Fic: Speak Low If You Speak of Love - for thesewarmstars Title: Speak Low if You Speak of Love Author: Can owls write? Hedwig always seemed rather shifty. Giftee:thesewarmstars Word Count: ~21,500 Rating: NC-17 Pairing: Harry/Severus Warnings: *Not-Epilogue compliant, Alive!Severus, Top/Bottom!Snape, Virgin!Snape, Experienced!Harry, Top/Bottom!Harry, very minor blood-play* Disclaimer: The world of HP and its characters belongs to Rowling. The author of this fic has borrowed them for the purposes of storytelling. No profit was or will be made. Summary: When a secret is revealed during casual conversation, Harry sees Severus in a brand new light. Will he be able to convince Severus to take their friendship to a whole new level? Author's Notes: Thanks to the brilliant whitecotton for all her spectacular beta work and Brit-picking. I seriously would not have finished this if not for her. Also, I would like to say thanks to atypicalsnowman for making certain I understood exactly what was desired in a fic. Last but not least, thanks to R, B and D for allowing me to pick their brains as I ironed out the plot. The title is a line from William Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’ Mod Note: This fic was originally posted here, but because the HTML on the offsite link was defying us, we're posting this the old-fashioned way. Enjoy!
~ * ~
Unable to think while sitting still, Harry padded into the kitchen and began to pull out ingredients. He lined the little island with bowls of various sizes and donned his favorite apron, a gag gift from Ron that read, ‘My specialty is stoking the flames - Dark Lord flambé.’ Once his hands were washed, Harry let himself fall into the familiar routine of baking out his thoughts.
The cake was a simple one, though his preference for making it from scratch, rather than using the suggested boxed mix, meant he had more time to think. His hands moved intuitively, sifting, measuring and mixing as Harry’s thoughts tumbled about. By the time he was ready to put the pans in the oven, he had come to one definite conclusion: no matter what, he would not lose Severus.
Of all the things Harry had learned from Severus over the years, being selfish had been the hardest. He was used to doing as others asked—though he did question them from time to time—and so to tell someone ‘no’ and mean it had not been an easy task. It was easy enough to say no and then give in, but standing firm required a different kind of courage. ‘Neville Longbottom courage,’ Harry liked to call it.
Then came learning to say ‘because I want to’ rather than validating his desires to others. What had sounded easy enough, truly was a hard task to complete. Harry had always had to explain everything he did or wanted to do to the people around him. His actions had been guided by outside forces, some who cared more about the bigger picture than Harry, and others who cared too much about Harry and not enough about what lay ahead. Either way, it had never truly been about what Harry wanted. He hadn’t wanted to die for everyone else, but nor had he wanted the truth of his destiny hidden from him for the sake of his happiness.
The final step had been learning to say ‘I want’ and not letting others dissuade him, be it for his own good or out of selfishness on his part. The first time Harry had said it, it was to Ron, who had once again been haranguing Harry about his friendship with Severus. Ron had asked him ‘why’ for what felt like the millionth time, and Harry had said calmly yet firmly, “Because I want to, Ron.” Ron hadn’t asked again and Harry was mildly awed by the power of those words.
Severus was, Harry realized with a start, at the root of all Harry’s selfishness—from the moment Harry had insinuated himself into the chair beside Severus’ bed as they both came to terms with, and recovered from, their near-death experiences, to Harry instigating their Friday night dinners. Any argument that Severus could come up with about why Harry shouldn’t spend so much time in his company was shot down completely. Harry had found something he wanted and he hadn’t let go since.
Wiping his hands on his apron, Harry took a seat at the island and stared out the window, lost in thought. It was obvious to him that he enjoyed Severus’ company, and his desire to see him happy was quickly becoming his top priority. But when Severus had admitted to having never been intimate with another man or woman before, something buried deep in Harry had come roaring to the surface. It made him want to hide Severus away from the rest of the world.
With a sigh, Harry sagged against the cool tile and laid his head down on his arms. Thoughts tumbled through his head, some more clear than others, as Harry struggled to find reason in chaos. Did he want their relationship to change? What if things fell apart? Was he willing to sacrifice Severus as a friend for Severus as a possible lover, with no guarantee of happiness? The Wizarding World already knew its former hero was something of a playboy, though Harry was always straightforward about his intentions. How would they react when it came out that he was seeing someone older? All of his previous lovers had been within three years of his own age. More importantly, though, what would happen to Severus in all of this?
The timer went off and Harry retrieved the cakes mechanically, sliding them onto the cooling racks. He spent the next fifteen minutes cleaning up the extensive mess he’d made then tested one cake for cooling. Assured they were ready, he pressed a flat cake plate over the top and then flipped the first plate, tapping on the bottom to make sure nothing was stuck to the pan.
Harry felt sick at the thought of losing Severus. Disappointing him was bad enough, but to be the person responsible for hurting him after all the things he had done for Harry would be horrible. Perhaps there was no love lost between Severus and the Wizarding World, but Harry held him even dearer than he did Ron and Hermione. He could go weeks without talking to them, but a day without word from Severus was of the darkest variety. It felt as though even a moment without the rich cadence of his voice, the gut-churning chuckle that made Harry’s heart race and the blood roar in his ears, made the day seem pointless and wasted; when he thought of a whole life without Severus in it, it was like an eternity in the Forbidden Forest facing Voldemort all over again. He shuddered.
Sliding the last cake free, Harry secured it on top of the frosted first one and began his process all over again until his masterpiece was done. Content with his handiwork, Harry removed his apron and hung it by the kitchen door before heading to the bathroom to shower once more. Then he would prove to Severus once and for all just how much they were meant to be together.
~ * ~
The first bite of cake seemed to explode over Severus’ tongue and he closed his eyes as he savored the flavor. It was a confection that Harry had made before, but there was something richer, darker even, in it that had never been there before. Severus arched a single brow in Harry’s direction, noting the tense line of his shoulders.
“I added rum to the recipe,” Harry said, relaxing as Severus reached for a second bite. “I also used more dark chocolate than milk chocolate this time. I know you prefer stronger flavors in your food.”
Severus dipped his head in agreement and continued to eat his cake. He wondered if Harry had added some sort of compulsion potion to the cake so that the consumer would feel more inclined to talk than eat. But no, the slice of heaven that was quickly vanishing from his plate was unadulterated. He sighed almost mournfully as the last mouthful disappeared.
Harry laughed, the sound soothing to Severus’ mind. How many times had he heard that laugh in the past seven years? Too many to count, surely, but he never tired of it. Would never tire of it.
“I’ve thought about what you said, Severus, and I want you to know that I’ve made my choice. It was pretty obvious once I sat down and really thought it all through.” Harry gave him the kind of smile that made the sixth and seventh-year girls giggle in the hallways.
When Harry didn’t say anything further, Severus scowled. “Well? Out with it!” He winced at his own words but was too tense to apologize.
“For six years, while I was a student, I really did hate you. I say six because let’s face it, my first year I was just too scared of everything—of the idea of losing this wonderful new world or finding out it was all just a dream—to hate anyone. But you were so cruel and I didn’t understand why, not until later.
“But, when the war was over and I felt so lost and overwhelmed because it was all suddenly over, you gave me something new to look forward to. You had all the answers I needed, but you acted as though you wanted me as far away as possible.” The corner of Harry’s mouth quirked up. “I was too stubborn to leave and you were too bullheaded to tell me you wanted me to stay.”
“I most certainly did not!”
Rather than being insulted by the outburst, Harry just chuckled. “Face it, Severus, I was your only visitor. Minerva was busy getting the school back in order, and the Ministry only wanted to see if you were fit for imprisonment. If Madam Pomfrey hadn’t banned them from the ward, you would have been carted off to Azkaban before you woke up.”
“I hardly see the difference between a Dementor trying to suck out my soul and you trying to suck out memories I would much rather have forgotten,” Severus sneered, but there was fondness in his tone and warmth in his eyes.
“Yes, well, and I was far more relentless. Put any happy bloke within range and they forgot about their current target. Nothing could have dissuaded me from stalking the hospital wing while you were there. And after you recovered, I followed you back to Spinner’s End.”
“Like a little lost puppy looking for a new home. If I remember correctly, this was about the time Miss Weasley was pressuring you about your relationship.”
Harry sighed. “She wasn’t pressuring me. She just…everything happened so bloody fast in sixth year, and then I was gone all of my seventh year. She waited for me and I felt such a pillock for not wanting to pick right up where we had left off.”
“And so you avoided her completely by spending your time with me.”
“Yes and no. When I was around everyone else, I felt so bombarded by their opinions and suggestions that I couldn’t think straight. But whenever I was with you I could; I was able to focus.” Harry gazed at him thoughtfully. “Well, at least, I was when you were still unconscious.”
Severus huffed but the twitch of his lips gave him away. “And then I woke up and you practically begged me to adopt you.”
“I can definitely say that that was never something I wanted. I just...I just wanted to make it up to you somehow, all those years of being a prat to you.”
“Yes, you definitely lost your fear of me sometime around your second year. But in truth, Harry, you were no more disrespectful than any other student I have had over the years.” He paused. “Although, come to think of it, you were at your cheekiest in your fifth year than any other.”
“That’s putting it nicely,” Harry said with a smile. “I was a complete arse that year.”
“As I recall, you were also channeling the Dark Lord’s anger that year. It was a miracle you didn’t have more tantrums.”
Harry’s thoughts drifted to Sirius and his untimely death, but he refused to dwell on the negative memories. Instead, he returned to the original topic.
“After we started talking—”
“I believe you were the one doing the talking,” Severus cut in.
“—I realized I liked talking to you,” Harry continued, blithely ignoring Severus. “And when you got your voice back, I suddenly wanted to spend all my time with you.”
“Surely that’s an exaggeration.”
“Well, yeah, okay. It took me a while to warm back up to you after you started yelling at me again.”
“Your friends were convinced I was emotionally manipulating you into visiting me.”
“They didn’t understand. And really, until just recently, I don’t think I did either. I knew I wanted to fix the mess between us, and I knew I wanted to hear your side about, well, everything, but aside from that?” Harry shrugged. “But while I was thinking about whether I was ready to cross the line from friendship to relationship, I realized that no matter how much I didn’t want to lose you, I wanted more than what we have now. I want more than just Friday dinners, tea after class three days a week and the occasional holiday away together.
“I want to see you every night when we’re done with classes, and not just when we’re grading. I want to spend all my holidays with you, not just one or two. I want to read my Quidditch magazine while you’re writing out ideas for new potions. I want—”
“Those are an awful lot of ‘I wants’, Harry. That seems rather selfish, don’t you think?” Severus’ words were meant to slow Harry down, give him pause, but they didn’t.
“True, but until I really got to know you, I didn’t know how to be selfish. You taught me that. More importantly, though, you taught me I wasn’t actually being selfish if I didn’t force those desires onto someone else. So while I want all that, Severus—all that and more—I only want you to say yes if you truly mean it. And I want you to know that I mean it. I want you.”
“Harry, I…I have seen the young men you date. I do not compare—”
“No, Severus, they don’t compare. Not in any way. You told me that I was my own man, didn’t you? And you said that I should go after the things I want and only hold back if I was going to hurt someone. Well I want you, Severus, and I want all of you. I don’t care about anything or anyone else but you. If you don’t want that too, then say so.”
“And you will what? Forget this madness? Pretend as though this confession never occurred? Do you really think it is that simple, Potter?” Severus stood as he spoke, face flushed with anger.
Harry didn’t know what he’d do if Severus rejected him, and so wasn’t ready to give up. “Don’t, Severus. Don’t start putting up your barriers. Calling me ‘Potter’ and trying to intimidate me; those won’t make me back down. Tell me truly that you don’t want this.”
Severus dropped back down onto the couch, unsure of what to say or do next. He was happy sharing this quiet companionship with Harry, but after a taste of what it was like being intimate with him, he wasn’t sure he could say no. Even if it ruined everything, for the first time that he could recall, Severus wanted someone to be something more than just a conversation companion. He wanted someone to share meals with, and grade papers with; someone with whom he could go on holidays with, walk along piers or take boat rides with. But he didn’t want just anyone. He wanted Harry. Severus wanted Harry and no one else.
“I remember what it was like before you bulldozed your way into my life, Harry, and I do not want to go back to that.”
Harry leaned in close, his face earnest as he spoke. “And I won’t allow that. Look at us, Severus. Look how far we’ve come. Why stop it here? Why limit this?”
“Us. The chance for our friendship to become something more.”
“Harry, I have no experience in what it takes to make a relationship last. You are probably one of the few true friends I have ever had.”
“We won’t be losing anything, Severus, only gaining. I won’t walk away from you. Nothing will stop us from always being friends.”
“A trite line, Harry, and one I have heard whispered in many an alcove. All around me, people were proclaiming their love for one another in one breath and then offering to remain friends in the next. I am not certain I could handle losing you, but I am also not certain I could remain friends with you if the relationship were to end. It requires trust to do what you are asking of me.”
“And I’ve earned yours, Severus. You trusted me enough to bring me here, let me take you off on trips to Winter Island. Why can’t you trust that I know what I’m doing now?”
Viridian eyes begged Severus to understand, and then, finally, he did. The last of his restraint crumbled away. “I do, Harry. Why do you think I am fighting this so hard?”
“Severus, I…I think I’m in love with you.”
Harry shook his head and covered his face with his hands for a moment. When he pulled them away, his expression was so stark that it stilled every one of Severus’ turbulent emotions. It was as though time stood still.
“I’ve never felt this way about anyone, Severus. Not even Ginny, back in Sixth year. I’ve never wanted someone so much it hurt. I can feel every minute that I’m not at your side like a physical pain. I get agitated, anxious and I can’t focus. It’s not something I ever noticed until now because I’ve always taken it for granted, our moments together. But when I thought about it, really thought about it, it seemed so obvious.
“There are days when I want to do nothing more than sit beside you and listen as you talk about your classes. I could listen to you for hours without ever noticing the passing of time. And there are moments when you touch me and I suddenly find myself wanting to press closer. I just assumed it was because I felt so at peace in your presence.” Harry ignored the snort that followed his statement. “The idea of not spending every day with you, of not hearing your laugh or feeling you beside me, that scares me more than anything. I’d rather have my wand broken in half and be banished from the Wizarding World than lose you, you’ve become that important to me.”
“Harry, I…I do not know what to say to that. I am at a loss.”
“Then don’t say anything, Severus, just feel. Let me show you how good it feels to be loved. I won’t—you know I wouldn’t hurt you for the world.”
“I need to think about all of this.”
Harry wanted to shout, ‘what is there to think about?’ Instead, he stood and crossed the room. At the doorway of the living room, he paused and glanced back over his shoulder. “I’ll wait, Severus. Forever, if that’s what it takes.” Without waiting for a reply, Harry headed towards his bedroom and shut the door, leaving Severus alone in the living room.
~ * ~
Severus wanted to knock on Harry’s door two hours later, but he hesitated, with his hand raised. Though it hadn’t taken him long to come to the conclusion that, yes, he did in fact want more out of their relationship, he was not ready to make the first step. Instead, he let his hand drop to his side, turned around, and headed for his room. Tomorrow would come soon enough, and perhaps at breakfast the opportunity would arise for him tell Harry that he agreed.
He was halfway to his room when the bathroom door swung open. Harry stepped out in a pair of low-riding, green plaid flannel pajama pants, with water sliding in rivulets down his bare chest. Severus swallowed hard, far more aware of Harry than he had ever been before as he watched him casually lean against the frame.
“It’s hard, isn’t it?” Harry asked, his voice low and thrilling.
“Taking that first step. Even after your mind has been made up, it seems impossible to actually do it.”
The single word carried all the weight of Severus’ insecurity and he felt lighter almost immediately.
Harry pushed away from the door and walked towards Severus. He stopped just in front of him and reached up with one hand to cup Severus’ face, his thumb rubbing a soothing circle on his cheek. Then Harry pulled his face down for a kiss that made all thought flee. With a sigh, Severus gave himself over to the kiss.
Harry pulled back just when Severus thought he would faint from lack of air and too much Harry. Eyes dark with want, Harry said, “Let’s go to bed, Severus.”
~ * ~
Severus had been a little worried that Harry would rush things—as he was wont to do—but he soon discovered his fears were unfounded. Though Harry made fast work of getting Severus out of his clothes, he allowed him to pull on pajamas before curling up around him. Severus pulled Harry closer.
There was a long stretch of somewhat awkward silence, during which Severus wondered if Harry was having a change of heart. It amused him that Harry seemed so in tune with his thoughts.
“I figured we’d made enough headway for the night, so just go to sleep. Tomorrow, though, is a brand new day. You’ll want your rest for it.”
Severus was asleep within minutes, Harry following shortly after.
~ * ~
December 31, 2007
Despite Harry’s big words, he had made no move to seduce Severus into his bed since the big confession. Severus had been worried after the twenty-eighth had come and gone, but then he had realized that Harry was actually giving him time to adjust. There were still little touches—Harry’s hand on his thigh while they sat together reading, and the kisses that came out of nowhere and helped to ease Severus through the transition from friends to lovers—but he still found himself anxious.
It was as he was sorting through the pile of presents he hadn’t yet put away that Severus came across the bottle of wine from Dumbledore. He turned it over in his hands, contemplating the idea of opening it, perhaps accompanied by the variety of fine-grade cheeses and crackers he had stored.
Harry came in from the kitchen, apron still tied around his waist. “Oh, perfect. I was wondering if you had a red wine to go with dinner.” Harry scrutinized the bottle. "‘For the Greater Good?’ Is that a special Wizarding variety? I’ve never heard of it.”
“You will not have. Only two bottles of this were ever made. One was destroyed by the Dar—by Voldemort during his first reign of terror, while the other was in Albus Dumbledore’s possession until his death. The name comes from his time with Grindelwald. I believe he told you of their friendship?” At Harry’s nod, Severus continued, “Then you are aware that they were lovers, albeit for a short time. Grindelwald knew a man who owned a vineyard and commissioned him to make this wine so they could celebrate the completion of their goal.
“Dumbledore hid his bottle after learning of Grindelwald’s death and the loss of the other bottle. He wanted to keep it as a reminder of his youthful folly. Why he passed it on to me, I do not know.”
“Because you were his greater good, Severus.” Harry’s voice was hushed as he stepped close and wrapped his arms around Severus’ waist. “I’m guessing he wanted to celebrate you as a success, despite so many people being against you.”
Severus’ lips curved up in a genuine smile of fondness and he pulled Harry closer. Pressing a kiss to the top of his unruly hair, he replied, “Indeed. So let us open it and toast the New Year. May it bring all the happiness we seek,” he added.
“Great. Let me serve up dinner. Did you want to go watch the fireworks display afterwards or just stay in?”
Severus glanced away, cheeks pink as he replied, “I would like to stay in, if that is all right with you.”
“Sounds wonderful.” With a kiss to Severus’ cheek, Harry returned to the kitchen to serve the food while Severus retrieved the wine glasses from the dining room. He had thought to eat in that room, but the temptation of sitting before a fire with the television on was too strong.
So, a little while later, they were sitting beside each other when Harry reached for his wine glass, his hand settling on Severus’ thigh. His grip was loose and warm, the heat of his hand going straight to Severus’ core. He allowed one corner of his mouth to lift as he leaned back and sipped his wine. Harry, determined not to have to shift about too much once he was settled, picked up the only plate he had served and balanced it on his knee. Handing a fork to Severus, he picked up his own and tucked himself against Severus’ side.
“So what have you made for us?” Severus asked as he peered down at the plate. He could see olives, pasta and chicken in a red sauce that wasn’t quite a Bolognese sauce.
“It’s a combination of a Tuscan Chicken dish and a Sicilian Chicken dish that I found while searching the internet. I tried it out once before and thought you might enjoy it.”
Severus took the first bite, brow furrowing as he worked his way through the flavors. The sun-dried tomatoes, the Kalamata olives, and the tender chicken seemed to melt over his tongue, and he marveled at Harry’s prowess in the kitchen once more.
“It is delicious. I don’t believe you have served me something I did not like, but this is definitely one of the best.”
They lapsed into a companionable silence, the television playing but set on mute. It was a late dinner and the programs had been lacking, so Severus had chosen an old classic movie to pass the time until the New Year rang in. Harry remained by his side, head resting on his shoulder as the fire crackled softly in the background.
The movie ended just as Harry realized the countdown was beginning. It was a big thing in America to watch the ball drop in New York and all the commercials that day had advertised for it. Grabbing the remote from the table, Harry switched them to the appropriate channel before turning to Severus.
“A kiss to bring in the New Year, Severus?” Harry asked in a slightly breathy voice.
Severus didn’t bother responding. He was accustomed to kissing Harry enough now that he felt at ease enough to initiate one of his own. Tilting Harry’s head back with one hand, he watched the television out of the corner of his eye and waited for the exact moment. As soon as the lights on the ball flared bright, he brought his lips down in a bruising kiss.
Fireworks exploded on the screen and people cheered, but all was forgotten as Harry molded himself against Severus’ front, sliding from the couch onto his lap. His fingers wound themselves in the thick locks, unmindful of the slightly oily texture. He ran his tongue over Severus’ uneven teeth and marveled at the thought that Severus was all his.
With nimble fingers, he popped open the buttons on Severus’ shirt, exposing pale skin and a light dusting of hair. He would have liked to drink in the sight, but knew Severus was growing uncomfortable and drawing undue attention to his state of undress would only slow things down, which Harry was not willing to risk.
Aware that what they were about to do should take place in a bed, not on the couch, Harry clamored off Severus’ lap and offered him a hand. Without giving him a chance to protest, Harry began to lead him towards the bedroom, rewarding him with gentle caresses and desperate kisses every few steps.
Harry backed Severus into the bedroom, never taking his hands off his prize until they were sprawled across the bed. Leaning forward, he pressed kisses to the juncture of Severus’ neck and shoulder, nipping the skin hard enough to make him gasp. Then he soothed the area with his tongue, slowly trailing it down past the pronounced collar bone. Harry slid out of his jeans, distracting Severus with one of the open-mouthed kisses he’d discovered made him flushed and breathless. After he had cast them off the bed, Harry eased his way down Severus’ lean body, taking his time to get to know each sharp point and plane.
“Harry,” Severus groaned beneath the tantalizing touches. He couldn’t think past Harry’s name, let alone focus on anything beyond the skilled fingers on his body.
As Harry’s tongue dipped into Severus’ belly button, his fingers slipped free the leather belt Severus wore and undid the black trousers. Pushing them open, Harry let his fingers graze the soft spot on Severus’ stomach and felt the muscles there tighten reflexively. Long fingers wound their way through Harry’s hair as he nipped the tender skin gently, all the while continuing to peel away both trousers and pants.
He pulled his mouth away long enough to sit back and strip the clothes from Severus’ legs. Having foregone pants that day, Harry had the instant gratification of feeling Severus’ hot, hard cock against his own when he straddled his lap. He gave an experimental twist of his hip and was rewarded with a moan from Severus.
“Fuck, Severus,” Harry whispered. “I want you so much.”
Harry leaned forward to kiss Severus, his lips both demanding and loving as they began their seduction. As his tongue swept over Severus’, Harry began to thrust slightly with his hips. He reached down with one hand and wrapped it around both their cocks, gave a few gentle tugs, then pulled away once more.
As repressed as Severus had been for the last forty-seven years, Harry knew Severus wouldn’t last very long at all. In fact, he could tell Severus was already close. Bearing that in mind, Harry slid off his lap and pulled Severus up long enough to remove his shirt. Once he was lying back down, Harry repositioned himself between the slender legs.
Smoothing his hands over Severus’ thighs, Harry leaned in close and breathed lightly over his cock. It twitched and Severus gasped. Harry grinned, licked his lips to wet them thoroughly and then took just the head of Severus’ cock between them.
The fingers in Harry’s hair tightened their grip, pulling him closer, and Harry complied readily. Relaxing his jaw and throat, Harry urged Severus to thrust up by slipping his hands under his buttocks. He hummed and wasn’t disappointed by Severus’ response.
“Bloody hell!” Severus bucked up into Harry’s mouth, half-convinced he was going to die at any second from the pressure building up within him.
Swallowing Severus down to the root, Harry gave one final hard suck. Severus gave a loud shout as he came, exploding over Harry’s tongue. His fingers clenched painfully, but Harry was too busy milking Severus’ orgasm from him to care. Mindful of the sensitivity that followed such a climax, Harry gave a final sweep with his tongue then pulled back.
Lying down on the bed beside him, Harry pulled Severus close and brushed his hand over his chest. He could feel Severus’ heart beating erratically and he smiled.
“I…you...” Severus tried and failed to find the correct words, and he shifted to face Harry. His hand brushed against Harry’s still-hard cock and he gulped. “Do you wish for me to…relieve you?”
“No, I’m fine. Just relax. Enjoy the blissful feeling of having been brought to orgasm by my mouth.” Harry hid his smirk when Severus twitched.
~ * ~
He hadn’t been aware of falling asleep, but when Severus opened his eyes again, the room was darker. Harry was sprawled half over him, his tousled head tucked beneath Severus’ chin and his legs twined about Severus’. They were still on top of the blankets, but the amount of heat Harry put out made them unnecessary.
When Severus shifted, his movements caused Harry to stir, his green eyes opening slowly. The corners of his mouth came up and he pressed a hot kiss to Severus’ chest.
Severus couldn’t seem to find his tongue and so he nodded instead.
“Good. Hopefully, you’re well rested now,” Harry whispered.
Harry inched over until he was straddling Severus once more. Hips rocking languidly, he leaned towards the bedside table and opened the drawer, pulling out a vial. The fluid inside was colorless, and when the lid was removed so that Harry could pour some into his hand, Severus could see it was quite slippery. The jar was returned and Harry braced himself above Severus with one hand on the bed. The other slipped between their bodies.
He bucked up when Harry’s hand closed around his half-hard cock, the slick lubricant warming against his skin. Biting back a moan, Severus stared up into the desire-darkened eyes, amazed at how little of the green was visible. Harry smiled at him, lips curving upwards as his lids lowered until his eyes were mere slits. Severus watched, mesmerized, as the plump bottom lip was caught between even, white teeth, his own groan drowning out whatever sound escaped Harry.
There was only one word to describe Harry in that moment: wanton. Severus had heard the word when a student, whispered in the dark of his Slytherin dorm, and, later, had read it in some of the literature he had confiscated over the years. But never before had he seen wanton. Severus also realized that Harry had never looked more desirable than he did at this moment.
There was a subtle shift in Harry’s movements and Severus reached up without thinking to clasp him about the waist. He wanted to feel him—all of him—but he was afraid of doing something wrong. It was a miracle in and of itself, Severus told himself, that Harry hadn’t been put off the moment they were both naked.
The hand that had been pressed against the mattress near Severus’ head disappeared as Harry straightened. Hand buried in his own hair, he tipped his head back, exposing his neck. Without thinking, Severus moved.
Careful not to dislodge Harry, Severus pulled himself upright, knuckles bleeding white though his grip remained loose on Harry’s waist. The moment he was within reach, Severus latched onto the smooth skin, nipping at it with his teeth. Harry moaned under the assault, but when Severus would have pulled away, afraid that he had hurt him, Harry pulled him close.
“Severus, please,” Harry begged, though for what, Severus wasn’t quite sure.
He knew Harry wanted him, but they had never discussed how. Unable to make a move in that direction, Severus settled for wrapping his arms around Harry’s lithe frame. Harry’s hand, which had slowed in its torment, resumed stroking them both. Severus gasped as Harry clung to him.
The hand in Harry’s hair fell away, slipping behind him. Severus felt the slender fingers brushing over his bollocks. He shivered and the tension that had eased after his earlier orgasm came back with a vengeance.
When Harry kissed him again, it was as though everything in the world had come to a standstill except them. He could still feel the fast rhythm of Harry’s heartbeat against his own chest and the skilled fingers brushing over his cock, pressing against the slit and making the blood roar in his ears.
It wasn’t until Harry released Severus’ cock that he understood what was to come. Harry lifted himself up onto his knees, pressing Severus back down against the bed at the same time. With one hand holding him up, Harry used the other to guide Severus’ cock until the head was pressed against Harry’s entrance.
“Severus,” Harry whispered, “Look at me.”
Severus complied, eyes widening as he felt Harry sink down onto him. “Oh gods,” he said, seconds before Harry’s mouth covered his own.
It took Harry a moment to start moving, but when he did, his rhythm was steady. Each lift and drop of his hips was done with surety, and Severus could only mindlessly jerk his hips, gasping at the new sensations. Harry was hot and tight around him, and Severus found he couldn’t tell where Harry ended and he began.
Sparks of pleasure skittered through Severus, and every nerve ending felt as though it was on fire. His fingers dug into Harry’s waist as Severus began to thrust up, straining to be held deeper within Harry’s body. When he braced his feet on the bed, Harry leant forward and placed his hands on either side of Severus’ face.
His face was flushed and his bangs clung to his forehead, damp with sweat, but Severus couldn’t remember Harry having ever been more beautiful than in that moment. With gentle fingers, Severus reached out to trace the side of Harry’s face before pulling him down into another searing kiss.
Harry could tell when Severus was getting closer because his movements became slightly erratic. Twice Severus had reached down to take hold of Harry’s cock, but each time Harry had swept the hand away. He knew it wouldn’t take much to make him come, and he didn’t want to do so until he was deep inside Severus.
Redoubling his efforts, Harry flexed the muscles gripping Severus and was pleased by the broken groan that slipped out. Breaking the kiss, Harry leaned back until he was resting against Severus knees, then, quickening his pace, he clenched his muscles at the end of each descent.
Severus came, gasping out Harry’s name and pulling him down against his chest. His heart was pounding and he was slick with sweat, but he felt amazing. His body thrummed as Harry continued to milk the last of his orgasm from him, lips grazing Severus’ throat. When he finally slid free, Severus was little more than a boneless heap.
“Severus,” Harry whispered. “Severus, I want to be inside you. Will you let me?”
Severus stilled, obsidian gaze searching Harry’s face. He wanted to refuse, a part of him still desperately afraid, but he knew that he wouldn’t. He wanted to experience everything with Harry, including this.
“Yes,” Severus replied.
Again Harry reached for the jar, coating his fingers once more. Shifting only enough slip his hand between them, Harry stroked over and past Severus’ bollocks to the tight ring of muscle. His fingers brushed against the small entrance, teasing Severus with delicate touches. As he pressed one finger in, Harry told Severus what he was doing.
“It’s going to be a bit uncomfortable, Severus. Tell me if I hurt you and I’ll stop, okay.”
Severus nodded, unable to speak. The finger inside him felt odd and the stretch stung, but it wasn’t unbearable. As Harry’s finger retreated, it would twist a little sending sparks of something akin to pleasure zipping through him. Severus slowly relaxed around the intrusion and he released the grip he hadn’t realized he’d had on the sheets.
“I’m going to add another finger now, Severus,” Harry murmured in his ear.
“Are you going to talk me through the whole thing?” Severus demanded, uncertain of whether he wanted that or not.
“Mm. My first time was a bit of a shock. I’d rather you be a bit more prepared than I was.”
Severus’ eyes snapped to Harry’s face, but he found only amusement, and perhaps a bit of embarrassment, in Harry’s viridian gaze.
“Deep breath, Severus, and then let it out,” Harry encouraged. He eased the second finger in as Severus exhaled, his free hand rubbing soothing circles on the inside of his thigh. “It’ll sting, but this should make it better.”
Harry’s fingers brushed over something and Severus jolted. He had read that the prostate was highly sensitive and that pleasure could be derived by stimulating it, but he had not realized just how good it would feel.
“Yes,” Severus hissed, closing his eyes as he pressed back against Harry’s fingers. He barely noticed when a third finger was added.
Harry removed his fingers and wiped them off on the edge of the sheet before reaching for the lubricant once more. Coating his hand liberally, Harry slicked his cock and pressed against Severus’ entrance.
Severus tensed. He knew, in theory, that this was possible. After all, Harry had taken him inside himself, and Severus was hardly what one could call small, by any stretch of the word. But it was still a frightening idea, taking up such a submissive position.
“Breathe, Severus,” Harry instructed and he pushed forward, one hand on Severus’ hip.
It burned, and quite a bit at that, but it wasn’t anything unbearable. More to the point, though, Severus had opened his eyes just as he felt Harry lining himself up and was able to see all the love Harry was offering him. Severus reached up with one shaking hand to smooth away the damp strands on Harry’s forehead.
Harry leaned in for a kiss, moving deeper inside Severus at the same time. Once he was fully sheathed, he paused to give Severus time to adjust to the feeling of being filled so completely. To add to the distraction from the pain, Harry focused on kissing every part of Severus he could reach.
When Harry finally began to move, the angle of his hips had him brushing Severus’ prostate on each stroke. There was an initial burn, but the pleasure surmounted it enough that Severus was able to ignore it. Instead, he focused on the feeling of Harry being inside him, filling him...completing him.
When Harry finally began to move, the angle of his hips had him brushing Severus’ prostate on each stroke. There was an initial burn, but the pleasure surmounted it enough that Severus was able to ignore it. Instead, he focused on the feeling of Harry being inside him, filling him...completing him.
It was overwhelming already, the feel of Harry’s lips on his skin, of him moving deep within the confines of Severus’ body, but then Harry reached down to grasp Severus’ cock, causing Severus to arch and moan loudly. His toes curled and his bollocks tingled, the arousal pooling there a mere echo of what he had felt not five minutes before. While he knew he couldn’t come again, indeed his cock was only half-hard, he reveled in the wonderful echo of it.
“That’s it, Severus, just let go.”
Severus obeyed the breathlessly murmured words, the stimulation of his over-sensitized flesh sending him into an almost haze of bliss. One extra hard rub of Harry’s cock and he felt his arse clenching again, although his cock was still almost limp. While knowing he would be gripping Harry’s cock painfully, he couldn’t muster enough lucid thought to care. All he could focus on was the wantneedlustlovedesire that pulsed through him. The intensity of it burned the insides of his eyelids, blinding him with bright spots of white lanced with red, green and blue.
Harry came with a grunt, hips jerking in tiny thrusts as he emptied himself inside Severus. Leaning down, Harry took Severus’ mouth in a savage kiss, pulling from him all the love he had been keeping secreted away. He brought it to the surface with gentle nips and the swipe of his tongue over thin lips and Severus sighed.
When Harry collapsed, he took the brunt of his weight on his forearms, letting his chest graze Severus’. His heart was pounding in his ears and he wondered if Severus could hear it as well. Turning his head into Severus’ throat, Harry licked the sweat-dampened skin, tasting salt and something more, something only Severus had. With a regretful sigh, Harry slipped free from Severus’ body and rolled to the side so that he could wrap himself about his lover. Lover. The word made him smile.
“Don’t try to classify it, Severus. Just let it be what it is. Enjoy it.”
“Thank you. I…”
Harry propped himself up so that he could gaze down into Severus’ eyes, baring his soul at the same time.
“I love you, Severus. The other day, I told you I thought I loved you, today I know. I knew before you kissed me when the ball dropped. Hell, I knew before I woke up the morning after my confession,” Harry admitted with a rueful laugh. “And not just the let’s-shag-and-be-cute-together kind of love, either. It’s the I-want-to-grow-old-and-experience-everything-life-has-to-offer kind of love.”
Severus tried to reply, his mouth opening and shutting several times, but no words came out. Instead, he pulled Harry down and into his arms, mouthing the words as they kissed.
~ * ~
Harry remained awake long after Severus had fallen asleep, eyes trained on the snow falling outside the window. The clock beside the bed read 2:37 am and he smiled as he thought of the way they had rung in the New Year.
Slipping from the bed, Harry moved to the window, unmindful of his nudity. He stared out at the snow that blanketed the back garden, weighing down the boughs of the trees. His eyes went to the sky and he could see the stars shining brightly. How many wishes had he made on those stars as a little boy? He knew it must number many, on the nights when his aunt and uncle had banished him to the back garden lest a visitor notice him. Sitting there alone, he had begged the stars to rescue him, to give him a family that loved him instead of hurt him. Finally they had granted his wish and Harry was certain he wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
Severus’ voice, heavy with sleep, broke through Harry’s ruminations, and he turned to face him. As he moved back towards the bed, he smiled and reached out to touch Severus’ face.
“I love you,” he whispered.
Severus frowned at him, understanding that there was more to the words than their obvious meaning. His obsidian gaze roved over Harry’s face and locked on his emerald eyes. He fancied he could see the secrets of Harry’s soul within them, and he smiled.
“Come to bed, Harry. Tomorrow is a big day.”
“Yes. We’ll have to return home early so we can see if your house has anything worthy of using as a potions laboratory.”
Harry was adorable in confusion, Severus decided. “Yes. I never cared for my house in Spinner’s End. It seems only reasonable, then, that since you will be moving into my quarters at school that I should move into your house?” His look dared Harry to find fault with his logic.
Harry’s lips curved up slowly. “Yeah, I think you’re right. And I have the perfect room for a laboratory.”
Severus pulled Harry into his arms and covered them with the heavy duvet. Yes, his New Year was off to a remarkable start. He was alive and he had Harry; Harry who wanted Severus, and only Severus, for the rest of his life. As sleep came once more, Severus told himself that he deserved this happiness, and for the first time, he believed the words.