Oh my god, I'm so sorry! I promised to have this up two days ago and I even had it written, but my sister was visiting and I was hanging out with her and forgot. :( But here it is, even if it's a little late...
Okay, now, you all need to tell me if you want this continued. I thought this sounded like a good last chapter, but if you want more, please share your thoughts. ^.^
It was his second week of detention and Harry was more than glad to say that Snape had reverted to his semi-snippy attitude. He didn't know if he could have stood the appearance of the man's heart for longer than he had for just that short time in the man's office. As it were, he had had to drink down two full vials of calming draught before he could make his way back to his common room.
He'd since informed Headmaster McGonagall – that still sounded so strange – of the fight he'd had with the Slytherin's, the day after it happened. Though it seemed she'd already known about it, she'd nodded and sent him on his way. Not long after that had found him standing in front of Sigel, the boy he'd attacked on his war path for Pince.
He handed Sigel his handwritten apology, which had been looked over and approved by Snape that morning, and had apologized verbally as well. The Slytherin had looked suitably chastised when he'd seen Harry, and they'd ended up parting after shaking hands, which had stunned the few students around them at the time.
Harry was glad that he'd seen no sign of Pince before going to the first detention Snape had arranged. There, Snape had given him Pince's letter of apology, saying that he'd decided that it was probably best that they did not meet face to face for a while. Harry had agreed, and was set to work on cleaning cauldrons.
Now, he was busy preparing ingredients for a first year class that Snape had the next morning. Snape was grading papers at his desk. The room was quiet and it scratched at his nerves.
Harry had been thinking for a long while on whether he would ask Snape the question he wanted to. It was a deep-seated confliction, and he had finally decided that he needed to deal with what was bothering him. Once and for all. So today was the day he had decided to ask.
"Would you duel with me?" Harry asked suddenly, and he was sure almost instantly that he could have picked a better way to ask the question, but it was out and he could only wait for his answer. He looked up from his work to look at Snape's face. The man had looked up from his papers at the sound of his voice. It was hard to tell exactly what the man was thinking, but he could tell that he had surprised him, by the widened eyes and still form. For a second, he felt rather accomplished, but then that familiar sensation of anxiety roiled in his stomach and he turned his head back down to the disgusting pile of flobberworms that had fallen prey to his knife.
"Why would you want me to duel you, Mr. Potter? Surely you don't think you would win?" Harry almost rolled his eyes at the potion master's response. It was only to be expected that the man would say something like that. But he couldn't actually tell his real reason for wanting to duel, could he?
"I've just been full of energy lately and I wanted to burn some off. Surely you don't want me wandering the halls tonight?" Harry barely restrained himself from raising his head to add a challenging smirk to his words, a return of the man's own barb. He wanted the man to agree, not throw him out of the room in a fit of anger.
But, then, he was almost afraid that Snape would agree. That he would prove Harry's own uneasy doubts.
"Look at me, Mr. Potter." Snape's voice came from above him and off to his left. He'd moved out from behind his desk and closer to Harry as he'd been looking down. He stiffened, and when he looked up, he carefully avoided direct contact with the taller man's eyes. Snape's features were disapproving, as if he knew that Harry was trying to use him for something.
"Don't lie to me." Snape said. Harry still avoided his eyes, but he responded quietly, not wanting Snape to react out of irritation. It was amazing how toned down Snape's temper was without his acting to reinforce it, but it was still there and was definitely a very real, very frightening thing.
"I don't want to tell you, sir. Not until I've proved it for sure myself." Snape looked vaguely irritated, but was somewhat appeased at Harry's revelation of truth.
"So I'm to be your guinea pig?" Snape asked. Harry rushed to deny it, but Snape shook his head. "Alright. We will duel. But only after your detention. And only if you finish cutting those flobberworms within a reasonable amount of time."
"Yes, Sir. Thank you, Sir." Snape merely nodded and returned to his desk to continue grading papers. Harry's nerves settled somewhat and he returned to his own work.
They stood in the same room Harry had just served his detention in, but it looked completely different. Snape had cleared the room of all the desks within a few moments of Harry's completion of his detention. Now they stood about fifteen feet apart in the center of the room.
Bow to Death, Harry. The words still haunted him. Harry saluted with his wand and bowed, though it still reminded him closely of his battles with Voldemort. Snape did the same, albeit far more gracefully, his robes swishing around him soundlessly.
"I will count to three and say 'begin', Mr. Potter. Need I explain what to do then?" Snape asked snidely. Harry smiled softly, his eyes unfocused for a moment, and the look on Snape's face faltered a little in surprise at the expression.
"No need, Professor." Harry said, after clearing his throat. He pulled himself up, straightening his back and stretching out his wand arm. The same, position he had taken facing Voldemort all those years ago in the cemetery when their wands had connected for the first time. He shivered.
"Alright." Snape said stiffly, he copied Harry's motions. "One… Two… Three… Begin!"
Before Harry could even get a breath out to form a spell, there were two red spells flying his way. Snape had obviously prepared the two wordlessly so that he could catch Harry off guard. But then, Harry was very good at dodging. With his honed reflexes in charge, he jumped to the side, barely avoiding the first orb of red light, and rolled twice, gasping as the second one hit his right leg and left a vicious stinging sensation.
He almost growled aloud. Snape must have thought him so incompetent that he only warranted stinging hexes. He fired a trip jinx back at the man but was prevented from doing any more than that as Snape bombarded him with curses and hexes, almost all of them silent, though Harry could just hear some of them mumbled under the man's breath.
He was forced to dodge and throw up multiple protego charms without a breath in between. He tried to think of a way to start his offensive, but no spells came to mind. His meager arsenal of spells consisted of the Patronus charm, which, though strong, was rather useless in this situation, and a scattering of weaker offensive spells, including expelliarmus and stupefy. Snape's spells were far more advanced and broke through Harry's shields as if he had simply taken a hammer to a thin sheet of glass.
Snape was hardly out of breath and hadn't moved an inch from where he'd stood at the beginning of the duel. On the other hand, Harry was being forced to run, jump, dodge, and roll all over the now-emptied classroom. He was out of breath and couldn't think of a single thing he could do to turn the tide.
He was already berating himself for asking Snape to do this. Why did he want to prove something to himself that he already knew was true deep in his heart? Why did he need to prove it?
Harry clenched his fists at his sides and scowled. He wasn't going to win the duel, he'd known it the moment the thought to ask had even entered his mind. He'd known this was a stupid idea, but he just hadn't been able to rid himself of it.
Harry glanced at Snape. He wondered if the man had guessed his thoughts. The former spy was annoyingly good at it, after all. Harry thought for a second of all the times he'd fought and survived death at Voldemort's hands. The pain he and others had suffered because he was too weak. He stopped dead in his tracks, causing Snape's next spell to overshoot him, having overcorrected to guess the next place Harry would be. He wasted no time and fired off an expelliarmus and stupefy, but it was useless. In the moment he sent those two flying at Severus, the man sent five flying back at him, almost all simultaneous, and even managed to step to the side to avoid Harry's attack.
Harry found himself lying flat on his back, his limbs numb. He couldn't have felt his wand in his hand, even if it was still there. He closed his eyes. So it's true. It was all just luck. I didn't do anything…
He heard the rustle of cloth above him and he opened his eyes to see Snape kneel on one knee next to him, his wand arm resting against his right thigh, his wand dangling from his fingers.
"If it helps, I was always a faster spell caster than the Dark Lord was." Harry wasn't surprised that the man had guessed his line of thinking. He also wasn't surprised to hear the pride that was in Snape's voice when he revealed that tidbit of information. "He was more creative with his spells; he knew more of them."
"It doesn't help. Not really." Harry choked out.
"What did you think this would prove?" Snape asked. Neither of them moved from their positions. Harry's breathing was beginning to calm down.
"I had hoped that maybe…maybe it wasn't all just luck. That maybe I survived on my own for a little while there, without any help." He wasn't referring to any specific situation, and he didn't need to.
"You always ended up winning when the two of you met." Snape said.
"You're alive now."
"Through no fault of my own." Harry said with a slight smile.
"Look, Harry." Harry only just managed to withhold the surprise from his face when the man used his first name. "You used the stone to kill him in your first year. You used the basilisk fang to kill him in second. You sent away the dementors in your third year. You won the Triwizard Tournament and foiled the Dark Lord all over again. You taught your friends how to protect themselves. You helped find and destroy the Dark Lord's horcruxes. You sacrificed your life and killed the Dark Lord. How is any of that not your doing?
"You're skipping over the worse parts." Harry grumbled.
"And?" Snape asked, tapping his wand against the side of his leg.
"I…see your point?" Harry tiredly said, trying to get away from the question. He knew he shouldn't have asked to do this.
"Harry, you were a child. How could you be expected to do everything on your own?"
"I should have tried harder. Then fewer people would have died. You wouldn't have almost died." Harry argued.
"You can't put all the blame on yourself. We held you back too, Dumbledore and I."
"I don't think that would have affected it too much." Harry sighed.
"Botching up your Occlumency lessons would certainly have affected you, actually." Snape said with a raised eyebrow. Harry met the man's eyes and blinked slowly.
"I knew it." He laughed quietly and shook his head in amusement. Snape looked to be holding back a smirk himself.
"And I must say that Dumbledore could certainly have put quite a bit more effort into training you."
"I know." Harry shook his head again. "And I suppose I can't do much about it now, can I?"
"No. Not a whit." The way Snape said it made Harry burst into laughter. It made his head hurt.
He laid back, shutting his eyes for a moment, then he sighed. "Thank you for the duel, Sir. And the talk. I appreciate it."
"Harry." He started at the touch to his arm, and opened his eyes. Snape was looking down at him. His expression was almost worried. Suddenly he felt trapped in the dark-eyed man's gaze and he had the urge to do something incredibly stupid.
He leaned up slowly, and pressed his lips to the lips of the man above him. He didn't close his eyes, and neither did Snape, their gazes locked together. The moment broke when Harry was forced to blink, and he pulled back with the intention to apologize, but he found his neck held in place by fingers that he recognized so easily now. The man above him leaned down slightly to press his lips back against Harry's, this time moving his lips and Harry responded tentatively, but gladly, happy that he hadn't been rejected immediately. He put a hand against the ground to steady him and take the strain off of his back as he leaned up. He raised the other to run through Snape's hair. He vaguely noticed that it wasn't nearly as oily as it looked; the strands glided through his fingers.
They broke for a breath.
"There's no chance of this being one of my freaky dreams, is there, Sir?" Harry asked breathily, his forehead pressed to Snape's, one of the man's hands laid against his cheek.
"No. This is real. Call me Severus." The man, Severus, said, before suddenly attacking Harry's mouth. Harry moaned in surprised pleasure. The kiss seemed to last forever. Snape – no, Severus – licked Harry's lips and Harry opened them, startled by the feel of the wet appendage against the sensitive skin. Severus then proceeded to plunder Harry's mouth to the point that Harry was almost dizzy with the blood that rushed to his head - though he was sure that more than a bit of the blood headed southward, too.
It felt like forever before Severus finally pulled away. His face was flushed, though not as much as Harry was sure his was. He sucked in a shaky breath.
"I think we should think about what we are doing very carefully, Harry." Severus started, ever the voice of reason, though, at the moment, he sounded very much like he didn't want to be. "You are still technically a student. We aren't, legally, allowed to do this."
"Have a relationship, you mean?" Harry said quietly. He wasn't only asking him to clarify. He was asking Severus to define what he thought that kiss meant. Severus brushed a thumb along Harry's cheekbone. Harry was still sitting back, supporting himself with one hand, and Severus was still kneeling over him.
"Yes…A relationship." Harry smiled brilliantly at the answer, surprising Severus into giving one of his own, albeit small. He barely restrained himself from leaning forward to give the man another kiss.
"But you wouldn't want to stop now, would you?" Severus asked, already knowing the answer.
Harry just shook his head with a smile.
"Alright, then. But we must be careful." Snape said before leaning down and throwing a leg over Harry's hips, straddling him. He pushed Harry back onto the floor so he wouldn't have to hold his own weight and proceeded to explore the younger man's mouth. Harry snaked his hands around Severus' back and clasped the man's shoulders.
They were still like that twenty minutes later when a quiet trill from thin air interrupted them. They separated. Severus waved his wand in the air and the trill was silenced.
"Mmm…That was an alarm for me to head out and patrol the corridors for curfew. I need to take you back to your tower before your friends start to worry."
Harry closed his eyes and groaned at the loss of contact. "Alright."
Once they'd calmed down, Harry's face started to turn the most interesting shade of pink. Severus commented on it with an amused smirk and Harry looked away, embarrassed.
"I just spent half an hour snogging my teacher. I didn't even know I was gay." He pouted, but was obviously not too upset by the realization. "But then, that explains why it didn't work out with Ginny."
"Is that why the Weaslette flees the room any time you enter it? I had wondered what happened. What did you say to her?"
Harry shrugged, honest puzzlement clear on his face. "She tried to get back with me and I told her that I wasn't interested in a relationship anymore. Not quite as bluntly as that, though"
"It might have to do with the rumors that you had planned on proposing to her." Severus suggested.
"What? That's not true at all! When did those rumors start?" Harry asked, surprised and affronted at the new information. Severus shook his head.
"I don't know. Draco told me about them. I'm pleased to learn they're not true, of course." He nipped at Harry's bottom lip, and though Harry allowed the action gladly, his face flared red at Severus' action. He'd never expected Severus to be the sort of person to initiate so much contact in a relationship, but he certainly enjoyed it.
"If you don't quit it, my friends will wonder what you've done to my face to turn it permanently red." He mumbled. Severus chuckled in his ear.
"But you've agreed to me now. You'll have to live with me." Harry shivered as he felt a smirk form against his neck.
"Happily." Harry breathed. Severus suddenly pulled away with a smirk practically carved into his face. Harry pressed his forehead to the man's chest as a smile spread across his face.
If attending Hogwarts for two more years was going to be like this, he supposed he might be able to survive.
Please tell me what you thought and if you think I should do more for this story!