Disclaimer: The Harry Potter Franchise is owned by JK Rowling and her associates. I take no profit from publishing this story as its one and only purpose is to amuse me and this fiction's readers at no tangible cost.
Summary: Harry Potter is content as John Smith - can't Severus Snape see that? Or can the man see him more than Harry even sees himself?
Just Harry and Severus
"One caramel macchiato, please."
"Your usual, sir? Coming right away!"
'Most peculiar. I feel like I've done this before. Well technically I have, but that's beside the point.'
In an indistinct side cafe in suburban Texas, a young man of early twenties stood before the shop's counter ordering his usual morning cup of jo. All was of the mediocrity – the scene, the people, the food – everything was in its proper place, nothing out of the ordinary. John Smith, the person who just bought the coffee and the epitome of blandness, just cannot help the feeling that something was not right however.
And the reason for that was coming at him at an alarming rate.
Barely having time to look at where the sound was coming from, John dodged to the left, effectively sending himself sprawling on the floor as a cart full of overly large pot-like containers of something rammed on the counter just where he stood a second ago, a man attached to its handle. A man that, heaven forbid, was bleeding and seemingly dead.
"Call 911!" someone screamed overhead. Maybe it was the cashier girl, though any other was good too. John just thanked the person who acted immediately because he sure as hell wasn't in any position to do anything but gape. And on the side, scream. In all the commotion the man was able to turn his head in the direction of John and stare at him with empty black beady eyes.
He knew that man.
And his head was splitting open because of it.
"This man has no identification! Are you sure he isn't some scoundrel playing for pity by ramming himself against a café counter to get some food in his belly?" The incredulous accusation could be heard over the din.
Shuffling of feet, banging of metal objects, squeaking of wheels and various voices could be heard from the town's well-off hospital. Not many patients were in at the moment, so it was not surprising that the residents of the establishment were paying close attention to the two injured men who came an hour ago from a commotion in a nearby café. In fact two doctors were conversing rather heatedly about one man in particular, and John knew he was not the one being talked about. He quite doubts he would be called a 'scoundrel playing for pity' when he was a regular of the hospital's services and paying for them, and rightly so.
"I'm sure he's not some street person, doctor! He seems enough fed, despite appearing as only being on the verge of it. He must be some poor abused man like John! Aside from his wounds, he has burns and cuts on him that was surely not from the crash alone. Look at his chest! There are various marks on them that I'm hard pressed even the strongest of men cannot get from just banging against smooth barriers!" A shrill feminine voice answered.
John was lying down on a hospital cot too familiar for his tastes for the past hour and listening to the heated exchange for half of that time. He would have liked to pretend unconsciousness some more but even he, in the same words used by the doctor, was hard pressed to listen to any more of their useless drivel. 'Besides, I already know who he is, what of his scars, and first and foremost why Severus Snape is here in Texas.' He cleared his throat. It had the desired effect.
"John, dear! How are you feeling?" The feminine voice exclaimed even as the owner of the voice came closer to inspect her supposedly newly awakened patient. John sighed but opened his eyes; it was Dr. Smith, his personal physician and honorary mother. She was a stately woman of her early fifties, short, caring but strict. She was the one to find John all those years ago- best not go there. John spoke seeing as Dr. Smith was looking at him as if expecting an answer.
I'm fine, Dr. Smith. I don't even know why you're keeping me here. I wasn't even hit. Or so I think." John thought back to the incident earlier. It was hazy aside from his screaming and a deep blank gaze. John involuntarily shuddered. "What happened?"
Dr. Smith was looking at him weirdly but nevertheless answered his question. "You were brought here by an ambulance after the cashier girl at the café you frequent, called. You and a man were rushed in the ER, he being in a much worse condition than you. I decided to keep you under watch despite no outward injury because someone said you screamed and after a short while, fainted." She paused. She looked at him in the eyes probingly. "Do you know this man?" Then she stepped aside from his cot and moved to the curtain beside him, dragging it away to reveal what was behind.
John's breath caught in his throat.
'It's like Nagini's bite all over again…'
Involuntarily, John sat up and left his bed to approach the frail looking man lying on the pristine white sheets of the common hospital cot opposite him. Severus Snape looked like after the greatest war in the Wizarding World ended, looking almost lifeless except for the discreet rise and fall of his chest, his head almost totally bandaged with wisps of ebony hair escaping, his neck and chest covered with gauze and John can imagine other parts of the injured man's body also in the same state healing underneath the sheets. 'He looks like hell warmed over.' John mindlessly brought his hand to the other man's, surreptitiously touching the lithe fingers as he regarded the sallow, relaxed face. He thought.
'Why is he hurt? I thought he was dead. Why did he even have cauldrons with him? How did he find me?'
"John? Who is he?" Dr. Smith brought him out of his reverie, sounding both curious and exasperated at his long deliberation of Snape. 'She must be itching to solve this man's mystery. Well good luck to her for even I don't know him fully.' John made to answer her, no matter how vague it was supposed to be, his whole body turning to face her when suddenly the hand atop Snape's was seized abruptly as if in desperation, making him turn back and look at the previously sleeping man in mixed alarm and concern.
"Snape?" John's voice broke. Looking at the face of the man he was met by such a smoldering stare that his voice caught in his throat for the second time that day. There were so many emotions running through the black depths that John found himself getting dizzy just by looking at them. Snape just kept looking at him. Finally, one settled longer than the others that John recognized. 'Relief? He is relieved to see me?' If that was not confusing enough, slowly, oh so slowly, Snape's mouth stretched upwards, showing yellow crooked teeth in a genuine smile.
Then the black eyes fell shut again, the grip on Harry Potter's hand loosening.