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Nie wyrażamy zgody na kopiowanie i umieszczanie naszych ficków i tłumaczeń na chomikach itp.
Ariel & Gobuss
| Chapter 31 - "Will you catch me if I fall?" |
Beta Reader: Lupina83 & KneazleGriff
Thank you girls!
31. Will you catch me if I fall?
And this is how it feels
When I ignore the words you spoke to me
And this is where I lose myself
When I keep running away from you*
"What a bastard! I knew that he would make you pay, but it's just too much!" Ron said fervently, after Harry had told him and Hermione, that Snape had punished him by making him drink some disgusting potion that made his throat sore. And because of that, he now had trouble speaking.
"Harry, I think you should..." Hermione began.
"I know, go to a teacher and tell them everything," he interrupted her wearily. The girl blushed. "No, Hermione, I won't give him the satisfaction. He won't break me. I'll handle him myself, I'm not a loser." He had to admit that his lies were getting better and better.
"Harry is right," Ron interjected, supporting his friend. "Snape is just a big jerk. If we start running around and complaining, he'll feel like he has won. And I'd rather choke on a pudding, than allow him to think that!"
"You're both insane!" the girl snorted and jumped up from her place. "I'm going to study," she said proudly, and walked away.
Ron looked at Harry and shook his head.
"But it's Friday. Does she need to study even on Fridays?"
The boy shrugged, looking around the Common Room. For some time, he was trying to spot Ginny, but to his annoyance, she wasn't there. Dinner was about to start, and he needed her help to have an alibi for when he'd be sitting at Snape's place.
Severus wanted Harry to come to him today. Until now they'd only been seeing each other during detentions, but this time, Severus himself had invited him to his chambers. This thought made the boy feel a strange warmth in his stomach.
There she was!
Harry jumped up off the couch, seeing Ginny descend the stairs. Despite the surprised look he got from Ron, he went up to her and nervously asked for a moment in private. Several of her companions looked at each other with unambiguous smiles and moved ahead.
"What is it, Harry?" the girl asked, as they stopped at a secluded spot nearby.
Harry felt Ron's suspicious gaze on his neck, but he had no choice.
"I'd like to ask you a favor," he whispered.
"What happened to your voice?" She asked, surprised.
"Uh...It's a long story," Harry replied, waving a hand dismissively. He quickly explained his plan to her, and she gladly agreed to help him.
During the whole evening, Ron was watching him suspiciously, but fortunately, didn't ask any questions. At least for now.
At dinner, Harry swallowed almost nothing. His throat was burning horribly and he had the impression, that it had been cut by swords. When his friends reached the common room, he immediately went to the dormitory. He dived in the trunk and pulled out the same black pants which he had worn to Snape's birthday, and the warm, snowy-white sweater he had bought in Hogsmeade during a recent visit. After all, Snape finally invited him. He couldn't go as a ragamuffin.
Harry quickly dressed himself, put his Invisibility Cloak into the pocket and ran down to Ginny, who was waiting for him.
"Harry, you look..." she began.
"...so different," Hermione finished, appearing beside her. "I've never seen you this..."
"...stunning," ended the red-haired girl, smiling with delight.
"Uh..." he mumbled, blushing.
"You are going somewhere together?" Ron suddenly emerged from behind their backs, narrowing his eyes suspiciously.
"And why do you care?" Ginny spat as she grabbed Harry's hand and pulled him forward. The redheaded boy opened his mouth to speak, but Hermione grabbed his arm and pulled him the other way.
When Harry and Ginny found themselves in the hall again, they smiled at each other with relief.
"Well, it worked. Now you can meet with your mysterious chosen one," she winked at him. Harry grinned.
"Thank you. We'll meet here again before ten o'clock.."
"Thank you. You helped me escape, too. Ron won't be as agitated if he thinks that I'm with you. Well, see you," she waved and disappeared in the corridor leading to the west tower, which belonged to Ravenclaw.
Harry looked around carefully, then threw the cloak on himself and slipped into the dungeons. Quickly, he crossed the office and before he knocked on the door of Snape's private chambers, he took off his cloak and straightened his hair. However, this only caused the strands to stick out even more.
When he entered the room, Severus was sitting in his chair, staring into the fire. He wasn't working on anything, neither was he reading. Just... waiting.
"For me," the boy realized, and he felt a warm current inside.
"Good evening, Severus," he whispered hoarsely and approached the black chair. Only when he sat down with the sight of relief, did Snape turn his head. His eyes fell on Harry and... widened immediately. And then, very slowly, moved along his body; to the hips and back towards the face. There was a predatory gleam in his eyes.
Harry felt hot. He felt like Severus was undressing him with his eyes, with obvious pleasure to absorb everything. And it seemed that what he saw... he liked, extremely so. Harry began to fidget, unable to withstand the intensity of his leering glare, and he cleared his throat.
Only now, Harry saw a small bottle on the table before him.
"What is it?" he asked, taking it in his hands. Inside it there was a thick, white liquid.
"Something for your throat," Severus replied. He didn't even look at the bottle. It was as if Harry, dressed in a snow-white sweater, completely absorbed his attention and he couldn't tear his eyes off him.
"It's nice that you thought about it, Severus," he smiled and quickly drank the contents of the vial. Previously, he probably would have hesitated, but now it was different. Now... he completely trusted him.
He felt a pleasant coolness flowing down his throat and soothing the pain. He closed his eyes, enjoying the pleasant experience. When he opened them again, he was once again caught in Severus' shiny, strange look. He cleared his throat in embarrassment.
"I feel much better now. Thank you." He put the bottle on the table and awkward silence reigned in the room for a moment. "I'd like to drink something," he blurted out finally, no longer able to stand the air of tension.
Snape blinked, as if torn out of his trance, and looked at the bar. He waved his wand and Harry saw one of the bottles open and pour some clear, shiny silvery liquid into the high, decorative glass. It moved toward him and landed on the table.
"But only one portion, Potter. I won't be able to tolerate your drunken excesses again."
"As far as I remember, you gladly used it to your advantage last time," the boy spat.
"But it wasn't me dancing naked on the table," Snape retorted with a malicious grin.
What? He didn't remember... he couldn't have been so drunk... he would have remembered such a thing.
"You're lying," he mumbled, and took a few sips of sweet alcohol. Snape raised his eyebrows and reached for his glass of whiskey, which landed in front of him. "I hate to dance. I wouldn't do that, even if I was drunk."
He remembered that evening. It contained a lot of alcohol, objects revolving around him and the feeling of a moving floor beneath his feet; a hand job and sex, but certainly not dancing on the table. He wouldn't be so easily deceived!
"Your deduction is commendable, Mr. Potter," Snape said, and took a sip of alcohol. Then another. And another one. Harry looked anxiously at the glass which Snape emptied almost completely before putting it back on the table. Severus had never drunk with such speed before. It looked like he was getting ready to do something that he couldn't do being sober.
It was a bit... disturbing.
After some time, Severus cleared his throat, looked into the fire and said:
"Don't you think that at the end of the match between Harpies and Cannons, Higdon Saveloy should have passed the Quaffle to the side player, and then he would have avoided the striker's attack and the consequent injury, and his team would have gotten a chance to win?"
There was a deafening silence.
Only when Harry's mind caught up with his ears and he realized what he had just heard, was he was able to react.
He must have misheard. Surely, he had misheard! Severus couldn't have said it. It was absolutely impossible.
He looked suspiciously at his glass. After all, he hadn't drunk that much to have hallucinations. Finally, he decided that he had to answer with something, instead of just staring with an open mouth.
"Uhm...I think so too. But the Cannons still had a bad season. Besides, Saveloy loves to show off and forgets that it's a team game," he blurted out automatically, feeling like he was in a surreal dream.
Could it be that Severus Snape, the Potions Master, the darkest, most hated teacher, the terror of the whole school, and renowned cynical bastard, had just talked to him about Quidditch?!
Had someone told him this a few months ago, he would have sent them to St. Mungo's for compulsory treatment.
"But I must admit, that he perfectly perfoms Bradley's Maneuver," Severus said in a slightly firmer tone, but he still didn't take his eyes off the fireplace.
'Berkley's Maneuver,' Harry corrected in his mind, but he didn't dare to say it aloud. He had the impression that he was moving on very thin ice, and one careless step could crush it.
"But the Harpies are a much better fit. Without trust and understanding one can't hope to even think of winning," said Harry, feeling that the conversation was slowly absorbing him. He always talked about Quidditch with Ron, but the redhead was too stubborn and when he was cheering for some team, he behaved like a deaf-blind man who didn't see any mistakes, and it was impossible to hold any constructive discussion with him.
"Sometimes a single person can change the outcome," said Severus. "During the cup match between Wasps and Typhoons, Ridwind Oswald won the match virtually alone."
"Only because the Snitch had almost fallen into his hand immediately, after the start of the game," Harry retorted.
Severus tore his eyes from the fireplace and threw him a long look.
"It doesn't matter. The fact remains the same - Wasps won thanks to him. Sometimes one person can destroy everything. Or rebuild. You should know that fact very well."
Harry opened his mouth, but immediately closed it. Severus was right. Damn it! Why was he almost always right? Even about the bloody Quidditch! After all, he was the specialist in this topic, not Snape who had never even showed any interest in Quidditch, previously. Or in any kind of sport. And now...
Harry blinked. The thought that had long been waiting patiently at the door of his consciousness finally couldn't stand it anymore and knocked to attract his attention.
Severus had done this in order to repay him. Harry had learned to talk to him about potions, for the first time ever he'd written a test so well that he received an "outstanding" and Snape... appreciated it. Harry felt the heat build up inside. He felt that he didn't need anything more. That he could just sit here, drink alcohol and talk about Quidditch with Severus to the end of his days. Of course there would also be good sex from time to time. Maybe more often. Much more often. Preferably daily.
He smiled to himself.
"Sometimes a single person can also lead another to a very... interesting condition," he said with a feisty smile. "We should arrange more games like that in the classroom. They are extremely... stimulating, don't you think?"
Severus raised an eyebrow.
"And very dangerous. I know that this word doesn't exist in your dictionary, but I think you realize that we can't afford to do something like that again. That was the last time. You will never attempt to do such things. You'll have to learn to control your sex drive."
Harry pursed his lips.
"My sex drive?"He asked, feigning great surprise and giggled, seeing the murderous look that Severus gave him. "It will be difficult... You don't know how hard it was to stop myself today. There was one time when I really wanted to do it. Slide my hand into my pants... "
Harry narrowed his eyes, "...stroke myself, looking directly at you and knowing that you know what I'm doing, and you couldn't do anything..." Merlin, did he really just say that out loud? It was the fault of the alcohol. It must be! Harry saw the man move his eyes to his crotch, as if hoping that Harry would do it now. "But I had to stop," he went on and leaned back on the chair comfortably. He threw his legs across one arm of the chair, leaning back against the other, and put his hands behind his head. "Because someone could have seen it, and then all hell would break loose..." Harry felt the alcohol circulating in his veins. He was incredibly relaxed. He looked at the ceiling and gave into his imagination. "I can already see the headlines: "Harry Potter, The Boy Who Masturbated In Class," "The Golden Boy, not so golden anymore." Hahaha. I can already imagine the comments: "I always knew that there is something wrong with that boy," Rita Skeeter told us. "I warned you all, but nobody listened to me. He could've be doing it for a long time! Who knows how many innocent minds he has corrupted?" We received an avalanche of comments from outraged parents on the incident: "My son goes to school with this pervert!", "Please, immediately commit him to Saint Mungos! He is dangerous! Maybe there, his illness can be cured..." "Who knows what perversions are hiding behind the facade of a normal, healthy boy, the hero of the wizarding world?" Unfortunately, the minister declined to comment. So, we asked the Headmaster of Hogwarts to tell us his position on this issue, but the only statement we have received thus far has been as follows: "Oh, it's actually a serious problem. Would you like some lemon drops?"" Harry stopped, because he was unable to contain himself any longer, and burst out laughing. He tore his gaze from the ceiling and looked at Severus.
The man turned away and with a trembling hand he tried to conceal his lips, that curled in barely suppressed amusement, but he didn't quite succeed. His arms were shaking, and in the corners of his eyes, wrinkles appeared.
Harry widened his eyes, unable to believe it. Did he really amuse Severus? That Severus? That Severus, who always growled when others laughed, and flashed them a grim look, completely devoid of any humor?
It looked like he did. But the spell had been broken, when Snape finally managed to gain control and looked at Harry. However, a spark of amusement still lurked in his eyes.
"That would be a very... interesting article."
They talked almost for the whole evening. About the lessons, about potions, and even a little bit about Quidditch. And even about the fact that Dumbledore was getting older. Harry didn't know at that time, that moments could pass so fast. His neck and all of his muscles were sore. He stood up, and when he tried to straighten his back, he groaned in pain. The boy put his hand on his neck and began to massage it, tilting his head in all directions. He closed his eyes and began to purr softly, enjoying the pleasant feeling of relaxation and tension that was slowly disappearing. When he raised his eyes and met Snape's gaze, he suddenly gasped. The man was staring at him with a penetrating, intense gaze, almost undressing him. He was looking at him as at an appetizing tidbit which he wanted to devour.
Harry blushed and cleared his throat in embarrassment. Then he heard a sharp, commanding voice:
"Come to me."
Chills pierced him. It was... unexpected. Did Snape really say...? Did he really want to...? Looking at his burning eyes, there was only one answer.
Harry felt his body react automatically. He stood up, circled the table, and stopped before the Potions Master. Then, without waiting for an invitation - because the look in which the man was staring at him with was a sufficient invitation - he sat astride his lap. And at exactly the same moment, Snape's impatient hands slid under Harry's sweater and began to stroke his back, moving against the the bare skin up and down, each time sending shivers to every corner of his body.
He could feel the glow warming him from the inside - the glow which had been smoldering in him the whole day, starting with the Potions lesson, up to this very moment. He had managed to quench it then, but now... Now he felt that everything would be really hot.
Severus' rough hands roamed against his skin, and Harry started to have increasing trouble with breathing. He grunted as the man moved his hands forward and pulled his sweater up, exposing his belly and nipples, and his black eyes flashed with a hungry gleam. When Severus leaned over and took a nipple between his teeth, everything around him exploded, including his composure. Harry whimpered, feeling the current flowing in his veins. He threw his head back, clenching his teeth so as not to whimper again, although the sensations were so intense that he couldn't control it. He moaned even louder when he felt a warm tongue sliding against the swollen, tender spot that seemed to be the fuse on his naked skin. The fuse that Snape could use to ignite in him a fire so powerful, that at any time it threatened to explode.
His head began spinning, and his vision blurred. Harry lowered his head and forced himself to lift his hot lids and look down. And what he saw... Merlin! Severus, with closed eyelids, lips parted, and the impossibly hot and wet tongue which he could handle with such skill... Considering how he'd reacted when Snape licked his nipple, what would happen if he would lick the other part of his body, trembling with desire? That very thought sent sparks of pleasure to his abdomen, a place pulsating with impatient delight.
Severus paused and stepped back. He looked at Harry from under half-closed, mysterious eyes and smiled darkly. Harry felt something crack inside. It was later when he realized that it'd been his self-control.
That all... This whole evening... had been like a dream. Severus behaved so differently... And now... Now he was looking at him as if he was waiting for something. At least that was what Harry thought. And he wanted to give it to him, oh, he wanted it so much. So many things had changed between them. Now, it was different. Now...
Severus licked his lips.
He grabbed the man's face in his hands and leaned forward to place his mouth on Severus' in a long-awaited kiss. The kiss which was going to be the reward, which would seal the whole long path he'd gone through to find himself in this place.
And the moment when their lips almost touched, Severus turned his head sideways and leaned back.
He felt like the first pieces of the tower which he'd built began to shatter and fall into the abyss.
Snape's face changed, and became unfavorable. The initial surprise turned into a repulsive harshness and anger.
The hands were gone, the heat melted, and the feeling of closeness burst, like a string pulled too tightly. Everything crumbled. The tower collapsed. And he fell with it. He was falling faster and faster.
He was wrong. He thought that he had managed to do it, but it turned out, it was too early to enjoy the victory. That wall, which seemed to crumble in his hands, happened to be only the outer layer. Underneath, there was something much, much harder.
Why? Why hadn't he managed? Why couldn't he overcome this obstacle? What was in the way? He had the impression that no matter what he tried, what he did, something in the heart of the wall would continue to stop him. As if, beneath all this, there was something so powerful, something... so terrible, something that couldn't be defrosted by anything, something he could never destroy. Never.
He felt ice-cold waves of desperation and terror flowing his body. As if he was again attacked by that creature. But this time... Severus wouldn't save him.
"I-I... I have to go," he whispered and quickly slipped from the man's knees. He turned away, looked at the floor, and, throwing quiet "good night", almost ran out of the room, stumbling along the way several times. His own feet suddenly seemed terribly limp and too weak to hold him.
He dashed into the corridor and, for a few moments, stood motionless, clutching at the wall and trying to pull a little air in his lungs and past his strangely constricted throat. He felt anger pouring in from everywhere, as if he became too weak to defend himself from it.
It was all his fault! He fucked everything up! As usual! What did he expect? Why couldn't he enjoy what he got? Why was it still not enough?
He froze, hearing the crack of the door leading to Snape's office.
He moved forward, holding the wall, because his knees still bent under him. After a while, he began to run.
He needed to get out of there! He didn't want to see... talk... Not now! He wanted to get away. As far as possible. Where he wouldn't feel this pain, which didn't let him breathe.
When he passed one corridor, he heard the crack of a door opening in the hallway.
Almost on all fours, Harry ran up the stairs, and after passing a few more turns, he stopped to catch his breath. He didn't care if he came across Filch, Peeves, or anyone else. He had to run, he had to escape. He had to not feel.
Anger. Anger was good. Intense enough to drown out everything else. He had to be angry at himself. No, he didn't have to - he was angry. Desperately angry. Furious.
Why the hell had he done it? What for?
He banged his fist against the wall. First time. Second. Then the next one. He felt the pain, but the pain was better, because it helped to lessen the other kind of it. He wanted more of this, physical pain. He began to dig into stone blocks. Kick and strike with all his might. Because it was the only way he could let go of the anger that was overflowing him.
And then he heard footsteps. Long and strong. So familiar...
He... followed him.
Harry fled. He ran right into the statue, hitting his knee on the marble with such force that for a moment he felt that he had lost the feeling in his leg. He gritted his teeth and forced himself, limping, to run away.
He had to get into the Gryffindor tower! Harry vaguely remembered that he had to meet with Ginny in front of the portrait of the Fat Lady. He began to laboriously climb the stairs, gasping and gritting his teeth, biting his lips, as the knee started to hurt even more.
Finally, he managed to reach the very top. He paused for a moment, gasping for breath and trying to stop the anger that was still burning in him. Limping, he walked towards the portrait. Ginny wasn't there yet. He looked around, hoping that at any moment she would appear.
And then he heard footsteps again. They were getting closer and closer. Harry froze, immobilized with fear. He turned to tell the Fat Lady the password as soon as possible so to find safety in the Common Room, but then he heard Ginny's voice:
"Hey, Harry!" From the opposite corridor the redhead emerged, waving at him. "Sorry I'm late. Something got me... late," she said, stopping in front of him with a blush on the cheeks and a figure-enhancing dress.
Harry glanced nervously into the hallway behind him. The steps died away. Maybe Snape had given up?
"Oh, what happened to you?" Ginny squeaked softly, pointing to his hurt knee which was revealed through the torn trousers. "You're bleeding!"
"What?" Harry glanced down at his leg in confusion. "Oh! ...It...I fell."
"And what about your hands?" Ginny went up to him and grabbed his hand. "Your knuckles are all bruised. Harry!" She looked at him with fear. "Did you beat up someone?"
"No," he denied quickly. "I was just... injured when I fell."
"You need to put a bandage on it. I know only spells that heal bruises, but Hermione may know what to do." She looked at him with compassion. "Oh, poor thing... I'll take care of you, don't worry."
I'll take care of you...
These words echoing in his head, gave him only pain right now. Were they lies?
He nodded gratefully. Someone did care about him, after all...
"Thanks," he mumbled.
"You're welcome," Ginny smiled. "You know that you can always count on me."
"I know," he whispered softly.
And then he felt weird. After the unexpected explosion of heat, blissful peace and relaxation came. Suddenly it seemed extremely import_ant to him to turn around and go to the bathroom. Yes, he had to do it as soon as possible. Right now.
"Harry?" Ginny asked.
"I have to go to the toilet," he said. "Don't wait for me. Go ahead."
"But..." she began, but Harry didn't hear her. He turned and rigidly, as though something was controlling him, went back in the direction from where he had come from. When he was passing a corner, he noticed a shadow lurking in the dark that followed him. He went to the bathroom, and the shadow slipped behind him and closed the door.
Snape lowered his wand, and Harry felt a strange force leave his body. He staggered and nearly fell. And then he realized where he was and what had happened.
He was afraid to turn around. He didn't want to turn around. He didn't want to be here. He didn't want to, so much...
"Potter!" Snape's voice, although he tried to be sharp, sounded strangely hollow.
Harry squeezed his eyes shut and slowly turned around. When he opened his eyes, he immediately looked at the floor. He trembled as if he had found himself suddenly outside in this frosty December night.
Around them there was silence, filled only with two uneven breaths. The air was heavy and seemed to absorb any attempt to break the silence. As if no words were enough to distract it.
"Potter..." Snape began, but stopped suddenly. Another unsuccessful attempt to cope with something that seemed impossible.
Harry slowly raised his eyes and looked at the man, who was staring at him intently. On his face he saw hesitation. As if Snape wanted to say something, but he couldn't find the words. He, who used such sophisticated phrases and each of them could hurt more deeply than a sharp blade. But the silence was too thick and the air was full of unspoken words. Each of them hanging over their heads, not taking shape, just soaking up all the feelings. And consequently falling on the stone floor, becoming too heavy to be used.
Severus moved forwards and pulled out a shimmering, folded piece of material from under his robes.
"Your Cloak." The voice was calm, but something in it was cracking. As if trying to get out of the cage which was closing stubbornly.
Harry blinked. His Invisibility Cloak. He had ran so fast that he forgot to take it.
He gulped and took a step toward Snape. He winced when he felt pain in his knee, but still walked. Limping, he approached the man and held out his hand to receive his property. But then something happened, something he had not expected.
He felt cold fingers tightening on his wrist and a strong jolt. He was pulled toward a black-clad body, firmly held by entwined arms and pushed against the rough robe, which scratched his face a bit. But maybe it was for the better. At least it softened the scratch he felt in his throat.
Severus' arms were surprisingly warm and so... quiet. But it was a different kind of silence. It wasn't the silence that appeared at the lack of words or the inability to speak them. It was a silence in which you didn't need to say anything to be understood. The silence, which in this one moment, in one place, sounded louder than a thousand words.
Harry didn't know whether a few minutes had passed or a few hours before he finally felt Severus move. He didn't want to open his eyes. He didn't want this heat gone - heat that was engulfing him. He felt that every moment in Severus' embrace was giving him back his powers, as if Severus was his strength, his life.
The arms wrapped around him disappeared. Harry mumbled something in protest and slowly raised his eyes, reluctantly returning to reality. The man put his hands on his shoulders and stuck his fingers into his skin. As if wanting to move him, but being unable to force himself to do it.
"It's late," the slightly hoarse voice said. "You should get back."
"Uhm..." Harry nodded and moved. He felt Snape letting go of him. He backed up and, not looking up, he reached for his cloak. But the man didn't allow him to do so. He grabbed his hands and turned the palms down, revealing shattered knuckles, torn almost to blood. Harry looked up and saw that Severus frowned. He felt stupid. He wanted to pull his hands away, but the man didn't allow him to do so. He held them in his hands and watched them. Completely without a word.
"I... I..." Harry mumbled quietly. His own voice seemed silent and distant. "I fell."
He knew that Snape wouldn't believe it, but... what could he say?
Please don't ask questions. Please, please...
Finally, Severus let go of his hands. Just let them. And although he didn't say a word, Harry didn't like the eyes that were looking at him. He saw in his eyes something strange... something that looked like a crack.
Harry quickly grabbed his cloak and pulled it to him, turning his head. He felt a burning shame.
"I will go now," he whispered. "They're waiting for me. Ginny..." He hesitated and quickly improved. "Ron and Hermione will start looking for me."
With the corner of his eye, he saw that Snape nodded slightly.
The boy turned and walked to the door. He breathed deeply and pulled the door handle. He took a step into the hallway and almost immediately retreated when he saw Filch and Mrs. Norris emerging from behind a corner. The boy slammed the door and leaned against it.
"Damn, it's Filch," he swore under his breath. "His cat can feel me even when I'm in my Cloak."
And as if to confirm those words, on the other side of the door he heard the approaching loud meowing, and soon after that the grouchy voice said:
"What did you feel there, darling?"
Harry almost jumped up when Severus appeared in front of him.
"Leave it to me," he said quietly. The boy nodded and moved aside. Severus touched the door handle, but stopped, as if hesitated. He looked at Harry and then, when they were so close, in his eyes there was something... a flash... no... some glow...no, something...
He failed to specify, as Severus raised his hand and gently touched his cheek, and then all the thoughts melted. Harry held his breath, yielding to the gentle caress. Snape for a moment stroked the boy's skin with his thumb, and Harry had the impression that he himself would melt in a moment. Snape's hand was... warm, and his careful fingers were so amazingly... tender.
He closed his eyes, because his head began to spin, and his feet became a little too weak to be able to stand on them. He forgot how to breathe, he forgot where he was, he forgot completely about everything that had happened earlier in the chambers. No words would be able to do what this one touch did.
Severus moved his hand and Harry felt the thumb gently brushing his lips. And then it disappeard.
Slowly he opened his eyes. Only now, when he returned to reality, he heard the insistent meowing on the other side of the door. Severus didn't look at him. He stretched his hand and just gently but firmly pushed him back, then he opened the door and disappeared behind it.
"Oh...It's you, Professor..." Harry heard Filch's startled voice. "What were you doi...?"
"I was checking the bathrooms. On the second floor, a bunch of students made a show of throwing dungbombs and the whole room looked like Erumpents had visited it. So, I decided to see if any other ones were affected, since you apparently seem to just wander aimlessly, instead of keeping order in here," Snape said sharply.
"I... I checked them all and..." Filch stammered.
"Enough. If you don't get to work and don't begin to closely monitor these brats, eventually I'll lose patience and whisper a few words to the Headmaster - that apparently you can't meet your obligations."
"There is no need, Professor," Filch said in a terrified voice. Leaning against the door, Harry smiled to himself, but quickly frowned when he heard loud meowing and scratching of Mrs. Norris. "I'm going, going... Come on, my darling. " In the hallway there was a shuffling of janitor's feet - he began to walk away, mumbling something under his breath. But not the cat. It appeared that Mrs. Norris wasn't going to give up so easily.
At one point, Harry almost jumped when he heard the thud and the cat's shrill, and then grumbling that was moving away quickly.
He waited for a while, listening, and when he was sure that the janitor wouldn't return, he threw the Cloak on himself and carefully opened the door. Snape stood in the middle of the corridor and looked carefully at the place where Harry should be. As if he wanted to make sure that he reached the dormitory already without any obstacles. The boy didn't want to risk taking off his cloak. After all, Filch could return at any time.
He walked up to Snape and gently touched his hand, wanting to thank him. For everything. When he caressed the rough skin of his cold fingers, the man breathed in quickly, and a barely visible smile appeared on his lips.
Harry knew that the longer this would go on, the harder it'd be to stop and return to the Common Room. So he closed his eyes and went ahead, promising himself that he wouldn't look back. He heard the long, receding steps.
Before, he fled from them. And now... Now it was difficult to refrain from running after them.
Sometimes one person can destroy everything. Or rebuild it.
And this is how it feels
When I ignore the words you spoke to me
And this is how it looks
When I am standing on the edge
And this is how I break apart
When I finally hit the ground
And this is how it hurts
When I pretend I don't feel any pain
And this is where I lose myself
When I keep running away from you
Breathe your life into me
I can feel you
I'm falling, falling faster
Breathe your life into me
I still need you
I'm falling, falling
Breathe into me
Breathe into me*
* "Breathe into me" by Red
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