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The Project

by Resonant


He wished it had been anyone but Snape.

Someone he liked. Someone he was indifferent to, even.

Someone he hadn't fantasized about hurting.

Nevertheless, it was Snape who was standing in the small room with his back to Harry, hands clasped behind him, face to the window, looking at nothing.

"This is very strange," Harry said.

Snape inclined his head without speaking.


The fauns, if that was what they were, had introduced themselves as Duncan and Clive.

Harry very seriously doubted that anything that looked so wild and smelled so gamy was really likely to stand about and be addressed by its friends as Duncan or Clive. If they had friends. But maybe they had names that humans couldn't pronounce. Though their mouths, at least, looked quite human.

At any rate, they'd come out of the Forbidden Forest and said that they thought they could make a magic that could get through the Malfoys' siege bubble and break the curse. And all that it required was to locate two people with a certain kind of aura and send them off to a special room to have sex.

What? Harry had looked around the room, certain that he had mis-heard. Dumbledore was nodding at the fauns as though they'd asked for someone to come and write them a scroll on the uses of _____. McGonagall, who was sitting closest to them, was breathing carefully through her mouth. And Harry had wondered for a moment why he and Snape had been invited to this meeting, and then he had blushed so red that ithad actually hurt.

He'd been sure that Snape would shout and bluster and refuse and threaten. But Snape had looked as though there was nothing out of the ordinary about the request that he go fuck a student. Or, actually, allow a student to fuck him. The fauns had been very particular about the requirements, though a little vague as to the reasons.

Wizards. They were an odd lot.


Harry looked around. He didn't know what he'd been expecting -- a dungeon? a honeymoon suite? This, though, was hardly a room at all. The walls, painted in some indeterminate neutral color, were bare except for the single window. There was no furniture.

Along one of the short walls was a low, solid, square platform, large enough to lie down on but in no way suggesting a bed.

Snape was still looking out the window. Harry felt a pang of anger at him for being so passive. He quickly suppressed it. He was lucky Snape was keeping his mouth shut rather than saying what he thought. He hadn't chosen this, either, and his role would probably be more difficult in some ways, especially if he hadn't done it before.

Harry had been wondering about that, actually. He could picture for Snape a past filled with the most arcane and perverse things imaginable. And just as easily he could see him as entirely untouched, hidden behind a wall of solitude that no man or woman had ever breached.

He'd been wondering about it ever since they'd told him what he had to do. Longer than that, to be honest.

He went to stand beside Snape at the window. They were high up in the castle, and all he could see was part of a bare tree. The sky was so white that the snow was only visible where it passed in front of the black branches.

"We don't -- they said we could have the room as long as we need it to --" He reached up to rest his hand on Snape's shoulder. He'd caught up with normal height since he'd come to Hogwarts and started eating proper food, but his professor was a very tall man.

Snape went perfectly still. He didn't even seem to be breathing. Harry took his hand away feeling as though it had been frozen.

When Snape still said nothing at all, Harry sighed and went to sit on the little platform. It was soft, but not excessively so -- more like a chair than a bed. It was comforting, really, how little anything in the room resembled anything outside it.

He took off his shoes and socks, then his robe, then his tie, then his shirt. Snape never moved from the window. Harry held onto his patience. "Do you think you could come and sit down?" He stopped himself adding "sir," but Snape could probably hear the gap where the word would have gone.

Without a word, Snape left the window and sat at the other end of the platform, looking blankly out into the room. Harry followed his gaze, but there was nothing at all there to look at.

"Look, I didn't choose this, you know," he said.

Snape turned his head. "I'm well aware of that," he said evenly. Was it possible that he'd taken some sort of sedative? If so, Harry wished he'd brought enough to share.

"So you know what -- they told you what we -- of course they did." Harry wished he'd left his shirt on. "I suppose you -- damn it. It would help if you'd say something."

"I've nothing to add that's at all to the purpose," Snape said sharply. Which, translated, probably meant, You'll be happier not knowing what I think of you at the moment.

Harry sighed. "I am trying to make this easier for you."

"Don't." Snape turned back to look at the opposite wall. "This predicament is the result of the choices we have made that have made us who we are, Mr. Potter. Ask what you must, say what you will, but don't waste time offering meaningless words that change nothing."


The other students hadn't seemed to see anything at all odd about it.

"Of course," Hermione had said. "I remember reading about _____ magic in _____. But of course humans can't actually perform the ritual; they can only generate the power."

"Your luck to have an aura match with Snape," Ron had said. "Too bad it wasn't Vector, eh?"

"You're lucky, though, Harry -- almost nobody gets to participate in _____ magic until after they've got their Certificate. I'm dying to try it myself. Have you got any more pumpkin juice on your side, Harry? This pitcher's empty."


Harry scrubbed his hand through his hair. "All right. Have you --" It seemed impossible to be quizzing his professor on his sexual history.

Perhaps it would be better to think of him as a partner in some sort of experiment. Better yet, a dueling partner. Someone who'd consented to let you do some pretty invasive things, and who knew you wouldn't hold back. That wasn't a bad way to think of it.

"Have you done this before?"

His voice was a little more businesslike now, and Snape seemed to respond to its impersonality. "No," he said. "I have some limited experience with male partners, but not this in particular."

"You know it's going to hurt."


"I can -- I mean, the body is -- " Dueling partner, he reminded himself. "What I mean is, I can probably make it feel -- OK. If you want that."

"I would very much prefer that you did not."

"Right." He was surprised to find that he was disappointed. "We'd better take the rest of our clothes off."

"Is that necessary in order for you to perform your duties?"

It wasn't exactly that he wanted to see Snape naked. "Be a bit awkward, keeping up with all that cloth."

Snape considered, nodded, and began undoing his sleeve buttons. Harry swallowed and turned his attention to his trousers.

Snape, naked, was disconcertingly normal. Harry found it odd to see those fierce eyes above an ordinary, vulnerable human body like his own. Out of his robe, out of his classroom, his usual challenging gaze looked different, somehow. It was going to be very strange to return to Potions class after seeing him like this.

Snape's frown deepened. Maybe the same idea had occurred to him. His eyes slid to the platform. "What position do you recommend?"

Harry thought about it. "It can take a while the first time. Which d'you think you could do longer -- kneel here, or lie on your front?"

Without speaking, Snape knelt by the platform. For a moment he looked like a child saying his prayers, and then he leaned forward on his elbows and presented a very different picture.

Harry put his glasses on top of his clothes and knlelt beside him, noting that someone had already put a cushioning charm on the floor around the platform. Snape was staring straight ahead at the wall behind the platform. He wished the man would look at him.

Up close, he smelled faintly of Sprout's aloe mystica, not unpleasant but oddly wholesome. What did you expect, brimstone? Harry thought, amused at himself. He was probably brewing healing potions earlier, that's all.

If they pulled this off, they wouldn't be needing the healing potions.

"C'n I kiss you?"

Snape turned his head. "Do you need to?"

Harry snorted. He had an awfully low opinion of Harry's sex drive. "No."

After a moment, when he didn't say anything else, Snape inclined his head and half-turned toward Harry. Harry, forbidding himself to hesitate, leaned forward and touched his mouth to Snape's.

Snape's lips were taut, though he seemed to be trying to relax them. Harry didn't press him to open them, but he did hold the contact for a while, brushing his lips gently against Snape's.

Snape didn't respond, and after a while, Harry gave up. Snape's eyes stayed shut as Harry moved away, and he turned back to face the platform and laid his head on his folded arms. His shoulders were drawn tightly in.

Harry put his left hand on Snape's shoulder blade, feeling the muscles bunch and relax under his hand. He'd brought a lubricating potion with him; he wet a finger and made a gentle circle around Snape's hole.

"Stop." Snape's voice was tight. "Do that with magic, please."

To Harry's mind that made about as much sense as using a spell to do your kissing for you, but if that was the way he wanted it ...

It took a moment to locate his wand in the pile of clothes. Careless. But then, there weren't many places in the world safer than a locked room with Harry Potter and Severus Snape in it.

"Are you ready?"

Instead of answering, Snape shifted his weight forward onto his elbows, presenting his ass to Harry. It would have been incredibly sexy in someone who was willing.

Not that he was unwilling. It was just that he'd made it clear that he was doing something other than sex. Magic, yes; sacrifice, yes. Atonement, perhaps.

Harry wasn't going to be able to separate himself from it like that.

The neglected potion went on his cock, and he moved into position and began, very gently and slowly, to breach the bodily integrity of his most terrifying professor.

They weren't yet touching anywhere but where Snape's body swallowed his cock in tiny increments. It was hot, and tight, and felt incredibly good, in a sort of detached and impersonal way, like those dreams he sometimes got where he got turned on by something completely strange -- a waterfall, a pane of glass.

"Wait." Snape's voice, tight with pain, was still Snape's voice, and it sent a shiver through Harry.

He stilled. " 's all right," he said, a little breathlessly. "Tell me when."

Snape gasped. "Adders," he said. "People do this voluntarily?"

Harry huffed. "Gets easier," he said. "Push out." The curve of Snape's back shifted slightly as he obeyed, and Harry pushed slowly in. "Again. Again."

He'd worried, beforehand, that he might lose control -- move too fast and hurt Snape, come too fast and embarrass himself. But he felt miles away from his own body. It was nothing like the breathless, sense-saturated urgency of -- well, of actual sex.

"Again," he said, and felt the slight easing of pressure as he pushed and Snape pushed back.

Funny, he thought. Usually it was the other way around.

"Again," he murmured, and then, "That's it. All done."

The back beneath him was faintly shiny with sweat, and there was sweat running out of his own hair and down the back of his neck. Snape's back and neck didn't seem to be relaxing any. Harry wished he dared to touch him.

After a moment, Snape said, in a very small replica of his usual voice, "Go on, then."

Harry moved in him, slowly and gently. It felt good, in a distant sort of way. He wondered if the fauns would be able to do their magic if he couldn't come at all.

Snape was breathing a little fast. The pain ought to be easing by now; maybe it felt good to him. "It isn't necessary to be so careful," Snape said.

Harry went a little deeper, a little faster. "This -- all right?"


Snape shifted on his knees, bowed his head. His hair parted as it swung forward, baring the pale nape of his neck.

"Oh, jesus." The sight slammed Harry back into his body, into his skin tingling with sweat and his nose filled with the green scent of aloe mystica and his cock held tight and buried in Snape -- fuck, fuck, oh, god --"

Snape's arms went tense as he braced against the platform, and Harry pressed his face to the back of Snape's neck and wailed as he came.

When he caught his breath, he realized he had his hands clenched tightly around Snape's upper arms. "Sorry," he said, and loosened his fingers.

God, he was still -- they were still --

He began to tremble.

It would be easier on Snape if he didn't pull out till he softened up a bit. But if he stayed in him like this, he was never going to soften up. Already he could feel his breathing speeding up again, thinking about moving inside him, smelling the smell of the two of them together --

He pulled out too fast, and Snape grunted. "Sorry," he said again.

Harry rocked back on his heels, bowing his head to stretch out his lower back, then reached for his wand and cleaned them both up. As though he'd been waiting for this, Snape stood up, a little stiffly, and walked carefully to the corner to pick up his clothes. Still kneeling, Harry had a moment's eye-level view of Snape's cock, which was showing not the slightest interest in him.

"How do you feel?" He knee-walked over to his pile of clothes, extracted his underwear, and put it on.

"Some minor bruising, I should think," Snape said. "Stiffness from maintaining an unaccustomed position. No serious injuries." He finished buttoning his cuffs, and his eyes flicked dismissively over Harry, who was still half naked, before returning to the window. Following his gaze, Harry saw that it had grown dark. The little room was lit with some neutral light, warmer than a Lumos, steadier than a candle.

"D'you think we did it? Whatever it was that the fauns needed?"

Snape turned toward him, face completely expressionless, and managed without word or gesture to communicate what an unutterably stupid question he found it.

"Guess we'll know soon enough," Harry mumbled. He left the other half unsaid: Or we'll be back here again on our next free day.


Snape had very little to say to Harry in Potions. It could have been due to their ... project. On the other hand, Harry was putting more care into his Potions homework than usual, so it might have been that.

On Tuesday the fauns sent a messenger from the Forbidden Forest. The animus was too weak. They'd have to try again.


Harry dreamt every night of Snape. Screaming with pain, screaming with pleasure, bleeding, coming, smiling. Saying, "Stop." Saying, "Harry."


Snape was already kneeling, naked, by the platform when Harry entered the little room. Harry's involuntary gasp was very loud in the silence.

"Y'look like something out of a dirty magazine," he said when Snape craned around to raise an eyebrow at him. He couldn't stop looking at him. The planes of the long, lean back. The surrender implied by the pose.

"Don't imagine I'm flattered by the comparison," Snape said darkly.

Harry tore off his clothes and hit the floor behind him without answering.

It was easier to get in him, this time -- easier for Snape, too, judging from the muscles of his back -- but it was much harder to stay in control and not cross any lines. His body remembered the scent of Snape's skin. He wanted to bury his face in that limp hair, to lick and bite the flexing shoulder

It was all he could do to keep his mouth away from Snape's skin, not to touch him except for one hand on his hip to steady him, gripping firmly to the surprisingly warm skin as he moved in, smooth and slow and gentle.

Harry shifted position and Snape made a surprised noise.

"Sorry," Harry panted.

"It's -- all right." Snape didn't sound like it hurt. Quite the contrary.

Oh. Oh god. That was probably something he'd never felt before, never even imagined -- and now Harry was doing it for him, god, he was feeling it with Harry buried in him --


"Not quite," said the fauns.


Lee Jordan came back to Hogwarts to announce at an alumni Quidditch match. Afterwards he gave Harry a wink that said quite clearly that he'd be up for a tumble for old time's sake.

Instead, Harry went alone to bed and stroked himself slowly, thinking about Snape making that surprised noise. About how Snape had carefully kept his back to Harry when he got dressed, as though there were something he didn't want Harry to see.


The third time, unable to resist, Harry leaned forward and rested his body against Snape's sweat-sheened back, and goosebumps sprang up all over him at the feel of Snape's warm skin.

And then Snape reached back over his shoulder and cupped the back of Harry's head, and Harry came instantly.


And came again, and again, in his own bed, reliving the feel of that strong hand in his hair.


The fauns actually had a sort of a graph this time. Harry watched as lines of various colors climbed and fell. There was a little yellow ball of fire that appeared and disappeared -- must be marking the position of the sun -- and a paler ball which obviously charted moon phases. The rest of them Harry couldn't make heads or tails of.

"Which one's me and which one's him?" he asked.

Both fauns gave him identical looks of shock and disappointment. "It's nothing so facile," Clive said.

"Sorry," he mumbled.

"I do truly appreciate the time you two are giving for this project." From Dumbledore's tone, you would have imagined that Harry and Snape were doing library research.

Harry didn't think he was ever going to understand wizards.


Harry knew perfectly well how you could tell when a _____ potion reached the third stage. The clear liquid went cloudy, and at the same time the _____s released their tar-and-licorice smell, and that was when you added the _____. He'd re-read that chapter of Jigger just last night, and it wasn't half so tricky as some of the other potions they'd done this year.

But when the critical moment came, Snape was sweeping across the front of the classroom, hands clasped behind his back, and Harry was jolted by the memory of Snape's thumb sliding down to stroke over the bare skin on the back of his neck ...

By the time he came back to the present, the smell of licorice had given away to the burnt-sugar smell of the fourth stage, and he knew what would happen if he added the _____ this late. He did it anyway, and watched the potion separate -- foamy on top, thick and muddy on the bottom, just as Jigger had described it. Not good for anything, unless for some reason you were interested in tanning roc hides by hand.

"Mr. Potter." Snape's voice sounded from just behind Harry's shoulder. It still stirred up a curdle of panic and anger in his belly, just as it had since first year; the burn of arousal just lay on top of the other sensations like the foam over the mud in his cauldron.

"I know," he mumbled. "Half a minute late on the _____."

"Perhaps," Snape said, in a soft, ringing voice that sounded like an intimate murmur but would carry to every ear in the classroom, "perhaps, because I endure your weekly fumblings, you are under the impression that we are sweethearts, Mr. Potter. Perhaps you believe that I will now turn a blind eye if you choose to waste my time with your daydreaming." A ripple of nervous laughter went over the class.

God. Rage and hurt thickened his throat so that all he could do was look at Snape, eyes burning, lips pulled back.

"Come, come," Snape said, his voice a parody of gentleness. "Even though most of your brain is in your trousers, surely you can spare some small portion for your schoolwork." And he patted Harry gently on the cheek.

Harry was panting fast through gritted teeth, focusing all hsi will on controlling his body, which wanted to fly at Snape, knock him down, tear his throat out with his teeth --

Two glass jars on Snape's desk exploded.

"Class dismissed," Snape said through his teeth. On the desk, some chance combination of spilled ingredients began to hiss and crackle.

"Out," Snape spat. Harry fled.


Harry wrenched his gaze away from the lovely curve of Snape's naked back where he knelt by the platform.

"No," he said. "On your back."

Snape was still for a moment, and then he rose wordlessly and lay on the platform, eyes on the ceiling.

"Put your robe under your hips."

Snape accio'd the robe without comment.

Harry briefly considered leaving his own clothes on, but however he might like to have that psychological advantage, it would be awkward and uncomfortable to have sex clothed. He shed them quickly and knelt between Snape's feet, casting the oil-and-open spell almost without thinking.

He shoved Snape's knees apart. "Better hold your bollocks out of the way," he said. Snape's hand came down and gathered them up protectively.

Harry fucked his way in with quick little pushes, closing his eyes as Snape closed around his cock, until he could feel Snape's knuckles against his groin. Then he pulled back and began to thrust, not vicious, but not pleasing anybody but himself.

Snape's head was turned to one side. "Look at me," Harry gritted, bracing on one elbow and wrenching Snape's chin around with his hand. Snape looked back without expression, showing neither pain nor anger nor surprise.

"Is this what you wanted, you bastard?" Harry began to lose his breath as he shoved in faster. "Hurt me so I'll -- hurt you -- is that it?"

Snape simply raised an eyebrow, just as superior as always. Harry used a bit more force. "You -- maybe you like -- you like --" His voice trailed off as he shoved into Snape over and over until he came.

When he raised his head, Snape was still looking at his face -- looking at it as though it were a pitcher or a chair or something else without meaning. Harry threw on his clothes and slammed out without looking back.


When he remembered it afterwards, it made him hard and vaguely queasy at the same time. It was getting to be a familiar feeling.


"Is he all right?" Harry didn't open his eyes. He already knew what Hermione's face would look like when she said something like that. "He's sleeping an awful lot."

"Snape's wearing him out, maybe," Ron said. "Or else it's reading all that Jigger. Always puts me to sleep."


"Closer this time," said Clive.

"These things can take time," Duncan added.

"Does it matter," Harry asked in a low voice, "how we do it?" Dumbledore was politely pretending not to listen. Snape hadn't looked at anything but Dumbledore's face or his own teacup since the meeting began.

"Impossible to answer that," Clive said.

"Too many variables," Duncan agreed.


"I was wondering," Harry said as he unbuttoned his shirt, "if there's anybody else you hate the way you hate me."

Snape was lying naked on the platform. He ruined his pose of passive sacrifice by rolling his eyes at Harry. "If you truly believe you are the most hateful creature I've had the misfortune of meeting --"

"I didn't say who do you hate more than me. It's fairly obvious you hated Voldemort more, for one thing, and I wouldn't like to be on the receiving end of some of the murderous glances you've given Sirius. Or Dumbledore, for that matter."

He undid his cuffs. "I said, who do you hate the same way you hate me."

"Each of my hatreds is well-defined, separate, and not subject to comparison," Snape said.

Harry snickered. "Unique as snowflakes, that it?" He lay down beside Snape and propped himself up on an elbow.

After a while, Snape stopped staring at the ceiling to raise a questioning eyebrow.

"I stole your sacrifice from you, didn't I?" Harry said. "Stole your suicide, too. You were going to give up everything to take down Voldemort, back then. Atone for everything. Escape from everything."

"How dare you." Snape sat up, face murderous. Harry thought perhaps he should be afraid, but he wasn't. He was riding this certainty as though it were an air current -- sure, though he couldn't see it, that he'd have hold of the truth if he put his hand just there ...

"And then along comes this little baby who's never done a thing to deserve it, and does what you --"

"How dare you?" Snape shouted. He leapt to his feet. "You have the effrontery to -- to psychoanalyze me, as if I were some maladapted neurotic Muggle, you insolent, infantile -- "

"I'm about to have my cock in your arse. Again," Harry said. "I don't think it's too much to ask that we get to know each other a bit."

Snape's voice was quavery with rage. "I know everything about you that I care to know! There is nothing in your dreary, banal little excuse for a mind that --"

"You," Harry said, standing to face him, "were meant to be my teacher." He was very certain now, and there was enough steel in his voice that he easily drowned Snape out. "You were meant to make me into a worthy warrior. And we were meant to defeat Voldemort together."

Snape broke off, staring at him as if he'd gone mad.

"You cocked that up with your jealousy," Harry went on. "And I was too young to put it right. And I killed Voldemort by myself, but not quick enough. Not soon enough to stop him making the Death Eaters strong enough to go on without him."

"I couldn't have made you strong enough to defeat the Death Eaters," Snape sneered. "An overindulged, undisciplined, self-important boy --"

"I'm stronger than you are."

When he saw Snape pale, he knew he had it. "It's true, isn't it? I may not have done anything to earn it, but I've got more power than you've ever had."

Snape sat down heavily on the platform. "And you've decided you're fit to be my master, is that it?"

"I'm fit," Harry said, "to be your partner. And I will be, even if I have to drag your stubborn arse about in a body bind." He leaned over until he and Snape were face to face. "We have work to do, and you're not going to get rid of me and do it by yourself, and you're not going to lie about like a human sacrifice and make me do it alone. We. Are. Going. To. Do. It. Together."

He'd got out of breath making his declaration, and Snape looked as though he'd caught a _____ curse between the eyes, and suddenly the whole thing struck Harry as hilarious. "Oh, cheer up, Severus," he said. "It might be fun."

Harry buttoned the shirt again, clapped him on the shoulder, and walked out of the room, whistling a little, smiling at the mental picture of his naked red-faced professor staring at him as though he'd gone mad.


This time, instead of the usual steady rise and fall on the chart, five of the lines were oscillating wildly.

"Obviously unsuitable," Duncan said. It was easy to tell them apart if you looked at the shape of the horns.

"Yet quite provocative, in its way," Clive added.

"If it were possible to sustain the height of these peaks --" Duncan's eyes, with their strange sideways pupils, lit sharply on Harry and Snape in turn.

"We'll work on it," Harry said."


"What are you so cheerful about?" Hermione said.

"Aced the Potions exam, didn't he," Ron said. "Plus, maybe he heard about the Malfoys."

"Heard what?" Harry asked.

Ron flipped out a copy of the Herald-Divinator, which he'd taken to carrying about since he'd started taking [Political Magicology?]. "Death Eater Famine?" read the headline. Below was a distant, motion-blurred photograph of Draco Malfoy, waving his hand as though swatting the camera away. He'd gone from pointy to downright gaunt.

And suddenly Harry understood what the fauns were doing. They were trying to turn the siege bubble inside-out.


Julad: and i have this image of, harry has had to like, cut off the tentacles of some beast and then crawl through frozen mud
Julad: and then he goes to have sex with snape and he's sort of like, hey, could be so much worse

Julad: i think they don't end up romantically together, at least teh way its currently written
Julad: I think they end up respecting one another, after working together
Julad: become partners of the non-romantic kind, like dumbledore and flamel
Julad: that's one impression I get from it
Julad: and i can sort of see a sequel in which they decide, hell, we could have sex for fun
resonant8: Though, now that you mention it, it might be kind of interesting to write a fuck-or-die story in which they don't end up together.
resonant8: "And Harry went off and asked Hermione to go to the Yule Ball. The End."
Julad: it would be really interesting, i think
Julad: and then of course screaming for sequels
Julad: and then you get to write harry/snape in which they're already friends and already get along!
Julad: score!

resonant8: See, predictably, my whole impetus for writing this is to go through the ugly sex to get to the pretty sex.
Julad: well, there can be good sex, like, as they begin to work as partners, well, they're sex-partners as well
resonant8: True -- the "work" they need to do currently consists of having sex.
Julad: yes, and they start working well together
resonant8: And it would be kind of cool if the sex didn't automatically begin to do whatever it was supposed to do just because they came to some agreement.
Julad: it would be interesting if they changed their minds, like, hey, that's not working, but what if we tried this?
Julad: and then they tell harry and snape, do something a bit like what you did last tuesday, but with a bit of the full moon two months ago
resonant8: "We're not keeping a journal or anything!"
Julad: and duncan and clive are shocked
Julad: no journal?
Julad: we thought you were scientists!
resonant8: "But how will other researchers ever be able to replicate -- yeah.
Julad: and hermione would be just horrified
Julad: Harry! all this time you haven't be taking NOTES??
Julad: and as soon as they start treating it as magic instead of sex, work instead of intimacy
Julad: they start getting along better, and it starts working
resonant8: I like this.
resonant8: Except --
resonant8: why wouldn't Snape do that from the start?
resonant8: Harry, sure -- he's Muggle at heart, really.
resonant8: But Snape?

Julad: okay, for a somehow, in the night story
Julad: snape would have to approach it as work
Julad: he'd have done it before
Julad: and just resent having to do it with an amateur
Julad: he'd dump a bunch of reference books on harry and suggest he familiarise himself with them
Julad: which of course harry would be too embarrassed to do
Julad: and duncan and clive would say, well, your yumble-mumble is off the charts, but there's major instability in your blah-blah
resonant8: See, but Harry, in particular, gets under Snape's skin.
Julad: yes, harry gets under snape's skin
Julad: so snape fails to communicate that this is magic that they're performing
Julad: and harry is cracking and cracking and cracking under the pressure that he doesn't understand
Julad: and then finally harry is just falling to pieces under the strain of having to save the world and do this as well
Julad: and snape finally takes pity on him, like, three quarters of the way through the story
Julad: and says, you really don't understand this at all, do you?
Julad: and harry says, no! I don't! You're hurting me, etc
Julad: and snape comes over all gentle, like he does in dogma (er, rickman does)
Julad: suddenly becomes sympathetic
Julad: and takes harry's hand and shows him that it's magic, that by something-ing their magical somethings, they can do something or other
Julad: so he just rubs harry's fingers or something
Julad: and harry lifts his hand and sparks trail after it
resonant8: Ooh
Julad: something very simple and very lovely
Julad: and then for a few weeks he's actually just teaching harry this magic
Julad: and he's a wonderful teacher
Julad: and harry's confusion sort of fades into admiration and respect, but with a little bit of something, longing
Julad: he still hasn't quite separated his heart from it
Julad: but it settles into a kind of distant ache,
Julad: hm, or the dizziness of unrequited love
Julad thinks
Julad: in my head, harry's just keeping it to himself that he's in love
Julad: he was confused before, but he fell wildly in love with snape the amazing teacher
Julad: but he also understood that these feelings are taboo, so he keeps them his dizzy little secret
resonant8: Ooh! A new taboo that doesn't really exist!
resonant8: I love those.
resonant8: Well, what else is happening?
resonant8: They're still doing sex magic?
Julad: and yes, you're right, something else has to be happening, the wider threat has to be ongoing
Julad: i'd say the fauns are helping because they can make a bubble over the forest, hogwarts and hogsmeade
Julad: some kind of protection
Julad: they finish it, i think, but they can make better and better improvements to it
Julad: make it stronger and more sophisticated
Julad: ooooh
Julad: you know, after sex, you feel like there's a bubble around you?
resonant8: yeah
Julad: sort of insulating the two of you from the world?
Julad grins
Julad: add magic that to that
Julad: and expand it further and further out
Julad: so they keep expanding this bubble which protects everyone inside it
Julad: that's the ongoing project
Julad: but there's also voldemort intruding as best he can
Julad: like the wicked mother in law
resonant8: heh
Julad: and that's, kind of-- voldemort is intruding both into the bubble and into the relationship
Julad: or the war is

Julad: hm
Julad recaps to clear head
Julad: snape and harry doing sex magic, and it's not working, it's never stable or whatever
Julad: and harry getting confused until snape gets sympathetic
Julad: at which point it stabilises and they start making the bubble and spreading it outwards
Julad: and harry has understood the sex as magic but harbors his secret giddy feelings
Julad: so perhaps as the bubble gets bigger, the instabilities start coming back
Julad: and they're really freaking dangerous this time, because voldemort's armies are amassed just outside the bubble
Julad: if it collapses, they'll be at war
resonant8: (Then, meanwhile, they'd have to be working on some technique to get rid of him, right?)
resonant8: (The bubble is to buy them enough time to do it?)
Julad: (yeah)
Julad: and snape must realise what's causing it
Julad: he just has to keep harry's feelings stable enough to keep the bubble
Julad: so he's kind of manipulating harry-- well, not exactly, but keeping harry happy, secure, confident
Julad: breaking the taboo himself by sort of behaving as a lover
Julad: in order to maintain the bubble
Julad: just for another day, another week, until they've got the other weapon ready
Julad: then the big climax, the other weapon (whatever it is) is almost ready, but harry finds out that snape was just stabilising him
Julad: and the bubble's quaking and quivering and threatening to burst
Julad: oooh
Julad: okay, the bubble can be something else, too
Julad: like, the "love is blindness" bubble
Julad: where your lover is all things great and wonderful
Julad: and it's getting unstable because harry, who is in love, is trying to maintain the illusion that snape is perfect and wonderful
Julad: and that's why it's so taboo!!!
Julad: because romantic love is so unstable!!
Julad: whereas partnership is so much more stable
Julad: the terror of "does he like me too?" and "what did he mean by that?" and "he smiled at me!" and "I'm gonna get my heart broken"
Julad: all those are anathema to this magic
Julad: but romantic love can develop into partnership
Julad: it can develop into stability
Julad: so harry finds out snape was just stabilising him, realises snape was never perfect
Julad: his bubble is bursting
Julad: and snape is shaking him, shouting, we can be partners, I was behaving as your partner, we work together
Julad: and harry's sort of trying and sort of still having his illusions burst
Julad: the bubble is flailing and quaking but he's just too young to really manage it, and it bursts
Julad: and he thinks he's ruined everything
Julad: but snape gets very serious and sits him down and says, we're starting again, as partners
Julad: and they have sex (do magic) as partners
Julad: and it sort of works, which makes harry more confident, which makes him better, more confident, he understands it better
Julad: they can only get so far, perhaps just hogwarts, before harry's drained
resonant8: (It's sounding a little like the patronus, really.)
Julad: and that's a lot for what's happening
Julad: it's been a big day
Julad: so they leave the bubble on hogwarts, run out to meet voldemort's forces, fight the war
Julad: win, presumably
resonant8: this is so cool.
resonant8: This is so cool.
resonant8: You found the sci-fi in it!
Julad: then at the celebrations, sort of steal a quiet moment
Julad: and harry, sort of nervous, says, so, we're never going to be, you know
Julad: and snape says, it's possible that some day we might, but it won't happen the way you think
Julad: it won't happen until or unless their partnership is right for it
Julad: and their partnership has just begun!
Julad: the! end!

resonant8 sighs for the loss of Evil Snape Torturing Harry In Class, though
Julad: well, he still could
Julad: during the confusing stage
Julad: he expects harry to be working harder
Julad: taking his classes seriously
Julad: because if they're going to be partners they need to understand each others' strengths
Julad: you know, i read a good story last night
Julad: and it occured to me that harry doesn't really take interest in a particular area of magical study
Julad: it occured to me that this is something snape could talk to harry about
Julad: you must find one kind of magic more rewarding than another
resonant8: Harry seems like he more is magic than studies magic, really.
Julad: yes, exactly
Julad: and hermione finds them all rewarding
Julad: hermione's the one who actually does the magic, when they're pulling pranks
Julad: this is something that could be written about-- harry hasn't really found magic rewarding
Julad: and the thing is, harry's magic is kind of not magic-- quidditch is rewarding
Julad: running around after dark is rewarding
Julad: harry's magic is in where he goes and what he does
Julad: like, there could be a magic in movement, like dance
resonant8: And in movement.
resonant8: Did you read "Crucius"?
Julad: harry's magic, now that I think about it, is in what he really really wants
Julad: presumably as a baby, what he really really wanted was to live
Julad: he didn't have the brainpower to want anything else
Julad: just the instinct to know he was about to die, and not want to
Julad: it could be that snape is also charged with figuring out how harry's magic works
Julad: or figuring a way to channel it
Julad: how harry channels it is by going after what he wants
resonant8: It seems to come out of him when he doesn't focus on it (like, with the broomstick, or the Patronus, which works sometimes and not other times due to just his strength of feeling).
Julad: so maybe they're working on some other way to defeat voldemort
Julad: and snape is secretly charged with figuring out how harry's magic works
Julad: it's a big mystery
Julad: and snape tells harry what he has to do
Julad: and-- i have this image, and i love it
Julad: harry defeats voldemort by walking up to him.
Julad: just walks up to him, wanting him to fuck off and die
resonant8: hee!@
Julad: and voldemort does
Julad: harry's power is in his footsteps, or at least, he learns to channel it that way
resonant8: What if they're working on some other way, as you said above ...
resonant8: ... and the fauns come up out of the forest and say, "You're making a bubble, we don't know how, but if you can direct it, it could come in really useful"?
Julad: wait, who's making the bubble?
Julad: harry, with his steps?
resonant8: Harry, with his wanting Snape.
Julad: oooh
resonant8: With his fantasies.
Julad: so they're working on harry's magic
Julad: harry develops feelings
Julad: enter the fauns
Julad: sex confuses everything
Julad: what if they're making an inverse bubble?
Julad: their antagonism is so bad that it's making kind of a black hole that drags everyone into it?
Julad: so the fauns come up and say, you ahve very compatible auras
resonant8: Maybe at first Harry doesn't even get what they're saying, but everyone else does.
resonant8: "You'll need to reverse the polarity." "Oh, yes, we'll get right on it. Potter, take your trousers off."
Julad: occasional black holes, sort of bursting into existence when they're in perfect opposition to each other
Julad: when they're working against one another
Julad: and the fauns come and say, you've got a problem
resonant8: "Cuiam contrariam verum est."
Julad: and dumbledore looks at snape and says, i've just had the most marvellous idea
Julad: cue snape's temper tantrun
Julad: and they're united in their refusal to do it
Julad: perfect unison
Julad: and the fawns go, "wow, that's really rad"
Julad: or whatever fauns say
Julad: (in my head they're kind of gay hippie interior designers)
Julad: and snape immediately sees the potential
Julad: stops opposing,
Julad: and harry's still opposed, so they have another black hole
Julad: dumbledore suggests he talk it over with hermione
Julad: who of course sees the potential as well, and convinces him to do
Julad: perhaps you could just open with a scene of them uniting in refusal
Julad: a refusal regarding the killing voldemort problem
Julad: and then cue the fawns: "you'll never guess!"
Julad: the scene where they unite in refusal has to do with the offense, with figuring out how to defeat voldemort
Julad: which shows them a way of defending themselves
Julad: while they continue to work on the offense
Julad: maybe duncan and clive are doing the magic that hides the forbidden forest from muggles
Julad: so they're making their own secret little world
Julad: which is very hobbitty
Julad: so they're kind of close and giggly
Julad: they live in a world of fun secrets
Julad: but harry and snape want to live in a world where nobody hurts them, where they're safe

resonant8: I don't suppose there's any way to salvage Harry's big tirade about what Snape should have done if he hadn't been so jealous?
Julad: I love that characterisation of snape
Julad: i think that's something snape himself would have to say out loud
Julad: to start the partnership
Julad: to inverse the polarity
resonant8: Hm. But would he?
resonant8: Not much with the self-knowledge, Snape.
Julad: but after the magic hands
Julad: when he's kind of pretending to be the lover
Julad: shoring harry up and stabilising him
Julad: it actually is very hard for him
Julad: to be the lover
Julad: it drags new depths from him
Julad: and the fact taht he was willing to do that for the partnership is actually building ground for the correct one
resonant8 nods
resonant8: More of a sacrifice than the sex, which we've set up as not meaning a whole lot to anybody but Harry
Julad: opening up to harry, about why he did the things he did
Julad: letting harry in, because that's what harry needs for the partnership to work
Julad: snape himself would prefer somebody who didn't want to be friends
Julad: but after the harry breakdown, he realises that he has to make concessions
Julad: otherwise it won't work
Julad: i want you to write the sex scene where snape shows harry the magic for the first time
Julad: after all this terrible sex they've been having
Julad: or not always terrible, but never right
resonant8: God, that means I've got to write more bad sex.
Julad: not necessarily
Julad: harry can find it wildly good
Julad: because snape's not resisting, see
Julad: he's very professional about it
Julad: and it's probably about the movement
Julad: which is part of the reason harry's good at it-- when he moves with intent, he makes things happen
Julad: which snape figures out
Julad: belatedly
resonant8: Hey, does this mean Harry'd be really, really good in bed?
Julad: yup, once he figures it out
Julad: (oh, man-- snape talking about a suitable workspace)

Julad: well, one other thing I was going to say was, i'm not quite happy with your reasons
Julad: the mcguffins
Julad: wards and auras and stuff
Julad: if it was That Kind of story then fine, but I think you're not writing that kind of story
resonant8: Apparently I'm not now.
Julad: ahaha
Julad: oh dear
Julad: i've just done the runaway train thing, haven't i?











Back to in medias Res

July 18, 2007