Author's Notes: Written for the HPCFC Challenge. Switchknife wanted one of the three following quotes in here, but I couldn't resist - I used all three: Excerpt A: 'Don't lie to me,' Snape hissed, his fathomless black eyes boring into Harry's. 'Boomslang skin. Gillyweed. Both come from my private stores, and I know who stole them.' Harry stared back at Snape, determined not to blink, or to look guilty. Excerpt B: Snape's eyes flashed. He plunged a hand into the inside of his black robes. For one wild moment, Harry thought Snape was about to pull out his wand and curse him... Excerpt C: '... trapped, Harry leant backwards, trying to avoid Snape's fingertips...'


A Lesson Learned

Part One

By Venivincere

       

Detention with Ron was worse than detention alone. Harry reckoned just about everything was worse since he and Ron weren't speaking anymore. Bored with measuring salt and pouring vinegar into jars packed with rat's brains and wanting to distract himself from Ron's stony silence, Harry took to examining Snape's workroom. Shelves of dusty jars lined the walls over soapstone counters. Strange metal coils and oddly-shaped glass beakers lined the counters, interspersed with deep stone basins surrounded by a variety of taps. Torches burned everywhere, flooding the room with light.

Snape himself was in the corner, hunched over a cauldron. He hadn't stopped stirring the steaming, tar-like potion since growling directions and setting the two of them to work, and that was over an hour ago. Harry marveled at this. Snape's arms and shoulders were slender, like the rest of him. Where was the muscle to keep up that sort of activity without rest, or even a variance of pace? Maybe Snape was like Harry himself. Though still slight and slender, child-like for all his 14 years, Harry's arms and legs, really his whole body was hard from Quidditch. Snape must be hard, too, from years of the rigidly-controlled actions required of master-level brewing. Harry had the sudden urge to run his hands over Snape's shoulders and arms to find out.

Before he could register disgust for the strange turn his thoughts had taken, Ron shoved another jar of rat's brains into his hands and he wearily resumed pickling.

       

The second task was finished and the third a comfortable length of time away, but Harry was determined not to get caught flat-footed again. He spent hours and hours in the library looking up hexes, curses and counter curses. There were thousands of them. Thousands of books on them, actually, rows upon rows, whole stacks devoted to attacking and defending against one's fellow witches and wizards. He would never be able to read even a fraction of them by the time the third task arrived. And without knowing what the task entailed, how could he narrow his search? Weary of the effort, he sighed, shut Curse Your Cursors Effective Counter-curses for the Chronically Hexed, and leaned across the library table toward Ron and Hermione, determined to enlist their aid.

"It's obvious, Harry," said Hermione, when he had explained his problem, "what you need is a Concentration Draught. It's a very potent potion which allows you to pay such close attention to whatever you're doing that the experience imprints itself indelibly on your memory."

"Really, then?" Ron was excited. "So if I'd taken a Concentration Draught right before the World Cup, I would've remembered every detail of the whole match?" His eyes drifted far away.

Hermione glared at Ron. "I shouldn't think you'd have needed any sort of potion for that Ron, the way you go on about it!" Ron scowled.

But Harry was curious as well. "Do you mean that if I were to take this potion and read over the curses once, I should know them perfectly?"

"In theory, yes," answered Hermione, "but the potion itself, if you can find it, is very expensive and it's difficult to make correctly. For starters, it requires the root of the magical oleander harvested at the new moon. You can't just get that anywhere." Harry's face fell.

And perked up again, immediately. "If I won't be able to purchase the Draught, d'you think I could I make it?" asked Harry, hopefully.

"Possibly," said Hermione, hesitantly, "but the only place I would guess you could find the oleander root is Knockturn Alley. It's more commonly used in Dark potions."

"Never mind that," said Harry, "I know where to get some: Snape's stores." Ron turned to look at him, eyes wide. Harry stared back. "Remember when we pickled rat's brains during detention with Snape? I got the salt and vinegar from his stores while you were setting out jars. I know I saw oleander root while I was in there."

"But Harry," Hermione said, "even though it isn't very complicated to make, the potion requires constant attention. The unfinished draught is terribly caustic and will melt the cauldron and everything around it if ingredients aren't added precisely to schedule. And you'd have to make quite a large batch of it if you plan to study every day. The effects only last about four hours. Will you have time to do it properly?"

Pensively, Harry bit his lip. He hadn't the time, really, but he knew he would have to make time if he wanted a fighting chance at the third task. Still, he looked at Hermione hopefully. "If I can get the oleander root, would you help me make the potion?"

Hermione frowned. "Snape will know someone's been in his stores again," she said. "He's bound to blame you," she looked over at Ron, who nodded vigorously in agreement.

"Harry, mate, she's right," said Ron. "If you get in trouble now and have to spend all your time in detention, you'll never have time to prepare..." He broke off, glancing worriedly at Hermione, who nodded back. But one look across the table at Harry, lips drawn in a thin line, middle finger pushing up the frames of his drooping spectacles in a picture of determination, stiffened their resolve.

"Harry, we're willing to help you," said Hermione. "But are you sure you want to take the risk?"

       

The storeroom door closed behind him with a tiny click, and it was only then that Harry dared take a full breath. He exhaled with a shudder of relief and leapt quickly up the dungeon corridor, passing no one, knuckly fingers full of oleander root. In minutes he was pausing at the portrait of the Fat Lady ("ars brevis"), climbing through, and quietly transferring his handful of goods into Hermione's bag. She nudged his invisible form with the side of her knee, he tapped her arm in response, then slipped up the stairs and back into bed.

       

Harry was so engrossed in examining Snape's shoulders as he swept around the dungeon classroom at the end of Double Potions on Friday, peering into cauldrons and marking in a slim, black volume, that Ron noticed.

"Harry," Ron elbowed him, "you'll need your wand if you're trying to curse him." Harry sniggered, but was secretly appalled to have been caught staring. And what in the wizarding world was he doing looking, anyway? He felt a flutter in his stomach as Snape approached.

"Potter!" he barked, and shot him a particularly venomous stare. "You will stay after the lesson has finished." He glanced into Harry's cauldron and moved on.

For a moment, Harry thought Snape was on about staring at him. But his heart sank, remembering the oleander root. He tried his best to look perplexed and asked "Why, professor? My Soothing Syrup turned out fine..."

Snape whirled around to face him, robes billowing. "Silence!" he snarled. "You will find out when I am ready for you to find out. And five points from Gryffindor. Really Potter, you ought to know better than to question me by now."

He spent the rest of class wondering how much detention he would get, tucked behind his cauldron and fuming just as much as it.

       

Harry stood defiantly in front of Snape's lectern, which Snape loomed over in a towering rage.

"Don't lie to me," Snape hissed, his fathomless black eyes boring into Harry's. "Boomslang skin. Gillyweed. Both come from my private stores, and I know who stole them." Harry stared back at Snape, determined not to blink, or to look guilty. After all, Hermione and Dobby actually committed those particular thefts, even if Harry was partially responsible.

"And now you have the appalling nerve to steal my oleander root!" Snape was quickly becoming apoplectic with rage. "Do you have any idea of its uses, Potter? Do you know how much damage would be caused if even a quarter of what you took were to get into the wrong hands?" Snape breathed heavily through his mouth, and Harry, quite startled, watched Snape shudder violently and fall silent. His reaction to Harry's crime was markedly uncharacteristic enough to cause Harry to think again about the oleander root.

In fact, Harry didn't know what kind of damage could be done with it, aside from melting everything in sight if the brewing of the Concentration Draught went wrong, but after four years of potions he could imagine just how devastating it might be. His eyes lowered and he felt a touch of nausea curl in his stomach.

"Chaos, Potter," Snape continued in lowered (frightened?) voice, a sick look on his face, as though his stomach churned. "Utter mayhem!" He moved quickly from behind the lectern, and so exposed, looked suddenly menacing to Harry, who once again stared wide-eyed at Snape.

"You will be punished, Potter." Snape's composure was returning, and his eyes glinted. "You may be Dumbledore's special pet, but that will not allow you to escape the consequences this time."

"I am not his pet," Harry shouted, anger flashing in his eyes, but despite his vehemence he found himself twisting his fingers in the sleeves of his robes; apparently he would be getting more detention than he thought. It was suddenly borne in upon him that his offence might be more serious than that perhaps it was serious enough to get him expelled! Harry's eyes widened.

"Careful, Potter," Snape grinned evilly. He looked as though he knew what Harry was thinking.

"The ministry would be forced to act, Potter, if they ever found out," Snape continued. Expulsion means nothing." He was practically shouting again now. "You would be spending the rest of your days in Azkaban if they ever find out!" Again he grinned, and his eyes bored into Harry's. He stayed that way several moments, then his voice lowered dramatically. "What am I going to do with you, Harry?" Harry clutched his stomach, suddenly quite nauseated.

Snape did not issue a pronouncement immediately. He stood for a full minute, looming over Harry, clenching and unclenching his fists, and the glint in his eyes intensified as they roamed almost voraciously over Harry's slight frame. Harry grew quite uncomfortable under Snape's fevered scrutiny. He fidgeted, but the front row of desks was directly behind him and he couldn't back away. Surely Snape wouldn't hit him? But Harry was no longer certain this was so. He began to feel the first stirrings of fear. His palms began to sweat, and he twisted his fingers further into his robe. His eyes locked on the flexing muscles of Snape's arm., but that only made him more tense. Or something. He certainly felt more flushed.

Snape noticed. He wrenched his eyes back to Harry's, a new light in them. Harry caught the movement in the corner of his eye and looked up: he gulped and his heart suddenly raced.

"What am I going to do with you?" Snape asked again, but Harry suspected Snape already knew. Harry, at least, guessed. He blanched as Snape moved his face closer to his own and growled "Detention doesn't seem to stop you. Neither does losing House points." Here, the beginnings of a feral grin appeared. "I could turn you over to Filch and his chains, Potter, would you like that?"

Harry stared silently, not even daring to shake his head, even though he knew Filch hadn't the authority. Snape continued "But I don't think I will. I could beat you myself, Potter, and don't think that I wouldn't," here he moved even closer, "issuing you a thorough spanking might be quite enjoyable, in fact," the grin appeared full force, and now their noses were almost touching, "but I won't. I'd rather not have to explain the marks." Harry exhaled onto Snape's chin, unaware he had been holding his breath, and breathed deeply through his nose. Bizarrely, Harry wondered what he'd been brewing last Snape smelled of garden loam and the smothery, metallic tang of blood. "But there are other ways of marking you, Potter, other ways that don't show." Harry waited, breathlessly.

"You have caused me a great deal of unnecessary trouble since you arrived at this school. You have been a continual source of annoyance to me." His voice rose as he continued. "You have crossed one too many lines this time, Mr. Potter." The feral grin widened. "And now I shall cross one!"

Snape's eyes flashed. He plunged a hand into the inside of his black robes. For one wild moment, Harry thought Snape was about to pull out his wand and curse him! But no... Harry watched, exsanguinating fear and something else gluing him to the spot as Snape's trousers dropped below the hem of his robes and were toed off along with his boots, first the left leg, then the right, then kicked viciously between the bowed legs of the lectern. Snape advanced toward Harry, rucking up the front of his robe, his grin illuminating his face with an impassioned, demonic light. Harry couldn't take his eyes off Snape's middle. The hem of the robe collected in folds in Snape's fists, rising inexorably higher. Harry gasped with renewed breath as the very edge of the hem slipped above the tip of Snape's thick, dusky cock and the blood came rushing back, warming him, and oh, God, pooling in his groin and hardening him! Harry stumbled backward and made to turn and run, but the edge of a desk caught him under the buttocks and held him in place. Trapped, Harry leant backwards, trying to avoid Snape's fingertips just long enough to twist away, but too late: Snape's fingers rested on Harry's chest as he ground himself against Harry's knees, trying to separate them. Harry clenched his legs together and strangled a shriek.

His slender arms batted the one pushing him backward onto the desk. A part of his brain registered that Snape's arms were strong, just as muscled and hard as his own, and suddenly he discovered he was squeezing Snape's arm, not pushing, not pushing at all! He yanked his hands back as though they'd been burnt.

Snape whipped out his wand with his other hand and cast a locking and silencing spell on the classroom door. Harry's small hands scrambled now on the smooth, worn edge of the wood, desperately trying to lever his joined legs up and push Snape away, but angle of his arms kept them too close to the edge to gain purchase. His fingers slipped on the granular remains of a long-dried potion. He heard Snape's wand clatter to the floor and felt firm abdominal muscles flex on his clenched knees as he leant to fetch it. They were just as hard as Snape's arms... This new thought and the changing pressure on his knees was enough to unbalance him; he spread his slender legs in an autonomic bid for balance, clutching once again the arm holding him down, and with horror, knew in that moment he was lost Snape rose with the wand in his hand and slipped snake-like between Harry's shaking limbs, and oh, God! His erection was suddenly pressing firmly into Harry's balls, snug like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle joined with its mates. Harry's blood suddenly buzzed through his body, and with a sickening swoop of shame, lust and anticipation realized his own half-hardened cock was rising swiftly to meet it.

"What are you... I've never I mean..." His left hand dropped, his right still clutched Snape's elbow; his voice trailed off, his face colored deeply and suddenly he lay very still, eyes on the face dominating his vision, feeling the hard bone beneath his fingers and for the first time completely and viscerally aware of Severus Snape. The sleeve of his robe slid up the slender arm still gripping Snape's to puddle around his elbow. The pink tip of his tongue darted out to moisten suddenly-dry lips.

Snape's breath caught in his throat. The sound of it woke Harry's skin. A wave of prickles washed over the surface of him and receded; he was suddenly aware of the weave of his trousers pressing in folds into the smooth skin of his inner thigh, the slightly damp roughness of his collar rubbing the soft skin of his neck behind his ear, Snape's fingernails scraping through his robes into his chest. Each humid thread of his cotton Y-fronts dug tightly into his painfully hard cock.

"Well, well, well, Mr. Potter," he spoke through his grin. "It seems you are not yet thoroughly spoilt. I shouldn't have imagined it, considering the sizeable number of fans you have worked to acquire at this school."

Harry's eyes blazed. He did not go encouraging !

Oh, Lord! What was that? His mouth, open to issue an outraged denial, issued a throaty gasp instead as Snape's hand slowly squeezed around his pulsing, aching cock. Ahhh, and now he was rubbing it!

"Whatever is the matter, Mr. Potter? None of the fawning young women to your taste? Or are you holding out for someone too wise to be wooed by your more obvious charms?" With this, Snape curled his lip and gave Harry's erection an extra firm tweak. Harry was too busy riding the waves of pleasure radiating from his groin to respond sensibly to Snape's jibe; he managed "Hnnng!" while he squeezed his buttocks together and tilted his hips up, pressing harder into Snape's merciful hand, his hand that kept squeezing and pressing, and pushing and jerking, and Harry was thrashing his legs and oh, God! It wasn't he'd only ever done it at night, in his dreams, waking wet and embarrassed, but here he was right now, coming, in thick, spurting strands, each pulse slicking his damp, tented Y-fronts that rubbed on the head of his cock still convulsing in Snape's careful grip...

At last he lay still, his cock throbbing and sticky in his pants, face flushed like a little girl's. He opened his eyes, unaware when they had closed, and found his hands wrapped around Snape's wrist, as though he had been guiding it, guarding it from distraction. He rubbed his thumb along the smooth rise of his wrist bone; the soft, black hairs there felt like smoothest silk.


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