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kellychambliss in snape100

Threshold (SS/MM)

Title:  Threshold
Author:  kellychambliss  
Challenge:  Snape100's Prompt #314: The First Footer
Pairing:  Snape/McGonagall
Word Count:  100 x 4
Rating:  PG-13
Summary:  Severus and Minerva at Hogmanay.
A/N:  Last summer, I decided to write a SS/MM one-shot, and the pairing hasn't loosened its grip on me since.  So I thought I might as well head into the new year with them.  My thanks, as always, to therealsnape, beta and friend extraordinare.
Disclaimer:   The HP universe is so not mine.

~~~

 

Minerva isn't surprised that Severus Snape does his First Footing the wrong way round. That's how he serves the cause of righteousness, after all: he comes to the light through the back by-ways of the dark. And though he is the first to cross her threshold every year, he does it by going out, not coming in. 

So, if she is to be precise about it (and Minerva thinks it important always to be precise), Severus should not be called her First Foot, even though he brings gifts: whisky to her cupboard, wit to her fireside, warmth to her bed. 

~~~

Severus had been teaching only a few months when Minerva first invited him to visit her on Hogmanay night. She asked on impulse: he seemed adrift, lingering in the staff room aimlessly enough to suggest that he did not yet fully appreciate the enticements of solitude. 

Still, his acceptance was unexpected and, initially, disappointing, for in truth, Minerva preferred to spend Hogmanay alone. She found, however, that her "alone" was not much compromised by the addition of Severus.

Over the years, they develop a routine: he arrives; they sit, sip, sometimes talk, and then, at midnight, move to her bedroom. 

~~~

It was on their second Hogmanay together that they became lovers, and now welcoming Severus to her bed is as much a part of the celebration for Minerva as the memory of the fireworks her father would magick into the air at the stroke of twelve.  

Most often, they take each other slowly, comfortably; the passionate fires of Minerva's youth have cooled, and Severus, she thinks, was never young. If their age difference ever gave her pause, that pause was brief -- years of war and loss have taught her the folly of sacrificing too much present pleasure to propriety.

~~~

After Severus spends himself inside her and brings her to completion with his delicate, sure touch, they lie beneath her grandmother's rune-stitched quilt and doze, his arm warm across her.

But it's never long -- perhaps an hour -- before Severus is awake and astir, dressing quietly. Only if he thinks her still asleep does he stop to smooth her hair or caress her cheek. 

Minerva takes care always to be still asleep.

She leaves her bed only after she hears him leave her rooms, a dark man setting first foot out of the old year into the uncertain new.

~~~fin

Comments

love the last line
Thanks!
Rumour has it that your fic is scheduled to be recced at a certain HP blog tomorrow. ;-)

Some lovely lines:

"So, if she is to be precise about it (and Minerva thinks it important always to be precise)"

"She found, however, that her "alone" was not much compromised by the addition of Severus."

"and Severus, she thinks, was never young."

"Minerva takes care always to be still asleep."


Better stop now. No need to quote half the fic, as much as I'd like to do it. :-P
Rumour has it that your fic is scheduled to be recced at a certain HP blog tomorrow.

Thank you! That's very kind of you. And thanks for the lovely feedback, too; so glad you enjoyed the story. Bittersweet McSnape is my favorite kind.
Aw that was great! Really well captured :)
Thanks for commenting!
Very beautifully written, loved this!
Simply beautiful, loved it! :)
I loved this. It's poetic and so very in character.
Lovely...and I'm adding this to the Master List at close_contrast. :)
Thanks! (And this reminds that I meant to post at close_contrast; *scurries off to do so right now*)