The author has no claim on Harry Potter. The author does, however, reserve the right to mangle Canon and the tenets of good writing in any way the author deems fun as hell.
This was written some time ago at the behest of a contest winner on dA. My mate ran a Snarry club at the time, knew I liked Harry Potter, and followed me around school until I caved and wrote this. And that's how I got into slash: insane, stalkerish friends that do understand the word 'no' but think that it's Opposite Day…I love her anyway.
for Glitchie & Cara
It was testing time at Hogwarts. The 5th and 7th years were trapped in their various OWL and NEWT examination rooms, and the rest of the student body had been cut loose to cram for their finals next week. For the professors, this time offered a small vacation, which most spent visiting family or catching up on sleep before the hell after finals began.
In earlier years, this time had been tarnished by a philosopher's stone here, a basilisk there, but those troubled times had since passed and the only war brewing was the one at the breakfast table of Harold and Severus Snape. During these unofficial teacher's holidays, they tended to eat in. Unfortunately, the connection to the kitchen was still keyed to Severus only. This was a recipe for disaster even during the best of times, but this day was the absolute worst, not that Severus knew it yet.
"—Waffles," Harry repeated, half growling.
Severus raised a brow. His wand was tapping the edge of the table slowly. "Which are what, exactly?"
"How can you not know what waffles are? They serve them in the Great Hall!"
"Not at the Slytherin table," the House Head pointed out automatically. "They don't serve Muggle food there, if you'll remember."
Harry made a face "I'd rather not. Just the look of half the stuff Slytherins ate made me sick to stomach. I'm glad I never had to eat at that table."
"You're at a Slytherin's table now."
"And a Gryffindor's," Harry snapped back. He gestured with a swoop of one hand and scowled. "Look it's easy, just do your thing with the wand and the table and say "waffles." I'm just asking you to order them, not cook them from scratch without a waffle iron."
Severus leaned forward with a put upon sigh. The wand circled in the air before pointing straight down at a small blue ceramic square set into the table. "Quail eggs, poached," he said in a clear voice. "Land lox. Ambrogh juice." He paused and Harry looked at him pointedly. "Wheat toast, with jam," he added, after a moment. "For two." And he tapped the square and it turned a dull orange.
Harry slumped back in his chair and glared. "Why do you always do this?" he asked, eyes dark.
"Is it my fault if I want you to eat properly?" Severus replied and his husband gaped.
"Of for the love of…for the last time, I'm not malnourished!"
Severus leant forward. "Then explain why you're six inches shorter than you should be."
There was a sullen pause, then, suddenly, angrily: "How do you know, how tall I'm supposed to be?"
The food appeared from the kitchen with a small pop. Harry immediately snatched one of the plates, the eggs, and hurled it at one of the cabinets, where it shattered and splattered on the dark wood. "Damn it Sev, I'm not James!" he shouted, rising up out of his seat.
Severus found himself on his feet as well, as it beat sitting stupid and confused in his chair. "I know you're not," he said. "Of course you aren't."
Harry lips peeled back into the animalistic snarl that Severus was terrified he'd picked up from the Dark Lord. "Then why are you trying to make me him?" he asked, voice sharp. "Make me eat pureblood food? Make me taller? Should I grow out my hair, change my eyes, start answering to James?" He stiffened and angled his body away. "You'd like that, wouldn't you."
"Harry." Severus reached out but was rejected.
"Don't touch me."
Severus heavily doubted this argument had anything to do with food, but he was at a loss for what to say, so he tried anyway. "If you truly want these waffles, Harry, you can…"
"I'm not hungry," Harry interrupted softly right before he fled the room. Severus cursed softly and watched him to deeper into his quarters, to the bedroom. After rubbing his hand over his face, he followed until he came to the bedroom door. The knob turned but the door wouldn't budge more than an inch. It had been blocked. Through the small gap he was able to make out a tiny sliver of his couch and Harry's bare feet on them.
"Let me in, Harry," he said.
The toes curled up and vanished as Harry pulled his knees up into his chest. "No."
"Harry, you can't barricade me from my own room."
"Yeah, well maybe you've forgotten but it's mine too. It's ours. Though maybe I don't want it to be mine anymore!"
Severus reeled back, startled. How had they gone from bickering, which was usually a game for them, to threats of dissolving their bond? Harry had woken up happy. Severus had left the bed first, to wash, and Harry had padded to the office to check his calendar for appointments. Then, breakfast. And now, this?
"Harry," he said, slowly, "what's wrong? What have I done?"
To that, there was no answer, though if Severus strained his hearing enough, he though he heard a smothered choke.
Harry didn't come out of the bedroom that day, but when Severus tried the door again that evening, it was unblocked, at least enough for him to squeeze through. Harry sat on Severus's side of the bed, dressed for sleep. The younger man stared at the far wall. He seemed unaware of Severus but when the man moved closer, he warned, low, "Don't you ever call me James. Don't say that I remind you of him, or that I look like him."
Severus looked at him, the way he held his head, the bird's nest of his hair, his fisted hands. "You'd like me to lie?"
"Yes," Harry replied and turned to look at him. There was a gleam in his eyes. "You're Slytherin, aren't you? You're good at it. You won't slip up. You won't call me James."
Severus sat down next to his husband. "Harry, love, I don't think that you're your father." And he kissed him.
Harry pulled back after a moment and buried his head under Severus's chin. "You're good," he chuckled and Severus despaired. "I believed you for a bit there. …I want to believe you, but you're lying. Of course you think it. Everybody who knew him does." His hand ran up Severus's arm. "I wish I'd known him, Sev. What was so special about him that everybody sees him in me even if he's not?"
Severus scowled. "He wasn't that special."
"Then why do you think about him, all the time?" Harry pressed. "If he's not special, then why is the first thing most people say to me, 'why, you're the splitting image of your father,' Sev? Except for my eyes. Those are my mum's. None of me is me, Sev. Even my scar. That was His."
Severus sucked in a breath and drew the man close. "Oh, Harry."
"Don't call me James," Harry repeated, fierce. "Even if you think I am, don't call me James. I couldn't stand it if you called me that, too."
Severus's eyes snapped open in the dark and then narrowed. He was starting to get an idea of what had brought this episode on. "Too?" he queried and was rewarded when Harry went still.
"It's not important."
"Yes, it is," he pressed. "It's why you blew up at me this morning, out of the blue, might I add."
Harry seemed to gather himself and growled, "I blew up because of you trying to deMugglefy me." He pushed away from Severus, but his husband kept his arms circled around him and forced him to stay close.
Severus looked into Harry's eyes in the dark. "I might have believed that if you hadn't been mumbling about your father into my chest for two minutes." He watched Harry's gaze drop. "Who said you were James?" he asked. "Tell me."
A tear slid down Harry's face. "He was supposed to be mine," he whispered and let himself be drawn back to Severus's chest. "I'd never had someone before. He was supposed to be mine, but it was all about James. 'You're so like him.' 'He'd be proud of you.'" Harry's voice changed to mimic another's voice, but Severus couldn't place who was being impersonated. Not a woman, in any case. A former lover? There were only two, and he doubted it had been either. "It felt so good to hear that, at first," Harry sighed, "but that's all there ever was. And then it was, 'James wouldn't do that.' 'If your father could see you like this.' I hated it, but he was all I had. He was everything. And then he called me James." Harry's hands fisted in Severus's house-robe. "I don't think he even realized it; I was gone and there was my father in my body, standing next to him, just like old times. And I was so angry at him. I wasn't anything but a stand-in to him, and then he died, right there, pushed through that stupid veil!"
Severus closed his eyes. Black. Of course it had been Black. It was always Black.
"How do you do it, Sev?" Harry asked shakily into his chest as he clung. "How do you hate the dead?"
Severus didn't know how to answer and only ran his hand through Harry's mess of a hairdo.
"He was supposed to be mine," Harry whispered again. "I was supposed to be his godson, his son one day, maybe, but I was just James. You never slipped up, Sev. Not in the war, not with Voldemort, not once. Don't slip up with me. Don't call me James."
Severus got the feeling that Harry wanted a promise to be made then, but he had no doubt the younger man would take anything he said in the exact wrong way. So instead he got one arm under Harry's knees, lifted him, and shifted to lie back in bed with his husband curled up on his chest. They both stared silently into the dark, likely thinking on the same man.
Sirius Black had died ten years ago that day. Severus supposed that Harry had managed to forget, only to be reminded when he went to check his calendar while Severus was bathing. Guilt had caused this. Guilt for having moved on and guilt for being angry at the dead. The first Severus probably could have guessed if he had remembered the date. The second was new, though he shouldn't have been surprised. Black hadn't been stable or tactful before Azkhaban. The man had left the prison mad, kept together in a semblance of sanity only by a vow to destroy Peter Pettigrew. When that failed, he had turned childish, like he was young again and the long years had all just been a nightmare. Pettigrew was still a traitor and Lupin now in his thirties, but the rat had been a fringe member of Black's group at best and lycanthropy had made the wolf seem old and tired even as a child. The selling factor had been Harry himself, still a child and terrifyingly like his father.
Black had been Harry's godfather. No one had thought anything of it when the man latched on to the boy at Grimmauld. Severus should have seen it. Even though he hadn't cared for Harry in even the most remote sense until three years later, he should have noticed. Lying in bed, he felt Harry go limp as he fell into sleep. Silently, he vowed that if Black ever did get out of that veil, he was going to be there to chuck him right back in again.
Harry was gone from Severus's arms when the older man woke the next morning. Hearing the shower running in the bathroom, Severus sighed softly and stood gingerly. Gingerly. That was a good way to describe the way they both edged around one another in their usually careless morning routines until they sat down at the table. Gingerly, Severus concluded, wasn't much his style. "What would you like?" he asked Harry, drawing his wand and activating the connection to the kitchen.
"What does it matter?" Harry asked, not looking at him. "You'll just order something healthier, or less Muggle, or more mature."
Severus shrugged. "Then there's nothing from stopping you from saying whatever it is you wish."
"Chocolate ice cream, with whip cream, then," Harry snapped.
"Very well." Severus rapped the table with his wand. "Ice cream, chocolate, with whipped cream on the side."
Harry balked. "…What?"
The wand came down on the table, stalling the order. "That is what you want, isn't it?"
"Something else, then?" Severus asked, lifting one brow.
Harry hardened. "Don't play those mind games with me; you promised me you wouldn't."
"And I've kept that promise, up to now," Severus replied. "Chocolate ice cream, whipped cream. Anything else?"
Harry stuttered, "Cherries…I'd like cherries."
"And cherries. For two," Severus added and closed the connection. They sat and the air around them seemed to hesitate, as though asking, 'are you sure,' before the sweet assortment appeared between the two on the table.
Harry didn't eat but stared at the dessert as though it might tell him the reason for its existence. "I don't understand you," he said at last to his husband.
"Consider this my way of walking on eggshells around you after what happened yesterday," Severus replied as he picked a bunch of cherries from the large ceramic bowl in the center.
Harry snorted. "I pity the eggshells." He seemed to come a decision and began to eat in a rush. It would be his first meal in over a day, and Severus supposed that he was trying to inhale as much as possible to compensate.
"Hmm," he grunted, "So you should." He eyed the younger man and decided the time was good as any. "You were right, you know," he said, catching some of Harry's attention. "I have mistaken you for James." That caught the rest.
The spoon slipped from Harry's fingers. "You're not supposed to say that," he stammered.
Severus leaned back in his chair. "So you want me to lie?" he asked.
"Yes!" was the shouted reply.
"Then tough. I've thought of you as your father since you were two." Severus threw up his hands. "Before that you were just Potter's brat, but some point after you lived you became just Potter. And when I saw you from the back of the Leaky Cauldron when Hagrid took you through, it took one look and you instantly became James. It seems stupid now, treating an eleven-year-old like he was in his thirties, but I did.
"I did," he said slower, and stared into Harry's eyes as they teared. "I did until, just like James, you got too noble for your own good and snatched me from the jaws of death. You shouldn't have stepped in front of Voldemort's killing curse, Harry. But you did, of course, and that's something James wouldn't have done. James saved me for Lupin's sake, and for Black's, and Lily's—as we were still friends of sorts then. You saved me for my sake. That's how I know you're not your father."
Harry sat frozen and Severus worried for a moment that he had gone too far.
"Harry, for Merlin's sake!" he snapped. "Think about it for one second and you'll know that I don't think you're James. You know me. Honestly, what would I do if I was told that I'd let James Potter shag me. And that I'd liked it."
Harry blinked. And that was about all the warning the Potion Master got before the other man fell out of his chair, laughing.
Severus looked disdainfully at his lover and then the slowly melting ice cream. "Really. The things I do for you," he sighed. Then he picked at the bowl of cherries for the next few minutes as the hyena on the floor slowly wound down. "Better?" he asked when at last the younger man managed to pull himself back onto his chair.
"How do you always do that?" Harry asked. "To scare me to death and somehow have that make me forgive you."
Severus gave him a pointed look. "Harry, you're a Gryffindor. Scaring you to death, as you put it, is the only way to get through to you lot. Now eat that mess before it melts into milk."
"No ice cream for you?" The barest hint of habitual mischief was back in Harry's voice, and Severus declared himself officially in the clear. Which was good. He had been resigned to eat whatever junk the younger man could come up with for about a week. Fortunately in this case, Harry wasn't a Slytherin.
"I'd rather keep my figure," he replied
"You know I wouldn't care."
He grimaced. "I would. I don't want to pass by the mirror in the loo one day and have it mistake me for Slughorn."
Harry frowned at him. "People aren't who they happen to look like."
"So I've learned," he replied. "Have you?" He the bowl of ice cream intended for him towards Harry as well. "Eat."
"You really don't want it?"
"My figure," he repeated, "and I'm hoping to upset your stomach. I'll need all the help I can get if I'm to get up on a broom with you today."
Harry's eyes lit up like Christmas morning and Severus finally allowed himself to relax. So long as no one mentioned the word Black for the next century, he wouldn't have to deal with this volatile version of his husband ever again. Unlikely, yes, but surely even he was allowed to hope. "You'll play with me?" Harry asked him. "Really? What if I win?"
Over two decades of being surrounded by Slytherin children had taught Severus to not blunder into that trap. "Suggest something and I'll say yes or no."
He watched the young man think for a moment. "More ice cream," was the eventual answer.
"Fair enough," he allowed.
"But how I want it. And you'll eat it too."
He sighed. "Only a little," he conceded.
Harry managed a reasonably bright grin. "You're always saying quality over quantity."
True, though he only said that about potion ingredients. And every once and again about sex. "All right then."
"Deal." Harry instantly shoved forward his hand, and they shook.
Later, as Harry dragged him towards the pitch, Severus felt a small frisson of worry as he spied his Gryffindor's lips curl up in a smug smile that was absolute, pure Slytherin.
"Damn it, Sev, I'm not James!" and ice cream, whipped cream, & cherries …my brain went in two opposite directions when I read the prompts for this, but I think I managed to merge them fairly well. Or maybe not.
The idea came out of a conversation I had with Cara around the time she first brought up the topic of me doing this. Sirius calls Harry "James" just before he dies, at least in the film. This is never brought up again. Can you say seriously unresolved tension?