Author's Note: The first in the "Obsession" series, following the lives and relationships of Snape and Lupin.
Remus watched the darker boy quietly, his own small paring knife held loosely in his hand, resting on the worktable. He never tired of watching the way Severus moved, how his long, agile fingers pushed tangled, limp sable hair from his face impatiently. How he used his knife with a surgeon’s precision, filling the room with a bitter tang as he chopped the nightshade stems into tiny, exact bits. The way he hooked his bony ankle carelessly over the footrest on the unused stool sitting behind him, resting the weight of one long leg.
But his inky eyes, normally so intently focused on the task at hand, kept flicking to the door. He was running on automatic, and Remus could guess why, the thought tightening his stomach in an ugly little ball of nausea. "Severus?"
"Hmm?" The taller boy glanced over at Remus, not really paying attention, his hand still moving as he chopped nightshade on autopilot.
"Severus, what’s wrong with you today?" Remus put the question out hesitantly. He thought he could consider himself and Severus friends…but it was still a new relationship. The pale haired boy had been apprehensive when he was first paired with Severus at the beginning of their sixth year of Potions together, both because he was in awe of the other boy’s skill, and because Severus was a Slytherin, after all, and part of a group of boys that seemed destined for enmity with him and his friends. He was one of Malfoy’s satellites, and Malfoy hated all Gryffidors, especially any that were close to James Potter. While Remus was hardly a noticeable boy, he was guilty of both proximity to, and deep friendship with James.
But surprisingly, Severus had shown little more than mild interest when Remus had been assigned to be his partner in Potions. He had taken in the smaller boy with one long, appraising look, and had set about their first task with a detached air, directing Remus about with some suspicion, but little else. When Remus proved at least capable of the smaller tasks, the dark boy seemed to warm to him, if only the tiniest bit. A month later they had finally begun the delicate process of exchanging safe, small amounts of information. Little tidbits of music enjoyed, hobbies pursued, and literature perused. They were finally to the stage where some more personal information had been shared, though nothing earth shattering. Anecdotes about friends and family members, hints of ambition for the future, daydreams and nightmares.
"It’s…ah…it’s nothing," Severus replied, pulling Remus from his thoughtful reverie. But a crimson flush stained the other boy’s olive cheeks, golden skin that was slowly turning sallow with his lack of exposure to the sun. Remus idly supposed the Severus would become much paler in adulthood, as he would no longer be forced to take some of his classes outdoors. But he pulled away from that, instead concentrating on his friend’s unusual manner, the nervous stammering that contrasted so completely with his normal low, controlled tones.
Remus knew better than to ask directly. Not when it was so clear what was actually wrong…Severus would not welcome the prying. "Well, okay. But if it’s anything you want to talk about…" He let the invitation hang there, certain it would remain unanswered, and pulled his hazel eyes away from their intent study of his partner, instead trying to concentrate on the careful removal of wings from a number of brilliant gold-green dragonflies.
The two worked in silence for a few moments longer, and then Severus spoke, his voice forcedly off-hand. "Well, you remember that boy I told you I was…seeing…" Remus nodded, forcing down the pained wince. Severus had never mentioned his lover by name, but the smaller boy knew exactly who it was. One had only to look into those inky depths whenever Malfoy walked into the room, the way they followed the older boy with a fierce burning so rarely seen at other times. Severus always looked so damned vulnerable whenever Malfoy was within sight.
"Well, he was supposed to meet me after Arithmancy, and…well, I guess something came up. So I was just wondering what happened. That’s all." Remus wondered why he was being told this at all…Severus was rarely so forthcoming with personal details, especially not those that were clearly distressing him. Not that he wasn’t grateful that the darker boy was opening up, but the fact that Severus was obviously lying about the intensity of his feelings on the subject made him wonder why he brought it up at all.
"Oh." Remus thought that sounded nice and neutral, not giving away the seething loathing he felt at the thought of Severus and Malfoy together, the quiver of hatred that grew each time he saw the 7th year treat his friend with less than the adoration and devotion he deserved. Remus wasn’t quite sure when he became hopelessly besotted with Severus, but there it was, and it was certainly complicating his life to a rather alarming degree.
"It’s really nothing," the Slytherin continued in a tone obviously meant to convince himself more than Remus, and the younger boy found he could no longer hold his tongue.
"Why…I mean, what do you see in him?"
"You wouldn’t understand," Severus sighed softly, his obsidian eyes staring sightlessly forward, before he turned their frightening intensity to Remus. "Not you." His voice was lower, softer now, and the paler boy fought the urge to scowl furiously at his friend. //Does he think I’m a child? Just because I’m a year younger…or is it because I’m a Gryffindor, and he’s really fallen for all that noble, pure-hearted crap?//
"Maybe I would. Try me." Remus couldn’t keep the challenge from threading through what he meant to be inviting words, and he watched in dismay as his friend’s face closed down, his guard dropping back into place with a smoothness that spoke of years of practice. This was the face most of the rest of the school saw, an icy demeanor barricaded with a sharp tongue that hid his true feelings quite admirably. Remus had been surprised, almost shocked, the first time he saw that façade fall, though maybe that’s when it had really began, the first tinglings of obsession.
"I don’t think so, Lupin." The older boys’ words were crisp, dismissive, and he turned those wonderfully dark eyes back to his task, finishing the chopping with a more concentrated air. Remus sighed in frustration, and slowly added the twelve sets of wings needed to the bubbling cauldron.
"I’m not a child, you know," he muttered, almost to himself, and was shocked to hear the throaty sibilance that passed as laughter for Severus.
"I know you’re not a child. But you’re not an adult either. Not that it would make any difference." Remus dared to bring his warm eyes up to meet dancing black ones. One of Severus’ rare smiles quirked the boy’s thin, elegant lips. "We live in different worlds, Lupin. Very different worlds. That’s all I meant."
Remus couldn’t help but respond to those words offered so casually, and smiled back, his face lighting with a mixture of relief and delight at the unexpected openness from his friend. "Okay, Sev. But maybe we don’t live in such different worlds. I mean, you don’t know all that much about me, do you?" He kept his tone light, teasing. "How do you know I don’t sacrifice virgins by the light of the full moon? Or…or dance naked around cauldrons filled with boiling baby fat?"
He was rewarded with an even wider grin from his friend. "Is that really what you think Slytherins do?" The older boy’s normally brooding, closed face was actually quite beautiful when he smiled, transformed. Of course, Remus knew not many people would agree…but he had always liked the intensity in those dark features, the strength in that long, aristocratic nose and expressive lips, even before he had fallen hopelessly in love. "Don’t you know the cauldron is full of virgin’s blood, and it’s the babies we sacrifice…in the dark of the moon, by the way. Really, Lupin, you must pay more attention in your DADA classes. What are they teaching you dreadful children these days?"
The rather good imitation of Professor Venosa’s stuffy tones was too much for Remus, and he burst into gales of laughter, nearly knocking his knife of the work table. "Sev! That’s terrible…"
"You love it," Severus replied haughtily, still smiling as he slipped the fragrant stems into the cauldron, watched them slowly swallowed by the greenish potion while flicking glances at a still giggling Remus. "Okay, you better stir this…I’ll go get the aconite and the storax from the back room, which is all we need to finish up today. Then we can let it simmer overnight before we need to add the myross hardyhead livers and the jackdaw pinions."
"Wow, you remember all that stuff off the top of your head?" Remus never ceased to be amazed at the way Severus could rattle off complex potions recipes at the drop of a hat.
"Stir," the older boy replied, pointing the cauldron with raised eyebrows and the ghost of his previous grin, and Remus scuttled over with a melodramatic sigh.
"Yes, maaaaster," he replied, picking up the long wooden spoon and dunking it into the cauldron. Severus nodded in satisfaction, and disappeared through the ventilated wooden door into the back room. Only 7th years were supposed to be allowed to go back there, but Severus had gained permission in his unheard of 3rd year.
With the older boy temporarily out of the way, Remus allowed himself to happily daydream over the cauldron as he stirred slowly, letting his mind wander onto moonlit meetings that were yet-to-be…though, Remus admitted to himself, were more like never-to-be. Not one to let reality quash his blissful mental meanderings, he imagined himself in the role of hero.
"Get your filthy hands off him, Malfoy!" Remus challenges the older Slytherin in a voice of steel, quite unlike his normally much softer tones. The silver-haired boy snarls animalistically, gripping Severus’ arm in a vice-like grip.
"And if I don’t, Lupin?" Funny, in his fantasy, Malfoy had a rather snivelly voice, and a much uglier face, too, spotted with acne.
"Then I’ll make you." Dashingly, Remus steps forward, grabbing Malfoy’s wrist and squeezing, forcing him to release Severus with a whiny squeal.
"You’ll pay for that!" Malfoy lunges at Remus, but the smaller boy easily dodges to the side, and lands a terrific blow to the slimy git’s chin, sending him flying backwards into a wall.
"Oh, Remus! How can I ever thank you? But why…why did you do it?" Severus asks, his burning dark eyes fixed with adoration on his savior. Remus moves forward, sweeps the taller boy into his arms.
"Because I love you, Sev. I always have…and I couldn’t stand seeing him touch you one more day!" Remus met ebony orbs with his own pale ones, his much-more-manly-than-in-actuality chest heaving with the weight of supressed emotion.
"Do you, truly, Remus? Because…because I’ve always loved you, too, I’ve just been too afraid to say it…"
At this point in the fantasy, things always got a lot more specific, and a lot more physical. Remus happily allowed his mind to run down the path of deep kisses and heated pressings of flesh as he continued to stir, almost missing the sound of the classroom door opening. He was brought rather painfully back to reality when a familiar voice crowed at him.
"Oh, Remus, you have got the most fantastic expression on your face! Which girl is it now that has ignited your ‘darker passions’?" Sirius Black asked in unalloyed delight.
Severus heard the muted noise of conversation back in the empty classroom, and froze, graceful fingers resting lightly on one of the myriad of identical glass bottles. He recognized Lupin’s gentle tones, but the other voice…was it Lucius? Biting his lower lip, he pulled down the bottle of dusty aconite and attempted to calm his racing heart, stepping nonchalantly out of the back room.
Scowling, Severus walked swiftly over to the table. Worse than a disappointment, Black was a genuine nuisance. He put down the two bottles, ignoring the startled looks the interloper was directing at his lab partner.
"Remus! You didn’t tell me you were working with Snape!" Black sounded both repulsed and furious, and Severus wondered idly what soft, placating words the normally quiet Lupin would use to calm his friend.
"I wasn’t aware I had to clear all my activities with you." The smaller boy’s tones were frosty, and Severus looked up in surprise. The look of determination…and irritation…in hazel-brown eyes was a revelation. He flicked his eyes over to Black, who was standing there in obvious shock, pushing one hand through that perfect raven’s wing hair. At least stupefaction lent Black a somewhat vapid look, and Severus grinned inwardly to himself. It was nice to see the 7th year Gryffindor with nothing to say for once.
"But…Remus…" the older boy pulled himself together quickly, to Severus’ annoyance. "It’s Snape. He’s a Slytherin, remember?"
"I’m well aware of who I’m working with," Lupin replied crisply, turning his attention back to the slowly bubbling cauldron. "In fact, I asked Severus to help me with some extra credit. My marks in Potions…well, they could be better." The Slytherin watched the younger boy with great curiosity. And he studied him, really _studied him, for the first time in awhile.
Severus realized he’d have to get the notion that Lupin was a smaller boy out of his head. Of course, he was used to thinking of other people as smaller, since he’d hit his growth spurt around 12, and had towered above most of his peers and younger students ever since. But while Lupin was shorter, he’d filled out over the last summer, and his broad shoulders complimented a still slender waist and hips. Those hazel eyes, normally so calm, held a touch of anger he had never seen before in the boy, and they flashed in his pale face. Maybe his assumptions that Lupin was gentle, quiet, were also misplaced.
The older boy smiled as he realized that he had completely tuned out the gaping Black, and he murmured to Lupin quietly, "Your hair wants cutting." Indeed, the thick mop of honeyed amber was looking quite shaggy. Not unattractive, but a little untamed.
Lupin looked over, startled, and then a slight crimson flush painted his high cheekbones. "I…I was thinking of growing it out." Severus noted the change in tone, to something much more intimate, and inwardly snickered as he heard Black clearing his throat angrily. //The sanctimonious prig probably can’t stand the fact that his little sycophant isn’t quite so devoted as he imagined. And that he’s friends with me must be a real twist in the gut.//
"Mm, might look nice," he responded, deliberately pitching his voice low and seductive. He watched an angry shade of red bleed into Black’s face before he pulled his eyes back to Lupin, who was blushing as well. //Must not get many compliments,// he noted to himself.
"Remus! In case you forgot, since you’ve been so busy fraternizing with the enemy, we are supposed to meet James and Peter in the library in ten minutes. Think you can pull yourself away?" Black was livid, and Severus realized he’d have to savor this moment; normally it was much harder to wind the older boy up so much.
"Don’t worry, Black, I’ll be done with him soon," he purred, and was delighted when the 7th year actually clenched his fists and stepped towards him menacingly.
"Sirius. This shouldn’t take long…we’ve just got to finish up and clear things away. I’ll meet you in the library, alright?" Lupin’s voice was firm, and Black’s indigo eyes danced over to him again.
"I said I’ll meet you there."
"Fine. But I think James might have something to say about this."
"Yes, he might." Lupin lightly pinched the bridge of his nose between thumb and forefinger in an exasperated gesture that made him look about ten years older. "But since he’s not my father, I’m not exactly worried about that. Just go, Sirius."
Severus had to admire Black’s retreating form, the dramatic way he swept his robes behind him. He wondered if the git practiced in the mirror, or if it was all natural. Black was almost as good looking as Lucius, which was saying quite a lot, but then Severus had never been one to be overly influenced by a pretty face. At least, not just any pretty face.
"I’m sorry about that, Sev." The Slytherin regarded Lupin with some curiosity.
"Why did you take my side in that?" he asked coolly. He was surprised at himself for the importance he found himself attaching to the question. Maybe it was because Lupin was one of the only people outside his House that valued his opinion and company at all, seemingly for more than his uncanny ability around a cauldron. Severus had a long list of acquaintances, and very, very short list of genuine friends. Sometimes he wondered if Lucius even ranked on the latter list. One would thank that being another’s devoted slave and lover would guarantee some sort of friendship, but then Lucius was never one to follow the accepted practices of social convention.
"I didn’t think there was a side to take." Lupin seemed startled by the question, his large pale eyes watching Severus warily.
"I meant that fact that you told your friend off. You know, that you…defended me."
"Well, he was wrong. I mean, I shouldn’t avoid you just because you’re in a different House. That’s not right." Lupin seemed a little nervous.
"So it had nothing at all to do with me." Severus nodded; of course, the boy would uphold the wonderful Gryffindor virtues of truth and fair play. He suppressed the urge to snort mockingly.
"Well…yeah, it did. I mean… I like you, Sev. It doesn’t seem fair for someone to judge you without knowing you." The older boy could almost swear Lupin had stuttered in there somewhere. And there was that rather fetching scarlet again. What was going on? He felt somewhat confused by the boy’s odd reactions. //Hmm, maybe he’s afraid I’m only helping him out of some sense of duty? But I thought he could tell…I’m happy to have him for a friend, as well.//
"Thanks, Lupin. I like you, too." There, he’d said it. So why did he feel so vulnerable? Was he too used to Lucius’ mocking words whenever he declared his undying devotion? Severus was not one used to amicable interactions with others. He had few friends as a younger child, and his relationships with family were...painful. He quickly changed the subject. "Why don’t you let me finish up this bit, and you can head over to the library."
Since he was examining the glass bottles he’d brought out from the back room, he missed the way Lupin’s eyes shone as he gazed upon him. "No, no, the whole reason I asked for your help so that I could actually learn something. I won’t if I let you do everything." The younger boy moved closer to Severus, looking at the bottles curiously. "So, you’re going to have to explain to me again why aconite and storax…"
"Well," Severus began, settling comfortably into lecture mode. "Aconite is supposed to be sacred to the goddess Hecate, which you may remember from your History of Magic classes as being the goddess of sorcery and witches. Since this is a potion to confer knowledge, we also use storax, for Hermes, the messenger god…"
Remus spotted his friends immediately upon entry of the library, as Sirius was looking as though he was about to climb up on the table, Peter was frantically hanging on to the older boy's robes, and James was tipped way back in his chair, trying very hard to laugh noiselessly. As he hurried over, the low hiss of Peter’s voice cut through the dusty library air.
"Sirius! Get down! We are going to get in so much trouble!" The 4th year was biting his lower lip in agitation and Remus was torn between laughter and pity.
"But, Peter, my love, I must serenade you! I must declare my undying devotion!" Remus wondered idly what had spurred this particular bit of tomfoolery, but then Sirius could go off on most anything. It was what made him both an infuriating and endlessly entertaining friend. But really, Remus didn’t want them to get kicked out before homework was even started…and poor Peter looked like he was about to faint dead away from embarrassment.
"Sirius!" Remus pitched his voice low, but insistent. "But what about last night? Didn’t you say you would never leave me, as I lay in your arms, after our fifth bout of mad, mad sex?" The darker boy turned to his friend, and a wicked grin lit his features.
"Ah, Remus, but I love you both! Why, why can’t a man have both of the loves of his life? There is room in my heart for two gallant, dashing Romeos…nay, even three!" He turned towards James, who’s brown eyes now sparkled with tears, little snorts and giggles escaping his hands. "Nay? Then I shall have to convince Professor Chung to brew me a draught of poison most foul, for I cannot live without you all!"
James removed his hands from over his mouth, and grinned like a loon at Sirius. "Well, in that case…" Sirius slid down from the table, much to Peter’s relief, and snagged James’ hand, kissing it loudly and repeatedly.
"Ah! My wildest dreams come true! Thank you, thank you, love!" He spun, grabbing Peter firmly by the shoulders, and bestowed two theatrical kisses on both the boy’s cheeks, which sent him in a spasm of giggles. "And you," Sirius added, turning to Remus, "You got yours last night, so there." He stuck out his tongue spitefully, but those blue eyes danced under sooty lashes.
"And what a night it was," Remus shot back, setting his bag on the table and pulling out his DADA text.
"Remus?" Peter asked shyly, "Do you suppose you could give me a hand on this essay?" He indicated a half-filled sheet of parchment next to his text, "Diet and Hunting Habits of Mythical Predators".
"For Care of Magical Creatures?" Remus asked gently. Peter was often shy with his friends; he was not a naturally out-going boy, and by two years the youngest of the Marauders. Remus suppose it didn't help that he was somewhat overweight, and cursed with bright, strawberry blonde curls that his mother would not let him cut. Pulling it back into a severe ponytail only served to emphasize his moonish face, but then Remus had the feeling pretty much everything would look hopeless on Peter until he grew into his own body.
"Yeah, I’m supposed to get it done by Wednesday, and I know you had McNamara two years ago."
"Same text, too. What’s your essay on?"
"The role of instinct in the diet of rocs." Peter sounded a little disheartened by this, and he rubbed his pointed nose morosely.
"You know, I don’t remember much about that myself, but Rich Weasley did an essay on them, and he had this really good reference book…" Remus wracked his brain, trying to remember the name. "Oh, what was it…? It was by some bloke named Hugh Aviarus, does that help?"
"Ooh, thanks Remus!" A brilliant smile lit the other boy’s face, and the werewolf found himself grinning back. "Back in a few!" Peter hurried off towards the card catalogs, and Remus pulled out a piece of parchment.
"So how’s your good friend Snape?" Sirius asked suddenly, and Remus winced. So he was going to bring this up in front of James, after all. He really didn’t know why Sirius hated Snape quite so much, but he’d been ignoring it for awhile now, putting off the time when he was going to have to tell his compatriots that he had a new friend, a Slytherin.
James looked up from his book at Sirius’ sarcastic comment, watching Remus as he answered. "He’s fine, Siri, as you should know, since you saw him not 25 minutes ago."
"You’re friends with Snape?" James’ voice was quiet, curious.
"Yeah, Jamie, I am." Remus leaned the side of his head into his palm, propping his elbow on the table in preparation for a lengthy discussion. //And here I thought I might actually get some homework done.//
"Oh. How’d that happen?"
"Well, Professor Chung put me with him in Potions, and we sort of started talking, and found out we…well, we get along pretty well. He’s helping me with some extra credit work."
"Hmm. You trust him?"
//Trust him? Do I trust him? What an odd question…// Remus thought about it seriously, rubbing his thumb along his jawline. "Yeah, I do. He’s been really nice to me, and he didn’t have to be, you know?"
"Okay. Well good on you, then." James smiled in that serene, Buddha-esque way that drove Sirius crazy, and turned his attention back to his reading assignment. It was that absolute acceptance of whatever life had to throw him that made him so popular with other students…but also so open to all sorts of dangerous pranks and adventures that were the purview of the Marauders.
"James," Sirius hissed, and Remus shook his head. He was surprised that James had been so understanding, but of course, Sirius had to push it. "You know who Snape is, right? He’s a Slytherin! And he hangs around with Malfoy!"
"Who does?" interrupted Peter cheerfully, flashing his newly acquired text triumphantly to Remus.
"Remus is friends with Snape," the darker boy stated flatly, disapproval written loudly on his handsome face.
"Snaaape…" Peter said thoughtfully, and Sirius sighed and rolled his eyes.
"That greasy bastard that’s always hanging around Malfoy. Black hair, big nose?"
"Oh, that Snape!" Peter grinned, and roses bloomed in his cheeks as he blushed slightly. "He’s kind of cute, isn’t he? Bit skinny, though."
"Pete! God, you’re worse than Remus! Has everyone here gone bonkers? Slytherin, remember? You-Know-Who’s House? Full of slimy, good-for-nothing Dark wizards?" Sirius was whispering furiously now, obviously deeply offended at the very thought.
Peter blinked those pale, almost colorless green eyes at his friend. "Wow, Siri, I didn’t know you were so prejudiced," he said softly.
James cut in before the other boy could start in on another rant, this one directed at poor Peter. "He’s right, though, Siri. You shouldn’t judge people based just on what House they’re in. Lots of good wizards and witches have come from Slytherin, too. And I bet Gryffindor - and Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw - have their fair share of bad eggs."
Sirius just rolled his dark eyes, and waved a hand dismissively. "Yeah, but don’t forget, he hangs out with Malfoy. And we all know what Malfoy’s like." He stabbed his index finger into the table top for emphasis. James nodded thoughtfully, but then shrugged.
"But then, if everyone was judged by their friends, the whole school would be assured that me, Remus, and Peter here are all absolute nutters, Siri." The beatific grin that danced on James’ lips pulled an answering half-smile from Sirius.
"Yeah, I guess so. I just…" He shifted his eyes back to his paler friend, now sitting and resting his crossed arms on the table top. "I just want you to be careful, Remus. That crowd is bad news."
"Why do you hate them so much?" Remus was genuinely curious…though he could understand why no one liked Malfoy (the boy was, after all, a complete and utter bastard), Severus was actually fairly innocuous. His most offensive actions were some dirty looks and rather sharp comments.
Sirius just shook his head, blowing at his ragged fringe. "Never mind, Remus. Just trust me on this." Something dark and secret passed behind the older boy’s eyes.
"Drop it, Moony." Remus blinked, sighed, then nodded.
"Okay." //But not forever, Sirius.//
Severus ran the stiff feather tip of his quill thoughtfully along his lower lip as he stared down at his Arithmancy homework. He was about to set nib to paper again when he felt a breath along the back of his neck. He turned his head sharply, finding himself confronted with a pair of cold grey eyes set in an exceptionally beautiful face.
"Lucius." His voice was a whisper in the echoing caverns of the library.
"Sevvverus…" Lucius drew out the first syllable of his name, rolling it on his tongue like fine wine. The darker boy dropped his eyes, unable to look in his lover’s face. That much beauty, that much raw seduction was overwhelming as always. "Do you have something for me?" Lucius’ breath was hot along his cheek as he leaned in closer.
//Wouldn’t it be nice if he was talking about me?// Severus’ inner voice was harsh, bitter, but too quiet in contrast to the loud drumbeats of his heart. "Yes…" The taller boy leaned down to pull a small phial from his bag, stoppered with a waxed cork. A shimmering liquid of blue and silver slid around inside as it was passed to a pale, delicate hand that lifted it to the light with a low sigh.
"Mmm…thank you. Come with me." The voice held a soft note of command, unused to refusal, and Severus responded, moving to cap his ink bottle and sweep his books into his bag. He followed after the sleek, slender shape in black that led him out of the library, into the dank depths of Slytherin House. Glorious silver-blonde hair glimmered under the mellow glow of the torches, and the darker boy found himself enraptured by his lover, as he always was.
The door of Lucius’ private dorm was left half ajar by the older boy, who immediately dropped the thick black school robes upon entry, leaving a pair of loose green cotton pants in an Arabic style that were currently popular in the wizarding world. His chest was unusually bare, and with his back turned, Severus could study the swirling black tattoos that covered his lower back and crept up his shoulder blades. They were an abstract design, but the darker boy could always find something new in their intricate snarls. They bled up into the ashen hairline, and he had to fight the urge to lean forward and lick along the swirling lines.
"Severus, it strikes me that you have been very…friendly…of late with that boy from Gryffindor." Dark eyes studied the floor carefully, as Severus’ heart plummeted into his stomach. He had hoped that Lucius might be in one of his more physically affectionate moods. He often was when he received his gift of elixir of Mercury. The potion was devilishly hard to make, and time consuming.
"I suppose so."
"Why is that?" Lucius’ voice held a razor edge, glinting and dangerous. Still, he did not face his lover.
"I don’t know." Severus didn’t know how to answer, couldn’t confide that his feelings of warmth for the Welsh boy were a rare treasure that he held close to his chest when Lucius left him bruised and weeping. Lupin was so fresh, so healthy and light and all the things that the darker boy wasn’t. He was fascinated by him, like a dusty moth drawn to the dancing lantern’s flame. Two temptations warred within him, to be Lupin’s friend and share in his open innocence; and to shatter him into a million jagged, glittering pieces.
"You don’t know?" The high note of question in Lucius’ voice drew Severus’ eyes back to him, and he finally turned. The younger boy drunk in the sight of that lean, compact body, so precisely built.
"Not really. It just seemed like a good idea at the time." Any of Severus’ peers from other Houses would be shocked to see the normally haughty, quick-tongued wizard so reduced. His eyes were cast down, hands clasped behind his back like a naughty schoolboy. A dark tongue flicked out to lick nervous lips.
"It seemed like a good idea at the time?" Lucius repeated, stepping forward, and reaching forward snake-quick to grab Severus’ wrist, his longish nails biting in to olive skin. He yanked abruptly, sending the taller boy stumbling to his knees, hissing in pain. "Oh, dear, dear, dear…" he murmured, leaning in to brush his lips past the other boy’s ear. "Not quite up to your usual standards at all, I’m afraid. Where’s the lengthy exposition on motive and the complex plans that you’re so renowned for? What part does that sweet little thing play in your life, darling Severus?"
"He’s just a friend." Severus realized with some disgust that his voice had risen to a whine as Lucius tightened his vise-like grip, little trickles of blood turning into half-moons under the paler boy’s fingernails. Of course his body responded with typical perversion, and a throbbing erection pressed painfully against his hip.
"Mmm, a friend." Lucius flicked out his tongue to flitter along the delicate lines of the other boy’s ear, before he leaned it to bite fiercely along his jawline. Severus let out a yelp that leaked into a low moan. "What kind of friend?"
"Just…" the dark boy gasped as Lucius pulled away suddenly, leaving his body achingly cold and his neck and wrist pulsing in time to his heart, sharp reminders. "Just a regular kind of friend. Nothing…not intimate." He watched in slowly dawning horror as Lucius uncorked the phial, and touched his tongue to the thick liquid inside, scooping some of it into his mouth with that wickedly dexterous organ. //Oh no. Not the Mercury. He’s always so out of control when he…//
A blissful expression bloomed in Lucius’ features as he leaned his head back, closing his storm grey eyes. His too-long fringe of silver fell across his face, just brushing his cheekbones as a ecstatic shudder wracked his slender body. "Ohhhh, Severus. This is a good, good batch," he whispered to the room, those lush lips taking on a deeper tint of red as the potion coursed through his blood. His tongue darted out again to touch his upper lip, like a cat catching the last of the cream.
"You know what I think, Severus? Hmmm?" He finally opened his eyes and looked down at the still kneeling boy. Severus watched those pale orbs dilate, pupils blowing out in a telescoping ring of black. They held a certain madness, and from the way his hands kept clenching into fists, the taller boy knew the potion already had him in it’s grip.
Elixir of Mercury was meant to be an aid to wizards and witches who needed to get things done in a hurry. It leant extra speed and energy, more acute mental facilities, but it was not meant to be used often. Damage could occur from repeated, frequent usage, and Lucius was definitely a frequent user.
"I think you’ve been rather bad. I think you’re fucking the little bastard, and you’re mine, Severus. No one’s allowed to play with what’s mine, especially not some ragged little wizard from the ass-end of the country. I think I need to hurt you, give you a little reminder of who you belong to."
"Please, Lucius…" Severus whispered strengthlessly. He knew what was coming, and he dreaded it. But at the same time, something deep inside him craved it desperately, reveled in the desire for punishment, for pain, for abuse. He didn’t know whether he was begging his lover to stop, or to continue.
Lucius ignored his pleas, however, stepping closer on ghost-quiet bare feet. He ran those delicate fingers along Severus’ cheek, and the younger boy leaned into his hand, his dark eyes already tearing in anticipation. He kissed along Lucius’ palm urgently, and the older boy smiled sweetly down at him before drawing his hand back and cuffing Severus so hard across the face that his tall frame was propelled into the desk before he collapsed to the ground.
Severus moaned, gingerly licking at his bloody lip, but Lucius didn’t give him a chance to recover. He yanked him to his feet by the front of his robes, and threw him awkwardly across the bed. Severus was actually stronger than Lucius, and a bit taller than him, but he let his body fall limply, staring at his lover with terrified black eyes. The pale boy grabbed a large, decorative dagger from his desk, and moved to tear Severus’ robes from him, leaving black, baggy pants much like his own and a deeply cowled black cotton shirt, the sleeves a bit too long for the dark boy. This combined with his frozen expression of helpless fear made Severus look much younger than his sixteen years.
Lucius raised the knife, stopping to stare into its cold depths, fascinated by the play of light in the pitted surface. Severus found himself pushing backwards on the bed in an unconscious attempt to get away. His cock, however, had other ideas, twitching in excitement. Grey eyes followed his movement, and insane fury twisted the smaller boy’s features as he lunged forward, grabbing handfuls of soft black cotton and slitting the loose shirt raggedly, baring the paler skin of Severus’ chest and abdomen.
"I’m going to mark you," he hissed madly, "So anyone who touches you knows exactly who you belong to." He yanked down one side of Severus’ pants, exposing a sallow expanse of hip, scraping along the painful ache of his erection. The younger boy let out a mixed whine-moan and writhed under Lucius’ shaking hands.
The first bite of the knife glanced over the dark boy’s hipbone, and he yowled, throwing his head back as the pain swam red silk over his vision. Lucius crouched over him, his knee digging in viciously to Severus’ stomach, and he worked with terrifying slowness, muttering under his breath to himself. Agony, warmth, and wetness became the focus for the taller boy as he stared at the ceiling, scalding tears running freely down his cheeks, pooling along his earlobes, tracing his jaw. He could feel with pinpoint accuracy each slice, each worming dip to carve holes in his hip. And still he had to fight not arch himself into Lucius whenever the older boy grazed a forearm or elbow across his arousal.
After a million years, Lucius pulled back, holding up the bloody knife to his lips and licking it clean primly. Severus let his eyes fall closed, sooty lashes clumped together with moisture. "Ohgodohgodohgodohgod." His litany went unanswered, though Lucius stood and padded across the room.
"I’m not done yet, dearest," the older boy called cheerily. "Not by a long shot."
There was only silence for a few blissful seconds, and then Severus was brought back to full awareness with a shriek as a terrible burning carved its way into him, radiating from his hip. Ebony eyes flew open, and he beheld his lover pouring rich black wax into the new wounds he had created.
"Have to make sure they scar now, don’t we?" Lucius’ face held something like pride as he looked down at Severus. Pride in ownership. Blood and wax mingled into a hot, tar-like mess as it slid down his inner thigh, scorching hair away with a terrible smell. In fact blood soaked almost his whole groin area, Severus realized with numb detachment as he stared down at himself. At some point, Lucius had pulled his pants down to his knees, though he couldn’t really remember when.
Carefully, reverently, his lover replaced the candle in a dark sconce, and then stripped off his own pants. Even in the grip of terrible agony, Severus responded to that perfect body. Gleaming, almost luminescent skin, immaculate musculature, slim hips, and a matching slim erection, rising from a thatch of silver-blonde hair. Lucius slid agile fingers down dark thighs, pulling his lover’s pants the rest of the way off, then spreading his legs roughly.
"Guess what I’m going to do now?" he asked merrily, amusement glinting in ice-pale eyes. "I’m going to fuck you raw, darling. How does that sound?" Not waiting for a response, and indeed not getting one from the still mumbling Severus, he positioned himself between long legs, and plunged into the tight heat. The dark boy shook his head back and forth, whether in denial or pain, he didn’t know himself. His sweat slicked raven hair clung to his face, mussed by tears, spit, and blood.
Though blood eased the passage considerably, Lucius was still fucking Severus basically unlubricated, and the dark boy sobbed at the steady, tearing pain. "Pleasepleaseohgodpleaseohgodhelpofpleasegodohgodican’tithurtsiohgodohGOD."
"Mmm, like that?" Lucius murmured in the cruel parody of a gentle lover. "I know I do." Indeed, Severus watched in rapt fascination as sweat blossomed at his lover’s hairline, his face flushed with pleasure. He found himself rocking under Lucius, moving his hips to match his thrusts despite the pain, and slowly, ever so slowly the couple inched across the bed, slipping on smooth sheets. Every now and then Lucius’ toned stomach would glance along the length of his shaft, causing a sort of bright, knife-edge pleasure that had Severus moaning hotly into room, the wetness of his cheeks and mouth raped by the chill of the air.
He heard rather than saw the hitching and shuddering in his lover’s breathing, as he slid slightly off the bed at the same time, his shoulders and head hanging against the side, tangled hair brushing the cold stone floor. He watched orgasm roar through Lucius, and felt a shameful answering spasm gripping him. His dark eyes fell open sightlessly as he screamed Lucius’ name to the room, his legs lifting to wrap around his lover urgently and completely out of his conscious control.
Only slowly the room swam back into focus, upside down to him now. His eyes tracked to the door…the still half-ajar door. //Oh dear God.// And relieving the darkness of the hallway beyond, at least four faces, dark eyes glittering in the torch light, watching. Severus recognized all of them. Pain and arousal melted into utter humiliation as Lucius climbed off him, tossing a sharp grin at the interlopers before addressing his lover loudly.
"Well, now I guess everyone will know just who’s whore you are, Severus."
Remus stared out the window fitfully, noting with growing impatience the slanting afternoon sun, so seldom seen in these fading days of fall. It was hard to believe October had already slipped by, melting seamlessly into November. If Sirius and James didn’t finish soon, it would be dark, and he wouldn’t get to soak in the unseasonable weather at all today; the gathering night guaranteed the return of biting cold. He had finished his work ten minutes ago, but his two friends still had their dark heads bowed over a star chart, and were mumbling to each other in that arcane tongue they seemed to have developed as childhood friends.
"When are you guys going to be finished?" he asked, painfully aware of the slight whine his voice held.
"In a bit," Sirius responded in an irritated tone, still engrossed in his Astronomy homework, but James actually looked up, studying his friend’s face.
"We might be awhile, Remus," he answered softly. "You don’t have to wait around for us." He answered the werewolf’s grateful grin with an answering twinkle in his eyes. "Impatient to enjoy the last bit of the sun before it goes undercover for the winter, huh?"
Remus nodded sheepishly. "You know me, Jamie. It’s supposed to rain again tomorrow…"
"Go on. I’m sure Sirius and I will be fine on our own." James turned his head back to his assignment, and so missed the small flush and startled look that Sirius shot him. Remus saw it clearly, however, and sighed as he slung his bag over his shoulder. Honestly, he told Sirius to say something three years ago…with Lily in the picture, it seemed rather too late for the older boy, now. Of course, Lily and James were a wonderful couple…but then James and Sirius would have been, too.
Remus shook off his unusual melancholy as he trotted down the library stairs and practically ran back to his room, where he dumped off his bag. It being a Saturday, he wasn’t wearing his school robes, but instead a pair of worn jeans and a loose, forest green sweater. He briefly contemplated grabbing a jacket, but it was unusually warm, and he rather enjoyed the feel of the cool breeze through the small holes in his sweater.
Exiting the building again, Remus turned his face to the brilliantly blue sky, and laughed. The sun warmed his face as the wind stung his ears, and he did a quick spin, arms held out joyously, like a much younger boy. No particular plans, no particular place to be, and no one to muck it all up with brainless chatter.
//Okay, that was uncharitable,// he thought to himself as he began to wander the grounds, circling back around the library. He was very grateful to his friends, and usually he quite enjoyed their company, but he felt the wolf in him shaking its great grey head impatiently, and on days like today he felt too wild to really appreciate their company. He just wanted to revel in his other senses, the crisp smell of autumn air, the delightful crackle of dry leaves underfoot, the feel of gooseflesh rising in prickling waves over his skin at the shiver of winter sneaking in a bit early.
His wayward feet took him towards the lake, but he saw a group of first years gathered by the shore and talking excitedly to one another. No doubt watching for the giant squid. Shaking his shaggy head, he headed back towards the greater block of buildings that was the main school, but taking a circuitous route, just skirting the edge of the Forbidden Forest. Approaching the school from the opposite direction brought him outside several dark buildings he rarely visited: the Astronomy Tower and the long, low greenhouses. Since he currently did not attend either Herbology or Astronomy classes, he’d only been here in his first two years, when both were mandatory. Though he’d heard some interesting rumors about the Astronomy Tower…
The sun’s grace was finally beginning to dim, deepening to a lovely gold-orange color as he rounded the corner of one of the greenhouses. It was by this almost mystical light that he encountered the oblivious object of his affections. Severus leaned against the dank stone of the tower casually, his head tipped back, eyes closed. Clasped loosely in his right hand, a hand-rolled cigarette. In his left, a merrily dancing blue flame. Remus supposed it must be some sort of heating spell, because Severus was not dressed for the weather.
Rather excitedly Remus realized he’d never actually seen Severus without his school robes on. And while yards of black fabric certainly suited him, this was ever so much better. The younger boy let his eyes greedily drink in the tall young man, ignorant of his observer. Remus started at Severus’ bare feet, slightly reddened by the cold of damp grass. Up to a pair of baggy black slacks that draped long legs and slender hips. Unconsciously the younger boy licked his upper lip as he took in the white sleeveless undershirt that fit far too snugly, revealing a narrow, but well-toned chest. Braces ran up either side of that slender expanse of white, red exclamations on what Remus was sure was a perfect body. Lean arms, also threaded with rangy muscle, hung loosely at his sides, though he was lifting one now, and the waning sun lit that olive skin with mellow gold highlights.
Nimble, exacting fingers brought the cigarette up to half parted lips, and Remus felt waves of lust wash over him as Severus placed that incredibly lucky piece of paper-rolled herbs to mouth, drew in a long breath, released sharply scented smoke into the twilight air. The tang of the tobacco mixed with something unfamiliar danced in his nostrils, marking this moment indelibly. Now, whenever he smelled that unique burn, he was going to get a raging hard-on. Shit. The younger boy drew in a shuddering breath, trying to calm himself, trying very hard to stop looking at his last wet-dream coming to life, staring at his shoes instead.
"Lupin? What are you doing over there?" Severus’ voice was curious, but not suspicious.
//Oh hell,// Remus thought, twitching his baggy sweater to hang lower over his thighs, thanking every deity in existence that his aunt thought he was three sizes larger than he actually was.
"Oh, um, hi, Sev. I was just going for a walk. To enjoy the last of the sun, you know." Remus felt quite proud of himself that he’d managed to keep his voice not only stutter-free, but uncracked as well. He brought his eyes up to meet those of his secretly admired, almost drowning as he got to add the sight of those intense obsidian orbs to the delectable picture Severus presented. //God, he can’t not know how good he looks!//
"Yeah. It’s still pretty cold, though. Want to come share my incendius?" The taller boy held up the flickering flame in his left hand, the corner of his mouth twitching in a half smile.
//Okay, now you turn him down so you don’t embarrass yourself utterly, right?// "Um, sure." //Wrong. Oh shit, oh shit.// Remus’ thoughts rambled wildly, but his feet kept him steady on the track up to the tower, where he tried to lean against the wall casually, hands held out in front of him towards the flame. The heat radiating from Severus’ left hand in waves was quite intense, but nothing compared to the fire singing through the younger boy’s nerves.
"That’s really…um, hot." //Brilliant, just brilliant. Any more witty banter to impress him with your acute mental prowess? Didn’t you used to be able to hold normal conversations with him? I mean, before you noticed today that he’s a walking, talking sex god, that is?// "How do you hold it?"
"You know," Severus drawled, taking another drag on his cigarette, "Your accent gets a lot thicker when you’re nervous."
"I…uh…it…what?" Severus just laughed as Remus back-pedaled, trying to catch the tail of the escaping conversation.
"Yeah, that rather endearing Welsh lilt just leaks right on through. It’s kind of cute."
"Cute?" //He thinks I’m cute? Is that good or bad? David Bowie is cute. But so are puppies. Oh, bloody hell.//
"Don’t worry about it, Lupin. I know why you’re here." Remus was getting rather tired of the way Severus never actually answered his questions, but then again, panic was another option as he considered the last statement.
"You do?" //He can’t possibly…oh, what if he does…?//
"Well, yeah. You’re here to meet somebody, right? From another House? That’s all anyone ever does at the Astronomy Tower on weekends, you know. Not too hard to figure out." Remus watched entranced, as smoke filtered in between Severus’ words. "So who’s the lucky girl?"
"Or boy, whichever."
"Um, actually, I was telling the truth. I really was just taking a walk." Remus couldn’t decide whether to be eternally grateful that Severus really hadn’t known, or to be somewhat disappointed that he still had to agonize about how to tell him. After getting him away from Malfoy.
"Really?" The darker boy looked down at him, surprise etched on his elegant features.
"Yeah, really. So what are you doing here?" Remus directed the conversation back to Severus with some relief.
"Nothing. Smoking." Severus forced a casual tone, but Remus had spent years watching other people’s reactions, watching them hide things.
"Really?" he echoed softly. There was a moment of silence.
"No, not really." He volunteered nothing else, but held out the cigarette to Remus, arching one heavy black brow in graceful question.
"I don’t smoke."
"Suit yourself." Severus took another drag, and then flicked the ash onto the cold ground. "Lupin?"
"Have you ever been in love?" Remus blinked, casting his eyes down, then back up. Had he been?
"Kinda. I guess. Well…" he sighed, running a hand through his shaggy hair. "I don’t know. I suppose you have to have a relationship to be in love. Otherwise it’s just infatuation, right?"
Severus barked out a harsh laugh, his dark eyes turned away. "A relationship. Yeah, those are good."
"Why do you ask?"
"Just passing time, I guess."
Remus bit his lower lip lightly, then emboldened by Severus’ obviously contemplative mood, asked, "Do you want to go somewhere to talk about it?"
Severus turned his dark head to look carefully at Remus, eyes unreadable in the fading sunlight. The younger boy was sure he was about to be turned down once again, when Severus spoke.
"Ever been to the top of the Astronomy Tower?"
"Come on, then." Severus dropped the butt end of his fag on the ground, then placed a bare foot over it, grinding the burning ember to ashy darkness. Remus blinked down in shock.
"Shit! Doesn’t that hurt?"
"A little. You coming?" Severus looked over his shoulder at the shorter boy, a long line of black hair framing his sharp face. Remus felt like falling apart then and there.
"Yeah." Severus turned back to the open door, and led Remus into the dark interior of the tower. The blue flames of the incendius lit the stone almost eerily, and as the werewolf obediently padded up the stairs behind his companion, he felt a small prickle of anticipation mixed with a slightly more intense sense of foreboding settle into the back of his neck.
Several twists and turns and whole lot of stairs later, Severus opened a heavy oak door on to a truly magnificent room, putting out his incendius as he walked inside. Both the walls and the domed ceiling seemed to be made of enchanted glass, giving the illusion that the room was open to the sky. Telescopes of all sizes and shapes were placed at random intervals around the room, and several comfortable looking chairs were scattered here and there. The entire room was lit with crimson rays of the dying sun, the view to the west absolutely amazing. Remus found himself holding his breath as he stepped into the room.
"Pretty good, isn’t it?" Severus’ voice was low, intimate, and Remus abruptly tore his gaze from the splendid view.
"It’s…it’s gorgeous! Why isn’t there anyone up here?" I mean…" he trailed off, suddenly embarrassed. "It’s so romantic. I would think the people that come here for…uh, other stuff would like to use this room."
"Nah. It’s actually used legitimately pretty frequently, so there’s too much of a chance of getting walked in on." Severus waved his hand vaguely at the room, presumably indicating all the telescopes, and completely ignoring how neatly he contradicted his past statement that people only came here to make out on weekends. "I doubt anyone’s going to be in here until full moonrise, though, so we probably have it to ourselves until then."
Remus’ heart beat louder at that thought, jumping into his throat excitedly. //Why would he mention that we’re alone for awhile? He can’t have the same idea I do, can he?// "Oh, okay then."
"So what did you want to talk about, Lupin?" Remus looked over at Severus in surprise…hadn’t the darker boy been the one to start the whole ‘in love’ exchange downstairs?
"I thought you wanted to talk. You sounded like you did, back there…" He watched as Severus walked over to one sleek glass wall, placing splayed fingers against it, back to Remus.
"I suppose I did, at that. I just asked because I’ve been having some…trouble…with my boyfriend. I guess I don’t really have anyone to talk to about it, and then you showed up." His voice held little inflection, his normal cool tones, but there was something else there, Remus was sure. "I guess it’s no secret I don’t have a lot of friends. You’re about the only person I feel like I could talk to about this."
Remus was torn between a rush of warmth at the trust Severus put in him, and a sickening lurch that he wanted to talk about Malfoy. //Is this how Sirius feels when James wants to talk about Lily?// "I’m here if you need me, Sev."
"I’ve always known that when you were really in love, it hurt. It burns, from your eyes down to the tips of your toes, a terrible, awful ache that only goes away when you’re around the person you love." Remus wished desperately that Severus would turn around, so he could see the face that went with that dead voice. It almost sounded as though he making a speech, one that had been rehearsed countless times in his head. But the taller boy kept talking, turned to the crimson sea of the western sky, black hair falling with the tilt of his head onto his left shoulder, leaving a length of smooth, muscular neck exposed.
"Love eats you up inside, it takes over your life, it sits around waiting until you’re thinking about something else-homework, family, a game, whatever-and then it jumps on you, sucks away any ability you had to think, concentrate. But it’s all worth it, you know, when you’re with the person you love. Everything goes away. You feel so full, just totally absorbed in that person and it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world. Do you know what I mean?"
"Yes," answered Remus in a breathless whisper. That was exactly what it was like…he found himself thinking of Severus at weird times, when he should have been studying or just hanging out with his friends. And it hurt sometimes, a bone-deep ache, when he knew he couldn’t be with him, that this wonderful, amazing person was with someone else.
"So you have been in love?"
"I…I guess so." Remus blinked at the realization. He was, he really truly was in love with Severus. Never mind that the other boy hadn’t the faintest idea, never mind that he’d only been really getting to know him for the past few months after years of ignoring him, never mind that this lovely, dark creature staring so intently out at the growing night was madly in love with someone else. There it was.
"So you know what I’m talking about. It’s beautiful, and it’s completely awful. But…but when the person you love starts losing interest, it becomes sheer torture." He laughed then, a humorless snort, and Remus saw his head fall forward. "Do you know what it’s like to be a piece of property? When the only real interest is shown when you have something he wants, or when he thinks someone else might be ‘playing with his toys.’" Severus’ voice was twisted, bitter, filled with a sort of mocking self-loathing, and it shook Remus to the core. He’d never heard such hatred, and worse, such hatred directed inwardly.
"The worst bit of the whole bloody mess is that I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t know how to make him love me again, I don’t know what I did to make him turn away. If there was something I could do, some sort of plan, I could stand it, I could stand the contemptuous looks and the-" he cut himself off abruptly, and Remus saw his head turn, as though he was looking at the younger boy. The last rays of sunlight made it impossible to see his face however, silhouetting his slim body.
"The what, Sev?" Remus asked gently.
"Nothing. Never mind. But do you understand what I mean?"
"I suppose I do. But…" Remus was at a loss for words. He knew exactly what he wanted to say, what he wanted to do. More than anything he wanted to wrap himself around the taller boy, protect him from the world and anyone that might hurt him, soothe him with soft words of love and devotion. Tell him to forget Malfoy, who never appreciated what a glorious gift he had been given in the form of this sixteen-year-old boy. Abruptly he found himself taking a few halting steps towards Severus, and he could smell the faint salt tang of tears that weren’t his own.
"Lupin?" Severus’ voice was low, trembling, uncertain. He realized suddenly how close he’d come…he was an arm’s length away from the other boy, who’d turned at his approach. His face was still shrouded in shadow, but this close Remus could see the expression of utter misery mixed with an overwhelming confusion.
"I understand what you mean, Severus," Remus responded softly, letting his hand drift out almost dreamily, running a thumb along the darker boy’s cheek, wiping away a crystalline drop of pain. He put his thumb to his mouth absently, licking the tears away.
"What…what are you doing, Lupin?"
"I don’t know," Remus answered honestly. He felt awful for his friend, wanted to comfort him, give him calming words that would take this pain away. But all he could feel was the pull of black eyes and a slender body that seemed to burn with the opposite of light, a luminous darkness that swam against the first flickers of stars glimmering in the indigo skies.
With a sigh he closed the distance between them in one easy step, the thick nap of his sweater hem brushing against the smooth cloth of loose slacks. He raised a hand to run it along Severus’ jaw, cupping his cheek, then stretched on his tiptoes so their faces were within a breath of each other.
This close he could stare into those bottomless ebony eyes, drinking in the wounded, slightly frightened, very puzzled expression on the older boy’s face. But Severus’ didn’t pull away, staring back into hazel eyes like a deer caught in headlights. He blinked, a slow, dreamlike movement, and Remus watched in fascination as sooty lashes shuttered closed over those amazing eyes, resting for half a heartbeat against his cheekbones, then sliding liquidly up again. As though in a trance, he moved that half an inch closer to press his lips against Severus’ thin, elegant ones, his hand slipping under the spill of raven hair to rest lightly on the back of a graceful neck. He felt a slight hint of dampness at the hairline, like sweat, and the heavy weight of dark silk brushing his knuckles was electrifying.
He found himself pressing his body more firmly against Severus, molding to that long, lean form insistently, pushing him back against the curved glass of the window. The taller boy parted his lips in a gasp, and Remus took the opportunity quickly, slipping his tongue past lips and teeth to toy demandingly with the wet velvet of the older boy’s own tongue. At first Severus was limp, passive against him, then he felt long fingers brushing over his hips through the thick cloth of his sweater, gripping lightly, and the mouth under his began to move in response, lips opening wider to take in the younger boy, kissing back with a slow burn that made Remus’ stomach tighten in intense desire. He moaned, a low vibration at the back of his throat as the kiss deepened by agonizingly slow degrees, tongues twisting and tangling around each other languidly.
He could feel Severus’ shift his legs slightly as a muscular thigh pressed deliciously against the swollen bulge in his jeans. There were far too many layers of cloth between them, he was sure, and he ran one questing hand along the waistband of the darker boy’s slacks, untucking the thin cotton of his shirt and sliding his hand underneath to run over heated flesh and the ridges of muscle he found there. He was somewhat startled to feel something rough along Severus’ hip, like a scab of some sort. He was more startled as the Slytherin let out a hiss, and suddenly shoved him away forcefully, sending him stumbling backwards and almost to the ground.
He crouched there briefly, panting from the intense contact of only seconds ago. He could see that Severus was breathing heavily, too, his narrow chest rising and falling dramatically. "Severus?" he asked plaintively.
"Don’t touch me," the other boy hissed again, dangerously.
Remus tried to focus his mind, force himself to be able to speak coherently. Already his mind was trying to fly back to the feel of Severus against him, the lovely burn of that elegant mouth responding to him, not Malfoy. "I…I’m sorry, Sev. I just couldn’t help it…you looked so…so sad."
"So you decided to stick your tongue down my throat to cheer me up?" The older boy’s voice was sarcastic, harsh, but Remus couldn’t help but laugh. It was a pretty irrational thing to do, after all. Especially in the eyes of someone who didn’t know Remus had been pining after him for weeks now.
"Well, sort of. Um, I mean…it does sound sort of stupid when you put it that way." Remus shook his head, golden-brown hair falling into his eyes as he looked down at the floor briefly.
"Why did you do that, Lupin?" Remus looked up again, surprised at the total shock in the other boy’s voice. Was it really such a surprise that Remus Lupin had a crush on him? The taller boy seemed lost, unsure, and again Remus felt the urge to take him in his arms, protect him somehow.
"Well, for the usual reasons someone kisses someone else, I suppose. Because I like you. Because you’re incredibly gorgeous and sexy and perfect. Because you looked so hurt, and…and I wanted you to see that someone really does care about you. I mean, I think I’m in love with you, Sev." Remus flopped into one of the cushioned chairs, leaning back and pushing his hair out of his eyes, watching the still form of his friend who now had his head hung forward, jet hair a curtain hiding his face.
"Sev?" When the other boy didn’t answer, Remus leaned forward, intending to get up and go to him again, but suddenly Severus raised his eyes to him, and there was something there that made the younger boy lean back involuntarily. Something haunted and terrible.
"That’s a bad idea, Lupin." His voice was low, warning.
"Well, no shit. I mean, you’re already taken, aren’t you? By a total idiot who doesn’t appreciate you, but taken nonetheless." He tried to keep his voice light, tried to provide a counter to that frightening look in his friend’s eyes, but felt like he was failing miserably.
"That’s not what I mean. You don’t know me…I’m sick, Lupin. Really, really sick. If you knew what I’m capable of…I could hurt you. Badly."
This time Remus couldn’t keep the tremble out of his words. "I…I don’t think you’d hurt me, Sev. I trust you."
The laugh that answered this statement was terrifying. Bitter, dark, the antithesis of humor, it promised all sorts of perverse, painful things. A soft whisper floated through the air to Remus’ ears. "Oh, you shouldn’t, little boy. That’s the worst idea you’ve had yet." Somehow everything was made worse by the seductive lilt Severus’ voice had gained as he spoke to the gloom. "There’s so many things I can think of to do to you, little boy. So many pretty, pretty ways you could crack."
"Severus!" He couldn’t stand it anymore, he stood.
"What?" Almost a purr.
Remus took two steps forward, grabbing Severus’ wrists desperately. "Stop it! This isn’t you, and you aren’t going to frighten me off so easily." He tried not to reveal how those dark eyes scared him, eyes that seemed lost somewhere else, as if Severus had gone wandering while this nasty, threatening creature took over his body. But as his fingers pressed sharply against bony wrists, he saw his friend snap back to present, wrenching himself away, and placing his hands at the mussed hem of his shirt.
"You want to see something?" he asked, his voice now a hollow deadness. He didn’t wait for Remus’ response, instead shrugging out of his braces and pulling his shirt abruptly up to his neck. The younger boy stared in horror at the network of scars-most old and white, but some fresh and shiny pink-that crisscrossed Severus’ lean torso. Just peeking above the waistband of his pants he saw the angry red weals and scabs of a healing wound. It looked like the top of some sort of design, but he couldn’t tell as most of it was hidden beneath black cloth.
"This is what he does to me. This is how I learned how to love." He pulled his shirt back down slowly, leaving his braces hanging along the outside of his thighs loosely. "Forget about it, Lupin. You don’t want to become me. Trust me on this one."
"YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT I WOULD DO!" Severus was practically yelling now. "Go back to your friends! Go back to your safe, warm life and forget about me!"
Remus was cowed by the rage and bitterness in his friend’s words, but he still couldn’t back down. "I can’t, Sev."
"Then I’ll break you, Lupin. I’ll shatter you into a thousand pieces, and I don’t want to do that." Worse than anger was this exhausted defeat. Remus had no idea what to do, no experience to draw from to tell him how to deal with this.
"Just leave, and pretend this never happened. Please."
Remus sighed softly. "Okay, I’ll leave. But I can’t forget this." He padded over to the door, glancing back once at the Severus, but realized, to his discomfort, that the dark boy had been swallowed up by the shadows of the growing night.
Severus felt like the world was falling apart. Not exploding apart in a big, showy cataclysm, but rather coming undone the way a way a piece of cloth unravels, threads unknitting themselves from the whole bit by destructive bit. He couldn’t concentrate in classes anymore. His homework often was left half-done because he couldn’t sit still for more than ten minutes or so. Any of the friends he had in his own House now wouldn’t speak to him for fear of the retaliation from Lucius. Word of the little incident that had given him his freshest set of scars had spread quickly, and he often sat down to breakfast in the morning to a chorus of whispers and snickers.
The hard numbers and formulae of Arithmancy were escaping him. The predictable patterns of stars and heavenly bodies were twisting out of true. And worst of all, the haven that was Potions was lost to him now. The comfort he took in the exacting precision required in that class, the pride in his superior skill, the pleasure in the mixing and grinding of ingredients, of making something pure and true and perfect, all of it was gone, forfeited.
Instead he felt honey hazel eyes following him everywhere, burning holes in the back of his neck, splintering any ability he had to think. He would whirl around angrily to find Lupin watching him with that painful expression of total adoration and complete misery. //I told him I would break him, and it looks like I will without even lifting a finger,// he thought in irritation, wishing the boy would go back to his work, as mediocre as it was.
He removed his paring knife from the neat leather case he kept all his tools in and began angrily chopping the licorice root, wrinkling his nose as the thick, sweet smell filled the air around him. His partner, Mandy Enkiss, leaned in from her rather painstaking job of cutting the waxy growths off fulgoridae beetles.
"Severus," she hissed conspiratorially, blonde plait slithering forward across her shoulder. "Lupin’s staring at you again."
"So?" he muttered back, narrowly missing slicing into his finger instead of the black roots.
"So?" she asked in wide-eyed disbelief. "So you better do something about it, or Lucius is going to go spare!" Mandy was not one of Severus’ very few friends, but she did seem to have some pity for him. It just made the boy scowl more furiously.
"Yeah, well maybe then Lupin’d stop staring quite so bloody much!" he answered in a low growl. She leaned back and rolled her eyes dramatically.
"As if you don’t like it," she sniffed, before turning back to the large beetles in front of her with a little moue of disgust.
He wanted to take the girl by the throat and shake a bit of sense into her. //Like it?! He’s driving me mad!// But just then he heard Professor Chung’s voice behind him.
"Severus? Are you chopping those roots or mashing them out of existence?" He glanced down at the diminutive woman standing next to him, blushing a bit at her primly disappointed expression. Her almond shaped eyes flicked over the mess he’d made of the licorice and then up to his face. To his chagrin, he watched pity leak into her wrinkled features.
"Really, my boy, you haven’t been yourself lately. If there’s anything you need to talk about…" Professor Chung rarely hid the fact that Severus was by far her favorite student, but he certainly didn’t feel like unburdening himself to her. Doubtless she would sit there and cluck at him sympathetically, then offer him some of that awful Green Needle tea and tell him he was too young for all this nonsense anyway. Professor Chung was excellent Potions teacher, but her advice seemed to consist of that one adage, regardless of the circumstance.
He shook his head wordlessly, and she sighed, patting his shoulder in a maternal sort of way, and moving on to the next table. Mandy looked after her with a faintly contemptuous expression. "Nosy little paki, isn’t she?" she remarked acidly. That was all it took; Severus lunged forward across the work table, intending to choke the life out of her, but instead knocking the half full cauldron flying, sludgy, hot liquid spilling across his partner’s robes. She shrieked, her face squinching up in a particularly unattractive manner, and everyone turned to look at the pair: one screaming in incoherent anger and pointing at the other, who simply scowled ferociously back. Professor Chung bustled over, making that familiar clucking noise, shaking her head sorrowfully.
"Oh, dear. Mandy, you’d better get over to the infirmary. Severus, you’re going to have to clean this up…perhaps you can come in after your last class to make up the assignment?" He nodded curtly as she led the still yowling Mandy out the door.
He fumed for the entire rest of the class as he mopped up the latest failure caused by his dodgy temper and frequent distraction. As the rest of the class shuffled out, he was still wiping the last dregs from the floor, his robes gathering dust and the leavings of various ingredients as he crawled across the floor awkwardly, getting under the work table.
"Sev?" The familiar voice caused him to rise suddenly, and he banged his head against the bottom of the table. He emerged in a truly foul mood, and he focused all his ire at the shorter boy standing uncertainly in front of him.
"What do you want, Lupin?" he snarled, pushing his tangled hair out of his face angrily.
"Could I have a moment?" The younger boy held his hands clasped in front of him, but otherwise showed little sign of nervousness.
"What, you don’t get enough from mooning after me in class?" Severus asked sharply, dusting his hands off on his already spattered robes. Honestly, he was more irritated with himself than anything else. At his strange reactions to this creature of light and warmth that stood easily before him, as if they weren’t polar opposites that must explode when they touched. But something in him melted at the lopsided grin that lit Remus’ face.
"Nah, you know me, I always want more than I can have, right?" The gentle teasing in the boy’s soft voice brought Severus back to an earlier time; a time when they could talk and joke with each other easily, when this specter of desire and love and need didn’t hang between them like noxious smoke. Severus sighed, and went over the sink to rinse out the rag he’d been using to clean.
"Yeah, go ahead," he answered, a great deal more amicably than he’d intended it to be. But the silent classroom, empty of prying eyes and laughs hidden behind deceptive hands, had mellowed him somewhat.
"Well, it’s my birthday in a few days…my sixteenth…and I was wondering if you wanted to come to a little thing my friends are having. Since you’re my friend and all. I mean, I hope we’re still friends."
Severus looked deeply into those glowing eyes, and let himself for pretend for just a moment. Pretend he could go to the party Remus’ friends were throwing as if he belonged in that world, pretend that the laughter wasn’t about him, but rather about jokes shared between people who cared about each other. Pretend he could love this really quite lovely boy, this clever and friendly and sharp boy who would hold him in thick, strong arms and make all the horrors fade with his easy grin and his devoted eyes.
//We’re too different,// he thought as a sort of deep melancholy settled over him at the loss of his little charade. //I could never live in that world…and he could never cross over into mine. Nor would I want him to.// Severus’ world was one of darkness and pain and violence and people were of two types: users and used. Remus was a gracious creature who had never known the violence, the cunning needed to get anything in that world, and who never should have to.
Taking a deep breath, Severus steeled himself for what he had to do. Some part of him held onto a terrible pride, that he was strong enough not to give in and break this strong, beautiful boy in front of him. That instead he would cut the only life and warmth that had been offered to him away, so that he could watch it from afar, where it was safe and beautiful…and not his.
"Remus," he used the other boy’s first name deliberately, and watched as that half grin turned into a sunny smile of heart-breaking sweetness. "Remus, I can’t go. But you need to do something for me. Ask your friend Black what happened to him in his second year after the Halloween Feast."
"But, Sev," Lupin began, frowning in confusion. "I don’t understand, what do you-" He was silenced when Severus pressed long fingers up against petal soft lips.
"Just ask him, Remus."
It took a pretext to get Sirius alone to talk to him. He was practically glued to James’ hip most of the time, so Remus passed him a note in the library, hoping his friend would forgive him later.
I want to talk to you about James’ Christmas present. I know it’s a bit early, but I want to run it past you since I have to mail order it. Meet me in ten minutes at the table by the reference books on the second floor?
Sure enough, ten minutes later Sirius slunk back to the small study table in the back corner of the second floor. "Okay, spill it, Moony. What d’ya want to get him?"
"Um, actually, it’s not about that," Remus began, noting Sirius’ frown with a quick wince, but pushing forward. "I just didn’t know how to ask you to talk to me without…well, asking you what I want to ask you."
"This isn’t about that secret crush you’ve got on me?" Sirius teased, grinning that wicked smile that had half the student population swooning after him. Remus snorted and waved a hand at him dismissively, allowing himself a small smile.
"Nah, it’s about something Severus said to me." At the mention of the Slytherin’s name, Sirius face immediately flowed into irritation, tinted with genuine anger.
"Oh, tell me you’re not still talking to that slimy bastard! I thought you’d given him up."
"Well, sorta. It’s a long story. But listen, he told me to ask you about something."
"What?" Sirius sounded wary, suspicious.
"He said to ask you what happened after the Halloween Feast in your second year here." Remus was taken completely aback at the transformation his friend went through. His arms crossed protectively over his chest, his face fell open in an expression of terrible shock and pain, and he let out a small whimper.
"What? Why did he-" Sirius stopped himself, shaking his head, then continued in a strengthless whisper. "You don’t want to hear about this, Remus. And I don’t want to talk about it."
He hated pushing, but he had to know. "Please, Siri." He reached forward, pulled his friend’s hand from where it gripped his own elbow, held it warmly, firmly. "I’m your friend. I need to know."
Sirius took in a few deep breaths, gasping at the air almost desperately, before leaning forward, holding his head in his hands. He began in a dead voice that reminded Remus unpleasantly of the way Severus had talked about Lucius. "In my second year, me and James played a trick. A trick on Lucius Malfoy. I can barely remember what it was now, something harmless and stupid. I think we hexed his ink bottle to explode or something. We thought it was so funny at the time." He whispered this last, voice coming out like a barely felt breeze from under his black hair.
"I guess Lucius was pretty ticked, because he got us back in a big way. Or rather, he got me back. He must have put something in my drink at the feast, though to this day I don’t know how he did it. Maybe sneaked into the kitchens or something, I don’t know. Anyways, I remember walking out to use the loo, and then I remember waking up in the dark. My hands were tied above my head to something, and I was lying on something soft but a bit smelly. I think it was an old bed."
Though Sirius at no point changed inflection, Remus winced. He knew something awful had to be coming, for it to affect his normally bright and cheerful friend this deeply, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to hear it. But by this point he felt he owed it to Sirius, and he showed none of his apprehension, instead scooting closer to smooth his hand over his friend’s back into slow circles.
"Then someone came in with a light. It was Malfoy. He had that great ugly arsehole with him, Goyle, you remember him? He graduated two years ago. Anyways, he had Goyle work on me for a bit, punching me in the stomach and such, but never in the face. I guess he was afraid if he left any visible bruises, he’d get in trouble." Sirius laughed then, a harsh coughing noise.
"Then he pulled down my pants, and he shoved his dick in me. It…it hurt. Very, very much." Remus watched in horrified wonder as tears spilled soundlessly down his friend’s cheeks. "And when he was finished he spit in my face, and told me if I said anything to anybody, he’d do the same thing to James, that his daddy’s money could buy him enough time for that before he was expelled."
It was intensely disconcerting to watch the flood of tears unaccompanied by the sobs or contortions of face that normally came with them. But Remus could only shake his head over and over, wrapping strong arms around Sirius’ shoulders, pulling him against himself. "Oh, oh, I’m so sorry, Siri, I’m so, so sorry."
But Sirius was not yet finished. "Moony, Moony you have to listen to me," he said urgently. "That’s why I told you to stay away from Snape."
"I…I don’t understand, Siri."
"Who do you think made the potion that drugged me in the first place, Remus?"
Severus sat at the base of the Astronomy Tower. It was one of his regular haunts; he liked to lean against the cold stone and think. Plus, it was fun to stare at the couples that snuck in for ‘extra-curricular’ activities. Though tonight that brought up far too many painful memories. He took a long drag off his cigarette, the tobacco and papaver somniferum seed mixing potently. He hoped it would make him mellow enough to get to sleep tonight, though the somniferum often brought on disturbingly vivid dreams. //With my state of mind, it’s likely to be nightmares,// he thought moodily, staring out blindly into the night as he released the fragrant smoke into the chill air.
He was so wrapped in his own thoughts that he didn’t realize another person had arrived until he heard a low growl drifting in from the darkness. It sounded as though it was fairly close, but Severus could see nothing with no lights to illuminate the area around the base of the tower. The waxing moon hid behind a cloud.
"Hello?" he called cautiously, thinking it was more likely someone had let their pet dog loose.
"Severus," the growl answered back, and the dark boy peered uselessly into the darkness, the hairs on the back of his neck prickling.
"Yeah, it’s me." The younger boy’s voice was lower than he’d ever heard it, dangerous. Severus felt a far colder tingle than the November air: fear. //He must have heard….// But he felt a thrill run through him as well, and excited flutter in the pit of his stomach. //Oh, you are a sick, sick bastard,// he thought to himself, licking his lips nervously.
"Talked to Black, did you?"
"Yeah, I did. I don’t understand it, Severus, but I guess you were right to warn me about you." Lupin’s voice was still a low growl, barely restraining his anger. "I just have one question."
"You helped Malfoy rape one of my best friends. So why are you so pissed at Sirius?"
Severus shook his head. The boy was still trying to figure him out, still trying to find a way to make the whole thing not the older boy’s fault. //What presumption allowed me to ever dream I could even touch him? The very thought is ridiculous.// He knew he had to disabuse Lupin of any thoughts that he might somehow be redeemed. He had to tell him the complete truth, the one that Lucius had said was never to escape past the gate of his lips.
He stood, pulling himself to his full height, brushing off his pants, and forming his face into the haughtiest expression he could manage. He turned to the direction Lupin’s voice was coming from, and told him. "You think Lucius just did that because of some prank Black pulled? That’s what Black told you, wasn’t it? You have no idea what was really going on. So let me enlighten you, my naïve friend."
"Lucius Malfoy burns for Sirius Black. He wants him in the worst way…and at 12, he was stupid enough to think that raping him would put that fire out." He barked laughter. "Pretty stupid, but then Lucius can be a bit impulsive when it comes to his…weaknesses. Of course, it didn’t, he just wanted him worse after that little incident. And if you’re harboring any illusions about my part in all of it, it was me who made the potion that drugged your friend. A nice little time release sleeper I came up with in my first year." He let pride creep into his voice. "My first year, Lupin. My first year and I made a potion many adults have trouble with. I was eleven when I assisted in my first rape."
"See, I thought maybe he would forget all about Black, too. And when he didn’t…do you know what it’s like to lay in the arms of the person you love most in the world, and have them mumble another person’s name in their sleep?" Severus let every bitter drop he’d saved up over the years come through. "Or have him call another name when he’s coming in your mouth? To hear him berate and belittle you, and cause you every pain he can think of because you’re not the person he really wants? To be punished for who you’re not? You’re right, I hate Black, I hate him worse than reason, I hate him with a lasting ache that will never go away!"
He was panting from the effort, but still his voice rose louder and louder. "SO TAKE A GOOD GODDAMN LOOK, LUPIN! LOOK AT THE THING YOU’VE MADE THE VERY FOOLISH MISTAKE OF FALLING IN LOVE WITH! I HATE, AND I HATE, AND I HATE, AND IT’S STILL NEVER ENOUGH, AND EVERY NIGHT I LET HIM CUT ME UP, BEAT ME, RIP ME APART AND PUT ME BACK TOGETHER FOR HIS OWN SICK PLEASURE AND I’LL DO WHATEVER HE WANTS, WHATEVER HE TELLS ME!"
He knew he was out of control, knew he was pouring out things he’d never intended to say, knew his eyes must be bulging madly in his head, and he grabbed great handfuls of hair, ripping at it, wishing there was some physical pain that could distract him from the screaming in his head. He dropped to his knees, drawing in wheezing gasps, and waiting in the swirling vortex of chaos that was his mind at that moment. He was not disappointed.
The form that leapt from the darkness was heavy, and knocked him over easily. All of a sudden all that compact, muscled weight was on his chest, and a fist flew from the darkness, striking him in the face. He felt familiar pain blossom and he laughed to the sky, letting his hands fall from his head, open and defenseless. A continuous growl ripped through the silent night above him, tearing the air with its ferocity.
A steady rain of blows struck his face, his chest, his stomach, knocking the breath from him in their eloquence. But still he laughed, soundlessly now, silently thanking his assailant for the perfect punishment, for the agony that filled his world, flashed bright super-novas behind his eyes. He could hear the heavy panting exertion of the form above him, and lifted his hands, running the back of his fingers gently over wet cheeks. //Why is he crying? Oh, doesn’t he know what good he’s doing? Doesn’t he know he’s my beautiful, beautiful angel?//
"Thank you," he whispered up to his redeemer, hoping that he could hear. He must have, because a voice thick with rage and tears answered him.
"Fuck you, Severus! Fuck you and your sick, twisted game, and fuck Malfoy, and fuck your goddamn-" he gasped loudly, drawing in huge, shaking breaths as he pounded a fist into the unresisting body below him with each ‘fuck’. Suddenly he collapsed on top of the longer form below him, his face pressed into Severus’ neck. The darker boy could feel soft lips moving there as Lupin continued. "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you…"
Severus smiled up at the uncaring moon, and raised one long-fingered hand languidly, running it over soft, thick hair , smoothing it out of Remus’ face. "Thank you," he whispered, turning his head slightly to put his lips at a now exposed ear. He let the other hand run along a heaving side to caress along his back, rubbing in soft circles. "Thank you," he said again, the blissful flow of gratitude relaxing him, like a strong drug.
"I hate you." Remus’ voice was quiet now, without conviction, and he nuzzled into Severus’ neck, his sobs slowing gradually, turning into a rather quieter sniffling.
"I know, love," Severus answered, wondering idly at his own presumption. Of course he should not be allowed to call this splendid creature ‘love’, that term was reserved for a pair of cold grey eyes, not these warm hazel ones, green-flecked gold. He gently shifted Remus’ sturdy body so that he could pull himself into a sitting position, leaning up against the damp granite of the tower and then settling Remus more comfortably in his arms. He could feel cold creeping in to his bones from where his spine pressed against the tower, his thighs weighing heavily on nearly frozen flagstone.
His front, however, was deliciously warm where Remus lay. As he idly rubbed the other boy’s back, he realized he was only wearing a thin t-shirt and jeans. He wrapped his long arms around the paler boy, his legs tangling with Remus’ trying to confer as much of his heat as he could upon the younger boy. His sniffling had now quieted, and he breathed evenly against Severus’ chest, saying nothing. The Slytherin thought he spoke clearly enough with his fists, and he smiled, touching his tongue briefly to his upper lip, tasting blood there.
Suddenly Remus shifted in his arms, looking up at him. The wan moonlight allowed both to see each other, if a bit hazily. Severus felt himself trapped in those golden eyes, and he watched in fascination as Remus’ lush mouth formed a startled ‘o’, his thick-fingered hand coming up to brush across the darker boy’s lip, coming away dark with blood.
"Christ, I really messed you up bad," he murmured, blinking down at his now red fingers, painted black by moonlight.
Severus nodded solemnly, and repeated, "Thank you."
Remus shook his head, looking back up into dark eyes. "I don’t understand you, Sev."
Severus wanted him to understand, so he tried to explain as best he could. "You keep trying to think of me as a good person. But I’m not, Remus. I’m a very bad person."
"No, you’re not. I wish you were. It would be easier. But you’re not." Remus sounded as though he were puzzling out a great mystery, and Severus sighed softly, watching his breath flutter through thick golden brown hair. Remus’ too-long fringe hung in his eyes sweetly.
"I really am, Remus. You don’t know half the things I’ve done."
"I don’t care about half the things you’ve done!" The sudden heat in Remus’ voice startled Severus, though not enough to pull him from the dreamy haze that seemed to envelop him, had since the younger boy had started beating him. "I can…I just know you’re not bad. If you were bad you wouldn’t have told me any of the things you did. You would have just taken advantage of me, told me later when it would be most hurtful."
"It’s not hurtful now?" The darker boy asked the question tenderly, stroking his fingers down his companion’s soft cheek, delighting in the feel of slight stubble, the firm jawline.
"It is, but not as much as it could be. I wish you’d stop trying to drive me away, Sev. I can’t just make myself stop loving you."
"Yes, you can," Severus whispered, leaning in to sniff deeply of Remus’ hair, the heady scent of sweat and something darker and feral overtaking his senses.
"No, I can’t," Remus replied firmly, leaning back, and taking Severus’ chin in his hand. He was strong…but Severus already knew that, from the force of his blows. That broad-shouldered form contained a good deal of power. Severus ran his eyes along forearms he’d never seen bared, noticed them thick with muscle, though not particularly toned. Just natural.
"Sev," Remus said, louder now, "Look at me." Severus immediately turned obedient eyes to his companion’s face, his own open and trusting.
"I can’t stop loving you. And I know you love me, too."
Severus shook his head, while his betraying tongue answered for him dreamily, "Yes, that’s right."
"Then why do you keep trying to scare me off? I just don’t get it!"
Severus smiled, and leaned forward, pressing his lips softly against Remus’. He felt strong arms go around his neck, and suddenly the young man sitting in his lap and staring up at him so earnestly was trying to crawl down his throat, tongue first. Severus gasped, but his body responded, hands sliding down to Remus’ hips as he engaged the younger boy’s tongue with his own, indulging himself with the rich feel of two mouths opening to each other. His lip, split earlier, ached at the force of the other boy.
Remus’ moan vibrated into his mouth, and since he could not deepen the kiss any further he ran his hands up under that thin t-shirt, playing over a firm lower back, sliding up to scratch lightly at the other boy’s shoulder blades. He felt Remus’ back arch, and this time he heard the moan. He felt those broad hands pressed demandingly at the back of his neck as he wrapped his long legs around his companion.
After what seemed like hours, both came up for air, breathing heavily. Remus’ face was flushed and needy, and he ran his tongue slowly over his lips as though to get every last drop of Severus. The dark boy’s blood-stained his lips.
"I keep trying to scare you off," Severus finally answered the question, "Because I don’t want to poison you with me."
Remus blinked once, twice, as though trying to pull himself back from something. "Sev," he replied softly, "Don’t you know that you’re just as much Lucius’ victim as Sirius was?"
Severus felt the dream-like state he’d been ensconced so warmly in drop from him abruptly. His face twisted in anger, and he shook his head in violent negation, black hair flying in a cloud. "No." He stood, untangling himself harshly from Remus, still shaking his head. "No, no, no. I’m nobody’s victim."
Remus rose with him, reaching out for his face, trying to sooth him, but Severus couldn’t stand that touch right now. "No," he spit out viciously.
"Please, Sev, it’s nothing to be ashamed of…"
"NO! I’M NOBODY’S VICTIM, YOU BASTARD! DO YOU HEAR ME?" Severus found himself yelling helplessly, and he slipped away from Remus’ hands. He could think of nothing, had no way to face this…he had to get away. He felt the hard earth beneath his feet as he ran, leaving the golden boy and his terrible accusations far behind him.
"Rough night?" James asked sympathetically the next morning at breakfast. Remus nodded tiredly, picking listlessly at his fried tomatoes.
"Yeah, I had…" he noticed Sirius’ eyes suddenly on him, watching the older boy frown at him significantly. He felt faintly offended that his friend thought he was that loose lipped, and continued to James, "I had a lot to think about."
Sirius relaxed back into his seat, and returned to enthusiastically devouring his eggs. James nodded to Remus, asking, "Anything we can help with?"
The younger boy sighed, shook his head, took a small bite of cooling sausage. "Not really. Thanks, though, Jamie. Just some stuff I have to sort out in my head." //And as understanding as you were a few weeks ago, I doubt you’d be really comfortable with me asking on advice on how to get a guy who only lets me kiss him after I’ve beat the holy hell out of him consider getting into a relationship with me.//
His eyes kept sliding to the Slytherin table of their own volition, but Severus wasn’t there this morning. He sighed again, poking his fork at the remaining food on his plate, wondering how he was supposed to eat it when it seemed about as appealing as fresh dog crap to him right now. He lifted his head again as Sirius tapped him lightly on the top of the head. "You’re brooding, Moony."
"You guess? He’s brooding, isn’t he, Peter?" Sirius addressed the younger boy sternly, who looked up somewhat blearily from his Herbology text.
"See, exactly," Sirius continued as if Peter had given his rousing endorsement. "I think you-"
What exactly Sirius thought was lost, however, as Severus slunk into the hall. Remus stopped breathing for a moment as he watched the tall boy hug the wall. He saw no signs of their late night struggle; Severus’ face was remarkably clear of blackened eyes or split lips. But then, Remus supposed that would be a fairly easy problem to take care of when a person was as good at brewing potions as the older boy was. His dark eyes scanned the hall, immediately falling on Remus. They simply stared at each other for an endless moment, then Remus smiled hopefully. Severus immediately dropped his eyes, a slight flush darkening his cheeks, before glancing back up at Remus.
//How can we have such a prosaic, normal, hell, even cliché interaction like this, like this was some average teenage romance, after last night?// Remus had no idea how to answer his own question, but he found himself delighted with Severus’ reaction, the hesitant smile before he hurried over to his own House’s table. Remus followed him with his eyes, watched him fold that long body onto a bench. He almost missed Malfoy.
The blonde boy was studying Severus intently, saying something to him in a low tone. He was frowning suspiciously, and the darker boy ducked his head, staring down at the table-top. All of a sudden those pale eyes flicked over to Remus, and it was like a sudden jolt of electricity jumped through the air between them, a sort of static crackle of challenge. Malfoy’s frown deepened into a truly vicious expression, and the younger boy found one corner of his lip lifting in a snarl. But something was tugging at his sleeve, distracting him.
"What?" he spat, turning to look at Peter, who blinked at him in shock and not a little hurt.
"You…you were growling," the younger boy stammered quietly. Remus turned to look at his other friends, and found, to his chagrin, that they were staring at him with twin expressions of shock. Sirius’ eyes kept sliding to the Slytherin table, and the werewolf realized that they had watched the whole interaction between him, Severus, and Malfoy…and had probably drawn their own conclusions.
"Well," James said, clearing his throat and obviously trying to lighten the mood, "I guess we know why you haven’t been getting much sleep…"
But Sirius interrupted angrily. "Jesus, Remus. Did you go running to him right after I told you, or did you have the fucking decency to wait a few hours?" His face was twisted with disgust, and barely controlled rage flushed his cheeks.
"It’s not like that, Siri," Remus answered quietly, fairly sure he didn’t want to have this conversation right here. Indeed, other Gryffindor students were peering towards them, and even a few Ravenclaws at the table next to theirs.
"What was it like, then?" Sirius hissed, "I’m quite eager to find out. What, did you decide he was just a victim of circumstance? Or maybe it was someone else who made it? WHAT LITTLE LIE DID YOU TELL YOURSELF TO MAKE IT OKAY FOR YOU TO FUCK HIM, MOONY?"
"I’m not fucking him." Remus knew he could never explain all of this, nor could he possibly hope to contain Sirius’ wild temper, so he settled for keeping his voice calm and reasonable.
"Oh, really? And you often growl at other people’s boyfriends when you’re not fucking them, do you?" Sirius’ voice was rising, getting louder, and even James’ restraining hand on his arm didn’t stop him from standing, leaning over the table to practically spit in Remus’ face.
"Well I hope he was worth it," he snarled. "I really hope he was. Because I think you’re going to find yourself one friend short, when accounts come due." With that, he pushed himself away from the table, and stalked out of the hall. Remus watched him go sadly, then leaned forward, burying his face in his arm. //This is not a good morning.//
Remus spent the next few classes in a sort of gloomy daze. History of Magic seemed to inch by, even more boring than usual. Transfiguration failed to break the dark monotony of his thoughts. And lunch, Sirius conspicuously absent, was just barely tolerable. James was also gone, doubtless trying to assuage their friend’s infamous temper, and Peter kept clearing his throat as though about to say something, then clamming up when Remus would look over at him. The only bright spot the werewolf could see was Potions. Though that was of dubious comfort, considering how hot and cold Severus seemed to run.
And Potions seemed to be living up to the rest of the day’s lackluster performance, Remus noted with some disgust. Severus had looked over early in the class, but then glanced back at the rest of his housemates, and studiously ignored him for the rest of the lesson. And of course, he made more than his usual mess of the assignment - a simple headache draught! - and had to stay after class to muck out the filth in his cauldron. So it was with a rather melancholy outlook on the dregs of the day that Remus stepped out into the dim hallway.
He immediately spotted Severus a little ways down, standing on the bottom step that led back up into the light of the rest of Hogwarts. Malfoy was next to him, saying something quietly into his ear. Severus stared forward blankly, but his eyes were somewhat wider than usual. Remus was put in mind of a panicked horse, and wasn’t surprised when he saw a little shudder shake the darker boy. Several other people stood nearby: an extremely tall boy, taller even than Severus though more filled out, with sandy hair and a too-young face; a smaller boy, rapier thin, with a pointed, feral face and a fall of wild walnut hair; and a broad-shouldered older boy with rich mahogany skin, long black hair, and eyes so dark it looked like he was wearing make-up.
Remus couldn’t remember many of them, as none were in his year, though he’d seen the tall boy talking to Severus often. He looked almost as frightened as Severus himself, but contained it poorly, shifting from foot to foot and chewing on his lower lip. He remembered that this boy was only a 4th year, like Peter. Crabbe was his name, Gavin Crabbe. And the darker boy…wasn’t he one of the LeStranges? Remus had History of Magic with his younger sister, Indhira. The other boy was an almost total blank, something with an ‘r’. He watched curiously as Malfoy reached out, running a slender finger down Severus’ face, making the darker boy jerk his head away, shaking in negation.
Remus drifted closer, wondering what they were saying. The erratic torches made it easy to get fairly close unnoticed, especially as all four of the other boys’ attentions were on Severus.
"But you had assured me, Severus…" Malfoy’s voice was silky, false-friendly. "Really, and I had trusted you. You disappoint me."
"Nothing happened, Lucius. I swear to you-" Severus’ lips were a thin, tight line.
"I mean," Malfoy continued as though nothing had been said, "I don’t blame you exactly…he is a pretty little piece of ass. But I thought our little tete-a-tete the other night cleared things up?"
"Please, Lucius…" Remus could smell the sweat before he saw it bead at Severus’ hairline.
"I suppose I may have been miscommunicating somehow? Is that it?" Remus watched the drop of sweat trickle lazily down an olive cheek.
"Well, I guess I’ll just have to make myself even clearer. Gavin, hold his arms, will you?"
The taller boy stepped forward, his face an agony of indecision. Finally he grasped Severus’ wrists firmly, pulling his arms behind his back, murmuring quietly, "I’m sorry, Sev." The older boy merely nodded once, twisting his wrist uncomfortably to ghost a touch over the nervous boy’s hand.
"Now, I think I’ll-" Malfoy broke off, frowning, then glanced down the hall…spotting Remus lurking in the shadows.
"What the fuck do you want, Lupin?" he asked rudely, drawing all eyes onto the boy who found himself crouching against the wall. //How did I get down here?// he wondered briefly, trying to figure out where the low growl that seemed so damn loud was coming from.
//Oh shit, is that me?// It was his last coherent thought before the rage crashed over him and he launched himself at Malfoy.
The blonde boy was quite a bit taller than Remus, and his midsection made a nice target for the stockier boy to spear into. They both fell to the ground, Malfoy shrieking with indignation and Remus raising that threatening growl to a furious sort of continuous snarl. The werewolf ignored the frantic blows Malfoy was raining on his back, sides, face, where ever he could hit, instead reaching forward to grab a handful of that thick, silver hair. Oh, it felt lovely, and even lovelier was the sound that flesh made against stone as Remus beat Malfoy’s head against the floor.
One. Malfoy looked dazed, but he still wouldn’t shut up, insisting his friends help him, that a teacher take notice. Two. The cries were more incoherent, like a mewling kitten. Three. A quite splendid blossom of blood was spattering up from the ground. Remus could taste it at his lips. A little less noise now. Four. Malfoy’s body went sadly limp, his pretty mouth slack. Five. He could smell nothing left worth fighting with anymore, so he dropped that empty head, and turned towards the gaping boys.
LeStrange and the other one were staring at him with something like shock. They seemed utterly unable to deal with the fact that someone had not only dared to attack Lucius Malfoy, but had beaten him unconscious, and fairly quickly, too. The tall boy, Crabbe, had released Severus, and now seemed to be almost hiding behind his former captive. His face held both fear and awe, but more fear. And then there was Severus.
The dark boy was staring at him with infinite complexity, and Remus felt a new rush of love. There was fear, there, yes, but also a sort of joyous exultation, like he had seen last night, an almost religious ecstasy as he drunk in Remus with his eyes. Remus stood slowly, licking his lips lightly, then smearing the back of his hand across his face. He spread the blood more than removed it, but Severus didn’t seem to mind. Remus turned back to the other boys gaping at him.
"Mine," he snarled, reaching out to take Severus’ unresisting hand. And blood-splattered, but hanging on like grim death to his claimed, he led the darker boy up the stairs and into the light.
Severus followed Remus up the stairs meekly, a bit stunned by the current state of affairs. More shocking was his own reaction to them…he felt irresistibly drawn to the younger boy now, completely enthralled by him. As he was tugged gamely along an empty hallway, he found he couldn’t stop his eyes from dancing over the gleaming honey brown of Remus’ hair, tracking down to the thick column of his neck, lingering on where it flowed into wide shoulders. Shoulders so unfortunately draped with black school robes currently.
"Remus," Severus began, not sure what he would say next, but knowing he had to see the other boy’s face.
"Shut up, Sev," Remus muttered back, almost angrily, and the darker boy felt a wave of disappointment and worry break over him. //My god,// he thought to himself with some dismay, //Am I mooning over Remus Lupin? What’s going on with me?//
With a growl, he spun, loosing Severus’ hand. "I said shut up!" he snarled, and shoved the other boy back into a wall. Severus hit with a heavy thump, but did not fight back or protest. In a flash, Remus was up against him, pushing his body insistently into the taller frame, reaching up to yank Severus’ head down to his level, using the back of his neck as a convenient handle. "You’re mine now…do you understand?" His voice was low and threatening, and it evoked a deeply primal reaction in Severus.
"Yes," he whispered back, dropping his eyes, as he had been trained to do by his father’s bruising fists and his mother’s vicious tongue.
But Remus was suddenly pushing himself away from the older boy violently, and as Severus timidly raised his gaze, he saw Remus staring back at him with wide eyes, a mix of anger, fear, and frustration muddied into a confusing mess. "What’s happening to me?" the younger boy whispered into the drafty corridor, unaware of closely he was echoing Severus’ earlier thought. "I don’t want you to look at me like that, Sev. I don’t want you to be afraid of me."
The Slytherin had no idea what to do. He was afraid of Remus, to some extent. The wild creature that had beaten Lucius into unconsciousness was a frightening thing. But this was also the boy who had once haltingly invited him to see a Quidditch match between the Cardiff Wyverns and the Bath Abbey Bulldogs as though a refusal would break his heart. The same boy who had, after a really bad night with Lucius, had sung to Severus a truly strange song by some Muggle the older boy had never heard of, and had broken into the most brilliant grin when he got his friend to laugh.
//Dance to the beat of the living dead
Lose sleep baby and stay away from bed
Raw power is sure to come a runnin’ to you
If you're alone and you got the shakes
So am I baby and I got what it takes//*
Remus continued, unaware of Severus’ state, ensconced in memory. "I like it…I like it when you look at me like I matter. When you laugh with me…when…Christ, I don’t know. Your eyes, they’re just so…I don’t want you scared. Please, Sev, I’d never hurt you. I mean…not again."
The darker boy took a few steps forward, mind still reeling at all of this. But the sudden influx of feminine voices interrupted him, and he glanced down the hall to see a group of 3rd year girls. They stopped, looking at the two boys, and a muted chorus of giggles echoed down the hall.
"Is there somewhere we can talk privately?" Severus asked Remus in a low undertone, and the younger boy nodded wordlessly, once again heading down the hall. The taller boy followed him, head down, not looking at the girls as they passed, wondering furiously why he had asked Remus about somewhere to talk, when he could think of all sorts of more interesting things to do with their mouths. He couldn’t make sense of this new welter of emotions for Remus. It was like, after several months of a rather platonic but satisfying friendship, he had come down with some sort of virulent lovesickness. And it was nothing like the way he felt about Lucius.
//That’s not quite true…you loved seeing that violent side of him, didn’t you? Admit it…you’re not scared of him, you’re scared of yourself…and your reactions to that sort of thing. How hot it makes you to see a little blood, either yours or someone else’s. How much it turns you on to think of what he could do to you…// But that wasn’t the whole story, either. Everything was mixed up in Severus’ head - the protectiveness he felt for Remus, wanting to keep him safe and innocent; the joy that had sung through him when Remus had been the one to protect him, had staked his claim in such brutal fashion, the way he wished for years that Lucius would do; the raw, animal lust that pulsed in his veins, that he would have scoffed at even a few weeks ago.
//If someone had told me in October that in just a little while I was going to want Remus Lupin so bad it hurt, I would have laughed in their face. Me and little Lupin? Ridiculous. But here I am, following him God knows where, and trying to figure out how I’m going to get him to fuck me, since he just pounded my previous boyfriend into a nasty mess on the floor.// He bit down on the laughter that threatened to bubble over, and therefore missed Remus stopping in front of him. He bumped gently into the shorter boy’s back, looking up in surprise.
"This is…isn’t this the entrance to the Gryffindor dorms?" he asked, blinking. He looked skeptically at the portrait of a rather gaudily dressed fat woman, frowning as she glared at him.
"You’re not letting that boy in here, are you?" she asked haughtily. "Why, his hair hasn’t been washed in ages, and his robes are a sight. He’s obviously not a Gryffindor."
"Yes, this is the entrance to my House, and yes, Fat Lady, I am letting him in, he’s a friend of mine." Remus sounded somewhat put out, and Severus bit his lip, but said nothing more. "Buttercup."
"Very well, dear, I suppose you know best," the portrait sighed with maternal foreboding as she swung open.
Severus glanced at the empty common room with little interest, his mind still preoccupied with other images. Remus explained as he led the way up the wide staircase to the upper rooms, "Aidan and Brian’ll both be down at dinner, and they said they were going to the library after that." Severus assumed those must be his roommates, and remembered vaguely that Remus had mentioned them before. With more anticipation than trepidation, he followed the younger boy through a door off a hallway about halfway up the stairs, taking in the room with one sweep of his eyes.
The beds here were large, draped in deep crimson stitched with gold. Much like the Slytherin beds, although they, of course, were draped in green and silver. But the bed clothes here were lighter than those required in the dungeons that housed Slytherin, graceful coverlets as opposed to thick duvets. And, typically for teenage boys, the room was a mess, dirty clothes spread with haphazard abandon, books littering the floor, a half finished game of wizard chess on someone’s bed, the pieces arguing quietly to themselves in the absence of players.
Remus gestured to what was presumably his bed, indicating Severus should sit. He did so somewhat gingerly, unsure of where to go from here. Actually, he knew exactly where he wanted to go from here, but thought it might be somewhat presumptuous to jump on Remus and devour him from the mouth down. The paler boy chose to remain standing, leaning awkwardly against the windowsill.
"So what are we going to do, Sev?" he asked forlornly, rubbing one hand through his hair, mussing it absently.
Severus bit down on the urge to ask ‘About what?’, and instead seriously considered the question. "I don’t know," he answered honestly. "I know what I’d like to do…but it really doesn’t solve any problems. I’ll still get the shit kicked out of me when I go back to my dorm tonight. You’ll still get in trouble with Dumbledore for attacking Lucius. Your friends will still hate me, and I’ll probably still hate them." He heaved a great sigh, and managed a lopsided smile for Remus. "Have I told you lately what an idiot you are for picking me to fall in love with?"
"Not today. I guess I’m about due," Remus answered dryly.
"Consider yourself duly insulted, then."
Severus watched with delight as Remus began to grin despite himself, and a low chuckle broke its way free of his lips. "And what does that make you, then, oh great corrupter of my innocence?"
"Oh, nothing less than the devil himself," Severus answered loftily. "Didn’t you know?"
Remus’ quiet chuckle turned into a full-throated laugh, and he collapsed onto his knees, kneeling in front of Severus. Still grinning, he laid his forearms across the darker boy’s lap, resting his cheek there, staring up at him. Severus watched him, wondering at how this person could evoke such strong winds of emotion in him. From cold, sweating fear, to raging lust, to cynical, yet somehow gentle amusement.
"You look like a dog with your head to the side like that," he commented softly, and was surprised as Remus’ grin widened.
"You don’t know the half of it, love," the younger boy answered, letting his fingers trace delicate circles along the sides of Severus’ thighs. "So what is it you’d like to do?"
Severus took a deep breath, and decided to dive in. What worse could happen to him now? "I’d like to explore your entire body with my mouth. I’d like to swallow your cock whole and make you scream my name, and leave you a sweaty, useless mess." He watched in fascination as a deep crimson flush blossomed in Remus’ cheeks, and the sudden rush of power was impossibly intoxicating. Lucius had never, never responded to him like this, not with the wide-eyed, gaping lust that had come into full flower right before his eyes. Suddenly bold, he pitched his voice low and seductive. "But what I need is for you to touch me, Remus, any way you want to…just touch me."
Severus wasn’t quite sure how he ended up on his back on the plush luxury that was Remus’ bed, but sure enough, there he was, pressed into the mattress by the weight of one very, very demanding Gryffindor who was now straddling his waist and eating him alive, lips first. He felt dizzy, so assaulted by sensation: wet velvet of Remus’ tongue in his mouth, throbbing pain where strong hands gripped his shoulders, lovely friction where firm thighs and ass rubbed against his growing erection. The kiss felt endless, as Severus raised his arms to hook them around Remus’ neck, twisting and rolling his hips to rub sensually against the younger boy.
"Oh, Jesus, Sev," Remus whispered when he finally broke the kiss, hunger turning his eyes to molten gold as he stared down into a pair of endless black. Severus simply stared back up at him, equally overwhelmed by the depth of emotions that had been conveyed in that one kiss. Severus thought madly that he had never known true want…not until this second when Remus had kissed him and then pulled his mouth away. Tightening his grip on his lover, he rolled the other boy over so that they lay side by side, the darker boy partially draped over his golden counterpart, thigh resting snugly between his legs. He could feel that Remus was just as excited as himself, and the thought sent him into a sort of frenzy.
He was kissing Remus again before he could stop himself, moving from mouth to throat, licking and sucking needily, tasting salty sweat and something indefinably delicious as he took heated flesh between lips and tongue. His nose was filled with the enticing scent of the paler boy’s hair, musky and earthy and altogether unique. He heard Remus groan wordlessly, which merely enflamed him further. He worked lower, growling in frustration as he reached the neck of Remus’ robe. Nimble fingers quickly worked the arcane fastenings free, letting the thick folds of black cloth fall away, exposing a rather faded t-shirt and jeans. Severus chewed on his own lower lip in aggravation at the further impediment to his cannibalizing of the younger boy.
Remus pushed gently on Severus’ chest, and the darker boy looked up in confusion. "I’ll get it," Remus said softly, his voice thick and heavy with desire. "Take your robes off." Ah, this was what he wanted, of course. Severus quickly stripped off his own robes, throwing them behind him carelessly. His shirt followed, and he was about to do the same with his pants when he caught sight of Remus pulling off his own t-shirt.
That beautiful, pale flesh was covered in scars. Scars to rival his own, little slices and great ragged gashes, and everything in between. All done somewhat haphazardly, not clean or neat as when a knife was used. Some of them almost looked like animal bites, while others were clearly the work of human fingernails. Severus’ eyes tracked up that ravaged torso, otherwise so perfect, broad chest with just enough muscle, thick arms, powerful shoulders. Finally, his eyes met Remus’, blinking at him shyly, both tenuous and challenging.
Severus immediately pressed him back into the bed, setting his lips to the strong line of collarbone, licking and kissing hungrily. He traced scars with his tongue, bit gently at thick flesh, memorized Remus’ torso with his mouth. He lapped at pale bronzy pink nipples, circling and teasing with his tongue, glorying at the series of pants and moans he was drawing from his partner. The younger boy was obviously overwhelmed with the torrent of sensation, and Severus was only too glad to push him to further heights as he worked his way down to the soft jut of Remus’ hipbones. He trailed butterfly kisses along the waistband of faded blue jeans, stopping briefly to unbutton them and slide them and Remus’ underwear down his hips, over his thighs and knees, then off.
Finally Remus lay exposed before him, scars trailing down his thighs enticingly. His erection jutted thick and sturdy as himself, twitching in the cool air. Severus licked his lips unconsciously, like a child faced with a three-scoop ice cream cone. He forced himself to wait, instead dipping his head again to kiss along those corded thighs, spreading pale legs slightly and swiping his tongue teasingly along the inner, even paler flesh he found there. Remus’ scent was stronger here, more primal, and Severus felt, with some restrained longing, his own erection throbbing heavily against his hip.
Remus writhed, frustration forcing a rumbling growl from him, mixing into the moans and heavy breathing. "Stop teasing me, Sev," he demanded, propping himself up on his elbows and staring down at his lover fiercely. The darker boy was only too happy to oblige, both for his own sake and Remus’. He loved the feral tone of command in the other boy’s voice, and he moved up a bit to respond.
As his lips closed slowly over the head of Remus’ cock, he heard a tortured groan ripped from the younger boy’s throat. Severus raised his eyes, but kept pushing his mouth down over the thick shaft, swirling his tongue slowly. Remus fell back, his eyes almost rolling back in his head as his parted lips let loose an agonizing, harsh breath. Severus couldn’t decide which was sexier…the feel of velvet-encased steel slipping further into his mouth, or the rosy sheen of those parted lips and the sounds Remus was making at his own engulfing.
"Ohhhhhh…Jesus…Sev, I can’t…uhhhnnn…." Speech abandoned him completely as Severus chose that moment to slide back up, leaving his erection glistening wetly. He moved back down again, another long, steady drowning in flesh, still watching Remus. He found himself wiggling against the side of the bed as he worked his head up and down, rubbing his own excitement uselessly into the mattress.
"I can’t…I’m going to…Sev…" The last was a pained whisper to the ceiling as Remus arched his back, frantically balling his hands into the covers as he came in Severus’ mouth, his eyes wide in shock and sensation.
Only slowly did rational thought filter back to Remus. He lay on his back, blinking up at the ceiling, mouth still open. Nothing he had done had felt even remotely that good. Not the fumbling gropings or stolen kisses, not even the one, brief experience with Geoffrey Reed in the shower that had actually lead to orgasm. It felt as though his entire body had been electrified, over-sensitized…the slow movement of air through the room sang over his skin, and the velvet of the covers under his fingers unbelievably soft, and the weight of Severus against his legs…
He sat up abruptly, looking down at his lover. Severus looked back with unreadable black eyes, licking his lips lightly, almost anxiously. "My god, Sev," he whispered, "That was amazing." His heart soared as those thin lips turned upwards in a smile.
"Glad you enjoyed it." The other boy’s voice was low, husky, and Remus was again caught by his beauty. The sleekness of that narrow chest and long arms, the wonderfully sexy line of slender hip disappearing into loose black pants…and the unattended bulge in those same pants. He bit down on his lower lip suddenly, feeling a little embarrassed at his hasty response to the darker boy’s attentions.
"But what can I do for you?" he asked, resolved to rectify the situation. He was nowhere near as experienced as Severus, but determined to make up for lost time. Now, if possible.
He pulled Severus up onto the bed next to him, startled by his confused expression. "Sev?"
"It’s just…I’m not used to…people…asking me what I want?" the other responded somewhat shyly. Remus broke into a huge grin, seeing that sweetly innocent expression on lips that had just been wrapped around his cock. Maybe he wasn’t as behind in experience as he thought.
"Well, get used to it," he said firmly, running a hand down Severus’ shoulder, loving the feel of bare skin under his palm. "Really, Sev, I’ve never really done this before. You’re going to have to…um, give me a little direction." It was his turn to glance shyly down, but he brought his glance back to his lover’s face in a hurry when Severus spoke.
"You really want to know what I want?"
Dark eyes hid behind a curtain of sable hair, but Severus’ voice was clear. "I want you to fuck me."
Remus shivered deliciously. //God, but I love it when he talks like that,// he thought incoherently, watching as Severus move his head to the side, watching him now, almost slyly. //And it looks like he likes to talk to me that way…// He turned over onto his side, running one finger along Severus’ jaw, pushing his hair out of the way. He let his arousal spill over into his eyes.
"Be more specific," he murmured, wanting to hear his lover describe this act he had never committed.
Severus grinned, leaning into his hand and half closing his eyes. It made him look wonderfully wanton. "I want to watch you get hard again, and put your fingers in my mouth so I can suck on them like I was doing to your cock."
"I want to feel your hand at my ass, pushing your wet fingers into me, and I’m imagining your cock there. I want you to watch me squirming, begging you to take me…"
Remus’ breathing was once more labored, and to his surprise, he found himself getting aroused again. Then again, he certainly had a great deal of inspiration sitting in front of him in the long, slender form of Severus, mouth now curled in a wicked smirk. "Show me," he whispered to the older boy.
Severus nodded slowly, and scooted closer, reaching forward languidly to grab Remus’ hand. He brought one forefinger up to his mouth, and darted out that clever tongue, flicking lightly along the pad before sucking it whole into his mouth. Remus felt the rush of blood to his face and cock at the same time; the tug-of-war between modesty and desire only heightened the thrill as he watched another finger get sucked in.
Severus’ tongue worked tantalizingly, and the darker boy rose to his knees on the bed, leaning towards Remus as he suckled and nibbled. Remus used his free hand to push impatiently at dark pants, and Severus immediately responded, slipping the black cotton over his lean hips. Remus watched in fascination as long thighs were revealed, elegant as he had always imagined, even marred with numerous scars and angry red welts. In fact, the injuries somehow made Severus even more attractive, added to his somewhat dangerous mystique. He pulled his eyes back up to the other boy’s face, watching the dark head bob and sway over his hand.
He pulled away reluctantly, asking shakily, "What next?"
The dark young man cast his eyes briefly down. "Depends on how you want to fuck me."
"I want to see your face. Can we…can we do it that way?"
Severus lay on his back in answer, spreading his legs languorously. Remus could hardly believe how excited he was…it was like he had never come at all. His mind raced desperately, hoping he could do this right, that he could do it without hurting Severus.
"You need to loosen me up a bit," Severus instructed softly, taking his hand and pulling the tip of one wet finger to his anus. Remus felt gently, rubbing in slow circles, watching his lover moan quietly. He removed his finger and covered it with more saliva before pushing carefully at Severus’ entrance. He was surprised at how easily he slipped in, and at the incredible heat and softness.
"Yeah…like that…" Severus’ breathing was labored, and Remus watched a slow flush spread over his olive cheeks and down his neck. "You can put another one in now…"
Somewhat awkwardly Remus complied, afraid he would scrape Severus with his fingernails, but completely absorbed by the way his lover was responding to his touch. His hips were rolling a bit, and his cock twitched against his stomach, the head a furious red purple. Curiously he dipped down and swiped his tongue along the crimson shaft, happily noting the loud groan that issued from the other boy’s lips. He licked again, more thoroughly this time.
He was shocked to feel long fingers grasping his face, but looked up obediently into burning black eyes. "Screw the rest of it, I need you to fuck me now." Remus gasped as Severus pulled him forward by the shoulders, wrapping his long legs around Remus’ waist.
"I don’t know what-" he began, but was interrupted by Severus reaching down with a saliva-slicked hand and liberally coating his shaft. He fell forward helplessly, collapsing on top of his lover, trapping his hand between them. Severus wriggled a bit, angling his hips up, and inched the trapped hand down a bit, positioning Remus’ cock correctly.
"Now push," he demanded, and Remus complied, driven by a primal urge that completely ignored his anxieties and fears. Severus’ gasp and pained grimace did nothing to deter him as he felt the embrace of that gorgeous heat.
"Oh Jesus, oh god, oh Jesus…" He knew he was babbling, but was helpless to stop his mouth at the new rush of sensation, and he fell forward, burying his face in Severus’ neck, breathing through the thick sheaf of black hair around his face. The entire line of his torso pressed along the darker boy, his cock buried deep in his body, his sharp woodsmoke and herbal fragrance filling his nose…he felt completely consumed, totally lost. And it was glorious.
Then Severus began to move, pulling back ever so slightly, and Remus pushed up on his palms, staring down into the other boy’s face. He knew his mouth was open, knew the wolf was spilling through into his eyes, but he didn’t care. All that mattered was right in front of him, face dark as though in the grip of a terrible fever, moaning under him.
He pushed forward experimentally with his hips, and was rewarded with a rush of sensation and Severus moving under him. He shifted, trying to find a more comfortable angle for his hips and thrust again, this time wringing a startled gasp from his lover. He grinned ferally, and tried again, staring intently into half-lidded inky eyes, watching them roll back when he hit that same spot. Unaware he was baring his teeth, he began to slam brutally into Severus, snarling triumphantly as the older boy writhed frantically. Severus was now clinging desperately to his neck, moaning in wild abandon.
Remus knew he couldn’t withstand this pace for long…it was far too stimulating. So he pushed himself to the side with one hand, reaching down with his other to grasp Severus’ aching erection. He pumped it madly as he thrust as hard as he could, losing rhythm in his frenzy, allowed himself to be completely dominated by physical sensation. Orgasm trembled along his back, tensing his muscles teasingly, then crashing into him with tsunami force, turning him into a shuddering, screaming lump of flesh. He felt a warm splash across the back of his hand with some satisfaction, and he collapsed bonelessly atop Severus.
"Ohgodohgodohgodohgod…" Remus knew somewhere in the back of his head that the voice that was panting out words was his, but it seemed far away and unimportant. His entire body felt strained, as though he had been running a marathon. He rolled over onto his side, resting most of his weight against Severus’ limp thigh, and looks down at his lover.
Black hair was pasted in swirling strands like arcane symbols across Severus’ face. His lips were pressed closed in an enigmatic expression, and he breathed heavily through his large nose, nostrils flaring with effort. And those incredible eyes skewered him, open and clear and watching him warily. He couldn’t stand that uncertain expression.
Remus lifted one hand and gently ran it along Severus’ cheek, trying to figure out some way to express the complete and utter adoration he felt, the overwhelming sense of fulfillment. Distantly, he knew it was stupid to feel this way, that it probably had everything to do with hormones, and being a teenager, and the dozen other reasons his mum ascribed his more foolish behaviors. But it didn’t feel like hormones, or age, or anything like that. It felt like something grand and wonderful, something far bigger than just the two of them.
"I love you so much, Sev," he murmured, because he had to say something, anything, to the person who had given him this marvelous gift.
"This doesn’t change anything, you know," Severus said with a small sigh.
"It changes absolutely everything," Remus shot back with complete confidence.
"I’m still going to have to pay for this when I go back to my House."
"Stay with me, then."
"Remus! I can’t, you know that."
"If he touches you, I’ll rip his guts out and feed them to Professor Argot’s baboon." Remus’ voice was serious, calm. Severus suddenly grinned up at him, and leaned in to kiss him lightly on the mouth.
"Okay, you’re right, it does change things." Severus tangled his fingers idly through Remus’ hair. "It’s not supposed to, you know. Love is supposed to be about way more than sex."
"Love is about way more than sex. But what can I say, I’m a 15-year-old bloke. Sex is really, really damn good." Remus grinned wolfishly, nipping playfully at his lover’s fingers. "Especially with you," he added in a low undertone.
"Mm, really?" Severus traced the paler boy’s lower lip with his forefinger.
"Do you really not know how incredible you are?"
"How would you know?" The older boy’s tone was challenging.
"I know, because if it got any better I would be dead, you stupid git!"
"Oh, that’s too bad. I guess I’d better not touch you anymore, as I don’t know what I’d do with your stinking corpse."
"Sev!" Remus collapsed against the other’s long frame, laughing helplessly. He felt long arms wrap around him, and settled his head contentedly against Severus’ shoulder. "Life is going to get even more complicated from now on, isn’t it?" he asked soberly.
"Think we can handle it?"
"Do we have any other choice?"
"I don’t know…yeah, I think so. We could just pretend this never happened, go back to our old lives."
"I don’t think I could do that." The werewolf let out the breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding at Severus’ answer.
"So we’re stuck with each other, huh?" Severus sounded almost amused by the idea.
"Looks like it. That’s the thing you have to watch with us Lupins. Once we get ahold of a thing, we’re awfully reluctant to let it go."
"Mm, well might as well make the most of it."
"Sev, what are you-? Ohhh…mmmm…hey!"
"See, that’s the thing about us Snapes. Once we get ahold of a thing, we just can’t stop fucking with it…"
* Song quoted herein is "Raw Power" by Iggy Pop
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