|snarryhols (snarryhols) wrote in snarry_holidays,|
@ 2007-11-23 19:05:00
|Entry tags:||au: magic, fic, rated: r|
The Price of a Second Chance, for impextoo
Title: The price of a second chance
Word count: 2.126
Warnings: Non-con(ish), angst.
Summary: Nothing in Harry's life had ever been free, not even after the war.
Notes: For the prompt: (I)t is a monstrous thing, to slay a unicorn. Only one who has nothing to lose, and everything to gain, would commit such a crime...You have slain something pure and defenseless to save yourself, and you will have but a half-life, a cursed life, from the moment the blood touches your lips." Canon minus the epilogue.
Thanks to my beta for not allow me to turn in the first attempt and for listening to me moaning and complaining. I love you H!
"Hey Harry, you coming to the pub tonight?"
Harry looked up from his paperwork to see Jim standing by the door.
"Um, how late is it?" he asked stupidly. He must have lost track of time while filling the report for the last case - the office was completely deserted.
"Mate, it’s almost seven; the rest of the guys went down for a drink some time ago!" his colleague said. Harry stood up quickly and grabbed his cloak. "So you're coming?"
"Sorry Jim, I can't. Not tonight." He ran towards the exit, where, thankfully, the floo was unoccupied, and grabbed a handful of powder.
Amused, Jim watched as Harry disappeared amidst the green flames before leaving to join the rest of the crowd down the pub. Harry had been going straight home every Friday for the last few months and everyone knew what that meant: Potter, the lucky bastard, had finally found someone.
They were right, or almost. He had found someone. It just wasn’t exactly someone Harry had expected to find himself in a relationship with.
At first it hadn’t been love. Not for Harry, and definitely not for Severus.
It hadn't been huge a surprise for Harry to find Snape was alive - he had always known he was a man of resources and that killing him wasn't as easy as Voldemort had thought. Harry's passionate defence of him during the final battle had allowed the man to walk free after the war, and he had finally received at least some of the recognition he deserved.
That had not made him a happier person, though.
The first time they had met after the war it had been Harry sought Snape out. There were so many things he wanted, no, needed to know, and the only one still alive who could answer them was Snape.
The hard part had been convincing him to admit Harry into his home and into his confidence. The end of the war had not mitigated his dislike of Harry one iota, it seemed, and nothing short of the threat of camping at his door and pestering him on a daily basis worked.
It had taken some time for Harry to feel comfortable around the other man, but when he finally did, he was shocked to realize he actually liked him. Snape was as sarcastic and malicious as he had always been, but Harry wasn't a child anymore and when those razor-sharp remarks weren’t aimed at him, he had to admit he found them quite funny.
His friends thought he had lost his mind.
Harry didn't care; he got used to hanging around Snape's place when everyone else’s expectations seemed to stifle him. At least Snape never expected anything but the worst from Harry, and in a weird way that felt somehow liberating.
He wasn't even clear how their relationship had evolved from there, only that one night, after a fight with Ginny, he had gone to see Snape to talk. He hadn’t known he wanted to kiss Snape until their mouths were already touching, and it had felt right. In fact, everything had felt right with Snape after that. The fumbling touches, the first time together where both of them were inexperienced and insecure. It had been painful to begin with, but Harry didn't care at the time, and the pleasure in the end had made it worth it.
The morning after had been as awkward as could be expected. Their friendship was still too new and fragile to withstand this kind of change, so of course Snape had reverted to his old nasty self. Harry had left the place cursing his name.
But he had returned. No matter how much they fought, he always returned.
It hadn't been until much later that things had gone wrong.
"I'm home," Harry called, stumbling out of the floo into the living room.
The place was barren and shrouded in darkness. There was no sign of the other inhabitant of the house. Harry took out his wand, lighting the candles and the hearth, and the room warmed up instantly.
"Severus," he called again, hoping to get a response and getting more anxious by the minute when none came. "Severus?"
Nothing. Harry looked everywhere in the house, wishing he had been more aware of the time and left earlier. He’d had a feeling this morning that it was going to be one of the bad days.
"Severus!" he shouted one last time, already knowing there was going to be no answer. "Fuck!" He put his cloak back on and flooed out.
Hogsmeade was thankfully deserted at this time on a Friday evening in winter, the streets too cold for anyone to be outside. Harry ran towards the place where he knew he would find Severus, despite not really wanting to be there. The Shrieking Shack, the one place Severus always returned to on nights like this.
The Shack was as dirty and cold as Harry remembered. Its reputation of being haunted had only been enhanced by the events that took place here during the war. This was where Voldemort had killed Snape; this was where Snape had returned from the dead. Even wizards had their limits in the realm of the fantastical, and resurrection was so far beyond the reach of ordinary magic that it had taken a while for the whispers to die down.
The real story, of course, was less heroic and by no means perfect, but few people were aware of it. That Snape had not come back from the dead unscathed was something Harry didn't share with anyone. Everything had a price, and Snape must have known that when he had taken that potion. He may not have killed the ethereal creatures himself, but he had ingested their blood nonetheless and it had left a taint on his new life that could never be removed.
"Severus?" Harry entered the room where this had all started, his eyes automatically drawn to the faded blood stain in the middle of the floor.
The name was spat out with hatred and disgust, and when Harry looked up Severus was glaring darkly at him from a corner of the room.
"Come to finish the job your friend started?"
Harry closed his hand around his wand, well aware of the danger of the situation. On a good day Snape was a difficult person, on a bad day like this he was downright dangerous. At least to Harry.
"Severus," he said, taking a step towards him. "It's me, Harry."
There was no change or recognition in Snape's eyes, just the same loathing. "Who gave you permision to call me by my name, Potter?" he snarled, and the next thing Harry knew there was a wand pointing at him.
He had been too slow, Harry realized, as his wand flew to the other side of the room. Snape had always been good with nonverbal spells and Harry had forgotten that for a moment.
"Severus it's me, it's not the Potter you think!" he tried again, the first hint of fear creeping into his voice.
"Shut up, Potter!"
Harry tried to move towards his wand but Snape was faster, grabbing the back of his robe and throwing Harry against the wall. "Oh no, Potter, you're not getting away so easily!" he spat, his face mere inches from Harry's. This close he could see the insanity raging in Snape's eyes and he knew there was no way of reasoning with him. Harry struggled, trying to free himself from Snape's hold, but the other man was stronger. "Oh no, you've tortured and humiliated me for years, Potter, and I've never retaliated in kind. But this time, you and your friends went too far. You've cost me the one good thing that I had."
Harry didn't need to be a genius to know what Snape was referring to, and pointing out that he was at least partly to blame for losing his best friend would do him no good. He had been there before. He already knew what was going to happen.
"You have nothing to say, Potter?"
Harry looked at his wand wishing he had been faster,; Stupefied Severus earlier, and saw how Snape’s eyes followed his glance.
"Looking for a way out?" There was a malice in his voice that Harry hated to hear, and he looked at Snape defiantly.
"Let's just get this over with, Snape," he finally said, as calmly as possible.
It had happened before so Harry was ready this time. He made an effort not to cry out while cold and rough hands opened his clothes, ripping the fabric where Snape was too impatient for unbuttoning. There were no kisses and Harry was grateful for that at least, as Snape turned him around and pushed him against the wall once more, face first this time. Harry took the chance to attempt to free himself again, struggling now Snape's grip was weaker.
"You're not going anywhere, Potter," Snape hissed, grabbing his hair and banging Harry's head against the wall sharply.
The blow left him dizzy for a moment and Harry finally stopped moving, accepting defeat.
For the next minutes he kept telling himself this was not Severus, it wasn't him who was pushing inside Harry so roughly, it wasn't him who was biting his neck so hard it felt like he was about to draw blood, it wasn't him who kept pounding into his body completely careless of the pain he was causing. Harry repeated it inside his mind, the mantra the only thing that let him ignore the pain in body and his heart.
This was not his lover.
After what felt like an eternity Snape came with a grunt and a final push, withdrawing immediately.
"Well Potter, now we're even," Snape said nastily as he moved away from Harry. He looked at him as Harry went to pick up his wand. "You can kill me now if you want."
"I don't," Harry said quietly, and then, more loudly: "Stupefy."
Harry was still awake when Severus opened his eyes; he had been unable to stop thinking about what had happened for the rest of the night, wondering for how long he would be able to stand things if they continued this way.
"Harry?" Severus sounded half asleep and completely disoriented, and Harry turned to look at him in the dim light that filtered in through the window.
"Good morning Severus," he said, a small smile on his lips at the sight of the sleepy man.
"What time did you come back, I can't rememb--" Severus stopped, his eyes focusing on Harry's face, making him wonder if he had missed something when he’d healed himself last night. "What's that on your face, Potter?" Severus asked, no trace of drowsiness left in his voice now.
"Huh? What do you mean?" Harry asked, trying to buy some time. It would be useless to tell the truth, it would accomplish nothing but make Severus feel guilty.
"Your face, Potter, that scratch on your face," Snape repeated, his hand moving to touch the small wound on Harry's face.
"Ah, that's nothing. The healer must have missed it after yesterday's mission; things got a bit rough," he lied, although he knew that Snape wouldn't buy it.
He didn't. "Yesterday's mission," he said slowly. "It must be all over the Daily Prophet today, then. They wouldn't let the chance to print more about everyone's favourite hero pass. You don’t have to explain, I'll read it there." He raised himself from the bed and Harry rolled his eyes, grabbing his arm to stop him.
"All right, I’m sorry Severus. I didn't want to lie but I didn't want you to be angry with me." Harry smilied apologetically. "I know I promised I would come straight home, but it was one of the guys' birthday and we went down the pub. I was only going to have one drink but--"
"You went down the pub and got completely drunk," Snape said, his brows furrowing in annoyance. "And that happened, how?"
"I don't know?"
Snape didn't look convinced but let it slide. "Very well, I'll go prepare breakfast then." He shook off Harry's grip on his arm and walked to the door. "I should really let you suffer through your well-deserved hangover, but I think there is some potion in the cabinet," he said over his shoulder.
Harry stayed in bed for a few minutes more while he heard Snape moving in the kitchen.
He wanted things to be like this morning forever, and if that meant lying to Snape and enduring the bad nights, then he'd do just that.
For as long as he could.