fuck (fuk), Vulgar.
1. to have sexual intercourse with.
2. Slang. to treat unfairly or harshly.
- from the Random House dictionary
The war was over.
Voldemort was dead.
Harry had killed him. As he'd known he would. As he'd known he must.
It was an act of salvation. That's what they all told him, as they patted him on the back, hugged him, kissed him, wept with joy.
All but the one person who understood. He walked along beside Harry, not touching him, not offering any words or platitudes. He merely remained in step with Harry's weary pace, boot heels matching the hollow cadence of Harry's tread against the cobblestones of Hogsmeade.
They trudged home long before the celebrations had reached their zenith; doubtless the Daily Prophet would have something to say about that in the morning, but neither of them had ever been concerned about the blatherings of the press.
Harry stepped over the threshold of the cottage and felt his knees go weak; home, home, home, he thought, over and over, a mantra to block out the maelstrom of thoughts swirling in his head.
"Why don't you rest?" The voice was rougher than usual, but then Snape was as exhausted as Harry. More, perhaps.
Harry steadied himself and shook his head. He picked up a box of matches and lit the candles, too drained to use his magic. "Can't," he said tightly.
Snape sighed, but it was one of understanding, not impatience. "Very well. But at least get out of those wet things."
Harry staggered to the chesterfield and collapsed. "Can't."
Another sigh. Harry heard a muttered incantation, and a soft hiss emanated from the fireplace as the wood within was set ablaze. He shivered and closed his eyes against the flickering play of light and shadow. It reminded him unpleasantly of the last duel—
"Here," murmured Snape, and Harry opened his eyes to see Severus Snape kneeling before him. Long fingers reached for the buttons of his cloak.
"I'd do it more quickly, but you're still too sensitive to magical fields," Snape continued absently as he undid the fastenings efficiently. "Here. Lift up."
Harry sat up obediently, and felt a strange wave of unfamiliar sensation wash over him. He felt...cared for. Like the child he never was. Back then, he would have given everything to feel that.
But today, he didn't deserve to be cared for.
He was a murderer.
"I can do it," he said, attempting to shrug off Snape's maddeningly gentle hands as they pushed the cloak off his shoulders.
The hands suddenly grew firm. Determined. Pushed him against the sofa back.
Anger welled up in him. "It's not—just—"
Harry looked up at him with narrowed eyes.
Snape looked back, unwavering. Untouched.
The hands reached for his shirt next.
Harry batted them away.
A flicker of something dark and supremely sad crossed Snape's features. He drew back slightly.
Harry started in on his own buttons. The skin revealed by his attentions felt cold and numb when his fingers brushed against it.
"It's like I've—disappeared," he whispered, to no one in particular.
"Yes," Snape agreed, still close, still there.
Harry shrugged out of his shirt and threw it on the floor, then began to shiver. Snape murmured a soft accio and Harry felt the weight of a blanket settle over his shoulders.
Harry's shivering increased. "Can you see me?"
"I can see you," affirmed Snape. Harry watched Snape's palm connect with his chest. "I can feel you."
Harry stared down at the hand tracing over his skin; it was the only way he could be certain it was there. A breath left him in a sobbing rush. "I can't—"
"I know," Snape said again. His hands were at the zip of Harry's trousers now; with deft, no-nonsense movements, Snape continued to undress him. Once his pants were gone, his damp socks were pulled off. And then Harry watched in astonishment as Snape settled onto the floor before him and took Harry's frozen feet into his lap, his elegant hands trying to warm them with quick, efficient strokes.
He couldn't feel it. He couldn't—
A whimper escaped him, and he saw Snape's fingers tighten on his feet.
"I'm here," Snape insisted. "I'm here."
Harry leaned closer, seeking out Snape's warmth. He brushed his cheek against Snape's, and imagined he felt a flicker of heat. Perhaps there was hope after all.
"Prove it," Harry whispered against Snape's ear.
Snape tried to pull away, but Harry's hands rose swiftly to sink into his hair and hold him captive. The strands stretched tight against his skin, and the pressure was transmitted to his overloaded brain. A soft grunt from Snape told him he'd probably pulled too hard, but he couldn't force his fingers to relax their hold.
Yes. This was what he needed now. Not tenderness, not understanding. He needed heat, and pressure, and pain. Those were the only constants.
"Prove you're here," Harry demanded. His desperate hands roamed over the planes and ridges of neck, shoulders, chest. Snape's robe felt rough and scratchy under the pads of his fingers.
It was working.
He opened his mouth against Snape's ear. "Make me warm again."
The rumble was distant, like a far-off thunderstorm. "Harry..."
Harry's hold tightened; he pressed his nose into the underside of Snape's jaw.
"Fuck me." His ears didn't recognise the sound of his own voice, torn and ragged as it was.
Snape jerked as though he'd been hit with Cruciatus; he pulled back so that he could stare into Harry's face. Harry met the obsidian gaze with a hard defiance, knowing Snape would not be able to resist a direct challenge.
Harry released the breath he didn't know he'd been holding when Snape finally spoke. "Is that what you want?" The words vibrated against his skin as Snape leaned closer.
"Yes," Harry whispered. "It's what I want. What I need."
Snape stared at him for another eternity, until Harry's skin began to prickle.
Then, without warning, Snape rose from the floor. His face an expressionless mask, he continued to gaze at Harry.
"Get up." There was no mistaking the command in those low, dangerous tones.
Harry hesitated a split second too long; rough hands knocked the blanket from his shoulders, then gripped his arms and hauled him bodily to his feet. Thrown off-balance, Harry stumbled and collided with Snape's chest. Snape gave him no chance to recover; still holding fast to Harry's arms, he pushed him backward until Harry's back met a cold plaster wall.
Snape pressed the length of his body against Harry's front, sandwiching him between two unforgiving surfaces. Snape's hands left him to splay against the wall, one on either side of Harry's head. Harry attempted a shiver at the loss of warmth, but there wasn't enough room to manage it.
"You wish to be fucked," Snape said calmly, his head cocking sideways like a cat surveying a wounded and helpless mouse under its paw. "But how?"
Harry opened his mouth, but no sound emerged. Snape took advantage of the situation by sliding his tongue in and around Harry's lips.
"Against the wall? It's a little clichéd, I suppose, but then this sort of thing always is." Snape twisted his hips. Harry felt the grate of the rough cloak against the skin of his thighs and groaned into Snape's mouth. He yelped when Snape responded with a sharp bite to his lower lip.
"This is what you want, is it not?" Snape gritted, increasing the pressure on Harry's chest, hips, groin. The hands on either side of Harry's head seized it harshly and tilted it at such an angle that Harry's neck muscles screamed in protest. Before he could summon the strength to resist, Snape's mouth rammed into his, and Snape's tongue plunged deep.
This is what I want, Harry assured himself, as lips, tongue and teeth punished every part of him they could reach. His underwear went the way of the rest of his clothes, and Snape's fingers wrapped around Harry's hardening cock without preamble. They then proceeded to jerk him in a brutal rhythm until he was gasping against Snape's neck.
When Snape drew back, Harry was left feeling cold, battered and bereft.
But he was feeling—something.
Pulling out his wand, Snape aimed it at a spot in front of the hearth and murmured a soft incantation. A huge bearskin rug appeared.
"Oh, but this is much better," purred Snape. "Equally clichéd, but certainly a more congenial location for the fulfilment of your request."
In the back of Harry's exhausted brain, a tiny voice began to murmur a protest. He had no time to listen to it, however, because Snape was maneuvering him again. When he had him at the edge of the rug, he pushed him down until he was sprawled, a naked, trembling sacrifice, on the huge fur.
Harry gazed up at Snape, searching for some clue to his thoughts, but Snape’s face was carved from stone. "Aren't you going to—take off your clothes?" he asked, annoyed at the quaver in his voice.
Snape frowned as though he truly found the question puzzling. "Whatever for?" His fingers strayed to the buttons of his trousers and unfastened them. A strange chill traveled up Harry's spine as Snape reached into his pants and pulled out his own half-hard cock. "I believe this is all you will be requiring."
"Why are you—"
"You said you wanted a fuck," spat Snape, "and I am endeavouring to give you one." His gaze was now completely shuttered. "Turn over."
Harry stared at the man above him for a moment, then moved to obey.
He heard a muffled curse, and then Snape's hand was on his shoulder, halting his movement and pinning him, flat on his back once more, to the rug. Before he realised what was happening, he was trapped by the weight of Snape's long, lean body, stunned by the force of Snape's anger flashing from his eyes.
"God damn you," he hissed, his breath hot on Harry's face. "God damn you for asking me. God damn you for not stopping me."
Harry shook his head, confused. "You're not going to—"
"No," Snape growled, pushing up off Harry and sitting back on his haunches. "I cannot give you what you want."
Despite the heat from the fire, Harry's shivering increased. He shut his eyes against the sight of Snape towering above him as the full impact of humiliation struck him. He'd pleaded with Snape, bared his deepest desires, only to be rejected.
"Look at me."
Harry complied, his own expression as challenging as he could make it.
"Listen, and listen carefully, for it will not be repeated." Snape's obsidian gaze burned into him. "I have never fucked you. And I will never fuck you."
Harry frowned, but before he could respond, Snape continued.
"Moreover, if your self-loathing reaches the point where the only act which makes you feel alive is a fuck, you will have to seek out other company."
Harry shook his head slowly. "I don't loathe myself."
Snape's expression didn't waver. "It will come. It has already begun. Moreover, should you give in to this desire within you, the loathing will soon consume you."
"What desire is that?" Harry bit out.
Snape clenched his jaw. "The desire for pain. The desire for release, which is in truth a desire for greater and greater constraint and imprisonment."
Harry's face reddened. "You don't know how I—"
"Yes, I do," Snape contradicted calmly. "Because I have lived in that prison."
Harry's skin prickled.
"I lived in that blasted place for more years than I care to mention, rotting away, convinced I was not worthy of the smallest gesture of kindness. Of affection. Of love.
"Do you honestly think that I would play a part in consigning you to that hell," Snape said raggedly, "when you are the one who released me from it?"
Harry sucked in a breath.
"They convinced you that you were the Saviour of the Wizarding World, and perhaps they were right. Prophecies must be obeyed. However, this one was also marvelously convenient—for everyone but you." Snape's eyes grew distant. "It does not matter that he was a murderer himself, that he was evil, and that your action saved countless lives. The fact remains that you killed him. And you will bear that burden for the rest of your life."
Tears were trickling from the corners of Harry's eyes, but he made no attempt to brush them away. "How did you learn to feel again?" he whispered.
"I didn't," Snape said flatly. Then, slowly, almost hesitantly, he reached for Harry's hands and held them in both of his.
"Not," Snape continued, his gaze steady on Harry's face, "without a teacher."
And as Harry watched, dumbfounded, Snape lowered his mouth to Harry's hands and kissed them with a reverence that destroyed and rebuilt him in the space of a heartbeat.
"Can you feel that?" Snape murmured against his skin.
"Yes," groaned Harry.
Releasing Harry's hands, Snape leaned forward slowly. His face filled Harry's vision until he closed his eyes against the sight.
Snape's mouth brushed his in the most fleeting of caresses; Harry arched up, chasing the sensation.
"Can you feel that?" repeated Snape, his breath tickling Harry's stubbled chin.
"Oh—please," Harry begged, his body shuddering uncontrollably, his entire being responding to the unspoken message in his lover's touch. "Please—kiss me—"
Snape complied without hesitation, his mouth covering Harry's a split second before his body blanketed the trembling one beneath him. Harry opened to him instinctively, his lips and tongue welcoming Snape's sweet invasion. Newly awakened fingertips grazed down Snape's spine, eliciting a soft moan as they traveled lower.
Snape's mouth finally lifted, only to descend on Harry's cheek, his temple, the pulse under his jaw. Released from his bonds, Harry reached for the waistband of Snape's trousers, sliding them down as far as he could manage. With a growl, Snape abandoned his pursuit long enough to divest himself of the last of his clothing. When he returned to Harry's arms, all Harry could feel was heat, and life, and—
"I love you."
Harry stared up into Snape's eyes, startled. Even after all these months, Snape had never said it aloud, without provocation or prodding. Gently, his fingers traced over Snape's lips, as though he were hoping to find some tangible evidence of the words remaining on his skin.
Snape drew in a shuddering breath. "I wanted to kill him for you. I would have, but you were too far ahead of me—"
Harry pressed his fingers to Snape's lips. "He would have killed you as well."
Snape regarded him steadily.
"Oh, God," breathed Harry, his hands plunging into Snape's hair and pulling him down. "Please—don't—don't say it. You're here, you're here, and I'm here, and we're—"
"Harry," Snape whispered, burying his nose in Harry's impossibly soft hair.
Harry twined his arms and legs around Snape's body, tightening his hold until he could feel the pounding of his heart in every pore. "Just—keep loving me. Love me."
"Always," Snape promised him fervently. "Always."
The war was over.
Voldemort was dead.
And they had survived.