|snarryhols (snarryhols) wrote in snarry_holidays,|
@ 2007-11-13 09:05:00
|Entry tags:||fic, post-dh: ewe, rated: nc-17|
Persona Non Grata, for katling
Let the holidays begin! Hurrah!
Title: Persona Non Grata (1/2)
Word Count: approx. 12,900
Pairing: Harry Potter/Severus Snape
Warnings: Rimming, Light Bondage, Some DH spoilers but basically EWE
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and Co. belong to Jo Rowling and, in part, by various other large companies that are not me.
Summary: katling's prompt: Severus is still viewed with suspicion and distrust, Harry dislikes this intensely and decides to take steps. Hope this fits the bill, katling!
Persona Non Grata
"Yes, I require thr—" the dour request was abruptly cut off, before it could fully pass the thin lips.
"Ah, Philomena! It's been an age. How are you, dear? What can I get for you today?"
"Hullo, Enid. I've a touch of lumbago, actually… don't normally like to complain, mind, but since you've asked…. Other than that, I'm fit as a fiddle. I'll have some of that burn-healing paste of yours, if you please. Archie's decided to try his hand at cooking, bless him. Thank goodness for 'Evanesco' and Mrs. Skower's is all I've to say about it."
Harry couldn't believe his eyes. Initially, the shock had been due to seeing the man at all, much less in the first hour he'd been back in England. But while he stood gawping, he'd watched the old witch behind the counter ignore Snape not once, not twice, but three times, in favor of other shoppers who'd walked up after him.
In each instance, Harry waited for an angry eruption, but the stony face had remained just that. The only thing that even hinted Snape was less than pleased were the white knuckles of his right hand, which were clutching a piece of parchment.
As Philomena and her lumbago shuffled out the door, yet another customer was helped ahead of Snape, and, outraged, Harry was about to speak up when he heard a delighted squeal.
"Harry! There you are." Suddenly, his arms were full of Hermione, and he hugged her tight, not realizing until that moment just how much he'd missed her.
Pulling away first, she held him at arm's length to inspect him. She looked a picture in soft blue robes, hair loosely gathered atop her head with a clip: professional but lovely.
He asked with a grin, "So, do I pass?"
"You stayed away far too long this time," she chastised, but added, "You look wonderful, of course. And so handsome without your glasses—that'll take a bit of getting used to." She squeezed him again. "Thank you for meeting me here instead of the Leaky. I didn't tell Ron you were coming, so we could surprise him, but I have to pick up something to settle my stomach—it's been upset for days."
"Harry Potter?! It is you!" Enid loudly proclaimed, and Snape finally disproving the notion that he was a grim statue oddly erected near the counter by turning his head and sending Harry a look that began fleetingly as surprise and ended as a very familiar and strangely comforting sneer.
Enid looked from Harry to Hermione, sending them a warm, ingratiating smile. "How delightful to have you back with us. What can I get for you, dears?"
As much as Harry wanted to tell her that some manners for herself would be nice for starters, he held his tongue, deciding that charm might work better with the woman. He smiled broadly and replied, "Thank you—Enid, is it?—it's good to be home." He smiled at her again, then tipped his head toward Snape. "But I believe Professor Snape was here before us."
She sent a dismissive look toward Snape, who'd resumed his statue routine, and with an equally dismissive wave of her hand replied, "Oh, he'll wait. He'll have a much longer order than you, I'm certain."
Harry smiled again, hoping it looked as if he meant it. "That's all right—he's been standing there an awfully long time. We'll wait." Adding firmly when Enid seemed to consider objecting again, "I insist."
She looked uncertain and stammered, "Well, I … if you insist."
Turning toward Snape, her smile lost some of its warmth. She held out her hand, impatiently gesturing for Snape to hand over his order.
Snape hesitated, then grudgingly extended the abused parchment across the wooden counter, reluctantly releasing it as it was snatched out of his grip.
Harry didn't expect any thanks from Snape, and he wasn't disappointed. He was, however, taken aback slightly, though he tried not to show it, when Snape shot him an extremely venomous look while Enid looked over his list.
"The aconite will be double what it was last time," she sniffed without looking up.
Snape didn't seem surprised at the sharp price increase, as he replied stiffly, "That is acceptable, madam." Though, Harry could see his fist clenched tightly at his side.
They waited in a tense silence while Enid filled Snape's order, Snape never turning once to look their way. When the transaction was completed, Hermione took her turn at the counter, smiling encouragingly at Snape, who sneered and then brushed past Harry, arms filled with his parcels, growling in that deep, dangerous voice, "I'll thank you to mind your own business, Potter, and stop interfering in mine."
"You're welcome." Harry gave him a small, uneven smile.
"Idiot," was Snape's parting word.
As they made their way down Diagon Alley to Weasleys' Wizards Wheezes, Harry couldn't stop thinking about what he'd witnessed, and felt compelled to ask Hermione if she had any earthly idea what had been up with Snape.
"Honestly, Harry, I don't know. He's engaged in some sort of war with the rest of the world, I think; that happens all the time. The first time I saw it, I tried, just as you have, with much the same result. He doesn't seem to want any help." She sighed before continuing, sounding frustrated, "But it doesn't make any sense—he's got the Ministry contract for the Wolfsbane program. I can tell you, without specifics, it's a very lucrative venture for him, not to mention the wonderful service he's providing for wizarding society in general."
"Your doing, no doubt."
She blushed prettily. "Well, they should be thanking him, not treating him so horribly, even if he is miserable to them."
Further talk of the issue was halted when a large, red blur nearly bowled Harry over, then lifted him clear off of the ground. "Harry! When did you get here?" Ron looked at his wife while still holding Harry aloft. "You knew he was coming?"
Hermione beamed. "I did; I wanted to surprise you."
Harry looked down into Ron's open face and clear blue eyes and was once again sharply reminded how much he'd missed his friends. He gave him a lopsided grin and said, "Surprise." Then added, "Er, you might want to put me down, Ron. I could get used to this, and I'd hate to break Hermione's heart."
Ron dropped him immediately, snorting with affection, "Ruddy poof." Then he hugged Harry properly, with much manly thumping on the back, but leaving his feet on the ground this time.
When Ron released him again, they saw Hermione helping an ancient witch down the single step at the entrance of the shop next door. A gnarled, leathery hand was lifted to pat Hermione's cheek, and smiling warmly, the wizened woman leant close to say something only Hermione could hear. Whatever it was had Hermione lighting up like a Christmas tree. Another much younger woman followed close behind and said, "You can take that to the bank—Nan's not been wrong yet, not in a hundred and twenty-six years."
Hermione turned back toward them with wet eyes. Concerned, Ron reached for her as she moved closer, and asked gently, "Hey, why the water-works?"
She laid her head on his chest for moment, brushing at the wet on her face before answering, "I feel so silly—I should have known, all the signs were right there in front of me. A woman should know these things. But I've been so busy at work, so distracted by the new legislation I'm drafting …"
He brushed some of the loose curls away from her face. "I'm afraid you're gonna have to spell it out for me, luv. I've no idea what you're talking about. What'd that old witch say to you?"
"She said it's a 'healthy, strong, ginger-haired girl' and that 'the sickness will soon pass.' I'm pregnant!" she exclaimed, then burst into tears.
Ron seemed more flustered by his wife's odd frame of mind than by the extraordinary statement she'd just made, and Harry had a feeling that it hadn't penetrated his brain yet. "You are? Why're you crying, then?"
"I don't know," she sobbed.
"Okay. It's okay—we'll figure it out. Don't cry." Ron hugged her close then stuck his head in the shop door. "Oi! George! I'm gonna nip home for a bit and take care of Hermione."
The loud reply boomed from inside the shop, moving closer to them as he spoke, "Oh-ho! An afternoon slap and tickle with the wifey, Ronniekins? I heartily appr— Harry!"
Despite the fact that George was shorter, Harry found himself once again lifted off the ground, and he wondered idly if he shouldn't be eating more.
"Hullo, Harry." He set Harry back on his feet and grinned that easy grin of his, throwing a companionable arm around Harry's shoulders, then turned to Ron. "What's all this, then?" he asked, motioning toward Hermione.
Ron finally looked a bit thunderstruck. "I'm gonna be a father," he said, sounding dumfounded, as though he couldn't imagine how such a thing could happen. Then he looked at Harry, as if seeking confirmation, and repeated, "I'm gonna be a father."
"Yeah, mate, you are. A brilliant one," Harry encouraged.
"Oh, see that explains Hermione—makes me want to cry too," George put in dryly.
Harry tried to elbow him in the ribs, but George evaded the blow, laughing.
All kidding aside, Harry had meant what he'd said; he could actually see his friends as the parents they were to become, and the news only cemented the decision he'd been contemplating for a while.
Hermione finally took a deep breath. "I'm okay now, but I think… Harry, how long will you stay this time? Would it be all right if we got together another day?"
"Any day is fine, actually—I'm staying. For good."
He was embraced again, this time from three different sides. Once they untangled, he kissed Hermione on the cheek. "Go home, Mum, and put your feet up—take Dad with you before he keels over." He gestured toward Ron, who looked very pleased but still a bit green around the gills. "I'll help George."
It was surprisingly easy to fall back into the shop's routine—though, he didn't quite recall it ever being this crowded.
George rushed past him, grinning. "Looks like you're good for business, mate!"
Throughout the afternoon, he was greeted warmly, welcomed enthusiastically, slapped on the back, sometimes hugged, and had his hand shaken until it was numb. It reminded him a lot of his very first trip to Diagon Alley, actually.
He became suspicious, however, when Andromeda—looking like a Greek statue come to life in some sort of strappy, flat sandals and a long, flowy frock—walked into the shop with Teddy impatiently tugging her by the hand.
He scooped the boy up and settled the squirming bundle of nearly six-year-old on his hip, chuckling when Teddy's hair changed from tawny to his signature blue. "All right, monkey? You're nearly too big for me to lift; what's your gran feeding you?"
Teddy's grandmother smiled brightly, but said with a bit of censure in her voice, "Just when, exactly, were you planning to let us know you were home?"
Harry dutifully kissed the cheek she'd presented to him and replied, "I've only been in country for three, maybe four hours! How'd you even know I was here?"
"You're famous! It was on the wireless!" Teddy proclaimed, sounding very impressed.
He raised his eyebrows in surprise, looking to Andromeda. "The wireless? Whatever for?"
"It's true—couldn't get this one to settle down until I brought him to see you." Teddy hid his reddening face in Harry's neck.
"Well, I'm certainly glad you did!" He dug his fingers into Teddy's side, tickling him to help ease the boy's embarrassment, until he was shrieking with laughter. Harry set him on his feet once he'd calmed down a bit and then asked Andromeda, "Why'd they announce it on the wireless? I've been home before."
"We know that, of course, but you do keep a very low profile—the only people who see you are family." The statement gave Harry a warm feeling; he liked that Andromeda thought of him that way.
Teddy had grabbed hold of Harry's arm and was trying to climb up his leg, so Harry hefted him up sideways, holding him to his side so his denim-clad bum was up in the air, provoking another gale of laughter. "I s'pose, but I don't know why it's newsworthy."
"That's exactly what makes you you, Harry." Andromeda shook her head and smiled fondly at him. "People are very grateful for what you've done for them. And they've heard about you for years, some of them their entire lives." She lifted her hand and patted his cheek. "They haven't seen you in a while and want to know that you're well. They care about you, goose. It's not so hard to understand, really."
His face heated up like a schoolboy's, and he couldn't help being pleased, even if he thought the wizarding world a little mad for their interest. Teddy broke the moment by tugging on his trousers and asking from somewhere near Harry's ankle, "Uncle Harry, can we go flying before you go away again?"
The streak of guilt that flashed through Harry was entirely justified—if he hadn't already decided to stick around, this would've clinched it. He'd been so selfish, staying away. Travelling, seeing the world had been fun, but it was well past time to come home.
He swallowed the lump in his throat. "Absolutely." He lifted the boy so he was right-side-up again. "In fact, I'll need a little bit of time to get settled somewhere, but I'm not going away anymore. I'm home for good this time."
Teddy squeezed his neck. "Promise?"
It was Andromeda's turn to bestow a kiss to the cheek. "That's wonderful news, Harry. You've been missed." She patted Teddy's back. "Come along, Mr. Lupin, we've a nap awaiting us, and we mustn't keep Uncle Harry any longer."
Teddy gave one last squeeze and whispered, "I'm so happy you're home."
"Me too." Harry buried his nose in Teddy's once again tawny hair and planted a kiss at his temple, then set him on his feet, waving as they went out the door.
The crowd had kept a respectful distance, even if some of them appeared to have gone misty-eyed by the scene, but when Teddy and Andromeda had gone, the shop was bustling once more, and Harry didn't have a spare moment for the rest of the afternoon.
He let himself into number twelve, Grimmauld Place, creeping past the portrait near the entrance, though Mrs. Black had become eerily quiet after Kreacher died, two years ago. The old house-elf had managed to make the entire dwelling more than habitable, even if Harry was only there for a couple weeks at a time every few months, but he couldn't imagine living there full time.
Which meant he needed to start looking for a place to live—a real home, with a room for Teddy, so he could come to visit.
The scent wafting from the take-away he'd picked up made his stomach remind him, rather loudly, that he was starving. He'd never got his lunch with Hermione and Ron, and hadn't had a moment all day to grab something. George had offered to feed him, of course, and he'd always been good for a laugh, but Harry had too much going on in his head to fully enjoy George's company.
He grabbed the paper bag and took it into the library, flicking his wand at the empty grate and setting a fire blazing to chase away the shadows and the spring damp. As he tucked in, he thought of all that had transpired since he'd been back in town.
Beyond the news of his best friends' impending parenthood, and the fact that he'd made the quick but very right decision to end his traveling ways, he boggled at the sheer number of people and the warmth of the greetings he'd received today. Better still, they'd all seemed sincere; no one appeared to want anything more from him than to say hello, or to welcome him home.
It'd all been entirely … unreal, but rather a nice feeling to know he'd been missed.
He hadn't been running away when he'd started traveling, but anyone watching from the outside might've interpreted it that way, as it was only a few months after Ginny had abruptly but very kindly broken things off with him.
In reality, though, George had taken him in during that time: had helped him suss out why Ginny ended up so terribly disappointed; had helped him realize why, no matter how desperately he'd wanted to love Ginny and have that perfect fantasy family with her, putting it into practice had proven difficult. Nearly impossible, even.
So when Harry had decided to see the world, it'd been with a genuine desire to do so, and he'd set out with a new and very good understanding of himself.
And it'd been fantastic.
They'd not been idle holidays by any means, because Harry had wanted experiences more than pampering. He'd done nearly everything: worked as a deckhand on a crab boat in the Bering Sea, pulling monstrous king crabs from the deep, frigid water for a grueling but rewarding season; he'd worked as a pontil boy in Venice, watching in awe as the glass masters crafted graceful, fluid beauty from molten sand; he'd worked for a season on an archeological dig in the Valley of the Kings, and though they'd not made any large important finds, each shard of faience or alabaster, each fragmented shabti figure had sent his heart racing with the knowledge it'd been held by someone thousands of years ago—touching the past was a heady experience.
That's not to say it'd been all work. He'd had plenty of leisure, as well.
He'd seen some stunning sunsets, and breathtaking natural wonders; he'd even wiled away an afternoon or two in a hammock on a white sand beach in the Gulf of Mexico. He'd met some incredible people he'd remember forever—and a few he'd like to forget too. One of the most memorable had been Paolo, another pontil boy, working in the oppressive heat of the Venetian kiln house. Not much older than Harry, he'd been tall and wiry, with a fantastic roman nose and an unexpected easy grin that had been Harry's undoing.
Harry smiled at the memory; he'd learned a lot from Paolo.
Thinking of him had caused his groin to tighten—a languid, curling pull—and he wondered now if he shouldn't have taken George up on his offer after all.
He aimed his wand at his take-away rubbish and muttered, "Evanesco," then rested his legs on the ottoman in front of him.
It hadn't been his plan, but what benefit was there to living alone if a bloke couldn't have a wank whenever he felt like it?
In no particular hurry, Harry rubbed along the lengthening bulge in his trousers, enjoying the heat of his hand through the denim. He unfastened the button and slid his hand inside, pushing the zip down as he went, finally releasing the hardening length.
As Paolo was the cause of his arousal, he became the star of the scene Harry conjured in his mind. More memory than fantasy, he could almost feel the warm Italian sun on his shoulders as Paolo removed his own clothing, revealing that wonderful olive skin stretched over sleek muscles and a nearly hairless chest.
Paolo had had a particular talent for sucking cock and Harry stroked steadily but slowly, cupping his balls with his free hand as Paolo said, in his heavily accented, broken English, "I suck you. Make you come big, no?"
"Yes, definitely yes, Paolo," Harry sighed into the empty room. "Make me come big."
Kneeling between Harry's parted legs, Paolo gently kissed the inside of Harry's thighs, his hips, his stomach—everywhere but the spot that ached for his mouth the most, murmuring lovely words in Italian that Harry didn't understand but couldn't get enough of. He tongued Harry's bollocks, then up the shaft, finally swirling around the sensitive glans, paying special attention to the slit, then gently sucking just the head.
Paolo smirked, and with an exaggerated lick of his lips declared, "Squisito," then bent his head back down to his task.
Harry's moans filled the library. He lifted his hips so he could push his trousers down farther and access his arse, teasing the hole with his finger and stroking himself harder, while fantasy Paolo finally swallowed his throbbing prick, using that devilish tongue to full advantage. Harry moaned louder and Paolo looked up, not releasing his mouthful, but then Paolo's warm brown eyes turned to black and his skin to pale, and—oh god—Snape was sucking him in his hot mouth and humming and swallowing and Harry thrust his hips up roughly into his stroking hand, pumping furiously as he pressed his finger inside.
Then, grunting incoherently, he cried out his release, spurting powerfully into the air, causing pearly white splotches to fall on his shirt, his cheek, his hair, even the chair arm.
He sat dazed for a moment, then cleaned himself up with a quick and wandless 'Scourgify'. It wasn't the first time that Snape had invaded a wank session, so it wasn't as disturbing as it could've been. But Harry did wonder if he weren't a little perverse, fantasizing about a man who'd seemingly been in love with his mother, one whom he'd been at odds with for more years than not.
And what did it say about him that the experience was generally more intense on those occasions?
Harry shrugged it off, choosing, as usual, not to analyze it.
It did bring to mind, though, what he'd seen earlier in Slug & Jiggers.
Even with everything else that'd gone on today, the mystery of Severus Snape was never far from his thoughts, which might explain his sudden appearance this evening.
If he hadn't seen it with his own eyes, he would've found the situation completely unbelievable.
How could that woman have been so incredibly rude? And Hermione had said it happened all the time. He couldn't help comparing it to his own warm welcome home. It didn't seem right.
It offended his sense of justice, of fair play.
More importantly, why had Snape just stood there and taken it? It seemed completely at odds with the man Harry knew.
It certainly appeared worth investigating to see if Hermione was right and this thing with Snape really did happen all the time. Harry's fortune was such that he'd never have to work another day if didn't want to, but he liked to be busy, to be productive, and getting to the bottom of this seemed a worthwhile occupation.
He could decide what to do with the rest of his life later.
Sated and sleepy, Harry headed upstairs for bed, pondering how he might manage to spy on a man who'd been a spy himself, nearly as long as Harry had been alive, and do so without bringing the wrath of Snape down upon him.