Harry waited until almost the very end of the time set aside for the Valentine's Day ball, before he decided to escape from the Great Hall. He shoved the bag of message heart candies into his robes and quickly made his way to the double doors. No one seemed to be paying him the slightest bit of attention, except for perhaps the person he was to meet with in a short while. Harry threw a look over his shoulders straight in Severus Snape's direction and caught the man's gaze and nodded. As soon as he had received a reciprocating nod, Harry opened one door a fraction and slipped through.
As the corridors were almost completely deserted, aside from the small alcove areas where couples were found cuddling and petting in quiet, he ran almost the entire way up to the seventh year Gryffindor boys’ dorm room undisturbed. Harry was glad to see that the Fat Lady was still in her portrait guarding the entrance; he feared that she would be gone just to prevent the students from retiring early and getting into mayhem within the tower walls. However, when he entered, he found that the entire Gryffindor tower stood empty, so Harry cared not for the noise he made or the sheer happiness he felt as he laughed with glee at being able to finally have a moment alone with Severus.
Harry dug into his footlocker and withdrew his invisibility cloak and then cast a Notice-Me-Not spell on his bed so the other seventh years would be unaware of his absence. For all that it was a night of romance and celebration, the curfew was still strict and enforced, at least with Professor McGonagall watching over them; and with Voldemort gone, his obvious reasons for not being in his bed no longer remained.
Harry exited the tower quietly, but after years of using the cloak, the Fat Lady knew exactly what was going on when the door opened and closed with no one behind the action and called out to Harry to be safe and not to get into too much trouble. Harry shot out a hand from beneath the folds of the cloak, waved in thanks, and continued on his way. As he neared the Great Hall, he heard the sounds of the students chattering happily, and he caught strains of their conversations as they gossiped with one another about who danced with whom, and who seemed to have sneaked out for a snog or two. When Harry finally came to a stop at the bottom of the stairs, he noticed how crowded the entryway seemed, and wondered how he would make it to the other side beyond all the students, where the professors were standing and talking. Harry plotted out a course to maneuver through the packed bodies and hoped no one would sense his presence. He took one careful step at a time, and slowly made his way between one group of loitering, chatting students and another. Harry had almost made it through when from the corner of his eye, he noticed Draco Malfoy step back and into his oncoming path. Unable to side step quickly enough, Harry nudged Draco to the side and straight into the arms of Remus Lupin, substitute Care of Magical Creatures professor while Hagrid was away on his honeymoon with Madam Maxime.
Harry watched as Draco blushed and Remus gave a loopy grin down at the younger man in his arms. Harry knew that the two were wild about each other, but neither had thought to approach one another. Harry looked at the rest of the professors that had been talking with Remus and noticed Albus looking right at where he was standing. It always gave Harry a little thrill to know that at least one person knew where he was and what he was up to and still gave their approval. Harry nodded his head sheepishly towards where Severus was standing, and Albus winked one blue eye and smiled, then turned away to talk to Professor Vector, who had been hanging at Albus' elbow for the last few minutes talking nine to the dozen and not realizing that the Headmaster's attention had been elsewhere. Harry resumed his course and came upon Severus, who had his back to him. Harry angled himself around the older man, careful not to touch him anywhere that could make the Potions Master turn as if in question. Once he felt he was in the best position, Harry reached out and slid his hand along Severus' letting him know that he was present and waiting.
He watched as Severus blinked rapidly a few times and Harry presumed that meant Severus understood the signal. As Severus bid everyone a good night and started to walk away, Albus approached and told Severus in quiet undertones that he expected Severus to be on time for his nightly stroll of the grounds by midnight, and stated his apologies to Severus knowing that the other man's patience had been already tried during the long night of the Valentine's Day ball, but that he hoped that the next two hours of solitude would be pleasurable.
As Albus spoke, the twinkle in his eyes never abated and Harry watched the by-play between the two wizards. With something close to awe, Harry noticed Severus blush.
Severus reached out tentatively to where Harry stood, and Harry once more brushed his fingers over the potioned-stained hand. Severus gave a gentle smirk, as Harry liked to think of it, and a nod to both men, knowing quiet well that Albus was aware of Harry's presence.
Harry grabbed a hold on to Severus' robe sleeve and gave a sharp tug, indicating that he was ready to leave. Severus bid Albus a good night and turned towards the stairwell that lead down into the dungeons. Severus passed a few of the Slytherin students who were making their way back to the dormitory and issued each of his students a good night with warnings that they should not be out and about after curfew as he and the other professors would be patrolling and they would surely be taking considerable points for anyone caught. Harry kept close to the wall and to the right of Severus as they walked, hoping to camouflage the fact that he had a tight grip on Severus' robes as an anchor, which was done more to assure Severus of his continued presence, than as a guide.
After several minutes of walking down a long and cold corridor, they finally stopped before a plain wooden door with a snake emblem in the center. Harry watched as Severus gently touched first the nose of the snake, then the tail, and finally stroked the entire twisted body. Harry shivered as he saw the delicate caress and wished Severus would touch him that way.
With a push of his hand, Severus opened the door and walked through, and Harry rushed in behind him and let go of the other man's robe as soon as the door closed. Harry listened as Severus whispered a silencing spell warding the room, and locked the entrance with another spell, this one a complex spell Harry had never heard before. Once the room was secure, Harry removed the invisibility cloak and Severus smiled at him. The smile sent warmth through Harry's entire body and he blushed in response.
In silence, Severus reached out and clasped Harry's hand with his own and drew the younger wizard towards the fire place; Harry took a quick look at his surroundings and then cast aside any further interest as his gaze was snagged on the machine Severus was leading him toward. An old fashioned gramophone stood near to the fireplace and a record sat on the turntable.
Harry wondered what music Severus liked to listen to, and as the machine started up, Harry started in surprise as the band that was playing was Muggle in nature.
“Is this that band called Queen, Severus? I didn't think you would listen to a Muggle music group.”
Severus smirked at Harry and reached out and drew Harry into his arms. Severus leaned his head close to the young man's ear and whispered, “I'm not a Pureblood, Harry. However, nor am I a Muggle-born. I'm very much just like you, Harry. Just a common, simple half-blood.”
Harry's mouth formed an O in surprise. He had always assumed that the Head of Slytherin house would naturally be a pure blooded wizard. But then, Harry realized that Tom Riddle had been placed there, and he had almost been placed there as well, so his assumptions that Slytherin only housed purebloods were quite ridiculous.
“I like being able to surprise you, Harry.” Severus hummed to the song that was playing and started to dance slowly. Harry didn't recognize the tune, but found the music somewhat light-hearted and romantic, but the lyrics were a little morose.
“What's the name of this song, Severus?”
“'My Melancholy Blues.' I was listening to this just last night. Valentine's Day has always made me feel a little down, especially thinking that I wouldn't be able to celebrate it with the person who held my heart. That I would be alone this evening as the ball ended.” Severus gave Harry a gentle squeeze and rubbed his chin along the top of Harry's head in a quick nuzzle, silently telling Harry how happy he was that he had been wrong in his belief.
Harry returned the hug and smiled as pushed his face closer into the space between Severus' shoulder and neck. He rubbed his nose into the area with the most concentrated smell that he could only associate as belonging to Severus Snape. He felt a shudder go through the other man at the intimate gesture.
Harry and Severus swayed and moved to the song, the lyrics no longer being listened to by either man as they got lost in the feeling of holding one another. Harry thought the wait for this dance was worth it. As the song ended, Harry pulled back to look up at the older wizard who had captured his heart, and saw Severus not pull away but lean closer and Harry's eyes closed in response. The kiss was gentle and sweet and all that Harry thought a kiss between two people — who were in love and just starting to embark on a path together — should be. It was nothing like the kisses he had shared with others before Severus. This kiss wasn't about hormones and uncertainty, but about understanding and respect, and above all, love.
Severus pulled away from Harry's arms, went back to the gramophone, and Harry watched as Severus took the album off and replaced it with another one. Severus returned and took Harry into a looser embrace than the one from before and Harry realized why as the song that started playing was a little more upbeat.
As the music penetrated Harry's slightly lust filled brain, he gave a bark of laughter. A smirk appeared on Severus' face and then a gentle laugh followed.
The lyrics of 'A Kind of Magic' made their way around the room, another Queen song, but apparently from a different album. “I guess I have a lot to learn about the severe Potions Master and Head of Slytherin, for I would never have taken him for a Queen fan.” Harry leaned up and gave Severus a quick kiss on the lips, letting the man know that he wasn't being sarcastic or facetious in his words.
“You do know, Harry, that a few kisses here and there are all that I will permit for the moment. No other late night visits, for this one will be a one time deal while you are a student.”
Harry opened his mouth to express his opinion on that last statement and before he could utter a single syllable, Severus swooped in and gave Harry one more kiss, this time filled with a passion and a hunger that was unknown to Harry. He felt as if he were being sucked into a volcano of desire that was about to erupt, and with that eruption came a deep moan from both men and two bodies pushing themselves as closely together as possible.
Severus pulled their mouths apart and both gasped for air. Once Severus' breathing was back under control, he reached up and stroked Harry's excited and flushed face. “I shouldn't have done that, but I cannot regret my actions this evening.”
Harry sighed and leaned his face into the caress before he pulled completely away and set himself down into the nearest chair. He leaned his head back against the cushion and closed his eyes as he gathered himself together and put his hormones back to sleep. As he reached up to push his glasses away and wipe at his eyes, Harry heard the candies he had stuffed into his robe pocket rustle, so he sat up and removed them.
He looked at them closely and saw for the moment that each candy was blank, with no messages scrolling on each of their flat surfaces. He opened the bag and grabbed one light blue candy. He read the message that appeared to himself, “Be patient, good things come to those who wait.”
Harry laughed and showed the message to Severus, when Severus gave him an inquiring glance. Severus read the message and laughed himself. Then read it aloud, “Loosen up, and live a little.”
Harry gave him a quizzical glance and looked at the candy again and it once more read the ‘be patient’ message. “Huh, that's weird. My message says that I should be patient, as good things will come to those who wait. Did Professor Dumbledore have a hand in making these?”
“I wouldn't be surprised, as it wouldn't be beyond the Headmaster to try his hand at matchmaking.” Severus pulled Harry up from the chair he occupied and maneuvered the young man into sitting on the couch that faced the fire and then sat himself down up-close and next to Harry. “Let's just get cozy and spend the rest of the hour or so we have remaining to get to know each other better, shall we?”
Harry nodded in agreement, nestled himself into the crook of Severus' arm and leaned his head on the other man's shoulder. “What would you like to know?”
From that point, Harry and Severus spent the next hour exchanging stories about their childhoods. Neither went into too much detail of the events from their past, but each could glean the necessary information to fill in the gaps of what was left unsaid.
When it came time for Severus to do his patrolling rounds, he escorted Harry back to the Gryffindor tower, with Harry once more underneath his invisibility cloak. As they parted, Severus wished Harry one final, quiet “Happy Valentine's” and Harry reached up through the cloak and caressed Severus across his lips in a parting gesture. A whispered “Sweet dreams” followed both men as they parted for the night.