|FIC: 'Strange Bedfellows', Harry/Severus, R
||[Aug. 12th, 2006|04:49 pm]
|||||HARD-FI Hard To Beat||]|
I was tagged by kathrynthegr8 to write a birthday fic for alisanne, using the song "Bluebeard" by the COCTEAU TWINS and the theme of 'Are you the right man for me.' Sorta 'cracky', I reckon.
Title: STRANGE BEDFELLOWS
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Harry, Severus, Surprise
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Warnings: Slash, Adult Situations
Word Count: 1840
Summary: Harry asks Severus for help when an 'old friend' falls ill.
DISCLAIMER: Not mine, never will be. All HP characters belong to JKR and Warner Brothers, etc, etc, etc. Everything else, mistakes included, are mine.
Tagged by kathrynthegr8 to write a birthday fic for alisanne...hope this is okay!
Post-War, I reckon.
Lightning fast beta work by evilauntiesnape.
Severus quickened his pace, clearing his throat far louder than was necessary.
Harry either didn't hear or ignored the subtle protest, as his bond mate continued briskly forward, easily picking his way along the heavily overgrown path.
Severus sighed deeply, ploughing directly into a low hanging branch. "Balls!" he spluttered in annoyance, ducking clumsily and struggling to untangle his shoulder-length locks from the offending greenery. "Please tell me again why we are plodding through the wilds of the Dark Forest at sunset?" He spared the attacking limb an icy stare as he pulled leaves from his hair. "As I'd sincerely like to know why I have been dragged away from my Oban and comfy chair by the fire." He attempted to strike his most imposing stance, folding his arms and arching an eyebrow.
Harry had stopped and turned about, grinning at him crookedly, his emerald eyes fire-bright. "I've told you, love. An old friend is a tad under the weather and in need of a good healing draught. That's why I asked you to brew up a phial of Aislin's Best."
Severus merely narrowed his gaze and tapped his boot.
Harry rolled his eyes. "We're almost there. Just round the bend and through that copse of trees." He jerked his head down the path. "You didn't have to come along, you know."
"Indeed," Severus replied crisply. "As much as I would rather be in my study relaxing, I felt it best to accompany you on this errand, especially since it seems to entail traipsing about a dangerous area near dusk."
Harry snorted. "That, and your curiosity no doubt got the best of you."
"An inquisitive mind is an asset," Severus intoned haughtily. "As long as that quality is tempered by logic and reason."
Harry threw up his arms. "Whatever you say. Now where's the love in that? Oh, wait. There isn't any." He shook his head and closed the short distance between them. He embraced Severus, snaking his hands under the Potion Master's robes. "I realise that this errand is taking a bite out of your downtime, but it wont' take long. After we're done, we'll go back to our chambers and I'll hopefully offer you something a bit more pleasant than some Oban and the latest issue of Potions Today." He ground his hips into Severus' thigh, leaning up to lick a path along the taller man's jaw line.
Severus felt his resolve crumbling. As undeniably entrancing as Harry's advances were, it was nonetheless ceaselessly infuriating that his lover could sway him so easily. "I should hope our destination isn't much further. It will be dark soon. You know as well as I do that this section of the forest hasn't been completely cleared of hazards." He waved a hand absently. "And I see no reason to be so cryptic as to the identity of your benefactor."
Harry sniggered, leaving a chaste kiss on Severus' cheek as he pulled away. "Quit worrying. Like I said, we're almost there." He winked as he turned about and strode down the narrow path. "Besides, if I'd told you who this was for, you'd never have agreed to brew it."
Severus growled indignantly, annoyed that he had to increase his speed to a rather unflattering jog to keep up. He could barely make out the blood-red disc of the sun through the densely packed trunks off to his left. Another fifteen minutes or so, and they'd be plunged into darkness. He drew his wand, methodically scanning both sides of the disused path. They rounded a sharp bend, a small patch of dark water visible just ahead of them. A few minutes later the path emerged into a small clearing.
Severus took in the scene, completely unfamiliar with their location. A narrow strip of rocky beach ringed an almost perfectly circular little cove, no more than fifty yards across. The huge trees threw their branches far over the water, forming a canopy of sorts. Off to their right and around a large outcropping of rocks, Severus could see the greater expanse of the Dark Lake. Although he was loath to admit it, the area was actually quite attractive.
Harry stepped right up to the water's edge. "Here we are," he said without turning around. "He'll be along any minute. May I have the phial, please?"
Severus sighed and withdrew the potion from his robes, moving next to Harry and holding out the phial. Harry took it gently, his fingers lazily caressing Severus'.
"Thanks, love," he murmured. "I really appreciate your efforts. And I know he will too. He's really in a very poor state."
Severus pressed against Harry. "I certainly hope this is appreciated," he huffed sullenly. "Aislin's Best is extremely difficult to brew, and I had to use the last of my narffle bladder. I shall have to Apparate all the way to Ceylon to replenish it."
Harry only nodded in response as he scanned the still surface of the water.
Severus cleared his throat once more. "And my supply of gryphon scales has also been severely depleted, not to mention my--."
"Fine, yes, I know," Harry answered sharply, the first hints of annoyance creeping into his voice.
"Do you now," Severus responded. "I'm not at all certain that you do. You've no idea how difficult it is to find a suitable supplies of quality ingredients. I fear that my efforts to enlighten you over the years have--”
Harry cut him off with a wave of his hand. "Um, yeah, actually, I do know how hard it is to find boomslang skin or spider's wort or newt's nuts or whatever! If I'd a galleon for every time you whinge about your supplies---”
“I most certainly do not whinge,” Severus drawled.
“I'm saddened to hear that you have such a low opinion of me. A pitiful state of affairs when one is categorised as a fusspot for merely pointing out the obvious.”
“I never called you a fusspot.” Harry looked over his shoulder. “Where do you come up with stuff like that?”
“Now you have a problem with one possessing a prodigious vocabulary? I shall endeavor to speak in a manner to which you are more accustomed, then. If you will excuse me, I must be off to the nearest pub so that I may observe how the denizens there express themselves.”
Severus harrumphed. "It is times like these that cause me to wonder if we're at all suited to each other."
Harry groaned. "Oh please, Sev, not that again. Just because we're not always on the same page--"
"Or even the same volume," Severus shot back.
"It's only natural for two adults in a relationship to have disagreements from time to time," Harry offered. "Doesn't mean we're not meant to be together."
Severus paused a moment before replying. "I must make certain to add 'counselor' to your resume."
"Do that. And I'll replace all of your supplies, I promise." Harry turned around, moving closer and wrapping his arms about Severus' waist. "Yet another debt I owe you," he finished softly.
"I look forward to your repayment, then."
Harry grinned. "That's more like it." He craned his neck to gaze at the little cove. "I hope nothing's happened. Hagrid said that he was quite ill, but..."
Severus' eyes went wide. "Hagrid? You don't mean to tell me that I've wasted my most precious ingredients on a rare potion for that oaf? Circe's tits!"
Harry shook his head. "The draught isn't for Hagrid."
"If it isn't for him, then whom?" Severus asked himself more than Harry. "Hmmmm." He tapped his chin with a long finger. "It had better not be for that grotesque imbecilic brother of his!"
Harry laughed out loud. "No, it's not. Grawp's off somewhere in Scotland these days."
Before Severus could utter another possibility, a series of small splashes broke the surface of the water.
Harry turned around quickly. “Good. He's here.”
Severus stared as a series of bubbles broke the surface of the dark water. They moved closer, small ripples emanating from their centre and washing against the rocky shore.
Harry took several steps out into the cove, coming to a halt just as the water covered his knees.
“What in Merlin--” Severus' mouth fell open as a thin tentacle rose above the surface and languidly wrapped itself around Harry's leg. Several more tentacles appeared, each one slowly curling about his legs and lower torso.
"Ummmm," was all Severus could manage.
"It's all right, Sev," Harry replied calmly. "We're old friends." A tentacle caressed the side of his face while two others snaked up and under his t-shirt.
Severus gulped as a much thicker tentacle curled about Harry's neck. He drew his wand, barely choking down the spell as the tentacle's surprisingly tiny tip tickled the shell of Harry's ear. Amidst giggles from Harry, the slick appendage traced Harry's jaw line, hovering for only a moment before Harry opened his mouth to lick at the tentacle's tip.
“Urrrrkk,” Severus heard himself say. He'd just put two and two together to make five as the bulbous, dark green body of the Giant Squid broke the surface several feet from Harry, its huge, black eyes seemingly focused directly on him. Even from where he was standing he could make out the grey splotches covering the squid's thick skin. Quite clearly the creature was in need of some medical attention. Now it all made sense as to why Harry was so concerned about the beast's well being…and exactly why was that particularly thick tentacle working its way down the back of Harry's denims?
Merlin on a crutch!
"Harry!" Severus yelped, immediately sorry he did so. "What is the meaning of this?"
Harry held out the phial of Aislin's Best healing draught as a thin tentacle carefully coiled about the glass tube. Another limb popped the cork, and the squid poured the entire contents down its gullet.
Severus watched with a bizarre clinical detachment as the creature shivered and shook for a few moments, clearly not enjoying the flavour of the potion. Slowly, the tentacles withdrew from Harry, disappearing below the water one after another. With an odd sounding chirp, the squid submerged and moved away.
Harry turned around and trudged out of the water, his trainers squishing loudly as he stood before Severus. He looked up, his expression clearly predatory. “Well?" he asked firmly.
“Care to be more specific?”
Severus huffed. "Nauseated would be more precise."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Honestly, Severus. Don't be such a prude."
"Prude? Prude?" Severus stammered. "Even if I were, it would have no relevance here. This...this is very much beyond the pale.”
Harry blew out a breath.
“I had no idea that inter-species relations were a staple of the Gryffindor curriculum. Although now that I think of it, with so many Weasleys in that House, I shouldn't be surprised.”
“I knew you'd react this way.”
Severus studied his robes intently, then picked at a speck of dirt he found there. “Now I assume you will tell me that at some point, you were hand-fasted to a skrewt.”
Harry threw up his hands. “You're impossible.”
“As well as disturbingly bipedal.”
“Oi,” Harry sighed, rubbing his forehead.
“I'm not at all sure how you expected me to react to such a revolting revelation.”
“I am quite literally stunned," Severus continued. "How could you have never mentioned this?"
Harry snorted then, planting his hands on his hips. "Oh, good one that. What was I supposed to do? Blurt out over tea some night that at some point in the past I shagged the Giant Squid?"
Severus pulled a face and growled.
"Oh, come off it," Harry replied. "It was years ago, and nothing's happened since. We're just friends now."
"Do you have any idea how absurd that sounds?" Severus smoothed his robes. “I will admit that it wouldn't have been a simple topic to broach, but I would have preferred it nonetheless.”
'At least we're past it,” Harry replied tiredly.
Severus grimaced but remained silent.
“Nothing.” Severus waved both hands in front of his face as if clearing away cobwebs. “I fear that I will be plagued with unsavory mental images for years to come.”
Harry crossed his arms and stood silently for many moments. With a slight nod, he continued. "No more upsetting or nauseating than the idea of you and one Argus Filch riding the sodding hobby horse."
Severus' mouth fell open and he felt the world tilt alarmingly beneath his feet. It required every last bit of strength to form simple sentences.
"What? How did you know...?" He took in a deep breath. "Of course. You are the accomplished Legilimens, after all."
Harry arched an eyebrow. "Yes, I am, but I didn't need magic to find out. You talk in your sleep."
"Indeed," Severus croaked absently.
Harry hugged Severus tightly. "Seems like we're more suited to each other than you realize."
Severus groaned. "Perhaps, but really, Harry, the Squid?"
Harry cocked his head to stare up at his bond mate "But really, Sev, Filch?"
"At least Filch is human."
“If you say so.” Harry shuddered.
“Well, Argus was quite the looker in his younger days, as many old photos will confirm. And he was talented. In the extreme.” Severus smirked wistfully.
Harry made a rude noise, sticking out his tongue. "How about we get back and have a nice long chat about our past loves? I can't wait to get out of these damp clothes."
"I'll assist you," Severus interrupted, a wry grin pulling at the corners of his mouth. He waved his wand, casting a low-grade drying charm on Harry's denims.
"I was counting on that," Harry rumbled in response. "We've a fresh jar of that lavender lubricant you enjoy, and I'd like to share a few tricks that I learned from my many-limbed friend."
Severus shivered in anticipation. "Indeed. I have one or two techniques of my own that I think may be quite appropriate."
“Do they include Polyjuice?” Harry asked wickedly.
Severus arched an eyebrow.
Harry leaned up, pressing himself against Severus as tightly as possible. "Brilliant," he breathed as he covered Severus' lips with his own.