Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Rating: NC17

Notes: This is *extremely* AU. It's set in Harry and Company's seventh year, and it assumes that Voldemort has been defeated entirely at this point. An "Oh, brilliant, it only took half a year to kill him for good, so we've got the rest of the year off from Battling Utter Evil" sort of thing. Sirius has been exonerated, and he's the DADA teacher for the year.

Text appearing in single quotes ' ' within double quotes " " indicates dialogue quoted directly from the orignal play. Lines have been cut and/or edited for clarity or brevity in places, but otherwise, all dialogue is verbatim.

Too Wise To Woo Peaceably

Chapter Five

By JayKay


"'You come hither, my lord, to marry this lady'." Diminutive Professor Flitwick was playing the Friar performing the marriage ceremony between Hero and Claudio, and he stood on a footstool in front of Colin and Ron.

Colin darted shy, adoring looks at Ron, who refused to look at his "bride," his face set in resolute lines of anger.

"'No'," he replied stiffly, earning confused looks from everyone around him, except Sirius, who, having witnessed Draco's set-up, appeared equally grim.

Dumbledore laughed and tried to pass it off as a joke. "'To be married to her: friar, you come to marry her'."

Flitwick nodded, smiling with relief, and continued with the ceremony. "'If either of you know any inward impediment why you should not be conjoined, charge you, on your souls, to utter it'." He looked as if he was going to keep on speaking, but Ron held up his hand and finally turned to Colin.

"'Know you any, Hero'?" he asked, his voice hard and cold, and Colin stared at him, bewildered and a little frightened.

"'None, my lord'," Colin whispered, eyes wide and full of alarm at this strange turn of events in what should have been a joyous occasion.

Ron gazed at Colin, then turned abruptly away as if the sight disgusted him. "'Stand thee by, friar. Father, by your leave: Will you with free and unconstrained soul give me this maid, your daughter'?" he asked Dumbledore, who was also growing concerned.

"'As freely, son, as God did give her me," Dumbledore replied, his voice revealing his uncertainty.

With a harsh cry, Ron grabbed Colin's arms and shoved him towards Dumbledore, making Colin stumble, and Dumbledore reached out and caught him, holding him close as if protecting him.

"'There, Leonato, take her back again'!" Ron exclaimed, his face ravaged with pain. "'Give not this rotten orange to your friend; she's but the sign and semblance of her honour. Behold how like a maid she blushes here! O, what authority and show of truth can cunning sin cover itself withal! Comes not that blood as modest evidence to witness simple virtue? Would you not swear, all you that see her, that she were a maid, by these exterior shows? But she is none: she knows the heat of a luxurious bed. Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty'."

Colin gasped and hid his face against Dumbledore's shoulder, but Dumbledore divided his attention between Ron and Colin, obviously not understanding what was going on.

"'What do you mean, my lord'?" he asked Ron at last.

"'Not to be married'," Ron snarled. "'Not to knit my soul to an approved wanton'."

Colin whirled to face Ron, visibly shocked, and Dumbledore looked horrified. "'Dear my lord, if you, in your own proof, have vanquished the resistance of her youth, and made defeat of her virginity'--" he stammered, trying to come up with some kind of reasonable explanation, but Ron cut him off.

"'I know what you would say: if I have known her, you will say she did embrace me as a husband, and so extenuate the 'forehand sin. No, Leonato, I never tempted her with word too large, but, as a brother to his sister, showed bashful sincerity and comely love'."

"'And seemed I ever otherwise to you'?" Colin cried, weeping and clinging to Dumbledore; Harry, who was one of the bridal attendants, watched the scene play out with growing trepidation. Everyone else was doing just fine with the drama, but he wasn't so sure about his own ability to react realistically in the serious scene he had coming up. Comic banter was one thing, but being emotional... well, that was a bit harder to manage.

It also didn't help that Snape was standing nearby, and Harry felt as if he'd become preternaturally aware of the man, some bizarre form of Snape-dar kicking in whenever Snape so much as shifted stances.

The scene continued with Ron accusing Colin of being seen with another man, when actually it had been Hero's maidservant, Margaret, who had been spotted in the tryst. Overcome with emotion, Colin fainted as Ron and Sirius stormed off in a self-righteous huff with Draco following them and smirking over the trouble he had caused, and Harry rushed to Colin's side to begin his part in the scene.

"'Cousin'!" he cried, falling to his knees beside Colin. "'Wherefore sink you down? Dead, I think. Help, uncle! Hero! why, Hero! Uncle! Signior Benedick! Friar'!"

Lifting one hand to his forehead, Colin stirred, and Harry helped him sit up, cradling him in his arms and rocking him soothingly as he began to weep again. Dumbledore stormed over, his blue eyes snapping with wrath, and he grabbed Colin's arm in a vise-like grip, hauled him to his feet and threw him half-way across the stage. Snape tried to stop Dumbledore, but the older man shrugged him off and raced over to Colin, slapping him when he tried to rise again, and Harry scrambled to come between them, trying to shield Colin from Dumbledore with his own body.

It was almost frightening, seeing Dumbledore like this again, even though it was only pretend this time. The first time Harry had ever seen him angry -- truly angry -- had been a terrifying sight, and he'd vowed never to underestimate the venerable wizard again. That day had driven it home that there was a reason why Dumbledore was considered one of the most powerful Wizards in the world, and why Voldemort had feared him. His cheerful, mild exterior hid the heart of a warrior who could be ruthless in his own way, if necessary, and one whose anger it wasn't wise to provoke.

"'Do not live, Hero; do not open thine eyes'!" Dumbeldore roared, trying to shove Harry out of the way so he could get to Colin, but Harry refused to budge, and Snape finally got a firm grip on Dumbledore's arms and pulled him backwards. "'Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes? Why had I not with charitable hand took up a beggar's issue at my gates, who smirch'd thus and mired with infamy, I might have said 'No part of it is mine. This shame derives itself from unknown loins'? But mine and mine I loved and mine I praised and mine that I was proud on, mine so much that I myself was to myself not mine, valuing of her,--why, she, O, she is fallen into a pit of ink, that the wide sea hath drops too few to wash her clean again and salt too little which may season give to her foul-tainted flesh'!"

"Sir, sir, be patient. For my part, I am so attired in wonder, I know not what to say," Snape told him, trying to calm him a little, but Dumbledore wouldn't be calmed, and both Colin and Harry cast him grateful looks, glad that there was someone who wasn't going to jump to conclusions about Hero's guilt.

"Would the two princes lie, and Claudio lie, who loved her so, that, speaking of her foulness, wash'd it with tears? Hence from her! let her die'!" Dumbledore snarled.

As Harry continued to comfort Colin, Snape and Flitwick managed to calm Dumbledore down enough to realize there was something suspicious about the whole thing, and some investigation was in order. Flitwick suggested that Dumbledore let it be known that Colin had not just swooned, but had died, and while he was "dead," the rest of them would try to figure out what had happened. Broken and weary, Dumbledore agreed and retreated from the stage, and Flitwick led Colin away, helping support him as he went into hiding within his quarters, to remain there until his name was cleared.

That left Harry and Snape alone onstage to enact the most serious scene between their characters thus far, and before they could even get started, Harry called a time-out.

"I'm not sure I can do this," he told Hermione. "I feel a little silly, getting so dramatic. I mean, I'm not really supposed to cry, am I?"

"No, but you do need to take this seriously, Harry," she told him. "It's the turning point of the play. Everything's been fun and games up until now, but here we get into the conflict and the drama which will take us to the resolution."

"I'm not sure..." He shook his head, trailing off.

"Try relating Beatrice's situation to your own life somehow," Hermione suggested. "Think about how she must feel: her cousin has been wrongly accused, and there's nothing she can do about it. She wants to do something -- anything -- to clear Hero's name, but there's nothing she can do. She's helpless."

"All right, I'll try it," Harry said resolutely.

With an encouraging smile, Hermione retreated to one side again, and Harry squared his shoulders, thinking about Beatrice and Hero, and trying to find some basis of relating. It turned out not to be difficult at all. All he had to do was think about the last seven years... or even the last seven months, when everything had come to a boiling point.

So many dead... Remus Lupin dying in Dumbledore's arms... Neville gone in the blast of a Death Eater's wand, valiently shielding Harry and Sirius with his own body in an effort to gain them desperately needed time... Percy, poor shocked and innocent Percy... So many gone... So many who should have been in the theater, in the school with them, but weren't, and he had been helpless to save them.

Oh, yes, he understood all too well how Beatrice must have felt.

"'Is that not approved in the height a villain, that hath slandered, scorned, dishonored my kinswoman'?"

Murdered my family, my friends?

"'O, that I were a man'!" Tears stung Harry's eyes as he roared out his pain. "'What, bear her in hand until they come to take hands, and then, with public accusation, uncovered slander, unmitigated rancor--'"

Cut them down, burned them, with no pity or mercy or regard for age, just endless, senseless slaughter...

"'O, God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the marketplace'!"

Harry fell to his knees, sobbing; his breath scalded his lungs, and his eyes burned with the tears he fought not to shed. But then he felt someone's presence close by, felt someone kneeling beside him, felt an arm around his shoulders, and the tears could be resisted no longer. Harry wept, for the lost friends, for the family he never knew, and for the innocence he had left behind him on a scorched and barren battlefield.

His vision was too blurred to see who had offered comfort, and who now clasped his hand; he thought probably Hermione, or perhaps Ron, but then the familiar scent of mint wafted to him, and he knew it wasn't either of them at all.

"'By this hand, I love thee'." Snape's voice was soft, deeper than usual, and far more gentle than Harry had ever heard it before.

Harry turned his head and gazed up at him, eyes glowing like wet emeralds through his tears. "'Use it for my love some other way than swearing by it'."

He clutched tightly at Snape's hand, remembering other scenes now.

Snape, bloodied and battered, his left arm nearly useless from the pain of the Dark Mark burning it, but still fighting; Snape's face twisted in a furious snarl as he leapt between Lucius Malfoy and Harry, striking down his former companion; Snape working with Sirius to protect Dumbledore from a hoard of Death Eaters.

"'Enough, I am engaged'." Snape's voice was now rough around the edges. "'I will challenge him. I will kiss your hand'." He lifted their clasped hands, brushing his lips against the back of Harry's hand, and a frisson rippled along Harry's nerve endings at the contact.

It wasn't enough. Harry stared at him, lips parted as he fought to draw breath into lungs constricted by emotion -- grief, anger, and something more. Snape raised his eyes to meet Harry's, and their gazes held for an interminable moment, heat shimmering between them. More, Harry urged silently; as if he heard that unspoken message, Snape closed his eyes and pressed his cheek against Harry's hand, his expression almost pained, before releasing it quickly and rising to his feet.

"'And so I leave you'." Snape gazed down at him steadily, then raised his clenched fist. "'By this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account'."

Snape, standing victorious over Lucius Malfoy's lifeless body. Snape, howling in triumph as Voldemort died a true death, lifting his bare left arm to the skies as the Dark Mark faded away forever.

"'As you hear me, so think of me. Go, comfort your cousin. I must say she is dead; and so, farewell'."

Harry blinked, and whatever strange connection that had formed between them dissipated; a flush of heat rushed to his face as he realized everyone in the theater was staring at him, some with shock, some with pity for his emotional outburst. Only Snape's eyes held understanding.

"Well, Harry..." Hermione gulped, and clutched her clipboard tightly to her chest. "That was... much better. I think you've got it now."




The theater was deserted and almost completely dark. With only a couple of stage lights still on, Harry couldn't see the auditorium, but he felt its empty silence as he stood alone, thinking about the rehearsal that had concluded a short time before. The evening had been a turning point in his own grieving and healing process, and he found it odd but pleasant that he'd found release through playing Pretend. He felt calmer and more at peace than he had in months, perhaps years, and for the first time, he knew he was going to be able to let go of all the negative emotional baggage and move on with his life.

The question now was, in what direction?

Footsteps on the stage behind him, slow and measured. He didn't even have to turn around to know to whom they belonged. He just *knew*; he could feel the strange pull of Snape's presence.

"This isn't working, you know," Harry said quietly.

"I know."

"I can't stop thinking about you." It was easy to say the words when they weren't looking at each other, when he wouldn't risk seeing rejection in Snape's eyes.

"Nor I of you."

"So what do you suggest we do, then?"

"Take this discussion somewhere more private."

Minutes later, Harry found himself in Snape's personal quarters once again. They had walked to the dungeon in silence, Snape leading a few steps ahead; Harry had trailed behind for a reason, namely that he didn't know what kind of idle chit-chat conversation was appropriate for a situation like this, and it was easier to say nothing if he kept his distance.

This time, he took the opportunity to look around, paying more attention to his surroundings. The small living area screamed one thing loud and clear, even to the most casual observer: Snape was a born academic, and by the looks of things, he spent a lot of time in here alone. The stone walls of the room were lined with bookshelves; the ones on the right side of the room were stuffed to overflowing with books and scrolls, while the ones on the left were full of jars and bottles of various heights and sizes.

There was also a narrow desk which was covered in parchment, quills and a large inkjar; Harry doubted the scribbled-on parchment indicated Snape had an extensive, secret life as a pen-pal, but clearly he was busy writing something. Spurred by curiosity, Harry casually strolled closer and tried to sneak a look; a quick glance revealed it appeared to be an article about the effects of eye of toad on vision-enhancing potions.

Two chairs had been placed near the hearth. The over-stuffed wingback chair looked broken in, the upholstery faded in places as if with extensive wear, as did the footstool in front of it. A little tea table was conveniently placed nearby, with an empty teacup and a book resting on it. Harry could easily picture Snape sitting there, reading, his feet propped up and a steaming cup of tea within easy reach. The other chair, however, looked brand new and untouched, and he wondered if anyone had ever sat in it, or if it was there merely for ornamental purposes, because one was expected to have two chairs.

"So." Snape's voice brought him out of his reverie, and he turned to face the older man, who was once again standing by the fireplace, as he had done the first time they'd been here alone. "It would seem we have a dilemma."

"I suppose you could call it that." Harry moved to stand across from him and shoved his hands in his pockets to keep himself from touching Snape, no matter how much he wanted to -- and he did want to. "I think the problem is, there's this..." He floundered to find an appropriate word. "... this mutual interest, but it's not going away just because we decided not to act on it. It's there, we both know it's there, and it's going to keep growing as long as we ignore it, because we're both curious."

Snape turned his face away, looking disgusted, but whether with himself, with Harry, or with the situation in general, Harry wasn't sure. "I can't imagine how this happened."

"Neither can I, but it has," he replied quietly. "The question now is, what are we going to do about it?"

"What do you want from me?"

"What do I want? Right now, more than anything, I want you on your knees in front of me while I fuck your mouth."

Harry wasn't usually given to crude language, but something about the moment and Snape was bringing out the growling predator in him. Like the lion that symbolized his house, he wanted to pounce, to take, to claim possession of what was his. And for the moment, he considered Snape his alone.

Later, he couldn't be certain who moved first. One minute, they were staring at each other with equally shocked expressions, Harry because he couldn't believe exactly how much he meant what he'd just said, and Snape probably because he couldn't believe Harry had said it at all. And the next minute, they collided roughly, their mouths hungry and seeking. Harry threw his arms around Snape's neck, pulling him down, and Snape's arms were tight around Harry's waist, locking Harry in place against his body.

"One night," Harry said, panting as he pulled away long enough to speak. "We'll spend one night together, get it out of our systems, and then we'll be able to go back to normal. We'll have satisfied out curiosity, and that'll be enough."

Snape went still in Harry's arms, and somewhere in the depths of his eyes, a door quietly shut.

"One night," he echoed, his voice soft and deep. "Very well." He backed away, pulling free of Harry's embrace, and gestured to an open door on the other side of the room. "The bedroom is that way."

Harry's stomach lurched with apprehension, the enormity of what they were about to do hitting between the eyes -- and considerably lower as well. He was going to have sex with Snape. He was going to be able to do every single thing his fevered imagination had come up with over the past few weeks to do to Snape's stomach, and more. That thought alone was enough to spur him into motion, and Snape didn't have to invite him twice; he headed to the bedroom, followed a few moments later by Snape, who had detoured to retrieve a jar from one of his numerous shelves first.

Snape's bedroom was even more austere than his living room; other than a large bed -- plenty of room to roll around on, Harry thought hazily -- that stood tall enough off the floor to make Harry wonder if he could get onto it without a stool, a wardrobe, and a nightstand which was covered with books and scrolls, there was nothing to mark it as Snape's personal space. There were no pictures or decorations of any kind, not even a Slytherin house banner.

Harry stopped by the side of the bed, feeling the first twinge of awkwardness; his previous lovers had been near his own age, and their level of experience had been roughly equal. Even Fred, who had been his most knowledgeable lover, had only a couple of years' of practice over him. But Snape was no teenager, still learning the ropes. Harry couldn't imagine Snape dating anyone, even in his younger days, but judging by the way he kissed, he obviously wasn't inexperienced. The last thing Harry wanted was to seem like a raw, bumbling neophyte, but he knew there was a wide gulf between them not only in years but in experience as well.

"I don't even know what to call you!" he blurted as Snape approached, set the jar on the nightstand amid the clutter of reading material and began unmaking the bed. He became abruptly aware that he was still referring to the man as "Snape" even in his thoughts, which was yet another form of distancing. But Snape said nothing until the bedspread was folded, and the sheets were turned back.

"There's no need to call me anything," Snape replied at last, reaching out to grasp Harry's chin. "Now shut up."

As if to enforce his command, Snape bent and kissed him, a far harsher and more demanding kiss than they had shared before, but instead of repelling Harry, it enflamed him. Eagerly, he parted his lips, seeking out Snape's tongue, and he felt Snape's fingers slide from his chin along his jaw, felt them unfurl until Snape's palm cradled his cheek. The kiss gentled then, aggression replaced by the familiar passion that had simmered between them for weeks, and Harry leaned into it, keeping his arms by his side, since Snape didn't seem to want closer contact at the moment.

When he broke off the kiss, Snape brushed his thumb across Harry's lips, and Harry bit the pad lightly, his gaze never leaving Snape's; a rush of pleasure washed through him at the flare of heat he saw in those dark eyes.

"Shoes." Snape pointed down at Harry's feet; Harry leaned against the side of the bed, standing on one foot and then the other as he pulled off his sneakers and socks and tossed them out of the way, and Snape did the same, only without leaning against the bed to support himself.

Show off, Harry thought, but with fond amusement rather than irritation. The fact was, his soon-to-be lover enjoyed playing one-up, and that would probably never change.

And then Snape began unfastening Harry's robes with swift, sure fingers, and Harry's breath caught in his throat, all such thoughts fleeing as desire pounded a low, throbbing beat throughout his body. Snape pushed the black material off Harry's shoulders and down his arms, letting the garment puddle at his feet and leaving Harry standing in only his plain white cotton boxer shorts. Harry stood proudly, not blushing or fidgeting as Snape let his gaze wander over Harry's body. He wasn't nearly as tall as Snape, but he was in good shape; his muscles were toned, and he still possessed the lean ranginess of youth. His chest hair wasn't much to speak of, he thought, glancing down at the sparse patch located between his nipples, but he figured that would change in the next few years as his body reached its full maturity.

Moving closer, Snape rested his hand on Harry's chest, his fingers splayed as if to cover as much skin as possible, then slid it down Harry's torso from shoulder to hip slowly, melding it against every angle and curve along the way. The touch, as simple as it was, seemed to burn into Harry's skin like a brand, and it was a disappointment when Snape let his hand fall back to his side.

On the other hand, Harry realized it gave him the chance to even things up a bit, and he reached out to unfasten Snape's robes in return. Moments later, the one question that had been both plaguing him and fueling his fantasies was answered.

Dark green flannel boxers.

He pressed the palms of both hands against Snape's chest and slid them down in a slow, exploratory caress; he already knew Snape was in good physical condition as well from the one brief peek he'd gotten. Now he drank in the sight of that firm stomach, and ran his fingers along the happy trail leading down past the waistband of those green boxers, pleased to feel an answering quiver in Snape's abdomen.

There was so much he wanted to do, so much he wanted to taste and to touch, but suddenly, Snape curled his hand around the back of Harry's neck and hauled him close, pinning Harry against him and pulling him into another searing kiss. Harry slid his arms around Snape's broad shoulders, pressing close, reveling in the luxurious feel of skin-on-skin and the hot, open-mouthed kisses that were setting his blood on fire. Then he felt Snape pushing him back and lifting him up until he was sitting on the edge of the bed; he wrapped his legs around Snape, urging him forward until they were hip-to-hip, and he could feel Snape's erection brushing against his own.

A low moan rose in his throat, and he slid one hand between their bodies, stroking the flannel-clad hardness. Oh, flannel was nice... so soft and warm... so very nice indeed...

Snape's hand closed around his wrist. and he uttered a wordless protest.

"Not so fast." Snape's voice was a black velvet whisper against his ear. "We have all night, and I intend to make use of it."

Oh, God...

Unlocking his legs from around Snape's hips, he scooted backwards on the bed, holding out his arms and beckoning for Snape to join him, and a heartbeat later, he found himself sprawled on his back with a long, lithe body stretched atop his. It was exactly where he wanted to be at the moment, especially when Snape began nuzzling his ear, running his tongue along the shell and nipping gently at the lobe before moving down Harry's neck, seeming to map out all the places that made Harry writhe beneath him, returning to them again and again, nibbling and sucking until Harry was certain he couldn't stand anymore--

--and then Snape moved lower, fastening his mouth on Harry's nipple, and Harry nearly arched off the bed. All the while he feasted, Snape stroked and caressed Harry, running his hand up and down Harry's arm, along his side, down his leg in a hundred little touches that made Harry's desire burn even hotter. Slowly, he moved down, exploring every inch of Harry's torso with his lips and tongue until he reached Harry's underpants. There he stopped, and nuzzled his cheek against Harry's erection, drawing a desperate whimper from Harry, who fisted his hands in the bedclothes and struggled not to start thrusting.

"Please... Oh, God, please..."

"Please what?" Snape asked silkily. "Please remove these?" He hooked his finger in the waistband of the boxers and tugged it up.

"Yes... Get them off now..."

"Demanding, aren't we?" Snape's voice held amusement, but he complied with Harry's request.

He did indeed begin removing Harry's boxers -- one, slow, torturous inch at a time. He pushed them down a fraction, and then spent interminable minutes exploring the new expanse of skin he'd uncovered, everywhere except where Harry wanted the attention most. By the time Snape had finally -- finally! -- pulled them off completely and tossed them over the side of the bed, Harry felt as if his entire body was one massive, taut wire on the verge of snapping.

"Roll over." Snape moved away from Harry long enough to allow him to comply, and when Harry was settled on his stomach, Snape covered him again, showing his back the same meticulous care and attention as his chest had received, moving lower until he was between Harry's legs.

The first touch of a firm but gentle tongue against his opening was nearly Harry's undoing. He cried out, feeling his entire body tightening, hovering on the verge of release.

"Oh, God -- please -- I'm going to -- I can't--" he stammered brokenly, and he heard a low chuckle from behind him.

"I'd enjoy seeing if I could make you come like this. Perhaps later. Right now, I have something else in mind for you."

Snape moved away from him, and he felt the mattress bouncing a little, heard the sound of rustling fabric, then a jar lid being unscrewed; he moaned softly, knowing what was next, and he wanted it, needed it -- needed Snape -- desperately.

Moments later, where Snape's tongue had just explored, Harry felt a long, slick finger take its place; whatever Snape was using as lubricant was cold, but it heated quickly, and Harry wriggled and panted as Snape slid his finger deep, stroking the sensitive spot hidden within until Harry was light-headed.

"More.." He groaned as a second finger joined the first, and at long last, a third as Snape stretched and prepared him carefully, and then Snape rolled away from him again.


Harry didn't have to ask what Snape meant, and he scrambled to get on his hands and knees, gasping in sheer anticipation as Snape grasped his hip with one hand. He smoothed the other down Harry's back in a soothing gesture, but it wasn't necessary. Harry was trembling, yes, but it was from need, not apprehension. He knew what to expect, and he wanted it, was ready for it.

"Oh, yes... YES..." The cry was wrenched from his very soul as Snape eased into him with slow, gradual thrusts until he was buried within Harry's willing body, and Harry pushed back as if that would somehow drive him even deeper.

"You want this, don't you?" Snape didn't move, and he grasped Harry's hips in both hands to ensure that Harry couldn't move either.

"Yes!" he panted desperately. "Yes, yes, I want this -- I want you -- move, damn you!"

There was a moment of silence and stillness... and then Snape pulled out almost completely and thrust forward again, deep and hard, and Harry cried out again in a mixture of pleasure and relief. Still clutching Harry's hips, Snape set a steady rhythm, stroking Harry's prostate and driving him closer and closer to the brink with each thrust, and Harry squeezed his eyes shut, feeling the pleasure-tension building within him, coiling tighter as Snape pounded against him ever faster and harder. He gasped for air, hovering on the edge, but feeling unable to fall -- and then Snape's hand closed around his shaft, slick fingers pumping him, and Harry shattered, orgasm hitting him with the force of the Whomping Willow. With a wordless shout, he gave himself over to sensation, which doubled when he felt Snape's pulsing release deep inside, riding the shockwaves of pleasure until they ebbed away at last, and he let his head drop, barely able to keep himself up any longer.

He felt Snape's slow withdrawal, felt Snape helping him ease down onto the mattress, and he let himself collapse into a limp heap. He lay sprawled on his stomach, eyes closed, mouth open, still panting; finally, he managed to turn his head to look at Snape and found him lying on his back, a safe distance between himself and Harry, his eyes closed, one hand resting limply on his chest, the other tucked behind his head. His hair looked like an ink stain blotting the white purity of his pillow.

Despite having just experienced the most intense climax of his young life, Harry was nowhere near being done with Snape yet. A little rest, and then he had plans of his own to enact. It would be time, he decided with a weary but evil smile, to see if he could make the Potions Master writhe.




When Harry woke from his light doze, he was alone.

Pushing himself up on his elbows, he glanced around, searching for any sign of Snape, and the sound of running water from an adjacent room assured him that he hadn't been abandoned. A few minutes later, Snape emerged from the bathroom, still naked and seemingly unabashed by it; he showed no trace of awkwardness as he crossed the room and returned to bed.

"D'you mind...?" Harry asked, indicating the bathroom, and he got a patented Snape "don't be an idiot" look in return.

"Go on." Snape waved dismissively, and Harry smiled his thanks as he slipped out of bed and retreated to clean up; he felt sticky, and already a little sore, but he had no regrets. The pleasure was worth any discomfort this night brought.

His ablutions finished, Harry returned to Snape's bed, refreshed, awake, and ready to implement some plans of his own. Snape was lying with his eyes closed again, but those dark eyes opened and filled with surprise when Harry pounced on him, straddling his waist and bracing both hands on either side of his head.

"My turn." Harry's grin was feral as he gazed down at Snape, whose expression reverted to safe neutrality once the surprise of being pounced upon had passed.

"Indeed. And what do you intend to do?"

Harry lowered his head for a light, but lingering kiss. "Not going to tell you," he whispered against Snape's lips, then nibbled the lower lip gently.

As much as he wanted to move on and explore other parts of Snape's body, he wasn't quite finished with Snape's mouth yet, and he settled in for a longer, deeper kiss, coaxing Snape's lips apart with his tongue and enjoying a leisurely taste of his lover. Snape wrapped his arms around Harry, smoothing his hands up and down Harry's back in a slow, sensual caress, but the moment Harry felt Snape was about to try to roll over in order to be on top, he braced himself and pulled back from the kiss.

"Oh, no." Harry shook his head. "You stay right where you are."

"And if I don't?"

"I stop."

There was a prolonged silence. Green eyes met black, locked and held. Resolve was silently tested. Harry found himself holding his breath, waiting for the final outcome; he knew this was a defining moment for them. If Snape refused to give in, Harry would know Snape saw him as nothing more than an inexperienced boy whom he didn't respect enough to allow some give-and-take in their sexual activity, and that he didn't consider Harry worthy of his trust, which was what it would take for Snape to give up any amount of control.

Snape didn't remove his arms from around Harry, but Harry felt him relax into the mattress. The answer was given.

Emboldened, Harry stretched out beside Snape and began exploring his new playground with delighted wonder; propping himself up on one elbow, he slid his free hand along Snape's shoulder and down his arm, molding his fingers and palm to fit the curve of every muscle. He skimmed his fingertips down the column of Snape's throat and along his jaw. He smoothed his palm along the planes of Snape's torso, pausing only to tease each nipple with a quick brush of his thumb, smiling at the soft gasp he heard in response. He touched as if he wanted the memory of Snape's body permanently imprinted on his hands.

Soon, touching wasn't enough, and Harry leaned over Snape so that he could close his mouth over one nipple, laving the hardened nub with his tongue while he stroked the other with his fingers; he felt Snape's body grow taut beneath him, heard Snape's breathing accelerate, and he smiled to himself, pleased that he could elicit such reactions. Trailing his lips down Snape's stomach, he stopped when he reached the thatch of dark hair that had tempted him for so long, and he released a soft little sigh at finally being able to enjoy it as he pleased.

Resting his cheek on Snape's abdomen, he combed his fingers through the soft nest, then nuzzled it with his nose and cheek, enjoying the mild tickling sensation it caused on his skin. Almost purring with pleasure, he breathed deeply of the warm, musky scent that was Snape's alone, feeling as if he wanted to wallow in it for a while.

But no. There were other things needing his attention, and he continued to drift lower, mouthing kisses on the delicate expanse of skin where hip joined thigh. Fascinated by the dichotomy of hard muscle sheathed in velvety skin, he trailed his fingertips along the length of Snape's shaft, lightly exploring. Levering himself up further, he began brushing his lips along the same path his fingers had taken, smiling to himself when Snape began to shift restlessly beneath him.

This was one area where he didn't feel at a disadvantage; his previous lovers, both male and female, had told him he possessed an excellent instinct for giving oral pleasure that practice and skill would only enhance. They had also given him plenty of chances to practice, and he'd never been more glad of that than now, when he wanted to drive Snape mad. The truth was, he enjoyed being able to watch his lovers surrender to passion, knowing *he* was the source of their intense pleasure. It made him feel both powerful and tender at the same time, and this time was no different.

With infinite care, he cradled the heavy sac in one hand and massaged with a feather-light touch, testing to see how Snape responded; Fred had loved the attention, but Aaron hadn't, and he didn't want to do anything Snape wouldn't like. A low moan told him it was perfectly all right to continue, and he kept up the careful massage even as he fastened his mouth on the underside of Snape's now fully erect penis, moving from base to tip with slow, gently sucking kisses until he reached the sensitive spot just beneath the head and lingered there, nibbling, lapping, and sucking. There, he could drown in his lover's taste and scent, reveling in the pleasure of sensory immersion, and the pleasure of hearing Snape moaning with need, of seeing his hands crawling amid the sheets, opening and closing as if seeking something that remained elusive.

Finally taking mercy on his panting lover, he closed his hand around the base, and drew the rigid shaft into his mouth as deeply as he could, wriggling his tongue along the underside as he bobbed up and down, moving faster, sucking harder--


Harry lifted his head, green eyes alight with mischief as he acknowledged Snape's hoarse cry. "Why?"

"I'm... too close." Snape slumped against his pillow, eyes closed, stray tendrils of hair clinging to his damp face; Harry had never in his wildest dreams imagined Snape looked thoroughly debauched, but he did now, and Harry wanted nothing more at that moment than to shag him senseless.

"I can tell." He squeezed gently, drawing a moan out of Snape. "But as much as I'd love to know how you taste--" Another moan. "--that'll have to wait."

Rising to his knees, Harry leaned over and grabbed the pot on the nightstand, peering at its contents: a clear, viscous substance. Reaching in, he scooped up a generous amount on his fingers; Snape hadn't been at all frugal with the lubrication, and neither would he be. He didn't bother turning away as he coated himself liberally, letting Snape watch him prepare, and the smoldering look in the dark eyes following his every move was worth it. He scooped up a bit more to cover his fingers thoroughly, then set the jar aside again and moved to kneel between Snape's legs.

His fingers weren't as long as Snape's, but that didn't seem to matter; he sought out the sensitive gland, stroking it again and again until Snape's breath was shallow and ragged, until he had the man writhing beneath him. Adding another finger, he scissored them carefully, then withdrew to add a third, but Snape snaked out one hand and grabbed his wrist.


It wasn't a request.

Pausing long enough to claim a hot, demanding kiss, Harry maneuvered himself into position, with Snape's long legs draped over his shoulders; given the difference in their heights, he knew it would be less awkward for him this way, and besides, he liked the idea of being able to see Snape's face. Whatever that jar contained, it was an excellent lubricant, easing Harry's passage better than anything he'd ever used before, and in no time, he was sheathed completely inside Snape's body, surrounded by tight heat, and he had to think of anything -- History of Magic lectures, flobberworms, Moaning Myrtle-- anything that would keep him from exploding right then and there.

"It's lovely..." he breathed, smoothing his clean hand down the side of Snape's face as he began to move slowly. "Absolutely lovely..."

There was no response to that, and Harry concentrated on angling just the right way to stroke against Snape's prostate with every thrust. With a strangled groan, Snape turned his head to one side and threw his arm across his face; Harry wanted to protest, wanted to be able to watch as Snape grew nearer to climax, but his body had caught a rhythm, and he was losing himself in it, losing himself in Snape. His hips pistoned sharply as he moved faster, straining toward release; he retained enough presence of mind to reach between their bodies and grasp Snape firmly, stroking in time with his thrusts. Mere seconds later, he felt Snape bucking beneath him, felt a spurt of hot fluid over his hand, and that was all he could take. He pounded into Snape hard and fast as the explosion hit, crying out his ecstasy to the stone walls; a few weak thrusts saw the last waves wash over him and away, and he slumped against Snape, heedless of the mess.

If Snape wanted to clean up, he thought numbly, it'd just have to wait a few minutes. His lungs still felt scorched, and his limbs felt as if they were made of lead. He couldn't have moved them if a mountain troll suddenly appeared in the room and threatened to bash his head in. Fortunately, Snape lay still, and judging by his labored breathing, Harry figured he was just as knackered.

He had just begun to drift into a light doze when Snape pushed his shoulder, and he blinked muzzily, grumbling as he rolled off his warm, human mattress. It wasn't fair...

But Snape was utterly without sympathy, all but dragging him to the bathroom, although a few minutes later when he was clean, his skin still glowing from the hot water, he was glad. Some things were just far easier to clean up before they dried, and this way, he could go to sleep in comfort.

Part of him wanted to curl up next to Snape, not cuddling, really, more like sharing body heat, but Snape stayed on his side of the bed, and Harry reluctantly kept to his, rolling onto his side and letting sleep claim him at last.

He didn't know how long he slept, but he was roused by the gradual awareness of a warm body molding itself against him from behind, of breath whispering against the back of his neck, of a leisurely caress up and down his arm. Without opening his eyes, he nestled against that warm body, making a soft little humming sound of pleasure and contentment. On his neck, the breath turned to kisses, and the caress moved to his chest, teasing his nipples, and he arched into it languidly.

His mind and body were both heavy with sleep, his defenses and inhibitions gone; he simply reacted without thought, answering his body's growing need. A need he knew could be fulfilled by only one person.

A familiar hardness nudged him, and he shifted slightly, moving one leg forward to accommodate it. He was relaxed from sleep and still loose from their first time, and Snape slid into him easily, entering him with one smooth thrust, taking him... no, making love to him with slow, deep strokes. In and hold. Out and hold. Over and over, again and again, never increasing the tempo until Harry lost himself in the rhythm of their joined bodies, until he felt as if he was melting into the mattress.

Snape smoothed his palm down Harry's stomach, and Harry covered it with his own; after a moment's hesitation, Snape spread his fingers, a silent invitation which Harry didn't refuse, twining his fingers with his lover's.

"Severus..." he breathed, scarcely even aware that he spoke.

"Harry." Warm lips caressed his ear, and he shivered at the tingling pleasure they brought.

They continued to rock together, completely in sync, neither in any hurry to reach completion; this was a joining of more than bodies, the pleasure they sought would be found in more than mere physical release. Harry's orgasm built slowly this time, like a flower unfurling in sunlight, blooming deep within him and spreading outward; he clutched Severus' hand, calling out his lover's name, vaguely aware that his own name was echoing in the room as they came together.

He was pleased when the warm body didn't retreat again once their passion had been spent as it had done twice before, and he snuggled closer, holding fast to his lover's hand as he surrendered himself to sleep once more.

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