Only to Rise Higher
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Snape staggered when the small body barrelled into him in the corridor, his usual cutting remarks momentarily stilled when he recognized Hogwarts' newest celebrity -- Harry Potter.

Potter picked himself up and started back on his way without so much as a nod in Snape's direction, and that indignity was enough to loosen Snape's tongue. "Too good to apologize when you run someone down, Potter?"

Potter stopped and turned, face clouding with anger. "I don't hear you saying sorry, either," he said.

"You ran into me," said Snape. "Or do you consider Slytherins to be automatically at fault? Just like a typical Gryffindor."

Potter looked even angrier for a moment, then he shook his head. "Yeah, like you're all so open-minded about Gryffindors," he retorted, then turned away, hurrying to catch up to his little Weasley sidekick.

The little swot didn't even bother to apologize.

"I can't believe Gryffindor made a sprout like you into their Seeker," said Snape, nearly three weeks later. Potter was alone this time, and hurrying to practice, looking tiny in his oversized Quidditch gear. "They must really be desperate."

"Must be!" said Potter cheerfully, with a grin that nothing could dent. "You're Slytherin's Seeker, aren't you?" he asked curiously, pausing for a moment. It was, Snape thought, the first genuine attention the boy had paid to him, despite passing him in the halls on a regular basis.

Snape looked him over critically, from the top of his unruly hair -- though perpetually windblown was, he supposed, no worse than perpetually unwashed -- to the bottoms of his ill-fitting trainers. "Don't lose a shoe," he said cryptically, and left before he said anything more.

Snape hated the little upstart, he reminded himself, and it didn't do to find sympathy for those you were supposed to hate. But it didn't stop him from wondering why the Boy Who Lived didn't have better shoes.

Potter flew like gravity didn't exist, and Snape lost precious seconds during the match just watching him take to the skies like a bird, full of the joy of flight and the spirit of competition. Snape shook his head to jar the thoughts loose; he had to stay alert, because he knew he had to spot the Snitch first, or else he'd be screwed. Potter's broom was superior, and the kid barely weighed anything, so Snape had to rely on experience and skill rather than speed.

But he still stole glances under the guise of keeping track of the enemy Seeker, enough to see when Potter's broom began to misbehave, and he cursed Marcus Flint for a fool. If anyone figured out it was sabotage, they'd lose the match, the Cup, and a load of House points to boot.

He fixed his eyes on Potter properly this time and tried to counter it, but the curse was powerful and it was all he could do to keep Potter flying for a few minutes that felt like an eternity. When Snape's concentration and the broom's Hovering charms both failed, Harry began to tumble out of the sky. Snape chased after him, trying to make it look like they were both going for the Snitch but so intent on Potter that he never even saw the glint of gold as they flew towards it, and the ground.

No one was as surprised as Snape when Potter spat the thing out into his palm, after they'd landed in a heap on the green together, just barely slowed enough by Snape's inferior broom and its overworked charms.

"Better luck next time," said Snape, trying to make it sound malicious.

Potter looked angry for a moment, but then his teammates swarmed him and that annoyingly familiar grin plastered itself right back onto his face.

"I know what you did," said Potter the next day, sliding into a chair next to Snape, in one of the disused studying cubicles at the very back of the Library.

Snape glared. He chose these spider-infested cubbies for a reason, and it wasn't because he liked spiders -- though some of them were excellent in potions, and better caught fresh than bought dried. "Did when, Potter? You'll have to be a bit more specific if you think you're going to blackmail me," he replied calmly. He'd been blackmailed once before, one of the older boys using him for sex, ironically to keep his preferences quiet, but somehow he didn't think that Potter would notice a shirtlifter even if one were actually lifting the boy's shirt.

Snape jerked his mind back to the subject at hand, just in time to hear Potter say, "During the match."

Snape's eyes went hooded and blank. "What, that I just barely missed the Snitch before you could choke on it?" he asked, voice cold as the grave.

Potter shook his head, then opened his books and pulled out a roll of parchment. "You kept me from falling," he said casually, and Snape felt a wash of relief, followed by a very different sort of panic.

It was one thing to be accused of trying to sabotage a match, and another entirely to be accused of helping your enemies, at least when you were in Slytherin. "I don't know what you mean," said Snape, as casually as he could manage. He stared at his own work, an essay on the use of bezoars throughout history, but he couldn't think of another word to write.

"You're not as bad as you make out," said Potter, swinging his feet; these cubicles were designed for older students, studying singly and in small groups, and the chairs were too high for his short legs to reach the ground. Though Snape knew from some experience that the tables were just the right height for other things, now that Snape was old enough.

Snape swallowed and tried to shove those thoughts away, and concentrate on his own work. This essay was due tomorrow, and Slughorn had promised him extra credit if he managed something good enough to try for publication. As a student, he'd have to publish with Slughorn as a co-writer, but he felt that getting his name out there early was worth giving up that small bit of credit.

He had finally managed to concentrate on the tricky section about the brief Muggle fashion for bezoars among the paranoid aristocracy when Potter's voice chirped up again. "What's the difference between fresh mugwort and dried?"

"Fresh mugwort can be used in protective and preventative potions, but once it is dried, it is more often used as a talisman against fatigue and ill luck," replied Snape automatically.

"Wow, thanks!" said Potter, little feet swinging again as his quill began to scratch against the parchment.

Snape had a feeling it was going to be a long afternoon.

It took nearly two weeks for Potter to seek Snape out again, making his way to the dusty back of the library and scooting in next to Snape as though they did this every day. "Can you help me with something?" Potter asked, once he had everything spread out in front of him, clearly intending to stay no matter what Snape's answer was.

Snape rolled his eyes, and said reluctantly, "That depends on what it is." He suspected that relenting would get rid of Potter fastest, but if he did so too readily, it would only encourage future inquiries.

Potter's feet started swinging. "Well, you see, we've been making these decoctions in Potions this week, you know, boiling stuff to make stuff for other potions," he began, looking just a little sly.

"That sounds simple enough," said Snape, managing to put both wariness and a lowered estimate of Potter's intelligence into his tone.

Potter had the gall to grin, the cheeky little bugger. "So, anyway, Slughorn said if we can get an older student to help, we can make some decoctions for our own kits instead of just for the school stores, and I thought maybe if you were there, we could make enough for you, too, and you don't have to help or anything, just watch over us so he doesn't hafta, maybe, please?"

Snape sighed. "And just whom would I be watching over?" asked Snape, reluctant to promise such a thing, given the rumours he'd heard about Potter's marks in the subject, though even Potter would have trouble messing up a decoction.

"Well, he said if we could find someone, we'd hafta let anyone come, so it'd be me an' Ron an' Hermione, and then Malfoy piped up an' said he wanted to come, an' so did Pansy Parkinson," replied Harry, face open and earnest.

"And why is Malfoy not asking me himself?" said Snape, suspicious of Harry's sudden desire to help out Slytherins as well as Gryffindors. For that matter, extra stores wouldn't be much motivation for Malfoy, though Slughorn's good graces would sweeten the pot considerably.

Harry shrugged, and shifted in his chair. "I said I'd ask you," came the reply, and it was clear there would be no more discussion on that particular subject.

Snape wondered if he'd be having one of those sorts of conversations with his fellow housemates very soon, on the inappropriateness of allowing oneself to appear helpful to those outside one's house. Generally, that sort of conversation was accompanied by bruising, and several suggestions on ways to improve the lot of his own housemates.

He shuddered.

"If Malfoy is coming, I suppose I might as well," said Snape, as casually as he could. "Tomorrow after dinner, and don't be late."

Harry's grin was almost enough to chase away the lingering shadows of the last time his dear housemates had given him a talking-to.

"Why did you send Potter to do your dirty work, Malfoy?" asked Snape casually, later that night in the common room. "You know I'd have to accept once he dropped your name." Deflection was one of the many fine arts one learned in Slytherin.

Malfoy smirked. "You were so cosy with him on the pitch, I thought you'd enjoy another chance to get close," he said maliciously, eyes flicking up and down Snape's body.

Snape flinched; that look could only mean that Malfoy knew about him, though fortunately Snape didn't think the boy was quite man enough yet to demand the same sort of recompense for keeping the secret. He schooled his features into disdain instead and replied, "Just remember that I'm there for the honour of Slytherin. I'm sure Slughorn will be pleased to see us supporting those less fortunate."

Flint laughed and clapped Snape on the back. "Slughorn will be happy that you're finally helping put things into the school's stores, instead of the other way around," he said.

Snape kept the disdain on his face with effort, given the relief that turned his knees to water. "Never do anything for others, when you can do it for yourself instead," he replied, one of the unwritten mottoes of the house.

Everyone laughed at that, and Snape's dreams that night were of triumph and acclaim, and a smile that turned into a kiss.

That wasn't the last of Harry's visits to his study area, and by the end of the year Snape almost looked forward to the rare evenings when his lonely cubicle wasn't so lonely. Harry's voice would pipe up with a question on whatever subject was occupying his thoughts, and Snape would absently reply, his concentration shattered by the swing of young feet in trainers that grew increasingly worn as the year went on.

"Why," said Snape one such evening, watching as Harry tensed as if for battle, "do you have such ill-fitting clothing, Potter? Surely the Boy Who Lived can afford better."

All the fight went out of Potter, and he shrugged and turned away. "It's what I've got," he said sullenly, and Snape felt like he'd kicked a puppy.

Snape leaned in on the pretence of looking at Potter's essay, today on Goblin Rights in the 1400s, and laid a warm hand on Potter's thin shoulder. "You do all right with it," he allowed, then leaned in more and pointed to an error. "That's Ezzgrugg, two Zeds, three Gs."

"Oh, thanks!" said Potter, brightening back up, little feet swinging once more, though there was still a flush to his cheeks.

Snape sat back, unable to keep from smiling just a little as he returned to his Arithmancy problem.

It was an unpleasant shock when the end of the year came around and the House Cup was snatched away from them. Snape paid little attention to gossip normally, but in the snatches he caught as the Slytherin students muttered angrily, Potter had been out of bounds after hours and somehow managed to thwart the Dark Lord in some ill-advised attempt to return to power.

There was a lot of anger at the Slytherin table, and Snape knew he'd be blamed for losing the Snitch to Potter, as others of his House would be blamed for their own contributions to their defeat. "I don't think that matters much," said Snape, defending not himself but Lakely, who had been in a great deal of trouble in McGonagall's class this year. "He gave them exactly enough points to win, what makes you think it matters how many points it was?"

That changed the timbre of the muttering, since the general administrative bias against his House was a long-standing grievance. "Potter's just the apple of Dumbledore's eye now, isn't he?" said Flint derisively, loud enough to be heard from the other end of the table.

"Even Slughorn sucks up to him," came the nasal, caustic reply from one of the older girls.

Snape ducked his head and ate with a dark satisfaction in his heart. It wouldn't make Potter's life any easier, to be thought of as the Headmaster's Pet even more than he had been before, but it might let Snape get in one final night of good sleep before summer, and home.

It wasn't much of a surprise for Snape to find that Draco Malfoy -- and his father's money -- had replaced him as Seeker on the Slytherin team. Snape didn't even mind that much, since he had OWLs this year, and Quidditch had never been more than a lark for him, albeit one of the few things that helped his attractiveness rather than hindered it. Being out in the fresh air on a regular basis made his skin less sallow, and given his lean form slightly more muscle, not to mention the benefit of an extra shower on his hair. Still, in the long run it would be scores and not hair care that would get him into all the NEWT lessons he wanted, and he was able to give the position over to Malfoy with something like good grace.

What did surprise him was when Potter stopped him one afternoon, broom in hand and a shy smile on his face. "Play Seeker's All with me?" he asked, high voice coming all in a rush. When Snape looked sceptical, he quickly added, "You're not on the team anymore, so it's not gonna be cheating or spying or anything, and I thought you liked flying but if you don't that's okay too."

Snape paused, then gave in to his own curiosity and asked, "Why?"

Potter looked wary, then shrugged one shoulder. "Just 'cos," he said, trying desperately to sound nonchalant.

Snape laughed and ruffled his hair, which didn't change its appearance one whit, then found himself saying, "All right, Potter. I'll go flying with you, just because."

Potter's grin was brilliant and artless, and it was no wonder people continued to like him, despite the blatant favouritism of the staff in his regard. "Brilliant!" he said, then paused and bit his lip, taking in Snape's full student robes and the books in his hand. "Um, now?"

"Let me get my broom, and I'll meet you on the pitch," said Snape. He could already tell that he would go, despite this being the perfect setup for a prank of one sort or the other, but he could not for the world have explained why.

At least not until he was out on the pitch, on his old but serviceable broom, pushing off into the wind and sky and flying for the simple joy of it. And then he understood why he'd said yes, and the nature of the gift Potter was giving him.

After that, Snape rather thought he and Potter were practically friends, between the shared homework sessions and the flying practices. He even graciously allowed Potter and his little friends to join in on the nights he managed to get permission to use the Potions classroom for his own private experiments, improving both his own comprehension of the subject and Potter's marks. In exchange, he replenished the school stores and his own by dragging the three of them out into the Forest for harvesting. He might not be Slug Club material, but Slughorn knew where those new stores were coming from, and any connection to Potter was good in the faculty's eyes.

If he grew even less popular with his housemates as a result, well, it wasn't as though there was any love lost between them in the first place.

By the time Snape hit his Seventh year of school, he was used to Potter's intermittent intrusions in his life, enough to have something like affection for the boy. When the announcement came at the Sorting Feast that there wouldn't be Quidditch this year, Snape wasn't much fussed for himself, but he felt a twinge of sympathy for how Potter would react.

Of course, Potter being who he was, Snape didn't need to wonder long.

"Whatever this Triwizard thing is, I bet it can't beat Quidditch," said Harry resentfully, sidling up to Snape in the Great Hall after the feast.

When had Snape started thinking of the boy as 'Harry'? Snape sighed and led him silently to one of the odd little hallways that neither the Slytherins nor Gryffindors seemed to pay much attention to before answering. "I'll still fly with you," he said, though that wasn't at all what he'd intended.

Harry beamed. "I knew you'd come through," he said, giving Snape an awkward half-hug, something he'd no doubt learned from the Granger girl.

Snape gave in to his own need for something like affection and pulled Harry into a proper hug, the tousled head tucked under his chin, just a bit higher up than this time last year. Harry sighed and snuggled into his embrace for a long moment, and then said in a furtive, muffled way, "I'm glad you're back."

Snape smiled, resisting the urge to plant a kiss on the messy hair. "Me, too," he said softly.

Life had just about settled into a routine of revising, sneaking out to fly with Harry, and avoiding his housemates, when the Triwizard delegations arrived and turned Snape's world upside-down. Halloween was always a strange time for Snape, full of celebrations both Muggle and magical that he'd never been allowed to participate in as a child, and consequently felt distant from during his school years. But this year, there was something new waiting for him on the day before Halloween.

There was Viktor Krum.

Snape's heart had begun to pound as soon as the Durmstrang students arrived, all of them strapping young lads who knew nothing of Snape's reputation or past. And then the ranks had parted and he'd spotted that famous face, glowering and utterly unimpressed with the students mooning over him, and Snape was painfully, unavoidably smitten.

He supposed, as he felt a tightening both in his chest and regions lower, that it was better than being smitten with Potter.

Snape was more surprised than he should have been when the Durmstrang students settled at the Slytherin table and he ended up, somehow, right next to Viktor, with Malfoy and his cronies across from them.

"Ceiling is nice," said Krum to no one in particular, getting comfortable on the bench now that he'd shed his robes.

Snape grinned; he'd just finished a paper for Flitwick on the subject. "It's a modified mirroring charm," he said, feeling ridiculously like that officious Granger. "There's an element of glamour to make it appear three-dimensional, and it reflects the sky directly overhead, so that when it rains out there, it seems to rain in here, though the drops never actually fall."

Krum blinked and looked impressed, which made Snape blush, though he was too well-disciplined to squirm, settling instead for a slight shifting of his hips. "Is very nice!" he said, sticking out a hand. "Viktor Krum."

"I know," said Snape with a chuckle. "One could hardly miss out on that. I'm Severus Snape," he said, shaking the hand firmly. "It's good to meet you."

Krum seemed to be waiting for something, and his smile turned to a real grin when Snape failed to follow up with the expected fawning, Quidditch talk, or request for an autograph. "Is very good," said Krum, and something in his tone sent a tendril of warmth into places Snape had no business warming right now.

Malfoy took over the conversation after that, including the prerequisite amount of fawning and Quidditch talk, and Snape was amused when Krum's interest in him seemed to flare when Malfoy mentioned that he'd replaced Snape as Seeker. Snape ate in silence, watching Krum as much as he dared, and wondered what lonely young wizards did for relief at an all-boys' school like Durmstrang.

And, of course, if Krum would be interested in doing any of them with him.

It was a few days after the Champions were chosen that Snape next had a chance to speak with Krum, oddly enough in the library. Krum was lurking in the stacks, glancing around while a gaggle of his followers milled about near the study tables. Snape peeked out from behind a shelf and gestured, grateful when the motion was enough to get Krum's attention, and even more so when Krum chose to follow him back to his secluded study area.

"No one comes here," said Snape, then flushed when he realized how that might sound. "I mean, it's quiet. You can study here, no one will bother you."

A slow grin came over Krum's face that made Snape's knees go embarrassingly weak. "You smart. I like smart," he said, stepping a little closer.

Snape swallowed, but figured if Krum gave him away, he could just say it was a misunderstanding. "Smart boys?" he asked, eyes flicking to that wide mouth.

"Girls, boys, doesn't matter," said Krum, moving in unmistakeably close now. "Smart matters," he said, sliding his hand up Snape's arm. "What do you like?"

Snape smiled shyly, just a little shaky as some part of him was still waiting for the trap. "I like you."

"Smart," said Krum, which seemed to Snape to be an awfully arrogant thing to say right up until Krum kissed him, at which point he didn't care in the least.

Krum's lips were chapped, but the slight chafing just added to the sensation of it, Krum's heavy body pressing Snape back into the sturdy desk, lifting and coaxing until Snape was sitting on it with Krum between his legs. Krum's tongue found its way between Snape's lips and Snape sighed, feeling languid heat steal over him, coupled with the relatively unfamiliar satisfaction of kissing someone who wanted him just as he was. Krum's arms were around him and their bodies burrowed closer, seeking the warmth and hardness that they both knew would bring a different pleasure to their kisses.

Snape gasped as his clothed cock bumped against Krum's, and that was of course when it all went to hell.

"Severus, you have to believe me..." said a familiar voice, the last voice he wanted to hear when he was kissing Viktor Krum. The voice and footsteps stopped together, and then Harry said in a much higher register. "Severus?"

"Harry, please," said Snape, though he had no idea what he'd been about to ask for. Harry saved him the trouble of figuring it out by turning around and racing off as though he had all the ghosts of Hogwarts at his heels. He sighed, letting his head collide with the solid muscle of Krum's shoulder. "I'm sorry," he said, looking up into warm, understanding dark eyes.

"Is okay," said Krum, stroking his fingers along Snape's cheek once. "Smart about books is not always smart about," he paused, then thumped his chest, "about love."

Snape allowed a final kiss, this one warm and chaste, and then said, "You can still study here, if you want. Harry and I are the only ones who come here, and, well, I don't think he'll be coming back unannounced for a while."

Krum chuckled and nodded, pressing a kiss to Snape's forehead in a strangely affectionate way. "Smart enough for me," he said, then moved away, sitting down in the cubicle next to Snape's, the one that Harry usually used.

Snape sighed and packed up his things, then set off in search of his wayward friend, hoping he'd figure out some sort of explanation before he found Harry.

Snape didn't find Harry that day, or for two weeks after that; they didn't even pass in the halls, and Harry managed to time his meals so that Snape never got more than a glimpse of him. Krum continued to seek Snape's company, but they both agreed that, as enjoyable as their kisses had been, it just wasn't meant to be. Krum's eye had been caught by Granger of all people, and he gently coaxed Snape into admitting that Snape's regard for Harry had been warmer than friendship for quite some time now.

When Snape thought of the look he'd seen on Harry's face just before he left, he sometimes even allowed himself to fantasize that it had been jealousy and not disgust twisting the familiar features.

It was exactly sixteen days before Harry ventured back to him, peering around the bookshelf to find Snape as he'd always been, revising alone in his little cubicle. "You can come out," said Snape, not bothering to look up from his work. "It's quite safe."

"No Krum?" asked Harry, as though Snape could be hiding him in a pocket.

Snape shook his head. "Didn't work out," he said with a shrug. "Krum's got his eye on someone else, and he helped me see that I did, too."

Snape turned around at that and looked Harry in the face, chest tightening to see the guilt and hope in Harry's face. "You're not disgusted because I was kissing a boy," he said. He didn't bother making it a question, though he couldn't keep the relief out of his voice.

Harry shook his head mutely.

"Do you want to kiss me, Harry?" asked Snape. He felt like clapping his hand over his mouth; that was not at all what he'd intended to say, but the sight of Harry standing there, anxious and real, those pink lips pressed tight together on some words he wouldn't let himself say... Apparently Snape's libido had taken control of his mouth over from his brain for just that moment.

Harry froze, then he seemed to gather himself up and step forward, closet to where Snape still sat. "What if I did?"

Snape stood. "Then I'd tell you that I've been wanting to kiss you all year," he said, stepping in close, "and that we'd best stop wasting time and get on with it."

Harry swallowed and licked his lips. "That's probably good advice," he said, tilting his face up. They were standing so close now that Snape could feel the heat off his body, and Snape had to look down to meet his green eyes.

Snape had thought so when Krum gave it to him, and he took it now, one arm wrapping around Harry loosely as if afraid he'd bolt and the other hand stroking one of Harry's soft cheeks, feeling the blush that heated the skin under his fingertips. He stopped the flood of irrelevant words trying to get out by pressing his mouth to Harry's, finding his lips chapped and damp, but mobile and eager under his own. Harry pressed in closer with a small sound, and Snape echoed it with a low growl of his own.

"Very good advice," said Harry a moment later, his breath quick and heavy, his eyes glazed and his body still moulded to Snape's.

Snape tightened his arms and turned them around, so that Harry's back was now to the empty cubicle where he usually revised. A wave of Snape's wand and the chair skittered out of the way, and Snape lifted Harry up so he was sitting on the edge of the table, fortunately spell-reinforced against student mishaps and well able to support Harry's meagre weight.

Harry's hands tangled in the front of Snape's robes and pulled, and then they were kissing again, only this time their groins lined up and Snape's hips pressed eagerly inward, rubbing frantically against the erection he could feel pressing against Harry's trousers. Snape knew he was being overeager, but he couldn't help it; he hadn't ever had someone as willing as Harry to kiss, someone he really liked let alone cared for, and it was a heady mixture indeed. "So good," Snape whispered, his hands moving of their own accord to work open the buttons of Harry's robes.

Harry froze for a moment, then his eyes fluttered open and tried to focus on Snape's face through smudged lenses. "Are we gonna... here?"

"Do you know somewhere better?" asked Snape, getting Harry's robes open and then his own for good measure, two less layers of cloth between them.

Harry wriggled closer, rubbing himself against Snape's cock and getting a gasp of surprise. "Let me cast... here," said Harry, getting his wand out and casting a Notice-Me
-Not charm on them both.

Snape chuckled. "Good thinking," he said, tugging Harry's shirt -- only half-tucked as it was -- fully up out of his trousers. He slipped his hands up underneath and around Harry's waist, feeling the warm skin so smooth and perfect under his fingers.

Harry arched under his touches, moaning, head dropping back to expose his throat to the tender mercies of Snape's mouth. Harry's hands clutched at Snape's shoulders fitfully, hips rocking up on instinct and his legs going around Snape's waist to hold them as close as they could get. Now and then one of Harry's little noises tried to form words, but a nip from Snape's teeth or a pinched nipple sent those thoughts skittering away again. He knew it was manipulative, but now that he had Harry, Snape wasn't about to let go again until he'd made sure Harry would want to come back for more.

Harry started a little when Snape popped the button on his fly, but he made no protest when Snape lowered his zip and snuck his fingers inside the opening, finding Harry's cock hard and eager for his touch. Snape shifted around, tucking Harry's pants down below his bollocks and then pulling out his own aching prick, lip bitten in concentration as he got everything lined up. "What, ohhhh," said Harry, glancing down where Snape's hands were working and then moaning when their cocks rubbed together for the first time, held loosely in Snape's grip.

Snape cast a light lubricating spell and tightened his fist, then tugged Harry as close as he could get and kissed him, hard. "Feel good?" he asked, though he could see in Harry's face that it did.

"S'good," said Harry, one hand tangling in Snape's hair and pulling him in for more kisses. Snape hissed in surprise when Harry's other hand joined his own around their cocks, their fingers twining into a cage through which they slid, hips rocking and cocks rubbing against each other with just the right amount of delicious friction.

For such a simple pleasure, Snape didn't think he'd ever felt anything so good, and he knew that he wouldn't last. "Let me see you come," he murmured against Harry's lips, feeling his own bollocks drawing up, tingling in eager anticipation of his inevitable release.

Fortunately for his ego, Harry didn't seem to be far behind.

Harry's hips were pumping faster now, and little sounds escaped between kisses, desperate noises that were finally too much, and Harry had to stop kissing just to try to catch his breath. Snape went quiet as he always did before orgasm, listening not for the sound of interruptions just this once, but instead concentrating on every little whimper and moan that fell from Harry's kiss-bruised mouth. Finally Harry's fingers tightened just that tiny bit further and he went still, his whole body tense as he spurted thick fluid over their hands and cocks, and clothes.

"Harry," whispered Snape, and he dove in, kissing Harry's neck hungrily as he rocked his hips just a few more times before finally letting himself slide over that edge. His hands were firm, one on their cocks and the other firmly clutching Harry's pert arse, and he added his own pleasure to the heady mix between them.

"Severus," said Harry, his voice rough and low, a sound that Snape devoutly hoped he'd be the only one to hear. "Severus," Harry repeated, clearly not yet all the way back from his mindblowing release, "that felt good."

Snape grinned and kissed him again, giving their cocks a gentle squeeze, feeling them both slowly toppling into messy softness. "Yeah," he said, kissing Harry's damp mouth one more time. "Really good."

Snape pulled out his own wand with his less messy left hand and cast an awkward cleaning spell, then another, more thorough one once his right hand was mostly free of stickiness. He started to tuck himself away, straightening his clothes, and was surprised to look up and find Harry still sitting there, looking debauched and unsure. "What is it, Harry?" he asked, stroking his now-clean fingers over Harry's cheek.

"This isn't... we'll do it again, right?" asked Harry.

Snape didn't laugh, but a part of him inside was calling Harry a big girl's blouse. Instead, he leaned forward and kissed Harry's mouth and said softly, "As often as you'll let me."

Title: Only to Rise Higher
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Snape/Harry
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: Slash, AU, chan (14/17, 17/17)
Summary: Snape's life as a student takes a turn he hadn't expected when the Boy Who Lived comes to Hogwarts in Snape's fourth year.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to clauclauclaudia for the lightning-fast beta! Written for mistressvamp in Snarry Holidays 2007.

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