Thank you to all my lovely reviewers and loyal readers! I am overwhelmed by the support (readership, reviews, favorites, and alerts). Wow! : )
Warnings: Pre-Snarry (attractions felt, not yet revealed)
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters nor anything else you recognize. I'm just borrowing the characters for a bit of fun. :D
Previously in "Astronomy Tower": Quick Summary of Chapter 1-6
Severus catches Harry in the Astronomy Tower. Harry is upset, Severus shows concern, and Harry confides in Severus. Harry reveals that he is gay, is worried that his friends wouldn't support him, and is upset because he feels that the man he is interested in is someone that he shouldn't be interested in. Severus gives comfort, assurance, and advice. In the process, he also shares personal information about himself, including the fact that he has given up on love. They make a promise to each other: Harry will take Severus' advice on how to pursue the man of his interest if Severus will give love a chance. As it turns out, they both have feelings for the other, but have not let it be known to anyone else.
HPSS HPSS HPSS
Chapter Seven: Epilogue
Later in the school year, in the Potions classroom…
Harry was nearly done with his Sight Enhancement potion, with just one last ingredient to add. Professor Snape had just walked by, peered into the cauldron, glared at the Serpentfly wings that Harry was crushing into a powder with his mortar and pestle, and continued on with only a grunt of acknowledgement. Harry smiled to himself. If there were anything wrong with my potion, Snape wouldn't hesitate to say something, so I must have done well!
A few minutes later Professor Snape stood at the front of the room and loudly announced, "Time is up. Turn in a vial, no matter how unfinished or atrocious it is, and you may leave."
Harry chose that moment to dump in all of his Serpentfly wings and then he quickly backed away from his cauldron.
"Potter!" Professor Snape yelled. "Stay after class!"
Harry forced a look of irritation on his face as he attempted to pour some of the ruined potion into a vial and began to gather his textbooks.
"We'll see you in the common room, Harry," Hermione promised, as she walked by with a sympathetic look.
Ron was not far behind her. "Don't let that git rile you up too much, mate. We can't afford to lose many points."
Harry nodded to them both and finished gathering his things. When all his classmates had left he made his way up to the front, where Snape sat at his desk, organizing the vials that had been placed there.
"Write a foot-long essay on how the amount of Serpentfly wings, the degree to which they are crushed, and the speed with which they are added affects the quality of this potion," Snape said without looking up.
"But I had a perfectly good potion until the last ingredient and I ruined it on purpose!"
"Should I make that two feet?" Dark eyes glared at him dangerously.
Harry sighed. "No, sir. You're right. It was foolish to cause the explosion and I deserve to write the essay."
Snape nodded curtly and turned his attentions back to the vials. "I'll expect the essay before your next Potions class."
Harry didn't move. He stared at Severus' beautiful hands as he examined the vials, turning them this way and that, and jotted down his observations on parchment. He momentarily forgot why he was there.
"You said you ruined it on purpose. Explain," the rich voice suddenly uttered softly.
Harry blinked and tore his eyes from Severus' hands, looking up instead at the professor's face, which held no expression. "I… uh… needed to talk to you."
"I'm available before and after class, as well as during office hours. That does not require a ruined potion."
"Um… yeah, but my friends would think it odd if I sought you out voluntarily."
Snape hummed and looked back at the vials. "What did you need to talk to me about?" he asked in an guarded-sounded tone.
"I just wanted to tell you that I talked to my friends and everything's fine, just like you told me it would be."
"How fortunate for you." His tone seemed almost light and friendly.
"Yeah. I was relieved." Harry shuffled his feet. "So… I was wondering. I know that our textbook says that this potion only gives better eyesight for a few hours, but I was wondering if there's a potion that permanently fixes bad eyes."
"No." Snape continued to take notes.
"Because a successful potion has not yet been invented."
"Oh…" Harry replied, feeling disappointed.
Snape looked up. His eyes seemed to soften. "There's no potion for a permanent cure, but that doesn't mean you don't have options. Vision-correction is something that some Medi-wizards and -witches, as well as muggle doctors, specialize in. Quite honestly, I know very little about it. I don't know what they are capable of, how successful their methods are, or how expensive they are."
Harry smiled. "Okay, thanks. I'll look into it."
Snape nodded and went back to his vials and notes. "Don't you have somewhere to be?"
Harry's heart began to quicken. "Uh… well… there was just one more thing…" He hesitated.
Snape looked up after several uncomfortable moments, impatience clearly marked on his face. "Potter, I don't have all day."
Harry swallowed uncomfortably but plunged ahead. There was no way but forward. "I, uh, wanted your help this summer. If that's okay. I had Dobby and Kreacher look over Grimmauld Place recently - that's where I'll be living when school's out. There are some pests that I'll need to get rid of and, um, I'd much rather brew my own potion rather than purchase one - although I could use a bit of help on that. But I was mainly concerned with the curses and dark artifacts. Most are quite old and very dark and… I was hoping you could help me… uh, you know, get rid of them…" He had gotten most of that out in a rush and then at the end trailed off, feeling self-conscious as Snape stared at him without expression.
"I'll pay you. Generously," he added. He held his breath and braced himself for rejection.
"I don't need your money, Potter."
"I…" His mind grasped for something Snape couldn't resist. And then he had it. "I'll give you free-rein of the library. You can borrow, or keep, any of the books you desire."
Finally there was a flicker in the dark eyes, the slightest rise of an eyebrow, and an almost imperceptible twitch of a lip. "I'll consider it. Ask me again when the school year is over."
Harry grinned. "Brilliant! Okay, well, I should be going now. Thank you, Professor."
Snape inclined his head in response.
Feeling like he could fly without a broom, Harry made his way out of the classroom. Just as he reached the door, he turned his head. Snape was looking at him. Harry smiled. He wasn't sure, but it almost looked like Snape gave a small smile in return.
Harry couldn't wait for summer. Somehow he would find a way into that man's heart…
HPSS HPSS HPSS
Please review! Thank you!
Thank you for being patient for this final chapter!
I've written a bit on the 2nd installment of the series ("Way To A Man's Heart") but it will be quite awhile before I continue work on it since I want to focus on finishing up my WIP's. I'm excited about this story because it will be a bit different than my other stories. Harry will be pursuing Sev as a friend and finding ways to encourage Sev to see him as a possible love interest. Sev will be helping Harry clean up Grimmauld Place, and in addition to free-rein of the library, Harry will be cooking for Sev. SO… I will be including recipes of what Harry makes for Sev! How's that for something different!
For those anxious for Snarry action, keep in mind that my version of SS in this story has a painful backstory (date rape – SS will reveal more details to HP in the sequels. Poor Sev!) and low self-esteem, so it's necessary for their relationship to happen slowly. I hope that the sequels will make the wait worth it! In the 3rd story in the series, HP will give SS some much needed "sexual healing" ;)