FIC: The Dreams We Forget (Are Those We Most Regret): NC17 Author & Artist: Serpenscript Recipient:curia_regis Title: The Dreams We Forget (Are Those We Most Regret) Rating: NC-17 Art Medium: Photoshop CS2 Pairing(s): Snape/Harry, background Harry/Ginny, mentions of Hermione/Ron Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended. All characters engaging in sexual activity are *18* years or older. Summary: Once a month, Harry Potter is summoned to the Ministry for personal Auror training. Afterwords, he never remembers what he learned....but he dreams of empty eyes and black hair. Warnings: infidelity, mentions of het sex, dubious consent, mostly epilogue compliant Word Count: ~4,500 Author's Notes: I took several of your suggestions here, and tried to roll them together in my first attempt at experimental fic. I'll hope you'll forgive me if it's not what you're used to, but I had quite a lot of fun writing it! I hope you'll also forgive my use of switching names, though I tried to keep it minimal. Not switching at *all* went against everything I was taught in school, but most of the switching here has to do with who's speaking and perspective and internal struggles, so I hope you'll forgive me that. I also MUST thank my beta, 'P', forr without her the smut would be nearly non-existent. Artist's Notes: I hope the illustration keeps the surreal feeling from the story. I don't often give art and fic together, but I was so pleased with this story I couldn't resist illustrating it, too!
Harry Potter lives an idyllic, happy-ever-after life. He is married to Ginny (who reminds him of Lily, but no one says anything about an Oedipal complex, it's just a fairytale ending) and they have one ginger-haired child and another on the way - Molly couldn't be prouder and Harry is perfectly happy, perfectly content with his storybook world but
(sometimes at night he dreams, and Voldemort is still there in the back of his head, and there's someone next to him with a nose like a beak and black, greasy hair and eyes like glittering beads of hate and he wakes up panting and sweating and hard) and Ginny asks him what's wrong.
"Nothing," he tells her, "just a nightmare. From the war. Go back to sleep." She always takes it at face value and rolls over, even though it's been years and all is well. He believes it; he has to believe it.
Every day he goes to the Ministry and works with the other aurors (all the king's horses and all the king's men putting the world back together again, but that's another story) after the fall of Vordemort, and he feels good about his job. With good reason, too: he's the best at what he does, which is finding Dark Wizards. He lives on the adrenaline of riding the edge of danger all day, and then he goes back home at night to his feisty, dutiful wife and kids (and there's another on the way now and how the years slip by; she looks more and more like Molly every day and her Quidditch days are long behind her but she says she still knows how to ride a broom - )
( - don't say things like that in front of the kids, Gin, he says, and she shoots him a glance that should leave him warm all the way to his toes but that only annoys him, though he hides it)
Once a month like clockwork he is summoned for personal training, training no one else gets but him (Boy Who Lived To Kill Voldemort and all that, but he hates the fame and if he could kill Rita he would). It usually lasts an hour - sometimes more, sometimes less - and afterwords, though he is hot and sweaty and tired and strangely sated (and disturbed)
....he never remembers anything that happens in those lessons. He assumes they're lessons in Occlumency, or maybe Legilimancy, which might explain why his mind (and heart?) feel bruised and torn afterwords.
Later, he thinks he might remember there's a bed in the room (only they never use the bed) and the person in there with him is Snape, only he's apparently Snape-Potter because Dumbledore married them in an attempt to ensure Snape's safety after the war, binding their survival to each other. Which wasn't a bad a idea all told, except -
--it requires regular consummation, no less than once a month.
(But the golden boy can't be gay, he has to live in a perfect ever-after with little red-haired children to fill his shoes, so the Ministry took over - )
He's married to Snape (but only inside the room). He's shocked every month to re-learn this fact (and that on top of learning Snape's alive). "But I'm already married - "
Prior commitment, they say. Special dispensation for the Boy Who Lived, because surely he doesn't want to be really married to Dumbledore's murderer? And so he gets a new title but thankfully he doesn't remember that either (Boy Who Lived For Polyamory, what bollocks)
Sometimes when he and Ginny make love, he falls asleep afterwards and dreams of a wedding (he's amazed when he realises its his own wedding, but a man stands beside him and Dumbledore officiates, and Fawkes is the best man even though he's a bird) and there is no love and no rings, but a chaste clumsy kiss and uncomfortable glances when they think the other isn't looking
and sometimes he wakes up and vaguely remembers this dream - but it has to be a dream, just a dream, because he's married to Ginny in their perfect cookie-cutter house with their carrot-top kids and their storybook ending - but he still remembers sex and instead of soft round breasts that perfectly fill his hands he remembers long lean lines and a flat, muscular chest with small pebbled nipples, and thrusting into something hotter and tighter than Ginny ever was -
He wakes up trying to not remember the feel of long black silky strands, longer and longer each time he dreams it (not greasy, Rapunzel, oh no) and the faded Dark Mark tattooing a sallow, bony forearm, and he wakes up retching and glad it's just a dream and Snape's been dead these long years (and he hates the way he wakes up sweaty and turned on, so much so that sometimes he wakes Ginny up and they have sex, so he can prove to himself that he's not, you know -- )
But generally his life is good, because he has everything he wants, except when he's able to remember everything for one hour of every month. Once a month they drag Snape from wherever it is that they keep him (top secret, Harry's not the only one who thinks he's as dead as Voldemort) and lock Harry and Snape in a room so they can shag to live another day. Not that they'd particularly care if Snape dies, but if he goes Harry goes, and killing the Boy Who Lived is Just Not On. So prisoner or not, Snape is dully fed and watered (the tea is undrinkable, but he drinks it anyway and hopes it kills him but it never does), bathed once a week and taken for walks and even given vitamins, and then once a month he's thoroughly shampooed and cleaned top to bottom and inside out, so there's nothing for Harry to cry foul at.
They never cut his hair. He doesn't know if it's pureblood mockery, or simply an attempt to feminise and humiliate him. It's almost to his knees now but he's anything but a blushing maiden (Harry notices, though, that the longer Snape's hair is, the more dull his eyes become, but he doesn't know if it's a direct correlation or not)
Harry's supposed to fuck Severus but he always refuses (because he has a wife, for Merlin's sake, and kids, and he's not going to just cheat on her like that --)
And so Snape always seduces him (the Ministry tells him exactly what he is and isn't allowed to do, and though Harry doesn't know it the Minister watches every time through the one-way mirror, though Snape does knows this - the Minister is a voyeur), employing a long, pointed tongue (that is apparently good for more than sarcasm) and thin twisted fingers with a frightening dexterity. Snape works slick, cool fingers into Harry's arse with an unnatural patience and stretches him and strokes his prostate until Harry doesn't care about Ginny anymore, so long as Snape fucks him -
against the wall (the one the Minister is looking through, Snape likes to think he's fucking their bloody Boy Who Lived against the wall right in their faces and wonders if they're wanking off to the view like he suspects they are, or just wishing they're the one balls-deep in their precious Golden Boy), and Harry is fuckMerlinsotight and hot and Snape fucks him hard when Harry begs for it, hard and deep and fast enough that he hopes Harry (no, Potter, dammit, always Potter) will feel it tomorrow because he wants someone to know he's alive
(even if it's just Potter's arse)
The Ministry Mediwitch, sworn to secrecy, cleans and heals any minor wounds Harry has, but he always says he's fine, so he usually manages to hide the worst of the soreness. The next day he can't sit down comfortably (Snape is hung like a horse, it seems that all the speculation about the size of your schnozz in relation to your -- true,) and though he can't remember why, it feels right. And it bothers him that it feels right.
Hermione and Ron announce they're expecting another baby, and Weasley Sunday suppers are an overwhelming sea of red with the occasional blond and brunette thrown in; Molly and Arthur are over the moon.
Harry buys Ginny three dozen red roses for their anniversary, their child-free anniversary with their youngest (of three, the number they'd agreed on) finally off at Hogwarts. She buys him a new broom to celebrate, the newest model; he thanks her and takes it for a test flight, but he can't help thinking it's the wrong kind of handle. It's not hot enough, not thick enough, and these thoughts disturb him enough that he decides to learn how to fly without a broom (if Snape had figured it out he doesn't see why he can't, too).
The next time he's brought to that room, something changes. He's angry; he doesn't know why. Neither of them chose this; but he's still angry when he sees Snape standing there naked and clean with his hair falling past his knees, silky and black and crackling with static (which is more energy than Snape shows). He shows no signs of abuse but he looks beaten (broken, defeated, empty, a potions bottle that's been used and cast aside, purpose served), and that disturbs Harry more than anything.
He tries everything to get a response, even calling him coward (Don't call me coward echoes in Harry's brain, and he stamps it down firmly, time for it later when - if? - they escape the tower) but he stands like marble until Harry pushes, and Snape topples like a felled tree onto the bed (that they never use) and his hair streams over the edge of the bed like a fairytale.
Snape's always done the seducing, managing Harry the way he used to manage a classroom: with sneering lips, a caustic tongue, and a wand to stir cauldrons (though a different wand, and quite a prodigious wand it was - long and thick and purple and when Snape fucks him with it Harry sees stars). But this Snape lays on the bed and stares at the ceiling with blank eyes. Harry debates trying to copy his methods -
- he'd always had a saving-people thing, but he doesn't think he can shag Severus Snape against the wall, not when he looked so numb and tired and defeated, so he tries it his way -
(he had never gone down on a bloke before and it is nothing like licking a bird) and he gags and drools quite a bit figuring out the mechanics but once he learns to wrap his hands around the base of Snape's cock to control how deep he swallows it goes a little easier
(there is still plenty to take in and he is glad Rita isn't there to see the way his lips are stretched redly and wetly around that thick veined shaft, or the way his face flames when he pushes back the foreskin and licks around the head, and laps at the salty fluid gathering in the slit there). He licks long stripes up the length and blows cool air over the evaporating moisture before wrapping his lips around the soft spongy head again and sliding down as far as he can go without gagging, tongue pressing and wiggling against the underside
(once he'd gotten Ginny to go down on him, but she went at it all wrong, but he remembered that, at least, had felt bloody brilliant). He practices this several times with the addition of tightening his lips, especially when he slides over the crown, careful to avoid scraping him with his teeth
He is relieved (gratified, thankful, a bit apprehensive and not just because his jaw was going numb) when it works and Snape's face spasms; he blinks rapidly as if waking from a dream before a hiss of life escapes his (thin, sallow, cold, clever) twisted lips. "Potter," they say stiffly, like they belong to someone else, "Is this really necessary?" But what he means is
(is it necessary to feel this, isn't his passive acceptance enough)
"No," Harry answers, "well, yes. Maybe. I don't know."
Snape doesn't move. After a few minutes Harry gathers his vaunted courage (Gryffindor through and through, except for the very Slytherin side of him that says he should take advantage of this) and unstoppers the oil and slicks his fingers thoroughly with it. And then he reaches between Snape's arse cheeks and breaches him (for a moment his heart almost stops, the conditioned reaction to taking any kind of liberty with his once-upon-a-time professor, and here he is making free with his body) but Snape just shudders and closes his eyes again and spreads his legs a little.
Harry takes a chance to really look at Snape - his husband, all these years and it's still a shock every time (because they won't let him remember) - the huge, thick cock standing hard from his groin and the large, heavy bollocks (hairless, they always shave him in preparation, he used to feel humiliated by it but now he doesn't care, it's just hair) and the stretch of skin leading to the arse clenched around his finger - it's a bit of shock and it goes straight to Harry's groin, seeing his oil-slick finger sliding in and out of Snape's arse. It feels so wrong and so dirty and yet so right and -
(he remembers a dream when he fucked that arse, before Ginny and kids and - at the time he'd enjoyed having Snape beneath him, taking his cock, Harry's, the son of his tormentor, but triumph tasted like ash and then Snape had squeezed around him and there was no revenge, only sex and I do and hot, tight pleasure - )
He adds a second and probes with twisting fingers for the spot he knows is there, because Snape uses it to make Harry beg to be fucked --
Snape's hips arc off the bed and his cock surges when Harry finds it, and he spends some time playing with it; he feels powerful making Snape writhe on his fingers and he grins every time he makes him groan. He adds third and scissors them (one part of his brain notes that he's really loose for a man who hasn't been fucked in decades, and his inner Slytherin points out that the marriage contract never specified fidelity or he'd never have been able to fuck Ginny - )
After a bit he gets a brilliant idea and takes Snape's cock in his mouth again, one hand wrapped tightly around the base and the other stretching his arse (loose enough for the Hogwarts Express) and Harry groans his pleasure at the salt-musk flavor and the scent of Snape's arousal.
Snape's head tosses and he finally begs; his hair is so long that it spills like wet ink across the floor (like Rapunzel and Harry is the Prince come to rescue him, but he doesn't know how when he bloody can't remember, and anyway he has a wife and kids and a perfect fairytale life of his own - )
He lifts his head from Snape's groin, when Snape manages to thrust deep enough to make him gag; his lips are swollen and slick with saliva and precum and it's one of the best things Snape's ever seen (only second to the way Potter looks when he's wailing in the onslaught of orgasm when Snape's balls-deep in his arse)
"Where do they keep you locked up in between - " this, and he's shocked when Snape laughs. He's never heard the Potions master laugh, not ever, and it's not a good laugh.
"Where do you think?" he replies, obliquely, and Harry understands he's under Fidelis, but it doesn't matter: he knows (Rapunzel's tower, in blue and silver and spangled with stars like the Astronomy tower, and he wonders if Snape ever dreams of throwing himself off when remembering a wise old man and a flash of green light)
"Fuck me," Snape says, but Harry withdraws his fingers and quickly slicks his own hole, hastily thrusting two fingers in and out and briefly scissoring (he feels strange to himself, and his brain is chanting fuck him fuck him but it feels all wrong)
"Don't you want to fuck me? I thought you'd want that - " (and Snape does, it's the only pleasure he has but he thought this time Harry would bugger him, and he was prepared for it, prepared in a way none of the guards ever bothered with)
He manages a strangled sound that's somewhere between 'yes' and 'please', and Harry straddles him, reaching back with one hand to position Snape's cock at his hastily prepared entrance.
" - I want to feel it tomorrow, I want to remember," he explains (and it explains volumes, all those times he'd thought the Boy Who Lived just liked it rough), and then he lowers himself down
(he didn't expect it to burn so much, but then usually Snape takes far more time preparing him, and he's hung like a bloody fucking horse, and if Harry was being honest with himself he'd admit he liked it that way) and he has to take his time lowering himself down inch by inch, savouring the burning stretch until he is fully seated on Snape's thighs. And then, Grffindor that he is, he deliberately squeezes around Snape's cock and Snape feels like he's being strangled in pleasurable tightness and Harry is (uncomfortably, incredibly, satisfyingly) full, and
Snape cries out and his hands come up to grip Harry's waist (still trim and muscular and marked with a few scars, a history of his life chasing dark wizards and the one time he tangled with a barbed-wire fence), fingers gouging bloody crescents into Harry's skin (marking him, though he knows it's likely the mediwitch will heal those before letting Harry go).
Sweat beads on every inch of Snape's skin and it makes it easier when Harry rocks his hips a few times (the look on Snape's face is priceless), and Harry can't resist leaning forward and licking at the salt along the sharp, hollowed-out collarbone
(he can see the raised edge where it must have been broken once, and not properly set) before nipping at the juncture of neck and shoulder, and is rewarded when Snape moans
Then Harry turns it up a notch and begins a torturously slow up-and-down motion - teasing strokes intended to stoke a furnace and bring them both to the boiling point; he spreads his knees widely and when Snape props himself up on his elbows he can see the way Harry's pink stretched rim squeezes and swallows his cock, the way his narrow arse flexes as he maintains the slow, tormenting pace (Potter would drive a saint to madness, but Snape knows all about managing brats - ).
Snape waits until Harry begins an agonisingly slow descent before he thrusts violently upwards into that tight heat and Harry slams down so hard he sees stars and his teeth clack and his back arches and fuckMerlinyes Snape hits that spot, and when he thrusts again with bone-rattling force, Harry cries out his pleasure, an inarticulate plea Snape never tires of hearing.
They fill the room with their music (poetry, or their own fairytale ending), the creaking of the bed springs a sharp counterpoint to the slap of skin on skin, the rasp of heavy breathing, the melody of moans and fuckyes and more and harder and faster until Snape roars and rolls them over, flipping Harry's (Potter, dammit, Potter!) legs up to his shoulders and bending him nearly in half, and his hair is a liquid shadow falling between them and shielding them from the Minister's (pervy, dirty, voyeuristic) eyes.
It's strangely intimate, more privacy than Snape's had in decades (he wonders disjointedly if, after all, there's something to be said about maidenly modesty and long hair, and not just vanity, after all)
Harry cries out his name - Severus, not Snape, not Murdering Death Eater Scum nor Bastard nor Prisoner XZ463, and he can't remember the last time he's heard his first name on anyone's lips, much less in pleasure. It wrenches a groan from Snape and the snap of his hips is instinctive; practice helps him find that spot unerringly, and Harry howls and writhes beneath him as he sets out a hard rhythm, each jarring thrust stroking over Harry's prostate --
and Snape sets his teeth in the muscle of Harry's shoulder and bites (hard enough to leave a bruised impression of his crooked teeth, and if he's lucky the bite won't purple til later and the mediwitch won't notice it)
and Harry convulses and screams, and then he's exploding, spilling ropes of milky white seed over his stomach and Snape's hair, and he's clenching down (so hot so tight so sweet so bloodyfuckingtight) Snape thinks he's going to die -
(his toes are curling, spastically, and he's strung so tight he looks like he's suffering the Cruciatus, but there is no agony so sweet as this)
Then Snape is pounding into him with a roar, hairless bollocks slapping into that tight arse and he comes so hard his vision whites out (Snow White, he thinks, but that's the wrong fairy tale); for a moment he drifts on the high, and they're so close he can hear the way their heartbeats race and their heavy breathing is loud in their ears -
His arms buckle, suddenly boneless, and he lets himself slide to one side (he shudders when he slips free of Harry's arse wetly with an obscene pop, regretting the loss), until he's lying next to Harry.
Potter. Potter, dammit!
He knows he only has a moment before the Minister's secretary comes in and Obliviates Potter and sends Snape back to his tower (sometimes there isn't much difference between oblivion and obliviation)
"Don't forget me this time, Potter!" he begs, and he hates himself for begging, for hoping this time will be different.
Harry opens bliss-blurred eyes and promises, "I won't."
(he has no way of knowing how many times he's promised that, but Snape remembers, every time)
Then the Minister of Magic is there and pulling Harry away, bustling him into clothes and out the door, and Snape can hear the Minister say, "Obliviate!" and the Mediwitch take over from there, casting healing and cleaning spells while Harry blinks away confusion.
He stares at the strands of white seed clinging to his hair, midnight black against the red (blood red, Gryffindor red) sheets of the bed, and waits for his keepers (captors, tormentors, bullies) to lock him back in his tower.
Harry feels especially satisfied when he gets home from the Ministry, and he's not sure why; they didn't even let him run errands. Even stranger, he feels like someone rammed an unusually large broomstick up his arse. He's not sure why this makes him flush or feel unaccountably turned on, but when Ginny gets home with bags of groceries he's so randy he doesn't even let her get to their bedroom, he fucks her right on the kitchen table (she has to go back to the market for more eggs, because somehow they ended up thoroughly smashed into the tablecloth - the one Molly made for their wedding, it's monogrammed) and she's never seen him so wild or so desperate (he keeps imagining her with black hair, and it terrifies him) and afterwords he starts crying
(and then she's scared, because he hasn't cried since Lupin's funeral). When she asks him why, he has nothing to tell her
(because he can't remember - ).
Nine months later Harry and Ginny have a new daughter, and everyone is surprised (Harry and Ginny most of all, they thought they were done with children, thank you very much). Even more surprising, their newest offspring - a girl - doesn't inherit the Weasley red; she looks like her father -
--they say she looks like Harry Potter, green eyes and untamable black hair that falls in silky, static-y curls around her face. They name her Branna Serina (Ginny argues for hours against the name - it's a bad luck name, Branna for raven-dark, but Harry is immovable and she finally gives in)
Molly and Arthur are thrilled to have another baby in the family, and if they're disappointed in her lack of red hair, they never show it.
(Sometimes, Harry dreams of sex, hot and desperate and far more intense and satisfying than anything Ginny offers him, and his dreams are filled with long, black hair that covers him and shields him from - )
Just once he mentions the dreams to Ginny - the hair, not the sex, and she studies him for a long moment. "Maybe it's telling you you need to let your hair down for once," she says, then giggles when he's confused (but only because he's thinking of Rapunzel). "It means you need to take a break. Take a vacation," and so he does, a long vacation somewhere in the mountains. He thinks it's important to be high up, but like so many things he's not sure why. He doesn't tell Ginny this.
Snape doesn't 'let down his hair'; he doesn't know how to (and he doesn't have anyone to show him how, even if he were allowed to), any more than he remembers how to take off the mask he wears (unlike the skull-mask Death Eaters wore, this one is more than skin deep and won't come off no matter how much he tears at his face). He sits in a tower on a cold stone bench, and his hair pools around his ankles; the guards have stopped chaining him. He could throw himself out one of the large windows that overlooks Hogwarts but he doesn't. His hair, he thinks, binds him more completely than any walls or chains or spells.
Sometimes when the wind whistles through the exposed room at the top of the tower (a room without stairs, lock, or door) his hair is swept with it and it spills like ink over the edge and halfway to the ground below; the students don't know who he is (after all, Snape died in the Shrieking Shack, rest his soul) and they just call her Rapunzel, even ignorant of his gender; he is just another mystery of the castle, nothing really out of the ordinary.
He waits. Sometimes he thinks he dreams. He doesn't blink when snow falls, or when spring comes and the thrushes make a nest in his hair. He lives for the one hour a month that binds him to that life, and he'll never tell anyone why.
Harry Potter lives an idyllic, happy-ever-after life. He and Ginny spoil their unplanned youngest daughter outrageously. She's different from their other kids; she's a precocious child and Hermione is thrilled when Branna learns to read at the same age Hermione herself did (she insists to Harry that the girl will be a Ravenclaw for certain).
Harry is less sure; he's seen her in the kitchen helping Ginny, and he's seen the way she stirs precisely, counting exactly how many strokes it takes for the butter to melt, how many minutes it takes for ice water to reach boiling (to the tenth of a second, she timed it once). He's positive she'll be in Slytherin, and get all Outstandings in Potions. He thinks she takes after Lily that way.
She likes fairy tales, and so he reads them aloud to her every night; Grandma Molly bought her a book with moving illustrations. Tonight he opens the book and they're at Rapunzel and he feels something strange -
(his field of vision is filled with sallow skin and long, long black hair, like a shield like a shroud like a caul)
Most fairy-tail Rapunzels are drawn with fair hair like spun gold, but this one is drawn with a stern, sad face and her hair spills like black ink down the page, dripping into the margins. For a moment Harry imagines the princess has a very Roman nose (almost a beak, and black, glittering eyes), but then she presents her profile, and no, she has a perfectly feminine button nose, and his unease fades.
"Once upon a time," he begins, and Branna cuddles against him.
It never occurs to him to ask her who her (other) father is (it wouldn't matter, because)