It was difficult to date Severus Snape. The man was a workaholic and obsessive. He was used to lonely days and nights brewing potions, marking scrolls. He was never one to Floo friends back, and he rarely went to a pub or a restaurant.
Harry was trying to change that. He was determined to make space for himself in Severus’ life, get him to pay attention to him. They were both busy. They both had obligations. It was a few weeks before Christmas, and Harry wanted Severus all to himself.
They were in Severus’ rooms at Hogwarts, and Harry was doing his best not to show his exhaustion. He was a proper Auror now - had been for a few years - and the long hours were getting to him.
Severus was Headmaster and Defence professor. Harry thought he did too much. He needed to pick one. Not even Dumbledore could sustain teaching and running the school.
“Christmas is almost here,” Harry said.
Severus didn’t answer.
“Hey,” Harry said, touching his thigh. “Christmas is almost here.”
“I don’t care about holidays,” Severus said, still focussed on his marking.
“Oh.” Harry stared into the fire for a moment, not knowing how to feel. He wanted to be irritated, but it wasn’t Severus’ fault if he didn’t like holidays.
The problem was Harry liked holidays very much.
Harry remained silent, hoping that Severus would sense his unease, but he never even looked up.
“I was just wondering what you wanted for Christmas,” Harry said.
Severus snorted. “You don’t need to get me anything. The whole thing is stupid.”
“Right,” Harry said, some irritation sneaking into his voice. “I want you to get me something. It’s important to me.”
“I can do that.” Severus put down the essay, and for a brief, glorious moment, Harry thought he was done with marking. But Severus just picked up the next piece of parchment.
Harry crawled over to Severus. He was acting on a whim and wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do.
Harry pushed back Severus’ robes and began undoing his belt. He struggled to hide his smirk, and his stomach clenched with excitement. He expected Severus to ask him what he was doing, maybe even laugh, but Severus didn’t react.
“I’m going to suck your cock,” Harry said, just so they were clear, and Severus continued to mark.
Bloody hell, Harry thought. He had half a mind to walk out, storm away, but he wanted to be understanding. He also wanted to suck some cock.
He fumbled with Severus’ zip and Severus lifted up so Harry could tug down his trousers and pants. Harry looked up, expecting to find his gaze on him, but Severus was still reading whatever mind-numbing essay was in his hands.
His cock was stiffening quickly. Even if Severus wasn’t outwardly showing it, he was still affected by Harry’s announcement and awkward fumbling.
Gaining courage, Harry made space for himself between Severus’ thighs and he took Severus in his hand, stroking him slowly. He heard Severus’ breath hitch.
Severus was big, and he felt so good in Harry’s hand. Harry dragged his tongue up his shaft, getting it wet. He gave it open-mouth kisses, dragging his lips up and down. He whirled his tongue around his cockhead, massaging, tasting, and Severus shuddered.
A small victory, Harry thought. He focussed on his bollocks, sucking each one into his mouth, lavishing them. Severus’ thighs trembled, and Harry licked up his cock, following the veins, memorising each groove.
Harry took Severus down, going deep in one fluid motion, and Severus cried out and dropped his marking. Harry managed to glance up. Severus had his head thrown back, his mouth slack, his cheeks flamed.
Yes!, Harry thought, and moaned around his cock. Harry bobbed his head, going slow at first, sucking.
Severus fucked his mouth. He was muttering things, filthy things, but Harry couldn’t really hear above the rush of blood in his head. Harry drooled and moaned, a stretched ache settling in his lips.
Severus grabbed his hair, twisting, and forced him down as he thrust up, hard. Harry choked but remained relaxed, letting Severus breach his throat. Harry loved when Severus was rough with him.
“Harry,” Severus gasped, and came. Harry swallowed quickly, convulsively, and he massaged Severus’ bollocks through it, something he knew Severus liked.
When it was all over, he cleaned Severus with a muttered spell and helped put his cock away.
“Come to bed with me,” Harry said, his mouth sore. He was hard and aching, and he wanted Severus to make love to him.
Severus eyed his stack of unmarked essays. “I can’t. There’s too much to do.”
“It’s Friday night. You’ve got time.”
“No, I don’t.” The colour was dying down in Severus’ face.
“I understand.” Harry went to his Floo and grabbed a handful of powder. He looked at Severus, hoping that he was finally looking back, but he wasn’t. He was furiously writing on a student’s essay.
Sighing, Harry stepped into the big fireplace and threw down his powder. Sadly, he said, “Grimmauld Place,” and disappeared in a roar of flames.
He got up to start his morning routine. At least it was Saturday. At least he needn’t be at the Ministry today.
Down in the kitchen, he spelled on the kettle and plopped a tea bag in his cup. Wait. No. He wanted coffee. He got out his magical cafetière instead.
A few minutes later, he was in his lounge with a steaming cup of coffee and the Prophet. He still liked to read the news even though he was always mentioned at least once.
He read the first story about goblin disputes quickly, but soon his thoughts wandered. Did Severus know that he treated Harry like shite last night? Perhaps he shouldn’t have even let Harry come over, but the weekends were the only real time they had to spend together.
Harry liked that Hogwarts meant a lot to Severus. He liked that he put so much time and effort into marking and teaching and … headmastering. He had even got better in the classroom. He wasn’t an utter bastard to his students anymore. Most of the time. He could still be quite harsh when marking.
Jesus, Snape, Harry had said at the beginning of their friendship, when he was still hesitantly pursuing a crush on his former professor. Remember they are only eleven.
Smiling, Harry sipped his coffee and thought about the beginning. He couldn’t say why he’d developed a sudden interest in Severus Snape after the war. He supposed it was because everything he’d learned about Severus. It had changed him in Harry’s eyes, and Harry was awfully attracted to heroism and sacrifice.
Harry had also realised he was bent. He’d realised he liked men, all types of men, and the shock of it had left him feeling more than a little dazed. Talking to Severus, venturing all the way to Hogwarts to seek him out, had grounded him.
The war had changed Severus. It had calmed him, somewhat. He seemed happier, less volatile, which made sense. He didn’t have secrets and murder hanging over his head anymore. He could actually live now, live on his own terms, and he needn’t grovel anymore. He could forgive himself now.
Harry knew all this because Severus had told him. Not immediately, not on the first day, not even in the first year. It had taken months of Harry asking Severus for a pint, inviting him to Grimmauld Place, randomly popping over to bloody Scotland to see him, for Severus to understand that Harry wanted him.
Severus struggled accepting that Harry wouldn’t break up with him. He struggled accepting that he was Harry’s first choice, that Harry was in love with him (even if Harry hadn’t actually told him yet).
Finishing his coffee, Harry sent his cup to the kitchen and his newspaper to the recycling, and rushed upstairs to finish getting ready. Then he Floo’ed to Hermione and Ron’s.
Hermione was forcing a wiggling Rose into a coat when Harry arrived. “We’ve got coffee in the kitchen!”
“Already had some, thanks,” Harry said. “Do you need a hand?”
“No, I’m fine.” Hermione took out her wand, and the next moment Rose was buttoned up with a hat and scarf on.
“Impressive.” Harry grinned.
“The things you learn when you become a mum!” Hermione threw on her own coat. “I hope you remember that Ron can’t join us today. He has to work the shop.”
“We should go bother him.”
“He’d love that!” Hermione took Rose into her arms. “Ready?” she asked Harry.
“After you,” he said.
Hermione and Rose disappeared in the Floo, then Harry followed. They were headed for Diagon Alley to do a bit of Christmas shopping.
They arrived in the Leaky Cauldron, which was dark and musty and not the best place for children. They hustled Rose outside and Harry kept his head down. People liked to corner him in the Leaky to shake his hand or ask for his autograph.
Diagon Alley was snow-licked and perfect. Well, almost perfect. It was a touch too busy, and countless people gawked at him. He and Hermione were used to the unwanted attention. They walked down the street cheerfully, pretending to not hear all the whispers. A few times Hermione had to stop Rose from sticking out her tongue at people.
“How is Severus?” Hermione asked as they entered Flourish and Blotts. Luckily it was quite loud in the shop and Harry didn’t have to whisper.
“Terribly busy,” he said. “Practically ignoring me altogether.”
She frowned. “Ignoring you?”
“Yes … he does that sometimes.”
“But why? You don’t think he’s punishing you or something?”
“He better not be. I don’t deserve to be punished.”
“Well, most of the time.” She winked at him, and he laughed.
“I don’t think he means to hurt me. He’s just stressed … overworked. He’s not used to having a boyfriend.”
“Shocker.” She was examining a set of books on ancient ruins.
“Don’t be mean about him.”
“Put that down, Rosie.” She snatched a book with teeth from Rose’s hands. “I’m not trying to be mean … okay, maybe a little, but he shouldn’t be ignoring you. It isn’t your fault that he’s not good with relationships.”
They moved to the children’s section so Rose could play with some of the magical toys.
“What he needs to do is give up teaching Defence.”
“He will never do that!” she said.
“I don’t know … he might be realising that he has limits.”
“Look, Harry, you know I’ve been supportive since the beginning. I never told you not to pursue him. I never told you being his boyfriend would be difficult, but surely you know now …”
“What do I know now?”
She shrugged. “Perhaps you should try dating other people. I’m sure it would be awfully easier.”
“I don’t want it to be easier. I love him.” His voice had hardened.
Raising her hands, she said, “I’m sorry … it’s not right of me to push you to break up with him. You just deserve to be treated so much better.”
Harry grimaced. “He doesn’t treat me bad … not all the time.”
“This isn’t the first time you’ve said he was ignoring you. It’s not like you’re a married couple. It’s not like you live together. You go all the way to Scotland to see him a few nights a week. He should know not to ignore you.”
“He doesn’t do it on purpose.”
She looked at him. “Are you sure?”
“What does that mean?” Harry’s heart was thudding.
“People have a way of letting their insecurities ruin relationships. They have a way of freezing people out, not because they don’t like the other person, but because self-destruction is a lot safer.”
Harry gaped at her. “You think he’s intentionally destroying our relationship even though he fancies me?”
“Maybe my choice of words is a tad dramatic but it makes sense to me. You’ve said before that he struggles accepting your feelings for him.”
“I regret telling you that.”
“I’m not trying to turn you against him. I know you love him, Harry, but there are loads of men out there who would treat you so much better.”
“It feels like you’re trying to turn me against him.”
Sighing heavily, she rubbed a hand over her face. “I’m sorry. I don’t want you to think that. I just want you to be happy.”
“I am happy.”
“You don’t seem happy. You seem quite sad, actually.”
Harry opened and closed his mouth. He didn’t know what to say. He didn’t want to break up with Severus, of course not, but Hermione did have some good points. Severus should make time for him. For fuck’s sake, Harry gave him a phenomenal blow job last night, and what had Severus done for him? He allowed Harry to Floo back to Grimmauld Place with a raging stiffy!
They left the bookshop. Rosie was hungry so they stopped at a cafe for a few buns. As they waited for their food, Hermione said, “Do you know what you are getting Severus for Christmas?”
“He said he didn’t want anything.”
“But you like giving presents.”
“Are you still going to get him one?”
“Yeah, definitely. I just don’t know what.”
“You should get him something sexy, I’m sure he’ll like that.”
“Sexy?” He laughed.
“Yeah … something about sex. Something for sexy time. It seems like that’s what you two have in common.”
“We have more in common than just sex.”
“I never said you didn’t.”
“You definitely hinted at it.” Their buns floated over to them. Harry took a big, annoyed bite out of his. It was apricot and almond, and the almonds were especially delightful.
“You two have brilliant sex together. What’s so bad about that?”
“There’s nothing bad about that!”
“Right. So get him something sexy.”
“I want to get him something meaningful.”
“You could ask Edwin to help you look tomorrow.”
“Edwin?” Harry frowned. “Oh, yeah. We promised to go around to the shops with him!”
“Yeah … about that.” Hermione put down her bun and wiped her hands. “I’m afraid Ron and I can’t make it tomorrow.”
“What? But it will be awkward without you! I barely even know Edwin.”
“And it will be a great opportunity to get to know him! He loves Christmas like you do, he’s bent like you are. Perhaps you two can even look at sexy things together. He can help you pick out a present for Severus!”
“Maybe I won’t be able to make it tomorrow either … maybe Severus will want to spend the day with me.”
Hermione gave him a pitying look. “It’s almost the end of term at Hogwarts. I bet he’s up to his eyeballs in work.”
“He is,” Harry said softly.
“Come on,” she said, and squeezed his hand. “Let’s pop over to see Ron.”
Harry was getting out of the shower when an owl tapped on his window. He threw on a dressing gown to usher the owl inside. The envelope was from Severus. It contained a brief note: Lunch today? -SS
Harry’s heart sank. Of course this would come after he had already confirmed with Edwin. He checked the time. It was almost a quarter to eleven and entirely too late to cancel.
He wrote back: I can’t do lunch but I hope we can do dinner. Let me know. -HP
Sending it off with the owl, Harry dashed to his wardrobe to get dressed. He didn’t want to spend the afternoon with bloody Edwin. He wanted to be with his boyfriend.
“Thanks for coming,” Edwin said, blond hair glinting in the sunlight. “It’s too bad Ron and Hermione couldn’t be here.”
“I understand. I couldn’t imagine raising a toddler right now.”
Edwin laughed, and it was a good laugh. “Yeah, me either.”
They went into the bookshop, and it was weird because Harry had just been there the day before. It seemed as though there were twice as many people.
“This is a bloody nightmare,” Edwin said close to Harry’s ear.
“Yeah,” Harry said, struggling to get to the potions books. Perhaps Severus would like one of the new releases?
“You know where I love to Christmas shop?” Edwin said. “Hogsmeade.”
“Oh.” Harry shuffled his feet. He didn’t like the idea of going with Edwin to Hogsmeade … what if Severus saw them together? He shook his head. No, it didn’t matter. He was being ridiculous.
“What do you say? I doubt Hogsmeade is busy like this.”
“Yeah … probably not.”
“And all those bloody students are studying right now. They won’t be there either!”
“Right.” Harry took a deep breath, ignoring what his gut was telling him: Bad idea. He didn’t care if it was a bad idea. If Severus saw him with Edwin and jumped to the stupid assumption that Harry was shagging him then they had big problems. Very big problems.
Edwin and Harry left the bookshop and trudged to the Apparition alley.
“See you there,” Edwin said, giving him a big smile.
Harry turned and Disapparated right after him. They arrived in a similar alley.
Edwin took a deep breath. “You can smell Honeydukes from here. It’s wonderful.”
“Yeah,” Harry said as they left the alley. “They have wonderful caramel.”
“Their caramel cauldrons are my favourite, though I appreciate their sweet spider silk.”
Hogsmeade was a ghost town compared to Diagon alley. Only a few families dotted the pavement and Harry didn’t see too many people in the shop windows.
They went into Honeydukes. There was one student present and she was working the till.
“I don’t think I’ve tried their spider silk.”
“Now is the perfect time.” Edwin plucked a sample from the shelf. The silk looked like white chocolate dried in a web. He meant to feed Harry the piece of chocolate, but Harry moved his head at the last minute.
“I’m not sure if I’m going to like it,” Harry said, and took the chocolate from Edwin’s fingers. Edwin watched his face as he ate it.
“What do you think?”
“It’s good,” Harry said, though he didn’t like how it was sticking to his teeth.
“Would you like me to buy you some?”
“Oh, no, I’m fine.” Harry was embarrassed.
“As a thank you for going to shops with me! Come on, Harry, I want to do this for you.”
“Buy me a pint later at the Three Broomsticks?”
Edwin gave him a dazzling smile. “Sure.”
Harry purchased a few sweets for Ron and left with Edwin at his side. Edwin was walking quite close to him.
“I heard you like Christmas,” Edwin said.
“I love it.”
“Me too! I’m a half blood, mind you. My mum is a Muggle. Christmas was always the best time of the year in our house.”
“She sounds great.”
“She is! Makes the best Christmas pudding, too!”
“I love Christmas pudding,” Harry said, already anticipating Molly’s version.
“I’ll have to save you some, or maybe you could even pop by on Christmas to try it! We love company.”
“Oh, um,” Harry said, not sure how to respond. He barely knew Edwin and he was already being invited to Christmas. “That is very kind of you.”
Edwin wrapped an arm around Harry’s shoulders and gave him a squeeze. “I like you, Harry. You seem like you’re loads of fun.”
“Thank you,” Harry said, and moved away.
They ventured into Scrivenshaft, and Harry spent some time looking for quills and parchment for Hermione. There was a quill that whispered inspirational quotes and played meditation music, and Harry decided to purchase it for her. When Hermione was really stressed at the Ministry, she could close her office door and do a bit of admin work with the quill. He also got her a stack of uncursable parchment since she already had enemies in the Wizengamot.
Edwin brought a few quills charmed to make love letters extra enticing for the reader, and Harry tried not to be weary.
They went into the Three Broomsticks, which was loads busier than the shops. They managed to find a table in the middle of the room, and it put them on display. In a few moments everyone knew Harry Potter was there.
“How are you so good at managing it?” Edwin said, coming back with two pints.
“Thanks,” Harry said, and took his first sip. “What do you mean?”
“The fame and the attention. All the stupid gawking.”
“I’m used to it for the most part.”
Edwin glanced around and went a little pink. “Everyone really is staring at us.”
“We can leave if you want.”
“No, no,” Edwin said. “I will muster all my Hufflepuff bravery. I don’t have much, but it will last me through lunch.”
“Cedric Diggory was very brave.”
“Yes,” Edwin said, sighing. “I was a few years ahead of him. He was dreamy, even for a fourth year.”
“You must have left school right before I arrived.”
Edwin took a deep drink from his pint. “I’m glad for it. I’m glad I missed most of the violence and dramatics. Wasn’t there even a serpent in the pipes at one point?”
Harry laughed. “That was really mad now that I think about it.”
“Most of what happened to you was mad.” Edwin touched his hand. “But you got through it. You were so damn heroic.”
Blushing, Harry dropped his hand to his lap. He didn’t like the way Edwin was looking at him. It was full of hope and longing and admiration. Harry didn’t want to be admired; he just wanted to be understood.
“How about some food?” Edwin stood. “Want to share a pasty?”
“I heard Rosmerta offers pizza now.”
Edwin’s eyes lit up. “Pizza? She has really outdone herself, hasn’t she?” He left the table and headed for the bar.
Harry glanced hopefully at the faces surrounding him. Severus did like the Three Broomsticks and it wouldn’t be surprising to find him here. Harry missed him. Edwin put him on edge, and Harry liked that he could relax around Severus.
“They are all out of pizza.” Edwin set down a piping hot pasty on the table. “It turns out the quaint folk of Hogsmeade are now obsessed with it.”
“This looks great,” Harry said, and cut off his half. He Transfigured a serviette into a small plate and used it to place his pasty. He took a bite. “The rutabaga is delicious.”
“The beef is top notch too,” Edwin said.
They were silent as they ate. Harry was eating quickly. He was knackered and wanted to go home. Hopefully Severus had replied and agreed to dinner; it gave him something to look forward to.
“You got a bit of gravy left on you,” Edwin said, and wiped the corner of Harry’s mouth with his thumb.
Harry tried not to jerk back. “Please don’t touch me like that.”
Edwin coloured. “Oh, sorry. I didn’t think.”
Finishing his pasty and pint, Harry stood and gave Edwin a smile. “I need to go now. I had a lovely time with you.”
Edwin scrambled after him. They didn’t talk much on the way to the Apparition alley, their purchases shrunken and safe in their pockets.
“Well goodbye,” Harry said. Edwin looked like he wanted to say something more, but Harry Disapparated before he got the chance.
Back at Grimmauld Place, an owl was waiting for Harry on his window sill. He opened his window to grab the note. It was from Severus, agreeing to dinner. Harry nearly cheered. The day was finally looking up!
Harry went to his fireplace and threw in some powder. He stuck his head in the dancing flames and announced Hermione’s address. He had a feeling she would be home.
“Why didn’t you tell me Edwin fancied me?” he said when she answered.
“Oh, Harry,” she said, blushing.
“Hello, Harry!” Ron said from the sofa. Rose was curled up in his lap, asleep.
“Quite the busy day you’re having,” Harry said. “I can totally see how you weren’t able to go to the shops with us.”
“Oh, dear,” Hermione said.
“It was so embarrassing, Hermione. He put his arm around me; he wiped my mouth with his thumb. I didn’t ask for it. He just did it!”
“I’m sorry,” she said, nervous. “I thought you two would hit it off.”
He gritted his teeth. “You could have at least told me he was interested in me.”
“Everyone is interested in you!” she said testily.
“That isn’t true! They don’t even know me!”
“Because you don’t let them get to know you!”
Harry gaped at her. “I have friends. I’m happy.”
“You are hiding, Harry. Isn’t that why you are with Snape? Because he’s familiar? Because you don’t need to try with him? It’s not like he tries with you.”
“Oh, so now he’s Snape again?”
She took a deep breath. “I had a slip up, I’m sorry. I know you like it when I call him Severus.”
“You don’t know anything about our relationship. You’re not there.”
“I know enough to see you are unhappy. Maybe it’s time for you to date someone -”
“I don’t want to talk about this!”
“Leave him alone, Hermione,” Ron said from the sofa. “It’s almost Christmas. I don’t need you two fighting.”
“We’re not fighting,” she said stiffly.
“I need to go. Kiss Rosie for me.” Harry ended the Floo before he heard their responses.
Bloody fucking hell, he thought as he went up to bed. He planned to have a kip before going back to Scotland. Hopefully he would be able to sleep and not just think about the utter mess of his day.
The lounge was empty. Harry sniffed the air. Something in the kitchen was burning.
Harry rushed into the kitchen and found Severus already seated at the table. There was a blackened pudding and a bowl of sprouts so burnt they looked like small rocks.
Severus glowered at him. “Hello, Harry.”
“Oh,” Harry said, and immediately realised that Severus knew something about what had happened with Edwin that day. “We should talk.”
Severus held up his hand. “I want you to sit down and eat with me. We can talk later.”
Harry hesitated. “But -”
“Please.” Severus waved his hand and the other chair skidded back so Harry could sit down.
Harry took up the chair. A bottle of wine floated to him and poured him a serving. He took a sip and sighed. Severus always had the best wine.
Severus broke through the crust on the pudding in one violent hit from a spoon, then he messily served steak and kidney beans onto his plate.
“Sprouts?” Severus said, still glowering.
“Yes, please.” Harry wasn’t afraid but he was weary. He knew he didn’t have anything to hide.
Severus gave him some sprouts and slid the plate over to him.
Harry politely ate the burnt crust and veg, and was relieved when he discovered the steak was still tender.
“How was your day?” Harry said.
“It was splendid,” Severus said. The cups and plates on the table began to vibrate.
Harry grabbed his wine glass so it didn’t tip over. “It seems like you are angry about something.”
“Angry? I’m perfectly fine.” Severus took a violent bite of his pudding and chewed, glaring at Harry.
“You burnt the food, for one.”
“My marking distracted me.”
“Yes but you are making the whole table tremble.”
“I am? I hadn’t noticed.”
Sighing, Harry set down his fork. “I will be in the lounge when you want to stop playing games.”
Harry made it to the hallway before Severus caught up with him. Severus pressed him to the wall and kissed him desperately. He tasted overwhelmingly of wine.
“You’re drunk,” Harry said.
“No,” Severus said, and kissed him again.
Harry pulled away. “Severus - please. We need to talk.”
“No.” Severus began furiously pulling at Harry’s clothes. He got a hand around Harry’s cock and tugged. “I don’t want to talk. I want to fuck you.”
Moaning, Harry’s head fell back with a thud. He thrust into Severus’ hand. “Tell me, damn you. Tell me what you saw.”
Severus opened his mouth to his neck, sucking hard. He muttered a spell and Harry’s clothes crawled off his body. He slipped a finger between Harry’s cheeks, caressing with a feathered touch, before pressing into his hole. Harry hissed and arched into the dry intrusion.
“You can be honest,” Severus whispered, his hand milking Harry’s cock, his finger buggering his arse. It was all too dry to really bring him to orgasm. “Am I too ugly for you?”
“No, damn you.” Harry twisted, not sure if he wanted to break away from Severus.
Severus quickened his hand. He tried to do the same with his finger, but Harry clenched.
“Am I too old for you?”
“No,” Harry said, and pushed at his chest.
Severus lavished his neck, biting and sucking. “I don’t care,” he whispered against Harry’s skin. “You are mine.”
“What did you see?”
Severus let go of his cock and eased his finger out. “Come to bed with me. Don’t say anything.” He took Harry’s hand and led him down the hallway to his bedroom. Harry loved his bedroom.
There was an enormous ancient bed and lovely emerald curtains. There was a grand fireplace and interesting carpets. There were books, so many books, and Harry liked it when Severus read one when Harry was dozing and the fire was dying.
Harry let Severus urge him onto the soft duvet but he didn’t remain quiet. “You’re wrong, you know.”
“I don’t care.” Severus kissed down his stomach and took Harry into his mouth. He went down, all the way down into his throat.
Severus was such a bloody good cocksucker, and Harry had no idea why.
It was obvious he had sucked a lot of cocks throughout the years and Harry wanted to know who the men were. Had he fucked other Death Eaters? Had he sneaked boyfriends into the castle after a long day of harassing children? Harry liked to imagine it. Had Severus spent his Friday afternoons barking orders at Harry and giving him failing marks before he slipped off to the city to do the unmentionable?
Harry moaned and thrust. Severus didn’t cough; he didn’t shudder. He just inhaled nasally and took him even deeper.
Harry wasn’t small. He knew he had girth; he knew his cock was stiffening, choking Severus.
“Oh, God,” Harry whispered.
Severus resurfaced with a gasp. He didn’t pause. He went back down, fucking Harry with his mouth, drooling. He went fast, too fast, and Harry felt his orgasm coming on like something to fear.
“Close - fuck. I’m already -”
Severus turned him over onto his stomach. Then his mouth was on his arsehole, sucking and licking like it tasted good. He made noise, something between grunting and moaning.
Harry panted and rocked back. His thighs trembled. Everything was moving so quickly.
With enough drool and pressure, Severus worked his tongue inside Harry, in and out. Harry dropped forward, his whole being going weak.
“Are you close?” Severus said wetly.
“Yes,” he whispered.
Severus muttered a spell and suddenly it felt like his mouth was on Harry’s prick again, deep-throating him. Harry cried out and thrust desperately. That hungry throat was forcing the pleasure from him.
“Say my name when you come.”
“Severus!” Harry said, and shot all over the duvet.
For a long moment, Harry could only pant and gasp against the duvet. His head spun, his legs tingling. He barely knew himself.
Severus eased him onto his back again. He kissed him with his naughty mouth. “I’m going to fuck you now.”
Harry’s thighs dropped open.
Severus muttered a lube spell, even though they probably didn’t need it. He worked two fingers into Harry, searching for his prostate. He found it and Harry mewled sleepily.
“I love being inside you.” Severus lined himself up and thrust inside. Everything was so slick and wonderful, and there was barely any pain.
“Oh,” Harry breathed.
Severus pressed his mouth to his shoulder, and began a steady pounding. Harry clawed at his back. Feeling was coming back to him, and his cock was hardening again.
Severus sat up to watch himself fuck Harry’s hole. Harry touched his chest.
“No,” Severus said, and pressed his face to the bed. “Don’t look at me.”
Harry felt torn open; he felt completely unraveled. “Please.”
Severus kept his hand on his face. He thrust hard, so hard, and all Harry could do was submit.
Severus was speaking. He was grunting. “I don’t care. I don’t fucking care.” He grabbed his hip possessively and fucked him even deeper. “You’re mine. You will always be mine.”
“I need you, I need you.”
Severus muttered that spell again and Harry arched so high he almost unseated him. It was too much, entirely too much, with his arse being pounded and a wet, desperate mouth fucking itself on his cock.
Harry cried out and orgasmed for the second time. He clenched hard, his mind nothing but a blur, and he was aware that he was coming a lot.
Panting, he clutched Severus closer. Severus was still thrusting.
“I can give you everything,” Severus whispered, his voice hoarse.
“Fill me up,” Harry said distantly.
Severus shuddered. He was close but still somehow hanging on. He fucked Harry with slow, steady strokes. He wreathed his face in gentle kisses. “You are mine, Harry. Please. Tell me.”
“Fill me up. You deserve it. I want to feel you come inside me.”
“I’m so deep, Harry. Can’t you feel it?”
“Yes,” Harry said, twisting.
“God, you’re the only one I want.” Hair hiding his face, Severus came hard, so hard that all he did was shudder silently, his neck and arms straining.
Harry felt a warmth inside his arse. Severus fucked him gently until he grew soft, pushing his own semen out.
When it was all over, Harry felt like he was floating. His arse was empty and wet, and he could barely feel his legs.
“Severus,” he said, not opening his eyes. God, he was knackered. It had been a long day.
“Shh.” Severus kissed his forehead. “Go to sleep.”
“I need a shower,” Severus said, not looking at him. He left the bedroom.
Harry scrambled after him. Fuck, his arse was very sore. He caught up with him in the bathroom.
“We need to talk now,” Harry said.
Severus already had the shower turned on. He tried to step into the spray, but Harry grabbed his arm.
“You can shower after we talk.”
Severus broke his hold angrily. “You’re not going to break up with me! Not tonight. For fuck’s sake, do it in an owl or something. Don’t say it to my face. I couldn’t handle it.” He stepped into the shower and shoved the curtain closed.
Harry stood there like an idiot, staring at the curtain. He couldn’t very well drag Severus out of the bathtub.
“I will be in the lounge,” he said loudly.
In the lounge, Harry wore one of Severus’ dressing gowns and sat by the fire to keep his feet warm. He had a hard time finding a comfortable position; his arse hadn’t been sore like this since the beginning, when they were both getting used to frequent sex, and Severus felt like he had to defeat Harry whenever he was on top.
Finally, Severus stalked into the lounge, and he was fully dressed. He was even wearing his boots.
Severus didn’t sit down. He stood in front of the fire and crossed his arms, glaring at Harry. Harry remained sitting.
“Come on, then. Tell me you are leaving me for that blond bastard.”
“His name is Edwin and I had a terrible go of it with him.”
“Because you were in public? Because you didn’t have time to take him home and ravish him? I’m so sorry for inviting you to dinner. I had no intention of interrupting anything.”
Harry’s mouth fell open. He didn’t even know how to respond. How could Severus be so childish?
“It’s not like that,” Harry said finally.
“No? Not at the shagging stage with him yet? If I remember correctly, you like to take your time. You like to tease and titillate until you drive the other person mad, until they want you so much they can’t even think.”
“What are you even talking about?”
“I’m talking about how you want to leave me! How you will leave me!”
“You think I’m going to break up with you just because you saw me shopping with another man?”
“You weren’t shopping! You were sharing food! He touched you.”
“And I told him not to do that again. I didn’t even want to be there with him but Hermione -”
“Ah yes, Granger. Please enlighten me how that bitch forced you to be with him today.”
“Don’t call her that.” Harry felt like Severus slapped him across the face.
“I will do what I please!” Severus bellowed.
Harry stood. “There is no way of getting through to you right now. I’m going home. I’ll owl you tomorrow or in a few days. Hopefully you’ve calmed down by then.”
Harry went into the bedroom and Severus followed.
“Do you know how much stress I’m under?” Severus said.
“I can imagine,” Harry said, slipping out of the dressing gown. He was also under a lot of stress at the Ministry, but somehow he managed not to act like this.
“I’ve got the Board of Governors breathing down my neck, hundreds of students to worry about. I’ve got classes to teach and endless scrolls to mark. I’ve got a staff that’s overworked, unhappy, and is constantly demanding better pay.”
“It sounds like you need to choose one: teaching or serving as Headmaster.”
“I can’t give up teaching!”
“Then don’t be Headmaster anymore.”
“I don’t want to give up either of them!”
Harry Summoned his pants and trousers, but Severus came closer before he could put them on.
“Wait,” Severus said softly, and cupped Harry’s face with a gentle hand. “Let me look at you one last time.”
“Fucking hell!” Harry pushed his hand away. “I’m not bloody breaking up with you!”
Severus was silent for a moment. “Perhaps you should,” he said quietly.
Harry was gaping again. Why why was Hermione right about everything?
Harry closed his eyes and took a deep breath. From the moment he had arrived that night, Severus had come on him like a storm, an utterly deranged storm, but Harry was determined to keep his head. He understood now why the sex had been so intense, why Severus had been both angry and desperate. He wasn’t going to let Severus self-destruct.
“If you truly believe we should break up then we can talk about it in a couple of days.” Harry calmly put on his clothes. “I will give you space until the end of term. Yeah, that’s a better idea. I will wait until the end of term before I owl you. We can talk then.”
“Harry,” Severus croaked.
He gave Severus a strained smile. “Thank you for dinner.” He eased past Severus, who was staring at him with desperate emotion, and went to the Floo. He disappeared in a roar of flames.
Buses skidded in the streets and brooms were left frozen in snow. Scarves and umbrellas attacked people in the atrium of the Ministry (some bloke’s idea of a prank), and thousands of Muggles lost power because of a pestering freeze or dark wizards or both.
Harry was up to his eyeballs in work. He still had patrols to do and paperwork to fill out. MOMs had skyrocketed (magical on Muggle crime). Witches and wizards did terrible things to Muggles when they were stressed, even though, in Harry’s mind, it was just a touch of snow and they were capable of fucking magic.
He was moody and blurry-eyed. He ate his lunch at his desk and avoided the department kitchen. He didn’t answer Ron’s owls and made for the stairs if he saw Hermione coming down the corridor.
He thought about Severus a lot. Too much. He replayed what had been said on Sunday night, and was beginning to think of everything in a distorted way. Maybe Severus wasn’t self-destructing. Maybe he’d just been too chickenshit to break up with Harry himself. He planned to push and push until Harry did it for him.
Then, on Thursday night, Harry was on his sofa, gobbling down pizza, when his Floo chimed. He waved his wand, not caring who emerged from the fireplace.
“Hello,” Hermione said, dusting off soot from her work robes. “I hope you don’t mind that I popped by.”
“Is Ron taking care of Rosie?”
Hermione sat down on the sofa. She eyed him, then the pizza box. “Smells good. Can I have some?”
“Of course,” he said around a mouthful.
She finished her slice before she spoke again. “You’ve been distant. Ron and I are worried.”
Cleaning her fingers with her wand, she said gently, “Did something happen between you and Severus?”
“You shouldn’t have set me up with Edwin. I don’t even like him.”
“We’re not talking about Edwin right now.”
Harry sighed tiredly. “I know what you are thinking. I know what you want to hear.”
“I’m sorry. I really am.” She stared at him earnestly, her eyes wet with tears. “I shouldn’t have meddled. I just didn’t want you to be sad anymore.”
He wanted to yell at her and blame her for everything, but he knew that wasn’t right. “Severus wants me to break up with him.”
“I’m so sorry, Harry,” she said too quickly.
He forced himself not to glare at her. “You were right, you know. About the whole self-destructing thing. I saw it play out right before my eyes.”
She nodded sadly, and he inspected her expression for even the hint of a triumphant gleam.
“I don’t know why he’s doing it,” Harry said.
“I don’t know him, but I have a few guesses.”
“I sometimes feel it myself, you know. I want to do so much. I want to spend every waking moment at the Ministry. But I can’t. I have to go home to Ron and Rosie.”
Harry blinked. “He wants to break up with me because I’m getting in the way of his work?”
“No, not really. It’s hard to explain. He understands his work, and it’s comforting, in its own way. He’s been doing it for twenty years. When he’s working he doesn’t need to think about anything else. He doesn’t need to think about himself. He doesn’t need to be vulnerable.”
“It’s not just that,” Harry said, casting his mind back, trying to piece it together. “He thinks I will break up with him at any moment. It’s been like that for a while now, maybe even since the beginning.”
“He thinks he’s not good enough for you.”
“That’s so stupid!” Harry said angrily.
Hermione shrugged. “You’re young and attractive and the most famous man in wizarding Britain. He’s Severus Snape.”
“Severus is attractive! He’s gorgeous!”
Hermione looked at him skeptically.
“It’s true! You don’t see him like I do! He’s … lovely.”
“You used to think of him as a big greasy bat.”
“I was a child!”
“I know, Harry, but not everyone is like you. Severus has been called ugly all his life. Sure, he’s a man and therefore it’s probably been a lot easier for him to dismiss his looks as something that doesn’t matter, but it does matter, especially when he is dating someone who is conventionally attractive.”
“How do you know all this about him!”
“I don’t know it, not really, but I can make an educated guess.”
“I’m not saying I’m right. I could be completely wrong.”
Harry covered his face with his greasy pizza hands. “I don’t know what to do. We’re meeting once the term is over but I don’t know how to make any of it right.”
“You don’t need to make it right. There is nothing you can do if Severus wants this to be the end of your relationship with him.”
“I don’t think he does, not really.”
Hermione stood and came over to pat him on the shoulder. “Just get him to be honest. Let him explain himself. Don’t fight whatever happens after that.”
“Thanks,” he grumbled.
“I need to go now.” She kissed his forehead. “Take care of yourself and please stop avoiding me at the Ministry.”
“Fuck,” he said under his breath.
She went to the Floo.
Unable to stop grinning, Harry wrote back: Dinner would be lovely. How about we have it at mine? Does seven work for you? -HP
Severus’ reply came quickly, the owl so harassed that Harry was convinced Severus had paid it more to fly faster: Yes to both. Also, do you have a Christmas tree? -SS
He also bought Severus’ wine of choice and a good loaf of bread. He almost bought a cheeseboard but stopped himself. They didn’t need posh cheese at their dinner of two.
Around six, he set the table with a wave of his wand and went up to have a shower. His stomach twisted. His hands shook as he scrubbed his body. He took deep, even breaths. Everything would be okay, no matter what happened.
After his shower, he slipped on his favourite green jumper and comfortable pair of jeans. He battled with his hair for a few minutes before giving up. He looked pale in the mirror. His glasses were smudged.
When he heard his Floo come to life, he gulped and made his way downstairs. Severus waited for him in front of the fireplace.
“Hello,” Severus said, his expression unreadable.
They stared at one another. Severus looked tired but well-groomed. Harry could tell he’d shaved right before coming over.
“So the term is finally over?” Harry managed a smile.
“How do you feel?”
Severus sighed quietly. “Relieved.”
Harry wanted to pull him into an embrace, but he didn’t want to make Severus uncomfortable. He doubted Severus wanted to be touched if they were about to break up.
“Let’s go downstairs,” Harry said. “I made a roast.”
In the kitchen, Severus sliced the bread as Harry took the roast out of the oven.
“Smells good,” Severus said.
The roast looked tender and packed with flavour, and Harry was pleased. He served them some with his wand and took a few pieces of bread for himself. Severus poured the wine.
They ate in silence. Harry’s mind was filled with terrible thoughts but the beef and veg were to die for.
“This is delicious,” Severus said to his plate. “Loads better than my pudding.”
“Your pudding wasn’t that bad.”
Severus snorted. “It was nearly inedible.”
“I enjoyed it enough.”
“You are too kind,” Severus said softly.
Harry grimaced. The conversation reminded him of their first awkward dates. Back then, their past had felt like a physical barrier between them, and Harry had wanted so desperately to just tell Severus everything. He wanted to tell him how lonely he felt, how unseen, even though everyone knew his name. He wanted to tell him how he was new to fancying men and how it was terribly disorienting. Most of all, he’d wanted Severus to know that he thought about him, fantasized about him, wanted him.
“Do you remember our first kiss?” Harry said.
Severus looked up quickly. “It happened in my classroom.”
“I followed you, hadn’t I? I came all the way to Scotland to see you but you were busy.”
“I had some marking to do there. Sometimes I like to work in the classroom, helps me focus. I think I told you to go home but you didn’t.”
“Of course I didn’t listen. I wanted to snog you.”
Severus dropped his eyes. “I didn’t think you fancied me. Never even allowed myself to wish it.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I hated you for so long. I suppose I felt guilty.”
“The war was complicated, and I understand a lot more now. You targeted me. Looking back, it’s almost hard to believe how truly awful you were.”
“What do you want me to admit? That I was a man in his thirties who was jealous of an eleven-year-old boy?” Severus put down his fork and knife, and took a trembling drink of wine. “I should have known better but I didn’t. My world was very small back then. I was consumed by my guilt. I knew everything was only going to get worse and I hated anyone who was happy.”
“You were very brave.”
“No.” Severus shook his head. “I was a coward. You said it yourself after I killed Dumbledore. You were the brave one. Despite everything that had happened to you, you still managed to love openly, fully. You didn’t push out the world like I did. You didn’t hurt others like you’d been hurt.”
“I hurt some,” Harry said, thinking about Draco Malfoy bleeding out in the toilets.
“You need to give yourself more credit.”
Harry’s chest was filled with warm emotion. He couldn’t take his eyes off Severus. “I won the war because of you. You saved so many people. It’s one of the reasons why I love you.”
Severus dropped his glass and wine spilled all down his front and on the floor. “Fuck, I’m sorry,” he said, stumbling from his chair. He tried to hastily clean everything up.
Harry came around the table to help him. When the mess was gone, Harry rested a hand on Severus’ chest. Severus wouldn’t look at him. Harry felt how hard his heart was beating.
“I didn’t mean to frighten you.”
“I’m not afraid.”
“This past week was shite. Utter shite.” Harry dreaded saying the next bit. “I don’t know how you want to move forward but I wanted you to know how I felt.”
“You can’t possibly love me.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because!” Severus moved out of reach and put his back to Harry.
Harry waited for Severus to continue but he didn’t say anything. “Help me understand. Please.”
“There’s nothing to understand!” He turned angrily to face Harry again. “You know who I am. You know my limitations.”
“I’m not good at this! I’m not good at any of it!”
“You’re good at some of it.” Harry gave him a toothy grin.
“Do you think I dated during the war? I didn’t! Even when I was young and fit, I didn’t have relationships. I couldn’t bear it. Not after what I did to your mum.” Severus stiffened.
They never talked about his mum. It was too awkward.
“I haven’t dated loads of people either,” Harry said.
“Maybe it’s time to change that.”
Harry threw his arms up. “Why can’t you be enough?”
“Because you deserve so much more!”
Once again, Harry found himself speechless in front of Severus. Hadn’t Hermione said the same thing? Did everyone think this?
“I’m not going to force you to remain in this relationship, but I want to know why. And I don’t want to hear any more about these vague limitations. Why exactly do you want us to break up?”
“I don’t want to break up!”
Harry palmed his face. “I’m having a really hard time keeping up.”
“I refuse to be mawkish.”
“Just be straightforward.”
Severus seemed to glare at him. His eyes were narrowed and there was a flush to his cheeks. “You know what people think when they see us together?”
“Not many people get to see us together.”
“They think I’ve tricked you; they think there’s something wrong with you for being with me.”
“You don’t know that.”
“I do know that.”
“So what? You want to break up because what other people think?”
“Like I said, I don’t want -”
“No, you just want me to do it for you. You want me leave you to hide behind your marking and staff meetings.”
“I want you to be happy!”
“I am happy!”
“Why? Because I’m a cock slut? Because I use some well-timed spells during sex?”
“Because I love you!”
“You love too easily.”
“Does that mean you don’t love me? If that’s true then I want you to say it. I want you to be clear about it.”
“Of course I love you!” Severus was shouting. “I love you enough to let you go!”
“Oh, fuck off!” Harry stomped to the table and began collecting their dirty dishes. He was absolutely furious.
“Do you want me to leave?” Severus’ voice was quiet.
“I don’t care what you do!”
“I understand.” Severus walked upstairs.
Cursing, Harry directed the dishes into the sink with a loud crash. He stormed up the stairs and halted in his lounge.
Severus was pulling an enormous Christmas tree out of his Floo.
“What is that?”
“I thought it would be obvious.”
“Yes, but where did it come from?”
“I paid extra for the Floo delivery. I wanted it to be a surprise.”
Severus got the tree out of the fireplace. “Where do you want it?”
Harry hurriedly moved a chair out of the corner. “Right there, next to the window.”
The tree landed in the corner. Harry Summoned the box of secondhand ornaments that Molly gave him.
“Help me decorate the tree before you run away?”
Severus started untangling the fairy lights. Harry huffed a laugh and helped him.
A few minutes later, they got the fairy lights wrapped around the tree. They hung the struggling ornaments. A wooden horse neighed and almost escaped Severus’ hands.
Harry smiled despite everything. “This reminds me of when you gave me a tour of Hogwarts like I’d never seen it before. It was right before Christmas last year. Do you remember?”
“I had no idea what to do with you. The elves had just fed us and I didn’t want to bring you back to my rooms because I wasn’t sure if they had been cleaned.”
“You showed me the Christmas trees all lined up outside the Great Hall.”
“I knew you liked the holiday, even then,” Severus said.
“The fairy lights were twinkling and you were smiling. I couldn’t stop thinking about what it would be like to kiss you.”
“I might have been thinking the same thing.”
“It’s not all about snogging and sex. I do enjoy our conversations.”
“Hmm,” Severus said, his gaze dropping to Harry’s lips.
“Do you know when I first started fancying you? It was after I ran into you at the Ministry, when we had that terrible tea in the canteen and I talked to you about the Wyllowort case. You made me think about it in a different way. You were intelligent and sensitive, and I was smitten.”
“One of your best friends is Ronald Weasley. It takes very little intelligence and sensitivity to impress you.”
“Fine … perhaps I’ve been a bit dramatic.”
Harry framed his face and kissed him. Severus held still for a heartbeat before moaning and parting his mouth. Harry kissed him deeper, their tongues caressing, and Harry drew back to bite his bottom lip.
“You’re so fucking sexy,” Harry murmured.
“Because you’re intense and powerful and you know me. You don’t idolize me. You can tell me if I’m being an idiot.”
Severus laughed hotly. “With pleasure.”
“You saved so many people, you sacrificed so much. Just thinking about it makes me want to drop to my knees for you.”
“You have a hero kink.”
“Oh, shut up.” Harry kissed him again, and the kiss soon became messy and desperate.
“What do you want?” Severus whispered against his lips.
“I want you to stop ignoring me when I come all the way to Scotland to see you.”
“I’m sorry for that … I was stressed and didn’t want you to distract me. It’s so easy for you to distract me.”
“You are doing too much.”
Harry blinked. “Oh.”
“Yes, oh. You were right.” Severus took a deep breath. “I’ve stepped down as Defence professor. Gawain Robards has agreed to come out of retirement to teach the class until we can find a permanent replacement.”
“He’s competent, at least.”
“He will run those children into the ground.”
Severus smiled. “Good.”
Harry snorted and kissed him again. “I hope this means you will have more time for me.”
Harry grabbed his hand and guided him upstairs. His bedroom was dark and cold. Harry pulled Severus on top of him on the bed, and groaned when Severus stroked him through his jeans.
“I love you,” Severus murmured, his hand squeezing.
Severus kissed his cheek and pulled his jumper off. He kissed his stomach as he helped Harry wiggle free from his jeans. Harry removed his glasses and chucked them onto the bedside table.
Severus kissed down to his thigh as they got Harry’s socks off. Then they turned their attention to Severus’ clothes, and soon Severus was starkers, warm skin against warm skin.
“Please,” Harry said again.
“Yes, anything.” Severus cast a lube spell and sought out his hole with wet fingers. He worked one, then two inside Harry, and Harry hissed and arched into the intrusion.
“You are so beautiful.” Severus watched his face as he finger-fucked him.
“Now, Severus, I’m ready.”
Severus withdrew his fingers and lined himself up. He thrust inside, groaning deeply. “Harry.”
Harry twisted beneath him, urging him deeper. “Fuck me.”
“I love you, Harry.” Severus began moving, and it was slow and steady and perfect. “I love your eyes and your smile. I love your heart and your courage. I love your stupid, stupid bravery.”
Harry struggled speaking. “Severus - fuck. I love your cock.”
Severus laughed and quickened his thrusting. They both moaned.
“I love that you read in bed.”
“Oh?” Severus kissed him. “I didn’t know that.”
“I love that you try to get work done even when I’m sucking your cock.”
“I thought that made you angry.”
“Only a little.”
Severus stroked Harry with his wet hand. “I don’t want you to be with anyone else.”
“Shut up and fuck me.”
Severus thrust hard, his gaze greedy. He thrust again and again, his bollocks smacking. Harry’s eyes rolled up.
Severus pressed his mouth to Harry’s cheek. He whispered, “Tell me you are mine.”
“Tell me.” He moved hard and fast, his teeth gritted, sweat dotting his forehead.
“I’m yours, Severus. I will always be yours.”
Severus whimpered. “You’re making me come, Harry. I’m coming so fucking deep in your arse.”
Harry clawed at his back as Severus threw his head back and stilled. Harry felt how fucking stiff he was inside him.
Severus pulled out gently and took Harry into his mouth. He sucked and bobbed his head, and he was going deep when Harry came with a shuddering cry.
Breathing hard, Harry pulled Severus into a satisfied embrace. He kissed his temple and tucked his black hair behind his ear.
“What about Christmas?” Severus muffled a yawn. “I’d rather burst into flames than spend it with the Weasleys.”
Harry chuckled. “They will understand if I only drop by. I want to spend the day with you.”
“Will you help me pick out a present for little Rose?”
“Oh, Severus,” Harry said, and kissed him.
“No more Edwin?”
“No more talk of breaking up?”
Harry kissed him deeper.