Disclaimer: The character names belong to J.K. Rowling.

Pairing: Severus/Harry.

Rating: R

Warning: Alternate Universe! Wing!fic. Non-Canon Magic. Not-Innocent Harry. OOC-Snape.

Summary: When an angel falls to the lowest low.

Author:Spirit

Author's note: Last chapter. You all understand that if there is still something you don't understand I can't do anything anymore, right. Thanks for reading this! I cherish all your reviews.

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ANGEL IN CHARCOAL

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Square one. My slate is clear. It took a world of tears to get back here.

Square one by Tom Petty

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o

Harry lights the last cigarette that he will ever smoke from the last pack that he owns.

He laughs as he tosses the empty carton away, watching it sail through the air, and enter the bin flawlessly. That is the third carton that he has sworn to be his last but this time he means it. Really he does. He has a good reason to quit now and has in fact been weaning himself off the cancer stick for a while now. Besides he promised Severus that he was going to stop this time and they have yet to break a promise to each other.

He turns the corner from the youth centre that he works at and has to remind himself to look both ways before he crosses the street. He is still learning not to take unnecessary risks. At least he managed to dress for the weather tonight. Something about the coming dark makes him restless. Maybe it is because every since he can remember he has always haunted the darkest places of this route but tonight he won't linger on the corners of the road.

It is almost midnight which means that he is almost nineteen now.

He has lived that long. The thought makes him smile. Funny how life just seemed to go on anyway while he was busy learning how to live. His feet leads him and he follows without much thought. Except, as he turns off the next intersection near where he used to live. He slides the hood of his black sweater off and allow the cool night air to ruffle his untamed hair. His fingers linger on the pendant that he still wears around his neck, now amidst a sea of other trinkets and charms.

"Hi Harry."

He enters the world of the night walkers and he knows every one of them by name just as they know him. In some ways he knows that they respect him as much as they envy him. Not many have done what he did and managed to leave this life behind. But just as he is accepted without hassle in their midst, he accepts them the way they are. He has no right to lecture or chide them and they know that he won't.

Someone kisses him on his cheek and that gets him to smile.

"Happy birthday pretty boy," someone else whispers and Harry is surprised that they remember.

"Thanks," he responds softly before yet another person hugs him. "Good luck tonight."

More than one person winks or makes a suggestive face at that. The little gathering quickly breaks up however when a car pulls up near them and everyone's attention becomes rivetted on the glistening sheen of silver as it slows.

"Hey Green Eyes, five hundred quids for a ride with me."

Harry smiles the way he used to smile at such a request, and everyone holds their breath because five hundred is a lot of money and only Harry could ever get that on his first hour out.

"Not tonight," he says softly, and leaves it at that as he waves goodbye to his friends.

He walks away. Someone else gets in the car. Harry doesn't look back. Not once.

o

He made his peace with his past even before he knew that a part of him needed to let go.

He fell because he never had the choice to choose differently. He was never supposed to live in the light and fear the dark. He was made to see the different shades of grey between Heaven and Hell. He couldn't just be one when he was made to be both.

He fell because he compromised.

o

The full moon lights his way as he picks his path carefully.

It takes skills to climb the tallest building in the city so he is grateful for little things like elevators and fire escapes, and of course it helps that the roof of the clock tower is like a bacony. Being up so high should make him dizzy but he has been higher before and looking down just makes him feel like he's flying.

So he spreads his wings.

They are made of beautiful white feathers from tip to tip, are huge enough to cover him entirely and are strong enough to protect him from harm. He opens them to their fullest because all day he kept them hidden and he hates doing that as much as he hated never having them in the first place. But he does have them now.

He takes the last few drags of his dying cigarette and blows the smoke up to the stars above him in a swirl of grey mist and laughter. A light breeze catches the cloud of smoke and carries it away, ruffling his hair and sending loose feathers from his wings fluttering around and behinds him in tiny snatches of sparkling light.

He laughs again and the wind catches that too.

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He fell because Severus fell.

His soul was always linked to the fallen angel. They would never have been able to stay apart for long. He does not know that though, but he understands in the way that he understands feeling incomplete and hurting all the time. He was meant to be protected and when Severus fell a part of him fell in that moment also. And that was where his doubt in the angels came from. He could not believe when a part of him knew that there was nothing to believe in. So his wings came off and he had to learn to deserve them again.

He fell because the one who loved him was a fallen.

o

"You promised to stop."

Harry retracts his wings with just a thought, and it is as if they were never there. In their place strong arms wrap around him and he is pulled against a solid chest. The words that are spoken tickles his ear. He chuckles at the sensation and snuggles into the embrace because he always did fit perfectly in these particular arms.

"I did stop. See me stop," he responds.

What is left of the cigarette is plucked from his fingers. Sharp teeth chides him with a nip at his earlobe. He ducks away but the reaction is delayed and he has no true desire to leave the warmth of the arms holding him so protectively. So he watched as the last of his last cigarette is tossed away, falling and falling as just a small red glow.

For a brief second, Harry falls with it but the moment is short and the demon who holds him does not let him go.

This time black wings wrap around his also and it occurs to him that Severus might be skilled in mind reading or perhaps knows him well enough now. In any event he finds the black feathers that are so alike and yet so different from his own feathers, rather fascinating. Keeping his hands within its enclosure, his fingers trace the pattern that the feathers create as they merge to form the elegant black wings.

He caresses them just the way he likes to be caressed.

"Behave," Severus whispers to him, but not before Harry feels the shiver that courses through the sensitive appendage.

Harry laughs softly at that but he manages to stop teasing. Instead, he tilts his head to allow for the soft kisses that are sprinkled on his shoulder and along his neck in between his whispers of the amount of seconds it takes to count down until midnight.

"Happy Birthday Angel," Severus whispers to him when the twelve chimes of midnight are over.

Harry turns to face him as arms and wings retreat to grant him whatever freedom he desires. Harry simply stares into the dark orbs that gaze silently back at him until all he can see is ebony glowing in the moonlight.

"Surely you didn't ask me up here just for us to play the star-struck lovers. How do you wish to celebrate another year on Earth?"

Harry doesn't even try to hide his grin before he wraps his arms around Severus' neck, tracing the prominent nose with the pad of his thumb as he whispers exactly how he wishes to celebrate his birthdate. As an added incentive he glided his lips across Severus' lips, before allowing them to fall into a deeper kiss that takes both their breaths away.

"No," Severus protest immediately. "You will catch your death of cold."

But Harry just smiles at that too.

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There needs to be a balance at all times. Good must be countered by evil. The Darkness must be tempered by The Light. When there is no balance the angels fall and the demons roam the Earth. The humans suffer. Albus finds that he is willing to manipulate the very threads that holds the worlds in homostasis and he is willing to create an angel for a demon that he knows will fall, in order to empower the light again. He is willing to take a child from his parents to save them from becoming charcoal angels too. He is willing to die for demons or angels to keep the scales even.

In everything there must exist a balance.

Harry is the balance between Heaven and Hell.

That is why he fell.

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Severus makes love to Harry on the balcony of a clock tower at midnight.

Harry clings to him, covered only in feathers and the light night breeze and seen only by the stars and the moon. But in his world, in those hours as they wait for sunrise, Severus becomes the center of his universe.

He muffles his gasps and moan in the crux of Severus' neck and shoulder as he pulls him deeper into his body, enough to brush the core of his soul. The fire-hot heat of Severus' skin keeps him warm and he cannot imagine ever letting go. He cannot ever imagine going back. Nothing is as as beautiful to him as the pleasure he gets as they perform this carnal dance together. Not even heaven has this form of perfection.

When the first rays of the sun breaks at the horizon they wrap themselves in a tangle of wings and arms as they sit back and watch the painting in progress. Harry raises his head, closes his eyes and inhales the sharp cool air of a new day as Severus gently rocks him to a tune only they can hear.

And, Harry whispers good morning to the heavens.

o-X-o

The End