Guest SpeakerAuthor: inamacCharacters/Pairings:
R Kinks/Themes Chosen:
Everything old is new: Sex ConferencesOther Warnings:
innuendo, perversion of potion use, snark.Word Count:
Snape has been invited to speak at a sex convention. Naturally he uses the opportunity for a little commercial advertising, and self gratification.Author's Notes:
This story stands alone, but is part of my 'Brighton Chronicles' universe, in which Snape runs a potions shop in the Wizarding area of Brighton and he, Harry and Draco are in a three-way D/s relationship. Rated R mainly for innuendo. My thanks to my cousin for inspiration in the matter of Beguiling Bubbles. Guest Speaker
Although the Convention hall attached to the Brighton Conference Centre was a Muggle construction of concrete and steel rather than a Wizard's one of ancient stone and timber, it had been decorated in traditional Wizard style for this occasion. Thousands of glowing witchlights hovered below the arched ceiling to illuminate the space, the ranked chairs were of dark carved oak, and the walls of the main hall had been hung with banners in the Hogwarts House colours. It might have been a Founders Day event at Hogwarts, except that closer inspection of the badges on the banners revealed that the mythological and magical creatures depicted were engaged in activities which would never have been tolerated at the Wizards' school. Lions were buggering badgers, snakes were sodomising ravens, and it were best to draw a veil over the activities of the unicorn and the hippogriff dancing across the tapestry that covered the rear of the stage area.
"It's a bit over the top, isn't it?" Harry whispered to Draco.
Malfoy shrugged. "This is the annual Sorcery and Sex Sin-posium. It's a prestigious event and they wanted the best interior designer to do the decorations. Mother was very lucky to get the contract. I wouldn't let her hear you criticise her ideas."
Harry's eyes widened. "Your mother is involved in this?"
Draco nodded absently. His gaze was fixed on the main entrance of the hall through which the conference attendees were filing to fill their seats. "You know she's an interior designer."
"Well yes. But...."
"You expected red velvet swags and spindly-legged gold chairs? God, you're so Muggle
sometimes. I may have to blindfold you before we go into the Dealers Room."
For all his apparent distraction Draco did not miss Harry's little shiver of anticipation at the mention of a blindfold. Muggle – and really rather sweet. He made a mental note to make good his threat later in the day. He had spotted a stall selling carved leather masks on his earlier visit to the Dealers Room.
The hall was nearly full now. It was something of a coup to have persuaded the keynote speaker to make a presentation at this convention and the organisers had been at great pains to make sure that his every requirement was met. Including his suggestion of interior designer, and his insistence on having reserved seats for certain attendees. Harry checked his watch.
"We'd better get to our seats," he said. "The talk's due to start shortly."
They hurried down the aisle. It was just as well that their seats had been reserved, as it was they had to push past a few indignant witches who had obviously been spending galleons in the Dealers Room and were surrounded by bags overflowing with paraphernalia labelled with the names of some of the most expensive suppliers in the Wizarding world.
"Does no one ever learn shrinking charms?" Draco muttered, as he settled into his chair. He was shushed as the lights dimmed in the auditorium and the stage glowed to life.
The Master of Ceremonies stepped forward and cast a voice-magnification charm. Her throat-clearing cough echoed off the far wall. "Honoured Warlocks, Witches and Wizards," she said. "Our guest speaker today scarcely needs my introduction. Hero of the Voldemort War, former Headmaster of Hogwarts, and a respected Master Potioneer, he is also a very valued member of our Wizarding community here in Brighton."Valued?
whispered Harry.She means 'expensive'
, Draco replied, only to receive another nudge and 'sssh' from his neighbour.
On the stage the MC glanced at her prompt card. "You are asked to refrain from attempting any wand-work during this demonstration, and to confine any questions to the scheduled session at the end of the talk. So please, sheath your wands and put your hands together to welcome our guest speaker, Master Severus Snape."
The applause covered Harry's whispered No foolish wand waving in class
and Draco's grin of response.
And then, with a dramatic flutter of black silk robes, the speaker strode onto the stage and took the lecturn.
He began without preamble.
" Amortentia," he barked. " Yohimbe, Love-in-idleness, Niando, Aphrodisia, Beguiling Bubbles. Kissing Concoction!
" The last two were spoken in a tone of disgust. Snape had never approved of the marketing techniques of the Weasley twins. "In short, 'Love Potions'. Those of you who paid attention to your potions lessons will doubtless recall the first rule of so-called 'Love Potions'." He lifted his right hand from the grip on the lectern and a long finger stabbed out to indicate a masked blonde woman in blue leather harness in the second row. "Miss Greengrass, how is your memory?"
She blushed under the mask, though whether at being so easily identified, or because of the question it was impossible to tell. It had been several years since Astoria Greengrass had left school but, Draco recalled (as Snape doubtless remembered), she had taken Potions to NEWT level under both Slughorn and Snape. He crossed his fingers, willing her to answer correctly, for the honour of Slytherin.
He need not have worried. She stood gracefully and removed her mask. "Powerful infatuations can be induced by the skilful potioneer, but never yet has anyone managed to create the truly unbreakable, eternal, unconditional attachment that alone can be called love."
Snape nodded. "Dagworth-Granger's precept. Very good. You may sit." His black eyes surveyed the audience. There was a little stir as everyone shifted to sit up straighter, even those foreign visitors who had not before encountered Snape's teaching technique and who would later accuse the organisers of putting a Charisma
charm on the hall.
"Love potions do not work," Snape continued. He rested his forearm on the top of the lectern and leaned over it to survey his audience. "Although the large number of customers who frequent my small emporium appear to have forgotten the lessons of their schooldays. A triumph of hope over knowledge." The smile became predatory. "However, such potions do have their uses, for those with a good imagination. They might, for example, be combined with other potions to enhance the... bedroom experience."
Harry shifted in his chair, recalling Snape's methods for 'enhancing the bedroom experience'. Despite his contempt for Beguiling Bubbles
Snape had been very inventive with the heart-shaped wand supplied with the product, and had completely ignored the warning that they were not to be taken internally.
On the stage Snape had drawn his wand. "So," he was saying, "If we cannot use a potion to provide true love might we not use a spell? The Imperius Curse, for example?"
There was a gasp from the audience as Snape levelled his wand and moved the tip across the rows of seated spectators. Not every face showed horror. Some looked curious, and some even hopeful. Snape smiled. "Ah, but of course, that would be Unforgiveable. Even between consenting
He re-sheathed the wand, and stepped down to pace across the stage to where a covered cauldron stood on a small brazier. "No," He continued, "there is no simple, magical, path to love. I do not purvey it, and neither do any of the persons here today. That is neither the purpose of my talk nor of this convention. What we are here to explore is what can be done to enhance the experience, once love has been achieved. " he removed the lid of the cauldron. Pale smoke rose in spirals from the surface of the potion. "Amortentia
has a role in identifying these. What scents does your lover associate with true love? Are you plying her with chocolates when she would prefer chilli? With violets instead of violins? Are you using rose scented lubricant while ignoring his passion for oiled leather?"
Draco leaned across and whispered in Harry's ear "I always wondered why he brewed up that saddle-oil concoction.
"All the better to ride you with,
" Harry whispered back.
"Or perhaps," the silky voice continued, "a drop of Veritaserum
might reveal that your lover wishes to indulge in wild romance amid the flowers of a Summer meadow. If so, you might more profitably invest in an insect repellent and hay fever potion than a love potion. Or, for those who wish to experience the crashing waves of passion quite literally, I recommend a gillyflower tincture and a sand-repellent charm – I supply packs of three at very reasonable rates at my emporium. The address is in your conference pack."
There was a brief rustle from the auditorium as delegates checked that they had their papers.
"My own preference," Snape's smile was suddenly predatory, "indeed, the reason that I accepted this invitation to speak here today, is for exhibitionism. This requires the removal of inhibitions from ones partners, and the ability to control the response of observers. In the case of the latter I need hardly remind attendees at this conference of the magically enforced contract that you all signed in order to attend this event. Scrofungulus is not a pleasant disease from which to suffer."
The rustle became silent. The audience recognised a threat when it heard one.
"And in the case of the former, in the removal of inhibitions, I do have a new formula available at very reasonable rates." He gestured to the front row.
Draco gripped Harry's hand and stood. "Our cue," he mouthed. Harry swallowed and stood beside him. Applause followed them as they made their way up to the stage.
"Here," Snape smirked, "are two I prepared earlier."FIN