|snarryhols (snarryhols) wrote in snarry_holidays,|
@ 2009-12-26 13:20:00
|Entry tags:||fic, rated: pg, round: 2009|
Fic: Coming Home - for torina_archelda
Title: Coming Home
Author: The Grinch that Didn't Steal Christmas
Word Count: ~20.900
Pairing: SS/HP, GW/DM
Warnings: Post DH, EWE,
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: 2013: Severus Snape gets a job offer he cannot resist. For once Ginny gets what she wants. And Harry gets what he needs. Win-win for everyone.
Author's Notes: Dear torina_archelda: This is the first time I’ve participated in an exchange fest, my first Snarry ever, and my first attempt at a romantic story ever. - So many firsts! I admit I would have never done it if I didn’t have to fulfill the requirements of the assignment — and I am so very glad because I learned so much!
Dear snarry_holidays mods: Thank you for organizing this fest, your support and your patience! Thank you so much to my betas l and uhm, l, for being fast, reliable and efficient! Danke schoen!
Severus expected the children to spend every weekend with Ms. Weasley (he still called her Mrs. Potter in front of Potter so he didn’t hurt the man's sensitivities), but it soon turned out that, fortunately, she was often far too busy. Ms. Weasley trained and practiced much harder than her (ex)husband. Severus realized early on that playing Quidditch was the most important thing in her life, although she loved her children. To Potter the children were the most important thing, although he did love to play Quidditch. A clear reversal of priorities.
In the beginning, when Ginny had made it sound as if she would take the children every weekend, he had been a bit relieved. But now he despised the weekends they spent in London. He hadn't suddenly become fond of children, mind you, but he disliked interruptions of his routine. He had taken much effort and time to set up the ideal lesson plan for Potter's offspring and was used to have them constantly around, following him from room to room, asking (lots of) questions, tugging at his robes (he allowed it only when Potter wasn't around), and chatting to him. The silence in the house when they were not around was disconcerting, especially when Potter, too, vanished to spend a day or sometimes even the night in New York (which happened less and less, Severus noted, not without a note of satisfaction).
Every time they returned from London, they were laden with expensive gifts and sweets and refused to go to bed early, insisting they were allowed to stay up as long as they liked to at Draco's place. (Unfortunately, when Potter asked Ginny and Draco they confirmed, but they also told him that Sev had told them that Potter and Severus allowed them to stay up as long as they want.)
The notion that he might have become softer as Potter attempted to point out, was obviously laughable. It proved merely to be a waste of time to snarl and growl at the boys, who ignored his hostile behaviour with aplomb (like Potter), so it was better to encourage them to talk and to tire them out that way.
Lily Luna, or Lils as Potter called her, was a different matter. Her attitude hadn't changed much since the day they met, but she never ever challenged or disobeyed him openly. He knew that Potter had attempted to talk to her, but she only gave him her usual dark, sullen look and shrugged her little shoulders.
Severus was not sure why, but when it came to her, he was unsure of himself and felt like the intruder he was. Maybe it was because she carried the name of the only woman he had ever cared for. The way she looked at him made him feel things he could not decipher, and sometimes he was tempted to hug her, like Potter did, and ask her what was wrong. But from observing others’ failed attempts to get closer to her, he knew it would be futile, and so he continued to pretend not to be aware of her behaviour.
After Potter's confession, they didn't talk about the issue any more. He knew Potter must be confused, since he knew about the feelings he once had harbored for Lily. It was a typical muggle conception that one had to either prefer men or women. And frankly, Severus was confused about Potter's orientation since he had fathered three children and seemed to appreciate women. Like any other man, he looked appraisingly at them, and he was susceptible to their charm.
His own intense curiosity dismayed Severus. He didn't view Potter as a child, but he remembered the day he had first laid eyes on him: in the Great Hall, so many years ago. To him it was as if that had been only yesterday. That he managed so easily to feel interest for Potter was not a comfortable feeling.
It amused him though. When he thought his own depravity had reached rock bottom, his insane mind would yet find another level to sink to. He was nothing but an aging, lonely, pathetic homosexual, and Potter was a shining, young, beautiful hero and Quidditch star.
Who was at least bisexual.
Oh, right then.
Severus was in the kitchen when Ginny Flooed in. He clattered plates around and generated a lot of noise to make his presence known to them, but Potter didn't seem to care.
"You know what I mean. They deserve to have a mother. And a father."
"It's not fair to blame this on me," spat Ginny angrily. "I’m not the one who's dating an American Quidditch player named Brad."
"Yeah, whatever." Ginny snorted.
"And I’m not the one who dates a ponce who takes one and half hours in the bathroom to arrange his remaining hair."
There was a thick silence.
Severus gripped his wand and walked to the living room to prevent the worst.
Then a cushion flew through the air and must have landed on Potter's face because Severus could hear a faint "Oomph.”
"You are an idiot, Harry," Ginny said.
Potter sat heavily beside Ginny and then leaned his head against her shoulder. She patted him.
"I thought you were my friend." Harry sighed. "I just wanted to have a family."
"You have a family! And you know I love you. But I would like to marry my ponce, ok?"
As silently as he could, he went to the study to find the children pretending to do their homework — except for Lils, who was sitting on the desk and looking at him strangely.
While he was taking up the lesson again, he silently surveyed them for signs of distress, but he couldn’t detect any. When he finally came to the conclusion that they might merely block the fights between their mother and father out, James spoke up.
"Don't be sad because mum and dad are fighting!" he said. Albus and Lils looked uncomfortable about James’ frankness. It was already very clear who was going to be sorted into Gryffindor, thought Severus wryly.
"I am not sad. Your parents are not fighting. They’re having a discussion."
James laughed. "They always laugh in the end. So they're ok."
Later in the evening Severus was going down to the living room when he stumbled over a toy dragon or car that had been placed strategically (by James, no doubt) on the steps.
Before he fell Potter appeared out of nowhere and held him.
"Careful." he said.
"Thank you." he answered, feeling Potter's breath on his cheek and his left ear. "You may let go of me now."
Potter obeyed and stepped back.
Severus didn't know what exactly happened - only that Potter didn't move away. And neither did Severus. They both just stared at each other.
Finally Severus thinned his lips and swept past Potter, feeling ridiculously light headed and dizzy.
Severus avoided Diagon Alley after the incident in June. He was not a coward, but he had fought his battles and was tired of them. He had survived two wars, Voldemort, and, well, Dumbledore. He had survived a snakebite that would have killed anybody else. He had survived a coma and a long, painful rehabilitation — months without being able to move or to use magic. He had paid for his sins, and now all he wanted was his peace.
Potter never said anything when Severus declined to leave Godric’s Hollow, but at times he narrowed his eyes suspiciously.
Severus pretended not to notice.
Then one day in early August he simply had to go: He needed potion ingredients, and he knew that Potter would not be able to buy the quality he needed. The last time he had sent Potter, he had only returned with half of the items on the list, and the ingredients he did manage to bring back were of horrible quality. Knowing Potter's inability to judge ingredients, the shop owners had taken advantage of him.
Potter, heroic as always, pretended to have "errands" to run in Diagon Alley and insisted on going together. Obviously he didn't want to hurt Severus’ pride. He could have told Potter that he didn't mind his protection but refrained. It was endearing to watch Potter attempting to be Slytherin. Severus had a weakness for people who could not lie. He felt safe with them.
The day they Apparated to Diagon Alley was hot and sunny. It was crowded as usual, and Severus felt instantly uncomfortable. The moment he materialized, people turned to look his way, and he could hear murmured insults and feel the hostility like a slow wave rolling towards him.
Then Potter was standing beside him, holding his arm, with his bright, false Quidditch star smile. Severus could not decide if he wanted to shove him away or pull him closer.
More people were looking. A crowd was forming around them, and Severus withstood the urge to draw his wand and to back into a corner.
This, Severus realized, was a monumental mistake. To Apparate with Potter into the middle of Diagon Alley was probably one of the most unsubtle ways to enter any place in the Wizarding world. It was very much like walking around in pink robes with a sign on them flashing "Death Eater HERE." While herds of children crowded Potter and begged him to sign their books and chocolate frog cards their mothers watched Severus warily as if he might leap at the children and devour them.
They hurried into the potion shop; when they tried to leave after a mere ten minutes, reporters had already arrived and took pictures of Potter and Severus. From a safe distance, they bellowed questions at both of them.
"Mr. Potter, is it true that you let Snape torture, er, tutor your children? An Ex-Death eater?"
"Is it true that you are still wearing the Dark Mark?"
"Snape, are you working on a way to resurrect Voldemort?"
"Mr. Potter, are you and Severus Snape dating?"
Severus registered the last question only after half a minute; but when he finally understood, he balled his fists, ready to strike.
Before he could do or say anything, warm lips pressed against his.
Severus had been kissed before, but this, he noted, was not a mere kiss. It was nothing as dull and common as a kiss.
This was an unknown, otherworldly experience. He had never ever felt anything like it before. That such bliss, such perfection existed — who could have known that? Severus’ heart hammered in his chest. Heat raced like wildfire through his body, and a bittersweet, mysterious sensation filled his entire being. Everything around him started spinning. He could not have lived his whole life without knowing this, could he?
With his last remaining brain cells, he raised his hands and shoved himself away from the other. The spinning came to a screeching halt. He attempted to steady himself and stumbled.
Something was wrong. He opened his eyes and finally breathed in. Dizzily he even leant against the white wooden doorframe of the potion shop.
He looked into Potter’s sparkling eyes.
Potter, he realized, had just had the incredible audacity to kiss him.
The reporters had fallen silent. Furious clicking of the cameras could be heard.