As Severus walked into the class he noticed something was not right with Potter.
The boy looked paler than usual and everyone who looked more than a few seconds on the boy could tell he cried.
Severus turned his back to the class and wrote on the blackboard two words - Felix Felicis.
He faced the class and started talking.
Half a way into the lesson Potter only looked worse what only made Severus more curious and more concerned.
"Detention Mr.Potter." The boy didn't seem to notice until Weasley patted on his shoulder.
Potter's head shot up quickly "Uhmmm..?"
"Detention Mr.Potter, and next time pay attention."
"Yes Sir." The unusually hoarse voice answered and Potter's head sank back to the same position as earlier.
Unlike what it seemed Severus did care for the boy, at first they loathed each other, now Potter loathed him and he cared for Potter, even if mostly out of pity.
That evening at 6:30 P.M Severus sat by the desk at his class, grading fourth-year essays and waiting for Potter who was half an hour late at the time.
When two small knocks heard on the thick wooden door, Severus looked up.
"Yes." He said.
The door opened and still very pale Potter walked inside. "Sorry I am late Sir."
"Cauldrons." Severus said. "Equipment by the sink."
Severus watched concerned at Potter, who crossed the room silently and didn't even bothered to frown as usual.
Around the fifth cauldron, Severus thought Potter was becoming a bit green.
"Potter are you okay?".
Potter who was now clearly green looked up at him.
"Like you even care." Potter snapped at him.
"What I care about is none of your concern, I asked you a question."
"I am fine." He said, clearly irritated, and faced back to the cauldron. "You bloody greasy twat." He muttered as he leant forward, scrubbing harshly.
"Watch your language Potter!" He said irritated. "You may come back tomorrow at the same time, do not be late again."
"You know what?" Potter snapped, "I don't have to take your shit!" Potter started yelling. "You bloody old, cold, insufferable, arrogant, heartless git!" Potter threw the sponge he was holding into the cauldron and stormed out of the room.
Severus knew he will need a trip to the Astronomy Tower tonight to calm down, to think.
He found himself staring at where Potter stood a minute ago, then at the widely opened door.
Something was definitely wrong with Potter.
The air at the Astronomy Tower was chilled, Severus liked it, he needed time to think.
He sat against the wall on the cold floor, not using a chair because he couldn't let himself fall asleep now and not here.
Severus stared at the sky and took a deep breath, he let his Occlumency shield drop for the first time this week.
All the feeling of the day flooded him once again, concern and fear for Potter, thoughts about his past that filled him with sadness.
Lily, his only friend, who was now dead because of him, he felt his eyes filling with tears so he thought about something else.
He thought about his life, being a Death Eater, being a guardian to the boy who lived, the boy who loathed him.
The boy who loathed him.
A slight pain stabbed him. Were those feelings deeper than concern for the boy?
NO, he shouldn't, he couldn't.
He couldn't have romantic, were those feelings romantic?
It doesn't matter, Potter is a student. Potter hated him. He was nothing more than an "Old, cold, insufferable, arrogant and heartless git." As Potter described him.
Severus wondered what made Potter snap at him like that, he knew that if everything was alright Potter wouldn't explode at him.
Severus sat there for another hour before he saw the movement in the sky.
He stood up quickly and drew his wand, "Come here right now!" He shouted.
The figure landed on the dark part of the tower.
"Identify." He called.
He had to blink twice to make sure he wasn't hallucinating as Potter, holding a broom, came out of the shadows.
He looked less pale than before.
"What are you doing here in the middle of the night?"
"Flying. Needed to think."
"I see. Since tomorrow is already today, you will join me to detention tomorrow at the same time."
"Free to leave."
Potter walked to the door, stopped and turned back to Severus.
"Sorry about today Sir."
"Are you sorry about what you said and done?"
"Not at all Sir." Potter smirked at him and left, leaving very surprised Severus behind.
The next day passed very slow to Severus.
He had two lessons with first years, small annoying first years who added more pixie tears because she liked the colour.
Because of the colour, her cauldron melted and caused mild burns to her friend next to her.
He also had a lesson with Potter who looked as pale as he was last day.
At lunch, he sat next to Minerva who was looking concerned.
"Do you know what is wrong with Potter?" She asked.
"What is wrong? He looks fine." He said, pretending to not know what she was talking about.
"Fine? He is as pale as snow!"
"The only thing wrong with him is that he thought last night at detention that he can yell at me." Severus snorted.
"He yelled at you? It doesn't sound like him. Something is wrong with him. He was distant since the beginning of the year, and it must be a hard week for him... Poor boy."
How could he be so thick?
Halloween was this Thursday, two more days until his parents memorial.
Fifteen years without his best friend, without his only friend.
Severus straightened in his chair but he kept thinking.
He realised he sank in his mind because when he looked up from his plate, the hall was half empty and so was the high table.
He didn't eat but he wasn't hungry.
He stood up and left the Great Hall.
That evening Potter walked into potions classroom quietly.
He stopped by the sink that was full with at least 12 cauldrons.
"Evening Sir." He said and grabbed the sponge.
"Evening Mr.Potter." Severus nodded and went back to his grading.
"Is it right that you went to school with my parents?"
"You knew them?"
Potter gave a small sigh and started scrubbing the first cauldron.
When he finished he stood up, stretched, and looked up at the Potions Master.
"Am I free to go?"
"You are Mr.Potter, good night."
"Why are you being nice to me?"
"After last night as I walked out, well, I walked..."
"Do explain yourself Mr.Potter."
"Well... After what I said I really thought you'd kill me." Potter blushed a bit but didn't look away.
"This week is tough to you, even I can tell."
"It didn't seem to matter to you in the past. You never gave up on a chance to show you hate me." Potter said, blushing harder.
"I do not hate you Mr.Potter." Severus answered.
"Why do you care? I want to know."
"You are a student of mine, your welfare is one of my duties as much about every student."
"But why did you started to care now?"
"Your mother was a friend of mine, dismissed." He really didn't want to share more information at the moment.
Potter blushed slightly and left the room.
Severus noticed that even when Potter blushed he still looked pale.
Severus walked back to his quarters and lit up the fire with the wave of his wand.
He poured himself a glass of firewhiskey and sat on the big armchair across to the fireplace.
He thought about earlier, about Potter's very soft looking lips, he shouldn't, but he did.
Very blushed Potter burned into his mind.
He makes Potter blush.
A dirty smirk appeared on his face.
He imagined how it would feel to have those soft lips wrapped around his cock and shook his head at the thought.
Feeling sick out of the sudden, he couldn't allow himself to think thoughts like that on a student. On Potter.
He summoned a book and read until he fell asleep on the armchair.
His sleep was restless, moving between dreams about the innocent moments he spent with Lily to lustful dreams about her son.
It felt so wrong.
The next day Severus hasn't shown up for lunch nor dinner.
After he finished his morning lessons he went to the Astronomy Tower to clear his mind from the students nonsense, he needed to find out what he is about to do with his life as a spy, as a protector, and to figure out his Potter problem.
An hour later he knew lunch ended and went back to his class to seventh-year lessons.
After the lessons ended he was free.
He climbed up the swirling stairs to the Astronomy Tower and sat on his favourite spot on the floor.
A few minutes later he saw a figure on a broom.
Potter stopped close to the tower and stared at him for few seconds, Severus stared back noticing the wet trails on Potter's face.
Potter turned his broom and flew away before Severus could say anything.
It was now dinner time and both of them still were there, Severus thinking, Potter flying.
Potter was now flying so high that he disappeared from Severus' sight.
Showoff - Just like his father. Severus snorted.
The boy now seemed to be falling but he didn't look too worried. Or worried at all.
One of his hands held to the broom, the only thing that kept him from smashing on the hard ground far below.
Severus' heart stopped for a moment.
He quickly used wordless and wandless levitation spell on the broom, preventing it from falling further down.
Potter threw his other hand and held the broom, a moment later he climbed back at the broom.
He flew back up and gave Severus a weird look.
Was that a scowl?
Potter didn't give him time to speak and flew back to the ground.
Severus released a breath he didn't know he was holding.
All he wanted was to run see if the boy is okay, but it would look suspicious.
Severus walked back to his class waiting for Potter to come to detention.
Potter showed up ten minutes late, the strange part was that Severus could hear him pacing outside for the last ten minutes.
As Potter walked in Severus could see that his skin was paler than before but the blush that covered his cheeks was almost as red as a Weasley's hair.
Severus pointed at the sink, Potter walked there.
Nine cauldrons later Potter rose to his feet and looked at the professor.
"May I go?"
The boy approached the door.
Potter turned around giving Severus a quizzing look.
Potter cut him off "Sir can you do me a favour?"
"And what is that Mr.Potter?"
"Do not tell anyone, it was a mistake, Sir, please."
"Very well Mr.Potter." Severus took a deep breath and muttered: "I can't believe I am about to do it."
"Do what Sir? If I may ask."
"Do you...Want to... Ummm... Talk... About it?"
"Can I ask you another question, Sir?"
"You clearly want me to say no."
You don't know what you are talking about.
"So why do you even try? Please be honest." Potter continued.
Because I have feelings for you.
"I am doing this for my best friend. Your mother would want you to be happy."
It wasn't completely a lie.
He saw the tears in Potter's eyes. Something was clearly wrong. Had he done something wrong?
"May I leave?"
"You may, goodnight Potter."
Potter left the room quietly.
That night none of them came to the Astronomy Tower.
The next morning at breakfast Potter was less pale than he was the day before.
Severus watched him, cautious not to get caught.
Potter sat at the Gryffindor table talking to Weasley and Granger.
Weasley and Granger were holding hands, Ginevra Weasley was glancing at Dean Thomas and Potter looked so alone between his girl friends.
Severus wished he could be there for him.
To hold his hand.
To hug him tightly.
To press his lips against the boy's.
Severus shook the thoughts out of his head.
Potter was a boy, a student.
The only thing Severus wanted to do was to make the boy happy.
He wanted to look in these eyes, that once belonged to a person who cared for him, one out of two in his life, and tell the boy everything. That he cared. That he... Loved? Was that the feeling?
It has been so long since he loved, and even longer since he loved romantically.
He forgot how it felt.
Could Severus Snape, the man who forgot how to love, fall in three days with the son of his best friend and his worst enemy?
Could he fall in love in three days with a student?
Could he fall in love in three days with Harry Potter?
To settle his mind he chooses to define those feelings as deep care.
The rest of the day passed fast.
Severus was grateful for that.
He kept his mind away from the date of today, Halloween, away from his feelings.
Severus sat at the high table and ate his meal quietly.
Everyone at the Halloween feast seemed to be happy, even Malfoy, with the only exception of Potter and himself.
No one seemed to notice.
Potter was leaving the table now, his friends just let him go.
Ten minutes later Severus stood up and walked out of the Great Hall.
Severus went up the stairs to the Astronomy Tower, needed time to think.
His walk got quicker at the few last steps as he heard a whimper from the other side of the door.
He opened the door and saw a figure sitting at his usual spot between the shadows.
With the lumos glowing at the tip of his wand he walked quickly to the figure.
Potter was half lying half sitting, pale against the wall, his body loose like a puppet.
It didn't take Severus more than a few seconds to notice the puddle of blood Potter was lying in.
Severus' heart skipped a bit, or two, or a hundred.
He quickly leant closer to the boy, not bothering to his panic.
"Potter? What have you done?" His voice was trembling as he knelt by the boy, the blood didn't matter to him.
Potter looked at him, sobbing openly.
"I don't want to do this anymore." He whispered.
"I only want to look at the sky as I fall asleep."
Two deep cuts on each of his wrists were now showing to the light of the lumos.
Severus pulled a quick healing potion out of the shrunk potions bag that was always tied to his belt, covered by his teaching robes.
He opened the phial.
"Open your mouth Potter."
Harry shook his head.
"OPEN" Severus called at him with a desperate yell.
"Let me sleep." Harry said.
"Do not dare to sleep now!" Severus said, tear rolling on his face.
"Why are you trying to save me? I am..." The sentence got cut by Severus pressing the phial to Harry's lips, forcing him to drink.
The cuts closed. No scars left.
"I was only helping your side, helping Voldemort's side to win, why are you doing this?" Harry whispered at him.
"Foolish boy, I am on your side." Severus couldn't help himself but to pull Harry into his arms.
Inhaling the scent of Harry, and Harry's blood.
"Only on your side." He muttered.
Harry kept sobbing in his arms, head on Severus' shoulder.
"Why have you done that?"
"Why not?" Harry whispered into his ear.
"Why?" Severus repeated quietly, another tear fell on his face.
"I have nothing left to live for."
I wish I was a reason.
"From now on I will take care of you, don't you worry."
"You really want to try after all I've said and done? You really don't hate me?"
I love you.
"I will explain everything" Almost. "If you come meet me at my office after dinner tomorrow."
Harry sniffled. "Am I in trouble?" He pulled away from Severus.
"Not at all Harry, do you feel like going back to your dorms?"
"What?" Harry asked, clearly surprised.
"You heard me right, I said I will take care of you, I will treat you the same as before, but if you need anything, ask me. Now, do you want to go back to your dorms or do you want me to talk to Madam Pomfrey to get you a room in the hospital wing?"
"Please don't tell." Shy green eyes meeting black ones.
"I won't, so the infirmary?"
Harry shook his head and tried to stand.
He didn't even make it to his knees before he collapsed against the wall once again.
Severus used a spell to clean the blood off them.
He gave Harry the nutrient potion that he kept in his potions bag.
"Drink it it will help you."
Harry didn't ask any questions, only emptied the phial and gave it back to Severus.
Severus got up and helped Harry to his feet.
"Go to your dorms, I will free you from your lessons tomorrow morning. If anyone asks, you came to me for a headache potion, you didn't go to the infirmary because you didn't want anyone to worry about your scar. If you are interested in meeting me tomorrow say I gave you detention for running."
Harry gave him a weary smile.
"Thank you so much, Sir."
"No problem. Just don't tell anyone."