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Jul. 21st, 2005 @ 01:34 pm Part 8: Severus.

The blasted whelp was late. Of course he was; Severus had half-expected it, but he wouldn't put up with such demonstrations of rebellion on a regular basis. Potter had to be to be disciplined and disciplined soon--a job that fell, unhappily, to Severus' reluctant hands.

Scowling, Severus strode to the Great Hall and threw open the nearest door--finding, as he expected, Potter eating breakfast with all the ease of royalty, his friends perched on either side of him like an attending court.

Arrogant, self-righteous brat. The scene was an exact replica of another holiday years ago: James Potter smirking at Severus over a slice of toast, scheming, with Black and Pettigrew sniggering in his ear.

Except that Potter wasn't smirking, and Granger looked rather worried.

'Mr Potter,' Severus called across the hall, and saw the boy's back stiffen. 'Enjoying yourself?'

'I was.' Such impudence in a single word. 'I overslept, all right? I was just about to come down there.' A pause, disrespectful enough despite the honorific that followed. 'Sir.'

Sir. Potter might as well have spat it out. Severus felt the coil of his anger tighten, tensing for a strike--but then Potter stood and faced him properly, and Severus was struck silent again.

Just as he had been last night.

There was nothing... appealing about Potter. A perfectly ordinary runt, awkward and thin--and yet, somehow, the light arcing from the Hall's false sun cast him in a favourable light. Potter's hair was still sleep-tousled, the shadow of a delicate collarbone just visible under his skewed jumper. He was exhausted, and yet that very exhaustion made Potter fragile, made him waif-like. It made him look like one of the young whores that haunted Knockturn's alleyways, underfed and selling fucks for a handful of Knuts--except that Potter was innocent, and that damnable innocence was obvious even now, despite... despite... everything.

--Then Severus noticed Weasley's suspicious glare, and Granger's rather more reflective one--and he jerked the door open, clearing his throat. 'Well?' he asked an overly tense Potter, who'd obviously been expecting to be caught out on his lie. The boy clearly hadn't slept last night, let alone overslept.

Normally, Severus would have taken pleasure in questioning Potter on the spot. But Severus was, for the moment, rather busy castigating himself.

He took silent note of Potter's sullen face, the frail bones shifting in his wrist as he lifted his bag.

'See you at lunch,' Potter muttered to his friends--and Severus realised, too late, that Potter wasn't the only one who needed discipline.

 

*

 

There had been ample time to gather himself by the time they reached his office, and by then, Potter's growing anger was once again becoming a source of entertainment. It was obvious in Potter's childish, straight-legged march, in the way he didn't once look back at Severus; it was obvious in how Potter hauled open the office's heavy door, stomping inside with the air of an undersized dictator.

Severus watched in bemusement as his office was treated as a student's territory; Potter simply stalked over to Severus' old, scroll-stacked armchair and emptied it, sitting down and crossing his legs as if he owned the damned thing.

Severus grit his teeth.

Manners. Perhaps manners were what Potter needed to be taught first. A little dose of humility to counteract the arrogance in his blood.

Standing at his desk, Severus placed his hand on Uncommon Poisons and their Antidotes, its thick, leather-bound copy warm under his palm.

Warm.

Severus narrowed his eyes speculatively at Potter, who had taken up a book. 'What do you think you're doing?'

Potter didn't even deign to look up. 'What's it look like I'm doing, sir? I'm reading. You're not allowed to give me detention during holidays, so I can do what I want.'

What he wants. The sheer nerve-- But Severus knew exactly what Potter wanted, didn't he? More than even Potter did.

That thought, alone, kept Severus from reaching for his wand and binding the brat, keeping him immobile and helpless until lunch.

There were better ways of teaching the boy his place.

'And what book has you so engrossed that you're willing to spend your holidays reading it?' Severus kept his tone deliberately casual.

'The History of Heroic Hippogriffs,' Potter answered, and Severus felt his eyebrows rise. A most unlikely field of study--unless, of course, Potter was wasting his time trying to save Hagrid's little pet. A pet that had not only attacked a student, but a Slytherin under Severus' charge.

'I think not, Mr Potter. You'll put aside that book.'

'What? Why?' Potter slammed the book closed with rather more violence than necessary. 'I'm reading. What's wrong with reading, Professor?'

'Do not question me again.' Severus felt his blood heat, his face harden. Despite his best efforts, Potter managed to test the limits of his patience. 'You will. Put aside. That book.' He took a step forward, and Potter--gratifyingly--flinched back. 'Now, Potter.'

'... Sorry, sir.'  A feeble sham of an apology. 'I just--I thought it would be okay. To read. You only said you wanted to keep an eye on me. And this isn't a detention.'

'No, I suppose it's not,' Severus said, letting his mouth curl in a sneer. 'But it most certainly is a punishment.' He finally did what he'd been planning to do since touching Uncommon Poisons and their Antidotes. He gestured at Potter's jumper, making it very obvious what he meant. 'Take that off.'

Potter froze, book halfway to the floor. His face went blank, then hot. 'What.' He watched Severus as a mouse might watch a snake. '--What?'

So much for warnings not to question him. 'You heard me, Potter. Take. That jumper. Off.'

Potter's flush spread to his ears, which burned a bright red. Severus could guess at the possibilities--all equally unlikely and equally sordid--flashing through Potter's mind. 'I-- Um. Wh-why...?'

'There will be considerable time to study, Potter, if that is indeed what you wish to do. But I have a potion to test this afternoon, and I don't do my brewing in an unclean dungeon. Thus, your morning task is to clean it. By hand. If I catch you using a spell, you'll have to clean it twice.' Severus swept a finger across his desk, rubbing it with his thumb as if to check for dust. 'I recommend that you take off your jumper, or you might feel rather...' He flicked the imaginary dust away, casting a sly glance at Potter's blush. 'Hot.'

Potter, oblivious, let his face slacken in relief--only to have it tighten with indignation a moment later. 'Clean your office by hand? But that'll take all day!'

'No, not all day--not if you work industriously. I did say this was your morning task, Potter. You may resume your--' he shot a sceptical glance at Potter's book '--studies after lunch.'

The mention of lunch seemed to bolster the boy--but his eyes still glittered angrily. 'All right, sir. But what am I supposed to clean with?'

'This.' Severus transfigured a blank piece of parchment on his desk into a rag, tossing it at Potter. Who, predictably, caught it with Seeker-swift hands. 'You'll find a pail in the deep basin by the wall. Fill it.'

Fill it, came a mocking echo in Severus' mind, and he started when realised that it was Potter's voice. He'd been looking into Potter's eyes too long, apparently.

The little imp. What other silent jibes did he mutter to himself?

Keeping his expression deliberately impassive, Severus seated himself at his desk--reaching for his unmarked essays with gentle hands. 'Are you quite sure you won't feel hot?' he asked, almost politely--and Potter should have learned to be wary of that tone, but instead he simply glared.

'No. I'll keep my jumper, thanks.'

'Very well,' Severus said calmly. He lifted his wand and pointed it at the fireplace. 'Incendio.'

Potter whipped around to stare at him, rag clutched tightly one hand. 'What was that for?'

'The potion I plan to test.' Severus nodded at the largest cauldron he had, the one that currently hung over the fire, empty and balanced by two long hooks. 'The cauldron must be heated to a precise temperature, and must be kept uniformly warm for several hours prior to brewing.' He looked back at the essays, laying down his wand and picking up his quill instead. 'I did warn you, Potter.'

'Warn--' Potter sounded incredulous.

Severus didn't need to look up to see Potter seething. He could feel it, as surely as if Potter had cast an Incendio on Severus himself--and were it not for the self-regulating charms that kept Severus' robes cool, the heat in Potter's gaze might have set those on fire as well.

The sound of water filled the silence, soon followed by the pail's heavy clunk as it was set down--and Severus chanced to catch sight of Potter's hands out of the corner of his eye, dipping the rag and wringing it. Potter's sleeves were rolled up, his veins a pale blue under white skin--skin that beaded with water on Potter's thin fingers, on the now-known softness of his wrists.

'The floor,' said Severus' voice, almost without his permission. 'Clean the floor first.'

Potter might have glowered, but Severus didn't know; he could only watch Potter sink to his knees, unwilling, those wet hands leaving streaks where they balanced on stone.

About this Entry
switchknife:
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From:cheshyre
Date:July 21st, 2005 03:41 am (UTC)
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Potter had to be to be disciplined and disciplined soon--a job that fell, unhappily, to Severus' reluctant hands.
Yeah, I'm sure he's reluctant. Snape's probably just dreaming about putting Potter over his lap and giving the boy a hiding he'll never forget...

[Sorry, I'll go back to reading now.]
From:switchknife
Date:July 21st, 2005 03:44 am (UTC)
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*snickers*

Ah, but it's still in Severus' subconscious. He's not up to admitting what he really wants to do to the boy...
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From:edensgrief
Date:July 21st, 2005 03:42 am (UTC)
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this is lovely, your final scene. i can see harry fall to his knees, so
graceless, so artless, and i'm sure this is only a portent of things to come.


(oh, god, switch, you are going to drag this out, aren't you. . . )
From:switchknife
Date:July 21st, 2005 03:45 am (UTC)
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(oh, god, switch, you are going to drag this out, aren't you. . . )

*looks innocent*

Hmm, yes.

:D
From:yanks02
Date:July 21st, 2005 03:54 am (UTC)
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*mutters incoherently*

I love Harry on his knees cleaning. ANd I'm sure Severus does as well.
From:switchknife
Date:July 21st, 2005 04:06 am (UTC)
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ANd I'm sure Severus does as well.

You'll have to wait and find out just how much. ;)

Thank you!
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From:phaballa
Date:July 21st, 2005 04:15 am (UTC)
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Oh god. I love Snape. I'm horribly jealous of Harry. I would wash snape's floors anyday. Dear lord.

I would leave a better more coherent review but I am sort of drunk and so all I can really think to say is that I love you and I love Snape and I Harry deserves to be punished like nobody's business and can this please at one point involve spanking??
From:switchknife
Date:July 21st, 2005 04:37 am (UTC)
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Are you quite sure it's his floors you want to scrub? He'd accept other kinds of services, I'm sure... Particularly if you're a senior student from his House.

... and can this please at one point involve spanking??

LOL! Erm. That depends on Atra, really. And when (if) I'm duly provoked.

We're avoiding the kinkier side of things for now, in order to lay the groundwork. But I doubt that I we can hold back for too long...
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From:viverra_libro
Date:July 21st, 2005 04:22 am (UTC)
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Oh, Severus is clearly enjoying himself, settling in for a nice long week (or is it two?) of playing bait-the-Potter. This is so fun to watch I don't even care that there's no smut. Well, almost. But really, we don't see much of Severus when he's amused; it's lovely.
From:switchknife
Date:July 21st, 2005 04:33 am (UTC)
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Nearly two weeks, yes. Of Harry-torture. *grins*

Unfortunately for Snape, his amusement is directly connected to his rage, and to his lust. Will he be able to reign himself in for two whole weeks?

*ponders the Big Question*

Hee. Thank you!
From:cravache
Date:July 21st, 2005 04:40 am (UTC)
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Yee, you continued with the idea of heat! And, you know, if one is to read back over the series and see the running theme of heat--heat in anger, heat in shame, heat in hate--it makes this Snarry work really well. I can't think of a better way to describe the chemistry between Harry and Snape other than heat. I hope you keep this theme running through each piece, mentioning it at least once, because it solidifies the characterisations and the interaction between the two. It is an important element to Snarry, understanding where Snape and Harry stand with each other, and to identify both of them with the idea of 'heat'--it sums up the intensity very well.

Question: Was heat a thing you both discussed to have as a theme? Or is it highly unintentional? Either way, I hope you keep with it. It is very appropiate, considering different factors that are involved in either party: Harry's scar that burns, his rage being hot, Snape brewing over hot cauldrons... I am probably over analysing, as I always do, but whether your running theme of heat was intentional or not, it works perfectly.

I'm sorry I ramble so much.

Moving on. Am I jumping to conclusions in thinking this is heading towards, eventually, a D/s situation/relationship? Severus is certainly setting the ground rules for it. Especially with There were better ways of teaching the boy his place. *moment of the weak-knees: qpdglk;a;gasgkhaeg* Especially with he could only watch Potter sink to his knees, unwilling. Well, I mean, submissives are always willing, really, however dubious their consent may come across. But adghjdlksagksa, damn. Just the act of him giving Harry such a menial task, lowering him completely to his place in one fell swoop, certainly lays the seeds of what is to come, aye?

Ok, I have crapped on, yet again. And I don't even think I have made a point. *sheepish* Can you tell I have verbal diarrhoea? :D So, in summary, I love your Snape. So much. And I adore--whether 'tis intentional or not--your running theme of heat. Keep that happening!!! :D :D

*licks*
From:switchknife
Date:July 21st, 2005 04:57 am (UTC)

Thank you!

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The heat certainly sums up what Harry and Snape feel for each other--pleasant or otherwise. :)

Was heat a thing you both discussed to have as a theme?

Nah. It just really turned us on.

*coughs*

Am I jumping to conclusions in thinking this is heading towards, eventually, a D/s situation/relationship?

That's a very interesting question, and one that Atra and I haven't really discussed yet (Atra? You reading this?), but the reason it's probably tending that way is because of the kinks both co-authors share. ;) We might indeed end up that way, but I doubt that Harry will ever quite 'surrender'. (For long periods of time, anyway. His submission will be sporadic, and only really in sexual situations. --Atra, am I right?) He'll be a continuous thorn in Severus' side, even as he's exactly what Severus wants... I don't think that the 'taming' of Harry Potter is going to end anytime soon. :D

Just the act of him giving Harry such a menial task, lowering him completely to his place in one fell swoop, certainly lays the seeds of what is to come, aye?

*tries not to rub hands together with glee*

*or to rub them all over Harry, either*

Heat! Kneeling! Subservience!

*fetches bucket to drool into*
From:pir8fancier
Date:July 21st, 2005 05:25 am (UTC)
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Potter might have glowered, but Severus didn't know; he could only watch Potter sink to his knees, unwilling, those wet hands leaving streaks where they balanced on stone.

You're killing me with the hands again.
From:switchknife
Date:July 21st, 2005 12:34 pm (UTC)
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The hands! Harry's hands are beautiful. :)

Thank you!
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From:switchknife
Date:July 21st, 2005 12:37 pm (UTC)
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Yes, having Severus lose control is wonderfully equalising, isn't it? But it's all Atra's fault, I swear. :D

Mind-reading is HOT. And scary, which is why it works. Severus has such an unfair advantage, doesn't he? Heheh.

as is the rest of this, particularly the blatant objectification shown through your descriptions. makes me feel like i'm paying entirely too much attention to the boy, which makes me feel dirty, which is probably part of the point.

*grins evilly*

It most certainly is. Welcome to my mind. Atra, I believe, can testify to just how much 'attention' I pay to the boy.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 21st, 2005 10:55 am (UTC)
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Funny, Sev. you should clean a room above to below, not go straight to the floor. But I know you can't wait seeing those lovely bum. heehee XD
From:switchknife
Date:July 21st, 2005 11:07 am (UTC)

*falls over laughing*

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But I know you can't wait seeing those lovely bum.

... Uh, yeah. That's pretty much it. :D
From:mirrorwakes
Date:July 21st, 2005 11:20 am (UTC)
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Oh my... I'm betting they make love before Christmas *secretly hopes*. There's too much heat there. They'll spontaneously conbust if something doesn't give soon!

Mirror
From:switchknife
Date:July 21st, 2005 12:33 pm (UTC)
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*laughs* Don't bet on it--these two are tough bastards. And I don't think either of them would be amenable to the term 'making love'--Snape, I'm fairly sure, would double over in laughter. (Or. Er. Just curl his lip in scorn, which is his equivalent of it.)

Thank you for finding this hot! Atra and I just can't help ourselves!
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From:left_enthusiasm
Date:July 21st, 2005 07:09 pm (UTC)
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I love this fic. It's hot. And Snape is *reluctant*? More like his *deluded* hands.

It's so nice to read about all of the heat and the fire and such when it's like 101 degrees fahrenheit outside. But, I could never stop. Even if my air conditioning is broken.
From:switchknife
Date:July 22nd, 2005 03:49 am (UTC)
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More like his *deluded* hands.

Hee, yes, he's definitely deluded. I think he's starting to discover, though, that he enjoys punishing Potter rather more than he should.

I hope your air conditioning lasts forever! Because, trust me, you're going to need it. Harry's going to feel a lot hotter, very soon. :D

Thank you!
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From:ariadneelda
Date:July 21st, 2005 11:13 pm (UTC)
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stomping inside with the air of an undersized dictator.

sitting down and crossing his legs as if he owned the damned thing.


Like I said to atrata, you can’t really blame Snape, can you? Potter is screaming</i> asking for a punishment. *g*

But Severus knew exactly what Potter wanted, didn't he? More than even Potter did.

Hee, I like the way Snape thinks. ;)

He watched Severus as a mouse might watch a snake.

Mmm... lovely image, yes.

And then Snape lighting a fire just to make Harry take off his jumper. Haha, am not so sure Harry bought this one.

So glad you both updated!
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From:ariadneelda
Date:July 21st, 2005 11:14 pm (UTC)
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Oops, sorry. Forgot to close the strike tag.
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From:ashenface
Date:July 22nd, 2005 03:39 am (UTC)

hehehehe

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he could only watch Potter sink to his knees, unwilling, those wet hands leaving streaks where they balanced on stone.
dear sweet merlin! hehehe the many visuals sparked from that image is just enough to get me though my next lecture.
most pleased.
love your work ;)

ps i really am enjoying snape with a comfortable sadistic side ;)
From:switchknife
Date:July 22nd, 2005 03:46 am (UTC)

Re: hehehehe

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Oh, yes, Severus is enjoying those visuals too. And he is comfortable with his sadism--or at least, he will be, until he finds out that it isn't just sadism he feels towards Harry Potter. :D

Thank you!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 23rd, 2005 02:04 pm (UTC)

hot

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kept Severus from reaching for his wand and binding the brat, keeping him immobile and helpless until lunch

helpessnes. Oh god. i am sure he would want Harry to be helpless of some things.

And don't stop Severus from doing what he wants. I am quite sure certain activities would bring him out of his denial of some things.

'I recommend that you take off your jumper, else you might feel rather...' He flicked the imaginary dust away, casting a sly glance at Potter's blush. 'Hot.'

Oh God. I love his slyness. Subtle, smooth. And Harry still thinks that he doesn't KNOW. Oh yes, Severus does KNOW.

'Are you quite sure you won't feel hot?' he asked, almost politely

he is so almost polite. Almost. =)

i love it and i wonder what Severus(Switch) will come up with.

=)
From:switchknife
Date:July 24th, 2005 02:28 am (UTC)

Re: hot

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Heh, helpless!Harry, indeed. That's Severus' subconscious letting him know what he really wants. :D

The next parts should be out soon! Thanks so much for reviewing!
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From:reddwarfer
Date:July 24th, 2005 05:52 am (UTC)
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This is why Harry is so perfect for Snape. No one else could rile him the way Harry does...and he does it so effortlessly. Beautiful Switch. You most certainly have the damned sexiest Snape there is.
From:switchknife
Date:July 24th, 2005 03:42 pm (UTC)
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*blushes* Thank you. And with Atra's Harry, how could Snape NOT get turned on? I mean riled up. I mean. You know what I mean. :D
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From:djin7
Date:July 24th, 2005 06:28 am (UTC)
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Oh! I was just telling Atra (sorry I'm late, btw) about how Harry's small victories are so very significant, given how much power you Severus has to hold sway over him. And yet, not. Seemingly one look at Harry can strike Snape dumb, and as he cannot give actual 'detention', and mostly not take points during these 2 weeks, some of the balance of power has shifted to our young Slytherindor, hmmm? Also it appears that Harry has the power (not that he is yet aware) to set Severus on fire. He may yet figure it out. Could be fun! *squirms and fidgets on chair* Oh, hell ya!
Keep up the great work, cheers!
From:switchknife
Date:July 24th, 2005 03:41 pm (UTC)
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*grits teeth at your icon*

Grrr. Yes. Not much control at the moment, no. :D And it gets worse! Potter's wearing Severus down, and it's no surprise--although I hope to god Harry doesn't figure it out, because if he does, my poor Snape will be in deep, DEEP trouble.

Hee. Thank you!
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From:wildestranger
Date:July 25th, 2005 03:39 pm (UTC)
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Always good to see Harry on his knees in Snape's office...loving this.
From:switchknife
Date:July 25th, 2005 03:42 pm (UTC)
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LOL, yes, Rowling just had to tempt us, didn't she...
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From:lookfar
Date:July 26th, 2005 03:32 am (UTC)
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Ooo I like Severus obsessed unwillingly with his fragile flower. I'm all eager to watch him struggle. How will he reconcile his desires to himself? Your internal dialog is perfect here. What a slow tease. Stop! No, don't stop.

Two quibbles: 1) "He took a step forward, and Potter--gratifyingly--flinched back." I think "flinching" implies "back," so the second word isn't necessary.
2) "reign himself in." Okay, that isn't even in the story, but wouldn't it be "rein?"