Severus Snape had promised himself long ago that if the Ministry ever came through with the pardon that so many people had testified he was owed, the first thing he would do was to lose his virginity.
It was a relatively safe promise to make, because the Ministry apparently had no intention of pardoning him before he was a hundred and twenty years old. When he contemplated the manner by which he might fulfill that promise, the most practical avenues seemed likely to land him in prison anyway, since they involved either paying for sex or using a potion to procure it. He might successfully have accepted succor from one of the ridiculous women who had written letters in the aftermath of the war proclaiming faith in his innocence, but that idea seemed even more pathetic than hiring a professional. Moreover, Severus Snape had no interest in a liaison with a woman.
The Ministry, at least, did not suspect his secret. They had not bothered with details like house arrest or incarceration in Azkaban for Snape, since his admirers had testified that he was far too skilled a wizard to remain captive for long. Snape was allowed to come and go as he pleased, so long as he checked in with the Auror assigned to his case each Tuesday and refrained from dabbling in the Dark Arts. Love potions and anti-aging draughts for wealthy witches and wizards were not considered dark enough to cause him any difficulty in making a living.
Since Snape was required to see very few people in this line of work, it suited him, and he might have wished to remain celibate rather than face the complications of sexual intimacy; in truth, his principal reason for desiring sex was to prove wrong that bastard, James Potter, who had once told Snape that he was sure to die a virgin. Just in case Snape was doomed to meet Potter or Sirius Black in the afterlife, he wanted to be certain that he'd be able to laugh in their faces.
Thus Snape was doubly unprepared for the knock that rattled his door one fine autumn morning as he was preparing to visit the laboratory where he made overpriced potions for tedious clients. Yanking the door open, he blinked into the face of one of the last people he had expected to see. By way of welcome, he demanded, "What are you doing here?"
It was quite satisfying to observe that he could still make The Chosen One flinch. "I've brought you this...may I come in?" Harry Potter gestured at the doorway, holding up a letter sealed with a large Ministry crest and extravagant ribbons. A summons, no doubt, and the Ministry had sent its youngest Auror to deliver it. Details like proper Auror training had been overlooked in Potter's case, since he had saved the world and all that rubbish..
With a jerk of his arm, Snape directed Potter inside, stepping out of the way to let the younger man strut in unimpeded. Potter, however, was studying Snape's face, not watching where he was going, and because of this he brushed much closer to Snape than either of them intended, shoulder bumping Snape's chest and hand swaying close to a place Snape had never been in the habit of letting anyone else touch. Not that anyone had really tried. Not that Snape really disliked the sensation, either.
"Er, sorry," Potter said, having the grace to blush. Snape shut the door behind him. "I wanted to be the one to bring you this." He held out the letter, but Snape gestured toward the parlor. If he was going to be forced to read a Ministry summons in front of James Potter's infuriating if rather attractive son, now that Harry had outgrown his awkward teen years, then Snape was going to do so sitting comfortably on his favorite sofa where Potter would not have the satisfaction of seeing him flinch.
The letter, however, was not a summons. Snape had to read it twice before he trusted that the words on the parchment were not some sort of optical trick, but of course that didn't make it a genuine article. "What's this?" he snapped.
Potter had been smiling, sitting near the edge of the couch a little too close to Snape with an eager expression, but now he looked dumbfounded. "Isn't it a pardon? They didn't let me read it..." Leaning over, he pressed once again against Snape, who jerked away as quickly as he could, pretending to want to read the document in privacy. The truth was that his prick had been half-hard since Potter had brushed against him coming through the doorway, a fact he certainly did not want Potter to discover.
"Yes, I can see that it's meant to be a pardon." From the safe distance of an arm's length away, Snape whipped the sheet under the prankster's nose so he could see it. "Is this a Zonko's -- excuse me, a Weasley Wizard Wheezes product? Honestly, Potter, don't you have work to do for the Aurors?"
"It isn't a joke!" Potter's expression wavered between astonishment and indignation. "Look at the seal, that's directly from the Minister himself. Now that Shacklebolt's in office, he's in a position to...what are you doing?"
Snape had bitten the seal. The wax tasted genuine enough, high quality, without the bitter flavor that would suggest it had been lifted from another document and affixed to this one. The signatures, too, looked genuine. He peered resentfully at Potter. "If this is an actual pardon, my actual pardon for crimes committed during the war, why are you the one delivering it?"
"I told you. I wanted to." Potter was blushing, and his eyes looked away behind the glasses that made them look too big for his face. Aha -- Snape recognized his guilt all too well. Then Potter looked back at him. "I know it was my testimony about Dumbledore's death that got you sentenced in the first place. Now that we all know why..."
"Yes, thank you." Snape had no desire whatsoever to discuss anything about that night with Harry Potter. "Well. Thank you for bringing this to me, and now, since I have work to do, you had better return to the Ministry."
"Actually, um." Potter blushed again, bright spots of red beneath the glasses and the unruly dark hair on his head. "I don't work for the Ministry anymore. This is my last official task for them -- I was meant to have finished last week, but I asked to be allowed to deliver this. I guess you might say I'm between jobs at the moment. And I thought maybe we could have breakfast."
"I've already had breakfast," Snape replied automatically, glancing toward the kitchen. He had, indeed, boiled two eggs, and sat at the kitchen table for a quick wank while waiting for them to finish cooking, and he was very grateful that Potter couldn't possibly know that, since Snape had Scourgified the bottom of the table, wiped his chair and washed his hands before eating. Potter might have been one of the people Snape had conjured in his fantasies, but the prat couldn't possibly know that, either.
"It doesn't have to be breakfast. I just wanted to...you know, talk. I haven't really seen you since the trial." There was a long, awkward pause. "How are you?"
"Potter. I saved your life out of an obligation to others. You owe me no..."
Then Harry Potter got up from his seat on the sofa, came around in front of Snape, leaned down and kissed him.
Snape was far too startled to push him away in the first instant, which was a mistake, because in the next instant, Potter had insinuated himself between Snape's legs, was kissing him open-mouthed and had pressed up against Snape's body. Before Snape had managed to object, Potter was grinning at him, practically in his lap, pushing against his erection. "I'd rather have that than breakfast," he practically growled.
"Stop that!" demanded Snape in a voice that sounded far too breathless. It was distracting as well as maddening to be tormented like this. "That is not what it appears to be!"
"Oh, you have a big fat wand in your pocket?"
Truly Potter was as juvenile as ever. Snape attempted to look as dignified as possible under the circumstances. "I had an itch," he retorted.
"An itch? Right." Stepping back, Harry crossed arms over chest. "I used to have those sorts of itches in Potions class but at least I made it to the loo before anyone noticed."
"You were a teenager when you were in Potions class. I imagine you had all sorts of...itches."
An unfortunate blush heated Snape's face as Potter slid his fingers through Snape's hair, pulling it back to reveal one ear. Leaning down, he whispered into it. "I'm not a teenager now. Are you sure you weren't thinking about me when you got that itch?"
Sudden uneasiness gripped Snape. Potter had, after all, managed to qualify as an Auror even if his education had not been conventional. "You haven't become a Legilimens, have you?" he asked.
"No. I never learned any more than what I picked up from you during those Occlumency lessons." Harry grinned conspiratorially at him. "But I'm not bad at reading body language, and you didn't resist much when I touched you. Or when I kissed you. Really got me going, if you know what I mean." Still grinning, Potter adjusted the front of his robes.
Biting his lip to avoid moaning, Snape tried to perform a nonverbal Killing Curse on himself, but as usual it didn't work. "Potter, I know you must have dreamed of witnessing me humiliate myself for years, but I can't believe your gloating would extend so far."
"Gloating?" sputtered Potter, frowning. "What makes you think I'm gloating?"
"You don't really expect me to believe that you find me...arousing?"
"Of course I do!" The frown dissolved into mirth as Potter chuckled at Snape, then studied his face and the smile faded. "Wait, you think I'm just having you on? Two minutes ago I was flirting with you!"
Forgetting to die of embarrassment, Snape stared at him. "That was flirting? I thought you were attempting to remind me of my age."
"Well, only if you mean you're at that really sexy age men get when you just have to look at them to want to see how they look when they come." Snape's jaw dropped open as Potter gave him a saucy grin. "And yes, I'm flirting again."
"I didn't realize." Slowly Snape came to his senses, and closed his mouth. "I didn't realize you had watched so many men come."
"Well, not all that many." Potter made a self-deprecating gesture with his hands. "No as many as you have, I'm sure." Looking away from him quickly, Snape wondered when he had given away to Potter the fact that he was attracted to men. He could feel Potter's eyes on him; then he, too, began to study an invisible speck on the sofa. "Well. Sorry to have bothered you. I can see you aren't interested in --" Potter swallowed audibly.
"In being added to your growing list? One more for The Chosen One?"
"Look, I'm sorry!" Now Potter sounded a bit angry. "I thought I'd flirt with you since I've always wanted to but never thought you'd ever be interested. And now I can see perfectly well that you aren't."
Hearing the anger made Snape equally irritated. "You are just trying to get me to..." Fortunately, he stopped himself from completing the thought aloud, remembering that most people would not consider an offer of sex to be an act of cruelty. Shaking his head slightly, he pointed out, "I never flirt, as I would expect you to know. It has nothing to do with...interest."
"It must have something to do with interest, if it gets you hard. And no, I didn't know you never flirt, I thought it was just that you wouldn't flirt with me." Potter was studying Snape again, and a look of understanding abruptly crossed his face. "Oh -- bloody hell. I didn't even ask if you had a lover. I'm sorry. Tell him that I didn't mean anything, and he's a lucky man."
"Of course I don't have a lover!" That was all Snape needed, for Harry Potter to go around telling people that Snape had been having secret liaisons. "When have you ever known me to flirt with anyone?"
"But if you don't have a lover, then why --" Potter frowned again. "Look, you seemed interested for a minute. I mean, I can take rejection. But I am sort of curious why you don't want to..." He made a vague gesture between the two of them with his hand.
"You actually want to...?" Snape echoed the gesture. His own curiosity was piqued. Potter peered at him to see whether he was joking.
"Of course I do. Why else would I flirt with you?"
"I don't understand." Snape was utterly mystified by this. "You have never liked me. Is it a matter of conquest? Are you harboring some misplaced guilt because it has taken the Ministry so long to give me this?" He held up the pardon. "Or do you suffer from the delusion that sex will magically erase all the misery we have inflicted upon one another and bring us to some peaceable balance?"
Typically, Potter rolled his eyes again. "Why do I have to have any hidden motives aside from the fact that I think you'd be really hot in bed?" He looked Snape over while Snape tried not to blush or squirm. "All that repression -- you must know how it makes people long to see it unleashed."
"Why would people not assume that I would be repressed in bed as well?"
Potter shrugged. "I suppose you might be. That's all right. I might be awful as well, but people always wanted to give it a go just because of a stupid nickname. Like I could confer personal salvation on them or something." Snape could not imagine how many people were included in people and really didn't want to. "It taught me not to judge strictly by appearances."
"You have misjudged me if you believe I must be a raging inferno in the bedroom because I don't flirt," Snape informed him. He expected this to be the end of the matter, but Potter took his hand. Given that the alternatives were either jerking it away or pulling it slowly free and risking the chance that Potter would think he was being encouraged, Snape simply left the hand where it was.
"Which brings us back to me flirting with you. We could just find out what each of us is like, and leave the showy stuff to smoother blokes."
Was Potter actually offering...? Yes, he was, of course he was, he had said so several times. Snape wanted to groan and curse his fate. He had promised himself that he would lose his virginity at the first opportunity if he ever received his pardon, and now the rather fine form of the young man who had delivered the pardon was being offered to him without conditions or even, apparently, expectations.
"Whatever you're expecting, you'll be disappointed," Snape warned. "I guarantee that you've had better elsewhere."
Shrugging, Potter rubbed his hand until Snape's fingers twitched spasmodically and clutched back. "You probably have as well," he said with a shrug. "But if we're both willing..."
"I'm sure I haven't." Snape had not meant to say that aloud, and tried to curse himself again, but it made Potter smile and stand up, tugging on his hand. "Very well. I may as well disabuse you of whatever you might be imagining."
Shaking his head, he got up crossly as Potter hesitated. "If you don't want to, just tell me. I told you I can handle rejection. Even yours." It was an offer of freedom, and Snape very nearly took it before Potter leaned up to try to kiss him. For a moment Snape was confused about what Potter was doing, then he felt like an idiot, realizing, and lowered his head so that Potter could reach his lips.
It was a rather gentle kiss, but it went on for a long time and distracted Snape sufficiently that he did not notice when Potter's arms went about his waist until he found his stiff cock pressing through their clothes against the firmness of Potter's hip. The younger man pulled back with a rather dreamy expression. "I won't be disappointed," he whispered.
Snape was quite certain that Potter was wrong about that. But instead of saying so, he kissed him again.