Notes: Hello again. Another silly story from me. :P Enjoy.
By the way, the asparagus is dedicated to Caffee. And the number 500 is for the celebration over at the LJ community. Hehe.
Remus Lupin wants me.
To say it another way, he wants to bed me. Shag me. Bugger me good and proper, as he would no doubt put it, with that damned annoying smile on his face and that damned roguish lilt in his voice and that damned enfuriating look in his eyes.
I did not realize this all at once. It began when he came to teach at Hogwart's, as the Defense Against the Dart Arts professor (an appointment of Albus' that I'm certain he will come to regret). Ever since then he has been slowly, almost unobtrusively, attempting to... may all the gods forbid... seduce me.
It's very obvious actually, now that I've thought about it. And no one else even notices.
"Severus! So good to see you, after all these years!"
I barely listened to him prattling on about inane topics like how I've hardly changed, how Hogwart's has hardly changed, how glad he is to be teaching here now and to be a fellow professor along with me. He has certainly changed, and is the worse for wear: his robes threadbare, his face lined, his hair graying. A shabby run-down werewolf. As if he really thinks he is worth my time or respect?
I took a step back from him. I do find him disgusting, after all.
"Lupin. Yes, yes, that's all very wonderful. I'm sure you'll be a... credit to your position."
He beamed at me as though I'd just pronounced him king of England. Really, can't the dolt tell by now when I've got sarcasm dripping from every word?
"Thank you, Severus."
And using my name like that? How does he dare, really? As though we will ever be close, after everything he has done to me. I'm not one to forgive and forget, as they say.
With a sneer I brushed past him, not giving him so much as a goodbye, hoping he'll get the point.
Obviously not, as I swore I could feel him grinning right after my retreating back.
Unfortunately I must prepare the wolfsbane potion for him, much as it puts me out to do so. But that is Lupin for you, he must be taken care of. Else he would surely bite one of the students after he has transformed, and then what would happen to him?
I for one wouldn't mind if they put him out of his misery.
"Severus, come in! Thank you so much for brewing that potion for me, you probably remember how completely awful I was with the practical side of potions-brewing when we were in class together..."
I've stopped listening at this point; why must he babble so? Does he expect me to stop and listen, giving careful consideration to everything he says, such as I would do with someone who was my equal or better?
Not bloody likely.
"Take it directly. Do not add anything to mask the taste, no matter how much you are tempted to, otherwise it will lose effectiveness. And I wouldn't recommend swimming for the next hour or so after you've finished."
Despite the fact that I had cut him off, set the smoking goblet on the table, and backed toward the door warily, showing that I clearly did not trust him, Lupin still smiled. "Thanks, Severus," he said, in a very sincere tone.
"Not... at all." Maybe I was a little ruffled by this. Possibly. But I wouldn't show it. I turned and exited as hastily as was possible while still looking dignified, slamming the door behind me so he would know exactly what I did think of him. Even if he was insufferably polite.
Soon enough, the Potter brat started getting in the way again.
He always manages it, somehow. He has a way of interfering, of making bad situations worse. Just like his father.
So naturally, whether he meant to or not, he began to exacerbate my problems with Lupin. He was in Lupin's office once when I brought him the wolfsbane. For all I knew, they were plotting something from that very moment. But it was after Potter's illicit visit to Hogsmeade that things really started to get out of hand.
There he stood, directly in front of me. A monster in the disguise of a tatty, smiling man dressed in a cardigan and shoes that were probably a size too large for him.
"Just a surprise to meet you here."
We were on a second-floor corridor. It was 2 o'clock. Why he was surprised to meet me there, I wasn't sure. Students were staring.
"Did you want something? I am on my way to take care of some business with Professor McGonagall."
"Want something?" He studied me as if he was about to say I was what he wanted. I edged away. "Oh, no. Just thought I'd say hello."
This didn't even deserve a response from me, and he didn't get one. I swept away, taking ten points from a Ravenclaw who was simply standing and looking at us, open-mouthed. There is no excuse for such behaviour, even though it's clear that most students these days are complete ninnies.
Nothing extraordinary happened on the way to McGonagall's office, where I dropped off the Deflating Draught she had requested. But as I was on my way out the door again, Lupin was walking down the hall toward me.
I froze in place, eyes narrowing. What was this, exactly?
"A surprise, again."
He was grinning that fool grin of his. I don't believe he understood how much it annoyed me. Perhaps telling him where I had been going was a mistake, as he had obviously followed me with the intent of being amusing.
Well, he certainly wasn't amusing. Enfuriating, more like.
"Indeed. Perhaps you have some work to do, some of us certainly have. If you'd be so kind as to get out of my way?"
He stepped aside obligingly enough. But I didn't trust the spark of mischief dancing about in his eyes.
He probably thought I was heading back to the dungeons. After taking this into consideration, I thought I'd test the theory.
I checked furtively for him in every direction, then looped back around and headed all the way to the fifth floor. Deciding I'd make him wait, I headed down a corridor rather leisurely, with a smug smile of my own.
Which abruptly melted away when I noticed Lupin standing against a wall with his head cocked to one side, studying me almost expectantly.
"Severus! What a s--"
"It is not a surpise!" I hissed. Realizing that I'd lost my composure, I plowed ahead anyway. "What the hell do you think you're doing following me about? And why? Do you think this is funny?"
I could tell from his face that he did. But he was polite as always.
"Not terribly funny. But I'm not following you, I swear it's a coincidence. Is it really so bad?"
"Of course it is," I fumed. "Why the hell would I want to keep running into you?" Then I noticed the folded-up square of parchment in his pocket. It looked like the one I had taken from Potter, that Lupin had in turn taken from me. I had my suspicions as to what that bit of parchment was, but I'd never get a straight answer from the irritating bastard. "And I swear, Lupin, if I run into you again..."
I left the threat hanging in mid-air, turning and stalking away with both fists clenched. The cretin hadn't even bothered to look worried.
And I found out the effectiveness of that almost-threat over the next several weeks. I ran into Lupin everywhere: in corridors at odd hours of the night, the restricted section of the library when I was sure there wouldn't have been anyone else there, even just conveniently happening to be in the same loo as I was once at the same time.
Why I didn't do anything about it after all baffled me. I did hate the man, with every fibre of my being. And much as it annoyed me, seeing him so often must have been having some strange affect on me.
Damn the vexatious imbecile, anyway.
Safety couldn't even be found at a Quidditch match.
"Wonderful, isn't he? First-rate, of course, considering his background."
"Certainly," I muttered. I was sitting next to Lucius Malfoy, and I should have been paying more attention to his nearly constant stream of praise toward his son's Quidditch prowess, but he was there.
Sitting directly across the pitch from me, and watching me more than he was watching the game. I knew because I could feel his eyes on me. And every time I would look, despite the distance between us, I could see his grin.
I had half a mind to stand up and shout at him, but of course I couldn't do that. Instead I merely sat rigid, following the players with my eyes and mumbling agreements to Malfoy, refusing to bestow another look on the insufferable git.
Mealtimes were similarly trying. Lupin's seat was next to mine, as he was simply filling the space left by Lockhart the year before. At every meal he would begin chatting to me on the most random of topics, and despite the fact that I typically responded with grunts and snarls and sometimes heated oaths, he never seemed to take offense. Rather, it seemed to encourage him to the point where one day I decided to stop replying altogether.
"Excellent weather we're having, Severus," he said, very casually. This was one of his favorite topics, and he could go on about it at such length it would have been enough for a much more patient man than I to snap. "Clear skies again today, unusual for this time of year."
I said nothing. Lupin had finished eating, while I had arrived late in the hopes of dodging him. Unsuccessfully, as usual. He just sat there, annoying as hell. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him fiddling with a button of one of the many garish cardigans he owned. That day it was maroon. Beyond being poor, the man had absolutely no taste.
"But of course we can't expect it to hold forever." I turned my head slightly. He wasn't just idly toying with the button. He was practically fondling it. Rolling it between his thumb and forefinger, squeezing it, pinching it...
Aggravated, I took a firmer hold of my fork and viciously stabbed it into the asparagus on my plate.
"Oh, how I wish every day could be bright and clear, without a cloud in sight..." I was about to break down and tell him that he was talking like an utter moron, but that required me to glance in his direction again, only to see him rubbing his thumb in firm strokes over the button, as though...
I dropped my fork and left. But I wasn't running away from him. Of course not. It was just that he was making me nauseous, and besides, I had left an important potion boiling back in my workroom.
Why would I need to run from such an incorrigible imbecile?
"He's what, Severus?"
"I don't know. Stalking me."
"That's what I said. It's like he's trying to pull off another prank, a really elaborate one this time, which involves annoying me to death."
"I haven't noticed anything unusual, Severus. Perhaps it's just a coincidence?"
"Coincidence? The way he shows up wherever I happen to be? During Christmas, when he kept covertly trying to herd me toward the mistletoe? The way mysterious forces constantly cause me to lose my balance so that he can always be right there to catch me? Every time I come out of a bathroom stall that isn't in my own private quarters, he's there. Now tell me, what exactly is coincidental about that?"
"Ah, well, surely it's nothing to worry about, dear boy. He quite plainly just likes you. Lemon drop?"
Clearly, if I couldn't get Albus to understand, then there was no use trying to get help from anyone else.
Why did I even need help? What was it about the stubbornly persistant creature that was conflicting with my ability to just confront him, hex him, do something to put a stop to all this?
It couldn't be because, after all was said and done, I enjoyed someone's interest in me. Someone who, despite all the nasty snide remarks I had made to him, still wouldn't relent in his efforts to woo me.
...I mean, to annoy me.
Besides, it wasn't as though soft hair and kind eyes and a strong chest and wide shoulders and a well-formed arse had any affect on me whatsoever. Not at all.
Damned bothersome annoying maddening sexy aggravating galling irksome werewolf.
I didn't know where I was going at first. In a fit of confusion and annoyance one day, I had gone stalking through the castle, finding suitable targets for my frustration in the form of students foolish enough to cross my path. Somehow I ended up in front of the door to Lupin's chambers. I should have been avoiding the area entirely, but there I was. And the door was open.
Only slightly open, but it made me pause. I stopped and listened. No sound at all. Did I even dare to...
Apparently I did, as I soon found myself pushing the door open and stepping inside.
It was empty, as far as I could tell. The place was as unremarkable as the man who inhabited it. A chair sat before a small table with a piece of parchment resting atop it. There was something written on the parchment, and I moved to read it.
On closer inspection, I found that I couldn't recognize the writing or letters at all. Naturally this intrigued me, and forgetting myself for the moment, I sank into the chair to examine it more closely.
That voice. From the doorway.
Slowly I looked up to see Lupin standing there, a saucy expression on his face that left me wanting to throttle him. Or something else that my brain refused to wrap around at the moment.
He was chiding me. Me. Lifting his eyebrows and grinning lazily, like a sleepy cat spotting a mouse. And how dare he even say...
Then I realized he was nearing me. When he had started walking I wasn't sure, but he did it with a certain grace that made one think of a stalking predator. My hands felt clammy.
But no, of course they didn't. I was Severus Snape. I didn't get nervous and I didn't get scared and I certainly didn't moon over other men. Especially a shoddy dilapidated one who also happened to be a dark creature and probably didn't even own a single pair of socks that matched.
I should have stood up. I should have pulled my wand on him. But my legs and arms appeared to be frozen. In fact, my whole body felt as still as though it had been hit with Locomotor Mortis. Lupin, however, appeared unarmed. No, I could have moved at any time I chose. I was Severus Snape, these sorts of things didn't happen to me.
"In my chambers without permission... This simply won't do." My hands were still resting on the table. His hands were now on my wrists, clasping lightly but firmly, the pressure actually not unwelcome.
...What am I saying?
"Your door was open," I could only mumble defensively.
"That's no excuse." His face was inches from mine. I could note every line on his features, the deep gold of his eyes, individual eyelashes. Surely it was too close for comfort. Surely I should be able to tear myself away.
"I guess I'll just have to punish you for this, personally."
My own eyes opened wider, but I still couldn't move an inch. "What are you..."
"The thing you'll hate most, I think..." he answered the question I was unable to finish in a whisper, then closed the short distance between my mouth and his.
I am not totally sure how to describe the way I felt at that point. It was as though I was still frozen, but a warmth was spreading steadily throughout my body, originating from where his lips pressed into mine. And everything seemed more perceptible, in particular the feel and sound of my heart pounding in my ears.
Ridiculous and horrible and soppy, and I was enjoying every moment.
"That should do it," was what he said when he at last pulled away.
"I don't know what you think--" I began weakly, but he cut me off with a finger to my lips.
"Severus, do you know how many times I've wanted to kiss you over the course of my life?"
I couldn't say anything. He smiled. "At least 500 times. Probably more."
I snorted in derision, but that only got him to smile all the more before he removed his hand. "Don't think... don't think this will change my mind about you, Lupin," I finally got out, starting to feel stronger again.
"Nonsense," he laughed softly. "You'll surrender." And he kissed me again, and there was nothing I could do.
Damned traitorous body.
Soon he was escorting me to the door, and I proved that I was able to move, although by that time I felt as though I had been hit with a Jelly-Legs Jinx. All he did was watch me as I left, the corners of his mouth turned up as they were more often than not, that fond look in his eyes.
Blasted if I knew why he looked at me that way. He just did.
It wasn't worth pondering just yet. I made my way to wherever it was I had been going originally, or at least I think I did. I was too busy planning on going back later, seeing if Lupin's door was open again. Maybe this makes me the biggest idiot of them all, but I had the feeling it would be. And that I would choose to enter a second time.
But it wasn't that I was going to surrender. Not to a graying, destitute werewolf who dressed funny and had soft lips and a beautiful scent and a deep, beguiling voice.
No, of course not.