Disclaimer: I do not own anything HP related. It all belongs to JK Rowling, Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Inc., Warner Bros., and any other entities involved.
A/N: This story was based on the Snarry Lives On! Challenges #1&2 by becca589 on The Silver Snitch Too.
Harry Potter struggled to keep himself under control. He could not figure out what it was about the snarky Potions Master that always caused him to lose his composure, but it was as inevitable as Dumbledore's annoying twinkle. And almost as painful.
Every time Harry left the Potions classroom at the end of a lesson, he was hard and aching. He couldn't be sure if it was the voice (as bittersweet and smooth as dark chocolate), the way the man stalked through the room (like a predator on the hunt), his unique scent (a combination of bergamot, cinnamon and something musky that could only be 'eau de Snape'), his sleek and graceful body (unfortunately hidden under layers of wool and linen), or even a combination of all of those things. Whatever the cause, it wreaked havoc on Harry's raging hormones.
It was a wonder that Snape had not tossed Harry out of the NEWTs level class altogether already. He had yet to make a decent potion all year. He spent every lesson waging this inner battle to keep from completely embarrassing himself in front the entire class. He was constantly just on the brink of orgasm from simply being in the man's presence. It would not take much to send him over the edge. Harry sat silently through each class, soaking up Snape's presence as if it was an addictive drug.
Things were not much better in his other courses, either. Instead of being able to focus better when he was away from Snape, it was almost worse. His body may have behaved, but his mind and imagination went haywire. Most days, Harry finished out his classes with scarcely a single note taken. Hermione was helping him pass, barely, but even she was fed up with his dependence upon her goodwill. She had recently started to harangue him about seeing Madam Pomfrey about his lack of concentration.
"Mr. Potter!" Snape shouted, bringing Harry out of his reverie. "What did you just add to that cauldron?"
Harry looked down at the empty vial in his hand and tried to recall what it had so recently contained. He got a vague image of something green and liquid. He looked up at the ingredients on the board for a clue. "Um…dragon bile?"
"Are you asking me or telling me?" Snape growled. "Never mind! I can tell by the slop within your cauldron that it was not dragon bile. In fact, this potion in no way resembles the Sloughing Salve you are supposed to be making! Twenty points from Gryffindor for complete incompetence. In addition, another ten for wasting my time and the school's ingredients. You will return this evening and remake this potion until you can prove to me that you belong in this class."
"Yes, sir." Harry shuddered as the vibrations from Snape's rant seemed to wash over his overly sensitized flesh. In a rush of hormones as Snape finally stalked away, Harry caught a glimpse of a fantasy: Snape had him bent over his desk, naked from the waist down, thrusting deep into him as he berated him for his poor performance in class. In his fantasy, he whimpered his need, straining to find some friction, anything, to ease the ache in his cock. Snape bound his hands to the desk with the wave of his wand to keep him still, and then continued to fuck him almost brutally. Without a touch to his cock, both the dream Harry and the one in this reality came in a flash of white heat.
Still breathing hard, Harry cautiously looked around to see if anyone had noticed his ordeal, and noted that no one was looking at him. He looked down at his robes, grateful that the sticky evidence could not be seen through the thick fabric. Of course, he would have to get through the rest of class and to the loo before he would be able to do anything about the uncomfortable dampness, but at least no one would find out his shame.
Harry groaned. One on one time spent with Snape. His body sang out its joy, but his heart plummeted.
Several weeks later, Severus Snape gaped at the headmaster in disbelief. He could not be serious. However, the old man simply stared right back, sucking happily on one of those infernal muggle lemon drops he adored. His twinkle was in full effect, as if he was privy to some blasted comedy that the rest of the world could not see. Perhaps he was, Severus thought with an internal growl. If it was true, he certainly was not sharing the joke with mere mortals like Severus.
"I will not do it," Severus denied, crossing his arms and sitting back in his chair with a huff of righteous indignation. "And you can't make me!"
Severus knew he sounded like a petulant child, but he simply could not do as the headmaster asked of him. This was too much. It was an impossible task. He would not do it, no matter how the headmaster begged and pleaded. He wouldn't!
"Please, Severus," Albus simpered.
His resolve crumbled.
"Damn you, you insufferable old coot!" Severus ranted. "Fine! However, I am telling you here and now, that this is the last time! I will not be constantly manipulated by you! It is not too much to ask to be left to wallow in my grudges now that Voldemort is gone! I like my reputation as the greasy git. It keeps the annoying pests out of my hair! I will not allow you to ruin that for me by making people think that I am nice! Especially the Potter brat!"
Albus had the nerve to chuckle. "I doubt anyone would mistake you for being nice, my boy!"
Severus glared in stony silence for long minutes, but Dumbledore never even flinched. Just once! He would give almost anything to see the twinkling lunatic flinch just one time!
"What do I have to do?" Severus finally sighed.
"You know the boy has been acting completely out of character lately," Albus said, now growing serious. "He has begun drifting aimlessly through his studies. He does not participate in classes; not even DADA, and that has always been his favorite class, especially now that dear Remus has returned. He never speaks unless spoken to anymore. When was the last time he argued back in your class? I am worried about the boy. I fear there may be something very wrong with young Harry."
"If you are so worried, then why are you not recruiting your pet werewolf to do this onerous task instead?" Severus grumped.
"Remus has other responsibilities right now," Dumbledore said smoothly. In other words, something to do with the Order. Just because Voldemort was dead did not mean that their work was finished. They had now begun the tedious process of brining in the escaped Death Eaters. It would probably take years, but it was necessary to prevent another Dark Lord from filling the void left by Voldemort's defeat.
"As you know, the Yuletide Holidays will soon be upon us," Dumbledore continued. "All I ask is that you keep Harry with you over the break. Use those two weeks to try to discover what is wrong, and do what it takes to fix it. He has sacrificed as much as any one of us for the war. He deserves peace now."
"And I do not?" Severus pouted. What was it about Albus that could turn him into a three year old?
"Of course you do!" Albus cajoled. "We all do. If you were suffering as Harry so obviously is, I would do everything in my power to help you. You know that. But right now, it is Harry who needs our help."
Severus closed his eyes briefly and nodded once.
"Do whatever it takes to bring him back to us whole again," Dumbledore said as Severus prepared to leave. Severus gave him a long look and nodded once more.
Up in Gryffindor Tower, Harry stared at the journal in his hands in a state of complete shock. It simply couldn't be true. It couldn't. What the hell did this mean?
He picked up the letter from Remus and read it through again.
I am sorry this is late in coming to you. It was in Sirius' vault and, as you know, until you turned seventeen, none of us could access the contents. This was supposed to come to you on your sixteenth birthday, according to the instruction inside, but…Well, better late than never.
This journal belonged to your father. I often watched him writing in it over the later years of our time at Hogwarts. I haven't read it (although I admit to being very curious). The instructions say that you are to read it and it will not open for anyone else until you have. I hope this small connection to James brings you some comfort. I know that things have not been easy for you of late.
Ever your friend,
He was supposed to have received the journal more than a year ago. If he had, he might have had some warning about what was happening to him. He might have had an idea how to deal with it. Now…
Harry shook his head to clear his mind. Now, he would just have to go to the library, learn as much as he could about his condition, and pray that it was not as bad as he feared.
"Where are we going?" Harry asked Snape as he hurried to keep up with the older wizard's long stride. The Potions Master did not bother to answer. They were headed for the Apparation point at the gates of Hogwarts, but beyond that, Snape had given Harry no indication as to where they would be spending the three weeks of holiday.
Harry had panicked when Dumbledore had first told him he would be spending his holidays under Severus' care. Then he had accepted the inevitable. If Dumbledore wanted something, it was invariably carried out to the old man's wishes. Harry did not really have the strength to fight that. Moreover, a large part of him wanted to be with Severus as much as he possibly could.
That was another thing. In Harry's mind, Snape had suddenly become Severus. It was very difficult for the young wizard to refrain from using the man's given name out loud. Given the fact that Severus would probably hex him, Harry made every effort to keep his tongue in check. In fact, given the other consequences to speaking to Severus, he tried not to say anything at all.
"Give me you arm," Severus snapped once they had gone beyond the school's wards. Harry did, and felt the contact through his entire body. The arousal that was a constant companion in this man's presence hiked up a notch until Harry was squirming in discomfort. Snape scowled. "Hold still or I will not be responsible for picking up the scattered pieces of you when you are splinched."
Harry forced himself to remain still, and suddenly felt the unmistakable feeling of being pushed through a hole too small for his body. When he opened his eyes, they were standing on the front walk of a small country cottage. In the distance, he could see a small barn and the edges of a garden behind the house. The house itself was in decent shape, small with several gables marking the roofline.
Severus did not wait for Harry to complete his inspection. Instead, he made his way up the path to the front door and walked inside. There was a stuffy air about the place, but Harry watched in fascination as Severus cleared the dust and stale air with a wave of his wand.
"Through there is the Sitting room, on the left the library," Severus said shortly as he pointed with his wand. "Down that hall the kitchen. Follow me."
He led Harry up a flight of stairs.
"This door leads to my bedroom, this to my study," Severus indicated. "This is the bathroom. And finally, your room for the duration of your stay."
They entered Harry's room and the young wizard took a good look around. The room was sparsely furnished, but what was there was old and of good quality. The linens on the bed were in shades of tan and blue. Overall, it was a comfortable room.
"You may unpack," Severus said. "I will go start our supper. Please join me when you are finished. If you wish to freshen up, there are towels in the cupboard in the bathroom. There are no house elves here, so please clean up after yourself."
Harry nodded, but Severus didn't see. He was already out the door.
An hour later, Harry made his way down to the kitchen. Severus had shed his teaching robes and was wearing only trousers and a button-down linen shirt. Harry swallowed hard around the lump in his throat. It was as if one of his fantasies had come to life. He could see the muscles in Severus' arms bunch and shift as he stirred the pot of stew he was preparing. His legs were long and thin, and that ass…
Harry longed to stroke his cock, but months of aching arousal had taught him it was a fruitless endeavor. He could feel the pleasure, feel the pressure as it built up in him, but there was no release. At first, he had thought that there was something seriously wrong with him. Now, he knew different. Now, he was beginning to understand his condition.
He had read the rest of the journal in the week since it had arrived. He had also read several books on the subject. He now understood his condition; he even knew how to fix it. The problem was, he would need Severus' help, and he just couldn't see that happening, even if he had agreed to baby-sit over the holidays. Even if Severus did not find him to be the most aggravating boy alive, this was just too weird. No one in his or her right mind would want to help Harry with this. Unfortunately, Severus was his only option.
"Stop gaping like a landed trout and set the table," Severus grunted without ever looking up.
Once the stew and fresh bread was on the table, Harry and Severus sat down and began to eat in silence. It wasn't nearly as awkward as Harry would have imagined, if he had ever thought that such a circumstance was even possible. No, it was actually rather nice not to have to fill the meal up with useless chatter. Severus would not have enjoyed it, and Harry found that what Severus wanted, he seemed to want as well.
After dinner, they cleaned the dishes, Snape made tea, and they retired to the library. Severus sat in one of the comfortable looking chairs by the fire, but Harry hesitated. His first inclination was to sit at Severus' feet, but he knew that the austere man would probably balk at that. Instead, he hovered indecisively.
"Sit down," Severus snapped, pointing to the chair opposite him. Harry hurried to comply.
"As I'm sure you know, the headmaster is concerned for your wellbeing," Severus said with a sneer. "That concern is the reason for your presence here. He has asked that I endeavor to determine the cause for your current state of mind. Therefore, you will answer my questions without argument and without any sort of prevarication. Do you understand, Potter?"
"Yes, mas- sir."
Snape glared at him. "Why are you slacking off in your classes?"
Harry so wanted to lie, but there was something in him compelling him to tell the truth. Damn his nature! "I have been distracted, sir."
Harry closed his eyes, attempting to resist the urge to bare his soul to this man who held his future in his irascible hands. It was no use.
"You, sir," Harry whispered without opening his eyes. He could not stand to see the scorn in Severus' eyes.
"Me?" Severus sounded slightly taken aback by that confession. "Why me?"
"You are my mate," Harry said. He opened his eyes, and saw the total disbelief on Severus' face. It was too much. He needed to get away. Rushing to the door, Harry had almost made good his escape when he felt the hand on his arm, grasping painfully.
"What sort of game are you playing at Potter?" Snape demanded with a growl.
"It's not a game!" Harry shouted back. Even as his temper flared, a part of him was cringing inside at this show of temper. He was making Severus unhappy and that went against every instinct in him. Following those instincts, Harry reached up and kissed Severus before either of them realized his intent.
It was a sloppy, almost brutal, kiss. Yet Harry reveled in the sensation. To feel those soft lips on his own as he had dreamed of so often was pure bliss. Nevertheless, it wasn't to last.
Giving Harry an angry shove, Severus struck out at the young man. The crack of flesh on flesh seemed to echo through the room and for a moment both men were frozen in place. Just as Severus was about to say something, possibly to apologize, Harry gathered his wits and fled.
Finally alone, Severus sank into the closest chair and covered his face with his hands.
"What have I done?"
Harry had locked himself in his room and would not come out. Not that Severus had tried to rouse him. He had spent that first night pacing in front of the fire, berating himself for his violent reaction to the boy's advances. He rested for a short time on the sofa, but quickly discovered that his guilt would not allow him the comfort of sleep. Instead, he spent the rest of that morning and afternoon doing what he did best. He began hunting for answers.
He had several clues to go by: Harry's change in behavior and the timing of those changes, his use of the term 'mate', the sexual overtones, and the slip of the tongue when the boy had almost called him master.
His first thought was that the boy had been cursed. It had only been a few months since Voldemort's defeat. He could have been suffering the effects of the curse all summer and no one would have known while he was with his Muggle relatives.
Unfortunately, after hours of searching through his rather extensive collection of Dark Arts tomes, he had found nothing that fit.
His next thought proved more fruitful. At least it put him on the right track. Many creature inheritances did not manifest until a wizard came of age. Harry's coming of age would have taken place that summer. If it was a creature inheritance, and he truly was the boy's mate, then the effects would have begun to manifest after he was exposed to Severus at the beginning of term.
He researched several creatures and magical beings, including Vanteera and Veela, both of which had a strong sexual compulsion involved, without any success.
By dinnertime, Severus was hungry, exhausted and frustrated, so he took a break. After a quick sandwich, he set back to work, only to fall asleep in his chair with a book still in his lap.
When he woke, the sun had risen and the book had fallen to the floor. Stretching his stiff muscles, Severus reached for the book. It was opened to a page on incubi. He sat back down and began to read.
Severus was sitting in the same seat Harry had left him in when Harry finally emerged from his room that afternoon. There was a tray with tea, sandwiches and biscuits on the table next to him. Harry's stomach growled and Severus looked up.
They stared at each other for long minutes, until Harry could deny his instincts no longer. Bowing his head, he knelt at the feet of his mate and waited for the repercussions.
"Look at me, Harry," Severus said in the gentlest tone the boy had ever heard from the harsh man. He hesitated for a fraction of a second, but followed his master's command.
"You are an incubus?" Severus asked with a small smirk. How had James hidden his true nature while in school?
"Yes, master," Harry replied.
"And I am your mate?"
Severus looked deep into Harry's eyes, and he felt like the other man was looking into his soul.
"How do you know?" Severus asked, his curiosity getting the best of him.
"So many reasons," Harry sighed. "Your voice, your smell, the fact that I cannot lie to you. I fantasize about you, master. I can think of little else but your touch; your happiness is my priority in life. I want to serve you, master, in any way that pleases you."
Severus nodded, and Harry's stomach growled again. It had been almost two days since the boy had eaten.
"Eat, and then we will discuss this," Severus said and handed the plate of sandwiches to Harry.
Harry remained at his master's feet, but took the offered food and ate until the plate was clean. Then Severus offered him the biscuits and a cup of tea. Only after all the food was gone did Severus speak again.
"How much of your heritage do you understand, Harry?" Severus finally asked.
"My father left me a diary, master," Harry said. "I was to receive it on my sixteenth birthday, but Remus only found it in Sirius' vaults recently. It tells how my father experienced the changes, and how he had already found his mate in my mother early on. Since then, I have read a couple of books about incubi. Not all of them were very accurate according to my father's journal."
"Luckily, my collection is a bit better than that of Hogwarts' library," Severus gloated. "I too have been doing a bit of reading while you were in your room. If I am your mate, ours will be a very unique bond."
"Yes, master," Harry agreed.
"You will depend upon me for sustenance," Severus said. "In return, you will be compelled to see to my every need, as your survival depends upon me. Is that your understanding?"
"Only I can sustain your need for sexual pleasure," Severus said almost smugly. Now that he'd had time to think over the situation, it was not such a bad thing in his opinion. "Only I will be able to bring you relief when you are aroused."
"Yes, master." This time Harry's voice had a breathless quality to it. Severus knew that Harry was aroused now. Until their bond was settled, Harry would be aching for him almost constantly. No wonder he could not pay attention in class.
"It will take time for the bond to settle," Severus went on. "However, once it does, you should be able to function almost normally again. You will need to feed on sexual pleasure almost daily, but as long as you do, you will be able to concentrate on your studies again."
"Yes, master," Harry said and looked up. "Is it your wish for me to do better in my studies?"
"Yes, Harry," Severus sighed. This complete deference would not last. There would always be a dominant/submissive aspect to their relationship, it was necessary for Harry's wellbeing, but it would not always be this absolute. Eventually, Harry would be able to voice his own opinions to some degree and make choices for himself. Nevertheless, for the time being, Harry's will was subordinate to his own.
"Your NEWTs are very important," Severus continued. "After we bond, I will take care of you, but you may want to have a career someday."
"Only as you wish it, master," Harry said and lowered his face again.
"We will need the headmaster to perform the rite," Severus said. "I think we should do this as soon as possible so that the bond has time to settle before we need to return to Hogwarts. Is that acceptable?"
"As you wish, master," Harry said, and Severus sighed once again. This would definitely take some getting used to; he almost missed the headstrong Gryffindor Harry used to be.
"I also think we need to take care of your physical discomfort," Severus said. "How long has it been since you could achieve orgasm by your own touch?"
Harry pondered the question for a moment. "Just before my birthday, master."
"Six months?" Severus said, astounded. He could recall being seventeen and a day had seemed like a long time to wait between wanking.
"I-I once came in class," Harry admitted. "You were yelling at me, and I started imagining what you could do to me."
"Come here, brat," Severus said. Harry stood up and looked down at his master for an indication of what he should do.
When Harry was standing before his mate, Severus began to open the younger man's robes. Harry made no protest, and soon, he was naked but for the baggy y-fronts the boy wore. There was a patch of dampness on the front, evidence that Harry had been aroused for some time.
"Take off your shorts," Severus commanded in a husky breath.
Harry hurried to comply. In the back of his mind, he thought that he should be embarrassed to be standing naked in front of his professor, but his body was screaming from months of frustration, and overruled his mind. He slipped the shorts off carefully and stood up straight.
"Touch yourself," Severus said. When Harry gave him an enquiring look, he went on, "We need to test your theory, and I want to see how you like to be touched. Go on."
"Yes, master," Harry said hoarsely and began to stroke his aching erection. It felt so good, and yet so frustrating. He used long slow strokes, his hand tight around his shaft as he moaned his pleasure for his master.
"That's it," Severus encouraged. "Now faster."
Harry sped up his hand and tugged more insistently, but he knew it would be of no use. His balls tightened in preparation for the orgasm that simply would not come. Harry let out a sob of frustration.
"That is enough, brat," Severus finally said when it became obvious that the boy was not going to be able to come. "Sit on my lap."
Harry rushed to obey. He sat on Severus' lap, his legs across those strong thighs, his head curled up against Severus' chest. This felt right. It felt safe and comfortable, even if he was naked and Severus was still fully clothed.
Severus stroked one hand down Harry's chest and gently teased one nipple. Harry let out a small moan.
"Oh please, sir," Harry begged prettily. "Please master, let me come. I ache for you."
Trailing his hand down Harry's almost hairless chest and over his taut abdomen, Severus finally touched Harry where he needed it the most. The young man's cock was swollen and flushed an angry red. The head seemed to vibrate with need. Clutching the shaft firmly, Severus stroked once, twice, and the boy let out an agonizing yell as he finally came. Jets of pearly come shot from him as wave after wave of pleasure shook Harry's body.
When he had finally returned to earth, Harry noticed that Severus was stroking his hair and whispering soothing words in his ear. He felt so good in that moment that he never wanted it to end. Eventually, however, Severus sighed and Harry knew that they would need to continue their discussion. Now that his physical needs had been cared for, he was able to think a bit more rationally and the embarrassment that had been absent before began to settle in and take over.
"You should get dressed," Severus said, and Harry hurried to pull his robes on. "There is no reason to feel embarrassed, Harry. Your nature dictates certain things about your behavior. It is perfectly natural. Come, sit back on my lap."
Once Harry was situated back on Severus' lap, Severus began to stroke his hair once again. Harry sighed with contentment. Simply being close to his mate satisfied some inner longing.
"We will have to call Dumbledore in a few minutes, but I need to ask you something before we do," Severus said. "Now that your immediate need has been satisfied, how do you feel?"
"Happy, master," Harry said, his face buried in Severus' neck. "I can think more clearly. But I still feel the pull to be with you. I-I'm hard again already, sir."
"That will continue to be a problem for a while," Severus told him. "Until we consummate the bond, your body will continue to urge you to do so. You will need a lot of attention for some time. That is why we need to bond right away. We can use the rest of the holidays to help you get your cravings under control."
"Thank you, master," Harry smiled.
"That is another thing," Severus frowned. "I know your instincts direct you to call me master, and that is fine when we are alone, but it would not be a good idea for you to do so in the presence of others. You may call me Severus with the people who will know of our bond, or sir or Professor around those who do not know. It would be very difficult for some of your friends to accept the type of relationship that your nature requires. Do you understand?"
"They'll think you are abusing me," Harry frowned. "If you think it will be a problem, master, I will not tell them. I would do nothing to make your life uncomfortable."
"No, it will be fine, Harry," Severus said. "You may tell your friends as you see fit. There are no rules against a teacher student relationship, though not everyone will be willing to accept it. No, it is just the one aspect that we should keep to ourselves."
"Good, now run upstairs and get your father's journal while I firecall the headmaster," Severus said as he gave Harry a gentle nudge. "He will want to see evidence of your incubus nature."
By the time Harry got back to the library, the headmaster was already present and sitting in the chair Harry had occupied the first night they arrived. Harry watched the two men in silence, unsure of what he should do. Again, he wanted to kneel at his master's feet, but Severus had said that they should not be obvious about that aspect of their relationship.
"It's okay Harry," Dumbledore smiled gently. "You may do what is comfortable. I am well aware of the nature of an incubus bond."
Looking to his master for permission, Harry watched Severus give an almost imperceptible nod. Immediately, Harry rushed to kneel before his master's feet and smiled up at the headmaster.
"Is that James' journal?" Dumbledore asked as he reached for the book Harry was still holding. "May I see it?" Harry handed the book over reverently.
A few minutes passed as Dumbledore scanned the pages. "It seems impossible that James and Lily were able to keep this a secret during their last year at school. According to this diary, not even the other Marauders knew."
"Indeed," Severus said, nodding. "It is strange to think that Lily wielded that much control over James. He was always the loud, outgoing one, while she was content with her books."
"Yet, I noticed at the time how easily he deferred to her wishes." Dumbledore said. "I chalked it up to love at the time, but…Anyway, more often than not, the incubus is the more outgoing of the mated pair. The mate is usually more controlled. They need to be for the bond to work properly. Harry will need to be able to trust that you will be strong enough to see to his needs, emotionally, physically and mentally.
"This is an enormous responsibility, Severus," Dumbledore continued. "If you accept this bond, Harry will be completely reliant on you for the rest of his life. There can be no option of doing this for the wrong reasons."
Everyone in the room, including Harry, knew what the wrong reasons were. Severus could use his position of dominance to seek revenge on his former rivals' son and godson. It would be a very simple thing. Harry could not walk away from Severus unless Severus turned him away. Only then would he be free to find a different mate. Harry did not want another mate, but he would abide by Severus' wishes.
"I have considered that," Severus finally said. "Potter and Black have nothing to do with this. Harry needs a strong hand to guide him; it is his nature. I would not send him off to find another mate, not knowing what sort of person he would find. There are many who would abuse this power. Especially considering that we are discussing the Boy-Who-Defeated-Voldemort. Then there are those who would be too weak to give him the control he needs. No, I was chosen for a reason and I will not shy away from that."
As he spoke, Severus unconsciously began to stroke Harry's hair, a comfort to both of them. The action did not go unnoticed by the headmaster. Well, this was working out rather nicely. Both of his boys would be happy. They may not be in love yet, but things certainly seemed to be heading in that direction. Harry's instincts had chosen Severus for obvious reasons, and now Severus was choosing Harry in return.
"If you are sure," Dumbledore smiled. "Then we should begin the bonding."
The rite was very simple. Dumbledore said a few words of blessing, and bound their hands together. Next Severus spoke his vows: "My life for yours, my body for yours, my magic for yours." Harry repeated the words softly. Then Dumbledore cut their palms and they joined their blood.
A wave of magic burst over them, and when the dust settled, they each bore a tattoo over their heart. It was a simple design, a heart surrounded by a dragon and phoenix.
"At least it's not a snake and a lion," Severus grimaced. Dumbledore just chuckled.
Dumbledore stayed for a late supper before heading back to Hogwarts. Severus was almost sad to see him go. He really had no idea what Harry would require of him, beyond the most obvious. It was a daunting thought, to be responsible for another person's welfare.
Harry yawned and Severus stood up. "We should head to bed. It has been a long couple of days for both of us."
"Master?" Harry said tentatively as they made their way up the stairs. "Will we…May I stay with you?"
"Yes, Harry," Severus smiled. Harry was still so innocent, despite the very adult urges his body was giving him. "We will sleep together from now on. You need the close physical contact. However, I think we are both too tired for anything more tonight. We will consummate the bond tomorrow."
"Thank you, master," Harry said and neither man was sure if he meant for allowing him to stay in Severus' bed, or for putting off the inevitable for one more night.
Severus woke the next morning to the feeling of a very hard and very insistent cock thrusting up against his thigh. Harry was only half-awake himself, but it was obvious he had no control over his body's reactions. They were a comfortable tangle of arms and legs, but Severus could not help the way his own body responded to his mate's arousal.
"Oh please, sir!" Harry sobbed. "I- I need…"
Severus wrapped his arms around Harry, stilling his hips with a firm grasp. "Tell me what you need, Harry."
"I need you!" Harry whimpered. "In me! On me! Tell me what to do, master. I need to please you!"
"On your back," Severus commanded, finding it easier to take charge than he had imagined. "Put your hands above your head and hold onto the headboard. Do not let go."
Severus grabbed his wand from beneath his pillow and muttered an incantation. In a blink, they were both naked. He took a moment to simply enjoy the vision before him. Harry was young and lithe. His muscles well toned from years of Quidditch. He was short, there was no denying that, but his body was lean and compact. His skin was smooth and unmarred. He was perfection.
Severus could resist no longer. With a trembling hand, he reached out to touch his mate reverently. One hand slid over Harry's ribs, and lower still to his hips. His other hand caressed the lines of Harry's arm, bringing forth a shiver of awareness. Harry was so responsive, it was all Severus could do not to simply take him and claim him completely at that moment. But no, Harry was inexperienced, a virgin. He had to make this good for his young lover.
Using his lips and tongue, Severus mapped out every angle and plane of Harry's torso. His mate was entirely too thin, his ribs visible along his sides, and Severus vowed that Harry would begin to eat better.
"Please, sir," Harry whimpered again. "Please!"
Severus knew that the young incubus could not take much more teasing. He had been waiting too long already. As much as he would love to make the experience last, he knew Harry needed more.
Severus reached out to his bedside table and grabbed the small jar of lubricant he kept there. Slicking up his fingers, he used his other hand to guide Harry's legs up to his chest. "Hold your legs there, use your hands if you need to, but do not touch yourself in any other way."
He watched as Harry raised his legs and held them with his hands behind his knees. He was a picture of debauchery; his puckered hole exposed and pink was flawlessness. Severus took a moment just to taste the flesh there. Harry squirmed and cried out in his need, but Severus had needs of his own, and tasting his lover was one of them.
Teasing around the entrance for several minutes, Severus took delight in every erotic moan from Harry's lips, every twitch of his untended cock.
"Oh fuck, oh fuck!" Harry cried out as Severus finally pushed through the ring of muscles protecting this most secret opening. Severus let a moan escape at the sound of those filthy words pouring from the Boy-Who-Lived's mouth, and the vibrations sent shock waves through the young incubus' entire body. Without a single touch to his needy cock, Harry came on a wave of pleasure, his channel spasming around Severus' greedy tongue.
"So hot and responsive," Severus moaned as he replaced his tongue with two questing fingers. Harry was still trembling from his release and did not react right away, but when Severus' nudged against his prostate, Harry's cock flooded once again with blood and the man himself mewled in pleasure. Adding a third finger, Severus began to whisper in Harry's ear. "I'm going to fuck you Harry. I'm going to spread you open with my cock and mark you as mine. Do you want that, my brat?"
"Oh yes, master!"
Severus removed his fingers and Harry sobbed with his need to be filled and claimed. Severus wasted no time in doing just that, sliding just the head of his cock past the tight ring of muscles. He paused there for just a moment to catch his own breath, lest he come too soon, and to give Harry time to adjust. Then slowly he began to rock in and out of Harry, each thrust burying him deeper inside of his very own incubus.
Once he was fully seated, Severus paused again and bent to Harry's ear. "I'm going to make you come on just my cock. Would you like that?"
"Oh gods, master!" Harry cried. "Please, sir, fuck me!"
Severus gave him a wicked leer and began to thrust slowly and methodically. Harry panted with his need, and Severus realized that he too was breathless.
"Harder! Oh please master, harder!"
Severus gave a depraved grin and began to thrust harder and faster. Each sharp thrust of his hips caused Harry to gasp and grunt. Severus shifted slightly and Harry practically leapt off the bed when his prostate was stroked. Severus continued this almost brutal pace, until he could feel Harry begin to tense up beneath him.
"Come for me, Harry," Severus murmured hoarsely. That was all it took to send Harry over the edge. Once again, he was coming hard and copiously. Severus watched the expression of sheer joy on his lover's face and thrust hard as his own orgasm overwhelmed him.
Over the next two weeks, Severus and Harry spent much of their time in bed. Harry's nature demanded that he be thoroughly fucked on a regular basis, and Severus was happy to comply. He found, to his own amazement, that Harry's ability to maintain an erection through several orgasms was shared with his mate. A gift, as you will. They could shag several times in a row, only stopping when they were so completely exhausted that movement became a chore.
They had rarely left the bedroom during their remaining time at Severus' cottage, and had enjoyed a very simple Christmas and New Years. All too soon, however, they were Apparating back to Hogwarts. They had discussed a little of how they would need to conduct themselves once back amongst their friends and peers, but had made very few firm plans. It was impossible to do so when Harry was still not acting like himself.
Upon arriving at the castle, they found Dumbledore in the entrance hall awaiting their arrival.
"I thought we should discuss a few things before the majority of the school returns from holidays tomorrow," Dumbledore smiled kindly. They followed him silently up to his office and took their customary seats. Harry wanted to accept the tea the headmaster offered, but refused when his master did. The fact did not go unnoticed by either of the older wizards.
"Harry, you are permitted to have your own wants and opinions," Severus sighed. "If you want tea, by all means, have tea."
"No buts," Severus said. "And I thought we discussed the use of that term in the presence of others."
"I'm sorry, sir," Harry said and lowered his head in shame. He had displeased his master. When Severus pressed the controversial tea into his hand, he accepted it, but could not bring himself to drink it. The lump in his throat was too large.
"Albus, I do not understand any of this," Severus sighed again. "The bond should have settled by now. I have done everything required, and yet Harry is more dependant now than he was before the bonding."
"There may be something that you are missing," Dumbledore frowned, not liking the way Harry's spirit seemed to have completely disappeared. A certain amount of submissiveness was natural with an incubus bond, but the incubus should not completely lose himself to his mate. There was something wrong.
"Harry, is there anything that you need that I have not given you?" Severus asked for the tenth time in as many days.
"I only need what you are willing to give," came the standard reply.
"I will do more research on this type of bond," Dumbledore said quietly. "I'm sure we can discover what the problem is. In the meantime, I have taken the liberty of moving Harry's belongings to your quarters. I will make the announcement about your bonding at dinner tomorrow evening. Is that okay with you Harry?"
"Whatever my mas-Professor Snape wants," Harry demurred. He finally took a small sip of the tea and grimaced at the taste. Something was off. Instead of finishing it, he set the cup aside and stared at the garish carpeting under his feet.
"What are we to do about his behavior in the meantime?" Severus asked. "His friends will know that something beyond the obvious is wrong when they see us together. And Lupin is likely to skin me alive if he sees Harry in this state."
Dumbledore took a deep breath and sighed. "I am afraid you are right. It seems that it will be impossible to keep Harry's nature a secret. At least from his friends. I hate to make this sort of decision for him, but he is in no condition to decide for himself."
"We will need to meet with them before the announcement, in that case," Severus said. "It would not do to have them making a spectacle in the Great Hall tomorrow evening."
Dumbledore nodded his agreement. "Remus has already returned, and I will call the Burrow and have Ron and Hermione floo in tonight. Go, freshen up. I will bring everyone to your quarters when they arrive."
Severus nodded and stood. Harry was quick to follow his master. He walked a pace behind and just to the right, as had become his habit. Severus supposed that anyone observing them might assume that Harry simply had difficulty keeping up with Severus' long strides. Severus knew differently, however. It was just another sign that things were not as they should be.
Severus had read and reread James Potter's journal while they were away. Everything in it indicated that Harry should be able to retain the majority of his original personality, at least in public. And Severus didn't really mind the changes in Harry's' behavior when they were alone together. But it went against his every instinct to have Harry groveling in public, much as that fact would be hard for some people to believe.
Once they were in his quarters, Severus took a seat and indicated that Harry should as well. As usual, Harry fell to his knees beside Severus' chair.
"Harry, we need to talk," Severus said, looking down at his mate. "This cannot go on."
"I'm sorry, I have displeased you, master," Harry said as tears welled up in his over bright green eyes.
"This isn't healthy, Harry," Severus sighed, running a hand through his hair in frustration. "You have always been the most courageous, outspoken boy I know. This complete subservience is not normal."
"I-I'm s-sorry," Harry said brokenly as he lost he battle and gave into his tears. Soon, great, wrenching sobs shook his entire body. "I-I'm un-unworthy of you."
"Merlin!" Severus growled. This was not going as he had planned. He reached down and lifted Harry onto his lap. Harry immediately buried his head in Severus' chest and cried his heart out. Severus stroked his back and tried to comfort him. "You are not unworthy, you idiot boy. You need to stop this."
"I've displeased y-you," Harry hiccoughed. "I- I d-deserve to be p-punished."
Severus froze where he sat. Harry thought he deserved punishment? For what?
"Harry," Severus said, tilting Harry's face up to meet his eyes. "Do you need to be punished? Is that what this is all about?"
"I-I don't know, master," Harry said.
"What have you done to deserve punishment?"
"I displeased you, master!"
"Very well," Severus said, his voice taking on a harsher tone. Perhaps he had been too lenient on Harry. He did not want to hurt him, but this behavior could not go on. If it would help Harry, Severus would do what needed to be done. "Stand up and strip, Harry."
Harry swallowed hard, but did what he was ordered to do. A part of him was rebelling against this, but a part of him was rejoicing, as well. He did need this.
"Stand with your hands braced against the wall, legs spread and feet planted firmly," Severus commanded. As Harry complied, Severus stood up and found a wooden stirring rod which he transfigured into a perfect paddle. It was narrow and thin enough to sting, but wide enough not to leave a mark. The wood was smooth and cool to the touch. He caressed the implement as he stood watching Harry squirm, awaiting his punishment.
"Do you know why you are being punished, Harry?" Severus whispered into the boy's ear, moving his hand to caress the smooth skin of Harry's ass.
"I have displeased you, master," Harry responded automatically.
"Do you know why I am displeased?" Severus asked.
"I-I- no sir."
"It is my wish that you show some of your old spirit, Harry," Severus said. "When you constantly defer to me, it makes me unhappy. Do you understand?"
Harry was by this time trembling with anticipation. It was a heady combination of arousal and fear.
"I am displeased that you continue to refer to me as master in the presence of others when I have told you that I do not want that." Severus continued, now stroking Harry with the paddle. "I am displeased that you do not act on your own desires, assuming that I would deny you out of spite. Do you think that I am that cruel of a master?"
"Since this is your first time, I will be lenient," Severus said. "You will receive five strokes for each of your infractions. There are three things that we discussed, so that makes fifteen strokes. You will count them out loud after each stroke. Do you understand?"
"Yes, master." Harry's voice had lost some of its waver. It was comforting to know exactly what Severus intended. There was a method to his punishments; they were not random or arbitrary. Despite the pain that he knew was coming, Harry began to feel better already.
Until the paddle landed for the first time. It hurt. It hurt worse than he could have imagined. It was not the Cruciatus, but it was right up there. Harry gasped and sobbed all at once.
"I can't hear you, Harry."
"O-One!" Harry called as instructed.
"T-Three!" Harry's breathing had begun to come in harsh, ragged gasps.
"Six!" A bead of sweat joined a tear as it streaked down Harry's cheek.
The paddling continued. By twelve, Harry thought his legs would give out on him, but Severus seemed to anticipate this and put a supporting hand under his waist. When it was over, Severus left Harry standing there to recover a bit while he went to fetch a vial of salve from the bathroom. He returned and guided Harry to lie across his lap, arms and legs resting on either side of Severus on the sofa.
"Harry, you did very well, pet," Severus soothed as he applied the ointment to Harry's red and blistered ass. "I have punished you, and now it is as if those offenses never were. I will not hold them against you again. That does not mean that you should forget the reason you were punished. You were punished so that you can learn from your mistakes."
"Yes, master," Harry sighed. He was in heaven, the feeling of Severus's hand stroking his sore bum, easing his pain and taking care of him was bliss.
It soon became apparent to Severus the effect his caress was having on his mate. Harry's cock was firming and pressing insistently into Severus' thigh.
"Do you want to come, pet?" Severus said huskily. The few hours since they had last had sex seemed more like years in that moment.
"Oh please, sir!" Harry cried as he began rocking his hips against his mate. The friction, combined with the soothing caress on his ass was driving him mad.
"Do you want me to fill you up, fuck you raw while I stroke your needy cock?" Severus whispered right in Harry's ear.
Harry couldn't respond as his mind shut down completely. He was a mass of need and sensation.
"Go into the bedroom and get on your hands and knees, pet," Severus said and swatted Harry's ass gently. Harry scrambled off the sofa and almost ran into the bedroom. Severus followed at a more sedate pace. The sight that greeted him when he arrived was so erotic that it took everything in him to stick to the task at hand and not just take what was being so prettily offered.
Harry was on the bed, ass in the air as he leaned on his elbows. His legs were spread slightly for the best access. His reddened ass was on display and his pink, puckered hole gaped at Severus, calling to him to fill it.
Severus took his time undressing and climbing onto the bed behind his lover. Harry made no movement other than a slight tremble of anticipation.
"Do you want me to stretch you with two or three fingers, pet?" Severus asked.
"Two, master," Harry panted. "I want to be tight for you. I want to feel you stretch me with your cock."
At least he was beginning to show some life, Severus thought, even if it was only in the bedroom. Without further foreplay, Severus reached for the lubricant and hastily prepared his mate for their joining. After almost three weeks of constant sex, it didn't take much. It was more for the lubrication than anything at this point. But Harry was right. With so little preparation, he would be especially tight, something they both enjoyed.
"I'm going to fuck you fast and hard, Harry," Severus growled as he plunged into his lover in one long slow thrust. "I'm going to make you scream my name. Is that what you want?"
"Yes!" Harry screamed as Severus began to pound into him. The feel of Severus' hips pummeling his still sensitive ass was exquisite torture for Harry, much the way the hard thrusts hurt in a good way. It didn't take long for both of them to reach the point of no return and their orgasms washed over them almost simultaneously.
"Thank you, Severus," Harry whispered once they were calmer.
"You are welcome, my brat," Severus smiled at the use of his given name. Perhaps a good paddling was all that Harry had needed, after all.
"You what?" cried three incredulous voices in unison.
"Severus and I bonded," Harry repeated, looking again at his mate for encouragement. He was so uncomfortable. He knew that his friends wouldn't understand the bond, so he was sitting in a chair, instead of kneeling or sitting in Severus' lap where he longed to be. It wasn't for his own sake, either; Severus was not comfortable with sharing that aspect of their bond. He'd said so often enough.
"What you must understand, all of you, is that this was not a decision made on a whim by either of these two," Dumbledore put in. "There are reasons that you may not understand."
"Try us," Remus said quietly. It was not that Harry had bonded with Severus that bothered him; he'd long ago made peace with the other wizard. No, it was the quickness and secrecy of the entire affair that confused him.
Again Harry looked to Severus for guidance, and the look was not lost on any of his friends. Severus nodded with a frown, but Harry seemed to understand the unspoken message.
"Remus, you remember that diary that you forwarded to me a few weeks ago?" Harry asked and Remus nodded. "In it, my father wrote about the changes he was experiencing at the time, changes he knew that I would one day go through. It was his way of helping me accept what I am."
"And what are you?" Ron asked.
"I'm an incubus," Harry said softly.
There was a moment of stunned silence. It was apparent that each of them understood the implications of an incubus bond.
"How- how can that be?" Remus finally asked. "James wasn't…"
"He was," Harry said. "It's all in the diary. If you want to read it, I'll loan it to you. It was pretty weird reading that sort of thing about my parents, but it really explained a lot about what I was going through."
"So that's why you've been so…distracted lately?" Hermione asked.
"Yes," Harry sighed. "My instincts had chosen my mate, but I didn't know enough at the time to understand what was happening to me. After I read the diary, I did more research and…"
"And then you spent the holidays with Snape," Ron finished. He looked like he might be ill.
"You need to understand that Severus would never do anything to hurt me," Harry pleaded. "I know you know something about the bond, but you probably don't appreciate how strong this instinct is in me. I need to be with my mate. I am sustained by him."
"But what is to stop him from taking advantage of the need?" Hermione asked. "He could easily mistreat you, and you would not be able to do anything to stop him."
"No, that's not true," Remus said. "As I understand it, there are limitations on the bond. If Severus were to ever truly harm Harry, the bond would be broken and Harry would be free to find a new mate, just as he would if Severus turned him away. It wouldn't be easy in either circumstance, but it is possible."
"But Severus would never hurt me," Harry said again. "He has taken good care of me."
"Would you tell us if he hadn't?" Ron asked. "Or would that go against your instinct to protect and care for your mate?"
Harry wanted to be angry with his friends, but he understood that they were just trying to protect him. He looked again to Severus for help.
"Stop looking to him for your answers!" Ron growled. "Can't you even answer a simple question without his approval?"
"Ron..." Harry said in a warning tone.
"Harry, I want you to answer the question," Severus said, laying a calming hand on Harry's arm. "If they know about the bond, then they know that you cannot lie to me. It will make them feel better to hear the answer."
"Yes and no," Harry finally said. "Yes, I could and would tell someone. Dumbledore, maybe Remus. But not you Ron. I couldn't trust that you wouldn't do something stupid because you can't see past the façade Severus had to live under as a spy for so many years."
Ron stood up angrily, but Hermione and Remus both held him still.
"You wanted an answer," Harry said coolly.
"And I guess I got it," Ron snapped as he tried to pull away again.
"Mr. Weasley," Severus said to the redheaded boy. "I understand that you are not happy with this situation, or with Harry's answer, but it is important that you do not share this information with anyone else. If you would prefer, we could Obliviate the memory of this evening from your mind."
Ron gaped at his professor, and then turned to Dumbledore, only to find that the headmaster was nodding in agreement.
"I won't say anything," he finally said and pulled away from the hands holding him. "Are you coming, Hermione?"
"No, I think I'd rather stay here and find out more about all of this," Hermione said resolutely. Ron glared at her, but left without further argument. "Well, now, can you tell us why you are sharing this information? I take it from the fact that Professor Lupin had no idea about James Potter that it is possible to keep this sort of relationship quiet. So why tell us?"
Severus took a deep breath and continued to stroke Harry's arm soothingly. "Harry hasn't responded to the bond as we expected. He should have been back to a normal level of…"
"Submissiveness?" Hermione filled in boldly.
"Yes, for lack of a better word," Severus agreed. "Honestly, though this is the most aggression he has shown in weeks, and I have no doubt that it is costing him dearly."
Harry nodded his agreement and bit back a whimper. He wanted nothing more than to kneel and be petted properly. And arguing with Ron had been almost torturous. Not because he worried about his relationship with Ron, but because he knew his master wanted things to go well, and he had failed him.
"What do you need, Harry?" Remus asked, sensing the anxiety from his adopted godson.
Harry looked up to Severus for permission to voice his needs.
"You may speak freely, Harry," Severus sighed. "You know that."
"I'm sorry sir," Harry muttered, and then turned to Remus. "I need to please my mas- my mate. I need to serve him and care for his needs just as he cares for mine."
"That is in general," Remus said. "What do you want right now? What are your instincts telling you to do?"
"Harry, I want you to answer all of their questions," Severus instructed. "Be honest. They need to understand what you are going through."
"I want to kneel," Harry blurted out, unable to contain himself. "I want my master to pet my hair and tell me he is pleased with me."
That seemed to startle both Remus and Hermione. They understood that there was a dominant/submissive aspect to the bond, but to call his mate master? Remus was just glad that Ron had left before this came out.
"How does it feel when you don't please your master?" Remus asked. "What if you cannot be with him?"
"It hurts," Harry said. "Inside. Like when you are hungry and there is nothing to eat. It is physically painful."
Severus patted Harry's arm and tugged him over to sit in his lap. He wouldn't have Harry kneeling in front of his friends, but the physical contact should serve to relieve some of Harry's discomfort.
"Why didn't you tell me it was painful, brat?" Severus scolded mildly.
"I'm sorry, Severus," Harry said sadly. "You wanted tonight to go well, and I've ruined it."
"You have ruined nothing, Harry," Severus said quietly. "But you said yourself that I have a responsibility to care for you. How am I to do that if you don't tell me when you are in pain or needing something?"
"I-I don't know," Harry said.
"You have done very well tonight, Harry," Dumbledore said. "We are very proud of you."
Harry looked up at his mate who nodded his agreement. "You stood up for yourself and spoke your mind. That is what we discussed this afternoon, remember? And you've been trying very hard to remember what to call me, haven't you?"
"Yes, sir," Harry said with a small smile. Severus thought he'd done well.
"Now, I think that this has been rather draining for you, so I want you to go lie down," Severus said. "I need to talk with your friends a bit more, but I will be in soon. Do not wait up for me. You need to rest."
"Thank you, sir," Harry said with a genuine smile. Severus did take good care of him.
Once Harry was safely out of the room, Severus turned to the two Gryffindors. "Now do you see why we needed to explain things? He should not still be so dependant upon me. Once the bond settled, he should have returned to his normal personality. He would still defer to me in some things, but he should be able to act normally around others."
"Have you found any reason for this problem?" Remus asked.
"I have not," Severus sighed. "And I currently have my hands full dealing with Harry."
"I have only begun to research the situation," Dumbledore said. "I would appreciate if you two would help me with the search for an answer."
"Of course," Hermione said, looking thoughtful. "You know, it's very odd to see Harry behaving this way."
"Yes, he has always been a bit rash and outspoken in the past," Severus said, shaking his head in bewilderment. "It is odd for me as well. I keep expecting him to tell me to go to hell."
"We will need to announce the bonding to the school tomorrow," Dumbledore said. "Harry has to be with Severus and we could not explain his presence in these rooms otherwise."
"Harry will need your help to get through the coming days, Miss Granger," Severus said. "All eyes will be upon us, and with him acting so out of character, it will become difficult to hide Harry's nature from the world. Being a magical being is nothing to be ashamed of, but being an incubus is not readily accepted amongst some parts of the wizarding world. You have witnessed Mr. Weasley's reaction. I am afraid that there would be worse. Things could become rather unpleasant for both of us."
"I will do my best to cover for Harry," Hermione promised. "Believe it or not, so will Ron. He's upset right now because all of this is a shock. And what Harry said may be true, but it didn't help matters any. You'll see. Ron will settle down and do what he can to help Harry."
"I hope you are right," Severus said.
The other students returned the next day, but Harry stayed in Severus'- no, their quarters. They were bonded now, and Harry's things had all been moved down to the dungeons. He was bonded to Severus, Harry thought again and smiled. His master.
Harry knew that Severus was worried about him, but he didn't really think it was necessary. Harry felt fine. He didn't care if everyone knew about their relationship or his incubus nature. They would all find out soon enough.
Harry knew why the bond hadn't settled the way Severus had expected, but he wasn't ready to share that news with anyone yet, even Severus. Especially not Severus. Harry didn't really know how the older man would react, and Harry wanted so badly for this to work out. He didn't want Severus to be displeased, so he decided not to tell him. And since Severus hadn't asked, Harry didn't have to tell him. The only thing Severus asked was if he was alright, (he was perfectly fine) and if he needed anything (Harry only needed Severus). His mate hadn't asked the right question yet, and Harry wasn't going to help him out.
The first day back in classes, Harry noticed that Ron was avoiding him, but was content to be with Hermione. Severus had ordered him to stay with her as much as possible and to follow her directions. It was a simple enough order to follow. Hermione didn't really feel comfortable telling Harry what to do, so she only ever suggested things when it became obvious that Harry was drifting off, lost in his own world and thoughts of his master.
By lunch, however, Harry was aching at the loss of contact with his mate. He needed to be with him. He was trembling so badly that Hermione sent a desperate plea with her eyes to the staff table. Harry noticed Severus nod and stand to leave. Hermione helped Harry back down to the dungeons and into their quarters.
Severus sent Hermione on her way to finish lunch, and the bonded couple spent the rest of the hour cuddled up on the sofa together.
"Are you okay now, my brat?" Severus asked as he stood to get ready for their afternoon classes.
"Oh yes, master," Harry smiled. "I feel much better."
"I suppose we will need to plan on spending our lunch hour together everyday," Severus mused, not totally displeased by the notion. He really did enjoy spending time with Harry, surprisingly enough. And this way he could be sure that Harry was eating properly. He was still too thin, though he seemed to be gaining a bit of weight from eating properly over the holidays.
The afternoon classes went much the same as the morning classes. Harry followed Hermione around and tried to pay attention in his courses, since he knew Severus would be pleased by that. Ron kept watching them as he spent the day with Seamus and Dean. Harry completely ignored them.
By the last class of the day, Harry had begun to feel the separation rather keenly. The trembling was back and Hermione was casting worried glances at him.
"Mr. Potter?" Professor Lupin had stopped before his desk. It appeared he had been calling his name for a while. Harry tried to focus on what he was saying, but the trembling had worsened, and he noticed that the world had begun to gray around the edges. "Harry?"
"Harry!" Hermione cried out as Harry began to fall from his chair. He had a brief second to wonder why they were all so upset before he hit the floor and the world went completely black.
Seamus Finnegan ran gasping into the Potions lab, panting from his run, and found the Potions Master storming in his direction.
"What is the meaning of this?"
"P-Professor Lupin s-sent me..." Seamus gasped out. "It's Harry-!"
He never had a chance to finish his sentence, as the snarky professor was already out the door and on his way to the DADA classroom. Seamus took a minute to realize that Snape really did seem to care about Harry. They had all wondered. The announcement of their bonding had been a bit of a shock to the entire school, but especially to the Gryffindors. There had been speculation that the Potions Master had somehow confunded Harry, especially given Harry's odd behavior both before and since the holidays. But however they ended up together, it was obvious that Snape at least cared.
Severus swept into the DADA classroom to find Lupin and the Granger girl kneeling beside a groggy Harry, who was laid out on the floor, insisting that he was fine. Fine! He was anything but fine.
"What happened?" Severus demanded as Hermione moved to make way for him at his mate's side.
"It was nothing," Harry said calmly. "I was just a little dizzy."
"Dizzy nothing!" Remus scoffed. "He passed out, Severus. He was out for a good two minutes. I've been trying to convince him to see Poppy, but he is being as stubborn as a mule!"
"Harry, you are going to the hospital wing," Severus said firmly and Harry hung his head. Severus could see a few tears welling up in the boy's eyes. Luckily, the last bell of the day rang just then. When the room was empty except for Remus, Hermione and Ron, Severus turned back to Harry, who was crying harder now. "Why are you reluctant to go to the hospital wing?"
Harry gasped. It was a direct question. He couldn't not answer, but if he did answer, Severus would ask more questions and then the truth would come out. Harry wasn't ready for that. He cried even harder.
"Harry, answer my question," Severus commanded gently.
"P-please, sir, I-I don't want her to know what is wrong with me," Harry said.
"Because she'll tell you and then you will be upset with me for not telling you and for- for…" Harry bit his lip and refused to go on. When his lip started to bleed, Severus caressed the wound with his thumb.
"Don't hurt yourself. Please." Severus whispered, completely forgetting the presence of the other three people who remained in the room. "Why don't you want me to know what's wrong?"
Harry choked back a sob. "Y-you didn't ask for this…you won't want me anymore. But I need you! I need you now more than ever!"
"Nothing you tell me could make me turn you away, Harry," Severus said, allowing a frustrated sigh to escape. "I agreed to take care of you no matter what, remember? Whatever is going on will not change that."
Harry so wanted to believe him, but he knew that Severus would be shocked by this. None of the books he'd read had told him anything about this particular aspect of his condition. He only knew because… because he could feel it. Deep down, he'd felt the change in him as soon as it had happened. On some instinctive level, he knew what was different, and he knew what he needed to do.
Harry looked deep into his mate's eyes and took a deep breath.
When Severus awoke, he saw his mate kneeling over him, and took a moment to reflect on the irony of the situation. Hadn't he just been where Harry was moments before? Then the announcement Harry had made came back to him.
"W-what? How?" Severus demanded as he pushed himself up into a sitting position.
"Ah, that is a very good question, Severus," Dumbledore smiled as he made his presence known. Severus wondered just how long the Headmaster had been there. It was then, as he took a look around the room, that he noticed the Ron Weasley was also laying on the floor with Hermione hovering over him. It appeared he wasn't the only one shocked by Harry's news.
"I have been doing a bit of research," Dumbledore said. "Wouldn't you know, I came across an explanation for Harry's behavior in the very last book I read? Isn't that always the way of things?"
"Just tell us what you found!" Severus snarled as he shakily got to his feet. Harry was at his side the entire time.
"Well, it seems that incubi have the ability to reproduce no matter what gender they are," Dumbledore smiled. "So Harry is most probably correct in his assumption on his condition. This information is not widely known as, like in James' case, most incubi tend to be heterosexual. According to the text I found, it has been nearly four hundred years since the last documented case."
"I'm a freak," Harry whispered dejectedly.
"You are no such thing," Severus growled. "You will never say, or even think, such a thing about yourself again. Do you understand me?"
"Yes, sir," Harry said with his head still bowed, but a small smile played at his lips.
"I have never heard of ANY male wizards being able to carry and bear children," Remus stated.
"None of us had," Dumbledore smiled. "But it appears that is the case here. Of course, Poppy will need to have a look at Harry to know for sure…"
Harry nodded, not quite so frightened of going to see the mediwitch any longer.
"What I don't understand is why his being p-pregnant would affect his demeanor so drastically," Severus said.
"I think I understand," Hermione said as she came to join them, a sheepish looking Ron at her side. "Harry will be even more dependant upon you for sustenance now that the child is draining a bit of his energy and magic. It would be even more vital that his mate protect and care for his needs during this time."
"Exactly," Dumbledore beamed at the young witch.
"How long have you known, Harry?" Severus asked. "For that matter, how did you know if the information is as rare as all that?"
Harry just shrugged. "I felt it when it happened. It was the second night after our bonding. You fell asleep, but I could feel the magic in me shifting. And then later, I felt a new magic forming in me. I knew then what it was. But I didn't think you would want a baby. Do you?"
"I have never before considered the possibility," Severus said, really thinking about it for the first time in his life. He closed his eyes and the picture of a smiling little girl with long dark curls and sparkling green eyes appeared in his mind. Severus opened his eyes and smiled at his mate. "I find I do not hate the idea."
"We can be a family?" Harry asked breathlessly.
Severus nodded and hugged Harry tightly to him. "We already are."
The news of Harry's pregnancy spread like wild fire. Soon the entire wizarding world knew just what he was. That was okay with Harry. He knew that no matter what Severus would always be there to protect him and his baby. Not that having his personal life splashed all over the front of the Daily Prophet was enjoyable, but it didn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. Harry had Severus and they would soon have their child and those that mattered to Harry had begun to accept their relationship. Even Ron had come around after watching the way Severus treated Harry that fateful day.
Nine months later, they had a baby girl with curly black hair and green eyes and a smile like her daddy's that could melt Severus' heart. Harry's behavior soon settled into a more acceptable pattern in public, though he still deferred to Severus when alone in their rooms.
Harry never did really settle on a career. Instead, he ended up substituting for Remus on the full moons, and then took on Transfiguration for a year while Minerva took a sabbatical. Eventually, Dumbledore gave him a permanent position as Charms Professor after Filius decided to retire. Harry never sought out the job, but he was happy to take it, as it pleased Severus.
When Maggie was three years old, Harry began displaying extremely submissive behaviors again. This time they both recognized the signs right away and Dumbledore finally gave them larger quarters to accommodate their growing family.
Jackson was born in August, giving Harry plenty of time to recover before school began again. After that, Severus began making a potion to prevent future pregnancies. They were both happy with the children they had, but the second pregnancy had been hard on Harry's body. They decided together that it would be best to stop at two.
Soon, Dumbledore retired, and Minerva took over as Headmistress, and Severus was offered the position of Deputy Headmaster. Remus took over as Gryffindor Head of House, and Harry was glad to let him do it. He had more than enough to deal with, raising their family and teaching.
To the rest of the world, the Potter-Snapes seemed like the picture perfect family. And they truly were. But behind closed bedroom doors, Severus still made Harry feel cherished and Harry still made Severus feel desirable.
They were more than content just to be together.
And as the saying goes, they lived happily ever after.