Warning(s): Slight angst, pre-slash
Disclaimer: Any recognizable characters, situations, or settings belong to their respective owners (ie JK Rowling, Scholastic, et al) and not to me.
A/N: This was originally supposed to be a little 100 word drabble for snarry 100's challenge for this week over at IJ, but it kind of ran away with me... I love the movie Sense and Sensibility, have seen it a million times, but this story did not turn out the way I planned.
"You do not honestly expect me to watch this again, do you, Potter?" Snape asked with a sneer as he returned to the room carrying a bowl of freshly popped popcorn. He had come in just in time to see the title flash on the television screen before Harry could hastily fast-forward through it to pause just before the movie itself began.
Harry huffed indignantly as he replied, "I haven't been able to watch it recently, and I'm not asking you to watch this with me anyway. This just happens to be our movie night when I pick the movie and you have to sit there and watch it with me with no complaints."
Seeing the mutinous look on Harry's face when he was about to open his mouth and deliver a no-doubt scathing retort, Snape avoided that argument by changing the subject. "What, may I ask, is the fascination with this... film?" The last was delivered with unmistakable derision as Snape sat next to Harry and proffered the popcorn bowl.
Harry snagged a handful of the exploded corn kernels covered in light butter and very little salt (Snape had sensitive taste buds), replying thoughtfully between popping the kernels into his mouth, "Well... to be honest... I watch it mostly because of that Colonel Brandon." At Snape's silent prompting by way of a single raised eyebrow, Harry colored but elaborated, "He reminds me of you."
This was met by a derisive reply from Harry's rather prickly cohort. "That is a blatant prevarication, Potter, and I demand that you recant it immediately."
Harry merely rolled his eyes and said, "Don't try and knock me for a loop with your overblown vocabulary, Severus Snape. It is not a lie, and I won't take it back. He reminds me of you. Sure, you're not openly kind like he is, you definitely don't smile in public, and you damn well don't sing in public either, but he reminds me of you!"
Snape raised the eyebrow back up that had fallen while listening to Harry's rebuttal. "Oh, yes. I can see exactly how he could bring myself to the forefront of your thoughts," he drawled. Harry's only answer was to steal the bowl of popcorn and to retreat away from Snape's side to the other end of the couch as he pressed the button to start the movie.
Snape stamped down forcefully on the urge to pull him back. Purely in interest of not spilling the popcorn all over the floor, of course. As the dark-eyed man settled in to watch the movie, he refused to admit that Harry's retreat bothered him. The movie progressed, and he watched the story unfold for the umpteenth time. Despite his better judgment, Snape felt himself become fully engrossed in the story. Somewhere along the line, however, he felt the increasing agitation pouring off his slight companion. Turning his head, Snape saw Harry's eyes spitting hate every time the character of Marianne came on screen, especially when she made a contemptuous comment about Colonel Brandon.
Snape was inexplicably surprised to feel a sharp stab of jealousy at the reactions Harry was having towards the girl's repeated rejections. He thought for a moment and reached the conclusion that it was because Harry usually had those reactions when someone was acting out against him, not this character. Well, he was going to put a stop to that and very quickly, too. Reaching over, he plucked the remote off the couch next to Harry and turned off the movie. Ignoring Harry's indignant outcry, Snape picked up his book from the side table while cleverly, he thought, placing the remote between the arm of the couch and himself.
"I was watching that!" Harry cried, red-faced in his annoyance.
Snape feigned indifference as he turned a page in his book that he had not actually read. Not looking up from the page he also was not reading, he said simply, "It was giving me a headache."
Harry stood and fixed Snape with an angry stare that he pretended not to feel burning its way through his skull. "That. Is. It! I take it back. Colonel Brandon doesn't remind me of you in the least. You want to know why I thought that in the first place?" Snape opened his mouth to reply as he looked up, but he shut it both at Harry's next words and the expression on his face. "He stayed by Marianne's side when she was sick even though she rejected him romantically, like you did for me. He never gave up on her even though he knew she obviously needed to grow up from when he first approached her, also like you did for me. He was a very good man with a kind heart that few knew because he was a private person, just. like. you." Harry paused to catch his breath, and then continued in a quieter tone, "But I take it back. You're nothing like him. You're just a jerk who does what he wants, when he wants, to hell with whatever anyone else wants." The green-eyed man turned from Snape then, and Snape felt a pang in his chest as he did so. "I'm not staying tonight. I'll go stay at Hermione's and pick up anything I may have left here in the morning after you leave for your classes so I don't cause you anymore headaches."
Before Snape could stop him, Harry disappeared through the floo in a shower of sparks and green flames. He forced himself to think that he did not mind and that he was glad the brat was finally out of his hair.
Sometime in the night, a chime woke him from the fitful slumber into which he had fallen, signaling that someone was attempting to contact him via the floo network. Easily shaking off the sleep he had barely had and pulling on a robe over his nightclothes, Snape moved to the floo to see a very irate Hermione Granger's head floating in his fireplace. Immediately fearing that something had happened to Harry and angry at himself for doing so, Snape sneered and snapped at the young woman's image. "What is it, Granger? Potter come crying to you saying what an evil, evil man he came in contact with tonight, did he?"
"As a matter of fact, yes, Snape, he did," Hermione snapped right back. Snape fought the urge to wince. She had dropped her usual 'Professor' at the beginning of his name, and that spelled trouble of the highest order. "Actually crying. Get over here and fix this, or I'll do something that you'll regret."
Snape sneered, though he was inwardly scrambling for what she could possibly do for him. "Why should I? Is it my fault that he is an overly-sensitive fop?"
Hermione's eyes were spitting fire (literally). "I will call Molly Weasley."
Snape blanched. "I will come. Step aside, Granger," he said, quickly putting out the flames Hermione's eyes had lit upon his hearth rug and stepping through once she was out of the way. The sight that met his eyes upon entry in her home shocked him greatly: Harry was huddled in a corner of the couch in Hermione's family room, holding onto a pillow and whimpering in what was obviously a fitful sleep. Tear tracks stained his cheeks, and Snape felt another quiet pang inside himself at having put them there. Before Snape could formulate any sort of plan, Harry began to whimper again, but there were words interspersed with the helpless sounds.
"No.. Sev.. Sorry.. Not jerk.. Didn't mean it... No! Sev, please... Don't make me leave... Please, no..."
Severus acted on instinct and moved to the couch before Hermione even thought of her next rebuke to fling at him. Gathering Harry into his arms, Severus quietly soothed him, petting his hair and speaking nonsensical words of comfort in his ear. He quieted soon enough, though fresh tears leaked out of his eyes before he did so. Severus closed his eyes against the guilt that threatened to swamp him, and he nearly started at the hand on his shoulder. Severus looked up to see Hermione looking down at him with a curious expression. He knew she had not forgiven him for hurting Harry, but he had obviously gone a long way towards making up for it with his most recent actions.
Speaking quietly, Severus told her, "I will take him back with me. It would be better if he did not still think I wanted him gone from me—my quarters." Hermione had been about to protest but cut it short as she caught his slip. Giving him an encouraging hand, she helped him to the floo with a sleeping Harry in his arms. Hoping he and Harry would not be damaged too much by the floo journey together, Severus stepped through the green flames after Hermione called out the destination for his quarters for him.
The next morning, Harry woke to the feeling of Severus' arms around him and the sound of Sense and Sensibility playing on the television.