Title: Next Time I Fall In Love
Author: One Twisted Witch
Pairing:Harry/Severus, Harry/OC, past Severus/Sirius
Warnings: Slash sex, angst, and love all the way around.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: They loved once, and forces beyond their control forced them apart. As always its a long road to love, but next time Harry falls in love, it will be with Severus as it's meant to be.
Author's Notes: It was a long road, but I finished.. I do so hope you enjoy. I wish to thank:: WC, B, M and R. Thanks to all these great ladies for putting up with me and all their hard work to make sure it flowed when I was panicking. Thanks to the Snarry Mods who were very understanding.. and putting this fest together again this year. Merry Christmas and Blessed Yule!
Mid June, 1998, summertime around Hogwarts
Harry Potter hummed a little tune he had heard earlier that day, as he was walking back from
He'd stayed on at the school after graduation while his best friends, Hermione and Ron, went to spend what time they had left with their families, before they returned to complete the tasks required to finally put an end to Voldemort and the war.
He and the Order of the
"It's time to be united, Headmaster. Not these games you are playing with our lives!" Harry had shouted. The Headmaster reluctantly agreed, his twinkle replaced by remorse.
In the days and months that followed, Harry became a madman in his quest to finally rid the world of Voldemort. He studied every Dark Arts book he could find, from
Harry chuckled to himself. Now that was a fight if there ever was one. He had gone down to the Potions office to apologize to Snape about his behavior during their lessons with Occlumency.
What began as an amiable discussion slowly descended into an all out argument that almost brought the dungeons down around them both. They had traded hexes and curses back and forth for almost an hour, without letting up; shouting at each other the entire time between speaking the spells. Back and forth they continued until Harry had sidestepped a curse, causing it to rebounded off of a mirror behind him, and back on Snape, sending him crashing into the wall behind him.
Severus Snape had conceded that, if Albus Dumbledore had explained why Harry needed the lessons, instead just telling him he needed them, then maybe things would have gone better. Wasn't it better to know every angle of the problem instead of just one side?
"How very Slytherin, Potter," Snape had breathed in hard. "Your skills of deduction are improving--surprisingly."
It wasn't a friendship per se...but it worked.
Severus expected Harry to work hard.
And Harry willingly complied.
Then somewhere along the way, there was shift in power; as to the leadership of the Order. It was gradually changing, as the direction of the wind. One by one, the members started looking to Harry; because this boy--almost man, was seeing them all as human beings, instead of pawns on a chessboard. He cared about them; he made sure they were fine when they returned from missions. He tried to do whatever he could to minimize the dangers in a situation they would be sent into.
During the meetings, if Harry said something regarding something that didn't sit well with him, or that he suspected something, they took note of it.
When Harry welcomed Lucius Malfoy into his circle, along with his son Draco, they were all wary, but they accepted it and moved on. They were at war. Petty differences needed to be put in the past and their importance negated.
When the Burrow was attacked, Harry ran head long into the fight. He didn't stop as he took up his mantle that sunny day in April. They had been enjoying Spring Break when the Death Eaters attacked. He didn't hesitate when he dueled. He didn't back down. And when Voldemort stepped into the fray, both Dumbledore and Harry faced him.
The battle was magnificent. At only seventeen, Harry Potter showed the Dark Lord why he was his equal, and Dumbledore reminded him why he was feared.
Lucius and Severus were outed that day as spies when Bella tried to kill Molly Weasley, as the matriarch was protecting the younger children that had gathered for the spring celebration.
But at the end of the day, Voldemort was short six of his
All in all, the day ended up very well.
Later that day, Molly fussed over Lucius and Severus like they were long lost sons: kissing them on the cheeks and brushing their hair back from their faces, and making sure they had food and drink. Both were blushing and looking uncomfortable, but secretly pleased with the fussing.
Harry stopped in his musing on the past, on his trek back to the castle, when he heard spell fire and the clang of swords. His own wand slid down into his hand as he quietly made his way towards the edge of the forest. His body was suddenly ready for anything as he stealthily crept through the trees, stopping when he heard Sirius' voice call out to Snape.
"You can do better, Severus." Sirius spoke with a distinctly seductive purr.
Harry frowned. He reached out and pushed the brush aside for a better view. Snape and Sirius were circling each other in the clearing, armed with swords and drawn wands. Harry settled onto the ground, in a lotus position amidst the brush, to watch the mock battle unfold before him.
Harry held his breath. In his opinion, both Sirius and Severus were fine male specimens. Both had lithe forms, full of strength and agility. Severus would never be drop dead gorgeous, but he was classically handsome. Even now, he was dressed in a dark poets shirt, dark trousers and knee-high dragon-hide boots. His hair was pulled back with a dark scarf, and the small trim goatee on his chin gave him the rakish look of a pirate from centuries past.
Sirius was his opposite, attired in a white button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up, his dark tailored kilt, gleaming leather knee boots, and his long curly hair wild, and unrestrained around his face. He looked like one of those rugged
Not that he ever read one. But the men on the front were sure nice to look at.
The dance that the two men were doing around screamed sexual tension, belying the challenge indicated by the presence of weapons. Harry was mesmerized; unable to look away as the men moved fluidly in the clearing, coiled and ready to spring at the slightest provocation.
They circled, then lunged. The sword fight was a dance, beautiful and deadly, as metal scraped against metal, the sound ringing off the surrounding trees. Both men looked cool and in control, but the sweat was making their shirts stick to their bodies. The harder they fought, the heavier their breathing. But their concentration did not waver.
Their words grew bolder as they exchanged taunts back and forth.
The dance continued until Severus had Sirius backed up against a nearby tree; his own sword across his throat and Sirius' weapon on the ground where it had fallen when Severus had disarmed him. They stared at each other, almost nose-to-nose, faces flush, and their chests heaving.
"Do you yield?" Severus purred.
Both men were breathing hard. Chests were heaving in the charged atmosphere.
Harry was holding his breath when Severus closed the distance between him and Sirius, and took his mouth in a dominant and bruising kiss. Harry's eyes widened, expecting Sirius to push him away and begin screaming bloody murder. Only he didn't.
Severus' sword had also slipped discarded, to the ground, forgotten, as both men seemed to be hungrily devouring each other.
"Claim your spoils, Severus. Fuck me. Make me feel it for days." Sirius' mouth was only a breath away Severus. The words might have been ragged as he spoke, but Harry heard them loud and clear, and his jaw dropped. But, he couldn't--didn't want to--tear his eyes away.
Severus needed no more prodding as he grabbed the other man and hitched him higher up on the trunk of the tree. His hands cupping the kilt covered arse. "I shall take my spoils," he said as he slid his hands up the bare muscular thighs, pushing up the hem of the kilt.
Sirius' left leg had hooked around Severus' waist, as the Potion Master's long fingers gripped his arse and spread him wide.
"Should I prepare you? Or just take you? Do you want to feel the hot burn as my cock fills you while you beg me like a bitch in heat?"
Harry's own member, in his cutoff denims, was as hard as it had ever been. Severus' voice and the mewling whimpers from Sirius were incredibly erotic and hot!
Sirius licked his lips, as he tried to regain control of his thoughts. "J-Just ease the way so I d-don't b-bleed. I w-want the p-pain."
Severus' eyes glinted and he grinned. "As you wish, Black."
Dropping his wand from his sleeve, he whispered a spell, then the wand returned to it's holster. Reaching down, he lifted both of Sirius' legs over his forearms, gripping and spreading the other man's arse wide above his now bare and slicked erection. Their gazes locked, and Harry's hand slid into his cutoffs and pants, wrapping around his own erection.
"J-Just fuck me already, Severus!"
Sirius felt his body suddenly drop, as Severus thrust upward, driving fully into him in one thrust. Severus only waited a moment before lifting him and pulling almost completely out, then slamming back into him. He had no time to catch his breath as Severus set a fast and hard pace. With his legs draped over the other man's arms, he had limited control, and it frustrated the hell out of him, but knowing Severus, he'd done it on purpose. So he did the only thing he could. Keeping his grip on Severus' shoulder with one hand, he wrapped the other around the back of his neck and pulled the snarky man into a bruising kiss, mapping out the inside of his mouth eagerly, tasting him and sucking the other man's tongue into his own mouth.
Severus shifted his stance a bit, and on the next thrust, hit Sirius' sweet spot, causing the man to break their kiss and cry out in pleasure. Sirius head dropped back against the tree and he continued to moan as Severus repeatedly hit his sweet spot over and over.
Harry couldn't look away. Severus the snarky professor was now a sex god in his eyes. The young man wanted to be Sirius. He wanted to be up against that tree, getting fucked within an inch of his life, to have that Slytherin's cock pounding into him. His hand sped up as he watched, his thumb passing over the head of his own cock on every upstroke. His other hand found the edge of his t-shirt, slipping under it to pull and pinch his nipples, causing him to hiss in pleasure. He could feel his own skin flush and arousal coiling low in his belly.
Severus leaned in and sunk his teeth into the side of Sirius throat, biting firmly and then laving the skin, tasting the salt and arousal on his skin. He felt strong fingers dig into his shoulders, as Sirius strained to lift himself and move against his thrusts.
"Dammit, Sev'rus! N-Need to m-ove!" Sirius growled, pinning Severus with what he hoped was a glare.
He immediately felt himself dropped to his feet, his arse feeling way too empty. Before he could open his mouth, he was grabbed again, spun, and bent against the tree, his legs kicked wide. Severus grabbed his hips, digging his fingers in, and buried himself in one thrust. Sirius howled, and grabbed at the tree seeking a firmer hold.
Still gripping one hip, Severus began to thrust. Raising the other hand high, he brought it down on Sirius arse, hard. Sirius yelped in the middle of a moan, shocked at the unexpected pain. Then as the heat and pain bloomed in his skin, he moaned again.
"Like that, did you, Black?" Severus asked, an evil tone to his voice.
"You kn-know blo-ody w-well I do!" Sirius looked over his shoulder, his eyes glazed with arousal. "H-Harder!"
"S-Such. A. Bossy. Greedy. Bottom. You are!"
Harry stared at his godfather's tight bare arse. The kilt was bunched up around his waist now, and Severus' trousers had slid down his thighs, giving him an unimpeded view of Severus pistoning in and out of Sirius' hole. He could see the bloom of red where Severus had struck, and now it was darkening and spreading with each new strike. The man was alternating sides every third or forth thrust, forcing the most foul and erotic babble to spill from his godfather's mouth. It only seemed to spur Severus on.
A moan erupted from Harry's throat, luckily unheard by the other men. He raised up on his knees and quickly pushed down his cutoffs and pants, then removed them. Sitting back down, he palmed his wand and spread his legs, casting 'Lubricous' on his other hand. Dropping his wand, he wrapped his fingers around his now slick cock. Dragging two fingers of his other hand through the lube, he reached down behind his sac and breached himself, and moaned, biting down on his lower lip. Pulling with one hand and thrusting with the other, his eyes locked on the men in the clearing, as he tried to match their pace.
Severus was no longer striking Sirius, as his arse was a lovely cherry red color now. He admired it as he widened his stance a bit, so he could put more force behind his thrusts. Sirius was pushing back hard, his arse slamming into Severus' body each time, jarring them both. Bits of bark were coming loose from the tree as Sirius' fingers continued grasping, trying to keep his hold. Gasping for breath between moans and cries, the arousal was beginning to coalesce into a ball of furied pleasure deep in his belly. He could feel his balls drawing up, the adrenaline making his legs shake.
Sirius moaned loudly and managed a nod. Leaning forward, Severus wrapped an arm around Sirius' waist and lifted him up flush against his own body. Taking the few steps forward, he pinned him against the tree and began to thrust again.
Noticing the men change position, Harry knew it wouldn't be long now. His pace sped up and he could barely contain his whimpers and moans. This would give him months of wank material, until he could figure out a way to get that sexy Slytherin to fuck him.
With their left hands, fingers entwined, against the tree, and Severus' arm around his waist, Sirius dropped his head back against the shoulder behind him and tipped his head away. When his collar pulled in the other direction, a lovely long expanse of pale neck appeared.
"P-Please. B-Bite. Make c-cum." Sirius' voice was barely above a whisper, as he made his plea for his lover to send him over the edge.
They were both shaking, tiring, adrenaline pumping; hair damp against their sweaty skin, and their shirts clinging to their bodies. Severus leaned in and licked the shell of Sirius' ear.
"Come for me. Sirius." He commanded in a whisper, right before he bit down where neck met shoulder. He thrust once more, and his orgasm exploded through his body, filling his lover with his essence.
As soon as the teeth sunk into his skin, Sirius howled and came, hard, coating the tree trunk with his seed. His vision swam as his body was overcome by the convulsions of his orgasm. His legs turned to jello, and he was grateful for the arm holding him up, though Severus was using the tree to keep them both upright.
When his godfather's voice filled the air, that was all it took to send Harry over. He wailed long and hard, as he came, his cries drowned out by those of Severus and Sirius. Pumping and squeezing, he didn't stop until his cock was empty and limp.
Severus' forehead rested on the back of his lover's shoulder, his arms wrapped tightly around the strong chest and waist. As their breathing finally slowed, he loosened his grip and moved back enough to allow Sirius to turn around. Black has already cast a wandless cleaning spell over them--the only wandless one he had managed to learn.
He looked into Severus' eyes and saw both victory and contentment there. A mischievous smile stole across his face. Severus' eyes flicked down to his mouth and an elegant eyebrow arched. Sirius felt warm, long-fingered hands cup his face as Severus' lips covered his own. He wrapped his arms around the taller man and went with the sensations. The kiss this time was slow and passionate, both men taking their time to thoroughly enjoy each other's taste.
Harry sat, wand in one hand, cutoffs and pants in the other, watching the men kiss. This shocked him even more than what had transpired previously. That was the kiss of lovers! This was not a one-off! His brain was befuddled. When he realized that the men had moved apart and righted their clothing, He hurried up and cast a Cleansing Spell over himself and put his shorts and pants back on.
He would have to think on this revelation later. He scooted back quietly in the bushes and quickly made his way back to the castle.
Harry was walking down one of the long corridors of the castle, where most of the Order occupied family quarters, when one of the doors opened and Sirius stepped out, walking backwards, with an armful of a robe-covered Hermione. And they were kissing!
Harry's mouth dropped open. Not even a month ago, Sirius was in the forest with Severus Snape. Now here he was with a half-naked Hermione out in the hallway where anyone could see them!
Anger filled Harry. What was his Godfather? A playboy? Just last month, he was letting Severus fuck him in the forest....Now here he was with Hermione. His best friend and one of the few girls he considered a sister!
"Oh, hello, Harry!" Hermione said as she cuddled up closer to Sirius.
"Please tell me-not my godfather?"
"Oh, please, Harry," Hermione giggled. "Everyone deserves to have a... little fun."
Harry's eyes bugged and he sputtered. "Mione! What are you saying?!"
Grinning, a mischievous glint in her eyes, as she wrapped her arms around the older wizard. "Sirius is very pleasant company."
He shook his head. He didn't recognize his Hermione anymore. Everyone was changing. Too fast.
Sirius kissed Hermione once more and stepped away.
"We'll see, Hermione. We'll see." He winked at Harry and sauntered down the hall.
Hermione watched until he turned a corner and she could no longer see him.
Harry mumbled a goodnight, and hurried after his Godfather. "Sirius!"
Sirius stopped at the end of the hallway where it tee'd off into different directions. "Hey Pup!"
"Sirius! Can we talk?!"
"Sure! Let's go to my rooms. I need a shower anyway. What's on your mind?"
Once they were in Sirius' rooms and the older man had disappeared into his bathroom, Harry began pacing. Why did it bother him that Sirius was with Hermione? He understood in the time of strife and war, that relationships come and go. But, what about Severus? Their actions the other day, well, it was clear they'd been together for some time. It didn't seem to bother Sirius, and he hadn't seen Severus acting any differently. So, why was he worrying about it?
"Okay, Pup? What's wrong?" Sirius said walking out in a bathrobe and pajama bottoms, rubbing a thick towel against his hair.
Perching on the edge of the sofa, Harry tried to gather his thoughts: how he should start this, what to ask first. He finally looked up, curiosity and concern in the green eyes.
"How do you do it?"
Sirius frowned. "How do I do what?"
"I saw you with Severus. Now with Hermione? What are you trying to do?"
"I don't understand, Harry."
"How can you sleep around! How can you be so--so--promiscuous?"
"My, that's a big word. 'Mione teach you that one? What's wrong with being... unrestricted?"
"And how do you know about Severus? We never did anything where anyone could see us!"
Harry felt the blush burn his cheeks and spread down his neck to his chest, as he looked down. His answer was mumbled.
"What? You need to speak up. I didn't catch that."
"I-I saw the two of you w-when I was coming back f-from the lake. Last month. In the clearing."
Sirius smirked. "Ah, gave you a show did we?"
"Bloody Hell, Sirius, the both of you acted like long time lovers. Sure didn't seem like a one off to me!"
Sirius tossed the damp towel back toward the bathroom, ruffled his hand through his still-damp hair and sat down on the sofa next to his godson.
"That's because, Pup, it wasn't. It's never been a one-off between me and Snape."
The look in the green eyes became even more confused. "Explain, Sirius."
"Why are you so defensive about this?"
"Just tell me!"
Sirius sighed. "Very well. I guess it really doesn't matter at this point if you know, but, you must promise to keep it to yourself! There are those that must not know. At least not until after Voldie is dead and gone!"
Harry looked at him oddly for a moment before agreeing.
"Snape and I became interested in each when we were still students here. We got along well enough and found out we were smashing at sex together. But, the fact that I hadn't been Sorted into Slytherin like the rest of the Blacks, was a big problem. He couldn't be seen fraternizing with a Gryffindor, and I couldn't be seen doing the same with a slimy Slytherin. The Slytherin's saw me as a turncoat, a traitor. So, Moony and Pads--your Dad-- came up with a plan to make us look like enemies, even though we were far from it."
Harry's eyes widened. "The Whomping Willow incident..."
"Yup. And it worked like a charm!!"
"But what's Hermione got to do with it?"
Sighing, Sirius said, "Nothing. She's just matured into a voluptuous, beautiful young woman, with an entertaining and interesting mind."
"Sirius..." Harry crossed his arms and gave him that 'don't hand me that shite' look.
"Well, she is! And bloody damn good in bed too."
Harry continued to glare.
"Alright. Severus and I aren't meant to be together. It would always be a 'scratching a mutual itch' thing. We've always been the best at sex with each other, but that's all it is. I can't settle and he's too wary of everyone to stop and make a go of a relationship."
"What do you mean?"
"Past experiences have made it...very difficult... for him to trust anyone to get that close."
"Why? Who hurt him?"
"That's not my story to tell, Harry."
"So. The way you act toward each other. Around others. It's all...an act?"
"Yes. During Voldemort's first rise, a lot of us pureblood's had to find a way to stick together. Especially when some of our families were forcing their children to take the Dark Mark. Severus' Great-Uncle Malcolm was in the thick of things. And Severus was brilliant in Potions, in his brewing and in his creating. He was a prime candidate for the Dark Lord. His mother was good woman, but she was weak when it came to going against her family."
"They took him and... forced him to take the Mark?" Harry asked, clearly shocked and repulsed.
"The same night. Lucius and Regulus as well. They held Lucius' Mother captive and threatened to hurt her if he didn't comply. Regulus took the Mark to keep them from killing our little sister. But in the end, it was for naught. The snake-faced bastard killed them anyway." I think sometimes, Bella went mad that night when they hurt her amd killed her."
"You had a sister?"
"Yes, her name was Guinevere. She was beautiful and shy. Quiet and loving. My father was never the same."
"Who brought her to Voldemort?" Harry asked, his voice barely a whisper.
Harry left not too long afterward. He had a lot to think about. He'd heard the stories from various members of the Order, about the fist rise of Voldemort, but things didn't sink in until now, like the brutality and underhanded schemes, to get wizards and witches to join him.
Harry was going to greatly enjoy in sending the bastard to Hell, where he belonged.
Three Months later.....September....
Severus was conducting dueling training in one of the empty rooms at the castle. Different individuals were sparring at various locations around the large room. Harry was standing off to the side alone, dueling with his own invisible opponent. He was practicing with a pair of Sai at the moment; and becoming quite proficient in their use. Severus stood in the shadows and watched, silently.
The young man had ripped off his old white tee shirt earlier, leaving him standing in worn blue jeans that had seen better days and hung low on his hips, when they first started going through drills and different stances. Harry had warmed up with Tai Chi when he first arrived, just as he'd done everyday since Severus began again to teach him the art of Occlumency. It was his meditation--a way of clearing his mind, a way to bring out the cunning Slytherin in him, and keep the rash Gryffindor at bay.
The boy who came to Hogwarts at eleven years old was now on the cusp of manhood. He was beautiful. Not that he would confess that to anyone. Not even to his favorite drinking partner, Minerva.
Ah, a woman who could drink a room full of rowdy wizards under the table with a good bottle of twenty year old Scotch.
He continue his silent observations as Harry reached out during one of the positions and picked up a bamboo Tai Chi Bokken and continued on without stopping or hesitating. Moody had argued with him and Sirius at order meetings about Harry learning swordplay and dueling as such. He felt learning to fight with swords was a waste of time.
The Dark Lord wasn't going to call Potter out for a formal duel with Muggle swords. He would take the first chance he had and cut the boy down with a Killing Curse.
Moody wanted Harry completely immersed in the Dark Arts. He wanted him to become a weapon, thinking of nothing more than killing. The man obviously cared nothing for the boy as a human being.
The boy was very intelligent, but he had hidden it well: something Severus couldn't understand once he'd realized the boy wasn't an imbecile. It took him a while but he eventually divined the reasoning behind it all, and the first chance he had, he planned to pay dear Lily's poor excuse of a sister a visit, and give her a fitting punishment for her maltreatment of young Harry. Beating a child for good grades! Those Muggles thoroughly disgusted him. In their particular case, maybe the Dark Lord had the right idea...
When Harry finally finished his warm-up, Severus stepped from the shadows.
Harry's eyes popped open as Severus stepped from the shadows. All he could see now was the raw sensual beauty of the man. This was no longer the dark, snarky, brooding man, with an acid tongue that he'd had as a professor for years. There was more to the man than just what everyone saw on the outside.
Severus Snape was intelligent. Cunning. An excellent fighter and dueler. A Master of Potions. Strong both mentally and physically. Fit. Sexy. Moved with a feline grace. With a voice... oh, that voice... the rich timber of which could make him come in his trousers with only a few well chosen sentences...
And even now, since he'd watched that scene in the forest, Harry could see even more of the REAL Severus Snape.
A man just like the rest of them.
Severus walked up to him, seeming to glide. Stepping into Harry's personal space, he whispered. "I know you saw us," he purred, leaning in close. "Stayed to watch. Did you like it when your godfather....begged? Screamed?" He had known that someone was out there in the forest, watching. Harry hadn't been quite as stealthy as he thought, when Severus caught him leaving through the brush.
Sirius had already moved on to someone else. The man hadn't wanted anything permanent, only the occasional fuck. He was living wild and free while he could.
Devilish amusement danced in the onyx eyes. It was immediately, but only momentarily, replaced by surprise, when the young man leaned in as well and licked seductively up the shell of his ear. "Think you could make... me... scream... beg... Severus?"
"I bet, I could make you beg, Severus. Make you lose your well-earned and tight control."
Severus stepped back. "What makes you think I would be... willing to, Mr. Potter?"
"See it as a challenge to play with fire." Harry purred as he stepped away, picking up his white tee shirt and wiping his hot and sweaty chest off.
"You may find yourself burned."
"What's a little pain, when you find pleasure in it?"
Severus eyed the young man silently for a moment. Was he prepared to play with the fire that was Harry Potter?
Harry smiled slightly as he turned and walked away from Severus. Now the older man had something to ponder: this other side of Harry Potter.
Harry Potter, the sexual being.
It began that day. A glance, an occasional brush of the hand, a small smile. A sensual dance of touch and heated looks. Severus found himself some days wondering about this game he was playing with Potter. He found himself almost unsure as to what to do next, until, with something new, the young man would throw him off balance again.
As he had a few days previously, when Severus had been walking down the dim corridor away from the dungeons. He'd been suddenly whisked into a shadowed alcove, silenced by soft lips and a whispered, "Severus", before he'd even had a chance to pull his wand.
Severus had never, in all his years, allowed anyone get close to him. Sex had always been something instinctual--an itch that he scratched, when he could no longer ignore it. It had only been something that was brutal and raw. No attachments. No emotions. But here was Harry bloody Potter, breaking down the emotional walls he had erected over the years.
It was a sultry desire that was building, a haze of pheromones and need that was all want. Everyday was different. It wasn't a dance of just sex.
Somewhere along the way, as they continued their verbal and physical altercations, something changed. The touches started to elicit a feeling of utter enjoyment. Severus began to crave the presence of Potter. They trained together. They dueled. They talked.
Then they found themselves in long discussions. Severus talked about Lily as he remembered her growing up, both before and while attending Hogwarts. Those deep green eyes locked on his as Potter--no, Harry listened raptly to tales of the mother he couldn't remember. Severus had been stunned when he'd first realized that the young man knew nothing of his beloved mother, and Severus' best friend, except that he had her unique eye color. Severus was also taken aback when he also realized that there was much more of dear Lily in her son, than there was of his arrogant father. It caused him silent anguish for all the vile treatment he'd heaped upon the boy over the years because of his 'blindness.'
As September bled away into October, Severus and Harry settled into a routine as the world continued around them, and unfortunately, the war as well--order meetings, drills, training, preparing, and thwarting attacks by Voldemort, one day at a time.
Severus noticed one thing amongst the members: a desperation. Walking the stone corridors at night, he found more than one couple in the shadows or in one of the many empty classrooms, evidently seeking comfort--a distraction from the war.
It seemed that he found the most interesting couples when Harry walked with him. They'd happened upon Longbottom and the oldest Weasley, in a very intimate embrace, outside the greenhouses one night. That was a pairing he hadn't seen coming, but Harry had just smiled knowingly.
Or, during a heated argument between Draco Malfoy and Ron Weasley at the last Order meeting, the youngest red head had finally grabbed the blond and kissed him, effectively silencing them, and everyone else in the room.
"I didn't see that one coming," Harry had whispered to him later, as everyone was leaving.
But the biggest surprise and a very loud warning to one and all, was finding Hermione Granger in the Prefect's bathroom with both Weasley Twins.
"Locking charms! A Do Not Disturb sign! The itch to have sex.. and everyone forgets where they are and clothes go flying! They forget their manners, and don't give a toss who might hear or see them!"
Severus' cheeks were flushed. He'd been ranting ever since he backed quickly out of the Prefects' Bathroom, twenty minutes before. Harry walked silently by his side, being the sounding board, as he tried, barely, to curb a grin. When they had reached the East Wing, Severus finally settled himself in one of the window seats, looking totally exasperated. Harry leaned against the wall, his arms folded casually across his chest, and one ankle crossed over the other, as he studied his companion.
"Well, Severus, the Muggles have a saying; "If you can't beat them, then join them." He grinned mischievously, as he waited for the other man to register his words. "And, it's not as if someone else couldn't have caught you and Sirius, that day out in the forest."
Severus stood swiftly and elegantly up from his seat. Like a large cat stalking it's prey, he took the few steps and cornered Harry, against the wall, between his arms. "Getting caught, being flippant about your surroundings, and just doing it is one thing but one must be an artist. Love making is beautiful. Raw and sensuous. The act is something to be shared. To be in control," Severus dropped one arm and let it slide down to Harry's hip. His voice all dark chocolate and aged whiskey. "I would stroke and caress you, until you felt you could take no more. Touching, biting, and tasting you, with fingers, tongue, and lips. You would beg me. Then I would make you feel the burn as I entered you."
Harry was trembling ever so slightly, eyes immediately dilated with arousal. His nostrils flared, as he breathed deeply. "What if I fucked you, Severus? Would you keen as I tasted every inch of you?" His voice was low, but rough, as he stared up at the other man.
They were at the next fragile step, th e point of no return. The next moment could end the tentative friendship or be the greatest thing he, Severus Snape, would ever do. And the decision he made, could change his future forever--and not for the worst, as had happened in the past. He stared into Harry's viridian eyes, so like his beloved Lily's. James' traits no longer stood out in the young man any more. No, Harry, both emotionally and physically, followed his mother's traits.
He stepped back and extended his hand. "Come."
Harry looked up and down the deserted corridor before returning his gaze to Severus. He quirked his head to the side, "Here is--"
Severus pulled the younger man to him, his eyes serious and his voice low as he spoke, "You are worth more than a quick and dirty shag in the hallway."
Harry studied Severus for a moment, before snapping his fingers. A rambunctious House Elf in an over-sized tie-dyed tee shirt, mismatched socks, and a pair of wild Jamaican print shorts appeared.
"Dobby, bring me the bottle of Alpine ice wine, that Viktor Krum sent last month."
Bouncing excitedly, Dobby replied. "Yes! Master Harry Potter, Sir!"
Severus' eyebrow rose. "Yours?"
"Like the proverbial Muggle cat, he's chosen to attach himself to me."
Dobby popped back and handed the clothed covered bottle to Harry with a smile. "Is there anything else Dobby can be helping Master Harry Potter with, Sir?"
"Nothing. Thank you, Dobby."
A loud pop announced the departure of the house elf. Severus held out his hand again. This time, Harry took it firmly. No words were spoken as they moved quickly toward the dungeons. Never in all his years at Hogwarts, would Severus have allowed himself to be seen holding hands with anyone, especially Harry Potter. But tonight, he didn't care.
He was following his heart and his feelings, for once. The old coot's blue eyes would be twinkling madly right now, if he could see them. Knowing the old man, and all his meddling ways, he was probably watching them right now, through one of those crazy gadgets in his office!
Severus' quarter's were neat and orderly, with only a few books laying about here and there. A case of potion ingredients waited in the corner to be put unpacked and the items stored. The stone walls were visible and decorated with a few tapestries and paintings.
Severus opened the bottle with care and poured two glasses, handing one to Harry.
Harry sat on the edge of one of the chairs holding a chilled glass of wine, slowly sipping the cool beverage, savoring the taste as it blossomed across his taste buds. "This harvest was a very good one."
Severus stood, leaning against the fireplace mantle, his glass held elegantly between long fingers, as he rolled a sip of the ice wine over his tongue. He swallowed slowly. "Indeed. I've rarely tasted better. Does Mr. Krum send you wine often?"
"No. He has family that owns the vineyard and winery. He sent me a couple bottles last year and again this year. I've shared most and kept one for myself. It stemmed from a conversation we had concerning places I've never traveled..." Harry drained the last sip from his glass. "...things I had never tried..."
"And what things have you not tried, Mr. Potter?"
"I've never felt the sand between my toes on a beach somewhere. I've never swam in the ocean. I want to travel to
"I, myself, have experienced the ocean, but here in
Harry smiled crookedly. "Nothing but a suitcase and a wand in your pocket, and the open road?"
Severus held up his glass. "If you wish."
"There's a lot of things I've wished for over the years."
"Wishes are for dreamers?"
"Dreams were pretty much all I have had."
"If we don't dream, we don't work for a better future, Harry."
"That's very un-Slytherin of you, Severus."
"You are mistaken. Slytherins dream. The dreams are just different than what you are accustomed to."
Harry stood up, set his glass aside, and walked towards Severus. The older man had to admire the lithe figure as he approached. A deep red turtle neck and black fitted denims set the young man's body off quite nicely. What was underneath was most likely quite nice as well.
He took Severus' glass and drank the remaining wine, and then leaned up to kiss him; tentative and light, just a brush of lips at first. He pressed his lips more firmly against Severus' as the kiss was returned. Long fingered hands slid under his shirt and up his back, touching and caressing along the way. He pressed his tongue against Severus’ lips, sweeping them, gently forcing it between them. He heard a moan, as Severus granted entrance and sucked in Harry’s tongue. Feeling his tongue being twisted and pressed in the warmth of Severus’ mouth created a flushed and very urgent arousal to swim below his stomach and into his groin. With a whimper, he jerked his hips forward and a returning thrust sent shivers of desire to pool into his hardening cock. He ground their hips together, soaring when he felt an answering hardness against his own.
Harry leaned back, "Severusss," he hissed. “Bedroom. Now.”
He felt Severus’ cock grow harder and his body radiate heat, aroused by the hissing tone. Parseltongue had never sounded that good coming from the Dark One's mouth, and seemed such a welcome gift now, knowing that it elicited such pleasure and those needy moans coming from the older man. Severus pulled away slightly; leaning down, he trailed nibbling kisses along Harry's his jaw and up to his ear, taking the lobe in his mouth and tonguing it. Strong hands held on to his biceps, as he heard desire in the hums amid the kisses.
“Severusss,” he hissed again.
How they ended up on his bed, Severus wasn't quite sure, but Severus pushed Harry back towards his bedroom, all the while stroking and kissing along a jaw, a cheek, his lips- whatever he could easily reach as they moved. As they entered the bedroom, he scrambled for his wand and hastily lit the candles around the room. Still walking, he grabbed the hem of Harry’s jumper and yanked it up and over the boy’s head. Static charged and crackled, but Severus thought it no contest to the wild sparks that were coursing through him, settling into a thrum in his cock. He pressed the young man back to lie flat along the center of the mattress, head resting on the pillows. He leaned back onto his heels, staring at the beautiful body spread out before him. Smooth, lean lines of tanned skin, a smattering of dark hair on the chest and a thicker line that disappeared beneath Harry’s denims; a promise of hidden treasure.
He looked back at the lust-filled darkening viridian eyes. ‘Merlin, but he’s beautiful,’ he thought, leaning in to press his lips hard against Harry’s. Their kiss was aggressive, control passing back and forth for a while, until he felt Harry surrender to him. His body relaxing, giving way to Severus’ own, urged him to stretch his body over Harry’s length and press their groins together.
Harry’s head thrust back into the pillows and he let out a gasp.
“Fuck me, Severus. Please.”
At the pleading tone, any semblance of control over his lust was shattered, and he ground hips, mouths and chests in intense passion. Rolling off Harry, Severus made short work of their clothes, throwing them haphazardly of the bed as each item was removed. Naked, he studied Harry’s body again, drinking in every pore and sinew of him. From the impossibly messy hair, bright green eyes, and red full kiss-bruised lips, down a trim body of sun-kissed, only slightly scarred, skin. Small in stature, but well muscled and lean, he had the perfect Seeker's body, muscles rippling gently under the skin with each movement. The surprisingly thick cock pulsed as he stroked along the top of each thigh. Dark with arousal and already weeping, it bobbed in its nest of dark curls.
Never before had he been treated to such a feast. Whether it was Harry’s exquisiteness or that he was seeing the young man's masculinity anew with eyes and heart now open, he didn’t know. And, as Harry writhed and whimpered under his attentions, he didn’t care.
Raining soft kisses into every dip and valley, and along each limb, he worshipped Harry; he blessed him with his lips, and his fingers, and with the heat of his body. So beautiful. Harry’s hands were buried deep in his own silky strands and he delighted at the sharp tugs that sent trickles of pleasing pain through his nerves. He drew his mouth down the squirming torso, already scenting the musky scent of him. Harry keened as Severus whispered soft, torturing kisses to either side of his shaft, just nudging the silky member with one cheek.
“Please,” he moaned, “Severusss.”
Groaning, Severus opened his mouth and took Harry’s cock in, wrapping his tongue around the head, teasing, as he tasted the leaking essence there. Harry’s hips jerked and he felt the hard cock hit the back of his throat; swallowing to control the gag reflex, he allowed his throat to open and take Harry deeper. As he knelt over his soon-to-be lover, expertly teasing and tormenting him with oral pleasure, he reached down and wrapped a hand around his own straining erection, and began stroking himself. Harry let go of his hair and reach his hand beneath Severus’ head to his own balls and gave them a sharp twist to forestall his release. Severus groaned again, feeling a hot surge of desire ram into his balls at the sight. He let go of his cock, loving the feel of it as it sprang up to hit his stomach.
Whispering Lubricuous, he slid his hand down Harry’s shaft and fondled him, rolling the small orbs against each other. He then stroked the smooth skin behind them, causing Harry's hips to jerk upwards again, and be swallowed all the way into his throat again. Drawing back up slowly, Severus laved the head still in his mouth, soothing the urgent cries into wordless sounds of ecstasy. That tight little pucker flexed and those strong thighs shuddered as he began to lightly stroke and slowly press a finger in, pushing against and past the tight ring. Harry’s moans were becoming more desperate and Severus could see his sac tightening against his body. He sped up his strokes, his head bobbing up and down, matching it to the rhythm of the finger buried in Harry's body. Adding another finger, he hooked them, probing until he found and rubbed that magical bundle of nerves. Harry’s hands clenched in Severus’ hair and he keened as he fell over that peak, shooting warm streams of come into the back of Severus' throat. Continuing to suck and swallow, Severus finally released the quiescent cock, with a kiss to the tip, and looked up to see Harry lying limp and sated. Ignoring his own aching arousal, he began kissing Harry’s body again, as his fingers continued to stroke inside Harry.
“Severus, in me, please.” Harry begged.
“Pull your legs up, Harry.”
Severus removed his fingers and settled between Harry’s thighs, until his cock was nudging at Harry’s entrance. Placing Harry’s calves on his shoulders, he took a deep breath, willing his desire to abate, and watched his cock slowly disappear into the body below him.
“Merlin!” he gasped.
As he buried himself, flush against Harry, the younger man grasped the back of his neck and pulled him down into a searing kiss. The heat around his cock, the slickness, Harry's legs now wrapped around his arse, plus the almost overwhelming kiss, was more pleasure than Severus had ever felt. Thoughts and emotions tumbled through him, as detritus in a storm. Madness, connection, love, passion, sharing; all these whipped and molded Severus into a different form. A different form that was all Harry, yet left Severus feeling intrinsically whole.
He began to thrust, slowly at first, the movement deepening and becoming more urgent as pleasure and heat swirled in him. He nibbled on Harry’s lips, suckling them, teasing them. He felt Harry harden again, his cock pressed and stroked, between their bodies. He snapped his hips faster, thrusting deeper and deeper.
“Harry… My Harry,” he growled into the warm mouth of his lover.
Harry was stroking Severus’ back, running his nails along his shoulders and up the back of his neck, causing his spine to arch at the sensation.
“Harder, Severus. Fuck.
And he did. With a growl, he thrust into Harry, his balls slapping against the other man’s. He felt Harry squeeze a hand between them and start to pull and tug in fast, rough twisting jerks. The feeling morphed into the image in his mind and he bucked and rammed into Harry’s arse twice more before the heat pooling in his cock embraced him, drowned him and then burst into a breathtaking orgasm. As the waves took him, shaking him, he was vaguely conscious of Harry going rigid and a hot wetness between their bodies.
Severus fell onto Harry, who wrapped his arms and legs around the older man, as they rolled to the side, still facing each other. Shushing him and pressing sweet kisses on his shoulder, Harry eased the shuddering body from him, allowing Severus to slip free of his body, before pulling him close again.
“So, this is what it feels like,” Severus sighed, exhausted.
“What do you mean, what what feels like? Harry asked.
“To be me--unrestrained, me, unfettered, open. To be me. Not the man everyone has seen for the last twenty years...”
With that, he slipped into a light sleep, Harry joining him soon after.
They awoke some time later and made love again and again. Each one a wonder he experienced for the first time, but four rounds later, his body was boneless and sweaty amongst the twisted silk sheets. Even now as he and Harry lay together, still intimately joined from their latest bout of lovemaking, breathing heavily as they drifted off to sleep, the beats of their hearts slowing down to normal, Severus Snape wouldn't trade this a moment of this day for anything in his life.
The days that followed, the sex was wild and passionate, mind bending, and complete. They connected at a level Severus never thought he could with another.
When the end of November rolled around, Severus and Harry hadn't been out of each other's company for nigh on six weeks. Albus had a permanent smile on his face, and a twinkle in his eyes to match, even though there was a war raging outside the castle wards.
Minerva walked into the teachers' lounge one afternoon, and caught Severus and Harry kissing. Her eyes widened, and she shook her head, turned and walked right back out, fanning herself furiously.
Severus was blushing when he realized that Minerva had walked in on him and Harry, but chose to say nothing. "That old cat. She'll have something to say later."
"Then you can punish me later, or I can punish you... by tying you to the bed and having my wicked way with you."
A certain part of Severus' anatomy came immediately to attention, and he gave Harry a feral gaze. "What an interesting suggestion."
Just as Harry smiled, the castle shook from the foundations up. "The wards!" Severus whispered.
"He's here," Harry said, looking towards the ceiling. "He's brought the battle to us."
Severus started to move Harry off of him and stand, but the younger man stopped him. "Severus!" His green eyes were hard but serious.
"Harry?" Severus frowned.
"Promise me you will stay safe. Promise me."
Severus looked up into eyes he'd come to enjoy, his voice soft but firm. "I shall endeavor to do all within my abilities to survive both physically and mentally intact. Will that suffice?"
Harry studied his lover, "I love you, Severus Snape. Just don't get yourself killed or hurt." With that he stood and pulled Severus up with him. "Now, let's go kick some Dark Lord arse!"
The day after.....
Arthur and Percy Weasley ran from the Apparition point as fast as they could. They had overheard Umbridge speaking with Moody, Scrimgeour, and Fudge, about their plans to arrest Harry Potter and send him to Azkaban. Their consensus was that Harry was too big of a risk now that he had finally defeated the darkest wizard of the century, and their fears were that he was most likely was going to become the next Dark Lord. Or try to take over the Ministry. The people would follow him now that he had finally beaten the Dark Lord. 'Preposterous!' thought Arthur as he and his son crashed through the main doors of the school, heading for the Headmaster's office.
They were stopped by Minerva as she stepped out the doorway, "Gentlemen! What's the rush?"
"It's the Ministry!" Percy was frantic. "They're coming to take Harry and put him in Azkaban!" He leaned over and put his hands on his knees as he tried to slow his breathing.
Minerva's eyebrows went up. "Who's going to put Harry in Azkaban?!"
Arthur steadied himself against the stone wall behind him, "Umbridge, Scrimgeour, Moody and Fudge, have decided that Harry is a threat and they are coming to apprehend him and place him Azkaban before he decides to become the next Dark Lord or tries to take over the Ministry with Dumbledore's help."
"Merlin's knickers! That's an outrageously silly idea!! Harry is no more going to be the next Dark Lord, than I am going to become Rita Skeeter." Minerva's eyes flashed cat-like in anger. She turned and hurried back down the hall. "Come, we must go to the Headmaster immediately!"
The two men struggled to stand upright again and rushed after her. They were soon joined by Severus Snape as he came up from the dungeons with a crate full of bottles; potions for the Infirmary.
"Whatever is going on?" He asked.
Percy stopped and turned. "Those fools at the Ministry are on their way to arrest Harry on charges that he's the next Dark Lord. We have to get him to a safe house. And fast!"
Severus' mind was rolling. NO! Not when they were both finally free to do as they pleased! "No!" He snapped his fingers and a house elf appeared. "Take these to Madam Pomfrey immediately!"
The elf took the crate and disappeared. Severus grabbed Percy's upper arm and pulled him along as he hurried after Minerva and Arthur. Severus was using all his self-control to not have his own panic attack.
He knew one thing was certain about his lover: Harry Potter wouldn't leave without a fight. He wouldn't back down even in his shattered state the final battle had left him in. And the Ministry wouldn't stop if the young man wasn't in the castle? They would tear
Severus took the stairs on the spiral staircase two at a time, leaving Percy behind. He had to think of a way to convince Harry to go; to hide somewhere safe. He came to a skidding halt outside the doors. He closed his eyes as the answer came to him. Push him away. Make him leave. Make him think there is no reason to stay.
Could he give up the one good thing in his life, the most wonderful thing to ever happen to him? Severus heart clenched in agony as he thought about what he must do, the last thing he would ever want to do. A voice in the back of his mind, 'Harry would be better off, and needs to be safe, that is all that is important.' He had to contact Black and get his help.
Time was running out.
Harry was holding his head between his hands as he sat on 'his' bed, in the Infirmary. "I can't leave!"
"You can and you must!" Minerva said in her no nonsense voice that brooked no argument.
Albus moved to Harry's side, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Please, Harry. It is the only way to keep your freedom. And it will give us time to stop this madness."
Harry looked up at the pale blue eyes, noticing that the twinkle was absent, replaced by worry and concern. He looked around at the others in the room. Poppy was fussing with the bottles the house elf had brought. Minerva was standing with her hands on her hips, looking like she wanted to rip someone limb from limb. Percy was pacing, unable to stand still. Arthur was sitting on the edge of the next bed, twisting a button on his robes as he listened to the conversation, ready to support whatever was decided to protect his adopted son. And Severus. Harry sought out those dark eyes and noticed something in them he hadn't seen in a while: sadness and resolve. The man stood back from the bed, seeming to distance himself. Harry didn't understand it.
Just then, the doors opened suddenly, and Sirius and Remus strode in, looking around frantically. When they spotted the group, they headed that way.
"I'm not running away!"
"Umbridge has a Dementor!" Remus howled.
Severus stepped forward, "Potter, stop this nonsense and just go! You are putting more people in danger by lingering."
Sirius glared at Severus, but said nothing to his ex-lover. He moved to stand in front of Harry. "Please listen to what they are saying! I don't want to lose you now that the war is over. You and I were going to work on our relationship--be a family--you, me, and Remus. Like your folks wanted--"
"If you stay in the country, they'll use your friends and family against you," Severus interrupted, "Starting with Miss Granger and Mr. Weasley. They would keep a cell in Azkaban warm, Potter, until they find you." Severus had moved to stand at the end of the bed.
"Why are you doing this, Severus?" Harry asked pitifully.
"It is for the best. You must get to safety. The Dark Lord is dead--you have fulfilled your destiny and duty to the Wizarding World. You've earned your freedom."
Remus moved to Sirius' side. "Listen to Severus, please Harry."
"Potter! Don't put more into our affair than there was. It was just a fling and that was all! Nothing more. Nothing less!"
All eyes were suddenly on the Potions Master, looking back and forth, shocked. Severus stood tall and stiff, arms folded tightly across his chest. The ebony eyes were cold, a sneer on the man's face.
Harry's eyes widened in shock as he stared at his lover. "Sev-Severus! But – we – you --we--you said we'd be together after –--"
"It was nothing. NOTHING!" The man shouted, before he spun, and stalked from the Infirmary, the doors slamming behind him.
Sirius watched Severus leave, confused--he'd seen something in the man's expression that had stopped him from tearing into him for hurting Harry. He looked to Albus and the old man nodded. Remus wrapped his arms around Harry from behind, grasping Sirius' shoulders firmly. Folding his upset godson into his arms, he activated a Portkey that he'd brought with him.
"Gateway," he whispered. Then they were gone.
"Albus! What on earth is going on between Harry and Severus?! They were so in love--" Minerva was just working up a good head of steam, when Albus took her arm and guided her toward Poppy's office and the Floo.
"Shhh, Minerva dear. Let's go to my office and have some tea. Arthur? Percy? Are you coming?"
Outside, in the corridor, Severus sagged weakly in the shadows, sinking against the stone wall, his shoulders shaking as his grief overwhelmed him.
“I will find you again, my Harry, I will.”
Mid August, 2008,
The figure stood looking out the large window over
Here, it was home.
So much had happen in the years since he had abruptly left Hogwarts, forced away from the only home he'd known because of power hungry idiots. He had been so hurt by the betrayal of Severus Snape that he'd shut down emotionally.
Sirius and Remus tried to explain to him that Severus couldn't leave and why. But it fell on deaf ears. Harry only knew that the one person he had put all his love and faith into, had rejected him.
When he finally emerged seven years later, from his dark place, the remnants of the little boy were gone, replaced by a young man, with experiences far beyond anyone of his years, reserved, patient, and wary of trusting others. Newly divorced, and now a single father of three cherished children, he'd wanted a fresh start. Well, about as fresh as it could get, considering how homesick he'd become after the divorce. Siri and Remi had been oddly encouraging after that for him to return to
His exile from
But now he was free of Nesta; both he and his children were free. It had been a carefully crafted front, the loving, caring demeanor. He thanked the Goddess again for having the sense to make the marriage contract so detailed and thorough, and for him to have walked in in time to stop her from seriously injuring their son. That had been the final straw and the day of revelation. He'd finally seen her for what she really was, and thankfully, she hadn't had enough sense to pay attention when she'd read the contract before signing, allowing him to gain full custody of his children. Her legal rights and ties to them had been permanently severed, and he hadn't been surprised when she just walked away and never looked back. Deep down at that point, he'd been exceedingly grateful that he had married a Muggle instead of someone magical, or it could've ended very badly, for him and the children.
Not that the children were lacking for love and affection. Sirius and Remus more than made up for Nesta's lack of attention.
Then they welcomed Josephine Brown, a Squib nanny who had a gift for working with children. She liked to call it 'her special magic'. She quickly became a member of the family and took absolutely no nonsense from Sirius, much to his and Remus' amusement. Sirius referred to her affectionately as the Cajun Scotswoman, since her demeanor was very reminiscent of Minerva McGonagall's. She established a comfortable routine immediately for both him and the children, allowing the normalcy of it to calm them all and reduce the stress from the messy divorce, making it no more than a muzzy memory.
The home was a safe and happy one. What more could they have asked for?
Until the letter from Albus came. His Aunt Petunia had died suddenly, and shockingly, he had been included in her will. Remus had told him he needed to put the remainders of the past to rest for good, or he would never move on. After some thought, he grudgingly and apprehensively, agreed. Remus took care of the arrangements for their trip, since he and Siri would be accompanying him, as well as the children. Sirius said it was time they saw where their Da had come from.
His children. Gods, he was blessed there. Sean-Paul Tomas Potter, his first-born, was a carbon copy of himself. Green eyes so like his, and his own mother's, and dark messy hair like his own and his father's. The twins, Anastasia Grace and Fiona Gabrielle, both had long wavy deep auburn hair and his father's hazel eyes. Sweet little faces that could charm with an innocent smile, but to those unaware, they could give Gred-n-Forge a run for their money!
After they arrived in
The three men and Josie were hard pressed to keep the children from running rampant in their excitement. The clever nanny just shook her head and smiled. Every attempt to stray or escape was quickly thwarted, even when they thought she wasn't paying attention.
Harry was ready for the drive. He spent the last two days with Petunia's lawyers.
She had left him everything. Harry arranged for her flat to be sold and her things to be sent to the church for distribution to those who were in need, along with the money she had left him. He didn't need it and didn't want it.
'Tomorrow is going be a very long day', Harry thought to himself. He turned away from the window of their cottage, to help gather up the imps and get them to bed. Morning would come early and his children were no early risers.
Hogwarts, the same night....
Minerva sat down at the table next to Albus. "Where is Severus?"
"He's coming, Minerva. He sent a message that he would be a few minutes late. He's finishing up the last of the Hospital potions before he comes up."
Pouring herself some tea, she said, "I wonder how he's going to take Harry being here tomorrow."
"Harry with three children, Minerva."
"Well what did he expect? He pushed him away."
"Harry didn't understand the circumstances. And remember, Harry's exile was rescinded and he chose not to return. He had a family by then. Remember, Minerva, there is usually more to a story than we know."
Minerva lost herself in thought for a few moments as Albus waited. "Well, his behavior did become suddenly very out of the ordinary for him at that time..."
"Severus couldn't leave because he had taken part of the Wards of the Castle, as did you. He would have been dead before the Portkey landed them in their destination."
"Though, I suspect, and have for some time, that there was more reason behind it than that. Something... personal."
Minerva raised an inquisitive brow. "Such as, Albus?"
"Age. And possibly his doubts that Harry would continue to love him." Albus answered quietly.
"Love!?" Minerva gasped. "Are you certain of that, Albus? Severus' behavior--"
"Do you both always talk about my person when I am not around?" Severus drawled as he entered the room, walking stiff-legged and leaning heavily on a finely carved cane.
Minerva shook her finger. "Severus Snape, what have I told you about sneaking up on me!"
His only reply was to smirk at her as he pulled out one of the empty chairs and tried to sit as gracefully as was allowed, given the limited control he had over his legs. Laying the cane across his lap, he eyed the Headmaster.
The blue eyes twinkled behind small gold spectacles as Albus turned to greet his Potions Master. "We were only discussing Harry's arrival tomorrow, and our concerns for you. Tea, Severus?"
Severus frowned, staring down at the table. Here were two people he could always be honest with. Both were like parents to him; he could admit that now. "I'm not sure about tomorrow, myself."
"What do you need us to do, Severus?" Albus asked.
"I'm not sure. But I know I cannot run from Harry forever. It hurt when he didn't return after his exile was rescinded, and it was revealed that... he'd married." Sadness filled those dark eyes as he looked up, to Albus' face, then to Minerva's. "It still hurts..." he whispered.
"But...?" Albus asked.
"But I shoved him away. I had hoped he would understand. That Sirius and Remus would make him understand. I did it for him."
"But they couldn't." Minerva pursed her lips. "He was too hurt himself by what you'd done, Severus."
Albus patted Minerva's hand and cast her a look. "If things had been different, the both of you would be together right now."
"No, we wouldn't, Albus. I still hold the wards. He wanted to travel."
"There's no reason you can't travel, Severus. Only that day, it would have killed you. Hogwarts would have ripped the connection from you, seeing it as a threat to her. It was too soon after the connection. The Wards settle, as you now know, and travel is possible."
"I am hard and ugly person, Albus. He would have left me sooner or later. It was better this way."
"Severus Snape! Did you think so little of Harry? Of what you shared?" Minerva growled.
He just looked at her. And in that moment, she saw a bit of the gangly, insecure, tormented youth Severus once was. Some of that boy was still there. "Oh, Severus."
"What I wanted and what I deserve are two different things, Minerva. Look at me now? I am now a man with artificial legs. I'm not even whole! Why would a strapping young man like Harry want to be with someone who couldn't keep up with him any longer? Walk the grounds with him. Fly brooms with him. Spar with him. Make lo--" Severus groaned, as he caught himself, and buried his face in his hands.
Minerva stood up and came around the table, and cuffed the dark man about the head, "Let me tell you something, young man! My grandfather lost his legs in the First Great Muggle War. And he still fathered six children afterward! And kept a smile on my grandmother's face in between! There are multiple ways to enjoy sex. Should we find you a book? Ask Mrs. Granger-Weasley, she would most definitely know where to locate one!"
Albus' eyes twinkled madly. He didn't know whether to be shocked or laugh, as he sat back and let Minerva mother some sense into the boy.
"Unless he outright rejects you, I'd say you have a chance."
Severus shrank away from the angry witch. "He married a woman!"
Minerva snorted, hands landing on her hips, as she stared at him. "And that matters why?"
Severus glared. "He clearly has feelings for women now."
"So, you've moved into international Legilimency, I see," she replied with a bit of sarcasm. "You know exactly how he feels. Seven bloody years later!"
"So what am I to think? He married a woman, Minerva!"
"Did you think maybe he just settled? And it didn't last very long, did it?"
Albus motioned toward the empty chair. "Minerva, stop verbally berating the boy. This is far better than the rage he inflicted on everyone for the two years after, until..." His gaze flicked quickly to Severus and back. "Oh, just sit down and have some more tea. Ah! And here's Winky with some nice fresh biscuits! Thank you very much, Winky."
Minerva returned to her seat, shooting the Headmaster a scowl. He held out the plate filled with an assortment of still-warm biscuits. Severus grabbed a chocolate espresso one, and began munching on it. What would he do tomorrow?
Only tomorrow would tell. He really didn't want to think about it.
The Next day....
Josie was, as always, up first at the crack of dawn setting out the children's clothes for the day. Breakfast had already been prepared and waited under warming charms as she busied herself with folding laundry, while waiting for everyone to waken. She didn't have to wait long, as she saw Sean Paul leave his room with his blue dragon plushie under one arm and tiptoe through the door to his father's room. A moment later, squeals and laughter could be heard. A few minutes later, they were joined by twin squeals as the girls ran into the room and crawled up on the bed.
Ten to fifteen minutes later, both father and son, with the toddling girls right behind them, exited out of the bedroom with happy smiles.
Sirius and Remus exited out of the other rooms down the hall, wearing bathrobes and smiling. Remus headed straight for the coffee pot. Sirius just held out his hand for the coffee cup as Remus passed by.
"Why do we have to get up so early again?"
"Hogwarts. Albus is expecting us by tea time," Remus said as he grabbed some biscuits off the trolley. "And Minerva is also expecting us to be on time."
Harry rolled his eyes before taking a swallow of his coffee, as Josie set the plates on the small table. "Some things never change, do they?"
"I also imagine that Hermione and Ron will be there waiting," Remus said as he took a fortifying drink of his coffee.
"I wonder if a certain blond will there as well," Sirius said grinning, as he slid a sideways glance at Remus, who just ignored him.
"Boys," Josie warned. "The children are present."
"Aw, Miss Josie, just having a bit of fun. And I wouldn't corrupt these beautiful children, now would I, Moony?" Sirius said with a too-straight face.
Remus snorted into his cup before replying. "Padfoot, Miss Josie says to behave."
Anastasia climbed up into Remus' lap and proceeded to lay back with her thumb in her mouth. "How's my girl this morning?"
"Tir'd," she mumbled.
Fiona took her place in Sirius' lap." Yeah. Tir'd an' seepy."
"When we leaving, Daddy?" Sean Paul asked.
"As soon as breakfast is over and you get dressed."
"Then we'll meet the old bearded goat? And the tabby lady?"
Sirius choked on his coffee and Remus spit his out. Harry pinned Sirius with a reproving glare.
"What?!" He tried to look innocent, then flinched when he felt something snap the back of his head.
"Ow!" He yelped, rubbing at the back of his head as he spun in his chair to see Josie standing behind him, at the sink, calmly drying a plate.
"What'd you do that for?"
She just raised an eyebrow at him, giving him that scolding stare she usually reserved for the children when they got into mischief. It just so happened that it wasn't his first time experiencing it either.
"Uhtoh, Unca' Siri," Fiona looked from him to Josie and back. "You's in twouble wif Miss Josie!"
"Awr you gonna make him do 'timeou'', Miss Josie?" Ana asked, her eyes wide.
Remus and Harry cackled as Sirius put upon expression. Harry rose from the table. "Tuck in, you three. We have to leave in less than an hour if we're to arrive at Hogwarts on time."
Severus sat in his chair going over lesson plans or, at least, trying to. His mind was a jumbled mess as he tried to concentrate on what he was doing, but his mind kept drifting back to that pivotal time, when his relationship with Harry started, then the threat, forcing Harry to leave... his uncontrolled rage, and the loss of his legs.
After Sirius and Remus had whisked Harry away to the States, he'd ended up back in his rooms, not knowing exactly how he'd gotten there. He'd been so overwhelmed by his grief and what he'd actually done. Drinking himself into a stupor, he'd passed out, and been awakened the next morning by a large hawk, plucking at his sleeve, where he lay slumped in his chair by the fire.
As soon as he took the scroll from the pouch attached to the avian's leg, the bird swooped back out the way it came. The missive was from Black letting him know they'd arrived safely, and Harry had been tucked into bed and given Dreamless Sleep.
Then it hit him all over again. The pain he'd caused Harry. He would have been distraught and overwhelmed. That would be the only reason for Harry to be drugged to sleep.
He stood up, stumbling, and began to throw things, anything he could reach. Yelling out his anguish at the world for doing this to him once again.
Damning those from the Ministry that wanted to take Harry away. Damning Voldemort for killing Lily and putting his Harry into a life the young man never wanted. Damning all those who manipulated and used Harry. Damning the Prophet and their reporters for the lies they spread. And finally, damning himself for knowingly hurting the young man so deeply--a young man whom he now loved so dearly!
Storming next, into his personal lab, he had smashed everything he could get his hands on. Thankfully, there hadn't been anything volatile at hand that day.
From that day forward, he became the sour, foul-tempered, acid-tongued bastard he'd been during the war. Some of the staff and students swore he was even worse. The Slytherins found out the hard way, that not even they were immune.
Minerva and the rest of the Staff learned quickly to stop confronting him and asking him about his abhorrent treatment of Harry. That only fueled his anger and when he cast a hex that blew up the broom shed behind Rolanda, after she'd called him an uncaring, selfish, cold- hearted wanker, Albus had finally had enough. He stepped in, called a staff meeting for everyone except Severus, and informed them if they did not stop pestering the Potions Master, he would personally censure them. There was no twinkle evident in those pale blue eyes. The Headmaster meant business. They all gave him a wide berth after that.
Sadly, it took much longer for some of the students to learn. Even two years later, there was still the occasional one who didn't seem to see the obvious danger inherent in angering thier Potions Master. Then came that awful day...
It had been early February, in a Friday afternoon double-session with the Fifth Year Ravenclaws and Gryffindors. They'd been mid-brew of a delicate potion, and he had already scolded the same pair of students twice for not paying attention to their cauldrons, and several others at least once. Damned Valentines! Damned teenaged hormones! He'd growled and snapped and they still didn't listen!
He'd turned to his desk to check his notations for the following class when he heard a sudden gasp behind him. Spinning around on his heels, his gaze locked on one of the Ravenclaw girls panicking as a foul black foam began billowing from her cauldron. She and her partner had jumped back and were squealing, their hands in the air, rather than either adding ground Crown of Thorn to stop the reaction, or ask for help Vanishing the potion. He'd had enough.
Storming over to thier table, he Vanished the mess, then loomed over the weeping girl and began to verbally eviscerate her. She'd already been caught twice mooning over one of the Gryffindor boys at the next table. It evidently was more of the same.
He hadn't spoken two full sentences, when there were several panicked shrieks behind him. Straightening, as he pulled his wand, he looked around in time to see another nearby cauldron explode, spectacularly. Casting spells one after the other, he sent the students to safety at the far end of the room, leaving only the two students he'd been berating. With no time left to cast another spell, he pushed them down and covered them with his body, assuming his potions robes would protect all of them.
The next thing he remembered was waking two days later, in the Hospital Wing, Poppy, Albus, and Minerva all standing by his bed. The news hadn't been positive. One of the Gryffindors had bolted from the room as soon as he was safe and run for the nearest professor to get Poppy. But even Flooing to his classroom fireplace hadn't been fast enough. The accidentally altered potion had become an extremely caustic and fast-acting flesh-eating acid. She had assured him all the students were fine, and unharmed but for a few scrapes and scratches.
As Poppy quietly explained, he hadn't understood. He'd looked at his hands and felt his face; they were fine. His body didn't hurt. His special robes and apron would have protected him. Then she pointed toward the end of the bed, as she said the words; words that became a buzz in his ears.
And his life changed forever.
"--sorry, Severus. The potion had already taken your feet and halfway up your calves. It was an unknown potion. I couldn't stop it. I had to amputate to save your li--"
He had stared at the three of them in horror, feeling all the blood drain from his face. He passed out.
He didn't awaken again until that evening, thinking it a bad dream, until he looked down and saw the truth, again. His bellowing brought Poppy running, Dreamless Sleep already in hand.
After that, each time he awoke briefly, a member of staff was sitting by his bed, and he could tell Poppy had kept him sedated so he wouldn't flail around again and hurt himself further.
He remembered, once he was able to stay awake, he'd already slid into a deep depression, something no one could pull him from. That was, until Albus had contacted his mother. Eileen Luisa Prince-Snape had just breezed into the Hospital Wing as if he had a simple cold and she was bringing him one of her Echinachea Potions.
She passed a Healer, in St. Mungo's robes, on his way out. He didn't look happy at all; grumbling about uncooperative and rude patients.
"Severus Sebastian Tobias Snape!"
"Not now, Mother!"
"Oh yes, now, my son!"
A single look assured the mediwitch and sent her scurrying to her office, as Madam Prince-Snape sat on the side of her son's bed and pulled him into a hug. When she released him, she fixed him with a look, and he knew he'd better start talking.
She had listened to every one of his thoughts, feelings, and fears; all discussed within a Silencing Charm of course. Then she had proceeded to logically dissect every one of them. As much as he'd hated it afterward, she had talked sense into him.
He'd only had to suffer the prosthetic legs, pitiful things, for a couple of months. Then Hermione had appeared with news of magically enhanced Muggle prosthetic legs she'd developed with some help from friends medically trained in both the magical and Muggle Worlds. It became easier after that to relearn how to move and walk on his own. He'd never be the same, but he'd learned to be grateful that he managed.
And manage he did. Lucius came three months later and gifted him with a specially-made cane, done in silver and black, with the head of a lion and the body of a snake. He'd said it was his reward for learning to walk again, and the stylish cane would draw attention away from his legs, and, Lucius had added with a smirk, give him some class at the same time.
Spending his healing and therapy time reflecting on his life up to that point, writing his mother or visiting, and talking with Albus, who he'd finally trusted enough to open up to, had helped him. He realized he had to let go of his anger and self-recrimination, as well as shed the evil double-spy persona, once and for all. The quieter, more introspective Severus surprised everyone, except maybe Albus and Severus' mother.
He didn't return to teaching until the following school year and when he returned, he was gifted with a standing applause. The proud man only nodded and sat down in his usual seat at the staff table.
Here he was five years later, a man moving on. But a man who still loved Harry Potter, just Harry; who was now a man who'd married, had children, divorced, and was now a single father with three children. Harry had clearly moved on much farther than he had. Did he have any feelings left for him, or did the young man just hate him now?
The Weasley's arrived, invading Hogwarts along with various others to wait for Harry to arrive.
Minerva wasn't happy about it. She wanted Harry's first time home to be a bit more private, but it had snowballed out of control. She wasn't sure who she should hex for the word getting out.
The poor man was going to be overwhelmed, instead of welcomed. And then there was Severus. Her temperamental colleague had holed himself up in his rooms when everyone started arriving and turned the Great Hall into a circus of grand proportions.
It was Ronald Weasley who came rushing into the Hall when he saw the vehicle that Harry was driving enter through the gates. "He's here!" Then rushed back out.
Between one breath and the next, everyone started speaking and crowding to get out the doors until Albus stood up, "Silence!"
Various red heads and others turned towards the older man, "Lets not overwhelm and crowd him and his family, ladies and gentlemen. Mrs. Granger-Weasley, Arthur and Molly? If you would, please."
Albus motioned the three to follow him and join Ron outside on the steps. Neville and Draco were waiting alongside Lucius who looked slightly nervous himself.
"Do not worry, Lord Malfoy, they haven't changed all that much since they have left."
Grey eyes glared ever so slightly in the Headmaster's direction. "I am not worried, Albus."
The black Range Rover rolled to a slow stop at the base of the steps, and as one, everyone began descending the stone steps. A back door opened and out stepped a older but healthier looking Sirius Black. The front door opened and a smiling Remus Lupin came into view.
"Why couldn't I drive?" they heard Sirius whine.
"Some things never change," Molly said.
"If I'm not mistaken, that is what is called a Muggle S-2-B!" Arthur's eyes were bright with excitement.
"Not now, Arthur!" She warned him as she grabbed his arm. "Harry and his children are here! Our grandchildren!"
"You think Harry would let me drive it?"
Molly rolled her eyes and gave a disgusted sigh."Arthur Bilius Weasley!"
Arthur was clueless to his surroundings. Only focused on the Muggle vehicle; his fascination of anything Muggle overtaking his thoughts of Harry finally home.
Albus and Minerva were chuckling to themselves, as Lucius eyed the man, confused as to his fascination with the contraption. Everyone else just looked amused. It was at that point that Harry looked up and over the Land Rover and spied the look on Arthur's face. He poked Remus in the ribs and pointed.
Remus grinned and leaned down to Harry. "You'd best offer to take him for a spin before Molly hexes him."
Minerva spied him first and was the first one down the steps. He was engulfed in a hug before he could step away.
"Oh, Harry! It's so good to see you again!"
"H-Hi, Minerva. It's grand to see you as well." Harry gave her a squeeze then patted her back, surprised at the sudden demonstrative action of his former Head of House. He stepped back as she released him.
He was immediately being hugged senseless again by a sobbing Molly Weasley. He patted her on the back, while Ron laughed from where he was standing. Hermione was fidgeting at his side, waiting for her turn as well.
The Rover was magically enhanced for a bit of speed and expanded on the inside to be more comfortable, especially with four adults and three children. The drive had been long but not as long as it could have been. Still, the three men were a bit stiff, especially Remus. But the children had been unaffected, and bounced happily down from their safety seats after being released.
Three children that happen to belong to Harry Potter and raised with the help of Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, whom the children referred to as Unc'a Siri and Unc'a Remi.
Harry looked up at the castle and felt like he had finally come home until he looked eagerly around, then looked directly at the Headmaster. "Where's Severus?"
"Well," Albus began, "When you notified us that you were coming, we decided on a small gathering. Low key so not to overwhelm you and your family..." He opened his arms wide, and the double doors opened fully, showing the crowd waiting inside the doors, "So everyone showed up."
"All the Weasley's," Ron smiled.
"The Order," Hermione added.
"And just about everyone else that knew you," Draco grinned.
Harry closed his eyes. There was one thing Severus Snape hated, large crowds. But damn it all to hell, he was hoping the git would be waiting for him. A small part wanted the dark and dour man to be standing there waiting. A word of welcome. Something.
"Daddy?" Sean-Paul looked at his daddy, "Is that the old bearded goat, Unc'a Siri is always talking about?"
Minerva smiled. Albus grinned and Sirius... well his face was flaming red, and he was nursing the back of his head again.
"Everyone, my son--my oldest, Sean-Paul Tomas Potter."
The little man looked at his father, "You say that like it's a bad thing, Daddy."
Laughter erupted around them.
Harry wrapped an arm around the waist of the woman standing beside him. "I would like you all to meet Josephine Brown. My children's nanny, and another member of my family." He kissed her cheek, causing her cheeks to flush.
"Pleasure to finally meet all of you."
Two beautiful little girls were lifted into the arms of their uncles, standing to either side of Harry. He motioned toward each of them.
"And these little ladies--the only ones in my life--are my twin daughters, Anastasia Grace- and Fiona Gabrielle Potter."
The girls smiled brightly and waved enthusiastically to everyone. Harry looked around again at all the people who'd come, some uninvited, to see him and welcome him and his family home.
Harry still felt a pang in his chest. Some small part of him wanted Severus to be here when he introduced his children. He wanted to share them with the one person he could never forget.
The one person he never went a day without thinking of.
The one person he would love till the day he crossed over into the Summerlands. Even now staring at the old castle, he had always known that there would never be anyone who could stir his blood and his soul, the way Severus could. Nesta never stood a chance in taking his place.
But he had that just tiny bit of hope that he would be standing here waiting for him to return. They would argue of course.
Maybe cast a hex or two.
And then live happily ever after.
But he wasn't waiting, and it showed on his face. Albus gently grasped his arm as Harry and his family moved up the steps. Leaning in, he whispered in Harry's ear.
"His rooms are still in the dungeons, Harry," Albus said, his blue eyes twinkling.
"Go, Harry," Remus whispered. "Reclaim him. Reclaim what was lost to the both of you."
He turned to Remus and Sirius. "Watch the babies, I'll be back."
They both nodded to him, knowing where he was heading. They had both looked for the Potions Master too, as soon as they'd exited the Rover.
"Not a baby, Daddy!" Echoed in unison, as his twins, lower lips pouting, looked at him with a displeased glare, from thier perches.
He gave them each a kiss on the cheek. "You will always be my babies, Ana... Fiona...as will Sean-Paul."
"Not!" Growled Sean-Paul, his arms folded tightly across his chest. His scowl softened as he saw the love in his father's eyes. "Well... maybe... but just yours!"
Scattered laughter broke out among those within earshot, as Harry pushed through the crowd and hurried into the Entrance Hall.
Severus finally pulled himself up from his chair as the knocking became insistent. It was clear that ignoring it wouldn't make it stop. Grabbing his cane, he moved stiffly to the door. Damn! He'd sat for too long.
Must be Albus, he thought. Only he would come down here to persuade him to attend the that gathering that became a circus in the Great Hall. If he hadn't reinforced his wards, the old bugger would have just Floo'd in or breached the wards on his door. Severus sighed as he reached for the door handle.
Severus looked up as he opened the door to tell Albus to leave him be, when he lost his next breath. Instead of twinkling meddling pale blue, he was looking into verdant green. Green eyes that spoke of wariness and caution.
Severus leaned out the door and looked up and down the empty corridor. "The children?"
They're with Remi and Siri, and Josie--" Severus gaze snapped to Harry's face. "--their nanny."
"Yes, she helps me--and Siri and Remi--with the children. Takes care of all of us, actually." He smiled to himself as he spoke. "She's kind of like a mix of Molly Weasley and Minerva. You should get along with her fine--I hope."
Severus eyes widened a bit again at the mental image the description conjured. "Indeed!"
Dressed in black trousers, black suspenders, and a white shirt, Harry looked very sharp. He took in the younger man before him. He was older and more mature now, but still the beautiful creature he fell in love with, had shared moments with, and wanted to grow old with.
Harry watched as the older wizard blinked and straightened, wincing and obviously in pain. Severus stepped back slowly, and not without difficulty, and motioned Harry to enter. He felt old survival tendencies wanting to take over.
"Why are you here?" he asked as Harry walked in, a bit of challenge in his voice.
"What do you mean?" Harry looked puzzled, at the words as well as the tone.
"You could have settled your aunt's affairs from the States. There was no need to bring your children to Britain at all. Let alone come all the way to Hogwarts. It's been seven years. Why now?"
"It was time."
Severus limped across the room to the liquor bottles on the cabinet in the corner. "Time for what, exactly? To tell me how much of an utter bastard I am? How much you hate me now?!"
Harry's eyes widened and his jaw worked, but shock prevented the words from coming.
"Why didn't you come back when your exile was rescinded? You were free to return." Severus turned, two tumblers grasped in one hand as he moved back to offer one to Harry. "You didn't even come back to visit!"
Severus sat roughly in his chair, dropping his cane in the floor beside the chair. He took a large swallow of the firewhiskey and glared into the fireplace.
"I know you don't want to see me, but I'm sure there are others here that wanted to see you... and... missed... you." He growled, petulance in his voice, his gaze still on the flames.
Harry moved to stand behind the other chair and took a drink to steady himself. "Severus... what...?" Had no one told him? "Nesta was giving birth to Sean-Paul when you had your accident."
"As I said, there were others who wanted to see you."
"I didn't want to see anyone."
"And you didn't want to see me."
"Should I have?" He snapped. Harry moved around and sat in the chair facing him. "Severus, when you rejected me that day in the infirmary, you were just another in a long line of people who'd rejected me. But I had gotten past that by the time I married Nesta. Or at least, I thought I had..."
He looked at Severus, wanting the man to look at him, as old pains and wants resurfaced. "Remember, I had just gotten rid of Voldemort the day before. And here was the Ministry, coming after me for being a so-called 'dangerous individual', ready to take over the Wizarding World!"
Severus finally looked at Harry. "You should have believed in me!" He spat.
Green eyes snapped with anger. "You told me that it meant nothing!"
Severus struggled to his feet and moved to loom over Harry. "You wouldn't leave, Potter!"
"Because I loved you, you Git!" he screamed back.
Black eyes blinked, and Severus was suddenly silent, staring at Harry."Loved?"
"Yes! Still love you!" Harry took a gasping breath when he realized his words, and continued, almost under his breath as he looked away "I never stopped!"
Severus slumped back into his chair, all his anger suddenly gone. "Harry?"
"I didn't love Nesta. She was the daughter of a man I worked with. She was kind--in the beginning. But she changed, and the children--" He looked hesitantly at Severus. "Only one person has ever held my heart like no other. I tried to write several times--but I couldn't. So, finally I asked Remus to contact Albus for me. I needed to know how you were. After that, Albus sent a message once a week detailing your progress. I wanted to return. But I wasn't sure. You've no idea how hard it was to choose between my children and you..."
Harry's head dropped into his hands. "I'm so sorry, Severus. So sorry I wasn't here for you..."
Severus stood again, and reached out a hand towards his....love. Afraid to touch, to be rejected and it would be no more than he deserved, until Harry lifted his head and their eyes met. There it was. Everything he had ever wanted was right there for the taking.
"Harry," he breathed. "It is I who should be apologizing. In trying to protect you--I hurt you very deeply. And I have regretted it every minute of every day since I spoke those horrible lies to you. I am so very sorry--and I don't expect you to forgive me--"
Severus was leaning on the arms of Harry's chair now, trying to kneel in front of him, when Harry urged him to sit on the low table between the chairs.
"Oh yes, it hurt. And I thought I would never get over my anger at you, and those idiots in the Ministry. But I did like I've always done. Out of sight and out of mind. And I forgave you a long time ago, Severus. I just couldn't keep the anger at you burning in me. It would have eaten me alive."
He reached up to stroke the dark hair, Severus leaning into his touch. Reaching up Severus gently took the hand away, placing it upon Harry's knee. Shaking his head, he rose slowly to move back to his chair.
"So much has happened. Changed. Can we--where would--we start? Do I even hope?" He motioned toward his legs. "Would you even... want me now...like this?"
Harry moved to kneel at Severus' feet, gently parting the man's legs, so he could slide in closer. Grasping the long-fingered hands, he held them firmly in his own, as he looked directly into those onyx eyes.
"Oh Sev, love. I promised myself, when I was finally rid of Nesta, that the next time I fell in love, it would be you. And only you. Or, I would remain alone to raise my children."
"No. My love is never conditional. Haven't you learned that by now, considering my history? I. Love. You. Warts and all, as the Muggles say--"
"Actually, that is a Wizarding saying from--" Severus began.
Harry quirked an eyebrow at him. "Hush you! As I was saying. I love you. For you. As you are. Both positive and negative attributes. I wouldn't change a thing."
"Start again at the beginning?"
"Oh no, we start here. Now. Me and you. Because you breathe life into my heart, Severus Snape." Harry leaned forward. "Kiss me, would you?"
Severus pulled Harry into his lap. "Bossy brat," he said and proceeded to do as requested.
Outside the door of Severus' quarters....
Albus, Minerva, Remus and Sirius were standing with their ears against the door, listening. "I thought for sure they would hex each other!" Sirius whispered.
Albus just looked at him, knowingly, those eyes twinkling madly. He looked down when he felt a repeated tug on his robes. Sean-Paul was staring up at him. Remus gently removed his hand from Albus' sleeve.
"Don't bother the Headmaster, Sean-Paul." Remus admonished quietly, since the twins were asleep in his and Sirius' arms.
"No, Remus." Albus replied, then leaning down. "What is it, child?"
"Mr. Albus. That man Daddy's talkin' to, his name is Sev'rus?"
"Why yes it is, young man. Why do you ask?"
The boys eyes got big. "Ohhhh! That's why Mummy was so mad!"
Eyebrows rose all around. Sirius spoke up. "Why would Mummy be angry, Sean-Paul?"
"'Cuz, Daddy says it--Sev'rus--when he dreams at night. Me an' Ana an' Fiona all heared him. An' Mummy got mad, when Ana asked who Sev'rus was."
"Oh dear!" Minerva exclaimed. Albus just smiled, and Sirius and Remus both stared at each other, in shock.
Five months later, December 23.... </b>
"Do you, Severus Sebastian Tobias, take Harry James to be your husband? To love always in heart and soul? Until you pass into the Summerlands?" Albus asked, dressed in red robes decorated with little sprigs of mistletoe, his blue eyes twinkling like mad.
"I do," Severus said, his rich deep voice strong as he spoke the words binding him to the young man beside him.
"Do you, Harry James, take Severus Sebastian Tobias to be your Husband? To Love always in heart and soul? Until you pass into the Summerlands?"
Deep green eyes brimmed with tears, as they met onyx. "I do."
Ana and Fiona were standing in front of the two men, each with a circlet of flowers their heads, each child holding a ribbon. Fiona handed a red ribbon to the Headmaster.
"Red to signify life, vitality and courage."
Albus wrapped the men's hands then reached for the ribbon Ana is holding out to him.
"Green to signify balance, love and peace. "
Sean-Paul stepped forward and held out two ribbons, which Albus accepted with a smile.
"Indigo and Violet for understanding and wisdom."
He tied the last two ribbons and began an incantation. The ribbons glowed and disappeared.
"For all the trials and rough roads these two men have traveled, may the Goddess bless them and let nothing or no one part them now. So Mote It Be."
"Blessed be," was echoed around them.
Lucius and Remus stood at Severus side in the circle. Sirius stood behind them with Ron and Hermione at Harry's side. They were all dressed in splendid navy blue velvet robes as they stood outside near the
Minerva, Eileen and Molly all stood off to the side, crying quietly and holding on to one another with happy smiles on their faces.
Josie stood next to them, smiling for her boys. Oh yes, Severus Snape was now hers as well. And possibly the blond man as well, if her catching Remus kissing him under the mistletoe last night was any indication of their relationship. Yes, more family to take care of. It couldn't get any better... unless... What had Mr. Albus said? Wizards could carry babies...?
Oh yes, a very happy life indeed.
"The rings you have given each other are a circle. Unbroken and complete. Strong and beautiful. Let the Goddess bless you and keep you. So mote it be."
"So mote it be," was echoed.
Albus looked at both men, waiting. "Well? Kiss!"
Laughing, Severus and Harry sealed their new life with a passionate kiss.
~finis...but is it ever?