This next "drabble" got away from me. ;) Thank you, gilly131, for looking it over.
9. cageydragon prompted me with: Snarry (preferably either h/c or fluff): artichokes.
Harry's Bane (NC-17; Snarry; 965 words): Harry learns to brew a little too well.
Harry sat at the open bar and listened to Severus and the other brewers skewering some hapless, lesser-known conference attendee's presentation, peeling the leaves off countless artichokes and dipping them in butter as he did so. The butter made him think of lube; the thought of lube made him long for Severus' arse; Severus' arse, which was displayed to advantage by the cut of his dress robes, made him long to be back in their room.
He felt like an idiot, sitting with the spouses and making idle chit-chat. The witch to his right was nattering on about her son's birthday, which Harry tuned out—until the realisation that he'd forgotten that Severus' was forthcoming burst brightly and alarmingly into his mind.
No, there wouldn't be any fucking if he couldn't think of a suitable birthday present. He was tired of making difficult treks to foreign climes to return with unusual ingredients for Severus.
I want it to be different, this year. I want to make Severus something.
It was then he noticed the drink Severus was nursing. Cynar. Whoever was catering the conference had a thing for artichokes: the promotional materials were in artichoke green and purple hues, there were artichokes in almost every dish at meals, artichoke flowers adorned every free surface, and then there was the Cynar.
A bittersweet liquor made from artichokes, Severus seemed to have taken to it. Harry wasn't surprised; Severus had never had much of a sweet tooth. He wondered if it would be difficult to brew the apéritif and quietly slipped away to the library in which he'd been avoiding most of his "spouse" time.
He found the recipe; the ingredients and directions seemed simple enough, and the house elves of the keep were happy enough to give him room to brew. Of course, finding the artichokes wasn't in any way a problem; there was, in the kitchen, a huge basket of the biggest, most purple 'chokes he'd ever seen—"Hera's Bane Artichokes," the tag on the basket read—and the "aging" spell he'd learnt at another conference on magical wines would serve him well: his liquor would be drinkable by the final day of the conference, which just happened to be Severus' birthday.
He'd test his homemade Cynar on that morning, and, if all went well, surprise Severus, really surprise him, with his gift that evening.
And if it doesn't taste good, that pearl cock ring I've been saving for a special occasion will just have to do.
"Cynara was rejected by Zeus, who feared Hera's wrath, and he transformed his pregnant lover into the artichoke."
Harry looked up at these words from the speaker, and then glanced at Severus, who appeared ill at ease. "Er, wasn't it the other way 'round?" he whispered, wondering why Severus was fidgeting. "Didn't Cynara reject Zeus? That's why he turned her into a plant, isn't it?"
Severus turned and raised an eyebrow in a quelling way, and Harry said no more. He didn't have the opportunity to repeat his questions at presentation's end, either, as Severus leapt up and made his way towards the speaker at the lecturn at once.
It occurred to Harry that perhaps Severus was under the impression that he'd not remembered the importance of the day, and, sighing, he made his way through the throng and returned to their room to sulk.
Even though sleeping was nearly impossible for Harry without Severus in their bed, Harry resolved never to go on a conference-related holiday with his husband again—and also that it was time for a good mope.
It was a grope he walked into, however, upon stepping through the door.
"Took you long enough," Severus whispered, cupping Harry's balls through the thin fabric of his robes. "I thought you'd follow me."
"I thought you wer—mph!"
As Severus dragged Harry to bed, Harry thought, Not so bad, conferences.
The artichoke bitters were a hit; Severus was touched by his gift, Harry could tell.
Lazing in bed after the second, slower fuck of the evening, he said, "It was dead easy—and it's not like I had any trouble finding the ingredients. You should have seen the 'chokes I found in the kitchen! They were huge. Hera's Bane, they were."
The hand stroking Harry's shoulder stilled.
"Er, yeah. The elves didn't—"
"Harry," Severus said, his voice gone a little hoarser, "did you . . . on purpose . . . for me?"
Wow, I really did surprise him. "Of course for you. Who else?"
The third shag of the evening lasted until morning, thanks to the special lube.
"I've always wanted a family," Severus whispered, just before dawn, "and I had no idea you'd been researching . . . artichokes."
Something in the way Severus spoke, his tone heavy with emotion, gave Harry pause. Swallowing, cold beads of sweat forming under his fringe, he asked, "So, the speaker, he said something about Cynara?"
"Hera's Bane, indeed. I'm . . . pleased, Harry. I hadn't known you were ready for children, and it seems my research into Transfigurational pregnancy was unnecessary now. I'm genuinely sho—that is, thank you. It's a wonderful gift, truly."
In the most Occlumentically friendly corner of his mind, Harry silently shouted, Why did I pick tonight to BOTTOM? I never bottom! "You're, uh, you're welcome. I've always wanted a family, too, I just," didn't think I'd be carrying our babies, "er, just thought you might be up for something other than a rare herb this birthday."
"Mmm, but rare herbs, and veg, for that matter, are how we ended up here," Severus murmured.
Harry could feel Severus' smile even if he couldn't see it, and that warmed him. Shakily, he turned himself out of the "spoon" they'd made with their bodies and kissed his husband, deliberately not looking Severus in the eye.
"So it is, 'Dad'."
10. royalty25 prompted me with: Gregory/Hannah: hollow, secret and rain.
Pouring Doggerel from Disgrace (G; Gregory, Hannah; 250 words)
"In a secret hollow of my heart that rain can never find, I've kept your memory for only me to find. It's all green peace and flower-filled, my happy reverie, of on the day you spun and cast your lovely eyes on me.
"In a secret hollow of my heart that rain can never find, I've kept your memory for only me to find. It's all dream 'scape and hope-tilled, my happy reverie, that field in which you turned and pressed your gorgeous lips to me.
"Just a dream, my field—my reverie, pre-made—but one day soon I'll find myself, with you, in that, our glade."
Hannah's gentle voice echoed in Gregory's mind well after he'd eavesdropped on her reading his letter aloud to her friends. He couldn't believe he'd done it! He'd sent her the letter without anyone discovering his plan. Writing it had been hell; each word, so important—but he'd known she'd liked it, she'd smiled so brightly—still, no one could know.
Oh, it was fine, knowing that she'd been touched; it was enough, would have to be, because Gregory knew well his role: he was the big ugly half of the dumb rotten whole . . . that was Malfoy's "fan club." No one expected him to be anything other than that, and it was safer that way for so many reasons.
But over the hols, when Gregory was alone in his mum's library with all her friendly books, he could imagine one day being favoured with an Abbott's blushing look.