Pairing and Characters: Severus/Daphne, others implied and otherwise
Word Count: 1575
Summary: Severus is troubled by a Slytherin separation.
Disclaimer: This work of fan fiction is based on characters and situations created by J. K. Rowling and owned by J. K. Rowling and various publishers, including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made from (and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended by) the posting of this fan work.
Author's Note: This fic follows A Thoroughly Inappropriate Tale. Thank you, arynwy and shiv5468, for beta'ing.
"Lovebirds"—Severus would never have described himself and Daphne with so trite and simple a phrase. The relationship that he shared with her, a witch who had, for whatever reason, bound her magic to his life, was far more complicated than that, and Severus wasn't entirely certain, as he sat brooding alone in the night, that love was its foundation.
Waters said that because Daphne was in my charge for so long, any number of motivations might have prompted her to— "No," he murmured, stopping himself from dishonouring Daphne's sacrifice with any denial of it. It wasn't right that he do such a thing to her, even if she wasn't aware of it. No, Daphne loves me, and I . . . .
Although he couldn't deny the truth of his feelings for her, Severus found it difficult to fully "articulate" them, even within the privacy of his own mind.
Waters had made no secret of the fact that he found Severus and Daphne's relationship thoroughly inappropriate. "Her safety was your responsibility, Headmaster," he'd said, before finally explaining the true nature of Daphne's condition.
The facts were these, that in Binding herself to Severus, Daphne had lost too much of her magic in too short a time to likely be able to recover it naturally. When Zabini had broken the Binding—or at least weakened it, Waters wasn't sure which was the case—he had saved Daphne's life, but he had been too late to prevent her from becoming little more than a Squib.
"Her levels might return to normal given time, but—"
Severus didn't know how to repay anyone for having paid so great a price to save him, and what made matters nearly unendurable for him was the knowledge that he might have actually restored Daphne's magic with his own had Zabini not interfered with the Binding.
When Waters had told him that, Severus had immediately volunteered to share his magic with Daphne in the most expedient way.
"That is out of the question. I have no way of knowing how the initial Binding was established, but I don't believe that it could have been done with Miss Greengrass' consent. Without it now, it wouldn't be ethical to impose such a thing upon her for any reason—and your own magical levels are so low at present as to render you unfit for such a transfusion."
Severus had drawn his wand on Waters then and demanded that he allow him to go to Daphne, but Waters had easily, in Severus' weakened condition, disarmed him.
"You must not have physical contact with that young woman! You're not yet fully Healed, and should you take any more of her magic, she might very well die."
No matter that Waters had been the personal Healer to the Zabini family for generations, Severus didn't think much of his abilities, but his reason for caution had kept Severus from Daphne's side.
"You're free now, Snape. Perhaps you might consider moving on," Waters had told him.
Suddenly furious, Severus exclaimed, "If this is freedom, I want no part of it!" He threw himself out of bed and fell into the chair next to it, his hand coming down on something round and hard. "Fuck! What the hell is—"
Falling to his knees, Severus began blindly ripping into his folded robes until he found the object.
The onion! I still have it!
He held it up in the moonlight and gaped at it for a moment, ignoring the tears running down his cheeks, and then, without knowing quite what he was doing, he dragged himself to his feet and staggered out into the front room.
He didn't look at the sofa.
He didn't look at the chairs.
Instead, breathing heavily, he looked at the book-lined wall for signs of light until he found a thin sliver of it.
It took him a long time to shuffle towards it, to open the bookcase door for which he'd been looking, and to move into the narrow corridor beyond it. There were three doors there: one directly ahead of him which had to lead out of the flat, and one each to the left and the right. Severus discovered that the one to the right led into the bath, and panting, he willed himself to walk through the left one.
As much as his efforts had cost him, it took some time to find a knife in the kitchen; once he did, however, once he'd steadied himself, he carefully sliced the onion into two equal halves.
What are you doing?
Severus didn't know; he only knew that he had to get to Daphne.
When he was finally kneeling by her side, he was shaking with exhaustion and repression. He wanted desperately to touch her, to kiss her, to tell her that everything would be all right, that he would fix it, but he couldn't. He knew that he could not risk doing anything that might harm Daphne or awaken Pince and Zabini.
They might stop me.
With excruciating care not to touch Daphne's skin, Severus slipped one half of the onion into her right hand, and then before his resolve could weaken, he dragged himself back into Pince's room and pulled himself up onto the bed. Very nearly spent, he barely had the energy to lift his half of the onion to his heart.
Clutching it there, he began to surrender to sleep, muttering, "So . . . stupid."
"Such a romantic gesture, stupid?" Prince asked gently. "I think not."
Severus dreamed—at first, of unpleasant things that made him thrash about in the cold, but then, a pleasant, familiar scent washed over him, and his body stilled as it was enfolded by an unfamiliar, soft embrace. He didn't fight it but simply melted into its warmth as a feeling of profound union lulled him further into sleep.
When he next awoke, it was to the sound of birdsong and hushed voices. He didn't open his eyes.
"Leave them. She looks well enough to me."
"But Waters said—"
Zabini's voice was abruptly silenced by the snick! of the door catching.
Alone, Severus thought, feeling the press of a woman's body against his own, alone with Daphne.
He opened his eyes and looked down at his chest; Daphne's head was nestled against it, and their fingers were entwined over the onion.
"It's . . . it's whole again."
"You see?" whispered Prince. "A lover's instincts, however foolish they might seem, are seldom wrong."
Daphne murmured something unintelligible as she shifted in her sleep and her knee brushed Severus' erection.
He shuddered and murmured, "Privacy, damn you."
"Oh, goodness. Certainly."
Without looking at Prince's portrait, Severus knew that he'd left it, and sighing into a smile, he allowed Daphne's perfume to lull him once more into a realm of pleasant dreams.
They were standing, clad in clean white nightshirts, in a garden. Severus couldn't place it, but he didn't care. Daphne was glorious. Her cheeks were pink, her long brown hair, lustrous in the sunlight, and she was smiling at him.
He swallowed against a sudden swell of emotion; it didn't hurt.
"Severus," Daphne said, holding out her hands to him, "you came for me."
Taking her hands, he replied, "No, you came for me, didn't you?"
"I don't know. I was lost. I couldn't find my garden, or you, but . . . but she led me back here, and now you've come." She moved into his arms and leaned up to kiss him lightly on the mouth. "I'm so glad you've come. I missed—oh!"
Severus drank in Daphne's exclamation as he gathered her up against himself. Their tongues met, twined together, seemed to dance as Daphne's legs wrapped around his back, and then they were lying together on the springy turf on which they'd only just been standing. Daphne laughed, and Severus pushed himself up to look at her.
"My God, you're beautiful," he said, looking upon her full mouth and then lower, to her round, firm breasts. "How—"
"I don't care," Daphne told him, drawing him down hard against herself with her legs. "I've waited long enough. H—having you . . . I'm having you now."
Severus made a sound he'd never heard before as Daphne's hand moved to grasp his prick, and then, after a moment's lovely struggle, he found himself thrusting forward and inside of her without a thought for anything but the slick, tight, welcome of her body. They moved together easily, and at first, lazily, with their hands caressing and clasping, teasing each other, with their twin breaths softly joined by lips and tongues, and when it became almost too much to bear, the pleasure of it, when Severus felt himself about to lose all control, Daphne pushed him over onto his back with surprising strength and began undulating her hips in a demanding rhythm to which he could do nothing but surrender. His cries of pleasure seemed to echo for an eternity, an eternity through which Daphne shuddered and clenched atop him until, at last, her own shivery calls joined his as she fell forward and then to one side of him.
Definitely a dream, he thought, panting as he reached for her.
"So . . . so what if . . . it is?" Daphne replied breathlessly, before playfully nipping at his flesh and moving into a delightful nestle against him.
"Not . . . not complaining. Never . . . never . . . ."
Daphne tightened the arm which she'd thrown over his chest. "Always, Severus."
Impossibly, Severus felt his prick twitch. "Oh, fuck, yes," he agreed. "Al—always."