Author: It's All A Guessing Game
Word Count: 4133
Pairing: Harry Potter/Severus Snape
Warnings: Voyeurism, cross-dressing, spanking, mild D/s, a bare hint of M-preg.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: Sometimes we all need a little help communicating.
Author Notes: Snapesgirl_62, I managed to get both your prompts and some of your kinks and requests in here. I hope you have as much fun reading as I did writing it! To my beta, many thanks, as always. You're a peach.
The View-master and reel book lay on the coffee table. They must have been what eventually distracted Harry from the silent malaise he'd been in since returning home from work that evening. And, while silence was nothing out of the ordinary any more, Severus thought it odd that Harry hadn't noticed him standing in the doorway to the living room, watching as Harry sat on the sofa and stared into the middle-distance.
"Curious," said Harry eventually, leaning forward on the sofa. He picked up the object and turned the dusty eyepieces toward himself.
Severus cleared his voice. "It's a View-master."
Harry looked up and saw him leaning against the doorframe. He stared at him a moment, opened his mouth as if to say something, then blinked.
"What's it, like Omnioculars, or something?"
"Not quite. It's not a magical device."
"How d'you?quot; he turned it around in his hands.
"Hold it up to your eyes and face the light." Severus crossed the room and sat on the chair next to the sofa.
"Oh." Harry held the View-master up to his face. "It's got a mushroom in it."
Severus raised his eyebrow and hrmphed. "No, it's a picture. Or, more correctly, two pictures."
Harry shook the viewer gently and looked at the other side but there was nothing but the back of the case with two opaque windows set eyes-width apart. "It looks solid. It certainly feels solid." He hefted it in his hand.
"Shall I explain how it works?" Severus slid slowly off the front of his chair, looking at Harry. He didn't see anything in Harry's expression to stop him, so he came to rest on his knees beside Harry's leg.
"Lean forward a bit and look at me," said Severus. "What do you see?"
Harry raised an eyebrow. "Your nose."
"Hold still and close your right eye. Now what do you see?"
"The left side of your nose," said Harry. "Wait, it's the right side of your nose, but I'm seeing it on the--"
"Yes, yes, I take your meaning," said Severus. "Now close your left eye and open your right."
"I see the right side of your nose."
"That's how the View-master works," said Severus, returning to his chair. "With both your eyes open, you see a complete nose in three dimensions. Each object you see in the View-master is made up of two pictures of the same object taken about six centimetres apart -- about the distance between your two eyes. Those images are set on opposite sides of the reel."
"Watch." Severus pulled out a round piece of cardboard with film in little windows around the outside edge from the top of the viewer. "At each opposing side is the same picture, each taken beside one another; the one on the left was taken on the left, the one on the right, taken on the right. When you see them through each eye, your brain puts them together as you regularly see objects. The items in the pictures appear as three-dimensional objects."
"Oh," said Harry. He took back the reel and inserted it in the View-master. He stared for a moment and pushed the lever down to advance the reel. "So, what're you doing with it?"
"This happens to be a set I obtained in a Muggle bookshop." Severus handed Harry the book. "This book contains reels and reels of mushrooms, all perfectly classified and shown in their natural habitat. The images were originally taken by a Muggle, but a very enterprising young potions master who was here around the time of Tom Riddle spelled them full of their magical counterparts. I felt it my duty to remove it from the hands of Muggles, who really oughtn't to know about the antipyretic effects of theTylopilus felleus when added to Pepper Up potion."
"I suppose this means you're going mushrooming this weekend, then," Harry sighed.
Severus looked at him closely. "I was planning to. Is anything wrong?"
"No. I suppose not." Harry picked up the View-master and the book of reels, and set off for their room. "I'm just going to lay down a bit. Take a look at these."
"As you wish," said Severus, feeling a little deflated. He went to make tea. He had no idea what had upset Harry so badly, but maybe Severus had distracted him enough to pull him out of it.
Tea never failed to solve most of Severus' post-war problems and it didn't fail him now. He wasn't at all certain it would help with whatever was bothering Harry, but he was willing to make a stab at it. He didn't feel like he had much of anything else to offer. He took the tray to their bedroom but stopped at the door. Harry was asleep, the View-master tumbled on the coverlet next to him.
Severus set the tray on the trunk at the foot of the bed and picked up the View-master. He held it up to his eyes. Inside was a picture of a stage just as the curtain came up. A happy home, with a child playing in the yard. Severus thought it looked familiar. He pressed the lever, and the next picture was a horror of flame and the shadow of the Dark Mark in the sky. Ah -- he remembered them, now. He quickly clicked through the remaining five images, and they, too, were from the play Severus and Harry had seen together last autumn.
He set the View-master down, removed the reel and cast a reconstitution spell on it. The reel transformed back into the ticket stub for the play. He looked over at the bedroom mirror where its mate lay wedged in the frame. "Interesting," he said, the beginnings of an idea swirling about.
Over breakfast the next morning, after several sighs and nothing whatsoever explained about his morose mood, Harry asked, "Going mushrooming, then? Will you want lunch?"
"I'll see you at dinner," said Severus, ducking into the bedroom and pocketing a dusty bottle from the bedside table. "I'll be Apparating into Sherwood Forest to find some Krombholziella Oxydabilis."
"What potion do they go in?"
The View-master fit nicely in the canvas shopping bag Severus pulled out of the closet. After Apparating, he took it out along with the book of reels and ran through the varieties he was likely to encounter in this quiet corner of Sherwood Forest.
But first things first: Severus Transfigured a fallen mossy branch and sat down on a green velvet settee. After seeing Harry's accomplishment with the ticket stub, he had a theory about the View-master reels and wanted to try it out. And since conversation wasn't the only thing running dry around the house lately, why not let testing his theory kill two birds with one stone?
He brought out the dusty bottle of lube from his pocket and held his wand to it. He shut his eyes and concentrated on every fantasy he ever had about Harry. A moment later in his hand lay a lurid red reel with no writing on it. He pulled the View-master out of his pack and inserted the disk. Laying back on the settee, he pulled the View-master to his face.
"Ungh." He curled up around his middle; his cock was filling painfully fast. His idea had paid off, in spades.
This was a sight he had only ever seen in the most secret depths of his mind: Harry, his own age now, but in his old student garb, sprawled face down on his desk with his bum in the air. How many times since they'd found each other after the war had Severus surreptitiously slipped into this fantasy? Nothing he could imagine made him come harder and feel more dirty and spent; not least because the thought of having done such a thing as sully the Boy Who Lived whilst he was still at school was absurd and a little sick-making. Severus was not a paedophile. Harry had never seemed attractive to him until Severus witnessed Harry murder Voldemort. In that moment when he finally understood Harry's strength -- magical, yes, but also emotional -- he took a second look. And he was lost.
His hand strayed to the placket of his trousers as he examined every detail of the picture. A well-worn paddle lay next to Harry on the desk with little holes cut out of it. When he peered closely, he could see the red and white waffle-like welts it had left on Harry's arse. When he peeked between Harry's legs, he could see the evidence of a once-proud cock dripping with the last of its release. A pink flush bloomed fresh on Harry's cheek and a tear pooled in the corner of his eye. Or was it sweat? Probably the latter; Harry glowed. Aaah, how tempting he looked, laid out with one knee drawn up to the desk, the other leg planted firmly on the ground with his school trousers and pants in a heap around his ankle. He could almost hear the gasping breaths, the moaning sobs of pleasure and pain...
Severus' cock surged. He noticed the small smile on Harry's lips, and quite surprisingly, lost control. A heaving gasp escaped his mouth and white streaks spewed onto his leg, the settee, the front of his robes.
That was... fast.
But, he supposed, it had been a very long time since he'd had any release. He lay there for an unmeasured time afterwards, until his breathing slowed and he began to feel the chill. Taking in the angle of the light and the emptiness of his basket, he wisely decided to examine the rest of the reel later. He removed it from the View-master and tucked it into the outer pocket of the shopping bag. It wasn't as though they'd need the little bottle of lube any time soon.
Merlin himself couldn't have magicked up a finer soup than the one Severus made that evening with the Krombholziella Oxydabilis. He whistled while he worked and wasn't even aware of it, until Harry shuffled into the kitchen and opened the cupboard door.
"You're happy," he said. He grabbed a glass and filled it at the tap.
Severus had nothing to say to that; it was true. He didn't think telling Harry just why he was feeling on top of the world would go over very well, though. They had a thousand things to talk about before Severus ever attempted to broach the subject of his fantasies, so he decided that changing the subject was the best option at the moment. But before he could even say anything, the Floo went off and Harry left the room to answer it. Severus heard Harry ask "How is he?" before the sound of the voices reduced to a murmur. As much as he desired to listen in on the rest of the conversation, he had soup to make.
When everything was simmering nicely in the pot, he scooped his bag off the coffee table to put the rest of his mushrooming things away. But where to put the View-Master? He didn't have a permanent place for it yet. Perhaps the bookcase, along with the book of reels. Really, it was a handy little tool, and certainly something that wouldn't be an anachronism in the Muggle world. He'd have to look into finding more reels for it. Or, perhaps, devoting time to making more of his own. His knees buckled just the tiniest amount, suddenly weak with the image of Harry a scribbled mess on his old desk. Taking a deep breath, he leaned on the cloak closet door for a moment, before opening it and hanging the bag on the hook.
By Saturday, Harry's morose mood hadn't let up at all and while he'd gone as far as to curl into Severus' back in bed the night before, he still wasn't talking. The first thing Harry said in the morning was, "I need a diversion. I'm going marketing. Do you want anything in particular?"
"Tea, thanks. We're low." My partner back. But after all this time saying nothing, how could he say something like that now? He did say, "I'll be brewing when you return. I should be finished before supper. If you like... I'll cook dinner."
Harry stared at him a long moment and gave him a half-smile. "I'd like that, thanks," he said, grabbing the shopping bag out of the closet. "I'll see you tonight."
Rather lovely, that, seeing Harry smile. It had certainly been awhile.
With the brewing list as long as it was, Severus didn't linger long over breakfast. Within a few minutes he was ensnared in his work, and it wasn't until quarter to five that he extinguished the last flame, bottled the last batch, and ascended the stairs to start supper. But first, a change of clothes. The lab was warm this afternoon, and his undershirt had become quite uncomfortably damp with perspiration.
He bumped open the bedroom door with his hip as he pulled his jumper over his head, and immediately heard scrabbling and a squeak. He drew his wand before he was completely untangled, and managed to drop it outright along with the jumper when he saw who it was. Harry, standing in the middle of the bed, erection rampant beneath the pleated skirt of a Hogwarts girl's uniform. The View-master lay at his feet, inside which... of course. How careless of him. The lurid red reel, containing Severus' fantasies.
He sat down hard on the dressing table chair and winced at the jarring of his sudden erection. He felt a little sick to his stomach. From the look of him, Harry felt about the same.
"I -- I'm sorry. It's -- are you OK?" Harry was blushing profusely and sounded very concerned, but Severus didn't put too much weight to it; Harry kept pushing down the front of his skirt, but it did nothing but spring right back up again, each time.
Best not look a gift horse in the mouth.
"Come sit on my lap, little girl, and I'll tell you," said Severus, patting his leg.
It was possible he'd never seen quite so much relief on Harry's face. Harry leapt off the bed and bounded into his lap. He took a great, big breath and smiled.
"It looks like you're doing better, at any rate," said Severus.
Harry sighed and said, "This is a far better diversion than the market."
"Want to talk about it first?" said Severus, suddenly apprehensive that Harry might want to do just that, and then what would Severus need to say? He wasn't good at offering comfort at the best of times. Harry wasn't usually demanding of any, which Severus appreciated probably more than he ought.
But Harry said, "No. I need to serve detention, first, Professor. Don't you agree?"
A slow smile lit Severus' face. "Insouciance, Miss Potter, is not tolerated in my class."
"I'm very sorry, sir," said Harry, one again pushing down his skirt and failing to keep his erection down. He slid down a little on Severus' knees and the changing pressure spiked his blood with lust.
Severus just about fainted when Harry wiggled up higher on his lap and trapped Severus' erection underneath one buttock. "Perhaps in light of your uh... workload... we ought to consider a modified punishment, Miss Potter."
"Will I still have to scrub cauldrons?" said Harry, failing to look as innocent as he sounded.
"Oh, no, my dear. I think we'll stop at corporal punishment today," said Severus, pulling at Harry's hips and guiding him on to his feet. "Over my knee, Miss Potter."
"What? NO!" said Harry, backing away. Severus thought he was serious for a moment until Harry continued, "Professor, I thought corporal punishment wasn't allowed."
"You thought wrong. In special cases, it is allowed. I think you'll agree, Miss Potter, that you are a most...special case indeed."
Harry turned red, and for a moment, Severus thought Harry might actually be furious at the thoughtlessness of his words. But then he realised that Harry was blushing. And obeying. Harry settled in over his lap with his erection buried as well as it could be between Severus' legs. He shuddered. It was the work of a moment to twitch the pleated skirt off Harry's arse and onto the small of his back. The little tart wore no underwear, of course. He gave a quick, experimental slap to the muscular, round arse in front of him and Harry yelped.
"Startling?" said Severus, smirking.
"Oh, Professor, please," said Harry, grinding his cock between Severus' legs.
That did it. Severus smacked again. Again. Again. "Miss Potter, you are not counting. Smack.
"Four!" gasped Harry.
"Tut, tut. At the beginning, now. Surely you know how to count," he sneered, which was hard to do, breathless as he was. Smack.
More wriggling. Severus pulled him further up his lap so that Harry's cock now pressed between his legs and up against Severus' balls. Smack.
Definite hip action, now. Grinding. Gasping. Smack, smack.
"Three! Fuh - oh -- four!"
Rapid thrusting. Severus wasn't sure Harry'd make it to six. The thought made his prick swell even more against the pressure of Harry's thrusts. Smack.
"Fi-hive!" Whimpering, now. It would only take another moment. Severus held off until he heard a low whine from Harry. SMACK!
The rhythmic thrusts against Severus' cock went irregular; the rest of Harry's body went slack. Eventually, his hips stopped, too, and he lay trapped against Severus' groin, damp hair curling at his neck, very obviously spent.
Severus teetered on the brink of orgasm. His arse clenched tight and his prick twitched rhythmically under his layers. It was almost more than he could take. He held on, poised, perfectly balanced, as still as possible.
"Six," Harry breathed.
Severus lost it in his trousers.
Eventually, he found the wherewithal to pant, "Stand, Miss Potter."
Harry staggered to his feet on shaky legs and stood directly in front of Severus. And oh, sweet Merlin, the pleated skirt still tented in front of him, this time over a spreading, wet stain. Harry was still hard, even after that. He must really enjoy this fantasy, too, thought Severus. How is it I never knew this before about him?
"Sir, I. Uh." Harry dragged in a deep breath. "I see I've put you in some... difficulty. I -- I'm sorry."
Severus flashed a look at Harry, who was half smirking.
"Well, Miss Potter, it seems you have," said Severus, breathing hard through his nose. "Perhaps you had better take responsibility."
Harry dropped to his knees in front of him, and in a moment had Severus unzipped and was licking him clean.
Perhaps it was the mind-blowing sex, or perhaps because Severus had inadvertently shared something about himself that Harry had never known before (and, in turned, learned something new about his partner, himself), after dinner that evening, Harry opened up about what had been bothering him these last few days.
"Half the department was laid off," said Harry, leaning forward on the sofa next to Severus with his elbows on his knees. "Ron lost his job."
No wonder Harry'd been upset.
"The Director says there will be two more rounds of layoffs - next month and the month after," continued Harry. "Severus -- I think they're dissolving our department."
Serious, indeed. Harry thought the world of his job. "Has the Director said as much?"
"Not in so many words, no," said Harry, slowly. "But there are only four of us left."
Severus didn't know what to say or do, but before he could think of anything, Harry was already getting off the couch.
"I'm going out for a bit," said Harry. "I should go see Ron. If he's talking to me."
"I wish..." said Severus, but he had no idea what it was that he wished for. It was more of a longing. He looked up at Harry.
"It's OK," said Harry, looking a little adrift. And then he was gone.
But it wasn't OK. Severus didn't like not knowing his own mind, or in this case, what his feelings meant. Although the last time he had felt so much in the dark about something it was because he didn't know what his feelings toward Harry meant. Somehow they'd figured that out, together. But it had taken a long time, and Severus had an instinctual feeling he didn't have that much time, this go-around.
He dug out his Pensieve from the closet and pulled the morass of feelings out of his head and let them swirl in the basin. But when he dove in to examine them, they were just as misty as they were inside his head. He removed himself, and stood for a long time, puzzled about what to do.
Then, he got an idea. Fetching a phial from his workroom downstairs, he guided the swirling mess at the bottom of the Pensieve into it and corked it tight. He went and found the View-master, then transformed the swirling bottle into a reel. He popped it in and took a look at what it was his mind was trying to tell him to do.
The first picture was Severus standing with Harry wrapped in his arms. His cheek lay on Harry's head and Harry's head lay buried on Severus' chest. Harry's eyes were closed, but he looked like he was soaking up Severus' attentions. There was a little caption underneath; it read: Comfort.
He pressed the lever. This time, Severus sat on the couch with Harry's head in his lap. His hand was on Harry's head, and it looked as though he were stroking Harry's hair. He peered at Harry's face; there were tears drying on his cheeks. Something in Severus' chest twanged. The caption read: Soothe.
Pressing through, he saw Console, Reassure, Calm, Relieve and Ease. He set the View-master down on the coffee table and wandered around the house until it became clear what he needed to do for Harry. He went to bed and waited for Harry's return, but fell asleep before he heard the key in the lock.
The next morning was Monday; he woke to a tray with tea and toast on the beside table. On the tray was the reel he'd made of his feelings last night, with a small note attached:
"Thank you for this. I love you."
The layoffs were long a thing of the past; Harry's new broom-making business he shared with Ron thrived, and with the help of the View-master, their relationship had revived and blossomed into something warmer and more inviting than Severus had ever imagined. Not to mention, more intimate. Who knew Harry had the desire to be tied up? Who knew Severus liked to bottom? He had never been happier in his life, or more content. He had never felt more complete. Harry, too, felt just as content, it seemed, until one morning when Severus woke to a tea tray, and the sounds of Harry singing in the shower. A new reel lay on the tray.
Anticipating something wonderfully new and kinky, he popped it in the View-master.
And promptly choked.
He dashed to the shower and yanked open the curtain, staring at Harry's belly. "Harry!" he exclaimed, breathlessly. "Is there something you're trying to tell me?"