Sick and Tired

James Potter begins to realize his life isn't as perfect as he firstly thought of. Hogwarts' graduation grows closer, and a war waits for him outside of the gates. A tired enemy fuels the indecision and uncertainty James feels about where he's heading, and the destiny of many might be involved into James' brand new path.

Warning: this is a Snames fic, mature content.

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12. Two plus Two

Lily was waiting for me at home when I got there, at pretty much late afternoon. I didn’t know which excuse I would use to slip out at midnight, and I wasn’t sure if she’d be asleep by then. Gladly for me, she said she was tired and we had an early dinner. By nine she was already lightly snoring. I took a nap and precisely at midnight I knocked on Snape’s door. Again.

I hoped it wouldn’t turn into a routine to be at his house more than I was at mine.

Three seconds later, he opened the door and greeted me with a scowl.

“You came.”

“I said I would.” I replied cheerfully, waking inside.

He took a deep breath and turned around to face me.

“Before we go, listen to me carefully, Potter. I am aware of your constant need of receiving attention but tonight is not the night to alert people of your presence, and therefore, mine. Do you understand that I will most likely be murdered if you take a slightly louder step? And you won’t exactly spare Mr. Marshall if you do this, either.”

“I know, I know.”

Snape didn’t seem to trust me, though he continued: “You did bring your… Cloak, I suppose?”

“I did.”

“Good. Hold on to my arm.” he snarled. “I don’t want you out of my sight.”

“I’m not a baby, you know? I can go there by myself.”

“Yes, but you won’t go the place I’ll go and I don’t want to take the risk of you being seen. Or rather, you don’t want to. Mr. Marshall will disappear somewhere in the following two days and not only you’ve been looking for his address somewhere, you would also be seen nearby his house. The Ministry would find that funny. On the other hand, Voldemort would suspect someone is leaking out information because you certainly weren’t there to kidnap Mr. Marshall, and I would be the first name of the list to get my throat cut open. Do you realize that you must stay with me at all times?”

“Well, I do see your case now but I didn’t know this would require this level of closeness.” I replied, a bit taken aback by the idea of touching him AND sharing the cloak.

“I don’t enjoy it either so you are more than invited to go back home.” Snape sneered.

There was nothing good waiting for me at home, though. I knew I didn’t want to be there as much, now that I cheated on Lily twice. Being in her presence was shameful and embarrassing to me, because all I could think of was how I slept with a guy because things with her were too homely for my taste.

I grabbed Snape’s thin arm. His skin was surprisingly warm, even with a layer of the black fabric of his long sleeved shirt covering it: for some reason I always imagined he’d be cold like a corpse, because he kind of looked like one with his pale skin and dead eyes.

I barely had time to notice that, though. Without warning, I was spinning around in a constricted space like it always goes when you apparite.  A moment late I landed on a damp, soft terrain. Everything was still spinning around me when Snape yanked off his arm off my grasp, and I nearly fell face first on the ground.

We were at the borders of a forest. Ottery St. Catchpole was perfectly visible from there: the houses far off where just a mass of glittering yellow spots but the houses closer to us were close enough to see the details.

“What are you waiting for, Potter?” Snape said. “Your cloak. We already can be seen from here.”

I took out the cloak out of my pocket and stepped closer to him to cover us both. Except our feet and ankles were still visible, because the cloak wasn’t supposed to cover two adult men entirely, and we were both average height. Granted, I was a bit on the shorter side and he was on the taller side but we were still average and too tall for the cloak.

“We do need to crouch a little.” I said.

Snape got his wand at ready and bent his knees. I did the same.

“Since you are here, make yourself useful and watch my back.” he whispered.

Let me tell you, walk backwards on a slope going downhill wasn’t an easy. It wasn’t easy the fact that my arm had to be glued with his arm. The contact was way I found to make sure I wasn’t going in the wrong direction while still keeping my eyes open to where his back was turned to.

We walked that way for what seemed to be an eternity.

“Are we close?” I asked in a mutter when the slope evened out.

“You can stop walking backwards.”

I turned around and saw that a house was right in front of us.  The backyard was fenced, and the two-story house was in dark and silent. Mr. Marshall should be asleep, by then, and gladly, so were his neighbors. They would find weird a gate and a back door opening by themselves.

Snape opened the gate magically and we walked inside Mr. Marshall’s backyard, and we went to his porch. He kneeled in front of the backdoor, trying a bunch of spells I never heard of. His breathing was strangely even and calm, even though mine was heavy. He combed his hair backwards and for a moment there I could see his eyes shining with determination and his teeth digging into his lower lip, before his face disappeared behind the black hair curtain.

The door clicked open.

He went back to his crouching position and we walked inside. After the door was closed, he stepped out of under the cloak like a cat runs out of a bathtub full of water and stood straight.

“Are you sure it’s safe?” I asked in a whisper.

“He’s asleep. How much he can hear?”

 “If you say so…”

I stood normally again and followed him upstairs. Gladly we didn’t need to test any doors because the door of his bedroom was opened ajar. Snape went ahead and tried to slowly open it when he suddenly was ejected out of the room, collapsing against a wall. I expertly stepped on the way and used an Expelliarmus spell to disarm Mr. Marshall and conjured ropes to tie him up and gag him.

Boy, he was upset… He struggled against the ropes like a wild animal. I left him there and went to Snape, who was still on the floor, apparently unconscious.

I tried to sit him up, with his back against the wall, and slapped his face lightly a few times.

“Snape? Snape, you there?”

My hopes were quickly fading when he frowned and opened his eyes.

“That bloody son of a bitch.” He mumbled and tried to stand up. He brought his hand to his ribcage and fell down again, like a ragdoll.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“What does it look like, Potter? I was just ejected out of a room, against a wall. I’m in pain!”

“Do you have a broken rib or something?”

His breathing was weak and fast.

“Possibly.” He admitted.

“Well, we need to finish things now and I don’t know that spell you use to make people unconscious. So you’ll have to stand up.”

I brought him up by an arm and he supported all of his weight on me. I kept him on his feet by holding his waist, and then dragged him to Mr. Marshall’s bedroom.

“Put me on the bed.” he asked.

I obliged and helped him lying down. However, his shirt rolled up on the process and I could see the line of hair that went from his bellybutton to the navel of his pants. My eyes accompanied the trail until the slight bulge on his pants as he wiggled to reach for his pocket and find a vial of potion. He had put a spell on it to make it bigger on the inside, probably.

 “Will you stand there staring at me or find my wand while I try to find my painkiller?” he snapped with a deep scowl.

I averted my eyes and left the room with the goal of finding his wand, fighting against the association my mind made far too quickly for my taste: I was into guys.

And Snape was a guy.

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