Harry wipes his cheeks with his fist again and brings the lip of the whiskey bottle up to his mouth again. He's beyond drunk, more than he's sure he's ever been in his life, and he's surrounded by piles of clothing (none of which are his) photos and broken glass from picture frames. He broke the frames in a rage, and now he sits, picking through the shards, carefully extracting the photographs.
He stares at the wizarding photograph in his hand, of Ron, Hermione and himself in their first year, so small and full of hope, and he shuts his eyes when he feels a fresh flood of tears on its way. They wave at him, their smiles wide and innocent and Harry has to put it back down again before he can't take it anymore.
The next photo he picks up shows Tonks and Remus turned to each other, rather than the camera, and a newborn Teddy is swaddled between them. They look tired, from lack of sleep and worry no doubt, but their smiles are so wide and they look so unbelievably happy. He traces their faces with the tips of his fingers before putting it down on top of the other photo.
There's a jumper next to his left thigh; he found it when he was clearing out the bag they took when they went on the run, one of Mrs. Weasley's knitted ones, a huge 'R' on the front. It still smells like him, like sandalwood and fresh linen and Harry presses his face into it, letting go of the huge, heaving sobs clawing at his throat.
He feels as if he's been ripped apart, half of him still in the world with those who survived, and the other back in afterlife, with those he lost. These days, he wonders if he should have followed them, taken that train in another direction. He can't stand being here without any of them anymore.
When he lifts Sirius's leather jacket into his arms, something clatters to the floor and rolls under the lounge; Harry sets the things in his hands down to follow it. As he kneels he feels pieces of glass piercing his skin, but he ignores it in favour of finding whatever had rolled away. Under the lounge, in the dark, he feels around for it before grasping something round and cylindrical, bringing it back into the light to examine it.
It's the vial of Snape's memories. Of his tears.
Harry stares at it for a long time, settled into his palm, and his chest heaves as his breath hitches.
There are so many things he never got to tell Snape, bad things and good. He wanted to tell him that he forgave him, that he was sorry. But it doesn't matter anymore, he lost his chance.
He presses the vial to his chest and closes his eyes, telling himself over and over that if he could change it, he would. Things he'd like to tell Snape's memories, to tell Snape himself.
He doesn't realise the room has started to crackle with magic until it's too late, and a flash of white light has streaked across Harry's eyelids, like lightning. For a moment, he feels weightless, as though he's floating. Suddenly he's landing. Hard.
Wherever he is, it's raining heavily and the grass underneath his feet squishes with it. He blinks his eyes open and spins his head around quickly, trying to get his bearings. He's in a graveyard, and for a long, breathless moment he thinks he's back in the Little Hangleton graveyard, but he shakes his head at the thought; it's too neat, too clean.
To pull himself up, he uses a gravestone labelled, 'Here lies Thomas Marcus Fletcher, 19/12/1892 - 07/05/1977, beloved son, father, husband and grandfather'. He's flattened a bouquet of white roses and he stares at them for a long time before looking up at the rest of the graveyard.
It's dark, probably quite late, and for a time, Harry believes himself to be alone, until he sees the figure in the distance, illuminated by the moon, standing in front of a freshly made grave, drinking from a bottle. As Harry steps closer, intending to ask where he's landed himself the figure stops, looks up and stares at him.
It's a man, with long dark hair, soaked from the rain, dressed in a black cloak and leather gloves. Harry doesn't realise who it is until the other man starts to laugh. Snape's laugh isn't mirthful, it's sad and angry and uncontrollable, and Harry suddenly feels extremely uncomfortable.
"Of course it's you, Potter. Come to kill me?" Snape sneers, raising the bottle, as if in a toast, before gulping down the liquid inside. "Just fucking do it."
He's younger than when Harry last saw him, barely an adult, maybe just older than Harry is now. Harry's alcohol-muddled brain searches for an explanation that never comes. When Harry makes no move to kill Snape, as he'd demanded he do, his laughter becomes hysterical.
At his name, Snape seems to sober, pulling his wand from his sleeve and pointing it at Harry, the bottle now dropped and forgotten in the grass. Harry's heart beats like a jackhammer when he suddenly realises he doesn't have his wand on him. It's back at Grimmauld Place. If Snape really wanted to injure him, to kill him, Harry wouldn't be able to do a single thing to stop him. "Fuck you, James Potter. Fuck you!"
James? "I'm not James!" Harry cries, holding his hands up, as if that will do anything to protect himself from the incoming onslaught. "I'm not James Potter, I'm Harry!"
Snape starts to laugh incredulously, as if Harry's told a very amusing joke.
"I swear I'm not him, I'm his son!"
That stops Snape in his tracks, cutting his laughter off and causing him to lower his wand just an inch. "Potter doesn't have a son."
A little voice worms its way through Harry's addled brain, wondering if Harry is in the presence of a deaged Snape with no memories or if he's done something far worse, like travel through time. What the fuck has he done? "My name is Harry James Potter, I swear. I was born July thirty-first, nineteen-eighty. My parents are Lily and James Potter. I swear I'm not lying!"
After a long stretch of silence Snape bursts into laughter again, hunching over and bracing his hands on his knees. Harry's surprised he doesn't instantly question that his enemy has had a child and that child has travelled through time; instead he says, "Harry-fucking-Potter! Of course he would name his child after that bigoted old fuck!"
Harry's really not sure what he's supposed to do, what he's supposed to say. While he continues to laugh, Harry's eyes flick over to the grave Snape is hunched over in front of.
Tobias Joseph Snape
19/10/1938 - 08/03/1979
Died alone and unloved in a pool of his own vomit.
It's harsh, and, from what Harry remembers from Snape's memories, well deserved. Snape is still laughing maniacally.
Rain drips down the back of Harry's shirt and he shivers, suddenly remembering he'd been in nothing but sleep pants and a t-shirt when he was dropped in the graveyard. He's suddenly freezing and he curls his arms around himself. "I… look, Snape, I don't know how I got here and I'm not exactly in weather-appropriate clothing. Would you mind…"
Snape bursts into another wave of laughter, holding onto his chest while the other stays on his knee to keep himself from falling forward. Once he gets himself under control, though still chuckling every now and then, he leans down to pick up his bottle before surging towards Harry. Harry braces himself for an attack, but instead feels as though his entire body is being shoved through his belly button and back out again as they apparate out of the graveyard.
They land in a living room, tipping over onto the floor in a heap. Snape scowls at Harry, as if it's his fault and he's not just as drunk as Harry is. Haphazard drying and cleaning charms are waved his way, and while they do dry Harry, he's still freezing cold and shivering so hard his teeth chatter.
Snape summons a tray with a teapot, cups, milk and sugar and fills the pot with hot water and tea bags before waving his hand dismissively at it to let Harry know he can help himself. While he stokes the fire, he says, "Explain yourself."
"Well…" Harry doesn't know where to start. Does he tell Snape everything? Would he rip the fabric of time if he did? "I don't really know what happened. The last thing I remember before dropping into the graveyard I was at Grimmauld Place, in nineteen-ninety-eight and I was holding this…" Harry holds up the vial still clutched in his hand, showing it to Snape. "Your memories. You gave them to me."
Snape snatches it away and inspects it. "Why would I give you my memories?"
Harry takes his first sip of tea before setting the cup on the table. "You gave them to me, during the Battle of Hogwarts." Harry wonders if he should stop talking, but he finds he can't make himself. "You gave them to me... to help me defeat Voldemort, to show me things I needed to know in order to kill him."
Snape hums and sets the vial on the table next to Harry's cup before staring at the tea tray. He must decide he's in the mood for something stronger, because he heads to the liquor cabinet and pulls out a bottle of whiskey, pouring some into a glass. "And did you?"
"Well… yeah. He's dead," Harry eyes the whiskey and without having to ask, Snape pours a glass for him. "Thanks."
"I take it, seeing as I could not simply tell you what you needed myself, that I too am dead in nineteen-ninety-eight."
Snape doesn't speak for a long time. He drinks the whiskey in his glass and then pours himself another. "How?"
"Nagini. Does he have Nagini now? Fucking great big snake," Harry replies, taking a gulp of his whiskey, letting it burn down his throat. A small voice in his mind tells him to stop, that he's risking his timeline, but he ignores it. If Snape isn't going to stop him, why should he stop himself? "I was holding the vial and I was just, y'know, thinking about you, what I wanted to say to you and I… I don't know what I did. I landed in the graveyard and I don't know how."
After Snape has finished his second glass of whiskey he gets bored with drinking from the glass and takes the whole bottle with him to the lounge across from Harry. He takes a gulp then sets the bottle between his thighs. "Fuck."
"Fuck," Harry agrees. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to drop in on you while you were…"
Snape waves his hand dismissively as if he's waving the words out of the air. He rubs his hands over his face, and then, as if suddenly realising he's still wet, waves a drying charm over himself. He pulls his now-fluffy hair into a bun and summons a tie to keep it there. Harry's never seen him with his hair up and the difference is startling. "I was simply wishing a drunk abusive bigot a speedy journey to hell."
Harry can't help the startled laughter that bursts out of him and tries to hide it behind his hand. Following another, longer silence, he looks over at Snape and says, "I know what my dad did to you, what Remus and Sirius did as well. I'm not like them."
Snape snorts and holds the bottle loftily, as if he's cheering Harry, before gulping the liquid inside down again and leaning over the table to fill Harry's glass again. Harry stares at the sliver of pale back revealed as he bends forward. He must be drunker than he thought.
"So many people died. And I was- well am, really fucking angry. Sad. And I just… I wanted to apologise? And thank you, and I held that vial and I thought about it. Did I do a spell? I didn't think there were any time travel spells."
"There certainly are not," The look Snape gives Harry is intense and unreadable. Snape opens his mouth to say something, but then he shuts it again with a quiet clack of teeth.
"Well, I'm sorry, and thank you."
Snape snorts again. "Your words mean nothing to me. I am not your Severus Snape and I have no inkling as to what I'm being apologised to for." He sits the bottle between his thighs again and rests his chin on his fast after setting his elbow on his knee. "Did I defect?"
Harry doesn't need to ask him to elaborate, obviously Snape had started thinking quite early of leaving Voldemort's side. "Yes. Soon. I… I shouldn't say when."
Snape nods. "Good. Fucking cunt."
Harry's surprised to hear Snape swear, as much as he would be surprised if McGonagall or Dumbledore had. He drinks his whiskey, trying not to stare at Snape, looking anywhere but. He vaguely remembers Spinner's End from Snape's memories in fifth year, but the room is different from Snape's childhood. It's filled with shelves of books, mostly magical, on potions and the dark arts no doubt. The television that Harry's sure had once sat in the corner is gone, replaced by a desk covered in books, parchment paper and quills. Harry tries to remember if Snape had already started his potions mastery yet. Was he even out of school? Right, his parents were in nineteen-seventy-nine, they were even married, Snape must be, too.
When he's finished the whiskey in his glass again Snape doesn't bother refilling it, he simply hands over the bottle, which Harry accepts.
"How many people?" Snape asks, turning his face to look at Harry. At Harry's confusion he continues, "How many people died?"
"I… I don't know," Harry says, despite knowing it's a lie. He knows every death both wizarding wars caused, muggles, wizards and magical creatures. He says the numbers in his head every day. "No, that's not true. In both wizarding wars one-thousand-three-hundred-and-thirty-seven muggles, five-hundred-and-four wizards, six-thousand-eight-hundred-and-ninety-eight magical creatures. Eight-thousand-seven-hundred-and-thirty-nine in total."
"Fuck," Snape says, scrubbing his face with his hands. "Fuck."
"I think… I think maybe I came back to change it?"
Snape lets out a hollow sounding laugh, his cheeks suddenly wet. "There is no changing it. Eight-thousand-seven-hundred-and-thirty-nine lives lost to a madman. Gods."
Harry's body urges him to go to Snape and comfort him, and Harry's drunk enough that he goes, carefully setting himself down on the lounge next to the man. He reaches a hand out to grasp Snape's shoulder, and when he's not hexed for his trouble he squeezes gently and leaves it where it is.
"Does Lily…?" Harry doesn't reply, which must be answer enough for Snape, because his face twists in pain and he buries it in his hands again. His shoulders shake but no sound comes from his mouth.
"I'm sorry." Harry whispers, pressing his face onto the hand on Snape's shoulder. He's crying too, he can feel the wetness on his hand and his cheeks, and his eyes burn with it. "I know you love her."
"I…" Snape turns his face up to look at Harry, brow furrowed. His eyes are red and his cheeks are flushed and red. "I do. I had never had a friend before your mother."
Harry nods. "I know."
He's really going to regret this.
Harry slides the hand on Snape's shoulder up his neck to his cheek and threads his fingers in the hair at his ear. They stare at each other for a long time and when Snape doesn't pull away or hex him, Harry leans forward. The first press of Harry's lips is gentle and unsure, brief, but it feels like a lifeline, and Harry grasps onto it. The second kiss is a little rougher, and Snape kisses back, licking into Harry's mouth. Harry makes a noise in the back of his throat and pulls Snape forward so quickly and with such strength that Snape falls into him, leaving them lying on the couch together.
Snape sprawls his entire body over Harry's and kisses him hurriedly, sliding a thigh between Harry's and rocking up into him. Harry groans into Snape's mouth, hands sliding down his body to rest on his hips.
They stay like that for a while, rocking together, kissing, before the throbbing in Harry's groin becomes more insistent and he needs more. He starts unbuttoning Snape's shirt, but gives up halfway through and yanks the two sides apart, sending buttons flying in every direction. He tugs it down Snape's shoulders, running his hands over the warm flesh of Snape's back. He sucks Snape's bottom lip into his mouth, sinking his teeth into the flesh until the other man groans.
The little voice in the back of Harry's mind wonders if this is the best idea, but he ignores it.
In seconds, their clothes end up in a pile on the floor next to the couch and they're left naked, writhing together. Harry feels desperate, as though the weight of all the emotions he's been pushing down for years are finally bubbling to the surface, and Snape's the only thing holding them back. Snape whispers a spell Harry doesn't recognise and he shivers as Snape's magic washes over his skin. Snape leans up on one arm, hand planted next to Harry's head, and reaches down with the other. His hand wraps around Harry's cock, dragging a groan from his throat, and presses it into the clutch of his body.
"Oh fuck, oh fuck," Harry says as Snape's hole envelopes the head of his cock. He's warm inside, and wet, and Harry wonders if the spell he cast earlier was to slick himself. If there was such a spell, Harry really needed to learn it. The hand beside his head twists in the material of the lounge and Snape hangs his head, eyes squeezed shut. Wisps of hair have fallen out of the tie and they curl around his face, now damp with sweat.
Snape's brow furrows as he begins pushing further down onto Harry's cock, his body so tight around Harry that he feels as if he might come any moment, and he takes hold of Snape's hips to ground himself. The hand Snape had used to guide Harry into him goes up to the curve of the lounge arm, and he uses that leverage to thrust his hips down so his hole swallows the last inch of Harry's cock.
Harry lets Snape take the lead; he doesn't even think he'd be much help if he did try, and spends most of the time Snape's on top of him just studying his body. It occurs to Harry very suddenly that he's having sex with a man, for the first time, and he's still not even sure he's into men. He's not afraid or turned off. In fact, he's very much turned on.
Snape's pace is fast and bruising, hips thrusting down over and over, taking Harry's cock inside him. He's twisting his hips different ways, and Harry doesn't figure out why until he finds the right angle and hisses through his teeth as the head of Harry's cock strikes his prostate.
Snape's legs start to shake soon afterwards, pace slowing as he runs out of energy, and Harry gladly takes over, the hands on Snape's hips sliding down to grasp his thighs, sliding his legs up. When he fucks up into Snape, the other man throws his head back and groans into the air. Harry's so fucking close and he's so worried he's going to come before Snape and he doesn't need that kind of humiliation right now, so he gets his hand around Snape's prick and pulls it along to the time of his thrusts.
Snape doesn't need more than a thumb digging into the slit before he's coming, spilling out over Harry's belly and hand. His body squeezes rhythmically around Harry's cock, and he doesn't even last longer than a few more thrusts before he's joining him. Snape takes a moment to get his breathing under control, panting into Harry's space, before he's prying himself off of Harry and reaching for the forgotten bottle of whiskey, gulping down the last inches of liquid inside the bottle.
They don't talk about it after that, once they're clean and clothed again. Harry tells Snape more about the war and they open another bottle, this time of rum. Harry's eyelids get heavy when it turns to three in the morning and he doesn't fight it. When he wakes, back in Grimmauld Place on the living room floor, he convinces himself he dreamt the whole thing, despite the satisfied ache in his body whispering to him otherwise.