Summary: Remus apologizes for the events of the Shrieking Shack in a very physical way.
Notes: Done for one of The Silver Snitch's previouscontests.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, and it's probably a good thing, cause if I did, the HP world would just be a giant ball of slash, and wouldn't JK Rowling be appalled?
Scritch. Scritscritscritch. Scriiiitchh.
Remus Lupin lifted his head up to glance over at the dark-haired boy next to him, who was attacking his parchment rather ferociously with his quill. He seemed to be intent on carving words into said parchment, and was narrowing his eyes determinedly as he pressed down hard with his quill.
"Er, Severus?" Remus attempted softly. The boy in question was seemingly focused intensely on his task, and did not reply, acting as though he hadn't heard a thing, although Remus saw that his grip tightened considerably. Remus tended to notice little things like that.
Remus winced as he watched the nib of Severus' quill slice its path into the parchment, almost going all the way through. The other end, the curl of the feather, quivered like a string being plucked as stiff fingers tensed further just below it. Remus repressed a sigh as he took in the signs of one very pissed off Severus Snape.
"Severus?" he tried again nonetheless. It might have been akin to a death wish, and most people would not have bothered, but Remus Lupin was not most people, he was after all, a Gryffindor, and Gryffindors so often had the tendency to dismiss such things.
The sound reverberated through the quiet of the library, echoing and seemingly amplified; it left Remus' sensitive ears ringing in its wake. He gave a start, not so much of shock than reflex.
Next to him, Severus simply stared at the broken quill in his hand, ignoring the droplets of ink that sprayed across and stained his alabaster skin, and began to write again, not caring that he was only gripping a short stub of feather in his hand, with the rest of it flopping upon his fingers.Scccrr – scccrr -
The quill was moving funny across the parchment now; Severus couldn't quite hold onto it properly, and it was twisting about, dragging the lines of each letter out of shape. He attempted a few words, then with a growl, accepted it was futile and threw the broken quill down onto the table, where it spattered a few more drops of ink then lay still and dead. There was a loud, almost deafening silence for a few moments, as Remus stared at Severus, and Severus stared at his defunct quill. Then Severus let a soft curse fall from his lips, and began rummaging through his bag rather peevishly, until he emerged with a new quill, and then he tersely dipped the end of it into his ink and began to write again, never pausing in his movements.
Remus watched this display with a gnawing feeling of apprehension. Every time he even gave an indication of saying something, Severus seemed to snap – rather literally, too – and refused, point-blank, to acknowledge him. Remus could accept why the other boy felt this way, of course, but to his mounting frustration, that was exactly why he was trying to talk to him in the first place.
He wanted to apologize so much, to tell Severus that he was sorry for so many things. He was sorry for what Sirius had done – even if that wasn't his fault, he was still sorry about it, because Sirius was one of his best friends, but so was Severus, and he hated whenever there was a standoff between the two. He wanted to apologize to Severus for not telling him the truth earlier, to assure him that it wasn't a matter of trust, he hadn't told anyone really, and James and Sirius had figured it out themselves, and if it were up to him, they wouldn't have known either. And of course, he wanted to say sorry that he had nearly killed or eaten Severus – no matter that he was hardly in the right frame of mind to be deciding such things, he always had such horrible guilt about any close shaves, and this was closer than most others.
Remus sighed to himself. There were so many things he wanted Severus to know. He wanted the other boy to know that he really had wanted to tell him the truth, but how did one go about broaching such a topic in their usual conversations, which typically revolved around Potions or Defense or Charms? He knew that Severus, who was lonely in Slytherin, treated their friendship – and especially Remus himself – like a lifeline, and an event like this was probably spurring all sorts of worries that Remus didn't actually care about Severus. This, of course, was not true at all, in fact nothing could be further from the truth, Remus cared for Severus, very, very much, and thus Remus wanted nothing more than to reassure the dark-haired boy as such.
But no. There could be no words.
Remus wasn't sure what exactly his mind had suddenly decided he ought to do, all he was sure of was that he was acting before he could process the repercussions of his actions, and that because of this fact, he was now moving, rather quickly, towards Severus. It was as if his mind was struggling madly against a deep current, while his body was floating speedily atop it, because he was acting much, much, much faster than he could even think.
Remus' vision swam, a blur of images melting into one another, forming a sequence that made no sense, and yet all the sense in the world at once. There was Severus, still hunched over their Charms project, dark hair obscuring his face; then there was Severus, turning to him in question, dark eyes widening, thin lips pursed thinner; then there was Severus some more, pressed against the back of his chair, large eyes hurt but hopeful, lips parting anxiously; finally Severus swam out of focus, and Remus squeezed his eyes shut.
Where his sense of sight left him, his other senses took over. A strong scent of musk and must – like old books and spice, flooded his nose, tinged with sweet smoke – probably potion fumes, and there was a trace of the wet smell of ink. Remus allowed this odd – yet entirely appropriate – coagulation of smells envelope him for a long, tranquil moment, immersing himself in the essence of Severus Snape.
Remus' hands were gentle, yet firm, on Severus' form, one hand was tenderly cradling the dark haired boy's cheek, tilting his face up, the other was gripping onto a thin but broad shoulder, holding him down. One hand felt the soft, but rough texture of outer robes beneath it, the other had the soft, but rough texture of teenage boy skin that has been shaved a few days prior.
Severus' breaths were uneven, nervous, catching and raspy, and Remus delighted in knowing he could spot the difference, for he could also hear that Severus was trying to control his breathing, trying to regulate it, trying to seem as though he wasn't as thrown by Remus' actions as Remus knew he was.
Four senses down, only one to go…
Remus' mouth sought out Severus', and carefully pressed down against it. His lips were soft, cool, and tasted like an amalgamation of all kinds of tastes – a little bit like wine, a little bit like chocolate, a little bit like pumpkin juice, a little bit like mint, a little bit like potatoes, a little bit like toffee. Sweet and bitter, tangy and base, sharp and bland. It was an entire range of conflicting flavors, and yet it was all so fitting and harmonious, just so very Severus, that Remus was left marveling at how everything about this boy was shards and fragments of all sorts of things, and yet they all fell together and formed something so utterly wonderful and perfect in its darkness and imperfection.
Severus' lips remained still for heartbreaking seconds, but then slowly, hesitantly, almost experimentally, they pressed back against Remus' warm, full ones. At the acquiescence, Remus allowed his hands to move, no longer restraining the other boy, and one hand traveled to tangle itself within fine, smooth raven locks, the other slid down a slim, surprisingly muscled arm to find slim, tapered fingers and entwine them with his own. He felt a sudden light pressure on the middle of his back, Severus was pulling him closer, and he willingly obliged, he let himself sink down onto Severus' lap.
Their lips met and parted, again and again, brushing softly and pressing gently and melting slowly into one another. Remus drowned his senses in Severus, in his smoky, spicy scent, in his slim, strong form, in his sweet, sharp taste. And Severus let him.
And all the words that Remus had wanted to say weren't needed anymore; he was saying everything he needed to.