Disclaimer: I'm just playing with someone else's toys. May I be forgiven in my next incarnation... (and what you do not recognize is mine, such as the MOSSes -Ministry Officers of State Security). Flamers will be adopted by my family (if you don't believe it's a threat... too bad for you!).
Chapter Twenty - Warding Darkness Away
He wakes up with a start that wakes up his husband.
This is just a question; he's not angry for being awakened in the middle of the night.
How could he?
The first night after the journalists from the Moon had broken into their house, they'd both had nightmares. They even shared some of them, living the same imaginary hell at the same time: Matthew killed, Harold and Sarina kidnapped or worse...
'Yes, I'm sorry.'
'It's not your fault.'
Both men know that they won't be able to go back to sleep till they've checked that the whole household is all right.
They get up and walk to Matthew's bedroom. They open the door and watch him; he's quietly sleeping and the wards in his room are working.
They go to the nursery where their daughter and son are fast asleep.
There are new wards in the house and additional ones in the children's rooms. Harry and Severus put a lot of magic in those wards and their friends and family helped as well. That awful experience strengthened their link and deepened their affection and love.
The biggest surprise came one morning with the post.
A huge bird landed in the garden. It was of a species Harry had never heard of. Matthew was fascinated and the twins were giggling; Milk had slithered away, hissing something close to "better safe than sorry", Hedwig was snubbing the other exotic bird while Leila was sniffing it. Câly was ill at ease because she had understood why Severus sat frozen on his chair.
Between clenched teeth, the Potions master had explained that it came from Australia, and there was only one person they knew who lived there.
'What do you think we should do with that bird, then? Send it back?' Harry had asked his husband.
'Let's give a chance to your first godfather. If he plays a trick on you, I'll hex him into the next millennium,' Severus answered.
Harry took the message from the bird that profusely thanked Câly when she brought him water and food.
'It's an Express... Must have cost a nice pile of Australleons,' Matthew remarked.
Harry cast a series of charms on the small package to be certain that it came from Sirius Black and that it was safe to open it. When he was satisfied, he discovered inside, a letter, a tiny box and the front page of an Australian newspaper.
Harry was immersed in his reading, but he signalled the two wizards who could read to join him, and Severus and Matthew read how kindly the Australian press had presented the events that had taken place in their home.
It was very respectful, and the witch who had written the paper was horrified that some of her fellows had tampered with the security of the Stork children of the two bonded wizards who had saved the freedom of the magical world. She even said that she could have decided to illustrate her paper with a picture of Severus and Harry taken during the official Victory celebrations at the British Ministry of Magic two years ago, but everybody knows who Severus Snape and Harry Potter are and she failed to see what it would add, so she decided not to use a picture of them.
'So... Sirius knows. I wonder what he's got to say about our children,' Harry growled.
'What happened with him?' Matthew asked.
Severus sighed and Harry explained. 'The day after our bonding, after my parents had come and blessed us, Sirius came back from a mission and he refused to accept that I love Severus,' he said, taking Severus's hand for comfort. 'He even tried to disrupt Jules's blessing of our bond. His plan backfired as priestesses took him away. We've been informed that he's been released and that he immigrated to Australia.'
'Why was he against your bonding?' Matthew went on.
'Because of our past; Black always hated me, and he even tried to kill me using Remus when he had transformed. And I guess that the fact that we're both wizards doesn't help much,' Severus explained.
'But that's stupid. No one can resist to true love... I think... I'm right, am I not?' Matthew asked.
'Yes, but for some people - magical people and Muggles alike - only some ways are proper. Gender is the first boundary for some, but others add religion, race or other criteria,' Severus went on as Harry opened the parchment, dreading its content.
It proved to be far from being a Howler or something similar.
"Dear Harry," it read.
"Over the past months, I have been doing a lot of thinking. I cannot lie and pretend that your choice for a companion enchants me, but, as you said, this is none of my business.
I can't understand either why you prefer the company of a wizard: this is totally alien to me.
I know I hurt you, and I'm sorry for that; I only wanted to protect you, but obviously, I was too late to be of any use in your life, and my protection was not what you needed from me.
I fear that I will never understand how and why you linked your life with Snape, but if you are happy, that is all that is truly important.
I take it that what the priestesses did is a secret of some sort, yet there are things I must tell you before you open the box I've sent. Your parents and the Snapes kept me company for months, and worked on making me understand why I was wrong. I could tell you what happened, but it would be pointless because they didn't convince me. You convinced me. By Merlin, I hope you won't have me repatriated and shipped to St Mungo's, but when you wished your children, I heard you, Harry. I know you can't remember the two times you wished your baby twins, but I heard you. I can't understand why you wished them with Snape, but your love made me understand how wrong I was and that if I loved you, I had to accept this. Then, I heard, or felt, I'm not sure, the twins laughing and rejoicing because they were on their way to you. I heard them and their love for you, and one day I fully came back into our world. I don't understand most of your life, but your love for your children is something very real, and something I understand.
James and Lily wanted us to be a family and when I read my morning paper - I guess you read the article first - I immediately took your side. Like the Muggles say, I'd like to bury the hatchet and give you something that can be really useful for you. In the box, you will find two sets of reduced boxes, and when you enlarge them you will find pieces of jewellery. They're powerful talismans that can protect your children. They've been made here and are made by pairs, so you mustn't consider the fact that there are four of those as an encouragement to wish or adopt a fourth child; it's just that I couldn't offer you something for the babies and forget that Matthew Templeton has joined your family. The talismans are keyed to keep your kin safe. I hope you will accept those.
I don't think I could visit you without arguing with you, and I don't fully get how you chose such a life, but I do hope you haven't totally dismissed me as your godfather. I don't know if we'll meet again in this life, but keep the boxes with the talismans; it'll give me the impression that I haven't completely failed in the mission Lily had assigned me.
Harry gave the box to his husband, who checked that it was not a trap, then Harry checked it once more and he'd asked Câly to verify it, too.
'I'm rubbing off on you too much,' Severus said.
The talismans were not Dark magic, but true shields, and strong ones. Severus gave a necklace to Matthew and placed chain bracelets on the twins wrists.
Nothing would ever be enough to keep the children safe at all times, but it was a start.
In spite of their bouts of paranoia, Severus and Harry worked on giving the feeling that life was back to normal, but deep down in their hearts they knew that, like any parents, they would keep on worrying for their children forever. They worried people were curious about their children because of who their parents were. It was not easy to be a child of the wizards who defeated Voldemort and kept defeating the decisions of the Ministry of Magic.
Severus and Harry's life was made of strategies and lies once more.
In the first nights after the intrusion, they patrolled several times, but now they were waking up only once...
'The three are asleep.'
'We should do the same; we can't go on worrying about them like that.'
'The famous "we cannot escape Fate" theory?' The voice is teasing.
'You know perfectly well that I'm right. We can worry ourselves sick, but that will not prevent things from happening to them. There's no magic strong enough to guarantee that they'll always be safe.'
The other man sighs.
They're repeating the same scene since that dreadful day and they trade roles every other day. They're recovering, but slowly, and their night patrol and their talk has become a soothing ritual of some sort.
One holds out his hand, the other takes it and is led back to their bedroom.
The door is locked, the wards checked and a first kiss is given.
The one who's playing comforter tonight leans towards his lover and licks his lips. He remembers how he felt the night before when he's been lulled with kisses, love and tenderness.
As the kiss becomes more heated, they dance their way back to their bed. They divest each other of their dressing-gowns and fall on their sides onto the bed.
The one who's being comforted lets his lover worship his body.
Earlobes are abused and nipples teased.
The tender and feathery caresses are all over him and his moans are too close to sobs for his lover's taste.
Suddenly, he straddles his husband and takes both their pricks in his hand and gently strokes them both: the short gasps of his lover underneath satisfy him a bit more and he can proceed with his task.
He leaves his position to take the lubricant on his side of their bed and his husband takes this opportunity to roll onto his belly and spread his legs; the fact that they cannot use magic in their room if they want to be able to monitor the wards on their children's rooms efficiently has one advantage: they're learning to make their lovemaking last with only the help of Muggle tricks.
The lubricant is used to coat the prick of the man who's dying to bury himself into his beloved bonded: when he's prepared his lover, he might forget to do so in his eagerness to make the other man forget the violation of their haven.
He puts some lubricant on his fingers and finds the opening of his lover. They've kept the window that opens on the garden unlatched, but there's no moon and the room is pitch dark; they don't mind for they know the topography of each other's bodies by heart: their own lips, fingertips and even their entire skin recognize each mole and asperity of the other.
After those sessions of love without magic, they've become expert teasers of their prostates. His lover under him is now whimpering under the assault of a lubricated index that draws circles on the gland.
He obeys and adds fingers till he's satisfied and considers that his lover is ready to take him. He withdraws his fingers that are immediately replaced by his aching prick. As he trades his fingers for his shaft, his fingertips brush against the tip of his arousal and his hiss makes his lover underneath him even harder; his erection is painfully trapped between his belly and the mattress, but this is what he needs - he needs to feel that his lover is in charge, protecting him, covering him. He needs to surrender fully to his bonded.
Slowly, the man above him sheaths his prick inside him. Without their usual spells, it's almost so overwhelming that both nearly come.
'I can feel you pulse in me,' the one under him pants.
On his side, he can feel that vein under his shaft brushing against his lover's prostate as he barely moves to and fro. His lover sighs with contentment, and that's his cue to start fucking him through the mattress. This is what they both need; that ever too brief moment when one feels safe and the other in control.
He comfortably settles between his lover's legs, spreading them a bit more, but to a point where it's not uncomfortable. He snakes one arm around his lover's waist and the other grabs his shoulder from under his other arm: he's holding him tight. His lips fasten on that soft spot on his husband's neck and he begins his private worshipping, their secret ceremony.
In and out of his husband he pounds.
When he feels his lover shudder with one last moan under him, he surrenders and fills his bonded with his seed.
Both know that they should move if they don't want to be a mess, but for some blessed seconds, they stay linked to each other. They forget everything, but that their love can always make them win. If they killed Voldemort thanks to their love, then they must be able to protect the ones they love and their post-coitum bliss gives them hope.
When his cock slips out of his lover, he rolls on his side and pulls his limp lover towards him and spoons him.
'Thank you,' he says, turning his head to offer a sleepy kiss goodnight.
'I love you.'
'I love you.'
Now, they can go back to sleep.
In the morning, they'll keep on pretending that everything is all right and that they're as strong as everybody believes.
They're doing that for their children first and foremost, and for their friends and family, not to worry them.
They're doing it to trick the rest of the world and dissuade others to try anything to disrupt their lives.
To Be Continued...
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