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Complete header information may be found in Part One.

Return to Part Ten

Acts of Will, Epilogue

"—because I'm a better Legilimens than he gives me credit for being," Severus heard Harry saying, from the other side of the kitchen door the next morning.

"It was a difficult time, Potter, even you must realize that. I'm not—"

"Planning to pursue him. I know. You're marrying Parkinson."

"Stay out of my mind!" Draco protested.

Severus smirked. No need for Obliviation after all, I see. Good, he thought, continuing to eavesdrop.

"As long as we're clear—and it's not Potter to you, not anymore."

"No?"

"You saved Severus' life, Draco, and I—"

"None of that," Ron said, interrupting Severus' spying. "You're retired now, Snape."

Smoothing down the dressing gown Hermione had conjured for him, Severus turned and attempted to appear as dignified as possible. "How is your son?"

Ron grinned. "Cedric's bloody amazing—he's already smiling."

Severus bit the inside of his cheek to check a reflexive sneer from spreading across his features. "Is he."

"Hermione says it's just gas, but I know better. My boy knows his Da. . . . So, you're back. Everything all right then?"

"More than, save that I have no clothing, but that's easily remedied."

"Bet you're hungry. I was just going to have a bit of a fry up."

"The pantry is fully stocked," Severus replied, endeavoring to be as civil as Ron.

It wasn't as difficult as he remembered it being.

"So, when did Malfoy get here?" Ron asked.

"That's a good question."

The door opened. "If you two are done eavesdropping, the kitchen's free," Harry said, smirking at Severus before drawing his wand and spelling him dressed.

"Neat trick," Ron quipped, before pushing past Harry into the kitchen, saying, "You hungry?" to his friend as he did so.

"I'll, uh, I'll be right there," Harry called, as the door shut. "Good morning. Sorry I wasn't there the third time you woke up," he said, flushing a bit.

"Mmm," Severus replied, kissing Harry on one temple and then the other before whispering against his mouth, "It's good to be re-embodied."

Harry pressed a smile against Severus' lips and then stood back a bit. "I guess you'll want to talk to Draco?"

"It can wait."

"It shouldn't. I'd kind of like him gone."

"You're not jealous, are you?" Severus asked, wrapping his hands around Harry's hips and pulling him against himself.

"Very, but I'll get over it, and . . . and I should probably go talk to Hermione."

"Ah. Of course. Just remember, she was only doing—"

"What she thought was necessary, I know," Harry said, embracing Severus.

You'd know something about that, as well, wouldn't you? Severus heard Harry think to him; it made him sigh. "You do understand, don't you?"

"It's in the past," Harry replied, leaning up to kiss Severus, "and I just want things to be normal, now."

Normality, thought Severus, is not something I believe any of our lot is ever going to achieve, and then he grimaced as he realized he was thinking of Harry, the Granger-Weasleys, Draco, and himself as some form of bizarre, quasi-family group, but, as he watched Harry go to Hermione, he whispered, "I've been part of worst ones."

~*~

"You're something rather terrifying now, aren't you?" Harry asked Hermione, as he entered the room she and Ron always used when staying at Grimmauld. "Oh, sorry," he said, stepping hastily backward.

"For the love of Merlin, you saw more than that yesterday—come back here."

"You sure? Ron might not like it."

"Sit down, Harry. I'm just breast-feeding. You've seen breasts before."

"Er, well—Ron doesn't like that, either, even if I was married to their owner."

"Speaking of Ginny, she wants to come see me. We fire-called everyone this morning. Is that all right?"

"Of course. Why wouldn't it be?"

"Well, good," Hermione said, shifting Cedric to her other breast. "Do you know, Draco and Brinks were the only ones who would come back here. I don't understand how my co-workers manage, bogged down by so many silly superstitions."

"So, how many of them were working with you on the 'Harry Project'?"

"Not as many as you'd think," Hermione replied vaguely, looking Harry in the eye. "I'm not sorry, you know. You're terrifying, and you wouldn't get help—and you wouldn't talk to us—and I was so afraid you'd . . . . Well, if you're waiting for an apology—"

"I'm not," Harry interrupted her, "and, as it happens, I have to start seeing a mind-healer."

"You agreed to that?"

"I did. I signed a blood oath, too, to do basically whatever the First Sorceress deems necessary for me to do toward studying natural magic."

Hermione sighed. "I can't help thinking that if I'd been a better friend to you, none of this would ever have—"

"Look, I'm not exactly happy about how things happened, but I know I never let you be the kind of friend to me I needed. Remember I said so, 'cause I'm probably not going to repeat it."

Hermione smiled and teared up, and Harry reached out to wipe them gently away.

"So . . . you're not angry?" she whispered.

"No, I'm really not," Harry told her, smiling. "I'm happy, Hermione. Severus, he's—"

"Waiting for you, I think."

~*~

"You really do like them, don't you?" Harry asked Severus, after Ron, Hermione, and the baby had left, several days later.

"So it would seem."

"I can tell you like them, Severus," Harry replied, shifting his position on the sofa to lay his head in the other wizard's lap and look up at him.

"Blast."

Harry laughed. "You'll never be able to hide anything from me now."

"We'll see," Severus replied, stroking Harry's fringe with one hand, while holding a book in his other and pretending, badly, to read it.

Even without their bond, Harry could feel his lover's true intention poking the side of his head and swelling with interest.

"Bought some honey in the market this morning," he mentioned, with exaggerated casualness.

Severus' fringe-stroking hand slid down Harry's throat and chest toward his cock. Squeezing it, he asked, "Oh? And what on earth would I want with honey? You know I take lemon in my tea."

Thrusting upward, Harry whispered, "You could smear it all over my body and lick it off me. You could suck my honey'd cock into your mouth and then suck me clean and dry—again. I don't think we've fucked enough today."

The book fell out of Severus' hand. "You're going to kill me with such language. You know I'm an old man."

"Or perhaps it's you who ought to be 'honeysuckled'," Harry suggested, rolling over to mouth Severus' erection through his taut trousers. You I should fuck, slowly.

"You never do anything slowly," Severus growled more than said, as his hips jerked upward.

Harry raised his head. "I can learn. And we've two more weeks before my other studying will interfere with your lessons."

"Brat," Severus purred, as his hands unsteadily unbuttoned his trousers. "More. Tell me more."

"Order you?" Harry hissed suggestively.

Severus pushed down his trousers and y-fronts roughly to reveal his leaking prick in answer, and Harry forgot all about ordering Severus to do anything, so great was his desire to taste it. Severus had other ideas, however, because he pushed Harry to the floor and fucked him until all Harry could do was gasp out a string of nonsensical Parseltongue.

Love it . . . like this, Harry heard Severus' voice in his mind, and he answered, as he felt Severus shuddering through his orgasm, Love you, love being inside you even when you're inside me, before crying out his own pleasure.

*

Sometime later, Severus whispered, "Mine isn't the only mind you were touching, it seems."

Harry turned to follow Severus' gaze to the hearth. There was a small green snake curled upon it, and it was glowing.

"Oops."

"'Oops', indeed. When do your lessons begin again?"

"Too soon. I don't know how I'll manage being away from you during the days."

Severus sighed. "Well, you won't be far from me, it seems. What was Albus' suggestion for the room of doors again?"

Harry pushed himself up. "You saw her? She gave you a job?"

"Apparently I'm of sufficient skill to be of use as an archivist for Mysteries."

"You're going to be a . . . a librarian?" Harry asked, waving a lazy hand in the snake's direction to banish it.

"More than that. Potion-making is wandless, of course, and the First Sorceress—"

"Ha!"

"—feels that there is a great deal of interesting study to be made of it. She wishes me to incorporate the Potions manuals into a sub-section of Mysteries' archive, and also to test some of the recipes."

Harry lay down on top of Severus and smiled against his lips. "I'm so glad," he said, before kissing him. I'm so glad to know we'll be close.

Threading his fingers in Harry's hair, Severus thought, We'll never be far from each other, never again, my Harry. I promised you that.

*

Harry decided, under the circumstances, to forget that Severus had so recently sworn to leave him if it would keep him safe. A good memory was unpardonable when one's lover had his hand on one's cock.

And good memories are all that I intend to make from now on, he promised himself, because love is magic, too, and it can do anything.

Fin

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