Why was he wandering alone through the Muggle world, pretending to be a Muggle? Harry didn't know. He'd left Hogwarts when the War ended and ever since then he'd felt uneasy and displaced in his own world. Spending the night drinking in nightclubs wasn't enough to kill his boredom any more.
So he entered a Muggle funfair in search of thrills and chills. Pathetic, yes, but roller coasters and swinging pirate ships would surely shake his world for a few minutes.
As for the Ghost Train, it had to do with a childish desire to be scared. Harry had killed the most powerful Dark Lord that had ever existed - could anything still make him tremble?
The train rolled slowly through a dark tunnel. Suddenly, it sped up and almost hit a ridiculous witch stirring a cauldron. A rocking chair moved by its own accord. Flickering candelabras, arched doorways, cobwebs, spooky sounds, rattling chains, giant bats, a vampire, a ghoul, a ghost that flew up to him... Harry was disappointed: they didn't scare him in the least. But then a skeleton emerged from a coffin and brushed its fingertips across his neck. Harry shivered and, for some strange reason, as the train progressed through the tunnel passing by other creepy creatures and spooky ornaments, Harry's thoughts stayed with the skeleton.
The next day, Harry returned to the Ghost Train, and when the skeleton rose from his coffin, Harry held its cold hand. Weirdly, the skeleton floated beside him for a long while and dropped a glacial kiss on his forehead.
When the ride ended, Harry paid for another go. This time, he jumped from the train right in front of the skeleton. The skeleton hovered in the air, looking hesitant, perhaps frightened. Harry reached out and embraced it.
It wasn't cold at all, the skeleton's body, and there was a heart beating hard and fast inside his chest. His own madness scared Harry. What was he thinking, embracing a skeleton? But the skeleton didn't seem at ease either, and floated away. Harry walked dispiritedly towards the tunnel exit. The skeleton followed him at a distance. Was he shy? He looked protective...
The Muggles outside reprimanded Harry for having jumped from the train, but Harry had more serious problems.
Severus's heart was beating wildly when he returned to his coffin. What was Potter thinking? Why was he acting like that? The first time Severus had touched him, he was just playing the role that had been assigned to him. His bosses had hired him because they thought real people could be scarier than mechanical mannequins. He had offered to be the witch who stirred a cauldron a few curves before the skeleton's coffin, but the directors said he looked more like the skeleton, and hired a Muggle woman to play the witch. It was a stupid job, but after the War Severus had become a pariah in the Wizarding World and decided to try his luck with the Muggles. He had no qualifications whatsoever, and the skeleton job had fallen right into his lap: he just had to put the costume on, get in and out of a coffin when the train approached and do something creepy to haunt the riders. He had even been receiving compliments for his performance, and his bosses didn't bother to ask him how he managed to float in the air. They probably thought their customers were too impressionable and had imagined things.
Could Potter have recognised him? In that case, why hadn't he simply denounced him? Why did he keep coming back, and why had he embraced him like death?
Severus decided the young man was insane and that he should stay away from him. However, when Potter didn't come back, Severus missed him.
The same day that Harry had embraced the skeleton, he returned to the Ghost Train at closing time, wearing his Invisibility Cloak, and waited beside the exit.
When he saw Severus Snape among the employees who were walking out, Harry realised who his mysterious skeleton was.
Severus Snape meant trouble. Harry had better forget all about that skeleton.
For a whole week he managed to stay away from the funfair. But the skeleton's image haunted him night and day. He dreamed of the skeleton's arms around him, his cold kiss warming Harry's soul.
Harry knew that Snape had always been on his side and had helped the Order of the Phoenix to defeat Voldemort. Snape had killed Dumbledore only because the Headmaster had ordered him to do. Snape was responsible for the deaths of his parents, but Harry knew Snape had regretted what he had done. Harry thought about all those things and... didn't arrive at any conclusion.
He tried to convince himself that, while Snape didn't deserve his hate, he didn't deserve his trust either. But that was Harry's rational side - the side that would always lose in the end.
Severus got into the coffin, for soon another train would pass. But as soon as he shut the lid, someone knocked on it, and Severus opened it again to find Harry Potter waiting to embrace him as if he would never let him go. Severus tensed and tried to move away.
"Stay, please," said Potter.
Unable to resist, Severus wrapped his arms around Potter's shoulders and pulled him closer. The train chose that moment to pass. Luckily, Severus was between Potter and the rails, so the riders probably hadn't seen the young man, but Severus hadn't haunted them properly either.
"I know who you are," said Potter.
Severus tensed further and pulled back a little. "What do you want from me?"
"Nothing. I mean... I want you. Just you. I know this is crazy."
Severus stared at him, not knowing what to think. "You didn't come in the train, did you?"
"No. I Apparated here. Nobody saw me."
"Come with me."
Severus led Harry across the rails and through a veil of black fabric that covered the entrance of a cramped niche. Severus smoothed the fabric in place again before asking, "Do you want me to keep the costume on?"
"Oh, no... I don't have a kink for skeletons, if that's what you meant."
"We have to be quick. I have to haunt the next train," said Severus, pulling his wand from a pocket in his costume and undressing the two of them with just a swish and flick.
But when he saw Harry naked, Severus slowed down and gazed at him for long seconds, forgetting to breathe. Harry's body was exquisite, all pale skin, slender frame and smooth curves, and his firm cock pointed towards Severus, begging to be touched. Severus felt ugly, old and completely inadequate in comparison. But Harry's deep green eyes were full of longing and need, and made Severus's cock stir. Severus pushed Harry against the wall, pressing their bodies together, and bit softly at Harry's shoulder. Harry moaned and rubbed against Severus.
Severus captured a delicious earlobe between his teeth and ran his hands all over Harry, relishing the feel of their naked bodies moulding to each other. When he rolled one nipple between his thumb and forefinger, Harry hissed. Severus grinned and moved his hand to Harry's cock, running his thumb over its head. Harry's hand joined his, moving up and down Harry's length, stroking it in a slow, languid rhythm.
"Fuck me," Harry breathed.
Severus turned Harry around and ground himself up against Harry's arse. Harry spread his legs apart and Severus's cock nestled perfectly between his buttocks. It felt so good, and the way Harry responded to his touch suggested that he was enjoying it too.
Before gently lowering Harry to the ground, Severus Transfigured one of its small stones into a rug, where he put Harry on all fours. Then he knelt down, spread the cheeks of Harry's arse and licked around the rim of his hole.
"Yes, please... Oh, fuck..." Harry whispered urgently.
Severus pushed his tongue inside and moaned against Harry. He stroked his cock as he fucked Harry's arse with his tongue, relishing the taste and feel. When he simply couldn't wait any longer, Severus grabbed his wand again and cast a lubricating spell. Finally, he pushed the tip of his cock into Harry. He grasped Harry's hips and pulled him back slowly. Harry fitted him like a glove. He didn't know what Harry wanted from him, but he couldn't care less: he just wanted to be right there where he was. Pushing until his cock was buried to the root, Severus brushed his lips across Harry's neck. Harry reached around with one hand and held the back of Severus's head. Severus bit down on the nape of Harry's neck. Harry shuddered in his arms; Severus smiled and pulled out to the tip slowly. Harry wiggled against him; he gripped Harry's hips and drove in again. Severus picked up speed sliding in and out, and began stroking Harry's cock in tandem with his thrusts. Harry was panting and gasping and moaning, and Severus was almost losing himself in the heat and rhythm of their movements. Then Severus changed the angle a little and felt Harry's body stiffening and arching up as he came. Severus followed quickly behind him, holding Harry tight as he climaxed deep inside him.
When they both finally caught their breaths, Severus pulled out slowly.
They helped each other up, and Harry smiled. "That was amazing."
"Would you want to do it again? I mean, another time?" asked Severus.
"Does a junkie need a fix?"
"Does it have to be here? If your kink is this Gothic atmosphere, we can try to reproduce it somewhere else. I am rather frightening, anyway," said Severus, trying to keep the tone playful, but looking at Harry expectantly.
Harry shook his head. "I don't find you frightening. You understand me better than anyone else."
"I wouldn't be so sure."
"See? You're always honest with me."
Severus arched an eyebrow. "Are you sure?"
"Okay: sometimes you are frightening."
"I still don't know the answer to my question," insisted Severus.
"Oh, it doesn't matter where we meet. I'm sure that, wherever we are, it'll be the same: as if something were about to snap or explode," said Harry.
"And you like that?"
"I love it."
Severus took a deep breath. "I like it, too."
Severus framed Harry's face with his hands and kissed him for the first time.
The next day, Harry Potter was hired by the Ghost Train owners as the "Hanged Man".
Ptyx, November 2006