|janus (janus) wrote in adventdrabbles,|
@ 2009-12-13 20:13:00
Dec. 13, Harry Potter, Severus/Rabastan, Dance with a Real Friend
December 13, 2009
Title: Dance with a Real Friend
Fandom: Harry Potter
Author's Note: Thank you to Slytherinlaurel who kindly acted as my beta.
Severus' mother had needed to send dress robes. They were not heirlooms. They were not new either. The robes had paled from black to a charcoal grey and the once-white shirt had been washed until it too was a light grey. They were not starched crisp and the cuffs, the collar and the hems were frayed. But they were clean and smelled of soap. Severus held them to his nose and smiled, for his mother had washed them for him - just for him. And they were comfortable.
He had not asked anyone to the dance. Well, he had asked, but Lily had gone with James. There had been no one else. He had not danced either, afraid of his lack of grace. Instead he sat at the table quietly, watching for as short a time as he dared before returning to the dormitories. He was not exactly lonely; it was more that he knew that such affairs were not for him. He knew he should try to build connections for such events could be socially critical, but he wasn't sure how to begin.
As soon as he was able, he returned to his books. A knock came at the door frame. He was a little surprised, as it was an open area, after all. Rabastan Lestrange stood there in his impeccable robes, one hand resting against the door, almost self-consciously.
"I saw you come down here. It is early."
"Yes, I..." Severus spread his hands, having no ready answer. This was Rabastan, after all, Rabastan Lestrange, who was three years older and bore almost as much prestige as Lucius had. He was quiet, watching and working always, not as Severus did, almost hungrily, but with an almost smile as if he knew something they did not. He always seemed to be waiting for something.
"Would you like to dance?"
Severus looked behind the other boy. There was no one there, though the music still could be heard. The castle was likely enchanted on such a festive night. Music would play even in the lowest dungeon.
Rabastan held out a hand, and his smile was real this time.
Really? How odd... The moment seemed like a dream, with its own logic. The logic seemed consistent, however. It was not a trick. Rabastan had never been the type to make jokes or fool others for his own entertainment. Severus laid down his book, marking it with parchment, and rose to join the other boy.
He had been extremely attentive at the lessons, counting exactly in his head, looking to see exactly where to place his feet and carefully memorising the formula of the dances they would use. He had even practiced nervously with his fingers on the desk. ONE-two-three, ONE-two-three. The thing he had never mastered was intuition. Not everything was a science.
Now he took Rabastan's hand and let him lead. He was practiced and graceful, assisting Severus without seeming to do so. They had all been taught manners and formal skills when they were very young. Once Severus missed his footing completely and looked up guiltily as he tried to recover the rhythm. Rabastan looked at him without any trace of criticism or sarcasm, leading him back into the steps.
When Severus was comfortable dancing and being with Rabastan, the older boy held him close without saying a word. Rabastan simply moved his arms and hands a little, and Severus' head was cradled to his shoulder; Severus' back was supported, bringing him against his chest. Their feet continued to sway them precisely and smoothly. It was still dancing.
Rabastan smelled of wool and leather, of books and snow and a faint familiar hint of the common-room fire. It was so unlikely; Severus did not know what to think, but it was so smooth, so easy, so uncomplicated that he simply let himself melt into this strange state of being. He thought he could have lived like that forever, in that enveloping contact. There were sounds above them all too soon. The others were returning from the ball.
"Your eyes are shining."
It would have broken the dream for Severus to speak.
"Sometimes, one just wants to hold someone. Or one wants to be held. I see everything, you know."
That would normally have sounded ominous, but Rabastan's tone reassured him. It was a comfort to think that someone knew him.
"In Slytherin," Rabastan quoted, "You will make your real friends. I am one of those friends."
After he had left, Severus lay in his bed with his eyes open. The Yule Ball had been special after all.