Snarry-a-Thon20: FIC: About Time Title: About Time Author:Writcraft Word Count: ~8,200 Rating: Explicit Content/Warnings: Rimming, Anal Sex, Anal Fingering, Romance, Getting Together, Fluff, Humour Prompt: Own Prompt Summary: Severus is a stickler for time, Harry is always late and the Aurors are suffering from wrist strain. Can a Witch Weekly special edition and Harry’s carefully placed handkerchief finally get Severus to admit how he feels? A/N: Thank you to the brilliant mods for running this fest and in particular to torino10154 for beta reading this and supporting me through my lockdown writing wobbles. I’m so thrilled to be part of this wonderful fest.
Severus pointedly doesn’t look up from the N.E.W.T. papers he’s marking when Harry barrels through the door to his private quarters. He’s already fifteen minutes late for their meeting. After over a year of regular business dealings with Harry, Severus is well used to the fact that punctuality is not his strong suit.
Severus finds tardiness exceptionally irritating but now an unexpected camaraderie has developed between them, any twinge of annoyance tends to fade into a fond rush of warmth at the sight of Harry’s broad smile and flushed cheeks from racing helter-skelter through the castle. This unfortunate state of affairs is one of the reasons Severus doesn’t intend to look at Harry until he’s had ample opportunity to discipline him appropriately. The last thing he needs is Potter thinking a disarming smile is any compensation for bad manners.
“Sorry I’m late.” Harry’s breath leaves him in a wheeze. “I had another meeting and I lost track of the time.”
“Is that so?” Severus arranges his N.E.W.T. papers into a tidy pile and stands, making a pretence of looking for a book in the shelves behind his desk. It should do Kingsley’s protégé and perpetual thorn in Severus’ side no harm to wait for a while longer. “Dare I ask what urgent business delayed you on this occasion?”
“Fifteen minutes, Severus,” Harry mutters. “Fifteen bloody minutes. I got here as fast as I could. You know what it’s like at the Ministry.”
Severus huffs in response. If the amount of work he’s been doing for the Ministry of late is anything to go by, there isn’t a single capable employee in the place. He’s never done so much business for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement in his life and he’s starting to wonder if they’ve sacked their entire team of potions experts.
Last month Potter got a Snitch in his shoe over whether his team had been exposed to a deadly flower during an investigation of the old Yaxley property. After extensive research, an undignified mopping of Harry’s fevered brow and a pointless hike in the countryside, he found nothing more alarming than a few stinging nettles. This month Severus was commissioned to help develop a salve for the Aurors, on Harry’s insistence that his team were showing signs of muscle strain from hours of intensive duelling practice. He can’t say he minds the extra income—or even his regular visits from Harry—but Severus is quite sure his talents could be put to better use than making ointment for Weasley’s wrist.
“I won’t be late next time,” Harry promises. “Honest.”
“I’ll believe it when I see it.” Severus rolls his eyes, despite the fact Harry can’t see his face. “Might I suggest a wristwatch?”
“I broke the last one wrestling a Mountain Troll.” Harry at least has the decency to sound apologetic. “Robards wanted to debrief me on the situation with that new coffee shop in Knockturn—”
“The Hag’s Brew?” Severus asks. Harry might be impudent in the extreme, but his work-related stories do tend to make life more interesting.
“That’s the one.” Harry laughs, the low sound sending a pleasant heat through Severus. “The magic beans are a bit too magical. A load of hipsters have been getting high on Cappuccino. I reckon Robards had been on the espressos himself, it took him ages to give me an update. Then I had to do this stupid thing for Witch Weekly and it took forever. If it makes you feel any better, I’m knackered after all that racing around. I feel like I’ve been chasing a flight of Hungarian Horntails.”
“I can imagine it’s difficult to keep track of the time when you’re busy pandering to your legions of adoring fans,” Severus replies. He makes sure his tone is appropriately scathing, even though he’s not really annoyed. “I do hope I haven’t inconvenienced you.”
Severus turns so he can glare directly at Harry and the remainder of his sentence leaves him entirely, replaced with what can only be described as an undignified gurgle.
“Severus?” Harry peers at Severus, moving closer to the desk. “You look a little…pale.”
“I’m quite well,” Severus snaps. He pokes his finger in Harry’s general direction. “What on earth are you wearing?”
“This?” Harry frowns, glancing down at his outfit. “It’s just jeans and a shirt. Witch Weekly are doing a special issue on Muggle fashion through the decades. They asked a couple of Aurors to do the seventies. If you think this is daft, you should have seen the flares Ron borrowed from his dad.”
Unfortunately for Severus the very last thought on his mind is that Harry looks daft. To the contrary. Much to his alarm, Harry has never looked so good. His messy hair is more styled than usual, falling in short, dark waves that take Severus back to another era, reminiscent of the overgrown hair and sporty physiques of models in Muggle magazines. Severus swallows, his mouth dry as he takes in the entire outfit.
When they meet it’s usually after Harry finishes work and he turns up in Ministry robes. He clearly finds them uncomfortable if the way he constantly shifts in his seat like a fidgety Crup is anything to go by. By contrast, Harry wears Muggle clothes with an air of easy confidence. He looks completely relaxed in his half-open red flannel shirt that reveals a thatch of dark, wiry hair. The light blue jeans that hug his lean legs in all the right places are a different problem altogether and Severus finds his mouth watering at the sight.
It’s difficult to tear his gaze up from Harry’s long, denim-clad legs, but when he eventually manages it, Severus finds himself drawn to the easy smile that tilts at the corner of Harry’s lips. When Severus meets Harry’s eyes, a flicker of curiosity crosses his features. The air gets tight, the silence pronounced enough to crackle and fizz as fierce yearning swells restlessly within Severus. He mentally curses Auror intuition when Harry raises his eyebrows in question as if he’s wondering why Severus is behaving so stupidly. With a huff of annoyance, Severus shakes away the appalling realisation that not only is Harry surprisingly entertaining, he’s also undeniably handsome. The risk of Harry’s proximity eliciting this kind of response is precisely why Severus never attends the pub quiz Harry keeps inviting him to. He can barely keep his growing feelings contained as it is, the last thing he wants to do is put himself under the scrutiny of an entire team of Aurors.
“Does your shirt not have any additional buttons?” Severus is very fastidious about buttons, a sentiment apparently not shared by Harry. He seems quite content to flash his chest around, impertinent brat that he is.
“Of course it does. They just liked it this way for the photos.” Harry slowly does up one button which serves no purpose whatsoever. His lips twitch into a half smile, the curiosity in his gaze replaced by an unmistakable warmth. “Better?”
“It will have to do.” In truth, Severus preferred it as it was, but there’s no chance he’s telling Potter that. “Is that the only pair of jeans they had available?”
“No, but these fit the best.” Harry turns to give Severus an eyeful of his arse, revealing a flash of dark blue in one of his pockets. “Don’t you think they look nice?”
“It’s a pair of jeans, Potter.” Severus attempts—once again—not to stare too openly at the tantilising bulge around the general crotch area. “They’re fine, if you like that sort of thing.”
It’s typical of Harry to dress as if he’s been ferreting around in Severus’ brain and unearthed all those sweaty, confusing fantasies of Severus’ teenage years when he carefully hid magazines underneath his bed and hoped nobody would find them. The outfit might be perfectly innocuous to most people, but to Severus the likeness Harry bears to the Muggle men that occupied his teenage fantasies takes him back to seventies porn mags, dark, uncertain nights and the way craving takes hold until it becomes physically painful. In truth, it’s not dissimilar to the way he’s feeling now, gawping at Potter like a lovestruck teenager as the ache in his chest deepens.
“Do you like that sort of thing?” Harry interrupts Severus’ train of thought and flashes him a grin.
“No, I don’t,” Severus lies. He glares at Harry. “Is there any reason you couldn’t have changed?”
“I was hardly going to put on my robes again, bloody uncomfortable things. Besides, I was late enough already.” Harry taps the blank spot on his wrist where a more punctual man would wear a watch. “I know what a stickler you are for time and I doubt you’d have wanted me to show up half undressed.”
“Don’t be too sure,” Severus mutters under his breath. Bloody Potter and his infernally attractive…everything. He shakes himself. “Well, you’re here now I suppose. If you choose to attend meetings dressed like a nineteen-seventies porn star, there’s precious little I can do to stop you.”
“Is that what I look like?” Harry snorts with laughter, turning it into a cough as Severus’ glare deepens. “Funny, the men in the porn I watch don’t tend to wear any clothes at all.”
Severus tugs at the neck of his jumper, inconveniently flustered by the way this conversation is going. Harry says porn in a low, teasing tone that slides through Severus like liquid. He wishes he had his own robes on instead of trousers that are at serious risk of becoming tighter than usual, as if he’s a horny touch-starved teenager again. It’s difficult for Severus to wrangle with the pull of desire Harry causes at the best of times. It’s a thousand times harder when he turns up dressed like the Muggle men Severus used to wank over.
Severus mentally admonishes himself for being such an utter pillock and brushes past Harry to close the door to his quarters. Because it’s the summer holidays there’s little chance of being overheard but the last thing he wants is an errant student using Extendable Ears to witness the hero of the wizarding world casually discussing pornography with their potions master. With a scowl, Severus extracts his wand and flicks it, murmuring several incantations that ensure the room is soundproofed and warded.
“You must want to discuss something very serious with me.” Harry sounds amused, the creak of a chair indicating he’s taken a seat. “I thought I was here to talk about muscle strain. That potion’s dead good, by the way. My wand hand’s been quite limber since I started using it. I don’t have any trouble with my grip and my wrist action’s much smoother.”
“I’m delighted to hear it.” Severus pushes the images that conjures to one side and moves back to his desk, leaning against it and facing Harry. It’s a blessed relief to be able to look down his nose at Harry, resetting the balance a little. Curiosity niggles at the reminder of the flash of blue in Harry’s pocket. He can’t help but feel it must be important somehow. Potter did seem very eager to flash it in Severus’ general direction. “Do you usually carry a handkerchief around? I would have thought the Ministry’s finest budding Auror would have mastered the art of magic by now.”
“Oh, this?” Harry shifts in his seat and extracts the handkerchief from his back pocket. He drops it on the arm of his chair and settles back. “When Corner—Michael Corner, you remember him?”
“Yes.” Severus waves his hand. “Ravenclaw, Witch Weekly photographer, romancer of pretty socialites.”
“That’s the one.” Harry grins. “When Michael told me the Aurors were doing the seventies, he said we should find some Muggle magazines and choose our own stuff to wear. They don’t exactly have a massive wardrobe budget.”
“I imagine not,” Severus replies. He wouldn’t have thought Witch Weekly has any sort of budget if the number of times they use Potter and his friends as models is anything to go by.
“The pictures I found were a bit different to Ron’s, mind,” Harry continues. “I had a computer to look at, but his mum made him go through her back issues of Disco Divinations. Arthur had everyone round to listen to all the old Warbling Warlock and the Groovy Beats records, just to get in the mood.”
“And what sort of images were you influenced by?” Severus asks. Harry meets his gaze without flinching, his jaw firmly set and the warm flush in his cheeks from the exertion of racing to his meeting still noticeable. “With your handkerchief and your bare chest.”
“It’s hardly bare, come on.” Harry rubs his jaw, clearly evading the question. “Like I said, Hermione lent me her laptop to do some research. Took us ages to make it work, Grimmauld Place doesn’t have any plugs, but Hermione’s ace at getting around the way magic makes electricity wonky. After we got everything set up, she left the computer with me overnight. I learned a lot. Hermione started being weird after that, mind. Told me I should delete my browser history, whatever that means.”
“I haven’t the foggiest.” Severus prefers to avoid all Muggle technology wherever possible; the topic bores him to tears. “I assume your research was successful?”
“Very.” Harry looks pleased with himself. “I know about all kinds of stuff now. You probably noticed, with the handkerchief and everything. It’s dark blue.”
“Yes.” Severus raises an eyebrow at Harry, wondering where this is going. “I saw that when you showed me your arse earlier.”
“I didn’t—” Harry stops with an indignant splutter. “Well, maybe I did. Only because you asked.”
Severus decides to let the fact he didn’t ask anything of the sort slide, because he can sense he’s finally in a position to gain the upper hand after being taken unawares by Harry’s attire.
“Are you in the habit of showing people parts of your anatomy if they ask you to?” Severus keeps his voice as innocent as possible, noticing the way Harry’s throat bobs.
“Depends who’s asking,” Harry replies. He picks up the handkerchief and waves it at Severus. “If you noticed this was dark blue, you probably also saw I put it in my right pocket.”
“It hadn’t escaped my notice.” Severus plucks the handkerchief from Harry’s hand and leans back on his desk, turning the material in his hands. “I hope you realise I have no idea what you were trying to signal with this?”
“What?” Harry stares at Severus, colour rising in his cheeks. “It’s—it’s a code. Men used it in the seventies, the Internet said. Men like us.”
Severus has long been aware of Harry’s sexuality thanks to the media’s salacious fascination with his love life. Because of Harry’s nosiness and fondness for impolite questions, Severus disclosed his own interest in wizards early in their professional acquaintance, largely to cut Harry’s obsession with a tawdry rumour about Severus and Irma Pince off in its tracks. He assumes men like us is Potter’s clumsy attempt at delicacy. Severus resists the urge to roll his eyes.
“I’m not sure why you think I would be familiar with any kind of mating code used by gay Muggles when I was neither a Muggle, nor of age for much of the seventies.”
“It’s not a mating code, you’re making me sound like a Snidget.” Harry gets to his feet and starts poking around on Severus’ shelves. “I got distracted when I was researching. Hermione didn’t want to lend me her computer again for another go. She kept going on about viruses, which is stupid. It’s not like I gave her computer Spattergroit.”
Severus might avoid technology at all costs but he’s familiar enough with the ways of the world to guess Harry discovered a little more than pictures of men with coiffed hair on his tour of the world-wide-web.
“Perhaps if you refrained from using Miss Granger’s computer for research you wouldn’t need the services of a potions consultant to help you with wrist strain,” Severus points out with a snicker.
“Ha bloody ha.” Harry sits on the sofa with a humph of annoyance. “That hanky cost me ten quid.”
“It would have been cheaper to turn into a peacock and fluff your feathers at me.” Severus takes a seat next to Harry, who glares at him. “Come now, it could be worse. You might have stumbled across leather.”
“I did.” Harry stops frowning and quirks a smile at Severus. “I didn’t think the subscribers of Witch Weekly would want to see me in a harness.”
“You do yourself a disservice,” Severus murmurs. The same charge from earlier gathers in the air and he gives Harry a flicker of a smile. “I’m pleased to hear you’ve developed some restraint and you appear a good deal more comfortable in your new attire than your robes.”
“I am. This isn’t that different to the things I usually wear.” Harry shrugs and turns away from Severus to stare straight ahead. “You’d know that if you came to the pub sometimes.”
“You make it sound remarkably simple,” Severus comments. “Considering you’re asking me to socialise with people twenty years my junior. People I used to teach, in case you’ve forgotten. I’m certain many of your friends would rather go drinking with a Venomous Tentacula.”
“Am I just someone you used to teach?” Harry looks at Severus and nudges his glasses higher on his nose, his expression wistful.
“No, Potter.” Severus snorts. “You are quite unique. Your friends, however, are another matter. I dislike large gatherings and frivolities at the best of times. I have no intention of insinuating myself into a social situation where I barely know anybody. There are plenty in your group that have nothing but bad memories of the times they spent with me.”
“I’m not completely stupid.” Harry shakes his head at Severus, his strange expression replaced by a small smile. “Perhaps I should have made things clearer. Everyone does quiz night. Molly and Arthur when they can, Kingsley too. McGonagall and Sprout are always there.”
“Does everybody play on the same team?” Severus can’t deny he likes the idea of beating Minerva at something. He’s still smarting from losing three games of backgammon on the trot after she clouded his judgment with excellent Scotch.
“No. Sprout and McGonagall are the reigning champions, the Weasleys do a family thing and Kingsley tends to do something with people from the Ministry. All sorts of people come along.”
“And what team do you play on?” Severus asks. The idea of being surrounded by Weasleys—which he suspects would be Potter’s first choice—doesn’t fill him with glee.
“I hop about a bit.” Harry shrugs. “I usually flit between the Weasley team and Kingsley’s group, but it would be nice to have a more…regular arrangement. We could start our own team if you like?”
“Hmm.” Severus taps his finger thoughtfully against his lips. “I assume there’s a sports round?”
“Yeah.” Harry splutters with laughter. “Thanks very much for the vote of confidence. I’m not bad at quizzes you know. I might surprise you.”
“I imagine you’re full of surprises.” Severus turns to look at Harry. “Perhaps I’ll attend next week’s event, in that case.”
“It’s a date!” The clear delight on Harry’s face makes Severus feel churlish for not accepting his offer sooner. Harry’s cheeks bloom pink and he clears his throat. “You know what I mean.”
“Indeed,” Severus replies. Although it’s been a while since he’s bothered with any romantic liaisons he’s not so out of practice that he doesn’t understand that all of Harry’s breezy suggestions about the pub quiz have been attempts at asking Severus out in a roundabout sort of way. He just wishes he’d picked up on it sooner. “Am I to take it that all this research into today’s outfit was for my benefit?”
“Who else?” Harry sits back with a sigh. “It wasn’t for Corner or Witch Weekly, that’s for sure. For someone who’s always banging on about how intelligent he is, you can’t half be slow on the uptake.”
“With charm like that it’s a wonder I missed the signs,” Severus notes, drily. “Next time you’re planning to woo someone, you should avoid insulting their intelligence.”
“Bit rich coming from you,” Harry replies. “I’m obviously rubbish at wooing whether I’m insulting you or not. I’ve been trying to get your attention for months.”
“I see.” Harry’s confession sends a thrill through Severus. “Well, you certainly have it now. I became familiar with a certain kind of Muggle publication during my teen years and you’ve done an uncanny job of replicating some of the less racy images, if that was your plan.”
“I did?” Harry looks pleased with himself. “I thought it might help you to see me in a different light, if I reminded you of…”
“Wanking?” Severus struggles to keep his expression neutral as Harry gawps at him. “Close your mouth, Potter, and stop looking so scandalised. We both know that’s exactly what you were hoping to achieve with that costume of yours.”
“It’s hardly a costume, anyone would think I turned up dressed like a cauldron.” Harry rolls his eyes. “You probably wanked over those too, mind.”
“Your irrepressible charm hasn’t deserted you I see.”
“Plenty more where that came from,” Harry promises. He pushes a hand through his hair and gives Severus a rueful smile. “Does the fact you’re not sending me off with a flea in my ear mean it worked?”
“My eyes haven’t suddenly been opened to any possibilities I hadn’t already considered if that’s what you’re asking,” Severus says, smoothly. “Although you still haven’t explained what you were hoping to accomplish with your mysterious coded handkerchief.”
“I’d hoped you’d forgotten about that.” Harry rubs his cheek awkwardly and pulls a face. “It seemed easier to give you a sign than to just come out and say I’m available and interested. I wish gay wizards had codes. I bet you’d know all about those.”
“Perhaps we should be grateful we don’t need them,” Severus points out.
“I didn’t think about it like that.” Harry’s jaw works and his forehead creases into a frown. He looks away, staring straight ahead once more. “Are you offended?”
“Of course not. I’m simply surprised that speaking plainly troubles you now when it hasn’t in the past.” Severus tuts under his breath. “Why would I be offended?”
“It was different then, I’m guessing. In the seventies. That’s why people had codes.” Harry takes off his glasses and cleans them on his shirt, absentmindedly. He looks as though his mind is working overtime, his expression grim. “Do you reckon my dad and Sirius were horrible to you because they knew you were gay?”
Severus pauses before answering, the unexpected question causing an emotional swerve. In a moment of spiteful glee, a thrill runs through him. All it would take is a few half-truths and he could distance Harry from his father and godfather forever. It’s so tempting, the thought clutches at him and he becomes almost giddy with the idea. As he studies Harry’s miserable countenance however, he finds that he can’t bring himself to perpetuate a falsehood that would tarnish his memories. He takes in the faint scar on Harry’s hand, the I must not tell lies etched onto his skin. It fills Severus with a fury far more powerful than any petty desire for revenge and he knows with utter certainty he wants no more to do with the bitter, ugly past that haunts his darker nights.
“No. I’m certain that had nothing to do with it.” It dawns on Severus that his inability to cause Harry unnecessary pain is a testament to how far they’ve both come despite their fractious history. “Don’t be foolish. Your father believed I was in love with your mother, he had no inkling of my desires. He and your godfather would have been proud of the man you are, if not the specifics of your romantic choices.”
“You think?” Harry turns to Severus and blinks at him. He looks different without his glasses and unusually vulnerable. He gives Severus a crooked smile. “I’m alright with the specifics of my romantic choices. More than alright. Stuff everyone else.”
“It would be most unlike you to let the tide of public opinion sway you.” Severus touches his fingers to Harry’s shoulder, a strange yearning to gather him into his arms travelling through his body. “I didn’t act on my inclinations until long after I left Hogwarts. You can rest assured whatever the people you care for thought of me, it had nothing to do with my sexuality.”
“I’m glad.” Harry lets out a whoosh of breath and his expression lightens. He closes the distance between them, his breath tickling Severus’ skin. “I was a late bloomer, too,” he adds, cheekily.
“Were you indeed?” Severus arches an eyebrow, his heart quickening in his chest. “I’m sure you’ve made up for it amply since.”
“Not amply. I’d say there’s still plenty of lost time to make up for.” Harry’s voice takes on a low, sensual quality and there’s an unmistakable heat in his gaze. “I haven’t had that much opportunity for romance. I’ve been pratting around trying to seduce someone with trips to the countryside to look for deadly flowers that don’t exist.”
“If you’re trying to tell me I’m fired from my position as potions consultant to the DMLE, I can assure you a little respite from brewing lotions for the Aurors would be quite tolerable,” Severus replies.
“The wrist ointment was real.” Harry grins. “I know I made it sound like it wasn’t, but it hasn’t half helped with the duelling. Dawlish said he hasn’t been able to swish and flick this well since the eighties. Besides, the rest of the potions lot are always sucking up to the Unspeakables. I like working with you, and at least you don’t call me names behind my back while you’re chopping your flobberworms.”
“You can rest assured I call you plenty of names,” Severus says with a light twitch of a smile to show he’s teasing. “It makes the brewing process far more pleasurable. However, when you next want to take me foraging in the countryside, I suggest you simply ask.”
“I’ll do that.” Harry rests his hand on Severus’ leg and slides it slowly up, holding his gaze. “Now about that making up for lost time...”
“Ah. That.” Severus is lucky he can string two words together, with the temptation of Harry’s slightly parted lips, the warmth of his breath tickling his skin and the distracting heat of his hand. “Should I assume you’re not going to explain this handkerchief code of yours to me?”
“A safe bet, I’d say,” Harry replies, breathlessly. “If you don’t know what it means, I’m not about to tell you.”
“A pity.” Severus begins to unpluck the buttons on Harry’s shirt, because he might as well admit it looked much better open anyway. “You were very specific about the colour and the fact you placed it in your right pocket.”
“You’re not an idiot, Severus.” Harry seems quite content to have his shirt opened, his voice gravelly. “I’m sure you can work it out.”
Severus is fairly certain he can work it out too. The sight of Harry eagerly pulling off his shirt is more than enough to spur Severus into action. He tugs Harry to his feet and brings their lips together in a forceful kiss. It’s been months. Months of wanting Harry, of trying to suppress it. The sheer relief of having Harry in his arms crashes over him. It seems as though Harry is experiencing the same level of urgency, the rapid unwind that comes with having long-held desires finally fulfilled. Severus pushes a hand into Harry’s hair and deepens the kiss, savouring the heat of his tongue and the way his body responds to every stroke and tease.
The first few minutes of the kiss pass with dizzying intensity, punctuated as they break apart, come together and break apart once more, weaving an uncoordinated path to the bedroom. Severus has no idea where Harry dropped his glasses and even less idea how he’s shuffled out of his socks and shoes by the time he collapses onto Severus’ bed. It seems that Harry Potter is far better at undressing himself than he is at timekeeping.
“Very impressive,” Severus comments, nodding at Harry’s bare feet. He sits on the side of the bed and unlaces his boots because he, unlike Potter, hasn’t mastered the art of wriggling out of his footwear mid-kiss. “It’s quite the trick.”
“Honestly, Professor.” Harry sounds amused, his voice taking on a droll note that is a surprisingly good imitation of Severus. “I would have thought that Hogwarts’ finest potions master would have mastered the art of magic by now.”
“I’ll give you magic, you insolent child.” Severus reaches for his wand, mutters a spell and flicks it in Harry’s direction, causing his jeans to open at the crotch, revealing a flash of burgundy underpants—typical—and a mouth-watering bulge.
“That’s more like it.” Harry’s voice is low and throaty. He pushes his hand into his jeans, moving his palm over himself in a very distracting fashion. “Are you nearly done with those boots or do I have to get my wand out?”
“Hilarious.” Severus rolls his eyes at the double entendre and kicks off his boots. He yanks off his socks and moves between Harry’s legs. He sits back on his heels and watches as Harry continues to rub his hand over his cock, keeping his eyes on Severus. “I see you learned more than coded signals on the Internet. You have a very…pornographic look about you.”
“Thanks.” Harry laughs and gives Severus a wink. “I’m guessing that’s a compliment.”
“In a manner of speaking,” Severus agrees. “Am I to take it you’re fond of putting on a display?”
“I don’t know.” Harry slips his hand below his pants, sucking in a breath. “Never tried it before. I thought you might like it if I was one of the models in those magazines.”
“Where’s the fun in that?” Severus nudges Harry’s hand away, replacing it with his own as he catches Harry’s lips in a fleeting kiss. “None of the models were you.”
“Fuck,” Harry whispers. His eyes turn glazed and he yanks Severus closer, until their lips are almost touching. “Do you have any clue how much I like you?”
“I believe I have some idea,” Severus replies. He slides his hand out of Harry’s pants and helps him wriggle out of his pants and jeans until he’s fully naked. “If you care to explain your code, now might be an appropriate time.”
“I could just give you another signal,” Harry offers. He gives Severus a searching kiss that leaves them both breathless, before rolling onto his front and displaying his excellent arse. “How’s that for a hint?”
“Subtle as a Bludger to the face.” Severus is both relieved and getting harder by the moment. Although he’s perfectly happy to be flexible with the right partner, he has a fairly strong preference that seems to align perfectly with Harry’s. He quickly removes the remainder of his clothes. When he returns to the bed, Harry has adjusted his position, his arse raised. “Thank you, Potter. Your message was quite clear the first time.”
“Just checking.” Harry laughs, the muscles in his backside clenching. “I’d hate for there to be any confusion. In case you’re wondering, I’m quite relaxed, too.”
“What a shame,” Severus murmurs. He slides his hand over Harry’s arse, not missing the intake of breath in response. He runs a slick finger between Harry’s buttocks, before spreading him open. “I do enjoy a little…build up.”
“Unf,” is Harry’s only response.
Severus decides to take that as an affirmative. With a low groan, he mutters a cleaning charm and runs his tongue lightly over Harry’s hole. He takes in the way Harry shivers and parts his legs a little further. He’s so deliciously responsive. If Severus hadn’t been waiting months for this, he would take his time. He’s certain he would enjoy spending as long as possible taking Harry to the point where he’s sweating, trembling and begging, using his fingers to bring Harry to the brink and then slowly sucking him off.
That can wait, however. Harry’s apparent eagerness to be fucked suits Severus very well indeed and he’s not in the mood for teasing or slow lovemaking. Nevertheless, he still wants to ensure Harry is as relaxed as he claims to be. With a hum of pleasure, Severus runs his tongue over Harry, listening for every gasp and whimper. Severus gets Harry slick with his mouth, pushing his tongue inside his body and holding him still as he tries to wriggle and twist. The way Harry responds leaves Severus uncertain if he’s ever been rimmed before and the heady realisation that this might be a first for Harry spurs him on.
When he can feel the tremble in Harry’s thighs from holding himself in position, Severus nudges Harry onto his back and wipes the saliva from his mouth with the back of his hand. He looks down at Harry, drinking in the lazy curve of his smile and the heat in his gaze.
“I hope you realise you’re infuriatingly charming.” Shaking his head, Severus slides his hand over Harry’s calf and murmurs a lubricating spell.
“It’s about time you noticed,” Harry replies. His voice has a thick, deep cadence and he sighs happily. “Me and my infuriating charm.”
“It was becoming increasingly harder to ignore.” Severus rubs the pad of his finger against Harry’s hole, applying pressure but not yet breaching his body.
“Shouldn’t have tried to ignore it then.” Harry hitches his backside up, a groan leaving his parted lips as Severus pushes one slick finger inside him. “There’s no point in…Merlin!…fighting the inevitable.”
“I suppose not,” Severus muses. He slides his finger into Harry finding he is, as promised, relaxed and by the expression on his face eager for something a little more than a slow fingering. “Are you always this impatient?”
“What do you reckon?” Harry’s laughter turns into a low moan when Severus adds a second finger. “I’ve been waiting a while.”
You and me both, Severus thinks. He slides his fingers from Harry, satisfied he’s not going to cause any discomfort. He takes in the hard length of Harry’s cock, the way it nestles against his stomach and he’s reminded of his magazines. The models had nothing on Harry, but he suspects, on another occasion, he might enjoy seeing some of those poses replicated for their own private enjoyment. However, the last thing he wants to do now is have Harry touch himself. He wants to have his own hand on Harry’s cock, the desire to touch and taste every inch of him shivering down his spine.
Severus gives his cock a couple of quick strokes, not missing the hungry look in Harry’s eyes as he does so. Unable to wait any longer, he positions them just so and, whispering another lubricating spell, he nudges against Harry before pushing inside. The sensation makes them both groan, the tight heat of Harry’s body clenching around Severus, the arch up and the clutch of his sweaty fingers on Severus’ skin. Severus brings his lips to Harry’s, pushing him down and up on the bed as he thrusts into him, every movement sending white-hot pleasure spiking through his body.
The rest passes in a blur of intense pleasure. The messy stroke of Harry’s tongue against his own, the bob of Harry’s cock against his stomach, the slick of sweat and the sound of their bodies moving together in the quiet room. It brings Severus to dizzying heights, the taste and scent of Harry making him want to burrow his nose in the warm crook of his neck, to run his tongue over the spot where his pulse thrums and skips.
Severus isn’t a stranger to sex, but it’s been some time since he’s craved it the way he has since Harry started making his regular visits. That ache crawls through his body now, sliding over his sensitised skin. He never wants to stop fucking Harry. Severus knows with absolute certainty that once won’t be enough, new ideas and possibilities careering through his mind as he pushes into Harry with practiced strokes, taking him firmly and holding his body down. There’s something so satisfying about the way Harry throws himself into the moment so freely with no inhibitions, the sex not just a physical act but the solidifying of all the things they’ve spent months unable to say.
It turns out that it’s easier to speak the unspeakable when their lips fumble together and the hard heat of Harry’s cock swells and bucks in Severus’ palm. It’s easier to whisper about want in between bitten-off grunts and sighs than to do something so simple as ask Harry to stay for a nightcap after one of their meetings, something Severus has wanted to do countless times before. Fucking Harry is a blissful, raw, fight of a thing that tears reluctant sentiment from Severus and leaves his whole body hot with desire. The tenderness that gathers in his chest takes Severus by surprise, because the way their bodies move together with force and passion is more like a satisfying duel than soft-hearted lovemaking. Nevertheless, his heart patters relentlessly and a deep, satisfying sense of being in precisely the right place overwhelms him in a way he’s only experienced in fleeting moments during his life.
It takes Severus almost by surprise when the wet pulse of Harry’s climax comes sharp and unexpected, the clench of his body driving Severus almost to the edge. With a hiss, Severus slowly stills Harry even as he pulls on Severus’ shoulders as if urging him to keep going. He knows that there will be less pleasure for Harry in this moment and as caught up in the moment as he is, there are other options. He slides carefully out of Harry and brushes his thumb against his jaw when he looks bemused.
“I want to make you come.” Harry has a shagged-out look about him that’s irresistible and Severus rolls off him, before gathering him in his arms for a slow, searching kiss.
“It’s not difficult,” Severus points out. “I seem to recall something about your newly rejuvenated wrist action. I may as well benefit from some of those ridiculous jobs you’ve been giving me to do.”
“That’s a good point.” Harry holds Severus’ gaze and trails his fingers over Severus’ belly, sliding his fingers around him and stroking slowly. “By the way, you’ve got a really fantastic cock.”
“I’m delighted you think so.” Severus bucks into Harry’s talented fist, the slow squeeze of his hand not quite enough after the pleasures of fucking. “If you care to show your appreciation with a little more enthusiasm, I would be amenable.”
“I could.” Harry pushes Severus onto his back and trails a path of damp, warm kisses down his body. “But I’m also pretty enthusiastic about this.”
The pleasant tingle of a cleaning charm and the warmth Harry’s magic makes Severus clutch onto the sheets. With a groan of appreciation, he pushes a hand into Harry’s hair as he takes Severus into his mouth. It transpires that Harry is very enthusiastic when it comes to sucking cock. He seems as dedicated to the task as he was to the earlier fucking, sucking and taking Severus deep into the back of his throat. It doesn’t take long for the hot channel of his mouth to bring Severus to a feverish climax that spikes through his body with the force of the most powerful spell.
Clearly pleased with himself, Harry rolls onto his back and stretches like a very satisfied Kneazle.
“Dark blue hanky in my right pocket.” Harry blinks at the ceiling, a lazy smile on his face. His voice has a slightly raspy edge to it that sends an aftershock of pleasure rippling across Severus’ skin. “It means I like the first thing we did, the way we did it. I liked the second bit too, but I don’t know if there’s a hanky for that.”
“I’m glad to hear it,” Severus replies, when he’s recovered enough to do so. He follows Harry’s lead and stretches the creakiness out of his limbs, languid and spent. He reaches out, brushing his fingertips against Harry’s hand. “For future reference I may require signals that are easier to understand. You would have had success far sooner by simply wriggling your bare arse at me.”
“I’ll remember that for next time.” Harry laughs, twining their hands together. “Assuming you want there to be a next time?”
“Don’t be ridiculous.” Severus squeezes his hand in Harry’s. “If you even need to ask, you clearly weren’t paying attention.”
“It’s a bit difficult to pay attention to anything when you’re being shagged into next week,” Harry points out. “But I’d say that went pretty well, for two late bloomers.”
“You’re barely twenty-five,” Severus notes. “I’d say late bloomer is pushing it.”
“Feels like I’m just getting started though. Don’t you think?”
“Perhaps,” Severus agrees. The same, tender feeling from before warms his chest and he leans over to give Harry a slow kiss that’s eagerly reciprocated. “You are aware that time is essentially meaningless?”
“Not according to you when I’m ten minutes late.”
“Fifteen minutes late. Repeatedly. At least in that, you’re fairly consistent.”
“I’m not late for everything, though. With enough build up sometimes I come early.” Harry gives Severus a grin. “If you catch my drift.”
“It’s hardly complicated Arithmancy.” Severus rolls his eyes. “I think I can grasp your thinly veiled innuendo well enough.”
“Maybe it’s time I stopped relying on innuendo and codes,” Harry ponders. “I don’t have a code for I like doing this with you, so I suppose I’ll just have to tell you. It’s actually a strong preference of mine.”
“I see.” Severus raises an arm so Harry can nestle into the crook of it. He smooths his hand through Harry’s hair, feeling the rise and fall of his chest. “It seems our preferences are compatible in more ways than one, in that case.”
“Yeah.” Harry sounds happy, yawning as he burrows closer. “It seems they are. I’m glad we did this.”
“As am I.” Severus can’t help but smile as Harry’s breathing turns to soft snores. He presses his lips to the top of Harry’s messy hair and holds him tighter. “It’s about time.”
“Only ten minutes late. You’re improving.” Severus looks up from his book at the sound of Harry’s familiar footfall. Harry gulps in a breath, holding up his finger to indicate he needs a minute. When he catches his breath, he flashes his wrist in Severus’ direction.
“Before you start, I’m wearing the watch. I was determined not to be late today, but it got hit by Arresto Momentum. We were trying to chase a Boggart that’s been hiding on one of the National Trust’s squirrel trails and jumping out at Muggles. I don’t know if it’s working anymore.”
“Come here,” Severus sighs. He reaches for Harry when he moves closer, taking his wrist in his hand. The watch he gave Harry several days ago is scratched, and the minute hand keeps going forwards and back as if it doesn’t know which way to go. With a murmur, Severus casts a couple of spells that reset the watch. After smoothing out the cracks he adds a particularly strong protective layer to the watch face, just for good measure. “That should do the trick.”
“It’s done something alright.” Harry presses close to Severus, catching his mouth in a hot, eager kiss before releasing him. “Do you have any idea how sexy you are?”
“Naturally. It’s something people frequently remark upon.” Severus brushes his lips to Harry’s warm cheek. “Foolish boy.”
It’s only been a few days since they last saw one another, but Severus has missed Harry. After a month of sweaty, satisfying bliss and long conversations that stretched well into the early hours of the morning, he’s starting to worry his newfound romance is changing his demeanour. Minerva commented on his healthy glow on Wednesday morning and one of the dungeon’s ghosts wolf-whistled at him yesterday. He sincerely hopes he manages to shake off the spring in his step before the students return from their summer holidays.
“I really didn’t want to be late.” Harry glances over his shoulder and aims a careless spell at the door, which bangs shut. He brushes his lips against Severus’. “I hoped we might have some time before the quiz.”
“It’s five-thirty.” Severus checks Harry’s newly restored wristwatch. Harry’s favourite weekly quiz has been cancelled for the last few weeks due to an infestation of Leaping Kelpies at the Three Broomsticks. Now that it’s resumed again, Severus felt it was only fair to keep his promise to go along with Harry. “We don’t have to be there until seven.”
“I know.” Harry breathes out and gives Severus another slow kiss that lasts for longer than the last one. “But I’ve got to go home, shower and change before then. That hardly leaves us with any time.”
“You should have thought of that before you arrived ten minutes late.” Severus slides the thick material of Harry’s robes between his fingertips. Clearly motivated by his success after the Witch Weekly photoshoot, Harry has made a habit of wearing Muggle clothes to all their meetings since. This is the first time Severus has seen Harry in his Ministry attire since the first night they spent together. “I’ve often wondered what you wear under these Auror robes.”
“Want to see?” Harry pulls back and undresses with impressive speed, stepping out of the puddle of black robes and moving back towards Severus. “I bet you thought I was naked under there. This is probably quite disappointing.”
Severus runs his hands down Harry’s arms, taking in the fitted t-shirt and a pair of jeans and trainers. He nudges Harry to sit on the desk and stands between his parted legs. He doesn’t find it in the slightest bit disappointing. Even though Harry’s Muggle clothes are now familiar to Severus, seeing him casually dressed and perfectly at ease still sends a jolt of desire through his body.
“What tends to happen after these quizzes of yours?” Severus enquires casually.
“After?” Harry looks thoughtful. “I go home, shower, have a nice, relaxing…mug of tea and then I go to sleep cuddling my pillow.”
“Relaxing mug of tea, my arse.” Severus rolls his eyes. “No wonder you have wrist strain.”
“You could come over and help me keep my wand hand rested,” Harry offers with a cheeky smile.
“I thought you’d never ask.” Severus brushes his mouth to Harry’s ear and hmms at the way Harry shivers beneath his palms. He slides his hand down Harry’s arm to his wrist, circling it lightly with his fingers. “I may have to restrain you to ensure you’re not making any movements you shouldn’t.”
“Merlin, yes.” With a groan, Harry pulls Severus close and kisses him fiercely. It would be so easy to push him back on the desk, to unbuckle his jeans, to slide them down and—
With a growl of frustration, Severus breaks the kiss before things start to unravel. His heart beats rapidly in his chest and he takes in Harry’s flushed cheeks and well-kissed lips.
“Don’t suppose I could shower here and borrow a jumper?” Harry asks, innocent as ever. “Just to save time.”
Severus answers by capturing Harry’s lips in another heated kiss and pushing him back on the desk. He supposes now would be as good a time as any to teach Harry the importance of good timekeeping, but he has a quiz to win, the thought of a freshly-showered Harry wearing one of his jumpers to look forward to and the opportunity for a very satisfying hour in bed.
It would be ridiculous to waste another moment.
END NOTE: The handkerchief code (hanky code/bandana code/flagging) is a colour-coded system to indicate kink/fetish and top/bottom, dominant/submissive preferences. Harry’s use of the hanky code (dark blue, right pocket) was intended to signal a preference for being the receptive partner during anal sex and I took that reference from Larry Townsend’s ‘The Leatherman’s Handbook III.’