“Harry,” Ron asked as he headed to the door.“Are you coming?”
Harry had been lying on his side on his four-poster, flipping through a magazine.He sighed heavily.Ron had done nothing but talk about the Slytherin New Year’s Eve party ever since he had gotten the redhead together with Draco the week before Christmas.“No, Ron,” he said firmly.“Why should I go?I don’t have a date.I hate going stag.”
“Well, Ginny really likes you, you could go with her.”
Harry sighed again and rose to his feet.“No offence, Ron,” he said as he placed a hand on his best friend’s shoulder.“You’re like a brother to me, and don’t get me wrong, I like Ginny, I do, but it would just be too weird.She’s like my little sister.”
“Well,” Ron whinged, grasping at straws.“What about Cho?You always liked her.”
“Already going with Thomas,” Harry said flatly.
Harry sighed and shook his head with a smile.“Don’t want to kiss her and blow our friendship, we’ve been friends for seven years.”
“Alright then,” Ron huffed.“I won’t go either.”
Harry chuckled.“Like Draco’s going to let you get out of it?”
Ron rolled his eyes and laughed with Harry.“Yeah, like that will happen.”
“Come on, I’m hungry.Let’s go eat.You’re boyfriend’s probably looking for you.”
“Harry, be quiet!”Ron said, looking around.“No one knows about us yet.”
Harry grinned.“Well, if he has his way, they will in a few days anyway.Come on.”
With that, they left the dorm, heading down to the Great Hall for dinner.
***It was two days before New Year’s, and Ron still hadn’t gotten Harry to budge about not going to the party.“I don’t know what to do any more,” he muttered, seemingly to no one as he watched Harry from the Entrance Hall.Draco was at his side under the Invisibility Cloak Harry had lent them until they came out to everyone.
Draco watched the dark haired Gryffindor through the crack of the doors to the Great Hall.He noticed that every now and then, the boy would look up toward the head table and sigh before returning morosely to his food.Following his gaze on one of these brief passes, he gasped when he found the boy watching his uncle, Severus Snape.A slow, feral grin turned up the corners of his mouth and he backed away from the doors, pulling at the sleeve of Ron’s robes.
“What?”Ron asked in bewilderment.“I thought we were eating.”
“Come on, I have an idea,” Draco whispered, and led his boyfriend off to the library.
“But I’m hungry,” Ron groused as they entered the empty library.
“You’re always hungry,” Draco pointed out.
“So what?”Ron muttered as Draco led him to a dark corner.“What do you want?What’s this idea of yours? I thought we were trying to figure out how to get Harry to the Slytherin party, not have a snog.”
“We are,” Draco confirmed.“Well, we were.”
“What do you mean ’we were’?”Ron asked.
“Well, you said Harry didn’t want to go alone, right?”
Ron nodded.“Yeah, he turned down all my suggestions on girls to take.”
Draco smiled and wrapped his arms loosely around Ron’s shoulders after he hopped up on a nearby table.“That’s because, like us, he’s no interest in girls.”
Ron’s jaw dropped.“H-how do you know?” he asked when he found his voice again.
“Because I know who he likes.I’m really surprised I didn’t notice before, but that’s neither here nor there, the point is, it isn’t important that Harry comes to the party anymore; we have to get them together.I’m tired of seeing them both miserable.”
“Who?”Ron asked curiously.
Draco fidgeted nervously.He knew all too well how Ron and most other students felt about his uncle.“Um,” he murmured nervously.“You promise you won’t get mad or be angry with Harry?We can’t help who we love, after all.”
“Just tell me, Dray,” Ron said in exasperation.
“Well, he seems to like my uncle,” Draco answered.
“You’re uncle?”Ron asked in confusion.“Why would I be upset about that?I didn’t even know your uncle was here.”
Draco sighed and shook his head.“Does Professor Snape ring a bell?”
Ron paled.“Harry likes him?” he asked, and shuddered slightly.
“Hey!”Draco said huffily.“You said that you wouldn’t get mad.”
“No I didn’t,” Ron replied.
“Oh, alright!Fine,” Draco scolded.“But I am tired of seeing them both alone; we have to get them together.”
“So,” Ron asked.“What did you have in mind?”
“Harry, are you sure that you don’t want to go?” Ron asked once more as he prepared for the party.
“Yes, Ron,” Harry said for what seemed like the eight hundredth time.“I’m sure I don’t want to go.I’ll be fine, go have fun with your boyfriend.”
Ron sighed as he fixed his tie.“Oh, have any plans for tonight then?Or are you going to just sit up here all night?”
“I don’t know, maybe.I might go by and visit Hagrid.I haven’t seen him for a while.”
Ron nodded the wheels in his head turning.
“You know, you could always go by the trophy room.I know you like it, and with classes and homework, you haven’t gone by there in quite a while.Who knows when you’d get another chance before we leave; and it would give you a chance to reconnect with your dad.”
Harry smiled, getting the feeling that Ron was up to something, but he couldn’t quite figure out what, so he nodded.“Maybe,” he agreed.“Beats sitting up here all night.”
Ron returned his smile, and with a wave, headed for the door.
“Hey, Ron,” Harry called out as he reached it.
The redhead turned and arched a curious brow.
“Make sure you get my dad’s Invisibility Cloak back from Draco.I have a feeling that after tonight, you guys won’t need it.”
Ron blushed, turning nearly the colour of his hair, and with a nod, headed out the door.
“There you are,” Draco said when he saw the redhead enter the Slytherin common room.Ignoring the gaping looks of his housemates; Draco stalked over and wrapped his arms around the boy.“So,” he murmured with a wicked smile.“Is he going?”
Ron nodded.He looked around them briefly, taking in the others expressions before turning back to the blond.“So I guess we’re out of the closet?”
Draco smiled and leaned up, placing a chaste kiss on the redhead’s lips.
Ron grinned at him when he drew back.“Yeah, Harry said he might drop by.”
“Might?” asked Draco, his brow furrowing.
“Don’t worry, if I know Harry, he will,” Ron said with a grin.“Is your uncle going to be there?”
“How’d you get him to agree?When will he be there?”
Draco smiled wickedly once more.“I told him I’d heard that some first years were planning on breaking curfew.He’s going to be there around ten-thirty.”
Ron chuckled.“Oh, you are evil, Dray,” he murmured, drawing the blond closer.
Draco smirked.“I never claimed I wasn’t.”
Ten o’clock found Harry walking back up to the castle from Hagrid’s, his pockets stuffed with treacle fudge.He paused on the way up to Gryffindor tower, and with a sigh, turned around and headed to the trophy room.Maybe Ron’s right, he thought as he headed back to the third floor.I probably won’t get another chance any time soon.Taking his time, he arrived at the door just after ten-thirty.
“Well, well,” came a silky voice when he opened it.“Mister Potter.Out for a late night stroll?”
Harry started, and saw Professor Snape step from the shadows in the corner diagonal from where he entered.“I – I’m sorry,” he stammered.“I didn’t know anyone would be here, I – I’ll just head back to the dorm.”
“Not so fast, Potter,” Severus called.Harry paused, and looked at him uncertainly as he looked around the room before turning back to meet the Gryffindor’s emerald gaze.“I was here to catch some first years breaking curfew.Tell me, Mister Potter,” he continued.“Why are you not at the party?”
Harry swallowed dryly.“I – I didn’t have a – a date,” he stuttered.
“No?”Severus asked in mock disbelief.“I would have thought that the great Harry Potter would have no trouble getting a date for the New Year’s Eve party.”
Harry cleared his throat nervously.“T-there was no – no one I was interested in taking, I don’t really like parties.”
Severus nodded slightly, not really caring why the Gryffindor hadn’t gone to the Slytherin party.He was more interesting in knowing why he was there.“So,” he said conversationally.“Why are you here, Mister Potter?”
“I – I came to see my dad’s t-trophies,” Harry answered uneasily.He knew how the man had hated his father, and was rather nervous about talking about him in his presence.
“I see,” Severus replied.“Come with me, Mister Potter.”
“Am – am I in trouble, Sir?”Harry asked, slightly disappointed that he wouldn’t get to look at his father’s awards tonight, but didn’t really think about seeing them later.
Severus said nothing, but left the room, Harry at his heels, and proceeded to the dungeons.
“Sir?”Harry asked once more when the man stopped and mumbled a password that he didn’t catch.
Severus held the door open, and motioned him inside.Harry stepped in tentatively, and looked around.“Where are we?” he asked, turning to watch as the man strode across the room to a small cabinet.
Severus opened it and pulled out a shot glass and a bottle of Ogden’s Old Firewhiskey.“These, Mister Potter,” he said, looking around the room before filling the shot glass.“Are my chambers.Have a seat.”
Harry walked stiffly over to the leather sofa and sat down.He swallowed nervously as he looked around.He saw a Wizard’s clock on the wall and found that it was almost eleven.
Severus filled his glass, and turned to study him a moment.“How old are you, Mister Potter?” he asked.
“S-seventeen, Sir,” Harry said, his attention drawn once more to the tall, raven-haired man before him.
“Hmm,” Severus murmured.“Seventeen, huh?”
“Yes, Sir,” Harry confirmed and nodded.
“That makes you a man in our world; a legal adult.”
“Yes, Sir,” Harry said again.
“Tell me, Mister Potter,” Severus drawled.“Would you care for a drink?”
“Y-yeah,” Harry stammered, wondering where this was going.“S-sure.I – I mean, if it’s alright with you.”
Severus nodded curtly, and reached for another shot glass, filling it and topping off his own before returning the bottle to the cabinet.Both glasses in hand, he headed over to the couch.He held out a glass to the young man, and watched as he took it with a trembling hand.
“Thank you,” Harry murmured meekly as he took the proffered shot glass.
Severus nodded and sat down at the opposite end of the couch, sprawling in the corner as he watched the young man sit in a stiff huddle.
He waited, but the Gryffindor didn’t say any more, and began to tentatively sip his Firewhiskey instead.He sighed heavily and shifted, lowering his gaze to his glass as he swirled its contents idly.“You know, Mister Potter,” he said after a moment and returned his onyx eyes to the young man.“You can relax.”
Harry looked at him with a start.“I – I’m not in trouble?”
Severus snorted.“Would I have brought you here, or offered you a drink if you were?”
“I – I don’t know, Sir,” Harry answered honestly.“I – I guess not… but,” Harry trailed off hesitantly.
“But?”Severus asked, arching an ebony brow.
“T-then why am I here?”Harry inquired, still not sure what was going on.
Severus snorted.“Well, I now know that Draco sent me on a wild Hippogriff chase.There were no first years that were trying to break curfew.”
“Draco sent you?”Harry asked, and Severus nodded.“H-how do you know that?”
Severus smirked as he leaned forward.“Because you’ve never called him Draco,” he answered softly.“Tell me, Mister Potter,” Severus continued.“If I am mistaken that whenever you visit the trophy room, do you not make certain that you are not disturbed?”
Harry swallowed and shifted nervously.“Y-yes,” he murmured.
“I see, Mister Potter,” Severus purred.“So, can you tell me why my nephew would send me to catch unwitting first years in the trophy room when you were the only one present, and make sure that you have time to squander?”
“I – I don’t know, Sir,” Harry stammered.
Severus reached out and grasped Harry’s chin, forcing the young man to look him in the eye.He muttered nor thought of no spell, but simply searched his captivating emerald eyes.Finding no deceit, he released him after a few moments.
“Perhaps not,” he said, and rose to his feet, returning to the cabinet and retrieved the bottle of Firewhiskey once more.He was shaken, and in need of another round.It was true he had seen no deceit in the Gryffindor’s eyes, but what he had seen unnerved him.
Harry sat on the sofa, his mind turning what the man had said over and over like a puzzle.Why had Draco sent the man to the trophy room?And had he just called Draco his nephew?Then, a new thought came to him.Ron had specifically suggested that he go there in his wanderings if he wasn’t going to go to the party.Harry groaned and bowed his head.Had it all been a setup?
Severus turned and arched a curious brow when he heard the Gryffindor groan.Perhaps I shouldn’t have given him a drink, Severus thought when he saw the young man sitting with his head bowed.He was about to ask what was wrong when the young man looked up.
“I – I think,” Harry said, swallowing nervously.“I think I know why Draco sent you.”
“Do you?”Severus asked, downing his drink in one go.
Harry nodded.“I – I want you to know, Sir,” he said quietly.“I had no knowledge of what he was planning, but,” he trailed off.
Severus arched an inquiring brow.“But?” he purred, filling his glass for the third time, and raising the bottle to Harry, who nodded.Severus slowly walked over and filled his glass before sitting down and setting the bottle on the low table in front of them.
Harry took a drink, feeling the burning liquid roll down his throat, steeling himself for what he was about to say.He felt the man’s eyes upon him, and returned his gaze.
“I do not know how they knew,” Harry said softly.“But I’m glad they did it.”
“They?”Severus asked curiously.
Harry nodded with a chuckle.“Ron and Draco,” he answered.“I set them up two weeks ago,” he revealed.“I was tired of Ron moping and pretending nothing was bothering him, so I spoke with Draco and they have been dating ever since.”
“Draco’s dating a Weasley?”Severus asked in disbelief.
Harry glared at him.“Yes,” he snapped.“And it’s Ron, not Weasley.Do you have a problem with that?”
Severus was startled by the young man’s sudden change.He had seen him angry before, but he couldn’t recall his eyes sparkling as fiercely as they were now.They stared at each other for a long moment, and then Severus lowered his gaze, backing down.“No,” he said quietly.“I just never thought that Draco would even consider dating someone from the Weasley family.”
“Why?”Harry asked coldly.“Don’t think he’s good enough for your nephew?”
“No,” he said after a moment.“It’s not that.”
“What is it then?”Harry asked, his voice still holding the angry edge.
Severus lifted his gaze to meet Harry’s once more.“It’s just that I never thought either would get past their differences much less that of their families.”
“What do you mean?”Harry looked at him in bewilderment, and Severus noted the coldness was no longer present in his tone.
Severus sighed heavily and leaned back against the couch.“The Malfoys and Weasleys have waged war upon each other for centuries.If what you tell me is true, young Mister Weasley and my nephew are more akin to Tristan and Isolde, than with their families; I am sure you are familiar with their tale?”
Harry shook his head slowly.
“Well, perhaps you would be more familiar with that of Romeo and Juliet.”
Harry nodded smiling slightly and took another sip from his glass.“What were they fighting over; the Malfoys and Weasleys, I mean.”
Severus looked thoughtful for a moment and then shook his head.He took a drink, finishing it off and went to refill it.At Harry’s nod, he filled the young man’s glass as well.“I am not even sure they know any more,” he said, returning the bottle to its place on the table and picking up his glass once more.“So tell me, Mister Potter,” he continued, sitting back against the sofa once more.“Why are you glad that Mister Weasley and Draco attempted to get you into trouble?I thought Mister Weasley was your friend.”
“He is,” Harry replied quietly, looking down into his glass.With a soft sigh, he raised his eyes to meet the onyx gems before him.“Honestly, I don’t believe they were trying to get me in trouble.”
“Don’t you?” Severus asked, arching a brow.Harry shook his head.“What do you think they were trying to do then?”
Harry returned his gaze to his glass, swirling its contents as he blushed.He took a drink before meeting his Professor’s eyes once more.“I think,” he said softly.“That they were trying to give me the opportunity to do something I felt I could not do on my own.”
Severus inched closer, his curiosity piqued.“And what would that be, Mister Potter?”
Harry’s breath hitched as he watched his Professor inch closer.“A – A chance to take what I want,” he replied, his voice barely a whisper.
“And what is it that you want, Mister Potter?You are The-Boy-Who-Lived, why do you fear taking what it is you want?”
“B-because I would rather it be freely given,” Harry whispered.“Tell me, Professor,” he continued.“Do you not believe that there are other feuds that should be put to rest?”Severus arched a brow at him curiously.“Between you and a ghost?”Harry clarified.
“Is that what you want, Mister Potter?”Severus asked.“Is that what you seek, what you are afraid to take?”
Harry shook his head slowly.“No,” he answered softly as he gazed into the onyx gems that were steadily coming closer.
Can it be possible?Severus asked himself as he slowly inched closer to the young man.It was true that he had seen no deceit in the emerald depths of the dark-haired Gryffindor’s eyes, but had he really seen what he thought he had?Had he really seen hope?Had he truly seen love?
“Then what do you want, Mister Potter?”Severus asked.
“Please, Professor, call me Harry,” he answered, turning to face the man fully.“A-as for what I want…”
“Yes?”Severus asked, once more searching the emeralds before him.
“I – I want you,” Harry whispered, his breath hitching when he felt the man’s strong, slender hand brush his thigh as he moved closer before coming to rest upon it fully.
Harry swallowed dryly as he nodded, his eyes never leaving the onyx ones that held them captive.“Yes,” he whispered and swallowed once more.“Yes, Sir.”
Severus reached up and brushed his hand lightly over the young man’s cheek, and watched as he closed his eyes briefly, leaning into the touch before opening them once more.Severus did not have to ask himself what he saw in the Gryffindor’s eyes once more, but lowered his head to capture the young man’s lips in a heated kiss.
“Happy New Year…Harry,” Severus murmured as they parted to the chime of midnight a few moments later.
“Happy New Year, Si…”Harry broke off when Severus placed an elegant finger to his lips and shook his head slowly.
“Severus,” he prompted softly, and Harry nodded as Severus removed his finger from the young man’s lips.Harry smiled, a slight blush tinting his cheeks.“Happy New Year, Severus,” he whispered as the man reached down and gently took the glass from his hands and set it on the table with his own before capturing his mouth once more.