|auctasinistra (auctasinistra) wrote in wip_rip,|
@ 2008-10-28 17:17:00
Quietly Snape said, “You are doing both of us a disservice in trying to turn a blind eye to the truth.” His expression fell. “I speak from recent experience.”
Snape moved out of Harry’s gentle hold. “This is as well said, whatever happens after. Although I do wonder if you don’t prefer to believe I have no more feeling for you than a certain level of lust.”
Still puzzled, Harry said, “I admit I would be absolutely gobsmacked to imagine you are in love with me. I don’t really know how I’d react. Is that what you mean?” He knew – knew – that Snape couldn’t possibly love him. That he even tolerated him, liked him – desired him – even that still made Harry’s head and heart reel.
Snape eased closer to him, close enough to feel. “You have as much as told me that you love me. How does that feel?”
Harry smiled. “Pretty good. Weird, but good.”
“But if I were to say that to you,” Snape said, his voice barely above a whisper. “What would you do?”
“I ... I don’t know.”
“That is no answer,” Snape said sharply. “Imagine I have said it.” He seized Harry’s arms. “I love you.”
Harry felt himself flush. And smile. And shake his head. “I don’t know,” he repeated, closing his eyes, feeling the words burn in his stomach. “Amazed. Wonderful. Disbelieving. Scared.”
“Yes,” Snape said, and Harry opened his eyes.
“Are you saying you think I would be afraid to have you love me?” he demanded.
“That is one of the things I am saying,” Snape said, releasing his arms. “The word carries a great deal of weight. That is increased a hundredfold when it is reciprocated.”
“Oh.” Harry laughed. “God. I see. You think I’m not ... not ready to commit to someone I love? Someone who loves me? As if that hasn’t been what I’ve wanted all my life? Jesus Christ...” He laughed again – then sobered abruptly. “But wait a minute. Were you saying that you love me, or were you just testing me?”
Snape laughed softly. “Foolish boy. Why would I wish to test you on the matter if I did not?”
Again Harry felt his eyes prickle as his heart swelled. “God. Severus.” He pulled Snape close. “If you ... if you love me ...” Words failed him. Typically, they did not fail Snape.
“Yes? If I do, then what?”
“Then ... I don’t know. I’ve never felt this happy. I don’t know what to do with it.” He drew back, kissed Snape hard, then looked at him. “What do we do now?”
“What do you wish to do?”
Harry shook his head. “I ... move in with you? Marry you? I don’t know.”
Snape chuckled. “Marriage is a muggle institution, Mr. Potter. And you have a job awaiting you in London.”
“Fuck that,” Harry said, smiling at Snape’s raised brow. “I quit. I’ll stay here.”
“And ... teach?” Snape mocked. “There is no current opening for a professor of brazen rule breaking.”
Harry grinned. “I don’t care. I’ll ... clean Hagrid’s cottage. I’ll clean your cauldrons. I’ll maintain the school brooms.”
“You said that whichever of us won, you would lose. I want you to explain what you meant.”
“You and Tony are alike in this at least – you are young and randy and in search of novel sensation. I don’t condemn it–” he forestalled Harry’s objection– “but I am many years past that sort of pursuit.”
Harry shook his head. “Yes, we’re both young and randy. The difference is he doesn’t know you. He saw a sexy man in black.” Harry almost smiled to see Snape squirm faintly at that description. “I saw you. I know you. I know your courage. I know your strength and your power and your intellect. I know your wit – even when you’re using it against me –”
“And seldom have I known more fertile ground for it,” Snape said, a faint grin sparking in his eyes.
“You aren’t going to derail me,” Harry said. “I suppose you don’t want to hear it, and that’s why you kept trying to avoid this. I don’t blame you. But I think the truth needs to be spoken. What you do with it is your business, but I won’t stand here and let you pretend that you were a random shag by a stupid randy brat.”
Snape stilled, eyes glittering, dangerous. “Then precisely what am I, Mr. Potter?”
Harry’s skin tingled; he felt as he had in dueling lessons, ready to be cut down for the smallest error. But telling the truth – whatever Snape did to him because of it – didn’t feel like a mistake.
“Loved,” he said.