Title: That Won't Come Out (the all that's yet inside of it remix)
Summary: Two people, two wars.
Fandom: Harry Potter.
Warnings: sex, but it's not very explicit.
Spoilers: up to DH, excluding the Epilogue.
Original Story: Things We Lost (And Found) In The War, by xylodemon.
Severus' faced hardened, and his jaw took an edge like a knife. "We all lost things in the war."
Did you see the sallow cheek of that marked schoolmaster, his shallow eyes and how he can't even bring himself to talk to terrified strangers on the streets. He used to love me, knew my self-contained tender skin from the inside out.
"We all have nightmares."
No student in his day came out for breakfast earlier than him each morning, not even the Ravenclaws during the exams. More often than not he'd be gaunt, large eyes hollow and face tired but wide, wide awake.
At the beginning I thought he might not be fitting in with his housemates, later on I believed he might again have been wandering the halls during the night, following Potter and his friends or sneaking into the Forbidden Section of the library as he was wont to do. But his housemates had always kept their respectful distance, wary of the hints of knowledge of Dark Magic he'd revealed in his first year, and even Potter and his friends weren't up and running every night of the year. And as for the library, in his later school years when the war had begun in earnest, I spent more nights there than in my own quarters.
Later, years later, I woke up from the first night he'd slept next to me to unintelligible but urgent sleeping mumbling, and watched his eyes snap open, wild and disoriented, and he rose, quicker than I thought he could be, before I could raise my hand to stop him or open my mouth to ask him what it was.
When he looked down at me grimly and wordlessly, I thought better of asking him anything, and merely told him curtly, quietly, to come back to bed.
"-but if I am killed, or removed from this office, the students will lose what little protection I can provide."
The term following Albus's death, Severus was made Headmaster.
My colleagues hissed among each other, initially plans were formed to take Hogwarts back by force, but two weeks after start of term the hissing was done on a much quieter scale.
Amycus and Alecto were witless buffoons, but of the cruel sort, and everyone knew there was no chance we could avoid the deaths of students in a fight over Hogwarts. We also knew Death Eaters would Floo in en masse as soon as word of a protest came out, and for each of us that would killed in a duel there'd be a new, crueller Death Eater teacher installed.
No one wanted to be responsible.
The brawl, if you could call it that, between Lily Evans and Severus Snape was talk of the week in the Hogwarts staffrooms.
People were whispering among each other about students being Marked in their holidays, how after every one there was a student or two missing, a few new eyes glinting, and children were starting to get afraid of each other, of what the other might do if they said something, anything for either or neither side.
Severus Snape had always been a good student, brilliant at the subjects he chose to pay attention to and better than average at everything else. There hadn't been a better Potions student in decades, his knowledge of the Dark Arts was almost legendary among his housemates, and every teacher at Hogwarts knew that there weren't many others in the school that could offer more to Lord Voldemort, and in return be offered more, than lanky-haired, hollow-eyed Severus Snape.
We'd thought, that as long as Severus stuck to the Evans girl, we could be secure of his loyalties. Once Evans had walked away, no one was sure of anything about him anymore.
Much to my expectations, he chose to keep his rooms in the dungeon, rather than moving entirely to the Headmaster quarters.
I thought of all those years in draughty dusty halls where, according to himself, no house elf ever ventured, and of him teaching two generations of classes in there, of his office and his bedroom and his shelves and shelves of books. It had always been Slytherin territory, his territory, and he never did like giving up something he considered his.
Did you see the sallow cheek of that marked schoolmaster, his shallow eyes and how he can’t even bring himself to talk to terrified strangers on the streets. He used to love me, knew my self-contained tender skin from the inside out.
He knew how my breath hitched when he touched my heated collarbone with cold dry fingers and grew shallow at the feel of his hand on my hip, my thigh. And I, in turn, could make him moan for the sense of my tongue over his pulse, my hand gripping in his hair, my lips bruising his. We never made love easily, carelessly – every movement of his body meant a study with rapt sharp eyes and every inch of his skin had to be tasted and touched and considered carefully, thoroughly. Oh yes; we may never have made love easily, but there’s no body I can map out as carefully as I can map out his.
I have scars that are his teeth marks pressed against my nerves through my hide, memories of nights when I gave up on our usual silences and begged him to bite harder and –touch me, oh, don’t stop, never stop- make a keepsake on my body that would never leave, dividing the world between before and now and after, after.
My sister used to say that I have pens for bones, that loneliness is lovelessness, lifelessness, and that with no husband whose hair my fingers could get tangled in in my sleep and no child to give my memories to, I was headed for nothing else but all of that. I pointed at my students and the Order and my friends, and she always laughed, said I was missing out and didn't even know it. She died because she thought it would all never change, war had raged her husband and her two-year-old away and she never knew where I was, so she stepped off her balcony and left behind a smear of blood on the Muggle television antenna she got stuck in halfway through the fall, dangling long enough for the Muggles to find her and take her down in their clumsy Muggle way.
Sometimes I'm almost happy she stepped off before the Death Eaters went after her, before it would become my doing, but then I remember she's dead regardless, and Avada Kedavra would've been less painful.
Severus never asked me who I'd lost in the war. In return, I never asked him about his sacrifices, or of what happened in his nightmares.
Some things were not to be discussed.