Smile of a Snake By Darkangel Rose

A/N: May contain spoilers for the 5th book . but nothing devastatingly important. It'll make more sense if you've at least gotten through the chapter 'Snape's Worst Memory'. You see, I read it and was puzzled . yes it was a horrible, traumatizing awful thing, Severus being humiliated and taunted by James, but it can't've been his worst memory considering all that he'd seen. But maybe Harry didn't see the whole memory, since Severus pulled him out while it was still going. So I wondered, what if there was more to it?

WARNING: CONTAINS SLASH!!! Sirius/James, Snape/Lucius, Lucius/James, James/Lucius, Remus/Sirius (but not much), and some very vague hints towards Remus/Snape or Snape/Remus.

~~~~~~~~~~

His lungs were burning through from the inside, his thin legs flying as he ran. The blood pounded in his skull and his hands were clasped tightly over his ears but still they did not shield him from the echoes of their laughter. At last his destination was in reach, and Severus dashed through the opened door, collapsing into a high-backed oak chair in shaking relief. He exhaled deeply, tilting his head back and closing his eyes, allowing the light of the always-burning black candles around the Slytherin common room to flicker across his vision. His knees were tucked up tightly beneath him, his arms wrapped securely around his midriff to keep his from shattering into a thousand screaming pieces of sharp falling glass and pain. His heart pumped cold, venomous blood through him, intoxicated with hatred, anger, and humiliation.

"Bad day?" drawled a smooth, low voice to his right. Serveus' head snapped back up, and his burning eyes took in the beauty that was Lucius. He was still 16, but he already had the charm and poise of a grown man. His impossibly silver-white blonde hair was held back in an impossibly neat satin black ribbon. His dark, full lips twisted into a smile that could be called sardonic, but Severus could see the worry flashing in his usually emotionless flat grey eyes. Severus closed weary eyes to the familiar sight of his companion's lithe, perfect physique. He nodded mutely, still gasping for breath slightly.

Lucius stood and approached Serverus, perching himself gracefully upon the edge of the chair. Protective fire burned coldly in those shimmering gunmetal eyes, though the false smile still painted his face. "James?" he questioned, already guessing the answer.

Severus swallowed, cursing the tear that slipped unbidden from beneath his eyelid and burned a track down his face. He nodded again, words becoming trapped in his constricted throat. He felt Lucius trace his fingertip across Severus' trembling bottom lip. He drew in a shuddering breath as Lucius' warm, comforting lips kissed away the crystalline tear.

"You shouldn't let him get to you," Lucius advised silky as his hot breath tickled Severus' ear. The black-haired Slytherin wrapped grateful arms around Lucius' neck, pulling him closer into an embrace. Severus clung to Lucius as a leaf would cling to a branch during a storm.

"H-h-he." Severus choked, breathing still ragged.

"What did he do this time?" Lucius asked, fear and irritation bubbling within his chest. Severus didn't respond for a long time, sobbing silently into Lucius shoulder. Lucius tolerated this, fear beginning to seep into him.

"What did he do to you?" Lucius asked with sharpness at the corners of his voice. Severus shook his head vehemently to try to free if of the fresh, raw memories. Lucius stood up, having had enough. He could no longer stand the sight of his friend and lover crying. He had to do something, even if it was James.

"I'll take care of him," Lucius whispered promisingly into Severus' ear. Severus shook his head with more force.

"You can't, Lucius! You'll be caught, or - "

" -You think I care?" Lucius snapped, interrupting, "I can't stand this anymore, I have to end it. I don't care anymore."

With that the pale blonde stormed out, leaving Severus alone with his thoughts. He had been with Lucius since his third year, Lucius' fourth, but he had never seen the young man s0 angry or so protective before. He felt the ice around his heart crack a little, feeling secure as long as Lucius was with him.

He had to thank him. Severus realized how much Lucius did for him. He was the one who had taken Severus in after he ran from his father, he had introduced him to the Dark Arts, he had given him a reason to keep going. Severus knew he had to thank him for that, after he was done with James.

And so the raven-haired youth followed the footsteps of his lover.

~*~*~

James and Sirius sat down under the shade again, after their prey had fled.

"Bye!" Peter called back to James and Sirius, rushing off, "Have to go send an owl," None of them waved him goodbye, and an uncomfortable silence wrapped around them like a blanket. Remus' eyes peered over the edge of his book tentatively.

"Y-you know, that was kind of harsh, guys," he whispered quietly.

Siruis eyed Remus curiously, "What?" he asked dangerously.

"I was just saying." Remus said, forcing his voice to be nonchalant, "It was a bit . over the top."

Sirius shrugged, leaning himself against the tree, "Maybe it was. We got kind of caught up in the moment, I guess."

James snorted tersely, tossing the Snitch irritably between his hands, "I don't think so."

Siruis glanced over at James, and then looked hastily back at the grass. He folded his hands together, but they were shaking. "Anyway, James, what were you on about, asking Lily to go out with you?" he asked, question heavy with veiled meanings.

"I have no idea what you're talking about." James said, deliberately looking at Remus and shaking his head 'no' to Sirius.

Remus let out a short sigh, smiling sadly behind his book, "You know, you don't have to pretend I don't know. I'm not dumb, you know. We share a dorm. It's obvious."

Sirius' mouth dropped open in astonishment, as did James'. Their love was supposed to be a big secret . they were going to tell Remus as soon as they graduated, "Since when?" Sirius queried, shocked.

"Third year." he said simply, waving it off, "Don't look so shocked, it's not like you guys are quiet or anything. Peter may sleep like a log, but I wake up easily. How could I not know?"

James' eyes widened a fraction more, "You've heard us . "

"- Yes," Remus answered, grinning hollowly at their awkwardness, "You guys ignore me, I'm not here."

None of them said anything for quite a long time. Then, blushing heavily, James answered, "Well, people have started to ask me whether or not, y'know ... Sirius and I were, y'know. and I didn't want to have to keep lying until one of them found out. So, I figured, if I flirted with her in front of everyone. they'd guess I wasn't with you." James finished, looking petulantly at Sirius, ".Forgive me?"

"Of course." Sirius said, touching James' face lightly, "Of course." James felt a jolt of guilt within his stomach, remembering that he had plans for later that night with someone else entirely. He leaned up and kissed Sirius gently on the cheek, shame burning in his throat.

Remus let out a long, heavy sigh, "Lovers." he commented sarcastically, shaking his head. His words were joking, but his eyes held an immense pain. James and Sirius both blushed this time, and James left mumbling something about having homework, which they both knew he didn't because of O.W.L.s.

Remus held the book very securely in front of his face, though once again his eyes were not moving across the page. Instead, he brushed away a few unnoticed tears, his silent pain chaining him in an invisible glass cage.

And Sirius did not even notice.

~*~*~

The door did not make a sound as it cracked open a little, flooding the semi-dark stone floor in front of Severus with a thin triangle of light. He could hear the angry voice from just down the hall, and he eagerly craned his neck to see what was going on.

Lucius fists were twisting the neck of James' robes up, the slightly skinny black-haired Gryffindor raised off of the ground. He was slammed against the wall, flinching from the furious blaze within Lucius gaze.

"How dare you." Lucius hissed, eyes narrowed to slits, "How dare you even touch him, you bastard." He pressed James against the wall harder, fists digging into the boy's chest.

"Why are you so protective of little Snivellus, Lucius?" James gasped, pain lancing through him.

Severus bristled at the familiar nickname, but did not move. Lucius eyes bored into James, "I thought I told you last night to bug off him." Lucius warned, voice virulent.

"Yeah?" James asked rebelliously, voice raising a little, "Well I get the feeling that something's going on between the two of you, Lucius - is there?" he accused, voice trembling oddly. Severus' brow furrowed at the undercurrent of hurt in James' voice.

Lucius cold laugh rang through the corridor, chilling Severus to the bone, "So that's why you're doing it." he said, as if understanding everything clearly, "You're being so cruel to him all of a sudden because you're afraid I'm cheating on you?" his deep voice rumbled with amusement.

The words shot through Severus like an arrow, every fiber of his being shaking with denial. His vision clouded with red. James and Lucius?! How could he have not seen it? Of course, it made a cruel sort of sense to him ... he'd never understood why Lucius hadn't left him, even though he had the reputation of a flirt. It was because he was seeing James, also. Severus wondered bitterly how serious it was.

"Well, yes!" James insisted, sounding slightly embarrassed.

"And I though this was just supposed to be a fling." Lucius murmured seductively to James, grinning in a feral manner, "Just gratuitous sex, and nothing more."

"It was." James admitted hollowly, and Severus could see him averting his eyes. Severus flinched a little at the thought of James holding his Lucius, at James and Lucius making love.

"Oh, no." Lucius gasped coldly in mock-surprise, "You haven't fallen in love with me, have you Potter?" he asked cruelly, teeth glinting slightly in the sparse light.

James didn't answer, holding back the tears that were threatening to fall. He leaned forward and kissed Lucius vicious mouth tentatively, eyes speaking of longing and rejection. Lucius pulled back, smiling triumphantly, "I was right." he proclaimed, before pulling James against him in a bruising kiss, his tongue running feverishly over James' lips as he held the boy close to him.

Severus closed his eyes momentarily, a wave of nausea and betrayal flooding through him. He could not help but watch, entranced, and he didn't even notice the door on the other side of the intertwined lovers open.

There was the sound of pounding footsteps falling to a sudden halt as the figure stopped running, skidding to a halt right in front of the two boys. The newcomer's eyes widened slowly, his hand coming up to cover his mouth in shock.

James pulled away, just then noticing the tears going down his cheeks. He turned bleary eyes to the sound, and felt his heart falter.

"Sirius?"

~*~*~*~

It almost amused Severus, in a sick sort of way, wondering what was going through Sirius' head right then. Severus knew that Sirius was clearly in love with James - everyone knew, really. And now the idiot had gone and run in on his boyfriend kissing Lucius Malfoy.

"James." Sirius said quietly, not comprehending what was happening in front of him. He saw Lucius holding James against a wall so fiercely the Slytherin's knuckles were whiter than snow. He saw James lip, bleeding slightly from the fierceness of the kiss, and he saw tears streaking down his lover's face. James' eyes were bleeding with sorrow and regret, and above all a lamentable helplessness.

Lucius turned slowly towards Sirius, making a show of licking James' blood off of his lips. "Hello, Black." he purred, eyes deadly in the half-light.

And then something snapped in Sirius' mind. Severus smiled cruelly as he practically saw the thoughts putting themselves together. The Gryffindor turned a dark red, shaking with fury. James wrenched himself from Lucius' grip and fled the scene, his tears falling soundlessly to ground.

Sirius looked as though he were about to explode with anger, "You forced yourself upon him?" he asked, throat burning. Lucius smiled, not bothering to set the hot-headed boy straight. A smug satisfaction was racing through him, knowing that he had ruined James and Sirius' relationship. Now James loved *him*, and that was all that mattered.

Sirius punched Lucius hard in the jaw, which took the pale man by surprise. He fell clumsily to the ground, a few droplets of blood splattering the stone. Sirius was upon him in an instant, hands wrapped tightly around the man's fragile, swan-like neck.

"You touch him again, and I will kill you." Sirius swore, as Severus looked on with a sort of detached horror, "I swear, goddamn it, I will. You keep your hands off my boyfriend."

Lucius tried to grin, and almost managed it, "You fucking idiot." he decided, "You're so fucking moronic, you blood-traitor." he spat. Sirius squeezed his hands together until Lucius could no longer breathe, and his vision swam with blotches of white. Severus clenched his hands together, torn between wanting to help Lucius and wanting to be the one choking him.

Sirius drew away after another moment, disgust painted on his face. He left without another word, following after James. Lucius sat up after a few moments, rubbing his neck belatedly and cursing under his breath. Severus could not stand to look at him any longer, so he rushed off, feeling the grips of what had just happened clawing away at what was left of his soul from the inside.

~*~*~*~

Lucius had never felt such anger, not for a very long time. He had been interrupted by that foolish Black, and he felt sickened all of a sudden. Severus was devoted - a marionette that he could control in the palm of his hand. And James had been exquisite - the forbidden fruit, writhing so perfectly beneath him as the coppery blood tainted both of their tongues in the delicious sin. But he needed something more. He needed a cause, needed a direction. He needed for someone to tell him no, for someone to rule *him* for once. He wandered the corridors, becoming more and more lost with every step. The intensity of his need was palpable in the air, and in a moment of passion he opened a door before him that he had not noticed before, stepping inside into the cold, grey light.

Lucius surveyed his surroundings in awe. Every part of the Room of Requirement was carved into cold steel, imprinted were patterns and symbols that he didn't quite understand, but he could feel the power radiating off of them, causing his skin to tingle. In was completely barren, except for a single, cloaked figure in the middle. The man was tall, and covered completely in a black sheet of satiny material. Lucius drew closer, heart pounding in unbidden anticipation.

The mysterious man looked up a little, throwing his neck and chin and mouth into sharp relief in the cold light of the room. While the rest of his face was shadowed, his smile shone out brightly, burning into Lucius' brain. The man had sharp teeth, and he smiled like a snake, with red lips curling upon a porcelain face.

"Lucius" the man said softly, voice oddly high-pitched, yet still intimidating, "You called."

Lucius knew right then, somehow, he had found exactly what he had been looking for.

~*~*~*~

Severus' blood was racing. He didn't know what to do. Lucius had cheated on him - had betrayed him and hurt him so deeply he was afraid he was going to split in two. Severus felt himself collide with something, and backed away quickly. It took him a second to further realize that that something was warm and moving, and then he saw the perplexed-looking face of Remus Lupin before him.

"Oh." Remus said quietly, walking around Severus.

"What?!" Severus snapped, irritated, "Come to torment me some more, eh?" he accused, fists balling up

Remus furrowed his brow a little, eyes unreadable, "No." he said plainly, walking away.

"Wait!" Severus called, holding the young man back, "You shouldn't go that way." he advised, seeing that the werewolf was headed the way Sirius and James had gone.

Remus stopped, "Whyever not?" he asked, voice placid and nonthreatening

Severus smiled a little at the irony, "Lover's quarrel." he answered, releasing Remus rather viciously. The werewolf stared at him for a few moments, causing the Slytheirn to blush a little.

"What?!" he asked finally, looking away from Remus' calmly searching gaze.

"Nothing." Remus said quickly, "I just wanted - to apologize for James and Sirius' behaviour today."

"Apology not accepted, thanks." Severus replied coldly.

"I really mean it." Remus continued, voice never quavering.

"I really mean it, too."

"They don't mean any harm."

"Well, they have a nice way of showing it. Look, why don't you go and be the little peacemaker over there, your two little best friends need it a lot more than me." Severus burst, pointing to the direction in which Sirius and James hand run off.

"Listen - we didn't . they didn't mean it like that. They - er - I don't mind you so much." Remus blushed, but tried to hide it by hanging his head.

Severus snorted, "Right."

"Seriously, though, I - "

"Look, I have to go settle something of my own, alright?" Severus asked quickly, dying to get out of the uncomfortable conversation.

"Oh, sure." Remus answered, continuing on. As soon as he could no longer hear the werewolf's footsteps, Severus rushed off for the second time that day to the safety of the common room.

~*~*~*~

"Severus!"

Severus looked up through the veil of tears, seeing Lucius' blurred form come into sight. "What?"

"Are you crying again?" Lucius asked scornfully, but then he waved it away before Severus had a chance to reply, "Listen, I found something - you have to see!" Severus peered up through the curtain of his eyelashes, seeing Lucius face flushed with excitement, and his usually calm eyes dancing in amazement.

"Alright" Severus relented, allowing himself to be dragged along through corridor after corridor. Eventually, they came to a strong-looking silver door Severus had never seen before. Lucius led him inside, glowing in pride.

Inside was the grey runic room, and the dark figure. Severus gazed in awe, seeing the glint of flat crimson eyes from the shadows of the man's face. The mysterious man held out a long, pale, spider-like hand for Severus to shake. He shuddered, glimpsing the cold grin of the stranger - identical to the smile of a serpent.

Severus glanced from the figure, to Lucius and back. He hesitated for a second as words flashed across his brain.

'Listen - we didn't . they didn't mean it like that. They - er - I don't mind you so much.'

But then, it couldn't be true. Remus was just another liar, another person waiting to become close to him to find another way to stab his heart. He shook hands with the devil, the touch of Voldemort's cold skin lancing through him with a painfully finality.

"Welcome, Severus" Lord Voldemort said, and his grin was like a snake's.

~*~*~*~

So, how did you like it? If it's total crap, tell me and I'll rewrite the whole thing. Do you think the ending is alright, or should I do a PART II sort of thing? *^^* Please let me know, and once again thank you thank you THANK YOU!!!