When he hears the news, Severus almost drops the jar of newts’ blood he’s holding. Only long-ingrained lessons to never drop an ingredient saves it.
Alas, Poole notices, shooting a glare back towards him. “Is something wrong, Snape?”
“No, sir.” Severus steadies the jar, sets it back on the shelf, and clears his throat. “I lost count of the newt parts is all.”
“Well then start over.” Poole huffs, turning back to his customer. “So sorry, Madam Castleberry. You were saying?”
“Yes.” Madam Castleberry sniffs. “Lucius Malfoy’s getting married! It’s all hush hush, of course since the banns haven’t yet been posted, but my cousin’s husband runs a flower shop, and he said that they were warned to expect a large order from the Blacks. And since the one Black sister ran off with a Muggle, and the other is already married, this has to be on behalf of Narcissa—”
Poole whistles. “That will be quite the society event. Two influential families of the Sacred Twenty-Eight uniting should cause a big splash.”
“Exactly.” Madam Castleberry tuts. “It’s about time that Malfoy lad got married. He’s getting old, people are beginning to wonder about him. He has to be twenty-seven at least.”
“Twenty-five,” mutters Severus.
“What was that?” Poole snaps, once again turning toward Severus. “You’re supposed to be working, boy, not listening in on conversations that don’t concern you.”
“Yes, sir,” says Severus. “I’m not. I was counting the newt parts.”
“Oh.” Poole nods. “Fine. Do it quietly, then. Here you are, Madam. That will be three Galleons. Do continue your story.”
Severus, hands shaking, mind racing, escapes into the back room of the potion shop so he doesn’t have to hear any more. Fortunately for him, it’s almost closing time, and though he’s rattled, cleaning the lab and shop are second nature, so within half an hour he’s done and slipping out the back of the shop, leaving Poole to count his money.
After that it’s only a few short steps to the nearest Apparation point, and within moments, Severus is at Malfoy Manor’s gates, staring up at the imposing structure.
The house-elf who admits him, Dobby or Donny, he can never recall his name, bids him wait in a sitting room.
When he returns, however, it’s not with Lucius, but with Abraxas. “Snape.”
Severus stands. “Lord Malfoy. I didn’t mean to disturb you, I was hoping to see Luc—”
“I know who you wanted to see,” Abraxas snaps. Moving over to a chair with difficulty, he levers himself into it. “Sit.”
Severus obeys, clasping his hands in his lap.
“I suppose you’ve heard the news, then?” Abraxas asks. “About Lucius?”
Severus hesitates. “I’m not sure—”
“He’s getting married.” Abraxas leans back in his chair, watching Severus closely. “We finished negotiating the final details of the contract last week. The deal’s done.”
“Yes, sir.” Severus manages to reply without a waver in his voice. “I had heard that.”
“I won’t allow anything to interfere with it, do you hear me?” Abraxas’ eyes narrow. “Now, why are you here to see Lucius?”
Severus exhales. Over the years, he’s wondered how much Abraxas knows about him and Lucius. It seems the man knows enough. “To congratulate him on his upcoming nuptials, sir,” he says flatly.
Abraxas smiles. “Excellent. He’s out by the pool. You know the way, I’m sure.”
When Severus gets to the pool, Lucius is on a deck chair, clad only in a skimpy swimming costume. He raises an eyebrow when he sees Severus. “I thought you weren’t coming by until the weekend,” he says.
“I heard some news today,” Severus says, moving closer. “Something about a certain Lucius Malfoy getting married?”
Lucius groans. “Damn. I’d hoped to be able to break the news to you myself.”
“So it’s true?” Severus pinches the bridge of his nose, trying to will his headache away. “I’d hoped I was wrong—”
Lucius narrows his eyes. “You’re upset. Surely you knew this would happen one day.”
“I…” Severus looks away from him. “I didn’t think it would be this soon. In fact, I thought maybe—”
“What?” Lucius sits up. “You thought maybe we could marry some day? Severus, my father may have relaxed enough to accept you, a half-blood, into the Manor as my friend, but he wouldn’t accept you as a marriage prospect for me even if you’d been female. Which you definitely are not.”
“I know that,” Severus grits out. “I just…I hoped we’d have more time.”
Lucius’ expression softens. “I know. But from Father’s perspective he’s been more than patient. I’m twenty-five, almost twenty-six! He was married at twenty, and Mother had me when she was twenty-two. In his mind, he’s allowed us two years of happiness. It was more than generous.”
Severus turns away, looking out over the gentle slopes of Malfoy Estate. “Is it a love match?” he asks, hands clenched into fists.
“Have you been listening at all?” Lucius stands, comes up behind him, embracing him. “It’s completely arranged, our parents decided when we were both toddlers. They completed the contract last week.”
“When?” Severus asks.
“When is the wedding? When will we be through?”
Lucius goes rigid. “What in Circe’s tits are you talking about? We will never be through.” He spins Severus around to face him. “Is that what’s got your knickers in a twist?”
“How can you say that?” Severus cries. “She’s going to be your wife! She’s not going to approve of me being in your bed.”
“I’m not giving her a choice about that,” Lucius says. Cupping Severus’ jaw, he leans in. “I refuse to give you up. And I shouldn’t have to.” Leaning in, he kisses Severus. “She’s going to know about us because I’m going to tell her. My duty is to produce my heir with her. Once that’s done, I should be free to fuck whomever I wish, whenever I wish.”
“And you’re sure she’ll accept that arrangement?”
“She won’t have a choice.” Lucius raises an eyebrow. “So, are we all right now?”
Severus heaves a sigh. “I suppose.” He smirks. “So, should I go? Leave you to enjoy your swim?”
Lucius smirks back. “Well, since you’re already here—”
They kiss, Lucius sliding Severus’ robes off his shoulders to pool on the ground. Biting at each other’s mouth, they struggle with the rest of Severus’ clothes until, with a growl, Lucius Banishes all their clothes, including his swimming costume.
“Oi,” grumbles Severus, “those were my best work robes! You still haven’t returned the last set you disappeared!”
“You won’t need them given I’m going to fuck you,” Lucius murmurs. “Now come here.”
“Bastard,” Severus hisses as they grapple together naked until, grinning, Lucius shoves him into the pool.
Severus makes a huge splash, arms and legs flailing, and by the time he rights himself, Lucius is in the water, too. Growling, Severus lunges for him, but Lucius evades him easily, swimming just out of reach until, exhausted, Severus treads water and pants.
Then and only then does Lucius swim close. “Is it safe?”
Severus huffs. “Fuck you.”
“That is the plan.” Eyes dancing with merriment, Lucius reaches for Severus, pulling him into a heart-stopping, soul-stealing kiss that leaves Severus’ body thrumming.
Both treading water, they strain together, legs entangling as Lucius grips Severus’ arse, pressing their groins together. Winding his legs around Severus’ waist, he shifts until his arse is rubbing against Severus’ erection.
“Going to fuck you,” Severus gasps. “Lubricus.”
“Yes,” Lucius hisses, holding himself still and helping Severus position his cock. When it slides in, they both groan.
When Severus begins to thrust, Lucius clamps his hand around Severus’ neck, sealing their mouths together. They sink below the surface, still joined, Severus undulating his hips as he presses deeper inside Lucius.
They bob up and down as they writhe together, sinking under the water and rising again to the top when they need to breathe. Finally, Severus moves them over to the edge of the pool and, once he has Lucius braced against the wall, speeds up, fucking into him in earnest.
Lucius arches his back, crying out as he starts to come, his cock shooting all over Severus’ chest and stomach. His muscles clamping down on Severus’ cock is all it takes to bring Severus to the edge. With a grunt, he pours himself into Lucius, his vision going white as pleasure rushes over him.
When he can once again speak, he whispers, “I bet Narcissa won’t fuck you under water like that.”
Lucius snorts. “Trust me, Narcissa has her own interests. Nothing will change.”
But as they emerge from the pool and Lucius brings back their clothes, Severus shivers. Change is coming, and he can’t help but dread it.