Harri

Year 6: Summer
This begins Harri's second stay at Spinner's End for the summer. But this time, instead of sleeping in Snape's old room, she shares his bed.
(Snape wears socks at night. I don't make the rules, but I hate them.)

Harri awoke to a wall of dark fabric. She gently uses her nose to part the cascade of black hair that fell inches away from her face, her lips finding the pale skin of the neck it hid.

This ended up being a mistake, as the sensation caused him to jolt awake, lightly knocking her onto her back.

Snape getting up in the morning is like unbuckling a seatbelt. He’s lightly irritated with it as he disentangles himself, but as soon as her arms leave his body a loss shivers through him. Can't go back now though; gotta get up and walk around with that small hole in your heart.

Harri, going through the closet in Snape's childhood bedroom looking for a lost sweater of hers, and finds some old clothing in a box. She brings it out to him.

"Is this... your student robe?"

"It is."

Harri tries it on. It’s much too long for her. Despite this, Snape gives her a wry approving look.

“You would have made a good Slytherin, you know.”

“Haha, don’t say that." She looks down and fiddles with the sleeves, trying to free her hands. "...I'd have to share a common room with Malfoy.”

“Still. ...I wish I could have had you.”

“...Would you have been less mean to me?”

“Probably not.”



---


---
A few weeks into the summer is Harri's 16th birthday. They wait until midnight.

Traces of moonlight that managed to slip past the moth-eaten curtains in his bedroom fall upon the soft edges of her skin. They contour her face; featureless in the darkness, yet unmistakable.... the form of Lily lies beneath him.

Air forces its way into his lungs as he had not realized he’d been holding his breath, ushering him to move. Cautiously he brings his hand up and with the back of his fingers gently traces the side of her cheek, first in awe, but soon a rising concoction of horror from deep within him makes itself known. Guilt. Grief. Shame. He tries to force her away, to bring reality back under him, but in the miasma of darkness he could see nothing else. No one else. Lily stirs impatiently, sliding her hand up over his wrist to bring him farther into her, and his wits end, he pleads:

“Say something.”

“...What?” That was something, Harri thought, but probably not what he wanted. What DID he want...?

“...Anything.

Soft desperation curled the edges of his voice and tightened a cord high in her chest. She tries to study the shape where she thought his face would be, but the darkness returned nothing to her eyes, so instead she reaches out with her hands. Her fingers find his familiar curtain of hair and slide beneath it, pushing up through warm roots; her thumbs gently brushing over his cheeks and coming to a rest at his temples.

“I... I need you.”

Words she had never spoken. Could never have spoken. Harri’s thin fingers gently soothe the sides of his face, and he leans down to find hers.

Becoming more intimate with each other brings new challenges though, and some lost-standing feelings, frustrations, and anxieties out into the open. Snape holds deeply seated, deeply pained regret over never getting to apologize to Lily for how their friendship ended, what he said to her, and his fault in what happened to her. But that can never happen now, and he's spent his whole life internalizing that as part of not just his life, but his self-image. So when Harri comes along that calcified knife in his heart twists every time he looks at her, and god above all he wants to do is tell her (Harri; Lily) he's sorry. For everything. It laces their intimacy with ginger sorrow. But his self-flagellation prevents him from that closure, and knowing that it's not Lily; it's Harri.

But during the summer they have a moment together where she finally gets him to open up and falls apart to her; she ends up playing confessional as 20 years worth of apology comes flooding out of him, supporting him as he collapses into her both figuratively and literally.

Through it he realizes that yes, while it's true that he can never apologize to Lily herself, opening up to Harri was relieving and that even though he can't go back, he can move forward.

This moment leads out into soft intimacy for a long while, but when they eventually part, the next time they meet Snape doesn't really know how to carry himself and his body language, while not tense, is avoidant and stiff. He doesn't quite meet her eyes, but Harri, without thought, climbs into his arms and kisses him, and he meets it without an ounce of objection. There's no pain between them this time, just tired grace and clearly felt love.
This is where their relationship starts to become truly playful. A wall between them comes down, and that becomes harder to hide than anything. it seeps into their body language around each other, even when they aren't directly interacting. The furtive pining is gone, now it's just a deep, comfortable bond. They needed, and now have each other, and it's emanating softly from both of them. It also means they now feel more comfortable pushing each other's buttons again. Particularly Harri.

‪“it’s like touching a bike chain”‬

‪“Get off.”‬

“i’m going to get acne if i keep sleeping behind you at night”

“I said GET. OFF. POTTER.”‬

“get up”

“ᵍᵉᵗ ᵒᶠᶠ”‬

Harri's stay with Snape the last summer had come with rules, and this summer was no exception. As the weeks of being trapped in the house while watching Snape come and go pile up, Harri begins to ask if she can come along too. She's met with a stern dismissal each time, but her badgering just becomes more tenacious.

It comes to a head one Sunday morning, when Snape has brief business in London:

He works his way down his sleeve; each button locking itself into the hole it's provided brings a small amount of relief in the mounting tension. It's not enough.

"Why is this so important to you? I would have thought you'd be more... resilient to being cooped up, given your... history, with your relatives."

"So you're setting the Dursleys as the standard, then? That's a low bar." She growls. It was all he could do not to snarl back. He flattens out his coat instead, brushing away his indignation.

"I'm trying to keep you safe, Harri. You know that."

"And wouldn't it be safest to be where you are?"

"Where I'm going isn't armed to the teeth with protective hexes and free from prying eyes. Don't be stupid, Harri."

"I'm not being stupid! I just figured one of the greatest wizards of the century; someone who's managed to slip under Voldemort's nose for over a decade would be able to handle a pitiful trip to London with a 16 year old girl."

His eyebrow raises, but the rest of his expression stays fixed. "You're no ordinary girl."

"And you're no ordinary wizard." She reaches out to take the edge of his sleeve, prompting him to face her. "Please, Severus, just once, and I'll never ask again."

Her voice weakens, pleading as she pushes her nose into his chest.

"I'm going mad in here."

Despite his better judgement, Snape does recognize how much of a caged bird Harri has become, and in the interest of her not sneaking out on her own which seems more likely by the day: he agrees. But ONLY if she doesn't leave his side, and makes sure to take her invisibility cloak with her in case of emergency, which she has no issue with.

It turns into a day to remember.

“Severus….”

“Yes?”

Harri looks up at him.

“...Say something?”

He tilts his book down.

“...Such as?”

Harri exhales comfortably. “Anything.”

Snape flips his book over, now studying her.

“...You often leave me at a loss for words.”

That seemed to be enough for her. She sighs and sinks herself more deeply into him, stretching out lightly.

“...I love the way your voice resounds when I’m next to you...”

"..."

Despite all, complexities and dangers alike, they have each other.

And in this time they have together, that's all that could ever matter.

<= Year 5

Years 6-7 =>