"If I can stop one heart from breaking, /I shall not live in vain." Dickinson, Snape/Lupin (challenge by sharp_tongue)
"I've come to say thank you."
"Look, don't be a prat about this, Snape. This is so large I hardly know where to begin, and if you keep this up--this attitude that bringing Sirius back was no more effort for you than is stirring sugar into your tea--"
"I don't take sugar."
"You insufferable--" Lupin gets himself under control. "This is exactly why Sirius hasn't come yet. He has no idea what to say to you. How can he possibly thank you for this? Dammit, how can I thank you?"
Snape knows. He knows what he would have from Lupin.
What he will settle for, however, would be for Lupin to stop telling him over and over again, how much it means to him. Even if that's precisely why Snape did it.
He will not confess the reason.
He doesn't want Lupin's pity.
Faster and faster / They vanish into darkness / our years together. (Wendy Cope) Snape/Dumbledore (challenge by isiscolo)
Harry sits on the edge of his bed in 12 Grimmauld Place and thinks about what he's just seen.
They couldn't have known he was there.
It wasn't even lascivious. It was only the touch of two hands. And the look in two pairs of eyes.
Harry is only sixteen, but he doesn't need experience to tell him that the way Dumbledore bid Snape goodnight means anything but one thing.
He tries to imagine it. Dumbledore--old Dumbledore--and Snape.
It should be ludicrous.
But he remembers the look again. Thinks about the Order. And Voldemort. And Sirius.
And how very uncertain the future looks to everyone. Including Dumbledore, and Snape.
A sound at the door. "Harry? Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't--"
"N--!" It's coming out too loud. He tries again. "No."
Reaches out a hand. "No, please, Hermione, come in. Will you sit with me?"
"I kept him for his humor's sake,/For he would oft beguile" WIlliam Cowper Voldemort/Snape (challenge by venivincere)
In sleep, this is what he sees:
The hair, which is called limp in its usual vertical orientation, turning to a splay of tendrils that evoke Medusa's serpents. The mouth, held in a pursed sneer of disapproval during the day, relaxing into the humblest of lines, lips separating with a hint of moisture at their corners. Snape's eyelids no longer standing like sentries, but fallen quiet, off-duty for the duration of the night. And the fingers, usually clasped or steepled so deliberately, instead lying open, reaching, every so often, for a corner of the pillow or the edge of the sheet. Or even his lover's shoulder.
Voldemort has many nights where he sleeps little, himself. But he has no lack of entertainment, during that time.
"Because I could not stop for Death,/ He kindly stopped for me;/ The carriage held but just ourselves/ And Immortality." Dickinson. Lucius/Snape (challenge by sharp_tongue)
No longer cold.
"Severus, get up."
His side didn't hurt anymore. Had someone cast a healing charm?
A hand clasped his, tugged. Snape turned his head to see Lucius Malfoy standing above him, forcing him to rise to his feet, whether he would or no.
When he was standing, Snape began to laugh.
Lucius's mouth twitched. "You find this funny?"
"Yes, and why not? Tell me, something, Lucius: did it hurt?"
"The killing curse? I doubt it was worse than a sword through the ribs."
"We'll never know, will we?" Snape was still laughing. "Can't go through each, and compare."
"No, but who knows what knowledge lies ahead for us? Are you...glad that I waited?"
He stopped laughing. "Yes."
Hands still clasped, the two walked away from the battlefield.
"Without warning/ as a whirlwind/ swoops on an oak/ Love shakes my heart." Sappho. Harry/Snape. (challenge by sharp_tongue)
I said, "Detention, Potter," and the brat
Remained within his seat, and did not scowl
But waited 'til the class had gone, and sat
With eyes as wide as some strange green-eyed owl.
I knew he planned more mischief. Had I known
The sort within his mind, I would have fled.
But I believed myself too wise, too stone,
My heart changed years ago to mere base lead.
So when I stalked my way across the room
And stood before him, daring him to speak,
He only smiled, not fearing any doom,
And stood, and did a thing to turn me weak:
He placed a wicked kiss upon my lips.
My heart's not lead--it must be flesh: it skips.