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Six more classes, Harry thought dully, his hand slowly but surely pushing his cheek into his eye. Not that he found Potions boring any more. Oh, far from. But two-hour lectures were so very long. Harry stared at Snape's mouth, moving subtly, forming words as he spoke at length about the Draught of Subconscious Volition. The potion was supposed to force its drinker to uncover its secret yearnings and thoughts for all to see. A good one, Harry noted mentally, for an Auror to have on hand.


Auror qualification was the only reason Harry was in seventh year Potions. Well, mostly. Ron sat drooling gently beside him, and Hermione was on Ron's other side, taking diligent notes, like always. Harry realized that he hadn't written anything down in a while, and looked down at his parchment. And blushed.


Underneath where it said, "if the shrivelfigs are over-pulverized, the Draught will be too weak to access the subconscious level, and works the same way as the Draught of Conscious Volition", there was a little SS. Harry glanced warily at Ron, who still appeared subconscious, and scratched it out, quickly. His face still hot, Harry then stole a guilty look at Snape.


Nothing untoward there. Snape was still speaking. Harry swallowed, and admitted to himself for about the tenth time that week, how very much he liked the sound of the man's voice. Velvety smooth, like a good red wine. And if you were a horny seventeen-year-old, a voice in Harry's head added nastily, you could read all sorts of innuendo into it. Which Harry did, freely. Though that was usually at night rather than in the middle of Potions class.


It was bad enough that he wanked to the lingering sound of Snape's voice in his head at night. It was another thing to get a hard-on during class. Which had happened before, to Harry's great embarrassment and fear. And - gods - what if that rotter Malfoy were to catch on? No. No, no, no, no, no. Harry made a renewed attempt to pay attention to the lecture. Which was lucky.


"Potter," Snape barked suddenly, "what is there difference between cinquefoil and rosemary?"


Rosemary had been used in last week's project, the Draught of Conscious Volition. Harry was startled out of his reverie, but knew enough to answer properly. "Uh, cinquefoil's part of the rose family, and has several magical properties, whereas rosemary is a common herb. Part of the mint family, I believe. Hardly any magical properties at all."


Snape glowered at him for a moment, as Harry panicked about his last statement. Was that wrong? Did rosemary have some more hidden magical properties than he'd thought, after all? He wanted to look at Hermione for confirmation, but could not take his eyes off Snape - like a rabbit paralysed by the weaving head of the snake before it. Harry could not breathe.


"That is correct," Snape finally said, very reluctantly.


Harry was terribly relieved. Snape, clearly disappointed at not having caught him out, turned back to face the bulk of the small class to resume his lecture. Harry, however, interrupted, suddenly indignant. "Hey. Don't I get House points for that, or something?"


Hate-filled black eyes turned back to his and lingered, blazing. Only six more classes, Harry reminded himself, swallowing again, but determined not to lose his nerve. "Fine," Snape spat. "Ten points to Gryffindor."


Slightly ahead and across the aisle, Malfoy gave a gutteral little sound of disbelief. Snape said nothing, but gave Harry a healthy glare, and continued teaching.


Six more classes to go, and they would be free of one another. Only, Harry was more than half-sad to know it.


And no one knew.


* * *


"We have six Potions classes left," Harry said abruptly, that night.


Hermione looked up at him from over her book. She had taken to wearing glasses this year, and they made her look very intelligent. "So? I happen to like it, alright?"


"I'm not complaining," Harry said.


"Really." Hermione gave him a long, cool stare. "You're not."


"Nope. Just observing." Harry was casual.


"Why?" Now she put the book right down.


Harry shrugged. "Dunno. I just - I don't know. Realized how close the end of our education is."


"Speak for yourself, mate," Ron said, from the other side of the table, where he was still working on the Potions homework that Harry had finished earlier. "It's just about to start, if you stick with the Auror training plan."


"That's not what I meant." Harry sounded vague.


Hermione's eyes narrowed in thought. "So, what did you mean, then?" she asked, but almost more to herself. Harry had suddenly become another puzzle for her intellect to solve. "Has this got something to do with not wanting to leave childhood yet?"


Harry rolled his eyes. "Please. I don't think of us as children. Do you?"


"Not that, then," Hermione said, still to herself. Harry could just see her checking off boxes on some list in her unfathomable head.


Ron slammed down his Potions textbook suddenly. "This sucks," he said. "I'm going out for a fly. Want to come, Harry?"


Do I, Harry thought, with a hint of smile. But he looked up and shook his head. "No. Thanks. Don't feel like it at the moment."


Ron looked surprised, with some reason, but shrugged, said "Okay" and headed out. Hermione gazed at the Potions text as though it might offer her a clue. "Has it got something to do with Snape, then?" she asked suddenly.


Harry examined his fingernails, looking nonchalant in the extreme. "Maybe," he said, not looking at his friend.


That did it. Hermione closed her book and took her glasses off, leaning forward excitedly. "What, Harry? What is it?"


Harry looked around. No one was looking their way, at all. The common room was fairly noisy. He leaned forward. "Hermione. I have to tell you something."


Her eyes went round. "What?"


"I - uh - prefer blokes," Harry said, suddenly feeling a bit weird, saying it out loud at last.


Hermione just kept looking anxious, though, as though waiting for the real news. "So?" she asked impatiently. Then - "Oh. Was that it? Was that what you're worrying about?"


"I'm not worried about that," Harry said honestly. "But - er - I haven't told anyone else yet, so - "


"Not even Ron?"


"Not yet. I'll tell him soon," Harry promised. "Here's the thing, though - I think I - uh - oh, gods, this sounds ridiculous, out loud - I think I like - erm, someone." He couldn't bring himself to say it.


Hermione's eyes opened even wider. "You do?!" she all but squealed. "Who, Harry?"


Harry blushed, hard. "I - er - now I think I don't want to say, actually," he said, trying to backtrack.


Hermione was too clever for that, though. Her eyes went back to the Potions textbook and narrowed again, studying Harry's lobster-red face. She put her shoulders down and said, matter-of-factly, "It's Snape, isn't it?"


Harry bit his lip and nodded. "Weird, hey?"


Hermione looked thoughtful. "Well, he's not as unattractive as people always say," she said with a frown. "His hair's not really greasy, just shiny, I think. Well, maybe it's grosser sometimes, when he's been brewing potions, hanging in the steam, or something, but - "


"Hermione," Harry said, cutting her off, "this is ridiculous. I can't have a crush on my professor."


"But in six more classes, he won't BE your professor any more," Hermione said, smiling. "So, just…" she trailed off, looking at him.


Harry gave her a self-satisfied smirk. "See?" he said. "That's just it. I can't 'just' anything. He hates me. I hate him. That's how it's always been. I've run out of time to make things better with him."


"How long have you liked him?" Hermione asked quietly.


Harry's blush returned in full force. "Uh - since maybe - erm - summer?"


"Hmm," she said, speculatively. "Well, no time like the present, I suppose. You'll just have to try, Harry. Talk to him after class, or something. Did you ever apologize about the Pensieve incident, back in our fifth year?"


"No," Harry said, feeling ashamed of himself all over again. What had POSSESSED him to do that?!


"Start with that," Hermione advised. "You haven't got much time. He won't want to see you once you've graduated, unless you do fix things now, Harry."


"He doesn't want to see me even now," Harry pointed out.


"Just try. He should appreciate the apology, if nothing else."


"Hermione," Harry said miserably, "he'll never like me. You must know that."


Hermione gave him another speculative look. "Why shouldn't he?" she asked curiously. "You're young, you're very fit, you're handsome - you know half the girls in our year fancy you, and almost all of the younger ones, for sure - you're the Boy Who Lived, AND you defeated Voldemort last summer. What's he got to lose?"


"Maybe I'm too young," Harry said. "Maybe I'm too inexperienced."


"Well, why are you asking me?" Hermione said gently. "That's something you'll have to work out with him, isn't it?"


* * *


Harry cleared his throat. Snape did not look up. Malfoy came along and elbowed Harry hard, trying to get closer to the desk. Harry shoved back, but didn't say anything.


"Move, Potter!" Malfoy hissed through clenched teeth.


"Go fuck yourself." Harry maintained his position until Snape looked up, eyebrows raised.


"What is the problem here?" Snape asked mildly. "Ah, Draco. Thank you. I will take that."


Malfoy shot a dagger-like glare at Harry before sliding his potion sample across Snape's desk. Then he turned and left without a word. Harry remained. Snape looked at him pointedly. "Well, Mr. Potter?" he drawled. "Problem?"


"There's no problem," Harry said, adding his own sample to the collection. "I just - "


"Good, then," Snape said curtly. "You may go."


"Wait, I - " Harry said, his voice rising not quite frantically. "I just wanted to say something else first - "


Snape's lips compressed, giving Harry the impression that he was wasting the other's time completely. "What?" he asked, and it sounded like his jaws were clenched.


Harry swallowed. "Uh, I just wanted to apologize for that time, in my fifth year, with the Pens - "


"Do not mention that incident!" Snape snarled, interrupting him.


Harry swallowed again, his mouth dry. "Sorry," he said nervously. "Uh - well - that's all I wanted to say. That I'm sorry about that. I won't talk about it again." He could not bring himself to say "sir", not when he was busy staring at that mouth and imagining what it would feel like against his own.


Snape looked - well, different, for a moment. Thoughtful. Then it was as if a door of some sort closed in his face, making him cold and impassive again. "Very well," he said. "Now you may go."


Harry nodded and left defeatedly. It was useless. The man was still ordering him about as though he were eleven years old. In as little as two or three months, he could be starting his Auror training, if all went well, yet Snape still gave him permission to exit a room. Horrible.


* * *


Four class left, Harry thought dully. Steam from his own potion was fogging his glasses as he'd leaned over too far, for the thousandth time. He pulled them off to wipe them dry on his robes. When he put them on again, it was to find Malfoy sending something through the air with his wand, toward Harry's potion. Harry grabbed his wand. "Finite Incantatem!" he shouted. The object - a bezoar - fell out of the air, and would have landed in Harry's cauldron, had he not shot out a hand and snatched it, thanking his Seeker reflexes. Harry put the bezoar down and glared at Malfoy with all of his might.


"What is going on?" Snape's voice suddenly asked. He appeared in the aisle between them.


"Nothing, sir," Malfoy piped angelically.


"Nothing, except that Malfoy just tried to wreck my potion," Harry said, fuming. He held up the bezoar. "He tried to put this in it."


Snape held his eye for a long moment. Then - "Draco? Is this true?" He did not take his glittering, dark eyes off Harry's.


Malfoy hedged, unwilling to lie outright to Snape. The hesitation was enough. "Fifteen points from Slytherin," Snape said acidly. "We do not sabotage one another's potions, Mr. Malfoy." He turned to Harry. "Ten points to Gryffindor if you can tell me what the bezoar's effects would have been."


Harry blinked in surprise. "Uh, the bezoar would have counteracted the infusion of ginseng," he said. "It would have made the Draught entirely powerless."


Snape's lip quirked. "I believe the term you are looking for is 'impotent'. Very good, Mr. Potter. Ten points."


Harry was almost too shocked to react. Hermione caught his eye and sent him a tiny smile, which he was too stunned to return. Snape had just voluntarily given him a chance to get House points, and then actually given them to him? He looked at Snape. "Uh, thanks," he said.


Snape nodded without a word, and swept back to his desk.


* * *


Three classes left. This one, the fourth-last, went by uneventfully. Malfoy appeared to have taken ill and was in the infirmary, against his will, according to school rumour. All it meant to Harry was that the little jerk wasn't in class today. His potion looked right. It looked like Hermione's, at any rate, which couldn't hurt. Harry gave it a final stir, just as Snape called the time limit. Harry glanced up at him, his heart leaping to his throat. The man was beautiful. Romanesque face above those formal, well-fitted robes, and the light/dark contrast of his face as the inky, dark material - Harry discovered that he was staring again, and quickly dropped his eyes. Ladled out a sample of his potion, corked it, and handed it in. As usual, he was at the back of the queue and ended up handing in his potion last of all.


"Mr. Potter." Just as he was turning away, the voice caught him, held him back. Harry turned.


"Yes?" Still, he could not - would not - say "sir". Harry looked up into Snape's face.


Snape watched the door until all the other students had left. Harry waited. "I - thank you for your apology, the other day," Snape said stiffly, once the door had closed. "I do appreciate it."


Harry was quite taken-aback, but very pleased, as well. "Then I'm glad I gave it," he said. "I've been trying to get up the nerve to, ever since. I really do feel terrible about it, and I'd like to think that I wouldn't do something like that again."


Snape looked down. "I can understand the temptation," he said, "especially of an inquiring mind like yours."


An inquiring mind. That sounded good. Harry warmed. "Thanks, I guess," he said, smiling and feeling his cheeks flush a bit. "I - I hope I'm a better person, now, at least, than my father was."


Snape looked up quickly. "You are," he said. "I… have similar hopes, myself."


What? "You are," Harry echoed, frowning. "My dad was a jerk, back then. To you, at least."


"Well, it was somewhat mutual," Snape said dryly. "I was not exactly pleasant to him, either." He paused. "As with you."


Harry waved this off. "Don't worry about that," he said quickly. "It's okay."


"In the beginning, I think I honestly thought that I was just treating you normally," Snape said, his mouth pursing wryly. "I realized - recently - that this was not the case. I have always - well, you know."


"What? Judged me for my father's failings?" Harry asked, filling in the blank.


Snape nodded. "I am sorry," he said. His eyes raked keenly over Harry's. "No one deserves that. I would not like to be treated as my own father, either."


Harry felt like doing cartwheels, poncy as the very thought of it was. "It's alright," he said again, grinning foolishly. "Don't worry about it."


A bit of a smile. "I am glad we had this conversation," Snape said.


Meaning it was over now. Oh. "So am I," Harry said cautiously. "Uh - well - I need to go to Charms, so - thanks."


Snape nodded. "Thank you."


Harry ran all the way to Charms, feeling lighter than air.


* * *


Only two more classes after this one. So, Harry thought, whilst ignoring Malfoy's obnoxious glares and occasional death-threat notes, civility is good. But there were only two classes left, and that was not a lot time in which to convince the man that he should be spending a lot more time with Harry. Speaking of whom, Harry glanced up.


Snape was hovering over Malfoy's potion, questioning him about it. Malfoy was answering confidently, and Snape looked faintly disappointed. He always liked to catch someone out, Harry thought, with a secretive, fond smile. Harry wished that Snape would come over to him instead. And not to talk about Potions, either.


Just before the end of class, Harry had a little accident. His cauldron, which had been simmering calmly, suddenly blew up. He had no idea why, but panicked. He grabbed a beaker and his wand, shouting, "Accio potion!" A large spray of boiling-hot liquid flew at him, and Harry managed to catch a good deal of it in the beaker. The rest of it landed on him. Ohhhhh, shit. Which potion was this? Harry thought wildly. The Draught of Subconscious Volition, was it? Shit, shit, shit. Definitely a time to keep one's mouth closed.


Snape hurried over. Hermione was about to come over, but stopped at the sight of Snape. "What happened?" Snape snapped. "Are you alright?"


Harry stared at him. Gods, he was even beautiful in a rage. Or whatever that furious emotion was. "Um, I - ouch - think I might have burnt myself a bit!" Harry gasped, feeling the hot material soak through his robes. He pulled them off his chest, but it was still uncomfortably hot. Worse, he felt himself tempted to tell Snape - oh, no, not that! No! Harry suppressed the urge violently, blushing as he glanced at Snape's concerned expression.


"Everyone, samples on my desk at once! Class dismissed!" Snape called out tersely. Then, in a quieter voice, added, "Robes off, Harry."


Hermione did come over, then. "Did you manage to save your potion?" she asked anxiously.


"Yeah," Harry said, still looking at Snape. "I'm glad I did, too. It was hard. I'd hate to have to make it again." Oops. He hadn't meant to say that, not in Snape's hearing.


Snape smiled. "On your way, then, Ms. Granger," he said lazily. "Weasley. You, too."


The room emptied. Harry had been fumbling with his robe fastenings. "I just want to see if you're burnt," Snape said curtly, lest Harry think worse of his motives.


Harry, on the other hand, felt ridiculously pleased by his concern. He didn't really think he had been burned, but this was fine. Absolutely fine. Shucking off his robe, Harry removed his tie and his shirt. Snape had been busy, pouring his potion from the beaker into a test tube and taking it up to his desk, where he labelled it. Then he came back to a shirtless Harry and cleaned up the mess all around them. "How did this happen?" Snape asked. "Your potion looks fine."


"Oh, probably Malfoy," Harry said carelessly. "He's been sending death-threat notes again, too." He clapped a hand over his mouth. He had NOT meant to say that. He had deliberately not told Snape about those lest the professor think it was just a ploy for attention. "I didn't mean to tell you that!" he said. "I'm sorry! I think it's my potion!"


Snape looked at him, smiling, with a gleam in his eye. "I have no doubt that it was," he said. He came over and began to examine Harry's chest. "Though why you should not tell me about that sort of thing is beyond me."


"I thought you would just think I was trying to make you feel sorry for me," Harry said, trying very hard to monitor and control what was coming out of his mouth.


"Ah," Snape said, as though this was perfectly clear. He bent a little closer, which made Harry's nipples harden. He blushed and hoped that Snape wouldn't notice. "And why is Malfoy sending you death threats? The Dark Lord is dead."


"I know," Harry said. "He'll hate me forever. It's okay. It's quite mutual."


Snape smiled. Harry felt his cock stir, and silently began to curse himself. "Well," Snape said, "you do not look much worse for the wear."


Harry touched his sternum. "It feels okay," he said, "except for here. Here it hurts a bit."


Snape bent closer again. "Hmm, yes," he said. "Just a moment." He straightened and left the room, disappearing through the door leading to the back room. Harry tried very hard to think calm thoughts, to will his erection away, but nothing was working.


Snape came back, with a vial of dark-greenish potion. He uncorked it, and hesitated. "I do not have a mirror," he said, sounding uncertain, "but this is all that I have of this potion at the moment, so I am reluctant to let you take it to a bathroom and I do not want any of it wasted …"


"It's okay," Harry said quickly, realizing Snape's dilemma. "I don't mind if you put it on." Gah! That sounded like an open invitation! He hadn't meant it to sound quite that eager. Harry felt himself blush, totally embarrassed, from his forehead right down to his chest.


Snape gave him an odd look, but that smile was still playing about his lips. That smile, which was NOT helping Harry's erection, not at all. "Alright," Snape said, then smiled harder, looking at Harry's chest. "Well, I would, but - well - your blush seems to be - er - hiding the burn, at the moment."


Harry blushed even harder, totally humiliated, and put his hands over his face.


"Please do not be upset," Snape said, sounding worried. "It was not my intention to embarrass you."


"You couldn't possibly embarrass me," Harry said, lowering his hands. "I do that quite well by myself."


An eyebrow. "I see," Snape said.


Again, Harry felt tempted to say several really inappropriately suggestive things. He fought down the urge, hard. "How long does it take for the potion to wear off?" he asked desperately.


Snape actually laughed, openly, at Harry's dismay. "Sorry," he said, shaking his head. "I am sorry, Harry. It takes about an hour or so, if you drink it. But you only absorbed it, did you not?"


Harry shrugged. "I don't know," he said. "I guess some of it might have ended up in my mouth."


"Well, I guess we know that you made it correctly," Snape said, still smiling.


Harry found himself transfixed by the smile, as though he was drunk. "Yeah," he said vaguely, staring at Snape's mouth.


A strange silence fell. "What are you looking at?" Snape asked quietly.


"Your mouth," Harry said promptly. Damn, was the potion getting stronger? Maybe he wasn't fighting it as hard.


Pause. "And why," Snape asked, his voice just as quiet, "are you looking at my mouth?"


Harry's eyes flicked up to Snape's, and all he could do was not answer. He couldn't trust himself to say anything at all. His lips were parted, but all he could do was stare.


"Stop fighting it," Snape said. "Answer me."


Harry gave in - he might have, anyway - the pressure was building - not in his mind, exactly, but welling up from somewhere dreamy and distant, like the feeling of déjà vu. "I want to kiss you," he said, and was not as horrified as he should have been by his own honesty.


"You do." It was not a question, exactly. Snape looked very serious. "Why do you want to do that?"


"Because I really like you," Harry confessed. Ah, it felt much better to speak freely. "I've liked you for a long time," he elaborated. Better and better! Except -


"Ah," Snape said, looking down and away. "I see."


"Do you?" Harry asked, taking a step closer.


Snape looked at him. "You seem to have stopped blushing," he said. "Here. Allow me."


Harry nodded, feeling peaceful. Snape was going to touch him. Voluntarily. After Harry had just confessed his feelings. "Please," he said.


A quick look, then Snape uncorked the small bottle and poured a tiny bit of the green potion onto his forefinger. Harry tried very hard not to say anything about other instances involving fluids being applied to a forefinger, or what could follow from there. He clamped his mouth closed. There was the slightest pause before Snape applied the potion to Harry's chest. It was very cool, and as soon as it contacted Harry's skin, he felt better.


A little too much better. He felt his cock get unbearably harder. Snape stopped touching him and re-corked the solution. "Better?" he asked gently.


Harry nodded, unable to speak. Snape pocketed the little vial. "Off you go, then," he said.


Harry had to ask. "Do you still hate me?" he asked, knowing how desperate it sounded, and not really caring.


A careful smile. "No. I do not hate you."


"Okay," Harry said, and smiled. It was only then that Snape glanced down at his waist or thereabouts. His eyebrows went up, and Harry panicked. "I'm sorry!" he said frantically, blushing again. "I - it's nothing - I - "


Snape's lips quirked. "This is perfectly unacceptable," he said, his voice as smooth as silk.


"I'm sorry," Harry repeated, wanting to die.


"You misunderstand me," Snape said, and came closer. "Do you still want to kiss me?" he asked, his voice going soft as velvet.


Harry could only nod, his eyes filled with his longing. And desire. Oh, yes, desire. Snape came closer. "This is completely inappropriate, between a teacher and a student," he said, very softly now.


"Two more classes," Harry managed to say.


"Mmm. That is true." And with that, Snape's mouth was suddenly on his, and Harry was grabbing his shoulders, pulling himself closer, kissing back as deeply as he could. Snape's tongue was parting his lips, and duelling with his own tongue, and - fuck, it was hot and wet and totally wonderful. Harry got closer yet, and felt the bulge in his trousers brush against Snape's hip, or somewhere around there. He couldn't help it, he wanted it so much - he pressed, just a little, against Snape. To his considerable surprise (added to the rather huge amount of surprise he was dealing with in the kiss already), Snape's long, strong hands slid down to his arse and drew him nearer still, and Harry could feel the return bulge through Snape's robes. Well, if that wasn't hot enough to make any normal gay seventeen-year-old just about pass out, Harry didn't know what was. He didn't even try to mask the fact that he was rubbing himself against Snape, just kept kissing and rubbing. It felt so good, so very good - even though his pants were unbearably tight at the moment, the friction was too good to even think about stopping, and - yes - he took his mouth of Snape's for a moment, because he needed air, and he was going to scream - Harry turned his face to the side and clenched his jaw fiercely as he came all over the inside of his trousers. A few, whispery little sounds escaped him, but otherwise, he contained himself well. Snape continued to press against him for another moment or two, while Harry held him, hands sliding down to his arse now - something he wouldn't have dared even a moment ago, but he was feeling too good from his orgasm - and Snape's long body shuddered hard against him, and Harry knew he was coming. Silently.


Harry's breath was slowing to its original pace now, and he began to wonder what in Merlin's name had just happened. He pulled away a bit, wondering when his arms had ended up around Snape's neck like that. Snape, too, looked rather wary. "Say nothing of this," Snape murmured warningly.


Harry was tempted to try bargaining - something along the lines of, I won't, if you promise we'll do it again soon - but said instead, "I won't."


"Two more classes, you say," Snape mused.


"And then I'm not your student any more," Harry confirmed softly. He looked up into Snape's dark eyes. "Would you - would you be interested, then? Once I've graduated?"


"Harry," Snape said, sounding practical, "I am interested now. Obviously. But yes. This must wait until you have graduated. I merely wanted to… not send you away in that state."


Harry grinned. "Thanks," he said. "I never knew you had compassion."


"Insolent brat," Snape said, with a smile. "Do you have a class now?"


"No," Harry said.


"Then go and clean yourself up."


"I will. Thanks," Harry said again, and gathered up his potion-soaked clothing and school things. "See you in class tomorrow."


"Tomorrow," Snape agreed.


* * *


Harry's second-last Potions class was the very next day, and in it, nothing unusual happened at all, other than a quick, secretive smile that Snape sent him when he first came into the class. And, as he had a pre-NEWT test in Transfiguration right after, he couldn't linger.


* * *


The last class was NEWT review, all of it lecture. For the NEWT, they would be making Veritaserum for sure, all of the Draughts of Consciousness were fair game, as well as any number of healing potions that they'd been working on before Christmas. Harry took careful notes. He tried to catch Snape's eye afterward, but Dumbledore came in to talk to him. Damn.


* * *


Harry lay awake the night before his final NEWT, wondering when exactly he officially stopped being a student. Was it not until after the graduation, on the weekend? It was Monday night now. Harry did not want to wait until Saturday night. Perhaps he would go and find Snape tomorrow, and see. The Potions NEWT, at least, had gone very well, indeed.


* * *


Harry put down his quill as time was called for the Charms NEWT written portion. The practical quotient had taken place that morning. The examiners collected all the parchments, and there was a general stampede for the door. Hermione knew what Harry was waiting for, and tactfully got Ron out of the way. Harry waited until everyone else had left, then exited the Great Hall.


And stopped. Snape was waiting in the Entrance Hall, arms crossed over his chest. Harry wanted to smile and say hi or something, but his voice seemed to be frozen. The flood of students had cleared out and gone outside, or back to their dorms or something. They were alone. Their eyes met in the silence.


Snape smiled and uncrossed his arms. "How was your last exam?" he asked, his voice rather gentler than normal.


"That wasn't my last exam," Harry said regretfully, shaking his head. "Not if I get into the Auror training program, at least."


"Your last exam as a Hogwarts student, then," Snape said, straightening up from where he'd been leaning on the far wall. "Your last exam as MY student," he added for emphasis.


Harry felt his face smile then. "Oh, I see," he said. "It was alright. Somewhat difficult to concentrate, considering…"


Snape walked slowly over to him, that sly smile never leaving his mouth. "Considering what?"


Harry waited until the other was right in front of him. Don't be a coward, he told himself sternly. If you behave like a student now - like a kid - that will set the tone between you forever. And he wanted this to last for a long, long time. Harry let his schoolbag fall off his shoulder and closed the distance between them. Snape was only an inch or two taller than him now. Harry put his hands very deliberately on Snape's waist, looked into his unfathomably dark eyes and said, "Considering that all I've wanted to do for the past year is what I'm going to do right now." And with that, before Snape could say anything, and before Harry could lose his nerve, he had put his mouth to Snape's, pressed in, run his tongue over Snape's bottom lip. And then it was as though none of that remote, childish stuff had ever happened between them - they were just two men, kissing. Sucking on bottom lips. Bodies pressing together in some sort of undefined hunger, a need to be closer.


No one was around. No one saw. But the entire world had changed. Harry opened his eyes and licked his lips. Obviously, it had gone over well. Snape hadn't changed his mind. He'd been waiting. He'd come looking for Harry, and waited for the instant he'd stopped being a student. But still. This was Snape. One never knew what to expect.


Snape's eyes were half-lidded, and he looked rather dreamy. "That was well worth the wait," he said, and his voice had gone all velvety again.


Harry found that he liked it quite a bit - but was interested to see what that voice would sound like rough with desire, as he knew it could be. He looked quickly around, then moved closer again, subtly pressing his crotch into Snape's. "I agree," he said, lowering his voice. "Let's find somewhere that isn't the Entrance Hall to do this in, shall we?"


"An excellent plan," Snape said, his mouth curving in interest and arousal. "My quarters. At once."


* * *


"So tell me, Mr. Potter," Snape said, reclining lazily on elbow before the fire in his bedroom, "just how much have you done?"


"Um," Harry said, feeling nervous again - what if Snape changed his mind because of his inexperience? So much for trying to act adult, he thought, rolling his eyes at himself. Straight up honesty was probably the best route. He reached over and ran a finger-tip over one of Snape's hard nipples. "Not all that much - yet." He looked into Snape's eyes. "I'm looking forward to doing everything with you, though." He said this with a bit of a grin.


Snape smiled and shook his head. "I just knew you would be insatiable. You are, aren't you?"


Harry laughed, shrugged, and said, "I expect so. There's only one way to find out."


They were lying face to face, naked, just looking at one another, occasionally touching. Snape had brought lube out of some cupboard somewhere, and had come back to the soft rug in front of the fire where Harry was and lain down beside him again. Now he smiled again, and reached over to grasp Harry's erection. "You would come with a minute, if I kept this up," he said.


"Probably," Harry admitted. "I haven't had a lot of practise with - er - stamina. Yet."


"I will teach you," Snape promised. "Have you done this?" He gave another tingle-inducing stroke to Harry's sensitive flesh to show what he meant.


Harry reached over and mirrored the motion. "Not yet."


"Let us start here, then." Snape began to rub systematically, his wrist giving an energetic twist every so often. Harry was in an agony of pleasure, but managed to remember to keep doing the same thing back - if this was how it felt to him, he wanted to make Snape feel the same way. He could not believe this was really happening, that he was lying on a rug in Severus Snape's bedroom, and touching his cock. And having his cock rather vigorously touched in return. It felt so good, he could come any second now… his cock was leaking fluid already… Harry looked into Snape's eyes and found that they were already watching his face, lips slightly parted, breathing harder than normal. He was enjoying it, Harry realized, his eyes widening slightly at the realization. He looked down. Snape's cock was really quite nice. Long, hard, nicely framed by a silky/coarse bed of almost-straight hair, balls heavy with desire. For him.


Harry's breathing increased significantly. The feeling was rising in him; Snape's hand was going faster, expertly, pulling, rubbing. Harry leaned over and brushed his lips over Snape's mouth. The lips caught his and held, hard, tongues colliding again. Snape guided Harry onto his back, slowly enough that Harry did not lose his grip, his own hand still working, and hovered over him. He pushed their cocks together, took Harry's hand, and together moved both their hands over their two cocks.


The feeling of another cock against his was too much for Harry's over-stimulated imagination, and he came, lushly, everywhere, trying not to be embarrassed by his own groan. He remembered not to let go, though. Snape came a few moments later, with a soft moan of his own. He let himself fall onto Harry's chest, and Harry held him close, mind still whirling from what they'd just done. It felt so intimate. And amazing.


Snape raised his dark head and kissed Harry again, and it was wilder, freer, than it had been before.


* * *


"Will your friends be looking for you?" Snape asked, later.


Harry shrugged. "No. It doesn't matter. Hermione - uh - knows who I'm with, if not where I am. They won't come looking, if you're concerned."


"Alright, then." Snape let it drop.


They were in the bed now. Harry had just given and received his first blow job, and it had gone over very much satisfactorily. Harry licked the last drop of Snape's come from his lips and sighed. "What now?" he asked cheekily.


"Am I boring you already?" Snape drawled, though he didn't really sound concerned. And that one hand was still roughly pushing through his hair.


Harry reached down and stroked the other's relaxed cock. "Not at all."


"Good." Snape's eyes half-closed. "Do that some more," he commanded, his voice sultry.


Harry did as he was told. "This may be one of the first times I've ever obeyed a direct order from you," he said, with a slight smirk.


Snape's eyes opened and narrowed again. "True," he said. "I might be more inclined to be put out with you for saying that, but…" he trailed off.


Harry's hand squeezed. "But what?" he asked, lifting his slanted brows suggestively.


"But… you know, I have never seen you with your glasses before," Snape said, shifting the subject slightly. "They are really quite beautiful."


Harry was pleased. Many people had commented on his eyes before, but it meant a good deal more, coming from one as difficult to please as Snape. "Thanks. I - "


"That was a compliment. Do not sidestep it. You are far too modest."


Harry's mouth opened in surprise and slight disbelief. "I'm too MODEST?" he repeated. "That's hardly the tune you've been singing since my first DAY here!"


"Stop contradicting me," Snape said crossly, then gave Harry an evil smile. "I do not suppose you are regretting my having changed my mind?"


"No," Harry said quickly. He stroked a little harder, and Snape arched gratifyingly into his hand.


"Gods, that feels good," Snape groaned.


"Do you want to fuck me?" Harry asked innocently. It was what he wanted, and he wanted to be sure that he was not disappointed.


Snape's eyes opened again. "Harry…"


"Answer the question." Harry was relentless.


Another groan, another not-so-subtle push into his hand. "Yes."


"I want you to," Harry said, lowering his voice seductively. "I want to feel you inside me - need to feel you pounding into me, Severus - "


"Alright!" Snape said, unable to resist him. His long fingers scrabbled for the lubricant and hastily unscrewed it. "I have to prepare you first," he said, voice husky with desire.


"I know," Harry assured him. "I know how it works. I just haven't done it yet."


"You will not do this with anyone else, from here on in," Snape commanded.


Harry smiled. "What was that?" he asked.


"I said - "


"I know what you said. I want to know what it meant." Harry's smile was still innocent, though he was quite serious.


"I - " Snape stopped, realizing the position he'd just put himself in. He cleared his throat. He was facing Harry, both lying on their sides, and he was suspended in the act of lubricating his own fingers, which hovered just in front of Harry's chest as he fought to gather his thoughts. "I suppose I should not have said that," Snape said stiffly.


Harry backpedalled. "No - I want you to say it," he said anxiously, feeling like the teenager he was again.


Dark pinned his inescapably. "I have no right to - to claim you like that. Yet."


"Exactly," Harry said. "YET. I want you to claim me. Make me yours. I just want to be with you. No one else."


"You are very young," Snape said, still sounding awkward. "You may not always want this."


"I'll be the judge of that," Harry said firmly. He took the shining fingers between them and lowered them gently but surely down to his cleft, spreading his legs. "Touch me," he said.


Snape obeyed, allowing Harry to pull his older, slightly heavier form over the nubile, young one, allowing his fingers to be guided - oh, gods - right there. Snape did not resist. Harry spread his legs further, feeling his erection straining against the very air, begging to be fucked -


"You are sure," Snape said, his voice very hesitant. "We can wait for this, if you would rather."


Harry's other hand reached up to cup his face. Pulled it down to his own. "I want this," he said, speaking to lips that were an inch from his own. "Make me yours," he repeated.


They were kissing. A long, warm finger slipped easily into Harry. It was a strange feeling, not unpleasant, but - new. Confident that Snape would not stop now, Harry released his hold on the older man's wrist and wrapped his arms around Snape's neck, deepening their kiss. Another finger. A dip of Snape's hips, and Harry felt the slight brush of Snape's hard cock against his again, and shivered. Then the blunt head of that cock, positioned right THERE, just so… Harry rubbed his knees along Snape's hips, feet against the backs of his thighs, arched up just a bit, to show that he was ready.


Snape did not stop kissing him, but gently pushed his way into Harry's body. Harry could feel him trembling with the effort of keeping it slow for his sake. His breath was suspended for the moment, but it would return easily. When Snape was fully seated, his pulled his mouth off Harry's. "Alright?" he asked, voice hardly recognizable with lust and need.


Harry nodded. "Yes! Severus…"


"You are so beautiful like this," Snape said, half-gasping. "Just waiting for me to - claim you."


"Mmm, yes, Severus…" Harry murmured, tilting his head back to bare his neck to be kissed. "Claim me."


Snape obliged and hungrily kissed his neck, sucking greedily, teeth scraping slightly, and his hips began to move. Harry's arms were around Snape's shoulders, fingers scrabbling in the silky, dark hair. A slight angling, and Harry suddenly gasped, seeing stars.


"Yes," Snape breathed. "Yes, Harry…" A hand fought its way between them and grasped his cock firmly, jerking it almost violently, in time with the thrusts that were gathering speed. The luscious cock within Harry was rubbing against that sweet, sweet place inside him with every stroke, and he was about three seconds from coming… his feet curled, grasping along Snape's thighs, and he heard himself give a choked cry as he came everywhere, feeling like the stream was coming from his very toes. He held on to the glorious tide of sensation as Snape's breathing became laboured and his movements faster… his breathing hitched and his hips jerked several times rapidly, filling Harry with his own release.


Damp, dark hair fell across his face, and he collapsed onto Harry's chest, panting. Harry held him close, feeling better than he'd ever felt in his entire life. He let his feet fall to the sheets, but kept his knees up, his thighs tight around Snape's body. Snape raised his face and looked into Harry's eyes for a long moment. Harry put his hands on Snape's jawline and pulled the mouth down to his own.


"Alright?" Snape asked afterward, with just a shade of worry.


Harry smiled languidly. "Stupid question," he chided lightly. "Very much so, yes."


"Would you do it again?"


"I plan on doing it for a very long time, Severus."


"Next time, you get to top."


"That, too."


"I cannot believe we put this off for so long."


"It was your idea."


A smile, as languid as his own. "I know," Snape said.


"So, can I stay?" Harry waited expectantly.


"What, here?" Snape sounded a tad disbelieving, looking quickly around his own bedroom.


"Where else?" Harry asked impatiently. "Don't you get it? I mean all of this. I want to stay. Be with you. Here. Wherever. Can I?"


Snape looked at him for a long time. "You really want to," he finally said, confirming.


"Yes." Harry was adamant.


"This is a long way from London." When Harry looked momentarily confused, Snape elaborated. "Auror training? Ministry of Magic premises - in London?"


"Oh, right," Harry said, not sounding at all concerned. "I can Apparate. It's fine."


"You want to stay at Hogwarts."


"Unless you move somewhere else, yeah," Harry said casually.


Finally, Snape laughed. It was a sound Harry had rarely heard him produce before. "What?" he asked defensively.


Snape rolled to one side, holding his side. "You. You want to move in today, and then expect me to convincingly tell Dumbledore that our relationship did not start until after you had ceased being a student. And that you plan on residing in my QUARTERS until further notice. Merlin, Harry! We will make a Slytherin of you yet!"


"Well, I sort of am one already," Harry admitted. He explained, finishing with, "Well, what do you want me to do, then? Go somewhere else for a while and then come back or something? That would be stupid. Besides," he added stubbornly, "I'm not going anywhere."


Snape sighed. "Ah, seven years of education, and you still insist on employing such intellectual descriptors. I suppose we cannot have things being 'stupid'. Fine. But YOU get to tell Dumbledore."


"Okay," Harry said. He could not see himself doing it, to be quite frank, but if Snape wanted it to be him, then he would do it. "I'll wait a bit, shall I?"


"Good plan," Snape said decidedly.


"So, I can stay," Harry said, watching Snape closely.


That hand came out to push through his hair, even messier than usual. That hooked nose that Harry had been watching for seven years came closer, and lips that were not at all thinned at the moment touched his. "I rather think so," came the answer.