Snape hears soft footfalls on the stairs as he finishes his rum.
Potter pauses in the doorway.
Snape puts his cigarette out in a conscripted brûlée dish and refills his tumbler, moonlight dancing on the bottle as he pours. After a long moment, Potter takes a glass from the cupboard and sits across from Snape. His eyes are wet and swollen behind his glasses.
Snape slides him the bottle and lights another cigarette.
Even in the darkness, Potter doesn't spill. It's clearly not the first time he's gotten drunk in the dark.
Hours pass with only the sounds of pouring liquid and crackling embers to break the silence.
Potter puts the glass in the sink and goes to bed.
Snape lights another cigarette.
* * * * *
Potter joins him the next night, drinks three or four glasses and goes back to bed; his silhouette and soft breathing the only way Snape knows he's there.
Same thing the night after. And the night after that. Two weeks of grudgingly companionable silence.
And then Potter had to go and develop the irritating habit of talking.
* * * * *
Snape lets out an exasperated breath.
"What do you want to hear, Potter? That I hated it? That I truly am good inside? That I " - Snape affects a snivel - "am broken by what I had to do and if I had it to do over again, I would have died rather than harm another living soul?"
He snorts and lights another cigarette. He takes a drag and the cherry glows brightly enough to illuminate the curve of his lip as he sneers.
"No, Potter. I'm an opportunistic, Slytherin Death Eater," Snape responds with a hard edge to his voice. "That is why they don't trust me. And why should they? If I had needed to hurt any of you to keep my cover, I would have."
The silence is loud in the darkness.
"My mum?" Harry whispers shakily.
"What about her?"
"Would you - would you let her die if you had it to do over again?"
Snape's cigarette flares brightly for a moment. "I begged for her life."
"But would you tell Voldemort the prophecy?"
Snape sets his glass on the table harder than necessary.
And Snape is gone.
* * * * *
Potter pours his drink as Snape lights a cigarette.
"Have you ever killed anyone?"
Potter isn't wasting time tonight. Snape slams back the rest of his rum and pours another: the boy is so much easier to deal with after a few drinks.
"Have you ever tortured anyone?"
Potter takes a steadying breath. "Would you do it again, now that Voldemort's gone?"
Snape is certain he should have some kind of razor-sharp retort for this. Bloody rum. "Yes."
"What are you asking, Potter?" Snape closes his eyes and presses the cool glass to his temple.
"I ... just ... I mean ... "
"We cut off the head, but the snake didn't die. To find the rest of Voldemort's sympathisers, the ends justify the means."
He doesn't hear anything but Potter's breathing until he finishes his cigarette. When the boy finally speaks, it's hardly more than a whisper.
"Did you ... enjoy it?"
Snape is momentarily intrigued. He didn't think de Sade was required reading for Gryffindors.
Potter exhales. "Killing people. Torturing people."
A heartbeat. Two.
And Potter is gone.
* * * * *
They have finished one bottle and opened a second before Potter speaks.
"Do you ... feel bad about it?"
"About what precisely, Potter? You'll have to be far more specific." Snape lets out a bitterly amused laugh.
"About liking ... hurting people."
The cherry flares in the darkness.
"Why should I?" he asks.
Snape barely hears him leave.
* * * * *
"Did you ever ... when he didn't tell you to?"
"Did I ever what, Potter? When who didn't tell me to?" Snape slams his glass onto the table and scowls, though Potter can't see it in the dark. Shame, that.
"Hurt people. Voldemort."
"I must offer my commendations: clearly you possess a grammatical prowess rivalling Shakespeare himself," Snape says dryly. He takes another drink, then lets out a slow breath. "And no, Potter. I never did."
The silence returns. He wonders if Potter is trying to convince himself that the greasy Potions Master really is a good man underneath it all. Snape rolls his eyes.
"Would you?" Potter asks breathily.
"If the situation required it."
"That's not what I meant."
A smile Potter couldn't see, shouldn't see, plays across his lips. "I would not discount the possibility."
Shots of rum punctuate long, slow drags on the cigarette. Snape hears nothing. He starts to wonder if Potter left and he didn't notice. How much rum has he had tonight?
"Because ... " Potter whispers finally, " ... because you want to."
Snape smiles in the darkness, a smile that only dead people have seen.
"God, yes," he breathes.
They sit in the taut silence for hours.
* * * * *
The rush of warm air against his ear is the only warning Snape gets.
"He lies on the floor and I kiss him, devour him, straddling his hips as he arches up against me, kiss him until his eyes are glazed, his - "
"I don't want to hear about your sexual fumblings, Potter!" Snape snarls, slamming his glass hard against the table. These midnight confessionals have gone too far.
Harry takes Snape's chin and the back of his head in a steel grip and presses his lips - almost - to Snape's ear. He's going to leave bruises.
It occurs to Snape for the first time that he might actually be in danger and he can hardly see. He stops resisting and slowly slides his hand to his wand.
"I pull off his shirt as he laughs; slide his tight jeans down as he bites his lip. He poses seductively in the firelight.
"He reaches out for me and I straddle him again. He unbuttons my shirt slowly and reaches for my jeans, but I pin his wrists above his head. He pretends to fight me; writhes beneath me. I lean forward and trace his lips with my tongue. He moans into my mouth."
Harry lets out a shuddering breath. "Do you want to know what I say?"
Snape's heart stops. His world is spinning out of control; past and future obliterated in the murmured music of his enemy's beautiful son.
"Crucio," they whisper in unison.
Time slows to a crawl and Potter slowly, slowly pulls his hands away. Snape takes a ragged breath as his heart begins to beat again; he moves without thinking and cradles Potter's face gently, forcefully, in both hands. Potter's lips part and his eyes flutter closed.
"Legilimens," Snape whispers.
Potter's breath is hot against his mouth.
Wild kissing, laughter, sultry murmurs as they stumble into Harry's flat. The young man shoves Harry against the door and trails a tongue up his chest as he pulls the shirt over his head.
Harry leans his head against the door, eyes closed, a content smile on his face. He runs his hand through golden locks as the young man drops to his knees and opens the button of Harry's jeans with his teeth. Harry grips his hair and pulls him away.
"Let me first," he whispers. The boy smiles coyly, lies back on the hardwood floor and shimmies out of his trousers.
Harry crawls up the hot, tanned skin, letting his naked chest caress the straining cock, the taut stomach. He trails his tongue across chest, collarbone, neck; licks delicately at the brilliant Cheshire smile.
"Imperio," Harry whispers. The young man stills.
Harry pulls a long knife from one of his knee-high boots. He leans close, his lips nearly touching the blond's.
"I want you to cut off your skin," Harry whispers. His eyes flutter closed and he lets out a shuddering breath. "I want to hear you scream. I want to hear you beg me to make it stop. I want you to cry for me."
Blue eyes open wide in terror.
Harry presses the perfectly balanced blade into the soft hand, presses a kiss to warm, wet lips and sits back against the wall.
The boy screams as he slides the blade under his skin.
Blood runs in rivers.
Snape pulls out: his heart pounding, breathing ragged, body trembling. He rests his forehead against Harry's, closes his eyes, and tries to still his body. He cannot begin to articulate the flood of emotion wreaking havoc in his mind.
Harry's slender arms wrap around his waist and pull him close. They stand that way until Snape's heart slows.
"So, Mister Potter," he drawls when he can think again, "have you ever killed anyone?"
"Not yet." Harry's soft lips flutter against his own. Severus runs a thumb along them.
Severus can see Harry's smouldering gaze even in the darkness.
"Come see," he mouths against Snape's skin.
It is a battery of complicated spells that reattach skin. The young man screams as bloody strips of flesh rise from the floor and find their places over exposed muscle. His screams turn to shrieks as nerves reattach and the pain signals increase exponentially.
The edges of torn skin seal, heal; the pink scars fading rapidly into nearly invisible silver lines.
Harry whispers Scourgify and Obliviate: the pools of blood vanish instantly, but trauma like this takes a long time to erase. He tips a large phial of blood replenishing potion down the young man's throat while he waits and carefully dresses the trembling, supine form. He is vaguely amused that the blond will never be able to explain the thin scars covering his body.
He sits and watches the youthful face soften as the memories slowly, slowly fade.
"Thank you for having drinks with me," Harry whispers against pale lips, once the boy is coherent.
The young man smiles, confused, as Harry helps him to his feet and shows him the door.
"My clever Gryffindor," Severus whispers, gazing into liquid emerald eyes as the first threads of dawn stretch across the sky. "I see that you are capable of studying when you want to."
One side of Harry's mouth curves up in a wickedly insolent grin.
"You just have to keep my interest," he murmurs seductively.
* * * * *
Harry is pinned to the bed, moaning and writhing as the young man from the bar expertly rubs his thigh against the bulge in Harry's jeans. Harry bites his lip as the spiky-haired brunet transfers both of his slender wrists into one strong hand while the other unbuttons his shirt and pinches hard, pink nipples.
Harry whines and bucks against the well-muscled leg.
"You're such a fucking slut!" the man exclaims with a cruel twist of his lips. Harry nods eagerly, arching up against him. "I bet it was all you could do not to bend over the hood of my car and beg me to fuck you in the parking lot."
Harry gasps and thrusts against the hard thigh."Oh god, yes! God, how I wanted to! Oh, please - please let me suck your cock, I need to suck your cock - I've wanted to all night - "
"You're nothing but a little cock-whore, aren't you?" the man sneers, flopping onto his back.
"Yes, yes, yes, please ... " Harry scrambles up on all fours, unzips the man's trousers, and licks his lips wantonly, hungrily.
"Petrificus Totalis," he whispers, glancing up at the empty doorway and grinning viciously.
"You know, I really hate arrogant sods like you," Harry snarls, his shirt sliding off pale shoulders as he kneels up. "Did you really think I would ever let a creep like you fuck my tight little arse? I only picked you because you were such a worthless piece of shit."
The young man's eyes roll wildly.
"No," Harry sneers, "you can't move. I can do whatever I like to you and no one will ever know - not even you. Afterwards you won't have any idea why you left before you shoved your pathetic little cock in my tight, hot, prize of an arse."
Severus lazily tosses Harry's invisibility cloak on the bureau. "Do you ever let them fuck you?"
"More often than not. I like having cock up my arse. Besides, healing damage that severe is a once-a-week activity, at best."
Severus can't contain an amused snort and Harry bursts out laughing.
* * * * *
The moment Harry whispers Finite Incantatem, the man thrashes and demands to be untied, shouting amusingly empty threats. Harry cocks his head and looks at him as though at clock mechanisms he doesn't understand.
The young man falters at Harry's frighteningly detached look and changes tactics with dizzying speed, almost keeping his voice steady as he tries to use reason and logic to effect his release.
Harry glances up at Severus, his eyes slightly unfocused; Severus smiles decadently, languorously.
One look at Severus' face and panic consumes the man. He struggles uselessly against his bindings; begs them to stop, pleads for mercy, swears he'll never tell if only they'll let him go.
Harry smiles with a facsimile of sympathy.
The man's voice cracks as tears start to fall and he desperately chokes out promises he cannot possibly fulfil.
Harry unties a bundle and unrolls it on the small metal table beside him. Firelight glints across the razor-sharp blades. The young man sees them and begins to hyperventilate, his words coming out in a strangled, wet rush.
Severus curls around Harry, nuzzles into his soft, black hair, and taps a particular knife. Harry smiles with a child-like joy Severus has never seen.
Harry raises the knife.
The man screams.
Harry drives the knife into the middle of the man's trouser leg and the cloth parts like water. The man lets out a cry of hysterical relief and redoubles his efforts: sobbing, babbling, and pleading faster than he can breathe. Harry tries to contain his smirk, but when Severus chuckles low in his ear, he does not succeed.
Harry cuts the man's clothing off slowly, inch by inch; the flat of the blade drawing red welts in long lines. He runs his fingers along bare skin as the cloth falls away, as the man grovels as best he can while tied to an autopsy table.
Severus wraps his arms around Harry's waist and Harry lets his head fall back against Severus' shoulder. Harry is floating on the man's pure terror.
Severus turns Harry around, tangles his fingers in unruly black hair, and kisses the beautiful boy fiercely.
Harry may look like an angel, but angels don't smile like this.