Warnings: child abuse, depression, suicidal tendancies
Summary: Devoid of the will to live, Harry decides that it is simply time to end it all. Too bad for him that one of his professors had to come and screw it up.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. I am simply borrowing them; therefore, do not sue me.
Chapter 36: Legends need the same things as everyone else
Severus' mouth was drawn to Harry's on instinct, and having been mesmerised by the unfettered joy in those shining emerald eyes he lost all power to resist.
Just the slightest touch of his lips against the other's undid him completely, the emotions rampaging through his heart swiftly taking over before he could try and re-erect his inner barriers. This felt so good, so wonderful.
He pulled away panting harshly as he fought with himself. He couldn't do this, not to Harry. He should have kept his feelings hidden. He should have had more restraint. When he cast an involuntary glance at the bewitching boy he found that restraint was something he had in very short supply.
Harry had his eyes closed, his breathing coming shallow between parted lips. And he was leaning forward slightly, as though begging for more contact. Of their own accord, Severus' hands came up to cup the beautiful face in front of him. One of his thumbs brushed over the moist bottom lip.
When he heard Harry's hushed moan he knew that he was going to lose all of his control.
He kissed Harry again. The other's mouth opened for him and he devoured it, wanting to taste and explore every millimetre of what was offered to him, wanting to know everything. It was amazing. Felt so good. So good. His whole body warmed in response to the sensations flooding through him.
Wrong, this was wrong. Harry couldn't like him, couldn't want him. Couldn't possibly. There were reasons. There were so many reasons. None of which he could call to mind as Harry's arms slid round his neck and he felt fingers entwining in his hair. But still he knew that the other could not want him. His little voice commented that for someone who couldn't possibly want him, Harry was kissing him back fairly enthusiastically.
But when they stopped the kiss, the wonderfully, sinfully good kiss, Severus knew that everything would go wrong. While one alternative was to just never cease kissing Harry, he understood that he would have to deal with this sometime.
He tried to pull away slightly, to catch his breath and dig up his sanity from wherever it had chosen to hide.
Harry had other ideas, the fingers twisted in his hair and the arms tightened around him in an attempt to direct him to the other's lips once more. How could he resist when such a delicious picture was presented to him? Harry's eyes soft and glazed over with desire, his cheeks flushed, his whole body trembling slightly. Even Severus Snape had limits on his self control. And they had apparently already been breached.
He moved his attention to Harry's jawline, gently brushing his lips along the smooth skin. Gentle kisses down his love's throat, and he was rewarded with another quiet moan. The sound of it led Severus' mouth back up to the source and his lips met Harry's once again.
His little voice laughed to see him acting like a hormonal teenager. As Harry's hands moved down to clutch his shoulders, Sev was reminded that his partner in this was a hormonal teenager, and he started to try and calm the other down. A hard chore when his own feelings were urging him on wildly. Merlin, he had never felt so out of control before!
But he managed to slow the kisses somewhat, lower the tension until the heat between them turned into a slow steady fire instead of the heated passion which did not permit any degree of thought.
Then he walked them slowly backwards to the couch, lowering himself, and therefore Harry by extension, down to it, the other partially straddling his lap. It was so hard to pull his mouth away, when every part of him insisted that there were far better uses for it than talking.
"Harry." he managed to say.
He saw the green eyes gain a slight tint of fear before those tempting lips sought his again. What would Harry be afraid of?
He raised his hands to frame the flushed face before him and prevent further contact which might undo him.
"Harry." Spoken more seriously this time, accompanied by a slight push that rocked the other back onto his knees and off Severus. It was so much harder to concentrate when a fit and squirming body was pressed against his own.
Harry seemed to get the message this time, and withdrew. Withdrew totally.
"I'm sorry." the other mumbled unhappily.
Severus was thrown for a second, then instantly understood that Harry believed he was being rejected, that he was unwanted. Following this realisation was a pressing need to go and find the Dursleys and inflict serious magical harm for the way that they had destroyed Harry's belief in himself. And to hurt everyone else who had ever run the boy down. Though he supposed that included himself. Well, he would pay his penance now and heal the damage.
He reached out and gathered Harry to him, pulling him close. He let his hand move back to it's new favourite hobby of caressing the boy's long silky hair, that was now so close to him that when he breathed in his nose was filled with Harry's scent. He breathed in again. So wonderful.
"Harry, it's alright. I just want to talk. It's alright."
The body cuddling against him shifted until Harry could burrow his head into Severus' chest. He felt fingers flexing, kneading his arms in the manner of a cat, but when he looked down found a dry face where he had expected tears. He used his free hand to grab one of Harry's, holding it tightly, and felt the weight on him gradually relax.
"Harry...." he stopped.
What he wanted to say was that the other was just reacting as any teenager would. That if Harry felt anything then it was merely a silly crush. But this was no ordinary boy. Was not even a boy. A man. And Severus had more respect for him than to treat him like that, to dictate to him what he was feeling. That, Sev most certainly would not do to Harry. That would be a betrayal of trust.
"Harry, what do you feel?" he asked gently.
The head lifted a fraction. Severus made sure to focus on the eyes rather than the kiss-swollen lips. So distracting.
"I.....I....." Harry appeared to search for words for a minute. "Wow!" he finally exclaimed softly.
That wasn't quite the reaction that he'd been anticipating. No horror, no heartbroken sobs, no running to another continent. Wow? Did that mean it was his first kiss then? Oh Merlin, Severus really shouldn't have done that then. So innocent.
Much as one part of him was theoretically horrified at the breach of trust, another fiercely gloated that he had been the first to ever touch Harry, the first to elicit such keen responses, the first to hear those moans of passion.
It was so difficult to keep his mind on track.
"I've never felt like that with anyone, not even Draco." Harry continued.
Draco? Maybe Severus hadn't been first then. What had Draco done to his Harry? He felt a sudden need to go and chop the other boy's hands off for daring to touch the beautiful being currently residing in his lap.
"Draco?" he tried to make his voice come out in a tone that wouldn't indicate to Harry the possibility of painful death that was hanging on his answer.
Harry blushed. Severus thought it made him look even more attractive. Damn self discipline anyway.
"Yeah. I kind of had a crush on him for a while after Christmas. He never liked me or anything. He didn't even know. But when he brushed against me by accident it made me tingle."
Ahhh, unrequited lust then. That wasn't so bad.
"This is different. It feels, I don't know, deeper somehow. More real. More everything. Does that make sense?"
Yes, that made perfect sense. More everything. That was precisely how Severus was feeling. He planted a kiss on Harry's forehead. Not just a crush then, as he had been afraid. He trusted Harry's judgement, trusted him to know himself. Just as Severus knew his own heart, and was finally beginning to accept what he now realised his inner voice had been telling him all along.
He was in love with Harry. He wasn't sure for how long he had been. Was in love with Harry's kindness. Harry's understanding. Harry's wicked teasing. Harry's laughter. Harry's smile. Harry's mouth in general. Harry.
Could he allow himself this? He hadn't had any happiness in so long.
It was what Harry needed, as he looked down into the upturned face all he saw was a kindred spirit asking for love and affection. If he was the source of it that Harry had chosen, he could not deny it to him. His own feelings forbade it.
Harry needed reassurance now. His eyes had turned uncertain and clouded with the lack of response, and Severus could feel the tenseness as he waited to be dismissed. Tenseness that would soon be dispelled.
"I love you."
The words had come so easily, flowing with an assurance that astounded even him.
Harry's eyes flicked up, were caught and held by Sev's own. Now that Severus had told him, he was going to show him.
He kissed Harry again. Slowly, sweetly. Then pulled away. Saw the disbelief in the other's eyes and smiled. Did the boy not know the charms that he possessed? So beautiful.
He voiced the last thought out loud, and saw Harry turn an impossible shade of red once more. He could not keep his laughter in. Neither could Harry's snake apparently, for she hissed an accompaniment.
It was getting late. Severus could tell that Harry was tired, considering the amount of sleep that he had managed last night it was unsurprising. And Harry still really needed to catch up on his rest anyway, for Severus knew that he had been unable to get enough recently.
"Go to sleep now. I'll take care of you."
The head fell back to his chest. He wasn't sure exactly when Harry dropped off, but kept staring into the fireplace as he worked through all of the things that had happened during the day.
If I said that I was ending the whole story there, would you kill me?
Not that I'd say something like that. I'm not that evil.
Severus was more than thankful that Harry was sound asleep when Albus walked in sometime during the night. He had a feeling that this might get unpleasant. He wasn't getting up and abandoning the boy curled up in his lap still clutching his robes, so he gestured sharply at the headmaster to be quiet. No one disturbed his Harry.
"Becoming very protective, aren't you Severus?" opened Albus cautiously.
"Why do I get the feeling that you know precisely what has occurred."
A slight twinkle in the headmaster's eyes, "It is my job you know."
A short silence. Which Severus broke.
"Don't even think about trying to take him away from me." he said firmly, setting the tone for the conversation.
"Now, Severus. He is a student, and an important one at that. You cannot..."
For once he let go and spoke exactly what was in his heart. He could feel Harry awakening, but did not pause in his rant.
"Damn you Albus. Harry has had more than enough of other people doing what they think is best for him. This is his choice to make. He will do what he wants, what he needs. And you will not get in his way."
Harry stirred slightly. Albus was looking totally flabbergasted, which gave Severus a great deal of satisfaction.
"No buts. Harry is no longer a child. You will not treat him as such."
The headmaster contemplated this for a minute, and Severus felt a tremor of anticipation go through the body pressed against his.
"I suppose I have been blind with regards to Harry's needs." Albus said slowly, sounding tired and regretful. "I did not understand him, the way it seems that you do. I do trust you Severus, I was just worried......"
They shared a mute look of understanding, then the headmaster turned to go.
"Take care of him."
"You know that I will. I love him."
Albus nodded, then left them alone again.
"Thank you." came a muffled voice from his chest.
Severus looked down to meet an intense gaze from the one he loved.
He felt Harry let go of his robes and slip arms around his waist instead. It felt so nice to be held.
Silence for so long that Severus thought Harry had surely gone to sleep, when he was startled out of his own progressing doze by a soft voice.
"I love you too, Sev."
He fell asleep smiling.