"Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile." (William Cullen Bryant)
R. Remus has something to show Sirius.
Season of Promises (100×2 words)
It had been a perfectly normal night, but Sirius woke and knew that summer was over. The sun climbing over the horizon was too far away to warm properly anymore; he breathed in air that was cold against his teeth and pulled the blanket up to his chin.
Autumn had begun, the season of promises. The promise of bonfires and roasting potatoes, of scuffing though the woods in a carpet of leaves, of lengthening nights and clear skies arced with brilliant stars. Of jaws aching from treacle toffee and legs aching from climbing the hills, of apples picked and eaten.
<center>* * * *</center>
Sirius, born and raised in pure-blood Wizarding London, had known nothing of the promises of autumn before coming to Hogwarts. James and Peter had found his monumental ignorance a rich source of amusement. Amidst their exclamations of 'you never…?' and 'you don't know…?' he heard the low voice of the other boy in their dormitory, the quiet, pale boy.
Remus had looked sideways at Sirius through overlong brown hair and said, "I'll show you." He'd traced an X in the air over his heart and smiled at Sirius' blank stare. "That means I promise."
Sirius loved the season of promises.
Peasgood Nonsuch (100 words)
"And this," Remus said, holding one out, "is a Peasgood Nonsuch."
Sirius took the proffered motley apple and sniffed it. "That would be a good name for our first child." He took a huge bite, closing his eyes as he chewed. "Iff eh-ee oo." A trickle of juice ran from the corner of his mouth down his chin, and Remus watched in fascination. "'ip," Sirius said, gesturing with the apple. "Tickles."
Remus glanced around the orchard, checking that they were alone, then leaned forward and ran his tongue along the trail of autumn sweetness, tracing Sirius' mouth like a whisper.
Fandom/Pairing: Harry Potter / RLSB
Rating: PG13 for talk about sex, some language
Beta: harriet_black is a total angel!
Summary: An off-stage kiss and two lectures. Follows 'Seduction', but can be read independently. Reading them back-to-back makes me laugh, though.
A/N: This is another backstory for The Maddest House. It doesn’t have much in the way of plot, just lots of talking and some painting. Don’t know why I keep posting these, really: the fingers just have to type….
Rating: PG-13 for talk about sex
Beta: thecatgoesmoo did a super speedy next-day job!
Summary: Remus Lupin gives his boy the sex talk. Well. A sex talk. He talks. About sex. But it turns out to be about something else.
ETA: kasche drew the most gorgeous picture for me for the 2005 Shacking Up Secret Santa. * wipes away tears of awe *
Sirius Black's Dead-Easy Cookbook
Disclaimer: JKR owns all, I own nothing
Genre: Cliché, Humour
Summary: For the Lupin-Snape Cliché-o-rama! “Trapped together on the night of the full moon, mate or die”; scarred!Remus, growling!Remus, “the two get very, very drunk”
Dedication: to ebonlock for providing me with the inspirational music for this story (Judas by Depeche Mode) and to MajinSakuko for making me laugh.
Severus came to his senses in slow, painful steps. There was the step of pain in his head, and the step of the throb in his ankle. He stepped up from the ringing in his ears to the far worse step of the churning of his stomach. He tried groaning, just for effect.
“Shut it. This is all your fault.”
He managed to force one eye open–it was gummed together with some kind of sticky goo–and blinked at the very blurry person sitting on the bed.
“Lupin–you–why am I on the floor?“
“Because I was afraid that if I tipped you you’d spew. You do remember the soirée you threw in your rooms last night? I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t. Trying to out-drink kids half your age….”
“Stop.” Severus waved his hand. “I need a wand.”
“You’ll have to live through the old-fashioned hangover remedy. We haven’t got wands.”
Severus sat up abruptly, and then collapsed back on the floor from the strain. “Where are we, Lupin? It looks like….” He turned his head very carefully and took in the room. “It looks like a tawdry honeymoon suite,” he said finally.
“There’s a whirlpool bath,” Remus confirmed.
“Are we on a honeymoon, Lupin?”
Remus snorted. “No, you bastard, I think we’re in the Room of Requirement.”
“Oh. Well, that’s all right, then.”
“Have you noticed what this room doesn’t have?” Remus pointed at the walls. “No door.” Severus blinked at him to go on, and Remus sighed. “Do you remember anything about last night, say, after you took your shirt off?”
“Ah, wah… hah?”
That was a definite snicker. “Do you remember Moody and Potter singing ‘I Got You, Babe’ a capella?”
“Do you remember throwing your shirtless self over the worktable, knocking me backwards into a stack of unwashed cauldrons? Which fell on top of us, while you were trying to choke me? So that my only escape was to shove you off, except that you dragged me with you under the table? Where several people, including Moody’s clawed foot, kicked us until we were hexed into submission? That’s the last thing I remember,” he added darkly, glaring down at Severus. “So it’s all your fault.” He waved a long roll of parchment dramatically in the air. “Our friends left us a message. Shall I read it to you?”
“’Dear Thick-Headed Idiot and Offensive Prat’–I think Offensive Prat is you–‘Having been exposed once too often to the–'” Remus choked on the words–“’suppressed, smoldering sexual passions that you both deny, have decided that I cannot take it anymore. I capital-R-Require you to release these demons of ravening lust. You have enough food for 5 days. Only love will set you free. Signed, NT.’”
Severus pulled himself into a dignified crawl. “Where’s the toilet, Lupin?”
“Hah. That was my reaction, too.”
“Another glass of water, Severus?”
“I suppose so, if I’m not dead yet.”
“I’m going to run you a bath. For both our sakes.” Remus studied the bath dubiously, but finally managed to get the hot water running. “You’ll feel worlds better.”
Severus gave him a long, unreadable look, then nodded sharply. “I wouldn’t mind a bath,” he conceded reluctantly. Remus left him in the semi-privacy of the bathroom (the door was entirely glass, covered in little frosted hearts) and he stripped off his trousers and sank in the water up to his chin. The heat eased muscle aches and the pain from his bruises. His thoughts all turned into a thick pudding-like mess. Remus had laid out a flannel with some flowery-smelling bar soap. He took it as an unsubtle hint and insult, but gods didn’t it feel good to be clean. He found the perfect angle for lying back, assisted by several thick terry bath sheets, and was just dozing off when Remus knocked and poked his head in.
Severus didn’t bother opening his eyes. “I’m having delusions of heaven, don’t remind me that I’m in hell.”
“I found some water biscuits and cheese, if you’re hungry instead of drowned.”
Severus turned his head slightly enough that he could see Remus through one half-opened eye. “Biscuits might be good. But I find myself incapable of moving.”
“Well.” Remus moved in, turning the dustbin over and sitting on it. “If I put the food near your mouth, do you think you could chew?”
It turned out that Severus not only had to deal with the indignity of being fed crackers in the bath, but also the humiliation of being dried off, dressed in a pair of midnight-blue satin-y pajamas, and being half-carried to bed, where he was tucked in efficiently. He tried to work himself into a rage at the unfairness of life, but he was asleep before he could work himself past mild annoyance.
Severus woke feeling dislocated. Strange bed, strange pajamas, strange noises. He reached for his wand, his hand hitting the table before he remembered.
There was a hiss and a smell of sulfur, and Remus’ face appeared, eerily, over a candle flame.
“What are you doing, Lupin?”
Remus set the candle down on the bedside table next to some luridly illustrated boxes and potions bottles. “I couldn’t sleep. I’ve been pacing up… and down… and up again, if you must know.”
“Well, stop it. You look like–“ The words suddenly stuck in Severus’ throat.
“Unlike you to leave a malicious thought unsaid. Like a wolf in a cage, perhaps?” Remus was wearing only a pair of pajama trousers (identical to Severus’) that hung precariously on his narrow hips, and the candlelight caught the silver lines of old scars. Too many old scars.
“The full moon is tonight.”
“Tell me something I don’t know, Snape.” Remus was pacing again, his hands opening and closing. “Tell me, do you think Nymphadora Tonks will remember before tonight?” He mimed dropping something breakable and put a hand to his mouth in mock horror. “Oops.”
“I’d rather not be an oops.”
“Well, Moody’s off to Dublin and Potter’s training for the big game against Belize, so, help me, Nymphadora, you’re our only hope.”
“I’m screwed, aren’t I?”
“Funny you should mention that.”
Severus pulled the sheets up under his chin. “I don’t want to hear it, Lupin. I’m still sick.”
“Alive. You’re still alive. And I’d rather not eat you. You’d be stringy and tough. I don’t suppose you have any Wolfsbane with you? Or even aconite?” Remus asked with studied nonchalance.
“I don’t even have a shirt.”
“Well.” Remus paced. It was not, Severus thought, unlike trying to keep an eye on a Beater in a Quidditch game. “I’ve been thinking. That parchment seems pretty straightforward. ‘Love will set you free, demons of lust, sexual passion.’ Capital-R-Required. That’s the key to getting out of here. Before moonset.” Remus swung round, came back. “I suggest we experiment.”
“I suggest you go fuck yourself.”
“Tried that. Didn’t work. I suspect it has to be, ah, mutual. I also tried verbal triggers, while you were sleeping. Didn’t work either.”
Severus’ mouth twitched in what might have been a smirk, or perhaps a snarl. “You professed your undying lust for me while I was collapsed in nervous exhaustion?”
“Well, yes. It seemed safest. Although I’m sure it has to be mutual.”
“Die in agony, Lupin.”
“Well.” He looked hopefully at Severus. “I love you madly, you adorable man you.” He made a go-on gesture with one hand, coaching.
Severus stared intensely at the ceiling. “You are a thick-headed idiot, but I love you.”
They both looked for a door.
“I think Tonks would be asking for a bit much if she expected us to be sincere,” Remus offered, after a mutually humiliated pause.
“So.” Severus avoided looking at Remus. “What is your next clever plan for experimentation?”
“Well, verbal didn’t work, so then there’s kissing, and groping, removal of all clothing, and, ah, sex, of which there are several positions we could try…. You’re looking nauseous again, Severus.”
“I’m feeling nauseous again.” Severus forced himself to look in the direction of Remus, who had collapsed onto one of the overstuffed chairs. He focused on Remus’ feet. Fairly innocuous things, feet. “If it’s all the same to you, I’d rather skip over all the leading-up-to nonsense and just proceed to violent, loveless sex.”
“It’s not as if we have sexual whatever between us. We don’t.”
“Not sexual frustration. I’ve never thought of you that way. You look good shirtless, though, when you’re not throwing up.”
“Looked, did you?”
“Asked me to look, didn’t you, when you took the damned thing off?” Remus sighed, his head sliding sideways to rest in the corner of the chair. He shut his eyes.
“What happened to all your energy? I thought we were going to get this resolved.”
“Moonset, Severus,” Remus yawned, shifting in the chair. “I’ve been up all night.”
“Well, come and sleep on the bed, you daft bugger. Of all the ridiculous….” Severus pushed himself up and out of bed, padded over to Remus, and yanked him up. “Get over there. Under the sheets. Merlin knows why I put up with you.”
Remus made some reply, but it was lost in the pillow.
“Aren’t you awake yet? You’ve been sleeping for hours.” Severus sat down on the bed and rapped the pillow.
There was a humping of shoulders as Remus rearranged the pillow over his head. “Only three or four hours, tops. Go away.”
“I would if I could.”
The Remus-shape curled up on itself defensively. A certain amount of gold and silver hair stuck out from under the pillow, matching the fine hairs on his arms. Severus shuddered. I am thinking about Remus Lupin’s body hair, he thought. He made himself think of all the ways he would make Nymphadora Tonks suffer, instead.
“Get up, Remus,” he said, yanking the sheet down in one snap. “I want to get out of here now.”
Remus lifted a corner of the pillow to peer out, much as a mouse might watch an owl from its nest. “I hardly think I need to get up, then, do I? I’ll just lie here, and you go to it.”
“I thought you were supposed to be such a romantic,” Severus sneered.
The coil of Remus unrolled slowly as he pulled himself up to sitting, not stopping until his nose was nearly touching Severus’. When he spoke, the calm of his voice made the anger in it all the more alarming. “I just wasted an entire day waiting for you to recover from self-inflicted alcohol poisoning. You might have the courtesy of letting me sleep until noon. I feel like hell.”
On close inspection, there were dark circles under Remus’ eyes, and the lines on his face were sharp, as if drawn by a knife.
Severus looked away. “Do you want me to run you a bath?”
Remus snorted and shook his head. “I’m just dead tired, that’s all.”
“But you do this every month.”
Remus tilted his head to the left, as if Severus might make more sense sideways. “That doesn’t make it easier.” He lay down again, knees pulled almost to his stomach and one arm thrown over his eyes. The curve of his back looked vulnerable, somehow, so Severus replaced the sheet. Remus made a small noise and pulled the sheet up over his head, like a child afraid of the dark.
Severus sighed and took the candle over to the table. He studied the books stacked there woefully, and then settled into a chair with Our Bodies, Our Selves.
He was desultorily flipping through Doing It on Broomsticks and wondering if the text’s photographs had been doctored as some things didn’t seem anatomically possible, when Remus stretched and rolled out of bed.
“Morning, Snape,” he muttered, heading into the loo. Severus got up and put a breakfast of sorts on the table. Tonks’ selection of food was… imaginative.
“Brilliant, I’m starved.” Remus sprawled into the other chair and popped a chocolate digestive biscuit into his mouth.
They managed to get through the meal without talking about anything deeper than whether the jam was raspberry, and who got the last strawberry, and the translation for the Aztec word for avocado tree (Ahuacuatl), which is how Remus got to eat the entire avocado all by himself. There were bottles of wine, but they settled for tap water. And then the meal was done, and there was nothing else to do, really, but cross the room to the bed.
Remus stretched out flat, looking at the ceiling. Severus sat gingerly on the edge.
“So what do we do–go directly to buggery, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred golden galleons?”
“That seems most expedient.”
Remus grimaced. “It’s hard to get excited about what will undoubtedly be one of the worst sexual experiences of my life.”
Severus’ eyes narrowed. “Is it so hard to think that sex with me might be enjoyable in the least?”
Remus dropped an arm over his eyes. “Oh, Merlin. No, it’s not you. It’s just that you were right, I guess, about me being a romantic, if by that you mean having a relationship before having sex. It’s just strange to think about doing it without love,” he added lowly. “But it’s OK.”
“First time for everything?”
“I’ve never killed, and that’s a far worse first to consider.”
“Damn Nymphadora Tonks.”
Remus lowered his arm and looked at Severus in surprise. Then he reached up one hand to the back of Severus’ neck and pulled him down.
“I don't kiss.”
“Indulge me.” Remus’ breath was warm and smelt of strawberries. It was an awkward kiss, and Severus was glad when Remus’ grip relaxed and he could pull back. He decided it would be a bad idea to wipe his mouth off. They hadn’t banged teeth or bitten tongues or bruised lips: as a kiss it had been… average. But the earth hadn’t moved, either. He glanced down at Remus, who looked dubious, too.
Severus sat up, stripping off his pajama shirt. “Take off your trousers,” he said abruptly, shoving his own off and letting them fall to the floor.
Remus did so, slowly.
“Do you have to watch me like that? And don’t be so fucking passive.”
Remus snarled–now that’s a cliché, Severus thought, amused–and launched himself up off the bed, throwing Severus back onto the mattress and straddling his hips. He leaned forward and Severus braced himself for another kiss, but instead Remus bit him, not hard, but right at a very sensitive spot along his jawline. Remus shifted, slightly, so that his mouth could move down Severus’ neck, licking and nipping. He had a trick of sliding his teeth sideways along a pinch of skin, bruising and then soothing it with his tongue, that made Severus arch his head backwards to give him more neck to work with. Remus’ teeth met over his carotid. Severus was very aware of the sharpness of his canines and found he was breathing rapidly, but not in fear.
He was feeling desire for Remus Lupin.
He reached up, tentatively, to brush back Remus’ hair where it fell over his face and felt rather than heard the sharp intake of breath. Remus moved lower, licking the base of his neck, sliding down to suck a nipple into his mouth. Severus’ fingers convulsed, tangling in Remus’ hair, and he rocked his hips, tentatively, against him. Remus moaned and moved to torment the other nipple, one hand sliding down over Severus’ stomach and wrapping with an absurd familiarity around his cock. Severus thrust up into Remus’ hand, which tightened and moved ever-so-slowly up and down.
Severus nudged Remus’ chin. “What are we doing?”
Remus removed his mouth and looked up, amused. “Why don't you tell me what you don't understand?”
“What are we going to do?”
“Ah.” The amusement grew exponentially. “Top or bottom, Severus? Your call.” He bent to lap at the nipple like a cat with cream. “Or we could do something else.”
“I’m not sure that 'something else' would open the door–ah!” Severus shivered at a judicious application of teeth. “Tempting as it is, damn it.” He looked down, meeting Remus’ eyes. “Top.”
Remus nodded and slid to the side, grabbing a pile from the bedside table. “Right.” He handed Severus a foil package. “Condom.” Severus made a face, and Remus looked at him. “This close to the full moon, you want to have unprotected sex with a werewolf?” He lay back, taking the lid off a small jar. Severus took the jar from him firmly.
“I'll do that.” Remus nodded again, as Severus moved his legs apart. “You can think about… him, if you want to,” Severus offered. Remus’ hand on his arm clenched painfully.
“No. That would be infinitely worse.”
“Ah.” Severus shifted. “I’ve never been in a relationship. So I don’t know….”
“Intellectually I appreciate the sentiment, but emotionally I want to hurt you.”
Severus looked at Remus shrewdly, then leaned down and kissed him. It wasn’t quite so bad the second time, and Remus’ hands came up to span his back, pulling him close with more than a little desperation. Severus let himself touch Remus’ hair, his arms, his chest, his arse, his legs. God, but he hated sleeping with people he knew. Afterwards, nothing ever seemed right again.
He turned on his side and pulled Remus with him, hooking Remus’ leg over his own. He scooped up a good-sized amount of the lube—proper Wizarding lube, at any rate, the kind that lasted–and pushed one finger inside Remus’ arse. Remus stiffened, and Severus kissed him again, moving his tongue roughly in rhythm with his finger. Remus writhed against him and relaxed around him. He slipped a second finger in and smirked as Remus pushed back.
There was a crinkle of foil, and Severus felt the annoyingly familiar tightness of the condom being unrolled down his cock. Remus smirked and dipped into the lube. He reached down, spiraling a slippery trail around the head of Severus’ cock with one finger, then letting his fingers trail downwards as gently as silk before wrapping around him. His hand was hot, or maybe it was the condom. Amazing the products that one could buy these days. He thrust into Remus’ hand, his eyes shivering closed at the sensation.
“Gods yes, now.” Severus rolled over Remus, holding his legs up and impatiently waiting as Remus positioned him. He pushed in hard, loving the tightness and the heat and the sound that was torn from Remus’ throat. He pulled back and thrust deeper, turning his hips and smiling triumphantly as this wrung a cry from Remus.
He could not have been gentle even if he had wanted to. He did not want to, so that was fine. Beneath his fierce pounding Remus was coming undone, arms outflung and scrabbling for purchase on the mattress, head rolling from side to side, and –yes–growling in a way that was somehow primally gratifying.
He was barely aware of Remus’ orgasm when it came; wouldn't have noticed it at all except that Remus shouted and bore down with a terrible, wonderful pressure on Severus’ cock. Severus thrust into that tightness desperately, until light exploded behind his eyes, time slowed and stopped, and he was rising above it all. Almost enough to make it worth it.
The sound of his own harsh breathing brought him back to himself, and he collapsed on Remus inelegantly, taking his hands from Remus’ shoulders where they had grasped hard enough to bruise. They were both sweat-slick and sticky with cum, but Remus put his arms around him anyway, one hand straying up to push away the hair that clung to his face.
“Thank you, Severus.”
He discovered that he could raise his head, and he did so, looking at Remus with frank confusion. “For what?”
Remus’ mouth twitched. “For–just now. For making it good.”
Severus snorted. “I’ll just take all the responsibility then, shall I? Did it work?”
Remus shook his head. “No door.”
“Damn.” Severus pulled out slowly, Remus taking charge of the condom and putting it who-knows-where. He lay on his back and looked at the ceiling. “I don’t suppose that old wives’ tale about werewolves not attacking their mates has any truth to it?”
“How would I know?” Remus stretched and stood. “Might be true. But I've never been fool enough to get into this kind of situation before. Come and take a shower.”
“And then what?”
“And then I’m going to take a nap. And then… we’ll see.”
Severus had lost all sense of time, but when Remus said it was teatime he trusted him. As moonrise approached Remus resumed his restless pacing. Finally, with a last vicious look around, as if a door might suddenly appear and save them, he stripped off his clothes and stood still in the corner of the room.
“I’d lie down in the bed, if I were you,” he said, glancing at Severus with eyes that were already starting to shine. “Take the candle and some books. I had five doses of Wolfsbane, that should have some effect.” His mouth worked soundlessly, and he crouched as if forced down by an invisible hand. Severus retreated quickly.
Remus must have chosen the spot for transformation purposely, so that the edge of the bed obscured Severus’ view of the change. The sounds were terrible, human cries of agony that went suddenly silent, and then became animal whimpers of pain. This was followed by harsh breathing for what seemed like an eternity. If only they had a floo, Severus pondered, he could have made some very obscene fire calls.
Finally, the wolf staggered upright, whining, and made its way to the bathroom. There was the sound of water lapping, and Severus thought hysterically, he’s drinking out of the toilet.
The wolf re-emerged and headed for the bed.
“Hullo, Lupin,” Severus said cautiously. “I really would appreciate it if you’d just walk up and down the way you usually do. You left yourself a nice dinner on the dish under the table.”
The wolf reared up and put its front paws on the bed. Seventy kilos of Lupin was still too bony for Severus’ taste; seventy kilos of wolf was heart-stopping.
“Go eat your wolf dinner and then we’ll talk about bed rights,” Severus said firmly.
Severus was woken by two things. The first was the wolf falling out of the bed as the change hit. The pained cries were just as agonized as before. He forced himself to watch as the snarling jaws bit down again and again in an attempt to gnaw away the pain, until at last the wolf receded and only Remus was left, sobbing and shivering on the floor.
Severus put Remus back to bed, washed out the bites with a wet flannel and wrapped the worst of them in strips torn from the pillowcases. He lay down again, one hand on Remus’ shoulder, and shut his eyes.
The candle had guttered out when he was awoken again by a loud bang and light pouring in, blindingly, from the open door.
Remus, wrapped in his arms, pressed his face against Severus’ chest, his breath warm. “Well, fuck me,” he whispered, so that only Severus could hear, “the cavalry’s here.”
Severus glared over an armful of naked, injured werewolf at Nymphadora Tonks.
“Where the hell have you been?” he asked, sliding out of the bed and stalking over to the door. Tonks handed him his wand wordlessly.
“You’re covered in blood,” she said incongruously. “Did he–are you–?”
“No,” Severus said curtly. “I’m fine. No thanks to you.”
“I forgot,” she whispered, staring at the floor as if something interesting had just appeared at her feet. “I remembered last night, but the moon was already up. So I just had to wait until morning….”
“That would make me Schrödinger’s werewolf and Severus the cat in the box, wouldn’t it, Nymphadora?” Remus had pulled on his pajama pants. “Alive? Dead? Turned? Who knows?” He yanked his wand out of her hand, and sighed in relief as he cast a series of healing spells. Tonks looked in horror at the makeshift bandages that covered his arms.
“I don’t want to hear it.”
Tonks watched as Remus limped away, her eyes huge. “I didn’t think–“
“No, well, that’s only the second time a friend of his tried to get him to eat me,” Severus said in a tinder-dry voice.
“But why didn’t you just open the door?” she wailed.
“We’ll see, won’t we?” Severus put an official seal on the door to the room and turned. “To the Headmaster’s Office, Miss Tonks. We’ll see what he thinks about this piece of criminal mischief.”
“I need to go apologize to Remus.”
“Write him a damned note. Your writing style is very… persuasive.” Severus poked her with his wand. “Headmaster’s Office. Now.”
“Open the damn door, Lupin.”
The door opened just wide enough to show half of Remus’ face. He looked worn to the bone, but his expression was impassive.
“Let me in.”
Remus stared at him blankly, then shrugged and held the door open. Severus walked over to the rumpled bed and set the basket he carried down. Two traveling cases stood at the foot of the bed, and the wardrobe door hung open.
“You weren’t at dinner–are you going somewhere?”
“Anywhere but here.”
Severus fixed him with a sharp black look. “Stay.” He took a stone pot of salve and a roll of bandages from the basket. “Sit down.” Remus sank down on the bed with a sigh. “If you don’t scratch this off it’ll stop the scarring.” He smeared a thick layer of salve over the ragged wounds and wrapped them tightly. “Other arm. Why should you go?”
Remus’ mouth twisted. “Because I have been humiliated beyond endurance and would prefer to slink off into the night?… Thank you.”
“Nymphadora Tonks has had strips ripped out of her by both Dumbledore and Moody. No one knows what went on between us. None of their damn business. Dumbledore seems to be under the impression that I had a flask of Wolfsbane on me.”
Remus ducked his head. “That was… kind of you.”
“Do you want to know why we couldn’t get the damned door to open?”
“Even in the depths of my depression, I must confess to being curious.”
Severus put the salve and bandages away and set the basket on the floor. “Miss Tonks did make sex the trigger to open the door. But, ah, in her drunken state she specified a kind of sex neither you nor I could have had. Specifically, that involving a vagina.”
Remus’ shoulders shook with laughter, quietly. “Oh, god.” He looked up, grinning slyly. “Did you have to listen to Albus say the word ‘vagina’?”
“No less than seven times. It seemed to have a most satisfactory effect on Miss Tonks.”
“I really don’t want to think about her right now. Or Albus. Why are you here, Severus?”
Severus reached out and pulled Remus in to a kiss, a slow and sweet kiss, the incongruity of which made Remus smile. Severus pulled back and traced Remus’ lips with a finger. “Because I don’t want you to go.”
“What, are we in a relationship now?”
“I don’t know. But a relationship… seems to have become possible. Not just because the sex was good. I would like the chance to try, for this once in my life.”
“It seems incongruous to say I’d like to take it slowly.”
“There’s all the time in the world, these days.”
Remus nodded. “Will you stay here tonight? I mean–it’ll mostly be unpacking, and I’ll probably be up all night pacing the floor, but. You’re welcome to stay.”
“There’s nothing I’d like better,” Severus said, and somehow it was true.