Pairing(s): Neville Longbottom/Severus Snape
Summary: (sort of prequel to transfigurations by Resonant) The war is taking its toll and everyone is looking to contribute what they can. Each side knows that this will be the last war to decide who wins in this age. Unfortunately, it looks like the Death Eaters are gaining ground. In search of defensive and combatative potions, Severus Snape is saddled with the last person he could have wished for – and Neville Longbottom is faced with his greatest fear.
Warnings: slash, character death
Rec Expl.: Why I recced this? Well, let’s see. I was glued to the screen for the entire duration of the read. My heart ached all the way through that read. I was cheering and cursing at the monitor – and couldn’t wait to do it all over again when I was finished. This one haunts you, people!
They made fierce love that night, abandoning all attempt at sleeping in a tent full of cauldrons which bubbled and seethed.
"When you speak of me, call me Severus," Snape gasped between kisses, fingers tangled in Neville's long, matted hair. His pupils were huge and dark, face glistening with sweat. "I want to be human to somebody."
"I will," Neville promised breathlessly, tightening their embrace. "You are."
Afterwards, they checked on the cauldrons, and then lay back down again on the grey Ministry blankets that made up their bed.
"What do you reckon you'll do?" Neville asked. "When it's over."
Snape smiled, and Neville stared. It was the first smile he'd seen from Snape that seemed... well, real. "With that hideous cottage burned," he said, "I find myself in possession of a good-sized piece of land overlooking the sea. We could build a house there."
"We? Really?" Neville pushed himself up onto his elbows. "Really?"
Snape turned his head and kissed Neville's neck. "Yes, really, you great blithering fool. Unless you're especially fond of the site where your Grandmother's house stood."
At the thought of that burnt-out shell, Neville's bubble of happiness burst. "No," he confessed. "I never want to see it again."
"Your parents had a house, I assume?"
"It got burned like all the others," Neville said. "I can't even remember what it looked like."
Lying there, with Snape stroking his hair, Neville thought about the war, and what it would take to be really over.
"When the war's over, can we try to cure my Mum and Dad?" he asked. "I'd really like that."
"An admirable ambition." Snape sounded pleased. "Certainly, we can try."
But deep in his heart, Neville knew that his Mum and Dad were going to be crazy forever, driven out of their minds by torture and pain. His Gran was gone, Ron and Hermione were half-mad, Harry was half-dead, and tomorrow, everyone who'd made it this far would be lined up like dominoes to be knocked down again. Like most of the wizarding world, he was going to be picking up the pieces and cleaning up the mess for years to come. He might even die, just when he had something wonderful to live for.
"I think it's time for me to have a good cry," he whispered, and it had started before he could even think to stop it, huge gulping sobs of all the grief and terror that he could never get out.
"I know," Snape whispered back, holding him close. "I know, Neville. I know”.