?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Next Entry
FIC: Afterthought
sev
ellipsical
Title: Afterthought
Pairing: SS/HP
Rating: R-plus?
Disclaimer: Still broke. Still not mine.
Summary: Harry reflects on the end of an affair.
Notes: For everyone who wanted a fluffy ending to "Forethought," ummm . . . sorry? Another exercise in writing angst. Made changes post-beta, so if you see any goofs, feel free to knock me upside the head and point them out :D



Harry knew that what he had with Severus would end as it began - without warning, but without rancor. As the days stretched and Severus returned again and again, Harry allowed himself to be surprised, but he didn't dare hope that it meant anything other than that Snape enjoyed having a regular shag. Harry's visions of Voldemort had been replaced with others that indicated that he would soon be alone again.

And the end had come as Harry had known it would. Their little affair had been over for more than a week now, and Harry, brooding over a tumbler of firewhiskey in his empty flat, had time to reflect. He marked Severus' departure with the same sort of vague dissatisfaction and twinge of guilt as he'd done with past lovers. But there was one thing that made this parting a little more bittersweet than others had been: With Snape, he'd felt - he'd hoped -

No. Just stop it. Harry downed the rest of his drink with an impatient toss of his head. No use to think about that. Not now. It was over, and he was fine. Thank Merlin he'd been prepared for this.

*

Harry had never flattered himself that he had anything to offer Severus except a willing mouth and arse and a cock that sprang to hardness with a single touch. But Snape was different than all the casual shags Harry had ever had in two very important ways.

For one, Snape was not a grasping sort, looking to cling to Harry's robes while Harry reveled in the dual-godhood of Wizarding World Savior and professional Quidditch standout. As such, Harry knew Snape wouldn't be like the legions of others who'd be satisfied to simply caress his fading scar and allow himself to be buggered. For Snape, Harry had humbled himself, allowed himself to be taken, entered. He'd enjoyed it, too, without ever feeling as if he were giving up something of himself. It was almost refreshing, Harry thought, to be conquered in that way.

And then there was the second difference: No one, not even the Dark Lord, had dared to assume that they knew the potion master's mind. Harry had seen the man's mind, tasted his thoughts, but those he could decipher meant very little to him. Snape was one of the best Occulmens in the wizarding world. He allowed those who ventured in his mind to see only what he wanted them to see.

Severus Snape had not survived his time at Voldemort's feet or as a spy for the Order or as one of the hundreds who fought in the final battle only to fall in love with a person he likely still believed wanted to do him harm of some sort.

Harry had understood this from the start, so now he could be philosophical about it, ignoring his broken heart.

*

Harry could not say precisely when his feelings toward Snape changed. He was sure he had hated the man once, just as he was sure that he loved Severus now. Around sixth year, as the realities of Sirius' death and the coming war sunk in, Harry had developed a grudging respect for Snape, but he'd never had a thought as to what he might look like out of his robes. Or what his lips might feel like pursed around his aching erection. Or how his breath hitched and then left him in a whoosh as he came.

No, Harry had never had such thoughts before the war - of course he hadn't. But after seventh year, when war preparations were at their highest and Harry began noting his rising attraction to Snape, he was dimly aware that he was neither very surprised nor alarmed.

*

Harry's memory of that first night was clear. Another day, another boring Ministry function, another invitation. But he was the guest of honor, so it wouldn't have been good form to refuse. He'd attended, but he'd glowered for the better part of an hour, refusing to play the part of the carefree, magnanimous hero - they'd asked him to come, and he'd come. If anything more had been expected of him, then that was too bloody bad.

He'd sat across the hall from Snape, watching the man, admiring the close fit of his frock coat and the casual disdain Snape exhibited to those seated around him. Later, Severus would tell him that he'd noticed him staring, but Harry wasn't sure how that could be; he'd never once seen those eyes look his way, even though he'd been expecting - hoping, perhaps - that Snape would look at him and gift him with one of his elegant sneers.

After Fudge had finished boring everyone with one of his interminable speeches, Harry had found himself rushing to Snape's side to avoid being pulled into meaningless conversation. It was cruel of him to think it, but Harry was sure that no one would approach him while he stood with Snape. Order of Merlin or no, there were many in that hall convinced of Snape's perfidy and there were still more who had accepted that Snape had been on the side of the Light, but they feared him all the same.

Fine liquor had flowed like water at the feast, but Harry had not touched a drop of it. Therefore, when after an hour's talk, Harry had leaned close and asked Severus to leave with him, he couldn’t rationalize his boldness with the convenient excuse of being just this side of rat-arsed.

He'd expected Snape to draw himself up and hiss "idiotic Gryffindor" or some such and stalk away in a whirl of robes. Harry had resolved, in that case, to get really and truly pissed as quickly as possible to blot out the embarrassment and mortification he'd surely feel at having propositioned - and been turned down by - his greasy old potions professor.

As it turned out, nothing of the sort occurred. After a moment's hesitation, Severus had led him by the elbow to some secluded spot outside the hall, and with a small nod, allowed Harry to apparate them both to his flat.

Severus left before dawn, and Harry lay in bed alone and pleasantly sore, wondering if he should have asked the potions master to stay. After a moment, Harry shook the thought away. Severus did not strike him as the type who needed to be asked anything; he did as he pleased. And it had pleased him to leave.

In the bath that day, Harry began to count the days until it was over.

*

Severus had not been amazing in bed. Now, to be sure, Harry had never enjoyed sex more with anyone than he had with Snape, but it was not perfect. Snape gasped almost painfully and looked older than his years, sometimes, as he thrust his way to orgasm, and he was not exactly the most flexible man in the world. His cock required quite a bit of coaxing before it was ready, and their early snogs had been a bit strange. Harry had often thought that Snape kissed as if he were stealing something from him and had to be quick about it.

Snape was no virgin - of this Harry had no doubt - but neither was he the type of lover Harry expected, considering how learned and worldly the man was.

For all that, however, Harry had never been disappointed. In fact, he'd felt refreshed by the realness of their encounters. Many of his previous lovers had performed like automatons, all of them wanting to prove that they could do something that Harry could not - outlast him, outscream him, outwank him, take more of him in their mouths than seemed possible or advisable . . . Harry believed it was less like making love than like a contest that, ultimately, no one ever won.

Not with Snape, though. Even knowing his shortcomings, Severus fucked him with all the vigor and enthusiasm he could muster, and if that was not perfection in and of itself, Harry was not sure what was.

*

Early on, Harry decided that they would converse as little as possible. He did well with those types of relationships - a nice shag could be ruined by idle talk, and he had no desire to drive Severus away before their liaison came to its natural end.

That's not to say that they did not talk at all. Severus was, despite the common belief, a gentleman, and so there were times that he awkwardly enquired as to Harry's interests, his profession, other small things.

Harry was not fooled. He knew the man could not have cared less about Quidditch or the Muggles he'd befriended when he'd moved into this neighborhood, or what he did with his mates after a good match, and he relieved Severus of the burden of pretending to care by getting down to the serious business of fucking as soon as possible. It was, after all, why Severus kept coming back to his flat, wasn't it? Of course it was. But there had been one or two times that Harry had wondered . . .

*

Once, Severus issued what seemed suspiciously like an invitation to dinner. Harry, pleasantly shocked, had nearly rushed for the door, but then thought better of it. He couldn’t imagine dragging Severus to any of the Muggle haunts he frequented, and to go to a wizarding restaurant would have been an unmitigated disaster for them both.

Deciding that Severus was either jesting with him or testing him, Harry opted to distract the man with his cock. It had worked; Severus did not bring up dinner again, though Harry wondered what it would have been like to go on a proper date with Severus Snape.

When, afterward, he’d drifted to sleep, Harry thought back on the night and on Severus’ questions and wondered if, perhaps, he should have called the man’s bluff. The thought of sitting across the table from Snape in some dimly lit Muggle diner was strangely appealing. Harry resolved to cook Severus breakfast in the morning – that is, if he stayed the night. It wouldn't be the same, but perhaps gazing at Snape from across his breakfast table would hold the same amount of intimacy. More, even.

When Harry woke up in the morning and found himself alone, he’d almost convinced himself that it was just as well. There was hardly any food in the flat anyway.

*

There was another one night when Harry came dangerously close to confessing his growing feelings. Undone by an hour of simple snogging and touching, Harry felt he had a glimpse into what romance was. In the past, he’d had lovers whose only desire was to claim a part of The-Boy-Who-Lived. Harry pretended not to care or notice, assuring himself that for the moment, he was just having fun, getting shagged silly, and real romance would come later on.

On one rainy night with Severus, Harry had believed that 'later on' had arrived. They’d kissed like lovers in the true sense, caressing each other over their clothes and twining their fingers through each other’s hair.

Harry had put a stop to it, however. Severus was not some star-eyed ingénue who’d be satisfied with snogs and haphazard groping and whispers of love. To continue on this way was to risk angering Severus, Harry was sure; he was there just for a shag, wasn’t he? So Harry had mastered himself and held his tongue, drawing Severus toward the bedroom and berating himself for wasting so much time.

But then, something very odd had happened. At the door, Severus had stopped him, asking something about the game against the Wasps that day. Though he’d caught the snitch, Harry hadn’t given the match as much thought as he had to seeing Severus that night. Even as the man attempted to offer awkward congratulations, Harry had been pawing him, eager to get Severus out of his clothing and into bed.

That night, Harry wanted Severus to take him in a different way – from behind, perhaps, instead of their usual belly-to-belly position. Harry always kept his eyes closed when they shagged that way, knowing that it would put Severus off to gaze into eyes he’d always in some way associate with people who were long dead – people Severus still considered his enemies.

He’d been just about to suggest they shag standing up, just for the novelty of it, when Severus had enquired about attending one of Harry’s games. Harry’s head reeled. Snape? At one of his matches? The idea was both preposterous and appealing, and Harry resolved to explore it seriously, if Severus were to bring it up again.

Snape never spoke of it again, of course.

*

The evening that would be their last together, Harry had been a bit out of sorts. Earlier, there had been a match that resulted in another victory for Puddlemere. Harry had played well, but had emerged from the pitch vaguely dissatisfied. Hermione and Ron had come to watch him, and they’d met him afterward, all smiles and jokes and with their arms wrapped around each other.

They’d all gone for a drink, and for the first time in quite some time, Harry let himself daydream a little. What if . . . Severus had been serious about attending a game? What if he’d come that day?

In his mind’s eye, as clear as if he were looking into a pensieve, Harry saw it all: Severus would have come just after the anthems were sung, of course, to avoid being jostled by the crowd. He’d remain seated at all times, as was proper, and would only clap politely whenever a good play was made, ignoring the wild cries and cheers of those around him. He'd have waited at the honored guests entrance with Ron and Hermione, ignoring the flashbulbs of the Daily Prophet and engaging Hermione in some discussion of why those currently in charge of the potions sector of the Department of Mysteries needed to be sent either to Azkaban or the mental maladies ward of St. Mungo's.

Severus would be sitting next to him now at the pub, shaking his head at the décor of the little grimy wizarding bar right outside the little town. There would be light conversation that Harry would not follow because Severus would be fondling him under the table, wanking him even as he sneered at every word that came out of Ron’s mouth.

In his mind, Harry flipped through the catalog of excuses he would give to Hermione and Ron as he and Severus prepared to leave - because they’d have to leave, wouldn’t they, before he burst then and there. He’d fool no one; Hermione’s expression would be mischievous, Ron’s a little nauseated, and Severus' insufferably smug, but Harry would not care, and anyway, it wasn't as if Hermione's hands had been above the table, either. Ron would be distracted again soon enough.

Harry smiled when he imagined Severus sitting up in bed, naked, watching silently as he hurriedly undressed. Harry pictured himself climbing in only to be embraced tightly by Severus, who would call him his 'Sumptuous Seeker,' among other ridiculous things, and murmur treacly endearments against his skin as they prepared to make love.

*

Harry left the pub soon after his daydream had played out, more than a little randy and much more than a little sad. Hermione and Ron had been too wrapped up in each other to barely offer a goodbye, and Harry forced himself to smile and act as if he were quite all right with returning to an empty flat.

*

That night, when Severus arrived, Harry pretended not to notice that he wouldn’t quite meet his gaze and that the conversation was even more sparse than usual. Harry had attempted to speak about the game earlier that day, but it became quite clear that Severus was not listening to him.

Harry went quiet then, allowing Severus to lead him into the bedroom, hardly believing that it was all ending at the moment that Harry finally realized that he didn't want it to. What finally brought Harry round was Severus’ refusal to touch him before they were both naked. That night, Severus removed his own clothing instead of letting Harry do it for him, and that’s when the young wizard knew their time together in this way had run its course.

*

Harry kept his eyes open that night, wanting to remember the planes and angles of Snape’s face, wanting to satisfy his curiosity about whether his eyes darkened or lightened as he approached orgasm. Harry had hooked his ankles round Snape’s waist and pressed the palms of his hands into Snape’s back, drawing the man down onto him, clinging to him like a lifeline. Harry found snogging with eyes open to be impolite, but he knew he had to do it this final time.

He was sure he’d be able to move on if he could just see the man’s eyes. The coldness and the distance Harry knew he’d find there would allow him closure, but, drat the man, he wouldn’t look at him. As if he didn’t want to give Harry the satisfaction of a clean ending. As if he knew that if that Harry would now lay awake nights and wonder what could have been. Harry could have hexed Severus for it, but soon, too soon, he was coming and it was wonderful and nothing else entered his mind except how good it felt and that he would miss it and he loved Severus, drat the man, and now Severus had grown bored and was leaving and there wasn’t a bloody thing to be done about it, and. . .

And then it was over. Snape was pulling away, murmuring beneath his breath, and Harry felt the tingle on his skin that took away the stickiness that had existed there moments before. The ache in his lower back was eased, as well. Severus had obliterated almost all physical traces of their coupling, as he did after each of their sessions. As a gentleman wizard would do with his whore. So, it was all over then. Erased.

*

Harry lay on his side in the darkness, watching as bits of Snape disappeared under the heavy clothing he wore. Harry knew it was useless to ask what he’d done to drive him away. He’d done nothing except be himself – and he’d known from the beginning that would never be enough for Snape. It was humourous in a way – simply being himself had been enough to rally the side of the Light. It had been enough to defeat Voldemort. But it apparently had not been and never would be enough to move one man’s heart. Odd, that.

A voice at that back of his mind whispered that he might have tried a bit harder, but Harry was convinced that Snape had it all planned out from the beginning. He’d done what Harry had known he would do – taken without giving – and he'd had done so without remorse. If, Harry reasoned, he'd been expecting Snape to act just as he had, and he'd fallen in love with the man anyway, then it was his own bloody fault. Snape couldn't very well be blamed, could he?

“Severus?” It felt strange that it would end this way, so suddenly, without even a word between them. It just . . . it seemed wrong somehow. All of it seemed wrong, now, but Harry had no clue how to make it right – or if he could at all.

“I . . . thank you.” Let him go, you sod. Just . . . let him go. Have some sort of dignity. “Goodnight.”

*

As he recounted the whole affair in his head, Harry recalled the final moments Snape spent in his flat. For some reason, quite a few minutes lapsed between his quiet farewell to Severus and the slight pop that indicated Severus had gone. Harry could not fathom why Severus had lingered there without his mind jumping to several conclusions that could not and would not be substantiated. Upon further consideration, Harry thought it as well to just forget about those last minutes altogether. Maybe Severus hadn't lingered at all. Maybe it had been in his imagination . . . or a dream.

With steady hands, Harry poured himself another drink. In an hour or so, the very nice young mediwizard he'd met in a Muggle club in London would be dropping in, and Harry wanted his mind clear for the encounter. And, if in order to drive all thoughts of Snape away, even for a few hours, he had to drink a whole bottle of firewhiskey, then that's how it had to be. He was sure that his mediwizard admirer, whose name Harry couldn't readily recall, wouldn't be able to tell that anything was amiss.

the end

Ah. They are so perfectly at cross-purposes here, and it's heart-breaking.

I also like the fact that (once you read both pieces), it's clear that the reason it ends this way is mostly due to Harry's limitations, not Snape's. Snape actually did try, and Harry couldn't hear that, due to his own assumptions and limitations. That's an interesting reversal from many Snarry fics, where the one who is emotionally stunted/inhibited is Snape, not Harry. This is the most convincingly stunted Harry I've seen in fanfiction. Just breaks your heart.

Thanks so much!

I also like the fact that (once you read both pieces), it's clear that the reason it ends this way is mostly due to Harry's limitations, not Snape's. Snape actually did try, and Harry couldn't hear that, due to his own assumptions and limitations. That's an interesting reversal from many Snarry fics, where the one who is emotionally stunted/inhibited is Snape, not Harry.

This is a very interesting comment, since my beta said that I would likely find that this fic, though (in her opinion) is a better-written fic than the first will likely turn some people off because it is easier for most fans to swallow Snape being a bastard but not Harry. I don't know about that, really - I think it will be interesting to see where Harry's head is at in HBP, because I think all that has happened to him up to OoTP would contribute to make him as closed off as Snape is. Or I may be overreaching.

Thank you, in any case, for the wonderful feedback. I'm slowly (but surely) making my way through your essays :D

oh good, those two stupid men. Wonderful work! You have redemned Harry.

oh good, those two stupid men. Wonderful work! You have redemned Harry.

Why thank you! Though, I think Harry (and/or Severus) would be better served if one or both of them stop acting like stupid gits. But I guess that will have to wait for another story, LOL! Thanks for reading and commenting.

Wow, I really ache now. Harry had all he ever wanted there and was too wrapped up in his own musings to see it. I like how you turned the tables to show that Harry was the dunderhead in this relationship.

Wow, I really ache now. Harry had all he ever wanted there and was too wrapped up in his own musings to see it. I like how you turned the tables to show that Harry was the dunderhead in this relationship.

Thanks! My thinking was that Harry is intelligent, but he isn't very good yet at reading people, and reading Snape would especially difficult. The thing I was thinking was that Harry really didn't know Snape very well. He'd stopped trying to know him a long time ago, which is why he thought the way that he did. Same with Snape. I think that if I do a sequel, I would have to start with both of them just admitting to themselves that they don't know the other as well as they thought they did.


D'oh! *facepalms* Why?! Why?! Why do you insist on making me weep buckets? My heart broke into a million itty bitty pieces as I read Afterthought. It was so beautifully sad, tragic almost. Poor Harry. Poor Snape. *wails*

Please, please, I NEEDS reconciliation fic. Please, don't leave it like that between Harry and Severus. PLEASE! (hangs head, I know. Me bad but needs fluffy, happy ending...)

D'oh! *facepalms* Why?! Why?! Why do you insist on making me weep buckets? My heart broke into a million itty bitty pieces as I read Afterthought. It was so beautifully sad, tragic almost. Poor Harry. Poor Snape. *wails*

::hugs:: Thank you so much. I teared up a little on the re-read. I wanted to throttle Harry, but then, I wanted to snuggle him and tell him that his Sevvy-kins was waiting for him, and he needed to get on with it, already.

Ahem.

Please, please, I NEEDS reconciliation fic. Please, don't leave it like that between Harry and Severus. PLEASE! (hangs head, I know. Me bad but needs fluffy, happy ending...)

No, no, I totally understand. I need the fluff, too. My beta and I are trying to figure out a nice good way to round out the series. Fluff may definitely come into play at some point. Thanks so much for the feedback! :D

Oh, lovely! Wasn't sure it was even possible to match the last one, but this was perfect in every way. I ached, and I don't do that very often in fanfic. I really do hope you do a reconcilliation fic--that would make this little series good enough to bind in a slim leather case and keep around for frequent perusal.

Oh, lovely! Wasn't sure it was even possible to match the last one, but this was perfect in every way. I ached, and I don't do that very often in fanfic.

Oh, wow, what a compliment! With angst, I think that I'd just be bad at heavy-handed tearjerker fics (though I enjoy reading them.) Also, this was the first time I've ever gotten to explore a character's mind and thoughts, so I didn't want to overdo. I'm glad that it worked out.

I really do hope you do a reconcilliation fic--that would make this little series good enough to bind in a slim leather case and keep around for frequent perusal.

My gosh, I don't think I've ever been paid such an awesome compliment. My beta threatened to withhold her services if I didn't put out a recon fic, so that's in the works now. I like that I may get to ease up on the angst a bit.


*sniiffs* You did an amazing work. What hurt me was the fact that Harry loved him (loved him the only way he could) and Severus loved him back, and they didn't understand the rules of what they were playing. Things could have turned out very different if they had talked to each other, it they had opened up...

I loved both stories very much. I'm hoping, you'll decide to write a sequel to both of them, bringing them together. Please? It's just so sad, because there is love between them, they just wasted their chances.

*sniiffs* You did an amazing work. What hurt me was the fact that Harry loved him (loved him the only way he could) and Severus loved him back, and they didn't understand the rules of what they were playing. Things could have turned out very different if they had talked to each other, it they had opened up...

I think that theme held true for Harry/Sirius in much of PoA, also, but fortunately for Sirius (and Harry), this was rectified before it became too late. Of course, Harry and Severus don't have the type of history Sirius and Harry had, but I also think that canonically, they have the most potential out of any other character to relate to each other, but they are wasting that chance because they really don't understand each other. If, in book 6, Dumbledore forces the two of them to sit down and just talk to each other, many good things could happen canonically between them. The same holds true, I think, for this story.

I loved both stories very much. I'm hoping, you'll decide to write a sequel to both of them, bringing them together. Please? It's just so sad, because there is love between them, they just wasted their chances.

Hee! My beta isn't even a Snarry fan, and she said she would never forgive me if I left things this way, so I likely will write a followup. I'm starting to plan it out in my head now, so thank you for the encouragement! :D

It is so sad that they both wanted the same thing and were too stubborn to take risks to get it. Harry couldn't let go of his preconceived notions about Snape to really see what Snape was trying to do. Snape wasn't more aggressive with his overtures. This fic is a perfect example of what happens when open, honest communication is missing in a relationship. Thank you for sharing this.

It is so sad that they both wanted the same thing and were too stubborn to take risks to get it. Harry couldn't let go of his preconceived notions about Snape to really see what Snape was trying to do. Snape wasn't more aggressive with his overtures.

You are absolutely right. It is extremely difficult, too, to get these two on the same page considering that they are both extremely proud and, yes, stubborn people who don't seem to be able to see beyond their own fears. I could talk all day about the psychology of those two, but I suck at essays. It'd be a hoot, maybe, if Dumbledore for some reason made them both see the wizarding equivalent of psychiatrists :D

This fic is a perfect example of what happens when open, honest communication is missing in a relationship. Thank you for sharing this.

Thank YOU for reading. Yes, communication is key. In most successful Snarries, both of them are very attuned to each other, either because they've known each other so long or have been together so long, or because they've been through hell in the war together. I tend to like dysfunction, hence this fic. Thanks again for the wonderful feedback :D

For everyone who wanted a fluffy ending to "Forethought," ummm . . . sorry?

and for those of us don't care for the fluffy this was perfect. the two of them so at cross purposes with each other and themselves

thank you enjoyed it muchly

and for those of us don't care for the fluffy this was perfect.

Whew! I really was concerned about that a bit. I kept telling my beta, "But it should end with wonderful hot sex and snuggles!" But, alas. I do like WAFFyness, but I have to be in a specific moood to write it.

the two of them so at cross purposes with each other and themselves.

It hurt to write them that way, actually. I kept thinking that they were both smarter than what they were exhibiting, but . . . no. It was a good bit painful to come to the realization that my version of Harry doesn't really know everything. It was a disappointment, in a way. Thanks so much for reading and for commenting.

I can't concentrate - you've blown me away. Okay, I know sometimes authors say that "That's it" to the story but please - I need resolution. I don't care if they don't shag in the final piece, let them just be in a room together and work out that they're in love? Let it be done so my heart can start beating again.

*tries to think of more ways to guilt you ;-)*

I can't concentrate - you've blown me away.

::meeps:: Me?! You . . . you . . . your latest has just had me in a state of shock! I almost don't ever want to write again because it won't come anywhere near your greatness ::genuflects:: Seriously, your story made me feel . . . god, I can't even begin to describe it.

Guilt me? You don't have to. If you promise me you'll keep on writing, I swear I'll write anything you want me to! ::squeezles!::

OK. You are hereby commanded respectfully requested by me, the Moderator (note impressive title) to write the synthesis fic. Harry and Severus simply must resolve their feelings for one another. Even with liberal windings of Spell-O-Tape my heart is still broken.

*limps away to cuddle plushie and suck thumb*

OK. You are hereby commanded respectfully requested by me, the Moderator (note impressive title) to write the synthesis fic. Harry and Severus simply must resolve their feelings for one another. Even with liberal windings of Spell-O-Tape my heart is still broken.

::salutes:: Aye, captain! Now that I've reread the two, it does seem unfinished somehow. I have to just get up off my arse and figure it out. I want to see if subtle angst and WAFFyness can exist in the same story.

Thanks so much for reading, and I hope that plushie you're snuggling is a Snape plushie :D

Ah! Nooooo! So, so, _good_ but so sad. You said that the first piece was a bit of a practice, because you didn't have much experience writing angst. Well, consider yourself a mistress/master of that genre after these two stories. It was so believable, so _normal_ (as opposed to angst because Severus is bored in bed and wants to invite Lucius and Bellatrix to liven things up, which is entertaining, but definitely requires a suspension of disbelief). This is delicate, subtle, ACHING angst.

Now, that said- please write a third story with some hope at the end! This wouldn't be 'selling out'- many of the best stories of this type I have read are wrenching, but slowly come to a happier ending, with mutual understanding between the two (this doesn't mean fluffy, honest!) These two stories show that Snape and Harry really care about each other, and I cannot believe that two characters of such courage would continue (after a few months of feeling like they do at the end of the story) to avoid each other. It just doesn't make sense. They don't have to hook up- even a final story that showed them starting a friendship based on honesty and openness, would make me happy.

I hope you're happy though- you've turned me, a confessed HP/SS smutaholic, into a sobbing wreck who would be happy if they just became friends and had some joy in each other's lives. Gah! If that isn't the sign of a great writer, I don't know what is.

Unworthily yours,
Hildegard

Ah! Nooooo! So, so, _good_ but so sad. You said that the first piece was a bit of a practice, because you didn't have much experience writing angst. Well, consider yourself a mistress/master of that genre after these two stories. It was so believable, so _normal_ (as opposed to angst because Severus is bored in bed and wants to invite Lucius and Bellatrix to liven things up, which is entertaining, but definitely requires a suspension of disbelief). This is delicate, subtle, ACHING angst.

Whoa, the Severus/Bellatrix/Lucius image is strangely intriguing, but yes, I see your point, and thank you very much for the lovely words. It would take me a bit to wrap my head around the idea of Snape shagging those two (also, it is v. difficult for me to get into the idea of George/Fred twincest, but that's just me.)

Now, that said - please write a third story with some hope at the end! This wouldn't be 'selling out'- many of the best stories of this type I have read are wrenching, but slowly come to a happier ending, with mutual understanding between the two (this doesn't mean fluffy, honest!)

Oh, indeed! I didn't envision a third part to the story only because I really didn't envision a second part to it! But after I wrote Forethought, I knew I had to write from Harry's P.O.V., and now after this story, it just seems clear to me that I have to write a third. I love fluff, but I'm sort of sucky at writing it (this I know for a fact :D)

These two stories show that Snape and Harry really care about each other, and I cannot believe that two characters of such courage would continue (after a few months of feeling like they do at the end of the story) to avoid each other. It just doesn't make sense. They don't have to hook up- even a final story that showed them starting a friendship based on honesty and openness, would make me happy.

You're absolutely right. While I think that Snape might attempt to just forget the whole thing ever happened, Harry, at least, as the brave and reckless Gryffindor that he is can't let sleeping snakes lie. Hee! But the understanding does have to be there, and that will be tough to write. I'm still trying to think on some plausible scenarios. Friendship would be a good starting point! But then I might be tempted to write yet another fic about their friendship developing into a true romance.

I hope you're happy though- you've turned me, a confessed HP/SS smutaholic, into a sobbing wreck who would be happy if they just became friends and had some joy in each other's lives. Gah! If that isn't the sign of a great writer, I don't know what is.

The ultimate compliment! Thanks so much for this - it is I who is unworthy of such wonderful feedback, not the other way around. <3


I've been away for the last month and am now starting to catch up on the fics I missed. I'm pleased that the two of them were here for me to read together.

First, I wanted to say how much I enjoyed them. In both fics, the emotions at play were totally realistic - hesitant, repressed, wanting it to be more than it appears. I very much appreciated the way you showed Severus' tentative advances to Harry to build their relationship, and then Harry's disbelief, his expectation that Severus would try again if he really meant it. There's so much of life here, where we are tentative and hesitant, not believing in ourselves and others, that makes these fics very real.

Great writing. Thank you for sharing.

I've been away for the last month and am now starting to catch up on the fics I missed. I'm pleased that the two of them were here for me to read together.

And I am pleased that you returned in time to give us Happy Birthday, Severus. IT policy at my job be damned, it was too yummy for words.

First, I wanted to say how much I enjoyed them. In both fics, the emotions at play were totally realistic - hesitant, repressed, wanting it to be more than it appears. I very much appreciated the way you showed Severus' tentative advances to Harry to build their relationship, and then Harry's disbelief, his expectation that Severus would try again if he really meant it.

I've had pretty much zero involvement in these type of relationships, but I've known plenty of people who have, and so I wanted to draw on what I gleaned from them for this. Severus, IMO, would be tentative in any relationship he'd undertake, and doubly so with Harry. It's hard to imagine realism with these two, but I'm trying.

Thanks so much again! I can't wait to see what you have cooked up for July 31 - and in the interim .

Oh, so very perfect. Your Harry, the Idiot Gryffindor to the core. Severus, trying to get past his own limitations. Ack, wonderful and heartbreaking tied up with string. (One of my favorite things.) You've reduced me to sentence fragments.

Typo alert: "Occulemens" => "Occlumens" (I think)

If I might offer a suggestion for a resolution fic: A third party observer of the two of them. Maybe Hermione or Minerva noticing that both Harry and Severus are out of sorts and putting two and two together, or one of the Weasley boys, shagging Harry for Good Fun and Old Times and noticing that Harry's not quite the same.

Oh, so very perfect. Your Harry, the Idiot Gryffindor to the core. Severus, trying to get past his own limitations. Ack, wonderful and heartbreaking tied up with string.

I can't tell you how many times I just wanted to throttle the little git. It's weird to yell at fictional characters at your television screen. It's even weirder to yell at them when they're on your computer screen :D

alert: "Occulemens" => "Occlumens" (I think)

Ah, thank you. I thought that looked a little goofy, but I didn't have any of the books handy to make sure.

If I might offer a suggestion for a resolution fic: A third party observer of the two of them. Maybe Hermione or Minerva noticing that both Harry and Severus are out of sorts and putting two and two together, or one of the Weasley boys, shagging Harry for Good Fun and Old Times and noticing that Harry's not quite the same.

Those are both fantastic ideas. I'm all about having a third person coming into things. It just gets strange when it's Dumbledore. I also have been getting more into the Weasleys via my obsession with Ron/Hermione, so that is a very cool idea indeed.

It can't just end there

No. I do not accept a world that Severus and Harry do not live happily ever after. I can't. It is so sad that they both want the same thing and assume the other doesn't. :( I hope against all hope that they can reconcile. Make Harry get off his lazy arse and go to Severus.

Leila

Re: It can't just end there

No. I do not accept a world that Severus and Harry do not live happily ever after. I can't. It is so sad that they both want the same thing and assume the other doesn't. :( I hope against all hope that they can reconcile. Make Harry get off his lazy arse and go to Severus.

I hear you loud and clear. For me, Snarry = Severus and Harry together at the end. I'm going to do my best to bring it about, and maybe it will be Harry that'll need to get his arse in gear. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

Usually I hate Dumbledore as the benevolent meddler that forces Harry and Severus to reveal their feelings, but after reading these two I'm just praying for Albus to lock them in a room or force them to bond.

What I love about these two fics is that you made them so REAL. With human follies and limitations, which stop them from realizing what's right in front of them.

Damn. That hurt so good.