He would call him ugly to his face.
Ugly in a crowd.
The words that spilled from his lips were taunts to get even. And when he was angry he called him a coward. That was the last time they stood face to face, as the world they both knew crumbled in the space between their angry eyes. Their magic crackled and charged the air. Their voices shattered the silence. Their feet echoed like thunder as one ran and the other chased.
But as he turned away, Harry wondered how he could still trust a murderer.
Flying in a storm.
(The rain made everything cold and wet. The Quidditch uniform clung uncomfortably to him like a second skin. First thing he saw were dark eyes glaring at him from across the pitch over at the Slytherin stands. Funny how everyone else was still a blur.)
Lost in the Forbidden Forest.
(Why is it no one ever reminded him of how dangerous the forest was? Stumbling through brushes and brambles. There was a werewolf on the loose, howling into the night. There were worst things than werewolves to deal with when Professor Snape wanted Potions ingredients. He, being in detention, could not protest.)
Hiding in a closet.
(There were Death Eaters everywhere. The worst idea he ever had was to look for a horcrux here. The second worse was picking a too-small, too-dark space for refuge. He was not alone. Pressed into the wall with a wand at his throat, he was more afraid of the way he trembled against the body that was pressed into him.)
Kissing in the dark.
(Some things were unforseeable even to Harry Potter.)
Lay back. Closes his eyes. Thinks of England and Scotland and Wales.
The tongue that travels over his body is warm and wet. Skin against skin. He threads his fingers through tufts of black hair. He needs that mouth to taste and linger within, as he finds himself. Sheets of silk caresses his body but nothing caresses like fingertips bent on mad exploration. Time stands still while he moves inside of him, being filled by him, past lips that are eager to taste him, against sinuous flesh that is as hard as him.
He sees stars. He hears whispers. He feels the warmth of breath that caresses his face and eyes like gemstones look back at him. Black as death. Green as killing. He comes with his name on his lips. Shouting it into the night. He dares the gods to punish him for the acts of iniquity that he commits so piously.
But, he only ever understands salvation when he is with him.
He knows it's wrong to love this man.
Having been through the worst, and protected him as best as he knew how, it seemed wrong somehow to turn around and claim him too. Snape was always one for captive audiences and especially those who could not help but listen as he spoke or react when he threatened them. But this wizard had always been powerful enough to resist the angry words and threats of violence.
He fell to his knees before him once.
It was not to bow to him or to pledge his allegiance. It was not to declare to the world that this wizard, half his age, held power over him. It was not an act of supplication or a ticket to redemption. The lines usually blurred between them when it came to who saved who from certain death. And although Snape holds the record for the most saves, it never occurs to him any more to demand payment. He would rip, limb by limb, anyone who threatens their long awaited peace.
And so he knelt before him, just because he could do that, without the fear of being ordered to stay.
Ugly to their gaze.
Ugly in a crowd.
He rebuilds his life from the tattered ruins of an ex-Death Eater and a murderer and that is the first thing that others see. When they fight, sparks fly and the air is corroded with spent magic and wild curses. Snape finds it amusing that the world stands aside and judges him when he is not the only one shouting in the middle of Diagon Alley. He finds it infuriating that his stubbornesss is nothing compared to the brat before him who refuses to do as he bids him to. It's not surprising that they stand face to face breathing heavily into the other's face with eyes sparkling untamed anger.
When his brat begins to laugh, Snape does the unthinkeable and kisses him.