A/N: HELLO WORLD! It's me, again, hai :3 So this idea came to me in random spurts, and after weeks and weeks of agonizing over the possibility of a one-shot without any smut, this is the product :) PLEASE, I'm begging, leave me comments on what to look out for! I tried my best to keep Snape as in character as I could, but he's so damn difficult! . I actually raged after writing an argument scene between these two, I couldn't even forgive myself for how cruel Snape was. Bastard. T.T Naturally, I fixed it :)

ALSO, IF YOU ARE A FAN OF SNARRY, PLEASE CHECK OUT THIS FACEBOOK PAGE :) [facebook dot com slash RMSIllegalSubstances] har har har breaking the system :3


Go Home, Potter, You're Drunk

Harry/ Severus

Tsubaki

"Potter, you're drunk," Severus' onyx eyes narrowed as his fists slammed against the wall on either side of Harry's face. Harry's jade eyes glistened mischievously as he glared at the man towering over him. The brat grinned, eyes unfocused once again as his head spun out of control.

"And you're sexy..." Came Harry's slurred reply before he lost focus and pushed his lips to Snape's. Without collecting Severus' reaction, Harry collapsed helplessly, his body no longer able to fight the alcoholic- induced coma.

Severus groaned as he surveyed Potter's unconscious body. Sighing heavily to himself, he lifted the boy by his shoulders and carried him to the bedroom.


"S-soft..."

Harry moaned as he inhaled deeply, turning on his stomach and savoring this fresh sensation, as if he were floating on feathers. The silk material beneath him felt heavenly and smelled equally as seductive. He inhaled several times in succession, attempting to drown himself in this foreign yet too familiar musk. It was a pleasant way to regain consciousness after a night of sleep, he concluded, although he wished to sleep a bit longer in this absolute haven. His bladder, on the other hand..

"Pee.. Fuck," he muttered to no one in particular as he struggled to move his lazy limbs about. He felt for the edge of the bed, refused to open his eyes, and slowly lifted himself up. His brain barely registered his feet moving on their own volition out of the mysterious room and down a narrow hallway, but soon Harry found himself in a small bathroom, relieved to have made it before his fluids escaped on their own. His eyes drifted shut majority of the bathroom visit, yet his feet once again carried him down the walkway to the main living area.

Yawning loudly and rubbing his sleep-filled eyes, Harry noticed someone, a body, sprawled out on the sofa. His brain finally awakening, Harry gasped as Severus Snape lay, bare chest and trousers unzipped, fully asleep.

Panic tore his heart and Harry stumbled against his own legs as he tried to run, however in which direction he hadn't exactly decided. Gravity caught him first and sent his nausea over the edge. He doubled over, clutching the wall as his stomach gave in and emptied out the alcohol he consumed the night before. No, he thought, surely he didn't- he couldn't have, could he?

"Oh, fuck," he cried in between dry heaves and retching. His stomach burned so bad he felt his insides being consumed by a fire of pure emptiness. Drinking on an empty stomach was not a good idea.

Severus, already sensing Potter's movement within the apartment, was up and beside Harry in an instant.

"Relax, Potter, you're only vomiting," he sneered nastily when Harry sobbed, "As unfortunate as it seems, it won't be the end of you."

Severus slipped a vial from his trouser pocket and forced Harry's face upward, emptying the contents into the boy's mouth and forcing him to swallow. When he met Harry's look of terror, Severus only glared, obsidian eyes flashing extreme danger. Harry grimaced and whimpered loudly.

"Oh yes, Mister Potter, you should be *very* afraid," he muttered darkly.

Severus stood and gripped Harry's arm tightly, dragging the boy up to his feet and back to the bedroom. He flung Harry down on the bed and pinned him with an angry glare so sharp Harry winced and shivered in its wake. Harry opened his mouth to speak but his mind was unable to properly connect with his tongue.

"Make what you me drink?" Harry frowned, obviously still drunk a bit. Bugger.

Choosing to ignore that question, if you could call it a question, Severus simply walked up to Harry and placed a cool hand to the boy's forehead. Harry moaned at the pleasant sensation, unable to resist the heavy pull towards that soft intoxicating bed. Sleep was rapidly enclosing him once again and Harry could not fight it.

"You are not to leave this room, nor this apartment, until after we have *talked*. Now sleep, you foolish boy."

"Too... Nice... Thank you... Severus..." Harry inwardly cheered. That took most of his concentration but at least he didn't screw up his words that time.

The color visibly drained in Severus' face.

"Nice..? You dare call me *nice*? And I don't suppose you remember any of last night, do you? Your screams of 'Take me, Severus, mark me! Fuck me!' are not branded in that moronic brain of yours, are they?" Severus yelled, advancing on the defenseless brat.

Harry's head pounded with each syllable Snape released. He groaned, covering his ears to shield himself from the ruthless attack.

"Don't yell... Not sorry!" He managed to ground out, then stuffed his head within a pillow, wishing nothing more than to just disappear from this nightmare.

"Of course you're not sorry. Idiot," Severus swore silently to himself. "Sleep, you daft baboon. We will discuss this further, when you are in a better mindset to deal with the severity of your foolishness!"

Without another word, Severus turned and exited the room, slamming the door behind him. Harry, who could only lay there to appease his swirling head, soon drifted off into a vivid dream.


"We are here tonight to honor the efforts, the duty, the bravery, the sacrifice, and the recovery of our own beloved Severus Snape in the war against Voldemort. Six months ago, we all believed Severus to be among the many casualties this war left us. His role as a double agent was revealed, and with great testimony from countless Order members, he was declared free from all pending charges and, under heavy influence from Mister Harry Potter himself, to be awarded the Order of Merlin, First Class; 'For without Professor Snape's help I would not have the key to defeating Voldemort,' Harry reported.

"Many of us remember that faithful night, thanks to the efforts of St. Mungo's Recovery Team, that Severus regained consciousness and began his therapy sessions. As true to his own blood, the man's determination and sense of life drove his recovery, along with the aid of those behind him spiritually and emotionally; and so the man you see before you tonight, the man we honor, deserves so much more than we can ever express.

"Friends, please, join me in applause for his sake. I present to you, Severus T. Snape, your Order of Merlin, First Class. May you live a tranquil life from here on. Congratulations, my friend."

Kingsley, newly appointed Minister of Magic, turned towards the scowling man seated in front of the pedestal as the small crowd exploded. He presented Severus with the gold- plated medallion, to which Severus hesitantly accepted with skepticism. Harry watched the man intently, soaking in his long elegant black dress robes trimmed in silver pooling around him dramatically, his dark hair shining in the soft lighting, and the way he sat, eyes narrowed, scoffing everyone around him in a sadistic manner. Severus clearly did not wish to be here tonight. Harry smirked; he would soon wipe that sneer clean from Snape's face.

Tonight was the night.

Tonight was the night Harry planned to confess his heart's darkest desire. Five whole torturous months leading up to this night, and Harry could barely contain his excitement. He knew, he just *knew* it had to be Snape the second their eyes met again since...

Harry shivered, both remembering the night he escaped death and defeated Voldemort, and the chill that sparked his aching heart once Severus so much as glanced at him thereafter.

Harry's life would never be the same. Day in and day out, he devoted every second of his time to clearing Snape's name, vigorously squashing all resistance with an iron fist. His warm smile never faltered, never, no matter how biting and scathing Snape's tongue cut him. He refused to leave the man's side during therapy and only laughed merrily at the empty death threats Severus threw at him daily, all for the sake of those obsidian eyes mirrored back at him.

Only until recently, when Severus left St. Mungo's, did Harry's life shatter into pieces. Severus needed silence, and so left without a word otherwise to Harry or anyone else. Finally forced with crushing reality and not knowing why his chest constricted so, Harry turned to Ginny to soothe the knots in his heart. Ginny, however, couldn't understand his 'obsession', as she called it, with Snape. They fought for weeks before Harry decided to leave on his own.

Harry downed another glass of wine completely, pleased with the familiar burn and buzz in his head. It numbed him to the pain; it offered the escape he needed. He often spent his time in night clubs, drinking at the bar mostly, then he'd wake up numb and wasted in his own apartment the next day with no recollection of the previous night. It was a new routine he steadily became accepting of, especially when his own reality continued to crack and distort around him.

He couldn't escape those eyes, and truth be told, he didn't want to.

So here he sat, feet away from the man that both haunted and brightened his dreams, convinced that the first step to relieving this unbearable pain would be to confront his unforgiving stare. He growled, watching Severus' every move, and by the time his fifth glass of wine was finished he decided to put his plan to action. His time in the limelight over and with the room slowly clearing out, Severus took refuge in a dark, isolated corner of the ballroom. Standing was a challenge, but once Harry steadied himself, he advanced on the man's silhouette.

"Sev'rus," he whispered, glaring up at the figure whose eyes still managed to ignore his presence for watching the merry couples dancing circles.

Anger boiled his blood as he clenched his fists and shouted the man's name, determined to get an answer no matter the cost. Severus stood motionless, onyx eyes waltzing along with the crowd, still not bothering with the nuisance by his side. Harry growled as he watched the lights in the older's eyes, then opened his mouth to shout one more time.

"Se-"

"So did you want something or are you just going to stand there shouting whimsically and making a fool of yourself, Potter?" Severus finally turned his unrelenting glare on the idiotic boy before him.

Steeled by the warm glaze from the wine, Harry shivered and glared back. Under other circumstances he might have flinched, cowered, maybe even run away to his sanctuary, but not tonight. He had to get this out in the open.

"I need to talk to you," he slurred.

"I gathered as much. It appears you have nothing of interest to discuss, as your eloquence is only surpassed by your ignorance. Now if you excuse me, boy, I believe I'll be leaving," Severus pushed Harry aside and walked for the door.

"Wait! You can't leave- right in the middle of *your* ball! That's completely unfair!"

"As unfair as it may be, I have had my fill of this insulting place. I do not owe you an explanation, Potter," Severus brushed the brat off without a passing glance as he walked through the wooden double doors leading outside.

In a moments rush before Harry could even comprehend his own actions, he ran after the cold hearted bastard he knew he loved. Every fiber of his being screamed at him, 'don't let him get away!' and Harry would have sooner been hexed up his arse then let Snape walk over him like that. Heaving heavily, Harry caught up to the black blur of Snape's robes, just latching onto a loose sleeve as the man Apparated from the Ministry's premises and into his personal house.

Harry choked, inhaling a huge gulp of air as he stumbled into a wall with a hard 'thud' and fell to the floor. Severus gasped, astonished at Harry's audacity and sudden appearance within his own home! Had the boy no shame?

"Mister Potter!" Severus growled, anger seething from his eyes.

"Of all the arrogant," he swooped down on the helpless boy and yanked him up by his arm, "Idiotic," he slammed Harry against the wall, the boy's back stiffening straight in what he assumed was terror, "Foolish," he watched as a slow realization dawned on the boy's face, "Thick- headed-"

His next insult was cut short as Harry couldn't take anymore. He raised himself on his tip toes and crushed his lips against Snape's, effectively silencing the man's tirade. He sloppily opened his mouth in attempt to coax Severus into submission, but still met with an insistent shove and resistance. Severus threw Potter off in a fit of anger, the boy's back snapping hard against the wall.

Obsidian eyes smoldering with fury, Severus whispered in a dangerously low voice, "Leave. Now."

Harry could only smile, his fear replaced with a sudden lightness he knew too well.

"I couldn't leave if I wanted to," Harry grinned, "Not when what I want is so damn close to me..." He shivered in anticipation as he carelessly reached for Snape's robes and pulled the man down on him. Glazed emerald orbs behind half lidded shields met with a dark nightless glare.

"Fuck me, Severus. Please, take me... I need you..." He slurred, the alcohol strengthening its potency as Harry fell into those dark irises glaring back at him, completely open to the man's emotions.

Severus narrowed his eyes as he slammed his fists on either side of the boy's head.

"Potter, you're drunk," he ground out between his teeth, inches from ripping the idiot to shreds.

"And you're sexy. And I absolutely have to have you. You have no idea what you've done to me."

Harry slid his eyes closed and pressed his lips softly against Snape's once more, signing contently as the oblivion consumed him and mercilessly sucked him into the darkness.


Harry woke in a cold sweat, gasping and shaking uncontrollably. He sat straight up and gripped his head, his eyes closed tightly until the pounding stopped. He was so hot, his skin prickled in an irritating blaze. Shrugging out of his vomit-stained shirt, he wiped his forehead and focused on breathing.

"You have no idea what you've done to me..."

It was just a horrible dream, but he knew better. He followed Severus home and confessed his darkest secrets to the one man he admired more than anything in this world. He tried to get the man to sleep with him for God's sake!

Harry couldn't stand it, the embarassment was too much. He helplessly stuffed his head into a pillow and held his breath, heat quickly flooding his face. Counting to ten, he contemplated his options.

One, two...

He could go back to sleep and pretend it never happened... But Snape would dig it out of him somehow.

Three, four...

Maybe pretending to sleep for the rest of his life would work? No, he would have to wake up sometime.

Five, six...

He could Apparate from the apartment and run like hell, but Harry knew that itch would not be satisfied if he chose that option.

Seven, eight...

He could always fake his own death...

Nine... Ten.

A ray of evening sunlight caught his eye and Harry released his breath as he hoisted himself up, decision made. He would rather grin and bear it than run away, and he knew Snape was waiting for him anyway. He stood and carefully walked to the window, inhaling deeply as he watched the blue sky melt into soft shades of violet and pink.

God, he would have to face those eyes, wouldn't he? He could remember the confusion and especially the anger. Snape had never been that passionately irate about anything in his life.

Gathering all his might and praying to Merlin, Harry picked up his shattered ego and braced himself. He would own up to his drunken rambling, but remorseful he would not be. He should have been wiser in handling this situation, smarter by not clouding his judgement with alcohol. He could only hope his chance of having Severus in his life was not ruined now.

The bedroom door creaked open as Harry poked his head out, observing the small hallway in skepticism. He quietly made his way to the living area, noticing first and foremost an elegant sofa that bordered a whole side of the room. Lush and inviting, it set a soft tone that collided with the bookshelf lined against the other half, candles randomly situated on the walls as well. Harry smiled at the downright relaxed atmosphere and how it erased every characteristic of Snape's image instilled in his mind.

Behind the living area sat an open kitchen space that Harry hadn't noticed before. His feet carried him towards the obstructed area before his mind reprimanded. He paused, however, when he crossed the barrier to find Severus sitting at the table, folded hands supporting his forehead, a cup of what Harry suspected tea abandoned completely.

Heavily caught off guard, Harry gasped and Snape lifted his head only slightly.

"My my... Mister Potter," Severus' eyes trailed slowly, inch by inch, up Harry's exposed tan chest. When he met Harry's eyes, however, he noticed dark shadows forming under those youthful irises, which hinted at embarassment and shame. He smirked, his stare dark and amused, "You look like absolute shit."

"Gee, thanks," Harry mumbled, a small blush settling on his cheeks as his eyes fell to the floor. He couldn't dare look into those unforgiving eyes. Not yet.

"Sit, Mister Potter," Severus emphasized Harry's name before standing himself and walking to the stove. He reached to a top cabinet and retrieved a small white plate, where he proceeded to dip into a big pot that Harry couldn't see. When Severus turned, Harry could make out a small helping of stew being drizzled across seasoned white rice.

Food? Once the thought entered Harry's mind his stomach simultaneously growled with a fiery passion. He felt absolutely ravenous, like he could devour an entire four course meal, if offered.

"If memory serves me correctly," Severus spoke quietly as he opened a base drawer and removed a metal fork, "I told you to sit. You will be wise to obey."

Harry pulled out a wooden chair, careful not to scrape the legs on the ceramic floor as a token of courtesy, he told himself. Some lessons the Dursley's beat into him were a force of habit now, courtesy or not. Avoiding contact from Snape, Harry sat and tried to calm himself for the storm that brewed ahead.

Severus approached the table and set the plate in front of Harry. Before Harry could speak, he pulled a crystal vial from his pocket and handed it to the boy before him.

"Drink this," he commanded, and at Harry's confusion he only shrugged. "It is not poison. Trust me, if I wanted to poison you, Mister Potter, I would have done so by now."

Harry downed the elixir in one gulp, then stared in amazement at the food before him. Severus obviously fixed it for Harry, right? His head clouded with a million thoughts, first and foremost being *why* had Snape not kicked him out yet? Why was the man being downright plausible towards him? Why hadn't he come after Harry in a blinding rage of fury?

"Stop thinking and eat, you moron. It's just food."

Severus' tone made Harry steal a glance upward at the impeding doom lingering over him. Severus folded his arms across his chest and glared at Harry until the boy picked up his fork and began eating. Pleased with Harry's progress, Severus turned to fix another cup of tea. Instead of resuming his place at the table, however, Severus stood with his bottom leaning against the marble counter as he watched Potter carefully.

As for the boy in question, Harry could not fathom his predicament. Less than twenty- four hours ago, he was smashed out of his mind and solicited his ex-professor for sex, yet here he was, fully recovered, shoving his face with amazing beef stew prepared by aforementioned professor, who had not kicked him flat on his ass. Yet, anyway.

The second Harry finished his meal, he stood and brought his plate the the sink. He rinsed the residue, then washed the plate and placed it carefully in the dry bin along with the fork he used. Unsure of what to do next, he turned and used his wrists to balance his weight along the counter as he stared at the floor tiles.

He could feel those eyes watching him, burning him with a single glance, but he still couldn't do it. He couldn't face Severus with the knowledge of what he did, what he said, hanging over his head.

"Do you have nothing to say?"

Harry shook his head, refusing to look. His heart pounded so hard he thought he might faint if this kept going.

Severus took a step towards Harry as he spoke, "I know you remember. The potion I gave you may have helped with the pain, but it makes sure you remember every single detail, every single mistake-"

"It wasn't a mistake!"

"Oh? So that's not regret written all over your face?"

"What? Regret? God, no, I-"

Snape cornered him by roughly gripping his arm and turning him so that they were face to face. Harry would have no choice now but to face the rejection, the repulsion, the hurt. Snape didn't notice the silent whimper when he crushed the brat's back against the marble.

"You never think about anyone else in that selfish world of yours, do you?" There was a deadly calm in Snape's eyes that held Harry's attention unwillingly. Harry held his breath as he gripped the edge of the counter, determined to not loose his control at all costs.

"You just take what you want with no regards for boundaries or rules, no. Whatever Mister Potter wants, Mister Potter gets, right? Well let me enlighten you to a common life lesson, Mister Potter," Severus inched closer, his breath now gliding over Harry's face as his voice dropped an octave, dangerously seeping through Harry's skin to make the boy shiver in a cold delight.

"You are not freely given anything in this world. You cannot expect and demand people to bend over backwards for your every move. I do not know what manipulative game you are playing at, but trust this," Snape pressed an open palm on Harry's abdomen, pressing him hard against the cool marble, his onyx eyes blazing as he stared into hazy emerald orbs, " I. Will. Not. Stand. For. It."

Heat rushing to his face, Harry ceased breathing for a single heartbeat. His mind could only focus on those eyes and how absolutely beautiful they sparkled in the sun's twilight. He felt Snape's glare penetrate his soul in that moment and Harry realized he never felt a longing such as his own to touch, caress, and soothe Snape's anger. He closed his eyes and shook his head, not able to withstand his own thoughts any longer. Something absolutely had to give or he'd surely go mad.

"It's not a game, dammit! How many times do I have to tell you?" Harry shouted angrily, but his hands gripped Snape's wrists and brought the man down on top of him, lips apologizing without permission.

Severus abruptly pulled away and stepped back, his eyes wide in surprise. It took him mere seconds to recover his persona, however, and he released his attack with ruthless accuracy.

"I can assure you, the last thing you want right now is to continue this little charade of yours-"

"It's not a fucking game, why don't you believe me when I show you that I care for you?" Each step Severus took back, Harry followed with a step forward.

"Care for me, Potter? Do you hear yourself? Why should I believe that I am to be anything more to you than a drunk escapade, a nightly liaison for the Golden Boy? You could have anyone, anyone you dare dream to lust for. Instead I find myself the object of your attraction. Me. Of all the people on this Earth, Potter, knowing our *history* with each other, what would make you believe that I would want anything to do with you!"

Silence. Golden silence.

Harry's jaw tensed at the bitter sting in Severus' words. This was not right, no; this is not what Harry wanted, not what Harry meant. This was wrong, all wrong, and he had to fix it. He had to fix it now, or be damned.

"I don't just want sex, I've never just wanted sex," he replied at last, his voice wavering as he spoke. "Last night was just my own anguish because I've missed you so much! You're the one who left, remember? How was I supposed to recover from that?! And the worst part is that I let you get away without saying anything. You would have never known how I felt back then. Seeing you again after months and months of worrying about you... You don't know what it's like, do you? I never realized just how much I cherished you, just being around you, until you left. Do you know what happened to me, just because I lost you? You. Yes you. I hated you, dammit, for all those years. Then you showed me the truth. How do you just expect me to leave you alone after all of that? After you survived? Do you honestly- really, truly, honestly- believe that I wouldn't care after finding out you survived? Did you expect me to just go on about my life without wanting to satisfy this, this, this craving I have to just be around you? Because that's what if felt like when you left. My life became an empty void, a waste of fucking space with no purpose. Every day I get pissed drunk to try and forget. I wanted to forget it all, everything. Most importantly, I wanted to forget the way your eyes speak your tale. And then, suddenly, I get an invitation to your 'Recovery Party, Order of Merlin, First Class'.. After months of trying to forget those feelings I kept bottled inside... I just lost it. I couldn't let you get away. Not again. Not ever again..."

Harry stopped yelling when he felt stray tears fall from his cheek. He turned from Severus, disgusted in himself for everything- his emotions, his lack of control, and this mess he created himself. He couldn't let the man he admired the most see him in this state, it was disgraceful. He braced himself on the counter once again as he felt his body shake uncontrollably.

Severus sunk into his chair at the table and found himself unable to speak; he had no scathing remarks for what his ears just witnessed. When his brain formulated his next sentence, he made sure to keep his voice as neutral and even as he could.

"You may find a shower will help to fix your broken spirit. You know where the bathroom is. Clean clothes await you."

Without a glance back, Harry quickly fled to the bathroom. Severus flexed his fingers together as his elbows came to rest on the table top. He slid his forehead between his hands, contemplating what his life would be like if Harry Bloody Potter would just formally disappear from his life, forever.


Harry turned the taps full blast towards hot, then took a step back to marvel at the thought of Snape living in a fully functional muggle house. The kitchen, the living room, dining room, bathroom, and bedroom suits were all furnished with muggle accessories; furthermore, the only trace of magic came from Severus himself. None of his personal items were enchanted, bewitched, or moving at all. How strange, Harry thought to himself, how interesting.

Fixated on the sink were a pair of freshly folded sweatpants and a T-shirt that looked way too big for Harry's thin form, a bath towel, and a bottle of lather that smelled of cinnamon spice. Harry inhaled the foreign liquid and smiled, he definitely smelled the same scent on Severus.

Glancing at his reflection in the mirror, Harry questioned his own sanctity at the moment. What was he doing here? He was clearly invading where he had no right to invade, Severus made that crystal clear. What was he to do? What should he do? What would be the right way to settle this, to appease them both?

He could only focus on his own face reflected back at him, his sullen eyes dull and empty, lacking any enthusiasm or life at anything. He fucked up, sure, but there was no way leaving now would do him any good. The cycle would just repeat, he would drink heavier and only do more things he would regret. He needed Severus to break his addiction, he needed this man in his life. No matter what it took, Harry knew without Severus his life would return to dust, meaningless dust manipulated by the wind in a hurried breeze.

Harry stepped into the glass case shower and sighed heavily. The water system allowed the flow to shower him from above and cascade from the walls, much like a real life waterfall. The soothing heat caressed his sore muscles, literally melting tension from his shoulders as the seconds ticked by. The steam procured from the enclosed glass only stimulated his relaxation further. Time ceased to exist within this small paradox and soon Harry found himself calmed, soothed, and fully attentive to his thoughts.

He needed to apologize, firstly, and rightly so. Severus had every right to snap, considering it's his life Harry meddled with now. Second, Harry needed to pace his actions from here on. Impulses, he concluded, were a dangerous thing to trust when he was around Severus. If he wanted the man to take him seriously, he would need to prove that he had a modicum of self control. Lastly, he would need to make Severus understand. Harry was skeptical, but if he failed to communicate himself clearly enough now, there would be no hope for his future with this man he so cared for.

A small draft shook Harry from his refuge as he faintly registered his hot water dwindling. He stepped from the shower with a new glow of determination pulsing in his veins. He quickly dried and dressed himself, pleased with his rugged lounge appearance, and cleaned up his mess before slipping from the bathroom to confront those deliciously demonic eyes he knew awaited his return.


The sun finally set by the time Harry wandered to the living room, which was set in a soft glow by the wall of lit candles surrounding the area. Severus sat on the sofa with one leg tucked under him, his attention focused on the book in his lap. His hair curtained his face for the most part and shielded Harry from his eyes. Harry couldn't tell if the man knew he was still there or not, he seemed relaxed in his own right. Harry genuinely didn't want to disturb him, but their discussion was not yet over.

"Severus..?" He stood in the entrance, unsure if he would be allowed to stay longer or if Severus planned on kicking him to the curb anytime soon. When Severus didn't respond, however, Harry quietly walked to the sofa and sat at the opposite end, content with watching the shadows dance across the man's stoic face.

The silence was strangely comfortable to Harry, as long as he could keep his eyes on Severus without disturbing the man. Severus shifted and instinctively swept a lock of hair behind his ears, giving Harry a clear view of those eyes he suddenly wanted to see.

"Severus...?" He tested, soft so he wouldn't annoy the man.

Severus' response was a low grunt noise, but his eyes remained trained on his book.

"What do you.. You know.. What do you think about this?" Harry asked hesitantly, then quickly added, "I want to know..."

"Eloquent as always," Severus replied, turning a page as he closed the book around a slender finger to keep his place. He closed his eyes and massaged his tender temple.

"I think, Mister Potter, you have a terrible sense of character. Whatever Gods have deemed me an absolute good person, by your definition, were highly mistaken."

He opened his eyes and found a bright pair of jade emeralds watching him intently, curiosity and amazement reflecting within those depths. He could not turn away. "I am not now, nor will I ever be, a kind, nice, or tolerable man, Harry. I have my flaws..." He paused to caress his temple again, closing his eyes to rest the strain in the low light.

"But if you still think it.. Necessary.. For you to need me, as you put it, then who am I to crush those hopes and dreams of yours?"

Deciding not to look at Harry, Severus resumed his position in his book without a glance elsewhere. The silence renewed itself.

"You.. You'll have me, then?"

Severus gave an exasperated moan before lifting his obsidian eyes to meet with Harry's.

"What exactly do you want from me, Mister Potter?"

Harry blushed but managed to keep his gaze locked with Snape's eyes as he spoke in a dreamy tone, "I want you in my life. That's all I'm asking, nothing more."

"But, you want more," Severus returned matter-of-factly, his eyebrows furrowed in the slightest.

"I can control myself. I will control myself. You mean a lot more to me than you know. I can't afford to mess this up. I will do anything, anything you ask of me."

Severus hesitated before the word slipped through his lips.

"Why?"

Harry's eyes rounded in surprise. He was taken aback by the emotions visible in Snape's thoughtful expression. Wonder, amazement, confusion, and doubt, all plainly slapped across the older's cracked mask. The heat suddenly became too intense, Harry turned his head and closed his eyes.

"Well... I... You.. You just mean a lot to me, that's why."

Severus narrowed his eyes justly.

"Foolish Gryffindor heroism. I won't tolerate it."

"It's nothing to do with heroism!" Harry snapped, fiercely snapping his head around to see Snape smirk before returning to his book.

"I suppose you'll tell me it's my dashing good looks and puppy-dog personality, then?"

Harry's eyes rounded in surprise before he released an audible sigh as the candlelight shifted along the walls. His heart just started to slow again once he realized that they were actually talking, and that some progress had been made. He smiled to himself as he continued to watch Severus read.

"How do you do it?" Harry asked a short time later, his curiosity piqued once more.

"How do I do what, Mister Potter?" Severus didn't bother removing his eyes from the page he was determined to finish.

"How can you stand to live like a muggle here? Are you even doing magic at all?"

"I certainly do not wish to discuss my living arrangements with you. As it stands, I do not have a use for my magic. I am perfectly comfortable here, as I am. My time in recovery taught me to be independent of many things, magic only one of them."

"I'm not saying it's a bad thing or anything.. It's just.. Unexpected, coming from someone as high buttoned as you are."

Severus grunted, eyes still trained on the book. Harry sighed, defeated, but determined to get an answer from this mysterious man.

"Why haven't you kicked me out yet? And why were you so nice to me?"

Severus snorted, "This is not nice, as I have told you, I am not nice."

"You were, though. You gave me potions, you fed me, and you let me use your shower. Not many people would entertain someone for this long after a mistaken attempt at seduction, Severus. You haven't kicked me out yet, so I'll take that as a good sign, yes?"

Severus remained silent.

"Severus..." Harry sighed, his emerald eyes pleading with the older man in earnest.

The older inhaled deeply before once again closing his book, not bothering to mark his place this time. He took the young man before him in close consideration. Potter's eyes absolutely sparkled in the candlelight and was thwarting any sense of judgement Severus had left. Harry unconsciously leaned in closer, drawn in by the way the light blended with the dark contrast and melted together with Snape's eyes. He was absolutely, undeniably, hypnotized by the daint gracefulness and simplicity of it all. Those sable eyes, starless without candlelight, would be his downfall.

"Someone once encouraged me, when doubts were stacked high against my favor, to not give up. Regardless of what you think, Potter, your words have never just flown carelessly by me. However, I do not wish to let that same person drown in a sea of destruction. You were there, when everyone else left. You stayed. Even when I hurt you, you continue to stay. Personally, I do not think I have any more say over the matter."

Severus could read Harry's open emotions so well. The shock still rendered him speechless, of course, but Severus knew Harry's determination would not stop. Severus would remain in dominance, however.

"You're not staying here tonight. I am sure my sanity will not survive two consecutive nights of your babbling in my presence."

Harry was sure he blinked, that smooth voice called him from his fixation on Snape's eyes back to reality.

"Fair enough," Harry stood and stretched, feeling lighter somehow. He walked to the front door and paused before asking, "When are you free again? Would you honor me with dinner? On me this time?"

"Presumptuous, aren't we? This wouldn't be your idea of a 'date' now, would it?" Severus called from the sofa, not bothered enough to stand yet.

"No, not at all, just a friendly dinner, that's all... I want to apologize to you as well. I caused a big deal out of this mess and it really is my fault. I really am sorry, Severus," Harry apologized, his eyes downcast.

Severus raised an eyebrow expectantly as he stood and made his way towards the door.

"Fine. Thursday nights are evidently free on my schedule. You may Fire Call me with further details," He replied as he held the door open.

Harry stood, bewildered, and before he could stop himself, he leaned over and wrapped his arms tightly across the man's neck.

"Thank you," he whispered into Severus' chest, "Thank you for being so damn understanding."

Severus wasn't sure why, but the urge to hold onto Potter overwhelmed him and so he gripped the boy's waist gingerly as the boy's arms tightened around his neck.

"Do not presume too much, Mister Potter," Severus purred in Harry's ear before pulling back and pushing Harry out the door.

"I wouldn't dream of it, Severus," Harry retorted, and Aparated from the premises.

Severus closed the door soundly before retreating to his rooms for the night, his heart fluttering uncharacteristically in his chest. Try as he might, he could not deny the fact that Harry Bloody Potter managed to stump him, yet again.

And he was not looking forward to the many changes ahead. Definitely not.

END