A/N: Finally done! Hope you enjoy!

"James is coming to Hogwarts in the fall," Harry said as he leaned back in the chair, crossing his ankle over his knee.

"So history does, indeed, repeat itself," Snape said dryly.

"What?" Harry smiled. "You're all holed up here in your office; you don't have to teach him."

"Thank Merlin," Snape rolled his eyes in mock relief.

"I probably should stop coming by," Harry surmised glumly. "I wouldn't want to embarrass him."

"I cannot for the life of me fathom why you have continued to grace my office with your presence all these years," Snape shook his head.

"Because you would miss me terribly. You did spend so much time concerning yourself with my survival – I think if I didn't visit you, you'd go mad with worry," Harry joked.

"Don't flatter yourself, Potter," Snape scoffed.

Harry paused cautiously, before continuing, "Well, since I won't be coming 'round anymore, I suppose I should ask the question I've been wanting to for a long time."

Snape glared dangerously at Harry. "Are you sure that's wise, Potter?"

"I'm reasonably sure you won't hex me for it," Harry attempted nonchalance but failed miserably.

Snape was silent, crossing his arms in front of him and leaning back in the chair in a move of practiced defiance.

"So, after my mother died, did you ever fall in love with anyone else?" Harry asked.

Snape was silent as he leveled a scorching stare across the desk. "I was never in love with your mother. I made that clear."

"Fine. So who did you fall in love with?" Harry pressed.

"What makes you think I ever fell in love?" Snape answered too quickly.

"Call it a hunch," Harry retorted. "So, have you ever been in love?"

Snape was overcome with an indefinable emotion in his eyes as he paused a second too long. "I have," he finally admitted. "Only once."

Harry's eyes widened in disbelief. "Only once? Who did you fall in love with?"

"I am reasonably sure you know the answer to that question, Potter," Snape sat stone-still in his chair.

"Humor me," Harry demanded. "Who?"

"I refuse to indulge your curiosity," Snape rebuffed.

"Why not?" Harry sat up straighter, "I won't laugh, I promise. I won't tell anyone else – even Ginny. Or Hermione, although she swears she knows already but she won't tell me. I was sure it was my Mum, but I guess not, so maybe it's someone you think I'll judge you for, but I won't, I…"

"You!" Snape finally cut off Harry's rambling, "I fell in love with you, you idiot boy!"

"What?!" Harry's eyes widened and his eyebrows flew into his hairline. He was struck dumb and a deafening silence came over the office. Not even the portraits were breathing. "Me? You're joking! Why me?"

Snape rolled his eyes dramatically and seemed to regret himself. "Believe me, Potter, if I knew that, I would have done everything possible to avoid it."

"Why didn't you ever tell me?" Harry cocked his head to the side, nonplussed.

"Even you cannot be that stupid," Snape said with disdain. Harry contracted his brow in confusion. Snape huffed out a breath. "Very well. Let's start with the fact that you were in love with Ms. Weasley at the time. And you were a student – my student. And I was pretending to be loyal to the Dark Lord. I'm reasonably sure my telling you about any inclinations I had would have mucked that up considerably."

Harry's eyes were still full of disbelief. "But what about after?" he shook his head. "Why didn't you ever tell me?

"Trying to get this through that obscenely thick skull of yours is testing my patience, Potter," Snape growled. "You married Ginny Weasley; you had children; you are not attracted to men, especially men like me."

"What do you mean, 'men like you'?" Harry crinkled his forehead, clearly disturbed by Snape's assessment with himself. "You mean someone brave, selfless, powerful, strong, and brilliant? Someone like that?"

Snape grimaced lightly in discomfort.

"As for my preferences," Harry continued, a bit more coldly than before, "How could you claim to know what they are when you never bothered to ask me about them?"

Snape seemed to lose his patience, rising from his chair and leaning across the desk, his knuckles white against the mahogany. "And tell me, Saint Potter, would it have made a difference?" Snape was nearly shouting, "You seem so affronted, do tell: would my confession have changed anything?"

Harry stood, too, leaning back across the Headmaster desk, shouting back at Snape, looking him in the eye. "I don't know, all right? I don't know! How am I supposed to know? You never told me! Why didn't you tell me?!"

"Do you really need more reasons, Potter?" Snape's spittle landed inches in front of him on the desktop. "Do you have some perverse desire to hear me list out the reasons why I chose not to be rejected by the wizarding world's savior?"

"I never asked for that!" Harry yelled defensively.

"That is irrelevant!" Snape shot back. "I did not want to tell you! And that should be reason enough! Don't lie to me and tell me you would have chosen me over that girl!"

"You never gave me a choice!" Harry cried out desperately. "You took that choice away!"

Harry finally paused, chest heaving, and caught his breath. He straightened up off of the desk and hung his arms limply by his sides. He looked at Snape with defeat in his eyes.

"Every important thing in my life was chosen for me. I didn't have any say in who I was, or what happened to my parents, or my destiny with Voldemort. I had no choice. You didn't think that in this, at least, in this decision – of whom I would choose to love – you didn't think I deserved to make that choice myself?"

Snape stood up from his desk and sat back down in his armchair. Harry walked slowly around to the back side of the desk where Snape sat. Harry leaned against the desktop, arms folded, legs crossed at the ankles as he looked at Snape with indefinable sadness in his eyes.

Snape finally broke off eye contact and looked down as he answered. "No, Harry," he said softly, "I didn't deserve you. I wanted so much more for you. So much more for you than me. I knew I could never be what you needed."

Snape's words echoed in Harry's mind as he remembered the same explanation about Snape's love for Lily. Harry closed his eyes and let out a soft sigh of regret.

"But I loved you, too, Severus," Harry opened his eyes to look at Snape. "I did. It wasn't my place to say anything, and you never even hinted you might feel the same way, so…" Harry swallowed. "I'm sorry."

Snape's lip twitched, as though he was trying desperately to repress his emotion. Harry hesitantly reached out his hand toward Snape. He seemed to struggle with something internally, but then closed the distance between them and traced his finger down Snape's temple and jawline slowly. Snape closed his eyes and leaned into the touch, remorse clear in the lines on his face. Harry dropped his hand and walked around to the front of the desk.

"I won't be back," Harry said with a soft smile.

"I know," Snape replied, his thin lips curving upwards so slightly the untrained eye would miss it.

Harry nodded, and withdrew his wand from his sleeve. He waved it and levitated the portrait back to the wall where it usually hung, with the other past Headmasters. Once he was sure it was secure, he turned without another word and left the office, door shutting softly behind him. If he had looked back, he would have seen a single tear running down the cheek of Snape's portrait.

A/N: I hope no one else guessed the ending! Otherwise I didn't do as good a job as I thought!