Pairing/Characters: Harry Potter/Severus Snape
Word count: ~ 500
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. Or Severus Snape. Both are the property of J. K. Rowling. There is no financial gain made from this nor will any be sought. This is for entertainment purposes only.
Summary/Prompt: When Severus got up to refill his cup Harry leant back into his seat and asked: “So. What are your thoughts then on Mr. Darcy?”
A/N: Thank you dear accioslash for asking what the answer to the question posed at the end of “Paper Cover” might be. Here it is. :)
Severus took some moments to finish preparing his tea before turning around. "Mr. Darcy is good-looking and wealthy." He took his seat and set the cup down on the table between them.
"That's a description, not what you think about him," Harry chided.
After taking a sip of tea Severus turned towards the other. "He is quite like you," he offered in a soft tone that sounded almost wistful.
"Like me?" Harry looked flabbergasted. "I'm nothing like..."
"... handsome and rich?" Severus retorted, now with a slight quirk on his lips.
"Oh, you!" Harry leaned forward and answered with a grin. "But no, really, won't you tell me?"
Severus in turn leaned slightly back into the cushions of the wingback chair and fell silent for a moment while he gathered his thoughts. "He is a man of honesty to the point that he doesn't care if his words are unflattering as long as they are the truth."
"Unflattering?" Harry cocked his head in disbelief.
"Uh-huh, more like." Harry paused and chewed on another biscuit. "Do you really think that's what counts for him, though? The truth, I mean."
Severus's hand that had been reaching for his tea flinched momentarily. "The truth as he knows it to be - the way he perceives it." His words were cautious and his eyes searched Harry's as he said that.
"Yes," Harry continued Severus's explanation. "And he's a strong, brave man. Once he learns the truth - another facet of the truth," he amended as Severus shot him one of those looks. "Once he had learned more he understood that, while his beliefs were deep-rooted and solid, they were based on wrong assumptions. And then he did what he had to do. He worked hard and tirelessly to right his wrongs, without seeking recognition for his deeds. And he changed. He finally became what he was always meant to be - a dark hero," Severus scoffed, but Harry chuckled and went on. "Still with edges, but reliable, open, and ... loveable." He took a deep breath, his eyes shining and his face flushed from the fervour of his speech. His gaze had captured Severus's every motion, every reaction, no matter how subtle it might have been.
With a gentle clink Severus set the cup down, breaking their intense stare for a moment - as if to gather strength - before turning back. "And in the end he has learned to follow his heart, to love unconditionally. And now he knows that the one upon whom he bestows his love is worthy and he can let himself be loved in return. He knows that he himself is worthy of love." He stopped talking; his eyes were wide, his breathing deep but his posture remained still. "We are not speaking about Mr. Darcy anymore, are we?" he whispered.
"No," Harry answered as quietly and reached his hand out towards Severus. As he felt the first light touch of the other's fingers against his own, he closed his eyes and exhaled. "Who needs Mr. Darcy, anyway."