In Your Dreams
Everything started the night Severus was in Hogwarts' kitchens and saw
the Gryffindor Golden Boy entering unconcernedly as if curfew hadn't begun
"Good night... professor."
Severus searched for the nastiest sneer in his repertoire and flashed it in reply to the boy's derisive tone. Potter turned his back at him, apparently intending to depart. As if he could get away like that!
"What is it... sir?" the boy answered, emphasising the title sardonically.
"Have a seat. Do you want some tea?"
Potter widened his eyes, astonished, and sat by his professor at the table.
"Yes, professor Snape? Oh, Harry Potter! Dobby will be happy to..."
"Misky, do me a favour: don't warn anyone about Potter's presence here. We're very tired and only want to drink something hot. What do you want, Potter?"
"Er... a hot chocolate."
"So please bring me a hot chocolate and a cup of tea. And some biscuits," said Severus to Misky.
"Misky is going, professor."
And Misky disappeared, returning in a few seconds with a tray.
Severus placed the cup of chocolate in front of Potter, and handed him the plate of biscuits.
"Have a biscuit."
Potter obeyed, more and more surprised.
"Are you having nightmares, Potter?"
"How do you know?"
Severus arched an eyebrow. "Unfortunately, Mr Potter, we have one or two things in common."
"Do you mean... because of my scar... and your Mark?"
"Have you already tried the Dreamless Sleep Potion?"
"Every single night. It's useless."
"Every night? That potion shouldn't be used on a daily basis and Madam Pomfrey wouldn't..."
"I've been preparing it myself."
"You, Potter? Oh, so that's why it isn't working."
Potter glared daggers at him. "I still have a flagon of it. I can show it to you. And Madame Pomfrey's potion doesn't work either."
Severus sighed. "I'm working on new potions to prevent nightmares. Perhaps you could be my guinea pig," he suggested.
Potter didn't seem offended, but neither did he show great enthusiasm. Probably doesn't trust my skills, Severus thought.
"Finish your chocolate and then we'll go to my laboratory."
~* ~* ~
Severus handed him the green phial and told Potter to go to his dormitory, prepare to go to bed and drink its whole content. On the next day, after classes, Potter should return and tell the Potions master if the potion had worked.
~* ~* ~
"It didn't work."
Severus didn't become discouraged. "How long have you been unable to sleep, Potter?"
"About... two weeks."
Severus was amazed. "But... don't you realise how serious this is? If you can't sleep, you become vulnerable to the Dark Lord. How are your Occlumency lessons going?"
"What Occlumency lessons?"
"I thought the Headmaster was going to appoint another wizard to teach you, or teach you personally."
Severus tried to conceal his exasperation. "Sit here, in this armchair. I'm going to give you a potion, and I want you to remain here, in my quarters. I want to observe your reactions."
Potter acquiesced, crestfallen.
A few minutes later, Snape came back with a blue phial, and extended it to him. "Drink the whole content."
Potter uncorked it and sniffed it. He looked surprised, as if he couldn't believe Snape could give him something with a pleasant scent. The potion smelled of flowers. Potter downed the content. "Hmm. That was the first nice potion that I've ever drunk."
"The taste has no importance. Let's see the effect."
Severus sat in another armchair, at an angle to Potter's.
"Wow, that's... wicked!"
"What is it? Describe your feelings to me."
"I'm feeling light as a feather. I'm flying. Oh, how beautiful!" Potter's eyes were glassy and fixed in a vacant stare.
"Tell me what you're seeing."
"The air is full of colourful gems, they are floating. That's amazing." Then the boy set his eyes on the Potions master. "You... your face is so... interesting."
Severus felt himself blushing. "I know. My Roman nose."
"Roman? What a funny word. I dunno. You... I think that, deep inside, you care about me."
"Potter, let's change the subject, shall we?"
"Why? I'm feeling fine."
"That's because I've added opiates to your potion."
"Opi... opiates! Ahaha! Another funny word. You mean... I'm tripping?"
"Yes, Potter. You're tripping."
"Now, now, Severus. I don't think this is a proper thing to do to a student," said Potter, mimicking Dumbledore's voice and bursting into laughter.
Severus felt himself paling.
"Don't be sad," asked Harry, drowsily. "I want to see you smile."
Give him another of your sardonic smiles, Snape thought, flashing another of his trademarked sneers at the boy. "In your dreams, Potter."
"Your voice is... how do you say it? Ah. Hypnotic," said Harry, closing his eyes.
~* ~* ~
Severus slept very badly on his sofa. He woke up early in the morning, put his robes on and waited until the brat woke up. He was about to wake him up when his bedroom door opened and the brat came out, looking completely baffled.
"Good morning, Potter. Did you have any nightmares?"
"Er... No, I didn't."
"Very good. It seems the Papaverea Potion worked well, then."
"The Papav... Er... I don't remember having changed my..."
"I transfigured your robes into a nightshirt," Snape flicked his wand and the nightshirt was turned into the habitual black robes.
"Oh, right. So... I just have to drink that Papav..."
"Papaverea Potion and..."
"It's not that simple. Opiates are addictive."
"Opi..." Harry blushed, probably remembering the nonsensical things he had said the night before. "Oh."
"I need to add an ingredient to counter the addictive properties of the opiates, and perhaps reduce the amount, because they seem to have a strong effect on you."
Harry blushed further, and Severus felt triumphant.
"Come back here tonight, after your classes."
~* ~* ~
When Severus approached Potter with the blue phial, the boy raised his eyes at him, hesitant.
"Drink it, and don't be ashamed. I'm accustomed to the weirdest reactions to all kind of potions. Think of me as... a mediwizard."
Severus sat down, looking forward to the student's embarrassment, and saw him swallowing hard before deciding to drink the potion.
Once again, Potter kept smiling like a fool.
"Describe your feelings to me, Potter."
"I'm flying, floating in the air. And everything glows, everything has a shining halo. Ah!"
"What is it?"
"Wow!" Harry, who was looking at his professor for the first time since the potion started to take effect, looked enraptured. "You're... fantastic. Amazing. Breathtaking."
Severus arched an eyebrow. Potter closed his eyes peacefully.
~* ~* ~
Severus spent the next evening working on the Papaverea Potion. If everything went fine, tonight Potter wouldn't look at him with dreamy and passionate eyes before falling asleep. The Potions master believed he had managed to confine the opiates effect to the sleeping stage.
He saw his predictions being confirmed when the boy fell asleep right after drinking the potion.
Instead of casting Mobilicorpus, as he had done the previous nights, this time Severus took the boy in his arms and carried him to his bed.
And, although he had transfigured the boy's robes into a nightshirt immediately, as in the previous nights, this time he gave him a nightshirt with buttons that went from the collar to the hem. Unfastened buttons. All of them.
After devouring the boy's body with his eyes - so smooth, so lean, with only a fine trail of dark brown hair running down the centre of his stomach and disappearing inside his white briefs - he said to himself that he would fasten the buttons, and lifted his hand to the neck button.
However, the boy, smiling in his sleep, held his hand and took it to his rosy, soft nipple. Teacher and student moaned at the same time.
Severus pressed his lips to a nipple, circling it with his tongue. Still toying with that delightful nipple, he ran his hands over the younger wizard's chest, arms, hips. Then he followed down the path of hair with his tongue, and took the boy's erect cock out of its confines. Unable to resist, he curled his fingers around it and squeezed it gently.
"Oh... Severus... so good! More, please..."
Hearing his name voiced in such a lustful way was enough for Severus to forget any scruples that he might still retain. Holding the boy's cock firmly, Severus started to masturbate him. Now and then, he would rub his thumb over the tip and the sensitive veins around it. When he did, Harry jerked his hips upward.
Severus wanted to take him in his mouth, but he didn't dare. He only
rubbed his nose on the boy's pubic hair, then flicked his tongue over
his balls, applying a light pressure with his
~* ~* ~
Severus slept very badly on the sofa, once again. He dreaded the hour when Harry would emerge from his bedroom and face him. There wasn't any reason to be afraid, he kept repeating to himself. The boy would think it had been a dream. Severus just had to keep his indifferent look.
As soon as the door opened, Severus felt himself flushing. Oddly, the boy also looked embarrassed. Could it be that... Oh, Merlin, could he remember it, somehow? Had he realised that... No. Don't be paranoid.
Severus breathed deeply. "How was your night, Potter?"
"Did you have sweet dreams?"
"Yes. The best dreams ever," Harry answered, blushing.
Severus clenched his hands so they wouldn't tremble, and tried to conceal his nervousness. "Did you have sweet dreams?" Why the hell did he have to ask that?
"Very well," the professor finally said. "We don't need to... make further experiments, then. The Papaverea Potion has been sufficiently perfected."
"You're saying I don't need to..."
"I'm going to give you a phial and all your problems will be solved."
Strangely, the boy didn't look happy. "Right. Er. Thanks."
Severus arched an eyebrow. "Perhaps... a trade is in order... What do you think?"
Harry couldn't blush any redder. "What kind of..."
"Today is Saturday. We don't have classes. The Headmaster knows you are here, and he agreed with my request. Since you are a Parselmouth, I thought that you could help me with the snake's vivarium."
The boy seemed to relax.
Severus, you're a bastard. The boy's terrified. And you're looking for trouble, said his rational side.
But the other side, the cynical and irresponsible, countered: Why are you worried? This is only the old Slytherin way, I scratch your back and you'll scratch mine.
~* ~* ~
Dining with Harry Potter in his chambers, Severus couldn't stop wondering about his own actions. What was he trying to do? To play with the boy's mind? Or to torture himself? Wasn't it enough to have molested his student? And where did the idea of taking him to the snake's vivarium come from?
Yes, it had been a very productive morning: the Golden Boy, being a Parselmouth, had talked to the snakes and helped Severus to improve the conditions of their lives in the vivarium so he could obtain more eggs. But had his purpose really been this when he invited the boy? And why had he invited him for dinner as well?
They spent dinner talking pleasantly about everything related to snakes. Harry told Severus how he had become frightened when he found out he was a Parselmouth. Severus surprised himself commenting about the Dark Lord's power to dominate the snake's minds.
After dinner, Severus dismissed his student. Harry seemed sad to go, and Severus felt his heart contract when he thought the boy would never sleep in his bed again.
~* ~* ~
On the next night, however, Harry came back to Severus's office in a dreadful state. He had been haunted by nightmares again and, this time, his friends hadn't been able to wake him up. He had thrashed all night and nobody could sleep in the dormitory. Severus was very puzzled: why had the potion failed? He gave another dose to the boy, who fell asleep on the armchair immediately.
Sighing, Severus carried him to his bed. As two nights before, Harry held his hand and pulled it to his chest. Severus struggled to keep control, and transfigured the boy's robe into a nightshirt without further procrastination, only holding Harry's hand with his.
But Harry took his hand to his lips and kissed it, without opening his eyes.
"I love you," the boy whispered.
Severus brushed the hair from the boy's face and, knowing that for Harry everything would be just a dream, couldn't resist the temptation. "I love you too, impossible brat."
Then he dropped a tender kiss on the boy's lips and left his bedroom.
~* ~* ~
Severus couldn't sleep that night at all.
How cruel of you to mess with the boy's head like this. You are a monster.
~* ~* ~
Harry woke up early and they took breakfast together in Severus's room. Harry was more inarticulate and wavering than ever. But suddenly he stared at Severus with a determined look. "I think I know what's happening."
Severus shivered inside, fearing what his student was going to say. "Yes, Potter?"
"It's... er... I mean... the potion makes me sleep, but it doesn't prevent nightmares. I don't have nightmares only... when I'm here," he concluded, in a low voice.
Relieved but very surprised, Severus cast a piercing look at Harry. That was utterly ludicrous and... absolutely logical. "Explain yourself, Potter."
"Er. I don't know. I think that... I feel safe here."
Severus stood up and started pacing the room. "Potter, you can't keep sleeping in my chambers every night."
The boy blushed, and Severus had to avert his eyes from him not to... Severus didn't know very well what he wanted to do to him, but either way he felt it wouldn't be anything proper.
"Maybe... if I take something yours... like a pillow?" the boy suggested, looking more and more embarrassed.
"A pillow!" Yes, it was ludicrous and, once again, astonishingly logical. "Very well. We will see. Warn your dormitory companions, though, that if you start having a nightmare, they should take you to the infirmary and call me. If, however, this insane experiment works, come back here the night after, with your Invisibility Cloak, and bring me my pillow."
Harry frowned. "Your pillow?"
"Yes, Potter, my pillow. We will need to replace it every night, I suppose."
~* ~* ~
The experiment worked perfectly. And that's how Harry Potter started to sleep every night with a pillow smelling of Severus Snape, while Severus Snape slept with a pillow smelling of Harry Potter. Not that Severus needed that. Not that he didn't scold himself every night for not casting a deodorising spell on the bloody thing. Not that that didn't make his feelings even more confused.
One night, while they were swapping pillows before going to bed, Harry stretched up and sealed his lips to Severus's, for a fraction of a second. And then the boy simply turned around and left, fast as an Avada Kedavra, leaving Severus staring at the void.
The next night, Severus had him sit on the armchair, planning to scold him because of the kiss. However, somehow the rebuking words refused to leave his lips, and he saw himself talking to his student about Occlumency and suggesting mental relaxation techniques in order to improve his defences. A sort of autohypnosis, explained Severus, trying to contain his impatience.
At first, the boy seemed tense and nervous, probably thinking Severus would try to read his thoughts, but he gradually relaxed. "That's very good. Why didn't you teach me these techniques last year, instead of assaulting my mind that way?"
Always the challenge. It was annoying, but Severus knew it wouldn't do any good to Harry to be submissive too; after all, he would have to face the Dark Lord.
"Last year, we were running against time," he stated, laconically.
When Severus dismissed him and took him to the door, Harry grabbed his shoulders and pulled him down to kiss him. Severus didn't push him away, and reciprocated the quick kiss.
~* ~* ~
For many days, they followed this routine: Harry would arrive in the evening, both would sit and practice mental relaxation exercises. Sometimes they talked about things that had happened during the day.
Before departing for his dormitory, Harry would kiss him, and Severus would kiss him back. Every night the kiss was longer and bolder. One night Harry had tried to slide his tongue through Severus's lips, but Severus only bit Harry's lower lip, teasingly, before pushing him away. The next night, however, Severus let Harry explore his mouth tentatively. And the night after that, Severus met Harry's tongue with his own, in a slow caress. Harry moaned and pressed their bodies together. Severus held him strongly.
~* ~* ~
Sometimes Harry asked hard questions. Severus went as far as telling him about his childhood, dominated by his father, a violent and powerful wizard, a passionate follower of the Dark Lord's ideas. Harry wished to know if it had been because of his father that Severus had became a Death Eater. Severus tried to sum up in a few words.
"It was more in search of acceptance than any other thing. The Dark Lord offered me power and recognition. And a role to play. He made me feel... important."
"I've never wanted to be important," the boy commented.
"Easy words, coming from someone who has always been famous."
Rage seemed to radiate off Harry. "I haven't always been famous! Until I was eleven, I had a miserable life, if you want to know. After that, it got better, I've made friends, but do you think it's easy to be the 'Golden Boy'?"
Severus was surprised by the violence of his reaction. "You ought to learn to control this temper of yours."
"Very funny, coming from you!" was the prompt reply.
"I won't be spoken to in such a tone."
The boy sighed and sank in the armchair.
Severus waited a few minutes to calm down. "The Dark Lord knows how to find the weakest points in every person, and he uses this knowledge to dominate their minds. That's why I'm warning you."
Because Harry still looked angry when Severus ended their lesson, it was Severus who pulled Harry to himself and kissed him long and eagerly. At first Harry was stiff and unyielding, but as Severus kept coaxing him, he relaxed in his arms and started to reciprocate so passionately that Severus had to struggle to keep control and not do anything he might regret later.
~* ~* ~
They never talked about the kisses, or about what they felt. It had to be that way, Severus thought. Because words would give everything a dangerous reality.
~* ~* ~
They attained a level of mental relaxation together that permitted them to share their thoughts. Severus had learned that this, the so-called Communimency, was a rare phenomenon. He had never experienced anything comparable. His two Masters were skilful Legilimens, but they only invaded his mind, never shared their own thoughts with him. Between him and Harry, there wasn't any invasion or dominance. And Severus was amazed to notice how pleasant that experience was. Maybe because they only could share their thoughts after their minds were completely relaxed.
Since they had reached that stage of mental communication, Harry hadn't needed the potion or being near Severus or his pillow to have a tranquil sleep. He told Severus he could sleep well as soon as his mind relaxed and established Communimency with Severus's.
~* ~* ~
"They say I'll have to spend Christmas at Grimmauld Place."
"I know," Severus replied.
"We won't be able to, you know..."
"Of course we won't."
"So, tonight's the last night."
The boy had started to call him by his first name. It was deliciously irritating, as everything else in Harry. "Spit it out!"
Instead of speaking, Harry stood up and approached the armchair where Severus sat and took off his robes, keeping on only his underwear. Under the astonished stare of the Potions master, Harry kneeled at his side and started to unfasten Severus's buttons.
"What do you think you're doing, Mr Potter?"
Words have never been the boy's forte. Apparently aware of it, he sat on Severus's lap and kissed him enthusiastically. Losing his reasoning powers, Severus held the boy against his body, took him into his arms and stood up, carrying him to his bedroom. He laid Harry on his bed carefully, his eyes wandering over the young body. How he longed to touch that smooth skin, trail his fingers over those sculpted muscles, from the collarbone to the considerable volume barely concealed by his briefs. Indeed, Harry's briefs were stretched to the maximum.
Severus swallowed hard.
Severus got rid of his own robes under the fascinated stare of the young wizard, took off Harry's glasses, putting them on the bedside table, and leapt onto the bed, pulling and crushing the slim body against his.
"Oh, Harry. Please tell me... what will you allow me to do? I need to know... now."
Harry buried his face in the curve of Severus's neck. "Anything. Everything," he murmured.
The hoarse moan that left Severus's lips was unrecognisable, even to himself. But an inner voice told him to slow down. He was almost sure that Harry was a virgin, and totally inexperienced. He couldn't do what he wanted to, what his body pushed him to do with the boy.
So he pushed Harry firmly away. "Wait."
Harry looked at him with a look of complete despair. "No, please, don't tell me that we can't."
"I can't believe it. Why... why don't we do the same thing that
you did to me, here, that night?"
"I know it wasn't a dream. Not the first time, nor the second time, when you said... that you loved me too."
"You're speaking nonsense, boy."
"It's useless to deny it. I can tell when I'm under the influence of the potion, and when I'm awake and when I'm... in that state in which I'm neither awake nor asleep."
Severus shuddered. "If you consider my behaviour improper, go see the Headmaster."
Harry frowned, and shook his head. "But... That's not it! What're you talking about?"
The boy seemed dizzy, but Severus believed the time had come for both to face the facts.
"I'm talking about the inappropriate conduct of a Hogwarts' teacher toward a student. I'm not going to apologise, because my conduct was inexcusable. You were in a state of semi-consciousness, and I took advantage of you. Speak to the Headmaster; it's the best you can do. I'm willing to accept the consequences of my behaviour, even if that means losing a fifteen-year job."
"I don't know what you're talking about. I'm not going to tell anything to the Headmaster. If I haven't done it so far, why would I do it now?"
"Why are you only telling me now that you knew?"
"Because I knew that you would have a paranoid reaction."
"Ah. So you're not completely hopeless. You have some notion of the seriousness of the situation."
"What I know is that you're paranoid."
"All this time you knew it hadn't been a dream, and you didn't tell me. So... you have been taking advantage of me during all this time."
"Taking advantage of you? What do you mean?" The boy frowned. "This is ridiculous. You're not saying that I seduced you, are you?"
"Why do you find this idea ridiculous? Only because you're twenty years younger than I am?"
"No, you... moron! The idea is ridiculous because... because you wanted me too, since the beginning. Or not? Tell me you didn't want me."
"Since the beginning? What beginning?"
The boy punched the mattress, with a look of utmost frustration.
Severus took pity of him, and wrapped an arm around his waist. "So you want... the same I did to you that night?"
Harry nodded. "I can do the same to you, if you want."
"Well... I have other plans for tonight. I hope you don't mind a... tiny variation."
"N-no. As long as we do something, you know."
"Besides discussing the relationship all night?"
Severus embraced Harry and kissed him slowly, tasting, teasing, licking, biting his lips, sucking his tongue. While his mouth was busy with the kiss, his hands mapped the boy's back and squeezed his buttocks through his briefs.
Severus tore his lips from Harry's and licked his earlobe, then the sensitive area beneath his chin.
Harry writhed beneath him.
"Do you like this?"
"And this?" asked Severus, putting his mouth over a nipple and starting to suck it.
Still playing with the boy's nipples, Severus slid a hand inside Harry's briefs and cupped his hard cock.
Harry murmured incoherently and reached down with both hands to get rid of his briefs. In that position, it was impossible for him to do it, and Severus was determined not to facilitate his task: he licked down his way until the navel and thrust his tongue into the innocent hole, simulating a caress in a more intimate place.
Finally, Severus helped Harry to take off his briefs. Seeing the boy's cock pointing towards him, begging to be touched, squeezed, licked, his own cock throbbed inside his briefs.
Severus nestled between Harry's legs and, always the teaser, licked the boy's inner thighs.
Severus smirked and breathed hot air on the tip of Harry's cock, already leaking pre-come.
"Oh, gods," the boy whinged.
Taking pity on the young wizard, Severus grabbed his cock around the base and pulled it towards himself. Still teasing, he flicked his tongue along the bottom of his balls and shaft until they became wet. Finally, he licked the tip and the underside, in quick motions, several times, savouring the drops of pre-come.
"Harry, you are so sweet," said Severus, in a surprised tone, lifting his head for a while. Seeing Harry's concentrated and enraptured expression, Severus decided to try and give this boy the best of himself.
The weirdest thing of all was that Severus had never liked giving head. But Harry was different. Everything with Harry was different.
This time Severus blew cool air around the tip, so that when he started to devour it again, his mouth felt much warmer. Harry moaned, and Severus knew he wouldn't stand much longer. He firmly closed his mouth around Harry's rosy smooth cock and, applying more and more pressure with his lips, he started to go down. His mouth filled with saliva, and a low moan escaped from his throat. Why was it so good to have Harry's cock into his mouth? And to feel it throbbing deep inside him, oh, it was heaven. And when both Harry's hands touched his hair, Severus forgot to breathe, forgot to think, but it didn't matter: his own arousal made him go down and down, until he had all of Harry into his mouth. He applied more pressure around the base, only with his lips, keeping his teeth away from the smooth flesh.
Severus started to suck, going up and down the whole length. At the same
time, he massaged Harry's balls with his hands, feeling them tightening
Severus paused so that Harry wouldn't come yet. Dreaming of future pleasures, he rubbed this forefinger around Harry's entrance. When Harry made a movement as if wanting to pull him inside, he couldn't resist, and slid the finger inside. His own cock was achingly hard.
While his forefinger started its journey through the tight hole, Severus continued to suck. Harry's tip touched his throat right when Severus's finger touched the boy's pleasure point, and the spurt of hot semen almost choked him. Heroically, Severus swallowed it all, to the last drop.
When he raised his head to look at his young lover, he felt rewarded by the boy's sated look.
Severus lay by his side, and embraced him. Harry snuggled in his arms. The boy must have felt Severus's cock pressing against his thighs; he lifted his face to look at Severus's. "Will you let me... do the same to you?"
"You won't like it," Severus replied huskily.
"How can you know? I want to learn."
Harry looked at him so eagerly, and Severus wanted it so much that he couldn't say no. And soon Harry was taking off Severus's briefs and nestling between Severus's already spread legs.
"Don't try to swallow the whole length," Severus advised him, trying to look menacing and knowing he was failing miserably. "You may hurt us both, if you try. If you stick to the tip... that's good enough. But mind your teeth."
"All right, professor," Harry replied, astonishingly excited for someone who had just come. The benefits of having a sixteen-year-old lover!
Harry held the base of Severus's cock with both hands and started to lick the tip. Severus feared he was going to come right away, having waited so long for that moment, and enjoying it so much. He dipped his fingers in the dishevelled hair of the younger wizard and bit his lower lip while that warm mouth closed around his tip and started to go down his length. He bit hard, to restrain his drive to plunge deep inside the boy's throat. When Harry licked his underside and rubbed his lips firmly around an especially sensitive vein, Severus moaned, almost cried, and spilled his seed inside that delicious mouth. Closing his eyes, he surrendered to pleasure.
The spasms still ran through his body when lips tasting of himself captured his. Those lips were possessive and generous at the same time, as everything in that impossible boy.
"Do you love me or not, after all?" those lips asked him later, when they were basking in the afterglow in each other's arms.
Severus would rather not answer, after that perfect night. However, he felt he owned a reply to Harry. "I'm sorry if what I'm going to say is not what you want to hear. The truth is I don't know what love is. Some people said they loved me, and I discovered it didn't mean what I expected it to mean. I finally learned that each one gives this word a different meaning. Hence, I would prefer not to answer that question. And you? Do you know what love is?"
"And you think you're in love with me? Why?" asked Severus, unable to understand.
"Oh... because. Because you're brave, powerful and... you care about me."
"When did you start having this... exotic idea?"
Harry blushed. "Since the first time I drank the Papaverea Potion."
"Ah. The opiates. Your love is nothing but a hallucination."
Harry shrugged. "And does it make any difference?"
The boy's reply was wiser than it seemed. Indeed, if love is anything, isn't it a sort of hallucination?
Not saying a word, Severus gazed into his young lover's eyes for a long time. And those eyes suddenly acquired concerned tones.
"So why did you say you loved me, that night?" Harry asked.
Severus felt a knot in his throat, and struggled to breathe. "I felt as if I was in your dream. It was something... poetical."
"You didn't want to disappoint me."
"Oh, I usually don't have this kind of concern. It's more than that. I wanted to be... special to you. In your dream."
Harry flashed a shining smile. "Then I think it was true, what you said."
"Are you sure you're not dreaming still, Harry?"
Sequel: Quetzal Island
Ptyx, February 2005