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Saving a friend

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HARRY POV

My darling. 

I’m not awake, but I don’t feel asleep.

My beautiful darling.

The melodious female voice echoes too familiarly.  I don’t know it, but I feel I should.

Please my darling.  We have much to discuss, but not much time to do it.  Please my darling.

“Mom.”  The word sounds right even though I can’t explain it.  I almost feel ashamed when I say that word. 

Yes, my darling.  It’s me.  It’s mom.

“No.  You aren’t alive.  This is a dream.”

Yes.  It is a dream, and no I am not alive.  For right now though I very much exist.  I am so proud of you, and I am sorry to have put this burden on you.  Both of them.

“I don’t know what you mean.”

My darling.  You’ve come so far.  I cannot say how proud I am of you for putting an end to that foolish war.  You have already accomplished so much.  You should be free now, but I have something to ask of you.  An utterly selfish wish, but one that I do hope you will agree to.

“I don’t understand.  How can I be sure that this dream is even real?  Why do I want it to be so badly?”  I feel lips press to my forehead.  Right on top of the scar.

Harry.  Please.  I beg you.  Save Severus.  He is consumed.  He is my oldest friend, and I love him dearly.  Please. 

“Mom.  I don’t understand.  The war’s already over.  He’s was badly hurt, but he did live.  I already saved him.”

No.  He is still very much in danger. 

“From what.  I don’t understand.”

Darling.  My dear sweet darling.  I fear that tomorrow will be too late.  Please.  Go to him tonight.  Right at this moment.

“Wait.  There is still so much I want to know.”

I will tell you a secret.  Something that Severus would tell no one.  If you call him by my name for him, then he might listen to you.  Please save him. 

“From what?  What does he need to be saved from?”

My darling.  There is no time for explanations.  Go.  Please.  My darling, I failed him.  He needed me to save him and I failed him.  Please. I couldn’t save him so now I ask that you try to.  Please.  He is a difficult shielded man.  But he is a good one.  Please my darling.  Save Severus.

 

SEV POV

 

When there is nothing left to accomplish, life becomes meaningless.  I have nothing left to do.  The disease that I’ve managed to suppress since I was a student, nay a child, is no longer in remission.  This sickness consumes my every thought.  It is all I have left to do and I’ve spent weeks since the war ended trying to come up with a reason why I shouldn’t kill myself.  It’s sobering to realize that there are no reasons. 

I pour myself a drink.  I’ve battled alcohol addiction since I was a student.  I was practically nursed on the addictive substance.  It was a crutch.  I suppose addiction is hereditary.  As is being a cruel bitter man.  The glass in my hand, I swirl the dry red liquid.  It reminds me of blood.  It’ll only take a few drops to do the deed, but I pour the entire vile in.  After all, what’s the harm.  What’ll it do?  Kill me?!  I can’t help but smile at the irony of it all.

Alcohol was the cause of my conception.  Let it extinguish me as well.

Even as I hold the glass, I’m trying to find any reason why I should not drink.  I’ve come to this decision time and time again, but this is the closet I have ever gotten.  Lily once was my rock.  And then Dumbledore.  I killed them both.  It doesn’t matter the circumstances behind either.  The reality is: the only two people who have ever cared about me are dead because I couldn’t save them. 

No person like me deserves to live.

And yet I still waiver. 

Knock.  Knock.

No one comes to visit me, much less this late at night.  I do not suppose there is an emergency?  I owe Minerva so much.  If she requires my aid, then she shall have it at least once more.  And besides.  If I do not answer the door, my plans could be foiled.  It would take time for the potion to take effect.  It will need time for it to… do it’s task. 

So, I answer the door.  If only to prolong my life a moment.  Prolong it for what, I do not know.

It takes a great deal of effort and I thank my time as a spy, because I’m able to mask my features.  I wasn’t about to kill myself just now.  No.  I was simply reading a book.  Or sleeping better yet.  If I were reading at this hour that would imply insomnia.  Which implies deficiencies in mental health.  No.  I am well. 

I wasn’t expecting him to be at the door.  Him.  With his messy unkempt hair.  And his radiant pure eyes.  No.  He should be sleeping at this hour. 

“What do you want.”  I force my tone to sound bored or better yet, irritated.  He looks uncomfortable.  We never really spoke after the war.  Which is incredible because with us both teaching at the same school and living in the same building, we both clearly were avoiding any level of conversation.  It would be to uncomfortable.  So why is he here knocking on my door.  Doesn’t he know that the sun shouldn’t rise for another couple hours?  He still has time for sleep.  If I were asleep I’d be pissed to be woken up at this hour.

“I’m sorry to disturb you at this hour, but it really couldn’t wait.  Please.  Can I come in?”  On the table in my sitting room is the glass of wine. 

“No.”  I say irritably.  I need him to go away. 

“Professor Snape… Severus…”  He tries using my first name and his face scrunches like he’s just tried something new.  And he isn’t sure if he likes it or not.  I’m thankful for his glasses.  Those frames hide the traits that his mother gave him.  I do not want to see the eyes of the woman who’s talked me down from suicide so many times.  I don’t need to think of Lily right now.  “You and my mother were close.  I know that the two of you were close.  You loved her.  Or still love her maybe.  I don’t know.”  I don’t want to have this conversation.  So I close my mouth and refuse to speak.  “Severus.”  It seems he’s decided to use my first name.  “I don’t know anything about my mom.  And I really don’t know why she was close to you.  You were always so cruel to me.  But obviously my mother saw something in you.”

“Enough.  It’s late.  I will not have this conversation at this hour.  Come back tomorrow after classes.  We can speak about this then.  I will answer any question you have at that time.”  There will not be a tomorrow for me.  Come morning when I am not present for my classes, Minerva will come to my room.  She will find the letter I plan to write, but not my body.  The poison will double to corrode my body so that there are not even any bones left.  The process will be painful.  But I do not want to be found.

He doesn’t let me leave. 

When I try to close the door, he stops me. 

“Severus.  I know it’s late.  And I’m sure I sound crazy, but I need to talk to you now.”

“Whatever you have to say can wait until tomorrow.”

“Button.”  My blood runs cold for a moment. 

“What?”

“Does that mean anything to you?”  His eyes are unsure.  “I had a dream… but it wasn’t a dream… where my mom was talking to me.  There’s no way I should know her voice, but I knew it was her.  And she kept telling me to save you.  Begging me.  And I don’t know what she means.  She said I can’t wait, that I had to come now.  So I’m here because of a dream that might have just been a dream.  But she told me that she always called you Button when you two were alone.  Does that mean anything to you?”

It means everything to me.

No one knows that.  I would never… could never… tell anyone that.  There is no way that he should know that.  No one knows.  It’s one of my most treasured, most guarded secrets.

“What exactly is this figment of your imagination intending you save me from.  As you can see, I’m well.”  That’s a lie.  I’m drowning.  But anyone who tries to jump in to save me ends up drowning themselves.  I’m a lost cause.  It’s better for him… for everyone… if no one gets involved with me. 

“She didn’t really say.  She just told me to please save you because she couldn’t.  I don’t really understand.”

“It was clearly just a bad dream.  I have an extra bottle of dreamless sleep.  No doubt unresolved stress is manifesting in your dreams.  I will get you a draught of dreamless sleep and tomorrow you should go and talk to Poppy.  She is a professional after all.  Wait here while I go and retrieve it for you.”  Get the potion and get rid of him.  He doesn’t wait though.  He follows me.

I want to bite back at him.  Tell him to not follow me into my personal chambers.  The only safe place I have in the world, but I’m afraid that would look too suspicious.  He follows me and I’m hoping he doesn’t notice the tempting red wine. 

I grab one of the many vials and hand it over to him.  He stalls for a moment but does eventually take it. 

“There are so many potions.”  He says looking at the hundreds of vials.  Four hundred and fifty-seven to be exact. 

“Well I am a potion master.”  I say raising an eyebrow as if this were a normal number of potions to simply keep in my personal chambers.  There are even more in my office and lab.  I know that my death may cause a minor inconvenience to Minerva and Poppy as well.  This will at least supply the medical wing with all the potions they could need for the remaining school year and the next as well.  Even longer assuming there is no epidemic.  Finding a temporary potion professor may prove to be a challenge so along with the note I have a list of names that would be suitable to fill the position until a better fit can come along. 

I’ve been preparing for my death for a month.  Initially I was going to wait until term was over, but I felt then my intentions might somehow be noticed before I could do the deed.  I can’t back out this time.  I can’t keep doing this.

I can’t keep living in a world where I have never deserved to existed. 

 

HARRY POV

 

He’s fully dressed as if prepared for the day.  His hair is washed, he’s clean shaven.  The clothes he is wearing are different from his usual teaching attire.  He looks like he’s dressed in perhaps his finest clothes even though tomorrow- technically today- is only a Thursday.  He didn’t even glance to the table with the single glass of wine.  There is paper and a muggle ink pen laying next to it.  I don’t think this was left out from last night. 

The fireplace isn’t lit though even though it’s fairly cold. 

I myself am still wearing my pajamas under my robes.  The dream was insistent that I not waste time, not even to change.  The room looks largely empty.  I’ve been in other fellow teacher’s rooms and they are quite homey.  After all, most of us live entirely in this castle.  His room however is empty and void of anything that could make it look lived in.  Perhaps he is just a minimalist. 

I don’t feel comfortable being here.

After the war, I did what I could to see that he was found innocent.  Then I left him alone.  He spent so much time putting himself in danger to keep me safe that I felt if he wanted to be done with me, then I would give him that ability.  He’s done enough for me and the wizarding world. 

Now that I’m a teacher, I feel much different about him as a fellow adult.  I can see that he always put the safety of the students first.  There was never any real damage to a single student while in his class even though the material can be very dangerous.  As the DADA teacher, I often find it hard to teach the material and keep the student’s safe.  There have been a couple of my students that were hit with a curse wrong or didn’t use a shielding spell quick enough and had to be sent to the medical wing.  It’s quick to help them, but still. 

The other professors mostly ignore him.  They pretend he doesn’t exist and he seems to do the same.  In the great hall there isn’t any idle chatter with him.  He picks at his food and then leaves without anyone even remotely caring.  Aside from Minerva.  She will talk to him briefly as if opening the door for him to walk through should he choose, but he never continues the conversation. 

There are so many potions.  There is really no need to simply have this much.  I may not have been great in potions, but I can recognize most of what they are.  Skelegro, Dreamless sleep, several antidotes, anti-paralysis, blood-replenishing, several balms and pastes to heal injuries.  There are more, but all seem to be for the infirmary.  I just spoke with Poppy yesterday and she didn’t say that she was running low on any potions.  Normally she is very vocal about what the infirmary needs for the students especially to the teachers.  If there is a case of illness going around she makes it a point to tell each teacher what to be on the lookout for. 

Maybe he just had extra time, but still this is a little excessive.

“Are you planning to go away for a while?”  I ask because that makes the most sense.  He seems to hesitate for a brief moment. 

“Something to that effect.  I will be informing Minerva tomorrow.  It is a bit of personal business that is of no matter to you.”  He says icily.  “So if you will please.  I am very busy for my departure and would like for you to leave.”  Maybe the dream really was just a dream.  Maybe I have a guilty conscious about putting this man through so much and being ungrateful all the while. 

He certainly isn’t a kind man.  He’s guarded and unfriendly, but I don’t hate him.  I appreciate him for all of his sacrifices.  I really respect him.

“Since I am here, there is something I’ve been wanting to tell you since the war ended.  I’m not really sure if you will be interested, but I could take you to the chamber of secrets.  There are many potion books and the basilisk’s remains are still down there.   I’m sure you could harvest many rare ingredients from it.  I could take you there when you get back from wherever you are going.”  I try to smile at him.  To show that I’m trying to be friendly.  He again stalls as if I were doing or offering something strange.  “Really all the stuff is just rotting down there- well not really- I’m pretty sure there is a strong preserving charm on everything down there, but it’s just sitting down there for no reason.  At least you could get some use out of it.”

“Potter, I have no need of anything from you.”  He says the words very evenly.  There are no flicks of anger or passion in his tone only cold detachment. 

“I was only offering.”

“You have your dreamless sleep.  Now leave.” 

“Severus, I saw how you reacted when I called you ‘Button’.  I know that the dream had at least that right.  I know you don’t exactly like me, but you protected me so much.  I can’t take the chance of you being in danger and not protecting you as well.”

 

SEV POV

 

It’s so hard to fight those eyes.  Eyes that are concerned for me.  It hurts.  I don’t want anyone to worry about me.  I just want to be left alone to… left alone so that I will soon not have to be alone anymore.  Those eyes are too much.  How many times have those same eyes looked at me with pity begging me to step back from the ledge.  Both figuratively and not.  How many times have those eyes talked me down from suicide with promises of happiness to come.  I can’t do it again.  I know those eyes could stop me. 

“It was a dream Potter.  I assure you there is nothing to ‘save me’ from.  I am in no danger.”  I’m drowning and I don’t know if I’m drowning too slowly or not slow enough.  “Your mother and I ceased being friends a long time ago even if there were something to protect me from, she would not be bothered.”  I threw that away.  Sure.  She forgave me.  And we were still somewhat on good terms, but there is no going back once something is broken.  She forgave me because she pitied me.

“I think she would.”  He says back simply.  He needs to leave.

“How would you know Potter.  You never even met her.  You only know things that you have been told about her.”  My words sting, I know it by the way he flinches.  His mouth is open to rebuttal, but he knows it’s true.  It’s a harsh reality.  “And what more.  In case it was never clarified to you Potter, the reason she died is because I foolishly gave the dark lord the prophecy.  I gave him the information that made him kill both of your parents.  So, no.  She would not.”  He takes a step back from me and my rising anger.  Trust me Potter the only one I am angry at is…

“Well forgive me for worrying about you!”  He shouts back.  “You isolate yourself from everyone and the moment someone tries to be nice to you, you just lash out at them!” 

“Then leave Potter.  Have I not been clear; I do not need your assistance.”  His fist balls up and for a moment he looks so much like his father.  Anger.  Scorn.  Disgust.  No pity.  Thank merlin there is no pity.  The way Lily would look at me with her eyes brimmed with tears not from anger, but from… I can’t handle that.  It would be better if those pure green eyes looked at me with contempt.  And then without another word, he turns around and leaves.

 

HARRY POV

 

He’s insufferable.  I’m grabbing the handle of his main chambers to leave but it will not turn.  No matter how hard I try it will not.  I can feel magical energy stir around me.  I recognize it as Hogwarts herself.  There have been a few times that I have felt the very magic of Hogwarts and it’s always when there is danger.  Immense danger. 

I’ve asked my friends if they’ve ever felt it and they looked at me as if I were crazy.  I wonder if it’s because I actually listen to the walls.  But Severus doesn’t want me here.  Whatever the danger is, he can handle it himself.  He’s a more talented wizard anyway. 

But the walls only sound angrier at my refusal to turn around.  Why am I more afraid of this building’s anger than my ex potion professor’s.  I reluctantly release the handle.  First a dream about my mother and then Hogwarts herself.  I let my feet follow the path.  Severus is still in the other room with all those potions.  I’m sure he will come out soon and be cross with me, but for now I follow where my feet lead me. 

I don’t feel like I’m the one in control as I walk to that table and pick up the glass of red wine.  Bringing it up to my nose it smells dry yet sweet.  I have never cared for alcohol.  The smell promises a rich taste, but there is something sinister about it.  The way the red liquid swirls is beautifully tempting if one were to like wine that is. 

“Don’t drink that!”  A voice shouts across the room.  Panic is clear in those dark eyes. 

“Relax, I wasn’t going to drink your wine, but don’t you think it’s to early for something like this?”

“Put it down now.”  He says instead.  I hold it tighter instead.  It’s the same as with the door knob.  I want to put it back on the table and leave, but I hold it tighter.  “I said put it down!”  He says much louder.  Isn’t this all too much for a glass of wine.  “Why do you always interfere!”  Anger is gone and his powerful booming voice instead sounds broken.  His hand is shaking as he holds up his wand.  Not pointed at me, but instead pointed at the glass. 

“Severus, what is going on!?”

“Just please put it down and go.  I don’t want to be saved.”  My hand spasms on it’s own and the nearly full glass tilts over until it is spilling all over the wooden table.  Before I can even apologize and explain that I didn’t mean to do that, fumes start corroding the table.  He’s not looking at me.  Instead he’s looking at the table with an almost wistful look.  He was going to drink that.  He was going to drink that.  “Was that… poison?”

“Why do you always interfere.”  He says quietly.  No.  No!  He must have made it in order to test an antidote or… or something.  Not for that reason.  He wouldn’t try to…  “You got what you came for.  Just go.”  He sounds so exhausted. 

“Severus, when you said that you were going away for a while, you meant that you weren’t going to come back… didn’t you.”

“Just say it Potter.  Yes, I was about to off myself.”  He rubs his temple.  “Rest assured, I only brewed enough for one glass.  There isn’t any more and it would take a while to make another batch.”

“Why!”

“Because I didn’t think it smart to have extra poison just lying around for anyone to happen upon it.”  He answers blankly.

“No!  Why were you trying to kill yourself!”  My own voice sounds much louder.  I look to the table again and the red liquid has eaten a hole through the table before stopping.  It’s slowing down now but watching the havoc it’s done makes me feel sick.

“I don’t owe you any explanation.”  When I step towards him, he backs away. 

“Severus.  Why were you trying to kill yourself?”  I ask much softer. 

 

SEV POV

 

Why was I trying to kill myself, he asks.  As if I were a child ‘why did you draw on the wall?’ 

“Because I wanted to die obviously.”  I know that doesn’t answer the question, but that’s as close as he’s going to get to an answer.  He keeps walking towards me and I almost shout that I’ll jump if he moves any closer, then I remember I’m not on a ledge this time and he’s not Lily.  And even though he has her eyes, they aren’t the same.  He isn’t looking at me with pity.  I don’t know what it is, but it’s not pity.  Why isn’t it pity. 

I can’t back up anymore and he’s closing in.  What is he going to do?  I don’t understand why he’s here.  Just as I’m about to stun him and escape, he’s right in front of me and his arms tighten around me. 

I can feel the muscles in his arms squeeze me tight yet gentle.  I remain like a statue in his embrace.  I can hear my heart pounding from the adrenalin.  I don’t remember the last time I was held.  It’s warmer than I remember.  I can feel his breath against my ear and it makes me tingle as if I were buzzed.

“It’s okay now.”  He says.  I want to tell him he’s wrong.  I want to tell him that he could never understand.  “I understand completely.  It’s okay now.  You don’t have to be ashamed about this.”  I don’t have to be ashamed?  “It must have been difficult for you for a long time.”  Difficult for me?  “And you were all this time on your own just trying to survive.”  The arms cling to me tighter without any hesitation.  “I know how terrifying that is.  You probably were terrified all this time and had no one to lean on.”

“I don’t need this from you.”  I say because my brain cannot think of a more clever comment right now.

“It’s okay now.”  He says instead.  “I understand.  It’s okay to hurt Severus.  You are allowed to be fragile.”  No.  I can’t.  “Talk to me.  I can take on your burdens.  Confide in me.”  Everything he says is a low whisper. 

“How could you ever understand!”  I feel so unstable.  I feel so out of control.  Lost.  Distorted. 

“Because Severus.  You aren’t the only one that thought this was the only option.  But it isn’t.  And you have to believe me on that.  I know first-hand.” His left hand is on the back of my neck and dull fingernails are lightly scratching my scalp.  It feels so strange.  So calming.

“Why are you doing this.”   

“Don’t you feel safe right now?  It looked like you could use a hug.  I know when I was like this that’s what I wanted.”  I feel like I can’t breathe but also like I don’t need to breathe.  “We have class tomorrow.  I think we both could use a bit of sleep.”  I don’t want him to leave.  I don’t want him to stay.  I just want to be left alone but I’m so afraid of being alone right now. 

Instead of leaving though, he takes me by my hand and leads me into my own room as if I would get lost on the way there.  Without any prudence he begins removing my clothes and it’s such a strange thing for him to do that I don’t know how to respond.  Why is he doing this.  He accios my night shirt and pulls it over my head.  Then with a gentle but firm push, I am laying in my bed. 

I’m rolled on my stomach and I’m anxious.  What is he going to do to me.  Why did he undress me.  And embrace me.  I don’t understand.  Sure hands press expertly onto the center of my back.  I nearly moan from the pleasurable feeling. 

“You have a lot of knots in your back.  I’m surprised you haven’t brewed a potion to help you with this.”  He does a quick rub down the length of my back searching for any sore spots and he finds several.  “But I’m sure you didn’t think your pain warranted a potion.”  I never said that.  “You’ve been under a lot of stress for a while.”  He continues.  “Take deep breaths.”  He instructs and when I do he begins massaging me slowly.  “You only have to relax.”  The pressure he applies to my back loosens all of the painful spots that I hadn’t realized were there.  All the while he is talking in a calm almost detached voice.

 

HARRY POV

 

“I realized that I felt better when I took care of people.  I guess you were always right.  I do blindly run to others rescue.  I think that’s the only way I can not hate myself.  I’ve come a long way, but I would be lying if I said that I never had bad nights.”  I say.  I’m not trying to drag him back down into darkness so I try to say the words gently just so he knows he’s not alone.  “I like taking care of people.”  There are so many knots in his back.  When I find a particularly sore one his body spasms.  “Just keep breathing and relax.  You’ll feel better in a bit.” 

“Why are you still here?”  Comes a groggy voice.

“Well obviously I can’t leave knowing what you tried to do.  It’s important that I’m here just in case you have a relapse.  I’ll be here tonight, tomorrow we will both go to our classes and then afterwards I’ll be staying with you again.”  I can’t give him an option.  I know right now he probably wants to hide more than anything, but that isn’t what’s best for him right now.

“I don’t need you to save me.”

“I’m not trying to Severus.  These nights will happen.  I can’t make you magically not depressed or suicidal.  All I can do is make sure that I’m around when you are feeling low.  It’s a lot of ups and downs, but I’m along for the ride.”  I press down on an inflamed knot.  He hisses out in pain but says nothing.  “I will be around for all the ups and all the downs.  I simply can’t leave you alone now that I know.”

“I don’t want pity.”  Is his weak reply.

“It’s not pity.  I don’t hate you Severus.  You may infuriate me.”  He does infuriate me.  “And you may be difficult.”  Really difficult.  “You might even be mean.”  Definitely.  “But you aren’t evil.  You deserve to be happy just like everyone else.  It just might be a bit more difficult for you to get that.  That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but maybe with a bit of help it’ll be easier for you.”

“If Lily couldn’t make me feel better what makes you think that you can?”

“I already told you Severus.  I’m not trying to save you.  I’m not trying to cure you.  Maybe my mom wanted to help you, but she just couldn’t because she didn’t understand.  She hasn’t stood where you have, but I have Severus.” 

“You aren’t going to tell the rest of the staff about this?”  He tentatively asks.

“No Severus.  This is our secret.” 

 

SEV POV

 

Our secret.  It’s our secret. 

Harry Potter has been staying in my room each night for the past week.  He never presses me for information.  He doesn’t force me to talk, but he pretty well does as he pleases.  True to his word, he hasn’t told anyone, but he’s become even more insufferable.  He never leaves my side. 

He actually asked Flitwick to change seats so that he could sit next to me at the head table.  He then proceeded to chatter with me throughout the entire meal.  The rest of the staff looked on in disbelief because the day before and months before we had not said a word to one another.  Now he is speaking to me as if we were old chums. 

And more than that.

Seeing me not eating much, he proceeded to fill my plate with more food and then simply smile at me.  The audacity!  In the great hall.  Between classes.  He will leave his classroom high in Gryffindor tower to come down to the dungeons to visit me.  I’m not sure if it’s lack of trust that I will not harm myself or if he truly does just… care.  As preposterous as that sounds.  And then each night, he massages me.  My shoulders.  Back.  Legs.  Feet.  Even when I tell him profusely that it’s not necessary, he continues with a smile. 

He’s been smiling a lot more.  Not that he didn’t smile before, but now he’s practically glowing.  And he will look at me with focused intense eyes.  It makes me ache in unfamiliar ways. 

That night in my sitting room, he was sitting on the sofa.  He had pulled my head into his lap.  His fingers were splayed out in my hair as if he had the right to touch me so naturally.  But I can’t say anything.  This isn’t the first time he’s done this to me.  It’s a common thing actually.  He will pull me into his lap each evening just like this. 

“Severus you need constant attention.”  Here it comes.  Him saying that I’m not worth the trouble.  As if I didn’t already know.  At least this week was nice while it lasted.  I guess those smiles he’s had were just an act.  I actually thought that he was enjoying my company.  “So I think it’s best if I just permanently move in.  I’m here more than my own room anyways.”  That’s not what I expected to hear.  His fingers lace in my hair more.  “Severus do you know why I’m not in any relationship?”  I have no idea.  He’s constantly being bombarded with love mail each morning and… offers.  “I’ve only been in a couple of relationships and I realized that I was a bit odd.” 

His fingers feel comforting.  He has this awful habit of petting me as if I were some lazeabout cat.  I half wanted to complain, but I was afraid that he would stop.  “Odd how?”  I finally ask when he doesn’t continue on his own.

“The first thing I noticed was that the girls I dated didn’t really suit my fancy.  They lacked something I didn’t realize I wanted.  The other thing is, they did not like how I treated them.”

“I can’t imagine you being a cruel boyfriend.”

“Overbearing more like.  Controlling.”  As harsh as those words are, his fingers are nothing but tender.  “I like taking care of people.  And when it comes to a lover, that is even more so.  The girls I dated found me to be a bit obsessive.  They didn’t like how insistent I was.  They didn’t like the way I doted on them.”

“Then all of those girls were idiots.”  He laughs lightly at my words and I feel good… that I can still be myself without him hating me.  I don’t have to be docile.  I don’t have to bite back my words. 

“Severus.”  His fingers still and I have to fight down the whine that wants to escape.  All too soon he continues.  “Would you let me dote on you?  Would you let me take care of you, the way I want to?”  I don’t understand what he means and I tell him just that.

“I don’t understand what you are asking.”  He again laughs very gentle.  Almost like he’s pleased.

“You’ve not been pursued romantically a lot have you.”  No.  Not at all.  Wait.

“Are you…”

“I think we fit together pretty well.  You need constant attention and love and I need to constantly give attention and love to my partner.  I’ve never been with a man, but I’ve known for a long time that girls just didn’t do it for me.  I have to admit that I didn’t expect that I would want you the way I do, but I can’t deny it.  I want to touch you nonstop.  I don’t want to leave your side.  I want to do whatever I can to make you smile no matter how long it takes.  I may still be young and I’m sure that may make you nervous, but once I decide on something I don’t change my mind.”

I can’t.  This past week everything has been so much better.  It’s been so much better.  If I gave in and he lost interest I would go right back.  I don’t want to go back to being alone.  I don’t want to feel empty again.  I can’t chance it.  I can’t.

“I could never change my mind.”  He says again.  “I get very obsessed.  If things didn’t work out it wouldn’t be because I didn’t want to be with you anymore.  If you decided that you couldn’t be with me then we will simply go back to this.”  His fingers calm the anxiety. 

“Harry.”  When did you become Harry?  “I’m so much older than you.”

“That doesn’t matter to me.  It certainly doesn’t turn me off.”  Immediately I sit up.

“That isn’t your wand.”  He tilts his head and grins coquettishly. 

“I can’t help it.  You act so submissive.  You are just my type.  Stern and powerful.”  He presses closer to me.  His hand goes to my hip.  “Guarded.”  My chest.  It’s pounding so loud that I’m terrified he can hear it.  Oh Merlin I would never hear the end of it.  “Awkwardly needy.”  His nose presses against mine and my eyes clinch shut tightly.  “And completely submissive.”

I can taste his lips and even if I wanted to fight for dominance I’m to overwhelmed.  I feel lightheaded.  I feel tense and aching.  Oh Merlin I ache.  His right hand stays on my hip, but his left goes to the back of my neck.  There he grasps my hair and lightly pulls it.  And somehow his tongue is now in my mouth.  Consuming me.  I know I’m flushed, but then he moans into my mouth and it’s all over for me. 

I push him away panting.  I’m afraid that he will misunderstand my actions as a refusal, but that doesn’t seem to be the case because his arms are now around me and his soft confident voice is in my ear. 

“I could kiss you all day.”  His hand cups my cheek.  “But you should know.  If you agree to be my lover, everyone will know.  I understand you are a very private man, but I would want all of the wizarding world to know that I belong to you.”  He leans in close again.  His breathing tickles.  “And every part of you belongs to me.”

He couldn’t have known. 

He couldn’t have known and yet he immediately calms fears I’m too ashamed to admit out loud.

I have only ever been with one man.  In school.  It hurt.  Merlin did it hurt.  Not just the sex but also the relationship.  It was a secret.  Sirius Black wouldn’t want anyone to know that he was fucking the ugly freak of the dungeons.  How many times did he call me a fag.  How many times did he join his group and humiliate me.  And then he would come to me and take me roughly.  And I was happy with it because no one else had ever wanted me. 

“You could find someone better.”  I say instead.

“I think I can decide for myself who is good enough for me and who isn’t.  Severus, I want you.  If you aren’t interested then I will not ever force you.  But I think we both know how much you want me.”  He chuckles very gently.  “Either that or your wand enjoyed the kiss.”  I’m aroused.

 

HARRY POV

 

I made sure before I approached him because I knew that he probably couldn’t handle the heartbreak as fragile as he is right now if I was wishy washy.  I tried to think of any reason why I shouldn’t desire him, and most reasons were inconsequential.  The age gap.  How he use to treat me.  The fact that he was once my teacher.  Nothing really mattered.  Nothing was a big enough reason.  He was once young and made a few mistakes, but I’m not about to hold that over his head.  It’s time to put the past in the past.  I want him.

“Do you want to be with me Severus?”  He parts his chapped lips and I force myself to not kiss them again.  He is lovely.  Slowly he nods.

“I still don’t really know what being with you would entail, but I think… I want to try.”  Good.  I intertwine my fingers with his and stand up pulling him along.  He looks confused but doesn’t question me.  I take him into the bathroom and begin undressing him just like I do before bed each night.  I know he’s confused by my actions, but he hasn’t stopped me yet even though I know it embarrasses him.  When I get down to just his underwear, he grabs the waistband protectively.  “Trust me Severus.”

“It’s been a long time since I have been seen naked by another person.”  When my hands squeeze over his, he tentatively releases the elastic and they join the rest of his clothes on the floor.

“I’m going to see all of you tonight.”  His pale hollow cheeks flush in either embarrassment or shame, but his erection doesn’t waiver.  “I’m going to see everything you have to offer and then I’m going to make love to you until you pass out.”

He’s trying to casually hold his arm in front of his groin, but that’s fine.  I take this moment to get a good look at my soon to be lover.  Naturally he’s as pale as I always imagined.  He has very little hair aside from the thin dark hair at his ‘bunny trail’ leading to thin trimmed pubic hair.  He’s very thin, but I’m sure as our relationship progresses his emotional state will be more stable and he’ll be able to eat more regularly.  He’s so intent on hiding his erection that his nipples are completely exposed.  They are a light brown and stand out on his snowy skin.  I’ve had chances, when I would put his sleep shirt on him, but I made it a point to look very little.  I wanted him to feel comfortable.  I think he knows that.  Now I’m free to look at him all I want.  And I do want. 

“I know I am not much to look at.  You don’t have to force yourself.”  He’s not looking at me and I use that opportunity to grasp his hands and raise them above his head.  Wide eyes search mine. 

“You are lovely.”  I say only staring into his eyes.  I undress myself and the entire time I feel his eyes on me.  When I’m completely naked, I stand with my arms at my sides and let him look at me just as openly.  Unconsciously he licks his dry lips and his breathing becomes more ragged with lust.  When I step into the shower, he seems to understand to follow me.  His entire body is flushed as I turn on a spray of lukewarm water.  Immediately dark damp hair slicks to his forehead and neck. 

I begin bathing him. 

He doesn’t seem to know how to respond at first but he quickly falls back into his passively submissive nature.  He knows that I will not hurt him and that’s all he needs to be concerned with.

I use my hands lathered in shampoo to massage his scalp.  I know he’s most familiar with me touching him there.  He quite likes being pet.  After a long day, his hair looks shiny and oily, but I’ve seen how clean it is each morning.  The potion fumes do a number on his hair.  I wash the hair thoroughly and then make sure to rinse out all of the soap. 

Next I take a generous amount of soap into my palms and begin washing his chest.  His sunken in stomach and even inside his belly button.  I will not skip over even the smallest part.  His arms are lathered in the sweet smelling soap and his sides then I return back to his chest.  My hands squeeze over the nonexistent breasts and when I teasingly pinch his cute nipples his knees buckle.  Twenty points to Gryffindor, I’ve found one of his erogenous zones.  I press my front against his back and fondle the sensitive nubs.  With shaky legs he tries to support himself but eventually gives up.  I use this as an opportunity to rub between his thighs.  I can see my erection poking through to the other side and rubbing on the underside of his testicles and cock.

Speaking of.  My hand rubs down his body and presses into the dark pubic hair.  It’s neatly trimmed, but I’m not satisfied with that.  Softly saying a short spell, the hair begins to fall out and wash away down the drain. 

“I like my lovers to be hairless.  Look at you now.  So cute and smooth.”  When my soapy hand takes ahold of him any complaint he may have had is silenced by a low throaty moan.  At hearing his own voice, he stiffens.  “Beautiful.  Don’t hide those beautiful sounds from me.  They turn me on.”  I know how low his self esteem is.  And I have no problem verbally expressing how unwarranted they are.   “I want to hear you moan some more for me.”  Squeezing him firmly is all I need to do to hear him again. 

 

SEV POV

 

He’s different from me.  Young taunt healthy colored skin.  He’s certainly developed.  Lean muscles.  Every time he holds me I can feel them flex and I hate to admit how secure it makes me feel.  His fingers are skilled in ways I would have never imagined.  He’s quite handsome. 

A hand pumps me at a slow but deliberate pace.  The other hand is.. Oh Merlin.  He’s fondling my testicles.  At an even pace he’s thrusting between my legs and each time he pushes through Harry rubs me against him.  The way his erection slides against my balls feels unbearable.  I can hardly remain standing from all the torture. 

His index finger is circling my tip playing with the foreskin.  I’ve never had another person touch my penis.  Black wouldn’t.  I’m not accustomed to being touched in these ways and I’m struggling to keep from cumming.  I didn’t mean to be obvious, but I think my strain set him off.

“Why are you holding back Severus?”  His voice is so gentle.  So understanding and accepting.  I don’t want to tell him.  “Talk to me Severus.  Let me take care of you.”  I don’t want to tell him but I just can’t help it.”

“Habit.”  I say hoping he doesn’t search for extra meaning, but of course he does.

“Why is it a habit?”  The words remain gentle but he’s stroking me fully now.

“The person… the man I was with before didn’t like when I came before him because he said it was a turn off.”  Harry squeezes me firmly.  “He never touched me like this.  I don’t think he was really gay I think he just thought it was better than accidently knocking up a girl and it was funny to him that I would let him fuck me.  He didn’t like fags.”  He takes me and spins me around.  I deliberately look at the shower floor.  I don’t want him to see whatever face I’m making right now and I’m thankful when he instead just pulls me against him. 

His leg goes in-between mine against my groin and mine goes against his.

He’s washing my back now.  But it feels so good to be against him like this.  His left hand grabs my hip and makes me start rubbing against him.  Once I follow his silent instruction he starts rubbing against me as well. 

Dull teeth bite down on my shoulder and he sucks until I’m positive there will be a bruise there.  It already stings pleasantly.  Then his tongue is against the shell of my ear and he’s nibbling on my ear lobe.  A single soapy finger is being pressed slowly into me.  I don’t mean to make that awful sound that comes from my mouth.

“There is that pretty voice I love so much.”  He says.  “Did he tell you not to make sounds?”  There is an edge of danger in Harry’s voice.  “Did he hurt you.”  I shouldn’t have said anything.  Lips suck haphazardly on my neck before connecting to mine.  This kiss is much more insistent.  He coaxes my tongue against his, all while grinding us together.  His fingers are in my wet hair pulling and the pleasure is too much.  My body collapses against his unable to support myself on my shaky legs.  It’s only at this point that he breaks the kiss.  “Perfect.”  Another finger joins the first inside of me.  “Severus, do you like to take my fingers deep, or do you like when you are first breached.”  To illustrate he completely withdraws his fingers and push both in to the knuckle before withdrawing completely and doing it again.

“I.. I don’t know.”

“We will have to figure out.  I want you to know that way you can tell me.  I want to make sure that I can take you how you like it later when we make love.”  His two fingers are splaying inside of me.  I can hear them making obscene squishing noises.  “Or maybe what you really like is having your good spot poked over and over.” 

“OH!”

“That’s a good sound.  Looks like I was right.  I found your prostate.”  He says this gleefully and then proceeds to mercilessly prod that spot.  “You are really clinging to me.”  I had grabbed him to keep from collapses onto the floor.  I doubt I would have since Harry also has his arms around me, but I’m afraid to take a chance and look like a fool.  “Don’t hold back Severus.  Open yourself up completely to me.”  Oh no.  Not a third finger.  I’m going crazy.  It’s stirring up my inside.  “I am looking forward to filling this place with my cock.  I want to have you bouncing, working hard for your release.  But for right now.  I just want to make you lose yourself.”

Humiliating noises spill from my lips in broken syllables.  My hips lurch against him instinctively.  And he just keeps saying gentle loving words.  Three fingers stretch and curl.  I feel like I’m being caressed everywhere. 

“Severus.  Don’t hold back.  I’m not someone you have to be guarded around.  Let me take care of you.”  I can’t.  I’m so close.  I’m so close.

 

HARRY POV

 

I can tell from the way he’s trembling that he’s close.  I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to make him feel good since he will be my first male.  I’m somewhat thankful that I will not be his first.  I know if I were it would be that much more difficult to keep from hurting him.  On the other hand.  Someone touched him.  My fingers curl into his prostate and a broken sob leaks from him.  He sounds so pained and pleasured at the same time. 

I will not press him for information about this guy for now.  I don’t think he’s still hung up on who ever it is, but it certainly has affected his emotional state.  Even now he’s refusing to cum.  Even now he’s still trying to bite his bottom lip to silence himself.  His narrow body molds nicely against mine.  I’ll have to work hard to erase the touch of this other man from my lover.

Even though he’s taller than me, his head is bowed down onto my shoulder.  He likely doesn’t even know how submissive his nature is.  But I know.  The first time I sat on his sofa and pulled his tired head into my lap I knew.  At first, he was stiff and unyielding, but after a few short moments of me lightly pulling on his hair, all tension left the body.  His dark eyes drifted shut, his anxious breathing evened out, and I knew. 

I never thought of him as a potential lover.  I need to be dominate.  I need to control and tend to my lover.  And Severus is so tightly laced and stern.  I was certain that his pride wouldn’t let him be submissive.  He’s so strong and he himself is a powerful wizard in his own right.  Talented too.  Hardworking.  Stubborn.  I never imagined he would allow himself to be small.

But that’s what he’s doing.  This isn’t an act.  It’s who he is.  Small and fragile just desperately trying to keep himself safe.  There is a lot more to him beneath the surface and he’s not comfortable sharing that part of himself with just anyone. 

“Would you kiss me?”  I ask him. 

He nods nervously.  I give him all the time he needs to initiate the kiss.  It takes him more than a minute to work up the nerve.  His unsureness is intoxicating.  His vulnerability.  His inexperience.  He is exactly the type of lover I look for and can so seldom find.  Someone that needs me.  Someone that needs love.  Someone that needs encouragement and patience.  I can do that. 

At first, it’s just a hesitant press of his lips.  Then is his arms slowly wrapping around me.  Then it’s his tongue deepening our connection.  His hands are on my shoulders and our erections are trapped between us.  He pulls away with a gasp and pink cheeks.  Limply he lays his forehead on my shoulder.

“Was that okay?”  He asks

“It was perfect Severus.”  One of my hands lightly caresses his hip and the other tangles in his damp hair.  “May I make love to you now?”

 

SEV POV

It’s everything I can do to just nod.  Just as he led me into the shower, he leads me to my room.  Just like he did that first night.  Using a towel, he manually dries me off.  He could just use a spell, but he’s actively choosing to do this without magic.  I’m encouraged to lay in the bed.  He lifts my hips and places a pillow under me so that I’ll be more comfortable.  On his face at all times is a relaxed comforting smile.

It will make the pain worth it.

He’s been kind to me.  That’s certainly not something I normally get to experience.  I can do at least this much for him.  I can handle the pain if he will feel good.  I can do that much.  I try to not let the growing sick feeling show on my face.

I know this will hurt.  I know that I will not feel good.  After all, I’m not a virgin.  I know what it feels like to be penetrated.  I know how uncomfortable and painful it is. 

I have to do this.

I want him to like me.

“Severus, I will be as gentle as I can.  If something doesn’t feel good make sure to tell me.”  I don’t like pain.  But I deserve pain.  I don’t have to feel good.  That’s not what this is about.  I want to do this with him.  This is what normal couples do.  I don’t want to give him another reason to leave me alone.

I can do this much.

I’m mentally prepared for the pain.  At least I got that much from being with Black.  I know how badly it’s going to hurt and I’m ready for that.

“I’m fine Harry.  Please start.”  Again, he smiles gently at me and it really is enough to make this ordeal worth it. 

“Okay.  If at any point you want me to stop, then please let me know and I will.”  He accios a jar of something most likely lube.  Meticulously he prods my anus with his slicked fingers.  I thought he was done stretching me, but I guess he wants to be thorough.  “I’m going to enter you now if you are ready.”

“I’m ready.”  I say trying to mask my anxiety.  Slowly.  He inches in and withdraws never fully entering me.  Each time he goes a little deeper before taking away the sensation of being entered.  The entire time, his hand is lightly pumping me.

The shallow thrusts are something I’ve never experienced.  The gentle stroking is just as foreign.  The way his eyes never leave mine.  This isn’t what I’m use too.  I’ve never had sex like this. 

“You feel so good inside Severus.  Can I take you deeper?”  I don’t trust my voice so I just nod.  He fully pulls out then lining himself up he lunges inside with one thrust.  Oh Merlin.  That should have hurt.  Why didn’t it hurt.  There is still the slight discomfort of being overly filled but it’s not a bad discomfort.

It’s actually…

Pleasurable.

It’s like he’s cuddling my insides the same why he pampers me after a long day.  When he pulls completely out again I feel dissatisfied at being empty of him but when he jerks fully into me again I’m arching my back trying to get more.  Trying to feel more.  My fingers are in the sheets clinching and lifting myself trying to feel more.

“You turn me on so much.  Is this okay.”  I can only nod.  “Can I make you mine?”

“You can do anything to me.”  Oh Merlin why did I say that.  He’s chuckling deeply into my ear and I can’t take back my words without lying. 

“Oh I plan to.”

 

HARRY POV

It’s so beautiful when his body tremors and shutters.  His body is surprisingly sensitive.  At one well aimed thrust, his long pale legs wrap around me and that was almost enough to be my undoing.  Instead I grip him as tight as he grips me.  We move together as profanities spill from his lips.

“Fuck.  Fuck!”

 “Such filthy words Severus.”

“Too much.  Not enough.”  He’s close.  I know he is.  I can tell from the way his body is contracting around me.  As much as I love his legs around me, I remove them and fold him in half.  My hands under his thighs, I push his knee nearly to his head.  I’m sorry that this is such an awkward position Severus, but I think you will appreciate it soon enough.

“Do you feel good Severus.”  Baring all my weigh down, I sheath myself completely in his channel.  This new position lets me go so much deeper and the way he moans openly is all I need to hear to know he is feeling plenty of pleasure.

“Y.. yes.  Good.”

“I can’t tell you how amazing you feel.  Severus.  I want you to cum.”  He clinches his eyes and shakes his head in refusal.  “Please Severus.  For me.  I want you too.”  His head shakes more stubbornly.  It feels so good to bury myself in him.  I bottom out and it’s more intimate than anything I have ever done.  Leaning low I kiss him lightly on the lips and then whisper softly into his ear.  “I need my lover to finish first.  I can’t unless you do.”  It’s just another of my quirks.  For the most part it hasn’t been an issue in relationships, but It has been difficult at times.  I just need my lover to finish first.  I need them to be sated or I just can’t seem to be satisfied.  “Please Severus.  I want to see you cum.”

As if on cue his body convulses.  From the look in his eyes I can tell it’s out of his control.  He doesn’t want to cum.  He wants to wait until after me or maybe not even cum at all.  But I’m quite set on this. 

There is certainly something beautiful about the way his back arches and the way his mouth slacks open.  The way tears dot his eyes from extreme pleasure.  He has no idea how tempting his is.  The feeling of him channel constricting around me and the warmth of his seed cooling on my stomach sends me over my own edge.  All I can do is grown out his name before I’m spilling inside of him.

We are both panting.  We are both struggling to find our breath. 

After what is probably half an hour of silently cradling him to my chest, he finally speaks. 

“It’s never felt like that before.”

“How did it feel.”

“Not good.”  Is all he says, but I hear what must have been in his head.

“You were afraid to have sex weren’t you.”

“I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you.  I didn’t want to concern you.”

“But I want to be concern.  Severus.  You are a very troublesome person do you know that.”  He’s breathing steadily against me.  “You don’t have to think so hard.”

“It’s just how I am.”  Is all he says.

“If there is something you want or don’t want.  Please just tell me from now on.”

“You are pretty troublesome yourself.”  He says with a yawn. 

“I’m glad that I found you that night.  I would hate to think that we would have missed out on this.”

“You would have found someone.”

“I’m not so sure.”  I reply.  “Besides.  Even if I did.  They wouldn’t be you.”

“Well at least there are those small miracles.  Who would want someone like me anyways.”  The tone doesn’t sound self-loathing, he says it matter of factly.  As if the past few hours mean nothing in regards to my opinion of him.

“I do.”  I laugh.  “Clearly.”

“Well.  No accounting for taste.” He yawns again.  I love him.  One day.  One day when I feel he’s better prepared to hear it, I’ll tell him.

 

SEV POV

He rolls me off of him and lightly applies pressure over spots that are likely to be sore tomorrow.  He’s very attentive. 

I’m sure this isn’t what Lily would have wanted.  There was a time that she loved me very much before I mucked everything up.  I remember the times her green eyes would beg me to give living another chance.  ‘You can find happiness one day’ she would say.  Poverty.  Abuse.  There was no place in the world for me.  Even she had found herself her own bit of happiness and I would never begrudge her that, but I knew I wasn’t her.  Her with her clear open eyes searching for the good in every situation.  Her who could charm anyone.  She could never understand what it’s like to feel so low that living is a tedious painful action. 

I wonder if she truly did meddle from beyond the grave.  If she did then I can only feel that I failed her by corrupting her son. 

His fingers feel heavenly pressing into aches and sore spots. 

Okay Lily.  You win again.

I’ll give living one last shot. 

 And who knows maybe this time I can finally find that happiness you were always so insistent upon.