Chapter twenty

'I know what you want to ask Neville and I always planned to explain. You want to know why I lied to you that night?'

'Yes, you tell me the snake had to die, I don't ask why, I just trusted you that it must have been important. Then I ask if you were turning yourself over to him, you said you weren't, but you did, right after walking away from me.'

Harry sighed and felt Severus tighten his arms around him, 'First the horcrux, it's the worst dark magic there is. Dumbledore was finding and destroying them before he died, after, I realised I had to finish what he started. There items Neville, Voldemort placed a piece of his soul into these items, he did this to make sure he never died. That's the idea of a horcrux, as long as one is out there, he will always live. But he made seven Neville, one he never knew about, thank merlin, the snake was one. She was made after he came back a few years ago, his seventh. But his sixth, the one he never knew got made, well, that was me,' Harry lifted his hair, 'This scar isn't because of the killing curse, it's where his soul entered me,' Harry opened his shirt and showed his other scar, 'This was when he destroyed it. Sev gave me the memory of Dumbledore explaining that I had a piece of soul and Voldemort had to kill me. After seeing that, I knew what I had to do, I had to die. So as I walking back down through the school I realised that Dumbledore only allowed me to tell Hermione and Ron. I was about to die, Hermione and Ron could die, I know that sounds cold, but I had to think like Dumbledore or we'd never be rid of him. So I needed someone I could trust, but also someone that wouldn't waste time with questions. Then I saw you, bringing in more of the people that died. If I told you I had to face him, you would have tried to stop me, I never even told Hermione or Ron what I was doing. So you see why I lied Neville, I couldn't waste time, people were dying and I could stop it, but only if I died first, which I was willing to do.' Harry put his head back against Severus.

'But you survived, you're here, how?'

'Well, I never realised I'd live, but how, well Dumbledore explained that night. I'll tell you that in a moment, but when Voldemort hit me with the killing curse, that destroyed the horcrux inside me, I was knocked out, but technically alive.'

'So the horcrux actually saved you, is that right?'

'Yes, but I never knew any of this. Dumbledore knew I would survive but never told Sev and we have no idea why he kept it from both of us. Anyway, why I was unconscious, I went somewhere, Dumbledore was waiting for me. He explained everything, finally told me the whole thing, every plan, every bit of information he'd been hiding for years. All I ask is that you never mention to anyone about me. But the help you and Aberforth gave, I figured you both deserved to know.'

'So when you said you had a job to do, that was destroying horcruxes, that was that job my brother gave you?' Aberforth asked.

'Yes, there was one more that we knew of in the castle. We had no idea what it was or where, only that it had something to do with Ravenclaw and it was at Hogwarts. Nagini was with Voldemort, he kept her with him at all times by then because he found out we were destroying pieces of his soul. That was after we broke out of Gringotts. He slaughtered everyone that was at Malfoy manor, except the Malfoy's and Bellatrix, who managed to escape his anger. Kingsley, did you find all the bodies there, including Pettigrew's?'

'Yes, Hermione and Ron explained how Pettigrew tried to kill you and how his hand killed him. Even after finding out he was the one that betrayed your parents, you still tried to stop him dying, why?'

'I don't know, but one thing I do know is I've seen enough death, I didn't want to see anymore, even him. The only death I wanted to see was Voldemorts. Too much death, too much violence, too much suffering, I just wanted it to end and even if I died, then for me, it ended.'

'That new scar, is that what needed healing?' Hermione asked.

Harry looked up at Severus, 'That was the main one, but Harry had a lot of injuries. A broken hip, broken foot, his fingers were broken, plus the burns, cuts and bruises all over him. I have never seen so many scars on anyone before. So I had Harry stay in bed for the first week, he needed to heal and keep as still as possible. The only time I allowed him to move was to use the bathroom, which I helped with that even after he told me to let him go alone. I would have found him on the floor if I did that.'

'I think it was more embarrassment, I was naked and needed help.'

'Why were you naked?' Ron asked as he stared up at Snape.

'Harry's clothes were disgusting, I threw them out. When he refused to move from the bed, I gave him one of my robes to wear.'

'You don't mind seeing each other naked now,' Kingsley grinned, then looked back at Hermione and Ron, 'After leaving here the other day, I found where Harry's house was. I tried the door, no answer, so I went round back and found both of them naked with Harry sitting on Severus.'

'I was rubbing lotion on his back, we just got out of the pool. It was easier to sit on him, but fun as well.'

'Oh gross Harry, we don't need to hear that and you better be clothed when we turn up, you did invite us you know. I've seen you naked before, I do not need to see Professor Snape and Hermione doesn't need to see either of you.'

'I don't,' Hermione raised her eyebrows at Ron, 'It might be an experience I'll never have again. Walking as a man was a strange experience.'

'Not going to happen Miss Granger, I keep telling Harry robes in case someone wishes to visits. Finally he started to listen to me.'

'You're lucky, he never listened to us, pretended to, then did what he wanted.'

'Hey, sometimes I listened, just not always. Anyway, are there any more questions about all this, because I'd like to go home and go for a swim with Sev. Hermione, Ron, Neville, why don't you three come back with us, but I promise we'll wear trunks.'

'Good, you better, I do not need a memory of seeing Professor Snape naked. Imagine, I could be sitting in his class and that image comes to me, no thanks,' Neville said but grinned, making the others laugh but it made Harry burst out laughing and everyone realised that Harry had already imagine doing that when he was a student again.

'I think you're students are seeing and hearing about a whole new side of you Severus. You might not have the same control over them as before,' Minerva chuckled.

'Oh when they start losing points or ending up in detention cleaning the potions room, that might remind them what I'm like.'

'What, even Harry if he stuffs up a potion?' Ron asked.

'Yes, even Harry, but his detention might be something completely different to yours Mr. Weasley.'

'Oh, now I'll make sure to stuff up my potions. But let's go, I want to get cool.'

'Give us a minute to get our costumes, you can wait five minutes.'

'And I can lend Neville something, come on Nev, let's go change.'

Harry watched his friends hurry up the stairs and he sighed in relief. They had accepted his relationship with Severus and he realised Severus must have known that as well, because he tightened his arms around Harry and put his chin on Harry's shoulder and they two men stood together, content with their relationship and content with their lives.

The end: