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 16

Chapter Summary:
Harry returns to Hogwarts for his Seventh Year with a new determination to overcome all obstacles in his way. It doesn't take him long to realize that there is just a little more that he has to learn in order for him to win the love of a master. And in the confines of love and war, Severus must now learn when to let Harry go. SS/HP SLASH and Violence.
Author's Note:
Thanks: To my wonderful beta readers Amanda_Saitou and Philo whose wonderful help kept me sane.



For Relle, who prod and poked.


Chapter Sixteen

Of Snakes and Ladders


"Albus, couldn't you have reigned in your bias tendencies just a little? Three hours before the little brats arrive and this is the welcome I am to receive?"

From behind his table, in his previously quiet office, Dumbledore smiled at the Potion professor and wondered if Severus was really as against his decision as he was portraying. His decision had not been all that bias. If he had his way, it would have been a two way split, but even he could not make such a drastic change to Hogwarts' student hierarchy.

"I take it that you are referring to my choice of Head Boy and Head Girl?" he asked still smiling. "It was not entirely all my decision Severus. The Upper year students voted for them. I merely cast the nominating vote."

Severus took a seat on one of the ever present chairs, before the infuriating wizard. "You made them all Heads! How is that not bias. You chose the candidates. You and that suffocating witch you call their Head of House."

"You know, Minerva and I did nominate Mr. Malfoy also. Is it any wonder though that the students chose Mr. Potter as their Head Boy? He was the most respected prefect last year and he is still the one person they are the most willing to go to. Mr. Malfoy would simply hex them into silence."

Severus glared to show how not amused he was. "He will not want to serve as Deputy Head Boy beside Weasley and he certainly will loathe the idea of serving under Potter!"

"Ah, but Severus, he did accept the position," Albus reminded him patiently. "I received Ms. Granger's, Mr. Weasley's and Harry's acceptance a week ago. Mr. Malfoy's was a bit nearing the deadline but I assure you that it arrived yesterday, which I'm certain you know of because I spelled a copy of all three of them to you too."

Severus scowled in silence some more, but Albus decided that since he had the professor with him he might as well move on to another matter.

"I understand that you haven't seen Harry since the night he left. He has been at the Headquarters for five weeks and you weren't curious enough to visit him? Especially on his birthday Severus? You and I both know that the only reason he was so determined to finish his sessions with Jean-Claude before his birthday was because he wanted to see you."

"And what would I have done Albus? Should I have gone to Molly and told her that I, his most hated professor, would like to wish Potter, the supposed bane of my life, a happy birthday?" Severus snapped. "I will no doubt be seeing him by the end of the day if the train arrives. I'm sure that neither you nor him will die from the wait."

Albus smiled with twinkling glasses again. "Alright."

"Meddlesome prat," Severus said immediately.

That sent Dumbledore into a laughing fit because Severus had never actually called him the name to his face before and it was rather hilarious to see the professor go on in such a way. He was probably missing Harry more than he was admitting to. Dumbledore himself had missed Harry for the extra month and so had many of Harry's curious classmates.

Harry had been safely at his relatives for the time as always. He had been transported to St. Mungo's by his Advanced Guards to all his sessions and safely transported back by his Rear guards. Jean-Claude had sent progress reports ever so often and it seemed that he and Harry had got on very well. So much so that Harry had been given a clean parchment of mental health almost a month and a half early. Of course, Harry had not wanted to return to Privet Drive after that and so he had celebrated his seventeenth birthday with all the members of the Order under a huge magical painting he had done of his godfather.

Severus had been conveniently missing from the little gathering, but for some reason Harry had not seemed all that disappointed.

Now, Harry was returning to Hogwarts to the position of Head Boy and a mountain of tasks that he would have to occupy his time with. Dumbledore wondered if it was not too soon to push the young wizard's mental state so quickly after recovery. But, whatever was needed to be done had to be done and he had no doubts that Harry would face the challenges head on.

"Shouldn't you be preparing for the Welcome Feast?" Dumbledore inquired and Severus took that as his cue to leave.

He stood.

"I should. I may as well make use of what little peace and silence there is left. I certainly will not get the opportunity when the pests arrive," Severus stated as he approached the fireplace. "Goodbye Headmaster. I am sure that I will no doubt be seeing you at the Feast."

With that he disappeared into the flames and was soon on his way to his precious dungeon.


"Well, we're here again," Hermione said softly.

The three stepped out of their carriage and gazed up at Hogwarts in awe and somewhat sadly.

"Wow, can you believe it's our last year here?" Ron asked. "What will we do with ourselves next August when it hits us that there is no more Hogwarts to come back to? Look at the three of us. Who knew we would be the ones chosen as Head students?"

Hermione wrapped one arm around his waist and laced the fingers of her other hand through Harry's.

"I knew." She whispered, then amended. "Well I knew about me. The two of you I'm still a little shocked about."

"You're not the only one shocked Granger." Draco stepped out of the second carriage with the remaining head students. "I have it on good authority that Potter should be dead by now and you Weasel should have long dropped out from monetary expenses."

Ron threw Draco a tight smile. "You're one to talk Malfoy. Shouldn't you have been expelled?"

Draco smirked then gave them all looks of aloft disgust before heading towards the front doors of the castle. He was followed by the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff Deputy Head Girls.

"You won't be rid of me quite so quickly Weasel," He threw over his shoulders.

"Unfortunately," Ron muttered.

Hermione sighed then pressed a light kiss against her boyfriend's cheek.

"Well? Let's go in then. Not much to do out here is there?" Harry chided. He gave them a slow smile, which resulted in the corner of his lip turning up only ever so slightly, and a roguish wink before darting towards the door.

"That smile..." Ron turned to Hermione, letting his sentence trail.

She laughed. "Yes. That smile... He's been doing it all month. Doesn't it remind you of someone?"

Ron nodded emphatically. "Yes. Someone we've all met I think, but I can't quite place it. Who do we know who smiles like that?"

Hermione shrugged, but she was grinning almost mischievously as if her mind had picked up on something that he had yet to piece together.

"Come on you two!" Harry interrupted impatiently. "The Feast is going to start soon and how will it look if we arrive late?"

That got Ron and Hermione laughing and racing to his side.


He looked different.

He was taller now as was expected. He had grown his hair to a length that would just about be able to become a ponytail, too. The effect was rather odd in Severus' opinion because it made him look older and yet no different. It was still black and untamed, but the length gave Severus an almost irresistible urge to touch. He was not as slim anymore either, which was good, since it meant that he had been given proper food, if only for the past five weeks. In fact he seemed to be a slight bit more tan and that could only mean that he had been flying or playing Quidditch at some point in his time away.

What would really get to Severus later were the questions of when and with whom.

All in all, Harry definitely looked different.

Sitting at the Gryffindor table, submerged in chatter and random laughter, he certainly appeared in better health also. This was another good thing in Severus' book. Well, good and bad actually. Leaving a month early from Hogwarts to go for professional mental help, who knew what lies Harry's head was filled with during his time away.

There was of course only one way to truly find out, but as always, Severus would wait for Harry to come to him.

Severus would have his hands full at all other times anyway.

"Everyone, put your sticky palms together and welcome once again as our new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Remus Lupin."

Severus shot a glare at the wizard beside him for good measure, just in case any one had gotten it into their heads that his and Lupin's relationship was any more civil. For his part, Remus only smiled, which made Severus glare that much more.

The Great Hall had indeed exploded in claps and whistles and a good bit of cheering at the announcement. Remus stood for at least three minutes before he was allowed to sit again amidst the commotion.

Severus scowled.

Why the hell couldn't they act so bloody appreciative when he was around? He certainly did just as much for their sorry states as Lupin would no doubt do.

Across the room at the Gryffindor table, Harry saw Severus glare yet again at his newly instated godfather. Harry laughed in amusement, which got Hermione, Ron, Dean, Seamus and Neville laughing too and soon the entire table was chuckling also. The other three tables looked at them as if they had all gone bunkers, and while everyone else at the table laughed even more, Harry's eyes was locked with charcoal ones.

Then Harry did his slow smile of amusement and Severus tore his eyes away.

"Well everyone, that's all the rules I believe. If I've forgotten any do remind me and I'll be sure to remind you back. In the meantime," Dumbledore paused for dramatic effect with twinkles all around. "Tuck in!"

The food appeared, the First years gasped, the others ate and soon Harry was submerged in chatter again. Seamus and Dean filled him in on everything that he had missed in his month away. Though it wasn't a lot, being as exams had been during that time, the two or three things that did happen were hilarious enough to send Harry choking and everyone else the fun of re-living the events.

It seemed that Professor Snape had taken to levitating the lower year students out of his classroom whenever they cause an explosion in his precious dungeon. An idea that Harry realized, no doubt, resulted from Severus' threats on him.

Neville had won a special award from Professor Sprout at the end of the year in Herbology -at which point Neville turned a deep shade of red but was beaming as the information was conveyed- and was expected to have one of the all time best grades in the subject for his N.E.W.T.S.

Finally, there had been the voting for head students. Actually, the votes had been so close between the three boys that there was only a difference of one student away from Harry's count, for Ron and Draco who -nastily enough to the Gryffindors' disgust- both tied with the same amount. Hermione won her position in quite the unanimous way. In fact, since everyone voted in favor of her and could think of no one else good enough for the titles, there was a good bit of confusion when after the votes were in for her, everyone decided that it was a good time as any to leave. It took some coaxing from Professor Dumbledore -who Seamus was quick to note, had a huge grin on his face the entire time- before everyone was seated and voting again. So it was that Hannah Abbott and Padma Patil were given the positions of Deputy Head Girls.

There was a bit more things here and there and random tidbits of information that Neville seemed to surprisingly remember before everyone else, so by the time the meal was over, Harry was well informed and could practically imagine himself being there to witness it all. Of course, once the conversation had returned full circle, everyone wanted to know where Harry had gone.

He told them the truth.

Voldemort had attacked him again in such a way that he had almost died before anyone had been any the wiser. When his body was discovered unconscious, Dumbledore had done everything in his power to revive him. After he had awoken, they thought it best for him to go away for a while as a sort of reprieve and so he had. It was pretty straightforward, and both Hermione and Ron showed their approval by smiling at him. He had told his friends the facts and that was the most important of the events anyway.

Dean, Seamus and Neville seemed satisfied with the explanation but they promised to not tell anyone else, just in case. Dumbledore had been keeping it mostly secret and had told anyone who asked about Harry's sudden departure that they were to ask Harry himself when he returned. So, they had done just that and now they were satisfied.

"We better go up," Seamus said with a stifled yawn. "It's almost nine and I'm so tired the Hall is moving. Any one else feels the need to just pass out?"

The six of them rose, yawning and stretching. The hall was mostly empty by then. Only the professors seemed to want to stay where they were longer than they had to. Hermione visibly perked up as she pulled her wand from her pocket.

As Head Girl she would be given her own room. The Deputies would continue to sleep in their dorms as always but they were also given extra privileges like more time to go out to Hogsmeade alone and the likes.

"Mr. Potter, before you leave, may I have a word with you?" Dumbledore beckoned to Harry at the Head table.

Harry sighed and waved his friends away. They were only too happy to be able to leave, so with a quick "Later, Harry" from Ron the five of them left. The remaining professors at the Head Table took their cue to leave from that and in unison they rose and left. Remus gave Harry a quick smile and Severus glared at them both before they too disappeared through the double doors of the Great Hall.

"Well Harry, let me be the first to officially congratulate you on your position of Hogwarts' new Head Boy," Dumbledore smiled at him and Harry returned the smile with a small blush and a nod of thank.

"Now Harry," Dumbledore moved to stand before him. "I reviewed your terms of condition for your new role and was shocked to see that you refused to accept a separate room. Any particular reason why you would deny yourself this privilege?"

Harry's answer was immediate, as if he had thought about it long and hard. "I don't want such a privilege. I would rather just be considered as just another wizard here. Heaven knows I've already endure enough. I just want my last year here to be as normal as possible."

"Well, I can certainly understand that," Dumbledore said, still smiling gently. "I was under the impression though, that this year you may have been more in want of your own room than at any other time."

Harry looked puzzled. "Why would you think that?"

"Well," Dumbledore seemed to consider his words very carefully. "This year will be a lot more intense than all the previous ones. I trust that your midnight strolls to find peace, will least be likely to diminish. I was only under the impression that you may not have wanted to draw suspicion upon yourself every time you left the dorm."

Harry's puzzled expression deepened. He had never had trouble sneaking out with his invisibility cloak before and he didn't see why sudden problems would develop. He knew that this year would be more complicated and draining than before. His five weeks spent at Gimmauld Place had mostly been spent in Order meetings because the members had all decided that having Ron, Hermione and Harry as new members was only fair since they were probably being targeted by Voldemort and the Death Eaters by now.

Dumbledore gave him a gentle pat on the back. "It's alright Harry. I'm sure that soon you will realize exactly what I mean. In the meantime, I merely wanted to tell you that the privilege is still yours to have and so the room will be available to you for whatever you desire in the future."

"Uh, thank you," was the only thing that Harry could think of saying.

Dumbledore gave him another smile. "Well, with that settled, off with you then. I'm sure that you have quite a few things still left to do tonight."

With another look of confusion, Harry thought it best if he did leave. Perhaps sleep would help him to unravel the hidden meanings behind Dumbledore's words.

Popping into his dorm room fifteen minutes later, Harry was glad to notice that everyone was already sound asleep. He couldn't sleep just yet though. There was someone he needed to see first. Grabbing his invisible cloak from his trunk he swiftly put it on and made his way out the Gryffindor hole.

He just hoped that Severus was still awake. He needed his help and this was a good time as any to see the Potions' professor.



"Hullo Severus. Did you miss me?"

Harry pulled off the invisible cloak with a flourish. Then, slowly he surveyed the room. Everything seemed to be just the way he remembered. The carpet was still a shocking creme -and not murky gray or gangrene- colour, there were still the bookshelves that lined three of the four walls that were covered with vials of potions or books, the table piled high with parchments and other stationary was still at the centre of the room and Severus was sitting behind it with a look of almost-amusement on his face.

"Like a wound I couldn't heal," Severus answered with a mock glare.

Harry laughed. He was just about to take a seat before the professor when he realized that there was indeed something very important missing from the room.

"Where's my couch?"

"I disposed of it. It was taking up too much space and didn't fit the room in any way."

Harry did his best impression of a fish before marching over to stand before Severus with a look of hurt on his face.

"I assure you, it's in a better place," Severus said completely nonplussed which only made Harry's hurt expression deepen. "If it really was so important to you, we could always get you a proper one and not a transfigured piece of parchment. I'm sure it was not as comfortable as you made it out to be. I'm usually very bad at Transfiguration."

"But that wasn't the point Severus! I loved that couch. I don't want another one. Besides it wouldn't have your family crest on it and I bloody love that crest by now!"

Of course, Harry turned a slight shade of red after his little outburst. Without a word, Severus merely cast a levitating spell on a small package that he had hidden beneath a pile of work on his table. It landed perfectly within Harry's open palms.

"Isn't this a month and six days too late?" Harry said as he read the note, but he was grinning with such glee that his eyes sparkled.

"Well I did promise to give you when you got here. So, happy belated birthday. Try not to break it," Severus declared with a shrug.

Harry ripped into the package eagerly.

The first thing he pulled out made him gasp. The chain it dangled on was an intricate design of snakes twisted together from platinum. The chain practically vibrated from all the Protection charms that it held. It was the ring that hung from the chain that Harry could not tear his eyes away from though. It was of the Snape crest, completed with two emerald eyed snakes wrapped around a single scorpion with the Latin motto that Harry had spent days deciphering -'Magic is the Strength Found Within'.

"Family heirloom," Severus explained softly when Harry seemed to be beyond forming words. "Since you seemed to like the crest so much, I thought you might like to have it. I assure you that I won't be wearing it in the future. I've always loved my mother's heirlooms more than my father's and as much as I myself love the Snape emblem, I have enough things around the Manor to ensure that I never forget what the damn thing looks like."

Almost hesitantly, Harry pulled the next thing from the package. Holding it in the palm of his other hand, he laughed for a few seconds before laying it carefully on the floor then pulling out his wand.


The black couch returned to its original size with such speed that Harry had to scoot around the table to stand beside Severus. It looked exactly the way he remembered it to be, velvet smooth with the silver crest that was the exact copy of his new ring.

"Before you ask Potter, this is the original. It's been residing at Snape Manor, as everything else, for a long time. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to keep it somewhere else. I believe that this will be just as good as the transfigured one?"

Harry chuckled softly. "It's perfect. It still doesn't fit the room in any way though. Black velvet and creme carpet?"

"It doesn't fit this room you mean," Severus glared. "I am not changing my carpet to fit your couch Potter. You tolerated the fashion clash last year so I am fairly certain that we can both do the same again this year."

Severus scowled and Harry chuckled some more.

"Thank you Severus," Harry said in a suddenly soft voice as he looked at his gifts.

Biting his lower lip in hesitation, he handed Severus the chain, then knelt silently at the feet of the chair. Severus clasped the chain around Harry's neck and watched as it shimmered. The invisibility spell would immediately be in place so that Harry would be able to hide it from inquiring minds whenever he wanted. As an after thought, Severus caressed Harry's lower lip gently with his thumb before tugging it from the sharp teeth that bit into it.

"Don't. It will bruise," he said quietly, meeting Harry's green eyes with the darkness of his.

Harry smiled then rose to his feet again. Walking over to the couch he threw himself upon it and stretched out in the most comfortable position. Three seconds later though he shot up to a sitting position.

"Damn it! I forgot that I came here for you to help me with something," he said shyly. "It's more like a favour actually, if it's okay with you."

He rose from the chair to remove his wizard cloak and his shirt. Walking over to stand beside Severus' chair again, he turned his back to the older wizard. The Concealment charm that was usually firmly in place on Harry's golden skin was obviously removed for the day. The scars that lined his arms were less visible from a back view, but they were still there as a reminder of Harry's previous year. Severus did not spare them a second glance this time, because Harry's back held more of an interest for him.

Harry had a tattoo.

It spanned the entire length of his back and disappeared below the waist of his pants. It was one of the few most realistic tattoos that Severus had ever seen. In fact, there were only two other occasions where he had seen any tattoo of the sort. One of which he even now bore on his upper arm.

"Ink of Death and Life?"

Severus' gaze never left the sparkling ruby encrusted, gold hilted, Gryffindor sword that had the silver eyed, green Slytherin snake wrapped around it. For some reason the sword looked more animated than the snake, which seemed almost Muggle in the way that it remained immobile.

"Yes it is," Harry's smile sounded in his voice. "Touch it and see."

Tentatively, Severus reached out to touch the smooth expanse of Harry's back. He stroked the leathery texture of the snake's skin and was actually surprised when he felt the snake shiver beneath his fingers and moved with such a speed that he may as well have been real.

"Ow!" Severus exclaimed, pulling his hand away quickly. "Potter, your tattoo just bit me. Why am I not surprised?"

The snake shivered more violently this time as its tongue flickered to catch the drop of blood from its fang. Its eyes rapidly went from a silver shade to black, then slowly it settled on a silvery diamond color.

Harry turned to flash Severus a huge smile. "Thank you."

Severus glared. "Next time warn me first. I don't appreciate being startled in such a manner."

"Oh that was nothing," Harry shrugged. "You should have seen Professor McGonagall's face when the sword nicked her. You would have thought she was bleeding to death."

Severus sighed as Harry returned to the couch, this time lying on his stomach with his arms forming a cradle for his head.

"Why this ink, Harry? It's very rare you know and most wizards are careful not to request the use of it for very good reasons. One never knows the power their tattoos hold. The reactions are unique to every wizard which makes it that much harder to form an expected result. I once knew a wizard who got a black rose. It gave off quite a distinct scent when he was feeling any strong emotion. In fact, it led to his death. He may as well have had a beacon on his forehead and a tracking spell on his back."

He knelt at the side of the couch. "I suppose you need me to seal the charm on it now that the blood of both houses have been added to it? I sincerely hope you know what you are doing. I'm assuming that Albus already knows about this and approves?"

Harry nodded and Severus scowled some more. Harry really could get away with just about anything with the old wizard. Interestingly enough, it was odd to know after such a long time, that Severus was now one of the few people to realize that Harry did not necessarily always desire such privileges.

With another sigh, Severus raised his wand above the design and tried to remember the incantation that he would need to properly seal and activate the tattoo in its entirety.

"Just so you don't fall asleep where you lay, why don't you tell me all about how your sessions went?" Severus said somewhat softly.

Harry perked up a bit and seemed to be gathering his thoughts, not sure where exactly he should begin.

"Jean-Claude is gorgeous and great. Honestly he is! The first day I stepped into his office he was just amazing. He was very patient and really very nice. He's from Beaubaxton you see, so he really has only heard of Hogwarts. He said he met Dumbledore before and he was very impressed by him. He said he met you too. Hated you on sight, I believe were his exact words -"

"Jean-Claude Michaliere is a little brat from what I remember," Severus interrupted, giving his wand a hard test wave and shooting little sparks of silver. "The fact that he's a MagiPsych is entirely due to the beauty of his mother and the money of his family. Up until two generations before, his family had a nasty habit of producing mostly Squibs. When his father was born, it was as if the world re-aligned itself in their favour."

"That's nice to know, Severus," Harry teased. "He's nothing like that. He's very nice and he's a good listener. It didn't take long for us to become great friends. In fact, I'm sure that if I wasn't his patient he may have been up to being even better friends."

Severus shot him a look of disgust. "Developed a sizable crush on him did you?"

Harry shrugged. "In the beginning, yes, but he said that was quite normal. Once we got to some serious talking I realized that it really was only a silly crush and would never result to anything. So that was the end of that."

"What do you mean?" Severus asked immediately.

However, he didn't wait for Harry's response. Instead he began the series of incantations on Harry's tattoo, cutting off his own ability to take part in the conversation. That was just fine with Harry actually, because he had meant to say his part at precisely such a time.

"Meaning, Severus, that I can only be in love with one wizard at a time." Taking a deep breath, he continued. "And...I love you Severus."

To his credit, Severus' slight hitch in the incantation did not affect the sealing process in any way. Harry counted that as a good thing and settled into the comfort of the couch even more. He figured that this was a good place to stop the conversation anyway. Fifteen minutes later, the spell was complete and Harry was sound asleep.

Severus stayed unmoving by the couch, staring at the veil of lashes that guarded hidden pools of green eyes and battled the impending feeling of doom that Harry's declaration had resurfaced.