Chapter 8
Albus Dumbledore lay in his bed, awake. Fawkes trilled and preened on his perch. The phoenix had been restless all evening, following his master's mood.

There was a knock on the quarter's outer door, and the knocker screamed "Severus Snape!"

"Come in," Dumbledore said loudly, sitting up and swinging his legs over the side of the bed.

The door swung open before he could don his robe and reach the sitting room.

"Albus?" Severus said softly. He entered the room with shoulders hunched, looking right and left as if he expected a werewolf to greet him. His earlier burst of courage had drained like water through a sieve.

"I'm here, child. Just keeping warm," Albus said. He entered the front room tying the sash of his electric yellow dressing down.

"I wanted to talk," Snape said, turning to go. "I can call again tomorrow if I've disturbed you."

"Nonsense, my boy," Dumbledore said. "I'm delighted to see you." He motioned the tall man to a chair beside the smoldering fire. "Sit down."

The older wizard pulled his own chair beside that of the potions master. Noticing that the man sat rigidly, almost woodenly, he asked "Severus, what is it my boy?"

Snape groped blindly for Dumbledore's hand. Finding it at last, he wrapped his icy fingers around the warmth there, and held on for dear life.

"I used - I used to dream, to fantasize about you," he said haltingly. "It wasn't just you, who was thinking about-"

"Tell me Severus," Albus said. He let his other hand slide to cover Severus'. "It's all right."

"It hurt, just like always," Snape said, his eyes downcast, "But when you were done, you would hold me, sometimes even kiss me." He looked up at the old wizard; his eyes filled with despair. "Sometimes that's all I dreamed about- you holding me for a few moments afterwards, telling me that it was good." He cleared his throat, "In my best dreams, you told me that I pleased you, and that I could sleep with you, for awhile." The man looked down again and muttered, "I would hold my pillow, and pretend, and pretend - " He could get no further.

Gently Albus placed a hand beneath the other man's chin, and tilted his face upward. "Severus, listen to me."

Snape tilted his head slightly, but said nothing.

"What they did to you, that was not love. What they taught you, all of it, was wrong," Dumbledore said. "Love and making love can exist together."

Severus began to speak, but Dumbledore hushed him with one upraised finger.

"Severus, what they did to you was obscene," Albus said. "That is not what I wanted from you, not ever."

Severus' voice was low. "I always believed that you were the one man on the bloody planet who would never hurt me." His face twitched. "Even when I dreamed of you, I always had to persuade you, to convince you to bed me. And then, when I thought that you were like him, I could not bear it." He sighed, "I finally found a reason to simply die."

"I will never hurt you," Albus said, "not physically, and not emotionally if I can possibly prevent it. That is not love, Severus."

"Then what is?" Severus asked.

Slowly Albus leaned over and brushed the other man's lips with his own.
He felt Severus shiver as he sucked gently at his upper lip.

Carefully, the potions master slid his hands to the Headmaster's shoulders, and then froze.

"It's all right Severus," Dumbledore said. "I will not hurt you."

Snape wrapped his arms around Dumbledore and laid his face on his shoulder. "Albus, I don't know if I can do this, if I can let you," he said. "I feel sick, just like I always have when someone is going to - " His words trailed off as his fingers tightened on the bright yellow fabric.

"Severus," Albus said, his voice kindly. "There is nothing you must do. If this frightens you, wait. Or never do it at all." He laid his cheek against the shallow one beside him. "I will still love you."

"I have wanted this my whole life," Snape muttered, "but - " He shook his head.

Albus closed his eyes and hugged the trembling man.

"Would you like to lay down?" said Dumbledore carefully. He leaned back a little to see Severus' face. "You do not have to if it troubles you."

"Could I- would you let me touch you?" Severus asked. His eyes were wide and terrified.

"Oh, Severus," said Albus, "I would let you do anything you liked."

"I can do that," Severus whispered.

Hands trembling, Severus stood, and started toward the bedroom.

Albus followed without another word.

Seating himself in the middle of the squashy feather mattress, he patted the sheets beside him.

In an instant, Snape was there, balanced on hands and knees.

Albus closed his eyes and leaned back as slender fingers spread the front of his dressing gown and began to unfasten the small buttons holding his nightshirt closed.

"I will make it good for you," Snape said, bowing his head.

Dumbledore inhaled sharply as a hot tongue slid across his nipples, teasing them into peaks. A moment later and the warmth slid downward to engulf his cock.

Snape's skill was immediately obvious as he worked at the tight skin. Just the right suction, perfectly applied, then a brush of teeth. Fingers moving perfectly in rhythym on the shaft as he licked across the crown.

Everything perfect, except-

Severus was performing. A trained dog, dancing on command.

Albus' erection wilted.

The younger man flinched, and laid his face against the mattress.

"I'm sorry," Snape whispered, "you didn't like it. I'll get undressed, you can-"

Albus interrupted. "Severus, it was quite pleasing. Come here." He tugged gently at the man's arm.

Snape allowed himself to be pulled upwards until both men sat with their backs against the headboard. He kept his face turned outward.

"Severus, look at me," said Dumbledore.

Severus turned; his eyes dead.

"I love you," said Dumbledore, "And I will not simply use you, not even at your request."

"I don't understand," said Snape. "I don't know what you want."

Albus slid an arm around Snape's shoulders, and placed his other hand over the potions master's.

"I want to love you," said Dumbledore. He lifted the potion master's hand to his mouth and traced the slender fingers with his tongue.

Severus inhaled sharply.

"I don't wish to use you," said Dumbledore. Slowly he lowered his face and began to nuzzle the other man's neck.

"What are you doing?" Severus said, his voice trembling.

"I'm making myself quite comfortable," said Albus. He paused, and stared down at the potion master's shirt. "Why Severus, what have you spilled?"

Startled, Snape looked down, just in time to feel Albus' finger flick him lightly on the nose.

"Got your conk," said Albus.

"Ah, that's the first time anyone's fallen for that in years," chuckled the headmaster, in response to Snape's astonished look.

There was a moment of silence.

Severus Snape began to laugh.

Astonished, terrified, and suddenly happy almost beyond belief, Snape laughed until tears ran from his eyes and he had to hold his stomach to control the cramping muscles there.

When he finally had himself under control, he found that he was being held firmly by Albus Dumbledore.

"Laughter and love go together, Severus," said Albus. He squeezed the other man in an enveloping hug.

"Then show me how to laugh with you," said Severus. His eyes were very dark and his voice soft.

Albus took the potion masters hands in his, and together they began again.

Severus' breath came in harsh pants as Albus slowly taught him to explore, to linger, to tease. Piece by piece, both mens' clothing was discarded to the floor.

Snape whimpered as the older man dropped his head to lick tantalizing circles around his nipples, and then blew gently on the tight flesh.
His own hands caressed the headmaster's chest and stomach; no longer working with trained ease, but jerking in pleasure.

"Oh, Albus, oh fuck, Albus," he moaned. He drew his legs up, spreading his knees wide.

Dumbledore took a warm handful of skin balm from a bedside container and slid his palms across the younger man's buttocks. Working in smaller and smaller circles, he spread the slippery stuff into the crease there, tickling and tugging lightly at the sensitive skin.

Snape felt a slender finger slide easily inside, caressing, touching, moving in gentle circles to further loosen the muscle there. Absorbed by the sensation, he almost screamed with pleasure as Dumbledore bent to take the head of his shaft into his mouth.

"Oh Albus," he moaned again. The potion master writhed on the bed, torn between waves of pleasure and the terrifying fear that any moment, any second, the pain would begin.

Feeling the muscles relax, Albus carefully added another digit and began to thrust slowly. His mouth moved, tongue sweeping first here and then there.

Snape rocked his hips back and forth, moaning incoherently. His testicles tightened and he began to feel the first twinges of orgasm.

"Please, Albus, I can't wait," he gasped, "I'm going to..

With a last deep thrust he exploded down the headmaster's throat.

"I'm sorry," said Snape helplessly. He drew his hands up to cover his face. "I couldn't help it, I'm sorry."

Dumbledore laid his head against the younger man's thigh. "Severus," said Albus, "It's quite all right. That is what's supposed to happen you know."

"But you didn't-"

"I didn't yet, you mean," said Dumbledore. "I hope we are not finishing up so quickly." Slowly he caressed the man's leg. "Have you ever been on the, erm, giving end of the equasion?"

Snape sat upright with shock. "You mean you'd like me to-?"

"I'd quite like you to," said Dumbledore, "if you wish it."

"But I've never- I may hurt you," said Severus.

"I trust you," said Albus, smiling.

Three words.

Three small words.

Severus felt his life crumbling around him.

No, not just crumbling.

Rebuilding.

"Yes," said Snape.

He helped the older man to position himself on his back, hands moving slowly.

Remembering. Relearning.

"I love you Severus," said Albus softly.

Severus slid his fingers through the warm balm in the bedside container and began to apply it. His breath hitched and caught.

"I love you too," he whispered. He slid forward and felt the warmth wrap him. His eyes flew open wide.

"Albus," gasped Snape, "Oh Albus."

Dumbledore's arms and legs came around the potions master and held him close.

"Love me then," said Albus. "Don't be afraid."

Severus began to move carefully. Looking for the angle, the spot-

Albus made a sound deep in his throat.

Severus moaned and speeded his thrusts, unaware that he had begun to cry.

Not an act this time.

Not an act.

Snape felt the warmth begin behind his balls and he reached down to stroke the headmaster's erection.

Real, oh so real.

Albus began to jerk softly in time to Severus' thrusts.

"So good love," he muttered. "That feels so good."

"I love you," Severus cried helplessly. He felt himself going over the edge and speeded his strokes. A second later a small flood of warmth exploded across his fingers.

Terror returned in a wave, and Severus' muscles locked in fear.

Over.

It was over, and Albus had gotten what he wanted.

Snape closed his eyes and withdrew himself slowly. Now the pain. The real pain. Albus' voice would change, his arms would fall away.

"Severus, are you all right?"

Prepared to be shoved away, Snape jumped as Albus rolled him to the side and held him firmly.

"I am quite fine," Severus said coldly. "Would you like me to go?" He raised himself on one elbow and arranged his face into a frozen mask of disdain.

"You may go if you like," said Albus, and Severus felt his stomach clench to vomit. "But I would much rather you stayed right here."

"I'll just go then-," began Severus. He choked the sentence off. "What did you say?"

Albus stroked the younger man's face. "I said, I would much rather you stayed right here."

"Here?"

"I thought perhaps we could sleep a bit, and then perhaps find someplace away from here to eat breakfast, if that's all right with you?"

Severus blinked rapidly, trying to control his lungs which were caught between hyperventilation and total stop.

He couldn't help himself. Years fell away in a whirlwind. The mask cracked

He caught the headmaster's hand between his own and stared at him with huge black eyes.

"You will let me sleep with you?" whispered Severus. "I'm not imagining this? It's not a trick?"

"I don't play those tricks," said Dumbledore. He pulled the other man close, soothing him with long sweeping strokes of his hands. "I would like you with me, forever if it pleases you. In my bed and my life."

"But what about-"

"The Ministry will not object," Albus said, "And if anyone else chooses to, why, I should have to laugh at them quite heartily." His eyes gleamed. "Now, I really do need a brief nap."

Flabbergasted, Severus allowed himself to be snuggled and shoved into a more comfortable position.

"Now do try to sleep," Albus said drowsily, "I plan to feed you the entire menu at Min's this morning, and you had better be up to it."
Without another word, he clasped his arms around the potion's masters neck and began to snore.

Severus stared at the sleeping man in wonder.