Chapter 3 – Take Twenty

Severus awoke to arms surrounding him. He stiffened. Harry awoke and looked at Severus’ panicked face. “Easy, easy it’s just a hug, nothing more. I’m just offering comfort” Severus was still stiff in his arms but he didn’t fight the embrace.

Harry felt a weight settle at the bottom of the bed. It was the breakfast he ordered. He rolled over onto his back, taking Severus with him so he was lying stiffly on his chest. Harry wandlessly summoned the tray with his free arm so that it settled around his hips.

Harry pulled loose a piece of sticky bun. “Would you like a piece?” Harry could feel the scowl.

“I can feed myself Potter!”

“I know that, I just would like to take care of you.” Severus knew that he would get nowhere if he fought this man. Anyway, it was such a small battle, hardly worth the energy. Still glaring, he opened his mouth, taking the gooey goodness with his teeth but careful not to touch his husband’s fingers.

Harry did not comment he just reached for a piece for himself. “Mmm. Dobby really outdid himself” Harry then picked up a large raspberry and offered it to his husband who took it without protest. Breakfast continued this way until they both were full. Harry then looked at the cup in front of him and then back to Severus.

“What?”

Harry sighed. “I was trying to figure out how to offer you a cup of coffee without having you move.”

“Oh for pity’s sake!” Severus said with annoyance, sitting up. “Potter, sit up against the headboard.” Harry did as he was told and to his surprise, Severus settled against his chest, taking the offending cup with him. With that, Harry promised himself that they would have breakfast in bed as often as he could swing it.

Taking a sip of his coffee Harry moaned. “This is nice.” Severus grunted. Harry smiled squeezing his husband gently.

“What do you want from me, Potter?” Severus asked setting down his now empty cup. Harry sighed, also replacing his cup on the tray and watched it all vanish.

“I want a husband.” He replied softly.

“But…” Harry interrupted him.

“How about 20 questions?”

Severus sat up. “What!?” Harry groaned at the loss of the body.

“It’s a game Hermione came up with when Ron and I were having a disagreement. It allowed us to ask the questions that we needed to ask in order to understand what the other was doing and why. It really helped us, especially with Ron’s habit of flying off the handle every five minutes. I think it would help us.” Harry pulled on Severus’ arm, coaxing him to lie back down. “Come on, lay down.” Severus’ glare was chilling but Harry ignored it, because Severus lay down.

“Explain.” It was growled out.

Harry nodded. “We each get ten questions which the other has to answer truthfully and totally. No non answers, avoiding, or half answers.” Harry looked potently at the Slytherin who looked unfazed. “Follow up questions are allowed, as long as they follow the same question line, but they are limited. So choose your questions well.”

“What makes you so certain if I agree to this that I will tell you the truth?”

“Because Severus, whether you like it or not I am your husband and will be in your life for the rest of your life. I don’t see how lying to me now will help you.” Harry said appealing to his husband’s Slytherin mind.

Severus was quiet. Harry could almost see his mind working, thinking the whole idea over and making sure it was turned in his favor. Harry wanted to smile but he knew it would not be a good idea.

“Alright Mr. Potter, we’ll play your game. My turn.” Harry was going to protest but thought better of it.

“First question. What do you mean when you say you want ‘Just a husband’?”

Harry rolled over onto his back, staring at the canopy, trying to think of how to word his reply. Severus was looking at him intently so if there was any deception he would catch it. “I want a man who I can depend on; someone who, if I get into trouble, will be right there guarding my back. I want someone who I can love and will love me back. I want a partner. I want someone who, when I am forced to go to a damn formal event, I can stand with them in a corner and poke fun at the dolled up morons trying to fawn all over me.” Severus snorted. Harry gave a slight smile but still did not change his line of vision. “I want someone who I can grow old with, fight with and love.” He stopped when his voice cracked.

Severus sat up, looking down at him with considering eyes. He said. “Follow up question.”

Harry swallowed “Alright.”

“Why do you think that this person you are looking for would be me?”

Harry closed his eyes. “You already are most of those things. All through the war, from when I was little till the end, you were always there, fighting at my side. I knew that you would always guard my back.” Harry turned his head, looking at the man above him with a smile. “You can’t deny you would delight at poking fun at ministry fools at the annual gala.” Severus only response was a raised eye brow. Harry laughed. “And I definitely know we fight spectacularly.” Severus chuckled. It was silent but it was there.

“My turn.” And before Severus could respond Harry said. “How do you feel about the whole homosexual relationship thing?”

Severus sighed, leaning against the headboard with closed eyes. “I don’t know I feel one way or the other about it. I have never had the opportunity presented to me were I could find out how I felt about it. The only men I had contact with were Death Eaters. And I would never give them that much power over me. Or my fellow teachers.” Harry and Severus both shuddered at the thought of having sex with the few male teachers on staff.

“So you aren’t put off by having a gay relationship?” Harry pressed, turning over on his side, supporting his head on one bent arm so he could see the other man better.

“I am not exactly put off. I am… uncomfortable with the mechanics of such a relationship.”
Harry sat up causing the other man to look at him. “So I will have to go slow with you, making sure you understand what is going on. I can do that.”

Severus opened his mouth as to ask something but then thought better of it. “What Severus? You can ask me anything.”

“I was wondering if that aspect of our relationship will be of comparable ascendancy.”

Harry was momentarily confused. Severus definitely used big words to hide behind when he was nervous. “The first time Severus, I will have to be in control but after that we can both alternate between being the top or the bottom, depending on our moods.”

“I am guessing that the words ‘top and bottom’ refer to sexual control.”

“Not always. I could have you pinned to the bed and then sit on your cock, riding you into oblivion. I would still be the bottom but I would have the control.” Harry smirked at Severus who shifted slightly at his words, a small flush on his cheeks. The man did like the picture he painted.

“Why do you want me?” The words were breathy and his black eyes were smoldering.

Throwing caution to the wind Harry picked up Severus’ hand turning it over so he could lap at its underside. “Because I think you’re sex on two legs. I have wanted you for three years.” Another deep lick at the palm. “Watching you stalk around the castle made my pants tight.” An open-mouthed kiss was placed on his thin wrist. “Listening to you talk drives me wild. I want you Severus, because you are my dream” Harry turned his hand over and placed a kiss on his captured fingers.

Harry pulled back frowning at the hand he held. “What?” The question was forced out and breathy. Harry didn’t answer immediately he just kissed it again and held it.

“How would you like to take a trip to Diagon Alley?” The sudden change of topic jilted Severus out of the sexual haze that surrounded him.

Severus pulled his hand away almost violently, all of his masks in place. He swung his legs over the side of the bed. “As you wish husband.”

“Severus?” He got up; ignoring the concern he heard and headed towards his wardrobe, now one of two in the room.

“Severus what is wrong?” Severus stood tall his back to the bed. “Severus, how am I supposed to fix what’s wrong if I don’t know what it is?” Harry stood up coming around the end of the bed. Still nothing. “TELL ME!”

Severus threw down his clothes and spun around. “I am your SLAVE! Nothing you say, no erotic words, are going to change that! The whole world is going to know that! I have worked so damn hard to get the little respect I have and now…”

“Severus.” Harry reached out but Severus pulled away. “Severus, no one will know; your family will not tell a soul.” Severus snorted, disbelieving. “They won’t. How much of my conversation with your parents do you remember?”

Severus put his hand on his hip rolling his eyes. “Nothing Potter, I was too busy having a heart attack to pay attention.”

“Ok,” Harry turned holding his hand out towards the main room. “Accio contract.” The scroll flew through the doorway and into his hand. “Here Severus, this is the contract your father signed.” Severus took it with a glare. “You will see that the only way your family can tell anyone is if they wish to loose all of the money I paid them and double that in penalty fees. They won’t tell a soul. They also won’t contact you for the same reason.”

Severus nodded seeing the paragraph Harry was talking about. Then he began to read the document from the beginning. His eyes slowly beginning to widen. “You…You paid this much for me?” Severus’ mind was racing. How could he ever be worthy of that price? What would he have to do?

Harry, now standing at his side, put a hand on his shoulder. “I would have paid more, a lot more.” Harry brushed a kiss against his cheek. “And I most certainly won’t treat you like a slave.”

Severus looked so lost. He hated trusting people. They always betrayed him. A voice in his mind spoke up. ‘He has already gone this far. Hell, he paid money to get you, why would he treat you so kindly? To make it more painful when he hurts you, that’s why!’

“Severus.” Harry pulled away the now crumpled scroll, clasping his potion stained hands. Brushing a kiss to his knuckles. “You know me. You know I would never willingly do anything to hurt you.”

“It is all just so hard to believe.” It was said so softly that Harry almost didn’t hear it.

“I will keep telling you and keep doing whatever I have to until you believe me.” Harry said looking directly in his eyes. Severus just looked back. Harry smiled. “Come on let’s get ready. Were going to go buy out the entire alley!” Harry kissed his hands again then rushed into the bathroom. Severus rolled his eyes at the childish exuberance, and then went to get dressed.