He'd sworn it was an accident.
"I know you don't go for the kinky stuff, Sev, but just this once? Please? I've never really had a threesome before and I want to. You're the one who said it's okay to dream."
So he'd given in. It was supposed to be a one-time encounter. It hadn't been entirely unpleasant, the tarnished silver hair running short through his fingers, the erotic novelty of gripping it as an alien head bobbed up and down on his Harry. He'd been glad to learn the subject at hand was his own age, at least; having another wanton teenager in his bed would have made him feel like a filthy old man. Harry had fallen asleep in his arms when all was said and done, but Severus had clearly noted Harry's fingers twined with that damnable werewolf's.
A week later it happened again. "Come on, you enjoyed it. Anyway, Remus and I've been chatting and we wouldn't mind another go. You really ought to talk to him some more, Sev, you'd like him if you got to know him better. He likes you, you know, a lot."
So they had. And he did. And he did. And it happened again.
It had become a semi-regular thing. It had become so much of a semi-regular thing that Severus even allowed himself to dismiss the light flickering in Harry's eyes whenever Lupin's name came up. After all, it was only sex, and there was nothing beyond that save perhaps some degree of friendship.
And then, one night, Harry turned away.
It was a warm night, too warm even in the dungeons for nightclothes, and Harry lay naked and open atop the covers. Severus moved to kiss him, to touch him; Harry rolled onto his side. "I'm tired, love, sorry. Wouldn't mind a cuddle, though."
And so he did. And part of him died, but there were so many parts of him dead already that it wasn't even worth noticing.
It was more than a month after that that Harry came up to Severus again. His hands were stuffed deep in his pockets, and there was a strange emptiness in his eyes. "I've got something I need to tell you, Sev. Um, could you sit down?"
So Severus put away the potion he was making, the Wolfsbane Potion for his occasional lover and unlikely friend, and he sat in his chair and waited for Harry to speak.
"I've, um... oh, god. This is so hard. I swear, love, I didn't mean for this to happen. I've... fallen for Remus. And he says he's fallen for me, too."
And Severus blinked. Another piece of him died, this one more like a gargantuan iceberg splitting from a glacier. But he held his tongue and he let Harry finish.
"That's not to say anything I feel for you has changed. Only... I know, you say one soul, one soul mate. But I don't think like that, Sev, I'm not pragmatic like you. I... know how to love more than one person at a time. Does that make any sense?"
And while Severus screamed inside, he licked his lips and said, "I think so." But no matter how many times he futilely tried to take his husband's time, no matter how many small kisses he got or soft words he heard, he couldn't help but notice that Lupin got and heard more. And it was Lupin's arms in which Harry fell asleep, clutching Severus' hand. And it was Lupin's eyes into which he gazed in fiery adoration just before throwing his head back with a final, echoing cry.
The glacier cracked. And then it grew colder. And he stopped trying because he knew Harry would only ever turn away.
The holiday, oddly enough, had been his idea. Severus had every intention of going, he'd always wanted to visit Sicily; at the last minute, though, he realised there wouldn't be time to fix the Wolfsbane Potion between the time they returned and the week of the full moon. Harry offered to postpone the holiday, and Lupin did too, but Severus saw the disappointment in their eyes. He simply shook his head, and turned his attention back to his work as thoroughly as he could.
He melted two cauldrons the night they left, and burned his face, but that was utterly beside the point.
He stirred the mess again, watching for the subtle change from blue to blue that signaled the potion was correct, the change he knew wouldn't come. His Harry was... no longer his Harry. Biting his inner lip until the blood ran, he levitated his cauldron to the sink to empty it and try again. Some part of him wondered what he'd done to make things go so dramatically wrong; another part only told him he probably deserved it, and to get on with his work.
Into the cauldron's iron belly went powders, pinches and pints, liquids and shimmering things in between. It turned blue as ice. He ignored it, biting his lip and biting his tongue and staying his tears; there was too much to do for that sort of nonsense, and he didn't deserve the release. The potion refused to cooperate, but he tried yet again. Deep in his chest, though, the glacier pressed. It was too strong to slow. Equally strong was the knowledge that his world was no longer his.
In the wee hours, when the blue finally shifted and sat smoking, he cleaned his workspace and covered the cauldron carefully. He didn't blame Harry; he couldn't blame Lupin, what with his gentleness, something Severus obviously lacked. Severus couldn't deny Harry anything he wanted, which was what got him into this mess in the first place. Curling up beneath the duvet to wait for sleep or death or oblivion, he shivered in the cold. He reached out one hand to Harry's side of the bed, and buried himself completely in bedclothes as it undeniably struck him that he was alone.
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