A/N-After a lazy day yesterday, I decided to put the rest of this all up together. By the time I had finished removing content, it was a good 10-15 pages shorter than it originally was, but oh well. I suppose I'll just have to deal with it DX

Thank you to: Hobesan, Thatsallwegot and Daiyu Amaya for commenting!

Thatsallwegot: Your review made me laugh. Loads. I got some very funny looks from my family, who thought I was acting 'emo' before. How my mother learnt that word, I will never know.

Green Eyes- Christmas

As everyone was waiting for the train, Harry felt a hand upon his shoulder, and turned to see Severus, who offered a tiny smile, despite the presence of Ron and Hermione.

Harry immediately smiled up at him, brightly though slightly shy, and nodded, before walking a few paces away, Severus following wordlessly after him.

Ron looked confused, but Hermione didn't, and Severus was a little concerned by her smirk.

"Hey Severus. Wotcha doing here?" Harry reminded himself of Tonks, and tried not to laugh.

"I'm about to get on the train, of course." He dug around in his pockets, found the boxed and wrapped gift, and held it out to Harry. "I wanted to give you this."

Harry smiled, and shoved his hands into his own pockets, bringing out the present he was going to give to Severus. He spelled it back to normal size, and held his hand out.

"I wanted to give this to you, too." They swapped, and Harry grinned.

"I hope you have a merry Christmas, Severus."

Severus chuckled. " Didn't you know I'm staying at the Burrow for Christmas?"

Harry just stared blankly. Then shrugged, a small frown tugging at his lips.

"Then why are we doing this now?" It made very little sense, and Severus was a man who had a reason for everything.

"Oh, I really knew you didn't know; I was supposed to tell you. This here is 'surprise, I'm crashing your holiday." He waved a hand sarcastically, and Harry's frown deepened. That was utter bullshit. No-one in their right mind would believe that was Snape's reasoning for doing it now, it a crowded space, rather than with…*Click*. It was almost audible.

"Rubbish. You're just too awkward, and decided you wanted us to exchange gifts now rather than in front of a massive group of Weasley's." Harry suddenly beamed up at the older man, and Severus got the urge to both smile and glare. He did neither, instead just standing there gawking at him. He'd never called him on his crap before. And Severus knew Harry could always tell when he was lying; there was something in the boy's expression that said 'I know'.

This had just confirmed that it wasn't just paranoia. He stayed staring, unmoving.

Harry clicked his fingers in front of the Slytherin's face, then lightly flicked his nose, unable to stop himself. Severus let out a growl, then glared at Harry, who didn't really care. The glare had lost a lot of its effect over the last few months.

"Why did you just do that?" Had they been in Severus's office, his rooms, or pretty much any of the potions rooms (without students in them, of course), Severus simply would have done it back, in true childish style. But this was in public where he was supposed to be evil Snape, not Severus, and he was genuinely surprised Harry had done it.

"I thought it might help you pick your jaw up off the floor." The Gryffindor said airily, and waved a hand uncaringly.

"I'll see you there then."

Severus nodded, shrunk and pocketed the package he had hold of, and went to yell at some idiotic second year Slytherins, who had decided it was a bright idea to push each other on the edge of the platform.

Slytherins or not, that was stupid, and Severus felt like having a bit of a yell at them.

-Harry was more than a little confused as to how they'd gotten to a place where they could act like that around each other, all teasing, comfortable, happy. It had only just really hit him, and he felt a little disorientated.

Harry walked back over to where Hermione was smiling, and Ron looking like he was about to have an aneurism, then remembered that he hadn't really explained much to them, except from right at them beginning.

"Come on, then. I think we should do find a compartment early; we always seem to have a bit of trouble." Hermione walked towards the train, and Harry vaguely wondered how he'd missed its arrival.

He followed his two friends slowly, knowing that Hermione was dying to question him.

"Hey, Ron, why didn't you mention that Severus was staying at the Burrow?" Harry asked, the second they had closed the door of the compartment.

"I didn't know that." Ron frowned in confusion. Harry frowned also. Shouldn't his mother have told him that?

Hermione, on the other hand, seemed amazingly pleased by this. It was strange, considering she, too, was staying at the Burrow, as she had encouraged her parents to go on holiday, keeping them away in case of potential attacks while she could.

"Do you think he'll help with our potions essays?" She asked excitedly, and Ron rolled his eyes.

Harry didn't bother replying; Severus nearly always helped him with work, as he had a habit of taking it with him to do in Severus's rooms.

It gave him an excuse to stay longer, and he had found that she was amazingly content with the other man's company.

"No, 'Mione, he'll probably just point out that he's on holiday, so he's not teaching." Ron grumbled, and Harry laughed. He hoped he could get Severus to help; it would probably be the only real time he could get with him throughout the Christmas break.

*0o0o0*

The platform was crowded, but it didn't take very long for them to find Molly, Arthur, Fred and George.

Their rather noticeable colouring was incredibly useful at times. The three dragged their trunks over, and were each in turn enveloped in a tight hug from Mrs Weasley.

As always she was a little ... overexcited. She even hugged Severus when he joined them, and Harry laughed at the awkward way in which he hugged her back, despite how he was used to her behaviour.

It gave Harry a strange feeling, seemingly being the one person Severus could touch normally. He liked the exclusivity.

Ginny was the last to turn up, and everyone other than her parents figured that she had been rather busy saying goodbye to her boyfriend of the week, but no-one commented, for they all feared the reaction of a Molly in denial.

Once everyone was ready, they passed through the barrier to the main station, and Arthur led them out to a bright red mini. Harry glanced at it for only a moment before turning to Arthur, who was grinning broadly.

"Super-enlargement charm?" He enquired, and the man nodded, proud of his new vehicle.

"You betcha, Harry. I missed driving." He sounded really happy, and even Molly smiled, though she still kept casting distrustful looks towards the 'small' car.

"Why a mini, though?" Harry wouldn't have figured this to be the type of car that Arthur would want. If he had acquired a large car, he wouldn't have had to cast any spells on it at all.

"I thought it would be all the more amusing to enlarge. It also doesn't take up too much space outside. It doesn't have a brain, this one; it only does what I tell it."

"Oh merlin." Severus grumbled, and Arthur turned his grin over to him instead. He pulled a small card from his pocket, and held it out to the potions-master.

"I've got a proper Muggle licence and everything. It's perfectly safe, Severus. This car can't fly either, so we'll drive properly."

"I think I'll apparate. Quicker and safer." He picked up the trunk that he had placed on the ground, and Harry grabbed his arm to stop him.

"Don't be such a baby, Severus. I've been in a car with Ron driving and didn't die. Even Vernon can drive properly." Severus glared at the word 'baby', then frowned at the name Vernon.

"The fat, stupid Muggle Petunia married?" From what Severus could remember, Lily really hadn't liked the man, the one time she had met him. Harry nodded.

"Well, I guess it must be alright then, if that…thing can do it." Harry laughed, his thumb brushing Severus's sleeve as he still had a light grip on the older man's arm.

"That's the spirit." Only Ron and Ginny seemed to think that there was something odd about the small exchange; the twins weren't paying any attention whatsoever, and Harry was surprised to see that Molly's smile actually brightened watching them.

"Alright ,everyone, into the car." Fred and George immediately rushed into the front passenger seats, whilst everyone else packed their trunks into the boot.

A few cars down, one man struggled to fit two suitcases into his car, and gave them an amazed expression, but he only saw them put two trunks and a bag into the boot, not everything, and simply put it down to good organisational skills.

Arthur smiled at the man pleasantly, as if nothing was odd, and the man quickly left, having given up and placed one suitcase in a passenger seat instead.

With the observer gone, they quickly loaded everything else into the car, and calmly climbed in, pretending that there was absolutely nothing amiss with nine people fitting into a mini.

Fred, George and Molly all sat at the front, with Arthur at the wheel, which left Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Harry and Severus to crowd into the backseat.

It was a bit of a squeeze, even with all of the changes that Arthur had made. It appeared that each of the seats in the back were minutely smaller than they were supposed to be; most likely Arthur had measures them slightly wrong, and the result was that each small error collected to make the space a little…cosy.

It would have been easy to simply enlarge it slightly more, but after taking a driver's test, Arthur had learned the importance of seat-belts, and every seat had one, which hindered the process of changing the car, especially with everyone already in it, and Muggles surrounding them.

Despite having a boyfriend or twenty, Ginny grabbed the seat in the middle, in an attempt to both gossip with Hermione and flirt with Harry.

The tight squeeze meant that Hermione had an excuse to be quite snuggly with Ron, and that left a small margin for space for Ginny to move beside Hermione, but instead she stayed where she was, which in turn meant that Harry had to sit very straight, or lean against Severus to avoid contact with the girl. She was nice, but Harry knew her to be failing a tad in the relationship morals department, and it made him a little… apprehensive.

So, he waited until Severus had correctly put his seatbelt on, then leaned against him, and was more than a little cheered by the small, warm smile the motion placed upon the Slytherin's face.

Severus was pleased, there was no hiding it, and he moved his arm subtly around the Gryffindor to make it more comfortable for both of them.

Harry, too, smiled at this, and let his head rest across Severus's shoulder and chest as Arthur began to drive.

It was a long drive, despite the speed at which they drove when it began to get dark, and Severus could not understand how driving in itself could be entertaining.

It wasn't without its charm though, for Severus got to observe Harry as the boy drifted off to sleep about half-way through the drive. It was really sweet, the way he fought to keep his eyes open, then eventually gave in, and snuggled into Severus's chest, one arm coming across to cuddle the Slytherin in his sleep.

This was followed by a very light snore, and Severus looped both arms around him, unable to stop himself.

He stroked the boy's dark hair whilst he slept, ignoring the glare he got from Ginevra, and feeling a mix of positive emotion, as well as a hint of sadness.

He felt so happy holding onto him, but he knew that Harry could probably only fall asleep with Severus there because of the presence of the Weasleys, which meant that Harry still didn't trust him enough to let his guard down completely with only Severus there.

Though reasonable, considering, that hurt a little bit, and Severus tightened his arms protectively around the small form of the boy he cared about.

When they both pulled up at the Burrow, it was dark, but anyone who had been there before could tell that the building was a lot bigger than it used to be.

Ron questioned his mother about it, and she excitedly explained that Bill and Charlie had done a load of work on the house.

Neither was currently staying at the Burrow, but a little while ago, they had both taken a week off of work to build several new rooms as a Christmas present to their parents.

Arthur parked the car next to a thick hedge, then got out of the vehicle, and followed the twins, who had ran up to the house the second the car had stopped.

Severus noticed that Harry was still asleep, and shook him gently.

"Harry, we're there." The only response he got was the tightening of Harry's fists around the material of his robes.

He leant down, so that Harry's unruly hair tickled his face, and tried again.

"Wake up Harry, we're at the Burrow. You can sleep once we're inside."

This time, Harry snuggled closer, and mumbled into Severus's chest in his sleep. "Carry me, then."

He was still much closer to asleep than awake, and Severus chuckled lightly under his breath. Typical Harry response.

Molly, who was watching them with a fond smile upon her face, addressed Harry.

"You have to get up, Harry. You have to eat before you sleep, young man. You're still far too skinny."

"Noo. Sev's warm 'n' safe." He nuzzled against the potions-master's black robe. "'M stayin' 'ere."

Severus's eyes widened in surprise. He was safe? That was a surprise. Hermione and Molly looked even happier than before, though Ginny looked grumpy, and flounced off to the house, leaving her brother to wait for his girlfriend.

Ignoring all of the other people watching, Severus kissed the boy's forehead before attempting to pry the Gryffindor's hands off of him.

"Come on, Harry."

Severus managed to move him enough to undo both of their seatbelts, and once he had figured out how to get rid of the blasted things, Harry was vaguely more conscious and coherent, blearily rubbing his eyes.

"Morning, Harry." Severus said in a fake sing-song voice, once he had the trunks out of the boot, levitating beside him.

"It's afternoon, Sev."

Severus raised one eyebrow. "Sev?" That little nickname seemed more worth pointing out than the fact that it was technically evening.

"Uh, yeah. I'm tired, and that's much less hassle to say." Harry shrugged.

"Lazy Gryffindor." Harry finally dragged himself out of the car, and nudged Severus with his shoulder.

"Everyone here except you is a Gryffindor. You can't use it as an insult at the Burrow."

"Harry, it wasn't an insult. Well, the Gryffindor part anyway. You are lazy, and a Gryffindor, so 'lazy Gryffindor' is simply stating a fact."

Harry laughed, and reached up to ruffle Sev's hair. Then he sprinted to the house, leaving the remaining people to deal with all of the bags.

*0o0o0*

Everyone seemed to become used to the strange dynamics of Harry and Severus's relationship very quickly, and barely commented on anything throughout the holiday. It was so easy-going, that on Christmas Eve morning, they found themselves on one of the Weasley's sofas, sat exactly the same as how they were used to doing in Severus's office.

Severus had his feet on the ground, but was relaxed against the arm of the chair, as Harry sprawled out across the rest, leaning back against Severus's shoulder as if he were the arm rest. Severus's arm was draped across the Gryffindor's stomach, and nobody thought anything of it.

Even Ron had become accustomed to it, though it was obvious that he was more than a little distracted by his braniac girlfriend, and couldn't really concentrate on his old dislike of Snape.

They were all crammed into the living room, Ron and Hermione curled up together in one armchair to save space, giving out tasks to efficiently set everything up for the Weasley's small Christmas Eve party.

The rest of the Weasley's would be arriving, as well as various partners to said Weasleys. Family only should have meant it to be a small affair, but the Weasleys seemed to expand very rapidly indeed.

Their reasoning for having a Christmas eve party at all was rather good. For new years', they were all going to be at Hogwarts, and Molly insisted that Christmas day was only for stuffing ones face with tonnes of good food.

It was clear from their small meeting that not everyone would even be able to fit in the house, despite the changes that Bill and Charlie had made. In light of this, they were holding the party outside, with enchanted coverage in case of rain.

This meant that they had a good few hours to make the place look like a party, and as soon as everything had been explained, Molly ran straight to the kitchen, Ginny following after her to help.

Everyone else headed outside, to figure out where everything would go.

"Professor, Arthur said we should put up all the spells." Hermione approached them, smiling. Harry frowned at the idea of not being able to use magic yet. Damn Hermione.

He helped Fred and George by carrying out items to be transfigured into tables and chairs whilst Severus and Hermione did the lions work. He could have sworn he heard Severus tell her not to call him Professor, but decided it to be a trick of the mind.

Surprisingly, they didn't do anything wrong, and the food was actually the last thing to be finished, partly because Fred and George kept raiding the trays of pastries.

She batted at both of them with a dishcloth, but that had no effect, and eventually, she had to resort to threats.

After they were banned from the kitchen and the garden till everything was finished, the work was completed rather quickly.

Unfortunately, this meant that Molly was able to push them all into making an effort of their appearance. She wanted photos from all of them, and that meant that she wanted them to smarten up a bit.

Harry sprinted upstairs before she could notice that he'd spent the whole of the day barefoot.

Knowing that Molly's idea of smart wasn't really a narrow margin to go by, Harry wore a deep green silky, long-sleeved shirt, black trousers, and comfy plain black shoes, and called it good.

He also made a token effort to tame his hair, but gave up rather quickly, knowing he could do absolutely nothing about it.

Ron, who was still rooming with him despite a slight awkwardness, immediately went for maroon coloured robes, and Harry could not stop laughing.

"Ron, your mother said smart. Not dreadful."

"Oh, got some fashion sense now you're gay?" He teased, but it was slightly tense, and both of them could hear it.

"Hey, assume, why don't you?" Harry pouted.

"Harry, mate, you may not be gay for Snape, but I know you're gay. Hermione told me, and a certain someone confirmed it."

Harry's mouth formed a silent 'oh'.

"Rubbish, I still have no fashion sense. But I know that is god-awful."

Ron frowned, and chucked a pillow at Harry, but did root around for something else to wear.

"Like you can talk, Harry. Don't like red anymore? Or do you think Severus prefers green?"

Harry looked down at his shirt. He honestly just liked it. Why did everyone else keep seeing things in what he did? "To be honest, I hadn't really thought that through. Hermione's always telling me that I should wear clothes of similar colour to me eyes. That's what she said before yule ball, anyway. That was ages ago, but I assumed it would still be true."

Harry shrugged, and Ron stared, gobsmacked.

"You remember something she said years ago? I have trouble remembering information she tells me even ten minutes after she's said it."

"Yes, well. She likes having you alive. Me, I have to actually remember."

Ron disappeared momentarily, and came back sporting an entirely black Muggle suit, right down to the tie and waistcoat. It was a lot better than what he had previously been wearing though, and Harry decided they were both ready to venture back downstairs.

"Come on, then."

They thundered down the stairs, racing without really thinking about it. At the bottom, they nearly collapsed into Tonks and Remus, both of whom saw the funny side, and simply laughed as they moved out of the way.

As it was a Weasley gathering, everyone trickled in at times that suited them, and by seven, almost everyone was there, and they congregated in the garden, music blaring from some device made by Fred and George.

Apparently, they were branching out into all different markets now.

Harry hid in a corner, doing his usual impression of a statue, as he watched Hermione try and teach Ron to dance, and observed Remus as he tried to stop Tonks from tripping over him. Fred and George were running around, mixing skipping, running, and failed disco dancing into their own routine.

It was appalling, but amusingly so, and Harry found himself caught up in the silliness of it all, and was amazingly startled when he felt hands on his waist, and breath on his hair.

"You spend a lot of time dressed as a Slytherin, did you know that?" Severus's amused and yet slightly curious voice breathed right into Harry's ear.

"Hermione thinks I should wear green. I don't know anyone else capable of giving fashion tips." He turned around and smiled at the older man, wrapping both arms around him in a hug.

Pulling back, he observed that Severus was not wearing black, but dark blue, as if that were a massive change for the man. It probably was. He seemed to favour dark colours.

"Is that an attempt at colour, Severus?" He smirked.

"Molly said I could wear anything but black. So I wore blue." He stated, as if it were obvious.

"Nice choice." Harry walked over to the table nearby, and picked up a glass of pink liquid. He hadn't a clue what it was, but as a bloke who generally liked to blend in, he knew that holding food or drink excused you from dancing, singing or any other embarrassing festivities.

Severus copied the younger man, also grabbing a drink, and watched the others fail at dancing. Some of these guys actually made him look good.

Downing his drink, he offered a hand to Harry with a mock bow.

"Would you care to dance?"

Harry laughed sarcastically. "Not likely. I dance about a well as a three-footed troll."

"No way. You're not getting out of it this time. I saw you at Halloween. You didn't dance, at all."

"I danced with Hermione!"

"Rubbish. She danced, and you shuffled your feet. You are dancing, come on."

Harry cast a look around at his dancing family, with Tonks still tripping over Remus.

"I suppose we can't be worse than that." He took Severus's hand, and pulled them into a space, as far away from the other dancers as was possible.

The music was modern, some wizarding equivalent of punk music, but that meant little to any of them. Severus immediately pulled the Gryffindor close, one hand on his waist, the other holding his hand, as if they were at a more formal occasion.

Harry stood, stiff, and let himself he turned around like a puppet, until he noticed that no-one cared how ridiculous they looked, and he relaxed against the older man, pulling him closer.

Severus smiled as Harry relaxed, and started to move them a little more, simple steps, before twirling Harry around, and catching him as the boy inevitably lost his balance.

"See, it's not so bad."

"Only because you're dancing with me."

Severus laughed. "True. I am an absolute God."

Harry used their joined hands to smack him on the shoulder, laughing. This wasn't bad at all.

-They were both sat down for about five minutes before Molly ran up to them, an excited smile upon her face.

She still had hold of her camera, and handed them each a picture.

Identical ones. Of them dancing, Severus laughing, with Harry beaming up at him.

"One for each of you, boys. Don't worry, I've got a copy too."

"That is a cause to worry." Severus muttered.

"Oh, don't be silly, Severus. It's a lovely picture."

"Yeah, Merlin forbid anyone sees Sev laughing." Harry muttered, reaching for another drink.

Severus turned his evil glare on to Harry, who was far too used to it to care, and just smiled sweetly back at him.

The slytherin opened his mouth to speak, but then there was a loud pop, which interrupted Severus's response, and Charlie Weasley appeared in the middle of the room.

Molly ran to hug her son, quickly followed by Harry.

Severus felt an odd twinge as he watched Harry run to the older boy, and glared into his drink.

As soon as Molly had released her son from a lethal embrace, Harry jumped up at hugged him, laughing as he was lifted off of his feet. Charlie laughed as well, before depositing Harry back on his feet.

"Alright, pipsqueak?" The tallest Weasley smiled down at Harry. "I think even Ginny's taller than you now."

"All Weasley's are part giant. That's a fact."

A cheeky smile appeared on the older man's face, and he winked suggestively.

"Well…"

Harry wacked his arm, but laughed anyway. "Before you start telling me all about what part of you is giant, which would be a fairly rubbish joke anyway, could you tell me how Ron knows?"

Charlie decided that it was much better to take that sentence as it was supposed to be. Harry was still smiling, and he knew Harry wasn't all that bothered about it, but still wanted to know. He grinned widely.

"Well, they were all talking about how you didn't have a girlfriend, so I pointed out that you probably didn't want one. They asked be to elaborate a little, so I did."

"So you said…? He's short, effeminate and kisses boys?" Charlie laughed again, shaking his head.

"Not quite. Close though."

-Severus watched with a scowl. He couldn't hear what they were saying, but it was clear that there was some teasing or flirting going on. And the way Charlie had literally swept Harry off his feet would have been acceptable if Harry was his sister.

Harry was neither female, nor actually related to him.

"You don't have to glare so much, you know." Hermione appeared next to the Slytherin, her eyes also on the pair. "Charlie has a boyfriend now. That was one moment in the past."

Severus stared in confusion, frowning until it clicked.

"Oh. You mean that he" Severus emphasised as if Charlie was some evil enemy rather than his friend "is the man that Harry kissed."

His glare only became more defined, and Hermione tutted at him. Actually tutted.

"That is totally irrational."

"What is?" He feigned ignorance, but the effect was ruined by him downing another glass, not even caring what liquid filled it.

"Getting annoyed with Charlie because he kissed Harry first. You weren't even talking to him then." She took a sip from her own glass, then walked off to greet Charlie, leaving Severus on his own.

This wasn't for long though, as after each person had greeted Charlie, they returned to what they had been previously doing, and Harry found his way over to Severus's little table rather rapidly, where they then spent the rest of the evening drinking.

0o0o0

Charlie watched Harry and severus with an amused expression upon his face. They were both rather drunk, there was no doubt about it; the Gryffindor and his Slytherin companion were leaning against each other, and laughing far too often for them. It was peculiar, and it appeared to have its own atmosphere, the small placed where they sat, which drew the attention of many of their friends.

Charlie turned to his mother and Hermione, who were both watching with identical excited facial expressions, and supressed a sigh. They were already so alike; he wondered why on earth Ron had been drawn to someone who was a braniac, opinionated version of his own mother.

Then again, Charlie figured he was hardly one to consider how his brother picks out women.

"They're really close, aren't they?" He asked the two women, though it wasn't really a question. Even the most drunk of the lot could tell that the two cared a lot about each other.

"Yeah." Hermione answered, her eyes glued to Severus, who was messing up Harry's hair. Or improving it, as it seemed to lie a little flatter afterwards. "More so than they both think."

"Denial?" He asked the witch, who nodded slightly.

"I don't think either believes the other would like them. They both have such rubbish opinions of themselves." Ginny joined the group, looking slightly more resigned than she had a few days before.

They watched as the pair got up, holding each other's arms to keep from falling over.

Molly watched as their drunkenness seemed to increase rapidly, and decided that they had both had more than enough to drink.

-Severus reached for a glass of firewhisky, only to find himself stopped by Molly.

"No more for you, young man. You've had more than enough." She waved a finger in front of his face, and since it appeared to blur, Severus guessed that the older woman was probably correct.

Harry, took that to be strictly towards Severus, and stuck his tongue out at him before reaching for his own.

"You too, Harry." Harry frowned.

"Why don't you both sit down for a while, away from the drinks?" She suggested, and pointed to an empty section of grass at the end of the garden.

"Okay then." Harry pulled Severus behind him, and they both stumbled to the spot, collapsing in a tangle of limbs the second they got there.

-The party was winding down, Tonks and Remus had gone back home, promising to return early for lunch the next day, and Molly and Arthur, who were far less inebriated than everyone else, were casting various spells to sort everything, so they could clean up properly when fully sober the next day. [Though Fred and George had pointed out that no-one was going to clean on Christmas day.]

Harry, for a change, was the one holding Severus as they sat together on the grass, the older man leaning back against him, Harry's nose nuzzling Severus's shoulder.

He smells nice. Sadly, that was one of very few coherent sentences that Harry had thought in the past hour, and all of the others had involved the Slytherin in some way as well.

He absentmindedly stroked Sev's side as he held onto him, revelling in the way he exhaled as Harry did so.

Severus found that he liked being held, even if the person was young, and equally as drunk as himself. Normally, he wouldn't think himself to be the reliant one, but he really couldn't find the energy to care. In fact, he was about to lift an arm up to draw Harry even closer, when Molly appeared in front of them. Is she trying to ruin my Christmas?

The mother put her hands on her hips, and tipsily smiled down at them.

"I think you two should go to bed, sleep off some of the alcohol. The twins, Ron and Hermione have already gone, so you're not the only ones." She seemed to think that they would complain about being treated like children, and they would have, had she not mentioned the others.

Harry seriously doubted that any of them were sleeping though. Fred and George were probably setting up a joke whilst everyone was outside, and Harry was willing to bet that Hermione and Ron were currently very close together, taking part in very strenuous exercise.

Despite his careful wording, Harry knew to not voice that particular assumption to Molly, and just nodded, pushing Severus a little to prompt him to move.

"Up. I can't move 'less you do."

"Unless." Severus corrected, and stumbled to his feet, before grabbing Harry's hand and pulling him up too.

Together, they made their way to the house, and had to swap the grip on each other's hand to each other's waist once they reached the stairs, for they proved tricky for two rather drunk men.

They got to the hallway, where Ron and Harry's room was opposite the one Severus was staying in, and then Harry froze, causing Severus to stumble, and catch himself on the wall.

"Harry?"

"Wait a sec." Harry grabbed for his wand, and pointed it at the mistletoe that was threatening to trap them until they kissed. It turned out he had been correct in his assessment of Fred and George.

"Perdere Herba!" He cast at the decoration, and it exploded into glitter and bits of leaves, similar in effect to confetti.

Severus was disappointed. He wasn't inobservant, even when highly intoxicated, but had been hoping that Harry wouldn't notice until it was too late. Though he was impressed that Harry could cast a spell that easily in that state. Not that he concentrate on that. He was too busy mentally kicking himself.

He was surprised, however, when Harry turned back to him, a shy smile in place.

The Gryffindor stepped closer, and reached up on tiptoes, using one hand to drag Severus's head down before he pressed a light kiss on the Slytherin's mouth.

They both smelt and tasted like they'd bathed in some fruity, alcoholic punch, but that really didn't matter. Severus immediately responded, wrapping his arms around the Gryffindor, one around his waist, the other into his hair, and he kissed back, firmer than the light brush his younger companion that applied to him.

Harry's hands teased at the hair at the nape of Severus's neck, urging him closer, and Severus lightly licked Harry's lip, a soft movement, and the boy shivered slightly in response.

Instinctively, Harry opened his mouth a little, allowed Severus access. He slipped his tongue into Harry's mouth, tasting him, and groaned at the eager way in which Harry's responded.

Perfect. Maybe his addled brain was making things seem better than they were, but Severus seriously doubted it. Even if Harry lacked any experience at all (which he clearly didn't), he was perfect.

Harry's hand brushed Severus's face sweetly, before he drew back a little.

"Merry Christmas, Severus." It was, indeed, past twelve.

He smiled. "Merry Christmas, Harry."

He pressed a light kiss to Harry's suddenly red lips, and stumbled to his room, before he could decide that it would be much better to stay out there with Harry.

The sky is Black - Part One

There was something wrong the second Harry stepped out of the floo. For the first time ever, he did not stumble at all. Didn't get dust in his eyes. Simply stepped out like everyone else seemed to manage to.

Something had to go wrong, just to counter that.

He had been the first through, as Ginny was having trouble with her pygmy puff, and the rest were trying to force Ron into taking a yellow bobble hat back with him to Hogwarts. Harry had escaped while he could, which in retrospect, had been a terrible idea. It placed him alone.

The second he had proudly brushed the surprisingly small amount of dust from his clothing, he felt the air around him shift; someone had removed an incredibly powerful spell. He then heard a loud bang behind him, and twisted around, drawing his wand.

He couldn't see anyone. Turning continuously, Harry blindly awaited the first attack. A deep voice simply shouted 'now', and a figure appeared, in full death eater garb, running straight at the young Gryffindor.

He should have realised that it was far too easy. He stunned the death eater without any difficulty at all, but the second the man fell, something hit Harry directly on the back of his head.

Everything went black.

When he groggily awoke, there was a very clear sense of 'foreign', the feeling that one gets when they wake up in an unfamiliar environment, even before they can properly see their surroundings.

He rubbed his eyes, and took in the sheer amount of black that surrounded him.

The walls were black, the floor was black with dirt, the small hard bed he had been placed on was black.

The only thing that wasn't, was the small crack in what had to be the door, that filled the room with an eerie light.

Melodramatic, over the top death eaters. He honestly would have preferred it to be pitch black.

Then, the Gryffindor could have pretended it was all a bad dream.

The light was the only thing that drew ant attention from an observer, and Harry glared at it, rather than letting his eyes simply adjust to the room, waiting for something to happen.

Nothing did. He had no idea how long he sat there, eyes strained, head hurting, magic radiating off of him with no outlet. Simmering.

His mind closed off once more, trapping him.

"Draco, the news you bought me was…unsatisfactory. You make it sound like Severus is…helping the boy."

Draco gulped, but nodded, intimidated.

"It appears that way, My Lord."

Voldemort laughed. "I am not your Lord yet, young Draco. You have not been initiated. But you will be."

"Of course." He stuttered only slightly, determined to stay strong.

"Do you know why Harry Potter has now been bought here?"

Harry's own 'voice' broke through his thoughts. He was finding it easier to do that, to separate. And the Harry Potter in his head thought that it was a stupid question. Malfoy must have thought it to be simply as well, for his brow furrowed in confusion, not of the question, but why it was asked.

"He has been bought here so that Snape's mission can be completed." Draco answered tonelessly.

"Yes, though our old friend clearly cannot do it, as you are well aware, Draco. This, young Malfoy, has been given to you. Your initiation." The Dark Lord frowned slightly, as if concerned.

"You do know what you have to do, don't you?"

"Ye-Yes, M-My Lord."

Voldemort ignored his nerves, smiling slightly sadistically. "I know you've never killed before, Draco, so I'm being lenient. I shall give you three days, when in time, you will grow to kill within three minutes."

Draco nodded once more, then bowed his head.

"Of course, My Lord. I thank you."

"Go, Draco. You know the punishment for failure."

Harry snapped out of it quite fast, surprisingly less afraid than he had been before. Draco was a Slytherin, and his father was a complete prick, but he was still only the same age as Harry, and was scared.

Harry was willing to bet he had at least two days to try and escape before Malfoy actually made an attempt.

That was two days more than he had originally thought he had.

-Severus found a ring on the floor once he had stepped out of the floo. A very familiar ring, old, silver, shiny. With the bloody Malfoy crest on it.

He hadn't a single doubt where Harry was.

He knew he was right, when he walked to the dungeons, about to collect anything that might be useful in rescuing Harry. Draco was sat in an alcove, crying bitterly.

Blaise Zabini was sat beside the crying boy, holding him as he cried, one hand stroking his hair softly.

"I'm sorry, love. If I could help you, I would. But you only have two options. Kill Potter, or wait until they kill you. And I'm too selfish to tell you to do the bloody Gryffindor thing."

Severus decided not to make his presence known, instead walking more quietly to his rooms, to prepare before his inevitable argument with Albus.

"Severus, please take a seat?" Dumbledore firmly ordered rather than asked the pacing Slytherin.

"No, I don't want to."

The elderly headmaster refrained from commenting on how Severus was behaving like a child, for he knew that he was just worried. About Harry.

"Calm down, Severus. We both know that young Draco will not be eager to complete this task. We have time."

"You expect me to sit here, drinking tea and eating those blasted lemon drops, when something could happen to Harry at any moment?" He was incredulous.

How could Dumbledore care so little?

"No, Severus, I expect you to sit, and plan this out properly. You know what will happen if you're the one to save Harry."

"I don't give a shit." That was one of very few times that Dumbledore had heard Severus swear. "Sybil made a prophecy about us, you know. Me and Harry."

"It will happen again. Whilst one is protected, the other is hurt, and self-sacrifice will only pain you both."

"If the choice is me or him, I'm going whether you agree or not. I'm not leaving him there, to be raped and killed by his own classmate."

"Severus, you are not thinking straight. You go there, and he will kill you. Likely both of you will die."

"Personally, I prefer that to just him. At least then I know for sure that I did everything I could. Rather than just sitting on my arse, leaving him to it. Do you not think of how horrible this must be for him? You know, he is probably desperately trying to escape, because Harry bloody Potter always saves the day. He doesn't expect anyone to help him, ever, and for that, I'm blaming you."

He stormed over to the door.

"Well guess what. This time, Harry Potter is going to have someone else trying their hardest to fight for him."

He opened the door, stepped through it, and slammed it behind him. Hard. The old bastard definitely deserved a headache.

…And found himself in front of a pair of gobsmacked teenagers.

He blinked a few times, then moved forward, attempting to get around them. Ron blocked his path.

"So, when do we leave?" Hermione asked him innocently.

He stared at her, then sighed.

"Now. If you're coming, let's go. If you're not, stay. It's simple. Just don't whinge later."

He stalked off, with two Gryffindors trailing after.

The small rescue party left the school ground, and walked out far enough to apparate. Then he offered his arms out to the teenagers, and they both grasped onto him firmly.

They disappeared, and when they reappeared, they could see nothing. Darkness surrounded them.

Lumos!

The Sky is Black- Part Two

Lumos!

The light did not help much, for almost everything around was black, large blocks that anyone could hide behind. Severus, however, knew the area well, too well, and immediately began to walk, making the two Gryffindors scramble to keep up with him. The Slytherin was not patient by nature, and was too worried to bother, and so did not stop at all.

Eventually, two other lights joined the first, and he knew that they had also cast Lumos, and would now be less likely to get lost.

Moving even faster than he had been previously, Severus reached the end of what had to be a massive building very quickly, and then cast a wandless spell, which caused a rectangle of light to appear; an open door.

Clearly prepared for this, the man did not give time for his eyes to adjust, instead walking straight ahead, wand held close to his body.

They walked through a tunnel; it was not quite underground, but not structured enough to be classed as a corridor, across into the main building. At the end, there was a set of stairs, next to which was a 'intruder trap'. That tried to pin any trespassing wizard to the wall.

Severus had never been caught in the trap, but he had, in the past, healed Wormtail, and the cuts that had been all over his body had not been pleasant.

He paused, about to warn the Gryffindors, when a 'click' echoed. Too late.

So quickly the motion was blurred, he grabbed both of them by the sleeves, pulling the teenagers out of the way.

A small metal arrow grazed Ron's cheek, but both were otherwise unharmed, and Severus let out a sigh, then ran down the stairs, taking them two at a time.

Everyone there would have been alerted as to their arrival; they had lost the element of surprise, so the only thing they had left was speed.

- Harry had been counting upon having those three days. He had actually been genuinely clutching on to them, saying it over and over again. Three days. You're fine for three days.

He should have known that he would be lucky to live for three hours. As a rough estimate, he would have said he had been in the closed off room for a good few hours, but not even a day, before the door opened, creaking in a way that somehow induced fear, and someone entered the room.

They did not turn on any lights, but the light from the hallway allowed Harry to work out who it was.

The person was blond, their hair blending in with the yellowish light. The Gryffindor's immediate assumption was that Draco was a whole lot nastier than he had originally thought, but he quickly dismissed that idea. Mixed adrenaline and pure panic made him observe rapidly, registering everything before the man had taken a single step into the space.

This man was a good three inches taller than Draco, and stood tall, proud. From the shape of the body, Harry thought that he was wearing a thick cloak or robe. Metal glinted at him from random places on the body, like armour. In his right hand, was what looked to be a long stick. A staff.

Lucius.

He inhaled sharply, and moved backwards, trying to get as far away from Lucius as was possible. Harry no longer cared about looking weak; he had seen how sadistic Lucius Malfoy was, and knew he would be hurt either way. The Gryffindor didn't have his wand, was physically weak, and had no knowledge of where he was. Everything was definitely in favour of the blond Slytherin.

"Now, now, Mr Potter. Why are you cowering? Lost your fight?" He walked closer, frowning in mock hurt.

"That really does take half the fun out of it, Harry." He said the name sweetly, a caress, and the Gryffindor shuddered in disgust. He moved again, and his back hit a dirty, rocky wall, the roughness scrapping his back, even through his shirt.

"B-but I thought. Draco-"He cut off, swallowing hard. Lucius laughed harshly, without humour.

"You thought that little Draco, your school chum, would be the one to do the honours?"

Harry nodded dumbly. That had, after all, been the original plan.

"No. I am not a stupid man, Potter. I am well aware that my son is weak. It disgusts me, he's so pathetic. He's a Malfoy, and yet, he should have been in Hufflepuff." Lucius spat on the ground, and yet, when he looked up at Harry once more, he still appeared refined, dignified.

"I am the only person here, Potter. And any magic left behind, any my lord feels later, that will only be recognisable as Malfoy magic. He will think that Draco did it, and my family will be the best, the most trusted by our Lord."

Harry stared at him, a little perplexed, but said nothing.

"You see, if it appears that Draco has failed, it reflects badly on me as a parent. The others, they will think I have not raised him properly. This, I think, is a nice solution. You are an attractive boy."

He carefully leant his staff against the wall, then lunged forwards – gracefully- and grabbed Harry's wrists, holding them tightly.

"You have two options, Potter. Either, you be a good boy, and let me take you, or you will have to be restrained, which, really, makes for good entertainment, but isn't really my style. You pick."

Harry stared in horror, mouth open, his cheeks flushed involuntarily with the most pathetic feeling of embarrassment. Lucius moved so that he held both of Harry's wrists in one hand, then slipped one hand around Harry's waist, dangerously gentle.

"If it makes you feel any better, Harry, I was Severus's first too. He had to be tied up. Not because he's a fighter, because he's not, but because he's one of those guys, the ones that look so much more… entertaining when they're completely helpless. My Lord found it to be highly amusing."

Harry growled. The fear and the panic, they were still there, but it had been side-lined. He was blindingly angry. This man, this creature had raped Severus. That was horrible, and Harry was disgusted.

He desperately wanted the man to suffer. Without thinking, Harry lifted his knee, and rammed it forward as hard as he could. Lucius was taller than him, and Harry was leant awkwardly, , so the contact was hard, but he only managed to hit the Slytherin's thigh.

Lucius let out a small grunt of pain, and spun Harry around, so he hit the wall roughly, face first.

Hot breath tickled the Gryffindor's ear, and he attempted to flinch away, only to find that he could not move.

"I told you, Potter. You need to grasp the fact that I am going to fuck you, and you can't do anything to stop it. Now, I can be nice, or I can be nasty. Neither is pleasant, that I'll admit, but I know which one I would choose. Now stay still, Potter."

Harry strained against Lucius's hands, to no avail. His grip was tight, and Lucius was far bigger built than Harry, his body blocking any movement.

The slight struggle caused Lucius to press more firmly against Harry, allowing the boy to feel his arousal against his back.

This threw Harry into a panic, and he pushed back with all his strength, then slammed his head back, and it connected with Lucius's shoulder.

The older man swore in a very undignified manner, and punched Harry, hard, in the side. He pulled his hand back, and Harry tensed for the next blow, but it never came.

Instead, the arm slipped back around his waist, and Lucius's hand crept across his stomach, lightly stroking the skin, under his shirt, before dipping lower.

"Don't you dare touch me!"

Lucius slipped his hand beneath the waistband of Harry's trousers, and spread his hand out across Harry's groin.

"Why? Are you scared you might like it?"

"Get your filthy hands off of him!" Severus snarled. Ron and Hermione raced up to stand behind him, Hermione gasping in shock at the scene before them. Harry, against a wall, with Lucius Malfoy's hand in a questionable place.

Severus was glaring daggers at the oldest Malfoy, but he still took in Harry's expression, as it morphed from terrified to relieved.

"Awww, really Severus? I can share, you know."

"Yes, you do share. But I don't. And Harry, he belongs to me. Let him go, Lucius."

"No. I don't want to, Severus. You see, I've taken quite a liking to Harry. He's so passionate, such a fighter."

Severus advanced on the blond, who was stupid enough to continue.

"So much fun to break."

Severus let out an enraged shout, and, not bothering to use his wand, leaped forward, and punched the man straight across the face.

Lucius stumbled backwards, his grip on Harry loosening, and Harry managed to pull himself free, collapsing on the ground.

Severus carried on, kicking Lucius twice. He wanted to beat the living shit out of him, but Harry was on the floor. That was his priority.

"Weasley, Granger." Severus nodded his head towards Lucius, and they moved to the death-eater, wands raised.

Severus turned to Harry, who had not moved from his position on the ground.

"Harry? Darling, it's okay. Your friends have got him." He touched a hand to Harry's shoulder, and was a little surprised that he did not flinch.

Instead, Harry flung himself forward, onto Severus, who wrapped both of him arms around him tightly, and kissed his forehead.

"It's okay, we'll get you back to Hogwarts, we'll take Lucius to the ministry, and everything will be fine. I promise."

Harry nodded against his chest, shaking slightly. He held onto Severus, wincing as he heard Ron and Hermione dealing with Lucius.

Severus rocked him gently, holding onto him until Lucius was completely unable to escape.

Then he got up, lightly pulling Harry up with him.

"We need to go, Harry. Do you want me to carry you?" The boy still seemed shaky, but shook his head.

"I can walk." He did grab Severus's hand though, lacing their fingers tightly together.

Despite Harry stating that he was perfectly fine, Severus decided to drag him to the hospital wing, so Madam Pomfrey could check him over.

They had gotten there before anything drastic had occured, but Severus wasn't taking chances. And he didn't trust Harry to tell the truth; unless he was literally dying or losing limbs, he would say nothing was wrong.

She took a good look at the Gryffindor, and confirmed that other than a couple of rather dark bruises, he was fine. She healed them quickly, without any fuss, and Harry honestly thought that he would be allowed to leave afterwards.

No such luck. He had tried to walk away, only to have his shirt caught by Severus, who moved him to stand beside him. Madam Pomfrey had assigned Harry a hospital bed, and apparently, Severus thought she had the right idea.

"Severus, I'm perfectly fine." Harry lied through gritted teeth. Only a white lie; physically, he was fine.

"You mean you're healed. You're not fine." He shook his head, and gently pushed Harry towards the bed.

It went on for a good few minutes, before Severus looped an arm over Harry's shoulders, and sighed softly.

"Harry, I'm really not stupid. Something's wrong. Normally, you would like to stay in here, just so you wouldn't have to see the rest of your Gryffindors. Tell me, and I might be able to help."

"I don't want to be here on my own." He admitted quietly, gaze dropped to the floor.

Severus understood that. He placed on finger on Harry's chin, lifting it, and looked him in the eye.

"Then I shall stay with you."

Harry brightened a little.

"Really?"

"Really."

Harry hugged the older man, who hugged him back, before lifting Harry off of his feet, and then placing him, standing, on top of the bed. Harry plopped down on the covers, and took off his shoes, throwing them onto the floor. Severus took of his own, placing them neatly beside one of Harry's (the other had bounced under the bed).

Harry reached over, and grabbed Severus's arm, pulling him beside him. Severus laughed lightly at the amount of effort it cost Harry to move him, then did as Harry wanted, getting under the covers before reaching for the Gryffindor.

Nestled in the Slytherin's arms, Harry found himself drifting to sleep surprisingly quickly, and felt Severus kiss his cheek, which made him think.

"Love you, Sev." Harry mumbled aloud, and Severus stared down at Harry, but the boy had already fallen asleep.

Green Eyes- One Month

In the morning, Harry felt a hand lightly stroking his back, warm and comforting, before he was even fully awake. It was nice, he decided, having someone there, looking after him. He opened his eyes to see a pair of onyx ones smiling at him fondly, and felt his own face crease into an answering smile, though he was trying his best to blink sleep from his eyes.

Severus thought the sleepy boy was adorable, and his smile stretched across his mouth as well as his eyes, making him look so happy that if a first year had seen it, they would have been very scared.

"Good morning." Severus greeted the boy clearly, as if he'd been awake for a while.

"Morning." Harry responded cheerfully. Normally, he was not a morning person, but this was very different. He could honestly say it was the first time he had woken up with someone, cuddled up and warm.

And he immediately decided that he would love to wake up with Severus every day, for the rest of his life. However long that will be. His smile faltered, and then slipped away entirely. The thought that was wasn't very likely to live long, that he could die at any moment, was rather sobering.

Severus noticed Harry's demeanour change, and his own small smile dropped. He stopped stroking Harry's back (which he had originally done because Harry was shifting restlessly as he began to awake.), and instead placed both of his hands around him firmly, hugging him to his chest.

"Harry, what's wrong?" He didn't get a response, but waited patiently, knowing that whatever was bothering him, Harry might be reluctant to talk about.

Harry, still contemplating his possible early demise, determinedly refrained from blushing, and shifted up from where he had been resting on Severus to bring them up to the same level.

Before he could lose his nerve, the Gryffindor leaned down and pressed his lips to Severus's in a firm but chaste kiss. Severus returned the kiss, pressing three quick pecks to the boy's mouth before he pulled away, feeling a little confused.

Harry hadn't answered his question, and he definitely didn't expect the boy to be comfortable with him at all; they hadn't yet drawn out the lines of their relationship, and he that would cause the Gryffindor to be uneasy about behaving in such a forward manner. And that was without the events of the day before, which could have been traumatising enough to scare Harry away from contact with another individual, no matter how strong and trusting the bond was.
The fact that the rape had not been carried through did not mean that Harry was ok.

Harry had not been put off by the fact that Severus had ended the kiss. Instead, he attached his lips to Severus's jaw, trailing light kisses along his chin, then down his neck. Severus froze.

"Harry, what are you doing?"

"Kissing you. " Harry replied, as if it were obvious, before biting lightly at a verysensitive spot on Severus's neck. The Slytherin bit back a moan, but the younger male looked up quickly enough to see the desire flash through his eyes before the potions-master managed to supress the feeling, and schooled his expression.

"Yes, I realise that, Harry. Perhaps a better question would be why?" He paused, noting the cheeky glint in Harry's eye. "And 'because you want to' is not the real reason. We both know that's not it." He softened his expression so as not to scare Harry unnecessarily, but stared levelly at him, letting the younger male know what he expected a truthful response.

"But it is because I wanted to. " The Gryffindor replied stubbornly, but he could not maintain eye-contact, which told Severus that that was not the entire truth. He sighed.

"Harry, that's not it. Whilst you may think that to be a true statement, there must be some sort of reasoning behind it. This was a sudden change, so all of your…thought processes is what I want to know."

Harry frowned. Perhaps Severus did not care for him after all? That was a slightly sobering notion, and Harry's senses of embarrassment and humility returned to him full force. Harry tried to move as far away from Severus as he could manage.

Severus noticed this 'little' sudden change, the shuttering of the boy's eyes, and mentally berated himself for being so careless; he had probably already upset him, and he was supposed to be looking after him.

He tightened his arms around the boy, making it impossible for Harry to move, though loosened them the moment the boy stilled, not wanting to frighten him.

"Harry? Please tell me. It might not look concerning, but you are worrying me. I just want you to tell me so I can help." His voice was soothing, and Harry forced himself to relax against the man, even though he suspected that it would be the last time Severus would hold him like that, and it wouldn't be a happy memory.

"I thought I might as well, whilst I still have the chance." Severus frowned, but Harry continued, eyes closed shut so he wouldn't have to see him.

"I woke up with you."

Severus couldn't help himself, answering sarcastically with: "No, you don't say."

"Oh shush." Harry responded, with a small hint of their usual light, easy conversation.

"I realised that it was the happiest I've ever been." Severus inhaled sharply. He was filled with mixed feelings, elation, pride at being the one person to make him happiest, and sadness that the Gryffindor's life was so stressful, and worry. Mainly worry.

"I want to wake up with you every day for the rest of my life. But, then I realised that the rest of my life might cover a very short span of time. His explanation had been a little flat, a tad methodical, hiding the majority of his worries, though some of them still shined through.

Severus bent down and kissed his cheek. "Well, you can then. As much as is possible, anyway. You might get away with staying with me on weekends. You can't worry about dying, Harry, it's something that everyone does, and it could happen to any of us at any time." He kissed him again, this time a little more firmly, and Harry finally relaxed properly, slightly more at ease.

"You still haven't explained, Harry. You're way too shy to normally initiate anything, and I find it adorable. Not that I'm complaining, but I do want to know why."

Harry burrowed his face in Severus's neck, leaving a small kiss there before he began to talk.

"I want to be with you. I don't want to die without being with you...like that…first." He was being quite vague, which showed his inexperience. He still wasn't comfortable talking about things like that. It was also rather sweet, but proved that Harry had pushed himself into this decision.

They had kissed only a few times, and already Harry was throwing himself forward, and Severus had a feeling it was an after effect of the fright he had gotten yesterday.

Harry was too stubborn to break down over it, so he had gone the other way instead.

He sighed. Harry was not likely to take well to him saying no; that could hurt anyone's pride.

"Harry, no." His voice was gentle, but as predicted, Harry flinched as if slapped.

"Why not?" Did Severus not want him?

His face crumpled a little, and Severus stroked the boy's hair, though it did little to help.

"It's not that I don't want you Harry, don't think that. I do. But I'm not going to let you do this, just because we both might be dead by tomorrow."

"Why? It's true."

"Because, Harry, you're not ready, and deep down, you do know that."

Harry frowned. "I want you, and that's not going to change. So I don't see what difference it makes. I know I wouldn't regret it."

"Really? Because I'm not certain of that, and I really don't want to be something you regret."

"I am." His voice was stubborn, and Severus suspected that he had forgotten the actual argument, and was really just arguing for the sake of it.

He thought it over, trying to think of something that would make them both happy. It was January…

"Harry. Give it a month. If you still want to then, we will."

"Promise?" Harry asked, unsure.

"I promise. I couldn't lie to you, darling."

Harry smirked up at him. "Darling?"

"Yes. Got a problem with that?"

"None at all, babe."

"Babe I do have a problem with." Severus wrinkled his nose. "It makes us sound like a pair of hyper-active teenage girls."

"Okay. You do have a point there."

Severus smiled at the boy, then caught sight on a movement to his left. Madam Pomfrey, sorting out bedding on the other side of the room.

"Oh, and Harry?" He supressed a laugh.

"Yes?" The Gryffindor looked up at him curiously.

"There was one other problem with your plan."

"Which was?" He asked suspiciously.

"We're in the hospital wing. I don't know about you, but the idea of Poppy seeing that disturbs me."

Grey Skies- Everybody Hurts.

"Lucius." Voldemort kept his tone purposefully light, his expression neutral. And yet Lucius, who had a guilty conscience, swallowed audibly, and swept his hair back, not so subtly removing a bead of sweat from his forehead.

"My Lord." Was there something you required?" Lucius bowed respectfully, wondering what on earth the Lord wanted with him at three o'clock on a Monday, when he had just gotten back, and no raids were planned. It could either be very good, or very bad.

He had a feeling he knew, and that would be very bad, and blocked his mind.

"Yes, actually." His tone was calm. But then he stood rapidly from his overtly theatrical throne, and let his anger take over his snakelike features.

"The death of Harry Potter! Is that too much to ask for?" He shouted, glaring murderously at the other man.

He closed his eyes, and took two deep breaths. "Tell me, Lucius, why is Harry Potter gone." He enunciated clearly through his teeth.

The eldest Malfoy spluttered helplessly. He had no correct answer to give. No matter how he worded it, it would be blatantly obvious that he had fucked up. Badly.

Sighing impatiently, Voldemort fixed his wand onto his follower. "I know that he was rescued, Lucius. You know that I know that, for the simple reason that he is no longer here! I want to know how you let that happen!"

Again, Lucius said nothing, instead looking down at the cold stone floor. Eventually, he spoke, but the words were not ones that Voldemort particularly wanted to hear. "I am terribly sorry, my lord."

"Enough of this. Remove the shield from your mind, Lucius. You know it'll save you a headache later." Lucius quickly dropped the guard, resigned to Voldemort seeing his failures.

"Legilimens." He saw everything that Lucius knew of the rescue, but when he withdrew from the other Slytherin's mind, he was far from satisfied with the images that had been given to him.

"Lucius, I am so very disappointed. Trying to take over Draco's task for him? You know I want Draco to join us, and for that to happen, he must succeed in completing a mission all on his own. But I do understand your predicament, Lucius. Narcissa seems to have coddled the boy; he is a coward. Not one for our cause." He was more talking at Lucius than to him, his voice thoughtful.

He stopped his musings when he caught sight of Lucius's frightened face.

"Don't worry, my pet. I will not harm your son, unless he actively blocks our path. Then, I will have no choice. You do mean a lot to me, Lucius, and he means a lot to you. I would not intentionally hurt you in that way."

Lucius smiled in grateful relief. "Your kindness astounds me, my Lord. That you offer it to me, even though I am not worthy."

Voldemort reach out a hand to stroke Lucius's hair gently. "You are worthy, my little Lucius. You understand me, and I you. We both want similar things. You do anything I ask of you, and I care for you. This all makes for a rewarding relationship, does it not?"

"It does, my Lord." Voldemort ceased in stroking Lucius's hair, but left his hand exactly where it was, lightly cupping the back of Lucius's head.

"There is one problem, though. Why did Severus and his little Gryffindors get here so quickly? Surely Albus would have fed them some utter rubbish, like concepts of 'proceeding onwards with caution'?"

Lucius looked sideways, but lifted his right hand so that his companion could see the lack of metal there.

"My ring came off, my lord. I am sorry, but I could not get anyone there to retrieve it." Voldemort took hold of his hand, and lightly pressed a kiss to the other man's palm.

This kind, caring affection, and lack of punishment for his mistakes were things that Voldemort only ever showed when they were alone.

"That is a pity. It was a nice piece of jewellery. We need to think of something, Lucius. I cannot get through to Potter. I get more pain from the bond than he does, and I can no longer influence his emotions whilst we are connected. Something's happened, so we can do nothing about the Golden Boy." He spat the last to words contemptuously, and Lucius nodded his agreement.

"However, I think we do need to do something about our dear friend Severus. He ruined all of our plans, all because he's got a little too attached to his new toy."

Voldemort wrapped his arm around Lucius, sending healing magic through his hand until the blonde's ribs were fixed.

He had hidden the injury remarkably well, and Voldemort had only found out from seeing the well-aimed kick in the memory, even though he was positive his companion had been a lot of pain.

"Lucius, my pet, I need to borrow some of your power."

Harry groaned into Severus's mouth, and the Slytherin delighted in the sound he had drawn from his young boyfriend. So far, they were just kissing, getting to know each other. Severus was adamant that they did wait that full month, no matter what Harry said otherwise.

He pulled the boy closer, running one hand over Harrys back, under his robe but over his shirt. He traced patterns softly, until Harry giggled, and squirmed away from him.

"Ticklish?" He mumbled against the Gryffindor's mouth. Harry laughed a little longer, shaking off the sensation that lingered against his skin, then playfully bit Severus's lip.

"You know I-" He never got to finish that sentence, as very suddenly, Severus's face lost the fond and carefree expression he was directing at Harry, instead creasing up in pain.

Harry quickly scrambled up from where he had been lying on top of him.

"Oh merlin, are you okay? Did I do something?"

Severus clutched at him arm, with fingertips making short clawing movements.

"You…did…nothing wrong, Harry." He just about managed to get the words out, despite the obvious agony that afflicted him.

Harry immediately jumped up entirely, only to crouch down beside the sofa, observing the grip the Slytherin had on his own left arm. As far as Harry knew, it did not cause that amount of pain when he was being summoned.

If that were the case, he never would have been able to answer a summons.

Severus began to twitch, his arm moved far more than the rest of him, and the sleeve of the robe swept sideways, revealing some of the skin of his arm.

The black mark was surrounded by a very angry red, as if he had just gotten the tattoo, and his skin had not taken to it well at all. Blood had welled up all around it, and the image had a lumpy effect.

On top of this, black and blue lines were spreading across his arm, thick, raised spider webs.

"Severus! Severus, should I go and get Madam Pomfrey?" Severus just about managed to shake his head- at least, Harry assumed it was a shake of his head.

"Place...Stay-sis on arm." He gasped out, and Harry pulled his wand out, putting the strongest stasis spell he knew on the Slytherin's arm.

"Okay. That's done. What do I do next?" Harry asked urgently.

"The book you got me. The page that you need is marked. Show the information to Poppy; she'll get you the correct ingredients."

He spoke the whole thing fairly easily; either the pain had lessened due to the stasis, or he was simply growing used to it; Harry wasn't sure which.

Still, Harry rushed over to the small but high table in one corner of the room. Severus had been reading the book before he had gotten there, and before they had moved to the sofa, he had seen his boyfriend place the book in a small drawer situated in the side of the table.

He quickly took the book out, noting that the attached purple velvet ribbon was indeed marking a page, and left, running as fast as he could to the hospital wing.

He only got to the hallway leading to the room where he spent so much time, as he ran into someone, directly hitting them as he turned quickly.

"Sorry." He muttered, though he did not look up to see who he had ran into.

"You should watch where you are going, Mr Potter." A stern female voice told him firmly.

He stopped, and turned to face the woman.

"Madam Pomfrey! I am sorry, I was just looking for you!"

"And why is that, Harry? You appeared to be in such an awful rush."

"It's Sev. I don't know what's happened; it's something to do with his mark. It was really sudden." He opened the book, and showed her the marked page.

"He said that you needed to see this page. I think he thought you could help me make a cure or something."

Madam Pomfrey's eyes skimmed over the page quickly, with a learned eye for picking out significant words or phrases. The problem appeared to be poisonous ink from the Dark Mark, being ordered around his body until vital organs shut down.

It sounded cruel, but when it was Voldemort doing it, that was to be expected.

"He thinks we need to remove the mark entirely." Harry's eyes widened, and he followed the woman as she ran through the double doors to her own supply of ingredients.

As she found them, Harry filled her in on all that had occurred, which only made the medic move faster, and they floated the ingredients behind them as they ran back to Severus's rooms.

Then. she turned to Harry. "Password?"

He shook his head. "There isn't one. He just has an intruder charm, which notes if anyone enters or leaves." Harry explained as he slammed the door open, and ran through to the back of Severus's living space, where he had left him on the sofa.

He heard the woman gasp as she caught sight of her colleague, but did nothing to help; she knew what it was, and Harry was determined to make the potion, whether he had Severus to help him or not.

Helpfully for him, the actual instructions were bullet-points, with the long passage of excessive explanations following afterwards. (If it had been a different time, he would have marvelled at how a DADA book had a load of writing on potions)

He set up the cauldron rapidly, and felt Madam Pomfrey join him, slicing ingredients one behind the one that he currently needed and was using, so that there was a smooth transition between each stage of the potion. He was thankful for this, but too worried to comment on how much she helped with the task.

Created for emergencies, the potions did not need to rest before use; so long as it had hit mauve on the colour scale, it could be used.

Harry doubted his potions skill, but halfway through the process, he had heard weak whimpers escaping the man he loved, and now, he would risk it. He suspected that Severus would definitely die if not given an antidote to whatever Voldemort was doing to him, so this was better than nothing.

It looked like it was supposed to, and Harry reckoned that that would have to do.

He cast a glance at Madam Pomfrey, who nodded seriously, and them he was off, grabbing vial from the kitchenette (why Severus kept potions equipment in the cutlery draws was completely beyond him) and measuring the right amount of liquid before running over to Severus.

"Sev?" He needed to get the man to concentrate enough to be able to swallow it; making him choke to death wouldn't be an improvement at all.

"'Arry." Was the groaning response, helpless and hurt. Harry's heart ached for him.

He tucked his free arm behind Severus's neck, lifting him up slightly, so it would be easier for him to take the potion.

"Sev, darling, you have to swallow this, okay?"

There was no response, but Harry lifted the vial to his lips anway, and slowly tipped the liquid into the man's mouth.

Severus did not swallow. Could not. Harry could see that he was making an effort to, it was simply to difficult for him.

He tossed the container aside, not caring whether it broke, and massaged Severus's throat, tilting him further forward than he had been before.

"Come on, Sev." Harry rested his head against the Slytherin's. "Please..." He whispered.

Severus swallowed the potion noisily, then coughed a few times, before slumping against Harry's arm.

"Severus?" Harry was immediately alarmed, and shook the man lightly, until Poppy placed her hand on his arm, stilling him.

"Look, Harry. It's working." She pointed to Severus's left arm, where the spider webs were retreating back into the original mark, which was fading gradually.

So gradually that Harry could not track it, only really realising when the mark was almost gone entirely.

He exhaled in relief as Severus's eyes fluttered a few times, and he stirred against Harry's shoulder.

"Severus?" Voice calmer and quieter, Harry sounded nervous.

"Yes, darling?" He responded, sounding exactly like himself, just weaker, tired.

"You're okay!"

Severus chuckled, and the cheerful response quickly turned into a cough. "Yes, I am, Harry. It's okay."

Then, in a smaller voice. "Thank you. Both of you."

"Lucius? Lucius, wake up!" Voldemort shook the blond man in his arms, and eventually, he came around.

"It is okay, my lord. Simply magical exhaustion. Do not worry yourself over me."

Voldemort had used all of Lucius's magic against Severus, rather than his own, but had been unable to tell when his companion's magic had become depleted.

"It should not have used all of your power, my dear." His face creased in worry.

"The boy...he fought against it." Lucius answered, correctly assuming that Harry had been the one to block their progress.

"I am so sorry, Lucius." He carried the blonde to his throne, and placed his in in it, conjuring up some cusions for the exhausted man to lean against.

"Do not feel sorry, my lord. I would do anything to help you."

"I know." He answered gently. "But they will pay for this."

Green Eyes- Reminiscing, Remus, and reconciliation.

When Madam Pomfrey left, Severus had been given strict orders for a week of bed-rest, and as a result of this, he could not teach. He was disgruntled about being treated like the invalid he –admittedly- currently was, but did not really complain, for the bareness of his left arm was something he had hoped for, but hadn't believed possible, until Harry came along.

He had a lot to thank the boy for, as he had been the one to buy the book with the cure, and had made the potion. He had, in fact, tried several times to verbalise his appreciation, and each time Harry had waved him off, saying that he loved him, would hate to lose him, so it was as much for himself as it was for Severus.

That did not stop the Slytherin from being grateful though, nor did it stop him from being amazed at the speed and strength and care Harry had shown in saving him. Severus knew he was very lucky in his choice of partner; not many would have managed the way Harry did.

The bed rest-meant that Severus had to find someone to cover his lessons for a week, and he could think of no-one other than the werewolf Remus Lupin, who had taught defence a few years back. As far back as Severus could remember into their own Hogwarts days, Remus had not being completely useless at potions, and had passed quite highly.

He would do for a week. It did not coincide with the full moon, and the brats were mostly just following instructions in the textbook at this point in the year; Lupin would only have to babysit, and make sure that no-one blew up a cauldron. [Which was far harder than it seemed, but Remus actually liked teaching, so Severus decided that he would probably cope.]

He sent the man an Owl, which he dictated to Harry whilst the boy wrote the letter exactly as Severus said it, and the man fire-called not long after {He was residing in Hogsmede, and so it did not take too long for the owl to arrive}, saying that he could be there to teach the next day.

He sounded enthusiastic, but tired, the sort of sad tired that did not go away, no matter how much you slept. He had not looked like that at Christmas, and Severus wondered if the man was really good at hiding it, or something new had happened.

Harry seemed ecstatic to hear of Lupin's short stay at Hogwarts, and Severus did not ask him of what was troubling Remus, in case he worried the Gryffindor.

Said Gryffindor, after a half an hour argument at nine o'clock in the evening, had eventually agreed to go to classes –which Severus suspected had a lot to do with the werewolf- so long as all other time could be spent with Severus. Severus agreed.

The Slytherin's body was very weak, his magic almost dangerously low, and his arm cramped, but all of that would supposedly wear off on its own within the week, so Poppy had allowed him to stay in his own rooms instead of the hospital wing.

This arrangement allowed them to literally spend all of their free time together, and Severus readily agreed, knowing that Harry's presence would get rid of the tedium of spending all his time lying down, practically immobile.

Harry, unfortunately, seemed to automatically try to nurse Severus back to health- in the hour or two that he had been awake (He had passed out about twenty minutes after the healing had taken place) Harry had offered him water three times, offered to go and find some pain medication, collected every cushion available to prop Severus up, and had checked him for a fever.

Severus thought that his concern was adorable, but decided that he would be glad when Harry stopped his fluttering about, as, if he was honest, cuddling and talking helped him a lot more than any of those other things.

He yawned suddenly, tired in spite of the few hours' sleep he had already gotten. Harry noticed, and rested his hand atop Severus's head fondly.

"I think it's bedtime, Sev.

The Slytherin scowled, which caused Harry laugh lightly. Severus opened his mouth to respond, only to yawn again, and instead simply nodded in agreement.

"Yes, bedtime, I think." He paused. "Well, couch-time."

As Severus had been on the sofa when everything had happened, and he was fairly comfortable to stay there [or had said he was, anyway] Madam Pomfrey had allowed him to remain where he was.

The sofa was fairly small, and with both of them trying to sleep, it would be a little…cosy. He wasn't really up for supporting all of Harry's weight, no matter how much he wanted to keep him close.

Whilst Harry was awake, he sat at one end, with Severus's feet in his lap, but neither could really comfortably sleep like that; Severus knew his neck would bother him if he spent much more time with it resting awkwardly on the armrest, despite the cushions that Harry had added.

"Enlarge the sofa." He told Harry; normally, Severus would have done it himself, but Poppy had told him that he wasn't allowed to use magic until he was better. It took two attempts, but eventually Harry managed to make the sofa fill almost all of the empty space in the room, where there previously had been nothing but carpet.

He also made it longer, so that Severus could stretch out his long frame without the armrest getting in the way, transfigured the cushions into large fluffy pillows, and disappeared.

He returned from Severus's room with the duvet, ignoring the man's complaints about messing his room up, and dumped it, unceremoniously, (but lightly) on top of the Slytherin, who fake grumbled but finally cracked a smile.

Harry straightened he duvet, fussing over the older man, until Severus weakly tried to pull the Gryffindor over to him.

Harry let himself be pulled, and cuddled up against the man.

Severus was asleep before he could even count to ten.

Remus Lupin arrived at Hogwarts at exactly seven o'clock the next morning, and only took the time to drop his bag in the room designated to him by Albus before heading off to the dungeons in search of Professor Snape, who he had to check in with before classes began for the day.

He remembered that when he had fire-called the day before, Poppy had told him that Severus was staying in his own room instead of the hospital wing, and then she had connected him with Severus's fireplace instead.

The Slytherin had always hated the hospital wing, and Remus did sympathise with him; he had spent quite a lot of time there, due to either James, or Sirius, or both.

The lycanthrope could remember where Severus lived due to his need to collect the wolfsbane potion, and he headed down there without any fuss or confusion.

Arriving swiftly, he found no means of giving a password at the door, and he did not even know if there was one. Instead, he just knocked lightly on the door, which must not have been shut correctly by whoever had last entered or left the room {that's Pomfrey, in case you were wondering}, as it opened slightly due to the very small pressure of his hand.

As it was now very slightly ajar, Remus did not wait, as he had no qualms about entering the room if it was not even shut correctly, and walked forward, only to freeze seconds later.

The room looked hardly anything like he remembered it; in fact, it barely resembled a living room at all. Most of the space was dominated by something that appeared to be halfway between a bed and a sofa.

It was this drastic change that had caused him to stay in the doorway, before he had even really observed the two figures sleeping together.

Once he did see them though, he stared. Severus was lying on his side, with one arm curved around Harry, who had curled up against him, both of his hands tucked against the man's chest.

Remus knew of the original assignment, and had watched the pair as they had become rather friendly whilst drunk, but it had all washed over his head. His brain simply had not comprehended a serious romantic relationship between the two.

Though, he had to admit, they did make for an amazingly handsome couple, and asleep, they were positively adorable.

The duvet had slipped down to their waists, which had told Remus not only how they slept, but also that they both appeared to be fully dressed, and he decided it would therefore be acceptable to wait for one or both of them to awake. Harry, at least, could not sleep for much longer, as he needed to get ready for class, which would begin fairly soon.

Apparently, the boy had no sort of internal alarm clock, as he did not rouse from his slumber even ten minutes later, when Remus had moved to sit in an armchair hidden in the corner of the room.

In fact, ignoring the time, and his companions, Harry Potter's soft snores continued, even after Severus had begun to stir.

Remus watched as Severus slowly shifted, blinking several times before he opened his eyes fully. The Slytherin smiled softly down at the boy beside him, and he ducked his head to press a kiss to the top of Harry's head.

It seemed oddly intimate for such a light gesture, and it was probably due to the amount of care with which he did it.

The lycanthrope felt like he was intruding, but he could not back away, so he cleared his throat softly, praying that he did not startle Severus, which would inevitably cause irritation and shouting.

Surprisingly, the man just looked up in concern, his arm tightening around Harry, but relaxed as soon as he realised it was Remus. He had expected Severus to at least give his token glare.

"Thank you for helping out at such short notice, Lupin." Severus mumbled, without even a good morning.

Remus stared at the man's non-grumpy politeness. Was Harry that good an influence on him?

"It was no trouble at all, Severus." He nodded politely, and got up to leave, only to have Severus loosely try and wave a hand at him.

"Please, stay. Harry needs to get up now, and I know he'll be glad to see you." His voice was quiet, and Severus quickly turned his attention to the boy in his bed.

"Harry, love, you need to get up." He said gently, right in Harry's ear. Harry immediately began to stir, and Remus wondered how on earth Severus' had managed that. It could have been that he was very close to Harry, and it therefore seemed loud, or he couldn't get up without Severus saying it out of habit, or Severus could just have a merlin given gift at waking up Harry Potter.

His eyelids fluttered open, and he blearily smiled up at Severus. "Mornin' Sev." He said groggily, and then yawned widely, which caused Severus to chuckle. His yawns had finally passed along to Harry.

"Morning to you too." He bent his head down, and Harry got the message, shuffling so he could kiss Severus. Carefully, of course.

"Guess who's here, sweetheart?" Severus seemed to over-do the nicknames when he was still partially asleep, but Harry didn't mind. His sleep-fogged brain took a few seconds before he remembered the fire-call last night, then his eyes lit up.

"Remus is here already?" He asked, excited. Severus nodded supressing a laugh as he looked up at the man across the room.

"Hey, pup." Remus greeted him, and Harry's head whipped around to look at him.

"Remus!" Then he realised where he was, and blushed a little.

"Don't mind me, Harry. I'm just passing through."

Harry yawned again, but nodded at the marauder. "What's the time?"

"It is…" Remus cast a tempus charm. "Twenty-two minutes passed seven."

Harry looked alarmed, and he turned to look accusingly at Severus. "Why didn't you wake me up earlier?"

"I don't have to get up at all. Why would I bother?" Was the response from his boyfriend, who had burrowed his head in a pillow.

"Helpful, love." He scrambled out of bed, carefully tucking the duvet around Severus to make up for the space he had just left, and walked randomly around the very small amount of space in the room.

"Do you know where Dobby left all my stuff?" He wondered, not really asking. Severus answered anyway.

"It's all in the bedroom. Except for your shoes. I'm not sure where they are." Dobby had moved Harry's stuff to Severus's room temporarily, so he didn't have to keep running all the way up to Gryffindor tower to collect books and clothes.

Harry stumbled as he rounded the corner of the edited sofa. "I've found my shoes."

Both Severus and Remus sniggered.

"Not funny guys. I could have been seriously hurt." He said in mock-upset.

Severus snorted. "Not likely. You have Harry Potter luck."

"So I could have hit my head on the edge of the bed/sofa thing and died. That would be my luck." He grumbled.

"Don't even joke about that, Harry." Severus's voice had a warning tone to it, and Harry decided not to push it.

He didn't really have time for squabbling anyway, not if he wanted to shower and eat before lessons.

-As soon as Harry was in the bathroom, and the water had been turned on, the remaining two men tried to out stare each other. Well, that was what it looked like, anyway.

Severus was noting how Remus still looked tired and depressed, and Remus was noting the way Severus seemed happy, even though he was ill and had to stay in bed. It seemed that his relationship with Harry was doing wonders for him as a person.

Not that he was a bad person to begin with Remus reminded himself.

"Are you okay, Lupin?" Severus enquired.

"I'm fine, thank you, Severus." Remus responded, but they both knew it was all politeness, and no truth.

"Don't bullshit. Even Harry will notice when he finally wakes up." Severus grumbled at him. More forwards with his complaints than he used to be, as that was definitely a Harry sort of way of telling someone that he knew they were lying, but some of the man's old grouch had returned in Harry's very short absence.

"Fine. I'm not okay. Is that better?" Remus responded tetchily. He thought he was hiding everything pretty well.

"Not remotely. What is wrong, Lupin? I thought you looked happy at Christmas."

"I was. Compared to now, anyway." He took a deep breath. "Yesterday was…Siri's birthday.

Remus nearly choked on his nickname for his old friend.

Severus took a second to change 'Siri' to Sirius, then saw the man, in his mind, falling through the veil.

He had meant a lot to Remus, and that had been clear, right from the early days at Hogwarts and then their reuniting at the shrieking shack so many years later.

"I am sorry, Remus." He said quietly, and meant it. The man may have gotten on his nerves, but he hadn't deserved to die, and Severus also wouldn't wish the loss of someone that important to them on anyone, let alone Remus, who always seemed so content normally.

"That's okay, Severus. He always said he would hate to die in his sleep. He even had a nightmare where he had died peacefully, and I had tried to wake him in the morning, but he didn't move.

Remus was just barely able to hold back tears; he hadn't mentioned that to anyone, but for some reason, Severus seemed to understand him then.

Severus nodded, and smiled sympathetically. He chose not to ask of the man's relationship with Tonks; he didn't even know the extent of the one the lycanthrope had had with the animagus.

"Would you like to have breakfast here with us?" He asked, as his stomach rumbled. "You could catch up with Harry."

"Thank you." He responded, smiling slightly.

Harry with his occasionally amazing timing- chose then to exit the bathroom, a small towel atop his head as he waited for it to dry. His uniform appeared to be damp from his hair anyway, and though he had just gotten dressed, he already looked untidy.

Full awake, he went and hugged Remus, who hugged him back tightly, before sitting next to Severus, who had pulled himself up into a sitting position.

Severus got a whiff of apple as the boy sat down, and inhaled again, checking.

"You've used my shampoo." He commented.

"Observant. Yes, I did." Harry smiled innocently.

"Why? Your hair crap is in there, you know." He wasn't really bothered, but if Harry preferred apple to strawberry, why didn't he usually use apple?

"I know. I like yours better."

Severus rolled his eyes. "Breakfast?"

"Starving." Harry responded, and Severus called for food, so they could all eat together.

Harry got to the lesson early, and helped Remus to set up for the day. There wasn't much to do, as the class would find their own equipment, but Harry helped anyway, happy to spend the extra time with the werewolf. The man did seem to smile less than he used to, but Harry could understand that, seeing as many things had happened over the last few years.

When the rest of the class entered the room, Ron and Hermione included, the majority appeared to be happy with the return of the lycanthrope, who was standing in front of Snape's desk.

Draco and a few other Slytherins did not seem as pleased with this, though they kept their opinions to themselves in an uncharacteristic display of both respect and silence; two things Slytherins in general seemed to lack.

The lesson in itself was not particularly significant, and had carried though as usual, including Neville's amazing achievement of making a mistake that no-one could figure out.

It was entirely normal, though slightly more relaxed, until the very end of the lesson. The potions were resting, cooling before the students could bottle samples of it to be marked, and so Harry was –understandably- slightly uneasy when Draco approached.

He had eased up over the last couple of months, but Harry still didn't trust him near an almost finished [and rather good] potion.

"Potter, could I have a word?" He frowned, and appeared a little embarrassed. Baffled, Harry agreed, and stepped away from the table, so that other people would not overhear them.

He did, however keep one hand on his wand, placed in his pocket, guard up. It was unlikely that Draco would try anything in such a crowded room, but there was no way he was taking any chances.

He nodded at the Slytherin, motioning for him to begin talking. The blonde stayed silent though, twisting his hands together anxiously. This drew Harry's attention, and he noticed that Draco, like his father, was no longer wearing the Malfoy family ring. He wondered what that meant, but did not ask; it probably wasn't any of his business, and the youngest Malfoy would be unlikely to respond anyway.

"Malfoy?" He prompted, when the other boy still did not speak.

Draco looked up, appeared a little haunted, like he'd been dragged out of a disturbing thought.

"I was ordered to kill you. As an initiation task." He began, in a flat voice. Harry nodded.

"And rape me. I am well-aware of what your assignment was."

"I did not want to, though I cannot guarantee that I would not have done it. I was not given a choice." He looked away from the brunette, feeling awkward.

"I don't know either, Malfoy. But your father seemed damn sure you wouldn't."

"When did he say that?" Draco asked curiously.

"When he tried to complete the task for you." Harry responded. He tried not to look directly at the boy when he said it, but he still did not miss Draco's shudder.

"I am sorry for that, Potter. I no longer consider the man family; the small amount of time spent near the Dark Lord's followers has forced me to realise that he is one sick, sadistic, fucker." He said it completely seriously, and Harry believed him.

He thought that it kind of explained the absence of the ring, though he still did not know why Lucius did not have his.

"It was not your fault, Malfoy. And, as you can see, he did not succeed, so there is no harm done." Harry stretched the truth a little. Due to the situation, a lot of harm had been caused to Severus, and he was very angry about that, but he blamed Voldemort entirely. It was not Draco's fault.

"I am still sorry. You got rescued though?" Harry resisted the urge to say obviously.

"Yes, Severus, Ron and Hermione came to get me." Draco inhaled sharply.

"Uncle Severus, is he okay? Alive, I mean." He sounded genuinely concerned for his Godfather, though Harry was surprised he called him Uncle.

"He's okay. He will be fine."

"They did not hurt him badly?" He asked in disbelief.

"They tried, and failed. Severus is now free."

The blondes mouth made a small O. "Wow, I didn't know you could get rid of it."

He bit his lip. "I wanted to ask of yours and his help." Draco looked at his bare hands, and did not see the way Harry's eyes widened. Malfoy, asking for help? That was unheard of.

"Okay. What do you need?" He asked, trying unsuccessfully to hide his shock.

"I need to be hidden from all the death eaters." He took a deep breath, and Harry guessed that the information that followed it probably wasn't well known. "I am planning to marry Astoria Greengrass, her family are entirely neutral, and happy to allow me to take their name. I have been planning this for a short while, and I have courted her for the last two years. Before I carry through with this though, I need someone to ensure that this will not be tracked, so there is no threat to her or her family."

"Okay. You know that I, personally, cannot guarantee you anything, but I am positive that the order will help. And I know Severus will try as well." He paused." It'll be okay, Malfoy." He was surprised that the prince of Slytherin cared that much about anyone, but logically knew that it was just because of their childish feud that he had those views, and wisely kept his mouth shut.

He was also confused by the way Draco talked of his relationship, but dismissed it as confusing pure-blood principles and ideas.

"Thank you, Potter. Honestly, I am grateful."

"It's no problem at all, Draco. I am glad you've chosen this."

"Blaise and Pansy are neutral." He offered. "They would be with you guys, but I know that they are too scared to actively do anything."

Harry nodded. "If they wish to ally with us, they would be most welcome. If you could pass that along…"

"I will." Draco said quickly, before he walked back over to his friends.

Green Eyes- Valentine's

Severus was as nervous as a thirteen year old boy on his first date. It had been a month, and a few days, since his promise to Harry. The added few days, in which he had tried to stay away from the Gryffindor as much as possible, had been torture.

He wanted Harry, and he knew that the Gryffindor still wanted him, too. But he had adamantly stuck to his plan, wanting himself and his young lover to go about least one thing in a romantic, cliché kind of way.

The idea of first taking Harry on Valentine's day had originally been a short burst of picture in the back of his mind, after he had actually thought of what he should do, what he should give as Harry's Valentine's gift, but it had stuck.

And he had been determined to follow it through.

But now, when Harry was going to meet him in less than fifteen minutes, he was suddenly bombarded with worries about whether he was making the right choice.

He thought -rather irrationally- that Harry would suddenly change his mind, and realise that he did not want to be with an older man, who was an ex-death eater and his teacher, after all.

He worried that he would not make it as Harry no doubt imagined it, would not make it good enough to be a fond memory for Harry, of their first Valentine's day together. He knew from experience that it could be terribly uncomfortable at first, even if the time had been taken to be prepared properly.

And that had been the second time for him. The first had hurt like fuck, but even at the time he had known it was entirely due to Lucius.

But still, he worried. Harry seemed so small and fragile, and at times, it did tug at Severus's heart, even though he knew that Harry, as a person, was quite strong. His concerns over Harry's fragility had nothing to do with them making love- there was something he had to tell Harry before he went through with this, and Severus worried that it would upset him.

It wasn't all bad, though. He was excited, a little bit. Like a child at Christmas, after they've already peeked at their presents. There always is still that little bit for excitement for Christmas, when they get to finally play with their toys.

Merlin knew how long he had wanted the young Gryffindor, how he had longed to touch him, and be touched in return. The worry, excitement and general nerves were creating butterflies in his stomach, and the Slytherin very much doubted that his Gryffindor partner was being so silly.

No, Harry trusted him, and for the Gryffindor, that was enough to stop him from getting wound up over it.

Severus had caught a glimpse the boy at breakfast, where Harry and his Gryffindor friends appeared to be throwing red glitter hearts at one another, completely carefree.

But Severus trusted Harry, and Harry trusted Severus. Severus, did not trust himself. He still felt guilty about some of the things of his past. One in particular was nagging at him, and that was the one thing he wanted to sort out, the mistake he wanted to rectify before they went through with it.

This one problem account for most of his nerves, and he hoped that Harry appreciated how difficult it had been for him to fill the vial in his hands with the blue-silver substance. The vial that was to be Harry's gift.

He sincerely hoped that Harry did not think badly of him, by interpreting it in the wrong way.

Harry laughed as Hermione pushed him to the door, telling him that he shouldn't be late for his very important date. She was acting a little hyperactive, and as for quoting Alice in Wonderland, he hadn't a clue what she had taken.

But he did know that her and Ron were both blushing profusely, and decided his was best off not knowing. No matter where he was going, or who he was –hopefully- sleeping with, Harry really liked to pretend that his best friends did not have a sex life.

He walked down to the dungeons, completely oblivious to at least ten girls who were attempting to look seductive, and walked into Severus's living room, before pulling his present from his back pocket.

He had asked Neville for advice for Severus's present, and Neville, who was still nice, and kept his nose out of other people's business, did not ask who Harry was making the effort for.

Neville, had shyly confided in Harry about his own relationship with Luna, and Harry had helped him to shrink onions to turn into dangly earrings- the shaping of the metal took precision, and Neville could not make them the right shape on his own.

In exchange, Neville had given Harry one of his own inventions, and Harry was positive that Severus would like it.

"Severus?"

Harry's voice bought the Slytherin out of his worrying, and the man left his bedroom, quickly going through into the living room where Harry was.

"Hello, Harry." He smiled, hiding the vial behind his back.

"Hey, Sev." Harry stepped closer, and pressed a chaste kiss to his mouth.

"Hold your hand out." Harry ordered, sounding teasing. Severus looked at him in confusion, but did as was asked.

The Gryffindor grinned, and tipped something into Severus's palm. The Slytherin looked at what appeared to be five seeds, and looked up, arching an eyebrow at Harry.

Who simply smiled. "Stay still, or I probably won't be able to get this to work." He withdrew his wand, and pointed it at the seeds. He tapped each in turn, on a tiny off-coloured dot, and whispered the words "Grow Eternal."

The seeds suddenly sprouted, and grew rapidly, turning into long stems with thorns. Harry held out his own hand to steady Severus's, so that he would not get injured by the sharp thorns.

Together, they watched, as the green and black stems appeared to glow, and buds seemed to morph out of the stems, red and pink, and froze suddenly, stopping for exactly three seconds before bursting out into full bloom.

Suddenly, it appeared, Severus was holding an entire rosebush, balanced precariously on his hand. Harry levitated it up, then let go of Severus, reaching into his robes for what looked like a flat piece of metal.

He enlarged this, then settled the plant on it, before handing the platform back to Severus.

"The base will look after the plant. It cannot die." Harry murmured. "Happy Valentine's, Sev." He smiled brightly at the Slytherin, who appeared shocked.

"How on earth did you find something like that?" He breathed.

"Uh, actually, Neville invented it. I had to work out how to make onion earrings for him to give to Luna." Harry explained cheerily. Severus looked stunned.

In all honesty, he didn't think Neville had the skill to invent spells, and he had not really thought of Harry as someone with enough patience to make earrings.

"Wow, it's amazing." Severus looked at the plant fondly, and Harry's smile brightened to an impossible level.

"Thank you, Harry." He then passed two things to Harry. The vial, and a very tiny package.

"Open the package first." He murmured. Harry did so, and saw a tiny square of shiny rock, which was emanating such strong magic that he could feel it washing over his hand.

"It should repel any dark spells cast your way. Only dark arts, though, so it shouldn't interfere with anything normally."

Harry looked stunned. Hermione had told him of such powerful rocks before, but apparently, she had never seen one. They were incredibly powerful, and rather difficult to mine.

He turned it over in his hand, and noticed what looked like four talon style grips on the back.

"Those should fuse it to something you're wearing. It has to be metal. It will not damage the item, but should stay attached to it unless you consciously release it.

Harry immediately undid the top button on his robe, and then lightly found the chain than rested underneath his clothes, bringing out the sword that Severus had bought him. He held the rock just above the hilt of the sword, and it appeared to connect automatically, fastening itself tightly around the top.

Both the sword and the rock glowed blue, brightened to a blinding colour and lightness, before fading, the two items fused together perfectly.

"Thank you, Severus." He reached up and kissed the man's cheek, then turned his attention to the vial. "This looks like a memory."

Severus nodded his head. "It is." He took a deep breath.

"Do you remember when I, w-when I first got the assignment?" He looked so unbelievable nervous, so unlike himself that Harry wanted to hug him. He only refrained because he realised how important this must have been for Severus to mention it now.

"Yes." He looked curious.

Severus's eyebrows knotted together. "The Dark Lord used Legilimency to see into my mind." He continued, looking meaningfully at Harry.

Harry remembered, all too easily, the image of himself sucking off Severus.

"Yes, I remember. He wanted to see what you thought about me."

"Indeed. But he did not see the entire memory."

"Which is…this?" Harry nodded uncertainly at the vial which he held.

"Yes. I want you to see it, before."

"But, why?" Harry was confused.

"Because I know what it looked like. And I don't want you to think that I only wanted to use you, even then."

Harry's eyes grew soft. "Even if I did think that, I know you're too good a man to actually do that."

He had such trust, but Severus wasn't backing out now. He placed the roses carefully onto his desk, then took Harry's hand, and gently pulled him over to his pensieve.

"Please, Harry." He took a deep breath. "I hope you still want me after this."

Harry beamed up at him, trying to lighten the mood. "Of course I will, silly."

He tried to unstopped the vial, and failed. Severus chuckled softly, and gently prised the vial out of Harry's hand, pulled the stopper, and handed it back to him.

Harry poured in the liquid, and set its container safely behind the pensieve, on the shelf that contained many vials and bottled.

He gripped Severus's hands tightly, and together, they leant forward.

Severus stalked over to the boy cleaning the board, not stopping until he was almost pressed against him. "Potter." Harry gasped, spinning around, his back pressed against the chalkboard he'd previously been cleansing of chalk. There was no hesitation; Severus leaned in, roughly catching the boy's lips in a long kiss.

Harry pulled back first, though he wrapped one hand around Severus's neck to keep him close. The other, he laid on the man's chest, lightly pressing against him.

The Slytherin leaned forward again, this time to nip gently at the boy's earlobe. The Gryffindor let out a soft moan as Severus continued on from there, lightly licking the shell of his ear.

"Severus." Harry breathed out softly.

"Yes, my love?" He murmured, directly into Harry's ear, and he liked the light shiver that followed.

Harry kissed him again, harder. Determinedly.

"I want to taste you."

Severus let out a throaty moan as Harry's hand ghosted over his groin, those big green eyes looking up at him innocently. The boy did not look away as he slowly undid Severus's black trousers, pulling them down to his knees easily, appearing as a practised motion.

Sated, but also aware of the erection straining against the boy's trousers, Severus gently pulled Harry back up to his level, and wrapped one arm around him in an embrace, and the other the slipped into Harry's trousers.

Harry's breath came out in pants, and he was close, so close, and it had taken so little time.

Severus felt a little smug at this, both in his dream self, and, sadly, his real self, who was holding hands with the real Harry, who was watching the dream intently, blushing.

The dream Severus leaned down, and started kissing Harry lightly, down his cheekbone, gently, until he kissed the corner of the boy's mouth, and Harry turned his head slightly to gain more contact, kissing back firmly.

Severus kept hold of Harry as his breathing evened out and he calmed down, and Harry eventually began kissing him again, languid now, tired.

Severus pulled back, and grabbed his want to cast a cleaning spell on both Harry and his hand, then pulled Harry even closer than before looping both of his arms around him. Harry settled his arms around Severus's neck, and rested his head against the man's shoulder, his nose tickling the junction between the Slytherin's neck and shoulder.

"Severus?" He asked, voice muffled against Severus's skin.

Both of the real people looked at in each other, recognising something there that matched the real them perfectly.

In fact, Severus's dream had been a pretty good representation of their future relationship, especially with the bit that followed.

"Yes, Darling?" Severus responded, burying his nose into Harry's hair.

"I love you."

The real Harry squeezed his partner's hand, as a silent echo of what the other him had said.

"I love you too, Harry." Both Severus's responded, then Severus squeezed Harry's hand, and pulled them both out of the pensieve.

They landed back in Severus's rooms, and he knew Harry well enough to automatically hold onto his waist before the Gryffindor had the chance to fall over.

It seemed, however, that Harry could handle a pensieve much better than he could the floo or a portkey, and he was fairly steady, but Severus still did not remove his hands.

"Harry?" He asked quietly.

Harry smiled up at him, a little shyly.

"Do you…still want me, now you've seen that?"

Harry blinked several times, baffled. "Of course I do! Why wouldn't I?"

"Because that was at the beginning of the year, before I had even been ordered to get close to you. We were barely speaking, and when we did, it was never pleasant. But I still fancied myself in love with you."

Harry cocked his head to the side, contemplating the wording. "You didn't."

"No." Severus admitted. "But I pictured it. You cannot love someone you hardly know. But I did care for you. A lot. And, I wanted you."

Harry giggled lightly.

"That's how most relationships start out, Sev. No-one falls in love before the first hurdle."

Severus smiled back, but that faded fast.

"That doesn't change the fact that the first time I thought of you…like that…you were still fifteen. Not far off sixteen, but you were still fifteen." He put emphasis on fifteen, trying to make a point.

"So? You literally didn't do anything. There's no law about thinking things."

Harry reached forward and kissed Severus, hard.

"So, you said a month. It's been over a month. I now also know about your little fantasies whilst I was still jailbait. I do believe that you need to keep your promise." His voice was light, teasing, and he dropped down off of his toes, dragging his lips down Severus's jaw.

"Quite right, darling." And, with that, he swiftly lifted Harry off of his feet, and threw him over his shoulder.

"Put me down!" Harry shrieked indignantly, but he was laughing, so Severus just patted his ankle, and began walking to the bedroom.

He snorted. "Not a chance."

Entering his bedroom, Severus lightly tossed Harry onto the bed, then walked around to sit beside him.

Harry eagerly reached for Severus, tugging the older man down beside him.

"Much better." He murmured, before capturing Severus's lips with his own. He kissed softly, occasionally touching his tongue to the Slytherin's lip, but never actually entering his mouth.

As Harry had predicted, Severus gave a growl of impatience, and pulled Harry more closely on top of him, giving himself more control of the kiss. He deepened it quickly, slipping his tongue into Harry's mouth, and tasting all that he could ;darting the appendage over teeth, then lip, then Harry's own tongue in a way that was seemingly random, and completely unpredictable.

There was no way that Harry could win that battle, and he let Severus take control, surrendering to the sensations.

Instead, Harry sneaked a hand down Severus's neck, down to the man's robes. He slipped the first tiny button through the hole easily, so easily that Severus did not notice.

In fact, it was about three buttons down before it became a problem. The buttons were tiny, and Harry's arms were a little trapped between their bodies. He fumbled with it for a moment, then gave up.

He simply could not undress the Slytherin whilst he was lying almost flat on top of him. He touched the tip of his tongue to Severus's as he pulled away from the kiss, ignoring Severus's questioning look.

He simply fastened his lips to the man's throat, and shuffled backwards, giving himself enough room to undo the buttons.

Every two buttons he had to move, and his lips continues kissing downwards, attaching to a different bit of flesh every time he moved.

They both took a while to calm their breathing, and Harry could hear Severus's heartbeat as he relaxed.

His boyfriend's arms were warm, and Harry could feel himself falling to sleep.

"I love you, Sev." Harry murmured.

"I love you too, Harry." Severus responded, also succumbing fast to slumber.

There was something about lying in a lover's embrace, completely sated, that told them that they must sleep, no matter what the time of day.

Draco entered the living room of Grimauld Place, were Astoria was sitting, reading a novel. They had only been staying in Harry's house for a week, but they had settled in nicely, mostly due to the lack of company to keep them on their toes.

He drew the box from his pocket, and then walked into the middle of the room.

Astoria immediately put her book down, and faced him.

They had discussed marriage for a while, and Draco was finally ready to propose properly, now that they seemed to be safe.

"Astoria, you are everything I would desire to have in a wife. YOu are charming, and beautiful, and kind, and trusting, all of which are qualities not normally associated with the house of Slytherin. I love, you."

He dropped onto one knee. "Please would you do me the honour of becomming my wife?"

She nodded. "Of couse I will, Draco."

She held out her hand, and Draco gently placed the ring upon her finger, then rose to his feet.

"Thank you." He murmured, and leant forward, touching their lips together in the first of what he planned to be many kisses as a couple.

The calm Before the Storm.

"Lucius?" Voldemort wandered around his rooms. Lucius had an amazing talent for sneaking off.

He had walked through about three corridors before he remembered Lucius's favourite place in the whole of Malfoy manner.

The balcony in his bedroom.

Sure enough, when he finally found his way back there (there was something really baffling about the layout of Malfoy Manor) Lucius was balanced precariously on the edge of the railing, looking out over the expanse of perfect gardens.

The snake-like man placed the one item he was carrying against the wall, next to the door into the bedroom, and snuck up behind his lover.

He placed both of his arms around the other man, which turned out to be a very good decision, because Lucius startled, and would have fallen off of the third floor balcony had Voldemort's grip not been so tight.

"Shh. It's only me." Lucius immediately relaxed, and leaned back into Voldemort's arms, exhaling softly.

It was a sign of trust that Lucius allowed such a dangerous man to hold him at such a great height. If he had wanted to, he could easily have pushed Lucius to his death, and they both knew it.

Eventually, Voldemort kissed Lucius's cheek, then rested his head on the other man's shoulder.

"Come inside. I have something for you."

Lucius looked at him curiously, but Voldemort simply spun him around so that Lucius was facing him, and gently tugged the man to his feet. Then, he released his grip the blonde's hips, instead grabbing his hand, and pulled him into the bedroom.

"Sit, he murmured, then headed back to the balcony to pick up the gift.

When he walked back in, Lucius was sat on the bed, his legs crossed beneath him. Voldemort took a second simply to stare. With his hair untied, tumbling over his shoulders, and dressed in a light grey robe, Lucius appeared deceptively angelic.

The Malfoy was surprised when he looked up, as Voldemort's eyes were soft. He smiled reassuringly, and the other man joined him, sitting opposite, a long package in his hands.

"Here you go, Luc. I do hope you like it." He handed over the package, and Lucius carefully untied the string that held the paper together.

It opened easily, and Lucius pushed the paper aside, exposing the most beautiful of swords. It had a green vein running down the middle of one side, and Lucius traced this with one finger.

It warmed as he reached the end of the sword, where a red dot covered the tip. He moved his hand to touch it, only for Voldemort to intercept, weaving their fingers together and tugging Lucius's hand away from the sword.

"Don't touch it." He said quickly. " Anyone who comes into contact with it will be turned to stone. Ancient, dark magic. Irreversible." He paused, looking a little worried. "Do you like it?"

"I love it. Thank You, My Love." Voldemort smiled indulgently at Lucius's little endearment. It was rare that he said anything other than 'My Lord' or 'Master'.

"It's no problem, darling. I could just picture you making statues of all those Aurors." Lucius laughed lightly.

"And I shall. Picture them as decorations." Voldemort leant over the sword, careful to avoid actual contact with it, and pressed his lips to Lucius's. Lucius sighed happily, and wrapped his arms around Voldemort's neck. The sword was placed on the table, and neither of them left the room for the rest of the day.

888

Strangely, Harry awoke before his Slytherin partner, and was gifted with a chance to ogle Severus's face whilst he was completely relaxed. He had extraordinarily long eyelashes, something that Harry had never really noticed before. Severus rarely had such a calm look upon his face, no hint of a frown, eyes shut loosely, rather than scrunched up.

Harry leaned down – for some reason, he had been sleeping higher up the bed than his lover- and softly kissed each of the man's eyelids in turn, then lifted the one hand he could actually move, and stroked his cheek, his thumb brushing just under the line where the man's eyelashes rested.

Severus stayed perfectly still, but his face creased a little, the one sign that he was beginning to wake. When he opened his eyes, he relaxed it into a bright smile, and his eyes had immediately caught sight emerald ones staring at him.

"Morning, darling."

Harry's smile brightened. "Is it still morning?"

"I don't know." Severus sat up a little, looking for one of their wands. He found Harry's, on the end of the bed, and cast a tempus charm.

It was wobbly, as the wand was not his own, but a recognisable 2:13 appeared in front of them. Harry gasped, and moved to get out of bed.

Severus shot an arm out at lightning speed, blocking Harry's way.

"And where do you think you're going?" He was teasing, but there was a serious quality to his voice that made Harry face him properly.

"To see Remus."

Severus pouted. Actually pouted. "You're abandoning me on Valentine's to see the wolf?"

Harry laughed, and kissed Severus.

"Of course not. But I have something to show him, and it's important."

Severus rose one eyebrow. "Nothing like that, pervert. You can come with me, if you like."

Instead, the Slytherin now smirked. "I believe we already did that."

Harry laughed, and Severus shuffled, moving to get dressed.

"I'll take that as a yes, then."

"Of course. You're not getting rid of me, Potter."

Getting dressed seemed slightly odd to Harry, as he actually thought about it whilst they were gathering their clothing from all corners of the room. They both did so in silence, occasionally chucking the others garments to them, but Harry reckoned that it was still rather intimate, in its own way.

He was ready way before Severus, and simply stood and watched the man do all of the buttons that had annoyed Harry before. So tricky.

The man was sitting on the edge of the bed as he did them up, and his hair kept falling in front of him, obscuring Harry's view of the older man's face.

He had originally used a ribbon to keep it out of the way, and Harry wondered vaguely where it had gone, then promptly blushed, his gaze trailing the floor.

Green. He caught sight of one, whether it had been the one from earlier or not, and scooped up the long, thin dark green fabric, before scuttling around to crawl across behind Severus.

He gently reached up and took Severus's head in his hands, ignoring the small noise of surprise that the other man gave.

Then, he used one hand to comb through the hair, finding it soft and surprisingly unknotted, before gathering it in the other into a ponytail at the base of his neck.

He reached for the ribbon, and wondered how on earth Severus could place it in his own hair, when Harry could barely work out how to do the bow.

He frowned, confused. The ribbon did not look like it would stay in his hair. Not on its own.

He was spared this a second later, when Severus reached around and smacked his arm, a tiny elastic band in between his thumb and first finger.

"Thanks." Harry muttered absently, taking the band. With that secured in place, it was easy to tie the bow, and he did so fussily, making sure it was impeccably even.

By the time he was done, Severus was completely dressed. Harry jumped off of the bed, making a loud noise as his feet struck the floor, but the Slytherin only rolled his eyes.

He grabbed Harry's hand, holding it tightly as they walked to the door. As they left, Harry tried to pull his hand out of Severus's larger one, but his partner simply gripped tighter.

"Severus? Is that really a good idea?" Severus looked a little hurt, and Harry squeezed his hand reassuringly. He was only concerned for him.

"Harry, anyone of importance already knows. I don't give a damn what anyone else thinks. Does it bother you?"

"No. It's just surprising. I had sort of accepted that we wouldn't get to be as public as most couples."

"Well, then. Let's go. It's Valentine's, and if I want to hold my boyfriend's hand, I will."

Harry smiled brightly, and started walking, pulling Severus behind him.

They did not actually come across many people within Hogwarts, apart from two third year Hufflepuffs, who honestly looked like they tried their best not to stare. Everyone else must have been hiding in Madam Puddifoot's, or have locked themselves away in their dorms.

On the road to Hogsmede, however, there were many couples of all ages, and an elderly woman with a grandfatherly, smiling husband told them that they made a very sweet couple.

Both Harry and Severus were incredibly happy about that, but tried to hide their blushes from the other.

-Remus lived in a small cottage just away from the main town, in a small row with four nearly identical homes, but it was very easy to tell which was his.

Two had washing hanging out on lines in the garden, one had three enormous white fluffy cats resting under a tree, and the last had a young woman playing with a toddler out on the lawn.

She caught sight of them, and Harry smiled politely, then headed for the remaining cottage.

It was perfectly normal-looking, but seemed less….animated that the others. Probably because of the garden lacked personal items. In this area, it contrasted quite a lot against the others.

Still holding hands, Harry lifted his arm, and used both of their hands to knock on the door. It was opened fairly quickly, and Remus's face seemed to brighten when he caught sight of them.

"Hey, Remus." Harry finally let go of Severus to hug the lycanthrope, who hugged him back before lifting his eyes to his other guest.

"Hello, Severus."

"Hello, Remus." He responded with a small smile, and he took hold of Harry as soon as he was released by the other man.

"So, to what do I owe this pleasure?" He asked lightly, but anyone would have noticed that he was curious.

"You know, Lupin, it would be good manners to invite us in first." Severus drawled, but he kept the smile.

It had not escaped his notice that the werewolf looked even worse than he had the day he came to Hogwarts. He suspected that the man had slept very little since, as the purple rings that encased his eyes must have taken a while to grow to such an appalling level.

"So sorry." He stood away from the door, and theatrically ushered them into his house.

They walked in, and both noticed the lack of personality the house contained. There was absolutely nothing in the hallway, and the living room had two very old black sofas, with a matching armchair. All three of these pieces were rather threadbare, and the matching black carpet was a little worse for wear.

The mantle contained nothing personal, either.

There was nothing that said 'Remus Lupin lives here', until Harry caught sight of a tiny window situated oddly in the side of the room.

This contained a picture of Sirius, and picture of Sirius with Remus, from just after when they had been reacquainted, a picture of Harry, and one of Harry's parents.

These were placed carefully, all in matching frames.

Harry tore his gaze away from them quickly, and turned to Remus.

"Actually, despite Severus being silly, there's no need to get comfortable." He paused. "There's something I want to show you."

"So, field trip?" Remus asked dryly. Harry nodded, and reached an arm out to Severus.

He had explained whilst they were walking to Remus's where they needed to go, and Severus offered to apparate both Harry and Remus with him, so as not to ruin the surprise for Remus.

He knew where they were going pretty well, so it wasn't a problem.

Severus grasped hold of the brunette Gryffindor, and held out an arm for Remus.

"If you would, Mr Lupin."

Remus looked at Harry, who nodded, before grasping Severus's arm tightly enough to –hopefully- avoid getting splinched.

"Link both of your arms together as well. Just in case." Severus ordered them. They did so quickly, and Severus apparated them, the usual strange sensation taking over the three men as they travelled.

Both men knew better than to let go of Harry when they landed, just in case, and he ended up having to shake them off. "I'm fine." He mumbled. Seriously, did everyone expect him to fall over every time he travelled?

"How do you know I wasn't just holding onto you?" Severus queried.

"Feels different. You had the tense 'I'm probably going to have to catch him' thing going on."

"So sorry I don't 'feel correct', Harry."

"You should be." He looked up, checking that they were where they were supposed to be.

He could see a cave, blocked with a massive rock, and assumed it was the right place. He wouldn't have been able to tell if it wasn't.

Remus looked at the scene before him, and frowned in confusion.

"Remus, we are at the black family mausoleum." Harry waved is hand rather similarly to how Remus had when he invited them into his home.

The werewolf looked at Harry uncertainly. He could hope, but he knew that there was no way for Sirius to have been retrieved from behind the veil. So what were they doing there?

Severus shook his head as the questioning gaze was turned onto him instead. "You'll just have to follow Harry."

Severus levitated the rock away from the cave, which simply showed a large white door, embedded in a wall of rock.

With a normal keyhole.

Harry took an old fashioned brass key, and fitted it easily into the space, turning it until he heard a click. The noise was loud in the silent environment, and he flinched slightly, but pressed onwards, removing the key and handing it to Remus, who did not take it.

"It's yours, Remus. Take it." The werewolf did, and placed it carefully in a pocket of his very Muggle denim jacket.

Harry then pushed the door open – with some amount of effort, for it certainly wasn't light- and walked forward, the two older men trailing behind.

There was a short passageway, followed by three wide steps before they reached the main room. There was no door into this, only an archway that the two taller men had to duck to walk under.

Harry hadn't even really noticed it. He knew it was there, but didn't really care.

Having been informed by Draco that it was all set out in date order, he used the condition of the memorials to look, and disregarded that idea a few seconds later.

Every coffin, tomb and memorial was in fantastic condition. Some were literally growing plants, but they were random, and seemed to be done deliberately.

He turned to Severus for help. "Where would it be?"

Severus immediately walked to the right, around a massive statue of a cauldron, then carried on down to the back of the room.

Harry did not know this, but Severus had visited a few times with Narcissa, who had the sole daughter of Bellatrix buried there after she had died.

It had been of illness, and Bellatrix, already insane by that point had proclaimed the girl as weak. Otherwise, she would have been buried with the Lestranges.

Lucius did not understand the Black family, and would not go with Narcissa, so the role had fallen to Severus, who had warmed a little as he saw the normally cold woman cry over a child she had only met once.

Remus and Harry followed behind him, Harry not watching where he was going. When they stopped, Harry nearly ploughed into his boyfriend's back.

Remus, on the other hand, simply walked around both of them.

Harry moved around Severus, so he was leaning against him, and looked at the statue they had stopped at.

Harry technically already knew what it was, as he had asked Draco to arrange the whole thing with the help of house elves. He had finished it the day before himself and Astoria had moved into Grimmauld place. But that did not stop him from being amazed.

Remus gasped. In front of them, was a white stone statue of a dog, lying down, his head resting on his paws. This was placed on a stone base, similar in size to the other tombs there, despite the lack of a body.

There was a solid gold plaque directly in the middle of the front of the base.

Sirius Black.

The first Black condemned for a crime he didn't commit.

Underneath this was the date. Harry heard Remus laugh softly at the message. Draco apparently did have a good sense of humour, and the line was similar in style to the other messages for family member within the mausoleum.

"I know he's not actually buried here, but I thought…" Harry trailed off.

"You thought it would help." Remus finished, and turned around to smile at the couple behind him. There were tears falling down his face, but he smiled at them genuinely. "It has, thank you."

He turned back to the statue. Harry simply pulled Severus closer as they watched in silence.

They stood there for a few hours, unmoving, even after Remus sat down on the floor, placing one hand on the dog's head and started murmuring.

Either to himself or to Sirius, Harry wasn't sure.

When they left, Remus hugged both Harry, and the boy's boyfriend. He was still crying, but he was a lot happier than he had been in a long time.

Grey Skies- What goes around, comes around.

There was absolutely no pain or discomfort when Voldemort tried to enter his mind, and that in itself was very disturbing. Harry simply sat at the Gryffindor table silently, the people around him not having the slightest clue as to what was going on.

Oh, he knew that someone was using Legilimency on him, he could feel it, but it was a sensation without attachment. He knew they were pushing, but he could not feel any resulting force he needed to work against it.

The whole thing was rather peculiar. It stayed like that for a while, and Harry stayed frozen, until suddenly, the opposition seemed to race forward, applying enough pressure for Harry to literally see red.

But still, it did the attacker no good. Harry chewed his bottom lip, wondering what to do. Clearly, this wasn't going to go away on its own. Unlike all of the other times someone had attempted Legilimency on him –and always succeeded- he could think through the process clearly, and concluded that he very simply needed to push them out.

The Gryffindor hid his smile at his own idea behind his goblet of pumpkin juice; Hermione was looking at him oddly already, but that couldn't be helped.

Harry made sure that his eyes were resting on his plate – so that no-one could see his expression- before pushing as hard as he could, mentally chasing the evil wizard away from him.

He knew immediately that he had overshot it a bit. Just a tad. He felt himself leaving his own mind, still following the presence that had been there previously.

There was no floating between minds, simply a pause, before Harry felt like he was crashing through a barrier, straight into Voldemort's mind.

There seemed to be ordered layers, different coloured magic in little pockets in his mind. Harry started swirling through them, hovering around, as he wasn't searching for anything in particular.

Harry Potter. He appeared to whisper his own name, the sound echoing through the magic and memories. A buzzing attached onto the end of the sound, causing the colours to shift and shake.

This seemed to reach an optimum level, then Harry found himself travelling faster than the carts at Gringotts.

He stopped in front of a large green section, and felt himself lean slightly to touch it. Then, he was assaulted with memories. Most of which he had either seen before, through the connection, or he had been there. Those were useless.

Harry figured that whilst he could, he might as well find out as much as possible. He sifted through them all at lightning speed, taping each memory, them exiting the second he recognised it.

Due to the speed, it did not take very long for Harry to find something very interesting. It was shocking, a little frightening, ad made Harry very angry, but it was definitely interesting. Harry did not know if Voldemort knew he knew or not, but he figured that it did not matter- the man would hardly care, as Harry wouldn't be able to change any of his plans anyway.

Now actually having some very important information, Harry left quickly, zooming backwards at a ridiculous speed, and he gasped as he appeared back to himself, alone.

"Harry?" Hermione questioned. He knew she was only worried, but did nothing to reassure her, simply shaking his head before standing up.

Apparently, he couldn't handle Legilimency any better than he could the floo, and he swayed on the spot, disorientated.

People stared as he simply stood still, but Harry was far too used to it to care.

He waited until the room stopped spinning, then bolted towards the table at which all of the teachers were sat.

Severus was sat in between McGonagall and Dumbledore, and the Gryffindor figured that they would have to know at some point anyway.

He stopped in front of the three teachers, and Severus smiled at him for only a second before realising how distressed he was.

"Harry, what's wrong?" He laid his cutlery down, and sat back to listen to Harry.

"Um, Voldemort. Mind. Attack. Accident." Harry could not force out an actual sentence, his brain was working too fast, and his need for them to know was overriding his common sense.

He knew that his explanation was frankly rubbish, but he couldn't help it.

Severus leaned over the table and cupped the boy's cheek with one hand. "Harry, love, slow down a second."

Harry nodded, and took a deep breath.

"We have a problem."

Severus only just refrained from rolling his eyes. It was a ridiculous motion that Harry seemed to induce fairly often.

"I gathered that much, Harry." He said dryly.

Harry glared.

"I was starting from the beginning. Anyway, uh, let's keep it short. I felt something in my mind, the same as when you used Legilimency in my Occlumency lessons, but for some reason, the person couldn't get into my head, and I wasn't even trying. Then I did try to get them away, and I sort of ended up in Voldemort's mind. I wanted to do something useful whilst I was there, so I looked for memories about me, and, and HE'S GONNA ATTACK THE BURROW." Harry gasped a breath .

"Well, that certainly was a very quick summary." Severus muttered.

"You mean, Harry you applied Occlumency without trying?" Dumbledore asked softly.

"It appears so, sir. But I wasn't doing anything."

Severus gave an exasperated sigh, and stretched forward . He then stuck one hand down Harry's shirt, ignoring some of the gasps from other members of staff, and brought out the necklace and stone.

It was glowing. Far more so than it ever had before.

"I think, Harry love, that your newfound ability is actually the sword."

Harry grinned. "I thought it would be the stone, but then I remembered that you said it works against dark magic, and Legilimency isn't exactly dark."

"It has protection spells, Harry. That does include magic against those who go through your mind."

Harry nodded, and smiled at the Slytherin.

"Where on earth did you get those, Harry?" Dumbledore asked curiously. Both the sword and the attached rock were very rare items.

"Severus gave them to me." He responded happily.

The head teacher shot a surprised look at Severus before turning his attention back to the Gryffindor in front of him.

"Right, Harry. You're going to have to remember as much as you can about the attack."

"He's going to attack a week from now. It's a Hogsmede weekend, and one of the junior death-eaters told him. He knows I'll be able to get away, and will go to the Burrow to help. He's taking a load of his followers there to attack the Weasley's, and having some of the juniors accidentally 'slip' the information to me so that I'll be there."

Minerva gasped. "Mr Potter, that will be extremely dangerous!"

"And I will be there." He answered calmly. "We have time to get prepared."

"We will deal with this later. Harry, do you know what he wanted to find out from you?"

Harry turned to the elderly man. "He wanted to know if Severus was still alive. He thinks he would be a formidable opponent."

Harry looked at his boyfriend, worried. Severus noticed his expression, and smiled softly.

"It will be fine, Harry. We will both be there, and it'll work out." He leaned forward, everyone else in the room be damned, and kissed Harry, light and sweet, until he relaxed. "I promise."

Lightning and Thunder

"Harry!" Molly Weasley exclaimed as Harry and Severus stepped through the floo together. She ran towards them, enveloping both the Gryffindor and his Slytherin lover in a tight hug before she had even spelled the soot from their clothing.

Harry hugged her back warmly, and even Severus patted the older woman's arm absently as she fussed over them. She had that sort of motherly presence that made people react, and reassure her that they were there.

When the woman drew back to let them breathe, she did indeed cast cleaning charms, and smiled in satisfaction as the soot vanished from Severus's robes and Harry's grey and red striped Weasley jumper and black trousers. The Slytherin look prepared for battle, Harry looked like he had decided it was Christmas break once more.

"There. Are you alright, Severus?" She asked the tall man, who was looking far more subdued than normal, despite his attire.

"I am fine, thank you, Molly." Harry looked up at him, accusingly, his green eyes telling Severus that he knew he was lying.

The Slytherin pretended not to notice, and began to follow Molly to the garden, where everyone was meeting up.

Harry, who was being pulled along by his hand decided to let it go, but made a mental note to question him later.

The Weasley's house was unusually quiet, almost worryingly so, and the noise did not increase as they made their way through to the back of the house.

The kitchen, oddly, was not warm from the oven, and the aroma of baking that Harry had always associated with that kitchen in particular seemed to have escaped entirely.

There was, however, two kettles magically bubbling away, and Harry realised that his family, who were intimidating when fighting either individually or as a family unit, were frightened at worst and incredibly nervous at best.

The short boy looked up at his boyfriend once more, then back to the kitchen. Severus was scared. Despite his complete allegiance to the light, this would be his first time fighting directly against Voldemort, and Lucius too.

He would, no doubt, be with Harry, and that would place him right in the middle of the battle.

The Slytherin, even as Harry had properly gotten to know him, was always so strong, always acted as unaffected as he could, but he was completely scared. Harry tugged his hand to stop Severus from walking, and the Slytherin looked over his shoulder to find out why the Gryffindor had stopped, but Harry simply stepped forward.

He wrapped his arms around the man's waist, and settled against his back, the top of his head resting between the Slytherin's shoulder blades. Severus sighed softly, and covered Harry's small hands with his own larger ones, squeezing them lightly as he accepted comfort from the much younger man.

Harry hugged Severus tightly before he let him go, then walked passed him out into the garden, leaving the Slytherin to trail behind him. There was a large group at the far end of the garden, and they all turned to look pensively at Harry and Severus as they approached.

Hermione and Ginny actually walked forwards to meet them, and Ron took a few steps forward after them, a delayed response, as if he had only just noticed that Harry had arrived.

Hermione hugged Harry tightly, as if she hadn't seen him in days, when really, she hadn't seen him since last night.

Ron, Hermione and Ginny had flooed in the night before, and Harry had spent the night in Severus's rooms. They had much of the day before the attack was to happen, if Voldemort stuck to his plan, and Dumbledore, and some of the DA, teachers, and Madam Pomfrey were joining them closer to the battle time.

Kingsley, Tonks, Remus and some other Aurors were there early though; just in case.

"Hey Harry. Hello Professor Snape." Hermione smiled brightly up at the potions-master, ever the polite one. She finally let go of Harry, who was surprised to be still alive, considering the lack of oxygen he had.

"Hello, Hermione." Severus responded, not even bothering to add his trademark sneer to her name. She looked a little shell-shocked. He had used her given name in a polite manner.

Clearly there was something wrong with the man, but the young Gryffindor did not think it her place to ask.

Ron and Ginny simply nodded their greeting to the man, and Ginny hugged Harry much like Hermione did, just with less suffocation. Ron punched his shoulder lightly, his usual display of affection.

Severus stayed behind Harry as he caught up with his friends, until Kingsley waved him over.

The Slytherin stepped closer to Harry.

"Kingsley wants me." He murmured.

Harry turned around to kiss him, and then turned back to his friends.

Severus briskly approached the head Auror. He had conversed with the man many a time at order meetings, but they were hardly friends. He was curious, especially as the man was smiling slightly.

"Hello, Kingsley." He greeted the other man, who handed him a tea-cup. Severus glanced at it warily, but kept hold of it, as there was nowhere to subtly leave and 'forget' it.

"Severus, it's good to see you."

He very much doubted that was true, no matter how much help he had been in the past, but nodded anyway.

Kingsley seemed somewhat surprised by the lack of a sarcastic retort, but not negatively, and his smile widened slightly.

"It looks like Harry's good for you." He said knowingly.

Severus snorted. "He is, but any other day, I would have said something horrible as soon as I came over. No doubt you would have been highly offended. No, this is definitely due to the day."

The auror regarded him for a moment.

"You're definitely with us, this time, aren't you?"

This wasn't an accusation, it was more a speculation in the form of a question, but Severus, ever the defensive one, undid all three buttons on the arm of his robes, and then pushed the sleeve up, showing Kingsley his pale, unmarked skin.

The auror barely gave it a glance.

"That wasn't questioning your allegiance, Severus. We all heard about how you saved Harry, and there have been comments about the removal of your mark for a while. It's just…odd, having you with us, rather than working behind the wings, so to speak."

Severus nodded. He hadn't the faintest clue as to how he was supposed to respond to that. Instead, he searched out Harry, who was still with his friends.

He looked slightly calmer than he had earlier, and Severus suspected that it was the Weasley twins who were making him laugh. Those two had been terrible students, but they were good friends for Harry, and Severus watched as the two ginger Gryffindors animatedly described something, waving their arms around, which caused Harry to double over laughing.

Kingsley followed his line of sight, and spotted the short brunette talking to the two gingers.

"You really love him, don't you." This definitely wasn't a question, but Severus nodded anyway.

"Of course. It would be difficult not to."

After he had left Kingsley, Severus had gone inside to get some tea from the kitchen. He trusted food and drink from the Weasley's kitchen far more than he trusted anything the aurors would offer him.

Which was probably from the kitchen anyway, but he didn't trust Kingsley not to give him veritaserum or something similar.

He collected two cups, both with milk, one with sugar and one without, and went to find Harry. The boy drank almost as much tea as he did, and he was slightly annoyed that Kingsley had stolen some of their precious time before the battle.

He held both mugs in one hand, using a levitation charm so that he did not drop them, and they did not fly into people as he walked, and headed out side.

It was easy to find Harry; he was stood a little way away from the group, being hugged by Charlie. There was another man standing beside them, but that did nothing to lessen Severus's glare, and he sped up, walking briskly up to the small group.

As he got closer, he realised that their companion was Oliver Wood, Harry's old Quidditch captain. That did not help in slightest, particularly when, after Charlie finally let go of Harry, the brunette was hugged warmly by Oliver.

Who let go of him fairly quickly, only to place both hands on Harry's shoulders, keeping him still.

"Paws off, Wood." Severus growled as he stood behind Harry.

Oliver simply looked up at the Slytherin in confusion.

"He means that he wants you to let go of Harry." Charlie clarified, rolling his eyes.

"I know what it means. Why does he care?"

"Because he's my boyfriend." Harry said helpfully, stepping back into Severus.

"Tea?" Severus held out the two cups, and Harry took one gratefully.

He took one sip, then grimaced. "Why is there no sugar?"

Severus held out his hand once more. "Because you've taken the wrong cup."

Harry swapped them, and took a sip from the other one, before smiling happily. "Much better."

He then looked back up at Oliver, who was frozen.

"Earth to Oliver?" He asked.

The man shook himself a couple of times, then looked at Severus.

"You're dating Harry?" He asked, incredulous.

Severus frowned at the Gryffindor's tone of voice, and wrapped his arm around Harry possessively.

"Yes. Got a problem with that?" He snarled, and Harry turned around slightly to hug Severus with his free arm.

"No, not at all. But he is really rather cute…" He added wistfully. Severus's glare intensified, and Harry turned around to face the Slytherin fully.

He stood up on his toes to kiss Severus, who quickly deepened the kiss, dominating the younger man's mouth. It wasn't long before Harry moaned softly, then remembered that they had company, and pulled away, embarrassed.

Still no tiptoes, he murmured softly. "You really don't need to worry, he's dating Charlie."

Then he dropped down, and hid his blush in Severus's robes.

Charlie chuckled darkly. "He won't be for much longer if he keeps this up."

"You lie. You want him too." Oliver pouted at his lover.

Harry decided not to question that, and Severus gulped down his tea to help him refrain from commenting on their relationship.

"Yes, he is cute. But unlike you, I value my life." He glanced warily at Severus.

Harry hid further, going so far as to scrunch up fabric around his face. Severus rubbed a hand along his back soothingly, and intensified his glare at the two ex-Hogwarts students.

"Shut it, both of you. You're embarrassing Harry." He bent slightly to kiss the top of his head. "It's okay love, I'll scare away these perverts."

As he had predicted, Harry giggled, forgetting his mortification, and stepped back a little, leaning comfortably against the Slytherin.

"Oh, come on, Snape. We were mostly joking." Charlie commented.

"Though he is gorgeous." Oliver added.

Severus smirked. "You know, darling, I'm starting to get really rather smug. Every gay man we know wants you, and I'm the one that's got you."

Harry hid again, nuzzling his boyfriends robes.

"I love you." He said, as if that was his reasoning, and Severus laughed lightly.

"I know. I love you too."

The brightening in all of their moods did not last for long. Tonks came around, checking that everyone could do their basic shield charms and a patronus, and some people's nerves shined through, their wand hands shaking as the performed their charms.

Kingsley checked that everyone had a partner for the battle, which seemed to reinforce the fact that they were preparing for battle. As that was done, everyone simply sat on the grass with their partners, nearly silent.

Harry sat in between Severus's legs, leaning against his chest, as everyone split up into very predictable groups and pairs.

He wondered aloud what would happen when the DA and the others arrived, and Kingsley explained that Dumbledore was sorting them into groups for the outer-layers of their formation, and teachers and extra aurors would be covering small groups- apparently the DA were mainly there for shields, and would be ordered not to directly attack any death-eaters.

Harry doubted that they'd all stick to defence. Ginny, apparently, was going with Cho when she arrived, rather than one of her 'idiotic boyfriends', and Harry knew that both of them attacked quickly when provoked.

But, then again, he'd rather they attacked than died.

As every started in on the strategy, going over simple spells, and ways to capture death-eaters, as they wanted to arrest as many as possible, Severus tensed.

Harry could feel it, especially when they explained that the only medic there would be Madam Pomfrey, as the healers from St Mungo's were going to be stationed only at Hogwarts and the hospital for after the battle.

They couldn't risk the healers getting hurt; if they did, then all the injured were pretty damned.

The more spells explained, the more tense Severus got, and eventually, Harry stood up and pulled the Slytherin to his feet.

The Gryffindor began trudging up to the house, Severus following curiously, though neither said anything until they were halfway across the garden.

"I'm scared." He finally admitted, as he knew Harry had noticed the change in his behaviour since they arrived.

"Me too." Harry agreed. "But they were going over those spells to help, Severus, and you just got worse."

Severus stopped, and looked at the ground.

"Harry, darling, I'm not going to lie to you. Myself, and Lucius, and Bellatrix, and the Dark Lord, we all know a way to get through all of those shields, and we can all wordlessly escape the incarcerous spell." He enunciated clearly, and Harry's eyes widened.

"Fuck."

"Exactly." Severus agreed, and the Gryffindor took his hand, and began walking once more.

"Harry, where are we going?"

"Inside. I just. I guess I just wanted some time with you, you know. Before." There was a silent 'I die' on the end of his speech, and Severus gripped the boy's hand tighter.

"Oh, Harry." He murmured, walking more quickly. He wanted to say that Harry wouldn't die, but he couldn't guarantee it, and he didn't feel like lying. He wanted to say that everything was fine, but it wasn't.

He wanted to rely on his younger lover, wanted Harry to reassure him that they would be fine, but knew he couldn't do that either.

Instead, they both stayed silent, and wandered through the Weasley's house, feeling a little empty.

They had reached the top of the house before Harry finally stopped, and he only did for a split-second, before he turned around and pinned Severus to the wall, resolve set.

He kissed him with everything they had, as if it was their last kiss on earth, and Severus was so saddened by the thought, but could not help but kiss back similarly, feeling desperate.

He didn't want to die without him. Not a chance. He didn't want Harry to leave him behind either.

Scared, they kissed furiously, fingers quickly undoing clothing, and Harry pushed Severus onto the sofa of the twins' office, not caring where they were.

Afterwards, they lay together, holding each other tightly, neither moving. They stayed like that for quite a while, until the noise outside increased – the battle had yet to start, but everyone else had arrived, and they were all preparing to fight.

Harry shifted off of Severus, looking for all of their clothing. They dressed each other, as much as they could practically achieve, needing to prolong the contact for as long as possible.

Together they headed out of the room, both attempting weak smiles to reassure the other.

They joined the others, and it was obvious to all where they had been and what they had been doing, but no-one commented.

It didn't feel like an appropriate time, and many understood why they had gone. Fleur and Bill were kissing passionately, and people Harry thought didn't even know each other where clutching each other's hands for comfort.

"What do we do?" A fourth year Ravenclaw asked Harry as if he was in charge. He did not answer; he hadn't a clue what the correct response would be.

"Now," Dumbledore replied for him. "We wait."

The Clouds Have to Give Rain Before They Clear.

The Death-Eaters seemed to have no knowledge of the powers of stealth, and used a very loud bang to announce their presence on Weasley property.

Apparently, Harry had gotten the information undetected, as they ran through the house, probably expecting a only a few teenagers, with Molly Weasley. A seventh year Slytherin had given Harry a 'warning' about ten minutes before he had left that morning, but they most possibly doubted that he would be able to gather any group of worth in the time he had been given.

And the message had told him that only two minor death-eaters would be there.

Nonetheless, they could not be any less subtle. Everyone could hear objects being kicked or thrown, and doors being bashed open and slammed closed, even from their position outside.

Harry looked over at Molly, who was wincing at every noise, as if someone had struck her. She began to look like she wanted to go and curse them all by herself, but waited patiently for them all to come outside, or for one to look out of a window.

No-one moved, too tense to do anything but listen, looking around to see if anyone was there.

Ginny and Cho, stood side to side, at a slight angle, had found themselves to the side of the group, near Molly's carefully grown flowers.

Ginny swore she could feel a presence behind her, and looked over one shoulder, worried. Nothing was there. She faced the front once more, only to feel someone breathing on her neck seconds later.

The youngest Weasley shifted her wand down her sleeve almost motionlessly, until the tip just stuck out.

She turned her head again, slower than she had before, and the reflection of light off of the silver mask hurt her eyes.

"Stupefy!" She literally screamed, and the battle begun.

It was like a trigger, and the second that one man fell, death-eaters appeared, in seemingly random spaces throughout the group, sending out spells the second they landed.

No-one attacked Severus and Harry, and both were suspicious, observing as the masked men and woman appeared to be pushing everyone back as far as possible, corning them, separating the Boy who Lived and the Spy from everyone else.

They looked at each other, both nodding, and waited for the arrival of Voldemort and his most faithful follower.

Waiting, they did nothing, until a screech of pain reached them from their left. Harry turned, to see Fleur, with a nasty cut down one side of her perfect face, dripping blood, Bellatrix approaching.

The insane witch cast crucio, and Fleur collapsed, screaming. Bill, a small space away, was fighting two heavyset men, and could not help. Even then, he looked over his shoulder at his wife, which cost him as he was literally thrown by the man.

Harry reacted, turning fully to curse Bellatrix attacking Fleur. He shouted Sectumsempra, only for her to disappear, laughing manically.

He stepped slightly, trying to find her, and was pulled sideways by a strong pair of arms.

The Gryffindor struggled for less than a second, realising quickly that it was Severus, and he saw the spell that had narrowly missed him.

Harry turned to thank the Slytherin, then noticed that finally, they had company.

Lucius and Voldemort stood in front of them, one smiling and the other impassive, politely waiting for their attention.

Remus gasped in shock as the familiar knotted black hair of the woman who killed his love appeared in front of him, her evil laugh more vibrant than the one from his nightmares. 'I killed Sirius Black' with that awful cackle would haunt him forever.

She recognised him almost immediately.

"Aww, if it isn't the itty bitty werewolf." She pouted. "Missing your mate?"

She danced forward, even as he began to snarl, wand gripped tightly.

"You. Bitch." He ground out, lunging forward to attack. The insane woman's smile widened as she saw his face twist with fury, and she loped around him, deliberately trying to provoke him.

She got what she wanted. He wordlessly started throwing spells, one after another, each countered by her shield. Each miss hit him, each a failure in his eyes, and the aggravated lycanthrope moved closer, casting spells up close, but still they did no good.

In the end, she made a simple mistake. As he drew nearer, she edged backwards, keeping eye-contact with the werewolf rather than looking around her.

It so easy Remus nearly felt bad. Nearly. The woman tripped over a rock, falling quickly and landing harshly, her shield dropping.

She looked so tiny, and it seemed unfair; Remus was close to at least letting her stand up first. But then she simply cocked her head to the side.

"Come on, ickle Werewolf. Not going to avenge your mate?" Then her expression turned stony. "Coward."

That did it.

He pointed his wand at her, his wand steady, eyes fixed on the bitch who dared kill Sirius.

"Avada Kedavra." He said the words quietly, as if uttering a taboo statement, but he meant it, and light flashed from his wand, before the woman died, body limp and eyes glassy.

Not even sparing her one last glance, he headed off to find someone who needed help.

"Harry, Severus. How good of you to come." Voldemort spread his arms wide as a sign of welcome.

He smiled at them mockingly, and draped one arm over Lucius's shoulder.

"How are you enjoying the show, pet?" He said affectionately, and the blond looked like a petulant toddler.

"I'm not. Those two are in my way!" He nodded towards Severus and Harry, who, were, indeed stood in front of the crowd.

"Indeed." He moved away from Lucius slightly, and cast Severus with a depressed look.

"You know, Severus, I was quite fair. I did give you time to play with the boy. But I gave you an inch, and you took a mile." He shook his head. "Or whatever it is that the Muggles say." He added, uncharacteristically random.

"I am, so very, very disappointed. You didn't complete your assignment, then you injured Lucius, and now, you won't die! It is…annoying."

Severus smirked at the other Slytherin.

"I'm terribly sorry…my lord." He sneered the last two words, lifting his wand arm in preparation for an attack.

Voldemort sneered back at him, then faced his blonde partner.

"Lucius, darling, how would you like to play with your new toy?"

The blonde Slytherin withdrew his sword from where it was laced at his waist, holding it up to admire it for a second, before glaring at the Gryffindor and the spy.

He gracefully loped forward, and pointed the sword at Severus. Voldemort moved after him, and placed one hand on the man's shoulder, smiling encouragingly.

"Go on. First Severus, then the boy."

"Shall we?" Lucius invited the other man to help, and Voldemort clasped his hand over Lucius's on the sword.

"Thank you, dear."

Together they swung the sword, but stilled the swing when it pointed directly at Severus, so the tip would pierce his skin directly.

Harry's green eyes widened until they were impossibly large, and he lunged forward, pushing Severus out of the way.

Caught off guard, Severus stumbled, and Harry moved into his space as the two Slytherin men pushed the sword forwards into him.

Severus recovered a second later, and placed his hand on Harry's shoulder, jerking him backwards.

The sword had already touched his skin.

Through his hand Severus could feel a burst of power emanating from Harry- from the sword and the rock. Waves of magic, unseen but easily felt, rippled around them, starting from Harry.

They were focused, and did not dissipate as they left him, but appeared to gravitate towards the sword, travelling up through it.

All four of them were stunned, and Harry and Severus watched as the other two men's skin faded to grey, their expressions freezing partway through the process. One man curled over the other to grip his hand, cloaks hardening, but still looking like they were billowing in the wind, a perfect stone impression of the two evil men.

Once finished, the sword dropped to the ground, in front of what appeared to be nothing but a statue.

The clang of it hitting the ground was like the buzzer for the end of the battle. Death-eaters screamed as they marks burned as they left them, leaving them as easy targets for the aurors, who caught as many as possible.

Many people simply stared at the remains of Lucius and Voldemort, shocked.

"This is not the end! He was raised before, he can be raised again!" A death-eater woman (who was probably Bellatrix's best friend) screamed at the crowd, who mostly appeared to ignore her.

Harry, on the other hand, looked uncertainly at a shocked Severus, who was staring at Harry as if he'd grown an extra head.

Necklace or not, Severus was shocked that Harry literally loved him enough to step in front of a sword. He hadn't ever questioned Harry's feelings for him, but the proof was still amazing.

Clearly, he wasn't going to be any help to Harry. The Gryffindor paused a moment longer, then lifted his wand, pointing it straight at Voldemort's head.

"Reducto!"

The statue blew up, shattering with a powerful crash, and climbed up into the air, breaking into chunks, and hitting the ground as nothing more than dust.

That seemed to be the last of Harry's strength, and he fainted seconds later. Severus caught him, and cuddled the boy to his chest, trying not to cry.

He woke up only a few hours later in the Hogwarts hospital wing, Severus in a chair next to his bed.

Several Weasley's were dotted around the room, and Hermione was there too. Harry quickly looked around the room; Bill and Fleur were in beds opposite him, and Fred appeared to have drunk skele-gro- he was sporting a sour expression, his leg lying very, very limp in front of him. George was sat beside him, telling ridiculous jokes to distract his brother.

The rest – including Charlie who had both arms wrapped around Oliver, were sat near him, talking quietly amongst themselves.

He looked at Severus, who was staring at a small rectangular piece of card in his left hand.

"Severus?" Harry mumbled quietly.

The Slytherin heard- he'd been waiting for Harry to wake up, keeping both ears open at all times.

"Harry." He breathed, leaning down to peck a kiss to the boy's mouth. "Are you okay?"

"I feel fine." He nodded his head to the bit of card. "What's that?"
Severus moved to show Harry a photograph – Voldemort and Lucius in front of them all, holding the sword.. As he watched, they turned to stone, then exploded.

"Young Colin Creevey snuck through with older DA members." Severus explained quietly. "He quickly realised that it was more dangerous than he'd originally thought it to be, and sat up high on the garden wall. He was easily ignored, and after a time, got out his camera.

Apparently, it was only the height that allowed him to take a picture of the end of Voldemort. To be honest, I don't think it was a wise thing to do, but it is a good picture."

Harry nodded in agreement.

It was a good picture. A mirror pose of the two couples, bent over each other- one to help attack, the other to help defend.

Epilogue: Choice.

This tale was not one of Harry Potter. It was about three Slytherins, two of which made the right choice, and one who did not.

The two that did were the two that acted to protect those that they cared for.

The one that did not was corrupt, stuck in a relationship based on selfishness and a need for power. In the end, a gift from his lover was the thing that killed him.

The Prophecy was indeed about two people, but even the department of mysteries couldn't figure out who.

Albus Dumbledore went to find it, and saw that the name section had two question marks.

The back contained several options.

Harry Potter~Severus Snape.

Harry Potter~Lucius Malfoy.

Lucius Malfoy~Severus Snape.

Trelawney had been confused by the images that she saw, and she made her prophecy, as she always did, without fully understanding.

She knew it was about these three men, but could work out little else.

Draco Malfoy and Astoria did indeed get married, but the effect of what his father did caused Draco several problems in England, and the couple went in search of sanctuary in France.

Remus Lupin was surprised that he could kill, but felt no remorse for the loss of Bellatrix Lestrange.

He dated Tonks for a little while, but couldn't find the sense of love and safety he'd had with Sirius. They broke up easily, and stayed as genuine friends.

He was the donor when at thirty-two, Nymphadora Tonks wanted a baby. They named him Teddy, and the little boy cheered up the lycanthrope. Conceived by magic, he did not have Remus's condition, though he was a metamorphmagus.

He visited Sirius's grave every day until he died, aged only 65.

Severus Snape was awarded the order of merlin, first class, for everything he did during the war.

He married Harry Potter three years later.

They day they got married, there wasn't a cloud in the sky.

The End.

A/N- You have reached the end. (for some of you lovely people, this will be the second time.) Please leave a comment!