Beta: Blackumbrage (aka Blackumbridge b/c she got hack'd poor girl).
I don't care
That you can't fix me
As long as you're there
To love me
I don't care
That you aren't beautiful
To the others that are blind
And can't see your good heart
I don't care
About normal happiness
Of marriage and children
Because you're beside me
I don't care
About doing what's expected
I only want to do
What makes you happy
I don't care
What the world thinks
I only care about
Making sure you never leave
I don't care
That my body's broken
Just don't leave me
And please, just love me
Chapter 1: I Don't Care
He heard the crashing of thrown cauldrons and the cracking of broken beakers. He sighed and dragged himself from the bed into the charmed chair. It was hard and slow, but he'd gotten used to it and it wasn't as difficult and as sluggish as the motions had been. When he'd righted himself, he politely asked the chair to take him to the basement downstairs. The chair obligingly started floating its way out of the bedroom, through the hallway, down the stairs and to the basement.
The racket only got worse the closer he got to the basement that Severus had made his Potions Laboratory. It hurt his heart to see Severus destroy what he loved. For Severus loved his potions, but he had grown to hate it--- almost, not completely yet. Harry prayed that he never did. It had been 5 years. He was used to it. He didn't mind it. Didn't Severus understand?
They had long since given up on trying to restore Harry's magic. The dark curse that Voldemort had used to break Harry's resistance had been so obscure and ancient that there was no counter cure. His magic was gone forever. But Severus refused to give up on trying to find a cure for his broken body. Oh, his Severus was stubborn--- persistent. And Severus still couldn't believe that potions nor medimagic couldn't restore his lover's legs.
"Severus," Harry called out hoarsely, hating the weakness he heard in his own voice, "stop it. Don't destroy the lab again. It doesn't matter. I don't care! I don't care if I can't walk again! I don't care! Stop doing this to yourself! It tears you up inside, and it rips me apart!"
He had been beaten and tortured almost to the point of death. Almost every bone in his body had been broken. There were several parts of his spinal cord that had been fractured, but there had been one severe spot where his backbone had been severed by dark magic that proved irreversible. That was why he couldn't walk. But in a way, he was also lucky, Severus and Poppy had worked miracles on his body. He had feeling in his lower body but he just did not have any voluntary control in his lower anatomy.
"Please Severus," he begged, "just give it up."
His lover's face twisted to one of terrible frustration into one of horrible anger. "I WON'T GIVE UP, POTTER!" Oh how it tore into his heart when Severus called him by his father's surname. "I WILL NOT!" Harry bit down hard enough on his bottom lip to cause it to bleed and he asked the chair to take him to the kitchen. Take him anywhere to get him away from Severus when Severus was like this. "I CAN'T GIVE UP! I can't…."
Yes, Harry knew that but he wished that Severus would give it up. It wasn't like they didn't have a happy life. He was happier with Severus now than he had ever been. Here in cold dreary muggle London, he had found a job that he loved and he was with the man that he loved. Who could ever wish for more? He didn't. He was satisfied even if it meant living without magic and without the of his legs. He was content.
"You look exhausted Harry," Georgie remarked as she pushed his wheelchair into the orphanage where they both worked. "Are you sure you don't want to go home and take a rest?"
His coworkers knew that he had a special condition that required constant medical attention, and that if he ever fainted on them to ring up his boyfriend, Severus Snape. What they didn't know was that for a wizard to be stripped of magic was almost certain cause of death. A wizard couldn't function without some magic and so Harry had to be given monthly magical transfusions. Toward the end of the month, he was naturally inclined to be worn out.
"I'm all right," Harry stated firmly. There was no way he was going home when Severus was in the sort of mood that he had been in this morning. He knew his lover would calm down, and he preferred to give Severus several hours to mull over it. "I'm going in for a transfusion tomorrow, so I won't be here."
Georgie nodded and put a grin on her face as they entered into the orphanage's common room where some of the older children were already up and about waiting for them to arrive. "G'morning!" she greeted them cheerfully. "So who will be coming with me and who will be staying with Harry?"
Usually the orphans liked going out to the park or anywhere as not to be cooped up in the orphanage day in and day out, but since Harry had started working here the past 3 years a good lot of them liked staying with Harry. They said it was because of the magical stories he told them, and the way he seemed so understanding to their plight. Whatever it was, Harry was a godsend to the orphanages for the way he related to the more troubled kids.
More of the children decided to come with her today, and Georgie suspected it was because some of the older ones had noticed how haggard Harry was looking. They really did adore Harry didn't they? Georgie smiled and shook her head. They weren't the only ones. She had grown to think of Harry like her little brother. She just wished that he'd tell her more about his troubles. She hoped he realized that he wasn't alone.
"The rest of you be sure to listen to Harry!" Georgie exclaimed sternly, drawing smiles and complacent nods from the children that were staying behind. "Don't cause trouble for him! If they do, let me know Harry, all right?"
Harry grinned at her beautifully. "I don't think they'll be any trouble, Georgie. You all have fun at the park."
Destruction was everywhere. Nothing had escaped his anger. Not even Harry.
He didn't care. It had been 3 years. 3 bloody years since he'd made the breakthrough discovery that had given Harry back the feeling in his legs. Why did every fucking road afterwards always lead to a dead end? Why was it taking so long to make the spinal nerves send voluntary signals to his legs when they could send involuntary signals? Damn it all! Potions had never failed him before. Was he not the greatest Potions Master alive? After all, he had poisoned Voldemort.
But if he was the greatest, Voldemort would have died quickly and painfully before he'd gotten the chance to cripple Harry. His hand closed over a test tube harshly, not caring that the glass had shattered and was breaking through his skin. He felt the blood; and he deserved the blood. It was his fault; it was his fault that Harry had been captured. He should have done more to protect Harry!
He dragged his fingers violently through his greasy hair. Yes, potions did that and while Harry didn't mind his hair--- he knew Harry preferred his hair when it was degreased. He pursed his lips together as he stared at his destroyed Potions Laboratory. Most of it could be fixed with magic, but some of it couldn't. He growled and waved his wand over the mess to clean it up and repair the damages. He'd let his temper and impatience get the best of him again.
Like always he'd done a brilliant job at screwing everything over again. Fuck it, he had screamed at Harry. He had yelled at Harry the day before Harry was suppose to go in for a bloody transfusion. How cold and callous could he be? He knew that Harry was feeling the worst the few days leading up to the necessary transfusions, but still he'd lost his temper with his lover. Why did Harry stay with him? Why did Harry love him so much?
It still eluded him that Harry could love him. There was every reason to love Harry. Harry was patient with him and always so effortlessly good. He rarely got angry when Severus snapped at him when he didn't want to be bothered. Harry was forever taking care of him, like doing the menial tasks like doing the laundry, cooking the meals, and cleaning the flat. Harry might be the one that was broken in body, but he was the one keeping the relationship together.
Severus bit down hard on his bottom lip. He ought to try harder. He took Harry for granted, took it for granted that Harry would never leave him no matter how badly he treated Harry. He growled and hurled the bits of glass from his hands. He had let himself become too safe. It wasn't like Harry owed him anything that he hadn't repaid him many times over the years.
So what if he had been there when Harry was depressed and melancholic? Others could have easily driven Harry from that state of mind as he had painstakingly done. It still terrified him when Harry had been suicidal, to think how close he had come to losing Harry. Glancing down at the small stream of blood that the glass shards had made into his palm, this was nothing like the river that had flowed off Harry's wrists when he had slashed both with a knife.
If he hadn't gotten there in time, he closed his eyes painfully at the memory, if he hadn't felt that twinge inside of him that told him that Harry was in danger--- Harry would have died. Not by the Dark Lord or by Death Eaters but by his own hand. Severus laughed bitterly. Harry said he didn't care if his body was broken, but he knew better. For Harry had tried to kill himself for that reason. Severus wasn't going to let him. No matter how long it took, he would cure Harry.
He was bone tired. But instead of taking Georgie up on her offer to help him up to his flat, he waved her off. She had enough troubles of her own. He gave her a grin that she often told him could melt the heart of any woman or in his case, man. Georgie was a sweet lady, very sweet, but also very unlucky. Divorced with a child, it was hard for her to make ends meet with her low paying job at the orphanage even as much as she loved it.
If that bastard she'd been married to ever decided to stop paying her child support she would be on the streets. Harry squeezed her hand comfortingly. "Thanks for taking me home," he told her gratefully. "I really appreciate it."
"You should know that I don't mind," Georgie retorted, reaching down to plant a kiss on Harry's cheek. "If you need to skip more than a day, just let me know all right?"
"I will, I promise."
"Good, I'd better go pick up Emma from my mum's," she declared. "I'll be seeing you soon."
"Georgie!" Harry called out, she paused and turned around. "You ought to bring Emma around sometime next week. I'll cook you two a fabulous meal."
"Are you sure your boyfriend will allow it?" she teased. She had only met Severus a few times, but knew that the man was very possessive over Harry. She could tell that he didn't like it that Harry was working, but he didn't voice his opinion aloud. "We'd be intruding…"
"You wouldn't be intruding!" Harry exclaimed. "You'd be company. Think about it, all right?"
"All right," she agreed. She then watched as Harry wheeled himself away and once he had disappeared from her sight, she started weaving her way through the crowd of people to the nearest bus stop.
Harry struggled to reach the button in the elevator to his and Severus's shared flat. He almost fell out of his wheelchair doing so, but he managed to grasp the side rail and haul himself back in balance. He sighed and slumped back into his chair. Maybe Severus was right; maybe he was pushing himself too hard. He really didn't need to work full time, and since he'd never consider giving up his job at the orphanage--- maybe he ought to consider only working part time.
Recently he'd been even more tired than normal. He didn't really know why. He certainly hadn't let Severus know about it. He nibbled on his bottom lip. Severus was already worked up enough about his motionless legs. Didn't need to give him anything else to worry about. He just needed to take better care of himself and probably work less. First he had to make it to Christmas, and after Christmas he could start working part time. He just couldn't disappoint the kids. Not right now.
Right now he need to cook dinner for Severus. Hmm… what to cook today? Maybe he should heat the leftovers from yesterday. He really wasn't up to cooking and what really sounded good was to fall into his bed and sleep. But he knew that Severus liked to have dinner prepared for him, and he didn't mind doing it. For some reason no matter how snarky and snappy Severus was, he loved the bastard.
He didn't bother to knock on the door, instead opening it himself and struggling to get in through the narrow doorway. Gauging from Severus's mood earlier, he wasn't going to dare disturb the man from his potions experiments. Once he'd gotten himself into the flat, he breathed a sigh of relief as he tried to get out of his wheelchair and into the charmed chair that was far more comfortable.
Straining his arms, he pivoted his limp lower body into the chair Flitwick had charmed for him years ago and unfortunately gasped in pain as his muscles spasmed out of control. He fought to regain his balance but both supports slipped away and he crashed his body jarringly onto the hard floor. He grimaced and groaned, resting his forehead against the cool wood. He didn't have the strength to get up. He'd wait a minute or two. Take a break and then try again.
"You idiotic dunderhead!" Severus shouted critically when he saw Harry's prone form. He winced, noticing Harry's flinch, he hadn't meant to come out so critical but he couldn't help himself. He was still upset, and he'd gotten into the terrible habit of taking it out on Harry. "Why didn't you call for me if you needed the help?"
"I didn't want to bother you," Harry whispered softly. "I thought you were downstairs."
"I was in the kitchen," Severus responded gruffly, going over to where Harry was sprawled and bending over to easily pick Harry up. He hated how light Harry was in his arms. Before Harry had had more muscle mass, but despite all the upper body exercises Harry did--- it wasn't like the workout Harry had gotten from Quidditch or defense training with Lupin. "If you called, I would have come. And you should have called, you know you're weak right now."
Harry nodded, not bothering to argue with him. Instead he smiled and kissed the side of Severus's neck. He was too pleased with the insinuation of what Severus was doing in the kitchen. While Severus might like creating potions, he was not fond of making food. But he was a superb cook, even better than a house elf! If Severus had cooked dinner, Harry had something wonderful to look forward to.
"Did you cook dinner?" Harry asked innocently, his tongue swirling at that particularly spot that drove Severus wild.
"Yes, I did you insatiable brat," Severus muttered but there was this affectionate note in his voice that was reserved only for Harry. "All your favorites too," he added gruffly. "You need your strength for tomorrow. You don't eat enough."
Harry kissed Severus hard on the lips. "Love you too."
Author's Note: This will be a short series. I have no idea how short, it could range anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 (i.e. 3 chapters or 5 chapters). I'm not quite sure at this point. This will be finished so bear with me. I mean if I can't finish a short series, what hopes do I have of the longer ones in Love Atrocious and There Comes a Time. LA I predict will be around 90,000 and There Comes a Time somewhere around the same, perhaps a tad longer as it's more of epic proportions. For those that kept encouraging me on my LiveJournal (bless you!). You finally got me to release the whole bloody thing. Thank heavens, I never thought I'd get this out. As usual, review if you like it.