Title: The Truest Christmas Wish
Author: Constant Vigilance
Disclaimer: JK Rowling is God. I own nothing.
Distribution: Sure. Just lemme know where my baby’s
Spoilers: Book 5 and then AU.
rewrite of a traditional Christmas story, Harry Potter style.
Note: Written for the Merrywizards
Christmas challenge, 2003. Listing #36
H/S (delivered) Mpreg
(delivered—implied) Mushy (delivered) Time travel (sort of) Happy Ending
(yup…no matter what it looks like.)
Snape watched as Harry Potter sat crying quietly beneath the huge Christmas
tree at Hogwarts. He leaned against a doorframe, halfway across the room and
hidden from sight. “One would think the savior of the wizarding world would be
at least entitled to a happy Christmas,” came a voice from behind him. Severus
kept from jumping by reflex alone.
you anything better to do, Albus, than sneak around the castle spying upon your
charges?” he asked tonelessly.
There was a smile in Albus’s
voice. “I haven’t any object of affection to dote upon, as does my potions
Severus stiffened. “I have no
object of affection.”
The smile remained. “Of course
not, Severus. And he has no reason to cry.”
“No, he doesn’t,” Severus
retorted quickly, glancing back at the Headmaster. “He’s the bloody Boy Who
Lived. Thousands love him; worship the ground he walks on. He can have anything
he desires and yet he chooses to sit here on Christmas Eve sniveling.”
Albus’s eyes dimmed for a
moment. “Perhaps you don’t know our Mr. Potter as well as you think, Severus.”
The Potions Master snorted.
“Perhaps I have no desire to know him any better.”
Albus sighed. “If you could have
anything at all, Severus, anything in the world for this Christmas, what would
Severus shook his head. “I’ve
been given my gift Albus. You know that. As has the rest of the wizarding
world. Voldemort is dead.”
“And that would be your truest
wish for Christmas?”
Severus nodded. “As it has
Albus placed his hand on Snape’s
shoulder. “Harry Potter has given you your truest Christmas wish, then.”
Severus snorted. “Yes, Albus.
Once again, I’m indebted to a Potter.”
“Indeed,” Albus smiled. “And so
the world rejoices in the gift brought to them by one small boy who spends his
own Christmas crying alone beneath a tree.”
“What is your point, Albus?” Sev
finally asked in irritation.
“Do you know what his truest
Christmas wish is, Severus?”
Trying not to bite the old man’s
head off, Sev gritted his teeth. “No. What?”
Albus shook his head. “I don’t
know either, dear boy. I honestly think that no one knows. Not his friends, not
his family. Don’t you think that sad? The hero of the world who gives such a
grand gift to one and all…and not one of those people know what would make his
tears stop. Rather poignant, hmmm?”
“He did his duty, Albus. We all
did,” Severus hedged in a low tone.
“We chose our own road, Severus.
He had his chosen for him.”
“What do you want me to do,
Albus?” Snape closed his eyes. “Find out his wish? Make it come true? Why would
you ask me, of all people, to do that?”
Albus smiled kindly. “Because,
dear boy, you of all people want him to be happy.”
Snape glared. “And how did you
come to that conclusion, if I may ask?”
“You hide hatred well, Severus,”
Albus began. “You hide anger. You hide fear. You’ve the most accomplished mask
I’ve ever seen in that arena. But you don’t do quite as well hiding the other
emotions. Kindness, affection…love.” Snape’s face smoothed out and he raised an
eyebrow. Albus just chuckled. “See? You’re afraid. Thus I have no idea what
you’re feeling. Nor does he.”
“Good,” Severus drawled. “I’d
hate to think Mr. Potter is under the delusion that my feelings for him are
anything other than professional.”
Albus looked sadly at the boy
crying across the way. “Perhaps, Severus, that is the problem. Well, I must be
off. I have a get-together at which I must make an appearance. Have a Happy
Snape inclined his head. “And
you as well, Albus.” Severus watched Harry for a few more minutes before
retiring to his room in disgust.
He prepared for bed angrily. “I
hate Christmas anyway,” he snarled, yanking the covers back. “A holiday full of
happy fluffy feelings is not a holiday for me. I’m perfectly satisfied with my
life as it is.” He kicked his shoes off and pulled his nightshirt from the
bedside drawer. “I have no one I’m forced to waste scads of money on. I don’t
have to waste valuable time toasting bunches of intoxicated relatives at some
horrendous Christmas party.” He finished changing into the silken shirt and
picked up a magazine. “I can just curl up in bed with the latest issue of
Potions Quarterly and forget this bloody time of year doesn’t occur.”
But he was irritated enough that
even the thought of reading till he fell asleep wasn’t pleasant. “Fine!” he
tossed the magazine to the end of the bed and thrust his legs under the covers.
“I’ll just go to sleep. I’ll not waste one more moment thinking of holly or
evergreens, of presents or eggnog.” Or of how alone I truly am and how much I
hate that there is a boy crying his heart out downstairs that wouldn’t accept
my love if I offered it, he completed in his head.
With a snort, he punched his
pillow and determinedly shut his eyes.
A hand on his shoulder awakened
him. Odd in itself as no one knew his password, odder still in that he didn’t
react as he normally did…with a defensive spell. He merely opened his eyes and
sat up. “Lily?” he asked in confusion as his eyes focused. The beautiful
redhead smiled at him, a smile so reminiscent of her son that his heart
“Hello Severus. Happy
Christmas,” she said.
“I’ll assume I’m dreaming,” he
cocked an eyebrow.
A giggle that transported him
straight back to 5th year. “If you like. You aren’t, but you were
ever a stubborn one and I haven’t the time tonight to try and convince you
“A ghost on a schedule,” he
smirked. “How droll.”
Lily gently smacked his arm.
“Funny, Severus. Very funny. And I’m a spirit, not a ghost.”
“I wasn’t aware there was a
“Well, if the great Severus
Snape isn’t aware of it, it mustn’t be true,” she snarked.
Snape smiled. “I’ve missed you
Lily,” he said softly.
She took his hand. “And I you,
Severus. But I haven’t long to stay.”
“Why are you here, exactly?”
She stared seriously into his
eyes. “I’m here to give you a push in the right direction, Severus, since you
are so disinclined to head that way on your own.”
“How so?” he asked warily.
“I am to show you Harry’s past.”
Snape snatched his hand away.
“And why would you want to show me your son’s past, Lily?” he asked bitterly.
She deliberately took his hand
again. “Because you and Harry have much more in common than you think, Severus.
And that commonality gives you a base on which to begin.”
“Begin what?” he snapped.
She smiled fondly, “To begin to
live again, Severus. To allow Harry to begin to live at all. To take comfort in
each other and each offer the other the rest of his soul.” He started to speak
but she cut him off with the gentle application of her fingers on his lips.
“Shush, Severus. Just come with me and see.” She pulled him from his bed and
reached for his other hand. When a circle had been formed with arms and bodies,
Severus felt a lurching pull not unlike a portkey, and he shut his eyes.
When he opened them again, they
were standing in a tiny cramped room, no bigger than a closet. He glared at
Lily, but she just pointed. He followed her finger to see an infant sleeping in
a pile of blankets. “What is this?” he demanded.
“This, Severus, is my son’s
first Christmas without me,” she whispered sadly.
Severus took in the room. “This
is a hall cupboard.”
Lily nodded. “This is his room.
This will be his room until he is called to Hogwarts.”
“But, he’s a toddler. Where are
his guardians?” Severus frowned.
Lily smiled sadly. “He was sent
to live with my sister and her family when James and I died.”
“Yes, yes, I know that, but…”
“They hated me. They hated
magic. They hated Harry.” She traced a finger down little Harry’s cheek, not
quite touching the skin.
“Surely this is the exception,
Lily. Dumbledore would have never let him stay where he was abused.”
“They never hit him, but neglect
can be a harsher punishment sometimes than violence,” she followed the
lightening scar down Harry’s forehead. “If someone is hurting you, at least
they’re paying some kind of attention to you. My sister and her husband took
him in, but they didn’t love him. As I said, they didn’t even like him. They
had their own son, on whom they doted. Harry was a waste of space and energy to
them. He was ignored on good days, emotionally assaulted on bad days. He wasn’t
allowed to make friends. As you can see, he wasn’t even allowed to have a room
of his own,” she gestured around them. “He never celebrated a birthday or a
Christmas until he came to Hogwarts. Does that remind you of anyone, Severus?”
Snape glared at her, but
couldn’t help recall his own childhood companions: nannies and butlers. House
elves who were told not to fraternize with the young master, family gatherings
in which he was allowed in the company of others for perhaps an hour, never
more, and then was shuffled off to his room again. He’d spent the bulk of his
childhood in quite a similar room, granted much larger than this, but nearly as
Lily stood again, smiling a last
time at her sleeping son. “Come Severus, lets see another Christmas in my son’s
life.” The tugging, portkey feeling occurred again and Snape found himself in
the same closet, though more cramped. The pile of blankets had turned into a
thin mattress, the baby into a slightly bigger child, but the rest of the room
stayed the same.
Harry was bent over a piece of
paper, coloring furiously by the light of a small-watt bulb. He finished and
carefully placed the crayon in a cardboard box near the foot of his mattress
and then he sat up with a huge smile. Snape found himself hard pressed not to
return the smile. It was full of light and love. Harry placed what he’d been
working so hard on onto his pillow. It was a picture of a Christmas tree, done
entirely in green crayon, shaded dark and light. It was a lopsided tree, with
huge decorations hanging off of only the outer branches and several
not-quite-square packages underneath it.
“Happy Christmas,” the small boy
whispered. “I miss you mum, dad. I wish you were here. I know I won’t get any
presents this year, but I wanted to ask for one thing anyway.” He shrugged.
“What can it hurt, right? I wish I had someone to love me. I know I ask every
year, but maybe this year, you could send me someone? Anyway, I love you both
and hope you have a happy Christmas wherever you are. Good night.” With that,
he tugged on the light cord dangling from the center of the room and laid back
down in the darkness, his face resting on his drawing.
Lily tugged Severus out of the
room, melting through the wall until they were standing in a small living room.
When he looked at her, she was wiping tears from her cheeks. She smiled up at
him when she caught him looking. “Sorry. I can’t help it. It hurts to see him
“The presents, the
cupboard…things didn’t change, did they?” he asked, knowing the answer in his
She shook her head sadly. “No.
They didn’t change. Not until Hogwarts.” A smile came to her face. “Come, let’s
look there.” She grabbed his hand and pulled, not giving him a chance to
resist. A lurch and he was in the Gryffindor common room. A Harry that Snape
remembered from third year sat curled up in a chair in front of the fire. He
was crying, silent tears running down his face, but he also wore a smile.
“What is this?” Snape asked
Lily smiled and sat on the arm
of the chair. “The whole school was terrified of him. They thought he was the
Heir of Slytherin.” Snape snorted and Lily shrugged.
He looked closer and saw a wad
of knitted yarn in his lap. “What is that?”
Lily ran her fingers over it,
still not touching. “That was his only salvation for most of his teen years,
Severus. Molly Weasley knitted him a jumper.”
Snape rolled his eyes. “A
Weasley jumper was his salvation?”
Lily frowned. “No, don’t be
silly. The fact that someone…anyone cared enough to give him a present, to go
to the trouble of making him a present. Sometimes it was all that kept him
going. Knowing that he had some kind of love…even if it was the love of someone
else’s mother.” Snape hmphed and sank into a chair across from the boy. “Do you
remember that feeling Severus?” Lily asked quietly.
Snape stared at Harry’s tears,
reflected in the firelight. Slowly, he nodded. “Perhaps Lucius Malfoy was a
bastard, Lily,” he whispered, “but he was a bastard that saw me.” Frowning, he
shook the melancholy feeling away. “But that isn’t the case here. Everyone sees
Lily sighed. “Everyone sees The
Boy Who Lived. Very few people see Potter. Even fewer see Harry. Come, Severus.
My time is nearly up. There is another who will come to you to continue this
story.” Snape opened his mouth to speak and found himself back in his bed. Lily
smirked at the shocked look on his face.
“So who is this other person?”
“You won’t like it, and I don’t
want to spoil it for you,” she grinned. “Or for me. I miss you Severus Snape,”
she said softly.
“And I you Lily Evans,” he
“Take care of yourself.”
“Don’t you mean take care of
Harry?” he asked drolly.
She smiled slightly and
shrugged. “Perhaps they will come to be one in the same.” Between one breath
and another, she was gone. Severus closed his eyes, still able to smell her
perfume. He sighed sadly. As much as he’d disliked James, he’d always had a
soft spot for Lily. Lily his defender, Lily his confidant, Lily his…
“Oh, for Merlin’s sake, shut the
hell up, Snape.” Severus’s eyes shot open to see a new figure leaning against
his closet door. Sirius Black grinned at him and wiggled his eyebrows. “Hi
there Snivellus,” he laughed. “Miss me too?”
“Of course,” Snape sighed. “I
haven’t gotten my regular dose of irritation and acidic hatred since you’ve
been gone, Black.” Sirius just smirked. “So how do you figure into this little
dream I’m having?” Snape asked, giving in.
“I’m going to take you through
the present,” Sirius stated.
“Is there some reason you feel I
can’t see the present just fine from here?”
Sirius rolled his eyes. “Not
your present, idiot. Harry’s.”
Snape actually laughed. “Now I
could maybe understand Lily’s acceptance of Harry and I as a couple, but you?
There’s no way that you would ever promote a relationship between your godson
Sirius’s smile evaporated. “I’m
not so trapped in my views as I once was, Snape. Dying opened my eyes. I can
see it all now…the past, the present, the future. I can see the paths that lay
in front of both of you. I see those that lead away separately, each of you to
your own life, and I can see those that converge.”
“So you are here to tell me that
without Harry in my life I’ll become a bitter old man and die alone?” Snape
chuckled. “Thank you, Black, but I’ll take my chances.”
Sirius shook his head sadly.
“I’m not here to tell you your future, Severus. There is another for that. I’m
here to show you the present…Harry’s present.”
Snape frowned at the solemnity
of Sirius’s tone. “Very well, then. Lead on. I’d like to get to sleep sometime
tonight,” he snapped, unsure of how to react in the face of this new Sirius.
The other man nodded and the stomach wrenching pull came. Snape opened his eyes
to a dormitory lined in red and gold. He twisted his mouth in a moue of
Sirius rolled his eyes and
pointed to a bed against the far wall. Harry Potter sat on it, surrounded by
piles of various items. Snape moved forward and stood with his arms crossed. He
watched as Harry picked up an item, turned it over in his hands, smiled softly
and placed it in the open trunk at his feet. “What is he doing?” Snape asked
Sirius sighed heavily. “He’s
going through his life, Snape.”
Sirius nodded. “All that he owns
is in that trunk. Everything that was given to him, everything that means
something to him…its in there.”
“It…it’s a rather small trunk
isn’t it?” Snape mentioned hesitantly.
Sirius laughed humorlessly. “It
is at that, Snape.”
“Why is he going through all of
Sirius’s face shuttered. “I
can’t tell you that, Snape. It’s for the next to tell you.”
“So what are you here to tell
me?” Severus glared.
“Tell you? Nothing.” Sirius
shook his head. “Show you? Just watch him.” And so Severus did. He watched as
Harry finished placing each item in the trunk and closed it with a sad smile.
“There it is,” Harry whispered.
“My life in a box.” He laughed, a strange hollow sound. “And how sad it is.” He
moved around to another bed, plucking up a picture on the nightstand. Snape
moved closer to see a waving Hermione Granger and a grinning Ron Weasley
looking back at him. Harry sighed. “I’m glad you two got together. You deserve
better than spending your whole lives chasing after me, trying to save me from
He stared at the picture for
long moments, and then carefully placed it back from where he’d taken it. He
shook his head and moved out of the dorm. Snape and Sirius followed him down
from the tower to the great hall where he took up residence at the base of the
Christmas tree. Snape recognized his placement from hours before.
“Happy Christmas,” Harry
whispered. “I miss you mum, dad, Sirius. I wish you were here. I know I won’t
get many presents this year, but I wanted to ask for one in particular anyway.
What can it hurt, right?” Snape was struck by the similarity of the words. Did
he ask for the same thing every year?
Harry smiled but Snape could see the tears begin to form in his eyes. “I
wish I had someone to love me. I know I ask every year, but maybe this year,
you could send me someone? Anyway, I love you all and hope you have a happy
Christmas wherever you are. Good night.” At that Harry dropped his head to his
knees, silent sobs wracking his body.
Severus felt his fingers twitch
and he was astounded. Never before had he had the desire to comfort. Never had
he felt the need to offer anything but the equivalent of ‘buck up’, yet now…he
felt an almost tangible need to take Harry into his arms and rock him. He
glanced over at Sirius, seeing the other man watching him with a sad smile.
“It’s okay,” Sirius murmured.
“It’s okay to feel, Snape. It’s okay to care.”
Snape shook the feeling away.
“No, it isn’t,” he insisted. “It’s a weakness that can be exploited.”
Sirius sighed. “Who will exploit
it? Voldemort is dead. You’re free, Snape. Free to be, free to feel…free to
“Free to ask you to get on with
it so that I may get my rest?” Snape snapped.
Sirius hung his head. “Yes, I
suppose even that,” he said wearily. “Come on. Next stop.” Snape looked back
reluctantly at Harry, his eyes straining to watch the boy even as the spinning
lurch in his stomach drug him from the great hall and into a crowded room full
of items and people. He pulled his robes closer to him as he realized where he was.
“The Burrow?” he asked nastily.
“Why on earth would you bring me here?”
“Because this is the last
bastion that Harry has,” Sirius stated in irritation.
“Every person who truly loves
Harry, and who is left alive, is in this room.”
Snape looked around to see every
member of the Weasley clan, Granger, Lupin, Hagrid and even Dumbledore. “And
what is your point?”
Sirius raked his hands through
his hair. “Not a whole lot of them considering that he saved everyone, is
“I suppose not,” Snape agreed.
“However, gratitude and love is not the same thing. I wouldn’t expect that
there exist that many people who can see past the infamous scar.”
Snape snorted. “And isn’t it
precious that I’m here too?”
Sirius sat on the arm of the couch.
“Who isn’t here, Snape?”
Severus looked confused for a
moment. “What do you mean?”
“Who is the one person who
should be here, but isn’t?”
Snape looked around, and then
wanted to smack himself. “Potter.” Sirius nodded. “All right,” Snape sighed.
“I’ll play. Why is that?” Sirius waved his hand to the conversation occurring
at the other end of the couch.
“But he said he had things he
had to take care of,” Hermione said.
“What things?” Molly Weasley
Ron shrugged. “He was awful
closemouthed about it all. He just said that he couldn’t come. He had other
“Why, whom would he have a
commitment with?” Molly asked, confused. “Everyone is here.”
“He just said that he’d make
sure everyone got his or her presents and then he practically shoved us out of
the castle,” Ginny piped up.
The conversation faded into
murmurs again and Snape looked up at Sirius, a disbelieving look on his face.
“You aren’t suggesting…”
Sirius just looked at him sadly.
“It’s time for me to go, Snape. The next will be along shortly. We need to get
you back to your room.”
“Wait!” Snape protested. But he
was pulled again into the darkness. He opened his eyes and found himself back
in his bed, Sirius leaning against his door again.
“Can’t say it was good to see
you again, Snape,” he said with a grin. “But then, I can’t say it wasn’t
either. Take care of yourself. Take care of my godson.”
“Black! Wait!” But he was gone.
“Godammit!” Snape screamed, flinging off his covers and reaching for his
“Hullo,” came a small voice.
Snape spun around, his feet tangling in his pant leg. He flopped back onto his
bed. A giggle came out of the darkness and a small girl right after it.
“Who are you?” Severus demanded.
“My name is Kirby,” she
announced. “I’m 10.” She crawled up on the bed next to Severus and he watched
in astonishment as she snuggled under his covers. Her hair was long and dark,
with just a hint of curl. Her eyes were like pools of chocolate, a deep and
warm brown. Her eyelashes curled up to perfectly arched brows and her button
nose wrinkled in amusement.
“But who are you?” he asked
again, bewitched by this limpet.
“I’m Kirby,” she giggled. “I’m
one possible future.” She added offhandedly.
“Whose future?” He asked warily.
“Yours. And my daddy’s.”
“Who is your daddy?” he couldn’t
help but ask with a sinking feeling in his gut.
“You, silly,” she smiled. “And
“Are you implying that in one
possible future, Potter and I have a child together?” he asked in disbelief.
She nodded, and then frowned.
“But only if you try.”
“Try? Try what?”
“To feel. To love. To live.”
He sighed. “So, what are you
here to show me? Blissful domesticity?”
She shook her head. “No. I’m all
the proof you’re getting tonight of my future. I’m here to show you what you
might get in the other futures.”
Snape smirked. “Oh, well, then
do lead on. I really must know how to plan for it.”
Kirby looked at him
disapprovingly, and he tried not to care. “Come then.” So they went. He stood
outside. It was cold. The wind was blowing off of the lake and the sky was
cloudy. He heard weeping and he turned slowly. He was expecting…well, he didn’t
really know what he was expecting. But it wasn’t to see himself sobbing
insensibly in front of a headstone. He moved around to get a look at the
engraving. His heart sank. Harry James Potter. Of course.
He waved at the scene in front
of him. “Why? How?” He couldn’t even form a complete sentence. Kirby hopped up
on the headstone and sat kicking her legs. Snape suppressed the urge to snatch
her off of the top of it and chastise her for her inappropriateness.
“Christmas Eve,” she said
expressionlessly. “He killed himself. He’d spent his last evening going through
his belongings; sorting out who would get what for their last present and then
he went down to make his traditional Christmas wish beneath the tree. Same
wish, same results.” The lack of emotion, especially from a child as young as
Kirby, was making Snape’s skin crawl. “He waited till the stroke of midnight
and swallowed a full bottle of dreamless sleep.”
Snape shut his eyes. Kirby
smirked. “It worked perfectly.” She said examining her nails. “After all,” she
glanced up at him, “You made it.” He flinched away as though she’d slapped him.
“They buried him here. This was the only real home he’d ever known. And it
keeps down on the tourists who come to gawk at the last resting place of the
savior of the world. The savior whom no one could be arsed to save.”
Snape opened his eyes and
glared. “You’re a right little bitch aren’t you?” he snapped.
The corner of her mouth came up
in a smirk. “I take after my daddy,” she inclined her head.
“Fine. So I’m a bastard.” She
nodded and he chose to ignore her. “Why am I—“ he waved at his double, rocking
back and forth, crying.
Kirby rolled her eyes. “Because
you love him, Daddy. Because in this future, you didn’t realize it until you
held his lifeless cold body in your arms. You found him, you know,” she added
helpfully. He winced again. “You went to his funeral, but hid in the back. Only
after everyone left did you come out to pay your respects… and finally tell him
you loved him. A day late and a dollar short, if you ask me,” she said with a
He snarled at her. “I didn’t ask
She grinned. “Sorry.”
He sighed and sank to the
ground, staring at himself. “Why did he do it?” he asked softly.
Kirby shrugged and plopped down
next to him. “You tell me, daddy. You’re the one who has spent the entire night
rummaging through his life.”
Snape dropped his head. “But why
me?” he whispered. “Why share this…this not-quite-a-dream with me? Granted, I
l-love him. I suppose I can admit that, at least. But I can’t imagine he feels
the same about me.”
Kirby sighed. “How do you know?
You’ve never asked him.”
“I’ve been a bastard to him his
entire life, child. “
Kirby chuckled. “Daddy is
nothing if not perceptive. He knows why you act the way you do. He knows better
than anyone else in the world how you feel. He understands the loneliness, the
pain. He gets how to look beneath the surface. Maybe he loves you, maybe he
doesn’t. It’s not my place to tell you. But I can tell you that you’ll be sorry
if you don’t find out for yourself.”
“I know how he’s going to kill
himself,” Snape said, suddenly excited. “I can stop him. I wouldn’t have to
spill my heart out to him, I just have to keep him alive!”
Kirby rolled her eyes. “Great.
So you keep him alive for what? Another day? Another week? Another year maybe?
Till next Christmas, when the loneliness overwhelms him again and he attempts
suicide without you to save him this time?” She sighed. “Daddy, this isn’t a
quick fix. This requires a long-term solution. The only question is…do you have
the knackers to do it?” Snape frowned at her language and she smiled cheekily.
“I get that from my dad too. The other one.”
He sighed. “Fine. I understand.”
“So you’ll try?” She asked
eagerly. “Cause I’d really like to be born.”
Snape glared at her. “Who
actually carries you?”
She fluttered her eyes
innocently. “Well, would you look at the time? Gotta go! Love you daddy!”
And he was back in his bed.
“Little brat,” he muttered. Sitting up suddenly, he looked at the clock. 11:50.
“Bloody hell,” he cursed. He leaped out of bed; jerking on the trousers he’d
been fighting with earlier and quickly searching for his shoes. When they
weren’t readily apparent, he cursed again and gave up, bolting for the door.
He’d made it to the main corridor when he heard the clock begin to strike.
His heart stopped beating for a
moment and then he put on a burst of speed. He slammed through the great hall
doors just in time to see Harry tilting a bottle up to his lips. “Harry! No!”
he screamed, charging down the aisle. Harry stopped, a bewildered look on his
face as he watched Snape bear down on him. Severus slid to a stop next to him
and slapped the bottle out of his hands.
Together, they watched as the
silvery liquid spread over the floor, seeping into the small cracks in the
stone. Harry looked up and there were tears in his eyes. “Why?” he breathed.
Snape fell to his knees and pulled Harry into his arms. The boy lay stiffly for
a moment, and then he melted into the embrace.
Severus held him as the sobs
shook his smaller frame, rocking him, as he had wanted to earlier that evening.
“It’s all right now, Harry,” he whispered. “You aren’t alone anymore. Never
again. They heard you, love. They heard you. Every year. They never forgot
about you. Any of them. And they answered you, Harry. They answered you.”
Harry pulled away, wiping his
eyes on his sleeve. “How--?” he asked wide-eyed.
Severus just smiled. “I just do.
Maybe someday I’ll tell you. When we’re old and grey…and still together.
Because I’m not letting you go, Harry Potter. I’ve seen my future without you.
And I never want to see it again.”
Harry stared into his eyes,
confusion and hope warring in his expression. “Does this mean that you…”
Snape choked back a laugh. “I
love you,” he managed. “I love you now and forever. I know you might not feel
that way for me now, but I’ll do everything in my power to someday change that.
And even if I never do, I want you to know that I’ll love you anyway.”
Harry’s eyes filled back up with
tears. “You don’t have to wait,” he hiccupped. “I’ve been in love with you
since 5th year.” Severus brushed the unruly hair out of vivid green
eyes and smiled again. He lowered his face to Harry’s and lightly brushed their
lips together. Harry moaned in the back of his throat and pushed into Severus’s
arms. He deepened the kiss, darting his tongue out to taste the thin lips until
Severus allowed him entrance. They wrapped their arms around each other and
tightened their embrace. Hands explored skin, finding sweet spots and reveling
in the closeness. When they finally pulled apart, the tears had stopped.
“Are you sure?” Harry asked.
Severus nodded. “Would you do me
the honor of accompanying me to my chambers?” he whispered.
Harry smiled, a huge bright
smile that lit up the last remaining recesses of darkness in Severus’s heart.
They stood, arms still wrapped
around each other and made their way out of the room. As they moved through the
doors, Snape looked back at the spot that had just changed his life. There
stood Lily, Sirius and Kirby. They were fainter now, transparent as they hadn’t
been in his room, but they were smiling. Lily leaned into Sirius, who wrapped
his arms around her and rested his cheek on her head.
Kirby skipped around their feet
in never-ending circles and as the door closed behind him, he could almost hear
the piping voice chanting, “I’m gonna ge-et bo-orn. I’m gonna ge-et bo-orn.”