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A Christmas Proposal

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Severus paused in his pacing to take in the heavy snow which obscured his view of the gardens to the rear of the house. Closing his eyes, Severus shook his head, knowing that for all his great magical power, Harry was pants at an Impervious Charm and would freeze in this weather. The snow itself was beautiful, creating the perfect setting for Christmas Eve. A merrily crackling fire in the hearth, a hot toddy in one's hand, and their loved one by their side would complete the picture. Severus snorted, two out of three wasn't bad, he supposed. He continued to watch as dusk fell and the snow disappeared into the darkness.

The tea and sandwiches which Kreacher brought him for tea remained untouched as Severus waited in the darkening room. It was foolish to think that Harry would be back yet, Severus reasoned, but found himself unable to settle to anything but pacing and staring out the window. Trepidation gnawed at his stomach and Severus' thoughts went back to that morning, as Harry was preparing to leave. Severus had expressed his opinion of the abilities of members of Harry's team, all of them scathing and mean-spirited. It was much easier for Severus to do that, than admit to Harry that he was worried about him.

At dinner time, Severus set a tureen of roasted mushroom soup, fish pies, and crusty bread on the table, along with Harry's favorite treacle tart. He lit the tapers on the table before he paced back to the window, staring unseeingly into the night. As time passed, Severus refused to think of the operation that Harry was supposed to have lead that afternoon. It was a simple search for Dark objects at the manor house of an ancient pure-blood family. A mission that should have been easily completed hours ago.

Severus allowed his thought to turn dark and his self-doubts surface. Perhaps Harry had finally gotten fed up with his possessive behavior and had gone out with his colleagues for a pint after they were done. Perhaps Harry was finally fed up with the coolness Severus seemed to put between them. Severus hadn't returned the hug Harry had given him on the way out or allowed him the kiss he'd wanted. Harry never left for work without telling Severus that he loved him, something Severus could only seem to say in the throes of passion. Severus tormented himself for long moments with the thought that Harry had finally done what he'd feared for the past ten years – realized that Severus wasn't good enough for him— and left him.

Unexpectedly, a smile twitched at the corners of Severus' lips, remembering how angry it made Harry when Severus would suggest such scenarios.

The closer it got to midnight, the stiller Severus became. If Harry was all right, he would have sent word, via his Patronus or Floo, of his status, knowing how agitated Severus became. Turning from the window, Severus walked to his desk and retrieved a small black box from a heavily warded drawer. He took a deep breath and opened it, looking at the rune-inscribed golden bonding rings. Severus had commissioned the rings five years ago, but had never found the right moment to ask Harry to bond with him. Another regret, on top of so many regrets in his life, but one he hoped wasn't too late to rectify.

The Floo flared green just as the ancient grandfather clock began to chime midnight, and the rings were forgotten as Severus dashed to the fireplace. He caught a disheveled and slightly singed Harry as he fell out of the Floo and wrapped his arms around him in a desperate embrace.

"Severus?" Harry had an alarmed look on his face. "What's the matter?"

"I was—concerned," Severus whispered hoarsely, bringing his hands up to cup his face. "Harry, I—I love you."

Harry's eyes widened and he gave Severus a crooked grin. "You must have really have been scared—"

Severus arched an eyebrow and Harry's expression turned sheepish.

"Well, somehow Seamus forgot he was supposed to cover our backs and I was sort of captured by a pair of wannabe Death Eaters. They managed to hit me from behind and it took a while to get free."

Severus felt his stomach clench and ran his hands over Harry, looking for injuries. "Are you hurt?"

"I'm fine, Severus," Harry assured him, pressing closer. "There was a mediwizard on scene who checked me over already."

Severus made a noise deep in his throat—it seemed to best explain the feeling of anxiety that was trying to burst out of his chest—and kissed Harry hungrily. Flicking his wand, Severus Banished their clothing to the bedroom and slid his hands down Harry's body. He didn't trust anyone else where his Harry was concerned, as his hands searched for injuries. They lingered on the taunt curve of Harry's arse. Harry groaned and threw back his head as Severus nibbled down his throat, sinking to his knees as he nipped and licked his way down Harry's body.

Severus was already hard as he licked a stripe up the underside of Harry's cock, sucking the tip into his mouth. Harry's fingers speared into his hair. Hands still gripping Harry's arse tugged him closer as Severus took him deep.

"Oh, fuck!" Harry moaned, his fingers tightening in Severus' hair.

Severus hallowed his cheeks, flicking his tongue against Harry's cock as he bobbed his head. He was grateful for the slight pain in his scalp to help focus him.

"Merlin, Severus, I'm close!"

Moving his head back slowly, Severus eased off Harry's cock and helped him down to the rug. His wand jumped into his hand as Severus paused to ravish Harry's mouth, before sitting on his heels. With a complicated wand move, Severus cast the preparation spells to ready Harry for him and then closed off the Floo, not wanting anything to intrude on them. Setting his wand aside, Severus knelt between Harry's thighs and pushed them up to his chest while Severus quickly stretched him. Harry made the most arousing sounds when Severus brushed his sweet spot. Unable to wait any longer, Severus guided himself to Harry slick hole and slowly slid in.

"Fuck, Severus!"

Harry hissed as Severus penetrated him in one smooth stroke. For Severus, every time they made love seemed to be better than the last and this was no exception. Gritting his teeth, Severus paused, braced on his arms until Harry's body could adjust and he could regain some control over himself. As impatient as ever, Harry began to squirm under him, rocking his hips upward and making Severus gasp. Pulling back, he slammed forward, rocking Harry with his thrust.

"Touch yourself!" Severus commanded as he found his rhythm and tormented Harry with long, slow strokes that brushed his prostate.

Harry whimpered, fisting himself in time to Severus' motions. "Gods! Harder, Severus!"

Then the impertinent brat clenched around Severus and he knew that he was lost. Grasping the back of Harry's thighs, Severus nearly bent him in half as he began to pound into him, hard, fast, and deep.

"You. Will. Bond. With. Me!" Severus ground out, each word punctuated with a thrust. "New Year's Eve!"

Harry's eyes rolled back in his head and his body jerked as he hissed out a breathless response. "Yesss!"

Feeling the surge of warm wetness between them, Severus plunged deep and emptied his seed into Harry, his chest heaving with the force of his release. It was the most intense climax he'd ever experienced, and Severus barely had enough strength to roll to the side, bringing Harry with him. Harry's breath was as ragged as his own and Severus tugged him closer, burying his nose in Harry's hair. The tingle of a Cleansing Charm made Severus smile; Harry always took care of him.

"Did you mean it?"

Harry's voice was quiet, his breath warm against Severus' throat. Severus held out his hand, silently Summoning the black box, and caught it deftly. Easing Harry back slightly, Severus handed him the rings. Severus wasn't sure, but he thought he detected a misty sheen on those bright green eyes.

"Happy Christmas, my love."

"It is indeed," Severus agreed, closing his hand over Harry's and the box. "For now and forever."