- Harry Potter/Severus Snape
- Harry Potter Severus Snape
- Slash Angst
- The Harry Potter at Hogwarts Years
- Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix
Published: 01/12/2005Updated: 02/09/2005Words: 146,361Chapters: 30Hits: 275,831
Green Eyes Sublime
- Story Summary:
- When Harry returns to Hogwarts for his sixth year, only Severus seems to truly notice how deeply Harry's despair goes. Since Dumbledore is as blinded as everyone else, Severus decides to take matters into his own hands and help. But doing that means opening up his own soul and secrets to the Boy-Who-Lived, because Harry isn't going to just heal in one day. SS/HP, SLASH and depression related theme.
- Chapter Summary:
- When Harry returns to Hogwarts for his Sixth Year only Severus seems to truly notice how deeply Harry's despair goes. Since Dumbledore is as blinded as everyone else Severus decides to take matters into his own hands and help. But doing that means opening up his own soul and secrets to the Boy-Who-Lived because Harry isn't going to just heal in one day. HP/SS SLASH and depressing thoughts.
- Author's Note:
- Thanks: To my wonderful beta readers Amanda_Saitou and Philo whose wonderful help kept me sane.
Invisible Soul of Scars
As the days passed and Christmas holidays became fast approaching, Severus began to notice a pattern in Harry's visits. Or, perhaps it was the lack there of a regular pattern that began to become so distinct in Severus' mind. No longer did Harry find it agreeable to simply visit in the early hours of the night or sneak in the room at the wee hours of the morning or simply fall asleep in the couch nearing midnight. Instead, the knocks on the door began to sound also at times when Severus himself had to admit a slight surprise at Harry's brazenness.
So now, at two in the afternoon between Hogwart's official fifth and sixth periods, Harry would surprisingly walk through the door. Or, perhaps at five in the evening when the day's lessens were over and only the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh years had other extra periods they may need to attend, there would be the knock on the door. Or, perhaps at eight, when most of the castle was at dinner, Harry would choose to simply dine with Severus over stacks of Potion's parchments and a tray of food sent in by the house elves.
And always, Severus kept the vial of blue cream on his person because no matter the hour that Harry chose to drop by, there was always need of it.
Always, there was a fresh cut or two in need of immediate healing.
"I severely hope that you aren't using these moments as your excuse to continue Mr. Potter," Severus finally scolded one afternoon to the shirtless, kneeling form of Harry by his chair. "And just because now you know there is a potion for this very purpose, does not give you free reign in the matter."
If it were any one else, or at any other place, Harry would have taken the scolding directly to heart. As it were, because it was 'Severus', because he could see the worry and fear in the dark eyes behind the words, and because in all honesty such realizations had not even occurred to Harry to take the liberty of, he really was shocked when he gasped in outrage.
"Of course that's not what I'm doing Severus! It isn't...I wouldn't..."
Severus sighed as Harry's became red in his flustered form of trying to explain his innocence of such accusation. Well Severus really had needed to make sure didn't he? He sighed again softly this time as he reached across the small space to touch his cream covered fingers to Harry's two latest wounds on his arm, rubbing the potion in gently onto each.
When he was finished, Harry remained where he was kneeling with his head down and eyes cast to the carpeted floor.
"I...wouldn't do that. I wouldn't cut just because I want your attention or I want to keep my excuse of seeing you. I mean I...like...seeing you now. I like our little chats, as mundane as they can get, but I would never use this as an excuse. I told you, I like being here. I breathe so much easier and I don't feel quite so...empty."
He looked up for a few second to meet Severus' gaze and then stood. Walking back around to the side on which the couch was, but he didn't sit. Instead he stood staring at the silver crest against the black velvet before continuing his thoughts in a quiet voice with his back still to his Potion's professor.
"I like it here. I mean, it may not have been obvious but I know you worked pretty hard in getting me to like coming here and talking to you. This is the place I come to get away from cutting."
He turned with pleading eyes for Severus to understand.
"Just knowing that I come here and that you see them and heal them, it stops me from cutting continuously. I force myself to stop after the second one and then I come here and I don't feel it calling to me. I don't have the urge to...to...give in."
"But you still do it," Severus said pointedly and Harry blushed slightly. "If it helps so much, then why don't you come here at the first urge? Why wait until you've already done it to come to me...to be soothed?"
"Because..." Harry started but got no further.
Severus' eyes narrowed and he stood and walked over to stand before Harry.
"Because you want to," He finished the hanging sentence. "Because you like to cut. You like to watch the razor or the knife dance across your skin and you like the blood you bleed because it's red and that makes you just the same as everyone else. You bleed away all the anger and the emptiness and still get to prove to yourself that you're real."
Harry cast his eyes to the floor again.
"I will stop one day you know," he said and Severus nodded in agreement.
"I know you will. Now if only you would believe that you can and work towards it."
Harry's eyes snapped up, his face clouded in doubt.
"What will I have if I don't have this Severus?" he asked in a quiet voice. "What would I be?"
"You would have just as much as the rest of us, if not more," Severus answered firmly, but his voice got softer. "And you would be free."
Harry turned away in thought.
"But I'm not hurting anyone when I do this Severus," he said, and Severus realized that they had indeed gotten to the heart of the matter. "I'm not trying to deprive the world of my heroic presence or something. I'm only trying to cope. I just have a little more to cope with and this...this helps...even if it's just for one day."
Severus' had heard enough. Without a word he grabbed Harry's hand within his and pulled him into the bathroom.
Five minutes later Harry stood in his boxers alone, before the mirror that Severus had removed from above the washbasin and elongated to become a full-length mirror, magically propped up before them. Harry stood, for the first time seeing himself in a complete picture, while Severus stood behind him watching him from the reflection of the mirror.
"You are hurting someone Harry," Severus pointed out softly. "In case you failed to notice, you're hurting yourself. Every day that you do this, you scratch another mark onto your own soul."
Harry whimpered and turned around, not wanting to deal with the reality of himself and his life just yet.
He wrapped his arm around the lean waist before him and buried his face in the black material against the hard chest. He became lost in the scent of spices and smoke that Severus always smelt like this close, wanting to hide for as long as he could.
Severus didn't think it was wise to groan. Going from one misgiving in his mind concerning Harry to the next. And while he didn't return the embrace he wasn't entirely tense in the grasp that Harry held him in.
"Harry..." he chided softly.
Harry shook his head violently, his nose being the anchor point at which he kept his face and the dip in Severus' collarbone connected.
"No. 'Don't want to talk anymore," He said in a muffle.
"We're going to have to talk about this."
"No. 'Nothing to talk about."
"Harry," Harry felt as the vibrations clouded the pulse of Severus' steady heartbeat. "What ever this is, I can only imagine it will get bigger and we need to discuss it."
Because, ever since the night of the vision with the Crutiatius curse, this hadn't been the first time that Severus found himself being clung to in this manner.
Harry's nose went back to anchoring in another violent shake of his head. "No. Why can't you just accept it?"
"Accept what?" It was the closest that Severus' voice had actually gotten to exasperation. "What exactly am I accepting?"
Harry slid his face away until it was his forehead that was pressed against the chest now, leaving his nose free to breath and his mouth reluctant access to coherent speech again.
"That I really like it here," he finally answered. "That I really like the way you're always sitting at your table marking Potion's essays no matter what time I walk in or how often you swear you do other stuff. That I like my black velvet couch with the silver crest of your family that looks exactly like it fits your 'Professor Snape' personality and yet still seems pretty fitting for this more agreeable side of you that only I see. That I like your creme colored carpeting because it's not a sickly shade of grey that I'd always imagine the rooms here in the Dungeon would be and your bookshelves that are filled with rows and rows of potions and books. Half of which I don't doubt I could have lived my entire lifetime and never heard of before."
He looked up with a small smile, his arms still wrapped securely around Severus' waist.
"That I like you just a little more than I should," He said quietly.
Severus scoffed as the head went back to resting against his upper chest. This time it was Harry's right ear that was pressed against him.
"As you so nicely pointed out, there are different facets of my personality that shows itself to you at different times, Mister Potter." He emphasized the name since he knew exactly how Harry felt about being referred to so formally in private.
Don't call me that! You'll let me think of myself as Mr. Potter when I'm being unreasonable....
Harry groaned but Severus continued anyway.
"Besides, we have despised each other for the good part of, if not all of, the past five years. That you should 'like' me now and so quickly is rather -"
"Sad?" Harry interrupted. "Unforgiving? Inappropriate? Stupid? I haven't actually labeled exactly how I feel yet, but I do know that I have tried to make it go away. It won't! Very persistent for a damn crush don't you think."
Severus untangled himself with an impatient look.
"I'll figure it out soon enough and then I'll get over it I'm sure," Harry said with an apologetic look.
Severus' eyes narrowed. "Well Potter, while you figure this out perhaps you would take into consideration that the nature of these meetings has arrived from the need to discuss a very intense issue and since I am the first person to show anything but utter admiration or devotion to you, you may very well be reacting to my concern in a most hormonal teenage manner."
Harry glared right back. "Alright then, but are you saying that if an...animal...had shown me anything but devotion I'd find myself in this situation too?"
Severus shook his head and turned to walk away.
"Hardly comparable Mr. Potter, but if said animal were that pet werewolf of yours or those lapdogs you call your best friends then I have no doubt about it. After all you did latch onto the three easily enough did you not?"
Harry's only reply was a gasp of utter outrage as words abandoned him.
Severus meanwhile closed the door with a pointed "Get dressed," to the gaping teen.
Fifteen minutes later Severus was still waiting for Harry to emerge from the bathroom.
Which wasn't a good sign since Severus could think of a few things that may be keeping Harry in the confines of his bathroom. Of course embarrassment could be one of them but Severus seriously doubted that. So that mostly only left the options related to sharp instruments and scars.
Severus groaned and ran his fingers through his not-greasy-at-all hair.
He really hoped that Harry wasn't defiling his bathroom because as easy as blood was to remove with magic, it was the concern that counted.
Of course if Harry was doing something other than that then well...he would seem as if he didn't trust Harry enough.
When no sound came from the bathroom for another two minutes, Severus finally gave in and walked softly over to the door. Not bothering to knock, he turned the knob and realized that it was just as unlatched as he had left it.
Good sign perhaps.
"Harry?" Severus entered.
Harry was standing exactly where Severus had left him. Tears slid down his cheeks from his emerald eyes as he stared into the mirror at his reflection.
"They're ugly aren't they?"
Severus closed the door and walked to stand behind Harry as he had earlier and he too stared at the scars that lined Harry's arms and legs and chest.
Short ribbons of pain.
A physical image of the scars on his soul.
"Do you think they are Harry?" Severus asked softly, meeting the tearful gaze in the mirror.
Harry nodded and sobbed softly.
"In the beginning I liked them. They were my little secret and they helped so much to have there burning, aching, bleeding. A reminder and a means of seeing what hurts so deeply inside."
"And yet, you have no desire to have them go away."
Harry sobbed again at the tone of the words. Severus knew he didn't want them to go away. It was a statement of fact as if Severus could read the thoughts behind his eyes and see into his heart to know that. Perhaps, Severus had really dealt with a lot of this problem in Slytherin. He was so sure and he was right in his accusation, because Harry didn't want the scars to go away.
Harry turned to face Severus with silently pleading eyes for the man to understand.
"I hate them. I hate every single one of them and when I look at them too long I want so badly to scratch them away. In the beginning they were so conspicuous and no one had anything to care about, but now.... What would I say to someone if they saw them and asked? 'Oh these? Nothing serious. I just tripped on a knife...sixty three times!'"
"But no one asks Severus, ever. I wear long sleeved shirts and the Dursleys don't give a shit anyway. And in the summer in the terrible heat and drought seasons I walk about in long sleeved shirts and pants and all the Muggles think I really must be as crazy as I seem. While here at Hogwarts, I wear my school robes and they cover everything don't they?"
"Harry," Severus interrupted but Harry shook his head and continued.
"I'm afraid for people to see them but a part of me wants for them to notice. I want for people to understand that I'm not perfect! I want to people to look at me with all this and realize that I am real and I can hurt and I can bleed and die and...and..."
He stopped as the tears began to flow again and he sniffled and sobbed until he had his breathing under control again.
"I need them Severus. I may hate them but I need to know, to remember that they are there and I deserved them because I hurt a lot of people and I made a lot of mistakes. I know Severus, but I am only hurting myself this way then. If they aren't here then I'll forget and it would be so wrong!"
"And what would be so wrong with forgetting a few transgressions Harry?" Severus snapped suddenly very angry with the now calmed Harry. "What is so wrong with mourning the loss of a person and moving on? Why can't you keep track of your debts the way everyone else does in their minds and -"
He stopped mid-sentence and simply stared at the teen before him while Harry search within the depths of the dark eyes to understand the man's thoughts. There was nothing to see however as a blind seemed to close within Severus gaze and all Harry could see was his empty reflection in the black orbs.
"I've said this before Harry," Severus spoke again in a much softer voice. "When you decide to stop then you will. I am just here to make sure that you don't die unnecessarily, but for your own sake, I hope whatever you use as your focal point holds true."
Severus turned away and walked towards the door, suddenly too drained to resort to raising his voice again and not sure if he would be able to help even if he did again.
"Just do me a favor Harry," he said softly. "Don't make me the 'glue' that holds you together because I will not be made to feel responsible if you do not succeed in getting past this on your own, which is the only way it really can be done. I will be here, but you will have to be the one to stop and to not need the cuts or the blood to sooth your inner demons."
Five minutes later when Harry finally left the bathroom, his first priority seemed to be getting fully dressed and that meant locating his shirt and robe where he had discarded them when he had arrived earlier and donning them after his pants.
Then he walked over to Severus and pulled him from his table.
"Harry..." Severus protested but Harry had already wound arms around his waist and was busy burying his face in the robe-covered chest.
Severus stood semi-patiently waiting, because usually these hugs drew to a close soon enough and he realized that he had only to wait it out.
Harry smiled up at him sadly and unwound his arms.
"Thank you Severus."
Severus sighed. "What for Harry?"
"For whatever it is that has you doing this and for whatever boundaries you've allowed me to cross or yourself to face while you tolerate my presence here," Harry said with a shrug.
"I don't 'tolerate' your presence here," Severus scowled.
"It's okay. I know you still do, but you're good at hiding it most of the time and don't worry, I know you don't hate me or anything as such anymore," Harry replied, still with the little smile. "Didn't want you to think I don't appreciate it."
He wrapped his arms around Severus again and just that once, Severus hugged him back. Less tightly of course, but Harry felt so much better.
"I don't merely tolerate you Mr. Potter," Severus said and Harry laughed at the way it almost sounded as if the man was close to pouting.
Harry honestly liked the side of Severus that only he saw.
Besides, he realized that this would probably be the closet Severus had ever come to saying that he didn't particularly dislike Harry's presence in his quarters so often these days.
Harry snuggled into Severus' chest again with a smile and Severus growled in distaste and Harry felt the warm arms fall away from his side but he clung tightly anyway.
Harry grinned impishly and the green of his eyes seemed to dance behind his glasses, Severus noticed vaguely.
"Oh just accept it! At least until I figure it out."
And then Harry was gone, slipping through the door into the Slytherin corridor. Severus hoped that the boy at least had some sense to be careful because he really did not fancy having to explain to his House why the Gryffindor seemed to slip in and out of his private quarters so often and at such will.
Severus groaned. He had quite a few things to do before dinner, one of which was a potion for Dumbledore and some Skele-Gro for the hospital wing and then he had third and fifth year assignments to mark and...
He wondered if Harry planned to return that night again or even sneak in at three because that meant that he would have to start everything soon as no doubt he would not get enough work done once Harry dropped by.
Listening to Harry speak took up so much of his attention.
"Hey there you are! Harry, help me pack?"
Ron tugged Harry over to his bed where there were scattered quite a few junk that Ron had gathered during the first term. Even though they had an entire week before Christmas break, most people had already packed to leave for the holidays and were already walking about the castle as if they were floating on the same Levitation spell that the decoration, holly and mistletoes that randomly bobbed by above the heads of anyone in the corridors, were on.
Of course, Harry was staying at Hogwarts for the Christmas and though he still got the occasional sympathetic look, really he definitely did not mind.
Anywhere was better than the Dursleys.
Besides he had a potential thing to do with his evenings now, didn't he?
"Where were you anyway?" Ron asked in a huff as the two tried to poke everything into the small suitcase that Ron was determined to be his only luggage back.
Harry shrugged. "No where important."
'The Dungeons. Always the Dungeons these days Ron. Riding the roller coaster that is my life.'
"Hmm, okay," Ron dropped the subject easily enough.
The suitcase was determined not to close, Sealing spell or not.
"So what are you going to do all Christmas while you're here?" Ron sat on the blasted thing while Harry cast the spell again.
"Same thing I do most days I guess, I'll see." Harry finally answered.
'Yup. Go to the Dungeons. Have a weird sort of breakdown before Severus and have him patiently put me back together.'
'So much for the 'lack of glue' theory.' Was the thought that immediately followed.
"Great!" Ron said grinning and Harry smiled reassuringly enough back.
Ron had taken to completely block everything out of his mind that had to do with Harry including Hermione and Ron into his secret. Hermione had almost done the same except she gave him worried little glances at times, a lot of sudden hugs and pestered him about school work less these days.
But the Trio was back, even if Harry realized that two of the three wished to have the Oblivious charm placed on them. He didn't think about his action to decide whether or not he truly regretted telling them, but he sometimes wondered if they did.
Semi-perfect Harry, even to his best friends.
Harry checked his wand. Not even a good fifty minutes had passed since he left the dungeon and already he wished to get back there.
Well at least for the holidays, he would be free to visit whenever he wanted...or needed.