|snarryhols (snarryhols) wrote in snarry_holidays,|
@ 2008-11-18 18:26:00
|Entry tags:||giftee: bethbethbeth, rated: nc-17|
fic: Absence (Makes the Heart Grow Fonder)
Title:Absence (Makes the Heart Grow Fonder)
Warnings: Angst, h/c, m/m sex, past character death (DH and epilogue compliant)
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: For Severus, Harry will wait.
Author's Notes: Phew! I had a really tough time agonizing over whether this fit your prompts, or not, and if you would like it. I sincerely hope you do. Out of your kinks/requests I picked Angst and Hurt/Comfort, aged-up!Harry and Ugly!Snape, characters showing their age, DH including the epilogue, kissing, licking, hugging in small doses, desperate sex, anal sex, and oral sex. I also made good use of your second optional prompt: A story that explores the world between the living and the dead.
Curious, how a handful of flagstones remain sharply grooved, despite suffering centuries of abrasive footsteps. Although Harry finds them uncomfortable to sit on, he admires the fact that they continue to display a rawness that has conquered eons. Seventy years ago, he doubts he would have imagined his future self sitting here, passing the time by comparing himself to the stonework of Hogwarts, but then time does not hold relevance the way it used to.
These days, it is meticulously halved: Time spent with Severus, time spent without. Admittedly, halved is a deceptive idiom, since the majority of Harry’s existence falls under the latter. Bleak, bleak hours that unfurl into days and unravel into weeks, an unfaltering metronome that forecasts without prejudice how many more insignificant seconds he must endure before he can reap recompense in the former.
“Where are you?” he mutters, gaze shifting from the intricately carved frame to the mirror imprisoned within.
It isn’t fair that he’s waited so long already, gloomy nights without human warmth or comfort; the first sundrenched moments of wakefulness eclipsed by the deficiency of another body, of Snape’s body, beside his. Time has not eased his impatience; on the contrary, it has grossly exacerbated it.
“Patience,” the memorable inflection warns, echoing his thoughts as organically as if mind and mouth were one.
Harry’s throat works furiously, denying the lump that endeavours to hamper his respiration. A cancerous growth of emotion he is long used to repressing upon hearing that sleek voice.
“I’ve been patient,” he complains to the iridescent sheen, lying like gauze across the smooth coldness of the glass. “I can’t see you, why can’t I see you?”
He pitches forward onto arthritic knees, ignoring the bite of stone teeth. His outstretched hand sways as it ventures forth, only the tips of his fingers stroking the unyielding barrier before him. Magic, potent and eager, pulses through his wrist and into his body, diffusing a little more of his harboured melancholy.
“Wait,” Snape hisses, intangible, still untouchable.
“I can’t,” Harry whispers, closing his eyes, lids heavy beneath the weight of desire.
“You must,” comes the demand, an authoritative tone Harry recalls vividly from youth. He sighs deeply to show his displeasure, but obeys nonetheless.
“Better,” Snape says, a hint of approval interlaced. The praise heightens the corners of Harry’s mouth into an unconscious smile.
He sits. He waits. He pays no mind to the chill air around him, the grumbling of the castle above him, the coldness of the stones beneath him. It is of no consequence when you have waited thirty-one sunrises to feel the unearthly stillness of your lover’s chest beneath your palm, where a heart should steadily beat.
“There,” Snape says, with an air of accomplishment. Harry is on his feet before the last pronounced syllable, eyes wide green and papery hands gripping the frame. No longer solid, the glass resembles a lake of liquid silk, rippling around the hazy incarnation.
“Severus,” Harry breathes, battling a rush of euphoria that almost threatens to send him back to his knees. The sharp, angled cheekbones are veiled by long, lank hair, and the sour, black eyes soften immeasurably when Harry reunites them with his own.
“Well come along, Potter,” Snape smirks, taking a step backwards, “I haven’t all eternity.”
The humour shatters the emotive tension, and Harry chokes on a sobbed laugh.
Right hand first, tentatively eased through the fluid layer. No matter how many times he does this, the sheer volume of magic, required in its purest form on the eve of a full moon, never fails to overwhelm him. The brush of Snape’s fingers, lightly guiding his wrist, ensure the rest of his body follows with far less caution.
“God, I’ve missed you,” Harry whispers, sliding his arms around Snape’s waist and nuzzling between shoulder and jowl.
“Sentimental old fool,” Snape murmurs. His flippancy is contradicted by a faint, residual smile, and tender hands cupping the nape of Harry’s neck; the pad of his thumb outlining the prominent ridge of bone there.
“You are not eating enough,” he accuses, tilting Harry’s chin up with a swift, prodding finger, chastising him with a gaze far more persuasive than words.
“It takes longer and longer to make the connection each time,” Harry replies, unwilling to endure yet another conversation about his diminishing appetite, “what I don’t understand is – “
The ‘why’ is severed by a savage thrust of hot, wet tongue, splitting his lips and staking its claim. Harry’s stunted cry of surprise evolves into a healthy groan as Snape comes alive in his mouth, pulsing flesh tangling with his own, tracing his teeth. Ravenous passion that sustains him during that other period of time he will not think about here, far more nutritious a sustenance than food.
Snape massages his hips into place, a slow and deliberate manipulation that forces their erections together, duelling impatiently through the impediment of nuisance clothing.
“I believe you wished to talk,” Snape says, breaking away and sounding a little breathless.
Harry strongly protests the interrupted kiss, attempting to recapture thin lips.
“Next time,” he promises on a whine, when his efforts are evaded.
“So you claim each visit.”
“Each visit, I mean it,” Harry says, forgetting to hide his bitterness. There is never enough time; an hour, at most, before the abomination of what he has created reacts adversely to his interference. One living, one dead; souls meeting in a forbidden amalgamation of worlds, a love affair conducted inside their very own purgatory.
It feels ironic to resent his resentment, how it manages to bleed and infect what precious time they have together. There will be enough hours, enough days to entertain it when he is back in his quarters, with only a Pensieve and a pile of essays for company. Making a conscious effort to lock those negative feelings away, Harry concentrates on the curve of jutting ribs.
“Stop thinking,” Snape says, placing his hands over Harry’s, covering, protecting, reassuring. “If you persist in refusing to discuss the situation, then at least do me the courtesy of not thinking about it whilst in my limited presence.”
With effortless grace, Snape drops to his knees in a manner that Harry has felt awed by since his own flexibility began to deteriorate. Unlike life, there is no pain in death, so Snape once told him, not of the physical kind anyway.
Harry groans encouragingly as Snape buries his nose, inhaling a long, worshipful lung of aroused musk through the cloth. Harry’s fingers, gnarled, aged fingers he doesn’t recognise anymore, comb through the head of black hair at his groin.
Snape’s hum of pleasure thrills him, and he adds his own purr of approval, rising in octave when thin, nimble fingers free his fully hardened cock from captivity.
Harry’s rounded stomach, long since loosened by age and lack of exercise, curls protectively around Snape’s head; a wealth of encouragement in body language, proof of his eagerness to keep the misty breath caressing his fevered flesh.
It feels fantastic, but the sly swipe of tongue across the very tip of his engorged cock is unbelievable. Harry jerks, and Snape emits a distilled chuckle.
“So many years and yet you never tire of this,” he muses.
Harry uses the advantage of hair tangled fingers to upturn Snape’s face. “Who would?” he replies tremulously, smiling down on the ashen countenance and drinking in, as he has countless times, the craggy, mismatched features. Age, in death, has no authority. His lover could be thirty-eight or a hundred and eight, it is difficult to assess. But the carved lines on his sallow forehead, the pronounced, crooked hook of a nose, the blood-red lines of his lips, beautiful to no one else but Harry, are his salvation. That, and the unerring devotion Snape has shown him, have all served to piece Harry’s heart together, to make him whole in a way that he had never before imagined could exist.
Thank God, he thinks to himself, as Snape opens his mouth and swallows the sensitive head. Thank God for being a Gryffindor, for being relentless and stubborn and never entertaining the notion of giving up, not for one single second, during those years he determinedly sought a way to stand face-to-face with this man, to question him. At the expense, ultimately, of his marriage, of his relationship with friends, whose company held little interest for him after he acknowledged the flip-side of his anger and furious passion, obsession even, with a man who had died to protect him. Yes, he thinks, as his eyes slide shut and his throbbing cock slips down Snape’s constrictive throat, thank God.
The bruises Snape is busy creating on his hips will serve as a reminder of this moment, likely lasting only a week, maybe two now his skin is less agile at healing. He knows he will rest in his bath, as he does every other night, and trace the shape of them fondly.
“God, so good,” Harry murmurs, sparks of sensuality quickly maturing to flames of fervour. His legs won’t withstand much more of this; neither will his cock, already full to bursting and taunted by the wicked, talented mouth, hot and tight around him.
“Bed,” he resolves, hands moving to tug on his trousers. Snape stands up, reaching his full, still imposing height, eyes alive with pleasure and a suggestion of amusement. Shivers skate along Harry’s spine as he notes the once cruel mouth, smeared with a blend of saliva and pre-come.
“I swear the older I get, the dirtier you get,” he says, pretending to be disgusted as Snape touches a finger to sticky lips and sucks it into his mouth.
“The older you get, the less steady on your feet you are,” Snape mocks, watching intently while Harry wiggles his hips to displace his trousers and pants. He offers a hand, still decorated with the dye of his life’s work, when it becomes clear the tangled garments are proving difficult.
“It’s no fun being old, you know,” Harry grumbles, and though he means to sound droll, the dissatisfaction in his voice is plain.
Snape closes in, unbuttons Harry’s shirt with controlled, exact movements. “Always whining, aren’t you, Potter?” he says, smirking at Harry’s outraged expression. “Not even close to reaching a century and already grousing about age-related maladies.”
Cool palms push aside the wings of his shirt, sliding hungrily across bared skin. Harry’s objections are silenced with sharp teeth, sinking into the pillow of his bottom lip, and he realises in a moment of clarity that Snape is desperate to prevent him from voicing his woes. From saying out loud that he has had enough of life, enough of killing time, of being a burden on those who love him but have no time for him. He is utterly sick of the monotony of his existence, of the gaping hole that can never be filled, by reason of Snape’s premature death couple with his own immaturity at that time; only here, with Snape, is he truly complete.
“I – “
“Shh, come to bed.”
Snape leads him by the hand, through shifting air currents and subtle colour changes. In all the years Harry has been coming here, he still cannot put into words the magnificence and oddness of this place, a complete anomaly he has difficulty describing but no problem remembering, especially in his dreams. A bizarre mix of atmosphere and magic, shades of existence and extinction and an entire cosmos of nothingness. He is weightless, and free, in this celestial Room of Requirement.
Nothing is ever the same. The bed, for instance, when they deign to make use of one; sometimes hard, unyielding, other times so forgiving that they almost drown in its softness, dragging them into its cocoon of feathers. Today, it is nothing more elaborate than a mattress on the floor, no posts or restraints, simply a layer of relief from the unspecific solidity of the ground.
It is solely the bending of his knees Harry finds awkward. Once he has gritted his teeth against the flare of pain and is stretched out on the mattress observing Severus disrobe, he forgets.
Having never seen Severus unclothed in life, Harry cannot say that death has improved his physique, though from the lattice of scars that adorn his lean frame, he is rather inclined to believe not.
Nevertheless, when the mattress relents beneath Snape’s weight, and that too pale, too thin body slides alongside his own, nothing in this world or the next could induce such raw, unadulterated desire.
Sometimes their love-making is leisurely, and gentle, but not today. Today, Harry is almost crazed with the need to get as close as he can, to feel Snape wrapped around him, above him, inside him. Today he needs every last inch of Snape’s body pressed securely against his own.
And Severus knows this, Harry is certain. In the brief moment he captures Harry’s gaze, Harry sees his impatience reflected, can tell Severus has read the desperation in his eyes, mirroring his own.
There is no slow build or gentle teasing, only famished mouths and grasping hands, aching erections and eager fingers.
Snape bestows only a token preparation before Harry is rolled firmly onto his back and his legs hoisted up to drape Snape’s shoulders, the fat head of his cock meeting Harry’s entrance and demanding submission.
“Yes,” is all Harry can manage before, black eyes blazing, Snape enters him swiftly.
Passion’s voice cloaked beneath a heavy grunt fills Harry’s ears as Snape falls forward, Harry’s answering shout of pleasure trapped in the sweeping black curtain of hair plastered across his face.
Sweat beads quickly on his brow, and somewhere between one sharp thrust and the next, Snape’s tongue traces the path it has wended down his temple, pursuing until he rediscovers Harry’s mouth. He claims that, too, with equal ferocity, pulling at Harry’s lips with his teeth, spearing the gap he creates with his tongue. Harry savours every second, every lick, every bite, every glint of yellowed teeth. He cries out at the perfection, at the terrible injustice, at the conflicting feelings of full and empty.
“I want to stay with you,” he whispers, tilting his face so that Severus cannot deny the pleading there.
A strong hand seizes his chin, another punishing thrust chastises him. “You cannot,” Snape growls, a look of quiet desperation in his eyes.
“I know,” Harry smiles weakly, “but I still want to.”
Snape’s answering kiss is crude and rough, stealing Harry’s breath until he is gasping and speechless.
Snape breaks away suddenly, sitting up to clutch Harry’s waist, eyes travelling like searchlights across the plains of his body. Harry renounced self-consciousness a long time ago, but he can’t help wondering what he must look like, spread out like this, now that the pliability of youthful flesh has long since fled, the perpetually messy hair on his head a striking silver.
“You are – “ Snape falters, unusually lost for words. Lips pursed tightly shut, he disguises his faux-pas by angling Harry’s hips and slamming his prostate.
“Oh, God,” Harry groans, unable to stop his eyes rolling into the back of his head. “I’m what?”
Harry laughs, gasps again, and reaches for his cock.
“That wasn’t – what you were – going to say,” he pants, well aware that at any second, both of them will be lost in a tsunami of overstimulation.
Harry stares at his lover, at the flushed cheeks, red paint on white canvas, at the pupils as black as the irises, dilated in pleasure, at the vein furiously twitching at Snape’s temple.
He knows what Snape was going to say, sensed the unspoken words whispering ‘you are mine,’ and ‘you are beautiful,’ perhaps, even ‘you are the love of my life, of my death,’ and it is irrelevant that the words didn’t pass his lips, because it’s all there, in his face, in his glaringly obvious ardour, in every thrust and grunt and laboured curse.
And as the warming realisation floods through Harry’s mind, so the physical releases follow, identical sensations in duplicate, across his stomach and inside his body, Snape’s low growl and pulsing cock complementing his own euphoric rush.
Too soon, far too soon, it recedes, and he ignores the good-natured grumble of protests, enveloping Severus in his arms, coaxing him into a tangle of sweaty limbs and sticky mess.
He ignores the subtle warnings of the room, the change of temperature, light, colour, all the factors he has learnt to interpret over the years. The chasm yawns before them, but Harry holds Severus tighter, determined to prolong what he perceives as rightfully his.
“Harry – “
“No, not yet.”
Snape sighs, lends cool lips to his perspired forehead.
“Please, not yet,” he whispers, burrowing closer.
“It will not be that long,” Snape reassures him, and something in his tone, or perhaps it is the odd choice of words, makes Harry look up.
“What do you mean? What does that mean?”
The space around them grows more insistent, indignant, trying to ease him from Snape’s arms.
“Nothing of relevance,” Snape says, but Harry knows he is insincere. For as long as he can remember Snape has always told him, “I will wait for you.”
“Is it my time, Severus?” he urges, voice rising against the howling of the wind that bears no force, “is that what you meant?”
He feels the faintest brush of lips, ghosting his mouth, a smile of promise, and the overwhelming tug of magic, whipping him up from the mattress, obscuring Severus, pulling him away and forcing him out.
He pays no mind to the chill air around him, the grumbling of the castle above him, the coldness of the stones beneath him. His clothes are scattered across the flagstones, the rigid surface of the mirror reflecting only him, naked and shivering as his mind races. His time, before the next full moon, he is sure. He is not scared of death, perhaps a little apprehensive. Rather asinine considering how long he has entertained the fanciful notion.
His knees ache but oh God, Severus.
He gathers his clothes, and dresses, makes his way back to his quarters. He will continue, for now, enduring his monotonous days, until fate sees fit to readdress the distribution of time; time spent with Severus, time spent without.
And if the students of the four houses get a little bored of Harry Potter’s Great War lectures, of the roll call of fallen heroes, in particular one Severus Snape; if they have to wait a little longer before the History of Magic position becomes vacant and a younger, more fashionable professor makes their lessons more interesting, then he too will wait. He will continue on each day, bide his time, and wait. Because death catches all of us, and Harry will stand proudly and not run. He will gladly let it take him. And when it does, he knows Severus will be waiting for him. Severus is worth the wait.