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Still Beating

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In hindsight Harry should have known it was going to go wrong. Not that he didn’t have faith in Hermione’s research and didn’t think she was brilliant and capable but, rather, that when he got involved in things they were guaranteed to go badly. If Luck truly existed in the world, could really be bottled and manipulated, then Harry had one kind and it was Bad. Oh, sure, when it came to life or death moments he had managed to stumble his way into survival time and time again, which was great and all, but the clearly trade-off was that everything else he touched exploded in his face.

Sometimes literally, as Professor Snape could attest to.

Speaking of Snape, he was looking decidedly putout with the situation, glaring hatefully with gleaming mercury eyes at where the entrance to the suite they were locked in had once been. He’d thrown dozens of spells at it, some Harry knew and far more he didn’t, by himself and then with Remus and Sirius backing him up (with minimal protest even). All had the same result, which was to say the magical energy hit an invisible barrier, sparked black, gold, and silver (depending on who was casting) and dissipated into nothing.

Harry was beginning to suspect they were pretty damn stuck.

As if reading Harry’s thought’s Sirius’ lips pulled back in a fanged grimace a moment before he lashed out, shooting a jet of explosive white at the wall. Harry could see only white for a beat, all the color washed out by blinding white, and when that faded...nothing. Nothing had happened which only seemed to enrage his godfather more; his eyes bleed inky black into the whites and a furious snarl vibrating the air was all the warning Harry got before the man was slamming against the wall with a closed fist.

Snape sneered. “I’m sure that’s going to get the job done. Why don’t you try beating that empty head of yours against it next?”

“Fuck. You.” Sirius snapped, hitting the wall again and again.

Snape’s head tilted back, focusing on a spot on the ceiling. “That’s rather on the nose isn’t it?” The sound Snape made when his back hit the wall was almost a laugh, barked out and grating to Harry’s ears, and the smirk on his face was he stared down at Sirius, red faced, panting, and gripping Snape by the front of his robes, was wild. “I’ll take that as a yes.”

“Sirius!” Remus moved from where he’d been standing, leaning against the far wall with a hand over his face, faster than Harry could track, hand curling around the other man’s bicep and pushing him back a step. He filled the space between Sirius and Snape, pulled himself up tall and looming, glared  “Stop, both of you. This isn’t helping.”

Sirius glowered at Remus and for a moment they were staring each other down, Remus’ eyes gone gold around the edges and elongated teeth bared. The air between them sizzled with power and tension and-

Harry shivered. Not from fear, even though he rather thought he should he scared about what was happening and the way the men he was trapped with were acting, but from a hot jolt of electricity racing down his spine and then pooling in the pit of his stomach. He whimpered, the tension in his stomach coiling tighter, hotter, and his fingers curled against the wood of the floor. Another pricking zing rushed over him, punched him in the gut, and he gasped. It was wordless, a strangled almost pained “uhhnnn” noise, barely audible over the growls coming from Sirius and Remus.

Three pairs of eyes snapped over to him, seared him with laser focus. It was quiet, save for the sound of Harry’s own raspy panting. .

That, he decided as he dropped back onto the floor, elbows no longer interested in supporting his weight, was not good. He blinked once, twice, closed his eyes and tried to remember how to the breath.

Fingers touched the side of his face, cool against his skin, and Harry turned into it, pressed his nose against a rough palm, breathed in sweet, mild, and something that made his gums itch and spit flood his dry mouth, and moaned weakly. There was a hiss above his head that sounded like his name, stretched out and choked with warning, but Harry ignored it, nuzzled against the hand. Parted his lips without thought, tasted skin and an echo of chocolate and-

“Oh.” Remus murmured. Harry slitted his eyes, regarded the stricken werewolf as a calloused thumb swept over his bottom lip, pressed forward and touched the tip of his tongue. Harry closed his eyes again, stroked up with his tongue to chase that faintly sweet taste, closed his lips around it. “Harry.”

Something was wrong with him, with all of them, and he shouldn’t have a former teacher’s thumb in his mouth, shouldn’t be wrapping his tongue around it, mapping out knobs and rough patches, drooling like the first time he’d sat down for a feast at Hogwarts. He couldn’t stop it, for all that part of his mind was squawking in panic, couldn’t stop himself from raising up, chasing the digit to slid his mouth down to the webbing between fingers. His brain swam, thoughts melting into a haze.

Remus’ breath was deeper, coming faster. He didn’t push Harry away. No one was moving.

Harry wasn’t stupid. He knew it was bad, he really did, felt it down to his bones and the muffled warning bells going off in his head, but it was very hard to focus past the burning under his skin, the churning of his stomach and, oh, yes, right, the aching hardon pressing up against his stomach and the leaking ass which was a sensation he didn’t imagine he’d want to dwell on much even if he could. He hadn’t mentioned it yet and hoped to get out of this room without doing so, now that he was sure he wasn’t bleeding out in a mortifying way. (He’d checked in as subtle a manner as he could, putting a hand between his legs to swipe at shaking thighs and found that whatever it was was clear, slippery, and clung to his fingers to dry tacky.) It was weird and terrifying but he didn’t think it was a sign of imminent death.

And if it was so be it. Better that then telling his godfather his ass was doing whatever it was it had started doing.

It had started more or less after the ‘ritual’ had gone pear shaped.

It shouldn’t have gone wrong. Hermione had found it in one of the many books in 13 Grimmauld Place which had made him wary, no matter it’s ‘Triad Protection Ritual’ title, and painstakingly translate it from some old Norse runic dialect, but Dumbledore had given it his approval. More than that the Headmaster had set everything up, deciding the three wizards who would make up the Triad in accordance with the spells ‘Three Old Blood Lines’ requirement. Hermione had been huffy about that bit, and Harry had been game to ignore it and give it a try with her, Ron, and Ginny, but not willing to risk bending the parameters when it could put Harry’s life at risk.

“This is to keep you safe Harry,” She’d said, tugging at her hair in frustration when he’d grumbled about Snape’s presence. “We shouldn’t play around with old rituals like that.”

All the more reason it shouldn’t have gone like this. She’d been careful, so careful, and he was sure Dumbledore had too and, even if they hadn’t, he knew Remus and Sirius were brilliant! They wouldn’t have agreed to this if they weren’t positive it would go well.


Admittedly things were a bit desperate now that Voldemort was known to be back, having announced his presence to the Magical World rather spectacularly at the end of Harry’s last year. People were scared and desperate, the Ministry was being oddly resistant when it came to listening to Dumbledore, and Death Eaters were getting bold, making their presence known far and wide, in both magical and muggle areas. Harry had been taken from the Dursley’s early in the summer, whisked away to a safehouse, and told he was going to be taking part in a protection rite.

“I won’t be around forever, my boy,” Dumbledore had explained, pale eyes trained not on Harry but on his hands, folded on the tabletop. “And I must take all the measures I can to ensure your safety. Miss Granger has happened to find a very old, very powerful one.”    

The spell was supposed to call on the magic of all those connected through three Old Bloodlines, alive and dead, willing or not, and channel it through the ‘three points of the triad’ to form protections of the body, mind, and magical core for Harry, creating barriers backed by immense magical power. Even the Dark Lord would be hard pressed to do any harm to him with generations of wizards fueling the protections and, as if that weren’t enough, as long as at least one of the three points was alive the magic wouldn’t fail. They couldn’t revoke the power, couldn’t do him harm, and couldn’t betray him in anyway either.

Harry was sure those bits were the only reason Sirius had been accepting of Professor Snape’s presence. At least he seemed accepting to Harry, but if it turned out there had been a lot of arguing and threatening behind the scenes before he’d been taken from the Dursley’s and brought here, wherever here was, he couldn’t have been surprised.

There were some downsides that has caused the ritual to fall out of practice and be forgotten, Dumbledore had admitted cheerfully, but nothing Sirius, Remus, and Snape weren’t willing to take on and nothing Harry needed to trouble himself with. That part he’d disagreed about but no amount of asking had made any of the three men share. He didn’t like it, didn’t want more people risking their lives for him but they hadn’t exactly left him a lot of choice in the matter, all but shoving him into the ritual room, ordering him to sit in the middle of a chalk triangle and chug a foul tasting potion, and setting to work.

He was willing to hazard a guess and say the earth shaking, all the candles going out, and the door and windows vanishing hadn’t been part of the expected downsides. Nor, he was sure, was the three men...changing, as they had (The teeth. The eyes.) or Harry collapsing, fever hitting him with all the force of a rampaging hippogriff. He hadn’t been able to shuck his clothes fast enough, much to Sirius’ loud dismay, sweating through his t-shirt in literal minutes.

He could only just tolerate the sheet Sirius had conjured for him to cover up with.   

Harry shifted again, gasp slipping between his lips as the slippery fabric of the sheet Sirius had hastily thrown over him whispered over his skin. It much, cool and soft and silken, caressing him and making his skin tingle every time he dared to move. It hurt but didn’t at the same time; left him feeling somehow raw, as if he could feel each individual thread rasping against him, and soothed by the cool fabric at the same time.

Remus inhaled, exhaled gustily, pressed down on Harry’s tongue; eyes like lamps watched him from behind lowered lids, focused on his mouth. He shifted again then groaned around the digit in his mouth. Just the lightest brush against his dick and he was shuddering and grunting, willing himself to stop squirming because he wasn’t, Was Not, going to get off like this. Not in front of the three men he was trapped in here with, not from a few incidental touches of a sheet, not with Remus’ thumb sliding over his tongue, pressing deeper into his mouth or the man’s breath hot against his ear, not when everything was going haywire.

“Moony.” Sirius, uncertain and with an undercurrent of something dark, angry. “ Get away from him !”

Suddenly Remus wasn’t touching him anymore; hand wrenched away with a shaky curse. Harry whined in protest but when he opened his eyes and lifted a hand to do...something Remus was out of range, watching him with wide moonbright eyes and something like horror twisting his features. Harry’s eyes slide away, back to a flushed Sirius then on Snape, still smirking madly, eyes gleaming like metal.

Remus shook his head, shuddered visibly, looked at Sirius. “I. I don’t know what- I feel like...the moon but it isn’t.” A pause, swiveled head to the side, back. “The bathroom. I’m going to-”

“If you’re going to lock yourself in the bathroom and berate yourself,” Snape said, lips twitching. “I’d refrain. Assuming you don’t want Mr. Potter’s fever to cause irreparable harm, of course. If that’s not a concern then by all means, go and beat yourself up.”

Harry tossed his arm over his eyes and winced. Loud, they were so loud, very word a sharp blade dragging down the inside of his skull, carving away at the bone, echoing in his ear, and he was so hot. Hotter now than before Remus had touched him, boiling inside, from head to toe. His eyes were hot, his throat so dry it ached, blood burning, he was-

How could it be so hot?

“What’s that Sniv-”

“Do you know something Severus?”

“He probably did this!” An angry click of the tongue, overriding Remus’ tired ‘Siri, please.’. “Don’t, Moony. I don’t know what Dumbledore was thinking, getting you involved. You couldn’t let Harry have protection from your Master, right, so you-”

“Don’t be so boring, Black. Were I interested in disrupting this ill advised ritual I assure you I could think of better plans than making you and your mutt want to bugger your godson, as amusing as that is,-”

“You’re disgusting.”

“Yes. Nonetheless, locking myself up with you with no exit, and risking your usual propensity for violent outbursts being turned onto me is not how I would go about things.” Snape continued without missing a beat. “And I could think of something more creative, and less vulgar, than a lust fever to affect all of us with.”

“Lust fever.” Remus breathed out, sounding faint. “Harry is burning up. It shouldn’t be happening this fast.”

Snape hummed before speaking, voice dark and ominous. “Mr. Potter is afflicted three times over, I suspect, but we’re all feeling the effects to some degree, you most of all Lupin. A consequence of your...nature.”  

Remus’ bitter laugh scraped against Harry’s senses. He wanted to twist away from it, away from the three of them and their incessant too-loud talking. “How lucky for me.”

Another hum. “It’s only a matter of time before we’re all-”

“No.” Sirius snapped. “No one is touching him, especially not you. I’ll die before I let you get your perverted hands on Harry.”

“Then he’ll die.” Snape said blandly. “Which I admit might be preferable to the alternative. It makes no difference to me; if you let him succumb the ritual will break and the fever will break. If we complete the ritual, the fever will break. Potter is the only one at risk for not walking out here, Black.”

An angry cut off snarl, an answering growl and a low rumble, harsh stilted breathing; Harry felt it all reverberating inside of him, echoing in his bones, low in his stomach. Something washed over him, sank into his skin and bubbled thick and syrupy. A high keening noise that Harry realized belated was coming from his own sore, swollen throat pounded in his ears. His eyes burned.

Someone touched him, wrapped around him and the ground fell away as the sheets slipped over his body. He was tucked against solid warmth, an arm under his knees and another around his shoulders. A hand to the back of his head maneuvering him until he was nuzzling into the crook of their neck. He breathed in smoke, leather, and burning when he nose touched sweat slick skin, felt it jumped and pulse against his cheek. Electricity sparked under his skin again. He reached blindly, caught his fingers in well worn fabric, clung tight, and pushed closer to the warmth  

“S’rus?” He knew it was his godfather without opening his eyes, something in the smell, the touch, told him. The hand slipped down to his shoulder, squeezed gently.

“Yeah. I’ve got you Harry.”

They were moving, slight jolts with each of Sirius’ steps jostled Harry’s bones and stirred up his stomach. He felt sick by the time they stopped and he was lowered back down onto a softer, cooler surface. Harry melted onto it, sighing in relief. Much better than being flopped over on the floor. Quieter here, with only the sound of Sirius shuffling around to be heard. Darker too; he forced his eyes open even though the lids seemed to be weighed down and glued shut, blinked away the burn and some of the blur to find that the only light he could see was a sliver from under must have been the door.

It was easier to think.

Mostly about Remus’ finger in his mouth. Would it be too much to ask that they just let him die and take that moment to the grave, because that seemed like a good idea.

The bed dipped at his side but Harry couldn’t see more than the smudged outline of his godfather’s body, not even when Sirius was pressing against his body, pulling him close. He was moved around until his head was pillowed on the older man’s chest, his chest pushed against Sirius’ (bare, and oh, all that skin, soft and lightly haired over muscle, damp with sweat and sliding against him; Harry couldn’t breathe for a moment, lost himself as an arm curled around him and pulled him closer still)  side, legs tangled together.

Harry’s cock pushed against Sirius’ thigh, dragged over coarse hair and warm skin before he could help himself. He froze, mortified through the dulling haze wrapping around his brain, waited for what Sirius was going to say.  

“How’re you feeling?” Sirius’ voice was a gruff whisper from just above Harry’s head, cracking around the edges. Harry swallowed, throat clicking and tongue thick in his mouth. How was he feeling? Terrible. Confused.


Sirius’ hand stroked his side from ribs to hip. “Okay. Try to rest. It might help. The headmaster should come back soon and let us out so. Just. Sleep.”

Harry didn’t think that was possible but between the gentle petting, the steady thump of Sirius’ heart under his ear, and the blanket of strangely comforting scent curling around him he relaxed and started to drift.


Remus paced to try and burn off some of the angry, nervous energy building up inside of him. He had never, in his over thirty years as a werewolf, felt anything quite like this. It was similar to coming up on the moon, yet not at all like that. Most of the month the wolf was locked tightly away inside of him, sleeping peacefully unless something provoked them, but in the day or two before the full moon it woke and started to unbury itself. Remus’ human form would feel the strain of supporting both of them, weaken enough that when the time was right the wolf could burst free. The burn of anticipation, of want, would lurk inside but it was familiar, and with Wolfsbane potion controlled.

But now. Now the wolf was pushing up under his skin, under his heart as it tried to fill his body, was leaking all of its considerable anger out into Remus’ blood. That would be tolerable, he was well acquainted with how angry his beast could be, but there was also...hunger. Desire. Want so strong it made his chest hurt. Arousal that he couldn’t shake, he was so hard it was painful, and energy, power, restlessness. He couldn’t sit down, didn’t know how Severus was sitting in an armchair flipping calmly through a book when Remus could smell that he was going through the same.

Couldn’t shake the anger pushing up the back of his throat every time he looked at the door to the bedroom, shut tight to hide Sirius and Harry away. The wolf wanted to bare it’s teeth and snap it’s jaws in rage, wanted to howl and remind everyone that Sirius was his mate, belonged to them, and so did Harry. He shouldn’t be shut out like this, it wasn’t right.

It chafed, tasted like rejection and denial in the back of his throat, and the white hot rage trickling through him just swelled faster.

It was the Lust Fever, breaking down the barriers between man and beast. The partial transformation, something he’d never been capable of before, was proof enough. He’d been terrified when his gums had split and sharper teeth dropped down with a burst of blood and thick saliva, which his vision had sharpened and his senses stretched outwards, strengthening.  He’d been ready to turn his wand on himself, whatever it took to keep the others safe if he was changing, but then he’d seen he wasn’t the only one, felt how different this change was, made himself get some kind of a grip.

As much of one as he could get with a Lust Fever tearing through him.

Lust Fevers weren’t exactly illegal, useful as they were for boosting fertility among wizards, but these days the spell and potion for invoking them were more simple, transparent. To find it buried in some other ritual spoke to how old the rite they’d been trying to do was, an artifact of time when things were often layered together, built up from bits and pieces and fueled by intent and will. Old spells could be so much more than they seemed, and that was why it paid to be careful.

Modern magic, simple phrases and motions, was easier to grasp, easier to work, and far less dangerous but it also lacked in just as many was. The more complex rituals were being lost, or marked as dark and filed away as nothing but taboo relics, and a lot of cases Remus thought that was tragic.

This was not one of those cases.

“I believe I know what’s happening.” Severus announced, eyes lifting from the copy of the ritual he was pouring over. Remus slowed to a stop, frowning tightly. “The ritual, it’s to bind us to Potter, calls on the magic of our ancestors. Three Old Blood Lines. I think Granger misunderstood.”

“Albus said it meant Pureblood- ” Snape snorted nastily. Remus hesitated then pushed onwards. “But you think it doesn’t.”

“I think it means able to trace back to the original sources of magic in humans: creature blood, from interbreeding.” Severus’ eyes narrowed. “Or straight from the source, in your case. The ritual brought those traits to the surface, for one reason or another.”

Remus blinked. “What?”

Snape sneered. “Didn’t you get top marks in History of Magic?”

Remus didn’t roll his eyes or growl the warning the wolf wanted him to, because that would have been childish and Remus was beyond sniping back and forth with Severus. Mostly. “I’m aware of the history of wizards, but a ritual that depends on that, and for it to work? How many bloodlines have creature blood now? A dozen, maybe?”

Even if one allowed that being a werewolf could work in place of being from one of those Original bloodlines, that Severus and Sirius would both have creature ancestors was an almost unthinkable coincidence. It wasn’t exactly the sort of thing anyone kept record of anymore or boasted about; even the occasional part Veela, Vampire, or Goblin tended to keep such information to themselves. It was, depending on who you asked, worse than having Muggle blood.

As if anything was ever a coincidence where Albus Dumbledore was involved , a quiet traitorous part of his brain that Remus hated so so much whispered.   

“I can think of at least two: the Blacks and my own. It’s diluted now, all but useless, but in some families where you see things like Metamorphmagus manifestation, less so. ...Metamorphmagi are said to be a sign of vampire heritage.” Snape smirked. “Ironic.”

Remus was certain this wasn’t the time to for feeling smug that one of Sirius’ favorite taunts had more roots in Sirius’ own bloodline than Snape’s. He moved closer, hand outstretched for the page. Severus’ expression darkened, shuttered, even as he let Remus take the ritual.

“Further I think the binding is in fact bonding. It means to grant Potter the protection of our bloodlines by making him part of them in the usual fashion. The Lust Fever, and the magical lockdown of the space, is to encourage that process.”

Remus’ eyes swept over the ritual, the words they’d had to repeat, the symbols, Hermione’s notes appearing and disappearing in the margins to mimic her translation process. He’d already looked at it once, translation and arithmancy had always been his strongest areas, but other than a few instances of dialect and words falling out of use caused uncertainty he’d deemed it fine. Mostly he’d been eager to lend his aid to protecting Harry, something he’d been failing miserably at for the boy’s entire life.

Too eager, perhaps, because looking now he could see where ‘Pureblood/Old’ could have been ‘Original’ and bonding instead of binding...easy mistakes.   

“It’s a mating ritual, with the promised protections afforded to the breeder, accepted and claimed by the casting triad.” Snape’s head tilted to the side and for a moment all Remus could smell was lust, heady musk thick enough to taste. Then it was pulled back, tamped down with a grimace from Severus as mercurial eyes fixed on a point past Remus. “Though I would have thought Albus would catch something like that, even if Granger misunderstood in the translation.” A beat. “Unless he did catch it.”

Remus sighed, the defense of the headmaster on his tongue automatically. Albus was the only person who had given him a chance in almost two decades, had vouched for him with the Order, was letting him play a part in the war where others wouldn’t want someone like him anywhere near it. He’d done the same for Severus, given him a home and trust in spite of everything he’d done, and yet...

“You can’t think Albus would want this to happen.”

Severus’ was not a man of many, distinct expression. Remus had been privy to a few, ranging from condescending to fury and even fear more times than he was comfortable with. He liked to think he could read the other man as well as anyone else in the world could, which was to say not that well at all.

Never had he seen the soft, almost pitying look Severus’ face melted into in that moment. It was fleeting, there and the gone, locked back behind a sneer, but Remus knew it would haunt him. “I think Albus would do anything to keep the boy alive and able to fight the Dark Lord. Having the three of us fuck Potter is a small price to pay for making that happen.”

“Not for Harry.”

A flicker of black in the silvery depths of Severus’ eyes, like the thick swirling color receded for an instant then he was leaning back in the chair, eyes falling shut. “You should be worrying about what the dog it up to.”

Remus bristled, showing his teeth. “Sirius wouldn’t hurt Harry.”

“I'm sure hurting Potter is the absolute last thing on his mind.” Severus waved a lazy, dismissive hand. “Do what you like Lupin, just do it quietly.”

Remus gave in to the urge to roll his eyes finally but, able to see that the conversation was over and Severus would be saying no more, turned away.

And faced the closed bedroom door, teeth worrying his bottom lip. The wolf surged back from it’s banked state (disinterested as it had been in Severus, it had been content to sit on it’s metaphorical haunches and wait) and with it came a new wave of furious desire. It urged him to step forward, to open the door, to Take. Remus swallowed.

There was no need for him to go in there. He was compromised, he-could still feel the velvet heat of Harry’s mouth around his thumb, the rough slide of his tongue from tip to base, see his hazy emerald eyes looking up at him through the sweat soaked fringe of his hair-was better off staying where he was and letting Sirius take care of Harry.

It was for the best.

So why was he in front of the door, hand on the knob, breath caught in his chest.

What was he doing?

He breathed out slowly, forced his hand to drop, and started to step back, wrenching what control he could back. He was going to turn around and take a seat, he was going to to-

Soft, pleading, needy, muffled by the door and yet as clear to Remus as if Harry’s mouth was next to his ear. “Please. Please. Hurts, Sirius, please, need. Need.

The bed creaked. Remus shook, crumbled like the ruins of an abandoned castle, and opened the door. They were on the bed, bathed in the pale light streaming in from the front room, Harry flat on his back, mostly hidden by the bulk of Sirius’ body looming over him, settled between his legs, pinning his hands to the mattress above his head.

The air was dripping with their mixed scent, leather smoke and bright clean fresh. Remus’ teeth, his gums, itched and spit pooled over his tongue.

Their mouths were crushed together for one breath, two, three and then Sirius was pulling away with a drowning man’s last gasp, craning his neck back to look at Remus with shattered, wild eyes. Remus licked his bottom lip, tasted blood. He cast one last look at Severus, eyes still closed but a whisper of a grin on his lips, before stepping over the threshold and into the room.