Author's Notes: This is my favorite pairing of all time...I hope that I did it justice. Feedback is much appreciated.


By Green


When Severus died, Harry didn't expect to feel much of anything except sexual frustration. He did not expect sorrow or regret or misery. But, lying all alone on their too-large bed, the sheets flat and cold beside him, that was exactly what he felt. Abject, total, bone-crushing misery. He had been tossing and turning for hours, and he wanted nothing more than to turn over, pull Severus to him, and fall asleep breathing in the smell of the crook of his neck. Never mind that they never even did such things while he was alive.

Harry had briefly contemplated transfiguring their king-sized bed into something smaller, but for some inane and purely sentimental reason, he really didn't want Severus's side of the bed to disappear. And making his own side disappear so that he could nestle into Severus's side seemed foolish and even more sentimental. Neither of them were ever foolish or sentimental towards each other, and somehow he felt that being so now would lessen the memories, make their relationship less than what it was. So he lay alone in the huge bed, awake and cold, and felt perilously close to crying, but he wouldn't permit the stinging in his eyes to progress any further than just that. He refused. Severus always told him not to cry.

But their bed was so cold.

He reached over to the bedside table and grabbed his wand, gave an exasperated sigh, and cast a warming spell on the sheets.

The memorial service was tomorrow, and Harry wasn't sure if he wanted to attend. Hermione had convinced him that Severus would have wanted him there, but Harry wasn't sure. They both generally shunned functions like that. They went, sometimes, when it was important, but kept to themselves and ignored everyone else. At Lupin's funeral, Harry had stood awkwardly along one wall, Severus on the other, and they exchanged "God, I want to get out of here" looks for a solid three and a half hours.

Harry noted that the bed was cold again, so he increased the temperature of the warming spell. Draco's funeral had been entirely different than Lupin's--the two of them were Draco's closest friends, and they had had to receive guests and family members that they knew Draco would have preferred not come in the first place. Harry had cried that day, for the first time in years, as he watched his best friend and ally be lowered into the ground. Severus had placed a hand on his shoulder, and Harry, ashamed, had wiped his cheek raw with his hand and stopped crying. But Severus left his hand, a comforting warmth. Harry had realized later that was the only time Severus had touched him in front of other people, the first time, really, when Severus had touched him outside of the bedroom.

The bed was still freezing, and he increased the temperature again. Maybe he was getting old, as Ginny teased him about so often. Maybe his circulation was going bad. But 35 was not old, was it? It was when Severus was dead at 55. Twenty years difference in their age. They had had a joint birthday party when they turned 30 and 50, for Severus's birthday was only two and a half weeks after Harry's, on August 20th. Everyone had shown up, everyone they'd ever known; Draco, with his latest in a long line of lovers, Hermione and Ron and their three children (not bad for five years of marriage), Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, all the other Weasleys (except Fred and George, who had died eight years before. The deaths had almost lost their terrible sting by then), Lupin, Sirius, all of Harry's school friends, the teaching staff, people of Severus's acquaintance whom Harry didn't even know, and random witches and wizards whom Harry had to strain to remember. It had been....well, fun. Severus was laughing and smiling, and Harry was bursting at seeing him that way.

Dammit, was that bed ever going to get warm? He raised the temperature yet again and was someone grumpy as he turned over and closed his eyes. His face was ground into the sheets and he smelled Severus. Tears pricked his eyes. "Dammit!" he roared, and leapt out of bed, stalking across the room, where he began pacing swiftly back and forth. His motions were strong, jerky, stiff, and he saw Severus sitting in bed, his book in his lap, glaring, telling Harry to knock it off and come to bed, and to "Be quiet, for Merlin's sake!" How often had he heard those words? Harry gave a cry of frustration and fell to his knees, the sound that tore from his chest echoing off the bare bedroom walls. He felt the hot tears rolling down his face, but he left them there, let them run down his cheeks and then splatter on the wood floor, testament to what he had lost.

He didn't move for a long time, his sobs loud and wretched, didn't move even when he heard footsteps coming up the stairs, and someone opening the door, stepping into the room. He didn't open his eyes when he felt an arm drop around his shoulders and a heavy head lean again his shoulder. He cried for a long time, and then stirred, suddenly exhausted, against the person wrapped around him. Hermione lifted her head regarded him out of tear-filled eyes.

Harry stood abruptly, scrubbed at his eyes. "He would have hated that," he said, angry all over again. She caught one of his wrists.

"No, no, don't think that. He..." she trailed off, looked over her shoulder as if she expected him to be standing there, a dark presence in the doorway.

Harry pulled his hand free and turned away from her, speaking to the wall. "I never expected this," he said softly. "I never expected I'd miss him at all, much less this much." He looked at her. "I really wish he was here."

She went over to him, hugged him tight to her chest. "What you two had...was different. You didn't have that with anyone else, actually, you couldn't have that with anyone else. That emotionless sort of acceptance. You'd known us too long to ever be like that with us or Draco all of a sudden. But him..."

"Sex," Harry said. "That's all it was."

"That's all the physical side of your relationship was, true. You never cuddled, never touched outside of sex. But your was so much more than that. And now he's gone..."

"Yes," Harry said. "And now he's gone. He covered his face with his hand. "And I never told him how good he smelled, and how lovely his voice was, and how much I liked his cooking-"

She caught his hand again and made him look her in the eyes. "You never got to tell him you loved him."

He sent her a watery smile. "Yeah. That too."

"So tell him."

"What?" His eyebrow was raised.

"Tell him now. Go to him and tell him now."

She let go of him and he stood there for a moment, completely still, and then he spun around and ran through the door, grabbing the jacket Severus had bought him for Christmas last year. It was back wool, fit handsomely over the shoulders, and was easy to tug on while flying down three flights of stairs. The wind was harsh and cold on his tear-wet face as he ran the four blocks to the funeral home. He tore through the door and stood panting in the lobby while the two clerks stared at him from behind their desk. He rested a bit, bent over with his hands on his knees, before he stood and approached the desk. A lady with very tall brown hair that would have made Severus snort in some sort of laughter or amusing satisfaction watched him.

"I need to see Severus Snape," he said.

She just looked at him. "You can't see him, sir--he's dead."

He sighed. "I know that, ma'am. That's why I need to see him."

"We can only let immediate family in to see him, sir."

Harry licked his lips, looked around him. "I'm his partner," he said.

She gave him a "You are the most idiotic moron to ever walk the face of this planet" look, but he was immune to them. He had lived with Severus Snape for over ten years, after all. "Sir, business is not immediate family."

He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. Flashing the scar was always an option, but for some reason he just wanted to tell the truth. "No, no," he said sadly, "I'm gay. He was my partner, my--" he couldn't bring himself to say lover.

"Oh." Her neck colored red and she appeared flustered as she sorted through a stack of papers. "I'll get one of the assistants to take you to see him."

"Thank you so much, ma'am," Harry murmured, and stepped away from the counter to wait with his hands in his pockets. In a short time a young girl with her wand tucked behind her ear came into the lobby through a set of heavily locked and warded doors.

She stood before him and looked at a clipboard. "Follow me, Mr...."

"Potter," he said, earning a flash of a surprised but quickly subdued glance. She led him a long way, through the doors and down a long and twisting hallway to a stark white room with a door at the far end.

"Allow me to unlock the door, and then you can go in and see him. I'll be waiting just outside, when you're ready to go." She brandished her wand at the door latch.

Harry nodded and swallowed. Suddenly, this didn't seem like such a good idea. The doctor opened the door and Harry stepped through. He could have noticed a thousand things about the room , from its slightly yellow lighting to its cracked ceiling, but he had eyes only for the still form lying on a table in the center. Harry approached him slowly. Severus looked...tired. There were bags under his eyes that Harry knew were not there in real life. Harry rested his hand on top of Severus's head, loving the familiar feel of his coarse black hair.

Harry cleared his throat. "I'm really nervous about this, Severus. I don't know why--you're dead, after all. But I guess you know that." He shifted from foot to foot. "Anyway, I'm here to tell you what I never told you while you were alive. I should have, I know, but I didn't know that you'd go and leave me and that I'd actually feel left, y'know? I just thought...Well, I was stupid. I thought I could go without the man who had eaten, slept, and lived beside me for ten years and I wouldn't feel a thing. However, feelings do exist, although you have expressed chagrin at that fact countless times." Harry paused, moved his hand down to rest alongside Severus's face, sighed. "So what I guess I'm trying to say is that I miss you and...and I love you." He bent down and pressed his lips to Severus's forehead. "Goodbye, Severus Snape. I love you."

And as he left the room, the young assistant following behind, Harry felt something blooming in the pit of his stomach, spreading throughout his body, traveling down to the tips of his fingers and toes, encompassing his whole being. At first he was confused, and cast around for the cause. But then, as he walked out the door into the blowing wind, he realized what it was.


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