A/N: A Valentines Day fic for Alys. Limit 7k words (Actual word count, 8,200+.)
Warnings: Slash (Snape/Harry, Draco/Fred/George), V-Day FLUFFITY FLUFF FLUFF
(¯'·. HP .·'¯)
Harry sighed as he trekked up the trail. Whose idea was it to come on this inane thing anyway? He disliked hiking, and he hated camping, it was too similar living in that piece of crap the Dursleys called a room.
He saw a campsite up ahead with a red flag attached to it and pulled out the note he'd received earlier that week to re-read, just to make sure he got it right.
Dear Mr. Potter,
Thank you for RSVPing with an affirmation for your attendance at the Wizarding Relaxation Retreat. I must say, your sponsor - who still wishes to remain unnamed - was quite unsure of your agreement initially, however he is most pleased that you have decided to join us this week.
You will find your campsite located on the map provided within. Please note, there is a red flag so you know which is yours. You will be sharing a tent with another camper, your tent number is 42.
~Alberton Swink - President of WRR Inc.
Harry shoved the paper back into his pocket and looked at the red flag again. Yup, this was definitely it. He folded the map, stuffed it into his backpack, and made it the rest of the way to the campsite.
Well, there couldn't have been too many people coming to this thing, there were only 2 tents… and someone was already here if the clatter of metal object within tent number 43 were anything to go by. "Uh, hello?" He called, setting his backpack down on a log.
Identical heads popped out of tent 43, and they wore matching smiles. "Harry!"
"How wonderful to-"
"-see you here!"
Fred and George Weasley made their way out of the tent and over to Harry, where they chorused simultaneously. "Are you our sponsor?"
Harry shook his head. "Sorry, no. I thought maybe you were mine." He admitted.
"Not us." Fred said, flopping down on to a log.
George went back inside of the tent and came out moments later carrying a rather large ball of metal. He threw it towards the edge of the campsite, where it bounced off of an invisible force. "We're trapped." He informed Harry calmly.
Harry's eyes widened and he quickly scurried up, running over to where the ball went. He hit the barrier head on and fell back on to his bum. "Merlin… Is someone trying to kill us?" He asked frantically, scrambling up and uneasily making his way back to the log.
"Not that we're aware." George said, walking up to the barrier.
He knocked on it three times, then a female voice filled the area. "Thank you for booking with the WRR. You have chosen the 'full-in' option, meaning you may only leave the premises in a medical emergency. Have a nice week."
Fred put his hand on Harry's shoulder. "Not to worry though, the site extends a good ways out back, we even get some of the river."
"Plus there's a fully operational bathroom disguised as an outhouse in the far west corner." George added.
"Hey someone's coming!" Fred chirped. The twins quickly ran back into their tent.
Harry tried to follow them, but quickly found that he wasn't allowed inside of tent number 43. His assumption was proven correct when he entered tent number 42. "Warded against intruders." He muttered. "Nice."
"Hello?" A voice called. "Is anybody here?"
"Malfoy!" Harry, Fred, and George all called out at once, peeking from their tents to ensure their accuracy.
Draco's face darkened and he stared at the others. "Bloody Gryffindors." He muttered, letting his own backpack fall to the ground. "What, did one of you set this up?" He snarled.
"Afraid not." Fred said, slightly bored sounding but currently enthralled with the eye candy.
Harry sighed and went over to his backpack, unzipping it. "Well, I didn't know what kind of food we would have here, or even if we would, so I brought some stuff I cooked." He offered, pulling out a shrunken cooler, which he quickly re-sized.
Draco eyed him carefully. "You're not my sponsor?"
"No." Harry said. "We don't know who the sponsor person is."
Draco rolled his eyes. "Fine, where is my tent?" He looked towards the numbers on the tents and walked up to number 43.
George and Fred shared matching grins. "You're bunking with us." They chorused.
Draco snapped back and glared at the two. "Like hell. I'll leave before I 'bunk' with anybody!"
"You're welcome to try." Harry said, rubbing his lower back some. "We're encased. Go find the barrier then knock on it three times."
Draco went over to do so on the back side of the camp, and as the voice finished its little recorded message, another familiar voice sounded out. "Oh fuck all."
Harry frowned and glanced up. He knew that voice. "Snape?" He asked.
"That damnable, meddling, devious old codger!" Snape grumbled, setting his own backpack down. "I should have known not to come on another of these ridiculous excursions after the last time."
"What happened the last time?" Draco asked, going up to the man.
"He locked me in with the rest of the entire staff of Hogwarts at a muggle hotel. We couldn't leave the premises. Said it was for bonding." Snape explained irritably.
"Who did?" Harry asked curiously.
"Who else?" Snape snapped. "Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore!"
"Dumbledore's our sponsor?" Fred asked.
"Obviously." Severus sneered. "Who else would have had the bright idea to have Slytherins and Gryffindors sharing a campsite, and throughout the week of Saint Valentine's Day no less. Let me guess, the twins with Draco, and myself with Potter, am I right?"
"Yeah, how'd you know?" George inquired suspiciously.
"I know how his mind works." Snape said, pointing to his own skull. "The conniving old coot is going to expect us to have a 'fun and relaxing' vacation, and to 'bond', when in reality, it will wind up nothing more than an enforcement that none of us should ever be alone with one another for extended periods of time, lest we hurt one another."
"Pff. You sound so thrilled to be here." Harry retorted. "If we just cooperate with one another, we'll be fine."
"So who's going to be in charge?" Draco asked. When the twins and Harry looked to him like he was insane, he elaborated. "If we're going to cooperate with one another, someone needs to be in charge of everyone else, to assign roles. Cooperation doesn't work without a leader."
"Nobody's being in charge of anybody." George told the blonde.
"Yeah, we can work together just fine." Fred echoed.
Draco looked pleadingly to Severus. The older wizard rolled his eyes. "Leaders are needed when herding a group. None of us are herding anyone, we don't need one." He said in agreement with the others.
Draco sputtered. He had been sure that Severus of all people would have agreed with him.
"We can draw sticks." Harry suggested brightly. The others turned to him with looks of confusion. "Draw sticks. We get 5 sticks , then cut them off to the same length, then we make one stick shorter than the others. Someone mixes them up, and everybody draws a stick, and whoever gets the short stick, gets the chore. Then, the next chore, the previous person and one long stick are taken out, until we've got all of the chores done."
The twins clamored in agreement, but Snape quickly stopped them. "No. It sounds good in theory, but what if someone gets a chore in which they are positively horrid at? For instance, Draco can't cook."
"Hey!" The blonde protested.
"Oh do be quiet, you can't and that's a fact. The last time you tried to cook something, you burnt it to a crisp. We need to stick with what we're good at."
Everyone looked to Draco and Harry spoke. "What can you do?"
Draco huffed and crossed his arms. "Plenty of things!"
Severus pinched the bridge of his nose. "He can't cook, his cleaning skills are abysmal if the underside of his bed when he was attending Hogwarts is any indication… the only thing relative to this week long prison I can think of that he might be even remotely good at is keeping the food from the wild animals. He's good at defensive spells, and he has a knack for hiding things."
Draco glared at the man. "One, I thought you were supposed to be on my side, and two, I can't decide whether to take that as a compliment or an insult."
"There are no sides in the middle of nowhere." Snape chided.
Harry nodded and transfigured a leaf into a parchment and a rock into a pen. "Alright, Draco for defenses and hiding food. Who's next?"
"I feel you should cook, what with the reactions you gathered in Potions." Snape said to Harry.
The younger man frowned. "Is that an insult?"
"No." Snape said, not quite understanding why Potter thought it was.
Draco took up the slack and explained. "Potions is more like a muggle science." He said. "It takes precise measurements, and your potions were more like cooking, throwing things that seem to go well together in until it looks good. They're far cries from being similar."
Harry nodded and began writing again. "Me… cooking. Next?"
"I'm quite good at cleaning up after everybody." Fred offered. "With a family of 9, the middle children always get stuck cleaning up after everyone else."
"Fred - cleaning. Next?" Harry looked up again between George and Severus.
George perked up some. "I should probably help with the cleaning. After all, with 9 people it took 4 of us to clean up every day, here we have 5, so 2 should work."
Harry nodded and added George's name to the list, then looked to Snape. "What will you do?"
"Talking us out of the inevitable inane daily tasks that Albus has no doubt set up for us." The man replied.
"Tasks?" Harry and Draco asked at the same time.
Snape groaned. "Yes, tasks. That barmy old man has set up some sort of idiotic task for the group every time he's forced me on one of these 'vacations', I've no doubt he shall do the same again."
"Well what kind of tasks, they might be fun." Harry said.
"The last time they were all related to the place in which we were staying, no doubt it will be similar this time. I foresee fishing and hiking among them."
"Righty-o!" A voice called from behind him, causing everyone to turn and look at the intruder. It was a man dressed in park ranger gear. "You guys are here for the Valentine's Week-long Sponsored trip, right?"
"Uhh, yeah." Harry said, walking forward.
"Well your friend here is right. We have fishing on the agenda for Thursday and hiking for Tuesday." The man confirmed. "We also have horseback riding for Wednesday, and two separate romantic picnics for Friday. Each tent gets their own picnic." He said with a smile on his face.
Severus' eyes darkened. "Tell me, do you believe in magic?"
"You bet I do." The man replied.
"And what of witches and warlocks?"
"Wizards you mean."
Severus grinned a feral smile. "So you are a wizard… in that case I have no qualms about doing this!" He raised his wand and sent a rather powerful petrificus towards the man, but it bounced off. "What the-"
The man looked to his papers and flipped a few back. "You must be Mr. Snape." He said, marking something down. "Your sponsor said you might do that." He looked back up to the man. "I apologize, but the tents are charmed to lock you out when it comes time for each activity, your sponsor was very clear on that. It's either comply with the activities, or sit here bored for hours while the others do it." He glanced back down at his paper. "Also, your sponsor wishes to inform you, and Misters Weasley that he hopes you enjoy your arrangements."
The twins looked to one another with matching grins. Snape, however, looked like he might burst at the seams.
"Enjoy your day, the weekend will be all yours and today you may get settled in." The man called, walking away. As he left, the barrier pulsated with a bit of color then went back to its transparent state.
"What did he mean by 'arrangements'?" Draco asked.
"Nothing!" Severus snapped, storming into his tent.
The rest of the day passed in mostly silence, save for the odd conversation between Harry and the twins, and when supper came about, Draco and Snape. Three people, however, truly preferred to be having conversations with other people within the group.
(¯`·. Happy Valentine's Day .·´¯)
Hiking was awful. Absolutely, positively, undoubtedly awful beyond any measure that Harry could even fathom. Between Draco's constant whining and wanting to stop to rest, the twins shared looks like they were communicating with words, and Severus stern silence and piercing glare, this hiking trip was not panning out to be enjoyable.
"Can we please stop for a while!" Draco called, dragging behind the rest of the group.
"I think we should." George said, tossing his walking stick down, and sitting on the ground.
"Agreed." Fred echoed, taking a seat to George's right.
"Thank Merlin." Draco sighed, flopping down where he was standing and removing his shoes. "My feet are aching!"
"We've only walked one mile." Harry chided, however he stopped to rest as well.
"Alright, you guys can take a seven minute break, then we get back to it." The man from the day before said. Apparently he was their week-long guide, and his name was Bartholomew, but he'd asked everyone to call him Bart.
"After the worst night of sleep imaginable I'm expected to spend hours walking in the middle of the woods. What kind of vacation is this?" Draco demanded.
"Well we offered to switch up the bedding." Fred reminded him.
"Oh yes, and sleep with one of you. Just what I need, to share a sleeping bag with a Weasley." Draco scowled.
George shrugged. "It's up to you. Our sleeping bag is comfortable though, and it sleeps 2."
"Pff. I'll come crawl into a sleeping bag with one of you psychos when the world ends." Draco informed them.
Harry glanced towards Snape. The man hadn't said a word since this hiking trip began, and young Potter was beginning to worry. "Hey are you alright?" He asked, offering Snape a bottled water.
Severus eyed the offering and snatched it. "I'm fine." He grumbled, unscrewing the bottle cap and taking a swig.
"Well, if you're sure." Harry said with an unbelieving look.
Things were silent between the two for a minute, until Snape finally had enough of it. "What?"
"I don't understand why you don't want to be here so badly." Harry told him. "I know it's not because of me, I mean, I know I piss you off, but never like this before, and the same with the twins. I want to know what's got you so angry."
Severus rolled his eyes. "What has me so angry is the fact that our beloved headmaster has seen to it that I will have to spend another week in the company of people I don't know well, nor do I care to know well." He informed the avidly listening 20-something year old. "He damn well knows how I feel about his surprise vacations, he knows how I feel about spending my retirement with people from that damnable school, and he knows how I feel about y-" He cut himself off. "He knows how I feel about everything… yet he purposefully puts me in these situations!"
Harry looked slightly relieved. "So it wasn't anything any one of us did then."
"No, it was all Albus."
"Time's up!" Bart called. "Come along now, we want to get back before nightfall, and it's still three miles to the top of the summit."
"What's the point of going to the top in the first place?" Draco wondered.
"The view, lad, the view." Bart said far too cheerfully. "It's absolutely breathtaking."
"What's breathtaking is-" Draco started, but was cut off.
"Would you kindly shut your trap and allow the rest of us to walk in peace? At least he's not trying to get us to jog or run the trail." Severus snapped.
The rest of the hike was mostly silent, aside from Draco's pleas to take breaks every 15 minutes. When they finally made it to the top, even Severus had to agree that the view of the entire camping grounds was worth it. The way the stream cut through the ground, the different trees with their barely sprouting leaves and buds… it was positively beautiful. Not breathtaking per se, but beautiful none the less.
Harry couldn't help but pull out the muggle camera he'd brought along and take a few photographs for later. The sloping hills, the just sprouting green grass through the barren fields, the large puddles dotting the landscape thanks to melting ice, it was all very nice in his eyes. A reminder that even after the harsh winter, even during winter's last leg, the new life that spring brought was, and would always, come through again.
The hike down had much less chatter from the blonde, as the twins held his attention most of the way by playing what they later referred to as, 'make up things in 'I Spy' to keep Draco from complaining'. Needless to say, everyone else was thankful to them, even the annoyingly chipper guide.
Once they'd returned to the campsite, they set in on their chores. Harry chuckled to himself when he realized that Snape's 'chore' of talking the guide out of their little excursions hadn't gone so well, and he toyed with the idea of asking the man to pick another chore.
He was preparing their supper when Snape came up and began helping him. "Hello." Harry said, slightly surprised.
Severus just raised an eyebrow. "We've been here for a full 24 hours and you're just now saying 'hello'?"
"Yeah, delayed reaction I suppose." Harry mumbled. The two worked mostly in silence, aside from one asking the other to pass something.
After Fred and George had finished clearing out the campsite from their trash and various dead plants, they snuck over to see what Draco was doing inside of their tent. Barely opening the flap, they saw said blonde laying most comfortably on their double sleeping bag. "Hey!" Fred protested, bursting in.
Draco scrambled up and looked like a caught child trying to snatch a cookie before supper. "What?" He said, feigning innocence.
George placed both of his hands on his hips. "We told you if you wanted to sleep in our bag-"
Fred cut in and finished the sentiment for his brother. "-that we could take turns so we all get at least 2 nights on it."
"It's not like we snore." They chorused.
Draco frowned. "I don't normally make a habit of sleeping in the same bed, or bag, with someone."
George shook his head. "It's either sleep with one of us on the comfortable bag, or go back to your lumpy one."
"I'm not going to sleep with you!" Draco shouted, storming out of the tent.
Harry and Severus glanced up at the rather loud statement, then to one another. "Do you think-" Harry started.
"I'd rather not." Severus interrupted.
Harry thought for a moment, then shook his head. "Yeah, me either."
It was nearing on midnight when Severus was awoken by the strangest sound. He had no idea what it was, or what it sounded like, he just knew it was loud enough to rouse him from his sleep. The man lit a candle and sat it on the flat rock he'd been using as a table and glanced around. Harry was asleep and didn't look to be restless, so he quickly dismissed the thought that it was him.
Snape sighed and got up, heading out of his tent. He walked over to number 43. Just as he was about to call out to see if the others were alright, he heard the noise again. He spun around just in time to see a medium sized bear back behind the log. Slowly and carefully he backed up towards his own tent, where he stuck his foot inside, dragging his wand out.
The man kept his and the bear's eyes locked at all times, not daring to show fear. He wasn't sure how one was supposed to deal with a bear, and sending an offensive spell towards it might not bode well if he missed. He crouched down and picked the wand up, casting a small silencing barrier around the two tents, then stuck the tip of his wand to his throat and cast a sonorus. "Wake up!" He ordered, eliciting two yelps, a groan, and a 'holy shit' from one foul mouthed pampered blonde. He cast the counter-charm and cleared his throat. "Do not panic, come out slowly. We have a bear." He said loudly.
Fred, Draco, and George scrambled out of the tent and looked quite panicked. Harry was the only one who followed the man's instruction and came out calmly. "What do we do?" Harry whispered.
"There's a silencing barrier up." Snape informed them. "I have no idea what to do, hence why I woke you lot up. With it being this dark I can barely see the thing's face thanks to the light from this blasted candle, and I don't want to startle it. I fear my aim would not be at its best so I do not wish to send an offensive spell towards it, in case I miss and spook it. Draco, you're in charge of this area, what are we supposed to do?"
Draco's eyes widened. "Shit, all I did was put the food in a box and tie it up in a tree, I didn't actually expect an animal to come by, much less a bear!" He hissed. "It's not like I had a plan for this."
"You should have." Harry snapped. "You are the defense person, aren't you?"
"Well yes but I-"
"Shut up, this isn't helping." Snape scolded.
Fred's eyes lit up. "Oh hey I have an idea!" He said, scurrying back into his tent.
The bear looked at them and rose up on its hind legs while the redhead went inside, then tilted its head when he came back out. George's eyes lit up when he saw what his brother was carrying. "Take down the silencing charm." He ordered, taking a small paper thing from the box in Fred's hands.
"Actually just make it bigger to get the bear in it as well. Don't wanna wake up the other campers." Fred corrected.
Severus frowned, but did so. "Fingers in your ears!" George called, pulling a stick from the paper whatever it was.
A very loud exploding sound came from his paper whatchamacallit, causing the bear, and everyone else to jump. The bear fell back on all fours and growled. Fred pulled his own stick out of a similar thing, causing a very loud foghorn noise to surround them. The bear growled again, lifting its paw some and backing away. "The big guns?" Fred asked.
"Oh yeah." George said with an elated look on his face. He pulled out a similarly shaped paper thing with a stick, but this one was three times larger. George held the paper part and Fred pulled the stick.
The sound that followed was, at best, outrageous. It sounded like shrieking, crying, wailing, glass shattering, and so much more. The bear turned tail and ran off, growling all the way. "What the hell was that?" Harry demanded, hitting his hand against his head in an effort to get the ringing from his ears.
"Huh?" Fred asked.
"I said, WHAT WAS THAT?" Harry repeated loudly.
"SCREAMING BANSHEE." George yelled back.
"FIVE OF THEM." Fred added.
"WHAT?" Harry asked.
Snape shoved a leaf with the words, 'go to bed' in front of everyone's face and dispelled of the silencing barrier.
The following morning, Harry awoke with a severe ringing in his head. He sat up and groaned, his hand flying towards it to cradle his skull, as a headache was raging inside. When he stood, he found that he was also nauseous from said headache.
The young man walked very, very, very slowly out of his tent to find that everyone else was already up. Severus was over a pot stirring what appeared to be breakfast, and everyone else was silently sitting on the logs around the campfire. "What are-" Harry winced. The sound of his own voice seemed to be splitting his head in two.
An overwhelming, 'shhhhh' came from the members of tent 43, and Harry took a seat beside George. "He's making a headache potion." George whispered.
"You too?" Harry whispered back.
"All of us." Draco whispered.
Severus continued to brew in silence, adding a leaf here, a petal there. As the concoction was bubbling, an overly cheerful, more annoying than ever, far too loud voice rang through the air. "All right guys, I hope you're ready for your horseback riding."
"Shhhhh!" The entire group hissed.
Bart frowned and walked up to them. "What's wrong?" He asked, again far too loud.
Draco clasped his hands against his head, Fred and George covered each others ears, and Harry winced. Severus only twitched an eye. Harry stood up slowly and pulled the man about 5 feet away, where he explained what had happened the night before in hushed whispers.
"It's ready." Snape's scratchy voice called as he ladled the primitive potion into their respective cups. The group quietly drank their potions and the majority of their headaches went away, however they still had a bit left. He looked up to Bart who was still standing there. "Why are you still here?"
"Well, I'm waiting for you lot to come for your activity." He explained.
Severus snarled. "Riding a beast across some field that I can't escape from because of barriers disallowing it? No thank you. I would rather sit here where I can't escape from. At least here I don't have to put up with your obnoxiously happy attitude, and Draco's constant whining about walking too far."
"Hey!" Draco grumbled.
"I spoke nothing but the truth." Snape stated assuredly, taking a seat on the edge of a log.
Harry yawned and nodded his agreement. "I think I'm going to stay as well." He said. "I didn't get enough sleep last night thanks to that bear."
Bart left with two very interested redheads and a grouchy blonde off towards the stables. Snape watched Harry try to enter their tent then walk back to a log where he lay down from the corner of his eye and thought seriously about taking a nap himself.
Fred and George tagged along behind the guide and Draco. Fred put up a quick silencing barrier. "Do you really think that Dumbledore put us all in the same tent because he knew?"
"He had to have." George said. "He said he hoped we liked our arrangements, us and Snape specifically. Plus it's Valentine's week."
"Yeah, but Snape? You think he actually…"
"Probably, it would explain why he hasn't been ribbing Harry the whole time we were here."
"How do you suppose we get Draco interested in us?" Fred asked semi worriedly.
George grinned. "I have an idea… you keep him busy when we get back to the campsite."
"As you wish, brother dearest." Fred stated, then dispelled of the silencing charm.
"-without saddles?" Draco said with wide eyes.
What had they missed? "Well it isn't called 'bareback riding' without a reason." Bart told the blonde.
"But won't it hurt?" Draco asked.
"Not in the least, the horses are very tough."
"I mean me you dolt!"
The horses were beautiful, and the twins took to it right away. Something not a lot of people had known, their father taught them, Bill, and Charlie how to ride when they were small, so naturally they jumped at this chance to show off in front of Draco.
Everything was going well for the first hour, that is, until they heard what sounded like a little girl screaming.
"AhhhHHhhhhHhhh!" Draco shrieked whilst galloping across the field. "Get me OFF of this thiiiiing!" He clung tight to the horse's neck, ignoring the leather flopping on either side.
Fred and George snickered from atop their horses. Fred pulled on the left side of his rein and turned the horse around to face his brother. "Shall we?"
"Of course." George answered, clicking his heels against his own horse's side lightly. "Hup."
The two leaned in and flicked their reins, taking off like bullets. Bart watched in a kind of awe. He'd never known any pure-blood wizards of this day and time who knew how to handle a horse, but these two… they were either half-bloods or their family was very muggle friendly.
Fred came up on Draco's right and George on his left. They came in close and both reached out hands to grab Draco's horse's reins, then they pulled on all of the leather straps effectively slowing all three horses down.
When they came to a complete stop, Draco all but fell off of the horse and clung to the twins' legs. "Thank you thank you thank you!" He chanted, holding tight.
"I think it's time to head back to the campsite." Fred told Bart who came trotting up on his own horse.
The twins looked like mirror images of one another, swinging their legs off and hopping down. They picked Draco up and let him hold an arm across each of their shoulders.
Bart led them back and gave a quick reminder. "Tomorrow's fishing, gotta be up before dawn."
Harry roused from his log at the commotion and Severus watched from his pot. He was making another potion just in case.
"Fast… he ran… and it was…" Draco mumbled, still hanging between the twins.
"What happened to him?" Harry asked curiously.
"He didn't use the reins." George told him.
"And his horse took off." Fred finished.
"Woosh… so… scared…" Draco said, his head going around a bit.
Severus rolled his eyes and turned his attention back to his potion.
(¯`·. Happy Valentine's Day .·´¯)
The fishing trip didn't seem to be entirely too bad. Snape had a reason to tell those obnoxious twins to be quiet and they actually complied, for the most part. That was, until Bart went back to his truck to get something.
George came up on Snape's left side, and Fred his right. "So." Fred started lowly.
"We haven't had a chance to talk." George added.
"We don't need one." Snape commented.
"Oh but we do." Fred corrected. "See, you were acknowledged by Dumbledore for the arrangements as well."
"We know why we would appreciate our arrangements." George told the man. "And it only takes an educated guess as to why you would appreciate yours."
Severus peered at each of them for a moment from the corner of his eye. "Your point?"
"Our point, "Fred told him. "is that if you do something to hurt him-"
"-we'll do something to hurt you." George finished.
"He's like a brother to us." They chorused lowly.
"Consider the same warning for yourselves and my godson." Severus informed them.
The twins smiled. "So we understand each other?" Fred asked.
"Indeed." Snape concurred.
"Indeed." The twins chorused, then went back to the spots they were at before.
A bite came to Severus' line and he quickly began to reel it in.
Back at the campsite, Harry and Draco were slacking off and just sitting on a log. Harry's curiosity got the better of him. "Why do you keep twisting and stretching?" He asked as Draco contorted himself into another of his strange positions.
"Because my back hurts… it's that damn sleeping bag." He complained. "The twins offered to let me sleep in theirs, but I'm not."
"Well why don't you?" Harry asked. "You know, if you ask nicely, I'm sure Fred will give you a massage. He gives great massages."
"I'm not sleeping with one of them because then I'd owe them, and Malfoys don't owe anyone." Draco recited dutifully. "Same answer for the massage."
"I doubt you'd 'owe' them." Harry said with a smirk. "The only person they ever make repay favors is Ron, and that's just to piss him off. Besides, Fred likes giving massages. He's been thinking of starting a side business with that, combining muggle massage parlors with potions and salves, and making a thing out of it. You'd be good practice since you're used to perfection, so technically, that in an of itself would take care of any owing."
Draco thought seriously about this for a moment. "I suppose I could give it a try." He said uneasily.
"That's the spirit!" Harry said happily.
"What's the spirit?" Fred and George asked as they entered back into their campsite's barrier with Snape just a few steps behind.
Draco stood up and greeted them, not noticing the fish in their hands. "Potter told me about your idea for a massage side business… I have agreed to allow you to use me as practice since I am used to nothing short of perfection, and in return, I shall get to sleep in your bag tonight whilst one of you sleeps in mine."
George peeked around the blonde with a most confused look on his face, while Fred agreed wholeheartedly. Harry just grinned, knowing of the twins' crush on Draco and had to stop himself from laughing when George mouthed 'Thank you!'.
Severus sat his haul down on a bit of flat wood they had been using as a table. Seven rather large fish. "Do you know how to gut and skin one of these for cooking?" He asked Harry.
Harry was about to reply 'yes', however George caught his attention and mouthed 'no'. "Uhh, no?" Harry replied, an eye on George who was giving him a thumbs up sign. Well that was confusing.
"I shall gut them and give you instruction on how to skin them." Severus replied, taking his wand out and transfiguring a rock into a knife.
Draco averted his eyes while Snape made quick work of the first fish and handed it to Harry, whom he instructed to use a running aguamenti spell to clean the blood out and showed him on the second fish how to peel back the skin so it all came off in one pull.
"Hey, how about that massage." Fred offered, seeing Draco's uneasiness around the cleaning process.
"What? Oh yeah, sure." Draco said, standing up and popping his back once more before heading into the tent.
Harry smiled a bit when he saw the others retreat into their tent, but quickly drew his attention back to what Snape was telling him. "So I just snap the head back and pull, and it'll all come off?" He asked, even though he knew the answer.
"Yes." Snape confirmed. "It is also up to you, you may debone it via magic or muggle methods, I don't care either way really."
"I think I'll do it the good old fashioned muggle way." Harry said with a smile. "Oh, by the way, how do you debone a fish the muggle way?" He asked, trying to cover his bases.
Severus smirked and shook his head. "I can tell by how easily you're skinning those that you know what you're doing. Why don't you tell me."
Harry shook his head lightly and made fairly quick work of the spine, fins, and tail, slicing his way down with his own transfigured knife. He flipped the top side of the fish over and removed the rib bones, then sat his knife down. "I need pliers." He said.
Snape transfigured another rock into some pliers and handed them to Harry, who started removing the pin bones. "Why did you say you didn't know how to do this?"
"I uh, I don't know to be honest." Harry told him. "I was going to say yes, but George told me to say no."
Snape nodded. "I should have known it was him."
"Well don't take this the wrong way or anything… but you're a good cook and I don't mind cooking alongside you." Harry commented.
Snape rose an eyebrow. "As are you." He said quietly, returning to gutting his fish.
"Oh no no no no no!" Draco protested from his spot on the twins' sleeping bag. Fred halted his hands. "That's where it hurts."
"I know." Fred told him. "Trust me." He dug the heel of his palm into Draco's back and twisted.
"NYAAAAAH!" Draco called out. "OH my god… that…fuck… do that again." He ordered. Fred smirked, but complied. "MmmnnnyyYAAAAHHH! Oh god yes!"
Harry and Severus looked up at the yelling, sharing looks of 'what in the world'.
"Merlin Fred, your HANDS!" Draco said. "They're like magic."
Harry cleared his throat and blushed a bit, looking back down to his fourth fish.
Fred scooted over a bit. "You know, he knows how to do this too." He said with a head point towards his brother.
"Huh? Sure, whatever. Do it." Draco said, going limp.
The twins positioned themselves so they could both work on him, and soon Draco was vocalizing his thanks again.
"If I didn't know any better, I'd say they were doing it." Harry muttered.
"They're not?" Severus asked, slightly surprised.
"No, they're giving him a massage." Harry informed the man, trying not to laugh.
Draco entered the tent after supper that night and was momentarily confused when Fred was in his sleeping bag. It hit him that he was sleeping on the comfortable one tonight, where George already was. "You're right." Fred mumbled. "Your bag is a piece of shit."
Draco agreed and went out to change, seeing a quite confusing sight. Severus and Harry were sitting on the same log, chatting away about something. He shook his head and went to change behind the tent.
"I still don't see why he's making us take the 'romantic picnic'." Harry said with a frown. "I mean, I could understand it for those three, but it's not like you even like me, you barely tolerate me."
"Hmm." Snape said, contemplating what was said.
"And telling Bart to make the picnic unmissable, that was just… Where does he get these crazy ideas?" Harry went on. "What time is the picnic anyway?"
"Seven… In the evening." Severus supplied.
"Right at dusk." Harry said, shaking his head. "The most romantic time of day. I'm going on a picnic tomorrow, set for romance, on Valentines day, and I don't even have a girlfriend or boyfriend."
Snape raised an eyebrow and looked at the young man.
"What? Don't tell me you hung on to that part of your muggle heritage and are against gays or bis." Harry said seriously.
"Not at all." Snape informed him. "I just hadn't expected you to be either of them."
"Why do people keep saying that?" Harry wondered aloud.
"Because you're Harry Potter." Snape told him. "You're a hero of the wizarding world, and whether the muggles know it or not, their world as well. By definition, heroes are supposed to be straight."
"Pff, by who's definition?"
"The general silent agreement of those who write stories about heroes."
"Well that's a load of bull." Harry said, shaking his head.
Things were silent for a good few minutes until Snape spoke again. "Do you have a type?"
"Huh? A type of what?" Harry asked.
"A type, people who are your type." Severus clarified.
"Oh yeah. I don't like most people my own age, they're always so star-stuck, it makes me sick, so older than me. Not too much older mind you, I wouldn't want to date anyone as old as McGonagall. I like them to know what they want out of life. Call me shallow, but I don't exactly prefer overweight people, though I will give them a chance if their personality pans out. I do quite like them taller than me, male or female. Dunno why. I just-"
Harry was cut off when he felt lips pressed against his. Draco was just coming out from behind tent 43 when he saw what was happening, and he stared in confusion.
Harry stayed still for a second, then pulled away. "What are you-"
"I'm sorry I-"
"-doing, I thought-"
"-don't know what-"
"-you didn't like me."
"-came over me."
Severus pinched the bridge of his nose growled a bit at himself. "You've no need to worry, it won't happen again." He said.
"Bullshit it won't." Harry informed him, taking his turn to surprise the other.
This time it was Severus who was shocked silent with lips pressed against his own. His dark eyes darted around, confused by what was happening, but he did kiss the younger man back.
When they broke apart, both were wide-eyed and breathing hard, not because of the heat of the moment mind you, but because they didn't know how the other was taking this. Harry said the first thing that came to mind. "I've been waiting to do that for 5 years now."
Severus' eyes grew even wider, if that was even possible. "You have?" He asked. "When?"
"The Ministry fiasco." Harry told him. They were silent a little while longer, until their lips met again. Both would later claim that the other moved in first, and they were simply reciprocating.
Draco blinked a few times and went back into his tent, shaking his head. "What's wrong?" George asked, scooting over to make room for the blonde.
"My godfather and the savior of the wizarding world are making out on a log." Draco said bluntly.
The twins immediately scurried up and popped their heads out of the tent, quickly joined by Draco. "Blimey." Fred whispered. "He moves quick for his age."
"If they keep going like that they're going to f-" George started, but cut himself off when the two hit the ground.
The three ducked back inside when Snape and Potter got up, and returned to their sleeping bags. They lay there for a good thirty minutes. Draco found, however, that it was hard trying to sleep. His back felt wonderful, but Fred's incessant tossing and turning was driving him batty. "What's wrong?" He asked, quickly finding out that all three were still awake.
"Your bag." Fred said by way of explanation. "I don't see how you sleep on this thing."
George sighed and stood up, grabbing his wand and pointing it at their own sleeping bag. He enlarged it and got back into his side while Draco looked curiously at him. "What was that for?" The blonde asked.
"So Fred can get in and he won't have to sleep on yours." George told him with a yawn.
Draco's eyes shot around as Fred crawled into the sleeping bag with them. He wasn't quite too sure how he felt about the situation, being squished between the twins. What if they tried to pull some prank on him while he slept? He shook his head lightly to clear away that thought. He had been sleeping in the same tent with them all of this time and they hadn't pulled anything yet, maybe they wouldn't.
Another thirty minutes passed, and just as Draco was drifting off to sleep, he felt something go around him. Panic set in when he thought perhaps one of them was trying to hold him down, however his worry proved to be fruitless when he felt George nuzzle up to him.
Draco blinked in the dark, his mind going at top speed. They clung to one another when they slept? Granted he had been sleeping in the same 'room' with them, so to speak, he hadn't actively watched them sleep. They had always went to bed after he had.
"Mmmf." George grumbled.
"Wha?" Fred asked sleepily. So they were both still awake.
"I wanna-" George yawned. "I wanna move my arm down." He whispered. "But I'm afraid I'll startle him."
They thought he was asleep? Apparently so.
"Well do it anyway." Fred told him. "Even if he startles a little, it's not like he'll remember it come morning if he's asleep." Fred took his turn to nuzzle up to Draco, and the blonde felt another arm go across him.
"It's too bad we don't have Snape's courage." George grumped lowly, scooting his arm downwards.
"I know." Fred agreed, inching his leg on top of Draco's. "And we're supposed to be the Gryffindors."
"What do you think would have happened if I would have mentioned that erection he got during the massage?" George pondered.
Draco fought hard to keep still. They had noticed that? Oh Merlin, he had hoped they hadn't, he was lying on his stomach for god's sake!
"I dunno." Fred said with another yawn. "He woulda probably blushed."
"Heh. I'd like to see that." George commented.
"Yeah me too." Fred said. The twins scooted in closer, effectively squishing the blonde just a bit between them. George's head rested a bit on Draco's shoulder, and Fred's on his arm. He could feel the breath from both of them. "What do you want to do?"
"Right now?" George asked, receiving a 'mmm' of agreement. "Right now I kinda want to start kissing him."
"Mmm I could go for that." Fred said. "It's too bad though. He'd never go for that. I guess for now we'll just have to deal with-"
"-talking about the things we'd like to do to him while he-"
"-pretends to be asleep." They chorused.
Draco jumped a bit, then narrowed his eyes, not that they could see it. "You're both cruel." He said darkly, shifting to go back to his own bag, when they pinned him down.
"Yeah but we meant every word." Fred told him, pressing his lips against the top of Draco's bare arm.
"Mm hmm." George agreed, doing much the same.
As they trailed their kisses upward and peeled back sleeves to reach the skin underneath, Draco shivered. "Ugh, my father's going to kill me." He muttered, reaching out his hands and pulling the twins in closer.
"Now that's what I'm talking about." George said enthusiastically.
(¯`·. Happy Valentine's Day .·´¯)
Bart rode in to the encased campsite just after 6:30 pm and came upon a sight most unexpected. Their sponsor had said it might happen, but Bart thought for sure with the groups' personalities that there was positively no way. He was greeted with five sated faces. Even Mr. Snape, the one Albus had warned him against, seemed to be pleasant today.
"I take it you guys are ready for your picnics?" He asked skeptically. The twins nodded, Harry gave a thumbs up, and Draco and Severus simply said 'yes'.
He loaded the group up into the back of his truck and went on out to the site for the picnic areas. They were close enough together so that if one couple had a problem they could get the other couple's attention, but far enough apart not to interrupt the other couple with their talking.
As the campers made their way to their blankets laid out on the ground, Bart wondered what in the world the twins and the blonde should be called, since 'couple' was reserved for only 2 people.
Bart wandered just out of sight behind various trees and bushes while the five ate, and listened to snips of their conversations. Apparently the older gentleman and the savior were focused more on what they were going to do with themselves and their futures, and the trio was preoccupied with how they were going to break the news of their newly founded relationship to the blonde's father.
He shook his head and took out his notebook, scratching out a note. He walked from the picnic area where he called an owl to deliver it, addressed to one Mr. Albus Dumbledore.
Just as the last remains of natural light were fading from the sky, the torches beside each blanket lit up. Harry and Severus shared a kiss, as did Draco and Fred, however the latter was over quickly as George demanded his turn.
Albus opened the letter that he'd just received with a smile on his face.
Dear Mr. Dumbledore,
This is the update which you asked for if anything came of the group's trip. Mr.'s Weasley and Mr. Malfoy have indeed come together as you expected, however so have Mr. Snape and Mr. Potter.
Let me assure you that I was not the one to inform them, however upon my eavesdropping this evening, I have found that everyone involved knows you are their sponsor. From what I've heard, they are making plans to ambush you for putting them into this situation to begin with, however since it worked out well, they don't seem to be planning anything too dangerous.
Enclosed is the bill for a bear which was found to have gone partially deaf whilst investigating their campsite.
~Bartholomew Swink - Vice President of WRR Inc.