Title: If You Love Me -
Rating: R (sexuality)
Word Count: 900 (9x100)
Prompt: "Coldest Winter" at grangersnape100
Timeline: Canon only up to OotP
Disclaimer: None of them are mine
Authors Notes: Title comes from Coldplay's "Violet Hill," and, holy shit, am I rusty in HGSS but, hey, look, inspiration!
Snape isn't bothered by the cold.
She spends her spare time rubbing chilled fingers together, breathing into cold palms but he easily fits into whatever house they've found by luck.
No warming spells, he reminds her every time as if she needs to be reminded.
(She doesn't anymore.)
But he allows her to dig out blankets left by the previous owners (she's learned never to think about the previous owners because she doesn't have the time she needs to work through those emotions and she'd rather not start something she can't finish) and lets her sleep near a slow-burning fire.
When a house has bodies, he takes care of it.
It's rare now but it still happens.
Those nights, she's sent to work on his formulas in front of the fire with the blanket she brought from the last house, staring at the pages without seeing until she hears him come back in to check on her, staring at her silently from the doorway. Only then is she able to take another true breath, skimming through the formulas until she finds where she left off before he vanished.
He takes a blanket for himself when he's done with his work.
She's better with people than he is.
He's smart enough to realize it.
When they have to go into the towns, he stays on the edges, allows her to shine with a broad grin and a bright-colored scarf, keep them distracted while he does what he does best. When he vanishes, she waits before following, finally wrapping the stolen invisibility cloak around her form to make it easier.
He curls his lip when he sees her peel it off and fold it carefully.
(She doesn't know if they're alive.)
She cares enough not to call him a child for it.
She admits that the world is disconnected.
Like a light bulb loosened up in the socket, she explains when he glances at her carefully. I'm still there but just barely, and I'm tilting a little, about to fall out if I get twisted anymore.
Bundled up beneath a blanket on the couch, fire leaving one half of her heated and the other half cool, she waits.
When he finally responds, it's with a vague shrug, fingers twitching just a bit as if unsure what they're supposed to do at a moment like this.
It comforts her more than it should.
She helps him with bodies one night, refuses to allow him to shoo her away the way he usually does.
She needs to do more than she already is.
She follows him out, fingers chilled through her gloves, staring at dips in the ground that weren't there long minutes before. But he doesn't use magic to cover them, refuses to, instead carefully pulls sheet-wrapped shapes into the ground and covers them himself. She helps, shoulder brushing his, their air puffing together in the cold.
Watching dirt scatter across white cloth, she decides she finally understands what life actually feels like.
She accidently calls him Severus one day, word slipping out in an angry tirade about his snarling when they find out Harry's done something predictably heroic (and predictably stupid) because she's too overjoyed to hear Harry's still alive to listen to his ranting now.
He gives her a dirty look but is content to stare disgustedly at the wall like a sulking child.
So she falls into using his name, too exhausted to care how it may look to anyone else.
After all, there's no one else, just them and the fractured news that reaches them as the world burns.
She doesn't know when it starts.
But she's sure that it starts before he skims fingers up her arms one night as she unfolding a blanket, pushing under the fabric of her shirt only to pause where her elbows dip. When she glances up at him, she sees only his face, exhales helplessly through her mouth and waits to panic.
She doesn't, though, is only aware of cool fingers against her skin.
But when she lifts her arms, he abruptly pulls away, dropping his hands as if she's burned him.
He doesn't look her in the eyes for a week.
She has no idea what will happen when the war ends.
She thought she'd known once but not anymore, left with unstable thoughts and fractured awareness.
When he's not snarling, he's… well, he's never easy to deal with but he's no longer the most difficult.
Harry's nastier in a truly rotten mood.
At least Severus listens to her when she speaks, makes an attempt to rein himself in after that first burst of anger rips out of him and into whoever is closest, looks vaguely ashamed of himself when he attacks her over something foolish.
She's certain this is growth.
He likes touching her after he decides that he's actually going to.
That night he spends long minutes following the way her body fits together, traces the bends and pauses to dig into the curves that he finds particularly interesting. He slides fingers between fabric and her skin and heat follows, a slow burn that matches the liquid beginning to coil low inside.
This heat's balanced inside her, escapes as a hissing breath as she shifts against him, legs falling open.
She drags in a sharp breath, pushes her hips against a searching palm, and the world twists right again.