Not Dead Yet by scriblerian Title: Not Dead Yet Author:annescriblerian Word Count: 800 Rating: NC-17 Warnings: BDSM relationship Pairing: Severus/Harry, Harry/Ginny A/N:gingertart50 is a model of patience and charm. This is for roozetter because she asked for it. I live to please!!!
Not Dead Yet
The smell of honeysuckle came in on the soft, spring breeze. It filled the Burrow, blending with the scent of tea and scones.
Harry felt like he was suffocating.
The bright light streaming in through the windows made the silver tea service sparkle and the flowers in the wallpaper glow. The well-worn velvet on the battered old couch felt as soft as Ginny’s skin when she rubbed her cheek against his.
It was like being buried alive.
Not that it mattered. He was dead anyway. He had died in the Shrieking Shack, hours before he died in the Forbidden Forest. The only reason he had come back from that spectral train station was to see if he had been mistaken and Severus was actually still alive.
He wasn’t. And neither was Harry.
He had thought that marrying Ginny would be no sacrifice, since he had nothing left. But his body and his heart—damn them!—continued to feel. If he could forget, maybe he could stop feeling. He longed for a potion that would shut down his heart, or at least his mind, completely.
The only thing that stopped Harry from escaping this horrible life for good was his intuition that the eternal destination of a suicide would not be anywhere near the reward that surely had awaited a martyr like Severus.
In Harry's effort to remain numb, he didn’t even notice Molly entering the room. He didn’t hear her offer tea; he didn’t notice her worried look.
There was no staying insensible when Ginny came into the room. She glowed with happiness--her hair shimmered with fiery highlights, her skin was sun-kissed to the warm tones of a ripe peach, and her smile could light up Hogwarts.
She was amazing; she was beautiful and kind and full of life.
She made Harry even more aware that he was dead.
He hated her.
She bussed him and gave him tea prepared just the way he liked it and put exactly the right amount of clotted cream on his favorite kind of scone. He took a few bites to appease her; it tasted of ashes.
Harry did not scream, but he could not smile. If she noticed the fine tremor of his hands, she was wise enough not to mention it.
There were certain advantages to being thought of as a traumatized war hero.
Ginny finally swept out, telling him that she needed to help her mother plan the flowers for the wedding. The lingering scent of roses she left in her wake overpowered the honeysuckle fragrance that pervaded the room. It smelled exactly like a funeral parlor.
Then Harry felt a familiar presence behind him.
A benefit of actually being a traumatized veteran was this tendency to sensory hallucinations. The brief scent of potions ingredients and the damp of dungeons, the swirl of black just around the next corner, these glimpses of paradise let him endure this relentlessly bright reality.
But he had never had a hallucination like this.
Harry felt the cold touch of metal against the back of his neck. He instinctively dropped his head forward, falling easily into beloved patterns that should no longer be possible. He kept his eyes squeezed shut as the familiar grip of his collar closed around his throat. He didn't want this dream--for that was what it must be--to end. He felt alive for the first time since he had seen the ocean of blood soaking into the floorboards of the Shrieking Shack.
Hot breath at his ear, "This is no dream, Potter."
Still, he didn't open his eyes.
The long fingers that grasped Harry's hair and pulled his head back were unmistakable; the dry lips that rasped against his cheek jolted his entire body to life.
"So are you."
Tears leaked out of Harry's eyes, trickling down into his ears in that tickle that was far more torturous than the unnatural angle of his head or the bite of the collar into his Adam's apple.
"I want to be dead." Harry almost choked on the words, "but I'm not."
Severus, who else could it be, it had to be him, viciously slapped Harry.
"After only a few months away from your Master, you think you can defy me? You are dead if I say you are dead."
Harry's response was automatic. He would have slid to his knees if Severus hadn't still had him by the hair. He groaned with frustration at not being able to take the position he loved so well.
"You will be on your knees soon enough, Potter. First we need to get out of this hellhole."
Harry spun into blissful darkness as Severus hooked his finger under the collar and tugged, cutting Harry's air off completely and activating the Portkey to heaven.