Harry stared fixedly at Severus. "I'm not going to Grimmauld Place."
"Of course you are."
"No. I'm going to stay with you."
"That's insane. As soon as Dumbledore suspects there is something between us, I'll be fired."
But Harry had seen a flare inside Severus's eyes, and was hopeful that victory could be his in the end. If he insisted. With Severus, it was always a battle of wills. And Harry knew his chances were good, because deep inside Severus wanted the same thing as he did. "There must be a way."
~* ~* ~
And there was. Two hours later, Harry was called to Dumbledore's office, where the Headmaster told him that, in Professor's Snape opinion, it would be best if Harry spent the Christmas holidays practising Communimency under his direction. Dumbledore believed Hogwarts wouldn't be safe enough, since other students were going to stay and might suspect something. But he had found a better solution: send Harry and Severus to Dumbledore's holiday house on Quetzal Island. The Headmaster would be their Fidelius secret keeper.
~* ~* ~
While all the students who were spending their holidays at home walked to the carriages, Harry and Severus, in the Headmaster's office, prepared to take the Portkey, a quetzal feather, to Dumbledore's holiday house.
Severus was taking with him a piece of parchment written by Dumbledore revealing the house's location, just in case they needed to disclose the secret to someone else, and a Portkey to Hogwarts for when Voldemort called him. Severus had told Harry that he knew he would be called on December 31, just before midnight: the Death Eaters had great plans for a New Year's Eve party - plans that, no matter how much Harry tried, Severus refused to tell him. Hence, Severus and Harry should return to Hogwarts on New Year's Eve, as soon as Voldemort called Severus. If Severus were called earlier, Dumbledore would give him another Portkey to go back to Quetzal Island, and another one for Harry and Severus to return to Hogwarts.
Before they departed, Severus handed a bag of knuts to Dumbledore, who transfigured them into cocoahs, the Island's unit of currency. Severus frowned at the coins, stamped with a snake head. Dumbledore explained that Quetzal Island, located in Central America, had its own political and monetary system, and was totally ignored by the Muggles and overlooked by the Wizarding World . The Island was governed by the priests who guarded the temple of Quetzalcoatl, the bird-serpent god. There were fewer than a thousand people on the island.
They held the feather; Harry felt the characteristic sensation of a hook behind his navel jerking his body forward at a high speed until he landed, staggering, in a room in a wooden hut. They quickly explored the place: a sitting room, a library, a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom. The furniture was rustic, in light wood and stuffed with straw.
"Only one bedroom. I suppose Dumbledore expects me to sleep in the sitting-room," Severus commented.
"But the bed is big enough for two."
Harry opened the window and saw the vast blue sea in front of him. The sand was almost white, and the beach was deserted. There were other huts, but the nearest one was about 300 feet from them.
"Severus, it's so beautiful! And it's so hot here, aren't you melting? Let's take off our robes and put on something lighter. Dumbledore said we'd find everything we need here."
They opened the wardrobe. Severus moaned. "I should have known. Dumbledore's taste in colours is atrocious."
"Oh, they are tropical colours! I bet everyone here dresses like that."
"I'm not going out wearing..." Severus took out a tiny thong from a drawer "...this." Then he cast a piercing look at Harry. "Neither are you, for that matter."
"What do you mean?"
"I'm still your professor, and have authority over you."
"You're kidding, aren't you?"
"Of course not."
Harry sighed loudly, while Severus took a pair Hawaiian-style shorts and cast a charm to make them black.
"And are going to let me use this one?" asked Harry, showing him another pair of shorts in bright colours: red, purple and yellow.
Severus grimaced. "If you insist..."
Harry started to undress. Seeing that Severus was observing him, he stopped, his robes hung around his neck. "What is it?"
Without taking his eyes off Harry, Severus took off his own robes, keeping on only his underwear. Harry's breath sped up. The reality of the moment dawned upon him. There he was, on a tropical island, alone with Severus Snape, the man who had slept with him the night before. The man Harry desired more than he had ever desired anyone.
Slowly, Harry finished undressing and, as if pulled by a magnet, reached out to touch the black hair on the older wizard's chest.
Severus embraced him, pressing their bodies together. Harry hardened immediately; he felt as if he would faint from desire. Severus pushed him onto the bed, took off Harry's glasses and briefs and lay by his side.
Harry bit his lip so as not to shout when Severus's hand curled around his cock.
"Harry, why so shy? You can moan, cry, if you want."
Harry felt himself blushing. The truth was that he didn't know how not to restrain himself. When he wanked in his dormitory, he couldn't let any noise escape, lest his dormitory companions should hear him. Severus was piercing him with his eyes. Neither of them said a word. Severus kissed him, his hand still stroking Harry's erect cock. Harry slid his hand inside Severus's briefs and freed his cock. Severus moaned low - he had complained about Harry, but he wasn't any louder in his pleasure - and stopped pumping Harry's cock to get rid of his own briefs.
Their clothes removed, the skin-to-skin contact set them ablaze. Ripples of sheer pleasure ran through Harry's body until he came in Severus's hand. When his spasms subsided, he continued to stroke Severus until he reached completion.
~* ~* ~
When they went out to walk on the beach, the sun was almost setting, but it was still very hot. Every wizard they met - sunbathing, swimming or playing magical beach sports - was wearing tiny thongs, showing off their tanned bodies.
"I told you, Severus! They're going to think we're uncool and square."
"We are square."
"You are square."
Harry entered the sea and was soon splashing and laughing, while Severus stood up on the sand, sulking. The water was clear, and the waves were small and gentle.
~* ~* ~
They dined in a thatched-roof restaurant by the beach and met some natives, who were very curious about them. The language spoken in the island was a Nahuatl dialect. Most natives could speak Spanish, but few could speak English, and even those who could were not very fluent. Hence, Severus and Harry depended on the little English-Nahuatl/Nahuatl-English Dictionary and Phrasebook that Severus had found in the hut.
To make things worse, the restaurant didn't have a menu, and Severus flatly refused Harry's suggestion to order what they wanted by pointing at the other clients' plates. Severus opened the dictionary instead.
"I'm going to order fish, tomato salad, a glass of ayoctli for me and a glass of juice for you. All right?"
"What's ayoctli? And juice of what fruit?"
"Ayoctli is mead made from agave. What fruit? I don't know. They combine words to create new words, but I don't know how to do that. There are many suffixes, prefixes and cases. Let's just order a juice and see what happens."
Severus called the waiter. "Michim, tomatl, ayoctli, ayotl."
"What did he say?" asked Harry to Severus when the waiter left.
Severus flipped quickly to the "Useful Sentences for Travel Survival" part of the dictionary. "He said 'In a moment'."
The waiter did return in a moment, with their dishes and drinks. Or, rather...
"Severus, where's my juice? And why did he bring this... turtle soup?"
Severus frowned, and opened the dictionary again. "Ah! Besides 'juice', ayotl is 'turtle'. I should have pronounced it with a longer 'a': 'aayotl'. And he brought two glasses of ayoctli... Do you want to try it? Otherwise I can ask a Butterbeer for you."
"How do you say 'Butterbeer' in Nahuatl?"
"'Butterbeer', probably, because if they have it, it must have been smuggled from Scotland, and will be very expensive."
"Uh, then I'm going to drink this ayo... this thing you're drinking. It's not bad. And... hmm... this turtle soup is delicious!"
~* ~* ~
They lay on the bed without blankets, sheets or clothes: it was so hot they weren't necessary. They were tired and a little high because of the ayoctli.
"How do you say 'cock' in Nahuatl, Severus?"
Severus reached out for the dictionary he had left over the bedside table and browsed it. "It's 'tepolli'. And the word for 'balls' is the same as for 'avocado': 'ahuacatl'. By the way, the English word 'avocado' came from the Nahuatl. Oh, how interesting! 'Semen' is 'tepolayotl'; if 'ayotl' is juice, then it must be 'cock juice'."
"Ahahahaha! Veeeeery interesting," Harry drawled. "But what I really want to know is if we're going to make love for real tonight."
"What you mean, 'making love for real'? What was it that we did yesterday night and this afternoon?"
"Well, yeah, but you know, I'm still a virgin."
"This is stupid, Harry."
Harry felt awkward. A complete moron.
Under the glow of the candle, he realised that Severus had noticed his annoyance.
"Brat, stop worrying about being a virgin or not. Come here."
Harry got closer and wrapped an arm around his waist. Severus buried his head under Harry's chin, then nibbled at his earlobe.
"And if I prefer to be the bottom?" Severus whispered in his ear.
Harry's breath stopped for a moment. He had never thought that Severus could... "Do you?"
"Sometimes. But now you're drunk, and I'm sleepy."
"I am drunk? I had to practically drag you home, because you couldn't put one foot in front of the other!"
But Severus was already snoring.
~* ~* ~
Harry woke up early and, fearing that Severus would hex him if he woke him up, went to the kitchen. He found a packet of coffee and a pot in a cupboard, and made coffee. He drank a cup of it with some stale biscuits from a tin he had found in the same cupboard. It seemed nobody had visited the house for a long time. They urgently needed to go shopping.
As Severus hadn't woken up yet when Harry finished his coffee, Harry moved to the library.
There were many weird books there: Astronomy charts, Quantum Physics manuals, books written in Arabic and in other languages Harry didn't recognise. Suddenly the cover of one of the books caught his attention: two wizards making love. The title, in florid letters, said: Kama Salila.
Harry sat on the sofa to browse through the book. It was a Hindu guide for homosexual wizards, and explained in detail what should be the behaviour of any of the partners in the relationship, according to their preferences and body structure. There were dozens of classifications, and the suggestions were completely absurd.
The chapter of embraces, for instance, said there were four kinds of embraces. The 'twining of a creeper' occurred 'when one of the lovers, clinging to the other as a creeper twines round a tree, bends his head down to his lover's with the desire of kissing him and slightly makes the sound of sut sut, embraces him, and looks lovingly toward him'.
As for the 'climbing of a tree embrace', it happened 'when one of the partners, having placed one of his feet on the foot of his lover, and the other on one of his thighs, passes one of his arms round his lover's back, and the other on his lover's shoulders, makes slightly the sounds of singing and cooing, and wishes to climb up to him in order to have a kiss'.
Harry's favourite was 'the mixture of sesame seed with rice', 'when lovers lie on a bed, and embrace each other so closely that the arms and thighs of the one are encircled by the arms and thighs of the other, and are, as it were, rubbing up against them'.
Finally, there was the 'mixture of milk and water embrace', when the
lovers 'are very much in love with each other, and, not thinking of any
pain or hurt, embrace each other as if they were entering into each other's
bodies either while one of them is sitting on the lap of the other, or
in front of him, or on a bed'.
A little tired of absurd classifications, Harry skipped to the chapters dealing with the intercourse.
And he read: 'anoint your lingam - Harry had already understood that lingam was the same as tepolli - with honey into which you have powdered black pepper, long pepper and datura, and you will enslave your lover'.
Er. That was not what he wanted, or was it? And would it work?
'By eating the powder of the nelumbrium speciosum, the blue lotus, and the mesna roxburghii, then cutting into small pieces the sprouts of the vajnasunhi plant, and dipping them into a mixture of red arsenic and sulphur, and finally drying them seven times, and applying this powder mixed with honey to his lingam, he can subjugate his lover to his will after having sexual union with him.'
"Very interesting, Potter. Studying how to enslave your lover?"
Harry paled when he lifted his eyes from the book and saw Severus, in a Slytherin green dressing gown, looming above him. Severus being the paranoid he was, Harry knew he was in big trouble. "Er... That wasn't what I was looking for. By the way, this book doesn't seem to have what I was looking for."
"Of course not. This book was written twenty centuries ago. Magic has developed dramatically since then. Furthermore, the customs have changed a lot. This book serves only as an historical document now. Or for our amusement: we can have a good laugh at their naïveté."
"Well, the illustrations are very interesting."
"Have fun, then, with your Hindu pornography of twenty centuries ago. I'm going to have some coffee."
Well, well, what was that all about? A mere hangover or could it be that Severus was jealous of the Kama Salila?
~* ~* ~
Harry went after Severus in the kitchen and tried to talk, but Severus was in a dreadful mood even by his standards and only replied with grunts. Harry finally got tired. "I'm going to buy some food. What do you want for lunch?"
Those two sentences had the effect Harry was trying to achieve since he had entered the kitchen: Severus turned to him. With a look of total bewilderment.
"Are you delirious, Potter? Do you think you are among Muggles? Or are you deluded into thinking you are a house-elf?"
"Er, someone has to do the cooking, and I'm not seeing any house-elf here. Eating in restaurants is too expensive, and from what I've gathered, you're paying everything out of your pocket."
"Of course I'm paying out of my pocket."
"Well, you don't seem to be a millionaire. And I like to cook."
Severus seemed to ponder. "I was planning to set up my laboratory in the kitchen, so I wasn't contemplating the possibility of using it as a real kitchen. But I've just found a trapdoor under the rug in our bedroom leading to a cellar where there's a small, antique Potions laboratory. If I can have a proper laboratory, and if you like to cook... this will keep you busy, at least during the mornings, while I work in the laboratory. That way you won't go out looking for trouble, I hope."
Behind all that aggressive speech, Severus was agreeing with his idea. That was what Harry told himself in order not to get too angry. "Right. I'll go shopping, then. If you give me the money."
"With one condition: you prepare our lunch, but we go out for dinner every night."
Harry pretended to hesitate, just to be difficult, but he was loving the whole idea. "All right. I'm going to buy meat... maybe fish is better, what do you think? Some vegetables, spices..."
"Before you go, take a look at the back garden. You will find a lot of greens and herbs there. And Potter, I'm not picky, but don't put coriander on the fish, or anywhere else, by the way. I hate coriander."
~* ~* ~
As the specialty of the Island was seafood, Harry made a crab quiche, grilled fish with avocado salsa and steamed vegetables. They drank a bottle of a reasonably good white wine made on the Island.
After lunch, Severus looked calmer. Notwithstanding, Harry noticed he was still calling him 'Potter'.
"Have a rest now, Potter. Then we will resume our Communimency practice. After all, this is the purpose of our travel. Don't suppose it was only a pretence for us to... you know."
The wine had left Harry sleepy. He went to bed to take a siesta.
~* ~* ~
He woke up with Severus shaking him rudely. "Wake up, Potter. I can't wait the whole afternoon. We need to practise."
"Hmpf. Leave me alone."
Harry heard Severus sighing impatiently. Opening his eyes, he saw Severus with his arms crossed, all dressed in white: t-shirt and shorts. The t-shirt clung to his body, revealing his muscles and curves. Hmmm.
"Are you going to keep staring?" Severus asked.
"It's not my fault you're so sexy."
Severus snorted. "This morning you left me for a stupid book of Hindu queers of the first century."
"Is that why you're so angry?"
"I am not angry."
"Then lie down here beside me."
"My name's Harry, don't you remember? We were doing fine until this morning! What happened?"
Severus glared daggers at him. "Nothing, Harry." Severus almost spit his name. "It just happened that I was not very pleased to wake up, reach out for my lover and find that he was gone. Also I was not very pleased to find him reading a book supposed to teach you how to enslave your lover."
"I thought you would be angry if I woke you up. Then I went to the kitchen, made coffee, had my breakfast and decided to go and read in the library. I saw the cover of that book and became curious. Just that! Will you have a fit of paranoia and jealousy every time a silly thing like that happens?"
Harry sat up on the bed. With a tired expression, Severus sat at the edge of the bed. Harry approached him from behind and started massaging his shoulders. He felt Severus relaxing under his hands. "We could practise here. I'm already feeling my mind relaxing."
Severus turned around and embraced him.
Harry sat on Severus's lap, facing him. "Mixture of milk and water."
Severus frowned. Then their minds joined as one, and Severus understood.
Ah. But your favourite is the mixture of sesame seeds with rice. Let's lie down and embrace each other strongly, my Harry.
Severus, I want to be yours. Put your lingam inside me.
"It's going to hurt, you know."
"That first time, when you put your finger inside me, it was perfect."
"My lingam is bigger than my finger," said Severus, sliding his hand inside Harry's t-shirt and touching his nipple with his fingertip.
Severus took off Harry's t-shirt and started to explore every inch of Harry's body with his hands, tongue, teeth. Harry was melting under his caresses.
If you don't stop, I'm going to come even before your lingam touches me.
And why is this a problem?
Harry grunted in frustration, breaking their mental connection again.
"Calm down. You need to learn to relax your mind in all circumstances."
"I'm speaking seriously."
Well, at least Severus was taking off Harry's shorts, and his cock felt more free. However, when Severus undressed in front of him, the vision of Severus's aroused cock was enough to make Harry's unbearably hard.
Severus opened the bedside drawer, produced a vial, opened it and spread a portion of lube over his fingers. Then he leant over Harry and kissed him thoroughly, his tongue teasing and twirling around Harry's, his lips pressing and sucking. Severus's hand slid between his buttocks searching for the tight entrance. Harry's heart beat faster.
Severus was penetrating him with his tongue and finger simultaneously. It was so arousing Harry couldn't keep still.
This is good.
Severus's finger felt comfortable inside him. But when a second finger joined the first one, there was some discomfort. Harry stopped breathing for a while.
Easy, Harry. You'll get used to it.
Severus smirked. "I suppose you're ready."
The magical fingers abandoned him, but Harry knew there was more to come. He observed, fascinated, as Severus spread lube over the whole length of his cock.
"You may turn now, Harry."
"Oh, no! I want to see your face. It's my first time."
"All the more the reason."
"Impossible brat." Severus separated his legs and lifted them, propping them on his shoulders, and positioned himself between them. "When I'm inside you, as soon as you can, thrust towards me. The pain will be less intense."
And Harry felt himself be torn apart by Severus's cock. He bit his lower lip not to cry in pain.
Severus stopped, his whole body trembling, and stroked Harry's chest gently with his right hand. The left hand held the boy's hips in place. "Harry... I'm sorry."
Harry wanted to cry in pain and despair seeing Severus so mortified. Severus pulled out a little. The pain became worse. When Severus started to thrust in again, Harry braced himself and thrust towards him. His muscles yielded to Severus, and the feeling was not so bad. Next time Severus thrust, he plunged deeper, and brushed Harry's prostate. This time Harry closed his eyes and let a cry of pleasure escape.
When he opened his eyes again, he saw a smile hovering on Severus's lips, and held him fiercely, thrusting against his body.
It's amazing, Severus.
Harry, how can we share our minds at such a moment?
My body is on fire, but my mind is calm. Because I trust you.
Be prepared, Harry. Now I'm going deeper.
Aaaaahhhh, Severus, I'm going to come!
That's the idea.
Come with me.
No. I want to see you coming first.
Severus curled his hand around Harry's cock and hit his pleasure gland once, twice.
Slytherin. You cheated, thought Harry. Then bliss carried him away. When he was coming back, he felt Severus filling him with his seed.
~* ~* ~
Walking with Severus on the beach at sunset, on the way to the restaurant, Harry was happier than ever. He could remember a few happy moments in his life, but none of them compared to that.
He didn't feel any pain, because Severus had spread a salve on all the sore areas. It was a benefit of having a Potions master as a lover.
He gazed at Severus, who looked cold and stern as always. But when their eyes met, an intense glow flared deep inside the black eyes, and Severus wrapped his arm around Harry's shoulders. Harry put an arm around Severus's waist and smiled.
~* ~* ~
They came back home from the restaurant walking by the beach, arms wrapped around each other, looking at the seawaters bathed by the moonlight.
Far away on the beach, beyond their house, there was a strange yellow glow. When they approached the house, they realised the glow was coming from a fire illuminating a group of people dressed in white on the sand. A beating of drums could also be heard.
"What's that, Severus?"
"It seems to be a sort of ritual ceremony."
"Let's get closer and take a look, okay?"
"All right. But be careful. Have your wand at hand."
As they approached further, they could see people dancing at the sound of drums. They seemed in a trance. A sort of shaman stirred a cauldron, serving with his ladle the people who approached him, mugs in hand. Severus stopped and held Harry near himself. They observed from a distance.
It didn't take long, however, for one of the participants of the ritual to approach them. Speaking in his native language and gesticulating, he seemed to be trying to tell them they were not welcome there.
The commotion attracted the shaman's attention, making him stop what he was doing and walk towards them.
He was a tanned and dark-haired middle-aged man. A handsome man, thought Harry, reprimanding himself for being attracted to another man other than Severus. When the shaman was just a few steps from them, his lips turned up in a charming smile.
~* ~* ~
"From what I gathered, he was in the same year as you at Hogwarts."
"Yes. He was a Hufflepuff. Very good at Potions. Almost as good as I was."
Harry shook his head. "Smug, are we?"
"It's only the truth."
"Right, but just because he's good at Potions did you need to hug him that way?"
"It was he who hugged me... Wait a minute, what's happening here? Are you jealous?"
"Me, jealous? No way. It's just that you shouldn't spill our secrets to other people. It's dangerous, you know."
"We can trust Julio. Dumbledore trusts him."
"I bet the old codger is using him to spy on us. Everybody knows Dumbledore has contacts throughout the world. But he's not always a good character judge, is he? Do you remember Quirrell? And the fake Moody?"
"Harry, I'm telling you that we can trust Julio."
And Harry knew Severus was paranoid. That left him even more intrigued. "I'm not convinced."
"Julio is almost a saint. He's always helping people. He volunteered as a mediwizard during the previous war. When the Dark Lord was defeated, Julio came back to his people to help them with the knowledge he acquired at Hogwarts."
"Why does he have a Spanish name?"
"Because his father's family had Spanish origins."
"And what kind of priest is he?"
"His people, the Tlamacazqueh, follow a syncretic religion, blending the magical knowledge of many traditions, especially Toltec, Mayan and Aztec, and he is the highest priest of his people. I invited him to my laboratory because we have many things to discuss about Potions. We can exchange ideas; I can teach him many new findings of our world, and he can teach me the knowledge of his people."
"So you insist on revealing our secret place to him."
Harry sighed, annoyed. "Don't tell me later that I didn't warn you."
Severus narrowed his eyes. "I think you are jealous."
"And why shouldn't I be?"
"Because Julio is straight, married and with five children?"
Harry knew he should be more tranquil, but he wasn't. "I'm not sure these reasons are good enough."
"You are becoming too demanding." Severus arched an eyebrow. "Then I would say... because mixing sesame seeds with rice is no fun if it's not with you?"
Ah, that sounds better, thought Harry.
~* ~* ~
Julio and Severus would spend hours in the laboratory, but Harry had learnt to trust them. Julio had taught his wife and five children to speak English and Spanish. He had a daughter two years younger than Harry, Tepin, who was crazy for Quidditch, and invited him to play Beach Quidditch. As Harry didn't know how to play, the girl explained to him it was a simplified Quidditch, played on a smaller pitch and by only four players: a Keeper, a Chaser, a Beater and a Seeker. Sometimes, when Julio and Severus were preparing potions or discussing recipes, Harry would play Beach Quidditch with Tepin and her friends. As Harry hadn't taken his Firebolt to the Island, he needed to borrow one of Tepin's brothers' brooms.
Every morning, Harry cooked lunch; sometimes Severus helped him, and somehow they managed to keep the kitchen intact. Wonder of wonders.
Severus wasn't the same tense and harsh man he was at Hogwarts and in their first days in the Island. He had even stopped complaining when Harry would put on a thong and go to the beach; he himself started to wear shorter shorts, after casting a spell to make them black. Sometimes he would even enter the sea with Harry and mock him for not knowing how to swim.
Every day, Severus and Harry practised Communimency. The best practices were when they made love at the same time. They were becoming very good at that.
At night, they would sleep mixing sesame seeds and rice. After waking up, Harry would try to stay near his lover and not to start reading any suspect books.
~* ~* ~
They celebrated Christmas Eve dining together, just the two of them, at home. Severus had managed to find a turkey, raisins and brandy for the pudding and a marvellous French wine in the village.
Harry gave Severus a rare Toltec potions book, recommended by Julio, and Severus gave Harry a Quidditch broom, so that Harry wouldn't need to borrow Tepin's brother's any more. It wasn't a Firebolt, but it was fast and solid, with charming Aztec decorations.
~* ~* ~
Three days later, Harry and Severus made an excursion to the other side of the Island, which was only two and a half miles wide. They had to follow a trail up a hill and then down the other side.
The trail was very beautiful, full of blossoming trees, epiphytes, birds, butterflies. Unfortunately, there were also other insects, and Severus and Harry had forgotten to bring a repellent potion. Severus was cursing himself for his thoughtlessness when a resplendent bird with a long feathery tail, bright green feathers on its chest, golden on its head and scarlet on its sides, landed on a nearby branch.
"Severus, look at that amazing bird!"
"This is the famous quetzal that gives its name to the Island. The quetzals are the Mayan's phoenixes, and a symbol of freedom, because they die when imprisoned. They are almost extinct in the Continent. This island is their sanctuary."
Harry tore a piece of bread from one of the sandwiches they were taking for lunch, and handed out to the bird, which ate from his hand.
Harry marvelled when he saw a flock of quetzals flying, swaying their colourful tails.
Finally they arrived to the beach. There, the sand was whiter and the sea bluer than on the other side.
Severus and Harry made love on the deserted beach, under a leafy sea almond tree. For the first time, Harry topped. Severus told him not to worry and fuck him as hard as he could. But Harry, enraptured by the vision of his lover beneath him, wanted to stretch those moments out forever, and made love to Severus as slowly and tenderly as he could.
On their way back, Harry remembered that ten days had already passed, and in three days they would have to go back to Hogwarts. Harry felt his heart sink. He didn't want to be expelled from Heaven.
~* ~* ~
"Severus... what if we don't go back?" asked Harry in the kitchen, after next morning's breakfast.
Severus widened his eyes and shook his head. "We can't. We have duties to fulfil."
"Duties to fulfil... I have to kill or die; while you have... to die and kill. Are you sure that's what you want?"
"It's not a matter of what I want, Harry. You should know this by now."
Severus stood up abruptly and left the kitchen. Harry was already an expert on Severus's reactions. He knew that, when Severus had to face an inner conflict, he retracted into his shell. Or into his cellar.
But Harry understood, because he felt divided too. How could he live knowing he had abandoned his friends and the people who trusted him?
~* ~* ~
Harry prepared tea with cornmeal cakes, and called Julio and Severus upstairs, to the kitchen table.
The cakes were delicious, but the mood was gloomy.
"Boys, what's happening? Why are you so sad?" asked Julio.
Severus looked at Harry. "We have to go back to Hogwarts. The day after tomorrow."
"Oh, I see. You have to fight the monster. Again. How many times will it be necessary to defeat him? Harry was still an infant the first time he defeated him. This is so... inhuman." They stayed in silence for a few minutes. Julio was observing them attentively. "There is a strong mental bond between you two. It's not just because you have a... relationship. It goes beyond that."
"Maybe it's because we both have a bond with Voldemort. His Mark and my scar."
"Right." Julio seemed to ponder. "Have you already thought... that you can use this bond you have with him... to destroy him?"
"I won't say this has never crossed my mind, Julio. But the truth is I don't know how," Severus replied.
"You are powerful wizards, and there's a mental bond between you. Through that bond, you can combine your powers. And you both, individually, have a bond with Voldemort. So, in theory, if you turn your combined powers against him... well... it's going to be an even match."
"Once Dumbledore told me there's a force that is at once more wonderful and more terrible than death, and that I possess it in high quantities, while Voldemort not only doesn't have any but detests it so much that he can't bear to possess a mind full of it," Harry commented, a glow of hope flaring within his heart.
Severus turned abruptly to Julio. "I know he will call me on December 31. We can take advantage of the moment when he activates the Mark to invade his mind..."
"And attack him with the only force against which he doesn't have any power," Julio concluded. "I could marry you under the Tlamacazqueh ritual. This would strengthen the union between you and enhance your powers."
Harry's eyes met Severus's.
"Describe this ritual, Julio," Severus asked.
"It's rather complex. Both fiancés have to spend the night separately, and eat only the permitted food during the 24 hours preceding their union. During the day, they are bathed with proper salts and herbs, and drink the suitable potions. At night, they consummate their union in the temple of Quetzalcoatl. After their union is consummated, the couple leaves the temple and the community celebrate with dances, food and drink."
Severus's eyes seemed to bore right through Harry. "Yes or no, Harry?"
"Er," said Harry, faking reluctance. "I reckon I have no other option."
~* ~* ~
All the attention Julio and his wife Tlalli devoted to his body was very embarrassing for Harry. Except for that, he was finding the period of preparation for his wedding very relaxing. He could eat only fruits, grains and roots, but he wasn't complaining, because the fruits were delicious. And there were worst ways to spend a hot day like this than being immersed in a bath of aromatic herbs and salts.
When anxiety threatened to get the better of him, Tlalli would come and talk to him. Sometimes she would only say soothing words, calming him; other times, she would give him advice that left him even more concerned and confused. She told him that day, December 31, was not the last one in their calendar, but it was an important day: Miquiztli, which meant Death.
"Miquiztli is the Unknown; all that's veiled by shadows. It's a day of transformations, meaning the brief moment that separates the old endings from the new beginnings."
"And this bird-serpent-god, what's his story?"
"Quetzalcoatl is a unique god in the history of the people of this region, because, unlike the warrior gods, he didn't want human or animal sacrifices; he accepted only offerings of bread, flowers and perfumes. He taught men the smelting of silver and the clearing and setting of precious stones; he taught the craft of building with stones; he taught them how to make statues, and paint signs in books, and keep count of the moons and suns. Later, with the arrival of the warrior gods, he was defeated, banned and, according to some legends, finally took off his bright feather robe, his snakeskin mask and, leaving them on the sand, jumped into an abyss of fire and was reduced to ashes. However, other legends say that, when he arrived on the beach, he sailed away on a raft of serpents, declaring that some day he would return to reclaim his throne. Who knows, maybe you are he? Julio told me you talk to serpents..."
"Did Quetzalcoatl talk to serpents?"
"Probably, since he was one of them! He was a flying serpent."
Time passed slowly, but finally Julio reappeared saying it was time to guide him to the temple. Tlalli gave him a quetzal-feathered robe to put on. She told him that Severus would be wearing a similar robe.
"Green, red, golden... It's only missing the silver," Harry commented.
"Oh, you mean the colours of Gryffindor and Slytherin, don't you? Well, there's a lot of silver in the temple of Quetzalcoatl!" said Julio cheerfully. "You will see."
Julio guided him through a trail through the woods, illuminated by lanterns. They walked for about a mile until a high pyramid of steps with a magnificent temple on its top loomed before them.
Harry counted 64 steps until the top. He saw Severus arriving from the opposite side, led by Tlalli. Harry's heart, which was already beating fast because of the climbing, pounded even stronger and faster in his chest. Severus was dazzling in his colourful robe, and the mere fact that he had agreed to wear it was, for Harry, like a love declaration.
Julio and Tlalli left them alone, and the fiancés entered the temple of Quetzalcoatl, which had been prepared especially for them. There, they would be alone to consummate their union.
The temple was made of silver. Inside, there were four interconnected chambers: the eastern was in gold; the western, in emerald and turquoise; the southern had the walls covered with seashells, and the northern was set with jasper. The chambers were internally separated by arches, but from every point inside the temple the monumental statue of Quetzalcoatl could be seen at its centre.
Harry and Severus needed to consummate their marriage on the altar of Quetzalcoatl, located right at the foot of the colossal statue and covered by a cloth also in the colours of the quetzal.
"Er," said Harry when they arrived in front of the altar. "This is going to be weird."
"It wouldn't be my place of choice, but as you said before, we have no other option," Severus replied, his eyes twinkling. Then Severus became serious, his whole body seeming to tense. "We have to start immediately. It's almost midnight in Scotland, and the Dark Lord can activate the Mark at any time now."
Harry undressed, took off his glasses and climbed onto the altar. Severus took off his colourful robe, lay down on top of Harry, covering him with the whole of his body.
Severus rubbed Harry's sensitive nipples, his hands as gentle as feathers. Harry writhed, and started to lick Severus all over.
"Hmm, you taste so good," said Harry. "I've always liked your taste, but with those oils and aromatic baths, you're absolutely... edible."
"They touched your body..." Severus said, staring at him intensely.
"Of course they did. They touched yours too. I didn't feel jealous, because I knew they were doing this for us."
"I know." Severus gently brushed a wayward lock of hair from Harry's face. "Julio told me we won't need any lubricant, because of the magical preparations we have gone through."
"Did you discuss these details with Julio?"
"Well, I had to ask! Look, are we going to quarrel or..."
"All right, let's do what we have to do."
Severus replied tracing a path with his tongue from Harry's chest to his pubic hair. Then he spread Harry's legs, lifted his balls and started to lick the area behind them.
"Oh... By Quetzalcoatl!" Harry screamed. "This is... too good."
Instead of replying, Severus's tongue seemed to have better things to do. When Harry felt that wet and rigid organ penetrating him and pressing against the walls of his tight hole, he jerked his hips up and cried for real.
When Severus removed his tongue, Harry wanted to protest, but soon Severus was lifting his legs, wrapping them around his waist and filling him more completely. In just one smooth thrust, Severus entered to the root.
"That magical preparation of the Tlamacazqueh works amazingly well..."
They stopped talking, the intense feelings overwhelming them. Their minds entered in sync, and they started to share their thoughts. Severus made love to Harry as slowly as he could. Harry was being taken by a continuous, unending bliss.
Suddenly, however, Severus gasped and seized his left arm with his hand.
Now, Harry. Let's invade his mind.
And the ocean of bliss in which Harry was floating was troubled by a mental battle in which he tried to let himself be guided only by his feelings.
Then Severus's voice raised above everything else, dominating his mind and his body.
"Harry, I love you."
Severus's declaration, at that precise moment, was enough to make Harry believe they could win. Thrusting towards Severus and screaming his love for him, Harry came, felt Severus coming inside him, and a cry of hate and defeat echoed in their united minds at the same time.
~* ~* ~
"That was very weird," said Harry, as soon as he could speak again. "I would rather make love with you without having to kill Dark Lords at the same time."
"We got rid of him, Harry!" Severus flashed a smile - a smile Harry had never seen before. "Look, my Mark has disappeared."
Harry embraced him fiercely. Mixture of sesame seeds with rice, he thought, laughing out loud. "Say it again. Otherwise I'm going to think it was only a Slytherin trick."
"Say what again?"
"That you love me."
"Oh, it was just a Slytherin trick. Obviously."
"Severus..." Harry growled as menacingly as he could.
"Nimitznotlazohtilia," Severus replied.
Harry grimaced. "Right... I have to get used to Nahuatl, since we're going to live here."
But Severus became serious. "We need to talk about that before meeting Julio and his people to celebrate. Do you want to go back to Hogwarts and finish your studies?"
"Only if you decide to go back. I'd rather stay here. I don't want to be an Auror any more. I want to live in peace, with you."
"Are you sure? It would take you just a year and a half."
"A year and a half having to hide our relationship? No way. Now we're married. I just..." Harry hesitated.
"I just don't want to lose contact completely with Ron and Hermione."
"This is... resolvable. The natives of the Island are afraid of owls, so they don't use them to deliver messages; you can't use quetzals either, because they are sacred animals. I believe, however, that you can send them a crow inviting them to visit us. Provided they don't stay for long," Severus added.
"And how are we going to earn a living here?"
"We will have to find another place to live; we can't stay forever in Dumbledore's house. But life here is very cheap. I can sell potions. And... I was thinking... I even talked to Julio about it..."
"Spit it out, Severus! I've never seen you stuttering like this."
"What if we founded a School of Magic here?"
"I could teach Defence Against the Dark Arts!"
Severus glared at him. "You know that subject is jinxed, don't you?"
"I bet it was you who jinxed it..."
Severus ignored the challenge. "In fact, I was thinking about a teaching method adapted to the local customs. Everybody would have class together, without a rigid separation of subjects. You, Julio, Tlalli, myself and perhaps some other wizards selected by Julio would be the co-ordinators. We would teach the themes of most interest to the local people."
"Wicked! But would you like a style of teaching so..."
"Unorthodox? Why not? I have always hated Hogwarts' bureaucracy. There, we have to deal with dunderheads who are not interested in the subjects, and there is no worse situation for a professor. Here, those who are not interested don't need to participate."
"A free school."
"Free as the quetzals. Free as this island."
"Perfect!" Harry exclaimed.
Severus jumped from the altar and pulled Harry by his hand. "So let's get dressed and celebrate the end of our nightmare and our new beginning."
A few minutes later, Severus and Harry walked hand in hand to the door of the temple, under the magnificent shadow of Quetzalcoatl, the god of resurrection.
Ptyx, February 2005