Severus glanced up as Harry came in. When he saw what he was carrying, he sighed and placed a hand to his forehead. "I don't have time for games tonight." He removed his hand to look his lover in the eye. "Especially the inane kind you normally suggest."

Harry shrugged as he shed his robes. "I know. You have a special potion to brew. It takes all your concentration and considerable talent to perfect."

Severus narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "Is that a direct quote?"

"Yes. From this morning. Did you think I didn't hear you?"

"Then why…" Severus gestured toward the cardboard box Harry was holding.

"I invited Draco to play." Harry loosened the top buttons of his shirt as he poured a glass of Firewhiskey.

Severus leaned forward in his chair. "I beg your pardon?" Harry's hand paused in midair, the glass a few inches from his mouth. His lips twitched before he answered.

"I said, I invited Draco to play."

Severus snorted and relaxed back into his chair. "As if Draco would lower himself to humor you with a Muggle board game. Harry's hand paused again.

"Is that what you're doing?"


"Humoring me?"

Severus sputtered as he formed his answer. He had suspected when he got up this morning that his foul mood would get him into trouble.

"Of course not. I just don't imagine Draco will appreciate the buzzing."

"This one doesn't buzz." A loud knock sounded on the door. Harry smirked. "There he is now."

Severus ground his teeth together as Harry answered the door. The easy camaraderie between Harry and Draco usually pleased him, but this evening, he found it irksome.

Draco entered with his usual flourish and sat down, sprawling half across the couch as he did so. Severus frowned. "Make yourself at home, Draco."

Draco grinned at his godfather, but didn't answer.

As Harry summoned a glass of Firewhiskey for his friend and set up the game, Draco's grin broadened. "Don't you have a potion to brew, Severus?"

Yes, he did. But now he wanted to see what little game his lover and his very attractive, available best friend were going to play. Angry at his petty jealousy – he trusted Harry implicitly — Severus excused himself. But he left the door to his lab mostly open. After all, he reasoned, when Harry asked him to play, which he invariably would, Severus would already know the rules.

He began to gather his ingredients, but his attention was on the voices floating through the door.

"What's this game called?"




"No, no. By all means, continue."

A pause. Severus grinned, knowing Harry was giving Draco a dirty look. "It's a Muggle game," Harry added.

"The name quite revealed that."

"In this game, you make up words with your seven tiles and try to score as many points as you can – which is determined by where you place the word on the board."

"You can make up words?"

"No, no. I mean you try to make real words with the letters you have."

Severus's gaze turned thoughtful as he mixed the base for his potion. This didn't sound as bad as he had imagined. Words were one of his specialties.

"I see," Draco said. "Well, this will be quite fun. Let's begin."

Severus's smile turned upside down. Words were also one of Draco's specialties.

"They have to be real words, Draco."

"Yes, you said that."

"From the dictionary."

"Which dictionary?"

A muffled groan drifted through the door. Severus's smile returned. What would Harry do without he and Draco to constantly challenge him? What a boring life Harry would lead.

"You can use Wizarding words if you need to."

"That won't be necessary. Let's play."

Severus could practically hear the suspicious look Harry was now bestowing on his best friend.

"All right. Reach in here and pick seven tiles."

Severus continued his work, but not with the focus he truly needed for the potion. The action in the next room was far too entertaining.

"DIG? Is that the best you could do, Harry?"

"Give me a break, here, Draco. I've got very little to work with. I might have to spend a turn exchanging my tiles."


"Do you need to exchange yours?"

"Certainly not!"

Severus actually chuckled.

Click, click, click, click. The tiles hit the game board.

"Draco! That's obscene!"

Severus's chuckles dried up.

"It's in the dictionary, Harry."

Harry groaned again, muffled this time, and Severus could picture him rubbing his hands over his face and through his hair. It always stuck up so endearingly when he did that. He shifted uncomfortably on his stool as thoughts surfaced of running his own hands through Harry's hair.

"I simply cannot allow a word such as 'dig' on the board. What if someone saw it and thought that I had played it. How embarrassing!"

"Draco…" Harry's voice carried a warning note.

"Calm down. I will merely expand on it." A pause and some clicking as tiles were laid down. "There. I believe that's a triple word score."


"Yes, it means…."

"I know what it means, Draco. It's a shade of green, like my eyes, I think."

"No, Harry. Verdigris is bland. Your eyes sparkle like emeralds."

At those words, Severus dropped a whole jar of bat wings into his cauldron and it promptly exploded. But he was so enraged by Draco's blatant flirting, he barely noticed. All of a sudden, Harry was at his side.

"Sweet Merlin, Sev. Are you okay?" His lover's gentle hands wiped brown goo from his face. "Are you hurt?"

Indignant and embarrassed, Severus brushed Harry aside. "I am fine."

"Let me help…."

"I said, I'm fine. Return to your game." Severus jerked out of Harry's hold and began wiping down the table. He didn't miss Harry's slight hesitation before he answered.

"All right."

Harry left and Severus glanced up in time to see Draco pinning him with a speculative look, before he too turned and left.

Severus worked quietly as he cleaned, straining his ears for any sounds from the front room.

"Where were we?" Draco sounded cheerful.

"Ummm, your turn, I believe." Harry sounded sad.

"Very well." Click, click, click.

Severus heard Harry snicker, try to muffle it, and then give up. His laughter filled the room and Severus clenched his eyes shut.

"You're disgusting."

"I prefer to call it – adventurous."

Harry laughed again. "I'm sure you do."

As the minutes passed, the conversation grew quieter and quieter until finally Severus could hear nothing of what was happening outside his door. Jealousy and regret supplied the details, though.

In his mind, Draco stood and walked over to Harry. Proudly displayed himself in those tight pants he favored. Sank into Harry's lap, wrapped his arms and legs around him. Ran his fingers through Harry's soft, thick hair. Leant down to taste him….

With a growl, Severus leapt from his stool and stalked across the room. Throwing open the door, he pulled his wand from his robe and pointed it at…Draco.

"Where's Harry?"

Draco didn't answer, just stared at him. He was tipped back in his chair, one leg crossed over the other, hands twined behind his head.

"The bathroom," Draco finally said.

"The bathroom?"

Draco sighed and shook his head. "You're a twice damned fool, Severus," he said quietly.

Severus stood there for a full ten seconds before the truth hit him. He lowered his wand and replaced it in his robe. "Would you excuse us, please, Draco?" he asked with as much dignity as he could muster.

Draco smirked. "I'm enjoying the game, actually."

"Leave. Or Arthur and Molly will have an owl by morning detailing your exploits with their daughter this past summer."

"Well, when you put it that way – give Harry a goodnight kiss for me." Draco swallowed the rest of his whiskey and stood gracefully.

"Do not push me, Draco."

The door was shutting behind Draco when Harry emerged from the bathroom. He paused when he saw Severus.

"Where's Draco?" His voice was wary and Severus cursed himself a thousand times for making it so.

"He was called away. May I finish the game with you?" he asked and gestured toward the table.

Harry's smile lit the room. "Of course!"

Severus sat in Draco's seat. Harry began to explain the rules, but Severus held up a hand. "There's no need. I was liste…the concept appears straightforward. Let's simply proceed."

Harry nodded, and Severus turned his attention to the board. His mouth dropped open. "That's obscene!"

Harry shrugged. "Blame your godson."

Severus narrowed his eyes and studied first the board, then his tiles. Harry cocked his head at him. "Shall I remove it?" he asked, half-serious.

Severus smiled evilly. "I should think not. Then I would not be able to do this." Click, click, click, click…click.

Harry turned a bright shade of red and fumbled for his glass of Firewhiskey. "Adventurous," he finally managed.

Severus smiled. "Indeed."


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