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 25

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.

Chapter Twenty-Five

Stars That Fall


"Are you jealous, Severus?"

Long silver blond hair fanned over skin too dark in contrast to ivory pale skin. Bodies mingled. Tangled. Rhythmic movements...in...out...to match the soft gasps. Icy blue eyes glazed with passion, hardened by vengeance, flickered up to meet hollow black impassiveness. Pants... Moans...

Severus closed the door and waited.

He waited for the building crescendo to the sound of movement. He waited for the sometimes muffled, sometimes incoherent shouts of passion from the person Severus had barely remembered being acquainted with. He waited for the sounds and groans of release to come and for the bed to stop rattling and the air to stop smelling of sex and heat and betrayal.

He waited for Lucius to exit the room, wrapped in a dark green silk robe.

"Are you jealous, Severus?" Icy blue eyes again.

Icy blue eyes met by onyx, void of any emotions. Even when Lucius' lips crashed violently into Severus. Even when ivory colored hands framed cheeks of pale. Emotionless.

"To be jealous I would have to care, Lucius." Impassive and cold. "To be jealous, you would have to mean a great deal to me."

"You're right Severus, there is nothing inside of us to care. We are...hollow."

Severus stared into an elongated bathroom mirror and all he saw were sparkling green eyes on a face that was kissed by the gods, and wounded by darkness.

Harry was just seventeen.

Severus' lover was just seventeen.

'What had I been thinking?' Severus asked silently. 'What had I expected from one so young?'

The answer came immediately.

Harry wasn't 'one so young'. Harry wasn't 'just seventeen'. Harry was Harry. Just like Severus had made his choice, Harry had made his choice too. They had chosen each other for good or for bad. Severus had asked that Harry trust him. Couldn't he trust Harry too?

Except it was so hard. And, the burning, anger inducing reaction that spread like fire through Severus' body could not be denied quite so easily.

"Are you jealous, Severus?" Emerald eyes asked this time.

Severus touched the shimmering ruby that rested on his chest. His fingers glided slowly down the rough length, tracing the outlines of the gold carved within. The lightning. The initials. He could feel the residue of Harry's magic vibrating powerfully from the pendant. It was strangely comforting to Severus, who had never before needed comfort.

To be jealous, I would have to care...


Hermione's fingers stroked soothingly through Harry's hair, but he didn't even seem to notice.

"What happened Harry?" She had asked the night before, when he had stumbled into her room looking as if he was lost.

He hadn't answered her then and she had stopped asking.

He was lying on her bed on his side and hadn't moved for hours, except for the rhythmic, mindless strokes he did against the scars on his arm or the ring on his chest that had suddenly been visible to his friends. She was lying behind him, curled into him to provide whatever comfort he needed. In a chair beside the bed, Ron sat reading a Defense Against the Dark Arts textbook.

They had fallen asleep in that position and awoken the same way.

None of them had moved all morning. Luckily neither Ron nor Hermione had class so far, otherwise they would have definitely missed it. They had reached an unspoken agreement the night before, that they wouldn't leave Harry alone no matter what happened.

The true test was that in another hour the trio was supposed to be in Defense Against the Dark Arts. Still no one made any move to leave for class. They were fairly certain that Remus would understand their absence.

"Hermione, you should get dressed for class," Harry broke the silence softly for the first time in as many hours. "Ron and I will be quicker at it."

Hermione sat up in the bed quickly. Her hands paused in their slow trek through his hair. There were a few questions that burned on the tip of her tongue to ask him but she fought them down. Their words resounded like echoes in her head.

'What happened last night Harry? Will you be alright? What did he say to you? Do you want to talk about it? Ron and I are here for you. We're your best friends Harry, you can tell us. You know we won't leave you to fight this war alone, don't you?'

Instead she sighed softly and pressed an emotional kiss to his temple.

"You'll be alright, won't you Harry?" she asked, her voice breaking with unshed tears.

Harry nodded, but it was only just so much reassurance since his fingers still glided back and forth across one of his scars. Hermione accepted the nod, not knowing what else to say. She rose from the bed, got pulled into a quiet hug by her boyfriend, before finally grabbing a few things and running out of the room.

Harry and Ron stared silently at each other for a few minutes, speaking without words as only best friends could.

"This isn't about the war is it?" Ron finally asked quietly and Harry shook his head in reply.

"You're in love with him." It was a statement.

Harry answered it as a question, with a silent nod.

"Does he love you?"

Harry shook his head again.

"Then he's a prick. He doesn't deserve you. I could hex him for you if you want. Hermione and I could think of something."

Harry smiled sadly.

"Not this time Ron," he said softly. "This time I should be the one being hexed."

Ron was silent as he thought about what Harry had said and what it could mean. Harry waited. Ron was smart. Harry had quickly begun to realize this in the past few months. His best friends were really amazing people.


Harry sighed then nodded again.

"Maybe I should wait until 'Mione gets back to say what happened."

"Or I could tell her what you say," Ron said meaningfully. "Did you cheat on him with Will?"

"He thinks I did." Harry shrugged. "That's enough to condemn me."

From the doorway, Hermione made a strange sort of strangled sound and both guys turned to her immediately. They had been pretty sure that she had left.

"I can hurry too!" she said in explanation, seemingly more interested in hugging Harry again, even though she was dressed in her uniform. "What happened? If you want to tell us. We won't pressure you if you don't want to."

Harry sighed again.

"You've been really patient," he said softly. "I should tell you."

And he did. He told them everything, excluding only the part where Draco had told him that they should talk soon. By the time he was finished telling them, they looked somewhat stunned. Ron seemed to be seething internally while Hermione appeared almost hopeful about the situation.

It had only been a misunderstanding. It could be fixed. Couldn't it?


Will took a deep breath, raised his hand, then took another calming breath again.

He had been standing outside Professor Snape's office for a long time as he prepared to knock and enter. So far he had yet to find the courage, but he knew he had to. Professor Snape had the wrong idea about Harry and since Will had already ruined his chances with Harry, the best thing would not be to ruin the other's reputation.

This time, when Will raised his hand, he knocked.

"Enter," came the command and Will did.

"Professor Snape, I don't know if you remember who I am, but I have to speak to you," Will began in a hurried voice, not wanting the professor to find time to hex him. "Last night you walked into the Observation room of the Astronomy Tower and saw Harry Potter and I. I don't know if you were taking notice but we were in a somewhat compromising position and uh..."

His voice trailed off from uncertainty and a good bit of embarrassment. His cheeks became tinged with red as his gaze met his professor's stare of pure steel.

'Perhaps now is not the best time to talk to him...' His brain supplied.

Severus had been sitting at his desk, busy documenting the instructions for his third class of the day when the knock had sounded on the door. Figuring that allowing the student entry was perhaps a good way to take his mind off a certain green-eyed person, he had given the command for the student to enter.

Of course he hadn't realized that said student would be the very one to cause the rift between himself and Harry in the first place. If it wasn't for appearance sake, Severus' first impulse had been to send the Seventh year Ravenclaw hurtling out into the Slytherin hallway.

"I'm going to assume that this is reaching its main point soon Mr. Stephens," Snape seethed in less than suppressed irritation. "Otherwise, I just might deduct points for you wasting what little spare time I have."

William turned an even deeper shade of red, before marching up to where his previous Potions professor was sitting. Clutching the table for emphasis, his mouth hurled the words his brain had been thinking since the night before.

"Professor Snape, Harry is straight!" he shouted.

If Severus had been eating he would have choked. Luckily, food had been the last thing on his mind since the previous night, but it was quite a shocking declaration to hear.

Especially since he knew that Will had it backwards.

"Did Potter tell you he was straight?" Snape asked instead, his eyes narrowing to show that he wasn't in a mood to be toyed with. "He looked otherwise to me when I entered. Don't be naive Stephens. I assure you that no straight wizard would have been caught in the position I observed the two of you in last night."

Will groaned in exasperation.

"No! You didn't see what you thought you saw," he protested, but was forced to edit. "Well yes you did, but that was my fault. I asked Harry to take his clothes...uh...off. See we were only drawing. Harry likes to draw and he's amazing at it. I wanted it... I wanted him to... It was my fault, Professor. I'm the one that's...gay."

His eyes had fallen in embarrassment as he admitted his sexuality to the one person in Hogwarts that he would have rather not have known. It couldn't be helped though, so a moment later he raised his eyes again in defiance.

"If you're going to do something mean then do it to me! Harry didn't do anything wrong. I even tried blatant flirting and he wouldn't take the bloody hint! I know you despise him, but if you tell the school that he's gay when he's not, then it will be horrible and he'll hate me. I was just trying to get his mind off the Death Eaters escape. We didn't do anything but draw all night and that's not a crime!"

Severus didn't close his eyes in relief. He didn't even blink in shock.

He didn't need to, because Will was just confirming what Severus had already realized that morning as he stared into a silent, elongated mirror.

Harry hadn't done anything wrong.

Severus knew everything about Harry. Severus knew every inch of Harry's body. Every curve. Every line. Every muscle. He had held Harry against his own body. He had trailed kisses along Harry's back as he bent over him; slipping into the welcoming cocooning feel of being buried deep within Harry...too many times.

He knew what Harry looked like aroused and aching, almost giving off sparks of energy. He knew the look in Harry's eyes and the sound of Harry's ragged breathing. The scents. The sounds. The tastes. The electricity in the air.

Harry had definitely not been aroused that night...because Severus knew what Harry looked like with desire burning in his emerald eyes.

"I know for certain that Harry Potter is gay."

Severus felt the need to say it out loud to Will. Perhaps it was childish. Perhaps out of spite. Perhaps because this was the second wizard that Harry had chosen Severus over and it made him feel odd and strangely humbled.

Will suddenly looked confused. "But...he doesn't act gay. Malfoy even said that Harry was straight."

"Malfoy is a Slytherin." Severus gave Will a pointed look. "Do Ravenclaws always take the word of a Slytherin?"

"Well you're a Slytherin too! Who do I believe then?"

"Believe what you know inside of you to be true," Severus supplied. "You are the one so inclined. You know what it is you're looking for."

Will went silent for a very long time. Severus allowed him the moments of contemplation. He could afford to do it after all. Will wasn't the person that Harry chose. It was only fair that the young wizard understand why his passes at Harry had not worked.

"He probably likes someone else," Will muttered finally. "He probably just wanted us to be friends and I ruined it by wanting more. I probably should go and apologize to him. I do want to be his friend. He's Harry Potter! I'll take what I can get."

Severus considered that his good deed for the year had been done.

Will was looking at his Professor with a strange look on his face. "Since you've figured it out before I have. What are you going to do professor?"

Suddenly, the Potions professor got a distinctly cruel gleam in his eyes as he smirked a look of evil. The calm voice of reason that Will had gotten a glimpse of was suddenly gone. If Will had forgotten whom it was that he had been talking with, it certainly came back to him in a second.

Professor Snape scowled. "Don't worry about Potter, Stephens. Whatever lot he deserves in life will certainly come around to him."

Will shot the professor a look of disgust that quickly changed to a glare. There was no use trying to talk to the professor now. Will knew that he would be walking a very thin line if he pushed the professor. So far he had managed to insult and shout quite a few times since he walked into the room. It was better if he didn't push the crazy bastard.

"Thanks for the help professor," Will said coldly. It was soon followed less audibly by, "I hope Harry gets to uncover you for the Death Eater you are. Evil git."

He slammed the door with a resounding bang as he exited.

Severus made a mental note to owl the Ravenclaw a letter stating how many points he would be deducting for insolence and bad manners, at dinner. In the meantime, he allowed his mind to wander once again to sparkling green eyes.

For some reason, Severus didn't think he would be punishing any of his Potions students for the rest of the day.


"Where is Harry Potter?"

"Bugger off!"

"Where is Harry Potter?"

"We don't know and if we did, obviously we're not dumb enough to tell!"

"Our patience is dwindling. We will not ask you again."


"If you tell us, perhaps we will spare your lives."

"We would actually rather die than betray Harry. Killing us won't solve anything. In the end Harry will win. He's the better wizard than Voldemort."

"How dare you speak our master's name. You insolent children. You will pay for your quick tongues and small minds."

"Gods, talk about melodramatic!"

"Avarda Kedavra! Avarda Kedavra!"

Beams of green light shot through the air. Ron and Hermione fell without a sound. The Death Eaters apparated.

Harry screamed...but no one heard.

For the second time in two days Harry passed out in Defense Against the Dark Arts class. He had remained frighteningly unconscious for so long that he was on strict orders to rest for the day. For the second time, he refused to say if he had seen a vision and tell what it had been about.

"Harry you're being unreasonable," Remus said gently.

Harry had been taken to the Hospital Wing as soon as he had collapsed. When he woke he had been lying in a bed. One that was probably reserved for him by now. Remus was by his side. More so because as soon as Harry was conscious again his new godfather had hopped into the bed also.

"Remus it wasn't important," Harry protested softly, but Remus was not convinced.

"Don't lie Harry. You're visions are always important."

Except, this had not only been a vision and Harry knew it. It was a promise of what the Death Eaters would do and what Voldemort would command. Harry's friends would die. All the people he cared about would die.

The war had begun.

"Remus I don't want to talk about this," Harry said softly. "Please can we just talk about something else?"

He rested his head on Remus' shoulders and Remus wrapped an arm around him. They were silent however, each lost to their own thoughts as they comforted and reassured each other.

Then Harry broke the silence.

"Remus, did you and Sirius ever think about what it would be like if one of you died?"

Remus nodded. "Of course. We thought about it often Harry."

"Is it anything like you imagined now that he really is gone?"

Remus was silent for a few seconds. His eyes seemed to become glazed with sadness and pain. For a moment his gaze was glued to the other side of the room as if he had forgotten that Harry was there.

"No it isn't," he finally answered. "It hurts ten times worse. The grief is ten times stronger. The emptiness. The hollow ache. Unless someone loses their...heart...no one can imagine the pain. For days the world seems to be moving in slow motion and that one moment gets replayed over and over in the mind.

"Sirius was impulsive. It's actually fitting that he would die in a sudden moment. It wouldn't have done for him to waste away on a bed before my eyes. I wouldn't have minded that, but he wouldn't have allowed it. He had to die in the war, fighting for you and me and Albus. He had to die as a hero because that's just the person he was. I accept it but it doesn't make it easier."

"I understand," Harry whispered with a nod.

Remus looked at him with a small smile. "Do you?"

"Yes," Harry answered. "When you love someone you bind yourself to them. It's like you intertwine your heart and soul together in such a complex way that if that person dies they rip you apart. You're left bleeding from the gaping wound that is caused from their empty space."

"Yes...exactly," Remus whispered.

He didn't ask the obvious question of who it was that Harry cared about so much to understand. Harry didn't volunteer the information because that moment wasn't the right time. He would tell Remus soon though. Soon.

In the meantime, while they once again sank into silence, Harry's mind wandered to ebony hair and onyx eyes.

He really hoped that Severus wasn't too angry with him.

If Severus died in the war, then Harry would be torn apart. Perhaps if Harry died in the war then Severus would also mourn him with the quiet strength and grace that Remus did for Sirius. Harry was going to try his best not to die in the war. He only hoped Ron, Hermione, Severus, Remus and the others had enough sense to do the same thing.

Voldemort couldn't win. Harry was going to see to that.


Draco literally waited all day to speak to Harry.

When Harry had collapsed in Defense Against the Dark Arts, Draco had his suspicions of why. He had tried to see Harry in the Hospital Wing, but Madam Pomfrey had refused to let him in and Draco hadn't pushed. Harry hadn't showed up for Transfiguration class. Draco hadn't really expected him to. After Potions class, Draco had looked for Harry again but he was no longer in the Hospital Wing. He hadn't been able to locate Professor Flitwick either. Again, Draco had his suspicions as to why. By the time lunch was over, Draco had decided to give up and talk to Harry another day.

At dinner, the choice was taken out of his hands. His father had sent him an owl post and that meant that Draco had to talk to Harry before the day was done.

He ditched his friends and this time began to blatantly ask the Lower year students if they had seen Harry. The Deputy Head really needed to have an urgent word with the Head boy. Most said no, some gave quivering suggestions.

In the end, Draco found Harry by himself while walking down the Slytherin corridor.

"Malfoy are you alright?"

"Don't ask stupid questions Potter. Do I look alright?"

He was knelt upon the floor, doubled over with his arms wrapped around his own waist. He was gasping for breath loud and ragged. Somewhere near where Harry had ducked into a corner, rolled away from being dropped perhaps, was Draco's wand. Harry thought that even in the dull lighting, Draco seemed to have paled a lot. As the distressed teen rocked back and forth on the ground, Harry watched in fascination.

When Draco didn't seem to be improving as they moments passed, Harry made the decision to help.

"Malfoy?" he called coming out of where Draco had seen him watching.

Draco looked up at him with wide round gray eyes and seemed to develop even more trouble breathing. There was sweat glistening on his face and his body began to tremble violently.

"Dying...heart attack...something..."

Harry didn't wait to hear what other explanation Draco could gasp out amidst the building tremors, the sweating and the ragged breathing.

Reaching out to him, Harry tentatively touched his neck to check his racing pulse. Before he could even blink or wonder what to do next, he caught a glimpse of his snake tattoo as it slid from his back and wrapped itself around his outstretched arm. Then, unbelievably, it crossed the distance between his fingertips and Draco's neck. Long, sharp fangs sunk into the artery at the pale neck and Draco gasped in pain.

Moments later his breathing calmed and the tremors stopped.

The tattoo retreated to where it usually rested, wrapped around the sword on Harry's back. Harry pulled his hand away from Draco's skin in shock, while Draco rose to stand with suspicion evident in his silver gaze.

"What did you do?"

"I'm not sure. I don't know!" Harry exclaimed in confusion.

"You did something," Draco returned in accusation. "Why do I feel as if I just drank a bottle of Calming Potion? How did you inject it into me? Calming Potion is supposed to be orally induced."

"I don't know what I did okay!" Harry declared. "Obviously it was something good because you're better."

Draco seemed to return to his senses at this realization and with a scowl he walked over to where his wand had rolled and picked it up from off the floor. When he turned he had it pointed at Harry.

"Listen Potter, no one hears about this. Do you understand?" Draco said nastily. "I won't have it all over this horrid school that one of the Deputy Head boys suffer from heart attacks."

Despite his best efforts, Harry smiled. "That wasn't a heart attack Malfoy, trust me."

Draco's eyes narrowed once more. "How the blazes would you know Potter? You weren't the one who just felt it. I've had it before. If I say they felt like heart attacks then this bloody well was one."

Harry raised an eyebrow. "How old are you Malfoy? Seventeen, right? You play Quidditch on a regular basis and since you look like a poster boy for an anorexia catalogue, I'm going to guess that you barely eat anything, much less anything unhealthy. Oh and you're a Wizard too. Does that sound like someone who's a good candidate for heart failure?"

"Then what was it Mr. Know-Too-Much?"

Harry smiled. "I'll tell you as soon as you lower your wand."

Draco lowered his wand reluctantly.

"It's called an anxiety attack. I should know. Apparently I'm a good candidate for it and I met someone who has them also. He told me what they were like, what they felt like and looked like so I was able to recognize it," Harry explained, trying to keep the superior tone out of his voice.

It was funny when he thought about the fact that high and mighty, Draco Malfoy suffered from a mental illness just like he did. Granted their illnesses were different but each sometimes led to the other.

"An anxiety attack?" Draco asked, looking at Harry as if he expected the other wizard to start laughing soon.

"Yes. You should read up on it. Muggle books have a lot of information about it but apparently so does the Wizarding world." It was Harry's turn to look somewhat suspicious. "You've had it before you said. Why aren't you walking around with a bottle of Calming Potion or something? You would think that you would want to avoid having to endure another one."

Draco glared again. "I didn't know what they were did I? I did use Calming Potions in the summer when they first started, but my father found out and wanted to know why I needed it. I didn't want to tell him that I thought I was dying. Malfoys are supposed to be strong, even in pain. Besides, I was hoping that I wouldn't have another one."

Harry considered that for a moment. "Well you're at Hogwarts now you can get the potion if you want. Get it delivered from Hogsmeade."

"My father would know. He has people watching out for me everywhere."

"Watching out for you or watching you?" Harry scoffed. "In that case then I suppose you'll have to figure out another way that's not magical since I'm assuming that you won't be able to get your hands on any potion."

Draco began to look decidedly sick.

Harry took pity on him by offering to Draco what would have been a last resort. "You know, you could always do what Muggles do. It's very simple."

At the word 'Muggle' Draco's lips turned up in disgust.

"I am not doing anything Muggle. They've probably developed some filthy habit that they call a cure."

"Who said anything about a cure?" Harry asked. "If you don't want to then you will just have to bear with it. In the meantime, I'm going. I'm sure that as soon as you return to your dorm you'll remember this little conversation and probably become increasingly nauseous when you realize that yet again, it's civil. I'd like to keep it that way."

Before he could walk away Draco caved. "Alright, what do I do?"

Harry smiled. Then removing his wand from his pocket he tapped his wrist with it while muttering a revealing spell. On his wrist was a simple black rubber band which he removed and transferred to Draco's wrist unceremoniously.

"Next time you feel an attack coming on, snap it hard. The sting it causes gives your brain something else to focus on. If you have a full blown attack just keep snapping it. It won't stop the attacks or anything but it will make them more bearable and less intense."

Draco looked at it with an expression on his face that clearly said that he thought he was losing his mind. It was probably the first Muggle instrument he had ever allowed near his skin in his entire life, but this one did nothing but hang from his hand in a very non-threatening way.

Perhaps it wouldn't hurt if he tried it.

"Wait. Why did you have it? And won't you need it yourself?" he asked not quite kindly but without the edge to his voice.

Harry shrugged with a small smile. "I liked pain. This was a recommended substitute just in case. Don't ask. I can always get another one, but I haven't needed this one in a very long time. A friend of mine is a MagiPsych who has no objections to using Muggle methods if they help."

"You have a friend who is a MagiPsych?"

"Yes. What about that?"

"Potter, you are weird," Draco said returning to his look of disgust. "You really have some sort of saving complex charmed inside don't you?"

Harry didn't deem the comment worthy of an answer. He noticed that the rubber bad was being allowed to stay where it was though and that was good enough in his book.

"Since you seem to be back to your insulting ways, and I have better things to do with my time right now, I'll just go," he said instead.

"No wait!" Draco exclaimed when Harry turned around and really did begin to walk away. "We have to talk. Now."

Harry arched an eyebrow but only said, "So speak. I really don't have all night."

"Not in the Slytherin corridors you idiot," Draco responded with a look that clearly said that Harry's intelligence had fallen yet again in his mind."

Harry sighed impatiently. "Then I suggest you keep this short and to the point."

Draco seemed to actually sulk for while, but finally he decided to get on with it.

"They're coming," he said softly. "I know you can feel it by now. I suggest you don't go anywhere without your wand and a few hexes ready. It would be a pity to see you die after only the first attack."

"Malfoy, why are you trying to help? Whose side are you on?"

Draco leveled him with a glare. "I'm on my side! I want to stay alive too you know."

"By betraying your father?" Harry looked unconvinced. "If your father doesn't kill you then Voldemort will. You probably would not be having those anxiety attacks if you hadn't realized this."

"Let me worry about myself Potter. I know what I'm doing."

"I'm sure you do. Only I won't be trapped in whatever web of protection your spinning to keep your own ass safe," Harry returned.

Draco shrugged. "Alright then. Ignore my warnings of help. I'm your best bet and you know it. I have all the information and I'm willing to share, but if you don't want to listen to me then that's fine. It will be on your head if godfather number two dies."

"Alright, I'll play your little game Malfoy," Harry said with a small glare. "When and where will they attack first?"

Draco smirked. "I don't know! I don't think they even know. All I'm saying is for you to be ready because it will be soon. Don't go anywhere alone or try to play the hero unless you really want to die. Better to stay where Dumbledore can protect you. Although I'm sure with all the late night visits you do with Snape, you probably learned a few things."

"Leave Snape out of this," Harry growled.

Surprisingly Draco conceded, but not before stating one more point, "He's a traitor Potter. He set himself up for the insults."

"And how is he different from you now?"

"It's very different! I'd rather die than suck up to Dumbledore! Not my style."

"Of course not," Harry returned sweetly. "It's not like you suck up to your father and perhaps even Voldemort on a regular basis."

"I'm not a Death Eater, Potter. Besides you wouldn't know what it's like. People throw themselves at your filthy feet in service. Look at the Ravenclaw you had wrapped so nicely around your finger," Draco shot back with the unmistakable look of hurt in his silver eyes.

Harry's mouth fell open in surprise. "You like him! How the hell did I miss that?"

"Potter don't be stupid," Draco protested. "I'm a Malfoy. A Pureblood."

"What's that got to do with anything?" Harry asked, amused at the turn of conversation. "Do what your parents did. Marry for appearances and sleep with anyone else you want. Somehow they look the type."

"My parents don't do that..." Draco began to say, but it sounded false even to his own ears.

Harry smiled and that infuriated Draco. What right did Potter have to know so much when his own parents had gotten themselves killed? For all Potter knew, his parents probably had done the same thing too. Except...Draco had to admit that it was not true. Potter's parents probably were the type to marry for love.

"You look like you're about to be sick Malfoy," Harry said still smiling. "Are we finished our talk? If we are, I'm just going to leave."

Draco glared openly, feeling as if the conversation was not ending the way he wanted it to.

"Go then," he said still glaring. "I've done my part. I'm not warning you to be careful again. When the Death Eaters strike you can worry about your own ass."

Harry laughed. "Well thanks for the tip Malfoy. You think about mine very carefully too. It's probably expected of you."

Harry turned and walked away, needing to get to the Gryffindor Tower so he could do some serious thinking. He may have seemed to take Malfoy's word lightly, but he knew that the Slytherin was probably correct about the Death Eaters attacking soon.

Besides, Harry still had to apologize to Severus and he had to think of how to do that also.

Draco watched Harry's departure, still glaring daggers. He had been trying to be helpful and Potter had made it seem like a joke. Well he would see who came out laughing next time. He wasn't going to die in this war and if it meant that Potter had to be sacrificed in the end, then so be it. He needed Potter to be alive to kill Voldemort in the end of course. But, in the meantime, his loyalty to his father came first.

Pulling out the owl post his father had sent him at dinner and a quill from his pocket, Draco wrote down a convenient date and place for the Death Eaters to find Harry.

As an after thought, he snapped the black rubber band on his wrist very hard. It actually made him feel a little better.


The Slytherin corridor was silent and still.

At two in the morning, it wasn't expected to be any other way. But, the moment Severus's hand touch his doorknob to enter his rooms, he knew that he wasn't alone.

Harry tilted his head unto Severus' upper back, making sure that this was the only point at which he was in contact with the figure.

"Please forgive me Severus." he whispered for only his lover's ear.

Severus took a deep breath, staring ahead into the wood of his door and trying to not appear as if he was a part of a conversation.

"There is nothing to forgive you for," he murmured. "I know you did nothing wrong."

Harry smiled, raising his head enough to inhale the scent of Severus' hair and aura. He wrapped his arms around the thin waist, wanting...needing...only Severus.

Severus turned in the embrace. He wrapped one arm around an invisible waist, raising the other hand to cup an invisible cheek; staring into invisible emerald eyes. He whispered to the invisible form in that voice filled with hidden emotions that no one else was privy to.

"Stay here tonight. Let me hold you and we'll fix this misunderstanding together."

Harry wanted to. He really, really wanted to with every cell in his body because being with Severus was the only times that his brain stopped reeling with thoughts of reality and his destiny. Harry really wanted to stay, but he couldn't. Not tonight.

"I can't," he whispered shaking his head for emphasis.

He paused for a moment, gathering his thoughts into coherent words. As he did, he watched the play of emotions race across Severus' dark eyes. For a minute he thought Severus would be angry and misunderstand what he was trying to get across, but Severus surprised him by remaining calm and patient.

"Everyone knows their place in this war. Everyone has fought it before or have been preparing for their entire life. Even Ron and Hermione know what to do. I don't. I don't want to die Severus. I won't. I won't let him kill me and that means I have to be ready. I can't have you be my glue holding me together anymore. I can't have Dumbledore protecting me or someone else like Remus dying for me. I have to do this myself. This is my life. People can't keep fighting for me. I have to be serious and not be distracted."

Severus raised an eyebrow in doubt. "Do you have to begin tonight?"

Harry chuckled softly. He moved his head so that the hand on his face shifted, and he kissed the palm of Severus' hand.

Severus could feel the wetness of the tears that streaked down Harry's cheeks, but he didn't hear any sobs. Harry was probably scared beyond thoughts, but still he remained brave.

"Yes tonight," Harry said. "Tonight and a lot of other nights too until I get it all right. As long as you're here. As long as I can come to you when I need you..."

The sentence trailed, but Severus understood.

"I'll be here Harry," he whispered. "For as long as you have need of me. I'll be right here to help you. I would never let you fight this war alone and neither will your friends or Albus or Lupin."

Harry nodded and took a deep breath. Then silently he took a step beack, detaching himself from the comfort of being near such quiet strength.

"I love you Severus," he said quietly.

Severus turned around once more to face the door. His hand reached and closed around the metal doorknob. He waited until he heard the soft footsteps leading away and down the corridor before he sighed almost painfully into the sudden silence. It was only then that he replied.

"I know Harry. I know now that you do."