Running Toward, Running Away
by Laura Smith

"Finally managed to tear yourself away from James, did you?"

Sirius gaze lifted at the sound of the slowly drawled words, his eyes lighting on Remus, stretched out on his four-poster bed, the hangings half drawn to keep out the brilliant afternoon sun. "Jealous, Remus? Should I begin calling you Snape?"

"You're welcome to try," Remus smiled slowly, his hand lazily smoothing the bedspread, his eyes narrowing as he watched Sirius's eyes begin following the movements. "Although I would be slightly less inclined to let you get away with it."

"Truly?" Sirius asked as he stepped closer to the bed, his eyes still on Remus's moving hand. "You mean you wouldn't let me do whatever I wanted?"

"I've got something of an aversion to having my knickers displayed for the entire fifth year class." Remus's hand stopped as Sirius rested one knee on the edge of the bed. "Which isn't to say I wouldn't let you do whatever you wanted."

"I didn't think it was."

Their eyes met and held, the air in the room tightening until it hurt to breathe. "Where's James?"

"Quidditch field. Wormtail and most of the girls from around the lake are all swooning in awe at his masterful prowess." Sirius's voice dropped. "What are you doing in here?"

"Resting up for the trip." He lifted his hand to gesture at the window then, as it drifted back down toward the bed, he let it trail lightly over Sirius's thigh. "Full moon tomorrow night."

"I'd forgotten."

"But that I could." His hand slid higher, the silky black material of the robes bunching slightly above his long fingers. "Why aren't you out watching James?"

"I've seen him play with his balls all I can stand." Sirius chuckled softly as he leaned forward, his fingers playing over the opening at the collar of Remus's robes. "Besides, all the admiration gets a little tiring after awhile, doesn't it?"

"Especially when it's aimed in a direction other than yours?" Remus smiled, his hand stilling on Sirius's thigh. "Perhaps if you mussed your hair a bit more..."

"You're not funny."

"No. Not really. Not my job to be funny. My job is to make sure the rest of you jokers toe the line."

"Tell me," Sirius breathed quietly as he moved more fully onto the bed, leaning over Remus, "Do you really think that they expect that you have the power to stop either James or myself from doing anything?"

"Not really," Remus sighed, watching Sirius's clear eyes intently. "Of course, I haven't tried every means of persuasion at my disposal, have I?"

"I thought we'd exhausted your repertoire." Sirius began unfastening Remus's robes, his hands moving slowly, deliberately, his gaze never wavering. "All that pleading and begging and moaning... or was that Wormtail getting off, thinking about James?"

"You've only been here ten minutes and you've compared me to Snape and to Wormtail. If I didn't know better, Sirius, I'd begin to think you didn't like me."

"But you do know better," he pushed the material of the robes away from Remus's body and closed his eyes briefly, opening them again slowly, letting his gaze travel up the thin, pale flesh of his bare chest, "don't you?"

"I've got," he gasped softly as Sirius's hand ran over the prominent bulge of his pants, "some idea."

"Just some?" Sirius's eyebrow rose in question, his smile mimicking the gesture. His hand stilled and he stared down at Lupin. "You wouldn't like me much if I behaved, would you Remus?"

"I don't know," he smiled. "There's something to be said for it, isn't there?"

"Snape behaves," Sirius reminded him softly as he leaned over him. "All those others out there behave and they're doomed to be the good wizards, the one who follow all the rules and go and work for the Ministry of Magic and they're certainly not the ones who sneak away in the middle of the night, hunting through Hogwarts for a bit of fun." His hand resumed moving. "Not that we need to leave Hogwarts, do we?"

"You know, seducing me isn't going to get Gryffindor back the points you lost it in the Great Hall the other day." Remus's voice faded slightly as Sirius applied more pressure. "You and James should really know better than to do things where I have no choice but to confess to McGonagall and make her dock the House."

"Maybe I like seeing you be all officious." Sirius leaned forward, his robes falling against Remus's skin, his breath hot on his lips. "Maybe seeing that mad flash of irritation in your eyes does something to me."

"Yeah, it gets you in trouble, doesn't it?"

"Maybe," Sirius's hand managed to unfasten Lupin's pants, to snake inside them and find the engorged flesh of his cock. "Maybe I like it when I'm in trouble. Maybe I fancy a spot of punishment."

"Maybe you just like seeing McGonagall get all pissed off."

"There's that as well." Sirius's hand stopped moving and he stared deeply into Remus's eyes. "Are you very mad at me?"

"That depends. Have you done anything lately that I should know about?"

"Not really. Although, should something happen oh...say in a couple of hours, I have no advance or prior knowledge of it." He grinned. "And I only tell you this because we're bound to be suspected."

"You've done something to Snape, haven't you?"

"I've done nothing to him," Sirius assured him.

"And the verb tense is the most important thing in that sentence, isn't it?" Remus sighed and attempted to push Sirius away. "Go on. I've got to find out what it is you've done and try and avert it. Or at least manage to convince Snape not to walk into your trap."

"There's no trap, Remus." Sirius didn't move. "And you've got hours to worry about it. But for now, I'd really rather you didn't..."

"But you don't, do you?" Remus managed to push Sirius away. "You'd actually rather I did, otherwise you wouldn't have brought it up right now. You wouldn't have said a single thing and I wouldn't have been thinking about what you've done rather than what you'd been about to do." He shucked off his robes and pulled on a shirt, refastening the black robes before running a hand through his thick hair. "Bloody hell, Sirius. I'd hoped we'd have a decent time before I had to put up with this damn monthly curse of mine, but instead you've managed to keep us from doing just that. Just like always. Why don't you just fuck James again and get it the hell out of your system?"

Sirius watched him as he walked away, the last sentence trailing back to him. "What?" He roared.

Lupin turned, his expression tight, pensive, painful. The hurt and anger inside of him seemed to bring the beast inside him to life. "You heard me. You mock Peter and Severus about their issues with James, but you're just as bloody bad. He's your hero, your golden boy. You're not as obvious about it as Peter, you don't bloody cream your pants the second he says hello, but you're just as bad."

"How dare you..."

"How dare I?" Remus laughed softly. "I'll tell you how I dare, Sirius. I dare because I hear you at night. You think everyone's asleep when you crawl into his bed with him, whispering. You think it's all a lark that you're fucking me, don't you, when you know that it's him you want. What I don't understand is why you even bother with me. I mean, I must give you something he doesn't, but for the life of me, I can't imagine what it is."

"Remus, I..."

"You what, Sirius? You're not denying it, are you? Of course, it's hard, isn't it, to deny what you must know I've heard? You'd be smarter to use the silencing spell the next time you let James fuck you. You're not the quietest of lovers."

"I never..."

"Expected me to find out? Well, one would imagine that, wouldn't one? You know, I thought it said something special, when your animagus was a dog. So close to a wolf, you know? I thought it was some kind of bond between us. I though maybe..." He shook his head, clearly disgusted with himself. "I thought wrong, obviously."

"Dogs are loyal, like Gryffindor..."

"Dogs spend most of their time in heat." Remus's gaze cut Sirius like glass. "Like you."

The door to the room swung open and Peter and James walked in, laughing and eager to recount their most recent encounter with Snape. Sirius continued to stare at Remus who stood by the door, shaking slightly. He opened his mouth to say something, stopping as Lupin raised his hand.

"I've got some business to attend to. Prefect meeting." He swung out the door and hurried down the hall, his ears ringing as James paused in his retelling only long enough to ask Sirius what was going on, only long enough to hear Sirius's dismissive reply.

 

Remus sucked in cool air, closing his eyes as he leaned against the bare, dark dungeon walls. He'd considered running to Hogsmeade early, but the earlier ferociousness of his argument with Sirius had kept him from thinking clearly and he'd just run instead. Besides, in Hogsmeade, he could be found.

"It's off limits down here," a sharp voice came from the darkness to his right. "Not that that's ever mattered to the Golden boys of Gryffindor, has it?" Snape stepped into the light, sneering. "Come to see your friend's handiwork, have you?"

Remus blinked and finally noticed the black marks running down Snape's face like living oil spills. "James is..."

"I don't care to hear what you think James Potter is," Snape snapped. "I'm sure he gets enough idol worship when he's around, there's no need to continue it when he's not even present. Or is he lurking in the shadows?" Snape stared at Remus for a long time, his eyes narrowing as his smile widened. "No. He's not, is he?"

"I don't really know where James is at the moment."

"What's her name?"

"What?"

Snape wiped at his face with a cloth, the black streaks disappearing magically. "Her name. What's the name of the bird he's done off with? That's why you're here, right? He's managed to find out who you fancy and he's made off with her, right?"

"No."

"Or is it Lily? Everyone's in love with Lily, aren't they? James, Sirius, Peter, ...hell, I imagine most of the male staff is panting in heat after her half the time. So it's her then, is it?"

"You're..." Remus laughed incredulously. "My God, you're in love with Lily."

"I never said that." Snape sneered.

"You didn't bloody have to, mate." Remus laughed again. "I thought you hated her. No wonder you hate us. Hate him."

"You think my hate is over something so simple and trivial as a girl?" Snape took a step closer to him. "Lily Evans could just as easily drown in the lake, snogging the giant squid for all I care about her. James toys with me because he knows..."

"And he knows you're in love with her. Everything makes so much sense now." Remus shook his head. "You asked her out, didn't you? You asked her to the stupid dance they had last year. That's when it started, really started, isn't it?"

"I don't need to listen to this. Certainly not from you. Not that it will matter, after all. You're likely to just run back and have a good laugh at my expense with your friends regardless of whether or not it's true."

Remus stepped closer to Snape, their bodies almost touching in the dim light. He met Severus' gaze and tilted his head slightly. "But it is true, isn't it?"

"I don't have to tell you anything."

"It's not Lily." He spoke low, not recognizing his own voice. "For me. It's not...it's not Lily."

Snape held his gaze for a long moment before stepping back, shaking his head. "It's a full moon tomorrow night."

"So?"

"Just making conversation." Snape shrugged. "I've got O.W.L.s to study for." Remus nodded and watched him walk away. He'd just vanished back into the shadows when he spoke. "There's a class down here in a few minutes. If you're looking for privacy, you might want to find somewhere else."

"Right." He pushed away from the wall and stopped, unsure of where to go. Hogsmeade? Back to his room? He wanted someplace where no one where Sirius couldn't and wouldn't find him. "Thanks."

Snape sighed and paused then sighed again. "Come with me."

"What? Where?"

"There's a room on the 7th floor. I could show you. If you want someplace to hide."

"I'm not hiding."

"Whatever." Snape shrugged. "It's nothing to me."

Remus watched his shadow fade again then hurried after him, pulling up abreast of Snape and doing his best not to notice his knowing smirk as they walked up the stairs.

 

"What is the hurry?" Remus snapped as Snape hurried down the corridor. "It's not as if..."

"What? It's not as if I want to be seen with you, Lupin? Maybe I very much don't want anyone to see me consorting with any member of Potter's little gang? Maybe I just wish I could find a room to hide in?" Snape sneered in something resembling delight as a doorway appeared on his left as he turned the corner. He grabbed Lupin by the wrist and tugged him inside, closing the door with a hard, solid click. "Excellent."

"There were rooms all along the corridor, you know."

"None of them are like this." He gestured around the small room, the dim lighting serving to highlight the space. There was a low couch against the wall and a thick rug on the floor, but other than that the room was completely bare.

"Yes, this is unique in its complete nondescriptness, isn't it?" Lupin sighed in irritation. "Where are we?"

"The Room of Requirement." Snape shrugged. "I learned about it from my father. Apparently if you really need something as you're passing the room, the door will appear and in it will be whatever you need."

"You couldn't have needed the answers to the History of Magic O.W.L. at the same time?"

"Cheating, Lupin?"

Remus rubbed his forehead just above his eye where the headache that always preceded his change was beginning to build. "A little quick peek wouldn't have killed us." He moved over to the couch and sat down, sprawling on the soft fabric, his long legs stretched out in front of him, his hand over his eyes.

Snape watched him for a long moment then sighed and leaned against the wall. "I should have wished for some refreshments."

"Thank you."

The words were so quiet he wasn't sure he'd heard them. Snape lifted his head and met Lupin's gaze. "What?"

Remus couldn't help the small smile that touched his lips. "Thank you. For this," he waved his hand at the room. "For everything. I appreciate it." He held up his hand as Snape opened his mouth to speak. "I don't understand it and, believe me, it stays between us, as I'm sure you want just as much as I. But I do appreciate it for all of that."

Snape didn't move for a long moment then he nodded. "You know what I hate most of all?"

"What's that?"

"The fact that, even though she yells at him, even though she says and acts like she hates him half of the time, she's in love with him. They're all bloody in love with the bastard."

Remus sighed and nodded. "You'd think someone would be immune to him, don't you?"

"I am immune."

"Not really though, are you?" Remus didn't look up, didn't notice or acknowledge Snape's expression of fury. "I mean, you hate him, right? That's something. That's emotion. You're not immune. Not completely."

"The first day of school, I was scared to death to come here. I knew I'd get into Slytherin. Knew it. And I knew what it meant as well. I'd heard from the day I was born that I was trash. That I was worthless. That I was nothing more than a blight on the family history. My mum and dad...they were perfect. Ravenclaw, through and through. When they had me..." He ran a hand through his dark, greasy hair. "When I got on the train, I was miserable. And I didn't want to be miserable anymore. It was almost funny. I was miserable because I was going into Slytherin and I knew the reason I was going there was because I didn't want to be miserable anymore."

"Doesn't seemed to have helped, mate."

"On the train, Lily sat next to me. Shared some muggle candy. She was nice to me, you know? Of course, that was until we neared Hogsmeade and James Potter stuck his head in our compartment. Sat down across from her and started charming her. He wasn't mean that day, just rude." Snape shrugged. "Lily tried to be nice to me after that, but when the Sorting Hat put me in Slytherin, it just confirmed what everyone had suspected."

"It does suit you."

Snape smiled, the slow curl dark and dangerous. "It does, doesn't it?" He looked away. "Of course, that means I very much do not suit Lily Evans."

"If it helps, I'm in Gryffindor and I don't suit Lily Evans."

"It must be worse for you."

Remus tensed on the couch even though his sprawled posture barely changed. "What?"

"Well, Sirius is in love with them both, isn't he?"

A pulse jumped in Remus's jaw. "Pardon?"

Snape's smile stayed curled on his lips. "Surely you don't think people like James and Sirius are content to just stay in their room, do you? I think half the school probably knows they're fucking in most of the secret passageways. I wouldn't be surprised if they'd had a go in this room as well."

"I don't really see how any of that concerns me. I certainly don't pick my friends by their sexual orientation."

"But that's how you pick your lovers, isn't it?" Snape shrugged as if it didn't concern him. "Don't worry, Lupin, no one cares if you're fucking your roomie. Sexual preference isn't that big amongst all of us, is it? Nothing to be all bent out of shape over. Besides, if Potter can get away with it, I don't see why anyone else can't."

Remus was quiet for a long time. "Don't you?"

Severus sank down onto the carpet and leaned back against the wall. His face was masked with shadows, but his eyes were unnaturally bright. "I saw them once. I was in detention late one night with McGonagall. I was half-asleep and I went the wrong way, missed the corridor to Slytherin. The stairs turned and there they were in the little alcove not far from the third floor landing. Robes tangled, bodies tangled. I imagine they'd just finished up. I stood there staring. Then that bastard Peeves came screeching by and they both looked down at their map then looked up at me in horror."

Remus looked down at his hands, imagining them elongating into sleek furred paws, claws extending, the scent of blood in the air. "I remember that night. You'd gotten in trouble from McGonagall because your transfiguration was off. You turned your teapot into a dog just as she'd turned into a cat. She was livid."

"I'll bet I was the talk of Gryffindor, wasn't I?"

"James and Sirius said they were going to spy on you."

"Guess I sort of turned the tables, didn't I?" Snape shrugged. "I thought I had him, you know? I thought I could go to Lily and tell her what I'd seen. Or even just torment him with the knowledge of it. Instead I went to see her the next day and he was there with her. I overheard him explaining that I'd decided to discredit him in her eyes and that I was likely to tell her lies about him. About him and Sirius. And he laughed like it was the most ludicrous thing in the world."

"What did you do?"

"Don't you think you'd have heard if I'd done something?" Snape closed his eyes and tapped his head against the wall. "I went up to Lily later that day for something else, to ask her about notes in the Charms class. She wouldn't even speak to me. One of her friends said she had no desire to hear whatever filthy lies might come out of my sniveling, Slytherin mouth. Potter was standing right there. And ever since then it's been worse, hasn't it? Because he knows I can't say a bloody thing. And because he knows that, even if I did, as far as Lily Evans is concerned, I'm as good as dead."

"Why didn't you tell me? Or Peter?"

"Figured you knew, didn't I?" Snape shrugged. "Figured you four were having a grand old time in the Gryffindor tower."

"Yeah. Grand." Lupin flexed his hands, watching the muscles in them ripple. "I found out about a week ago. I mean, I guess I suspected. The other night I heard him get out of his bed and I was so excited. He'd never come to me at night before with everyone there. I was tensed with anticipation, waiting for the hangings to open. When I heard the sound, I think I gasped until I realized that I was still in the dark."

"Why didn't you confront them?"

"I figured it was something else. Some plot or something. My birthday's coming up. I thought maybe they were..." He shook his head and stared fixedly at the wall. "I got out of bed and moved over to James's. They were talking so softly, I figured it had to be about me. And then the sounds changed. And I recognized them."

"What happened tonight?"

"Nothing," he laughed softly, sadly, bitterly. "Nothing at all."

Snape nodded without meeting Lupin's eyes. "I kissed Lily once, you know." He rubbed the carpet at his sides. "It was Christmas. She was standing beneath the mistletoe waiting for Potter, I'm sure. I strode up to her under the pretense of getting a book she was standing in front of. She was nice, she was the one who mentioned it, you know? All shy and sweet. Telling me that I had to kiss her or it was bad luck. She assured me that it'd just be a kiss on the cheek, like I'd not want it, like she was having to beg me to take it." Snape bent his head a little more, not wanting to meet Remus's piercing gaze. "I'd never been kissed before. Potter showed up just as it'd begun. Began laughing, of course, shoving me away from her and telling her he'd be happy to show her how a real man kissed."

"Lily didn't let him."

"Not in front of everyone, no. She told him to piss off." Snape sighed. "But she did kiss him. Later. When she thought everyone had gone."

"That was just a year ago, Severus." Lupin tilted his head. "You'd never been kissed before?"

"Before or since."

Remus slid off the couch onto the floor, moving slowly toward Snape. "Why?"

"Who'd want me, looking like I do?" He shoved a handful of greasy hair back. "Who'd want me period? Greasy, snivelly, snide Severus Snape, humiliated daily by James Potter and friends."

Lupin knelt beside Snape and touched his hair with two fingers. Despite its appearance, the strands were soft and sleek. "Perhaps you could be a bit nicer. And a little less obsessed with the dark arts?"

"And lose my aura of mystery?"

Remus laughed, throwing his head back slightly. When he brought his gaze back to Snape's, his eyes were dancing. "It's not so much mystery as fear, I think. Being in Slytherin and heavily involved in the dark arts doesn't exactly inspire girls to get all swoony."

"Lucius Malfoy got laid on a regular basis."

"Lucius Malfoy has more money than most anyone. And money can buy anything." Remus watched his hand as it continued to thread through Snape's hair, playing with the ends of the dark strands. "Besides, have you seen some of the women Lucius beds?" Remus shuddered.

"Narcissa is stunning."

"Narcissa is well named."

Snape issued a soft bark of laughter. "She wouldn't appreciate that."

"Yes she would."

"You're right." Severus held Remus's gaze. They were far too close, their robes brushing, material sliding against material. His own hand was resting on Lupin's chest, Lupin straddling his legs. He didn't remember either of them moving, didn't know what was happening or why. "What..."

"Nothing," Remus murmured just before brushing his lips against Snape's, swallowing the rushed exhale of breath. Severus' hands clenched into fists in Lupin's robes, bunching the fabric and wrinkling the dark material as the kiss deepened. Tongue slid against tongue, teeth against teeth and flesh as Remus bit Snape's lower lip before sucking it into his mouth.

Snape moaned softly, his body tensed, tight as steel. His hands shook with his grip, his eyes ached from being pressed so tightly closed. He opened them as Remus pulled back slowly, sucking Snape's tongue once again before releasing it and sinking back onto his heels.

"Severus?"

Shaking his head, he refused to look at Remus. "Don't. I just..."

Remus caught Snape's hand at the wrist and held it for a moment against his chest. His heart was thudding loudly, painfully. Slowly, he slid the captive hand down, over his robes to his waist, to the pulsing flesh beneath the thin fabric. "Severus." He looked up, his dark eyes confused and uncertain. Remus placed his free hand on Severus' erection, his thumb stroking the length of it through his clothes.

Snape closed his eyes and took a deep breath, the sound shuddering out of him as the hard pressure increased slightly. His hand fell from Remus's erection, grasping the other boy's wrist lightly. Remus pulled away, ignoring the telling, disappointed gasp that slipped from Snape's lips. He used his fingers to pry Snape's free from his wrist then, using both hands, guided Snape's back against the wall.

Remus reached for his wand and whispered softly. "Immobilius."

Severus lay there, stilled, stunned, his hands effectively glued to the wall, his legs spread wide enough to allow the sleek, slim body of Remus Lupin between them, his breath spilling out in a rushed flow from between his parted lips.

Remus looked into the burning dark eyes and shook his head, something sad in the depths of his own. The tip of his wand brushed Snape's lips. He murmured something beneath his breath and Snape gasped, his head free of the spell, his body still held tightly to the wall, to the floor, the sloped curve of his figure offered up in sacrifice.

"Lupin..."

"Remus," he breathed as his tongue replaced the wand, sliding over the rough, parched flesh of Snape's parted mouth. "The least you could do..." He unfastened Snape's cloak then worked slowly to release the buttons of the stiff white shirt, spreading the fabric from his chest, his eyes taking in the dark veins pulsing blue under the nearly translucent skin, "is call me Remus."

"I won't call you..."

Remus silenced him, straddling Snape's lap with natural grace, his long, tapered fingers curving over the light bulge of his bicep, moving over the too bright fabric of his shirt to where it whispered over his pale flesh. His eyes were as gentle, as unrelenting as his hands, caressing the dark stain of his nipples before his fingers managed to touch them, short nails scraping over the hardened nubs.

"Oh..."

Remus's eyes darkened as they met Snape's, his unfocused gaze sharpening and resting on the insolent arousal that burned there. "If you've never been kissed, then no one's ever touched you. Like this."

Snape's mind flashed to a dark alley, broken glass littering the cobblestones, the rough stench of sex and bistort, rough handling, rough words. Like this. Nothing like this. "Get off me."

Lupin's hand snaked down Snape's chest, following the spattering of dark hair that clung tenaciously to his lower abdomen, disappearing in meager threads beneath his dark pants. He slipped his finger under the waistband and tugged lightly, fabric pulling away from flesh, the rushed scent of arousal searing the air.

"Get off." Snape's voice shook, though with fury or hunger, he wasn't sure. "Get off me, Lupin."

"I said," Lupin looked up at him, his eyes not quite human. His nostrils were flared, his body expanding slightly as he inhaled him before bending closer, the rough panting escaping his lips shrouding Snape in a hazy fog of jumbled emotion, "call me Remus."

Snape's mouth opened to respond, the words lost in the long slide of Remus's tongue against his, the questing thrust as it explored between his parted lips. He pulled back, not breaking contact for more than a second and he nipped and lapped at Severus' mouth, teasing him until he shuddered and growled low with longing.

Remus's hands remained busy, working the shirt off of Snape, tugging it off his upstretched arms and dropping it to the floor in a clumsy pile. His fingers repeated their earlier journey over Snape's body, unfettered this time by the thin fabric that hid the roadmap of arteries and veins that he began tracing with fingers and tongue, moving down Snape's body with a dogged determination and insatiable hunger.

"Say it?" It was posed as a question, so soft that he could barely hear it through the blood pounding in his head, in his cock. Lupin's raspy tongue flickered over a nipple hardened to the point of pain, laving it with warm saliva that heightened the chill of the room, tightened his flesh harder, made him cry out. "Say it." Whispered this time and he recognized it as a plea, the fact driven home as, for the first time, he felt the hard press of Lupin's cock against his leg.

"Re..." he choked on the sound, swallowing the word before it was made whole. Remus choked as well, anticipation deflated into determination, the deep set of his eyes hardening. Snape watched him through the shadow of his lashes, his lips clamped together as tightly as he could manage, his teeth grinding in the effort not to say his name, not to moan in pleasure, not to beg for more.

Lupin's eyes narrowed as he pulled away, the brilliant light in them flashing as his lips curled into a smirk. An entirely too knowing smirk. Snape felt a sudden sliver of fear, capturing it like a wriggling snake in his thoughts, wondering for a moment if he would soon not be begging for more, but begging for it to stop.

Remus's hands feathered over Severus' nipples before dropping to his pants once again. They'd strayed there time and again as they'd kissed, as he'd teased, always threatening but never...never... "No."

Lupin ignored him, mumbling spells under his breath as he released Snape for an instant to shrug him out of his clothes, his pants and hated undergarments piled on the floor at both their feet. He regarded him, almost clinically, Snape thought, until he reached his eyes. Heat radiated out of his orbs in waves, like a spell spilling over, out of his pores. Snape's cock hardened, already straining for release, now aching for it.

"Say it."

Snape shook his head, not trusting his voice. His skin was alive, dancing on nerve endings. He felt as if pleasure was buffeting him in waves he could drown in and, for a fleeting moment, it was just skin on skin as Lupin touched his shins, rubbing the rougher, darker hair that peppered his legs.

"You will," Lupin declared, dropping his mouth to replace his hands, trailing his tongue up the inside of Snape's thigh. He gasped and groaned all at once, nearly choking again, as the silky brush of Lupin's hair grazed his cock, as heat melted into his flesh. The words, whispered into his skin, seemed loud enough in his head to have been shouted from the school rafters. "I promise you that."

"I think," Snape hissed from between clenched teeth, "that you're almost as insufferably cocky as," he ignored the warning growl that issued from Lupin, his brash words actually encouraged by it, "Black."

Lupin's growl turned into a snarl, the sound muffled by flesh as he closed his mouth around Snape's erection. Severus exhaled a string of expletives; the harsh words mixed with hungry pleas to whatever higher power might be listening.

Don't stop. Please stop. Merlin, make it stop, make it stop, make it stopmakeitstopmakeitstopmakeit...

Lupin's fingers dug into his hips, holding him still even though the spell accomplished the feat for him. For the first time...admitting it for the first time, Snape was glad of the spell, knowing there was nothing in his power that could keep his body from writhing in undisguised pleasure as Lupin's mouth moved along his cock, sucking and teasing and tasting and...his brain stopped as a hard knuckle nudged the taut flesh of his perineum and he suddenly fought against the spell, against the suction. "Stop," he begged in a voice he didn't recognize, real fear, real desire forcing him to consciousness. "Oh, please, please, Remus. Stop."

Remus pulled back slowly, his eyes glowing with something that sent another shiver down Severus' spine. "You want me," he paused, panting, gasping, licking at the swollen head of Snape's cock, "to stop?"

"I...No." Snape swallowed hard, the knot in his throat strangling the words. "No." Tears didn't sting his eyes, but he felt the heat of them boiling inside. The mumbled words of the blocking spell did nothing until Lupin had the presence of mind to speak them with a wave of his wand. He watched Snape cautiously, distrust marring the light in his eyes. Snape's fingers wound through his hair, curling into the thick, somewhat shaggy strands. "Don't," he didn't recognize the sound, had never heard his longing given voice, "please don't stop."

Remus lowered his mouth once more, engulfing Snape in the miasma of heat, swirling like the smooth glide of a tongue on skin, the hard pressure of teeth cloaked in flesh. Snape felt his hands contract, fingers tightening in Lupin's hair, tugging at it, his mouth forming around silent screams as the hot, hard suction reclaimed him, as Lupin's hands touched him, stroked his thighs, his abdomen, curled around his balls and caressed the too-pale skin.

Remus closed his eyes, lost himself, suddenly aware of the heady thrill that James and Sirius reveled in, the knowledge that, for a moment, someone would do whatever you asked, allow you anything. The image of Sirius in his mind burned, hurt, ached as if broken, unmended. Severus moved in his hands, at his touch, his mouth closed to any words as he slid inexorably toward the precipice, his body bucking as if scrambling for purchase at the last moment, his long thin fingers doing nothing to hold him to the edge, his whole body falling, as, with one cry rending the air, his body arced into Remus's, his climax taking them both into the abyss.

 

Snape shuddered with a mixture of loss and relief as Lupin released him. He could feel the bruises forming where fingers had dug into his flesh, could feel the half moon cuts from Remus's nails as his pulse pounded past them. Lupin's head rested on Snape's thigh, his eyelashes fluttering against the sensitive skin. He longed to shove him away, get himself away from the intoxicating heat, the unnerving desire to slide down beside Remus and kiss the taste of himself off of his lips.

He inhaled and stopped, pain lancing through his body. His ribs felt cracked, broken, the aftereffects of the Immobilius curse, no doubt. Lupin raised his head as Snape's breathing stopped and opened his mouth, words forming to drip off swollen lips.

Suddenly there was a high, keening noise and Snape's eyes snapped to the door, pain flooding through him as it grew louder. Lupin glanced at his watch, hissing Sirius's name as he leapt to his feet, unconcerned with the fact that his robes were wet and wrinkled, his hair sticking out at odd angles, his erection still visible under the sleek cut of his pants.

There was a loud boom as whatever it was on the opposite side of the door came into contact with it, the room around them shaking with the impact. It hit several more times before suddenly hissing, a dark, thick smoke flooding into the room through the crack under the door.

Lupin opened the door. Sirius's expression was hurt as he met Remus's eyes. "You bloody well found him and warned him, didn't..." He stopped and Severus realized he was still naked, still so many things as Black's gaze fought its way through the thick smoke and settled on his pale, spent body. The cocky voice, normally so brash and bold was quiet, laced with something painful. "You didn't, Remus."

Remus stepped out into the hallway and closed the door, his body immeasurably close to Sirius's. He took a step back, his eyes never leaving Lupin's as everyone gathered around them. Excited and expectant whispers gathered around them as swathes of black robes wove through the hallways. The sound quieted as McGonagall walked toward them, disappearing altogether as the rich scarlet robes of Dumbledore began sweeping students gently aside.

There was nothing in the Headmaster's eyes except the seemingly ever- present twinkle. "Another prank, Sirius?" The old man's eyebrows rose as Sirius refused to answer him, refused to look at Lupin.

McGonagall's voice broke in. "Remus? Surely a prefect would stoop so low as to answer the Headmaster's question."

"It...ah..." Remus swallowed and shrugged, looking away from Sirius to Dumbledore. "I'm sorry, Professor McGonagall."

She started to sputter, stopped as Dumbledore gently moved Remus aside and knocked quietly on the door behind him. A quiet buzz of confusion echoed suddenly, questions of what room lay beyond the door on everyone's lips. Remus licked his lips, the nervous gesture catching Sirius's eye, winning a ferocious glare as his gaze dropped down to Remus's cock, as if knowing exactly where those lips had last been.

The door opened and Snape stood there, his dark pants wrinkled, his white shirt sagging loosely, his robes clutched in his hands. "Severus?" Dumbledore spoke gently, as if to a child, hiding his smile at the flash of spite that danced in Snape's eyes. "Perhaps you can tell us what happened?"

Snape's eyes sought out Lupin's, then Black's as the other man growled low. "I'm not quite sure. I was walking along when suddenly Lupin barreled into me and shoved me into this room. The next thing I know we're lying on the floor surrounded by..." his pause was imperceptible to most of the students and faculty listening in on his tale, but he could see the flinch that claimed Black and Lupin, could see the interested cock of an eyebrow that gave Dumbledore away. "Smoke."

"Saved your life," Sirius sneered, "did he?"

"I'm sure," Snape's voice was cold and hard and he drew it around him like a cloak, "whomever set that...whatever it was on me had no intention of killing me."

"Care to wager on that?"

Snape allowed himself a ghost of a triumphant smile. "Admitting your guilt, Sirius?"

"I'm admitting," Sirius stepped closer to Snape, danger in every curve of his body, "that it wouldn't be a hardship to anyone if you were to disappear." His eyes burned but he did not look at Lupin. Could not, Snape was sure. "For good."

"I think, gentlemen, that that shall be quite enough." Dumbledore waved away the rest of the students and they began dispersing. After a pause, waiting for the surrounding crowds to die away or simply allowing the silence to buffet them into complacency, the older man looked at Lupin then at Snape. "I think, yes, to the infirmary with both of you."

"I'm fine, Headmaster."

"I can heal myself."

"You are," Dumbledore looked askance at Lupin, "in need of some medical attention."

"Yes, Headmaster."

"And you," he turned to Snape deliberately, "You...you may go, Severus."

He nodded and turned, headed down the stairs toward the Slytherin entrance, his eyes grazing over Black's as he moved, the promise of unfinished business heavy in the air between them all.

 

Sirius glanced over his shoulder at the approaching footsteps, not sure if he should expect Remus or James. Not sure which would be less welcome. His eyes widened at the sight of Dumbledore and he moved instinctively to the side of the bench, allowing the older man to sit down.

"Hello, Sirius."

"Headmaster."

"You left the hallway before I had an opportunity to speak with you." Dumbledore nodded as if it made perfect sense to him then turned his gaze toward the lake. They were both silent for a long time before Dumbledore spoke again. "Sometimes, when what we perceive to be our greatest fear is realized, we forget ourselves. We lash out."

"I don't need to make excuses to him."

"Perhaps he needs to make them to you." Dumbledore's gnarled hand shifted on his robe, his fingers skimming the fabric. "Remus is not like you and James, Sirius. He does not have the outlet of acting out for which you two are infamous." He smiled briefly, his eyes lit with delight before sobering. "Perhaps, because of his condition, he feels even more compelled to internalize it and, in doing so, when he does lash out," his hand turned over and spread, his palm to the pale sunlight filtering through the light scattering of clouds, "it cuts much deeper."

"There's nothing he could have done that would have hurt me worse, Headmaster."

"How is a man like Remus to compete with the likes of James, Sirius? I may be wrong," the quick look Sirius gave him made him smile, the doubt of the statement vivid in his eyes, "but I don't believe Remus was attempting to hurt you. He was, I believe, attempting to free you."

"I don't want to be free." Sirius got to his feet and walked a few feet from the bench, not facing Dumbledore as he spoke. "He's a part of me. The heart of me." He turned around and flushed, his skin bright as he returned to the bench. "James is my friend, my dearest friend. But he's not...we're not..."

"There's someone else that needs to hear this, Sirius."

Sirius was quiet for a long moment, obviously thinking. Finally he shook his head. "He won't listen."

"You have yet to say anything worth listening to, Sirius." Remus's soft voice came from behind them. Swallowing a secret smile, Dumbledore stood and walked away, not watching as Lupin took the seat he'd just abandoned. "You have yet to deny it. Can you?"

"Would you believe me if I did?"

"It's not a question of believe, Sirius. It's a question of the truth. I want to hear the truth." His eyes were unreadable. "Whatever it is."

Sirius nodded and stood, walking toward the lake again. When he turned around, his face was expressionless, though his dark eyes were pleading. "You know James, Remus. He wants fun. Craves excitement. Wants to know...everything."

"And you had to be the one to teach him?"

"Who else was he supposed to turn to?" Sirius shook his head as Remus muttered a soft laugh of disbelief. "At least I wasn't locked alone in a room with Severus Snape!"

"The door wasn't locked." Remus's eyes were hard as he watched the flurries of hope melt in Sirius's eyes. He ignored the look, his own gaze just as cold. "How is it different, Sirius? How is it better that you betrayed me with James?"

"I didn't know it was a betrayal!"

Remus's eyes widened and he shook his head, his hands trembling. "What else could it have been?"

"I didn't know...I thought we were...I just assumed we were having fun, Remus. I didn't know we were..."

"What?"

Sirius reached out, his own hand shaking as he touched the rough stubble that decorated Remus's cheek, the telltale sign of the fast approaching full moon. "What are we, Remus?" He leaned into Sirius's touch, closing his eyes as the warmth that seemed to flow between them. "What am I to you?"

Remus closed his eyes tighter, sinking into the sensation, giving his body over to his senses, surrendering the weakness of the man in him to the strength of the wolf. He smelled them, tasted them, wanted more. "You know, Sirius."

His thumb brushed Remus's lips. "Tell me."

Remus took a deep breath and pulled away, his eyes dark as they met Sirius's. "It doesn't matter."

"It matters to me."

"Maybe so." Remus exhaled and shook his head, clearing it. "But then, so does James."

Sirius let out a sound, half growl, half sigh. "We're just friends, Remus."

"Friends who fuck?" Remus stepped back, needing physical distance to go with the emotional. "Doesn't make us all that much different, does it?"

"It does though," Sirius snarled. "James has never fucked the scum of Slytherin House."

"No, I guess he hasn't. I guess that makes your choices easier then. I hope you two will be quite happy." Remus started to walk away, stopping as he caught sight of the pale orb of the moon as it began to rise in the still blue sky. "Don't bother to come to Hogsmeade tomorrow. I think it's safer for everyone that I go alone."

"Fine."

"Besides, that way, you and James won't have to sneak around."

 

He ignored the quiet knocking for as long as he could, not at all interested in the conversation waiting for him on the other side of the door. When it finally stopped, he sighed with relief and then stiffened, the silence suddenly more threatening. Shaking his head, he strode over to the door and opened it, not looking back as he walked away, sure that he was followed.

The door closed and he turned around, his black eyes flashing angrily. "I don't need a lecture, headmaster."

"And were that my intention, I would consider myself reprimanded, Mr. Snape." He smiled. "As it is, however, I do like to be involved in my students' lives to a certain extent, most especially after they've been nearly attacked by one of Zonko's finest."

"I wasn't attacked."

Dumbledore raised an eyebrow but didn't comment, instead sitting in the straight-backed chair next to Snape's desk. "Professor Valhalla tells me you've far exceeded her expectations in potions."

"It's just reading the directions, Headmaster."

"No," Dumbledore shook his head. "I don't think it is. For a potion to truly work, you must feel it at every level. Just as a spell is unique to its caster, a potion is inherently the result of the maker, the creator." He gave Snape a searching gaze, reading the agreement in his eyes. "And I hear that you've expressed interest in continuing your education in the dark arts."

Snape's eyes narrowed as he looked at the older man, relaxing only when he realized Dumbledore was staring at his own hands. "The defense against them, headmaster, yes."

"Of course," Dumbledore's smile was nearly genuine. "I suspect you will excel in whichever field you choose to follow. Intelligence goes quite a long way in both those pursuits. Sadly, common sense does not always follow."

"I'm sorry?"

"Neither here nor there, Severus." Dumbledore stood and smoothed his robes, taking a slow perusal of the room, walking steadily, his hands held behind his back. "About earlier."

"It was just Black pulling another thoughtless prank. Trust me, I'm more than used to them by now. I try to ignore them and just go on."

"You ignore them." Dumbledore nodded. "Yes, I suppose that's good. I must admit I was a bit surprised. I never thought you friendly with Remus Lupin."

"We're not friendly. He happened along, or felt guilty and made sure he was along. He shoved me into the room. Our friendliness lasted only as long as it took me to shove him off me."

"Ah." Dumbledore nodded. "I see. I was apparently mistaken."

Snape gave Dumbledore another quick look, searching the old face for any signs of mocking. "You must have been."

"Have you given any thought to what you'd like to do once you're done with school, Severus? With your talents, you seem a prime candidate for both the Ministry..."

"They seem to frown on some of my ideas, Headmaster."

"Ah, yes. I read your paper. Quite insightful, if a bit unorthodox." He nodded. "The private sector then?"

"I haven't given it much thought."

"It might be...wise at this juncture to consider your options, Severus."

He shrugged, his fingers resting lightly on the book he'd taken from the library, waiting for a giggly group of Hufflepuff girls to distract Madame Pince before rushing out with it tucked beneath his robes. As Dumbledore looked his way, he pulled his hand back, walking away and drawing the older man's attention with him. "As my parents are fond of saying, Headmaster, I will no doubt have few choices, since so few people can stand to look at me, much less my sour company."

"Yes, well, I find your company quite delightful a large portion of the time, Severus." Dumbledore stood and nodded. "Fear not. The offers will come. I just hope you'll consider them carefully."

"I'm sure I'll know when the right one comes along." He smiled thinly. "After all, I am, as you say, intelligent."

"I did say that," he nodded. "I said many things, Severus. I wonder if you heard them all."

Snape started to respond, stopping when he realized Dumbledore was already gone.

 

Remus turned the corner, busy shoving his History of Magic book in his bag. He stopped, coming up hard against something then stumbling backwards, the hard stone castle wall against his robes.

It was a fierce kiss, tongue and teeth and lips but cold and reserved, as if proving a point. Remus opened his eyes, not surprised to find the deep blackness of Snape's staring back at him. "What...what was that, Severus?"

He smirked. "What do you think, Lupin? Surely hanging around with the imbeciles you call friends hasn't sapped all your intelligence, has it?"

Remus looked past Snape at the other groups of students beginning to gather for lunch. Talk and laughter spilled around them, buffeting them. "I'll rephrase the question then. What was that for, Severus?"

"Proof?"

"Of what? That you've enough daring to kiss me in the halls when no one else is around? Who exactly are you trying to impress?"

He looked stung for a moment before his features closed down, his eyes narrowing. "I assure you, Lupin, the only thing I was attempting to do was show you that you mean nothing to me."

Remus fought the smile that tried to curl on his lips, his eyes searching past Snape, his ears straining for the familiar voices of his friends. "So you kissed me?"

"It meant nothing, Remus." He didn't notice the slip, intent on grasping Lupin's hand and pressing it against his cock. The flesh lay dormant, slightly cool. "Nothing."

"There are spells for that, Severus," Remus reminded him gently.

"I don't need one."

A smooth laugh came from their right and Remus shifted, moving away from Snape, shoving his hand inside his pocket. "Well then," Remus's gaze kept moving, watching for Sirius and James, Peter dogging their heels. "In that case, I do apologize for any inconvenience I might have caused you. The other day was obviously a fluke..."

"Are you..." Snape's eyes narrowed even further, "apologizing for..." He stopped, the words bitten off as he snapped his mouth shut. Fire lit his eyes and he looked angry enough to kill.

Or pin Remus to the wall.

Swallowing hard, Remus moved away from the wall toward the rest of the students. "Whatever happened, Severus, it stays between us."

"Trust me, I have no desire for anyone to even assume I'd so much as let a Gryffindor touch me." He stepped back, willing his clenched fists to relax against his robes.

"Then it stays between us."

Snape's face contorted with a brief flash of fury before he raised his chin, his expression haughty. "Trust me, Lupin, there is nothing between us."

 

Remus walked into the Great Hall, moving automatically to his seat across from James, his back to the Slytherin table. He could feel Sirius's eyes on him as he sat down, pulling his book out of his bag and opening it in front of his plate.

"You're late."

Remus didn't look up, his heart pounding in his chest. "Am I?"

"We missed you after Divination." James wrinkled his nose at his carrots, pushing them to the side of his plate.

Remus looked up at James then at Sirius, smirking slightly. "Did you?"

"So," Sirius stabbed his chicken with his fork, not watching what he was doing, preferring instead to stare daggers at Remus. "What were you and Snape talking about?"

"We weren't talking about anything, Sirius. We haven't spoken in days."

"I thought I saw you come in together."

"It's a big doorway," Remus's voice was cool and measured. "I suppose it's possible."

"I thought I saw you in the hall together."

"You thought wrong."

"Speaking of Snape," Peter turned to watch the object of their discussion, smiling maliciously, "he's staring," His eyes flashed as they sought out Lupin's. "Again."

Remus didn't look up from his book. "Ignore him."

"He's starin' a bloody hole through you, Remus."

"The Slytherins always stare at us, Peter."

"Not Snape. He's usually got his hook nose buried in a book." Peter squirmed in his chair. "But lately, he just stares. At you."

"Shut up, Peter," Sirius snapped. "Just ignore him and maybe the nasty prat'll get the hint." He cast a sidelong glance at Remus, glaring as his shaggy brown hair fell into his eyes and he swatted it away.

"Maybe he's taken a fancy to Remus, huh?" Peter laughed. "Slimy old Slytherin got the hots for you, Remus?"

James looked from Remus to Sirius then back to Peter. "Peter..."

"Are you giving him the silent treatment, Remus? Trying to make him like you more?" Peter leaned in and dropped his voice, casting a quick look across the table at Sirius's stormy face. "Or just playing hard to get?"

Remus looked up at Sirius snarled and stood up, his gaze black as he glared at Peter, then returned his attention to across the hall. "Sirius..."

"Don't worry, Lupin, I'm not going to hurt him."

"All the professors are watching, Sirius." Remus laid a gentle hand on Sirius's. "Please."

"Don't worry." Sirius's smile was cold and brittle. "I said I wouldn't lay a hand on him. After all, he's had quite enough of that already from you, hasn't he?"

Remus looked from Sirius to James. "Can't you...?"

"Stop him?" James lifted an eyebrow as Sirius walked away, attempting to hide the ghost of a smile that graced his lips. "Not on your life."

"You're a lot of help."

"Given the cause of all of this," James reminded him as Sirius made his way toward the Slytherin table, "I'm thinking the best thing for me to do where you two are concerned is stay out of it." They held eyes a long time and James shrugged apologetically. "Besides, to be honest, I wouldn't mind seeing the smug little bastard get what's coming to him."

"You might want to clarify exactly which smug bastard you're referring to." Remus got to his feet, shaking his head. "At least do me the favor of telling him I didn't stick around for his dog and pony show."

 

Sirius could feel Remus leaving the room, could sense his sharp disapproval. Not that he had much right to complain. He'd brought it on himself. Stopping in front of Snape, Sirius rested his fingertips on the edge of the table and leaned across, his contempt bright in his eyes.

"Perhaps you fancy him in love with you," his words were slow and steady, his tone menacing. "Or maybe you just think you'll have another chance to return the favor. You're wrong."

"I'm sure there's a point in there somewhere, Black, but it's rather hard to discern through your weak implied threats."

"Keep your hands and eyes to yourself or you're liable to lose them."

"Now I am trembling," Snape closed his book. "I don't know which I enjoyed more, Black. Your boyfriend going down on me," he purred the words, reveling at the look on Sirius's face, "or the knowledge of how much it must disgust you to touch him now that I have."

"You come near Remus again and I'll..."

"What? Tell on me?" He chuckled dryly. "How will you know though, Black? You can barely manage to look at him." A sneer curled his lip. "Or perhaps I'm reading this all wrong. After all, you've spent all this time staring at me in return. What's the matter, Black? Did he tell you how good it was and now you're trying to provoke me so you can have a taste?"

Sirius shoved his hands in the pockets of his robe, one clenching into a fist around his wand, every cell in his body straining with the urge to hex the smug smile off his face. His cool voice belied the heated rage that singed his blood. "Given Remus's description of the vent in question, I actually came to offer you my sincere condolences. Pity that all the length and girth went to your nose, isn't it?"

Snape was on his feet in an instant, his eyes flashing as Sirius across the table. "One day, Black, that mouth of yours is going to get you into trouble." He smirked coolly. "And it does make me wonder, with as much as you use it, are you nearly as good with it as Remus?"

"Sirius." James caught Sirius's wand arm before his hand could leave the pocket of his robes, Peter taking the other. "Professor McGonagall's waiting for us."

"Ah yes, eagerly awaiting her Gryffindor pets." Snape lifted a hand in farewell. "Do run along." Sinking back down into his seat, he smiled with a quiet sense of triumph, picking up his book.

"My cousin," a honey-thick voice caressed the words as they left sultry lips, "is quite the white sheep of the Black family."

"Narcissa."

"Sirius is such a tiring boy. All righteous indignation and ideals." She shuddered delicately. "But you were rather impressive against him. Are you always so skilled at holding your own?"

He raised an eyebrow at the double entendre. "Are you asking for yourself or simply making polite inquiries?"

"A little of both." She ran her nail along the silky fabric of his robe, giving him a sly smile. "I have a...friend. A well-connected friend who is looking for people to help him with a...project of sorts."

"Project?"

"Perhaps that's the wrong word." She paused, thinking for a moment. "He's a part of a group. A group of like-minded individuals that are working at making the world a better place."

"You don't strike me as the do-gooder type, Narcissa."

"A better place for us."

"Ah."

"I think you'd fit in, Severus." She tilted her head, her platinum blonde hair spilling around her face. "Besides, we need smart young men who aren't afraid of challenges."

"And that's what I am, is it?"

She slipped a card from the inner pocket of her robe and set it down in front of him. "It's what you could be." She stood up, leaning over him. "Lucius is a generous person, Severus. I think he'll like you. And those he likes, he takes care of. He makes sure they meet the right people. That they do what they want, get what they want, take who they want. He can be," she ran a finger along the edge of her robe, tracing the outline of her grey vest where it curved over her breast, "quite giving."

"What makes you think he has something I want?"

"Because for all your...unfortunate family connections, you are a Slytherin. And I'm sure, once you've talked to Lucius, you'll more than agree that what he has to say makes sense. What his...employer has to say makes sense."

"Are you offering me a job, Narcissa?"

"I'm offering you a life, Severus. One beyond anything you've ever imagined."

 

Sirius shook off James and Peter, moving ahead of them. He stalked away from them, heading for the Gryffindor common room. "Sirius," James caught his arm and held it, refusing to let him go. "What are you doing?"

"Planning on killing the slimy bastard. Then I thought I'd remind Remus that there's a very good reason we stay the bloody hell away from the Slytherins." He jerked away from James and slammed his way through the common room, stopping at the base of the stairs. "Bugger off. Both of you."

"Sirius."

"Go on James. You too, Peter."

"He's not..."

"I just want to talk to him." Sirius left them without another word, turning and taking three steps at a time. He paused in front of their room, lifting his hand to knock. Before it connected, he shook his head and pushed the door open instead.

Remus didn't look up although he did lift an eyebrow as Sirius locked the door. After a long, tense silence, he finally raised his gaze, meeting Sirius's eyes with his own. "Do you feel better now that you've told him off?"

"I told him," Sirius cleared his throat, melting the ice in his voice. "I told him to stay away from you."

"He's not around me." Remus got off the bed, pacing with irritation. "He's trying to bother you, Sirius. Jesus." He ran a hand through his hair as he stopped. "Why do you care so much? So he looks at me. So what? Maybe he does want to shag me. So what?"

"You're mine." Sirius's voice was quiet but it filled the room. "You're mine, Remus."

"I'm not a bleedin' pet," he snarled.

"No. You're not." Sirius walked forward slowly. "You're my friend. You used to be my lover. You're this amazing creature that harbors all that is dark and scary and fearful one night a month and the rest of the time you're the exact opposite. And it kills me that he's touched you. That anything so imperfect had an opportunity to...take what I claim as mine."

Remus stood as still as possible; his body shaking as Sirius slowly circled him.

"It destroys me," he whispered, his breath caressing Remus's ear, stirring his hair, "that I gave him that opportunity." He stopped, staring down into Remus's eyes. "You are mine, Remus. And I let him have you." His fingertips grazed Remus's jaw, his thumbs stroked his cheeks. Lupin's mouth opened, his breath warm, the taste of desire on his tongue. "But it's as if I can smell him on you."

Remus jerked away, his eyes blazing. "And you of all people should recognize the stench of casual sex."

Sirius grabbed Remus's arm, pulling him hard against him, their bodies colliding. He moaned, finding Remus's mouth on instinct, his tongue spearing between the parted lips. His hands slid up Remus's arms, over the column of his neck to cup his face, holding him still as he deepened the kiss, invading the warm cavern of his mouth.

Remus closed his eyes, willing away everything but instinct as he slipped one leg through both of Sirius's. His hands grasped his slim hips, holding their bodies together as he fought for control of the kiss, his tongue rasping against Sirius's, his teeth nipping at the warm flesh of his lips.

Sirius pulled his head back, panting hard as he stared into Remus's eyes, black with hunger. He grabbed his hand, pulling him toward the nearest bed. Remus stumbled after him, falling into Sirius as he stopped. His hands smoothed Remus's robe off his shoulders, letting the black material fall to the floor.

Heat swirled around them, tongues tasting air as they panted with building hunger. Sirius's nails scraped at his stomach as he tugged Remus's shirt from his slacks, Remus's hands moving quickly to loosen his tie and top button before Sirius pushed them over his head. "Are you trying to kill me?" Remus gasped.

"No," Sirius growled, shoving him down onto the bed and straddling his waist, his knees pressed hard into the mattress, against Remus's thighs. "I'm trying to fuck you." He leaned down and scraped his teeth over Remus's taut nipple. "Although if you can't tell the difference, I guess it would explain you fucking a Slytherin."

"Get off me, you son of a..." Remus faltered as Sirius's mouth closed around his nipple, as one hand snaking his zipper down, sliding between the material to curl around the warm cotton that shielded his cock. Remus swallowed hard, fighting for air. "Sirius..."

Sirius pulled away just enough to look into Remus's hazy eyes. "Son of a what?" He licked Remus's nipple then moved to the other, giving it the same treatment. "I really am a son of a bitch, Remus. Do try to be more original if you're going to insult me."

Remus shuddered as Sirius unbuttoned his pants and rested his hands on his hips, waiting until Remus lifted off the bed to slide them and his boxers down. His hand moved back to the warm flesh, stroking it smoothly.

"But you're not going to insult me, are you, Remus?" Sirius arched his back, his body pressed hard against Remus's. His hand slid along the length of his cock, his thumb stealing moisture from the tip. "Are you?"

"Shut," Remus pulled Sirius's head down to his, his lips warm, his tongue seeking, "up."

Sirius groaned again as Remus threaded his fingers through his dark hair, his mouth moving warmly, his tongue matching the thrust of Sirius's hand. Tugging his fingers free of the thick strands, Remus found the knot of Sirius's tie and tugged at it, struggling to loosen it.

Sirius gasped and sat up, the whisper of silk on silk filling the room as he undid his tie and then, just as he had with Remus, he pulled both shirt and vest over his head. He moved into Remus again, flesh against flesh, his mouth seeking the familiar wet heat.

Remus moaned hungrily, sucking Sirius's tongue into his mouth, pulling him closer, deeper. Sirius's hand wrapped around the hard flesh of Remus's cock once again, his long strokes slowly shortening until they focused solely on the sensitive tip, brushing the underside of the head with warm, firm pressure.

"Sirius," he shook his head, breaking the kiss, trying to force Sirius's hand away. "Stop." He caught his wrist and held it, panting harshly. "Please, stop."

"I don't want to stop." His thumb swept across the head of Remus's cock, feeling the pounding pulse beneath his palm jump. "You don't want me to."

"I do," he nodded, swallowing as he pressed a hand to Sirius's shoulder, pushing him down onto the bed. He moved with the motion, swinging one leg over both of Sirius's and straddling him. "Sort of."

"What are you doing, Remus?"

"What I fully intended to do the other night before you decided to be such a bastard." He gave him a rueful grin. He hooked his fingers beneath the waistband of Sirius's slacks, his thumbs resting on the belt buckle. "And I've met your father, so you can't actually claim to legitimately be one of those."

"A legitimate bastard?" Sirius laughed, the sound cut short as Remus bent down, pressing his mouth to the curve of Sirius's cock. Even through the fabric the heat surged around him and he gripped the bedspread beneath him, his hands clenching into fists. "Remus..."

"What's the matter, Sirius?" He unbuckled his belt and pulled the leather apart, sliding the button free of its casing, easing the zipper down. His tongue parted the fabric, teasing the mass of dark hair just above the waist of Sirius's boxers. "You seem a little short of breath."

Remus smiled as he slid off Sirius's lap, his hands guiding his slacks down the long, supple legs. Sirius watched him with hungry, hooded eyes, his lips parted, the tip of his tongue moving slowly over them. Sirius sat up as Remus pushed the clothes away, grasping his hips and pulling him closer.

His lips grazed the slope of Remus's rib cage, his tongue tracing patterns on his pale skin. His hands slid up the back of Remus's legs, cupping the firm flesh of his ass. Remus stroked Sirius's cheek, his thumb brushing over his bottom lip.

"Are you going to have your way with me, Remus?" He whispered softly, his tongue wrapping around Remus's thumb and drawing it into his mouth. He sucked on it lightly as Remus whimpered, his body responding automatically, moving into Sirius's. Releasing his thumb, Sirius slipped his hands up to the small of Remus's back, pulling him closer. "Press against me, inside me?"

Remus closed his eyes, swaying into Sirius. He shivered as Sirius's breath fanned over his stomach, his hands shaking as he combed his fingers through the other man's hair.

"Or do you want me to lay you down? Touch you? Slide inside you?" Sirius stood, his cock hard against Remus's. He caught his fingers under Remus's chin and lifted his head until their eyes met. "Tell me what you want, Remus."

"You." He pushed Sirius down onto the bed, crawling along his body. He hovered over him, digging his knees into Sirius's thighs. "I want you."

"Should I dress in green and silver for the occasion?"

"Merlin, Sirius, do you ever shut up?"

"You could try and make me." Sirius wrapped one leg around Remus's and rolled his hips up into his. Remus groaned and Sirius turned them over, his body hot and heavy as it pressed down onto Remus's. "Or maybe I should try and make you scream?"

Sirius crawled over Remus, pulling the drawer out of the nightstand, fishing his hand around until he pulled out a small vial. Remus closed his eyes, unable to hold in the low growl of desire that rumbled in his chest. Sirius knelt between his legs and let one finger trail down his cock.

"Turn over, Remus."

Remus shuddered and nodded, turning slowly, trembling with every light touch as Sirius brushed his legs with his fingertips. He held his breath, his heart pounding, blood rushing through his veins. "Sirius..."

"Shh," he shook his head even though Remus couldn't see him. "I might lie to you, cheat on you and break you heart, Remus," his fingers were cool on his flesh, the light pressure increasing with every slight stroke, "but I would never hurt you."

Remus swallowed, gasping into the coverlet as Sirius's finger slid slowly inside him, the cool rush of heat and air and liquid filling him. His hips rolled forward and he thrust into the bed, the soft cotton rough against his overheated flesh.

Sirius's breathing shifted behind him, his finger moving in time with Remus's steady thrusts against the bed. Remus groaned as a second finger filled him, his body responding instinctively. "Si... Sirius."

"Tell me," Sirius slipped his hand between Remus's legs, wrapping it around his cock. "Tell me."

"Si...Siri...Sirius, please," he panted.

His jaw clenched tightly, Sirius released Remus, ignoring the soft, desperate cry. He poured a measure of the cool liquid into his hands, rubbing them together before smoothing it against his cock. Remus watched him over his shoulder, his breath hitching in his chest.

Sirius's dark eyes caught Remus's. He reached out, catching Remus's hips, pulling him back against him. His cock pressed against Remus's ass, fitting to him. With slow deliberation, he began moving, letting his length glide over the curved flesh until his harsh breathing overrode Remus's.

Releasing Remus's hip, Sirius grasped the base of his cock and pressed the tip of it against Remus's tight flesh. They were both silent, both still, waiting, prolonging. Sirius let out a short, gasping breath and suddenly they were both moving, thrusting together, skin against skin, flesh against flesh. Remus buried his face in the coverlet, sucking in hot air as Sirius filled him, completed him.

"Remus," Sirius whispered his name against the sweat beading on his back, their bodies sliding together and apart, melting and fusing. One of Remus's hands was clenched in the bedspread, the other wrapped around his cock, his hand shaking as he fought to match Sirius's rhythm. Sirius shook his head, reaching down and covering his hand with his own.

Remus shuddered with sensation as Sirius's hand guided his, every stroke like a fire in his veins. He panted desperately as Sirius's hand fell away only to find his hips again. His own hand moved faster, the swollen head in a constant state of friction as Sirius increased his pace, pushing deeper and harder until he spiraled out of control, his whole body clenching as he buried himself in one long thrust, his climax shaking them both.

Remus's body shook, desperate for his own release. He rocked back into Sirius, hungry for the hard thrust of his body, shivering as he moved again, slowly, his hand snaking down between Remus's legs, curving around the base of his cock, his fingers hard against his perineum.

Gasping, Remus fell to the bed, his own orgasm spilling out over his hand. Sirius collapsed on top of him, his weight like a vice as the perspiration coating their skin began to cool, holding them together like glue.

They separated slowly, reluctantly, Remus settling his head on Sirius's shoulder, inhaling the warm, heady scent of him. Sirius played with his hair, smoothing silky strands with his fingertips. "James," he sighed, shaking his head slightly, "is not going to appreciate what we did to his bed."

"No." Remus sat up, picking up the vial of lubricant from where Sirius had dropped it, staring at it with unseeing eyes. James's bed. James's everything. He glanced back at Sirius, pain like a living thing in his chest. "I'm sure you can do a spell or two and it'll be good as new. As for this," he tossed the vial to Sirius and stood up, grabbing his clothes and walking toward his own bed, "I'm sure you can manage to sneak a new one in, since you seem to know where he keeps it."

"Remus..."

"And if that doesn't work, I suppose you can fuck him until he forgets. That seems to be your specialty, doesn't it?"

 

Snape hissed quietly but didn't flinch as Narcissa's nail, cut to a sharp point, dug into his flesh. "My Narcissa," Lucius continued as if nothing had happened, as if his girlfriend were not sitting astride another man, as if blood were not running in small rivulets down Snape's arm, "is quite an artist. Don't you think?"

Snape looked down at the symbol she'd cut into his arm, the skin broken just enough to bleed. A skull with a serpent snaking from its mouth, surprisingly alive, surprising mobile as his muscles flexed, as the pain coursed through him. "She is."

"Temporary, of course. Something to," Lucius walked from behind the desk and sat on the edge of it directly in front of Snape, "think about."

"Your offer is most appealing."

"You're a smart man," Lucius admitted. "I've seen the work you've done on your own as well as in school. I read the paper you submitted to the Ministry. They're quite restrictive, aren't they?"

"That's their job."

"Magic is elemental, Mr. Snape."

"Severus."

Malfoy smiled. "Severus." He leaned forward, tangling his hand in Narcissa's hair, pulling her toward him. Her back arched as she leaned into his grasp, her breasts jutting out toward Snape. Lucius kissed her, his tongue dominating her mouth, her red lips parted hungrily. "Magic," he thrust Narcissa away from him, letting her fall into Severus, her heaving breasts against his chest, her breath hot on his face, her lips inches from his, "cannot be controlled. Not through rules and restrictions. Magic can only be controlled through power."

"What would I do?"

"Graduate, of course. We don't want to give any appearance of impropriety. Learn what...they..." his eyes narrowed decisively, "have to teach you. Learn their weaknesses. Learn their strengths. Learn to hide in the shadows and hide in the light." He stood and helped Narcissa from Snape's lap, smirking slightly at the telltale reaction her presence had left. "Never let them know that you know. Never let them see that you can see the poison of the mundane in their blood. They weaken us, they try to weaken us. But the power will be ours."

He took Severus' hand and lifted it, staring down at the wound on his arm, still seeping blood. "Narcissa will arrange a delivery for you. Supplies. Information. Study, Severus, as you have been. Let me improve your education. Teach you what they will not." He lowered his head to Severus' arm, inhaling the coppery scent from it. "Pure blood is the only blood."

He released him and turned around, walking back to his desk. Severus glanced at Narcissa who smiled and beckoned him to follow her. He got to his feet and started for the door, stopping at the sound of Lucius' voice.

"By the way, Severus," he turned, his silver eyes narrowed, his smile predatory. "I must congratulate you on your treatment of Sirius Black. He is, sadly, nothing more than a mongrel who knows nothing of the way the world should be." His gaze flickered to Narcissa. "He is, however, in possession of more than his share of the requisite feelings of superiority that seem to come just from being borne a Black."

Before Snape could respond, Lucius went on, "However, I do have to express some concern over your...interest? In Remus Lupin."

"I can assure you, the only interest I have in any of them is derived from the intense desire to see them all strung up by their Gryffindor scarves."

"Yes, well," Lucius smiled slightly, the gesture doing nothing to soften the sharp lines of his face. "There have been rumors. And we have been watching."

"Remus Lupin means less than nothing to me. Rest assured of that."

He glanced at Narcissa again and she licked her lips, her eyes bright. Lifting her glass to her lips, she took a drink and shrugged. Lucius turned his attention back to Snape. "It will get more difficult. As you become involved in this, we will ask things of you. Require them of you."

"I have no problem with following orders, so long as I believe in the cause behind them." Snape raised an eyebrow. "And there's been nothing said today that does not fall in line with my beliefs. Such as they are."

"Very well." Lucius lifted his glass of blood red wine and saluted Snape before taking a sip. "I shall inform my...employer of your interest in our cause. And, as I said, I will have Narcissa deliver some things I believe you'll need. We may soon have a job for you, Severus."

"Excellent."

"And Severus?" He sat at his desk and looked up at the younger man. "Do stick close to Potter and his friends. I should think they will most likely be opposed to what we will fight for. It might prove interesting." His smile quirked. "And it will irritate them."

Snape gave him a quick nod then followed Narcissa out of the study. Lucius stroked the side of his goblet with gloved fingers and smiled in earnest, his teeth bared. A soft hiss from the bookcase brought his gaze to the large snake lying deceptively still. Lucius nodded thoughtfully.

"Yes. And we may well learn that some things are never exactly as they seem."

 

Remus sat at the end of the Gryffindor table, ignoring the conversations and speculation going on around him. He pushed his plate away, scratching the back of his neck with his free hand, wondering what exactly he would have to do to keep himself safe from fleas during the full moon.

The chatter around him seemed to stop and he looked up, catching Sirius's eye. He gave him a quick nod then turned back to his book, ducking his head almost fast enough to keep from seeing him turn toward James.

"Are you nervous about the O.W.L.s?" Genevieve leaned across the table and tapped his book. "Remus?"

"What?" He looked up and flushed as she smiled. "Oh. No. O.W.L.s. No. They're done with, aren't they?"

"Yeah," she laughed. "The results are going to be announced today. I'm nervous. I mean, this is when it starts becoming real, isn't it? We'll be learning to apparate soon and then it's all about choosing your field and gearing up for the N.E.W.T.s. Not that you'll have any trouble. I mean, you always seem to do well."

The guy sitting next to Remus snickered and he looked at him quickly, his eyes moving automatically past him to Sirius whose dark eyes burned angrily. "What's so funny, Morgan?"

"Well, she's flirting with you, isn't she?" he whispered. "Probably thinks you sat down here just for her. She's been following you around all year, or haven't you noticed?"

"Uh..." Remus felt heat suffuse his skin. "Oh."

"You're really going to have to work on the whole awareness thing, Lupin," Morgan laughed. "Because you've had swarms of girls swooning with your scruffy looks and complete incomprehension."

"I have?"

"You think they're all after Sirius?"

His face tightened and he closed his book, shrugging. "Mostly? Yeah." He got to his feet and gave a half-hearted wave, surprised despite Morgan's comments at the look of disappointment on Genevieve's face. "I'll see you guys later."

He walked down the length of the table, ignoring Sirius as he turned in his chair, watching Remus walk past him. His eyes were trained on him, beams of heat that seemed to sear his skin where they touched. Remus closed his eyes for a moment, relishing the heat, then opened them, stopping dead in front of Severus Snape.

"Oh. Snape."

"Lupin."

Remus sighed and shook his head. "Excuse me. I've got somewhere to be."

"Don't let me stop you." He continued walking, brushing past Remus and heading for the door. Remus followed him, heading out of the Great Hall, the heat of Sirius's rage like an inferno at his back.

Snape leaned against the stone wall, a small smirk curling his lips as he watched Remus collapse against the cool surface of the opposite side of the corridor. "You mean to tell me the honorable, forgiving Gryffindors haven't kissed and made up?"

"Gryffindors aren't forgiving." Lupin stated flatly. "A broken trust is almost always irrevocably severed."

"Pity your boyfriend preferred sleeping around then, hmmm?"

"He could say the same." Remus raked his fingers through his hair, pausing to scratch the bite at the nape of his neck. "About that day, Severus..."

"Are you going to try to rationalize it all again? I was lonely, I was sad, I was hurt, so I was willing to open my heart and see the good in all people, just enough to allow you to stoop so low as to fuck me?" He laughed quietly, the sound humorless. "Don't bother."

"Putting words in my mouth, how like a Slytherin."

Snape walked forward, closing the distance between them. "Given what you last had in your mouth, Lupin, I really think you have very little room to talk."

"I was merely trying to apologize." Remus bit the words out. "Before, when we spoke. I was short with you. I was..."

"Rude?" Snape sneered. "Well, of course you were. Your boyfriend was coming and you wouldn't want to give him any more of an inferiority complex, would you? How sad for you both that he feels the only way he can prove he's not like his family is to sink into every depravity he can find. I do wonder what his dear mother would think of the fact that he's further polluting the family blood with not one, but two of his roommates."

"I think the last thing Sirius is concerned about is his family blood." Remus tilted his chin defiantly. "Spilling yours might be higher on his list."

"I quiver with fear." Snape assured him, chuckling softly. He lifted his left hand to Remus's cheek and stroked the high cheekbone with his thumb. The sleeve of his robe fell down his arm and the bright scar shone beneath his white shirt. "As for blood, Remus," he smiled as Lupin shivered, "It should very much be everyone's concern."

 

"Well," James sighed and leaned against the wall next to Lupin, watching as he shivered and shook himself, "that was ominous."

"What are you doing out here?"

"Sirius asked me to look and see if it was safe for him to come out here or if it'd be better to sneak out the back."

"Is that so?"

"No. He just wanted to know if you were still fucking him. Snape, I mean."

"And what will you tell him?"

"I'll tell him that Snape is one creepy guy." James shrugged. "And that you were most definitely not fucking him."

"You think he'll believe you? Because he doesn't seem to believe me."

"Well, why should he?" James held up his hands in surrender as Remus glared at him then shrugged. "You don't believe that nothing is going on between the two of us."

"Should I?"

James sighed and rubbed his eyes, his glasses sitting cock-eyed on his nose. "I'm not going to lie to you, Remus. There was something... between us. For a while. Mostly it was just good, clean fun. We'd mess around, flirting with the girls and then we'd just sort of...fall into things. But it didn't mean anything."

"It meant something to me."

"Well, we were sort of being selfish, weren't we? Another adjective for the Slytherins to sneer at us when we walk by." He shrugged. "The thing it all comes down to, Remus, is that it's over. Sirius and I. We're over. Hell, we never began. It was just... It wasn't anything. A bit of fun. And you got hurt, and I'm sorry."

"He admires you." Remus laughed softly. "Of course, everyone does, don't they?"

"I don't want to be admired, Remus. I want to be liked. By my friends." He tilted his head, his eyes searching Remus's. "All of my friends?"

"Yeah, well," Remus sniffed, "maybe if you muss your hair a little bit."

James ran his hand through his already messy dark locks. "Better?"

"He's never going to forgive me."

"I think, were you so inclined as to forgive him for his horrible indiscretion with that rapscallion, James Potter, he'd be more than happy to forgive you. Hell, he'd likely throw you down in the middle of Transfiguration and give McGonagall a heart attack."

"Well, you can tell him there's no need for that!" Remus laughed. "The...the McGonagall part. The rest of it'd be okay."

"Yeah?"

James and Remus both looked over to the doorway where Sirius was leaning against the smooth wood. Remus nodded as James waved and headed down the corridor. "Yeah."

"I can't figure it out, Moony." Sirius sighed heavily. "You've obviously got amazing taste in men, because you chose me, but why on earth would you pick him?"

"Variety?"

"I'll chalk it up to the full moon and we'll call it good, okay?" Sirius looped his arm around Remus's shoulders and they started walking back toward the Gryffindor tower. "But next time you go slumming, at least have the decency to do it in Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff, would you?"

"How about you don't give me a reason to go slumming?"

Sirius nodded as he contemplated the thought, quickly guiding Remus into a dark corner behind a statue of some famous wizard whose name he'd already forgotten. "That," he purred, his tongue licking at Remus's lips, easing them apart, "is something I can do."

"We have class, Sirius," he protested weakly as Sirius insinuated one leg between both of his. "We'll be late."

"I can still throw you down in front of McGonagall."

"Right then." Remus bit Sirius's lip lightly. "Late it is."

 

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