FICLET: Moments Like These
Title: Moments Like These
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Harry Potter / Severus Snape
Summary: Their relationship isn't always frantic couplings and heated arguments. Sometimes, it's made of moments like these.
Disclaimer: Not mine, don't sue.
Written for: 30_breathtakes theme #08 - you're good at what you do
The flames in the fireplace crackled, drowning out the soft expletive that escaped from his lips. He gingerly picked the next test from the dwindling pile—after three straight hours of grading, mind you—and started reading through the answers, making the occasional mark when needed. Brighter and brighter the fire leaped, danced, undulated.
The silence was comfortable. It was a different type of silence from the one that descended after Sirius fell through the veil, and certainly different from the eerie stillness that enveloped them right after Voldemort's demise. Harry didn't mind having this silence in his life at all.
The DADA tests were steadily being put off to the side, and each time he did, Harry rewarded himself with a gulp from the only slightly chipped mug of hot chocolate by his side. It burned his throat on the way down, but that was okay, because he liked it that way.
The fire suddenly sizzled, then died. Snape cautiously dipped a wooden ladle into the bubbling contents and, after staring inscrutably at the lavender concoction for several seconds, tipped the ladle so it streamed back into the cauldron. He grabbed a tube he'd placed on the mantle, and tilted it over the potion so that the liquid inside dripped down, all the while using his other hand to stir it clockwise, rhythmically.
“One... two... three... four... five.... six... seven...” Harry counted.
Snape slanted him a darkly amused glance.
After the eighteenth clockwise stir, Snape stopped, and then started stirring counter-clockwise. Again, Harry counted each circumvention until Snape stopped again. He kept his eyes fixed on Snape's hands, watching as Snape once again lifted the ladle and, this time, steadily fill the empty vials upon vials he'd procured from his supply storage.
Once he'd finished with the last vial, and set it on the mantle alongside the other identical ones, he flicked his wand. The cauldron disappeared, along with the vials, and Snape's lips curved into a smile of lazy satisfaction.
From the living room off towards the right, a clock struck nine.
Harry heard, and hurriedly return to his work. Those tests weren't going to grade themselves. Snape set about cleaning himself, dragging off the thick dragon hide gloves he'd had on, and disappeared into his bedroom on the left.
It wasn't until later that the grandfather clock in the corner chimed nine, fifteen minutes late, and Snape emerged from the bedroom. His eyes met Harry's, and that lazy smile still curled at his lips. Snape silently sat down across from Harry, and helped himself to some of the essays that had already been graded.
Mere moments later, he made a noise of disgust. Harry glanced at Snape. Snape dipped his own quill into the red ink pot, and crossed out something that Harry had missed. Grinning, Harry shrugged, and returned to his own test.
After Harry was done with his test, he set it to the side, and took a sip from the mug of hot chocolate. It burned again, but that was okay, too, because the warm tingle that spread over him—when he'd handed the mug to Snape, and their fingers brushed—was more than enough comfort.
Their relationship isn't always frantic couplings and heated arguments. Sometimes, it's made of moments like these.