Disclaimer: Not mine and I’m really just doing this for S’n’Gs. Really.
Part of the From Dusk till Dawn Severus Snape/Harry Potter Fuh-Q-Fest at http://www.kardasi.com/HPSS/storyindex.htm
Challenge: Wave XII: What if…? Also incorporating the “Snape in Leather Pants” challenge from Wave I.
“Do you believe in magic?”
Harry looks up from the physics text lying on the café table, intrigued by a voice like honey – no, more like molasses, thick and bitter and sweet. Cool black eyes study him, set in a compelling face that is thin lipped and graced with a nose to put Roman models to shame. Black hair waves down from a high forehead; thick but fine and clumping slightly in oily strands. He’s frequented this café for most of his time at University and never before seen that face nor heard any voice quite so like ice and velvet.
Harry raises an expressive brow, closing up the discussion of quantum particles and the places where physics and chemistry met in a heady profusion of sub atomics and energy.
“Magic?” Doubt colors his voice in a rainbow of confusion, disbelief, and academic superiority. It is a tone that he’s practicing in hopes that it will further his ability to get underclassmen to think rather than parrot data spoon-fed to them. There is nothing more discouraging than tutoring a mass of attention deficit cockatiels and realizing that he might as well be cooing “Polly want a cracker?” rather than “E = mc2“.
On the whole, he suspects he would probably have more luck with actual birds.
The man sneers – a luscious expression clearly practiced upon those actually vulnerable to his disdain and Harry considers trying to adopt it for his own use.
“That was indeed the question, Mr. Potter. Tell me, if you will, do you believe in magic?”
Harry blinks, picking up his book as he rises from the table.
“I think you’ve got the wrong bloke. My name isn’t Potter.”
He has always loved his mother’s garden and all of its little eccentricities. The kitchen garden and bit of lawn at the back of #4 Privet drive is delightfully whimsical, painting a vivid and glorious picture while hiding deadly secrets from the neighbors.
Today she’s grubbing about, repotting a Vampiric Vine, its blooms a bit pale with the lack of blood, but at least she’s convinced the damn thing to quit eating the neighbors’ pets, and he has to admit that once she trains it up the lattices in the back it will be gorgeous.
“Harry!” She pulls off her gloves and brushes back a thick lock of deep red hair. “You made it!”
“Miss Dudders’ graduation banquet? Perish the thought! It’s not every day I eat food prepared by one of the best up-and-coming chefs in Britain!”
An outraged bellow echoes from the kitchen, followed by a suspicious clang and the thunder of running feet. Pet and Jamie burst from the back door like water from an overfilled balloon, practically tumbling in a white cascade down the stairs, fleeing from the cleaver-wielding chef who was interrupted whilst slaving away to make a dinner fit for a king.
Petunia, all legs and arms and only faintly rounding curves, sticks her tongue out at him like a two year old. James’ attempt to look innocent is rather foiled by the fact that his effort to grow a goatee has done little more than make him look like a constipated used car salesman with radiation poisoning.
“The trouble twins strike again, I see.” Harry raises an eyebrow and they look vaguely shamed. “Why don’t you leave Dudley alone, monsters?”
His mum laughs. “Harry!”
“Harry!” Petunia’s welcoming cry is the only warning he has before the Twin hurricane knocks him over.
“Hmph. Hiya, Harry.” Dudley gestures a bit with is cleaver. “See if you can’t keep them occupied, what.”
“Mum!” protests James.
“Stay out of the kitchen,” their mother cocks her head to one side, a tiny smile lighting her face at the familiar sound of a car pulling into the driveway. A door slams and after a short delay Dudley’s enraged bellow echoes once again through the house.
“No, don’t touch that! Daaaad!”
“Do you believe in magic, Mr. Potter?”
“My name’s not Potter.” Harry glances up. “Do you believe that force is equivalent to the change of momentum over time?”
It’s a fairly simple principle, one which doesn’t seem to have made a dent in the minds of the underclassmen in the course he’s teaching. He writes a handful of snide comments regarding one student’s general intelligence and comprehension in the margins of hopelessly ballsed-up homework and then reaches for the next one in the stack. For a moment he’s not sure which is more frustrating, the students who clearly aren’t paying attention or the ones that are, but can’t seem to apply what he’s trying to teach.
The man snorts softly and walks away, back ramrod straight as he disappears into the crowd, giving Harry an excellent view of the most perfect ass in God’s creation.
Harry’s mother likes to tell stories. Well, that’s not really a fair assessment, he thinks, as she regales the family with amusing anecdotes about her time at school. It isn’t every day that one hears about men who transform into dogs and about plants that scream – that one always causes a gleeful little smirk to appear on her face, and Harry strongly suspects that the only reason she doesn’t have any in the garden has more to do with not accidentally petrifying the neighbors than the fact that adolescent mandrakes apparently make for great, if vegetative, porn; about pranks that turn the whole school blue, or cause random strangers to tap dance to “I’m a Little Teapot.”
His dad is always a little sad when she talks, but Harry knows that it’s because of all of the things his mother doesn’t say. She never speaks of her home life, of her parents and older sister. They’ve only discussed the reason why he and Dudley are really cousins, not brothers, once, and if she can help it she doesn’t speak of the lightning-bolt shaped scar that Dudley carries on his chest, just above his heart.
“Do you believe in magic, Potter?”
Harry looks up from the can of beans in his hand and raises an eyebrow. It’s immediately clear that his stalker, aside from the fact that the man possesses the most delicious voice and perfect ass in all creation, has just about the oddest dress sense ever. Harry struggles for a moment trying to come up with the logic behind wearing supple leather pants and flowing silk to the supermarket, but comes up dry, despite noting the intermittently curious and admiring glances shot their way. The man is clearly insane.
“Do you believe the Earth circles the Sun and revolves around its own axis?” Harry stares at the frown settling beneath that brazen nose and wonders if he could lick it off, savoring it the way he does sour lemon drops. His head tilts slowly to one side, eyebrows rising in exaggerated curiosity. “No, clearly you cannot understand such a simple thing, since you’ve yet to master the notion that my name is not Potter, and frankly I’ve no notion who you think you’re talking to.”
That brings an even more delectable scowl to that compelling face, and Harry wonders briefly if he’s been spending too much time with the more acerbic professors, because for some reason it gives him the worst urge to drop to his knees and see if he can’t suck this man’s brain out through his prick.
It’s mildly unsettling.
“It may surprise you to find your name is indeed Potter –”
“I suppose it might have been once, but I was adopted when I was just a baby. My name is Dursley. It doesn’t really matter what it might have been before that.”
Harry puts his can of beans into the basket and turns away, heading for the counter.
He doesn’t look back.
Harry has no idea what most people put in their potting sheds, but he’s fairly certain that his mother’s collection of cauldrons is fairly unusual. He can’t be entirely certain as he was almost eleven before he realized that most mothers didn’t clean house with casual flicks of elaborately carved willow. Still, he rather enjoys the time he and the Troublesome Twosome spend with her in the shed, even if it involves cutting up slugs and other things that he has only the slightest idea how she acquires.
Harry’s teachers at school were always amazed by how he and Dudley never got sick. They’d probably have been horrified to know that he and Dudley spent a fairly significant amount of time drinking foul concoctions that literally made steam come out of their ears before coming to school.
Dad – the only father he’s ever known – drinks the miscellany that comes out of the shed, but stays out of it himself. Harry thinks it’s because Vernon Dursley prides himself on controlling his emotions, and visible evidence of a world beyond the everyday grey of the factory and the omnipresent grind of making sales tends to provoke them.
He and Dudley were eleven when a box came in the mail. It contained a stick like his mother’s – only made out of polished holly – and it sang when Harry touched it. Harry’s mother had burst into tears and fled the room leaving Harry too terrified to be delighted with this event and Dad’s voice speaking in rough, half-understood tones.
He’d known – they’d known; him and Dudley both – that Mum was Dad’s second wife and that Dad was mum’s second husband. He’d even been aware that Dad’s first wife was Mum’s sister – Aunt Marge had gone on and on and on about it one Christmas after drinking the liquor that was supposed to have been used to light the Christmas pudding. She’d liked Petunia and didn’t like Lily, and on and on it had gone until his mother, tired, aching, and heavily pregnant had finally bludgeoned the woman into silence using her brain.
So when Dad had explained in rather clinical terms that Harry had apparently inherited something from his father other than just looks, and that it meant that he would be taking extra lessons from Mum to deal with it from now until, well, forever, it wasn’t a complete surprise. Dad’s blue eyes had shimmered suspiciously with something that looked like grief, and it was something more than just the shadows that were always in his eyes when he looked at him or Dudley.
It was the first time that Harry really understood that Dad loved him too, but when it came to keeping such things to himself, well, his emotions had been gifted with the force of the Jovian gravity well.
“Do you believe in magic, Mr. Dursley?”
This time his putative stalker is dressed in an odd cross between clerical robes and those ludicrous get-ups people with doctorates liked to parade around in. Given that they’re standing on a street corner in SoHo, the cognitive dissonance of it is a touch disturbing, particularly in view of the tight leather pants and the poets shirt that had graced the isles of the market.
“Do you believe that the force of gravity can be represented as GMm/r2?”
“Must you answer questions with questions?”
Black eyes narrow, forcing Harry to grin. “You know, you’ve never introduced yourself.”
“I fail to see what that has to do with my question.”
“It’s got nothing to do with it, other than giving me some idea of who is stalking me.”
“I’m not stalking you.”
“I see, you just go to gay clubs whilst dressed like a castoff from a demented monastery because you like to test whether the guy at the door will toss you or think that you’re just bizarrely cool enough to let in? And tonight is just my lucky night to see this?” Harry stops a beat and shakes his head. “I wish I’d been around for other demonstrations of this fickle form of madness, because it must be enormously entertaining to watch their faces.”
“I do not go to… gay clubs,” his stalker states acidly.
“Pity. I guess I’ll just have to go alone.”
With that Harry approaches the door of his favorite, blithely cutting in line past the bouncer.
If the body he picks for a round of anonymous sex is tall, lank haired, and has a bit of a nose one him, no one else seems to notice.
Harry’s phone rings and he stares at it oddly before picking it up. Given his current lack of love life, the need to finish his dissertation, and the fact pretty much no one calls him unless something catastrophic is about to occur, he finds himself reluctant to pick up.
Still, if the lab is going to blow up, he supposes he should know about it now rather than later.
“How odd! This is Dursley, too.”
“No, Dudders, I’m Dursley Two. You’re Dursley Prime.”
“That makes us sound like Borg, Harry.”
“You do know you’re the geekiest chef ever to cook. You should have been an engineer or something.”
“And do all of that math?” Harry grinned as he listened to his brother shudder. Only Dudley could make it such a full body event it was easily heard over staticky phone lines. “Thanks, no. But I was wondering…”
“Someone stop the presses!”
“Harry! Keep that up and I won’t invite you out to Janver’s for lunch.”
Harry’s breath catches. He hasn’t been to Janver’s since breaking up with Piers Polkiss eighteen months ago. Piers thinks the whole thing was rather an amicable break up and Harry’s never disabused him of that thought. He’s spent months avoiding Piers’ workplace and the gaping emotional wound represented by his ex-boyfriend and he expects to be flooded with pain at the mere thought of doing so.
So he’s kind of surprised to find himself confronted only with a bit of emotional scar tissue that just… pulls a little when he thinks of it.
He pokes the edges of his trust, his hope, and his faith and realizes that if he’s not careful they’re going to tighten up like an injury where you don’t keep up with your physical therapy (a lesson learned a the same time he discovered that it was never a good idea to take Dudley’s bets about what kind of weird crap he might accomplish on any given day. Harry’s still not entirely sure how he managed to get to the roof of the school, but gravity had given him a hell of an assist on the way back down.)
“Oh,” says Dudley, breathing softly into the phone. “I suppose I hadn’t really thought. We could –”
“No! I’ll go. It’ll be good to go again.” If stretching was good enough to keep physical muscles from tightening up and crippling him, surely it will work for emotional ones. Harry smiles into the receiver. “Seriously, it’ll be great. I’ll just grab my jacket and I’ll just meet you there, shall I?”
“Tell me, Mr. Dursley, do you believe in magic?”
This time the tone is almost bored and for once his stalker is wearing something that looks mostly normal, if a bit old fashioned.
He grins. “Do you believe the speed of light is—”
“Mr. Dursley, please answer the question.”
Harry thinks of the plain holly stick that sits on the mantle above the electric fireplace in his apartment. It is, after all, convenient to use it for cleaning house. He thinks of his mother’s scare-stories of a maniacal egotist who’d make Hitler look like a fuzzy bunny (and, in fact, might’ve been able to turn Hitler into a fuzzy bunny). He thinks of her more serious one, about two sisters visiting and one facing a madman down with nothing other than steel-bright determination and infinite love for her son, nephew, and sibling.
“Well,” he says calmly, “I’ll let you in on a secret.”
Black eyes studied him curiously. “Oh?”
“There’s a pub in London called The Leaky Cauldron. People almost as weirdly dressed as you were the last time I saw you seem to go in there a lot.”
The black gaze sharpens and narrows.
“On the other hand, I’ve never really had any desire to go in myself.”
That earned him a scowl and a gruff, “Why ever not? It’s certainly easier to access than that… gay club you retreated in to.”
It turns out his stalker’s name is Severus Snape, and his mouth isn’t anywhere near as sour as it looks.
When he tells his mother about his new paramour, she shudders a bit.
“He worked for… for…”
Harry sighs. “Mum…”
Eyes the same bottle-green as his own study him closely and she pulls out her willow stick.
Latin pours off of her tongue like bitter honey and light surrounds him for a moment.
“No influences I can see, except the usual ones.” Her eyes soften. “Do you love him, Harry?”
Harry looks away for a moment and thinks about the question. When it comes down to it, he doesn’t actually know Severus at all well, except that he knows him, deep inside, in a way that cannot be categorized; it is something that can neither be weighed nor seen nor touched nor measured. In its way, it’s rather a lot like… magic.
“Do you believe in magic, Harry?” Severus’ nose is buried in the crease between Harry’s hip and thigh and on the whole Harry thinks it’s a stupid question to ask after a blowjob that made galaxies manifest behind Harry’s eyelids. Grunting he pulls Severus up, nipping at the thin, soft lips and surly snarl and acerbic expression, savoring it like hard candies hiding sugary sweetness under sour acid.
“I believe in it,” he said, between wet, sloppy, rapacious kisses. “I believe in it like I believe the Earth circles the sun and rotates on it’s own axis.” He sucks on a nipple, nipping it sharply as Severus moans. “I believe in it the way I believe that force is equivalent to the change in momentum over the change in time, that gravity depends on relative masses and the distance between them.” He cupps Severus’ balls, rolling them gently as he licks his way down Severus’ chest. “I believe in magic the way I believe E=mc2.” He nips and licks his way up the length of Severus’ cock, swirling his tongue like it was a particularly luscious lolly before looking into mesmerizing black eyes. “I believe in it the way I do all forces of nature – as much as I believe in love.”