A Question of Etiquette XXVI:
"Well-fucked is a good look on you," said Fred as he pulled Harry into a warm hug.
Severus didn't have time to envy him as George said, "You, too," fitting himself into Severus' arms with the ease of long practice.
There was a pleasant silence that followed, filled with kissing and general reacquainting, and this time when Severus and Harry swapped partners, they paused in the middle to kiss one another. "I bet you two do that," began Fred, watching interestedly.
"In front of Dumbledore," finished George with a laugh, pulling Harry close as the kiss came to an end.
"Every chance we get," said Harry with a smirk, though in truth they'd only seen Albus once in the two weeks since leaving school.
Severus laughed and kissed Fred, feeling a tightness ease inside him to find that they were still allowed these liberties. He loved Harry and Harry loved him, but this thing they'd both found with the twins was irreplaceable.
He'd been as relieved as Harry to find that they all agreed.
"I take it you've decided," began Fred, when Severus' hands wandered off of any path that could possibly be called 'friendly.'
George looked over and winked, "to keep us?"
"I think we should be like we were," said Harry guilelessly, nuzzling at George's neck.
Severus chuckled, thinking of all the time he'd spent teaching Harry the finer points of subtle negotiations, only have it come to this. "He means friends who share a bed sometimes, not a foolish return to the times when you could have one or the other of us."
Twin grins lit up their faces, and Severus felt yet another coil of tension let go. "That suits us."
"Juuuust fine," they replied, and Severus allowed himself to be drawn into more kisses, though it was a small risk to stay here by the Floo instead of repairing to the master bedroom, and the bed he and Harry had enlarged just this morning.
Severus stepped back, drawing Fred with him a kiss at a time until they were by the door and had nearly left Harry and George behind. He smirked and said, loudly enough for them all to hear, "Race you."
Then he turned and bolted upstairs, reassured by the pounding of feet behind him that he'd found a way to get them all right where he wanted them.
Harry was laughing with that same open delight he showed in everything, breathless and grinning as they all piled onto the bed together in a heap with no regard for who had arrived there first. "Who'd have thought you could be like this," teased Harry, finding Severus' mouth for kisses that removed any need for a reply.
"We always knew there was something," said Fred, hands burrowing into Severus' clothing, which was thankfully minimal in the summer's heat.
"Hiding under the armour," said George, going for all of their shoes and socks, tossing them around the room with gleeful impunity.
"But we didn't know it'd be this good," finished Fred, passing Severus' trousers and pants down to George, the shirt flung off to one side already.
Fred's attentions moved to Harry, already denuded of shoes and one sock and happy to be wriggled out of his t-shirt. "I'm just glad Severus decided to give us the benefit of the doubt," said Harry impishly.
Severus snorted, hands already busy removing Fred's clothing. "There is only so much temptation a man can ignore before he partakes of the feast set before him," he intoned with mock-seriousness, which was rather spoilt when he sought Harry's mouth with his once more. This necessitated stretching his nude body over a half-naked Fred, and had the rather pleasant result of Fred cupping his hand around the curve of Severus' arse.
George made short work of everyone's remaining clothes, making sure they were all sock-free before piling on top of Severus to kiss Fred, getting an "oof" from them both.
Severus slithered out from between their bodies and onto Harry, both of them pausing to watch for a moment before Severus distracted Harry thoroughly with a series of nips and kisses to his tender throat. "I think we should all take turns having you," said Severus wickedly, whispering it right into Harry's ear so there would be no question which "you" he meant.
Harry moaned, and a shiver went through him. He grew pliant under Severus' arms, and when he spoke it was a hoarse, joyful moan. "Yes, oh yes, please!"
"You'll spoil him," said Fred, turning to watch Harry's face.
George nibbled along Fred's collarbone and added, "We'd love to help."
Severus chuckled. "Hear that, pet? You may trust us completely today, no lessons or limits," he said, kissing along Harry's jaw before taking his mouth with thorough possessiveness. "You're ours now."
The last of Harry's resistance melted away, and Severus watched the transformation, finding it no less fascinating this time than he had the first time Harry had given himself to Severus. Knowing it was trust and love that allowed Harry to surrender to his own nature made it as different from the sexual slavery of Severus' past as wine from vinegar.
Severus felt himself smiling, and made no effort, for once, to hide it.
"We'll take such good care of you," promised Fred, reaching out to run a hand down Harry's body, as much reassurance as caress.
George grinned and tweaked a nipple, "Better than ever, with Severus to live up to," he said, an eagerness in both their faces that told Severus that this was the right decision. They'd been patient a long time, allowing Severus his firsts with Harry, and this was a reward all four of them would enjoy very much.
Severus indulged himself in kissing Harry for long minutes while the twins alternated kissing one another, and running greedy hands over Severus and Harry's willing bodies. Harry's kisses were a different creature like this, hungry but passively so, taking endlessly without once pushing for more, mouth as soft and pliant, open and welcoming as the rest of him. As Severus knew his arse could, and would, be.
Eventually the kisses weren't enough, and Severus moved off of Harry, garnering him a whimper of protest and a flutter of those black eyelashes, Harry's eyes dazed and slightly confused as he blinked up at them. "S'not over?" he asked, with the innocence of perfect trust.
"No, love," said Severus, reassuring him with one last, sweeter kiss. "It's just beginning."
Harry smiled and spread wide, arms and legs opening up to them, and licked his lips. "I'm all yours," he said, then looked over at Fred and George and added with a sensual little wriggle, "And yours, and yours."
"We'll make sure you're well-taken," said George, fingers gentle brushing Harry's cheek.
"Even you'll be sated when we're done," said Fred with a laugh.
Severus, having been on the receiving end of Harry's seemingly endless libido for two weeks now, chuckled in sympathy. "I think you'll need to be bound to fully appreciate your situation, pet," he said, stroking his long fingers over Harry's skin, finding it as always surprisingly soft despite the scars here and there of an active youth, taut and smooth over the toned muscle beneath. Harry was a pleasure to touch as he arched into the caresses shamelessly, spreading himself further but not otherwise trying to guide Severus' hands.
"We brought something," said George, slipping off Fred and out of bed.
"You'll like this," said Fred, leering at Severus and Harry in equal measure.
George returned with a handful of wide, thick velvet ribbons, though they seemed to Severus' eye to be cut into strips too short to be of much use. "Assume the position, pet," said George, excitement clear in his face, not to mention other parts of his anatomy.
"Hands and knees, love," clarified Fred.
Harry rolled over and obeyed eagerly, fuzzy bollocks swaying between his spread thighs, his back arched to display his arse invitingly. He kept his arms straight in front of him, holding himself up, watching George curiously.
"Good boy," said George, patting the arse in question.
"Thank you, sir," said Harry happily, hips wiggling in such a way as to suggest a wagging tail.
Severus stifled a snort of laughter at the image. Instead, he watched closely as George laid the first of the ribbons under Harry's ankles. He curled the ends over Harry's ankles, tucking them under, and then grinned. "Watch this," he said triumphantly, tapping the ribbon with his wand.
Severus raised an eyebrow. "Yes?"
Fred grinned and said, "Harry, try to close your legs for me."
Harry gave him a look which suggested this was a counterproductive idea, face growing delighted when he found that he couldn't comply. "I'm stuck!" he said, leaning forward and bringing his legs up off the bed.
Severus reached out and felt the ribbon, rigid between the ankles but still soft enough not to hurt, velvet wrapping Harry's skin gently while keeping him quite neatly bound. "Impressive," he said. "Your invention?"
"Sort of," said Fred, while George got to the business of binding Harry properly in place. "We found the spell in an old book out of the attic, though originally it was used on rope to hobble horses."
"Good little horsie," said George teasingly, stroking Harry's wild mane of hair. He'd bound Harry's wrists apart with another rigid length, and then run a third from the centre of that ribbon up and around Harry's neck, forming a collar that would quite neatly keep his head in place without choking him. One more laid from stem to stern, and Harry was quite thoroughly immobilised, the last length forcing both hands and feet down onto the bed by joining the bonds between them.
Harry whinnied at George, then moaned as Severus took a moment to prove Harry's vulnerability by tugging on the warm balls just waiting to be emptied. "This is most satisfactory," said Severus; he didn't want to praise them overmuch, or one of them might faint and spoil his plans.
Instead, Severus moved around to Harry's front, kneeling so that his cock was just out of reach of that hungry mouth, and said, "I'll keep this end occupied while you prepare that end, hm?"
"That," said George, finding the full bottle of lubricant on the nightstand.
"Is an excellent idea," said Fred, holding his hand out so George could slick his fingers.
Severus moved forward into the reaching caress of Harry's tongue. "All right, pet?" he asked.
Harry nodded, straining to get Severus' cock properly into his mouth. Severus chuckled and obliged him, pushing forward unhurriedly, feeding Harry each inch with a slowness that tormented them both. Harry moaned while he still could, and Severus looked up to see fingers burying themselves in him, one from each twin slick with oil and sliding inward.
"You've wanted this a long time, haven't you, little pony? Three riders to exercise you properly from both ends," teased Severus, pulling out enough that Harry could nod with charming enthusiasm, though he didn't stop sucking for a moment. "Good boy," he said, stroking Harry's hair and face, glancing from him to the twins and back and wondering how he'd been so lucky to have attracted these young men into his life and his bed.
"You should see him," said George, voice holding a note of the same wonder.
Fred grinned, pulling his two fingers away from George's pair so there was a gap between them. "He's so pink inside," said Fred.
"So open," said George, tugging further away so that Severus could almost see in himself, if it weren't for the angle. He'd have to have them do it again later so he could watch, but now both he and Harry were enjoying his present angle, cock gliding smoothing in and out of Harry's greedy mouth in a manner that was as much comfort as sex.
"I think he's ready," said Severus, looking down into Harry's puppy-eager eyes. "George first," he added, wanting Harry to know, though it didn't much matter which twin it was, really.
Fred smirked. "I'll remember this later," he said, pulling out his slicked fingers and putting them back between George's legs and, from the look on George's face, straight up into him.
"We should definitely," said George, gasping as Fred worked him open mercilessly, "have each other while we have Harry."
"Definitely," agreed Fred. He helped steady George's hands to get his cock covered in slippery potion, then slicked his own. They shared a long, hungry kiss before getting into position, George behind Harry and Fred behind George, cocks aimed and ready to go.
They looked up expectantly, and Severus hummed in satisfaction as he realised that they were waiting for him, looking to him to lead despite Harry being the ultimate bottom. Severus pulled out until just his cockhead was within reach of Harry's hungry mouth, then nodded and began pushing in slowly, gratified to see that George and Fred were doing the same.
Harry's eyes fluttered closed, and he moaned as long as he could, the sound cut off when Severus' cock found the back of his throat and he had to swallow it down or choke. Once he was fully buried, Severus paused, denying Harry both air and pleasure for a few wicked seconds as he spoke. "Right now," he said, "Fred is in George, and George is inside you, buried as deeply as I am, taking you from both ends." He stroked Harry's cheek until the eyes flickered open and then added, "And there's nothing you can do about it."
Severus had been expecting a reaction, though not as dramatic a one as he got. Harry's whole body went tense for a long moment as he spilled silently onto the sheets, unable to even cry out around the cock in his throat, the cock he kept suckling even as he drowned in his own pleasure. Severus pulled out enough to let Harry breathe, petting him as though gentling an excitable pony and getting a look of such love and gratitude that it stole his own breath away.
Fred and George took this as their cue and began moving, pulling carefully out before driving inward, forcing Harry back down onto Severus' cock even as they filled him up from behind with the combined force of their lust.
Severus put his own hard-won control into practice, holding back his orgasm for his turn at Harry's arse, instead letting his cock be the comforting suck-toy that it could be, to Harry. "Come soon, George, but not you, Fred," he ordered, voice low and persuasive, watching their faces as Harry did something, probably one of those maddening clenches that could take a man by surprise by increasing his pleasure almost to the point of pain for one unpredictable moment.
George moaned and nodded, speeding up his thrusts, back onto Fred and then forward into Harry, over and over until he went still, threw his head back, and howled his pleasure in a rush of joy. Harry shivered, too, though he didn't come again, eyes fixed on Severus' face, begging wordlessly for the next part of his treat.
"All right, clean up and then George, you take over here, Fred, you'll be in Harry and I," said Severus with a slow, wicked smile, "will be in Fred."
Harry moaned again, wriggling with puppyish enthusiasm even as they all three pulled out and away, and began reshuffling themselves around Harry's bound form. "You're loving all this attention, aren't you, little pony?" said George, stroking Harry's head for a moment before carefully cleaning himself, not that there was much worry given the thorough cleaning the inside of Harry had undergone before their arrival.
Severus prepared Fred, the moans and half-pleas he got in response to his fingering giving him an idea of how long the next portion of the proceedings wouldn't be lasting. "Easy, now, don't short Harry his ride," teased Severus, earning him a glare from both twins.
"If you weren't so damned exciting," said George, cock already rising up to the task of filling Harry's eager mouth.
"It wouldn't be an issue," finished Fred. He twisted around to give Severus a deep kiss that was nearly as distracting as the clasp of his entrance around Snape's probing fingers.
George bent down long enough to kiss the taste of Severus from Harry's lips, before replacing it with his own thick, half-hard cock. "That's it, love," he coaxed, as Harry's mouth worked him over as best he could, given the restraints, "get me nice and hard so I can fill you all up."
"I'm ready for something filling, myself," said Fred, breaking the kiss and bending over Harry in an enticing echo of Harry's position; with his longer arms, his chest barely brushed over Harry's back, and he pressed a kiss to the back of Harry's head, getting a few caresses from his twin while he was in reach.
"I suppose I must oblige you, then," said Severus, positioning himself and pressing inward with a sigh of pleasure.
Fred's cock slid up and over Harry's tailbone, and Harry mewled as best he could around his mouthful, frustrated and wanting and spoiled enough to make Severus chuckle. "Go on, in him," he ordered, and Fred changed his angle and slipped his still-slick cock into Harry's waiting, hungry body, turning the mewl into a moan that was choked off completely as George thrust forward as well.
Severus grinned, then set a gruelling pace of short, sharp thrusts that kept Fred mostly inside Harry and himself mostly in Fred, though he braced his hands on Harry's hips to give George a small measure of control. George took advantage, using long thrusts to push in and out of Harry's mouth in counterpoint to the fast, hard fucking he was getting at the other end.
Fred reached around with one hand, using the other to keep him braced above Harry, and began to stroke Harry's hard, needy cock. "You do love to be fucked in any hole, don't you, little pony?" he said wickedly, whispering right into Harry's ear, the sound almost lost among the slap and slide of flesh, the harsh breaths and half-moans that filled the air above the bed.
Harry couldn't have answered even if Fred's question wasn't perfectly rhetorical, since they all knew exactly what Harry loved, and all loved to give to him in turn. Instead, Fred whispered a command that pleased Severus enough that he didn't protest the small usurpation of his implicit authority when Fred said, "Come with me, Harry."
After all, they knew from experience that Harry was more than capable of three orgasms in a session, more if he was properly motivated, one of the facets of youth that Severus remembered and envied just a little. He held his own release back once again, despite the wonderful shuddering of Fred and Harry both, eyes meeting George's in a flash of understanding as their two beloveds found pleasure in each other, and in them.
"I think you know what comes next," said Severus teasingly, when both Harry and Fred had calmed.
"Me in you?" asked George hopefully, grinning like a fool.
"And me in Harry," confirmed Severus, pulling out of Fred so that Fred could pull away, too, and take George's place at the other end of Harry. It took very little shuffling before they were all in place, and Severus grinned at George's noise of surprised lust when he found that the preparations for him were already made.
"Are you ready for me?" George asked, voice tight with lust.
Snape waited until Harry's mouth was once again put to work coaxing Fred back to life, then nodded, positioning his own cockhead at Harry's entrance, deliberately smearing the come already dripping from it. "Now," ordered Severus, the word almost lost in a gasp as George thrust forward with merciless force, shoving them all forward and breaching Snape's body with delicious roughness.
Snape let his pleasure finally rise, watching his Harry so very happy, feeling the way Harry's body welcomed him, the way George's cock filled him, seeing the love and happiness on Fred's face as he, too, began to use Harry's mouth the way it was meant to be used. He wouldn't last long, but none of them had, and he could only half-hear the words of foolish love and possession that fell from his lips, the noise drowned out by the blood rushing in his ears. He wasn't sure how long he actually took, but he kept enough of his own control to issue an order he hoped they were all able to obey as he felt the pleasure build up too far to hold back.
"Come!" cried Severus, head going back, hips snapping forward to add his seed to the mix already filling Harry to the brim. Severus felt rather than saw as at least Harry and George managed to follow him over the edge.
When Severus' vision cleared he felt weak as a kitten, wrung out by the prolonged and much-awaited pleasure. Fred was just finishing his own orgasm, pulling out to smear the last droplets of come over Harry's lips with a proprietary look that would have bothered Severus, had he not known that it was he who held the keys to Harry's heart.
"I trust you found this a satisfactory introduction?" said Severus, after clearing his throat. Harry twisted around as best he could, grinning and licking his lips with the look of a child who'd had the biggest pudding he'd ever imagined and found it perfectly to his tastes.
"Oh yes, Severus, it's perfect," he said, giving a little wriggle of his hips.
George pulled out of Severus' body, and he and Fred proceeded to dismiss the bonds one by one, until they had collapsed and Harry with them, all four of them ending up in a tangle of sweaty limbs and kisses that was, to Severus' mind, nearly as satisfying as the sex had been.
Severus let his fingers drift over whatever flesh was nearest, cradling Harry close with one arm while the other wandered. He was amused to find that Harry still had a bit of need left in him, getting moans that led him to the erection rising greedily up to ask for more. "Would one of you like the honour of sucking the last drop of come from our horny little pony?" asked Snape, barely suppressing a chuckle.
"I told you I was insatiable," said Harry impishly, spreading his legs.
Severus let the motions lead him to Harry's dripping entrance, and he plunged two fingers inside just to watch Harry's face go from teasing to needy. "Oh," said Severus, as Fred wrapped his mouth around Harry's prick, "I think we can sate you."
George stayed where he was curled around Severus' back, but he reached forward tiredly to pinch and tease at Harry's nipples. "It's a good thing there's three of us," he said with a chuckle.
Harry was too busy moaning to manage a clever rejoinder, hips rocking into Fred's mouth and Severus' fingers, taking everything he could get with a shameless wantonness that Severus could only admire. Fred's eyes sparkled as he sucked, and soon two of his fingers had joined Severus' inside Harry, getting louder moans and writhing that would put an exotic dancer to shame.
Severus enjoyed every moment of it, feeling his own lust rise up again, as he was the only one among them who'd only had a single release. "Do you want to come with me inside you, love?" he asked, already pulling his fingers away since they all knew the answer.
"Please!" cried Harry, whimpering when Fred's fingers, too, receded, leaving his entrance open and waiting for Severus' easy thrust inside.
Harry's motions grew more frantic but his face took on a kind of peace, as though in this moment he had all he ever wanted and he was going to hold onto it for as long as his traitorous body would let him. Severus let the sight drive his own renewed lust, and even George must have found it inspiring. He draped himself over Severus and Harry so that he could trade kisses with them both, using his free hand to tease at both their bodies as he did so.
Fred kept sucking, and Severus kept on with his shallow thrusts, and soon enough the sensations built to the point of no return. "Now, Harry, now!" he urged, knowing that Harry had, in some part, trained himself to respond to Severus' voice, to heed such commands whenever he could.
Harry cried out and thrust into Fred's mouth, bucking his way through a fourth and Severus hoped final release. Severus held back just long enough to watch the joy suffuse Harry's features, then he let his own pleasure carry him along in Harry's wake.
When Severus came back to himself, George was gone and Harry cradled contentedly against Severus' chest, Fred kissing the now-soft prick that lay spent on one damp thigh. "Thank you, Severus," said Harry, his voice honey-thick and sweet. He pressed a kiss filled with that sweetness to Severus' mouth and then said softly, "I know not many men would do this for a lover, and I love you all the more for it."
Severus kissed him hard, possessively, then pulled back to kiss just the tip of his nose, bringing out the grin he loved best. "I would be a fool to risk losing you because I didn't dare share you," he said honestly, though of course there was more to it, their affection for the twins and the trust they'd all four built together in the past year.
"And one thing you're not," teased George, handing a hot towel to Fred and using his own to wipe off Severus as Fred began to clean Harry.
"Is a fool," said Fred, stealing a kiss from Harry before wiping away the last drying remnants of come and spit from his face and neck. Dry towels followed the damp, and soon Severus and Harry were tucked in warm and sleepy, and feeling quite spoiled.
"I'd've kept you anyway," protested Harry, blinking drowsily from his position quite firmly latched to Severus' side. He yawned and kisses Severus softly and added, "You're worth giving up a few things for."
"If you keep this up," said Severus, with a wink for the twins, "you'll never be rid of me." He stretched languidly as Harry snuggled up in a more comfortable position.
"That's the plan," said George, snuggling up behind Harry while Fred took the towels back to the loo and presumably cleaned himself, as George appeared to have already done.
"S'a good plan," murmured Harry, clearly worn out from his treat, as he was meant to be.
Fred took up a position next to Severus, and they all settled in for a well-earned afternoon nap.
Dinner would wait; after all, they'd already had their pudding.
Severus stopped Harry from adjusting his already straightened clothing a seventh time by the simple expedient of kissing him into insensibility. "You look fine, and since you're also attached, there is no reason for you to be nervous," said Severus, smoothing down Harry's hair with a proprietary caress.
Harry blushed, then shrugged. "You never taught me what to do if you're already taken, you know," he pointed out, fiddling with the ring on his finger.
Severus coughed, as he himself had only realised the lapse earlier that day, and it was far too late to try to teach him the delicate line he'd be expected to walk. "You're Harry Potter," he pointed out instead, "I doubt anyone will bother to take offence. And you've marked me sufficiently as yours that I don't expect there will be much argument."
In deference to the nature of their outing, Severus had allowed Harry to revisit his vaults until they found a token that would make it suitably obvious that Severus' affections were already claimed. Severus looked down at the ring on the smallest finger of his right hand, a gold lion with winking ruby eyes that had been hiding away in the Potter vault.
Harry's eyes followed Severus', and lit up with mischief. "I guess that'll work, as long as they don't mistake it for Percy's," said Harry, in a teasing tone that wasn't quite light enough to fool Severus into thinking that he wouldn't be bothered, if someone did believe such a thing.
Severus shook his head. "Percy's token is sufficiently anonymous to mark him as unclaimed, unlike ours, which are both clearly of someone else's choosing." Harry fidgeted with the Snape signet they'd both not yet grown used to seeing him wear. Severus wasn't sure he'd ever lose that small thrill of triumph he got, whenever he saw it gracing Harry's left hand.
Any further discussion was cut off by the sound of the Floo, and they hurried to the parlour to welcome Percy.
"Impeccable, as always," said Severus, smiling as he took in Percy's neat, buff-coloured robes, and the simple gold band adorning his left hand. The robes were simple and traditional, with much cleaner lines than the business cut Percy usually favoured. The fabric was a soft, touchable loose-woven cotton that draped over his form in a manner that hinted at what was underneath without ever revealing too much.
"Wow, you look, um," said Harry, face going a bit pink. "Fit," he finished lamely, eyes wandering over Percy's lean frame.
"Thank you both," said Percy, his own cheeks growing fetchingly heated at their scrutiny. "I wanted something that was more, er, inviting than my usual."
"These seem more suited to the summer weather, as well," said Severus, keeping his own eyes firmly on Percy's face. He dusted an invisible speck off of his own robes, charcoal grey in fine silk rather than his usual sturdy black, an indulgence he hadn't been able to resist when he'd gone to buy Harry robes for his birthday, since he needed something he could give his lover at their first public outing. Severus had insisted on his usual severe cut, though he'd allowed the tailor to add a bit of embroidery here and there, wispy designs that looked like steam or smoke twining around the cuffs, collar and hem.
Harry showed his own tight, dark green trousers and matching over-robe with a foolish little twirl. The trousers tucked into low black boots, but it was the robe that made the outfit. It had a high collar and close-fitting torso, which opened up at the waist to flare out down around his ankles. The sleeves were loose, gathered at the wrist, and cut open from shoulder on down to show off Harry's lean, suntanned arms. He looked taller in it, quite fit and fully adult, and more importantly fully ready to be admitted into the company of his fellow wizards.
The heavy silk was even charmed to keep him cool, and the colour complemented the carved stone in Snape's ring as though they'd been dyed to match. "I like the whooshy part," said Harry with a little bounce and rock of his hips that made the robes flare and wrap around his legs, "but I'm not so sure about the sleeves."
"You look splendid," assured Percy, reaching out to slide his fingers down one of those bared arms before squeezing Harry's hand. "It's a good thing Severus is going with us, or the wolves would be on you like a tender young fawn."
Harry laughed, still red-faced, and shook his head. "Come on, let's see if we can't find you an older buck of the proper persuasion," he said, heading for the pot of Floo powder on the mantle.
Percy sighed and followed, saying resignedly, "Sooner begun is soonest done."
Harry grinned, tossed his handful into the flames and said loudly, "Basil and Brass." The green flames whisked him away, and Severus echoed Percy's sigh.
"Go on, he'll drown without you," said Percy with a wry little gesture for Severus to precede him.
Severus shook his head and followed. He nearly stumbled into Harry, who had stopped on the hearth to stare at the room full of wizards who were staring back with a mix of astonishment and predatory hunger. "Come along, love," said Severus, garnering him a look of shocked pleasure from Harry, a number of glares from the crowd, and the freedom to move them both out of Percy's immediate path.
Wooster, the sole human servant among the staff of discreet house elves, descended upon them just as the fire rose up for a third time, disgorging Percy in his slightly soot-stained robes. A quick spell from the butler cleaned them all impeccably, even straightening Harry's glasses, and he cleared his throat and asked, "Three to dine?"
"Yes, please," said Harry, then he glanced at Percy and added, "though perhaps we should have a table with room for four?"
Wooster glanced down his nose, taking in the way Harry clutched at Severus and everyone's rings, and nodded, looking pleased. "Of course," he said, then turned to lead them across the room and past all of the hungry stares. "It is good of you to accompany your friend on his first visit," said Wooster, as he gestured them into a booth of padded red leather, fully big enough for five or six, should enough men come a-courting.
Harry's eyes lit up and he nodded. "I've never been, either, but we couldn't leave Percy on his own," he said, sliding into the booth first.
"It's been a few years since we've seen you, Mr. Snape," said Wooster, producing menus with a wave of his wand while Severus settled in next to Harry. Percy sat on the other side, leaving plenty of room on his left for any company that might choose to visit while sheltering Harry protectively between them.
Severus inclined his head. "A Hogwarts Professor hardly has time for such frivolity, but I now find myself in more felicitous circumstances," he said, glancing at Harry with undisguised fondness.
Harry grinned and fidgeted with his menu. Severus glanced down and found it to be a drink menu, rather than food, and he ordered without having to think overmuch. "I will have a Goodnight Kiss," he said, a sweetened Champagne drink flavoured with bitters, and an indication that the drinker had no interest in casual liaisons. Every ear in the room was perked up to listen to their initial orders, and he saw a few nods of satisfaction as his menu blurred, switching to starters.
"I'll have one, too," said Harry, having tried one the other day at Severus' behest. There were a number of cocktails that would send similar messages, so they'd experimented to find one that they both liked, in an evening that had ended with a very enjoyable drunken frolic.
A certain disappointment ran through the room, though Severus couldn't imagine they hadn't already figured out that Percy was the only available target in their group.
Percy bit his lip as Wooster turned expectantly toward him, eyes flicking out over the waiting gentlemen before he ordered, "I'll have a Virgin Bellini." His voice was steady, though his cheeks flushed as certain men practically salivated over him, while others turned away at the desire for permanency that the sweet drink implied.
Wooster looked particularly satisfied, whisking himself away with a nod. Severus looked out over the room with the practised glance of a spy, taking in the men who'd gone back to their games once it became clear that Harry Potter's arse wasn't up for grabs, and Percy wasn't looking for a quick fumble or even a temporary mentor. A second glance showed him the men who were still paying attention, a few nervous sorts who were either wondering if they could sell the story to the Prophet -- a futile enterprise, as tomorrow morning's edition already had an interview with Harry and Severus about their future plans -- or trying to get up the courage to see if they were up to snuff.
By then the sharks were closing in, those who were either so confident in their charms that they didn't need to bolster themselves, or too attracted by Harry's celebrity or Percy's purity to be put off by mere drinks. "Good evening," said one man, a lean, serpentine sort of fellow with his dark hair swept back off his pale forehead in a decided vampiric style. He held out his hand for Percy to shake, sleeve riding up to reveal a wide bracelet of blood-red rubies glittering against a darkened silver setting. "Sharpton Peakes, at your service."
"Percy Weasley," he replied, shaking the proffered hand. "Pleased to make your acquaintance," he said, a perfectly neutral phrase designed to neither encourage nor discourage a suitor.
Sharpton smiled, and Severus felt Harry sliding over toward Percy just a touch, giving him the courage not to accept the first offer that came his way. "Your robes are a delightful fabric, is that linen?" he asked, a subtle way to inquire about Percy's purity and intentions.
Percy smiled thinly. "Unbleached cotton, from Gladrags' new summer line," he said, clutching gratefully at his drink when it arrived, bubbling merrily in a short, wide glass. He took a sip to avoid having to speak again, which unfortunately gave Sharpton the opportunity to ooze in closer, though he wasn't so gauche as to sit without invitation.
"I'm surprised you chose the Bellini, it's an exotic drink for a young man like yourself," said Sharpton.
Severus took a sip of his own and smiled the sort of smile that had made hardened Death Eaters blanch. "Percy has excellent taste, despite his relatively uneducated palate," said Severus, "and is often able to discern what he won't like without bothering to waste his time sampling it."
Sharpton's eyes narrowed, but he was no fool. "Is that so, Mr. Weasley?"
Percy nodded, shooting a grateful look to Severus. "Quite," he said, a bit shortly, but Severus couldn't blame him. Sharpton was clearly unsuitable, and even he knew it.
"Well, I won't monopolise your time," said Sharpton, glancing at the surrounding gentlemen, several of whom were clearly waiting to see how he fared.
He moved away, and Percy sagged a bit in relief, giving Severus a relieved grin. "That wasn't so bad," he said softly, sipping his peaches-and-cream concoction.
"At least he took the hint," said Harry, a bit too loudly for Severus' liking, though it seemed to have the effect of discouraging several more of the sharks whose interest was only in the virgin blood in the water.
Perhaps having someone along who was unafraid to make faux pas would prove advantageous after all.
A nervous laugh brought all of their attention to a mousy gentlemen who'd crept up while they were talking. "I'm sure he was only inquiring about the robe," said the man, taller than Harry but not by much, with brown hair, eyes and robes that were uniformly nondescript. "I'm Smith, Wendsleydale Smith," he said, holding out his hand for shaking. Smith had a small topaz stud in his right ear, though Severus couldn't imagine the man topping anyone.
Percy shook his hand, smiling gratefully for the out. "What're you drinking?" he asked, nodding toward the rather fruity-looking creation in the man's other hand.
Smith's smile brightened, which had the pleasant effect of lightening up his whole appearance. "It's a Strawberry Peach Daiquiri," he said, taking a sip through the pink plastic straw sticking out past the bright yellow paper umbrella.
Sweet enough to make one's teeth fall out, thought Severus with distaste, though certainly sending a message that his tastes might align with Percy's. "That sounds lovely," said Percy with a soft smile. "Would you care to join us for a bit? We were just going to order starters."
Smith's eyes lit up, going from boring brown to warm coffee as he slid into the booth, careful to leave room both between himself and Percy, and enough on his other side to accommodate a rival if need be. Very interesting indeed.
"I am Severus Snape, and my partner is Harry Potter," he interrupted; best to make sure the man realised that Percy came with baggage in the form of friends and family.
"Oh, of course, you two need no introduction," said Smith. Rather than attempt to shake hands past Percy, he just smiled and offered, "You may call me Ends, everyone does."
"Whyever for?" asked Harry, cocking his head curiously. His drink was nearly gone, and Severus would have to watch his intake; Harry had no more head for drink than he did anything else, unfortunately.
Smith flushed, and ducked his head. "It's a joke on my name and profession. I'm an undertaker, you see."
Severus felt a sudden sympathy for the poor man, but Harry blundered right on through, saying, "Well, I suppose you've been enjoying the break, then."
The man looked mortified for a brief moment, and then he laughed, shaking his head. "I must admit, though it's been bad for business, I appreciate what you've done for us more than most," he said, giving Harry a look full of such hero-worship as to make Severus wonder how much of a shine Percy was getting by proxy. "It's a slump I'm glad to have."
"Ends, I see you've made some new friends," said another stranger, this one more finely dressed with just a touch of arrogance. "Gentlemen, I'm Felix Goonsperth," he said, holding out a hand. "I'm in sales myself."
"Sales of what?" asked Harry ingenuously.
Severus smirked inwardly. These men hadn't had to deal with anyone quite like Harry in a long time, he suspected. Smith came to his rescue with a diffident little smile and said, "Mr. Goonsperth works at my firm, he deals with the living clientele."
"Yours are likely more peaceful," said Severus with a smirk.
Goonsperth looked delightfully scandalised, and Snape took a sip of his cocktail, finding it had grown sweeter as more of the sugar dissolved. He glanced over at Harry's empty glass and his smirk softened into a smile, thinking of how much sweeter things had grown between them since their first bitter meeting.
"I don't have much to do with the families, that's true," said Smith, his spark nearly snuffed by Goonsperth's presence.
Percy snorted. "A family like mine would be enough for anyone, I suppose," he said, giving Smith a glance that rekindled some of the warmth between them.
"You have a large family?" asked Smith, genuine curiosity in his face.
"Oh yes, five brothers and a sister, plus my parents of course," replied Percy cheerfully; he'd grown much more relaxed about his family since they'd reconciled last summer, and even attended dinner at the Burrow on a regular basis now. "My oldest brother's already married and starting on a brood of his own."
"I didn't know Fleur was expecting," said Harry with a grin. Harry had dragged Severus to their wedding a few weeks ago, and then convinced the twins to help make it up to him that night. Severus found himself smiling a rather warmer smile than was appropriate for the occasion, if not the memory, and he stifled it by draining off the last of his drink.
Water appeared in front of all three of them, showing a perceptiveness on Wooster's part that Severus appreciated.
"Oh yes, since before the wedding, actually," said Percy with a fond smile. "I think it helps that he's already started to carry on the family name, with Mum, I mean."
Harry laughed, and they all followed suit, with varying degrees of politeness. Severus stroked a soothing hand down Harry's back, a gesture that would seem appropriately possessive to their audience. Harry had never had any family to accept or reject his choice in partners, and Severus wasn't blind enough to think he didn't sometimes envy the Weasleys.
"I've got just two, both younger," said Smith to an attentive Percy. "My sister's managing the Holyhead Harpies now, and my brother and his wife help out with the family business."
Percy's focus on Smith was more effective than an actual brush-off, and Severus was relieved when Goonsperth drifted away while they chattered on about work and family, not even bothering with the careful system of codes as they got to know one another.
"Should we order?" asked Harry in a whisper, reminding Severus that whatever else was going on, they'd best get Harry fed before the alcohol went to his head completely.
As if conjured, Wooster appeared at Severus' elbow. "Have you decided on starters, gentlemen?" he asked.
"Harry and I will share a plate of mixed pakoras," said Severus with a smug look; he knew they were Harry's favourite, and he got warm squeeze to his thigh as a reward, one that lingered a bit longer than perhaps it ought, not that Severus minded.
"Oh, I haven't really looked... What's good here, Ends?" asked Percy, breaking reluctantly away from their discussion.
"Perhaps the miniature pasties?" suggested Smith with a little smile. "I have to admit, I don't often eat a full-course meal here."
"It's my treat tonight," said Harry, and Severus gave him a little nudge with his foot to discourage such revelations. Harry gave him a look and added, "Percy's not normally so extravagant."
This seemed to encourage Smith, so Severus gave Harry's ankle an apologetic caress with his foot, getting a more heated look in response. "That sounds good to me, if you'd like to share?" said Percy with a smile.
"I'd love to," said Smith.
Harry looked insufferably smug.
Wooster took himself away while the menus changed yet again, and Severus took a moment to confer with Harry in whispers so he could order for them once the time came. Percy took that as his cue to discuss food with Smith, and it wasn't until another suitor arrived that the conversation faltered.
"Evan Johnson," said the young man, handsome in his way and not much older than Percy. Severus recognised Johnson as one of his former students in both Potions and Etiquette. Johnson held out his right hand and Severus saw that it was free of a token, a quick glance showing a ring nearly identical to Percy's on his left.
Percy shook, looking rather charmingly bewildered, as though he couldn't imagine why someone of Johnson's preferences, youth, and charm would bother with him. "Percy Weasley, and this is Wendsleydale Smith."
"Oh, I know Ends," said Johnson with an easy grin. "In fact, I just wanted to tell you not to dismiss him out of hand. Even though things didn't work out, I'll always be happy I gave him a chance."
Severus hid his amusement by turning to whisper in Harry's ear. "I expect that sort of endorsement, should you ever tire of me," he teased.
"Never happen," murmured Harry, nuzzling shamelessly at Snape's cheek. "I don't intend to let you out of my sight."
Severus was tempted to steal a kiss, but he knew that such a public display would be terribly rude even here, so instead he forced himself to pay attention to Smith's blushing reply, and Percy's expression of bemusement.
"Well, erm, thank you," said Percy, obviously unprepared for this eventuality.
Severus took this has his cue and said smoothly, "Your perspective is much appreciated." He paused to place a possessive hand on Harry's shoulder before asking, "Is your partner here tonight?"
"Oh, no, I mean, I haven't found another since Ends and I broke it off," said Johnson with a shy shrug. "Not a lot of 'em here as want to pair off with a Muggleborn like me."
Severus nodded, nudging Harry to move over. Wooster appeared beside him and said, "Allow me," tapping the booth with his wand, which obliged by growing another seat's worth of space on Snape's right.
"Would you care to join us for dinner?" offered Harry, seeing where Severus was going with this. His invitation would remove any impropriety, since he clearly wasn't looking for someone of Johnson's tastes, nor was he looking to set up Severus, with whom he'd already been appallingly affectionate.
"I'd love to," said Johnson with a real smile. "I'll have my usual, Wooster, if it's not too late."
"It's never too late," said Wooster with a smile that Severus thought was almost fatherly, as if he, too, had grown fond of the boy.
Severus wondered if Harry would adopt every unpartnered young man of their persuasion as his personal cause, and supposed it was better than stray dogs. "Harry will have the curry, and I would like to revisit your excellent beef," said Severus, with just a hint of teasing in his gaze as he passed their menus to Wooster.
"You always did enjoy the beef," said Wooster back, only his eyes betraying the private joke; the few times Severus had been here before, he'd bottomed exclusively, and Wooster wouldn't have missed the change in his preferences. "And for you, Mr. Weasley?"
"Oh, um. Lamb, please, with mint jelly," said Percy, glancing back over the menu. It would reinforce his original statement, not that he needed to bother at the moment, and was fortunately also a dish that Severus knew from experience that Percy enjoyed.
"I'll have the steak with bourbon sauce," said Smith with a smile.
Harry nearly choked on his water, and Snape spent a few moments soothing him as well as hiding his own amusement at the inadvertent reference to Harry's first mock-courting dinner. Sweet and more sweet, this Smith was decidedly looking for a long and loving partnership, and he made no bones about it.
Wooster vanished again and their starters arrived, along with water for Smith and Johnson, and a single copy of the drink menu, a gentle reminder that they might want to make another statement. Johnson's usual appeared to be some sort of dumpling, and they all positioned their serviettes in the obscure code that Severus had neglected when teaching Harry the other etiquette. "Allow me," said Severus, draping Harry's left thigh with the serviette folded point-to-point with the doubled corners angled toward Severus, indicating both his preference and his taken status. Severus did the same with his on the right, noting that Johnson's was open on his left leg, as was Percy's, and Smith's was half-folded on the right to show his specific interest in Percy.
"It's always difficult to remember, though I've had a bit of practice by now," said Johnson, looking at Harry with a conspiratorial grin.
"I'd never get anywhere without Severus' help," said Harry, saying a world of things in those few words, some of which even he must be aware of, or so Severus hoped.
Johnson chuckled. "I can't say I didn't have a few designs on him when he taught me, but I knew I didn't have a chance," he said, cheerfully digging into his food. "Still, I'll always be beholden to him."
"Is this your mysterious teacher?" asked Smith delightedly, and that started the three boys all regaling him with tales of the things Severus had taught them, though in Percy's case it was more polish than the sort of basics he'd had to impart to the two Muggle-raised boys.
"You're all having so much fun, I hesitate to interrupt," said a soft voice, drawing them all out of their reverie.
"Nonsense," said Smith, patting the seat next to him. "This is Jonathan Crutherford, he works at Flourish and Blotts, in the ordering department. He takes care of all my special requests, even the rare stuff."
"Do join us," said Severus, gesturing. Anyone of whom Smith approved so readily would be good company at the very least, and a possible partner for both Percy and Johnson, if his glinting signet was any indication.
"You're very kind," said Crutherford, and Severus placed him by the upper-crust accent as someone who'd been a year or two below Severus, in Ravenclaw, from working purebloods who held a status much like that of Muggles' impoverished gentry.
"I have enough to do keeping Harry entertained," teased Severus, "without such an embarrassment of unattached men." He gestured to Percy and Johnson, though he skipped over Smith, who was clearly unsuitable for Crutherford despite their obvious friendship.
Crutherford smiled, relaxing as he took the empty seat next to Smith. "Well, I wouldn't want to let a classmate down," he said, confirming Severus' admittedly vague recollection of him.
The mostly-emptied starter plates had long-ago vanished, and Wooster popped back in as soon as Crutherford was settled to take another round of drink orders. "The same all around?" he asked, one eyebrow up as he saw the new addition to the table. "And your usual, Mr. Crutherford?"
"Please," said Crutherford, inclining his head. "It's been positively ages since I had one of your whiskey sours." Severus was amused, for despite the name, a whiskey sour contained a fair amount of sugar, just like all the drinks being ordered in their little corner. And probably unlike most of the drinks out there among the rest of the waiting gentlemen, who'd gone back to their own rounds of drinks and subtle pick-ups, now that Percy's dance card was clearly full for the night.
"For us as well," said Severus, indicating himself and Harry.
"I'll have a shandy," said Johnson, with a surprisingly shy glance over at Crutherford. Another sweetened concoction, made of beer and ginger ale mixed half and half, a classic pub drink for both wizards and Muggles.
"Can you make up what he had, only virgin?" asked Percy, practically squirming at his own forwardness.
Wooster's answering smile was smugly pleased. "Of course, Mr. Weaslely. And for you, Mr. Smith?"
"A Bellini, please," said Smith, glancing at Percy with the same sort of bold shyness.
Severus nearly laughed and how very well-suited they were.
"Very good, sirs, your dinner will be up momentarily," said Wooster, and then he vanished again, in the way of very fine waiters.
"So," said Severus, catching Crutherford's eye, "what's been keeping you away from the Basil & Brass and their whiskey sours?"
"Business on the continent," said Crutherford, answering Severus, though his gaze kept drifting to Johnson. "It's all dreadfully boring, not to mention difficult to tell the fops from the," he paused and coughed, obviously to forestall a crude joke, "gentlemen of our persuasion."
"I'm surprised you'd look among the Euros anyway," said Smith with a chuckle. "They'd never let you whisk them off to your cottage on the moors."
"Yes, well, it did make for a lonely few months," replied Crutherford, glancing from Smith to Johnson. "I see you two have parted ways since I left."
A look of faint pain passed over both their features, and it was Smith who spoke up, saying, "Ah, well, you know how these things go." He gave a pained little shrug, and shot an apologetic glance to Johnson, who looked just as regretful.
Severus' estimation of them both went up a notch or two at this obvious evidence of a painful and unwelcome, yet amiable, parting.
"And is this your new," Crutherford paused, as if trying to remember to the convolutions of language required.
"No," said Harry, saving him from having to come up with a euphemism. "Severus is mine."
With that rather loud and final claim, Severus saw the last light of hope go out of a few eyes, and he couldn't help but pull Harry a bit closer. "As he says," said Severus, with a proud smile he was sure none there would blame him for.
"I haven't found anyone to play chess at my level yet," said Johnson, trying very hard not to look like a hopeful puppy. "Perhaps we could have a game later?"
Crutherford's answering smile was full of surprised pleasure, and he nodded. "I'd like that. I always envied Ends the excellent games you two played," he said.
Dinner appeared on cue, including a tender steak for Crutherford, broiled in butter and accompanied by a roasted sweet potato.
Severus was amused to see Johnson blush.
They all dug into their food, conversation consisting of polite allusions with occasional pauses for Crutherford to remember the way of it, or Harry to say something entertainingly blunt and then try to keep from losing too much face. Severus wasn't sure if things would work out with their two budding couples or not; he hadn't missed the expression of interest on Percy's face when talking to Crutherford, nor the longing looks that Johnson and Smith directed to one another, but he felt that this would at least give Percy the courage to try again.
He was so pleased, he even let Harry order them a third round with afters, and feed him bites of cream cake in front of the whole affronted crowd.
Fortunately for Percy, none of those who'd chosen to join them seemed to mind much, as they were all too intent on each other.
"I think it is time I take Harry home, before he embarrasses us past all redemption," said Snape, after allowing Harry one single, lingering kiss.
Percy chuckled. "I'm sure you know just how to take care of him," he said with a fond look, clearly comfortable right where he was. "I'll be along tomorrow for tea?"
"As planned," said Severus. "Do owl ahead if you're going to bring any of your new friends," he added, an implicit invitation which he was sure none of them could resist. After all, how often did a wizard get invited to tea with Harry Potter?
Johnson stood politely, though Severus could tell he was trying to figure a way to end up closer to Crutherford when he sat back down.
"I like them all," said Harry, leaning into Severus drunkenly. "But I like Severus better."
"You'll like me even better at home," said Severus. He scooted out, pulling Harry after him, and steady his swaying lover before leading him across to the Floo.
"What about the bill?" asked Harry, as they reached the hearth.
Wooster appeared as if conjured, presenting a receipt all ready for signing, including a spot for his Gringotts vault number. "Here you are, sir," he said.
"Anything else Percy gets, it's on me, too, for the lot of 'em," said Harry with a wave toward their table. Wooster raised one eyebrow in inquiry, and Severus nodded to confirm that the promise wouldn't cause regret once Harry was sober.
"It's something of a birthday gift," said Severus, though Percy's birthday wasn't for another week. "Potter's vault will cover the expense."
"Very good, sir," said Wooster, not even glancing at the overly generous tip Harry had scrawled along with his signature. "I trust we will see you again?"
Severus chuckled, thinking of the machinations necessary, but also of the chance to allow Harry some time in semi-polite society, to get used to watching his tongue. "Perhaps," he said, pulling out his personal supply of Floo powder, "if Harry wishes it."
Wooster's smile seemed to linger even after he whisked himself away, and Severus sent Harry ahead, pleased to note that he enunciated very clearly despite his overindulgence.
That meant he was sober enough for a different sort of indulgence, which fit in with Severus' plans perfectly.
Severus looked around the room with a sense of disbelief that his life had finally taken a turn not only for the better, but for such wonder that he would have laughed at any man who suggested even two years ago that he might end up thus. It was the day after Severus' fortieth birthday, and Harry was curled, naked and purring, on a cushion at Severus' feet, perfectly warm in the summer's heat despite the cold hearth. Fred and George were lounging in their altogether on the deep couch they'd conjured, looking sated and quite pleased with themselves. Severus himself wore a thin lounging-robe of black silk, the very least of his birthday gifts from Harry.
"This one looks good, Harry," said Fred, brandishing one of the numerous offer letters that had come in since Harry's NEWT scores arrived, and rumour had been allowed to leak that he was seeking an apprenticeship.
George stretched out over Fred so he could see it, and read off, "Quimble's Quaffle and Snitch."
Harry didn't bother to open his eyes, just angled his head so that Severus' caressing fingers could get to another area of his scalp. "Yeah, I liked the idea of that one, but it's in Perth. Australia, I mean. Long Portkey."
"Oh, yeah," said Fred, sending it to the Maybe pile.
George picked up the next sheet off the stack and laughed. "Remember that bloke you told us about from Christmas, the one who was angling for Percy's lily-white arse?"
Harry blinked open sleepy eyes and shrugged. "Charles something, right?"
"Well, apparently you've piqued his interest, and he's eager for you to consider what he's got to offer," said Fred, reading over George's shoulder now.
"No," said Severus, getting a chuckle from the twins.
Harry yawned. "The master has spoken," he said teasingly, turning to suckle enticingly on a couple of Severus' fingertips before putting his head back under them for further scratching. "I didn't like him anyway."
"You have always been able to ferret out those who have only their own interests in mind," said Severus, fingers teasing through the silky strands of Harry's hair as much for his own pleasure as Harry's.
Harry went back to purring.
The twins sent that one to the No pile, which was by far the largest of the three. There was only one sheet in the Yes pile so far, an offer from the Firebolt people, though Severus knew there were a few more equally appealing offers among the unsorted letters.
"I am sure you can find him something with more social value than Quidditch supplies," drawled Severus, his tone one of dry humour.
Harry bit Severus' fingers, and they all laughed.
"Here's one doing potions," said George, and then he laughed. "Actually, this one's for you, Severus."
The page floated delicately over to Severus, who read it over with increasing interest. "It is a research position, one that would allow me a certain amount of autonomy," he said. He'd done all right so far this summer, settling into Harry's home and lab and making them his own, and he had a selective clientele for custom work that kept him in ingredients, though not much more. "I could even keep working at home."
Harry grinned, nuzzling at Severus' knee, his sleepy satiation dropping away now that Severus wasn't actively encouraging it. "I like knowing you're home, even if I won't be," said Harry, sounding almost shy. "Is that selfish?"
"Seeing as you provide me with everything I could want or need, I think you're allowed to be a bit selfish," said Severus, leaning down for a sweet kiss. "And to be honest, after years of living where I work, I find I prefer the convenience of it."
Harry grinned. "Good," he said, then he wrinkled his nose. "No Australia," he said, waving his hand. Severus watched with satisfaction as the Quimble's job offer floated to the No pile, followed by several others which would have required long commutes.
"This one's local," said Fred, stealing the page from George's hand.
"It's boring, though," said George, turning to bite at Fred's nipple in revenge.
"Which one is it?" asked Harry, though his attention had wandered back to Severus, and he began to burrow his face up under Severus' new robe in a rather adorable manner.
Severus chuckled. "You won't be able to concentrate if you do that," he admonished, with very little sincerity.
"Charmed c-cabinetry," said Fred, squirming under George's ministrations.
Harry nuzzled in a bit further and said, "Maybe."
Severus obliged him by spreading his legs, setting aside his own offer in favour of Harry's rather more immediate one.
"Here's one for making luck charms," said Fred, after sending the last letter on its wobbly way to the Maybe pile.
George began to nibble downward, and Harry upward, getting moans of appreciation from both of their lovers.
"I believe you've lost his attention for the moment," said Severus, chuckling when George proved that Harry wasn't the only one with his mind on other things.
Fred moaned, just barely holding onto his self-control long enough to send the offer back to the pile, before taking over and thrusting his cock between his brother's teasing lips. Harry got Severus' attention by sucking one of Severus' bollocks into his mouth, and all thoughts of the future were turned to the immediate one, and the joy that could be found celebrating the life they'd already made for themselves.
The letters would wait until tomorrow, and tomorrow would come soon enough, though not as soon as the four of them.
Want more? Here's a little missing Snape/Twins scene: Betwixt.
Title: A Question of Etiquette XXVI: The Nature of Flexibility