Snarry-a-Thon11: FIC: Turning Over Gravestones Title: Turning Over Gravestones Author:angela_snape Other pairings/threesome: Very brief mentions of Ron/Hermione, Neville/Hannah, and past Harry/Ginny Rating: R Word count: 4,200 Warning(s): None. Prompt: #105: Harry goes to a muggle club to listen to a band he has heard about. Snape supposedly died in the shrieking shack so Harry is shocked when he sees Severus onstage as the lead singer and very good at it. Summary: See prompt. :-) A/N: Song titles & lyrics (in italics) belong to Hugh Dillon and the Headstones. Thanks to the mods for their understanding and flexibility, and to A for the beta job. Any remaining errors were put there after she had it last.
Turning Over Gravestones
Club Mantra was the hottest gay club in Muggle London, Hermione had said. How she would know that for a fact was beyond Harry. She must've researched it, he thought. He was pretty sure she wouldn't have found this particular information at the Hogwarts Library.
The queue snaked around the corner leading to the club's main entrance, and finally Harry passed through security, where a beefy man in tight leather trousers patted him down, perhaps a little more thoroughly than necessary. The Gravestones were playing the club tonight, and Harry had bought his ticket as soon as he'd heard the group was playing a London date. Their music had a hard edge to it that made Harry feel alive and helped him forget the losses of the war.
The main act hadn't taken the stage yet. A scraggly-looking band - Sparse Venues, judging from the name on the bass drum - was currently belting out a song Harry had never heard before at very high volume. To protect his hearing, Harry surreptitiously cast a sound dampening charm; then he headed for the bar.
"A pint of Strongbow, please," said Harry when the bartender finally turned his attention to him. He left the appropriate coins to cover the drink and a tip on the counter, and took his drink with him as he joined the group of people standing in front of the stage.
Sparse Venues finished their set with crashing cymbals and screaming guitars, and were met with lukewarm applause. Harry suspected that, like himself, most of the crowd were at the club tonight to see the Gravestones. With a name like Sparse Venues, Harry imagined they were used to playing to small, unremarkable audiences. The crowd thinned a little as people returned to the bar for refills, and Harry snaked his way through the remaining audience members to try and get a spot closer to the stage.
The house lights had brightened after Sparse Venues left the stage, and Harry could see the the stage hands setting up for the main act. Their logo - a stylised "G" entwined with a serpent - now shone on the black screen behind the drum kit. Harry took the opportunity to people-watch now that it wasn't so dark, and found that the crowd, mostly male, was an eclectic mix of young men in ripped denims and black concert T-shirts and older men who were much more stylishly attired. None of them really caught his fancy, however. Harry finished his cider and deposited his empty glass on a table near the stage.
When the Gravestones finally took to the stage, it was with their trademark song, Cemetery. The lyrics were a bit morbid, but Harry liked it.
"Went down to the cemetery, looking for love. Got there and my baby was buried, I had to dig 'im up."
Harry stared at the stage, gobsmacked. It can't be him, thought Harry, even as he mentally traced the shape of the lead singer's prodigious nose. He's dead!
As Harry stood there, unmoving, the audience closed in around him. Harry finally broke out of his reverie when the heel of someone's boot landed on his instep.
"Sorry, mate," said the dark-haired owner of said boot, with a wink and a smile. Harry just shrugged, and tried to move closer to the stage.
The Gravestones moved seamlessly into the next song, the guitar-heavy It's All Over.
"You're under my skin, you're between the breaths. You're trolling for friends in a ghost town called Uselessness."
Harry had never seen a picture of the band members; had never really thought about it, actually. Their CD covers were simple, usually some kind of variation on the G and serpent logo, and Harry hadn't looked too closely at them, beyond scanning the song list before he purchased every one he could find.
He did know that the lead singer's name was Toby Napier. Other than the nose, he didn't look much like Hogwarts' former Potions Master. Bald, with earrings studding both ears and tight leather trousers, Napier was hot. Perhaps it was the lack of greasy hair, the snake tattoos that wound around both of his forearms, or maybe it was the passion with which the man sang. No matter what it was, Harry felt desire pooling in his abdomen, and his own trousers were suddenly very constricting.
The Gravestones played for two solid hours and came back for multiple encores before finally the house lights came on. As the rest of the audience members filed out into the night, Harry moved towards the back of the club. Deciding some well-placed pound notes were a better choice than Confounding the club's security staff, Harry sought out the Gravestones' dressing room.
Around the corner from the club office, Harry found a partly open door. A handwritten sign - Gravestones - told Harry all he needed to know. He was about to knock when the door opened fully, and most of the band came out of the room.
"You joining us tonight, Toby?" called the tallest of them. The bass guitarist, Harry recalled. Tim Something-or-other. Harry stepped back to allow them to pass, while trying to hear the answer from within the room.
As they walked past Harry, he thought he heard one of them mutter something that sounded like "that means no" followed by "wanker" from one of the others. Harry smiled. Napier was starting to remind him more and more of Snape. He stepped up to the door, took a deep breath, and knocked on the door frame.
"What is it?" asked a gravelly voice from a corner of the room Harry couldn't see from the door. "I don't wish to be disturbed after performing."
Toby Napier had changed out of his stage clothes into black jeans, a plain black T-shirt, and motorcycle boots. His face had a freshly-scrubbed look that told Harry he'd cleaned off the makeup that was apparently all a part of his rock-star persona. Most of the earrings had been removed, too.
"I'm sorry to disturb you," said Harry, "but I just had to see you close up."
Their eyes met, and Harry knew. He didn't know how the man in front of him had survived what must have been a debilitating loss of blood, but he did know one thing. Toby Napier was Severus Snape.
Severus blinked to clear his vision. The man standing in the doorway bore a striking resemblance to Harry Potter. But it couldn't be him. Surely Potter had married the Weasley girl and produced a half dozen offspring with her by now. He couldn't be standing in front of him in a Muggle nightclub, particularly one in the heart of London's gay village.
Taking a step closer, Severus cast a wordless spell that told him the man was, at the very least, a wizard.
"How did you do it?" asked his visitor.
"I have no idea what you're talking about," said Severus. Deny everything! he thought, even as he considered casting Obliviate. Anything to protect his true identity. Severus had worked hard to come back from near death and recreate himself. He'd thought that by living as a Muggle, he could leave the Wizarding world behind. Perhaps not.
"There was so much blood, in the Shrieking Shack... I thought you were dead. We all did." Potter - as much as Severus wanted to deny it, the man could only be Potter - laughed, a low, bitter sound that came from the back of his throat. "I spoke at your memorial service. I accepted your Order of Merlin, First Class."
"I am sorry, but you seem to have me confused with someone else," said Severus.
"You can deny it all you like. I know who you really are." Potter turned then, as if to leave. Before he did, he turned his head, meeting Severus' eyes once more. "Don't worry. Your secret is safe with me."
The Gravestones' tour took them throughout Europe over the next several months. Occasionally, as Severus sang, he thought he caught glimpses of Potter in the crowd. Singing 'Three Angels' in Munich, there was a green-eyed man with a messy shock of black hair standing in the front row, staring at Severus as if transfixed. Strutting across the stage for the chorus of 'When Something Stands for Nothing' during the encore in Amsterdam, Severus would have sworn on Albus' grave that Potter was there, somewhere in the crowd, just based on a feeling in his gut. Each time, though, by the time the concert was over, there was nobody left in the club who could possibly have been Potter, and no visitors coming around to his dressing room, either. At least, none that interested Severus in the slightest. Consequently, Severus spent many nights alone in hotel rooms.
After the Paris show, Severus had declined his bandmates' invitation to go out for drinks, as was his habit. He'd briefly considered accepting, as it had been quite some time since he'd been out with them socially, however, in the end he'd simply returned to the hotel. Paris was the last stop on their tour before returning to London for a break and some studio time, and Severus was ready to stay put for a while. At least until the North American tour starts, thought Severus.
Severus ordered an omelette and a pot of tea from room service, and settled into the armchair to await his meal. Flicking on the telly, Severus leant back and changed channels until he found the BBC news. He caught up on the news from home until he heard the knock at his door.
Accepting the tray and tipping the black-coated waiter, Severus returned to his chair to eat. The omelette was light, perfectly cooked with just the right mix of cheese and mushrooms. Severus drank his tea until the end of the newscast, and headed for the bath to clean up before going to bed.
Turning the taps on full blast, Severus allowed the steam to build up as he stripped out of his clothes and examined his image in the mirror. The leather collar he wore on stage hid the scars left by Nagini's bite, and the tattoos he'd added hid the faded remnants of his Dark Mark. Pretty good for forty-seven, Severus thought before ducking behind the shower curtain.
Severus stood under the shower, stock-still as water sluiced down his body. The heat of the water eased the tension in his shoulders, and he began to tilt his head from side to side, stretching out his neck. He reached for the hand-milled soap that was his one indulgence - no cheap hotel soap for him - and worked up a lather in his hands. Spreading the suds over his body, Severus felt the blood rushing to his prick as an image of a green-eyed young man with messy black hair sprang unbidden to his mind.
Grasping his prick with his right hand, Severus began stroking himself; slow, lazy pulls on his cock that slid over the firm flesh. He slowly worked a finger inside his anus, wriggling it as he pushed it deeper, even as he increased the pressure and pace of his strokes. His hips moved in counterpoint to his fist until finally he came, spraying the tiled wall with his semen.
"When something stands for nothing... A detached memory... This one's about everything you don't think about until you sleep.
Harry had become obsessed with Toby Napier. Severus Snape. Both of them, he supposed, even though they were one and the same. Considering his sixth-year obsession with the Half Blood Prince, Harry wasn't surprised that he awoke most nights with a raging erection, soaked to the skin with sweat, co-mingled images of the greasy-haired Snape and the bald-headed Napier haunting his dreams.
Never without his personal music player, Harry listened to the Gravestones' music whenever he could. Knowing that Snape was the man behind the voice somehow made the music come alive for Harry, even more so than when he'd first started following the band.
"Heart of darkness... Heart of pain... Heart of darkness... And it's swimming in my veins."
It certainly felt as though Napier/Snape was swimming in Harry's veins. Harry even heard that gravelly voice in his head when he wasn't listening to the music. When he wasn't working on a case, Harry went to internet cafés and followed the Gravestones around Europe, virtually. It was amazing how many videos could be found of the recent concert dates. And the few times the DMLE had sent him to the continent, Harry had been able to pop into a couple of concert venues, but only long enough for a song or two. He tried to justify the time to himself as his lunch breaks, when really he was just there to watch Snape.
"There ain't no time for hearts love and honour. That ship left and I wasn't on her."
The first free weekend Harry had after the Gravestones' tour ended, he set out to find Snape. When Harry went to the address on their CD jackets, he learned that the band had scheduled some studio time, but had no concert dates set for the immediate future. Disappointed, Harry was considering his options - a bribe or a charm - when Toby Napier himself entered the reception area through a door that Harry presumed led to office space for the agency.
"Mr Napier," exclaimed Harry.
Napier arched one elegant black eyebrow, nodding slightly in response to Harry's greeting.
"Um--" faltered Harry. It had seemed so easy when Harry'd envisioned this scene on the tube this morning.
With a shrug of his broad shoulders, and an audible sigh, Napier left the building. Harry followed him, nearly matching the other man's strides in pace and length.
"Mr Napier," called Harry. "Please, I'd just like to speak with you."
Slowing his pace before stopping completely, Napier turned to face Harry. "We both know that you are aware of my true identity," he said at such low volume that Harry had to step closer just to hear. "What is it you wished to tell me?"
"Look," said Harry, his tone matching Nap-- Snape's. "Can we go somewhere a little less public than a street corner to talk?"
"There is a café not far from here that is acceptable," suggested Snape after what seemed like an eternity, indicating the general direction they were to go with his arm.
Harry fell into step beside Snape and they walked in companionable silence to the café. He was surprised when Snape ordered espresso; somehow, he'd thought Snape would be a tea-drinker. They settled with their drinks in comfortable chairs in a quiet corner away from the service counter.
"I don't know how you did it, though I suppose as a Potions master serving a maniacal Dark Lord with a giant pet snake, you'd have stores of antivenin and Blood Replenishing Potion in reserve, but I just had to tell you--"
Snape reached over and placed a finger on Harry's wrist. The simple touch calmed Harry. "Take a breath. You're babbling, Mr Potter."
Harry nodded, and took a sip of his mocha latte before starting over. "After the war, I was at loose ends. I joined the Auror training programme because it felt like the right thing to do, and I do like what I do."
"You sound like you're trying to convince yourself of that fact," commented Snape.
"Don't misunderstand me - I do like my job - but I felt like something was missing. Ron and Hermione got married, then Neville and Hannah, and somehow I knew that marriage to Ginny wasn't going to be the solution to my problems."
"Oh?" The monosyllable was accompanied by a characteristically Snape-like arched eyebrow.
"I'm gay, remember? Club Mantra?"
"It's possible that some of the audience members were there simply to hear the music, Mr Potter, and not because they were homosexual."
"True enough," admitted Harry. "But a lot of straight men I know wouldn't be caught dead inside a gay nightclub, no matter who was on stage that night."
"You were saying, Mr Potter?" Snape took a final sip of his espresso, and set the tiny cup on the nearest side table.
"Please, call me Harry." Harry paused, uncertain how to continue, then decided just to have out with it. He suspected that Snape would leave soon if he didn't get to his point. "The Gravestones' music made me feel like someone else had gone through some of what I'd been through in the war."
"Well, sir, when I found your music, I'd just broken up with Ginny and come out to my closest friends - Ron still hasn't forgiven me - and I felt like a hollow shell of myself. The words, the music-- it got under my skin, and I just had to buy every CD I could find. I suppose you could say I was obsessed."
"It certainly sounds that way."
"Well," continued Harry, "seeing you on that stage made it all make sense for me. Because, in some way, you'd been through the war, and all of Dumbledore's plots and schemes, and Voldemort, and..."
"And you were so vibrant, so damn sexy as Toby Napier, that I think I fell a little more in love with you--" Harry trailed off, steeling himself for Snape's reaction.
Snape rubbed the top of his head - a gesture that suggested to Harry that he missed having hair - and leant forward, speaking so quietly that Harry again struggled to hear his words.
"I don't know how it happened, either, but I have thought about you, since that night at Club Mantra. I could have sworn that I'd seen you at some of our other concerts, too, but I dismissed it as wishful thinking when you didn't turn up in my dressing room afterwards."
"You wanted to see me?"
"So, what now?" asked Harry, hope rising in his chest.
"For now, I will be in London for the foreseeable future, as we are working on our next album," said Snape. "In the fall, we leave for Montreal, where we kick off our North American tour."
Harry asked, "Would you like to have dinner with me?" His stomach chose that time to growl, punctuating his question. "Tonight, perhaps?"
"What did you have in mind?" asked Snape.
"I don't suppose you'd be up for a visit to Diagon Alley?" Harry laughed when he saw how high up Snape's forehead his eyebrows reached. "Relax, I was joking."
"I have not been to Diagon Alley in nearly nine years."
"You've been living as a Muggle, all this time?"
"I have," admitted Snape. "And I have not really missed the Wizarding world, to tell the truth."
"Not even brewing?" asked Harry, curious about how a man who'd been the top of his craft could just give it up completely.
"I do brew simple potions in my kitchen, when I am at home, but it is very difficult to do so when we are touring," explained Snape.
Harry's stomach growled again, reminding him that he'd been trying to convince Snape to join him for supper. "So, how about that dinner? There's a great pub near my flat. I promise we'll be the only wizards there."
"That would be acceptable," said Snape. "While my stomach isn't nearly as vocal as yours, I too, am hungry."
They exited the café, and Apparated from the alley beside it to the alley nearest the pub.
Severus regarded Harry over the brim of his glass as he sipped an after-dinner glass of whisky. He'd certainly matured into a handsome young man in the nearly ten years since Severus had last seen him in the Shrieking Shack. He wore his hair longer now, and it wasn't quite as wild and messy as it had been when he'd been a student. Severus' student, he reminded himself. It seemed like a lifetime ago. Giving himself a mental shake, Severus turned his attention to his surroundings.
The pub itself was nondescript, and looked as though it had been in existence for decades, if not longer. But, the food had been good - the shepherd's pie rivalled Severus' mother's recipe - and the portions were generous. It was a welcome change from the hotel room service he'd been existing on while on tour.
"...ert?" Potter was staring at him with an expectant look on his face.
"I beg your pardon?" Severus stalled.
"I asked if you have room for some dessert," repeated Harry.
"I couldn't eat another bite," said Severus. "Or is that not what you had in mind?"
Harry's cheeks flushed a becoming shade of red. "My next option was to suggest a nightcap. My flat is just around the corner from here."
They haggled for a moment over who would pay the bill. Harry relented when Severus suggested that he could pay for their next meal, and they went out together into the cool, spring evening.
Harry's flat was indeed 'just around the corner'. Severus was not surprised that Harry had chosen to live in Muggle London. After the war, he would have been lauded as the hero he was, and Severus imagined that Harry welcomed the respite that living away from the Wizarding World afforded him.
As he followed Harry up the stairs to the first floor, Severus considered his expectations for the rest of the evening. Harry was attractive and fit - if the way he filled out his jeans was any indication - and Severus admitted to himself that he wanted something with this man. He wanted to find a way to have Harry in his life.
Harry took a deep breath to calm his nervous stomach as he reached the door to his flat. Severus hadn't spoken since they'd left the pub, and Harry was starting to second-guess himself. He thought he'd read the signals correctly, and that Severus was as attracted to him as Harry was to Severus.
A wordless spell unlocked the door. Harry whispered his password, Procer Dimidium Cruor, and the door opened. Harry stepped aside to allow Severus to enter ahead of him. Closing and locking the door behind himself, Harry was just about to offer Severus a drink when Severus turned and planted his hands on the door to either side of Harry's face. He leant in close enough that Harry could smell the subtly spiced aftershave Severus wore.
"If you do not wish this, I will leave now," said Severus, his voice husky and low. The sound sent sparks of desire through Harry's chest and into his abdomen.
"You have no idea how much I want this," said Harry in a voice that nearly crackled with his need to be with Severus.
Harry closed his eyes as Severus closed the distance between them, and groaned when their lips touched. Severus' lips were soft, and warm, and Harry wrapped his arms around Severus' waist, pulling their bodies closer together. His cock hardened when he felt the pressure of Severus' erection in his abdomen, and Harry opened his mouth, deepening their kiss.
Severus worked a hand between them and cupped Harry's length through the heavy fabric of his jeans. Harry moaned again when he felt Severus' nimble fingers unbuttoning his flies and freeing his cock from his boxers. Harry hissed when Severus wrapped his fingers around his heated flesh and tried to resist the urge to pump his hips.
Pulling Harry's prick in measured strokes, Severus nipped at Harry's earlobe and whispered, "Come for me."
That was all the encouragement Harry required. He thrust into Severus' hand for an embarrassingly small number of strokes before spurting his release between them.
Panting, Harry took a moment to cast a quick cleansing spell, before taking Severus' hand and leading him into his bedroom.
Severus awoke to the unfamiliar sensation of not being alone in bed. A messy shock of black hair tickled his nose, and Harry's delectable arse was tucked against Severus' belly. Memories of their night together flooded his brain, and Severus felt the blood pooling in his prick. Harry sighed in his sleep before rolling onto his back. Severus hitched himself up onto one elbow and gazed at Harry as he continued to sleep.
Long, dark eyelashes fanned out over his cheeks, and dark stubble had sprouted on his chin. Severus leant down and pressed a kiss to Harry's lips, soft in sleep. Those eyelashes fluttered as Harry awakened and opened his eyes.
"Good morning." Harry's voice was sleep-roughened, and the sound of it caused a curl of desire to snake through Severus' belly.
"Good morning, Harry."
"Please tell me that this wasn't just a one-off," said Harry after a moments' silence. "I don't think I could bear it if it was."
Relief surged through Severus' veins, and he rolled slightly, pinning Harry to the bed. He kissed Harry deeply before answering. "I do not partake in one-offs."
As Harry cupped the back of Severus neck, pulling him down for another kiss, the last coherent thought Severus had was to wonder how much vacation time Harry had, and whether or not he'd ever been to Canada.