A/N Based on the challenge: "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent." - John Donne


Joining of Hands



Joining of Hands



"I invited Potter to spend the Christmas holidays with us."

The hand at the small of Draco's back stilled where moments before it had been gently rubbing in the post-orgasmic bliss of enthusiastic love-making.

"Why in Merlin's name would you do that?" Severus growled as he moved away from Draco and retreated to the other end of the couch.

Draco shrugged. If he'd been upset by Severus's sudden departure, he didn't show it. "It seemed like a good idea at the time. He accepted, by the way."

Severus let a deep sigh escape. "Draco," he began in a strained voice, "Is it not enough that I'm subjected to Potter during the school year, must you bring him to our home, during our holiday, like he's some sort of wayward kitten in need of a warm lap, or a saucer of milk?"

"Oh, stop with the dramatics, Severus." Draco turned to face his lover. "I've seen the way you look at him," Draco said with an arched brow. "We've talked about it before. Why not now when everyone's forced to leave the castle for that re-warding that Dumbledore insists is necessary?"

"So that's what this is about? Fulfilling a forgotten school boy fantasy?"

"That, and the not-so-forgotten fantasy of a lecherous professor as well, I think. Think of the possibilities, Severus. Potter, in our bed, debauched and spoiled. I bet he's a ferocious lover."

It was hard not to get caught up in the hopeful, lustful sparkle of Draco's storm-slick eyes. And, for the most part, it was true. Severus had indulged in many impure thoughts about Potter and his pouty, pink lips; Potter and his wild, messy mop of hair; Potter and his piercing gaze; Potter and his taut, wiry body. He, Draco and Severus were professorial colleagues now and had been for nearly five years and had been wartime compatriots for several years before that. Severus still taught the fine art of potion making to the unappreciative miscreants Dumbledore passed off as students. Draco, who had defected to the Light in his sixth year, taught Charms to said miscreants. And, Potter did what Potter did best—he dispelled darkness with a seemingly effortless grace. However, there seemed little joy in it.

Nevertheless, he'd only grown more beautiful since finishing school, slaying the Dark Lord, and becoming the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. Not surprisingly, his students adored him. Not that Potter noticed. In Severus's opinion, Potter went out of his way to notice as little as possible; to acknowledge the world as little as possible. Since the last battle—no, since losing the Weasleys, Lupin and the Granger girl—he'd become darker, detached, insular in a way. There was nothing carefree about him anymore. And while a jaded, brooding Potter was particularly delectable in Severus's eyes, the circumstances that had brought about such a profound change saddened him as well. As for Draco, he simply recognized and appreciated the sheer poetry of Potter. No matter the change in him, Potter would always possess the outward glow and shimmer of wondrously pure magic. Always one attracted to bright and beautiful things, it was only natural that Draco wanted to bed the Boy-Who-Lived—even if Potter hadn't been that boy in a very, very long time.

"You don't even know if he's gay, Draco," Severus said tiredly.

"You're joking," Draco scoffed. "Of course he's gay!"

"And you know this how?"

"I just know. You know I'm never wrong about these things. Besides, I've never seen a girl on his arm."

"Yes, and you've never seen a man, either."

Draco seemed to falter a bit before rallying back. "I'm sure he's just discreet."

Not wanting to argue and knowing it would be pointless anyway, Severus just rolled his eyes and scooted back closer to Draco. "Fine. But if this little seduction scene of yours backfires, know that I will tell you loudly, often and in excruciating detail just how much 'I told you so.'"

Draco had an expression on his face that was vaguely reminiscent of having bitten a lemon without expecting it. Just as quickly, though, it morphed into a sly smile of sin. "Shut up you old bat and kiss me," he said with a come-hither tilt to his head.

Severus chuckled and gathered Draco in his arms. "With pleasure," he whispered before kissing Draco soundly and beginning a rather risqué encore to their earlier performance.



'

The next morning dawned far too quickly and Severus was as surly as ever as he and Draco stood outside Potter's chambers waiting for him to answer the door. The holidays had officially started. 'Yipee,' Severus deadpanned in his mind. After a few moments, Potter opened the door and beckoned Draco and Severus with a few jerky hand motions.

"I'm just finishing packing. I'll be right out," Potter murmured before dashing into what appeared to be a bedroom.

Draco wandered around Potter's living room, his mouth hanging open as if struck dumb. "Did he just move in or something?" Draco whispered loudly.

"Shh!" Severus admonished before furiously whispering, "No Draco, he's lived here for five years. Keep your voice down!"

Draco ignored him completely. "Seriously? There is not one personal effect in this entire room. Not one! Don't you find that odd? And look at this awful furniture. It's all Hogwarts issued. It hasn't even been transfigured into anything approaching not-so-awful." Draco shuddered. "He's seriously lived in these rooms for five years?"

Severus sighed. Sometimes Draco could be such a poncey little asshole. But, he loved him nonetheless. "I wasn't aware that a sense of style was a prerequisite for this little adventure."

"This," said Draco as he flapped his arms wide, "is not a style issue. This is a personality disorder issue. It's so fucking sterile in here, it makes your Potions lab look like Trelawney's classroom."

Severus growled at the backhanded malign, but before he could comment Potter returned to the living room with a small case in one hand and a sheaf of parchment in the other.

"Thanks again for letting me stay with you over the break. I'll do what I can to stay out of your way," Potter said as he fumbled nervously with the case and the parchment. "I figure I can get most of my grading done. You won't even know I'm there."

Severus watched as Draco sized Potter up as if he was a prize steer at the State Fair in Bumblefuck, U.S.A. Severus wondered what Draco had up his sleeve as he slunk closer with one perfectly groomed eyebrow arched suggestively.

"Actually, Harry, it's going to be pretty close quarters. I'm having quite a bit of work done at the Manor, so we'll be spending the holiday at my small mountain chalet in Switzerland. Two bedrooms, cozy living room with a great big fireplace, just enough room for the three of us," he said with a seductive smirk.

Severus did a double take. Draco hadn't said anything about the chalet. Severus rolled his eyes and cringed as he took in Draco's deliberately provocative pose. He was really laying it on thick. There was no way Potter could miss the come-ons flying through the room. But, as he looked over at him, he was even more astounded. It appeared that Draco's machinations were wasted on Potter. Could someone really be that clueless?

"Um, I didn't realize," Potter said as he bit his bottom lip and shuffled his weight from foot to foot. "I don't mean to intrude. I'll just find an inn or something. I'm sure I can get a room at the Leaky Cauldron. That's where I'd planned on staying anyway."

'Yes,' Severus thought to himself, 'someone could be that clueless.' He almost enjoyed watching his lover nearly topple over, only to right himself and stand there slack-jawed and at a complete loss as to what to say. Clearly, he'd not expected this reaction. As much as he enjoyed watching Draco squirm, Severus knew there'd be no rest for him if Potter didn't join them. And, there were certain benefits to Potter joining them. Perhaps he and Potter could finish that discussion they'd had six months ago about the morality of defensive spells. It wasn't often he could engage Potter in conversation, at least since the war, and he found he missed Potter's passion and intellect. Sighing, he strode forward. "Don't be ridiculous, Potter. We invited you to join us and you accepted. The chalet is not nearly as small as Draco makes it out to be," Severus said with a pointed glare at Draco. "There is a small library, a good sized study where you can mark essays and a potions lab downstairs."

Draco smiled at Severus beatifically. Severus was hard-pressed to stifle another agonizing sigh. He couldn't believe he was going along with this.

"Well, if you're sure," Potter said warily.

"Yes, of course we are," said Draco as he leapt forward and practically dragged Potter by the hand to the floo.

Startled, Potter nearly lost his footing.

"By the way, Harry," Draco began, "where are all of your things?"

"What things?"

"You know, your things. Personal effects, pictures, books, decent furniture—the things normal people have where they live."

"Just what are you implying, Malfoy," Potter said with a hard edge to his voice.

Draco shrugged and immediately backed off. "Nothing, Harry. Just making conversation. We're going to be so close and all over the next few weeks, I figured I'd better start getting to know the inner Harry just a bit better."

Severus muttered under his breath as he watched Potter's eyes narrow to small, dangerous, serpent-like slits. Before Harry could ask questions, like "Why are you calling my Harry all of sudden," Draco quickly changed the subject and gave instructions on how to get to the chalet before disappearing into the floo. Potter looked at Severus quizzically before stepping into the floo himself, and all Severus could think was 'Well, this is a fine start to impending disaster.'



'

The first few days at the chalet went by much as Severus expected, which meant, they went horribly. They rarely saw Potter, which caused Draco to grow increasingly frustrated, which meant Severus had yet to spend meaningful time in his potions lab, because he had to spend all of his time consoling a pouting Draco. Wonderful. Just bloody wonderful. Once again, if he wanted any peace, he was going to have to prod things along.

Knowing Potter would be holed up in his room, Severus gave the bedroom door a perfunctory knock before walking in. As promised, Potter was in the middle of grading end of term essays and exams.

"Oh. It's you. What can I do for you professor?" Potter asked, surprised at the intrusion.

Severus bit the inside of his mouth hard. For this to work, they were going to have to get past the surnames and titles. "Severus, Harry," he ground out, "Please call me Severus. After all, we've been colleagues now for five years."

Harry looked at him strangely. "Uh, okay. What can I do for you, err, Severus?"

"Dinner tonight. We haven't seen much of you and you are being a horribly rude guest."

Severus saw something sharp flicker across Harry's face as his jaw set in stony defiance. But, as quickly as it came, it left and Harry's gaze faltered.

"I just thought you'd like some privacy. It was not my intention to be rude," Harry ground out.

"If we'd wanted privacy we wouldn't have invited you to join us for the holiday. Especially not here." Severus felt a bit uncomfortable as he silently bore Harry's intense, assessing gaze.

Harry nodded sharply. "Dinner, then. Now if you'll excuse me, I have marking to finish, unless rewarding my students with my incisive commentary on their less than stellar performances thus far is considered equally rude. Any thoughts, Madam Manners?"

Severus couldn't help the chuckle that escaped. He rather enjoyed the fact that Harry had developed an acid tipped tongue and a rapaciousness to use it often. He was even more amused at Harry's started expression. "What? Do you think I lack the capacity for mirth?" Severus asked.

"Honestly?"

"Of course."

"Yes."

For some reason, that made Severus laugh all the more.



'

In some ways, it would have been just as well had Harry not turned up for dinner. He was polite, but clearly not interested in conversation. At least that was the way it appeared on the surface. The more Severus thought about it, the more it seemed as though Harry was desperate to both be in the room and out of it at the same time.

Draco, of course, had been ecstatic that Harry had finally joined them for dinner and had immediately set all sorts of schemes in motion. His teasing banter, casual brushes of fingers, and flattery were timed with the precision of a military strategist. He'd kept Harry's wine glass practically filled to the brim all night in hopes of loosening both his tongue and his reserve. However, Harry either didn't notice, didn't care, or was repulsed by the whole sordid affair. The way he'd nearly skittered across the room the first time Draco "accidentally" touched him and the way he had then gulped down his wine at subsequent touches and suggestive comments had Severus betting on "repulsed." Frustrated at Harry's refusal to enter the seductive fray, Draco eventually turned his attention solely to Severus.

Draco and Severus were affectionate with each other at dinner, as they were generally. It was a rarely seen side of the Potions Master. It didn't hurt that he truly loved Draco. For all of Draco's obvious flaws, there was such beauty hidden within him. Even if Harry's unobtrusive silence hadn't made it easy to forget about him, Draco's ability to make one feel as though one were the only other person in existence did. They chatted about this and that, laughed at things only they would find funny, touched and shared meaningful glances as if they were alone. But, they weren't alone and it became painfully obvious when Severus happened to glance over the rim of his wine glass and saw Harry gazing fixedly at his and Draco's interlaced hands. Those sparkling eyes held a look of such deep longing and desperation that Severus stopped breathing at the rawness, the intensity of it. Harry didn't notice that he'd been "caught," and Severus didn't let on as he continued to surreptitiously watch.

A few minutes later, and after a particularly sweet moment between Severus and Draco, Harry stood abruptly. He tried to remain balanced as he quickly thanked Severus and Draco for a wonderful dinner and began staggering back towards his room. Draco and Severus shared a glance and Severus left to assist a very tipsy Harry.

"S'okay, professor," Harry muttered as he half-heartedly twisted from Severus's hands on his shoulders.

"I think you'd do well with a bit of assistance," Severus said.

Harry made a small whining sound, but otherwise didn't resist. "Sorry, 'm not usually like this."

Severus simply nodded as he maneuvered a slightly listing Harry into his room and onto his bed. Severus knelt on the floor to help Harry undress enough that he could go to bed. Harry didn't stop Severus from quickly removing his shoes and his jumper. As he began unbuttoning his shirt, though, Harry's hands caught his and held them. He stared at them as he rubbed his thumbs back and forth across the palms.

"Beautiful. Such beautiful hands," whispered Harry with only the slightest slur, "Strong, sure, …gentle. I'll never have beautiful hands. …I'm glad you found each other; that something good came from so much bad. Draco has beautiful hands, too. Beautiful hands belong together. I'll never have beautiful hands…." Harry said as he trailed off while still rubbing his thumbs across Severus's palms.

A few moments later, his thumbs stilled. Harry looked up sharply, his eyes shining with anguish and the same desperation and longing they'd held at dinner. "Why are you doing this to me? What do you want?" Harry cried in a harsh whisper before dropping Severus's hands and looking down.

Severus sighed. It was time for the unvarnished truth. Apparently, Harry had caught on to a lot more than they'd realized. "We," emphasized Severus, "want you, Harry. We thought you might like to…." Severus trailed off with a shrug.

Harry looked at Severus incredulously. "Me? Why?" He finally blurted out.

Had it been Draco asking the question, Severus would have ripped into him for such obvious compliment trolling. But, Harry wasn't like that. Harry's bafflement was sincere. He reached out to brush the back of his hand across Harry's cheek, but Harry ducked his head and moved away. Severus dropped his hand. "Because you're you," was all Severus could say in response. He could have said that it was because Harry was beautiful, because he was intelligent, because he stirred something within both him and Draco, …because he seemed lonely and sad. While all true, these reasons were inadequate. Severus found himself repeating again, "because you're you," as he brushed his hand through Harry's hair and ignored Harry's tremor at the touch.

"I don't do that," Harry said in response.

Severus's hand stilled. Perhaps he'd been right all along. "Harry, is it because we're men? Are you, I mean to say, –"

"No, that's not it," Harry said quickly, "I'm—I don't… I just don't do that," he whispered.

Severus was at a loss. That was it, then. "I hope we haven't made you uncomfortable," was all Severus could think to say.

Harry shook his head. "No. I just… I'm intruding. I'll leave tomorrow."

"Like hell you will," cried the insolent voice of Draco Malfoy.

Both Harry and Severus looked up in surprise. Draco was leaning against the doorframe with his arms crossed. He'd obviously been standing there for a while.

"If you think we're going to let you leave over something like this, you've got another thing coming," Draco drawled as he sauntered into the room.

Severus quickly stood and faced Draco. "Draco," he growled in warning.

"Calm down, Severus, I'm not going to throw Boy Wonder on the bed and have my way with him. He's not leaving is all that I'm saying."

"I think I'm capable of making my own decisions, thanks," Harry said in irritation.

Draco snorted. "And what wonderful decisions you make, too."

Harry, completely clear headed all of sudden, stood abruptly and charged over. It took everything that Draco had not to step backwards. Harry's ferocity was terrifying. And, beautiful. And, just a bit arousing.

"You know nothing about me," Harry said in a deadly, steely voice, "My choices are just those—mine. What? You thought you could wiggle around provocatively, make suggestive remarks, get me drunk, and that I'd just fall into bed with you," Harry's eyes drifted over to Severus and softened a bit, "with both of you?"

"Well, yes," Draco said as if Harry had just asked the most ridiculous question in the world.

Severus rolled his eyes and retreated to the wall to get out of the way of what was sure to be a spectacular display of hexes and testosterone. Trust Draco to say the absolute wrong thing. Severus felt a migraine coming on.

Harry's mouth flopped open at Draco's admission. He blinked rapidly and turned to look at Severus as if to say, 'Is this for real?' He turned back to Draco, who was standing there with all of his smug imperialism. Harry sighed, and his defensiveness left him as he sagged back onto the bed. He laughed. "Only you, Malfoy. Only you," he muttered as he shook his head.

Severus was in complete shock and stood frozen.

Draco saw an opening and glided forward to take it. "Come now, Harry. We aren't that bad, are we? We just thought we'd have some fun. You like to have fun, don't you?" he wheedled with a coercive whisper as he sat entirely too close to Harry on the bed.

"I don't do that," Harry ground out again, except that this time, his voice wavered.

"That's not true, now is it? Everyone does that, Harry," whispered Draco as he carefully slid his arm across Harry's shoulders.

It made Severus slightly nauseous to watch Draco manipulate Harry this way. Yes, he wanted Harry. But, not like this. Not when he was hurting. Not when he was confused. Severus decided to put a stop to this, but before he could, Harry spoke.

"I don't… I…."

"What are you afraid of?" Draco whispered gently. "We won't hurt you. This isn't a lifetime commitment. It's simply three people who like each other having a little fun. There's nothing wrong with that."

"It's not that simple," Harry murmured.

Draco paused. "It can be," he said in low tones.

"You don't understand," Harry said in an anguished whisper.

"I want to, Harry," Draco looked up at Severus, "We both want to. Explain it to us."

Harry laughed mirthlessly. "This is an awful lot to go through for a simple shag," he snapped.

Draco, still staring at Severus, murmured, "Maybe you're right. Maybe it's more than a simple shag."

Severus's eyes widened in surprise and in panic. Draco knew.

Draco watched as Severus's eyes widened. He nodded in response, his soft smile saying, 'I know, and it's fine.' He knew that while Severus loved him, he was also in love with Harry. Desperately in love with him. Draco also ventured that Harry loved Severus—at least as much as Harry could love anyone, which Draco was beginning to think was less than he'd originally imagined. And, to make things even simpler, Draco loved Severus and lusted after Harry. Really, what could be better than an explosive threesome with the potential for a long, slow burn? A romantic Christmas holiday in at the mountain chalet; close quarters shared by men who loved and lusted for each other; too much wine; too little clothing—How could nature not have taken its chosen course? He'd not counted on Harry having some sort of… ambiguous problem with what was happening. Draco was pulled from his thoughts at Harry's voice.

"–interested."

"What?" Draco and Severus both said together.

"I said, I'm not interested," Harry said as he shook Draco's lax arm loose. "Please, I'm tired. I'll… I'll stay, but I'm not – I don't do this. I'm sorry," he whispered.

"Of course, Harry. I am sorry. We never meant to make you uncomfortable," Severus said, deciding now was as good of a time as any to end their mutual humiliation.

Draco opened his mouth to protest but Severus's sharp glare caused him to close his mouth quickly.

After a few awkward good nights, Severus and Draco retreated to their room, and all three retreated to their respective corners.



'

The next few days went much like the first. Harry rarely came out of his room, so Draco and Severus had just taken to enjoying the holiday on their own. On the fourth night since the little debacle in Harry's room, Draco and Severus were lying on the bed, their limbs threaded and entwined as they basked in the afterglow of slow, glorious love making.

"What's troubling you," Severus whispered as he carded his hand through Draco's hair.

Draco sighed. "Nothing. Everything. I'm sorry Severus. I really thought this would work. I know how you feel. I just assumed–"

Severus silenced Draco with a kiss. "Shush. It didn't work. There's nothing wrong with that. Harry obviously doesn't feel the same way about us that we feel about him."

Draco bit his lip. "I don't think that's it," he said cryptically.

In truth, Severus agreed with him. In fact, he knew that wasn't it. But, it didn't matter what the reason was. Harry had been rather emphatic in his dismissal of their tag-team proposition. "It doesn't matter. I've got you, and that's all I need."

"Now that you've got me, what are you going to do with me?" Draco asked, his eyes alight with desire.

"You are insatiable."

"Hmm, yes. I'm ready for another go. So, let's go, old man. Unless you need some more time to recuperate."

Severus growled, sat up and pulled Draco to him so that Draco was sitting in his lap. "You're about to find out just how ready I am," he said as he roughly pulled Draco forward, cast a hasty lubrication spell, and sunk himself deep and rough. Draco mewed with delight as he sat back and wiggled. This was one of his favorite positions. He moaned loudly in appreciation as Severus flexed his hips and seated himself even more deeply. They began their love making in earnest, and it was hard, fast, and rough—so much so, they were completely lost to it.

So, it was a great surprise when their door crashed open and Harry charged in, wand at the ready, prepared to hex anything that moved. Draco yelped in surprise and literally jumped off of Severus, creating a subtle popping sound and causing their painfully erect cocks to bob back and forth from the sudden movement.

Harry stood there, entranced, his wand still raised, his gaze fixed on Severus's huge, beautiful cock. He'd never seen anything like it.

"Potter," Draco growled, "what do you think you're doing?" he snapped as he scrambled to cover himself.

Harry's gaze was still locked on Severus's cock and Severus knew it. Thrilled by the flush on Harry's face, Harry's slack jaw, the intensity of Harry's gaze, Severus settled back languidly.

"I was… I heard…." Harry began, "I heard moaning. I thought… I heard moaning." Harry unconsciously licked his lips as he continued to stare. The rustle of sheets finally broke the enchantment and Harry's eyes flitted up to Draco's face.

"Yes, you heard moaning," Draco snapped again, "what in the hell did you think was going on in here, in our bedroom, with all of that moaning?"

"I thought there was an intruder—I thought you were hurt," Harry said softly.

Draco stared at Harry as if seeing him for the first time. "Harry, have you ever–" Draco began hesitantly before stopping at the sound of Harry inhaling sharply.

The reality of what Harry was seeing was finally catching up with him. His face burned in shame and embarrassment. "I thought… and you… and he… oh god, oh god, oh god," Harry said as he dropped his wand arm. "I'm so sorry. I thought… oh god," he said again as he turned and ran from the room stumbling and tripping all the way.

The next sound they heard was the door to Harry's room slamming closed. "Well," Draco said, "that could have gone better."

Severus nodded. "There isn't much that could have gone worse, though I do believe you are correct about where his interests lie."

Draco snorted. "You're just feeling giddy because he couldn't take his eyes off your prick."

Severus simply smiled an enigmatic smile as he leaned over and tried to reestablish the mood. Unfortunately, Draco wasn't interested. "What's wrong, Draco," Severus growled.

"I think he's a virgin, Severus. Oh Merlin! We've been trying to debauch a virgin! A Gryffindor virgin! Harry-fucking-Potter, the-Gryffindor-virgin, no less! I think there's a whole level of hell reserved specifically for us. No wonder he was immune to my charms! He doesn't know what any of this means! Oh, we've got to fix this," Draco said with renewed vigor as he leapt from bed and quickly pulled on his robe.

Severus jumped up just as quickly in an effort to stop what was assuredly a very bad idea. "Draco," he called, but Draco was already out of the room and knocking on Harry's door. Severus swore under his breath and quickly threw on his robe. He made it into the hall just as Harry opened the door.

"What do you want, Malfoy," Harry said coolly.

"Why didn't you just tell us, Harry? We would have understood. It's okay, you know. I think it's rather adorable, actually."

Harry's eyes narrowed into familiar dangerous, serpent-like slits. "Just what are you on about?"

Severus tried to tell Draco to stop. He really, really tried. But, neither his mouth nor his legs seemed to be working.

"It's okay," Draco said, "Really. I think it's great that you've held out this long. I'm sure loads of other people are still virgins at your age."

Severus swore under his breath as Harry's eyes widened impossibly and his face drained of color.

"What?" Harry asked incredulously. "I. Am. Not. A. Virgin!!" Harry growled before slamming the door, locking it and warding it for good measure.

Draco looked stunned. "Well, that didn't go very well, either," he said as he turned to face Severus.

Severus jerked his thumb back towards their room, and Draco took the hint and slunk back to the bed.

Severus shook his head in disbelief, pinched the bridge of his nose and knocked on Harry's door. "Harry, please. It's Severus. I just want to talk with you."

A few minutes later, the door opened fractionally. Harry looked out. "Is Blondie with you?"

Severus chuckled. "No. Blondie has slunk back to bed." Severus paused. "May I come in?"

Harry looked at him before sighing and resting his head against the door. Finally, he looked up, opened the door fully and held out his arm in acquiescence.

"Thank you," Severus murmured as he made his way to a small armchair near the bed. He waited for Harry to sit. Then, he waited for Harry to make the first move. Fortunately he didn't have to endure too much of Harry's nervous fidgeting before he finally spoke.

"I'm not a virgin," he said softly.

"Okay," Severus responded neutrally.

"I just—I just have no use for sex."

Severus almost fell out of his chair. "Okay," he said slowly. "Have you ever been with a man?" he asked cautiously.

Harry nodded distractedly. "Both ways. And with a woman as well. I got it all out of the way in one night. Figured it I was going to find out what the fuss was about, it was best to explore all of it."

"One night?" Severus asked.

"Yeah. After the war. I was—I hadn't–," Harry shrugged, "Like I said, I wanted to see what all of the fuss was about. I don't see what's so great about it, actually."

"Are you saying that your sum total experience with intercourse is comprised of one night in an attempt to see what, and I quote, 'all of fuss was about?'"

"Well, yeah."

"And nothing since?"

"I told you, I don't do that."

"Right," Severus said slowly as he tried to figure out this new piece of the puzzle.

Harry stiffened. Severus was just about to ask what was wrong when Harry sighed and said, "If you're just going to stand there, you may as well come in Draco."

Severus quickly turned to the doorway, and there was Draco—in a familiar spot, but a not-so-familiar pose. Severus turned back to Harry to ask how he'd known, and before he could ask Harry smiled and said "Wards." Severus nodded in understanding.

Both watched as Draco quickly entered the room and stood by the bed, hesitating.

"Oh for…." Harry said under his breath. He scooted up and patted the bed, "Sit down Draco."

Once everyone was settled, Harry looked at both of them and told them again how sorry he was for walking in on them.

Draco dismissed his apology. "Don't apologize. Besides, I wasn't looking forward to apologizing for accusing you of being a virgin."

Harry smiled a small, melancholy smile. "There are much worse things."

Draco scoffed. "Not many," he said under his breath.

Severus snorted and Harry actually chuckled before slumping against the headboard and sighing despairingly. "Neither of you will leave me alone until I tell you what all of this is about, will you?"

"We're just concerned, Harry," Severus began, "You haven't seemed interested in . . . participating, for lack of a better word, in much of anything since the war."

Harry nodded somberly. "I," he began haltingly before rolling his eyes and throwing his head back. Draco and Severus waited for Harry to collect his thoughts. "After the war, …after everyone, after Remus, I… it hurt too much. I couldn't… it just hurt. I had to make it stop hurting. And, so I grieved. I thought I was going to die, it hurt so much. But, I did it. I got over it. Them. And I promised myself that I would never, ever go through that again. Ever. So, I made the choice not to get involved. With anyone. Even casually. I couldn't risk it. I won't survive it again if something happened. I can't do it. I just can't. Sex is an intimacy I can ill afford. Besides, it doesn't seem that great, anyway. I don't think I'm missing much."

It was silent for a few long moments.

"That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard," Draco said.

"What?" Harry blurted in surprise at the same time Severus yelled "Draco!"

Draco ignored both outbursts and grabbed Harry forcibly by the shoulders. "And you think you're surviving now? You think you're saving yourself from some great pain? Why not just kill yourself and get it over with."

"What?!" Harry shrieked again at the same time Severus leapt up and screamed "DRACO!" in a murderous rage.

"What?" Draco snapped, "Like he's living now?" Draco returned his attention to Harry. "You walk through those halls and through this house as if you don't exist. You are nothing more than a living corpse so completely closed off from yourself and from others that you are bleeding out. You are dying, Harry. Perhaps not in the physical sense—not yet, anyway. But you are dying in every way that matters. Yeah, life sucks. Yeah, it hurts, it's complicated, it's messy, it's a lot of shitty, shitty things. But, it's also wonderful, and thrilling and stirring and rapturous, but only if you're brave enough to take the bad with the good. What happened to you? What happened to the noble little lion that crashed through life fiercely and with abandon?"

"I lost everything and have nothing left." Harry said quietly.

Draco, however, refused to be swayed by Harry's self-pity.

"Then find something else, you stupid moron. It's not like you only get one set of people in your life or one chance. Your parents died, your life sucked, you made new friends and a new family. Now it sucks again. Big, fucking deal. Make a new family, a new life, goddamn it." At Harry's stricken expression, Draco instantly softened. "Hey. I know it hurts," he murmured, "I know it's hard, but it's worth it. I promise. If you won't let us be with you, then please, PLEASE, find someone you want to be with. You can't proceed through life as if you're not really in it. You can't live life pretending you aren't connected to it or to the other people around you. You are. It can be glorious. You know that. Stop pretending you don't want to be connected; to feel."

Severus was amazed. He'd never heard such profound words come from Draco—especially ones he meant. Severus had the sneaking suspicion that Draco felt more than simple lust for Harry.

Draco leaned in close. "And as for the sex thing, you have no idea what you're missing. I saw the way you looked at us, the way you looked at Severus. I know what you want, what you need. Are you ready to admit it to yourself?" he murmured in Harry's ear before licking his lips and leaning back suggestively.

Harry gulped.

So did Severus, especially when Draco stood and walked over to him and kissed him senseless. They both turned to Harry and saw such unguarded need and want in his eyes. It would have been the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the situation. So, when Draco didn't take advantage of the situation and, instead, knelt by Harry and simply brushed his lips across his forehead before telling him, "I know you want it and us. But, it has to be your choice. Tonight is not the night to make it. But soon, Harry, very soon," Severus was stunned. Draco stood and walked out of the room, leaving a flustered and confused Harry in his wake.

Severus toyed with what to do next. Following Draco's lead, he sat next to Harry and took his hands in his. Harry looked at him as if he'd gone mad. Severus made quite an ordeal of examining them closely while ignoring Harry's bewildered expression. Severus kissed the fingertips softly, stared into Harry's eyes and said one word, "Beautiful." Harry couldn't restrain the muffled cry in the back of his throat and leaned forward to do something. What, he didn't know, but it was clear that his body wanted to be near Severus's body and that it wanted to do something to that perfect, perfect body. Severus stopped him with one long elegant finger across his lips. "Your choice," he echoed before standing and walking out of the room.



'

Harry barely slept that night, finally finding sleep in the early morning hours. When he woke, it was early afternoon. Apparently, the tension of the last few days had finally caught up with him. After stumbling through his morning routine, he made his way back to bed only to find an envelope perched on his nightstand. Wondering what it could be, he quickly opened it.

Harry,

The time has come for your choice. We want to be with you, Harry. For as much and as long as you'd like. But, it is your choice. If you want to be with us, then at 8:00 tonight be sitting in the small chair by your bed wearing nothing but the silk robe and blindfold hanging in your closet.

Love,
Draco and Severus

Harry's pulse quicken. He felt dizzy from anticipation and terror. Did he want this? Did he want them? Well, the answer to the second question was obvious and had been for a long time. The real question was could he do this? Could he break that promise to himself? Was it worth it? Harry pondered these questions all afternoon. Things had been so clear, in a grayed out black and white sort of way, just a week ago. Now, everything was a messy jumble of color and sound. But, was that a bad thing? Really? Might it be worth the chance of pain for the promise of pleasure? Harry thought back to before the war, to before everything had gotten so incredibly screwed up. He thought back to a time before his self-imposed rules and isolation. He'd been so happy then. Even when things seemed out of control, there was still an overall sense of happiness.

What did he have to show for the last five years? Numbness. Nothing more. Nothing less. No real pain, but no pleasure. No happiness. Worse, he'd suffered through incredible bouts of longing, of need, of yearning, only to stifle those feelings, pushing them down further until he convinced himself he'd never felt them to begin with. He realized now that he'd only agreed to come on this trip because it was a way to live the life he desperately wanted through those actually brave enough to do so. Now, those same people were offering him a chance to make vicarious living a reality. There were not two people he'd rather be with, if he was honest with himself. He'd fallen in love with Severus long before the war, but had never acted on his feelings. And then, after the war… well, he'd already spent too much time thinking about that for one day. Besides, Severus had gotten together with Draco soon after.

Draco. Now, Draco evoked entirely different thoughts. It was impossible not to see how beautiful he was and, over the years, he'd even found Draco less irritating. But this trip had changed his entire opinion of Draco Malfoy. He was surprisingly deep and seemingly capable of selfless acts. It was astonishing. But, at the same time, it fit with what he knew to be true. They'd spent time together during the war. He'd been there when Draco had been forced to kill his own parents—lest he be killed by them. He'd done that and still found the ability to keep getting up and living his life. It was rather amazing, Harry thought. Well, if Draco could do that, then maybe he could do this. Besides, Harry rationalized, it was just one night—if that was all he wanted, anyway. Maybe he should find out what all the fuss was about. Again.

At 7:45, though, Harry's earlier burst of bravery was flagging. He stood naked in his bedroom, freshly showered, holding a long black, silk robe in one hand. He was trembling. He was honest-to-Merlin trembling as if he were in fact a bloody virgin. He'd not seen what was so great about sex at the time he'd had it, but—and as professional as the people were who helped him through that rite of passage—he'd never felt anything like he had the last few days. He felt hot, and sick and dizzy and excited all at the same time. He was practically panting and his heart was hammering, literally hammering, in his chest. It was only the thought of that searing kiss shared between Severus and Draco that got him into that robe. It was only the thought of those soft lips grazing his forehead that had him winding the thick, black silk around his eyes and tying it snuggly at the back of his head. It was only the thought of Severus kissing his fingers and calling his hands beautiful that had him sitting in the chair waiting for whatever was going to happen. And, it was only the thought of Draco's face screwed up in pleasure and pain as he moved up and down on Severus's cock that kept him there.

Harry jumped when he heard the door to his room open. He tried desperately to keep his breathing even, but was wholly unsuccessful—especially when he heard the soft padding of feet draw closer. His hands were clenched on the armrests and his knuckles were white from the strain. When he felt feather-soft fingertips graze his chest, he yelped and pulled away. "Shh, relax. Just let go," Severus whispered in his ear as the hands returned and began moving up and down his chest. Soon, the other pair of hands joined the first and continued to knead his chest through the robe, while the first pair of hands descended to his calves and thighs. Harry felt himself relaxing. He felt his mind drifting as he enjoyed the soothing, synchronized, rhythmic touches from those beautiful, beautiful hands.

He didn't know how long the hands touched him like that, but he noticed that his own hands had let go of the armrests and were now hanging loosely at his sides. He noticed that at some point his legs had stretched out and flopped open. He noticed that the robe was nearly half off and that the hands were now soothing his skin directly. He let a small moan of contentment escape as his head lazily fell to one side. Apparently, that was what the hands had been waiting for. All too soon, he felt the hands on his chest start focusing on his nipples while the hands on his legs kept the same gentle, methodical rhythm. He inhaled sharply and wiggled around as fingers began gently squeezing and pulling at his nipples. He groaned as the fingers pinched harder and pulled tighter. His cock, which had thus far only been pleasantly erect, was now rock hard. It hurt and felt good at the same time—it was like being on a see-saw and never knowing whether you wanted to stay high or low. His stomach fluttered and he shifted again. The infuriating hands below kept the same steady rhythm. He found he wanted them to touch somewhere else; do something else. At the same time the hands were pinching his nipples, he felt gentle nibbles on the shell of his ear. It was incredible. Again, the pain, the pleasure, the twisting and the pulling and still those damn hands down below would do nothing but gently shuffle up and down. Harry whined as the nibbles alternated between gentle licks and kisses. He felt like he couldn't breathe. He needed… he needed… oh, god, he needed.

"Please," he called out, surprised at his ability to speak. He heard a low rumbling chuckle in his ear and realized that Severus hadn't changed positions. It was Severus's hands—those rough, strong, possessive hands—tweaking and twisting his nipples and Severus's teeth, tongue and lips nibbling, licking and kissing his ears. At that realization—that Severus was pleasuring him this way, making him feel these things—Harry arched his back and moaned wantonly. "Please," he said again in a breathless whisper.

"Please, what, Harry," Severus whispered as he moved his nibbling to Harry's neck, who responded by thrusting in the air. "So responsive," he whispered seductively, before nibbling again, "That's right, Harry. Just let go. Relax. Just let go." One of Severus's hands closed over one of Harry's hands and brought it to Harry's nipple, forcing him to become an accomplice in his own undoing. "Squeeze," he said as their hands joined to torture the nipple in tandem. "Beautiful," Severus whispered huskily.

Harry moaned low and deep as his fingers and Severus's fingers meshed while twisting, teasing, pinching and squeezing his nipple. His other hand had gone back to clenching the armrest, but he was given no respite there, either. Draco tugged that hand away, interlaced his fingers with Harry's, brought it to his head and returned to the same methodical rhythm.

"Beautiful," Draco echoed as Harry's hand curled and softly clutched at Draco's hair.

Harry thought he would pass out. There was not enough air in the room. Not enough! He couldn't breathe. He couldn't think. And those damn hands down below! He willed them to move somewhere productive, for god's sake. He thrust again before rasping out "I want, …I want…."

"What do you want, Harry," Draco whispered as his hands finally, finally—thank you blessed fucking Merlin—finally moved to the general vicinity of his groin.

As one of Draco's hands drifted over the tip of his weeping cock at the same time Severus bit his neck and squeezed one of his nipples, Harry arched almost completely out of the chair and screamed, "I want to feel. Make me feel! Please. Goddamn it, make me feel," he cried before slumping back into the chair.

"With pleasure," Severus said as he moved Harry's hand to his side and untied the blindfold and Draco disentangled Harry's hand from his hair and helped him to his feet.

The robe slithered off of his body as he stood and stumbled the short distance to the bed. He let Draco and Severus arrange him how they liked—Harry was beyond coherent thought. He was on his back, his legs open wide and bent at the knee, with Severus kneeling on one side and Draco on the other. He looked up at them, bleary eyed. "Please," he said one final time.

If everything happened in slow motion before, time tripled in speed now. In an instant, Draco was swirling his pointed tongue around the head of Harry's cock. Harry moaned and babbled nonsense. Harry thought he heard the sound of a spell. Before he could ask, he felt one of Severus's long graceful fingers, slick and warm, swirling around his pucker just like Draco's tongue continued to swirl around his cock. Harry's hands found their way into Draco's hair again and tugged gently, knowing what they wanted Draco to do when Harry himself did not. As Draco began to draw Harry into his mouth, Severus began pushing his finger inside. It was uncomfortable and exquisite all at the same time. The more of Harry Draco took, the more of Severus Harry took. In and out and up and down they moved. Draco kept a maddeningly slow pace, despite Harry's voiced and unvoiced pleas. When he tried to thrust, Severus grasped his hip and held it in place while leaning down and gracing Harry with languid, possessive kisses. Harry wiggled and moaned and begged and swore and kissed and kissed and kissed. He felt another finger enter with the first. It burned, goddamn it, but he didn't want it to stop because he could feel the pleasure just on the other side. He moaned and writhed and begged them to do something. Like earlier, with those maddeningly methodical hands, what was happening now seemed to go on forever. Just when he thought he could stand no more, another finger joined in. Harry cried out and thrashed and practically pushed Draco's head down to try and force him to take more. Harry was on the brink and it had never, NEVER, felt like this before. "Please," he cried again.

Draco sat up taking away his mouth at the same time Severus withdrew his fingers and sat up. "What," Harry cried out, thinking they were stopping.

"Shh," Severus whispered in his ear, "just a change of position. I want to hear you moan Harry. Will you do that for me? Will you moan as I take you? As we claim you?"

Harry's eyes rolled back into his head. He could respond with nothing more than fervent head nodding. He felt Draco pull him forward and Severus settle in behind him in a sitting position. He felt Severus's slick cock butt up against him. Oh god, …they were going to… oh god, oh god, oh god—just like the other night. Harry started moaning right away, started wriggling his bottom, right away. Then, the most amazing thing happened. Slowly, surely, and with incredible control, Severus entered him. It hurt, holy Christ it hurt, but it felt incredible, too. As Draco distracted him with soft kisses and nips, Severus completed the long, slow slide. And then, he started rocking. Harry's entire world turned over in a riot of color. He felt himself fall backward into the body that cradled his own, which only made everything feel better.

Severus started thrusting in earnest, his hands feathering up and down Harry's chest, holding him, cradling him, possessing him. Harry's hands drifted up and shadowed Severus's. Draco watched the incredible picture Harry and Severus made, moving together with palpable intensity, and was eager to join them. He took Harry's hands in his and said, "Beautiful," before kissing the fingertips and guiding them again to the sides of his head. Harry's breath caught in his throat as Draco settled between his and Severus's knees. His hands instinctively pushed Draco's head down. Draco was happy to oblige and quickly swallowed Harry whole as one of his own hands snaked between his legs and began sliding up and down at the same time he let Harry fuck his mouth. On and on they went. Harry couldn't stop moaning and it only got louder when Severus found the little bundle of nerves that he knew would send Harry soaring. He stroked it hard as Harry thrust forward and Draco sucked. Harry felt something warm sputter inside him as Severus screamed in bliss, twisting Harry's nipples at the same time. He felt himself fall over the cliff as the resulting butterflies threatened to consume him whole. Light bursts were popping everywhere like fireworks. He heard the roar of wind in his ears. And then–and then–he felt an intense pleasure like he'd never felt before. It seared him clean through. It eviscerated him before recasting his molten limbs into something all together new. Within seconds, Harry's body arched back, his ass clenched around Severus, his hands shoving Draco's mouth as far as it would go, and he screamed, "I'm coming! I'm coming. I'm coming… I'm coming," until it was barely a whisper.

Draco came with a more dignified grunt, and continued to suckle Harry as he lay there against Severus, breathing raggedly. Severus carefully withdrew and discreetly cast several cleansing charms. He pushed Harry's hair back from where it was plastered to his head and peppered him with gentle kisses as Draco gave a final lick and snuggled up to Harry. Draco and Severus took turns kissing, petting and whispering to Harry until he drifted to sleep.

As Harry was drifting, he heard the word "beautiful," penetrate through the white noise static in his brain. He felt gentle kisses and soft caresses and the comforting, protective embrace of two strong bodies around him. As he nestled into the embrace, he sighed contentedly and tried for the life of him to remember why he hadn't wanted this before. He didn't know what would happen tomorrow or even five minutes from now. He didn't know what this meant exactly, or what Severus and Draco wanted. Strangely, though, that was all right. He felt Severus's hands interlace with his and Draco's rest comfortably on top, squeezing gently.

Harry smiled as he looked down at their hands all jumbled together in a graceful hodgepodge of skin and bone. For now at least, he was connected to something. For now, his hands were joined. Forever, his hands were beautiful and, for now, right where they belonged.

~finis~



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