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 28

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-Eight

Language of the Gods


"What! Are you serious? Harry, why would you want to do that? We have our N.E.W.T.S in two months!"

"Ron, relax. Harry knows what he's doing."

"He does not! Quick 'Mione, let's check him for the Imperius Curse. Who the hell decides to bloody challenge You-Know-Who? Is something going on that we don't know? Did You-Know-Who attack somewhere? Is he holding hostages? Did you have a vision of him blowing up the world?"

"Ron -"

"Harry! Nothing short of the world going up in smokes should warrant you wanting to go find him when you don't have to. Nothing!"

"Ron, honestly! Didn't he just explain his reason? He's just tired of sitting around and waiting for Voldemort to attack. He has been doing that since First year and every single time he has ended up in the Hospital Wing. Harry just wants to fight Voldemort on his own terms."

"He's going to bloody die on his own damn terms too!"

"Ron -"

"I'm not going to let you do it. If I have to bind you to a doorpost, I will. You're being very stupid Harry and I'm not going to let you go through with this crazy plan of yours."

"Speaking of plans Harry. Do you have one?"

"I was just hoping that once I find him things would proceed from there."

"You mean go downhill from there. You'll die Harry and then what the blazes are 'Mione and I going to do?"

"Ron if you don't calm down I'm going to curse you into silence!"

"What? Am I the only one who thinks he's being stupid? What the hell does he want to go finding You-Know-Who right now for? When he doesn't even have to!"

"Sit down and let's talk about this rationally."

"'Mione, screw rational! I'm not going to let him go. As a matter of fact what does Snape say to this?"

"What did he say? Harry, you missed Potions."

"I know."

"Didn't you tell Professor Snape you would? Dumbledore announced at breakfast that you and Malfoy were no longer unconscious. We thought you'd be in class. Snape asked us and we couldn't even tell him where you were."

"I didn't. I haven't spoken to him yet."

"Harry what's going on? Was this his idea?"

"Ron he just said he hasn't spoken to Snape yet."

"Doesn't mean the git couldn't have innocently suggested it. God knows Harry listens to everything he says now as if it's gospel."


"Sorry. I'm sorry Harry. I just...I don't like this. What if you don't win this? He's a very powerful wizard Harry."

"I know. I just have to do this. I can't sit around and wait until more people die or get kidnapped. I can't walk into another trap like in the Forest. I just can't take the silence and the pressure. I have to do something and I would rather do it when I feel ready instead of in panic. I can't wait for the world to be blown up before I do something."

"Well I'm not happy."

"We got that Ron. You've only been yelling your displeasure since Harry told us."

"What if Harry dies?"

"He won't."


"If I die the two of you will be fine. This is just me buying time for Dumbledore to think of something. Remus will take care of you guys and Severus will too. I know he will."

"Oh for Merlin's sake! 'Mione listen to him!"

"I heard him Ron. I heard...."

Severus too had heard enough of their conversation.

With a lethal scowl on his face and actual anger radiating from him, he had immediately hurried down the hallway leading to Dumbledore's gargoyles. Before him, the students had cleared a path in a scurry as if each hoped that they didn't get the infuriated wizard's attention because he had looked angry enough to hex an army.

In his mind, Severus now saw Dumbledore's infuriating smile and Lupin's accepting nature. Neither of them had tried to talk Harry out of his obvious plan.

Severus would move hell and earth if it meant keeping Harry safe and the conversation he had heard had sent a definite chill down his spine and an actual lump had seemed to lodge in his throat.

Severus wasn't going to stand for any of it.


The front door to Severus' rooms was opened so violently that in two rooms away, Harry flinched at the sound of wood banged against the wall.

He stretched out onto the black couch, propped his head up on one of the armrests and continued to stare avidly at the dancing flames in the fireplace. He waited patiently for the inevitable sound of Severus walking into the bedroom.

"Get up," Severus snarled to the back of the couch.

Instead of obeying, Harry replied nonchalantly off topic, "I could have killed you."

"Is this what all this nonsense is about? Is this what this plan of yours to find the Dark Lord and try to fight him is about? If you're angry then you should have asked me about the Spiritus. Instead you decide to play a martyr. What exactly are you hoping to get out of this?"

Harry sighed.

"I'm not angry," he said in a restrained voice. "And yes, this is about the Spiritus. I didn't even know shit like this existed in the world. I could have killed you at any time. In class. In training. When I fought Lestrange. Even when I was wandless weaving I could have accidentally destroyed it and that's what this is about."

He rose from the couch to stand before the angry glare of his lover. His shirt and school robe had been discarded earlier so it was his bare chest and blue jeans that caught Severus' attention. But Harry wasn't finished speaking as yet.

"I am so tired of people always putting their lives in my hands when I can barely even control my own life." His voice had an almost pleading edge to it by then. "I just can't do it anymore and this is the only thing I know I can do. And maybe I need to do this for the stupid reason that I owe it to the world and myself. I've made so many mistakes. I just want to do one thing right."

Harry's eyes became clouded with his own doubt and sadness.

"Please," he continued brokenly. "Please Severus. Please don't be angry. I need you to understand. I need you to tell me that I'm doing the right thing and that I'm stronger than I feel right now. Please tell me I won't die."

"If you're so uncertain, then why are you doing this?" Severus asked in a voice still laced with displeasure.

"Because I have to!" And Harry crumbled.

Turning away, falling to his knees, he was silent for a moment. He closed his eyes tightly, willing himself not to cry or scream or give way to the flood of emotions that threatened to overwhelm him. It was his decision and he had made it, but it didn't mean that he was any more prepared to carry it through than any one else.

"Just let me go," he whispered. "Just tell me I can do this and let me try. It's my destiny Severus. It's written in the stars somewhere. Who am I to turn away? Should I condemn the whole world? Should I leave them to die, knowing that they're counting on me to do something?"

"You're not a god, Harry! You're just seventeen. You don't owe the world anything! You don't deserve to die for them!"

"And they don't deserve to die for me," Harry said still softly.

The silence intensified.

Severus clenched his hands into fists at his side. He wasn't sure if he could trust himself to be restrained. A part of him wanted to lash out at the man who knelt so brokenly at his feet, who wanted to play the part of a hero. Perhaps he wanted to lash out at the world too that had also left him torn and broken when he had needed support once upon a time. The same world that wished to take Harry away from him now, when he had only just learned to care so deeply for the younger man.

'Please tell me I won't die...'

The other part of him wanted to pull Harry into his arms and never let go.

"I won't let you go alone," Severus finally responded.

"And I won't let you come with me," Harry replied. "I'm the one who he wants more."

"I am to just let you do this alone? Send you to your death?"

Harry nodded. "Yes."

Severus growled in distaste then none too gently yanked Harry up from the ground and spun him around to stare at him in anger.

"You silly boy!" he snarled. "Why must you always be so self-sacrificing?"

"Well why can't you accept me the way I am?" Harry returned with as much venom this time.

"I do!" Severus seemed to literally radiate anger. "I just don't think you understand what you're asking me to do!"

"Then I'm sorry that I'm asking too much of you!" Harry snapped. "I don't need your permission Severus. I am going to do this no matter what you say!"

"If you've made up your mind then having this discussion serves no purpose," Severus pointed out. "Why did you come down here?"

"Because I thought you would understand! Because I love you!" Harry shouted immediately but it was soon followed sadly by, "but apparently that doesn't mean anything to you."

He grabbed his shirt and cloak from where they hung on the back of the velvet couch and brushed by Severus with a sigh. The front door slammed noisily shut minutes later, leaving Severus to stand in solitude at the center of the room.

"You little idiot," Severus muttered to himself, running a hand through his dark hair. "Why would you want to sacrifice yourself for a world that uses you?"

The silence in the room offered no consolation to its occupant.


Hours later, Severus sat on the velvet couch and stared into the flickering fire as Harry had done earlier. Thoughts, memories and images assailed his mind, playing like visions in a Pensieve.

If he had cast the Tempus Spell he would have realized that it was exactly time for dinner, but Severus had no desire to know what hour of the night it was. Each minute would seem a minute closer to the moment when Harry would leave.

Some time between the instance when Harry had stormed out of the room and the point at which a house elf had popped a plate of food in his lap, courtesy of Dumbledore, Severus managed to dispel of the swirling thread of rage that threatened to overpower him.

Now, all that was left of the night was decisions and acceptance.

Severus once again looked over to the bed where Harry had laid for so many nights and could almost literally see the projected image.

Tangled in black silk sheets, eyes closed with large expanses of golden skin visible in contrast, Harry looked very peaceful when he slept.

Harry was no child anymore. But, behind the calm acceptance of fate and the beams of intelligence that sparkled within the green eyes, was still a seventeen year old to whom fate had been especially cruel.

Severus tore his eyes away to gaze once more into the fire.

'All is fair in love and war....'

The words resounded in his head continuously. All is fair in love and war so what right did Severus have to berate Harry for doing what was expected?

'Why would you want to go willingly to your own death? Why when you don't have to? There is no real urgency. The Dark Lord is still bidding his own time to attack you. Why would you want to forfeit the safety that Hogwarts provides to you?'

Severus knew the answer.

"Because you're Harry and you feel that you must. You would rather die than to see more dead or suffering." He groaned the words aloud to the silent fire.

You reek of goodness...Did you know?

Severus glared into the fire again, irritated at first but then more and more pensive.

"I don't know if I can do this Harry," he whispered to the images in his mind of dark spells being cast and the body of an emerald-eyed wizard lying motionless on the ground. "I don't know if I can let you die alone."

I thought you would understand...Because I love you....

"Harry..." Severus breathed the name aloud in a voice that told of his own private hell and the demons he was being forced to face himself right then.

The thought, however, he left unspoken.


"If you're here to yell at me some more Severus, please don't. I've told you before, I've made up my mind."

Harry sat in the middle of his training room on a huge navy blue blanket, levitating between his two palms the vial of potion that he had taken from Severus' quarters. The room, as always, had transformed itself into a field of grass, on the outskirts of which were tall trees that gave the place a feeling of being securely enclosed.

Once Severus finished placing an unbreakable spell on the lock of the door, he stepped past the first few trees and the room suddenly seemed to be magically enlarged. There was a light breeze blowing and somehow, from somewhere, the soft notes of a very unfamiliar song drifted as if a part of the inky black sky and twinkling stars that were all a part of the room's illusion.

Severus made his way over to where Harry sat seemingly refusing to look up at the room's new occupant.

Reaching out, Severus pulled Harry up and into the niche that his arms seemed to naturally create for the younger wizard. Positioning his lips close to Harry's ears, the words he whispered sent a thrill down Harry's spine and left him feeling even more torn that before.

"I love you Harry."

Harry wrapped his own arms around his lover, sank his head unto Severus' shoulder and began to protest.

"Severus, you don't have to... I know that you -"

But Severus interrupted with a sad smile. He shifted Harry so that once again emerald eyes were gazing at him. Placing his index finger onto Harry's protesting lips, he stopped the onslaught of words so that he could continue with his own.

"I love you in a way that I have never allowed myself to love another man before," he said softly. "You will possibly never understand how important you are to me and have been for a while now. You gave me your heart and I gave you my soul. Each of us has the power to destroy the other. And even though I am not afraid of death, if you die, I fear that I just might die with you."

Harry's eyes became glazed with pain and sadness.

"I know," he said brokenly.

He moved out of Severus' hold to walk a short distance away, before summoning the energy to speak again.

"I suppose you think I'm being selfish and not thinking about anyone but myself and my guilt of being Harry Potter, but I am! All I've thought about since Voldemort destroyed the Tri-Embassy was that time was definitely running out. Then the kidnapping occurred and Bellatrix could have killed me. I'm so tired of running or not having any options. I want to do this my way! And if I die, I'd rather die on my terms!"

"Dying shouldn't even be an option!" Severus retorted, making his way over to stand before Harry.

But, as soon as the words left his lips he closed his eyes tightly in frustration as if to curb the barrage of other angry words that would escape. When he opened his eyes again all the anger seemed to slowly drain away and he gazed long and hard into the determined emerald eyes before him.

Reaching out, silently, he took the potion that Harry still held seemingly forgotten from earlier. Since Harry was once again without his school cloak, it was easy for Severus to remove the white shirt that Harry was wearing also. He looked from the potion to Harry's bare skin.

"You got rid of the scars," he noted softly, looking once more at the vial of purple cream.

Harry nodded. "I...I didn't need them anymore."

Severus dropped the vial onto the floor, sending it rolling along the carpet of grass. He reached out to Harry again to run slender fingers across Harry's now flawless chest. Across Harry's collarbone. Up Harry's throat. Then higher. His fingers traced the stubborn cheekbone and grazed the edge of Harry's lips.

"Do you understand that I have lost everything to this wizard?" he asked softly. "Do you understand that for everyone who is close to you he has taken from each of us? Some more than others?"

Harry nodded in silence again.

"And yet you think you can just walk up to him and foolishly think to defeat him?"

"I have to do something Severus," Harry answered. "I just have to try."

A spark of anger flickered within Severus once more but he pushed it away quickly. Now was not the best time for it after all. Harry didn't need anger. He needed acceptance, just as Lupin and Dumbledore had supported him. It went against everything inside the ex Death Eater, but one more look into the near pleading green eyes and Severus knew that this was the decision that Harry had been destined to make his whole life.

Instead of shouting, Severus kissed Harry.

The kiss was almost desperate in the way that Harry clung to him, but Severus wouldn't allow for that. He wasn't telling Harry goodbye and he refused to let Harry do it either.

Instead he poured his soul and strength into the kiss.

His lips ghosted across Harry's lightly at first then with a little more pressure. His tongue challenged Harry for more response and more passion and in the end Harry got the message. It wasn't goodbye, but this time would be a little different.

Severus' lips glided down Harry's throat, his tongue flickered out to taste from the cleft at the base of Harry's throat. As always, it was followed by little kisses and small sucks and nips that would probably leave a mark of red and purple.

"Severus..." Harry moaned.

Severus held him against his own body tightly. His lips continued to glide along Harry's skin. His hands explored every inch of Harry's body.

"Harry..." Severus whispered. "I'm not sure if I can ever let you go after all this."

Harry wrapped his arms around Severus' neck and buried his face onto Severus' shoulder. Severus could almost feel the echoes of sadness that radiated from him.

"Severus I'm sorry," Harry whispered so softly that the wind almost took the words away. "I know you hate that I'm going to go away. I just...I'm sorry...I -"

His voice quivered but when Severus shifted him in his arms there was nothing but the sadness to drown within.

Harry seemed to be beyond tears or anger.

"Just come back to me," Severus whispered back. "That's all I ask. If I let you go, you have to live for me."

Harry nodded. But there was an uncertainty in his fallen gaze that made Severus tighten his hold on him again. Then, together their hands moved in synchrony, removing whatever layer of clothes that separated them from each other.

Their lips found each other again.

Their tongues danced together while their hands seemed to find a life of their own. They clung to each other. Slowly, exploring every inch of the other.

Severus held Harry in his arms, not knowing what to do to ensure that Harry was kept forever safe.

Knowing that it wasn't his choice to make.

Instead they sank down together onto the blanket that Harry had been sitting on earlier, hidden by long blades of gently swaying grass. Beside them appeared a number of potions.

When Severus reached for one particular, Harry's hand abruptly stopped him.

Severus looked at him enquiringly and Harry blushed, but the stubborn determination was back in his green eyes again.

"I want to feel you?" His voice was filled with so much embarrassment that his words came out as a question. With a shrug, however, he continued with more certainty. "I want...I need to feel...I mean -"

"I'll hurt you," Severus interrupted.

"I know." Harry nodded as he said the soft words. "I want that. To remember. Just this once I want it to hurt."

And Severus nodded. He understood more than Harry's words said of how Harry was feeling. He understood the desire, stemmed from uncertainty, to remind himself of his existence. He may not still self-injury, but sometimes he needed a reminder and a means of justification.

Guessing what to do next, Harry smiled mischievously.

He had actually been very anxious to return the favor that Severus had given him at Snape Manor. Now it was Harry's turn.

"Do you even know what you're doing?" Severus asked with narrowed eyes.

Harry happily shook his head. "No, but I was thinking that your reaction would let me know."

He slipped down to Severus waist level, careful not to poke his eye out, he laughed at the thought. Then painstakingly slowly his mouth descended as heat and moisture.

Severus hissed and Harry took that as a good sign.

A moment later though, Severus pulled him back up. Harry came very close to pouting and Severus smiled teasingly.

"Careful Harry," he explained. "I haven't had that done since I was your age."

Harry grinned. To curb such cheek, Severus pulled him on top of his own body. While he kissed him Severus' mind raced to try and remember how to do what Harry had asked.

It took a good bit of persistence and even a small amount of the oil potion in the end, but buried deep within Harry as sparkling green eyes gazed down at him in passion, Severus was grateful that there wasn't much that magic couldn't heal.

They laid upon the navy blue blankets, under the magic starlit sky, joined together as one, moving in perfect synchrony and once again Severus wondered about a fate that would wish to rip Harry away from him.

"All is fair in love and war...." The wind seemed to whisper as it ghosted over the two of them.

'If you love him, he will be safe....'

Gazing into Harry's emerald eyes, Severus wished he had the inner strength to believe.


"Severussss, it is good to sssee you here again," the snake hissed.

Eyes like ruby pierced the near darkness where Severus stood as the voice echoed into the hollowness. The snake, as long as three men, slithered into a circle around Severus. It made the air around the two of them blur sometimes in a haze of surreal.

Its presence seemed to draw strength from the darkness, but Severus wasn't at all concerned. This wasn't the first time he had been drawn into the realm.

"I didn't think I had the choice but to come," Severus responded. "Why am I here?"

"Do you remember this place Severussss? You used to like it here. Do you remember the assurance it gave to you by just coming here?" the snake hissed this time, pausing to stare with ruby red eyes at the wizard who stood before him. "Tell me Severusss, do you ever yearn for the power you lost?"

"Your words were lies, this place was poison and all I ever gained from that was a dependency on you. I had no power, it was all yours to take," Severus responded. "Now why did you bring me here?"

"I can give you power." The words resounded continuously into the dark. "I can give you everything you desire, don't you remember?"

"I already have everything I desire."

The snake became angry.

A whirlwind of fury seemed to form within him. The image of a large black and brown snake seemed to almost fragment at times. The air shifted into a distant rushing, hollow sound of wind.

"I should have know," the snake spat out. "I should have recognized the hints. But, he doesn't know that I can see what he hides within. I should have known that if he had someone to support him then the wizard would have been you. I should have seen it."

"Well you do now and still it changes nothing," Severus pointed out.

"You love him. Yes, I see it even here, in both of you." It began to circle tightly around Severus again. "You balance him as he balances you. It is far easier to feed off someone else's power, isn't it Severus? You always were very good at it and he is very powerful. Very powerful indeed."

Severus smiled but it was the one smile he had not used at its full effect for many years. It was the smile of a Slytherin.

"Are you frightened of him? Is that why you have me here? Is all this energy, wasted because you need me to help you? Are you afraid that he will defeat you?"

"Defeat me?" The question was asked in a mocking tone. "He does seem very determine. His brain is an open book. Even now, as he believes to defeat me, his mind is weak to my intrusions."

"He will fight you and he will win," Severus returned in a voice of steel. "You're not the only one who can see past the shadows of the mind. I can feel your uncertainly. You're afraid. Very afraid, in fact, of a mere child as you consider him to be. He killed one of your greatest servants without using the Killing Curse and even now you can't figure out how he did it."

"You taught him well Severussss and that is the only reason why he daressss to think he can challenge me," the snake hissed in disgust. "But what would he be without your protection? I can sense your power around him. I can sense your Spirit charm. Clever, clever Severusss. I searched long and hard for that heirloom and all the while it was where you knew I would not think to look. In Harry Potter's possession."

"I didn't give it to him because he's Harry Potter," Severus sneered. "But you wouldn't understand that."

"Be that as it may." The snake paused to face Severus again. "It stands in my way. He doesn't even realize that from it he can borrow your wizarding abilities. You don't have much faith in him it seems. You don't think he can defeat me without your help, no matter how unwilling he is to accept it."

Severus' eyes narrowed into a thoughtful glare.

"Am I to believe that you think I helped to kill Bellatrix for him?" he asked with his less than pleasant smile again. "You don't think you can defeat him with my Spiritus around his neck? Let me assure you that Harry is very much more powerful than you believe then. The heirloom had nothing to do with his abilities."

"There is only one way to find out Severussss." The snake challenged. "Take the heirloom away from him. Give him what he asks. Let him challenge me alone. Let me see if he is as great as everyone believes him to be."

"No. He doesn't have anything to prove to me. And as for you, you will understand soon enough why he is who he is. "

Severus turned and began to walk away into the thick darkness. He had been there so many times before that he knew his way out unaided.

"Then you will die together." The hiss came out of a cloud of mist rising from where the snake had slithered.

Severus turned again just long enough to shake his head slowly at the shadow that stood behind him that was now no longer in the form of a snake.

"If we die Riddle, then he will take you with him."



Harry rose from the bed where he had laid sleeping. Severus had levitated him invisible down to the dungeons a few hours earlier and now the confusion was evident on the Seventh year's face.

Severus was lounging wrapped only in a black robe on the velvet couch before the fire, once more, seemingly deep in thoughts. The objects in his hands caught the glint of the fire and each sparkled with a light of their own.

"Come here," he whispered softly.

Harry walked over to where Severus was, pausing only to undo the knot in Severus' robe so that he could stretch his full length across his lover. Naked, flesh on flesh.

Severus laid the two items on the ground so that his hands were free to stroke through Harry's dark hair. Harry laid his head on Severus' chest and closed his eyes, listening to the steady beating of Severus' heart.

"Are you afraid?" Severus asked softly.

"Shitless!" Harry laughed. "You're not going to try changing my mind again will you?"

"If I did, would it work?"

Harry shook his head, giving Severus a sad smile.

Severus traced the famous lightning bolt scar that ran down the center of Harry's forehead, silently. Harry shuffled forward a little so that he could lean down and graze his lips against Severus' in a ghost of a kiss. Severus deepened the kiss gently as he wrapped one arm around Harry's body, eliminating whatever minute space there had existed between them.

His other hand came to rest lightly on Harry's chest where the ring no longer hung.

"Aren't you going to ask?" Severus broke the kiss with his soft words. "I can see that you're wondering."

"It's your heirloom," Harry pointed, but with a sigh he gave in. "Why did you take it off me? Don't you want me to have it anymore? Don't you trust me with it?"

"I trust you, but you ask that I let you do this without me," Severus replied. "With the ring, you could summon my powers to you."

"And that's bad, how?" Harry looked perplexed. "Wait, did this have to do with my dream?"

"Your dream?"

Harry nodded. "It was a vision...maybe...I can't remember it, but it feels like it was important. It's almost as if I knew that you would take it back. I don't know..."

"Then maybe it had to do with your dream." Severus smiled the smile he reserved only for Harry but there was a distant look in his eyes. "Mostly it had to do with an old favor. My final act of nostalgia, if you will."


"It's rather complicated," Severus replied quickly.

He reached out to Harry again, smoothing out the furrowed look of uncertainty on Harry's face.

"You're stronger than you think Harry Potter," he whispered.

"But what if -," Harry paused to gather his thoughts. "I have this fear now. What if I kill him and instead of everything being okay, what if I become him? I mean we're connected, right? What if...What if I become the next dark evil?"

Severus laughed and shook his head at Harry's worried look.

"Even the darkest parts of me love the best parts of you Harry," he said softly. "There is nothing evil about you and the Dark Lord could never live inside you because of this. Remember that when you fight him. You have what he doesn't have. You have people who love you and are willing to drag you from the depths of hell if it means saving you."

Harry nodded slowly as Severus' assurance calmed him. He rested his head on Severus' chest again, willing his own heart to beat to Severus' rhythm. They laid in silence like that for a very long time.

"Do you know how to get out of Hogwarts?" Severus finally spoke again.

Harry shook his head, turning a slight shade of red.

"Damn! I'd forgotten that I don't know how to apparate. Even if I could, I wouldn't be able to apparate from Hogwarts anyway."

Severus laughed again. "You most certainly do know how to apparate. What did you think Minerva, Flitwick, Lupin and I spent all these months teaching you to do?"

"Wandless magic?" Harry asked tentatively.

"Yes, but we were also trying to get across to you that magic is untamed and unspoiled in nature," Severus responded. "Rules such as spell words and mind bending concentration is only hard to master because it serves to tame and control the natural flow of energy. We are wizards, Harry. Performing magic is a part of our being. It flows within us. And as powerful as you are Harry Potter, you already know how to do everything magically."

"So if I want I can apparate past all the wards?"

"Uh...no." Severus smiled teasingly. "Because Albus happens to be very much more tricky than you will ever believe. He has years of experience on you that power will never be able to match. If it was as simple as that, wards would never have been invented."

"Well then what?" Harry asked, once again looking very confused.

The color green swam before Severus' eyes. The edge of his vision was already blurring badly and he fought to retain consciousness as he stumbled his way through the Forbidden Forest of Hogwarts. He began to count the steps as he urged his legs to move and his body not to fail him....

"There is a place in the Forbidden Forrest where the wards can be bent," he said quietly. "It's a bit like a portkey. But, it only opens if one's purpose is pure in nature. For you, on your quest to destroy evil, it will no doubt spring open and pull you in eagerly. Everything in Hogwarts and the whole bloody world seems to respond to you. I have no doubt that you will find it easily enough."

"Okay," Harry said slowly. "How do I find it?"

"The path is very straight actually. From what I remember, you just have to walk in a straight line. It's very secluded. None of the creatures will bother you and I think it should even be a fairly quick walk."

Harry groaned then sat up in the couch, only to ensure that Severus was pulled up behind him. He snuggled with his back against Severus' chest, sighing in displeasure.

"Now you sound like Dumbledore," he grumbled. "'Just walk in a straight line Harry. You'll get there.' Lovely directions to follow!"

"You'll find it," Severus said in amusement.

He placed a soft kiss on Harry's shoulder and for some reason that seemed to sober the younger wizard.

"And how will I find him?" Harry asked softly.

Severus's arms around Harry's waist seemed to tense slightly. "Don't worry he will make sure that you do."

Harry nodded again falling once more into silence.

Taking a deep breath and therefore summoning all the courage and strength within, he moved out of the warm embrace of Severus' arms to stand. Turning to look down into the dark onyx orbs of Severus' eyes, for some reason his legs refused to move from where they stood.

"Take the potion with you," Severus said softly.

For the first time, Harry looked down at his feet to where Severus had rest the two items he had been holding before.

One was the intricate silver chain of snakes entwined together, on which hung the ring that bore Severus' family crest.

The other was a vial of thick black potion.

"What is it?" Harry asked as he knelt to get it.

He stayed where he was on his knees, at the side of the couch on which the Potions Master sat gazing at him.

"Read the label," Severus said softly.

Harry did more than that. He traced his fingers along the letters of the swirling words. He had seen them before; had said them before, but suddenly it sank in. What he held in his hand was a very dark and evil potion...and Severus had made it.

"The Blood Leech Potion," Harry whispered the name aloud.

"I made it especially for him a very long time ago, the day that I joined the side of good. It's supposed to be orally induced but now that I think of it that may be hard for you to manage. When I made it, I wanted to have the pleasure of shoving it wholeheartedly down his throat," Severus explained calmly.

"What does it do?" Harry asked. "Do I even want to know?"

"It separates the soul from the body like a Dementor does. Only with this potion the soul is destroyed. It deteriorates from within. The potion leeches on to it and destroys it."

"And the 'blood'?"

"There will be plenty," Severus responded. "The potion spreads in the blood stream and they erupt. There will be screaming and blood gushing. In fact, are you sure you may be able to handle it all?"

Harry nodded silently.

Severus rose from the couch to cup one of Harry's cheeks in his palm. "More important than anything is for you to be careful of the blood. Remember, that's how the potion spreads and it can be transferred. If it touches any open wounds on your body, you will die. In fact he just may not die if the spell is transferred into you this way."

This time, Harry didn't seem to have the energy to nod.

"Are you sure you don't want to rethink this?" Severus asked him softly. "Are you sure you don't want me to come with you?"

"I'm sure," Harry whispered. "But...If I die -"

"You won't die," Severus interrupted firmly. "You have your N.E.W.T.S to take in two months. You will do this, because you say you have to. But, tomorrow night you will be in here with me again and all this will be a talk of the past. Do you understand Potter?"

Harry smiled sadly. "Yes, Professor Snape."

They each got dressed quickly. The mists from their wands read '3:00 a.m.' but both barely spared the spell a second glance. Severus attached Harry's black wizarding cloak for him as he always did, and for the first time Harry did not protest. Instead he shoved his wand into the inner pocket, just in case there was need for a desperate measure.

When they were finished they stood before each other in silence again.

"So just walk in a straight line and the wards will open for me?" Harry asked softly.

Severus nodded.

Harry shoved the dark potion into his other pocket, casting a silent unbreakable charm on it.

"And only use the potion when he's at his weakest?"

Again Severus nodded.

"And... Just...don't come in contact with the blood?"

Harry's voice had faded into near whisper. His gaze had fallen to the black carpet beneath his feet.

This time Severus didn't nod. Instead he pulled Harry into his arms crushing his lips to Harry's as Harry clung to him with a desperate sob. When the need had calmed in both of them Severus pulled away to look at the stubborn determined look that sparkled in Harry's green eyes.

"I love you Severus," Harry whispered.

"I know," Severus replied. "And I love you Harry Potter."

Harry took another deep breath and began to turn away, but Severus pulled him into another embrace.

"Please..." Severus whispered in a voice that told of his inexperience from never saying the word and spoke of the true love he felt for the wizard in his arms. "Please...try not to die tonight. I really can't lose another person to the Dark Lord and I'm certain that Lupin feels the same way."

Not knowing what to say, Harry clung to him for a little while longer too.

Then once again he moved out of Severus' embrace. He walked out into the sitting room filled with the rows and rows of bookshelves holding parchments and potions and reached for the knob of the door. All the while he waited for the sound of Severus' voice to command him to stop, but there was no such words forthcoming as he slipped out the room.

This time Severus let him go.