Harry Potter/Severus Snape
Harry Potter Severus Snape
Slash Angst
The Harry Potter at Hogwarts Years
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix
Published: 01/12/2005
Updated: 02/09/2005
Words: 146,361
Chapters: 30
Hits: 275,831

Green Eyes Sublime


Story Summary:
When Harry returns to Hogwarts for his sixth year, only Severus seems to truly notice how deeply Harry's despair goes. Since Dumbledore is as blinded as everyone else, Severus decides to take matters into his own hands and help. But doing that means opening up his own soul and secrets to the Boy-Who-Lived, because Harry isn't going to just heal in one day. SS/HP, SLASH and depression related theme.

Chapter 09

Chapter Summary:
When Harry returns to Hogwarts for his Sixth Year only Severus seems to truly notice how deeply Harry's despair goes. Since Dumbledore is as blinded as everyone else Severus decides to take matters into his own hands and help. But doing that means opening up his own soul and secrets to the Boy-Who-Lived because Harry isn't going to just heal in one day. HP/SS SLASH and depressing thoughts.
Author's Note:
Thanks: To my wonderful beta readers Amanda_Saitou and Philo whose wonderful help kept me sane.

Chapter Nine

Strands of Light


Two Hufflepuffs (first years), no Slytherins, one Gryffindor (sixth year) and three Ravenclaws (first, fourth and sixth years).

That was the tally of all the students that had remained for the holiday at Hogwarts. Harry, being the only Gryffindor and the resident celebrity spent as much time as he could with them. After the first four days however, his insides were clawing to be free and to have some time alone.

Alone for Harry obviously translated into 'Severus' rooms' so as soon as he gave the others the slip he literally ran down the empty Slytherin corridor in his haste to get there.

"Severus!" he called as he stepped into the sitting room, but Severus was not in his usual position behind the table.

"Severus!" Harry called a little louder, silently praying that Severus was not out because he really could not think of anywhere else he would rather be.

The door to the private Potions room swung open for the first time since Harry had ever been within Severus' rooms. Like a magnet he was drawn to the flickering image of firelight, shadows and a black robed figure within.

"Yes Mr. Potter? Is there a reason for you to be reacquainting the castle with my given name?"

Severus hadn't turned around.

Harry leaned against the doorframe with a grin on his face as he watched his Potions professor at work. He suddenly realized that he had never seen Snape prepare an actually potion before and while he watched he had to admit that he was impressed.

Severus was called a Master of Potions because obviously he knew exactly what he was doing.

It was like an intricate dance of chopping and mixing and adding. Harry was enthralled by Severus' movements.

"Why are they called 'quarters'?" He asked, breaking the silence with a grin he knew was sounding in his voice. "Is it because there are four rooms?"

Severus turned slightly at the lounging figure and raised an eyebrow. Harry laughed.

"May I come in?"

"If you wish."

Harry stepped in the room and closed the door. Immediately the darkness was replaced with a soft white light originating somewhere from the ceiling. It was bright enough in the room to see properly, but certainly not bright enough to do anything like reading or drawing.

Severus returned to his potion making and Harry chuckled to himself.

"Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble!" he said in a cackling voice as he walked over to the only bench in the room near the boiling cauldron and the table of ingredients.

For a while Severus seemed to ignore him and just as Harry was about to begin an explanation, he was pinned by the intense gaze of onyx eyes.

"By the pricking of my thumb. Something wicked this way come."

To say that Harry was shocked was an understatement, especially since his jaw fell open in surprise at the softly spoken words.

"You've read Macbeth? When? I didn't think you'd know anything about Muggle writers," he gasped.

Severus smirked in a Snape-like fashion, "Who ever told you that Shakespeare was a Muggle?"

Shock number two delivered, Harry was gapping again. "He wasn't?"

Severus added a handful of chopped roots, five lavender petals and a pinch of grounded butterfly wings to the potion before he finally looked towards Harry with a shuttered expression on his face.

"A bottle of poisonous potion in Romeo and Juliet, fairies in A Mid-Summer Night's Dream, Caliban in The Tempest, the three witches in Macbeth...would you like me to continue? I believe that you really need a lot more research on famous Wizards other than your limited knowledge of yourself and the Dark Lord. Important though the two of you may be, you are not the only two beings in the Wizarding world that has gained fame...good or bad."

Harry scowled. He could always trust Severus to turn something into a learning experience at the most inopportune moments.

"I really need a hobby," Harry muttered with a grin and a shake of his head.

"Not a completely unwise suggestion, Mr. Potter."

Harry began to scowl again.

"You are never going to stop with the 'Mr. Potter thing' are you?" he glared. "Besides, I do have a hobby. It's flying!"

Severus turned to face him with the edge of his lips turned up in the slightest of manner, and his eyes so lacking in the usual coldness that in the gleam of the white light and dancing flame they appeared like glowing pools of black water.

It was the look that Harry recognized as the closest Severus would ever get to showing amusement.

Suddenly, Harry's insides burned to have Severus smile a true smile for him. It was such a deep longing within him, to hear Severus laugh, to see his eyes, maybe not twinkle but shine.

"When it comes to you Harry, flying is more an act of disaster than a source of calm."

Harry smiled. He supposed he could content with the dark smooth flow of molten silk that Severus' voice was to him these days.

"Then what would you suggest I do instead?" Harry asked teasingly. "Study? Fight monsters? Break school rules? Because, Professor Snape, you of all persons should know that I'm already occupied with those things."

"Such insolence," Severus glared, which only made Harry burst into laughter. "Since you seem to be at a loss in clean, calm, safe activities, perhaps it would be best for you to go think on it for a while."

Harry's laughter was curbed immediately, but there was still a small smile on his face.

"Are you kicking me out?"

"No. I am merely evicting you for the extent of time it takes to complete this potion."

Harry raised an eyebrow in mimic of the way he had seen Severus do so many times. "You're kicking me out because of the potion? What potion is it anyway?"

"Veritaserum," came the immediate, almost distracted response. "The Ministry needs a large replacement batch and apparently I am one of the few people who they know is competent enough to prepare it properly. Though, I'm not sure why. I was under the impression that they may believe I am out to poison them. Not that I'm against that idea. They are a large group of insufferable fools and blithering idiots!"

"Drastic times, drastic measures, I'm sure," Harry supplied. "I still don't understand what that has to do with me not being allowed to stay longer?"

Severus leveled him with an intense glare. "You are a Sixth year Potions student who, though by far not excellent, have recently been studying well enough to be a fairly good potion brewer. Veritaserum, though fairly tricky to brew, is not so tricky as to be outside of your capacity to make I'm sure. Afterall, you do seem to have a knack for gleaming inappropriate information. I would rather you not acquire the knowledge of brewing this potion before the appropriate time."

At that, Harry laughed.

"Are you saying that if I pay enough attention to what you're doing right now, you believe I just may be able to brew Veritaserum on my own?" He asked grinning from ear to ear, not entirely sure as to how Severus would reply.

Severus' answer managed to actually surprise him in its honesty.

"Yes Harry, that is exactly what I am saying. You and every one else will be taught how to brew this in your Seventh year so until then I would rather you not be here for the final hours."

"Ah but see, now I want to stay!" Harry pretended to pout.

"Out!" Severus said pointing to the door.

Harry was actually tempted to stick his tongue out at the insufferable man but decided against it. He wasn't too sure how Severus would react to it, but the rational side of him argued that perhaps the Potions professor would not be tolerant of his student spewing raspberries at him. Harry wondered if there were actual moments when Severus might be tolerant, and vowed that if there were, he would be the first to take up the opportunity.

Harry rose from his seat to stand beside Severus, who had begun to ground what looked suspiciously like grains of corn into a fine yellow powder.

"I'm going now then," Harry said softly and Severus nodded without removing his attention from his task.

Harry smiled then closing the distance between himself and Severus, he wrapped his arms around the lean form from behind. Burying his face into Severus' back through the long strands of black hair, he took a deep breath filled with cinnamon, vanilla and probably some other magical ingredient. He had yet to ask Severus how something smelling so enticing could look so affronting. Harry was beginning to think that Severus put a glamour charm on his hair to prevent students from wanting to bury their faces in its utter silkiness.

This was only the second time he had done it in four days and Harry was already convinced that he was addicted to the smell.

Spice and smoke, cinnamon and vanilla...all smells that he now associated entirely with Severus.

"Good bye Severus," Harry whispered. "I'll be back as soon as you finish this potion of yours."

"Good bye Harry," Severus calmly replied, as if he had not noticed that there was a sixteen year old Gryffindor clinging to his waist, pressed against his upper back, sniffing his hair.

Harry untwined his arm, gave a soft laugh, and then calmly walked out through the suddenly opened door.

He would be back, but first he had a hobby to pursue.


"Hullo Harry. Hiding?"

Harry didn't startle when he heard the voice, merely because he had watched the Sixth Year Ravenclaw's progress across Hogwarts' grounds in his direction. He was sitting beneath a huge oak tree facing the Lake and had been very submerged in his task before he noticed William heading towards him.

"Hello Will. I might have to ask you the same question."

Will took a seat beside Harry on the bed of grass beneath the tree and peered at the sketchpad that Harry's fingers had begun to dance across once again.

"Wow, that's bloody fantastic Harry!" He exclaimed a few seconds later.

Harry glanced at his sketch of the Lake and it's surrounding area, nodding his thanks. It wasn't brilliant, but he suppose it wasn't half bad either. He still had an awful lot to practice but he realized that he had perhaps gotten better than when he had first begun.

Will's eyes were still glued to the paper, obviously still impressed with the finally finished piece.

Both Sixth year students, Harry had actually only known Will by sight for the past few years. It was not until September that the two began to converse as Will began to take Advanced Charms also. Now the two were fairly good friends and had hung around and guided the younger students together for the four days of holidays so far.

"It's my new hobby," Harry informed the Ravenclaw and Will looked even more impressed.

"You're pretty great then if drawing is something new and you managed to create this!" He exclaimed.

Harry laughed shortly. "Well actually, I've been drawing places around Hogwarts since my first year. So drawing isn't new, but drawing more often and for fun is. I needed a clean, calm, safe activity and apparently flying doesn't meet the requirements in my case."

"Who said that?" Will asked puzzed.

"No one of importance," Harry was quick to reply, but the hint of laughter in his emerald eyes did not go unnoticed by the Ravenclaw. "So, apart from disturbing my peace, anything else you sought me out for."

Will smiled and replied in a voice that matched the light tone of Harry's.

"I overheard Professor McGonagall talking to the Headmaster a few minutes ago. It's one of the staff's birthday apparently and Professor McGonagall was commenting on how unfortunate it was for said person to have to do work on such a special day. To which the Headmaster chuckled and replied that perhaps this was actually the ideal way that said person wanted to celebrate their birthday anyway. I have no idea who 'said' professor is whose birthday it is but I was thinking perhaps it is Professor Flitwick's. I haven't seen him all day. Then again, I haven't seen Professor Binns either. Though, he is dead so I doubt he celebrates his birthday anymore. Even if he did remember the date amongst all the other dates in his head."

Harry was shocked, especially since he had a valid suspicion that he knew exactly whose birthday it may be. He had just watched the Wizard brew a potion afterall. Besides, he had it on good authority that Professor Flitwick's birthday was in April. Professor Binns' he had no clue about, but he figured he might as well agree with Will's logic.

"Are you sure they didn't say exactly whose birthday it is?" He asked trying to keep his voice at the appropriate level of curiosity.

Will smiled widely. "No they didn't. I was listening so hard I couldn't miss it if they did. I myself would like to know too. I mean, one week before Christmas and not a word before. Very weird, don't you think?"

Harry nodded but did not say anything else as he tried valiantly not to look lost in thought while he figured out what he would do if it were indeed Severus' birthday. It wasn't a weekend so he wouldn't have permission to go to Hogmeade to get anything and even if he could, it was almost dinner time so there would be no way he would be allowed to make a quick run.

Of course, he just may be able to sneak out with his invisible cloak and the Marauders' map but that would be very dangerous these days with Voldemort being 'human' again.

Harry began to seethe inwardly. Severus would have known that it would be difficult to get anything at such a late hour, which was probably why he had not informed Harry of the importance of the day. Harry had half a mind to sneak into Hogsmeade anyway no matter the huge risk he would be taking.

"So, would you like to come with me for dinner?"

Harry hadn't even noticed when Will stood to leave, but he looked up at the expectant smile with an apologetic look.

"Sorry Will, I'm not that hungry actually. I had a big lunch and grabbed a snack from the kitchen which I just ate before you came out. I'm fine so I think I'll skip dinner tonight."

For a split second, Will almost seemed to pout in disappointment but it was quickly replaced by a smile of understanding.

"Alright Harry. I'll see you tomorrow?"

Harry nodded and gave Will a little smile of thanks.

As soon as he had watched Will walk away far enough to disappear into the castle, Harry quickly grabbed his sketchpad and Muggle pencil and bounced to his feet, trying not to run across the ground, into the dungeons and along the Slytherin corridors.

He had a confrontation to be had with his Potions professor in another three hours, he figured. One that he knew he might actually be looking forward to in one way or another.


"It's your birthday!"

Harry slammed the door loudly before he spun around to scan the sitting room. He barely managed to control his mouth long enough for it to not hit the floor and cause a dent at the sight that he was greeted by.

The table that Severus usually sat at was devoid of all things related to schoolwork and instead was covered in a black satin tablecloth. On it sat a bottle of red wine and two glasses, one in front of Severus and the other set before the couch as if Severus had been awaiting Harry's presence.

"Well it's nice of you to live up to my expectations Mr. Potter," Severus said, but the glow in his eyes told Harry of the hidden amusement. "As I pointed out earlier, you have a knack for gleaming inappropriate information."

"It's your birthday?" Harry asked softer this time as he made his way towards the couch and sat down facing Severus as he always did.

Severus nodded and Harry winced half angry, half embarrassed. "But I didn't get you anything!"

Severus' brow shot up. "Did you cut today?"

Harry shook his head, instantly smiling.

"Did you cry or want to scream or wallowed in anguish or self-pity?"

Again Harry shook his head...and there was the small upturn edge of Severus' lips and look of shimmering black pools in his eyes that made Harry's pulse increase just a little these days.

"Then that is your present to me Harry," Severus said softly. "Thank you, especially since you didn't harm yourself even though you had no idea of the significance of the day."

Harry pouted a little. "But that's exactly why we can't make that your present. I mean I didn't give it to you directly in honor of the occasion and I want to give you something."

"What do you have to give?"

Harry blushed, suddenly feeling very self-conscious and shy. He slowly handed Severus the picture he had drawn only the few hours earlier. It was more refined now.

More importantly was the charm that Harry had placed on the image. It had taken a while and quite a lot of concentration but finally he had gotten the image to move. Now the water of the Lake lulled gently against the banks and the trees of the Forbidden Forest swayed in an enchanted breeze. Harry didn't know how much Severus may or may not love Hogwarts but he figured that the Wizard could do with a picture of the place.

Severus stared at it for a long while.

"Your new hobby?" Harry nodded. "I had noticed that you tended to spend quite a lot of time sketching little images, even at improper times such as Potions theory classes. I was wondering when you would realize that there were actually implements invented for that very purpose which does not include the plains of your skin or ink of your blood.

"This is a very complicated spell to achieve. You could have very well saved yourself the trouble in fact by simply purchasing a Wizard sketch-scroll, already charmed to make whatever image drawn, move." Severus met Harry's eyes. "This is more appreciated though, because I am well aware of the effort you put into it. Thank you Harry, it's very impressive."

Harry wasn't sure if he should blush in embarrassment or pride or simply from the feel of Severus' gaze focused so intently upon him. In the end he blushed for all those reasons and perhaps more from the jumble of emotions whirling within him.

Severus filled both their glass with wine from the bottle as Harry collected himself.

"I'm going to assume that you missed dinner and are probably hungry. Am I right?" Severus asked, glancing at Harry.

Harry nodded.

Severus snapped his fingers and as with the Great Hall, the food appeared on the table before Harry.

"House elves are quite agreeable when they wish to be," Severus said by way of explanation. "Would you like me to transfigure the couch into a proper chair?"

"No, I'm alright," Harry replied, deciding that it was time he made use of his voice again.

This time it was Severus' turn to nod and he did so as he took a sip of his wine. Harry mimicked the action then gasped in outrage almost immediately.

"This is apple juice!"

"You are entirely too young to be drinking alcohol with or without a meal, and as your teacher I cannot allow you to drink in my presence," Severus said with a smirk. "There is a charm on your glass which changes the liquid."

Harry glared. "Then, couldn't you make it something more special and less...apple juice?"

Severus glared right back, but with a tap of his wand against the glass the spell changed and the liquid within became a less transparent, dark golden color.

Harry immediately brought it to his lips and tasted it.


It would do.

He shrugged and nodded.

Severus took a sip of his wine again. "So what did you do with your entire day?"

"I worked on your birthday present."

"Alright. How did you become informed that it was my birthday? I know you had no idea up until the moment I made you leave the room."

"Hmmm. How did the Veritaserum turn out?"

"Well enough. Obviously I would still be preparing it if it wasn't to my satisfaction...You haven't answered my question."

"Oh...well...I actually don't think I will. You weren't polite enough to tell me and you gave me a nasty shock when I realized it...so as my revenge you don't get to hear."

"Dumbledore helped a little, correct? Old couth, can't keep his spectacles out of private matters."

"Yes well, if it wasn't for him you would be sitting here all alone getting drunk in private."

"Not a bad idea. Don't think I won't evict you still if need be."

"You wouldn't. That would leave you with no Harry Potter to throw insults at and we both know you need at least a daily dose."

"Insolent brat. I really should toss you out."

"You keep saying that, yet...."

"Well hurry and eat so I can get to it."

"I'm nearly finished. Hold your horses. What's the rush anyway?"

"You're right. No rush. I can just levitate you through the closed door I suppose."

"Well someone jut it down! Did you just tell me I was right at something?"

"Insolent brat."

"Yes you said that already..."


Some time between the magically refilling bottle of wine, the bantering tones and the stream of mundane conversation, Severus found himself sitting on the black velvet couch with Harry's head resting gently in his lap. The rest of the teen was stretched across its length; his shoes having been abandoned hours before in favor of having the feel of velvet beneath his toes.

"Severus, may I ask you a highly personal question?"

Severus' fingers stopped in it's continuous stroking through the midnight black of Harry's hair - 'When the hell had I begun doing that?'

"You may ask, but I might choose not to answer," he replied in the soft tone that the conversation had lulled to.

Harry seemed to accept the condition, but it was another minute later that he summoned enough courage to voice the question. By then, Severus had already resorted to giving in to the desire and play with Harry's soft, untamed hair again.

"Severus, are you gay?"

The hand stopped again immediately and Severus stiffened even thought a part of him knew that he would have been asked the question at some point.

"You should go," he said in a tone devoid of their earlier lightness.

Harry didn't move. "You haven't answered the question. Is that to mean 'yes'?"

There was a few seconds of silence from Severus as he pondered how he would escape the question, but the wine seemed to have breached more of his defenses than he assumed earlier, because he could not think of a single other thought but the truth.

"Harry...interpret it however you wish but I can't answer you. It's inappropriate and for the role I need to maintain in this understanding that we have reached, it is dangerous. I don't want you to become dependent on me, and dependency can take many forms...including your 'persistent crush'."

Harry sighed. "I just need a yes or a no. Please...just give me that, if only so that we have one thing in common that I can relate to."

"We have more than you think in common -" Severus began, but Harry interrupted.

"Alright, but do we have this?"

"Harry, I really don't -"

"Just yes or no. That's all I need."

There was a long pause, almost uncomfortable for one but patient for the other, before Severus finally answered in a soft voice.

"Yes...I am of that inclination, but," Emphasis on the 'but', "In no way does this mean or imply anything new within the relationship we already have. Do you understand?"

Harry laughed, pleased with himself. "Yes, I understand. It's just that you know so much personal things about me now, that it's nice when you tell me things about you."

Severus hand reluctantly resumed its stroking.

"You should go."

Neither made any effort to move or stop their actions.

"I don't want to. If I do then the day will end and...I liked how today went."

"The day will end no matter what you do. In fact it already has."

Harry shifted a little, onto his back so that he could look up into Severus' eyes. "May I stay here tonight then?"

"No you can't. McGonagall will be checking on you soon I'm sure. It wouldn't do for you to have gone missing. Even though Dumbledore is probably quite aware of where you are at this very moment."

Harry sighed, but this time with a burst of energy he managed to sit up. Together they rose from the chair as Severus walked Harry to the door.

Of course, almost immediately Severus was encircled within a hug, with Harry's breath tickling the side of his face and his ear. Severus returned the hug and he could almost feel Harry's lips stretch into a grateful smile.

"Goodnight Severus," Harry whispered amidst the scents of Severus that he was trying so hard to capture. "Thank you for celebrating your birthday with me. It was...just...perfect."

"You're welcome Harry," Severus replied simply as, each retreated in their opposite directions.

Spice and smoke...Cinnamon and vanilla...drifted along with Harry all the way to the Gryffindor tower.