The Last Dance

Part IV

By Sushi


Harry blinked unquestioningly at his surroundings. The walls, lit by the light of a smaller hearth than in the sitting room, were thick with green and black curtains - purely practical, of course; otherwise, the sweating grey granite walls would pull every speck of heat from the room. The rugs, exotic things far too intricate for Severus' taste and there for the same reason, were covered with heavy, black furniture: a wardrobe, several bookshelves covered with scrolls and vials and tomes and the odd photograph of his family or friends, a tall mirror, a low wooden thing more like a coffin than a chest, a gargantuan four-poster bed from an age when the Potions master slept with his wife and their dozen or so children for sheer warmth.

The hand in Severus' squeezed gently. A fine layer of moisture had grown between them, and his fingers slid softly as Harry let go. Harry took a few hesitant steps forward, pressed a quick hand into the mattress. When it seemed to have sufficient give, he perched himself on the edge. "Big," he said, studying the pine green cover with squinted eyes.

"Old. You can imagine it takes quite a lot of effort to fall out in the middle of the night."

Harry snorted. "Do I get the chance to try?"

A smile flitted over Severus' narrow lips. "If you wish." He fell to his knees between Harry's slightly parted legs and pulled the brat's head to his, crushing their lips together hungrily. Mean pressure contrasted sharply with the gentle hand snaking into his hair and the rub of a socked foot along his side.

"God, I love you," Harry murmured into his mouth.


"Not polite to ask," Harry said cheekily between tugs of lips and short, panting breaths.

"I said why I fell in love with you, it's only fair for you to reciprocate."

"You were under Veritaserum. Oh, god, Severus!" Harry moaned as Severus kissed an urgent trail down the side of his neck, tugging the neck of his robe aside with two fingers to place a light nip on his collarbone. Harry wrapped his legs around Severus' back, pulling him closer. "If this is what I get for coming back from the dead, I want to wake up in the crypts every day."

"That would prove quite inconvenient, I suspect. Unless you think both of us can fit in your coffin."

Harry chuckled, a low, throaty sound. "I think we could both fit in a billiard cue box if we wanted. A good, strong wind would be the end of us."

"Hmm. And these bloody robes wouldn't help, acting like sails. Best take them off." Severus moved to undo the row of buttons running down from the front of Harry's neck. Harry shivered, his fingers clenching on Severus' own robes.

"Why do I have to get my kit off first?" he teased breathlessly.

"You have hands."

"I'll get all tangled if I try to do you at the same time."

"Suit yourself, then. And you still have to get your kit off first." Severus brushed aside the top of Harry's robe, looking curiously at the red T-shirt underneath. "Muggle clothing, then?"

Harry nodded. "Why? What've you got?"

"Wait and find out." Severus kissed him before he could protest, lingering as his fingers slyly slid pewter buttons from their holes. A foot rubbed up and down his back in short strokes. It paused at Severus' hip, and hesitantly, questioningly moved a little further down. Severus gave a soft moan of permission, and a moment later was treated to the most unusual sensation of toes wiggling over his arse.

He finally reached the last buttons, nearly at the hem of Harry's robe, and pushed the thing off over his shoulders. Harry half-reluctantly let go long enough for the black fabric to fall to the bed. His T-shirt was faded, like his jeans, and even baggier than his robe. He hunched a little and tugged the hem up his belly. Severus stopped him.

"So eager suddenly to get your kit off first?"

Harry shrugged a little. "Yeah."

Severus took his hands, kissed them, and folded them into Harry's lap. He held them there. "I wouldn't have expected you to wear anything so... relaxed."

Harry's cheeks went as red as his shirt. "Was my cousin's," he mumbled, averting his eyes and squirming on the bed.

Severus blinked. "Ah, yes, you mentioned you lived with your aunt and uncle." He freed a hand and plucked at the jeans draped over Harry's legs. "Hand-me-downs?"

Harry nodded. He chewed the inside of his lip turbulently.

"Perhaps we ought to venture to Diagon Alley soon and get you some proper under-robes. I can't imagine these things could be comfortable."

"They're not," Harry said a little sharply. "They're all I've ever gotten, though, because my aunt and uncle hate me. I'm just the annoyance they found on the front step one morning and have tolerated ever since. I don't ever want to see them again." He took a deep breath, let it out in a shaky go. "I'm sorry. I'm not very keen on them, that's all."

For a moment, Severus considered asking what they'd done. Instead, he leaned up, placed a hand against the back of Harry's head, and tipped him down to press a gentle kiss to his forehead. Silently, he got to his feet and quickly undid the long row of translucent horn buttons on his own robes. The heavy, stiff cotton crumpled around his feet with a clatter of hidden vials, and he stood there, gazing quizzically at Harry, the thin, black linen under-robe loose around his body.

Harry looked him up and down. "I like it," he said without a hint of melodrama. "That's an under-robe, then?"


Pale, pinkish fingers reached out to stroke the fabric. "I think I saw something like this in Neville's trunk, once. He never let any of us see him without his clothes on. Or his pajamas, anyway. Neville's a little shy."

Snape chuckled. "Where would anyone ever get the idea that Neville Longbottom is shy? Shocking!"

Harry stuck his tongue out. "Git."

"I only do it to amuse you."

"I thought you did it 'cause you're evil."

Severus smirked and bent to press Harry back onto the bed. "That as well." He nipped the thin skin at the front of Harry's throat. The resulting whimper sent a pleasant shiver through his body. Lips working along the pulse, he slowly pushed Harry's shirt up to his chest, smooth skin and the coarse, young trail of hair down the middle of his stomach making a surprisingly sensual contrast. The hair tapered off and by the time Severus' fingers brushed sharp, crinkled nipples the skin surrounding them was completely bare. Harry gave a little cry.

"You enjoyed that?" Severus asked softly.

Harry nodded. He grabbed Severus' wrist to pull his hand back over the taut flesh. "Oh..." he rolled his head to the side, eyes squeezed shut and his mouth slack in a small O.

The tent-like shirt went up quickly, bunching around Harry's neck, still trapped under his back and on his arms. Severus lowered his head and kissed the very centre of the smooth chest. Harry writhed. His hands clamped onto Severus' shoulders, the back of his neck. "More," he demanded in a harsh whisper.

Severus kissed again, kissed downwards along the plane of sternum, the softly defined lines of muscle forged on the Quidditch pitch, felt the texture of ribs underneath as though whatever flesh had been hastily slapped on wasn't enough to bury some lingering trauma. He nuzzled them, inhaling deeply. The sweet, slightly musty scent was stronger here, tinged with sweat and soap. "Lovely," he whispered, placing another kiss on the pallid skin. "Utterly, completely lovely."

"No, m'not," Harry mumbled.

"I think you'll find that you are."

The pallid skin tinted red. "M'nothing special."

Severus slid up Harry's body and hovered over him. "Harry, you are neither my preferred gender nor my preferred physical type, and yet I am attempting to make love to you. Given that I have been approached by, and have rejected, three generations of Malfoys, Madam Rosmerta Leary, Rita Skeeter, Gilderoy Lockhart, and a professional Quidditch player whom I shan't name, I should say that you are most certainly special to have gained my favour."

Harry's eyes snapped sidelong to meet him. "You're joking. Lockhart?"

"I am most certainly not joking. Blasted fool asked if I wanted to help him 'defeat a few Dark forces', and it turned out he meant the ones in his robe." He paused for a moment, and added thoughtfully, "Although Sibyll spoke of him most highly."

Harry shuddered. "That was an image I definitely didn't need."

"Hmm. I agree." He dived and caught Harry's lips once more. "But I still stand by my determination that you are exceptionally special."

Harry blushed. "Stubborn git." He pressed his forehead to Severus', hugging his neck. "I love your stubbornness."

"Does this mean you're ready to answer my question?" Severus worked his hands underneath Harry's back and started to drag his shirt up. Harry arched helpfully.

"What question?" he asked.

"Is your memory that short? I asked you what you could ever see in your nasty old Potions master that could ever trigger something like love."

Harry shrugged sheepishly, getting caught in the shrug when Severus dragged the T-shirt over his head. It went to the floor, and Severus stroked the coarse line of hair with his thumb. "I don't know," Harry mumbled. "You never got angry with me for moaning about Voldemort. Most people either didn't want me to mention it, or only kept telling me that everything was going to be fine and I shouldn't worry. You listened."

"Yes, but I have had the unfortunate experience of meeting the monster. He was quite the disagreeable fellow."

Harry snorted. "I'll bet." He lowered his eyes at nothing. Their vibrant irises were veiled in a shadow of black lash. "And you just let me be quiet sometimes. Ron always has to talk, and Hermione expects you to listen all the time, and everyone else I know either asks questions or wants to chat or has to be doing something. You're content to just shut up and exist sometimes. Gets lonely to do that by myself all the time." The grassy green darted towards Severus again almost apologetically. "You don't make me be something I never asked to be in the first place."

"And what's that?"

"Harry Potter."

Severus blinked. "As opposed to...?"

"Just... Harry." He snorted. "Which is about as ironic as anything could get. I mean, you're the one who kept griping at me about being 'our new celebrity'."

"Hmm. Fortunately, I've grown to know you a bit better since."

"You're not even going to apologise?"

"No." Severus kissed him. "But I am going to get these horrible... things off your body." He started unbuckling Harry's belt. "I haven't worn trousers since I was in my twenties, and I don't see why you ought to either."

"Oi!" Harry slapped his hand. "I like them!"

"In any case, they may prove to be a headache very soon unless removed. I mean," and the corner of his mouth quirked upwards, "there are prophylactic measures, and there is absurdity."

Harry's turned beet red. He slapped a hand over his face and giggled madly. "It's not as if you're going to get pregnant!"

"Or you, for that matter."

Harry giggled again. His giggles slowly turned dark, though, sending a shaking series of chokes through his body. "Oh, my god," he whispered. "I don't even know what I'm doing." He shivered, wrapping his arms around his naked chest. "I've never fancied a bloke before. I don't even know what... how... I mean, I've heard things, but... oh, god." His eyes were round as coins, and dilated in abject terror.

Severus brushed a quivering bit of hair off Harry's forehead. "I have as little experience with this matter as you. Equally, I shan't force you to do anything you don't wish, but I would very, very much like to give this a try." He spoke softly, matter-of-factly. "Do you wish to stop?"

Harry chewed his lip. Very slowly, he shook his head. His eyes were focused on something beyond the closed door. "No. I want you. Only... Severus, I'm scared." His fingers clenched at the air. "I don't even know what to do. At least with Cho, she'd already learned enough from Cedric that..." he swallowed.

"Harry," Severus cupped his thin, red face between his hands, "we've got all the time in the world to figure it out."

Harry nodded. His eyes were still wide, and his forehead glinted with sweat in the spots where his hair hadn't drunk it. "You're not afraid?" he asked meekly.

"Abso-bloody-lutely terrified."

Harry whimpered. "You don't seem like it."

"Years spent spying on a certain Dark Lord have given me an unusual capacity for hiding fear."

Harry's bottom lip twitched open, revealing a hint of small lower teeth. He took a breath and, leaning up, pressed his lips hesitantly to Severus'. Severus returned the soft pressure, and smiled into the kiss when Harry reached down and starting tugging at his belt buckle. A minute later, the worn, soft fabric sloughed to the floor, leaving Harry in nary but nondescript blue boxer shorts and a pair of white socks with a hole in one toe.

"Aren't you going to... you know... take off your robe-thing?" he asked.

"You wish to see me naked already?"

"Er... what about your pants?"

"I haven't got any. Honestly, boy, you've lived among wizards for seven years, haven't you got any notion of how to dress properly?"


Severus smirked and kissed his nose. "If it makes you feel any better, I didn't dress like this until I'd been teaching for several years. I felt it was more appropriate. Damned cold in the classroom in winter, though."

Harry laughed softly. "Is that why you were always so cranky?"

"One of many, yes." Severus gave him a teasing little crooked smile. "Silly child, my winter robes are charmed to prevent draughts."

"Must be a bitch to brew any, in that case."

Severus smacked his hip lightly. "Different sort of draught, insolent boy."

Harry smiled. Carefully, he pulled himself back on the bed, turning and settling with his head against the pillows. "Can we... you know... just sort of... y'know... for a few minutes first?"

Severus opened his mouth with a soft smack. "I believe this can be arranged." He slid onto the bed gradually, keeping his gaze locked with Harry's. Fear still held those green eyes, but determination and sheer courage were making a bold, if brittle, push. Carefully, as though the boy were made of paper-thin china, Severus took him into his arms, their bodies an inch or so apart, one of his long, linen-covered legs tucked between Harry's bare ones. Harry fiddled idly with the top button on Severus' under-robe. His other arm was pulled up to his chest; Severus cupped the curled fingers with his own.

"Not so bold now that reality has reared its head, are we, Mister Potter?" Severus murmured affectionately.

Harry shook his head. "No," he said with a note of perturbed awe. "Um... you're not like I'd expected you to be, though."

"How did you expect me to be?"

Harry shrugged. "Bossy. Dominant. Didn't expect a cuddle."

"Two of the first lessons I learned regarding relations of a carnal nature were that, in order to be invited back, one must behave like a gentleman, and one must be willing to, as you put it, 'cuddle'."

Harry drooped slightly. "So you don't like it, then."

"I never said that." Severus kissed him, lightly rubbing his lips over Harry's. "Lessons can be enjoyable. It's simply a matter of finding delight in the subject."

"So I'm a lesson, am I?"

"An exceedingly enjoyable one, yes." Severus kissed him again, longer this time, pulling at his lower lip. "One I hope to keep studying for a very long time."

The corner of Harry's mouth quirked up in a crooked smile. "Thank you," he whispered.

"You're most welcome, Mister Potter."

"Ten points to Slytherin."

Severus chuckled. "I don't think you're allowed to do that, but I appreciate the attempt."

"Could I kiss you instead, then?"

"Please do."

Severus had barely gotten the words out of his mouth when Harry's caught them. That soft, eager tongue darted out as if seeking more. He sucked on it gently and was rewarded with a whimper. Harry pressed closer, sliding an arm under Severus' side and attempting to stroke his back from an almost impossible angle.

Harry yelped when Severus rolled over and pulled him on top. He sat there, hands and forearms planted on Severus' chest, straddling his hips, knees bent and pressed into thin legs. His lower lip had gone slack again and he stared for a long moment before diving again and working at Severus' mouth with rare vigour. After too short a time, he pulled away, dropping a line of tingling kisses over Severus' throat. At the base, he nuzzled the pit in Severus' clavicle, nibbling at the tips of bone.

"Oh, my," Severus moaned as heat shot through him in shivering waves. "Perhaps you have more talents than I gave you credit."

Harry said nothing, only wiggled impishly, causing Severus to arch and cry out. Harry froze. "Are you okay?" he asked timidly. "I didn't hurt you, did I?"

"No, I can assure you that was a good sound." Severus blinked several times in rapid succession. Harry's entire weight had shifted to pin his hardening cock to his pelvis. The sudden friction against the mass of coarse, semi-curled hairs had caused most of his blood mass to pool in one spot. Harry seemed to realise this a moment later. He frowned pensively, shifted once more, and jumped when the mass pressed against his behind.

"Is that for me?" he asked loudly, sounding more than slightly surprised.

"No, I have this reaction every time I think about writing a grocery list. Of course it's for you."

Harry's eyes darted from side to side, tipped down and looking at nothing. "Wow," he said, awed. "Only... wow."

Severus pushed a lock of hair out of Harry's eyes, suspecting he'd done so several times already to the same stubborn chunk. "If you're this stunned over causing a sexual reaction in someone, I feel sorry for your girlfriends."

Harry glared at him. "They came," he snapped. "Plenty of times. It's only... my god, that's for me." He wriggled again, and Severus' eyes nearly rolled back in his head.

"If you keep doing it, I fear I may follow their lead. Unlike the average teenage girl, my recovery time is measured in minutes to hours as opposed to seconds."

"Er... sorry." To Severus' unforeseen disappointment, Harry shifted his weight so that it was off of his erection. It was quite the effort not to vocalise his mental yowl of loss.

"Quite all right," he said a bit deeper in his throat than usual. "Nothing at all to apologise for." He gritted his teeth slightly, waiting for the sharp, needy pulse in his groin to ebb.

Blinking, Harry started to fiddle with the buttons on Severus' under-robe. There were nearly one hundred of the tiny things from throat to ankle. Albus had joked to him once after a mix-up in the school laundry that his underwear was more conservative than his outerwear. (Severus had only snatched his clothes from the headmaster's grasp and muttered something about the sort of grown man who would have small dancing rabbits on his underthings.)

"How long does it take you to get dressed in the morning?" Harry asked.

"Not including my shower or time spent gathering clothes, twelve minutes, forty-three seconds. Give or take twenty seconds."

Harry stared, a mask of utter horror marring his face. "I hope you're joking about that."

"Of course I'm joking. If you must know, I only bother with the top twenty. It slides on and off easily enough after that."

"Oh, good." Harry flushed, and mumbled, "I don't think I could wait long enough to get them all undone."

Severus arched an eyebrow, smirking. "Your nerve seems to have returned."

Harry responded by sliding back against Severus' cock and wiggling his arse. Severus nearly screamed. His fingers clawed and tried to puncture the bedspread. Harry snorted. "Serves you right. Seems like you're the one whose nerves are acting up."

"Quite." Severus made his eyes uncross and blinked sullenly, fingers cramped on the covers and refusing to budge. After a moment of trying to wiggle them, they came loose. He flexed them several times and got the blood flowing again while Harry counted twenty buttons under his breath.

"Sit up," he said, hesitantly grabbing the hem of Severus' under-robe. He started to tug it upwards, but his shoulder seemed to have frozen. His face went very red.

Severus rolled his eyes, sat up, and tugged one long arm out of its wrist-length sleeve. Harry dropped his head and mumbled an apology. Severus noted that he didn't drop his eyes, though, instead intently watching every possible glimpse of sun-starved flesh. The fear in his eyes had been replaced with curiosity, courage, and something that couldn't be mistaken for anything but hunger.

Severus smiled softly, freeing his other arm and letting the fabric settle around his waist. He leaned forward, letting his fingertips rest against Harry's cheek, and kissed him softly. Harry pushed him back on the bed, turning a gentle touch into a ravenous display of lust. Something thick and rigid dug into Severus' stomach; he suddenly had some ludicrously reverential idea of why Harry had responded so overtly to the notion of causing that reaction.

"I can see," Harry said between smacks and grunts, "why you've had so many people trying to get in your robe."

"Because I'm a semi-emaciated scarecrow?"

"No, because you're... I don't know, but I like it." Harry put his hands flat over Severus' nipples.

"Oh, god..." Severus dropped his head back. Searing tingles shot from two spots on his chest, turning his brain to mud and his skin to a thin layer of jelly.

Harry yanked his hands back. "Was that a good noise or a bad noise?"

Severus lifted his head weakly and blinked in annoyance. "Which do you think?"

"Oh. Only making sure." Harry skittishly put his hands back in place. Severus moaned under his breath.

"God, everybody forgets those," he breathed. "You've no idea how many people forget that men's nipples are more than decoration."

"I didn't know they were," Harry said sheepishly.

"When did you learn the error of your ways?"

"Er... when you touched them." The flush ran from his forehead to the waistband of his boxers. "Sorry," he muttered.

"Hmph." Severus closed his eyes and lifted his brows and dragged Harry down for a long, slow, wet kiss that left them both with ragged breathing and trembling limbs.

"My god, I want you," Harry said. His voice held an edge of a growl.

"Then move so we can get the rest of these godforsaken clothes off."

"Yes, Professor." Harry gave him a last taste of hot breath and swollen lips and wicked, wet tongue and slid to the side. He slipped his hands into his boxers. Just as he started to pull them down, a shudder went through his body. "It's... this is going to be okay, isn't it? I mean, it's not going to hurt, is it?"

Severus rubbed one thigh; it was covered with far more coarse, black hair than his own, but not in any unattractive way. "It may, but every happiness must be bought with pain."

Harry dropped his head. He started to say something, stopped with his mouth halfway open, and busied himself with trying to remove his boxers without showing anything.

"I don't think that's going to work," Severus said, sitting up and wriggling his under-robe down over his hips. Harry glanced at him; his eyes went wide at the sight of a perfectly normal piece of masculine anatomy. Severus tossed the under-robe aside and lay back, stomach jumping with sharp-footed insects beneath his calm exterior. He felt Harry's eyes skitter nervously over his body, pausing to take in his modest erection only to dart away.

"Go on," Severus said softly. "Have a look." He breathed slowly and evenly, trying to ignore the crawling sensation running up his back. The novel experience of being aroused and naked in front of another man crashed into the knowledge that he was no larger than average and in no way spectacular. While he'd never gotten any complaints, compliments lay in the realm of skill. For the first time in the best part of thirty years, he was, for all intents, a quaking virgin.

Harry closed his eyes for a moment, and opened them directly at Severus' cock. Hesitantly, he reached forward. "Could... could I touch it?" he asked timidly.

"You may." Severus bit the inside of his lip as warm, tender fingers brushed his foreskin. He moaned softly at the flash of heat it triggered. Under his watch, Harry slid his fingers underneath it, then his palm. He lifted it carefully, staring but trying to act like he wasn't. The fingers closed, wrapping most of the way around, Harry's thumb resting on the tip. Severus whimpered. Harry's eyes darted towards his face, then back, and he slowly, carefully squeezed. He smiled at the loud moan it produced.

"I like it," he said in a low, sweet voice.

Severus peered at him. "You do?"

Harry nodded. A bit sheepishly, he said, "It's nice to hold. You know, it fits."

A bit stunned, Severus said, "Thank you."

Harry shrugged. He gently lay Severus' cock back in its bed of stiff hairs and put his hands on his shorts again. Eyes closed, and with a sharp intake of breath, he slid them down his thighs, awkwardly contorting to pull his legs out one at a time. He tossed them on the floor and fidgeted with his hands, apparently trying not to cover himself. Severus looked him over, noting first the strange coat of hair that seemed to cover the brat from the hips down. He blinked, amused.

"Well?" Harry asked softly, and a little sharply.

"Apart from the sudden revelation that you are, in fact, the god Pan, I have no complaints."

Harry's eyes snapped open. He glowered. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Simply an observation on your, ah, unusual patterns." Severus traced the line across Harry's hip where the fur stopped dead.

"Very funny." He leaned forward and plucked at the sparse chunk of hair in the middle of Severus' chest. "'Least I've got some."

"I'm not entirely bald."

"Close enough!" He tugged one of the widely spaced black curls on Severus' thigh. "You look like you've been plucked."

"If you would finish your analysis, you would notice that my shins are perfectly furry."

"Oh, and that's supposed to make up for the rest of it. Merlin, I've had girlfriends with more body hair than you!" Harry snorted and began giggling wickedly. He slapped both hands over his mouth and turned quite mirthfully pink.

"That's enough of that, Mister Potter," Severus said through a small grin that refused to go away. He used the opportunity to take in the rest of Harry, the slender muscle, the small frame, the thick, short erection bobbing with his giggles. It was situated at the base of an inverted triangle of dense hair, darting upwards through the furry trousers and tapering out just below his chest. There was something artistic about it. Severus was suddenly struck by the utter beauty of the young man giggling beside him, sitting on his knees, eyes crinkled with his smile, more self-conscious about his red face than the blatant arousal displayed for all the world, for Severus, to see.

"Utterly, completely lovely," Severus murmured. He extended a languid arm and rubbed the back of his hand over the fur on Harry's thigh. Harry watched. He dropped his hands to reveal flushed cheeks and a shy smile.

"Not so much," he said, still smiling.

"Quiet." Severus sat up and leaned over for a slow, deep kiss. It was warm, wet and rich and punctuated with low smacking noises, and grew gradually more so. Harry's arms wrapped around Severus' neck again, one draping down his back. Severus slid his around Harry's back, letting his palms rest flat against the jutting shoulder blades before sliding down smooth flesh to stop at the edge of fur that traced the top of Harry's arse. Harry broke the kiss for a moment.

"Go ahead," he whispered, and dived in again.

Severus ran his hands over rounded muscle and soft, coarse hair. He squeezed where thigh met backside, and Harry whimpered. Severus found himself pressed hard against the pillow, approximately nine stone of randy teenager pinning him down.

He followed Harry up as the brat shifted backwards. Their lips never broke... at least, not until Severus realised what Harry was doing, situating himself between Severus' thighs. He pulled back, arching an eyebrow. "What are you planning to do?"

"Er," Harry flushed and dropped his eyes. "Have sex with you?" he asked sheepishly.

"I think there are other factors to take into account first."


"Like the fact that some portions of human anatomy self-lubricate and others don't."

Harry cocked his head. "But..."

"Ever heard of de-gloving?"

Harry recoiled, eyes wide. "You wouldn't."

"I wouldn't. You might. Enthusiasm is a dangerous thing, Mister Potter. And then there's the matter of turning me to mince."

Harry shuddered. "It wouldn't really... you know... peel right off... would it?"

"I wouldn't know. I'd rather not find out."

"Oh." Harry looked around. "Um... then what--"

"And I think it would be wise for you to, ah, take the less invasive role?"

Harry frowned, sneering in surprise. "You're joking."

"I'm not."

"But I've always..."

"As have I. This is a slightly different situation." Severus blinked, glancing down Harry's body. "If you'd like, we can come up with some alternative means to an end."

Harry shook his head frantically. "No, I want to actually have sex with you. Only... you're sure it won't just peel off?" His eyes were wide, and glazed with fear.

Severus pulled the brat closer and kissed him softly. "If you're willing to trust me, I think I know a way to make this as painless as possible for both of us."


"You'll see."

"Am I going to be on top or bottom?"

Severus started to open his mouth. Instead, he reached down, took Harry's member in his hand (Harry moaned most appreciatively and muttered, "Oh, god..." under his breath) and fitted his thumb and forefinger around it. He pulled it away, retaining the girth, and slipped the circle easily around his own cock. His cheeks grew warm at the difference in size; he quickly reassured himself that he was longer, if not by a great deal.

Harry glanced down. "Oh." He blinked. "I thought thick was better."

"Let us work out the basic logistics. Then we can determine sensory details."

Harry nodded meekly. He was on his hands and knees, legs still between Severus'. Severus kissed him softly.

"Budge up. Let me get something."

Harry obediently fell to the side. He stole another kiss, arms around Severus' neck, legs tangled together, bodies pressed tight and members rubbing languidly. Severus finally rolled away, panting, thinking desperately about Sibyll Trelawney and Gilderoy Lockhart rutting like donkeys. He shivered; the image was more than effective at pushing his threatening orgasm to the wayside.

From the sitting room he fetched a bottle of strained liquid coconut oil - the slipperiest substance on the shelves with no harmful side effects - and found his wand on the table. For a moment, he pondered turning off the wireless, but given the enthusiastic young man waiting for him he decided not to waste the time. He pulled the door closed behind him, and very nearly moaned at what he saw on the bed.

Harry's eyes were closed, and one hand clawed again and again at the rumpled bedspread. The other ran slowly and lazily over his cock, squeezing the foreskin over the tip, pulling it down teasingly, pushing it back up again. The purple flesh made a regal contrast to the pallor of Harry's hand. His lips were slightly open, and his breathing ragged.

Swooping in, Severus fell on him, pushing their mouths together until he thought his lips would bruise. Harry squeaked; it faded to a moan, and both hands crept up to clutch in Severus' hair. "That," Severus murmured between smacks, "was perhaps the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life."

Harry moaned. "Was thinking about you. Couldn't help it."

Severus dropped his wand on the bed and slid his hand down Harry's stomach. He grasped the hot member and shivered wickedly when Harry cried out. Severus squeezed it experimentally, surprisingly comfortable with the thick, unfamiliar organ. It was certainly easier than fondling a woman, everything out in the open with a minimum of annoying stickiness. Harry's nails dug into his skull, leaving sharp, moon-shaped pains.

"Oh, god, Severus," Harry moaned. "Don't stop... gonna... oh, GOD!" He threw his head back, hips jerking. Several drops of clear liquid dribbled from the tip. Severus let go abruptly. Harry keened.

"Not just yet." Severus kissed him again.

"But... I'm young... I can recover..." Harry trailed off in a whimper.

Part of Severus' chest clutched in fear. There was something... odd about the thought of another man's semen flooding hot over his hand. Not unpleasant, exactly, but new enough and forbidden enough to leave him a bit apprehensive. He kissed Harry yet again - it was addictive, like crisps, he couldn't resist just one more. "Soon." He picked up his wand while Harry whimpered, and muttered an incantation over the randy little brat's abdomen.

Harry's eyes flew wide. He gasped, and shouted, "What the Hell was that?"

"Ah, a precaution."

Harry squirmed, a look of great perturbation twisting his face. "Feels like my guts just got hoovered."


"Muggle cleaning thing, sucks things up, cleans carpets. What the fuck just happened?"

"As I said, a precaution. I've, ah..."

Harry's eyes went even wider. "Where the Hell did you learn that?"

"It was part of the course on field mediwizardry I took after I left school. Never imagined I'd be using it like this, mind."

"Er... are you going to have to do that every time we...?"

"I expect we'll find alternative means soon. That particular spell can't be used often. Upsets the balance of intestinal flora."

Harry blinked up at him. "Can we just get to shagging? This is really starting to kill the mood."

Severus chuckled and leaned forward for a long, slow, sloppy kiss - he mentally chuckled at the thought of a handful of crisps. "I trust your urgency has abated somewhat?"

"Yeah, you could say that." Harry shifted a bit to let Severus settle in next to him, automatically putting his arms around Severus' back. The wand went to the other side of the bed, the bottle of oil still clutched in Severus' hand.

"You still wish to do this?" Severus asked softly, stroking Harry's cheek with one finger.

Harry nodded. "God, yes."

Glancing down, Severus pulled the ground glass stopper from the bottle. "I'll be as gentle as I can. This... tell me if you think I'm doing something wrong."

"What are you going to do?"

Severus bit his lip a moment, trying to think of a tactful way to put things. "Attempt to acclimate you to the sensation of penetration."

"You're sticking your fingers up my bum."

"Succinctly, yes."

Harry's nose wrinkled. "That's a bit... well, gay."

Severus arched an eyebrow and snorted. "And you would describe this situation how?"

Harry flushed. "Okay, you've got a point."

Severus urged him onto his back. "You may wish to bend your knees. It may make for an easier angle."

Harry obeyed, but as he did so, his eyes clouded with fear once again. "Severus--"

"I'm not going to force you to do anything. The moment you tell me to stop, I'll stop."

Harry nodded a little. He reached up and gripped Severus loosely around the shoulders. Severus kissed him, dousing his right hand with coconut oil at the same time. He managed to get the stopper back in the bottle before reaching down, running the heel of his hand over Harry's abdomen, his pelvis, his thigh, down between his legs. At the first momentary touch, Harry flinched.

"Shh, I won't hurt you." Severus gazed down at him seriously. Harry quivered. "Relax, Harry, you're going to be fine."

Harry took a breath and closed his eyes. He nodded quickly, shifting his hips and setting himself at a better angle. Severus ran his knuckles over the curve of muscle, along the cleft, biting his lower lip as he gently nudged his way between the arcs of taut flesh. He gently, exceedingly gently located and touched the small, fleshy pucker. Harry gasped and flinched, but didn't jump. Severus brushed it again. After a few more gentle touches, Harry relaxed. He even wriggled against the finger.

"That's sort of nice," he said shyly. "I could get used to it."

Severus smiled. "Good boy." He dived to kiss Harry, pressing his finger a bit more firmly against the pucker. Harry moaned against his mouth.

"Yeah," he breathed, "could definitely get used to this." He wriggled his hips gently and cried out.

"We may turn you from women yet," Severus said with a smirk.

"Hush." Harry nibbled Severus' earlobe, earning a moan.

"Imp," Severus said. "Are you ready for more?"

Harry blinked. Without his glasses, he seemed slightly cross-eyed. "I suppose." He sounded nervous but resolute.

"Tell me if this hurts." Severus tentatively pressed his finger harder against the hole. Suddenly, it popped through a ring of muscle. Harry's fingers clenched on his shoulders and he cried out in what sounded like pain. Severus started to pull himself free when Harry shook his head.

"Keep going. Burns a little, feels weird."

Severus pressed on and Harry nearly yelped. "Burns a lot! Ow, ow, ow, ow..." he trailed off, lips silently forming the word "ow" over and over again.

Severus yanked his finger out. "Do you need to stop?"

Harry seemed to think for a moment. He shook his head tentatively. "I think... I think you need to use more oil." His voice was high, soft, and reedy.

Severus frowned. He un-stoppered the bottle and doused his hand thoroughly before trying again. As he did so, he whispered, "Relax, my love."

Harry smiled at him softly, a little pained. "I like it when you say that." He took a deep breath, and Severus felt the ring of muscle around his fingertip lax. It wasn't much, but it was enough to let him push his finger in more than halfway. Harry hissed when he tried to go further, so he stayed there, rotating his hand and gradually moving back and forth as well.

It was several minutes before he was able to press in further without sharp sounds of discomfort. He spoke softly, encouragingly, to Harry, kissing his face, his neck, taking a nipple into his mouth and sucking at it until the brat whimpered. Gingerly, he pressed the inner surfaces of soft tissues, wondering at the delicacy of the convoluted flesh, the smoothness, the palpable beauty. His finger brushed a slightly domed spot. Harry screamed, arching and bucking his hips.

"Good noise!" he panted quickly as Severus started to retreat. "Oh, my god, whatever that was, do it again." His eyes gleamed with hunger, very nearly starvation. Severus obeyed, rubbing the spot a bit harder. Harry's moan made him dizzy.

"More," Harry growled after he'd cried out a third time. Severus hesitantly obeyed, carefully working a second slender finger inside. The muscles had relaxed enough to accommodate it, but barely.

"Does it hurt?"

"Don't care. Do it again." Harry dropped his head backwards and gave a long, garbled moan that made Severus' face break into a mirthful, somewhat evil grin. He drummed his fingers against the little spot, making Harry pant like a dog in summer, cock twitching and bouncing as his hips shook. "What is that?" he managed between moans.

"Judging by size and location... I don't believe it's an un-descended testicle. Prostate gland, perhaps?"

"I've got two bollocks, thanks," Harry said with all the annoyance he could muster. "You know... an awful lot... about this stuff," he panted as Severus started rubbing small circles on the spot.

"For a time, I considered becoming a paramediwizard. I'd completed half the training before I realised that the thought of taking care of sick people made me cringe."

Harry snorted. "Doctor Snape," he muttered sarcastically before another yelp took him.

Severus smirked and kissed him. "Not quite." He wiggled his fingers, and Harry clawed at his shoulder and screamed.

"Now," he growled.

Severus frowned. "Are you sure? I'm nothing extraordinary, but I do hope I'm larger than two fingers."

"Now," Harry repeated more firmly. He spread his legs wider to make the point clear.

Severus frowned acquiescently and removed his fingers. Harry whimpered in loss, bucking weakly as they retreated. As quickly as he could, Severus took more oil in his palm and rubbed it over his cock, reminding himself firmly that the lovely body stretched out before him was good for much more than masturbation.

"You will tell me if I need to stop," he ordered as he positioned himself between Harry's bent legs.

"'Course I will." He lifted his hips greedily, hands still on Severus' shoulders. "Um... love you," he said softly just as the tip of Severus' cock pressed against his hole.

"I love you, too," Severus said just as softly. Gazing down at Harry, he held himself with one hand and balanced on the other. He pressed forward.

Harry yowled. "OH, MY GOD!" He scurried up the bed, legs kicking indiscriminately, keening. One foot caught Severus in the solar plexus and knocked the wind out of him. Shivering, Harry huddled on the pillows, eyes wide, lip slack, on the verge of hyperventilation.

"Harry, calm down," Severus wheezed. He crawled up the bed, wrapping his arms around the jumpy brat, rocking him gently. "What happened?"

"Burned," Harry croaked. "Felt like... I don't even know."

Severus stroked his hair with his clean hand, kissing the pink lightning scar. "Do you need to stop?"

Harry shook his head. He nodded. He shook his head again. "Don't want to," he said stubbornly.

Severus bit his lip. "Perhaps... perhaps it would be easier if I were to take the supine position, and you, ah, mount?"

Harry squinted. "You mean like girl-on-top?"


Harry squinched up his mouth thoughtfully. Without another word, he pressed Severus back against the bed. Glancing at the bottle of coconut oil, he grabbed it, opened it, and trickled more of the slippery liquid over Severus' cock. It was a bit chilly, but the chill was oddly enticing on his hot flesh.

"Er... could you... you know...?" Harry hunched sheepishly, motioning towards Severus' pelvis with his head.

Severus reached down and held himself steady. Harry blushed and mumbled his thanks. Without looking up, he climbed over Severus, sock-clad toes clenching and unclenching.

"Here goes nothing," he said, balancing himself against Severus' chest, hands splayed, lifting up on his knees and settling back down. He and Severus shifted until a shudder took Harry's body and he moaned, Severus' tip pressing against his hole. Taking a deep breath, he began to settle himself slowly, whimpering softly, his face contorting in obvious pain.

"Do you--?"

Harry shook his head. He pulled his lower lip into his teeth, eyes closed. "Oh, god, this hurts," he whispered. Severus rubbed Harry's arm with his free hand. "Ow, ow, ow, ow, ohhh, god, right there." The discomfort on his face melted, replaced with a look normally caused only by the discovery of an oasis. He panted, leaning heavily on his hands. With a little whimper, he fell forward and pressed his mouth hungrily against Severus'.

Severus urgently reciprocated. The warmth and tightness on his shaft, not to mention the tiny muscular twitches, sent small bolts of lightning arcing through him. Harry lifted up a little, and sat back down, letting himself settle the last inch onto Severus' cock this time. He wriggled, and Severus moaned at the small detonation in his abdomen.

"My... god... you're... big," Harry panted. "Absolutely... fucking... huge."

"There are those who would argue," Severus said. He grasped Harry's hip, kneading the firm muscle encouragingly.

"Idiots." Harry gave an odd little shimmy and moaned from the bottom of his throat. "Oh... god... you fit perfectly."

Severus gazed up at him, panting, watching the slender, pale body impale itself on him. Harry's hands were still splayed on his chest, fingers clutching with every down stroke. A steady series of, "unh," sounds came from his slack mouth. Severus ran both hands up Harry's sides, stroking them, grabbing his waist and pulling him down. Harry shrieked, but dropped his head backwards, bucking his hips in abandon.

It was a disconcertingly short time before the familiar - if unusually urgent - knot began to build in Severus' groin. The image of such a gorgeous, delicate creature lifting and dropping himself again and again, taking such unmitigated joy in the blend of their bodies, the steady, fluttery, fuzzy feeling it built in his chest, all pushed it further, harder, faster. His abdominal muscles began to clench. Reaching out, he grabbed Harry's member in his oiled fist, squeezing, tugging, dragging the foreskin down the thick shaft then squashing it into a bundle over the tip. Harry's ragged moans grew louder, steadier, urgent.

"Oh, god," he whispered. "Oh, god. Oh, god. Oh, god. You're bloody brilliant, Severus. Oh, god, yes." His sweet voice grew higher with every desperate word. Severus could feel the cock in his hand twitch, writhe, begin to tighten. He was in no different a state. It only grew more pronounced when the muscles in Harry's arse began to spasm. Harry threw back his head and screamed, "Oh, GOD!" He ground his hips in a last desperate motion and suddenly he froze, thick spurts of semen shooting from his cock and splattering all over Severus' concave belly. Only the desperate contractions of his muscles were left to bring Severus along as well, but the knot twisted, built, and snapped, filling him with a sensation of white noise and crashing unreality as Severus came. Through his dimmed perception, he heard himself calling Harry's name, heard the brat's breathing slow, felt those weak, tapered hands rubbing his chest in affectionate circles.

However much later, Harry carefully disengaged himself. He cuddled up at Severus' side, putting his arms around him and leaning in for a kiss. Sweat gleamed on his body, and Severus suspected he was in the same shining state himself.

"That was brilliant," Harry breathed.

"Hmm. I agree." Severus rubbed his back gently. Harry purred.

"God, I love you," he murmured.

Severus smiled. "I love you, too."

Harry kissed him. "Always will."

Severus pulled Harry closer. "I certainly hope so," he whispered, nuzzling the disheveled, sweat-soaked hair.


Minister Fudge was slated to speak first, then Albus. Severus glared as the pretentious, narrow little man, whose willful ignorance had allowed Voldemort to reach his final sickening level of power in the first place, cleared his throat. Fudge had at least remembered to wear a black suit to the occasion.

The speech rolled off of Severus like rain. He huddled against the wall, wrapped in his own arms, wishing they were Harry's. He turned his eyes to the casket, then closed them. The warmth of Harry's body, the weight of his skull against Severus' breastbone, the clutch of his hand on a thin shoulder returned from the depths of memory. It was all Severus could do not to sway gently to the soft strains in the back of his mind, or to picture a hint of longing in Harry's remembered smile.


Harry had spent perhaps ten minutes dozing lightly while Severus stroked his hair. Severus ignored the itchy mess starting to dry and flake on his belly. He snorted upon properly realising that Harry still had his socks on.

Soon enough, Harry kicked, stirred, and made a little noise. He snuggled in closer, one hand lightly gripping Severus' shoulder. His eyes were closed, but he said softly, "Hi."

Severus kissed him chastely. "Good afternoon."

"What time is it?" The green eyes fluttered open halfway, a sliver of colour amidst dark fringe.

"You're facing the clock."

"Don't have my glasses, can't see it."

Severus sniffed and craned his neck. "You didn't even try, lazy brat. It's only now five o'clock. Detentions don't start until eight," he added with an amused smirk.

"Hmm, wonder what to do until then?" Harry purred, turning Severus' head towards him again and brushing their lips together.

"You are an insatiable little brat." Severus laced his fingers through Harry's hair and kissed him more deeply. "If you're that determined to give me apoplexy so soon, the least you could do is get something to clean your mess up." He smiled softly, wickedly.

Harry blew him a raspberry. "Fine, I'll be your slave boy." He nipped the corner of Severus' mouth and rolled off the bed, vanishing over the edge and hitting the floor with a thump. A moment later he was up, shuffling across the floor. Severus watched his naked body appreciatively until it vanished through the door. He lay flat, smirking contentedly for the first time in far longer than he wanted to think about.

From beyond the open door, he heard the wireless. It was too low to make out anything said, but it most certainly wasn't music. Probably some daft programme on house-elves, or worse. He sighed softly, wriggling into the damp, thoroughly disheveled covers. Water ran in the bathroom - hopefully warm, and over a facecloth. He closed his eyes, listening for Harry to return. Something about the voice on the wireless was urgent. Probably an advertisement for something; they tended to blow every trivial problem with the world out of proportion. He heard the rapid thud thud of sock feet and Harry slid on the stones, grasping desperately at the doorjamb.

"You've got to come listen to this," he panted. His fingers were white, as was his face. He gulped and his wide, wild eyes glittered erratically in the firelight.

"What on Earth could be that important right now?" Severus asked, sitting up slowly. Harry darted towards the bed, grabbed his wrist, and yanked him out of bed.

"Ministry... Ministry's gone..."

"What in Hell...?" Severus stormed to his feet and dashed into the sitting room, Harry clutching his wrist painfully. He froze as soon as he was close enough to make out what the desperate announcer was babbling on about.

"... Repeat, the Ministry of Magic was destroyed at approximately four forty-five this afternoon. The remains of the building are still burning... magical and Muggle attempts to douse the flames have proven unsuccessful... no survivors are expected... it is unknown whether this is retaliation from escaped followers of the recently defeated Dark Lord, or if some other motive was the cause for this despicable act of terrorism. It is unknown how many were in the building, as very few workers are scheduled on weekends, but so soon after the downfall of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named it is expected the numbers are significantly greater than the norm..."

Severus stared. He felt oddly calm, oddly relaxed, as though he would wake up next to Harry any moment. Harry, on the other hand, trembled like a leaf. Severus put his arms around those thin, bare shoulders and held tight.

"He can't have," Harry said weakly. "I killed him... he can't have come back... oh, god... Mister Weasley... Percy..."

Severus tried to tell him that Voldemort couldn't have returned from the grave, that the Weasleys couldn't have been there over the weekend. His mouth refused to open. He settled for hugging Harry tightly, feeling a fragile chest rise and fall in shuddering goes.

Harry grabbed his hands and squeezed too hard. "He's back, isn't he?" he said in a hollow voice.

"Very possibly," Severus whispered.

Harry swallowed. "It's my fault."

"You had nothing to do with it." He hugged Harry more tightly. "We're safe within the school, he still can't enter the grounds."

"But... what if... he'll come after you, he knows you were the only one there. Voldemort knows about necromancy, he has to." Harry's voice was firm but empty. He dug his nails into Severus' hands. "I'm not going to let him touch you."

"I have no intentions of being touched." He squeezed Harry tightly. "I need to speak with Albus."

"I'm coming with you." Harry picked his glasses off the table and scurried towards the bedroom, socks kicking up blue sparks on the rug.

Severus started to tell him it wasn't necessary. The determined squaring to Harry's shoulders told him it wouldn't get him anywhere. They dressed quickly and in silence, worried or blank glances cast up between them whenever possible.

"Have you still got that map?" Severus asked as they hurried out the door.

"'Course I've got it." Harry dug in his pocket, pulling out the folded bit of parchment. He tapped it with his wand (retrieved from his trunk) and muttered, "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

"Never a truer word spoken," Severus said under his breath. Harry flashed him a drawn, bitter smile.

"I don't see him in his office... looks like he's going out to Hagrid's hut. Wonder where Sirius is?" He blinked. "I think he's coming down here. Hold on." Harry frowned profoundly. "This thing's malfunctioning. I'm showing up in two places at once."

"Show me."

Harry did. One of the tunnels leading out of the school very clearly showed Harry Potter. Harry shook his head. "Better show Sirius, he can probably fix it."

Severus snorted. "That would be a first." He glanced again at the map. The dot was moving slowly. He had a sickening, nagging feeling it wasn't Harry at all. No, that's not possible. Bloody faulty map.

They walked quickly, nearly running, towards the dot marked Sirius Black. Just as they reached the third floor, they ran into him turning to come down the stairs. He grabbed Harry's shoulders. "You've heard?"

Harry nodded. "We were coming to find you." He held out the map. "It's not working properly."

Black frowned. "Bollocks. We had this problem in the early stages, phantom images. Some of the spells must be disintegrating." He plucked out his wand, tapping it against the map, muttering. "Must be a pathing issue," he mused. "It's coming up on the third floor now. God, of all the times for this thing to fail, why would it have to be now? Let me try something else." He tapped it again, muttering a different incantation.

Black froze. His eyes went round and darted towards the statue of the hump-backed witch down the corridor. "Fuck. Snape," he said in a low, urgent voice, "take Harry and go."

"What on Earth are you talking about?" Severus snatched the map from Black's hand. "Oh, bollocks." His eyes followed the tiny dot, its label changing erratically, flashing from Harry Potter to Tom Riddle. "Oh, bollocks, this is all my fault,"

"Why are you still here? I said to take him and go!"

"Harry's not the one he'll be after!"

"Voldemort's here?" Harry asked. He snatched at the map, yanking it out of Severus' hand. He whimpered. "No... I won't let him touch you!" He grabbed Severus' arm and yanked him down the corridor just as the hump-backed witch slid aside with a muffled grinding noise.

Severus let himself be dragged away, glancing back, wincing inside as a pale, hooded head, a long, black-draped form emerged, glanced around, and smiled a twisted smile when it saw him. His mind tried to determine how the wards had failed; all he could think of was that the life animating Voldemort was the same that animated Harry, that they were inextricably linked, that the wards had been confused like the map and let him through on the premise that the Dark Lord was his Harry.

Black tried to step in front of Voldemort, wand raised. Severus looked away and only heard, "Don't you dare touch him again, you cold-blooded son of a--"

"Avada Kedavra!"

There was a burst of green light and a heavy thump. Harry whimpered and hesitated, making him trip into the wall. Slow, easy footsteps followed them up the corridor; at least, Severus thought they were slow. Time seemed to be moving sluggishly.

"Keep moving," he hissed at Harry. He didn't even hear the spell, only saw the flash of green out the corner of his eye. Harry lunged, and took the spell with a yelp.

"I'm okay," he said through gritted teeth. "Move, damn you!" Harry clutched his side. Severus could have sworn he smelled the earthy stench of blood.

He dragged Harry around a corner as quickly as possible. Two empty classrooms stood there. He fished out his wand, slammed the door of one from across the corridor, and ducked into the other with Harry in tow. Within seconds, he'd layered the door with every locking charm he knew.

Harry crouched on the floor, white and shivering. The fingers clutching his side were clawed; blood oozed between them. Sweat trickled from his face and dripped to the floor. "My god," he whispered. "Sirius."

From the corridor, Severus heard high, soft, mocking laughter. As quietly as he could, he muttered a one-way silencing spell. Severus slid to the floor next to Harry, stroking his hair, forcing himself not to shake. His heart fluttered viciously. Glancing at Harry, he refused to ponder the obvious or his own part in the sordid situation.

"Severus..." Harry keened.



"I know." Severus tried to ignore the sheer quantity of blood drenching Harry's robe and starting to pool on the floor. He shuddered at the thought that the wound wouldn't kill the brat; rather, he'd have to suffer the utter torture of exsanguination before his body repaired itself. Severus glanced at the door, taking Harry into his arms. The locking charms wouldn't last long.

"Necromancer," a high, cold voice called singsong from the corridor, "come out, come out. Lord Voldemort wishes an audience." The mocking tone dissolved in wicked laughter.

"I'll kill him," Harry whispered. "I'll kill him again if it's the last thing I do."

"Don't say that." Severus swallowed. "I have to do it."

Harry shuddered. He rested his head against Severus' neck. From across the hall came an explosion. Shards of something, perhaps wood and stone, rained down on the floor.

"Only one more door. I wonder where my necromancer could be? Severus, come out. I shan't hurt you, I only wish to reward you. How did you do it? Blood?" He laughed softly. "Or was it tears? I'd be so dreadfully disappointed if it were. Naughty Severus."

Harry's fingers clutched at Severus arm. They tugged until the tip of his wand was positioned against the thin skin of Harry's throat. Green eyes, wide and determined, fixed on Severus'. "Kill him," Harry whispered.

Severus stared. "I..."

"Please. If you love me, kill him." Harry's jaw set hard.

Severus shuddered. He glanced from Harry to the door and back again. A small pop indicated that the locking charms were coming down one by one by one. He blinked back tears, leaned forward to kiss Harry one last time. "I love you."

"I love you, too."

Severus twisted his mouth and rasped, "Avada Kedavra!"

The light burst from his wand, through Harry's throat, outshining even the adoring, apologetic green of his eyes. Even before the light had faded, Harry's head dropped back over Severus' arm, his eyes fixed and staring at the ceiling. Just outside the door he heard a low rattle and a thump. The popping sounds suddenly ceased.

A low shiver started at the base of his spine. It ran upwards, radiating out through tiny muscles, down his arms, making his fingers spasm. His wand hit the floor with a clatter. Shaking, Severus gathered Harry's body in his weak arms for the second time. He gently kissed away the tears that slid from those beautiful eyes, kept his wet, salty lips well away from the open mouth turning bluish and cold from sheer blood loss. Very gently, oh, so softly, he rocked Harry. Under his breath, he choked, "Oh, my love... my darling... I've hungered for... your touch... a long... lonely... time... and time goes by... so slowly... so slowly... oh, god, Harry." He buried his face in the brat's black robes and wracked.

From outside he heard Filch snap, "What's goin' on here, eh? Who's havin' a lie-down in my clean--Bloody Hell!" Footsteps banged down the corridor. Severus thought he heard a choked gasp, but couldn't be sure. The contents of his chest seemed to have failed to exist. Most things seemed to have failed to exist. Severus cradled Harry carefully. He gazed sadly into those eyes still trying to drip deathly tears. It struck him that he now had Harry's gift, he had his freedom from Voldemort.

Pity he didn't want it anymore.

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