|atdelphi (atdelphi) wrote in hp_beholder,|
@ 2014-05-07 12:58:00
|Entry tags:||aberforth dumbledore, aberforth dumbledore/severus snape, beholder 2014, fic, rated:nc17, severus snape, slash|
FIC: "A Gramarye of Folk Magic" for evensong14
Title: A Gramarye of Folk Magic
Pairings: Aberforth Dumbledore/Severus Snape
Word Count: 5818
Warnings/Content Information (Highlight to View): [Transactional sex; a brief scene of animal sacrifice; references to suicide]*.
Summary: Time moves with the seasons in Hogsmeade, and season by season the Snape boy returns to Aberforth's inn.
Author's/Artist's Notes: I would like to thank my beta, F, for all her help. I really hope you enjoy this story, evensong14. Thank you for the inspiring prompts.
In what would prove to be the final days of the war, Aberforth’s brother entrusted to his keeping a hide-bound book, a stoppered silver phial the size of a finger bone, and a 21-year-old boy of uncertain provenance. This last turned up at the Hog’s Head on a morning in early August, and Aberforth, upon examining him, rendered the same judgment he had with the book and the phial. Didn’t look like much. Obviously valuable nonetheless. Most likely dangerous.
"Severus Snape," the boy said, introducing himself with an awkward bow. "Mr. Wulfric advised me you had a room to let."
They had met before, although not formally. Aberforth had kicked him out once, a year or so back. The boy hadn’t filled out much since then, still sickly looking and young enough in the face to pass for a student. His lank black hair hung in his eyes. Snape. The name wasn’t familiar, but he bore an unmistakable resemblance to Septimus Prince who raised those nice Dalesbreds down in Plumswick.
"There's a room," Aberforth agreed, "provided you or Mr. Wulfric is paying upfront."
The boy hadn't been trusted with silver. That was Aberforth's first clue. A sealed note of credit was procured from a greasy pocket, and Aberforth read it through with a jaundiced eye. According to Albus' instructions, the room was to be held indefinitely, with food and drink provided until September. The boy was a new hire, whatever else he might be.
"Good enough," Aberforth said.
He motioned for the boy to pick up his trunk and led him upstairs. There were three rooms besides his own, none of them currently occupied. No one was traveling these days if they could help it. He chose the one at the end of the hallway, which rented the cheapest despite having the better view. Inside were an iron bed, a stained rug, and a table--the unofficial motto of the Hog's Head Inn being 'Beggars Can't Be Choosers'.
"The sheets are clean," he said. "Towels are in the bathroom. I usually lock the front door by eleven o'clock."
The boy did not reply. He had set his trunk down on the bed and was staring at it vaguely. There was a certain expression shared by those who had never expected to find themselves here, in a room like this one, but this was the first time Aberforth had seen it on the face of somebody with boots that shabby.
He left him to it.
Downstairs, the stillness of the day had made the kitchen stuffy. He propped open the back door to let some air in and sat down at the table with a cup of water and one fresh egg from the basket. He breathed onto the speckled shell and rubbed it all over with his thumb before cracking it open. The contents slid into the cup, which he tilted this way and that, peering at the shapes the white made in the water. A bright red clot of blood stained the middle of the yolk.
Aberforth snorted. It figured.
The remainder of the day passed quietly enough. The boy kept upstairs, his presence marked only by the occasional creak of the bed when he sat or rose. Business was slow: two customers in the late afternoon and one in the early evening. Tamerlane Blott usually did his after-work drinking at the Three Broomsticks, but he patronized the Hog's Head whenever his wife was under the impression he was sober. Aberforth poured him his medicine and waited him out. When Blott had finished, he closed up early and made supper.
"There's food," he called up from the foot of the stairs.
The bed creaked again. The floorboards squeaked. The pipes gave a rattle as the boy washed up. Aberforth placed a pair of roast beef and horseradish sandwiches on a plate at one of the corner tables before starting in on restocking the bar. The boy came downstairs haltingly. He stopped just shy of the table. His gaze darted in suspicion from the drawn curtains to the barred door and then to Aberforth.
"It's hardly worth the cost of oil to stay open on a Wednesday," Aberforth said. "If you're going out, use the back door."
The boy didn’t budge. "I expect you're to report on my comings and goings."
It was a put-on accent, Aberforth decided. Good, but not perfect. He had slipped a little on 'report'.
"I expect so," Aberforth replied, mimicking the plummy tone.
The mockery seemed lost on the boy. His dark gaze fixed upon Aberforth as if he were measuring him up for a set of robes. Or maybe a coffin. It was a shrewd look. That was what decided things. If it had been sullen, Aberforth might have had the decency to put his foot down and forestall the offer he suspected was coming. If it had been desperate, he would have washed his hands of the whole business and sent the boy packing back to Albus. But 'shrewd' was something else.
Something like narrowed eyes, a not-unattractive mouth, and more trouble than coin for room and board was going to compensate him for.
He was not surprised when he was joined behind the counter. Up close, the boy smelled like summer sweat. The bridge of his nose was oily, and his cheeks were flushed. His hands, when they worked their way into Aberforth's clothing, were cold.
The boy's touch was openly disdainful. That suited him fine--better than the alternative anyhow. A few tugs were enough to get him half hard. A sneer hooked the corner of the boy's lips, there for an instant and then out of sight as he folded to his knees and put his mouth to other work.
Arousal shied away for an instant and then lurched forward, sliding wetly from the pit of his stomach to the hot drag of the boy's tongue. He wasn't a novice, Snape. He wasn't going to make any money off it, but he wasn't a novice and Aberforth was not a saint. His hands settled on the boy's bony shoulders. He looked down at the dark head bobbing gracelessly. There was a touch of pink sunburn where the hair parted.
It served Albus right, he thought, imagining his brother's righteous disgust at the scene. All this cape and saber, too many chessmen and no board. He came after a minute of messy sucking, his fingers digging into the back of the boy’s neck. He had pegged the boy for a spitter, but he swallowed with a short, nasal sound of disgust.
That was all. The boy pulled off and sat on his haunches. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand but otherwise did not look overly put out. If he was trying to make sure his bread was buttered on both sides, Aberforth supposed that sucking cock was probably less of an imposition than whatever he'd had to do for Albus.
His groin still throbbing, he buttoned back up. His gaze swept across the shelf, and on a whim he took down a bottle of Salamander as the boy climbed gracelessly to his feet. It was the good stuff, too fine to be wasted on the young, but he was in a sore enough mood to relish the thought of putting it on Albus' bill. He set a glass on the counter, filled it with two fingers of the whiskey, and presented it to the boy.
"It’ll get the taste out of your mouth.”
The boy glared at him and then at the glass. He took it nonetheless and sniffed at the contents. He drank, and his reddened lips pulled back in a quickly stifled grimace, as though the cure was worse than the complaint. Almost as far from thirty as from ten, Aberforth thought, and he privately damned his brother. He then damned the boy as well for whatever he had done to land himself here.
Damning himself, of course, went without saying.