Tidings Of Comfort And Joy
by Halrloprillalar

Percy stood outside Snape's door. Something was crawling inside of him, something with a wriggling body and sharp claws, walking on the underside of his skin like a spider on the ceiling. It was always there when he was in front of this door.

He raised his hand to knock, but dropped it again. He had never come uninvited before. He knew this was not a smart thing to do and Percy was very careful always to do only smart things. But where Snape was concerned, Percy's brain and body turned against him and forced him to do things that were not smart, not smart at all. So now he found it easier to just give in at the beginning, as he would surely give in at the end.

He raised his hand a second time and the creature skittered around behind his ribcage. He knocked but the door opened first. His arm fell into empty space and he knew he looked like an idiot.

Snape was sitting behind his desk, a stack of papers in front of him. "Yes?" he said and flicked his quill across a page.

Percy knew that he was for it, but it was too late now. He walked across the stone floor, and now the creature was coiled around his heart and liver and lungs, squeezing tighter with every step. He set a small glass jar of green dust onto the desk. "Happy Christmas, sir," he said and coughed to hide his nervousness.

He had been here seven times already this term. Snape would say, "Weasley, I have some work for you to do. Three o'clock." Then Percy would count the minutes until three o'clock. There always was some work to do and Percy would do it while Snape watched him: marking first year assignments, sorting rufflespines and nellowquills into tiny boxes, testing poisons on white mice. Then the lights would go out and Snape would find him in the dark and Percy would let go the breath he had been holding ever since the last time.

Percy never knew when it would be, never figured out a pattern. One day in November, after he had spent an hour and a half bottling Haste Draught under Snape's glittering eyes, the lights stayed on and Snape sent him away with a wave of his hand. Percy lay awake that night, hand curled around his flaccid cock, and thought of one hundred and twenty-seven possible things he could have done wrong. Two days later, Snape called him in again and everything was back to the way it was before.

Those times with Snape were never marked on Percy's diary, but the dates stood out to him anyhow, as though they were marked in singing ink. Percy remembered every touch, every sound, every thrill and played them over in his head when he was alone.

Percy told himself that this was just a silly adolescent hormonal phase, that it wasn't important and it would pass. But as he waited every day for the look from Snape, for the single word that would acknowledge something between them, he knew that this was more, this was real, was true.

Which was how he had come to be here, giving Snape a Christmas present.

Snape looked at Percy with the exact stare he used when testing a particularly poor student potion. Then he opened the jar and took a bit of the powder on the end of his little finger. Gold flecks in the green caught the light. Snape sniffed the powder, then touched it to his tongue. His eyebrows went up very slightly. "The quality is good," he said.

"Thank you, sir," Percy said, as though he had been the one to receive a gift. It had taken him a long time to source the Dragon Dust and had cost him more than he could afford. He clasped his hands behind him and straightened his back. "The scales are from an Opaleye-Longhorn hybrid. They're particularly good for--"

"Antidotes to poison," Snape said. "I am familiar with the research." He picked up his quill and began writing again.

Percy bit his lip. He wasn't sure what he had been hoping for from Snape, but this was perhaps as much as he was going to get. The creature inside him had gone stiff and still, a dead weight in the pit of his stomach. Percy turned to go.

"Sit down, Weasley," Snape said, eyes still on his work.

Percy sat down. He folded his hands on the table and looked down at them. He wished that Snape would call him by his given name. The air smelled of camphor and it made Percy want to sneeze. Snape's quill scratched across the pages. Percy twisted his fingers. An occamy head in a jar glared at him.

The fire was roaring and the room was hot. Percy felt sweat spring up on his forehead and remembered he had forgotten to do an anti-perspiration charm beforehand. He wiped it off with the back of his hand.

Then he looked over at Snape. Snape was rapidly going through page after page, making notes and curling his lip. Marking, no doubt. Percy stared at Snape's long fingers, elegantly holding the quill, gracefully shuffling pieces of parchment, and thought about those hands drawing open his robes, sliding up under his vest. Those fingers tightening around his wrists like manacles, those fingers pushing up inside of him while Percy tried not to shudder.

Snape glanced up and Percy looked back down at the table. He wiped his forehead again. And he could still feel Snape's hands on him.

It took Snape fifteen minutes to finish his marking. "Weasley," he said, and Percy turned his head. Snape's desk was clean but he still held his quill, turning it around between his fingertips. Snape looked at Percy, unblinking, and Percy looked back. The creature was crawling inside Percy again, sucking the strength from Percy's body and the smart from Percy's brain. "Lock the door," Snape said.

Percy got up and slid home the bolt with shaking fingers. He wondered if he would ever get used to this, if he would ever face Snape calmly.

"Come here," Snape said and drew his wand. Percy heard the hiss of wards going up and he shivered.

"Sir?" he said and waited for the darkness.

But it didn't come. Snape remained behind his desk and now it was his wand he rolled between his fingertips. "Take off your robes," he said quietly.

Percy felt his face burn. He reached for the fastening at his neck, but his hand dropped down again. Undressing in the dark while hands pushed at his clothing was one thing; undressing under the glare of the lamps while Snape watched from across the room was another.

"Did you hear me?" Snape said and his voice was lower still. Around and around went his wand.

Percy's chest felt too small, he couldn't draw a proper breath. I could refuse, he thought. I could say no. But Snape's eyes cut into him, Snape's voice got in at his ear and moved his mouth and limbs for him. "Yes, sir," Percy said and now he could breathe again.

He draped his robes over a chair and stood there in his vest and pants, shoes and socks. He wasn't much to look at, he knew, too gangling, too thin. He was hard -- just stepping into this room was enough for that -- and it was painfully obvious. He wanted to cover himself, wrap his arms around his chest, but he forced himself to stand up straight and leave his hands at his sides.

"And the vest," Snape said. Percy stripped it off. He pulled his glasses off as well. "No," said Snape, and Percy started. "Leave them on." Snape muttered some words and waved his wand. A bookcase scraped along the floor, leaving a blank expanse of wall visible. A dust mouse scurried away. "Put your hands against the wall."

Percy turned away from Snape and set his hands against the cool stone. He stood an arms length from the wall, feet apart, and looked at a bit of mould that clung there. Blackpatch blight, he thought.

He heard Snape walk across the room. Percy's muscles tightened and he fought to keep his legs from shaking. He had no idea what Snape was about to do. Take him from behind? Beat him? Laugh at him? Snape stopped behind him and Percy drew in shallow breaths. He closed his eyes.

"Don't move," Snape said and Percy felt a sharp tingle just behind his knee. His leg jerked before he could help it.

"I'm sorry, sir," he said and forced himself to be still. The tingling moved slowly up the back of his thigh. All the nerves under that touch were raw and screaming, energy racing along improbable connections so that a muscle in his face twitched and he felt the pull of it all the way down. It didn't hurt, not precisely, but it was so much sensation it was hard to bear. Snape was using his wand, stroking it up and down Percy's leg, until a gasp pushed out through Percy's clenched teeth.

"I won't damage you," Snape said and Percy felt warm breath on his shoulder.

The wand moved to Percy's back but now it was heat, focused and intense, that trailed over his skin. It felt like Snape was tracing a pattern or symbol, but Percy couldn't tell what it might be. Was his skin burning? Abruptly, the heat turned to icy cold and Percy shivered. Snape still did not touch him, only moved carefully over him with the wand and Percy never knew when it would change again, heat, cold, fiery tingle.

A rough rasp scraped down his shoulderblade, over a scar he had got seven years ago, when he had fallen out of a tree and was too ashamed to admit he had been out of bounds to have it healed. Then the cold again, achingly chill, agonizingly slow, down his spine.

Sweat ran down Percy's face and onto the corner of his mouth, another drop rolled down his side, his glasses were sliding down his nose. He didn't know how much more of this he could take. He was almost dizzy now, almost ready to turn around and grab Snape, press their bodies together. But he stayed as he was and bit his lip again.

Snape stroked the wand down over Percy's waist and Percy felt his pants loosen and slip down his thighs. He braced himself for the cold smear inside of him, for Snape's hands on his hips.

Instead, Snape stepped away. "Turn around," he said.

Percy's arms were stiff as he lowered them. He pushed up his glasses and kept his eyes on the floor. He knew he must look ridiculous -- pants around his ankles, one sock slipping down, and not a stitch else on.

"Look at me," Snape said and his voice seemed to have the same effect as his wand, making Percy's muscles jump and a tremor run through him. Percy swallowed hard and raised his eyes to Snape's. "Now," Snape said, "touch yourself."

A great breath heaved through Percy and he wrapped one hand around his cock. It was a relief to finally have some contact, even if it was his own hand.

"Go on," said Snape. "Show me."

So Percy, past blushing now, stroked himself like he did every night in bed, stifling his breathing so no one would hear, and thinking about things very like this. He closed his eyes and breathed through his mouth.

"Look at me," Snape said.

Percy opened his eyes. Snape was holding his wand between his fingers again, turning it back and forth, back and forth. His eyes were dark and all his attention was fixed on Percy. He wasn't laughing, he wasn't sneering. He was rapt and Percy thought the expression on his face might possibly be pleasure.

That thought filled Percy's chest, expanding out until he thought he would burst. And then he came, sucking breath between his teeth, fighting to keep his eyes open. He thought he saw Snape smile.

And then Percy was limp and sweaty, his hand and belly splashed with semen, almost staggered and falling. Snape stepped closer. "Open your mouth," he said and Percy knew what was to come. But instead of the tablet and the kiss, Snape touched his wand to Percy's tongue and whispered a spell. Percy felt a swift numbness and then nothing. The effect was the same -- to prevent him from speaking of this -- but there was no contact.

"Dress," Snape said and walked back to his desk.

Percy pulled his clothes on over his clammy, sticky skin. He felt wrung out, exhausted, stiff. His back and legs still tingled and he wondered if he was marked. Unlikely, though. Snape was always careful.

Snape was sitting again and his wand was nowhere to be seen. He pulled another stack of papers in front of him and picked up his quill. Percy knew that they were done and went to unlock the door. But he couldn't get near it.

"Professor," he said, and Snape looked up impatiently. "The wards."

Snape waved his hand and the resistance melted. Percy unlocked the door and opened it. "Weasley," Snape said, and Percy turned around. "Merry Christmas."

"Thank you, sir," Percy said and went off smiling to his bath.


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