Author's Note: Part of the Severus Snape Fuh-Q Fest (response to: Scenario #32: Hogwarts holds some sort of quiz/comp/gameshow. How competitive is Snape, and who is his rival? What will he do to make sure he wins?; and Easy Pairing #23: Snape/Avery.) I have taken Certain Liberties with the canon timeline. Specifically, Rita Skeeter is now a year younger than Our Boys. I don't hear her complaining.
DISCLAIMER: I don't owns 'em. That's J.K. Rowling, don'chaknow. I just slips 'em out in the dead of night and makes 'em have little tea parties. Don't sue me. It'll all done in fun, I don't make a penny from my efforts (as the world at large seems so intent to remind me), and the most valuable thing I have is a kitten. If you sue me, she'll be sad. Do you hate kittens?
Part 13 - Bastards
Almost the moment Malfoy walked in, Severus had a wand at his throat. "Hello, Lucius," he purred, stroking one soft, pale cheek. "How are you?"
"Been better." Lucius' voice was a bit high. He squirmed; Severus dug the sharp tip of his wand into white skin. "Could someone get Professor Fellus? Please?"
"I don't think that's necessary." Snape wrapped an arm around his friend's waist and cradled him gently. Tenderly, he kissed a flushed ear. "Would the three of you wait outside, please? And ask Nagendra to do the same should he come back? We may be a while, and I'd really rather not have any witnesses."
With looks of grim terror, Adam, Evan, and Emeric fled. They were kind enough to lock the door behind them.
"Lucius," Severus breathed. "Lucius, Lucius, Lucius. You've upset me, you know."
"What do you want me to do, Severus?" Malfoy's voice was high and reedy. He arched against the arm around him, breath coming in short, sharp waves. Had he not been so pitifully frightened, it might have been arousing.
"I want you," he paused, lips teasing Lucius' ear, savouring the heat that rose in the curved flesh, "to tell me why on Earth you would give my secrets to a Gryffindor."
"Don't lie to me, Mister Malfoy." Severus whisper held more menace and cruelty than he'd ever imagined a whisper could. There was an odd rush of power in such calm. The arm around Lucius' waist shifted so a slender hand lay splayed against his chest. Severus pressed closer, his left arm bent and clutching his prey, his right oh-so-similarly positioned but holding the wand against a rough trachea.
"You... you would have told him anyway."
"Is that so? Why?"
Lucius didn't have an answer.
"Perhaps," Severus murmured tenderly, "you need some incentive? Not much, a simple spell ought to be enough to clear your mind. But which one? Ah, I know. You know this one. Imp... Imper... come on, Lucius, you know this one. Imper... >Imperi..."
Lucius gave a choked squeak. "You cut me from the Quidditch team."
"Is that all?"
Lucius nodded too quickly.
"I hope you're a better liar than that when it comes to the Dark Lord." Butterfly kisses trailed down Malfoy's white neck. "Otherwise, I don't see you lasting long enough to leave so much as a stain."
"Severus... you're my friend..."
"Was, Lucius. I was your friend. I was your friend until you decided I wasn't worth your respect. The moment that information slipped past your lips, you became my enemy. How many others have you told?"
"Are you sure? Because I can make sure. Imp-"
"Yes! Nobody else. Only Pettigrew. I swear."
"On what do you swear?"
"What?" Lucius' voice hitched. Faint dampness oozed through his robe. The side of his face shimmered with perspiration.
"On what do you swear? If I find you've lied to me in the slightest, I'll cut your liver out and drown you on your own blood."
"You can't be-"
"I'm perfectly serious. Have you told anyone else?" The tip of Snape's wand slid down Lucius' throat. A slight furrow trailed it, weeping tiny specks of blood.
"The Dark Lord."
Snape smirked. He grabbed Lucius' earlobe between his teeth and tugged playfully. Lucius gasped. "You'll have to pardon me. For a moment I thought you said you'd told the Dark Lord that I slept with Lily Evans."
"Yes." The word was barely a whisper.
Severus hugged Lucius tight. He buried his face in the warm curve between neck and shoulder and inhaled the bitter, musky scent of fear. "Lucius, you should know better than to betray me. I'm no less powerful than the Dark Lord."
"He knows things you'll never-"
"Just as I know things he never will. I know what you looked like the first time anyone touched you." Severus went back to closing his lips over the moist skin sheathing Lucius' carotid. "I know what you sounded like a minute later when you came in my hand. I know how you cried and cried when you crushed that shrew second year because Nott dared you. I also know how much you loved the feeling of its blood dripping between your fingers. That was why you cried, wasn't it? You love mutilating and controlling anything weaker than you, and you were too spineless to admit it." Severus slid his hand down Lucius' chest, over his flat, rippled stomach, to his crotch. He stroked it lovingly with his thumb. "You see what happens when you mistake trust for weakness?"
"Shh. Don't try to speak."
Severus gripped his wand. "Quietus."
Lucius' mouth worked. The muscles in his throat bucked at the wand, trying to emit some sort of sound. Severus ground the wand beneath his chin and used it to turn his head. The silver eyes were wide, white brows pinched. His mouth was open, stretched invitingly with terror. As gently as he could, Severus kissed him. He nestled his beloved enemy against his chest and undid the buttons on his jeans one by one by one.
"I am your lord and master, Lucius. Whatever that mark on your arm represents, I own you. You assumed that was no longer the case. Thus, I am forced to remind you." The last button came free and Severus reached into layers of cloth to wrap his hand around a limp prick.
"You are a coward. You will never be anything more than a coward and a bully, and you represent a cancer on this House. You pit Slytherin against Slytherin. That's not right, Lucius. We have enough enemies without becoming a House divided. I am the unifying force. Hurt me, and you betray everything you ever could have achieved." He squeezed the flesh in his fingers, pinching the foreskin in a way that started to force blood into it. Lucius squirmed; Severus lightly pierced the surface of his throat. "Don't fight me, Lucius."
Lucius stopped struggling.
"Dermis Reparo." Severus withdrew his wand just before the skin closed around it. "You see? I have complete power here. Whatever I do, I can hide. If you struggle, I'll body bind you. You've always fancied yourself a Dark wizard, but where you played I studied. You will never be more than a lackey to those who understand." His hand moved more quickly, encouraging the blood from Lucius' quivering body. Half hard, a little more than half, three-quarters. He trailed a fingertip over the short stretch of foreskin hanging off the tip and gently pulled it back.
"Do you know what the saddest part is, Lucius? You enjoy it." Severus sank his teeth into Lucius' shoulder. His hand sped up. Within seconds, the prick there was solid, as hard as if Lucius had come to him in the night. Severus closed his eyes and felt the hard shudders coursing through Lucius' body. He breathed deeply, and this time the scent of fear was mingled with the stench of sex and revelation. Lucius' cock began to twitch.
A minute later, the rough yank and twist milked the first clear drops from its tip. They slid down, oozing between foreskin and glans, dribbling and spreading between tight fingers. Lucius thrashed. Severus grazed the wand along the top of his clavicle and he went almost still. Almost. His knees were stiff as jelly, his head drooping and thrashing and rolling on Severus' shoulder.
Suddenly, it stopped. Lucius' entire body bowed out and with the first violent, shooting spasm Severus positioned his wand and whispered a tender, loving, "Crucio."
Lucius stiffened for an instant. Semen still spattering Snape's hand, the floor around them, he whipped in the tenuous embrace. Snape never lost wand contact, allowing the instrument of his domination to rake chasms through suddenly cold flesh. Lucius' mouth was frozen wide. The shriek came forth in an almost audible rush of air.
Severus suddenly dropped Malfoy's limp cock and stepped back. The curse broke, and Malfoy collided with the floor. He curled up, foetal, whimpering silently. Blood trickled from his neck, staining his shirt and pooling gently on the floor.
Quietly, Severus went to his trunk. From the very bottom he retrieved the small glass jar of green salve. He frowned. There had been more than that left after he'd left his last suggestion on Peter. Sneering, he swooped down to shove Lucius' shirt up to his shoulders. He scooped out the last handful of salve and slapped it hard on white flesh.
"You will never tell anyone about any of this," he growled. "My trunk, and all potions, vials, flasks, cauldrons, beakers, rods, and assorted miscellaneous items therein are off limits to you. You will not touch my trunk, sit on my trunk, open my trunk, look at my trunk, or have anything to do with the contents of my trunk. This will stand until the day you die, and then until eternity burns itself out." Severus rubbed the salve into blotchy skin until bruises rose. He kept repeating himself over and over like a mantra. Lucius was too lost to tell how many times the suggestion took.
When the last traces had disappeared into pale skin, Severus yanked Malfoy's shirt down, rolled him over, roughly redid his trousers, cleaned up the floor, and muttered vicious healing spells over his sorry carcass. He pointed his wand again. "Ennervate."
Lucius' eyes focused. He rolled onto his back, a look of utter fear and loathing breaking his delicate features. Severus glared down his nose. "If you scream when I give you your voice back, I will kill you. Not now, not when I can be incriminated, but very soon."
Lucius nodded once, meekly.
Severus pointed his wand. "Sonorus."
Lucius gave a short whimper. He lay there for a moment, silent. Never taking his eyes off Snape, he pushed himself to his elbows, then to his feet. Snape glowered.
"Bastard," Lucius whispered.
"Coward," Snape hissed back.
Lucius' mouth went hard. He turned and made his way to the door. It took him a minute to realise that he'd need his wand to open it. He staggered a little, but quickly regained his footing and turned towards the common room.
Severus folded his arms, wand still clutched in his hand. It was very good to be the king.
Tom's lips moved silently. It was fascinating, in a bizarre way, to watch him count stitches as intricate lacework grew from the tiny hook in his hand. Severus drained his tea, watching him create a fragile snowflake from silk thread no thicker than a baby's hair. "How long does that take?" he asked softly, trying not to break the man's concentration.
"One second." Tom barely paused counting. Miniscule stitches built upon each other. The sixth tip of the large snowflake - half a foot across if it was an inch - fell into place with a few quick pulls of the hook and Tom bit the thread, knotting it securely. He glanced up at Severus and smiled. "About thirty hours, this one. Not too long, considering." He plucked a needle from the small cushion on the table and stuck the end of the thread between his lips.
"Why do you do something so pointless?"
Tom looked at him quizzically. "Pointless?"
Severus splayed his hands. "You could be developing potions, or researching ancient curses, or... Hell, making a jumper. Why do you keep making doilies?"
"The world needs senseless acts of beauty." Tom threaded the needle and proceeded to work the loose thread into the snowflake.
"Potions are beautiful."
"But not senseless. Doilies serve no purpose except to be pretty."
Severus shook his head. "Everything has to have a purpose. What's the use in wasting time on something with no practical end?"
"You play Quidditch."
"Quidditch means the Quidditch Cup."
"How is that a practical end?"
Severus raised an eyebrow. "And you call yourself a Slytherin?"
Tom chuckled softly. His skin reflected shades of autumn in the firelight; his vision was remarkable, had to be to work with such delicate thread in the modest light. "Even Slytherins require flights of fancy now and then."
"Bollocks." Severus smirked.
Tom glanced at him and shook his head. "Someday you'll understand."
Severus hummed. "You know I won't take your word for it, don't you?"
"Yes. That doesn't mean you won't agree eventually."
Severus raised an eyebrow. He didn't stop smirking, though. As ever, on these nights he'd crept away from Hogwarts, he was genuinely comfortable. He relished the chance to speak with someone as an equal. It was an informal court of kings, one with his doilies and one with his Stetson, talking quietly or arguing feverishly about whatever happened to come up.
"Lucius still won't speak to me. It's been a bloody month!"
"I'm not surprised. Cunning move, that, to mute him through Cruciatus. Your timing couldn't have been better, either."
Severus smiled broadly. "Thank you," he murmured.
Tom glanced up. Something like longing flashed through his eyes. "No need for that. You've done something to be proud of."
Severus shrugged. "I could do better."
"Yes, I rather imagine you could." The hint of longing returned and was gone.
"Are you feeling all right?"
"Fine. Why do you ask?" Tom peered at him. Once again, he lifted the doily to his mouth and bit loose the extra thread. He started sucking the longer thread at the centre.
"You keep looking at me funny."
"Oh. Sorry about that, didn't realise I was." The needle was threaded; it dodged countless tiny stitches.
"You did last week, too. Did I do something wrong?"
Tom shook his head and scowled. He didn't look up from his work. "No. It's not important."
"Really, Severus, it's nothing to worry about."
"Please?" He frowned crookedly. Seeing Tom upset like this made his chest ache. The temptation to move to the chair next to him almost made Severus trip over his own feet to get there. He stayed put, though. His hands gripped the chair to make sure.
"I don't want to upset you. It's nothing important."
"You're already upsetting me. Tell me?"
Tom peeked up shyly. "Promise you won't take this the wrong way?"
"That depends on what it is."
Tom smiled affectionately. "Why does that answer not surprise me?" His hands toyed with the delicate doily. "What Lucius said has been bothering me. It's not important, I suppose, only..." he smiled sadly. "A part of me was a bit disappointed to learn that you prefer the company of women?"
Severus blinked. "Come again?"
"Your... friend. Evans."
"She's not my friend."
"Your fling, then."
"My revenge." Severus scowled. "If I thought it would have done any good I'd have found a way to shag her idiot boyfriend instead."
Tom's eyelids fluttered. He bit the second thread and stabbed the needle safely into its cushion. "This is another of those details Lucius really ought to have mentioned," he said quietly. "I assume he knows?"
Severus nodded. He had the strangest feeling that his blood had been saturated with helium. It made him a little dizzy, and left him wondering if his skin were going to float away.
"Hmm." Tom spread the snowflake on the arm of his chair with careful, practised fingers. "I really should have a long talk with him. He neglects things." He coughed softly and shifted so his legs were crossed and his hands were folded in his lap. "I've never had an equal, Severus. Not until I met you, at least. I'm forty-eight years old. That's a very long time to wait for something. I... regret to say it seems to have gone to my head. I've grown... fond of you. Not that I have any expectations that you would want an old man like me the same way," he added quickly. "Your company is more than enough. Although, should you ever..." he trailed off. Tom lowered his head. His drawn face was sad, scared, and a little bit embarrassed.
"I am fond of you, Tom." Severus shuffled his feet. "Quite fond of you."
Tom smiled crookedly, bitterly. "Fond enough to come back after tonight?"
"Fond enough to stay. If you'd let me. Once school is finished."
Tom's spine straightened. He looked stunned. "Severus, I... Severus, I can't ask you to do that. I'm almost three times your age. You have a life of your own."
"Maybe I want to try spending it with you. I've never had an equal either."
Tom frowned. "You can't be serious. You'd be all but sequestered here most of the time."
"Better than staying in Hogsmeade. Or moving to London or Glasgow." Severus leaned back, solemn. He'd never expected to have a choice for his first years out of school besides going home to Scarborough, or working in Hogsmeade, or hoping to find an apothecary position in Knockturn Alley or Glasgow's smaller Dinge Street. Quietly, he got up and moved to the other chair. He reached out a long, pale hand and stroked the soft alizarin wool of Tom's sleeve.
Rusty eyes darted to watch. Slowly, tentatively, Tom unclasped his hands and lay one gently across the back of Severus'. It was warm, and soft, and free of calluses save where his crochet hook had worn a small hard patch. Severus lifted the long fingers and kissed the callus.
Tom stroked his cheek. Severus leaned into the touch. Tom smiled. "Precious."
Fixing his eyes solemnly on Tom's, Severus laced his fingers through the ones on his cheek. Carefully, he pressed his lips to the callus again, longer this time, allowing them to part and the fingertip to be drawn into the warmth of his mouth.
Tom gasped, an almost silent intake of air. His mouth stayed open, lower lip twitching as if he wanted to speak but didn't have the words. Severus cradled the finger with his tongue, gently sucking away the taste of salt and sweet metal until there was nothing left but skin with its clean neutrality. Tom's other three fingers spread to rub his cheek again, thumb settling beneath his chin.
"I have loved you since you stood up from your chair and refused to bow before me," Tom whispered. Astonishment laced his voice. "Nobody has ever defied me without claiming superiority. I daresay no-one but you ever will."
Severus smiled softly around Tom's finger. He slid his hand over a long, slender forearm. Sparse black hairs tickled his palm. It struck him suddenly that he'd never done this before. He'd had sex - frequently - but there had never been anything behind it. It was only ever use and abuse, a display of power or subtle manipulation or simply a way to make someone shut up. He gripped Tom's arm. It held back a few tendrils of fear that told him he was about to commit a senseless act of beauty.
Tom pulled his finger loose. He lifted the hat and stroked Severus' hair. "You look upset."
Tom cocked his head. Resting his other hand on the arm of Severus' chair, he leaned forward and pressed their lips together. Severus' parted, and he closed his eyes at the soft pressure. No urgency, no insistence, only quiet invitation. He accepted, tongue nudging gently against the inside of Tom's lip. A soft, warm, gentle caress met it. Severus laced his fingers through brittle, surprisingly fine waves of hair as Tom reverently tasted the inside of his mouth.
They stayed like that for uncounted minutes. Tom broke it, finally. He smiled tenderly, lips flushed peach, teasing the short curls that always formed at the back of Severus' neck. "You should go. You'll be missed."
Severus blinked. "I thought..."
"Soon we'll have all the time in the world."
Severus cradled Tom's smooth cheek. The peach lips ducked to kiss his palm and, a moment later, rusty eyes with wide slits for pupils crinkled in a smile.
"When can I come back?" Severus asked.
"Are you busy Friday?"
Severus shook his head. "No. Eight again?"
"Hmm. There may still be some light then, we can't risk you being spotted. Nine?"
"Nine." Severus mirrored the warm smile he received. Leaning forward, he touched his lips chastely to Tom's. It was an odd sensation, not simply giving in to lust. Of course, the relaxed flutter in his chest was an odd sensation as well, so perhaps that was how it was supposed to be.
Tom helped him up and guided him to the door. A warm hand pressed between Severus' shoulder blades. It moved only to help him with his cloak. Cloak, shoes, and hat once again in place, Severus took his broom. He shifted from foot to foot. "Are you sure you want me to go?"
Tom shook his head. "You have to, though. I expect Professor Dumbledore would be dreadfully disappointed should he learn where you've been."
Severus smirked. "This would be a bad thing how?"
Tom laughed. Severus shivered pleasantly at the sound. Smooth lips touched his once more. "He'll be out of the way soon enough."
They stood for a moment, silent. Severus considered asking once more, but Tom was right. "I'd better go," he murmured sadly.
A last, lingering kiss and Tom opened the door. The March cold did nothing to make leaving easier. "Be careful."
"I always am." Severus flashed a smile and he was alone.
The flight back seemed shorter than usual, but he had the vague sensation of his blood vessels being trailed all over the Scottish countryside, his heart having been caught in the door as it closed. When he landed, he reached into his pocket for his wand. A silencing spell would make it easier to sneak back to Slytherin an hour past curfew. His fingers touched something unexpected.
Frowning, he pulled it out. The silk snowflake dangled from his fingers. He couldn't help but smile.
The smile lingered, the useless snowflake hidden carefully in his palm, as he made his way carefully to the rear door of the castle. It was further from Slytherin, but less traveled (even by Filch) and significantly more populated with nooks and crannies should they prove necessary. He'd just gotten inside when he heard voices.
"... Ought to get back to your dorm."
"Can't I come with you?" Peter's whinging whisper made the ciliate hairs along Severus' spine stand on end.
"Do you realise how suspicious that would look?"
There was a soft sound, like a hand smoothing vast amounts of fabric. "He's only going to keep hurting you."
"I don't care, Lucius."
"You're too good for that sadistic bastard."
"I don't care! I love him. Anyway, it's not like he can stop me from telling James if I want to."
Severus shuddered. It continued; three times a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, he was forced to meet Pettigrew in the Potions room, help him with whatever piece of academia was lost on that small brain, and betray not only himself but now Tom. Until he left school and there was no risk of Black and Potter rending him limb from limb, Severus was victim to Pettigrew's twisted affections. He choked back a gag.
"I know," Lucius said soothingly. "Only, remember, anytime you want, you can tell James. If Snape ever hurts you again-"
"He won't." A short, slightly wheezing breath. "Thanks for helping me with Charms again."
"Anytime, mate." They said their goodnights, and only when two sets of footsteps were too distant to hear did Severus peek out into the corridor.
It was clear.
Severus clutched the snowflake like he was afraid it would melt if he let go. He didn't stop moving until he was safe in his pit of vipers.
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