Professor Severus Snape prowled the dark hallways of the castle restlessly, as was his habit. Once he was done grading student papers, he walked the hallways on the lookout for any students out past curfew. It was part of his nightly routine. After his walk, he would return to his chambers to have a nightcap as he read a potions journal before he went to sleep. Unfortunately, that night the castle seemed to be just as restless as he was and a stairway jerked out from under him, sending him tumbling down a flight of stairs to land in an undignified heap at the bottom.
Moaning Myrtle was the first to find the unconscious Professor. She'd been gliding through the castle giving an obligatory moan every now and then when she found him. She drifted forward, looking at his still form. "Professor?" She whispered. She frowned when he didn't respond. Though she knew nothing would come of it, she reached out to touch his head, searching for a bump. She blinked in surprise as she was able to touch him. She was a ghost after all and tended to pass through things if she didn't expend the effort to be slightly solid. But she was touching the Professor's forehead. Not only was she touching him, but she could feel a strange cold. She didn't have much time to contemplate it as she felt a pull and suddenly she was sinking into the man. She tried to tug herself back, but it seemed useless as she was sucked in. She gave a last desperate moan before everything went black.
Harry Potter was the second person to find the Professor at the bottom of the stairs. With a gasp, he ran to the man's side, letting his invisibility cloak puddle at his feet. "Professor Snape? Are you all right?" He had to wonder what had caused this collapse. Was it Voldemort? Had someone gotten into the castle? He checked to make sure that Snape wasn't dead and breathed a small sigh of relief. They might not get along, but he didn't wish the man dead. As ornery as he was, Harry did learn from him and he was very valuable to their cause.
"Professor," he said, brushing the man's hair back from his face. He paused, brushing his fingers over the strands. It wasn't greasy. It always looked like it was, but the Professor's hair was just very fine and limp. He quickly shook himself out of contemplations of Snape's hair and carefully looked him over for injuries. There was a large knot on his head, but Harry couldn't tell if anything else was injured. He had to get him to the infirmary.
He stood up, ready to cast a levitation spell when Snape groaned. "Professor!" Harry gasped, kneeling down beside him once more. "Professor, are you all right?" He almost reached out to the man, but thought better of it. As it is, he was going to get in trouble for being out at night. He didn't want Snape to get angrier because he'd touched him. He did quickly remove his invisibility cloak and bundle it up though. He couldn't have Snape finding that.
Snape's eyes opened. "Harry?" The voice was uncertain and not Snapeish in the least. That worried Harry.
"Yes, sir. Are you hurt? Should I bring you to the Infirmary?" He watched as Snape sat up slowly and looked around.
"I don't need the Infirmary." He paused and looked down at himself, gasping in shock.
"Professor?" Harry was worried. Snape was acting a bit strange. The knot to his head must have left him disoriented and confused.
"What?" Snape looked up at him almost owlishly.
Harry frowned. "I think you have a concussion, sir. We should go to the Infirmary."
"No!" Snape said, almost shrilly. He coughed. "No," he said again. "I don't want to go there. Take me to my room."
"Ok," Harry said hesitantly. He didn't want to disobey the man. "Can you walk sir?" Harry cautiously reached out to him.
Snape took the offered hand and used it to steady himself as he stood. "I think so."
Harry nodded as he picked up his invisibility cloak and stuffed it under his arm. He watched as Snape took a single step and stumbled. Harry was able to catch him, but the man was much larger than he was and they both ended up in a heap on the ground.
"I suppose not," Snape said, almost in Harry's ear.
Harry shivered. He was half under the man and it was much too close and personal for his liking. He turned his head. "Sir...you're crushing me," he said.
"Ah. Sorry Harry." Snape sat up and held out a hand to him.
Harry hesitated before taking the offered help and using the leverage of Snape's calloused hand to sit up. Snape was acting very peculiar. He didn't seem the least bit angry that Harry was out after dark or helping him. In fact, he was calling him by his given name! Snape must have hit his head quite hard for that to happen. Snape's fingers brushed across his hand and snapped Harry from his thoughts. "S-sir!" He pulled his hand away, surprised that the man hadn't let go.
Snape looked at him with something resembling fondness. "Yes Harry?"
Harry scrambled to his feet. "I'm going to get Madame Pomfrey."
"No!" Snape shook his head. "Please don't. Just take me to my chambers."
Harry balked at the pleading tone. Snape looked up at him and Harry had to turn away from the dark eyes that were begging him to do as he asked. He would probably catch more hell for going against Snape's wishes. "All right sir," Harry said, looking back in time to catch a smile move across Snape's lips. It looked so out of place. Snape did not smile. He smirked and sneered, but he did not smile. Harry shivered. He needed to get Snape back to his chambers as soon as he could. Maybe then he would creep to the Infirmary and tell Madame Pomfrey that Snape was injured. It would be worth the detention to know that he hadn't left a concussed Snape to slip into a coma over night.
He stood up and shoved his bundled cloak under his arm again before helping the Professor to his feet. Fighting back any thoughts of the awkwardness of the situation, he slid an arm around Snape's waist and stood steady as the man settled an arm around his shoulders. "Ready to go sir?"
Snape nodded. "Yes Harry," he said, a hint of the earlier smile playing across his thin lips.
Harry was starting to really get creeped out, especially when Snape began to caress his neck and ear. "Sir, what are you doing?" The last person he ever expected to randomly caress him was Snape, and yet there he was tracing his fingertip along Harry's earlobe and making the hairs on the back of his neck stand up.
"Nothing," Snape chirped.
Harry's head jerked up to look at him. Did Snape just make such a happy sound? "Sir, I really think that you should see Madame Pomfrey," he pleaded, feeling quite desperate to drop him off with the Mediwitch and not have to deal with him again.
"And I already told you that I don't want to. Bring me to my chambers."
Harry sighed. "Where are your chambers sir?" He asked as they came to the end of the hallway.
"In the dungeons," Snape said absently as he stroked Harry's arm.
Of course Snape lived in the dungeons. Harry sighed as he carefully supported the man down to the dungeons, following his vague directions. The longer Harry spent helping him, the more uncomfortable he felt, but not the way he usually felt uncomfortable around Snape. Now, he couldn't help but feel disturbed by Snape's sudden invasion into his personal space and the liberties he took while leaning against him. He needed to get him into his rooms as soon as possible.
They finally arrived at an unassuming painting of a a forest glade. It was the last place that Harry would have thought to look for the Professor's quarters. He blinked as he saw a unicorn run through the lush trees of the painting. A moment later, the painting swung outward to reveal a door that slowly swung inward. Harry helped Snape inside and deposited him on a deep green velvet couch near the fire. He stepped back and looked around at the small sitting room. There were two matching chairs across from the couch and an elegant coffee table in front. In the corner, there was a small bar set with crystal glasses and decanters holding various colored alcohols. Across the room, there was a large writing desk flanked by bookcases that went from floor to ceiling and were full of large leather bound tomes and neatly organized scrolls.
"Can I get you anything Professor?" Harry asked, looking back at Snape.
Snape raked his eyes over Harry's body and suddenly Harry felt like a piece of meat at the butcher shop.
"Tea," Snape finally said, raising his eyes back to Harry's. "Tea and cake....chocolate."
"Yes sir," Harry said, quickly summoning a house elf. A tea tray was delivered with a small chocolate cake. "How do you take your tea sir?" Harry asked as he poured a cup.
"With cream and sugar," Snape said, watching as Harry settled beside the coffee table.
Harry frowned. He didn't even have to look at Snape to know that he was staring at his back side. Part of him was screaming to escape, but he couldn't just abandon the man. He was obviously unwell. Steeling himself, he turned back to the professor, holding out the tea.
Snape shook his head. "More sugar," he said, pointing to the sugar bowl.
"Yes sir." Harry quickly added two more lumps before Snape looked to be satisfied. He passed the cup and saucer along, dismayed when Snape let his fingers brush along Harry's before accepting his tea. "I-I'll cut you some cake sir," Harry stuttered, turning back to the tray to cut off a slice of cake.
Snape sipped his tea in an almost dainty manner as Harry sliced the cake. "Aren't you going to join me? That's what you were after wasn't it? A midnight snack."
Harry frowned. He had been heading for the kitchen to get a snack. He'd been too distracted at dinner to really eat much. "I'll have a slice sir," he said as he handed the cake to Snape.
Snape reached forward and put his cup and saucer on the coffee table and took the offered plate. Again, his fingers slid over Harry's, causing Harry to snatch his hand back.
Snape made a sound and Harry looked up, wide eyed. Had Snape just....giggled? That out of place smile was back on his lips as Snape settled back with his cake. He pulled his dark eyes off of Harry and looked down at the cake. He picked up his fork and took took a morsel of the cake, raising it to his mouth. Almost immediately, a breathy moan rose from his throat.
Harry dropped the cake knife in fright and stared up at Snape. The man wore a blissful expression on his face as he at the cake. He'd never seen such an expression on the man's face. In fact, he hadn't seen any of the expressions Snape had displayed tonight at any other time. Snape was always very short with him, so this was very unfamiliar territory for him and he didn't have a clue how to react. Snape opened his eyes and Harry quickly looked away. He picked up the knife with a shaky hand and cut another slice of cake, trying to take comfort in the normalcy of the simple action.
"The cake is delicious," Snape said.
"Yes sir," Harry mumbled as he took his piece and retreated to the chair farthest away from Snape.
Snape took another bite of cake and Harry was treated to another of Snape's deep moans.
Harry shivered. This whole situation was so awkward. He couldn't believe that he was sitting in Snape's personal quarters eating cake while the man sat across from him giggling and moaning like a schoolgirl. He took a bite of the cake. He could barely taste the sweetness. It was as if his mouth had gone into shock along with the rest of him and refused to taste. His stomach turned slightly in rebellion and Harry numbly placed the plate on the table. There was no way he'd be able to eat that.
Snape seemed oblivious to Harry's discomfort as he slowly worked his way through his own slice of cake, moaning and humming in delight. He licked his lips with a sigh and looked over at Harry. His eyebrows rose at the sight of his uneaten cake. "Are you going to eat that?"
Harry shook his head. "No sir."
Snape frowned. "That's a shame. Let's not waste the cake then. I'll take it."
Snape gestured at him. "Don't just sit there, pass it over." He leaned forward, setting down his empty plate and holding his hand out for Harry's.
Harry obediently reached out to hand him the plate of cake. Snape settled back in his chair and began the disturbing process of eating cake all over again. Harry paled as he noticed that the professor didn't even bother to switch forks. Snape was eating from his fork! Snape was slowly sucking the cake stuck on the tines. It made his stomach tighten uncomfortably.
"Sir, it's late. I need to go," Harry said, feeling a strong urge to escape.
Snape paused. He swallowed his mouthful and Harry looked away. "So soon?"
"Yes sir, it's very late and I shouldn't have been out."
Snape sighed. "Fine," he said, almost petulantly.
Harry dared to look back at the man. He was not as shocked as he should have been to find the man pouting. He stood up and walked towards the door. He stiffened as Snape rose and followed him. He swallowed hard as he looked up at the man. "G-good night, sir."
Snape leaned down and Harry stepped back, bumping into the wall. His eyes widened as he realized that he was against the wall, with no further to go, but Snape kept getting closer. He nearly fainted when Snape's hooked nose brush against his cheek and he was sure that he blacked out momentarily when the man's lips touched his.
"Harry," Snape murmured.
Harry snapped out of his stupor and shoved the man away. He turned and fled through the door before it even had a chance to open the whole way. He tore through the halls of the castle as if Voldemort himself was on his heels, never once turning to see if Snape was still behind him. He sprinted through the Gryffindor common room and up to his bed. Once under his covers, he curled up, trying to convince himself that it had all been a nightmare and he didn't really taste chocolate on his lips.