Harry has been married to Severus now for fifteen years. There are no love songs, no sonnets. Just two blokes making a life together. And it's a very good life, far better than either had privately ever expected. Severus never talks to Harry about Lily Potter. Oh, it's not awkward and not something Severus refuses to discuss. It's just not important any longer. Lily Potter, whether she was friend, sister of the heart, or one true love, is gone and Harry is here.
It's simple and it works. And if there is one thing Harry has learned to appreciate in his short life (he is a wizard after all, and can expect to live for many more years), it is the value of simplicity. He has had his fill of complicated machinations. More than enough to last him a (expected and not inconsiderable) lifetime. Just because something isn't complicated, isn't constant work filled with compromise or spectacular rows, doesn't mean it's not precious and fully brilliant in its own right.
Harry has been young, is still young and in the summer of his youth. But he has always known this. Like flying, his life with Severus is both liberating and thrilling even in its predictability, and is second nature to him. He cannot imagine a life without flying or without Severus. And with both, he has no fear of falling. Not because both flying and falling (and Severus) aren't dangerous. But because he knows in his gut neither flying nor Severus will ever harm him. And that knowledge allows him to soar.
* * * * *
He uses the term because he does. The same way that Lily is always Lily, and the Dark Lord is the Dark Lord, and Dumbledore is always Headmaster, no matter that he himself has held the title for almost two decades now. The boy is the boy and has always been special. And if there is anything Severus knows, it's that while special is not rare (in the right context every one and every thing is special. Which in turn makes everything special quite ordinary), it is impossible to ignore. He would have hexed anyone who suggested his relationship with the boy during their days as professor and student was anything less than proper. Schoolboys, even special ones, hold no sensual appeal. But Severus has always been drawn to a particular type of special.
The special that draws Severus isn't easy to define. The boy's mother was special; Voldemort was special, Dumbledore as well. There is very little common ground among them beyond that each was like sandpaper, an abrasive substance used to hone and refine his rough edges and give him clarity and a sense of purpose. In earlier days his purpose was to keep the boy alive. Now, he thinks his purpose is to give the boy a reason to go on living.
Life has taught Severus that he is a tool to be used by those special enough to know how to make him work. And the special that draws Severus is drawn to him in return. And while Lily and the Dark Lord and the Headmaster are gone, the boy is still here. So Severus is still needed and here he will remain. And sometimes in the early hours of the morning when it is too light outside for Severus to hide in the security of shadows, he can hold the boy close and admit to himself that together he and the boy have built a tolerable life. And while he cannot say there will never be another who will be special, Severus knows that if there is never anyone else, this is enough.
He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.