Title: Propositions of Love: The Slytherin Way
Pairing: Harry Potter/Severus Snape
Word Count: 5166 words
Warning(s): A little wild fantasy of Harry comes into play. Don't worry, it all happens in his head. Though he wishes they were true. Otherwise, it's safe.
Summary: Harry Potter should know better than to proposition a Slytherin. They were, after all, better at it.
Disclaimer: I WISH HARRY AND SEVERUS WERE MINE. I'd make them happy together. JKR can have the rest.
A/N: Sequel to Propositions of Love. It makes more sense if you read that one first, but it can still be read independently. A little rough. Unbeta'ed.
Harry Potter was in paradise.
Severus Snape, the man of his dreams – be it sweet or wet – and his unrequited love – which had the possibility of not being unrequited anymore - finally agreed to go on a date with him. A date! With Harry! It was his dream coming true.
It did not even matter to the ecstatic seventeen year old that to others it may have been a nightmare approaching.
'To hell with them. I'm going on a date with Severus Snape! ….Well okay, he's my date for the Valentine's Ball, but he's still agreed to go with me!' Harry thought happily.
Running his hands over the creases on his midnight blue robes, Harry reminisced on the events of two days prior. After his successful proposition of a date to the man, Severus and he took to meeting for tea and talking about nothing and everything. though Harry had to admit that at first he was a blundering fool and let the other man do all the talking. They never discussed Harry's proposal and Severus' subsequent agreement, but the air in their discussions were light and unassuming. It drove Harry's bonkers and made him contemplate propositioning again.
'What does he really think about me?'
But he refrained. The man's acquiescence was fragile enough as it is.
Harry's waiting will now end though, as just this morning his date contacted him and confirmed his attendance. Pulling out the rumpled parchment he took to carrying around him and reading every five minutes, he smoothed it out and read the words he knew by heart.
I will be there. Wait for me.
And Harry was willing to wait no matter how long it took. Besides, what were a few more hours to his already many months of waiting?
Severus Snape fitted the small rolled-up parchment to the foot of a school barn owl, a smirk on his face. It was true he agreed to be Harry's date, but he never specified he would go without utilizing some tricks of his own.
He got to do his part in repaying Harry's very creative courting after all.
Patting his robe pockets for the vial of potion he brewed specifically for this occasion, Severus ventured out of his rooms with a swirl of maroon robes, an anticipatory gleam in his eyes.
Harry Potter should know better than to proposition a Slytherin. They were, after all, better at it.
Harry fidgeted with the hem of his robes as he waited for his absent – he was hoping late – date. He was standing at the Entrance Hall, as he could not bear to stand near the double doors of the Great Hall any longer. He could not stare the curious glances people thought they did surreptitiously his way. They were coming out just to look at him!
According to the Tempus he took to casting every five minutes, the ball had started thirty minutes ago. The Gryffindor was close to breaking down in disappointment and hurt.
'Did he back out at the last minute? Oh Merlin, did I do something to offend him? I tried so hard not to annoy him at Potions yesterday! Maybe my mere presence is reason enough for him to ditch me… Or did he finally figure out that it was a scrawny teenager and a Gryffindor that he agreed to go on a date with?'
He was jolted out of his pessimistic musings by footsteps behind him.
'Could it be?' Let it not be said that Harry hated clichés. They had, after all, mostly good endings.
"Se-! Oh, Justin."
Justin Finch-Fletchley walked towards him, the quick smile on his face turning into a confused frown. Harry immediately felt bad for sounding unenthusiastic. He drudged up a smile.
"Hey! What are you doing out here?" Even his greeting sounded faked. 'It would have to do.' Justin, in his part, just smiled again congenially.
"I was just about to go inside the Great Hall when I saw you. Are you waiting for someone? Your date perhaps?" Justin leered good-naturedly. He and Justin, while not the best of pals, were friendly to each other and he was actually one of the people Harry counted as a friend. Fighting in the war alongside each other did that. Harry found himself answering honestly.
"Yeah, I am. Seems like I got ditched though." He did not want to seem overly crushed, but he could not help it. 'Damnit, I have a right to sulk! I just got stood up and my hopes thrown out of the Astronomy Tower!' He pouted.
"Aww. That's too bad!" Justin said, not sounding sympathetic at all. "Well it's no use waiting out here alone. Why don't we go inside and dance? I'll take your edge off." He cajoled, winking. "Come on."
Harry was used to Justin's advances ever since his best friends set him up with the not at all ugly-looking Hufflepuff, and subsequently turning them all down. Now though, he found himself agreeing, albeit half-heartedly, in some vain placation of his bruised ego.
'Justin seems to like me enough. Am I that not up to Severus' standards?'
Heaving a deep sigh, Harry turned around to enter the Great Hall, his head bowed and his steps sluggish. Maybe he could leave the ball early without Ron and Hermione noticing if he was lucky. Harry was not counting on it. His luck already confirmed its vacation on this particular day with his date not arriving.
Harry lifted his head to say something to his friend when he suddenly found his view blocked by the smacking of a ball of feathers on his face.
Coughing the bits that got into his open mouth, Harry looked up to see a standard school owl hovering unsteadily in front of him, a message for him as it extended its foot. Harry extended his arm as he removed the bit of parchment, taking pity on it. The owl carefully maneuvered itself to his shoulder, mindful of its claws, hooting happily.
Unfurling the missive, he scanned the words contained in it.
'The rather demanding words in it. Better not forget that.'
If you want me to attend, do not dance with anybody.
I will not appear if you do so.
Bemused, Harry cast a look at his surroundings, finding Justin and himself the only people in the Entrance Hall. His eyes narrowed in suspicion.
'How could Severus know Justin asked me to dance?'
"Harry? You okay? The owl just flew right at your face!" Justin's voice cut Harry's internal ruminating short, his face showing equal parts concern and mirth. Harry, a little of his hope restored, just nodded absently before smiling apologetically.
"On second thought, I can't take you up on that dance, Justin. Seems like my date is coming, and – and he wants all of my dances saved up for him." No use hurting the other boy's feelings.
'Please let him drop it.'
No such luck. "That note from your date? Why would he ask that of you? What about one dance, then? He's not even here yet, and he'll never know." Harry could not get away from answering as Justin was blocking the door. Pocketing the piece of parchment, he deigned not to answer as he looked up at the owl perched upon his shoulder.
"Is he waiting for a reply?" The owl moved in what could pass as a shake of the head. Harry's lips turned up in a small smile as he stroked the creature's head.
'That's so like Severus. To just order me and assume that I would follow him…'
With a nip on his fingers, Harry came back to the present just in time to watch the owl fly away. His smile still in place, he walked towards his friend and seeing that the other boy seemed to be still waiting for a response, his mouth turned down in a grimace.
"I better not risk it. He'll know, and I'm much more afraid for you than for me when he finds out. Let's just get a drink." Justin shrugged. Placing a hand on the Hufflepuff's forearm, he gently put it down from its extended position and made to open the door.
As soon as they were at the threshold an arm snaked itself around his waist, making him jump. Harry whirled around, squeaking.
"Hey, you didn't say I couldn't hold you. You banned me from just dancing with you." He smirked, the expression a little out of place. Harry wasn't all that bothered with it though, as he was more concerned for the other boy's welfare. He gulped.
'He's got a point. Severus didn't exactly forbid anyone to touch me. Maybe this will get Hermione and Ron out of my hair and think that I really do have a date at the moment. Though I wish it was Severus holding me.'
Suppressing yet another sigh, Harry allowed the hand draped snugly at his hip and consequently stuck close to Justin while they made their way inside.
Slow music drifted from Merlin knows where, as couples danced in the transfigured elevated dance floor where the four House tables used to be. Quaint circular bar tables were scattered along the walls for people who were not dancing, providing both privacy and a view of everybody. To the right of the door, various refreshments and finger-foods were laid out on a long table where a couple of students were lounging about. All of who were looking at Harry curiously and Justin a little jealously. Harry decided he did not want to know why.
Grasping the hand on his hip, Harry dragged Justin towards one of the bar tables he found far from everybody else, purposefully not looking at anybody. It was only Justin's quiet chuckle that brought him out of his silent fuming and reminded him that he was still holding the Hufflepuff's hand. He promptly dropped it, blushing in spite of himself.
"Sorry." He mumbled. The other boy just smiled.
"How about I get us those drinks? Seems like we won't be doing anything other than that."
"You don't have to stay with me-" Harry's reply was lost on Justin for with a wink, the other boy made his way towards the buffet table, the students instantly crowding around him. Harry shuddered.
'He won't be getting out of there for a while.'
Taking advantage of his seclusion, Harry took a closer look of his surroundings. The ball was exclusive only to the 6th and 7th years, so there were only a few of them there. He spotted Ron and Hermione swaying to the music to his immediate left, both of their eyes closed and their heads leaning together. Harry hoped they have not seen him yet.
He also noticed some of his professors amidst the dancing couples, predominantly Professor Trelawney and Filch doing a most unusual tango. Harry shuddered again but for a different reason. It was a sure addition to his ever-expanding list of 'Things For Wilting', ranking higher than the most curious sound he heard coming from the greenhouses in Hagrid's and Professor Sprout's voice last term. An altogether different wilting, but a sure way as Harry has tried and tested.
It was during his perusal of any distraction from the unwanted display before him that he felt a warming inside of the pockets of his dress robes. Reaching in, his hand closed around a piece of parchment, slightly warm like it was exposed in the fire for some time. Upon pulling it out, he discovered it was the message he got from Severus.
In whichever way Harry turned it the missive remained like it was, not burnt but a bit balmy. Chalking it up to the heat of his body, he made to return to his pocket when he caught sight of words that were not there earlier when he read it, peeking out. It was not a trick of the light, he found out, as the Gryffindor completely unfurled the bit of parchment and was met with a completely new set of sentences.
If you want me to attend, do not drink anything given to you.
Who knows what abomination they plan to do with you once you have done so?
Heed my words, and I will appear.
'How did he bloody even know someone is giving me a drink?'
"Butterbeer okay with you? There's Firewhisky, but I wasn't sure if you drink that." Justin was now beside him, placing a glass in front of him. Harry was too bewildered to do anything than nod distractedly, his eyes still on the note in his hand. "Another parchment from your date? Why does he keep sending you those instead of coming here himself?" He said, taking a swig of his drink, which Harry absently noted was Firewhisky.
Shaking his head as if the physical act could clear his confusion, Harry gripped his own beverage and lifted it. The cool touch of the rim on his lips reminded him back to the order just in time - 'It might very well have been an order, that snarky sexy bastard' – and he quickly put it back down on the table.
Daring a look at his companion, he was met by a steady stare.
'Damn. I hoped he would miss that.'
"Should I have gotten you a Firewhisky after all?"
"Oh no. I just-" 'Quick, Harry, think!' "find myself wanting another drink."
"Is that so? Well, I'll go get you another one."
'Bad lie, idiot!'
Justin made to leave again but Harry beat him to it. He grasped the other's forearm against the table, effectively arresting him in place. Harry grinned sheepishly and made to remove his hand, but Justin just slid his arm out from beneath the Gryffindor's hold and instead seized it, interlacing their fingers.
"Don't want that drink, then?"
In the face of the boy's charming open smile Harry found he did not want to come up with excuses anymore. Justin was willing to keep him company, him, Harry "always-mobbed-and-troublesome" Potter. What's being honest to the boy who seems to like him around, like him for him?
"I just thought I don't want to drink at all. Don't want to go… pee."
'Okay, not at all honest, then.'
Despite being obvious in his pretext, Harry was gratified when Justin laughed. He started getting annoyed though when it continued on longer than what was teasing. He tightened his grip.
"Ow, ow! Sorry, Harry. It's just you're so obvious, it's adorable." Ah, another one of those charming smiles again.
'Oh, hell!' Wrenching his hand away, Harry clamped his hands around his cold untouched drink, his cheeks going pink regardless. Justin just smiled.
A minute of comfortable silence ensued, with Justin sipping his Firewhisky and Harry trying to look at anything and anywhere besides his friend. He could not help but notice though, that the Hufflepuff was dressed comfortably yet fashionably tonight, his robes in dark red and cut a little loose and a little long. It still looked good in him. The dark brown hair was slicked-back, neatly combed and styled. Harry could not help but compare Justin and Severus, the two so different; the former with his combed and shiny hair and the latter with his loose and stringy long do. He found out though, despite the attractiveness of this boy in front of him, that he still preferred his Prince. He still hoped that at any moment now, Severus Snape will come out through those doors, his robes billowing and sweeping him in the other's embrace. What would you call that if not love?
"So, no drinking too huh? Another verdict by the Half-Blood Prince?"
If Harry were drinking the Butterbeer in his hands, he would have spewed it by now. As it was, he was not, so he settled in spluttering, flabbergasted.
"How did you know? On both times." Harry questioned, eyeing his companion now with renewed interest.
"Well, judging by your avoidance in drinking and dancing after the arrival of a parchment from some owl, your rather esteemed proposals of the Half Blood Prince in the past few days and the increase in talk about said man, I'd rather say it was fairly easy to guess." Justin replied smoothly before he sipped elegantly from his drink, a smirk lurking in his lips. Harry was, for some reason, suspicious.
"When did you become so observant?" He half-joked, scrutinizing his friend. A beat, then Justin jolted his drink, the Firewhiskey splashing down his robes.
"Bloody hell! And Harry, that's mean. I'm not that clueless." With a swift flick of his wand withdrawn from his robes and a muttered Evanesco, the mess was gone as instantly as it appeared. Justin was appropriately peeved, sipping what was left of his beverage. Harry, placated in his misplaced worries, just chuckled.
"Sorry. It's just you're not always this aware of people's surroundings. Remember Hannah? She fancied you in 5th year, but you didn't notice." Harry teased, smiling. Head previously bent on his drink, Justin lifted his head and fixed the Gryffindor with an unexpected intense stare, some unreadable emotion lurking beneath the brown irises.
"But I noticed you, didn't I?"
Harry felt the first spike of arousal for this boy in front of him, the first for anyone besides Severus Snape. Justin was never as forward as this before, usually sticking to asking him once, then leaving him alone when he declines. Harry found he liked the change, this seductive persistence. What did that make him? Thinking he was approaching dangerous waters, he changed the subject, and as was his usual without finesse.
'Beggars can't be choosers.'
"I thought you had detention tonight?" 'And I should get myself my own drink.' Harry thought as he played with his fingers around his full glass, avoiding Justin's eyes.
"I did it yesterday. Asked Professor Snape if I could, and shockingly he okayed it. So now I'm free to go to the ball. Sucks though, cause you already have a date." Justin said, in a teasing manner. Harry braved it and looked up; the other boy was his usual cheery self again. He exhaled the breath he did not know he was holding.
'I'm not betraying Severus, damnit!'
He forced himself to smile. 'This is not flirting, right?'
"So tell me about this Half Blood Prince. It is a bloke, right?" Justin queried, leaning on the small table but still giving Harry respectable distance. He had long ago finished his drink.
"Yeah. He's a bloke, all right." Harry got on a dreamy look on his face.
Oh how long had he fantasized about that masculine body, imagining the hard planes on the lean arms and torso as he ran his hands over it, following it with his tongue. He could almost taste it, the sweat from Severus' exertions and a tang that is uniquely Severus. He would pay special attention to the man's nipples, working them into peaks with quick and hard swipes of his tongue. He would make him moan–
"He's that good, huh?" Justin snickered, cutting through Harry's train of thought. The Gryffindor blushed, hurrying to explain.
"No! No, we haven't–umm–done anything yet. Actually it's supposed to be our first date tonight, but he's not here yet so… Besides, even though I imagine he's good, he's much more than that. Of that, I'm sure." Harry ended, despite his blundering at first, with his voice full of conviction. Justin looked at him, leaning back with his arms folded across his chest, his gaze curious.
"Yes. He's brave and loyal. Even if everyone's against him, he'll do what's right and stand by it, not caring for the praise and recognition. He's also smart, a genius really. He's good in many subjects; he's practically an artist in everything he does. He's elegant in it and precise, and his concentration knows no bounds. He's also very kind and compassionate. He sees what's truly there and does not get fooled by sweet words and fake gestures. And have I mentioned that he's fair too?" Despite his enthusiasm Harry had to pause. He was running out of breath.
'It's time someone knew the real him.' He thought fiercely.
"Oh come on. He can't be all that? No one is that perfect." Justin said, his disbelief evident. His arms had fallen by his sides to burrow in his robe's pockets.
"He isn't perfect. But he's perfect to me." Harry whispered, his gaze far away.
It was true. Severus Snape had many imperfections. He joined the Death Eaters once upon a time after all, and did unspeakable deeds.
'But he's changed now, and for the better. Also, what he did before made him what he is now so I wouldn't change any of that.'
"Not a passing fancy then." He heard Justin murmur, making him look back. On the serious face of his friend, the eyes that were dark brown were now black.
They were dark brown again.
The music around them slowly changed tempo and became faster, the lights also dimming. Looking up, he saw strobe lights popping into existence in the now otherwise dark hall, the music also getting louder. He reeled.
"This is supposed to be a ball?" He found himself exclaiming.
Around him, people momentarily looked at each other in confusion. Apparently it was not only Harry who did not get the memo of the change in plans. Noticing a lone light that did not move, he watched in horror as he discovered that the person in spotlight was none other than Trelawney and Filch, the former magicking her gaudy robes off in a showy manner while the latter raised his arms as if in a performance. The Divination professor's robes revealed a skimpy outfit Harry could not even stomach to describe. He thanked Merlin the caretaker was a squib for he cold only imagine what the man could think of as a costume. He quickly redirected his eyes elsewhere.
'Yup, another on the list.'
A hand closed around his wrist, Justin's body suddenly sliding up to him, as the students around them got over their confusion and moved. He gulped, feeling the hard body against his.
"Let's go outside?" Justin intoned, his pitch low and his mouth directly on Harry's ear, making him shiver. The Gryffindor could only nod in response.
'Please show up, Severus!' He wished, letting himself be tugged from the view of silhouetted bodies writhing on the dance floor in time to the beat. As was his day, luck reminded him of its vacation as a stray neon green light illuminated Trelawney and Filch once again on their way out, catching Harry's attention. The dip Filch did revealed more of the woman's skin that Harry cared to see. He was glad when the door closed on his face.
Harry's relief to get out of the transformed party was so immense that he let himself get dragged outside and to the lake, watching his back as if scared the monstrous pair followed them. Any distance separating him from there was a welcome to him. He shuddered.
He only looked to where he was going when his hand was released and he found himself at a tree near the lake. Justin gracefully slid down the bark of the tree, his head bowed and his breathing labored. Harry felt a spike of worry.
"Justin? You okay?"
He extended his hand to the other boy when Justin's own rose in a halt. It was then than he noticed that the hand was different. It was pale and stained.
His pocket became warm again and Harry knew it was the parchment containing new words for him to read. He would have fished it out and read it, but he was stymied to watch as the figure in front of his eyes changed in appearance.
Slicked dark-brown hair elongated to ebony strands, falling over a face that before had a sun-kissed complexion which now turned fair. The robes around the body suddenly fitted perfectly as shoulders broadened and limbs extended.
The panting seized, the transformation over.
Shoulders rolled and legs flexed to stretch. The figure rose slowly, calmly dusting bits of grass that clung to the still maroon dress robes. Harry continued to stare at it, as it was the only constant in his suddenly haywire universe.
'When my luck left, my sanity tagged along too. Figures!' Harry thought, his head spinning.
"Harry?" It was the unmistakable voice of Severus Snape. Harry whipped his eyes upwards.
'No doubt about it.' He thought, but instead he said again.
"Language, Potter." Severus smirked. And it was with that face and that voice– well all of Severus really–that all of what Harry felt that night was brought to the forefront of his mind. The excitement, disappointment, hope, fear, love and more just rolled into one that he just found himself irritated beyond belief.
"You! You tricked me, telling me you weren't coming and making me wait! Polyjuicing into Justin, making me follow orders, which you were pushing me to break by the way, while you were seducing me the whole time! Which of what you did and said were even true?" Harry ranted, jabbing the man's chest with a finger the whole time he fumed. As Severus continued staring at him however, Harry's patience broke.
"What are you staring at?" Disregarding the question altogether, Severus asked a question of his own.
"May I what?" The seventeen year old pouted, frustrated that the man was so unresponsive.
"May I kiss you?"
Harry's response was immediate, he did not even think before they were out.
"Do you even have to ask?"
Severus' mouth instantly descended on his, warm and soft against his own. Hands tangled in his hair, angling his head just so, and he buried his own in the folds of the man's robes lest he fall from the intenseness of it.
Harry did not feel sparks or fireworks.
He felt alive.
A wet tongue traced the seam of his lips, asking for permission he willingly gave. The questing appendage delved inside and mapped every nook and cranny of his mouth. He moaned, the foreign tongue sliding and tangling against his own.
Harry took his earlier sentiments back. Let it never be said that Severus Snape approach anything without feeling. Harry surely felt it now, and he basked in it.
They continued on kissing for a few more moments, Severus now completely taking the brunt of Harry's weight as the teen surely could not stand on his own anymore. They eventually broke for air but stayed close, their arms still wrapped around each other.
It was Severus who broke the silence.
"I have been wanting to do that all evening." He breathed, speaking directly against Harry's mouth before stealing a little kiss, which turned to more.
Remembering something, Harry pushed himself away from Severus and broke the kiss a second time, looking the other man in the eyes. He saw desire, but he wanted to be sure.
"Why?" he asked, crossing his arms across his chest and taking a step back. The temptation was too great to just continue with what they were doing, but Harry wanted to know. "Why did you have to Polyjuice into Justin?" He asked, suddenly afraid of the answer.
'Doesn't he trust me?' His face fell at the thought, and he had to divert his face away to hide his hurt.
A hand cupped his jaw, making him look up. He was momentarily caught off-guard by the open expression gracing the Potion Masters' features. Severus spoke.
"I will only say this once, so listen attentively." He ordered softly, brushing his thumb over Harry's cheekbone. Harry nodded, albeit reluctantly.
"I pride myself of being a Slytherin. I thrive on cunning therefore I plan. I survive on ambition therefore I strive. And lastly, I live on resourcefulness therefore I improvise.
I had to make sure your feelings were genuine, Harry. And I had to do it in my own terms. I apologize if I have breached your trust. I would completely understand if you-"
"Don't even finish that sentence. Just… Did you find your answer?" Harry asked, determined, despite the possibility of being shot down. Severus looked at him squarely in the eye.
"Yes." The one word was laden with recognition and reciprocation. And that was enough for Harry as he kissed the other man breathless once again.
"Besides, I do not plan on starting something I will not push through." Severus whispered after a while, giving him one final kiss before relinquishing his hold on Harry. Straightening up, the Potions Master returned to his usual stern countenance – 'Only Severus could kiss one moment then become serious in another' Harry thought, snorting, – as he clasped his hands behind his back, the exact picture of composed and dignified.
It was only ruined by the brightness of his eyes that did not evade Harry's notice. The teen smiled.
"Also, the dunderhead was your only friend near my height and the one I have had the displeasure of witnessing many overtures made towards you. Thus I knew of his inclinations and mannerisms."
"I didn't even know it was you until the last minute." 'And you were watching me?' Harry silently added, feeling touched at the gesture.
"That was the plan. I was a spy after all. I would have failed if you had suspected. I actually liked the activity. It exercised my abilities, though speaking in his manner was off-putting. How can you youth stomach conversing in hanging sentences and misplaced modifiers?" Severus asked, seemingly genuinely baffled.
"Not all of us are as anal-retentive as you, Severus." Harry teased before laughing at Severus' offended face. "All those neatly labeled potion ingredients handled by dragon-hide gloves and potion-specific rods polished every night…"
Severus just huffed, bypassing him in a swirl of maroon robes. Despite not being in his customary black, it was still impressive. "Those are actually required precautions, Potter. Good night."
Harry was gobsmacked.
'Severus already got offended with that?'
"Seve-" the rest of Harry words was swallowed up by the kiss bestowed upon him, lasting a little longer than Severus intended if the other man's hand on his hair was any indication. With a last swipe of his tongue, Severus moved his mouth to his ear and whispered, his breath warm.
"Look at the parchment, Harry."
Then when Harry opened his eyes, which he was not aware were closed, Severus was gone.
Reaching inside his pocket hastily, Harry withdrew the piece of parchment and unfurled the letter. He was greeted with a simple message.
If you want me, I am yours.
Simply say the words.
Until our next date, Harry.
P.S. I owe you a dance and a drink,
though not necessarily in that order.
If Harry smiled anymore, his face might have split in two.
"Until our next date then, my Severus."