alisanne: (Snarry dancing)
[personal profile] alisanne
Title: Courting Harry Potter
Author: [personal profile] alisanne
Pairings/Characters: Severus Snape/Harry Potter, Ron Weasley /Draco Malfoy implied
Rating: NC-17
Word count: ~6820
Content/Warning(s): Romance, Humor, No warnings.
Challenge: Written for the 2017 [community profile] snape_potter Snarry a Thon. Prompt # 82: Severus learns an awful lot about Harry Potter when Al (or Lily) gets a job in Snape's apothecary. The question is what he should do with the knowledge.
Summary: When he hires Potter’s youngest child to work for him, Severus doesn’t realize how much it will work for him.
A/N: Thanks to my beta readers, [personal profile] sevfan, [personal profile] emynn and Badgerlady, to the incredibly patient mods, and to Severus and Harry for being themselves. :)


Courting Harry Potter


Severus eyed the young woman in front of him. Self-assured, she looked back at him without embarrassment. Usually, people were discomfited by prolonged silence, but evidently she was made of sterner stuff.

“What makes you think you have what it takes to be my assistant?” he rasped.

She didn’t flinch, and mentally, Severus had to give her points for that, too. Most people found his voice since his recovery to be off-putting.

“I believe you have my qualifications in your hands, Professor.” She nodded at the parchment she’d given him upon arriving for the interview. “In addition to which, I am ambitious, determined, and I believe I can bring many good marketing ideas that should increase the popularity of your apothecary.”

“I’m not in this business to be popular, Ms Potter.”

Lily Luna Potter inclined her head. “Presumably you wish to make a profit, correct?”


“Then you need to begin by encouraging traffic in your shop. Once people are in, you then need to entice them into browsing, and, finally, into making a purchase or, better, several purchases. Those are separate things, and all require specific marketing.”

Severus raised an eyebrow. “And how much would you expect in remuneration?”

Potter named a figure which was on the more aggressive end of standard.

“You think highly of yourself,” Severus said.

She smiled faintly. “It’s the way I was raised, Professor. I know what I’m worth and I refuse to settle for less.”

Impressed, Severus looked down at the parchment she’d handed him earlier. “Were your parents disappointed when you Sorted Slytherin?”

Potter hesitated; it was the first time he’d seen her less than completely confident since the interview had started. Severus waited.

“Disappointed isn’t the word I’d use,” she finally said. “I’d say it was more…resignation.”

Severus looked back down at the parchment, but he knew he’d already decided. “What will your parents say should I offer you this position?”

Potter smirked. “Congratulations, I imagine.”

“You think they’ll approve?” Severus asked.

“I think whatever they say will be my problem,” Potter responded.

“Quite.” Severus nodded. “When can you start?”

When Potter senior showed up the following evening, clad in full Auror regalia, Severus wasn’t surprised. “I thought you’d be stopping by,” he said when Potter walked in.

Potter inclined his head. “I suppose it was predictable I’d want to check out my daughter’s new job.”

“Quite.” Severus wiped his already clean counter. “What can I do to reassure you she’ll be safe?”

“Oh, I know she’ll be safe,” Potter said, moving about the shop and inspecting the shelves. “She’s definitely mine and Ginny’s kid.” He raised an eyebrow. “Plus, you kept me safe for years, and you hated me, so I have no qualms about you managing the same for her if necessary.”

“I didn’t hate you.”

“Disliked me intensely, then,” Potter qualified.

Severus snorted. “I doubt you have any idea how I actually felt about you.”

“I—” Potter laughed. “Very true. Once again, I stand corrected. However you felt, I…understand. It must have been difficult for you. You had to walk a fine line. Anyway, to return to the topic, I know Lily will be safe here.”

Severus cleared his throat. “That’s…generous of you.”

Potter chuckled. “Not really. After all, you’re the one who’s going to have to manage her. She can be a handful.”

“More of a handful than you and your classmates?” Severus asked. “I doubt that.”

Potter, who had picked up a phial of Pepper-Up, looked over at Severus and grinned. “We were pretty awful at times, weren’t we? I think fate got its revenge by sending us our kids.”

“I take it parenting has given you a new appreciation for all you put your professors through?”

“Yes, I suspect so.” Potter placed the Pepper-Up on the counter. “I’ll take this. And thanks for giving Lily a chance.”

“She is eminently qualified,” Severus replied, ringing up the purchase. “So, what does your wife think of this?”

Potter went still. “Ginny?”

Severus smirked. “Have you another wife? Yes. Obviously.”

Potter smiled faintly. “Sorry. Yes, well, I suspect she’ll be fine with it. We’re…no longer together, so I haven’t mentioned this to her. I imagine Lily will tell her eventually.”

Severus placed his hands on the counter to still their shaking. “You are…divorced?”

“Yes.” Potter shoved his hands in his pockets. “It’s been a long time coming, but we’re trying to keep it out of the papers. I get enough publicity as it is, so I hardly need more attention on my private life.” Potter’s eyes held Severus’. “I’d appreciate it if you’d not spread the news about.”

“And just whom would I tell?” Severus asked, left eyebrow raised. His hands steady once again, he held out Potter’s packaged Pepper-Up.

Potter inclined his head, accepting the package. “Point. Anyway, thank you.”

“No. Thank you, Potter.” Severus smirked. “Your purchase is appreciated. Do stop in if you require any further potions or tinctures.”

Laughing, Potter turned towards the door. “Will do. See you, Snape.”

Allowing his eye to drop to Potter’s arse as he walked out, Severus hummed. “I certainly hope so,” he murmured under his breath.

Lily Potter did nothing by halves. Her first day, she rearranged the shop’s display space, and the sale of potions for children went up twenty percent. Impressed, Severus let her loose, watching with interest as she began posting ‘specials’ on a chalkboard sign she placed outside the shop’s door.

Traffic into his shop increased, and Severus had to boost his brewing.

Fortunately, Lily was also competent at making potions herself, and after observing her, Severus allowed her to brew a few of the more basic products, thus freeing him to concentrate on the difficult and time-consuming potions.

She had been there about a week when Severus overheard her chatting with someone late one evening, just after closing.

“…glad he’s showing interest in something at least,” Lily said. “About time he got out of the house.”

A male answered. “I suppose. But Weird Sisters? He’ll never meet a hot bloke there. It’s all girls and older women.”

Severus frowned.

“Well it’s a moot point, isn’t it? He says he’s not going because he has no one to go with.”

“Well that’s ridiculous. Any of us would—” There was a pause. “Okay, never mind. I see the problem. No one wants to pull when their family’s around. Although, there’s always Teddy.”

“That would involve Victoire, because you know he goes nowhere without her. He’d have to buy three tickets, and that’s hardly romantic.”

Potter. They were discussing Harry. Pushing aside the curtain that separated the main shop from his office and laboratory, Severus stepped through.

Lily looked over at him. “Oh, Professor. Did we disturb you?”

“Not at all,” Severus said. He eyed her companion. “Who’s your friend?”

The young man, he looked to be about twenty, extended his hand. “I’m Albus Potter, sir.”

“Ah.” Severus took his hand, seeing the resemblance. Although, where Potter’s eyes were the spitting image of his mother’s, Albus’ were more hazel. “You are my namesake.”

Albus’ smile widened. “Yes, sir. Hoping to live up to the name one day.”

He could hardly do worse. Biting his tongue, Severus nodded. “Well, I’m about to set the wards, so if you’re done for the evening—”

“I am, yes.” Lily Summoned her cloak and purse. “See you tomorrow, sir. Have a good evening.”

“You, too.”

“Nice to meet you, sir,” said Albus with a nod as he escorted his sister out the door.

“Likewise,” said Severus. And after he’d locked up and turned out the lights, he retired to his quarters to do some research. As it happened, he quite liked the Weird Sisters.

Potter looked surprised when Severus Flooed him. “Snape!” he exclaimed, coming around his desk to kneel in from of the fireplace. “Is something wrong with Lily?”

“No, things are going swimmingly,” Severus said. “I’m contacting you about something of a more private nature.”


“Yes.” Severus kept his shaking hands out of sight. “As it happens, I happen to have tickets to the upcoming Weird Sisters concert in two weeks, and I am in need of a…companion to accompany me.”

Potter blinked. “I…wow. That’s—”

“Do you not like them?” Severus asked. “If not—”

“I love them.” Potter looked flummoxed. “I just never had you pegged as a fan of theirs.”

“Really,” said Severus, tone dry. “Did you think me too old?”

“Hey!” Potter held up his hands in a defensive gesture. “Don’t put words in my mouth. I never said that.”

“True.” Severus smirked. “What sort of music did you think I enjoyed?”

“I never really thought about it.” Potter smiled. “Classical, maybe?”

Severus snorted. “Certainly not. I’ll have you know punk rock was all the rage when I was growing up. The Weird Sisters owe a fair bit of their sound to that movement.”

“Punk?” Potter was grinning. “Well, I’m seeing a new side of you, Snape. Sure, I’d love to go to the concert with you. It’s a…date.”

Was that a question? Severus held Potter’s gaze. “A date it is,” he confirmed.

Potter beamed. “Lovely.”

Severus ruthlessly suppressed the urge to beam back. Instead, he inclined his head. “Perhaps we should consider having supper beforehand as well?” he suggested as if it had only just occurred to him. “That way,” he continued dryly, “as an old geezer, I won’t faint of hunger while at the event.”

Potter snorted. “I eat early these days, too. So if you’re old, I am as well.”

Severus hummed. “No comment.”

Potter laughed. “You’re funny.” He eyed Severus for a long moment. “I guess that’s something I couldn’t appreciate as a kid. Anyway, yes. Supper sounds good. And as you’ve paid for the tickets, supper will be my treat.”

“As you wish.” Severus cleared his throat. “The concert is on the tenth and it starts at nine. What time should we meet?”

“How about I pick you up at seven?” Potter frowned in concentration, and a parchment and quill flew toward him from his desk. He jotted something down. “Just making a note so I remember. My memory’s not what it was.” He looked up. “Do you live at your shop?”

“Yes. The private residence entrance is at the back.”

“Great.” Potter made some more notes. “Just putting that down, too, or else I’ll end up knocking on the shop door wondering where you are.” He shook his head. “Sometimes I wonder when my mind became a sieve.”

“I understand,” Severus assured him. “I, too, have to write things down lest I forget them. I shall see you on the tenth at seven.”

“Brilliant.” Potter grinned. “I’m looking forward to it.”

“As am I,” Severus said. “Good day, Potter.” And after closing the Floo, Severus sat back on his heels and hummed. “A date with Harry Potter,” he murmured. “How…extraordinary.”

It soon became obvious to Severus that Lily was aware of his upcoming date, but apart from a few speculative looks on her part, she said nothing. When the day of the concert dawned, he made sure to get all of his complicated brewing out of the way early, then, changing into appropriate concert attire, he covered up with his second-best robes. He’d even picked out a book to read while he waited for closing time.

Just as he’d buttoned the top button, Lily called from the shop. “Professor?”

“Ms Potter?” Severus responded, walking though the curtain divider.

“You look as though you have plans this evening, sir.”

Severus raised an eyebrow. “I do. What of it?”

“Well, I don’t have any plans, so I’d be happy to close the shop if you like.” Lily smiled. “It’s the least I can do if you have a…date.”

Severus glared at her, but she simply smiled back and, sighing, he inclined his head. “That is…generous of you. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” Lily turned away. “Have a great evening, sir.”

Severus pursed his lips. “You do the same,” he finally said, starting for the back. “I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”

As he turned away, she said something. Severus paused, but when she said nothing else, he continued out of the room. She couldn’t possibly have said, “Not too early, hopefully.” Could she?

Potter arrived at precisely seven. Severus, who had been hovering about the door keeping watch, stepped back when he saw him approaching. After a long exhalation, Severus opened the door. “Right on time,” he said.

“I try,” replied Potter. As Severus stepped out into the alley, he offered his arm. “Do you mind if I Side-Along us?”

“Go ahead,” Severus said, clasping his arm and suppressing a shiver as the warmth of Potter’s magic sizzled along his skin.

Potter, after giving him a solemn look, said, “Hold on,” and in moments they were…elsewhere.

Severus looked around. They were standing on a bustling street in Muggle London, and in front of them was a small restaurant that looked packed. “Angelo’s?” he read aloud. “Italian?”

“Yep. Love this place.” Potter still hand his hand tucked in his arm, and didn’t seem inclined to relinquish it. “And they’re wizard friendly. Come on,” he said, leading Severus towards the door.

“Wizard friendly,” Severus murmured. “Meaning?”

“Meaning one of the owner’s kids is a Muggle-born first-year at Hogwarts.” Harry chuckled. “They’re pretty proud of him. We’ve actually had to dissuade them from putting up signs claiming the food’s magical.”

“Ah. Salazar, it’s heaving in here,” Severus said, glancing around. “Did you make—?”

“Reservation for two under Potter,” said Potter to the hostess, smirking at Severus. “Good to see you again, Judy. How are the kids?”

“Hello, Harry.” Judy smiled back. “They’re holy terrors, as always. I saved you the best table. This way.”

“I see you’re a regular,” Severus murmured.

“Yeah, they make brilliant food.” Potter gestured for Severus to sit before settling into his own chair.

Resisting the urge to rub the spot where Potter had been touching him, Severus sat. After a moment, he frowned. “Are there no menus?”

“There are,” said Potter. “But if you’ll trust me, we won’t need one.”

Severus raised an eyebrow. “You wish to order for me?”

Potter smiled. “Not exactly.” Leaning in, he said, “I find this place is at its best when I let the chef choose my meal. Are you up for a bit of an adventure?”

The mischievous gleam in Potter’s eyes was…intriguing. Inclining his head, Severus said, “Very well. Proceed.”

Potter nodded at Judy, who grinned. “I’ll bring some wine,” she said.

Once they were alone, Potter sat back in his chair. “So. How’s business?”

“Excellent. Lily is quite the marketer.”

Potter laughed. “That doesn’t surprise me at all.”

The meal proved delicious. First came a tray of assorted antipasto: various meats, cheeses, olives, tomatoes, bread, and seafood. That was followed by salads, some of the lightest, most delicate gnocchi Severus had ever had, a veal and mushroom dish covered in a brown sauce that Severus seriously contemplated drinking directly from his plate, and, finally, a dense, rich cheesecake.

Severus took one bite of the cake, closed his eyes, and sighed.

“I know, right?” Potter took his own bite and hummed. “I’ve never regretted just letting Angelo pick my meal for me.”

They lingered over the pudding, chatting, until Judy came up to the table. “Not that we don’t love having you, Harry,” she said. “But didn’t you say you had a concert to attend at nine?”

“Oh, right!” Harry glanced over at the clock on the restaurant’s wall. “We’ll take the bill.”

Judy winked. “It’s been handled. Just go and have fun.”

Potter blinked, then eyed Severus. “Did you—”

Severus shook his head. “Certainly not.”

“It’s our treat,” Judy said. “Now go on or you’ll be late.”

Potter shook his head. “You didn’t have to do that, but thanks.”

“Just make sure you come back, both of you,” Judy called after them as they exited.

“Guess I still owe you a meal,” Potter murmured just as he clasped Severus’ arm to Apparate to the concert.

Severus hummed. He wasn’t about to argue.

They arrived in time to get to their seats, which were located as close to the stage as Severus could manage. Before sitting down, Severus removed his robes to reveal his attire, a tight Sex Pistols T-shirt, and jeans that hugged his frame. All the effort that had gone into choosing his attire paid off when he saw the warmly admiring look in Potter’s eyes.

“Wow,” was all Potter said, but it was enough.

The concert was loud, with people standing, singing along with the lyrics, dancing. After a few songs, Severus even stood and joined in, Potter singing along beside him. He couldn’t recall having as much fun in ages, and afterward, when they exited the stadium, he was slightly hoarse from shouting.

“That was brilliant!” enthused Potter as they got to the Apparation point.

“Most enjoyable,” agreed Severus.

When they landed at Severus’ shop it was just before midnight. “I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow,” Potter said. He laughed ruefully. “I’m not as young as I once was, that’s for sure.”

“None of us are,” Severus agreed.

Sobering, Potter stepped forward, a determined look in his eyes. “Thanks for inviting me out for the concert. I had a great time.”

“I’m glad.” Severus held his ground as Potter leaned in, and when their lips touched, he relaxed into it, letting Potter lead.

He’d expected Potter to be a decent kisser, but when Potter’s lips gently coaxed Severus’ mouth open to allow his tongue to slip inside and explore, Severus moaned, pressing closer. As they drew apart, Severus had to concede perhaps Potter was better than just decent.

Potter was breathing hard when they parted. “It’s been ages since I dated anyone,” he whispered.

“Likewise.” Severus hesitated. “Would you…like to come in?”

Smiling faintly, Potter exhaled, shaking his head. “Much as I’d love to, I think we should take this slow, don’t you?”

Tamping down disappointment, Severus nodded. “That is probably wise.”

Potter made a face. “Probably, although I don’t have to like it.” Then, pressing another firm kiss to Severus’ mouth, he backed away, a look of obvious happiness on his face. “I’ll Floo tomorrow, all right? I still owe you dinner.”

“I look forward to hearing from you,” Severus said.

After Potter disappeared, Severus let himself in, leaning on the door once he’d closed it. He was dating Harry Potter. Amazing.

“…must have had a good time. He was humming this morning.”

Severus, on his way to his storeroom the following morning, paused to listen to Lily and Albus’ conversation.

“About bloody time!” Lily sounded pleased. “Did he say who he went with?”

“Nope. I get the impression he thinks the family won’t approve, so he’s waiting to see how things go before telling anyone.”

“Probably sensible.” Lily sighed. “You know how Grandma Molly can be.”

“Yeah— Anyway, see you later!”

Smirking, Severus continued his brewing.

Potter turned out to be a man of his word. That afternoon, he Floo-called Severus. “Sorry. This is later than I planned.” He rolled his eyes. “The emergencies never stop around here.”

“I can only imagine.”

“I’ll bet.” Potter smiled. “So, I had a great time last night.”

“As did I,” Severus said. He smirked. “I was not at my best this morning, however. Late evenings are clearly a thing of the past for me.”

Potter grinned. “You, too?” He shook his head. “Thank Godric all I had this morning were planning meetings. If there had been an emergency first thing, I’m not sure I could have managed.”

Severus snorted. “I suspect you do well under pressure. No one rises to your rank in the Aurors without being able to function on little sleep and in high-pressure situations.”

Potter made a face. “All right, I’ll concede that. But I don’t have to like it.”

“Certainly not,” Severus agreed. He cleared his throat. “So…what are your plans this evening?”

“I was hoping we could get together for a meal.” Potter licked his lips. “I should be done here about six-thirty. How about I come by and we can get dinner somewhere?”

Severus nodded slowly. “Or I could cook,” he offered.

Potter smiled. “You don’t have to—”

“I enjoy cooking,” Severus said. “And that way, we can have a quiet evening and retire early without people hovering over us and without worrying about restaurant schedules.”

“That’s true.” Potter hesitated. “Tomorrow’s Saturday, so I don’t have any early meetings. You’re sure it’s not too much trouble?”

“Not at all.”

“Brilliant.” Potter smiled brightly. “I’ll bring the wine. Do you prefer red or white?”

“Red is generally my preference.”

“Red it is, then.” Potter exhaled. “I’ll see you at seven?”

“That will work. See you later, Potter.”

Potter raised an eyebrow. “Don’t you think we should start using each other’s first names, Severus? After all, we are dating.”

Severus inclined his head. “Very well. See you later. Harry.”

“See you, Severus!”

Once the Floo connection was closed, Severus stood up and looked at the clock. “Well,” he muttered. “Time to go shopping.”

“That was delicious,” Harry said, sitting back in his chair. “I ate far too much. You make a fabulous boeuf bourguignon.”

Severus hummed. “Thank you.”

“Good thing I don’t eat like that every night.” Harry shook his head, expression rueful. “I’d quickly need to let out my clothes.”

Severus snorted. “Good thing you have a physical job that allows you to work off any excess food you consume.”

Harry made a face. “My job used to be physical. But now I’m stuck behind a desk most of the time. The powers that be don’t like it when senior DMLE officials go out on cases.”

Severus gave Harry a slow once-over. “You certainly don’t look as if you spend most days stuck behind a desk.”

Blushing, Harry smiled. “Thanks.”

“Plus, you’re not the sort to let anyone’s rules stop you from going out to investigate if a case came up that piqued your interest.” Severus smirked. “It’s not as if you’ve ever been especially good at abiding by rules.”

Harry laughed. “You know me too well.”

“Oh,” Severus murmured, “I wouldn’t say that. There’s always more to know about someone, isn’t there?”

Harry sobered, his expression going unreadable. “Yes,” he said, his gaze locking with Severus’. “You’re right.” Standing, he came around the table and held out his hand. “Shall we get to know each other better?”

Severus raised an eyebrow as he took Harry’s hand and slowly stood. “You’ve become bolder in your old age,” he said, stepping close.

Harry smiled faintly. “Life’s too short not to go after what you want.” Leaning in, he kissed Severus. He tasted of wine, with an underlying sweetness all his own.

“And I’m what you want?” Severus asked once they’d surfaced for air.

“I thought I was making it obvious.” Pressing closer, Harry rolled his hips, his erection sliding against Severus’. “Or am I being too subtle?”

Severus bit back a moan. “You’re not being subtle, no,” he gasped.

“Good,” Harry said, his voice a low growl. “Because there’s nothing subtle about what I want to do with you.”

The dark promise in Harry’s voice made heat pool in Severus’ core. “Then I fear,” he said, as he dragged Harry towards his bedroom, “that we’re not going to sleep too early tonight, either.”

Harry laughed, his laughter morphing into a moan as Severus all but threw him on the bed and climbed on top of him. “Oh, what’s a little sleep deprivation?” he whispered, his arms going around Severus’ neck. “I think we’ll manage.”

“I think we will, too,” Severus replied, kissing him.

Kissing Harry was intoxicating enough, but when he murmured a charm to make their clothing disappear, and Severus felt the surge of bright power sizzle along his skin, his cock flexed in reaction.

Harry smiled against Severus’ mouth. “You liked that.”

“I like power,” Severus admitted, swallowing hard as Harry’s hands slid down his back to squeeze his arse. Moving his mouth, he ran his nose along Harry’s jawline, inhaling his scent which was redolent with spices and wine.

“You’re no slouch yourself,” Harry said, his breath hitching as Severus scraped his teeth along Harry’s neck.

“What do you want to do tonight?” Severus asked, sucking Harry’s Adam’s apple into his mouth.

Harry’s answer vibrated though Severus. “I want you to fuck me.”

“Gladly,” Severus bit out, his hands pushing Harry’s legs apart so he could settle between them.

Despite it being their first time, they moved together instinctively as they discovered each other’s erogenous zones, Severus taking mental note of the places that made Harry moan when he kissed them. Like when he sucked kisses into his inner thigh or when he nuzzled his armpit. And he was sure Harry was noticing similar things about him.

Finally, their kisses got sloppier, wetter, as their bodies shifted against each other, and, too desperate to bother with hunting down his lubricant, Severus conjured his own. When he slid slick fingers into Harry’s hole, Harry’s keening cry and subsequent begging was most satisfying.

Manoeuvring Harry up onto his hands and knees, Severus slicked himself up before pressing his cock into the centre of the furled hole. Holding Harry’s hips steady, he drove in.

Harry was tight, his muscles clinging to Severus’ prick as he breached him, pushing past the entrance. “Fuck,” he breathed.

“All right?” Severus panted, trying to hold still, allow Harry to adjust. It was impossible, though, what with the way Harry was arching his back as if trying to drag his cock in deeper.

“Yes,” Harry gasped, his hands fisting in the sheets. “Now move! Please!”

Severus didn’t have to be asked twice. Thrusting firmly, he bottomed out, then slowly withdrew, savouring the drag of silky muscle along his cock. He moved in again, rotating his hips as he did so, his fingers pressing into Harry’s skin.

After a few thrusts, he slid over something inside Harry that made him shout. “Got it,” Severus murmured, and, bending over Harry, he pounded away at that spot as Harry writhed and babbled and fell apart beneath him.

Falling off his arms and dropping to his stomach, Harry buried his face in the pillow and clawed at the sheets. He pushed back with his entire body, meeting every one of Severus’ thrusts. “Severus,” he said, raising his head and begging, his voice breaking. “Please—”

Severus, fucking in and out of him as hard and as fast as he could, heard the raw need in Harry’s voice, and it pushed him over the edge. He started pounding into Harry, his pace furious.

Harry shouted and the bed squeaked alarmingly, but held, although Severus was sure that, had anyone been downstairs, there would be no mistaking what was going on.

“Yes! God! Ye—” Harry howled, his back arching as he shuddered, his hips shaking. His inner muscles clamped down on Severus’ cock as he came.

Severus fucked him through his orgasm, and it wasn’t until Harry collapsed onto the bed panting that he allowed his own pleasure to overwhelm him, and he, too, came, spilling inside Harry as white light danced behind his eyelids.

When he came to, he was still on top of Harry, and, groaning, he rolled off him and onto his back to stare up at the ceiling. It had been a while since he’d had sex, but that had been…

Harry shifted, curling up to Severus and burying his face in Severus’ neck. “Fucking amazing,” he groaned against Severus’ skin.

Wrapping his arms around Harry, Severus hummed. He could only agree.

Standing at the foot of the bed the next morning, Severus watched Harry sleep. He looked almost innocent in his slumber, and practically as young as he’d been when he’d killed Voldemort, freeing them all.

Of course, he was anything but innocent, as their activities the night before had proved. Severus smiled, recalling all they had done. They would both be wearing bruises for days.

There was more he wanted from Harry, though. And, as Harry hadn’t jumped up first thing to leave, Severus thought perhaps he wanted those things, too.

A noise from downstairs made Severus turn away and, slipping on his brewing robes, he made his way to the shop.

Lily was there, finishing up some Pepper-Up and Shrinking Potion. “Good morning, sir,” she said. “Did you have a good evening?”

Severus eyed her. Did she know that her father was upstairs in his bed? He wouldn’t put it past her. “It was tolerable, yes,” he finally said.

She smiled. “Lovely. I’ll go open up then, shall I?” As she got to the divider curtain, she paused. “And if you need the day off to, um, rest or anything, it’s fine. I can handle the shop.”

Glaring after her, Severus pursed his lips. She definitely knew something was afoot, but, as she wasn’t making a fuss, he could only assume she approved. Putting it out of his mind, he checked the potions and was about to head back upstairs when he heard voices.

“…know he’s seeing someone, just no idea who. He wasn’t home last night.”

“Does it matter? He’s an adult,” said Lily. “He’s allowed to spend his nights wherever he wants, right?”

“I suppose.” Someone, it sounded like her brother, Albus, replied. “Anyway, I guess you’re right. It’s really not our business.”


“Although there’ll be hell to pay when Grandma and Grandpa find out.”

“Why?” Lily’s sigh sounded exasperated. “Just because they’ve been married forever and are still head over heels for each other doesn’t mean everyone else is like that! Plenty of people get divorced. Plus, it’s not as if they’re being too obvious about it. I haven’t seen it in any newspapers yet.”

“Fair point. Anyway, I’m off. I’m hungry.”

“Going to the Burrow?”

“No, Grandma’s visiting Shell Cottage this weekend, so I’ll have to fend for myself.”

“Poor baby, having to buy your own food.”

“Shut it.”

“Sorry.” Lily laughed. “Hey, you could always get one of those pastries Dad likes. You know, those almond croissants?”

“Oh, the ones from that new bakery? Yeah, those aren’t half bad. Good idea. Thanks, sis.”

Severus heard the front door’s bell jingle. “Oi! You could bring me one, since I suggested it!” Lily cried.

There was the sound of distant laughter, and then silence.

Thoughtful, Severus went back upstairs. Looking into the bedroom, he saw Harry was now asleep on his back, his limbs sprawled all over the bed, his head on Severus’ pillow.

Severus smiled. “Pastries it is,” he murmured, heading for the bath.

Evidently Harry hadn’t been exaggerating how tired he was. It wasn’t until Severus returned with a box of almond croissants and a couple of cups of coffee that he stirred. When he appeared at the kitchen door, unselfconsciously naked, Severus smiled.

Yawning, he sat down, smiling at Severus. “Something smells amazing.” His gaze landed on the box and he blinked. “Are those—?”

“Almond croissants,” Severus said, offering the box. “I bought all they had since I thought we could use the calories.”

Harry moaned, picking one up and biting into it. “Oh, these are brilliant,” he said, polishing it off in short order. “How’d you know they’re my favourite?”

Severus smirked, taking one for himself. “I have my ways.”

Harry shook his head, accepting the coffee and taking a second croissant. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were using your Legilimency skills on me.”

“You’re sure I’m not?” Severus murmured.

Harry laughed. “Pretty sure. I’ve decent shields these days.” Sitting back in his chair, he licked crumbs off his mouth. “So, what are your plans for the day?”

Severus shrugged. “Lily is managing the shop, so I’m relatively free. Why?”

“I thought we could go out to lunch.”

Severus raised an eyebrow, nodding at the empty pastry box. “You’re still hungry?”

“Oh, the croissants were brilliant,” Harry said. “But they’re not a proper meal. And something tells me we’re going to need proper meals to keep up our strength.”

“Or improper ones, perhaps?” Severus smirked.

Harry laughed. “Or that, yes. Either way, we need food.”

Severus raised an eyebrow. “And why’s that?”

Harry leaned forward, taking Severus’ hand. “Because I suspect we’re going to be burning off lots of calories for a while.”

“Well then,” said Severus, standing up. “Let’s get to it.”

After a shared shower, in which they thoroughly tested the stability of the wall tiles, and the amount of available hot water, they dressed, went downstairs, and went out for breakfast.

After that, they spent at least three nights a week together, and after a month, Severus knew he wanted more. Much more. But did Harry? The man had already been married and had grown children, would he want to make a commitment to someone of whom his family might not approve?

Meanwhile, Lily and Albus’ gossip sessions continued. Listening in, Severus managed to pick up more tips to use for wooing Harry. He learned, for example, that Harry loved Indian take away, and that treacle tart was the sure way to his heart, things he utilised in what appeared to be turning into a courtship.

He also listened to them speculate about who Harry could be seeing, and although they seemed to find the whole thing amusing, Severus wondered what their reactions would be if they discovered he was the one in a relationship with Harry.

Every few days, Lily would say something that made Severus pause, make him think she knew, but then, when Albus came around, she’d act as if she had no idea. Severus, unsure what to do, did nothing, and said nothing. He waited.

One weekend morning several weeks later, after a blissful Friday evening in, Harry came down the stairs and stood, watching Severus at work. “Busy?” he finally asked, “or can you take a break?”

“I can take a break.” Severus cast Stasis Charms over his critical potions. “What did you have in mind?”

“Breakfast.” Harry smiled. “Much as I love the croissants you always have, I think we should have protein for breakfast on occasion.”

“Like sausage?” Severus purred.

Harry laughed. “No!” He paused. “Well yes, but no.”

Severus raised an eyebrow.

“Stop that,” Harry said, trying to look stern and failing. He walked towards Severus. “I mean, let’s go out together for breakfast today. In daylight. To a wizarding restaurant.”

“As opposed to the Muggle places we’ve been frequenting?” Severus inclined his head. “I’ve no objections.”

“You don’t?” Harry exhaled. “Brilliant.”

“You thought I would?”

“I wasn’t sure.” Just then his stomach growled.

Severus hummed. “Obviously this is urgent. Let me get my cloak.”

Once they were ready, however, Harry moved towards the curtain divider instead of the private exit.

“Where are you going?” Severus asked. “We can leave through the back.”

“I’m tired of hiding what we’re doing from my kids,” Harry said. “I’ve never lied to my family before, and I don’t want to continue.”

“It’s hardly lying. You just haven’t told them yet.”

“It feels like lying.” Harry shrugged. “I think it’s time they know I’m serious about someone.”

Serious? Pleased, Severus nodded. “Very well.” But as they both moved towards the shop, Harry hesitated.

“What’s wrong?” Severus asked.

“Just not sure how Lily’s going to take this.” Harry smiled. “Although, ever since the divorce, she’s the one who’s always telling me to get out more, date people, so she’ll probably be fine.”

Severus placed a steadying hand on Harry’s elbow. “I suspect you’re right.” He hummed. “Plus, she’s quite perceptive. Who knows? She may already be aware you’re involved with someone.”

Harry frowned. “Why would she be?”

Severus coughed. “Witch’s intuition?”

“Okay—” Harry eyed him for a moment. “Is there something you’re not telling me?”

Severus raised an eyebrow. “Like?”

Harry rolled his eyes. “If I knew I wouldn’t ask.”

“Good point. I suppose that’s true.” Severus smirked.

“Bloody Slytherins,” Harry sighed, but he was smiling. “Fine, don’t tell me. I’ll figure it out eventually. Are you ready to face the music?”

In reply, Severus pushed the curtain open and they walked through into the shop.

Lily, at the counter, looked over, doing a double-take when she saw them together. Her gaze dropped to where Severus was holding Harry’s elbow, and she blinked. “Dad, what are you doing here? Professor?”

Harry coughed. “Hey, Lils. Listen, there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.” Before he could finish, however, the door opened, and Albus entered.

“Sis, you’ll never believe the latest news—” He skidded to a stop when he saw Harry. “Hey, Dad.”

“Al.” Harry smiled. “Not spreading gossip, are we?”

“Er—” Albus’ eyes narrowed. “You’re up early for the weekend.”

“Nice evasion,” Harry said, tone dry. “What have you heard?”

Albus’ shoulders sagged. “Nothing.”

“You may as well say it.” Harry raised an eyebrow. “Go on.”

“Since Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione are separated, and they’re dating other people, we were speculating earlier about who Uncle Ron could be seeing. None of us have been able to figure it out, though.” He coughed. “Lily and I’ve been talking about it a lot.” He eyed Severus. “I’m honestly surprised you haven’t heard some of it, sir.”

Severus blinked, his mind racing. Weasley? That’s who they’d been discussing all those times when he’d listened in? Severus inadvertently tightened his hand on Harry’s arm. Harry glanced at him quizzically and he shook his head.

Harry turned back to Albus. “All right, continue.”

Albus coughed. “Well, I just spotted him at the coffee shop, holding hands with Draco Malfoy!”

“Bloody hell!” Lily gasped. “A Malfoy? Grandma’s going to flip!”

“Language,” Harry murmured, although he was smiling. “Yes, well, that relationship should make for an interesting topic of discussion if it’s true. Until he confirms it, however, no more gossiping about it. We need to let your Uncle Ron tell us himself what’s going on.”

“But why else would he be holding hands with—!” Albus went quiet when Harry glared at him. “Yes, Dad.”

Harry swivelled to look at his daughter. “Lily, you agree?”

“I won’t say anything,” Lily looked pointedly at where Severus was still holding Harry’s arm. “You said you had news?”

“Yes.” Harry exhaled. “Severus and I—”

“Perhaps this isn’t the time,” Severus murmured.

Harry paused, but clearly, it was too late. A look of comprehension crossed Lily’s face. “You two are together.”

“Together?” Albus echoed. His eyes widened. “Oh!” His gaze darted between Severus and Harry. “Er…congratulations?” He grinned. “Hey, does this mean you’ll help me with potions? The Auror potions course is kicking my—”


“Sorry.” Albus’ grin dimmed slightly. “But really, I could use some help.”

“Perhaps a few days a week,” Severus said, relaxing. “You’re often here anyway.”

Albus beamed. “Brilliant.”

“Are you okay with this, Lily?” Harry asked softly. “You’re being quiet.”

“Absolutely!” Lily moved forward, hugging Harry. She stepped towards Severus, then hesitated.

Severus raised an eyebrow.

“Just once?” she asked.

Severus sighed. “Proceed.”

Leaning in for a quick hug, she murmured, “I knew something was going on with you, but I didn’t know it involved Dad.”

Severus hummed. “Discretion is my watchword.”

Harry smiled, clasping Severus’ hand. “It’s pretty new, so we’re not spreading it about, all right?”

“We’ll keep it in the family.” Lily glanced at Albus. “Sunday dinners are going to be interesting.”

“Hell yeah,” Albus said. “Godric! Hey, I need to Floo James and let him know.”

“And what if I want to tell him?” Lily asked, arms akimbo. “I want to see his reaction—”

“No one’s telling anyone anything except me,” Harry interrupted. “Now, don’t you two have jobs?” And as Lily returned to the counter and Albus edged towards the door, he turned to face Severus, laughter dancing in his eyes. “Ready for breakfast?”

“Definitely.” Severus snorted. “Now I’m hungry. That was exhausting.”

Harry laughed. “That was? Are you sure you’re ready for everyone else to know?” He grinned, nodding toward the corner where Lily and Al had again started quietly bickering. “Getting involved with me means inheriting this lot as well.”

Severus smirked, drawing Harry towards the door. “I think I can manage. Now, breakfast. We’ll need our strength to deal with the rest of your family.”

“Yes.” Leaning in, Harry murmured, “Although you deal with me fine, so I suspect it’ll work out.”

“Perhaps so,” said Severus, leading Harry out into the sunshine. “Perhaps so.”

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