Harry Potter stared up at the brick townhouse with a bit of trepidation. His godfather, Sirius Black, was already bounding up the few steps to the door and pushing his way inside.
"Are you sure this is alright?" He asked, not for the first time that evening.
Remus Lupin clapped Harry lightly on the back, obviously waiting for Harry to precede him. "It'll be fine. You'll have fun. Severus knows to expect you, and it really is fun as long as you're with the right group."
A few of the choicer phrases the Dursleys had used to describe Dungeons and Dragons, and all the books and movies and games like it, came to mind. "Brain-rotting" had been perhaps the nicest, leading up to claims that it was all thinly-veiled Devil worship. Like all the other things the Dursleys had told Harry over the many years he'd lived with them, Harry quickly discarded that as complete rubbish and started up the steps.
The house was nicer inside than he'd expected. He vaguely mentioned Remus saying that their host – their Game Master or Dungeon Keeper or whatever it was called – was a professor at the university, though Harry'd yet to have a class with him despite being in the same department. Apparently Severus Snape taught the advanced classes, so he had at least another year before he'd have the chance to. According to Sirius, he was lucky in that regards.
From the way Sirius spoke, Harry was already starting to form a picture in his mind of Severus – someone greasy and unkempt, a snarling brute, cruel and heartless. Remus had been quick to counter each one of Sirius' comments, often adding 'he's not that bad.' Really, that didn't help Harry feel any less intimidated. But the house that Harry walked through didn't fit with the image Sirius portrayed. The place was well decorated, done in dark browns, deep reds and greens. There was a calming feel to the place, a sort of effervescent tranquility. It was neat and tidy, yet not entirely spotless. As they passed the living room, Harry caught a glimpse of a mug left out on a coaster on the coffee table, a book set next to it. There were dishes in the kitchen sink, and as he turned to follow Lupin down a narrow set of stairs, he noticed that the garbage was starting to overflow.
The basement that they descended into was fully furnished. A brown carpet covered the floor and wood paneling covered the walls. In the center of the room was a giant table, currently covered with a plastic-looking mat with grid lines on in, a number of books, soda cans, and what appeared to be the remains of several pizza boxes. Sirius was already seated along the table and chatting amicably with a rather rotund looking man. For a second, Harry thought he was talking to the infamous Professor Snape, but then Sirius called the man Peter. Next to Peter sat a woman with pink hair. She smiled widely at Harry as he stepped into the basement, waving briefly as she called out a greeting to Lupin.
"This must be Harry." Her voice was warm and bubbly. "Welcome."
"Hi." Harry nodded politely to her, but found that his attention, along with his gaze, was drawn to the man seated at the head of the table. Process of elimination meant that that was Severus, the man Harry had heard so much about. At first glance Harry could understand why he was so imposing. A frown wrinkled Severus's face, and he barely even glanced at Harry or Remus, instead his attention was fixed on the laptop in front of him as he scrolled through something. Yet, dark manner aside, he wasn't nearly as off-putting as Sirius had lead him to expect, nor was he even remotely disheveled. He, like his house, looked considerably well-kept, falling just short of ruggedly handsome.
Any favorable impression Harry had of Severus vanished as soon as the man opened his mouth.
Severus glanced up from his computer as Remus and Harry started to sit down. His gaze traveled over Harry once, quickly, before turning away in clear dismissal. "Is this James' brat?"
Sirius was on his feet in seconds. "Severus!"
The other two at the table glanced at Harry in surprise.
"No! Really?" The woman leaned forward in interest. "You're James and Lily's son?"
"Y-yeah." He'd yet to get used to the sudden fame he'd acquired by coming to Hogwarts University. Everyone here seemed to know him, or at least know of him via his parents. It'd been overwhelming at first, the fame, and then finding out he had relatives of a sorts – Sirius and Remus – aside from his aunt and uncle back in South Dakota. He fit in here like he never had before.
"Manners, please, Severus," Remus scolded lightly. "I hardly think five seconds is enough time to judge Harry by, even for you."
The look that passed between Severus and Remus spoke of history. There were years of history between all of them, years that Harry could have been a part of if his parents hadn't died, if he hadn't been sent away to live with the Dursleys. They'd all gone to the same school – well, he assumed the woman had, he'd yet to actually catch her name. They'd been friends, close friends, the four of them – James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter. He'd heard the stories from Remus and Sirius, stories of their college escapades, their post-doctorate research, and how four of them – Remus, Lily, James, and Sirius – had all ended up teaching at Hogwarts.
"I'm Nymphadora Tonks," the pink-haired woman said, extending her hand across the table. Her nails were painted bright blue and sparkled. "Just call me Tonks."
"Harry," he responded as he shook her hand.
"Peter Pettigrew," the rotund man added. He opened the box next to him, revealing half of a pizza still uneaten.
"Now that we're done with introductions, can we get along with it?" Severus said, his voice thick with annoyance. "He has a character?"
Remus pulled a piece of paper out of his bag and set it in front of Harry. "He does. A level one wizard." Sirius had raged about Harry starting at level one, saying how unfair it was with the rest of the part at level thirteen. Harry hadn't minded. He'd never played before, so he thought perhaps it would be best if he started at the beginning. Now he wasn't so sure it'd been a good idea.
"Right," Severus drawled. He leaned back in his chair and studied the group imperiously.
A pencil and set of multi-sided dice were placed in front of Harry. He nodded his thanks to Remus.
"When we last left the party, you were camped outside of the entrance to an underground structure. The doorway was hidden behind loose shrubs and piles of dead wood. A stone archway is set into the side of a hill. As you light torches, you can see a corridor of dirty gray stone sloping gently downwards. Iron sconces are set every thirty feet along the wall, slightly above a man's height."
"I'll go in first," Tonks said, "checking for traps as I go."
"I follow immediately behind, sword out and at the ready," Sirius added.
"I take the rear guard." Peter spoke between bites of pizza.
"Which leaves us in the middle." Remus glanced over at Harry with a smile.
"You pass uneventfully down the corridor," Severus narrated. "After a few minutes of travel, you come to an intersection. The corridor branches to the right and the left."
"We'll head right, again checking for traps."
Tonks picked up a roundish die and tossed it on the table. It came up a seventeen. "Thirty-three," Tonks said.
Harry's eyebrow quirked in surprise. That was some bonus.
"You find a simple pressure trigger and disable it."
"We'll continue on."
"You continue down the corridor. It turns to the left after several feet. There's a wooden door to the right."
"I check the door for traps."
"You find none."
"Is it locked?"
"I'll pick the lock."
Again, the die hit the table. "Twenty-two."
"You unlock the door."
"I'll open it, and go in first," Sirius said.
"You open the door to an old storage room. Dusty crates litter the floor against the far wall, some stacked as many as three high. Some appear to be broken, others have their lids partially removed. There's a thick stone table set in the middle of the room, but no chairs."
"I'll enter and start to check the crates."
A chorus of ascent sounded around the table. Harry was the last to speak up.
"Harry." The way Severus said his name sent shivers up Harry's spine. There was a smirk on Severus' face. "Roll a reflex check."
Remus picked up the roundish die in front of Harry and handed it to him. "d20, add your Reflex Bonus." He pointed to one of the many numbers on the character sheet, appropriately labeled 'Reflex'.
He rolled the die. It came up a three. "Five."
Tonks cringed. Severus rolled a triangle-shaped die.
"A creature grabs you from behind, lifting you off the floor. The smell of leather and must surrounds you. Fangs sink into your neck as the creature envelops you. Take six points of damage."
Harry looked down at the hit points on his sheet. "That puts me at negative one."
"Severus!" Sirius was glaring again. "It's his first time playing."
"Roll initiative. Harry, you're unconscious."
Each person announced a number. Remus went first. "I cast cure."
Harry sat back and watched combat happen around him. He was beginning to get a hint of why Sirius called Severus a bastard.
Harry knocked tentatively on Professor Snape's office door, a thin folder clutched in his hand. His roommate, Ron, had said he was crazy for even trying this, but that didn't stop Harry from trying. His character had actually lived to level four before Severus had managed to off it, which was at least a small testament to Harry's perseverance.
"Enter." Severus's silken voice sounded from the other side of the door.
"Hello, Professor Snape."
Severus glanced up from the pile of papers on his desk, frowned, and then looked back down. "Are you lost?"
Harry bit his lips and took a step forward. "No, sir. I saw that you were looking for an assistant." He held out the folder. His resume, pitiful as it was, was held inside. "I'm here to apply."
Slowly, Severus set down the red pen in hand. "Are you serious?"
"Quite." Harry took another step forward.
Severus took the folder and flipped it open. Then, he laughed. The folder was tossed in the trash. "The position is for a Graduate student. You're hardly qualified."
"I'm aware, sir, but I'd hoped you'd consider me just the same."
Severus snorted. "Not a chance in Hell. If that's all?"
Harry turned to leave. "I'll see you on Saturday. I already made up another character. Level one."
As Harry started to close the door, he heard Severus speak, softly. "Make it level four."
Harry closed the door and let a smile slip across his face.
Harry laughed. He couldn't seem to stop laughing. Everything was funny right now – the faces Ron's older brothers were making, the jokes Seamus told, the way Hermione just shook her head at all of them.
"Come on, Harry. Let's get you home."
Harry giggled as Charlie Weasley threw Harry's arm over his shoulders, lifting Harry out of his seat while Oliver Wood pulled Ron out of his chair. Ron was fairing worse than Harry, but then he'd also had quite a few more beers than Harry. Stepping out of the bar felt like stepping into a bubble, as all the noise from the bar was silenced as the door sung shut behind them. The cold air washed over his face. He shivered and thought of Severus, the allusion making him laugh again.
"Alright there Harry?" Charlie spoke next to his ear.
"Probably not," Harry responded, laughing again. "No, probably not."
There had to be something wrong with him of he thought there was even a chance of Severus liking him as much as he liked Snape. Hell, even his very liking of Snape was wrong. The man was a bastard, a complete and utter bastard, but that didn't stop him from being drawn to him.
Yeah, there was definitely something wrong with him.
"Not much farther," Charlie said. "Try to keep your stomach in."
"What's going on here?" The silken voice brought their progress to a halt.
"Sev'rus?" He slurred.
A long suffering sigh sounded faintly over the other boys' stuttered greetings. "P-professor Snape."
Polished shoes appeared in front of Harry. The words that followed were sobering. "I'll take charge of Mister Potter if you don't mind. I'm sure his guardians will have a few words for him."
Harry felt his face flush as he was transferred from Charlie's grasp to Severus's. He kept his head down, his drunkenness more feigned than real now.
They said nothing as they walked. Harry no longer stumbled, but Severus still kept his arm tight around him. When they stopped, it was not in front of Sirius and Remus' home, but rather Severus's townhouse.
Severus pulled away. "Are you coming inside?"
Harry looked up, met Severus's eyes. "Yeah." He followed.
They went upstairs rather than down, feet thudding on wooden stairs that creaked under their weight. Heavy curtains blocked out the light from the street, keeping Severus's bedroom in complete darkness until he turned on the bedside lamp. Stained glass turned the room a multitude of colors, bathing it in a dim light.
Severus stood next to the bed. He pulled off his jacket, setting it folded over the back of a chair. "Come."
He stepped forward. A large hand settled on his lower back, drawing him closer as Severus leaned down. They stood frozen, lips centimeters apart. Harry breathed. Air ghosted over his lips as their breath mingled. Slowly, he pushed himself up, balancing himself on the front of his feet as he closed the distance between them. Their lips met and parted.
The first thing that struck Harry's mind was the difference. Severus's lips were chapped, coarse, his tongue thicker than what Harry was used to. It slid into Harry's mouth, tasting the back of his teeth and the roof of his mouth. His hands fisted over Severus's shoulders, balling Severus's shirt in his grasp. A second hand joined the one on Harry's back, leaving the other free to slip lower, to trail down his back and over his cheeks, squeezing lightly while the other held him in place.
Clothing fluttered to the floor around them, shed as slowly as leaves falling in Autumn. Severus sat on the edge of the bed. Harry followed, his knees on either side of Severus's hips, his arms around the man's neck for balance. Oiled fingers slid inside of him, making him shiver, first in pain, then in pleasure as they worked through him, spreading him. They wrought noises out of him that he'd never made before – tiny gasps, muted moans, and soft sighs. Harry pushed down, bouncing slightly in Severus's lap as he moved his hips in time with Severus's hand.
Obediently, Harry stopped.
They rolled until Harry was flat against the mattress, knees held apart as Severus lined up, pressing inside in one long thrust.
"Yes!" Harry moaned. "Please."
Severus stared down at him. A wicked smile crossed the man's face and for a moment, for a brief moment, Harry thought he was going to stop. Instead, he pulled out, just enough to give space between their hips before he pushed back in again. Harry moaned in pleasure.
Severus kept moving, each thrust driving another noise out of Harry's mouth.
"Don't stop begging on my account," Severus murmured, his low voice, right next to Harry's ear, sending shivers up and down his spine. "I think you'd do well on your knees."
Harry nearly came from the thought of it. "Oh, god."
"Feel free to continue to address me as such." There was a smile on Severus's face unlike any Harry had ever seen.
He laughed, the sound cut off half-way through as Severus shoved inside of him particularly hard, his smile turning slightly more wicked as he did so.
"Oh, god, please don't stop," Harry said with a grin.
He was close, so very close. It was hard to hold on, not with Severus staring down at him and smiling, his voice low and sultry as he whispered dirty suggestions in Harry's ear – how good it felt to fuck him, how much he wanted Harry on his knees, things he wanted to do to Harry. Severus pushed up on Harry's knees, hooking them over his shoulders as he pushed inside of Harry. It was too much all at once.
Harry came with a shout, arching against the sheets and pressing himself tight against Severus. He shuddered as Severus continued to press into him. His knees slid off Severus's shoulders as Severus quickened his pace, shoving hard into him. Reaching up, Harry wound his arms around Severus's shoulders and his legs around Severus's waist. Each movement strained on Harry's overstimulated nerves.
"Severus," he moaned. "Ah! God, Severus." His fingers slipped into Severus's long hair, playing the strands through his fingers.
After a few more thrusts, Severus came, his fingers tightening around Harry's hips hard enough to leave a bruise. They stayed entwined, both breathing heavily. Harry's legs ached but he didn't want to move just yet.
"Are you alright?" Severus asked softly. He ran his hands along Harry's legs for a few moments before carefully pulling them apart.
Severus rolled off of him to pull the blankets up from the foot of the bed. He settled next to Harry, closing his eyes without another word.
"Do you think I still have a chance at that assistantship?" Harry asked as he rolled over, draping an arm across Severus's chest. He settled his head on Severus's shoulder, a smile stretching across his face.
"I don't quite think it'd be appropriate to hire someone that I'm sleeping with."
Harry chuckled lightly. "I won't tell if you won't."
Severus's hand settled on Harry's lower back. "I'll think about it."
"I can live with that."
Closing his eyes, Harry started to fall asleep. "Can you at least try not to kill my character tonight?"
A soft laugh rumbled through Severus's chest. "Maybe. Though, I promise nothing if you roll a one."