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luna

May 2015

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Drabbles: Harry, Snape, James

Here are three (mostly gen) drabbles I wrote for a little fanfic meme. The instructions are:

--Write down the names of three characters
--Pick a one-word prompt for each character
--Write a 500+ word drabble for each of them

I think I got close enough to 500 words for each of these, with the Snarry one the farthest over the cap. Comments are appreciated.


1. Harry: prince
G. 493 words. Gen.

The incoming class of aurors is the largest the Ministry has had since the origin of the DMLE. Most argue that it’s necessary with two thirds of the experienced aurors injured, missing, or dead, but Harry has a suspicion that it has more to do with communal grief and, perhaps, a personal desire for revenge that they all secretly harbor.

He’d be lying if he said that wasn’t why he was interested, but the public takes his recruitment as a sign of positive change. Things must be getting better because Harry Potter is out there to protect them all.

If only his motivations were so noble.

Harry spends his practical lessons paired with Susan Bones, who has turned serious and icy since the war. She’s the only girl in their training group and tougher than the lot of them combined. He remembers her easy smile from their days at school and wonders what’s keeping her from moving on—but he backtracks, his mind hissing with the same question: what am I trying to accomplish here?

This thought slips away from his mind as soon as they begin to duel, the feeling of magic crackling through the air, but he’s sure it’ll occur to him again. It’s the same question that rattled through his brain when he was a teenager, the same one that makes him moody and snappish when he considers the massive emptiness in his life in the wake of Voldemort.

They aim their spells for direct contact, and the escaped stray lock of Susan’s hair doesn’t slip past his notice. Cast; dodge; counter. It’s difficult for him to imagine a different kind of existence.

--

Kingsley offers to waive his training, to push him through to level two trainee status. The offer is to him, just him, and while the recognition is flattering (not Ron and not Neville, just Harry) he turns him down.

“You don’t have to make this any easier for me,” he says, and the look the minister wears is knowing and unsurprised.

“Actually, Harry, promoting you would make things easier on me. We need more aurors, and we need them sooner than eighteen months, but it’s your decision.”

Instead of being the man everyone expects him to be, instead of gasping and dragging himself back up for another fight, instead of rising to the occasion, he declines.

“Thanks, but I think I’ll pass.”

It feels good to finally take something for himself.

--

The next day at training, Susan looks at him coldly, her gray eyes never leaving his.

“Why are you still here?” she asks, and it’s her no-nonsense attitude that finally solidifies his decision.

“Why wouldn’t I be?” he says, raising an eyebrow and taking his place in front of her.

Susan accepts his answer with a nod, drawing her wand and appraising him with intense focus. It’s these experiences, he knows, that will carry him through the rest of his life.

At the instructor’s command, they begin.



2. Snape: strike
PG-13 for swearing. 640 words. Harry/Snape pre-slash.

The robed figure scrambling over long, dewy grass and muddied hillsides falls at the casting of Harry’s spell. He hears a litany of curses ring across the unfamiliar landscape, but the sound, the voice that projects it sparks a pang of awareness in his spine. Bounding over to his capture, Harry turns the man over with his boot, wrenches him to a sitting position, and gasps.

“Potter,” the man says, more astounded than afraid, his shock apparent in his voice.

Snape? You can’t be—there’s no way—“

A scowl, sharp and characteristic, shapes his features. “Don’t be so presumptuous. Of course there’s a way. Several, in fact, which I’d be delighted to tell you about if you would kindly release me.”

If Harry was in doubt over his captive’s identity he was certainly more inclined to believe him now. However, his most basic training with the aurors has made him wary of impostors, and considering he’d watched Snape bloody die right in front of him, he has a right to be overcautious.

“What form does your patronus take?” Harry asks, wand pointed at the man he’s known going on ten years now.

“A doe,” he replies, his trademark black hair falling unevenly into his eyes.

Harry releases him.

“Why have I never heard from you?” he questions, as if he has a right to know, as if he is someone that Snape would go to with that kind of information.

It’s forward of him, to say the least, but there’s a tight, painful part of Harry that desperately wants to be one of those informed people. His years without Voldemort, Dumbledore, or Snape have left him simultaneously listless and paranoid, waiting for the day when one of them will stroll back into his life and derail all of the progress he’s made, all the boredom he’s amassed.

There must be something in his eyes that Snape can’t ignore, because instead of debasing him with his silky threats or dry wit, he delivers a legitimate answer.

“I thought that contacting you—or even reemerging within the wizarding world—would just make the rebuilding process more difficult…for everyone. Including me.”

“Make a clean break of it. I see,” Harry says, rationalizing through his feelings, through the unnamed tingling in his gut that isn’t anger or sadness or any simple emotion, but something different entirely.

Snape sighs and suddenly he looks all of his ragged years. “Was I wrong to think so?”

“No,” he replies without pause. “I’m just a little surprised to run into someone I believed to be dead in the middle of nowhere in Scotland while I’m supposed to be working.”

His words come out more biting than he’d planned, but his former professor doesn’t seem to take note of it. One thing Harry prided himself on was getting a firmer grip on his temper after the war, but all it takes is one exchange with a man he’s come to idolize and all that preparation comes rattling down at his feet.

Typical.

It’s the middle of the night on the deserted Scottish moors and with every shift in the moonlight Snape is reminding Harry increasingly of Sirius when he first got out of Azkaban and Remus when he first came home from Fenrir and the other wolves. It occurs to Harry that perhaps he isn’t the only one who feels like he’s on the outside of an inside joke.

“You should come inside,” he offers, jerking his shoulder in the direction of the single lamp he’d abandoned outside the wards of his campsite.

“Really. Not to be rude, but you look like shit.”

“You’re as eloquent as ever, Potter.”

Snape’s words come across as weary rather than biting, and instead of haughtily storming away, he follows Harry down the muddy slope, squaring his shoulders against the strike of the northern wind.



3. James: oblivion
G. 499 words. James/Lily.

His fall during the match seemed to take years. Strong northern winds lashed against his robes and whipped his hair into his face while droplets of rainwater pelted him from all sides. The nearing ground was almost a better option than the volatile air, despite the sure certainty of injury.

Just as he was able to make out the distinction between patches of soggy grass and mud, the pitch seemed to go silent with the echo of his fall. He closed his eyes.

--

Each small noise reverberated like a thunderclap inside his head—the scrape of metal chair legs against the stone floor, Remus’s muffled cough, the faint tapping of rain against the Infirmary windows.

James opened his eyelids just enough to catch a glimpse of Sirius’s shaggy, snoring head slumped against the foot of his bed.

No one seemed to be eagerly awaiting his revival and, to be honest, he really was rather tired. He closed his eyes and exhaled into the bed sheets, absently wondering if anyone but his goofy friends cared that he’d nearly plummeted to his death.

--

Apparently, there was another person who cared, although evidence of said person didn’t materialize until the next day after dinner. The potion that the young healer had given him for pain made him impossibly sleepy, but the voice and footsteps of the only visitor in the hospital wing didn’t slip past his notice.

“Is he asleep?” Lily asked.

James fought his initial surprise and tried to keep his voice level in replying. “No. But I might as well be. It’s dead boring here.”

Straining his ears, he thought he picked up the trace of a smile in her reply. “Some school work to liven things up, then,” Lily said, putting a few scrolls of parchment on his bedside table. “I’m sure you’d hate to miss out on your favorite class.”

Upon inspection, he discovered that all of the papers were future assignments for Transfiguration. They looked long.

“How, er—kind of you.”

Lily gave a soft laugh and sat down at the foot of his bed in the same place Sirius had used for a headrest. “McGonagall asked me to deliver them. She seemed to think they’d have a better chance of arriving in one piece if she sent them with me.”

James stifled a yawn and blinked against his tiredness. “Nonsense. Sirius is well trained. What did we do in class?”

“More mammalian transfiguration, except we’ve graduated to rabbits now instead of mice. No one seems to have really gotten it yet so don’t worry about falling behind. Although, Remus and Peter did manage to turn their rabbit blue.”

“I guess that’s a start,” he said, tucking his forearm over his eyes. The potion was approaching full strength and any thoughts of carrying on a coherent conversation were slowly drifting out of his head.

“I’ll come by again tomorrow,” Lily promised, knowing a lost cause when she saw one.

“S’you later, Evans,” he managed, the candlelit hospital wing slowly disappearing behind his eyelids.

Comments

I loved the Snape one -- very prickly and them. ^^

DragonLady
Thank you! It's the first time I've gone near Harry/Snape, every though it's turning into one of my favorite pairings. Glad you enjoyed it :D
I wanted to keep reading allll of these. Frustrating!
I suppose that's good news for me :D
Found this via Hp_misfitfics. These are lovely little vignettes. You packed a lot of characterisation into these and they had a pleasant overall tone. I quite enjoyed them.
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the drabbles. I was experimenting with some of the pairings and characterizations, so it's good to hear that it worked well : )
SUSAN BONES! SUSAN BONES! Far to little has been written about her, and all of the sudden here I find her--and she's absolutely fascinating, too. :-)

A long time ago I thought for certain she would end up with Neville. I'm not sure why--I think it was because of her respected family and the traumatic experiences they both shared, but anyway SUSAN BONES. Please write more about her. Any time, any pairing. I will read it. Promise. :-)
I wondered the same thing about Susan and Neville! I know we don't see much of her in canon, but I always imagined her to be a pretty strong person, even if people discount her because she's a Hufflepuff. Her aunt Amelia was a great minor character and I'd like to think Susan is a bit like her. I thought about writing a Harry/Susan piece for my harryhetbigbang entry, but I think I'm using Pansy instead, just because we have more canon info about her to work with.
I really like her hard edges here--and it isn't unfounded that she would be so given her war experiences. And maybe that is what even makes her a bit more Pansy-like versus Ginny-like and in that way an interesting/appealing AU choice. But unlike Pansy, there's also this hope that her 'easy smile' will return. And that Harry (or Neville!) will make that so. I soooooo love this. Methinks this snippet definitely needs flushing-out in full. STAT. :-)