A/N: I'd apologise for the cliffie on the last one, but I'm not sorry. LOL. I can't WAIT to see what you make of this chapter, y'all. Thanks for all the love and reviews.
Severus glared at Black as the cauldron toppled from the table thanks to the startled reaction he'd had to the man's casual mention of last time.
That had been a bloody wretched day. He growled under his breath at the animgaus across the room as he recalled just what had happened the last time he'd been forced into anything intimate with Sirius Black. It was a memory he'd done his damnedest to drink out of his head and one he'd buried deep, deep within his psyche where it couldn't infuriate him all over again.
The last time he and Black had been intimate had been, debatably, one of the worst days of his life. Trapped under cursed mistletoe in the corridors on the fifth floor that led to the Transfigurations classrooms during his sixth year, Severus had never loathed any plant more than mistletoe. Worse, by then he'd been a pariah within the entire school, having been abandoned by Lily for his slip of the tongue in fifth year and having made an utter arse of himself trying to convince her to forgive him for what he'd said.
No matter the number of other students who'd walked under the mistletoe where he'd been trapped, their friends had been quick to rescue them before they would be forced to snog him. Severus's cheeks warmed, even more than twenty years later, to think of the humiliation and degradation he'd suffered that day. Ignored by every witch in the bloody school, even the teachers. Taunted by the likes of Black, Potter, Lupin and Pettigrew. He'd been stuck under that mistletoe so long he'd been certain he'd die of starvation or that his bladder would burst. All day he'd stood there, furious, trapped, unable to get free because no one wanted to touch him or even look at him, let alone snog him.
No one, that is, until a few minutes before curfew that evening after he'd missed lunch and dinner. He'd been sure that, eventually, a teacher might spot him and take pity on him, doing whatever magic there was that might rid the castle of the mistletoe and thus, set him free. No one had saved him.
Not until Black had returned shortly before curfew, appearing from under Potter's invisibility cloak at the end of the corridor while he was still trapped. Severus recalled drawing his wand, thinking the bastard meant to taunt him all the more, and by then furious enough to do something about ending his ability to taunt anyone, ever again.
"Alright there, Snape?" Black taunted, smirking a little and flicking his eyes up to the mistletoe over his head, strolling down the corridor with all the grace of a big cat.
"Fuck you!" Severus spat, hissing at him, hating him. He was certain the plant had been put there by the Marauders. He was certain the wretch had come to torment him again, as he'd done repeatedly throughout the day, claiming that no one in their right mind would want to get within three feet of him.
"That's hardly a polite display of gratitude to the bloke who's going to save you from wetting yourself in this corridor, Snivellus," Black drawled, strolling closer all the time, looking amused by his fury.
"You… what?" Severus's eyes went wide, certain he must be growing delirious from hunger.
Before he could process what Black meant to do, the wretch stepped under the mistletoe with him, invading his personal space. Severus didn't have time to even raise his wand or hex Black before there were suddenly hands tangled in his oily hair, and lips crashing down on his. Too startled to think, Severus stood there stupidly, unable to process the idea of another boy's lips pressed to his. Of anyone's lips pressed to his, really. He certainly didn't know how to react or what to do, having never actually snogged anyone before that very moment.
His gasp of shock, belated as it was, parted his lips and he wasn't sure what happened when Black's tongue slipped inside his mouth to tangle with his own. His lips were a little rough, chapped as though he'd been worrying at them with his teeth. He tasted of Sugar Mice and smelled faintly of wet dog under the scents of engine oil, cigarettes and leather. His tongued slithered against Severus's and Severus didn't know what came over him even as his back hit the wall of the corridor and the other boy leaned into him, snogging him firmly, wildly, as though he'd lost track of just what he was doing, and with whom.
Severus was aware of some vague sound escaping him when Black licked at his tongue, tasting, touching, sliding hotly against his. It felt strange. It felt good. When his wand clattered on the stone floor and his hands fisted in the leather of Black's jacket, he was certain he'd lost his mind. When the other boy ground his pelvis against Severus's, he was certain delirium had him firmly in her grip. The nip to his bottom lip stung and the scrape of teeth on teeth grated his senses even as he snogged back, inept at best, but suddenly extremely willing to learn.
Black's education was obviously far more well-rounded than his own and Severus's heart kicked out a rapid, terrified, excited beat within his chest as he kissed back, learning the feel of warm tongue, soft lips and slow, maddening kisses. Dimly he was aware that other parts of his anatomy were reacting to the caress; the warmth; the thrill. And his body wasn't the only one. The grind of Black's pelvis against his own told tales that Severus wasn't the only one affected by the snog.
When Black broke the fervent snog several delirium-inducing minutes later, Severus was breathing hard and he uttered a soft sound at the feel of Black's hands, tight in his hair, pulling his head back and to the side to expose his throat before the other boy kissed along the length of his jaw and down the side of his neck, latching onto his pulse point and sucking hard enough to leave a mark.
Severus shook himself, trying to rid himself of the memory as he focused on what had followed. The searching, slightly confused look Black had given him when Severus had come to his senses and shoved both hands against Black's chest, pushing him away. The employment of his newest spell, Sectumsempra, and the devastating effect of the spell as it slashed across Black's chest, abdomen and left thigh. The agonised shout Black had given as he stumbled back in shock and pain, falling to the floor from the blow of the spell. The blood that spilled, crimson and terrible across the floor of the corridor, congealing around the lumps of scattered mistletoe.
He recalled the panic when he'd spied the remnants of the mistletoe, realising that if he just walked away and left Black to die, everyone would know he'd freed Severus from the mistletoe. People would know they'd snogged. Severus still recalled the cold way he'd sung the counter-curse over the rapidly paling Black heir, healing the wound to keep him from death, no matter that he wanted to deliver Black to Death's willing embrace. He even recalled the cold, furious threat that if it weren't for the fact that people would know it had been him, he'd leave him there to die and that if Black every tried anything like that again or spoke to him, he'd ensure that next time, the spell would claim him.
No, discussion of last time was not open for debate. Black was right, however, a repeat of last time would, undoubtedly, be a bad thing.
"As I doubt there will be mistletoe involved," Severus said in a tight voice, refusing to look at Black while he spoke. "I hardly think that any repeat of last time will occur."
"Suggesting that love potion would be a bloody terrible idea," Sirius muttered, and Severus flicked his wand to clean up the mess he'd made of the potion. He was furious, not just at the mention of last time, but also at the fact that its mention had caused such a loss of control. He hadn't ruined a potion like this in years, confound it all!
"I hardly think all three of us being under the effects of Amortentia would be conducive to keeping Miss Granger from harm," Severus drawled, trying to cover the fact that he'd reacted so poorly as to lose control this way.
"You really need to stop calling her that, Snape," Black frowned at him. "She's not your bloody student anymore. She's your fiancé. You need to use her first name or this mess will be even more fucked up than it already is."
"She will need to come to terms with the amount of torment she will receive when you are also made a teacher at this school and she's married to the pair of us. I can hear the students now, claiming her grades have always been so high as a result of bribing her teachers with sex."
"See to it that they don't come from you, mate," Sirius threatened softly. "Or I'll see to it that you walk bow-legged into every one of your bloody classes from here on out, clear?"
"Propositioning me again, Black?" Severus drawled.
"Eat me, Sni… Snape."
Severus thought about hissing at the man for his continued slip-ups when he almost used the hated nickname, rather than his surname or first name, but thought better of it, given that he was actually making a conscious effort to correct himself.
"You'd like that, wouldn't you?" Severus sneered.
"Fucker, I will find a way to make you as uncomfortable as you make me," Black warned him. "I'm just pointing out that you've a barbed bloody tongue and at time you wield it with devastating effect. I'm not above taking advantage of Hermione if you make her feel two feet tall. I'll build her right back up and she'll end up loving me and loathing you.
"Tell me," Severus said quietly, watching the man and ignoring the suggestions about Granger and about his penchant for ripping people apart with a few, well placed sentences. "Last time…was the mistletoe a Marauder prank? I've always wondered."
Black's eyes widened slightly.
"You want to know if we trapped you under the bloody thing on purpose?" Sirius asked, refusing to look at him suddenly. "Why would we want to inflict the potential of having to snog you on anyone?"
"Why would you come back just before curfew, rather than letting me be caught out after curfew and punished?" Severus countered.
"Wanted to check and see if anyone had freed you," Black shrugged.
"You could've confirmed that without coming out from under that infernal cloak," Severus said.
Black's eyes narrowed slightly. "I was on my way back from the kitchens," he said. "I didn't go there just to check on you."
"Why come out then?" Severus asked. "You didn't have to show yourself to ascertain that I was still stuck, Black. You certainly didn't have to snog me."
Black's face turned pink and Severus narrowed his eyes on the other man. It had always bothered him what had happened that day in the corridor and he'd never been able to pinpoint why Black would've snogged him. He'd certainly not done it for the sake of tormenting him, since he'd never told anyone, as far as Severus knew. He'd never reported the fact that Severus had almost killed him. Indeed, his only retaliation for the entire encounter had been to feed Severus just enough information to send him down the tunnel to the Shrieking Shack at the next full moon, almost getting him killed by Lupin.
Which was actually something else that had bothered him, beyond the fury and terror at almost being killed by a raging werewolf. It had always baffled him that, as protective as the Marauders had been of their resident lycanthrope and his secret, Black would risk harming his friend, knowing Lupin would never forgive himself or his friends for Severus's death.
"Did you leave the plant there specifically to trap me?" he asked quietly. "Did you taunt me and warn everyone else away from snogging me to set me free with the intention of coming back later, when no one would know…"
"You've had your head stuck over cauldrons, breathing in the fumes too long, Snivellus," Black said, getting to his feet and refusing to make eye contact, obviously not trusting him enough not to use Legilimency.
He made for the door quickly, intending to leave. Severus stepped into the doorway to stop him before he could.
"Why?" he asked in a low voice, his brow furrowed in confusion. Were it anyone else, Severus would've said that no one would go to that much trouble to get someone alone and in a position where snogging was required unless they fancied whomever they trapped.
But this was Sirius Black. The man who had tormented him mercilessly for years on end; every time he spotted him, ruining his day, making him mad enough to kill, more often than not. There could be no easy explanation like simple fancying of someone to explain this away. Black's gaze darted up to his for a minute when he found himself trapped before he looked back at his feet.
"Doesn't matter now, does it?" he asked tightly.
"Apparently it does," Severus said, narrowing his eyes slowly and letting his voice drop into the silken purr he so often used to seduce the Dark Lord to his way of thinking. "Tell me why you trapped me there. Was it all some elaborate prank? Or did you actually intend to get me alone so you could kiss me?"
A shiver raced over the other man visibly and Severus smirked to know his voice really did work on everyone.
"It was stupid," Black said stubbornly. "Just… forget I mentioned it. Forget it ever happened."
"Believe me, I've tried," Severus purred quietly. "Why, Sirius?"
His head jerked up, eyes wide and surprised, when Severus used his given name and Severus struck, slipping into his mind and rifling for the memory he sought. When he found it, his brow furrowed all the more.
Black, stealing the Invisibility cloak while Potter was distracted. Making excuses to Lupin about needing something from the kitchens to get away. Slipping through the corridors back to the fifth floor. Approaching the spot where Severus stood, notably agitated and still trapped. The corridor, deserted but for the two of them.
"Stop!" Black snapped, shoving both hands against his chest and forcing him back at step, forcing him out of his head.
"You planned it," Severus accused. "Why?"
"Figure it out, you greasy fucking git!" Black snarled, apparently not taking well to having his mind invaded. "Get the fuck out of my way. And don't ever invade my mind again, Snivellus."
He shoved hard enough that Severus stumbled back and the wretch slipped past him. Severus caught his arm, frowning and refusing to let him leave. Black drew his wand. Severus clutched his own, lifting it to aim at the other man, before stopping when he saw the look on Black's face. Severus would swear he caught a flash of vulnerability in the other man's eyes before they narrowed and suddenly everything clicked into place.
The way Black's habit of hounding him had increased ten-fold in sixth year. The fact that everywhere he went, the other boy showed up, taunting him, teasing him, demanding his attention. The slightly confused and perhaps hurt expression on his face when Severus had pushed him away in the corridor before cursing him that day. The look in his eyes when Severus had begrudgingly healed him after almost killing him. Severus had taken it for burning rage, at the time, but now it seemed like much more that rage. It had been… betrayal.
"You…?" Severus's face went slack with shock, his grip loosening as he realised. Black's cheeks were red as he jerked his arm from Severus's grip and strode toward the fire.
Severus's mind was racing, trying to make sense of it all.
"When you told me how to get into the Shrieking Shack on the full moon…?" Severus called, stopping him before he could leave. That was the part that didn't add up. His mind was telling him that all of Black's actions pointed to the notion that Black had fancied him – that he'd gone out of his way to get Severus alone to snog him and figure out if he fancied him back. Only the very next week, when the moon was full, Black had sent him into that tunnel to face Lupin, transformed.
Black paused, his back to Severus as he reached for the bottle of whiskey he'd abandoned earlier.
"You nearly killed me with that hex of yours," Black said, his voice cold and his expression angry when he turned around. "I've still got the scar. You nearly fucking killed me, and you pointedly said that you'd have let me die there if people wouldn't have figured out just how you got free of that fucking mistletoe."
Severus flinched when Black jerked up the hem of his shirt, revealing his wash-board abs, protruding ribs and the number of tattoos and scars adorning his flesh. Slashed across the middle of his chest and across his stomach were two long thin cuts, diagonally crisscrossing his flesh. They were much to thin and too precise to be inflicted by werewolf claws, though many of his other scars were, undoubtedly, earned that way. They were white and faded, but they were still there.
"I nearly bled out on that fucking floor and it was only your sense of self-preservation that saved me," Black said, eyes glittering hatred all over again. "The way my seventeen year old self figured it, you deserved the wretched and painful death you'd have died in Moony jaws if Prongs hadn't saved your miserable life."
With that he dropped his shirt, spun on his heels, and stepped into the fire, dropping a handful of powder and Flooing away in a whoosh of green flames.