Intoxication Aside

Author: Mystic Dodo

Originally Published: 2010

A/N: Cheesy, cliche, but you know what? Sometimes nothing beats one of these! I like Snarky!Snape.

Warnings: Snarry, alcohol, mild Ginny-bashing.


Many students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry went home during the Christmas Holidays. Of course, this meant that they missed the Christmas celebrations and New Years. Harry Potter always believed that the other students were missing out on something spectacular; who would want to go home when they could stay in Hogwarts, still do magic and gorge themselves in endless amounts of perfectly prepared food? The castle was decorated to perfection and on Christmas Day and New Years Eve and Day, butterbeer was available for the third years up and for the seventh years, they could help themselves to some fire whiskey along with the staff.

It was always amusing to see the teachers, including the enigma of the Potions Master, unwinding and laughing along with the students without much care in the World. The things that their Professor Flitwick had done in the past... he was, if his tales were indeed correct, talented in the art of Charm(ing) people.

However, during the last Christmas and New Years that Harry and his friends would spend at Hogwarts before graduation, Hermione, Ron and Ginny decided to stay behind to keep their best friend company. They probably didn't find it as amazing or as heartening as Harry did but the three (four, including Ginny) enjoyed the quality time together, relaxing and making new memories that Harry knew he would cherish for the rest of his life. Despite the carefree fun he was having with his friends - without any worries regarding (the now dead, defeated and thankfully deceased) Voldemort - it still didn't stop him from disappearing for hours at a time for "some space". They thought nothing of it; Harry was talking to somebody about the trauma he had faced in order to reduce his nightmares, mood swings and to come to terms with that he didn't have to be fearful that his life was constantly at risk anymore. Ron always shrugged when Harry excused himself during times where they knew he didn't have a Mind Healer appointment; "he must be having some exercise. It's good for stress."

However, Hermione begged Harry not to leave on Christmas or New Years Eve so that they could enter the new year together, as friends should. Harry smiled, not missing the way that Ginny shot him a seductive look from under her fire red hair. "Sure, I won't leave the room," Harry agreed, pointedly avoiding any non-verbal communication from the red haired young woman. Ron seemed to pout for a few moments at not having Hermione to himself but he smiled when he thought about Harry and Ginny finally getting together again; he hadn't missed the way that she looked at him.

The Great Hall was still bustling with the students that stayed behind for the celebrations on New Years Eve. Some of the older students, in fact all of the older students, were tipsy from the alcohol that was available and Hermione had a fond smile on her face as she watched her boyfriend openly flirt with her, showering her in compliments. Harry spent most of his evening talking with the professors and Ginny, who looked stunning in a body tight dress. She used to make his heart do flips, but now... well, her constant physical and emotional affection was becoming tiresome.

Despite this, he thought as he swallowed some more fire whiskey, Harry couldn't wait until midnight.

As time crept closer to the New Year, Dumbledore stood up and the candles in the hall dimmed. Waving his wand, a large, bright antique clock appeared. He made some generic speech on the death of Voldemort, the increasing standard of work by the students, how life should be lived to the full, "don't give the younger students alcohol" and then began the countdown. The four friends stood in a close circle.

10.

9.

8.

Harry downed another swig of fire whiskey to avoid Ginny's outstretched palm.

7.

6.

5.

Hermione and Ron took a step closer towards each other.

4.

3.

2.

Harry felt butterflies in his stomach and a flush of excitement (and perhaps anxiety) cross his face. Or perhaps it was the alcohol he used for a confidence boost?

1.

"Happy New Year!" Following tradition, the couples in the room began to kiss and Harry, as quick as a snitch despite his clumsy movements, dodged away from Ginny in favour of moving to another side of the room.

"Harry, where are you going?" Ginny called after him with hurt and shock in her voice, grabbing the attention of Ron and Hermione, who broke apart from thei extended kiss to see where their friend was heading. To their surprise and curiosity it was towards their Potions Master, Severus Snape who, predictably, was standing isolated near one of the remaining tables with a drink in his hand. Snape had this strange look on his face as Harry approached him in less than steady foot steps but nobody expected what was to happen next.

Snape set down his goblet, opened his arms and welcomed Harry into his embrace with a rare, genuine smile across his stress-free face.

"Happy New Year, Severus," Harry said as he looked up into the eyes of his lover.

"You too, Harry," He replied before the two shared a short, sweet, to the point, on the mouth kiss. "How much drink have you had because I will be more than displeased if you end up vomiting in my bed." Severus rested his forehead against Harry's briefly. "Intoxication aside, I suppose this is an appropriate way to tell the school about us."

Harry laughed as he reached around to swat Severus on his buttocks. "You wanted to wait until I had finished this summer!" He kissed the dark haired man again before looking at his shocked friends, the knowing smiles that his professors had adorned and the range of disgust, alarm and panicked expressions that the students wore, with a sheepish smile. "Besides, why miss the looks on everybody's face? This is going to be an interesting year to say the least, now everyone knows that my time for space actually translates into a rendezvous with my lover... but they don't look like they want to murder you, so that's a positive."

"Joy," Severus replied with hints of familiar sarcasm lacing his velvet voice. "Perhaps they, like you, have indulged in too much alcohol. Now enough talking and kiss me again. Some still look unconvinced - or perhaps intrigued - and Miss Weasley is going purple. I want to see if it is possible for her to transcend to a darker shade."

"How romantic," Harry said, rolling his eyes but accepting it when Severus's arms encircled him, thrills ghosting up his spine. "Are you sure you're not a little more than tispy, Sev?"

"You know I don't do romantic, brat," the Potions Master affectionately said, bypassing Harry's question, before his lips descended onto his partner.