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Seven Seconds

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“One,” says Harry but it’s only a hiss in the darkness. He inhales sharply, the first contact just too much, almost unpleasant. She’s too quick, her mouth already sucking on the head of his cock. It’s not bad, but this hastiness isn’t nearly as good as when Harry handles it alone, languidly, carefully.

“Two,” he sighs, as she twirls her tongue on the tip. Gin’s gotten better at this in the past weeks, and Harry’s gotten better at holding on. Yet they still play this little game, and Harry has to count the seconds.

It’s almost laughable that their time together can be measured in seconds only. They meet in the middle of the night and they barely kiss like during daylight; and if they do, it’s more rushed, more teeth, more biting, more gripping, and though it’s not bad, it’s just… not what Harry wants. And then Ginny is on her knees, opening his fly, and the next moment, she’s sucking him, her mouth so wet, so hot Harry all but loses his mind.

Losing one’s mind isn’t bad, but Harry thought sex would be something else. It’s all nice and good and that momentarily bliss when he’s coming is pure happiness - undoubtedly. But he imagined it to be more… personal. He looks down on the red head but instead of love, he only feels emptiness.

It could be anyone else, he realizes. She’s just a mouth at the moment, and this isn’t love, not even lust – just a need for relief. These stolen moments in the middle of the night became nothing else just addictive releases. Just a flash: ignition, flames high and bright. But it’s simply not enough anymore. Harry wants more, he wants the long burning, the shimmering light, the fire that smoulders for days, that burns down forests, that isn’t over after only seconds.

“Three,” he whispers, almost bored. Then he notices the shift in the darkness.

His eyes are wide open as he watches the shadow step into the thin strip of moonlight. And for a second, he holds his breath and hopes, hopes that Snape did not hear, did not notice them but then Ginny makes the most obscene slurping noise and Harry grabs into her flaming hair to pull her up. Maybe if they ran or…

Snape turns and recognizes Harry immediately. Harry can't move, he’s caught in those intense, black eyes.

“Four,” Harry says then, voice steady, eyes staring defiantly at Snape, challenging him. For what, who knows?

Snape raises an eyebrow, looking almost amused but he doesn’t start shouting. Instead, he crosses his arms and leans against the wall, not making a single sound. What the hell is he waiting for, Harry doesn’t care. But the professor isn’t shouting, he’s not taking points, he doesn’t even look particularly angry, but then again, one never knows with Snape.

Harry shrugs mentally, grabs into the red hair more firmly, and looking Snape dead in the eyes, he says slowly, “Five.”

Snape takes a controlled, deep breath then exhales through his nose noiselessly. Harry grunts, but he doesn’t care anymore about being too loud. What he feared most has happened, though not quite as he imagined.

The strip of moonlight shows only one half of that well-known, hated face, but it’s enough for Harry to see the amusement. But there is something else there, lurking under those sharp edges, those deep shadows and Harry can’t put his finger on it.

“Six,” he moans because he thinks about it. About putting his finger on it, on him, on Snape, touching him and not Ginny, grabbing into his hair and not into Ginny’s. His hips buck forwards and he finally feels his face heat up. It is a wonder that he feels it only now, given Snape has been watching them for three whole seconds.

“Seven,” he shudders as the word spills out of his mouth, but the thin lips chose that moment to pull up into a smirk, smug and taunting and Harry knows, Snape is laughing at him inwardly, so he collects all of his strength and grips into her hair firmly enough to stop her for a moment. And, though only barely, but the moment is enough for Harry to steady his heart and he wills his orgasm to delay even if only for a few more seconds.

“Eight,” he whispers darkly and still holding her by the hair, he starts thrusting forward slowly, carefully.

Snape’s lips twist slightly and Harry knows he’s impressed. Eyes not moving from Snape’s face for even a second, Harry holds Ginny’s head with two hands and fucks her mouth with slow, deep strokes. He knows exactly how depraved it looks because he can see it in Snape’s eyes. And even though every stroke is burning through his whole body, he keeps prodding, hitting the back of her throat, making her gag slightly, but he never stops and keeps his body in control because those eyes are watching him with burning intensity.

“Nine,” says Harry, voice husky and suddenly the black eyes drop down to his cock for only a fraction of a second then they are back on his face but the expression has changed. Snape’s amusement has finally turned to anger. His breathing is faster, his eyes are scorching Harry’s skin even more, penetrating Harry’ soul and Harry could all but see Snape’s blood boil. But Harry knows that the anger isn’t directed towards him this time. No, Snape is angry at himself, for letting his control snap and look down, look where he’s not supposed to, see what he shouldn’t; lose control but in vain. Because he can't see Harry, Ginny’s head is in the way, he can’t see anything but Harry’s slow thrusts, his hands gripping into red hair and his face, eyes glinting in the moonlight, lips pulling into a smirk.

The retaliation comes right away. Snape licks his lips and Harry’s eyes flicker down to watch the pink flesh move across soft lips and Ginny as if knowing what’s going on over her head licks the head of Harry’s cock, tongue pressing down firmly, then she sucks hard.

“T---ten…” grunts Harry, coming hard, his orgasm making his legs buckle and shake, his groin in flames, the burning more powerful than any time before. He is shooting hot semen down her throat, his eyes dry and prickling but Harry wouldn’t shut them for anything. He keeps staring at Snape as his orgasm washes over him, waves of pleasure filling up all his senses and yet all he sees is Severus Snape, leaning against the wall, arms crossed, looking amused, smiling smugly.

Ginny stands, cleaning her mouth. “You’ve never been so rough before…” she says and Harry can hear how coarse her voice is, but her tone isn’t offended. She doesn’t mind. She doesn’t know the reason, she never will and it will never happen again, Harry promises to himself. This could never happen again.

“Sorry,” he whispers.

“Don’t be,” she answers and Harry is too scared to tell her, he’s not sorry for being rough, but for the cruel shadow, who has hidden into the darkness once more, but is still with them, only a few steps away, watching. “You coming?”

“Be right there,” Harry says with a half-smile and leans against the wall, pretending to catch his breath.

She seems proud as she looks over him head to toe and smiles. “I think ten’s your lowest so far. If I’ve known being rough makes you come sooner, I would have made you do this a long time ago.”

He nods, unable to say anything, unable to lie, to explain, to correct her that it wasn’t because he was rough, and making him come under a minute isn’t actually something she should be proud of. He keeps quiet instead and she waves goodbye then and walks away. Harry finally closes his eyes and takes a deep breath.

“How long are you planning to hide, sir?”

“Here I am, thinking once in my life I could probably let you walk away but of course, Mr. Potter, you do not encourage favouritism, do you?” Asks a bodiless voice.

“I wouldn’t say that…” Sighs Harry zipping himself up.

“Are you so full of yourself that you think I would not take points after this display,” Snape asks and steps into the moonlight again, “or so arrogant you think you can earn it back?”

Snape’s anger melts the second their eyes connect. Something darker and more dangerous takes its place and the first time, Harry feels actually frightened. Not of Snape, but of his own emotions. He steps closer. “I am neither full of myself, nor arrogant. I did something bad and I got caught. You would never let me walk away. Not really. If you don’t take points tonight, you take them tomorrow during class. Sir.”

“I am touched, how well you know me, Potter. Let it be as you wish.” Snape smirks, then makes a little wave with his hand, “Two hundred points from Gryffindor.”

“What?” Harry cries. “You can't!”

“I absolutely can and I absolutely will.”

“But… but that’s too much for being out after curfew!”

“Ah, it indeed would be. That is only fifty points each, Potter,” chuckles Snape and he steps closer. Harry shudders not quite sure if it’s because of the proximity or the sound, but soon realizes, it hardly fucking matters. He just came thinking of and watching his professor. Everything hardly matters anymore.

“What’s the other hundred for?”

“The other hundred, Mr. Potter, is attributable to Miss Weasley and her abysmal knowledge of pleasuring a man.”

“Oh. I wouldn’t call that abysmal,” says Harry with a shrug. It wasn’t that bad.

Snape takes a deep breath, it’s almost a sigh. “Oh Potter, you know nothing,” he turns to leave, robes flaring around him, just another shadow in the darkness. “Ten seconds…” he huffs probably to himself, “barely even counts.”

Harry can't move but his mouth opens on its own. “Well, I don’t know… those last seven seconds pretty much changed my whole world.”

Snape stops mid step, frozen on the spot. Harry stares at him resolutely, his gaze burning a hole into his back.

Harry’s determination doesn’t waver when Snape doesn’t turn around, because he’s not an idiot and he knows how dangerous an offer like that can be for a professor. And Snape is much more than that. His position as a spy, his job as a Defence professor, even his life could be in danger, Harry knows that and therefore he denies to be sad when Snape doesn’t turn around. But he sees his fingers flexing, his shoulders tensing, which gives some sort of hope.

“You know nothing,” Snape repeats, his voice only a hiss.

“Actually,” Harry argues, “I know a lot of things. I know you’re my teacher. I know you’re a spy. I know Dumbledore trusts you, I know Malfoy doesn’t. I know I don’t love my girlfriend. And I certainly know I wasn’t thinking about her when I came down her throat. I know there are things you have to do even if you don’t want to and things you cannot do, even if you want to.”

Suddenly, Snape is in front of him, fingers fisted in Harry’s worn shirt. “Remember that. When the time comes, remember what you just said, Potter.” With that, he’s kissing Harry, lips harsh, tongue pushing inside Harry’s mouth, twisting around his, dancing with it. The kiss is deep, ardent and sensual. Urging but not the way Ginny’s were – it is desperate because they both know it won’t happen again.

It’s over too soon, Harry clings on but Snape pulls away with one last, soft kiss. “Remember what you have just said,” he whispers and then he’s gone.

It happens right next day that Harry is forced to remember his words. A mere twenty-four hours later, as Snape casts the deadly curse and Dumbledore tumbles over the railing. When he sees the blank expression on Snape’s face, he remembers their conversation and the kiss. He screams in pain, heart shattered for his mentor and for Snape too, whatever the man is to him. His scream is loud and vicious and will ring in his own head for hours afterwards, but now no one hears him. And yet, Snape looks around as if noticing something, his eyes stopping over the spot where Harry stands for only a moment. Their eyes are connected and Harry has to remind himself that he cannot be seen. Then one by one the Death Eaters are gone. Malfoy trails behind, looking aside to Snape but Snape’s head is down. He pushes the blond boy past the door and says quietly, “Remember.”

Harry can hear how broken his tone is, how deeply devastated he is, but he knows what he said and he knows there is nothing they can do.

He can hear Malfoy’s voice, timid and scared as he asks, “What?”

Snape doesn’t answer, or at least, Harry cannot hear him anymore.

***

He never imagined he would be back here once again, yet here he is, clutching the yellow paper. The Shack is even more terrifying now, the memories, his memories too, not quiet settled in his mind and everything seems more confusing. His eyes wander to the pool of blood, sullied by dirt and dust, and he feels the most awful clutch around his heart.

He knows it was foolish to come here alone, he knows it, but hell, he would seize even the smallest ray of hope. And hope came; it came on wings in the form of a brown owl, carrying a piece of parchment.

He unfolds the letter and reads it again. There’s only a question there still, nothing else. It could be asked by anyone, could mean anything. There’s a chance it wasn’t even for Harry. But when he read it, he was sure he knew where that message came from, knew it was for him, knew why he received it.

But now, hope turned into doubt.

Until…

“Do you remember?” Asks a deep voice; it’s the same question as in the letter.

Harry twirls around, eyes frantically looking for the body that belongs to that voice.

Snape is leaning against the doorway, covered in blood, it is still trickling from the wounds on his neck.

“You need help!” Harry cries and rushes to him to help him stand but he’s pushed away.

“I need an answer,” Snape grunts, voice weak but demanding. “Do you remember?”

“Yes, yes, I do!” Harry says quickly, tearing off a piece of his shirt to cover the wounds but before he could, Snape grabs him and makes him look into the fathomless black eyes that have been haunting Harry ever since that night in Hogwarts.

“You do?” The uncertainty is clear in his face and his voice too and Harry knows suddenly, words won’t be enough to convince Snape. So he leans in and kisses Snape softly and tenderly on the lips, carefully shifting his hand to cover the lean neck and the snake bites.

“I do,” he whispers softly then says in a firmer manner, “Now can we please get someone to patch you up?”

Snape lets out a long breath, one, it seems, he has been holding in for years. “Yes. Yes, now we can.”

There is something in the way he says “we” that makes Harry smile. Quickly, he presses another kiss onto the soft, thin lips, but he’s caught and Snape is more arduous when he kisses back. Harry tries to push him away, afraid that his wounds would open more, and as if realizing the inappropriateness of his actions, Snape pulls back swiftly, looking suddenly ashamed. Harry just smiles at him, “Mediwitch first. Kissing later.”

“Finally, I can do what I want and you would stop me?”

“Severus,” Harry says softly and the name somehow doesn’t feel weird coming from his lips. “You are bleeding. I swear you can do whatever you want whenever you want to, but now, mediwitch.”

“If you knew what I have in mind, you wouldn’t be so quick in making promises, Harry.”

Harry smirks as he looks into the black eyes, “You’re not the only one who has been thinking a lot about those seven seconds.”

“Seven seconds…” Snape huffs and grabbing into Harry apparates them onto Hogwarts grounds. “That girl cannot please a man even if she was lectured on the subject. Seven seconds indeed…”

“Think you’re better?” Harry asks looking up at the man with a teasing grin.

“Better?” Severus laughs. “You’re not going to be counting seconds with me Potter, I can guarantee that. In fact, you won’t have the mind to count at all.”