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Ariel & Gobuss
| Chapter 33 - "Let's have a party!" Part 2 |
Beta Reader: EvangelineFox
br> Thank you girls!
33. Let's have a party!
Time for parties and celebration
people dancing all night longtime for present
sand exchanging kisses
time for singing Christmas songs*
Later in the evening, they were joined by Hagrid. He walked a little unsteadily, and for a moment, he wavered in the doorway, looking at them with astonishment on his face.
"Here, Hagrid!" Tonks waved at him and invited him to the table. "What will you have to drink?" she asked when he sat between her and Harry.
"Oh, doesn't matter," Hagrid waved his great hand. "Old Aberforth knows."
And indeed, after a few moments, a bartender put a huge mug of something before him. It was giving off such a strong alcoholic aroma that Tonks and Harry were forced to back away slightly, because they had the impression that something was making holes in their noses.
"What happened to this place?" Hagrid asked when he took a big sip and wiped his beard with the satisfied smile. "Good Merlin, it looks like someone let saccharine gnomes in here!"
"What are saccharine gnomes? “Ron asked, frowning.
"They are small annoying creatures who decorate everything with bows, flowers and various junk. Looks like someone let the whole herd in here."
Hermione cleared her throat, Neville lowered his head, and Tonks blushed so much that her hair turned purple.
Hagrid looked at them with astonishment, and after a while, his eyes widened in understanding. He blushed and muttered in his beard:
"Oh, I should have kept my mouth..."
"No, don't worry," Tonks waved her hand. "I just wanted everything to be nice. But perhaps I've overdone it a little." She looked around the room, depressed.
"Well, maybe a little..." Ron began, but suddenly paused and groaned painfully. He looked reproachfully at Hermione and began to massage his ribs.
"Everything is very nicely decorated. We really like it. Right, Ron?" the Gryffindor asked, staring at him intensely.
"Yeah, very nice..." he muttered, still rubbing the left side.
"Really nice," Neville agreed, smiling encouragingly.
"Yes, very," added Anastassy.
Harry felt their expectant gazes. He took a sip of beer and frowned.
"What?" he asked. He'd been reliving the Ginny Incident, trying to think of good explanation for Snape, so he had no idea what his friends had been talking about. And now everyone was staring at him as if expecting something from him. "What is it?” He repeated, somewhat irritated. He was saved by the quiet, somewhat dreamy, voice of Luna:
"Very beautiful..." all eyes turned to her. The girl hands propped her chin and she stared at Tonks. "Everywhere I look is so beautiful..." she whispered, looking at Tonks in fascination.
Tonks blushed and lowered her head.
Harry saw Hermione who was frowning thoughtfully and decided it was time to take action.
"So... well... What's up, Hagrid? How are your Crackwats doing?"
"Oh, they've grown. If you only could see their teeth... sharp as a pin. Could pierce you like cheese, if you trapped them." Hagrid grinned, swollen with pride. "Would you like to see them?"
"There is no need."
"Oh, don't bother."
Choir of mumbling voices made Hagrid lower his head sadly.
"What are you going to do with them, Hagrid?" Hermione asked quickly, seeing the dejection on his face. "The Headmaster won't allow you to keep them, right?"
"Oh, Dumbledore is a kind man, but... the other teachers are not thrilled. Professor McGonagall says that they are too dangerous to show them to kids."
Hermione and Ron exchanged glances. Hagrid didn't think any animal to be dangerous, as long as someone wasn't hurt too badly. And even then, he was able to defend his weird creatures, saying "it's just a pet, it was hungry, you shouldn't have teased it, usually it's really quiet, only sometimes, when it's upset, it might attack, but only because it wants to play, you all fear it and it doesn't understand, it's afraid, and sometimes an accidents happen... but it's a good pet, really..."
"But I managed to convince Dumbledore to release them into the woods, so they can live there and protect us." Hagrid looked at Harry and the boy immediately understood who they were meant to protect.
Well, another flock of bloodthirsty monsters with sharp teeth and claws could really keep the unwanted guests away. But they would make any visit of curious students even more dangerous than ever - it would be like putting a hand into a pond full of starving piranhas.
He smiled wanly.
"It's... great," he muttered. "The Forbidden Forest has finally become even dange... safer."
Judging from faces of people who were sitting at the table, they were thinking exactly the same.
"And how are you?" Hagrid exclaimed loudly, grinning.
Tonks 'addition' to the drinks had a very intriguing effect. Ron and Hermione began to look strangely at each other and started to behave extremely kindly to one another. Ron, after some time, had completely forgotten about Ginny who was still in the corner with her boyfriend, and couldn't take his eyes off alternately blushing and bursting into drunken giggles at Hermione. Anastassy finally got tired of staring at Harry like a kicked puppy and agreed to dance with Neville.
Harry breathed a sigh of relief. He had more than enough of her. His head was spinning more and more, which, to be honest, was quite a nice feeling. Slowly, at last, he managed to forget about the terrible feeling of humiliation and fear that seized him when he saw Snape standing in the doorway. And with the painful grip on his chest he heard again Luna's words: "This means that you love him."
He shut his eyes, trying to banish these thoughts from his head, then opened his eyes and glanced at Ron, who for some time now was almost desperately glancing at the floor. And at Hermione. Back at the dance floor. And Hermione.
Well, it seemed that his friend needed a little help. And Harry was pleased to give it to him, just to forget about those echoing words and furious black eyes.
Hermione meanwhile was talking to Tonks, Luna and Hagrid who had already drunk two pints and started the third one. Harry shifted slightly to the side and kicked Ron slightly. His friend grimaced and looked at him reproachfully.
Harry pointed with his head to the floor and then to Hermione. Ron blushed and shook his head. Harry kicked him again. Ron stabbed him with an annoyed look and rolled his eyes. He glanced nervously at Hermione and swallowed hard. He sat for a moment, as if fighting with himself, and after a moment he looked at Harry again, as if looking for support or the next kick. But Harry just raised his thumb encouraging and smiled.
Ron took a deep breath and, alternately blushing and turning pale, leaned over Hermione's ear and whispered something to her. The girl blushed and broke away from the conversation. She looked at Ron, smiled shyly and nodded.
They both got up and walked toward the dance floor. Ron turned for a moment to send Harry a jubilant smile, and the boy quickly hid his mouth behind the bear, trying to stop smiling.
Oh, there really was a huge gap between them... The vast, immeasurable abyss...
He shook his head and looked at the others at the table - Tonks, Luna and... where was Hagrid?
Harry looked around and saw his friend sit at the bar, emptying another mug, talking lively to the bartender.
Luna put down the fourth, now empty, portion of beer and smiled uncertainly.
"I didn't know that it would be so good, Harry. I would love to dri... to drink some more," she said, looking with raptured, sparkling eyes around the room. "Everything is so... glowing. And wavy. It's really amazing." Harry, who found it difficult to focus, also looked around the hall packed mostly with couples. "Everybody seems to be having such a... good time," the Ravenclaw added, looking at the kissing couple at the next table. After a moment, she looked down, blushing, and stared at her sparkling dress. Then she glanced at Tonks sitting next to her and she smiled shyly. But Nymphadora didn't seem to notice, too busy looking around the room and smiling under her breath because of the unfolding view.
"Oh," she giggled, pointing discreetly at Ron who was trying, somewhat awkwardly and unsuccessfully, to kiss Hermione. "Is that not cute? Who would have thought that a little..."
"You have lovely hair," suddenly Luna said. For the last couple of minutes she'd been staring fixedly at Tonks. Harry choked on his beer and quickly glanced at Tonks. Her hair, light pink a little while ago, had now assumed a dark red color. Matching her face. "And now it is even nicer," added the Ravenclaw, smiling and extending her hand in the direction of the increasingly darkening hair. Nymphadora pushed her hand away rapidly.
"Stop," she hissed quietly, measuring the girl with a darkened, unpleasant look. She glanced nervously at Harry who was carefully watching Luna's tremulous eyes, but didn’t dare to speak. "Your friend probably drank too much, Harry," Tonks chuckled nervously, but her hair didn't lighten.
"Don't talk as if I'm not here," Luna whispered, looking at her with a bit of a fuzzy look. "You know my name."
Harry gulped his beer and looked at Tonks, waiting for her reaction. For the first time he saw such a mosaic of emotions on Luna's always dreamy face. He was almost sure that all his suspicions were true, but he preferred not to interject and wait for further developments.
"Maybe you'll go dance a little? Have fun," it appeared that Nymphadora was trying to regain control of the situation. "After all, it's your party. You shouldn't sit here with your teacher I..."
Harry saw that Luna's face turned red and she opened her mouth to say something, but at the same time they saw Hagrid's powerful silhouette approach.
"I had to talk with an old friend," he grumbled. "I guess I didn't miss anything?"
Unaware of the awkward silence that hung in the air, he sat between Harry and Tonks, separating him and Luna. Harry cleared his throat, wanting to distract Hagrid and to let Luna and Tonks talk. Or just stare at the tablecloth or at the wall, if they needed it.
"I'm glad that you came," he mumbled.
"How could I miss such a party?" grumbled Hagrid. "Anyway, I've missed Ron and Hermione a little. They visit me even less than you." He looked at his mug and sighed. "No one remembers the old gamekeeper."
"Stop it, Hagrid. Of course I remember. I will visit you at Christmas, I promise. After all, I'm staying at Hogwarts. You know that, right?"
"Yeah. I'm sorry for that, Harry."
"Why are you sorry?" Harry frowned and looked with amazement at the depressed half-giant.
"I know you would rather spend Christmas with Ron and Hermione, rather than rot here with your old Professors," Hagrid mumbled, staring at his mug with such obstinacy, as if it was the only thing that still kept him upright. "You think I didn’t try to stand up for you? As soon as I found out they intended to leave you here for Christmas, I went to the Headmaster and told him... I told him... that you are young and that Arthur and Molly are great magicians, and that you will be so sorry if you have to stay here... and Ron, and Hermione... And me too, because when you are sad, Harry, I'm also sad..." Harry tried to hide his embarrassment by getting another big sip of beer. "But the Headmaster didn't want to listen to me. He said that he completely trusts Snape, and if Snape says that you have to stay, then..."
Harry spat the beer right back. For a moment he was choking, unable to catch his breath. He managed to do it only when he felt a blow on the back from Hagrid's big hand. He hit his forehead against the counter, feeling dizzy.
"I'm sorry, Harry. Are you all right?"
Harry shook his head, suddenly gasping for breath and feeling the tears trembling in his eyes.
"P-Professor Snape told the Headmaster that I should stay at Hogwarts for Christmas?" he asked. He had to hear it again. He was afraid he'd misunderstood.
"Yes," said Hagrid, a little taken aback. "I'm sorry, Harry. I didn't know that you'd be so upset. I know you don't like Professor Snape, but I think it's just..."
But Harry wasn't listening any further. He stared at the beer sprayed table wide-eyed, unable to believe his ears.
Snape! That nasty, sneaky, slytherinish Snape! How could he? Harry had asked him, almost begged on his knees to allow him to spend Christmas with him, while Snape was the one who'd organized his stay at Hogwarts! He did it on purpose! But he made it look as if he agreed only because Harry begged and pleaded with him! And as usual, he lied! Why hadn't Harry thought about it? Only a complete moron would believe that Snape would be so easy to manipulate and agree with his oh-so-clever plan. It was Snape who was pulling the strings from the beginning. He could have guessed. Snape objected too much. Yes, Harry remembered now. He understood why Snape looked at him with such surprise when Harry pretended to give up, when he said he'd go tell Dumbledore he'd stay with Weasleys... He understood why he saw anger in his eyes. Snape was angry because he thought his plan had backfired. That Harry didn't want to spend holidays with him that much and that he had deprived himself of this possibility with his own stupid game. But when Harry began the "blackmail", he graciously agreed to his request.
What a... Snape!
Harry hit his forehead against the counter again.
Again, he'd let himself be played. Fuck it! Fuck...
He frowned, letting all the anger evaporate slowly.
So... if Snape told Dumbledore that Harry should be at Hogwarts, it meant that... that... he wanted to spend Christmas with him! He wanted to spend Christmas with him. Christmas. With him. To spend. He wanted to.
Harry felt heat in the stomach, and he smiled radiantly to himself.
Snape, such as he was... He couldn't let Harry know that he'd like them to be together for Christmas, so he'd come up with this whole plan. It was... it was...
Oh, damn it! Harry wanted to just jump up and run away - run to him. Run and tell him that yes, he would stay with him, that he also wanted to spend Christmas together, and, if Severus wanted, Harry would gladly spend his life with him... that he would do anything for him, that he wouldn't exist without him, that he... loved him...
He blushed involuntarily.
Loved... this word seemed so strange... so non-matching.
Harry heard it often. Couples in love which he saw in the hallways all the time, throwing that word around as if it were just... nothing. Something so ordinary and trivial that people shouldn't even bother thinking about it for longer than it took to say it.
But Severus... could he even use that word to describe his feelings? Still it seemed to him too much, too... serious. Maybe because no one had ever told him that? Throughout his life he hadn't heard that word once. And he never used it himself. Yet he knew subconsciously... knew that... that there were people who loved him. Hermione and Ron, his parents, Sirius, and even... maybe even Dumbledore and Hagrid - a little. And Mrs. Weasley.
But... but it was something else. None of these people made him feel so... so... as if his heart wanted to explode as soon as he looked at them. Sometimes he wanted to tear it from his chest to make it silent finally, to make it stop reacting so violently to every look, every word, every touch... so it wouldn't die and be reborn again for reasons he didn't fully understand.
Was it... was it love?
If so... then he was in very serious trouble.
"Always the same! You always have the same excuse!" quiet Luna's scream broke into Harry's mind and brought him back to the ground. The boy blinked a few times and looked around dizzily. Hagrid was snoring loudly, leaning against the wall behind him, and Tonks sat stunned, staring at the door behind which Luna had just disappeared.
The cool smell of snow and wind broke into the room. Harry looked at the dancing couples. It seemed that everyone was so busy with each other that no one even noticed this little incident. Even Hermione and Ron, who were still dancing.
Harry looked at Tonks. Nymphadora hammered the restless gaze at the table. Her hair was faded, taking almost a mousy color. Every now and then looked at the door behind which Luna had disappeared, and looked as though she was fighting with herself.
And in the end she lost. She licked her lips and tried to smile at Harry.
"It's dark outside, she shouldn't stay there for long. I'll go look for her. I... I'm supposed to look after you. She shouldn't have... you know what I mean. Be right back," she whispered, almost jumping up from her place. She ran to the door, opened it and disappeared into the darkness.
Harry looked around the room. Everyone was either dancing or kissing. It was likely that no one would notice if he also...
He looked at the door, then searched all his pockets and found a piece of parchment. He asked the bartender for a pen and wrote a short note:
I went for a walk with Tonks and Luna. Don't worry, we will come back soon. Harry
He left the parchment on the table, placing a heavy cup of something on it. He shook his head, trying to restore the world of straight lines, because everything he looked at was strangely spinning, and, trying not to draw attention to himself, he left.
It was really fucking cold outside. Snow at last ceased to fall, and the sky was clear. Harry threw his cloak on, put his hands in his pockets and looked around. He saw footsteps in the snow. The moon shone brightly enough to be able to see where they led. At the rear of the building.
He pulled the Invisibility Cloak from his pocket and threw it on himself. But after a while he stopped. He had the feeling that every step in creaking snow could be heard over several kilometers. He winced and pulled out his wand.
What was this spell that Tonks had taught them?
"Taci...Taco... No, something else." He frowned in effort. It was difficult - as if his thoughts were running away from him. "Tacitus Gressus!"
Yes! He did it! Now he walked silently, following two pairs of feet which led him to an inn standing at the back of a wooden, dilapidated shed. Even from a distance he heard two loud voices. He crept to the wall and peered through a crack. There, in the moonlight, were two colorful silhouettes.
"You can't behave like that! Not in front of the others! Don't you understand?" Tonks' voice was raised and nervous, and her hair shone almost red.
Luna was standing near the wall, with her head down, gnawing her lip. The room was so small, and the moonlight coming through the ceiling so bright that Harry didn't have any problems with seeing every detail.
"But you don't let me do that even when we are alone," Luna said, swallowing tears that ran down her face. "You can't always... push me away."
"I can!" Tonks stepped closer. "I'm your teacher, Luna. And this... this is wrong. We shouldn't... you just don't understand. Please don't cry."
"It means nothing," Luna said quietly, staring at the trampled snow. "It doesn't matter. I know someone who doesn't mind it. Who doesn't see the age difference or the..."
Harry felt his heart jump into his throat.
Tonks sighed in exasperation.
"Don't start again. I don't believe that one of the teachers at Hogwarts..."
"Don't treat me this way. With such superiority. Like you know everything better than me - because you don't. You don't know how it feels... to look at you every day and know that I will always be for you only... another meaningless student."
Tonks bit her lip, as if searching for words.
"Listen to me. It...This is wrong. Look for a nice boy who..."
"I don't want to," Luna whispered. "All the boys are idiots who behave as if their brains were stolen by Wrackspurts." Tonks smiled with amusement, but she mastered herself soon. "Only you understand me. Only you can see what I am. Only you..."
"Stop," Tonks hissed. "Don't make this harder than it has to be. You know that..." she stopped and turned away.
"I know what?" Luna pushed off the wall, looking at her with her large eyes full of hope. She took a step toward her. In her long blond hair moonlight flickered. Harry noticed that the star which had been decorating her head was now lying at the entrance.
Tonks stepped back.
"No, don't do that. You know that..." her voice faltered for the first time since the beginning of the entire conversation, and she looked at the girl standing before her without an angry mask. And Harry saw the pain. And wonder. And thirst.
"You don't want... this...?" the Ravenclaw asked quietly, turning her head and unwittingly letting a few bright strands of hair cover her face. Her trembling voice reflected sadness, but also a glimmer of hope. Timid question, the answer to which was vitally important.
Tonks closed her eyes and sighed heavily, then smiled to herself and shook her head. As if she knew the answer before the question had been posed. As if she knew she had lost.
When she lifted her eyelids, her eyes sparkled.
"I do” she whispered huskily, thrusting at the girl who was standing before her such a hungry gaze that Harry saw how Luna, dressed only in a light dress, began to tremble. But he doubted it was from the cold.
"So stop thinking," the Ravenclaw whispered, coming closer and hesitantly touching oddly sparkling Tonks' hair. Tonks was a little taller than Luna. The girl looked straight into her dilated eyes and smiled shyly.
"We should go back," Tonks croaked, trying to get away from her, but apparently not being able to move. Luna stood on tiptoes and pressed her face into flickering hair.
"Touch me," she whispered. "I want to... feel. This one time." Carefully, she took Tonks' hand and put it on her thigh, slowly beginning to slide it up under her dress. Higher and higher.
Harry clenched his hands. He could feel his heart beating faster and faster.
Tonks looked paralyzed. Her eyes were widening more and more as her hand was sliding up. And at some point, something inside her snapped. Harry saw thousand emotions explode on her face. Her eyes began to shine brightly, and her hair turned into gold when she bent down and closed her mouth to Luna's lips in a hungry, almost animalistic kiss. The girl moaned into her mouth and squeezed her arms while Tonks pushed her and pressed to the wall, kissing her mouth with such force, as if to crush and devour it. Harry saw them intertwine their tongues for a second when they detached from each other to draw breath. He knew he shouldn't watch them, that he shouldn't be here. But he couldn't break away, too wrapped up in a view which unfolded before his eyes.
But at the same time he felt an unpleasant twinge in his chest... grief, when he realized that he wouldn't experience something like that. Severus would never devour his mouth with such hunger and with such passion.
Why? Why could Tonks do it, and Snape couldn't? Why could Luna receive this without even having to ask and he didn't? It seemed so... unfair.
He stopped thinking about it when he saw how Tonks' hands began to wander across Luna's body. One hand slipped under her dress and soon Harry saw that with one abrupt movement, she pulled down her white panties.
Eyes widened when he saw the hand of Tonks again sliding up. Luna moaned into her mouth and almost slid down the wall. Tonks broke from her reddened lips and her hand began to move under the skirt.
Luna tilted her head back, and a quiet sigh came from her mouth, along with slight whimper.
Harry discovered, to his horror, he began to feel some discomfort in the lower part of his body. He shifted from foot to foot and winced, feeling his erection growing.
Damn it! It's probably a joke! He couldn't stand here, aroused, snooping on Luna and his teacher in a loving embrace. It... it was impossible.
He took a deep breath, clenched his eyes for a moment and moved even closer to the cracks between the boards.
On the other hand...
He saw that Tonks, without pulling away from Luna's smooth neck, awkwardly tried to pull out her wand from her robes. When at last she succeeded, she turned her head to one side and, breathing hard, she whispered a spell.
Harry felt sudden heat that made the snow almost completely melt on the ground. Tonks hid the wand back and returned to staring at a reddened Luna with blurry eyes. Then Tonks changed the position of her hand below Luna's dress and, smiling crookedly, pushed it. Luna let out a muffled squeal and convulsively entwined her hands around Tonks' neck, pressing her face to Tonks' shiny hair.
Nymphadora stopped for a moment, letting Luna slim body relax, and after a while she began to move her hand. At first slowly, after a while accelerating.
Harry stared wide-eyed at the hand disappearing under the material, and his imagination went wild when he tried to imagine what was going on. In his mind, he saw Tonks' finger push into Luna...
He bit his lip and clenched his hands on his pulsing crotch.
Tonks' second hand slipped under the upper part of her dress and began to fight with hidden buttons. After some time she managed to undo them, and Harry opened his mouth, seeing t Luna's small, protruding breasts emerging from the material. Tonks began kissing the trail from the neck up to the small brown nipples. With her free hand, she took one of the girl's breasts and squeezed it. She stopped her mouth millimeters from the other breast and gently touched the dark nipple with the tip of her tongue. Luna pulled up and hit her head against the wall, biting her lip in attempts to control herself. But Tonks didn't stop. She began to wash over the nipple with her tongue, time and time again, plucking it with her teeth, covering with her lips and gently sucking it, leading Luna to greedily gasp for air, continuously moaning with pleasure.
But what impressed Harry most was the light emanating from Tonks' hair. It shone brighter and brighter, harder and harder, as it was a reflection of all excitement, of all her emotions. Harry had never seen such a play of light like in her hair - like a sparkling rainbow.
He shut his eyes, his head spinning. He leaned his forehead against the wall and began to breathe heavily, trying to control the beating heart and hardening cock.
No, he had to do something about it! He didn't think that such scene could be so... stimulating.
He looked around. The moonlight descending from heaven reflected off the snow. It was very clear. And quiet.
He heard Tonks' whisper, Luna's moans. Although he couldn't distinguish the words - not anymore. Not in the state he was in right now. It was cold, but he only felt the heat.
He had to do it! He had to, because if not, he... he'd explode.
He unbuttoned his pants and touched his throbbing cock. His hand was cold. Almost as cold as the hand of Sev... Quickly he covered his mouth, stifling a groan. He leaned his forehead against the cool wood and wrapped his icy fingers around his hot cock, begging for fulfillment. The impact was so intense that he almost stopped breathing. For a moment, he was breathing heavily through his nose, trying to regain control of himself, but he wasn't able to. His body was begging, his mind screaming, and moans tried to escape his mouth. How easy it was to imagine that these cold hands belonged to Severus, that his hand began to move very slowly on his penis. Carefully, very carefully, because he was so excited that every violent movement would lead him to an immediate explosion.
And how easy it was to imagine Snape's mouth... kissing him with such hunger, with the desire... His slick tongue penetrating his throat, penetrating the warm inside of the mouth, his palate, inside of his cheeks. The thin, hard lips devouring his mouth, crushing it...
Harry's hand accelerated automatically. It moved over sensitive skin, a pulsating desire was almost squeezing the orgasm out of him.
He felt tears in his eyes. How easy it was to trick the mind... How easy it was to imagine now, this quiet, dark whisper in his ear:
I'm hungry for your lips, Potter.
How easy it was to imagine Harry reaching for that mouth, breathing in the quiet whisper...
He felt the explosion. Incredibly strong, blinding white explosion. All images accumulated, flowed into that one place and turned in a sticky, hot liquid pouring through his fingers. Through the noise and ringing in his ears he could hear his own muffled moan coming through his hand which was pressed to his mouth, mingling with quiet sounds from behind the wall. Harry almost slumped to the ground, trying to keep up on trembling legs, which, after a momentary tension, became suddenly very weak. He felt tears running down his cheeks, from the slowly disappearing wave of indescribable pleasure.
Oh yes, how easy it was to fool his mind... Severus was right.
He stood still for a moment, pressing his forehead against the wooden planks and trying to align the jerky, labored breathing. He felt like all his muscles melted. His hand trembled when he finally dared to tear it from his mouth. He raised his glowing eyes, feeling his head spin even more than before.
From behind the walls came rumblings and wheezing. Harry adjusted his clothes and after a moment's hesitation decided to look again - one last time.
Luna was lying on the wooden table, facing the wall. She was naked. Her incredibly pale skin glistened in the moonlight every time she threw her head back. Blond hair flowed down from the table and almost reached the floor. Nymphadora's black nails clenched Luna's raised thighs... then Tonks knelt between them... her hair, sparkling with all the colors of the rainbow, fell on the trembling girl's abdomen, and then Harry couldn't see anything but a slow, lazy rhythm in which Tonks' head was moving.
Harry pulled away from the slit and leaned against the wall, feeling his heart once again jump into his throat, trying to almost break away from his chest. He felt his cheeks burn.
No, enough of that! It was... too intimate. He couldn't stand here and... And what if someone would be watching him and Snape like that? No, he had to go. Leave them. Allow them to be... happy with each other.
Even if he now felt terribly torn. And so terribly lonely...
He pushed off the wall and staggered a bit, then went back to the inn, still failing to believe what he'd just seen. At the same he couldn’t get rid of the images in his head. Luna, naked, Tonks, kneeling between her thighs...
Why did his strange mind immediately replaced those images with the picture of him and Severus? Merlin, as if Severus would ever... one day... kneel before him... and...
No! No more! He couldn't think about it! It would never happen...
He bit his lip and stopped, staring at the snow sparkling in the moonlight.
Luna and Tonks... of course he suspected it for a long time, since he'd seen Luna running around Hogwarts with letters for Tonks. What could be there? Love confessions? But he didn't expect that... it would prove to be true.
In fact, it was a comforting thought. Not only he had a problem... Not only he had something to hide.
But... That's right, "but". Despite the similarities, their situations were completely different. Even if by some miracle, their relationship were to become exposed... well, Tonks wasn't Snape. Sure it would have been unpleasant, but if someone found out that the former Death Eater, still suspected by the majority of the Wizards World of remaining a faithful servant to Voldemort, the most hated teacher in school was having an affair with the Golden Boy, the Chosen one, the greatest hope of their World...
No, it wasn't the same. No one would accept them. Everyone would have turned away from him. He knew it.
But... but he knew that in spite of it, he couldn't give Snape up. He'd sacrifice everything... to be with him.
Even though he'd probably never get *this*, the thing he wanted most. Yes, it was true that he was getting closer, but the one thing still seemed to him so far... and when he saw Tonks giving it away so casually, so easily, without any problem... giving it all...
He bit his lip and shook his head. He must forget about it. Forget sadness, longing, loneliness. Yes. Forget. It was a good plan.
When Harry returned to the tavern, Ron and Hermione were sitting at the table, leaning toward each other, while Hagrid was still asleep. He fell hard on the bench and sighed.
"Oh, Harry." Hermione broke away from Ron, very red in the face. "I didn't notice when you came back. And where are Luna and Tonks?"
"Oh, they... uhm... they decided to stay there for a little while, because it's too... too hot here. Yes, too hot," he mumbled quickly, looking for a bottle left by Tonks. He saw how she'd left it here before.
"Oh, that... well," Hermione muttered, looking at Ron who was pulling her by her sleeve. For a moment she looked as if struggling with herself, torn between something that apparently she wanted to continue and a sense of duty. But seeing that Harry was more interested in the floor, she turned to Ron, smiling shyly, and allowed him to pull her into another kiss.
Harry left the chair and began searching the floor. He tried not to pay attention to Ron's hand, persistently wandering under Hermione's skirt, which she also persistently tried to push back.
There it was! The dark, corked bottle stood behind the chair of Hagrid who was snoring loudly. Harry grabbed it, crawled out from under the table, pulled a pint with the rest of beer and filled it with transparent liquid. The smell that hit his nostrils when he moved the drink to his lips almost squeezed tears from his eyes. He closed them and took a sip.
At first he felt as if he drank the liquid lava. It stung his lips, tongue and esophagus, and he feared that he had burned them. He opened his tearful eyes and looked at Ron and Hermione kissing.
Everywhere. Everywhere, everyone was groping, kissing and doing all these things that he couldn't do.
He felt the increasing frustration. He focused his eyes on his pint and made the decision. He put it to his lips and took another sip. And another. And another one. After some time, he lost count, and noticed with surprise that the drink wasn't quite as awful as in the beginning. Maybe after a while it lost its power?
He remembered he'd drunk a whole pint. And poured himself another... no, not really. He had such an intention, but eventually realized that in the bottle there was nothing left. Or maybe it was after three mugs?
He thought he remembered Luna and Tonks. It seemed like that. And Tonks yelled something to him. And Hermione screamed as well. And they all were behaving too loudly, shaking him, while Harry just wanted to climb on the top of the tree. There was such a bright light there and it seemed to be very interesting... it was shimmering and all.
And then suddenly he found himself outside. Together with many other people. They looked like they were going somewhere, and Harry was glad he wasn't the only one who staggered. It was loud, everyone was laughing... but Harry didn't want to laugh.
He wanted to go to Severus.
Then he remembered the stairs. Everyone was ahead of him. How could they go so fast? He had to take two steps back before he managed to take one forward. It was getting quieter and quieter, until finally it became quite-quiet. Harry stopped and tried to look around, but quickly gave up, when everything suddenly whirled and he nearly fell.
He was alone. He wanted Severus.
He wanted to see him. Really wanted to. Wanted desperately. He missed him. He remembered how much he missed him. He missed him, right? Yeah, of course.
Harry thought there were others with him somewhere - he remembered he had been following them... at least it seemed so.
Again he looked at the corridors spreading in all directions.
Where was he going? Probably the dormitory. Yes, Harry was sure they all had been going there. And he had to go, too. But wait... which way? He guessed... to the right. Yes, probably so.
Harry turned left and stopped after a few uncertain steps. Maybe it would be better if he put the Invisibility Cloak, in case he stumbled upon Filch?
He threw a hood of his jumper on the head and, trying not to make noise, crept down the hallway. It wasn't easy at all, because while he was walking, the walls were dangerously stretching into a web. But eventually, sometimes bouncing, sometimes staggering because everything was spinning around him, Harry came to the portrait of...
He stopped, frowning. The Fat Lady wasn't on the portrait. There was no portrait. The only thing he could see was a strange, heavy wooden door. He blinked several times, as if expecting that if he closed his eyes, the portrait would reappear, but nothing happened. He shrugged his shoulders and said loudly and clearly:
The door didn't respond. He looked at it defiantly and repeated:
Nothing happened. Strange. He was sure that this was the right password. It worked in the morning.
"Open up, you stupid... ouch!" the boy hissed when he kicked the wooden surface and it turned out to be surprisingly and painfully hard. Seeing no other way, he started hitting it with his fists.
"Ron! Ron! Let me in! Ron!"
But nothing happened. The door remained closed. Harry sighed in resignation and slumped to the floor.
Okay, if no one wanted to let him in, he would sleep here! He leaned back against the door, rolled up his knees and bowed his head. Strange, but when he closed his eyes, everything was spinning even more. And it wasn't pleasant at all.
He shook his head, trying to get rid of colored spots under his eyelids, but then the door opened and Harry fell. He hit his head on the floor and squeezed his eyes shut, feeling a dull ache in his skull.
"Ouch!" he groaned. "It wasn't nice. You could have waited for me, Ron. And what happened to the Fat Lady? Did she leave?" Harry mumbled, trying to open his eyes.
Ron didn't answer. But Harry could hear heavy breathing, as if someone tried to breathe through clenched teeth. After several unsuccessful attempts, Harry finally managed to lift his eyelids.
And what he saw made him immediately close his eyes again.
Probably just an illusion.
Cautiously, he opened one eye, then another, but the figure which was leaning over him hadn't disappeared. It only looked even more furious.
Immediately, he realized something wasn't right here...
Harry frowned and looked straight into the upside-down, but still as deep as always black eyes, and asked:
"What are you doing in my room, Severus?"
* "Merry Christmas everyone!" by Shakin' Stevens
** "You don't know me" by Jann Arden
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