It was amidst the ruins of the house where Harry's parents had lived, in Godric's Hollow, that Harry found the photo that would change his life.
The dirty, wrinkled, yellowed photo showed Harry's mother, Lily, embracing Snape. The two of them looked happy and very intimate.
For many days Harry thought about the photo with a fanatical persistence. Why hadn't anyone told him that his mother and Snape had been friends, perhaps lovers? That question was invariably followed by a more disturbing one: What if Snape was his father?
That seemed impossible... Everybody had always said that Harry looked like James Potter. However, the more Harry had learned about James, the less he had identified with him. Every time someone said he was "just like James", Harry rolled his eyes and thought, "no, you don't understand, I'm not like him. He was a pampered, popular boy. I had to starve and sleep in a cupboard, and I just became famous because of something I don't even remember having done. Besides, I never was really popular, I was just famous. I have very little to do with James."
What if Dumbledore had developed a plan to disguise Harry and had cast a spell on him so that he looked like James and not Snape? A glamour, or whatever. Dumbledore knew things nobody else knew.
Harry told Ron and Hermione about his concerns. They tried to convince him he couldn't be Snape's son. Ron was adamant: Harry and Snape were as different as night and day.
The more Harry thought about that, the more he disagreed with Ron. The more he thought about Snape, the more Harry realised how alike they were.
It hadn't been by chance that he had identified himself with the Half-Blood Prince, as if they were old, familiar friends. The Half-Blood Prince's humour, his sardonic comments, his unexpected, creative ways of solving problems... wasn't Harry like that, too?
He's grudging and vengeful. You aren't, said an inner voice.
Well, Harry knew how to hold grudges too - against the Dursleys and against the Slytherins, for instance. The fact that they were bullies was no excuse, because the Marauders had bullied Snape too.
As for not being vengeful, Harry remembered very well how much he had wanted to revenge himself on Sirius when he thought he was the traitor, the one responsible for his parents' deaths. He also remembered the rage he had felt against Snape after he had seen him killing Dumbledore. If Harry had as much magical ability as Snape back then, he would have killed Snape. Out of sheer hate and revenge.
The more Harry thought, the more he was convinced that Snape - the real traitor, the murderer of Dumbledore - was his father.
Harry had nightmares featuring Snape. In one of them, Snape approached in a chariot drawn by twelve skeleton horses. With the sceptre in his hand, Snape struck the bony backs of his steeds. Snape stood erect, his shroud flapping behind him in billowy folds, his eyes flaming as he cried in joy and triumph.
Harry was obsessed. He would often go to Godric's Hollow and roam the ruins of his parents' house, searching the ashes for hidden secrets. One day he saw a shadow looming on the walls. When Harry turned to see who it was, he couldn't see anyone - only a piece of parchment floating in the air. Harry approached and read the parchment: it contained the location of one of the Horcruxes. Harry recognised the Half-Blood Prince's handwriting at once, but the parchment caught fire and vanished as soon as he finished reading it.
The clue was a genuine one and led to the discovery of the third Horcrux, the Hufflepuff's cup, at the Lestranges' manor. To his astonishment, Snape was secretly helping him.
Harry went back to Godric's Hollow every single day, hoping to meet Snape.
He didn't have to wait too long. The object of his obsession Apparated into the hall of the house, his arms crossed in front of his chest.
"Don't you realise you are putting your life at risk by coming here alone every day? You may be ambushed."
Harry produced from his pocket the photo that had been tormenting him for weeks and showed it to Snape. Snape tried to fetch it; Harry quickly withdrew his hand. "How do you explain this?"
Snape's eyes seemed to bore into his soul. "Your mother was my friend. Do you find me unworthy of her friendship?"
"You don't fool me. I know you're my father."
Snape's face showed surprise and suspicion. Harry wouldn't let himself me fooled or intimidated: he sustained Snape's stare.
"You are mistaken," said Snape, still staring at him.
Harry shrugged. "You can deny it. I don't care. I don't need you."
"Listen, Potter, this is a dangerous place. If you want to continue this conversation, give me your arm and I shall side-Apparate you to a safer place."
Curiosity plagued Harry. Perhaps Snape would end up confessing. But he didn't trust Snape. "How can I know that you won't take me to your Dark Lord?"
"Don't be an idiot."
"I don't trust you."
Snape let out an exasperated groan. "Then go away and don't come back. If you believe I could take you to the Dark Lord, you are in danger right now."
Maybe it was the drive of always wanting to contradict Snape, or maybe Harry had started to trust him now that he knew he was his father. Whatever were his reasons, Harry stretched his hand out to Snape, and the latter hooked his arm around Harry's.
Harry found himself in a Potions laboratory inside a large cavern. It looked like Snape's office had been moved into a mountain cave: the walls were lined with jars of snakes, spiders and scorpions, worktables covered by all kinds of herbs, animal bones and other nasty things, and cauldrons were scattered everywhere. On the left side, on a high perch, there was a phoenix.
"Is it Fawkes?" asked Harry.
Snape narrowed his eyes at him. "Don't ask me questions I can't answer."
"Do you live here?"
"This is just one of my hiding places."
It was creepy. On the right side, there was a bed. In the same corner where the phoenix was, on the left side, there was a desk, a chair and an armchair. Snape summoned the chair from behind the desk and transfigured it into another armchair.
"Have a seat," said Snape, sitting in the armchair facing the one he was indicating for Harry to sit down in.
"I had to bring you here to convince you to stop running useless risks. The house where your parents lived in Godric's Hollow is being watched."
"So... I don't understand."
"If he suspects I am not following his orders; if he realises I
am not reporting to him what you have been doing and that, on the contrary,
we have been talking quite amicably, I believe even you realise that my
position will be seriously compromised."
"And if he suspects me, he will send another spy to watch me."
"Ah. I get it."
"Now tell me. What is this nonsense about me being your father?"
"Well, I saw the photo, and then I started to think. You being my father explains everything. It explains why, in spite of all, you try and protect me, and why I'm not like James Potter at all."
Snape smirked. "So you think you resemble me?"
Harry sighed. "Unfortunately... yes."
"Your self-esteem must be very low these days..."
"All right, mock me, humiliate me. But don't dare deny it."
Snape arched an eyebrow, then looked thoughtful. "What if I am your father? How would that change our relationship? Would you respect me?"
Harry frowned. "You're trying to manipulate me. Are you going to admit you're my father or not?"
"You will have to accept me as I am. I will not change just because your views on me have changed. Are you willing to respect me and listen to what I have to say? I can teach you many things, if you are truly interested."
It was a seductive offer. Snape was a powerful wizard. And if he really was Harry's father, of course he would want to pass on his knowledge to his son.
"I don't know. I can try."
"I will accept this vague statement, for now." Snape stood up, walked to his desk and came back with a map. "This is the location of this cavern. Look at the map and memorise it. It is under the Forbidden Forest. You may Apparate here whenever you want."
"Whenever I want?"
"You will never know if you will find me here, though. If I am working when you arrive, I will want your assistance. Come whenever you want, but not after midnight, unless it's an urgent matter. After all, contrarily to the legend, I do sleep at night."
Harry had to smile. Snape's sense of humour was peculiar, and Harry, for the first time, realised he appreciated it when he wasn't in its line of fire.
The next afternoon, when Harry Apparated into Snape's cavern, he found Snape stirring a potion.
"Why do you call me that?"
"What do you want to be called? Snape?"
Harry grimaced. Then he shrugged. "Harry."
"You don't intend to call me 'father', or God forbid me, 'dad', do you?"
"Er, no. I don't think I'd be able to."
"I'm relieved to know. You realise that addressing each other informally might be a dangerous idea?"
Harry let out a long sigh. "Yeah."
"I hope you understand this is the reason why I will keep calling you 'Potter'."
"Do you want me to call you 'Professor Snape'?"
"No. Formally speaking, you are not my student any more."
"So what should I call you?"
"Do you really need to call me by name?"
Harry frowned, and then shrugged again.
"Now that we have solved this complex issue, I would like to ask you a favour. Go to that cupboard on the back wall, take two bat wings and chop them into small pieces on this worktable."
Harry obediently followed Snape's instructions.
When the potion was finished, Snape washed his hands in a wall sink and ordered Harry to do the same.
"If you agree, I would like to train you in duelling."
"I will not make it easy for you. You will suffer, but not as much as if the Dark Lord were your opponent."
Harry sighed. "I reckon you're right. I have to practise."
"Very well. Come here. There is a hidden door on this wall, leading to other parts of the cavern." Snape touched the stone wall with his wand and the rocks moved back. The two of them entered a dark corridor. "To the right is the bathroom door. To the left is the room where we will practise. Come in. There's nothing in it, just rocks." They entered a rounded niche about 15 feet wide. "First I want you to practise non-verbal spells. We will not practise anything else until you have mastered non-verbal spells."
During a couple of hours, Snape practically slaughtered him, hitting him with every nasty spell he knew, with the exception of the Unforgivables. For the first time in his life Harry felt he deserved the epithet "The-Boy-Who-Lived" and was happy just to have survived. Snape didn't look happy, but then again, when had Snape looked happy?
When Snape called the practice over, he handed Harry a towel and told him to go and have a bath.
The bath was in rustic marble, and the cold water seemed to come from the bottom of the cavern, but it was crystalline. Harry warmed it with a hot water charm. There was a phial on the edge of the bath. Snape had told him to pour about one inch of its content into the water. Harry did so and stepped into the bath.
A scent of roses, mingled with a fragrance Harry couldn't identify, enveloped him. The bath was so relaxing Harry almost fell asleep. When he stepped out a few minutes later and put on a white nightshirt Snape had transfigured for him, he felt cosy and refreshed.
Snape was waiting for him with tea and scones. They didn't talk during tea, and when they finished it Snape told him to change his clothes and leave, because it wouldn't be wise for Harry to disappear for too long.
Harry caught himself feeling disappointed for not being able to stay longer, and then surprised himself again by feeling happy just because Snape said, "See you tomorrow," when he was about to leave.
They followed a similar routine during the next week. When Harry arrived, either Snape would take him directly to the duelling room, or they would work on potions for some time before starting practice. Curiously, Harry liked it best when he arrived and found Snape working on potions. He was discovering that focusing on the ingredients and the preparing of a potion was a relaxing experience. During those few minutes, Harry could forget about his problems.
During the duelling practice, however, Harry hated Snape with all his heart, and Snape seemed to strive to be hated. But at the end of practise, when they would go and have tea, Snape looked calm and even friendly, in his Snapish way. At those moments, Snape's mood would only change if Harry asked him personal questions. Every time Harry had tried, the reaction had been the same: Snape had closed off and claimed he couldn't tell Harry more than Harry already knew.
The day Harry asked him about Dumbledore, Snape's reaction was the worst possible. "You were there. You saw what happened."
"But... I don't know the reasons for what I saw. I know you're not on Voldemort's side. You've proved that."
Snape shuddered visibly. "You insist on saying his name."
"You've never explained to me why I shouldn't say it. Dumbledore told me..."
"I know what Dumbledore told you. But it's different. He is... he was the most powerful wizard in the world."
"All right." Harry wasn't going to give up so easily. He was starting to get used to Snape's techniques for dodging questions. "I know you didn't kill Dumbledore out of malice or hate or treason, or even just because of the Unbreakable Vow. I just wanted to know why you did it."
"I can't tell you now."
"Is it because I haven't learned Occlumency that you can't tell me?"
"Let's change the subject, Potter."
About two weeks after they had started the duel practice, Harry surprised Snape by casting a non-verbal Blasting Curse that sent Snape against the wall. Snape fell to the ground, unconscious.
Harry ran towards Snape and knelt beside him. Blood flowed down Snape's head, soaking his hair. Harry didn't know what to do.
"Episkey," he murmured, touching Snape's head with the tip of his wand.
Blood stopped flowing, but Snape didn't regain consciousness.
"Talk to me, please," said Harry in an anxious tone.
Finally, Snape opened his eyes. "Ah... You caught me by surprise."
"Is there anything I can do for you? Do you have a potion or something?"
"I can't move my hand. Point your wand to my head and chant the healing spell with me."
Harry rested the tip of his wand on Snape's head and did his best to imitate Snape's chant. In the beginning, he was sure he was chanting it all wrong. But after a while he felt his hand vibrating, and magic flowing from it to Snape. The spell he was chanting reverberated in his own body, making him feel lighter.
Snape's face looked peaceful now. "You can stop now." Snape reached out and held Harry's arm. "You will be a good healer, Harry."
It had been the first time that Snape had called him Harry, and the first time he had complimented him. Harry felt proud and happy.
Snape stood up. "Let's call it a day."
"It was horrible," said Harry. "I think I'll never want to duel with you again."
Snape scowled at him. "Don't be foolish. If my life had been at risk... the phoenix would have come to aid me. I have to concede you a point: now you have moved to another stage; you are a dangerous opponent. We will stop the duelling practice for a time and I will teach you healing spells."
Instead of using animals in their healing lessons, as Harry had thought they would, Snape inflicted small injuries to himself. Healing spells required a great mental concentration, and when they chanted them together, a bond was formed between them. Harry felt very close to Snape at those moments.
"Was it Dumbledore who taught you all these spells?" asked Harry, during a break for rest.
Snape nodded silently.
"You must have been very close. As master and pupil, I mean."
Their eyes met, and Harry felt a deep affection for Snape. It was natural, wasn't it? After all, Snape was his father. And his master.
One night, Harry woke up in Snape's bed. He tried to remember how he had got there. He remembered he had felt a deep calm at the end of the healing lessons. Probably he had fallen asleep. He lifted his head, lit the tip of his wand and saw Snape sleeping in a bed at the opposite side of the cavern.
Harry smiled and snuggled under the blankets again.
Severus kept one of the many rooms of his cavern for his pleasure fantasies. In his almost 40 years of celibacy, Severus had had enough time and creativity to transform masturbation into an art form.
Severus's hidden crypt was magically prepared to respond to his desires. That night he had a Gothic cathedral ceiling, the stalactites forming intricate vaults and arches. The suspended candles created lights and shadows in strategic corners, and a few crystal gems on the walls produced beautiful rainbows. However, not everything was beautiful and pleasant. Contorted stalactites formed eerie and repulsive shapes. Moss covered the stones. A red lantern hanging on the extremity of a pole swung its carcass to and fro in the four winds' whipping, above a massive and worm-eaten door. Everything inside that crypt testified to Severus's impotent rage, and the passion to attain the infinite by even the craziest means.
On the floor, a satin bed tinged his delirium in tones of red.
Severus loved to taste his own blood. Oh, how sweet it was, to sink his teeth into his own palpitating flesh! After having nourished himself abundantly on the globules of that sacred blood, Severus briskly tore off his mauve tunic, freeing his body from any constraints.
Severus's hand traced elegant and capricious arabesques across his chest and down to the curls of hair that surrounded his cock. Skirting his erection, deft fingers brushed his balls, searching for his most hidden cavern, and plunged into its mysterious depths. He had tested many kinds of dildos, but nothing gave him as much pleasure as his own long, skilful fingers. His left hand curled around his turgid cock.
A mist of fragrant vapours filled the crypt and vines of Devil's Snare sprouted from the ground and embraced him, entwining around his legs and arms and chest, creating incomparable voluptuous pleasures. His nerves were melting. Magic poppies enveloped his senses like a thin veil. Delicate tendrils teased his nipples. As he lost himself in his sensual movements, a burning fire flowing through his veins, the universe, with its starry vault of mysterious globes, exploded like a torrent of molten lava. In the paroxysm of ecstasy, his chest constricted, his lips opened slightly and he uttered a piercing cry as every fibre of his body convulsed.
It had happened again: Harry had fallen asleep in the armchair at the end of the healing spells lesson. Severus lifted him in his arms and shuddered to feel the young man's body against his own - the firm, smooth flesh, the arms that grabbed him instinctively like tendrils, the pale face and the rosy lips which probably would have a bittersweet taste like everything in that impossible boy.
This was becoming a nightmare. It had begun as a mere misunderstanding which Severus, in a very Slytherin way, used to make Harry accept him as his mentor. Eventually the lie turned upon himself... Severus was accustomed to be respected and feared, but not trusted the way Harry trusted him. There had been moments when he had wanted it to be true: he had wanted to be Harry's father. But then something even worse had happened, and he had found himself attracted to the young man in a most unfatherly way...
Severus carried Harry over to his bed and lay him down on it. He didn't dare take off Harry's clothes - he had never dared to. He just took off Harry's glasses and shoes, and covered him up.
In order to teach healing spells, the master had to open his soul to the pupil and share his mind and his magic with him. At those moments, Severus had to be closer to Harry, for that was necessary for the transmission of knowledge. It wasn't easy, later, to distance himself from Harry again. Severus knew he should try, but the desire to be close was stronger than himself.
When Harry would sleep over in the cavern, Severus wouldn't go to the crypt. But the worst part was that Harry's image haunted Severus's nights of pleasure in the crypt. Severus refused to masturbate with Harry's image in his mind. That whole situation was driving him crazy.
One night Severus had a particularly painful meeting with the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters. The Dark Lord had been suspicious and displeased because he wanted to finish with Harry Potter once and for all, and found his plans constantly thwarted. Severus was the main target of his displeasure.
When Severus arrived in his cavern, he was surprised to find Harry waiting for him. He had expected Harry to appear, of course, but he had never imagined that Harry would wait for him: the meeting had lasted more than three hours.
As Severus entered, Harry ran towards him. Severus, tired and vulnerable, allowed himself to open his arms to Harry, who embraced him eagerly. Severus buried his face in the curve of Harry's throat, inhaling the characteristic scent of the young wizard. Soon, his body reacted to the feeling of being in contact with the object of his desires, and Severus had to push Harry away. Severus saw Harry blushing and knew Harry had noticed his arousal.
Severus was exhausted and desperate. He couldn't stand it any more. "Don't do that again, Potter."
"But... why? I was worried, and was happy to see you arriving. You're my father and..."
"I'm not your father. This is a fantasy you created. I'm sorry to disappoint you."
"What are you saying? What about the photo and... everything?"
"The way you've been treating me, everything you've taught me, everything we've been doing together!"
"All those things are real, but your fantasy about me being your father isn't. James must have been rolling over in his grave all this time. I admit the idea that you chose me instead of him makes me feel revenged and even proud. But I can't go on with this farce."
"You're lying! Why're you doing this to me?"
"How dare you call me a liar? I will not be spoken to like that. There's nothing else to be said."
"Let's say I believe you believe what you're saying. How can you know I'm not your son?"
"Potter, I never slept with Lily. As a matter of fact, if you want to know the truth, I have never slept with any woman," Severus snapped, walking past Harry and to the bathroom.
Nervous, Severus turned on the bath tap and poured a few drops of the cleansing potion containing the essences of roses and vetiver, and stepped into the water, planning to stay there for a long time, until he could feel calm again.
When he finished his bath, about half an hour later, Harry was gone. Severus thought he would never see him again.
The next evening, however, Harry came back. He was obviously pretending to ignore what Severus had told him and planning to go on as if nothing had happened. Severus didn't know if that was a good idea or not.
During the whole week, they tried to pretend nothing had changed. It wasn't difficult when they were working together on potions or practising duels (they were practising duels again). But when they were just taking a rest or having tea, it was hard to hide the embarrassment.
One evening, Severus was busy making tea when their eyes met. Harry's eyes sparkled so brightly that Severus blinked.
"I like to watch you working. I like to look at you."
Severus's heart beat faster, and he was left speechless.
"You told me you've never slept with a woman. So I guess you're gay."
"Mr Potter, that is none of your business."
"I'm sorry, I... can't talk about those things with anyone else."
"Talk to your friends. I'm not your father."
"I thought you were my friend."
Oh, God. Severus felt caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. "I don't think anything positive will come out of this conversation," he said sternly.
Harry lowered his head. Severus swallowed hard and bitterly. He picked up the teapot and poured tea for two. They ate in silence. When they had finished, Harry said goodbye and left, as he usually did.
The following morning, Severus woke up with someone lying next to him. Or rather snuggling him. "What... Potter!"
"Not Potter: Harry."
"What are you... doing... here?"
"I thought that was rather obvious," said Harry, lifting his head and slowly approaching his face.
Severus grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and dragged him away. "Have you lost your mind completely?"
"Yes, but I want you just the same."
Severus smirked. "Coherency has never been your forte."
Harry laughed. "Yeah, I guess you're right."
"There is something I need to tell you."
"I guess I'm not going to like it."
"I am not gay."
"I know what you thought. When I told you I had never slept with a woman, you inferred I was gay. But I have never slept with a man either."
Harry looked dejected. "But I decided to be gay just because of you!"
Severus scowled at him. "You can't decide to be gay!"
Why not, indeed?
"Because that's not how desire works."
"So you never desired anyone?"
"I never needed anyone besides myself."
"That's a lie. I can feel you want me."
Severus stood up abruptly, leaving Harry alone in his bed. He walked to his desk, opened a drawer and produced a wooden box. Then he walked back to the foot of the bed, opened the box and handed it to Harry. "Look."
Inside the box, a turmoil of repulsive myriapods and arachnids - among them, a scorpion.
"Charming, aren't they? If the box stays open, they will go out and infest the place."
The scorpion tried to leave the box.
"Go back to the darkness!" said Severus to the insects, shutting the box. Then he turned to Harry. "These animals should be kept inside their boxes. They should never see the light. We must leave to night what belongs to the night."
Harry was staring at him, bewildered. "You want to push me away... because you're afraid of what you have inside of you. Is that it?"
Severus didn't reply. Keep yourself at a suitable distance, for I myself don't know how to resist my passions any more.
Harry sat on the edge of the bed, looking lost. Then he looked up at Severus again. "I'll make tea."
When they finished tea, Severus saw Harry walking to his desk and producing the wooden box from the drawer. Severus ran towards him, but by the time he had approached Harry, he already had a scorpion on his palm.
"Have you gone insane?"
"I'm not afraid, Severus."
"Put it down immediately."
"Only if you promise you're going to give me a chance."
Severus was terrified. He didn't have the antidote to the poison of that scorpion. He could make it, but it would take too long. "Harry!"
Only then did Severus realise Harry had the scorpion under Imperius. His young pupil had cast a non-verbal Imperius, something that Severus had never taught him. The scorpion obediently returned to the box, and Harry shut it.
Severus gave him his hand, and Harry held it as a child holding his father's hand. It was a weird moment to feel paternal, now that Harry had convinced him to become his lover.
"Come with me. I shall take you to my... little box," said Severus, the habitual sarcasm tinged with resignation. Severus opened the door to the corridor and led Harry to another door, on left. "Take off your shoes."
Harry obeyed. Severus also took off his shoes before opening the door for Harry.
The dark crypt, lit only by a few candles hanging from the Gothic arches, enveloped them like a cocoon.
Harry smiled and stretched out his hand to Severus. When Severus held it, Harry pulled him downwards, and the two of them fell on the soft mattress covered by red satin sheets.
"I expected green sheets," Harry commented.
"Do you prefer green?"
"Red is good enough for me. Can I touch you?"
"You will do only what I want you to do," said Severus, implacable.
"Okay. But... I don't know what you want me to do."
"If you do something I dislike, I shall let you know."
Severus brushed Harry's fringe off his forehead with trembling hands, fearing to meet his eyes. Harry approached his face. This time Severus didn't push him away; he gently held Harry's nape and closed his eyes. Their lips touched very softly. Severus opened his mouth to let Harry's tongue in, and their tongues met.
It wasn't the first time that Severus had been kissed, but it was the first time he enjoyed the experience. An intense heat coiled in his groin. Yes, it was happening. For the first time in his life, Severus wanted someone who was in his arms, not just in his imagination.
Severus's hands tangled into Harry's soft and rebel hair. Lips nibbled and sucked greedily. The mattress beneath them dissolved into flowers, their petals covering them with their softness and fragrance.
"This place is magic," whispered Harry.
Severus corrected him. "We are magic."
Severus took off Harry's glasses and searched his eyes, wanting to be sure he wasn't afraid or feeling any distress. Harry's eyes were unfocused as they gazed up at him. He looked so eager, so needy, so unmistakably aroused that Severus's cock throbbed at the sight of him.
"Off with your robes," said Severus.
"Only if you take yours off too," answered Harry.
Severus hesitated. Would Harry be disappointed in his naked body? Severus wanted that awkward moment to end as soon as possible, so he got rid of his robes with a Banishing Charm. When he turned to Harry and saw him in his underpants, Severus felt a tingle in his groin. Harry wasn't handsome or attractive in the usual sense, but he was exactly how Severus had dreamed he would be. And he was just what Severus wanted.
"Come here," was all Severus managed to say.
He didn't have to have said anything. Their bodies sought each other like rain to parched earth.
Harry whimpered. "Gods, I want you."
Severus mapped the shape of the young man in his arms, moving his hands with surety, massaging his shoulders, feeling his firm muscles. Eager fingertips raked down Harry's back, from the sharp shoulder blades to the softness of buttocks. Severus leaned down and flicked his tongue over a velvety nipple. He heard a tiny gasp and Harry's whole body arched delicately towards him. The kissing became urgent. In a trance of pleasure, they rolled on petals of roses and wisterias.
"Would you let me taste your blood?" asked Severus.
"What? So you really are a vampire?"
"No." Severus's lips curled in a crooked smile. "This is just a..."
"I won't hurt you. If you want, I can erase the mark later."
No one could deny that Harry was a brave young man. Severus lay on top of him and sank his teeth into the tender flesh of his neck. Harry jerked and let out a soft cry, perhaps in pain, perhaps just in surprise, but then relaxed as Severus sucked the thick blood that spurted out, sweeter and warmer than his own.
Harry was sensuously writhing beneath him when Severus closed the cut and slid a hand into Harry's underpants to stroke him. The silky flesh moulded effortlessly to Severus's hand, and Severus curled his fingers around it, sliding the foreskin up and then down again.
"Do you like that?" Severus asked, his voice sounding hoarse and needy.
"Yesss," Harry answered, and smoothed his fingertips over Severus's erection through the thin fabric of his underpants.
Severus let out an involuntary groan and arched into the touch, and Harry drew out Severus's hardened cock, stroking him with more confidence.
"Oh, Harry, this is so good," said Severus, crushing and rubbing their cocks against each other. "Press me against you, and don't be afraid that you'll hurt me."
Harry nibbled at his earlobe and licked the shell of his ear. Harry's
musky scent mingled with his own, intoxicating Severus. They both thrust
against each other, hands stroking faster and faster to orgasm.
Severus was caught by surprise by Harry's tenderness and by his own response to it. Usually when he made love to himself he summoned plants and visions to stimulate himself. With Harry... Harry was enough. If Severus had known it could be like that, he would have tried it before. But maybe that was his fate, having to wait for someone like Harry to share these sensations with him.
"Severus, that was amazing. And beautiful."
"I know. I'm a masturbation Master."
Harry's twinkling laughter filled the crypt. "You're nuts."
"I warned you before."
"I know very little about you, but I feel safe with you."
"You are nuts too."
They stayed quiet for some time. Harry was too contemplative for Severus's tastes.
"What is it?"
"Hermione reckons I might be one of Voldemort's Horcruxes," Harry blurted out.
Severus started. "How can this be?"
"She thinks he might have created a Horcrux the day he killed my parents in Godric's Hollow."
"This is a highly improbable hypothesis."
Harry stayed silent. Severus pulled his face away to stare at him. Harry had a distant look on his face.
"Is this the reason for your suicidal behaviour today?" asked Severus.
"What suicidal behaviour? Oh... No, don't worry. I'm not suicidal."
"I hope so. Don't have stupid ideas. I'm very protective of what is mine."
Harry's eyes met Severus's again. Now they had a dreamy look. "I know."
"Don't worry, Harry. We can work this out. Together."
Ptyx, March 2006