Harry shouldn't have been wandering the halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry so late at night. Especially so early in the start of his seventh, and final year of school. However, having missed a great deal of the welcoming feast in the Great Hall due to enthusiastic conversation with Ron and Hermione, he was quite hungry. So he found himself, well after curfew, sneaking down to the kitchens.
He could say that his actions were mitigated by the use of his father's Invisibility Cloak, helping him avoid detection. However, the loss of the Marauder's Map at the end of his fourth year was never more keenly felt than when he turned the corner of a hallway and found said hallway blocked not only by the Headmaster, but by Professor Severus Snape, Harry's nemesis.
He corrected himself mentally, reminding himself that their combined efforts had defeated Voldemort at the end of his sixth year. Harry still had nightmares about what the two of them had gone through in the effort to win that victory. He was fairly sure that even Snape hadn't escaped unscathed. He had noticed that while Snape had been staring at him during the welcoming feast, his glare had lacked its normal sneering anger. Instead, Harry had almost felt like a specimen being examined under a Muggle microscope.
None of which made any difference in the current situation. Potentially changed Snape or not being caught out of bed after curfew would still result in a significant loss of points and very likely a highly unpleasant detention. Having frozen at the sight of the two walking towards him, he moved quickly and silently to the wall, wedging himself behind a statue. Harry found himself silently thanking Snape for those lessons on moving stealthily. He recalled that Snape had been fully convinced that he would be the victim of the talents he taught Harry, and the Gryffindor smiled to realize that Snape had been correct.
"Albus, I'm not sure I can do this." Snape's voice rolled down the hallway towards him.
"Now Severus, I'm sure you're making more of the problem than it really is."
"Yes Albus, the fact that I'm having feelings towards one of my students isn't a big deal at all. The fact that I want to bend him over my desk and make him beg for me shouldn't interfere at all with my ability to teach." Snape's sneer would have caused tremors in the bravest of hearts. Harry was flabbergasted. Snape was attracted to a student?
Dumbledore just smiled, patted the Potions Master on the shoulder, and redirected the conversation slightly.
"You know, Severus, we have no rules against teacher and student relationships, as long as all parties are of legal age." Harry couldn't believe it. Dumbledore seemed to be encouraging Snape to act on his feelings. He just had to find out whom Snape was lusting after.
"Yes Albus, because the whole wizarding world wouldn't have a fit over the fact that I'm having feelings towards their personal savior. This is ridiculous. Why couldn't you have just let me take a year's hiatus, and deal with this elsewhere?" Snape seemed to be at the end of his rope, emotionally.
Hold on.... the way Snape said that.... it sounded as if he, Harry, was the object of Snape's affection. Harry knew his eyes had to be saucer-sized, and his mouth hanging open quite unattractively. He was sure if Snape could see him now he'd probably change his mind immediately.
In his shock, Harry missed the rest of the conversation as Dumbledore and Snape moved further down the hallway and around the corner. Harry shook himself and started moving forward again. He finally made it to the kitchens, and tickled the pear in the painting to open the door. After greeting the house elves, Harry collected a fair number of cakes, pies and pasties, and quickly made his way back to the Gryffindor common room.