Hermione performed a quick Identification Charm before she picked up the phone. Not many people called the Ministry of Magic's Muggle Hotline, and when they did, it was often an emergency; sometimes, knowing the name and location of the caller saved lives.
Blue letters hovered over the phone: PETUNIA DURSLEY; PUBLIC PHONE IN CHIPPING, WELSH COAST. Hermione's eyebrows went up.
"Hello," she said into the receiver. "Ministry hotline; Mrs Weasley speaking. How may I assist you?"
"She's dead!" Petunia wailed. "I mean, she's supposed to be dead, but I saw her today! In Chipping!" as if it were some additional moral affront, to be alive in Chipping rather than anywhere else.
"Who's dead?" Hermione asked.
"My sister!" she screeched. "My sister Lily has been dead over twenty years and I saw her today!"
"Lily… Potter?" Hermione said.
"Lily EVANS," Petunia hissed. "I never liked that Potter boy. Only now," and her voice caught, and Hermione heard a couple of quick, frantic breaths before Petunia returned to her hysterical, angry tones, "now she's calling herself Lily Prince and living with that horrible freak boy only now he's that horrible MAN and she's DEAD and you said he's dead and THEY CANNOT BE LIVING IN CHIPPING AND YOU FREAKS NEED TO FIX THIS RIGHT NOW!"
"Please calm down, Mrs Dursley," Hermione said; she assumed Petunia wouldn't notice that she'd never given her name.
"I CAN'T CALM DOWN WHEN MY SISTER IS LIVING WITH THAT HORRIBLE MAN!"
Hermione spoke as soothingly as she could. "Mrs Dursley, I'm very sorry, but your sister is long dead. If you saw someone who looked like her…"
"It was her! I know my own sister! I spoke to her!"
"Mrs Dursley, please. It has been a very long time… you don't know for certain what Lily would look like at forty."
"But she wasn't forty! She was the same age I last saw her! Broke my heart, it did, seeing her so young and alive… looked just like she did that last summer, before… before…" Petunia started sobbing. Hermione interrupted her before she could get so worked up she couldn't speak.
"Please tell me what happened. Where were you when you saw her?"
"I told you, I'm in Chipping." She spat the name with loathing.
Chipping, as far as Hermione knew, was a small town in Wales whose main industry was summer tourism drawn by the picturesque view; it had an autumn harvest festival that boasted an attendance in the hundreds. The population was something under four thousand. She wondered what awful friend of Dudley's had family in Chipping, to have so outraged Petunia.
"Yes, Mrs Dursley. Chipping. Where in Chipping were you when you saw her?"
"At the vegetable market! There she was, buying strawberries, bold as you please!"
Hermione refrained from asking how someone "boldly" purchased strawberries, and how one might buy them "meekly" instead. Instead, she carefully coaxed Petunia into giving more details—what "Lily" was wearing ("a sundress! Like some common street urchin!"), how she reacted to Petunia ("very oddly—like she was scared, or ashamed of something"), what they talked about ("what else? I demanded to know what she was doing in Chipping, and she said she was living with her husband! And then she said she was married to THAT FREAK!"), and that's when the conversation broke down; Petunia oscillated between wailing and screeching and nothing Hermione said could calm her down.
Hermione assured Petunia that the Ministry would look into it promptly, and that no, they didn't think it was acceptable for someone to be masquerading as Lily Potter ("Evans!"), and they'd send someone out as soon as possible. And then she hung up, cutting off Petunia in mid-cry.
She took a deep breath, and got out her quill to write to her supervisor.
Something very odd has come up on the Muggle Hotline. Can you meet me this evening to discuss…
Severus was brewing in his laboratory when Lily burst into the house in a panic.
"Severus! Sev! Sev, I need you!" Lily's voice was nearly hysterical, and when Severus rounded the corner to the sitting room, she was panting, like she'd been running, and shaking, holding her arms tightly over her chest and clenching and unclenching her hands on her upper arms. Soon, he knew, if he didn't stop her, the clenching would turn to scratching, and he rushed to her side to prevent that.
"Lily, my love," he said, as he put one hand on her shoulder. She folded into his arms and burst into tears, sobbing into his robes. He stroked her soft red hair as she cried, then maneuvered the two of them to the couch and gently pulled her down onto his lap. He pried her arms open and wrapped them around himself, where she wouldn't be able to harm herself, and waited for her to calm down enough to tell him what had happened that frightened her so. As she quieted, he stroked her cheek with long, slender fingers, until he lifted her chin so her tear-filled green eyes met his dark ones.
"Lily, Lily-love… calm down. You know I won't let anything harm you. Won't let anyone take you away from me." He tightened his arms around her, and she curled in closer to him. She took a couple of deep, shuddery breaths and nodded. She knew, he thought. She knew he'd protect her.
"She… she…" Lily'd been crying about a "she," and Severus hoped to get a name from her. "Petunia!" she finally said. "I saw Petunia today! She spoke to me!"
Severus went still, his hands frozen on Lily's back. Petunia Dursley-nee-Evans was one of very few people who would recognize his Lily, and her reaction would be utterly unpredictable. She might, at this very moment, be rounding up Muggle police officers with some bizarre tale of imagined debauchery. Or she might be hurrying back to whatever dreary Muggle town she called home, determined to put the entire incident out of her mind.
Severus took in a deep breath, and let it out slowly. "We must prepare," he said. "We must be ready for a visit."
"From who?" Lily said plaintively.
"I… do not know. Anyone, I suppose. There's no telling what she'll do." No telling at all. Severus knew this could mark the end of their life together.
"She… was angry," Lily admitted, as if she were confessing something. "It was my fault. I shouldn't have gone out today. Shouldn't do the shopping in the village…"
Severus cut her off. "None of that. This is our home; you have every right to live here. If… if some people don't like it, we'll face whatever comes. Together," he ended, and pulled her close again. She sighed into his arms.
He held her for a long moment, then felt a familiar shudder run through her, almost like she was being tickled.
"Your potion, Lily. You've gone too long."
"Oh!" She sat up sharply, looking frightened. She clutched at her pocket, drawing out the tiny silver flask she always carried. "Forgive me!" She quickly drank a third of the bottle's contents, and waited while the effects washed through her. Severus held her through the tremors, then pried the bottle out of her fingers and gently placed it on the end table. He kissed her fingers and curled her hand close to his heart.
"There's more potion, isn't there?" she asked tremulously.
"Some. We'll need to make more soon."
She gulped. "How soon?"
"A few days. Less than a week. You know…" he said delicately, as he always did, "we could make it last longer, if you…"
"Don't ask that of me! I can't bear to go without it at night! It's bad enough I have to wake up as… wake up being…" She started to shake her head jerkily, violently.
He pressed her to his chest. "Sshhh," he murmured, "it's all right. I won't ask again. I just know the… brewing… is distressing to you, and I wish to spare you that."
"You can't… you can't make it easier on me." She was still twitching. "I wish I were stronger. Wish I could face… but I can't." She scowled. "I'm so weak! Such a coward! I don't know why you keep me, don't know why you—"
He tilted her head up to cut her off with a kiss. She froze at first, as if she couldn't believe he would touch her, and then melted into his mouth just as she'd surrendered to his arms earlier.
He kissed her lips reverently, then trailed the kisses upward to whisper in her ear, "I will always keep you safe. Your safety, your happiness, is my life." He turned her face to his, and pressed a single kiss to the side of her forehead closest to him.
She shuddered, and then relaxed into his embrace. Her hands trailed up and down the front of his robes, stopping almost haphazardly on his buttons, and started to undo them.
He gripped her hand in his.
"Are you sure you want…" he started to ask.
"Yes!" she whispered fiercely. "I want this. I want you. I want to remember us like this next w…" her voice faltered, and then picked up, "next week, when you're," she swallowed, "brewing. For me."
"For you," he echoed, and kissed her deeply. He stood her up, and led her into their bedroom.
Their lovemaking was both tender and frantic. Lily pushed for more and harder as if she could imprint the memory of his body on her soul; Severus stroked her reverently and kissed her with intense devotion. At the height of their passion, he pressed into her like homecoming, a dream realized and soon to be stolen away. The force of his climax surprised them both, and he turned his face away from hers so she wouldn't see the water gathering at the corners of his eyes.
"You'll be there for me, won't you, Sev? When I'm… next week?"
"Always. I will always be there for you."
"Good." And she relaxed into sleep.
Severus retrieved his wand from under his pillow, and tapped the hourglass on the bedside table. It flipped over, and faintly-glowing red sand started falling to the bottom. He tapped it again, and the neck widened to allow the sand to pour faster. After half of it had fallen through, he tapped it to shrink the neck back to its original size, and curled around Lily to sleep.
A few hours later, the hourglass chimed. The red sand was almost empty, and it rocked back and forth, ringing softly. Severus reached over to grasp the flask next to it; he nudged the sleeping Lily.
She muttered something, too soft for him to hear. He pulled her around to face him while she slept, then used the stopper to place a few drops on her lips. Her tongue darted out to taste it, and he refrained from kissing her. Instead, he leaned over to whisper in her ear.
"Mm tired," she mumbled.
He sighed. He could let her sleep, but he'd done that in the past, and the next morning was never worth the extra rest. Especially not this close to Brewing Time, as he'd come to think of it, because his lover couldn't face any more direct description.
He tilted her head back, holding her chin to allow her mouth to fall open. With the skill and patience of long years of potions work, he poured a carefully precise amount of the potion into her mouth, and stroked her throat until she swallowed it. He rested his hand over her heart until the tremors stopped, then put the flask back on the table, and tapped the hourglass to start it again.
It was morning when the hourglass chimed again, and this time it was Lily who woke first, and reached for the potion eagerly. Severus felt her moving, and made a soft noise of protest; he'd been warm and now he wasn't. She heard him, though, and returned, curling around him, placing one leg casually over his thighs, and her soft hand tracing circles around his chest.
"Morning, sleepy," she said with a smile.
"Mm." He half-opened his eyes. Too bright. He closed them. "Bright."
"You must've potioned me in my sleep; I don't remember taking it."
"Mm." Apparently, she was feeling chatty this morning. He tried to wake up.
"I want to thank you. Want to show you how much I… appreciate it." Her hand trailed down his chest, towards his waist. He tried harder to wake up. She was so rarely aggressive, and almost never playful; this mood was not likely to be repeated soon. He wanted to treasure it while he had the chance.
She brought her lips to whisper in his ear just as her hand closed around his hardening flesh. "You've made my morning perfect; let me try to do the same for you."
He groaned as her hand started moving, up and down, a slow, delicate tease designed to leave him writhing under her touch. She palmed his length, fingers tracing around his bollocks, until he was panting, arching into her hand. She cupped his scrotum, feeling the weight of him, and he let his legs fall open so she could reach back farther. She touched him, there, almost penetrating, and he cried out, his cock hard and throbbing against the heel of her hand.
She pulled her hand away and he whimpered, but she quickly turned to straddle him, covering his hardness with her warmth. She didn't pull him inside her, but instead rode his length, letting her wet folds slide back and forth over him. She pressed down onto him so she could feel him over the full length of her sex, with the head of his cock sliding against her clitoris, both of them moaning. He ground up against her, thrusting in waves without ever moving their bodies apart, until he felt her start to shake. He wrapped his legs around hers, pulling her tighter against him as her ecstasy ripped through her, and the pulse of her wetness pushed him over the edge, and they both tensed in quivering union until the tremors stopped. She fell limp onto him, uncaring of the sticky mess between them until he grunted and shifted her to one side.
"Am I too heavy?"
"Never. But it's morning." He offered no more explanation as he headed into the loo. By the time he returned, she was dressed in a pale green dress that made her eyes look large and dark; he was taken, again, with the beauty of her. She smiled at him, and he returned it, helpless before her happiness.
"What're your plans for the day, Sev?"
"Brewing. I want to get as much as possible ready for… later this week." Her smile faltered at that, but she nodded.
"And… what of… what happened yesterday? What shall we do?" She would have to bring that up. He supposed it was necessary; he couldn't afford to forget that they were no longer hidden away here.
"Do? Nothing, I suppose, except prepare for surprises."
"Do you suppose she'll tell someone?"
He scowled, his cheerful mood broken by worries. "I don't know her that well, Lily. You've lived with her; I haven't."
Now she scowled too. That was almost going too far. He bit back his guilt, both for the unwanted reminder, and for chasing away her smiles. He wasn't normally a nice man, nor charitable towards weakness, and she knew that. He used the moment to shrug into his robes, and turned to face her.
"If you'll make breakfast, I can grind some more bicorn horn. I'm trying to make a larger batch this time, to make it last longer."
"Oh Severus!" she exclaimed, her anger running out of her. "That would be wonderful!" She beamed at him. He tried not to think about how fast her moods shifted, how… unstable her emotions were.
He nodded, unsure of his voice, and left for his laboratory.
He did need more powdered bicorn horn, but that didn't take much of his direct attention; after all this time, he'd made a special grinder for it. Three granite mills, stacked atop each other—the top one had a bowl thirteen inches in diameter, with notched granite millstones, fitted together like gears at the bottom, to break the horns into pea-sized pieces. After that, they fell through the holes in the bottom to the next level, which had a grinder very similar to the one he used for coffee, except for making the moving parts out of stone instead of iron, which would taint the horn. The hole underneath that had a mesh stretched across it, strengthened with spells he reinforced every week, even if he wasn't using it. The final mill turned grounds into powder; the stones were entirely smooth, and the hole at the bottom had a silk filter, so that what fell into the silver bowl was a dark powder, fine as talc but much heavier. The entire process, from whole horn to finest dust, took about twelve hours. He placed half a dozen bicorn horns in the top bowl, and whispered the charm to activate it. The stones began to spin, slowly but inexorably disintegrating the horns.
A single dose of regular Polyjuice took about a teaspoon of bicorn horn—a bit more in winter, a bit less in summer. He had a bit more than a gallon in the cask next to the grinder, and only need a few more cups for the next batch.
He went to the cauldron by the window where the lacewings were simmering. He stirred them, four times counter-clockwise, poured in more spring water, and replaced the lid, making sure to leave a small gap for the steam. That left him just enough time to check on the leech farm before Lily called him for breakfast.
Snape spent most of the day in his laboratory. He knew Lily was nervous, unhappy; she always was, at this stage of the brewing. And she had to be even more worried than usual, not knowing what Petunia would do. But he was never any good at the comfort she wanted right now—promises of perfection, demands for impossibilities. He hoped she'd given up on the idea of a baby; those fights were the worst.
Trying to avoid a fight, he was in his laboratory the next day when Lily had visitors.
Arthur rapped sharply at the door. He and Hermione had gotten the address from one of the vegetable stalls in the village. Lily "Prince" was apparently well-known and rather well-liked in Chipping, although her husband was considered "a bit odd."
Even with Petunia's warning, he was surprised at what he saw. She was exactly as he remembered her when he last saw her, over twenty years ago.
"My word! Lily Evans, it is you!"
She scowled at him. "Lily Prince, now."
"Prince. Yes, of course; I'm sorry. Lily Prince." He paused, wondering what to say next, when Hermione stepped out from behind him. Lily's face froze when she saw Hermione.
"You can't be Lily Evans, or Prince. Who are you, really?"
"And you're… married to Mr. Prince?"
"Yes, that's right."
"Mr. Severus Prince?"
Lily nodded sharply.
"Lily Potter died over twenty years ago."
Lily took in a sharp breath, and Arthur winced in sympathy. He wouldn't have been so blunt about it.
"I am Lily Prince. And you are not welcome here. Good day, sir, ma'am." And she moved to close the door.
"Wait!" Hermione said. Lily paused. Hermione took in a deep breath.
"What happened to Harry?"
Lily's face went absolutely blank. "What do you mean?"
"Harry Potter, your son? Where is he?"
"That's none of your concern, I'm sure. He was quite fed up with your treatment of him when he left."
Arthur broke in. "What treatment? Who mistreated Harry Potter?"
"Everyone!" she hissed. "Everyone wanted him to speak at their meetings, put his face on their business, donate money to their causes. Every shred of rumour about him wound up in the Prophet or Witch Weekly. His shopping lists were public knowledge. He couldn't visit his parents' graves without a crowd appearing out of nowhere. He got owls with the most ridiculous and obscene offers, and Howlers any time he spoke up for Snape in public. All his friends got to go on with their lives, while Harry was left to fend for his privacy and he got sick of it and he left. And now he's gone and YOU WILL LEAVE ME ALONE!"
This time, she did slam the door, and cast a few extra locking charms on it to be sure.
Hermione and Arthur were left on the porch, pondering Lily "Prince" talking about Harry Potter visiting his parents' graves. Eventually, they shrugged and went back to the inn; they'd need to discuss what they'd learned before deciding what to do next.
* * *
Severus was balancing the bottle of memories on a rack over an empty spot between two lenses, readying the apparatus for the filtering procedure, when he heard a timid knock at the door of the lab. He rolled his eyes. She always knocked, no matter how many times he told her it was her home too, and that she was welcome in his lab.
"Lily, come in."
She stepped inside the door, and then stopped. She looked quite distraught, very changed from when he'd seen her at breakfast. He stepped quickly stand in front of her, pulled her face up to meet his eyes.
"What is it?"
"They…they were here. They've found me," she almost whispered.
"Who found you?"
"Hermione. And Mr Weasley. They've gone, but they'll be back. I know they'll be back. They never stay away, once they've found me."
"Hermione Granger? And Arthur Weasley?"
She nodded in misery, tears starting to leak out of her eyes. He pulled her close to him, let her sob into his robes while he stroked her back. He considered the two investigators, and what kind of resources they could marshal from the Ministry. He supposed it wouldn't take them too long to come back with a warrant to search the premises. But he didn't want Lily, his Lily, to worry about it.
"We'll get through this."
"They'll take me away from you! They'll make me go back!"
"I won't let them take you, my dear. We've done nothing wrong, and they can't force you to go."
"But…our marriage is…not really…"
He sighed. She'd insisted on the marriage certificate, and he'd been willing to find a parson who wasn't too careful in checking their paperwork. He had no idea why she insisted on the name Prince, when she obviously still thought of him as Snape, but he had no objections to that either. She'd built some construct of him, there in the odd twisted corners of her mind, and as long as he played along, he got to stay with her, got to keep her, and he couldn't give that up.
He held her a moment longer, until she gasped and pulled back from him.
"A baby!" she said. "If I had a baby—if I were pregnant, they couldn't separate us! Severus, you must find a way for me to have a baby!"
Severus gritted his teeth. Not now.
"You cannot get pregnant, Lily. It's not possible."
"You can find a way!"
"No, I can't. It's not possible. Your condition makes it impossible."
"But I'm healthy! I'm young enough! You have to find a way!"
Severus closed his eyes, and counted to ten. In Latin. And again, in Greek. He was trying to remember his Aramaic when she interrupted his thoughts.
"Severus! Don't you love me?"
He flinched at that, and then his anger caught up with him. "While I am thrilled at your estimation of my skills, they are not sufficient to this task. I have managed to stretch Polyjuice to last almost five hours. I cannot make it last nine months!"
"But…but surely if you, I don't know, made it shift with me? Made it from my hair every five hours?"
"No, 'Lily,' I cannot do that. We've been through this. Polyjuice from your hair will produce…your original form."
"But you're very good with potions!" She was stammering now, rushing her words trying to get around a concept she couldn't bear to say aloud. "You can build another device, make it able to use my hair instead of the blood and, and, other fluids, and it'll let me stay me for the whole time, and—"
"I CANNOT. There is no potion, no spell, no magic that will make you stay in that form and able to bear a child. NONE. And the filtering to allow that form at all takes several hours; there's no way to make it last long enough to work. And if there were, I cannot make Polyjuice around the clock for nine months."
He looked at her, exasperated. "Lily, give it up! You cannot get pregnant!"
She burst into tears. He stepped forward, and folded her into his arms, where he knew she'd eventually calm down. She clutched at him and shook for a while, and slowly stilled. She mumbled into his robes.
"But I want a baby."
"I would love for you to have a baby, my dear. You'd make a wonderful mother." He tried not to think too hard about what that would mean. "But it is not to be."
"I'm sorry, Severus."
"It's...okay. Not unexpected. You'll run out of potion today, yes?"
"Yes. This evening."
"I'll be ready. If you'll let me get back to the arrangements, that is."
"Oh. Okay, then." She stepped away from him awkwardly, looked long into his face. He tried to keep his exasperation hidden, show only the concern and love that really were stronger—most of the time. She must've found what she needed, because she nodded, and left the lab.
Severus let out a long breath, and went back to arranging the lenses, beakers and pipettes, until the evening when her potion would wear out. He never knew what to expect. Her reaction had been different every time, but she always wanted him nearby. He wrapped up his lab work with almost an hour to spare before the potion wore off.
He met her in their room, where she was pacing nervously. She walked widdershins around the edges of the room, touching each of the bits of furniture as she passed. Bed, table, closet door, bureau, desk, chair, door, bookshelf, back to the bed… Severus stepped into the middle of the room, and watched her complete two complete circles before he walked over and took her into his arms. She stopped walking at his touch, and wrapped herself around him.
"How long have you been circling?"
"Not long, I'm sure. Not more than an hour."
He sighed. He sighed a lot, the last few days when the potions were running out. It kept him from screaming. He rubbed her back, trying to get a sense of her mood, other than "frantic." She wasn't still, but she wasn't trying to escape, either. She was tense in spots, and kept shifting her balance. He ran his hands down her arms, and for an absurd moment, he thought of smoothing her like a wrinkled robe.
He held her gently, rocking her back and forth, waiting for her to make the next move. He wondered if she'd just want to be held through the change, or if she'd insist on restraints, or if she'd want him to turn away and not watch.
She clung to him, twitching softly, so he guided her over to the bed to sit down next to her. She scrambled up onto his lap, and started to undo the buttons on his robes.
He raised one eyebrow.
He pulled her chin up to face him—he needed to be sure he understood what she wanted. He looked into her eyes, and found both desperation and surrender. Don't make me ask, they said. Don't make me say it aloud. He pulled her into a kiss, long and sweet, and reached behind her to unzip her dress.
She wriggled in his arms, and as always, he was amazed at how fast she could get naked. His own disrobing took longer; his penchant for traditional wizarding clothes cost them at least five minutes, and by the end of it, they were both panting.
He lay her down on the bed, and covered her body with his. They lay there, still, just touching, for a long moment, before a slow shudder went through her, and she raised her legs to wrap around his hips. His hardening cock fell easily onto the wet folds of her skin, and he thrust forward gently. She pressed back against him, widening her legs but still holding him too close for penetration.
He didn't need penetration. He loved every bit of her body, and sliding back and forth along her labia held special delights. He could feel her jerk in pleasure every time the head of his cock slid over her clitoris. She stroked his back, then tried to pull him down for kisses but couldn't hold her head still long enough. One touch of his lips and she was moaning, then jerking her head back with short, sharp cries.
He varied his strokes in speed but not in pressure, until he could feel the tension building in her. When she started clenching around him helplessly, he matched her pace and her sweet violence, thrusting against her with his whole strength. He could feel her thighs pressing against his sides, her arms scrabbling for a grip on his back. When he felt her slickness grow even more wet, he knew she was close, and he pressed against her, hard, pulling her into his arms. Holding her close and tight, he could feel the orgasm rip through her whole body, feel her surrender to sensation. He pressed against her tightly, then gentled his hold through the aftershocks, kissing her through the tremors until she met his eyes again.
She smiled up at him, and his breath caught in his throat. That smile had always been his undoing. Looking into those green eyes, he forgot everything else. He leaned in to kiss her again, keeping his eyes open to see hers flutter and soften. He pressed soft kisses to the edges of her mouth, nibbling on her jawline, watching her reaction. He caressed her lips with his, tickling her tongue, until she shifted beneath him, and his cock, hard and throbbing, reminded him that it wasn't finished. He groaned, and pressed against her, unsure what she wanted.
Her smile turned wicked, and she shifted her legs apart, and farther up. His cock fell between her legs, and when he twitched forward involuntarily, it pressed into the cleft of her arse.
She pressed down against him, inviting deeper contact. He shifted his weight to one hand, and used the other to hold himself steady as used her juices to wet himself and her for penetration. He dipped into her vulva, shallow, surface strokes to coat his glans, and trailed the liquid down to the puckered hole beneath. He stroked her open with his fingertips, and pressed in slowly, as gently as he could.
She pulled her legs even higher, and he shifted to pull them over his shoulders. He waited while she clenched and relaxed around him, until she found her comfort and started moving beneath him. He moved slowly, not wanting to hurt her, knowing he couldn't last long. A quiver ran through her and he gasped at the sensation. She bore down around him, and he thrust faster, recognizing the change coming over her. He was overwhelmed; her muscles shifted, her shape changed, and he lost control, shifting from slow and gentle to passionate and wild.
They both groaned, as her legs lengthened and thickened, as her hair shortened and darkened. Severus' eyes went wide and he gasped as she shifted around his cock in ways that he'd never felt before. Her labia filled and stretched and her clit expanded, her breasts shrunk, her curves firmed as her waist thickened and her hips narrowed, until the change was complete, and Severus found himself bollocks-deep in Harry Potter's arse.
The final tremors of the change were too much for Severus. He thrust madly until he spent himself with a harsh cry, and collapsed onto Harry's body.
Harry lay still underneath him, not caressing him as Lily would have but not pulling away either, and Severus counted that as something of a victory. Progress, at least, that Harry wasn't immediately trying to get out of his skin.
Severus pulled out slowly and rolled to the side. Harry curled up facing away from him, but scooted back to let Severus hold him. Severus reached over Harry to the table where he'd left his wand, and performed a quick cleaning charm on both of them; Harry shuddered softly but didn't pull away.
Eventually, they fell asleep.
Snape was awakened at dawn by Harry shaking his shoulder and insisting he get up.
"Snape! It's morning, Snape! I need you to start brewing!"
Snape pulled the blankets tighter around him. Harry pulled them down past his shoulders, which was all he could get without rolling Snape over.
"Wake up! Please, Snape. The sooner you wake up, the sooner I get to be me again!"
Snape mumbled something and grabbed at the blankets. Harry shook his shoulder a bit harder, and then changed tactics. He started tickling Snape under his arms.
Snape shot upright and slapped Harry's hand sharply. He scowled at the anxious man facing him.
"Sleep, Harry. I need at least a couple more hours sleep first."
"But it's morning! We need to start this morning!"
"We need to start after I have rested. Or have you forgotten what happens when I'm too tired?
Harry shuddered at the memory of three hours in James Potter's body. He hung his head and mumbled. "No, sir." He started to climb out of bed, obviously dejected.
Snape rolled his eyes, and grabbed him by the waist before he could stand. "Don't be ridiculous. You need more sleep too."
"I'm too nervous. I hate being like this."
"Well, I don't hate you like this. And we both need more rest. Lie down and shut up, Potter."
Harry flinched at his surname, but nodded, and returned to his place next to Snape. Snape snuggled him close, waiting for Harry's heartbeat to go back to normal, and tried not to think about why he obeyed so quickly when he was called "Potter."
Snape drifted into a half-sleep, letting his mind wander over plans for the brewing he'd do later, and remembering how his life with "his Lily" had begun. He'd not been kind to Harry at first.
It began with someone knocking at Snape's door. He didn't normally have visitors; he'd chosen this cottage because it was isolated. It wasn't too far to Apparate to town, but far enough away from the roads to discourage casual visitors. He wondered if the church had a new vicar again, one who was set on encouraging the entire local populace to attend services.
Snape answered the door, scowling, to find himself faced with green eyes and red hair and a dress that wasn't even fashionable five years ago, when it was new. Lily, he thought, and his heart leapt. And then he realized it wasn't Lily, couldn't be Lily, and looked again at the shivering person in front of him.
The chin was too round. The shoulders, too broad. The hair was odd…ah, that was it, a wig. And this face had to be twenty years younger than him. It was almost, but not quite, the Lily he remembered. Who was dead. His eyes narrowed.
"Potter," he said flatly. "What kind of joke is this?"
"N-no joke," came the reply. "'M not Harry anymore. 'M Lily. Lily Evans."
"You are most certainly not Lily Evans!" Snape hissed.
Potter flinched at that, and looked down. Good. Snape didn't like getting angry at those eyes.
"I want to be Lily," he almost whispered. "Everybody likes Lily."
"Everybody likes you, Potter. Except for me. Or did you miss all the announcements that you are the 'Savior of the Wizarding World?"
"Savior's not the same as liking," Potter's voice got stronger; this was apparently familiar ground. "Everybody wants something from Harry. Lily just got to be herself."
"Lily got killed, being herself."
Another flinch. A long moment of silence. Snape started to shut the door.
"Wait!" The green eyes looked up at him.
Lily's eyes. Lily's eyes, pleading with him. He fought down the memories that tried to claw to the surface, and forced asperity into his voice. "What do you want, Potter? Why are you here?"
"I…I want to hire you. To brew a potion for me."
"No." Snape started to shut the door again.
"Don't you even want to know what potion?"
"No. Go away." The door was almost closed, when Potter put his foot in the way. Snape raised his eyebrows, and gave him a calculating glance that said Do you really want to find out how hard I can slam this door?
"Polyjuice. I need you to Polyjuice me into Lily Evans."
"That's sick, Potter. You're crazy. That's also impossible, as Lily Evans is DEAD. You can't Polyjuice into a corpse. Or maybe you can, but I suspect you wouldn't recover. I will not be responsible for your suicide again, Potter."
"Then maybe not Polyjuice. Is there another potion that changes you into someone else?"
Snape rolled his eyes. "Certainly, there is no potion that changes me into someone else."
"Me, I mean. Is there another potion that can make me…more like Lily?"
"You need a therapist, not a potions brewer. I will not have her memory desecrated by your ridiculous insecurities, nor will I be a party to your pathetic attempt to become your own mother. Which is, as I said, impossible. Polyjuice needs the physical essence of the target, and she's dead." Snape the door open, ready to slam it hard on Potter's foot if necessary.
"I have her blood; isn't that enough?"
Snape cocked his head at that, and said the first thing that came to his mind.
"Your blood is half hers. The other half came from James."
"Then just use the Lily half!"
Snape was caught between the desire to hex Potter to oblivion, and an itch to explore a variant form of Polyjuice he'd never considered. Potter could see him wavering, and decided to press on.
"I can pay you!"
Snape sneered at him. "I don't need your galleons, Potter."
"Whatever you want. Anything."
"Anything, Potter?" he drawled. Snape wasn't sure what he'd want from Potter, but the man did have resources.
"Anything in my power," he replied, breathless with opportunity. Then he thought for a moment. "That doesn't involve killing people. Or hurting people. Or….or stealing babies. Or…"
Snape cut him off before he could start listing depravities in lurid detail. Snape certainly had no interest in hearing Potter's Complete List of Vile Reprehensible Acts. He especially didn't want to find out how much of his personal history would be included.
"What if I want…" and here, Snape paused; he hadn't anything in mind. He let his mind wander a bit, and found himself looking at the person in front of him. Red hair, green eyes, poorly-applied makeup…a flicker of memory from his teen years, of Lily's first tube of red lipstick and how much he wanted to kiss those lips.
Snape let his voice become low and cunning. "What if I want…Lily Evans?" And he let his eyes rake over the man standing in the doorway, let his expression show how he might react if the real Lily Evans were begging a favor from him."
Potter, predictably, recoiled. "You can't want…that! From me!"
"Not from you, of course. From Lily."
Potter shook his head as if to clear it, and swallowed hard. His answer was so soft Snape could barely hear it.
"Okay, I could…be Lily for you. If that's what it takes."
"Spare me your pity, Potter. And your delusions. Leave me to my memories, and Go. Away."
Potter looked down. "I don't have any memories," he mumbled.
"What?" Snape asked.
"The only memories I have of her are what you left me." He fumbled in his pocket, and drew out a flask of silver threads. He clutched it as if it were alive, something too fragile to squeeze but too precious to risk dropping. "I watch them all the time. She was…she was beautiful. And everyone liked her, except for her sister sometimes. And she had her life taken from her, and that's my fault, and I don't want to be the reason she's dead. And my life is useless, all full of people wanting me to play hero for them, and she…she should be alive instead of me. So this…this could be a way to bring her back. A trade. Sort of. "
Snape had had enough. Potter watched his memories over and over, as if they were some Muggle television drama? Potter had obviously come entirely unhinged sometime in the last five years. Snape leaned forward and reached out to take the flask away.
Potter stepped back, out of his reach…and Snape slammed the door in his face.
Snape waited to hear him leave.
Snape waited a bit more.
Potter started knocking. Snape waited. The knocking didn't stop. Snape wandered into the kitchen to have a cup of tea, but the knocking was certainly distracting. After three minutes, Snape wondered if he'd thought to cast a protection charm on his knuckles. After another five, Snape decided to find out.
He hadn't. Potter's hand was scraped and just slightly bloody from knocking at the door.
"Please!" Potter begged. "Please let me be Lily for you! I'll do anything you want! Anything at all!"
Snape looked at him flatly. "Anything."
Snape took a step toward him, looming over him. "And if I wanted anything to start right now?"
Potter gulped, and looked up to meet Snape's eyes. He bit his lower lip, a decidedly un-Lily-like expression.
"Anything," he whispered.
Snape grabbed Potter's shoulders and pulled him close. Then he bent down to whisper in Harry's ear. "If I can turn you into Lily, you'll do anything I say? You'll be my Lily?"
"Yours," he said breathlessly, and Snape allowed the sweetness of the fantasy to wash through him…let himself think about Lily at his beck and call, Lily smiling at him again….
Then he scowled, and stepped back. He wasn't sure the potion could even be made, and he'd have to put up with Potter during the brewing, a minimum of a month. And while Potter would promise anything to get what he wanted, he didn't have a good record of actually fulfilling those promises, not if they required commitment.
Snape was struck with an idea. He leaned back against the doorframe.
"Then you can start, right now, by sucking me off."
Potter made a strangled noise. "Now? HERE?"
"You did say 'anything,' Potter. What did you think I meant by being Lily for me? Holding hands and chatting about Potions Quarterly?"
Potter took a deep breath. "Okay."
Snape raised his eyebrows. That was…an unexpectedly quick response.
Potter took half a step forward. "How…how should I…"
Snape crossed his arms. "I'm told you can be very resourceful with the right motivation. Surprise me."
Snape watched emotions flicker across Potter's open face. Surprise, anger, determination, dismay, curiosity—Snape was surprised at that one—and back to determination.
Potter stepped forward, and fell to his knees in front of Snape. Snape didn't let his shock reach his face. Potter tentatively put his hands on Snape's bony hips, and moved his fingers inward and downward to press gently over his groin. Snape let out a slow, quiet breath; he was suddenly very curious about how far Potter would go in pursuit of his ridiculous and likely impossible goal.
One of Potter's hands moved up to unbutton Snape's trousers and unzip his fly. There was no delicacy in his movements, no grace; he obviously had no idea what he was doing. He awkwardly pulled down Snape's trousers and pants, and was facing Snape's quiescent cock, which was almost hidden by his shirt.
Snape watched Harry, and Harry watched Snape's penis, as if he expected it to turn into a scorpion. Snape could see the moment when Harry decided to go ahead with his agreement…his shoulders shifted, and he leaned forward.
Harry, Snape decided, was amazingly bad at giving head. He probably had never done this before, and Snape allowed himself only the smallest frisson of guilt for that. Harry couldn't figure out what to do with his hands, so he kept shifting between holding the base of the penis and stroking it. His mouth was all over—sometimes almost kissing, sometimes suckling; he put his lips over the tip gingerly at first, and then with slightly more confidence. And more teeth. Snape hissed at that.
It was the only sexual contact with another human being Snape had had in more than a decade. He was embarrassed at how fast he grew hard, and more embarrassed when he found himself starting to thrust gently into Harry's mouth, because he certainly shouldn't be enjoying this. Then he reminded himself that his purpose was to convince Harry to go away, and he grabbed Harry's head and held him still while he bucked his hips, losing himself in the sensation of a warm mouth. Harry was making distressed sounds, but Snape ignored them. If Harry wanted to stop, he had only to draw his wand; Snape knew he could cast several hexes without words.
He stroked his fingers behind Harry's ears. One of Harry's hands had settled on a grip around the base of Snape's cock, trying to manage the pace of his thrusting. Snape looked down just at the moment that Harry looked up, and Snape found himself staring into Lily's green eyes with a warm mouth over the end of his prick. Snape's gaze flickered downward, and he realized Harry's other hand was pressing between his legs, bunching up the fabric of the dress, obviously rubbing against his own erection. That was enough, too much…Snape spilled into Harry's mouth, and even Harry's coughing and sputtering couldn't make it less than satisfying.
Snape leaned back against the doorframe and closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them, Harry was still on his knees, looking up at him, hand between his legs no longer moving, but not moving away, either.
A smile twisted across Snape's face. He grabbed Harry's shoulders and pulled him to his feet. Harry stumbled and Snape used the moment to spin him around and press him to the wall. Harry looked…wanton, Snape decided; green eyes wild, breath unsteady, with Snape's seed trickling out of one corner of his mouth. Snape leaned in to lick it, and Harry gasped. Snape seized the opportunity to press his mouth against Harry's, expecting Harry to flinch away.
Harry surprised him. He moaned into the kiss, pressing back and letting his tongue flicker against Snape's lips. Snape's movements changed from questioning to conquering as he plundered Harry's mouth, thrusting his tongue in roughly, while Harry opened to the assault. When Snape reached down to feel Harry's cock through his skirt, Harry pushed wildly against his hand and groaned sharply. Harry grabbed Snape's hand and pressed it against himself harder, thrusting and grunting, and Snape realized he was very close. Snape pushed his fingers down to cup Harry's scrotum, pushing his wrist against the length of Harry's cock, and that was it—Harry gripped his hand hard and pressed into him so tightly he could feel the pulses through the cloth, even before he felt the warm wetness spread against his wrist.
In a moment, the tremors ceased, and Harry dropped Snape's hand awkwardly. Snape stepped back, and studied at him.
He looked lost. Leaning against the wall, unsteady, with panting, shivering breaths, a stain spreading across the front of his dress.
Snape considered stepping inside and slamming the door in his face before Harry had time to get his bearings.
Then he sighed, and gestured into the house. "Loo's down at the end of the hall. I suggest you take a few minutes to get cleaned up before we try to work out any details to this arrangement."
He'd known that it could all end if they were discovered; when Arthur and the Granger girl returned, they might drag Harry off to St Mungo's, where he'd be locked away and miserable for years while his "friends" tried to convince him that their plan for his life was better than his own. Snape knew he himself would probably be thrown into Azkaban, on some trumped-up morals charge that boiled down to "guilty of tarnishing the image of the hero of the wizarding world." And also, "guilty of weird sex that bothers us; here, have a prison term for making us think about it."
When Snape realized his thoughts were getting morbid, he knew it was time to get up.
Harry had fallen back to sleep, and Snape tried not to wake him as he climbed out of bed and dressed himself. He almost succeeded; he had his robes on and was reaching for his socks when Harry rolled over, touched the empty side of the bed, and jerked awake.
"Is it time?" he asked. "Are you starting?"
Snape rolled his eyes. "No, I thought I'd take a leisurely stroll into town, shop for stew vegetables, maybe spend the afternoon fishing at the beach."
"Severus!" Harry looked shocked. And hurt. Snape sighed.
"What answer did you expect?"
"I know we're starting now!" Indignant, now.
"Then why did you ask?"
Harry sputtered over an answer that Snape paid no attention to as he pulled on his boots and walked into the kitchen to prepare breakfast. It would be a very long day, and difficult for both of them.
An hour later, they were both in the laboratory; Snape was adjusting beakers over flames, and Harry was standing and fidgeting near the door, looking very much as if he wanted to run away.
"Oh, for pity's sake! Sit down, Potter!"
Harry sat in the recliner Snape had brought in for him. He gripped the arms and started to ask questions.
"Do you have enough leeches? Because I could go get some more from the river, if you need more. Are they big enough? I should probably get some anyway. Just in case. Yeah. I could go find some. D'you need the silvery ones, or the all black ones?" He started to stand.
"Stay seated, Harry. No, I don't need more leeches."
Snape carefully dropped a dozen of the leeches (the silvery kind) into a flagon of absinthe, placed it into a rack containing three rows of similar bottles, and let them writhe while he stirred the lacewing flies in the spring water.
"Do you need more spring water? I could go get some. It'd only take a few minutes."
Snape glared at him. Harry subsided. The last time Harry had gone out to fetch ingredients, he'd taken over two days to return, and when he did, he was covered in scrapes and bruises. He was none to careful with his body in this form, and Snape didn't want him unsupervised.
Snape moved on to the grasses, dropping the knotgrass one strand at a time onto the tray of fluxweed. As soon as a blade of knotgrass had wrapped itself around one of the shimmering, colour-changing leaves, he dropped the next.
Harry fidgeted. Snape tried to ignore him.
With a wave of his wand, Snape extinguished the fire under the lacewings. He used a pair of hooks to carefully move the cauldron from its place by the window to the tripod on the large central table next to the racks of leech bottles.
He capped each of the bottles with a stopper with a glass pipette in the center, and when he was done, placed a wire grid underneath the bottles so that the crosspoints of the grid were centered beneath each bottle. He tapped the grid with his wand, and the crosspoints burst into tiny green flames. He ignored the steam coming out of the pipettes; that was the alcohol burning off, and the wormwood had already been metabolized by the slugs.
He lifted the top on the lacewing cauldron and set it aside. Then he took the keg of bicorn horn and set it over the lip of the cauldron, and used a charm that would hold it in place without tipping. He opened the bung on the bottom of the cask, and the bicorn horn poured into the brewed lacewing flies. He stirred deosil with a silver rod as the powder spilled into the liquid, and he made sure to tap the sides at least three times each time he went around, which caused the cauldron to ring oddly.
"I could help with that," Harry said. "I know I wasn't great at potions, but I was okay at just stirring. I could stir and tap the sides, and then you could move on to one of the other parts."
Snape spoke without looking at him. "If you leave that chair, I'll hex your legs with boils so painful you won't walk for a week."
Snape continued stirring the cauldron until all the horn powder was mixed in, and then set the cask back on the table. He checked the slugs, which had reduced to a dark sludge with a silvery sheen, and tapped the fire-grid to extinguish it.
He turned back to the tray of leaves, and used a simple charm to make the sides taller. He then used tongs to pour the slug mixture over the plants, drizzling the dark liquid in a complex spiral pattern that never crossed itself but allowed the leaves to swell as they absorbed the altered slugs.
"Can't you pour faster?" Harry pleaded. "I hate waiting. I could pour for you. I could pour much faster than that. And I can pour it right, I know I can. I could do one side of the pan while you do the other, and it'll be done in no time!"
Snape set down the flask he was pouring, and stalked over to Harry.
"Stop. Interrupting," he ground out. "You cannot make this go faster. And the more you distract me, the slower it will go."
Harry made an incoherent noise of distress.
"Yes. Every minute of my time you waste, is one more minute you spend in that body. And you know this. I wonder if you really want this to go faster, or if you're deliberately delaying me?"
"I hate being like this!"
"You did, I know. I'm not sure you still do." And with that, Snape bent down, caught Harry's chin in his fingers, and pulled him up into a searing kiss. Harry whimpered into Snape's mouth, started to put his arms around Snape.
Snape pulled away and pushed Harry back down into the chair.
"You. Will. WAIT," he said emphatically. Then his voice softened, and he added, "We'll have plenty of time for that in the evenings while you're recovering."
Harry mumbled something that sounded like "okay," and nodded.
Snape went back to pouring melted slugs over leaves. By the time he finished, it was mid-afternoon. He went to the cupboard and retrieved the jar of dried boomslang skin, shredded by hand to avoid damaging the fibers. A few shreds at a time, he sprinkled them over the saturated leaves, allowing enough space between shreds for each to absorb as much liquid as possible. When the top was covered with an evenly dispersed layer of shreds, he used a gold spoon to stir and turn over the mix, and continued with the rest of the boomslang skin. When he'd finished, he placed a cover over the whole tray.
Fortunately, all these steps only had to be done once for the entire brewing cycle; he'd learned that making the first day the longest worked best. Harry's patience would last through any procedure once, but the same procedure on successive days got more and more resistance. Except for the extraction, of course. He'd had to fight to keep that down to once per day of brewing. If Harry had his way, he'd go through it half a dozen times in the first day alone, until he was too weak to move.
Snape set what he thought of as the "forest mix" next to the lacewing-horn cauldron. They were both stable, and could sit several days before being mixed into the final brew. He turned back to Harry, who was watching avidly and fidgeting in the chair.
"Now? Is it time now?"
Snape stopped himself from saying that no, he'd decided to wait another couple of weeks. He gathered up a handful of tools and brought them to the small table next to the chair.
"Yes. Hold out your arm."
Harry dutifully held out his left arm, wrist up, and laid it on the arm of the chair. Snape knelt next to him, and gently kissed Harry's palm before taking a flask in one hand and a scalpel in the other. Positioning Harry's wrist over the flask, he made a quick, deep cut on the edge of it . He could see the faint lines from the first times he'd done this, before he'd learned the healing charm that wouldn't leave a scar.
Harry didn't flinch when the knife bit him. He never did. He watched as the blood filled the glass, and frowned when Snape reached for his wand.
"You could collect more. I'd be okay with more."
Snape performed the healing charm. "One pint per day, Harry. Seven days. We're not compromising your health more than that."
"I'm plenty healthy! I could do two pints a day, I'm sure of it!"
"Perhaps you could. You will not. I will not have you falling unconscious on me."
Snape put a finger over his lips. "Are you ready for the next part?"
Harry's eyes widened, and his face showed both eagerness and embarrassment. He nodded. Snape pulled him down into a slow, sensuous kiss that left Harry humming softly. Snape pulled away slowly, and shifted back to give Harry room. With his usual impressive alacrity, Harry's trousers and pants were in a heap on the floor by the time Severus moved to kneel in front of the chair.
Severus placed his hands on Harry's knees, and gently pressed them open. He looked up into Harry's wide, green eyes that hid more pain than Lily had ever known, and Severus licked his lips, letting them curve into a thin, greedy smile as he leaned forward. Harry gulped as Severus slid his hands up until his thumbs and forefingers outlined Harry's scrotum and swiftly hardening cock. Severus tensed his other fingers, causing Harry to buck forward slightly. Severus waited, stretching out the moment, while he watched Harry's cock thicken and twitch. Severus blew softly on it, and Harry groaned.
"Touch me, please," he begged.
"Oh, but I am touching you," Severus whispered. He squeezed the tops of Harry's thighs again, and was gratified to feel Harry's reaction.
"M-more," Harry almost moaned.
"I like you like this. Begging for my touch. Wanting me to touch your body."
"Yes, please, touch my body."
"What part, Harry."
Harry shook his head, closing his eyes. Severus tensed his fingers again, and increased the onslaught by gently squeezing his hands closer together, so that Harry's balls fell just over Severus' thumbs. He could feel them tightening. Severus pressed downward, onto the junction of genitals to thighs but not directly touching where Harry most wanted it.
"You have to say it, Harry."
"Can't. Not mine. Not me."
"Yes, you." Severus tensed his fingers again, and Harry threw back his head and made a desperate, keening noise. "It's you that feels this, Harry. You that wants this. Tell me what you want."
Harry's eyes were clenched shut, but he faced Severus as if he could see him. He swallowed hard, and whispered, "Touch my cock."
"T-touch my cock."
And with that, Severus swept his fingers inward and upward, and Harry almost sobbed as Severus wrapped long, skilled hands around his throbbing erection. Severus held him still, not stroking at all, then leaned forward and took the tip in his mouth. Harry thrust forward, but Severus' arms on his legs kept him pinned. Severus lowered his mouth until he met his fingers, and then started to move—licking and sucking at the head, letting his saliva drip down between his fingers as he slid them up and down Harry's length. Harry clenched the arms of the chair, and made wild sounds that denied how still he held himself. Severus disentangled his fingers, letting one hand stroke and squeeze his shaft, while the other caressed his balls, pressing gently between them to feel the tension growing.
When Severus felt them tighten, he let go and reached to the table with that hand, grasping a long, narrow beaker and bringing it down between Harry's legs. When he felt more than tasted the first, tiny spurt, he pulled his mouth away and replaced it with the beaker while he pulled and twisted carefully to milk Harry through his orgasm.
He captured every drop, waiting for the after-tremors to be finished before pulling the beaker away. He continued to gently caress Harry's thighs when his penis grew too sensitive to touch directly, then gently kissed him on the knee before standing.
Harry wrapped his arms around Severus' legs, pressing his face to the bulge in Severus' robes. He rubbed his cheek against it, but Severus pried one of his arms away, and stepped back.
"Later. After I've finished today's brewing."
Harry pulled back, nodding. He rested for a long a moment, and Severus watched him, enjoying the utter wantonness of Harry Potter sprawled half-naked in front of him, legs wide open and arms draped loosely over the arms of the chair, head thrown back in languor. It took all his self-control not to strip off his own robes and take advantage of Harry's offer—but Harry's mouth would be just as sweet later, and he wanted to get the first batch finished.
He turned away as Harry reached for his clothing, knowing that if he didn't, Harry would make a sensual production of putting clothing on, trying to distract him.
He took the flask of Harry's blood and the beaker of Harry's seed, and set them into the empty spot on the rack underneath the bottle of memories.
Harry spoke up. "That's all your memories of her?"
Snape didn't sigh, although they went through this exchange, or some variation of it, every time. He didn't mind, not really; it helped him keep the steps in order, and while they were not particularly difficult or complicated, they'd taken a great deal of experimentation to establish. They'd tried several other procedures, and Snape sometimes had trouble remembering exactly which sequence turned out to be effective.
"Yes. All I can bring up. And yours, although those are very few."
"It's a very tiny bottle."
"Memories are small. They expand in Pensieve fluid. I suppose the fluid works much like a Muggle movie projector—a very tiny original can appear to fill an entire wall."
"But you're not using a Pensieve."
"No. I'll be merging the two aspects of your essence—like so." He waved his wand over the flask and beaker, and the glass met, fused, and reshaped itself into a single, larger cylindrical container. "Then I'll add the memories, which the light through the lenses will fuse with only those parts of your essence that resonate with the memories."
Harry sighed happily. "So you'll use our memories of Lily to pull Lily out of my blood."
Snape nodded. "And your seed."
Harry blushed. Snape was never sure if that was because he was embarrassed about the topic, as most young men would be, or if he was disturbed at enjoying sex in his natural body. Attempts to discuss the matter had ended badly. Instead, Snape settled for reminding Harry that he did, occasionally, enjoy the body he was born with.
He turned back to the apparatus on the table. Beside each lens, on the side away from the glass jar, was a candle. The one on Snape's left was white, with streaks of salt and sulfur twisting through it—sulfur for dissolution, to aid in the separation of aspects of the essences; salt for condensation, to merge the memories with those portions of the fluids that resonated with them. The candle to his right was black, with slivers of quicksilver, to activate the seed as a mirror, a template for separating the blood—to allow the half-pieces of Lily's essence to be merged into a complete whole, usable as the activating ingredient in Polyjuice.
He lit both candles, and the lenses focused the light onto the glass jar. He poured the tiny bottle of memories into the mix of blood and semen, and the contents started to swirl, and a tiny whirlpool formed in the center. The silver threads of the memories danced and twisted through the red liquid, and as the two beams of light hit them, they slowly darkened and swelled and settled to the bottom. The liquid started to separate—a clear red with white threads through it on top, and the heavier, darker clumps of saturated memories at the bottom.
Harry watched with utter fascination. The process took more than an hour, but he never took his eyes off the jar.
By the time the candles burned down so that their flames no longer filtered through the lenses, the process was complete. The jar had two distinct layers—a larger layer of light, clear red at the top, and a smaller layer of dense, darker red at the bottom. Snape lifted it carefully, and ran his wand up the side of the jar; a spout appeared, starting at the bottom and arcing out. He set down his wand, picked up yet another beaker, and carefully poured the dense, saturated strands of bottom layer through the spout into the new beaker. When the last of the heavy memory threads had poured through, he tapped the jar with his wand, and the spout merged back into the glass.
He handed the jar of clear red liquid to Harry. "Essence of James Potter," he said.
Harry scowled at it, and wrinkled his nose, but reached for it eagerly. He strode over to the fireplace Snape kept for Floo contact, and held it so he could see flames through the glass. His face twisted with disgust.
"James Potter was a toerag!" he yelled, and threw the glass into the fireplace to shatter it. The fire sputtered, sizzled, sent up a gout of grey smoke, and eventually settled back to normal. Harry watched the whole process with a vicious snarl on his face, and then turned back to Snape with an expression of innocent expectation.
Snape tried not to shudder. As much as he despised James Potter, it was difficult to see his own son hate him so much—especially since what he hated were the elements of James Potter in himself. And the switch from that loathing to his more normal, peaceful mood was equally disturbing.
Snape set that out of his mind for the moment and turned back to the beaker in front of him. Just that shift of focus was enough to catch Harry's full attention; he scurried back to the table to watch. The beaker was half-full of dark, thick ropes of red that slowly swirled as he watched. Sometimes a metallic glimmer shone from the mass, but most of it was opaque.
Snape faced Harry. "Would you like to bring me the water?"
Harry's face lit up. It always did. He rushed over to the shelf where the lacewings had originally brewed, and grabbed a clear bottle labeled "Spring Water" in Snape's tiny, precise lettering. He brought it to Snape, and reverently removed the glass stopper.
Snape refrained from rolling his eyes. Seven years of potions training, and the only thing Harry was useful for was fetching bottles of water; when Snape had tried to let him help with anything else, it was always a disaster. He broke stirring rods, spilled cauldrons, mashed ingredients that should be chopped, dumped catalysts into reagents…he was a walking disaster in a laboratory. But he could fetch the spring water for this almost-final stage of the brewing, and he loved being involved.
Snape poured the spring water, purity in a bottle, over the red-soaked memories. The effect was immediate: the red liquid fell off the silvery memory-threads like rain off glass. Snape added half the bottle of water, and swirled the contents of the beaker to make sure all the memory threads were separated. Then he took up the original tiny bottle for the memories, and began transferring them with his wand, one thread at a time. Each thread was lifted out of the beaker, dangled loose at the end of the wand, and slid into the bottle.
This part took almost as long as the separation and merging, but Harry, again, was rapt. Snape refrained from moving the beaker back and forth to find out if Harry's eyes would follow it; he was afraid they would. When he finished transferring all the memories back to their original bottle, he replaced the stopper and set it back on the rack for the next day's brewing.
He relit the black candle with the quicksilver, and set it under a tripod that had a plate on top just big enough for the beaker. The candle was far enough away to heat the metal plate slowly, so the dark red liquid, much thinned by the spring water, would be slowly reduced to about a quarter of its volume.
Snape went over to the chair to rest. Harry, he knew, would stare at the beaker until it was ready to be used, at least an hour and a half of slow simmering. Snape read articles from Potions Weekly until it was done. When the liquid had reduced down to half an inch in the bottom of the beaker, Snape extinguished the candle with a pinch of his fingers. He turned to face Harry.
"So, shall we go have dinner now, and continue later?"
Snape watched Harry's eyes widen as his face flickered through emotions, trying to settle on an expression. He saw distress, outrage, fear, confusion, hurt, and shock, all in quick succession. Snape failed to keep his face steady, and Harry saw the quirk of his lips. Harry settled on petulance.
Snape considered that stress did not bring out Potter's articulate side. If Potter had an articulate side.
"I suppose we might as well finish today's section first."
"Yes, we should!"
Snape refrained from telling him he was cute when he was angry. He used a cloth to pick up the beaker and bring it over to the main table, near the lacewing-bicorn horn cauldron and the "forest mix" tray.
He pulled a much smaller cauldron out from under the table. With a measured ladle, he scooped five cups of the lacewing mix into the new cauldron, then used a scale to measure out 42 grammes of the leaves-and-slugs mix and added that to the cauldron. He brought the cauldron over to where he'd stewed the lacewings, and ignited the fire with a word and a flick of his wand.
He looked back at Harry. As he suspected, his full attention was on the beaker, not the rest of the potion. He sighed, and went back to fetch the beaker. Harry followed him.
As it was heated, the mix in the cauldron turned thick and mud-coloured. It only took a few minutes for Snape to pronounce it done. Harry stood, fidgeting, while Snape extinguished the fire and they both waited for it to cool enough to add the final ingredient.
After five long minutes, Snape poured the red liquid from the beaker into the cauldron. It frothed and bubbled, and shimmered through several colors before settling on an opaque rust-orange. The potion was much thinner, and Snape carefully ladled it into several small bottles, until he'd gotten all that was in the cauldron. He placed the bottles into a cabinet and locked the door with a charm.
"How much is that?" Harry asked.
"About two week's worth," Snape replied. "It'd be more if you didn't insist on using it when you're sleeping."
"I—I can't—I don't want to—" Harry was trembling, almost shaking.
"Sssh." Snape stepped over and put his arms around Harry. He bent down to kiss his forehead. "Perhaps someday you'll be ready for that. For now, this is fine." He hugged Harry to emphasize his words.
"Thank you," Harry said in a small voice.
Snape put an arm around his shoulder, and led him out of the lab. They'd be repeating the blood draw and everything after it for another six days; Snape hoped the rest of them went as smoothly as today had.
Harry grew more agitated every day of the process. He took longer to calm down afterward, longer to convince that he needed to wait until they were done before starting to use the potions. Snape strengthened the locking charms on the storage cabinet and added a physical lock as well, more for its psychological value than anything else. Harry's Muggle upbringing had taught him to respect locks more than most wizards did. Snape had tried to work out a different schedule—three weeks on the potion, and two days of brewing—but that just meant that Harry spent a third of their time together fretting about running out of Polyjuice.
After three more days of brewing, Snape and Harry relaxed in the sitting room. Snape sat at the edge of the couch, with Harry sitting next to him but curled into Snape's arms. Harry's shirt was open, and Snape idly traced circles and spirals across his chest. Once in a while, Snape dipped his fingers lower, touching the waistband of Harry's trousers, to check if the slow warmth was ready to spark into something hotter. Not yet, he thought as he let his fingertips trace the line just under the edge of the cloth, but soon. Harry melted rather than arched into the touch.
A knock at the door interrupted their leisure.
Immediately, Harry tensed. Snape hugged him briefly, kissed the top of his head, and gently disentangled himself as he stood to answer the door.
Snape performed a quick Look-See Charm, and confirmed that Hermione and Arthur had returned. Arthur was prominently holding a scroll with a Ministry seal; that must be a warrant of some sort. He sighed as he opened the door.
Arthur's face said "worried and serious." He unrolled the scroll, and started reciting the Ministry-approved script for these situations.
"Greetings, sir. I-am-Arthur-Weasley, appointed-officer-of-the-Ministry-of-Magic. I-have-come-to-present-you-with-this-warrant, which-allows-me-to-search-the-premises-and-question-the-occupants-thereof. I-request-and-require-your-assistance-in-establishing-the-true-identity-of—" at that point, he slowed down and checked the exact phrasing on the scroll. "—Of the person who identified herself to myself and my colleague, Mrs Hermione Weasley, as Lily Prince." Snape raised his eyebrow as Arthur continued, still reading from the scroll. "This warrant also grants me the authority to establish if any crimes have been committed, and take action to curtail such activities if they are occurring."
He at least had the grace to look somewhat embarrassed.
Snape's lips twisted as he considered his reply. He tilted his head a bit, watching Arthur and Hermione try not to fidget. When his gaze fell on Hermione, she twitched, and then caught herself and pulled herself up straight. Arthur was harder to unsettle, but still showed signs of discomfort.
"I can see the Ministry hasn't changed much. It's still more important to track the activities of wizarding celebrities than to help the needy, hmmm? Or would you like me to believe there are no more orphans of the war without families, no squibs being abused, no Muggles being tortured and Obliviated by vengeful wizarding relatives? Is all quiet in the wizarding world, that they could send the two of you so far from your normal abodes?"
Hermione had looked angry when he started to speak, and opened her mouth as if to interrupt, but stopped at the word "orphans." Her brow furrowed as he spoke.
"Now, see here," began Arthur, "we're investigating a very serious situation. When people known to be dead show up, the Ministry takes an interest."
"Oh? When did that policy change?" Snape asked, his voice at its most silky. "The Ministry didn't send out any investigators when they had reports that Voldemort was alive."
Arthur looked like he'd been slapped. Hermione found her voice.
"And it's because of situations like that that the policy changed, Mr. Snape. Or is it 'Prince' now?"
He smiled coldly at her. "It's Snape."
"Well, Lily—or whoever that was—said she was married to Severus Prince."
"She would say that." His voice was absolutely flat.
"Was she lying?"
"What do you mean, 'not exactly?'" Hermione asked suspiciously.
"I'm sure there was no intent to deceive."
"Doesn't she know the name of the man she claims to be married to?" Now she was exasperated.
"I'm sure she does." Snape's voice and face remained bland.
Hermione pursed her lips. "You're not making sense!"
Snape's mouth twitched almost invisibly. "If you read your warrant, you'll discover it doesn't require my answers fit your expectations."
Arthur broke in. "Now, Severus—"
"Mr Snape," Snape interrupted.
"Mr Snape," he repeated. "The Order was disbanded years ago, and I was barred from it before that. These are not friendly proceedings, nor are you welcome in my home. You are here because you have the authority to incarcerate and possibly torture me if I do not comply with your demands. Don't use informality to convince yourself this is a social call."
"Now, let's not talk about incarcerations and torture—my God, Snape! What do you think the Ministry is?"
"I remember very clearly what the Ministry does to those it distrusts. I wish as little of that attention as possible. So let us not pretend to niceties, and instead move on to giving you whatever it will take to make you go away and leave us to our lives."
"Us," Arthur said, pouncing on the word.
Snape rolled his eyes. "It can hardly be a surprise that I don't live alone. I didn't imagine it's my sparkling personality that brought the two of you to Chipping."
"Yes, I mean no, I mean…about your…wife."
"Lily," Snape said flatly. He wondered how long it'd take them to ask what they really wanted to know.
"Erm, yes. Who is she, really?" Arthur tried to look nonchalant as he asked, and failed.
"Her name is Lily Prince."
"Is she…the same Lily who was married to James Potter?"
"Of course not."
They seemed taken aback by that, as if they weren't expecting the obvious truth. A silence stretched between them. Snape tried to keep his face blank. The better he could hide his antipathy, the longer he could stretch out this part. The longer he could keep this going, the more time Harry would have to prepare for the questions that were inevitably coming to him. He decided to try a distraction.
"Mr Weasley. Mrs Weasley. What are you truly here to discover?"
Hermione answered. "Who that fake Lily is!"
"She's not fake."
"You just said she's not the Lily who was married to James!"
"Obviously not. Lily Potter died over two decades ago. I would think that, in your extensive reading about the history of Hogwarts and the wizarding world, you would have run across that little fact."
Hermione scowled at him. She answered almost sullenly, "If she's not the real Lily, then she's a fake."
"She is not."
Arthur cleared his throat. "Perhaps there's another explanation. Aaahmm…" he wiggled his fingers uselessly, trying to think of something. "An unknown sister or niece, perhaps."
"She is not a sister or niece of the Lily who married James Potter."
"Enough!" Hermione said firmly. "Arthur, we have a warrant; we don't need to play twenty questions with Mr Snape."
"Twenty questions?" Arthur looked at her curiously. "You've been counting?"
Snape's lip curled. "It's a Muggle expression. A form of children's game."
"Ah!" Arthur looked fascinated. "And this game, it involves some kind of interrogation element?"
"Arthur!" Hermione stomped her foot.
"Oh! Yes, quite right. We can certainly discuss that later."
"Yes, later. For now—" she turned back to Snape. "Mr Snape, would you bring out your wife, or the woman who introduced herself as your wife? We need to ask her some questions."
"She's not here," Snape informed her.
"Where's she gone?"
"I haven't a simple answer to that, I'm afraid. She hasn't gone anywhere."
Hermione looked at Arthur, obviously asking for help.
"I'm afraid we're going to have to insist on searching the premises," he said to Snape.
"I was sure you would, at some point."
The three stood in the doorway for a long moment. Eventually, Arthur said, "Alright then. Please move aside, Mr Snape."
Snape stepped back into the house, and immediately went over to the couch to sit and put his arm around Harry.
Harry was curled up, his arms wrapped tightly around his knees, his eyes just peeking over the top. He was shaking.
Snape murmured to him, too softly for the others to hear. "I'm here. It will be all right. I will keep you safe." Harry relaxed a tiny bit.
"HARRY!" Hermione shrieked. Snape felt a quiver run through him. "Harry, nobody's seen you in over two years!"
Harry looked beseechingly at Snape. Snape shook his head sadly; Harry would have to talk with her.
He whispered. "I didn't want to be seen."
"What was that?" Hermione strode over and knelt down beside him. Arthur remained in the doorway, a look of bafflement on his face, taking in the scene.
Harry spoke a tiny bit louder. "Didn't want to be seen."
"But why, Harry? We've been so worried about you!"
Harry just shook his head.
Hermione put her hand on his knee, and Harry flinched away from her, curling up tighter to Snape.
"As you see, Mrs Weasley, he wants no contact with you." Seeing her face fall, he rolled his eyes. "With any of you. I have no idea if he wishes to avoid you specifically."
Now she looked confused. "But…what happened? Harry, why don't you come back to your friends?"
He shook his head harder, and tried to bury his face in Snape's shirt.
Snape caught Arthur's eye; Arthur looked like he was about to make some kind of speech. Or worse, ask questions.
Snape turned his attention entirely to Harry. He pulled Harry's chin up so that Harry had to face him, and held it tightly so Harry couldn't turn around to look at the other two.
"Harry," he said.
Harry gulped, and met his eyes.
"Harry, do you trust me?"
"Yes," he whispered.
"Yes, I trust you," he said clearly.
"Harry, are you here of your own free will?"
Harry looked confused. "Of course."
"Do you want to leave? To visit your friends from Hogwarts?"
Harry looked stricken. "L-leave? You want me to leave? You're…you're throwing me out?" Harry started breathing fast and sharp. Snape cut him off.
"No! Look at me. Breathe."
Harry looked him in the eyes, and grew calm.
"I need you to answer this question. Do you want to leave?"
"No." Then Harry seemed to realize the purpose of the questions, and without looking around, he said more clearly, "No, I don't want to leave. I want to live here."
"One more question, Harry. This one's harder."
Harry closed his eyes for a moment, then opened them and nodded.
"Who are you?"
Harry's eyes grew wide.
"Answer the question."
"I-I'm Lily. Lily Prince. Most of the time."
Snape smiled at him, and Harry relaxed.
"Now, you have to tell them, Harry."
Harry shuddered at that, but safe in Snape's embrace, he turned to face Hermione and Arthur. He didn't quite meet either of their eyes, but he did manage to say in their direction, "I'm the one you met as Lily. I-I pr-pretend" he stumbled on the word "to be Lily Prince most of the time. I live with Severus Snape because I want to. I don't want to leave. And I want you to go away."
"Oh, Harry," Hermione said. Snape could see tears starting in her eyes. Harry could not, because on his last word, he turned away and buried his face in Snape's shoulder.
Snape hugged him hard, and then pulled back.
"Harry, I think you should go to our room. I'm sure these two have more questions for me, and you won't want to hear them."
Harry nodded. He stood up, not looking at anything, and turned to walk upstairs. Arthur saw his open shirt, and frowned. Snape rolled his eyes again, and sighed.
"One more thing, Harry," he said, as Harry reached the bottom of the stairs.
Harry turned back to him. "Yes, Severus?"
"Have I ever done anything to you without your consent?"
Harry thought for a long moment, searching his memories. "Not since I've been here," he said.
"Thank you, Harry. You may go now."
Harry nodded, and almost ran up the stairs to their room as Snape turned back to face his visitors.
"Now. You've got the identity of the Lily you met. Harry wishes to remain with me; we're not doing anything illegal. I doubt you actually care to rifle through my cupboards, so perhaps you will now take your leave?"
"Just a minute there!" said Arthur. "There's still a few things to clear up!"
"Yes," said Hermione, "like how does Harry look so exactly like Lily! I've seen photos, and that's not just makeup!"
"It's Polyjuice," Snape replied. "And it disturbs him greatly to discuss it."
"But you can't Polyjuice into a dead person!" Hermione said.
"It's a specialized formula," Snape said.
"Specialized how?" Arthur asked.
"I am considering publishing it, and do not intend to reveal the details before then."
Arthur bristled. "We could—"
"You could, of course, invade my laboratory, impound my materials, and make Harry thoroughly miserable for months until we convince you to leave him alone again. Or until he goes mad, or succeeds in killing himself."
Hermione blanched. "Kill himself? Has Harry tried to…"
"More than once." He sneered at her. "You were apparently too busy with your nuptial arrangements to notice."
"I—I didn't know."
Snape folded his arms across his chest. The three of them stared at each other for a long moment, Snape's face showing open antipathy, Arthur looking predictably puzzled and worried, and Hermione showing a range of emotions that Snape thought she really should've gotten under control by her age. Eventually, Snape broke the silence with a long sigh.
"So, if you're quite done adding stress to my life, you are welcome to leave now. Or sooner, if you happen to have a time-turner handy."
Arthur harrumphed. He glanced around the room again, as if looking for some reason to extend their stay. Hermione started turning to the door.
"I don't understand what's going on here, Snape. But obviously, this is what Harry wants, and as you say, no laws are being broken…" he trailed off, glancing down at his scroll and frowning.
Hermione said, "We just want to be sure he's…okay. We care about him. We'll check back in a while, to see if he'd like to hear from his friends."
"I'm sure you will. We won't be looking forward to it."
Her breath caught at that, but she didn't flinch.
Snape stared at the two of them until they mumbled something vaguely conciliatory and left.
As soon as they Apparated away, Snape went upstairs.
Harry was curled up on the bed, shaking. Snape wrapped himself around Harry and slowly soothed the knots out of his shoulders, touched away his tears, and spoke to him in soft murmurs until Harry's breathing evened out, and he fell asleep. Snape decided dinner was overrated, and allowed sleep to overtake him as well.
Snape awoke slowly, gradually aware of Harry against his side, Harry's erection against his hip. He savored the sensation, cherishing the sleepy rutting he so rarely got to enjoy. He allowed the arm that was under Harry to touch Harry's back. Harry shivered, and pressed closer. Snape risked turning toward Harry.
Harry responded by pressing tightly against him, and Snape almost moaned at the feeling of Harry's firm erection against his own growing hardness. Harry's eyes fluttered, and he opened them to look at Snape.
Harry's smile was dazzling, and Snape's breath caught in his throat. Harry glanced down to where their bodies pressed against each other, then looked up, bit his lip, and said coyly, "shall I start by sucking you off?"
Before Snape had time to react to that, Harry was shimmying down on the bed, pulling Snape's trousers and pants down past his knees and pushing his legs apart to climb between them. When Harry's mouth closed over the tip of his cock, Severus threw back his head and groaned.
Harry's skilled mouth played havoc with Severus. Harry licked, long, slow strokes, from root to tip, shifting so he could go all the way around. He suckled the tip, using his fingertips to hold the base gently in place, bobbing his head back and forth over the glans but not taking it deeper into his mouth. When Severus was reduced to panting gasps, Harry switched—one hand circled the base of Severus' twitching cock, and the other firmly grasped his sac, with one finger reaching to touch farther back.
Severus heard keening noises and, since Harry's mouth was very occupied, realized it must be he who was making them. And then Harry plunged his mouth down, swallowing Severus almost to the root. Severus bucked up into the wet heat, and Harry made no attempt to stop him, matching every thrust by pressing that finger against the tender skin just behind his scrotum. Severus felt himself loose control, and start thrusting faster; Harry hummed against him and he was lost, pulsing into Harry's mouth and moaning loudly. Harry sucked harder, swallowing him down and tickling him with his tongue to make Severus twitch as he came.
When he'd stopped, Harry kissed his softening penis gently, and squirmed back up to face Severus. Severus brought his hand around behind Harry's head, and pulled him into a long, warm kiss, tasting himself in Harry's mouth.
Severus started to slide down Harry's body, but Harry stopped him. Harry took one of Severus' hands and brought it against his obviously aching erection; he gasped when Severus cupped him. He pressed Severus' hand against himself.
"Yesss," Harry groaned. "Just like our first time."
Severus had learned a lot about Harry's body since then. Even outside of Harry's trousers, he knew just how to press. He traced down the sides to make Harry's eyes roll back; he pressed the edge of his wrist to the tip so his fingernails could slide down the shaft to scratch gently at Harry's sac. Harry groaned louder, and grabbed the back of Severus hand. Harry thrust against the hand, and Severus twitched his fingers in the spots he knew would drive Harry wild. After only a few thrusts, Harry cried out, and Severus pressed against him, hard, in order to feel the throbbing pulses through the cloth.
Harry writhed against Severus, letting his whole body shake with the orgasm. Severus pulled him close, sharing the tremors, letting himself be carried along by Harry's release. Severus held Harry as the quivers faded. As they stilled, Harry planted a tired kiss on the edge of Severus' mouth, and drifted back to sleep. Severus looked at Harry's calm, contented face for a long time before he fell asleep as well.
The next three days of brewing were the easiest they'd ever had. Harry was relaxed, almost mellow. In the evenings, he was responsive to Snape's touch in ways that made him worry for his own health; apparently, for the last two years, Harry'd been inhibited.
Finally, the brewing was done. They had enough Polyjuice to last Harry for just over three months if he took it around the clock. Snape bottled the final potion, and handed it to Harry.
Harry took it, and pulled Snape down for an enthusiastic kiss.
"Ever wanted to fuck Lily in a potions lab?" he asked breathlessly.
Snape's eyes went wide. Harry'd never joked like that before, never referred to Lily in the third person. While Snape was standing stunned, Harry stripped—and as always, Snape blinked at how fast he could undress. He always did, to take the potion; it was uncomfortable to change shape inside of clothes that didn't fit the new form. But this time was different—he was cheerful, not frantic, and looking at Snape with that gleam in his eye that said Snape was in for a wild night indeed.
Harry took the potion, and immediately pressed himself against Snape, who instinctively wrapped his arms around Harry. He'd never held Harry through the change before, and he couldn't stop his hands from running over the muscles that were changing, the growing breasts, the hair changing texture and length. He stroked and caressed, and Harry—no, Lily—twisted against him, reacting to both his touch and the potion's effects.
By the time the change was complete, they were both shaking, and Severus was hard. Lily moaned and pressed herself against him.
"Take me," she whispered.
He moaned as he bent to kiss her, pushing her back against one of the tables. Her hands fumbled with his trousers, carefully lowering his pants as his erection sprang free at her touch. She slid one leg up outside his thigh, and he reached down to caress her red curls and touch her wetness below.
She pushed his hand away. "Just take me. Hard."
He covered her mouth with his, and pulled her leg farther up, so his cock was able to fall between her legs. She moaned against his lips, and reached down to touch him, to guide him in.
As he slid into her, he whispered into her ear. "I can't last," he said; the earlier part of the brewing, extracting seed from Harry, had only been a little while ago.
"Don't care," she whispered back, and wrapped her legs around him, so he had to brace her against the edge of the table to support her. "Take me hard, Severus."
Severus was lost in her, holding her tightly as he ground madly against her. She had to be getting bruises from the table but he couldn't stop. She clenched around him, gasped his name—and he came, erupting into her and holding her tightly, tightly against him, saying Lily Lily Lily over and over.
When he was spent, and her shaking had stopped, he slipped out of her and gently lowered her to stand. He hugged her, long and slow and gentle, until she started to shiver from the cold. He kissed the top of her head, and said, "Welcome back, Lily."
She smiled up at him, her sparkling green eyes full of a peace he'd never seen in her before.