|The Four Stages of Igor
Author: Shadow Padawan PM
Severus is sent to get some experience in the Lord's Lab. There his training is overseen by the Head of Lab, Igor Karkaroff who takes interest in the young Death Eater. Slash.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Severus S. & I. Karkaroff - Words: 1,874 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 02-11-13 - id: 8999549
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"He's a bright boy, you'll enjoy his company," Antonin says. He puts a hand on Severus' shoulder briefly but never takes his eyes off of Igor's face.
Igor gives him a signature, quicksilver smile. "If he's so bright, why are you letting him go, Antonin?"
"I'm lending him to you," Antonin remarks and laughs internally at the sour look on Snape's face. The boy obviously does not enjoy being discussed as though he is an object to be bargained for and traded. Rightfully so, of course, but it still amuses Antonin to no end.
"Alright, well I suppose we should get to work then. Mr. Snape, come with me." Igor turns and waves at the boy to come. Severus follows, trying to not scowl too obviously. He is actually rather curious about what the Lab does and he supposes Karkaroff, being Head of the Lord's Lab, would have answers to all of his scientific questions but he still does not appreciate being treated like a thing or a child as he is neither. "How is your training going, Mr. Snape?" Igor asks conversationally, leading Severus through two sets of double doors, casting spells to unlock each. Snape, meanwhile, is far more interested in guessing which security spells Karkaroff is removing by his wandwork than the small talk.
"Fine. Well. I enjoy the practices. They don't teach stuff like that at Hogwarts."
Igor laughs and it is a nervous yet strangely ringing sound. "Of course they do not, Mr. Snape. You are starting your fifth year now?"
"Very sorry, of course, sixth." Igor throws him a careless grin over one shoulder and Severus notes that Karkaroff is actually a young man and he looks young as well. Both he and Dolohov are in their mid twenties, so are many of the other Officers that Severus has come into contact with, but Igor looks far younger than all of them. Even Lucius Malfoy, who probably looks older because he takes every chance to pretend to be a peacock, but the fact still stands.
"Antonin says you're bright, especially at potions," Igor continues. Severus is hardly listening, too busy gaping at the multitude of shelves packed with books in the lab's research library.
"I'm competent, yes."
"Modest!" Igor laughs again and Severus cannot for the life of him figure out what is so funny, but, once again, he is distracted. Igor leads him into the potions testing and brewing part of the lab and Severus holds his breath as he surveys the work tables, the neatly lined up caldrons of various sizes and shapes and the wall-length cabinets of ingredients, some with glass doors. "You like?"
"It's…incredible sir. Absolutely…." Severus runs a hand over the smooth surface of one of the lab tables. He feels eyes on him and quickly pulls his hand away. Severus looks up and meets Igor's shining, dancing eyes.
Igor tells him quickly about how the lab works, the procedures, the rules, promises to take him to the spell development areas a little later after they've done some work. Then he asks with a peculiarly sharp note of curiosity, "Tell me, Mr. Snape, are you more of a researcher or a hands-on sort?"
Snape considers this. He had never had much equipment to work with so theory often ruled over practice more out of necessity than choice. "I do enjoy the books, sir," he says finally. "But I wish to be more hands-on, as you call it."
"A diplomatic answer."
"If you do not mind me asking, sir" Severus says bravely, his coal-black eyes widening slightly as he meets Igor's sparkling ones, "which type are you?"
Igor's smile lingers for a moment before he answers. "I'm a necromancer by specialization, Mr. Snape. I know my theory, but I can't get away from the pentagon; it calls to me."
Severus nods like he understands.
A week later Igor tells Antonin with much enthusiasm, "That boy of yours is ingenious, Tony. Can I keep him?" When Antonin laughs good-naturedly, not taking the comment seriously, Igor does not disillusion him. He'd been serious but no one needed to know that; not even Tony.
Severus does not know what to think of Igor. He likes him though, in a strange way that makes the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. They work well together and Igor has all the competency needed and he is good friends with all the high ranking officers but he is also no where near as polished as any of them.
Severus likes the attention Igor offers him with an easy smile, a joke and a keen, measuring look in his eyes. Severus has no idea what Karkaroff could want with him. He cannot ask Lucius, for Malfoy would give him a pretentious answer – Igor is far from his social equal, after all. But Igor has all the things Severus wants – approval to give, ancient texts on ancient rituals to lend, stories of Durmstrang to tell and the occasional odd look that Severus catches falling on him, the sort that makes him wonder what Karkaroff is thinking when they stay late at night together to work on something, long after the rest of the Lab's staff has left.
On his seventeenth birthday, Igor gives him a thick book with yellowed pages and faded diagrams. "I've seen you looking at it, I figured you'd like to have it," Igor says, stuffing both hands nervously into the pockets of his work robes.
"Thank you, I really appreciate it, sir," Severus says earnestly, clutching the heavy volume with both hands.
Igor shifts from one foot to the other, random strands of hair falling over into his face and over his thick, dark eyebrows. He often looks a mess while working, too intent on the task at hand to care for anything else. "How does it feel to be an adult?"
"Nice, I suppose." Severus offers a one-shouldered shrug. Then, fearing he had been too informal adds, "Sir."
Karkaroff holds up both hands. "Please, call me Igor." A pause, then, "If I may call you Severus."
"We've been working together for so long, I just thought, and you will be Marked soon…"
"Alright then. Shall we close up for the night?" They do and Severus leaves, clinging onto his new book and glancing back over his shoulder twice, hoping, for some reason, to see Igor following him before he reaches the security perimeter and can apparate. At home, Severus wonders why Igor favors him so obviously and what he could possibly want. Lucius would know – he's good at political games. But Severus has no intention of asking him.
Igor remains at the Lab for another half-hour, pacing mindlessly in his favorite thinking domain, trying to figure out if Severus has noticed that he fancies him and if he has noticed, what he thinks of this.
Severus is surprised when Igor kisses him. There were many things he imagined could come from his awkward yet steadily budging friendship with the older man but somehow he had not considered sexual possibilities.
"Sorry," Igor mutters, withdrawing, watching Severus' pupils continue to slowly dilate until they almost swallow the whites of his eyes. "I won't do it again if it's unwelcome." He starts to back away, drawing himself back up, running a hand through his dark hair in a gesture that has become very familiar to Severus.
"Wait." Severus reaches out and grabs his arm. "It's welcome." Severus makes the decision lightening fast but he's pretty sure that he wants to explore this. Igor tastes like herbs and berries and his skin is softer than Severus would have expected.
Igor's hands travel under Severus' robes, pushing the tick fabric off his shoulders. They kiss again, longer this time and Severus allows himself to explore. He loves the feeling, the rush that runs through him when Igor's strong, nimble fingers run over his chest and neck, into his long, greasy hair which most people find unpleasant.
They're alone in the research library, among the long, stuffed shelves of texts. It smells like books and old parchment rolls and wood in here. Severus closes his eyes and allows Igor to undress him. The entire thing is curious to Severus. He had never felt quite so aroused or so comfortable with physical contact.
He enjoys the sex, Severus realizes later. He enjoys the way Igor completely breaks free and allows the neurotic part of himself to take over and control his movements and his breathless confessions. He enjoys the way the accidental touches suddenly have meaning and depth, a perception of intimacy. He enjoys recognizing that sexual part of himself which makes itself known when he is with Igor. Severus likes the way they move together as one and the look in Igor's eyes like he's made a brilliant, unique discovery, just before they are consumed in their respective climaxes.
It is an exquisite accident in the land of ash which is this war. Just like the sketches and doodles of naked bodies pressed together that Severus sometimes draws in the margins of his books these days when he needs a break from reading and working.
"There was Dolohov. He killed and tortured numerous muggles."
"We have Dolohov."
"Rosier. Evan Rosier!"
"Rosier is dead."
Severus stands at the back of the chamber cloaked in black, his hood up and face hidden. He cannot trust himself to keep his face blank and to keep all of his mental shields up. Especially not with Dumbledore in the room. He had considered not coming at all but something drew him here. He had not been at Igor's first trial and he probably should not have come to this one.
It had hurt to see Igor like this – his hair unruly and far too long, his eyes haunted, no trace of a smile, the fear radiating palpably off of him. Even his nervous twitches are gone, replaced by an empty sort of paralysis. Karkaroff gives names and Severus watches. With every name, something deep inside of him breaks and collapses, sucking away the feelings. He does not have many of those these days to begin with, not since Lily was killed, since his friends were either killed or captured and his entire world became unrecognizable.
"Rookwood. Augustus Rookwood."
The ministry does not have Rookwood yet, Severus knows. He has no emotional connection to Augustus although he'd respected him, and yet the last chord breaks and all the feeling drains away. Looking at Igor now, Severus can no longer feel any of the pain and longing he had felt when Karkaroff had been first brought in. He turns and walks to the door.
"Snape! Severus Snape!" His own name rings out through the chamber just as he slips out into the hallway. Severus is not surprised and he no longer cares. As he steps out into the cold, grey winter day, sludgy and wet from the rain that had fallen earlier instead of snow, he realizes why he'd come here today.
Hearing Igor give the names gave Severus an excuse to let go, to hate and despise instead of love.