Concerning Dearest …
A Brief Outline
Concerning Between the Lines …
This story begins on the eve of the Final Battle. It is, however, AU from the beginning of Sixth Year …
Devastated by Sirius' death and blaming himself for his Godfather's loss, Harry approached Severus and begged his forgiveness of the 'Pensive Incident'. A brief legilimens from Severus convinced him of Harry's sincerity. He then consented to resume Harry's occlumency instructions.
At some point during their lessons, Severus broke through to Harry's memories of extreme abuse and neglect at the hands of the Dursleys. This caused Severus to realize that Harry had been using rudimentary occlumency shields all along, in order to keep hidden the worst parts of his life with his relatives. As a result of this insight, Severus' attitude towards Harry changed. Upon seeing what Harry's life had actually been like, Severus was finally able to see that Harry was nothing like James, and he began to see Harry's true nature.
From that point onward, and with this break-through, Harry's occlumency - legilimency training became successful. Over the course of the lessons, the empathy Severus felt for Harry turned to mutual respect and friendship. Eventually they fell in love with each other.
Draco saw his Godfather's change in attitude towards Harry and followed his example, so that eventually they also became very close (platonically, at least on Harry's part). When the time came, Harry stood by Draco against Lucius and was very steadfast and caring towards his friend, which in turn inspired Draco's undying loyalty to Harry. Neither made any attempt to hide their friendship from their friends, or the rest of the school. Seeing Draco's lead, the rest of the Slytherin House followed their 'Prince' and they (mostly) all sided with 'the light'.
Harry's friends also followed his ideals without (much) protest and the Gryffindors called a truce with the Slytherins. Other friendships were formed between the two houses which then spread to the whole school. For the first time in many years there was true house unity at Hogwarts.
Severus fought hard to keep Harry from returning to the Dursleys' after Sixth Year. Maybe they had to marry – but not 'bond' – in order to protect Harry properly. If so, the marriage was kept very secret with the purpose to safeguard Severus' cover. The only ones who knew about the marriage were Albus, Minerva, Draco, Remus, Hermione and the Weasleys. As it was for safety only and not a true (love or soul) bond, the marriage remained unconsummated, so Harry continued to live in Gryffindor Tower.
Concerning Possibilities For The Future …
For Harry and Severus' future, I see that Severus would remain the Potions Master at Hogwarts (with a new and more pleasant attitude now that the war and his spying were behind him), with Harry as the Defence Against The Dark Arts Professor, likely for the rest of their lives.
If there would be M-Preg, there would be only one child borne to Harry and Severus. Perhaps Harry couldn't have any more children after the first live-birth, or perhaps M-Preg is so incredibly rare that once is miracle enough. I toyed with the idea that maybe Harry fell pregnant on the eve of the 'Final Battle', and then miscarried several weeks later. This could be why it took so long for him to wake up again, because his magic was fighting to support the child, and unable to heal him. With the loss of the child, Harry could then (physically) recover.
Some type of 'Friends With Benefits' relationship would evolve between Draco and Remus. They are not 'Soul-Mates' as Remus' mate (Sirius) is dead and Draco never founds his. Perhaps Draco is in love with Harry and so never looks any further for his Soul-Mate? The true extent of Draco's feelings for Harry is best left ambiguous. Does he truly love Harry as a brother, or is he deeply 'in love' with him? Only Draco really knows. Either way, Draco would never marry.
Concerning Some Random Facts …
I don't see that Severus would ever 'bottom' for this story. This Harry, although powerful, has had no real childhood. So I see him as someone who needs desperately to be 'taken care of', both in an emotional and physical sense. Also, Harry has enough pressure on him without having to add this extra responsibility, so I don't see that he would ever 'top'.
With the release of power Harry experienced with the loss of his virginity he became more powerful than even Albus and Tom.
Ginny died in the Final Battle, not Fred. Sorry – I just couldn't do that to the twins! I like Ginny just fine, but she really has no place in this story.
Concerning Some Lines That Didn't Fit In …
"Did Draco kiss your cheek on his way out, just now?" Harry couldn't help a sly smile as Severus pursed his lips in embarrassment.
"Yes, it is a newly developed habit that I've had to endure over the past few weeks; a habit of which I have yet to break him."
"I think you're going to have to get used to it Severus, and you should enjoy it for what it is. He loves you and you're all he has left now."
"He has you."
"Yes, and I'm his 'Baby Brother', but that's nothing to the connection he has with you. Besides," Harry gave a most Slytherin smile. "I think it's cute!"
"Cute!" Severus was most indignant.
"Yes." Harry added a kiss of his own to Severus' cheek. "Cute."
"Huff!" Severus' snarky reply did nothing to hide his blush, Harry laughed.
~~ / ~~
"If you were looking for a safe place, why would the Castle think to provide you with that cupboard?"
"Uncle Vernon's a very big man. He could never fit inside my cupboard under the stairs. So, even though I was still on punishment when he threw me inside, it was safe there because it meant the thrashing was over until next time."
"You were still on punishment? Wasn't the beating enough?" Severus didn't even try to hide his outrage at Harry's casual tone, which was more than enough to tell anyone that these things occurred so often that Harry looked upon them as commonplace.
"They let me out to do my chores of course, but I usually had to go without meals for a day or two after that."
~~ / ~~
Even then, it would be a very long time before Harry could trust him enough to utter those three little words again unless Severus said them first.
Concerning A Great Challenge …
Is anyone up for to a challenge? I would have loved to have found a way to put this into the story, could you?
"Why do you have to hate me because I have my Father's face? Why couldn't you love me because I have my Mother's eyes?"
"In time I may have been able to forgive you for being James Potter's son. I do not think however, that I could ever forgive you for not being mine." Harry reached up and touched Severus' face gently, almost reverently.
"That's so unfortunate Severus." He spoke softly, unable to hide the pain and sorrow in his voice. "You were my Mother's best friend, and she loved you as such, but you will never again find a love and devotion like mine."
As Harry turned and walked slowly away, Severus told himself that he was immune to the tears in those green eyes.
Concerning A Favourite Quote About Harry …
"Pregnant? … It took two very powerful wizards, a soul bond and a contraception potion to attain Male Pregnancy! Additionally (even then) there had to be a need for deeper feelings as well; the light power infused in love was incredibly strong …" ~ "Content At Last" by Lilyseyes
Concerning Reviews …
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support, and wonderful reviews. It's great to see how people feel about my little story, and every little bit is appreciated.
I'd also like to specifically thank: itachisgurl93, Ultimaterockgodess, Thatsallwegot, Tera-Rocklynn and especially mauralee88, all of whom have reviewed regularly from the first chapter, and continued to encourage further installments of this fic.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions or comments.
I can't thank you all enough!