|By : Sakuracelt|
Category: HP Canon Characters paired with Original Characters > Het - Male/Female
Views: 14619 -:- Recommendations : 1 -:- Currently Reading : 1
|Disclaimer: I do NOT own Harry Potter, or any of JK Rowling's characters. This is just fanfiction, and I am not making any money from this story.|
Staggering headlong into his dark chambers, he kicked off his boots, and fell face first into the enormous bed with a small grunt of pain. Wincing slightly, he reached into his breast pocket, and retrieved the offending item that had so rudely prodded him in the ribs. The muggle on the inside cover of Philosopher Scientist seemed to gaze up at him with a twinkling amusement that reminded him so much of Dumbledore that he scowled and seized it, meaning to hurl it across the room. To his astonishment, he felt a low thrumming in his fingertips the moment they brushed against the spine. An ordinary wizard may not have noticed, but even as inebriated as he was, he knew an enchantment when he felt one.
Bolting upright, he whipped out his wand, and pointed it at himself, finally muttering the sobering charm he’d been staunchly refusing to use all night. Then with a frown, he flipped the book to a random page. It shivered for a moment, as though ticklish, then to his surprise, the words on the page seemed to bleed together, only the ink did not stop, but welled up, thick and shining until it filled the page like a mirror. He dropped it, not out of alarm, but rather to avoid staining his long fingers. Lifting an eyebrow, he watched with growing unease as the leather cover bubbled, gurgling and melting together, reforming itself until he was no longer looking at Philosopher Scientist, but at strangely familiar lettering. “Libidine, by Marius Esposito III.” He stared down at it incredulously. This was the book that had allowed him to expunge that rather nasty succubus from Freya’s body. What the hell had she been thinking, giving such a book to Draco? He already knew the answer, of course. She never meant for Draco to have it. She knew Lucius would give it to me to dispose of. She knew I would keep it safe. His lips twisted into a grimace as he flipped the page open, expecting to see her name written on the inside cover, but to his immense surprise, there was another name, precisely written in dark green ink. “If found, please return to Minerva Mcgonagall.”
What the bloody hell is this? He thought with mounting suspicion. Snape glanced at his clock, and knew that if he were to pound on the formidable professor’s door at this hour he would be lucky to make it out in one piece. Instead, he began to read. The language was outdated and occasionally far too flowery for his taste, but he devoured every word. Some of the passages were utter nonsense, and he soon found himself rolling his eyes at several outdated theories that had long been disproven by the wizarding community. Orange blossom, if carried in a witch’s pocket would not increase fertility. Likewise, if one were to bury a mandrake leaf for a week, then brew a tea with it, the resulting tincture would be far more likely to make a person violently ill than cure warts. Snape was also vaguely amused to find that Marius Esposito III had included a rather long list of objects, which, if tied to a wizard’s prick, would keep it hard for hours at a time. Old wive’s tales and nonsense, Snape thought sourly.
In spite of some of the author’s dubious claims, he had a great deal to say on the matter of love potions, particularly those designed to invigorate the senses and increase sexual potency. The amount of research and attention to detail earned Marius Esposito a begrudging, yet fair amount of respect from the fastidious potions master. The writer had even included a chapter on the matter of consent, and Severus considered making copies for his third years, before remembering that technically he was no longer the potions master.
Inevitably, he reached a chapter called “Devianti e Mostri,” and he paused momentarily to wince at the illustration that preceded it. The drawing featured an extremely curvaceous woman straddling the lap of a many-headed beast, rendered crudely in black ink. Deviants and Monsters. Snape sighed wearily, suddenly realizing that he was unlikely to get very much sleep that night, but he was far too immersed not to continue. When he reached the page on Succubi, his features broke into a satisfied smirk. Here, the paper had been ruined, burnt black and reeking of foul magic. He could almost hear the faint, angry wail of the creature he had once bound here, and for a moment he imagined it glaring out at him from the pages, desperate to sink its claws into his eyes. Touching it to turn the page, he felt a sickening wetness against his skin, but when he pulled his fingers away, they were clean. He couldn’t help but feel a bit of smug satisfaction at the strength of his binding. The next page however, leeched the pleasant feeling away with all the efficacy of a siphon.
“Varulfur,” the heading read. The illustration was terrible to behold. A fair-haired youth with a mass of golden curls stood naked, his veins popping out from his arms and neck. The face was twisted, the eyes gleaming with insane pleasure, even as the skin of his mouth peeled back, unnaturally from long, growing canines. As Severus watched the enchanted drawing, he shivered with repulsion as one of the hands reached up to tear away at the skin of his youthful chest, revealing thick, matted fur underneath. The other hand was grasping the base of an enormous, erect penis, as though the horrible transformation aroused him. Snape’s belly churned, and for a moment he thought he might be sick, but he willed himself to read on, feeling that he was about to learn something vitally important.
In the flowering of my youth, I was unfortunate enough to find myself trapped within a roomy hostel just along the cliffs of the Black Sea. The cold winds howled and battered the ancient stones, but I, being statuesque in my youth, and bearing several fiaschi of excellent wine from my village, was kept warm by the mistress of the house herself, whose firm breasts were lily white and whose lips…Severus rolled his eyes and skipped a few lines. The author had been as keen to relay his sexual conquests as he was to share his research.
One frigid night, as the snows piled high like sugar, a sickly visitor came to our little keep. I can still recall the hollow echo of his bleeding knuckles upon the door. He stared wildly about, flinching at every sound with the look he who is hunted, and indeed his eyes seemed to me a hundred years old, though his face was young. When my mistress saw the gaping maw of his leg that dripping with black blood, she made a sign of warding with her left hand, and screamed at us to push the stranger back into the cold to die. “He will eat the horses!” She screamed.
My friends and I, confident in our rightness, would have none of it, but crafted a crude pallet in the stable, and lit a fire to keep him warm, taking turns to watch over him, but this stranger would not sleep. For hours he sat upon his haunches, rocking back and forth. Once, he gazed at me with hungry eyes and I thought for sure he would lunge upon my youthful flesh. “He will come for me,” He muttered, the madness poisoning his mind. “He will come.”
That night he cried out, moaning like a lover might. When I laid my hand upon him, thinking to ease his suffering with a cup of hot wine, his eyes opened wide. They were yellow with rage as his teeth sharpened to poniards. When he pulled me under him, he made as if to divest me of my clothes, but I screamed out to my friends for help. It took four of them to drive him away, but I’ll always remember his golden eyes, glinting in the storm before he seemed to melt into the snow. After much pleading, and many fervent kisses, the mistress of our hostel saw fit to tell me what she knew of the Varulfur.
Not to be confused with the ragged werewolves that plague our Appenine Mountains, the Varulfur bloodline can be traced back as far as our great Roman emperors. Unlike the werewolf, the Varulfur is not cowed by the cycle of the moon, but reveres it as a deity that gives him power. This, I feel is an important distinction. Driven by terrible desire, the Varulfur does not simply bite its victims, but, as I was destined to learn that dreadful night, slakes its lust upon them. Some barbarous villages have taken to leaving the Varulfur offerings of meat, and wine, and virginal bodies in order to protect themselves, for the beasts’ wrath is a terrible blight upon the land.
In my years of wandering, I have learned little more of the Varulfur and his kind, whispered in hushed, frightened voices, or else carved upon scraps of vellum. It is not natural for Varulfur to congregate in packs, such as wolves, nor do they seek to mate for life. Male Varulfur are too wild and competitive by nature, as any unfortunate victim will attest to. A female Varulfur is practically unheard of, for any woman given the bite would be cursed indeed. The weaker sex would almost certainly be rent asunder by such vicious attentions.
Snape paused to rub his eyes blearily, imagining Freya scowling at the author’s outdated misogyny, but what the writer suggested made him ablaze with fury. If he was right, then the moment Freya received the accursed bite, she would become a prize. Vidarr would use her as a broodmare, and the others would follow suit if given the opportunity, no matter how possessive their master was. Surely such a strong female specimen would be treasured for her ability to swell their ranks? Although, he thought darkly, if what she told me was true, then she will be unable to conceive, and surely Vidarr will dispose of her. Suddenly he felt helpless, as well as angry.
It is unknown what may kill a Varulfur.
The passage was underlined several times, and a strange symbol was drawn next to it in blue ink. Snape blinked down at it, then held up his hand, inspecting the tiny tattoo that now adorned it. They were remarkably similar. More puzzles, he thought dourly, tossing the book onto the nightstand wearily before finally allowing blessed sleep to overcome him.
Someone was licking his forehead with a very rough tongue. Grunting his displeasure at being awoken so soon, Snape tried to shoo the furry menace away without so much as opening his eyes. Trijgul bumped his head firmly against his cheek with an affectionate sort of chortle, then leapt from the bed, determined to find a house elf willing to spoil him, if the grumpy potions master would not.
Severus sighed, but did not open his eyes, hoping that if he willed it, he could grasp the fleeting wisps of a dream that had left him aching with need. Heat pulsated in his loins, hardening him. It could not be helped. Licking his lips, he imagined feminine hands caressing, edging him toward release as he grasped himself firmly, almost annoyed that he must resort to such primitive methods to find satisfaction. The woman of his mind ran her fingers through his hair and whispered huskily in his ear. He could almost feel her hot breath making his flesh rigid with goosebumps, encouraging him with lust in her voice, but no…His eyes snapped open, and he growled with frustration. He couldn’t do it. It felt disrespectful somehow, to pleasure himself to fantasies while the real Freya was in peril.
Dressing quickly, he snatched up the copy of Libidine from the bedside table, and glided with renewed determination up the stairwell from the dungeons, passing Filch on the way, who greeted him with a rotten smile. Snape returned the gesture with a grimace that may have been interpreted, as a sort of ‘good morning’ and indeed, the twisted caretaker seemed to take it as much. When he reached the first floor corridor, he passed the portrait of Galahad that had once guarded Freya’s chambers. The arrogant knight seemed the worse for wear, and had accumulated a very sparse, patchy beard, although he seemed comfortable enough as he reclined easily on his green knoll of grass.
“Oi.” The painting raised a gauntlet, and waved it blearily at Snape before tossing it aside with a thunk. “Where’ve you been, eh?” His words were terribly slurred, and his lips stained purple with wine. Snape wrinkled his nose in distaste, then realized that Freya would not have hesitated to point out his hypocrisy, and nodded at the knight.
“Much the same place you are now, I expect,” he drawled.
Galahad gesticulated lazily with a slender hand. “It’s so… boring, these days. No one to talk to except those bloody birds.” He jerked his head moodily at a painting of three rather austere looking witches with white habits. “Any word from that artist that used to live here?”
“No.” Snape muttered darkly.
“Mm. Pity.” Galahad slurred. “She was good fun, even though she once threatened to paint nipples on my breastplate.” He frowned soberly down at himself as though imagining such a humiliation. Snape snorted with faint amusement, but pointedly ignored the annoying painting and continued on, even when he heard the knight muttering gruffly after him. “So rude.”
Severus swerved right when he reached the staircase to the serpentine corridor, and approached the door of Mcgonagall’s office. Sneering down at the sign that read, “Do not disturb,” he rapped his knuckles sharply against the dry wood.
“Are you incapable of reading?” A voice laced with a crisp Scottish brogue asked wearily.
“Minerva.” Snape attempted to keep his tone in check. As irritable as he was this fine afternoon, it was not in his best interest to aggravate the austere witch, who was easily his match in both spell work and sarcasm. “I’ve come to return your book.”
There was a pregnant pause before she finally answered. “Enter.” The door swung open of its own accord. A cheery fire had been lit inside, but Minerva was still bundled up in her tartan robes and shawl. She looked at him over the rims of her glasses and lifted an eyebrow. Snape fought back a scowl as he crossed his arms across his chest, meeting her stern gaze with his own. He did not appreciate being made to feel like a student. “Well Severus, what are you waiting for? Sit down.”
Eyes narrowing, he arranged himself on the plain, but immensely comfortable wing backed chair across from her desk and watched as she gently tapped her stack of papers to straighten it before setting it aside. Without asking whether or not he wanted any, she reached out and plucked a pot of tea from a tray that had been hovering conveniently by her elbow, then pushed a cup of the strong black liquid toward him. Snape begrudgingly nodded his thanks, and took a sip, approvingly. Minerva, like Severus, did not bother with milk or sugar, but preferred a strong, malty Assam. They considered one another over their delicate china cups before she finally said, “I don’t recall lending you any of my books, Severus.”
This time, he did scowl as he reached inside his robes and withdrew Libidine, tossing it onto the desk rather rudely. “Yours, I believe.”
To her credit, Mcgonagall managed to hide her surprise rather well as she deftly lifted the front cover, and eyed her name written there. “Ah. I had thought it lost. Where did you find it?”
“Oh I think you know, Minerva.” Snape demurred softly, watching her face carefully for signs of guilt. There were none. To his surprise and annoyance, she smiled warmly. “It was disguised as a muggle book.”
“A tedious bit of transfiguration, that,” she mused thoughtfully. “Freya was never my strongest student, but she always had potential. It’s good to know she continued with it.”
“You know it was her?” His jaw clenched with anger, but he stilled himself.
Minerva snorted quietly. “Naturally.” She lifted the delicate china and took another sip of tea.
“How long have you known she was alive, Minerva?” He growled, remembering the way she had tried to offer him sympathy when Freya had first gone missing.
“Do not take that tone with me, Severus.” She said sharply.
“How…long…?” He asked again, feeling the heat rise to his face.
“It never occurred to me that she was otherwise,” Mcgonagall sniffed dismissively.
“You told me…” Snape growled through gritted teeth. “I believe your words were, ‘I think Freya might be dead.’”
“You were pining, my dear. It was unseemly, even for you.” There was a rattling sound as she perched her teacup rather harshly on its saucer. “It would have been better for both of you if you had put her from your mind. Freya had been arrested and there was no news. I’d hoped you would remember your duties as the head of your house.” It sounded as if she had wanted to say these harsh words to him for some time.
“I have never forgotten my duties. Not once.” He gave her an alarmingly fiendish look, but she merely pressed her lips together disapprovingly. “I will leave the subject of your meddling for now. I wish to know why this book was in her possession.”
Mcgonagall gave him an infuriatingly disparaging shrug. “I thought she might find it interesting. I personally have had very little use for it. Is that so strange to you, that two women might lend books to one another?”
“Strange that a witch would flee the country with little more than the clothes on her back would then be discovered with this on her person?” He drew himself up and gave the transfiguration professor a haughty glare. “Some might say so. Some might even call it suspicious.”
“What exactly are you accusing me of?” She sounded very annoyed, as if he had failed to turn in an essay on time, rather than implicate her involvement in some conspiracy.
“When was the last time she made contact with you?”
“Oh…I suppose it was some time during the summer.” Minerva replied coolly, watching him as he struggled to swallow his rage.
“You mean to tell me…” He began slowly, keeping his anger to a low simmer, “that Freya wrote to you after she’d evaded arrest?”
“Yes, that sounds about right.” She sipped her tea.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Lupin. Tonks. Everyone was worried. No one received word. Not even Dumbledore. So why contact you?”
Minerva did not answer him, but instead pushed a tin of biscuits across the desk at him. “Ginger snap?”
His fingers curled into a tight fist. If this was anyone else’s office he might have sent the tin flying, but he knew better. It would have been smarter to spit in the eye of a rearing hippogriff than make a mess in Mcgonagall’s tidy office. “No, thank you. Please answer my question.”
“Oh I don’t think there’s any reason for that, Severus.” She smiled. “A woman has a right to her secrets.”
“Minerva,” He whispered. “The situation is deadlier than you understand. You have no idea what you’re interfering with.”
“Oh?” She raised an imperious eyebrow at him. “I take it you wish to explain it to me?”
Snape ignored this obvious dig at his behavior. “Minerva, at this very moment, Freya is…”
“Exactly where she wants to be, it seems.” Minerva interjected with stiff nod. “How are your lesson plans coming along, Severus? I understand that you have finally been granted the Defense Against the Dark Arts position? Congratulations, my dear. I am sure you will fill the position beautifully, but if you require any assistance I hope you will not hesitate to ask.“
Snape knew that he was being dismissed. Standing abruptly, he glared down at the elderly witch, his lips twisting into a dark grimace. “I will discover the truth eventually, Minerva.”
“Of that I have no doubt. Good day to you, Professor Snape.” She pulled her stack of papers back to herself, and made a show of shuffling them until he finally turned and left.
Severus had no need to create a lesson plan for Defense Against the Dark Arts. He had been ready to take over the responsibility for years. First and second years would learn predominantly through lecture, practicing simple defensive charms against harmlessly thrown objects such as pillows and balled up bits of parchment until they’d perfected their wand movements. They would hate him for it, but it was essential that a strong foundation be laid before moving on to dueling, which he would introduce to his third years, pairing them up based on their compatible strengths and weaknesses rather than allowing them to choose their own partners. Again, many of them would hate him for this, but he would not allow their weak points to be ignored simply because they wanted to duel their friends. Fourth years would face an obstacle course of his own design, one that would test their instincts and logic as well as their magical skills, rather than simply pitting them against whatever minor beasts and ghouls he could find. In his opinion, the mind was the best weapon, which sadly left many of his students ill equipped. His fourth years would be tested far more brutally than any other DA teacher might have. If they could pass fourth year, their O.W.Ls would seem easy by comparison. After that, only the most advanced students would continue their education with him, and for their final exam, he would test their skills personally. War was coming. He did not know how many of his students would see action, but although he desperately hoped it would be few, he had no intention of leaving them ill equipped if he could help it. As far as he was concerned, their previous D.A professors had been soft on them.
So, instead of revising his lesson plans, he trained. Hard. For three weeks straight, alarming sounds could be heard from an empty classroom on the fourth floor, where Freya had once overseen the dueling club. He refused to think on that though, as he fought against any witch or wizard who would assist him. To his surprise, Tonks proved to be his most willing partner. Her eyes were always red these days, and her hair still a lank and mousy brown, but she managed a grim smile every time she directed a hex his way. She was stationed in Hogsmeade now, under Dumbledore’s orders, and Severus suspected that more often than not, she came to the castle with hopes of seeing Remus, who had taken to avoiding her as much as possible.
They had set up the space so that it was no longer simply an empty dueling ring. Pillars were erected to break up the space, creating a far more challenging and interesting arena. She fought him hard, and he noted with begrudging admiration that her shield charms were immaculate. Tonks’ also favored a strategy that relied heavily on physically dodging his spells with maddening swiftness, picking and choosing her moments to fire instead of raining hexes down on his head and wasting valuable energy. It was a style that he recognized, and suddenly he knew where Freya had learned to duel.
A rather nasty bolt of purple lightning crackled from the tip of her wand, and he smelled burnt leather as it managed to singe the toe of his boot. She’d caught him thinking about her again. Cursing, he ducked and rolled somewhat gracelessly to avoid a tongue of blue flame that licked at his unprotected shoulders. Severus was shirtless, panting hard as he ducked behind a pillar, but his fingers were deft as he fired a stinging jinx beneath his arm. To his satisfaction, he heard her curse sharply as it made its mark, but she did not falter or drop her wand as he had expected. As clumsy as Tonks could be outside of the battlefield, she was more than a formidable opponent. He snarled in surprise when the pillar shattered into a thousand pieces, but was able to deflect most of them. Snape was not completely lucky, however, and a sizeable shard managed to pierce his shield, embedding itself into the flesh of his arm.
Enraged, rather than deterred, he dove into a sort of tumble, and hissed “Mortem millia secat!” A hundred black blades flew furiously at Tonks who yelped and fell back. The knives exploded into dust as they made impact with the stone wall. They were not true knives, of course, but the ones that had found her had left great splotches of green powder on her robe, as intended. Had they been real, she would have been impaled.
“DAMN IT.” Tonks growled angrily, struggling to her feet. Her hair was plastered damply to her forehead. “WHERE did you learn that?”
“Where do you think?” He spat darkly as he made his way to the corner, where a pitcher of water and a towel were waiting for him. His chest was heaving, and his muscles glinted with sweat.
“I’ve always hated that spell.” Tonks muttered as she limped over to join him, eyeing the very real injury he’d sustained from the exploding pillar. Wordlessly, she flicked her wand, and the shard disintegrated, leaving him with a raw, but closed scar. She’d always been handy with small healing spells.
Severus sneered contemptuously, not bothering to thank her. “You were distracted. I thought you were supposed to be one of the best. Where’s your head at?” He ignored the angry glimmer in her wide doleful eyes as he drank deeply from the pitcher, splashing some of the water over his head to cool himself off, then shaking his long black hair out of his eyes. When he looked back at Tonks, her anger was gone, replaced with the same dull, sad look he’d come to expect from her. It annoyed him to see it now. “Snap out of it, witch,” He snarled. “A mistake like that on the battlefield could get you killed, and I shudder to think what Andromeda would do to me if I let that happen.”
“Leave my mother out of it.” Tonks replied dangerously. “I’m an Auror, Snape. Three years of academy training. You just got lucky.”
“Really?” He drawled contemptuously, raising himself to his full height and stepping closer, gazing intently down at her. “Are you sure? Because it seems to me you’ve got far too many pent up emotions for an Auror of your caliber.” He was remembering a rainy night, and a distressed witch breaking into his home to hold him at wand-point.
“That’s all over and done with.” She muttered, her cheeks blooming scarlet.
“Is it?” Snape’s lips twitched into something like a smirk. “You’ve moved on, have you? Don’t make me laugh.”
“Fuck. You.” She snarled through gritted teeth.
“Ahh there it is! There’s that pain that’s so easy to exploit.” He replied mockingly. “You’re still wet for that stinking werewolf after all.”
She kicked him, hard between his legs. The blow knocked the wind right out of him, and he could not even grunt in pain as he sank to his knees, stars exploding behind his eyes as he instinctively cupped his hand around his injured crotch.
“Oh, sorry, does that hurt?” Tonks laughed mirthlessly. “I hope there’s enough left for you to fondle later, when you’re thinking about Freya.” She actually smirked when he glared up at her, surprised by the mean edge in her normally playful voice. “What, didn’t think I’d stoop as low as you? What do you think she’s doing now, Severus? Tearing her heart out? Weeping over you like some maiden in a fairy story?” She snatched up the towel and swept it over her head to dry out her hair. When she was done she tossed it aside, and he saw that there was a faint, pinkish hue in her brown locks. Apparently taunting him was having a positive effect on her. He could almost see the ghost of her old self behind her mocking smile. “I can almost guarantee that she isn’t. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t miss you at all, after the shit you pulled.”
“Shut. Up.” He growled through clenched teeth, his groin still aching with a nauseating pain.
“You just don’t know her like I do, Snape,” She teased. “You think you’re special just because you played that disgusting trick on her, binding her with that stupid marriage pact? Well I’ve got news for you.” She crouched low and prodded him in the chest. “Freya’s my best friend, and I’ve never seen her keep her playthings around for long, yes, even the ones she’s claimed to love. Sure, she may have had the hots for you when we were in school, but now that she’s had you? You’re just one more for her collection. And you betrayed her. Do you really think she’ll just forgive and forget? I know I sure as hell won’t. She’ll find her way out of that prison sooner or later, and when she does? I bet she’ll chew you right up, mate.” Tonks grinned at him, watching his face grow pale and livid with her every word.
“At least I’ve been with her.” He purred cruelly, watching with immense satisfaction as the smile melted from her lips. “At least I’ve touched her. Felt her naked skin against mine.” Snape’s obsidian eyes glinted with malice as he hurt her. “How often do you lie awake at night, imagining that werewolf rutting on top of you?” Tonks lashed out to smack him in the face, but he caught her wrist, and stood swiftly, dragging her up with him. “We may both be stuck in lover’s limbo, but at least mine has never taken such incredible measures to avoid me. Where has the beast scurried off to, anyway? It’s been so long since I’ve seen him sulking about the castle.” Tonks looked away, her face flushed with anger as she wrenched herself from his grip, mumbling something about werewolves. “Speak up, Nymphadora.”
“Dumbledore’s sent him to infiltrate a pack somewhere in the highlands. He wants to see if he can dissuade any of them from joining you-know-who…”
Snape snorted rudely. “Unlikely.”
“He has to try!” Tonks snapped. “It’s dangerous work, as you well know.” To his alarm, her coffee colored eyes became suspiciously shiny. “I keep thinking the next time Dumbledore summons me here it’ll be to tell me that he’s been hurt or worse. I keep imagining him bleeding out in a ditch somewhere…all alone…”
“Stop that rubbish at once.” Snape commanded in his sharpest professor’s voice. “Remus Lupin might be a scruffy, good-for-nothing mongrel, but he’s not stupid enough to get himself killed.” His lips twisted into a grimace. “Even I will concede that much. There are brains in that thick, Gryffindor skull.”
“So…you think he has a chance? Of changing their minds, I mean?”
“No,” he admitted truthfully. “Lupin’s tried too hard for too long to blend in with the rest of wizarding kind. The others won’t appreciate that.”
“He wants to storm Malfoy Manor, you know. He wants to rescue his sister.” Tonks added carefully.
“Then let us both hope he isn’t stupid enough to try.” He muttered.
Tonks managed a thin smile at that, and he felt a twinge of guilt for egging her on so cruelly. “I’m sorry I kicked you in the bollocks.”
“No you’re not.”
“You’re right. I’m not.”
“Fair enough. Same time tomorrow?”
“I’ll be here. And…”She hesitated as she made her way to the door. “…I won’t get distracted next time.”
“Be sure you don’t.” He growled after her.
A small grey owl he did not recognize was waiting impatiently outside his office window, rapping briskly at the frosty glass. When he let it in, Trjgul, who had been curled up quite contentedly on his desk, raised his head with interest and began stalking the feathered beast intently. Snape quickly retrieved his letter and shooed the bird away before the cat decided that the herring he’d stolen from a very surprised house elf had not been enough for his dinner.
A nervous flutter in his stomach made him pause when he recognized Lucius’ handwriting. It appeared the arrogant wizard was as good as his word after all. However, when he opened it, he discovered that the letters were all jumbled nonsense, until he spied the tiny speckled serpent drawn in the lower left hand corner. It was a simple code their little gang of Slytherins had used frequently during their school days. Smiling faintly, he drew his wand, and placed the tip on the parchment. “Irrumabo Gryffindori.” He felt a surge of nostalgia as he repeated the filthy Latin phrase, but his urge to chuckle quickly died as the emerald green letter rearranged before his eyes.
Severus, so help me, the next time I see you I will hex your bloody bollocks off for making me do this. If one of those filthy werewolves catches me writing to you about their activities, they will do worse than simply taking over my ancestor’s illustrious home. My servants are petrified. My wife can hardly move about her own house without being subjected to their leers. The ginger haired Tor is the worst by far. Vidarr at least attempts to act the part of a gentleman, and when he’s around, the mongrels are careful, but when he is absent, they do as they like, sleeping on makeshift pallets in my hallways and eating us out of house and home. I would send Draco away, but Narcissa won’t hear of it. But you don’t care about my troubles, do you? You only want to hear about your precious Freya.
She carries herself well, I’ll give her that much, even if she is a werewolf’s slut. Her manners are impeccable and obviously Cissy used to adore her and old feelings can’t always be helped, even if she did bring this pack of beasts into our home.
Snape nearly tore the letter to shreds. As if it was her fault she’d been taken prisoner by a monster hell bent on making her his slattern. As if she has somehow asked for this to happen. Stifling the urge to set it ablaze, he read on.
It’s a dangerous game your foolish little quim is playing, Severus. At Vidarr’s insistence she sleeps in the chambers adjacent to his, but my servants tell me that she plies him with my best spirits until he falls into a deep slumber, and sneaks back into her room. She is always careful to rise before he does. His sheets show no signs of coupling. I suppose that should please you. The fact that he intends to whelp his abominable pups on her is a poorly kept secret, but it seems she has been able to avoid it thus far. I severely doubt it is only liquor that keeps his lust at bay. I suspect dark magic as well. I have never been as adept at sensing it as you are, but there is something different about our dear Freya. She looks terrible, by the way. I never quite understood your attraction, and now dark circles have formed under her eyes. I do not think she will last long before she succumbs to exhaustion.
Tor is becoming far too bold for anyone’s liking, including Vidarr who seems to watch him very closely. He leers at her like a hungry dog. They all do, and I suppose they’re simply biding their time until their master gives them permission to attack. I do not speak their language, but I once caught him sniffing Freya’s hair in the most unseemly way, and I believe I counted one less steak knife after dinner the other evening. Narcissa asked me not to inquire. I believe my charming wife has aligned herself with yours, so that may comfort you.
Do not fret, my dear Severus. I am sure that if Tor or any of the others attempt anything before the biting ceremony, he will find himself short a head. As much as these “pack” affairs disgust me, I have discovered this much, Severus. Whatever breed of werewolf these bastards are, they were clearly never meant to coexist this way, which leads me to believe that Vidarr is quite insane. If he were removed from the equation, it would become a bloodbath. These others only tolerate each other because he has promised them some great reward, or else holds something over them. Other evidence points to this as well. He is often prone to a kind of fit, where he will wake us all in the middle of the night, howling what I suppose must be obscenities. After these nights, Freya does not come down from her chambers.
Narcissa has asked that I invite you to dinner one of these evenings. I suppose she feels Draco might be safer with you around, and as loathe as I am to admit it, I must agree. Bellatrix has been called away to attend our lord, and will not be of much help to us. I do not like the way some of these hellhounds have been looking at my son. First course will be served at seven o’clock sharp. Semi formal attire.
With Regards, L.
Snape snorted at this last feeble attempt to conceal his identity. The letter positively reeked of pureblood pompousness. Only a Malfoy would request semi-formal attire to essentially a family dinner. Lips contorting into a disapproving frown, he twirled his quill thoughtfully between his long pale fingers, thinking on Freya’s warning the last time he’d seen her. He wanted desperately to see her condition for himself, but knew that his presence might endanger her further. As much as he wanted to believe that he was in complete control of himself, he knew that Vidarr would revel in goading him, given the chance, and if he was becoming more agitated with the approaching moon cycle, he was certain to be even more dangerous. He could practically hear his low, menacing voice, mocking him as he slid his hands up Freya’s skirt, his fingers biting into her warm flesh as he flashed those awful white teeth. Even worse, he pictured her smiling coldly, playing along with her tormentor and tolerating his advances, all while avoiding Severus’ eyes…
The quill snapped in two. He threw the pieces away in disgust and ran his fingers through his hair. She was right about him. He couldn’t trust himself to keep his cool. Being in her presence did things to him that he’d never experienced and he was completely unprepared the emotions that came with it. Not even Lilly had…
Fiery green flames burst to life in his empty fireplace, making him seize his wand in alarm. His train of thought completely abandoned; he stood in alarm and stared furiously as Lucius himself ducked to avoid hitting his head on the mantel, and began shaking the ashes from the hem of his robes. He wasted no time in glowering distastefully at Snape’s room. “My god, Severus the size of this place! If I still had my seat on the Board of Governors, I’d have fixed you up with a room thrice…”
“Lucius,” Snape growled. “You know how much I detest uninvited guests.”
Malfoy waved the comment aside indifferently, then glanced at the letter still clutched in Severus’ fingers. “Ah good. I’m just in time. I’ve come to fetch you before you had time to send a refusal.”
The scowl deepened. “I don’t have time for-“
“If you’re about to tell me that you’re too busy with lesson plans, don’t bother. Everyone knows you’ve been after the Defense Against the Dark Arts job for years. If you’re not ready by now, then I fear for Draco’s education.” Lucius gave him a wry smile and Snape couldn’t help but notice that the wizard’s practiced arrogance was cracking around the edges like an old painting, revealing the fear underneath. Nothing had changed.
“I have no intention of going, Lucius. Please pass along my sincerest regrets to your wife. ”
“To yours, you mean?” Lucius said softly. Snape felt his stomach drop as if he’d missed a step on a dark stairwell, but he masked his face with careful precision. Nobody knew that Freya was married except the order.
“Is that some sort of joke?” He drawled, lifting an eyebrow in mock surprise. “And here I thought your latest failures had sucked the humor right out of you. Old friend.”
Lucius did not answer this. “I think you should reconsider my invitation, Severus.” Malfoy’s grey eyes shifted ever so slightly, and his smile suddenly seemed wooden. Snape stared, and felt another strange lurch in his stomach.
“Lucius, are you ill?” He asked warily.
“Severus. I really think you should come with me now.”
Something unpleasant stirred in the back of Snape’s mind as he studied his friend critically. The letter had requested semi formal attire, yet there was a hint of stubble on Malfoy’s chin and by pureblood standards of etiquette, his robes would be considered appropriate for travel at best. He was leaning on his serpent headed cane somewhat less casually than he normally did, and Snape was certain that if he had not been wearing gloves, his knuckles would have been stark white with the effort of clutching it. Eyes narrowing suspiciously, he stepped closer, and breathed deeply through his nostrils and immediately detected a trace of a scent he’d known since they played together as children. Treated wood, cold stone and the deep, aromatic fumes of fermenting grapes.
“You’ve been in your father’s wine cellar, Lucius. Testing the vintage early?”
Snape’s instincts were razor sharp, but Lucius had every advantage and whether it was simply bad timing, or piss poor luck, his shield charm was not quite fast enough, and the spell hit him squarely in the chest. He felt himself already being pulled under as he flew bodily backwards, his back cracking painfully on the edge of his immense black cherry desk. His eyelids fluttered, and he fought the effects of the stunner valiantly, but knew he would never win. Lucius’ expression seemed genuinely remorseful as he bent over to pry the wand from his long fingers.
“I’m sorry, Severus. I have no choice.”
All went dark.
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