Author's Note: Part of the Severus Snape Fuh-Q Fest (response to: Scenario #32: Hogwarts holds some sort of quiz/comp/gameshow. How competitive is Snape, and who is his rival? What will he do to make sure he wins?; and Easy Pairing #23: Snape/Avery.) I have taken Certain Liberties with the canon timeline. Specifically, Rita Skeeter is now a year younger than Our Boys. I don't hear her complaining.
DISCLAIMER: I don't owns 'em. That's J.K. Rowling, don'chaknow. I just slips 'em out in the dead of night and makes 'em have little tea parties. Don't sue me. It'll all done in fun, I don't make a penny from my efforts (as the world at large seems so intent to remind me), and the most valuable thing I have is a kitten. If you sue me, she'll be sad. Do you hate kittens?
Part 3 - The School Of Hard Knocks
Professor McGonagall gave him a curt smile as he handed in his exam and left. Bag hanging off one shoulder, Severus undid the long row of buttons down his body as he trotted away from the classroom and away from another week of dealing with inferiors. Most of the professors were tolerable, he supposed - McGonagall certainly knew Transfigurations, and Flitwick could be far worse where Charms went - but, if he wanted, he could teach any of his classes and then some.
It was a warm, brilliant afternoon, and he considered going outside to consult with the parchment. Its information was... enthralling. Riddle had reconstructed an archaic way to imbue a potion with a spell so that its effects were virtually untraceable. Snape had spent many an hour poring over magical theory in effort to do the same thing. It was more of a hobby than a serious effort or else he long ago would have come to the same conclusions as Riddle. At least, he was able to finish sentences before the parchment could.
It seemed highly amused by this.
Slytherin was empty, and very likely would be for a good half an hour. Before they got to know him, the other students in his House laughed at the amount of effort he put into everything he did. When he casually placed a Cruciatus Curse on Edwin Nott's toad, they stopped laughing. The fact that his effort also got him out of exams earlier than anyone in the school wasn't lost on them. Thankfully, they were too lazy to imitate him, which left Severus with wonderful moments of isolation.
Reluctantly, he decided he ought to get ready for practise instead. He still had four nights with Dram ahead of him, and with the way Lucius was acting he'd have a nightmare going into it, too. It had happened before, and it would happen again; every time Luc got into one of his catty moods, Severus was the one to take the brunt.
The dormitory was unusually warm, and a little sticky. Emeric must have left that damned Humidifier Spell running instead of breaking it like he was supposed to. Sure enough, the curtains on his bed were wide open. Do I really have to live in a swamp just because some people's lungs don't work? There was nothing to break this late - the spell only lasted eighteen hours at most. Emeric hadn't managed to make it go past fourteen and a half. Snape found little comfort in peeling off his dank robe. Hair stuck to the thin layer of moisture settling on his face. He felt sticky, and filthy, and greasy, and the only thing that would right it was a shower.
It only took a minute to skin down and pull on his heavy green dressing gown. The thing was miserable in summer, but once the first fingers of winter cold crept into the dungeon he'd be plenty glad to have it. He padded down the hall, barefoot, to the boys' shower room. It was closer than the prefects' bathroom, and he wouldn't have to leave the House. On the other hand, it was also a large, ugly stone room, one wall covered with hooks and mirrors, and the other lined with nauseating turquoise doors. Wrinkling his nose at the faint smell of mildew, Severus hung up his robe and locked himself in a stall.
The water that hit his skin was hot, but not in the same way as the room. It felt clean, and it took some of the grimy sensation down into the communal drain. A fresh bar of soap sat handy and, giving it a quick rinse just to be sure, Severus rubbed it first on his face, then down the rest of his long body. He had to duck to rinse it out of his eyes. Tiny droplets clung to his eyelashes. A strong, red flush rose on his dark skin. He grabbed the shampoo and let his mind wander.
It got stuck on the image of Sirius Black sniggering in Potions that morning, when Pettigrew had added the nettle leaf to their Infernal Inferno Concoction three steps early and sent a sheet of acidic foam bubbling out of the cauldron and to the floor where it started to eat through Severus' shoes. Severus managed to douse it in bicarbonate of soda, but not before emitting an exceedingly unwanted and embarrassing yelp. The little prick spent the whole of lunch pointing at Severus from across the Great Hall, laughing into Potter's shoulder.
A maverick thought regarding the size of Black's prick came to mind, and he quickly squelched it. It was a favourite thought after a day of dealing with that little pack of hyenas, but one he preferred to savour in his own vengeful way. Severus' brain didn't quite want to obey, though. Black's dark, mocking eyes widened in surprise, his ridiculing smirk drooped, when Severus imagined knotting his fingers through that shaggy black hair. His real fingers brought the bar of soap between his legs and moved it in circles around his hardening cock. Severus gave in, and leaned his shoulders against the wall, a wicked smirk crinkling the skin around his closed eyes.
He pulled up Black's struggling head so their faces were an inch apart. Strong fists beat against him. They abruptly stopped at the first breath against red lips. Yes, despite being the most vicious, sadistic, murderous bastard ever to grace the Earth, Black was unconventionally pretty. In a loathsome sort of way, of course. Closer, closer, Severus allowed more moist, warm tendrils of air to reach out and tease skin turning redder by the second. The surfaces of their lips brushed. Black gasped.
"You want me, don't you?" Severus murmured just short of Black's mouth.
Black swallowed. His eyes had dilated, and rigidity sat beneath his skin like a mask. The tip of his blunt nose twitched. He didn't nod, didn't speak, but the gasp and the body pressing against Snape when he sank his illusory fangs into Black's soft throat were answer enough.
Part of Severus registered the thud of soap hitting the floor as his slick fingers wrapped around his cock. Most of him had better things to think about, though.
"On your knees," he whispered to the cur wheezing softly in his grip.
Eagerly, Black obeyed. He looked up at Severus with something that could only be described as awe. Rightly so - the foreskin Severus oh-so-gently ran over Black's soft mouth was attached to an object of considerable size. It didn't seem much more than average until one remembered that its owner was six-and-a-half feet tall. As Lucius had commented since they were thirteen and comparing masturbation techniques, only up-close did anyone get the full effect.
One hand still dragging hairs out by the root, Snape pushed himself against Black's mouth. It opened, and a shudder went through Snape at the feel of wet, clinging membranes and twitching tongue. "Oh, yes, suck me," he hissed.
Black obliged, gagging softly when Severus hit the back of his throat. A wry smirk took Severus' mouth. He thrust, and Black's choking throat kneaded the bared tip of his prick. Neither made any move to pull back until Black started to pale.
Abruptly, Snape yanked his hips away. The rush from Black's short nose chilled the layer of saliva on his cock. He bit back a moan. Stay in control. Don't let him think he's got any power over you. Snape thrust in deeper as soon as Black had his breath. Testicles bumped Black's prickly chin, and coarse hairs parted for his nose. Snape had two choices: he could break down and moan and give himself away, or he could punch a hole through the back of Black's neck.
Holding the cur's head tightly, he pounded. Frantic, breathless suction caught him every thrust. Severus gritted his teeth. His knees started to shake, and his bollocks hugged his body. "Suck... me..." he hissed between his teeth. "Harder... hard... er..." he dropped his head and growled.
Suddenly, the tingle in his pelvis twisted, tightened, and exploded. The struggle not to scream only magnified the burning pleasure firing through his nerves. Tiny spurts of white came from Black's nostrils and trickled down over his lip. Severus smirked; what came around came around.
Hot water pounded mercilessly against his back and Severus' fist slid blindingly over his cock. He bit his lip, hard, tilting his head against the shower wall. He pressed a finger of his free hand between his balls and grunted sharply at the electric jolt. Faster, harder he moved. The sound of the shower barely concealed the sound of slapping skin. Clear liquid mixed with the water and dripped from the tip.
His hips bucked. He started, seized, and had to thump his skull against the stone to keep from screaming as spurts of white were driven to the floor by rushing water. Cock still caught in his grip, he slid to the floor, panting, not entirely aware of the cold granite against his slightly spread buttocks. Very gently, he stroked a few more times and shuddered when the last of his semen dribbled out with a subversive wave of sensation.
"How'd you like that, Dog Boy?" he muttered under his breath. Someday, he'd do that, or do that to Potter, or to any of their little clan, and he'd rent the two apart forever. Yes. Someday.
"You call that flying, Pucey?" Severus shouted at his third year Chaser. "Xavier, send Pucey a Bludger, see if that knocks some sense into her!"
"Lay off me!" Emerald Pucey hung her head, clearly terrified that she'd dared snap back.
Severus narrowed his eyes. Dodging Xavier Xavier's well-aimed Bludger, he pulled up alongside Pucey. "Don't talk back to me. There are plenty of people who'd be happy to take your spot."
Pucey mumbled something.
Severus cupped his ear sarcastically. "What's that? I can't hear you."
"Go'acruh..." she trailed off.
"If you want to play Quidditch, Pucey, you'd damned well better tell me right now what the fuck is going on, or I'll have you off this team faster than you can say 'Bob's your uncle'."
"I've got a cramp!" she yelled a little too loudly. Her entire face turned bright red.
Severus circled her, sneering. She was hunched over her broom, legs wrapped around it, her mouth twisted in humiliation. "Then," he said tersely, "I suggest you go home right now. Or are you going to get your mind off the rag and on the pitch where it belongs?"
"Yes, sir," she whispered, twin tears dribbling down her cheeks. With a sniffle and a timid glare, Emerald swooped down to regroup with her fellow Chasers. Lucius made some comment at her and she sped up.
Snape growled softly through his nose and returned to the scoring area. There were only about ten minutes left before they had to give it up for supper. Lucius had been a prick all practise and it was rubbing off on the rest of the players. They'd been willful. That was a failing Snape would have to beat out of them - verbally, of course. He'd not clawed his way through the ranks for five years to have his team disrespect their captain.
He pushed them through a few more tactics and, finally, set off silently towards the ground. He'd already started the first of two mandatory cool-down laps of the pitch when Patil, their Seeker and one of the best fliers Snape ever hoped to see, touched down and jogged behind him. Severus ignored them all, outwardly, as he ran, although he made mental notes on their speed, attitudes, physical condition, and anything that struck him as unusual.
When he finished, he stood by the bleachers, arms folded, watching with narrowed eyes. Pucey was only halfway through her second lap when Xavier finished and headed for the showers. She kept wincing. Severus ran up beside her. "Do you need to see Madam Pomfrey?"
Emerald shook her head. Her eyes were fixed straight ahead.
Pucey turned red as a beet and looked away. She shrugged. "Third," she mumbled.
"Look at me, Pucey. Don't be such a coward. I'll not have any cowards on my team. It's a simple matter of biology, and if it's going to be an issue I need to know."
"Yes, sir." She still wouldn't look him in the eye.
"If you want, I can mix something up to ease the cramps."
Pucey's head snapped up. She gaped at him, wide-eyed, and dropped her face back towards the ground. "Yes, sir. Thank you, sir."
"I have a name, you know."
She didn't respond. He patted her gently on the back. Emerald's spine stiffened, then went back to its normal curve. She glanced up at him. Severus smiled. A slight flush went through her cheeks.
"I only get angry because I want you to succeed," he lied. He got angry because the dunderheads acted like the cup was going to be handed to them just for showing up! His smile softened in a calculated way.
The flush in Pucey's cheeks deepened. "I know, Severus," she said meekly. "I'll try harder."
"Good woman." He winked and grinned. "You'll do us proud."
Emerald didn't say another word. Her cheeks retained their shocking pink shade until she disappeared into the girls' showers, casting a quick glance back at him and hurriedly dropping her eyes.
Severus waited until she was out of sight before he snorted and rolled his eyes. It was too easy. Forget the Imperius Curse, raging hormones were the best mind-control tool around.
Only Lucius was still washing his hair when Severus stepped into the showers. He'd taken to dawdling until the rest of the team had finished before taking off his shirt. The white foam was barely lighter than his hair. "Nice job on Pucey," he said.
"Oh? Speaking to me again, are we?" Snape scowled at Malfoy and smeared spicy yellow soap on a flannel.
"You didn't ground me again."
"You weren't falling asleep sixty feet up."
Lucius shrugged and ducked his head under the tap. Rivulets of soap ran over his screwed-shut eyes. "Come up with any plans for the Academic Bowl yet?"
"Plans?" Severus asked innocently. He scrubbed his face quickly, then proceeded to grind the cloth under his arms. It wouldn't do well for the King of Serpents to reek like the King of Polecats.
"To win, you halfwit."
Severus glared coldly at Lucius. "I know perfectly well what you meant, you spineless excuse for an upper-class twit. And, for your information, I have several plans in mind. Not that you'd get any use out of them. You won't see past round one."
Lucius sniffed. "We'll see about that. What sort of plans?"
"Like what?" Malfoy turned off his shower and wrapped a towel around his waist. He leaned against the wall, arms folded and snobbish smirk driving Snape's temper closer to the breaking point.
"Imperius Curse, Lucius. I'm going to Imperius everyone into deferring to my superior cunning."
"You don't have to be sarcastic."
"Did it never occur to you," Severus dumped shampoo in his palm, "that perhaps I'm just going to use my wits?"
Lucius snorted. "You?"
"That'll be the day."
"Are you implying that I'm as dense as you?" Snape turned towards Lucius, giving him not only a blistering glare, but an eyeful as well.
"Severus, Severus, Severus," Lucius shook his head, smiling. He dropped his towel and stepped into the small cubicle. Slender, white hands glided over Severus' chest. "All I'm saying is that it wouldn't be very Slytherin of you not to do something."
Snape gave him a bored look. "Neither would it be very Slytherin of me to tell everyone I know what I'm going to do."
"At least use an Osmosis Charm."
Severus arched an eyebrow. "Since when have I needed an Osmosis Charm?"
"Since I said so."
In truth, Snape had planned to use an Osmosis Charm. To absorb (if not regurgitate) information at almost double the normal rate was an intoxicating thought, especially when he could use that knowledge to prove himself better than those fucking Gryffindors. It wasn't a commonly used charm, since had rather nasty side effects if not removed within a day: insomnia, violent behaviour, and, in extreme cases, physical changes. He'd never found any clear documentation of the physical changes. The charms were expressly forbidden for schoolwork, but the rule never said anything about an academic contest.
"I'll think about it."
Lucius bit Severus' shoulder. "What else do you have in mind?" he purred.
Snape looked down at his friend. After the last few days, he wasn't eager to jump straight into bed with Lucius. Punishment was in order and, besides, there was too much left to do before that night's detention. He took a step back and turned to rinse his hair. "Like I said, it's private."
"Does that mean you're using the Imperius Curse?"
"Do I look dim? I'm not going to Azkaban over some stupid contest. Anyway, forget Azkaban, my dad would kill me! Literally!"
A thin finger traced a long line from Snape's neck to the top of his arse. "You used the Cruciatus Curse on Nott's toad."
"Yeah, and you don't get sent to Azkaban for using it on a toad. We're talking about people, here."
"So don't get caught."
Severus glanced back. Silver eyes twinkled at him mercilessly. As quickly as he could he finished rinsing and shut off the tap. "How'm I supposed to do that? Make an untraceable Unforgivable potion?" He could. The parchment's Imperius Salve would be exceedingly, exceedingly difficult to trace. He needed a test subject, though, and had yet to determine who to use.
"You can do that?"
Snape looked and sounded as neutral as he possibly could. "Maybe."
Lucius' smirk grew from a tiny, ominous twitch of lips to a thing of outright terror. Severus suddenly wondered how much that skull tattoo had affected his friend and lackey. "This," Lucius whispered, "I have to see." He put his arms around Severus and kissed him.
Severus pushed him away. "I said 'maybe', Luc."
Lucius' eyes narrowed pleasantly. Snape stifled a shudder. Lucius said quietly, "I know."
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