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Nie wyrażamy zgody na kopiowanie i umieszczanie naszych ficków i tłumaczeń na chomikach itp.
Ariel & Gobuss
| Chapter 7 - "Like a stranger" |
7. Like a stranger
I'm not a stranger
No I am yours
With crippled anger
And tears that still drip sore*
Harry was walking briskly through the corridors, his robe fluttering behind him as he passed another door and flight of stairs, going down deeper in the castle. He had to hurry. The Potions lesson would begin shortly and he couldn’t be late.
He was returning from a meeting with Luna. It was nice to see her, even for a moment to break away from the gloomy thoughts.
He’d been worried about her, though. She had been very pale and her body had been shaking strangely, as if she had hiccups. He wanted to take her to Madam Pomfrey, but she assured him that it was a Sharpfeathered Choker nestled in her throat and only an Aluminum Medallion from a collection of her father’s could put an end to it, leaving Harry unable to help her. She assured him that she would write to her father this afternoon, though, and asked Harry not to worry.
But Harry was worried. He suspected that the medallion from a muggle substance called aluminum wouldn't help her at all. The Lovegood family had a strange taste when it came to what was magical for them. He was surprised that Luna hadn’t started worshipping things like burned out light bulbs or other such strange muggle items. Harry hadn’t gotten into the curious discussion with her, though, since he’d already been running late to potions class.
Throughout the morning, he had feared the upcoming lesson. And even meeting with Luna had failed to minimize his concern. Although, one could say that his thoughts had, for a moment, been directed to another train of thought. But, now, without Luna, or any other thoughts or tangible obstacles in his way, Harry was full of nervous excitement.
As he made his way toward the classroom in the dungeons, his heart was playing familiar serenades of fear, accompanied by a melody of convulsing in his stomach, and a burning flow of nervousness in his veins.
This would be the first Potions class since… since… Damn! He couldn’t even think about it without hesitation and an annoying burning cheeks. For the first time he would meet with Snape during class, since ...
Harry, for a moment, felt as if his face was on fire, it was flushing so badly.
He cleared his throat and shook his head. He could say it to himself.
Since ... since he had seen Snape’s erection and had had it in his mouth.
Harry couldn’t imagine being able to survive this class with a neutral mask. He just couldn’t. Not after that night. What if Snape said something to him? What would happen if Snape looked at him? All Harry would remember was the moment Snape’s gaze had pinned him to the wall and took his breath away.
Harry was afraid of what he might do when faced with that look from Snape again, but decided he was going to control himself this time. He had to. This loss of control had gone on long enough. He was quietly hoping that Snape wouldn’t provoke him too much, but he’d come to discover that quiet hopes were often very difficult for the powers that be to hear.
Looking up, Harry saw the door tot he potions classroom. With each step, the door grew closer and his heart began to beat faster.
Bugga! I’m probably late! He thought and jogged the rest of the way. He slowed down in front of the door, calming himself then opened it with a flourish.
He sighed with relief.
All eyes were, indeed, turned to him, but the students weren’t yet finished taking out their tools. Harry looked around the classroom, closing the door quietly. His heart beat faster when he saw the Potions Master.
He was standing there, a dark, cold statue, wrapped in black robes. Always supercilious, always proud.
And sometimes turgid, thought Harry with malicious satisfaction.
However – contrary to his expectations – Snape, rather than punish Harry with loss of points and some nasty comments, just looked at him briefly then returned to writing ingredients on the board.
Something was wrong.
Harry walked over to his friends and quickly and quietly explained to them where he had been, while taking out tools and books needed for the lesson, all the while, analyzing the situation.
Snape didn't punished him. He didn't said anything. In fact, he hardly looked at him.
The nervous excitement Harry was feeling before opening the door was replaced by angry frustration. But even this feeling gave way to shock, which was what Harry experienced when he realized that…
“Malfoy’s absent,” he whispered to Ron and Hermione, looking with horror at the empty seat next to Zabini, which was the seat the platinum blonde Slytherin always took.
“We have noticed,” replied Hermione quietly. Her voice trembled slightly as she spoke.
“Do you think that Snape has…?” asked Ron, passing his finger across his throat.
“Don’t be stupid, Ron!” retorted Hermione. “Snape may be nasty, but he wouldn’t kill his student.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure, seeing with the tosser’s been doing in class,” said Ron.
Harry didn’t have an answer, his mind was in a state of an emotional vortex.
Snape had saved him from Malfoy some hours before, then he had taken the Slytherin somewhere and Malfoy had disappeared. And in his dream he had seen that Malfoy was mad at something. Not at something, but at someone – at Voldemort. Did this have anything in common?
Harry hadn’t yet told his friends about his dream. He had decided that, for now, he would keep it to himself. Still, he hoped what he had seen was just an ordinary dream brought on from the stress of what had happened and nothing more. If the dream persisted, though, it could likely mean he should worry about it and tell his friends. For now, it wasn’t worth a cause for alarm, though. Especially since he knew them well enough to know what to expect from them.
“What do you think Snape’s done with him, then?” Ron leaned over to Harry with a look of odd concern and a bit of fear in his eyes, but Harry didn’t have time to answer.
“Silence!” Snape suddenly barked, going to his desk, shooting the class a dangerous glare. Harry noted that the Potions Master’s eyes were slipping along him like he was some sort of unattractive worm he’d met on a path.
Once the class settled, Snape began talking about the origin and use of the Elixir of Vigor but Harry became lost in his thoughts from when Snape had saved him. He couldn’t understand why, after all that had happened between them, Snape had been pointedly ignoring him. And yet, two days ago, Harry had his cock in his mouth. It had meant something after all! Or so Harry believed.
Harry felt a little torn. On one hand, he was angry at Snape, and he was wondering why the professor didn’t pay attention to him. On the other hand, the image of Draco Malfoy disappearing in the darkness along with the Potions Master never left his thoughts. Actually, only now did he realize that he hadn’t seen Malfoy at breakfast, but this wasn’t unusual. Malfoy sometimes didn’t appear at meals. Anyway, Harry was too busy worrying about Potions class to bother about Malfoy’s absence. Now, however, he was wondering about it and his brain was sending him many random chilling solutions.
No, Snape couldn’t have… Besides, Dumbledore would know about it. Well, not about what he and Snape had gotten up to in private, but the murder of one of the students ... Yeah that he’d know about.
Harry let his gaze follow the Potions Master wandering about the class as he spoke. The black eyes were directed everywhere but at him. But even this didn’t keep Harry from trembling every time Snape looked at him, recalling the man’s proud figure and slender body pressing onto his own. Memories crowded in his head, playing in front of his eyes a performance full of passion and pleasure, which he had recently played a major role.
Throughout the lesson, Harry was lost to his thoughts about Malfoy’s disappearance, Snape’s indifference and the intoxicating moments and memories in the cupboard. Even when Snape was checking the result of the potions, he looked at Harry’s potion only once and passed by without a simple comment . Yet Harry knew that he had completely botched it.
At the end of the lesson, Harry was just a walking, or rather a sitting, bundle of nerves.
But it couldn't be this way! It couldn’t end this way! Snape couldn’t have forgotten what had happened between them! Harry couldn’t let him do that!
“Harry, are you coming?” asked Ron, waiting at the door for his friend, who was still packing his belongings.
Nodding, Harry quickly finished packing his bag, intentionally neglecting to clasp it. As he moved from the table, the entire contents tumbled out onto the floor.
“Damn, I need to pick them up. Go, I’ll catch up.”
He saw Ron casting Snape a nervous glance, but shook his head and disappeared behind the door.
Harry began to slowly collect his things.
What would he do now? He was alone with Snape, but he really didn’t have a plan. He had to improvise.
The Potions Master was sitting at his desk writing something. He didn’t look at him, but Harry felt that Snape was well aware of his presence.
He swallowed. What would he say?
“I-I’m--” he stammered and then his body was pierced by the glare of the icy cold eyes.
“Class is over, Potter. Didn’t you hear the bell?”
Harry shut his mouth, feeling his cheeks blushing. He nodded, biting his lip, and turned away, picking up the rest of his stuff.
He left the class without a word, not even once looking back.
The rest of the week was the same. Snape had apparently decided to pretend that Harry didn’t exist. During meals and in the hallways, the Potions Master behaved as if he hadn’t even noticed him. It wasn’t a nice feeling.
Harry tried to catch his attention, but all his efforts were in vain. He became depressed and taciturn. He was spending most of the afternoon in his dormitory, leaving it only to go to dinner. Ron and Hermione were trying to find out why he was behaving like this, but Harry said nothing other than he had a vicious, twisting headache, drowsiness or malaise. His friends could only watch anxiously as Harry became more withdrawn, daydreaming, thoughtful and subdued.
“Harry, Angelina asked me to tell you that she wants you back on the team,” said Ron one day, and Harry’s eyes sparkled with excitement. “Soon it will be the first game of the season with Ravenclaw. Everyone knows that Gryffindor has no chance without you as a Seeker.”
Hermione muttered something about “Ron’s false loyalty”.
“That’s great.” Harry tried to get his voice to sound enthusiastic.
“So, you want me to tell her you accept, then?”
“Yes, of course.” Harry’s face cheered for a moment with a pale smile, but it quickly faded.
Quidditch would allow him to break away from his depression a little.
“Hello, Harry. Hi, Ron and Hermione!” A high, jovial voice from the other end of the corridor made Harry almost jump with surprise.
“Oh, hello Tonks.” Hermione smiled.
The Pink - haired woman came up to the three students.
“I’m so nervous. I’ll be teaching my very first class today,” Tonks told them, her voice jittery with said nervousness and excitement.
“You’ll do fine, don’t worry!” Ron grinned.
Harry gave her a pale smile.
It was the biggest surprise of the week. That morning during breakfast, Dumbledore announced that the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher was Nymphadora Tonks. The headmaster had spent a very long time looking for a teacher for this unfortunate position. So far, Defense classes were being taught by any professor who happened to have a free period and was able to cover the class. Sixth-year Gryffindors had such bad luck that these classes where taught alternatively by Professors Binns and Flitwick, which meant that no one cared about it too much. The filling of this position by Nymphadora brought to Hogwarts a breath of fresh air. The Gryffindors couldn’t wait for Defense classes with their new teacher, the first of which had been held today, Wednesday afternoon. One thing was certain; classes with Tonks would certainly not be boring.
As for Malfoy, he appeared on Tuesday, as Harry, Ron and Hermione found out with mixed feelings. On one hand, they were relieved that one of their teachers wasn’t a murderer, but on the other hand, the return of their greatest enemy in the school was a severe blow. All three had agreed that a world without Draco Malfoy would be a better place. Certainly a safer one. At least for Harry.
“He probably won’t be foolish enough to attack you again,” said Ron. “I don’t know where he was all day yesterday, but he looks like a walking corpse. Just look at him. I wonder where Snape stashed him.”
Malfoy really didn’t look well. He had dark circles under his eyes and hollow cheeks.
“Snape is a dangerous and unpredictable bastard,” said Ron philosophically. “Harry, now that I think about it, you were lucky he gave you just the elixir. Malfoy looks as if he was given some sort of elaborate tortures.”
“Stop it, Ron. Snape, no matter what we may say about him, is a member of the Order of the Phoenix, and he certainly wouldn’t have tortured his student under Dumbledore’s nose ...”
I don’t know, thought Harry. If he could almost fuck his student under Dumbledore’s nose, then you never know what he may do.
“... even if that student is Malfoy,” finished Hermione.
“Seems to me like he’s a spy for You-Know-Who and is providing him with information about the Order of the Phoenix.”
“You don’t have any proof of that, Ron,” Hermione told him
“Snape’s the living, walking proof. He doesn’t fool me,” Ron told her.
“Dumbledore trusts him,” said Harry suddenly. “So should we.”
His friends looked at him in amazement. Harry realized that he put his feet in the mouth and blushed fiercely.
“Harry, since when are you defending him?” Ron looked shocked.
“I’m not defending him,” Harry muttered. “I’m defending … Dumbledore’s decision. The headmaster surely knows what he’s doing.”
“Oh… ok,” replied the redhead, but still didn’t look entirely convinced to Harry. But Harry certainly didn’t like the pensive gaze that Hermione gave him.
I really need to watch my big mouth, Harry thought before a crowd of students carried them along to the classes.
The lesson with Tonks was… hmm… ‘interesting’ wasn’t quite an adequate word. Catastrophically dangerous was pretty close, though. The students ended up ducking under the desks in the devastated and smoky classroom. The Banshee of Fire conjuration proved to be ‘slightly’ more dangerous than the new teacher thought. Even Hermione couldn’t manage it. Tonks did what she could to control it, but her efforts were in vain, because apparently she hadn’t anticipated that the students would start screaming and running away rather than join forces and face it, which was the best way to defeat a large group of Banshees.
Draco Malfoy said that his father would be hearing of this poorly thought out lesson and and the consequences would be severe. Tonks fell into such despair that even Ron and Hermione couldn’t comfort her.
Harry met Snape in the corridor that day. The meeting made him even more depressed than ever. The Potions Master walked right past him, not casting a single glance at him, as if Harry were wearing the Invisibility Cloak.
Harry no longer knew what to do now. He was suspecting that Snape had decided to forget everything that had happened on Saturday night in the cupboard. But why? Could it be that he was afraid that Harry would say something to someone? Or maybe he didn’t want to have anything to do with him. But why?
He wanted to talk to him but every time he tried Snape put him off or pretended not to see or hear him. This led to Harry constantly thinking about him. Severus Snape had become his obsession. And Snape’s indifference only fueled it. While the professor had already attracted a significant part of his attention, now it had almost taken dimensions of addiction.
Harry thought about him when he got up, ate breakfast, attended classes and talked with his friends, ate lunch and dinner, and when he masturbated in the middle of the night. Only half of whatever anyone was trying to tell him reached him. Hermione and Ron were trying to find the reasons for their best friend’s behavior, but he only murmured something inarticulate and although they were trying very hard, they could draw nothing out of him.
Harry existed almost on the border of crisis, but suddenly the monotony was interrupted by some shocking event.
“Potter!” Professor McGonagall’s voice needed a few seconds to cut through Harry’s mind, filled with befuddled thoughts. “I’ve got a very bad message.”
Professor McGonagall stopped him in front of the History of Magic class on Thursday afternoon. Her face was pale and upset.
“What is it, Professor?” Harry asked, eyebrows furrowed with worry, seeing the expression on her face.
“Unless I’m mistaken, you’re the person in the school closest to Luna Lovegood, right?” Harry nodded, feeling a sudden fear. Professor McGonagall’s words confirmed his fears. “Today, Luna was briought to the hospital wing in serious condition.”
Harry paled. His heart leaped up and fell hard to his stomach.
“What's wrong with her, Professor?”
McGonagall made a worried face.
“Madam Pomfrey and Professor Snape are trying to find out. She has trouble breathing and can’t speak. One of the Ravenclaw students found her today in the bathroom, unconscious. She was hiding her illness. If she had just gone to the hospital wing -- ”
“Professor,” Harry interrupted her, feeling like a huge rock had fallen on his heart., crushing it with its weight. “Can I visit her?”
“Yes, of course, Potter. I will exempt you from class with Professor Binns…” but McGonagall spoke only to the air, as Harry left and ran towards the hospital wing.
A few moments later, he found himself there. He rushed into the wing, dropped his bag, and rushed to the bed where Luna was lying. Seeing her condition, Harry stopped abruptly, terrified. Her face was a pale greenish color, her closed eyelids were tinted blue, something was spluttering painfully in her lungs while she breathed fast and shallowly.
“Luna…” he whispered, looking at her with dread. He fell to his knees and took her hot hand in his. An overwhelming sense of guilt flooded his heart. His throat ached unpleasantly and he felt a bitter taste in his mouth.
Why hadn’t he taken her to the hospital? Why was it so easy to quit? It was his fault she was lying here in this state now.
He had come to be really close to Luna since he got to know her a little better. She never said a bad word to him or of him, was a loyal friend who helped him, and never asked for anything in return. He had spent enough time with her to understand that she wasn’t so eccentric as she seemed, but was a very sensitive girl with an interesting, unique personality.
He leaned his head on the edge of the bed and closed his eyes and nestled his face to her hot hand.
He had kissed her, dammit! Hugged her! He had gotten close to her! She was the only one who didn’t bother him with questions. She was always there when he needed her. But had he given her any appreciation for her help?
No, of course not!
He had ignored her deteriorating health. Confined only to senseless advice and then completely forgot about her, too busy with his “big problems with Snape”. And now she was lying there unconscious and there was nothing he could do for her.
“I’m sorry…” he whispered.
He would be with her now. It was the least he could do.
“My dear boy…” Madam Pomfrey’s voice made Harry almost jump. “I’m so sorry.”
Barging in here, Harry hadn’t even looked around. He had immediately fallen to Luna. Madam Pomfrey had to have been there the whole time, but Harry hadn’t noticed at all. He turned his head towards her and froze.
Blood rushed to his head and his stomach fell down almost to his feet.
Beside Madam Pomfrey stood Snape.
He stared at Harry.
Black eyes pierced him with such intensity that Harry felt like he was burning into a pile of hot ash. For the first time in a week Snape was staring straight at him and in such a way that Harry had never seen before. As if the Potions Master was crushing him into the floor.
He blinked and forced himself to look away. His heart wanted to jump out of his chest. He noted that he was nearly crushing Luna’s hand and forced himself to ease his grip.
“I’m sure you want to stay with her.” Madam Pomfrey’s voice was tender and benign. This wasn’t a good sign. It meant that Luna was very bad. “Professor Snape, may we go to my office? Let Harry stay alone with his beloved. I’m sure he's truly devastated.”
Harry shut his eyes and held his breath. He would have given anything to gag the woman at that point. Why did she have to say that in Snape’s presence!
Harry could actually feel Snape’s glare burning into him even more savagely.
“If Potter and his ‘beloved’ wish for it…” The Potions Master’s voice dripped scorn.
Harry suddenly wanted to dissolve into thin air. He heard footsteps and the soft crack of the door to Madam Pomfrey’s office.
Foreboding took hold of him.
“Harry, my dear?” Harry opened his eyes, feeling a gentle tug on his arm. “It’s late. You should return to your dormitory,” whispered Madam Pomfrey, looking anxiously at Harry.
The Gryffindor stretched his sleepy muscles.
“Have you found out what's wrong with Luna?"
A shadow passed over the medi-witch’s face.
“Professor Snape found out that this isn’t a disease.” At the sound of the Potions Master’s name Harry’s heart stirred. “He said that she’s being systematically poisoned. A medallion containing the essence of Incubicus was found in her dormitory. The poison enchanted in the locket infused through the skin into Luna’s respiratory system, steadily deteriorating her state of health. Only Professor Snape is able to brew the antidote. There is nothing else we can do, just try to stop the destructive progress of the poison until she takes the antidote.”
Harry was sitting in silence, looking at Madam Pomfrey with wide eyes. When he finally spoke, his voice was trembling:
“Madam Pomfrey, who would want to poison Luna?”
“I don’t know, my dear. I really don’t know.”
Weakly managing to get his feet under him, he slowly stood, not taking his eyes of Luna’s pale green face. Thoughts swirled madly in his mind, making his head spin.
Who would want to hurt Luna? And why? She didn’t harm anyone. Who could be so ruthless as to give her a poisoned locket?
As if in a dream, he lifted his bag from the floor and slowly made his way to the eastern tower, the words ‘poisoned’ and ‘antidote’ still ringing in his mind.
Suddenly he stopped.
What if it's Snape who had given Luna the locket? No, that’s impossible!
And what if he wanted to get rid of Luna, to have Harry only to himself? No, that was completely unbelievable. Snape wouldn’t have done something like that. Besides, the Potions Master had apparently decided he didn’t want to have anything to do with Harry, because all week he had been behaving as if Harry didn’t exist. No, it had to be someone else. But who?
Harry hoped Snape brewed the antidote as soon as possible. After all, he couldn’t refuse to help a student at Hogwarts. But what if he hated Harry so much that he wouldn’t want to help his ‘beloved’?
He bit his lip.
Why did Pomfrey have to say that while Snape was standing there? The Potions Master had to brew the antidote for Luna! And if he refused, Harry would have to convince him by himself!
Not even knowing when and how, he changed the direction of his steps, and a moment later he was on his way to the dungeons.
He had to hurry. At this time of night Hogwarts students weren’t allowed to be outside their dormitories. Fortunately, he remembered that he had the invisibility cloak in his book bag, which he’d come to always carrying with him since the fateful day he’d started to hide from everyone all the time. He hid behind the first statue he found, then he took his cloak out and threw it over himself. Trying not to make any noise, he weaved quickly towards the dungeons.
He knew that this wasn’t a good idea, but he had to try. He wouldn’t forgive himself if Luna died because of him. Snape was really capable of anything. He had to convince him. At all costs!
“Reportedly, this weirdo Lovegood ended up in the hospital?”
Harry stopped and almost slipping to hear a high, mocking girly voice. Apparently someone else was out after allowed hours. He slowly retreated to the corner of the corridor and decided to wait until the students disappeared from sight and hearing range before moving again. Judging from the characteristically cold, high voice, it was Pansy Parkinson. What was she doing out now? He froze, hearing a second voice, which replied:
“Oh, of course, she ended up there," Draco Malfoy’s voice was muffled and not very clear.
Harry cautiously peered around the corner, but saw nobody.
“I wonder what happened to her? Maybe someone finally noticed that something was wrong with her head?” giggled Pansy. Harry’s hands clenched into fists at her snide and mean-spirited remark. He peeked around again, but still saw no one. Where were they?
“Oh, don’t talk, just suck, you bitch! If I'd wanted to talk, I wouldn't have taken my trousers off." Malfoy’s irritated voice broke this strange conversation, and Harry felt his cheeks burn a little, now that he realized what those two were up to. The momentary embarrassment didn’t avert his anger, though. Parkinson and Malfoy. There were two rotten eggs the school could do without.
Then he heard some soft moaning and the tell-tale sucking sounds and realized it was coming from ... the cupboard. The same cupboard in which he and Snape…
He felt his face flush again. He quickly composed himself. This wasn’t important now. Luna. He had to make sure she was going to be okay.
Then it dawned on him. Malfoy knew too much. He didn’t like the tone of the blonde’s voice. He was probably the one guilty of poisoning Luna. The nasty bastard hated him so much he’d decided to poison his ‘girlfriend’! But why attack Luna? Why didn’t Malfoy poison him instead? None of this seemed to make much sense.
Harry thought about the series of events that had transpired between himself and Malfoy. When Malfoy attacked him in the dungeons, Harry remembered him yelling: “You won't stop me!”
Stop him from what? From getting back at him? What had Harry done to him? After all, nobody behaved like that for a broken nose.
In the dream, Malfoy had looked angry. Angry at Voldemort. Hollow eyes, sunken cheeks. The darkness in the grey eyes.
And now Luna was in the hospital and the satisfaction was clear in Malfoy’s voice.
Harry suddenly realized that he was running to the Gryffindor tower at full pelt. He was no longer concerned Snape wouldn’t help Luna. It was Malfoy he had to worry about!
It’s definitely him! It had to be Malfoy! He gave the locket to Luna! I’m sure of it!
Harry was already heading to the dungeons for the day’s last class. Potions.
Last night he had stormed into the common room, immediately pulled his friends from their beds and told them everything. Leaving aside the details of course, where he had overheard Malfoy and Pansy.
Hermione was horrified. Ron appalled. So nothing unusual.
Ron said that they should hide and attack Malfoy, and give him a good beating. Hermione recited several points of the Rules and advised to carefully examine the situation prior to any violent action. It was she who had made it clear to Harry that there was no evidence against Malfoy. Moreover, the Slytherin hadn’t even said a single word that confirmed that he had something to do with it. The fact that he knew about the whole affair didn’t yet mean that he was the perpetrator.
But Harry didn’t want to hear it. It was Malfoy. He knew it! He would find a way to pull it out of that slytherin rat.
In all the commotion in his mind, he hadn’t thought of the Potions Master. But now, as he approached the class, he felt increasingly anxious. Maybe it was because of the way Snape had nearly crushed him to the floor with just his glare in their last encounter? Or, maybe it was the fear of receiving another dose of overwhelming indifference?
That hurt the most.
Harry had gotten out of a swamp of despondency caused by Snape for a whole week, only to get into another; Luna’s critical state and wondering about Malfoy’s satisfaction. At this time, both marshes merged into one, creating a muddy stinking slush that sucked Harry in its seething abyss.
Harry saw him as he emerged from the darkness with his robes fluttering behind him.
Surprisingly, for some time that sight caused his heart to twitch and pound and, instead of decreasing, the beat only intensified. In Snape’s presence Harry stopped thinking. His brain blocked itself from all else, save only single lines of thought that were once probably valid, but at the moment completely ceased to be relevant to something much more powerful and unbridled… to desire.
Did it only seem to him that Snape looked at him when he passed? His heart leapt. But almost at the same moment a surge of venomous hatred swept over him, while just behind the Potions Master, Malfoy appeared.
Hermione squeezed Harry’s shoulder, as if she feared that Harry would pounce on the Slytherin and break all his bones. For the collection to his nose.
Yes, that thought had occurred to Harry, but he’d managed to control himself in the past when faced with such a situation. Well, maybe not always.
Even when they were already in the classroom, Harry was still staring at Malfoy like a hawk.
Oh, I’ll show you, you… slimy bag of rat puke!
Harry looked at the blackboard. Snape was watching him.
His first reaction was to quickly look away. The second; to blush.
Bugger! he swore to himself.
Why was Snape watching him? After not paying attention to him for a whole week, why now?
He could feel his consciousness dissolving under the influence of the gaze. Every thought had fled from his mind; he couldn’t even focus on copying the ingredients. Malfoy had temporarily ceased to exist completely. Everything had ceased to exist, replaced by the burning desire Snape’s’ piercing eyes and soul caused to him. His heart had decided to stop listening him completely and was doing what it wanted, beating like crazy.
Snape had finally noticed him. He should be happy. And he was happy. In his heart a feeling of joy was dancing like a candle flame in the wind, but fortunately it was suppressed by the anxiety that lurked in him, ready to attack and dominate his heart at any moment.
There was something in Snape’s eyes that disturbed Harry’s joy. The darkness that was even deeper than the blackness of his eyes.
Suddenly, his contemplation was interrupted by a nudge to his side.
“Harry,” whispered Ron. “Have you noticed how Malfoy is staring at you?”
Harry blinked a few times.
“Malfoy?” he asked, crestfallen.
“And Snape too,” interjected Hermione, but Harry didn’t hear it, as his gaze moved towards the Slytherins desks and his blood began to boil in his veins. A triumphant smile could be seen on Malfoy’s face.
He knows that I know, Harry thought in a sudden, painful moment of understanding. And he’s basking in it, because he knows that I can’t prove anything!
Harry couldn’t tear his eyes away from Malfoy for almost the entire lesson. He was so absorbed in his plans for destroying that slippery Slytherin son-of-a-bitch so much that he hadn’t bothered to pay attention to preparing his potion. It would be terrible either way. Why even try?
His eyes occasionally would encounter the Potions Master’s cool, studying ones, and then Harry would, for a few moments, forget about Malfoy, Luna, and the outside world. His heart, which he couldn’t control, was seized by a surge of joy mingled with sorrow. He remembered the whole week full of suffering, when Snape had been acting as if Harry had disappeared from the face of the earth. He remembered the painful moments of solitude as he had been sitting in his dormitory, he recalled the moment in the cupboard. Finally, he remembered the hatred he had felt for himself when he was wanking away at nights, thinking about this bastard and failing to stop, despite how Snape had been treating him. But that lasted only a moment. Malfoy pulled his eyes back, like a black hole about which he had once read in a muggle book.
“I see that you have decided not to pay attention today, Mr. Potter.” Snape’s steely voice next to Harry’s ear pierced his mind like a dagger, making him almost jump in his seat. Snape was standing beside him, measuring him with his menacing and piercing glare. Harry could only break out into a blush.
“Not only did you brew something that does not deserve to be called a potion, but you were also surprisingly interested in Mr. Malfoy during the entire lesson. Is there something we should know?”
Harry heard a few single laughs from the Slytherin tables. He almost saw a cheeky smile contorting Malfoy’s face. The joy and sorrow turned into burning hatred in a flash. He wanted to say something, but nothing articulate came into his mind. He could only sit and clench his trembling fists, trying not to look at the Potions Master, since he knew he wouldn’t hold back.
“If you don’t return to the lesson immediately,” continued Snape, “It’ll be detention, Potter.” At the sound of the word ‘detention’, Harry tensed up. “I heard from Mr. Filch that you didn’t finish cleaning one of the cupboards. Maybe we could do something about that?” The Potions Master smirked nastily.
Harry inhaled sharply.
That was a low blow and a dirty trick.
He felt like he was sinking in a bog of shame, embarrassment and rage.
He glanced at Snape with eyes that could cut glass.
You know why I didn’t finish cleaning the cupboard, you bloody bastard! he thought boiling with indignation. He felt like his self-control would go loose. He forced himself with his whole strength to remain calm.
Snape, as if hearing Harry’s thoughts, raised one eyebrow. It looked as if he was holding back from laughing. Apparently, he was enjoying this.
“I am glad that we understand each other, Mr. Potter,” he said and walked away, checking the contents of the other cauldrons.
So apparently he remembered. What a filthy... Harry wanted to curse Snape, but he had already used his entire repertoire of insults cursing Malfoy and nothing creative came to mind.
I hate him. I just hate him! he thought, angrily packing and shoving all his stuff in his bag.
Snape had at last referred, in some way, to those moments in the cupboard. Harry had been waiting for a sign all week. He just hadn’t hoped for it to be delivered so coldly and with the entire class present.
Snape wanted to humiliate him, that’s for sure. Oh, how he loved it.
But Harry wouldn’t let him get away with it. Oh no, not this time!
“Harry, where are you going?” exclaimed Hermione, when Harry suddenly stopped and turned back.
“I forgot something. I’ll join you later,” he called over his shoulder.
He went back to the classroom with a very clear decision to face Snape, but when the Potions Master raised his eyes from the desk, Harry felt all his courage was slowly leaving him.
“Yes, Mr. Potter?”
Harry winced as he heard the ferocity with which Snape pronounced his name.
“You -- You -- ” he began, trying to recall any adequate epithet that would characterized who the professor was to him now.
“Careful, Potter. I’m not your friend.” The Potions Master’s threatening voice were like a rag to a bull for Harry.
“You bastard!” Harry shouted, unable to hold it in any longer.
He saw Snape slowly rising from his seat, his face twisted in a mocking expression.
“Yes? And when did you discover it, Mr. Potter?” The raillery which was weeping from his lips was so immense that it could have filled a lake.
“Throughout the whole week I was waiting for a sign, and the whole time you behaved like I didn’t exist! As if everything that happened didn’t matter!" The words flowed from Harry’s mouth, unstoppable, finally freed. “But you decided to remind me about it today, when I almost forgot about it! And in such a cruel way!”
Snape had almost reached Harry. His eyes pierced him and Harry regained his senses. Harry suddenly felt like the floor had disappeared under his feet, as words ceased to have meaning, as nothing was relevant any longer.
He backed up against the wall, feeling surges of heat sweeping his body, so well known to him and so unstoppable, like a waterfall.
Snape was already on top of him. So close that Harry could feel his hot breath on his face. The Potions Master's black clad body was almost clinging to his. Snape leaned forward and Harry heard a quiet, dark whisper just in his ear:
“I’ll never let you forget about it.”
Those few quiet words stormed into Harry's heart and echoed in it louder than booming thunder.
“I hate you,” he rasped with his last ounce of strength, wanting to escape, to break free from Snape’s influence.
“You hate me?” One of the Potions Master’s eyebrows rose and his eyes flashed. Harry felt Snape’s knee bursting between his legs and poking his painful erection. A nasty smile appeared on Snape’s’ face. “Look at yourself. I just get near you and you’re already going hard.”
Harry wished Snape would just shut up. But the Potions Master was so close to him, Harry had forgotten all about what he had come here to say in the first place.
Through the mist obscuring his eyes he could see Snape’s exposed neck. He wanted to touch the skin, to taste it. He had completely stopped thinking. He only wanted to reach what remained hidden and inaccessible to him. He unwittingly grabbed the black robe and pulled it. His hand touched the bare skin. It was warm to the touch. He stood on tiptoe to touch his lips on this alluring place. His dizziness intensified. He closed his eyes.
Suddenly everything disappeared. Snape moved away.
Harry whimpered, opening his eyes. He felt as if he was suddenly deprived of something very precious.
He suddenly feared Snape had decided to leave him here alone. He couldn’t stand it. He felt like he wouldn’t survive if the Potions Master left him now and ignored him throughout the whole week again.
He couldn’t leave! Not now!
He saw the pale, slender hand outstretched towards him.
“Give me your hand, Potter.”
He stretched out his hand. He knew that he would give the Potions Master anything that he would ask him now. His consciousness disappeared. There was just desire. Obsession. A lunatic who didn’t hesitate to step over the precipice, knowing that it meant he’d plummet into the abyss.
Snape’s hand tightened on his wrist, and Harry was pulled forward. He stumbled and faltered as the Potions Master was led him in some unspecified direction. Suddenly it became dark. He was dazed, everything was spinning around him. He felt the blood pulsing in his ears and the crazy beats of his heart.
Candles were lit. There was a book with ingredients for potions.
He looked into Snape’s eyes. The man shot him a look filled with incredible intensity, and then it slowly slid down, pointing to the floor.
A sudden understanding hit Harry like a bludger during a match. Snape’s lips were raised in a smirk. His black eyes narrowed as Harry took a step.
No, don’t do this! You can’t do this! He's using you, don’t you see?
But Harry couldn’t properly hear, see, or think.
He only knew what he wanted.
If that was the only way… If he could get only this…
His self-awareness was screaming in violent protests, but Harry wasn’t listening.
He saw his legs bend under him and his hands stretch to reach his destiny.
* "Cut" by Plumb
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