Author's Notes: Written for ShyD88's "Severus, you move so seductively" challenge – the general idea being that you must write a story in which that line is used.
So… a pairing I don't like… a narrator I don't especially care for… this was a challenge indeed.
Severus Snape did not care for dances.
They had been bearable when Lily had still been willing to dance with him, and they could drift on and off the dance floor, making good-natured jokes at the expense of Potter and his friends. But now that Lily wouldn't even look at him, Severus was stuck standing at the side of the room, watching her dance with Potter. They swirled around the dance floor, laughing and talking without ever missing a step.
Severus wasn't quite sure why he had talked himself into going up to one of the regular dances held at the Three Broomsticks. He supposed he had thought that if he just went up, knowing Lily would be there, he might have a chance to corner her and talk to her, convince her that he hadn't meant what he had said about her blood…
He would show Lily. He would show her that he didn't need her to be happy any more than she needed him. Mudblood slut, flirting and dancing with that Potter, and after she said so many times how she hated him too.
The Three Broomsticks was, of course, full of pretty young women, and Severus, he was determined, would dance with the prettiest there. He would prove to Lily that he didn't need her to have a good time.
Severus cast around for the most attractive women. There was Rosmerta, just out of school last year and working as a barmaid, laughing and entertaining several men at the bar with no-doubt bawdy stories. He could go over and join in… but she wouldn't dance and it wouldn't be the same. Rosmerta shared her stories with everyone, joining the conversation would show Lily only that Severus could sit at a bar.
There was Emmeline, that Ravenclaw in Severus's year. She rarely danced, and spoke only seriously, so if Severus could get her to dance with him it would show Lily just how little he needed her. But Severus couldn't help but doubt his abilities to get her to dance. And besides, she was one of Lily's best friends, and would probably disdain Severus every bit as much as Lily did.
The bright hum of the pub was broken by a shriek of laughter. Everyone turned to its source, and Severus craned his neck.
"So then," someone was saying, "she said, 'well, you're not so pure yourself, if Rodolphus is to be believed', and I said, 'I'm pure as the driven snow, love – I'm a Black, and you're the Mudblood, remember?'"
Severus leaned back in his seat. Of course, it could only be the Black sisters, three girls who – collectively and individually – managed to perfectly define the word "bitch". Narcissa, the youngest, lived up to her name with something like pride, so vain a girl the world had never seen. She did nothing, as far as Severus could tell, but preen in the mirror, flirt coyly with Purebloods, and act as an entourage to her older sisters. Andromeda, the middle, was probably the most bearable of the three. She was in Severus's year, and in most of his classes, and his opinion was that she was decent enough, but had a rather holier-than-thou air about her – not arrogance per se, but a sort of combination of self-importance, aloofness, and condescension for those she considered beneath her. And then there was Bellatrix, the one who had spoken, who somehow managed to be a slut and a tease at the same time. It was common knowledge that she was willing to participate in any and all sexual activities, but, as far as any of her rebuffed suitors could tell, she wouldn't touch you if she thought you were the least bit desperate.
"And then I said," Bellatrix continued, over her sisters' laughter, "'Maybe it's fashionable for Mudbloods to sleep around? After all, it's not as though you have anything to keep pure', and the look on her face–"
"Oy," said James Potter, shoving through the groups of people to stand right in front of Bellatrix. "If you have something to say about Mudbloods, why don't you say it to my face?"
"Because you're not a Mudblood?" Bellatrix sneered, looking at James as though he was a particularly odd insect that she didn't quite care to crush.
"Not all Purebloods are arrogant bitches like you, Black," he said. There was a murmur of disbelief from the onlookers. No one called Bellatrix a bitch, no matter how much they thought it. Even she seemed shocked.
Severus felt a surge of sheer hatred. He didn't care for Bellatrix, but how dare James Potter accuse anyone of being arrogant!
"You're right," he said, standing up. James turned to look at him, and Bellatrix craned her neck to see who had come to her defence. "Some of them are self-important prats like you, Potter."
James's ears turned red, and he spluttered. Lily, who had sat down on a barstool, buried her face in her hand, and shook her head. "Ignore him, James. It's not important."
"Listen to your little Mudblood girlfriend, Potter," Bellatrix said, having regained her composure. "And think twice before getting into a fight, next time."
"I'd rather be a Mudblood than inbred," Lily said coolly, raising her head to look Bellatrix in the eye. "Tell me, Bellatrix, if you parents got divorced, would they still be brother and sister?"
Bellatrix flushed, and clenched her fists. "If your parents divorced, Evans, would they still be Muggle trash?"
"I read that inbreeding leads to insanity," Lily continued, ignoring Bellatrix's jab. "Is that what happened to you, then?"
"You want insanity, try talking to Potter. He must be out of his mind to want to go out with you."
"You watch what you say!" James began, but Bellatrix leaned forward and rested a fingertip on his lips.
"Ah, ah, ah," she said. "Remember what I said about thinking before you got into fights?"
"All right now, break it up!" Rosmerta interrupted. She leaned over the bar and pushed a tankard of butterbeer into James's hand. "Now, did I tell you what happened when…"
Bellatrix rolled her eyes theatrically, and leaned over to converse in whispers with her sisters. After a few minutes, Bellatrix stood, and pushed past James and Lily. She strolled over to Severus, who was still standing rather awkwardly to the side of the fight, and took his arm.
"It's Snape, isn't it?" she asked conversationally, pulling him onto the dance floor. "Severus Snape?"
Severus stumbled a little as she started dancing, and she smirked. "Why, Severus, you move so seductively."
Bloody sarcastic bitch. Severus did his best to match her steps, and after a few minutes, fell into a comfortable rhythm.
Bellatrix glanced from his feet to his face, then, apparently satisfied that he could dance without injuring himself or her, she asked, "Didn't you used to be Evans' boyfriend?"
"Sort of," Severus mumbled, who wasn't nearly as confident in his ability to dance as Bellatrix seemed to be.
"But not anymore?"
"No." He narrowly avoided treading on Bellatrix's foot.
"Good." She spun around, and caught his hand in hers. "Filthy Mudblood. Doesn't deserve you."
Severus was surprised, and actually did tread on her foot that time. "Sorry."
Bellatrix snorted softly. "Don't give it a second thought. You're a much better dancer than Rodolphus."
"You really think so?" Severus asked, rather hopefully.
"Would I lie to you?"
"So, you don't have a girlfriend, then?"
Severus looked at her, rather confused.
"Well," she said, grinning wickedly, "it's so much easier when you don't have to fend them off. If you did have a girlfriend, sleeping with you would be altogether more trouble than it's worth."
"Sleeping with you," she repeated, matter-of-factly. "I thought we might dance for a while more, but if you like, we can leave now–"
He dropped her hands and stepped back hastily, bumping into the couple behind him.
"I couldn't do that," he said, backing towards the door.
Bellatrix raised her eyebrows. "I don't take 'no' as an answer."
"I'm sorry, but I really couldn't–"
"Look," she said, shoving another dancing couple aside so she could step closer to him again, "is this about the Mudblood? Do you think she's going to take you back, if you just prove that you can be faithful to her? Look at them." Bellatrix pointed in the direction of Lily and James. "Do you really think she's being anything resembling faithful to you?"
"'Course she isn't," breathed Bellatrix, stepping so close to him that he could feel her breath on his cheek. "So why should you extend that courtesy to her?"
"Never pegged you as quite so much of a whore, Black," Severus said, trying to sound disparaging, but quite aware that he sounded only sullen. "What do you want with me, then? Am I suddenly good enough for you?"
Bellatrix shrugged. "I'm bored, and Rodolphus is ill. Come off it, Sev, don't–"
"Don't call me 'Sev'."
"All right." Bellatrix shrugged. "Doesn't matter to me what I call you. I'm not fussy."
"Sod off, Black," Severus told her, more shakily than she would have liked.
She tilted her head, raised her eyebrows. "Is that what you like, then, Severus?"
He winced. Poor word choice.
"Look," he said slowly. "I don't want to talk to you, I don't want to see you, and I absolutely don't want to sleep with you. So… leave me alone."
Bellatrix shrugged, apparently unfazed. "All right, then. You change your mind, I'll be around."
She turned around, and returned to her sisters at the bar, leaving Severus standing at the edge of the dance floor, as awkwardly as ever.
"What's wrong, Snivellus?" James asked, turning away from Rosmerta's story upon seeing Bellatrix take her seat again. "Bellatrix wouldn't touch you, eh?"
Bellatrix smirked, looking to Severus for his reaction. Lily was pointedly ignoring the whole matter.
Seeing her, turned so firmly away from him, determined not to make eye contact, caused anger to rise in Severus's chest again. Bellatrix was right, she wasn't even close to being faithful to him, why shouldn't he have someone else?
"Black," said Severus loudly. Bellatrix looked at him, questioning look on her face.
"Boys dormitory," he said, hardly believing himself. "Say, eleven o'clock?"
Bellatrix looked momentarily surprised, then another wicked smile curved across her lips. "Fine."
Severus turned on his heel and left, posture rigid. Lily and James exchanged exasperated glances, then went back to chatting with Rosmerta. Bellatrix was still for a few moments, then turned to her sisters, her smile widening.
"You're awful, Bella," Andromeda said reproachfully.
"I told you I could seduce him," Bellatrix said. "Now pay up. Twenty galleons, I believe, was our bet."