Disclaimer: I don't own anything of Harry Potter.
Note: Sorry for the lack of updates but term was hectic. But I have some good news; I finally have plenty of time to write so yay. Let's begin. Hints at sex and self pleasuring in this chapter, so be over joyed, I mean warned.
Harry snuggled deeper into the warmth that was surrounding him. It was everywhere and he smiled unconsciously. He felt safe and surrounded by magic. For the first time since the accident he felt alright and relaxed. He turned on his right side, rolling against the source of heat in his bed and he snuggled into the firm body.
Something around his waist tightened and the leg that was resting in between his own, moved for a moment before settling back down. A sigh ruffled his hair and Harry blinked awake. He frowned at the sensation of feeling another body stretched out against his.
To feel a hand on his hip, and an arm that lay around his waist. To feel a firm chest underneath his cheek and to hear the soft heartbeat in his ear. He was feeling too relaxed….the feeling he had come to associate with the time after having an orgasm. Well, the times he had indulged in a quick wank in the shower or in bed.
He shifted his hips slightly. No, he wasn't sticky and he would surely have remembered a wet dream. His hips stroked against a firm stomach and Harry could feel his cock twitching against the sensations. Horror flowed through him and he tried to still his movements in vain, hoping his cock would stop hardening.
Please don't let Snape wake up! It's one thing to wake up with a stiffy when you're in the dorm and to have the mickey taken out of you by the other lads but this is just embarrassing. Come on, it's Snape! Think of aunt Petunia in a bathing suit! Think of McGonagall sunbathing in knickers….something…
A hand clamped down on his hip and a rough sleep voice hissed. "Stop squirming!"
Oh Merlin… Harry closed his eyes in mortification. Hot breath warmed his cheeks before Snape murmured. "If you need help, all you had to do was to say so. You know as your master I'm required to take care of everything." Harry's eyes flew open as the last word was stretched and he could see the smirk that played over the thin lips clearly.
Snape's eyes were aglow with something and then Snape's mouth descended upon his. Harry's lips parted underneath the thin ones and he relaxed into the kiss, moaning softly. He rolled onto his back, pulling Snape on top of him as he bucked into the sinful fingers playing over his cock. There was urgency to his movements as he clawed at Snape's back, seeking to pull his master into a deeper intimacy.
He kissed Snape back, letting him know he liked it. He was frotting against the older man, stroking his cock against the firm thigh that was suddenly there. When Snape pressed his thigh down obediently, Harry moaned loudly. He was so close….and as Snape's fingers closed over a nipple, he came in a flash of white heat….
Harry's eyes flew open and he immediately rolled away from Snape, turning on his side. He lay there panting for a moment, trying not to give into the urge to rub his throbbing cock through his trousers or pay heed to the way his throat and chest were painfully aching.
What a dream that had been. He ran a hand over his face, feeling the sweat beginning to cool in the cold hair of the dungeons. He sat up slowly, blinking into the greyish light. The room refused to come into focus and Harry sighed. His chest felt tight and he resisted the urge to cry.
My life is fucked! I feel like crap, I'm aroused and I just had a wet dream about Snape….
He felt frustrated, unable to escape to even the bathroom out of fear of knocking something over and waking Snape. He couldn't even wank. He lay back down, hoping that the cold sheets would help ease his cock into submission.
His shoulders shook as he began to realize that this wouldn't be easy. His throat felt constricted and hurt like hell. He wiped a hand over his eyes, only seeing shadows and not easing the painful sting of tears at all. He would never be able to see properly. Not that he ever had but this would be even worse.
All his life he had made due with glasses. And he had been okay with that. Sure, his eyesight was bad but it was better than being completely blind. But this…He would be useless. He would have to relearn everything.
He could only imagine the months stretched out before him. He would be confided to the castle, perhaps even to a set of rooms as he built up his strength again. And it wasn't even confirmed yet if he would become completely healthy again or would depend on assistance for the rest of his life.
It was too much and he broke. His shoulders shook with sobs as tears fell from his closed eyes, over burned cheeks and Harry felt the pain keenly that the salty tears did to his wounds. It only made him cry harder.
"What the…Harry?" A hand on his hip had him rolling over and he clung to Snape, not caring for anything. If he could feel Snape stiffen in his arms, that didn't matter because Harry only hung on tighter. He buried his head against Snape's chest, feeling arms wrap around him as Snape rocked them.
Soon his tears stopped falling and Snape pulled away. Harry could feel the dark eyes upon him but he kept his eyes cast down. He was sure that if he looked at Snape now, he would do something embarrassing, such as kiss the man.
"Now, what prompted this outburst? It could not have been anything I done. I was lying here, sleeping like an angel." Snape's voice was soft and Harry shrugged. He could hardly tell his master. He cleared his throat. Not caring for how painful it was and said.
"Just overwhelmed me…I guess…"
"You guess?" Snape's voice dripped with disbelieve and Harry bit back a sob of regret that he wasn't able to read Snape's face. Usually it was mask but sometimes his master's eyes revealed what he was thinking or feeling.
Harry rolled away from Snape slightly. He didn't want his master to see what the close contact had done to him. It had not helped his problem at all. In fact it had only made his cock throb even more. He cast his eyes down, hoping that Snape would not see his problem.
"Yeah, I…I wanted to use the loo and I didn't want to wake you! Besides not knowing the way…I….can't see where I am going and I would knock something over, waking you." He didn't think that Snape needed to know the reason why he had to use the loo.
"You could have just woken me. It would have saved us both some trouble." Snape's voice was brusque and then Harry could feel the bed dip as Snape moved. "Still need help?"
Immediately Harry shook his head. He didn't have to go any longer and really, if he was to stand up now then his problem would only be too obvious. "No, it is okay." He yawned, unable to help himself.
He could feel Snape's eyes upon his but he refused to meet them. The older wizard finally snorted and then lay back down. Harry did the same. It was hard to relax but he had to try. He closed his eyes, breathing out deeply as he tried to give into the ever present exhaustion.
"You do realize that I'm willing to assist with whatever the problem is." Harry's eyes flew open and he turned back to gaze at Snape. He opened his mouth and closed it again, unsure of how to answer.
Severus didn't look away from Harry once. The younger man was staring up at him; green eyes shy as Harry's gaze slid down again. He kept his face blank, waiting for his apprentice to say something.
For once the apprenticeship bond was silent, allowing him to relax fully. Harry was close to his side and he would immediately notice if something was wrong with Harry. It had taken him a moment to pull himself from sleep when Harry had pulled away from him.
He had barely even noticed just how close they had slept together, a testimony of his own exhausted state. He had been awoken abruptly as Harry pulled away. Severus had to do a double take as he noticed the flush in Harry's cheeks.
Harry refused to meet his eyes and Severus frowned. He leaned in a little bit closer to Harry and asked. "You said that you needed to use the loo…do I need to conclude that that trip will no longer be necessary?"
Harry's eyes met his in a moment as they widened and he exclaimed, his voice breaking. "Of course not!" The mortification and the horror on Harry's face made Severus frown. "I don't wet the bed…." Harry's voice nearly dropped to a growl but his throat could not handle that. Harry glanced away again and Severus bit back a smirk.
"I didn't think so. But now that you are horrified enough over that question, perhaps you can tell me why you keep squirming if the problem has passed." Harry flashed underneath his gaze and Severus' eyes narrowed.
"Then if you would be so kind as to tell me what the problem is that required you to need the loo in the first place, then we can go about solving it and we can go back to sleep." He snapped, out of patience. He was not a patient man in the best of times and it was the middle of the night.
The green eyes flashed with ire and then Harry snapped in a whisper. "I was hoping to take care of sometime by myself so I wouldn't wake you! But seeing as I can hardly go about mounting the furniture, I suppose it will have to wait!"
"Potter, what in the blazes are you blabbering about?" Severus frowned. Harry looked away again, pulling the blankets to cover himself awkwardly. Severus' eyes narrowed, he wondered what he had missed. He had held Potter earlier when the younger man had cried but suddenly Potter had pulled away as if he had been afraid that Severus would notice something…
But what could it have been? The younger man was still flushing and refused to meet Severus' eyes.
It's not the first time that Potter's shared a bed with me. So what is so different now? He had been drugged the last few times; this is the first time that he is fully conscious with this, even when he's still in pain. But that should not change anything unless….
Severus was suddenly reminded of his own teenage years. He had woken up with an erection every morning in the dorm, all boys usually did and it was not something to brag or be teased about. Not when we were 17 but when we were younger, yes teasing was in order…But Harry…
Severus shifted slightly. This was not a conversation he was keen to have. But it was his duty as Harry's master. He cleared his throat, smiling slightly as Harry glanced up at him.
"Harry, becoming sexually aroused at the proximity of another body is nothing strange at your age. Even when that somebody is your greasy git of a Potions Master as I believe I am called in the corridors. I know that this is embarrassing and trust me, this is not what I want to be doing right now at this time, but it seems that we need to have it. The relationship of a master and apprentice is a close bond and in the past few days, since the attack, we have been spending a lot of time with each other. Normally a close bond between master and apprentices, at least one close enough to share a bed with another, it takes months or perhaps years to form naturally. I am not saying that we have been forced into this but it is natural for you to feel this way." He was grateful that Harry couldn't see how uncomfortable he was feeling now.
Harry flushed even more and then whispered. "Do we really need to talk about this now? I….I would rather sleep if it is all the same."
Severus wanted to snarl that it was not alright but he knew better than to push Potter. He nodded and then realizing Harry wouldn't be able to see, he answered. "It is fine. Do you require water or anything else?"
"Some water would be nice." Harry's voice was a weak rasp. Severus gave the blankets another tug so they would cover Harry and he then rose from the bed. The stones were cold underneath his feet but he had long learned to dismiss it.
He filled up a glass with water in the bathroom and took a moment to glance at himself in the mirror. He looked tired, dark circles underneath his eyes but his eyes were surprisingly awake. He shook his head firmly at himself. He quickly filled a glass of water before going back into the bedroom.
He stopped when he noticed Harry was stretched out in the middle of the bed, asleep. Severus rolled his eyes and yet he couldn't help but smile as he set the glass down upon the bedside table and sought to move Harry by pushing at him. But when Harry rolled over and curled up to him instead, Severus instead pulled him closer. One more night couldn't hurt anyone, right?
When Harry woke up, he first thought that he was dreaming again. He felt so comfortable and warm. His back was against a firm back and there was a hand on his hip. He yawned, blinking his eyes open as he ran a hand over his face. He stretched, pushing back against Snape.
There was a hardness that was rising against his backside but Harry paid no mind to it. His own cock was stirring but Harry was feeling too relaxed to really care much for it. He wiggled around a little, trying to find a comfortable spot as he choked back a cough.
He really didn't want to wake Snape and for once he wasn't hurting too badly. He pulled the blankets up higher as he stretches out one hand to feel the cold of the other side of the bed. That was supposed to be his side, he knew that but somehow he had ended up cuddled right into Snape.
Harry grew tense as he realized what exactly the warm breath brushing his neck was doing to him. He could feel his cock hardening and he closed his eyes tightly, hoping against his better judgement that it wasn't happening again.
He held still, wondering if Snape was still asleep. The deep breaths seemed to indicate so. He moved carefully, moving his hand down and pressing his palm against his groin. He groaned softly. This felt amazing. No this felt beyond amazing. It had been so long…
Harry applied a little bit more pressure. The fabric of the sweatpants he was wearing hurt his sensitive palms a little bit but it only added to the pleasure of the experience. He tried not to make a sound. He kept his eyes open for any sign of Snape waking.
He had wanked in the dorm before but usually with silencing charms up. He could hardly do that here. By the time he had scrambled to the other side of the bed to snatch his wand, Snape had already woken up. He would have to take advantage of the current situation.
He applied a little bit more pressure. His arousal was only spiked up a notch as Harry closed his eyes and recalled his dream. The feel of Snape's hands on his hip and the thought of Snape's lips on his made him buck his hips into his hand. He bit back a frustrating moan. It wasn't enough pressure.
He refocused his attention on what he was doing. He bucked into his hand, not daring to touch his cock. He knew that the slightest movement could wake Snape. The spy was a light sleeper but that only added to his arousal. He could feel something rising against his arse where Snape was pressing up against him.
He increased the pressure and the frequency of his trusts into his hand. He palmed his cock through his trousers. He breathed in deeply, trying not to give himself away by panting. He froze when Snape moved a little bit behind him, pushing his erection more firmly against Harry's arse and moving his hand to splay over Harry's stomach before settling down again.
Snape is aroused….Is it because of me or….? I don't know anything about what Snape likes in his lovers, if he is even looking for a lover. He has hinted at it that it sometimes is a natural step from a master and apprenticeship bond but still…
Harry had to bite back a moan as he became aware of Snape's magic that was humming underneath his skin. He could feel it touching his own, making him only more aroused. He was aware of Snape's body heat and the very scent of the man and the magic that surrounded his master.
He closed his eyes tightly, licking his lips as he imagined the dark eyes that looked at him, full of fire and passion. The long slender hands that would travel over Harry's body, making him moan and squirm underneath. The thin lips as they pressed together in approval before they parted to kiss Harry's lips. The fingers that wrapped around his cock and applied pressure in all the delightful ways that Harry needed to come…
His eyes flew open when a hand covered his, pressing over his cock and applying pressure. He looked behind him, feeling Snape move slightly behind him.
Harry was turned on his back and even before Snape could say something he blurted out. "It isn't what it looks like."
Harry could barely make out Snape's face but he could imagine his master raising an eyebrow at the statement. "Oh it isn't? To me it looks like you were pleasuring yourself."
Oh Merlin, I'm screwed! Harry could only glance up into the dark eyes, too stunned to answer.
Severus held Harry's eyes, even when he knew that the younger male couldn't see him clearly. He didn't glance down as he applied the pressure Harry so obviously craved. He kept his eyes on Harry's face to gauge his reaction. Harry's lips parted and then the younger man's eyes fluttered closed as a moan escaped the full lips.
Severus leaned down so he could whisper in Harry's ear, his warm breath teasing his apprentice's neck. "I can give you what you want, Harry. I can give you what you need…"
Harry whimpered and the green eyes flew open as they locked with Severus' dark ones.
"All you have to do is say yes, Harry…" Severus would not do anything without Harry's consent. He had to know that Harry wanted this.
He was unprepared when Harry suddenly reached up and tangled his hand in Severus' hair, tugging his head down. Lips touched his hesitantly and then Harry softly murmured. "Yes, Severus, please."
That was all Severus needed to take control of the kiss as he rolled on top of Harry. His tongue swept over Harry's lips and they parted underneath his so Severus could slide his tongue in. He was careful not to hurt Harry and only giving what Harry wanted to receive.
The bond buzzed in his mind with need and want and Harry's magic was a whisper against his skin, arousing Severus further. Harry gave back as good as he got and Severus groaned in appreciation.
He replaced his hand with his thigh, noticing the urgency in Harry's movements. He trailed one hand over Harry's thigh up to his hip and Harry clawed at his back, burying his face in Severus' throat as Harry came in a rush of sticky heat.
Severus could feel the wetness spread against his leg and he pulled back slightly to look at Harry. The younger male was blinking up at him with a slight smile as he said. "Guess I really need that shower now."
Despite himself Severus felt himself laugh. The tension seemed to flow from him as he chuckled and purred. "I suppose you'll need help with that as well."
He rolled off of Harry and ran a hand through his own hair to pull it away from his face. Now that the heat of the moment had passed he could see Harry wetting his lips.
"Are you thirsty?"
"Yeah a little bit." Harry's voice was still a whisper but it sounded better than before. Perhaps it also had something to do with the fact that Harry was relatively relaxed. Severus knew that an orgasm produced hormones that reduced pain.
"Accio glass of water." Sitting up and raising his wand, Severus caught the glass of water that came floating over to him. He held the glass to Harry's lips as he helped Harry sitting up. It wouldn't do to have him choke.
"Careful sips." He instructed his apprentice. Harry was thirsty because within a few moments the glass was empty. Severus held his wand over the glass, ready to summon more water.
Harry wet his lips again and then rubbed at his chest. "Can I have more potions today?"
"I will have to discuss it with Poppy but I am sure that she will be glad that you survived the night and made it through fairly easy." A slightly more pressing concern made itself known to Severus and he rose from the bed. "Do you want to nap before taking that shower?"
He could see the color rising in Harry's cheeks but he refused to feel any shame over what they just did. It was part of what being a master was about. Perhaps in a normal apprenticeship he would not have done this so soon or perhaps done this at all, but this problem had been bugging Harry all day.
He hoped that Harry would be able to relax a little bit now. It would only benefit his healing.
"Don't need help with the shower….I…."
Severus frowned as he turned back to Harry. The younger wizard was looking away from him, refusing to meet his gaze.
"Harry, there is nothing to be ashamed of. What we did is nothing shameful…"
"But you're….my master…" The green eyes rose up to meet his and Severus sighed before he answered.
"Yes, I am. Would you rather have somebody else help you with this? I have told you before that the bond between a master and his apprentice is a close one. It is certainly close enough that some marry their master or their apprentice. There is no reason for you to feel ashamed or embarrassed by this…"
"I'm not…." But the moment Harry utter the words, Severus knew Harry was lying. But as his apprentice refused to look at him again. Severus decided to let it go for now. And yet, he couldn't help but feel a twinge of disappointment in his chest. He was a fool for hoping for more than Harry was clearly willing to give.
Harry heaved a sigh of relief as the strong spray of the shower washed over him. The humid hot air was making him feel better and breathe easier. He didn't want to think of the bathroom door that was slightly ajar or the fact that Snape was probably waiting outside the door to listen if Harry needed help.
But Harry needed time alone. He needed time to think. He leaned against the wall of the shower and closed his eyes. The encounter between him and Snape had left him confused. He didn't know what to think. He was not ashamed it had happened but it had felt weird.
How could he look Snape in the eye again when all he was thinking about was having the man's hands on him again? He was Snape's apprentice, a duty and no more to his master.
But that isn't true. Snape has gone above and beyond to help you. I doubt he sees you as a duty any longer. He has hinted at it before, the aspect of the apprentice bond of being lovers. But I don't want him to feel pressured. I want him to consider it because he likes me. And hell, why am I even considering it…
Harry ran a hand over his chest. It felt tight and it was starting to hurt but not as bad as it had earlier. Perhaps Snape had been right in saying that sex released hormones that worked as pain killers. If that is the case then I will be doing this more often…
That line of thought got him thinking about the encounter again and Harry sighed. This was not helping him get clean. His feelings concerning Snape confused him. He had loathed the man for so long and now….He was getting to know Snape on a different level. He was getting to know the man behind the mask of the hateful Potions Master and for some reason Snape intrigued him.
Perhaps it was because Snape took care of him or perhaps it was something else but Harry didn't know. But right now that was a moot point, because he was finally in the shower and alone and Harry intended to get clean.
He wasn't sure if he was allowed to use soap but the spray of hot water felt amazing as well. It felt so good to be clean. He put his head under the spray and allowed his hair to get wet.
"Potter?" Harry stumbled as the deep voice came.
"Yeah?" He called back, trying not to wince as his voice gave out.
"I put bottles of scent and perfume free shower gel and shampoo on the ledge inside the shower. If you cannot find them, call for me. They are on the ledge that is directly on the opposite side of the shower head. You should be able to find them. Call for me if you need anything."
Feeling suddenly grateful, Harry palmed the walls for the ledge. He was careful not to move too fast lest he knock something over. When his hand closed around a bottle, he pulled it to him. He uncapped it, wondering what it was.
Sighing he decided that he could care less. Clean was clean and he had every intension of getting clean. He washed himself quickly, trying not to wince as the hot water soaked his hands. Rinsing himself off, he stepped out from the shower. There were towels somewhere in the room, as were his clothes but for the life of him, Harry couldn't figure out where.
His good mood soured; perhaps he needed help after all.
Severus glanced up from the book he had been trying to read when he heard the tentative whisper of "Professor". He rose from his seat. He had added a charm that multiplied sound so he could hear if Harry needed help.
He knocked on the door, not entirely comfortable with barging in on Harry in the shower. After a long moment he stepped inside. The air inside the room was humid and Severus was glad that he wasn't wearing any robes. His eyes sought Harry and found him.
The younger man was leaning against the wall, obvious exhausted and soaking wet. He frowned at the sight before him. Harry's body was turned away from him and the younger male was obviously embarrassed. Severus could not blame him.
"What do you require?" He kept his voice low and his eyes on Harry's face. The green eyes met his even when Severus knew that Harry couldn't see him.
"I can't find the towels." The younger man whispered.
Ah right, those are the only things that I didn't put out. They are in the rack over there but Harry cannot see that. It is no wonder that he cannot find them and is soaking wet.
Severus moved to the rack and picked up a black towel. His towels were not the fluffy kind though they were soft enough for his liking. "Here." He handed it to Harry. Backing away, he immediately said.
"Call me when you are done drying yourself off, unless you require aid with that as well?" He didn't await Harry's answer or nod, instead backing out of the door and into the bedroom. He ran a hand over his face in weariness. It was not even 9 am and he was already exhausted.
The sleep that he had gotten with Harry in his bed had not been nearly as restful as it should have been and his temper was beginning to show. He would have to take care not to let it show too much around Harry.
The soft call of his name had him going back into the bathroom. Harry had wrapped the towel around himself, coughing lightly. Steadying him with one hand on his shoulder, Severus used the other to lightly push Harry's bangs out of his face so he could see his eyes.
Harry's eyes were duller than they had been before but Severus knew that was due to exhaustion. Severus could not see the damage that had been done to Harry's eyes. His apprentice was panting slightly and Severus raised an eyebrow as he asked.
"Do you need help dressing yourself?"
Harry flushed a faint red color and then whispered. "Some help would be nice, yes, thank you."
Severus nodded until he remembered that Harry couldn't see it and said. "Very well. Do you require aid with the dressing part or can I just hand them to you? "
Harry frowned. "I think handing them to me would be fine, sir."
"Severus." The older wizard whispered and he wondered if Harry had heard him. The younger wizard smile and echoed the name. Severus decided to ignore the tightening in his chest at the sound of his name on Harry's lips.
He had to force himself not to let his eyes drift down the body hidden by the towel. Normally a young naked man in his bathroom was not a common occurrence, not when Severus himself had been dressed as he was.
He shook his head firmly as he recalled what had happened earlier today. He shouldn't be thinking about this. It was merely a lapse of judgement on his part as he helped Harry, nothing more. That Harry hadn't pushed him away meant nothing. He remembered being Harry's age with all the pleasures it could bring and how easily it was to welcome somebody's touch.
It said little over Harry's desires or his needs and wants. Severus would not delude himself into thinking that he was what Harry desired when he thought of a lover.
"Madam Pomfrey has given me new clothes for you to wear. They have been washed and sterilized. Is that agreeable?" Harry nodded wearily and rubbed at his eyes as if they were irritating him. "Is anything hurting?"
Immediately Harry shook his head. "No, just sleepy." The younger man said, mouthing working around a yawn.
Yeah that makes two of us
Severus had long learned to ignore his exhaustion in favour of duty. He was doing the same thing now. But this exhaustion didn't come from the body but from the soul as well. He was weary after the burdens he had carried for so long had disappeared. He did feel lighter, that was true but it had only been a few months since the end of the war and he needed time to recuperate.
"You can sleep once you are dressed…" Perhaps Severus could get some peace himself for a moment. Take a shower and enjoy a nap or some reading. He needed some time alone, some peace in which he did not have to take care of somebody.
"Will you sleep then too?" Severus' head snapped up from bending over the bundle of clothes he had taken with him into the room. Harry's green eyes were fixed on him and even though Severus knew Harry couldn't see him, he wondered for a long moment if Harry was as blind as Poppy thought he was.
"Mr Potter, I really do not think that you need to concern yourself with my sleeping habits." He made his voice drop a little bit to make it a little bit silkier.
"Actually….you're my master and you need to rest too….Else when I'm well again then I need to take care of you. I think that you will be a worse patient than I am, honest." Harry's smirk was pure Slytherin and Severus had to bite back his arousal.
"And how will you make me?" He raised an eyebrow at the question.
"I have my ways…" Harry began and then began to cough. They were deep wrecking coughs and Severus approached his apprentice with a glass of water. He waited until the coughing had subsided so Harry could take a sip.
"Now that you are done with coughing your lungs back up, shall we see about getting you dressed, Mr Potter?"
Helping Harry dress was easier than Severus had imagined. He had expected Harry to make a fuss but the younger wizard was obviously too tired to raise any questions about something. He did as Severus instructed and did not require a lot of aid on Severus' part.
Harry was swaying with exhaustion by the end of it and only Severus' quick assistance saved him from a sure fall. Severus allowed his apprentice to lean against him as he straightened the bathroom with a wave of his wand.
"Come, I believe that it is time to get you down for a nap."
"Not a small kid, Sev…." The younger man wheezed around a yawn. Severus decided that for this once he could let the shortening of his given name slip as he helped Harry to the bedroom. His apprentice was leaning heavily upon him and Severus carefully helped him lay down on the bed.
Harry curled up on his side on the bed, over Severus' usual spot. He glanced up at Severus as he blinked back sleep. "Join me?" The request was so innocent and so very inviting that Severus had to swallow back an eager yes.
"Not until I have had my own shower." He answered instead. It wouldn't do to get used to something like this only to have it snatched away from him as Harry became well again and realized he could do better than Severus.
"Kay…" Harry seemed a little disappointed but Severus could not deduce anything else from the other man's face or tone of voice. He tugged a light blanket over Harry and then nodded.
"Call if you need anything." He nodded, leaning over Harry slightly. The Gryffindor turned to him and wrapping one arm around Severus' neck pulled him to him. He kissed Severus on the lips briefly and then softly whispered. "Thank you for helping me."
Pulling back and raising two fingers to his lips, Severus watched as Harry finally gave into sleep.
I'll be damned.
Harry Potter continued to surprise him.
The living room was a warm place to be, Harry realized. The fire was burning and Harry had closed his eyes to enjoy the warmth of the fire on his face. Snape had moved the couch closer to the fireplace and Harry had claimed the spot on the couch in front of the fire.
Harry had no idea where Snape was but at the moment he felt too content to care. His throat and chest were still hurting but they didn't bother him that much. He was feeling rested due to his nap.
Snape had supplied him with the usual potions, one that fought infections and pain, another one to heal his throat and airways, a potion to reduce any fevers, a nutrition potion and more. Because of his healing throat, Snape had spelled the potions directly into his stomach, which had not been pleasant.
Harry glanced up as Snape came into the room. The Potions Master appeared agitated about something but Harry wasn't sure what. Snape had been in his office, Harry knew that much but what Snape had been doing he had no idea. Probably grading.
"The peace in the dungeon is about to be shattered, Potter. I just had a call from Minerva, asking if you are well enough to see your friends. While Poppy would no doubt tell me that it is unwise to allow them access to you because the excitement would be too much, I on the other hand disagree."
Harry blinked up at Snape, stunned for a moment. Snape had never been overly joyous where Gryffindors were concerned, so Harry was a little bit surprised to have Snape saying Hermione and Ron could visit him. Especially in his private rooms. Harry had suspected that they were like a sanctuary to the older man and where none was invited without Snape's approval.
Harry could almost hear Snape's smirk in his voice and the roll of the black eyes even when he couldn't see it as Snape said. "But she, unlike myself, does not have to deal with the disappointed Gryffindors that will surely follow a rejection of Minerva's plan. Nor does she, unlike myself again, have to explain to your friends why Draco Malfoy is allowed to visit and not your best friends. I think that she would agree that the easiest and quickest solution for us all if we would allow your friends to visit. It would certainly make things easier for me, especially when I have work for both Mr Weasley and Miss Granger. "
"So they're coming…now?" It had been so long that he had seen his friends. It would be good to see them again. He couldn't really see them, not the way he normally would have. He would not be able to see the way they looked at him, guess their thoughts from their facial expressions or see actually the details that made them but he did want to see them.
"Yes, they are coming down now, yes. Minerva bullied me into that one. That blasted woman knows too much, much more than is good for her or for me." Snape paced the living room; Harry could hear his footsteps as he walked back and forth.
He followed Snape with his eyes even when he could only see a black blur. Snape stopped his pacing suddenly and glanced up to where Harry assumed was the door.
"Ready or not, Potter, the peace is about to be shattered by the arrival of your friends. I shall turn the couch around so that they at least have access to you. I know how prone to hugging Miss Granger is." Snape's tone was dry and Harry nodded.
I wonder how they will react when they see me…
Harry closed his eyes and pushed his magic out. He could feel it brushing against Snape's magic, though it was a little but further away. There was also magic that was familiar to him. He could hear the faint murmur of their voices as they greeted Professor Snape.
He sat up a little bit straighter and glanced in the general direction as footsteps came closer. He smiled; it was good to see his friends again.
"Hey, Harry, you won't believe what we had to go through in order to get in…"
Ron fell silent suddenly and it was Hermione's gasp of either horror or surprise, Harry wasn't sure, that made him aware that they were reacting to him. He tried not to let his own surprise show because he knew he looked a sight. His lips were still cracked and blistered as were his cheeks and the skin around his eyes. His eyes were too bright almost as though he was feverish and nobody could mistake the way he wheezed for breath.
"Oh, Harry." Hermione moaned. Her voice was breaking and she sounded on the verge of tears. Surely this wasn't only because of him….
"Mate, you look terrible." Ron finally managed to choke out. Harry forced out a breathless laugh. It was an understatement and Harry waited for a joke to come. They always made some sort of joke but when an awkward silence began to fall, Harry realized that this time it wouldn't come. He frowned.
"Dennis did this?" Ron turned away from Harry though he could still feel his friend's eyes upon him now and again.
"Yes, he was the one responsible." Snape's voice revealed nothing. Harry glanced up at Ron, even when he couldn't see his best friend's face. He wanted to know what Ron was thinking.
He pushed out his magic slightly so it was brushing Ron's magic. He could hear Ron's surprised intake of breath and he jerked up to look at Harry. Just as quickly he looked away again.
"Thank you for allowing us to see him, Professor…." Hermione's voice was trembling and then it broke. Harry had never been entirely comfortable with females crying but he had never seen Hermione cry except in the first year.
He cuddled in on himself. They didn't have to touch him but perhaps they could come a little bit closer to him and….
Ron was making soft noises to Hermione who was whispering about him. He just knew it. He could feel it. He had spent too much time with them to know when they were talking about him. Were things really this bad at the moment? He didn't feel so bad but that could also be because he had been given a pain potion.
He wondered for a brief moment if Snape had been allowed to give him that but he didn't really care. It made him feel better and that was at the moment all that mattered.
"Hermione, 's not so bad…" He managed to whisper. He wanted to reach out and touch her but he wasn't so sure if that was a good idea. He forced a grin to his face, hoping that they wouldn't see how much it was hurting that they couldn't even stand to look at him.
Hermione merely sobbed louder and then Snape's voice came, sharp as a whip. "Stop with the caterwauling, Miss Granger, you are only upsetting yourself further. Get a hold of yourself, girl."
"She's upset. What do you want her to do? Suck it up?" Ron's voice was harsh.
"She is here to visit her friend, not cry all over her boyfriend." Snape's voice was a low growl.
"And here I thought that you had grown a heart when you were taking care of Harry. But you are just as cold as you always are, Professor! You don't care about anybody, no you…"
"Do you even know of the reason why I am telling you this? It is to protect Harry! You are hurting him and upsetting him at a time when he cannot use it and certainly does not need it. So either suck it up or leave! I will not have Harry suffering a setback simply because you cannot control yourselves." Harry didn't even notice that he was trembling faintly but Snape had certainly seen it.
He could hear Hermione trying to pull herself together and Ron swore softly before he said. "I'm sorry, Harry, of course we're happy to be here and to visit with you."
Harry nodded; he was shivering ever so faintly. A hand touched his arm but it didn't feel at all like Snape's hand.
"Oh Harry, you really look terrible." Hermione was sitting beside him and she was touching him gently, not trying to hurt him. She had picked up his hand and was running light fingertips over his burned palms.
"Good looks ruined…" Harry grinned at her. He couldn't see her but it felt good to be so close to his best friends again.
"Nay, it gives you a certain edge. It looks like Professor Snape has been taking good care of you though." Harry nodded at her. He could almost hear her smile.
"Where's Ron? Still fighting with Professor…Snape?" Harry had no idea where his master was. He couldn't hear Snape or Ron. He really hoped that they weren't fighting, he didn't want that. Hermione patted his arm and softly said.
"No, they aren't fighting any more. The Professor is pacing and Ron is standing right there." Hermione nodded at him and then patted his hand again. It was done carefully and then Snape asked.
"I suppose the polite thing to do would be to ask if anybody cares for tea." Snape's very tone of voice made Harry realize just what Snape thought of the polite idea. Harry was feeling a little bit thirsty. He would murder for a cup of milky tea but he doubted that Snape would allow him to drink that. But some other tea would be nice as well.
He glanced up at his master and Snape sighed loudly. "By the look on Potter's face, I would say what he thinks of the idea. I suppose I shall go down to the kitchens to get some tea and sandwiches. Do not get into any of my things; else I will be holding you both responsible, Miss Granger and Mr Weasley." Snape's voice dropped menacingly.
"How can you hold us responsible?"
"Because Potter cannot move without hurting himself and he knows better than to go through my personal things. You two on the other hand, I do not trust. Do you really want me to explain myself further, Mr Weasley or shall I simply go and get some tea? Also given you a change to chat with your friend to see if I've been torturing him."
"Ah right…yeah of course. Thank you, Professor, some tea would be lovely." Perhaps Ron had matured. Harry certainly hoped so.
He would like to have some time alone with his friends, just listening to them talk to him. He didn't have to say much but just listening was fine as well. He glanced up in Ron's direction as his best friend sat down beside Harry.
"I suppose it would be a moot question to ask if he is threatening you well."
"Considering that you would have looked decisively worse if he wasn't, I can only summarize that he is looking after you and doing a better job of it than you yourself could have done." Harry held up his hands as both Hermione and Ron spoke at once. He had to grin.
"So, supporting him now?" He managed to choke out. He looked from Ron to Hermione, only guessing where they were.
"He's taking care of you, properly that is and he is doing it without grumble so much about it as he normally would. We didn't see you in the Infirmary but Malfoy said that you would only accept comfort from him so all we have to do is to put two and two together, mate and conclude that he is taking better care of you than anybody else could." Ron's voice was dry and Harry wondered what it cost his best friend to say these words.
"Besides, it is his duty as a master to take care of you. But I have done some research on these types of apprenticeships and the Potions Master's Guild is one of the few who offers full support to disabled apprentices or Potions Masters. If you had entered an apprenticeship with the Ministry you would have been decisively worse." It didn't surprise Harry that Hermione had done her research.
"But how are you otherwise, Harry? Besides the fact that you can't talk much or do anything else but lay on the couch. You lucky sod." Harry frowned at Ron before he said.
"Hey, I was in the middle of an explosion…I can lie on the couch and be taken care of. Oh…and I defeated Voldemort…." Harry laughed even as he coughed.
"Careful, mate, Snape won't like it when you die on our watch." Harry shook his head. He wasn't entirely sure about Snape's feelings regarding him. It was confusing enough to try and figure out what his own feelings were concerning the man. He had hated Snape for so long and while he had been slowly getting to know the man behind the mask, he was still confused with what happened this morning.
"Hey, earth to Harry!" He glanced up at the call of his name. Ron was waving a hand in front of his face and then said. "What has got you so lost in your thought? If I didn't know better I would say that you were dreaming of somebody…"
They couldn't possibly have guessed what Harry had been thinking. He sat very still and waited for the subject to pass. It usually did when either of his friends found another subject to talk about…"I was thinking…" He said, not sure how to continue.
"About?" It seemed that Ron was determined to have this conversation. Hermione had fallen silent which wasn't like her. Perhaps she was gathering her thoughts or waiting for Harry to finish speaking.
"I…IkissedSnape." Harry hadn't meant to blurt it out like that and it hurt his throat quite a lot to do so. He looked down immediately. Even when he couldn't see their face he didn't want to know what they had been thinking.
"Hold a sec; I thought I heard the words kissed and Snape in there!" Ron's voice was low and taking a deep breath and trying not to choke on it, Harry said.
"You did…." He let the sentence hang in the air.
"How did he take that? Hell, how did you think of that?"
"It felt right…." And good and nice and…well nice didn't really cover it. It felt amazing.
"Right as in right or right as in bloody amazing?" Harry could feel his face flush as he held up two fingers.
"Ha, I knew it!"
"Know what?" Harry was a bit taken aback by Ron's outburst. He cursed his vision. He wanted to see Ron's expression.
"That you may like the other sex better than you like girls. All you've ever been obsessing about is either Snape or Malfoy. Not that there is anything wrong with it but it is good that you finally figured it out yourself. It saves Hermione the trouble of having to tell you." Harry frowned. If he was honest, he had been thinking of it lately but not in those terms.
Things had been shaken up enough with Ginny and everything that had happened. He had assumed that the lack of desire he had felt for Ginny had been due to the fact that he had just fought a battle and had been so tired. He had never thought that the relationship he had with Ginny and his lack of interest in girls had been due to anything else.
Could it really be that he was gay? It would explain a lot; he knew that much but what if it was true? Ron and Hermione seemed convinced of the fact.
"And it won't matter to you?" Harry had to know.
"No, mate of course not. Just as long as you're happy." And as Harry finally felt a smile breaking out, glad to know that he would be supported either way, he wondered, would his feelings regarding Snape always be this confusing or would there be something awkward between them? Only time would tell.
That is it for now. I don't think that you were expecting that. Review of course and send me some ideas.
In the next chapter: Harry has a lot of thinking to do now that a new possibility has been made known to him by his friends. But can our wounded hero figure out his feelings regarding his master? Or will this influence their relationship? Ron and Hermione stick around and can Snape get along with them for Harry's sake and what will they say when Severus asks them for assistance? And can Severus overcome his own doubts where Harry is concerned or will he act like he always does and push his apprentice away? That and more in: Emotions.