"Well? Anything to say?"
Harry stared at the man across from him, his green eyes dull with pain. He closed his eyes and set down the spoon he had been holding. He took a deep fortifying breath before he opened his eyes and pinned the other man to his chair with their intensity.
"I can't do this anymore," Harry said in a soft voice.
"At least, we agree on something, Potter." came the derisive snort.
"No, Severus. You misunderstood me. I can't do this anymore." Harry waved a hand between the two of them.
"What are you on about, boy?"
"That. That right there. I've tried, Severus to be whatever you want me to be. I give, you take, insulting me, my family, my sense of self, my being along the way. And it's not enough for you."
"Your melodrama astounds me," Severus stated, rolling his eyes for emphasis.
"How do I get you to treat me like a human being? Is that too much to ask?"
"Spare me your tears, Potter. I, unlike your adoring fan club, are immune to them."
"Answer my question, Severus Snape!" Harry snarled, grabbing his plate and throwing it across the room. Severus arched an eyebrow at the childish display of temper, inciting Harry's anger even further.
"I will treat you how you deserve. You were always a willful child when you were in school. Nothing's changed now you consider yourself an adult."
"Is that all I am to you? A child? So, you were fucking a 'child', then?"
"Your language is as crude as your manners. And to answer your question, you are nothing more than a convenient bed-warmer."
"So it was about the sex?"
"Yes," Severus stated. Harry stared at him for a full three minutes, the silence between them oppressive.
Harry was speechless.
"Tthere's nothing left to say."
"Agreed." Severus nodded.
"Excuse me. I must finish my marking." Harry left the room. Severus sat back in his seat, satisfied that his lover understood the dynamics of their relationship.
Severus returned to his rooms (he never thought of them as theirs), expecting Harry in the small kitchenette preparing dinner. Instead, he found all the lights off except for the small lamp on his side table, a sheet a parchment resting against it with his name. Angry, he snatched it up and opened it, already recognizing Harry's handwriting. Thinking of many ways he would berate Harry for it later, he skimmed it, stopped in stunned surprise, and went back to read it from the beginning.
I am sitting at the desk in my classroom, wondering how to start this letter, and a quote I read somewhere comes to mind.
"Ask me why I keep on loving you when it's clear you don't feel the same way for me. The problem is that as much as I can't force you to love me, I can't force myself to stop loving you. ~Author Unknown,"
Sums things up at the moment.
Never mistake that, for I love you, the only way I can. Something I was waiting for will never happen – for you to love me in return.
I came to that realization when you called me 'boy' and 'Potter' yesterday. You always called me that, even during sex. I guess I was too blind with my love for you to notice.
Ron, Hermione, Minerva, hell even Draco warned me you wouldn't change, even for me. So I tried to change for you, be what you wanted, act how you wanted, let you insult me whenever you perceived a wrong. But it wasn't enough for you.
I can't be that person you want me to be anymore, I'm tired of trying.
So... I am leaving. My company is unwanted.
Minerva didn't even try to talk me out of leaving school altogether, being as how I was the best Defense teacher she's had here since Remus. I gave her two names I'm sure will do as good a job, if not better than me.
May you find the happiness I can't give you.
He sat, stunned into silence. Of all the things he imagined, Harry leaving him wasn't one of them. He stormed from his rooms, his expression thunderous. Students moved out of his way. He pounded on the portrait guarding Harry's former quarters, startling the snake resting there. But Harry didn't come out.
"He's gone, Severus." came a tired voice. He whirled around, seeing Albus in the portrait across the way.
"What do you mean, he's gone?" Severus snarled.
"He handed Minerva his resignation late last night and left. His current location is unknown."
"Of all the stupid, idiotic-!"
"Quiet, Severus!" Albus hissed in anger. It so surprised Severus, his mouth closed with a snap. Albus had never been this angry.
"I beg your pardon?"
"You'll beg nothing from me, young man! Run off the only person who cared about you and I'm glad for it. You never deserved him but I believed his kind and giving nature could soften you somehow. I saw how wrong I was. He's gone from you, forever. I hope you're satisfied." Albus turned on his heel and left the portrait, leaving Severus to stare at the blank canvas. He scowled.
"I need no one, old man. No one." He stormed back to his rooms.
As the years went on, Severus realized that he missed Harry. It started with the small things, missing his favorite foods at breakfast, or the way Harry would rub his shoulders after a particular grueling brewing session. It grew into missing his company when they were marking papers together, coming up with creative insults for essays, debating the uses of belladonna in certain potions.
And the nights were the worst. He missed snuggling up to Harry's warm back during the night. The way Harry would run his fingers through his hair after sex, content to hold one another.
Severus admitted to himself that he missed Harry.
He happened across Harry by chance one afternoon as he was leaving the apothecary. He spotted Harry coming out of the Quidditch store and made his way across to him.
"Hello, Harry." Severus began. Startled, Harry looked up at him in surprise.
"Severus. Fancy running into you here."
"I was picking up an order at the apothecary. You?"
"New broom," Harry replied, holding up the shrunken package.
"What happened to your old one?" Severus wondered. Before Harry planned a reply, a young boy, about 11 years old, hair as dark as Harry's, ran up to Harry.
"Dad! Did you get it?" Harry looked down at the boy and smiled, holding up the package. The little boy whooped in delight. "Wait till I tell Lily! She will be so jealous!"
"You are not to tease your sister, or you can deal with the consequences. And besides, your Papa would be angry."
"Yeah, yeah." Both men turned toward Severus. Severus got a staggering pain in his chest as he took in the sharp cheekbones, small pert nose, and stormy gray eyes. He knew those eyes.
"Who are you?" the little boy asked. Severus knelt down.
"I'm Professor Snape." The little boy stuck out a hand.
"Jamie Malfoy. It's a pleasure to meet you, sir. Do you teach at Hogwarts?"
"I do. I'm the Potions teacher there."
"Then I look forward to September, sir." Jamie smiled. He turned to his father. "Papa said to meet us at the Owl Emporium."
"I'll meet you there. I'd like to talk to Professor Snape for a moment."
"Okay." Jamie turned on his heel and went running the opposite direction. With a sigh, Harry turned back at his ex-lover.
"Yours?" Severus asked around the lump in his throat. Harry nodded. "He's a well-mannered young man."
"Unlike me, you mean."
"You made your feelings clear about me, Severus." Harry interrupted.
"And I will admit I was wrong."
"Don't you think it's late for that?" Harry scoffed.
"I waited for you. I moped for almost a year before Draco told me to get my head out of my arse and notice what was right in front of me."
"Someone who loved me. Someone I might love and not be guilty about it."
"Draco." Severus closed his eyes.
"I'm so sorry, Harry."
"Don't you think it's late for that?" Harry repeated, getting angry enough that small tendrils of magic curled around his head, ruffling his hair. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath to calm his emotions, Severus in awe at his level of control.
"Is everything all right here?" came another voice, one Severus recognized anywhere despite the years. Both turned at Draco's approach, holding a red-headed girl in his arms. Jamie, a boy with the trademark Malfoy blond hair and gray eyes and another boy with dark hair and green eyes were right behind him.
"I'm fine, Draco." Harry smiled as Draco leaned over to kiss his cheek. Draco turned his gaze to Severus, concealed anger in his eyes.
"Mr. Malfoy." Severus nodded.
"Albus, Scorpius, say hello."
"Hello, sir." Both boys chorused.
"Messrs Malfoy." Severus nodded. Draco handed Lily to Harry.
"Madame Malkin is waiting for you." Harry took his daughter and gave Draco an arched eyebrow that said, 'Whatever you do, don't hex him. I don't want to be bailing you out of jail.' With the barest of nods, Draco watched his family walk away before turning toward his former professor.
"Severus, my mother once considered you family. And out of respect for her feelings and the respect I once held for you as my godfather, I will only say this once. Stay away from Harry. He's my family now. He's been through enough."
And with those words, Draco turned on his heel and walked away.
The pain in Severus's chest deepened as he watched the happy family through the window of the robes shop. Harry laughed at something one of his sons said, his green eyes sparkling in a way Severus had never seen in all the years they were together.
Face it, Severus. Harry is no longer yours.
There was a wetness on his cheeks, and believing it was raining, he reached up to wipe it away, only to realize it was coming from his eyes. He was crying.
He took one final glance at the Potter-Malfoys, one shaking hand touching the glass.
"Goodbye, Harry. May you enjoy the happiness I never gave you," he whispered to himself before walking away.
Giving up doesn't always mean you are weak; sometimes it means you are strong enough to let go. ~Author Unknown