Percy Weasley kept his wand at the ready as he ducked through an archway near the end of Knockturn Alley. His heels rang on the cobblestones of the narrow, nameless court; the sounds echoed off the walls of the decrepit townhouses that rose several stories above him. The sole flickering lamp that hung above the well in the centre barely cut through the foggy night, but he didn't bother with a Lumos. He knew where he was going and that no one would get in his way.
The flat he wanted was on the second floor, up a series of winding, creaky, splintered stairs from the heavy, spell-warded entrance to the building. He could feel protective spells pinging as he walked down the corridor past the closed and bolted doors to the end of the corridor. Without hesitating, he raised his wand, slashed it in a familiar arc, and walked into the brick wall.
Severus Snape was exactly where he had been when Percy had left on Sunday morning. Sitting in a wing chair next to the casement windows, a large, heavy book in his lap, spectacles perched on the end of his nose, and more clothing on than seemed reasonable in a room with a roaring fire.
When Severus merely raised his head and gave him a curt nod before returning to his reading, Percy sent the basket of food and a package of books sailing towards the small kitchen table. Then he placed his wand on its warded stand, removed his gloves and tucked each in a pocket, and hung his heavy, winter cloak on the peg next to Severus's greatcoat.
"Mum made chicken stew," Percy said, aiming for a conversational tone — always the best idea until he knew what kind of mood Severus was in. "With suet dumplings. We're hoping that means she's finally on the mend."
He pulled off his boots, picked up his wand to cast a quick drying spell on them, and placed them on the shoe-rack. His slippers waited for him beside the second wing chair, already warmed. A mug of tea with a twist of lemon, exactly the way he liked it, sat steaming on the table next to his chair.
He walked right past them and settled on the bench next to Severus's chair.
"I suppose you want to talk?" Severus peered at Percy over his reading glasses.
A good mood, Percy thought. "We received a shipment containing Belby's latest book at Flourish and Blott's today."
"A masterpiece like all of his others, I'm sure," Severus sneered.
"I brought you a copy for afters."
"That ought to prove diverting... for a few hours, at least."
"You'll have to share the best parts." Percy reached for Severus's book, smiling when Severus allowed him to place a magical place marker in it and set it to one side.
"Before you ask," Severus said, "I had a passable day. I brewed potions to fill several orders, but I didn't go outside. The dismal weather was hardly enticing enough for me to even consider braving that. However, I also didn't hex Madam Ormandy from down the hall when she interrupted my brewing to ask if I wanted to kneazle-sit."
"I wondered why the Do Not Disturb wards were up."
"That she is." Percy took Severus's hand in his and stroked the back.
They sat quietly for a few seconds, until Severus retrieved his hand and removed his spectacles. The vertical line between his brows deepened, and he pinched the bridge of his nose. A bead of sweat rolled down the side of his face from his hairline to the high collar of his frock coat.
He's overheating, Percy realised, even as he resisted the urge to lick his lips or Severus's skin.
"I should go check on my potions," Severus said.
It was a horrible excuse, and Severus clearly knew it. Percy let him get to his feet before he stood as well. Grasping Severus's hand, he suggested, "Come with me."
Severus's back stiffened, and his nostrils flared. Percy was sure that Severus would refuse, would insist on checking on his potions even though they both knew that the fires were doused and the cauldrons were under stasis spells.
Without giving him a chance, Percy took a step closer and wiped away another bead of sweat that was following the trail of the first. "It's warm in here. Come to the bedroom."
And this time, this first time, Severus did so without argument or evasion.
Severus didn't know why he'd agreed. A brief moment of insanity, perhaps? Something that even the Wizengamot would excuse, as they had so many of Severus's other sins.
Not that it mattered. From the minute Percy Weasley had shown up at his front door all those months earlier, Severus had been unable to refuse the man much at all. Percy was gentle, patient, insistent, and organised. Everything in its place and a place for everything was an attitude that they both shared, and it stood them well after Percy began spending nights in his flat. It was almost enough to forgive his insistence that Severus go outside and remind the world that despised him of his continued presence in it. Some day he would, though and then, when the hexes and insults flew, Percy would understand why it was such a bad idea.
"You're sweating," Percy said.
"I'm fine." Severus backed away only to find himself up against the closed door. His heart fluttered in his chest, and he wondered what he'd been thinking when he allowed Percy into his home and his life, whether it was too late to change his mind.
"No," Percy insisted. "You're not."
And, despite his better judgment, Severus allowed himself to be drawn into the room and moved to stand in front of the full-length, three-sided mirror that Percy had been adamant about bringing into the flat. Percy checked his hair and clothing in it every morning he was there; Severus had, so far, avoided looking in it. He knew what he looked like; he didn't need any reminders. And so, he averted his eyes and focussed on their slipper-shod feet.
"You're sweating," Percy repeated. He swept Severus's lank hair back from his face and mopped his forehead with one of the handkerchiefs on the dressing table. "You're dressed far too warmly for the temperature in here."
"I disagree," Severus said, realising that he wasn't going to give in. "However, if you insist, I'll turn down the fire and the heating charms."
"No, I don't think so." Percy's thumb tasted a little salty when he ran it over Severus's lower lip. His diffident gentleness held Severus in place, made it impossible for him to bristle and snarl, in a way that no one else, nothing else had managed.
His trance was broken when Percy's fingers undid the first button of Severus's frock coat, his knuckles brushing the underside of Severus's jaw. A kernel of panic burned beneath Severus's sternum. Why had he thought Percy understood? Why had he believed Percy was different?
"No! Absolutely not," Severus snapped. He yanked himself away from Percy, but was sent off balance by the fact that Percy didn't try to force him to stay. He caught himself and crossed his arms over his chest.
"Have you looked at yourself?" Percy asked. He moved towards Severus, and the damned mirror moved with him. "Have you seen what I see?"
"I know what everyone sees," Severus said bitterly. "I've been reminded too often to forget."
"I don't need these, you know. Not for you." Percy took off his glasses, folding the arms and placing them in their case on his bedside table. Without them, his eyes were so blue, so damnably honest that Severus couldn't look away. He was trapped in their depths while Percy walked towards him again, while Percy kissed him. While Percy undid his first button, the second, and then the rest. One at a time until Severus was left in his shirt, and his neck above his Adam's apple was bared.
Severus could have left, could have walked out the door at any time, but he stood there and waited for Percy to shake out his coat and send it skimming over to hang itself up in the wardrobe.
"Why are you doing this?" Severus asked and then swallowed hard when Percy sucked lightly on his Adam's apple. He unfolded his arms and reached for Percy, not certain whether he wanted to push him away or pull him closer.
"Because you need to add one more piece of knowledge to the myriad you have stored in your brain. You need to know what I see when I look at you."
"I've already told you—"
"And I've disagreed."
Panic flaring back to life, Severus opened his mouth to object, but was shocked into silence when Percy murmured a spell and every single one of the onyx buttons on Severus's shirt was undone.
A flash of pale skin in the mirror forced Severus to close his eyes and turn his head, started something deep inside him trembling. He hardened his mask, wrapping himself in it. "Don't do this," he ordered, not wanting to lose Percy as he'd lost so many other people after they'd insisted on dismantling all of his protections.
"Your skin shines in the candlelight," was Percy's response. "Did you know that?"
Bemused by the ridiculousness of the comment, Severus raised his hands to look, and that was all Percy needed to take off Severus's sweat-soaked shirt and banish it to the laundry hamper.
Severus's hackles rose at the breathed syllable. "Leave," he demanded. "Find another pathetic object for your ridicule."
However, Percy paid no attention. Instead he trailed his fingers over Severus's chest, circling the nipples and bumping his fingertips over each rib, and Severus felt another flutter, one that began in his chest and sent heated flashes through his body and into his cock.
"No freckles," Percy murmured, and there was wonder in his voice. "Such fascinating shadows and planes, though. Entire geometries of muscle and bone for me to learn."
"Mad," Severus muttered, but he cradled Percy's head, speared his hands into the red hair that gleamed so beautifully in the candles that floated around them, and sighed at the strange feeling of a tongue flickering on the skin just above his navel.
"Not any longer." Percy looked up at him through his lashes, and something — merely panic, Severus reassured himself — clutched in Severus's chest.
"A madman could hardly be the judge of that," Severus said, unable to put a proper sneer behind the words. Not when he could feel Percy's breath against his skin. Not when he could barely stop himself from bucking his hips, from spreading his legs, from asking for what he'd always wanted and known he could never have. Not with his looks, his body.
Somehow, despite Severus's best efforts, feeble though they were, Percy seemed to know. Percy's hands slid up the back of his legs, cupped and massaged his arse, and then moved to the laces of his old-fashioned trousers.
The touch of those nimble fingers, so close to his prick, almost undid Severus. He started to push Percy away, but Percy shook his head, bumping the tip of his nose over Severus's prick.
Shocked, Severus released Percy's head. He stepped back and put some space between them, but Percy got to his feet and moved behind him.
"Don't," Percy said. His arms snaked around Severus's waist, his fingers splayed over Severus's belly, and he turned them to face the mirror.
They were almost of a size, but where Severus was skinny and bony, Percy was merely slender. Severus was a little taller, and Percy a little broader. And young—
"Hush," Percy whispered. "Don't think so much. Just watch us in the mirror and feel."
Severus's mouth dried as he looked. In their reflection, Percy's hands glided downwards. The fingertips of his right hand slipped just inside the waist of Severus's trousers. With his left, Percy plucked one of the ends of his trouser laces and tugged.
For a moment, the ties tightened over Severus's prick, digging in slightly, sending a pulse of sensation through him, and he had to bite back a moan.
"I've got callouses on my fingers." Percy's voice was a low rumble in Severus's ear. "From the quills I use all day, every day. Can you imagine what they feel like dragging over your prick?"
Breath hitching, Severus snapped, "I have my own callouses."
"I'm sure you do." Percy rubbed his erection against Severus's arse and slipped a finger beneath the topmost criss-cross, pulling out the laces.
"You're—" Severus broke off, forced to moisten his dry lips, again and again, when Percy repeated the motions until the ties were unlaced.
"Merlin." Percy pushed Severus's trousers open. In a quick, fastidious motion, he rubbed his thumb over the head of Severus's cotton-covered prick. "It's exactly like you: long and thin, hard and curving in just the right way. It makes me want to hold it between my fingers, feel the weight of it on my tongue, press it between us while you shiver and shake beneath me."
His bollocks feeling swollen and full, his prick getting even harder under Percy's light touches, Severus had to adjust his stance, move his feet further apart. If he hadn't, he was sure that he would have fallen into the mirror.
"I want you, Severus, but I can wait until you're ready." Percy kissed the skin of Severus's neck, just above his scars where it was most sensitive. "We could keep doing this. I could slip my hand into your underpants." He matched deed to word, his hand almost unbearably cool against Severus's heat. "I could thrust my clothed erection against your covered arse. Slide my fingers over your prick." Percy pulled away. "If you were ready."
Salazar help me. Severus clenched his hands into fists at his side, knowing he was utterly lost. Nothing else would ever be enough after all that Percy had done. He almost wished Percy had been rough, like those few Severus had known before him, because then Severus could have walked away.
"I am." The words, and the trust they implied, abraded Severus's throat, leaving him hoarse.
It didn't matter, though, because Percy understood. Severus's trousers and underpants were pushed down with infinite care to avoid his sensitive prick, and as soon as he stepped out of them, Percy flicked his wand and sent them to join Severus's shirt in the laundry.
Naked, unprotected, Severus resisted the urge to duck his head and allow his hair to fall in his eyes. He was no longer a snivelling teenager. If he were to be rejected, he would meet it with his pride intact.
A lifetime later, Percy placed his warm hand in the small of Severus's back, sending shivers up and down his spine. "Kneel down."
"Here?" Shocked, Severus turned his head to examine Percy's face and was brought up short when he saw nothing but care and concern and, perhaps, desire. He glanced down. At Percy's prick — Percy's long, thick, erect prick with its head dampened by precome.
"I want to watch you," Percy said, his matter-of-fact tones reassuring, "and I want you to watch yourself, to see yourself."
To see and be seen! Arousal smashed through Severus in a wave, breaking down everything before it, and he dropped to his hands and knees, tipping his arse up towards Percy.
The first finger hurt, despite the lavish amount of lubrication, but Percy eased the small pain by massaging circles on Severus's spine. Two fingers and Percy hit his prostate, and Severus spread his legs further apart and pushed back on them, trying to communicate his need, his want by rotating his hips and pulling the fingers in deeper.
When Percy just kept teasing him with the two, Severus demanded, "More," in a voice so hoarse and low he barely recognised it, and then, "More," again with an impatient huff that finally brought Percy's prick pressing against his hole.
It stretched and it burned and it was utterly amazing. So deep, so hard that Severus could feel the shocks throughout his body when Percy pulled out and thrust back in.
"Look," Percy murmured, and Severus did.
The mirror surrounded them on three sides, each pane placed so they reflected each other. Creating a myriad Severus and Percys, joined at hips and arse. Each Percy's prick moved to the same slow rhythm, almost coming out completely before sliding back inside. Each Severus's prick bounced to the same beat, red and needy.
Severus groaned, "Touch," and each Percy's hand came around and squeezed and tugged, and he was full of hunger and desire and an ache that rose and fell and filled up the empty spaces inside.
Then Percy pulled him backwards until he was sitting on Percy's thighs with Percy's prick inside him so far that Severus couldn't hold up his head or do anything but hump and rock, wanting to keep him there.
"Look," Percy repeated. "Lift yourself up." When he did, when he could see where they were joined, Percy's hand, the one that wasn't constantly pulling on Severus's prick moved between them and stroked him from bollocks to arse.
The tingling at the base of Severus's prick surged outwards, sending sparks up to the head and through his belly and bollocks, connecting with his arse. He reached back blindly, unable to take his eyes off the mirrors, off them, he held on to Percy and he opened himself up as much as he could. His entire body shook, and he felt as if he hung on the edge of a precipice.
Curling his slick fingers, Percy pushed one into Severus's hole from the front at the same time as he slammed his hips upwards and drove his prick into Severus's prostate. Severus bucked and shuddered, fell forwards and came. On the mirrors, on Percy, on himself, on the floor.
A sound, halfway between a sob and a moan, came from Percy as he sprawled over Severus's back. He released Severus, hauled his hips upwards, and began to thrust. His jerky movements, possessive hands, and guttural noises nearly propelled Severus to another orgasm when he realised what he'd done. He'd caused Percy to lose control.
With a triumphant smirk, he clenched his arse muscles, and Percy groaned, "Severus," and pulsed his release into Severus.
Feeling Percy's prick soften inside him, Severus resisted the compulsion to get to his feet and wrap himself in protective clothing. A shard of ice jabbed into his chest with each breath as he waited for Percy to make the usual excuses, to give him a freedom he wasn't sure he knew what to do with anymore.
A movement in the mirror caught his eye, and he looked up. Into Percy's sleepy, smiling eyes.
"So good," Percy said. "Even better than I imagined."
He nuzzled the spot between Severus's shoulder blades, and after Percy slipped out of him, Severus found himself responding to the gentle motions of Percy's hands, easing down to the floor and curling up with Percy in a messy, sweaty heap.
He could do this, Severus decided when he'd recovered from the shock. As long as Percy continued to need with the same intensity that Severus did, he'd be safe.