Title: Big Trouble in Little Hangleton
Authors: [info]sassyinkpen and [info]tarotgoddess108
Pairing: Severus Snape/Rubeus Hagrid
Rating: [Adult]
Word Count: @16,450
Warning: foul-mouthed jarvey, slash
Notes: 1) Lady Godiva was a witch. 2)The terms pegasus, winged horse, and Aethonan are used interchangeably. 3) Hagrid’s Maps are here.


Challenge: Sorting Hat mission #8 "Your task will be to get into the area where we believe Voldemort to be currently hiding - in Yorkshire - and strike up conversations with any magical creatures that may know something. You'll be living rough, so ask the house-elves to provide you with a tent and anything else you'll need." Hagrid looked gleeful, but Severus could easily have been murderous by the tone of his voice as he read the parchment aloud.

“Yorkshire,” Hagrid said slowly, his hands fumbling aimlessly with a bit of knotted rope. “Four main forests with lots of greenswards between ‘em. Leeds, Sheffield, York, and . . . better git me map.” With what he hoped was a competent nod toward Professor Snape, Hagrid started off, out of the Great Hall. "Don't really need a tent this time o' year, but I suppose we kin bring it along just in case," he called loudly over his shoulder, trying for companionability. "Haven't been up Yorkshire way fer a bit. Hmmm, we might find some porlocks. Reckon we'll have ter chat up the fairies." He shook his great shaggy head at the unpleasant prospect.

Snape trailed out of the room feeling especially glum about this assignment. The gamekeeper was plowing ahead of him, already rattling on about this creature and that creature and everything they were going to need. As far as Snape could tell, the great oaf was overjoyed. And why shouldn't he be? They were going to be doing what he loved best...tromping through the muck and cavorting with animals. Snape's lip curled involuntarily. "Tell me why I am to accompany you on this excursion? I fail to see what value I can be...unless it is simply to lead you back to the castle when we’re finished...."

“Right you are, Professor” Hagrid called cheerfully over his shoulder. “I’m dependin’ on yer to git me back ter Hogwarts. That, and cuz the Headmaster says so.” The big man chuckled, reaching into one of the many pockets of his moleskin over coat for a foul smelling stoat sandwich which he began munching with little enthusiastic grunts.

Severus rolled his eyes. "I was intending to be insulting, you lummox. Although I suppose that Albus' word is reason enough, I don't understand why *I* must be saddled with this. There is nothing I can do to be of use. I would be far more effective remaining here." The castle, even when overrun with children was far more preferable than slogging through the countryside with the bumbling Hagrid.

“But Professor, yer the one goin’ talk to the animals!” His huge beetle black eyes blinked in surprise. Imagine him, telling the Professor what ter do. “I’ll catch ‘em and calm ‘em , but other than an acromanterla er a centaur, I can’t speak with ‘em.” Maybe this was just Professor Snape’s way of testing him, making sure he understood. Yeah, that must be it.

Snape suddenly realized they were taking a rather strange route to be headed for either Hagrid's hut or his dungeons, and he asked, "Just where are you going, anyway?"

“We’re goin’ ter see the houselves, o‘ course. Got a list of what yer’ll be needin’?”

Severus stopped up short as the entire conversation caught up to his confused brain.. "What do you mean *I'm* going to speak to the animals? That's your department...." Hiking through the wilderness was bad enough, but actually dealing with its inhabitants was another thing altogether. He was not terribly comfortable around animals, even magical ones, and they were even less comfortable around him. He didn't delude himself as to why either. Simple creatures like wild beasts...or children...could sense things like fear and displeasure. Snape couldn't fool them, and didn't know how to charm them.

“But - but . . . Professor,” Hagrid stopped too, and turned to face the Potions Master. “Sure an’ I kin talk to em’ till I’m blue in the face, but I can’t understand what they’re sayin’. I mean, I kin tell if they’re hurt or sad or lost and I kin heal em’ er cheer ‘em up er help ‘em find their way. But we gots to find out about . . .” Hagrid looked each way up and down the hallway before continuing, his voice a hoarse whisper, “You-Know-Who. We gots to find out which pub them DeathEaters been seen at. Which address they bin’ meetin’ at. How many of ‘em there are. Don’t you have a potion fer that?” He blinked in bewilderment. He figured he’d be taking orders, not . . . not figuring things out . . . like an equal.

Blinking slowly, it finally dawned on Severus what Albus had in mind when he sent him on this venture. Now he was actually glad they were going to be in the middle of nowhere. He certainly didn't want anyone seeing him braying like a donkey or, god forbid, worse. It was bad enough to have to do it in front of Hagrid. Collecting his thoughts, Severus nodded, thinking that the large man might come apart at the seams if he didn't put his concerns to rest. "Yes, I know of several such potions. I will need to return to my laboratory to gather the necessary ingredients. Perhaps you can arrange our other supplies while I do so?"

Hagrid watched as the professor went very still. He held back from heaving a huge sigh of relief. “Right you are Professor!” he said jovially waving around his half-eaten sandwich. “I’ll nip on down ter the kitchens and tell the house elves what we need.”

Severus winced and pulled his head back, dodging Hargrid's waving lunch. "That would be excellent," he said, wrinkling his nose. Then he turned on his heel, calling over his shoulder, "Meet me at the main entrance in an hour."

The thoughts that ran through his mind as he descended into the dungeons were many and varied, but nearly all darkly negative. This was the last thing in the world he wanted to do short of slow-dancing with a skrewt. A deep shudder ran down his spine when he realized it may very well come to that. Once in his rooms, he packed a few necessities and a good book into a small satchel and then carried it down the hall to his workroom.

In there, he selected four texts from the bookshelves. Three, he immediately packed into a large trunk, the other one he flipped open and studied, running one long finger down the page. It took him nearly half an hour to gather together all the ingredients he thought he would need. Some of them required special handling and he had to transfigure containers to protect them, others he had to dig to the back of his storage cupboard to find. He packed all these into the trunk along with the equipment needed to brew potions and then closed and locked it. Using his wand to shrink it, he put it carefully into his bag and headed, reluctantly, to join Hagrid.

A horrible thought hit Hagrid like punch from Grawp, he wouldn’t be able to bring Fang. The big boarhound would keep most animals from approaching them, and would intimidate any willing animals from passing on sensitive information. Who? He’d have to tell Dumbledore to find someone to take care of Fang; feed him, read to him in the evenings, let him out several times a day, give him his walkies, and play tug with him. Maybe someone who was staying back at the castle would be willing. Suddenly he had too much to do. Stuffing the last of the sandwich into his maw, Hagrid began trotting toward the pear portrait entrance to Hogwarts kitchens. Belatedly, he realized he had no idea what the Professor liked to eat or drink.

"Veeny!" Hagrid roared good naturedly upon entering the kitchens. With a tiny *pop!* a ratty tatty house elf sporting a smelly ferret-skin loincloth appeared in front of the half-giant. He had half an ear on his head and only two fingers on his right hand.

"We's been expecting you Master Hagrid. We's packing for you to go to Yorkshire."

"Oh bless you, Houself Veeny! Ain't you a marvel! And what did you pack along fer Professor Snape, then?"

A cross look overcame the elf's jovial expression. "We do not pack for Professor Severus Snape. Oh no. We is not good enough to serve the great Master of Potions at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Huh! We is nothing but scruffy hooligan elf, not fit for the likes of great Professor Severus Snape!"

Hagrid was simply shocked. "Watcher goin' on about there, Veeny? Professor Snape is going along with me on this very important mission. I have to bring along his food and his favorite tea, and a nice comfy bed roll and all."

"Then you be needing Snarky!" the house elf spat before disappearing with a *pop!*. And before Hagrid could gather breath for a bellow, another house elf appeared.

Hagrid couldn't recall ever seeing this elf before. It was the first and only elf he'd ever seen with proper clothing, sleek black little trousers and coat contrasted sharply against his sallow grey and white skin. The elf's bulbous eyes sharply sized him up. "You will be carrying Master Snape's effects?" the elf demanded.

"Uh, yeah," Hagrid mumbled, wondering how a tiny creature no bigger than his own foot, could cow him so effectively. "I need all his favorites and a nice soft bed to go inter the tent. Kin yer do that?"

The house elf arched one fine eyebrow. "It shall be done."

Hagrid watched in disbelief as the two house elves began dueling by bringing packs and packages to thump down at his feet. Soon there was a pile that staggered over Hagrid's head. He pulled his pink umbrella from the expansive recesses of his overcoat and quickly shrunk and transfigured the lot into a manageable size to sling over his shoulder, knowing the Professor was likely to have a similar amount to drag along from his dungeons. Whistling the Hogwarts School Song, Hagrid set out to find the Headmaster to see to Fang's care. He still needed to pop over to his hut for the maps and such.

Severus stood by the front gates, arms folded over his chest and jaw set firmly. His bag sat on the ground by his feet. For three quarters of an hour he stood motionless, cool breeze whipping a few stray locks of hair across his face. How Albus could have committed him to this venture, he didn't know. The idea of roughing it in the wilderness and conversing with wild beasts made him shudder. He would have been loathe to admit it, but there was a certain measure of comfort having Hagrid as guide for this trip. If anyone knew where they were going, and was prepared to handle what they would face, it was Hagrid. Bumbling, unsavory and oaffish as he was.

The distant chiming of a clock somewhere in Hogsmeade reminded Severus of the time, and he finally broke form, craning his neck and glancing about for Hagrid. Muttering a few rude observations, he checked his watch and then started pacing back and forth in front of the gate.

Hagrid came up the path from his hut huffing and blowing like a great workhorse hauling a heavy load. His bulk wasn't made to move fast. He was best at endurance. Slow and steady marches through wilderness tracking a mate for Aragog, or bringing Grawp home, searching for dragon eggs or pixie nests. He was patient, able to sit still in a cold wet Imp blind for hours, remaining quiet for days, long enough to catch his quarry. He tended to make mistakes and say foolish things when hurried.

"Sorry Professor, sorry. Had more to tend to than I first reckoned." Accepting the Professor's remarks about his tardiness and all as pleasant banter, he carried on with, "Shall we be off past the wards, then? Wanna drop in ter the HogsHead fer a nip o' the nasty before we're off? I could lay out our trail fer ya over a cold one." Unsure as to whether the Professor's sudden silence was acquiescence or the calm before yet another storm of vitriol, he offered another choice, "Or we could apparate on ter Sheffield and set up camp befer the sun sets on us."

Severus stared. It was on the tip of his tongue to say that he most certainly did not want a "nip o' the nasty", when it occurred to him that a bit of alcohol might just make this journey quite a bit more pleasant. Although he would have to be subjected to Hagrid's extensive and excessively detailed plans, at least he stood a good chance of going numb while doing so. "Fine then," he said bluntly. "That seems as good a start as any to our assignment. By all means....lead the way."

What was it about the Professor that made him feel so competent? He never took the jibes and insults seriously. Hagrid knew they were just part of his protective coloration, like the fur on a Puffskein, or the sting on a Billywig, just an interesting bit of a fascinating creature. He always felt out of his depth around the other Professors, like somehow their flattering compliments were thinly veiled insults. He got the opposite from Professor Snape which led him to conclude the opposite; that the direct insults were a form of covert flattery; like the Professor knew he was strong and fit and competent enough to be treated like that. Hagrid resisted the urge to grace the scowling Professor with a comradely slap on the back. Some things just weren't done.

Judging from the way Hagrid puffed up, Snape assumed that not only was the huge man pleased to be going for a drink, but that he had indeed already outlined an extensive tour of Yorkshire for them that would encompass an outlandish number of wild creatures. He felt tired already.

Never the less, he followed Hagrid outside the gate and apparated to the pub he'd suggested. It was a dingy little place crammed with unsavory types of all kinds. Based on the smell alone, Severus was quite sure that most of the clientele worked jobs similar to Hagrid's. The gamekeeper muscled his way to a table and Severus followed carefully in his wake, trying to avoid touching any of the regulars. Although he kept a wary eye out for any colleuges, new or old, he didn't actually expect to meet any, and was pleased when he did not.

Seating himself at the worn wooden table, he signaled the barkeep for two firewhiskeys and was mildly horrified when the man sent them sailing through the air to where they sat. He was even more shocked that they made it there in once piece. Shoving one towards Hagrid he said, "Well? Where do you intend to drag me?"

Hagrid raised an eyebrow at the tiny glass the Professor so kindly offered him. He couldn't think of anything that wouldn't sound like an insult, so he pretended not to notice as he caught the publican's eye and jerked his head up sharply. He was a regular and sure enough, a gallon stein of steaming fire whiskey floated over. Hagrid took a deep draw, smacked his lips in satisfaction, and drew his maps . from the top of his pack and spread them out crosswise so they both could see clearly.

"So 'ere's Yorkshire," he began, pointing to the first map. "I thought we could apparate down to Sheffield and follow the lead I overheard about the Wizard's Staff. It's a nice pub, though that quarter of Sheffield's a bit dodgy." He looked to the ceiling as though about to say more, but pulled his thoughts back down to the table where his huge index tapped the maps . "They keep Aethonan stabled at this inn, you know, winged horses they can rent out as needs be. And then we kin speak with the Porlocks what guard the horses." We'll need potions er spells to speak with 'em properly."

Hagrid risked a hopeful look at the Potions Master. He took another deep pull from his stein then licked his bearded lips. "I hope to run into a jarvey, cause they kin speak English, and we ain't gonna meet any centaurs er acromantulas out in Yorkshire. They need forests and Yorkshire's nuttin' but moors and marshes. See here -" He pulled a second map on top of the first. It was a closer view of the area, more detailed and crisscrossed with yellow lines. "So after the Wizard's Staff in Sheffield, we gotta walk or ride north up to the Moors where there's lots o' fairies.

“We might come acrosst a crup er a niffler at any time. And then we kin head over to the coast and talk to the merpeople and kelpies and grindylow, hippocampus and what not. Next we come back inland and head south inter the magical marshes fer Imps and dugbogs. All right?" With another deep pull at his stein and a great belch, Hagrid finished his drink and waved a hand at the bar signaling for another. "Now I kin catch and calm all these critters, but aside from the jarvey, there ain't a one I kin carry on a proper conversation with. Ya with me there, Professor?"

He regarded the man opposite with round beetle black eyes under dark hairy eyebrows. Why had he never before noticed that the Professor's eyes were as dark as his own?

Severus shifted uncomfortably under the large man's gaze. He wasn't good at teamwork or companionable camaraderie, and it seemed like he was in for a lion's share of the stuff. He downed his whiskey in three gulps and pushed the glass aside, reaching for the one Hagrid had rejected.

"Oh, I'm 'with you'," he said caustically. "You're going to present me to an endless sting of vile creatures that are just as likely to want to rend limbs from me as speak with me, and I'm to charm them into conversation anyway. Delightful."

It was too easy to wallow in his own displeasure, and Snape had to remind himself that this expedition could easily be personally profitable as well as professionally. Any information they found out could be used for his own purposes, and not everything need be reported as anything noteworthy. A sly grin crossed the potion master's face as he realized that the means necessary to communicate with the creatures would render Hagrid mostly unaware of what was being said. He would be able to further his own agenda as long as he took the simplest of cares. The trip was suddenly looking a little more palatable.

Severus wasn't accustomed to drinking liquor quite so rapidly and his head felt pleasantly light on his shoulders. Almost as if it were floating. He decided that might not be such a bad way to cope with the trials of their assignment, so he excused himself from the table and maneuvered his way to the bar where he bought a full bottle of firewhiskey. When he returned, he stuffed the bottle in his bag and looked down at Hagrid. Not such an easy task as the man was nearly at eyelevel already. "Sheffield, then? I suppose that's as good a place as any to start."

He noticed that he'd not quite finished the second whiskey and picked it up, tossing back the remaining contents. Then he said flatly, "A dodgy pub should be a refreshing change of pace....."

A chuckle of genuine amusement bubbled up out of the game master's immense belly. "One dodgy pub, coming right up." He wondered if the professor could possibly intend the challenge he issued by knocking back his whiskey that way. Hagrid finished his own immense stein with a satisfied sigh. Still chuckling he met those intense black eyes again. There was not a man or wizard or beast alive that could drink Rubeus Hagrid under the table. He might lose at cards, or sing silly songs, or get thrown out the pub, but he'd never been outdrunk.
"The apparation point is Viscer Alley, Sheffield." With that, the half-giant rose and gathered his pack and strode out the door. He made his way into the late afternoon shadows surrounding the Hogs Head and without waiting for the Professor, apparated.

****
Hagrid took a moment to steady his spinning head and take note of his new surroundings. Luckily no one was about on the grassy country lane that led into a tiny square of a few wood and stone buildings. Light and laughter, both faint at this distance, came from the three story inn Hagrid recognized as the Wizard's Staff. He turned at the soft pop of apparition.

"There's the inn," he said gesturing behind him. "And there's where we camp," he started up a hillock, headed toward the distant woods. "Not as big as the Forbidden Forest, but it'll do us fer a couple days."

Severus took a couple of steps sideways, head sloshing with too much whiskey. He steadied himself for a moment, looking for Hagrid, who's great bulk was behind him, then turned to look toward the inn which appeared at least as dodgy as promised. What mystified him was the reference to "camp" when there was a perfectly good inn right there. A soft oath escaped his mouth when he turned back to see Hagrid halfway up the hill and grinning back at him.

"Oh! Er, sorry Professor. Didn't mean to leave ya behind. I just wanna get camp set up afore the sun sets on us."

"For god's sake, Hagrid, we've only just arrived. The inn is right there and I, for one, think that it would be a waste of valuable time setting up camp when there's likely to be solid information there that we can use." He was painfully aware that Hagrid was in a froth over the idea of roughing it, but if he had his way, they could have a another drink, perhaps a relatively decent meal and round out the night in soft, if not necessarily clean beds. With a real roof.

"Er yeah, sure I know that, Professor. But they's critters what come out come nightfall and I'd as soon have my hand on my crossbow as on a tent peg, if you take my meaning."

He strode off again, wading into the thick brush and trusting his own passage left clearance for the thin spindly professor. Merlin but that man could be dense. All sorts of sneaky Slytherin ways of surviving amongst conniving wizards, but no common sense at all, out here where the danger was straightforward tooth and claw. He sighed and shook his great shaggy head, well that's why the Headmaster had sent him along now wasn't it? No use getting irritated about doing his own job, seeing to the Professor's safety. Hagrid figured he needed to see to it the Professor ate a real meal, too. The man was far too skinny and pale, as though he lived off his potion fumes and not much else.

Severus stood glumly, watching the retreating back of the huge game keeper and cursing himself for having so much to drink that his wits were dull and he'd been unable to manipulate Hagrid into staying at the inn for the night. In almost the same instant, he was praising himself for having the foresight to purchase a bottle of firewhiskey to take with. Huffing miserably, he hiked up his robes and trudged off after Hagrid.

Up and down another couple hillocks and Hagrid gave a pleased grunt. He'd found exactly what he'd been looking for, a flat even spot of ground for the tent. He paused a moment and sure enough caught the sounds of a stream not far off. Critters would come for water, but with any luck, they'd avoid the strange smelling camp he was about to set up. Well, luck and stinger wards.

Using his trusty pink umbrella, Hagrid engorged his packs to their proper size and began unpacking, searching for the tent. Hearing the Professor's arrival, he nodded, then bent again to the great pile of boxes and bags the two enthusiastic house elves had given him.

"Ah here it is!" Hagrid exclaimed. He rolled out the mottled grey and brown canvas, then began attaching strings from it to the surrounding trees, and hooked pegs from it to the forest floor. Soon he erected what looked like a tiny, for him, outhouse. "There we are, Professor!" he stood back and waved his arm with a flourish.

Severus plodded up to him, slightly out of breath and seriously out of sorts, keen eyes already searching for his bag. He stared dully at the little tent for a long time and then fixed his gaze on Hagrid, "Excellent. Now that you've got the privy built, we can get started on the rest of it..."

Crestfallen at the potion master's lack of enthusiasm for the first accomplishment on their mission, Hagrid started mumbling. "Course it's a lot better inside than out. Bigger, and it's got a nice hearth and all. Well, I'll get this lot inside." He pointed his pink umbrella at the unbelievable pile of goods, shrinking it all once again. "Then I'll see about gettin' us some fire wood and water." He ducked into the small entrance, then popped out again and headed toward the next hill carrying two great buckets. "I'll set up the beds later," he called over his shoulder.

"Right," grumbled Severus clutching his bag. He'd just managed to snatch it before Hagrid grabbed it and tossed it into a pile of rather sharp looking boxes of supplies. Although he'd taken the utmost precautions, he didn't want any volatile potion ingredients blowing up the entire camp. That thought gave him pause, and he surveyed the little hut again. For a split second he considered it after all. But then their presence in the area would be known for sure, and he couldn't risk that.

Heaving a great sigh, he ducked under the flap of the tattered tent and went inside. When he straightened up, his eyes widened in surprise. Certainly, he'd heard about tents like this. Wizards used them all the time. But he never had. He'd assumed that everyone else merely exaggerated the pleasant interiors...glorified them with their grotesque love of camping and other idiotic endeavors.

In actuality, the room he was standing in was quite nice. Granted, it was a little cluttered with the supplies of their journey, but even those had been stacked neatly by Hagrid. There was, indeed, a charming little hearth, two armchairs and a little table for eating at. If the beds were anything as pleasant, then his day was starting to look up. Severus set his bag down and opened it, checking the contents for safety and then cracking the seal on his bottle of whiskey. He took a short drink from the bottle and replaced it, then went poking around the tent examining his surroundings.

A noise from outside caught his attention and he glanced toward the tent flap. That would be Hagrid and he thought maybe he should go out and apologize somewhat for his rude reception earlier. The man deserved a little praise for a job well done. Shoving the flap aside and straightening up in the cool evening air, Severus was not greeted by his traveling companion, but rather, was confronted by a writhing mass of gunny sack thrust into his face.

“Here, hold this,” Hagrid huffed, forcing a wriggling cloth sack into the Professor’s hand. “Don’t let it out. I’ll be right back with the water and wood.”

“ . . . water and wood,” seemed to echo from within the sack.

Severus held the sack at arm's length and stared at it in horror, calling, "Hagrid! What the hell is this?!" There was a rising note of panic in his voice as the sack squirmed violently and made a great deal of noise, from which he could distinctly discern the words "animal", "bag", "prison", and "fat oaf".

Within moments Hagrid returned with two 5 gallon buckets, now filled with clear water. Then he brought in several armloads of wood and stacked them neatly by the hearth. “There now, ya got ever’thing ya need to talk to them Porlocks and Aethonans up at the inn tomorrer?”

"Good lord, no..." groused Severus hurrying over with the sack still held as if it were about to explode. "I haven't got nearly enough liquor to survive this ordeal. Take this thing before it eats it's way out."

He shoved the bag back toward Hagrid, but let go too soon and it dropped to the ground spilling out a small furry creature that shook itself and then rounded on Snape. "Aye! Ya look like an alcoholic too, don't cha?"

Snape's mouth pressed into a thin line and he eyed Hagrid. "What is it?" he hissed sharply.

“Oh!,” the Beastmaster exclaimed. “That’s a jarvey that is. Looks right like a little ferret, now, don’ he? They say not ter trust ‘em, but I thought it was precious luck that he come right across my path. He kin give us some practice so’s we both know what we’re doin’ tomorrer when we gots to be sneakin’ around all secret like, right?”

The ferret-like creature regarded them both with beady little eyes, measuring them against the likelihood of escape. “So who likes to top and who likes to bottom? On first glance I’d guess the big bloke would be on top but then he’d crush ya, wouldn’t he? No, you like to wield the whip, I’m a thinkin’.” The jarvey’s voice was high and reedy. He spoke nonsense non-stop like a recording playing back at too high speed, bouncing back and forth on his back paws while rubbing his small forepaws as if in calculation.

“Like to ride that big fat hairy backside? Hm, hm? Pop him with a crop when he’s been a bad boy? Giddy-up! Giddy-up! Go!”

Severus goggled at the creature, his face ashen and his fists clenched at his sides. He gave Hagrid a sidelong glance, grinding his teeth.

“Don’ pay him no mind, Professor,” Hagrid tried to reassure the potions master with an embarrassed grimace. “Jarvey’s tend to run a bit foul at the mouth sometimes.” He shifted his gaze to the creature. “See here now, master jarvey. I got a nice dead rat fer ya, you tell us what we want ter know,” he said, waving the pungent delicacy toward the small creature.

The little ferret face perked up in interest, nose quivering, the stream of words stilled for a moment. Hagrid looked expectantly toward the Professor, knowing if he himself asked about DeathEaters and the Dark Lord, he’d say it wrong and muck up the whole business.

Severus gave Hagrid a withering stare and the looked at the jarvey who was sniffing the air excitedly. He cleared his throat, feeling ridiculous, "Now then...we want to know if you've seen strange occurrences in the forest lately?"

The jarvey actually seemed to make a face at him and said, "Oh ya mean besides a great fat oaf what can't keep his hands to himself, and a wheezing alcoholic? When's the last time you took a bath, skinny?"

"Now you listen here you little weasel..." Snape hissed, taking a step toward the thing. The idea of squashing it with his boot crossed his mind.

Quelling his temper, he took a deep breath and tried again. "I mean, besides us, have there been any men in the forest, or any strange gatherings? More campers perhaps, or meetings that you may have seen, or even heard?"

The little creature cackled with glee, "What's the matter, tall fat and hairy isn't enough for you? Gotta go sniffing after anything that moves, eh? You better get your eyes off my bum, mate." He stretched his body up higher, looking at Hagrid with his nose working, "Gimme the rat, fatso. Give it. Give it."

“Nothing doin’, master jarvey, “Not till you tell us what we wants to know.” Hagrid held the dead rat above the jarvey’s reach.

“Skinny pillock, could eat no fat,” the jarvey began in a singsong voice. “His top could eat no lean -“

"That's it," snapped Severus, snatching up the jarvey by the scruff of the neck and shaking it at Hagrid. "This isn't working. This foul beast knows nothing and we're wasting our time."
"Put me down, snake-boy," screeched the jarvey, thrashing. "Oh aye, that's right, I'm on to you. You're one o' them nasty blokes outta that house with the big snake. That slinky bitch ate my uncle, she did!"

"What house?" asked Severus, giving it another shake.

"Ohhh you wanna go play dirty little toe sucking games with all your mates, do you, skinny? Here suck my toes." The jarvey wriggled around, trying to wave it's feet in the air.

“Tell us where the house is and yer’ll git yer nice dead rat,” Hagrid pleaded.

“Riddledee rhymidee ree. I seen a house that you can’t see. Snakes and wizards and magic spells. Screams and blood, the road to hell. No you don’t want to go there! Riddlehouse in Hangleton. I’ll be hanged before I go there again. Poor uncle Torbottom. Ate by a slinky bitch in the prime of his life!”

Severus sucked in a sharp breath at the word "Hangleton". It wasn't just nonsense this creature was speaking after all.

Hagrid’s attention was drawn to the Professor’s expression. His eyes narrowed in surmise, then his mouth tightened in certainty. Hagrid looked to him and at his sharp nod, dropped the rat for the jarvey, who snatched it up and scampered for the door.

“Well, that was interstin’,” Hagrid said, reaching a hand up to scratch at his hairy head. “Blimey, but I din’ understand a word he said. What did you make of it?”

"How could you possibly find it interesting if you did not understand any of it?" Snape asked, turning to Hagrid with incredulous expression. Then his eyes narrowed, "Unless, perhaps, you found him amusing?"

He shook his head and waved a dismissive hand, moving away to go lower himself into one of the comfortable armchairs by the hearth in the tent. "It's of no matter. That fact is, that he did indeed know something. Something of great importance."

Severus slouched in his chair, eyes fixed on the hearth stones in front of him, but his thoughts were far away. In the past. What he needed to decide now, was just who benefited more from this information...him or Albus.

“We make a right bloody brilliant team then, now whaddaya say, Professor?” Hagrid fished around in a massive box and unscrewed the lid from a bottle of Ogden’s green label. He passed it to the potions master before opening another for himself.

After gurgling several swallows, Hagrid let out a great belch and spoke. “So, ya reckon’ ter need my help with the potions fer the porlocks and pegasus?” He was still on track with his original plan to visit the stables in the morning, not having grasped the significance of the jarvey’s revelation. “I ain’t much with the magic part, but I’m hell on wheels when it come to slicin’ and dicin’.” He grinned hopefully.

An involuntary shudder rippled through Snape's body as he pictured those enormous hands making a hash of his carefully collected potions ingredients. He took a sip from the bottle Hagrid had handed him, and nearly choked, barely managing to contain his reaction to a polite cough. Whatever it was, it was stronger than hell.

"Don't you think," he said, clearing his throat, "that, perhaps, we ought to consider investigating this house that is supposedly full of 'snakes and wizards and magic spells'? That seems rather clear, I would think."

For the time being, he opted to keep Hagrid in the dark about what he knew of the house. The jarvey's reference to it being a riddle house was not pure whimsy. It was, literally, the Riddle house. The house where Tom Riddle had lived at one time, and it made perfect sense to Severus that Voldemort might now return to use it for other purposes.

It would be far better to get there and see what there was to learn before he got the gamekeeper too terribly involved in things. For the time being, he could keep him occupied by focusing in the potions needed, since that seemed to make the man happy.

"I really think that is the way to go, the more I think of it," he said. Setting his bottle down, he rose from the chair and went to his trunk, which was neatly set against a far wall. Taking two or three books from it, and a parchment and quill, he returned and began to flip through one of the volumes.

Hagrid thought for a moment, the gears whirling in his brain, restructuring his carefully laid plans. “Oh, I guess so, Professor.” He took another slug from his bottle. “You think you can find this house in Hangleton? Little er Greater? I kin getcha ter either.”

"Little..." murmured Severus, completely engrossed in the chapter he was studying.

Hagrid sighed like a gale blowing through the tent. “I sure was looking forward ter handlin’ them pegasus.”

“You gittin’ hungry? Only if you don’t mind, I’ll start fixin us some supper.” With that, the half giant moved awkwardly back and forth past the potions master to set about starting a fire in the hearth and gathering foodstuffs and pans from his bags and boxes and trunks of gear.

In no time at all the smells of haddock simmering in an herbed wine sauce and warm buttered garlic bread filled the air. Hagrid quickly chopped and tossed fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil leaves with feta, then went to work on a chocolate mousse spiked with Godiva liqueur.

With a cheerful grin Hagrid announced, “Come and git it, afore I throw it to the dogs!” But then his face fell as he was reminded of his dear faithful Fang. Hagrid bucked himself up quickly. After all, the Professor was better company than the slobbery beast. Well, maybe a bit better.

Severus had barely noticed the commotion around him as he worked at his research, but the smells of fine cooking gradually worked their way into his system, making him ravenous, and when Hagrid called him to eat, he attacked his meal with relish, even going so far as to complement the man on his efforts.

Later, after the dishes were cleaned and stacked away, the mousse devoured, and the fire sunk low, Hagrid again rustled about among the pile of boxes and bags packed by the house elves. He brought out a quilt and lumpy pillow for himself and set it across the doorway to ward their sleep. Then he opened out a wood frame and set a thick down mattress on it, tucked in a set of black satin sheets, added two down pillows and topped it off with a green satin comforter trimmed in silver snake designs.

Staring at the creation with mild horror, Severus wondered if he might not be close to losing his dinner. He'd never seen anything quite so garish as that comforter, and the satin sheets gave him fear that should he sleep too soundly, he would slither out of bed unawares and crash to the floor. Reminding himself that Hagrid probably thought this was incredibly grand, and that he was most likely trying to make things comfortable, Severus said nothing. He couldn't have done it justice anyway.

“Just kick me if I snore, there, Professor. I won’t mind, and I might roll over. He met the Professor’s eyes awkwardly for a moment. “Have a good night’s rest, then.”
With a nod, the beastmaster turned his back and pulled off his great boots. He laid his big body down on the quilt and closed his eyes.

Severus messed about vaguely for awhile, waiting for Hagrid to fall asleep and when his breathing grew heavy and deep, he cast a silencing charm around him so that he could work in peace.

Setting everything up on the little table, he propped open a book and set to his task. For long hours, he carefully mixed and measured, simmered and steeped, and continued to make notes. Eventually, he had brewed and bottled potions that would allow him to talk with a variety of creatures as well as ones that would protect them from snakes, and one or two others he thought might come in handy.

He lined the little vials up neatly and put with them two packets of powder that he fetched from his trunk. Then he proceeded to clean up after himself, remove the spell from Hagrid, and ease himself gingerly down on the monstrosity of a bed the man had provided for him. A few hours sleep was all that he ever needed, so he was not concerned about what time Hagrid might choose to wake him up.

The morning sun drug itself drearily through the cracks and miniscule holes of the aged tent, like a misfit half-giant approached the age of 75, wearily and without much hope for happiness.

Hagrid sat up suddenly with the clarity that only a good night’s rest gave him anymore. “’E means to go to Tom Riddle’s house!” he whispered. He’d been so scattered the day before, that the jarvey’s information hadn’t made any sense. Sleep allowed his brain to process the clues of men gathering in Little Hangleton. He sighed, knowing it was their job to get as much information as possible and get it back to Headmaster Dumbledore. Didn’t mean he had to like it any.

He got up and had a great bonecracking stretch before rolling up his bed and departing to answer the call of nature. Then, as he let the sound and smell of sizzling sausages wake the Professor, Hagrid wondered if they had to leave right away.

“Ah Professor, good morning,” he offered while turning the sausages and tomatoes in the medium iron skillet. “Slept well, I trust? As soon as ye had yer fill, yeh want to come along to the stables and try talking to the porlocks?”

"What?" asked Severus groggily. It took him a few moments to regain his bearings and remember just what had transpired the night before. He decided to follow Hagrid's lead for the time being, and then casually introduce the idea of going to the Riddle house later. Downplay its importance somewhat, until he could determine just what was going on there. "Oh...yes, of course."

He slipped off the bed with a disconcerted look, and took a plate, helping himself to a light breakfast. Eating fastidiously, Severus tried to warm up to the giant somewhat, so as to gain his trust. "Now then," he said between bites. "You'll have to guide me somewhat, since I have no practical experience with porlocks to speak of...but then, that's why Albus entrusted you with this mission is it not?"

Hagrid beamed happily. He knew most everyone thought little more of the Professor than as a greasy-haired git or evil ex-Death Eater, but Hagrid had always felt a kinship with him. They’d both been duped by You-Know-Who and they’d both been given a second chance at life, and at Hogwarts, by Headmaster Dumbledore.

“As long as yer friends with the horses, yer’ll git along fine with the porlocks what guard ‘em. I got some fresh alfalfa here says we’ll git along just fine. Finish up and we’ll git a move on. I reckon the morning traffic is about done with in the stable. The guests will have taken their steeds and gone, and the feeding and mucking will be done. Things’ll be quiet and we can just walk in the barn and have a nice little chat.”

Hagrid washed the dishes quickly in a bucket and tidied up. “Anyone bothers us, we kin just act like we’re trying to find an Aethonan big enough to carry me.” He patted his broad belly fondly, but his mouth twisted ruefully. “Carrying a few more stone than I used to.”

Severus gave him a faint grin and what he hoped was a sympathetic look. He was anxious to get going and bustled around slipping vials and flasks into his robes. After debating between a couple of reference texts, he finally shrunk them both and tucked them away in his robes as well. "Are we ready then?" he asked, straightening up and turning to Hagrid, who nearly bowled him over in his haste.

Hagrid insisted on exiting the tent first. He peered around and listened a moment, making sure all was well in the woods. Then he led the potions professor to the roadway and on to the Wizard’s Staff, whistling the tune to “A wizard’s staff has a knob on the end”. True to his word, things were quiet after the morning rush. They made their way directly to the large wooden barn whose doors stood open to the fresh air.

There were few things Severus liked less than being out of his element, and when combined with the unsavory surrounds of a stable, the situation left him more than a little disgruntled as he followed Hagrid though the stalls.

The half giant moved surprisingly smoothly and quietly, checking empty stall after stall. “Drat! No flippin’ horses,” he grumbled making his way to the last stall.

"What do you mean no horses, you imbecile?!" hissed Severus. "You're supposed to be appraised of these things. We're wasting our time. We could have been in Little Hangleton by now and-"

“Ah, here we go.” Hagrid reached into his manky moleskin overcoat and pulled out a bag of weeks old taffy and began unwrapping it and tossing the pieces into the last stall toward a pile of hay.
Severus stared incredulously, wondering if Hagrid had lost his mind.

“Professor,” he whispered, “you got any sweets on ya?”

"Of course I don't," he snapped, watching the empty stall intently.

The hay twitched and an exceptionally large nose poked out and snuffled at the taffy. Two more noses poked out and tiny furry arms ending in four fingers began darting out to snatch up the treats.

“Ah, who’s a good boy then? Who’s got the best kept horses in Yorkshire?” The porlocks stood two feet high on cloven feet and were covered in reddish shaggy fur. They seemed not at all afraid of Hagrid since of course, he came bearing treats and sweet words, and perhaps because he smelled of the comfortable well kept stables of Hogwarts.

This, of course, was precisely why Albus had sent Hagrid to begin with. As much as Severus was loathe to admit it, the man had a brand of expertise possessed by no other. He looked at Hagrid.

“Let me go on in and get ‘em situated,” Hagrid whispered as he opened the stall door and very slowly moved inside, tossing sweets and endearments in equal measure. He sat down in the straw opposite the three porlocks and tossed the sweets closer and closer to himself. The creatures crept closer and raised their huge noses to sniff deeply of both him and the professor.

“Beautiful ye are, and beautiful are yer horses.” Hagrid rumbled, stretching out a finger to the nearest porlock. It sniffed and then satisfied, rubbed its jaw along his finger. “That’s a good boy, c’mon, then, come and git yer lovin’, all of ye.” In moments, the three porlocks were curled up on and around Hagrid’s warmth. He gave a slow nod to the professor while continually rubbing and stroking the shaggy bodies.

Severus raised his eyebrows and stepped forward somewhat nervously. He still couldn't quite fathom why he'd had to join Hagrid for this rather than simply providing him the potions to make it possible, and he sincerely hoped that the information gained would be well worth it. Fumbling through his pockets, he took out a tiny vial and peered at it before popping the cork off and drinking the contents in a swift gulp.

He felt something like a shudder race through him, and then cleared his throat, the sound hollow in his ears. The little porlocks looked up at him curiously. When he said "Good morning" to them, his voice seemed to come from far away and the porlocks sat up with interest. They did not leave the safe confines of Hagrid's lap, but one of them sniffed the air and squeaked, "Blimey! How do you do that?"

"I used a potion that allows us to understand each other. For a few minutes at least," answered Severus, lacing his fingers together in front of himself.
"Why did you want to talk to us?" asked another with a mouthful of taffy.

Averting his eyes from the pink goo washing around in the creature's mouth, Severus said, "We've come to find out about any strange occurrences in the area. If you can tell us anything, it would be most helpful."

"Well, I'll say havin' an empty stable is pretty strange."

"Yes, business is slow."

"And the Aethonans are skittish. Very hard to care for."

"Oh not all of them, mind you, just the one's that fly in from the north."

"Yes, the north. They don't like flying north. We've got so much trouble with them when they're leaving north."

Severus blinked at the rush of conversation. He'd expected them to be very shy after what it took to induce them to show themselves. But he could recognize professional pride when he saw it, and knew from Hagrid that these little creatures were very dedicated to their task.

"Is that so?" he mused. He knew damn well what lay to the north. It was their next destination, after all. More now than ever.

There was a chorus of agreement and the porlocks grew quite animated as they chattered about the behavior of their charges, but since they revealed nothing new, Severus thanked them quietly, nodded to Hagrid and moved off down the aisle to think for a moment.

“Thank yer ever so much, you cute little blighters,” Hagrid said. “I got summat fer yer masters.” He laid down the alfalfa he’d brought and followed the Professor out of the stall.
“Yeh done good, too, Professor!” Hagrid called, impressed in spite of years seeing the potions master and others perform what he considered ‘real magic’.

When Hagrid came out of the stable, Severus rounded on him, giving him an account of his conversation with the porlocks. "Now you heard what they said, clearly we need to make for Little Hangleton straight away. There is nothing left to be gained here, I'm sure."

“Well if ye insist on it, and ye insist on it right now, we apparate to the Hanged Man. That’s the pub in Little Hangleton, that is.” The half-giant was preternaturally still. Normally he was constantly fiddling in the many pockets of his coat, chewing on a rock cake, gesturing with a dead rat. His uncharacteristic stillness betrayed the deep bitter anxiety he controlled.

Severus leveled a gaze on the large man, arching one eyebrow and barely concealing a smirk.

“Yes, I do happen ter know the apparation point ter every pub in Yorskhire! All o’ Great Britain, too, if yeh’ve a mind!” Hagrid’s beetle black eyes flashed in annoyance. How did the professor get under his skin with just one look?

Hagrid continued on, “Ye want what I pack up the tent, er are we gonna come back here ter sleep?”

"We've wasted enough time already," said Severus hastily. "We'll leave the tent and come back for it later. I want to get there and find out what's going on before we lose any more time." With a disgruntled sniff, Severus disappeared with a pop, leaving Hagrid to follow behind him.

He arrived outside the Hanged Man and shook off the effects of the apparation, then turned and stalked into the inn. They could do with a bit of the local gossip first, and get a sense of direction before they set out to search for the Riddle house.

Marching up to the bar, Severus signaled the barkeep. "I'll have a glass of firewhiskey if you please," he said, then glanced at the door as Hagrid made his way in, "And a bucket of something for him."

"Right away, sir."

Severus leaned against the bar and took a long look around the room, inspecting the handful of occupants chatting or eating their lunch. There was a group of four old farmers arguing about the best method of dealing with large scale gnome infestations, two witches were chattering quietly over steaming bowls of soup, a string of grizzled men sat at the bar, and two dark wizards sat in the corner with glasses of ale.

When Hagrid came up beside him, Severus said, "Now then, we'll have a little chat with the locals and then set out to see what we can discover."

“Good noon to yeh, Davie!” Hagrid boomed out jovially. He didn’t mean to snub the Professor, but the secret to acting undercover was to act normal, and whispering was never normal for Hagrid.

“Hagrid! Good noon to yeh as well. Got a bucket o’ home brew with yer name on it!” Good as his word, the barkeep slammed down a huge stein in front of the giant. “Are yeh stayin’ or goin’? I’ll have Abby get some things together fer yeh ter take back. She’s got a crop of herbs coming in. So much she don’t know what to do with it all.”

“Oh, I’m stayin’ ‘bout fer a while. Thought I’d get up a game o’ cards, yeh know, take a load off me feet,” Hagrid said after draining half his stein.

The barkeep left to find Abby and tend to his other customers. Hagrid leaned over to the Professor. “You ever play at Wizard Stud? I reckon those two blokes in the corner’d be up fer a game.”

Severus started to say that he most certainly did not think those men would be up for anything short of a nice round of maim and torture, but to his alarm, Hagrid merely brushed past him and lumbered across the room jovially. Setting his glass down with a clatter, Severus took off after him.

Hagrid approached the table in the back corner and jingled the coins in his pocket as he cheerfully asked for a friendly game. The men seemed a little surprised but agreed readily. When the deal came round to Hagrid he first bought a round of drinks for the table, then said, “Five card stud, one-eyed Jack and suicide King er wild.”

Groans echoed around the table, but Hagrid just smiled and dealt the cards which were tiny in his hands. When he’d finished and tossed a few coins into the kitty, he said, “So how’re things here in Little Hangleton?”

Sorting his cards with little thought, Severus examined the two men surreptitiously. He was hard pressed to figure out just exactly what was going on here. There was no doubt in his mind that these men were deatheaters, and it was extremely unlikely that they didn't know who he and Hagrid were, so he was curious to know what they were up to, why they'd been hanging around the pub in the first place. He closed his hand and tossed his cards down on the table when his turn came around and chewed his lip thoughtfully.

“Oh, you know, the same old thing,” the older and skinnier of the pair answered slowly. “Too much rain one week, not enough the next. What brings you round these parts? Aren’t you from that school up Hogsmeade way?”

“Yessir, Hagrid answered. “I’m the Care of Magical Creatures Professor there and I heard tell of a dirty great snake up this way. Wanted ter see it myself.” He pretended not to notice Severus’ snort. “Course, it won’t be nuttin to me three headed dog, Fluffy, but I wouldn’t mind a looksee.”

“Come from up the hill.” The two men shared a dark look. “But you don’t want to wander up there, no.”

The younger stouter man became animated. “Word is yeh must take care yer cat and dog’s inside -“

“-and yer baby-”

“-come nightfall. Course we ain’t had no rats in the fields this summer, and that’s a good thing, ain’t it? But you won’t catch me up the hill. Screams I heard up there.”

“And bright lights flashing all time of night.”

Severus narrowed his eyes and scowled. Were they trying to warn them away by posing as townfolk? Or perhaps it was a lure. Either way, the attempt was pathetic and infantile and he was insulted that they didn't realize he would see right through it. Then again, it didn't much in the way of brains to be a third or fourth sting minion of Voldemort.

“Do tell,” Hagrid said, an interested, impressed expression on his face as he folded and lost another hand.

“Yup, Riddle House is haunted. Ain’t no one lived there more an 50 years. Don’t nobody go there. Leastways no decent folk go up the hill to that house.”

Hours passed and the two men finally had to go on to their homes. They slapped Hagrid and Severus on the back, smiling as they left, pockets jingling.

“What do yeh figure they’re up to, up there to the Riddle House?” Hagrid’s voice was a deep rumble like distant thunder. “And how kin we find out without being seen?”

"We can start by find out how they come and go themselves," said Severus hastily, grabbing Hagrid by the arm and tossing a handful of coins on the table. "We've got to move quickly or we'll lose them."

Hagrid looked in puzzlement at the hand pulling at his sleeve. The fingers were long, maybe nearly as long as his own, but so thin, almost skeletally so. He quickly hauled himself to his feet following the Professor's continued tug, mind boggling at the realization that this was the first time the man had ever touched him.

Severus hauled Hagrid out into the gathering darkness of evening and glanced about until he saw two vague shadows disappearing into the woods. Taking out his wand, he gave it a special little swish and a deep indigo light emanated from it, casting a wide beam in front of them which he directed toward the place where the men had gone.

It did not illuminate anything, but bathed the area in that indigo aura and within seconds a handful of little yellow points of light gleamed back at them in mute tones, bobbing slowly into the forest.

Severus smirked at Hagrid, "It's the coins I lost in the card game. I charmed them to glow in the tracking light of my wand. Now we can follow those men straight to the source of deatheater activity here."

Hagrid's eyebrows rose in amazement. He'd have to learn that charm. It could be dead useful in the Forbidden Forest. "Right behind yeh, Professor."

He set off after the bouncing little points of light, taking care to stay well enough back to avoid being detected by his prey. It was an upward and winding climb, but the underbrush was thankfully sparse and the going was not overly difficult. Before too long, they came to a dirt lane bordered by the forest on one side and more open land on the other. Up the steep side of the hill opposite them, standing wan in the pale moonlight, was the Riddle house, looking as deserted and forlorn as one might expect it to.

But the men did not start up toward it as Severus had expected them too. Instead they continued on past, down the lane a ways before cutting in to ravine at the base of the hill on the other side. Severus jerked his head at Hagrid to follow, and scuttled down to a stand of bushes where he could get closer to them without being seen. They stopped at a point just a short distance from the road and Severus could see a mossy wooden door buried in the steep bank. He watched as they pried it open and ducked inside.

"Well that explains why no one sees anyone coming and going from the house," he said, turning to Hagrid. He straightened up and dusted the bits of leaves from his robes. Then he eyed his companion. "Ready for a real adventure?" he asked, and then pushed through the bushes to approach the door.

Hagrid swallowed, trying to wet his suddenly dry mouth. "I reckon so," he said with a firm nod. He followed the potions master through the mossy door, and fitted it back into place behind himself. The tunnel they found themselves in was dark. The half-giant took comfort in the smell of raw earth, as he hunched his head down like a turtle to keep from scraping it along the roof.

They slowly crept along the dirt path. It dipped down before climbing. At a branching passage, Hagrid let the professor decide and lead. It was obvious the main tunnel led toward the Riddle House. And a stuffy dank smell came from the side passage.

Then they heard voices ahead. Hagrid stood still and put his hands over his mouth to silence his breathing. Sweat poured down his face from the effort of keeping his huge frame hunched over unnaturally. Muscles in his neck and back protested the strain.

A raucous laugh was followed by the slam of a door, then dead silence. Hagrid couldn't decide if he wanted to stop here to sit and rest, or go ahead and get out of this cramped tunnel. He let the potions master decide and followed when he started to move again. Soon they approached a door that presumably opened into the house proper. The important question - was anyone standing guard on the other side? Surely there were detection wards. Hagrid left such things to the professor. Though he himself was also a professor, he knew himself to be in the presence of a master. Potions Master, Spy Master, Dark Arts Master, all things he was no good at and had no interest in.

Severus quickly disarmed a handful of wards and charms, then stood staring at the door with a deflated feeling. It was too easy, too simple to break through their defenses. They would not find Voldemort here. He was both relieved and disappointed. However, there were still certainly deatheaters here, and whatever they were up to, it was under the Dark Lord's orders, he was sure of that.

Reaching into his robes, he withdrew two small vials and peered at them in the dim light of his wand, not daring to risk making it brighter. Satisfied that he had what he was looking for, he pressed one vial into Hagrid's hand, and downed the contents of the other. "It's an invisibility potion," he told the man, "hurry up, they don't last for very long. We'll have to be quick about this."

Severus watched as Hagrid drank the potion and started to shimmer slightly and then fade from view. But there wasn't nearly enough potion for the giant sized wizard and he remained a pale vague whisp, filling the air of the tunnel. Snape cursed himself for not considering Hagrid's bulk and huffed, "You still show slightly, you'll have to keep to the shadows. If I know these moronic cretins, they won't bother much with niceties such as bright light and cleanliness, so there should be plenty of hiding spaces for you, but watch your back."

Eyes wide, Hagrid blinked in agreement.

Not wanting to delay any longer, Severus pushed quietly through the door and crept down the back hallway, moving toward the light at the far end, where the sound of conversation could be heard. As he peered around the corner, he saw four men occupying the kitchen. Three of them seated at the table and one standing at the counter, slicing meat. The two men from the tavern were there, ones Severus had never met before today, along with Ames and Catchpole, old, if unpleasant acquaintances. Shadows moving across the wall at the end of the room told him there were at least two other men in the rooms beyond.

"I'm tellin' ya," one of the strangers was saying, "They've got Snape and that fat one prowlin' around right here in Little Hangleton, asking questions. They're onto us."

"What did you tell them?"

"Nothing. We just acted like a couple of townsfolk. Played stupid."

"Well that can't have been very difficult."

"Now you just watch your mouth," he hissed, rising out of his chair.

Catchpole stood up, and got between the arguing men, "It's of no matter. All we need to do is keep quiet and be ready here for our Lord's order. When he has all the pieces in place, he'll give us our instructions....and then it will be too late." He grinned maliciously, and the other two men backed down, grinning with him as they returned to their meal.

Severus wanted desperately to find out who else was in the house and if there was anything else to learn about their purpose here. It was a calculated risk, but if he could creep through the kitchen, he could have a look in the other rooms and then get the hell out of there. Taking a deep breath, he glanced at Hagrid, and then inched along the side wall to the far end of the room. All he had to do now was get across to the archway.

Unable to see him, or guess what he was about, Hagrid stayed still and breathed silently while listening like a guard hound.

Severus took no more than three steps when the floor gave a tremendous creaking groan under his foot. Before he could so much as wince, Catchpole had jumped to his feet, wand drawn and yelling, "Show yourself!!"

A cool sensation like a tiny breeze washed over him and Severus stood, entirely visible, staring eye to eye with his old colleague. "Snape!" the man hissed, "I didn't think you'd be fool enough to show your face around here....."

Severus straightened up and said, "I was just curious to know what pathetic souls he saw fit to maroon way out here."

"Where's that fat giant?" the skinny one they'd played Wizard Stud with demanded.

Severus turned and glared at the man derisively.

Hagrid didn't dare take a breath. He knew they should've gone more slowly, maybe owled Dumbledore what they'd already gotten, and see what he said. But the Professor was used to this. Thick as thieves he was. Hagrid had to trust he knew what he was doing. He looked for a sign. Two against four were pretty even odds when one of the two had giant blood.

Wands waved about the room and Hagrid felt a cool wispy breeze blow through him. Five pairs of eyes regarded him. He folded his arm and glared back. "And what pieces might those be?"
A soft curse escaped Severus' mouth as he watched Hagrid shimmer into full view. He'd been harboring a small hope that they would overlook the giant and leave him an option for help.

"Get their wands!" Catchpole snapped. Ames approached the potions master with an evil sneer while the two card players nervously approached the giant. Their hands patted him down and began pulling items from his coat pockets. Twigs for starting a fire, stiff hemp rope, an old sandwich.

For a brief moment all eyes were captivated by the growing pile, that is, until a pink umbrella appeared. Hagrid's mouth twisted. The wizard peered up at him with a strange look on his face. Then he stepped back and spoke to Catchpole, "This feels like a wand. Sure don' look like it."

With everyone staring at the heap of junk being pulled from Hagrid's pockets, Severus was able to evaluate the situation and make a few hasty decisions. While Ames was preoccupied, Snape lunged at him, shoving him against the wall and snatching his wand back. He was able to get off a couple of shots at the card playing wizards, rendering them both helpless to a jelly legs curse.

When the Professor moved, Hagrid grinned in relief and expectation. The two wizards stared in confusion, giving him a split second to reach out and grasp each by his collar. Then, with a meaty thunk! he rammed their heads together, gave them a rat-shake just to be sure, and let them drop to the ground.

Before Severus could do much else, Catchpole rounded on him with a shout. Three more deatheaters came barreling into the kitchen, wands drawn. Severus aimed his wand at Catchpole and hollered, "Crucio!", but Catchpole dodged it and lunged for the knife on the counter. It wasn't large, but it was plenty sharp, and he leapt at Snape, driving the blade into Snape's side, just above the hip.

"Stupefy!" came from three throats. Three wands sent red beams of magical energy at Hagrid, but they bounced off harmlessly and went ricocheting around the room. "Soup's on, boyo! Come and get it!" Hagrid roared, wading into the midst of the Deatheaters. His great hands reached out to catch up a black masked wizard and knock him senseless.

Severus swore loudly and sunk to his knees clutching his wound with one hand. He fumbled through his pockets, pulling out vials and tossing them aside with frustrated curses. He'd entirely lost track of Hagrid, and hoped the man was all right. Finally, he pulled a small blue bottle from his robes. He pulled the cork with his teeth and flung the bottle up onto the kitchen table where it began to belch black smoke into the room, confusing the fighting wizards and obscuring their view.

"Yeh tried afore, and yeh failed afore!" Hagrid yelled, throwing punches while spell after spell bounced off him, or seemed to absorb into him with no effect. He tossed a man like a ragdoll into the walls with a sickening crunch. Another, he broke against his own knee.

Keeping low to the ground, Severus pressed himself against the cupboards and started trying to make his way back toward the hallway. Rough hands grabbed his leg and hair, but he kicked blindly until a there was a sharp yelp and he was released. His side throbbed with pain and his eyes stung.

Faced with no more opponents, Hagrid looked around for the Professor. He headed through the black smoke which was beginning to dissipate and saw the one called Catchpole grabbing at a cloaked figure on the floor. He grabbed the dark wizard by his scruff and the seat of his pants and ran him into the nearest wall as though his head was a battering ram.

"That's the last of 'em, Professor," Hagrid said, tossing the Deatheater aside. "Oh blimey shite, yer a bleedin' and we got ter git out o' here yesterday." Suddenly panicked, Hagrid began babbling. "Is it poison er a spell? Can you make it stop? Can I treat it now?"

After trying unsuccessfully to answer Hagrid's rapid fire questions, Severus finally snapped, "Will you get a hold of yourself?!" The effort brought a wince to his face and he clutched his side.

Hagrid realized what he was doing. He shook his head to clear it, then without another word, bent down to cradle the man in one arm, lifting him up and heading back through the dark smoke to the tunnel entrance.

Hagrid grabbed a small pile of papers from a table and stuffed them into a random pocket of his moleskin overcoat. He retrieved his umbrella as well, but left the sandwich with a forlorn sniff. Bent over and clutching the potions master close to his chest Hagrid made good time through the tunnel and back out to the open road where a cool fresh evening breeze stirred his hair.

They apparated back to Viscer Alley, Sheffield and Hagrid made quick time back to their tent. Once inside, he gently laid the positions master down on his bedstead, grateful now, that he had allowed Snarky, the house elf to pack it along. He quickly used his umbrella to light torches and the fireplace, where he set both a kettle and a pot of water to boil.

Severus groaned and rolled to his side on the blankets, head swimming in a haze of groggy pain and fatigue. He had only a vague idea of how they got out of the house. Noises from across the tent made him turn his head, looking to see what Hagrid was doing. It occurred to him that he wasn't even aware of whether or not the game keeper had been injured. He was strangely relieved to see that Hagrid looked little worse for wear.

Laying aside his coat, Hagrid sat on the floor beside the potions master and began peeling back layers of torn and singed black cloth. Beside the gash in his side, the Professor seemed covered with burns and scrapes. "Got just the potion fer yeh, Professor!" he said cheerily as he struggled to his feet and rummaged around among the parcels stacked around the tent. "It's a Feel Good salve I learned while taking care o' ole Madam Maxime's horses."

"Horses!?" groused Severus, batting away Hagrid's hands and staring at him incredulously. He struggled to sit up, "I'll be damned if you're going to use one of your questionable animal husbandry concoctions on me. God only knows what ridiculous ingredients you've got in that foul stuff."

Hagrid clicked his tongue at the Professor's angry outburst. "Not just fer horses. It makes any body feel good and that's good fer healin', that is. Now yeh just simmer down and lie there and let me tend to yeh." So saying, he returned to his seat beside the bed and set down a jar of the salve and several warm damp towels before handing the Professor a cup of hot tea.

Taking the cup, Severus sniffed at it gingerly, not entirely sure what Hagrid might be giving him. He took a little sip, and when that didn't kill him, he took another larger one, letting the warmth and the steam soothe him. Soon he felt a more profound relaxation seeping through his body and he arched one eyebrow lazily. He set the cup down and eyed the salve. "If I grow horns, or a tail, there's going to be hell to pay," he said, hesitantly laying back.

He allowed Hagrid to help him remove his ruined coat and the once white shirt that was now covered in blood. The air around them was pleasantly warm from Hagrid's fire, but Severus shivered anyway, feeling exposed and awkward. When Hagrid put a firm hand on him, he stiffened nervously and reached for his teacup, downing the contents in one long swallow. Immediately he started thinking about the bottle of firewhiskey stashed away in his bag.

Slowly and gently, Hagrid daubbed at the wounds, checking that they were clean of debris. Severus began to relax again under the easy and assured ministrations of the giant. For all his lumbering bulk, Hagrid was surprisingly efficient and careful and Severus did, indeed, soon find himself feeling a great deal better. The warm tea swam fluidly through his veins, easing his pain and soothing his mind. He attempted to analyze his reaction to it and pinpoint the possible active ingredients, but quickly gave up the attempt in favor of simply melting into the blanket and allowing his eyes to drift shut.

They snapped open again a few minutes later when he felt Hagrid fumbling at his trouser buttons. He picked his head up and gaped at the man, wide eyed, "What in the hell are you doing, Hagrid?"

“Takin’ down yer trousers, Professor,” Hagrid replied evenly. “They’s ruint, and I can’t see what shape yer legs are in until they’re off.” He leaned down the bed and slipped the shoes off before returning to slip the black trousers and all past his hips and off.

Severus licked his lips and shifted nervously on the bed, only lately occurring to him to protest . "I hardly think that's necessary. I'm sure I'm quite fine, I've certainly sustained far worse. Besides....you've done a great deal already...."

Hagrid risked a brief glance to the Professor’s eyes as he gathered up another clean damp towel. “Look at yeh,” Hagrid said softly as he cleaned his legs. “Burns and scrapes all over yeh.” The last clean towel was pressed against the knife wound along with several whispered healing charms.

The heat rose instantly to Severus' face as he met Hagrid's glance. He refused to acknowledge to himself that he was lying naked in front of the man. Instead, he tried to imagine that this was some fresh new torture to be endured and turned his head away as Hagrid tended to him with every bit of care he would lavish on one of his odd creatures. A slight hiss escaped his lips when Hagrid attempted to heal his wound with a clumsily executed spell. It burned a bit, but soon all that was left was a faint mark on his side.

The giant then dipped two fingers into the Feel Good salve. He daubed the worst of the wounds with dollops then he took up more salve to gently massage into the potions master’s skin. He started at the Professor’s feet and used his pinky to work the salve between each toe, then his fingers to rub it into the feet. Holding one ankle up, Hagrid let his mind wander, as his other hand drew the salve along the length of the calf then thigh in long sweeping strokes.

If being cleaned was torture, then this was positively excruciating. The problem, of course, was that it wasn't. As much as Severus wanted to hate it...wanted to lash out at the man and make him stop...he couldn't. The occasions on which he was touched in such a manner were few and far between, and he was loathe to have it end no matter what the source. The relaxing brew that Hagrid had given him served to mute all his defenses and render him fully incapable of resisting anything which could add to the pleasant haze he found himself in. The warmth of the salve traveled up his legs, tingling and imparting all the sensations a thing called Feel Good could be expected to provide. To his horror, Severus found himself rapidly becoming erect and he cast about for something to cover himself with, or a means of escaping the situation. Finding none, he clutched at the blankets, squeezing his eyes shut as Hagrid continued blissfully on.

Hagrid ignored the Professor’s hard-on, just like a puppy lets his penis drop when you scratch him just right. Hagrid had more years scratching puppies than the Professor had been alive. He was glad he made him feel good. His hands ran up the Professor’s sides, dragging his thumbs up his stomach and chest. He smoothed his hands down the Professor’s long arms and fingers before repeating the stroke, starting at the waist again.

Severus found his breath coming in short little gasps as Hagrid's ministrations covered more of his body. The strong, firm hands sliding over his torso felt exquisite, and the salve warmed his skin, making it sensitive and receptive. In this state of heightened awareness, he could scarcely ignore the bulk of the man looming over him, or the heat from the man's body. His cock stood ready, straining from his body for some of the attention that the rest of him was getting, and he could no longer deny the need he felt.

The first time the idea entered his mind, Severus chased it back out again with a furious blush, but as it became more and more insistent...he found himself starting to consider it. Images formed in his mind, tied to the awareness of Hagrid above him and the hands on his body. Slowly, he opened his eyes and gazed up at the giant, pure physical desire driving him on so that he barely knew what he was doing.

Hagrid turned to get more salve to apply to the Professor’s neck and face but the look in those dark eyes stopped him with a surprised gasp. He continued gazing deep into those black pools of limitless depth and let that hand guide his own, down . . . down to where he could feel the Professor’s desire . . . feel it in his own salve-slicked hand. Gingerly, he stroked his fingers up the length of the shaft. Those eyelids shivered in answer. He slid his fingers around to grip firmly and heard a hitch in that breath. He started stroking up and down slow and steady, and slim fingers dug into his forearm.

Severus bit back a moan and arched into the touch, clutching at Hagrid to gain more purchase. Letting his head fall back, he rocked his hips slowly, lost as the pleasure of it burned through him inch by treacherous inch.

“Gods, yer beau’iful like this,” Hagrid breathed in awe. He wanted . . . he just wanted this to continue. He dared not want more, want something for himself. He felt . . . he felt trusted and trustworthy with the privilege of this most personal intimacy.

The sound of Hagrid's voice broke through the haze of pleasure Severus was lost in, grounding him somewhat. It felt as if he were coming up for air. He shook his head and his mouth curled in a faint grin. "No one in their right mind could consider me beautiful..."

“Ah, but yeh are,” Hagrid gently disagreed with a smile, so glad that the professor met his eyes and spoke to him, acknowledging him, making it real; for the tent had a dreamlike quality about it now. They were caught in a time with no time.

Severus' body trembled with the sensations assailing him and he stilled Hagrid's hand before it was all over too soon. Now that he was committed to seeing the thing through, he was not going to be denied what he truly craved. Since that first faint stirring of desire, some small part of his brain started calculating, and now he was consumed with the need to know if Hagrid's large hands were any indication of what other delights the man possessed. Given the talent of touch that he had, Severus was sure the combination would be well worth attempt.

Struggling to sit up, he searched for the will and the words to ask for what he wanted. His own natural reserve made it more difficult than he'd expected and finally he gave up trying. Instead, he got up and crossed to where his bag sat, neatly stacked with their supplies. Fishing the bottle of firewhiskey from it, he pulled the cork and took several gulps to fortify himself. Then he returned to the bed, handing the bottle to Hagrid.

When the professor pushed his hand away and rose from the bed, Hagrid’s heart plummeted. He’d overstepped his bounds and driven the pale cold man away, just when the heat was beginning to warm Hagrid’s soul. But he watched the slender form, so beautiful nude, and when he saw Severus drink straight from the bottle, his heart began to beat again. When the bottle came his way he began to breathe again, and when he met Severus’ eyes, he began to hope again.

Bolstered by the liquor and his own nagging desire, Severus started to pull at Hagrid's clothing, tugging at buttons and ties, and pushing cloth out of the way as much as he could. He lacked any of the giant's gentle touch, too far driven by his body's carnal urges and the potent combination of potions running through his system. Still, he said nothing, not able to bring himself to give his voice to his wants.

Hagrid flinched at the shock of the potions master’s hot hands tearing at his clothes. Then those hands touched his skin and he let a purr of satisfaction rumble through his chest. He struggled with his boots and trousers all the while thrilling to the hands that roamed everywhere over him, pushing him down toward the floor. Hagrid couldn’t think, couldn’t worry, could do nothing but give in to the waves of pleasure washing over him as Severus alternately pushed at him, stroked him, and ground his body into him.

A low moan escaped Severus' lips as he ran his hands over Hagrid's impressive length. It was better than he'd hoped, thick and smooth, and so very large. The muscles in his thighs tightened involuntarily as he imagined what it would feel like inside him. He was possessed by the desire to touch it and feel it against him, and climbed on top of the big man.

Hagrid groaned and shuddered, as Severus neatly straddled his hips. Then he let his hands ghost down the potions master’s sides to rest on his hips. His eyes rolled back in his head when their cocks touched. Hagrid could only draw in a shaky breath. He wanted to pull that mouth down and devour it with kisses. He wanted to lift that slim body and slam it down onto his throbbing cock. He wanted to thrust up until he heard Severus scream. But he kept himself under control. It had to be Severus’ choice. He wanted whatever it was that Severus wanted. And gods above and below, he wanted it to go on and on; never wanted these sweet sensations to stop.

The heat of the room and of the various liquids inside him, combined with his desire, made Severus hot and brought a flush to his pale skin. He braced his hands on Hagrid's barrel chest and rocked his hips, grinding himself against that great shaft.

"Magnificent," he moaned, letting his head drop forward. The liquor made his head spin, but it was a pleasant addition to the other sensations running through him. He lifted his eyes to fix them on Hagrid's face, movements lazy with drunkenness. "You are quite a fine specimen...You know what I want, don't you?"

Hagrid gave a shallow nod in answer, afraid to move too much or else his head would explode from the feel of Severus’ body rocking against him and the feel of Severus’ hands alternately gripping and massaging his pectorals. “Magnificent,” in that sultry throaty moan echoed in his mind. The sincerity of the compliment stole his breath. The utter desire of it made him tremble with answering need.

By way of explanation, Severus dipped his fingers in the salve and rose up on his knees slightly, grasping Hagrid's massive cock with one hand and reaching between his legs with the other. As he stroked Hagrid with anticipation, he started fingering his opening. Slowly at first, working one finger inside and then two. He gazed steadily at Hagrid, eyes glazed with lust and need, panting with the pleasure of it.

Never before had the Beastmaster seen such a sensual display of lust; all for him. Severus’ midnight black hair moved in wisps across his moonlight white face and shoulders. The look in his eyes as he continued to hold Hagrid’s own, was not curious, not fearful, not unsure of how this was going to bloody work, like that of nearly every other lover he’d ever had. No, the look in Severus’ eyes was nothing but desire. He knew what he wanted and he had his hand on it, stroking it even while he stroked himself ready to take it.

Severus knew, of course, that it was going to take more than that to ready himself for an organ the size of Hagrid's. Another shudder of desire raced through him at the thought. Reaching out, he took Hagrid's hand in his and pulled it to his groin. He allowed Hagrid a moment to stroke his cock, which ached enticingly. After only a few moments, he was growing impatient, pushing the man's hand back further.

The slick salve that Severus had worked into himself allowed the tips of Hagrid's large fingers to slip into him rather easily, and then Severus had to work a little to ease down onto them. He groaned with the welcome invasion, certain that if he allowed himself, he could come from this alone. He would do no such thing, of course, but ground his hips down on Hagrid all the same, clutching the object of his desire to steady himself.

A deep groan of pleasure shook Hagrid’s frame. His fingers were caught in a warmth that was so welcoming, his balls were pinned by Severus’ own set, and his cock, he nearly came from the feel of two hands holding onto his cock, the grip of ten fingers balancing forces that threatened to spin the room out into the far reaches of the cosmos. He couldn’t let himself come yet. Severus’ answering groan signaled that it was time for a third of his massive fingers. He pulled out two and then slid in three. Severus rocked back onto the three with a cry that had Hagrid biting his lip. He was not coming before Severus!

The added bulk made Severus shudder, body trembling from such an invasion. But it was this that he craved so very much, and he knew soon he would want even more. He panted and moaned, grinding his hips ever so slowly.

The tight opening started to ease a little and his fingers slid in and out smoothly as Severus continually thrust back to meet them. Hagrid curved his index forward a little, searching for the happy spot.

Hagrid tried to decide whether or not to add a fourth when the decision was taken from him, just as the wonderful heat was taken from his hand. He watched as Severus lifted his huge cock from where it laid against his stomach so that it stood up straight, pointed toward the ceiling. They panted in unison. Hagrid’s hands went to either side of Severus’ hips to steady him and to force him to go slowly. The wizard seemed wild with desire and the very last thing Hagrid wanted was pain or anything else to end this before they’d both reached ecstatic completion.

Severus' first instinct was to struggle against Hagrid's restraining hands, so great was his need to replace the sensation of being completely filled. But he knew that to be hasty would be a mistake. Not only did he risk damage, and an end to the delightful game, but he also risked a more natural, but premature end to his pleasure. It was far better to go slowly and savor every moment of this exquisite experience.

Hagrid tried to watch, he really did. He loved seeing the intense expressions flit across the potion master’s face. But when the head of his cock slipped into that burning hot, tight, ring of Severus’ flesh, into Severus’ body, into Severus’ being his eyes squeezed shut and it took every bit of restraint to keep from thrusting up while pulling down. As it was, he felt Severus insistently push himself downward, and Hagrid used the strength of his arms to keep the motion slow and steady. He was very aware that just as there were a few normal sized men with cocks as large and wide as his, there were also a few men with openings to fit, and by Merlin’s hairy balls! he had one in his arms right now!

As Severus impaled himself on the great shaft, his body grew hot and flushed, giving him an almost feverish daze as he continued to work himself down carefully. He could no longer control the near constant moaning, or the way his fingers clutched painfully at Hagrid, trying to steady himself and deal with the sheer magnitude of what he was doing.

And then Hagrid’s cock was fully seated in Severus’ ass and Hagrid could open his eyes again. He gazed in wonder as they paused a moment to catch their breath. Hagrid marveled. They fit like hand in glove, like key in lock. His hands slid around the perfect curve of Severus’ hips. “All, right?” he asked breathlessly.

Severus could not manage to make himself speak, nodding instead, mouth hung open with his ragged panting. The Feel Good salve added an extra element of pleasure to the experience, and also created more heat than Severus was used to, so that he feared for a moment that he may be scored by the fire burning within him. His heart was pounding in his chest and he could feel the liquor laced blood racing through is system, throbbing through his cock and his ass.

As he started to become accustomed to Hagrid's immense size, he started craving more again. Placing his hands on the man's chest for leverage, he rose up slowly, hissing at the harsh sensation of Hagrid's cock sliding out of him. He went slowly at first, only rising about halfway before pressing himself back down again with a low moan.

When Severus started to move, Hagrid let his thumbs fall into the crease where thigh met hip. Severus shuddered at the feel of those great hands on his body, holding him so firmly and steadily. He had amazing capacity to adapt, and soon he was able to keep a steady rhythm, riding Hagrid's glorious erection with eager relish. Beads of sweat trickled down his skin making him slick so that Hagrid had to grip him tighter. Severus snarled with appreciation, licking his lips. "Yes," he groaned, "That's it.....I think we've finally found another use for you....."

Automatically, Hagrid's hips rose to meet Severus' with perfect timing. His mind reeled at the amount of sheer pleasure rushing through his senses. Severus' scent was in his nose, a delicate counterpoint to the herbal salve. Severus' fingers dug into his chest then his torso, then pinched at his nipples drawing gasps out amongst his moans. Severus' inner thighs brushed along his hips. His weight slammed down onto Hagrid's balls. His balls slapped Hagrid's lowest abs. "Use . . . me . . ." Hagrid mumbled incoherently. He forced his eyes to stay fixed on the beautiful vision of a dark angel riding his cock to heaven.

Severus opened his eyes and fixed Hagrid with a sly gaze, sighing lustfully. "I was entirely correct when I said you were magnificent." Severus' entire body prickled with carnal satisfaction, and he could feel his climax starting to form deep in the pit of his belly. His own aching cock was slapping against his abdomen, sending sparks of pleasure shooting through his groin. Looking down, he watched it for a few moments, never breaking his stride. His mind screamed to him that he was missing something .

Hagrid nearly came at the sight of the potions master watching his own cock bobbing in time with their fuck. "So beau'iful," he whispered against the urge to scream. The smooth incredibly hot flesh gripping and stroking his cock pulled him, forced him to new heights of passion and pleasure, to new intensities of nerve shattering sensation. Hagrid had never felt more alive.

With a gleam in his eye, Severus reached down and pried one of Hagrid's hands loose from his waist and shoved it between his legs, glancing at the man with a pleading gaze. He wanted to feel that incredible paw engulfing his shaft.

Hagrid quickly obliged, a touch embarrassed that he hadn't thought to grab up Severus' cock on his own. His thoughts were elsewhere, like on how the sight of the ex-Death Eater riding his cock in wild abandon was the hottest, most thrilling thing he'd ever seen, or felt. Remnants of the Feel Good salve still coated his fingers which set to work gripping and pumping at Severus' engorged tool.

The combination was almost more than Severus could stand and he threw his head back with a throaty cry, bucking his hips between the twin torments of Hagrid's hand and his cock. The potions within him and the sensations wracking him combined to drive every other thought from his head. He was nothing but carnal need, driving himself over Hagrid's body, again and again and again.

Finally, Hagrid lost control at the sounds ripping from the potion master's throat. He squeezed with both hands, one holding Severus' cock, the other holding his hips down while Hagrid thrust up, burying his huge cock to the hilt, over and over, as deep as he possibly could.

Driven by the onslaught of Hagrid's thrusts, Severus could no longer hold back. He fell forward, bracing his hands on Hagrid's chest and letting his head hang loose, moaning uncontrollably as his climax washed over him. He was literally writhing atop the giant, sharp cries escaping his throat.

Hot spurts of jism struck Hagrid's belly in time with the contractions of Severus' ass around his cock. His own body spasmed, hips jerking upward without rhythm, hand wrenching the last drop of cum from his lover's cock, inarticulate roar bursting from his chest. Then he fell back limply and let his hands find their own place on Severus' back. He simply breathed, relishing the happiness given him, knowing he'd given a great deal of happiness in return. With a tiny movement of his hand, Hagrid flipped the satin comforter off the bed and snugged it around them both.

***
The rest of the week was devoted to recovering, both from the fight and the rigors of travel, but also from the intense effort of their many couplings. Perhaps Hagrid did not need nearly so much recovery time, but Severus certainly did, and he found all new applications for the Feel Good salve.

They returned to school shortly before their allotted time was up and made their report to Dumbledore. Severus made sure to leave out several key details, as well as the entire account of Hagrid's "ministrations". He was dismayed when Hagrid pulled a sheaf of dirty and wrinkled papers from his coat and presented them to Albus as well. He'd not been aware of this treasure and cursed his lack of opportunity to examine them. Nodding to them both, he took up his belongings and left the room. But not before turning to have another look at Hagrid. He was going to have to consider if it was worth the risk to have another try at that magnificent sport.

END