“And chaperones for this year’s trip will be Professors McGonagall, Granger, Malfoy and Snape,” Professor Dumbledore said. “Lists on what you need to remember to bring will be given out by your respective Heads of House.”

As soon as the Headmaster finished, the students began talking excitedly between themselves. The seventh-year field trip was something everyone looked forward to after being told about it by the older students. It was supposed to be a trip to test the students and their overall knowledge of magic in different organized adventures, but also a trip for fun.

The teachers tended to think it was fun as well – but this year, one particular Professor found it anything but.

“I see no reason to be forced to join in on this ridiculous trip,” Severus said coolly to the Headmaster once the children had scattered. “The students don’t want me there and you know I don’t like the heat.”

Dumbledore smiled at him. “Of course they want you there – and I’m certain Professor Malfoy won’t want to leave without you.”

Severus glared at Dumbledore. “Professor Malfoy has no say in whether I go to Africa or not.”

“Indeed,” Dumbledore said. “But I do – and on the rotating schedule, it is your turn to go.”

Severus continued giving Dumbledore a scorching glare. However, scorching glares directed towards the Headmaster of Hogwarts never helped and Snape soon found himself packing a bag.

The four teachers and the pack of students went through a series of Port Keys to get to the middle of South Africa. Landing safely in the middle of one of the large game lodges at dusk, the Professors immediately set up tents and wards. They would be living out here, right amongst the animals.

Severus swore. What on Earth had possessed the Headmaster to believe this was a good idea? Forty wild students in the middle of nowhere, all surrounded by man-eating beasts – Dumbledore had to be mad.

“You all right there, Professor?”

It wasn’t one of the students – at least not a student anymore. Draco Malfoy had become a man and a Professor at that. Defence Against the Dark Arts was certainly a good subject to be taught by a man who was so well versed in the Dark Arts to begin with – and since Voldemort had gone, the curse on the position had been lifted. Draco had held the position for two and a half years now.

“I’m in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of children,” Snape sneered at him. “How could I possibly be anything but all right?”

Draco chuckled. He tended to do that – he tended to act as though he was actually friends with Severus. Severus could never understand why; he’d never given the boy – young man – any incentive to believe they were anything but co-workers.

“You’ll be all right, sir,” he said. “The students are making dinner now; I’m sure you’ll feel more comfortable once you’ve eaten.”

“I will feel more comfortable once I’m back in my quarters,” Snape sneered.

He was sharing tents with Draco. The students had a tent for each House and the Professors shared; Granger and McGonagall, Severus and Draco. Had they been forced to share with the students, Severus would have point blank refused to go; he certainly didn’t want to know what went on with his students at night.

Ignoring Draco, Severus walked into the tent. It was a Wizarding tent, of course; the inside was spacious with a room each for Draco and Severus, a living room and a small kitchen area where Severus could at least make his morning cup of tea.

“Which bedroom do you want?” Draco asked.

Severus shrugged. It really didn’t matter to him. He’d be stuck out here for the duration of the week either way; where he slept would make things neither better nor worse.

He heard Draco sigh lightly behind him. “I’ll take this one,” he said and walked into the room to the right.

Snape brought his luggage to the other room and sat down in the reading chair, opening one of the books he’d brought.

The first day had passed with little problem. An adventure course had been set up in the middle of the game park, well protected so that the Muggles wouldn’t see them. Guided by locals who Apparated there the students were taken out to see the animals of the park. The children came back ecstatic, talking loudly and excitedly about the rhinos, elephants and giraffes they’d seen.

Draco was at the end of the line, watching the students so that none of them fell behind or broke off from the rest of the group. Losing one of the students out here really wouldn’t do – within the group, they were protected by the wards the Professors had set up, but outside they were easy prey for the fast and near invisible animals who thought they’d make a good dinner.

Snape was a bit further ahead. Draco watched the man on and off, trying to figure out what was going on in the older man’s head. Since coming to Africa Snape had barely uttered a word to Draco – then again, that wasn’t unusual. Snape rarely spoke to anyone, even at Hogwarts.

“Professor Malfoy,” Dawn Stephenson said, sounding thrilled, “look at those rhinos!”

Draco’s eyebrows rose; without him noticing it, the group had come up right next to a family of rhinos. They were lazily eating the grass off the ground, paying no attention to the humans among them. The wards were on, set so that the animals wouldn’t notice them much.

“I see,” Draco said, acknowledging his student’s words.

After a few moments of watching the large animals, Draco’s attention diverted back to Snape. Draco had frowned at him earlier that morning, when Snape had left his rooms dressed in his usual heavy black robes and long trousers.

“It will get pretty hot around here later on,” Draco had told him but Snape had paid him no heed. Now, Snape’s face was red from the heat and even from some distance, Draco could see the sweat pearling on Snape’s forehead.

In the end, Draco had to shrug it off. He could tell the students to be careful in the sun and to drink enough but Snape would only bite his head off if he attempted to do the same with him. Instead of caring, Snape would call it smothering – and then he would tell Draco that he had been a Death Eater for years and thus he knew how to take care of himself.

Caring about Snape certainly wasn’t an easy task.

Severus was thankful when they arrived back to the tents later on. The walk had taken a lot out of him - the heat had been almost unbearable. He certainly preferred England’s cooler weather. There, he could wear his clothes without anyone telling him they’d be too warm.

Pausing in the kitchen to get a drink, Severus then retreated to his rooms. Then he took a shower – water was magically transported to the tents – and afterwards he sat down with his book.

Six more days to survive. He took a swig of the drink.

There was a knock on the door.

“Yes?” asked Severus.

It was Granger who stuck her head into the room. “Dinner is being prepared and will be served in about half an hour.”

Like Draco, Granger had grown over the last few years. She’d become a confident young woman – and the Professor of Arithmancy after Professor Vector died in the war.

Severus nodded his acknowledgements.

Granger lingered in the doorway.

“Yes?” snapped Severus. “Was there anything else?”

Granger’s mouth became set. “You should drink water instead of alcohol after such a long day in the sun, sir.”

“I wasn’t aware that I needed a babysitter,” Severus sneered.

Granger glared at him but left. Severus wondered when his health and whatnot had become everybody’s business. Granger was still supposed to hate him from all he’d done to her and her friends in school. Now, she was giving him advice on how to live? Even McGonagall had told him he should take off his outer robes when they’d been on the safari.

He scowled at the empty room before finishing his drink.

Draco watched Snape as the days passed. Watched, but never said anything. He noted that no matter how hot and humid the day became, Snape never took his long black robes off. He could stand around watching as the students practiced their skills on different adventure courses, his face bright red and his hair glistering with sweat, but he wouldn’t remove his robes. The students thought it to be gross – and Draco was starting to wonder.

Was there a reason behind Snape’s refusal to remove his robes? Draco had even seen him wrapping his robes tighter around him when they’d become a bit loose.

Draco couldn’t recall any time in the last two and a half years when he had seen as much as an unclad arm of Snape’s. Of course one could be prudish but this was borderline ridiculous.

Then again… Draco thought back to the war; back to the Death Eater meetings. Draco had been forced to join, forced to take the Dark Mark – although by that time he had already pledged his allegiance to Dumbledore. He had no choice but to take the Dark Mark; he was underage and his father would have had him killed if he hadn’t.

Snape had been present at those meetings as well. Draco had soon learned that he was an undercover spy like himself, and was also one to be placed under both the Cruciatus curse and other torture spells for the smallest of mistakes. He remembered Voldemort’s use of knives and other sharp objects; the Dark Lord had used them on Draco as well. He still had the scars to show for it.

He wondered for a moment if the scars were why Snape refused to remove his robes. But Snape couldn’t possibly be that shallow, could he? Everyone knew what Snape had done during the war, so everyone would understand. Wouldn’t they?

The third day dawned bright and clear with an even higher temperature than the previous days. The students and teachers were ushered out of bed before sunrise to go find the lions as they were coming back from their nightly hunt. It took an hour and half of broom riding around the area before they found the beautiful animals but once they did, everyone agreed that it had been worth it.

Later that day, the Professors were organizing another test for the students to pass. This time, it was their Potions and Transfigurations skills that were to be examined.

Draco and Snape were, quite naturally, placed together at the Potions station. Snape had put together a series of questions that the groups of students were to answer. From each correct answer they would get a clue to the potion they were supposed to make. Then the potion would be given to Snape who would assess how well the potion had been done and then, if they passed, give the clue to where they were going next.

The potions ingredients were set out on a series of stones in the middle of a large grass plain. The sun burned at the two men as they waited for the students to come racing on their brooms. Draco who was dressed in a light white tunic, was sweating and kept pouring more water into his body.

“Professor,” he said to Snape, “you should drink some water.”

Snape looked at him. “I have been drinking enough, thank you.”

Draco wondered when; he hadn’t seen Snape drink anything since they arrived out on the plain over an hour ago.

Just then, the students came soaring on their brooms. It was the Hufflepuff team. The Houses were being sent out with forty-five minute intervals each so that not everyone would arrive at the same time.

The students quickly understood what they were supposed to do and began jotting down the answers to the questions and getting the clues. Draco watched as they hurried to start making the potion. Everything was clocked and the House that completed their assignments the quickest won. Draco of course cheered for the Slytherins – how could he not?

Snape assessed the potion and recited the clue that would lead the group to the Transfigurations test. Once the students had bounded out of sight, Draco saw the man’s hand go to his chest. Snape’s eyes were closed and he was swaying.

“Professor?” asked Draco.

“Madam there’s—” Snape mumbled but then broke off, his head snapping up. He looked disoriented for a moment and blinked against he harsh light.

“Severus?” Draco asked, daring to use his name.

“I haven’t given you permission to call me that,” Severus said.

Draco ignored him. “Are you all right? Would you like something to drink?”

“I’m fine,” Snape snapped. “Leave me alone.”

Draco frowned at him. The flushed, red skin of Snape’s face looked anything but ‘fine’. Draco was also almost certain of what he’d heard Snape mumble – it certainly hadn’t been anything coherent. And judging by his behaviour, Snape knew it but wouldn’t acknowledge it.

The Ravenclaws arrived and they solved the questions on the parchment within minutes. The potion was soon brewing.

When the Ravenclaws handed the potion to Snape, he looked at it for a moment. He didn’t seem the least bit concentrated and in the end, Draco ended up reading the note to the Ravenclaws. He wanted them gone; Severus was looking ill.

Above them, the sun shone brightly and without mercy.

“Sir,” Draco said, “you need to drink something.”

Snape looked at him, or just next to him. He mumbled something under his breath that Draco couldn’t hear.

“Sir!” Draco said.

“I don’t—” Snape began but had to break off. He fell to his knees and emptied what little there had been in his stomach.

Draco dropped down beside him. His heart raced suddenly in his chest; something was very wrong. “Severus?”

“’m fine, don’t touch me, can’t touch me,” Snape mumbled, turning away from Draco while still on all fours.

“Severus!” Draco said and grabbed Snape’s arm.

Snape tried weakly to pull away from him but didn’t manage. Instead, he fell down onto the ground, his body heavy. Draco, his heart racing and his mind panicked, turned him over and listened for Snape’s breathing and heartbeat. He gasped at the speed of the heartbeat and the shallow breaths.

“Severus!” Draco said, shaking the man.

Placing a hand on Snape’s forehead, Draco’s eyes widened. He was burning up.

Snape was starting to come to again and blinked up at Draco.

“I need to undress you, sir,” said Draco hurriedly and began unbuttoning Snape’s robes. It was the only thing he could think of at the moment; surely getting the heavy black robes off Snape’s body would cool him at least a bit?

“No,” Snape mumbled as he weakly tried to stop Draco. “Can’t— don’t—”

“Sir, I have to,” Draco said, forcing Snape’s hands away.

Though he’d suspected the skin beneath to be scarred, he hadn’t expected what he saw. He gasped as the fabric fell away. Snape’s skin consisted almost entirely of scar tissue; they criss-crossed over his chest and up to his throat. Draco wondered how anyone could have survived receiving the scars.

“Oh Severus,” Draco whispered, choking up.

“Don’t,” Snape repeated weakly again and turned his head away. His eyes slowly shut as he fell unconscious once more.

Draco put himself together again and then he ripped open Snape’s robes and shirt. Again here the skin was heavily scarred – but what caught Draco’s attention was how it felt on fire.

Fumbling for his water bottle, Draco poured the content of it onto Snape’s face and torso. Then he grabbed his wand and pointed it into the air.

“Casus remedio!” he shouted.

The worldwide call for emergency healers would take a while before it was located, Draco knew. Yet when he looked at Snape, he wondered if the man had a few minutes. His skin was still burning hot, flushed and surprisingly dry. Draco would have expected him to sweat even more and it couldn’t possibly be a good sign that he wasn’t.

Draco removed his own tunic and with a spell, he made it cool and placed it over Snape’s torso. Snape moved beneath his fingers, perhaps on the verge of gaining consciousness again.

Off in the distance, Draco heard shouting. He hoped it was the emergency healers but when he stood up, he saw that it was the Slytherins arriving.

“Marsters!” he shouted at the one in the lead; the Slytherin Quidditch captain.

Jonas Marsters landed a few feet away from Draco. “Yes, Professor?”

“Get your water bottles,” Draco commanded urgently, “Professor Snape is ill!”

Jonas looked down to see his sick Head of House and immediately got the attention of the rest of his classmates. Within a few moments, water bottles had been produced and were handed to Draco.

“Get something that gives shade,” Draco said to the group.

One of the brighter girls in the group pointed at the ground and a second later, a plant began to come out of the ground. It soon formed into a small tree, which grew bigger and bigger. Draco, who would have normally applauded the girl’s wits and given House points, barely noticed, save for the sudden shade.

Snape’s breathing was becoming even shallower and Draco placed an arm under his head to keep the airways free.

Then suddenly there were four pops and out of thin air, four native Healers appeared. Draco sat back and just stared emptily while they worked on Snape. When the Healers asked him if he was all right, he couldn’t answer and they took him with them to Ayotunde Wizarding hospital.

When Severus awoke, Draco was sitting in the chair next to his bed. It wasn’t the first thing he noticed – the sandpaper-dry mouth and the pounding headache certainly begged for his attention first – but it was the only thing that Severus recognised. Other than the sleeping young man, his surroundings were new and strange. The walls were sand-coloured, the ceiling made of dark straw. On the walls hung drawings of the animals Severus had seen out in the wild; elephants, lions, rhinos and giraffes.

He tried to remember what had happened to get him to this strange place but couldn’t remember. He knew he and Draco had been out on the grass plain and he recalled the Hufflepuffs. Then he could remember flashes of the Ravenclaws but he couldn’t quite remember what had happened after that or when they’d left. It had been terribly hot, he knew. His entire body had felt as though it was on fire.

Severus gasped, suddenly looking down at himself. His body protested and his head pounded at the movement and Severus inhaled sharply.

His body was covered in a white sheet and below it, he could feel a pair of light trousers but he was not wearing anything on his upper body. When he realised this, Severus gripped the sheet and pulled it closer around himself – he’d refused to take his clothes off for a reason!

“You’re awake.”

Severus looked to his side, his mask of indifference forgotten because of his aching head and his state of semi-nudity. He stared at Draco.

“They had to remove your clothes,” Draco said softly. “Your body was burning up.”

“Wha’?” Severus found he couldn’t speak; his mouth was too dry. Draco noticed and turned to the table next to Severus’ bed, where ice was lying in a tray. Draco held a piece to Severus’ mouth and he sucked on it.

“You had a heatstroke,” Draco said once he’d sat down again. “You haven't been drinking enough water. And you are wearing far too many clothes in such a hot environment.”

“Stroke?” Severus asked his voice barely above a whisper.

“Heatstroke,” Draco said. “I don’t think it’s the same thing but really, I don’t— I’m just glad you’re still alive, sir.”

Severus didn’t know what to say to this. Save for Dumbledore, no one had ever truly cared for him. After the numerous Death Eater meetings after which Severus had come back worse for wear, no one had ever said that they were happy he was alive. It warmed him, somewhere inside, to hear Draco say it.

At the same time, he felt ashamed. He hated being weak and showing it to others. He didn’t recall what Draco had done in the desert but surely, it involved Draco seeing the scars Severus had tried too hard to keep hidden. Perhaps even some of the students had seen them. Severus fought to keep his cool façade up; being upset made his head pound even more and he didn’t want to show anything more to Draco.

“I shall leave you alone, sir,” Draco said, standing up. “The Healers said you need rest.”

Severus nodded; even as Draco said the words, he could feel his eyelids dropping. Sleep might help him with this awful headache as well. Before Draco had left the room, Severus was asleep.

“How is he?”

Granger waited anxiously outside Snape’s room when Draco emerged.

“He woke up for a few minutes,” Draco said tiredly, not up for the usual sneers and games he and Granger put each other through. “I think he’ll be okay.”

“The Mediwitch I was talking to said they had gotten his temperature down a fair bit now,” Granger said. “Still, they think he should stay under the Chill spell for another twenty-four hours, just to be on the safe side.”

Draco slumped down on the sofa next to Granger. The waiting area was small and rather a lot cosier than the one at St Mungo’s. The walls were the same sand-colour as in Snape’s room and it felt warm and inviting. There were also fewer people in this ward, which made it less noisy.

“I should get back,” Granger said after a long silence.

Draco nodded. “McGonagall probably doesn’t want to be left alone with the students for too long.”

“The guides came to help her,” Granger said quietly. “Besides, they were pretty calm after the Slytherins told the rest what happened.”

She stood up and ran a hand down her light robes. “Tell Professor Snape to get well quickly.”

Again Draco nodded, though he didn’t look at her.

“And Draco?”

Draco gazed up at her.

“You did everything right,” she told him. “Professor Snape isn’t a man anybody can mother – you did what you could.”

Draco didn’t say anything. Granger smiled slightly and then Apparated away. Draco was left wondering if his feelings of guilt were really that obvious. He had wondered over and over again whether he’d done the right thing. Perhaps he could have forced Snape to drink more or made him dress lighter? But no; as Granger had said, Snape wasn’t a man anybody could care for that way.

Yet Draco wanted to care.

A day later, Severus’ room had reached a normal temperature and he had been allowed to dress in a complete pyjama set. Though Severus still didn’t like how weak he must look lying on the hospital bed, wearing a long-sleeved shirt made things a bit better.

Draco stood in the doorway. Their gazes met and Draco took a few hesitant steps into the room and sat down in the chair next to the bed.

“How are you feeling?” Draco asked hesitantly.

Severus wondered what he was supposed to answer. ‘Better,’ was the truthful answer. He could hardly feel worse than he had the evening before. Yet Severus never answered such a question with a truthful answer – he always sneered at the person in question and wondered why he or she was so stupid as to ask. It was usually just a polite question anyway; the person asking generally didn’t care.

Yet Draco’s face looked surprisingly honest, as though he really wanted to know.

“Better,” Severus said finally.

“I’m glad to hear it,” Draco said. “You— you gave us all a scare.”

Severus wondered who ‘us all’ was. None of the snotty brats cared and nor did Granger or McGonagall – right?

Draco held out a small wooden figure. It was an elephant and to its leg was tied a note. ‘Get well soon, Professor Snape’, it stood. A multitude of signatures could be seen below. Severus recognized his Slytherins but to his surprise, there were also students from the other three Houses.

Severus looked questioningly at Draco, who shrugged.

“Don’t look at me. Granger brought it earlier; she said the students decided they wanted to give you something,” he said.

Strangely touched, Snape set the wooden figure on the table next to the bed.

“What happened when I—” Severus broke off; he didn’t know how to put it. ‘Collapsed’ sounded so weak.

Draco looked down. “I don’t know, sir,” he said. “After the Ravenclaws had left, you fainted. You were burning up so I called the Emergency Healers and then— I had to undress you.”

He fell silent at that and studied the floor. Severus looked at him, unconsciously holding onto the sheet covering him a bit tighter. Anger was starting to boil within him; how dare this child undress him?

“I saw your chest, sir,” Draco said finally, looking up and meeting Severus’ gaze.

“You didn’t have any right,” Severus said furiously.

“You would have died,” Draco countered with frustration. “Your body temperature was a hundred and seven! For Merlin’s sake, your brain was melting!”

Severus was taken aback with the intensity behind Draco’s words.

Taking a deep breath and speaking in a calmer tone, Draco said, “What difference do a few scars make? Would you rather have died? Because if I had to do it all over again, I would do it exactly the same.”

Severus wondered where the petulant brat of a Malfoy that he had taught for seven years had gone. This was certainly not the same person. Yet the fire burned inside; a fire of humiliation and anger. His body was deformed, gross and ugly. He kept it hidden so that nobody would see.

The silence dragged on and Draco finally stood up. “I would like to be your friend, Professor. I wish you’d let me.”

Then he left, the door closing softly behind him.

Severus stood undressed before the mirror in the bathroom of the hospital. He hadn’t opened his eyes yet; he was collecting everything he had inside so that he would be able to do it. He hadn’t looked himself in the mirror without clothes on for nearly five years.

He opened them slowly and his reflection came into focus. If he squinted, he couldn’t see them but as the image became clearer, the scars covering his body became apparent. There were very few areas that weren’t scarred.

He felt himself choke at the sight but even now, he couldn’t cry.

Instead, he lifted a hand to his chest and ran it over the uneven surface. His nipples had no sensitivity anymore. Below the skin covering his stomach he could feel muscles but they barely showed through the tautly drawn skin. It was discoloured; his skin went from different shades of blue and purple to light pinks and white.

The scarring continued downwards to his thighs and all the way to his feet. Three toes were still missing; Severus hadn’t been able to get back to Pomfrey quickly enough for them to be re-grown.

There was a knock on the bathroom door. “Sir, your friends have arrived.”

“Thank you,” Severus said roughly, still staring at himself. He heard the man’s footfalls echo off as he left.

Draco had seen this. Now he said he wanted to be Severus’ friend. Was it out of pity? A sense of doing what was right? A service to the world or perhaps to Dumbledore who believed Severus needed a friend?

No. Paranoid as Snape was, he couldn’t believe that it was a scheme of Dumbledore’s or a sense of pity from Draco. Draco had been trying to be friendly to Severus ever since he’d started as a Hogwarts Professor. Severus hadn’t allowed him to get anywhere but Draco had kept trying.

“Oh Severus.”

Severus recalled the words, like a whisper of the distant wind. He believed it was what Draco had said when he’d first seen Severus’ scarred body. Yet his voice it hadn’t been filled with pity but with something else. Shock, of course – but also understanding. Then again, the shock might have had to do with the heatstroke.

Heatstroke. Stroke. Despite the many pains and curses Severus had lived through, a stroke seemed so unlikely. Of course, given his medical record and his weakened body, it really wasn’t strange that he would suffer from one in Africa’s heat. It had nearly killed him and it had been Granger who told him that it was Draco that had saved his life.

Maybe they could build a friendship after all. Maybe Severus should allow this one person inside. Maybe then Severus could begin to heal.


It was the very last night of their week in South Africa. They’d finished dinner and the students had been sent off to pack their things so that they would be ready the next morning. In the tent belonging to Professors Snape and Malfoy however, calm reigned.

Draco was sitting in his room reading a book. He hadn’t turned a page in half an hour as his thoughts drifted; mostly, he thought of the events of the past week. A slight smile when he thought of the animals they had seen and when he recalled the students’ happiness when they’d found out that everyone had passed their tests. A frown when he remembered one test in particular and the near-tragedy it had brought.

They hadn’t spoken since Snape had been released from the hospital. Snape was still one of the most unpopular Professors at the school – yet the welcome he had received, especially from the Slytherins, had been warm. McGonagall and Granger had both spent some time talking with him. Besides, Snape hadn’t joined them on their last safari today; he had strict orders to stay out of the sun. There hadn’t been any time for him to talk to Snape, Draco told himself.

A part of Draco wished Snape would start talking to him. Draco had seen enough deaths in the war to be rather easily scared. He knew how little it took to for something to kill someone. Or perhaps anyone would get frightened in such a situation; Draco didn’t know since he had never been just ‘anyone’.

Perhaps it was better if Snape didn’t try to talk to him. Draco didn’t know what he was supposed to say to the man anyway.

“Reading usually requires giving some attention to the book.”

Draco jumped at the sound of Snape’s voice from behind him.

“Coming into a room usually requires knocking,” Draco said guardedly.

Snape raised an eyebrow.

“What?” asked Draco with a smirk that didn’t reach all the way to his eyes. “Just because you were dying a few days ago, you thought you’d get special treatment?”

Snape’s lips curled into a half-smile. “My mistake.”

Snape stood silently in the middle of the room. He was dressed in light brown robes that covered as much as the black ones had but these weren’t as thick. Snape’s skin was still red from the sun.

Draco looked at the floor and took a breath.

“Thank you for saving my life.”

Snape spoke before Draco had the chance. Draco gazed up at Snape.

“I realise,” Severus said, “that I sounded very ungrateful before. I am not.”

Draco waited a moment, unable to fully understand what Snape was saying. “I— you’re welcome.”

Snape looked at him, his dark eyes piercing. “Professor Granger explained to me that if it weren’t for you, I might have suffered brain and liver damage. It was your quick actions that saved me from that fate and for that, I am particularly grateful.”

“I didn’t really do that much,” Draco said, feeling silly. If he hadn’t been there, the Slytherins would have gotten there a few minutes later. Then again, they might not have found him immediately…

Silence spread. Then Snape spoke again. “You offered me your friendship earlier. If I didn’t forfeit that chance, I— I would like to try.”

Draco looked shocked. Snape actually wanted to be his friend?

Slowly, a smile spread over Draco’s lips. “That wasn’t so hard, was it, sir?” Draco said. “All it took was a heatstroke.”

Again, Snape’s lip curled into a half-smile. “Indeed.” He paused, then said uncertainly, “Well, if we are to do this— this friendship, I suppose it is only right if you call me Severus instead of ‘sir’ or ‘Professor’.”

Draco was glad to hear the uncertainty in Snape’s – Severus’ – voice. It reminded him that Snape hadn’t had a friend in very long time.

“All right, Severus,” he said. He sat back and smiled. “This might be the start of something great.”

“Don’t be silly,” Severus said. He looked suddenly horrified. “And don’t expect me to start hugging or anything of the sort.”

Draco smirked. “I wouldn’t dream of it. Now, please, sit down.”

Draco put away the book he’d been reading and transfigured a shoe into a second chair for Severus to sit in. He smiled inwardly. Whether Severus wanted to admit it or not, this would be the start of something great. He could feel it in his heart. And it was a good feeling.

The End

Read? Review!

Author’s notes: This story was inspired by the following plotbunny, posted on FA by moxody: “There is a school trip to a tropical place. Snape is forced along as a chaperone. He gets heatstroke because he refuses to take off his thick/warm robes. Why?”

Title from this quote: “To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides,” by Henry Ward Beecher.

On the emergency Healers. It’s just an idea I had – we have ambulances and S.O.S. to call, why couldn’t the Wizarding world have something of the sort? Healers especially trained for emergency medicine and with special Apparition training so that they can Apparate with someone else. It fit this story, so I put the idea in.

Casus: emergency
Remedio: heal

Information about heatstroke:

© Cosmicuniverse.net 2002-2013 | Design & production by Cosmic Creativ Consulting