|darkflowers (darkflowers) wrote in dark_flowers,|
@ 2008-12-20 20:07:00
|Entry tags:||2008 holiday flowers exchange, fic|
Happy Holidays, Zephyre
Gift For: zephre
Summary: After Voldemort is defeated, three lost souls try to find their way back to living.
Author/Artist's notes: AU, First War. A bit over 900 words. Happy Christmas, Zephre!
Harry was crying for James again and Severus didn't know what to do. It was the first time Lily and Remus had left him alone with the child, and he suspected they had contrived appointments just to force his hand. The boy's face was a wet, snotty mess, but apparently he could see well enough through his tears to reach for Severus, silently asking to be comforted.
In the three months since Lily's righteous fire had consumed Voldemort, Harry had experienced a complete upheaval. James had lain dead at Lily's feet when she had cast the final spells in the pitched battle at Godric's Hollow. Her husband's love and Lily's willingness to sacrifice herself for Harry had given her the strength to consume the crazed Dark Lord with a mere touch, his body crumbling in the face of her fierce devotion to her family. The act, however, had left Lily drained of all emotion and energy.
This was the reason Severus now held baby Harry awkwardly in his arms while the boy choked him around the neck. He couldn't face his parents even after Dumbledore had testified on his behalf, and Lily hadn't objected when he had volunteered to help care for her in the battle's aftermath. Of course, she hadn't objected to Remus Bloody Lupin moving in either, but, to his credit, the werewolf was better with Harry, whom Severus had almost forgotten in his concern for his friend.
Holed up in the half of Godric's Hollow that still stood, sturdy and unplottable, the three of them held their anxieties close and went about the business of re-establishing what passed for a normal life for former Death Eaters, current werewolves, and Saviours of the Wizarding World. Severus watched over Lily while Lily fretted over Harry, and Remus tried to care for all three of them, a new pack forming where the old one had died and been locked away.
They were a spectacular mess, but no one could convince them to be parted once Lily let them in. Remus had lost the "bloody" in his name fairly quickly once Severus realised that Remus could handle Harry, and Remus' intoning of Severus' name became less sarcastic when he saw that Lily was slowly being drawn out of her shell by Severus challenging her with potions research. Just last month, Lily and Severus had presented Remus with a potion that had helped drug Remus' inner wolf into complete oblivion during his transformation, and they were working on improving it further.
As Severus walked around the small living room, which had formerly been the dining room, patting a hiccuping Harry on the back, he realised that much of the anger that had fueled him to become a Death Eater in the first place had dissipated and been replaced by a strange sort of affection for their struggling unit. He'd found more acceptance in their shared grief than he ever had in his anger.
Eventually, Harry went limp with exhaustion, falling into a deep sleep. As Severus laid the boy down in the crib Remus had transfigured, for the first time he didn't see the spitting image of his hated enemy, but a child who was grieving in the only way he knew. Harry would need all of them to feel safe, challenged and loved, and Severus found that he didn't dislike the idea of being one of the boy's sentinels as much as he once had.
A hand landed heavily on his shoulder as Severus watched the baby, and he whirled to find that Lily and Remus had returned. Remus' smile was soft, but it was Lily's face, infused with pleasure at finding Severus and Harry getting on so well, that made Severus go slack-jawed with wonder. Finally, his friend was becoming herself again, and somehow, in his fumbling way, Severus had helped make that happen. His own face cracked as much as it ever would, one side of his mouth quirked high.
"Lily, I- I can't wait any longer," Remus said, staring at Severus with a hungry look the dark man had never seen before.
"It's not up to me, Remus."
Darting forward, Remus gathered a stunned Severus close and brushed his lips across the other man's. When Severus didn't protest, Remus pressed in again, lifting Severus' chin with eager lips and tongue. Severus' pride demanded that he cuff the werewolf and storm away, but his knees refused to cooperate, sagging instead as his first kiss moved from sweet to searing and back again. It wasn't until Remus pulled him upright that Severus remembered there was a child and Lily in the room, and he flushed full red, unsure of himself in an entirely new and unexpected way.
Remus kept one arm slung around Severus' shoulders, as if it belonged there. He gazed softly at Lily, his voice tinged with a note of longing with which Severus found himself agreeing. "When you're ready, we'll be here, you know."
"I know," she said, and finally Lily stepped up to them and took one of their hands in each of hers, making a circle of three. "But we're a family already, and that's what I need most right now." Lily squeezed Severus' hand. He hadn't spoken since Remus kissed him. "All right, Severus?"
He flicked his eyes at each of them, taking in their hopeful, flushed faces, and Severus felt a frozen stone in his chest that he never knew he had thaw and fall down into his stomach, bursting into lacewing flies. "Better than I expected," he said, voice rough and heart hammering as though it had just come alive.