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[[ rocks fall. everyone dies ]]


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Nothing But Scars /// r ; snape/harry ; dubcon
icon by dandelion, art by ursula vernon
_regarde
Title: Nothing But Scars
Author: hikaru / _regarde
Rating: R
Pairing(s): Severus Snape/Harry Potter
Summary: Four years after Voldemort's ultimate destruction, Harry Potter sets out to bring one last Death Eater to justice.
Disclaimer: Severus Snape, Harry Potter, and all other recognizable characters herein are property of J. K. Rowling, Warner Brothers, and several other people with more money and power than myself. I gain nothing from this but sheer joy.
Warnings: Spoilers for Book 6. Sex without romance, ambiguous motivations.
Notes: Written for musigneus for merry_smutmas 2005. This fic was inspired, oddly enough, by the song "Magnolia Mountain," by alt-country artist Ryan Adams. Don't freak out, though -- this story is not a song fic; I did, however, listen to this song about three million times during the course of writing. The quotes that open and close the story are from that song. I imagine that they only make sense to me, with the context of the story, but they are there regardless.



We burned the cotton fields down in the valley
And ended up with nothing but scars
The scars became the lessons that we gave to our children after the war
But there ain't nothing but the truth up on the Magnolia Mountain
Where nobody ever dies
Steady your soul and ease your worry
They got a room for you





The war had been over for four years now. Harry Potter defeated Voldemort, just as the prophecy foretold. The horcruxes were all destroyed, the Death Eaters had been brought to justice, and all was right in the wizarding world.

Except for one thing.

Justice, for Harry Potter, also meant revenge for Albus Dumbledore's death. When the remaining Death Eaters were rounded up and set before the newly-reformed Ministry for trial, there was one high-profile Death Eater missing from the ranks.

Severus Snape.

***



Everyone told Harry to give up his search for Snape. It was entirely likely that the fugitive had turned his wand on himself in fear of discovery, of capture, of Azkaban. This was, after all, a man who had narrowly avoided Azkaban so long ago; he likely wasn't all too keen on the prospect of finally making his grand arrival at the wizard prison.

Harry would not let that idea even be uttered.

"The man is a coward," he would say, "but he is too proud, too stubborn to take his own life. He believes that he is always in the right, and will flee or fight until someone takes his life for him."

So Harry Potter -- who, in his young adulthood, had seemingly forgotten the meaning of the word 'rest' -- set out once more to hunt down the only man who had evaded the ramifications of the Great War.

***



Harry's search started at Azkaban.

"I'm here to interview Lucius Malfoy."

Interviews were not typical at Azkaban. The Dementors, back at their rightful place at the prison after the war, usually drove their captives insane quickly enough that a coherent interview was nearly impossible.

But this was Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived Yet Again. He could do anything he wanted.

***



"Where is he, Malfoy?" Potter's wand was held tight in his hand. He sat on the edge of his seat, glaring harshly at Lucius Malfoy. This was not the schoolboy that faced a haughty Malfoy in his third year. This was a young man hardened by death, by destruction, by a loss in faith of all that he once thought to be true.

"I don't know." And this? This was not the same Lucius Malfoy that acted as though the entire world should bow to him. He was gaunt, pale, obviously distressed. That's what Azkaban does to a man.

"Of course you know," Harry raged, gripping the table until his knuckles turned white. "We know that you've been communicating with him ever since he murdered Dumbledore!"

"I don't know."

"The hell you don't." Harry stood up abruptly, shoving his chair out from underneath him. In a flash, he pulled a sheet of parchment from a slim folder set out in front of him and waved it in Lucius' face. "Do you see this? Do you remember writing this?"

Lucius looked at it weakly, eyes hardly focusing on the text. "No." It didn't matter what question he was answering; the answer would be 'no' regardless.

"Let me read it for you, you worthless shit," Harry growled, turning the paper back so that he could read aloud from it. He cleared his throat dramatically and then began.

"'Severus, I'll be apparating in at three fifty-seven tomorrow. Do take down the wards so there are no unfortunate accidents this time.'" Harry glanced over the paper at Lucius with a smirk. "Do you remember that one? It's from right after you broke out of Azkaban."

There was nothing but blankness on Lucius' face. Harry pursed his lips and snatched up another piece of parchment from the folder and began to read again. "How about this one? 'Not much time to write -- will be at S.E. at one. No mention to Narcissa.'"

Lucius opens his mouth but closes it again, not making a sound; Harry raises a curious eyebrow. "What is 'S.E.', Malfoy?" He lowers the paper and stares hard at Lucius.

"I don't know." He hangs his head a bit, almost as if he wished he could remember.

***



"I'm here to speak with Bellatrix Lestrange."

Harry could barely hold back his rage when he was put in front of Bellatrix. Regardless of the fact that she did nothing more than babble incoherently, any last shred of sanity stolen from her by her second stay in Azkaban, she was still the one who had taken Sirius away from him. Azkaban was a punishment too good for the likes of her.

"You know where he lives," Harry hissed lowly. "I know you've been there. You said it in your testimony before the Ministry." He tapped angrily at a thick packet of papers -- his own notes and transcripts of each and every Death Eater's trial.

She said nothing, merely stared at him with cold, vacant eyes.

***



Harry Potter quickly ran out of Death Eaters to interview. Of the remaining few who could actually stand of their own free will and walk to the interviewing room, the only one who provided any information whatsoever was Rodolphus Lestrange, who muttered one word to Harry before lapsing back into a near-catatonic state.

That word?

Paris.

***



Harry mentally kicked himself for not even bothering to think that his target may not even be in England any more. Snape was a wizard, and an incredibly skilled one at that. It didn't matter that every method of transportation available was being monitored. Of course he could find a way around it.

But Paris? Paris was gigantic. It was in another country. Where they spoke French. Not to even mention the fact that he was going on the word of a mostly-insane former Death Eater and a few scraps of corroborating evidence that Harry had unearthed in the weeks after his interviews.

He wished that Hermione was here to help him. She would know what to do.

***



It took Harry three months of learning about Paris and its wizarding culture, of committing maps of the Parisian roadways and metro to memory, of repeated and urgent owls to the French ministre de magie, of scouring the Parisian newspapers (both wizard and Muggle) for even the tiniest shred of useful information, before he finally stumbled across something.

That something came in the form of a glimpse of black frockcoat in a newspaper photograph. The article was in regards to a planned construction project for the metro; the accompanying photograph was a street scene, of the outside of a very busy metro entrance. And there, in the corner, nearly out of the boundaries of the photo, was that damning coat. Harry would recognize that slouch, that hunch of shoulders, that distinctive coat anywhere.

"I've got you, you bastard," he growled, slamming the paper down hard onto his desk and standing.

He needed to get to Paris.

***



I'm going to Paris, he scribbled hastily on a scrap of parchment. I'll be back, I promise. And I'll bring his broken wand with me. He will pay. He will not escape me. I'll spend the rest of my life hunting him if I have to. He took Dumbledore from us. Life is too good for him.

Harry tacked the parchment to the small table in his kitchen, ensuring that if anyone came looking for him, they would know where he was. Not, of course, that anyone looked for the Boy Who Lived these days. Most of his friends were dead.

Grabbing a knapsack crammed full of supplies, Harry picked up his wand from the table and took one last look around the small flat. He didn't know if he would ever be back. Hunting Snape, somehow, seemed infinitely more dangerous than hunting Voldemort.
"Goodbye, home," he whispered before apparating away.

***



In Paris, few people knew who Harry Potter was. While even British Muggles grew to at least be able to recognise the bloke with the odd scar during the course of the war, the legend of he who had repeatedly defied Voldemort had not quite spread to the European mainland.

Consequently, it was all too easy for Harry to blend in, regardless of how poor his grasp on the French language was. After arriving, it only took a few hours for Harry to make his way into the Parisian wizarding neighbourhood. No one even cast Harry a second glance as he walked through the winding streets, staring wide-eyed at all of the shops and establishments that he found. The entire neighbourhood managed to be worlds more exotic than Diagon Alley, yet quaint and familiar at the same time. The shops were nearly the same -- there was a robe maker to the left, an apothecary up ahead, a Quidditch supply shop over to the right, the Parisian branch of Gringotts' just around the corner. Harry smiled; he felt at home.

At the top of the hill that the neighbourhood wound its way up sat the dodgiest inn that Harry had ever seen. The inn seemed to be held together entirely by magic; the roof had patches seemingly devoid of shingles, the bricks were cracked, the placard announcing the name of the inn was swinging aimlessly from one corner of its post, threatening to crash down upon the head of an unsuspecting passer-by. Not as though the inn had many passers-by in the first place.

It didn't take long for Harry to decide to secure his own room there. Were there anyone unsavoury to be searching for him, this would be the last place searched. Common belief held that the Golden Boy of the wizarding world would never stoop to staying in somewhere as shabby as this particular establishment. It was the perfect plan. The innkeeper, though casting Harry a suspicious look, asked no questions and happily took Harry's handful of Galleons to ensure that he didn't start asking questions later.

***



Harry made himself at home in his dingy little room, spreading his collection of newspapers and letters and photographs across the floor. Magically suspended from midair was Harry's by now well-worn map of Paris, large red X's scribbled over areas that he had already ruled out as possible hiding spots for Snape.

He spent every night roaming the streets of Paris. If Snape had made the mistake once of getting caught out in public, then he would likely do it again, especially if he never even began to suspect that someone was looking for him. If no one in the whole of France knew who Harry Potter was, then surely Severus Snape was as big of an enigma as ever.

A month went by, and Harry was no closer to Snape than he was all the way in London. Harry had staked out every pharmacy, apothecary, and potions shop in all of wizarding Paris for days on end, with no sign of the former Potions professor. He'd even ventured into Paris' equivalent of Knockturn Alley, sidestepping all sorts of dodgy and unsavoury characters to peer around corners and into shops, looking for that familiar shock of black hair or that prominent nose.

Using translation charms, he struck up conversations with shop owners, customers at neighbouring tables in bistros and cafés, the merchants at the patisserie or the boulangerie. He tried chatting up pretty girls at the discothèques, the shady characters in the back of the bookstores, and the schoolboys playing Exploding Snap in the streets after school.

Day in, day out, and still nothing. The innkeeper eyed Harry with increasing suspicion as he came in and out of the lobby. Harry needed a breakthrough soon in his search, or he was going to have to find somewhere else to stay.

***



The breakthrough came in the form of the innkeeper, in a most unfortunate manner.

"Boy," he said, beckoning crookedly to Harry one night as the young man came in from another fruitless night of searching.

Harry, hands shoved in his pockets, glanced at the innkeeper, who had hardly spoken more than a handful of words to Harry since he had arrived in Paris. He didn't speak, merely shuffled his way over to the innkeeper's desk.

Not anticipating that Harry would speak any time soon, the innkeeper scratched his bald head and spoke again, voice low. "Man come looking for you today. Très grande personne." He waved his hand high above his head. "Ugly. Says to say he knows you are here. En Paris. Says he find you before you find him."

Harry froze in place, all the blood seemingly draining from his face. "D- did this man give you his name?" Not as though Harry truly needed to ask this. He would bet all the money in the world on the ugly man being Snape.

The innkeeper shook his head, turning his head back to the accounting books spread out in front of him on the desk. Not bothering to look up at Harry, he says "Monsieur says that you not be needing his name. C'est tout."

Harry didn't need to speak fluent French to know that this conversation was over. "Merci, monsieur."

***



Harry was both elated and terrified at the same time. Elated because it meant that he was right, that Snape was hiding here in Paris; terrified because it meant that Snape knew where Harry was.

How did he miss Snape? How could he have been followed without knowing it? He glanced up at his map, glowering at the red X's marking off nearly every possible neighbourhood. He'd checked everywhere, and he'd been a failure.

And now? Now he was doomed to be a target.

Harry wasn't going to go down without a fight.

He was going to find Snape tonight. He was not going to be the hunted one, not after this long.

***



"Six hundred galleons for you to tell me where I can find him." Harry slammed a large bag down in front of the innkeeper.

The portly old man glanced up at Harry, frowned, then turned his attention back to the thick books before him.

"Eight hundred."

The innkeeper grunted.

"One thousand. Mille galleons." Harry knew that he was essentially bargaining for his life, but it didn't matter. "If you do not tell me where he is, then he will come here tonight and kill me." Harry shoved another bag at the innkeeper. "Do you want that burden?" He propped his elbows up on the counter, glaring down at the squat little man.

He merely snorted, reaching one hand up to pull at the strings of one of the bags to open it. The glint of the wizarding currency was all that the man needed to see to seal his decision.

"Rue des Rondeaux," the man said, simultaneously writing the name down on a scrap of parchment. He shoved the parchment towards Harry, not bothering to glance up. "That is all I tell you." He turned away from Harry, gathering the two hefty bags of galleons in his arms and walking towards the rickety door that led away from the lobby and into his own office.

It was clear that this conversation was over. But Harry, at least, had a partial address, and that was enough for him. He'd search every flat, every office, every church, every last structre on that road until he found Snape.

***



According to Harry's map of Paris, the address he was given by the innkeeper was on the outskirts of the city proper, overlooking a gigantic cemetery. How appropriate. How very Snape, to live at the boundary of an entire park devoted to death.

Harry left the inn with nothing but his wand. If he lived, he'd be back to collect his belongings. If he died, then none of it would matter.

***



As it turned out, he didn't need to look very hard once he reached rue des Rondeaux to find Snape.

Snape found him first.

"Expelliarmus," drawled the voice from the shadows; Harry's wand flew out of his hand before he even realized that he wasn't alone on the darkened street.

Harry whirled around, fists clenched at his sides. "Show yourself, you coward!" He narrowed his eyes, staring into the darkness of the alleyway where Snape had to be hiding. "Give me back my wand and fight me like a man."

Snape snorted. "You're still just a boy, Potter. I fear that fighting you like a man leaves me with the advantage." Harry heard the click-click of boot heels against the ground; a dark form advanced from between the buildings and slowly came into focus.

And there he was, sallow and greasy and black and vile as ever, only now he somehow managed to get the upper hand.

"Bastard," Harry spat, taking a hasty step forward towards his enemy.

"Ah-ah, Potter," Snape said, pointing his wand squarely at Harry's head. His stance was casual, but Harry knew that he would be dead in a split second if Snape so desired it. "You never were one for treating your elders with respect." Keeping his own wand trained on Harry, he slipped the young man's wand inside his cloak.

"Come," he said, brushing past Harry and making his way down the uneven sidewalks. He didn't check to see if the young man was following him; the fact that the only footsteps he heard in the night were his own was enough indication that Harry was rooted to his spot in the street. Sighing, he whirled around, wand raised high. "Come now, or I will slaughter you in the street and leave your corpse to rot."

That was all Harry needed to hear.

He started walking.

***



Snape led Harry to a dingy flat at the very end of the road, overlooking the far corner of the cemetery. The flat was sparsely furnished; there was a ratty old armchair in the centre of the room, in front of which sat an equally dreadful table, teetering on its uneven legs.

"Sit," Snape demanded, pointing one bony finger at the chair as he flicked his wand at the door, locking it. Harry declined defiantly and chose to stand near the wobbly table instead, entire body poised to fight or flee, whichever would come to be more feasible for the situation.

"Fine," Snape drawled, shedding his heavy cloak and hanging it from a hook near the entrance. "Tea?" He paced the short distance from the door to the small kitchen, waving his wand at a kettle that sat on the stove. "Earl Grey? Darjeeling? Oolong?" Snape glanced sidelong at Harry as he shuffled about in a cupboard for two teacups. "Black currant?"

Harry merely stared, slack-jawed, at Snape's bizarrely domestic performance. This man was a murderer, and he was offering Harry tea. As if Harry's entire journey to Paris hadn't been surreal enough in the first place, he now had this to deal with.

"Earl Grey it is, then," he said, waving his wand at the kettle impatiently. "You've most likely not the refined palette for Darjeeling." He set the teacups next to the stove and then walked over to where Harry stood, tucking his wand up his own sleeve.

"It isn't polite to refuse the offer of a seat," he said, making himself comfortable in the armchair that Harry ignored. "But, you never were an exceedingly polite boy." He shrugged, crossing one leg atop the other and leaning back in the chair.

Snape looked no different now than he did all those years ago, when Harry had last confronted him after Dumbledore's murder. He was perhaps a bit thinner; the immaculate robes seemed to hang a bit looser than they had in years prior. His hair was longer, but still unkempt and greasy; he was, overall, still as ugly as ever. Harry frowned down at the seated man, who had raised his own wand and summoned the two teacups, which zoomed across the room and clattered onto the little wobbly table.

"Tea?" he asked again, pointing at the cups. He reached over and picked up his own, sipping from it. "It's not poisoned. I can think of much more creative ways to end your life than via poisoned Earl Grey." Snape smirked, resting the cup and saucer on his knee.

"What is wrong with you?" Harry finally sputtered, staring at Snape incredulously. "You stalk me all through Paris, you follow me to where I've been living--"

"Quite to the contrary, Mr Potter," Snape interjected. "You are the one who has been following me. You did come to Paris, after all, based on a half-dead fool's tip, did you not?" He paused for a second, and Harry opened his mouth to retort, but Snape cut him off again. "And you did spend months traversing every road, alleyway, tavern, inn, apothecary, pastry shop, et cetera, in Paris to find me? And you did bribe the innkeeper to give up my area of residence?"

"You-- you-- you!" Harry sputtered wildly, aghast at Snape's words.

"Eloquent as ever, Potter." Snape raised an eyebrow at Harry, then sipped again from his teacup. "Your tea is getting cold." He balanced the cup on his knee once more to withdraw his wand from its hiding place; a few nonchalant flicks later, the wobbly table was transfigured into an equally wobbly armchair, and the teacup was forcibly resting in Harry's hands. Satisfied with his work, he put the wand away again. "Tell me why you are here."

A long, ominous silence filled the room, punctuated only by Harry's outraged breathing and the occasional clink of Snape's teacup meeting the saucer.

"Revenge."

Snape sighed. "You can't think of anything more original than that?"

"To destroy you."

"As you destroyed the Dark Lord? How very quaint." He glanced up over the rim of his teacup. "Tell me, Potter. Am I so vile to you that you view both the Dark Lord and me on the same level? Do explain how your childish little mind works."

"Yes." Harry narrowed his eyes and glared at Snape. "You killed Dumbledore."

"It all comes back to that, yes?"

"What else would you expect? Of course it does!"

"You do realise that the old man would have died anyway, with or without my... assistance."

"No, he wouldn't have." Harry was defiant. "He was invincible! He could have destroyed Voldemort."

"Naive, foolish boy!" Snape set his teacup on the arm of his chair and stood, advancing on Harry. "You clearly have learned nothing." He withdrew his wand, placing it just under Harry's chin. "I could kill you right now, you know. Would there be anyone left to care that you are gone, that you never return to London or Edinburgh or Leeds or wherever it is you've gone and squirreled yourself away at?"

Harry gritted his teeth. "What's stopping you, Snape? Why don't you just do it, then, if you're so eager to kill me?"

"Because you deserve to know the truth." With a snap, the wand was gone and back within the folds of Snape's clothing.

Harry paced the room, depositing his by now incredibly cold teacup on the windowsill. He rubbed angrily at the spot where Snape had prodded him with the wand. "What do you know about the truth?" he asked, staring out of the window into the bleak night sky.

"Everything," came the soft reply.

***



Two hours -- two very long, tense hours -- passed.

Harry had decided to drink the tea after all; he wished that the cup was filled with brandy or whiskey -- just something stronger and more potent than Earl Gray. He needed it now.

Snape had told him the truth, about the Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa, about Albus' determination that Snape be the one to cast the killing curse, that Albus was dying slowly all along. He told him every last scrap of information that he had, every little bit of knowledge that managed to irrevocably damn him and redeem him at the same time.

He told Harry everything, and yet the young man's response was, predictably: "I don't believe you."

"You shouldn't." Snape bustled about in the kitchen, pouring himself another cup of tea. "You're quite the idiot in that respect."

"Shut up." Harry's voice was dull, resigned to the fact that he would never, ever win against Snape.

"Psh."

"Give me back my wand."

"So you can kill me?" Snape walked back into the tiny sitting room, teacup in hand. "I think not."

Harry slumped in the armchair that he had previously spurned, one hand balancing the teacup on his knee, the other kneading at his temples. This was all too much for him. "What is the point of all of this?" He allowed his hand to drop into his lap and glared at Snape with reddened eyes. "If you are as innocent as you say you are, if you have that much information on the Death Eaters and Voldemort, then why didn't you just... go public with your knowledge?"

Snape laughed roughly, a foreign bark of a noise. "Use your head, Potter. If you -- years after the Dark Lord has been destroyed -- if you cannot believe me now, then who would possibly have believed all this had I come forward then?" He raised an eyebrow at Harry as he lowered himself into his own armchair.

"Veritaserum!" Harry sat up in his chair excitedly. "You can't lie whilst under its influences."

"You're not thinking! Think like them, like the Ministry, like the Order. Think like yourself, Potter." Snape bent over, setting the teacup on the floor, before stalking over to stand before Harry's chair. "Tell me, if I were to have been captured three years ago, if I were to have been administered Veritaserum in a completely controlled setting, with no chance of access to an antidote, would you still have believed that I was telling the truth? That I hadn't found a way to work around the potion's grasp on my mind?"

Harry didn't meet Snape's eyes; he looked down instead, frowning. He propped his head in his hands thoughtfully.

"You honestly expect me to believe that I could have just waltzed up to the Ministry to tell my sordid story?" He swiftly dropped down to a crouch in front of Harry, grasping the younger man's wrists and shaking them. "You would have killed me on the spot, no questions asked. No one would have given me the time to even begin to explain."

"Let go of me." Harry flicked his gaze upwards to meet Snape's own. "Let go of me and give me back my wand."

"I value my life too much." Snape dropped his grasp on Harry's wrists but remained crouched in front of the young man's chair. "There will be no happy ending to this story, Potter."

"The Order," Harry said softly. "You could have gone to the Order. You could still go to the Order."

"And who is left of the Order that would believe me, that would understand the complex decisions that Albus Dumbledore has been making since the Dark Lord first came into existence?" Snape grasped Harry's wrists once more, more lightly this time. "You know that the old man didn't leave any documents that would have shed light on this, and the Order as I knew it is gone. They are all dead, Potter. Every last one of them, dead. McGonagall, dead. Lupin, dead. Tonks, dead."

"Stop."

"Jones, dead. Shacklebolt, dead."

"Stop!"

"Granger, dead. A good percentage of Weasleys, dead."

"Stop!"

Harry flinched away from Snape as he went down the list of casualties; a cold hand reached out and grasped Harry's chin, turning the young man's head to face Snape.

"Do you see? Do you see?" His voice was low, the words coming out in a hiss. "There is no one left, save you and a ragged handful of former students who would sooner see me burned at the stake than give me more than thirty seconds to state my case." Snape's grip on Harry's chin tightened. "And you yourself came here to kill me, no questions asked. Do you see why this is all futile, why your little quest for justice can never be fulfilled?"

"I hate you," Harry said weakly, trying to look away but finding he couldn't. "I hate you."

"This is not news to me, Potter. You have hated me since you first set foot in Hogwarts." He was inches from Harry's face, dark eyes searching the young man's own. "Your distaste for me is not what is important here. What is important is what you choose to do now."

"What do you mean?" Harry's green eyes met Snape's and locked on.

"What are you going to do about this predicament you find yourself in? You do not want to believe me, but the faith you have in humanity will not allow you to dismiss my story as fiction. You want justice for Albus, but there is no foolproof way to ensure that justice. You cannot stay here in this flat forever, until you can wrap your little mind around the depths of this situation." He paused, digging his nails into Harry's wrist. "What are you going to do to get yourself out of this?"

Snape's line of questioning was met with a small whimper. "I don't know what to do."

"You lie, Potter." Snape leaned forward to whisper directly in Harry's ear. "You lie. You leave Paris, return to your scrappy little Order remnants, and you lie to them. You say that you couldn't find me, or that I escaped, or that you killed me in cold blood under l'arc de Triomphe." His hand slid up to cup Harry's cheek in his hand. "I don't care what you say to them, but you lie. And you never come back here again."

"Why?"

It didn't matter what Harry was questioning; Snape's answer would have been the same regardless. "To protect us both." With that, Snape leaned forward ever so slightly and brushed his lips ever so lightly against Harry's.

Harry didn't pull away.

"You leave this place in the morning and you go home." He kissed Harry again, more insistent this time. "You save yourself. Spin the lies I know you can spin." His hand that still held Harry's wrist clutched desperately, fingers tensing against the young man's cold skin.

"What are you doing?" Harry intoned softly.

"Ensuring that you never come back," came Snape's reply before he leaned forward to capture Harry's lips in a kiss, tongue slipping between the young man's parted lips to demand entrance, to do battle with Harry's own.

The young man groaned into the kiss involuntarily, snaking his free arm up Snape's own to tangle his fingers in the fall of black hair. "Bastard," Harry whispered into the kiss. "Utter fucking bastard."

"I know." Snape nipped at Harry's lower lip before dropping his hands to the young man's shirt, beginning to work at the series of buttons that held the garment on. "I don't care."

"What are you trying to prove?" Harry dropped his handful of Snape's hair, running his fingers instead across the top of the man's chest to the first of many buttons and hooks that held that familiar black frockcoat on.

"Hm." Snape leaned forward to plant a line of kisses down Harry's neck and across his collarbone, pausing at the hollow of his throat. "I'm trying to prove that I am dangerous." The shirt slipped off of Harry's shoulders. "That you never should have come looking for me in the first place." Snape's fingers found the buttons of Harry's trousers. "That I am an evil, vile man."

"Oh." Harry's voice was weak as Snape's palm ghosted over his growing erection on its way to tug at the buttons and zippers of the young man's trousers. "But what if that isn't true?"

"It is." Snape dropped his other hand to Harry's lap, pushing the now-loose trousers down over the younger man's wriggling hips. "Believe me." He leaned forward, dragging his lips down the centre of Harry's chest to stop just below his navel.
Harry groaned, tugging more desperately at Snape's heavy clothing. "Why are you doing this?"

"Because I want to." He brought his own hands up to the opening of his frockcoat, swiftly undoing the rest of the buttons, shrugging out of the woollen garment and letting it drop to the floor behind him. "Because it's the only chance I have."

He sat up a little straighter and wrapped a hand around Harry's erection, caressing it lightly. Harry shook his head, trying to think straight. He didn't understand this, didn't understand what was going on; all he knew was that Snape's cold hand felt startlingly good on his cock.

"Oh, hell," Harry murmured, pitching his hips forward in the chair into Snape's hands. "What are you doing to me?"

"Making you hate me, as you should." His words were cut short as he quickly leaned forward and covered Harry's erection with his mouth, tongue licking slowly down the underside of his cock. Harry groaned involuntarily, digging his fingers into Snape's shoulders, clutching at the back of the crisp white shirt the older man still wore.

Snape ran his hands down Harry's inner thighs before dropping down to his own lap so that he could undo the buttons that held his trousers up. He released Harry's cock with a kiss to the head of it, then rocked back on his heels and slid the trousers down over his hips.

"On the floor," he said roughly, inclining his head to a spot just in front of him. Harry mindlessly clambered out of the chair, situating himself on the floor as Snape toed out of his shoes and stepped out of his trousers.

Harry sat on the bare hardwood floor, on top of his previously discarded shirt. He looked at Snape, a nervous expression on his face. "Do you want to know if--"

"I don't want to know anything," he said, pushing down on Harry's shoulders lightly. "It's easier that way." He frowned down at the boy as he took his own growing erection into his hand, stroking at it lazily. He wasn't young anymore; it took more than a few kisses to bring him to hardness.

Harry's eyes widened as Snape touched himself, and the older man resisted the urge to go delving into Harry's mind to see what he was truly thinking. "Get on your hands and knees," he drawled, licking his lips expectantly. Harry complied quickly, still wearing a bewildered look on his face as he spun around, sticking his inviting arse in the air. "Amazing," Snape muttered, gazing down at Harry's prone and willing form.

He dropped to his knees slowly, joints protesting at the sudden movement. Groaning, he steadied himself with one hand clutched to Harry's hip. Snape exhaled, letting go of the breath he had been holding since Harry had gone to his hands and knees.

"Please," Harry whined, wiggling his bottom at Snape. He closed his eyes and buried his face in his arms, forehead brushing against the cold floor.

"Hm." Snape smirked as the boy writhed for him, just for him; he raised his free hand to his mouth, licking and sucking at his own fingers, while he traced tiny circles on Harry's hipbone with his other hand. He dropped the hand from his mouth to rest on Harry's arse.

He didn't wait long to drag his long fingers to Harry's entrance, garnering a wicked little moan from the younger man. "Please," he groaned, shoving his hips back towards Snape.

"Impetuous little whelp," Snape muttered, but he still nudged at Harry's opening nonetheless, slipping his index finger inside with more ease than he had expected. He slowly rocked his hand back and forth, sliding in and out of the younger man, who continued to groan and wiggle beneath Snape's touch.

Snape leaned forward to snake one arm around Harry's slim body, slowly wrapping one hand around his erection, while his other hand continued to work at Harry's entrance. He slipped a second finger in, and Harry groaned louder.

"Just fuck me," Harry said through gritted teeth, pushing up into Snape's hand impatiently. "Just do it."

Never one to refuse a direction such as that, Snape gave one last twist of his fingers inside of Harry before withdrawing. Harry let a little moan of disappointment slip past his lips, but it turned to one of pleasure as Snape nudged at Harry with the blunt head of his cock.

In one swift move, he slipped inside of Harry with a satisfied hiss. He was so tight, so warm, and it had been so long since Snape had been this deep in anyone. He groaned, letting himself lay over Harry's back, resting his cheek between the younger man's shoulder blades. Slowly, agonizingly, he pulled back from the tight heat of Harry's body before pushing back in again, just as slowly as before. Oh, it was exquisite, it was lust and hate and passion and need all rolled up in one neat little package.

"Don't stop."

"Never."

Snape stroked lazily at Harry's cock, matching his touch in time with his slow thrusting into the younger man's body. He wanted to take his time. He wanted this to last, because it could never happen again.

Harry, however, had a different idea.

"Harder."

"Yes."

Snape sped up his thrusts, angling to brush just so against Harry's prostate, causing the younger man to gasp and shiver and slam his hips backwards to meet Snape's.

"Faster."

"Filthy whore."

The only sound in the room was the panting of both men, the slapping of skin against skin, grunts and little curses and oh god you're so tight and hot and wrong and bad for me, a jumbled litany from both Harry and Snape.

"Severus," Harry whispered, the foreign name sticking in his throat. "I'm going to--"

"Shut up."

Harry did as told. He bit down on his lower lip until he thought he noticed the bitter taste of blood; he squinted his eyes and panted and reached one hand between his legs to intertwine his fingers with Snape's own, the two of them stroking his cock as one.

Snape closed his eyes, burying his face in the younger man's back. He smelt like soap and sweat and the grime of the Paris streets, and Snape couldn't imagine letting go. Regardless, he felt the heat growing in his body, his thrusting wild and manic, and he knew that it would be over soon.

"Come," he whispered, both a demand and a statement at the same time. He let go of Harry's erection and slid his hand further between the younger man's legs to cup his sac in his hand, running a thumb over the red-hot flesh. He felt Harry shudder beneath him, and he knew that they were both done for. Snape drew both hands back to clutch at Harry's hips, and he stroked, pushed, thrust until he felt everything in his body seize up and stop as orgasm came, feeling it take over every last shred of control.

He groaned lowly, falling forward onto Harry's back once more. The younger man was stroking furiously at his own cock, meaningless words spilling from his mouth as he brought himself closer to the edge. He propped himself up a bit on one elbow and turned to meet Snape's face, buried in the crook of his neck.

"Kiss me again," he whispered, not waiting for a response before finding Snape's lips with his own. He took the lead this time, exploring the older man's mouth roughly with his tongue. It didn't take long for Harry's breathing to speed up, for him to pull his mouth away, a moan escaping his lips as he reached orgasm, the come shooting out against his stomach, spilling down over his hand.

***



Once all was said and done, Snape rummaged around in his discarded frockcoat for his wand, which he lazily waved over both himself and Harry, cleansing them both.

Sleep came quickly for the younger man; Snape merely sat awake for most of the night, staring at the ceiling.

***



"Get dressed." Snape was up and already dressed before Harry could even remember where he was, why he was laying on a cold hardwood floor, or why his naked body was covered with an unfamiliar quilt.

At the low sound of Snape's voice, Harry quickly remembered what had transpired.

"Oh, god," he moaned lowly, burrowing back underneath the quilt.

Snape wouldn't accept that as an answer, of course. He toed lightly at Harry's side. "Get up and get out of here."

Harry slowly uncovered his face and stared up at Snape, eyes blurry with sleep. He rubbed angrily at his eyes, then adjusted his glasses on his nose. Snape looked... completely normal. Unruffled, like nothing had happened at all. He groaned and slowly pushed himself up to be sitting, gathering the quilt around his waist.

"Your clothing is on the armchair," Snape said, not turning to even look at Harry as he moved about the small flat, warming another kettle of tea. The younger man turned to glance at the armchair and there indeed were his clothes, neatly folded and sitting in a pile, wand resting delicately on top of them.

"Oh." Harry shot Snape a little disappointed look before pulling himself to standing, quilt still wrapped around his waist. He hunched over the pile of clothes, slowly wriggling around to pull his trousers on underneath the quilt. He dropped the heavy green blanket once he buttoned the trousers, then bent to pick up his shirt.

"You're still here," Snape said curtly, casting a sidelong glance at Harry as he flicked his wand at the tea kettle.

"'m getting dressed," Harry grumbled, buttoning his shirt and picking up his wand. "Why did you give this back?"

"You'll need it once you leave."

"What if I don't want to leave?"

In the kitchen, a delicate teacup shattered against the hardwood floor.

***



Lie to me like I lie to you
Calm me down until the morning comes
And if the morning don't come
Lie to me
Will you take me to your bed
Will you lay me down
All heavy like the rocks in the riverbed
That my savior made
For us


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I told you before, but I'm going to tell you again how much this killed me. I love it!

*cough* You know you totes didn't have to flock this in snape_potter since it's not NC-17 *cough* /modly

I ♥ you. :)

(my friends-only finger gets a little spastic at times. :P all fixed!)

Wow. I loved this more than my feeble words can express. :D

Such a strong, able, survivor Snape. This is about the hottest image of him I've read in a long time. And I love the end - Severus so shocked that he drops his cup is a scream.

I love someone who can describe Snape so beautifully but keep him as ugly as he really is. The final line was just perfect. That loss of control, even a little hope forming, with the shattering of a cup.

Aside from all of that, the fact that you called it "l'arc de Triomphe" and not "the L'Arc de Triomphe" completely sold me.

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