Author: Chaos Rose
Rating: A big red R for language and situations.
Category: Darkfic. Angst. Implied SS/LM and SS/Evan Rosier slash.
Summary: Lucius lost something. He wants it back.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Neither is the money.
Author's Note: Some brief information cobbled together from various sources -
Algolagnia: a noun.
Syllibication: Al – go – lag – ni –a
Pronunciation: ahl – gO – lag – nE – ah
Etymology: From the Greek algos = pain + lagneia = lust.
Definition: To derive pleasure/satisfaction from inflicting or enduring pain. Not specifically
There is a school of thought that traces this particular behavior to the lack of normal touch, contact and interaction.
Lucius sprawled in the comfortable leather reading chair, relishing the cool of Snape's dungeon domain. It was the mad, boiling throat of August and there was much to drive Lucius quite out of himself – his temper had been short of late, and sleep was elusive. Thus, he had taken to the skies on his broom in search of a cool breeze and quiet not to be had on the ground – and found himself raising a hand to knock on his old friend's door.
They talked of much, and of little. Certain subjects were too new and raw to speak of here and now, but there were other topics of conversation and both men had known each other long enough to steer the shallows and currents of the other's personality.
They spoke of Slytherin's chances to take the Quidditch Cup – after the Triwizards tournament it was a preoccupation that was entirely understandable. Indeed, lately Draco seemed to think or talk of little else.
Draco was also the subject of discussion – acceptable marks in other classes, high marks in Potions, but Severus felt Draco was coasting and wanted to administer a swift kick in the arse to punt the boy past his OWLS. For Lucius, his heir was a wonder and a torment, of him but almost nothing like him. Severus was more of an influence on Draco than anyone else, really.
The subjects that did not come up were myriad. From the marks on their left forearms, to Severus' very long meetings with their Master, to Lucius' own long and incredibly painful audience with Voldemort – the less said tonight, the better.
The conversation was always interesting when Severus was around and so they kept to the lightest of subjects without loss of interest, talking the sun down. Dinner was a lingering thing, both working jaws over words as much as over food. Afterward, they repaired to Severus' rooms once more, this time for some of Severus' special stash of century-old firewhiskey.
Lucius closed his eyes and let his head fall back against the soft-worn leather of the chair. The firewhiskey made a rich, but mellow burning behind his breastbone and for a moment he could feel the past as if it were yesterday. For a moment, he was the Lucius Malfoy who had come to call on the humble post-graduate accommodations of Severus Snape and Evan Rosier – the two 'insane baby wizards' whom he had all but raised.
Oh, what a pair those two had been! For the sixteen year-old Prefect Lucius had been, eleven-year-old Sev and Ev had been a nightmare of House points crashing to the ground and tunneling through to China.
There were some subjects that were not to be talked about, yes, but it was time now to speak of this one.
Eighteen months before Harry Potter would defeat the Dark Lord, Voldemort sent Evan Rosier and Charles Wilkes on an urgent errand. It was an assignment from which they would never return. Severus - named by Evan as next-of-kin – had been dragged down to the Ministry at midnight to identify the body and undergo an interrogation of his own.
"No, I knew nothing of Evan's activities. No, it was not unusual for Charlie Wilkes to stop by, we were year-mates and slept in the same dorm for the better part of a decade. A follower of whom? Are you all mad? Me? I work as a researcher for Gringotts and a lecturer in Potions. I'm working on a dissertation for my Master's. Am I a what? No! Well, yes, I have a lot of texts on alchemy and the like but I'm a bloody STUDENT!"
They had tossed Severus out the doors of the Ministry at dawn - dazed, in shock and brutalized but without a clue as to his affiliations. Lucius had met him, sweating his own orders from Voldemort in the weak morning sun. If Sev had broken under questioning, if there was a hint that the Aurors had turned him, then Lucius' would be the last face that Severus Snape would see in this life. A friendly smile and a quick, painless death were all that he could offer his beloved Sev.
Instead, Lucius had taken Sev back home, poured a heavy sleeping potion down his quiescent friend and tucked him into bed. He knew that Sev would never turn, ever. After a quick trip home to Narcissa to explain certain things and not-explain others he had returned to the small apartment off Diagon Alley to find instead a milling crowd, a bathtub full of scarlet water, and a small knife gleaming red and silver against the stark white tiles.
"… open from wrist to elbow…"
"… such quiet boys …"
"… like brothers more'n friends …"
"… are they sure that the blonde boy was with You-Know-Who?"
Dumbledore, ostensibly coming to pay a condolence call, had been alarmed at the sound of running water but no answer to his knock. Breaking the wards and busting down the door, the old fool had been the one to find Severus and spirit him back to Hogwarts just short of bleeding to death.
And it had all happened on a suffocating August night, just like this one, sixteen years ago. Severus had not spoken of it since.
Severus was stretched out on his battered couch and gazing into the deep amber liquid in his glass as if scrying for any answer that might be within. The top three buttons of his black coat were undone, but other than that he was still as buttoned up and closed off as ever.
Lucius remembered a different Sev - a feral, wary little thing of blacks and whites, an enigma to those who did not know him and more than a little frightening in his intelligence and perception. Once you got to know him, there was a twisted sense of humor that manifested in odd ways, as well as a fierce loyalty. Once Severus accepted a person, there were seemingly limitless reserves of that loyalty available – and Lucius should know, having reaped the benefits of his friend's focused and intense personality.
Still, the slender, black-haired man could be very hard to read – this being one of the things that made manipulating him so bloody dangerous. One misstep and…
"What is it, Lucius?" Severus tipped the glass back and the firewhiskey streamed past his thin lips, the edge if impatience softened by alcohol.
In no hurry to reply, Lucius swirled the contents of his own glass and took a sip before replying. "I was just remembering." Severus' arched eyebrow invited him to continue, "It was a night much like this one, wasn't it? Hot enough to boil your brain in your head. You never told me, really, what they did to you after they showed you Evan's body."
The flat tone of Severus' answer was a wall, "Crouch had his methods. You know of them from personal experience, Lucius."
Indeed. Indeed. But not what he had asked.
"You've never spoken of it, Severus."
"No, I haven't." Severus tipped the glass and swallowed the rest of the whiskey. "Nor will I. It's past and there's nothing to be done."
The terse tone, the emptiness in Severus' jet black eyes, the tension that wound the man's shoulders – these things told Lucius where to press, to stroke, to cut. He knew Severus with an intimacy that neither man had ever outgrown and could play him and his emotions like a harp if he so chose.
And tonight, he so chose.
Severus had been too far away from him for too long and Lucius had been trying mightily to lure him back – with a notable lack of success. Severus had become skittish in the last decade - as touch-shy as a badly injured animal. To anyone who did not know him well, he was all teeth and claw, snarling and feral. It would take time for Lucius to get him back in hand – and that the sooner was accomplished, the better for both of them.
For that to be done, this wound that had driven into the bone must be reopened without pity, and without remorse. The pain would make Severus pliable again, his need for some sort of solace overriding his will to keep himself immured in the dungeons – and Lucius would be there as he had always been.
The first incision - "He's dead, Severus."
Severus eyed Lucius sharply, eyes gleaming. "Your flair for the obvious is nothing short of amazing."
"So bury him. Let go of the ghost – nothing will ever bring Evan back." Lucius kept his voice soft, sliding it against the raw edges of the wound, feeling the heat of untreated infection and the seething of the toxins it generated.
Severus grunted as if he'd been hit, eyes closing then snapping open.
How Lucius loved Severus' eyes. Such an impossibly deep blue that they appeared black, flecks of silver in the iris making them appear to glitter like jet buttons. So wild, those eyes, and so very expressive once one had gazed into them for hours on end – eyes that could plead, caress, slap, demand.
Or rake, stab, wound.
"They made sure, didn't they?" Lucius held Severus' glare, speaking softly as he made his second incision. "The Aurors made sure that there was nothing to work with, didn't they Severus? Not even the Witch of Endor could bring him back to you."
"Fuck you, Lucius." The words were spit out like bits of shrapnel, seeking tender flesh to tear. Severus threw himself off the couch like an animal trying to flee its pain. "Get the hell out."
Oh, yes. The heart of the sickness now - blood and poison, the pain maddening, even worse than the initial injury. Lucius remained where he was, glass in hand, his expression as attentive as if Severus was discussing the merits of helleboraceae versus amanita phalloides or black mamba venom.
"What did they do, Severus. You've never told me; what happened to their bodies?" He knew, of course. The Ministry had to lie like hell to cover up what had actually happened. Even as a young man, he'd had resources. "We both know they're not where they're supposed to be, Severus. Evan. Charles. What happened?"
"Damn you, Lucius. If there's a hell then I hope they ram a spit up your arse and roast you to a crisp." Stalking to the sideboard, Severus' hand found the whiskey bottle, poured the glass full and tossed half of it down his throat.
It wasn't jealousy. Lucius told himself that time and time again. Lucius had married Narcissa the weekend after graduation and boyish fondness had been reluctantly left behind for respectability. It was only right that Severus and Evan had taken to each other, loved each other.
The last cut, deep and deep and deep to bring out all of it in one blast of curdled foulness. "Tell me, Severus. Evan was your best friend, your brother, your lover. Tell me why you can't bury your beloved?"
Severus was as still as if he had turned to stone, every part of him so rigid that he could have been a masterpiece carved from onyx and the finest white marble.
The words were whispered, but the emotions behind them screamed. "Alden and Pritchard dragged me out of Interrogation and brought me to the morgue." The man of marble trembled, his voice halting and ragged. "They looked… like… lord, they'd been all but skinned alive Avada Kedavra my arse…"
The hitch in the breathing. The tremor in those beautiful, graceful hands as the tapered fingers sought to touch something so many years gone. What was the pain like? The pain of being denied that last touch of cold skin, the last kiss as the lover tried to revoke the irrevocable?
Ah, but Lucius knew that there was strength in pain. Pain could forge itself in grief to diamond-hard resolve. Pain could steel one against sights that would drive one mad otherwise. Pain could make one endure anything, injury upon agony, just for the chance to taste the ashes of one's enemy.
Lucius loved Severus, and wanted this for him - to give him that strength and watch him rend the Aurors to tatters of skin and splinters of bone. The time was so near that he could smell it like smoke on a dry winter wind. He rose and went to Severus, folding him into his embrace, resting his lips against the of his once-upon-a-time lover's neck.
Oh, the power of words! Lucius could feel the thrum of muscles tense with pure emotional agony, could feel the howl of grief and loss like a knot behind the sternum. His arms were wrapped around Severus' waist, his hands clasped together as if to embrace or restrain.
A droplet of body-warm water fell on the webbing of Lucius' thumb and forefinger.
"They… tore the sheets off. Told me that this was what was waiting for me if I didn't confess." The words were being jerked up Seveus' vocal cords like knots. "Told me that they could even see burying or burning scum like that, that they weren't even worth the effort. Then… Alden drew his wand, he told me that they sometimes they weren't too picky about making sure the dead were really dead… and he… Adnihilio…"
The last word came out in a half-sob half roar as Severus collapsed, lost in a grief that could not be resolved. "Banished… nothing left… sent into nothingness… I should have gone with them, Lucius, I should have…"
I should have died with them. Unspoken words, but Lucius heard them nonetheless.
Gently he eased Severus to the floor, turned him in his embrace, smoothing the poison from him with practiced hands and words, adding his tears to Severus' own.
Even as he held Severus, even as he wept with him, Lucius could not help smiling.
Severus was his again.