Fic: Risks and Rewards (Severus Snape/Bill Weasley, NC-17) for karasu_hime Author:potion_lady Recipient:karasu_hime Title: Risks and Rewards Rating: NC-17 Pairing(s): Severus Snape/Bill Weasley Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended. All characters engaging in sexual activity are 16 years or older. Summary: Bill has a surprising visitor for Christmas. Warnings: AU; creature-fic; flangst Word Count: ~ 3700 Author's Notes: Many thanks to my beta, J., for the hand-holding, encouragement, and help in whipping this into something readable. karasu_hime, I hope you enjoy this!
Bill stretched languidly and gave the Egyptian sun outside his window a half-hearted glare. Wincing as tired muscles loosened slowly, Bill looked over at the bed-side table, eyeing the vial of potion wearily, wondering not for the first time who was daring to help him despite the dangers of doing so. A different owl was used each time it arrived, and there was never a note attached, but he still worried for his mysterious benefactor.
The potion had been coming without fail since the Wizarding World had gone insane four years ago. After Harry's defeat of the Dark Lord Voldemort, instead of relaxing and becoming the comfortable world it once had been, the Ministry of Magic had begun creating rule after rule, decree after decree, and the punishments for breaking any of the laws, no matter how ridiculous, were severe. And though Harry, the Wizarding World's Chosen One, had done everything in his power to change things, to convince people that what was happening was wrong, his voice had been lost in the sea of people who agreed that their world must be tightly locked down and held under rigid control to prevent another Dark Lord from rising.
Because so many magical creatures had sided with Voldemort, all of the laws that dealt with creatures such as Vampires, Werewolves, and even Veela, were harsh. All magical creatures and creature hybrids were required to become registered at the Ministry, and once registered were obligated to hand over their wands, which were snapped immediately, regardless of their creature status. The creatures were then unceremoniously forced out of the Wizarding World, with no chance to ever enter into it again.
Just as harsh as the laws regarding creatures were the punishments for wizards and witches found helping creatures. Anyone found to be aiding and abetting a magical creature was exiled from the Wizarding World, much as the creatures had been. And while they were allowed to keep their wands, the wands were tracked at all times by the Ministry, and anything stronger than a third year spell would have Aurors descending on the exiled wizard or witch and their wand summarily snapped.
It was a cruel punishment, allowing wizards and witches to keep their magic but not let them have full access to it, and it made Bill wonder anew why someone would willingly help him, risking serious trouble if he or she were caught.
The war seemed never-ending, with heavy casualties on both sides. The Wizarding World was in chaos, with more and more people blockading themselves in their homes, pulling their children out of Hogwarts, and shop-owners closing their stores on a near daily basis.
Severus Snape had long since been discovered as a spy for Dumbledore, and had barely lived through the torture Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters had put the man through. If it hadn't been for Harry's continuing visions into the Dark Lord's mind, Snape would have surely died, but thanks to the Gryffindor, Dumbledore and Poppy Pomfrey had been able to quickly find the beaten, bloodied man in time to take him back to Hogwarts and heal him of the majority of his injuries.
The loss of three of his fingers – two on his left hand and one on his right – had nearly devastated the Potions Master, but he had successfully managed to learn how to change the way he held knives and other tools necessary for his mastery, and had not allowed the Dark Lord to win in the end. He continued creating potions for both the infirmary and for the Order's use, wicked elixirs that gave the Order some much needed advantage over the Death Eaters.
Snape also demanded to be allowed to go on missions when he was able, and was paired with Bill Weasley when it was discovered how well the pair worked together. Both men were masters in their field, incredibly intelligent, and understood dark magic like no one else in the Order of the Phoenix. The pair quickly became a seamless team when it came to duels and physical battles. Bill's job as a curse-breaker kept him alert and quick-thinking, and after having been a spy for over twenty years, not much slipped past Severus Snape. What began as a working relationship quickly became a friendship as the two men relied on the other to have his back on Order missions.
Everything went to hell, though, when the pair went on a mission to the Forest of Dean, where it had been reported several Muggle and Wizarding families had disappeared in the past few weeks. It was determined that Death Eaters were responsible, and Bill and Severus had been sent to take whatever action was necessary to neutralize the Death Eater threat in the area.
Shaking himself out of unhappy memories, Bill stood and grabbed the vial, quaffing the potion quickly before his gag reflex could kick in. Wondering again who would willingly put themselves at risk for him, he wandered out of the room to start his day.
The exercises meant to keep his muscles flexible and fluid were simply too difficult to manage, and early afternoon found Bill sitting quietly in his sitting room, attempting, with little success, to read a novel he'd purchased that day. He wouldn't have normally gone out shopping, with it being so taxing on his body, but supplies had been drastically low and Bill knew that if today was difficult then tomorrow would be impossible. So he'd dragged himself out of the flat and slowly wandered through town, stopping at the grocer, the bank, and finally the book store.
Though he'd lived in the town for over three years, Bill kept to himself, speaking only when spoken to by the shop owners who saw him most frequently and even then only saying a word or two. He never made eye contact with anyone and wore his solitude like a shield. People might think him unfriendly, arrogant, and aloof, when that was in fact as far from the truth as one could get, but it was a necessary ruse to protect the town from both himself and the Wizarding World.
The brightly shining full moon was ignored by both men as they mapped out the forest, searching for the hidden Death Eater camp. Not noticing the moon became their downfall, as a massive, scarred, grey werewolf stepped directly into their path, teeth bared and saliva dripping from its long canines. As both Bill and Severus began firing hexes and curses at the wolf, trying to stop it from attacking, several Death Eaters emerged from behind them. With barely a glance and a nod at one another, the pair did what they did best, separating their attack, Severus focusing on the Death Eater forces while Bill managed to keep the werewolf, who turned out to be Fenrir Greyback, at bay.
The Death Eaters forced Severus deeper into the forest, farther from Bill than either of them liked to be when duelling. It was when Severus' back was left unprotected and the man was facing away from Greyback that the werewolf had his chance. With a snarl the wolf turned toward the Potions Master and charged.
"Severus, look out!" Bill shouted to alert the older man of the danger, but Severus was unable to protect himself from both the Death Eaters and Greyback. In a fit of Gryffindor foolishness and bravery, Bill threw himself directly into the werewolf's path, hoping to stun the wolf before he could attack either Bill or Severus.
Just as a shot of green light left Severus' wand and dispatched the final Death Eater, an inhuman scream pierced the air, making the man's hair stand on end. Turning, he saw Greyback mauling Bill. Firing the strongest stunning spell he knew, the flash of red temporarily blinded the wolf, giving Severus just enough time to grab Bill and activate the emergency portkey he kept on him at all times.
As dusk began to darken the December sky, Bill stood with a sigh and headed toward the large, sturdy cage in the corner of his bedroom. Though the Wolfsbane potion sent each month allowed him to keep his human mind – and his sanity through the pain of transformation – Bill still worried that this might be the time that the potion didn't work. Removing his clothing and tossing it haphazardly onto the bed, Bill entered the cage and locked the door with the sturdy combination lock. The combination lock was the strongest he could find, but it was a necessity as it allowed him to leave the cage without assistance after he transformed back into his human form.
Bill's last thought before screaming in agony as his bones broke and reformed was relief that the walls of his flat were solid and soundproofed.
Loud, impatient knocking at his front door woke Bill from his restless sleep. Entering the combination into the lock and leaving the cage, he stretched painfully before slowly dressing and shuffling to the door. "Can I hel– Severus! What are you doing here? How did you find me?" Bill questioned frantically, already imagining having to leave his comfortable home.
Dipping his head slightly in greeting, Severus lifted a hand, stalling Bill's questions and drawled, "Perhaps this conversation would best be had somewhere other than your doorway?"
Blushing softly, Bill grinned, "Of course, come in. I'm sorry, I was sleeping and –" Bill babbled until Severus stopped him with a raised brow.
"I understand. The full moon was last night."
Leading Severus to his small but homey sitting room, Bill answered, "Exactly. Which brings me back to my questions. Not that I'm unhappy to see you, but why are you here, Severus? The Ministry will have your wand if they find you consorting with a creature."
Shoulders tense, Severus averted his eyes from Bill's questioning gaze. "They already have my wand. Or just as good as, really. It was discovered that I've been aiding a creature."
"Aiding a creature?" Bill murmured. It took a piercing gaze and raised brow from Severus before everything fell into place. "The Wolfsbane! Severus, why risk yourself like that?"
Lifting his chin and pinning Bill with a dark stare, Severus replied, "Because you risked yourself for me when you didn't have to. I know that if not for you then it would be me living here in the middle of nowhere, without magic and shunned by the world I belong in. I could not overlook that, Bill, so I did what I could to ease your suffering."
Sighing, Bill said softly, "You shouldn't have, Severus. I'm grateful, really I am, because without the Wolfsbane I'm sure that transforming would be more agonizing than I can imagine. But now you'll be without access to your magic, and I'd never wish that for you."
Clearing his throat awkwardly, twin spots of colour splashed over the embarrassed Potions Master's cheeks. "Yes, well, be that as it may, I still have not answered your questions, have I?"
Grinning at Severus' discomfort, Bill stopped himself teasing the older man by answering, "No, you haven't. Let me get us some tea and then you can tell me why you're here and how the Ministry caught onto you. I'm also very interested to find out exactly how you found me."
When Bill returned with tea and sandwiches for them both, Severus nodded in thanks at the cup Bill prepared for him. Sipping slowly, he began telling Bill how he'd gone to the goblins at Gringotts to find the eldest Weasley son. He also told Bill how he'd so easily fooled the Ministry into allowing him to purchase ingredients for what was now an illegal potion, using them to help his comrade and the closest thing he'd ever had to a friend.
"You know, Severus, Christmas is only two weeks away. Do you have plans?" Bill asked over dinner that evening.
"No. I have never had the opportunity to visit Egypt," Severus answered quietly. "I simply thought to find a hotel and stay in the country for awhile before making any firm plans.
"You don't need to go to a hotel, I have a perfectly good guest room. You're more than welcome to stay here."
"I didn't place myself on your doorstep to abuse your hospitality, Bill. I merely wished to see that you were well."
"Don't be daft, you're not abusing anything. I want you to stay, Severus. Please, stay for Christmas at least?"
Gazing into fervent blue eyes, Severus knew he'd lost. "Very well," he murmured. "Thank you, Bill."
The next several days passed quickly, with Bill eagerly catching up on news from home and Severus learning what Bill had been up to since the end of the war. Bill showed Severus many of the sights Egypt had to offer, seeing the country in a new light as Severus enjoyed the area as only a first-time visitor can. The pair rekindled their friendship from the war, forging something stronger and deeper with each passing day.
It had become their custom to sit in the evenings with drinks and talk of all manner of things. It was on one of these nights that Bill asked, "Severus, what would you like for Christmas?"
"It has been many years since I have wished for or received anything for Christmas, Bill. I learned long ago that, for me, wishes do not come true," was the cynical answer.
Staring in surprise at his friend, Bill couldn't stop the flash of sympathy that shot through him. "Surely you received gifts from the other professors when you taught at Hogwarts?" he asked softly.
Chuckling self-deprecatingly, Severus turned dark eyes toward Bill and raised a brow. "Do I seem the type of person to form close relationships with co-workers, or anyone else for that matter? No, it was safest to keep myself apart from everyone and stay buried in my role. And in doing so, I allowed them to maintain their own roles as well."
Letting the uncomfortable subject drop, Bill began thinking of gifts he could find for a jaded Potions Master.
Bill watched Severus closely over the next few days, spotting things in shops that he looked more than once at, and at things that he passed by quickly. He'd never realized the Potions Master had a passion for gems and stones, nor had he known of the man's interest in runes. He was aware of the older man's fondness for the written word, however, and the pair enjoyed several hours in a local bookstore perusing the shelves. Little did Severus know that his shopping partner was perusing him far more than he was the texts.
It took Bill by surprise, the attraction he began to feel for Severus. He knew he loved watching the gleam in the man's eyes as he found an interesting gem to study and the way his hands would gently caress the stone, but it came as a shock when he began to wish it was he and not the stone that Severus was caressing. And he'd never anticipated his stomach clenching with desire at watching Severus' lips curl upward as he read a passage in a book he found particularly interesting. Bill found himself touching Severus more often, casual brushes of fingers against the older man's arm to get his attention, touches that brought a surprised but pleased smile to Severus' face. But as Severus didn't respond to the touches in any way other than that of close friends, Bill kept silent even though he wanted nothing more than to press the Slytherin against the nearest hard surface and kiss him breathless.
Unbeknownst to Bill, Severus did notice the younger man just as much as Bill noticed him. However, not wanting to jeopardize his growing friendship with the redhead, Severus refused to act on his desire. So Severus continued on as they were, with casual touches and soft smiles. And if the touches lingered longer than usual or the smiles held a bit more meaning, neither man said a word.
Christmas Eve found Severus and Bill once again sat comfortably on the sofa in Bill's sitting room, drinking wine and talking about their day. Bill seemed distracted, however, something that had Severus glancing repeatedly at the younger man in poorly concealed concern. Finally, Bill looked up, catching Severus' eyes and seemed to find what he was looking for. "I have something for you, Severus," he said quietly.
Reaching into his pocket, Bill pulled out his dragon fang earring, now placed on a long leather cord. "I know you don't hold much stock in sentimental drivel," Bill smiled, earning a chuckle from the older man, "but this earring always had a lot of meaning for me. It's reminded me to always live life to the fullest, and since you're now more or less starting a new life, I want you to have this, to remind you that this is just a new adventure."
As Bill placed the cord around Severus' neck and began to pull away, Severus stopped him with a hand on his arm. "Thank you, Bill. I know that you've worn this for many years and it must therefore hold a significant amount of meaning for you. I appreciate your giving it to me." Smirking wickedly, the Potions Master added, "And I find that sentimental drivel coming from you is slightly more bearable than most."
Laughing softly, Bill once again began to move away, but Severus' hand on his arm tightened. Brow furrowed in question, Bill raised his eyes to meet Severus' only to find a pair of smooth, dry lips against his own in a brief kiss. "Thank you," Severus repeated.
"Severus," Bill breathed, reaching up and tangling his hands in Severus' hair, leaning in for a deeper kiss. Bill's hair received similar treatment, curling around potion stained fingers while tongues wrapped around each other in a sensual dance. Pulling away when the need to breathe became overwhelming, Bill smiled and said, "I've wanted to do that for ages."
Licking his lips and relishing the taste of Bill on his tongue, Severus replied, "I've wanted you to."
Eyes flashing in desire, Bill pushed Severus down onto the sofa, pressing his body against the older man's and capturing his lips again in a bruising kiss. Groaning at the whimper that escaped Severus and the hands scrabbling against his back, Bill released Severus' lips to trail hot kisses over the man's jaw and down the pale stretch of neck visible over the top of Severus' shirt. Wanting to taste more of that smooth skin, Bill began unbuttoning Severus' shirt, fingers deftly threading buttons through buttonholes and revealing the body beneath.
Severus' hands were equally as busy, untucking Bill's tee shirt and sliding his hands beneath the soft cotton, stroking firmly over Bill's back and tracing the scars he'd received from Greyback reverently. Moaning at the sensation caused by Bill latching onto a pebbled nipple, Severus' hands moved lower, dipping under the waistband of Bill's jeans and tracing the cleft between his buttocks with a long finger. Bill arched into him, meeting Severus' straining erection with his own hardness and making Severus groan needily.
Pulling away regretfully from the tempting body beneath him, Bill murmured, "I'm moving too fast."
A sleek brow raised as Severus drawled, "I didn't realise Gryffindors knew too fast even when it tripped them up." Reaching up and cupping Bill's cheek to take the sting out of his sarcastic words, Severus continued, "You have no need for foolish self-sacrificing behaviour with me, Bill." Smiling wickedly, he moved his hand down to cup Bill's prick through his jeans. "Now, fuck me."
The words enflamed Bill and the redhead began tearing at Severus' trousers, aching to feel flesh against flesh. Severus helped as much as he was able; shoving the slacks and boxers over his hips so that Bill could pull the garments off. When the clothing got caught on Severus' shoes, Bill lost patience, ignoring the offending trousers in favour of leaning down to engulf Severus' cock in his mouth. As Severus arched beneath him, wrapping his hands in Bill's long hair, Bill slid two fingers into his mouth alongside Severus' cock, wetting them thoroughly before trailing them down the cleft of Severus' arse and plunging them into the tight entrance.
"Enough!" Severus roared, reaching down and tearing Bill's jeans open, pushing them down slim hips just far enough to pull Bill's prick out of the fabric. As Bill spat into his hand and wrapped it around his leaking flesh, Severus tucked his thumbs into the belt loops of Bill's jeans and tugged, pulling him closer until Bill's prick was pressed against Severus' opening. "Now," he ordered, the word breaking on a moan at the pleasurable burn of Bill filling him.
Bill waited for a mere moment before thrusting heavily into Severus, gripping the man's hips and plunging as deeply as possible into the grasping heat. "Touch yourself," he growled, eyes darkening with lust as he watched Severus wrap a hand around his own prick and stroke in time with Bill's movements. Bill shifted his hips until he was hitting Severus' prostate repeatedly, and when the older man's eyes closed in pleasure and he moaned through his climax, Bill thrust once, twice more before emptying himself into Severus with a howl.
Heedless of his weight, Bill landed heavily on top of Severus, pressing his nose into the man's neck and inhaling the scent of sweat and sex. Ignoring the grumbled protests about heavy oafs not paying attention to where they fell, Bill snaked his tongue out to lick up Severus' neck. "Mm," he murmured in satisfaction, "should've done this ages ago."
Laughing quietly, Severus smirked, "Says the man who only moments ago stated he was moving too fast."
Lifting his head from its comfortable spot on Severus' shoulder, Bill gazed down at the Potions Master and grinned. "Well, since you asked me so nicely, who was I to deny you?"
Before Severus could reply, Bill captured the man's lips with his own in a surprisingly tender kiss. And when the clock chimed midnight and Bill whispered, "Happy Christmas, Severus," Severus couldn't help but think that perhaps this year it would be.