July 10th, 2009
|dracofiend||01:28 am - Well-Lived|
Summary: Severus wins a lifetime achievement award.
Severus accepts the Minister for Magic's Lifetime Achievement Award with little patience and less grace, removing himself from the podium with a flourish of robes after delivering brief remarks that might be considered less than heartfelt. Harry watches him with a half-exasperated eye, but his smile softens when Severus returns to his seat, brittle tendrils of hair hovering alongside the severe downturn of his mouth. His step has become more stately, in recent years, Harry thinks. His scowl has not mellowed.
"It's a beautiful trophy," Harry tells him later, as Severus settles into his chair with his customary grimace.
"It's a pointy piece of rubbish," Severus grumbles, reaching around himself to wrestle with a cushion. "Toss it in the bin for me, will you?"
Harry sticks the artful crystalline sculpture underneath his arm and goes to Severus, to give the cushion a shove. Severus used to snap at him for doing it—tonight he only catches Harry's hand.
"It seems I've achieved all that's worth achieving.," Severus says to Harry's wrist. "Whatever shall I live for now?"
Harry laughs and curls their fingers together. He can tell when Severus is joking, now—another development of recent years. At least it feels that way.
"There's always righteous criticism and vindication," Harry replies.
Severus snorts and leans back carefully. "Those pleasures have long lost their shine." He eyes the trophy, then tugs it slowly from where it's wedged. "What a grotesque manifestation of public adulation," he murmurs. "And long overdue, if it was ever due at all," he says, raising his gaze to Harry. "I admit the first forty-odd years of my life were quite noteworthy. Fairly riddled with achievements," he nods matter-of-factly. He adjusts his seat; Harry sits on an arm. "As for the remainder, well. I've not done anything worth mentioning at all."
"Don't say that," Harry answers mildly. "Resting on laurels is no easy feat."
Severus' lips curve wryly. "It should be, for you—by the end of this affair your experience in such matters will far exceed mine." He raises his arm as if to send the trophy into the air, but stops short and pushes it at Harry instead. "I suppose you'll want to keep the ridiculous thing? I was about to cast it permanently from my sight," he says lightly.
Harry takes it and cups both hands around its spires, aware that vanishing spells are draining when one is already fatigued. He's begun to feel the edges of it himself, from time to time. "I love it when you spare a thought for my feelings," he says with a small smile.
"Mm," Severus murmurs, shutting his eyes. "That's your allotment for the year. Until Christmas. I can be prevailed upon to be generous at Christmas." His voice trails away; after a few moments the muscles in his face gently ease.
Harry places a hand upon the silver hair, stroking it back from Severus' fine-lined temple. Severus' jaw has gone lax and folds of sallow skin are bunched at his neck.
"We should keep it," Harry says quietly to himself, his fingertips hidden in Severus' hair. "You did a lot in your life."
A sharp eye cracks open, a bit blue in the black. "It's not over yet. Save the eloquence for when I'm gone—I won't have you tarnish my image of you as an unrepentant dolt."
Harry laughs again and twists about for an embrace. "All right," he says, into Severus' shoulder. Harry lets the trophy slip to the floor, deciding he'll pick it up later and put it with the others but just at the moment he brings both arms around Severus and kisses the soft sagging neck with a grin on his mouth and a tooth in his grin, because he can.