Challenge: 1000wds. Scenario 58 - Harry finds out that Severus Snape is gay. It gives him ideas (Kira). Plus an oblique reference to Scenario 165. Notes: This is part of Dusk-till-Dawn the Harry Potter/ Severus Snape Fuh-Q- Fest at: Beta: Tabitha (many thanks).

* * *

"Well I believe it. Doesn't surprise me at all," Ron said, instructing his bishop to take Hermione's queen. She made a disgruntled noise and frowned her cute Hermione frown, which Ron was too interested in to elaborate.

Neville said, "I thought gay men were meant to be, you know, gentler."

"Some of them," Dean said sagely, folding his Quidditch Monthly. "Others get off on being cruel, and other gay blokes get off on being pushed around by them."

"How would you know?" Seamus said with a laugh.

"My cousin Eustace is gay. Alhough, he's all home furnishings and walking the dogs. Really dull."

"It's about your father," Lavender added. "When men have terrible relationships with their fathers they sometimes can't, well, love a woman."

"Nah, that's not it," Ron said, moving his knight into place. "Checkmate. Mum thought the twins might be, so she got all these pamphlets."

"Fred and George?"

"Oh, they're not. They're just more interested in being utter twits and making buckets of money than in girls is all. But we all had to read the stuff so we could understand after she made them come out. Anyway, it's not about your father."

"Well that's what I read," Lavender replied haughtily. "Maybe sometimes it is. I bet Snape's father hated him."

"Can I just get back to why anyone thinks Snape is gay?" Harry asked.

"I said before," Seamus said with faux patience, "Oliver Wood saw him in a gay bar in London."

"Doesn't prove anything," Ron said, as Hermione settled between his legs with her new Charms textbook. "I could go to a gay bar." She gave him a wry smile. "Well, I could."

"He was with a bloke, Oliver said." Everyone just looked at him. "With a bloke - you know."

"No way."

* * *

Harry watched Snape every day, noting his walk, what he ate, how he moved his hands when teaching, the buttons on his robe, the boots he wore (that required some calculated pencil-dropping, which didn't work, and bribing of house-elves, which did). When he washed his hair, what soap he used. . .

"What do you want, Mr Potter?"

"Can you tell me what went wrong with this potion?" Harry thrust his notebook towards Snape, where he'd sketched a cursory but probably accurate set of instructions for bone-knit. Snape took it from him with a glare. Harry watched his long fingers curl around the edge of the book and between the leaves. He leant forward a little more, trying to catch a scent of Snape's skin.

"Go back to your seat Potter. If I can decipher this chicken-scratch I'll answer your question, pretending the effort will make any difference."

There was some desultory snickering from the Slytherins, but in 6th year they cared less about house rivalries than personal ones. Draco gave him a vicious sneer as he passed. Oh no, Potter had been within touching distance of the only person Malfoy respected since his father died - Severus Snape. Harry would feel sorry for him, except that he couldn't. Having dead parents never gained him any sympathy from Malfoy.

He began chopping whatever Hermione handed him with the whispered instruction to "dice". At least it was odourless. He'd no idea what Snape washed with, but if he had to chop something foul he mightn't be able to tell. No matter how close he got.

At that thought the knife slipped roughly into his index finger. He gave a small hiss and muttered the integro charm. Hermione rolled her eyes, but Snape hadn't noticed, he was still carefully. . . flipping back through Harry's notebook!

Snape looked up at that moment and gave Harry a very dark look.

* * *

Harry concentrated on breathing all the way to the front of the room, focusing on the notebook laying on Snape's desk. His lists of everything Snape. His assessment of how gay all those things were, based on clearly ill-informed bathroom gossip and his own desperate fantasies (for one sickening moment he recalled a stain on one of those pages he would never explain). His fantasies about Snape. Open on the table in front of him.

. . . he might put his hand on the back of my chair, and whisper something in my ear like 'I want you naked in my room tonight'. . .

Juvenile and ludicrous. As if Snape would say something like that, or even be interested in a student. For the first time, though, he admitted that was what he wanted. Wanting that was the reason he knew how often Snape washed his shirts and which dessert he liked.

Snape gestured to the notebook with evident distaste. "Explain yourself."

"I was curious," Harry whispered, sliding down onto the stool near the desk.

Snape was close enough that Harry could feel the heat of another body. "My private life is, by definition, none of your concern."

"People were talking, and I. . ."

"Wanted to contribute?"

Harry shook his head, running a hand through his hair, nudging his glasses slightly out of place and, to his own surprise, blinking back tears, "I thought. . . that. . . if I knew if you were, I might know if I was."

Snape moved back around the desk. "I suppose I'm meant to be touched by your predicament; invent some kind of fellow feeling; but I'm not and I won't." He put his hand on the back of Harry's stool and leant towards him, whispering harshly, "Keep your adolescent trauma to yourself."

* * *

Behind the closed curtains of his bed, red stained gold by the dawn, Harry felt Snape's breath on his skin and his voice in his ear. The whispering hummed to the rhythm of his blood as he erratically thrust himself into his own hand, slippery with want. Behind Harry's eyes, a dark gaze lanced and sparked, and he came to the bright mental image of Snape's soft vicious mouth.

A rush of panic and shame smashed him back down, and Harry rolled into a sticky quivering ball, closing his eyes against the first signs of life around him.