Memories in Future Tense
Three months could change a lifetime.
Harry stood in the shelter of the beech trees down by the lake and watched while the friends laughed and joked with each other. They were the four Marauders, and Lily, of course; but now they had welcomed another into their little fold. A Slytherin, Severus Snape, and in a different timeline the man who was Harry's husband.
When Harry was sixteen, he and Severus had bonded as a result of Dumbledore's machinations in a last-ditch effort to defeat Voldemort. Harry needed access to Severus' magic in order to have any chance to defeat the Dark Lord, and sex magic between bonded pairs was the most powerful kind of magic in the Wizarding world. In the end, they hadn't had enough time. Voldemort had discovered that Severus was Dumbledore's spy and Harry's husband, and both of them had been captured and imprisoned in Malfoy Manor, but not together. It was only when Voldemort was getting ready to execute Severus that he had his minions bring Harry up to the ballroom and there he had manacled him to the ceiling. Then, Voldemort had murdered Severus in front of Harry, but not before torturing Severus for three days with the Cruciatus Curse. Harry had had to watch in impotent horror as his husband's body arched again and again with pain, blood leaking from Severus' ears, nose and mouth as the curse went to work. They were three days in which Harry had watched his beloved slowly lose his sanity, his once sharp mind dwindling to nothing until all Severus could do was howl in pain and beg for death.
When Severus expelled his last breath, Harry felt as if his own heart and soul had been ripped from his body, too. They hadn't been in love when they'd first bonded, but over the course of that almost-year, they had become lovers for themselves, and not just to be able to use the sex magic. Harry had been loved unconditionally for the first time in his life and Voldemort had torn it from him, just as he ruined every good thing in Harry's life. His friends were all dead, his allies broken and defeated. Voldemort had taken over the Wizarding world and Harry feared that now he would be unable to defeat him at all, prophecy or not. Maybe it would be better if he died too and joined his loved ones in death, rather than face the rest of his life alone.
But as Harry watched Voldemort gloat over his husband's prone body, he knew he couldn't do it. He couldn't just give up. His friends and his lover may have been gone, but there were still thousands of innocent witches and wizards who didn't deserve to live in a world with Voldemort at its head. Severus had been an adept at wandless and wordless magic and he'd been trying his best to teach Harry, but Harry had never quite got the hang of it, nor of the Dark spells. You have to mean it, Harry. Voldemort's words haunted him now and Harry could feel the power building in his body. He used his grief to channel the spell, wishing that he'd been able to cast it earlier and save Severus. Harry thought of all the people he loved whom Voldemort had murdered and thought the words he never thought he'd be able to utter and mean them. He had to intend to kill his target and oh, yes, this time he meant it.
Avada Kedavra! Harry thought.
Voldemort had looked shocked as he caught a glimpse of the green light that hit him in the heart. "What--" He started to talk, but then toppled over like a felled tree. All the Death Eaters who'd watched Severus' torture sank to the ground, clutching at their arms and screaming in pain. Harry used wandless magic to remove his shackles and escape from Malfoy Manor, taking Severus' body with him and burying him in Dumbledore's tomb.
For weeks he had wandered around Grimmauld Place like a zombie. He had no interest in eating or taking care of himself. Kreacher tried to tempt him with his favourite foods, but Harry had no appetite. Without Severus, he was dying slowly by degrees. Their bond had been broken with Severus' death and now Harry would die without it, without Severus.
He couldn't remember how he'd found the Time-Turner, but one day he was standing in the library at Grimmauld Place and realised he had a Time-Turner in his hand. Hermione's warnings had meant little to him then. Terrible things happen to wizards who mess with time. Harry hadn't cared. Anything would be better than this. In his hand he held the means to save his husband and his friends, and by Merlin he was going to do it!
Harry had turned it too far that first time and ended up at Hogwarts for Severus' entire seventh year, rather than the few months he'd been aiming for. It had been an accident, but now that he was here, Harry hadn't been able to resist meddling until he finally got the Marauders, Lily and Severus united as friends, not enemies.
Harry could hardly believe that he'd managed to do it in less than three months and now it was time to bow out and head back to the future. If Severus was friends with the Marauders, he wouldn't join Voldemort. Voldemort wouldn't have his spy at the Hog's Head that fateful night, so Voldemort would never know of the prophecy. And without the prophecy, Voldemort had no reason to go after the Potters or the Longbottoms.
Harry smiled again as he twirled the Time-Turner idly in his hands. He wanted to get back to his own time, back to his Severus, but he couldn't resist one last look at the now carefree teenager his lover had become. It had been a privilege to see Severus so unguarded at last. He shook his head. It was time to go back to the future, a better one now: a future where his parents, his friends and his husband were all still alive.
Harry turned the device and closed his eyes while the past disappeared and he was thrown through time and space. It felt as nauseating as travelling by Portkey and Harry felt himself falling. He opened his eyes as he landed on his knees in the middle of a bedroom. The walls were painted pale blue, the woodwork white, and the single bed in the room had a blue-and-white-striped duvet cover and matching pillowcases. A sash window was pushed halfway open so that Harry could hear children and the distant hum of traffic outside. Muggle cars? But this couldn't be Privet Drive, not with the moving pictures of mermaids and dragons on the wall. A desk was pushed against one wall and as well as a Muggle computer on top of it, there were stacks of parchment, quills and ink besides. Where had the Time-Turner taken him? His heart thudded against his ribs. It couldn't be, could it? Was he at Godric's Hollow?
Someone knocked on the door. "Harry? Are you up yet? Your dad's coming to pick you up in less than an hour. You need to get ready and have some breakfast."
Harry almost ran to the door in his haste to open it and see the woman on the other side.
"Mum!" he cried and enveloped her in a hug. Lily was older than any memories or photos of her that Harry had ever seen and her red hair was threaded with silver strands.
"What brought this on?" Lily asked, stepping out of Harry's embrace and feeling his forehead. "Are you feeling all right?"
"I'm fine," said Harry, and he was: more than fine.
"Why have you got your school robes on? You're not wearing those to go out, are you?"
"Just a bet I had with a friend," Harry said improvising madly. "I'll get changed."
"Shower first," Lily ordered, hands on her hips.
"Yes, Mum. I will. Why's Dad picking me up?" Harry asked, wondering why James wasn't in the house with them.
"Honestly, Harry! We've been divorced for two years; you'd think you'd be used to it by now. You see your father every weekend when you're not at school. I think it's important the two of you still spend time together."
"Sorry, Mum. I'm just a bit tired; I forget things when I first wake up. I'll just get ready and then I'll be down for breakfast." Harry had never even considered that James and Lily might be divorced, but at least they were alive. That was all that mattered.
Once his mother had left him, Harry realised he didn't know where the bathroom was. He went back to his bedroom and hunted through the wardrobes and chest of drawers to find some clothes and underwear to take with him. He peeked inside every room on the top floor before he finally found the bathroom.
The room was fully tiled in aquamarine and in the middle of the floor sat a large, claw-footed tub that looked like it might hold five people. Not counting the Prefects' Bathroom at Hogwarts, Harry had never seen a bigger bath in his life. He toyed with the idea of lounging there for a while, but was too curious about seeing his dad again so decided to go for the quicker option of having a shower.
Harry stopped short as he caught sight of himself in the mirror. Was that really him? He was taller than he had expected to be. If he had indeed been brought up by his real parents and not been shoved in a cupboard and half-starved all the time, he supposed in this reality he would be taller. His face looked different, too: it was paler and his hair wasn't the wild bird's nest he was used to. There was a slight curl to his hair, but it was longer than Harry had ever worn it, right down to his shoulders. His eyes were the same green as his mother's, but his nose looked bigger too. It was him and yet it was a different him.
Harry stared at his new reflection for a few moments more before shaking his head. It didn't matter what he looked like. He was still Harry Potter, he still felt the same, and that was all that mattered. As he stepped into the shower and washed methodically, his mind wandered back to the divorce. That would never even have occurred to him, but divorced parents were better than no parents at all. And what about Severus? Was he a teacher in this reality? Ron and Hermione? Were they still his friends or had he never met them?
Once dressed in a pair of black jeans and a jade green shirt with black buttons, Harry bounded down the stairs, a broad smile on his face.
James was already in the kitchen, sipping at a cup of coffee, and from the way he was staring at Lily, who was making scrambled eggs at the cooker, Harry had the sense that he was a man who was still very much in love. Harry just stood staring at the domestic scene for a few moments before making his presence known.
"Hi, Dad," he said. Lily whirled around and dropped the wooden spoon she'd been stirring the eggs with.
"Harry! That's the first time you've called James 'Dad'. I was hoping you'd come to accept the fact that we're together, but I don't want you to feel that we're replacing your father."
"Yes, Harry," said James. "I'm not sure how Severus would take it. He's very possessive of you, and who wouldn't be? You're a wonderful young man, Harry Snape, and I'd be proud to call you my son if that's what you wish."
The room blurred around Harry and there was a strange whooshing sound in his ears. Severus Snape was his father? His husband was now his father? Harry reached out to grab hold of something. This had never even occurred to him when he'd meddled in the past. He'd just wanted Severus to keep his friendship with Lily. He'd never thought that Severus would marry her! Severus was gay, or so Harry had thought. Maybe he'd been bisexual all along, although Severus had never given any hint of that before. Had Harry's meddling changed things that much? Harry stumbled a bit before he managed to grab hold of a worktop.
"You're very pale, Harry," said his mother with some concern. "Sit down. Are you sure you're not coming down with something? Maybe you should cancel your trip to Diagon Alley until Monday. There's still a week left before you have to get back to school."
Harry sank into one of the kitchen chairs and poured himself a glass of orange juice from the jug that had been sitting in the middle of the scrubbed wooden table. "I'm fine," Harry said, wondering how he could ever explain what was bothering him. He'd used the Time-Turner because he wanted his husband back. Now what was he supposed to do?
Lily dished up some scrambled eggs and toast for Harry, along with a steaming mug of coffee. Harry had never liked coffee, but it seemed in this timeline he was expected to have some. He sipped it, wincing at the bitter taste. When the doorbell rang, James went to answer it, leaving Harry to finish his breakfast. Harry pushed his plate away with the food half-eaten. He couldn't manage any more with the lump that seemed to be lodged in his throat as he waited nervously for Severus to appear in the kitchen.
"Hello, Harry." Oh, God, that voice that he thought never to hear again. The voice was deep, dark and rich, just the way Harry remembered it. Harry looked up, his heart hammering against his ribs as he looked up at Severus, his father. He looked the same, he looked like his Severus. From the hooked nose to the slightly crooked teeth, the shoulder-length hair and the darkest eyes Harry had ever seen. A blush painted Severus' sallow cheeks pink as both of them seemed to stare at each other for an eternity.
"Hi, Dad," Harry said, nibbling his bottom lip. He wanted to throw himself into Severus' arms, but knew that if he did he wouldn't be able to stop a moan of want from being so near to the man at last. Oh, God, what was he going to do? Harry could remember every kiss, every passionate encounter they'd shared in the past and he wanted to have that again with every fibre of his being. Wasn't that the reason he'd used the Time-Turner in the first place, to get his beloved back? Only now Severus wasn't his lover, but his father. What a mess!
"Ready to go?" Severus asked, as if he was uncomfortable being in the same room with his ex-wife and her new lover.
Harry nodded and pushed his chair away from the table. Maybe if he wasn't in a house with his mother, he could forget that Severus was actually his father. It didn't seem quite real to him yet, as if it was just a weird dream.
As soon as they'd said their goodbyes and left the cottage behind, Severus took hold of Harry's wrist for a Side-Along Apparition. It was all Harry could do not to whimper in desire at the touch. When the dizzying swirl of travel had stopped, they found themselves in the market square of Diagon Alley. It was just as Harry remembered from before, except for one glaring difference. On every shop front, on banners and on posters, were large pictures of Voldemort. Only it wasn't the snake-faced creature Harry had fought in his own timeline. This was a distinguished-looking older Tom Riddle, with greying, dark hair and dark eyes, smiling and waving from every picture. Underneath each picture was the slogan Riddle for Minister.
What had happened in this timeline that Riddle had never become Voldemort?
"Harry, are you all right? You've been very quiet."
"I'm fine, Se - Dad," Harry amended quickly.
"I thought we'd get your books and equipment first and then we could have lunch at the Leaky Cauldron."
"Sounds good," said Harry absently.
"I've spoken to the Headmaster, about what we discussed last term."
"Oh? And what did he say?" Harry had no idea what Severus was talking about, of course.
"He agrees that since it is your final year at Hogwarts, you can live with me in my quarters during term time as long as it's all right with you and your mother. You'll still sit with your House during meal times and have use of their common room as normal; you'll just sleep with me instead of in the dorms."
Harry really tried to get his mind out of the gutter when Severus said sleep with me, but it was difficult, when all Harry wanted to do was just that. "I want to do that," Harry agreed readily. Even if they didn't get to have sex, he would still be able to spend time with Severus, something he'd missed when the Severus in his own timeline had died.
Across the street, just coming out of Flourish & Blotts, Harry spotted Hermione. He waved, but she ignored him and hurried away, a stack of books clutched to her chest.
"I didn't know you were friends with any Ravenclaws, Harry," Severus said as both of them made their way over to the bookshop.
Hermione was in Ravenclaw? So it wasn't just Harry's own parentage that had changed, or the fact that Tom Riddle was now in the running for Minister of Magic. Harry didn't know if he was even still in Gryffindor. What if everything had changed in this timeline?
* * * * *
Hogwarts was as Harry remembered it before Voldemort and his minions had destroyed most of it in battle. He'd gone with Severus a few days before term started to get settled into his new quarters and Harry was relieved to discover he did indeed have Gryffindor robes in his trunk.
Harry settled down on the Gryffindor bench in the Great Hall for the Welcome Feast and waited for the others to arrive, wondering if his friends were still his friends or if he'd made different ones in this timeline. It was confusing to keep track of things and Harry just hoped he wouldn't muck up and give things away.
"Harry!" Ron Weasley patted Harry on the back and slid in beside Harry. Harry felt his eyes begin to sting and he willed the tears away. Ron was alive! Oh, God, it was great to see him. "I thought you were coming to the Burrow this year before term started?"
"I was going to, but then I had to get things organised. I'm going to be living with my dad while we're at school, Dumbledore approved it."
"That's great. I know you missed him when your parents got divorced."
"Thanks, Ron." Harry was glad to know that he could still rely on his friend, even if everything else was different. Harry smiled at him and settled into the Welcome Feast. It was going to be an interesting year.
* * * * *
There was something different about Harry. Severus couldn't quite put his finger on it, but something was definitely off. At first he thought it might have been the stress of Harry being in his NEWT year, but Harry's marks were perfect. A bit too perfect if truth were told. Had Harry been cheating in his classes? Severus had been keeping a close eye on him during his own class and when Harry did his homework, but he didn't seem to be cheating. Severus was at a loss to explain his son's sudden improvement.
Harry had always been a fair to good student, depending on the subject, but now he was excelling at everything, even Divination, and Harry hated Divination. He was now top of the class in History of Magic, another subject Harry had previously done very badly in; he just hadn't been interested in the subject matter.
But as well as the something off, there was also something familiar. Sometimes Severus got the strangest sense of déjà vu around Harry. Sometimes it might be the way Harry's hands moved, or the way his eyes caught the light at a certain angle. As if he'd seen this seventeen-year-old Harry before somewhere.
When term broke up for the Christmas holidays, Harry elected to stay with Severus rather than go on a skiing holiday with Lily and James. What normal teenager would give up the chance of a holiday in Austria to sequester themselves in the dungeons for two weeks? Something just wasn't right with Harry, but Severus had no idea what it was. But during those two weeks, he came to realise just how wrong.
For those two weeks, Harry never left Severus' company, and quite often, Severus would see Harry emerge from the bathroom wearing nothing but a towel and a broad grin. It was difficult not to notice how much Harry had filled out and Severus found himself having to consciously tear his eyes away from all that pale skin.
Severus had been attracted to males before; that aspect didn't bother him, as he'd always considered himself bisexual. No, what bothered him was that he was finding himself fighting an attraction to his son. This attraction was new and unwelcome, but it didn't stop him from listening when Harry masturbated every night without the benefit of Silencing Charms.
Severus lay there listening to Harry's moans and the creaks of his bed, his face flaming with shame when the tension could no longer be borne and he found his hand creeping towards his own rock-hard cock. He learned to time his silent orgasm with Harry's, depending on the pitch of his groans and the mad squeak of bedsprings in the other room.
Severus was appalled that he was even thinking of Harry in any sort of sexual capacity at all, but it was hard to stop once he'd started on that road. He found himself wondering what Harry's face looked like when he came, how his lips and cock would taste. What Severus should have done was to have a quiet word and request that Harry wear more clothes around the house and put up Silencing Charms. But Severus did neither; he was finding it too interesting to watch Harry's body and he loved listening to the sounds of Harry losing himself in pleasure.
If Severus didn't know any better, he would think that Harry was trying to seduce him. From the lack of clothes Harry wore in their quarters, to the hugs and touches that seemed to linger a bit longer than they should. From the heated gazes they shared over games of chess and cups of hot chocolate. Severus was coiled as tightly as a spring and any moment one of them was going to snap. But Severus knew he must have been imagining it. There was no way Harry was fantasising about the same things he was. For no longer were Severus' thoughts confined to how Harry looked when he masturbated. He imagined how Harry would look spread out beneath him on Severus' large bed, his skin sweat-slicked and his lips reddened from passionate kisses. How he would beg Severus to fuck him. How Harry's skin would look covered in love bites.
It was all wrong, forbidden on so many levels, but sometimes Severus wanted it with a desperate ache. He stuck to fantasies, of course, not wanting to alienate Harry, and left Harry's embraces as quickly as he could, worried that Harry would discover how hard just that simple contact made him. No, Severus would do nothing about it. Nothing. But, oh, how he wanted to!
It was Christmas Eve when the tension finally came to a head and a naked Harry climbed into Severus' bed.
"What are you doing?" Severus demanded, even though inwardly he knew that one of his dearest fantasies had just come true. He wondered if he'd ended up in Heaven or Hell.
"I know you want me," Harry said quietly. "Don't deny it. I've seen the way you look at me."
"Well, if you wouldn't go around half-naked all the time!" Severus protested, but he knew it was futile. He had looked at Harry and not only when he was half-dressed.
Harry chuckled and pressed a soft kiss to Severus' neck. "Silly. I wanted you to look at me. I want you too; couldn't you tell?"
The revelation made Severus strive for breath. "You - you wanted me? Like that?"
"Of course! Who do you think I imagined was touching me every night when I wanked? It was always you."
"But I'm your father! It's wrong!"
"The law, for one. Not to mention the moral and ethical implications."
"Well, I'm not going to tell anyone. Are you? Anyway, it's only in our culture. In Ancient Egypt it was the done thing in noble families to make sure the inheritance stayed within the family."
"We're not in Ancient Egypt!" Severus protested, but even to his own ears it sounded weaker than he had intended, when all he could think of was a naked Harry lying next to him. He could reach out and touch that firm skin. His son's firm skin. The thought sent another spike of arousal through him and he couldn't stop the groan in time. Severus swallowed hard. "Harry, you should go before I do something I'll regret."
"How do you know you'll regret it?"
Severus could almost imagine the impish grin as Harry said it. "Please, Dad," Harry said then and Severus was lost. He loved Harry and he could deny him nothing, not even this. His conscience was screaming at him, that he shouldn't do this, that he shouldn't cross this line but Severus knew the line had been crossed as soon as Harry had slipped into his bed and Severus hadn't chased him out of it at once.
He turned so that he was facing Harry and reached out to caress his cheek. "Do you really want to do this?"
"I wouldn't be in bed naked with you if I didn't," Harry replied with a broad grin and scooted closer to him on the mattress. Severus wasn't sure which one of them initiated the first kiss between them, but soon it didn't matter as he lost himself in the taste of Harry's mouth. It was a soft kiss at first, slow and teasing but it soon became heated, with a hint of tongues and teeth. Harry moaned and clutched at the back of Severus' nightshirt, his erection firm against Severus' thigh as he rutted against him. Harry was wild, frantic in his passion and there was no time for Severus even to remove his nightshirt before Harry was coming in wet heat over Severus' clothes.
Harry broke their kiss, his face flushed. "Oh, God! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to come so soon. I've just wanted this for so long."
"Hush, Harry. It's all right."
Harry pushed Severus down flat on the bed and then straddled his waist. Severus couldn't prevent the groan as Harry wriggled on his perch and thrust against Severus' own rock-hard cock. "Can I suck you?" Harry asked coyly.
Severus could only nod as his cock jerked at the thought. It had been a long time since Severus had had a lover of any sort and Lily had never really liked fellatio. But that wasn't something Severus was about to tell their son. Dear Merlin, what was he doing? Their son. He should stop this now before it went any further, but before Severus could speak, Harry had wrapped his lips around Severus' shaft and he lost the thread of any thought besides heat and wet and oh, dear God, this was good! Better than good. It was as if Harry knew exactly how to drive him wild.
Harry knew exactly how much pressure and when; he knew to alternate his sucking with little licks and bites with just the faint hint of teeth. But how could Harry know what he liked? They'd never done this before. Harry was proficient, there was no doubt about that, and Severus felt a stab of jealousy in his chest when he wondered who had taught Harry these skills.
Harry shimmied further down his body so that he was lying between Severus' legs and undulating against the mattress as he worked Severus' cock with mouth, tongue and hands. It seemed that sucking Severus off had made Harry aroused again as well.
Severus grunted and arched his hips, needing some more pressure on his cock. His balls felt full and heavy and he almost ached with it. Severus gripped Harry's hair and thrust deeper into his mouth as he felt the orgasm start. "Harry!" Severus screamed as he emptied himself deep into his son's mouth. Harry swallowed around him, but there was so much that he couldn't swallow it all. Severus' whole body was trembling with the force of his climax; little aftershocks were still making his prick twitch when Harry let it go. And there it was again, that wonderful grin. Severus' come was dripping down Harry's chin; Harry's face was flushed and his eyes bright. He looked utterly debauched and it was such a good look on him.
Severus reached out and pushed Harry's hair away from his forehead, frowning. He'd had another one of these strange feelings of déjà vu. For a brief moment, Severus was sure that Harry ought to have had a scar on his forehead in the shape of a lightning bolt.
Harry licked his lips free of Severus' semen and lay down next to him.
"Are you all right?" Harry asked, sounding worried. "Please, don't chase me away."
Severus hugged Harry to him. "I'm not sending you anywhere, Harry. I love you. I don't regret what we did, only that we'll have to hide it from everyone. Can you handle that?" For Harry once tasted was an addiction that Severus had no intention of ever giving up. He didn't even try to rationalise it to himself. He knew it was wrong but he wanted to keep doing it anyway.
"I'll do anything to keep you, to keep this," said Harry, leaning over to kiss him once more and Severus was treated to the taste of Harry and himself intermingled on their tongues. "I never want to let you go ever again."
"Well you have me, for as long as you want me," said Severus, giving Harry an out if he needed one. If Harry met someone else and fell in love, then this, whatever it was, would have to stop. It was enough to know that for now they both wanted it.
"Forever," Harry said fervently. "I don't want anyone else."
Severus smiled and kissed Harry's hair. "You might change your mind."
"Never. You're mine and I'm yours. Always."
"Always," Severus agreed, although in his heart he wondered how long "Always" was in the mind of an adolescent.
They were happy for now and that would have to do.