Warning: strong language.
The first couple months after the battle of Hogwarts, Harry Potter stayed at Hogwarts, he wanted to help with the repairs. During this time Harry and Severus talked and for the first time since they met, they talked honestly. Harry had been surprised by Severus, he never made one snide comment, he never said anything cruel or degrading. Severus had explained to Harry about his role, how he had used his father's looks to keep everyone in the dark, especially the Slytherin's whose parents were all strong supporters of Voldemort. Once the truth was out by both of them they talk all the time and Harry found Severus to be wonderful company. So if they were not working on the castle they were usually together, either talking or eating their meals together.
One thing that Harry was able to keep from everyone apart from Severus was his drinking. After he survived, everything finally got too much for him, the deaths of his family, the deaths of friends, the knowledge of sharing his body with a piece of Voldemort's soul. But that knowledge also meant more to Harry, if he knew sooner maybe he could have prevented more deaths, like Remus, Tonks, Fred and a lot of others. Harry never told Hermione and Ron anything about that even though they asked why he surrendered to Voldemort and why he survived the killing curse for the second time. At first Harry wasn't going to tell anyone that Voldemort had used the killing curse, but the captured death eaters and snatches kept yelling that Harry Potter can't die, they shouted that Voldemort used the killing curse on him but he survived again. When everyone heard that they all wanted Harry to explain, he wouldn't and usually walked away. Harry would sneak into one of the surviving classrooms or down into the kitchens, anywhere he could be alone. It wasn't just the questions or the attention he was receiving, it was also the way everyone looked at him, that unnerved Harry because he could see awe on some of their faces but Harry also thought some looked intimidated by him, a little scared and he had no idea why.
'They looked scared of me.'
'That will pass in time, but you must understand Harry. You killed the dark lord, so many have tried to kill him, including Albus, no one succeeded until you.'
'I know Severus, but I don't go around killing people, they should know that. Then if you think about this logically I never actually used the killing curse, he did, all I used was the disarming charm.'
'Yes, you explained what happened, they are not seeing that, all they are seeing is he is dead and you were the one that made that happen.'
'How long do you think?'
'A few more months, maybe as long as a year. You're staying here to help, once the boundaries are repaired then the enchantments to be place on Hogwarts so you will have some privacy.'
'Yeah, thanks for allowing me to stay.'
'You're welcome. Now tell me, are you still drinking as much?'
Harry shrugged, 'I just need it right now.'
'I understand why you do, I wish you would ease back, just a little.'
'I will soon, it helps me sleep without the nightmares. Why do I find you easy to talk to than I do my friends?'
'Because they cannot understand how you feel, I can. It's like what I told you, once I really looked at you and looked past your father's face I was able to work out how much you were suffering. Your friends never saw that, neither did Albus. So I got to see what type of person you really are and I knew what you were going through, it is something I can relate to. I know of only one person who noticed that you were not fine, as you always insisted you were.'
'You can understand, more than I realised, being forced to do what he wanted, you get it. But who was the other person?'
'Minerva, she might not show it Harry, but she does care for you. She realised that Albus should not have put so much on you, you were too young. She was there the night he placed you with those muggles, she tried to talk Albus out of that, but as he always said, he knew what was best, that was his argument when it came to you. I might not have been able to get out from under Albus' hold, but he knew I was displeased with how he manipulated you. He saw how you were, how they treated you and used that for his own purposes.'
'He really made me believed he cared, but he never did.'
'No, he didn't, he wanted to go to his death knowing he would be known as the mentor of the saviour. How it helps him in the afterlife I have no idea, maybe he believed he would survive. He was not an easy man to understand and kept everything to himself.'
'That's for sure, he used to confuse me all the time. That's why I got angry with him, he kept so many secrets from me, stuff that I should have been told, I needed to know.'
'You did and I often told him that, but like always he never listened to anyone else in regards to you. But I believe he confused everyone and he meant to. But I can tell you are still confused, tell me what about?'
'My sexuality,' Harry blushed brightly as he looked down at his hands sitting on his lap, 'I used to say this girl was pretty or this one, but recently that doesn't happen, now I think of boys being pretty and I know that sounds crazy, but it's how I feel.'
'Considering what you're life has been like Harry, it's not crazy at all. You are now an adult but you are now thinking about a life where before you never expected to survive. You did what all the other boys around you did, stared at girls or certain parts of girls bodies. Now though, you can think of yourself, so you are seeing who you are attracted to, which is boys.'
'Isn't that still frowned on?'
'No, it is accepted as part of who we are just like magic is part of us. Why would you believe it is frowned upon?'
'I heard a few things my uncle and cousin would say,' Harry shrugged.
'Muggles,' Severus shook his head in disgust, 'What I would suggest is that you keep that information to yourself.'
'But you said it was accepted.'
'It is, but there are people that will try to use you, try to hurt you, try to manipulate you and use your sexuality if they found out. Maybe you will have men approach you, try to make you believe they care for you when they don't. Which brings me to the reason I asked you here today, something I found here in this office that Albus had enchanted, once this is known by the public, than you will not know who to trust. But before I get to know, tell me what you believe about my sexuality?'
'Oh, um, well, you loved my mother so you must be straight.'
'Wrong, I am gay, but I did love your mother, as a friend. So you see, you can be yourself at the right time without revealing too much of yourself. You are naturally a quiet person Harry, so keeping anything private about yourself should come naturally to you.'
'Mainly because it ends up in the papers, it doesn't matter if it's true or not, they just have to write things about me. I hate seeing the things they write.'
'I know you do and they do usually write what they want and usually it is not true. How about we have a cup of tea and some lunch before we get onto business,' Severus gave Harry a smile then summoned a house elf to request some lunch. Severus realised that Harry felt more relaxed in his company than he did with anyone else, it was the only time Severus saw Harry relax. If he was with friends, he always seemed tense. When Severus would ask why, Harry said it was to do with Ginny Weasley, that they all believe Harry and Ginny belong together. But as Harry was not ready to reveal his sexuality he could not explain to them why it would not work with Ginny. That was another reason Severus wanted Harry to feel comfortable coming to him whenever he needed. Everyone needs someone they can trust to talk to, now Severus also had someone he could speak openly with. It might be seen as a strange friendship, but Severus believed that he and Harry were more alike than anyone realised. One thing concerned Severus, the way Harry was now looking at him. He believed that Harry was mixing up gratitude with real feelings. He could understand, Severus was the one helping him right now, when he needed it and Harry had opened up more to him than he ever did with his friends. So he was going to keep an eye on his young friend because the last thing Severus wanted to do was hurt Harry more than he already was.