Chapter 31

Severus was, secretly, quite pleased with himself (and Harry). He'd managed to refrain from making any real derogatory remarks – 'idiot' and 'fool' didn't count – and had, relatively peacefully, made his little Gryffindor understand what he'd been doing wrong. He actually marvelled at the fact that they hadn't fought and that Harry hadn't run off in a temper. This may actually work.

He returned to his quarters, relieved to see that Lucius had, in fact, retired for the night. He noticed, however, that his brandy decanter had less in it. He scowled at his friend's ridiculous assumptions that he could simply help himself to Severus' stash. Rich tosser, he thought, removing his teaching robes. Not everyone can afford to replace their liquor so easily. He sat at his desk and pulled a stack of last-minute marking towards him. There were about three classes worth of essays to mark in two days. He groaned at the prospect of late nights and early mornings ahead. I should just give all these malodorous trolls a T and be done with it.

It was another hour and a half before Severus relented and crashed into bed. He was exhausted from the day's prank and emotional workout with Harry.

X

"If those pranksters ruin one more class, Severus, I don't know what I'll do!" Professor McGonagall sounded furious. Harry held in a snicker as he watched the two Heads of House discussing the Weasley twins' latest prank. He'd been hiding under his cloak since the second half of the first lunch hour and was crouched under the staff table, running his hands along Severus' thighs.

"Minerva, I assure you, I will be taking sw – i! – ft action," the man nearly choked on his tea as Harry's hand ghosted over his quickly-awakening prick. It was absolutely hilarious for Harry he knew the man wouldn't – couldn't – reveal him. McGonagall asked if Severus was feeling well, her voice sounding concerned.

"You look a bit peaky," she said, peering closer. Harry pulled away slightly, having trouble keeping his giggles down. He knew he'd pay for it, but figured the consequences would definitely be worth the risk.

"I'm fine; I simply choked a little. I remembered a potion I need to prepare. If you'll excuse me," he pushed away from the table, but not before swatting Harry over the head.

The Gryffindor followed, assuming Severus would either want to finish what he'd started, or dish out some punishment.

Harry kept a fair distance between himself and Severus as they made their way to the dungeons. He watched as the man discretely adjusted himself, stifling a giggle. It was always a thrill to see just how he was able to affect the stoic man. No one else was allowed to see this side of him, and for that, Harry was touched. Whenever the thought occurred to him, a little thrill shot through him, making him giddy.

X

Merlin's sagging bollocks! Severus smoothed a handover the front of his robes, easing the arousal a little. That horrible little shit!

He strode down to the dungeons, knowing Potter was following, and made sure to keep a brisk pace to give the brat some kind of discomfort.

As soon as he entered his office, Severus began to prepare ingredients for Dreamless Sleep; he reasoned that, if Minerva were to inquire about the potion, he'd cover his arse by charitably brewing an extra batch for the Hospital Wing.

As he was chopping, he heard his door close with a click, and footsteps approaching.

"You're not going to talk to me?" the insufferable child (Severus mentally cringed) asked. Severus ignored him in favour of adding lacewings to the pot. "Aw, come on, Severus. It was just a little fun!" Potter placed a warm hand on the small of his back and gave a little rub, but the gesture didn't work. He wasn't completely angry, but he was pissed off that Harry didn't seem to understand the concept of appropriateness. He ignored the boy until he had the potion simmering in its last stages.

"Potter," he deliberately used the boy's surname, knowing Harry would see he wasn't pleased. "That was not appropriate. What if someone had seen you? Had kicked you?" He folded his arms and gave his most disdainful look.

"But they didn't!"

"What if you'd… completed your task?" He narrowed his eyes.

"What?"

"What if I'd climaxed at the table, in front of everyone?" He'd been worried about the possibility the whole time.

"I wasn't going to let you. I wouldn't do that to you, Sev." He gave a little smile and slid a hand to his teacher's waist. Severus brushed him off and moved to sit at his desk.

"Potter, I'm significantly older than you. You may not have complete control over that particular reaction," he pulled out the last few essays to mark that he'd left there since that morning. He'd made surprising progress before class and during his theoretical lesson with the Fifth Year Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff class; the pile had dwindled to the last fifty or so.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything… I was just teasing."

"Don't, in future."

"Alright."

Severus was surprised that Harry had apologised and agreed so readily. There's something going on, he decided.

"What do you want, Potter?" He laid his quill upon the desk and folded his hands before him, watching the young man steadily. Harry had draped his invisibility cloak over the guest chair and was sitting there, looking a little uncomfortable. His hair was as scruffy as ever and his cheeks and nose were tinged pink from the cold. "Spit it out," he sighed.

"What? It's nothing… I just thought you'd… want me to finish," his smile became devious. "Or, maybe… you'd like to punish me?" He slid from the chair and crawled under Severus' desk, the way he'd been under the staff table. His warm hands pried Severus' knees apart and began massaging his thighs. "What should I do, Professor?" The innocent tone sent shivers down his spine – or, it could have been that one hand had begun rubbing him through his robes.

"Potter, my next class will be along – ah! – in ten minutes. St – oh! – op!" His protest was short-lived, however, as Harry opened his robes and work slacks to pull his erection out, into the cold air; his testicles followed, easing some of the tension.

"Mm, Professor, you're so hard," Harry murmured, maintaining his innocent school-boy act. He left the erection and massaged Severus' thighs, frustratingly close, but not touching his crotch. With less than ten minutes until his class was to arrive, Severus was not about to put up with teasing. He slid his hands into the cheeky brat's hair and guided him down, over his cock.

X

As his mouth slid over Severus' arousal, Harry felt a thrill of triumph. He wasn't one to be ignored, especially when he'd worked so hard to get Severus' attention.

He allowed some saliva to leak from his mouth to slicken the base, using it as lubricant for his hand. The soft grunt this earned him spurred him on; he wanted to hear it again (and again). He hummed as he pulled back, swirling his tongue around the foreskin, dipping it in and over the urethra. He heard Severus curse lowly as his hands gripped his hair more tightly, urging him to hurry.

"Five minutes, Potter," Severus managed to speak between little groans. Harry hummed his acknowledgement and began stroking with his hand, focusing on the head with his mouth. His free hand cupped Severus' sac, squeezing and tugging gently. Severus' grunts became breathless as he drew closer to orgasm; his hips rocked up, pushing further into Harry's mouth. Soon, only quiet, breathy curses spilled from his lips as Harry slid down, completely enveloping his professor's prick, constricting his throat around the head and gripping the base with his lips. His hand around Severus' sac mercilessly squeezed, rubbed, and tugged until, finally, with one last shallow thrust, he came; semen leaking slightly from the corners of Harry's mouth.

They cleaned themselves just in time to hear the first of the students lining up outside the classroom. Harry gave Severus a quick kiss before donning his invisibility cloak once more. Severus rolled his eyes and opened the door for his class, ensuring Harry had escaped before letting anyone through.

As Harry rushed to his next class, he made sure to wipe any incriminating evidence from his face. He stifled a giggle as he arrived to Charms, and apologised to Flitwick as sincerely as he could.

As he sat down, Ron and Hermione gave him knowing looks, smirking at him like they knew some huge secret. (He supposed they did.)

X

Severus made sure to be a little more nasty than usual for the rest of the day, lest he give himself away. Lucius bore the brunt of his vicious remarks, as well as a few hexes when he came to visit Severus in his office during the second lunch hour.

"Really, Severus," he rubbed his thigh where a particularly painful stinging hex had struck. "I'm only here to enquire about Draco. Have you spoken to him?" He sat in the guest chair.

"Unfortunately not. I've been rather pressed for time." He made sure to sound as unapologetic as possible. He loved Draco, but annoying Lucius was priceless; getting under the stuffy man's skin was always amusing.

Lucius didn't reply, but sighed and slid down in the chair a little. The uncharacteristic move made for a rather sad sight, and Severus almost felt sorry for the man. But not quite.

Severus allowed the silence to linger for a long moment, taking pleasure in making Lucius Malfoy wait and squirm.

"I will speak with him tonight, after dinner."

"Before," the blond insisted. Severus rolled his eyes and nodded.

"Fine. You owe me." Lucius looked nervous at the remark, sending a thrill of pleasure down Severus' spine. When the blond acquiesced, Severus dismissed him as rudely as possible, by turning his attention to marking the last few essays. After Lucius left, however, Severus sent a note to Draco, instructing him to come straight to his office after the last lesson.

X

Harry watched from the shadows as Malfoy made his way to Severus' office once the last class of the day ended. He knew it would be immoral – reprehensible – to spy on Draco and Severus' private student/teacher conversation. He knew he'd hate Draco for doing the same thing… but Harry was curious. He knew what they'd be discussing; Severus had told him how badly Draco had taken all of those pranks and had thoroughly shamed his righteous little Gryffindor heart.

But he was curious.

Harry had left his invisibility cloak in his dormitory, having reasoned that the likelihood of needing it was quite low. I'll never make that mistake again, he decided, trying to keep himself hidden in the shadows for as long as possible.

He skirted a few students on their way up to the other levels, some obviously glad to be escaping Severus' ire (which had made Harry giggle a little and need to clamp his hand over his mouth). Being stealthy was more difficult without his cloak; he swore he'd never leave it behind again.

Finally, they made it to Severus' office; Harry hiding around the corner as Draco let himself in at the harsh "Enter!" yelled through the door.

When he'd positioned himself outside the door, ready to listen shamelessly in on Draco and Severus… his infuriatingly paranoid lover cast a silencing charm (and probably a series of other privacy spells… and a few jinxes), preventing him from hearing anything at all. What a lovely waste of time that was, he thought, scowling at the door.

"Ah, Mister Potter," a smooth, horribly familiar voice called just as Harry decided to leave. Schooling his features to be as politely bland as possible, Harry turned to face Lucius Malfoy.

"Mister Malfoy," he greeted.

"What a surprise," he sounded insincerely delighted. "I'm pleased to see that Professor Snape has made himself available to all of his students… no matter their House or… learning needs." Smarmy git.

"Yes, sir." He decided he'd be as clueless as Lucius wanted him to be.

As Lucius was about to speak again, the door to Severus' office opened, and Draco stepped out. He eyed his father and Harry suspiciously before greeting Lucius politely.

"Hello, Father."

"Draco." Lucius' voice was softer when addressing his son. Harry took the time to study the Malfoys for the brief few seconds they were distracted with each other. Their faces had softened; their eyes seemed to be a warmer blue, and their postures less stiff. For that moment, Harry felt he'd truly seen the two men before him. They were a united front against the rest of the world; whatever everyone else threw at the Malfoys, they had each other. Harry had always wanted a family like that.

As he observed them, Severus came out with a scowl.

"What do you want, Lucius?" he folded his arms. Malfoy Senior smirked and raised an elegant brow. Harry supposed it was a generational thing.

"I thought I would stop by to visit an old friend… unless Mister Potter's academic needs are so dire that they need immediate addressing."

"Well, Potter, what do you want?" Severus' glare turned to Harry. Knowing the man made it difficult to keep the smile from his lips.

"Sorry, sir; I forgot." He shrugged and excused himself from the room, knowing he was being judged harshly… by all three Slytherins. Good to know some things will never change, he mused.

XX

Severus had never been more thankful for his paranoia than when he'd walked out to see Harry and Lucius just outside his office. That nosy little shit. He's becoming far too relaxed… and I've gone soft. He was determined to rectify that. Immediately.

He had a light supper brought to his office as Lucius made himself as comfortable as possible in the unwelcoming guest chair. Now that he'd had his little heart-to-heart with Draco, he was hoping Lucius would cut his audit charade short and leave early.

"Are you satisfied that Draco will be all right?"

"Hardly. I need to make sure he won't leave Hogwarts."

"He won't. I've made sure of that."

"How?" Lucius looked suspicious yet intrigued.

"I promised to find out who was behind those pranks and allow him to deal with them as he saw fit." He sipped his tea, hiding a smirk. "Unofficially, of course." He gave a vicious little smile as he picked at his pot pie.

"How generous of you," Lucius returned the smile.

"Not at all. I will have the official final say in their retribution. Dumbledore said, and I quote, 'as you bore the brunt of their humour, Severus, you may decide their punishment – short of expulsion, of course.'" He rolled his eyes at the last part.

"That old man has too much faith in you, Severus." Lucius sounded positively delighted. "I will speak with Draco after supper. If he agrees to stay in school, I see no reason to continue auditing. After all, I have more than enough data for my report." He took a delicate sip of his tea and watched Severus for whatever reaction he expected. "I was granted the use of a Time Turner, you see… and I found that there are quite a few interesting occurrences here." He let that information sink in and daintily ate his own meal. Poncy tosser. Severus hid his surprise behind a nasty smirk.

"Have you been watching naughty Seventh Years after curfew, Lucius? What would Narcissa think?"

"Quite the contrary, Severus. I've been watching the staff." He smiled pleasantly, as though they were discussing the weather. "I must admit that I was surprised at the… fraternisation. Imagine what the rest of the Board would think should I decide to report all of my findings." Calm down. He hasn't told you what he's seen yet. It might not be you…

"I can only imagine," Severus retorted casually. "The things one may see after hours could be quite… disturbing. I avoid late night patrol if I can."

"Do you, Severus? I remember you had that duty not long ago…" Lucius' pleasant smile remained in place. He won't give anything away until I seem to be sweating…

"I said 'if I can', you oaf." He rolled his eyes.

"Of course." Lucius' smile never faltered.

When Lucius had finally excused himself, Severus allowed his thoughts to wander. What does he know? Does he actually know something, or is he bluffing? That old bastard has done it in the past… He couldn't help but focus on the word Lucius had chosen to describe his findings. 'Fraternisation' implied two opposite sides… as in opposites in power? In House? What? Severus and Harry could be considered both, really. If Lucius had been talking about him… had he been implying that Severus was abusing his power over Harry? If he reports me, the Board will see me as a rapist. A child rapist. But what does he know?

X

Harry was dozing by the fire in the Common Room. He'd been contemplating surprising Severus in the middle of the night and snuggling in a corner, or smooching in an alcove; or, the most appealing of all: sucking his dick until his knees went weak.

Unfortunately, as Lucius Malfoy was there, Harry couldn't risk Severus' career and reputation like that; so, until the blond left, all he could do was lose himself in his fantasies.

Ron and Hermione were off doing "couples' things" in whatever unused classroom they'd found, and everyone else was at dinner. Harry had the whole room to himself. As he contemplated his options (wank there, or wank in his bed), a note flew out of the suddenly-green flames, and landed on his face.

He knows. Meet me in D460A at 22:00.

"Good lord," he rolled his eyes at Severus' dramatics and decided to wank in his bed. He didn't think it'd be worth the trouble if someone walked in and caught him… Better safe than sorry.

After dinner, when Ron and Hermione had dragged themselves away from their hideout, Harry told his friends about Severus' (and his) problem. They took over a corner in the Common Room, and Hermione cast a few privacy charms.

"Severus thinks Malfoy knows about us. I don't know how he would, but I want to be certain."

"Well, I know he's been using a Time Turner. I saw him stashing it in his robes the other day," said Hermione. Harry could only stare at her incredulously.

"And you didn't tell us at the time because…?"

"Well, honestly… I forgot. We've been studying! And it's the holidays!" Harry could have throttled her.

"We still need to find out what he knows." I'll deal with you later, he glared at Hermione (who glared right back). They sat there in silence for a while before Ron perked up.

"Veritaserum!" He splayed his hands and looked between Harry and Hermione. "Your professor should have some, right?"

"He does…" he trailed off thoughtfully. "He did threaten to slip some in my pumpkin juice once…"

"Lovely," Hermione deadpanned.

"He never did it, of course. He probably doesn't keep it on him anymore… it's most likely locked away somewhere."

"I'm sure he'd let you use it… I mean, it would benefit him as well." Hermione obviously didn't know Severus Snape. Harry just raised his eyebrows in disbelief.

"He'd never let us use such a potion! He'd want to lace the tea himself!"

"You can't use it to 'lace tea'," she air-quoted. "It has to be taken directly."

"Oh. Then how are we supposed to get Malfoy to drink it?"

"Stun him! Then make him swallow some –"

"He only needs three drops on his tongue," Hermione corrected.

"Fine. Stun him, put some on his tongue, tie him up, wake him, and ask your questions. We can use a memory charm and let him think he got blitzed at the pub or something." Ron leant back in his chair, folding his arms. A proud, smug, smile played on his lips. Hermione looked absolutely smitten. Harry loved the ginger a little bit as well.

"Well… we'll definitely need Severus' help with all of that… Personally, I think it's a great plan." He smiled at Ron.

"It is rather daring," Hermione agreed.

"I read it in one of Mum's knut-a-dozen paperbacks, actually. It was a detective story – a Muggleborn used Muggle detective skills to find the wizard who'd killed his girlfriend." He sounded excited. Hermione smiled fondly.

"It sounds dreadful… but I think your plan just might work."

"But…" Harry hesitated, not wanting to put a damper on the plan. The others just nodded at him to continue. "What if he somehow gets around the memory charm and knows who kidnapped him?" He frowned, hoping Hermione would tell them that memory charms were irreversible.

"We blindfold him, of course," Ron said.

"And if he recognises our voices?"

"Harry, we've been modifying our voices for how long?" Hermione sounded fondly exasperated.

"Ha! Of course!" He grinned, leaning back in his chair. He couldn't wait to tell Severus.

A.N: So, it's been a while… :D