|webmistresses (webmistresses) wrote in severus_sighs,|
@ 2012-02-21 08:03:00
|Entry tags:||event: anti-valentine's day 2012, fic, member: lemondropseven, pairing: severus/harry, rating: pg-13|
Incompatible by lemondropseven
Word Count: ~3k
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. The characters and their worlds belong to their original writers and no copyright infringement or offense is intended. No money was made from this story.
Summary: A bird may love a fish, but where would they live?
A/N: I wrote this a while ago, but wasn't happy enough with it to post it. I'm still not totally satisfied, but it fit one of the prompts really well, so I fiddled with it a bit, and I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. Any ideas about love, sexuality, and statistics pertaining to sexuality are completely made up, so don't shoot me if it sounds crazy. I just wondered what if? :)
A bird may love a fish, but where would they live?
Harry heard someone pounding on the door and for a split second his heart leapt with hope. He ruthlessly stomped it down; it couldn’t be Severus. Taking another swig of bourbon straight from the bottle, he settled deeper into the couch and ignored the noise.
It took Ron almost 3 hours of swearing and dodging curses to get through the wards protecting Harry’s hiding place. When he finally got the door open, he crossed the threshold and stared at the disarray and utter filth surrounding his friend. Harry toasted his success by raising the bottle and continuing his efforts to stay drunk.
Striding over to the couch, Ron pushed the empty liquor bottles onto the floor and plopped down. He was prepared to stay until Harry spilled his guts about whatever was bothering him. He hadn’t expected things to be quite this bad, though.
“It’s been almost a month, Harry, since you holed yourself up in here. You don’t answer fire calls, stopped taking owl letters, warded this house like a bloody fortress and no one’s seen you since you quit teaching at Hogwarts for no apparent reason,” Ron paused in his diatribe, sniffing in the direction of his despondent friend, “and unless I miss my guess, you haven’t taken a shower lately either.”
Waving an empty scotch bottle in the air he continued, “You probably haven’t eaten and you can’t live on this stuff.” Frustration and concern colored his rising voice, “Now, what in the bloody hell is going on?”
“Three weeks, five days, and 22 hours, actually.”
Ron absorbed this fact and its implications. If he was worried before, he was now desperate to know what was wrong. “Harry. What happened?” he asked softly. To his surprise, Harry’s eyes welled up with tears; but they didn’t fall and finally he spoke.
“I ruined it, Ron. Everything was great,” he paused and gave a bitter bark of laughter. “For once, I was happy. I should’ve known it wouldn’t last.” It was too painful to talk about it, so Harry drank and the silence stretched out. His mind, addled by drink and despair, jumped from topic to topic.
In an apparent non sequitur he said, “I’m not gay, you know?”
Confused didn’t begin to describe Ron’s reaction, but it was obvious Harry was waiting for a reply. “Uh… yeah, Harry, I know.”
“I was happy teaching. I really was. The students were great and Hogwarts has always been home to me.” Harry’s voice was plaintive, as if he didn’t understand how or why life had suddenly dumped him on his ass. Ron tried to keep up with his drunken friend’s leaps of logic but resigned himself to just listening; hoping it would make sense eventually.
“I even managed to get along with Severus. Not at first, of course. Too much history between us. But during that first year we… we became friends.” Harry had to force himself to finish that sentence. Thoughts of everything he’d lost overwhelmed him.
Ron watched Harry swallow back tears and kept his silence, giving him all the time he needed.
“The second year we became really good friends. Confidants. You,” Harry turned suddenly to meet his eyes for the first time, “you’re my best mate, Ron. You always have been. But you were gone a lot with your job, and you and Hermoine were starting a life together. I understood, of course, but we could only get together every once in awhile. He didn’t, couldn’t, replace you – but he is, was, as close to me as you are.”
Harry watched his friend’s face carefully, hoping he could tell he was sincere. Ron remembered being jealous of the time Snape spent with Harry; his worry that he wouldn’t need or want him anymore. Eventually he’d been happy because Harry was happy. Swallowing hard he answered, his voice rough with unexpected emotion, “I know, Harry.”
Looking away, Harry continued, “We got so comfortable with each other it was like he was a part of me. We knew each other so well we often had the same thoughts at the same time.” A tiny smile graced his lips. “It was weird knowing someone as well as you do yourself. Weird, but brilliant. I can’t imagine my life without him.” Harry trailed off; memories of shared lunches, chess games, and drinks after dinner in front of the fire haunting him. It was all over now.
Ron was stunned. He’d known they were friends; as close as brothers. But what Harry was describing was perilously close to another emotion altogether. It was how he felt about Hermoine. Suddenly Harry’s earlier random declaration made sense. He was searching for words when Harry spoke again; his voice low, almost a whisper. As if he’d forgotten Ron was there and was now talking to himself.
“I love him, you know? I love him the way I love you. I thought it was the same way.”
Ron waited but that was all he said. An idea took hold of him as he remembered the time a couple of months ago when he and Hermoine had had Severus and Harry over for dinner. The way Severus had leaned in close when Harry spoke to him, the sparkle in his eyes, the fact that he smiled; it all spoke of affection deeper than friendship. With this half-formed conclusion, Ron did what he did best – opened his mouth without consulting his brain.
“Harry. If you love the man, just tell him. His reaction can’t be that bad. I’m pretty sure he feels the same way.” And he was. The more he thought about it, the more sure he was. His musings were interrupted by a snort of laughter so devoid of humor it sent chills down his spine.
“If it was that easy, Ron, d’you think I’d be sitting here, purposely drinking myself to death?” Harry gave another mirthless chuckle. “No, it’s much more complicated than just telling him.” The chuckle gave way to an aborted sob.
“Anyway, he knows.”
Harry put the bottle to his lips again but it was empty. With a sigh of frustration he stood unsteadily and started rummaging for more alcohol. He wasn’t drunk enough yet. If he could still remember, still feel the pain; then he wasn’t drunk enough.
“D’you know how many people are actually straight, Ron? I mean, literally straight. Like an arrow. They cannot respond to a member of the same sex.” Harry’s voice was muffled as he bent down to retrieve his last bottle of cognac.
Ron made the shift in subjects a little more smoothly this time, knowing by now it was all related to whatever had upset Harry’s life so drastically 4 weeks ago. “Uh, no, Harry, I don’t know.”
Harry straightened up clutching the bottle, swaying a little as he made his way back to the couch. “Guess. Percentage of the population of England who are straight. Not leaning. Not bi. Straight.” Harry’s voice had taken on a brittle, false cheeriness, as if playing a game.
Ron hazarded a guess, “Um, maybe 40%?” He thought that was a fair figure.
Harry snorted. “Nope! Lower.” The sing-song quality of his voice was starting to worry Ron.
“Loooow-eeeer.” Harry knocked back the bottle and started chugging.
Ron reached out to stop him, worried about alcohol poisoning and his friend’s mental stability. “Maybe you’ve had enough for now -“
Harry jerked away, dropping the bottle on the floor, not caring that his precious drunkenness was flowing onto the carpet. He leaned in close, eyes blazing, all trace of levity gone.
“Eight percent. Eight fucking percent.”
The words were all the more intense for the quietness of Harry’s voice.
“Less than ten percent of the good people of England are straight.” Catching Ron’s look of disbelief he continued, “Think that’s low, d’you? Most people have a definite preference and so consider themselves straight or gay, and for all intents and purposes they are gay or straight. But - given enough stimulus - the body will respond to either gender. There are only 8 people out of 100 that cannot physically respond to homosexuality.” Exhausted from his outburst, Harry slumped back into the cushions looking for his drink.
Ron had a bad feeling about where this was going but wanted to clarify something since Harry sounded surprisingly sober. “What do you mean, ‘cannot respond physically’?”
Harry remained silent for a long minute listening to his heart beating loudly in his chest, and wondered how it wasn’t lying on the floor at his feet. He heard Ron say his name and remembered he hadn’t answered the question.
“Love knows no gender, Ron. The mind, the heart… it doesn’t matter if the loved one is male or female. Hell, in our world, it doesn’t matter if they’re human or werewolf or god knows what. But the body… it knows.”
Harry snorted at the fickleness of fate.
“How is it possible to love someone so fucking much that you want to spend the rest of your life with them, want to- to- be with them, and not be able to respond to them physically?!”
His tone was vibrant with the beginnings of hysteria, waves of pain and frustration radiating from him. Harry lost himself in the memory and began speaking, unaware of Ron’s presence; re-living events as if somehow the ending would be different this time.
“3 weeks, 5 days and 23 hours ago, Severus and I were in his rooms after dinner. Just talking. Having a drink….”
Severus turned to Harry with a raised eyebrow as he ended his story about the hapless 1st year and her exploding cauldron. He knew it would get the reaction he wanted and wasn’t disappointed when Harry threw back his head and laughed whole heartedly. Severus allowed a small smile to escape; but hid the depth of his pleasure to this simple reaction.
Still chuckling, Harry shared a smile with his companion, marveling as he often did how the barely-there expression changed Severus’ face. It was his eyes, too, of course; they lit up from within and produced a similar lightness inside Harry’s chest.
“More wine?” Harry rose as he asked the question, already knowing the answer would be an affirmative.
“Yes, thank you, Harry.” Their fingers brushed as Harry took the glass from him to refill it. Severus was mellow enough from the previous glass to let himself savor the warmth that shot through him at the accidental contact.
Handing the glass back, Harry reseated himself and stared into the fire. A comfortable silence descended between them and he grew drowsy. Thinking he should probably leave before he fell asleep on the couch, he turned to say his goodnights to Severus, and found the older man looking right at him, much closer than he’d expected. The words never made it past his lips as he was suddenly arrested by how beautiful his friend was. The silence wasn’t comfortable anymore; it was filling with a tension that confused Harry as much as his thoughts did.
Severus knew he’d just been caught staring but Harry didn’t say anything; staring back at him with a look of dawning wonder. He was so beautiful and Severus ached to tell him, to reach out and touch him, to let him know how much he loved him. He’d fallen in love almost a year ago, but knew Harry loved him as a friend, a brother – nothing more – so he’d kept it to himself. Lately though, he’d begun to wonder; Harry was so open and affectionate with him sometimes.
And the look in his eyes now sent shivers down Severus’ spine.
So he took a chance.
“Harry…” The name was merely a whisper but the longing in it rang out loud and clear. He lifted a hand to cup Harry’s cheek. Slowly, giving him plenty of time to pull away, Severus closed the distance between them and pressed his lips to Harry’s in a sweet, chaste kiss.
Harry’s mind raced, all traces of wine induced sleepiness gone as he processed what was happening. He’d never been attracted to men; had never even considered it, actually. But he couldn’t lie to himself about how much he loved Severus. And this felt right, warm and loving; he’d never felt this way for anyone before. So he kissed him back.
Groaning softly at his response, Severus deepened the kiss and pushed Harry back into the cushions until he was laying half on top of him. He was already half-hard and the feel of Harry beneath him was driving him mad. Worried about moving too fast, he drew back slightly and trailed kisses from Harry’s mouth to his ear. “Harry, you know how much I- I care for you, don’t you?”
The murmured words drifted from his ear to his heart, lodging there and causing a swell of emotion that rolled through him. Stroking one hand through Severus’ hair he whispered back, “I know you do. I love you, Severus.”
The declaration felt natural, easy, and Harry would never forget the look on Severus’ face.
Stunned, Severus wondered if he was dreaming as he fervently whispered back, “I love you too, Harry. So much.” Heart overflowing with relief, he leaned down and Harry met him halfway. The kiss grew passionate, hands roaming under the layers of clothing separating them.
This was all he’d ever wanted; to love and be loved, to belong. Harry reveled in the sounds coming from Severus, delighted that he could bring him such pleasure. He sought out every sensitive area, every touch that produced the wonderful reactions. The most notable being the erection rubbing against his thigh with the rhythmic thrust of Severus’ hips.
Severus was lost in unexpected pleasure; drunk, not on wine, but on the joy and wonder of lust and love. He slid his hand down Harry’s body, caressing his nipple, playing with his belly button before settling firmly over his groin. He froze. Harry wasn’t hard. Pulling back he looked down in confusion and hurt, searching green eyes for an explanation.
Mortified, Harry stammered, “Severus, I don’t know – I’ve never – I – You know I love you, right?” Holding his breath, Harry pleaded mutely for understanding.
Severus was silent. Still.
Harry tried again, filling the horrible silence with panicked rambling. “I love you Severus. I’ve never been with a man before, maybe, we just need to – to try something else. Or – or keep kissing. I love kissing you. Please. We can – I can fix this. Just – just say something.”
Jerking into action Severus almost fell off the couch in his haste to remove himself from Harry. Straightening his clothes with stiff, rapid movements, rejection and embarrassment burned through him, heating his face. How could he have thought Harry would want him? He didn’t dare look the younger man in the eye, not wanting to see the pity he knew was there.
He didn’t need a pity fuck.
And just that quick; fury raged to cover the stunning pain.
Harry’s heart fell when he saw the darkening glower in Severus’ eyes. He stood up and grabbed him by the shoulders begging, “Please, listen to me. We can work this out. I can see Madam Pomfrey – she can – I know we can fix this. Please!”
For a long moment they stood motionless, Harry hoping for the impossible, Severus fighting for control; both men shattered by the events of the evening.
“Remove. Your. Hands.”
Each icy word stabbed deeply. Harry let his hands fall to his sides; the cold demeanor of his almost-lover settling in his bones. Severus’ lips curled into a sneer he hadn’t seen directed his way in years. A buzzing filled his ears and he realized Severus was speaking again.
“You don’t want me,” he hissed violently, “that cannot be fixed.” Severus couldn’t think for the emotions swirling through him. He needed to be alone. Before the anger gave way and revealed his vulnerability.
“Now, get out.”
Severus took a deep breath and closed his eyes, his heart breaking as Harry walked out the door.
“I went to Madam Pomfrey, thinking there’d be something she could do, you know? If I could fix it, maybe Severus would listen to me. I’ve never had a problem before, but maybe it was just impotence. She checked me out and declared me perfectly healthy. I asked her about homosexuality and why I couldn't respond. That's when she gave me the information about..." Harry trailed off briefly. "The point is, I’m in love with a man, but I’m not gay.” Harry’s flat recitation of events was at odds with the tears streaming down his face. For only the 3rd time that night, he met Ron’s gaze. “What am I gonna do?” The heart-wrenching whisper was torn from him and he finally broke down, sobs wracking his body.
Ron wrapped his arms around his friend, not even trying to offer comfort beyond simple touch. Harry eventually fell asleep in his arms, worn out by emotion and seduced by alcohol. He lifted his too light friend and carried him to the bedroom. Harry never stirred as Ron tucked him into bed and left the room, pulling the door closed.
Ron fired called Hermoine and let her know he was staying to watch over Harry. He didn’t go into details, but promised her the full story later. Heaving a sigh, he cleaned the couch off enough to transfigure it into a small bed. Heart aching for his friend, Ron finally fell asleep.
He awoke a few hours later to the sound of muffled wailing.