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[personal profile] sal_si_puedes
Title: Listening 1/1
Author: Becca ([ profile] aqua_alta)
Pairing: SS/HP
Rating: R
Disclaimer: They don't belong to me, they belong to JKR.
A/N: Written for the first wave of the Severus Snape Fuh-Q Fest (the Fest's site is currently down) as a response to scenario 19. As Head of Slytherin, Snape arranges with Dumbledore to do research on the Chamber of Secrets. Harry, as a parseltongue, is the only one who can help him onsite...
Archiving: The Severus Snape Fuh-Q Fest Archive, of course. All others please ask.


by wings made bird
by ears made wolf
riding the night with tented bones

oh, swift the bay must be
a lightning in his fright
to flee such guided teeth
and deep the pool of dark
to drown your listening brain.

(Bernard Boches)

Things had been quiet for far too long. The Dark Lord had been defeated two years ago in a war that had left its traces upon the face of the Cause of Light. Casualties, sacrifices. Some too painful to touch, most of them too evident to repress. Everybody had tried to carry on, life at Hogwarts slowly returned to its usual routine and things became quiet. Too quiet.

The members of the Order were well aware that their victory could only be a temporary one for the desperate attempt to eliminate the Dark Lord for good had failed. Defeated once more, not extinguished. Snape could still feel the Dark Mark on his arm and that was enough evidence to keep him alert.

The Headmaster rose from his chair at the end of a discussion that had lasted more than three hours. He walked around his desk and gently placed his hand on Snape's shoulder. Leading the Potions Master to the door, he asked: "Do you want me to talk to him, Severus?"
Snape shook his head vehemently.

"No. If I have to work with him I should be the one to ask for his... assistance. He already must suspect that something is going on and he will listen to me. I will talk to him after class tomorrow."


"Longbottom!" Snape bellowed. "What colour is your potion?"

"Green, P-professor", Neville answered nervously.

"So you finally did learn something, and very much to my surprise. You might actually have a slight chance not to fail your Potions N.E.W.T. after all. Class dismissed."

The seventh year Gryffindors and Slytherins cleaned their cauldrons and tables and stored away the ingredients before they left the dungeon. //Not enough footsteps//, Snape thought. There had been losses among the students as well when the Dark Lord attacked Hogwarts. He sighed and turned his head towards the stream of steps that headed for the door. "Potter, stay behind."

Harry nodded goodbye to Herminone and sat down again. Snape seemed to be staring at him and Harry, blushing, tried to ignore the chill that ran down his spine. "The Headmaster and I had a meeting yesterday. We wondered if you noticed something, anything unusual during the past few days?"

Harry nodded. When Snape showed no reaction, a touch of annoyance slipped onto his face and he said: "Yes. I did. Whispers."


"Whispering. No words, nothing distinct. But a voice, voices maybe. Just whispers."

"Why I am asking you this is because the Headmaster and I are very much convinced that something is going on at Hogwarts. We both felt traces of Dark Activity." His fingers unconsciously crept to his lower left arm and rubbed it through the material of his robe. "We suspect that whatever is going on involves the Chamber of Secrets, and what you just told me confirms our suspicions. May I ask why you didn't report that to the Headmaster immediately?" Harry shivered. Snape's voice was cold and completely emotionless. Like his eyes.

"I...I thought I was imagining things...", he replied.

"Imagining things? You know about your special bonds with the Dark Lord, Mr Potter. You know how important it is to inform the Order of everything that might suggest any kind of Dark Activity. So why didn't you tell Dumbledore about those whispers, in Merlin's name?"

"I don't want special bonds with Voldemort. I don't want... things to happen again and again and again. I don't want-"

"Do you really think it matters what you want, Potter? Do you honestly think that what you want is of any importance when the Dark Lord is concerned? Don't you think that everything in our - and that includes your - power has to be done to prevent further damage?"

"Yes, Professor." Harry's face had frozen to a mask of terror. The last two years, even though you couldn't call them 'pleasant', had been peaceful at least. He had been able to concentrate on his school work and on training his abilities as a magician. Harry dreaded even the thought of having to take part in the war again.

"Very well, we seem to have reached an understanding, then. The Headmaster and I have decided that I, as Head of Slytherin House, am to conduct research on the Chamber of Secrets, on both its history and its current status. And I need your assistance with that research. You're one out of the only two known Parselmouths of our time, Mr Potter, and because asking the other one - I trust you know Whom I am referring to - is out of the question, you will have to open the Chamber for me, you will have to accompany me to the Chamber. And to establish a basic ability to undertand what we will be doing there, you are requested to assist me with the preparatory research as well. Meet me in the Library after dinner tonight."

Harry nodded, unable to speak.

"Any questions, Potter?"

"No, Professor. The Library. Tonight." He got up and left the room.

As Harry walked down the hallway outside of the classroom, Snape listened to his footsteps getting softer and softer until they had completely faded.


It was the first evening of many. Snape told Harry which books he needed. Most of them were from the Restricted Section and Madame Pince frowned when Snape informed her with short, determined words that Harry was to be granted licence to that section at any time of day and night. Harry carried huge piles of ancient tomes to their desk and read from them for hours and hours. Snape listened. Sometimes Harry had the impression that Snape was distracted, for his eyes went wide and his gaze seemed to be directed at something remote. Twice he had interrupted his reading and touched Snape's shoulder. "Professor Snape?", he had asked carefully. Snape had withdrawn instantly and barked: "I'm listening, Potter! Go on!" The third time Harry simply continued reading.

Whenever a question arose, something Harry couldn't connect with what they were working on or something he didn't understand, and that happened quite frequently, especially in the beginning, Snape answered immediately. Calm and profoundly. As time passed, real discussions developed between them, Harry's questions not any longer emerging from mere ignorance but soon from curiosity and later from deep interest and utter concern. Most of the time he read from the ancient texts. And Snape listened. He listened to the words, to what Salazar Slytherin had written in his journals more than thousand years ago, he listened to the ideas of outstanding scientists, to the results of life-long research, to the history of a secret. And he listened to Harry's voice, a voice laden with the weight of those words.

On the first evening Harry's reading had been awkward, Snape remembered. He had stumbled and stuttered through the pages, stopped, paused, mispronounced. Snape tried to envision Harry's flushed, contorted face when he finally had got furious. "Oh, for god's sake, I can't do this!", Harry had shouted, slamming the book shut. "I've never been good at reading aloud, I've never practised, and these texts are so damn difficult!"

Snape had snarled. "Patience, Potter, patience. Take your time. You don't have to read that book in one night. Let the words come to you. Try to understand what you're reading. Take your *time*." Reluctantly Harry had opened the book again. "Let the words come to you", he had mouthed, pulling a face. But to his surprise it worked. His reading improved word by word, sentence by sentence, night by night.

//Perfect//, Snape thought. //The words pour from his lips like a string of pearls, like poetry.// He remembered the time when Harry had been fourteen, fifteen years old and his voice had skipped, squeaked or fallen constantly, sometimes even within a single word. The voice in his memory bore no resemblance to the melodious voice that was reading to him now. It had a warm timbre and made use of all its registers while speaking out what Harry's eyes took in.

Suddenly Snape made a startled noise. He had lost track of what Harry was reading. That had never happened before, he had always been able to indulge in Harry's voice and to follow the line of thought it communicated.

"Professor?" Harry asked, concerned.

"I think that's enough of that", he announced. "We have received all the information we need. It's time to move on to opening the Chamber." Folding his hands, he continued. "As you will remember from what we read last week, this most likely is going to be much more of a challenge for you than it was last time. The Chamber had already been opened by the Heir of Slytherin then. We don't know what is going on now, but there have been no signs, no notes, that the Chamber has been opened again. From what we read today I presume we may draw the conclusion that it might be necessary to persuade the entrance to admit us to the Chamber. Have you spoken Parseltongue at all since then?"

Harry shook his head. "No, sir. I haven't."

"May I ask why not?"

"No snakes. I need a snake... I need to face a snake and then it comes to me."

"So you've had no practice. Hm, that could prove to be a disadvantage. We'll have to work on that. Bring Salazar's journal again." Harry sighed and got up. He walked over to the Restricted Section, ignoring Madame Pince's frown, and went straight to the shelf that held the journal. He knew exactly where to look. When he returned to their table, Snape had risen from his chair and was facing the window. Harry lay the book on the table and sat down again.

"Which passage do you want me to read, Professor?"

"I don't want you to read at all, Potter. Take a look at the cover of the journal. There is a picture of a snake on it. I want you to focus on the snake. Concentrate. Describe it to me."

Harry looked at the book. "It's a metal medal attached to the cover of Salazar's jounal. The cover is made of black leather, but it has faded, it looks a brownish grey now and-"

"Yes, yes. I know that. Describe the snake itself, Potter. You have to concentrate." Snape urged him impatiently.

"It's a silvery metal-"

"It is silver."

"It is a snake made of silver. A very fine ornament, very detailed, obviously the work of a very gifted artist-"

"Salazar made it himself."

"Oh. I didn't know he-"

"We are not discussing this now. Continue."

"The snake is... beautiful. And terrifying. You can see every detail of its hide. Its body forms the shape of the letter 'S'. Its tail forms the lower part of the letter, down left, it... it seems to point at the back of the book. Its head forms the upper part, the beginning. The eyes seem to look at me, to stare at me. It's frightening, it makes me shiver. And the tongue... it's split... the tongue seems to dart towards... it seems to invite me to open the journal."

"Open it."

Harry started to lift the cover but Snape said. "Stop. Not like this. Tell the journal to open. Speak to the snake."


"Just do what I'm telling you. Speak. To. The. Snake."

"Open up." All Snape heard was a hiss. And then a book cover flipping open, parchment ruffling, pages turning.

"You managed."

"Yes, Professor."

"How do you do it?"


"Parseltongue. How does it work? How does it feel?"

Harry shrugged. "I don't know. I don't know how it works or how I do it. I just say what I want to say and it comes out in Parseltongue. Or that's what people tell me. I don't even hear it. It sounds like my mother-tongue to me. It does not feel at all. It just happens."

"You have no idea of the greatness and the importance of that gift you possess, Potter. No idea."

Harry could see how Snape's body tensed and his shoulders rose. "You're jealous", he whispered incredulously. "You envy me."

"Yes!" Snape burst out. "I do. I envy you. I would kill to have that gift. I would do anything..." His fury faded while he spoke but the passion in his voice increased. "A Gryffindor with Salazar Slytherin's ability..." A harsh laugh escaped from his throat. "You have to admit that there lies a certain irony in that." He turned around and rested his hands on the back of his chair, steadying his breath. "It's time to open the Chamber. Are you ready?"

Harry nodded again. "Yes. Let's go." They left the library and headed for the bathroom that hid the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets, Snape following one step behind Harry, who kept a determined pace. They walked in silence.


Cold, damp air wrapped around them. It had been no problem to open the entrance, it had obeyed to Harry's hissed order at once. Now Harry and Snape were approaching the Chamber of Secrets. The moist stone walls echoed their steps as they walked on. "We're almost there, Professor", Harry murmured. "I can already see the-" Suddenly he pulled Snape into a hidden niche. Harry's glasses fell to the floor and made a shattering noise. Mechanically he gave them a kick that sent them into a corner of the niche. The niche itself was very narrow but it was big enough to conceal the two of them from the sight of anybody who might walk past. He closed Snape's mouth with his hand before Snape could utter a word of protest. Harry moved his lips close to Snape's ear, his voice barely audible when he whispered. "Somebody is coming. Somebody entered the corridor after us and he's heading for the Chamber."

A hooded figure passed the niche. It carried a torch. "A Death Eater." Harry took his hand from Snape's mouth and peered around the corner. "He's in the Chamber now, he's sitting at a table and he's writing something. We'll have to stay here until he leaves again, I'm afraid. He would see us if we left now." Snape nodded. His back was pressed against the wall and Harry's body was pressed against his own. "Can you see who-"

"No. He's still got his hood on. I can't see his face. Shhh." The Death Eater raised his head and looked in the direction of the corridor. After a few seconds he returned his attention to his quill and parchment.

While the minutes passed Harry's and Snape's breath became steadier. Snape shifted. The friction that movement created made Harry conscious of how close they were to each other. He could feel Snape's rapid heartbeat against his chest. He realised that his hand still clutched Snape's arm. Suddenly the scent of the other men's body stung his nose and made him dizzy. Unconsciously he tightened the grip on Snape's arm. He felt blood rushing into his groin. //Oh no//, he thought, //no, nonono. I'm insane. I must be insane. I can't react... He's my professor. He's... he's Snape... he's... close. Too close. Much too close.// He felt his cock hardening. Snape felt it too. Harry's. And his. A shiver ran through his body and set his nerves on fire.

Harry closed his eyes. Carefully, almost surreptitiously, he pressed his body against Snape's even more and his other hand sneaked to Snape's hip. He felt cold, trembling fingers gently brushing over his face. Then lips. Lips on his eyelids, his cheeks, his mouth. He leaned into the caresses and slightly parted his lips. The sensation of a tongue licking his lips forced his hips to thrust forward. A moan built up inside of him but it was stifled by Snape's mouth closing over his.

Snape couldn't stop. He just couldn't stop. When Harry had parted his lips, he had been seduced completely and his senses had taken over. His tongue thrust into Harry's mouth, savouring Harry's taste, caressing every part of Harry's mouth and tongue.

And Harry responded. Passionately. He could still feel Snape's fingers on his face, they traced his brows, the skin of his closed eyelids, his cheeks, his jawline. Harry's hands moved to Snape's chest and started to unfasten Snape's robe impatiently. Suddenly Harry felt Snape's hands withdrawing from his face and resting on his hands, thus stopping them from what they were doing.

"No", Snape whispered into Harry's ear. Then he cupped Harry's face and placed a tender kiss on his lips. "No, Harry."

Another hour or so passed. It was not easy for them to calm down since their bodies were still pressed against each other. Every now and then Snape allowed his lips to touch Harry's, but only very briefly.

When the Death Eater walked back through the corridor, Harry shielded Snape's body with his own. After a safe time he picked up his glasses, he and Snape emerged from the niche and left the corridor. They left the bathroom and the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets closed behind them.

"We will have to report what we have witnessed down there to the Headmaster", Snape said matter-of-factly. Harry, putting on his glasses, answered: "Yes. Sure. He... we'll have to go back to the Chamber tomorrow and investigate what..." He paused.

"Se... Professor...", Harry looked at him helplessly. "What... Why..."

"Say it. Say my name. I want to hear you saying my name."

"Severus..." Harry's voice trembled. Severus inhaled deeply. He let the sound of Harry's voice run through his ears as if it were the most delicious wine running down his throat. "Oh, gods, that sounds so..." He swallowed.

"What happened down there is beyond my understanding, Harry. But I should like to further... investigate it. Very much."

Harry nodded.


"Yes, Severus. I should like that too." He carefully touched Severus' arm. "But why-"

"Why I stopped you?" Severus smiled. "Because I didn't want to... to do anything down there. I want to do it where you don't have to be silent, where I can hear your voice. Where I can listen to your voice, feast on your voice describing what you see and what you feel, your voice whispering to me, screaming to me, speaking to me." He kissed Harry softly. "I will go and report to the Headmaster. Why don't you wait for me in my quarters?" He bent towards Harry and whispered the password. "Parselmouth."

"I changed it yesterday", he added.

Harry looked at Severus with an expression of utter bewilderment and awe. He looked into Severus' eyes.

For the first time in two years they were not cold and blank. Harry saw a glitter in them, a glitter that hadn't been there ever since Voldemort had cast the spell that had destroyed Severus' eyesight.


provides access

Date: 2011-01-18 11:41 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
so amazing!!! this is exactly the kind of stuff i am looking for :)thanks for this


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February 2012


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