Hello, I meant to turn this into a short 3 chapter story, but after re-reading it today I think it's just fine as it is.
I don't own HP. Snarry warning.
Thanks for reading. I appreciate any and all reviews. I'm also looking for a beta and/or rp buddy. Thanks again.
Severus couldn't have predicted the weather better if he'd been the one to pick it. It was cold; the sun was sinking quickly and the cover of night was coming. The wind was restless as were the wizards that stood behind him. Next to him was Harry Potter. They were together at the front line. Both were going into the fight head first, ready to take anyone down to defend their home, Hogwarts.
Severus had personally trained Harry and told himself he didn't need to worry, but somehow even that thought didn't offer him comfort. As well as he had trained Harry with death-eater insight and the knowledge of a powerful wizard, he couldn't stop his nerves. Severus kept turning to look at his companion. He wanted to see those lively green eyes one last time before they went into battle. It would be an intense and dangerous fight and Severus wasn't sure if there would be a next time.
Harry paced without saying a word and gripped his wand tightly. His entire body was radiating magic in anticipation of the final battle. His face gave away none of the worry he was feeling over his friends and family. Harry was ready to prove just how successful his training had been. He glanced sideways at Severus and smiled at him to reassure him. They would be okay.
"Don't worry." Harry whispered even though he was wondering how many of the people behind him would live to tell the tale of the Final Battle at Hogwarts.
Even though the words were meant to be reassuring, Severus couldn't get himself to relax. He could feel the spark of magic tingling under the skin at the tips of his fingers. He could also feel the physical warmth Harry's magic was giving off right next to him. The raw magic reminded him of their practices and mock battles. He could still smell the musky stench of sweat and see a pair of determined green eyes, unruly dark hair and a scarred, but toned body across from him. Harry wasn't a kid anymore. He was a man, one that Severus had grown to care for and respect. Severus couldn't cease his thoughts. He readjusted the grip on his wand in an effort to stop himself from reaching out to touch Harry.
Harry's newly shaven face felt the first drops of rain. By the end of it all he'd have stubble on his battle worn face, and that's not the only thing that would be different.
"Severus, you have to calm down, you're making me nervous." Harry chuckled to lighten the mood.
Harry could feel the waves of tension rolling off of Severus. For a moment he wished the others weren't surrounding them so he could offer comfort. They had grown a lot closer over the months spent training. Harry thought that this wasn't the place to reveal their close friendship so he only reached over and gave Severus' hand a light andreassuring squeeze.
Severus felt his magic react to Harry's immediately. He really was working himself up and in turn Harry.
"I must apologize, -" Even after months he hadn't quite gotten used to saying it in public, "Harry. I need a few minutes alone." Severus patted Harry's hand then walked away from where everyone was stationed.
Severus could hear his worn boots crunching dry leaves and dislocating pebbles as he walked into the encroaching forest. There was no trail leading back to their location, and that was for the best. They didn't want to be spotted too soon. Severus knew when they would attack. He had been a spy until the last moment.
Harry understood that Severus needed to be alone. He glanced over his shoulder and caught the eyes of his two best friends. He smiled at Ron and Hermione and then grinned when they smiled back. There were so many people ready to fight. Harry felt the pressing need to do what he was meant to do. As he sat back down he remembered the prophecy: he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives. Harry took a deep breath and once again readjusted his grip on his wand. He'd protect them all.
Severus returned with a clear mind. His mental walls were up and he was ready to go to his death if need be. He took his place next to Harry again. Severus gave him one quick look and turned away swiftly towards the horizon as he could already hear the crashing and breaking of trees. The giants were approaching. The cold of dementors was drawing nearer and the cries and calls of other dark creatures were close enough to be heard and send chills down his back.
"Harry, look at me." He almost pleaded in a very serious voice on the edge of cracking. Those eyes, like gems, stared into his. "Do not engage anybody. Stay behind me. Together we will make our way to the center. He will be there."
Harry had turned his head and looked Severus straight in the eyes; a warm smile graced his face. He had so much to say to Severus, but he would wait until they were both safe along with the rest of the wizarding world.
"I'll stay behind you. It'll be okay." He said.
At first glance Harry looked like he was completely unaffected by any of this, the crashing trees, the coldness in the air, the shouts of their enemy, but if you had been watching him as Severus was, you would have noticed how nervous he now looked. The anticipation changed to slight fear and worry that grew in his eyes and face. Harry took another deep breath as he stood with tense shoulders.
Severus cupped Harry's jaw with his smooth, potion stained hand and looked him in his eyes. "We will be okay." He corrected. They had to be. Severus and Harry would live to see another day. The dying embers of happiness had to be fanned to full flame again. Severus felt sparks leave his wand after releasing Harry. He took a deep breath before running up the hill with the others who had already started. There was no battle cry. The silence of their approach was their weapon and one of the ways they had from keeping the battle away from the castle.
Harry rushed off right behind Severus. He kept his wand at the ready to protect himself from the stray curses that Severus couldn't stop, which weren't many. Harry remained near Severus as they worked their way to the back of the opposing masses. He was ready. He was ready for when he saw Voldemort again. It was obvious by the lack of opponents attacking Harry directly that they had been instructed to leave him unharmed.
Severus wasn't nearly as lucky. Not only was he on the light side, he was also a deserter and a traitor. On the way to Voldemort he killed many of his fellow Death Eaters. Severus didn't waste time with light curses. Severus went straight for the throat. The darker the curses, the better. His lips were bleeding from the horrid and vile dark spells he spat out at his enemies, but Severus was surviving. He was doing everything in his power and playing every card in his hand. He was mercilessly slaughtering everyone that got in his way.
Severus felt he must have saved every Weasley at least once and he swore he saved Fred twice from a deadly spell. In the chaos Severus eventually lost Harry. As much as he told himself that he needed to find Harry to back him up in the way only he could do, it proved to be impossible. In the end there werejust so many against him that Severus was soon lost in a throng of enemies. His aim was always true and deadly. With every wave of his wand and duck or roll he took somebody down. It wasn't long before Severus was also covered in gashes. His own Sectumsempra was used against him a few times. They weren't at all well executed. The damage wasn't as severe as he could have done, and for that he was thankful.
Harry lost Severus in the masses. A few spells and quick maneuvering acts were enough to lose sight of his partner. Harry continued on the straightest path and finally found himself facing the man he'd been searching for. They were both ready for battle. Harry glared at Voldemort defiantly as he raised his wand against him. Harry shouted as he sent a curse flying when Voldemort decided to begin on one of his usual spiels. Then the battle really began.
With all opportunity for talking gone the curses began to fly from both of their wands. They dodged and cast against one another while moving about. Like a dance they circled one another, neither of them stopping. Harry was using everything he'd learned from Severus against what Voldemort had learned and stolen from others. Both were bleeding and bruised. Harry knew he needed to end this soon, but they were evenly matched. His stamina was wearing thin, but it had to be a victory for the light. It had to be.
Everybody had fought so hard. There were many still fighting. They had pushed back the enemy lines. The scant remainder of the giants had retreated. Most of the dementors had fled when the light side attacked with a united front of varied white, wispy animals. Eventually a quick bright doe pushed back the last of them and into the forest they were lost.
Severus was in pain. He was sore, aching and bleeding. His vision was blurry, but not enough to make him stop. He looked around and all he could see were well worn witches and wizards, but no Harry. The bodies on the floor were hidden under dark robes and masks or had been destroyed beyond recognition. Severus couldn't see Harry. Was his fight over? Had they really won? If so, where was the new saviour of the wizarding world?
Harry cried out as a spell connected and broke his right hand. He dropped his wand, but dove to pick it up before Voldemort could have the advantage of a wandless opponent. Harry picked it up with his left hand, and held it out to defend himself from the spell that was cast at him. The green light traveled at him so fast that all he could think of doing was casting a simple shielding spell. He immediately regretted it. He thought about all the people he was going to disappoint. He loved them all. He wanted to save them regardless of the cost.
Voldemort's eyes went wide and he clutched at his heart with his free hand. He stared at Harry in shock, as he approached with his wand still raised. The spell had somehow been deflected back onto Voldemort. For the briefest of moments when Harry thought it was all over he let his guard down, and Voldemort used the last of his strength to send one last curse. The same one Harry had used against Draco what seemed like an eternity ago.
It slashed up Harry's face and continued down to his shoulder. Harry gasped in pain and fell to his knees again. He covered his bloody face, as Voldemort's lifeless body slumped forward onto the ground. Harry didn't notice when his opponent went down. He could only scream in pain and try to stop the bleeding with his hands.
Severus couldn't see people fighting anymore. The living were gathering the injured and the dead were left for last. Severus could neither help nor mourn until he found Harry. It was then that he spotted his previous master face first on the ground. The blood was everywhere. There wasn't a spot of green grass upon the hill. Harry was laying there covered in red and Severus was afraid he'd been killed by his cursed spell! Severus felt tears burning his eyes, but paid them no mind. Now was not the time to panic.
Severus knelt next to Harry in the pool of blood and started singing a healing spell immediately. There was far more light magic in the arrangement of notes recited in perfect pitch than what could have been granted by immediate treatment with dittany, which Severus did not have. Severus' voice was low and sad as it traveled across the hill and filled the empty air. He sang and didn't stop until Harry was no longer bleeding. There would be scarring. Severus' thin hand traced the puckering skin on Harry's right side lightly. The magic that was weaved into the song was strong enough to repair the least of the damage and the break, but Harry's face and shoulder would forever carry the ugly scars. Severus' spell carried over the dead and like a prayer the utter goodness and light in it gave the living hope, the hope that they'd be okay and that tomorrow the sun would rise to a better world.
Harry hadn't quite passed out yet, but was so weakened by his blood loss that he couldn't open his eyes or move. He heard Severus' voice and it just barely registered in his mind that Severus was singing. He wanted so badly to let him know that they'd won, and that everything was going to be okay now, but he couldn't do a thing. So instead of trying to force it, Harry finally let himself relax, and passed out. Just before darkness took him, he was comforted by strong familiar arms lifting him up.
Severus walked across the field. A lone man against the rising morning sun descended with a burden in his arms. He could feel Harry's rushing heartbeat beating erratically against his chest, but there was nothing else Severus could do without his potions even if he did have enough of a clearing to work. Severus would need to make it to the first aid station. Once there the anti-apparition wards were no longer active. He reached it far faster than he believed possible and as soon as he felt the magic of the wards fall off of him he apparated directly to the infirmary where the wards were also temporarily down to ease the transport of the injured from the field.
It was a long day. Severus replenished Harry's blood supply with his potions and used a healing salve in vain for the scars. Severus kept repeating to himself that scars were better than dying. Severus' goal had been to keep Harry alive and alive he was.
Harry was sleeping peacefully. The pain had ebbed away as the quick healing had also alleviated any pain associated with the curse.
After Severus treated Harry he helped by delivering potions for the other injured in the infirmary from his lab. He'd also been going back and forth between the battle ground and Harry. Severus in short was exhausted. He'd taken only a small break to be treated himself before rushing back to his lab to continue brewing. It was then that he'd been thankful for his foresight of making more than enough potion bases. When Severus finally had a chance to sit down he fell asleep in the chair next to Harry's bed. It had been a long night and longer morning; he didn't realize when his mindful watching had turned into peaceful sleeping.
When Harry finally woke up his entire body was sore and he felt weighed down. Even his eyelids were heavy, so he just laid there wondering where he was. Slowly, Harry opened his eyes, and saw he was in a darkened room. The smell was familiar. With a little more determination he turned his head to the side and saw Severus asleep in one of the standard infirmary chairs beside him.
He must have been up all night looking after me. Harry thought. That was when Harry felt a difference in the tightness in his skin from his right temple down his cheek, only just missing his eye and trailing down his neck and finally ending over his collar bone and shoulder. He felt it stretched or pinched. His still sleepy mind couldn't place the new, but sadly familiar feeling of scarring.
"Sev-" he whispered alarmed, his throat sore and voice hoarse. He needed his glasses, his wand and a mirror. He wasn't sure yet why he felt different, but it was certainly something to do with Voldemort.
Severus woke with a start. He looked around the room quickly, his wand already in his hand. When he saw Harry awake he put his wand away. "Harry." Severus said relieved as he got up to examine him. He handed Harry his glasses and sat back down. Harry smiled as much as he could without feeling the unnatural stretch of the puckered skin.
"Are you in pain?" Severus asked.
Harry shook his head slowly as he moved his hand to hold Severus'. "Are you okay?" Harry whispered between slow breaths.
Severus smiled at the question. He was still sore but at least not in pain, but that wasn't important. Severus brushed the hair back from Harry's forehead and stared long and hard into those eyes. "You are asking me if I am okay." Severus said. "You should be first worried about yourself." Severus squeezed Harry's hand, but didn't release it this time. "You almost died, you dunderhead." He chastised without any anger.
"Still here aren't I?" Harry said with what looked like a cocky grin. He was so glad Severus was okay. At the moment he wanted nothing more than to wrap his arms around the man's shoulders and hug him with all his might, but he could barely move without that awkward pulling at his shoulder.
Severus let go of Harry's hand. He needed to explain to Harry about his scars, but was finding it hard to do so.
"Sectumsempra was and continues to be a dangerous and dark spell." Severus whispered into the silence of the room.
Harry didn't say anything. He had already used the spell once and now he knew what it felt to have it used on him. The tightness made sense and finally he connected the familiar feeling to old scars he'd accumulated in his short years.
Harry looked marred and tired. He would never look the same again. It would have a large effect on his life and it would be difficult to get used to, but Severus wasn't ready to tell him that just yet.
Severus offered him a glass of water. Harry was understandably weak so he held it to his lips and let him drink his fill. There was so much more to come. Things were going to be different. Severus could only hope they'd start on the right foot.
"Do you feel it?" Severus asked. He dared to touch the raised harsh pink lines on Harry's face.
Harry leaned back and closed his eyes. He nodded slowly. "Am I-" Harry picked up his hand over Severus' and felt his fingers trace the thick scars for the first time. "Is it permanent?" He asked.
Severus sat back down and pulled his hand gently away. "Yes." He wouldn't waste time on a wordy explanation when the simple answer was quickest.
Harry blushed. He didn't care how he looked, but he suddenly wondered if Severus might. He was okay with surviving and was more than used to the effects scarring could have on his life as he had lived with one already on his face all his life. What bothered him now was that it might make Severus turn away from him. As shallow as the thought was it was the only thing Harry was worried about.
"Do I – does it scare you?" Harry dared to ask. He was tracing the scars down his neck and finding the ends of the lines on his shoulder.
"I am not a stranger to scars." Severus replied easily. His lip twitched into a slight smile as his thumb caressed the scars on Harry's neck.
The relief Harry felt was intense. He knew Severus wouldn't be one to judge him by appearances, but just the same he felt a little bit of joy. "I love you." Harry whispered.
"I-i think you lost too much blood, mister Potter." Severus replied immediately even though he knew full well that the potion that replenished Harry's blood had long worked its magic. Severus hadn't known how to respond. The declaration was far more than Severus thought he deserved.
"Mister Potter?" Harry replied with his voice full of hurt, "When did I revert back to being mister Potter?" He shook his head, shut his eyes and this time didn't mind the tightness in his skin. Before Severus answered he whispered in the same hoarse voice "I shouldn't have said anything. I'm sorry." He opened his eyes again and looked at Severus. "I'm an idiot," he murmured.
Harry tried to sit up. Severus instantly placed his arm behind Harry and with his other arm he gently arranged the pillows so they would hold him up. "Thank you," Harry said quietly.
Harry wanted to know how Severus felt about him. He had a feeling Severus didn't return his feelings, but after a battle which could have ended both of their lives Harry was willing to be hurt again to find out.
"You are not an idiot. About what you said-?" Severus pulled up his seat and looked everywhere, but at Harry.
Harry swallowed and glanced down at his lap. Severus was acting very calm, and Harry had a bad feeling about it. "Um I love you, and there was nothing more to say." Harry traced the scars on his hands which had also never been healed.
"Love is a strong word." Severus said. "We can still be good friends. Even if it is all over, there is no reason we can't still train or meet for lunch." Severus was giving Harry an opening. If he needed to take back what he'd said, Severus would understand.
Severus' words repeated in Harry's head. 'Friends.' He felt crushed, and yet he knew he should have expected it. "I mean that I'm in love with you. I don't want to be just good friends." Harry said bravely. He went silent for a moment, then looked up into Severus' face. "That is, if you want there to be more."
Severus shook his head. "I want." Severus confessed almost too quickly. "I tried Harry. I could not stop myself from feeling this way." Severus took a deep breath in the middle of what sounded like an apology. "I-i just could not." He said.
Harry wheezed out a laugh despite himself as another wave of relief hit him. "Why do you make it sound like being in love is such a horrible thing?" He asked. "I'm glad this isn't one-sided." Harry smiled at Severus.
Severus managed a slight smile in return. "I wanted so badly to do this just before the battle started, but there were so many people around." Severus raised Harry's hand to his lips and like a true gentleman kissed it. His usually sallow face was blooming with pink at his cheeks.
Harry chuckled at the gesture. "What do we do now?" Harry asked.
"You will go back to sleep. Tomorrow things will be different." Severus said confidently.
It was true. The war had been won. Their obligation to the world was over. Their lives would have to begin again and there would be a lot to do and a few new routines to get used to now that they could finally live in peace.
Thanks again for reading. Please review as you see fit.