Working in Kind

BY : VSBree
Category: Harry Potter > Slash - Male/Male > Harry/Snape
Dragon prints: 12515
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and characters. All rights reserved to JK Rowling and publishes. This is a work of fiction and I do not receive money for it.

Author's Note: Several works in the mix at the moment, but I'll update where and when I can. Feedback would be appreciated. I am currently looking for a beta if anyone is interested please send a message :)

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and characters. All rights are reserved to J.K. Rowling and publishers. I am not profiting from this fan fiction.

Pairing: Severus Snape/Harry Potter

Working in Kind

Chapter One – Return in Kind

 

It was shortly following the war in which Harry Potter first returned to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry took in the crisp smell of parchment, the cool and expansive breeze in which blew from high to the ceiling mosaic glass windows, and the stone in which scrapped familiarly beneath his well-polished, black loafers.

He straightened his teaching robes, smoothing out the material in his sudden uneasiness. It was his first day back since he had graduated, with honors, and was offered without hesitation the open Defense Against the Dark Arts position. Headmistress McGonagall had regarded him with such pride as she inquired about his future plans. His heart had swelled with a mixture of anxiety and happiness, but accepted nonetheless.

Righting the tie Molly Weasley had gifted him for his first day, Harry continued inside and toward his new office. He was to ready his syllabus before the students arrived for the new term, and he swallowed to moisten his dry throat. The anxiety was building deep in his chest, a burning and tight sort of feeling.

Entering the office provided for him, he rubbed his clammy hands against the material of his trousers. Before he had time to fully cross the threshold, a low and dark as chocolate like voice fell upon his ears.

“Mister Potter, I do believe you are early. Quite uncharacteristic of you.”

Harry rounded to come face to face with Severus Snape. He was leaning against the doorway in his usual teaching robes, his arms tightly drawn over his chest, and his signature sneer ever present. However, Harry no longer felt the tight coil of fear in face of the man. Quite the opposite, really. He felt admiration and respect. Severus Snape had both watched over and protected Harry throughout his years, hiding away his true self and playing spy for the Order. Despite it all, Harry knew he had almost given his life for the cause.

Swallowing, as his throat suddenly felt dry as cotton, he did his best to make the words come. Something...anything. He wanted to thank the man; he wanted to throw his arms around the other in an embrace, but he was sure to be hexed and thrown into the wall no sooner as he advanced on him.

“Yeah,” he retorted lamely. “Figured I couldn't be late on my first day...and all.”

“To be sure,” Severus said while walking past him as if gliding over the stone and taking a seat in front of his dark oak desk. Harry watched him, eyes wide, mouth gaping, unable to completely comprehend what was happening. However, a clearing of the man's throat jolted him and sent him flying towards his own chair. Sitting down as if worried the other might scorn him for his lack of speed, he gazed at Snape.

“Professor Potter,” Snape sneered. “You appear as if you have been Petrified. Honestly, I am no longer your professor and merely a colleague. Headmistress McGonagall has requested that I help you along for your first day.”

“Help me...along...” Harry said dumbly.

His brain was still trying its best to take in the sight of his professor, sitting opposite of him, regarding him with anything other than a scorn. Snape's hair had grown out over the summer, flowing just below his shoulders like a silk waterfall of ebony. His eyes continued to be fathomless pools of onyx, just over the curve of high cheek bones which flowed over smooth skin that carved into a strong jaw. He was still his usually pale pallor, but it appeared a bit healthier than in his days as a spy. Broad shoulders beneath the cover of dark robes; it made Harry wonder if the man as thin as he appear or did he have any musculature to his physique. Though the man's face was still as inexpressive as before, there was a new depth to his eyes that spoke of healing. Maybe Snape was starting to find some semblance of a normal life, Harry pondered.

“Potter,” Snape growled, jerking him from his quiet pondering.

“Yes sir?” Shite! Harry pulled his head out of the clouds with brutal force.

“I see you still have yet to learn the value in listening,” Snape accused. Harry watched as the man drew up straight and bore into him with intensity. “Your required syllabus and reading material are to be reported and turned into the Headmistress before the week's end. Should you require any additional reading material than what is already listed out on the form I have set on your desk, you must bring it immediately to the Headmistress's attention. Is that understood?”

“Uh, yes sir.” Harry mumbled to himself as he read over the list. His eyes jerked from the spot they had read when he heard Snape clear his throat.

“Should you require anything else, you may visit me in my office between the hours of ten o'clock to one in the afternoon. Afterward, you may find me in my laboratory. Are there any questions?” Snape looked to be terribly stiff with Harry. Not that he blamed him. Their last encounter, Snape had all but disclosed his previous feelings for his mother, his quiet watch over Harry, and his overwhelming emotions he held in regard of him. Not to mention, Snape was socially awkward, and now he was being forced to work as colleagues with the son of his childhood rival.

“I will, thanks.” He looked back to the syllabus and heard the man rush from the room. Finally, he relaxed back into his chair with a great heave of air. Something stirred deep within him when Snape was near. He was not sure in the moment what such a feeling was, but it was undoubtedly something in which he was afraid of investigating further. It could easily be described as a feeling of butterflies in his tummy. A useful muggle phrase, and one that forced him to groan at the silent admission.

**-**

It had taken him all day, but here it was, beautiful as anything could ever be—his first syllabus. Holding the parchment up and reading through it once more, he dusted it off and then stuffed it into his shoulder bag. Running fingers through his wayward fringe, Harry stood and stretched his sore limbs.

Thankfully, he did not require anyone's assistance and made it through all on his own. He was sure that if he had visited Snape anytime in the day, it would have been unwelcome, so he did his best to overcome any obstacle or question he faced on his own.

Stepping from his office, he walked the long hall with only his footsteps to keep his thoughts company. His thoughts at previous were surfacing to his extra long appraisal of Snape earlier that day. It made his stomach curl tight within him. He was no fool to his own preferences –having discovered them shortly after his very sloppy meeting of mouths with Cho. However, a man twenty years his senior and in love with his dead mother; Harry had to be off his trolley or a glutton for punishment.

The rush of wind threw back the fringe of his hair as he pushed forward at greater speed. It was close to supper, but Harry was hoping to sneak away to his rooms to avoid any mindless chatter. His head felt hazy, and he had the foreboding signs of a headache on his brow. Deciding to bypass having a meal with his colleagues, Harry made his way into his rooms.

Slumping down and onto the first surface he could, the soft and welcoming couch, Harry let out a deep sigh and threw his head back against the backside. His sore limbs thanked him for a much softer surface to rest on.

Not long after he had began his nightly wind down did he hear the soft rapping at his door. It was probably the headmistress. Lifting from the couch with a groan, he trekked lazily to the door but straightened just before opening it.

“Good evening headmis--” Harry stumbled over his words as Snape regarded him from beyond the door. His eyes were dancing in mirth, most likely due to Harry's assumption, and his hair drawn back and pulled ever so elegantly from his face. The look was certainly more sophisticated—and sexier. Harry internally berated his already straying thoughts.

“Professor,” he coughed out finally. “I, uh, wasn't expecting you.”

“Well you most certainly should have Professor Potter,” Snape replied dryly. “I have heard not a word from you the entirety of the day, and then you so impolitely disregarded your responsibility to dine with us this evening. Quite unseemly of you, Mister Potter.”

Harry looked from those scornful eyes to the floor beneath him. Suddenly feeling very guilty of his actions, he let out a small sigh before turning upwards to give Snape a concurring nod.

“Yes,” he replied firmly. “That was indeed quite impolite. I will remember to do better next time.”

Snape seemed taken aback by Harry's sudden complacency. Well it was true that from their years at Hogwarts as professor and student they did butt heads quite often. Harry, however, had since gained a considerable amount of respect for his professor since then; determined to in a sense right the wrongs of his past, he would listen and follow to his best ability. Nonetheless, Snape was entirely correct in his lecturing. Harry had avoided the other to a great degree and even went on to shucking his duty to dine with the others especially on his first night.

Snape seemed to recover from the small surprise. He only watched Harry with inquisitive eyes. It was the first time Harry had seen the other show an emotion so freely. Caught in the enamor of it, he missed the words spoken to him and merely stared at the lips as they moved with each spoken word. Snape had beautifully thin lips; they may appear on occasion chapped, but from the close scrutiny he now gave them, they were quite moist. Maybe the man had recently moistened them before arriving. Harry's thoughts were once more straying when a booming voice broke his concentration.

“Potter!”

“Yes!” Harry shot upward and became alert to his surroundings. His jump caused his spectacles to skew against his nose, but he dared not fix them as his angry professor—uh, colleague leered at him.

“Did you not hear a word I have said?”

“Sorry,” Harry replied as the flush heated his cheeks. “I was thinking.”

“I beg to differ,” Snape said closing in on him. “You were staring quite intently whilst drooling. I doubt much in the line of great thinking would result in such an action. I will not repeat myself so listen closely. You are to meet with me daily until the term begins so that I can review the expectations of a Hogwarts staff member.”

“Uh,” Harry replied quickly. “Why would I need to meet you? Can't I just read the handbook or something?”

“Handbook.” Snape was pinching the bridge of his nose in annoyance. Harry was starting to feel like a school boy again. It was not as happily nostalgic as he was hoping upon his first day. Regardless, he did his best to avoid further annoying Snape and merely nodded.

“Understood,” he said a little too quickly. “I'll visit you in your rooms then? Or...shall I meet you here? No, no. Um, your laboratory then...well, maybe..”

“Oh do shut up Potter,” Snape finally yelled. Harry was stepping back in face of the man's irritation. He did certainly have a knack for ruffling Snape's feathers despite his best efforts not to. “We will meet in my personal rooms just after lunch, is that understood?”

“Y-yes,” he stuttered out. He could see the man straining against anger and took another step backwards to get out of the blast zone. Last thing he needed was to be hexed an inch within his life by the person he was perpetually trying not to infuriate. Instead, he kept himself as far away as he could. Snape seemed to notice his sudden disengagement because he calmed down with a long breath out and stared Harry with renewed calm.

“We will be working together for a good many days,” Snape started brusquely. “Thus a professional relationship is imperative. I expect that as I have shown my steps in which ensure such a future that I expect you make serious strides in kind. Is that acceptable Professor Potter?”

“Yes,” Harry replied thickly. “Thank you.”

Snape left him without another word. It felt like the man did a good amount of fleeing when he had had his say. Harry let out a groan before returning to his rooms.

**-**

“I expect that you have found your accommodations to your liking, Mister Potter?” Minerva McGonagall sat opposite Harry, her eyes brimming with absolute delight. Harry could not help the smile that soon made its way to his mouth.

“Yes headmistress,” he replied.

“Oh, no need for such formalities, you may refer to me by my given name. Any how, I see that you were quick to get your syllabus in order, and I see no errors in its making so you may use the rest of the week to ready your materials. Severus has been charged to be available to you if you should ever need answers. I fear that I have a great deal to do before the term, so I will be out of office for most of the week.” Minerva smiled sadly before perking. “So I ask that you do your best, Mister Potter. We all had a first day here and were as green as you shall be. No need to keep to yourself. Ask when you need answering. Understood?”

“Yes, thank you.” Harry smiled and lifted himself from his seat. He bowed before leaving. It felt odd to be referring to his previous Head of House in such informal terms, but he was no longer a student. He needed to start to act like the adult –the professor-- he now was.

His eyes were on the floor as he briskly strode down the corridor. Suddenly, he walked headlong into a body and almost fell backwards with the impact. Firm hands wrapped around his upper arms to steady him.

“Still watching your feet when you walk, I see, Potter.” The rich baritone was unmistakeably Snape's as Harry looked up. His glasses were once more skewed against his nose, and he had to pull back to right them as he mumbled his apologies. His shoulder bag had fallen on the impact and papers scattered over the stone floor. He quickly made haste to collect them. Snape stood above him, watching him as he did so with an unreadable face.

“P-pardon me, professor.”

To his surprise, however, Snape knelt down and captured a few stray parchments and thrust them out to Harry as he began to stand.

“How do you expect to make yourself an authority when you use such a tone of voice, Professor Potter?” Snape's smirk was not lost on Harry as he took the proffered parchments and stuffed them into his knapsack.

“Uh,” he replied lamely. His wits were not about him it seemed since he and Snape started their 'professional working relationship.' It had him out of sorts and not just for the uncharacteristic behavior of his previous professor, but due to the rising feelings that bubbled in his belly -- hot and lewd.

He swore to himself that he did not notice the way that Snape looked clad in only black trousers and a form-fitting dark green shirt; nor did he notice how the man was indeed well fitted in that shirt enough so that the musculature beneath was clearly visible. Harry swore he barely noticed that the man's long, ebony hair looked soft enough to touch and there was, in fact, no itchy feeling in his fingers to weave themselves into the tresses. He would not, could not, notice any of these things as he righted himself after the collusion.

Straightening out his spine and regarding Snape with complete eye contact, he nodded his assertion.

“You are, of course, completely correct. I shall carry myself better.” He hoped he appeared at least a bit more authoritative. To be honest, he felt like a peacock strutting around and showing its many feathers. It felt a bit silly, really. Who honestly cared how he was strutting around. Particularly, why was it that Snape even cared enough to mention all these things to him. Sighing, he slouched again.

He almost missed the small upturn of the other man's mouth. Almost --meaning he did not, in fact, miss it. Snape had his arms drawn against his torso and a small smile on the sides of his mouth. Harry lost his handle on his shoulder bag and it once more fell to the floor.

“Bollocks,” Harry groaned and bent over to retrieve it once more. He had never seen the man even show hints of mirth, but here he was, smiling at Harry. It was only a hint of a smile, granted, but a smile in terms of Snape.

“Is it nerves Mister Potter or were you always this inept?” Snape regarded him with another smirk.

He knew the taller professor was mocking him, and his inner Gryffindor was facing the challenge head-on. He roughly shouldered his bag before giving the older man a small glare.

“Not entirely inept,” Harry started as he began to walk passed the taller man's form. “Considering I saved your ungrateful hide before facing one of the most feared wizards to ever live in our times...I would say that makes me a step or two above inept.”

Harry never saw how the other reacted as he stalked back to his personal rooms. His temper had once more caused regretful things to fall from his lips. Even after he had told himself that he would work on trying to be on good terms with Snape.

Harry shook his head as if to erase the thoughts with the action itself. No, Snape had that coming. He had been nothing but mocking Harry since arrived. 'Making steps to ensure that future,' my arse!

Harry seethed in his thoughts, slamming down his bag as soon as he entered his living quarters. Throwing himself down into a chair, he contemplated how he would go about facing the other wizard when he next needed to. Putting his face into his hands, he groaned.

He really had to go bugger things up with Snape all because of a little teasing.

**-**

Harry made his way through the corridor and out into the dining hall. A few of the attending professors waved him over, and he put on his best business smile and joined them. Thankfully, it seemed Snape was not present, so Harry let his shoulders relax despite having not realized they were strained.

Hagrid was bounding towards him like a child running through fields in play. It was clumsy and to some degree, it made Harry lean back worried for his safety. Despite the man's overwhelming size, he stopped directly beside him and slapped a large hand to his back. Harry winced at the sudden jolt but smiled upwards at the man.

“Hello Hagrid,” he said laughing. The man threw himself down into the chair next to him and drew him up in a great side hug. Bone crushing, but it would otherwise be unlike his large friend if it was any normal hug.

“'arry! It's good to see ya,” he bubbled.

They had a small conversation about a few changes within the ministry and then a small discussion of Harry's first day before they finished up their lunch, and Harry was on his way towards the dungeons. It was the inevitable meeting he had been fearing since this morning. Harry was anything if prompt however. He would not give Snape another reason to chastise him.

Flying down the corridor, he let the afternoon sun warm his face before heading into the darkness of the dungeon. He rounded the corner and headed towards the back of the room to knock soundly at Snape's office door.

“You may enter,” came the low-baritone from beyond. Harry hesitated only momentarily before pulling the door open and stepping inside. He walked inside but stalled just beyond the threshold. Snape was sitting at his desk, quill in one hand with his other hand to parchment. His hair fell about his face and his brow creased with concentration. He was a truly intimidating individual, but Harry steeled himself against discomfort and strode confidently to the chair opposite of the man.

“Professor,” he regarded lightly.

Snape continued leisurely, elegantly writing against the parchment. The man's long, beautiful fingers held the quill and flowed over the parchment with ease. Harry had always admired the grace in which the other held. It was grace in which Harry would never display himself; especially with his chicken scratch and constant babbling as he wrote.

Finally, after what seemed like an hour of watching the man fill a small piece of parchment, did he look up to Harry. Snape's eyes were glittering irises of pure black in which enamored Harry away from almost all thought. He could lose himself within those depths, drowning while not struggling against it.

“Potter,” the low, gruff voice pulled him once more from his gaze. His head jerked and a sharp pain shot from his neck. He held the back of his neck hissing. Bugger! That smarted! “Should I even ask as to why you are there, mouth agape, obscenely staring at me like some love-sick boy?”

Harry sputtered and scrambled within his chair. “Sir! I-I was merely waiting until you were done.”

His voice was an octave higher than usual giving way to his surprise. Snape smirked from his chair, leaning forward in an almost predatory way, causing a series of shivers to prickle the flesh of Harry's arms.

“Indeed,” Snape replied, his voice dark and husky with taunting.

Harry's hands clenched the ends of the arm rest. His stomach was as hard as a rock, and his throat felt like it was burning with angry fire. He swallowed trying to calm some of the burning he felt. He withheld the building embarrassment as best he could, but he could feel the blush on his cheeks. He was not some school boy anymore; however, any time he was facing his old potion's professor, it certainly felt as such.

“Shall we get on with it?” Harry asked almost desperately. Snape regarded him with a look before leaning back into his chair, straight and authoritative.

“Every week the staff meets to discuss their current curriculum as it is essential to stay on track. Each staff member takes several days a month for detentions unless they so choose to make time for more. It is expected that you retain a state of unbiased treatment in order to effectively teach your students.”

Harry scoffed at the last part, receiving him a glare before Snape continued.

“You will have regular office hours in which to meet with students, but it is imperative Mister Potter, that you never meet with students in otherwise other locations unless deemed acceptable. Your fame will make it rather difficult for some of the student body to respect such boundaries. I ask that you maintain an aloof if not withdrawn attention to any student in which shows such attention.”

Harry was sure where this conversation was going. He was also very aware of the many fan clubs in which were instituted just after the war a year back. Since then, Harry receives letters of love and admiration daily from witches and wizards alike. Harry let out a breath he had not been aware he was holding.

“You are to report any persistent individuals to either myself or the headmistress, is that understood?”

“Yes.”

Snape stood from his chair, and Harry's body stiffened in response. However, he merely walked around the desk to the back of the room and retrieved a book before setting it in front of Harry.

“Those are notes in which may aid you in your first lesson,” Snape said sitting once more.

Harry looked down at the book and then back to Snape. “For me?”

Snape was smirking again. Harry was not sure if he found the smirk attractive or mocking – maybe a little bit of both. Snape had never been prone to smirking in Harry's school days, so he merely put it towards progress in their relationship – call it ignorant optimism...

“Yes, Mister Potter. I wrote a few key notes in which you may use at your leisure.” Snape pushed the piece of parchment he had only finished a few moments prior to Harry. It listed a few examples of how to go about lesson planning and how to successfully balance both lecture and lab time. Harry found his mouth once more agape. It was easy to understand and extremely helpful. None of which was a characteristic of the man before him. Maybe what Snape had said on his first day was true. Maybe Snape was trying...

“Thank you so much sir!” Harry did not hide his enthusiasm. He was truly grateful to the man especially after their earlier confrontation. “And...I must apologize for what I said earlier...”

Snape held up his hand, stopping Harry from continuing. “I do not wish to dwell on our discussion earlier, Mister Potter. However, I would ask that you detain from speaking so disrespectfully in the future.”

“Yes professor.”

“And for Merlin's sake,” Snape said exasperated. “Stop acting like some school boy being scorned. You are a professor and may refer to me by my given name.”

“Y-you mean...”

“Yes,” Snape said still slightly exasperated. “You may call me Severus. I would rather forget all of those insufferable years as your professor.”

“Right,” Harry said softly. “Then prof—I mean, Severus...thank you.”

Severus gave him a curt nod before shooing him away with his hand. Harry stood after a long minute and rushed from the room with the notebook and parchment held tightly to his chest. He was disorientated by Sna—Severus' behavior. After all the years of hatred and spiteful words, was it actually becoming somewhat of a sound relationship between them? Could they one day maybe even have what may closely resemble a friendship of some kind?

Harry could not help the hope that was bubbling in his chest. Though his heart was screaming for more, his head was complacent with a future friendship of sorts.

Smiling like a goof and running like one for that matter, Harry headed back to his rooms with a new, fresh outlook on his future at Hogwarts.

 

End Note: Thank you for reading! I will do my best to keep up with all the installments but would appreciate any constructive feedback. Until next time!

 



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