|snarrymod (snarrymod) wrote in snarry_games,|
@ 2008-05-25 09:55:00
|Entry tags:||adbaculum, entry, team phoenix|
TEAM PHOENIX ENTRY: Adbaculum "Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs: A Comedy"
Title: Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs: A Comedy
Prompt(s): Tip Jar, Comedy of Errors
Rating/Warnings/Kinks: NC-17, *prostitution themes abound*
Word Count: ~8300
Summary: When his lover gets himself into a bad situation, Harry comes to the rescue. Whether the stubborn git likes it or not, damn it.
A/N: A huge thank you to swtalmnd, treewishes, and alisanne for the speedy and helpful betas! All remaining mistakes are my own. Also, thank you to treewishes for helping me talk out the plot and put it into something that made (somewhat) more sense than the original idea, to swtalmnd for the name of the Wizarding World's red light district, and to the Snarry Games Mods, who are awesome, patient, and have some really fucking impressive modding skills. *tips hat*
'You might want to wear something a little flirty for the occasion. A few lacy frills never go amiss in that place.'
The unfamiliar teasing voice drifted up the back stairwell to where Harry Potter stood in stained, ragged Quidditch gear. His arrival home was earlier than planned, and he was surprised to hear that Severus had a guest. Severus never had guests. Intending to dash off for a quick bath before greeting his partner (Harry's post-Quidditch stink being a constant subject of derision and mockery in their relationship), he stopped when the strange voice caught his ear. It occurred to him for a second that Severus wouldn't appreciate him eavesdropping on his conversation, but since when did anyone suggest Severus should dress up in lace? Harry moved closer to the top of the stairs to listen.
'I don't think that would be appropriate for the occasion. He is expecting someone of a certain status, not some common whore,' Severus replied, his voice hard and tight. Harry crept down a few steps to hear better, his mind racing in surprise and confusion. Whoever this person was, Severus didn't sound too thrilled to have him here. And what meeting was Severus talking about?
'Oh, don't be such a prude; it doesn't become you,' Harry heard the man say, sounding amused. 'He'll be there tomorrow at nine.'
'And who is my...handler?'
'Come through the back entrance like the other guys and Rou will show you where to go. Your buyer'll use the tip jar to request your services. I've got you at eight Sickles and a Knut.'
Harry listened, trying to make sense of what he was hearing and only coming up with absurd answers. 'Who the hell is handling Severus?' he thought indignantly. No one should be handling his lover except him.
He was about to charge down the steps and make his presence known, but he stopped when the mention of a tip jar pulled at something in his memory. Seamus once mentioned a wizarding pub in London that housed rentboys. They apparently had a unique practice of keeping a tip jar at the bar where interested clients would drop in a certain amount of change to order to request a boy's services. Harry had wondered at the time how the management distinguished between real tips and interested johns, but didn't give it much more thought. After all, he didn't think he'd ever need to know the ins and outs of a brothel.
Oh! He panicked at his next thought: Was Severus visiting a prostitute? After everything they'd been through, he couldn't believe Severus would do that to him! But...no, that didn't make sense. The man downstairs said the person would be using the tip jar to request Severus' services. Surely that didn't mean--
'Now, now. Don't worry. The amount bears no relation to the quality. It's just the request fee.' The man's snigger drifted up the stairwell again.
'I assure you my apparent reputation is the least of my concerns.'
'Dunno, I suspect reputation is what's got you this far in these deals. Anyway, Rou will take care of him downstairs and make sure he's shown to your room. I expect you'll take it from there.' The man took on a leering tone. Harry abandoned all thought of interrupting the two and instead found himself sliding down to sit on the top step of the stairs. It didn't make sense.
'And I assume the price was acceptable?' Severus continued to sound irritated. Harry could imagine him fingering his wand in his robe pocket. He had a habit of doing it whenever he was annoyed but had to tolerate the person he was speaking to. He did it constantly during Weasley family dinners.
'He thought it was fair.'
'Good. Well then, if that's all?' Severus said briskly. Harry heard the back door open and the heavy thud of steps crossing the length of the kitchen. There was a scrape as the steps stopped, and Harry had to lean in to hear:
'Are you sure you want to go through with this? There are easier ways...'
'If I wanted your opinion I would have asked for it.' There was a pause before Severus continued in a low voice, 'I'm quite sure about this arrangement; the benefits outweigh the risks.'
'Very well. Good luck tomorrow, Snape.'
Harry heard the back door close and listened as Severus walked quickly down to their basement where he kept his potions workshop. He stared unseeing at the wall across from his seat and tried to digest the most ridiculous conversation he'd ever eavesdropped on.
It couldn't be, though. Severus didn't need to be a...prostitute; he had a business and a family and certainly had ready access to whatever sex he wanted. Plus, he was the proudest man Harry knew. He just couldn't picture Severus debasing himself for money. It was ridiculous!
Only--his breath quickened as a horrible thought came to him--he was the proudest man Harry knew.
Severus' bookstore hadn't been doing well lately. They didn't talk about it much, but Harry knew that he was making less than the overhead for his shop. From their infrequent discussions about money, which typically ended with Harry sleeping on Ron and Hermione's couch for a weekend, he knew just how sensitive his lover was about the subject and Harry's wealth in particular. A cold weight settled in the pit of his stomach. Was this Severus' solution to his failing business? Would he really rather prostitute himself and cheat on Harry than admit that he failed at something and ask for Harry's financial help?
Harry began to panic.
He'd thought things were turning around a little. Severus had acquired new robes recently and was talking vaguely about a holiday in France this summer. What if--what if his extra spending money wasn't from an increase in business? Oh! And he seemed to be out of the house more lately. He no longer complained when Harry spent time with Ron and Hermione. What if he was using that time to see clients...
Harry stood up unthinkingly, breathing hard like he'd just sprinted a mile.
Sweet Merlin. His lover was a whore.