Author's Notes: This is a series Imma and I have been working on for about two months now. Each 'Book' will be posted in two chapters. Each chapter will be posted in two parts. Are we confused yet? We currently have 3 books completed and are working on the fourth, as of 5/03..
It is now August, 1998. Harry and friends are in their 7th year, having had to skip one year due to the war. The war is now over, and Hogwarts is re-opening. New staff is being recruited, and this is where we begin our story....
By Desdemona and Imma
“I knew you’d come here.”
Remus Lupin’s voice was calm, as always. Rarely did he ever let fear or sadness capture his tones. He preferred to keep them guessing. Years of pretending to be normal had made him so adept at this that he really did come off as just your average neighborhood DADA teacher.
People who saw more than that were either extremely close to him, or in serious trouble.
The man that had just walked boldly into Lupin’s living room was neither of these.
Breathing in heavily, Remus tested his guest for intent. Not nervous, not scared. The man was practically as inscrutable as himself. Generally, this was not good.
Unwilling to extend any courtesy to this man he despised, Remus continued to sip his tea and stare into the fire. The air was chilling, and his unwanted visitor had not even the good manners to shut the front door behind him.
But what else could a werewolf in hiding expect from Lucius Malfoy?
When he had apparated in front of the small cottage, Lucius Malfoy looked around in disgust. It was a barren marsh, full of slimy swamp holes and gnarled trees. The cottage itself was derelict, and the smell…
Lucius wrinkled his nose and held one finger under it as he violently pushed the door open with his foot and stepped inside.
Lucius did not like being sent on a hunt, seek, and beg mission. He did not like it at all, least of all by that old fool Albus Dumbledore. By Merlin’s beard, he was a Malfoy, not some insignificant mudblood!
He had protested vigorously, but then the head of the Ministry of Magic had personally ordered him to go. He knew he would have to do some serious groveling to convince them he had turned good, but this was ridiculous. *To convince that ANIMAL* - even the thought sounded sneering - *to come back to Hogwarts!*
Ha! It was ludicrous, and he would be damned if he would allow that MONSTER to teach DADA to HIS son, even if it was only for a short time.
He had to go, though. They would know if he hadn’t. So he would go, and he would TRY to convince the eccentric hermit to come back...But he would not try very hard.
The smell was, if possible, even stronger inside the house. A flare of revulsion flashed over his face as he set his eyes upon the werewolf. He just sat there. Drinking tea.
“Well, MISTER Lupin, I would like to know how YOU knew I would come here, since I did not know it MYSELF until this morning?” His icy reply sliced through the stale, stagnant air.
Remus continued to sip his Earl Grey, adeptly ignoring the intruder. Watching the fire crackle, feeling the heat touch his skin, he sat. And he didn’t respond.
After a few minutes, Remus realized the arrogant man behind him was not going to just turn and walk away. *Pity,* he sighed to himself. Draining the last of his tea, he found no further excuse to ignore Malfoy. And werewolf he may be, but the Lupins’ were nothing if not polite.
"I should amend my statement. I knew SOMEONE would come." Remus tapped his foot on the floor distractedly, an outlet for hidden nervousness. Malfoy had always unnerved him. "Why in bloody hell Albus would send YOU, of all people, I've no idea. Makes me think the old boy has either lost his marbles, or he's not very serious about me returning to Hogwarts."
Remus stood with fluid grace and brushed some stray ash from his clothes. Just because his shirt and jeans were old, faded, and wrinkled didn’t mean he had to be untidy.
“I have an even more curious question for you, Malfoy.” Remus turned and leaned back, his slender frame resting against the solid brick of the fireplace. No matter how close he got to the heat, his body remained chilled. It had been that way ever since...Well. For a very long time.
“I’d like to know why Albus sent you TODAY, of all days.” Remus glanced toward the window, his eyes skimming the forest, watching the play of shadow and light on the broad, green leaves.
“He knows me well enough. The day after the full moon is not the most opportune time to ask me to think about much of ANYTHING.” Remus smiled, his mouth quirking in a lopsided grin. “And speaking with YOU is very low on my list of things worthy of getting out of my chair for, Lucius.”
Lucius smirked slightly at the flagrant use of his first name. Leaning against his cane, his finger softly caressed the silver snake’s head. He decided to taunt the uppity miscreant back a little.
“I take it Albus turned to me because no one else cared enough to come without coercion?” He let the statement hang in the room while he sized up the cottage, then turned his arrogant stare on the man standing a few feet away.
Finally settling his eyes back onto Remus’ steady gaze, he quirked an eyebrow and sighed.
“As for the chosen day, Albus really left that up to me. And I still have some…connections...so finding you was no difficulty. You don’t seem to mind whether you are found or not, do you? And since you DID get up for me, your LIST doesn’t seem to be that long, after all. Remus.”
Lucius let all his contempt seep into his voice as he spoke that despised name. Again he perused the...well, he would call it a chicken coop. He noticed the disarray of tableware and clothes everywhere.
*Not like Lupin to be this unorganized. He may be a lowly creature, but he has always been rather picky about his things...*
Lucius turned his thoughts toward what Lupin had actually said. (…today, of all days…)
Lucius studied the man again. (…after the full moon…)
Oh, of course. He had no Wolfsbane potions; he had been away from Snape, the only potions master anyone knew of who could brew the tricky concoction, for years. A slight shiver passed down Lucius’ spine at the thought of Lupin turning into slavering beast once the moon rose.
Albus had known Lucius would find Lupin quickly. Anger flared through him, mostly at himself for walking so unmindful into the old man’s scheming.
He regained his composure immediately. “You are right. Albus desires your return to Hogwarts to teach…” He grimaced “…Defence Against the Dark Arts. And make no mistake, this is a request I am sickened with making!”
He moved closer to Lupin, a mere five feet separating them. His voice was dangerously soft when he spoke. “I don’t want you anywhere near my son, REMUS. If I had anything to say about it, you would be condemned to leave England.” Lucius hissed the words, clutching his cane with white knuckles.
Remus stood still in a way that only a man with a bit of predator in him could manage. Malfoy’s verbal assault didn’t interest him. He barely knew the man, had not seen or spoken to him in several years. Letting the acerbic words flow over him, Remus took the few moments’ chance to survey Malfoy. He knew the gist of Lucius’ rant anyway...Evil werewolf, no good for teaching, wouldn’t want to be caught dead in your presence, stay away from precious Draco...yadda, yadda, yadda.
Remus coolly gazed as Lucius spouted his venomous barbs. As for Malfoy, he had changed little in the past five years. Hair still long and silky, that blindingly white blond that looked oh so unnatural but was, indeed, his own and not from a bottle. His skin was still as pale; evidently sun bathing had not been taken up as a hobby. As Lucius spoke, Remus noticed how his silvery eyes flashed with anger. *Sigh. He is a fine looking man.* Remus tilted his head in accord with his inner dialogue. *Too bad he’s such a total prick.*
Sensing that Malfoy’s final jab had been loosed, Remus slowly stalked forward, closing the few feet’s distance between them. His smile was dazzling, and he looked very sincere as he purred up into Malfoy’s face, “Oh, Lucius.” He placed one hand gracefully on the other man’s check, delighting in the almost imperceptible flash of discomfort that flitted across Malfoy’s aristocratic features. Leaning in even further, Remus’ voice dropped to a sultry whisper, his tone melting into the range of a lover’s croon. “I didn’t know you cared.”
Remus stood stock still, his hand resting on Malfoy’s cheek. He stared up into those oddly light eyes, a smile playing around his lips.
Confident that the other man couldn’t physically harm him, Remus knew he had only a few moments before Malfoy reacted to his game. But what would that reaction be? He knew the other man had always found him attractive. Remus literally smelled the desire on Malfoy every time they happened to cross paths. The fact that Lucius hated him for what he was made his lust all the more enticing to Remus.
And, Remus had to admit, he did find Lucius very...intriguing.
A very brief flicker of chastisement wandered through Remus’ brain. Taunting Malfoy like this really was mean-spirited, and not in his nature. But he had been alone for so long now, denying himself even the simple pleasure of another’s company. Malfoy had just barged in and upset his lonely routine with callous disregard. On the one day of the lunar cycle that he most wanted to do nothing but sit in his chair and...NOT think. Here Malfoy was, demanding his mental energies to contemplate leaving his self-imposed prison, going back to the one place and time in his life he had ever felt liked, respected, wanted, loved.
No, Remus could not feel guilty for baiting the other man. Besides, he was pretty damn sure that Lucius could take care of himself, and he would neither expect nor appreciate Remus pulling his punches and being his normal genial self toward Lucius. The very thought would infuriate the conceited bastard, and Remus felt confident he could be nasty enough to Malfoy to show him just how much he respected him.
These thoughts flew through Remus’ mind swiftly. Just as he smiled wider at his own twisted thinking, he finally got the delayed reaction from Lucius that he had been waiting for.
Lucius was stunned for a moment, his mouth open as if he wanted to say something. He snapped it closed, feeling deep resentment rush through him. *Who does this son of a bitch think he is?* He took a step back, shaking the offending hand off his cheek.
“What do you think you’re playing at, Lupin? Keep your dirty hands to yourself. Who knows where they may have been? What carcass they might have dug into?” Lucius wasn’t aware that his own hand had strayed to his cheek, cupping it, feeling the lingering warmth from the werewolf’s hand.
Lucius gasped when he noticed, and let his hand fall. *This insufferable prat, making such evident overtures at ME at Lucius Malfoy!* His spine tingled again and the small hairs on his neck stood on end. Taking another step backwards, he tried to create some distance between them. Lucius hated himself for this show of weakness.
He heard his father’s voice droning in his head: “A Malfoy does NOT show fear nor weakness! Use your feelings and turn them against your adversary!”
Inhaling a deep breath, Lucius prepared another verbal assault as he looked into Lupin’s eyes. The green hazel intermingled with tinges of yellow around the very dilated pupils, giving the man an intensely feral look. Those eyes took his breath away, and his voice followed. “Lupin, you…”
Even relaxed as Lupin was now, with that smile on his lips, every pore of his being emanated PREDATOR. From his fluid movements and the curve of his lips over his teeth, to his steady gaze, suddenly freezing Lucius to the spot, like a frightened hare caught in headlights. Lupin WAS a predator, and Lucius suddenly felt very much like his prey.
Lucius shook his head to break the spell and hissed, “Never, ever, touch me again, werewolf! You make me sick to the core of my soul!” As he said this, he recognised his own lie. Remus had never made him sick. This man, this lycanthrope, with all his raw power and intensity, had always held a strange lure for Lucius. Repulsed by the nature of Remus’ being and still attracted by his rugged, ethereal beauty, indeed Remus was the most truly BEAUTIFUL man he had ever seen, Lucius was torn between opposing feelings every time he had set eyes upon him.
Real anger built in him again, deeply resenting Remus’ evident power over him. “Just answer the damn request, Lupin. Will you return to Hogwarts?” Lucius glared at the man, trying to pour as much malice into his voice and gaze as he could, all the while shivering inside with hated mixed feelings.
Remus tried very hard not to laugh as Malfoy drew away from him so fast that a small wind practically formed to fill in the sudden gap between them.
He smelled a new scent in the air: The stale bouquet of embarrassment mixed with the sharper, musky smell of half-hidden desire. Remus pondered this, pursing his lips.
That Lucius was physically attracted to him, he already knew. The embarrassment struck him as strange, though. Anger maybe, or dismay...Either of those would make much more sense. But embarrassment?
THAT particular emotion had an air of expectation about it, as if some kernel of truth in Lucius’ mind was trying to tell him that his lust was not just an idle thing to be tolerated, but an entity unto itself. One that would see to it that it’s needs were fulfilled.
Some part of Lucius Malfoy knew he would eventually have Remus...And the man’s mind was already apologizing for it.
Remus sighed. He disliked complicated entanglements. Oh well, nothing to be done but wait and see. In the meantime, he had Lucius’ smart mouth to deal with.
Remus sauntered lazily toward Malfoy, taking a quick side-step to move past him. He walked along the length of the room, running his hand over the crumbling wallpaper as he moved along the perimeter. The print was one of brown clocks on a faded yellow background. Remus quite liked it, and smiled a bit at his astonishingly bad taste.
“Well. Malfoy. Just to ease your mind, I can tell you I haven’t dug into any carcasses recently.” He leaned against the wall, bringing one hand up, inspecting the fingernails as if to make sure no blood was there to make him seem a liar. “Not that it’s any of your business, of course. Although I do relish the idea of you ignorantly imagining me stalking around with blood tinged foam on my muzzle, I’m afraid it’s simply not true.” Remus reached one hand to scratch a spot on his middle back. *Damn fleas,* he chuckled to himself, remembering an old joke he and Sirius had shared.
“Severus.” He smiled devastatingly. “Er. Professor Snape, that is. He sends me regular shipments of the Wolfsbane potion.” Remus made his way to the small refrigerator, glancing up at Lucius as he opened the door with a creak. “Sometimes...” His expression fogged into wistfulness for a split second. “Sometimes, he even brings it himself, rather than send it by other, less personal means.”
Deliberately avoiding the man’s taunts and insistent demands for a yes or no answer so he could be on his way, Remus tempered his actions to be slow and drawn out. He didn’t appreciate being insulted in his own home, but he would be damned if he showed any hurt or anger to Lucius Malfoy.
Remus leaned down to peruse the contents of his icebox. Glancing over his shoulder at the still man behind him, he smiled in a friendly, engaging way, as if he didn’t realize how much Lucius despised him. “How rude of me. Would you care for a drink?” His eyebrow slid upward, and expression that anyone who attended school with the young Lupin would recognize. Part innocent and part dare, the look was deceptively taunting. Remaining bent down a bit to see inside the refrigerator, Remus waited for the other man to show some sign of life, as he had not moved a muscle or changed expression in several minutes.
Lucius almost drew back again when Remus approached him, but he forced himself to remain still. He was not able, however, to hold back a low sigh of relief when the werewolf side-stepped him and went to the wall.
Lucius turned his head slowly to keep an eye on his host. He tried to gauge Remus’ intent, failing miserably. His eyes flitted over the outrageous wallpaper, then shifted to the hands running over it. No blood…well, he could have bathed for all Lucius knew, although the smell indicated that, no, he had certainly not bathed.
He involuntarily wrinkled his nose again, suddenly craving fresh air in his lungs. Still, he did not believe Remus. *Surely this vile creature had killed and eaten last night, no doubt about that.*
Lucius watched as Remus absently scratched his mid-back through the worn shirt, hand moving with agile ease . He watched the well-defined muscles play under the thin fabric, the hazel eyes close slightly, the long lashes almost … Lucius had to force his gaze away, cursing himself for letting himself go like that.
So… Snape knew were Remus lived, and had not said anything to Lucius. He caught the wistful flicker in the hazel eyes, and was sure he knew why it existed. *The Wolfsbane potion isn’t the ONLY thing Snape brings here.*
Lucius almost smirked, but somehow managed to keep his expression blank.
Lucius Malfoy was not used to being forced to wait for anything, least of all a simple yes or no answer. He was growing increasingly annoyed by the time the werewolf was taking. Impatience was not becoming, but he would not stay here much longer and had just made up his mind to repeat the question in a more demanding tone when Remus turned his back to him and bent down to peruse the fridge.
Ack…the words stuck in Lucius’ suddenly dry mouth.
He tried to remember why it was he despised Remus.
Oh...Yes. He was a beast, a foul werewolf. He ate people if he could.
But...Lucius found himself quite unable to remove his eyes from that amazingly perfect ass.
Self-loathing ran through him, but still his eyes lingered and roamed over the firm cheeks so wantonly presented to him.
He just managed to remove his eyes when Remus offered him something to drink. The look on the man’s face was very familiar. He had seen it many times at Hogwarts when they were students. He didn’t trust it a bit but had always found it very attractive.
Attractive...Lucius chided himself.
There was nothing ATTRACTIVE about this man!
Lucius cringed inwardly at his own lie. Why was he still deceiving himself after all these years? Everything about Remus was attractive to him. The ruffled hair, the haunting eyes, the short rough stubble on his cheeks, even the worn down clothes, fitting so…so...
Lucius actually had to shake his head to collect his thoughts again. He masked it with a slightly hoarse drawl “No, thank you, Lupin. I don’t think I would enjoy anything you have to offer. Just answer the damned question, so I can move on with my day!” He tried to pour some icy anger into his voice, but had to settle for mild contempt.
Lucius was obviously losing his touch. His taunting was not working. Out of practice. Not much bantering between him and Narcissa lately. Well, really, there never had been.
He turned around swiftly and stepped closer to Remus, his elegant black cloak billowing around him. The insufferable man just kept rummaging in the refrigerator! “Remus!” He shouted. “Answer the goddamned question! Will you return to Hogwarts or not?” Lucius had finally lost both patience and temper, much to his own dismay.
Remus smiled privately to himself, amused that he had ruffled Lucius’ composure. He grabbed a Guinness from the fridge and stood up slowly, closing the creaky icebox door. He turned around and walked slowly to the kitchen counter.
Glancing at Malfoy, Remus made a show of pretending to think hard as he slid the beer bottle under a drawer pull to open it. *Will have to buy new ones soon, * he thought. *This is the only pull I haven’t destroyed by using it to open bottles.*
Striding quickly back to his chair, Remus took a long swig from his drink. He stretched up to grab something from his mantle. His hand returned with a snifter of brandy and a glass, both held precariously between his fingers.
He resumed his spot in front of the fire, drawing an old blanket off of the armrest and casually draping it over himself. He placed the brandy and the glass on the floor beside his foot.
Remus didn’t turn around when he spoke. “If you should change your mind about that drink, Lucius, feel free to help yourself.” Another long pull of the beer. “I don’t have anything fancy like you’re used to, but if you’re going to go slumming, you may as well have the full experience, I say.”
Remus drank in silence a moment, waiting for signs of movement. He heard none. Sighing, he realized he was quickly growing tired of this game.
“Tell you what, Lucius. Why don’t you convince me to go back with you? Why should I go back? I have such a lovely home right here...” He gestured his free hand to indicate his dusty, disheveled hovel. “It may not be much, but it’s mine. I am left alone here, no one around to bother me.” He finished the beer, casually discarding the bottle on the floor, and picked up the glass and carafe of amber liquor. He poured himself a generous amount before lowering the snifter back to the floor.
“Why should I go back to Hogwarts, Lucius? Just to get comfortable there, come to enjoy the teaching and the company, and then be asked to leave again because some elitist pig like yourself comes along and complains about the undesirable once-a-month furriness of their darling so-and-so’s DADA teacher?” Remus took a very long swig of his drink, using the time to calm himself a bit, regain his apathetic air.
“Seriously, Malfoy. Tell me why I should set myself up for that kind of thing. Again. It happened once, and I can’t fault myself for that. But willingly going back there, volunteering for that abuse again, that would be either madness or extreme stupidity.” Another swig, his words sounding just a bit unsteady at this point.
Remus knew he couldn’t hold his liquor well, not with his metabolism, but he needed the drinks after Malfoy’s offer of something he wanted so very badly. He was sure the conceited prick would be gone very soon, long before Remus was visibly inebriated.
He was silent for a moment. His exceptional hearing picked up Malfoy’s steady breathing a few feet away. “Regardless of what you think of werewolves in general, or me in particular, my dear Lucius...” He laughed, the sound warm and inviting. “I am neither mad nor stupid...” Another swig finished off the liquor in the glass, and Remus poured himself some more. He took one swallow of the new drink before leaning sideways to look back at Malfoy. “Just so you know.” He said, then winked, grinning lopsidedly.
He moved back to settle into his chair. Staring into the flames of the ever-present fire, he snuggled closer into the blanket and continued to drink. He knew it was a weakness, this need to drink himself into not caring about the offer he so wanted to take, but if it kept him from playing the fool and actually believing that Dumbledore could protect him, then it was worth it.
Lucius really needed that drink now. He was furious. His mouth was dry as old parchment. His eyes had just followed the man around the room, every move and every sound sending electric currents down his spine.
Nevertheless, Lucius had regained some of his formerly lost composure and, outwardly at least, was able to seem unfazed toward the werewolf. He would be damned before he went ‘SLUMMING’ with that THING.
He swallowed, trying to urge some saliva production. Any small amount of moisture would do. Of course, his saliva had chosen this particular moment to go on holiday with his wit. *Damn! Damn him for doing this to me, again and again!*
Lucius’ mind perked up a little, though, when he heard the obvious hurt in the by now noticeably slurred voice. *So the little werewolf wants to go back, but doesn’t want to get hurt again. Awwww...*
Lucius smirked. Somehow his wit returned early from holiday. Unfortunately it hadn’t brought the saliva back with it.
Well, he would just have to take the bastard up on that drink. Without looking at Lupin, Lucius sauntered over to the mantlepiece, placed his cane against the wall, and grabbed a glass. He looked suspiciously at it and drew out a startling white handkerchief. Slowly, intently, he polished the glass and held it up to the light. “Tut-tut, well, that will have to do.” His voice was slightly hoarse, but nevertheless the arrogance was back.
His own snideness warmed Lucius to his core. He even managed to smile when he turned and faced Remus. Walking over next to the chair, he bent down, gaze fixed on Lupin. He lifted the snifter and rose.
Towering over Lupin, the black cloak just brushing against Remus’ leg, Lucius looked down at the seated man as he poured himself a generous drink. He smelled it. It seemed like an unlikely fine brandy, but just to taunt the son of a bitch he wrinkled his nose a little.
“You may be many things, Remus Lupin, but you are at least true to your word on liqueurs. This certainly is an inferior brand, but as it seems to be the only remotely safe thing you have to drink, I will settle for it.” He sipped at the brandy and forced his features into a light grimace, although it actually tasted very good.
“As it is, Remus, I am really at a loss here.” He slowly swirled the liqueur around in it’s glass. “You evidently don't want to return, and I, for one, can’t see a reason to try to convince you otherwise. Indeed, why would you even listen to a...what was it now...?” He mused a moment with a finger at his lower lip. “An elitist pig?” Lucius kept staring down at Lupin with a satisfied smirk, watching as the quickly consumed alcohol took it’s toll.
“And the monthly...’furry-ness’, as you like to present it, is not something easily disregarded. I just don’t trust you, Remus, even though you claim to be taking the potion. IF you were completely sane and intelligent, which you most certainly are not, I still wouldn’t let you anywhere near my son!”
This time he remained calm, controlled, and composed, much to his inner relief. He wasn’t sure how long this would hold if he kept staring at Lupin like that, though.
Remus threw back his head and laughed throatily as his eyes blazed up at Lucius. He shook his head, wiping tears from his eyes. “Good Lord, Lucius, you are priceless! Utterly priceless! Do you know that?”
He polished off the last of his brandy, dropping the glass casually on the floor. He chuckled then swallowed, not quite sure why he found Malfoy’s unrepentant bigotry so very amusing.
*It’s because you’re drunk, you great oaf,* he chided himself. Remus’ fast metabolism drew the alcohol quickly into his system, hitting him like an anvil.
Remus stilled his laughter, but allowed himself to smile sultrily at his guest. With the fluid grace only a part-time canine could muster, he rose from his chair to stand even with Lucius.
His chest brushed the other man’s clothing as he stood, dragging the front of his shirt down, causing a couple of the badly repaired buttons to come undone. At his full height, he stood a slight inch shorter than Lucius.
He lifted his face slightly to stare intently at Malfoy, the smile remaining in place, coloring his vaguely slurred words.
“My dear, dear Lucius. My brandy is indeed a somewhat inferior brand, as you should know.” He winked. “It’s your family vintage, after all.” His smile widened. “Although, really, to be fair, I am just trying to goad you. Your brand is the best out there, as we both well know.” His hand reached up to scratch his chest lazily. “Your liquor is very good, even though produced by a bunch of insular cretins.”
Finally done rubbing on himself, Remus leaned forward just a bit to rest his chin on the fine fabric of the shirt in front of him. “As to myself, I never claimed to be completely sane, although I do consider myself quite intelligent.” His brow furrowed, a fine line appearing between his seductively arched brows. “As a matter of fact,” His hand strayed absently to pluck at the collar of Lucius’ shirt. “I seem to remember I graduated quite a bit ahead of YOU...”
Remus leaned his head down and purposefully took the top button of Lucius’ shirt in his mouth. He bit down and pulled back sharply, popping it off, leaving trailing thread in its wake. He turned his head and spit the button into the fire. A crackle erupted as it was consumed in the flames. Lucius didn’t move, so Remus took the opportunity to remove his second button in the same manner. He stopped at the third, content with merely chewing on it a bit.
Returning his chin to Lucius’ chest, Remus moved his hand to stroke the skin he had exposed by removing the buttons. He felt light, soft hair there and shuddered with desire. *It’s not Lucius. It’s just that I’ve been alone a long time,* he lied to himself. Even in his drunken state, Remus knew his physical attraction to Malfoy had existed since he first met the other boy at Hogwarts.
They had even had a bit of a sticky encounter in the boy’s shower room once in their fourth year, and although neither had ever spoken of it since, the animosity between them had leapt sharply afterwards. Remus had tried to approach the Slytherin boy, only to be rebuffed harshly. He didn’t try again.
Turning his mind to the present, Remus growled low in his throat as he realized Lucius was standing perfectly still, his breathing shallow, fast, and irregular. Pressing his advantage, he snuggled in and licked the exposed skin softly, much like a wolf would show affection to it’s pup.
After a few moments of this, Remus mingled words in, alternating speech with lathing Lucius’ chest. “As to...your son...” He breathed in deeply, the scent of Malfoy’s sweat and confusion erupting like pheremones to his senses.
“I have no...” Lick. “Particular...” Loooong lick. “Desire...” Soft laugh, enjoying his word choice. “To be anywhere...” Short nip of teeth on the light hair. “Near him...” Swirl of tongue over recently nipped flesh. “Lucius.” He breathed the last word, hot wind mingling with the wetness left on the pale skin.
Remus set his chin against Lucius’ chest again. “But you, Lucius.” He brought his hand up to run slowly down Lucius’ long, silken, oh-so-pale hair. “I could be...” He rumbled hoarsely, “persuaded...” He slipped his other hand around to rest on Lucius’ backside. “To be near...” He shifted his hips slightly, brushing his erection against Lucius’ upper thigh. Remus raised his head and closed his eyes, leaning up until his lips were level with Lucius’, but not. Quite. Touching.
“You.” The word came out so softly as to almost be just a puff of breath. Remus stood very still, wondering if the next thing he felt would be Malfoy shoving him across the room, perhaps casting some unpleasant spell on him. He smiled a bit. *Can’t say I’d blame him,* he thought.
Lucius drew in his breath sharply as the werewolf rose, watching Remus’ open shirt intently as he scratched his partly bared chest. He let the half-witted taunt about his *brand* pass without comment, or even thought for that matter. Remus was too damned close for comfort, or was it the other way around? Suddenly Lucius couldn’t remember.
Still, he had almost made up his mind to withdraw a step when Remus’ chin had made contact with his chest, pinning him down more effectively than manacles. Lucius trembled slightly, but managed to regain some composure. In his mind, he began to chant in several languages, all of them chiding him for his weakness when it came to this man.
*Just keep breathing. Don’t look down. Keep breathing. Don’t look.*
Lucius’ frantic thoughts had snapped with the thread holding the top two buttons of his shirt in place. He looked down and was lost in the vision and sensation of Lupin licking his exposed chest, fingering the hair, and nibbling on him as if he were a treat of some sort. The low growl against his skin sent ice into his stomach; fear mixed with arousal and made his breath hitch slightly.
Lucius had to admit that, once Lupin began to torture him with his mouth, words lost all meaning to him. His focus lie solely on hot tongue, teeth, breath and lips against his chest. Every lick, tug or gust of air sent vulgar impulses strait to his groin.
One of Lupin’s hands was in his hair now, the other brushing over his back, holding him, stroking him. Lucius gasped involuntarily when he felt the considerable erection brush over his thigh.
*Gods…This has to be the alcohol speaking in Remus...For surely this man isn’t really attracted to ME, Lucius Malfoy, a former Deatheater.*
A brief memory of a confused encounter in the boy’s shower room, followed by his own sneering dismissal of the smaller boy, flickered through Lucius’ overloading mind. The sensual breath over his dry lips brought him back.
The first, only actual WORD he had understood for some moments now filtered into his ears: “You.”
Lucius opened his eyes. *When did I close them?* He looked again at Lupin.
Head tilted up, lips offered like a sacred offering to some primitive God, cheeks slightly blushed, (*drink or lust?*) Remus looked...*Amazing,* Lucius thought. Warm hands remained on his hair and back, not moving now, but still there.
Lucius was surprised at this thought.
*Good?* He asked himself.
*Yes, definitely good!*
He smirked, then dropped the glass, shattering it carelessly on the floor. He quickly entwined his hand in Remus’ coppery hair. He pulled Lupin’s head back violently, ripping out a few strands of bronze in the process.
“Me, Remus? Me WHAT? Is it really ME you want or just some quick roll in the...Filth?” Lucius’ heart was jubilant at the arrogance he had been able to infuse into those words against all odds. He decided not to give Remus any chance for reply or action.
He quickly released Remus’ hair and, with a tight grip on the slender shoulders, he turned them toward the wall and slammed Remus against it, hopefully knocking the air out of the over-confident bastard. He drew very close and inclined his head slightly, looking ever-so-slightly down on Lupin.
“You are a slut, Remus,” Lucius snarled. Before the other man could respond, he clamped his mouth down over Remus’ lips and kissed him with a vengeance, forcing his tongue into the hot cavern. Lucius used his superior body mass to pin Remus against the wall as he ravaged his mouth, letting his own arousal dig into Remus’ crotch. After a few moments, he drew his head back, sucking on Remus’ lower lip slightly before letting go.
“You are a whore. Nothing but a bitch in heat!” Lucius chuckled deeply and waited for a reaction, not relinquishing his advantageous position.
Remus stared back at Lucius, slightly dazed by passion and drink. He brought one hand up and grabbed a good portion of Lucius’ hair, pulling back harshly, baring the other man’s throat. Growling deep in his chest, he fastened his mouth where he could feel Lucius’ pulse throbbing. His teeth scraped the skin a little, and he sucked strongly while his tongue flicked at the flesh he had drawn into his mouth.
As he marked the tender throat, Remus’ other hand slapped down on Lucius’ ass and held fast there. He pulled their bodies together even more firmly than Lucius’ full-body block had done.
Disengaging his mouth from Lucius’ skin, Remus murmured, “So, I’m just a bitch to you, am I, Lucius?” He ground his pelvis into Malfoy’s. “But am I YOUR bitch? Are you going to MAKE ME your bitch, Lucius?”
He moved his head down to the pale chest, moving the fabric away with a quick flick of his chin. Suddenly, Remus’ mouth clamped down on Lucius’ nipple, sucking in the skin and grasping it hard. He ground it between his teeth and licked the captured nub. He worried at the skin there for a few long moments.
Remus released Lucius’ nipple as swiftly as he has claimed it. “Or, maybe...” He licked the abused skin, noting the indentations he had made. “Just maybe, I will make YOU mine...”
Remus suddenly broke Lucius’ hold on him and clamped his mouth and teeth over the most vulnerable spot on his throat. A freezing current of fear quickly washed through Lucius. *Surely he doesn’t mean to rip my throat out?!*
He gasped as the hand on his ass pulled them even closer together, their erections coming into sizzling contact.
*No, evidently he doesn’t.*
Relief rushed over him when Remus released his throat.
Lucius wanted to shout: “YES, you are my bitch!” Right into Remus’ face, just to make sure that the werewolf still knew how the power-balance was distributed here. Before he got the chance, intense pain flamed out from his nipple and made him arch back with a startled cry. The yell was quickly replaced by a deep moan at the subsequent soothing. He tried frantically to collect his thoughts.
*Him? Remus’ bitch? Never!* Even his own inner voice hitched in his mind at the notion. He managed to stammer out: “No, Never!” Then he made a concerted effort to disengage himself from Remus, to regain some of his composure.
Lucius struggled, but was quite unable to get away from Remus. The man was slighter than Lucius, but he was stronger than he looked.
“Let. Go. Of. Me. Or. You. Will. Regret. It. Remus!”
The words came out roughly, interspersed by his rapid and uncontrolled breathing.
Remus released Lucius immediately, placing both hands on the other man’s chest. Before he changed his mind, he shoved Lucius away, hard. His force was such that Malfoy tumbled backwards gracelessly into Remus’ old chair.
Remus stalked over to him, leaning down, his hands grasping the chair’s armrests. He stopped with his face mere inches from the other man’s.
The werewolf breathed in deeply, closing his eyes to savor the scents in the air. “I can smell the fear on you...” Another breath. “And...something else...” As the emotions registered with his supernatural sense of smell, Remus’ lip curled up in a sneer.
Abruptly, Remus stood upright and snatched up the brandy, taking a very long pull off the bottle. He leaned casually against the mantle, letting the fire warm him. He stared at his guest, disgust apparent on his face.
“Oh, Lucius. Poor, ignorant Lucius. Here I thought your ‘dirty werewolf’ schtick was all just for show.”
Another gulp of the liquor, and his expression softened. “But, unless my senses deceive me, you really do believe I’m little more than an animal, don’t you?” Before Lucius could answer, Remus took another swig and walked away unsteadily, taking the snifter with him.
As he reached a door leading to another room, he turned. “If that’s what you think, it’s really too bad.” His expression was almost wistful. “I always had sort of a thing for you in school, much to the dismay of Sirius and James.” His words slurred fairly badly now, and he stumbled as he reached for the door handle. He stopped as he opened the door.
“So. Get the fuck out of my house, and tell Albus to send someone more persuasive. Unless, of course, you’re up for a little attitude adjustment...?” He opened the door and disappeared from view, leaving the door to swing slowly closed behind him.
Lucius was flabbergasted, unable to form any coherent witty reply, as he watched Remus first taunt him and then move into the other room. His breathing finally reached a normal level as he was left alone in the livingroom. Left to ponder Remus’ words.
*A thing for you...* Lucius frowned deeply as he mentally stumbled, the words replaying several times in his head.
Had Remus just professed something other than mere base lust here? Was there more to this werewolf than met the eye?
A warm and almost forgotten feeling stirred in Lucius’ stomach. Was he more than an animal disguising himself as a man, although an admittedly beautiful one?
A phrase crept through Lucius’ mind, uniquely suited for the situation he found himself in: ‘In vino veritas.’
Lucius looked into the fire, absentmindedly touching the bruise on his throat. His logic and reason, two usually strong allies, told him to leave NOW, before things got out of hand. But that feeling deep in his stomach told him to stay. Lucius was torn.
He looked at the closed door Remus had disappeared behind.
The taunt sent slight tendrils of anger through him, but they didn’t quite impact as they usually would. Still, he would be forced to make something clear here before he left.
*A Malfoy is no one’s bitch. Not even a werewolf’s!*
He rose slowly, walked over to the door, and rested his hand on the doorknob. His mind was still torn by his opposing feelings.
He knew if he walked into that room now everything would change. His world would turn totally upside down.
But he also knew, on a more fundamental level, that if he walked away from this, he would never be able to forgive himself.
Lucius sighed, then inhaled deeply, bracing himself. He drew up his favorite arrogant mask, then pushed the door open. Standing in the doorway, he spoke.
“You do realize, Remus, that the change in attitude has already taken place?” Lucius paused slightly as his eyes ran over the neat and clean room.
*Remus’ bedroom,* he corrected himself.
This was a surprise! Clearly, the living room wasn’t Remus’ favored spot in this cottage. Lucius’ eyes rested on the bed, where Remus sat, holding the snifter between his knees.
“As I was saying, the change has already taken place, in your attitude.” He stepped into the room and closed the door behind him with a little push, not able to take his eyes from the figure on the bed.
“Now, there’s only one thing left to decide here.” He stepped a little closer and unbuckled his cloak, letting it puddle around his feet. “And that is: Just who IS the bitch here, since it’s surely not me!” He smirked.
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