering the ground and he liked the pristine landscape all white. It made him feel small in face of the awe-inspiring nature.

Harry decided to visit the Forbidden Forest that afternoon, for the trees and plants under the snow must be a sight to see. He would visit the centaurs, as he had no opportunity to do so this past week. Firenze must have been wondering what kept him ; he had had a ton of homework and difficulty to finish it. His forays in the Library had been numerous as well and he could hear in his mind Snape mocking him as he compared him to Miss Know-it-All, Hermione Granger.

The true goal of his wandering would be to clear his mind. Severus drove him crazy by constantly denying their mutual attraction. Well, it was true Snape didn't know Harry was attracted to him, because the young man had never dared to say so, but...

At half past six, a buoyant Harry left Hogwarts and walked towards the Forbidden Forest, not knowing yet that he was going to meet his destiny that day. He didn't think for a second that his life

was going to change forever, even if he had dreamed and dreamed about it.

The Boy-Who-Lived pushed his glasses back on his nose, wrapped his scarf tightly around his neck, and drew his winter cloak around him. The snow was crunching under his steps and he happily entered the Forest.

He loved this season and no one sensitive to the cold could change his mind, as the sunny days weren't just the same. The clean air he breathed smelt of winter and he smiled as his breath formed a white translucent cloud in front of his mouth.

After an hour, the sun had gone down and the night was lit up by a red moon. Such a time looked threatening, but the young man didn't notice as he was brooding on his exhilarating thoughts.

Indeed, the Potions Master who usually ignored him was giving him heated looks for the last couple of days. So of course, Harry wondered why the indifferent and jaded looks from before had changed. He thought the git was preparing something, even though he had left him alone since coming back to school. It was even weird that Snape hadn't taunted the Bloody-Boy-Who-Lived – as the man called him. Harry licked a snow fleck fallen on his lips.

It was fortunate the man didn't know about Harry's feelings, as he would without doubt flee far far away.

A howl resounded in the distant undergrowth. The young man listened for a moment before shrugging and ignoring the sounds surrounding him.

The Forest was unusually quiet, as if waiting for an impending danger.

Farther away, some eyes followed the moon hungrily, as it was appearing in the sly and attracting them. Other eyes followed the moon fearfully and tried to hide from the rays that would find them eventually.

Harry still wasn't noticing anything but his own need to be alone. As another howl was heard, he wrenched his thoughts away from Snape and looked at the sky. As he saw the full moon, he tried to not panic and looked for a high tree to climb. If he was high enough, he would be safe. It was far too late to run back to Hogwarts.

What an idiot ! He thought. Shit, shit ! Why tonight? He just had needed to be alone for a little while and hadn't remembered the full moon. He must really attract trouble because he was always in some sort of sticky situations.

OoOoOoOo

A dark-haired man ran out dungeons, as if Hell's hounds were running after him. He was running as fast as he could towards the Forbidden Forest, trying desperately to outrun the rise of the moon and the terrible and unwholesome consequences it would have on him.

Severus Snape could feel his bones growing and his throat growling. He ran faster, away from his classroom towards the sanctuary that was the specific clearing he was aiming for. Corridors after corridors he ran and finally he ran outside the heavy school's doors, which opened for him and locked themselves magically behind him.

It was the full moon tonight and the night would belong to the werewolves. The Potions Master kept running to the Forest, where he wouldn't pose a threat to the school and the students.

The ex-Death Eater was raging. He thought he had anticipated everything, but apparently not. His Wolfsbane cauldron had exploded after an moronic house-elf accidentally dropped something unknown in it. Without his potion to keep the wolf at bay, he had no other recourse than reaching the Forest and waiting for the moon to wane.

Fuck ! He thought. What a mess !

Now that he knew how Lupin felt, he admired the man's courage to endure such a curse for more than twenty years. Maybe he would even meet him, as the man would found himself without the potion. Stupid, dunderheaded elf. Snape thought he would like to dismember and flay the creature when he came back from the Forest. If he actually came back, of course.

Severus Snape didn't have time to reach his destination before the transformation. He leant against the bark of a tree and gritted his teeth as the unbearable pain bore into him.

As he was crouched on a tree branch above his Professor, a green-eyed young man –dumbfounded and aghast – witnessed the change. He heard the roaring screams, the cracking bones and the ripping up of the clothes. He saw through the branches Snape's body writhing, bending and convulsing with the horrifying pain. He could almost feel it himself.

He saw the man fall and his claws scraping the ground. The howls were harrowing when the face became a muzzle and the pale skin became fur. Teeth became razor-sharp impressive fangs. Amber eyes blinked and soon turned inquisitive. Short and hairy ears were twitching and listening for any suspect sound.

Snape's long and loud howl to the moon let Harry know that the transformation was complete.

The great black wolf was whiffing the air, before rumbling and howling again.

Snape knew then. He knew Potter was close even if he couldn't see him yet. He could smell him well enough, smell the delicious scent he had breathed so often in Potions class recently. The foolish boy was in the path of mortal danger once again and Snape didn't know how to protect him this time.

He let out one last conscious howl before surrendering to the wolf. That howl was a hopeful prayer that he wouldn't be the one to kill Harry Potter, whom he loved desperately.

What Snape didn't know – because he couldn't imagine it – was that Harry was his chosen. The wolf inside him had chosen him, because his host was deeply enamoured. Therefore the wolf would defend him against all odds.

Harry shook himself and held back a cry of dismay for his Professor. The man seemed to endure so much. He couldn't believe the man was a werewolf. When, how, why had he been infected with lycanthropy ? And why didn't Remus tell him ? His honorary godfather must have known !

What did the two men believe ? That he wouldn't find out ? It was true that Snape was truly talented at hiding stuff, because Harry would never have guessed before that night's events.

The black wolf turned around the tree while looking up. It was groaning furiously when he glimpsed the young man's silhouette. The werewolf's eyes were locked on him. The game went on for half an hour, until several new howls rang out around them.

Other wolves had felt Harry's presence and were running towards their future victim.

They approached at a stampede. Harry could see their paws sweeping the snow in the air and could hear frantic howls.

The black wolf stood guard in front of the tree and prepared to attack. The animal was quite clear on his role : he was defending his chosen with his life if necessary. No other wolf would lay a paw or a muzzle on the boy in the tree, no one would bite him and no one would kill him. Harry Potter was his and anyone trying to take him away would regret it bitterly.

Three werewolves got there, baring their gleaming fangs. They were salivating at the idea of a spread feast for themselves. Their fur was steaming in the cold air and their eyes were glittering with madness. Snape knew he would have to give a frenzied fight to save his own life and Harry Potter's.

The battle would be unforgiving, as the three powerful werewolves defied the great black wolf. Their alliance would help them grab the prey they coveted.

Harry was mesmerised by the black wolf, which didn't back down no matter his peers' growling or their slavering fangs. Anyone would have fled or frozen in terror. It took some guts to stare them down and maintain his position. Snape's courage was unequalled.

The young man pushed his cumbersome cloak back. This small movement was like a signal to one of the wolf who pounced on the Potions Master with furious yellow eyes and was easily repelled. Each wolf would test Snape's defences one at a time for a long two hours.

The great black wolf resisted and didn't seem hurt. That eased the tightness in Harry's heart. But soon, the three wolves decided to attack at the same time and the black-haired student gasped in fear.

The snow was turning red, as more wounds were inflicted. Snape didn't have a chance as it was one against three.

The Boy-Who-Lived would sometimes fire a hex or a curse if one of the hostile wolves was in his line of sight. But lycanthropes were known to be immune to magical attacks and his spells didn't affect them at all, fizzling in their heavy fur.

Severus Snape was fighting like an enraged lion, hitting and biting with no pity. The difficulty was that the three others were doing the same. The black wolf was losing blood steadily, even if it didn't impair his energy and ferociousness.

Harry trembled in despair when he saw yet another wolf, running through the trees, towards the fight. He was no doubt attracted by the smell of blood permeating the air.

Harry's worry was shooting through the roof. Snape couldn't fight against four wolves and win. The young man had to help him, because his inaction would cause the black werewolf's death. He couldn't let the older man die that way, especially after every horror and torture of the war. He couldn't see the man he loved die.

Harry threw his cloak away and prepared himself to climb down the tree. If this was the end, then at least he would try his best to help. He had his wand clenched between his teeth and he dangled from the branches. As he reached the ground, the fourth werewolf was throwing himself in the free-for-all to drag the wounded black wolf out.

The newcomer was a tall and nervous pale werewolf that the three attackers fled, as he bit and scratched them quite violently. Indeed, after hours of fight against the black wolf, they were in bad condition. They yapped piteously as they fled away deeper in the Forbidden Forest to lick their wounds. The wood was silent again and Harry was relieved by the reversal of the situation.

The pale wolf had surprised Harry badly. He didn't come for a part of the prospective feast, he came to help Snape. He was calm and grooming his fur, no sign of his previous rage apparent. Harry didn't understand at all what had happened.

As Harry took a step towards them, the black wolf raised his head and growled at him. The message was quite clear 'Don't move'.

"I can help you." Harry said as he extended his hand towards him. "I can at least stop the bleeding and close the wounds."

The wolf pinned him to the trunk of the tree with force. Harry was ready for the worst and closed his eyes. He opened them again when nothing happened.

The animal was a lot bigger than him. It could kill him with one swipe of his paw or one bite of his fangs. Time slowed and snow fell all around them, covering the red blood.

Amber eyes were staring at the young wizard, and Harry nearly stopped breathing. He was trying to avoid provoking the wolf into violence, even though he wasn't really scared – and wasn't that mad, even for him. He wasn't scared of Snape, even in his great black werewolf form. The wolf was sniffing him, like he was committing the enticing smell of the Gryffindor to memory. Harry let him without protest.

The moment was in fact very sweet and moving despite the terrifying aspect of the wolf. Untold feelings were exchanged with one long look. Harry felt his heart swell with emotion for the wolf, as well as for the man, that was in front of him. That man was unpredictable, uncompromising and trapped by the image he built of himself : he was very human after all.

The pale wolf moved back a few steps to lie down in the snow. His bright eyes stared at them.

'As if he's standing guard...' Harry thought.

After a couple of minutes, the black wolf lied down as well directly at Harry's feet. The pale wolf was apparently trying to protect them both. Harry realised then that it was Remus and understood.

What he didn't understand was why Snape had protected him ? Obviously he had missed a clue somewhere, but he wondered if it was related to the heated glances he and Snape exchanged these days. He owed him his life, because if the black wolf hadn't been there, he would have been torn to pieces.

The Boy-Who-Lived accio-ed his cloak then wrapped it around him before lying down in turn against the side of the black wolf, which groaned in response. Harry could feel no anger in the sound, but a deep satisfaction from the wolf, as if it was content to be trusted.

The night wasn't over, and Harry didn't want to freeze to death. He burrowed against the dangerous creature, laid his head on his arm and staid silent as he felt the wolf curling up against him, his heavy fur – though a bit bloody – shielding him from the bitter cold.

OoOoOoOo

Hours later, the young Gryffindor stretched his benumbed muscles and shivered. There was a layer on snow on top of him which he shook off of him.

He looked around and saw Severus Snape and Remus back in their human form. Remus got back on his feet, leaning against a tree. Harry offered his cloak, as the man couldn't go back to school unclothed and his bare skin would freeze quickly if he stayed uncovered.

Snape was waking up as well, and Harry helped him up. The young man took of his jacket, used a charm to enlarge it and put it down the Potions Master's shoulders, who hissed in pain as he was badly wounded. Neither of them said a word. There was no need to define what had happened between them that night.

Harry helped them to Apparate back to Hogwarts' entrance door. It was very early in the morning – barely five o'clock – and the dawn wasn't breaking yet. The three men made a beeline for the Hospital wing. Harry and Remus carried Severus on a spotless bed, so that the Mediwitch could examine his wounds.

"I'll be back in a minute." Remus, the Defence against the Dark Arts Professor whispered to the young wizard. "I need to shower and change."

The Gryffindor nodded. Madam Pomfrey was already bustling about poking and prodding Snape's body as the poor man clenched his teeth in pain.

"Can't you give him some Pain-free potion ?" Harry angrily rebuked the nurse.

"I know how to do my job, Mister Potter. And I suggest back to your dormitory with you, as I certainly don't need you in here !"

"No, I won't leave the room. Not even for a minute !"

"Mister Potter !"

"Please, let him be, Poppy. Harry has every right to be present." Dumbledore said as he entered the room. "We shall certainly have a discussion on the matter, Harry, as I believe you didn't inform me about some things." The Headmaster narrowed his piercing blue eyes behind his glasses that looked precariously balanced on his nose.

"Well, you forgot to tell me about some things too, sir."

"Oh, then you know, my boy." The Headmaster exclaimed, as the nurse was forcing a Pain-free potion and a Dreamless Sleep potion own Snape's throat.

"It was impossible to ignore, considering I spent the night with him in the Forbidden Forest under the full moon. I know I'm his, his sou..."

"Of course, of course. Well, last night's events surely must have led you to that conclusion." The old man was muttering, as if speaking to himself. "I suppose he protected you against other wolves, didn't he?"

"Yes, sir."

"Of course. It must have happened that way."

"I want to stay with today and tonight, Headmaster..."

"As I told you, dear boy, you're welcome to stay with him."

"How long has he known ?" Harry asked in a low voice. He didn't want to disturb Madam Pomfrey who was already looking at him with bemusement. The nurse didn't know Snape and the wolf had found their lifetime companion in the young wizard.

"For several months already."

"Why didn't he tell me ? Was it so hard to talk to me ?"

"I couldn't say, my boy. You know Severus is a very private man."

"Yes, and he must have convinced himself that denial was easier. If he didn't talk about it, then it didn't happen." Harry snorted, as the dig at the Potions Master was deserved.

"I do think you're wrong, Harry. I believe he thought your life was complicated enough without him."

"That's true." Harry looked at Madam Pomfrey who was just finishing her treatment and was covering her patient, as he succumbed to the dreamless sleep promised by the potion.

"I am delighted, my boy, by your behaviour. You took the news of being a werewolf's mate very well. It is astonishing that you skipped the part of shouting, screaming and cursing Fate..."

"I had a long time to think about it while we were in the Forest."

"And not before ?" Albus smiled slyly as he asked.

"Nothing gets past you, it seems, Headmaster. I'm sure you're always happiest when you spy on us and meddle in our lives."

"Ah well, it is for the best. We won't wait on your NEWTs results to apprentice you to Professor Snape. I talked to him already. Be assured though, that I didn't mention you asked for the position."

Harry didn't know what to answer and simply beamed brightly.

"Mister Potter," the Mediwitch said, "it is a crucial decision, surely you need some time to think about it. What about your NEWTs ?" The woman sounded shocked.

"I thought about it and it is a done deal. At least, if Snape isn't a stubborn arse. That wouldn't surprise me a bit." Harry grinned. "I'll have to convince him."

Albus Dumbledore giggled like a young schoolgirl.

"Well, I don't want to know." Madam Pomfrey was offended. "Ignorance is bliss, as well I know." She left the room and went back to her office.

As decided, Harry stayed with Snape all day. The sleep potion was extremely efficient and the man didn't wake up. Thus the Boy-Who-Lived had time to think about his life and his future seriously.

Trying to tame the ex-spy would probably be exhausting – but maybe the older man would surprise him. The Potions Master was complicated enough that Harry couldn't predict how he would react to the situation. After all, the young man was trying to worm his way into his life.

Harry studied the sleeping man's face. He wasn't handsome, but he was indubitably more masculine than most other men. His dry wit and his snappy personality was attractively virile as well.

Severus was a bit taller than him. His hands had long and slim fingers that laid on the bed sheet. He was breathing slowly and his wounds were fully healed. Harry confirmed his soon-to-be mate was healthy by looking briefly under the infirmary gown he was wearing. He had scrutinised every movement of Madam Pomfrey while she was treating the older man and had almost felt jealous of her having her hands on him.

Remus checked on them twice during the day. He and Harry had a long man-to-man conversation about Severus. The Marauder was surprised when the young man confessed he would indeed give to the Potions Master the opportunity to prove that a Slytherin could be an agreeable companion.

"He'll be flabbergasted when he'll realise what you intend." The werewolf was smiling. "I expected to advocate for him and explain he's a good person. As you accept him already, I give you my best wishes. I believe you'll be happy with him because he's a marvellous man. Few people discover that aspect of him, but I wouldn't lie to you..."

"I know, Remus."

An hour after sunset and after Remus went back to his rooms, Snape finally woke up from his deep slumber. He blinked then muttered angrily. "Who's the imbecile who brought me in this thrice-damned Hospital Wing ?"

"That would be me sir," Harry answered and shook his head. "And you needed it."

Snape's head turned towards the sound and saw a silhouette in the dark.

"Potter ! What the heck are you doing here ?"

"Would you like to guess, sir ?"

"Of course not, you moronic child ! Or maybe you simply here to finish me off..."

"Well, in that case I wouldn't have brought you here !"

The Professor cast a Lumos spell to illuminate the room and pushed back the bed sheet to get out of bed.

"What are you doing ?"

"I am amazed you aren't able to tell, Mister Potter."

"Of course, I am. But you can't stand up in your condition !"

"Obviously I can."

"Don't be an idiot, erm... sir. If your wounds reopen, then..."

"This is none of your business, Potter."

Once his two feet were firmly grounded, the older man stood up and homed in on the chair where his spare clothes were arranged – Remus had brought them in the afternoon.

"I'm not detaining you, Potter, you can go." Severus wanted the young man to go away, as he wanted to take off the ugly gown Poppy had magically dressed him in.

Harry shook his head again and stepped closer. And closer.

"I didn't thank you yet, Professor. I would have died last night, if not for you."

"Let's not talk about it, Mister Potter. This prove I am prone to make mistakes. It definitely won't happen again."

"I just want to understand, sir. Why would you protect me in your werewolf form ? You should have torn me to shreds."

"There is nothing to understand, you dim-witted boy. You should enjoy the fact that my duty was to keep you alive. Now kindly go away, I wish to dress myself. And I forbid you to tell anyone anything about what transpire last night !"

"You know I'm not that dumb."

"Whatever do you mean, Potter ?" The Professor let out a growl reminiscent of his wolf form.

"I'm going, I'm going. And don't worry over-much, I've already seen you naked." Harry said. He headed towards the door with a small grin.

"Potter ! What on earth do you believe you know ?" Snape shouted as the young man disappeared. "Come back here, you insufferable brat ! Potter !"

OoOoOoOo

When Harry entered the potions classroom with Draco the next day, he was pleased to see Snape was perfectly all right. No after-effect.

The young Gryffindor settled at his seat, not far from the blond. He took his book from his bag and felt dark eyes following his every move. He looked up and smiled wryly at the Potions Master who ignored him.

"You're insane, Potter," Draco whispered. "He's going to snarl and snark at you for this. Aren't fed up with being a student at Hogwarts ? Because you'll still be one next year if you don't pass your NEWTs !"

"I won't be a student here next year, Dray. I have something else planned for my future."

"Since when ?" The Slytherin was surprised. The two of them were friends for several months already. "You didn't tell me about it !"

" Some time. Something happened yesterday. Shush, I'll tell you later."

"This is not the place nor the time for gossip, gentlemen. Begin. You have two hours to brew the potion." Snape's warning was stern.

Harry and Draco lit the fires under their respective cauldrons and retrieved their ingredients from the storage cupboard. Snape's glances to the Boy-Who-Lived were numerous but discreet.

Draco sniggered behind his hand. The two idiots were visibly enamoured with each other and neither of them wanted to take the first step towards the other. Yes, it was not the place nor the time. And he didn't want to witness this, he would have nightmares for the rest of his life if he did.

The blond was amused. He was also slightly exasperated to see, week after week, the 'two idiots' as he called them hang around each other. Neither of them was daring to say or do anything. This kind of patience wouldn't last forever. Maybe they only needed help to get started.

Today, Harry's fruitless endeavours had been rejected again by a forbidding Snape. Draco decided to act. The Gryffindor's efforts were vain and the Slytherin was irritated by his godfather's behaviour. It would take them forever and the little game between the two other men was distracting him. Today he had forgotten several ingredients and a Malfoy didn't make such mistakes !

Potter's potion was as bad as his own and the cauldron was close to melting or exploding anyway. There wasn't enough time for them to do it all over. No time like the present to interfere in the fledgling relationship.

Draco stood up, his head held high and looked haughtily at his Head of House.

"Please don't let my presence bother you," he said. Of course, he was going to have to state the obvious with short and simple words so that both men understood. "After all, it would probably be the same if I wasn't in the room. My own godfather is flirting with Harry Potter during potions class."

Shock left the Potions Master completely speechless.

"This classroom reeks of lust and desire. Mostly from you, Severus." The blond was putting his belongings back in his school bag and tidying up his worktable. "You should talk about it. And probably shag. Because you both must be terribly sex-starved."

"Is that all, Mister Malfoy ?" Snape asked snidely.

Harry was dumbfounded. He was looking at Draco, as if the young man was someone he'd never seen before.

"No, no, that's not all ! You need to let out your pent-out frustrations by having wild sex as soon as possible, and..."

"Enough, Draco ! I think we get it." Harry was snorting, swallowing the giggles that threatened to escape his mouth.

"Good. I thought I was talking to two fourteen-year-old Hufflepuffs having their first crush." Draco gave a saucy wink to his friend. He put his bag on his shoulder and turned to the door to leave the classroom. "I better not get a zero for today, Severus." Draco left with a little wave of his hand. Harry waved back.

There was an ominous silence in the room. Snape wanted to save face at all cost ; the outburst of his godson in front of the Boy-Who-Lived was humiliating. He raised his wand to vanish the sludge contained in the cauldrons, snuffling loudly in despair to have a Malfoy as a godson. Lucius would hear about this.

Harry stood up in turn but didn't leave the room. He wanted to initiate a serious conversation with the stubborn sarcastic man who was trying to ignore him again as usual.

He broke the silence. "He's right, you know."

"I admit nothing of the sort." Snape clung fiercely to his denial. "Who is he to make such assumptions ?"

"Snape, stop playing games, it's useless now !"

"There is no game. There is nothing to talk about at all, Potter."

"There is, but you don't want to listen to me !"

"Mister Potter, your behaviour is inappropriate and I won't allow you – "

" – to say what I think or how I feel ? Is that what you don't want to hear ?"

"Precisely !" The professor snapped, banging an empty vial on his desk.

"At least, do me the courtesy to explain why you won't admit your feelings !" Harry crossed his arms on his chest in a defensive posture. "Because your wolf did."

"I don't have feelings, as is well known. Especially not for you." Snape resorted to these cruel words to hide. "And what the wolf did is his business, not mine."

"Then why did you protect me in the Forest that night ?"

"Well, it would have been easy to accuse me of murder if you ended dead..."

"That's a lie."

"No, it's true. Imagine the headlines : 'The Death Eater turned werewolf eats the Boy-who-Lived'. I wasn't going to risk Askaban because you couldn't stay in your dormitory like the foolish Gryffindor you are !"

"That's not the reason why you saved me. You don't have the control of the situation and you're trying to flee from it, like a scared rabbit."

"I'm not a coward !" Snape screamed, his eyes wild with fury. "Don't say so again, or so help me Merlin..."

Harry smiled ruefully. "You're beautiful when you're angry. Your eyes are blazing even more than usual. Beautiful."

"You've gone mad, Potter." The Potions Master spluttered, taken aback by the compliment.

The Gryffindor slowly walked closer and touched his Professor's arm.

"Draco is right, Severus."

"The brat doesn't know what he is talking about !" Snape answered.

"That's true," Harry nodded.

"At last, you admit it."

"Yes, he said we wanted to shag but what we really want is to make love. This is the truth, isn't it ? If you're honest, you should admit it as well, Severus."

The older man was wavering. He knew it was his chance to have a happy life. The one chance Harry Potter was offering him. His answer would be portentous. He knew as well that life with a Gryffindor would be close to a disaster and the brat deserved a better life than living with a nasty predatory half-breed.

"Severus. Talk to me, please."

The Slytherin answered softly. "Not here. We'll pursue this discussion in my quarters."

Harry was startled. He didn't expect such an invitation. He was even considering pouncing on the man to force him to admit their mutual attraction. Finally, he believed Snape had made a decision, so his rash and slightly preposterous actions were unnecessary.

He followed the Professor in a deserted corridor and through a door hidden by a tapestry.

"Moon-snake." Snape whispered the password.

The door opened and Harry entered the room of his dark and mysterious Potions Master who closed the door behind them.

The décor of the rooms was a surprise. It was bright and comfortable. There were large windows that could have been real if it wasn't underground. The fireplace was crackling and roaring, supplying a nice warmth at the complete opposite of the frigid cold of the Potions classroom. There was a wide cream-coloured sofa covered with soft cushions in front of the hearth. An inviting sight. A mahogany desk near one of the magical windows. A tall wardrobe. Several shelves full of books. And a thick carpet on the wooden floor. Snape's rooms were welcoming.

"That's not how I imagined your quarters. You pretend to be cold and forbidding, but it's really a masquerade." Harry's words were soft and awed.

"It keeps the pest away. I don't need people to infest my life and my place."

"That's not a life if you're all alone."

"That's my life." The tone of Snape's voice was sinister. The man took his heavy wizarding robe off.

"Are you happy this way ?"

"Happiness is a fool's dream, Potter. Being happy is a mirage."

"You're an idiot. Happiness is important, Snape."

"Would you please stop insulting me ? That's twice today you're saying I'm an idiot !"

"Well, I certainly won't stop if you keep being one. There is nothing wrong with looking for happiness or being happy."

The older man scoffed and poured himself a glass of Firewhiskey. He didn't answer.

Harry shook his head and stepped closer to the fireplace to warm his hands at the fire. He wouldn't leave, not until this 'thing' between him and Snape was resolved. Tonight was the night to confess feelings, reveal secrets and finally talk openly. And Snape was going to talk whether he liked it or not. The Potions Master was stubborn, but then so was Harry.

"Sit down," Snape ordered, with an annoyed wave of the hand. "You want to talk, then talk."

"Really ?" Harry sat in the armchair and stared at him.

"You shouldn't doubt my word, Potter. You know I – "

"Of course, you're an honourable man. I never doubted that."

The Potions Master sat down in front of the young man of his dreams – of his nightmares as well – and acknowledged that the Gryffindor knew what he wanted and wasn't afraid to say it loud and clear. He proffered a glass of his favourite alcohol as a token of peace and prepared for the following serious conversation. He would still try to dissuade Potter from becoming his mate or his apprentice.

Harry took the glass with a encouraging smile. "When were you bitten ?"

"Eight months ago."

"That was during the final battle, wasn't it ?"

"Indeed."

"Who knows about it ?"

"Albus, Poppy and Lupin, of course. Draco and Lucius as well. I didn't want the news to spread further than that, as I'm sure you can understand."

"I understand."

Severus Snape took a gulp of Firewhiskey slowly and savoured the fiery taste. He stretched his legs and crossed them back.

"Why are you being so insistent ?" He asked.

"When I saw you in the Forest, I felt something. I believed I felt something for you already, but that night changed things. My feelings intensified... greatly."

"You're pitying me."

"Snape, stop it !"

"So, tell me."

"It's hard to explain. I mean, imagine you live with a man you see nearly everyday for more than seven years and everyday you think that man is the worst bastard you know and – "

" – Yes, thank you so much, Potter."

" Stop interrupting me and let me finish before inundating me with sarcastic little remarks." Snape's lips were tight with disapprobation, but Harry went on. "I was saying that after those bad first impressions I was intrigued by your behaviour during and after the final battle with old Snake-face – "

" – What behaviour ? I didn't change my behaviour at all !" The man felt outraged.

"That's blatantly untrue, sir." Harry answered sharply.

"What foolish notions did you get in your head to say such idiocy ?"

"Well, you didn't hound me after the battle like you did before. You stopped insulting me all the time and criticising everything I did."

"I did nothing of the sort."

"You did !" Harry cried out in exasperation. The older man still refused to admit anything.

"You're wrong !"

Harry couldn't help snorting as he saw the Potions Master pouting at their childish squabble. He looked at him and let his eyes roam the man's body, especially along the long and powerful legs. The man was really very attractive.

"Do you mind ?" The clipped words tore Harry's attention from his looking.

"No, I don't mind," Harry said archly. "I'm appreciating the view, is all. I have that right."

Severus couldn't quite hide the quirks of his lips at that comment and Harry shivered in pleasure when he saw how beautiful the man was when his face lit up in mirth. As Severus stood up to help himself to another drink, he felt a soft and warm hand grab his own. He had no time to extricate his hand before the pushing Gryffindor blocked his way with his body.

"I don't know what kind of game you're playing, Potter, but –"

"No game, sir. I don't wish you to have another drink, because I don't want to talk to you when your head is befuddled by too much of an alcoholic beverage."

"Let me tell you, Potter, that I am not a light-weight. I won't get intoxicated by drinking two glasses of Firewhiskey. I probably won't get drunk even if I drink the entire bottle."

"I don't want people to say that my boyfriend is a drunkard !" Harry proclaimed, with pomposity.

"I'm not your 'boyfriend' and it is unlikely that I'll ever will be !"

"You will."

"I won't."

"Yes, you will, Snape !"

"No, I won't, Potter !"

Harry took the man by surprise when, instead of another retort, he caught his neck in his hands and pressed his lips to his mouth for a breathless kiss. Snape had gasped, allowing Harry's tongue to sneak in his mouth. The younger man expected to be rebuffed and was startled to feel Snape's tongue teasing his with a lot of talent. Snape was a prat with a gift for snogging !

In a sudden movement he didn't see coming, Harry was pushed outside in the corridor and the door slammed shut in his face. The git threw him out ! Damn, he was fed up but no way he was going to give up ! He was going to become a persistent leech and Snape would have to listen.

An hour later, Professor Snape was feeling proud of his successful plan and decided to go into his laboratory to brew some potions for the Hospital wing. It was a good way to forget about the kiss. It was a good way to forget as well about how his own body had betrayed him, had turned against him, had failed him, had..., had... Well, that was the gist of it, even if he couldn't find his words anymore.

At the same time, Harry had retrieved the Marauder's Map from his trunk and had observed Snape's every move. He took a secret passage in the dungeons to intercept the man as he left his rooms.

"Potter !" Snape barked the name of the young man – his current nemesis – when he discovered his presence in the sanctuary that was his laboratory. "I don't want to see you again. You have the gall to enter my Potions lab and I will not be disrespected this way ! My lab is not for meeting little guttersnipes like you !"

"You can throw me out the door, Snape. But there are lots of doors in this castle but nearly every one will open for me. And when not, you know what they say ? 'Out through the door, back through the window'." Victory made Harry snigger. "We didn't finish talking, you and I." He raised his eyebrows in challenge.

The Potions Master rubbed his eyes in defeat and put down the wooden rod he held on his worktable. The young man would never leave him alone and his days of peace and quiet were obviously over.

He whispered. "I'm doomed..." With a louder voice, he asked. "Why are you stalking me, Potter ? Don't you have anyone else to bother ?"

"You know I don't, Snape. Besides, Albus –"

"Fuck Albus !"

"Oh please, don't. Bad images in my head..." Harry said waggling his finger at the older man in a joking manner.

"Well, the old coot shouldn't meddle in my work or my life ! I don't want you ! Not as my apprentice and not as my mate either ! How many times do I have to say this for it to enter your diminished mind ?"

"I don't believe there is an alternative, sir. We'll just have to bear the situation like adults. I'm willing to make an effort."

"No, no, this is completely unthinkable !" Snape was close to panicking and turned back to his cauldron. "We are not compatible !"

"You know how it is when Albus gets an idea in his head..."

"I know," Snape sighed. "I had the pleasure of being manipulated into some of his hare-brained schemes more than once and honestly the less said, the better." He hid a contemptuous snort.

"We're stuck with it, Snape."

"Potter, you're stuck with it, perhaps. I am certainly not !"

"And how would that be ?" Harry asked defiantly.

"The dungeons are my territory. I am able to choose to do only what I want to in my dungeons."

"This is Hogwarts !"

"Yes, it is. Your gift for stating the obvious is astounding."

"As a Professor, you have to serve the students' ne–"

"Never ! Never ! I do not serve, and especially not those foolish dunderheads !" Snape spat the angry retort, unable to believe Potter would use such a word. "I have served before, served the Dark Lord and never again ! Once was enough for a lifetime !"

"Yes, Voldemort was a bad-tempered bastard. Just like you in fact. That's why you don't have friends, no one is willing to approach you and risk your tongue-lashing."

"It was the only way to stop people from bothering me. And until now it worked quite well..."

"Until I came to you, you mean." His comment made the green-eyed Gryffindor chortle.

"Indeed."

"Tell me what I have to do for you to come around, you can –"

"You may begin by getting the hell out of my lab. Get lost ! Don't come back ! You are trying my patience and Merlin knows I am close to my breaking point."

"Nope. Can't do that, Snape. Albus said to insist."

"Why are you listening now ? You delight in rule-breaking and used to ignore whatever your betters said, or ordered, or advised... Are you some obedient pawn, now ?"

"You know I'm not."

"Then why ?"

"First and foremost, because I like bothering you. I really can't help it. It's fun. And second, because it is imperative that I become your apprentice... and your boyfriend."

"You are an insufferable prat !"

"I know. But I won't give up until I get what I want. And you should know that I can be a stubborn arse, just like you are."

The older man groaned. He put out the fire under his cauldron and muttered under his breath as he left his laboratory. Harry tucked his hands in his pockets and followed. He was sure that the grumbling Potions Master was going to give up.

When the door of Snape's quarters slammed shut in his face once again, he swore. The git could have broken his nose ! He hesitated a moment before opening the door. When no Unforgivable was uttered his way, he entered the rooms.

"Please, Professor Snape, I swear I'll obey your every command. I'll do anything you ask and I'll do overtime to make sure you're always satisfied..."

Snape narrowed his eyes, as he noticed the innuendo.

"You're talking about brewing Potions, of course." The words were heavy with suspicion.

"Yes, of course." Harry gave an innocent look at the Potions Master. "I'm talking about something else as well."

"No, Potter. No. Don't even think about it !"

"Why are so hard headed ?"

"Didn't you listen to anything I told you, you moronic Gryffindor ?"

"Well, no. I mostly don't listen to you at all."

"This explains so much."

The Boy-Who-Lived leaned against Severus and grabbed his neck again. He kissed greedily. Snape thought to repeat his former manoeuvre but didn't really want to throw the young man in the corridor. The kiss was so promising, so full of passion and so sweet that he embraced the smaller body and answered every stroke of the youth's tongue with soft strokes of his own, before he became more impatient and wild.

The young man was gloating. The stubbornness had been fruitful. A long hand pulled Harry's dishevelled dark hair and exposed his throat. Snape was kissing, nipping and biting the delicate skin.

"Oh, yes, Snape, yes," Harry breathed with a hoarse voice. "That's it, yes."

"Pervert."

"Flatterer."

The Potions Master chuckled and bit the Gryffindor's ear. Yes, he was going to give the young man exactly what he wanted. The desire was like fire in his veins. His engorged cock was straining against his trousers. It even left a small patch of pre-come seep through the cloth. The Potter brat had his hand rubbing against it and Snape wasn't sure he could avoid coming in his pants.

He wrenched his lips free and removed Potter's shirt in a sharp movement, their eyes locked in a lusting look. He zipped down the flies of the brat's trousers and slipped his nimble fingers inside to stroke the hot prick until it was fully hard.

"Who's the pervert now ?" Harry's giggle was stopped short by his moan when Snape's hand pinched his balls to shut him up.

Harry nearly tore away the rest of their clothes in his impatience and pressed his lithe body against Snape's muscular one, getting a guttural growl from his partner.

He whispered. "Don't take me against the wall..."

The Potions Master understood. A bed would be much better. A few seconds were enough to steer the young man to his bedchamber and push him down on the bed.

"I like the way you look," Harry whispered seductively. He opened his arms in invitation. "You look wild, your cock is hard for me, your dark eyes are lusting for me..."

Snape climbed on the bad without waiting another moment and straddled the young man. Harry welcomed the weight of his body on his and his hands caressed the older man without restraint. Snape was beautiful. So sexy. So male. Harry thanked Merlin for his luck ; the man of his dreams was naked in his arms, his hot and heavy cock resting on his stomach. He bit in lips to contain the moan of pleasure that tried to escape.

The Potions Master turned his head up and levitated a vial of lubricant in his hand. Opening it, he let some drip on his erected prick. He took his time when he coated the lube on his member, just to have the satisfaction to see Harry's eyes darken and Harry's mouth open helplessly.

The young man groaned and tilted his hips, he wanted to be taken now. He had waited long enough. Snape's teasing was an arousing torture. Even proper preparation would take to long.

"I want you now, Severus..."

"It will hurt, Harry..." The older man whispered, a bit concerned.

"I don't care, I want you right now !"

Snape obeyed and slid inside his young lover's body in one push. Harry tensed at the pain and slumped into Snape's arms as he sighed in delight. There was so much pleasure in feeling his lover inside him. Finally they were making love. Severus was his, now. Forever.

Their bodies glided against each other, moist with sweat. Snape's thrusts were sultry and dominating. Their breaths were loud as one or the other were hissing their enjoyment. Hands grabbed shoulders, hips lifted, thrusts spared no strength.

Snape lifted his head and captured Harry's lips, before his tongue thrust inside his mouth forcefully. The older man delighted in Harry's response as the young man moaned and groaned in pleasure. He drove his cock into his lover's tight channel harder and faster.

Their fingers intertwined, as if they would never let go. The intensity of their lovemaking was extraordinary. Snape wanted to come, but he most wanted to see Harry lose control and spurt against him. He wanted to smell his lover's semen. His werewolf's nostrils were so sensitive. He wanted Harry to scream as he orgasmed, to tighten his arse around him and to come all over him. He wanted to swallow the breath of that moment in his mouth and hold Harry's body as it shook in completion.

Harry shouted as he came, spurting milky fluid on Snape's chest. The older man kissed his breath away. The young Gryffindor was sweating and shivering, as he felt his lover tense above him. His heart was beating wildly. He relaxed when he realised that Snape had come as well, flooding his hole with warm sperm.

The atmosphere was peaceful as both men calmed down. Their cocks were spent, even if Snape already planned for another slower and sweeter round. Leaning on his elbows, Harry was staring at his older lover and let him bend over him. He quickly pulled him closer and spread his legs to show he was ready. Snape swooped down on his lips and kissed him deeply.

"You were right. You're the one I want." Severus whispered his words of love, while he thrust slowly inside the youth's body.

"I'm the one you yearned for." Harry answered when the older man was buried to the hilt inside him.

"You're the one I'll own." The possessive words made Severus sigh in pleasure.

"I'm the one you'll love." Harry rectified, as he was touched and moved to tears, whispering against his lover's lips.

"You're mine, now, my love."

"Yes. Yes, I'm yours, Severus."

OoOoOoOo

The following morning, Hogwarts had a Potions apprentice and Snape had a mate.

-THE END-