Harry stood staring at the closed doors in front of him, resisting the urge to bring his fingers up to touch his lips again. He had certainly been amused to find Voldemort caught under the mistletoe, but he also hadn't known what he was going to do with the Dark Lord. Kissing Tom certainly hadn't been the first thing on his mind, hell, it hadn't even been the last. The idea of kissing Tom hadn't existed in his mind at all until Dumbledore had told him to finish Tom off. Come to think of it, when had he started thinking of Voldemort as Tom, at least like he was now, without being mocking.
"Harry!" Dumbledore was at his side now, clearly upset and a bit pissed off, "what were you thinking!? You let him get away! You know your duty in this war and you just failed it. Didn't you even think about your parents? Voldemort murdered them!"
Harry tensed, knew his eyes had gone hard and cold, "he was helpless like that. There was no way I could have killed him then and been able to justify it and the Ministry would never have been able to hold him. You may justify murder, but I don't. If you want someone killed in cold blood, then do it yourself, don't command me to do it. And don't you dare bring my parents into this. I know Voldemort murdered them, but I can also guess that they would never want me to murder in cold blood. I've heard enough stories of them to know that much."
Not giving Dumbledore another chance to speak, Harry left the entrance hall and the gaping crowd that had gathered; he just didn't want to deal with any of this right now. As he walked, ignoring Dumbledore's angry shouts from behind him, Harry's ire softened and his confused bemusement returned to haunt him. He had kissed Tom-Voldemort-had kissed the man who had murdered his parents and other innocent people, and he had enjoyed it. Tom had returned the kiss, for however briefly, as well. Harry had been becoming disillusioned about the goals and reasoning of the 'light' side for ages, but had never imagined that his confusion on this war would lead to him kissing the man who was his enemy just because he had been ordered to do something that went against his morals. That brought him back to the first problem, the only problem in his mind, all over again-he had kissed Voldemort. Or should it be Tom now? He did look more like a Tom than a Voldemort with those expressive blue eyes that most would think completely emotionless and that thick head of hair; Harry had a hard time connecting the man he had seen with the evil he was supposed to destroy.
Harry was so lost in these thoughts that he almost passed Professor Snape. It was with mixed feelings that Harry viewed the mistletoe-trapped potions master. This is what he had been hoping for, the reason he had set up the prank in the first place, but right now it seemed a hollow victory. Mentally shrugging and realizing that he had nothing to lost for trying, Harry rose so that he could access Snape's lips, effectively halting whatever tirade the Professor had been spouting mere seconds ago. This kiss Harry made soft, tender, a seeking request that Snape surprisingly opened to and returned. The kiss was everything Harry had expected it to be even though his original fantasy had been something fierce and passionate, a kiss in which they tried to dominate each other similar to the battles of their verbal exchanges. Slowly, together, the two broke off the kiss, Harry vaguely noting the shimmering fairy dust coating them.
"Merry Christmas, sir," Harry said quietly before continuing on in the direction he had previously been heading, leaving his stunned and speechless Professor to stand and gape after him.
That had been at least two hours ago, and Harry was still mulling things over. This kiss with Draco had been filled with adolescent passion, Harry dominating while Draco gave a token fight before surrendering. The kiss with Tom had been altogether different. While at the time he had been in charge, Harry knew that if Tom hadn't been held by the spell that Tom would have dominated him, or at least given him a battle. But then, if Tom hadn't been held by the spell then they would have never kissed, they would have been too busy trying to kill each other once again. There was also the kiss with Snape. Seeing the Professor there, Harry had realized that it was a soft kiss that was right, and it had been. Until that moment he had never visualized anything tender about the sarcastic potions master, but now Harry couldn't imagine the man kissing any other way.
Harry shook his head as if to clear it, and promptly found himself batting away fairy dust. Now that was another puzzlement, but one that he might actually be able to solve. When Colin had freed Hermione, there hadn't been any fairy dust, and Harry had seen a few other couples be freed from the spell without any fairy dust raining around them. Ernie and Hannah on the other hand had been showered in silver dust like he had been when he kissed Draco. Yet when he kissed both Tom and Snape the dust had been golden, he hadn't seen that happen for anyone else. He would have to go to the library and look up mistletoe and see if he could discover anything about it beyond the fact that stepping under it froze you in place until someone kissed you free.
"Harry!" the call had Harry turning to see both Hermione and Ron heading rapidly down the hall toward him; he was slightly amused to see that they were watching the ceiling for mistletoe.
"Are you alright?" Hermione asked, "We've been looking for you for hours. We got down to the hall and heard something about you and Voldemort. We knew you hadn't been taken, but no one else seemed to be able to make sense in what they were saying on what had happened. The people who had been there are all flustered and out of sorts. Even Dumbledore looks upset. What happened?"
Ron on the other hand was gaping at Harry, "you're covered in dust."
Harry decided that addressing Ron would be easiest, "yeah, I should probably go shower it off."
"But that's mistletoe dust," Ron stated, "both silver and gold."
Harry suddenly felt excited foreboding run through his body, "yeah, what about it?"
"You don't know!?" Ron gaped again as both Harry and Hermione stared at him blankly, waiting for an explanation, "If you kiss someone under the mistletoe and you get covered in silver dust that means you could possibly make a good match, at least physically. Gold means a soulmate. Hannah and Ernie got silver dust, and I saw Malfoy earlier walking around covered in silver, maybe Pansy kissed him."
It was Harry's turn to gape before he turned and began to bang his head against the wall a few times, "I'm starting to regret pulling this prank. Why couldn't Draco had been gold, it would have been so much simpler."
"Harry James Potter!" Hermione was appalled, "You are the one who set this all up!?"
Harry nodded, not caring that Hermione was about to start in on him, but Ron had picked up on the Draco comment.
"You kissed Malfoy!?" Ron demanded, about ready to faint, "He was the silver! And you want him to be the gold! Who the hell was the gold dust?"
Hermione had stopped her rant on rule breaking and pulling pranks as Ron managed to successfully distract her and was looking at Harry oddly, "I saw a couple people covered in gold, Dean and Seamus are, but only Professor Snape didn't have anyone to match up with him."
Now Ron really was about to faint, his voice weak and croaky, "Snape's the gold?"
Miserable in his confusion Harry nodded, "it would have been so much easier if it had been just him."
Ron sagged weakly against the wall, "just him? How many people did you kiss?"
Harry couldn't help but smile at the thought of his kisses, even though the emotions they sparked were putting him through the wringer, "just three."
Hermione waved this off as she got herself back on track, obviously no longer interested in who Harry had kissed, "we can finish talking about that later. What happened with Voldemort? Is he going to attack? Do we need to gather the D.A.?"
Harry gave a short bark of laughter, deciding that he might as well drop the bombshell, "Voldemort already attacked."
Hermione was horrified, "and we missed it!? What happened? Are you alright? How did you drive him away?"
It was all Harry could do not to start laughing hysterically, "Voldemort got caught under the mistletoe at the front doors and I kissed him."
Ron finally succeeded in fainting. Hermione's dazed mind on the other hand connected Voldemort with the third person Harry had kissed and the second person to trigger the gold dust. For a moment she could only stare at him in shock, confusion, and perhaps a little bit of hurt, before turning and running away down the hall. Looking down at Ron lying passed out on the floor, Harry shook his head and decided to leave him there.
"Sorry mate," he whispered before setting out in the opposite direction of Hermione, hoping to find peace deeper in the dungeons.
~~ ~~ ~*~
"Crucio," Voldemort shouted the curse, albeit half-heartedly; his mind was still on the events of that morning.
Potter had kissed him. Potter had kissed him, spared his life, and he had kissed the brat back. They were enemies, destined to kill each other. He had enjoyed it. They had enjoyed it. He still couldn't get the image of Potter standing there, two fingers to his lip as fairy dust rained around them both. Gold dust. Voldemort knew what that meant and cursed the knowledge even as it caused him a thrill. Idly Voldemort rubbed a bit of the gold dust between his long, supple fingers. Well, he couldn't very well kill the brat now. Actually, he could, but one just did not kill a soulmate. The next crucio was more forceful then the one before it as he tried to banish his confused emotions as he sent out the curse. It was quite a dilemma he was in.
~~ ~~ ~*~
Severus frowned, but it wasn't the disapproving frown bestowed upon the dunderheads he was forced to teach, it was a frown of puzzlement and indecision. Potter had kissed him to free him from the mistletoe, him, the most despised teacher of Hogwarts. It had been gentle, had drawn him in so that he had kissed back, tentatively wrapping his tongue around Potter's. He had known the instant that the spelling holding him had broken, but he hadn't stopped the kiss. He didn't want to admit it, wouldn't dare admit it to himself past this moment, but he had enjoyed it. He had enjoyed kissing Potter. And then they had been showered in fairy dust-gold fairy dust. Severus let his head thunk onto his hardwood desk in frustration. Potter was his soulmate and he had spent years tormenting and torturing the boy for amusement. Potter was also two decades younger than him. He had probably only kissed him to taunt him. But he could have taunted him enough by leaving him stuck under the mistletoe, he didn't have to kiss him, didn't have to free him.
It was enough to make him scream in frustration, his thoughts were getting him no where. Perhaps a walk around the dungeon would cool him down. If he was lucky he might even find some wayward student to breath down upon and torment. Yes, giving out detentions would surely cure his mood, and with all the mistletoe hanging around it wouldn't be a problem to find someone to clean out his storage closets. Come to think about it, he had a bunch of encrusted cauldrons that could do with a good scrubbing. Feeling a bit more cheerful after pushing his dilemma into the back of his mind, Severus headed for his office door and out into the dungeons, daring to sing a few lines of a song because he was sure he was completely alone this deep in the dungeons.
"You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch," he chuckled on a growl, "Y/ou really are a heel. You're as cuddly as a cactus.../"
Severus found himself trailing off, suddenly no longer finding pleasure in what had to be his favorite Christmas time song. He knew some of the muggleborn students often referred to him as the Grinch because how well he fit the song, but if that was true, then why had Potter kissed him. He really was as cuddly as a cactus, so why had Potter kissed him. And Potter had acted so odd after doing so, there hadn't been any taunting now that he replayed the moment in his mind. Potter had almost seemed lost, confused. He had even wished him a Merry Christmas and seemed sincere, if not a bit distracted, about it. Perhaps it wouldn't hurt to do a little spying on Potter, pay a bit more attention to the gossip surrounding the boy to discover what was going on. Merlin help Potter if he had only kissed him to make him the butt of a joke though, he would see the boy scrubbing cauldrons and dissecting putrid toads for the rest of his academic career. He...
"Hello Professor," the soft voice drew him up short, cutting off his mental tirade; he knew that voice and recognized the resigned face that went with it.
"Potter," for once Severus couldn't seem to inject his usual disdain into his voice as he glanced upon Harry's face, "I think you and I need to talk."
"Yes," Harry agreed, and Severus saw none of the youthful rebellion that Potter usually presented him with, "perhaps then I will find an answer to this mess."
Unwillingly Severus felt his heart sink at Harry's ominous words. The way Potter talked, things were more complicated then just the two of them being soulmates and loathing each other. They did still loathe each other, didn't they?