And yet another product of my wandering brain, it seems I couldn't settle down tonight, I wrote a bit on Survive and then red a few fanfics, became inspired, and wrote this! Hope you enjoy it!
NOT MY CHARACHTERS
NOT FOR THE EYES OF CHILDREN
Harry Potter didn't speak any more. The last words he was heard saying was the incantation Avada Kedavra. With that spell a war ended. With that spell he was left to turn around and count the dead, Hermione Granger among them her engagement ring covered in a film of blood and dust. Ronald Weasley, her intended clung to Harry after that their struggles in the war leaving them with an irreplaceable bond. Only Harry could comfort Ron now…if only he had the words. The aftermath was as devastating as expected, a crippling blow to wizarding society. People, as they are prone to do in the face of an overwhelming grief stood together and a historical movement to end all Blood prejudice was made. But at what cost?
The list went on.
So much blood lost but in the end the wizarding world was forced to notice something. Blood was red, no matter who it came from. Narcissa buried her only son and her husband the same day that Molly Weasley buried her sons and husband. As they looked across the graveyard and met each others gazes, they nodded in sad ironic greeting, because war was indeed the horror of mothers and wives. Harry Potter stood beside Ronald Weasley watching the scene as he held the handles to Ginny Weasley's wheelchair. She had lost both her legs, an eye and a good bit of her mind. She could only stare forward now unable to comprehend that she was sitting at her brothers and fathers funeral. Harry was supposed to give a speech that day, he had written it, practiced it, and thought himself ready for it. But as he got up to speak he caught sight of the many fresh mounds surrounding him and the faint light in his eyes flickered and died. His mouth snapped shut and his gaze drifted towards Ron's tired face, pleading. For what, only Ron understood as he nodded and unfolded Harry's speech reading it for him his voice numb and tired.
A month later, people slowly began to move forward.
And Ginny, late one night in her half formed mind- decided that she wouldn't.
Harry carried the small empty bottle which had held the poison that killed her in a small pouch. Ron carried Hermione's ring in a similar pouch.
In this, there was no need for words.
Two months later Harry would open his door to a rather desperate Poppy Pomfrey. Severus Snape it would seem had lived. Tenacious bugger. For the first time in nearly two years Ron could swear he saw Harry's lips twitch into a faint smile, but he couldn't be certain. Harry and Ron were lead to the room where Poppy had squirreled him away after the war unable to let him die and too fond of him to turn him in to the authorities. The man was pale, his skin waxy and cold.
"He needs blood." Poppy said trembling slightly. Harry tilted his head to the side and rolled up his sleeve. Potions couldn't be used because of the magical properties in Naginis' venom, everything had to be done the muggle way.
Harry didn't stray from his spot in the chair beside the man's bed.
Ron didn't stray from Harry's side.
To the world they had disappeared completely.
Sometimes Harry would read.
Most of the time Ron would pace.
Sometimes Harry cried.
Most of the time Ron would join him.
Nearly a year later they received notification of the death of Molly Weasley. For the first time they left Severus' side to attend her funeral. Harry watched his best friend watch his mother sink into the ground and noticed Romilda Vane watching Ron. She had grown tall, beautiful and strong. When he was unable to read his speech Ron pushed him away and stormed off, unwittingly into Romilda Vane's arms. Later, as Ron used her shoulder to weep against she would catch Harry's eye who through his tears would smile weakly and disappear, silently, without a word.
He returned to Snapes bedside.
He was lost in timeless silence.
Ron never returned.
Another year passed.
Snapes wound gradually healed.
Pink lines around his throat were all that was left.
War became a chilling memory.
Sometimes Harry would read.
Sometimes Harry would weep.
Another year passed and Harry had made his way through every book on transfiguration and charms that Hogwarts had to offer.
The echoing footsteps that grew closer sounded loud after the silence.
The red in Ron's hair was too bright and garish.
He was smiling though.
And Harry wondered if he had ever seen a more wondrous sight.
"I'm getting married." He said. Harry looked his friend over and a smile flitted across his lips. Ron rubbed the back of his head. "Be my best man?" He asked still as awkward as ever. Harry's eyes softened and he nodded slowly.
Romilda Weasley nee Vane was beautiful as she strode down the isle with her new husband permanently attached to the crook of her arm.
He's finally happy then?
Harry smiled at the shadowy form beside him and rubbed the pendant bearing the resurrection stone idly. Hermione smiled beautifully.
She said though Harry was the only one that could hear her. He nodded absently feeling light for the first time in a long time. That night Bill Weasley was the one to read his speech and silently Harry made his way to his best friends' seat and pressed the pendant between their hands. "Harry." He said a tear slipping down his cheek as his mother and father, Fred and George and Ginny nodded at him with pride. When the speech was over Harry removed the pendant.
"Was she here Harry?" Ron said quietly. Harry smiled and nodded watching as his best friend choked back his tears and nodded gratefully pulling him into a bone crushing hug.
"Thank you." Harry's face fell a bit.
Don't thank me.
I should have saved her.
I should have saved them all.
But I didn't.
Harry replaced his smile as the applause rang through the room and music started playing.
There was no father daughter dance.
Romilda's father had died in the war.
There was no mother son dance.
Ron's mother had died in the sorrows of war.
But still people danced, refusing to suffer the empty spaces that should have been filled. Harry felt once more like an outsider and quickly, silently slipped out of the room and back to Snape's bedside.
For a while he took out the small empty bottle that Ginny had left behind and stared at it, for a while he wondered if he shouldn't find a similar one.
But Snape was there, and he was breathing, and Harry had to see the man awaken.
He set the bottle aside.
And decided to try his hand at potions.
On April sixth, nearly five years after the war Severus Snapes' eyelashes fluttered open. Harry dutifully sat beside him and smiled at the scowl he received. Absently he sent his patronus to Poppy and pushed the furious man back down as he tried to sit up.
"Harry! Oh my word!" Poppy slapped both hands over her mouth and stared wide eyed at Severus as tears dripped down her cheeks. Harry grinned and sent his patronus to Ron as the mediwitch snapped out of her shock and began scanning Severus her hands trembling. Ron stumbled through the floo just as Harry and Poppy managed to get a scowling Severus seated upright. Harry managed to place a tray over his lap with a bowl of thin broth and some fresh bread, the first meal the man would have eaten outside of nutrition potions and IV's since he'd fallen.
"Ello Snape!" Ron greeted after recovering from his shock. Harry grinned up at his best friend and thoughtlessly reached over to help the trembling hand deliver a bit of broth to the equally trembling lips.
"He'll need a bit of physical therapy and a heavy dose of stay in bed-" She said firmly to the scowling man. "but he's well on his way to recovery." Poppy said gleefully. Harry grinned, Severus scowled, Ron shook his head at the irony of it all. Soon after, Ron left, returning to his pregnant wife and Poppy followed soon after, returning to her patients. Harry, much to Severus' confusion stayed and pulled out a rather advanced potions book and began to read.
Harry never left his chair unless it was to use the loo, or help Severus with his physical therapy. Once or twice he exchanged books or sent a house elf to find a particular book, but he never left his spot.
Severus of course would have been blind not to have noticed.
He couldn't ask though, Naginis' bite had left him silent.
Eventually Poppy managed to squirrel in a specialist to look at Severus' throat and see if something could be done. Harry stayed in his chair and eyed the man the entire time something fierce in his eyes that hadn't been seen in a while. Poppy frowned as she noted this and nearly gasped in surprise when the healer pronounced that he would be able to restore Severus' voice and Harry, grinned. Two weeks later Ron floo called and Harry left Severus for the first time in order to greet his newest goddaughter Hermione Molly Weasley. In his distraction he didn't notice Ron and Poppy share meaningful glances. That night when Harry returned he scooted his chair close to Severus' bed, grabbed the man's hand and wept.
But not quite.
Severus watched him sleep his dark gaze troubled by the mystery of the young man who bore his mothers eyes. Yet Harry was a man now. There was a permanent shadow of a beard on his cheeks and his eyes showed a weariness that Lily Potter's had never claimed. His father was gone from him now as well, gone with the wire rimmed glasses the man had traded in for contact lenses. His hair, now long enough to be braided and stop between thin shoulder blades was no longer messy.
Severus Snape came upon a startling revelation.
This was not James Potter, boyhood tormenter.
This was not Lillian Potter.
Whose bright eyes showed innocence and compassion.
This was Harry Potter.
Whose shoulders sagged with the burden of the dead.
Whose eyes remained haunted.
Who had the maddening habit of twirling a small empty vial between his fingers.
Who no longer laughed.
Whose silences were deafening.
The next day the healer went into surgery to repair Severus' vocal cords. Harry stayed in his chair, silent, observing. He only left when the sight of blood became too much for him only to return when Severus' absence became too much for him.
Two days later Severus watched as Harry cradled his goddaughter, his first night babysitting as the grateful parents slept exhaustedly. Oddly enough the child was only quiet when Harry was around, it gurgled, and cooed, but it never wept.
Severus decided not to think about the fact that he had thought of Harry Potter as Harry.
Instead he watched fascinated as the child reached up and patted Harry's cheek as if to comfort him. Harry smiled sadly and a single saline droplet slid down his cheek.
A week later Ron and Poppy managed to convince Harry to visit his goddaughter, thought it was only with an approving glance from Severus that he finally went.
"How…long?" He rasped his voice still not much more than a whisper. Poppy and Ron glanced at each other but it was Ron that spoke.
"He stopped talking after he hit V-Voldemort with the killing curse." He said his face twisting slightly in pained remembrance.
"He wouldn't leave your side once he realized that you were alive." Poppy said shaking her head. Ron nodded.
"It was too much for him I think- seeing them all buried, I think he blames himself." Severus pursed his lips and reached out a hand holding up a familiar bottle. Ron's lips thinned.
"Ginny." He said softly. Severus nodded having long since realized the contents of the bottle before it had been emptied.
"Granger…gone?" He said his face understanding as Ron's expression fell further. "Damn." He rasped shocking Ron who smiled thinly.
"Yeah." Ron said smiling. Snape breathed out slowly.
"The child…will help." He managed. Ron nodded.
"Romy's gonna bring her over when she can." He said smiling. Severus nodded.
"Make him…come to the child." Severus said. Ron nodded carefully.
"I don't want to push too hard." He protested slightly. "Out of all of us, he's the one who suffered the most." Severus nodded quietly.
"Then…he must learn…to live life…to its fullest." He said smiling thinly. Poppy smiled.
"Will you help him Severus?" She asked a curious glint in her eye. Severus scowled at her.
"Will you let me out of this damn bed?" He returned hoarsely. Poppy chuckled and the floo flared to life spitting out a stumbling soot covered Harry Potter and then moments later a rather more graceful Romilda Weasley and child. Ron grinned widely at the sight of them as Harry struggled to stand sneezing as he did so. Severus couldn't help but think he looked more like a clumsy kitten rather than a full grown wizard with floo traveling problems.
"Hello Professor!" Romilda greeted happily as she promptly slipped the child into Harry's unresisting arms. Severus noted the grin that lit up Harry's face as the baby grabbed hold of his braid and promptly tugged.
"Hello Mrs Weasley." He greeted his voice raspy. Harry moved to his chair and sat down contentedly using the end of his braid to tickle the baby who giggled and reached out for it. Ron reached out an arm and curled it around her waist tugging her next to him.
"And what brings you here Mrs Weasley?" Ron teased. Romilda rolled her eyes.
"Well, Harry was just ranting about how worried he was about leaving the professor alone-ow!" He pulled the thrown plushy out of her face and glared at Harry who was pointing innocently at the baby who gurgled loudly. Romilda huffed and Ron snorted. Severus' eyes glittered oddly and a small smile tugged at the corners of his lips.
Slowly the days passed.
Severus stood for the first time.
Hermione rolled over for the first time.
Harry smiled more.
Ron managed to convince Severus to be moved to his house and Harry followed.
Slowly Severus learned to walk and talk again.
Hermione learned to crawl.
Harry finally gave in to Severus' demands that he sleep in an actual bed.
That it was Severus' bed went unmentioned.
It was platonic.
And for a while, they were both satisfied with that.
Until one day Harry packed a picnic basket, readied Hermione, and took them all to visit baby Hermione's namesakes. The grass was vibrantly green and the tombstones gleamed under the sun as they laid out their meal. Baby Hermione gazed out at the view uncharacteristically quiet as she clung to Harry's robes and laid her cheek on his chest. Harry, almost hesitantly found himself leaning into Severus' arm who in turn pulled him closer and just as hesitantly, pressed a kiss to his temple. Ron rose his eyebrows and his jaw dropped slightly, Romilda elbowed him and smiled knowingly before resting her head on his shoulder.
Later that night Harry would lay down beside him his eyes wide and searching and Severus would kiss him properly. It was sweet, searing, and patient. And when at last the kiss was over Severus pressed another chaste kiss to his lips in promise of more to come.
The next day Harry could be found quite often sporting a silly grin while his fingers traced his lips. Hermione gazed up at him wisely and gurgled happily.
The next night Severus rolled his eyes as Harry's lips curved into an expectant smirk and leaned down to kiss it away only this time it didn't stop after one kiss. Or two. Or three. Severus rather refused to stop kissing Harry. And Harry, as hands began to tear at his clothing, was quite content to never stop kissing again. Heat was all he knew and for a moment it didn't matter that he had lived through a war. The outcome was right here. Severus was all he had. Severus and baby Hermione and Ron and Romilda. He gasped as a hand found his arousal and all thought was erased from his mind as he panted begging with his eyes. Severus obliged gladly and soon, though with utmost care, had three fingers stretching his soon to be lover. He wondered briefly, if Harry's breathy pants would have sounded even more beautiful if accompanied by a voice. The thought disappeared however, as Harry arched up beautifully his mouth opened in a silent cry as green eyes stared widely ahead glazed over with lust. Severus smirked and twisted his fingers over that particular spot again watching in anticipation this time as Harry stiffened in shocked pleasure.
Severus decided he was the luckiest man on earth as he slipped into his young lover whose eyes widened impossibly in wonder. Harry for his part nearly lost his grip on reality as the mess of sensations rushed through him. He reached out gripping the sheets tightly feeling as if he were nearly breaking. Severus pressed a kiss to his lips and he was lost a swirling world of pleasure and pain until the pain faded out and all that was left was pleasure and the slick glide of Severus who never stopped holding him, soothing him, kissing him even as the light shined brightly behind his eyes and the world faded into nothing. And then he was floating, down weightless and then gradually solid until he was left quaking in Severus' arms as the man held him tightly.
"Hush love…hush." Harry realized belatedly that he was weeping. Soundlessly he had shattered and it was only Severus' arms that were keeping him together. Trembling he kissed the man and felt something heavy slide away from his mind.
He was, despite it all-
Severus' eyes snapped open from where they had fallen shut and sought green ones, Harry smiled weakly through the tears.
"We are alive Severus." He said softly. Severus smiled beyond the tears and pulled Harry closer.
"Yes Harry, alive."