Those who need, must. - Renaissance

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September 13th, 2008

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02:38 am - Renaissance
Title: Renaissance
Rating: PG
Pairing: HP/SS
Summary: Romance. A few words, to revive a long love.
A/N: For [info]dementordelta’s birthday! *puts on party hat* Have tons of fun at that ren faire and watch some jousting for me! ♥

Familiarity, Harry thought as he pulled the towel from its rung, doesn’t really breed contempt. He pushed it against his dripping chest, over his arms, his waist, his legs. It was more like discontent, but not quite, because he knew he really had nothing at all to complain about. He stepped out of the shower, onto the matted rectangle of rug, and began toweling his hair. Familiarity breeds a vague suggestion of guilt-inducing, unjustified discontent. It didn’t have much of a ring to it, he supposed.

“I’m through,” he called out, so as to be heard in the bedroom. “Your turn—and hurry up because we’re going to be late.” He finished drying himself and re-hung the towel, then moved to the sink and put his glasses on. The lenses were fogged over; when he’d cleared them, Severus was still nowhere to be seen.

“Come on! Severus!”

He looked at himself in the mirror, feeling distinctly cross. Mornings. He bent forward, tilting up his jaw, and considered going a third day without shaving. Severus hated it when those hairs were left unchecked—but then Severus wasn’t being especially cooperative at the moment. Harry turned his face from one side to the other, then dropped his chin. He slid his toothbrush from its place next to Severus’, loaded it with toothpaste, and foamed up his mouth, studying the lines under his eyes that appeared more prominent each day. The ravages of time, Harry thought as he brushed. Time with Severus. He cleared his mouth into the sink, changing his mind. No, just time. He rinsed his teeth, his toothbrush, his face once again, pressing it dry on a hand towel. When he raised his head, he was still alone in the bathroom.

Harry’s feet slapped softly against the soothing tile; they padded silently across short carpeting, carrying him to the edge of the bed and to the great lump that breathed gently in and out. “Severus,” he said, looking down at the lump, the wrinkly sheets, the gray-black tangles spread over a double thickness of pillows. Severus always co-opted Harry’s in the mornings; he never left bed until the latest possible moment. Harry had spoken his name quietly, but by now he was irrevocably put out. He remembered a time, perhaps years ago, when the man would’ve leapt from cozy slumber directly into a pit of fire and crocodiles at the merest word from him. Harry prodded, once, at the center of the lump. Those days were apparently long gone.

He waited a few more moments; the wrinkly sheets rustled and the black-gray hair slid some ways down the pillow, but no further progress appeared forthcoming. Harry padded to the dresser, to put on boxers. He padded to the closet, to put on a shirt.

The gushing of the tap startled him; Harry yanked the shirt down over his damp hair, upsetting his glasses. He fixed them on his nose and looked over to see Severus, standing at the sink, toothbrush in hand, staring bleary-eyed at his naturally cantankerous reflection. Harry put on his trousers and listened to Severus brushing his teeth, turning on the shower.

He’d finally located his Ministry authentication badge in the pocket of a pair of trousers on the floor and was just putting on his robes when he heard Severus step into the closet, behind him.

“Harry,” he said.

“What,” Harry mumbled, frowning as he concentrated on the fiddly clasps down his front. He hated these clasps with an irrational passion.

“You,” Severus said in his careful, measured tone, “are the love of all my yesterdays and tomorrows.”

Harry’s tired fingers paused; a hook slipped from where it was half-jammed into its eye.

“If you had a jot of common sense you would’ve learned by now,” Severus told him. Firm hands grasped his shoulders and turned him lightly around. The damp ends of Severus’ hair were pitchdark and clean-scented; they leaked droplets of water onto his lax sallow skin as he did up Harry’s clasps with much-practiced ease. “It’s not possible to fasten those robes yourself.” He smoothed Harry’s collar and bent his face near.

“You should shave,” he said, so that their cheeks brushed roughly. Severus kissed Harry’s neck, bumping his nose into Harry’s ear, which made Harry smile because it never failed to tickle, just a bit. Then he drew upright and moved aside to put on clothes. Harry watched Severus step into faded underwear, balancing on one foot, then the other, and it occurred to him, anew, that familiarity breeds familiarity—and there was nothing better in the whole world than that.

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Date:September 13th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
*sigh* Oh, that was exceptional!
Date:September 13th, 2008 03:08 am (UTC)
This was at the same time realistic and sweet. Snape's declaration of love is just perfect. [info]dementordelta is a very lucky lady! :D
[User Picture]
Date:September 13th, 2008 05:58 am (UTC)
Oh that was lovely!

[User Picture]
Date:September 13th, 2008 07:56 am (UTC)
Absolutely wonderful. *happy sigh*
[User Picture]
Date:September 13th, 2008 08:31 am (UTC)
Oh, that was beautiful!
[User Picture]
Date:September 13th, 2008 08:32 am (UTC)
That was wonderful! So realistic--just like an old married couple that still loves each other, but sometimes forgets WHY.

Beautifully captured.
[User Picture]
Date:September 13th, 2008 09:04 am (UTC)
That was a wonderful look in to the life of a couple. And yes...familiarity does breed familiarity - and it's a wonderful thing to realize.
[User Picture]
Date:September 13th, 2008 09:08 am (UTC)

That was lovely. Thank you for sharing.
[User Picture]
Date:September 13th, 2008 09:11 am (UTC)
Awww! *happy sigh*
So very sweet! *smishes you*
[User Picture]
Date:September 13th, 2008 09:20 am (UTC)
Aww, very nice!
Date:September 13th, 2008 10:13 am (UTC)


aw~~~ so sweet. Love needs to be re-affirmed daily... just a word, a touch or an action. Aw~~~ so Snape...
[User Picture]
Date:September 13th, 2008 12:52 pm (UTC)
This is my favourite line: “You,” Severus said in his careful, measured tone, “are the love of all my yesterdays and tomorrows.”

I loved this!
[User Picture]
Date:September 13th, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC)
Having been married 15 years (this time!) and having had my share of ups and downs in sentiment with my spouse, I found this fic absolutely charming. Sometimes it does take a spoonful of sugar to help the reality go down.
[User Picture]
Date:September 13th, 2008 07:52 pm (UTC)
SQUEEEEE!!! Oh thank you so much, sweetie! This was absolutely perfect--sweet and gentle and wistful and just, oh god,perfect! Thank you so much! *hugs and smooches*
[User Picture]
Date:September 13th, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC)
*cough* that's not a lump in my throat, it's just allergies... This story is just too damned true! *hugs story*
Date:September 14th, 2008 06:22 am (UTC)
Ooh swweeet. I'm not usually a fan of mid-relationship!fic, but this is a lovely wakeup to Sunday. (:
Date:September 14th, 2008 12:28 pm (UTC)
Aw that was so sweet. That is just like a married couple should be.
[User Picture]
Date:September 14th, 2008 08:51 pm (UTC)
*heart goes pitapat*
Date:September 14th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)
Just lovely. :)
[User Picture]
Date:September 15th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
AAAAWWWWWWWWW! I love growing old together fics1
[User Picture]
Date:September 15th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
**happy sigh**
[User Picture]
Date:September 16th, 2008 02:40 am (UTC)
This is so quiet and so believably gentle, with an undercurrent of wry self-deprecation. (I'm a bit fuzzy-brained from a sleeping pill, so bear with me.) There are a few things I'd like to single out.

Familiarity breeds a vague suggestion of guilt-inducing, unjustified discontent. This? Nails a certain mood exactly. A certain mood that doesn't even require the existence of a Significant Other, although it's very convenient to have an SO around on whom to project said mood.

I love that Harry manages to blame his sulkiness about shaving on Severus's non-cooperation. It's a nice example of married logic. I use "logic" in the loosest possible sense here, of course. ;)

Harry also amuses me by being put out that Severus no longer leaps directly into the fiery pit (or, failing that, the shower) at the sound of his voice. It's a romantic nostalgia that conveniently overlooks the fact that one doesn't really want one's lover risking death.

gray-black tangles spread over a double thickness of pillows Mmmm. I think I've developed a thing for Snape's hair. I can see this so clearly, and the following line is even sharper: The damp ends of Severus’ hair were pitchdark and clean-scented.

I'm amazed at the way you pull off Severus's declaration. Its very abruptness works for me, and best of all his careful, measured tone. The first time I read this, I wondered if he'd used Legilimency on Harry, since his words come out of the blue and he speaks to a discontent that Harry's keeping bottled up inside. But the interesting thing about this vignette is that it's entirely non-magical. Nothing about it pertains solely to wizards, in which case it can also be seen as an example of that psychic connection between long-time lovers. Snape says the right thing because he can read Harry.

I smiled at the offhand reference to Snape's faded underwear (oh, Severus, never change!) and the very Harryish conclusion - familiarity breeds familiarity—and there was nothing better in the whole world than that - because, really, isn't that exactly what Harry has wanted all along?

You have a wizard's skill yourself, my dear, in the way you compress so much wisdom and autumnal beauty into such a short space.
Date:September 16th, 2008 10:02 am (UTC)
Here via dementordelta's post to her birthday presents... I'm so glad she posted about them! I fell in love with your Snape :D and I love your familiar Snarry. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us!
[User Picture]
Date:September 16th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, that was very nice. *happy sigh*
Date:September 17th, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC)
Lovely! As a reader, I find the familiarity between Harry and Severus very sweet :)

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