|snarrymod (snarrymod) wrote in snarry_games,|
@ 2009-06-19 23:03:00
|Entry tags:||free for all, opening games|
OPENING GAMES FREE-FOR-ALL CHALLENGE No. 4 from Emilywaters1976
Our fourth Opening Games Free For All submission comes from a watcher of the Games, emilywaters1976.
Title: Ninth Life
Thing/Place/Action:Three-Legged Cat /A Creaky Old House /Reclining
Rating/Warnings/Kinks: M. Angst, UST.
Notes/Disclaimers/Betas Post-war. Severus Snape is staying with Harry.
Harry walks quietly. The floor of the old, familiar home makes creaking sounds when Harry's bare feet slap against the aged wood. Severus is reclining in the armchair, appearing to be asleep, with a small black cat napping in his lap. When the cat is curled up like this, you can't see that one of its legs is missing. It looks like a perfectly normal, happy animal.
Everything looks different at this time of night. When the shadows thicken, the deep lines crossing Severus' face seem softer; it's easy to overlook the small scars on the man's hands, and the silver strands in his hair, or the fact that his old robe still looks a size too big for his all-too-thin frame. One might be tempted to believe that Severus is simply tired, rather than stripped bare by the war that had nearly claimed his life and sanity. One might be tempted to forget that some days, it's still uncertain whether or not Severus will make it...
Severus' eyelids flutter slightly. Is he dreaming? Or waking up?
Severus speaks without opening his eyes.
"Staring at me again, Potter?"
"Don't flatter yourself. I'm staring at the cat."
For a few minutes they pet the cat together. Harry's heart skips a beat when their hands meet in the midst of the cat's silky, rich fur. Severus' fingers are ice-cold. For a moment, Harry is tempted to do something unthinkable: take that frozen hand in his, and bring it to his lips, warming it with his breath...
Severus' eyes open wide.
"Stop what?" Harry says, feigning innocence.
"Staring at me like I'm going to die any moment."
Harry looks down, and pets the cat again. The cat flinches slightly, when Harry's fingers come in contact with its deformed limb.
"Ever wonder how he lost that leg?" Harry asks.
Harry thinks about it all the time, to the point of driving himself insane. Was it an accident, a predator attack, or an act of human cruelty? A part of him doesn't want to know, but he continues speculate anyway.
"No. Though I do wonder how he managed to keep the other three."
Harry blinks rapidly, because that answer hurts so much – and he doesn't know why. All he knows is that he needs to squeeze his eyes tightly shut, and breathe very calmly, and not say anything for a while.
"Harry, don't," Severus says mildly, placing his hand on Harry's shoulder. "I may be on my ninth life, but I intend to make the best of it."
Harry tilts his head and presses his flushed cheek to the back of Severus' hand. Those long, slender fingers are less than an inch away from his lips. Just one quick, unassuming kiss would say everything... and likely a great deal more than Severus wants to hear.
"I know," Harry says finally. "Besides, I reckon, ninth life is the longest, anyway."
Thank you, emilywaters1976