Disclaimer: See Part 1.

Part 21

"Explain." Severus ordered. Harry slumped into an armchair by the dying fire. Severus absentmindedly waved his wand at the flames, which seemed to jump to attention in reply. Harry shook his head. Severus stood in front of the younger man, arms folded across his chest in thought.

"It doesn't make any sense, Sev. I had a headache. I was leaning against the table. I had forgotten. I'm usually so much better at it than that. I always makes sure not to touch the table when the food arrives, or the plates are cleared. If I'm too close I feel a little shock. It's not nearly as bad as when someone does magic on me, but it hurts none the less. I always lean back away from the table. But, today I didn't. I was touching the table when the meal arrived. Severus my elbow was resting directly on the table. I felt the magic zing up my arm, but it didn't hurt. If anything it tickled a little. What's changed? Why has this decided to stop working now?" Severus didn't answer. He instead, began to pace back and forth in front of the fire. "Sev. Curse me." Harry prompted. Severus stopped his pacing to glare at the man. "Not a bad curse! We have to see. I have to know!" Severus frowned.

"Absolutely not. Are you out of your mind, Harry?" he asked.

"How else are we going to know? I need to see! Please, do this for me." Harry asked. Severus set his jaw and turned to face the younger professor head on. He drew his wand again, and watched as Harry set himself straight in the chair, hands gripping the arms tightly, jaw squeezing, and eyes drifting shut. Severus first cast a silencing charm on the room on a whole, and thinking for a moment decided on a low level hex with a short counter. Taking a deep breath he pointed his wand at the boy and cast a tickling charm. He waited a beat and a moment later Harry Potter was doubled over in the chair shrieking. Not with pain but with hysterical laughter. Harry withered against green velvet for another moment before, Severus reversed the spell. Harry slumped low in the chair, eyes watering, and face pink, as he tried to regain his breath. Harry looked up at him with bright, shiny eyes.

"I.. I don't know how you did it, but you cured me." Harry whispered, between pants for air. "How is that possible?" Harry continued, looking at Severus for answers.

"This is unbelievable." Severus whispered. He slowly sat down in the chair opposite Harry.

"Do you have any idea what it is that fixed it? What it is that cured me?" Harry asked, leaning forward in his chair. He frowned. Severus leaned back in his seat. They sat in silence for a moment.

"Your injury, the scar tissue and muscle damage." Severus trailed off, his forehead wrinkling in concentration. He looked at Harry again. "We always assumed that Voldemort had cursed the blade with some form of dark hex. Or that it was laced with a potion, that had entered your blood stream to cause such a harsh side effect when it encountered outside magic. We assumed. You would think that after all of this time, with all of our experience with magic in it's many forms, we should know better than to assume anything anymore." Severus grimaced. "It make sense if you really think about it." he paused. "What if the potion was localized, centered in on only the exact place where it was introduced? The sides of your scar, where the blade cut through. The damaged tissue and the immediate surrounding area. By removing the damaged area, and cutting out the surrounding tissue, we might have removed the potion entirely from your body. That's how it stayed so strong all of these years. If it was in your blood stream, it would have diluted itself. It would have lost some of its potency over time. But it hadn't. It was a strong two days ago as I hear it was eight years ago."

"So, when your potion removed the damaged tissue, it took the potion away with it?" Harry whispered. Severus nodded. Harry smiled. He chewed his lip for a moment before standing again. He walked to where Severus was seated and squatted down beside his friend. "Severus?" he said quietly. Severus just looked at him. "Thank you. You've changed my life so much with and without meaning too. I just..." Harry trailed off. "Thanks." he smiled again.

"I've told you before Harry, I'd have helped anyone." Severus answered. Harry grinned.

"You'd have helped them, yes. But I don't think you would have become their friend. I don't think you would have worked so tirelessly or with such dedication as you have these past months." Harry said quietly. "And you definitely would not have gotten even remotely romantically involved with them."

"Since when are we romantically involved, Professor?" Severus asked, leaning back in his chair. Harry smiled and standing moved to sit across his colleagues lap.

"Okay, maybe not romantically..." Harry trailed off, leaning in close. He looked into Severus' eyes and dropped his voice to a whisper. "But we could be, if you wanted." he offered. He watched one dark eyebrow raise in question. "I'm not talking candle lit dinners and joint bubble baths here. But I would like to be able to kiss you as often as I like." Harry's voice had taken on a teasing quality. Severus was silent for a moment, the vein in his right temple was standing up, this wasn't usually a good sign. Harry watched it out of the corner of his eye, it wasn't pulsing which he decided to take as a good sign. Severus leaned in close to him, one pale hand going up to hold Harry's head in place.

"What if I like joint bubble baths and candle lit dinners?" he whispered. He watched the smile spread across Harry's face and pulled him down into another kiss. Harry grinned wider, wrapping his arms around Severus' neck. The kiss broke after a moment.

"I think we can reach a compromise.." Harry snuggled in closer and rested his head in the crook of Severus' neck.

"Compromise is the spice of life" Sev whispered into Harry's unruly hair.

The Epilogue is on my personal website, ff.net is not allowing me to add a link to it. It can be found on my ff.net profile page. Follow the links to the Homecoming page and you can find the Epilogue there. I wanted to make it easier for you all, it won't let me. Sorry.

Because of the EXTREME NC17 nature of it I ask those who are under 17 to refrain from following the link, and any of you who are bothered with male/male graphic sex to not go read it either. If you follow the link I am no longer responsible. You have been warned.

Otherwise, Homecoming is finished.

Thank you to all of my wonderful reviewers. You all have made me feel so loved. Check back for more Harry/Sev stories by clicking on my ff.net profile. I have a lot of stories in progress and I hope you all like them too.

Thanks again,