Harry stared at the door of the cottage in disbelief. Severus had just kicked him out. He hadn't even given him a chance to explain why Draco was holding a bloody nose. He'd simply picked Harry up by the back of his shirt and dragged him to the door. He pushed him out telling Harry to get out of his sight and never return. Harry had collapsed on the path staring at the door in disbelief, waiting for Severus to come back out. After an hour, the door opened and Harry narrowly avoided being hit by his trunk and Hedwig's cage.
"I told you to leave," Severus said with a sneer before he slammed the cottage door.
Harry's hopes fled at the finality of the slamming door. He'd hoped that Severus would at least hear him out, but it seemed that Draco was just more important to him than his lover...ex-lover. Trying to hold back the tears building up in his eyes, he fought to stand. Draco had managed to get in a few good punches to his stomach and chest. Harry was beginning to suspect that he'd cracked a rib. He could only bite his lip and ignore the pain as he carefully stood up and dusted himself off, trying to regain a little of his battered dignity. He shrunk the trunk and summoned it, afraid to bend over lest he jostle his ribs. He grabbed the ring on Hedwig's cage, thankful that she was out hunting and hadn't had to suffer the same indignity that he had by being tossed out. He turned to look back at the cottage. What had once been such a cozy place had quickly turned into a hell for him. He was both relieved and saddened to leave.
His relationship with Severus had been pleasant. It wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it had been comfortable. It had surprised everyone, including Severus and himself. Struggling through his Occlumency lessons with Severus had created an odd sort of closeness between them as they shared memories and experiences together. It had just been natural for Harry to kiss the man. It had earned him a trip across the classroom courtesy of a hex from Snape, but the brief meeting of lips had sparked something between them. Snape had tried to avoid it, but Harry, young and eager, had rushed headlong into the relationship and Severus had eventually gone along.
It wasn't a fairy tale romance. In fact, it wasn't much of a romance at all. Severus' tongue and temper were bitter and sharp and Harry often found himself on the receiving end of it. But the quiet intimate moments between were what Harry had grown to treasure. The times when Severus would let down his shields and just be human for a while. Harry enjoyed the man beneath the armor. He wasn't Prince Charming, but he was intelligent and witty and Harry could lose himself in their conversations for hours on end.
Then there was the sex. Harry hadn't had much experience with sex heading in. A few fumbling hand jobs in the quidditch locker room and some groping in the Astronomy Tower had been the sum of his sexual knowledge. Severus had shown him what he as missing though. Harry was shocked to find out how skilled he was in bed. The man never failed to drive him mad with pleasure. And for every time they fought, the makeup sex more than made up for whatever was said during their arguments. Harry had spent many nights in Severus' bed in utter bliss. It might not have been perfect, but it had been good.
Then the final battle came. Triggered by Draco Malfoy's defection from the Death Eaters, the Dark Lord had lain siege on the school. While the students were carefully guarded in the Great Hall, the Order of the Phoenix had defended the castle, keeping the Death Eaters at bay until the Ministry got its head out of its ass and sent ever Auror on the continent over to help. Harry had faced Voldemort on the Quidditch pitch flanked by Severus and Dumbledore. Furious with Severus' deception, Voldemort had hit him with a Cruciatus. Harry had been furious with Voldemort for hurting his lover. They'd both suffered so much at the madman's hands. He had felt the rage building in him. Everything had gotten terribly bright and then...he woke up a week later in the hospital wing.
Severus had been by his bedside, looking a little worse for wear, but alive. He couldn't tell Harry exactly how he'd defeated Voldemort because they just weren't sure. But he was able to show him his arm, free of the Dark Mark, as proof of Harry's success. It had been such a relief. There had been losses, some very terrible loses, but finally, after so many years of pain, Voldemort was gone. Harry had felt the weight of the world finally lift off of his shoulders. He had been looking forward to having some normal, carefree days. It seemed that he was asking too much.
For the Summer, Severus took Harry to the small summer cottage he owned on the coast. It was a beautiful place settled on a high cliff overlooking the ocean. It wasn't surrounded by flowers as a typical cottage might be, but he did have a small garden with various herbs for potion making growing in it. It would have been perfect for Harry and Severus to unwind in, except that Severus had brought Draco Malfoy along. With his family's assets seized by the Ministry, Draco had no place left to go. Though disappointed that he wouldn't get to spend time alone with Severus, Harry had kept quiet and did his best to get along with Severus' godson while they occupied the small cottage.
Unfortunately, Draco had other ideas. He seemed to be on a one man mission to drive Harry insane. He constantly insulted Harry, shooting nasty remarks at him. When Harry had complained to Severus, the man had simply told him to grow up and defend himself. Harry tried to ignore the remarks, but Draco began to leave little traps for him, cursing his shoes and hexing his toothbrush. Harry had tried to be the bigger person and ignore the abuse and avoid it, but Draco would have none of it. The final straw came when Draco had made an insulting remark about Severus and his taste in bed partners. Harry had sat quietly through insults about himself, his friends, and his family. It was typical nonsense that he could ignore, but when Draco crossed the line and insulted Severus, Harry had lost it and punched him in the face. Draco had been unsurprised by the blow that broke his nose. In fact, he seemed gleeful as the blood rushed from his nose. He grinned at Harry before punching him in the chest a few times. The noise of their scuffle had drawn Severus from the lab. He took one look at the upset furniture and the blood dripping from Draco's face when he marched over to Harry and grabbed his shirt.
And that was the end. Harry was tossed out like a piece of trash. With a sniffle, he turned away from the cottage and walked towards the cliff. The tears finally fell as he looked out at the ocean. The sparkles of sunlight on the surface of the waves seemed to mock him as the salty tears dropped down his cheeks. He heaved a sigh and winced at the lance of pain the action brought. He swallowed hard as he apparated away from the cottage and out of Severus' life.
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