In Want of Company (PG-13; Severus/Millicent, Harry; 815 words): Severus hates people. Millicent hates people, too. They do not, however, love their own company.
After his trial, which he was compelled to attend while still suffering from his wounds—something which, in hindsight, served him well—Severus retires to his home.
"Are you sure you don't want anyone to know where you are?" Potter asks, as he prepares to take his leave.
"I hate people."
Potter sighs. "Right, well, no one can find you now that Spinner's End's Unplottable. You'll have plenty of privacy to learn to love your own company."
"That was almost bitter, boy. Kudos."
Shaking his head, Potter leaves, but Severus doesn't have much time to learn to enjoy anything because of the laughter.
He spins on his heel, his wand drawn. "Show yourself!"
The slight push of a Shield Charm greets him as Millicent Bulstrode emerges from behind the bookcase door.
"What the hell are you doing here?"
"That's gratitude for you," she says, throwing herself down on the sofa. "I'm the one who found you in the shack. I wanted to know how you were."
"You what?" Severus asks, sheathing his wand. "Potter never said anything about that to me."
"I told him not to. One of the last things you told us was not to get involved, remember?"
Severus sits down on the sofa's edge and crosses his arms. "Yet you did involve yourself by finding me . . . and apparently letting Potter take the credit for it."
Millicent shrugs. "Yes, well, he's a hero. That's what they're for."
"And you found my home, how?"
"By following Potter. He's a predictable sort. You'll find your pantry fully stocked."
Severus raises an eyebrow in irritation. "As I recall, Bulstrode, I also told you that I would not be repeating my . . . mistake."
Millicent smirks. "Good, because I don't want to end up dead."
"Arsehole," Millicent replies, pleasantly. "Now then, if you're through being 'hospitable', why don't I make us some tea?" She looks him up and down. "You need feeding up."
"I need," Severus says, following her into the kitchen, "to be left alone!"
Millicent snorts as she puts the kettle on. "If that were true, Professor, you wouldn't have shagged an ugly bitch like me."
Annoyed but conscious of the fact that he owes his life to Millicent, Severus sits down at the table without swearing at her again. Instead, he says, "I regret that."
"Why? Could you really have done any better?"
Bitch! Severus thinks, saying, "I meant that I regret calling you a bitch. I have never called you ugly."
Millicent turns and leans against the counter. "Point, but then, neither of us need to hear the obvious."
Severus glares at her. Millicent stares mildly back. It's unnerving. Millicent is never mild.
"What do you want?" he demands.
The kettle whistles.
"Tea," Millicent answers, preparing it before sitting down to join him.
"Tea . . . and a bit of sympathetic company. I'm not particularly popular, as you might imagine."
"And you think I want your company?"
"I expect that your cock could stand it well enough," Millicent tells him, raising her teacup in toast.
Severus snorts. "I'm an ugly old man with a war injury. Perhaps that doesn't matter."
"You're not old."
Millicent laughs; it makes her almost pretty.
"And I suspect," she says, "that you're recovered enough to fuck."
Severus drops his gaze to Millicent's breasts, which are not, as he well knows, ill-favoured in any way. His cock stirs.
Millicent grins. "Then it's settled. You do want company."
"I don't. I hate people."
"But you love cunt."
Severus snorts. "You have me, there."
"I think I'll have you after you bathe," Millicent retorts, pouring another cuppa.
Bitch, thinks Severus, though he doesn't say it. Instead, he reaches for Millicent's hand.
She takes it, giving it a little squeeze.
"I'm sorry things were . . . difficult for you," he tells her.
"I'm sorry I picked the losing side." Her mouth quivers.
"Millicent . . . ."
"Don't," she snaps. "I may not actually give a damn about blood purity, but I was as prepared to serve as most Slytherins. Power trumps being treated like shit."
Severus releases her hand. Millicent snatches it back.
"I'm a bitch. I can live with that. I just . . . don't want to have to do it alone."
Severus feels a pang at her words. "You know that I don't love you."
"Everyone knows that. I don't want love, just cock, and you're pretty much my only option. . . . I'm pretty much your only one, too, I expect."
"Haven't you heard? I'm a hero. Witches are lining up to—"
"Sure they are," Millicent interrupts, "because you've gone out of your way to make yourself available to them."
They eye each other assessingly.
At last, Severus says, "Point."
"If it's any consolation, I hate people, too, so we should get on well together—as long as your breath control's still as good?"
Severus rises from the table. "Shall we find out, Millicent?"
She smirks. "That's why I'm here, Severus."