Author:bonfoi Rating: PG Pairing: Remus Lupin/Severus Snape, Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy Summary: Given the chore of collecting mistletoe for Christmas decorations, Lupin and Snape come across something interesting. Challenge:adventdrabblesPrompt #18: Christmas Incense Word Count: 971 Genre: Alternate Universe; EWE; Slash; Adventure; Romance Warnings: A bit of sadness A/N: I tried to make this one light and frothy, but incense just doesn’t do light and frothy! *glares at prompt*
Disclaimer: The world of Harry Potter, its characters and settings are the copyrighted works of J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., her publishing companies and affiliates. No profit was made from the writing of this story nor was any malice intended in any way, shape or form to the author or the actors/actresses who so brilliantly have brought them to life.
This author is not responsible for underage readers. Please observe the ratings, warnings, and age of legal consent for your country.
Potter’s eyes were bloodshot and at half-mast while Draco looked like a fresh snapdragon. At least he did so until Severus drew nearer and saw Malfoy had his wand in an iron grip, the tip inscribing strengthening runes in the air.
Severus reached back with his wandless magic and slammed his bedroom door shut, making Potter stand up, which caused Draco to end up on his arse at Potter’s feet. Remus snickered even as he drew his wand and surreptitiously cast what felt like healing spells.
“Serves you, Mr. Malfoy.” Severus stalked forward, once more master of his domain with his warm feet and dry boots. “Now, I’ve already got a situation going on, so be concise and speedy with your explanation of why I shouldn’t turn you and Potter out to the tender mercies of Ginevra and her slavering pack…” Severus felt the push of Potter’s magic pressing along his throat and he changed his wording, “irate family?”
Harry rubbed his nose, sneezed, and then hefted Draco up with one pull, an impressive bit of muscle-work if Draco’s dropped jaw was anything to go by.
“He didn’t do anything that I didn’t want to do myself, Snape.” Potter settled Draco into the smoking chair and began pacing back and forth in front of it. “I didn’t want to get married so young. There’s a world out there I never had the chance to explore, you know? An’…an’ I saw how miserable Remus was, hounded day in, day out.” Potter spun around and locked glares with Severus. “I’d rather be hunting Horcruxes than go through an engagement like that…ever!” he vowed.
Remus sat down in front of the tray of hot chocolate, toast, and tea, and began pouring out, placing the filled cups on saucers that then levitated across to Harry and Draco. As he poured Severus’ hot chocolate, he said, “Was it that miserable, Harry? I thought you were in love with Ginny.”
“I was…but then peace came, an’ I could sleep, an’ you were alone…” Potter tugged at his hair. “I didn’t want to have the same look on my face that you did,” he finally muttered softly.
The hot chocolate pot clattered slightly as Remus carefully put it down. Severus crossed to his side and put a hand on Remus’ shoulder. “I’m glad someone learned from my mistakes, Harry. Now, if you’ll excuse me?” Remus looked over his shoulder, a shell-shocked expression in his eyes. “I should return to the stables.” Remus stood up slowly, Severus’ fingers trailing down his from his shoulder to his waist as he did so.
The door closed behind Remus’ sad form and Draco tugged Harry into his lap, wand forgotten as Potter realized he’d just insulted his honorary godfather.
“You are a thoughtless drunk, Potter,” Severus ground out. “But, you are also truthful.” Severus held up a staying hand. “That, and Draco’s presence, saves you from a dunking in the Black Lake.” Severus turned and stared at the door, his plans crumbling to dust.
“I’m sorry. I just…” Harry looked up, sober and sad. “Remus really is better off without Tonks, you know? She drove him barmy with all that soppy stuff. When we found out she and Molly’d tricked him into marrying her, I knew I couldn’t let that happen to me.”
“Well, you’ve demoralized him with your insights, Potter. Well done.” The sarcasm was so thick, a fog of it rose from the flagstone floor for several minutes. Severus swished through it as he paced behind the sofa, thinking.
“You are going to have to apologize, Potter. A veritable cloud of apology that floats through the air like incense, permeating every aspect of his life, for a great many months if I have my way!” Severus snarled. He pulled open his door and glared at the young pair until they got up and were out in the hall. “You’ll find rooms down there.” Severus waved vaguely towards the Slytherin common room. “The house-elves will come when called.” He slammed the door.
“Why is it a Potter always comes along to ruin my plans?” Severus asked the room at large.
“Well, if ye ask me—which ye haven’t, ye great pillock—ye needs gird yer loins an’ catch that fine mon!” One of the portraits, a Scottish wizard having a highland fling, leaned forward in its frame and glared. “Pooters a’ways were the verra devil when one went a’courtin, Snape! Heed me and call the Bluddy Baron ta fin’ the wolf. Then go an’ show him he’s better off wit’ ye than any tangle-toed vixen.”
The plaque on the frame had a name: Jamie Black-Prince. Severus stared at the name and then the portrait, his mind racing. “Aye, I cut ma ties wit’ the Sassenach heathen Blacks and found ma peace in the hills wit’ ma Hieronymus Prince. Ye go an’ do the same, ye pillock!”
Severus crossed his arms and thought of the Bloody Baron. Within a minute the Slytherin ghost oozed through the wall, the scent of patchouli and sage incense clinging to the air around him. “I have need of you, Baron,” Severus said without preamble. “Please find Mr. Lupin. If your cohort would bring him back here, I would be most obliged.” The Bloody Baron nodded and winked out of existence.
Rushing toward his bedroom, Severus began unbuttoning his robes, flinging clothing everywhere as he pulled his wardrobe open, searching for… “Ah, yes! This will do.” Severus left on his shirt, trousers, socks and boots and donned a velvet robe, his only extravagance after the war. He knew he looked good, the jewel tone of the midnight blue velvet giving his hair soft blue lights and downplaying his sallow looks.
When he felt Remus in front of his door, Severus tied the belt and opened the door.