?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Fic: Forethought
sev
ellipsical
I'm not a participant in the Old Hands challenge at pornicators because I am still getting used to this HP writing thing ::hangs head::, but I have a WIP going that some have said should have an angsty cast.

Problem: I HATE writing angst. Reading it, yay! Writing it, no. But, I figure that I won't grow as a writer if I stick to what I feel is safe, right? So even if I suck at writing angst, I've at least tried. ::shrugs::

So, anyway, here's something I whipped up as part of a 30-minute exercise my friend gave me. I had 30 minutes to write on a theme, and the story had to be complete. Ouch. She also said I should do Severus' point of view, because I have not done so yet. Double ouch.

Made some fixes post-beta, so remaining goofs are mine. Concrit most decidedly appreciated, since I really am trying to get a handle on the angst.

So, right.

Title: Forethought
Pairing: SS/HP
Rating: Probably R
Disclaimer: I own zero
Summary: Severus reflects on the end of an affair
Notes: Angst and I are not friends :( There is a sequel to this from Harry's P.O.V. called "Afterthought" but still dithering about whether to post it.




Despite appearances to the contrary, Severus Snape was not given to deep contemplation. Once he decided on a course of action he pursued it full-bore, pushing all thought of consequences and causes and effects to the back of his mind. So it had been when he’d taken the dark mark, so it had been when he’d defected from Voldemort’s forces and sought quarter at Hogwarts, so it had been when he’d agreed to act as a spy for the Light, and so it was now, as he prepared to spill his seed in the pliant body of Harry Potter, the Man-Who-Conquered. All were courses of action done without much prior thought, without the due rumination required.

In every case, thank Merlin, the after-effects had been quite favorable and he’d lived to rush headlong into another possible disaster.

But then he’d not expected this good bit of luck to hold out, and it seemed that he would, at last, suffer for his rashness. It had been clear from the start that all Harry wanted was a carefree tumble and nothing more. But Severus had, without any thought at all, gone and fallen in love with the boy, like a fool.

*

For years, Severus had accepted that Harry would dictate their relationship to each other. When it had pleased Harry to regard Severus as his enemy, Severus obligingly assumed that role. When, in short succession, Harry decided to play along with Dumbledore’s machinations and treat the potions master as a reluctant mentor and then a comrade-in-arms, Severus had, without hesitation, discarded his villain's mask.

Now, Harry had decided to relate to Severus as a lover. This incarnation of their ever-changing relationship promised to be as superficial and fleeting as the others had been. Severus had known this, and steeled himself for its inevitable end. He’d thought that the knowledge that it surely could not last would ensure that he would not entertain the hope that it would. Things had not, however, gone as he’d hoped.

*

“Severus, I . . . ohh . . .”

Harry's moan was a soft whisper near his ear. Severus was a bit surprised at how quiet Harry was in orgasm, almost timid in his release. He neither screamed nor roared nor cursed as he came, as if he felt the need to keep his pleasure secret. Severus always wanted to pull away and look into the boy’s eyes in those moments, but he never did. That was an intimacy he denied himself, and yet, it hadn’t worked. Still he’d fallen in love.

Easing out of the young wizard, Severus murmured the incantation that would cleanse them both of the others’ semen and sweat. As always, Harry thanked him gently after the spell was cast. As always, the boy stretched and yawned, falling quite asleep in seconds, never bothering to look around to see if Severus was even still beside him.

As always, Severus dressed slowly, facing toward the door, letting himself out without looking back. And as always, on his way back to his dungeon home, Severus swore on Salazar’s sainted name that he would not return, that he had played the fool for Harry Potter for the final time, that he was through risking his heart.

And in the evenings, as he prepared to meet Harry at his flat, Severus would pretend that he’d not meant a word of it.

*

One night, Severus came to Harry and decided to try a little experiment. The goal: attempt to engage a part of Harry other than the man’s cock. The secondary goal: attempt to perhaps spend a stretch of time with Harry that did not require disrobing. A tertiary goal, though Severus chose not to acknowledge it, was to contrive to spend the night with Harry without it seeming that he was forcing his presence upon him.

He had little hope of success, but that had been his attitude when Dumbledore had first suggested he spy for the Light – and he’d been wrong then, hadn’t he?

Fully dressed, Severus sat on the edge of Harry’s bed, throat dry. He had almost convinced himself that even if his experiment did not work, the night would not be a total loss. He and Harry would still shag, and the sex, while not extraordinary, was always quite wonderful. That was some consolation, he was sure - though if he thought about it a bit, he realized that it was becoming less and less of one.

“There are a great many restaurants nearby. Perhaps you’d like to have dinner?”

“In this neighborhood?” Harry shed his shirt, tossing it carelessly over his shoulder. “I don’t think so. All the places are run by Muggles. You’d hate every one of them.”

Severus hesitated a moment. Nodded. “Perhaps.”

His knowledge of Muggle cuisine was infinitesimal compared to Harry’s, but Severus was no stranger to Muggle cooking, having had some opportunity to explore Muggle London in recent weeks. He’d admit that much of the food Muggles ate was pretty ghastly, but there was some Severus found he enjoyed.

He did not say this, however, deferring to Harry’s knowledge of the area. Perhaps all of the restaurants were horrid and Harry was doing him and his admitted delicate stomach a favour.

“Well, then, a wizarding establishment. Minerva has been raving about some small place she and Albus tried on the outskirts of Wizarding London. It is supposed to be quite . . .” He paused, and in his mind, the word ‘romantic’ echoed. “Adequate,” is what he said.

“You must be mad.” Trousers inched down Harry’s thighs, and he kicked out of them impatiently. “We’d be mobbed even before we sat down or stared at the whole time we were there. Likely would be on the front page of the Prophet before they served the first course.”

Severus nodded again. Even if Harry weren’t the savior of the wizarding world, he was still a very successful and very visible Quidditch player who had only to wave his wand to ensure his picture appeared in Witch Weekly and The Daily Prophet.

And even if he weren’t considered a hero on the battlefield, Severus knew that he was still Harry’s greasy git of a former professor, still under suspicion for his activities as Death Eater, and still utterly unattractive and no more in possession of Harry’s heart than Voldemort had ultimately been of Harry’s soul.

“Are you hungry, Severus?” Harry was naked now, his hand gently stroking his hardening cock. “I’m sure I could find something here that might sate your appetite.”

Severus’ eyes closed briefly, the sting of defeat stealing his breath for a moment. He was being silly. He'd known that this was how Harry wanted things, and Severus felt neither strong enough or sure enough to question the boy further.

“I’m sure you shall,” he murmured, as Harry advanced near. Opening his mouth, Severus allowed himself to be fed.

*

Severus experienced a brief moment of hope one rainy night. He and Harry had reclined on the young wizard’s small couch, snogging unhurriedly for an hour, letting their hands simply roam. It was, Severus realized some time afterward, the sole bit of romance he’d ever experienced, and like most moments of pure pleasure in his life, over much too soon.

Later, when Harry led him to the bedroom, Severus hesitated a moment at the door. “The Great Hall was buzzing with news of Puddlemere’s exciting victory this afternoon.”

“Yes.” Harry was nibbling his neck. “I caught the snitch today.”

“Exciting, was it?” Severus fought the impulse to smack Harry’s hands away from the buttons of his robe. Those nimble fingers were distracting him, and if ever there was a time Severus needed his full focus, this was it.

“I suppose.” Harry smiled briefly at him. “Catching the snitch is always exciting.”

Severus hesitated a moment. “I would have liked to have seen it.”

Harry seemed not to have heard. “Mmm. I love how bloody hard you get.” Harry’s hand dipped beneath Severus’ trousers. “Hard for me. I’ve been thinking about this all day . . .”

Severus knew then that he’d lost the battle, but he could not resist one last attempt. “Perhaps once the students have gone for the summer, I could attend one of your matches. It has been ages since I’ve gone to a professional Quidditch game.”

Harry looked at him then, and while Severus wasn’t positive of what he saw in the boy’s eyes. If pressed, he likely would have described the fleeting expression as surprise. It was gone, however, almost before he’d had time to register it, replaced by the cloudy-eyed lust Severus was accustomed to seeing reflected in those green eyes.

And soon after that, Harry’s legs were on the potion master’s shoulders and his eyes were closed, as they always were whenever they fucked face-to-face.

*

On the afternoon that Severus had decided to end it with Harry, he’d sat in rooms and had taken stock of the sum of his prior romantic and sexual relationships.

The reckoning didn’t take long – a few shags here and there when he was a student, a brief tryst with a Ministry peon shortly after he’d taken the position at Hogwarts. Nothing very serious. Nothing that had lasted. Nothing that had required anything more than a half-hour's time and a lubrication spell. And therein, Severus knew, lay the problem with his relations with Harry Potter.

Harry was, in many respects, a private person, but Severus knew that the young man could be a social creature when he was of a mind. Harry would, at some point, want to take a lover with whom he could be seen in public without fear of recrimination, humiliation or the threat of being put in St. Mungo’s for observation.

And then there was the issue of the quality of their shagging. Severus already felt the ache in his bones that time and servitude to a host of masters had placed there. Their lovemaking always took something out of Severus that he knew he'd not be able to recoup, though he couldn’t quite say what it was. He was sure, though, that Harry would likely get bored quite quickly of a lover more than twice his age with half his stamina.

But there was something else to consider, something troubling: Severus himself. Or, more to the point, his own feelings on the subject.

It would have been one thing if he’d met Harry Potter as a full-grown man of twenty-three and had known nothing of him except his prowess on the Quidditch field and his indefatiguable libido. Then, they could have had their romps and Severus would have considered them a welcome distraction from the monotony at Hogwarts. Nothing more.

But things could not have been that simple. He'd had the misfortune to have, over the course of more than a decade, gotten to know Harry Potter. He'd watched him mature physically and emotionally. He'd plumbed the depths of the boy's mind and allowed Harry to do the same to him.

That he knew Harry almost as well as the young man knew himself was the flaw in an otherwise pleasant arrangement. Severus knew enough to understand that if Harry had cared, he'd have given more. Harry was capable of offering so much more than a whispered release and a sleepy thank you when all was over, and it was the great tragedy of Severus' life that he knew this to be the absolute truth.

Harry could love him if he chose, but the boy chose not to. And Severus had to accept it, just as he accepted everything else when it came to Harry Potter. He had no choice – now, as then, there was no one to whom he could plead his case, no one willing to see things his way.

*

That final night had been glorious. Different, somehow, but the same in all the ways that made Severus scream inside and bemoan his fate.

Harry had kept his eyes open, much to Severus’ surprise. If it had been a week or two prior, Severus would have wondered what it meant, but by now, he knew better than to probe for any deeper meaning behind Harry’s actions. Similarly, he forbade his mind to register Harry’s almost desperate kisses and the way he clung to Severus as they moved together.

Severus allowed Harry to use him as he would, doing little more than going through the motion and studiously avoiding Harry’s wide-eyed stare.

As they shagged, and Severus wondered if he’d miss it. If, the first time he wanked himself in the bath, he’d remember the feel of Harry’s hands and mouth on his cock, or the snug fit that the young wizard’s arse provided. As Harry arched beneath him, Severus calculated the amount of time it would take him to forget the contours of his body, the odd contrast of smooth skin overlying Quidditch-toned muscle and the gentle flex of Harry’s shoulders whenever he wrapped his arms around Severus’ neck and pulled him down for a kiss.

Severus pondered calling in a certain favor he’d done for someone in the Ministry who would then enable him to schedule some undocumented time with an Obliviator. But that was a ridiculous notion, and Severus knew it. Unless what he felt in his heart was able to be erased with his memories, being obliviated would do nothing for him except to make him feel more incomplete than ever.

The release came as it always did, and in much the same form – a frenzied buildup followed by a wondrous burst of pleasure and then the agonizing easing out of the comforting warmth. Breathing heavily, Severus lay on his back and counted his heartbeat before rising as usual to cleanse the both of them.

As Severus dressed, he kept his eyes on the doorway and listened for Harry’s gasps to settle into soft snores. There was a rustle of the bedcovers, and then a soft voice at his back.

“Severus?”

Pausing in mid-button, Severus started to turn round, but thought better of it. He could feel Harry’s gaze on him, and Severus did not want to part with the memory of those eyes peering at him in the darkness.

“I . . . thank you.” Harry’s breathing was taking on its usual ragged, pre-slumber quality and Severus relaxed. “Good night.”

When he deemed it safe, Severus did turn around. He stared at the golden expanse of Harry’s back for some moments, unable to name the emotions that were rooting him to that spot. It was not quite anger, not exactly sadness, and something a bit more vague than remorse. Severus wasn’t sure he could say what he felt, exactly, but he knew he’d have a lifetime of solitude in which to study it and put a name to it.

the end

Oh. This is complex and rich with nuances. It really left me wistful. Yes, I'd love to read the companion piece, from Harry's POV. Please do consider posting it.

Oh. This is complex and rich with nuances. It really left me wistful.

Wow, thank you! As an academic, you know from good writing, so it's a great compliment to read this from you, especially.

And wistful was what I was going for. The man has so much pain inside him, I think, that he's almost ensured to end up alone, and that makes me sad. I think that a part of him still hopes for something better. It's what differentiates him from, say, Lucius. Lucius has accepted his fate. Severus has accepted that he will probably die alone, but inside, he keepts hoping.

Yes, I'd love to read the companion piece, from Harry's POV. Please do consider posting it.

Whew, well, I looked over it today, and I may, just so that I can tell the whole side of the story, so to speak, but I'm still v. uncomfortable with the angst. Thanks so much for the encouragement :D




You wrote that in half an hour?

Damn.

*impressed*

I read this hastily the first time, and then I had to read it again. Very enjoyable. Excellent characterization. You do good angst! Post the sequel, please?

[proofreading note: "If had been a week or two prior, Severus would have wondered what it meant, but by now, he better than to probe for any"]

Good stuff. Thanks.

You wrote that in half an hour?

Damn.

*impressed*


Well, my friend, my main challenge master, is really good at spurring me on. Though, in the interest of full disclosure, we IM'd for 45 mins on the general idea for the fic, then I had 30 mins to write, then she beta'd and then we discussed what she thought I should change. So the story took shape over the course of a couple hours though the writing part was 30 mins.

I read this hastily the first time, and then I had to read it again. Very enjoyable. Excellent characterization. You do good angst! Post the sequel, please?

I'm having issues with the sequel, but I may post it just to get some feedback on what I call my "Harry blinders." I always tend to love one half of the couple more than the other, and in this case, my love goes to Severus, so I think I can make Harry more of a bastard than he truly is. I'd like advice on working through that.



karma_sue
2005-01-06 04:29 (link) Select
You wrote that in half an hour?

Damn.

*impressed*

I read this hastily the first time, and then I had to read it again. Very enjoyable. Excellent characterization. You do good angst! Post the sequel, please?

[proofreading note: "If had been a week or two prior, Severus would have wondered what it meant, but by now, he better than to probe for any"]

Thanks SO much for that. I suck at proofing my stuff after I change things post-beta. Need new glasses, perhaps :D



in 30 minutes? wow.

lovely snape voice. please post the companion piece.

lovely snape voice. please post the companion piece.

Thanks so much! I'm nervous about the sequel, to tell the truth, but I am always up for intense criticism, so maybe I need to get off my arse already and post it :D


You wrote this in only 30 minutes? That's amazing. :O

I adored it. My heart's a bit broken, now, but it will heal in time. XD I would LOVE to read the one from Harry's POV. You write angst very well, so do not fret!

I adored it. My heart's a bit broken, now, but it will heal in time.

Yeah, you know, I think that's why I really hate angst. I want to give Snape happy fun times, not sadness! And I fricking LOVE your icon! ::squees:: How cute! There's a fic there, that needs writing :D


Wow. Just...wow. I wouldn't worry, your angst is glorious.

... And you wrote this in 30 minutes?! Eesh.

Wow. Just...wow. I wouldn't worry, your angst is glorious.

::blushes:: Whoa, thanks so much for that! It's weird - I loved writing angst in other fandoms, and HP (and Snarry in particular) lends itself to SUCH angst, but I feel nervous. Thanks to you, and everyone, for the support! Now that I've gotten over my fear, maybe I will consider more angsty storylines in the future.

Beautifully-written. Excellent inner voice for Snape. I can certainly see him wanting something more but never being able to quite make the move to try to get it. Surely Harry knows that Severus wants something (especially since they both have been in each other's heads).

I would really like to read a sequel to this. You did an excellent job.

Beautifully-written. Excellent inner voice for Snape. I can certainly see him wanting something more but never being able to quite make the move to try to get it.

That was the hardest part to write for me, actually, the part where he is wanting, but not explicitly asking. Obviously, he had to ask for Dumbledore's protection after he thought better of being a Deatheater, right? So, he can ask for what he wants, but maybe the difference is, with Dumbledore, it was a question of survival, and with Harry in this story, it was a question of his heart wanting something more.


Surely Harry knows that Severus wants something (especially since they both have been in each other's heads).

In writing the sequel, I argued that very point with my friend. She disagrees, however. Her feeling is that Harry is not the best at reading people. She pointed out some parts in the books where Harry was unable to decipher body language and such of other characters. But then, this same friend says that she is 100% certain that JKR is going to go with a Hermione/Harry pairing by book 7 and that Hermione has exhibited "obvious" signs of being into Harry, and Harry's been clueless.

I must be clueless, too, because I don't see it that way, but, to each his own, I guess.


Very poignant. Well done.

Very poignant. Well done.

Thanks so much! You're a Lucius/Snape shipper? How cool! That's become my sekrit 'ship, next to Ron/Draco :D

*sobs* This story is great! *sniff, sniff* Poor Severus. You wrote him so well. Love your angst!

One of the reasons why I love Severus Snape - and why I love your story so much - is because events in his life has always left him on the short end of the stick – his abusive father, the Marauders, Voldemort – yet he never succumbs or gives up. Snape finds, as you so wonderfully illustrated in your story, the strength and determination to not allow himself to be used and abused. Bad things happen to him but he does something about it.

…uh, does that make any sense? Um, sorry if it doesn't, will stop babbling now. Oops, almost forgot, please post the sequel!

One of the reasons why I love Severus Snape - and why I love your story so much - is because events in his life has always left him on the short end of the stick – his abusive father, the Marauders, Voldemort – yet he never succumbs or gives up.

Exactly! That is probably why I'm so drawn to Snape. He's resourceful and never gives up. A lot of people like to draw comparisons to him and Harry, but I don't see it. Aside from the abuse at home, Harry and Severus couldn't be more different, I don't think. Harry, despite his early problems, is handome, has firends, excels at Quidditch and is adored by people who don't even know him. Severus, um, has none of that, and still he managed to survive all the crap thrown at him.

Snape finds, as you so wonderfully illustrated in your story, the strength and determination to not allow himself to be used and abused. Bad things happen to him but he does something about it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! My friend, who beta-read this, said she loved every bit of it except the ending. She didn't think Snape would have the balls to actually leave, but I couldn't imagine Snape assuming that all there would be was sex and sticking around and settling for that, no matter how lonely he was.

Thanks so much for the feedback ::snuggles::



mph. i love it.

i mean, i hate it. i hate that snape has to go be alone. and i hate harry.

but i love your story. and your writing is superb.

cheers :)

Allow me to butt in and say that I agree with you one hundred percent. Totally heartbreaking.

Gorgeous characterization. I, too, dislike how oblivious your Harry seems to be, but it's perfectly in character, and the writing is wonderful. Please post the sequel...

Typo alert: "Easing out the young wizard," => "Easing out of the young wizard,"

I, too, dislike how oblivious your Harry seems to be, but it's perfectly in character, and the writing is wonderful. Please post the sequel...

Yeah, I'm definitely not too thrilled with him in this fic, which is why I had to write a sequel to try to absolve him. I'm not sure how good I did of that, though.

Typo alert: "Easing out the young wizard," => "Easing out of the young wizard,"

Oooh, thanks for catching that! I love post-posting corrections, because I know that people are in fact, reading :D

Oh well done, very well done. Major angst. So subtle Harry's meaning at the end. I would like to read his POV to see if my hunch is correct.

Lovely work.

Oh well done, very well done. Major angst. So subtle Harry's meaning at the end. I would like to read his POV to see if my hunch is correct.

Hee! Your hunch is probably right, because, well, I can't stand to think of Harry as anything other than a noble, brave Gryffindor. It's a weakness of mine, I guess, but one I have no problems with :D

Thanks, as always, for the feedback!

damn, well-done. please post the sequel!

damn, well-done. please post the sequel!

Thanks so much! Look for the sequel some time tomorrow, I hope, when my beta gets back with her thoughts.

Oh very good I love to read the angsty stuff. Yes please post the sequel.

Oh very good I love to read the angsty stuff. Yes please post the sequel.

You're, like, my new hero! We both waded into the angst waters together! Thanks so much for the feedback <3

Wow! I thought it was great! Severus' feelings are very palpable. Please post Harry's POV, I'm very interested in reading it.

Wow! I thought it was great! Severus' feelings are very palpable. Please post Harry's POV, I'm very interested in reading it.

Thanks so much for the feedback. I think Severus' feelings can be so hard to put into words, which is why I salute JKR for not making him a one-off character as Quirrel and Lockhart were. He's so multifaceted it's not even funny, and I salute all those authors who can get his voice just right. I don't right from his P.O.V. often for a reason :D

That was bloody fantastic, and I, too, have to add myself to the voices raised in supplication for more. What a wonderful piece.

Heh, I always giggle at your icon, because it reminds me of my time in the Trek fandom. Who is that, by the way? Is that Sirius?

That was bloody fantastic, and I, too, have to add myself to the voices raised in supplication for more. What a wonderful piece.

Oh, wow, thanks! My beta has given me some interesting feedback on it, and I hope to post the completed story in the next day or so. I did not have the 30-min deadline for this, so I spent more time on it, but, strangely, I like it less. Weird.