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Ariel & Gobuss
| Chapter 15 - "Breaking the walls" |
Beta Reader: Ailslin Avalbane
15 Breaking the walls
I've tried my best for so long
To break down these walls
But you build them strong
So I stand here waiting, wondering why
Harry spent another week in the hospital. After being treated with all kinds of potions, ointments and concoctions, he was slowly returning to good health. Broken bones grew back together, and wounds - both external and internal - began to heal over. Being fed only milk and soups during that time, he became weak and exhausted, and Pomfrey forbade him to leave the bed. She thought that he should spend one more week in the hospital wing, but after Harry's violent protests and Professor McGonagall's intervention he was finally allowed to leave. But he had to swear that he wouldn't overdo it.
The Headmaster and Professor McGonagall asked him about the exact circumstances of the assault, but he just kept repeating he couldn't remember anything. He didn't lie to them - it was true. From what Ron and Hermione told him, they’d had to tell everyone about what had happened, too. Not only the teachers were curious. The students had nearly run him ragged trying to find out something.
Several times Harry tried to refer to the conversation he and Hermione had held on the first day after he woke up in the hospital, but his friend seemed to carefully avoid the subject. When he finally asked her directly if she’d informed Dumbledore of him and Snape, to Harry's surprise, she replied calmly that she'd told him everything she knew. When Harry nearly fainted from fright, she added that she had to tell it to all the students and teachers, too. Seeing Harry was practically choking and unable to take a breath, Hermione patted him on the back and said with a smile that everyone whom she’d revealed this information to had been very surprised that Snape had saved Harry, but no one had tried to belittle his services.
Only after a moment of petrified consternation Harry realized what was going on. When he tried to extract something more from her, she talked only about assault, search, and him being rescued. As if she'd completely forgotten what they'd been discussing, as if all suspicions had vanished from her mind. Harry didn't know how it had happened, but after thinking about it half the night, he came to conclusion that it couldn't have just been a coincidence, and Hermione certainly hadn't pretended. Another conversation with her later the next day only confirmed his belief that an obliviate spell had been cast on her. And Snape must've had something to do with it. Nothing else came to Harry's mind. He was certain of one thing - when the opportunity arose, he would have to ask Snape.
For now, he could breathe a sigh of relief. He'd have never admitted this, but a there had been a small part of him that had thought of casting an obliviate on Hermione. Now that the problem had been resolved, he felt as if the terrible weight on his heart had disappeared. From now on he would have to be very careful to not let Hermione suspect something again.
Harry wasn't visited only by Hermione and Ron. Luna appeared often, too. She’d brought him a dead, dried frog, claiming that if he’d hung it on his neck, it would relieve pain and tiredness. Neville and even Ginny visited him as well. Ron's sister was a bit tight-lipped, but smiling. Apparently her anger had passed long ago. She brought him a bunch of daisies. He was glad that Ginny was once again being kind to him and he enjoyed the fact that her good humor had returned. Hagrid brought him a jar of his hard as Crackwats' armor cookies. For the first time Harry was grateful to Madam Pomfrey for having only allowed him to eat soups and drink milk. This let him not accept the gift without the risk of the half-giant feeling offended.
But in all this crowd of people visiting him, it lacked the one person he was wanting to see most. Snape hadn't visited him even once throughout the week. As though he had no interest in him; as though Harry's state was nothing to him. And yet … he had saved his life...
Harry tried to stave off the bitter feeling of disappointment which whirled in his heart every day while seeing the surrounding crowd of smiling friends and anxious teachers. Each day that passed, he was becoming more and more sad, and nothing could soothe that feeling. Every day he stared at the door, hoping that it would open and that familiar tall, dark figure would appear, but every time, instead, only disappointment was there.
When Friday came, Harry managed to convince Pomfrey to let him leave the hospital. The only thing he could think about was visiting Snape. This visit was his top priority and nothing could stop him. So he told Ron and Hermione that he would be free only at dinner time, while truthfully he had to go out for a bit before then. He wanted some time to himself without annoying friends and classmates.
Harry got himself dressed in a simple pair of trousers, a shirt, and a sweater and looked himself over in the mirror. With relief, he realized that he didn't look too bad. At least, not as bad as he had a week ago. And certainly not as bad as he’d been feeling. Still, it was obvious he’d been through a lot. There were still small, fine scratches on his cheek and lips, and his eyebrow was a bit red from where a gash had been that was now healing. He was also a bit emaciated from an improper diet, and his skin had a slight pale, unhealthy color. The dark circles under his eyes hadn’t wanted to disappear despite the fact he really slept a lot. And he still felt tired and exhausted, as if someone had sucked all energy from him.
He turned away from his reflection, went to Madam Pomfrey in order to thank her for everything and headed towards the dungeons, trying to remain unnoticed. Fortunately, the students still had last post-afternoon lessons, and Hogwarts seemed deserted.
His heart was beating fast when he went down to the dungeons. Would he ever be able to come here without this unpleasant nervousness which made even walking difficult? He wasn’t sure, but he had to see him! At least for a while. He didn't know whether he would find him, or whether his professor was running classes now, but it was worth a try.
In attempts to calm the fluttering heart in his chest, Harry stopped at the door leading to the Potions Master's office and knocked. Some time later he heard footsteps, and his blood started boiling throughout his body with excitement.
The door opened. Harry held his breath.
He had almost forgotten how beautiful the look of those wonderful black eyes were, even now, extended in the expression of surprise. Harry couldn't resist - his face split into a wide smile. Snape was looking at him for a minute and then the obvious astonishment on his face quickly turned into anxiety. He raised his eyebrows and the wrinkles on his face deepened.
"What are you doing here, Potter?" he asked harshly, seeing that Harry apparently froze with a buttery smile on his lips, temporarily unable to speak. "You should be still in the infirmary, shouldn't you?"
"I left," Harry was not able to utter something more complicated. "Today. Can I... come in?" he asked shyly.
Snape narrowed his eyes, but stepped back and let him inside. When he closed the door, Harry couldn't restrain himself any longer. Rapidly jumping at Snape, he pressed Snape to the door, wrapping his arms around his waist. With a loud sigh, he leaned his head on the broad chest and closed his eyes. He pressed his cheek to the rough material and whispered:
"I missed you... "
He sighed again then inhaled the wonderful aroma of cinnamon and subtle scent of herbs. Harry clung to the slim body even harder and listened to the strong heart beating beneath Snape’s breast.
"I was waiting for you, but you didn't come," he couldn't control the bitterness which unwittingly crept into his voice. "Why didn't you visit me?"
Snape, who apparently had been completely surprised by Harry’s behavior, strained and straightened, but didn't try to push him away.
"I was busy, Potter," the perfectly controlled voice drawled. "Anyway, I had no desire to push through the crowds besieging you," he added sourly.
Harry lifted his warmed cheek from man's chest and looked up at the narrow lined mouth and velvety black hair that surrounded the pale, strained face. He smiled when his eyes settled on the prominent nose, which seemed to him the most beautiful nose in the world.
"I missed you... so much, Severus," he repeated softly, looking deeply in the Potions Master's eyes, which were studying him intently and flashed with a strange glow at the sound of his name.
"Don't dramatize, Potter," Snape said coldly. "It was only barely a week, not counting the few days you were lying unconscious."
Harry was struck by a sudden thought. He frowned and moved away from the man a little, eyeing him with a piercing, suspicious look.
"How do you know when I woke up?"
He saw the Potions Master's face darken, as if he was angry with himself.
Harry now understood.
"So you were there!" His eyes flashed, and a joyful smile appeared on his face. "You could have told me."
Now the Professor's face was like a storm cloud.
"To satisfy your curiosity, Potter - I was bringing potions to Pomfrey," Snape said, voice as indifferent as he could make it, but Harry was so happy he didn't believe a single word. Or Snape's motives.
"Don't worry, I won't tell anyone ," he whispered fervently, without even trying to stop smiling.
"Did Pomfrey give you some giggling brew, Potter?" Snape growled.
Harry didn't pay attention to the Professor's sarcastic tone. He remembered why he came here. To thank him.
The smile slowly disappeared from the boy's face. Snape frowned. Harry sighed deeply, stretched out his arm and took the slender hand of the Potions Master in his own. He lifted it and pressed it firmly to his cheek, snuggling into it, and closing his eyes for a moment. The touch of the cool fingers sent a pleasant shiver through his body.
"Thank you," he said quietly, rubbing his cheek against the palm. "For saving my life." He opened his eyes and looked at Snape's face, which at this moment expressed only deep consternation. "I ... don't remember much, but Ron and Hermione told me that I couldn't breathe, and you... you used some kind of a healing spell... and saved me." Harry eased Snape's hand from his cheek and put it to his mouth, still not taking his eyes off the man's face. The dark eyes were watching him attentively, and he saw a spark of indeterminate emotion there. "Thank you," he whispered, lowering his eyes, and gently kissed the delicate fingertips.
A very nice, warm feeling, flooded his heart. No matter what had happened before, no matter how much he'd been hurt, all that was now irrelevant. Now he had proof that Snape cared about him. He'd saved him. It'd expiated all his guilt, and even if Snape continued to treat him badly; if he continued to hurt him, none of those wounds would delve into his heart, because now it was surrounded by a very strong wall of faith and knowing that Severus cared about him. Really cared.
That knowledge gave Harry the strength to start the long and arduous climb into Snape's cold heart, which was surrounded by seeming impregnable walls. And maybe one day it would help him to even break those walls. When he would become stronger and firmer … Perhaps. It was a hope.
Harry kissed the cold hand again, and when he finally released it, he felt it touching his chin, lifting his face up. His gaze met Snape's eyes, sparkling with a strange glow. He heard words uttered in a low, soft whisper:
"You're welcome, Mr. Potter."
Harry's eyes widened, a smile once again returned to his face. Snape withdrew his hand and straightened up.
"But do me a favor and stop this silly smiling, because I'm afraid that my eyes can no longer stand it," he added sourly, and Harry thought that never before the Potions Master's mocking comment hadn't seemed to him so... sweet.
"How are you, Harry?" Hermione asked when he met her and Ron at the entrance of the Great Hall later that afternoon.
"I'm all right," he said, shrugging.
After the attack, Hermione started to behave worse than Mrs. Weasley. She mothered him, nursed him, and constantly asked about his mood, still recalling that, according to her, he should have stayed in the hospital for a few more days. Ron, fortunately, stood up in his defense, and it almost always ended with the usual quarrel.
They'll never change, he thought with a warm feeling at heart.
Despite this, Harry was already planning how to get away from their protectiveness. He’d really wanted to talk to Severus for a bit longer, earlier, but he couldn't because his friends had been waiting for him. He couldn't get enough of that man, though. Therefore, before heading up to meet with Ron and Hermione, he'd pestered him until Snape'd finally agreed that he could come by to see him in the evening, providing no one saw him sneaking down. It wasn't difficult. Harry had the Invisibility Cloak. However, it was much more difficult to deceive friends, who, apparently, decided not to lose sight of him even for a moment, as if being afraid that Harry would be attacked at the first corner he went around.
"You seem tense, Harry," Hermione commented, distracting him from his thoughts.
"What? No. Why?" he muttered, somewhat surprised.
"Stop tormenting him," Ron growled at her. Hermione took a breath, as if she wanted to say something else, but the redhead grabbed Harry's arm and pulled him into the Great Hall.
Most of the students who were already there turned to look at Harry, but it didn't embarrass him. Not this time. This wasn't anything new. He’d gotten used to being the center of attention all the time. As he glanced around, he saw three free places at the Slytherin table.
All three students who were suspected of the assault on him disappeared without a trace. He felt an involuntary shudder go up his spine. It was a strange feeling to know that Malfoy and his gorillas were gone, and probably would never come back. An unsolved mystery, about which guesses and rumors would be whispered for a long time, circulating everywhere, and eventually would develop into just a story.
Harry could have asked Snape whether he knew anything about it, but deep down, he didn't want to know the truth. The only thing that mattered was that he was safe now, and, judging from the frightened faces of the Slytherins, he could guess that, in the near future, no one would dare to offend him or say something. Not after three of his enemies had literally disappeared into thin air.
Harry felt a strange satisfaction while being looked at by frightened eyes. Pansy Parkinson turned as white as a sheet and, having bitten her lip, immediately turned away.
"Harry!" his attention was suddenly brought to a tumbling of reddish gold hair and a freckled face. "I'm glad you were finally allowed to leave!" Ginny greeted him. She’d jumped up from her seat and stood before him smiling broadly. "We couldn't wait for your return!"
"Oh," he stammered. "I'm... happy, too."
"You must be hungry. I won't disturb you," she said softly. At that moment, her eyes wandered over Harry's shoulder, and her cheeks flushed. Harry turned around and saw nothing but a group of Ravenclaws, sitting at their table. Cho Chang sent him a shy smile. Somewhat surprised, he answered her with the same, and then turned back to Ginny. However, she had already returned to her friends. Harry moved towards the table to Ron and Hermione, responding, along the way, to the greetings and smiles coming from everywhere.
He breathed deeply. Why did it seem like, after the attack, everything had suddenly changed? Ginny liked him again, Slytherins were afraid of him, other students were nicer, and Snape cared about him.
He smiled involuntarily.
"What’s made you so happy?" Ron asked when Harry approached them.
"Oh, nothing," Harry replied, dropping between them and nodding and smiling Neville. "I'm just... glad."
Surprising, what a turn it has all taken, he thought. His life had changed, seeming to be divided into part before the assault and part after. As if into... yesterday and today.
He smiled to himself again.
Even the food looked much more delicious than usual. He reached for a piece of chicken, ignoring Hermione's protests that he shouldn't have taken such a heavy meal.
Oh yes, "today" was much more pleasant...
After dinner, he told his friends he had go to the hospital wing to take some medicine and that he’d have to spend a little time there while it took effect. Of course they offered to go with him but, fortunately, Harry managed to persuade them to let him go alone, claiming that Madam Pomfrey forbade anyone to interfere. When they suggested seeing him out to the door of the hospital, he promised that he would be careful and that, just in case, he would take the Invisibility Cloak. He sighed with relief when they finally gave up. He hoped that soon they would no longer follow him everywhere and behave as if they believed he was made of glass. Especially Hermione, who treated him as if he was five years old and had to have his every step watched.
I feel sorry for her children, Harry thought, when he finally managed to throw the Invisibility Cloak over himself and head to the dungeons. When he passed near the portrait of some wizards, absorbed in a chess game, he yawned so strongly that they broke off from it and looked around anxiously. He felt very tired and weak, but meeting with Snape was the most important thing to him right now. He had been thinking about it all afternoon and evening, even when he'd been surrounded by a group of his classmates and friends who’d spent the whole time asking him what had actually happened and whether he'd been feeling fine.
Finally making his way down into the dungeons, he stood in front of the Potions Master's office and, just as he was about to knock on the door, it opened by itself. A little surprised, he went inside. He went through the empty, silent office and knocked on the next door. When it opened a bit, Harry saw Snape sitting in the armchair in front of the fireplace, reading a book. The light of the fire was dancing against his black robes, and reflecting a golden shimmer in the ebony hair falling over his face.
"Take off the cloak and close the door," the man said, without raising his head from the book. Harry did what he'd been asked and, only then, noticed the parchment in Snape's lap, in which the Professor was jotting something down every now and then. "Sit down," he snapped at Harry. "I'll finish soon."
The Gryffindor obediently sank into a chair on the other side of a low table. Snape's face was absorbed in thought. Harry guessed that whatever he was doing was probably extremely important and he felt a little ashamed for bothering him. But since he came here, and it cost him a lot, he wasn't going to leave so fast.
Harry sighed softly, leaned back, and stared silently at the crackling flames. The warm glow emanating from the fire warmed his skin and spread through his body. His eyelids became heavy with sleep and he couldn't keep them open despite trying to.
After a while, he had a feeling like he was lying in a warm, downy bed, and the fire was singing him lullabies. Colors and lights were blurred. They mingled with each other, taking him to a wonderfully warm, peaceful land of sleep.
Everything was a thick darkness, but inside of it, something began to happen. A strange, pleasant feeling broke into it, bringing... coolness and... excitement.
A long groan escaped his throat.
He felt a gentle, extremely nice touch that made his body drift alternately among hot and cold waves.
"So gooood... " he whispered when he managed to locate the touch.
He felt himself getting hard.
The darkness gradually dispersed under the influence of a wonderful feeling, radiating from his underbelly, making him tense.
The dream then went away completely, and Harry slowly opened his sleepy eyes, trying to figure what that feeling was. Through the mist floating before his eyes he saw that his shirt was unbuttoned.
Strange, he didn't remember falling asleep in his clothes...
He looked down and what he saw made a burning blush appear on his face. His pants were undone, and a pale, slender hand, with long fingers, was tightening around his cock. It was moving slowly, sending him more and more waves of overwhelming pleasure.
Harry moaned, unable to help himself. He lifted his flushed face and saw Severus above him, eyeing him with a crooked smile on his thin lips. His dark eyes twinkled, and the mischievous, dancing sparkles within them mingled with the flame of arousal.
"Wake up, Mr. Potter." The low, dark voice shattered Harry's will and sent sparks along his spine.
He didn't even have time to think where he was and what was happening, because the wonderfully cool hand on his erection had completely deprived him of his senses.
Snape was leaning over him, the billowing sleeves of his black cloak fell from his arms, wrapping around them both, separating them from the outer world.
Snape increased the pace, sending Harry's senses whirling to the very ceiling. At one point the man's other hand, which had been resting on the arm of the chair, touched Harry's chest, gently caressing his skin. Harry closed his eyes, succumbing to the gentle touch, but a moment later a sharp, painful current ran through his body, making him jump, extracting a hoarse groan from his mouth. He opened his eyes and saw a crooked, malicious smile on the face of the man leaning over him. Snape had pinched his nipple and then did it again. Harry cried out, and his body arched. He struck the armchair with his back, trying to catch the escaping breath. Snape seemed to have fun torturing him this way, drinking in every explosion of pain and pleasure from his burning face. Another pinch made him whine quietly, jumping up abruptly.
Harry grabbed Snape by the front of his robes and pulled him close, pressing his face into his collarbone. Again he caught that smell which was taking away his senses. He groaned and lifted his face slightly so that his lips were at the same level as the man's ear. Snape increased the pace again, squeezing Harry's erection even harder. His hand was chafing against red, bloodshot skin on the turgid, spasmodically twitching cock and teasing it even more, leading Harry to make a continuous hoarse moaning.
"Just ... like that ... " he panted in Snape's ear, feeling that his body had completely stopped listening to him and was now following only the rhythm of hand stroking faster and faster. His body, immersed in bliss, sent a signal to his blurry mind, concluding that he could no longer endure. He tried to contain himself, but the strokes were too fast, too strong and too insistent. Fingers pinching his nipple sent the most painful spasms of pleasure through his anguished body, and the hot breath, brushing his shoulder and a wonderful smell of Snape were successfully attacking his other senses.
"Cannot ... stand ... " he moaned, or rather sobbed into the man's ear. "In a moment I'll ... "
"... come," Snape’s deep, seductive voice finished for him. "And you'll do it ... now!"
His fingers clenched tightly on the head of Harry's cock, and in one rapid stroke he slipped his hand down over it, squeezing the white, sticky cum out of it. Harry stiffened, feeling the burning eruptions in every part of his body. It felt like his nerves were on fire and tingled and burned, rapidly accumulating in the lower part of his body. He heard a hoarse cry and, only after it was made, did he realize it had come from his own throat. His senses were swept away by a storm of pleasure and a distant part of his mind began to wonder if he'd ever get them back.
He eventually fell back into the chair, barely able to breathe or open his watery eyes. His heart fluttered violently, and he could only moan as he attempted to pick up his scattered senses.
Snape was still leaning over him, as if waiting patiently for Harry to come to.
After what seemed like forever, Harry finally managed to catch his drifting consciousness and pull it back to his body. He swallowed a few times against his sore throat. Eventually, he opened his eyes and saw a dark, twisted, half-smile on the Potions Master's face and the memory of a similar situation, which had taken place some time ago, came to mind.
Harry smiled to himself. He looked straight into the shining eyes that were fixed on him and softly said: "That was nice, sir."
Snape's face changed and his eyes flashed.
"Trying to be ironic, Potter?" the man growled, trying to free his robe from the young man’s grip.
"Not at all," Harry innocently replied before he could bite his tongue. "How could I possibly compete with you?"
The corners of the Potions Master's mouth twitched slightly and his eyes flashed. "Well well, Potter... sometimes you can be witty. I guess I'll have to lead you to this state more frequently... " he smiled mockingly, and Harry's cheeks reddened. He let go of Snape's robes and the pleasant warmth was gone when the man stood up, hurling his cloak back. He looked down at the half-dressed young man lying in the chair before him and the wonderful smirk that still lingered on his lips.
"Dress up. You have to go to sleep."
Harry blushed again. He tried to get up, but his muscles refused to cooperate. Finally, after a couple of attempts, he succeeded in composing himself while Snape took away the book lying on the table and magically added wood to the fire.
Yawning, Harry pulled out the Invisibility Cloak to throw on himself and, as he did, ill-considered words escaped his mouth.
"I hope that this time no one will attack me, because I'm so sick of the hospital wing," he joked, smiling. But when he saw the look given to him by Snape, he immediately became serious. "Sorry, it was a stupid joke," he muttered, tearing his eyes from the thoughtful man's face and staring at the floor.
"So I'll just... " he began, gesturing toward the door, but Snape interrupted him suddenly with a sharp tone.
"Wait a minute, Potter," he said, disappearing for a moment through the door leading to his bedroom. Harry blinked in surprise, but obediently set the cloak aside and waited for Snape's return. When he saw him again, he noticed that he was holding something shiny in his hand.
Snape stopped in front of him and held out an unpolished stone that appeared to be an emerald. It was about the size of a coin.
"What is it?" he asked curiously.
"This is an extremely rare artifact, so I'd rather you didn't lose it," Snape said quietly.
"It's... for me?" he uttered, looking up at Snape in genuine surprise, taking the stone from the man's hand and looking at it attentively. The light from the fire reflected through the gem, making it appear as if it was burning from the inside.
"You must always carry it with you, no matter the circumstances," Snape explained, but Harry was already immersed in his own thoughts.
Snape'd saved him, had been intimate with him, and now had given him a very precious jewel as a gift. He didn't know why, but the gesture flooded his heart with warmth. He bit his lip, stifling a smile, and looked at Snape. He would have thank him for it somehow … Do something special.
Next time I will lead you to such heights of pleasure that you'll writhe uncontrollably and moan my name. I promise! Finally I'll see your face struck with pleasure, and listen to you screaming: "Harry! Oh, Harry!" It will be so wonderful ... Merlin, I'm absolutely crazy about you...
He smiled at his thoughts.
Once he brought himself back to the present, he saw that Snape had reached into his own pocket and took out a similar stone. Harry watched as the man brought the jewel close to his face, eyeing it carefully. Then, Snape lifted his eyebrows in a gesture of infinite amazement. The mans eyes widened and his lips parted slightly. His usual pale face took on strange, warm tint.
Harry blinked a few times, not sure if he saw what he thought he saw. Was that …?
However, Snape frowned again, and Harry was paralyzed by the piercing gaze of the mans steely eyes. He felt hot. At the same time he felt the stone he was holding in his hand begin to burn. He looked at it in surprise and saw a glistening swirl of magic filling it, slowly forming into words.
He drew the stone closer and read the inscription:
Well well, Potter ... I never suspected you of such fantasies ... However, I must disappoint you - it will never happen.
A terrible understanding filled Harry's mind, and his legs buckled under him, making him sway slightly, unsteady. His face blazed like a torch. He wanted to dissolve into thin air, to have the earth swallow him up whole, to just disappear! He felt like he had fallen into a raging fire. Everything was burning him.
"This stone is used to exchange thoughts," said Snape. His voice trembled strangely, as if it was difficult for him to refrain from bursting into laughter.
"Couldn't you have told me that earlier?!" Harry blurted out, trying to remain steady on his feet.
"I could have," Snape said quietly with a slight nod, "but then it wouldn't be so amusing."
Shame had been replaced by a fast-approaching surge of anger.
"I bet!" Harry hissed, shoving the stone into his pocket angrily, deciding not to touch it ever again. "Why did you give it to me?" he demanded, trying to sound menacing but his voice broke.
"So you can let me know if there is any danger," Snape said smoothly, not taking his piercing gaze off the Gryffindor.
Harry’s anger suddenly evaporated.
Snape gave him the stone ... because he was worried about him!
"You have to squeeze it in your hand and send a thought. My stone'll heat and I'll always be able to read your message. But you mustn't misuse it. Knowing your recklessness, Potter, you'll want to use it even in situations not requiring my attention."
Maybe from time to time Snape wouldn't get too angry if he --
"Did you understand?" the man sharply asked.
"Thank you," he said quietly, watching as Snape hid his stone in his pocket. "It's ... very nice."
Snape looked at him coldly.
"It’s not supposed to be nice, Potter, it’s supposed to be useful," he growled. "Now you can go."
Harry nodded again, threw the Invisibility Cloak over himself, and quickly left the room.
As he was slowly walking down the corridor, his hand involuntarily reached into his pocket and pulled out the green jewel. He stopped and smiled to himself.
He couldn't help it.
He squeezed the stone, closed his eyes, and thought:
I already miss you, Severus.
Hidden under his Invisibility Cloak, Harry crossed through the silent corridors of Hogwarts, heading for the dungeons. It took only two days, and he could no longer stand going without a look into those beautiful black eyes that had enslaved all his senses.
By using the stone, he managed to force Snape to meet with him. After all, it was already Sunday - the end of the weekend. They wouldn't have time for meetings once the lessons started for the week. Harry sent a message to Severus about the urgent necessity of seeing him to talk about something very important.
It was about the sudden loss off memory Hermione had been suffering. He had forgotten to ask the last time, so now it had become a great excuse to see the Potions Master again. He would be able to kill two Pixies with one stone.
When he reached Snape’s office, he looked around the hall before deciding to knock. But as soon as his hand touched the wooden surface, the door instantly opened for him. When he entered, he heard a creaking noise off to his side. Another door opened for him in the same way. Baffled, he went inside and saw Snape sitting in a chair. Harry’s heart began beating harder, and the usual irresistible smile appeared on his face.
"Good evening, Severus," he said quietly, taking the Cloak off.
The man turned his head to him. There was an expression of irritation on his face.
"I told you that you have to use the stone wisely," he growled, absolutely not bothering to be polite or to greet his guest. "If I had known that it's power would be wasted on such nonsense, I would have thought twice before giving it to you." He turned his head away from Harry’s surprised expression and stared into the flames. "But what else could I expect from you, Potter? You are just as reckless as your father."
Harry bit his lip, swallowing the bitter words of protest. He couldn't let himself be provoked! He just wanted to see Snape. Why did he have to complicate everything?
When the Gryffindor didn't answer, Snape looked at him again and snapped with a sneer: "What's so important you had to abuse the stone to tell me, Potter?"
Harry wasn’t sure whether he still wanted to talk to him. About anything. But while he was here...
"I wanted to ask ... about Hermione," he said quietly, lowering his eyes and looking at the floor. "It seems like she’s lost some memories," he raised his head and looked straight at the man who was measuring him with a menacing look. "And it seems to me that you had something to do with it."
"Really?" the Professor's lips curled in ironic grimace. "And how did you come to that conclusion?" It was a rhetorical question, so, without giving Harry time to answer, he growled, annoyed. "Of course I had something to do with it! I cast an Obliviate on her. She dared to come here and ... " the Potions Master's eyes pierced Harry. "To blackmail me. I wonder how she discovered the truth ... "
Harry looked away, unable to endure the gaze which seemed to pierce through his soul and drag his guilt up into the light. "This is not some kind of game, Potter. If something like that happens again ... I'll turn your life into a living hell!" his eyes were icy cold. "Do you understand?"
Harry closed his eyes, swallowing the bitterness which suddenly flooded his throat, and nodded.
"Excellent," the man dryly responded, then rose from his chair. "Is there anything else you would like to talk to me about?"
Harry opened his eyes and in a few steps, he found himself next to the man. He embraced him around the waist and held him tight.
He didn't want Snape to behave like that. He wished that everything between them was the same as the other day.
"I'm sorry," he whispered softly, pressing his face into Snape’s chest. He felt the man stiffen suddenly and inhale, but Snape didn't push him away. "It won't happen again. Please don't be angry with me."
He sighed deeply and froze, unable to say anything else.
He would do anything to make things like they were the last time ... but was it possible? Or had Snape shown him his softer side only because he had been feeling guilty? Had he realized he'd paid the debt and decided to treat him like he had before once again? As if he didn't care at all?
But Snape had given him the stone. He was worried about him. It must mean something. It just had to.
Harry pressed closer still, clinging to the cool body, wanting to warm it with the fire burning inside him. He wanted to melt that icy shell surrounding Snape and his heart. Maybe if he continued to warm it - gradually, patiently, over time - maybe then he would finally manage to break through the icy chill and get to the warmth hidden so deep within?
He felt Severus' steady heartbeat against his cheek, heard his deep, calm breathing. He was happy that he could hug him. That he’d managed to break through enough so that Snape didn't push him away anymore. He still didn't return the embrace, but at least he let Harry snuggle up to him and draw as much as he wanted. Even while feeling the indignation and anger.
Harry eventually smiled to himself. He felt a peace flowing within himself, warming his heart, giving him hope that his warmth could dissolve that barrier.
It was a perfect moment.
Suddenly, the warm silence wrapped around them was disturbed by a cold wind. Severus's heart pounded, his breathing quickened, and a hiss escaped his mouth.
Harry jerked his head up and looked at the man's face, contorted in pain.
"What happ -- " he didn't manage to finish the question. An iron grip on his shoulders pushed him back with such force that he stumbled and almost fell. He cried, swaying, and hissed in pain when he hit the chair with his calf. Having regained his balance, he looked at Severus in surprise.
The man was holding his left forearm, and his face was distorted with effort. It looked like he was fighting something.
Harry understood immediately.
"It's Voldemort," he uttered, his voice cracking slightly with deep concern. "Isn’t it?"
Snape lifted his head. Seeing the mans darkened eyes, Harry shivered.
"Get out of my sight, Potter," growled a voice colder than ice. Snape’s eyes were storming with anger, his tense face expressing only rage. But Harry couldn't move. He was locked in place and stared at the man, feeling the coldness seeping into him, destroying the warmth that had built up.
"Not only are you dumb, but deaf as well!" The words struck sharply at Harry’s heart. In Snape's eyes lurked something threatening, dark, and dangerous. Harry shivered and finally managed to back away a few mere steps. Everything around him seemed to plunge into the darkness.
"Did you hear me, Potter?! Get out of here!" Flaming hatred in those familiar black eyes made Harry's legs buckle under him. He wanted to turn around and run, but instead barely managed to make it to the chair beside him and slumped into it. He stared in terror at the ashen face, contorted in rage; the dark eyes like ice. Snape suddenly lunged at him and jerked him to his feet. The long fingers clenched Harry's arm painfully, like claws digging into his flesh. Harry was half pulled, half dragged to the door leading to a hallway. Snape threw him out with such force that Harry was barely able to hold keep his feet under him. He hit the opposite wall as the door slammed behind him.
Once Harry regained his balance, he turned around and looked at the door.
For a few moments he just stared at it, incapable of any outward reaction but, inside, he was scared and surprised. His shoulder throbbed painfully where Snape had grabbed him.
He recalled the hateful look directed at him.
A chill wind snuffed out the last glowing spark of heat within him. He was seized by the cold.
The most agonizing part was the fact that this time there was nothing to warm him up ...
... and that could melt the ice.
* "Show some emotion" by Celine Dion
| Komentarze |
dnia czerwiec 04 2013 22:41:24
It took me several months to get from Chapter 14 to 15 but it was worth it. I especially liked the end of this chapter, that sudden change of mood.
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