A/N: Just a little something I started last…November, I believe. ^-^ But, being the procrastinating slacker I am, I didn't get to finish it until really late Sunday night. ^^; I only had two pages left to write, too. Anyway, this is my first little slash fic that doesn't focus on Harry/Draco. I figured I'd might as well try writing something else for once, ne?
Warnings: A bit of OOC Snapey at the end.
Disclaimer: I don't own them, etc., etc., etc..
Dedication: Once again, I'm dedicating this ficcie to Nell. This time it's because I made her read this before I posted it and she didn't like it…she loved it! ^________________^
For Love of the Tarot
Sirius Black was not a very happy boy. In fact, the lack of proper prank vic—er, test subjects in his house over the summer made him downright miserable.
He had, of course, been happy to go home for the summer, having missed his family. The problem was that James was usually over at this particular period over the summer, but he had been forced to visit some family in the middle of nowhere. And his parents had been called to Hogwarts to have a meeting with Dumbledore on something or the other.
So, Sirius lay on his bed, a pack of Tarot cards in his hand.
To be quite frank, he hated Tarot cards. Every time he'd ever pulled them out, he'd always predicted something horrible. The last time, he'd predicted he'd be attacked, and his sister had been killed by Voldemort himself. But Sirius was bored enough that he was desperate for anything to happen, even if it was absolutely horrible.
So, when he flipped over the Ace of Cups (using a technique that only people especially gifted with the abilities of a top-rank Seer could use), he was naturally quite surprised. Shaking his head slightly, he placed the card back on top of the pile.
Convinced that there had been a mistake due to his loud and upbeat music, he shut it off. After a few minutes of the relaxing silence, he shuffled the cards again.
A minute later found him flipping over another card—the Page of Cups.
"Well," Sirius mused to himself with a small smile, "this summer's certainly starting to look up, isn't it? I wonder who this could represent?" He paused, thinking. "Well, one thing's for sure, it'd better not be Lily! James'd kill me! And it'd better not be Remy either. I don't think I could ever think of him like that. Hmm… I wonder…."
However, before he could get much wondering done, he heard his door slowly start to open, and the voice of his father floated into his room.
"Just go in and explain everything to him, would you? I'd do it myself but I've really got to run," his father said to an unknown person before the sound of fading footsteps heralded his departure. Still, the door did not open.
Intrigued and thinking about his Page of Cups, Sirius sat up in his bed, allowing his blankets to fall to his waist, revealing his bare chest.
For a full minute he sat like that, staring at his door with a single eyebrow raised. He was about to call for whoever was outside to come in when the door was finally flung open.
His jaw dropped. Standing in his doorway was a sour and rather worse-for-the-wear looking Severus Snape.
His only thoughts were of his cards, of the studious and imaginative person the second one had represented, and the thought that Snape, of all people, was at his house, and even possibly representing the card.
"Bloody hell," was all he managed to utter before he promptly passed out.
A pair of black eyes slowly opened, took in the sight of Snape scowling above them, and promptly snapped shut again.
"I'll still be here when you open your eyes again, Black," Snape spat out with a sneer.
Sirius only groaned in response.
"Open your eyes, Black," came the exasperated answer.
Reluctantly, Sirius complied. He sat up straight, glanced at Snape, and noticed the blood on his lip, the black eye, and the ripped up robe.
"What the fuck happened to you?"
"Your fa—Oh. I see." Sirius paused for a second and then asked, "Why didn't my mother fix you up, and why did he beat the hell out of you anyway?"
"Because I wouldn't let her, and none of your business."
"Oh," Sirius shrugged nonchalantly, despite his uncomfortable concern for his rival, "there's a bathroom through that door if you want to wash up. And I suppose you'll have to sleep in that bed over there. Assuming that we'll last until tonight, of course."
"Thanks, Blacks." Snape immediately crossed the room to the bathroom door, closing it behind him softly, and leaving Sirius to stare after him for a moment before turning his head back to his cards with a frown.
"Ace and Page of Cups," he growled out to them. "You sure as hell had better give me something horrible to go with that."
He picked them up calmly, somehow managed to relax himself, and shuffled and cut the cards for the third time that night. Then, still calm, he flipped over the top card.
Two of Cups.
"Oh, fuck you," he spat at the cards, violently shoving them back in their box before throwing said box across the room.
"What did those poor cards do to deserve your fury?" came an amused voice from his bathroom, which a scarily leather-clad Snape was emerging from.
"None of your business," Sirius muttered, forcibly removing his eyes from the slightly interesting sight before him. Then he got up from his bed to pick up his cards, muttering something about a proper Reading.
"I didn't know you were so interested in the Tarot, Black," Snape said, apparently making an attempt at a decent conversation.
"I'm not. I hate them. Whenever I take them out, I get really bad Readings. And now that I've got a good one, it's absolutely horrifying!"
"I always get good Readings. And how can you have a good Reading that's absolutely horrifying?" Snape sounded curious.
"Well, if you really must know, I think they're telling me I'm about to fall in love with you," came the rather frustrated reply.
There was a short pause. Then—
"You're telling me."
There was another silence, in which Snape lay on his back on the bed Sirius had told him he would sleep on and twiddled his thumbs, and Sirius got up to dig through his drawers, searching for something to do.
His search eventually ended when he realized there was actually nothing to do. Sighing, he collapsed back on his bed, absently shuffling his cards. This went on for a full ten minutes before Sirius decided he couldn't take it any longer.
"Wanna play a game?"
"Depends. What game?"
"It's something me and James came up with. It's called 'Alphabet Insults'"
"…How do you play?"
"You use the letters of the alphabet to insult each other. Like, I'll start and call you an asshole, and you could return with bastard, and so on. Get it?"
"I think so. Maybe you should start."
"Right. Er… well, I'll start with asshole, I suppose."
"Baka," Snape repeated, and paused. "It's Japanese for idiot."
"Ah, right…. Um…" Sirius paused thoughtfully. "Cock sucker."
It went rapidly downhill from there.
Two hours and quite a few games later, they decided they were bored of the game, mostly because they were running out of insults.
"Now what?" Snape asked after a moment of silence.
"…I have no idea," Sirius admitted.
There was another pause.
"This is really boring."
"Why are we agreeing?"
"Do we have anything better to do?"
"This is really boring."
"You already said that."
After another short pause passed, Sirius gave up on finding something intelligent to say.
"This is really boring," he stated.
An hour later, both of them were called down to dinner. They were each sporting a few painful bruises, but still seemed perfectly nice to each other. In fact, they even seemed to be getting along perfectly well.
"…So, what do you think about that?"
"I think you're being overly egotistical. And that girl was an idiot."
Sirius raised a single eyebrow. "Gertrude Steiner," he stated simply. Snape laughed in reply.
"Ah. Right." He snickered, "What a horrible name."
"I know. And she wanted me to date her, even! I mean, yes, she was gorgeous, but what a ditz! Whoever I date needs to be at least somewhat intelligent. I don't think I'd be able to stand them otherwise."
"'Them?' Is there some hidden meaning in there?"
Sirius blushed, but instantly muttered a hasty, "No, no, of course not. Why would there be?"
"I think there is. I think you might just be gay."
Unfortunately for Sirius, the door to the dining room appeared before he could come up with a decent reply. After sticking his tongue out at said door, he opened it and attempted to bow Snape inside with a barely muttered "Ladies first."
It was Snape's turn to raise an eyebrow. "What are you still standing there for?"
"Why, for my lady to enter first, dearest Severus."
"I see no lady for you to wait for."
"Then look behind you."
Snape complied. Standing a few feet behind him was Sirius' mother, wearing a mischievous smirk to rival that of her son's.
"Er…," said Snape, eliciting a tinkling laugh from the woman.
"I'm glad you two are getting along so well," she said cheerfully, now sporting an insane grin so like Sirius' that it honestly scared Snape.
But before he could embarrass himself with his eloquence again, Mrs. Black had disappeared into the room with a flick of her blue-streaked black hair.
With a disturbed glance at the snickering Sirius, he disappeared as well, scowling as he heard two specific words come from his rival.
"No…. Leave me alone…. I don't want it! Father, please!"
Sirius woke up suddenly. He stared across the room at where Snape was sleeping, tossing and turning restlessly on his bed. He wondered absently what was going on for a moment, but all thoughts were cut short as Snape suddenly screamed as if he was in an inordinate amount of pain.
He jumped out of his bed, running over to the other boy.
"Snape! Snape, wake up! Come on, you idiot, you're just dreaming!" Sirius yelled frantically, shaking his rival. But Snape wouldn't wake—he just grabbed his left forearm and continued screaming.
Feeling almost desperate, Sirius backed away and looked around his room as if trying to find some help. But nothing was there to help him, and he knew his parents wouldn't come in—there was a silencing charm around the room to block out his music. So he did the only thing he could think of to do—he walked back to the bed and smacked the other boy across the face.
Snape sat up almost immediately, eyes opening wide in fear. He stared blankly at Sirius, almost as if he couldn't see him. Sirius grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him hard until he snapped out of it.
"What in hell was that about, Snape?" Sirius asked breathlessly.
"Nothing, Black. Absolutely nothing. Just forget about it," Snape muttered, pulling his knees up to his chest and wrapping his arms around them. "Please, just forget about it."
Sirius was speechless. Forget about it? The guy looked like he was about to cry!
"I'm not going to forget about it. You were just screaming your arse off, and I had to smack you to wake you up. And you were grabbing your forearm. What's there that it hurts you so bad?"
"I'm not telling you!" Snape snapped, glaring at Sirius. "Just drop it!"
Sirius glared back at Snape for a second before suddenly grabbing his arm and pushing the sleeve up.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?"
"Shut up, Snape. I'm going to find out wha—" Sirius stopped mid-sentence, staring at the boy's arm in surprise. The Dark Mark was burnt into the flesh. It was blood red, looking as if it had just been burned on minutes before. Snape snatched his arm away immediately.
"I told you to forget it," he muttered.
"Tha—that's the Dark Mark!" Sirius gasped in reply. "Y—you're not a—a…are you?"
Snape's lips thinned unpleasantly.
"I didn't have a choice," he muttered. "They forced it on me. I didn't want it. That's why I'm here. I'd owled Dumbledore as soon as I'd found out I was going to get it, but he was too late to stop them…. That's why I'm here. He took me away, but not before…before…." Snape stopped suddenly, gulping as he buried his face in his knees. "I didn't want it," he sobbed.
Sirius didn't even stop to think, he just did what came naturally to him. He sat down on the bed next to Snape and pulled the boy into his arms. To his surprise, Snape allowed him to do that, burying his face in Sirius' chest, tears leaking noiselessly out of his eyes. Sirius pulled him closer, and ran a hand through his hair.
"It'll be all right, Severus," he murmured soothingly, not even aware when he used his first name. "I won't let them get you."
Snape only continued his silent crying.
The sun crept into the room, gradually reaching the form of the two boys fast asleep on Snape's bed.
Sirius blinked sleepily as the light got in his eyes. He felt a warm body in his arms and squinted down at it, wondering where it had come from. Then the past night rushed back into his mind.
"Severus?" he whispered to the sleeping form, shaking Snape silently. Snape only groaned, attempting to bury himself even farther into Sirius' arms. "Severus, wake up!"
Snape reluctantly opened his eyes, and looked up into Sirius'.
"Wha—what are you doing?" he asked softly, and then paused. "Oh, wait, I remember. Never mind. …And…did you just call me 'Severus'?"
Sirius stared down at him, eyes widening in surprise.
"I…I guess I did. Well, hey, I can't hate you now, can I? I mean, gees, you fell asleep in my arms crying!" Sirius shook his head thoughtfully. "Are you all right?"
"What do you think?" Snape asked with a growl. "I just had the worst fucking month of my life, and now…."
"And now…?" Sirius prompted.
Snape sighed. "Would you believe me if I told you I've been in love with you since second year?"
Sirius gapped at him. "S—second…year?"
"Yes…. When you said that thing about the Tarot cards…about you falling in love with me…. I nearly fainted. I want it so bad…. And then, when you…you hugged me when I broke down…. I was going to pull away, to yell at you, but I wanted to believe the cards were right for you, that maybe you had fallen in love with me, and I couldn't bring myself to pull away."
Sirius stared down at Snape, a thoughtful look on his face. Did he love him? No. Not yet, at least. But maybe, if he gave it a bit of time…. Maybe if they started a relationship while they were alone in his room, maybe he could grow to love his rival. He had, after all, just seen a part of Snape he never knew existed, he never thought could exist. He wanted to know more.
"I don't love you," Sirius said slowly, staring down into Snape's tearing eyes, "but I think that maybe, if I knew more about you, then perhaps I could. If you wouldn't mind sharing, that is."
Snape stared up at Sirius wordlessly, shocked. And before either of them new what he was doing, he pressed his lips harshly against the other's. Sirius returned the kiss, slowly at first, but eventually becoming more enthusiastic.
And as they broke apart, Sirius wondered if perhaps Tarot cards weren't that bad after all.
A/N: Yup, that's where it ends. ^-^ You can decide what happens from there, because I'm not writing any more to it.