Hello my lovelies! Apparently, I have two readers sharing a birthday with me today and I wanted to gift them a short (that didnt happen) story. Vesper asked for something against the gloomy winter, and I can only hope I can delivered in that regard and you'll find the story peaceful and sweet.
We finally had some nice, sunny days and it felt like getting my eyesight back after a long winter, not to mention how nice it was to feel the warmth of the sun through the window. So that's where the story came from :)
The title is borrowed from Mumford and Sons.
To VesperBlue and Tea_Nikoto ~ Happy Birthday my dears!
Lover of the Light
The darkness is welcoming.
Severus has never really entertained the idea that he will survive another war, that he could outlive Voldemort, that protecting Potter won't eventually cost him his life. Therefore, he shouldn't even supposed to be surprised to find himself in this situation, whatever this is supposed to mean. Yet he still is. Because after all what has happened, he really didn't want to die.
It is just darkness here nothing more, no pearly gates to Heaven – that makes him mentally laugh, what on earth would put him in Heaven after all – but neither does he see a flaming pit, no three headed dog awaits him, no burning soul reaches for him either.
It's just darkness.
Is this his reward for all the hard work he had put in ending Voldemort? Eternal calmness? Never-ending boredom? Is this supposed to be a reward at all, or has he arrived at his own personal hell? Oh, how lovely… This will be extremely boring, wont it?
A smell hits his nose, something faintly familiar, though how in hell that could happen when he's dead he doesn't understand. He takes a deep breath – again, he's dead, he needs no oxygen but whatever, he likes this – lets the scent fill him up. Oh yes, he remembers. Sunshine. Summer. Grass and trees. Potter.
It has been so long and yet he remembers it like it was yesterday. The night that changed everything, the flash of green, Dumbledore tumbling over the railing. Draco's empty eyes, his shaking hand, wand still pointed where the old man had been only moments ago.
Potter's wild scream, Bella's hysteric laughter, spells, it's nothing but a mad haze now. It's also still a bloody mystery how he got to Potter over the myriad of Unforgivables and to this day he knows it was only the shock that allowed him to take the boy from the clutches of the other Death Eaters. Then they were flying.
That has been the first time – of many times – that he could smell the boy's unique scent. As he held him close while they were soaring over the Grounds, Potter buried his face in his neck – god, the memory still made him shiver and he is dead – tried to calm down, barely fidgeted. He may have been crying, too, not that Severus blamed him.
Severus stopped far away, where he could not see the Dark Mark above Hogwarts anymore. The sun was up already, its warmth caressed his face as he landed them on a large clearing. Potter stood silently, his back to Severus, looking over the trees, trying to see, to get a glimpse of Hogwarts but they were miles away.
It was such a weird morning. Loud and bright and beautiful despite what had happened, and Severus sat in the still slightly damp grass and let the words flood out of him. He told Potter everything, gods thinking back on it now, probably even things the boy had no reason – or right – to know. Soon, Potter turned his back to the trees and joined Severus on the ground. He listened silently, not a word came out of his mouth. But Severus talked instead of him, too.
He lied back, his eyes lost on the cloudless blue sky above them, his skin bathing in the warmth of the sun. The scent of trees and grass and summer warmth was all around them that day and the day after that and the one after that. They returned to the castle and by some inane miracle, they were able to spend the whole summer there in secret.
They plotted and planned. Severus was wanted all across Britain. With his true allegiance revealed, Voldemort wanted him dead about as much as Potter. The Castle was mostly empty, with just Hagrid, Fang, house-elves and the two of them is should have been lonely, but it wasn't.
Thinking back on it now, it was all a bliss. It started tough enough, but companionship was desired in these hard times and they were a lot more civil to each other now. Severus knew things and Potter was eager to listen and as it turned out, eager to learn, too. And Severus, he was more than eager to teach, especially someone who learn to trust him, who stood close enough to him that he could smell the sunshine on his skin.
But the summer ended, and their ways parted. Severus went to France to convince some allies to join their cause, while Potter went on a systematic hunt for Horcruxes. They've not seen each other for more than a year but Severs could – would – never forget that scent of sunshine and forest, of trees and grass and warm earth.
The next time they've met, it was a war, a battle and Severus noticed the boy just in time. He ran and he was almost too late. But maybe if he's dead, it means he has arrived on time and the spell hit him, not Potter. If that's a case, he'll rest in peace. If Potter survived, he can let the darkness take him. Especially if the darkness smells of sunshine and trees.
It isn't just scent. There's a voice too.
Severus can't decide if it's a memory from that blessed summer, or a dream, or a fantasy. Whatever it is, he listens. He lets the voice lull him.
Potter's voice has always been filled with ire, with defiance, loathing too, when they interacted. Not that summer though. It changed after that long talk on the clearing, became careful, cautious.
Not that Potter was afraid of him – has he ever… – or even suspicious. He was simply testing the boundaries. Questions of Lily came quiet as a whisper, giving Severus a chance to ignore them, but he chose to answer.
They had long talks under the warm sun as they walked the Grounds and the Forbidden Forest, Potter spoke of his childhood too in return – a secret for a secret – he would talk about his abusive relatives, the first horrible eleven years of his life. He would also talk about his earlier doubts regarding Severus, not a surprise really, Severus had done everything to make the boy's life a living hell after all – one necessary evil among many others.
Severus would learn when it was right to ask questions, and when all that was needed was for him to stay quiet and listen patiently, even if it meant that for minutes nothing happened just silence.
Soon, that voice – the voice of Severus' dreams, of his deepest fantasies, a sound he would never tell Potter he wished to hear, never, ever – dared laugh around him, tease him, even.
His name – Snape, not Severus, never Severus, only in his dream – carried no malice, the same way Potter – never Harry, same reasons – ceased being a curse word anymore. He heard his first name only once, not that summer but next May, as his body jerked, as his head all but blew up from the pain. Just then, Severus, panicked, filled with worry.
Death has its special privileges too it seems, because the voice he hears now keeps calling him Severus. He hears nothing else, just distinct murmurs, mumbles quiet and jumbled, but his own name he hears clearly. It makes him smile.
This death thing is becoming better and better.
There's a touch now too, stroking his hair, caressing his face, warm fingers tracing his cheeks. Maybe he is in Heaven. Or maybe this is hell after all, and he'll never see the face he knows belong to the touch.
Touches between them were scarce, hard to come by at first. By the time he would notice what was happening, by the time his mind would register that his hand is on Potter, the moment would be over, Potter's hold of his wand would be impeccable once more, he would have the knife in his hand just right and Severus would have to pull away.
Once or twice, it would last a little longer. He would have to stand behind Potter, correct his whole posture, the way his arm moved, pull his legs wider apart for stability – god the idea, the memory, his hand on the back of Potter's thigh, can one get aroused when dead? – show him what gently stir meant with covering the boy's hand with his. It would happen and Severus would be one-hundred percent aware of every inch of his body, where and how it connected to the boy. Then he would all but forget about it.
Until he wouldn't. Until the touches would linger, like the heat of the summer, there all day, even at night when Potter was in a different room, his touch, a phantom sensation would still be there, would still burn Severus like the stroke of sunlight.
There was one time, only one, during a night – their last before Severus would head to France –when their touch would hold on long, all through the night. Severus could have died that night and he would have died happily.
They went out to the Lake that night, a bottle of cool Riesling nicked from the kitchen in Potter's hand. They would settle in the grass, no blanket, no nothing, just the earth beneath their hands still warm by the long day of sunshine, just like that first morning all those months ago in that clearing.
The air around them was heavy with scents – trees and grass and sunshine and warm earth, Severus' favourite scents – sweet and balmy, fresh yet still heavy with something you could never bottle, something too wild to ever be put in a glass container.
The bottle of wine soon would empty out, Severus faintly remembers that they argued, someone didn't want to let the other go – too dangerous, the words were said, he remembers that – then one thing led to the other and Potter stood and left him and went to the edge of the lake.
He doesn't know how it started – he does, oh how he well he does, he's just too much of a coward to admit it; with his hand reaching out to touch Potter that's how it started, to touch him with no reason just one, just one single, sinful reason – but he had pushed Potter in the water.
He followed soon after, his body unable to resist the call of Potter's voice. The boy – man, that was a man there, had been a man for a while – watched him undress and they swam in the cool water together. Occasionally, his body would slide against Potter's as he tried to push him under the surface and in return, Potter's legs, silky, slippery in the water would slither around his and grip him, playful, teasing. Severus still doesn't know how the water didn't start boiling around him.
Once exhausted, they lied back on the dry, warm grass and Potter – the foolish, ignorant brat – dropped his head on Severus' chest. His hair was dripping water onto Severus' bare stomach, which would then stream down on his side with torturous slowness. When he would turn his face towards Severus, the warm air of his breath would ghost over Severus' hard nipple, but of course the boy wouldn't notice. It was an anguish; mad, delicious, aching, wild, lovely.
Cooling air nibbled at their wet skins, but Potter never moved away. He either fell asleep or remained silent, like Severus, eyes on the endless, glimmering stars above them. Every gentle breeze would have Potter's hair flutter gently against his skin, bring the scent of warm earth and sunshine. Every second would bring them a step closer to tomorrow, and Severus had never hated the rays of sunshine until he had seen them that dawn.
Now that he's dead, he can finally toy with the idea what could have happened that night, if perhaps he had the courage to bury his head in Potter's soft hair, or Potter would have moved just an inch and it would have been his lips against Severus' nipple and not just his warm breath.
He seeks out the touch now, nuzzles it like a cat. The back of Potter's fingers brushes against his cheeks.
"Now would you look at that…" Potter says, voice teasing, his hands rushing up onto Severus' forehead then into his hair, raking though it. "I told them you were to stubborn to die."
Severus opens his mouth and speaks, even though he knows he has no body, therefore no mouth to speak with and no voice to be heard, but Potter makes no sense.
"I'm not dead?" It comes out hoarse, but it's there, it's his voice.
"No, you're not. Injured though. Parkinson's spell hit you in the head. You're in the Infirmary at Hogwarts."
Severus' first instinct is to jump up, to sit and look around, but a firm hand on his chest keeps him down.
"Take it easy." Potter says, gently making him stay in place.
Is this real? Is he alive? Why is everything still dark then? There's something on his face, dressing, thick, smelling of potions, he wants to tear at it, his hands even go there, he needs to see it, see it with his own eyes that this is really Potter, and he really is alive, that both of them are alive.
Potter grips his wrist, but too late, the bandage is off his face, it is in his fisted fingers as Potter presses his arms down, yet still, the darkness doesn't evaporate, it's still everywhere, he still sees nothing whatsoever.
Why is there only darkness?
"I'm… blind…?" He doesn't really speak the words, they more like slip out, leave without his consent, because it's an idiotic question given, he sees absolutely nothing, though all his other senses seem to work properly. He hears Potter – slightly worried though still obviously happy. He can feel his hand on his wrist – the warmth of it, how reassuring it is, how gentle. He can taste the bitter potion – Calming Draught, adequately brewed, left on the fire for two-to-five minutes longer, hence the bitterness. He can smell the clean scent of the Infirmary and of course Potter – sunshine, trees, grass. But he does not see.
"The spell," Poppy explains from somewhere over the end of the bed, "hit you right in the face, Professor." He has not been a professor for a year, but apparently, some things never change. "The magic damaged some very important tissue around and in your eyes. I managed to heal the skin on your face, it still needs some aftercare, and Mr. Potter has been remarkably helpful with that. Your eyes however…" He can hear her sigh and his heartbeat quickens. "Well the good news is, it is healing, which means eventually you'll get you sight back. The bad news is that we simply cannot tell when. Maybe in a week but it might even take a month."
Sure as hell, a week later Severus is still in bed, still in the Infirmary and still blind. He's also really pissed because he's bored. He can't read, there's no music, only Potter keeps him company, but he cannot be there all day and all night.
The initial shock of being blind wears off after the first few days – night, really, the nights are what truly horrifies Severus because at daylight, there are noises, birds, Potter, other people, but at night he's alone and there's only silence – but he thought that it will get better keeps the true terror of it at bay. The dreams are the worse and the best as well, because in his dreams he still sees, but he sees only green eyes – a blessing and a curse all at the same time.
After that it's really just the boredom that's bad, there's nothing to do just sleep, but after the third day even that gets old and Severus has always been more of a doer than someone who enjoys lazing around.
Potter comes after work and reads to him, he does crosswords with Severus, or sometimes they just talk. They find their old tone soon enough as if the past year has not even happened. But it did and they talk about what they had seen, what they had done, what food Severus had in France that he absolutely hated – snails, who would eat that and why – and what he absolutely loved – this croissant from the corner of Rue Madame and Rue de Fleurus, still warm and flaky which he would eat slowly while enjoying the view of the park almost at his feet always at seven o'clock sharp.
But then Potter always has to leave which means it's almost night and Severus pretends to sleep but at least keeps his eyes closed, never open them, because then he can at least pretend that he can see, that he chooses the darkness over the light of the candles.
"Did you know there is a difference between darkness and darkness?" He asks Potter the next day. It's been a week, probably the longest week of his life.
Potter does not answer and that day he leaves early. He doesn't come for two whole days and if Severus thought the seven days were long, well the weekend was an eternity.
Then comes Monday and Potter barges in as if nothing happened. It takes a while, a little poking here and there, but Severus still knows how to get essential information from people reluctant to share it.
"Aren't you bored here?" Potter asks all of a sudden.
Severus turns his head towards the voice and raises an eyebrow.
"I would say my life is about as exciting as a still painting, but honestly, even those can roll around the other portraits occasionally."
Potter huffs, Severus can hear the hesitance in his voice as he says, "I've been thinking…"
"Never a good idea…" Severus notes but he's ignored.
"You could come and live with me. You kind of know Grimmauld Place already, I haven't changed the layout, only redecorated it. I know you want to say no, so just listen for a moment. You could walk around the house, and there's a park right outside the door, we could go out, you could do whatever you like."
"I don't." Severus says almost even before Potter finishes his mad ramblings.
"You don't what? You don't want to come?" The disappointment is so evident in the boy's tone, he all but sees it.
"I don't want to say no." Severus say. "Not at all. I'd rather die than stay here one more day."
"Oh well… okay then," surprise, then a smile. He can hear the smiles in Potter's tone, distinct them as easily as he would ingredients in potions. Its warmth fills his voice, feels like a ray of sunshine on his skin. "I already talked to Madam Pomfrey about this and then spent the weekend getting some supplies like potions, linens and some extra food, so…"
Severus pushes the covers off his body and sits on the edge of the bed. "I'm ready when you are, Potter."
An amused huff comes from Potter's direction then, "You'll need some clothe first." A chuckle, sweet and teasing.
They start off a little rough. Severus is eager to shift the blame entirely to Potter.
It's weird at first, leaving the Infirmary. He's outside, he can hear the birds, feel the wind stroke his face, the heat of the summer makes him sweat already. He turns his face towards the sun, soaks in the warmth. He might only imagine it, but he's sees a bright spot in the darkness, still not light, far from it, just perhaps a little less empty than the rest of nothingness.
Potter touches his elbow and they Apparate – side along takes a bit out of his ego, he hasn't done it since he was a child and he knows where Grimmauld Place is, but Potter insists and oh well, there's a hand on his elbow, it's not like he'd complain.
He's shown around – once again, he remembers the place, remarkably well – and Potter only offhandedly mentions, "This is the bathroom," but such a deep moan breaks out of Severus by the mention of that place that it's almost worrying. Cleaning charms were well and useful, but he would almost literally kill for a shower, to feel actual water – hot, scorching hot – on his skin, have it wash off the scent of potions and cleanness and sickness.
Potter chuckles, moves into the bathroom, Severus, hand on Potter's arm now, follows eager.
"The shower is three steps in front of you."
Potter talks, says something else, probably something important he should listen to, but Severus ignores him, his fingers already working on the buttons of his shirt he had only put on minutes ago. He sheds it, lets it drop to the floor. The door closes when his hand touches his belt.
It takes some feeling around, but a shower is a shower and he finds the tap easily. Soon he's standing under hot water and the sensation is unbelievable. It never occurred to him or to anyone else for that matter to let him have a shower, Cleaning Charms are way simpler. His body however seems to have craved the wetness, to be soaked in the heat of the spray, in the mist.
He puts his head under it, lets the water stream down from his hair, over his face and shoulder, down to his waist over his buttocks, his cock, his legs. His hands follow, it's almost sensual and his body reacts immediately.
There's nothing stopping him – and why would he stop, it's been a while, and if he has to live with Potter, with his scent, with his touch, he'll need release – and he grips his cock, gives it a small stroke. There's something about not seeing it, about looking down on his body and seeing absolutely nothing just feeling a hand there and warmth, lovely, lovely heat, that makes him keen even more.
Then the door bangs open, there's a yelp, he roars as an answer, because he knows who is in there with him – his cock seems to know it, too, it swells even more.
He hears the shower curtain being pulled away then Potter sounding honestly worried all but cries, "Are you all right?"
Severus snarls, leaning against the wall, one hand over his bollocks and cock, trying to cover it, even if his back is to Potter.
"Fucking hell, Potter, did they never tell you not to barge in on a man while he's in the shower?"
"I told you I'll be back with your towel!" He answers sounding awkward and apologetic. "I swear I'm not looking. I swear to god. It's just… you sounded like you were in pain and I panicked, and I swear I didn't see anything."
He wants to turn around and glare at the idiot. "I'm not in pain, though I did just get a heart attack, thanks to you!" He all but snarls. "Would you get the hell out of here?"
"Oh yeah, sorry… just your towel… here's you towel…" he mumbles and Severus does turn around then, only half way, mostly because he's so incredulous and he wants to glare at Potter out of sheer instinct and he doesn't really realize what he's doing only too late. But at least his hand is still on his cock, covering it, though he's still hard and it's not that effective, besides… well even with fingers as long as his, it's impossible to fully cover that.
"A towel, Potter, is most useful when it's dry, so would you just mind putting it down somewhere else than in the fucking shower then get the fuck away from here?" He forces his voice to be as cruel, as menacing as ever, but he's hard and fully naked and hot water beats on his skin and it's just not working at the moment.
There's silence behind him and he turns just a little bit more, listening, thinking – hoping against all odds – that Potter is out of the bathroom already. But then he hears it, a quiet little gasp, grunt, sudden exhale of air, whatever.
"Your eyes better be closed," he hisses coldly, fully aware of what Potter would see.
A long second of silence still follows, though perhaps it's not that long, perhaps it's only him that feels it like eternity, because he knows Potter is behind him and he can feel his own cock pulse at that thought underneath his finger.
"They are." Potter quips, voice weak, breathless then finally Severus hears footsteps, hurried, and the door closes.
He thinks for a moment that he'll just will his erection away, all this embarrassment surely would take the wind out of his enthusiasm, but even after he's done cleaning himself, after he rinses all the lather from his hair, he's still hard and one moment he's still leaning against the tiles, but the next a hand is on his cock and he strokes himself almost harshly, grips hard, grunts, swallows his moans, bites his lip before he would say a name.
Cascading water streams on his chest and washes off the spunk from his belly. He closes the tap and for a moment he leans against the still cool tiles, sightless eyes closing. Water drips from his eyelashes, rolls down on his cheek like a tear. He doesn't know what he hates more. That he's a coward and didn't dare say a word, pull Potter in the shower – he would never, god no – or that Potter didn't come on his own.
It takes him ten minutes to find the bloody towel, he slips three times on the wet puddles he has left behind, but he'd never call out for Potter.
The day continuous, Severus spends it in the living room, the radio is on, he's listening to the voices of random people calling, to the music, to the newscaster talking about the heatwave outside – he's unable to pay it any attention but he listens. The fire cracks – it might be the summer, but this is a wizarding home, there's always a warm fire in the hearth – the clock ticks, Potter rustles as he turns a page of the book he's trying to read.
There are noises around, yet still nothing can fill the gaping silence between them and it's awful. It's heavy, and Severus has become so accustomed to Potter's almost mindless chittering it's not even that he misses it, it's worse than that, it feels like withdrawing air.
He sighs and turns his head towards where he suspects the boy is sitting. He can all but feel the nervous energy coming off him, his body is pulsing with it, wave after wave. He knows what's causing it, but for the love of god he does not know what to do to correct it.
"You looked, didn't you?" He asks in the end with a sigh, because someone has to be the adult and has to do something, especially if said someone wants to hear about what Potter plans to do next day, or how the new jokes are doing in the WWW shop where he helps out nowadays – and yes, he does want to hear about it for some reason.
In the endless quietness he expects many things from apologies to lies, but never just that one simple word.
His tone isn't quite casual, not teasing, not firm, but it makes Severus slightly anxious for some reason.
"You should be more careful, we don't want you going blind, too," he says lightly.
Potter chuckles, "I won't," then adds, "Unless you poke my eyes out with that."
Severus splutters at the thought of that going anywhere near Potter's face.
His first instinct is to curse Potter – nothing serious, just a little Stinging Hex to teach him a lesson – and he feels around for his wand but can't find it. He searches and searches, but it's nowhere.
"Will you curse me still if I tell you where it is?" He hears Potter's light chuckle.
Potter laughs, stands and walks closer. Severus can hear the sound of wood rolling of the polished surface of the table, then Potter moves over to the window and drops the thin rod onto Severus' lap.
He stands around for a few moments, then says, "Just not the Tickling Charm, please."
"It's no fun if you see it coming." Severus says and lets Potter escape this time.
The days pass with seeming ease and soon Severus falls into a relaxing routine at home. He learns his way around the house rather easy, the layout is there in his mind and as he counts his steps, he soon builds up the whole of Grimmauld Place in his head, like a map. Two steps between the table and the kitchen counter, seven between that and door and so on.
The weekdays always start the same way, he wakes up, goes down the kitchen, brews tea. By the time the kettle boils, Potter appears bringing the scent of sunshine as if he has been sleeping outside under the scorching sun.
They have breakfast, Severus eats a toast and an apple, Potter eats cereal, always, day after day. Something chocolaty sweet, the scent of it wafts to Severus even across the table and he frowns, disgusted.
"How can you eat that?" He asks on Friday.
There's nothing for a moment, then, "Oh, sorry," which makes Severus think that Potter must have made some nonverbal gesture with his body, a shrug or a wave of his hand. "Dunno," he says realizing those won't work anymore.
Then Saturday is different. Potter sleeps in. Severus is in the kitchen listening to the news, his hands idle, fidgeting with his cup of warm tea. He puts off breakfast, he's not so hungry, besides he's already used to eating with Potter.
It's almost nine by the time Potter comes in, cheerful greeting, water's being poured, teakettle goes on the stove, fire flares up. Severus listens to the noises Potter makes not quite able yet to discern what is what but then soon he hears sizzling, the sent of roasting bacon hits his nose and then eggs are being cracked.
"Sunny side up?" Potter asks.
Minutes later a plate is in front of him, the scents make his stomach churn. Buttered toast, eggs and bacon – the decent way to start a weekend. Potter digs into the food as if he'd not seen any the past week. Severus forks into his with dignity, though he's almost drooling. Everything seems to taste better since he cannot see it. It's like his mind is surprised that tastes exist and everything that's been only average so far feels like heaven nowadays. Potter's little breakfast is no exemption – he refuses to wonder what tasting Potter like this would feel like.
"God I could eat eggs and bacon every day." Potter grunts apparently finished.
"Why don't you?" Severus asks, thinking of the disgustingly sweet cereal.
"Takes too much time," Potter says. "And I'm not willing to get up half an hour early just to cook and then do the dishes. Cereal is easier."
Severus makes a mental note of that.
Severus does the dishes while Potter showers, then goes up and lies on his bed, waiting for the young man to be done. His window is wide open, and he can hear the birds outside. There's a gentle knock on the door, though it's wide open.
"I got something for you," Potter says as he moves closer to him then the bed dips as he sits down.
Severus sits up, curious. "What?"
Potter places the object beneath Severus' fingers so he can feel it for himself. It's something thin and long, made of leather and another softer material.
"It's a wand holster." Potter explains. "So, you can always have it on you, and you don't have to look for it. It has a cloaking spell on it, so you can wear it outside on your shirt and muggles won't see it."
Severus smirks. "You know that means it will be easier for me to curse you, whenever I want?"
"I'm not scared," Potter states, and Severus hears the grin in his voice. "You'll still have to hit a moving target. I'll take my chances."
As Potter leaves, just as he's outside the door, Severus sends a nonverbal Rictusempra at him. He hears as Potter's body hits the ground and the young man breaks out in loud giggles.
Severus walks past him, heading to the bathroom and just says, "I believe that is a hit."
They spend the day outside. They go to Hyde Park and do practically nothing just lie on a blanket while Potter reads to him. Severus doesn't know what the book is, he hardly cares about it, even an hour into it he wouldn't be able to say whether it is about Quidditch, space travel, or a romantic triangle, and he's not even ashamed.
He listens to Potter's voice, to the birds chirping, to the children playing. He listens and stays quiet. He turns on his back and lets his body bath in the sunlight he can only feel but cannot see. There is darkness around him everywhere, except the heat of the sun strokes his cheeks, the humid air makes his forehead glisten. It's a very contrasting sensation, makes him more aware of his blindness than anything else, yet he does not despair. It's been only two weeks after all, and it's not as horrible as it could be, besides there was a year he would have given more than his eyesight to lie beneath the summer sky with Potter just once more.
He rolls on his back, his eyes closed.
"Tell me what you see." He says and Potter's voice quiets. He turns around, too, Severus can feel his body shift on the blanket.
"I see… trees."
"What kind of trees?"
"Oaks mostly. There are some planes and there's a big weeping beech just behind us. There are a lot of families. Some of them seems to be having a picnic, some has children with them, some dogs are around, too. The children play with them, they are throwing balls and sticks. There's one dog, he has short legs and he's long like a sausage and he keeps running after the ball like the others, but he never gets it because he keeps stepping on his own ear and falls." That makes Potter chuckle and Severus smiles, too, imagining it.
"There's a couple nearby on a date," Potter says quietly. "They are lying on a blanket."
"What makes you think they are on a date. We're lying on a blanket too and we're not on a date."
There's a moment of silence then, Potter says, "She has her hand on his chest." His voice is soft and suddenly there's a hand on Severus' chest too. "Like this. She is leaning over him, she's kissing him."
Severus all but feels the touch of soft lips against his, but it never comes and his heart aches, his hands fidgets to pull Potter on him. He remains still though and the hand slips from his chest soon as well.
"They're looking at the sky now." Potter says as he settles next to Severus once again.
"What's there to see?" Why is his voice so hoarse all of a sudden?
"A crocodile," Potter says all serious and Severus laughs out. "No really, it's there. Look," he says, and his hand goes around Severus' and he lift them in the air. He holds Severus' pointing finger drawing it slightly to the right. "There. It's huge. I bet he's lazy."
"Is he," Severus says trying to force just a resemblance of dryness in his tone but gods he fails miserably then smiles. "What else is there? Does your big, fat lizard have a friend perhaps?"
"Not much of a friend," their joined hands shift to the other side, "more like a pray. It's a little bunny. She's cowering. She's scared. Her ears are flat against her head. Oh," and the hands move again, "there's Hagrid."
Severus turns his head towards Potter sees only him in the darkness of his mind and not the animals the boy so inanely – adorably – invents then points out. He listens to the tales Potter spins about great cities in the sky, he lies on the blanket and listens, and in the meanwhile he is perfectly – always, all the time – aware of the scent of trees and grass and sunshine.
Sunday, Severus spends alone, while Potter goes to the Weasley's. He's bringing back tons of food, but the scents of roasted chicken and cherry pie is not what hits his nose when he walks past Potter that evening.
It's something else and it makes him stop, turn back a little. His hand goes out, searches for the boy, finds his wrist and uses it as starting point to build up Potter's image in the dark. He leans in closer, takes a deep breath, but apparently his memories are a little off now because he's supposed to breathe in thin air over his shoulder, instead his nose is buried in Potter's neck as he inhales.
He hears Potter's surprised grunt – it's hard to miss really – and he pulls away immediately.
"You've been flying." He says, it's not a question.
"How do you know?"
Severus places his hands on the counter. "Between our lessons that summer, you would go out and fly. You would come back smelling just like this. The warmth of the sun would get stuck to your sweaty skin, grass and dirt would cover your clothes – I smelled it so many times I can tell even without looking at you. Or am I wrong?"
"No," Potters says, and Severus can hear the smile in his voice. "We've played a bit with Ron and the twins."
Severus huffs as he turns around. "You've grown a bit too, haven't you? You feel taller than you used to."
Potter chuckles, says with pretended authority, "Well I'm a man, now."
That makes Severus snort. "Oh, are you? May I?" He asks after a second, holding his hands out.
Potter takes them, places them on his own shoulder.
Severus can feel the muscles beneath his finger. Potter's only wearing a thin shirt and it hides nothing. He is taller, but also more muscular, almost brawny, at least his upper body, shoulders and arms. His hips are still lean though, Severus' palm rest on it for only a moment then he pulls them back before he would pull the whole man to himself.
"Would you look at that…" he comments. "You've changed."
"So did you," Potter says, there's a teasing grin in his tone as he goes on, "Those croissants filled you out nicely."
Severus flushes immediately.
Indignantly, he's about to defend himself, as he is still far from being fat – thought admittedly he's not skeletal anymore either but then fingers rake through his hair and the touch is so sudden, so foreign, that all words freeze on his throat.
"Your hair's longer too."
Potter doesn't elaborate on whether that's a good thing or a bad, but Severus has a feeling he won't be getting a haircut anytime soon.
Monday morning, he wakes a little bit earlier. He walks to the kitchen, puts the kettle on, gets a mug and some tea. He summons a pan, then eggs and the bacon. He sets the fire with his wand. By the time Potter comes in the kitchen three thin slices of bacon has turned nice and crispy and Potter's sunny-side eggs should need about one more minute in the skillet and they would be done, too.
Cooking is not hard at all, especially which magic, he can just summon what he needs. He's eager to try out something else, but they still have the food from Molly.
"What are you doing?" Potter asks, though the smells in the air and the sizzling in the pan makes it rather obvious.
Hence, Severus' answer is simple. "Breakfast."
"You're going to cut your finger!" Potter worries, coming closer.
Severus just laughs, "With what? Eggs?" He slides the eggs and the bacon from the pan to a plate then places it and a mug of tea somewhere in front of Potter, then sits down to finally eat his own toasts and apple as well.
Potter doesn't say a word for a few moments then Severus hears him slowly fork into the food. He swallows, grunts, pleased. Severus smiles into his mug.
Their routine changes from then on. He wakes a bit earlier every day and he cooks breakfast for Potter. Only eggs for now, but on the third day, he goes for an omelette. Potter seems to appreciate it just the same.
When Potter goes to work, Severus opens the window and sits on the sill. He loves to feel the warmth on his skin, and he wants to go out, but he dares not. Even though the park is only across the street, there's still traffic and with one wrong step he could get lost in London within a heartbeat. Instead, he just stays there in the window for a while, enjoying the noise of the bustling city, and the sun's gentle caress on his face.
In the afternoon, he decides he'll cook dinner. He hasn't handled a knife since his blindness and is a bit apprehensive when he approaches the drawer, he knows Potter keeps the sharp object. He's not stupid enough to just summon one.
He opens the drawer and feels around with his finger. He touches the cool blade then follows it down until his fingers slides on the wooden handle. He takes it, checks the sharpness with his thumb. The blade is well taken care of and it almost makes him anxious.
He summons a piece of onion from the pantry and looks for the cutting board on the counter, near the drying rack, where he touched it before while doing the dishes. He peals the onion until the texture is right.
He takes a deep breath as he has the onion in one hand, the knife in the other. He places the knife around what feels like the middle of the vegetable, the blade touches the back of his fingers as he measures where exactly to slice. Then he cuts down.
A second later he's already dicing the onions like a chef, like the Potions Master he is, because the motion is so engraved in him, he simply cannot make a mistake. It's ridiculous that he was afraid of this – this, what he has been doing all this life, measuring, slicing, dicing, brewing – and soon he has a vegetable soup cooking merrily away on the stove.
First time in two and a half weeks he feels in his element, he feels confident, because this he could do with his eyes closed. He doesn't stop with a simple soup. He gets some pasta, broccoli, mushroom and cream – can find no chicken no matter how many times he tries to summon it. The scent alone can tell him if it's a spice he wants to use, a little taste helps deciding how much.
By the time Potter arrives home, he's slicing the last of the mushrooms. Severus can hear him kick off his shoes, then he comes in the kitchen, walks past the table – set for two – looks over Severus' shoulder, to see what's he's doing.
Severus can feel the heat of this body, the scent of his skin, and it's distracting. His hand stills slowly.
"Yes?" He prompts when he hears no word from Potter though he does not move away.
"You're definitely going to cut your hand with that," notes the man.
Severus just nods towards the pot quietly bubbling on the stove and the other one filled with cut mushrooms, broccoli, onion, and garlic.
"You have so little faith in my talents, it is almost insulting."
"Go on then," Potter nudges his elbow. "Let me see it."
Severus sighs, and feels out where he needs to place the blade then starts slicing. It works so well and he's already at the last mushroom when Potter chuckles still leaning half-way over Severus' shoulder. The sound, the warm brush of air on his neck – Potter's closeness altogether – rattles him and he falls out the rhythm and his hand slips on the mushroom.
The pain is sharp, and he expects Potter to laugh and say, I told you so, but instead, the man grunts, "Shit," as he grips Severus' hand and the next moment he takes the bleeding finger in his mouth.
Severus goes hard almost instantly as his already heightened senses all focus on that one spot, on that heat and wetness, on the sensation of Potter's tongue moving around his finger, licking it clean and coating it in slickness all at the same time. He moans when Potter sucks on it because he feels it go straight to his cock, sharp teeth graze his skin, but he wouldn't pull away even if his life depended on it.
Instead, his finger moves – instincts he tells himself, though what kind of instinct would make him push his finger deeper into that hot cavern he doesn't want to think about right now – presses against the base of Potter's tongue, the membrane so smooth and soft – and wet – like Potter's cock would be.
He hears heavy breathing, suspects that it doesn't just come from him then Potter starts pulling back and just when he thinks it will finally end, Potter just sucks his finger back in, which slips in easily, slides on top of Potter's raspy tongue – god fucking hell his legs will give up if this doesn't stop soon.
Potter licks again but Severus is absolutely certain there's no blood there anymore – how could there be when all of it went to his cock, it pulses there waiting eagerly for Potter to put his mouth elsewhere.
Then it's done, as if the madness has lifted from Potter's brain, he stops and Severus slowly – slowly, enjoying the last seconds of the perfect heat – pulls out. He lingers at the edge of Potter's lip just for a moment, only when Potter gives one more tiny lick to the tip of his finger does he nick his hand back.
Severus is certain he has never been so not okay in his life, but he nods, swallowing hard. "It was just a small cut."
The cut is so small he doesn't even feel it anymore, though he suspects, had he chopped his arm off, something like this would have helped with that pain too.
"I'll go change," Potter says, voice reserved, there's even a slight tremor in it.
"Dinner's ready in ten."
"Good thing I brought this then," Potter notes pressing something between Severus fingers, something hard – too hard, not what Severus wants to hold at the moment – made of glass. Potter leaves then, his feet scutter hurriedly across the stone floor.
Only when he hears the creaks of the stairs and the bang of Potter's door as it closes, does Severus turn around, place the bottle of wine – what else would it be – on the counter then lean on it too. He takes a couple of deep breathes, thinks of Albus in nothing but colourful socks but not even that helps to get his raging erection to give up on its needs. He feels around for his wand and taps the bottle. When he hears the tell-tale pop as the cork comes out, he takes a swig straight from the bottle, wishing it was something stronger.
He almost spits it back in, because its Riesling and it tastes like their last night that summer and he can all but feel Potter's head on his stomach, his wet hair dripping water onto his belly but the image doesn't stop there now, it has just expended, because now he knows how it would feel to have Potter's mouth on his cock, too.
Fucking hell, he needs a cold shower.
Dinner follows much less awkward, everyone keeps their tongues to themselves, though Severus' other body-parts still twitch to go where Potter is.
When they're done with the food, a flick of Severus' wand sends the plates to the sink to wash themselves – god bless magic because he's so full he would not be able to move. They drink the wine, the bottle empties quick.
"Oh, I almost forgot." Potter says then suddenly jumps from the table. Severus hears him run up to his room and then back. Something is pressed against his fingers.
"George made it for you," Potter says as he sits down next to him.
Why on earth would Weasley make anything for him is beyond Severus, but his curiosity is stronger, and he feels the object in his hand. It's a cube, has a sleek metallic coldness to it. He turns it over and over in his hand. Weirdly all sides feel different. Nine symbols are on each side in rows of three. Crosses, x-s, circles, squares, triangles, and stars. Every symbol seems to be divided from the others, there are three little gaps running around the cube and three running upwards too. Severus tries turning the top row and it slips easily.
"What is this?" he asks turning the cube in his hands, rotating the rows and columns.
"It's a Rubik's cube," Potter says. "It's the new sensation at the shop. There's something hidden inside, and you have to solve it in order to open it. Lot of people thinks you can do it with magic, but actually it's simple logic. George thought it might keep you busy for a while.
"Interesting," Severus said, feeling the different shapes beneath his fingers. "What's in it?"
"Usually some chocolate or toys, but George made this just for you, so I don't know."
"Should I be scared?"
Potter laughs, "No." Then adds as if it means nothing, "Actually, he wanted to ask your opinion on some potion related matters."
Severus turns to Potter, lips pulling up into a smirk. "Wine and gifts; I knew there was something. You're buttering me up."
"What? No! I just thought…"
"Well…" His glass lifts from the table and he takes a gulp, Severus can hear him swallow. "I just thought you might be getting bored with talking just with me. Madam Pomfrey said I should avoid taking you to very noises places with lots of people at the beginning because it might overwhelm you. But it must be boring listening to only me all the time."
Severus' face is towards the table and there is a part of him that's glad he cannot see Potter's face because if he were to discover the same affection and worry that's in his voice, he could not be blamed for his actions.
"Your company is perfectly fine to me," he says softly. "More than enough. If it wasn't for you, I would still be in the Infirmary. That being said, I'd be perfectly happy assisting Mr. Weasley with any issue he might have over his experimental potions."
"If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't have gotten injured in the first place." Potter says with a sad sigh.
Severus wants to reach out and take Potter's hand in his, but he doesn't know where it is, where to even look for it.
"Well, I didn't come back here all the way from Paris, leaving my beloved, fattening croissants just to see you die." Severus says with a teasing smile.
There's a moment of hesitant silence, then, "Why did you come back then?"
Severus turns his face to the voice. "What do you think?"
"Fish and chips?" Potter guesses, voice quiet, almost breathless coming from closer than before, than ever before.
"Almost," Severus whispers and his eyes close. He wants that kiss more than he wants his eyesight back.
But instead, Potter's head drops on his shoulder. "I'm so sorry." He breathes and Severus doesn't even really care because at least now he can know where the man is, touch him wherever he wants. If he dares.
His fingers drift into the unruly mane. "What's gotten into you?" He asks, confused. "What on earth are you sorry for?"
Potter breathes hard, shaking his head. "It should have been me."
"Don't say that," Severus answers strictly. "That spell was meant to kill, and I only got lucky. It was my choice to make, mine alone to decide whether I want to step in front of it or no. Besides, this is only temporary, and I cannot exactly say I'm suffering." At least not because of the blindness, but that's a different matter entirely.
"Good…" Potter says with one last heave of sigh then pulls away, "That's good."
Saturday goes by in a heartbeat again. They have a picnic in Hyde Park. They eat fruit and orange juice while Potter entertains him with made up stories of the people around them. They spend the afternoon in muggle London, doing nothing really, just walking around arm in arm, and shopping for some ingredients Severus has used up the past week, then they go home and make dinner together. In the evening, Potter tries to read to him, but he falls asleep after the first chapter. Severus tucks him in with a thin blanket, then listens to his breathing while he plays with his cube.
Sunday, they have visitors. Not just George but Fred Weasley too, and their little brother and obviously that means Granger's there too, and someone else. The youngest Weasley, Ginny. Severus desperately wants to be civil, but he simply cannot find it in himself to like the girl. Probably because the girl likes Potter. It is evident in the way she says his name – Harry – how she seeks his attention even if unconsciously.
Severus remains quiet throughout most of their lunch, blaming his own stupidity – and some body-parts with a mind of their own – for wanting something that never ought to be his.
Potter sounds happy with his friends though and he laughs a lot and the sounds kill a bit of Severus every time. He retreats into his own room after lunch, opens the window and just leans out. He does not hear the approaching footsteps just when they come from right behind him.
"Too much?" Potter asks quietly, placing a hand on his shoulder.
Severus shakes his head no. It's not, in fact. He has no trouble adjusting to the larger group of people around him, he finds the noise rather nice and distracting actually. It's just that one person…
"Just needed some fresh air," he answers in the end.
"You missed Neville," He hears the smile in Potter's voice. "He was rather happy about that actually."
Severus can't help it, he snorts. He would have verbally cut the Longbottom boy to pieces in his current ire state. "It's probably for the best," he comments.
"He just came to pick up Ginny. It's date night."
Severus' eyebrow runs up his head though he tries his best to keep the surprise off his face.
The noise of the street below is barely there, even in the darkness, Severus can hardly hear anything just Potter's steady breathing behind him.
"And that does not bother you?"
"Why would it?" Potter asks. "Neville's not really my type."
Severus turns around, the motion sudden, disorienting or perhaps it's something else that shoves him off his axis.
He reaches out a hand, finds Potter's body, his fingers slide up on his chest, stops on his neck.
"What would be your type then?"
He can feel Potter swallow before he answers, "Someone a bit better at Potions."
Potter's breathing is not steady anymore and neither is Severus'. They are seconds – inches – away from a kiss second time this week and Severus steps closer intent on making it happen this time.
Weasley calls for Potter from the stairs and the next moment Potter slips from Severus's hold, a sound akin to a growl coming out of him.
He joins them a little later, spends the afternoon answering questions and discussing theories with the twins, who propose a deal about a weakly consultation. Severus agrees eagerly, one more thing to divert his attention from Potter.
Two days later, on Tuesday night they eat leftovers in the living room. There's a program going on in the radio, some comedy, and they listen to it. Potter rolls with laughter. Severus only mildly smiles, though that is not even meant to the program, he hears that not – just Potter, always Potter.
He is sitting in the open window again, he feels like a cat bathing in the last rays of the sunshine. The street below has quieted slightly, no one pays him any mind – not that he would notice – the house is still under magic. He's playing with his Rubik's cube, he has one and a half lines done. Sometimes he would just roll and twist the cube, mix the rows and columns even more without the need to ever solve it. Sometimes, he would sit over it until at least two rows of stars don't align.
The cabaret ends, Potter falls silent. The balmy air caresses Severus face.
"Fancy a walk?" He asks, sightless eyes on the street below.
Then on, it becomes an evening habit. After dinner they would take a walk around the neighbourhood. Not too long, just a nice little stroll, arms in arms. Potter wouldn't lead him as much as walk beside him occasionally pointing out things like, "We'll be at a crossroad in about five steps," and such.
The walks are quiet and calm. Lovely, like the sweet scent of trees and sunshine that surrounds him even in the middle of the city.
It's their third Saturday living together, and Severus feels something in the air in the morning when he wakes up. Like the quiet before the storm, there's some apprehension in the silence of the house.
"Potter?" He calls out hesitantly, but no answer comes. He walks down to the kitchen, he finds it empty too. Potter must have left early, which is strange given he usually sleeps in on Saturdays and it's only around six.
Severus puts the kettle on and starts his morning routine, but his mind is distracted. Wherever could have Potter gone? He sits down and waits; his mug of tea slowly goes cold. He's worried. Not once had he been worried about Potter in the past three weeks. What if something happened? He couldn't help, he could not even go outside.
The moment he hears footsteps at the door, he promptly stands and rushes there. He knocks into chairs and the doorframe, kicks into the umbrella holder, but he doesn't feel the pain.
"Oh hi, good morning," Potter greets him, cheerful, though a bit winded.
"Where have you been?" Severus demands, sounding just as concerned as he feels.
"You'll see in a few minutes." Potter says gently as he takes his hand and gives it a squeeze. "Put on some shoes." He orders then.
Severus does, yet they do not go outside, just into the kitchen. "You have your wand?" Potter asks then.
Once again, Severus feels that something in the air, the apprehension, not quite uneasiness, but there is something, like clouds gathering.
"Potter, what's going on?"
The man doesn't seem worried though, on the contrary. He's excited, Severus can hear it in his voice. "Your wand, you have it on you?" He asks instead of answering.
"Yes, yes I do." Severus grunts, touching the wand holster on his left forearm but before he could say anything more, something is pressed into his hand.
"Hold this," Potter smiles, fingers around Severus'. "And get ready."
What for, the thought is there but Severus has no chance of saying it out loud. Something, like a hook, grabs into his belly and pulls, almost tears at him. The next moment, his legs touch the ground, he almost falls over, but strong arms – Potter's arms – go around him and steady him.
"That was a portkey." He states breathless. "Where the hell are we?"
Potter takes his hand, entwines their fingers and leads him a couple feet away. Cool air turns warm as sunlight hits his skin.
"Listen," Potter says softly, and Severus does.
He hears people, many people even though it's still early in the morning, not even seven o'clock, yet the streets are bustling. It's not cars and busses though that drive by, but bikes, little bells ringing to alert their approach. The scent of the air is different from London as well, not at much smog as he's used, but something foreign, something he knows well, just can't place.
Then something even more unique hits his ear. People are chatting to each other, and Severus does not understand it fully and it takes him a moment or two to realize why. They all speak a different language.
"French?" He asks with disbelief. "We're in France?"
"In Paris," Potter tells him, his smile as evident in his voice as the bright sun on the sky. Just because Severus does not see it, it does not mean he can't feel its warmth.
"What the hell are we doing here?"
"We came for some fattening croissants." Potter laughs, his hand slipping to Severus' waist and stirs him a couple feet ahead before he would hear a squeaky door open – which he used to hear every morning for almost a year – and they step inside the cosy little café. The scent of freshly brewed coffee and baked pastries fill Severus' nose and he lets out a quiet, pleasant noise that only Potter hears.
"I don't speak French, so you'll have to order."
Severus does so – a croissants and a cup of espressos for both of them, just as he used to – then they sit outside. It's seven o'clock by the time they are seated, the nearby church bells ring morosely, but it's a lovely sound.
"How on earth have you pulled this off? And why?" He questions the strangely silent man across him as he tears off a piece of his croissant. Potter does, too, Severus can hear the soft crunch as he breaks the crust.
"Had to play the hero card, but the head of the International Transportation Department is a muggle-born and was very cooperative when I asked for a portkey to bring us here." Severus listens to Potter chew and swallow and he's pleased to hear a satisfied grunt from the man, before he says, "Oh this is good."
"How long do we have?" Severus asks taking a bite from the pastry as well. God, he missed this taste.
Hesitant fingers brush against the back of his hand and when he doesn't pull away Potter softly says, "As long as we like."
They stay the whole day, do nothing just walk through the city. Severus takes Potter to all the places he had enjoyed in the past year, they also visit Wizarding Paris. They have a small lunch, then they stroll among old houses in winding little streets that keep the sun from Severus' face, yet he can still feel the warmth.
In the evening they have dinner. The balmy summer air is thick with spices and scents of food and wine and strong espressos. The red wine they drink is heady and soon Severus feels almost drunk, though he suspects that the hand on his thigh has something to do with that too.
Potter's occasional touches – on his elbow to get his attention, on his shoulder to stop him, on his hand, he doesn't even dare think why – send a sudden heat straight through his being. He's whole body is focused there, his skin prickles under those fingers and his heart beats faster the moment it happens, and it seems to happen more often than not.
"We should go," Potter says at last, when the bottle of red is gone. The hand on his thigh squeezes and Severus shudders, glad he's not standing yet, certain his legs would not be able to hold him up.
They find a secluded place nearby. "Five more minutes," Potter informs him, once the portkey is activated.
"You still haven't answered my earlier question," Severus says, leaning against a cool wall. He can feel the light buzz in his head, the sweet air, Potter's scent.
"Why?" Severus asks, voice deep, deeper than usual. "Why all this?"
"Why not?" There's anxiousness in his voice, and Severus can tell Potter thinks he's done something wrong. That's stupid, of course. This has been a lovely surprise, in fact Severus has thought of bringing Potter here one day when he would have his sight back.
Severus holds his arm out, fingers searching for Potter. The man stands in the way and Severus' hand presses against his chest. He grips his shirt, pulls him slowly closer. "Are you buttering me up again, Mr. Potter?"
Hands are on his hips, slide up on his body. "Maybe…" Potter says breathless.
"What do you want?"
"You can't be this blind," Potter huffs, presses his body against Severus.
He's hard. He's so fucking hard and Severus can feel the insisting press of Potter's length against his thigh.
"I am blind," Severus admits. "But you're not supposed to be."
"Oh, Severus, I see clearly," Potter grunts then Severus feels warm breath on his skin, then soft lips on his mouth and they are kissing, and Severus is burning up in the heat of it. Potter tastes wild, sweet and heady, like the red wine, like the taste of summer air, and Severus drinks it down.
Potter's tongue – that tongue, which he had felt moving around his finger, imagined around his cock so many times, that tongue – pries his teeth apart and slips in his mouth. Instincts take over, desires he has ignored for so long – god how long, it's been a year – now wake, take control.
His hand is on Potter's cock, the man cries sounding breathless clearly with pleasure, but then he grunts, "Oh fuck," and pulls away from Severus.
Severus follows, hungry lips kissing the line of Potter's neck, but Potter pushes him back against the wall. "No, no, we can't," he says, laughs, Severus is confused, he doesn't understand what's happening, then something – a rolled up newspaper, by the feel of it – is pressed in his hand.
"Oh," Severus says, realizing they're still in Paris just as he feels the tug of the portkey.
The next day nothing seems to change, and Severus almost gets worried, because the memory of that one kiss is enough to make him hot and bothered as he prepares his morning cup of tea. He had spent the night sleepless in his bed, alone, wanting to go across the hallway and inside Potter's room, but he's too much of a coward - No, no, we can't, Potter's voice echo in his mind over and over again – there's too much at risk to just give into urges and he doesn't want to lose Potter – the thought is crystal clear in his mind, but also terrifying because he doesn't know how he could forget that kiss, those touches.
It's nearly nine by the time Potter appears, he acts as if nothing happened, makes his tea, offers another one for Severus, then cooks breakfast –omelette with spinach and mushroom – they eat, and then as Potter does the dishes, he just says, "Dress, we're going out."
Ten minutes later, Severus returns downstairs and Potter is waiting for him by the door.
"Up," he says and Severus is confused, but Potter doesn't explain just tells him, "I'm going to disillusion you," and right away, Severus feels the tap of a wand on top of his head and like a cool, thick, egg-like miasma, the spell drips all the way down his body.
They walk outside but Potter stops him on the top stair. Severus doesn't understand what's going on, until Potter takes his hand and puts his fingers on something slim and hard.
"Mount it." He says in a dark tone thick with implication on purpose and Severus flushes, regardless that he knows Potter's talking about his Firebolt.
He sits on the broom nonetheless and waits for Potter to climb in front before he would say in a quiet whisper, "Just so you know, I prefer to be mounted."
Potter splutters but kicks off and the Firebolt is the best racing broom for a reason, it zooms up with high speed right away. They leave behind half of London within a heartbeat and soon fly over someplace where the air is clean and fresh and smells of trees and not smog.
Severus relaxes into the flight, the high speed he barely notices anymore even though the wind tears in his hair. The air is warm even at the height they are soaring right now. He feels closer to the sun than ever and not just because he's in the sky.
He draws his arms more firmly around Potter, his hands slip from the man's waist and slither around his belly while he presses his chest against Potter's back. His chin drops on the shoulder right in front of him and they glide in silence for a while.
Potter flies level for at least half an hour, then he slowly starts descending. Severus' body slides forward slightly, and he can hear Potter's little hiss when he feels how Severus' body has reacted to the exciting mix that is the adrenalin of flying, Potter's scent and his tight arse right against Severus' swelling cock.
They land and though Severus can see nothing, he can all but picture the place. He hears the slight hush of leaves dancing in the wind, the constant waves of a lake probably not more than three feet from him. He can smell it in the air too, the scent of fresh, cool water, there's nothing like it. He squats and feels the thick grass on the ground with the palm of his hand.
"It's a shame I didn't bring my swimming trunks," Potter comments nearby.
Severus hears the splashing and knows the man has just tested the temperature of the water.
"Swimming trunks?" Severus asks. "Whatever for?"
"There's a lake-" Potter starts but Severus interrupts him.
"Yes, I know that." He kicks his shoes and socks off and takes a few tentative steps on tiny pebbles until his feet is submerged in nice, cool water. "I meant, it's not like I can see you."
There's a sudden silence that almost makes Severus smirk, then Potter just asks, "And you?" His voice drops, there's heat in it, it's sweet like the summer air.
"I'll just enjoy the sun," Severus smiles as he sits down, stretching out in the grass, while the gently waving water of the lake still licks at his feet.
He hears rustling of cloth and knows exactly what's going on, he can all but see as Potter pulls his shirt over his head and then hears the zipper being pulled down and pants slide on long legs. Then Potter wades into the water, splashing loudly, hissing as the cold water touches his sun warmed skin. He swims around for a while, doesn't go far, Severus can clearly take out as he pushes the water, as his legs kick, as his arms drive him forward.
The heat of the sun – and Severus' indecent thoughts - soon gets almost unbearable, and he unbuttons his shirt and pushes off his slacks too, though, unlike Potter, he leaves his shorts on, for decencies sake. It may not hide anything, but Severus keeps up appearances.
His eyes are open and up at the bright sky and though he still cannot fully see the radiance he thinks he can almost see the sun. There's a spot in the vast emptiness that's not as dark anymore, that moves constantly as he turns his head.
He lies there under the fiery sun, soaking his body in the rays of sunshine just like Potter soaks in the water. His skin heats up, he can feel the hotness of it as he places his palm over his bare chest. It feels energizing, like a Pepper Up potion in the middle of a flu, like a warm bath after a long hike in the winter.
He can hear Potter come out of the water, the tap-tap-tap of wet feet on the hard, dry ground, then Severus feels a shadow over him, everything becomes darker suddenly as if a cloud has just crawled in front of the sun. It even rains when Potter shakes his head like a dog and covers Severus' body with water. The cold drops almost sizzle on Severus' skin and god it's almost sensual.
Potter sits down next to him, knees cracking, grunting like an old man, then wet hair touches down on Severus' belly as Potter props his head against Severus' side. This time, he lets his fingers drive into the wet mane, gently stroking Potter.
"I wish I could see you now," Severus admits in a hushed voice and a part of him hopes Potter doesn't hear him, but the head is lifted from his stomach and Potter moves slightly, grass rustles underneath him and Severus is suddenly scared he has said something wrong.
He aches to see Potter's face, his expression at Severus' words and his hand lifts in the air on its own, a new reflex he has learned over these past weeks, hands reaching out to feel what he cannot hear, cannot see.
Fingers go around his wrist and Potter pulls Severus' hand up to his face, places a kiss on each fingertip. A wild shiver runs through Severus' entire body.
"Why don't you?" Potter asks then places Severus' hand on his chest, where it shifts, mapping, stroking, brushing erect little nubs that make Potter hiss. It runs along Potter's side, the tips of his fingers climb the protruding bone of Potter's hip, hesitate there for a second, knowing what he would find just a little below – nothing, nothing whatsoever, just bare skin – then they dip into the little hollow. Instead of skin however, he meets the wet band of Potter's underwear.
Severus huffs. "Highly disappointed, Mr. Potter. I thought you'd be more of a daring Gryffindor."
"Oh," Potter says with a smile, "you want daring?"
The next moment an explosion of sensation happens in Severus' mind because Potter' mouth is on his aching, hard cock, sucking him through his underwear. His head presses to the ground, while his hips rise to meet that delicious heat. He cries out, perfectly aware how keen and desperate he sounds.
Laughing Potter pulls back, and Severus leans up in his elbow. His head lolls back, his blind eyes are to the sky, hoping to regain some control of his body at least.
"Good god, I'll need to cool down if I don't want to embarrass myself." He says weakly, which only makes Potter chuckle, before a warm kiss is placed in the middle of his stomach.
"Why do you think I had a swim…" Potter notes, lips descending on Severus' skin further and further up.
"Did it work?" Severus asks breathless as a tongue plays with his nipples.
"Not one bit," grins Potter against his skin and grinds down, his erect length sliding against Severus' thigh.
Severus might have lost a sense, but the other four still functions and they work hard to make up for his blind eyes. Everything feels a little heightened, on the borders of overwhelming. The scents in his nose are heavy – the mix of Potter, sweat, sweet air, water, grass and trees – the sounds – their moans, the leaves rustling, the water waving – it's all there. Taste is fine until Potter doesn't reach his lips, but to touch and be touched, to sense with his skin, his hand, that's just devastating. It's too much – not nearly enough.
He hates and loves it at the same time that he cannot see Potter. He hates it because he's sure he would be beautiful in the morning sunshine with the green trees behind him, hard and needy. But he also loves it because every touch is a surprise and pulls a violent jerk from Severus.
"God you are sensitive," Potter leans away, voice still smiling "Go, swim, otherwise I'll be licking come off your chest in a minute…"
Severus grunts, then the noise he makes is more like a wild cry because Potter' hand goes beneath his underwear and grabs his cock giving it a couple strokes.
"Actually, I wouldn't mind that at all," he comments but Severus stops him.
"I would," he says as he follows the line of Potter's arm up until his shoulder, then his neck, then pulls him closer.
He kisses him softly on the lips, before he stands up and walks in the water.
"Severus?" Potter calls after him and Severus stops, turning half-way around. "Aren't Slytherins supposed to be at least a little daring, too?"
Severus snorts, understanding the insinuation, but wades deeper into the lake. He welcomes the cool water as if he had been stranded in the desert in the past twenty years – not twenty in reality, just one, that one single year from summer to summer.
He sinks neck deep into the water and it feels like liquid velvet against his body and does nothing to quell his thirst for Potter.
He slips out of his underwear and throws it back to the shore. "Not daring, Harry, sly."
He swims around, waiting to hear as the other body moves into the water. It doesn't take long and Potter's naked chest presses against his back, hard cock digs into the cleft of his arse. Severus turns around, welcomes the young man with a passionate kiss. Lips slide against each other as finally they reach what probably both of them has wanted since last year. Harry tastes sweet like summer, his tongue just as arousing in his mouth as it had been on his finger and he can only imagine – for now – how it will feel on his hardness.
The water, reaching barely till Severus' belly button makes every motion even more sensual, like an extra hand, it caresses their skin, surrounds them, cool and silky and if Severus couldn't hold on long until now, he sure as hell won't hold on much longer like this either.
Every touch, every caress helps build up the imagine of Harry in the darkness of his mind. His narrow waist, his broad shoulders sear into memory, the curve of his arse, the shape of his lips, Severus all but sees all that makes Potter into the man he is – into the man Severus has loved since god knows how long.
As they kiss, Potter's hands on his body roam as if he, too, would be blind, not that Severus minds it, it's perfect, every touch is a surprise. It's as if Harry has more hands, not just two, but at least eight, hands that touch him in places that start to burn immediately. The water around them does anything but cool their desires, Severus can feel Harry's clearly, pressing against his stomach.
"Shit, Severus…" Harry grunts against his neck, licking off the waterdrop from his skin.
He twines his leg around Severus, who grabs him by the ass and lifts him slightly. He moves a little further into the water and Potter becomes weightless on him. He reaches between their bodies and folds his hand around their cocks, stroking them with firm moves. Harry's silky member slides against his palm twitching and it changes his mind right away.
He lifts Potter even more, and though his legs try to hold on firm, the water makes everything a little more slippery and soon Harry is lying on top of the gently waving surface, legs spread wide. Severus bents his head, kissing his belly. Cool water licks against his lips and he moves further down, searching.
"Oh fuck!" Harry cries when Severus finds the head of his cock and licks it, wraps his mouth around it. "Dear lord Severus, this isn't a good idea…" His voice is almost pleading. "I'm going to… oh my god I'm…"
He can't finish, Severus doesn't let him, he swallows that hard member in his mouth, sucks on it and no words come out of Potter's mouth anymore just lustful moans. He moves his head up and down, his tongue sliding wetly around the thick member and he does not need his eyes to know that Potter is having the time of his life and that his cock is the most beautiful thing Severus ever had in his mouth.
The hot sunshine beats on his shoulders, his black hair seems to absorb every ray. His brain feels like melting – it's all Potter's fault really, the sounds he makes, the taste of his cock, it overloads Severus' mind – and needs to do something about it.
He takes a deep breath through his nose, mouth still wrapped around Harry's hard member, he goes underwater. He can feel the splashing, the strong currents or water as Harry steadies himself as much as he can, though his hips keep moving. He fights his own instincts not to inhale, as his lips moves up and down tightly on Harry. He can tell Potter is close, so he only gives a couple more licks to the swollen head of his cock, then comes back up, shaking the wet hair out of his face.
"Severus, please," Potter begs the moment, his head is out of the water. "I'm… I'm…"
Severus keeps licking the twitching, sensitive member, as his hand moves over Harry's arse, thumb slipping between his buttocks. He finds the puckered skin easily, wants to tease it a little, but the moment he presses his finger against it, it slips through easily.
His head lift from Potter's cock as he concentrates on the sensation, suspiciously. He pulls out his thumb, presses his pointing and middle finger inside, which go in just as smoothly. Potter is wet and sleek already, the walls of his channel are coated and as Severus scissors his finger he can feel him open wide enough easily.
"You…" Severus growls, "You prepared yourself?" The though that Potter lied out there on the grass with fingers up his arse almost makes him come – that fact that he could not see it makes him all but livid.
He can hear the smirk in Potter's voice as he answers, "Licking come off you sounds good enough, but I rather feel you inside me."
Severus grunts taking his own cock in his hand. Grabbing a thigh is enough to pull Potter' arse further underwater and a second later the tip of his erection is at the man's entrance. "Be it as you wish," Severus smiles, hands gripping Potter's waist, then he pulls the man on himself.
They both cry out and Severus knows he won't hold on, it's all just too much, too sweet, too tight. Harry's legs are around him again, Potter uses it as leverage to lift himself, arms around Severus' shoulder help him too to move up and down of the hard shaft. Severus wraps a hand around the thick manhood that pokes into his belly and they move in the water, hips rolling, thrusting.
Severus becomes aware of the shifting of light behind his close eyes from one second to the other. He can feel the difference between darkness and darkness more and more. It's not even that dark in there anymore, it's more like red or orange instead of the pitch blackness. He opens his eyes, hoping to see Harry's face see that pleasure in his green eyes that still haunt his dreams – bigger miracles happened because of true love's kiss – but he's still mostly blind, but he can sense the sun above them, and he turns his face to the light as he comes.
He's aware that Potter's coming too, and he almost misses the sensation of hot spunk streaming down his hand – next time, he promises to himself and to Harry too – but there's something in the cool water enveloping them that makes up for it.
They are lying in the shallow water, waves brushing against their naked skin. Harry is lying on one of his arms, Severus is softly stroking his wet hair. His other hand is held up to the sky.
"I can see." Severus says softly and Harry lift his head right away, but Severus stops him and adds, "Not fully yet. But I can see the light."
He moves his palm and shades his face from the sun. He can see everything becoming darker for a moment, before he moves again, and brightness fills his sight.
Harry kisses his chest. "I just hope you won't run away once you see me again."
Severus almost laughs at the idea. "Why would I leave the light, once I finally got it back?"
It takes only one more week, he progresses much more faster after that Sunday. Day after day he sees more, the darkness slowly dissolves, and light takes its place. First just bright white then slowly colours appear too, smudged, distorted, dripping into each other. By Wednesday he can see shapes, though he still has trouble telling apart a mound of empty blankets and Potter under the covers, but he does his best to use his hands and feel around, to search through all that whiteness until he finds bare skin and hears an aroused moan.
Severus hasn't gone back to his own room since then only to change clothes, but he learned the layout of Potter's bedroom as well as he knows the whole house by now. He doesn't want to say that having sex with Harry is magic and that speeds up his recovery all of a sudden, but it sure does wonders to the spirit. The man's touch is like the rays of sunshine and Severus can't seem to take his hands off Harry anymore.
Not much changes in their relationship. Severus still wakes up earlier to make breakfast for Harry though more often than not he goes back to bed after that and wakes Harry up with a kiss that usually gets out of hand and soon both of them are quivering, needy, breakfast forgotten – even though their mouths are still rather busy.
Potter goes to work, Severus cooks dinner, now with a lot less magic. Then once Potter comes home they eat – each other, too; more often than not dessert is set – then they go for a walk.
It's Sunday and they both sleep in, though Severus is awake he keeps his eyes close, enjoys Harry's warmth tucked up against his side. The window is open, and he can hear the traffic outside, busses and taxis drive by honking, people argue, old trucks rattle and squeak.
The sun shines brightly once again, the heatwave over London still holds, though they've promised some refreshing showers for next week. The warm rays all but burn his leg and his bare chest, but he wouldn't pull away.
He can feel Harry stir and he nuzzles his head, kisses it softly, before his eyes would open.
At first, he thinks he's dreaming but as he leans up on one elbow and stares wide eyed down on the man in his arm, he must realize that no, it's not a dream.
Waves of light shimmer on Harry as the curtain dances in the gentle morning breeze. Severus can see every little black birthmark on the tanned skin – the sunburn they got that Sunday has made every touch and kiss on their sensitive skins a sensual torture for three days straight – clearly. Every strand of black hair, vivid against the white sheet stand out, shines.
Harry has kicked off the sheet over the night, it covers barely one of his legs now. His cock lies hard against his stomach looking more delicious than Severus could ever imagine. He stirs in the bed again, unaware of the black gaze that watches him, the first thing he has seen in a month – the first and the most stunning also. It's been almost worth being blind to open his eyes to a sight like this.
His mind is overwhelmed by the sight, just as tasting food was a whole new experience when he didn't see it, watching Harry now is almost the same. He's more aware of every inch of that gorgeous body than ever before.
"You're absolutely beautiful," Severus can't help but say with reverence as his eyes take in the wide chest, the hard nipple, the line of Harry's neck – the red marks he had made there – the lush lips and then at last, the green eyes. "My god I missed the sight of you."
Hands are lifted in the air and Severus presses his face against it. Potter smiles up at him lazily as their eyes connect.
"You can see again? Clearly?" Harry asks as he pulls him down for a kiss.
"Clear enough to know what you're planning just by looking in your eyes," Severus smirks, hands stroking Harry's hardness.
"Good," Harry grunts turning them around. "Because there's a couple of things I'd love to show you."
It's Sunday morning, the rays of the sun are warm enough to burn their skin, and the shining strong enough to make them blind, but neither of them turns their face away, nor do they close their eyes but keep them wide open.