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The Red Dragon

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Two years had passed since Voldemort's defeat. Harry felt that he was finally living his life in the right way.

He had been the Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor since he finished Hogwarts and had finished taking his Bachelor of Study in Dark Arts and How to Face It a couple of months ago.

He continued studying, but thanks to his title of the boy-who-lived-and-succeeded or the-boy-who-Unspeakable-defeated, he had taken the opportunity to do so by correspondence. If he was asked why, he would always answer that it was comfortable to do so; however, only a few knew the real reason: he had liked to teach and, after many years -for his liking- fighting against the Dark Arts, was time to teach the next generation.

He did not want to work for the useless Ministry prats, so becoming an Auror had been an option that did not stick long on his head. He had to admit, however, ever since Kingsley was Minister, the situation had changed dramatically. They were no longer of use, but the bureaucratic red tape had not decreased one degree. He didn't understand how Hermione could work in that place.

Ron was working for the twins at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. Unlike himself, Ron had not understood that being an Auror was not what he wanted to do after Hogwarts, so he had studied that for a couple of months, before giving up on what he was really passionate about: creating games and mischief for younger wizards.

Harry, as a BSDA HF graduate, had acquired a new hobby: collecting and studying magical objects. He bought them himself, bought them through barter, and had even learned some tricks from Bill to loot graves in the safest ways possible. For the same reason, he was grateful for the family inheritance, both Potters and Blacks. There were few wizards who could compete against the amount of money he had.

He was quite proud of his growing collection. He had relics from Ancient Egypt to ancient mummies from South America, including many objects from the Far East, the Middle East and South Africa. Although what he liked the most was the Far East, those objects were truly mystical.

Professionally, he could boast of getting along with all his colleagues. He had to admit, however, that Snape still treated him worse than better. They had had some awkward moments, such as the conversation about the memories he had given to him or those days when Harry helped him with rehabilitation. But their interactions were the interactions of two people working in the same place -and who didn't feel like meeting each other again-. Nothing more, nothing less.

He deeply regretted that. Snape was the kind of guy he liked most visually: dark, tall, intelligent, not handsome -but attractive- and with an inhumanly deep voice.

Since war was over and he had tried to get back with Ginny, he had realized that girls were not as attractive to him as boys. Rather, men. If he had experience? Well no, he had no experience, between studying, being a teacher and being the boy-who-lived-and-succeeded, everyone was aware of what he was doing and with whom.

He had dated a boy from Hufflepuff for a time, his first year as a professor, and it had been the worst failure of his life. The young man had inadvertently disclosed his sexuality to a very enthusiastic journalist.

The whole magical world, finding out, like that.

He wanted to disappear for over a week and wanted to kill the boy in question for over a month. He hadn't done either, of course, but he learned something from the incident: not dating anyone else, not trusting anyone else besides his friends.

What did strike him as odd was that, ever since, Snape wasn't so hard on him. Not that he was kind, either; he just wasn't as poisonous as before. There were more moments of "understanding" between them; they could even talk about the ways in which they taught and understood their subjects: some hallway conversations could take place.

But nothing else.

Harry wanted more. He still didn't understand the reasons behind that feeling, but it was definitely there. Grabbing and squeezing his heart, his soul, his thoughts. He wanted more. He wasn't quite sure what, either: talk to him? Touch him... something else?

Sigh.

Nor did he dare begin the approaches. Snape always looked at him like he was analyzing him. And that made him feel stupid, nervous and awkward.

He shook those thoughts away with a shake of his head. He was walking along an alley tangent to Diagon Alley, towards the dark and little-known area of those alleys, since there would be a clandestine auction of magical objects.

Supposedly they would have the famous Red Dragon of Shang dynasty. They said that if you brew the best quality Amortentia in the world, the Red Dragon would still be a thousand times even more effective.

He couldn't help but laugh at that. Ancient objects seemed curious to him, at least. But, for his taste, were rather strange and sadistic; how could it not be sadistic that if you found a mummy, you would be cursed for the rest of your days and, furthermore, you would have a horrible and lonely death? Sure, if you didn't remove the curse. Or the fact that the Ark could kill everyone around it? Brutal. Sure, there were some harmless to wizards, but being a wizard didn't protect you from everything.

Upon entering they demanded he wear the usual masks. All the masks carried powerful Notice-me-not spells, so the buyers remained in absolute anonymity. However, having spent time in the business, Harry had suspicions of who would be who.

The room was dark and poorly lit. However, the poor lighting only accentuated the dreamlike and magical essence of the objects exhibited there. It was a magically enlarged hall, with eight rows of chairs. Forming a corridor in the middle, so that the people who won the auction could take their prize immediately. It was like being in a dream. In a dream where the jewel of the crown would be his.

There, in front of everyone, was the Red Dragon.

He sat in the front row, as he always did. Two chairs away was, as always, a young man -or so it looked- dressed completely in black, with an elegant bearing. He made a little bow as a greeting, which Harry answered.

Harry called him "The Raven," since he was always in ebony black, his hair looked silky and shiny, and his mask was, in fact, the face and beak of said animal. Harry, for his part, always wore a mask of a white owl that magically changed the color of his eyes, so as not to be recognized.

He looked around. Beyond, he could see Lucius Malfoy. He smirked. Even after spending time in Azkaban, the pride of the Malfoys had not diminished a bit. Lucius was the only wizard who didn't mind being recognized. Pure Blood family's long tradition had raised them with a different concept of these events, where rather, the more people know that you own rare relics, the better.

This would be a long night, Harry thought.

There were more items to auction, but clearly most of the wizards and witches present had come for the same as he. There were about thirty people; in his life he had never seen such high attendance at one of these sessions.

He frowned. He knew that the Red Dragon was special among ancient relics, but he hadn't thought was that special.

Other relics were auctioned first. They were all from the east. Jade earrings, diadems, daggers and charms, amulets, tagatamas of the most exquisite materials, many varieties of swords and weapons, effigies and representations of various deities and spirits. There was even a doll with a sinister air.

The auction had reached the moment everyone was waiting for, the most important thing of the evening, the Red Dragon. It could not be seen in the images he had seen while studying the relic, but it was a beautiful and striking red; it vibrated with magic or with life, perhaps with both. The jade of the eyes had been professionally worked. It looked even more imposing and precious, it would be his at whatever cost; after all, you don't often find a relic believed to be lost for a millennium and let it go.

He could do whatever he wanted with Sirius' fortune, right? He would have time to invest and recover what he spent.

The auction started with a thousand Galleons; Harry of course kept bidding. At first, there were several bidders, including The Raven, but after they reached ten thousand galleons, there were only three people left; him, Malfoy, and a third, unknown to Harry. Perhaps it could be someone who had simply come as a representative, he couldn't know.

They had reached the sum of forty thousand Galleons when things started to go wrong. The third chap began to annoy both him and Malfoy, for no apparent reason. Harry didn't give it much thought: he had dealt with blokes like that all his life; he wasn't going to let this bother him. Malfoy perhaps reasoned along the same lines because, apparently, the lack of interest they had in him made him become even more pernicious in his actions.

Then, it was all quite confusing. Harry bid fifty thousand and the auctioneer was about to give him the item when The Raven threw it on the floor. He didn't quite know why. When he tried to ask for explanations, he could see why: a battle had started in the area.

He didn't know if the third fellow -the one bothering him- had pulled out his wand first or if he had even cast a spell, but many wizards followed, trying to cope with it. The truth is, the man was quite skilled and able to keep them at bay. It wasn't until Malfoy stepped in that Harry could see the tables turn to the white-haired one's side.

Harry came to a halt; he had to help establish order, but a long-fingered hand stopped him.

"They need my help!" he explained.

"No, they don't. He does," said The Raven, pointing to the auctioneer who was scared behind the podium. "And you better hurry up, Potter, I am not liking what is happening here."

Harry immediately ran to his rescue. A part of his brain was telling him that something weird had just happened, but the auctioneer was more important. He gave him a calming potion, which he was always carrying around, and asked if he could Apparate. The man replied that he was fine, that nothing like this had ever happened before, he was only shocked about it. He also told him that the Dragon belonged to him, that he should take it away and pay the difference as soon as he got home safely. After Harry dismissed him and he was sure that the auctioneer had Apparate, Harry stepped out from behind the podium with his wand raised.

"Merlin's beard, Potter, can't you leave the Hero complex behind? Just get out of here. Malfoy and I can handle this."

"No, sir," answered Harry without hesitation and then charged into an attack.

But it was all so confusing that some people were even helping that man. Harry thought they'd be friends with him from before: all kinds of dirty tricks are used at auctions. Now that they were even in number of people, however, the battle skills of Harry, Malfoy and The Raven was quite evident.

It seemed that they had taken a considerable advantage, until Harry was hit directly in the chest with a stunning hex and was ejected several feet back, taking with him The Raven, who had tried to stop his momentum. They went to carry the table in which only the Red Dragon remained, throwing it and falling on top of it.

Harry opened his eyes, wondering why the hell it hadn't occurred to him to wonder why the Raven knew his name in the thick of battle; he was rusty and didn't take a good choice. Could cost him his life. Although the adrenaline of the battle was blotting out all the pain, his head was spinning, probably from the blow. He felt the blood was going to ... What the ...? The Raven looked at him closely.

"Are you okay, Potter?"

"Yes, I believe I do. How is that...?"

"We have to get out of here," he interrupted in a low voice.

"But...!"

"Don't worry about Malfoy, he will be fine. Aurors will come to clean up the mess."

The man grabbed Harry by the wrist as he took his prize and quickly dragged him away. As soon as they were outside the place, he embraced him closely and they Apparated. Harry could smell a pleasant and intoxicating aroma; it was like mint and spices, many spices. He thought that was a vaguely familiar scent to him, but he couldn't remember from where. His body reacted to the closeness of The Raven's body.

Something was not quite right.

The Raven had Apparated them directly to his house and Harry was surprised at how cozy the place looked: deep blue walls decorated a comforting room, dark and aromatic mahogany furniture with intricate Gothic designs; a minibar in one corner of the room and, on the opposite side, was a fireplace with a leather armchair in front of it.

Upon reaching the stranger's house, The Raven released him, pushed him away and faced him.

"What the hell did you just do, Potter? Hasn't your little brain grown a bit in all these years?" the stranger snorted. "And I thought you had matured…"

Eeeeeeeh?

"As eloquent as ever, Potter, such a surprise."

Harry realized that he hadn't just thought about his answer.

No.

Harry wanted to die. He wanted to bury himself in the floor and not go out anymore.

"Who are you...?" he asked more to make sure, a cascade of memories coming to reaffirm what he believed.

"You idiot," the man interrupted him, taking off the mask.

Snape's very unhappy and dangerously angry face looked at him as if he wanted to kill him, incriminating himself right there.

"I… I…"

"Stop babbling, Potter. Merlin's beard! Do you know what you got us into?" Snape was pacing his comfortable living room now, like a caged beast. "Out of all the people who could mistakenly activate a binding magic item, it had to be you, Potter. With me," the last thing was said almost screaming, his face red with anger.

Harry couldn't help but blush.

"B-but I didn't do anything..." He fell silent under Snape's gaze. If glances killed, Harry would have already died at least seven times that night.

"Potter, as long as you were unconscious, which was only a couple of minutes, our blood fell on the Dragon. Thus, initiating the ritual."

"But the legends are not true..."

"The last thing you should be concerned about are the legends—" Snape sighed heavily— "Also, yes they are true! I think someone didn't do their homework properly."

Another murderous look, before he continued, "In fact, you skipped the important part. Legend has it that, once presented both parties, they had two measures of burning incense to fulfill the first part of the ritual. And, to our ill luck, four to seal the bond."

Harry was looking at him expectantly, not understanding.

"We must have sex in less than two hours, Potter."

Harry dropped his mouth. He looked at the Dragon, then at Snape. So several times.

"I… I…"

"Stutter again, Potter, and I swear to you..." Snape said as he massaged the bridge of his nose.

"I refuse!" Harry interrupted him. He wanted to save Snape -and him- from this accident.

"Ah, the brave Gryffindor prefers a horrible death?" the tall man looked him in the eyes.

His erection pressing against his pants. The young man resisted in vain; he could also tell how excited he was. He also knew that it was impossible for someone to like him in 'normal' conditions. So he understood the young man. Still, he felt a little pain in his chest.

Snape knew that Harry didn't love him, and neither did he. The relic was not for that. The Dragon took care of the hormonal and binding part, it was a relic without equal. It was formerly used to entwine especially powerful wizards. The bond never failed, it was perennial, and it was very strict: the stricter, the more powerful the participants' magic became, and with that, they could have more powerful children. Perpetuating a growing bloodline was, in fact, its function.

But not even in his worst nightmares had he imagined that it worked that well. He really wanted to fuck Potter. He frowned. He didn't know where that had come from. Nor did he care. The desire kept growing inside him, burning everything. He had never felt something like this. And honestly, he prayed that it was not a product of the relic, or was it the other way around?

He cast a fast tempus. Half an hour had passed between the incident and the conversation. They had half an hour to kiss, approximately. He looked at Harry, doubt written all over his face. But his eyes... His eyes blazed with a passion that Snape had never seen before, even when he tried to blame him for something he hadn't done, when Harry was still a student.

Snape took a hesitant step. The younger threw himself on top of him, wrapping his arms around his neck.

Mouths collided with passion. Snape felt his head spin; he began to undress Potter slowly.

He didn't want to scare the brat... And he also wanted to watch and savor every moment. After all, you don't fuck the boy-who-lived every day, do you? Or at least, he should think so, but the truth was different. He didn't want to analyze those feelings now. Not ever.

Harry did the same with Snape. He stopped short as he took off his white shirt. Snape was strong, and his muscles proved that. Harry couldn't help but delight in what he saw. He had a couple of scars, probably from the time he had served Voldemort.

But not only he had stopped, enraptured by the sight.

Both were stunned by each other.

They soon start caress in every scar, their muscles, tendons, exploring and loving each shape.

Snape approached Harry, taking him by the waist. Carried him to his rooms, laid him softly on the bed, and began to remove the young man's pants. Harry's erection was dripping with need.

Snape approached gently and licked the tip, purple by now. Harry shuddered with pleasure.

"I… I..." Harry tried to stop this, to say something coherent in his defense. Or against him. Say something. But the pleasure that Snape's caresses were giving him had him thinking incoherencies.

Snape smirked. This was not love; he felt that the relic had influenced not only his hormones, but also his feelings, but it would make the brat never forget his name. He knew Harry was almost inexperienced. The whole magical world knew it, in fact. Besides, the young man was an open book: he was so expressive that it would not be difficult to know what he liked and what he did not like.

He continued to lick devoutly and then swallowed it all at once, sucking, licking, kissing. Harry increasingly babbling more incoherencies.

Harry hadn't had much sexual experience. Of course, he had fellatio experiences, he had also performed it. But this was on another level. It felt so warm, so nice, so... good.

"Sever's, I… Aaah…" Harry came into Snape's mouth.

Snape was staring at him.

Harry didn't even know why he had just accidentally called him by his first name, maybe because he was just as excited as he was.

Snape would never admit it. But seeing Harry completely naked and flushed made his own erection move with pleasure. Passion clouded his judgment enough that he no longer questioned the facts, or the consequences, so he slowly pulled off his trousers and underwear. He verbally conjured the lubricant.

"Potter, are you sure about this?" Harry, despite everything, smirked.

"Do we have another option?"

"You can always choose." Snape said seriously.

"I'm sure, just..." Snape nodded.

He prepared Harry diligently; he started by slowly inserting a finger. When he felt Harry relaxed enough, he added another one. He began to scissor, and he knew that he had found the point of happiness of the other when he screamed with pleasure.

"What the…?" After that, Harry only said a litany of unintelligible things, cheering on Severus, his penis erect again.

Snape added a third finger. Harry complained a bit, but with Snape kissing and stroking him, the young man soon forgot the discomfort. The older man dipped his penis generously with the other hand.

"Have you thought about this thoroughly, Pott...?"

"Snape, I don't want to die! I want your penis inside of me," Harry said to him as he impaled himself.

They both groaned with pleasure.

Potter's warm, wet interior made Snape see stars. He didn't know if it was because of the Red Dragon, but it felt great inside Harry.

Of course he had experience. Not too much, however, and not because he didn't want to; but between being a spy for Albus, Voldemort Death Eater, Potions and/or DADA Professor, he had no time to fool around.

He was raving, and not consistently. He appreciated it.

Harry's walls closed so tightly around his penis that if it wasn't for his delusions, he would have already finished. Snape felt that, additionally to the artifact having spoiled his thoughts, emotions and hormones, it had done something else… Ah! The magic link. Rarely did wizards link their magic while having sex, but thanks to the help -or curse- of the Red Dragon, they were not only forming an unbreakable bond, but their magic seals were melting, recreating and accepting that the two would be one, as soon as they finish the ritual.

"Po-Harry, I..." Severus wanted to say many things. Like while he regretted this situation, a part of him appreciated it. And another part of him hated the part that was grateful, but at the same time understood it. He hated himself for all the mistakes he had made, for the lives he had taken, directly or indirectly. But he was trying to live with it. Like everyone.

The urgency grew intense. He began to move his hips with greater precision and greater pressure.

Part of him heard Harry scream, scream with pleasure. So he kept mercilessly hitting that spot. Each time faster.

"D-don't... s-stop..." Harry said between gasps and moans of joy.

They were both about to climax. He took Harry's dripping erection in his hands and began to jerk him off to the rhythm of his thrusts. Increasingly faster, deeper. Harry exploded into his hand, staining it and staining their abdomens. Harry's pleasure squeezed Snape's penis, making him finish too. He took a few more thrusts when he felt himself lose consciousness, or was it all too bright? A blinding light was the last thing he saw before he passed out.

Both woke up after a while. They did not know how long it had been.

Snape was on top of Harry. Apparently they had both passed out after they were finished.

"That was..." Harry said blankly, searching for the right word.

"You don't need to say anything, Potter," Snape said defensively, settling in, thinking that perhaps only he had had the best sex of his life.

Being too close to Potter was making him dizzy. Parts of his body were reacting in ways he didn't expect to the brat's skin.

"Wow. It was wonderful," Harry continued, ignoring him, as he watched him settle down carefully.

Snape looked at him inspecting his expression. No, there was no hint of mockery on his face.
He covered the young man with his blankets, while he summoned his robe. He would take a shower and solve the problem his body was giving him.

"This won't happen again," he said decidedly.

"Oh, sure it will." Harry said with a very Slytherin smile, to Snape's liking.

He was about to reply when the brat continued, "We have to do this regularly, at least for eight days, if the legend is as true as it seems to be." Harry began to touch his languid erection with a languid hand, before adding. "I'll be waiting for you here, Snape."

Snape could only turn, blushing. Damn brat. The worst of it was that he was right. What had they got themselves into? He managed to hide all traces of his blush before turning again, facing the younger man, while he masturbated in front of him.

"Are you aware that, for all intents and purposes, this is a marriage ritual? If we continue this, for the Ministry and for the entire magical world, we will be spouses. Before the law, the old and new gods and. Even more important, we will have almost the same magic signature. Our magical cores will have both of our magic combined."

"Mhm, yes, I know, Severus," saying his name, Harry began to jerk off faster, with more energy. "I studied the Red Dragon carefully before I even thought about getting it, sir." he said the last word practically purring.

Severus couldn't believe Potter's insolence.

Seeing him without clothes, masturbating in front of him, excited him greatly. His body responded to the obvious provocation. But he had to make this crystal clear while still thinking with his head. His logical head.

"You also know that, of all the magical bonding rituals, this is the strictest and with the best results. We will probably never love each other, but we will have to be faithful, regardless of the consequences. From what the legends say, dying would be a kind punishment if you ever break the ritual."

"I... know." Pre-seminal liquid was pouring out of Harry's purple head.

Snape couldn't take it anymore, he wanted to moan, to start touching himself too. To fuck him violently right there. But not yet. He still couldn't, nor should he. "So, after all that I have explained, do you agree to this?"

"I swear if you ask again... Ah... sir." he added mockingly.

Then Snape nodded more to himself than to Harry, invoked a kind of belt, and tightened it around Harry's penis at the base. Harry was equally shocked, excited, and stunned.

"What is it…? I can't…" Snape's playful gaze killed the boy's question.

Snape prepared Harry with devotion. Just as before, he started with one finger, then he added another and finally added a third. Then he teased Potter's prostate. Harry couldn't think. He just felt his hot, sweaty body and the undoubted need to want to end. The pleasure Snape gave him was too much for his body, he wanted to cum.

"Please..." he begged. He was not aware of that, however.

Snape then lubricated his erection patiently. He entered him slowly, and slowly too, began to move. He knew Harry was at his limit, but he wanted to take his time to the climax. Potter's penis was purple and swollen. He smirked as he claimed the brat's mouth as his own.

He continued his slow pace. Harry pleaded wordlessly, kissing his neck, his chest. Taking his earlobe in his mouth, while he was penetrated. Snape began to speed up the pace as they continued to kiss. Both distributed kisses wherever their mouths reached. Snape kept accelerating his pace, and started to hit Harry where he liked.

The walls of the younger's body were beating with pleasure, asking for more and more. Harry circled his legs around Snape decisively and began to accelerate. Snape couldn't hold it much longer, so he released Harry's belt and immediately Harry finished up between them, making his interior respond wuth pleasure, bringing Snape to climax, too.

They both moaned at the release and once again fell unconscious.

This time, Snape woke up first. He looked at the face of the young man lying below him. He had bite marks on his neck, chest and abdomen… He couldn't even remember when he had done that. Potter's face looked peaceful and happy. Would he have looked the same while he was unconscious? He pushed those questions away from his mind. What they were experiencing was exclusively due to the Red Dragon. Nothing else.

Harry slowly opened his eyes. Snape found himself staring intently at those jade-colored eyes that glowed with warmth and with something else, something Severus couldn't identify.

"That was..."

"Wonderful." Severus completed, rolling his eyes, amused.

Snape separated from Harry, lying down next to him. He didn't look at him, didn't want to know what he would find in Potter's eyes now that the passion fire had been extinguished.

But Harry had other plans. He perched on Severus without much ceremony and began to kiss and bite his neck.

"Potter..." Severus said in a dangerously serious tone.

"Snape," Harry replied with a smile, rubbing his semi-erect limbs.

"You're going to kill me, brat."

"We both know it's fair and necessary," Harry told him as he bit his earlobe gently; licked and sucked on it.

"Ah. Enlighten me with your wisdom, Potter."

"It is said that, once the ritual has begun, within eight days, the second part of said ritual must be performed, at least eight times. And that keeps it within eight weeks. Then the ritual will be complete." With each word Potter deposited a kiss, slowly descending.

First he lovingly kissed Severus' jaw line, then he went down, kissing his Adam's apple, his neck, his collarbone. He bit his shoulder lightly, kept going down. He licked and kissed his nipples, placed a soft kiss, and continued on his way. He passed kissing the line of his muscles like a feather. Harry kept going down, kissing, biting and licking, until he reached Severus' erection. After so many caresses, its size had already increased considerably.

Unlike Snape, Harry devoured him in one bite. Severus almost choked on surprise. Harry's warm mouth made him feel as if he was in heaven. Harry's tongue savoring and expertly licking his penis. He didn't notice when he started asking for more. He wanted to cum inside that hot, wet mouth that made him feel as though he could reach for the stars.

The sounds Severus made only encouraged Harry to continue his attentions. He began to massage Snape's testicles as the pace of fellatio increased, Snape tried his best to keep his hands still. He wanted to take Harry and fuck his mouth. Harry looked approvingly into his eyes, then Snape took hold of his hair passionately and began deep and strong thrusts with his hips.

Harry almost cried; never in his life had he devoured such a large member. But Snape's spicy flavor was driving him crazy. He kept increasing his speed, he felt Snape was already at his limit. A couple more lunges and Snape sighed with pleasure.

"If you want, you can spit it out..."

But Harry had already swallowed everything. Snape looked at him as he savored his lips.

"I think you have a problem to deal with, Potter," Snape said as he approached Harry with a deep and passionate kiss.

This time Harry was below him. Again. Snape kissed him tenderly. He started by loving the boy's lips, then continued where Harry had followed in his own body. He didn't want to touch the boy's penis, which was already dripping with excitement. However, he wanted him to feel good, so he had to do it well. He devoted himself to stimulating every corner of Harry, while he masturbated over the glorious view. After a while playing, kissing, licking and biting, Snape inserted two fingers, stretching Harry's entrance with gentle hands. Harry was wet and responsive and moaned with pleasure at the attention Snape gave him. Soon he began to ask for more with unintelligible moans and mumbles. Severus lubricated his erection and penetrated him.

He wanted to slow it down, like last time, but Harry was so wet and warm that his hips began to move on their own. He found the other's sweet spot almost instantly and hit it with passion and hardness. Harry encouraged him with loud moans, holding onto Snape's shoulders tightly. Severus wanted to stop; he started to slow down.

"D-don't stop." Each word was accented by a thrust.

Snape then took Harry by the waist as he pulled him on top of him. Harry's legs encircling his waist. It started slow, but it reached a fast and deep pace quickly. He held Harry by his hips as he deepened each thrust. Harry's soft, wet walls, his skin, his breath, his green gaze glowing with passion and excitement, all led to ecstasy.

Harry screamed his name during the climax and, for the third time, the room became too bright for either of them to have their eyes open.

Before passing out, however, both of them could feel that this time was not the same as the previous ones. This was to be expected, considering that the second phase of the ritual had just been carried out more than satisfactorily.

Their magic had already been mixed several times. Creating, recreating, forming, reforming, being and not being theirs. But carrying out the first and second part of the ritual, the magic of both grew stronger.

They woke up the next morning, rested and happy. At least until they remembered everything they had done the night before.

Snape was the first to get up. He knew he couldn't just run Potter out of his house. Not considering how binding the Red Dragon ritual could be. But he didn't know what to do about it. The night before, they'd been affected by the artifact's spell, so it wasn't as if he could really feel this fantastic about sex with Potter.

"Uhm, breakfast?" Harry asked as soon as he felt Snape move. Snape wanted to say a few things to Potter, such as whether he looked like a house-elf, but the brat added quickly. "I suppose you have bacon, don't you? And where is the kitchen?"

Harry concealed how embarrassed he was: it was one thing to have sex with your ex-Potions professor due to the spell of a super-binding magic item, but quite another for that colleague to see you come naked out of his bed, full of bite marks and bruises, with hair tousled because you had done it like rabbits that night.

Snape turned as he fixed the knot on his robe. In fact, he was hiding a smile. Seeing Harry come out from under his covers, completely embarrassed, after all they had done the night before, was something that amused him greatly.

The breakfast went peacefully. Neither Snape nor Harry knew very well how to behave now. The night before had been full of emotions and sensations that were unknown to both of them.

It was quite uncomfortable.

"We should do a little more research. To find out if we need to live together, for example." Snape said, almost without looking at Potter, as he ate his eggs with bacon, which were no longer as tasty as moments before.

Harry almost choked on his own food. He did know the answer to that, but he was afraid to say it. He didn't know how Snape could react and he didn't want to be around him when that happened, either.

"Uhm, I think I may have a book about it." Harry did his best not to show his obvious lie.

Snape just narrowed his eyes.

Breakfast passed without incident. Snape only pointed out to him that he didn't expect their relationship to have changed anything after last night's events, as well as that he would keep the proper distance at his workplace. Harry knew that he had no illusions, that neither of them felt anything especially important about the other, but that didn't hurt less. He did not understand why, nor did he want to know.

He went to his house downcast. He would search his books about the Red Dragon to reread the information. Also, in the Blacks' library he was sure there were another couple of books he had turned to when he had a frenzy of curiosity about the object.

Snape knew that he did not have to become very attached to the brat; everything that had happened those last hours was not the product of the feelings of either of them. He had never thought that he would be forced to settle down. He laughed at that thought. It was not that he had ventured too much to want a stable relationship, rather he did not imagine being with anyone because it was not necessary. Nor would he admit that he had closed himself to that possibility a long time ago. He pushed those thoughts away from his head. This was not the time to feel gloomy; he needed to learn more about the Red Dragon.

He looked over the ledge.

The Dragon stared back at him. He hadn't noticed it last night, but the Dragon's jade eyes glittered mystically. He was surprised; he did not remember that they shone that way when he first saw it. He approached to study it; certainly the jade with which they had made the eyes was magnificent. Furthermore, he could notice that it was an exquisite work of magical goldsmithing. But now there was something else in them; was it because the first and second part of the ritual had been successfully completed?

He had read some stories about how the linking of magic at deep levels influenced the relationship of wizards and/or witches with their partners. If an especially deep magical bond was carried out, the couple began not only to feel the change of that kind of bond, but they began to get along better. This is why the most distinguished clans in China, whenever they wanted to successfully perform a cross-line wedding, would ask for the Red Dragon. Or they demanded it; as far as he knew, some wars were fought over it.

The problem is that he did not know where he had read it. Luckily, he had carefully classified the few books in which he had information on the Dragon.

He started to reread. He didn't want to miss a thing; he also wanted to know what he had got himself into, thanks to Potter.

It was late afternoon when Snape began to feel his body strangely hot. He didn't know what it could be, but he definitely was not going to wait for it to pass.

He decided to go find the books Potter had in his possession. He was certain they contained information that he could not acquire, not by normal means.

He lit the fireplace, begging internally for the brat to answer him. He did not want to send him an owl and risk waiting a long time; the 'fever' was getting more intense and he did not want to waste more time on idiocies.

Luckily, Potter answered him. However, he did not tell him the address, he simply told him that he was in the Potter Mansion library. That would be enough, he would tell him his address when they were in a safe place.

Ah, smart boy, he thought.

The floo network could be monitored, although Voldy had fallen years ago, he still had several supporters who had been saved from Azkaban; he did not want to take any risks.

"Library at Potter Mansion," he said clearly and energetically.

Snape gracefully emerged from the fireplace, almost pristine. Harry was looking at him with an expression mixed between envy, surprise and admiration. Severus smirked. Potter closed the connection to the floo network and asked if he wanted a drink.

"Fire whiskey." Snape said without much thought.

"Are you coming for the book, sir? Sorry for not being able to drop it off to you earlier, I was busy honing the last details for the start of the school year. The summer holidays passed very quickly, don't you think?"

Snape inspected it. Memories of Harry jerking off as he said "sir" with a playful tone and mischievous smile… He pushed those thoughts away to focus on the conversation.

The other colleagues always talked about how dedicated Harry was as a teacher and Severus had to admit that since Potter taught, students learned much more and much better. As a teacher, Potter was an improved version of Lupin and the brainless brats of Hogwarts loved that. Of course, he had in his favor that the curse that had been on the DADA position was no longer—it was gone with Voldy—so it had been two very profitable years for the students.

"Yes, I came for the books. Don't worry, Potter, I wasn't that busy, so I was able to come get it." He didn't know whether to continue the conversation; the truth was that asking for whiskey had been a bad idea. His whole body was burning now. He looked at the fireplace; maybe if he put it out...

"It's something wrong, Snape, sir?" Harry was blushing.

Snape thought the blush suited him. It made his green eyes shine brightly. Merlin's beard, what he was thinking...?

"I'm fine," he replied dryly. He stopped abruptly, wanting to put distance between himself and Potter. The fireplace and him, rather. "I forgot to bring the relic. In the morning you left without it." He looked at him askance, only to see how the blush grew more intense. The lower part of his body reacted with its own life to the delightful sight.

The blush had reached not only Potter's neck, but his ears as well. Was it just him or had the room begun feeling warmer than before?

The smell of whiskey only made him feel drunk. Potter's clavicle suddenly struck him as deadly attractive. He mentally chided himself. It was surely a side effect of the damn relic. It's not as if Potter wants to...

"Well, will you pass me the book or do I have to invoke it?" He smirked sardonically. Old books and, well, any book worth reading, carried an anti-invocation spell. You couldn't take a significant book without the owner's consent.

Harry handed him the book. Snape couldn't help but notice the boy's scent as he approached. It was a combination of the aromas of parchment, grass and sun. He unconsciously took a step back. His body was even hotter, if possible. Harry couldn't have known about the conflict Snape was going through, so he didn't mind getting even closer; he left the book on his chest. As Snape didn't take it, he took it himself and started leafing through.

"There was a part around here that really caught my attention. It was about legends that have been handed down from generation to generation. I can't find the bookmark pages and have been searching for it, without success."

Snape snorted. Obviously the brat couldn't even put a bookmark right. Potter kept searching the pages, without success. Snape snorted again.

"Potter, let me search for you."

"But it's my book."

"But, clearly, that doesn't give you better search skills."

Harry snorted at Snape's taunt, "If you find it then, clearly, it will be so. If not, you will have to accept that I am the best seeker," said the younger man smiling with vanity.

It didn't take Snape more than five minutes to find the marked page. "A bookmarker, yes, of course." He scoffed at the page marked with a Flourish and Blotts leaflet. The leaflet was tiny, so it had been lost among the book's more than 500 old, yellowed pages.

How had Snape found it? It was something Harry didn't understand. He had been trying to find that bookmark the entire morning, without success. He hadn't resorted to using a summoning spell just because then he wouldn't be able to find the legend section. They were treated so lightly that they were only mentioned in that paragraph. While the book was far more comprehensive and accurate with all other aspects of the Red Dragon, oral traditions had been greatly undervalued in this volume.

"W-well, thank you very much." Harry was embarrassed.

"The best seeker in all of England," Snape said tauntingly as he approached Harry, emphasizing his words.

Harry's body was hot, very hot. Not only was it because of the pent-up anger, but the memories of the night before made him turn his head. They also made him feel strangely excited. He knew he didn't like Snape that way, but hadn't The Raven seemed sexy enough? And hadn't he had a kind of crush on the Half-Blood Prince? They were both Snape, after all.

And perhaps that was why he had desperately come to search for those legends, even forgetting the object that had not let him sleep for many nights. Until last night.

He wanted to justify his 'infatuation.' Did he even have to justify his feelings? He felt he was giving too much thought to something that should be more natural. And what was wrong with the Red Dragon making him feel this good? Maybe this was just how it felt to do a complete magical bond.

Oh.

"Snape, have you felt differently since ...?" He couldn't finish his sentence. He flushed violently. He had been so lost in his thoughts that he hadn't really thought about how to utter that phrase.

Snape smirked.

"Since when?" he pressed.

"Uhm, since, you know ... yesterday?"

Of course, Potter, starting with the desire to fuck that arse that I always have, that's what came to Snape's mind. But he wouldn't admit it until his death. He thought a little more, understanding Potter's real question. And no, except that he felt strangely comfortable with everything; with his body, the atmosphere, it was a feeling of peace and tranquility that he didn't feel… well, ever.

He had never felt like this.

As if he had nothing to do. Without worries. Would it be a product of the magical bonding? He had not done magic since morning. He had carried out his activities normally, more to think about everything that had happened.

"No. And you?"

"No," Harry replied after a little thought.

"Well, if what you wanted to know is between these lines, then I think you're completely fucked." He continued when seeing an expression between shame and terror on Potter, "The most outstanding stories of the success of the Red Dragon are the stories of Wang Langzi, wizard of the Shang dynasty and Wang Langqi of the Han dynasty. Both stories are known because peace and love prevailed." Snape then looked at Harry, who was looking back expectantly. "Doesn't say anything else."

"What!? So how will I know what really happened?"

"Potter, you can look that up in any history book."

"Really?"

"In fact, I daresay they are popular knowledge. Clearly, not everyone is so popular as to overshadow classic sayings."

"Clearly" Harry said as he searched his bookshelves. Snape rolled his eyes.

Damn brat.

"Accio History of China," Snape said smugly.

Harry then started to laugh. A smile first, which then evolved into a laugh, which then exploded into laughter. Loud laughter as time passed and Snape's expression changed from smugness to strangeness, then to surprise and understanding.

"It's the worst library I've ever been to, Potter." Snape said with a smile as he sat down in one of the leather armchairs and summoned his drink.

"Only Lord Potter has those privileges, Snape. Accio History of China." A large fat book flew from a shelf that was quite far from Harry. Harry was waiting for it with an outstretched hand. Snape raised an eyebrow.

He hadn't noticed. But they were both doing wandless magic as though it was the most normal and easy thing in the world. Not that it was difficult to summon a book, much less if you were so close to the object itself, but that they had not even considered taking out their wands, it seemed strange.

A theory was beginning to form in his head.

Harry caught his attention to read a part of it.

"Wang Langqi who was promised to a wizard... A wizard? Wang Langqi was a bloke? I thought he was a she."

"The greatest strength of the Red Dragon is that men can also conceive…"

Shit.

Snape did not quite remember what they had done the night before, or rather did not want to. His body ached, in a good way. And not only that, his body asked for more. The fever did not go down and all this together made him dizzy and susceptible. He massaged the bridge of his nose. Maybe he had had too much to drink.

He felt Harry's warm skin on his forehead. Refreshing it, but heating everything else.

He opened his eyes to see him close. Too close. His emerald eyes were looking at him with concern. It seemed Harry had been reading to him for a while, but Severus hadn't heard him, lost in thought as he was. He held the book to his chest, holding it with his left hand, gently smoothing a strand of Snape's hair behind his ear with his right.

"Are you okay, Snape? We can continue tomorrow… " Harry was going to separate, but Snape took the wrist with which he had stroked his hair, preventing him from pulling away.

"I'm fine," he said in a deep voice. Potter's closeness had made his insides roar like a beast. He wanted to fuck him. Here and now. He kissed the inside of Harry's wrist with soft, light kisses. Then he looked at him. His emerald eyes were filled with passion now.

He brought him closer. Harry fell into his lap. Severus took the book delicately and placed it on the nearby furniture. He did the same with the young man's glasses.

Harry was watching him; Snape could tell that Harry was expectant. With a fluid movement, Harry adjusted his legs around his waist. That only excited Severus even more.

Both watched each other closely. Harry was blushing and hot; Snape knew that he didn't look much better himself. Slowly he closed the distance between them, breathing each breath in adoration. The scent of the room, and of Harry, was intoxicating; the alcohol only accentuated the sensuality of the environment. Also, having sex with Potter in the home library excited him greatly.

Harry started rubbing his erection. Severus couldn't stop a moan from escaping his lips. He looked at him predatorily, closing the short distance between them with a voracious kiss.

He took off his shirt quickly, wanting to feel the warmth of his body contact his own as soon as possible. He needed it. He started to bite and kiss his neck, his jaw. He continued with his earlobe. His lips. Oh, his lips. They were so soft and their flavor was exquisite: sweet and fresh. It would not surprise him that the ambrosia of the gods had that flavor.

Something in his mind told him that he was spiraling down at that moment. But Severus just wanted more. More of this, more of Harry.

He deepened the kiss; maybe it wasn't just passion.

Harry had magically removed his clothes and removed his pants the same way. Their erections were finally rubbing against each other freely. They could not help but moan. The sensation clouded both their senses.

Harry's moans drowned in Severus's mouth. Severus went down Harry's chin and neck, kissing, licking, biting, worshiping every inch of the boy's body. He stopped at the parts that made Harry feel better; he was especially attentive to the nipples, which he bit down on and sucked relentlessly.

"Aaah, Snape, p-please…" Harry wanted to feel Snape's hard member inside him; he didn't understand why Snape was taking so long.

"Not yet," Snape replied deeply from excitement.

He inserted a finger while still teasing his nipples. Harry was quite wet, so it didn't take long for him to stick his second finger in to dilate him properly. After a few moments, he inserted the third finger and began to thrust at the younger man's sweet spot. Harry screamed with pleasure and started asking for more. Severus loved this part: seeing him blush, without shame, asking for more, was something that excited him enormously.

He pulled out his fingers and was about to enter slowly, but Harry had other plans. He impaled himself on Snape's erection without ceremony. Snape had to think about how to make the Wolfsbane Potion so as not to have an orgasm right now.

He began to move slowly. Harry, however, was the one in control and setting the pace. Insolent brat. Snape then took his butt in his hands and supported all of Harry's weight, forcing him to go slowly. Harry protested between moans.

Snape enjoyed every inch of Harry's interior. Harry hadn't complained any more after the initial moment and from the expression of pleasure on his face, Severus knew he was enjoying it as much as he was.

"Quantity is not everything, Potter," he said as he bit his earlobe.

Harry replied with incoherent sounds. Snape, however, began to speed up the pace, and do it more deeply, if possible, as he continued to kiss and lick every bit of skin within the younger man's grasp.

"Oh... yeah. More, more," Harry spluttered.

Snape kept picking up the pace, Harry's interior throbbing with pleasure. If they continued like this… He began to jerk Harry off to the rhythm of his thrusts, Harry ejaculated almost instantly, his pleasure causing Snape to take to his own.

"Hell." Snape didn't know if hours or minutes had passed, but Harry was unconscious on top of him.

They were still naked.

Oh.

They had become unconscious after finishing their sex session. He glanced at the Red Dragon. He could have sworn his eyes were even brighter this time.

No writing said that the link caused fainting. He didn't quite understand the reasons behind that, but he knew they would know in the end.

"Mmmh, what was it?" Harry was waking up, too. He had his arms around Snape's neck. And Snape's penis was still inside him.

He looked between them and could see that they were dirty and sticky. He blushed furiously. Snape smiled tenderly.

"Po…"

"I'm so sorry…" Harry was about to pull away when a scowling Snape held him in place holding his two buttocks.

"Potter, whether we want it or not, we are..." Oh, shit, what does it matter? But he corrected his words. "We've done this a number of times already, Potter, why the embarrassment?"

Although considering who he was with—let's be honest, he, Severus Snape, was anything but handsome. He was about to get up himself when Harry replied.

"Uuhm, I was a virgin when we did it the first time. So, I don't really know what to do next, to be honest. Also, wasn't this all very fast? Mhm, I'm not saying that I love you, Snape, but I'm saying that… To me you are, you know, handsome." The last said almost in a whisper.

Oh.

"Me? Handsome? Potter, I think your eyesight has deteriorated over the years. Or maybe it's because you haven't changed your glasses in a while, have you? We'll buy others and you can tell me what you think later," Snape said.

"Severus, you idiot, I'm being totally serious!" Harry told him as he moved his hips with emphasis. Snape was surprised. His name sounded good on Ha-Potter's lips, strange, but fine. And well, Harry's movement had awakened more than that internal heat that had plagued him since the night before.

He frowned. Perhaps plagued him long before.

Severus smiled. Then the smile turned into a broader smile and he started to laugh. To really laugh, it was so liberating. Snape felt a weight drop from him.

Harry liked what he saw and the sound of Severus' laugh was good: strange, because he wasn't used to it, but nice.

"So, are you ready for another round, Harry?" Severus said the last word purring.

Harry smirked in response.

The next morning they woke up full of bites and love marks. Harry even with a few bruises.

Snape lay thoughtful beside him. Everything had happened quite quickly.

"Doesn't it bother you that it's with me?"

"What are you talking about, Severus?" Oh, but of course Harry had understood what Snape meant. The look Snape shot him also told him that Snape knew that he knew.

Harry thought a bit before answering. He wanted to express himself correctly. He knew that the answer was important to Severus.

"No. In fact, I think it could not have been otherwise." He looked at Severus, but Severus was only watching him closely. "You see, I think things happen for a reason, and they also happen in a certain way for something…"

"Do you believe in fate, Potter? And I thought you weren't such an idiot." Snape scoffed. To think that his acts had been 'written' even before he was born seemed to him unthinkable.

"Uhm, yes. I mean, I think we can make decisions, but sooner or later we will reach our destination. Taking the turns we take. So I don't think this could have happened any other way. That does not mean that I would not have liked to have a normal relationship…"

"With me?" Severus hated the way his voice sounded.

"Yes." Harry answered concisely.

Snape propped himself up on his elbow to watch him closely.

"You are crazy, Potter." But a sincere smile adorned his lips.

Both enjoyed that moment of intimacy, of privacy. Something had changed between them. It wasn't just for shared passion nights.

Maybe it was.

Maybe it had been something that had started long before, maybe that fateful night at the Shrieking Shack. Maybe even earlier, who knew?

They ate breakfast and then continued reading the library books. Before continuing, Snape went to look for the ones he had. They organized the books according to the information they contained. They both knew a lot about it, but needed to read everything they could to know how to deal with the situation.

Snape sighed in frustration. The more he read, the less hope he had of getting out of this mess.

"We are screwed."

"What do you mean?"

"So far I haven't found anything that indicates, even vaguely, a way to break the bond."

Harry looked at him blankly.

"Because there isn't… I look for information because, for the most part, well-documented stories about the effects of the Red Dragon end in tragedy. And I may not love you too much… or not love you at all," He added after a pause and with a panicked face, "but I don't want to die burned, nor hunged, nor tortured, nor electrocuted, nor drowned in a box full of mice. Thanks, but no thanks."

Snape looked at him in surprise.

"I thought that…"

"Look, Severus," Harry put down his pen to turn and face Snape. "I understand that you don't like me, that we're just colleagues, but there's no going back from this. I thought you knew it. The night before yesterday… " He sighed to keep his blush under control. "I thought that's what you meant. If you're doing it because you think I can't deal with this," which I doubt, he thought, "that's fine. I can. You too. We will make it through. And, for the umpteenth time, it is a binding lifetime contract, and it is the best and strictest. If there is any way to break it it would be being dead. I prefer to stay alive, thanks. Life goes on. It's time to continue living too, right?"

Snape stared at him.

In the two years that had passed since Voldemort's death, he had not only seen Potter as the child-adult he always was, but had seen him transform into a professor. He thought he was a young adult who, while good at teaching, was not adult enough for other things. He hadn't looked closely. Potter's explanation had been clear and blunt. He was behaving like an idiot. It was true what he had said, there was no way to escape it. Now he had to decide whether or not to row alongside Potter in this storm.

Oh, hell he would.

"Sorry, I was being a bit stubborn," he said, dragging out the words.

"It's fine. The problem so far is that only the legends that are not properly documented are the only stories of this object that don't end tragically. Damn Chinese people and their hermeticism."

"You have to consider that the old Chinese Dynasties were quite turbulent. To be at the top, they resorted to anything that could help them: treason, murder, seduction. It was quite a turbulent time. Then the trail was lost for generations, believed to be when wizards in the East began to distance themselves from Muggles."

Harry ruffled his hair before standing up, agitated.

"Maybe we are focusing this wrong."

"What do you mean?"

"Instead of reviewing the stories that have borne fruit, we better study the characteristics of the bonds of the Red Dragon. Why did most bonds fail? You said yourself that it was a turbulent time, perhaps the Red Dragon is more successful than we thought and the results are those that are corrupt, in a way of saying it."

"Could be." Snape said after thinking for a moment. He picked up a large, worn, red leather-wrapped book to his right. "It says here that the people who have been bonded by the Red Dragon must be faithful, not only in love, but in daily life, as wife and husband…"

"Faithful is not just being faithful?" Harry's expression was confused.

Snape looked at him wearily, surprised, and mocked. Harry could see how Snape's mind worked on a snarky reply.

"Sometimes I think you're actually just a pretty face." Then he added in his professorial tone. "Considering that faithful derives from the Latin fidelitas, which means 'serve a god', then, it is not wrong to assume that it is not just staying loyal to someone's affections, but rather being like that. Not only physically, but spiritually and mentally as well. That is, promising yourself something; considering that promising is a very noble act, you are demanding something from yourself today that you will do tomorrow, without knowing what may happen that day. It is a conscious and voluntary act." After meditating a bit, he added to Harry's shocked face. "I think that's why the idea that only two success stories about this artifact have transcended time didn't seem farfetched to me. Loving faithfully someone who was promised to you, even if you do not want them, must not be easy to achieve.

"Wow, I thought…"

"Obviously your concept of love has been somewhat idealized," Snape said with a mocking voice. "Or that of fidelity has been simplified," he added later.

Harry couldn't help but smile.

They continued investigating all afternoon. They felt that they already had almost all the information they should know but that, nevertheless, something crucial was being neglected.

"What do you think?" Harry asked as he stretched out like a cat in his seat.

"I think that, perhaps, we should follow your intuition… About the two legends that were successful and that lasted this way throughout history. However, I think it is time for a break. I will come back after dinner."

"Oh, you can have dinner here... if you want, of course."

"I should not…"

"I insist," Harry said with a smile.

Kreacher had dinner served by the time they got the dining room. It was a healthy and nutritious dinner. Harry was grateful; they had only eaten a couple of sandwiches at lunch.

They talked about the Red Dragon, about the concerns of starting the school year, its different methods of planning and teaching, about the students—each time they seemed smaller and less shy—about Hogwarts and how times were changing. They remembered and laughed over the old days, when Snape disowned Potter for his lack of concentration in the Occlumency or the Potions classes.

"In my defense, I must say that the teacher who taught me both classes was quite angry and grumpy."

Snape had the (in)decency to look at him in surprise. Harry could only laugh.

"Well, I think it's time to go home." Severus tried not to sound a bit disappointed. But he was beginning to feel dangerous heat in his pelvis and chest. He didn't want to repeat the same mistake from the day before.

"But we still have a lot to review!" They both knew it wasn't true. But Harry couldn't think of another excuse. He wanted Snape to stay, he really wanted him.

"We can continue tomorrow, Potter. There are a few days left before the school year begins. Until then we can take it easy." He thought that even after they returned to Hogwarts, things would not be as before.

He didn't want to make it clear, again, but for all intents and purposes he and Potter were married. He didn't understand how they weren't yet on the cover of all the magical newspapers, he suspected that Kingsley's or Malfoy's hand, perhaps even both, were behind it. Now more than ever he appreciated the contacts they both had.

Another point that caught Snape's attention powerfully was the fact that, from everything they had read, never had he read the specific requirements of the Red Dragon bond contract. Yes, there were general guidelines, but nothing particular and precise. It was, also, the most important concern for Snape; if they were discovered, he was sure they could understand why there were only a couple of success stories throughout the story.

Harry was blushing, thinking of some excuse to hold Severus for a couple more hours. What the hell, maybe until the next day. But Snape was right, they had few books to review and they had already spent almost three days together.

Then, they heard a familiar voice from the library fireplace.

"Harry, my boy, are you here?"

Snape huffed, of all times! As a big smile adorned Harry's lips.

"Albus!" Harry ran to the library. "Yes! I'm here. Come in, come in. What brings you here? Something to drink?"

Albus Dumbledore gracefully entered through the fireplace. His bright purple robe with stars everywhere glowed in the warmth of home. His hat matched it, but you could also see shooting stars pass by from time to time. He brought with him some books that looked old and well cared for.

"Oh, I see you are not alone. I hope the company is to your liking?" Albus said with bright eyes, as Snape entered the library behind Harry. Harry blushed. "And no, my boy, I only came in passing, thanks, Harry."

"Albus… I…"

"He's just messing around, Potter." Snape interrupted Harry, rolling his eyes. "Knowing this nosy old man, he surely brings us more bibliographic material," he added, his eyes warm and mocking, staring at the stack of books Dumbledore was carrying.

"Oh, how well you know me, Severus," Albus chuckled. "After a little bird informed me that a piece of paper showing the both of your magically bonded names arrived at the Ministry, and that another little bird gave me all the details of the incident, I started looking for information about it. I brought books from my personal library, as well as from Hogwarts, so I hope you can find more information about it. The owners of the Red Dragon have been characterized by jealously guarding their secrets, so I hope to be of help."

He left the books on one of the desks. And he got ready to leave.

"Well, I have to go finish the paperwork for the start of the school year. I swear to you that next year I am retiring…" Both young wizards looked at each other like 'yes, of course.' Albus saw them exchange glances. "There is no respect for the elderly anymore…" he said, smiling.

They said goodbye to him, thanking him, and then they exchanged glances before laughing. They poured themselves some whiskey before each one went to an armchair.

"I've been hearing about retirement ever since the Gaunt ring cursed his hand," Snape said, setting his sights on the past.

"Oh, I never asked, but how did you heal that hand back then?"

"Oh, it was one of my masterpieces, along with the Potion of the Living Dead that Dumbledore took to falsify his death or the one I took for the same purpose…"

"Or as the antidote to keep Nagini's poison from working on you. You know? I really thought you were dead."

"That was the idea, Potter," he said with a triumphant glitter in his eyes. "Although someone of your intelligence is easy to outsmart, it was Voldemort who worried me."

"Bastard." Harry stirred his glass of whiskey before continuing, conscientiously avoiding Snape's deep gaze. "So you want to review some of the books Albus so kindly brought us?"

Snape wanted to decline the offer. But he had already sat in one of the comfortable leather armchairs in the library and, damn you, Potter, the young wizard had uncorked one of the best Scottish whiskeys Snape had ever tried.

"Mhm, Potter, I didn't know you had your way about whiskeys," Snape almost purred. This whiskey cost more than he earned in a year. What the hell, from what he would earn in ten years.

Harry just shrugged his shoulders.

"Last time I checked, it was only the third most expensive in the world," he said with a smirk. "Sure, if a lot of paperwork is waiting for you at your home, I'll have to keep drinking by myself..."

"Insolent brat," Snape said with a small smile at the corner of his lips. He settled into the seat before continuing, "Thanks be to Merlin, I did all my paperwork time ago."

Not that he wanted to be near Potter and that strange warmth assaulted his body when he saw the expressions of relief, first, and then joy on Harry's face. Maybe the best thing would be to leave... But he couldn't afford a whiskey like that just to spoil himself. He looked at the amber liquid, its soft taste reminding him of someone he'd been testing lately. The lower part of his body reacted quickly to his memory.

The culprit behind his erection was watching him closely, his emerald eyes revealing a voracious hunger.

Snape swallowed hard. He didn't want to keep falling into what that stupid magic item was doing to them, but if Potter looked at him like that, then... No, it couldn't be. No one in their right mind would like him, after all, who could love someone sullen, evil, short-tempered, murderous, sarcastic and, well, so full of flaws? He considered himself ugly, not handsome. But that look... His erection started to hurt against his pants; he didn't understand why Potter's burning gaze caused this.

"Th-then," Snape hated that his voice sounded so deep, so insecure and excited. "Do you prefer to continue with 'The Red Dragon, Epitome of Love'? Or with 'Mysteries and Legends of the Red Dragon; A Guide through History'? There are more titles, of course, but those are the ones that seem most promising to me…"

"Epitome of Love, does that sound promising to you?"

"It is a book that explains why the Red Dragon is not, although it remains as objective as possible, explaining characteristics and qualities of the bond."

"Oh."

Snape rolled his eyes. Harry could guess what Snape had thought: "as eloquent as ever, Potter."

"Then Mysteries and Legends it will be," Snape said, sounding a bit disappointed.

Harry, however, took The Red Dragon, Epitome of Love book and began reading.

A couple of hours had passed when Snape stretched out in his seat; after what had started as a reading session, they had gone on to a pleasant conversation. They had dropped more than a bottle of whiskey, they were a little drunk and happy, still talking, in front of the fireplace. Close to each other, their knees touching as if inadvertently.

Snape, then, even with his altered state of consciousness —or perhaps for the same reason—realized that he had not given Potter time to meet him. Although he had long since stopped seeing James in him, he had never stopped seeing the silly Gryffindor boy.

While Potter told him of his years in the cupboard, that he had wanted to stay at Hogwarts—like Riddle—during the summer holidays, and that he had not had such a bad time looking for the Horcruxes because he was used to living like this, Snape almost Apparated at that moment to demand explanations from the Dursleys.

He'd heard himself apologizing for his attitude at some point, but Potter had quickly dismissed it.

"It doesn't matter, Severus. I wish things were different, but that doesn't matter anymore. What matters is the present, right?"

And then he had kissed him softly or, rather, he had passed her lips gently over his own, Harry's hand on his leg. Severus' bottom reacting strongly to Harry's soft touch, and breath.

Snape kept talking as if nothing had happened and cursed himself internally for that, but Harry looked at him understandingly, warmly and kept talking about his life. After a pause, Snape began to tell him about his own childhood, about life with Tobias Snape, a violent and alcoholic father, about how his mother hated being a witch when she was with him, about his dreams of having a home in Hogwarts, a dream that was wiped out by James and his gang, from how he became a weak child to a Death Eater and how, as his rite of passage, he had to murder his father.

"The saddest thing is that they make you believe that revenge is, in fact, a way to heal wounds, to overcome the past. But it's not like that. I admit that I was pleasantly relieved when I did it… However, later you realize that nothing has changed, you just became a monster... The monster you hated."

"You are nothing like that, Severus," Harry said as he gave him a gentle handshake.

"But I've done horrible things, Potter, things I'd like to forget, things you wouldn't want to know…"

"Severus, I helped clear your name after the war ended. When Albus was preparing me to go search for the Horcruxes he also showed me some things... I think I know more than we both would like me to know and here I am. You did the things you did for a greater…"

"I killed my father because I felt he was guilty of my mother's death."

"And what's wrong about it? You are human. It's okay to make mistakes, it's okay to have feelings, and it's okay not to know how to deal with them. But we have to learn from our past, you can't keep blaming yourself for things that happened so many years ago. To be honest, I think I understand you; I had a hard time getting over Cedric's death. I always thought, even sometimes I still think, that I killed him. Sure, I didn't use the killing curse, but because of me he was there that day. I think it's time for us both to move on, don't you think?"

Snape watched him closely.

Harry's gaze was so warm and filled with feeling that it deeply shook Snape's heart. And it was not only his gaze, the warmth of the fire was reflected in his face and eyes, giving him an ethereal and divine air. He felt as though he had to say something, let Harry know that he had been listening carefully, but the words just didn't want to come out. He didn't know how it happened, but he tenderly took his face and kissed him chastely on the lips.

"Thank you."

Severus felt confused, dizzy, weak. He felt he had to stop this, whatever this meant. But at the same time, Harry looked too happy and he felt the same, as well. He had already told him that he was going to leave the past behind, did he? Harry was right, it was time to move on.

Kissed him again. This time with less innocence and more passion. Deeply. Harry reacted to his kisses. They both wanted more physical contact, to know that they were accepted by the other and, with that, something more, something that neither of them could, nor dared, to give a name. Both whispered each other's names in the privacy of the home, of their space, of their breath.

And then the frenzy began. They didn't know when they had stripped the other, but Harry was already on top of Severus, rubbing their erections and his skin running over every inch of Severus' willing and hot skin. He paid special attention to the scar from Nagini's bites.

While Snape did the same, preparing Harry with soft, gentle fingers. Harry's exclamations only encouraged him to continue. Severus couldn't stop drinking from his skin, drowning his moans with kisses, smelling that scent that drove him crazy. He kept giving him as much attention as he could, leaving a little of himself in each caress, each kiss, each bite. If this was going to be the case from now on, then he was grateful to have gone to the auction. He paused for a moment on Harry's nipples, biting and licking them as he dipped his third finger in.

Harry just wanted more. He had begun to ask for more in his incoherent sounds of satisfaction and pleasure.

Severus pulled his fingers out, Harry moaned in protest, but felt the blunt head of Snape's penis at his entrance, which throbbed with pleasure, and waited. Severus began to penetrate him slowly. He loved feeling every inch of Harry's interior. Once inside, he waited a moment, for Harry to get used to the intrusion. And then he began to lunge slowly, as he continued to kiss Harry, gently biting his earlobe.

Harry laced his legs around Snape's hips, deepening each thrust. He was also kissing Severus on every bit of skin within reach, his moans encouraging Snape.

Severus began to masturbate Harry when he felt that he was reaching his limit, the young man helping to make each thrust deeper.

"Harry, if you keep this up…"

Severus picked up the pace, both from his hand and from his hips.

"Sever's, yes, yes, yes… Aaah…"

"Harry…"

As in the previous times, they both passed out. Snape was already pretty sure the reason was the magical bonding. As if agreeing with his hypothesis, this time he did feel a change in his magic; was it because they had completed some kind of cycle of the ritual? It didn't sound crazy, considering that number eight was considered of special importance in this legend. What had Harry said to him the first day? 'Within eight days, the second part of said ritual must be performed, at least eight times. And that will keep it within eight weeks.' Had they done it eight times already? Hell, no wonder it felt so good.

He looked at Harry lying next to him. He looked calm and peaceful.

Severus had inadvertently stayed one more day at Harry's place. He thought it would be a good day to take a break from reading books and being around Potter, not that it bothered him, but he was starting to feel strange things. He remembered how beautiful he had looked the night before, with the light of the flames dancing on his face, how vulnerable he had felt when confessing his fears and secrets—surely the fault of alcohol—but that had taken a weight off him. A weight he had been carrying and hadn't noticed was there.

Harry was right, it was time to move on, leaving the past behind, for better or worse; those things had already happened.

He kissed him gently on the forehead. He was beginning to think that no matter the way their lives had been linked—the truth they always were linked, he just did not notice it—it was time to give importance to other things, to the young man who lay next to him, for example.

He squeezed next to Harry, shook off his insecurities and worries. Harry had been clear enough already, plus they had no choice. Nor did he care much. This bonding had been by far the best thing that had ever happened to him. And that was enough.

He fell asleep again almost immediately.

He had never slept so well.