|suitesambo (suitesamba) wrote,|
@ 2013-04-06 22:13:00
|Entry tags:||2013, accioslash, snarry|
Word Count: 4284
Warnings:Canon character deaths (not Snape/Harry),
Summary: After the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry learns to live on his own and to be his own man before he and Severus find their way to each other.
Disclaimer:: Not mine, never were, never will be. No profit of any kind if being made from this amateur work.
A/N: Written for accioslash’s 50th birthday. I have wanted to write something for Accio for some time, but even after speaking with her about her likes and dislikes, I’m still not sure I’ve got it right. However, I feel that a momentous event like a 50th birthday should not go unrecognized (hers or Severus’). It is never too late to find love, or to slide down banisters.
Beta: Last-minute fic, almost not Accio's birthday anymore...unbeta'd.
Harry Potter does not love Severus Snape for surviving.
There is a certain kind of respect – cautious, kept at a distance – once he knows the truth, but he is not ready at Snape’s bedside with an apology when the Headmaster opens his eyes on Friday, the fifteenth of May, to a Voldemort-free world.
Harry Potter is seventeen-years old. He is tired. He fights the unevenness of his emotions. Oppressing sadness wars with soul-lifting euphoria. The weight of his obligations has shifted. With Prophecy fulfilled, with Voldemort dead, he looks around, observes the living, and counts his losses. He balances them in his mind, against the counterweight of a world without Voldemort.
Snape wants to see him.
Ginny is not there to calm him. He is not sure there will be a Ginny for him. She is working out her anger, and weighing him, he knows, against a new Neville.
He doesn’t blame her. He likes the new Neville too.
Hermione and Ron are not there. They have gone together to Australia, to put the pieces of Hermione’s past back together.
It is Friday, the second of June.
Snape is Snape, but a Snape Harry has never before seen. The hospital pyjamas are not black. His pale face, turned toward him as he walks across the floor, bleeds into the white pillow. He is less imposing on this horizontal plane, and Harry is cautious, not afraid.
Madam Pomfrey stands at the foot of Snape’s bed.
“Five minutes, Headmaster.”
She bustles away and Harry moves one step closer. He stands at the side of the bed, positions himself so that Snape does not have to move his head to see him. The bandages on the neck are heavy and thick, keeping Snape’s head at an angle that must be uncomfortable.
Snape uses up an entire minute staring at him. When he speaks, it is without preamble or introduction of any sort. His voice is…compromised. Yet he leaves Harry with no doubt as to who is in charge at Hogwarts.
“You may stay here. You may return and complete your N.E.W.T.s.” He emphasizes the word “may.” His black eyes are fixed on Harry’s face. “But you should move on. You have outgrown Hogwarts, Mr. Potter. If the Ministry requires N.E.W.T.s, you will contact Professor McGonagall. She will arrange tutoring.”
Harry nods. He can’t think what to say in return. Until this very second, he had not realized he would need permission to stay.
“I will need your decision by your birthday, Mr. Potter.”
Harry nods again. He wonders – briefly – how Snape knows his birthday. Then remembers the Prophecy.
They stare at each other another minute. Harry shifts his weight.
“I….” He should not open his mouth until his thoughts are fully formed. Snape frowns.
“Professor McGonagall put the Pensieve away. Your memories are still in it.” Harry moistens his very dry lips. The next word is more difficult even than he had thought it would be. He says it very softly. “Thanks.”
Snape acknowledges the word with ten seconds of silence. Then -
“Robes, Mr. Potter. While you are at Hogwarts, you will wear your student robes. This is a school, not a tent in a forest.”
Harry stares at Snape. Then he nods, once, a jerky, non-fluid motion.
He is gone from Hogwarts by the fifteenth of July, but until he leaves, he wears his Gryffindor robes.
Snape has given Harry a gift. Robes. A first push toward a return to normalcy.
A greater gift. A second push. Out the door.
And leaving Hogwarts? Being thrown into the deep water, learning to swim. He may not have had a real childhood, and he may have grown up in his year on the run, but he has not ever made his own decisions. Not really.
Horcruxes or hallows?
Was there ever really a choice?