|snarryhols (snarryhols) wrote in snarry_holidays,|
@ 2007-12-11 11:38:00
|Entry tags:||fic, post-dh: ewe, rated: nc-17|
A Snarry Epistolary, for stellamoon
Title: A Snarry Epistolary
Word Count: ~10,300
Warnings: Mild DH spoilers, explicit sexual content
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and Co. belong to JK Rowling, Warner Bros., Raincoat Books, Scholastic Books – not me. I’m just having fun; no profits made, no infringement intended.
Summary: After the war, Harry and Snape begin to develop a friendship....
Notes: Thanks and hugs to my beta, S, for her invaluable help, and to V, for her encouragement. To stellamoon... I tried. I really did. I hope this is at least somewhat to your liking, and Happy Holidays to you!
Dear Dear Professor Snape,
I hope it’s okay that I sent Beli on a mission to find you. He’s really good at that sort of thing. I was worried about all the blood you lost in the Shack, but it didn’t look like you’d splinched yourself after we smuggled you off the grounds. I’m still amazed you survived Nagini’s bite, but I guess there are advantages to being a Potions Master after all.
I wanted to thank you for the memories of my mum and for all you sacrificed for the Order. You’re the bravest person I know. And don’t make some comment about Gryffindor sentimentality, because it’s true.
I’m working on getting you a full pardon, but the Wizengamot is really behind. There’s a huge backlog because of all the Death Eater trials and stuff. It shouldn’t be too much longer now, though. Other than that, how are you? I’ve been doing this dual-certification program – I’m trying to catch up on seventh year N.E.W.T. material and train to be an Auror at the same time. It was McGonagall’s idea. I guess she thought we should all finish our educations.
Anyway, sorry I’m your only link to the outside world so far, but thanks again for everything. Beli’ll wait for your reply.
I most certainly did not splinch myself. As regards your bewilderment at my survival: why should the expression which is most at home on your countenance, namely perplexity, ever falter? I am, however, gratified that you managed to grasp the utility of the cauldron. Pity that it should come seven years too late.
Your owl’s name is Beli? I assume you have no conception of the connotations of that appellation; nonetheless, it is an apt name.
As far as my presumed bravery goes, you are, once again, Mr. Potter, incorrect. Do ask Ms. Granger to direct you to a dictionary; I’m sure she will not mind. Sentimentality has not a whit to do with the matter.
Auror training, Potter? You fulfil the expectations of your adoring public so admirably. Who, pray tell, do they have bumbling in my laboratory?
I am as well as can be expected under the circumstances. Oh, and Potter? The title of “professor” no longer applies, so please cease using it to address me.
Mr. Snape Snape,
I don’t know what to call you. I realise you don’t teach us anymore, but your surname alone sounds disrespectful, and “Mr. Snape” is too weird after years of “professor.” I didn’t mean to rub it in your face or anything, though. I settled for “Snape” on this letter, but tell me if you prefer something else.
About the whole “potions and how they are preciously vital to the world and you, Potter, are too stupid to know it” thing: you’re actually wrong. In fact, that first day in class, I was writing down everything you were saying. You made quite the impression with the “bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper in death” speech. Pity you thought I wasn’t paying attention.
You really think I’m an idiot, don’t you? Beli is the Welsh cognate of Bel, the short form of Belenus, the Celtic god of the sun. I looked up all the mythological stuff once I got him – his eyes sort of glow. I decided on “Beli” because I liked how it sounded the most out of the sun gods.
And about the bravery. I think the dictionary definition of bravery – facing danger, imminent death, pain etc. without fear – is an idealisation or purification of the concept. I mean, no one could face Voldemort without at least a twinge of spook. His nostrils alone were scary. That you were able to put aside that fear and do it anyway is the remarkable thing.
Wouldn’t want to disappoint, sir. But I think I’m trying to be an Auror mostly because I don’t know what else to do. I guess you’re right; it’s what people expect of me. We’ve got a new Potions professor, but she’s not at Mastery level, I don’t think. Her name is Moira Pestle.
When I asked how you were, I didn’t mean in a general, detail-less sense, but I’ll respect your privacy, even though I’ve never been very good at doing so. Is there anything I can send to Spinner’s End to make your wait more...tolerable?
“If I prefer something else”? “Snape” is fine, Potter; I would ensure you sorely regretted calling me “Mr. Snape.” After all, you’ve never troubled yourself with deference before; why start now? For what it is worth, I never suspected you of using the title of professor as a mockery. It’s too Slytherin a barb for you.
You insist on proving your ineptitude, Potter. It would not have mattered whether you were carrying on a conversation with Mister Weasley or you were so enthralled that you copied my words verbatim. I had a precedent to establish, and I did so effectively. Whatever feelings you may have had outside of the inimical ones you needed to have were irrelevant.
However, I will confess to being somewhat impressed by your erudite naming of your owl. Do not let it go to your head, Potter, since it wouldn’t take much for you to exceed my expectations of you.
Your understanding of bravery is adequate, even comprehensive, for certain circumstances. However, you seem as inclined to omit my past as you usually are to disregard the rules. My shortcomings were and are considerable, and I had much for which to atone.
This makes an admirable segue: one of the most foolish mistakes I ever made was to do that which was expected of me. If you wish to become an Auror, by all means, do paperwork and be merry. Not knowing what to do is no excuse, Potter; find out.
I shudder most feelingly at the thought of Moira Pestle in my dungeons. Her Veritaserum is murky, her grasp of theory deplorable. If you aspire to an Acceptable Potions N.E.W.T., read your text and ignore at least three-quarters of her instructions.
I should have known that when I finally gave you invitation to muck about in my memories that you would take it as carte blanche to pry. I spend my days conducting research and rereading my collection of Dickens, Conan Doyle, Shakespeare and the like. I would appreciate a subscription to the Daily Prophet, if only for comic relief. If my Gringotts account is ever unfrozen, I will ensure repayment of the fees, plus interest.
Thanks for clearing up the name issue. I guess “Mr. Snape” has some pretty negative associations for you; it’d be kind of like someone calling me Mr. Dursley, I imagine. The comment about Slytherin insults, though...did you know the Sorting Hat sorely wanted to put me in your house? I talked it down, though.
I understand what you mean about it being necessary for us to hate each other. I sometimes wonder what would have been different if we had met without both the past and the future between us – no “Potter,” no Voldemort, no prophesy, no Death Eaters.
Don’t worry. I won’t be upsetting the order of the universe by impressing you again any time soon. I’m not sure it’s really merited anyway – I think I remembered that Hedwig’s name came from flipping through A History of Magic, and that seemed to work well enough, so I chose my second owl’s name via a book as well. Universe righted again?
Yes, you made mistakes, but you were young, and I think nearly two decades of uncertainty, spying, and torture more than makes up for one poor choice. You call my interpretation of bravery “adequate”? I have compiled a few quotations to show you that those much more brilliant than I agree with me:
“Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.” –Franklin Jones
“Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.” –Omar Bradley (this is the guy that led the Allied forces at Normandy in World War II. Do you know much about Muggle history?)
And finally, my trump card: “Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.”
--Aristotle. You can’t say Aristotle didn’t know what he was talking about, Snape.
Thanks for the career advice...I think. It’s just that ridding the world of evil is all I’ve ever known. Defence is my best subject, and my favorite one, but I’m tired of being the hero, even though I doubt you’ll believe me.
It sounds like you know Professor Pestle from experience. Was she a student of yours? I feel sort of guilty because I’ve had your annotated Potions text all this time. Don’t worry; I haven’t been cheating or hexing Draco Malfoy. I’m sending it with this letter so you can have it back.
I would say that I don’t mean to pry, but we both know that’s not very likely. I never did apologise properly for that fifth year foray into your pensieve, did I? For what it’s worth, I’m sorry. But since you shared a bit, I’ll respond: I didn’t know you liked Muggle literature. Hermione’s on an American literature spree herself – postmodern stuff, she says. I like Sherlock Holmes, though; do you know him? If so, which is your favorite mystery of his?
About the Prophet – of course I’ll arrange a subscription. It’ll be under some silly pseudonym, like Polly Potionsmaster. I feel obligated to warn you, though....most of the recent articles are about, well, me. It’s rather tiresome for me, but I guess it could be amusing for you.
Your mention of the impressions you may have formed regarding “Mr. Snape” is dangerously skirting the edge of the prying you claim to wish to avoid. Doubtless you would not appreciate it if I were to casually mention your corpulent excuse for a cousin?
I cannot imagine that the Hat wished to put you in my House. Besides which, Potter, you can’t “talk down” a barely sentient magical artifact. In addition, your next comment about envisaging some sort of alternate universe already demonstrates that you do not belong in the serpent House. Such fancies are quintessentially Gryffindor.
I thank you for throwing Jupiter’s Io back into orbit. I am sorry about your owl, Hedwig, though Beli seems quite intelligent.
My youth is no excuse. After all, if the Wizarding World can expect a knobbly-kneed adolescent to deliver them all from evil, it certainly can similarly demand a seventeen-year-old to transcend blood prejudice when presented with a wealth of evidence, to elect a life without recognition with the assurance that it will parallelly be free from Unforgivables.
Perhaps you have a few more brain cells than I originally postulated, if you use an alchemical philosopher to sway a Potions Master.
Au contraire, Mr. Potter. You are such an abysmal liar that I am aware of your antipathy for the slavering zealots. However, did it not occur to you that to aspire to a career as an Auror is to bring yourself to greater heights of noteriety? If, for instance, you were to do something utterly useless – become a Healer, or teach, perhaps – the public might relinquish their obsession with your thoughtless exploits. It appears, however, that their ardor in following your romantic liasions will not cool.
Moira Pestle was indeed a student of mine; a Hufflepuff, if memory serves (and it does). Moira Pestle is to the 1980s as Neville Longbottom is to the 1990s. Has Minerva been into the lemon drops? I maintain that their hallucinogenic properties were responsible for the employment of nearly all your Defence instructors. I am sending the textbook back to you; I have no use for it any longer. (Here is further evidence of your inadmissability into Slytherin, as any one of your classmates in that House would have kept his mouth shut and used it to his advantage.) I accused you of cheating from the book mostly in furor over your imbecilic use of Sectumsempra and my imbecilic description of it.
If your apology is indeed sincere, I will accept it, although I feel compelled to add that it is two years late.
In terms of the literature I enjoy, Shakespeare was not a Muggle, but yes, I do thoroughly enjoy certain authors of Muggle origin. They do not have access to magic, so they create their own with the pencil, the paintbrush, the conductor’s baton. From The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, my favorite is a tie between “The Red-headed League” (I will refrain from making snide comments about the Weasleys only by the most formidable effort) and “The Adventure of the Speckled Band.” That I enjoyed The Hound of the Baskervilles practically goes without saying. And you, Potter?
Do tell Miss Granger to read The Floating Opera by John Barth if she hasn’t already. Do not mention from whom the recommendation comes, for I have no wish to engage her in a literary debate; my home would be overrun with parchment.
I’m relieved to note you managed to invent a more believable, less conspicuous alias than “Polly Potionsmaster.” It is alternately diverting and frustrating to suss out which bits of the Prophet are true and which are false. I thank you for the subscription.
It’s interesting that you should mention Dudley. We had an awkward moment of reconciliation summer before last, so it wouldn’t bother me now, but I get your drift. He’s considering entering the service, I think, but my aunt wouldn’t like her “Dudderkins” to come to harm. Anyway, sorry for stirring the pot.
Sometimes I wish I hadn’t convinced the Hat to Sort me into Gryffindor. How did I do it? Basically, I just mentally chanted, “Not Slytherin, not Slytherin, not Slytherin...” and it decided to indulge me. In my defence, I was eleven years old, in a terrifying, new place, and I’d gone from a nobody in the cupboard under the stairs to a celebrity in a matter of days. All I knew was that Ron Weasley was my friend and wanted Gryffindor, Draco Malfoy was a berk who went into Slytherin, the evil wizard I was supposed to have killed was in Slytherin, and Hagrid, my very first friend, told me that it was where the “bad’uns” go.
If I had accepted Slytherin, since the Sorting Hat really did give me a choice, maybe it would have improved the reputation of the House, or maybe it would have sullied my reputation. Either one couldn’t have been all that bad, I don’t think. On the other hand, it likely would have caused problems for many Slytherins to associate with me. Like you say, though, what’s done is done. I think that imagining what might have been, while maybe useless, could help me make better decisions in the future, or so I hope. Otherwise, I waste a lot of time woolgathering. (No comment, please.)
Io’s one of Jupiter’s moons? I do miss Hedwig – she always knew what I was saying, what I needed, you know? Kind of like a psychologist (Muggle version of a Mind Healer) and a familiar all in one package. Beli’s a great owl, but I’ll never forget my girl.
I think you of all people should understand that my circumstances were ridiculous! Besides, yes, you had “evidence,” but there were so many conflicting influences in your life. I won’t list them, mostly because of your reaction to “Mr. Snape,” but really, you realised your mistake.
You atoned, and maybe it was for the wrong reasons at first, or maybe it was for all the right ones. Dumbledore always spoke about two things: choices, and love. If you were in love with my mum, and that’s why you made the decision to desert, I think it says a lot about the depth of your love.
Anyway, I’m going to scrabble away from that topic before I lose my nerve and scratch it all out ‘cause it’s too personal. (I just think you need to forgive yourself.) Tell me if it was too personal, but please don’t leave any latent curses on the next letter. I don’t mean to anger you.
Masterful use of sarcasm if I do say so myself, sir. It’s funny you should mention teaching. Remember the D.A. (Dumbledore’s Army) that Umbridge stormed in my fifth year? I really liked helping other kids learn. Combine that with the fact that Hogwarts is home to me, and sometimes I think I’d like to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts.
Well, Professor Pestle has yet to explode a cauldron in our presence, but she doesn’t brew alongside us. Most of us get better marks than we did from you, but it’s probably because she’s so much more lax. Thank you so much for the text; I learned more from it than I did in all my years of instruction from you and Slughorn, which is pretty ironic, considering you wrote the parts that helped so much. If I pass the N.E.W.T. it will probably be thanks to the Half-blood Prince. I accept full responsibility for the Sectumsempra incident, but I also acknowledge that a little more elaboration on the nature of the spell would have been helpful.
Did you ever consider a career as a Spellcraftre?
The apology was definitely sincere. Here’s your laugh (or other equivalent expression of Snapeish amusement – do you ever laugh?) for the day: I only recently learned how to spell “definitely.” For years I thought it was “definately.”
Really? I had no idea “the bard” wasn’t Muggle. Your description of Muggle-made magic is really poignant and wise. I also really liked “The Speckled Band,” perhaps because I like puns so much. I haven’t read The Hound of the Baskervilles, but I think I saw snippets of the film version. Do you know much about Muggle films?
I told Hermione about The Floating Opera, and damn it, Snape, she wouldn’t shut up! She thought I had read it and went off about symbolism and minstrels and suicide. At least she didn’t ask any questions about it, so I could get away with nodding and mmhmming.
You’re welcome. I can clear up a few potential mysteries for you: No, I am not sleeping with Ginny and Ron in a incestuous threesome; yes, Seamus Finnigan is taking bets about when Gin and I’ll break up.
Your cousin has pet names? He is the same age as you, is he not? Can someone that elephantine pass the physical examination required to conscript?
I confess I have never heard of an instance in which the Sorting Hat bestowed an option upon a First Year. You were, at intermittent occasions, rather Slytherin in your escapades, I suppose, but you never learned how to manipulate. If you had gone into Slytherin, it would have complicated my job considerably. I also assumed the cupboard I saw in your memories was for punishment of transgressions. Do you mean to say you acutally lived belowstairs in a cupboard?
Yes, Io is one of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter, along with Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. It’s the most volcanically active moon in the solar system, and it also has the highest density of all the moons. If Hedwig was your father confessor, I’m sure she’s luxuriating in the dilemma-less afterlife.
I will concede that your situation was singular, not to mention bizarre in the extreme. While it is perhaps faulty to make incongruous comparisons, I feel compelled to mention that plenty of students, under the influence of those self-same conflicting impetuses, choose the fork that, if not the “right” one, is at least the one of lighter shades of grey.
Your attempts to justify my choices are both wholly unnecessary and overwhelmingly magnanimous. That I loved your mother is true; that I was </i>in love</i> with her is false. She was a brilliant and generous woman, and one could hardly meet her without loving her.
You have not angered me. I suppose it is natural that you are curious about my relationship with your mother. I will be certain to inform you should you overstep any boundaries, as I did with your mention of Tobias Snape.
How could I possibly forget your minion-training? You indubitably gave your fellow classmates knowledge they could not have obtained elsewhere. Of course, you did it in the most blatantly verboten of ways. A boot-legged Patronus is still a Patronus, I will allow.
Years distort an adult’s understanding of how an adolescent grasps a concept; I am no longer the Half-blood Prince, as you seem to acknowledge. If you were to pass the Potions N.E.W.T. I have no doubts that you would owe most of the mark to your enviable luck.
I did indeed consider a career in spellcrafting; I had the marks necessary to obtain an apprenticeship and eventually enter the Guild. The years in service of the Dark Lord have tempered my enthusiasm for the art, and potions currently take precedence in my favour.
Yes, Potter, I laugh. Laughter is richer when it is truly earned; it becomes something to be cherished. Your calamitous spelling skills are worth at least a twitch of the lips; at most, a quirk.
I do not have much knowledge of Muggle films. During my childhood, they were a luxury outside of our budget, and as I grew older, I disdained them as foolish frippery. Now I am given to understand that gems can be found, but to find them requires the same sifting that must be applied to a body of literature. The bodice-rippers and alien abduction tales must be discarded.
The image of Miss Granger gabbling like a goose merited a chuckle, but that can be attributed in part to glee that I no longer have to contend with her. I have pondered how Ronald Weasley of all people manages to hold her attention, but I suppose that sufficiently explains it: he doesn’t; he simply allows her to prattle on ceaselessly.
Finnigan and other classmates are honestly anteing over your association? I thought Gryffindors were loyal and kind-hearted. All my illusions have been shattered.
Yeah, Dudley’s eighteen, too, but his parents have always spoiled him shamelessly. Every year at Christmas or his birthday, he would count the presents to make sure he had more than the year before – maybe he thought he should get more stuff ‘cause he was older. I dunno. I think maybe my aunt really wanted kids, and it took a while to get pregnant, so when she did, she went just a bit overboard with the toys and sweets and pet names, etc.
Ha! He’s actually turned a lot of his blubber into muscle, so while he’s still...large, he could probably run a mile without a heart attack.
Until I was eleven and got my Hogwarts letter, yeah, I lived in the cupboard below the stairs. I don’t really like to talk about it, though.
When I was reading the bit about Jupiter’s moons, I could practically hear you modulating your voice into your “lecture tone.” Is there any subject you’re not interested in? You always seem to know at least something about nearly everything.
I wish I had known her. My mother, I mean. I know you probably thought I was pretty excited over a few memories, but no one talks about my mum very much, outside of a passing mention of how I have her eyes. Would you tell me something about her?
Minion training?! I certainly wasn’t the one grooming kids for careers as Ministry robots! Umbridge practically gave Malfoy the Guide to Becoming a Bullying Tyrant with a Power Complex the Size of Russia and Something Forever Stuck in Your Throat!
You say you’re no longer the Half-blood Prince, but really you’ve just aged a bit and tightened your control a bit.
I don’t know what to say about spellcrafting being spoiled for you– “I’m sorry” sounds stupid, because you did make a choice, and I think you’re even more aware of that than I am. It makes it hard to imagine (for a moment, before the remorse comes back) that I ever felt remorse for killing Voldemort, because he destroyed so many lives and futures without a single damn thought.
I do wonder what it would take to make you full-out laugh, since the malicious amusement you got from taunting Gryffindors was the closest I ever saw.
I didn’t know much of anything about Muggle cinema until this past summer, and even now I haven’t seen very many films. It’s a pretty popular form of entertainment for Muggles, and you’re right, there’s quite a bit of rubbish out there.
It’s not really true, you know, what you say about Ron. He mightn’t be all that book-smart, but he strategizes like nobody else I know, and he beats everyone at chess. And about Hermione talking a lot – that’s something I can’t argue with, but they have an understanding, something solid that’s pretty amazing. It would be nice to be able to be yourself completely with just one other person in the world, I think, and that’s what they have.
Gryffindors are not all sweet and cuddly and fluffy. Let it be know: Seamus will get his just deserts. His glee at the prospect of a pile of galleons – the leprochaun in him, maybe – is probably similar to your glee at being rid of Hermione and her “oh, an extra twelve inches won’t hurt.” Speaking of Hermione, got any ideas about what I could get her for Christmas? Newly released books you enjoyed, maybe?
The concept that each year your cousin’s sum total of gifts should proliferate with his age is a gross logical fallacy. It is no marvel that he has decided to enlist if that is any indication of his intelligence. Perhaps I need rescind my statement that you are the most dunderheaded homo sapiens I have ever encountered.
Your relatives exemplify the benighted, moronic Muggles that lent the Dark Lord a modicum of both justification and authority.
If, as you say, I have command of a menacing “lecture voice,” it is perfectly explicable. Most of your classmates would not listen to a single syllable if they didn’t have an implied threat of the business end of my wand and a future as Potions ingredients dangling over their thick skulls. Present company is excepted, of course; you always paid attention to my instructions, didn’t you?
There are few subjects that cannot engross my attention. Divination is incontestably one of these; Muggle technology holds little fascination for me as well. I am no Arthur Weasley.
I will suppress comments regarding the excessive adulation of Potter Sr. only by dint of extreme restraint. That should merit a few karmic plaudits. Your mother had a boundless fondness for chocolate, treacle, the colour green, Charms, and all manner of creatures. Sometimes she seemed a more couth version of Hagrid. She could never abide observing pain or intolerance, and for all her cunning, she was no less a Gryffindor martyr out to save the world.
Certainly Umbridge had a penchant for both subliminal and overt superintendence, but she never inspired the fierce loyalty you did. Surely you see how terrifying a prospect that was for the contingent of simpletons at the Ministry? To have people willing to die for you is a powerful thing.
Perhaps you mean well by comparing me to my younger counterpart. My ideals have evolved since the days that I went by that moniker, and for that I am grateful.
You did your “duty” in killing the Dark Lord, and again I stand in awe of your clemency. That awe is tempered by vexation – do you derive masochistic enjoyment from wallowing in guilt? Let it go, for fuck’s sake. I’ll even phrase it in terms of Gryffindor-appropriate motivation: the people surrounding you despise your exaggerated conscience, most probably because it awakens theirs. Cease the self-reproach for their sake, if not yours.
Am I to understand that you cannot “be yourself” around Miss Weasley? Perhaps not all Gryffindors are cuddlesome, but I am beginning to understand that they are consummately oblivious.
For Miss Granger, I recommend either The Crusade for the Civil Liberties of Magical Minorities, as I seem to recall her fascination with house-elf liberation, or Arithmancy and Calculus: Connecting Magical and Muggle Concepts. Both are sufficiently recent that it is unlikely she will have acquired either as of yet.
First of all, I hope it’s okay that I call you that. I thought you’d let me, since you signed your last letter with it.
I’m going to vent for a while because things have been horrible here for the last few days. Maybe then I’ll be able to respond to your note without going off on a rant. I’d like to think we’re pretty good friends and that you’d listen, but if this is too much, too personal, just ignore it.
So last Saturday was a Hogsmeade weekend, but since exams are coming up, Hermione convinced Ron and me to stay and revise for at least a while. In Sunday’s Prophet, which I’m sure you saw, there was a picture of Ginny in Madam Puddifoot’s, attached to Dean’s face.
When I first saw it, I wanted to be angry, I really did. Instead, I just felt...I dunno. I didn’t care as much as I probably should. It upset Ron quite a lot – I guess he thought Ginny and I’d marry and then we’d be brothers. And then Hermione doesn’t seem surprised that I’m not upset, and tells me: Harry, you and she weren’t that close, so it’s understandable that you’re not grieving the relationship. I guess that got me to start thinking about dating and Ginny and the future, and I think...I think I might be gay, which scares me pretty badly.
I figure I can trust you to tell me whether or not this is really a problem. I mean, I remember my uncle had major problems with homosexuality, and I know a lot of Muggles think the same things he does. What do most wizards think? I’m going out on a limb here, because for all I know you think gay people are freaks, too.
Today there was a Ravenclaw vs. Hufflepuff Quidditch match, and a bludger hit the Hufflepuff seeker, a tiny second-year. Everyone in the stands was panicking because she fell off her broom, and suddenly I wanted to save her. I don’t know how I did it, but I levitated her right before she hit the ground – without a wand.
God, you should have seen everybody’s faces. They were terrified – of me. Apparently, that much power isn’t very common. Even Ron and Hermione were scared, looking at me like I was going to morph into Voldemort before their eyes.
Skeeter’s going to have a field day, and the rumor mill here is already going crazy about it – what if I turn dark? It doesn’t help that I quit the Auror program. People totally ignored that that girl was probably going to die, and the power they’re so worried about saved her.
I don’t know what to do.
Well. Now that I’ve got it all down, I read over it. I sound like a bloody helpless ponce. I’m going to send this before I think better of it.
While the concept of friendship is an alien one for me, I shall aid you to the best of my ability. Accepting advice from a former Death Eater who has perhaps one “friend” to his name seems foolhardy to me, but I suppose you can assume I will not judge you prematurely.
The best counsel I can concieve of: the world’s inhabitants are fickle and capricious, and they judge their heroes by the most stringent criteria. Learn to depend upon yourself; find within yourself something worth fighting for, something that will sustain you through the “island days” – the days you are stranded, isolated, alone.
Unfortunately, much of the Wizarding World does not respect homosexuals, or at the very least, does not esteem them as much as heterosexuals. This is especially the case for pureblooded members of society. While homosexuality is not as great a condemnation as mixed blood, most wizards and witches see single-sex partnerships as a squandering.
In Wizarding society, it is believed that the most powerful children come from the most passionate, enduring unions. Male pregnancy results in too many miscarriages and mortalities to be a feasible option. Surrogate parenting will not gain furtherance here as it has in the Muggle world because of the scorned status of squibs; a surrogate mother would have little, if any, connection to the donor of sperm, thus limiting the magical capablities of any offspring. The irony of this is, of course, the rampant fear of power throughout our world.
You do not sound like a “bloody helpless ponce,” you sound like someone who scrabbles for familiarity. You are warned: I will not twinkle at you and tell you it will all resolve itself. I also refuse to feel sorry for you. I will, however, explain: your powers flourish because you have come of age, and because, for the first time in years, you occupy an environment that has considerably less stress than you have previously experienced.
Gather the courage that you are supposed to have in spades, and speak to your friends, as silence and clandestinity will not foster better relations. You are no Legilimens; perhaps their eyes betrayed astonishment, not fear.
If nothing else, I doubt the Hufflepuff you saved would repudiate an offer of friendship. For whatever pittance it may be worth, I remain undaunted by your abilities and will listen if you have need of me.
You don’t know how much your last letter means to me. Things have gotten a little better, and I definitely owe you. Again.
I’ll start by responding to the letter before last. Smarter than Dudley? I think that’s the first compliment you’ve ever given me. I’ll try not to get smug about it.
Maybe I wasn’t the best student, but it was pretty pointless to listen. You never gave points to Gryffindor, and if I actually looked at you, there was a chance I’d lose points for looking at you “in an insolent manner,” or something. Even if I did pay attention, chances were that Malfoy’d throw in some boomslang skin or pixie dust at the last second.
By the way, I’ve looked up some of the words you use in the dictionary and made a point of dropping them into conversation. It was pretty funny – Ron’s started worrying that maybe Hermione’s study skills are catching. Hermione told him he was silly, and of course they weren’t catching, but perhaps osmosis was something to worry about. Needless to say, this did not reassure him.
I doubt there’s much chance of me confusing you with Mr. Weasley.
Thanks for telling me more about my mum. Suddenly my love of treacle tart makes more sense, and Charms is my second favorite subject.
I disagree about having people willing to die for me. I don’t think it was about me, not really. They appreciated the help, but most of them had personal reasons to fight, not to mention none of them imagined life with Voldemort in charge would have been rainbows and sunshine.
Didn’t mean to offend you about the Half-blood Prince. I guess I just have a better opinion of him than you do because he helped me through a hard year.
Now I’m in awe. I didn’t think you ever cursed. I know what you’re trying to say, and I can understand it intellectually, but it’s a different thing to believe it on a more...I don’t know...visceral? (is that the right word?) level.
I suppose I do tend to miss things that are right under my nose. A psychologist would probably look at my relationship with Ginny and say that all “the signs” were there. I don’t blame her, not really. She idealized me in her head, and I couldn’t measure up in real life.
Thanks for the book recommendations; they’re perfect. I’ll probably end up getting both for her, or maybe I’ll let Ron give her the one about minority rights. That’ll be sure to get him on her good side for a while.
Now onto the latest note. For someone who says he doesn’t know much about friendship, you’re a pretty damn good one. It’s especially nice to know I can count on you.
The Muggle in me is kind of morbidly fascinated with the idea of a pregnant guy, and it makes sense that it wouldn’t work as well as it does for women. It’s times like these that I get really frustrated with the Wizarding World – after all, there are plenty of orphans from the war that need loving parents, but Hermione explained to me that to most old Wizarding families, there’s something important about having an heir that’s really –yours–. Thanks for explaining all that to me, though.
I came out to Ron, and things are a little weird between us. Thankfully Hermione’s there to whack some sense into him, so our friendship is still intact. It helped that I explained to him that I have never had any “impure thoughts” about him. That my best friend reacted like that makes me wary of telling the world at large.
The Hufflepuff, whose name is Rhiannon, is actually turning out to be a great friend. She’s like a little sister to me, and she doesn’t buy into the hero worship rubbish. I think lots of people underestimate Hufflepuffs. Thanks again.
I wanted to ask if it would be okay if I came to Spinner’s End sometime during the Christmas holidays. I wouldn’t bother you for long; it’d just be for a couple of hours. I have something I want to give you. Let me know.
You are a fool. (No colossal surprise.) You owe me nothing. Though a nascent concept for me, friendship as I understand it does not rely upon a notion of quid quo pro.
Your perception of a compliment is also inordinately skewed. If you managed to perceive a favourable judgment of your intellect in my remark, I will reiterate: you are a fool. A brave, foolish fool.
Of course. I quite forgot the absense of any intrinsic benefit or boon in apprehending knowledge. I will admit that I derived much sadistic enjoyment of Mr. Malfoy’s sabotage attempts. That the resulting explosions and inadmissable philtres allowed me to subtract points from Gryffindor and assign
torture sessions detentions was a mere fringe benefit.
I may have to revise my estimation of Miss Granger. I do so like the mental effigy of a panic-stricken Weasley. It amuses me that he destroys a Horcrux with nary a shudder of disquietude, but he cannot reconcile himself to enjoying his limited literacy.
If you would like to know more about your mother, do speak with Professor Flitwick. Out of all the instructors, he knew her best, and she often remained after class to speak with him.
You claim the support profferred in the Department of Mysteries was for “the cause,” some ephemeral concept of the greater good? Allow me to inform you that had Albus tried to enlist the help of your comrades that day, had he asked them to accompany him in battle, those in acquiescence would have been few and far between.
Radical acceptance is an acquired skill, and acknowledging something theoretically begins the process. I do curse. (Shut your mouth; you look like a landed guppy.) However, pleonastic insertion of curses indicates a deficiency of expression. Intimidation is readily accomplished through other means, and by avoiding obscenities one preserves his grandmother’s good opinion of him.
If you do mention the titles to Weasley, refrain from crediting me. One grateful Gryffindor suffices.
Miss Granger is correct. A Malfoy, for example, would consider it a family disgrace to “commission” a male successor. Few Muggle-borns have such scruples, and even some of those of mixed blood adopt children.
Hiding your predilection for males will do you no favors. As you have previously mentioned, the scrutiny of your affairs will likely never cease, for to the public you are a celebrity and by default, fascinating.
Your amity with Rhiannon epitomises the sway your fame affords you. Although you have never used this clout to your advantage, you have the potential to overcome a multitude of prejudices. If you demonstrate a willingness to transcend House rivalries, rest assured many will parrot you.
I suppose if you wish to visit me, you may. I imagine you have plans for Christmas day, so perhaps you would prefer Christmas Eve. I forewarn that there will likely be a dearth of holiday provisions. You may stay as long as you will, so long as you do not bring a brood of Weasleys along with you.
I guess you’re right. Not about me being a fool, but about the fact that friendship isn’t tit for tat. I still feel like our friendship is unequal, though. You do so much for me – you’ve saved my life nearly a half-dozen times, and you’re willing to give me advice and teach me, even though I’ve refused your help in the past.
A foolish fool? Redundancy, Severus: fools are usually foolish. I hope your grey matter isn’t deteriorating. (That’s a joke, by the way. I figure it’s safe to insert one at this point. I hope it’s safe...)
You’re such a git. Malfoy’s such a git. You’re a git who’s repented, though, so I guess you’re okay.
Ron’s definitely not one for the books. I think it was more the idea of forgetting that Quidditch comes before studying, or of simply forgetting the importance of Quidditch that disturbed him. Two hours later, Hermione took pity and explained osmosis to him. When he zoned out halfway through, it reassured him more than the actual explanation.
Thanks for the tip. Professor Flitwick was very eager to talk about my mum.
I still disagree. For example, Neville went as much for me as for his parents. Ron’s family was so much a part of the Order that I’m sure that if Dumbledore asked, he would’ve gone. And for the others, I think it has more to do with me being a peer than me being someone who “inspires loyalty.”
I looked up “radical acceptance,” and did you know that Muggles have this whole branch of psychology that’s based of that concept? I’m rolling my eyes, not flapping my mouth. The chance of you having a “deficiency of expression” is slim to none. I was just surprised.
You probably don’t have much to worry about. I doubt anything could make Ron grateful enough to attempt contacting you. I’ll keep it under wraps, though, just in case.
Yeah. I sometimes suspect that if I ever meet a “someone,” (that’s Mrs. Weasley’s favorite romantic euphemism) I won’t be able to drag him into the media frenzy. It wouldn’t be fair to him, to expect that he’d be willing to see himself in the paper, go out with all the cameras flashing, put up with the speculation and scrutiny – all just for me.
Well, right now I don’t have much sway over other people, since they keep looking at me like my eyes are going to turn red at any second. They’ll probably get over it, since they did after every other shock of my Hogwarts career. I think it helps that I visit St. Mungo’s and the graves.
I probably won’t get the chance to write again before I visit because exams are coming up. Don’t worry about any lack of food. Since Dobby died, Winky is working madly out of some wish not to disappoint his memory. Last time she was this upset, it drove her to the butterbeer, and she did nothing for months. It upset Dobby pretty badly. Now she’s constantly appearing out of nowhere with baskets of food for me, saying Dobby would’ve wanted her to fatten me up. It sends Hermione into a tizzy every time.
I’ll see you Christmas Eve, then, probably around half-four.
P.S. Is your Floo shut down? I haven’t got my Apparition licence yet, though I could probably Apparate to Spinner’s End anyway.
You appear to have overlooked the rather incontrovertible fact that I’m invariably
When you behave as though you were beholden to me, I challenge the wisdom of safeguarding your miserable hide.
Since aformentioned miserable hide will be arriving upon my doorstep in less than twenty-four hours, I refrain from replying to the remainder of your drivel epistle.
Fly here, you idiot boy. I have no desire to spend my evening traipsing about the Continent, searching for splinched Potter-bits.
Do take care not to fall off your broomstick, and do not be late.
Harry dashed about Grimmauld Place, frantically overturning discarded garments and shuffling through piles of parchments. A single aggrieved candle followed him in his rampage among the winter-darkened, ghost-stale rooms. As he dug through the jumble of his desk, Harry glimpsed yesterday’s note from Severus and paused to grin.
“Aha!” he crowed as his fingers grazed the heavy vellum underneath. He tucked the parchment into a robe pocket. A glimpse at his watch indicated it was time to “move his arse,” so he grabbed his Firebolt and Invisibility Cloak, ran a distracted hand through his hair, and bolted down the stairs.
He passed Mrs. Black’s portrait – encased in a Dark silencing charm bubble and adorned with a crudely-drawn mustache, courtesy of a drunken Ron – and stepped out of the house.
Just as Harry began to traverse the icy walkway, Winky popped into being directly in front of his path. His arms wind-milled, and he tipped backwards, barely managing to brace his fall with arms.
“Oh, no! Winky is very sorry, Harry Potter! Winky thought that Harry Potter was leaving without his foods for his date, and Winky did not want Harry Potter to forget!”
Out of Winky’s flustered explanation, one word stuck in Harry’s brain. “Date?”
Winky nodded sagely. “Yes. Harry Potter is going to have dinner with Professor Snape. Harry Potter asked Winky to prepare Professor Snape’s favorites... Did Winky do something bad? Bad Winky?”
“No!” Harry rushed to reassure the elf, “Winky did well. Erm. That is... I don’t think it’s a date, though. Just a meeting.”
She eyed him sceptically. “If Harry Potter says so. Is Harry Potter okay?”
“Yes, yes, I’ll be fine.” Harry winced as he shifted his limbs and stood; he imagined he’d have a rather nasty bruise on his back, and his hands were pretty torn up from impacting the edge of the porch, but it wasn’t any worse than most souvenirs from his Harry Hunting days.
He took the basket from Winky, thanked her, and shrunk it. Managing to ignore the occasional twinges of pain, he donned his Cloak and set off into the dusky sky.
As he flew, wind rushing in his ears, his thoughts were a clamour not any less riotous than the Great Hall at Hogwarts discussing the latest Boy Who Lived gossip. Is this a date? Do I want it to be one?
The answer, he mused, was probably ‘yes’. Severus was witty, passionate, and intelligent; he always knew what to say to cheer Harry or dissuade him from doing something rash or foolish, not to mention he was sexy in an intense, potent way.
The problem, he mused, was that he had no idea if Severus felt the same. He might not be eleven years old anymore, but he didn’t have much confidence in the “signals” everyone else seemed to hone in on. Harry supposed he could try to flirt, but what if he only made himself look a halfwit?
Severus was most emphatically not pacing, because that would be a sign of nerves. He paused in his not-pacing to stoke the sitting room fireplace and was interrupted by knocking at the door.
He strode calmly through the hallway past walls covered with fading floral paper toward the front door. Another knock sounded just as he pulled the door open.
Severus drank in the sight of Harry – cheeks flushed, emerald eyes sparkling, unruly hair windblown in all directions – and wordlessly stepped aside to allow him over the threshold.
Harry grinned, “Hello, Severus – I assume it’s okay for me to call you that in person since I’ve been doing it via Owl Post for a while now?” He shed his outer robe and hung both it and his Invisibility Cloak on a Clabbert horn coat hook.
“Assuredly,” he replied. “Would you like to eat now, or would you prefer to give me your “something” beforehand?”
“Er... I guess I’m pretty hungry. So, eat first, if that’s okay?”
A curt nod from Severus was the response, and Harry dug Winky’s basket out of his robes. Then they were entering a cramped, haphazard kitchen furnished with a heavily marred dark oak table. Harry unshrunk the basket on the wooden surface, only to have Severus pull his hands forward when he began to retract them.
“Pray tell how you managed to abrade your palms. Surely these injuries do not appear every time you gallivant about on your broom?” Severus inquired sharply.
“Oh! No, no, Winky startled me when I walked out of Grimmauld, and I fell,” he smiled, “clumsy me.”
“Hm. I shall return momentarily. Sit,” Severus ordered.
“Yes, sir,” Harry murmured facetiously.
Severus reentered the kitchen with a glass pot of purple salve. “It will forestall infection of the abrasions and hasten the healing process,” he said. He unscrewed the lid and gestured impatiently for Harry to hold out his hands.
Carefully, Severus spread the salve over Harry’s calloused palms. Severus faced away to reseal the pot, and Harry stood up from his chair just as Severus turned back around.
Suddenly, their faces were mere inches apart, and both were at a loss. A lump formed in Harry’s throat; he cleared it, and the noise seemed to break some trance. They lost eye contact, and the tense silence mutated into an awkward one.
Harry fiddled with the hamper and began to set out the soup and sandwiches packed within while Severus went to replace the scrape salve in his personal stores.
As they ate, the silence dissipated; the comfortable familiarity established by their correspondence was soon converted from writing to speech. They discussed Defence and teaching; Ministry politics and the new creature and beast rights; the benefits of theory over practice and vice versa.
Soon Snape was smirking at Harry for his enthusiasm – “It’s only a slice of chocolate cake, Potter,” – and they were making their way to the sitting room for drinks and gifts.
Harry retrieved his robe from the foyer and sat gracelessly on a corner of the worn leather couch before the fireplace while Severus poured them each a measure of scotch.
He nodded his thanks and began sipping as Severus handed him the tumbler. Severus sat in the armchair adjacent to Harry’s sofa corner.
“So. If you’re ready for your presents,” Harry said, “I’ve got them.”
“Plural? I recall you mentioning ‘something,’ not ‘somethings,’” Severus raised an eyebrow.
“Eh,” he waved a hand carelessly, “one of them’s not really a gift so much as a way of clearing the air.”
“I am all aquiver with curiousity,” Severus said dryly. “Proceed at your leisure.”
“Oh, shut up,” Harry returned good-naturedly. He dug around in his robe pockets to retrieve two vials with festive ribbons tied around them (“That’s mainly to annoy you, Severus”); one contained gillyweed, the other boomslang skin.
“Is this an admission of culpability? From the great Harry Potter?” he asked in mock-astonishment.
Harry grinned. “It’s more of an admission of complicity,” he replied. “I can, in good conscience, say that I did not steal either of those items from your stocks at Hogwarts. However, I was sort of responsible because the people who did take them, people who will remain anonymous, took them for me.”
“I see. Most heartfelt thanks,” he said it drolly, but Harry detected at least a modicum of sincerity.
“’Course. Now. Here’s the real something.” He pulled out the scroll he’d scoured the house for earlier and leaned over to hand it to Severus, who raised an eyebrow, which was as much of an indication of interest that Harry figured he was going to get.
Severus unrolled the vellum scroll, and a high-pitched, tinny voice cried, “Pardon me! Pardon me! Pardon me! Pardon me!”
As the disembodied voice continued to repeat the same phrase, Harry realised what had happened and cast a quick silencing charm on the parchment.
“Oh, god. I’m so, so sorry. The Weasley twins came over the other day, and I must have left it out. They probably thought it would be funny for a pardon to say...well...you get it. I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have—“
“Harry. You’re gabbling like a goose. It’s okay; it’s a negligible annoyance. I spent nearly seven years of my life combating those two menaces; this neatly pales in comparison to the caliber of pranks to which I am accustomed. I appreciate your efforts on my behalf. I doubt that without the aid of the Saviour himself I would have finagled the Ministry out of a full pardon.”
Harry rolled his eyes, embarassment forgotten – which was, he supposed, Severus’s goal.
“I also have,” Severus began, looking uncharacteristically uncomfortable, “a holiday token for you.”
“Aw, Sev! You didn’t!” Harry smirked.
“I won’t if you ever again presume to abbreviate my name again. I have no need of a sobriquet.” Severus said haughtily.
“I’ll wear you down eventually,” Harry snarked back.
Severus did not deign to answer. Instead, he turned to the mantel and collected a parcel wrapped in plain brown paper. He watched as Harry tore into it like an eager five year old on Christmas morning and allowed himself a dry chuckle.
Harry looked up at him and smiled (“One of these days I’m going to get a full-blown laugh,”) and then he returned to unwrapping his gift.
It was a professor’s book especially for marking and instructing in Defence Against the Dark Arts; the teacher could make notations by hand or dictate his remarks to the notebook, and the book – sort of in the tradition of the Marauder’s Map, Harry thought – would “reply.” It could make suggestions regarding how to improve a student’s understanding of a topic, keep track of years worth of students’ marks and lesson plans, and provide detailed analyses of the marks (of where the collective student body was struggling most and when distinct improvements were made).
“Wow... I don’t know what to say, other than thank you. I really appreciate that your support about the whole teaching career,” Harry said.
Severus inclined his head, “Certainly.”
They drank and continued speaking companionably for a few more hours, and by the time Harry stood up to leave, he was feeling pleasantly warm from the alcohol.
Severus walked him to the door, and as Harry prepared to go, the awkward silence descended again.
Harry attempted to break it, “I...I really enjoyed myself. Thanks for letting me over.” He stood there, alternating between telling himself to stop wondering how kissable Severus’s lips would be and trying to gather the courage to just kiss him.
Finally, he ended up reminding himself he was a Gryffindor, hoping he wouldn’t be hexed six ways from Sunday, and meeting Severus’s lips with his own.
It wasn’t like first kisses of legend – his eyes didn’t flutter shut, his toes didn’t curl, no fireworks exploded in the periphery. Instead, his hands were clammy with sweat, and he had no idea where they belonged. He thought his limbs were shaking a bit, he was breathing through his nose, and it sounded so loud in his ears, his eyes were widened with nerves.
And fuck, he realised, this mattered to him. A lot. It mattered to him and he wondered why the hell he hadn’t done it sooner.
As soon as he acknowledged it, that he wanted this, this warm wet ohh, the momentum of arousal caught up with him, and his blood hurtled through his veins.
Harry started, paradoxically, to relax and tighten at the same time. His tongue slid into Severus’s mouth, and damn, he was a good kisser. This was nothing like kissing Cho – tears and snot and saliva all mixed together, or like kissing Ginny – soft and cloyingly perfumed.
He slid his palms up Severus’s lightly muscled chest and linked his hands behind the nape of his neck. This seemed to send a sort of signal to Snape, and his fingers jerked Harry’s hips into contact with his own.
Suddenly, the kiss became a good deal more heated. All the polite conversation and mannered eating of earlier seemed to dissipate; the undercurrent of want surged to the fore.
Harry’s erection met Severus’s, collided, skidded, sparked. He couldn’t breathe but somehow managed to moan, couldn’t break them apart – they were fused, melded, but damn it, it wasn’t enough – and somehow managed to gasp out, “Bedroom,” in a vaguely questioning tone without losing the delicious neverletgo.
He had little experience outside of a druken fumbling or two, but an instinctual, invisible force seemed to guide him as they tumbled backwards onto the mattress, Severus above him. Harry’s lips left Severus’s to seek out the cords of his neck, each sucking kiss an attempt to simultaneously dissipate and augment his frantic need.
Severus groaned as Harry attacked his adam’s apple with teeth-grazed licks. Severus’s heavy black garments impeded further progress, and Harry murmured, “too... many... clothesss,” -- the last trailed off into a hiss as Severus tugged off Harry’s shirt to circle his nipples, alternating contact with his nails and the saliva-wet, calloused pads of his fingers.
They managed to disrobe, tugging and tearing as each new patch of heated skin – scar-riddled or no – was catalogued, sense-memorised as nerve endings clambered and flamed to tell the brain: sensitive –ah, just there, smooth and shudder and fuck yes—
When Harry’s brain finally caught up with the backlog, he met with a desire such as he’d never felt before. He saw Severus’s cock, long and leaking, an alloy of silk and steel, and that same visceral proficiency seized him. First he laved it, seeking out the throbbing vein on its underside, flattening his tongue; then he engulfed the head in his mouth, and Severus made a choked keening sort of noise that sounded dragged out of him against his will, and damn Harry wanted to hear that again. As he swallowed down the length – musky, so perfectly virile, pressing Severus’s balls into the base of his erection, Severus’s hands patted around his locks as though verifying he was actually there.
Suddenly, Severus rasped, “Enough,” in that voice – Christ, that voice, like a raspy tongue spreading silky chocolate along his body – and fumbled to the nightstand. Harry barely contained a whimper at the loss of heat and contact and Severus.
“Are you sure that you want this?”
Severus barely waited for a tight nod in reply.
And then Severus nuzzled his cock, breathing unfairly even breaths along his length while sliding a slick finger down his cleft. Harry’s legs spread further of their own accord, and this time he did whimper as one hand began preparing his arse and another stroked his thigh, somehow teasing and comforting at the same time.
Harry’s vocal chords disconnected from his brain as two fingers became three became, “Fuck, oh fuck, yes, please, oh, Severus, please...”
Their lips reconnected as Severus began the slow-slide into nearly painful heat and tight, and Harry was fascinated by the grimace on Severus’s face as the pressure in his arse transmuted the aching emptiness into a coalescing, alternating pain-pleasure-pain...
And then Severus began to rock, then thrust. Harry wailed as Severus’s cock grazed, then slammed his prostate. Severus was stuttering for probably the first time in his life, “Oh. Oh. Uhn. Harry...”
Harry came first, and he struggled to keep his eyes open to watch as Severus followed suit, shuddering and flooding Harry with heat.
Severus collapsed. A few seconds later, he slowly pulled out and rolled off to the side of Harry; both were panting and trying to slow their thundering heartbeats.
As soon as he managed to gain back a little composure, Severus reached across Harry for his wand and cast Scourgify to remove the semen from their bodies and bedclothes.
“That was...” Harry began.
“Incoherent as per usual,” Severus mocked. “You can reassure Weasley that not even copulation with Granger will be enough to impart him her intellectual prowess.”
Harry snuggled back against Severus sleepily. “Please don’t mention them and thereby spoil sex for me. I’m perfectly content to pretend that my best friends are celibate.” A pause, then suddenly, with all traces of somnolence gone, “Erm... would it... be alright for me to... stay the night?”
“Listen, brat, because I intend to voice this one time, and one time only. You will spend the night, likely snore and monopolise the blankets and kick my person ceaselessly. In spite of this regrettable experience, the pair of us will continue to communicate and rendezvous and fornicate. At some point in the near future, we will declare ourselves in love with one another, cohabitate, and fight and fuck in equal measure. Good times and bad times will befall us, but our collective stubbornness might do us a favor for the very first time, mm?”
“Sounds good to me,” Harry grinned and fell asleep to the steady thump of Severus’s heart.