Boxing Day

Potter's wrist peeked out from behind a hastily shoved back sleeve. Memories flooded Severus at the sight of a crescent-shaped bite mark—hovering just beyond the sleeve's edge. Higher up, smudges of ink masked blue veins traversing pale skin. Severus had the overwhelming urge to lick the ink away.

"Professor Snape?"

Severus tore himself away, but only just. No measure of Occlumency could keep the image of Draco, in the throes of lovemaking, taking Potter's wrist and laving it with his tongue until he bit down hard. Potter had thrown his head back, groaning in capitulation while his hips snapped back and forth, possessing Draco. The sight of them had been incredible. Desire awakened, an ache grew deep in his belly, and old dreams now haunted him.

"Professor Snape? Severus? Are you all right?"

Severus shook himself and looked up into green eyes, not gray. His eyes narrowed with disappointment. He didn't respond with words, only an icy stare with which Potter was all too familiar.

Potter pursed his lips and looked away. He swallowed. If only he'd tipped his head back a bit more when he'd swallowed, Severus was sure it would have been exactly like that moment when Draco had–

Potter turned back, his gaze meeting Severus's. He was still as defiant as he'd been as a child. A good match for Draco in that regard. Really, Severus berated himself, he needed to stop thinking about naked young men licking and biting and sucking each other.

"Have you finished making the corrections I require to the outline for the Defense curriculum?" Severus asked as he shifted in his seat.

"Yes," Potter said, the tone clipped and controlled—completely different from the guttural, panting 'yeses' that had flown from his mouth when Draco had bitten his shoulder before ejaculating all over him.

The wrist with the crescent-shaped bite mark reappeared. Severus stood and snatched up his cup, desperate for a good cup of tea with a liberal splash of vodka. He was furious with himself for letting such adolescent, prurient desires affect him so.

"What's that urn looking thing?"

Severus didn't answer. Instead, he released the spigot and breathed in the rich aroma as chestnut colored tea poured into the tempered glass. He swirled in a generous pour of vodka before returning to his seat. He took a long sip before answering.

"That is not an urn, Potter, it is a samovar."

Potter raised his eyebrows in question.

"Does your lack of worldliness know no bounds? I'll take your silence as a yes. Far be it from me to educate you. If you want to know what it is, take an extension course. Idiot."

Potter's brows furrowed and he set his jaw for the fifth time since their meeting had begun.

"Oh for the love of Merlin," Severus spat. "Consider it a Russian teapot, and no, I'm not going to say anything about it further. Now, we must discuss the Potions component to the integrated curriculum the Headmistress is forcing us to devise."

"Are those little glass cups in the silver holder things Russian as well?"


Potter gestured towards Severus's tea.

"Does your idiocy know no bounds, as well?"

Potter cocked his head to the side, looking as though he were the cat in the cream. "Careful, Professor. You're the one who keeps answering my questions."

Severus almost found him attractive like that. He didn't like Potter, but he could respect him when he unsheathed his claws instead of brooding like a little boy. "I suppose I do, don't I? A terrible habit. One I'll have to rid myself of immediately. For old time's sake, yes, this is Russian. It is a podstakanniki. It's …consider it a Russian tea cup, if you must consider it all."

"Oh. It's nice. Unusual. I've never seen anything like it. Or that urn, er, sam-samovar thing. Over there. On your counter."

"Yes, well, if you're quite finished discussing and cataloguing the location of my antiquities, perhaps we could return to the focus of this meeting?"

Potter shifted in his seat. "I was just trying to make conversation."

"You're not here for conversation. You're here to discuss curriculum concerns, and that is the only reason you're here."

"You still don't like me very much, do you?"

Severus blinked and sat back, amazed by the depths of Potter's obliviousness. Potter actually seemed surprised that Severus didn't like him. "The answer to that question is so patently obvious, my intelligence quotient would drop precipitously if forced to answer."

"So, that's a yes, then?"

Painful visions of Potter fucking Draco, of Draco kissing Potter, of Draco loving Potter sped past his mind's eye in rapid fire. "Of course it's a yes. I loathe you."

"I just thought—well, I mean, after the war and all… and Draco, of course… I just thought that you—that we might get along. At least understand each other a bit better, maybe."

"Why would you possibly think that? Just because you skewered a raving lunatic with a dinner knife and now fuck Draco Malfoy doesn't make me like you or, god forbid, want to understand you."

"You're such a bastard," Potter said. It was said without rancor or venom. It was as if Potter was stating dispassionate fact.

Severus found that amusing. So much so that his lips quirked up at the corners. "Quite. Now, as I was saying before you engaged in your quest for the inconsequential, we must reach a consensus on the interrelated Defense and Potions assignments."

Potter nodded. He licked his lips and scratched the back of his head. His hand fell heavily to the table. Severus's eyes followed its smooth arc, settling on the expanse of Potter's wrist. Still marred by ink. Severus still wanted to lick it away.

"I do love him, you know. It's not—it's not just about sex," Potter said.

Images of flushed, sweaty skin drifted around the periphery of Severus's mind. Potter could say what he liked, but for Severus, it was about sex—the intense, needy connection. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply, collecting himself. "We have an initial report due to McGonagall tomorrow."

Severus sagged against the heavy door. His hands pressed against the wood, as if they could reach out and snag Potter back. Perhaps he could hold him hostage until a riled Draco came to fetch him and had to bargain with Severus to reclaim him? Perhaps Draco would offer to do anything to get his erstwhile lover back? Perhaps he would lave Severus's wrist and bite his shoulder and ejaculate all over his belly? Severus's hands curled, his nails digging into door. Maybe Draco would press him against the door and fuck him and, perhaps later, he could fuck Potter. Or, maybe, he could just watch the two of them fuck each other, glorying in his rapt attention. He might not like Potter—strictly speaking, of course—but he could appreciate beauty as much as the next man.

Severus turned away from the door with a hard snap of his robes. He wished he'd never gone searching for Potter a fortnight ago. He wished he'd never wondered about the door to the Prefect's bath being ajar, or seen robes and shoes hastily thrown about the room, or found himself staring at Potter and Draco fucking each other senseless on a pile of soft towels. He wished he'd never seen any of that, because now it was all he could think about. It was all he wanted.

"Harry tells me you've been working together on creating an integrated curriculum for Potions and Defense Against the Dark Arts," Draco said. His fork flaked off a delicate chunk of red snapper. He brought it to his mouth, his pink tongue darting out to catch the snapper and the pregnant drip of buttered caper sauce clinging to one of his fork tines.

Severus didn't answer. Instead he cut savagely into his rare steak as Draco's eyes fluttered closed and he moaned.

"God, the snapper is brilliant here," Draco said. He flaked off another chunk and brought it to Severus's mouth. "Fancy a bite?"

Severus blinked. He wondered if, perhaps, this was what Adam had felt like when propositioned with the apple. What in the nine levels of hell was happening to him? "I don't care for fish," he sneered, cutting so hard into his steak that his knife scraped across the plate, making it wobble.

Draco shrugged and ate the bite himself. "You didn't answer my question."

"What question?"

"About the integrated curriculum. How's that going?"

"As well as can be expected when forced to work with a vapid dunderhead who has the cultural and linguistic skills of a lower-form mammal."

Draco laughed, the sound unrestrained and happy. Like Potter's. Severus's hand curled more tightly around his knife. "I do wish you'd try and get to know him," Draco said. "He's… there's a lot of hidden depth there. There are scores of things you might like about him, you know? I think he might just find you tolerable."

"Need I remind you that he is a vapid dunderhead?"

Draco laughed again. "Have you said any of that to Harry yet? If not, I'd like to be there when you do. He gets quite randy when he's worked up."

Severus's silverware clattered to the plate. A bright bulb flashed in his mind, leaving behind the over-exposed image of Draco sucking the side of Potter's neck while Potter moaned and writhed. Severus blinked and the image faded. He longed for it to be his neck, to be the one moaning and writhing under Draco's expert touch. "That's it. You've put me off my lunch with that. I'm really not interested in your sexual exploits."

Draco looked askance, a nascent smirk teasing his mouth. "But it's so much fun to see you so flustered. Cool, confident, sexy Professor Snape, undone by the thought of Harry Potter having his wicked way with Draco Malfoy."

Severus choked. "Don't you ever say that again."

Draco smiled. "Whatever."

"Must you always regale me with your intimacies?"

Draco shook his head. "You're so stiff. I worry about you. I wonder if you're happy. I'm happier than I've ever been, and well, you just seem—you seem lonely, Severus."

"Loneliness is for fools."

"Everyone deserves a bit of happiness. Wherever you can find it. However you can find it."

"Like you've found with Potter?"

"You should try it. It's quite nice to be attended to. Loved. Desired."

Draco's tongue darted out and licked his lips. Longing swept through Severus, lingering in the folds of his bitterness.

"Though you strike me more as the pursuing type." Draco cocked his head to the side and let his eyes roam over Severus. His cheeks pinked slightly. "You're still young. Fit. Attractive—very attractive—in your own way. Striking."

"That's just another way of saying ugly. Don't flatter me. I know exactly what I look like."

"No, I don't think you do. You are attractive, Severus. Handsome? Hardly. But striking, arresting, powerful? Yeah. All of that describes you. Even Harry thinks so."

Severus felt a migraine coming. He pinched the bridge of his nose, thinking he finally understood what was going on. "I told you, I'm not making that Animagus potion so that the two of you can find out what it's like to fuck each other that way."

Draco laughed. "That's not what this is about. And we've given up on that anyway. I just want to see you happy. That's all."

Before Severus could question Draco further, a man in his late forties walked past their table before circling back and staring at Draco.

"Draco?" the man asked, completely ignoring Severus.

Draco's head turned. His mouth fell open in surprise. "Edward. Er, hello. I—I didn't expect to see you."

Edward smiled. His hand caressed Draco's shoulder. Severus's fingers wound tightly around his steak knife.

"It's been too long, Draco," Edward said, almost crooning Draco's name. Severus's fingers curled tighter.

"It has. How have you been?" Draco asked, his tone hesitant.

Edward leaned in. His smile was almost predatory. "Fine, fine. We should get together again, soon."

"That might be possible."

Edward's hand was too familiar, Severus thought. His eyes narrowed as Edward laughed again and squeezed Draco's shoulder.

"Call me. Give Harry my best—tell him I miss him, as well." Severus watched Edward squeeze Draco's shoulder one more time before he walked away.

"Why are you holding your knife like that?" Draco asked when he turned his attention back to Severus.

Severus looked down. He held the knife in his hand as if poised to stab someone. "Who was that ill-mannered idiot?" he asked, his fingers uncurling from the knife's hilt as he put it down.

Draco smirked again. "No one. Now, are you ever going to answer my question? How are the curriculum plans going?"

"No one? He didn't look like 'no one' to me. He didn't act like 'no one,' either."

"It doesn't matter. He's just someone that Harry and I know. He just wanted to say hello."

"I have many acquaintances. They don't say hello in such a salacious manner to me."

"Yes, well, perhaps if you weren't such a repressed, self-loathing bastard–"

"Repressed and self-loathing as I may be, you've not answered my question. How do you know him?"


"You've never mentioned him."

"I wasn't aware that I needed to share my every acquaintance with you. He's no one important. Let it go."

"How does Potter know him, then?"

Draco smiled. "You aren't going to let this go, are you? We've, uh, worked together on a number of projects in the past. There's really not much more to say."

Severus wasn't satisfied, but nodded anyway.

"Glad to see that settled. Order tea? I've got to use the toilet," Draco said before slipping away.

Severus watched him go. Tall and lithe, Draco had become a beautiful man.

"Excuse me," someone said to Severus's left. He realized he'd been staring after Draco for far too long. He looked up, expecting the waiter, only to find Edward the Fop smiling at him.

"What do you want?" Severus spat.

Edward's smile faltered for a moment. "Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt. I was just looking for Draco and, well, thought it would be rude not to say anything when we'd made eye contact. Just a moment ago?"

Severus stared at him dumbly, not having any idea what he was talking about.

"Anyway, I thought I'd say hello. You're a lucky man, I must say."

"I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Not a friendly man, are you? Not sure what Draco and Harry see in you, but well, they've always had a taste for the unusual. The striking."

Severus paused. That was the third time he'd been referred to as striking in less than an hour. There was something off about the whole thing and he intended to get to the bottom of it. He had no idea what Edward was talking about, but Edward obviously assumed he did. "I apologize. You caught me off-guard. I was thinking about something when you approached me."

Edward smiled and sat. "I wondered if that was it. I thought you were staring at me as I left the gents. I suppose I shouldn't have assumed, but when I saw you with Draco–" Edward shrugged. "Well I thought it was worth stopping by and saying hello."

"I'm glad you did. Draco will be back in a moment—would you like to wait?"

"Actually, I thought I'd pass along some advice. I assume you're hoping to be invited on Boxing Day, yes?"

Severus quirked a brow.

Edward seemed to take that for assent, because he leaned forward, his eyes dancing with conspiracy. "I was invited last year, you know. Quite a coup, I think. Don't let them fool you. They're beautiful, sexy young men, and you'll have a night to remember, no question. But they're not casual about it. Not really. And they're not casual about each other. Just so you know. Don't even think about playing one off the other." Edward shuddered. "Trust me when I say that that will not go over well."

Severus's mouth fell open, and if the burning sensation across his cheeks was any indication, he imagined he looked like a rather scary clown.

Misinterpreting Severus's reaction entirely, Edward winked. "Good thing you've started early. No telling how many are in the running." Edward stood to leave, but turned at the last minute. "I shouldn't be giving away all my secrets, but you strike me as the sort of man that could use every advantage available."

Severus made to protest, but Edward kept speaking.

"Draco's got a spot, right above his left hipbone, that sends him to the heavens with the proper ministrations. And Harry," Edward's eyes glazed over with what Severus could only define as wistfulness. "Harry has a thing about his wrists. And biting—both giving and receiving. Quite an oral fixation that one has, if you take my meaning."

Severus couldn't have missed the meaning if he'd been in a magically induced healing coma. What was worse, Edward's waggling brows made the meaning all that more obvious. Which got Severus to thinking.

"I—Thank you."

"Of course."

Severus felt as though he were at some sort of crossroads, but before he could think too hard on it, a naked Draco pranced into his head, pushing away any concern he had. Severus eyed the direction of the gents. Draco was nowhere to be seen. "So, I take it you started early, as well?"

Edward's grin was sly. "Met them in October. Stuffy little party in Chelsea. The pinot was ghastly and the caviar cheap. Thank gods the company was far better. Chatted up Harry—he's really quite oblivious to his charms, isn't he? Anyway, met Draco a bit later. Night and day they are. We had drinks a few more times, a dinner or two and then…." Edward shrugged and grinned again, as if Severus was his oldest friend and he was privy to Edward's best secrets. "Well, I got my invitation, didn't I?"

"Did you know?"

"Not a clue. It was a lovely surprise, let me tell you. I thought they were just ignoring my subtle advances. Turns out they weren't."

Severus rather doubted that there was anything subtle about Edward. "Was it just the once?"

"Sadly, yes. Somewhat of a tradition, I think. Though it's all very hush-hush. Didn't find out about the tradition myself until later. They like to be pursued, I think. They're quite formidable, aren't they? Not many men with the right stock to handle them. I always got the impression–" Edward craned his neck.


"Draco's on his way. I best be off. It'll be Christmas before you know it. Happy hunting," Edward said as he hurried away.

"Indeed," Severus said to himself, suddenly preoccupied with Boxing Day.

The samovar gleamed in the firelight. A pot of strong, dark Keemun sat on top, followed by a smaller pot of Severus's own blackberry herbal blend. The smells of sage, cherry wood, and rich tea permeated the air. Severus shuffled the tray of biscuits and dark chocolate truffles back and forth, finally hissing at his idiocy. What was keeping that blasted idiot?

As if on cue, there was a short series of knocks at the door before it opened. "Professor Snape?"

"So nice of you to join me, Potter. And look, you're only fifteen minutes late this time."

Potter shuffled through the door. At least he had the decency to look chagrined. He stopped at the sight of the laden table. "I… I thought…. Sorry to have interrupted. I'll—have I gotten the date wrong?"

"What are you on about?"

Potter gestured at the table. "You're expecting company."

"No. I just thought you might appreciate some tea."


Severus pinched the bridge of his nose. "Yes, you. We're colleagues, are we not?"

Harry stepped forward, eyeing the samovar as if it were a Dark Artifact. "We've been colleagues for quite a while now. You've never once offered me tea. In fact, you've outright refused to give it to me when I've asked." Potter spied the plate of biscuits and chocolate. His nose twitched. Potter's chocolate cravings were legendary. "Are those the Special Select Dark Chocolate Truffles from Honeydukes? The ones with the bits of fae toffee?" Potter licked his lips, still staring at the tray. "What's going on? What horrendous blow are you softening now?"

"Must you read an ulterior motive into everything?"

Potter's head jerked up, his eyebrows shooting to his hairline.

"Point taken," Severus said. "Perhaps I was simply tired of all of your ridiculous questions regarding my possessions? Thought I'd just pull it all out at once and let you get your curiosity out in one go."

Potter snorted. "Hardly. You keep everything so buttoned up, it's more likely you're getting ready to tell me that you and Draco have decided to run away together and you thought chocolate might ease the pain," Potter said, his fingers inching towards the chocolate.

Severus felt that ridiculous burn in his cheeks again. "I have no such intention." Now the possibility of running away with the two of you….

"Of course you don't," Harry said with a bit too much ferociousness in Severus's opinion.

"Nevertheless, we still have that report to finish, but a bit of tea beforehand wouldn't be amiss." Severus pulled down the smaller pots, filling half of Potter's cup with the Keemun and blackberry herbal and half with hot water from the samovar. "Here. It's strong," he said as he pushed it towards Potter.

"This is for me?"

"No. It's for the invisible Centaur standing right beside you."

"You've been to funny school, I see." Harry took a sip of tea, his eyes crinkling as he swallowed. "Needs sweetener." He glanced around the table and spied a small silver dish of honey. "Brilliant."

Before Potter could scoop up any honey, Severus reached over and covered Potter's hand with his, the feel unexpectedly pleasant. "Don't."

Potter looked up in surprise. "What–"

Severus hesitated for a moment, but remembered what he wanted and the lengths he would have to go to get it. He took the spoon from Potter's fingers and dipped it in the honey. He brought it to Potter's lips.

As if he were a toddler confronted with strained peas, Potter's brows furrowed and his lips pursed.

"Open," Severus said.

"What–" Potter tried to say again, but Severus didn't give him the chance. He pushed the spoon in and watched with satisfaction as Potter's lips closed over it.

"This is not English tea. My grandmother always said that in Russia the tea wasn't sweetened, per se. She said we should savour the bitterness of it, following it with the sweetness from a swirl of honey or jam. Go on. Lick it."

Potter eyed him speculatively, but did as he was told. His eyes fluttered closed as his cheeks hollowed around the spoon. Severus felt himself harden at the sound of Potter's soft sucking.

When Potter was done, and once again staring at Severus, Severus withdrew the spoon and placed it on the small dish next to the honey. "That's how one should drink tea."

Severus drank from his podstakanniki and gestured for Potter to do the same. When Potter returned his cup to the table, Severus once again swirled the teaspoon through the honey and brought it back to Potter's lips. Potter's mouth popped open and his lips and tongue eagerly sucked in the spoon, slurping at the overflowing honey like a greedy bear cub. A thin, glistening trail of honey slipped from the corner of his mouth.

"Another lesson?" Severus asked, unable to look away from the honey still clinging to Potter's lips.

Potter looked away, his face flushing. His tongue laved away the honey as he shook his head in answer to Severus's question. Severus smiled to himself. It seemed Edward hadn't lied.

"We should finish the report," Severus said, pretending not to notice Potter's distraction. He spread out his parchments and Potions' texts, while Potter chewed the inside of his cheek. "Have you given any thought to the viability of using Re'em blood in conjunction with a Strengthening Charm in order to combat battle fatigue?"

"Why are you doing this?"

"Are you daft? The Headmistress requires it. Now, the Re'em's blood has a terrible aftertaste, and there is that rather unfortunate hair growth side effect, but–"

"No, not the bloody, er, blood. The tea, the chocolate. The, uh, the honey."

Potter squirmed in his seat and looked away. Severus took another sip of tea, ostensibly to gather his thoughts. The timing of this was delicate. "You were right about what you said at our last meeting. We should try and understand each other—if only for Draco's sake. I care about him very much. He loves you, obviously, so it makes sense to put our enmity behind us."

"Oh. Do you… do you really mean that?"

"Have you ever known me to do or say anything I didn't mean?"


The slap of that single word stung more than Severus cared to admit. Even if he wasn't thinking about Boxing Day, he would have—grudgingly—admitted that Potter wasn't careful around him like so many others were. It was refreshing in a stinging sort of way.

"I assure you, Potter, I mean it now."

Potter nodded. He seemed lost in thought as he fingered the delicate filigree of the podstakanniki's silver base. There was a chip on the edge of the glass cup and several parts of the silver had turned.

"How many of these do you have? These, erm, podstan-podstanknacki–"


"Right. Podstakanniki."

"Just the two." Severus debated whether to say the rest. The earnest curiosity in Potter's gaze convinced him to say more. "They were my grandmother's. The whole set was."

"Oh. I thought you were English."

"I am. My grandmother, though, grew up in a small village in the Central Urals, near Kungur. She immigrated to England and married a man by the name of Prince."

"Eileen Prince was your mother's name, right?"

Severus was nearly caught off guard before he remembered Potter's sixth year. "Ah, the ill-fated Potions book. I'd nearly forgotten."

"Somehow I doubt that." Potter fingered the small silver cup again before looking up. "It's nice to have something of your family, isn't it? A tradition or two to remember. I think that's what keeps people sane, or grounded, or something. Connected." Potter shrugged. "And when you don't have that… sometimes you just have to make your own traditions."

Severus wondered how Boxing Day fit into one's traditions, but he scuttled that thought. Something else that Potter had said resonated with him on a much deeper level. Traditions kept people connected. Who better than Potter and Severus would understand the weight of those words? He didn't like the idea of identifying with Potter—with feeling connected to him—but the sensation wasn't nearly so ghastly as he thought it would be.

Severus took another sip of tea, pleased with the admiration Potter showed his own podstakanniki.

"Harry tells me you made him tea."

Severus nearly choked. "What of it?"

"Nothing, I suppose. Just that you've never made him tea—outright refused to give it to him, in fact—in the three years you've worked together."

"He made good points about understanding each other."

Draco cocked his head to the side. "You've never cared before. What's changed?"

"We have to work closely with each other. It doesn't make sense to hate one another."

"Harry hasn't hated you in a long time. Just so you know. And that's not a reason, anyway. You've worked with McGonagall for years and could care less about understanding her."

"That's my employer you're insulting."

"Still avoiding the question, I see. You must be hiding something. Finally recognizing what a beautiful man Harry's become? Should I keep him cosseted away?"

Draco had been more robust than usual in his Potter commentary. Severus guessed that Draco felt the need to lay his claim. No time like the present to turn the tables. Boxing Day was only getting closer.

"Hardly," Severus said as he dabbed his napkin at the corner of his mouth. "Seen Edward lately?" He smiled to himself when Draco almost choked on his wine.

"Why would you care about Edward?"

"Your reaction to him last week was most peculiar."

"He surprised me. I hadn't seen him in a long while."

"But you said you worked with him. Several projects, you said. Why was it such a surprise?"

"I didn't mean that I'd seen him recently."

"Worked together recently, you mean."

Draco's silverware clattered to his plate. "Yes, worked together. What is this? An inquisition?"

"I want to know who he is, and you're lying about it."

Draco levelled a stare at him. "Do you really want to know? Because I don't think you do."

"Do not presume to know what I want."

"Whatever." Draco sneered signaled for the waiter. "I've got to get back. Next week, then?"

"Who was that man? How does he know you and Potter?"

"It's none of your business."

"I'm making it my business. Both of you are still targets. I've spent my life keeping the two of you from being snapped up by the jaws of death—despite your collective insistence on insinuating yourselves between its eyeteeth. I deserve to know who that strange, overly affectionate, rude man was."

"You presume too much. You don't have the right–"

"Tell me. Now. Or I tell Potter all of your little domestic fantasies."

Draco's mouth popped open in surprise for the second time. "You fucking bastard."


Draco toyed with the rim of his wine glass. "Harry and I like to have fun and Edward was fun. That's all you need to know."

"What kind of fun?"

"Occasionally, when we're both in the mood and we like the bloke, we have a night of fun."

Severus feigned incredulity. "Him? You expect me to believe you bedded him? He's old enough to be… well a young uncle in any event."

Draco paid the check and stood. "What can I say? We liked him. He liked us."

"Do you do this often?"

"No. In fact—No. We don't do it often. And there's nothing wrong with an older man. There's something to be said for that, actually."

"Why do you do it at all?"

Draco shrugged. "Why not? What's wrong with it? We're all consenting adults. It's not something that challenges or changes the way I feel about Harry or vice versa. It just makes it better." Draco hesitated. "It's nice to be wanted, pursued. It's nice to be able to share what we have with someone else."

"Someone like Edward."

Draco smiled—rather like that Mona Lisa woman people prattled on and on about. "Yes. Someone like Edward."

The words, the enigmatic smile, were practically an invitation.

Draco turned to leave. Before he could get too far, Severus stood and grabbed him by the upper arm.

"Just what do you think you're doing?" Draco asked, trying to pull away.

Severus paid no attention to Draco's protests as he strode out of the dining room and hauled him into a hidden alcove. He pressed Draco against wall and leaned against him, one arm pressed above Draco's head, the other pressed on Draco's other side. Draco's eyes glimmered with challenge—Severus had seen it often enough to know what it was. A small, thin smile crept across his face.

"I always figured you for the jealous type," Draco said, pretending not to notice Severus's close proximity. That was one of the things Severus liked best about Draco—he could be direct with him. The hand closest to Draco's shoulder slithered over to Draco's arm, fingers brushing idly across fabric and skin.

"He could be dangerous, did you ever think about that?" Severus whispered.

Draco made a squeaking noise in the back of his throat. Severus could feel him trying to keep his hips from bucking forward. "He's not a danger," Draco managed to choke out.

Severus leaned in closer so that his lips were next to Draco's ear. "You don't know that." His fingers lingered before pulling away.

"I, I–" Draco swallowed. A soft whimper escaped. "It was just the once, anyway."

Severus stepped back, feigning concern. "You're awfully flushed. Are you feeling all right?"

Draco looked away. "I'm fine, you bastard. You're doing this on purpose."

"I have no idea what you mean," Severus said as he shifted his feet and let his erection brush against Draco's hip.

Draco stiffened for a moment. He turned back and smiled. That dangerous glimmer was back. "You know exactly what I mean," he said as he pushed forward in response. "But I don't play alone. That night was a long time ago and well before Harry."

"I'm well aware of your 'playing with others policy.' You and Potter are more possessive of each other than a child with a favorite toy."

"Sounds to me like you have a bit of a problem, then."

Severus smiled. "We'll see about that."

Draco licked his lips and arched one of his eyebrows. "I suppose we shall. Do you mean to pursue us, Severus? Looking for a night of fun? Like Edward?"

Severus bristled at the reminder of Edward. "What if I was? I know my advances wouldn't be unwelcome to you. Unless things have changed."

"No. They haven't," Draco said, several beats too fast, Severus thought.

"But Harry… he's quite the challenge for you, isn't he? You'll have to get him to agree. Good luck with that."

"Are you going to tell Potter about this?"

Draco laughed—that sexy, throaty laugh that went straight to Severus's groin. "Why would I do that? That rather ruins the fun. And the game," he said, bucking his hips forward again, emphasizing his point.

"Indeed." Severus stepped back.

Draco pushed away from the wall with a smirk before sauntering off.

Severus watched him go, pleased with himself. Draco would have figured things out, so it was better to have him know what was going on from the beginning. At least part of it. No one knew that Severus knew about Boxing Day, and Severus intended to keep that little secret to himself.

"We'll never get this stupid report done," Potter groused. He took a long swallow of tea before swirling a teaspoon of honey across his tongue. If Severus hadn't been sure that Potter was completely distracted—and thus oblivious to just how obscene the dipping and curling of his tongue was—he would have given Potter house points for making a professor very, very hard.

"Temper, temper, Potter." Severus shifted in his seat to relieve the pressure on his cock.

"Sorry. I just–" Potter bit his lip in that way that had, over the past few weeks, transformed from annoying to enchanting.

"Go on, you've started now. You've captured my attention, you may as well finish me off."

"It's just been a bad week, really. Between dealing with that Corner prat and keeping the third years from hexing each other, and then, well–"

Potter stopped. He looked down at his notes and swallowed.

Severus, much as he was loathe to admit it, found himself leaning forward, hoping Potter would continue.

Potter looked up, but not at Severus. Instead, he stared at the fire and chewed the inside of his cheek before saying anything further. "Nothing. Do you miss your grandmother?"

The conversation change was so startling, Severus found himself answering without thinking.

"Of course I do. What kind of inane question is that? Not that it's any of your business to begin with."

Potter looked down at the table. His fingers traced the lines of the wood grain.

Severus sighed. "She died a long time ago. While I miss her, the pain of her loss has since dissipated."

"Did you get to spend a lot of time with her?"

Severus stopped himself from snapping back with a scathing retort, but only just. Potter was clearly upset about something and perhaps it was a small price to pay to talk about family in order to gain his trust. "I spent my summers with her."

"Why didn't you spend your summers with your parents?"

"My father… we didn't see eye to eye on many things and my mother found it easier for all concerned to send me to my grandmother's."

"Did you and your mum get along?"

The conversation was becoming more and more uncomfortable. "That's none of your business, Potter," he barked.

Potter looked away and nodded. He shuffled some of his papers and tried to concentrate on a particular one. It looked to be upside down to Severus. Severus sighed and snatched up his cup, finishing it off in one long swallow.

"I didn't really know her," Severus said at long last.

Potter looked up and waited, saying nothing.

"She was a potions maker, but not a Master. She was quite good and could have become a Master, I think, but my father was against the idea."

"Is she—is she still alive?"

Severus looked away. "I don't know. When she found out that I'd taken the Dark Mark, she cast a very old Heredity Hex that prevented me from ever knowing her or finding her again. A very effective way to cut ties with one who displeases you so."

Potter snorted. "My uncle would have liked that hex, I think. Probably would have thought it was the only good use of magic that existed."

Severus refilled his cup and did the same for Potter.

"Thanks," Potter murmured. "But your grandmother—you got along with her?"

"Yes, I did. She died when I was fifteen, but for a long time, she offered a respite from the world."

Potter nodded as if he understood that, and perhaps he did.

"So, Potter, turnabout's fair play. What's got you so moody?"

Potter's gaze dropped to the table. "I told you, it's nothing."

"Lover's spat with Draco, perhaps?"

"No. It's—it's nothing. Leave it."

"This better not be about Black," Severus spat. "You'll get no sympathy from me on that score."

"I wasn't aware I'd get any sympathy from you on any count."

Severus's lips quirked at the corners again. He inclined his head. "All right then, let me put this in practical terms for you. We have quite a bit of work to do and whatever's causing your mood is interfering with that. You might recall I do not suffer wasted time gladly."

Potter rolled his eyes and said something under his breath before turning fully and staring Severus in the eye. There was a hint of challenge to his gaze, as if daring Severus to minimize whatever was troubling him.

"Tell me," Severus said.

"Sometimes–sometimes it really gets to me, you know? I mean, it's stupid. But… I miss them. Even if I never knew them."

Severus was bewildered for a moment before he realized what day it was. He'd forgotten that they'd both begged off the Halloween Feast, telling McGonagall with false earnestness of a desire to sacrifice a night of frivolity in order to work on their joint curriculum report. If McGonagall had caught a whiff of the duplicity, she'd not let on.

"Ah, yes. October thirty-first," Severus said as he fiddled with the small horn caviar spoon—caviar which had been utterly wasted on Potter's plebian palette.

He debated about what to say next. Through his overtures, he and Potter had become friendly. Initially, he'd simply wanted to warm Potter up so that he wouldn't be adverse to welcoming Severus to his and Draco's bed. He'd revelled in Potter's confused and flustered responses. But now Potter needed something beyond trite flattery and teasing seduction. He needed compassion of a sort. Severus found himself reluctant to withhold it.

"They wouldn't want you to mourn them," Severus said finally.

Potter turned towards him, his face expectant.

"My grandmother used to say that death never takes a wise man by surprise; he is always ready to go." Severus's finger made small circles on the table. "Your mother was quite wise, I think."

Potter pursed his lips and blew an angry snort of air through his nose. "But not my father, right?"

Severus hesitated. He would not lie, but neither would he be unnecessarily cruel. "If nothing else, your father had the good sense to believe in her."

Potter sighed. "Thank you. I—you didn't have to say all of that. About my father, I mean. That thing you said, about death not taking a wise man by surprise." Potter's eyes cut to Severus's before looking away again. "Erm, Professor Dumbledore said something very similar to me once."

It was Severus's turn to look away. It was amazing how—after all this time—a name could undo him.

"Even if they were ready to go, perhaps–" Potter paused, as if considering his words carefully, as if what he said next was the measure of things between them. "Perhaps we aren't ready for them to leave. I don't think survivors are ever ready to let their loved ones go. Regardless of the circumstances. And grief makes you do stupid things."

"There's no use dwelling on it. We cannot change the past. You, Draco, me—we know that better than most, I think," Severus said.

"Quite a happy little threesome we make." Potter's eyes were bright and hopeful.

Severus's hand twitched towards Potter's. It would have been so easy. Potter was vulnerable and Severus could easily take advantage. It would get him much closer to securing an invitation for Boxing Day. He had only to touch, to look, to nudge.

He withdrew his hand and placed it in his lap.

"You're looking a bit worse for wear tonight, Potter. It's been a trying day for you, I'm sure. Why don't we try this again next week?"

Potter bit his lip and looked away. "I'm sorry about all that stuff about my parents—I never meant to get into any of that. I just–"

"No need to explain. I understand more than you know. Perhaps we both need a night to remember those we've lost. Why don't we try again next week?"

Potter nodded and opened his mouth to say something else. He blushed a brilliant red before looking away. "Next week, then," he said, which was surely not what he'd meant to say. He packed away his books and parchment and stood. He fixed Severus with a keen stare. "Thank you. You were… thank you."

Before Severus could say anything in response, Potter turned and left.

Severus stared at the door for quite awhile, trying to figure out why he'd let such a golden opportunity slip through his fingers. He knew the answer; he just didn't want to admit it. He was beginning to like Potter. He was beginning to want him on his own merits, not just so he could have Draco. The world as he knew it was shuddering to a halt.

Severus closed his eyes, considering abandoning his ridiculous idea of seduction and—at the same time—clinging to it with profound desperation. He couldn't let it go, though. If he did, he'd never know what he could find with Draco and Potter. He'd started the game with a single night in mind, seduction without remorse because he wanted them. The ironic twist to his plotting was the burgeoning realization that he wanted something much more than just Boxing Day.

The teaspoon clinked against the side of the porcelain cup before Draco dropped it on the saucer with a loud clang. He'd been distant during lunch and quite prickly every time Potter's name had come up.

"So," he finally said after dabbing the corners of his mouth with his napkin. "How's the seduction going? Any closer to luring Harry into your bed?" Draco savaged a scone with his fork, piercing it so violently that the plate wobbled.

Severus had no idea how to respond. How they'd gone from almost rubbing each other off three weeks in a row to cool distance and savaged scones, he didn't know.

Draco took his hesitance as an invitation to continue. "Quite an arsenal of wooing tactics you have. Though, I must say, using the dead parents… that's one I never figured you for."

"What on earth are you on about?"

Draco snorted. "Right. So when Harry came back last week, all unsettled and pensive, talking about how he thought the two of you had turned a corner, that, perhaps, you understood each other for the first time. All of that—that talk about his parents—that wasn't a way to get into his trousers?" Before Severus could respond, Draco turned his head away with a sniff.

Hot anger ripped through Severus. He grabbed the collar of Draco's robes and yanked hard, causing Draco to fly forward, knocking over his teacup along the way. For once Severus didn't care that he was calling attention to himself. "You listen to me, you ungrateful little troll. That you would think I would stoop so low as to curry favour with Potter by touting the good deeds of his dead parents smacks of insult without bounds."

"But it certainly worked to your advantage, didn't it? All he could talk about was how stunned he was by your compassion." Draco rolled his eyes. "How he didn't see through it, I'll never know. Just a testament to his desire to see the good in absolutely everyone."

Severus curled his hands in the folds of Draco's robes tighter. They were shaking, he realized. It had been a long time since he'd been so angry. "I provided both the truth and comfort that night and I did it because I wanted to, not because I wanted Potter to drop trou in thanks."

"But you wanted him to drop his trousers, didn't you? I bet you hoped he'd drop to his knees and give you the best blowjob of your miserable, pathetic life, didn't you?"

"Certainly not. It may escape the vapid universe settled beneath your blond head, but I actually have compassion. I actually consider Potter a colleague and friend. Do I find him attractive? Do I hope to make you both realize that after I've had the honour of fucking you you'll never want another? Yes. Do I want it by manipulating a man through the tragic memories of his parents? How dare you."

Severus let Draco go and watched as he fell back and floundered to keep his seat.

"Perhaps this idea was ill-conceived," Severus said, rising to his feet. A hand on his forearm stopped him.

"Don't go. I—I'm sorry. I had to be sure."

"Sure of what?"

"That you weren't using him. Manipulating him so that–"

"So that I could bed you? Secure his token agreement so that we could feel better about this?"

"Don't look at me like that. You can't possibly be scandalized that I would suggest such a thing. It's common knowledge that you don't like him. What was I to think? You want to seduce him as well so as to be with us both? I find that hard to believe."

Severus sat back down, sneering at a portly man two tables over who teetered on the edge of his seat, eavesdropping. He waited until the man started and returned his attention to his lunch companion before answering.

"Things change, Draco. You more than anyone should know that."

Draco cocked his head to the side, his eyes narrowed. He looked Severus up and down for several moments before nodding his head. Draco's lips quirked up at the edges. "I thought your feelings might be changing, but I had to be sure."

Severus had been had. He'd been had by Draco Malfoy, of all people. "You underhanded–"

"But let me make it perfectly clear, Severus. You hurt him or manipulate him unnecessarily and it's me you'll answer to. Do we have an understanding?"

"We do." Edward's words about not playing them off each other came back to Severus. Not that he intended to, of course. But still, it was amazing how possessive they were of each other, given their history.

"Good." Draco sat back in his chair and ran his finger along the edge of his plate. "You really should get on with things, you know. I'm surprised you've taken things so slowly. I half-expected to come home one afternoon and find Harry walking around in a daze, his shirt untucked, his hair sticking out more than ever, covered in love bites."

Severus fixed Draco with a sharp gaze. "I wasn't aware we were on a timetable. Is there a particular date I should be aiming for?"

Draco looked away and shifted on the seat. Severus crowed in triumph inside. He was still in the running.

"Er, no. Not as such," Draco said. "But you know how things are. Perhaps you should consider prodding things along. Harry's not terribly swift about catching on to things as subtle as your brand of seduction." Draco licked his lips and cocked one of his brows.

"Are you mocking me?" Severus asked, lust rising in his gut. Draco could excite him with little more than a glance. "It's never a good idea to mock someone, Draco, when that person knows your weaknesses."

Draco's face contorted into confusion that quickly changed to shock as Severus's foot slipped out of its shoe and traced the line of Draco's leg, coming to rest at his crotch.

"What are you doing?" Draco choked out.

"Giving you a lesson in subtlety. Perhaps it's one you can teach Potter on a later date."

Severus flexed his foot. He smiled at Draco's small gasp. Draco's eyes darted around the room, as if the other diners could see what Severus was doing.

"Stop it," Draco whispered.

Severus noticed Draco made no effort to move away. He smiled. "The game's afoot, you said, didn't you?" he asked, flexing his foot once more, rubbing it against Draco's erection. "I like to play my games carefully. Planning is everything don't you agree?" he asked, continuing to rub his foot across Draco's cock.

Severus felt Draco's hips buck forward.

"I asked you a question, Mr. Malfoy, and I expect an answer." He curled his foot just so, delighting in Draco's sharp inhale and low groan.

"Mr. Malfoy, I'm waiting."

"I—yes—I agree," he stammered, closing his eyes at the end and biting his lip.

Severus pressed his foot further. "Agree to what, Mr. Malfoy?"

The plates and glasses jumped as Draco's knees hit the table from below when Severus made a particularly inspired move. Draco gripped the edge of the table with both hands and with as much subtlety as he could muster, began thrusting against Severus's foot.

"That—that—fuck—that games, something about games… planning."

"You seem out of breath. Shall I call over the waiter?" Severus asked as he pressed harder and harder against Draco.

"No!" Draco exclaimed in a strangled gasp. "Just… just–" He whimpered. His knuckles turned white, so hard was his grip on the table's edge.

"Is this what you had in mind, Draco? When you advised me to step up my efforts? Tell me? What is your assessment of my progress?"

Severus gave one more hard press with his foot and felt Draco shudder and jerk against him. Draco stiffened. His eyes fluttered closed. Severus thought he heard a soft grunt.

When Draco's fingers uncurled from the table's edge, Severus removed his foot and slipped it back into his shoe. "I think I've made my point," he said as he stood. "Next week?"

Draco looked up. His face was flushed and he was still panting. "Turnabout's fair play, you know," he wheezed.

Severus's lips curled into a smarmy smile. "I'm counting on it."

Potter turned up several days later, alternating between scowling about something Professor Corner had done and blushing every time Severus's fingers brushed his while exchanging parchment or tea service.

"What are your thoughts on integrating the Protego Charm with the Felix Felicis potion? They share common attributes in terms of will and intent. Potter? Potter, are you even listening to me?"

"Hmm? Oh, sorry. What did you ask?"

Severus cursed under his breath. "I'm not in the habit of repeating myself. Either come here prepared to work or don't come at all."

Potter flushed and ducked his head. "Sorry. My head's not in the game tonight."

"What did you say?"

"I—I said my head's not in the game. It's a Muggle–"

"I know from whence it is derived. I'm curious, though, about why you would choose that particular phrase."

Potter looked away. "It's not important."

Alarmed at the thought that Draco had spilled his plotting, Severus leaned forward. "It is important if you show up here, scowling, unprepared to work. Tell me."

Potter rolled his eyes and picked at the filigree edge of his podstakanniki.

Severus pulled Potter's hand away but didn't let go. At Potter's shocked gaze, Severus said, "I'll not have you ruining my grandmother's things just because you're in a foul temper."

Potter grimaced. "Sorry. I—look, it's really not that important."

Severus arched his brow in a familiar way that said clearly Potter was to tell him everything. Now.

Potter huffed and stared straight ahead. "You'll think I'm being stupid, no doubt, but it's Corner."

"What about him?"

"He just…." Potter shrugged. He looked away. "He makes me feel stupid. He says that the only reason I'm allowed to teach is because of who I am and what I did."

Potter turned back. His expression begged Severus to tell him it wasn't true. That he wasn't stupid. That he'd earned his position as a Professor.

"You should not let Mr. Corner get to you like this."

Potter looked down. "I know, I mean, I get that. It's just—I think he's right, I guess."

It went completely against Severus's nature to give comfort, but he was reminded that in the not so distant past, when he'd been feeling a bit like Potter was feeling, an anonymous benefactor had made him feel important.

"It is true that you are, perhaps, not the most academic professor Hogwarts has ever seen and, let's be truthful, Potter, your name has cache value."

Potter looked up. His jaw was set with defiance and his eyes glittered with spitfire. Electricity zoomed through Severus's veins, coalescing in his groin as Potter's nostrils flared and his cheeks pinked with indignance. Before Potter could ruin the moment by saying something, Severus continued.

"Allow me to finish. Despite those things, you engage the children and make them want to learn. You make them believe that they can achieve what you set before them. Corner is a bookish prat who connects more with moldy pages than with people. I should know—it takes one to know one. He's an idiot and you're an idiot for listening to him."

Severus felt a squeeze to his hand. He looked down. Somehow, Potter had tangled up his fingers with Severus's.

"Thank you."

Severus inclined his head. "I never tire of telling you that you are an idiot."

Potter laughed. The sound made Severus feel inexplicably light. Potter untangled their fingers and resettled his hand elsewhere. The guilty flush to his cheeks, though, made Severus's lips curl into a smile.

"So, er, the Protego Charm?" Potter ventured.

Severus toyed with whether to go forward. Decision made, he pushed the tea, and what remained of the dark chocolate toffee bites, aside. He snapped his Potions tutorial closed and stood. "I believe we'll not accomplish more on that topic. Come. There are other things we can do this evening. I need assistance in the lab."

"I'm not scrubbing caldrons."

"A good idea, but not what I need. No, I need your assistance with preparing my sopophorous bean pods for the Master Potions Guild conference next week. You have heard of the Master Potions Guild, haven't you?"

Potter had the audacity to smirk. "I may have. You've only mentioned this conference about thirty times over the last fortnight."

"It is a great honour to be selected for the League. My membership was in dispute due to my past. It was only an anonymous benefactor that got me in. I'll not squander my chances nor will I abide any ribbing about it."

Potter's face sobered. "It is a great honour. One you deserved. I'm—Draco and I, that is, we are rather pleased for you."

Severus pursed his lips. All of the honesty and comfort and earnestness hanging heavy in the room made his skin itch. He turned and motioned for Potter to follow him to his small laboratory.

"The opened pods need to be put in the Suspending Solution in that jar, just there. Remember, the tip of a silver blade down the seam of the pod is all that's necessary."

Potter rolled his eyes. "I actually got a NEWT in Potions, if you'll recall."

"By the skin of your teeth, as I recall. Silver blade. Tip. Seam of the pod."

"And what will you be doing?"

"Pulling the stingers from Peruvian Pufferfish. Why? Do you suggest a trade?"

Potter shuddered. "Not on your life," he mumbled as he slit the first bean pod and dropped it into the Suspending Solution.

They worked in companionable silence for a long while—letting the seriousness of their earlier conversation dissipate.

Severus happened to glance at Potter and nearly dropped the pufferfish he was plucking. Potter, in a deep state of concentration, was poking his tongue out of the corner of his mouth and swirling it as he carefully split each seam. It was obscene what the man did with his tongue… obscene and deeply arousing. Severus felt the stirrings of an erection as Potter's tongue swirled with each neat cut of the blade. Draco's encouragement to speed things along came back full force. There was nothing like a good bit of sexual maneuvering to cure the itch of earnest compassion.

Severus put down his pufferfish and removed his lab coat. "Do you need to let Draco know where you are?"

Potter looked up. His perfect little tongue darted back into his mouth. His brows furrowed in confusion. Severus rather liked that particular expression on Potter.

"Draco knows where I am."

"Ah. So he's not expecting you back at any time?"

"Erm, no," Potter said slowly, as if trying to figure out what Severus was getting at.

"I often hear so many people bemoaning the fact that they have to let their partners know where they are at all times of the day and night. It's refreshing to hear that you and Draco aren't like that."

"Oh. We trust each other, we're our own people with our own lives."

Severus walked around the corner of the table with an exaggerated swagger and said, "Wouldn't you worry about him? Spending all night, alone, with another man? He's grown into quite a fetching young man, you know."

"Er, yeah, he—he has."

Severus looked Potter up and down. "And so have you. No longer a scrawny street urchin, are you? So, shouldn't Draco worry about you? Alone. With another man."

Potter flushed. "I—I'm not sure what you mean."

"Come now. Surely you'd realized that I'd noticed the glances you've tossed my way—and the ones I've given you," Severus said after a slight pause. Potter looked terrified for a moment before breaking out in laughter, the sound flustered and nervous. He got hold of himself and tried to strike an alluring pose. It was quite comical, Severus thought. Potter was all long limbs and fumbling, furtive movements. It wasn't any less arousing, however.

"It's not like I—either of us, Draco and I, I mean—have anything to worry about being with you. You're far too honourable a man to try and woo one of us, aren't you?" Potter asked with a saucy wink, playing along.

Severus gazed at Potter and hoped that it was smouldering. He rather liked the idea that he had a smouldering gaze. "No, not just one of you—you're quite the matched set."

"Sir?" The word lilted up with a small squeak.

Severus rolled his eyes, all the while stepping closer. "You're not very good at teasing, are you? That's a Gryffindor for you. No Slytherin sensibility."

Potter bit his lip. "Ah, yes, well… I guess I've never known you as the joking sort."

"Hmm," Severus answered.

Potter looked uncertainly at the bean held fast between his thumb and index finger. He lifted the knife to make another cut, but hesitated. "Sir, I mean, Severus?"


Potter hesitated again. "Nothing. Sorry. Um, how are these, then?" he asked while gesturing towards the finished beans.

Severus swept around the side of the table and stood very close to Potter while pretending to scrutinize the sopophorous beans. "Ten points, Mr. Potter, for clean Potions work."

Potter nodded, his head still down, the silver blade poised at the top edge of the bean he was still holding.

"Though I suppose you're not a student anymore. Perhaps I should find a more suitable way to reward you?"

And then, in Severus's estimation, the most fortuitous thing happened. The knife skittered across the bean and nicked Potter's wrist. He yelped in surprise and grimaced. His gaze shot to Severus, showing he at least had the sense to know that sopophorous bean sap in the blood stream—even in minute quantities—was dangerous.

Severus wasted no time. He grabbed Potter's wrist and brought it to his lips, sucking and tonguing the wound, drawing out the sap. There were, of course, other, more practical ways to accomplish the task, but Potter wasn't complaining about Severus's methodology. In fact, he seemed quite taken with it.

He smiled inwardly as Potter groaned. Confused eyes met his, but Severus gave him no quarter.

Severus continued to stare as he licked and sucked, making sure he'd drawn all of the sap out. Even after he was sure it was gone, he didn't let go of Potter's wrist.

"Is—is it all out?"

"Not sure." Severus licked Potter's wrist with the flat of his tongue.

Potter moaned and swayed on his feet.

"I think I need to keep checking. One must be thorough in a delicate operation such as this."

"I—I don't think–"

But Severus didn't give Potter a choice. Instead he smiled and returned to tonguing Potter's wrist. When Potter's eyes fluttered closed and he began making incoherent noises in the back of his throat, Severus withdrew.

Potter's eyes snapped open, the haze of lust apparent.

"You seem out of sorts, Potter. I think you should sit down." Severus led Potter to a chair in the far corner. Potter seemed to fall into it, unable to keep himself upright. He wiggled and panted and tried in vain to keep his eyes on the far wall.

Severus kneeled in front of Potter, drinking him in—the flush of his cheeks, the soft panting breaths, the wild, confused gleam in his eyes. Potter looked as though he was on the verge of breaking apart.

Severus's thumb moved back and forth across Potter's wrist. Potter's head jerked to the side as if noticing for the first time that Severus still held it. His eyes followed the back and forth sway of Severus's thumb over the pulse point.

"Why are you doing this?" Potter whispered.

"I'm merely attending to your wound. That could have had terrible--"

"No, that's not what you're doing. You're—you're… trying to… trying to seduce me. I think. Why?"

Severus reached up with one hand and brushed away a lock of Potter's hair. "You're a very attractive young man and I know you're attracted to me."

Potter looked away, the flush of his skin more pronounced. "M'not."

"Oh, but you are. I see it in your eyes."

Potter whimpered. "I—I'm with Draco."

"I know that. But I know that you like to have fun on occasion. I thought you might like to have fun with me. Like you did with Edward."

Harry gasped. "You—how do you—does Draco know you know?"

Severus smirked. "Think about that, Potter. Would I dare do this if he didn't?" Severus drew Potter's wrist to his mouth and licked and suckled until Harry was moaning and jerking his hips.

"St–stop. You—you have to stop," Potter said, but his free hand moved down and started rubbing frantically against his cock.

"Oh, I don't think so," Severus said between licks. "I saw you two that night. In the Prefects' Bath. Fucking each other. I saw the way Draco bit down on your wrist, making you sing like a siren. I know what you like. What you want. What will put you over the edge." Severus bit down on Harry's wrist hard, nearly coming when Harry screamed, and arched, and writhed.

"Please, stop. Fuck. Please."

"I stop when you stop."

Potter moaned again as Severus used the point of his tongue to circle the pulse point. Potter slid down in the chair, his hand working hard and fast against his cock.

"I'm going to—God—stop—I'm going to—I'm going to–"

"Stop talking and do it already," Severus snarled as he bit again and gloried in Potter's wailing cry.

Potter's body went slack and started sliding out of the chair. Severus grabbed him by the waist and hauled him back into a sitting position. Potter eventually came back to himself, but Severus didn't let go. Not even when Potter's eyes fluttered open and caught sight of Severus.

They stared at each other until Potter's breathing slowed to normal, until Potter looked down at Severus's hands, still curled around his waist.

Potter groaned. "We–we shouldn't have done that. Draco's going to kill me."

Severus couldn't help but laugh. Only Potter would say something like that in the post-coital moment. "I rather think he'll want the gory details, Potter. You've nothing to worry about with Draco."

Confusion passed across Potter's face until his comprehension made his eyes narrow into jealous little slits. "You've done something with him, too, haven't you?"

Severus gave an enigmatic shrug of the shoulders.

Potter knocked Severus's hands away and stood. He started charging for the door before Severus was on his feet, grabbing Potter from behind. He pulled him flush against his chest and snaked his arms around, thus containing a snarling, struggling Potter.

"Let me go, you bastard. I can't believe you'd do this to me, to Draco. To us."

Severus pulled Potter closer and dropped his lips to Potter's ear. "Stop struggling. Stop it. Right now. I want you both, you idiot. Together. Both of you."

Potter stopped struggling and cocked his head as if to better hear Severus's words.

"That's right. Both of you, do you understand?"

Potter's breath caught. He nodded. "Why?" he asked.

Severus nipped at the shell of Potter's ear, taking note of his soft gasp. "Does it matter?"

Potter tried to twist around so that he could face Severus. "Of course it does."

Severus sighed. Draco had warned him about this. He should have known that Potter would require meaning behind every gesture, every decision. Why could he not accept that Severus simply wanted them both and had set out the claim them?

"Come for dinner the Saturday night after I return from my conference. The both of you. Perhaps sharing a meal, a few drinks, and a bit more might explain things to you, hmm?"

"I—I don't know. Draco–"

"Draco knows about this, Harry." And, Gods, didn't that name fail to trip off the tongue? "He knows. He wants it, too. Talk to him."

Potter let his head drop. "You—you just want Draco, really. I—I know what happened. That night during the war."

Severus let Potter go, though Potter lingered for a few moments before stepping out of Severus's embrace. He didn't turn around.

"Perhaps that was the case. In the beginning." Severus reached out, his fingers almost touching Potter's hair before he let his hand fall away. "Not anymore."

Potter turned.

"Talk to Draco. Come for dinner on Saturday after next."

Potter swallowed and nodded. He turned and left, closing the door softly behind him.

Severus had just taken a bite of rare roast when Draco finally came out with whatever he'd been smirking about all through lunch. He'd been rather annoying, actually. Even as Severus had regaled him with tales of his Potions convention, Draco smirked.

"Harry was an incoherent, shagged-out mess when he came home Thursday before last. It took an entire night of wild sex to calm him down. Didn't think I'd be able to sit for a week after that."

Severus choked. Through the watery glaze of tears, he thought he saw Draco smile as if he were the cat with the cream.

"I did warn you, you know," he continued, pretending not to notice Severus's distress. "Harry's not as pragmatic as you or I about human affairs. What did you do to him anyway? He wouldn't say. He just blushed and stammered and fucked me harder every time I asked."

Severus reached for his water goblet, unable to breathe for the coughing and choking.

"Severus? You okay?" Severus slammed his empty water goblet on the table and fixed Draco with a stare that he hoped Draco could feel burning through the back of his head. "Boasting, Draco? Just what shortcoming are you compensating for? Or, perhaps, it's an issue of size?" Severus was going for snide, but the rasp in his voice rather queered the effect, he thought. Still, he managed to provoke a distinct bristling before Draco rallied back.

Draco leaned forward, his eyes glittering with malicious glee. "Trust me when I tell you that you've nothing to worry about in the size department. When I shag you, you'll feel it to the very tips of your toes."

Severus's fork dropped to his plate. The choking returned.

Draco's heavy lidded eyes looked him up and down. "How's it feel to have the shoe on the other foot? Or, do you prefer the foot to cock analogy better?"

Severus quelled the ridiculous choking sound he was making and got back into the game. That was one thing he liked about Draco—his gamesmanship was par excellence. In that regard, he and Potter were completely mismatched.

Severus dabbed the corner of his mouth with his napkin. "Feeling a bit sexually frustrated, Draco?" He leaned back in his chair, as if he meant to run his socked foot up Draco's leg, across his thigh, and rub against his cock. "Perhaps a repeat of our last lunch is in order?"

Draco laughed. "Not this time. No, I think it's time you got a taste of your own medicine."

Severus arched a brow. He made a point of looking at his lap. "Funny, but I'm not feeling anything. Is your foot that small or are you being gentle?"

Draco smiled, not rising to the bait. He raised his glass in toast before tossing his head back and drinking his wine in one long, sinful swallow. Severus's mouth went a bit dry.

"So," Draco began, changing the subject. "When he was finally coherent, Harry told me that you've invited us for dinner this Saturday. I never knew you were so hospitable."

"I can be quite charming when pressed," Severus said with a deliberate sneer.

"Of that I have no doubt. Will there be actual dinner involved or is that code for drinks and shagging?"

"Dinner, of course. I've seen how tetchy Potter gets when he's not had his requisite supply of sugar and meat, and that would rather kill the mood I think."

Draco laughed. "Unless you're into angry wall sex, that is." Draco stared at the far wall, as if remembering something. He licked his lips. "We should try that sometime. You against the wall, me pounding into you, Harry, between you and the wall, taking you down to the root."

Severus's erection, which heretofore had been pleasantly interested in the conversation, stood as tall and hard as it dared, as if it could leap into the conversation.

Draco's eyes cut to Severus's. "I bet you're harder than you've ever been in your life right now. Just like how you've made me feel every lunch we've shared lately. Just like how you made Harry feel when you did… well whatever you did."

Severus felt the press of a socked foot against the inside of his calf. He pushed away from the table with a wry smile. "Careful, Draco, it doesn't do to be predictable." He stood from the table and got as far away as he could as quickly as he could.

Though, in retrospect, the toilet wasn't very far away at all and, depending on how one looked at it, it was either the best or the worst decision he could have made.

It happened so quickly. In one moment he was willing his erection down so that he could take a piss and in the next, there was a flash of blond hair, the feel of a body pinning him from behind, and the tingle of a cleaning spell skating across his cock.

"What in the hell do you think–" Severus's words dissolved into a groan as pale hands grabbed hold of his cock and began running up and down.

"This too predictable, Severus?"

"Forgive me for thinking that you wouldn't sink so low as to accost me in the toilet," Severus said, while flexing his hips. His eyes flicked to the door. "A warding spell or a simple Confundus wouldn't be amiss."

"I don't think so. Come fast or come in front of strangers. Your choice."

The thrill of getting caught zoomed through Severus. With an incoherent grunt, he braced himself against the wall and closed his eyes, bucking his hips in earnest. "Then put your back into it and mind the head," he groaned, his forehead resting against the large mirror in front of him.

"I know what this is all about. You think you'll finally get your wish. You want me to fuck you. Hard. You've always wanted it. Haven't you?"

Draco's hands moved faster, his breathing sounding rough and laboured to Severus's ears. He felt Draco's erection digging into the small of his back and nearly came undone.

"You'll finally get it out of your system, yeah? A night of fucking. Is that what you want?"

"No," Severus groaned. Draco's hands faltered, apparently as surprised as Severus at the word. Severus hastened to amend the statement. "Not—not just one night," he wheezed, spurring Draco back to work. "Not just you. Potter, Harry – the both of you."

Draco leaned in and bit Severus's shoulder, just like he'd done to Potter all those weeks ago in the Prefect's bath. Severus's back arched from the stinging pain of it. "Ah," he cried out, his hips jerking in uneven time, syncopated against Draco's equally uneven squeezes and slides.

"And if… and if it was just the one night?" Draco panted as he rutted against Severus's backside while masturbating him from the front.

"Then I'd take it," Severus said in a rush of words as his arousal reach fever-pitch.

"And if there were… there were others?"

Severus growled and snapped in response, sounding more animal than human.

A puff of warm breath hit the back of his neck. "Possessive. Not surprised. You're asking for a lot," Draco said.

Severus looked up then, startled by his reflection in the mirror. Color tinged his cheeks and his face was contorted in an expression that seemed half ecstasy, half agony. But it was Draco's face staring at him in the mirror—his eyes intent, his hair ruffled—that undid Severus. "I'll take what you can give," he gasped before come shot out of him in thick, ropey spurts. He continued staring as Draco's eyes fluttered shut and his head fell back as he rutted harder and harder against Severus, finally coming himself with a small gasp.

Draco fell heavily against Severus, pushing him further against the urinal wall and the mirror. His fingers skimmed across Severus's soft penis, as if soothing it. Severus's hand reached down and tangled with Draco's, squeezing. After a long stretch of silence filled only by soft pants and the rustle of cloth, Draco's hand withdrew.

Severus cleaned himself off and redid the zip of his trousers. He didn't bother to tuck in his shirt. He turned, expecting to find a cocky smirk on Draco's face. What he found instead was earnest appraisal, questions that couldn't be voiced, and affection.

"Why is this so important to you?" Draco asked in a whisper.

"Because I want it and you both want to give it to me."

Draco nodded, though Severus wasn't sure if it was a nod of understanding. "I thought—I thought this was just a game to you."

"It is, but then everything's a game, Draco. Just because it's a game doesn't lessen its meaning."

Draco swallowed and looked away.

Severus stepped forward. His fingers skimmed the side of Draco's face. "You should know by now that I play to win. I think we all know that I'll have my one night, at least. But I plan to have more—much, much more. The both of you in my bed for as many nights as I can win."

"I told you, we don't–"

"I know what you said, and I'm telling you I don't care. I'll take all that I can get by fair or foul. I want you both, and I'll have you."

"We're not possessions."

"No, not if you give yourselves freely. Come Saturday. I'll give you a small taste. Perhaps you and Potter can do the same."

Anything else they might have said was cut short by a small wizard dashing into the toilet. He looked at them strangely before going about his business.

"Saturday, then," Draco said before he left.

"Saturday," Severus repeated.

The table groaned under the weight of platters of bliny stuffed with caviar and sour cream, pelmeni, golubsty, smoked pork loin, smoked salmon, and other delicacies Severus remembered from his youth. The samovar, gleaming in the firelight, hissed and steamed, suffusing the room with the rich smells of black tea and mint. His grandmother would have been proud, Severus thought. Perhaps his mother as well. There was a certain order to welcoming people to one's home—it was a tradition that Severus had never seen fit to take part of. Until recently.


Severus turned to see Draco standing in the doorway, Potter hovering next to him. "By all means, let yourself in."

Draco smirked and strode in, flinging his winter cloak in the general direction of the cloak rack by the front door. Potter stood on the threshold, biting his lip.

"You're letting the cold air in. Come in and shut the door," Severus said.

Potter stepped through and busied himself with removing his cloak. He dropped it twice before he managed to hang it. Even then, his movements were jerky and fumbling.

"All of this for us?" Draco asked, surveying the laden table.

"Dobby prepared the meal."

"Knew Harry was coming, I guess," Draco murmured.

"He did."


A muted clink caused Draco to look in Potter's direction. Severus's gaze followed. Potter had knocked over an antique brass scale and was trying to set it to rights.

"He's a bit nervous," Draco said, staring at a plate of bittersweet chocolate pieces, looking a bit disconcerted.

"I never would have guessed."

"Now's not the time for sarcasm," Draco hissed as Potter finally joined them.

"All of this looks amazing," Potter chirped. He pointed at the golubsty. "Look, Draco. Stuffed cabbage." He leaned forward to get a better look and came close to knocking the pork loin platter to the floor. Severus caught him just in time.

"Sorry," Potter said with a rueful grin.

Severus's lips pursed. The evening was not starting as he would have hoped. "Perhaps some tea would be a good way to start," he said.

"I'll help," Potter chirped in that annoyingly over-bright voice he had when he was nervous.

Severus stopped him. "No. You sit on the sofa before you knock anything else to the floor."

Chagrin blossomed across Potter's face in a beautiful shade of scarlet. Draco narrowed his eyes and levelled his most poisonous glare at Severus. Severus rolled his eyes and turned away, trusting Potter to sit and Draco to follow.

"You don't have to be such a bastard. I told you he was nervous," Draco hissed as he clanked teacups on saucers.

"Careful with those. They're quite valuable," Severus said as he poured the tea from the two teapots on top of the samovar.

"What's this, then?" Draco asked, staring at it.

"Ask Potter," Severus said, deciding to add vodka to the cups. After a moment's hesitation, he added another shot to the cup on the far right.

"What are you doing?"

"Loosening everyone up."

"And the one on the end? Who's that for?"

Severus glared at Draco.

"Oh. That would be for Harry, then."

"Yes, that one's for Potter. Now, take his cup and yours and let's go make agonizing small talk until the vodka works its magic."

Draco's grin was positively salacious. "You've never seen Harry tipsy, have you?"

"Sadly, I have been denied that particular pleasure."

"Don't tease. And it is quite pleasurable. He's quite affectionate when he's drunk," Draco said with a wink before sauntering off.

Draco gave Potter his cup and whispered something that made Potter smile. Draco ran a quick hand through Potter's hair before sitting beside him. It was such a small gesture of affection—one given unconsciously, Severus suspected—but so telling in its simplicity that it made Severus ache.

Potter looked up and caught Severus's gaze. Severus took a hasty sip of tea to cover the fact that he'd been caught staring. Potter examined his cup with furrowed brow. "Where are the podskanni–"

"Podstakanniki," Severus corrected, wondering if Potter would ever learn to pronounce the word correctly.

"—podstakanniki, right. So where are they?"

"I've only the two."

"Oh. Right. I forgot."

Draco watched the wordplay bounce back and forth, clearly not understanding. A vicious sense of satisfaction soared through Severus at the fact that he and Potter shared something that didn't include Draco.

"They were my grandmother's—the podstakanniki. Potter's quite taken with them."

"They're nice," Potter grumbled before taking a large sip of tea. His eyes shot wide. He broke out into a coughing fit, slamming the teacup on the saucer. "What's—what's in that?" he gasped out in a raspy voice.

"Vodka. You seemed nervous." Severus took another sip of his tea, amused by Draco's fussing over Potter as he continued to cough.

Potter's mouth fell open. He turned accusing eyes to Draco who shrugged and nervously sipped at his own tea. "I'm not nervous," he said, snatching up his cup and taking another large sip, suppressing his coughs in its wake.

Three cups of tea and an hour or two of suggestive banter later, Potter had overcome any bout of nervousness he'd had. Somehow, they'd migrated to the floor. They sat in a close circle with Severus in the middle, surrounded by half-eaten platters of food. Potter plucked a piece of pelmeni from a tray between him and Severus. He popped it into his mouth, licking his fingers with that devious little tongue of his.

"I never said that," he slurred in between chews in response to some inane tale Draco was telling about their first date.

"Oh, but you did," Draco said with a laugh, his own cheeks pinked by strong tea and stronger vodka.

"I was—I was–" Potter's head lolled against the sofa. He giggled. "I wanted to teach you how to suck a lolly."

Severus's brow arched. His erection stirred in interest.

Draco turned to Severus, a calculating gleam in his eye. "Let's ask Severus, then. See what he says. What would you say if Harry here had licked his lips, stared at your lap, and said, 'There's a right way and wrong way to suck a lolly. Why don't you let me show you the difference?'"

Potter giggled again and made some token protestation that he'd meant a real lolly.

"I would have paid the bill, hauled Potter up by the back of his robe and Apparated us both to my quarters to ensure the privacy of my lesson," Severus said.

Draco laughed and fell against Severus, his cheek caressing Severus's shoulder in that affectionate way only someone half-drunk had. Severus felt the soft, hot breath against the side of his neck. He stifled the groan that lingered in the back of his throat. He felt Draco open his mouth to say something, but Potter cut him off.

"You'd like my lesson," Potter said before sucking his fingers, the sound loud and obscene. A saucy retort was on Severus's lips, but he was brought up short by the smear of sour cream across Potter's bottom lip and part of his chin. Potter's tongue darted out and licked some of it away. "S'good," he said. His head lolled back. He spread his legs a little wider and sighed. "Like the little ravioli things better," he said, licking his lips while wiggling his fingers at the half-eaten platter of pelmeni.

Severus's fingers darted to the tray and found the plumpest pelmeni remaining. He brought it to Potter's lips, Draco's raspy breath urging him on.

Potter's lips parted. His tongue slithered out, cupped the small boiled pastry, and sucked it in—Severus's fingers and all. His tongue laved and writhed around Severus's thumb and forefinger long after the pelmeni had been eaten.

"He loves to suck fingers like that," Draco's panting voice said from Severus's side. Severus felt the swipe of Draco's tongue across the side of his throat—a perfect counterpoint to Potter's greedy tongue. Severus didn't hold back the groan this time.

"He loves to suck anything. Always nibbling on quills and sucking on hard candy when he can't get at my cock. Bet you'd like him to suck your cock, wouldn't you?"

"Of course I would," Severus snapped, each word punctuated with a soft puff of breath.

"He'd do it right now if you asked. Look at him."

And Severus did. While Draco kissed and sucked on his neck, Potter feasted on his fingers. Sooty lashes rested against flushed cheeks that hollowed with every pass of Severus's fingers.

The dish of honey caught Severus's attention. He withdrew his fingers, marvelling as Potter's head moved forward to reclaim them, his eyes snapping open in surprise.

"Something sweeter, perhaps," he murmured as his fingers swirled through honey and plunged back into Potter's mouth.

Potter's eyes fluttered closed. He hummed around Severus's fingers, nibbling the tips, and sucking all of the honey away.

Draco's hand snaked around Severus's front and undid the placket of his trousers. The angle was a bit awkward and when Severus's lust-fogged brain caught up with the goings-on, he reached down to help. Between the two of them, they managed to wrench down Severus's trousers and y-fronts despite Severus's erection.

"Tell him. Tell him it's time for your lesson. Tell him to suck your cock," Draco urged between kisses. Severus proved incapable of words.

Draco huffed out a broken series of breaths that might have been a chuckle in other circumstances. He leaned around Severus's body, grabbed the small dish of honey and dumped it over Severus's cock.

"What do you think you're–" Severus began, but coherent thought left him as Draco tugged at Potter's hair and told him, "Suck his cock, Harry."

In one fluid motion, Potter released Severus's fingers and he dropped down to take Severus all the way to the root, honey squelching and oozing all around his lips.

Expletives flew from Severus's mouth as Harry sucked hard and swirled the tip of his tongue along the base of Severus's penis, catching the rivulets of honey as they tried to escape. The pleasure was so exquisite, it bordered on painful.

Draco maneuvered them so that he sat behind Severus, his naked erection sliding against the cleft of Severus's arse. His arms wound around Severus's chest, leaving Severus's hands free to twine in Potter's hair and pull hard when Potter did something he particularly liked.

"Imagine fucking like this, Severus. Imagine me buried deep inside you with Harry sucking you off."

Images of Potter and Draco surrounding him and viciously drawing out his pleasure like Incubi made him buck his hips. He savoured the sound of Potter's surprised choke. Instead of relenting, he tugged hard on Potter's hair, drawing him further down his cock.

"Maybe you'd like to tie his hands behind his back so that he couldn't pleasure himself, yeah? He likes that. He does that to me on occasion. He's quite ruthless about giving pleasure and likes me to be ruthless in return," Draco rasped, the hot steam of his breath skittering across Severus's throat. He was surrounded by heat.

"You'd like that too, wouldn't you? Me fucking you hard and you fucking his mouth hard, delaying his orgasm."

Severus groaned and fell back into Draco's embrace.

"You want me to fuck you. You've always wanted me to fuck you," Draco whispered as he rutted against Severus's arse.

"Yes," Severus hissed as images of a pale and naked Draco resurfaced in his mind. He was surprised when visions of Potter joined in, twining around Draco and fucking him hard, while feathering Draco's throat with the soft, gentle kisses of a lover.

Draco's breathing hitched. His rutting lost rhythm, just as Severus's thrusts into Potter's mouth lost rhythm. Severus succumbed to sensation as the overwhelming urge to come crested over him.

Behind him Draco stiffened and groaned. At the feel of Draco's come dribbling down his cleft, bright lights popped and flashed behind Severus's eyelids and heat boiled through him, spurting down Potter's welcoming throat. The suction was so tight, Severus wondered if that was what it would feel like to be buried deep in Potter. He wondered if Potter would let him take him. He wondered if he'd take him regardless.

"So good, so fucking good," Draco was saying in between panting breaths. Severus groaned as the last of his orgasm left him. He fell limp against Draco, ready for a very long nap. "Not yet. Have to—have to take care of Harry," Draco said as he tried to wriggle out from behind Severus.

With great reluctance, Severus leaned forward and opened his eyes. Harry was on his back, his gangly limbs sprawled willy-nilly. His trousers and pants were gone, where was anyone's guess. His eyes were closed and his swollen lips were smeared with honey and Severus's come. Both of his hands were curled around his erection, trying to move up and down in some semblance of rhythm, but the vodka had finally done him in.

Draco crawled over to Potter's left side and motioned for Severus to do the same on the right. He pushed Potter's hands away, shushing his drunken whimpering with promises of something better. He leaned across Potter's body and cupped the back of Severus's head, drawing him into a deep kiss. It was their first, which made it perfect. It was indescribable, except to say that by the end of it, Severus didn't know where he began and Draco ended.

With teasing kisses, Draco drew them down, until they were poised on either side of Harry's cock. "Kiss me, Severus," Draco said as he wrapped his lips around the side of Harry's erection.

Severus chuckled at Draco's ingenuity, ignoring Potter's caterwauling for the moment. He wrapped his lips around the other side of Potter's cock until they barely touched Draco's. Slowly, they moved up, their lips coming closer and closer to each other until finally meeting at the head. Their tongues swiped across Potter's slit, revelling the salty taste of pre-ejaculate.

Potter arched up and begged for more, trying to push his cock into one of their mouths. With matching smirks and the gleam of gamesmanship in their gazes, Severus and Draco went to work. Up and down they went, their lips parting at the bottom and meeting in a fierce tangle of lips and tongue at the top.

Potter cried and begged and arched for more, until finally he came, come splashing his stomach as it slid down his cock in thick spurts. Severus and Draco licked the come away as they moved up and met at the top of Harry's cock once more.

They continued to kiss long after Potter had finished coming, both cupping each other's heads, refusing to let go for fear of the euphoria dispersing too quickly.

Draco looked down and brushed a lock of hair away from Potter's sweaty forehead. "I think he's passed out."

Severus's fingers stroked the length of Potter's thigh. "I'm not surprised. I may have been a bit generous with the vodka."

"A bit?" Draco snorted.

He shook Potter's shoulder gently, trying to rouse him. Potter said something incoherent and tried to push Draco's hand away. Draco leaned down and whispered something in his ear and shook him a bit harder. Potter's mouth turned down in a moue of displeasure, but he roused himself nonetheless.

"I better get him home—he's like dead weight once he passes out for good." Draco helped Potter sit up, who was now staring at his crotch, blinking.

"M'not wearing trousers," he said in a soft voice of genuine wonder.

"No, you're not," Draco said as he helped Potter to his feet. Severus rose and helped Draco steady Potter, feeling the moment between them pass. A knot of dread worked its way into his chest. Was this it? Would this be all that they wanted? Had he come too fast? Too slow? Should he ask them to stay? Instead, he stood there paralyzed with indecision.

Potter turned to Severus and stared at him. He reached out and trailed his fingers down the side of Severus's face. "Severus," he whispered in a sibilant hiss, full of affection and longing.

That small gesture was enough to reassure him. Severus captured Potter's fingers in his hand and kissed them before letting go, hoping to convey everything that he couldn't bring himself to say.

Potter's eyes fluttered closed, but the goofy grin remained. Draco, having bundled Harry's cloak around his shoulders, tucked Potter close to his side. "Come on, golden boy, time to go home." Draco turned to Severus and smirked. "Quite a taste, yeah? Though, I think a more thorough exploration is needed, don't you?"

Severus's throat went dry. "Indeed," he said as the knot of unease in his chest loosened.

"Lunch next week? Same time?"

Next week was two weeks before Christmas, Severus noted absently to himself as he nodded and saw Draco and Potter out. He leaned against the door, replaying the night's events in his head. He felt himself growing hard at each remembered word and touch. With a satisfied chuckle, he sauntered towards the bath for a very long shower.

They met in front of the restaurant as they did every week, Severus standing to the left of the door while Draco hurried to be on time. They'd never considered eating anywhere else. The waitstaff knew them well, which was the only likely reason they'd been permitted to get away with their naughty shenanigans over the last few weeks. But for all of the familiarity, this particular lunch felt entirely new.

"Severus," Draco greeted, his face pink from the cold wind.

Severus moved forward to embrace him, as he always did, and stepped back after an appropriate length of time. This time, though, Draco kept him the circle of his arms. He hesitated a second before dropping a soft kiss on Severus's cheek. Severus had no idea how to react, so he didn't. Draco let him go and turned away, the flush to his cheek a bit stronger.

"I guess we should go in, then," Draco said, looking anywhere but at Severus.

"Yes. Should we ask for our usual table in back?"

"One in the front's fine," Draco said hastily.

Things had changed and Severus wasn't entirely sure which way they'd gone.

Lunch was awkward. Casual touches that never used to faze either of them resulted in soft gasps or murmured apologies.

"How was Potter feeling on Sunday?" Severus asked after realizing that Draco did not plan to speak of their impromptu threesome the weekend before.

"Fine. He was a right prat until I gave him a Hangover Potion. After that we–" Draco stopped, instead stuffing a forkful of tortellini in his mouth.

Severus sat back, surprised. This was usually the point at which Draco goaded him with tales of Potter's superior fucking abilities. He'd actually been looking forward to the stories today.

"After that you…." Severus prodded.

"You know."

"Yes, but for once I actually want to hear you say it."

Draco tilted his head and regarded with Severus with curiosity. "Why?"

The question made Severus's skin prickle. There was something quite off about the conversation. He'd expected there to be more innuendo, perhaps some detailed plotting about how to seduce an unsuspecting Potter. Instead, he got uncomfortable questions and, aside from a chaste kiss on the cheek, Draco's standoffish behaviour. And then it hit him. They'd not had a good time. They'd taken their samples and hadn't been impressed.

"I asked you why you wanted to know," Draco said again, stirring Severus from his thoughts.

Severus fixed Draco with a glare. "Because I've tasted the goods now and find them quite pleasing to my palate. Go on. Regale me with tales of Potter's prowess and the power of your come-hither stare," Severus challenged, wondering if Draco would rise to the bait.

"Is that all you care about?"

"Sex? When it comes to you and Potter, yes."

Draco shook his head. "I figured that you'd gotten it out of your system. Guess I was right."

"Gotten what out of my system?"

"You know. Having a—having a go with the two of us."

"I bloody well have not," Severus said as he shifted in his seat, frustration rankling him. "I'd like to have another go with you sometime soon, in fact. Preferably something beyond an inventive, drunken fumble."

Draco pursed his lips but looked away.

"If anyone has cause to think that anything had gotten out of anyone's system, it's me."

"I'm sorry, what?"

Severus threw his napkin down. "I'm the one who should feel slighted, not you, you idiot."

"Why would you think that?"

"You have Potter. You're not looking for anything permanent," Severus said, challenge lacing his words.

"I wasn't. We weren't. But–"

Severus leaned forward. "But, what?"

Draco shook his head and bit his lip. "Nothing. I just… nothing. We had a great time on Saturday. It's just, I don't know, a little confusing, I guess."

"What could possibly be confusing about it?" Severus looked down at his austere robe and imagined how unattractive his sallow skin and hooked nose must have been. He was right. Of course he was. "What, have buyer's remorse?" he sneered.

"Don't you dare say that about yourself," Draco hissed, grabbing Severus's hand and refusing to let go. "I never lied about you being attractive. You are. I don't care what you think of yourself, I—we find you attractive and—and sexy."

"Forgive me if I find your conviction under-whelming."

"It's confusing, I told you," Draco said, his sudden anger surprising.

"Confusing how? I'm certain things weren't nearly so confusing with Edward. You had a good time with Edward. I'm sure Edward–"

"Shut up about Edward. I didn't know Edward. I didn't have a history with Edward. I didn't–" Draco closed his eyes and shook his head.

Severus felt like his imagined life with Draco and Potter was teetering on the edge of a large ravine. Ever the defeatist, Severus gave it a swift, vicious kick. "Don't you mean we, Draco? When did this suddenly become about you and me? Do you mean to leave Potter? Has Potter always just been along for the ride on these little trysts? Giving in to your voracious sexual needs?"

"That's not it at all, and you know it. Fuck you, Severus. Fuck you."


"Gods, you're such an unmitigated bastard. I—I have to go."

Before Severus could stop him, Draco bolted from the table and left without another word.

"Brilliant. Just brilliant," Severus muttered to himself, seeing his happiness tumble down the side of the ravine, end over end.

Severus was in a foul mood. Draco had not shown for lunch the week following their rather disastrous one. Even Potter had failed to turn up. How coincidental. He'd wondered, idly, if he'd still receive an invitation for Boxing Day—despite the lunch. After all, it had seemed assured after their ribald dinner. But it was now Christmas day.

He spied the bits of parcel paper still littering the floor and banished them with a wave of his wand. The parcel had been from Draco and Potter. He'd ripped the paper away immediately, only to find a generic Christmas charm and a set of the newest Potions knives. The impersonality of it left him cold. He'd never felt so empty.

A knock at the door roused him from his bleak mood. He hoped it was an inconsolable first year seeking a bit of comfort so that he could make her cry as he explained precisely how the world worked.

But instead of a sobbing child, Harry Potter stood at his door, his cheeks flushed and his stance hesitant. A stabbing pain—not entirely unwelcome for some reason—filled him.



"What do you want?"

Potter ran his hand through his hair and glanced down the hallway. He shuffled his feet. "I—I wanted to wish you a Happy Christmas."

"You've done that already, with your generic Christmas charm and expensive knives."

Potter looked down at his feet. "I—I know. That was from both of us. I—I just wanted to stop by. Give you something else. From me."

Severus's eyes narrowed. Blind, irrational anger shot through him and blurred his vision. Potter was probably there to finish the job Draco had botched so spectacularly. He was there, Severus figured, to let him down gently. To explain, in his annoyingly gratuitous way why Severus hadn't received the invitation.

"If you think after our little tryst two weeks ago that you can simply come by whenever the mood strikes, you're sadly mistaken." Severus made to close the door. Potter's voice stopped him.

"It's not like that. That's not why I'm here. Please. May I come in?"

Severus opened the door a bit wider and stepped out of the way, his masochistic curiosity surging to the fore.

"Thank you," Potter said as he walked in. He fumbled with his winter cloak and scarf. "It's awfully cold out there," he said.

"It generally is in December," Severus replied, refusing to indulge Potter's ghastly attempt at small talk or soothe his nervousness.

"Right. Right," Potter repeated as he sat on the sofa while Severus settled into his favorite chair.

Potter stared at his hands for a long while without saying anything.

"Why are you here?" Severus asked again, annoyed.

"I—I just wanted." Potter's eyes darted around the room. "May I have some tea?"



"Get on with what you came here for and go."

Potter nodded. He reached into his pocket, as if searching for something. He paused and looked Severus straight in the eye. "Is this—I mean, are you being like this because of what happened two weeks ago?"

Severus felt as if he'd been stabbed in the heart with a dull fork. "I haven't the faintest idea what you're talking about," he lied.

Potter stared at him. "When we came for dinner. And when I—we we–"

"I remember what happened two weeks ago, Potter. And no, it's not that. It's not anything. I'm simply being me."

Potter nodded again and swallowed. The hand in his pocket resumed its rummaging. "I wanted you to know that I really enjoyed that night. So did Draco. You know he's been away since after your lunch two weeks ago, don't you? Called away on an emergency assignment."

Severus stilled. He'd not known that. He'd simply assumed that Draco had stood him up, too ashamed to meet him face to face. A strange fizzy feeling danced through him. He refused to call it hope. "I did not. Has he returned?"

"Just today. I've been at the Burrow for the last week or so—it's always a hard time for Molly, what with Arthur gone and everything. We weren't sure if either of us would be back in time and had to send our gifts out via Owl with general Christmas charms. Er, sorry about that, by the way."

The fizzy feeling was growing by the second. Severus made a desperate attempt to keep it at bay. "That still doesn't explain why you're here now."

"Oh. Right." Potter fished out a small parcel from his pocket and quickly resized it. It was a smallish box wrapped in heavy green paper and green ribbon. "This—this is from me," Potter mumbled as he thrust the gift at Severus.

Bewildered, Severus took it and carefully undid the wrap. He opened the box and his breath caught at what lay inside.

"It's—I know it's not exactly like the other two, but I thought it was close. The silver seemed in good condition and the glass was perfect. The man at the shop thought that it was made about the same time as yours—well, based on my rather unhelpful description."

Severus continued to stare as Potter babbled.

"I'm sorry I could only find the one. I—I tried to find others, but they're much harder to come by than one would think. Maybe I'll find more in the future. But this way, at least the three of us can use them. That is if you want us to, I mean."

Severus lifted the delicate podstakanniki from the box and held it out to the light. It wasn't part of his grandmother's set, but it was as close a cousin as he could ever hope to find. "Why?" he asked finally.

Potter flushed even more and shrugged his shoulders, looking away. "I just—I wanted you to have your traditions and I guess I thought–" Potter shook his head with a small snort.


"You'll think it's stupid."

"I think most of what you say is inane, this really shouldn't be any different."

Potter laughed. "Well I— I guess I just thought the two podskant–"


"—podstakanniki looked sad by themselves." Potter turned back and looked Severus in the eye. "I guess I just thought three was a better number."

Severus's throat went dry. "And Draco? Does he agree?"

"Absolutely. Yes."


"It's all sorted," Potter interrupted in a soft, eager tone that made Severus want to lean forward and kiss him.

"It is a very thoughtful gift. Thank you." He hesitated a moment. "Would you like to stay for tea?"

Potter smiled and shook his head. "Sorry, but I can't. I've got, er, some errands to run."

"Of course," Severus said, strangely not caring that he'd not been invited to Boxing Day. He fingered the silver filigree and felt warmth creep into his bones.

Potter rose to leave. He cleared his throat. "We were wondering, uh, that is… we wondered if you might like to come for pudding tomorrow night?"

Severus nearly dropped his gift. "What?"

"Tomorrow? For pudding?"

Severus's mind whirred and clicked, calculated and hypothesized. "You mean, on Boxing Day?"

Potter tilted his head to the side and smiled. "Yeah, course. That's tomorrow, isn't it? So will you? Come for pudding tomorrow? Boxing Day?"

Severus stood and crossed the room. He grabbed Potter by the shoulders, ignoring his squawk of surprise, and kissed him hard. His tongue stabbed at Potter's chapped lips, forcing its way in, drawing out groans of pleasure and other soft, incoherent sounds.

He pulled back and kept hold of Potter's slackened form until he got his wits about him.

"I'd be delighted," Severus answered.

Potter's eyes were still glazed with lust and surprise. "What—what was that for?"

"Because I wanted to."

Potter nodded and stumbled away, barely remembering to get his winter cloak and scarf before he left.

Severus had borne witness to many, many things in his life, but the scene that greeted him upon entering the dining room in the Malfoy/Potter flat on Boxing Day riveted him beyond measure. The note he'd received earlier in the day had said to let himself in when he arrived, so Severus had. Bearing a bottle of vodka and a box of the dark chocolate toffee truffles Potter salivated after, he almost dropped both when he stumbled into the room, calling for Draco and Potter as if playing a game of Blindman's Bluff.

There, on the dining room table, were Potter and Draco, naked, covered in pudding of some sort, fucking each other senseless. As one, they turned their heads and stared at Severus, beckoning him in with the undulation of their bodies and the glitter of their eyes.

Severus could do nothing but stare and try and push away the sense of inadequacy that threatened to overwhelm him.

"Happy Boxing Day, Severus," Draco crooned as Potter ploughed into him from behind.

"Yeah, Happy Boxing Day," Potter said before he dropped his head and licked down the center of Draco's bicep. "Mine," Severus thought he heard Potter murmur.

"You're a bit overdressed," Draco said. "Oh, fuck, yeah, like that, just like that," he whispered to Potter, though his eyes didn't leave Severus. "Come join the party."

Inadequacy shoved him hard in the gut, but Severus pushed it back this time. 'Sod this,' he thought to himself as his fingers flew to the placket of his robe. He reminded himself that Draco and Potter found him sexy. He reminded himself as his robe slithered to the floor and he kicked his shoes to the side that he had a commanding presence and a voice that made most people swoon. As his trousers and shirt joined his robe, he reminded himself of the podstakanniki Potter had given him, the kisses he'd shared with Draco, the genuine affection he felt for both of them.

Just as he'd rid himself of the last of his clothing, Potter grunted and slumped against Draco's back. They sat there for a few moments, recovering. Severus hoped he hadn't arrived too late.

Potter muttered a soft incantation, and when Severus joined them at the table, both they and the table were clean.

"That was quite a sight to see," Severus said as he reached out and tweaked a nipple on each man's chest. He rolled them back and forth, squeezing. "You're quite naughty not to have waited."

"S-Sorry—Couldn't wait," Draco panted, his back arching.

"Yes, but what am I to do now? I don't fancy having to wait."

"Won't. Took… we took a potion," Potter stammered. His head was thrown back and his mouth hung open. His hand reached up to twist his other nipple, but Severus knocked it away, and took the other nipple into his mouth instead. He sucked for a few moments before biting softly, revelling in Potter's groan.

Severus let go and stepped back, surveying Draco and Potter's flushed skin and renewed erections.

"See? Told you," Potter said, licking his lips as he stared at Severus's cock.

"Apologies accepted, then. Tell me, what's on the menu? I was invited for pudding, was I not?"

"You were," Draco said.

"And you're the pudding, Severus," Harry said, exuding a sexy confidence that, heretofore, Severus had not witnessed.

Potter and Draco shared a look. Draco nodded his head and Potter grinned. Again they turned as one and stared at Severus, their eyes flickering up and down the length of his body. Regardless of what he knew his body looked like, they made him feel alive. Sexy. Important. He would never, ever give that up.

Draco reached behind him and produced a charmed cock ring. He slid it down the length of Potter's cock, charming it so tight that Potter cried out.

"To keep things interesting," Draco said in response to Severus's unspoken question.

"Hello, Severus," Potter panted as he hopped off the table and dropped to his knees, his purpling erection bobbing back and forth. "Hello to you, too," Potter murmured before licking the head of Severus's erection and taking it into his mouth.

That was the extent of the pleasantries, it seemed. Potter and Draco aimed to get right to it, not that Severus minded in the least.

Draco and Severus stared at each other as Potter slurped and sucked. Draco's gaze was hawk-like, flitting back and forth at the sound of soft gasps Severus couldn't keep in and Potter's noisy slurping.

Potter's hand reached up to massage Severus's testicles. He found himself spreading his legs instinctively.

Draco hopped off the table and circled around, coming to rest at Severus's back. He pushed Severus forward so that his hands were braced against the table's edge. Potter following as required, never letting up on his incessant teasing.

"Spread your legs further."

Severus complied, his eyes rolling back in his head as soft fingers delved into his cleft and circled his opening.

"How long?"

"Doesn't matter," Severus said concentrating on pushing out while Draco's slicked fingers pushed in. When had his fingers gotten slick? The thought skittered away as Draco pushed and Potter swallowed.

The preparation was short—Draco knew well enough that Severus wasn't someone who needed extended foreplay, especially given Potter's role in all of this.

Draco widened his stance, curled one arm around Severus's stomach, and braced the other against Severus's shoulder. Severus drew in a deep breath as he felt Draco inch closer and line himself up.

Draco stopped, which clearly wasn't planned, because Potter stopped too and looked up and around, locking eyes with Draco. Unspoken questions passed through Potter's eyes. Severus opened his mouth to say something, but shaky fingers skimmed down his flank and Potter returned to his task, his gaze shooting to Draco's every few seconds.

Severus suspected what the holdup was. "I want this, Draco," he began, hoping he was right. "I've dreamed of this for a long time, and when we're done, I'll still want it. I'll want you—both of you. It won't be out of my system."

That seemed to be all of the encouragement Draco needed, because seconds later he pushed his way in.

The pain was fleeting; the pleasure exquisite. Severus scrabbled against the table, meeting Draco thrust for thrust, his hands digging into the edge, refusing to play the role of the docile partner. Draco bit his shoulder as one hand reached up and twisted his nipple. Bright flashes of light—like he'd seen before—exploded behind his eyelids. He growled and dropped one of his hands. He grabbed Potter by the back of his head and forced his erection in deeper, marvelling at Potter's enthusiastic groan. Draco's strokes were long and sure. Potter matched him in that regard. The pressure in his groin built higher and higher and higher until he was coming, his ejaculate spilling from the sides of Potter's stretched mouth. Draco followed him just moments later.

Potter looked up and stared into Severus's eyes as he made a show of swallowing again, and again, while Draco slowly withdrew. As Potter sat back on his haunches, Severus's limp cock slipped from his swollen lips.

"How was that, Severus?" Potter asked, his roughened voice sounding like sex personified.

"Good, but more experiments are needed, I think. Perhaps with me fucking you?"

Potter's eyes glazed over and he licked his lips.

Before Severus could say something further, he felt himself turned in Draco's arms. Draco was panting. There were questions there, in his eyes. Severus silenced them all with lips and tongue and teeth.

"Do you need a potion?" Draco asked. "We both need one, so I thought I'd ask if you did as well."

"As long as you're offering," Severus said, grateful that he didn't have to sneak off to the toilet to take a few sips of Pepper-Up.

Draco returned with three vials of blue potion. They downed their respective potions. The effects were instant. Moments before, Severus had been ready for a nap. Now, as he spied Potter shifting uncomfortably, staring at his desperate cock, Severus had an entirely different idea.

"Potter, up on the table, on your back."


"Up, now. Or shall I levitate you there, but with a good sound spanking, first?"

Draco chucked as Potter scrambled to his feet. He got onto the table, shooting dark looks in Draco and Severus's direction the whole time.

"Hands behind your head, legs spread. Now," Severus said as he stood and retrieved the vodka and chocolate.

"If you move at all, I shall tie you down to this table and not release you until the morning. And before you get excited, you aren't coming again this evening until my cock is buried deep in your arse. Your choice."

Potter shuddered and his eyes rolled back. Neither his hands nor his feet moved.

Severus's hand skimmed the plane of Potter's chest while Draco situated himself on the other side. "I understand you're a fan of orgasm denial. We'll see how much like it when it's your orgasm teetering on the brink for what feels like an eternity."

"Yes," Potter hissed, making Severus's renewed erection throb.

"Told you," Draco said to Severus with a smirk.

"Tip your head back, yes, just like that. Can you hold that position?" Severus asked Harry.

"Yeah, I think so."

"Good, don't move."

"What are we doing?" Draco asked, his eyes sweeping across Potter's body as if it were a great big confection.

"Potter was mistaken. I'm not the pudding this evening, he is."

Draco's grin was wicked to the core as he surveyed his lover. "What do you want me to do?"

Severus handed him the chocolate. "Except for a few largish pieces, break all of the chocolate in small bits and scatter them across his body."

Potter groaned. "That's—that's not the really, really good chocolate, is it?"

Severus took one of the largish pieces, cast a charm to keep it from melting, and shoved it between Potter's lips. "It doesn't disappear, understand? It disappears and you stay here all night."

Potter smirked around the chocolate and nodded, settling into the game.

Severus turned back to see Potter's body dusted in chocolate and toffee bits, his cock nearly covered in it.

"What's next?" Draco asked, enjoyed his part.

Severus opened the vodka bottle and poured some in the hollow of Potter's throat, watching it splash and run down the sides of Potter's neck. A muffled groan rose from Potter. Severus poured more in his belly button, pleased at Potter's self-restraint as the cold liquid splashed and ran between his legs.

"I'll start with the neck, you the belly button, and we lick the chocolate away, leaving his cock for last." Severus placed the vodka bottle between Potter's legs. "For refills. Ready?"

Draco nodded and licked his lips. Draco dove in, his tongue and lips slurping up the vodka. Potter moaned and squirmed, but didn't dislodge either his hands or his feet.

Severus leaned down and sucked at Potter's throat, the rumble of Potter's groans against his lips spurring him on.

For almost an hour, Draco and Severus licked and sucked vodka and chocolate from Potter's body until all that was left was his cock. He was a mewing, sweaty mess by the end, but the chocolate was still firmly lodged in his mouth and neither his hands nor feet had moved.

"Pull his legs up and prepare him, Draco."

Potter started at the feel of his legs being moved, his eyes snapping open.

"It's just me. I'm going to make it easier for Severus to take you," Draco soothed. He pulled the chocolate from Potter's mouth, an obvious cue that there might an issue with the proceedings. "Are you okay with that?"

Potter swallowed. He nodded.

"I need to hear you say it," Draco said.

"Yeah. Yeah I want that."

Draco's eyes darkened to flint. "Careful, I might decide to do the same."

"Want you to," Potter whispered.

Draco leaned forward and kissed Harry soundly before returning to his task.

Potter turned his head and stared at Severus. Severus's breath caught at the trust he saw there. Potter smiled before closing his eyes as Draco pushed in two fingers.

Severus kissed along Potter's shaft, licking up the chocolate bits. He reached the head and plunged down, sucking hard. Potter's back arched off the table. Up and down Severus went as Draco methodically teased Potter's entrance.

"Please, please, please," Potter chanted, his head tossing back and forth and he writhed.

When Severus was sure that Potter couldn't stand a second longer, he pulled him up from the table.

"On a bed, if you please. I don't fancy fucking you on this table."

Draco helped Potter off the table and half-dragged, half-carried him down the hall. Severus strode behind them, his erection proud.

He entered the room to find Draco positioning Potter on his hands and knees in the center of the bed. Severus crawled behind Potter and rested his hands on Potter's hips. For a moment, he just stared at the expanse of soft skin that lay before him. He leaned down and kissed the base of Potter's spine. His tongue licked further down, resting at the beginning of his cleft. Severus was struck by the intimacy, the trust that had finally developed between them.

"Harry," he murmured as he licked again.

"Oh, fuck," Harry cried as Severus's tongue swirled there but went no farther.

He put one hand at the small of Harry's back and the other on his hip. He slicked himself, using a conveniently placed pot of lubricant, and guided himself in, stopping every few seconds to let Harry adjust while Draco drew Harry into a deep kiss.

Severus finally seated himself, his eyes almost rolling back at how tight Harry was. Severus sat back, taking Harry with him. Harry cried out as gravity forced Severus in deeper.

"Draco, sit on Harry's thighs so that your cocks are rubbing against each other. Yes, just like that."

Severus reached around and smeared lubricant on their cocks, making them both shudder and groan.

"Now, budge up as close as you can and put your arms around me," Severus instructed as Draco shuffled closer. He was able to get close enough that he and Severus could kiss over Harry's shoulder should they want to. Severus wanted to.

"Please, please, please," Harry started chanting again, his voice breaking in the middle.

"I am going to make you see stars," Severus whispered in his ear before biting down and thrusting up.

Harry screamed, Draco groaned, and they started fucking each other in earnest.

Time stretched until suspended as they kissed and bit and fucked. It was a mad scramble of hands and lips and teeth and cocks. When Severus felt himself close, he leaned over and kissed Draco hard. "Release the ring," he murmured to Draco, knowing that Harry was so far gone, he'd not heard a thing.

Draco nodded, releasing and removing the ring. Harry's head fell backward against Severus's shoulder as he screamed again, sensation flooding him.

Severus thrust once, twice, three times more and came with a roar. Draco bit Harry's shoulder hard as he too came.

Harry arched as much as he could, trapped between Severus and Draco. His face contorted in a silent scream as he came, covering Draco's stomach and cock with his come. When it was done, he fell heavily against Severus.

"I think you broke him," Draco teased as he pulled away and flopped on his back, panting. He held his arms out, indicating that Severus should send Harry his way.

Severus gently pushed Harry to the side, rolling him closer to Draco as he too flopped on his back.

"That was… that was incredible," Draco said after a long while. Harry, it seemed, had either passed out or was sleeping.

"It was. I hope it won't be the only time," Severus said.

"Are you kidding? After that, no way would we let you go." Draco rolled over and faced Severus, running his free hand through Harry's hair. "Besides, it's not just the sex, you know."

"I know."

"Good. Would you like to stay the night?"

"I've an early appointment. I think perhaps not."

Draco's face fell and Severus fought the urge to smile. He did want to stay, but he didn't want to overplay his hand. There was a new game afoot, one he was sure to win. After all, they'd done the impossible in winning the parts of him Severus hadn't known existed. It was Severus's duty to return the favour.

"Friday, then? Dinner? Real dinner, I mean, and…." Draco shrugged, "whatever?"


Severus stood with great difficulty and cleaned and dressed with a few murmured spells. He kissed Draco goodbye and, as he'd seen Draco do many times, ran his hand through Potter's hair. It was as nice a thing as he suspected it would be.

He let himself out, his mind already planning new games for the following Friday, and every Friday—every day—after that. Boxing Day, indeed. Severus wouldn't have just one day, he'd have them all.

Moonlight poured through the window, its rays slanting across the bed and the two bodies twined there. Draco lay on his back while Harry lay on his side, running his fingers through Draco's hair.

"Thank you," Draco said at long last.

Harry's fingers stilled. "Was it what you hoped it would be?"

Draco chuckled and rolled over, facing Harry. He reached out and skimmed the side of Harry's face with his fingers. "Yes. But only because you were there. Sharing it with me."

Harry's smile was quick. He looked away. "He's going to want more, you know. He wants more than just one night."

Draco pulled Harry to him and kissed warm, soft skin. "I know that," he murmured in between kisses. "How—how do you feel about that?"

It was Harry's turn to laugh. "I think I'm okay with it." He turned back and faced Draco, ducking his head, dropping soft kisses to Draco's mouth, encouraging his lips to part. They kissed a long moment, each shuffling closer to the other, until they were a tangle of long, pale limbs. "That I think that," Harry continued before tugging at Draco's bottom lip again, "scares the piss out of me."

"You've liked him a long time. I knew it when you wrote that letter to the Master Potions Guild. When you sorted me out after that dinner and bought him that present—you confirmed it."

Harry bit his lip. "I didn't want to see him lose out on the Guild and as for the other, I knew how you really felt about him and—and I wanted you to have that. And I wanted him to have the cup. He has so little."

"Tender-hearted Gryffindor. It's not just about me, you know. Or him."

Harry nuzzled into Draco's embrace. "I know that. I wanted it too. Well, maybe just the one-off in the beginning, but I want what you want now. I… I dunno. I care about him."

Draco brushed his fingers up and down Harry's arm. "I still can't believe we pulled it off. I thought we were going to have to fuck in the Prefect's Bath every night before he finally found us."

Harry chuckled as he resumed running his fingers through Draco's hair. "Don't deny that you loved it. You like the possibility of getting caught—I should know. You've had your way with me in every public place imaginable."

"You're not exactly lacking in exhibitionist tendencies, you know. I heard all about your innocent honey swirling."

Harry laughed. "Fair enough. Not all of that was an act. He's very good at catching you off balance. Speaking of which, I meant to ask you how you managed to get Edward involved. I mean, the way we'd planned out would have worked, but that was much better."

"I didn't do anything but seize opportunity. It was total luck that he was there that day. I just followed him to the toilet and planted the seed. And what about you with all of that false nervousness at dinner? I mean, it worked to our advantage, but it was a surprising tack for you to take."

Harry sighed. "I wasn't acting. I really was that nervous. God, I can't believe I got that drunk." He shifted, tucking his head beneath Draco's chin. "It wasn't a game anymore. Not for me."

Draco held his tongue that of course it was a game—even if a heart-felt, well-intentioned one. But he remembered that, for Harry, matters of the heart weren't to be trifled with. He continued stroking Harry's arm, beginning to slip into sleep.

"Do you think he'll ever find out?" Harry asked, minutes later, jarring Draco from the edge of dreams.

"Probably not. And even if he did, he's quite taken with both of us, you know. If I didn't love you so much I think I'd be jealous."

"Shut it, you prat. It's only ever been you… well, and Severus now, I guess."

"And now Severus."

"What a threesome we make, yeah?"

"What a threesome, indeed. Happy Boxing Day, Harry."

"Happy Boxing Day."



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