Title: Just Desserts.
Warning: An appalling level of fluff, for an anti-Valentine's fic.
Prompts from the Severus Sighs Anti-Valentine's Day Fest: 1. "Severus' lover demands he make a romantic gesture, so he decides on one that will ensure he is never asked to do so again." and "2. Valentine's Day was supposed to be of red posies and heart-shaped offerings, kisses and love-filled promises. It was not supposed to be like this."
Author's Note: Beta-read by WhiteCotton and atypicalsnowman. Thanks, ladies!
Severus took a small sip of water from the Never-Empty Flask. It was the only object he'd managed to find in the dark room when he'd first crawled around it three days ago, and he was grateful to have it. On that initial investigation, he'd also concluded that the room was approximately two meters square and that the floor and walls were stone. There was a small recess in one corner, which he used to relieve himself. There was no discernable door.
Three days in utter darkness with nothing to occupy him but the water flask, the clothes on his back, and his pocket watch. He didn't know whether to be thankful for the perpetual glow-in-the-dark charm that was standard fare on watches or not. He supposed it should have been comforting, but it was not bright enough to see anything more than a centimeter away. Besides, it seemed to mock him with its insistence on documenting every second that ticked by in which he was unable to escape.
He glanced at it one more time – 12:04. Another day begun. He'd been in the room now for three days, six hours, and approximately eleven minutes, and it seemed he was fated to spend Valentine's Day there as well.
The irony was almost too much – the day meant for lovers, and the first time he actually had a lover with whom to share it, was to be spent alone in a cold, dark cell. He shouldn't have been surprised. This was the sort of justice he had come to expect from the world.
Once again, he berated himself for his carelessness three days prior. He'd been in Diagon Alley, searching for a Valentine gift (not that he'd ever admit to it), when someone had barreled into him from behind. Before he had a chance to react in any way, he'd felt the tug of a Portkey in his abdomen, shortly after which he'd been deposited in his current location.
He'd given up trying to escape many hours ago. He, of course, was not in possession of his wand, and he was getting weaker with every passing minute. His entire torso ached from hunger, and any too-quick movement made his head spin with dizziness.
He rolled onto his other side, attempting to find a comfortable position. Unfortunately, with the stone floor it was nearly impossible. He was so tired. He forced himself to relax, hoping sleep would come soon.
A noise startled him into a defensive crouch that had him reeling with vertigo. Seconds later, a portion of the wall wavered, turned to wood, and swung forward with a great deal of force.
Habit had Severus reaching for his absent wand, but he aborted the movement when he saw who had entered.
"Severus!" Harry cried and flung his arms around him. "Oh, thank Merlin! I'm sorry, I tried, I looked and looked but I couldn't find you, I should've - "
"Hush," Severus whispered, halting the frantic babbling. "You have found me now." His voice cracked from disuse, but he couldn't bring himself to care.
Harry nodded against his shoulder. "Yeah. Okay, let's get you out of here."
That sounded like a wonderful course of action to Severus, so he was gratified when Harry wasted no time tightening his arms around his ribcage and Disapparating.
After a medical exam that seemed to go on forever and a small meal that made him feel vaguely nauseated, Severus was tucked into bed. Harry crawled in after him and clung to him like a limpet, as if he was afraid Severus might disappear in the night.
Severus could not have articulated just how much he needed it as well, even if he had wanted to.
He woke slowly, with heavy limbs and a massive headache. It was so dark and quiet in the room that he first assumed himself still held captive, but the soft, comfortable bedding registered before he could begin cursing the lamentable situation or (Merlin forbid) panic.
All was well. He was safe at home, ensconced in his quarters, their quarters. Harry was with him, and he was home.
Only Harry wasn't with him. When Severus moved to curl against him, there was only his pillow. Apparently, Harry was already up.
Severus reached under his pillow for his wand and silently incanted, "Lumos." He found he could breathe more easily once the room was no longer so absolutely dark. The clock read 6:57.
He held his wand tightly, reveling in the familiar weight of it in his palm. Harry'd told him it had been found on one of his three captors, and Severus was beyond relieved to have it back.
As he went about his morning ablutions, he thought through the calendar, trying to determine whether it was a school day. It was. It was also, he recalled, Valentine's Day. No wonder Harry was up so early – he was probably arranging a romantic breakfast for two, or some other rot.
Severus finished doing up his buttons and carefully replaced the half-smile on his lips with a sneer before going to the sitting room to join Harry.
He automatically opened his mouth to deride the boy's sentimental tendencies, but his remark died in his throat when he saw Harry sitting at his desk with a cup of tea, marking.
"Oh hullo, Severus. You seem to be feeling better."
"As well as can be expected." Of course, it being a school day, it made sense that they should be seen in the Great Hall for breakfast. He wondered if Harry would foist gifts upon him so early in the morning or wait until after classes.
Harry finally set aside his quill. "You sure you're up to teaching today? I know Slughorn wouldn't mind staying around another day."
"I am perfectly able to handle my classes. After all, I was not injured."
"No, I s'pose not. Let's go get some breakfast, then."
Apparently, the presents would wait. That was fortunate – since his shopping trip had been interrupted in such spectacular fashion, he'd have to find something else to give Harry.
He hurried through the corridors after Harry, frustrated and somewhat embarrassed that he still felt so weak. Thankfully, Harry didn't seem to notice. Severus had rather expected to be fussed over this morning, but Harry must've thought he seemed just fine. He consoled himself by concluding that Harry was simply doing an exceptional job concealing his anxiety today.
Severus spent most of the morning feeling simultaneously hungry and like he'd overdone it at breakfast. A Stomach Settling Draught assuaged the worst of his symptoms, but it seemed nothing could lessen his headache or the lingering echo of nausea.
His students were alternately curious about what had befallen their dreadful Potions Master, gleeful that Something Bad had happened to him, and apprehensive that it might exacerbate his already mercurial temper. He did his best to encourage the last of these in the hopes it would lead them to be more meticulous and silent than usual. His endeavor was somewhat successful, or at least did not make things worse, so he counted it a victory. It was certainly an improvement on the usual Valentine moping, fawning, and pawing, at any rate.
He had the first class after lunch free, so he left the Great Hall early in hopes of locating an appropriate gift for his Harry. He did not have any clear idea of what he might purchase for Harry and, unfortunately, Hogsmeade did not exactly have a plethora of shops to offer inspiration. On the whole, he would have preferred a more meaningful gesture, but Harry was already keyed to his wards and he had no family heirlooms to pass along. A store-bought gift would have to suffice.
He did have a valid excuse if he came up empty, but he was certain he would, nonetheless, never hear the end of it if he failed to produce a present for his lover on what was supposed to be the most romantic day of the year.
Said day was, of course, not his favorite on the calendar. It seemed, though, that Minerva was much more sensible than Albus had ever been – a fact he had suspected all along and was very appreciative of now.
He was halfway to the gates when he remembered there was to be a press conference regarding his abduction and subsequent imprisonment at six o'clock, and that there were several individuals with whom he ought to speak regarding said event before it actually took place. Blast and damn.
Upon the conclusion of his last afternoon detention at ten minutes past five, he set off in search of Harry.
"There you are, Severus!" It seemed Harry was also in search of him. "I thought we should probably get to dinner a bit early today. Wouldn't want to be late for our own press conference, would we?" he continued, grinning.
His smile faltered. "Well, yeah. I mean, unless you're not feeling well."
"I had thought we might have dinner privately – in our quarters, or perhaps, perhaps… go out." Severus frowned. "After the press conference."
Harry tilted his head quizzically. "Why?"
Why? The impudent brat was asking him why? It was then Severus realized he'd not heard so much as a "Happy Valentine's Day" from Harry all day. He hadn't spoken of plans or gifts or undying affection. Was Harry planning on ignoring the holiday completely? Not that Severus cared, of course. He'd just as soon forget the blasted day existed.
It was a silly holiday, really. Completely unreasonable. Still…
"Were you planning to acknowledge our relationship at all? Or does it mean so little to you?" Do I?
Harry gaped at him for a moment before narrowing his eyes and balling his hands into fists. "You're mad at me for not making any bloody Valentine's Day plans? Could you be more of a bloody hypocrite?!"
"You're the one who always refuses to acknowledge us, insists we keep a 'professional distance'!"
"In public, you dolt!"
"What, so I'm good enough to have a candlelit dinner with, but not for anyone to actually know we're together?"
"Harry, we live together, for Merlin's sake – I think the cat's out of the bag!"
They stood glaring at each other for a long moment filled only with the sounds of their harsh breathing before Severus realized what Harry was saying.
"You though I was ashamed of you, of our relationship?"
Harry shifted his gaze to the floor. "Well, I…"
"Idiot. Can you not see it is I who does not deserve you?"
Harry looked somewhat appeased, but still asked, "But why do you always act like you don't want anyone to know?"
Severus raised an eyebrow. "Do you not recall the last few days? Three misguided, misbegotten imbeciles were willing to risk Azkaban by abducting the evil Death Eater in the midst of his holiday shopping to keep him away from the sweet, innocent savior for a week or two so that he may recover from whatever malicious potion or spell said Death Eater had inflicted upon him. Imagine what would happen if we were to flaunt our relationship!"
"So, you were doing it to protect us? Wait – 'holiday shopping'? Were you going to get me a Valentine gift?"
"Of course, you nitwit!"
Harry turned his face away, but Severus still saw him color.
"You weren't." He'd meant it to be a question, but it had just come out resigned.
"I'm sorry! I didn't think you'd want it. I never thought you'd let us celebrate Valentine's Day!"
He'd wanted to celebrate what they had, their relationship, but he didn't tell Harry that.
"I'm sorry," Harry repeated.
"As you said. I should apologize as well, it seems. I never meant to hurt you by being distant with you in public."
Harry nodded. "I really wish you wouldn't anymore. Obviously, people know. Hey, maybe you could say something at the press conference!"
Harry's face seemed to light up at the idea, but Severus was appalled. "You want me to discuss our private affairs at a press conference? Have you lost your bleeding mind?"
Harry scowled. "I think it's a good idea. And not our 'private affairs', just – "
"Well, there you lads are!" Minerva exclaimed as she came around the corner, and Severus was alarmed to realize they'd conducted their entire, rather vocal, argument in the middle of the corridor. Hardly an appropriate venue, deserted though it might be.
"Come now, we should head for the sixth floor. We want to be prepared before the press arrives." She tutted and ushered them along in front of her.
Harry and Severus maintained a stony silence throughout the walk and during the chaotic reestablishment of the ideal seating arrangement. It was not until reporters began to trickle in that Harry spoke again.
"I still think you should say something."
Severus glared. "And what, precisely, do you propose I say? They already think I ensnared you with a potion – they will hardly trust any words from my lips. Perhaps you should say something, if you're so concerned about it."
"You're the one who's always pretending we're not together! It has to be you – I insist."
Severus gaped, then sputtered. "You… you insist?" His fingers curled around his wand before his next breath automatically, but he managed to stop short of whipping it out and teaching the presumptuous prat a lesson he'd not soon forget.
Any further reply he might have made was cut off when Minerva cast Sonorus and urged everyone to take their seats. He was peripherally aware of first Minerva, then Harry answering questions – presumably concerning how they'd managed to find Severus and how the culprits would be dealt with, as had been planned – but he was too busy fuming to really comprehend the words.
Just as a plan was beginning to take form in his mind, he was jolted to his feet by Minerva's announcement that he would answer any remaining questions they might have. They did not waste any time.
"Marsha Seawell, Witch Weekly. How do you respond to your kidnappers' assertions that you've coerced the Boy Who Lived into a relationship with you?"
"I say they are a bunch of jealous dunderheads who ought to mind their own business."
"Daedalus Hoppington, WWN. How did they manage to capture you?"
To that, Severus answered with the truth. "Carelessness on my part."
"Filigree Baddock, Daily Prophet. If you haven't been slipping him a potion, tell us how you came to be involved with the Chosen One!"
Severus very nearly smirked, but managed to maintain his impassive expression. "It was all very sudden, actually. One morning I was enjoying my breakfast in the Great Hall, lamenting the fact that I was, as usual, stuck sitting next to Harry sodding Potter. I remember him topping off my tea, then I had an epiphany!" He turned a simpering smile toward Harry, who was staring at him in horror. "We've been together ever since."
The crowd began to simmer with sotto voce exclamations, but soon boiled over into indignant shouts.
Minerva grabbed Harry and Severus by their elbows and tried to drag them discreetly to the closest door. When they finally made it to the empty hallway, she sighed.
"It's a good thing we thought to get the Aurors here. That crowd will be nigh uncontrollable for the next hour." She pinned the couple with a disappointed frown. "You two get to your rooms and sort this out."
She looked a little more closely at Harry, who seemed ready to explode at any moment. "Do I need to look after your wands for a while?"
"That won't be necessary," Harry ground out through clenched teeth.
"If you insist."
As they turned toward the nearest staircase, she called, "And you needn't look so very pleased with yourself, Severus!"
Minerva was probably right, but Severus was feeling a bit too smug to give a damn. They stalked to their quarters in silence and made it there in record time. As soon as the door was closed and warded behind them, Harry rounded on Severus.
"You…! How could you do that?"
Severus adopted an artfully guileless expression. "Whatever do you mean?"
Harry stomped through the foyer into the sitting room. "Bloody git, you know exactly what I mean! They all think I slipped you a potion!"
"Do they?" Severus asked mildly, following with a more refined gait.
Harry threw himself onto the sofa. "As you, no doubt, intended."
"I can hardly control what is inferred from my words."
"No, but you can bloody well control what you imply!"
Severus raised an eyebrow. "My, I had no idea you were cognizant of such advanced linguistic distinctions."
"Bastard," Harry muttered, then sprang to his feet and advanced toward Severus until he was pressed against the bookcase.
There was a brief moment, during which Severus' irritation drained away to be replaced with a spark of arousal, before Harry whispered, "Shut up," and attacked his mouth with a kiss.
Severus moaned against Harry's lips, thrusting his tongue into the warm cavern of his mouth. He braced his hands against Harry's shoulders and pushed until he could lean away from the sharp corners digging into his back, then used them to hold Harry's head in place so he could properly ravish his mouth.
Harry gave Severus' lower lip a nip before pulling back. "To bed."
When they were both in reasonably close proximity to their bed, Harry Banished their clothing in a display of the wandless magic that never failed to arouse the hell of out Severus. By the time he'd regained his bearing, Harry had toppled them onto the bed and Summoned a vial of lubricant.
Harry nuzzled his face into Severus' neck while he uncapped the vial. "Merlin, I missed you." He reached between Severus' legs, eliciting a groan. Harry stopped abruptly and sat back on his heels. "No, wait."
"What… wait?" Why in the name of the Founders should they wait?
"You have to top tonight. Come on, get up." Harry rolled to the side and tossed the vial to Severus.
"I…," Severus panted, "I do?"
Harry nodded. "The whole wizarding world thinks I coerced you into this relationship, that I'm taking advantage of you! So we've got to prove them wrong."
Severus leaned up on his elbows. "Is there a recording device in here of which I'm unaware?"
Harry rolled his eyes. "No, you great git. It's the principle of the thing."
"Right. And me penetrating you means you couldn't possibly be taking advantage of me. You realize that's not the way it works, correct?"
"Could you be cooperative for once in your life? Come on, it'll make me feel better."
"If you insist." Severus breathed a put upon sigh and moved to stand so he could reverse their positions. As soon as he was upright, however, he swayed and stumbled.
"Are you all right?" Harry's hands went to Severus' shoulders and guided him to sit on the edge of the bed. "Severus?"
"Vertigo. I'm fine."
"Oh, I'm an idiot. Three days of no food, and I'm making you skip dinner! You should eat something."
"Dinner will wait. I'm having dessert first." And really, as long as he did not attempt any further abrupt transitions from horizontal to vertical, all would be well.
"You sure?" Harry asked breathlessly, turning his head to allow Severus better access to his neck.
"Perfectly," Severus whispered against his skin. The arousal that had flagged a bit returned full force at the sound of Harry's moan. Severus reached blindly across the bed until he found the lube. "Turn over, Harry."
Harry arranged himself on his hands and knees, then looked back over his shoulder at Severus.
The fire in his eyes was almost too much. Severus ran his hand over Harry's arse and down a thigh in a quick caress, then coated his fingers. Harry pushed back against him as he smeared the oily substance over his entrance.
"Just do it. Please. I need to feel you."
"It's been over a week. I don't want to hurt you," Severus protested, but moved his slippery fingers to his cock, coating it well. He draped himself over Harry's back. "Sure?"
"Now, Severus. Please!"
Severus pushed inside as slowly as he could manage, but with Harry pushing back to meet him he was fully seated in short order. Severus groaned at the feeling of his prick encased in the tight, pulsing heat of his Harry. It had been so long! He resolved never to get kidnapped alone again, and started thrusting.
"Harder!" Harry grunted, and Severus found himself complying automatically. "Yes, good. There!"
Severus tried to hold himself at a steady angle, but he was fast losing control. Fortunately, it seemed Harry was faring no better.
"I can't… Ah! I'm… Severus!"
Severus held Harry up by the hips when he would have collapsed. A handful of erratic thrusts, and he tensed and shuddered, fingers digging into Harry's skin.
He let them both give in to gravity and fall to the bed. Severus spent a moment catching his breath and relishing the feel of Harry's sweat-slicked skin against his before he rolled to the side.
"We're not… ever letting it go that… long again," Harry declared, still panting.
"Agreed. Next time, rescue me sooner."
Harry landed a playful swat on his arm. "Next time, don't get caught!"
Harry sighed. "I was an arse earlier, wasn't I?"
"You know I didn't mean it. I always let my emotions get the better of me."
Severus carded a hand through Harry's sweaty hair. "I paid you back in kind. It's behind us."
Harry threw an arm over Severus' chest. "I'm sorry I didn't get you a gift."
"Well, despite my intentions, I didn't get you one either."
"Fair enough. Let's find a house-elf and order a romantic dinner for two before I fall asleep or you pass out."
They reluctantly extracted themselves from the bed. "I'll thank you not to cast aspersions on my vigor, brat," Severus said, pulling on his dressing gown.