Author's Note: When I first started this as "Is it too Late?" I said that the scenes might not be connected. It turns out that with a little work, they could be. When I first started this, I said that the title could change. I was right about that then, wrong about it not later. As part of the renaming I have revised scene by scene, chapter by chapter, to fit this. Most everything survived, just slightly changed. All new chapters, in case you get to them before I finish posting, will be labeled as "Strawberry Wine Part#"
Some scenes and chapters have been flipped, due to my putting them in time line order. Additional scenes have been written to link and fill the story. (Also the first few chapters were not long enough, having just one scene, so I filled in some extras for them.) I advise a complete re-reading. This also means that some reviews from before November 2016 may refer to the wrong chapter, or have references to something that has been corrected.
I'd like to thank the following people for their work in helping to make this better: Brad Coleman, Matt Arnold, ugly orc, Alison deMerel, SlickRCBD, doghead thirteen, Diana Stötzer, the essential Jim Trigg
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and the Wizarding World are copyright J. and her assigns. The use of her characters and world do not imply ownership by the writer, who only owns the particular implementation of the story here in.
Strawberry Wine Part 1
Harry Potter was not impressed with Professor Horace Slughorn, or at least the need to use his celebrity to convince him to teach at Hogwarts again. That being said, he was looking forward to having a decent Potions class for a change. Wait. Potions? "You're hiring Slughorn to teach Potions? What about Snape?" Harry Potter said they left the abandoned house that the former head of Slytherin had been hiding in.
"Professor Snape will finally be getting his wish to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts," Professor Dumbledore said. The professor's tone was almost regretful, as if he expected to loose an old friend.
"If I had said yes, you wouldn't be doing this, would you?" Harry said, remembering the dinner he'd attended at Hogwarts some weeks prior.
"Perhaps," Dumbledore said a tone that said that one would never know.
"I am not taking Defense Against the Dark Arts with Professor Severus Snape," Harry said firmly. "Even if I have to kill him and teach both Potions and Defense as a result."
"I wouldn't quite go that far," Dumbledore said. "Though I do understand the sentiment. Severus can be quite exasperating at times. I have not told Severus that he had the job of Defense yet ... so I suppose that the offer could be considered to be still open for you.."
"I'll take it," Harry said firmly.
"Then it seems that I will have to find another job for Severus, as it seems I've just handed his Potions Professorship away. Pity," Dumbledore said, as Harry took his arm.
Moments later, a can clattered through the open space where they had once been. Harry would remember the place well, though. It was the place where he had taken charge of his life.