I Remember
by Sssectumsempra

Reviews welcome.

You look so beautiful when you sleep. Has anybody ever told you that?

I remember when I first met you, on your first day of school. All I saw was James. You know that I'm sorry for the years of humiliation and terrible grades I gave you because of it. At the time, I wanted to make James suffer through you, but I don't think you really cared. After your OWL grade came, and you received the highest mark in the school, you realised my handling of your marks was biased. I realised I couldn't fool you any longer.

I remember the first day I was civil to you, on your first day of sixth year. When you stepped into the NEWT class late, after a meeting with Dumbledore. I can still see the look on your face. Expecting to be shouted at, told off, sent out. And then the surprise, as I told you to take a seat and be a little more punctual in future. The glance you gave me as you left stands tall in my mind, even now, as though you were sure it couldn't be me.

I remember warming to you over that year. Perhaps your OWL grade changed how I looked at you. I remember James Potter's anger when I taunted him about his own OWL grade, a P, nothing near the standard our professor demanded. How he glared at me, but said nothing and just walked away. I don't expect you to understand the savage pleasure I felt at that, knowing that I could hurt him just how he hurt me. You don't know that it was your father who took my virginity, and I don't ever want you to. Believe me, please, when I say it would only hurt you. I've come to realise that you're nothing your father ever was, but if you knew of my past relationship, you would presume I only loved you to love him. I suppose I would deserve those thoughts, after hating you to hate him.

I remember working closely with you in seventh year. A little too close than we should have done, I think. Do you remember that night, in my private work room? I was helping you with a project. I can still see you as I walk into my work room, bent over the cauldron, your face set in concentration. How painfully accurate you were being with the drops of dragon tears. I never asked you why that experiment meant so much to you, but I know now. It was for me, wasn't it? The first time I had put myself out and worked with you, and you so desperately wanted to prove I wasn't wasting my time. Did you feel for me then? I don't know whether I did or not. At the time, I was adamant my new-found respect for you was professional, but perhaps it wasn't always so. Seeing the golden glow of the softly simmering cauldron on your face, lighting your eyes. Watching your hands so delicately handling tiny bottles and jars, teasing just the right amount out of each. The way you bit your lip when you were focusing.

I remember your graduation night. The school was buzzing over who would be on Granger's arm, you or Weasley or perhaps even Malfoy. And then the shock, as it was Virginia Weasley she walked in with. And Weasley with Malfoy. I can still remember scanning the hall to see who was escorting you. How you weren't there. And I convinced myself that I was merely bored, and would have left whether you were there or not. I got up, and went down to my dungeons, thinking of you, how this could be the last night I ever saw you.

I remember seeing you standing there outside my office. You smiled shyly at me, and knotted your fingers, as you asked whether you could have a word, adding too quickly that it was about NEWTs. I opened the door for you, poured you a drink, asked why you weren't at the dance getting drunk with the rest of your little friends. How you laughed and said you'd rather spent your last night at school with somebody who made it all worth while. Our eyes met. How beautiful you looked in the candle-light of my office. So much so that it brings a tear to me now.

I remember you standing up, coming and sitting in my lap, curled up against me. Telling me you'd miss me. Embracing me, burying your nose into my shoulder, relishing my scent for one last time. Then you apologised. "I'm sorry," you said. "I just didn't want to leave without... well." You stood up and left. Did you want me to come after you? Oh, I wanted to. The part of me that missed out on first crushes and kisses longed to get up and run, find you and hold you and kiss you. But I didn't. Please understand, when I say I was frightened.

I remember the next morning. I never normally go and stand on the steps with the other staff to wave goodbye to the seventh years, but today I did, just to see you. You hugged Minerva and Albus and nearly everybody else. Madam Hooch ruffled your hair and told you to make England proud. And then you met me. I offered a hand, wanting to keep things formal, but you turned it into a hug. And said thankyou. And left. Minerva giving me odd looks as I excused myself to the dungeons. Albus asking if I was alright, saying that I didn't normally go home for the holidays. Where are you going, Severus? Somewhere nice? Barbados? No, I said. London.

I remember opening the door to Snape Manor. Cold, dark, dusty and silent. I hadn't been here for a long time, but I lived there, for three weeks. I watched you from afar. Once or twice, I was sure you glimpsed me when I was out at the same time as you. You were living alone in Grimmauld Place now, after Black left you it in his will. I finally got the courage to go and see you after three weeks of playing hide-and-seek around town. The look of surprise on your face as you opened the door, said my name, and invited me in. We sat in the kitchen. You made me a cup of tea, and talked with a suddenly-developed stutter about your training with the England Quidditch team. You planned to find a house-mate fairly soon, to cover up the loneliness of your home. Laughing as you said you hadn't seen a soul for weeks outside work. I told you I understood, and I did. And then you asked me, blushing so prettily, if there was anything in particular you'd come about. I took your hand, lead you upstairs.

Your pretty moans of pleasure still ring in my ears. Your hands, clutching at my shoulders, your slim little body arching beneath me, neck exposed to my lips. How you wriggled when I reached down and stroked you under the sheets, panted to me how good it felt, begging me to do more. Slipping my fingers inside you, your soft little whimpers, as you said it hurt. I kissed you and soothed you and made it all better. How I made love to you, felt you writhing, scrabbling gently at my back and whispering words in my ear. Those little whispers became hisses, as your tongue ran away with you, and you spoke only in Parseltongue as you got so close. The cry you gave as you came between our stomachs, and how you trembled afterwards, limp in my arms, my seed dripping gently between your legs.

I remember moving into Grimmauld Place with you. Your eyes always lit up as they looked at me, and how even when you came home angry and tired and hot from Quidditch training, you sank into my arms and everything was suddenly so much better. Those long nights we spent in front of the fire, kissing and cuddling and talking. You were so good to talk to. Maturity had given you a very interesting brain, and curiosity to spare. You always pandered to my every wish, and when I said thankyou, you looked as though I'd just given you the whole world. Every night, we made love. You used to tangle yourself up in the blankets, so desirable my mouth actually watered, and you would always be there when I apparated from Hogsmeade, spread out and waiting for me, my feast, my own little love kitten. I'd crawl up the bed to you, and you pulled off my clothes as we kissed, then as I slipped into those warm blankets with you, you mewed and slid against me. I began to crave the heat of your skin. Between classes, I dreamed off running to Hogsmeade, apparating home, just to lick you and touch you for a few minutes in heaven.

I remember those photos you gave me, on your twentieth birthday. Pictures of you stretched out in bed, gazing into the camera as though it was me you were looking at with such devotion and love. Even in classes, I used to have just a quiet look. Feel my heart stinging to get home to you.

I remember that day, when you were twenty-one, and Minerva came rushing into my office. It's Voldemort, she said. There's been some sort of huge explosion at Grimmauld Place. Everybody's saying that Harry's... he's dead. How I didn't want to believe it. I ran to Hogsmeade, apparated there, and found the ruins of the house, black and smoking. Voldemort was dead. Ministry wizards were taking his corpse away, yelling at the crowds to get back. If the magic hadn't been holding the place up, that house would have fallen down. It was just standing. I ran up the stairs, searching for you, calling for you. All the rooms were empty, and then I looked under our bed, and there you were, so frightened, so cold. But alive. I hugged you, carried you to St Mungo's myself, stayed at your bed-side day and night.

I remember the day when they let you go home at last. We went to Snape Manor. I nursed you myself for nearly a year, to get you over the nightmares, not leaving your side for longer than an hour. I still don't know what he did to you before your pain and fear managed to make wandless magic and cause the explosion. You still won't tell me, and I don't ask any more. I know he must have raped you. The St Mungo's doctors told me, and you were so frightened if you were ever naked and I wasn't right there holding you and protecting you. It took a year for you to want to make love again. Do you remember that night? I covered the room in candles and roses, and gave you a massage. Then you sat on my lap, and we cuddled as we had sex again. Your little mews of frightened, timid pleasure, the way you trembled as I stroked your back. You relaxed when I pulled up the blankets around you and held them around you as you rocked gently back and forth. You asked me in a little whisper if I loved you. I said yes, I did. Marry me.

You look so beautiful when you sleep. Has anybody ever told you that?

We married this morning. Just a quiet ceremony. You, me, your friends. Weasley got drunk at the reception. Dumbledore had a little too much wine and started calling me Silverus. I didn't mind though. And here we are now, back home, in Snape Manor. You're asleep now. It's been a long day. And you look so beautiful just now. Your face set in peace, your eyes gently closed, your hand curled on my shoulder. Your wedding ring glitters in the moonlight. My Harry. Harry Potter-Snape – I never knew my surname could sound so soft and wonderful.

I put my hand on your stomach, and wonder if that potion you took has possibly worked. We both want children. What better time to start than now? Maybe, inside you, my son or daughter is just being created. You'll look adorable when you're pregnant. You look adorable anyway. Did you hear what Weasley caused us, as we were leaving? Beauty and the Beast. Most of the world thinks I would jinx him for that, but I didn't. It made me smile. You see, I've had very little in my life, except you. And now I have you, I'm so proud. My beauty. And I'll be your beast, as long as you're my beauty and you're as happy as I can ever make you.

A lot of people say you've changed me. And I don't think so. I still get my pleasure from haunting students, and to the outside world, I'm still Snape. The Potions master. Ex-death eater. The one that nobody likes. But to you, I'm Severus. Why do I love you? What about you made me lower my barriers? Because nobody ever tried to lower them before. There was a girl in sixth year who tried, but she irritated me more than anything, and acted as though I was just being stubborn. But you... you coaxed me into opening the gates myself. Let me know you were there, and waiting to love me. All I had to do was let you in. And you know something? I don't think I'll ever have the courage to say this to you, but I'm so grateful that I did.

You look so beautiful when you sleep. Has anybody ever told you that?

The End