Author:: HatefulRodeo

Story: The Dance

I sat down to work on another story but couldn't focus as this little diddy was buzzing around my brain. Enjoy!

Note:This is AU! Severus still attempted to teach Harry Occlumency but Harry did not go into Severus' pensieve. So there is no additional animosity between them over that. Draco will let the Death Eaters in but he will use of tunnel he discovered through the Shrieking Shack, so no using the Room of Requirement. Snape never made the unbreakable vow to assist Draco. Severus only knows Draco was assigned a task of great importance. Also, this will be Yaoi, eventually. If you do not like yaoi feel free to navigate away from this story.

Past Thoughts, Actions, Events Appear like this: Past Thoughts

Summary: Severus believed their was only one opinion that mattered, and that opinion belonged to none other than Harry James Potter. His lover of officially 3 years, while unofficially their sensual dance had begun over 4 years ago. Severus smiled when he thought back on how the relationship between the two of them had gotten started over four years ago, and how that relationship grew into the what it was now. Relaxing into his favorite armchair by the fire at Number Twelve Grimmauld Place, Severus let his mind and thoughts go back to that time and allowing himself to remember it all...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**********Chapter 1*******~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Severus Snape was not a well liked man, even know after the war had ended and the truth of his role had been revealed to the masses. However, the opinions of the mindless sheep mattered very little to Severus.

Severus believed there was only one opinion that mattered, and that opinion belonged to none other than Harry James Potter. His lover of officially 3 years, while unofficially their sensual dance had begun over 4 years ago.

Severus smiled when he thought back on how the relationship between the two of them had gotten started over four years ago, and how that relationship grew into the what it was now. Relaxing into his favorite armchair by the fire at Number Twelve Grimmauld Place, Severus let his mind and thoughts go back to that time and allowing himself to remember it all...

The relationship between Harry and Severus began when Harry was still 16 years old and attending Hogwarts for his sixth year. It had started innocently enough when Severus had taken it upon himself to train the boy.

Severus had come to the long overdue realization over the summer between Harry's fifth and sixth years, that Dumbledore had no intentions of preparing the boy for the upcoming battles for survival he would be facing, or the seemingly unavoidable duel with the The Dark Lord.

Well that was not completely true; Dumbledore would be showing Harry memories of The Dark Lord's childhood. In hopes that it would help Harry in his inevitable hunt for the remaining Horcruxes. Severus knew there were still more out there even though the diary had been destroyed by Harry, and the cursed ring by Dumbledore.

While that was all well and good it was not enough in Severus' opinion. No, the boy needed intensive training in advanced spells; both offensive and defensive, warding, runes, occlumency and potions.

Severus had approached Harry the first week back from the Summer holiday, after their potions class ended and requested that Harry see him in his quarters after dinner at 8. Harry had agreed, looking quite confused as to why the man who disliked him so much would want to see him, much less talk to him in his quarters.

That night Severus had opened the door to allow a visibly nervous Harry Potter into his rooms. Severus offered the boy refreshment, when the offer was declined Severus dropped the formalities, and got straight to the heart of the meeting.

Harry listened intently, his eyes looking brighter and brighter in barely suppressed interest, as Severus explained about his offer to teach him and his plan to help train him. At the end of Severus' proposal Harry's face took on a thoughtful expression for a good few minutes.

"Why would you want to help me, Professor? You dislike me so much, and yet you want to help me train, to give me the best chance to win and survive. Why subject yourself to my presence?" Was Harry's rather appropriate and well thought out question.

"While it is true that I dislike you, Potter. I loathe the idea of The Dark Lord winning this war even more. So to insure, to the best of my abilities, that you win, I will train you. It is my belief that this training will help you survive and come out victorious against The Dark Lord. And by you winning Harry, you will end this war that has gone on for too long."

Harry digested Severus' words before nodding his agreement to them. Harry stood and extended hand for Severus to take, and by doing so agreeing to participate in Severus' training regiment.

It was during these exercises that Severus slowly began to see Harry for himself and not as James Potter's son. The boy was respectful, attentive, and eager to learn everything Severus had to teach him. Soaking up the information like a sponge.

Slowly, Harry and Severus began to talk after the lessons were finished before they departed the Room of Requirement. The topics varied greatly; defense, runes, Quidditch and whatever else came to mind. During one of these talks, Severus wasn't even sure how they'd gotten on the topic of family, Harry had spoken about his less than happy home life.

Severus was skeptical when Harry told him his home life was not the bed of roses he'd been led to believe. Harry even offered to show Severus his early childhood through Legilimency, to back up his claims. After viewing those horrid memories, all doubts Severus held in regards to Harry's claims of neglect and abuse were dispelled.

This was another eye opening experience for Severus. Leading him to question himself and his actions towards the green eyed teen. Had he been so blinded by his hatred for James Potter that it had affected his ability to see that Harry, his best friend's child, was being neglected at home.

Severus grudgingly admitted to himself that yes it had. He wanted hex himself when he went back and reviewed his memories of everytime Harry had returned to Hogwarts. Harry always looked so much thinner than when he'd left, dressed in clothes that did not fit him and looked as though they'd seen better years, rather than days.

Severus made it a point after that night when they spoke of Harry's childhood to try, and get to know the young man better. Maybe Severus could make up for, even if it was just a little bit, all the ill treatment and harsh words he had dished out and onto Harry all these years past.

What Severus saw when he looked at Harry through eyes that were no longer colored by his hatred and immense bias, surprised him. He'd always believed himself to be an observant man, it was how he survived as a spy in the Dark camp for so long. So how had he failed to observe that Harry had grown into a powerful, intelligent and kind young man?

The little voice of his conscience answered his internal question viciously; 'Because you didn't want to. Any good things about the boy were ignored & you believed what you wanted to see, no matter how egregiously wrong you were.'

The thought made him wince slightly, but he had nothing to refute it with. It was all true and that was still a hard pill to swallow for the proud potions master. Severus was very rarely wrong, and when he was he tended to not know how to go about remedying the situation.

It was after one of their more grueling physical training sessions; Severus offered his sincere apologies to Harry for the unfair treatment, and the harsh words Severus had hurled at him. Harry being Harry accepted; he'd even said he could sort of understand where Severus was coming from, even if he didn't agree with his actions or condone them.

Harry had went on to say; "When a person feels hatred so strongly and they can not take it out where it is rightly deserved; they will often seek out the closest thing or person that reminds them of the object of their loathing, and release that festering hate onto it. Even though it is unfair and unjustified. But to a mind clouded by hatred it is always fair and just."

Severus was godsmacked by Harry's insightful words, and by his forgiveness. He'd never expected the boy to sincerely forgive him. Or even try to understand at all why Severus had behaved so wretchedly toward him.

Severus had always hoped that Harry would win the war but that was all it had been; a hope. Now, that Severus was seeing Harry for the strong, powerful, determined and intelligent young wizard that he was, that hope was growing into a strong belief that Harry really could survive. That Harry could defeat the most powerful Dark Lord in over 500 years.

After that night Severus began treating Harry better during classes, nothing overt but he stopped the verbal barbs and insults. Severus couldn't do anything more though, as no one knew about their training sessions and their mending of fences. Most people just came to the conclusion that Severus had grew tired of tormenting Harry and was content to ignore him.

Severus believed, and Harry agreed it was for the best if the training remained a secret. If it got back to Dark Lord somehow that Severus had begun to train Harry Potter, Severus' credibility as a loyal Death Eater would be called into question. This scrutiny could lead to Severus' position as a spy being compromised, and if that happened his life was forfeit.

Severus had no intention of dying. While Harry would never be able to forgive himself if the wrong person overheard anything about his added training with Severus and brought the information to someone on the Dark side.

After Severus had apologized and Harry had forgiven him they formed a solid friendship. Finding, to Severus' surprise, he actually enjoyed the company of the other man. In the following weeks Severus also found out that Harry was quite the conversationalist, and was quite knowledgeable about many subjects.

When Severus had finally asked how Harry; "Had come to know so much?" Harry just shrugged and laughed before answering; "Hermione, she's been after me since the beginning of third year to start taking a more proactive approach in my studies. Guess it finally sunk in."

Severus snorted in amusement before he looked into Harry's green eyes. "I'm quite pleased and proud at the progress and dedication you've shown in your training with me. I believe you have a fair shot at beating The Dark Lord. But do not get cocky or complacent with your skills and knowledge. Even when these lessons are over I expect you to continue improving yourself and your magic."

Harry beamed at Severus' compliment, as he so rarely gave them, and assured Severus he wouldn't disappoint him. Severus just shook his head at the young man, wishing him a "Happy Holiday" and dismissed him.

Severus found, much to his annoyance, that he missed Harry's presence, and conversation while the younger wizard was at The Borrow for the 2 week holiday. Severus believed that Harry had missed him as well, if the looks, and small smiles that Harry kept giving him throughout the first day back at Hogwarts were anything to go by.

This belief was confirmed, and then some at the end of their first nightly lesson back. Harry had approached Severus and placed a soft kiss to his teacher's thin lips. Severus was stunned at the boy's incredibly brazen action and just stood their stiff during the kiss.

When Harry pulled back, Severus opened eyes he hadn't realized he'd closed, and tried to process what had just happened. Severus was unsure how he felt for Harry. Did he really want to start something with Harry Potter? Who was both a minor and his student. Was he attracted to Harry?

Severus thought on the questions that were bouncing around his brain.

Did he have feelings for Harry? Severus recalled the annoyance he'd felt when he witnessed the Weasley girl throwing herself at Harry. Severus also remembered feeling irritated when any of the other students, both male and female, ogled Harry.

Severus remembered these feelings quite clearly. Severus at the time had justified them by telling himself it was because Harry would become distracted by their advances, and if Harry allowed himself to become distracted his education would suffer, both in his normal classes and their extracurricular training.

Realizing how dense he was at that time, Severus snorted internally. Now he realized the feelings for what they were: jealousy. Severus didn't want anyone to receive Harry's attention in a romantic way but him. Severus hadn't realized it but at some point his feelings of friendship towards Harry had deepened to something more. Merlin, Severus was a blind idiot!

Now that Severus had identified and accepted that he did have feelings of a romantic nature toward Harry, he could move onto the other issues. Severus needed to decide if it was worth the risk of them being caught and landing him into trouble, as Harry was still a minor and student.

This was relatively easy for Severus though. Harry was old enough and mature enough to make decisions in regards to his love life. Plus, Severus had never been one for rules when they stood in the way of what he wanted.

Severus was equally unconcerned about Harry being a student. The only thing this meant was they would have to be covert about their relationship, which they would have anyway, as Harry was still a minor.

Besides, Severus could hardly announce he was Harry Potter's lover. He'd be tortured and killed or arrested by sundown, or maybe all 3 just in a different order.

Now to move onto the last hurdle. Was he attracted to Harry? Severus looked at Harry and realized that Harry had finally grown up, now standing roughly at the same height his father had at this age. Standing eye to with Severus at this point, and he also knew Harry would probably continue to grow. Eventually being taller than Severus himself. The baby fat had melted away from Harry's face revealing angular cheekbones and a strong jaw.

Still examining the young man, Severus took in Harry's shaggy, shoulder length dark brown hair, shining emerald eyes behind those always present glasses, golden tanned skin and that muscled physique that had been hard earned through Quidditch and added to by the physical demands of their training. Yes, Harry physically was very appealing to Severus.

Coming to his conclusion that he would like to try this with Harry. Severus would just have to ask Harry what exactly this was. But for right now he owed the nervous looking man in front of him a response. Leaning forward Severus placed his soft lips lightly on Harry's slightly chapped ones and pressed lightly.

The kiss was Severus' way of showing Harry he accepted his feelings and returned them. Harry beamed into the kiss, pressing his lips firmly against Severus', slipping his tongue out Harry brushed over the crease between Severus' lips, asking for entrance.

Severus opened his thin lips, allowing Harry's tongue to enter and intertwine with his in slow, tantalizing strokes. Severus felt warmth spread through him when their tongues met and put his all into the kiss, wrapping his arms around Harry's neck, pulling him closer.

Harry for his part wrapped his muscled arms around Severus' slender waist pulling his smaller form to his broader body. Severus melted against Harry as they continued to kiss. Their was no battle for dominance just a sensual meeting of lips and tongues.

Breaking apart for much needed oxygen both males looked deep into the other's eyes. Neither wanting to break the content silence that had settled between them.

"What do you want from me Harry? Is this just a dalliance, a fling to you? Please, tell me the truth what are your intentions with this? Why me, you could have anyone you desired?" Severus spoke these questions quietly if a bit rushed, still wrapped up tightly in Harry's arms.

"I care for you Severus and I'd like to be with you as your lover, not some fling that we will both indulge in before going our seperate ways. Since we patched things up between us it hasn't just been you who has opened their eyes. I've opened my eyes as well, and seen a man I didn't even realize was there. I've seen the man you are Severus; a beautiful, kind, strong, intelligent man. Someone who has made bad choices, been hurt in terrible ways, and has hidden his true self behind a mask of scorn, indifference and ire. To protect yourself from the world, to survive all the shit that's been piled on you. I'm only sorry I didn't see it sooner, I've been so cruel to you." Harry's words were spoken softly but with such honest conviction.

Severus again was stunned by Harry's words. The man just never stopped surprising him, you'd think Severus would be used to it by now. He shook his head, before leaning forward and pecking Harry's lips, murmuring against Harry's mouth; "Thank you Harry for your kind words and for seeing me as I am not what I appear to be."

"Thank you for seeing me as well Severus. Thank you for seeing me as Harry, not the boy-who-lived or the Gryffindor Golden Boy. But as just Harry" Harry brought his face to nuzzle in the crook of Severus' neck, breathing in his scent.

Severus tightend his arms around Harry's neck, revelling in the feeling of being held in strong, safe arms, enjoying that he was finally being accepted and cared for as he was, faults and all.

Severus raised his head intending to place another kiss on Harry's lips, as his eyes raised he'd caught sight of the clock on the wall. Realizing how late it had become Severus suggested, reluctantly, that they go back to their rooms to get some sleep.

Harry agreed and grasped Severus' hand and led him to the door to exit the Room of Requirement. Before Severus could open the door for one of them to exit, he was pulled into another kiss by Harry. This time the kiss was heated, as Harry explored Severus' mouth in pleasurable sweeps and strong strokes of his tongue against Severus'.

Severus moaned into that dominating mouth, enjoying the feel of the other man's lips on his. Too soon in Severus' opinion they pulled apart. With another quick kiss from Harry, Severus watched as he exited first to make his way back to Gryffindor common room.

Severus waited another 5 minutes before departing back to his own quarters. The whole trip back a small smile played across his slightly kiss swollen lips. Yes, Severus thought to himself, he would help Harry win this war. He would train him, assist him in anything he needed and support him unconditionally.

Keeping their training and now romance under wraps was not always easy, not with the amount of attention and scrutiny that followed Harry wherever he went. So their meetings were mostly restricted to quick stolen moments after potions, during lunch, and whenever Harry could slip away unnoticed for a few moments, and there nightly training sessions. Kisses and heavy touches were exchanged whenever they could manage them, it wasn't enough but it would have to be for right now. Neither man could afford to be careless or shirk their responsibilities, to much was at stake.

Severus was pretty sure no one had a clue about the training or their relationship. That was until he was summoned to speak to Dumbledore a month after Harry and he got together. Severus had not informed Dumbledore that he had started to train Harry, only that he wanted to. However, once Severus walked into the Headmaster's office and those twinkly blue eyes landed on him Severus got the distinct feeling Dumbledore knew that the training had begun.

Severus refused to give anything away to the old man. On some level Severus felt smug, let the old man know what it feels like to be in the dark with only your suppositions.

Severus was unwilling to be swayed on his belief that Harry needed training, and now the fact that they were involved just made Severus want Harry to succeed even more. Severus always worked better with an incentive; this reward just happened to be greater than most.

Once Dumbledore realized Severus would not divulge anything except what was expected of him; the goings on at the Death Eater meetings, his thoughts and prospective on The Dark Lord's plans, any news of possible attacks, and had Severus figured out what Draco's task was? Once these topics were quickly exhausted, mostly due to the fact that Severus hadn't been summoned since before Christmas, and they'd already gone over these facts before, and nothing new had been gained or learned. Severus stood to take his leave.

As he turned toward the door Dumbledore called him back, his voice sounded unusually grave. Not the normal light, cheery tone and Severus felt the dread rising in him. Severus knew whatever the Headmaster wanted from him, Severus would not like it, or agree with it.

However, Dumbledore was still his superior so Severus sat back in the chair he had recently vacated. Dumbledore waited until Severus was seated before he raised his cursed right hand for Severus to view fully. "How long did you say I had left Severus?" was Dumbledore's question; that the Headmaster of course already knew the answer to.

"As I told you previously over the summer, the curse will break free from it's restraints containing it in your hand. Once that happens; the pain will be excruciating and you will die in a very slow, humiliating way. There is very little to be done but manage the pain and make you comfortable. But as of now Headmaster, you maybe have 6 months left."

Dumbledore nodded his acceptance to these words, as none of them were new. With a heavy breath Dumbledore went on to explain his plan to Severus; what Dumbledore expected him to do. Severus blanched at the Headmaster's plan and his damn request. Kill him when the time came? No that wasn't asking much at all was it!

Severus argued, refused, lashed out with the offer to kill Dumbledore right then and there to be done with it. Damn this man! In the end, as always, Severus agreed to the Headmaster's request. When Severus had inquired when Dumbledore wanted his death to occur? The infernal old coot just smiled cryptically, "You'll know when the time is right." Was all the man had said.

Severus nodded jerkily, and made his way quietly fuming to meet Harry in the Room of Requirement. Severus knew he'd be useless tonight. Usually he could order his thoughts through his prodigous skill in Occlumency but for the first time in years his Occlumency shields were not working. This news and what was expected of him was just to big even for his impressive skill to manage at the moment.

Shit what about Harry! What was he to tell Harry? How was he to tell him? Should he? Severus was in a trance as he made his way by rote up to the seventh floor. Halfway to his destination Severus came to decision that he would tell Harry what he was expected to do.

Severus knew Harry hated to be kept in the dark about information that involved him or affected him. Also, Harry had not held anything back from him. Going over everything Dumbledore had told him about the Horcruxes so far, and shown Harry in the collected memories.

Harry had spoken to Severus candidly about his belief that Draco was up to something. Which Severus had agreed with and explained what he knew about Draco's important task, which admittedly was not much. As the task assigned was done so in secret by the Dark Lord himself with only Draco present.

Sighing heavily, Severus knew he could not in good conscience leave Harry in the dark about this, too much was at stake to start playing his cards close to the vest. Besides Severus trusted his lover to listen and not freak out, much.

Reaching his destination Severus saw the door already there and waiting for him. Severus was still enthralled by this magnificent room and what it could do. Walking through the door only Severus could see; he looked at an already practicing Harry.

Severus watched Harry nonverbally firing several medium strength jinxes, curses and hexes toward the practice dummies; noting how much better Harry had become in his stance, control, and precision. Severus felt pride rise in him to mingle with the affection already swirling in his chest. Harry's presence always soothed him and now was no exception.

Once Harry had completed his series of spells, he turned to flash Severus a warm smile, and made his way over. That beautiful smile slipped off his face when he saw how riled and stressed Severus looked. "What's the matter, Severus? Did something happen? Is everyone alright?"

Severus raised a hand to stop Harry's barrage of questions. Sighing he took Harry's hand when he came close enough and led him to the newly appeared sofa, the coffee table that appeared was laden with tea, cookies and firewhiskey, Gods Severus really loved this room!

Seating himself next to Harry, his slender smooth hand still holding Harry's calloused, larger one. Before Severus would even consider telling Harry what had transpired in Dumbledore's office, he needed Harry's promise that he would listen quietly, and once Severus was done he would not interfere with what was to come.

Harry looked worried and a bit scared, Severus could not blame him in the least. If he was in Harry's place he'd be on edge as well. Severus saw Harry pluck up that Gryffindor courage, and harden his resolve. Harry met Severus' eyes and gave his consent to Severus' requirements. A flash of light appeared around them sealing Harry's words in a promise.

Severus felt drained by the time he finished explaining the meeting with Dumbledore and his twice damned request. Harry was pale after hearing essentially the planned execution of his mentor. Regaining his compusure Harry's next words shocked Severus to the core.

"How could he ask you to do this? Why would he put you in such a position, then not even tell you when he expects you to kill him. At least if you knew when you could try and make your peace with what you have to do?" Were the words spoken with such strength and feeling from Harry's lips.

Severus felt his heart warm at the words. That his lover cared what carrying out this plan would do to him emotionally, as opposed to him being disgusted with Severus for agreeing to aid in the Headmaster's plan. Severus sqeezed Harry's hand still clasped in his own, leaning forward to press a quick peck to Harry's cheek.

Severus spoke again before Harry could; "I have killed before in the past, I am not proud of this fact, but Dumbledore will die without me raising my hand. At least this way his death will be humane, over with quickly. There is no stopping this curse from spreading forever and if I know Dumbledore he will even use his death to the Light side's advantage."

Harry nodded numbly accepting his lover's words and what he had to do, as much as he didn't like it. Harry looked into Severus' resigned onyx eyes with a his own blazing emeralds; a fire like nothing Severus had ever seen before burning in them. "When I win this war Severus you will be free, free to live your life as your own. No more spying, hiding, living in fear, and bowing to the whims of two powerful wizards."

Severus just stuporously nodded, his emotions and thoughts running at a mile a minute through his body and mind. Harry, his Harry was going to end this war. Harry was going to set him free and for the first time in almost 16 years Severus felt his eyes sting, as they began to water.

Harry seeing his lover's eyes begin to tear grabbed him into his arms, and just held the potions master tightly, murmuring nonsense words of comfort. Before long Severus broke away, wiping his eyes quickly before turning back to Harry. "We all will have to do things in this war that we would rather not. That is a fact we should both do well to remember."

For the rest of the time they were in the Room, Harry and Severus held each other. Absorbing the warmth of the other man, and exchanging kisses and tender touches. All to soon they needed to go their seperate ways, back to their roles defined for them in this war. But Severus left with the confirmation that his lover understood and still cared for him despite what Severus had been asked to and planned on doing.

Alright That is Chapter One. I Hope You Enjoyed it and my take on Book 6.

All Mistakes are my own.