Both Draco and Harry stood in shock in the door to the room. Draco was doing no better than his friend. Severus may have been Harry's fiancé, but he was Draco's godfather. He had been a surrogate dad for many years when his parents had to keep their distance as spies. His parents had an arranged marriage but cared about each other and had loved him. Draco had been mourning both his mother and his Uncle for the past year. And now to find the man alive and in a hospital bed, he had no idea how to put that into words.

Harry looked at the man he loved and thought surely he must be dreaming. He had held Severus in his arms after the snake had bitten him. Severus had forced him to leave him and go and fight the last battle. Harry had been devastated when the body was never found.

Harry looked at him. "Sev."

Draco found his voice. "You are alive."

Severus turned. "Indeed."

Harry was stumbling for words. "How?"

Draco demanded when the man was silent. "How are you alive?"

Severus grunted. "The centaurs."

Harry was pale. "I thought you dead."

Severus grunted. "Better that way."

Draco put a hand on Harry. "He must have a reason."

Harry was shaking. "You let us think you were dead."

Draco was confused. "Did you have amnesia? Were you in a coma?"

Harry was desperate for some truth. "You must."

Severus smirked. "I have been fully aware."

Harry was shaking. "Why?"

He looked at the man he loved and he couldn't understand this. He couldn't understand how the man he loved had left him. He had spent the past year grieving for him. Severus was the only person he had ever loved. He was the first person who had ever seen Harry for who he was. Even Harry's closest friends, those who loved him, still saw the hero at times. He knew they wouldn't have followed him if not. Severus and Remus were the ones who had seen him just as Harry. In Severus, Harry had thought he had found someone who could love him for just him.

Draco was upset and confused for both himself and for Harry. He could not understand any more than Harry, how the man would lie to him. His Uncle had been there his entire life. He couldn't begin to understand how the man would allow him to believe he was dead.

Draco demanded as the man didn't answer. "Why?"

"I don't owe either of you….."

Harry snapped. "I am your fiancé. You don't think you owe me an explanation?"

Draco added. "Or your nephew. Does my father know?"

"Do you think I'd be in here if Lucius knew?"

Harry was pale. "How could you let me think you were dead?"

Severus grunted. "I am a cripple."

Draco saw the medical chart. "You are getting feeling back."

Severus spat. "I am in a wheelchair."

Harry shook his head. "You think I care you are in a wheelchair?"

"Of course not. You could play the golden boy hero again."

Harry was taken aback. "Golden boy hero? Sev?"

"I didn't want to be on the covers of the paper, the crippled fiancé of the boy who lived. Who took pity on the former death eater."

Harry was shaking. "It is not pity."

"You have a hero complex. You know eventually you would have moved on."

Harry was shaken to the core. "You think so little of me?"

People thought he was crazy when he had started to date Severus. Certainly Ron and Hermione thought he needed to have his head checked. Only the twins had taken it well at first. But love could make you do stupid things he told himself. You could not reason with your heart. The same man who called him an obnoxious brat, had seen the real him. He had never before called Harry the golden boy, not since they had first kissed. The words stung Harry worse than anything else. The man doubting Harry's love was like a hundred cruciatus curses on him.

Harry's hand went to his ring. "We swore to spend our lives together."

Severus wouldn't look at him. "I absolve you of that promise."

"I don't want to be absolved of that promise."

"Well you don't have a choice. I made my choice."

Harry took off the ring. "You are dead."

Draco tried to put a hand on him. "Harry, he is just…"

Severus cut his nephew off. "I know exactly what I am saying."

Harry slammed down the ring on the table. "My fiancé died in those woods. The man I loved would never have….."

Draco watched him go but stayed. "How could you?"

Severus turned to him. "He will get over me."

Draco was steaming mad. "You are such a fool. He loves you more than life."

"He is young. He will find a groupie soon."

Draco felt like smacking him. "And me? And my father? You know you are buried in our family plot."

Severus showed a human side for one second but it was a flash. "The stone can be removed."

Draco was angry. "We buried you next to my mother. Do you remember her? The woman you called sister? I had to bury you both."

Severus turned away from him. "It seems a shame."

Draco said nothing as he stormed out of the hospital room and headed to find Harry. He knew he needed to speak to his father. He doubted Lucius would get a better response from it. But the two men had been friends since they were in school. Lucius deserved to know as much as they did, his brother was alive in that room. And he doubted his father would take it as easy on the man as Harry and Draco had.

Severus picked up the ring when they were gone and for a moment wanted to call out but stopped. "Harry."


Draco had found Harry in the bar in the Leaky Cauldron. He had never seen his friend as shaken as that. Not since the end of the final battle. They had been friends before but the end of the battle had brought them closer. As they mourned the man, they had grown much closer. The realization that Severus was alive was a painful blow to them both. Like Ted, Draco truly believed if his Uncle was alive, he'd have come home. Neither body had been found, but considering the war, that was not uncommon. There were many order members who had no bodies to bury.

Draco had sent an elf to the manor to collect his father and have him come meet hm. He could not get Harry to come with him to the manor. He did get Harry into a private room though to drink and ordered all three of them a strong beer. Lucius arrived shortly after.

Lucius was surprised. "What is wrong?"

Draco sighed. "We went to the hospital."

Lucius knew what his son was up to. "And it is leading Harry to drink?"

Harry grunted. "Who we found."

Lucius turned. "It can't be that bad."

Draco grunted. "Uncle Sev."

Lucius was shocked. "Your Uncle is dead."

Harry grunted. "No, he just wants us to think he is."

Lucius shook his head. "There must be some good reason."

Draco smirked. "No amnesia, nothing. He hid."

Lucius reminded his son. "That is not your Uncle's style."

Harry spat. "It seems none of us knew him well."

Lucius sunk down into a chair and he was surprised by the bitter tone. He noticed for the first time Harry was not wearing his ring. Harry had refused to take it off even after a year. Remus had suggested that Harry could wear it on a chain around his neck, like he did his own. But Harry had not been ready. He didn't have to ask if Harry was wearing it on a chain. He knew that Harry had removed it now.

Draco handed his father one of the beers that he had ordered, and he told him what had happened in the hospital. Harry didn't speak, but simply stewed over the beer in his hand. Lucius had never known Harry to drink and he was shocked but he definitely understood.

Lucius was pale. "Where is this hospital?"

Harry smirked. "You think he will welcome you with open arms?"

Lucius didn't. "Oh I know him too well."

Draco told his dad. "Might want to go soon."

Harry nodded. "Before he slithers away."

Lucius looked at his son. "What room?"

Draco gave it. "You may need a way in."

Lucius grunted. "I don't plan on asking."

Draco watched him go. "He will knock some sense into him and…."

Harry called for another beer. "He is dead."

Draco put a hand on him. "I know he hurt you….."

Harry was furious. "Hurt me? Hurt me? You don't seem ready to forgive him either."

Draco drank his own second beer. "No."

Lucius headed for the hospital and he knew he had to make good time. He knew Severus would not be one to remain there. The man was a fool and he had obviously never wanted to be found again. Lucius was not about to allow the man to hide away though. Harry and Draco were not the only ones who deserved some explanation for all of this. They had taken the mark and never kept secrets from each other. Being tortured into the mark together, he thought they had a bond that could never be broken. He could not believe the man had pulled this on all of them.

He found the room empty. "He moves quickly."

A nurse entered. "What are you doing in here?"

"Where is the patient?"

The woman looked him up and down. "He seems popular today. No guests for a year and now three in one day."

Lucius grunted. "Is he off for tests?"

The woman shook her head. "He checked himself out."

Lucius went for the door. "Damn it."

Lucius headed for Spinner's end but he knew deep down the man would not be there. It had been the man's home but it was too easy. Severus had named Harry heir to his estate including Spinner's end. He had left some of the Prince money to Draco, but the main estate was Harry's. But because Harry was neither his husband nor blood, the estate was held for five years, but for a small chunk. Lucius knew most of Severus' homes from the estate, if not all, were under the fidelius. And not even Lucius knew where or how to follow the man to wherever he went.

Lucius picked up a photo of Harry and Severus. "I always knew you were a fool Severus but this….."

AN: Severus will be back, but will Harry be able to forgive him, or will he move on with a new love?