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One Very Bad Joke...

By SXH1417

Action / Drama

Chapter 1

((SXH: I had the urge to write one day and decided to just write whatever came to my mind. This is one of the things that I've been trying to get out, so please enjoy and no judging me. Enjoy!))

Chapter 1:

Harry Potter was different at the end of the war. Everyone noticed it. Hermione was decent enough not to question it, but the Weasleys bothered him non stop about it. Harry did not take too well to it. He ignored them at first, but their attention border lined harassment, especially from Ginny Weasley. Harry, in the end, had taken to avoiding them completely.

Harry's change was not unexpected by Hermione and other close friends of Harry's. But, the drastic change had them concerned. Their friend hardly talked anymore. He spent most of his time fixing Hogwarts or remodeling his new home, Grimmauld Place. They had expected him to leave that place. Hermione asked him why he didn't one day.

He replied with, "There are more good memories here than here are bad. I will not be run out of my home because of a few bad days." Hermione was proud to hear this from him. Although, there was still one question that hung in the air that bothered her to no end as she sat in Harry's living room. She had been helping him pick out colors and furniture that he was going to replace.

Harry sensed the question a long time ago. it was the same question that hung in the air when he was in the Great Hall right after the war ended. He had ignored it then, just as he did now, nearly six months later.

"Hermione, what do you think? Should I go with the Emerald green or the Tiger orange for the drapes?" Harry asked as he looked at the catalog he got from a muggle shop. Hermione sighed as he looked at book.

"Harry, why don't you just get one of the catalogs from that shop in Diagon Alley? At least there, you won't have to pick from the silly names they give these colors. You would just pick a shade and they would apply it magically to see if you like it," Hermione reasoned.

"You know I can't do that, 'Mione. The Wizarding word is not exactly happy with me at the moment," Harry said, then he groaned internally. He noticed Hermione bite her lip, trying to stave off the question that bubbled in her mind.

"You did the right thing, Harry," she began. "You cleared Professor Snape's name and got him the Order of Merlin, First Class. Some people would naturally be confused."

"Hermione, I have been your friend for eight years. I know when you are beating around the bush," Harry said before she could continue. "You might as well ask. I know you've been dying to ever since then." Hermione chewed on her lip, and lowered her head, blushing in shame.

"Sorry, Harry," she whispered. "I can't help but wonder why? Why are you so attached to him? You visit him every day, even though they say that he's not getting better. He isn't your friend and he certainly isn't family, so why?" Harry held back his urge to snap at her. He took a breath, set down the catalog, and took a drink of his brandy.

"Hermione. You did not see the memories that I saw. You have no idea what his life was like," Harry began, smiling softly. "I'm positive that if we had went to Hogwarts together, we would have been friends."

"Harry, you can't know-"

"Hermione," Harry interrupted, looking at her. "Look at me." she lifted her head to look Harry in the eye. Harry pointed to his face, where a large curved scar resided on each of his cheeks. "Severus and I have plenty of things in common." Hermione's eyes widened and Harry reached for his brandy again. "That doesn't leave this room. Ever. Now, which color do you think I should choose. I love the violet color I chose for the walls, but which color should I choose to accent it?"

The next day Harry sent in his order for the Emerald green drapes. The owners told him that it would take about a day to get them in, so he could come back tomorrow to pick them up. After that, he walked out the muggle shop and into the London streets. He hailed a cab and proceeded to make his way to St. Mungo's.

It was a nice cab ride. He had an interesting conversation with the flirtatious cab driver. Harry preened a little under the attention as the man told him of all the nice restaurants and places that he knew of. When they arrived, Harry tipped the man and found a flower stand nearby. He quickly bought some pretty white lilies and made his way inside the hospital.

He signed in as a visitor and quickly followed the path that he knew by heart, humming on the way. When he entered the room, e nearly dropped the vase of flowers.

"P-Professor..." Harry sad dumbly as he stared into deep onyx eyes.

"What happened to your face, Potter?" came the almost immediate snarky reply. Harry turned his head self-consciously.

"Long story... But, how on earth are you awake? The doctors said you wouldn't recover," Harry asked, setting the vase next to Snape's bed.

"Long story," Snape replied simply. Harry gave the man an annoyed glare and then reached for Snape's chart. "Potter!" Harry snatched it up before the other man could stop him. Harry's brow furrowed as he stared at the chart. Half of it was marked out in black marker. "You should not stick you nose in my business, Potter."

"And you shouldn't be snippy to the only person who took the time to come visit you and see that you were well treated in this facility," Harry snapped back and then handed Severus the chart. "I have visited you and stayed by you for six months while you laid in a coma. I, more than anyone, deserve to know how you came to be in such great health when the doctors deemed you a lost cause."

"And I, more than anyone, deserve the right to privacy over my medical issues," Severus sneered back. "It is bad enough I survived that wretched attack. I do not need you here to flaunt you wealth and success in my face. I am already trying to cope with the face that I have a tremendous bill to pay for the medical care that I did not want and have no way to pay for. And furthermore, I do not appreciate you taking it upon yourself to just waltz into my room like you own the place."

"For the love of Merlin, Severus, do your research before you open your mouth. In case you haven't noticed, I do own this place, at least until you are well enough to leave," Harry informed as he took a seat in the only chair in the room. Severus, who was just about to sent Harry a sharp retort, snapped his mouth shut. "I have taken care of all the expenses, so put that out of your mind. As for my reasons here, it is not to 'flaunt my wealth and success in your face'. In fact, I am neither the Wizarding World's favorite wizard at the moment, nor am I the richest out there. Even with all the fines the Malfoys had to pay, they are still much more wealthy than I am. As for your unemployment, I am still working on that, unless you wish to remain that way." Severus send a harsh glare Harry's way.

"I did not give you permission to use my given name," he bit out. Harry smiled on the inside. Of all the things he could have commented on, he chose that? Harry thought. "I did not ask for your money either. I do not need your help." Harry sighed heavily.

"You needed someone's help. I was the only one that offered and since you were too incapacitated to agree, I took it upon myself to go ahead. And before you even open your mouth to try and insult me, I need to tell you some things you need to hear," Harry started. Severus's glare turned harsher but he didn't say anything. "I am sorry."

Severus's glare vanished in his few moments of surprise. He quickly wiped it off his face though. Harry didn't mind. It was Snape's defense system to be private with his emotions. With this in mind, Harry continued.

"I understand that you are not happy with me. In fact, I think you hate me more than ever. But, I just wanted to apologize for the way I treated you while I was in school. I was a prat with problems. A lot of problems..." Harry continued, mumbling the last bit. "But, that doesn't excuse the way I acted. I should have trusted you more, not just because Dumbledore trusted you, but because I already knew you had saved my life before. I should have gotten my head out of my arse to see that sooner... For that, I am truly sorry."

There were more than a few moments of silence. Harry shifted uncomfortably under Severus's calculating gaze. He withstood the gaze for only so long before he stood and nodded to the other man.

"I'll leave you, then. I'm coming back tomorrow to sign some papers and hopefully get you out of here sooner, if you want! I didn't think that you would like to linger around here with a bunch of incompetent dunderheads, but i could be wrong and you could like the company of at least semi-intelligent doctors or-" Harry rambled on.

"Potter," Snape said, effectively shutting Harry up. Harry looked on hopefully at the other. With an unreadable expression, Severus went on. "I would very much like to get out of here sooner." Harry smiled brightly, stretching the scars on his face a bit uncomfortably. Harry waved goodbye and strode to the door. "One more thing, Potter." Harry turned around curiously. "Do you mind bringing me some form of clothing? Preferably black. I loath this hospital issued attire." Harry nodded and smiled brightly.

"No problem, Professor," he said, then turned around and left.

Harry, in his excitement, Apperated to the Weasley household with a bright smile on his face. He didn't have to knock; they had already considered him family. With this in mind, he strode right inside. He knew that Hermione would be in the living room. He didn't know how Hermione would act, but he felt the need to tell her. Something in his chest just wanted to giggle in excitement.

He found Hermione in her usual spot, but his smile faded when he saw that she wasn't alone by a long shot. The whole Weasley Clan was there, like they were expecting him. Harry got a bad feeling. The tension in the room rose so he decided to alleviate the tension.

"What's this? Some kind of intervention?" Harry joked. "I knew I was overdue for one but with the whole family? Damn." Harry laughed a bit and he knew he helped a little when he saw some of the faces crack a smile, no matter how small it was.

"You were never really good at jokes, Harry," George said. "Perhaps I should give you a lesson or two. Then maybe one day you'll get that Dungeon Bat to actually crack."

"George!" Molly admonished. George winced and gave Harry a sympathetic look. After that, the tension only grew. Harry shuffled a bit uneasily, not really sure how to go about this.

"Um... So, what exactly is going on? I mean, I love you guys and all, but the staring is making me a bit uncomfortable," Harry informed. Everyone immediately tore their eyes away, except George, who whistled and winked at Harry with a big grin. Harry laughed a bit more, but tried not to get laugh too hard. He really hated his laugh. However, the mood was killed again when Molly swatted her son.

Molly, who had grown tired of waiting, opened her mouth to answer. "Harry, we love you, don't ever think that we don't," she began. Shit... Harry thought. "We are just concerned for you're well-being and health, and..."  Molly grew silent, trying to find words. Arthur placed a hand on his wife's shoulder, silently telling her that he would continue.

"What Molly is trying to say is that we are concerned about you, even more so lately," he began. Out of respect, Harry sat down to listen to what they had to say. He decided that it was best to stay quiet until they finished. "Now, this is only a suggestion, but we think that you shouldn't visit Severus as much as you have been..." Arthur stopped for a moment, as if to see if his adopted son would go into a rage. When Harry didn't, he wasn't sure what to say next.

"The doctors at the hospital said that it was unlikely that Severus will wake up anytime soon. You are already on call in case anything happens," Bill continued for his father. "It's just, we think you-"

"They think," George interrupted. "...that you should spend time with people who can actually talk back to you. But, before you say anything, I'd like to point out that I was required to be here. I didn't actually want to, other than seeing my favorite scrawny, specky git." Harry smiled again, but winced a little when his scar stretched painfully.

Harry looked around the room and said, "I appreciate your concern, guys. I really do. I understand that it may seen a bit strange that I go and see the teacher that hated my guts everyday, and that I may seem a bit obsessed with it. But, I want you to trust me. I'll be fine. I haven't fallen off my rocker-"

"Not yet anyway," George murmured playfully.

"-And I don't think I will anytime soon," Harry said, throwing a playful glare at George. "As for spending time with all of you, you all should know that Severus Snape is a touchy subject. I would spend more time with with family, if you didn't constantly ask me why. That is my business and mine alone. I know this is childish of me, but Ginny is your only daughter and you have not given her such harassment about what she is doing and who she is around. I'm sorry to say it, but that is the truth. I need some space." The looks on the Wealsey clan's faces broke Harry's heart a bit. "I love you all too. You are my family, but please, all I ask is that you don't pry into my private life."

"We understand Harry, I'll try to keep them off you," Charlie piped in. Harry threw him a grateful look.

"Now, as for Snape," Harry continued. "If the circumstances were different, I would listen to you. However, as they stand, I cannot. I need to take care of him before anything else."

"But, why? What could you possibly do to take care of him? He's in St. Mungo's. He's being taken care of now," Ginny cut it.

"I was just getting to that," Harry went on. "I stopped by St. Mungo's today. Severus is awake."

Harry came into St. Mungo's the next day, rubbing his forehead. A migraine had set in after his talk with his family and it refused to go away. He rubbed his temple as he walked down the hall to Severus's room with a small bag of clothes and some coffee. He knocked on the door and waited for the reply.

"Enter," came the hoarse baritone voice. Harry cracked open the door and smiled slightly.

"Good morning, Severus," Harry greeted. Snape gave Harry a harsh glare and was about to reprimand him until Harry giggled. "It's hard to take you seriously when you have bedhead." The minuscule shocked look that passed over Severus's face almost made Harry laugh again, but despite popular belief, he did value his life.

Harry walked over and set the coffee on the table and the bag of clothes in the chair. "I wasn't sure what you would like, but I got black coffee and some sugar. If you want creamer or milk, I can go out and buy some. Also, the clothes I got, you can keep. They will magically fit to you as you put them on. And, yes, everything is black." Severus picked up the bag and looked inside. He frowned for a second before putting the bag back down.

"Not exactly my style, but I suppose it will do," Severus conceded. "As for the coffee, it is fine. Would you please step out, so that I may dress myself?" Harry nodded and gave a playful salute before stepping out again.

Harry waited rather patiently outside the room while Severus dressed. He wondered briefly if Severus was able to move around well, considering the muscle atrophy he must have suffered from laying in that bed for six months. He was proven right when He head a slight stumble, crash and a curse from Severus. Harry, decided that he valued his life just a little less and knocked on the door.

"Severus, are you all right in there?" Harry asked. With this he promptly heard the door locking and a snap from the irritated man.

"Do not even think of opening that door, Potter," the Potions Master spat.

"But, sir, if you need help, I'm would gladly do so," Harry reasoned.

"As I have stated before, I do not need you help!" Severus bit. Harry leaned against the wall with his arms crossed, giving up on the subject.

"As I've said before, you needed someone to help you..." Harry mumbled.

"What did you say?!" Severus yelled.

"Nothing, sir!" Harry said playfully and waited patiently to be let back into the room. the wait wasn't long and Harry could happily say that he chose some really nice clothes for his Professor. The tucked in black button up shirt looked nice with the black jeans that Severus was wearing. Severus had taken the time to comb his hair as well. He looked nice.

"Black does suit you, but I'd like to see what you'd look like in other colors, Professor," Harry teased, which earned him a small hex. "Worth it..." Harry mumbled from his spot on the ground. "It was a compliment! Take it or leave it you jerk!"

"I appreciate the compliment, not the oggling," Severus informed.

"I would do no such thing," Harry informed. "Not without your permission that is..."

"WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?!" Severus roared. Harry cringed and shrunk a little.

"N-Nothing, sir! Nothing at all!" Harry stuttered in a panic. "Please don't kill me!" Severus huffed and turned around. He picked up his things and strode passed Harry. He waited at the door for Harry. Once the young adult left the room, he was ushered in front of the scary Potions Master. The whole walk to the front desk was silent and tense. Severus refused to say a word to Harry the entire time. When Harry and Severus signed the release papers, Severus glided over to the door.

Harry panicked for a second. Severus was just going to up and leave without a singe word to him. Harry hurriedly reached and out grabbed the sleeve of Severus's shirt. Severus instantly stopped and gave Harry his signature glare. The inky haired man spluttered only for a moment before he got the words out that he wanted to say. "If you ever need anything, anything at all... don't hesitate to come by. You always have a place at Grimmauld Place."

Severus studied his former student for a few moments before he yanked his hand away. "I am sure that I will not be needing your 'help' anytime soon, Potter."

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