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The Taming of the Shrew

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Harry Potter had forgiven Severus Snape. It had been all over the papers. The Daily Prophet had run a special edition on Snape's contributions to the victory over He Who Might Now Be Safely Named But Whose Name Doesn't Deserve Being Remembered. The photograph on the front page showed the Saviour of the Wizarding World shaking hands with his former enemy, who had become his strongest ally. Harry Potter himself believed in his own forgiveness. After all, the man had saved his life countless times.

It was when he was sitting at the High Table during the Welcoming Feast at Hogwarts for the first time after the war, that Harry doubted his own capability to forgive. Snape was annoying. He was infuriating. An utter bastard. In short, he was his true self. Just the same surly, unsavoury creature that Harry remembered from his school days.

Entering the hall after the Sorting had taken place, the first thing Harry noticed was Snape's protruding beak, sticking out of lank strands of greasy hair. Unfortunately, Snape was sitting right beside the only empty seat left at the staff table. After greeting Headmistress McGonagall and the other teachers with a smile, Harry gave a short nod to acknowledge Snape's presence, sat down and turned away to enjoy his meal.

"Potter," a well known silky drawl disturbed his peaceful dinner. "Don't slurp your soup like a hippogriff. Or was it your late dogfather who taught you table manners?"

"It's Professor Potter. And I'd prefer not to discuss my godfather with you." Harry, proud of his own calm reaction, concentrated on the delicious food in front of him.

"Of course, I nearly forgot. You're the barmy booby who's taken over teaching those dunderheads all that nonsense about Muggles they never wanted to know. Congratulations on this important milestone in your career."

"Barmy booby. Nice alliteration, Snape, but you could certainly do better. You're loosing your touch at last. Why don't you simply mind your own business and leave me in peace?" The only reaction to his witty reply was a disgusting noise that Harry interpreted as a sarcastic snort. He could live with that. Self-satisfied, he turned back to his dinner.

Dessert was the part of the meal Harry enjoyed most. For months he'd been looking forward to having treacle tart again. Only the house elves at Hogwarts were able to prepare it the way he liked. Of course, Snape had to spoil it. The moment Harry dug in and savoured the taste of this delectable childhood memory, Snape spoke again. His barbs slowly penetrated the dreamlike haze the flavour of the dessert had created.

The lifelike images of Ron and Hermione were sitting on the bench across from Harry, looking no older than fifteen or sixteen. Of course they were bickering like always, giving the twins the ideal opportunity to plan mischief behind their backs. Dumbledore was twinkling merrily and just about to begin his welcome speech, when snide words made the fantasy collapse. "Potter, do me the favour and close your mouth while chewing. Even Grawp would make a better dinner companion than you are. You're disgusting to look at."

Harry clenched his fists until they hurt. He searched his mind for a clever insult, something far above Snape's standard and altogether damaging to the man's irritating self-confidence. The perfect answer right on the tip of his tongue, he opened his mouth. Nothing came out. His mind was blank. "What a pathetic creature you are," Snape sneered. "You're just the same as you were before the war. An imbecilic brat who doesn't know how to behave. A complete failure."

Red hot anger surged through Harry. Too civilized to act on his impulse and rip Snape into pieces, he slammed his cutlery down on his plate and left. The stares of the staff and the entire student population of Hogwarts followed him on his way out of the Great Hall.

Harry had taken over the position as Professor for Muggle Studies for two reasons. First of all, he wanted to make a difference. Misconceptions about the Muggle world and the resulting prejudices towards its inhabitants had been one of the main factors, not only in the war against Voldemort, but in every single war the Wizarding World had had to fight during the last millennium. Headmistress McGonagall had changed the Hogwarts curriculum so that all students were obliged to take the subject from year one on. It now had the same status as Potions, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration and Charms. At least theoretically. Harry was planning to show his students the fascinations of the non-magic world. He wanted to open their eyes to the fantastic Muggle inventions that had a kind of magic quality of their own. In short, it was his goal to make Muggles interesting and their way of life attractive to the young wizards and witches under his care.

The second reason, Harry had to admit grudgingly to himself, was the more important one. He had accepted Minerva McGonagall's offer to teach Muggle Studies to flee his life as the Man Who Lived To Rid The World Of Evil - and that was only one of the many stupid titles the Wizarding World had bestowed on him. Living a public life had become more and more taxing over the years. Whatever he did, the press covered it. Stories of his affairs were all over the papers, and the society reporters at the Daily Prophet had a poll going on about whom he would bed next. When his homosexuality had been proclaimed while he was still confused about his latest one-night stand with a prominent male Quidditch player, he'd had enough. McGonagall's job offer had come exactly at the right moment. He hoped to find peace at Hogwarts, the only place he'd ever felt truly at home.

Snape, naturally, had nothing better to do than thwart all his plans.

The incident at the Welcoming Feast didn't go unnoticed. It had been topic number one amongst both staff and students for the next couple of days and was only the first in a long row of similar confrontations. Snape was doing it on purpose, that Harry was sure of. He sought him out and tried to provoke him whenever possible. Harry started to take his meals early, in order to have a free choice of seat. It was to no avail. Whenever he sat down to enjoy his breakfast, lunch or dinner, Snape turned up at his side and spoiled it with his poisoned tongue.

Meals weren't the worst. Snape began to waylay him in the corridors. Wherever Harry went, he glided out of the shadows and insulted him. Sometimes he made fun of his clothes, on other occasions he commented on the unbecoming design of his glasses, and once in a while he ridiculed Harry for his messy hair. More often than not, he criticised his teaching methods.

All this took place before everyone, be it human, ghost or portrait. Harry and Snape became the standing joke of Hogwarts. Strangely enough, it was Harry who was at a disadvantage in this whole affair. Snape, who had broken the curse on the Defense position, was teaching this popular subject in his sixth year now. The students didn't love him, but they respected his competence. His strictness and severity - and his austere black robes - surrounded him with an aura of authority and power. Harry on the other hand wasn't admired for his teaching skills. His students soon found out that the Hero of the Wizarding World was another ordinary wizard, in no way special or glamorous. They made fun of his long-winded speeches on the subjects of technology and scientific advance. This went so far that he often felt misunderstood like Arthur Weasley, wondering where the ease had gone with which he'd once taught Dumbledore's Army. His comfortably oversized and multi-coloured Muggle clothes were the object of much ridicule. When it became obvious that he wasn't fond of giving out detention, deducting house points or any other form of exercising authority, the students lost the last bit of respect they might have had for him. Snape became their mouthpiece. Whenever he caught Harry and abused him with his sharp tongue, there was a bunch of students around who made funny faces or did a silent parody of storming applause.

Harry knew that his refusal to take disciplinary measures with his students had caused their lack of respect. He believed in his alternate teaching methods, though. If he gave them enough time, they would learn to appreciate his style, that he was sure of. No, it was Snape who made him furious. Snape, who used the student opinion to get the better of him. Snape, who bullied him just as he had in the past. Harry's old hatred came back with a vengeance. It was as if the war had never happened. He loathed that ugly greasy git.

Harry began to roam the castle at night. Near the start of term, when the weather was still agreeable, he'd visited the grounds after curfew, seeking peace and quiet at the lake shore or near Dumbledore's tomb. Soon, the October rains forced him inside. At first he'd been afraid to meet Snape on one of his infamous night-time controls, but the Defense Professor seemed to have stopped this habit. The only beings Harry ever encountered on his strolls were Mrs. Norris and various ghosts.

One stormy night, when the eerie glow of lightning and the rolling of thunder had driven Harry to pursue tranquillity in the deepest dungeons, he met Nearly Headless Nick. Surprised to encounter the Gryffindor Ghost away from his usual haunting ground, Harry addressed him, "Sir Nicholas, what are you doing down here? Aren't you afraid that the Bloody Baron is going to drive you out of his territory?"

"My fellow ghosts mind their own business on a night like this," Nick answered.

"Of course," Harry hurried to agree. "So what are you up to?"

If the silvery shimmer that suddenly spread all over the ghost's smoke-like features meant that he was blushing, Nick had to be embarrassed. "Harry," he said, "I may still call you Harry, Professor, may I not?"

Harry nodded and gave an encouraging smile.

"Harry," the ghost continued reluctantly, "you must know that we disembodied creatures still have certain urges, needs that are imprinted in our very essence, and that we have to gratify. You know what I mean." The silver in his face grew even more intense.

"Well, yes," Harry said politely, before the memory of Nick's Death Day Party all those years ago came back. "You mean, like when you glide through rotten or burnt food to enjoy the ... um ... smell?"

"Something like that." Nick nodded, careful not to dislodge his head.

"Did the Slytherins burn potatoes in their fireplace?"

"Hunger for food isn't the only craving that remains when the body dies."

Harry was dumbfounded by the ghost's cryptic words. Then a sudden understanding let him break out into a grin. "That's it then. You're in love with a Slytherin. Who is it?"

"I wouldn't call it love, exactly."

"Oh." This time, it was Harry who blushed. The thought of wanking sessions in the dormitory, watched by unseen eyes, made him shudder. Or worse, secret trysts in the Astronomy tower, discussed by a horde of drooling apparitions. "You don't go after the students, do you?"

"Of course not," Nick said in an offended voice. "We ghosts of Hogwarts have a code of honour that doesn't allow us to watch the students without drawing attention to ourselves."

Harry remembered Moaning Myrtle in the Prefects' Bathroom and nodded. "I see. Who is it that you're after?"

"I can't say." Nick seemed to be upset, his head wobbling in all directions. "That is. Maybe ..." He mumbled something incomprehensible. "Yes. Well. Actually, it might help you. If you see ..." He seemed to have resolved his inner conflict. "Follow me, Harry Potter. I'll show you a sight to behold."

The ghost drifted around a corner, and Harry stayed on his trail. A horrible chilling sensation told Harry that Nearly Headless Nick had stopped. Before he could step out of the specter's smoky form, Nick spoke. "I forgot. You can't hide within a wall."

Harry hastily retreated, warming his frozen ears with his hands. "Nick. Sir Nicholas. You really don't have to show me. In fact, I don't think it's a good idea. Better just tell me her name. Or, on second thought, I don't think ..." But the ghost had already drifted away. Even though he told himself that he should leave, Harry's curiosity got the better of him and he followed.

Careful not to run into Nick again, Harry stopped at his side. Nick's head was sticking inside the wall, and only his smoky behind shimmered in the half-light. "Here it is. I knew it," Nick's voice could be heard from inside the wall. He hovered back into full view. "A simple Alohamora should do the trick," he said, pointing a translucent finger at a small door. Harry spoke the word and entered a tiny room. "Look through the little hole in the wall, and you will be surprised," the ghost whispered before he disappeared.

Harry fought his way through cobwebs, remains of ancient broomsticks that he guessed dated from the days of the founders, and layers and layers of dust. He had to suppress a sneeze so as not to alert the mysterious person behind the wall to his presence. He cursed the unreliable ghost who'd put him into this undignified situation just to leave him alone with hordes of spiders, heaps of rubbish and the dirt of centuries.

A slight shimmer of greenish light emanating from the wall led Harry to the peephole he was looking for. His first glance showed an empty room. His second glance proved that it was much more than that. On the other side of the wall lay the most splendid bath imaginable, by far excelling the Prefects' Bathroom. The opposite wall was made entirely of glass, providing a view of the underwater world of the lake. Many fish passed by, and Harry saw merpeople in the green depths. The adjoining walls consisted of rough stone, interspersed with thousands and thousands of crystals, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. They glittered and sparkled, illuminated by uncountable fairy lights. The floor and the huge oval pool were made of green marble, the taps shimmered golden. The bath was already filled with water, and multicoloured bubbles drifted on its surface. Fluffy white towels and cushions made of deep green silk were strewn all about.

Harry didn't know how much time had passed when a small wooden door suddenly opened. In came none other than the bane of Harry's existence himself, Severus Snape. He wore nothing but a towel, slung low around his hips. His hair was wet, and droplets of water glistened on his shoulders. Gathering the cushions, Snape settled down comfortably. He looked strangely unreal within all that splendour, a grotesque shadow in this glittering fairy world.

Snape's hooked nose appeared even more enormous than usual, the deep lines of his face were accentuated, and his emaciated body with its protruding ribs was a sight of pity. When he put one hand under the towel and started to move it languidly, Harry gulped. He didn't believe it. Nearly Headless Nick couldn't have wanted him in all earnest to watch Snape wank. This had to be a prank. Or a misunderstanding. Maybe the ghost had thought that Sinistra was using the bathroom tonight. Or Vector. Whatever. Harry was about to turn away, when Snape loosened the towel. It fell to the side, revealing the most beautiful thing. A sight to behold. Indeed.

Snape's cock was gorgeous. Phenomenal. Absolutely perfect. Its slight, elegant curve didn't belie its impressive length and girth. Adorned by a net of thick, bulging veins, this beauty was worthy of a porn star. It flashed through Harry's mind that in a world where it was custom to veil faces and to display genitals, Snape would be famous for his flawless looks.

Meanwhile, Snape continued to stroke and caress his prick. From somewhere - Harry'd been too preoccupied to notice - he'd produced a small vial, which he now opened. He poured some of its content into his right hand and rubbed it all over his thick cock. Under his attentions, it grew even bigger. Harry gasped. His own dick demanded to be taken care of. Without taking his eye away from the peephole, Harry opened his fly. Already hard and weeping, his eager cock jumped into his hand. In awe of the alluring scene on the other side of the wall, Harry tried to match Snape's rhythm, mirroring his movements. Squeezing, pulling, tickling, fondling, swirling his hand around the head, whatever Snape did, Harry followed at once. Soon Harry was sweating and panting, and Snape's skin glistened from a wetness that hadn't been there before. Snape was rolling his balls in one hand now, all the while stroking his huge shaft with the other. The hand on his bollocks wandered even further, massaging the space below. Then he turned to lie on his side. Harry gazed enthralled as he stuck first one, then two fingers up his arse. When Snape began to fuck his fingers, Harry nearly cried out. He bit his lip to stay silent. Three, four, five more strokes and Harry's come splattered against the wall. His eyes were full of tears, and he tasted blood on his lips. His whole body shook and he had to lean against the wall, smearing spunk all over his clothes. When he managed to look through the peephole again, Snape lay motionless on his side.

After cleaning himself up a bit, he took a last glance into the other room. Snape was standing at the edge of the pool, his back turned to Harry. With an elegant movement, he dived into the water. Harry turned and left the room, dishevelled and covered with dirt, cobwebs and come.

The next afternoon, the Captain of the Chudley Cannons was expected at the Hogwarts Halloween feast. Harry was so overjoyed by the prospect of seeing his best mate again that he walked with a spring in his step the whole day. The fact that the students started to bounce up and down the moment he approached didn't register with him. Snape alone managed to bring him down to earth for a couple of moments. His snide remark - "only fools wear their hearts on their sleeves" - would have remained unnoticed, hadn't Harry remembered what special part of his body he wished Snape to wear proudly and bare. But remember he did, and his resulting blush was beyond all description. After an awkward eternity had passed, he eventually managed an answer that was halfway intelligible and coherent. "I've heard that before. Your sarcasm lacks originality."

Ron arrived around tea time. They went for a stroll around the lake and missed the beginning of the feast. When they entered the hall, the staff were already seated. Harry cursed silently under his breath as he noticed the inevitable. The only two remaining chairs were between Hooch and Snape. In this case he didn't mind being rude and slipped hurriedly past Ron to take the seat beside Hooch. The Quidditch instructor smiled understandingly, even if she glanced with regret at the most popular captain in the British Premier League. Ron wasn't so sympathetic. He glared daggers at Harry and made an obscene gesture before he sat down at last.

"My, my," Snape commented on this wordless exchange, "Mr. Weasley, eloquent as always."

The muscles in Ron's face tightened before he relaxed again and answered, "Nice to see you too, Professor."

"It verges on the miraculous. They teach manners in the Quidditch pitch." Snape smiled his most sardonic smile. "Perhaps Potter there should take a position as a Seeker. It might teach him how to behave, and ..." Snape leaned forward and fixed his cold eyes directly on Harry, "... at least on a broomstick, he doesn't look like a clumsy idiot."

Snape speared a piece of kidney pie with an elegant movement of his fork. "An additional bonus of course lies in the fact that Quidditch robes are much more appropriate attire for a wizard than," he pointed the kidney pie at Harry's oversized, yellow and red striped shirt, "this fool's costume."

"Oi mate," Ron remarked later, when they shared a bottle of Old Ogden's Best in Harry's quarters. "Snape certainly hasn't changed. What do they say about leopards and their spots? How do you put up with all this shit?"

"I don't," Harry said, gulping down a tumbler filled to the rim with Firewhisky. "I mean, I can't. Can't stand it anymore." He sloshed more of the amber liquid into Ron's still half-full glass before he refilled his own. "Snape's an utter bastard. An arsehole."

"An arsehole," Ron repeated, and they clinked glasses.

"He wouldn't be so bad, arsehole-wise, I mean, if he only kept his gob shut. This poisonous tongue of his is a scourge to ... a scourge to ... scotch."

"What?" This time it was Ron's duty to fill their tumblers.

"Y'know, he's got ... something hidden."


"Hidden depths. Deep down. Under his robes." Harry giggled like a thirteen year old schoolgirl who'd just been told a dirty joke.

"Mate? Everything all right with you?" Ron asked.

"Everything's all right, everything's arright," Harry singsonged, "arrrri-i-i-i-ight."

"Yeah, mate," Ron said, nodding his consent.

"But he shouldn't talk to me like that. He shouldn't." Harry emphasised his words with his outstretched index finger, jabbing Ron in the chest.

"No, mate." Ron didn't manage the seamless transition from nodding to shaking his head. After a while, he stopped his efforts and swallowed the rest of his drink. "Who ... um ... whom?"

"What?" With a jerky movement, Harry emptied the bottle into their tumblers.

"What? Whom." Ron scratched his head. "Whom. Are we talking about?"

"Snape. Always Snape." Harry sighed. "But I won't allow him to go on. Treating me like that. Arsehole." Furious, Harry slammed his fist on the table. "I won't allow it."

"Then stop it." Ron looked as if he'd just made an important discovery.

"How?" Harry asked, baffled.

"Tame him. He's an ugly beast. So he has to be tamed." Ron snorted with laughter.

"Tame Snape." Harry wrinkled his forehead in concentration. "Might be a good idea. Hagrid would approve."

"Sure, mate," Ron snickered. "You could make him perform little tricks."



"Give paw!"

"Make him sit on his hind legs and beg." Ron rolled on the floor, laughing.

"Make him eat out of my hand," Harry said absentmindedly.

"Bet he wouldn't do that."

"What?" Harry was startled out of his reverie.

"A bet," Ron explained. "I bet that you can't do that. Make Snape eat out of your hand."

"Sure I can. I'm going to tame him."

"Sure mate," Ron repeated. "So, do you wanna bet?"

"Yeah. I suppose."

"Say it."

"All right. All right. I bet that Snape's going to eat out of my hand."



"When, oh mighty tamer of the most horrible beast, do you think you'll have accomplished your fearless deed? Christmas?"

"Christmas? Are you daft?"

"Valentine's Day, then." Ron dragged himself to his feet and stretched his hand out. "Let's seal it with a handshake."

Harry hesitated. "What's at stake?"


"Idiot. What do I get when-"


"All right. If."

Let's see. If you really," Ron chortled, "if you make Snape eat out of your hand next Valentine's Day, then ..." He thought for a moment before he clapped his hands. "I'm going to teach a course about Muggle games in one of your classes. About football, and wicket-"


"Whatever. But if you lose, then you'll be our team mascot for the next season."

"Done. You're on," they intoned, shaking hands and falling on the floor in a heap. Seconds later, Ron's snores could be heard throughout Gryffindor Tower.

The following morning, Harry would've had fun watching the green of Ron's face clash with the colour of his hair if he hadn't been so spectacularly sick himself. He had to puke twice before he managed to get up from the floor, where Ron was still suffering, holding his head and whimpering. After a couple of hours and twice as many pots of coffee, they made it to the Floo. Glad that he didn't have to subject himself to the hardship of being whirled through every fireplace between Hogwarts and the Burrow, Harry said his goodbyes with an uneasy grin. Then he went to bed. Thank Merlin for the small things, like Sundays. No classes, no students, no Snape. He fell asleep with a smile.

Later that day, Harry was in for an unpleasant surprise. The sun had already set when he entered his living room after a prolonged shower. Noticing the clean, puke-free floor, he vowed to make it up to Dobby with a generous Christmas gift. Maybe a multicoloured pair of rompers would be in order. Then he saw it. A shapeless parcel on the settee, looking perfectly harmless. The moment he opened it, he knew he was doomed.

What appeared under various layers of brown paper wasn't just an ordinary monstrosity in loud orange. It was so much more. It was the key to his downfall, the one thing even a slayer of evil madmen couldn't survive unscathed.

Harry hexed his bathroom mirror into silence. It had been right of course. He did look ridiculous, clad in spandex the colour of a blazing pumpkin. With the huge double 'C' on his breast, the outfit reminded him of the suit of a superhero from a Muggle comic book. The speeding cannon ball was worse, though. It didn't stay put on its proper place beside the intertwined C's, but raced all over Harry's body, coming to rest right above his groin, drawing attention to all that can't be hidden in a skintight suit. As if that wasn't enough, the cape that went with the spandex was made entirely of feathers. Altogether, Harry looked like a mix of giant bird, crazy Muggle Superman and Polynesian chief.

Dear Harry, the accompanying letter read, I hope you like your new outfit as the Chudley Cannons' mascot. It will be your job to fly around the pitch and cheer on the crowd for about an hour before the game starts. Believe me, the fans are going to love you like this. Ron.

"You wish, mate, you wish." Harry crumpled the parchment up into a ball, threw it into the washbasin and incinerated it with his wand. After changing clothes, he hung the offending garment right in front of his wardrobe, so that he'd see it each time he went to bed and every morning when getting up. This hideous thing was just the perfect incentive not to loose his bet. With a determined expression on his face, he sat down at his desk and started to compose lesson plans for a year-long course in football and cricket, open to all students.

If the monstrosity on his wardrobe did a good job, Harry couldn't say. True, it made him angry every time he looked at it, but it wasn't helpful in any other way. Anger didn't assist him with his task to tame Snape's acerbic personality. On the contrary. What he needed was a strategy. A solid, foolproof plan. And a plan, or at the least, a single good idea, was the one thing Harry lacked.

In the meantime, he continued to haunt the dungeons at night, telling himself that maybe a glimpse of Snape's 'hidden personality' might help his case along. After two weeks of wanking in front of a peephole, Harry had to admit that this wasn't the key to success. Still, he didn't stop his night-time excursions to the dusty dungeon cell with its splendid view.

One night late in November the luxurious bath on the other side of the wall was deserted. The pool was empty, the fairy lights gone, with no Snape in sight. When, after nearly an hour, nothing had happened, Harry made up his mind to leave.

Harry was still brushing cobwebs from his hair, when suddenly an arm of steel wrapped around his throat. "What do we have here?" a well known voice whispered. "A peeping Tom."

Harry tried to struggle, but Snape held him in a vice-like grip, pressing him against the wall with his full bodyweight. "Or should I rather say," the silky voice continued, "a peeping Potter." The last word was spat with such a force that the plosives in Harry's name caused torrents of spittle to spray all over him. "So the Bloody Baron has been right all the time," Snape murmured, as if talking to himself.

"Bloody ghosts," Harry gasped, in spite of Snape's arm suffocating him.

"You didn't believe in earnest that you could penetrate Slytherin Territory without being noticed?"

"I -"

"What Potter? What did you think to gain by spying on me?"

"I -"

"Or was it just for fun? Having a good laugh at my expense. Telling all your famous little friends what a hideous monster I am. A truly ugly," he shook Harry violently, "slimy, greasy git. So greasy that even regular baths don't help." Snape was panting now and released his grip on Harry's throat to support himself on the wall.

Harry took in deep breaths of air and started to cough. His throat hurt. "I didn't mean to spy on you. It's just ..." Harry's face grew hot, and he was blushing all over. He was only glad that Snape wouldn't be able to see his shame in the half-light of the dungeon cell. "I ... I liked what I saw," he blurted out.

"Liked what you saw?" Snape's voice dripped with sarcasm. "You're a far worse liar than I thought. Liked what you saw?" He pressed himself even harder against Harry and rubbed his groin against the small of his back. "So you like this then?"

Harry liked what he felt. It was the object of his desire that was grinding against him now. The slow, tantalizing movements with which Snape's cock massaged the curve of his back through layers of clothes set off a chain reaction. First of all, Harry pushed back. He answered Snape's bewitching rhythm with wriggling motions of his own, increasing the friction. Then, bracing himself with one hand, his other hand sneaked to his crotch, to rub his burgeoning hard-on.

Snape broke out in barking laughter, hoarse and spiteful. "This is priceless. The Gryffindor hero nothing but a common slut." He slapped Harry's hand away from his groin. His dexterous fingers cajoled Harry's prick into growing bigger and bigger.

Harry started to whimper. His brain told him to break free and run. To run as fast as possible. To run away from this embarrassing situation he had put himself into so foolishly. But the cells of his body didn't care for following the orders of his brain right now. Every single one of them seemed to be on holiday. On holiday in the nether regions. Harry writhed between the two opposite centres of pleasure, Snape's talented hand and his gorgeous cock that felt even better than it looked.

"Not a common slut, I see," Snape whispered, "a very special slut, a tart extraordinaire." Snape's hot breath in his ear made Harry shiver all over. "You take it where you can get it," Snape continued his odd seduction, "even if it's only your despised, vile, repulsive, old teacher."

When Snape's tongue started to lick the shell of his ear, Harry had enough of this farce. He wouldn't allow himself to melt into a puddle in a dirty old broom closet in the dungeons. Forcing every fibre of his being into submission, Harry managed to push Snape away and turn around. Before he could reach the door, Snape plastered him against the wall again.

"Trying to run away, my little Gryffindor slut?" Snape attacked Harry's ear once more. Desperate for more friction, Harry pressed himself flush to the body of his assailant. Snape showed mercy and put a leg between Harry's thighs. "Here, my sweet little whore, I give you all you need, the scrawny leg of a loathsome old man."

Harry didn't understand what Snape was saying, if it was a bizarre endearment or scorn and derision. In fact, he didn't care. He was thrusting frantically now, so close to release. Snape gripped his arse and held him tight, intensifying the sensations. Then he felt Snape's own hard cock press into his belly. Realising that the other man was just as affected as he was, pushed Harry over the brink. He humped Snape's leg uncontrollably before he convulsed, biting into Snape's shoulder to muffle his scream. Snape himself shuddered over and over, but he held Harry steady the whole time.

Feeling his come warm and wet inside his pants, Harry sagged down to the floor, relieved and ashamed. Snape released him from his grip and loomed over him for a moment in silence. "Potter," he sneered, "whenever you're in need, you know where to find me." Then he turned and slipped out of the cell, robes billowing behind him.

Whenever you're in need, you know where to find me. - Snape's words haunted Harry day and night.

Basically, their ignominious encounter didn't change a thing between him and Snape. The Defense Professor persisted in heaping abuse on Harry. The Professor for Muggle Studies persisted in ignoring the bane of his existence. As that turned out to be a near impossible feat, Harry tried to answer Snape in the same vein. Their public verbal exchanges grew even more popular. Snape's mastery of his most brilliant weapon became the stuff of legends. That double sharpened, poisonous dagger he hid behind his thin and forbidding lips regularly shredded Harry into minced meat.

But Harry didn't care if he turned into the laughing stock of all Hogwarts. He didn't care for his reputation among the students. They would come to their senses sooner or later. All that he cared for was his equilibrium and his sanity. And both seemed irretrievably lost.

Whenever you're in need. - Snape's voice was constantly in his mind.

Harry forced himself to stay in his rooms at night. No more nocturnal strolls around the castle. He slept fitfully, if at all. Frequently, he was startled out of an uneasy slumber with Snape's name on his lips. He didn't remember his dreams, but he knew for sure that it was his tremendous shame that kept him awake.

Could it be something else? Was it shame, that left him hard and horny? Did he long for Snape whispering degrading nothings in his ear?

But when he tossed and turned in his bed at night, when sleep evaded him, it wasn't Snape's nasty remarks that he thought of. He didn't reminisce about Snape's repellent appearance, or his obnoxious personality. What he remembered then was Snape's hot breath, his expert touches, his beautiful cock. What he remembered was ecstasy.


Harry's hand slid down to his cock. He was in need. Very much in need. And while he stroked himself to an ordinary climax, he dreamed of caresses far more exquisite and special.

Soon, Harry resumed roaming the halls at night. Avoiding the dungeons, he resorted to the Owlery, the Astronomy Tower, the kitchens, and every classroom in between. He even climbed the ladder up to the Divination classroom at the North Tower once, only to shy away from the sweet smelling fumes and the oppressive fire.

One of those nights, when he'd just left the Owlery, an iron hand gripped him and dragged him into a hidden alcove at the base of West Tower.

"Potter," Snape hissed full of venom, "making yourself scarce these days. Playing hard to get."

He turned Harry around, so that he faced the wall, pressing against him from behind. "But we know the truth, don't we, Potter?" Snape stroked the tell-tale signs of Harry's arousal through the denim of his jeans. "It's not that you don't want me, my little Gryffindor whore."

Snape's breath caressed Harry's ear. "It's only that you're afraid. Probably ashamed." He loosened Harry's belt and opened his fly. "Ashamed that it's this hideous aged misanthropist, who turns you on -" Snape pulled down Harry's jeans and pants and slapped his bare arse, "- like that."

Harry shivered. He didn't know if it was the sudden cold or the bizarre and thrilling circumstances he once again found himself in that made his body react like that. The only thing he knew was that for once he felt truly alive, electrified and horny as hell.

Snape massaged Harry's cock with languid strokes. "Tell me what you want, Potter."

"I ... erm ..." Harry didn't know what to say. He wanted Snape to go on without further ado, to take the initiative. What he didn't want was to make a conscious decision, to state here and now that he was gay and wanted to have sex with Snape, of all people. He wriggled his arse and hoped for Snape to continue with this intoxicating game.

Snape ceased stroking and leaned in even closer. "No Potter. You're not getting away with that."

The coarse fabric of robes chafed against Harry's naked bum, and he could feel Snape's arousal.

"There's no way that I will be playing the rapist here just to accommodate your wish to hide your sweet little arse from the truth any longer."

Harry blushed. The accurateness with which Snape analysed him was spooky. He couldn't have used Legilimency. Since the end of the war, Harry was too advanced an Occlumens not to notice an attempted intrusion into his mind. Of course, the fact that Snape could read him like a book without having to resort to magic means didn't make things any better. "Well," he said, "get on with it then."

Snape snorted. "Get on with what? Be more precise, Potter. Tell me what you want, or I'll leave that gorgeous arse of yours alone in the cold."

"You think I'm gorgeous?"


"All right," Harry mumbled, his face hot, "I want to have sex with you. Yes, with you, of all people. Can we get on with it now?"

Snape laughed. "We shall." He steered Harry around, so that he faced an embrasure. "Bend over, my sweet Gryffindor tart."

Harry gripped the ledge and did as Snape had told him. Snape's constant name-calling and his own mortifying position, with his bare arse up in the air, should have unsettled him. In fact, it was a huge turn on. It was liberating to give over control, to stop thinking. All he had to do was to feel, to relish those wonderful sensations that Severus Snape was giving him.

Snape's fingers had returned to Harry's hard-on and were pulling and stroking it. The moon was full in the starry sky, bathing Hagrid's hut and the Forbidden Forest in an eerie silver light. Snape's hands moved, touching and kneading Harry's arse cheeks. Suddenly, those dexterous fingers were slippery all over. One hand moved back to his cock, the other stayed where it was. The sensations changed, everything became smoother and more rhythmical. Something - was it a Thestral or a Hippogriff? - arose from the forest and darkened the moon for the fraction of a second. One of Snape's fingers teased Harry's little hole, circled it. Round and round it went, until it crept inside. It wriggled a bit, slipping in and out. And then Snape crooked it, as if beckoning Harry. And Harry saw stars, very different from those that shone over the Forbidden Forest.

"Ungh," he groaned. Snape did it again. It was as if a jolt of electricity was running through Harry.

"Do you like that?" Snape whispered.

Harry nodded, speechless, drunken with pleasure. Snape added a second finger, scissored them, made him jolt again. Harry remembered how Snape had looked like in the bath, fucking himself on his fingers. He pushed back, encouraging those digits to move faster.

Envisioning Snape in that otherworldly grotto brought back memories of that beautiful cock. "More," Harry moaned, "more. I want you."

But Snape removed both his hands. "Are you sure, Potter?" Snape's voice sounded strange, different from his usual sarcastic drawl. What exactly had changed, Harry couldn't say. "Potter?" Snape repeated, strained.

"Yes, right, erm, sure, I mean."

Snape didn't move.

"Please," Harry said. "I want you. I'm sure."

It was as if he had a lump in his throat, his last words were inaudible. But Snape seemed to have understood. Something huge and plump nudged Harry between his cheeks. So that was it then. He was about to get fucked by that beautiful cock. This was the point of no return. Harry braced himself and shoved back, willing to take it all in. It hurt. A burning sensation, as if he was on fire, but not totally unpleasant.

"Careful, you idiot," Snape snapped. Inch by inch, Snape's cock plundered Harry's arse. Just when he thought he couldn't take it anymore, Snape stopped. Down at Hagrid's hut, a door opened. The gamekeeper and his gigantic boarhound stepped out and made their way into the forest. Slowly, Harry adjusted to the enormous invader up his arse. He rather liked feeling stretched beyond his limits, filled.

After what seemed an eternity, Snape moved. Deep, slow strokes at first, changing the angle repeatedly. When Harry started to moan and pushed back, Snape intensified his thrusts. Soon they were moving in one glorious rhythm. Harry forgot where he was and what he was doing. It was fantastic. His body hummed and vibrated, truly alive. He was flying on his Firebolt, high above the Forbidden Forest. The mysterious darkness below called for him. "Harry, Harry," he heard it whisper all around. He rose, higher and always higher, up to the moon. When he was close, so close he could nearly touch it, his broom bucked and shuddered, threatening to toss him off. Harry changed course. The voices from the ground - or was it only one voice? - repeated his name, over and over. Harry listened closely, enthralled by the beauty of the sound. He plunged down into the deep. Wind roared, a clap of thunder far away. He screamed. And then, nothing.

"Harry," Snape groaned, "Harry." Hot liquid pulsed into his arse. Too soon, Snape's cock slipped out. Harry straightened up, his spent prick dangling in the breeze. Snape embraced him from behind and they stood like that for long moments. The Hippogriff returned to the forest, bringing a mate. Snape rubbed his cheek along Harry's. "Thank you, Potter," he mumbled into the awkward silence. Then he was gone.

Harry learned to anticipate Snape on his nocturnal strolls. Sometimes, the man dragged him into an abandoned classroom. On other nights, he ambushed him on his way to the Astronomy tower, or descended on him when he left the kitchens after a midnight meal. The time and place of Snape's attacks were always a surprise. But one thing was cocksure predictable, that he would turn up, sooner or later. They never talked, never did anything but succumb to their overwhelming need. Soon, those thrilling encounters became the highlight of Harry's days, the one thing he looked forward to while teaching unwilling students or marking poor, sloppy essays.

If he'd thought that their nightly trysts would change anything about their daytime hostilities though, Harry was in for a shock.

The morning following their second rendezvous - a heated skirmish in one of the broom cupboards adjoining the kitchens - Harry sat down for breakfast, his arse pleasantly sore. Snape joined him, taking his usual seat to Harry's left. Harry shivered, confused by the close proximity of the man who'd done all those wonderful things to him, only hours before. Fighting his violent blush, he was about to greet him when Snape started to talk.

"Potter," he sneered in his coldest voice. "I'm used to your impudence by now. It wouldn't do, if you were to stop cutting me dead, even though," the next words were spoken under his breath, "you weren't so reserved last night. I only wished," he continued much louder, "that you'd stop being such an eyesore. What do they call these -" he paused for effect - the whole staff and the students in close vicinity to the High Table were listening now - "- these rags in the Muggle world? Clothes?" Snape's scathing laughter would have been highly effective on the stage.

"No wonder that your students don't respect Muggles. If their teacher is nothing but a disgusting caricature."

"Severus." Minerva McGonagall placed a hand on Snape's shoulder in a soothing gesture. Harry hurried to leave the hall, again followed by everybody's stares.

Although Snape's everyday attitude towards Harry didn't change, their nightly passion made it all somehow more bearable. It was a fantastic outlet for his pent-up frustrations, his trouble with the students, the growing awareness that he was an abysmal teacher. Harry thought it ironic that the man responsible for his distress would also be accountable for its relief.

Nonetheless, there was his most pressing problem. He wasn't any closer to a solution than he had been before his affair with Snape. The hideous orange monster on his wardrobe mocked him whenever he looked at it. It was odd, Harry thought, how you don't know a person, even if you know them intimately. He knew how Snape smelled when he was aroused, knew how his day-old stubble felt against his cheek. Since their last encounter on top of the Astronomy Tower, he knew - and Harry blushed when he thought of that - how Snape's come tasted. Still, he hadn't the slightest clue of how he could get closer to the man in order to fulfil the requirements of his bet.

The best ideas always come out of the blue.

It was in the middle of December, and their strange liaison had been going on for nearly a month now. Harry stood in the little alcove at the base of West Tower where they had fucked for the first time. It had been snowing all day, and now the world outside was white and quiet and beautiful. He leaned over the sill of the embrasure and watched the moon rise over the Forbidden Forest. It was close to full again. Harry's teeth were chattering in the bitter cold. Just when he wondered if Snape was going to find him here, or if it would be better to roam the halls some more, the other man entered the hidden recess.

"Potter, are you completely daft?" Snape hurriedly cast half a dozen heating spells before he took Harry in his arms to warm him with the heat of his body.

The familiar scratch of Snape's unshaven jaw against his cheek. The smell of multicoloured bubbles from a fairy bath. The salty taste of skin.

When, after long moments, Snape went down on him, Harry knew exactly what he had to do. While he watched the snow on the ledge melt under Snape's spells, while he himself surrendered to the scorching heat of that wonderful mouth, Harry formed a foolproof plan in his head.

The best plans are always simple.

Night-time Snape liked Potter, Harry was sure about that. Daytime Snape abhorred the Professor for Muggle Studies, another certain fact. So he had to bring daytime Snape to like Potter, or even better, to like Harry. It was as simple as that. He had to take night-time Snape and daytime Snape and transform them into one person, one Snape, one Severus. And when one Severus liked one Harry, then his bet was as good as won. Theoretically, at least.

Practically, everything turned out to be a little bit more complicated.

But Harry knew where to begin. Saturday next, he went on a shopping spree.

Diagon Alley in December was even more crowded than it was during the last weeks of August when everybody went shopping for school supplies. Christmas was as big an affair in the Wizarding World as it was for Muggles. Many of the passers-by wore twigs of holly on their hats, and the shops were decorated with bunches of mistletoe and garlands of holly and ivy. The huge Christmas tree in front of Gringotts nearly covered the whole facade, glittering and twinkling merrily. Carol singers were starting to sing The Twelve Days Of Christmas, their noses red from the frost.

Harry was grateful for the weather. The bitter cold provided a pretext to disguise himself with the help of a gigantic scarf. Albeit it was only natural that the giver of said scarf wasn't fooled.

"Harry," Molly Weasley shouted happily from the other side of the street. Passers-by turned their heads, and Harry darted into the next shop to avoid their stares. He was browsing the shelves for suitable presents for Snape when Mrs. Weasley entered.

"Oh Harry," she chided, "I nearly didn't find you. Honeydukes seemed to be a sure bet, though. You boys are so predictable."

She ruffled his hair. "So, young man, what do you have to say for yourself? And no excuses this year. Are you going to visit us over the holidays?"

After half an hour of lame explanations why it wouldn't be advisable to meet Ginny right now and exaggerations about his workload, Mrs. Weasley was satisfied. An intense motherly hug, and she left the Diagon Alley branch of Honeydukes at long last, but not without making Harry promise to stay at the Burrow over Easter.

Harry gave a sigh of relief. What was an awkward half hour compared to his freedom? Now he could bring his brilliant plan to fruition without being disturbed by well meaning friends. And not so well meaning best mates, who would certainly try to thwart him, if they got the chance.

"I'll show you, Ron, I'll show you," Harry grimly promised himself, startling the helpful shop assistant. The sky was blue outside, the ornaments on the tree looked magnificent. Five golden rings, fo-our colly birds, three French hens ... Harry whistled the tune. Even the hours he had to spend at Madam Malkin's didn't lower his spirits. A happy, if exhausted, Professor for Muggle Studies returned to Hogwarts that evening, his pockets packed with many dozens of shrunken shopping bags.

Dear Professor Snape, Harry wrote that night, I'd like to invite you to dinner to celebrate the end of our first term as colleagues. I discovered a fancy French restaurant in Diagon Alley today that might meet your excellent tastes in food and wine. What do you think about the following Saturday? I include a little token of my appreciation. Yours sincerely, Harry Potter.

Potter. Are you trying to have me on? You better not mess around with me like that.

It was that same night that they kissed for the first time. Harry initiated it. After Snape had dragged him into an abandoned classroom on the third floor, Harry hadn't bent over the next table, as he usually did. Instead, he turned around and smashed his lips on Snape's. After a second or two of hesitation, those thin and forbidding lips became pliable, soft. When they opened, Harry's invading tongue found neither daggers nor poison, but bliss, sheer bliss. And the lingering taste of Honeyduke's chocolates, just like those that Harry had sent to the dungeons only an hour ago.

Dear Professor Snape, Harry answered as soon as he'd returned to his quarters, believe me, I wouldn't dare to try and muck around with you. I really think we should get to know each other better. The atmosphere of a tasteful restaurant would allow us to socialise in an environment that's at the same time pleasant and neutral. Why don't you at least consider my invitation? As you seem to have liked the chocolates, I include some more. Hopefully, Harry Potter.

Potter. I still can't imagine what you're trying to achieve with this absurd proposition. Why you would risk to be seen in the company of your hideous and greasy former teacher is beyond my comprehension. And then, why would I want to spend my precious time with a brat in fool's clothing? Think about that. And yes, your taste in chocolates might be the only taste you possess. S.S.

The next morning, Harry played his trump card. When he went down for breakfast in the Great Hall, he wore wizard's robes. Nothing special, but they were close fitted, and the green pattern on a light grey background "brought out the colour of his eyes quite nicely," as Madam Malkin had stated. Enjoying the way his new clothes billowed around him when he walked, he swaggered to the High Table and took the seat next to Snape, even though, for once, there were other chairs available.

"Good morning, Professors," he greeted his colleagues. "Professor Snape." He smiled at the man to his left.

Snape only nodded, his concentration on his kippers.

Harry bided his time. The moment, Snape turned to McGonagall on his other side, he smuggled a piece of champagne truffle under his napkin. The fact that it was gone after Snape had left the table made Harry nearly cry out in triumph.

Dear Professor Snape, he wrote in the afternoon. I don't care if anybody sees me in the company of an esteemed and distinguished colleague. In fact, I'd be proud to be seen with you. I wish you would reconsider spending an amicable evening with a brat in wizard's clothes. With optimistic greetings, Harry Potter.

Potter. You're a stubborn idiot. You may pick me up at my quarters at six o'clock, Saturday next. Don't dare to be late. S. Snape.

The following Saturday, Harry was at Snape's door ten minutes before the appointed time. Not wanting to be rude, he walked up and down the hall, his thoughts on the upcoming dinner. While practising the billowing of his festive silk robes, he noticed a ghost, drifting with unusual speed away from him and through a closed door at the end of the hall. It couldn't have been Nearly Headless Nick, he thought, despite the odd wobbling of the spectre’s head. Why would the Gryffindor ghost once again foray into Slytherin territory? Harry soon forgot all about the apparition, worrying only whether his first date with Snape would be a success. After all, he couldn't afford a failure. Valentine's Day was looming on the horizon, as terrifying as an irate Molly Weasley after having caught the twins experimenting with illegal substances. Harry shuddered at the mere thought. The evening simply had to go well.

After an eternity, or maybe only a couple of minutes, Snape's door opened with a bang. "Potter," a voice thundered from within, "will you stop alerting my wards every ten seconds and come in."

Harry blushed. What a promising start. He magicked a smile on his face that broadened of its own volition as his eyes fell on the Defense Professor in his black velvet robes with silver embroidery. Snape was stunning. His face was still emaciated, his nose huge and hooked, his cheeks sallow. But the formal dress lent his figure a certain grandeur. If he was authoritative and intimidating in his usual robes, he was regal and awe-inspiring now. Harry bowed his head. "Professor Snape, thank you for accepting my invitation. I'm overjoyed at having the opportunity to spend some time with you in private."

"Potter, turn it down a couple of notches." But the corners of Snape's lips twitched, and he was close to smiling when he accepted a box of Honeyduke's finest marzipan chocolates with a soft, "Thank you."

Dinner was a quiet affair. The restaurant turned out to be well chosen, and Snape seemed to like Harry's selected menu, grilled oysters, Coq au Vin and crème brûlée. For once, Harry was glad to have dated Gabrielle Delacour for three stressful months. He even managed to impress Snape with his knowledge of wine. They had an amicable discussion on wizarding politics, and Harry was surprised at how liberal Snape's views were, especially on the question of the integration of Muggles and their culture into the Wizarding World. "Could've fooled me," he said as they stood at the door to Snape's quarters, still engaged in a lively exchange of ideas.

"No wonder, Potter. You're easily fooled."

"Hush." Harry caressed Snape's lips with his right index finger. "Don't ruin it."

The following silence was awkward; neither Harry nor Snape seemed to know what to say or do. Finally, Harry decided to take matters in his own hands. Snape tasted like Cabernet Sauvignon with a trace of marzipan. Snape also pushed him away. "Potter. What are you thinking? I never kiss on a first date." And the door closed in his face.

Later on, they were fucking like rabbits in one of Filch's storerooms on the seventh floor. They didn't kiss or talk, but Harry left bite marks on Snape's shoulder when he came.

Afterwards, Harry received a letter. Professor Potter, it read, I have to thank you for the evening. I even enjoyed the odd minute or two in your company. Allow me to reciprocate the invitation. I've heard that you're going to spend the holidays at Hogwarts. Would you like to have tea with me on Christmas Day? My quarters, six o'clock? Severus Snape.

From the following day on, Harry smuggled chocolates under Snape's napkin every time they shared a meal in the Great Hall, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. They barely exchanged a glance, much less a word. But Snape seemed to anticipate Harry's little gifts and gave him the opportunity to put them in place, turning away to talk to McGonagall or other members of the staff. Harry rejoiced. His plan appeared to be working. Snape was not only civil towards him at mealtimes, it looked as if he'd also quit his habit of waylaying Harry on the corridors during the day, heaping abuse on him in front of the students.

After three days of glorious peace, interrupted only by nights of fantastic fucking, Harry danced a jig of triumph in front of the orange monster on his wardrobe. "Yay me, yay me," he cheered and clapped his hands to the rhythm of the music in his head.

He was in for an unpleasant surprise.

The end of term was always hectic and tumultuous, and this year's last day before the Christmas holidays was no exception to the rule. Students were swarming all over the place, giddy with excitement and happiness. Snape looked like a black crow among a flock of parakeets, reinstalling a semblance of order whenever possible.

It happened in the blink of an eye. Harry was just leaving the Muggle Studies classroom after a cluster of students, balancing a stack of textbooks. Before he could close the door, he collided with a black clad lamp post. The books went flying, and Harry, cursing, landed on his arse. While he was searching the floor for his glasses, he heard a well known voice, cutting and cold as ice. "Potter. One might think you were still a student, graceless and oafish as you are."

Harry heard some students snicker, but couldn't make them out without his glasses. He sighed. "Snape, listen -"

"Potter. You listen to me," the voice mocked him. "You're nothing but a snotty-nosed brat, playing Professor with the grown ups, without a clue what it entails to be a real teacher. Do you think your students here learned anything in your class?" The snicker intensified, accompanied now by catcalls and clapping. "No wonder you're so clumsy, blind as a mole as you are."

Snape shoved Harry's glasses on his nose. They were besmirched with fingerprints. Harry blinked.

"Oh, and Potter," Snape said casually while turning away, "you'd definitely look better if you didn't wear those atrocious bottles for glasses."

Harry went to his optician the next day. It wouldn't do to endanger his plan with irrelevant trifles. He decided on small, rimless spectacles. "Very elegant," as the optician assured him, "and nearly invisible." It was only unfortunate that they wouldn't be ready before the new year. On his way back to Hogwarts, he stopped at Honeydukes, buying some more of those champagne truffles and marzipan chocolates that Snape seemed to like best.

Christmas Day stretched infinitely. The unwrapping of his presents - Ron had sent him a Chudley Cannon's scarf and hat to remind him of his future obligation - kept Harry occupied until breakfast. After having successfully delivered a piece of mint chocolate, he had to deal with an over-excited house-elf in chequered rompers - "Harry Potter is the most generous wizard of all times. He's made Dobby very happy."

Lunch was, as always, a grand affair. Snape refused to wear the flowery bonnet from the Christmas cracker he'd shared with Harry and ended up with the larger piece of their wishbone. Harry smiled and hid a chocolate petit four under his napkin.

Finally, it was time to leave for the dungeons. Clad in his best robes, dark green silk with gold trimmings, Harry strode down to Snape's quarters. Passing the entrance to the Slytherin common room, he noticed the Bloody Baron in hot pursuit of another ghost, whose head flapped up and down behind him like a strange hood. Harry shrugged. No wonder. Nearly Headless Nick had it coming for haunting Slytherin territory like that. Harry didn't feel sorry for him. On the contrary, if the Gryffindor ghost had only limited himself to his traditional haunting grounds, Harry wouldn't be in the predicament he was in now, having to socialise with Snape of all people.

But then, and Harry blushed at this unwelcome thought, it wasn't so bad after all. Snape might not be the nicest of all wizards alive, but he was certainly one of the most interesting, and he did indeed have some special talents that were not to be scoffed at. Harry adjusted his robes and sighed. Maybe, just maybe, they could build on that strange attraction they felt for each other after the ordeal of Valentine's Day was over. Until then, Harry had to complete a task. He knocked at Snape's door.

"Potter. Right on time. How ... considerate of you," Snape drawled in his most dulcet tones. He opened the door wide and Harry slid inside, careful to let his festive robes billow. All his efforts were in vain, as Snape out-billowed him, a princely figure in blood-red velvet, preceding Harry through the room.

Snape's living room was void of all Christmas decorations. The plush chairs in front of the fire place, though, were more comfortable than anything Harry had ever sat in. Snape offered him a glass of champagne and sat down at his side. They talked about everything and nothing. Staff gossip, McGonagall's newest tartan robes in all four house colours, and how she became more and more like the former headmaster.

"She likes to meddle, just the way he did," Snape stated out of the blue, and when Harry watched him inquiringly, he got up and fetched a plate of sandwiches from an adjoining room, probably the kitchen. They were delicious, thin slices of bread with cucumber and salmon, and little canapés with different sorts of caviare.

"Wow," Harry said, "did you make them yourself?"

"Potter," Snape said with an exaggerated sigh, "what do you think are house-elves for?"

"So you don't spend your spare time in the kitchen, chopping up ingredients?"

"Is that how you picture me? Once a Potions Master, always a Potions Master? And do you think that I mixed black beetle eyes under the caviare?"

Harry laughed. "No, sir," he hurried to answer.

"Very good, Potter. You seem to be capable of learning, at last." The corners of Snape's lips twitched into a smile. "And I have to admit, I made the mayonnaise myself. There are some things even house-elves can't be trusted with."

"You know, you could call me Harry."

"I could. And I might. I suppose you want to call me Severus? Harry?"

"I'd love to. Severus." They clinked glasses, just like that.

Later in the evening, Harry gave Severus his present, another box of Honeydukes Finest Chocolates. Harry opened it and smiled when Snape picked the best piece with delicate fingers. "Your excellent taste in chocolates surprises me time and time again, Harry." He ate it with relish, dark eyes fixed on Harry.

It was long after midnight when they said their goodbyes. "Thank you for the wonderful evening," Harry said. "May I -"

"You may."

And Severus' lips were on his, warm and pliant.

They kissed for what seemed an eternity, battling with their tongues, stabbing and retreating and attacking again. Snape tasted like chocolates and champagne, and there was a trace of salt in the mixture, intoxicating. Growing hard was inevitable. Harry felt an answering bulge and started to rub himself against it. Snape broke the kiss. He was breathing hard and there were two bright red spots high on his cheekbones.

"Goodnight. Harry." He traced Harry's swollen lips with his right forefinger and gave him another short kiss.

Harry swallowed. "Do you want to spend New Years Eve with me? I could cook us dinner."

Snape nodded. "Six o'clock, your quarters." Then he slipped away and closed the door behind him.

That night, Harry roamed the halls to no avail. Severus didn't turn up. He met no one at all, not even a ghost. It was five o'clock in the morning when he stumbled across Mrs. Norris and decided to go to sleep. Something had changed, and he only hoped that it worked to his advantage. He traced his lips with his fingers and smiled.

Harry didn't see Severus for the whole week, not even at mealtimes. During the nights, the castle seemed to mock him with its emptiness. Even the portraits he passed on his strolls were always deserted, their occupants gone for a visit elsewhere.

New Years Eve saw Harry busy preparing food in the tiny kitchen of his quarters. He knew of course that he just had to ask Dobby, and the house elf would provide a princely feast, only too happy to be of service. But he took pride in doing it all by himself. In fact, the monotony of the work soothed his nerves that were on edge the whole day. After a couple of minor incidents, burnt croutons, an exploded sink and two wasted birds, he'd managed to produce a passable Duck à l'Orange , Caesar salad, and trifle for dessert. He banished the chaos from his kitchen with a wave of his wand, and then he waited.

Forty-seven minutes later, right on time, Severus arrived. Harry gaped open-mouthed at the elegant figure in his doorway, a breathtaking sight in robes of deep purple and black. "Erm."

"Hello to you, too, Potter. May I come in?" a dry voice asked.


"If you insist." And dry lips touched Harry's cheek for the fraction of a second.

After dinner, they enjoyed Severus' present, Prince de Polignac VSOP. Harry, standing next to the fireplace, put his balloon glass down and took a dark chocolate truffle from a box on the mantelpiece. He went to kneel before Severus, who was sprawling on the sofa, and presented him with the sweet. Snape stretched a hand out to take it, but Harry shook his head. Snape stared at him for a moment, a strange gleam in his unfathomable eyes.

Harry didn't move or blink, concentrating on the task at hand. Finally, Snape bowed his head and took the treat between his crooked teeth. He closed his mouth and started to chew. Harry suppressed a sigh of relief and a whoop. He took one of Severus' hands in his own and pressed it to his lips. They sat like that for a long while.

Then Snape's hands were in Harry's hair and his mouth on Harry's mouth. The little coffee table next to the sofa tumbled over, sending Snape's glass and an ashtray to the floor. Snape's weight pressed Harry down, and somewhere glass splintered, but Harry didn't care, too absorbed in the sensations of Snape's body rubbing on his, Snape's tongue invading him. Then it was gone. Snape got up, stretching a hand out to help Harry to do the same. "I'm sorry for this mess, Potter," he said.

Harry just stared.


Harry still didn't budge.

"Oh, for goodness sake. Harry."

Harry took the offered hand and stood up. He looked around and grinned. "This room has seen worse," he confessed, binning the splinters with a quick swish'n flick.

"I can imagine," Snape said. "So what about showing me the rest of your rooms?"

"The rest of my rooms? I'm afraid -" Harry pressed himself against Severus in what he hoped was a seductive manner, "- there's only one room that you haven't seen."

"Then show it to me," Severus whispered, nipping Harry's earlobe and licking it. They were kissing and moving in the direction of the bedroom door. Harry moved backwards until his arse bumped against the doorknob. Reluctantly, he stopped fighting with the buttons of Snape's robes to turn the knob. They stumbled inside. Harry set to work on the robes again, while Snape cast a spell that lit the candles.

Just when Harry had succeeded and bared a triangle of soft white flesh, Snape stiffened. "Oh sweet Merlin," he said as if struck by lightning, "what the hell is that?"

"What?" Harry turned his head. His eyes fell on the orange monstrosity on the wardrobe that seemed to mock him. The cannon ball was speeding round and round excitedly. "Oh that. It's nothing."

"A very loud nothing, if you ask me. Spit it out, Potter. What is this atrocity?"

"Er." Harry desperately tried to find an answer that was believable and wouldn't compromise him. "It's ... it's the new Cannons outfit. Didn't you yourself say that ... that I'd look better in Quidditch gear? Erm ... Ron ... Ron sent it to me, to ... to convince me to try out as a Seeker for the Cannons."

Snape's eyes went back and forth from the hideous garment to Harry. His lips twitched. He put his arms around Harry and pulled him close. "Potter. Harry. I want you to promise me one thing."

"Yes?" Harry snuggled into the comforting embrace, not wanting to see the face of his lover right now. Lover, what an odd word. He nuzzled even closer to Severus, trying to hide from the blazing menace on his closet.

"Promise me, Harry, never to wear anything that ... that dazzling."

"I promise. I'll never wear this monster, or anything like it."

"Good boy," Snape said with a chuckle. "And now we should rid you of these, although much more befitting, robes."

The next minutes were spent in the frantic struggle against buttons and clasps. Stripped bare, Severus pushed Harry onto the bed. Harry grabbed Snape's arms and pulled him down with him, relishing the feeling of naked skin on naked skin. Snape's scrawny body was so much softer than Harry had thought, and even his protruding hipbones felt good against the flesh of his belly. Snape's gorgeous prick poking Harry's navel and leaving trails of precome in its wake was the most intoxicating sensation he could imagine. Harry started to wriggle backwards, trying to bring his own hard-on in contact with its mate, but Snape held him in place.

"Don't move," he said, pinning Harry's arms down and plundering his mouth. Harry submitted to Snape's tongue, hot and delicious and as dexterous as a serpent. He started to involuntarily thrust his hips, pushing his demanding cock against Snape's leg.

Far too soon, Severus broke the kiss. He shifted Harry to the middle of the bed, spread his legs and knelt between them. "Give me a cushion," he said in a hoarse voice, and, "beautiful," while he positioned it under Harry's arse. Harry looked up at him then, and what he saw in those eyes made him shiver with delight. They were burning, like charcoals in a fireplace, ready to explode under a shower of Floo Powder. Oh, how he longed to ignite an inferno in this man, who seemed to be so cold and heartless. But Harry was only capable of thrusting his hips into the air, desperate for touch.

And Snape touched him. He kissed the inside of his right knee and started to lick his inner thigh up to his groin. Harry felt the hot wet tongue circling his balls in an agonizing rhythm, driving him mad. His cock begged for attention, oozing precome all over his belly. "Please," Harry moaned, "please."

Severus licked along his straining shaft all the way to the top before he took it into his mouth and sucked. Harry screamed. All of a sudden, the searing heat was gone once more. Harry thrashed his head from side to side and babbled incoherently. Severus was licking his balls again, the hot tip of his tongue slithering further and further down. Warm hands parted his cheeks, and the slippery serpent slid over the tiny hole, besieging it in a hypnotizing dance. When it finally stabbed inside, Harry howled. "What ... Oh my god ... Severus ... what are you doing?"

Snape looked up. Red blotches adorned the sallow skin of his face, making him look even uglier than usual, and a mad gleam in his eyes gave him the aura of a lunatic. Harry's heart lurched. He didn't know why, but he liked what he saw.

"I'm worshipping your beauty," Severus said. His voice was husky, but he sounded earnest, as if testifying in court. "I'm showing you the difference between fucking and making love."

"Oh," Harry croaked, and then that serpent sneaked down again, encircling and breaching him. Snape's hands set to work on Harry's cock, pulling and stroking it in rhythm with the stabbing motions of his tongue. And was that Snape's nose, that ugly hooter, pressing and rubbing behind his balls? Harry thrashed his head back and forth, afraid that he would faint like a maiden, just from sensory overload. Then Snape pushed his tongue even deeper inside and started to hum. Harry screeched like a banshee, opening his eyes wide in delicious shock.

His gaze fell on the orange monster on the closet that laughed at him, the cannon ball jumping maniacally up and down. "Oh." And Harry's come spattered all over his belly, chest, and up to his chin.

With the beginning of the new year, they began a tradition of visiting one another in the evenings. They shared a glass of cognac or expensive whisky in companionable silence, and Harry fed Severus a delicious piece of chocolate before they devoured each other.

Harry banished the blazing costume into the darkest corner of his wardrobe, hoping he'd never have to see it again. Or even better, to be allowed to destroy it the next time he set his eyes on it.

The day Harry got his new glasses was remarkable in more than one way. When he wore them at lunch for the first time, Severus gasped. Harry watched him out of the corner of his eye and saw the tell-tale red blotches on his sallow cheeks. Severus didn't say a word, but the tense and awkward movements with which he cut his steak spoke volumes.

Later that afternoon, when Harry was on the way to his office after his last class of the day, Snape waylaid him in the corridor as he usually did. He didn't abuse him with his vicious tongue, though. Instead, he hauled him into an empty classroom, closed the door with his foot, and started to kiss Harry with fierce determination. That's putting his tongue to better use, Harry thought, and it flashed through his mind that this was most definitely night-time Snape. No, Severus. Whatever. Harry stopped thinking at all and succumbed to the pleasure of the moment.

"Beautiful," Snape said between kisses, "you're so beautiful." He sank to his knees and opened Harry's robes to take his already hard prick out.

Harry caressed the sweaty black strands of hair that fell over Snape's forehead. The fuzzy feeling in his stomach couldn't be explained by his impending climax alone.

He closed his eyes. He could still see that bobbing head with the greasy parting of raven hair, straight as a rule. And that ugly beak, pressed against his belly. I love you, Harry thought, and the idea of love alone made him shudder and come. All of a sudden, he was very ashamed.

Of course life wasn't all roses from then on. Harry hadn't expected it to be, but he was still in for a shock, when, one evening at the end of January, Snape closed the door in his face with the lame excuse of having to correct essays.

"Hey." He knocked again, this time more vehemently. "What's all this about?"

Snape opened the door a crack. "It's all about you, Potter, as always."

Harry stood open-mouthed. "What? Why?" he managed to ask.

"If you, oh superb Hero of the Wizarding World, weren't so sloppy with disciplining your students, then I wouldn't have to give so many detentions," it hissed from behind the door.

"And if I didn't have to spend useless hours watching over those miscreants," Snape continued, growing continuously louder, "I needn't correct essays in my spare time. Time that I might have wanted to spend with you. Even if I don't have the slightest idea of," the last words were shouted, "why that would be."

And the door slammed shut, the echo of the bang reverberating through the dungeons.

"Um," Harry said to the closed door.

He went back to Gryffindor tower, unsure of how to react to a Snape who resumed the old hostilities so remorselessly. It was one thing to change the style of his clothes or his glasses. He didn't care for what he looked like at all. Changing his teaching methods was a completely different matter. After all, he'd given them so much thought at the beginning of the school year. They might not be perfect, and the students probably needed some more time to adjust, but they were his attempt to reduce those annoying house rivalries. Deducting points only furthered them, gave them fodder. And why should he impose detentions on his students? He remembered how much he'd hated them. They certainly had done nothing to discipline him. Discipline him, hilarious. All those futile hours, spent in Snape's dungeon classroom, cleaning cauldrons. Snape. Harry sighed. He only hoped his wrathful lover would calm down a bit and soon. Bet or no bet, he wouldn't cave in to Snape here.

Thank Merlin, Snape came to his senses. The following evening, he knocked at Harry's door, obviously sorry, even if he didn't say so. But that would've been too tall an order. Harry grinned and followed his original plan. And Snape let himself be fed.

Afterwards, they rutted on the sofa like animals. If they hadn't been wizards, two sets of robes would've been destroyed. Harry bit Snape over and over, claiming him with each mark on his pallid skin. Snape fucked Harry with the power and precision of a jackhammer. After he'd made Harry come, milking every drop from him with his dexterous fingers, Snape pulled suddenly out and spurted hot spunk all over Harry's face and glasses. Then he started to lick it up, like a puppy, but more efficiently.

"What's all this about?" Harry repeated his question from the day before, caressing the back of Snape's head with tender strokes.

"Potter," Snape said between hot little licks, "you're beautiful. Much too beautiful for me. Why do you bother with an ugly old fart? You could do so much better."

Harry shook his head and licked his lips where Snape's tongue had been moments before. They fell asleep like that, entwined on the uncomfortable sofa. "Idiot," was the last word Harry heard that night, but it sounded much like an endearment, a declaration of sorts.

There were those times when Harry was rather glad that Severus persisted in being complicated. Every once in a while, shame pestered him like a swarm of midges. It wasn't right what he did to Severus, and maybe he should tell him the truth about the bet. But Harry's skill in avoiding these tiny bloodthirsty monsters was outstanding. He outmanoeuvred them as if on a broomstick, practising Wronski feints.

Snape's odd behaviour was really helpful with this avoidance strategy. After all, didn't that stupid bet bring them together in the first place? Harry would make it up to Severus after Valentine's Day for sure.

Still, every time he watched Severus take a piece of chocolate from his hand, Harry's face burned as if he'd been slapped.

To make matters worse, the students did their utmost to out-monster his inner demons.

Having lost their mouthpiece - Snape restricted his criticism to the privacy of their respective quarters these days - they started to mock Harry more openly. They aped and exaggerated his mannerisms. Whenever he pinched the bridge of his nose to concentrate, they rubbed their own noses as if trying to rip them off. Hardly ever did Harry see a student who hadn't at least one hand in his own hair, tousling and dishevelling it. And when they deigned to answer one of his questions, they interspersed their responses with as many erms, ahs and ums as possible.

Every morning, there were caricatures on the blackboard, preferably of Muggle contraptions, dishwashers, microwaves and sometimes even robots or entertainment electronics, together with a tiny manikin, identifiable as Harry by its dishevelled hair and glasses. Most of the time, the manikin was naked and in the process of sticking parts of himself into one of those machines. Occasionally, a speech balloon explained the situation: "Erm, oh yes, um, yes, ah yes, love you, erm, my, um, oh yes, sweet pomp-cuter."

As fate would have it, it was the morning of Valentine's Day that Harry deducted House points for the first time.

The weather was brilliant. Beams of sunlight illuminated the tracery of his frosted window and caressed Harry's face, waking him up. Severus had been gone since before dawn. Harry stretched and yawned, pleased with himself and the world in general. It was one of those rare and perfect moments when everything comes together in pure harmony and peace. Harry knew that this was a special day and that he would be successful in his endeavour. He knew it with the same clarity as if he'd ingested a whole dose of Felix Felicis.

Entering his classroom, he noticed two things. There was a caricature of himself on the blackboard, inserting a remote control in a place where only parts of Severus had the right to go. A bunch of students, Slytherins of course, snickered while dishevelling their hair and making obscene gestures and silly noises.

They didn't stop their improper behaviour when they became aware of Harry's presence. On the contrary, they increased it.

Harry had seen enough. He couldn't allow this perfect day to get spoiled by those stupid - wait a moment, did he just think miscreants? Without further ado, he deducted fifty points from Slytherin and gave detention to the ringleaders. Then he sat down, baffled by his own reaction. It actually didn't feel bad, losing your principles like that. Maybe Snape had been right all the time. The students were indeed quieter now. The sun painted patterns on the surface of his desk and Harry was content, happy even. The morning classes passed by in a pleasant flow, as if in no time at all.

Later, Harry waited for Ron at the gates, basking in the afternoon sun and taking pleasure in the snowdrops that blossomed all around, little harbingers of spring. An Apparition pop startled him from his reverie.

"Oi, mate." Ron greeted him with a slap on his back. "Are you prepared for the things to come?"

Harry grinned. "That's not the point, mate. The questions is, are you prepared to face your certain doom?"

The Great Hall was decorated all in pink. Rose petals were falling from the ceiling like cream-coloured snowflakes. The tables overflowed with roses, violets and garlands of forget-me-nots. Snape's black figure stuck out in all that festive glitter like a priest among drag queens. This time Harry welcomed the sight of his lover with every fibre of his heart.

Smiling, he made his way to the High Table. He nodded at his colleagues, placed Ron at Hooch's side and took the seat next to Snape.

"Hello, Severus," he said, "how are you tonight?"


Harry smiled and looked Severus straight in the face.

One eyebrow rose to the hairline and the left corner of Severus' lips twitched just a tiny bit. "Harry," he finally said, "congratulations on your achievement. I'm glad to see that there's always hope."

Harry blushed, but didn't stop smiling.

"I have to admit that the sight of you is agreeable these days."

Harry nodded. "Thank you, Severus," he said. "I especially like your elegant black robes today. They're such a nice contrast to the prevailing pink."

This time, both corners of Severus' lips twitched and their eyes met.

"What's all this about?" Ron asked under his breath when their dishes filled up with food.

"Hush. Don't ask," Harry answered. "Just watch."

They ate in silence after that.

When dessert was served, Harry nudged Ron before he turned to Snape again. He produced a piece of Severus' favourite chocolate from his robes and waited until Snape had finished talking to McGonagall.

Their eyes locked over their wine glasses. Harry smiled. He offered Severus the little piece of dark chocolate covered marzipan.

Snape stretched a hand out, but Harry shook his head. Snape's charcoal eyes burned and red blotches appeared on his cheeks.

Harry kept looking at him, unrelenting, his smile frozen. Snape tried to look away. His hands shook and his whole body trembled.

Harry stared at him.

Snape gritted his teeth and clenched his hands.

Harry continued staring.

After endless seconds, Snape bowed his head and opened his mouth to reach for the treat. For a moment, Harry was afraid he'd bite his fingers off. Snape took the chocolate between his yellow teeth, closed his mouth and started to chew.

Behind Harry, Ron applauded. Some of the students imitated him, others whistled or cheered. Tumbling his chair over, Snape stood up. His robes failed to billow when he strode out of the Great Hall, followed by the stares of the whole of Hogwarts.

Harry got rid of Ron as soon as possible. He told him to study the lesson plans he'd made for his upcoming course and activated the Floo for him. Then he started brooding. When, after half an hour, he still hadn't the slightest idea of what to do and how to appease Severus, he decided to face the inevitable fallout without a plan to back him up. Too ashamed to let himself be seen, he grabbed his old Invisibility Cloak and hid under its comforting folds. Thus shielded against the cruel world outside, he left his quarters, fully prepared to eat humble pie.

Severus Snape was the first person he met, right at the entrance to Gryffindor Tower. Unsure of what to do, Harry pressed himself into a niche and waited to see where Severus was going. When Severus headed for Headmistress McGonagall’s quarters and not Harry's rooms, Harry gave a weary sigh. He braced himself, ready to suffer through all the horrible things he might hear about himself, and slipped inside after his lover.

"Severus," McGonagall greeted her colleague jovially, "take a seat."

While Snape followed her command, Harry found a spot beside the door that allowed him to leave unnoticed in Snape's wake. Careful not to expose his feet, he leaned against the wall.

"Congratulations are in order, I suppose," McGonagall said after Snape had settled himself in an armchair across from her, stiff as a lamppost.

"Oh please, Minerva, do me a favour and don't mock the afflicted."

"Why, Severus?" the Headmistress asked in a calm voice, as if trying to absorb the snide tone of her disgruntled visitor. "As far as I am concerned, you're the victor of the day. All the requirements are fulfilled. You've certainly won our bet."

Snape only snorted. Harry shivered from a sudden chill.

"Thanks to you, Harry Potter will soon become an esteemed member of the Hogwarts staff instead of being an insecure boy who hides from his fame and only plays teacher. His reputation and his engagement for Muggle studies will help to establish the subject and further the relations between Magic and Non-Magic folk. That's what we both wanted, isn't it?"

"Yes, of course, Headmistress. He will be held in high esteem. And what about me? I'm the jester at his court now. Isn't it so?" Snape's body trembled and he clenched his fists.

"Severus," Minerva said in a soothing voice, "you already are a respected staff member. You weren't for nothing appointed Head of Slytherin House after Slughorn became Deputy Headmaster. And, as Horace told me recently, he's going to retire again soon. As far as I am concerned, there's every reason to believe that you're going to succeed him once more."

"Why don't you make Potter his successor. His reputation and -"

"Severus." McGonagall's voice was all of a sudden very sharp. "Don't be ridiculous. It's time enough to make Harry Deputy Headmaster when you've succeeded me. And what a great pair of helmsmen you're going to be."

Snape snorted again, but his fists relaxed. "Am I right in my assumption that you don't plan to discipline the whelp?"

"Don't be daft, Severus. Why would I want to do that?"

"He made me the laughing stock of all Hogwarts today."

"Nonsense. All he did was to show his affection in public. Something very much in character for Harry Potter. After all, it's Valentine's Day."

"Now you're daft. He even brought his little friend to gloat." Snape gripped the armrests of his chair.

"Maybe that was his way to show his best friend that he's in love. I don't know. But I'm sure he's very much in love with you." McGonagall didn't let herself be distracted by Snape's repeated snorts of derision. "That's something I've wanted to talk to you about for a while."

Snape remained silent.

"You know how much I disapproved of your methods in the beginning. I didn't think that your constant verbal abuse would help to form the boy into a good and respected teacher. But -"

"Minerva, I -"

"Let me finish, Severus. I didn't stop you because I know of the special connection between the two of you. I only hope that you didn't use the boy's affection to your advantage."

"That's ridicu -"

"Good to hear. Let me congratulate you. You successfully got rid of those absurd clothes and the silly glasses. And you helped him improve his teaching methods. I have to admit that you were right from the beginning. You've definitely earned your 17th century Auld Ogden's." She handed him a dusty bottle from one of the shelves. "Let me give you some advice. Don't be too hard on the boy." With these words, she saw him to the door.

Harry readied himself to slip out after Snape. Maybe it was because his mind was still in an uproar about the things he'd just heard, maybe it was his usual clumsiness, but McGonagall got between himself and the exit.

The Headmistress closed the door carefully after Snape before she turned around. "Professor Potter, may I have a word with you? And would you be so kind as to remove that cloak. I can't see through it, you know."

Harry hurried to do her bidding. "How did you know I was there, then?"

She smiled. "I have very effective wards, and other means to know what goes on in the castle. And I know exactly what you've been up to these last months."

"How? What? But you just told Severus -"

"Yes, I did. And you should be thankful for that. But if I ever find out that you gave him a hard time about what you overheard in this room -"

Harry grew furious. "You ... you made a bet about me. That's -"

"Professor Potter. Calm yourself. We had the very best intentions. As I'm sure was the case with yourself and Ronald Weasley. Did I already thank you for the addition to our course offerings? I'm sure Mr. Weasley's class will be very popular."

Harry didn't know what to say. "This ... this ... I ... erm -"

"Professor, I may call you Harry, may I not?" McGonagall placed a hand on his shoulder in a soothing gesture. "Believe me, you'll thank me one day. And now go and get your man."

She steered Harry to the door and opened it. "Don't forget, not a word about all this to Severus."

"Erm," Harry said to the closing door.

Once again safe under his cloak, Harry went looking for Snape. His lover - and Harry wondered if after tonight Severus would still be that - was neither in his quarters nor his office. Harry looked everywhere. After long hours of fruitless search there were only two possibilities left. Either Severus had barricaded himself in his rooms and didn't react to Harry's repeated and vehement assaults on his door, or he was where everything had started, in the fairy bath deep in the dungeons.

A strange shyness overcame Harry, and he nearly didn't resume his way. He mulled over what he should do or say once he'd found Severus. The further he advanced into the dungeons, the slower he walked. Every step forward brought him closer to his doom, that he was sure of. When he'd finally reached the door to the broom closet with the peephole, he stopped. Only now did he remember that he hadn't the slightest idea as to where the entrance to the bathroom actually was. Swearing loudly, he turned around the corner to continue his search. Where was Nearly Headless Nick when you really needed him?

As if on command, the ghost in question drifted through the wall in front of him. "Do you need my help, Harry?" he asked, adjusting his head.

"Erm ... How do you even know I'm here?"

The ghost smiled. "We disembodied creatures," he said, sounding proud, "have more than one way to sense the presence of the living. I can feel your heat, for example."


"And I couldn't help but hear the string of swear words, emanating from that warm spot here. Do you really think excrements prone to copulate?"

Harry blushed. "Do you remember the bath you once showed me?"

"Oh, yes. Of course. It's beautiful, isn't it?"

Harry's blush deepened. "Do you, by any chance, know where the entrance is?"

Nearly Headless Nick shook his head. "Not by chance, no. We Hogwarts ghosts," he puffed himself up, "know everything about the castle. Completely on purpose, that goes without saying."

"Sorry. I didn't mean to -"

"You're forgiven. Follow me."

The ghost drifted around the corner, Harry hard on his smoky heels. When he stopped in front of a small wooden door, Harry carefully avoided running into him.

"Here it is," Nearly Headless Nick said, drifting away. "Good luck."

Harry took off his Cloak before he opened the door. It wouldn't do to give Severus the impression that he'd been spying on him.

Inside, the beauty of the grotto overwhelmed him. Multicoloured gemstones and fairy lights created an otherworldly atmosphere. It was as if he was entering the realm of Poseidon himself. The only living person in this underwater kingdom was lying on a heap of cushions in deep slumber

Snape was naked, his waxen complexion in stark contrast to the dark green of the silk surrounding him. Harry crept close, taking his time to observe the sleeper. The lines of his face were still prominent, but less harsh than usual. The shadow of the huge beak made him nevertheless look grim. Mesmerized by the pink nipples, he kissed them, one by one. Then he followed the trail of dark hair down to what had made him want the man in the first place, his gorgeous cock. Snape didn't stir and Harry dared to lick its tip before taking it in his mouth.

"Potter. What are you doing here?"

Harry startled, the already half hard prick slipping from his mouth. "I ... I came here to say ... I'm sorry."

"You're disappointing me. Just when I thought you came to molest me in my sleep." Snape's laughter sounded eerie, echoing from the walls.

"I really am."

"What?" Snape sat up, but did nothing to hide his cock, which had grown even more interested.

"Sorry. You know ..." Harry thought hard of what to say, "Ron. I wanted to show Ron that we're in love, so that he believes me. I meant you no harm -"

"In love? You must be kidding."

"No. I mean it. I am. Aren't you?"

The sound of Snape's laughter reminded Harry of an old horror movie, one of those Dudley was fond of when still at Primary School. "You are the daftest dunderhead that ever walked the earth. You don't have the foggiest notion of what that word even means."

Harry lowered his head. He didn't have a chance to win against Snape in a dispute about words. "Maybe ... maybe you’ll believe me if I show you?" he asked hopefully.

"I won't hinder you. You've proven to be a good fuck, at least."

With a determined movement of his head, Harry started to lick the big vein at the underside of Snape's cock. Caressing the balls with one hand, he took the tip into his mouth and stroked the shaft with his other hand. Wondering what he could do to make their encounter special, he stopped sucking for a moment. Harry was more than surprised about how glad he was for Snape's involvement in that bet with the Headmistress. His shame didn't haunt him anymore, having retreated to the back of his mind, together with his knowledge about Snape's own duplicity. It was time they started all anew and left the old arguments behind.

Snape, who'd been silent for an atypical amount of time, started to complain. "What's wrong, Potter? Am I too bitter for you, all of a sudden?"

Harry smiled. He got up, shrugged out of his robes and removed his underwear, while moving around Snape in a slow dance of seduction. Severus gasped when Harry at last revealed his own hard cock that bounced happily after being freed from the restraining briefs.

Still smiling, Harry knelt between Snape's spread legs and bowed down for a kiss. The thin lips welcomed him, sucking his tongue inside, into hot, velvet depths.

Panting heavily, Harry resurfaced after long moments of bliss. "You aren't bitter at all," he said, kissing along Snape's jawline, "you're soft and sweet and of a strange kind of beauty."

"You're demented, Potter. But it doesn't matter - oh, do that again - you have the skills of a Knockturn Alley whore."

Harry worried one of Snape's nipples between his teeth and licked it before releasing it to blow a stream of air over it. He repeated this on the other nipple, until they were both hard like pebbles on the seashore. Satisfied with his work, he kissed a trail downwards. After a short stop at Snape's navel, he ventured forth to his weeping cock.

Snape commented on Harry's doings with a torrent of words. "Yes, Potter. Put your mouth to use - right there, suck it, yes, exactly like that. - You're much more -oh, yes - talented than a cheap streetwalker - mm - you're a special kind of slut - lick them, lick my balls - good boy, sweet little tart - perfect, oh yes - my own little whore - oh -

"- Potter, what are you doing?"

After stabbing his tongue into Snape's little hole one more time, Harry looked up. Red blotches on his sallow cheeks, the lips even redder and slightly swollen, his nipples hard and his thick cock lying against his belly, the man before him was the image of debauchery.

Harry swallowed. "Beautiful," he said, and, in answer to Snape's question, "showing you the difference between fucking and making love."

When Snape only groaned, Harry went back to his task. He circled the tiny opening, teasing and licking it until it twitched in response. As if he'd been waiting for an invitation, Harry stabbed inside once more and swirled his tongue around, pressing it against the walls. Then he encompassed the sphincter with his mouth, humming with all his might.


Snape's scream broke Harry's concentration. Unable to neglect his own need any longer, Harry stroked his desperate cock.

"Stop ... stop that at once. I ... I need."

"What do you need?"

"You. Your cock. I ... fuck me. Now."

Harry grinned. He stretched a hand out. "Lube?"

Snape fetched a little vial from under one of the cushions and pushed it into Harry's hand. "Now hurry."

Harry didn't have to be told twice. After warming the lube in his hand, he spread it generously over Snape's pucker and his own cock. Working first one, then two fingers inside Snape's arse, he twisted and crooked them until he found that little spot that made his lover cry out.

"Potter. Get a move on and fuck me. No need for - oh - all this preparation nonsense - oh, oh, yes, right there - give me your cock, dammit."

Eager to comply with Severus' wishes, Harry lined his cock up with the twitching pucker and pushed slowly inside. The feeling was incredible, hot and tight and like velvet so smooth. Fully sheathed at last, Harry stopped moving to give Severus time to adjust. His impatient lover would have none of that. He wriggled and shoved until Harry was forced to thrust.

"Give it to me, my sweet little slut, give me all of your cock. Yes, just like that. Fuck me until I feel your fat prick everywhere."

"I am not a slut. And I'm going to fuck you -"


"- like that -"

"Oh. Yes. Like that, yes -"

"- until -"


"- you -"

"Yes. Harry."

"- feel love."


Hidden deep inside the wall, two ghosts were avidly watching the living. "Look, they're kissing," one of them said under his breath.

"You're a hopeless romantic, Nick. Now he's thrusting again. Remember when I pounded you like that?"

"Yes, my dearest Baron. As if it had been only yesterday. I still feel that huge prick of yours up my arse."

"Oh yes. Yes. Just like that. I feel your tight arse clench around me."



The spectres' forms started to ripple, as if they were dissolving and about to melt into each other.

"They're coming. Snape's spouting like a whale. Yes."

"Yes. And Harry. He's pulling out. Spilling himself all over Snape's belly."


The ghosts stayed silent for a couple of minutes. They waited for the ripples to cease and watched the living cleaning themselves with their tongues and sharing hot kisses in between.

The Bloody Baron broke the silence. "I have to admit defeat. You've won our bet. I'd never have thought that reckless Gryffindor capable of seducing my proud Head of House."

"As if that was even necessary. Your lofty Slytherin was enamoured with my young lion from day one on," Nearly Headless Nick answered.

"Whatever. Our intervention has been necessary. I congratulate you on your skilful manipulation."

The Gryffindor Ghost blushed. "Nothing would've happened if you hadn't told Snape about the little voyeur in our old broom closet," he said.

"That's the least I could do, my sweet Gryffindor. Think of all the fun we're going to have. They'll stay at Hogwarts for a hundred years and more, I'm sure."

"O look, they're cuddling."

"Still the romantic fool I fell in love with all those centuries ago."

"Are they asleep now?"

"Let's drift a little closer and share their warmth."