Author: Sterling Dragonfly (aka Snapesgrrl)
Disclaimer: The lovely blond lady owns the characters. I promise to put them back after I'm done playing.
Warnings: Established relationship; implied mpreg; implied Harry/original male character
Feedback: Commentary, feedback, and constructive criticism are more than welcome at
Summary: Two years after fleeing England when his world collapsed around him, Harry decides to take his life back.
Beware the fury of a patient man.
John Dryden – 'Absalom and Achitophel'
October 31, 2001 – Hogsmeade
Lucius reread the missive thoughtfully, a frown marring his normally smooth forehead. It was the second time that week that Severus had declined an invitation to meet him at the small flat Lucius kept for their trysts. Something was wrong; he could feel it. Laying the parchment on the table beside his armchair, he leaned back his head against the upholstery to consider the situation.
The first time they'd been together, Severus, although nervous, had been the one interested establishing a liaison with Lucius. Six years younger that himself, and freshly out of Hogwarts, Snape had taken the Dark Mark gladly as a sign of devotion to his older lover. Their relationship lasted a year, ending horribly on the night the Dark Lord forced him to rape Severus.
Later, however, it was Lucius doing the pursuing. His marriage all but over, he'd unobtrusively watched Severus at a Hogwarts Quidditch match over three years ago, reminiscing to himself about their earlier affair. After the game was over, he'd approached the Potions Master, presenting to him the idea of renewing their connection. Reticent at first, Severus finally succumbed to his wiles, although he never fully gave himself over emotionally to his lover. This merely sparked Lucius' interest all the more, prompting him to shower Severus with gifts and attention.
Rising to his feet, Lucius decided to walk up to Hogwarts for a visit. After all, he was still a member of the Board of Governors – it was well within his rights to drop in unannounced. If he happened to run into Severus while there… So be it.
He slung a heavy velvet cape over his shoulders for protection against the sharp autumn winds, and waved his wand, the lights flickering off as he locked up the flat. As he moved out into the main street of Hogsmeade, his silver-topped cane dangling lightly between two fingers, he immediately spotted his intended target. Severus was attired more formally than normal, and Lucius narrowed his eyes at the sight, curious as to what his lover was doing. Crossing the road diagonally, he intercepted Snape, as he was about to enter Honeydukes Sweetshop.
"Severus, what a surprise!"
His face displaying no reaction to the unexpected meeting, Severus returned the greeting quietly. "Lucius. What are you doing here?" He took a small, sideways step toward the shop entryway.
Lucius laid a be-ringed hand on the black-clad arm, stilling Severus' movement. "I went to the flat, wanting to see you tonight." His grip tightening measurably, he lowered his voice, displeasure apparent in his tone. "Imagine my reaction upon receiving your owl. Is there something wrong, Severus? You appear to be avoiding me."
Eyeing the busy street cautiously, Severus shook his head sharply. "I have no intention of having this conversation on a public thoroughfare." He shook off Lucius' hand, and edged closer to the shop. "I will call on you at your mansion – would tomorrow be convenient?"
"No, Severus. What conversation? Explain this to me now!" Lucius insisted harshly.
Severus arched an eyebrow, a doubtful expression on his face. "Are you certain you want to hear this here, and now, Lucius?" When the other man nodded, he continued flatly, "I wish to end our association."
Lucius reared back in shock. "What? Why in Merlin's name do you want to do that?" His gray darkened to the color of cold steel, glittering with fury. "Is there someone else? Is that why you've been so cold lately?"
Severus nodded, an amused smirk on his face.
Grabbing the front of Severus' robes, Lucius viciously jerked him closer until they were standing nose to nose. "You complete and utter bastard. When I think of everything I've done for you… promoting you to our Lord…"
"Unhand me at once, Malfoy," Severus hissed coldly. His face remained blank, but his eyes held a ruthless warning.
"Fine!" Lucius shoved him backward, causing Severus to stumble. "How long? How long have you been slipping from my bed into someone else's?"
Severus took his time as he adjusted his robes, meticulously brushing a bit of imaginary lint from the sleeve. He finally looked up and met Lucius' furious gaze. "Really, Lucius, descending into a jealous snit like an overwrought schoolgirl? I expected so much better from you." Shrugging nonchalantly, as though bored with the dialog, he said, "There's always been someone else, even before we resumed our own sordid little liaison. And when he informed me that I must make a choice between the two of you – well, there really wasn't any contest, as far as I was concerned."
Lucius gripped his walking cane tightly, forcing himself not to strike out at the other man. "Get out of my sight, Snape."
"With pleasure, Malfoy – after all, I have a very pleasant evening ahead of me." Nodding coolly at the fuming man, Severus turned and entered the sweetshop.
Spinning, Lucius strode furiously down the lane toward The Three Broomsticks. The night had become a spectacular fuck-up, and he fully intended to drink himself into a stupor as he plotted revenge on his now former lover.
Nobody made a fool of him. Nobody.
October 31, 2001 – Heart's Ease Cottage, Hogsmeade
"Joshua! What are you doing here?" Harry found himself caught up in a warm embrace by his friend.
Joshua chuckled lightly. "Umm, I guess you wouldn't exactly believe me if I said I was in the neighborhood and decided to drop by?" Shaking his head at Harry's disbelieving look, he confessed, "No, I didn't think so. Actually, I received your letter a couple of days ago – I couldn't just let you get away without a fight."
"Wow, Joshua. I'm flattered, I really am, but…" Harry ruffled his already messy hair in agitation as his eyes once again found their way to the mantel and the Wizarding clock located there. He sincerely hoped that Severus would be even later now, as he didn't want a confrontation between his two suitors ruining the evening. "I know this sounds bad, however, you really picked the wrong time to show up here. Severus is taking me out to dinner for our anniversary."
His face falling slightly, Joshua worried his lower lip with his teeth for a moment before saying, "I understand, Harry. Would tomorrow be better?"
Harry visibly relaxed as he hugged his friend. "Absolutely, Joshua. Where are you staying?"
"I've taken a room in Hogsmeade, at a place called The Two Broomstraws, or something like that." Joshua pushed Harry away and walked over to stand beside the fireplace. He needed to put some space between them before he gave way to his desire and kissed the other man senseless. Harry would not appreciate the breach in their agreement to remain friends until the situation with his husband was resolved, and he didn't want to antagonize him.
Rolling his eyes at Joshua's poor memory, Harry chided fondly, "It's The Three Broomsticks, you git." He opened the front door again, looking at his friend with a rueful expression. "Please don't take this the wrong way, but you've gotta go – now."
Joshua laughed as he headed out. "Okay, alright! I can take a hint." He paused when he reached Harry, and met his shining green eyes. "I'll see you tomorrow." Cupping Harry's cheek with his hand, he tilted his head and lightly brushed Harry's lips in a tender kiss. "Understand one thing, Harry. Although I'm ceding the battlefield to your husband tonight, I have no intention of losing the war. There's nothing I want more than to be your lover."
Leaning into the caress for a moment, Harry conceded that, in different circumstances, he could easily come to love this man. Finally drawing away, he gave Joshua a wistful smile. "Fair enough. Now, until tomorrow." Harry waved goodbye as Joshua walked outside, then shut the door behind his friend and wearily leaned back against it, his hands still on the doorknob. Juggling two paramours was exhausting – he wasn't sure if he was going to be able to hold up under the stress.
As he moved away from the door, the fireplace flared a bright emerald green.
October 31, 2001 – Honeydukes Sweetshop, Hogsmeade
Severus stepped into the store, which was blessedly empty this late in the day. His fingers flexed, almost involuntarily, as they thawed in the warm air. Despite appearances, his encounter with Lucius had thrown him off balance, and he permitted himself a moment to regain his equilibrium.
Even though he'd long since gotten over Malfoy, a small part of him remembered his younger self. He recalled, with some mortification, the overwhelming sense of awe he'd felt at the time, thinking that someone as beautiful as Lucius could be interested in him.
"Umm, hello, Lucius." Severus felt the heat rising in his face, as he twisted in the worn armchair to look at the newcomer. "What are you doing here at Hogwarts?"
Lucius gracefully crossed the Slytherin common room, coming to a halt just behind Severus. "I'm here to see you, naturally."
Startling as a hand delicately caressed his shoulder, Severus stammered, "Uh… me, Lucius? Why, in Merlin's name?" He gasped when the hand brushed aside his long hair, and a warm puff of breath swept across his neck.
Teeth nipped at his ear as Lucius chuckled. "I've seen you watching me, your dark eyes following my every move." He ran his tongue lightly along the edge of Severus' ear and asked, "Why is that, Severus? Could it be that you want me, desire me?"
Severus melted into the touch, his breath coming in short pants. "Lucius…" he moaned quietly, "I don't… I've never…"
"That's alright, Severus. I will give you what you want, if you come with me to the mansion. Follow me, now." Lucius stepped around the armchair and drew an unresisting Severus to his feet and toward the door.
Shaking his head in confusion, Severus tried to argue. "Seventh years aren't supposed… Dumbledore won't allow me…"
"The old fool will never know. My Lord will protect us – soon, he'll be yours as well." Lucius tenderly wrapped an old cloak about the shivering man. "This will please me, and that's what you want, isn't it?"
Severus nodded his head. "Yes… yes, I want… you," he whispered, edging closer to Lucius.
That had been the first time they were lovers. Severus had reveled in the affair, having been starved for affection in his youth. It had ended the night of his return to Dumbledore, a broken young man of nineteen, having learned firsthand the viciousness that lay just under Lucius' breathtaking exterior.
Sighing, he considered the possibility that there could be, in all likelihood, some serious repercussions from this latest disaster. Severus, however, was confident he would see the signs and be able to forestall them.
Finally forcing his attention back into the present, he strode up to the counter and rang the small bell. Ambrosia Flume ducked out of the storeroom in back, smiling formally when he recognized his customer.
"Ah, Professor Snape. How may I help you, sir?"
"One pound of chocolate frogs, and a pound of your special dark chocolate covered raspberries, please." Snape stood impatiently by the counter as Flume bustled about the shop, collecting his order.
Setting the bag of sweets down in front of his customer, Flume commented slyly, "This brings to mind when you would make this purchase on a regular basis, Professor. I take it that your young husband is back in the area?"
Severus eyed the other man, then shrugged noncommittally. "Perhaps."
"Such an affable young man, he is. So polite, as well." Ambrosia chattered as he rang up the order. "That will be two galleons, seven sickles and four knuts, please."
Handing over the money, Severus picked up the package and secured it in his robes, then pulled out an old-fashioned pocket watch from his waistcoat pocket. Noting he was already several minutes late, he politely requested, "Mr. Flume, would it be possible for me to use your Floo connection. I'm running late for an appointment."
Nodding, Flume gestured toward the back of the store. "Certainly, Professor Snape. This way, if you please."
Severus followed Ambrosia into the stockroom, nodding courteously to Mrs. Flume as he passed where she was sitting, sorting various sweets. "Ma'am."
Moving to the fireplace, Severus pinched a small amount of Floo powder between his stained fingertips, then tossed it into the fire. Speaking low, but clearly, he announced, "Heart's Ease Cottage, Hogsmeade." He then stepped into the Floo, disappearing in a flash of green flames.
Seconds later, he gracefully exited Harry's fireplace, to see his spouse standing near the front door.
"Severus! I wasn't expecting you to arrive by Floo!" Harry hurried over as Severus brushed the soot from his robes.
Handing the sweets bag to Harry, Severus grinned wryly. "I was running behind schedule, so Mr. Flume was kind enough to allow me the use of Honeydukes' fireplace." Licking his lips unconsciously at the sight of his husband, Severus swore, 'This evening is going to be hell. I gave my word to him that I would be a gentleman, but how in Hades am I supposed to keep my hands off him when he insists on looking so gorgeous?' "You look… presentable enough to take out in public, Harry," he teased.
Harry blushed at the implied compliment, then looked into the bag with a shy expression on his face. "Severus, you remembered!"
"Of course, I remembered. I haven't forgotten a single thing about you, Harry."
Peeking up at his husband's face through his fringe, Harry swallowed hard at the heat he saw in Severus' dark eyes. Stepping forward instinctively, he gently ran a finger down one pale cheek.
Severus growled at the light touch, turning his face until his lips brushed Harry's fingertips. "Harry, if you want me to keep my promise, we'd better leave – now!"
The husky, silky voice drew Harry inexorably nearer to Severus. "Not before you kiss me," he whispered, his hand sliding across Severus' temple to entangle in the dark locks. "Kiss me, Severus," Harry said again, tugging lightly on his husband's hair, pulling his head down to his own.
Shivering as Harry's agile tongue swept delicately along the outline of his lips, Severus gasped inaudibly, his mouth opening and capturing Harry's in a passionate caress. He locked one arm about the smaller man's waist, lifting Harry until his toes barely touched the floor. He then ran his other hand slowly down Harry's side and around, until he cupped the curve of his ass and pulled him impossibly closer.
Harry never realized they were moving until he felt himself being pressed back into the settee cushions, lost as he was in his swirling emotions. This was what he'd been missing these past few years – Severus' lips on his, coaxing an even greater response from him; Severus' hands on his body, teasing him until he was mindless from passion. He moved restlessly under his husband's weight, arching his body as he desperately sought more contact. "Touch me, Severus… please… oh Merlin!" Tearing his mouth away from Severus', he latched onto the strong neck above him, frantically pressing wispy kisses along it as he savored the intoxicating flavor of his husband's skin. "Sev'rus… love me…" he whimpered.
Severus' passion-fogged brain scarcely registered the sound of Harry's voice, as he worked his hand between their bodies, fumbling with the fastenings of his lover's robes. Harry's low whimper, however, acted like cold water thrown onto a fire – he jerked his upper body up and away from Harry's, staring down at his spouse in horror.
Black hair tousled from where Severus' fingers had wended their way through it, Harry stared back at Severus, his eyes almost black and glowing with desire. "Come 'ere," he murmured, as he tried to pull Severus back down to him. Suddenly, the delicious weight and warmth of his husband's body was gone, and Severus was standing several feet away near the fireplace, panting heavily as he attempted to catch his breath. Sitting up dazedly, Harry looked over at his spouse in confusion. "S'matter, Severus?" he asked.
"Circe, Harry… I swore to you that I wouldn't do this, yet…" snarling, Severus turned to stare into the flames, one hand clenched into a fist and braced on the mantel. "Yet, the minute I touch you, I lose all control…"
Harry unsteadily stood up, cursing his trembling legs as he crossed the room to stand behind the agitated man. Tentatively wrapping his arms about Severus' waist, he laid his cheek against the narrow back and said in a soothing tone, "It's alright, Severus. Did you notice me fighting to get away? Rather, I would say it was my fault – I'm the one who begged for a kiss."
Stiffening his body at Harry's initial touch, Severus slowly felt the tension draining from him as he listened to Harry's words. "Then, I am forgiven for my lapse, Harry?"
Harry grasped the front of Severus' robes, slowly turning him until they were face to face. He smiled tenderly at his husband as he stated, "There's nothing to forgive." Feeling the need to lighten the mood, he then gave a saucy wink as he quipped, "Unless this is your way of getting out of feeding me dinner, of course."
Snorting quietly under his breath, Severus ran his palm over Harry's mussed head, and said quietly, "I missed you so, Harry."
"And I you, Severus." Gently touching his lips to Severus' cheek, Harry pulled away reluctantly and asked, "Now, where are you taking me to dinner?"
Severus stepped backward, glancing at the Wizarding clock as he did. "Since we've missed our reservations at the Crowned Dragon…"
"The Crowned Dragon? That's one of the most expensive restaurants in the Wizarding World, Severus – with a six month waiting list, at least." Harry stared dumbfounded at his husband. "How on earth did you manage that?"
Chuckling, Severus raised an eyebrow. "I only had to mention your name, Harry."
Harry punched Severus lightly on the arm. "You git! Well, although I would have loved to go there for dinner, it would have been way too expensive."
Severus quietly stated, "You're worth it, Harry. This is our third anniversary, after all. Even though we are separated, I want to celebrate the night we were married." He reached up and brushed the corner of Harry's eye with his thumb, where a single tear trembled, then held out his arm gallantly. "Shall we? I believe we should go to that little Italian place where we ate the night I proposed."
Laying his hand on the extended arm, Harry smiled up at his husband. "That sounds wonderful, Severus. Let's go."
October 31, 2001 – The Three Broomsticks, Hogsmeade
The honey-colored liquid swirled in his glass as Lucius stared vacantly around the bar. He was halfway through his second bottle of mulled mead, and he fully intended to finish it, and possibly several more, before the evening was done.
Having come up with, and discarded, several plans for wreaking his revenge against Severus, Lucius acknowledged that the man wouldn't be easy to hurt. A loner, Severus had no one to use as a tool against him. He also wasn't a man who would break quickly under physical torture. Lucius was at a loss.
Madam Rosmerta walked by the table, holding a tray filled with empty glasses, and paused. "You might want to go easy on that mead, Mr. Malfoy. You'll be regretting it in the morning."
"Leave me be, Rosmerta, and make sure the others do as well," Lucius growled, downing the drink in his glass. He reached an unsteady hand out and grasped the bottle, pouring himself another stiff drink.
Nodding coolly at her intoxicated customer, Rosmerta crossed the room and began clearing off the bar.
The door to the pub opened, and a young blond man walked in, shedding his coat as he closed the door. Lucius glanced up, dismissing the man as someone unimportant, then returned his attention to his mead.
"Good evening, Madam Rosmerta," the man greeted the barkeep in an American accent.
Rosmerta smiled at the handsome man as she said, "Why, hello, Mr. Davenport. Did you manage to find Heart's Ease alright?"
Lucius swiveled his head slowly toward the bar, mindful of his impending headache, when he recognized the name of Severus' small cottage. Could it be that this uncouth American, who was most likely a Muggle given the way he was dressed, was the person for whom Severus had thrown him over? He narrowed his eyes at the man, as he listened carefully to the conversation.
"Yes, thanks to your directions, Madam. Many thanks for that, by the way. How long before my room is ready?" Joshua asked.
"Not more than a half hour, Mr. Davenport. I do apologize for the wait." Rosmerta held up an empty glass as she offered, "A drink on the house for your trouble, Mr. Davenport."
Joshua smiled and shook his head. "No, thank you anyway. I believe I'll just walk around town while I wait. I've never been to Hogsmeade before – it's seems like a nice little town."
Rosmerta chuckled at the statement. "Well, we're rather fond of it, but it doesn't quite compare to London." She leaned over across the bar as she warned, "Stick to town, Mr. Davenport. There has been a lot of Death Eater activity around here, and we wouldn't want anything to happen to you."
"No problem, Madam Rosmerta," Joshua agreed easily as he slid on his coat again. He gave a jaunty little wave then exited the tavern.
Lucius stood up, tossing several galleons down on the table to cover his tab, and carefully followed Joshua from the building. He stayed far enough away so the American wouldn't notice he was being tracked, but close enough so he wouldn't lose him in the dark.
Joshua strolled down High Street, casually window-shopping as he went. The Wizarding town was interesting to him, and he marveled at the different things the merchants offered for sale. His feet unknowingly brought him to the unlit pathway that let to Harry's cottage, and he hesitated as he stared in the direction of the unseen building. He hoped that he would eventually win Harry's love, but feared that the hopefully soon to be ex-husband would provide too much competition.
Lucius cautiously moved within striking distance, drawing out his wand as he did. With a subtle flick of his wrist, he called out, "Stupefy," watching emotionlessly as Joshua's body slowly toppled over with a thud.
Walking over to the unmoving man, Lucius placed his hand on Joshua's arm and Disapparated them both to his home.