Title: The Waiting
Length: 625 words
Warning: Character Death
Disclaimer: So not mine.
This is completely un-betaed, since I wanted to post it before the weekly challenge ended.
It’s been six months since he’s been gone, and Harry still waits. He waits for the one who can change everything. The one who can end his torment.
Every time he opens the door, he hopes that this time He will be there. That He will claim him. But He never does. So Harry waits.
Harry still vividly remembers the day the waiting began. The last time he saw… him.
It was just moments before the cataclysm that they blithely call the Victory Battle. On that day Harry won the fight, but lost everything that mattered.
That day, Severus had leaned down and lightly touched his lips to Harry’s. In front of others. A first. He had always been so circumspect before.
The kiss ended slowly, and then Severus whispered into Harry’s ear, “May the better man win.” Since there was no way that Old Snake Eyes could even remotely still be considered a man at that point, Harry knew that this was his lover’s last good bye. Severus pulled away and started to walk off.
Harry grabbed his arm. There was so much Harry desperately wanted to say. ‘Be careful.’ ‘Be safe.’ ‘Good luck.’ ‘Don’t die.’ He especially wanted to say 'I love you.' But he knew that all these comments would be futile. And hurtful. Severus had his job to do, after all. That’s what they had been told… that Severus must do his job.
But Harry still couldn’t let go. “Promise me that you’ll meet me back here… when it’s all over,” he said instead.
Harry could see the depth of desperation in Severus’ eye. He pulled Harry to him fiercely, and captured Harry’s lips in a bruising kiss. Harry could feel his lover shaking with raw need… and fear… and the kiss amplified it with his own. He could feel the power of Severus’ love… and sorrow… and despair.
Then Severus broke off with an anguished cry, turning and striding off.
Harry realized that Severus hadn’t promised to meet him after all. For how could he? They all knew he would be dead before the battle even began.
Harry desperately wanted to call out, to stop him, to tell him not to go. Didn’t he know that he was walking into a trap? And that he would be killed violently, viciously, by the one who he used to call ‘Master’.
But they had gone over the plans, again and again. And this was ‘The Only Way’. Severus would spring the trap. And then Harry and the Order would spring a trap of their own.
It was all decided. One life given so many could be saved. It was the logical, rational thing to do. Everyone said so. Everyone told Harry that. Harry hated them all. Even Severus for agreeing to it. But especially Harry hated himself, since he did nothing to stop his lover from walking to his doom.
Harry watched as Severus strode off into the Forbidden Forest. Watched him disappear. Knew he would never see him again.
But Harry hoped against hope that his lover would be waiting for him when he finally walked away from Voldemort’s smoldering ashes and the corpse ridden field. Harry knew he had fulfilled his ‘destiny’. He hoped that there was a reward, that somehow… someway… he would be granted the only desire he had in the world.
Of course he wasn’t.
So now Harry waits instead.
He waits for the day that Death comes to claim him. Every day, every knock at the door, every noise he hears, he hopes that it is Death and that He will end this suffering. That Death will reunite him with the only one he ever wanted.
But Death never comes.
And Harry still waits.