FIC: "A Gramarye of Folk Magic" for evensong14 Recipient:evensong14 Author/Artist: ??? Title: A Gramarye of Folk Magic Rating: NC-17 Pairings: Aberforth Dumbledore/Severus Snape Word Count: 5818 Medium: Fic 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 few minutes 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.
The boy haunted the place for the rest of the summer, an unsettled shade who stole bread and jam from the kitchen in the middle of the night and left wet footprints in the bathroom in the morning. He came and went at odd hours. Mostly kept to himself. At the beginning of September, he moved up to the castle to take over for Horace Slughorn, who had finally seen enough sense to retire. He left his trunk and whatever was locked up in it behind, and Aberforth grudgingly took a deposit on a key. The sounds of pacing overhead were replaced by the occasional turning of the lock on the kitchen door. The boy would disappear into his room for a few minutes or a few hours. The untidy fireplace suggested he was using the Floo, although he never paid Aberforth for any powder.
He always looked tired. Sallow, with purple shadows under his eyes. Not that it was any of Aberforth's business.
The night before the autumn equinox, the boy brought company with him. It was a brisk evening. The air smelled of wet leaves and wood smoke, overlaid inside the Hog's Head with the usual bite of sawdust and spirits. The boy and his two friends sat in the back of the otherwise empty inn. They were cloaked and hooded. Their heads were bent close in confidence, but none of them looked at ease with the intimacy.
They split a bottle of cheap gin between them, going in on it like schoolboys. Aberforth slouched over the counter and smoked his pipe, as good as invisible by virtue of his trade. He caught enough of their muttering to get the general idea of who they were and what they were up to. He kept his wand in close reach.
At the end of the night, the other two left. He got a look at their faces then: one of Helen Rookwood's sons and a heavyset brunet with the Lestrange family chin.
"In or out?" he asked the boy, who was still sitting at the table.
There was no reply. The boy slumped in his chair and gnawed at a fingernail.
"In or out?" Aberforth repeated.
The boy shrugged, glancing up at Aberforth for an instant before returning his gaze to the scars on the tabletop. "I'm expected back at the castle."
"That's not what I asked."
A wary frown twisted in the shadows beneath the boy's hood.
"That's right," Aberforth said, snapping a rag on the counter before using it to wipe up. "One sloppy gobble and I'm yours for life. I've been pining away for you for a month, and now that it's past eleven and you look like a corpse, I plan to have my wicked way with you."
The boy sniffed. He tilted the empty gin bottle, pretending to check whether it was empty, even though Aberforth had seen him pour the last glass himself. He stole a sideways look back at Aberforth, worse than a cat.
"Stay or go," Aberforth said. "I don't care which, but I'm locking that door before those friends of yours decide to come back."
"They wouldn't," the boy said, with the gall to sound offended. He stood up unsteadily. He was a lightweight, or else he had done his drinking on an empty stomach. A few hesitant steps took him to the stairs. He looked back at Aberforth once and then went up to his room.
Aberforth heard the door shut. He counted idly as he wiped down the tables. Thirty-four seconds passed before the boy turned the latch.
He locked the front door and finished tidying up. He poured himself a drink and packed his pipe before going out the back way into the chilly yard. He sat on the step for a while, smoking and drinking and looking up at the light of the stars. The waning moon was the color of old bone. Hogsmeade was quiet. There were no bonfires, no tapping of last year's cider at the Three Broomsticks. He waited until midnight and then crossed the yard to the chicken coop.
The rooster was sleeping with its head out the door, on guard for foxes. It woke swiftly at Aberforth's approach and gave a crotchety cluck at having been disturbed but otherwise acquiesced to being picked up. Aberforth turned it upside down by its legs and broke its neck in one hard pull. He held the bird through its flopping death throes and then carried it back to the inn, where he cut off its head.
There was still a light burning upstairs as Aberforth made a circle of the building, flicking the warm chicken blood from his fingers across the doorways and onto the ledges of the ground floor windows. He thought he saw the curtains move as he passed below, but it was too dark to say for certain. At any rate, the boy did not come downstairs again that night. That was probably for the best.
Aberforth didn’t see any further sign of him until the narrow hours between Halloween and All Soul's. It was raining hard, icy pellets plinking against the windows and the roof. Aberforth almost slept through it when the pair of rooster's spurs hanging by a bit of string from his bedpost began to click together, but he eventually opened his eyes in the darkness. His brain struggled to sort one sound from another.
Someone was at the back door. Someone with a key.
He sat up and reached for his wand on the bedside table. A cudgel leaned against the wall next to it. He picked that up too. The back door opened and then shut quickly. A cold draught drifted upstairs. There were footsteps: only one set. They entered the kitchen. Stopped. Started up again, heading for the staircase and then slowly ascending. They paused once more on the landing and then proceeded past Aberforth's door and into the bathroom.
Aberforth could hear, distantly, the sound of labored breathing. The tap chirped. The sudden flow of the water was thunderously loud in the otherwise quiet house, drowning out the sound of the rain.
The tapping of the spurs slowed and then stopped altogether.
Aberforth set down the cudgel but kept hold of his wand. He pulled on his dressing gown and stepped out into the hallway. He approached the bathroom door and eased it open. It was dark inside, all grey shadows. The boy's clothing lay in a black puddle on the floor. His hunched back was startlingly white as he sat in the tub, curled in on himself, clutching his head.
There was a strange smell. Something burnt. Something like blood too, but sometimes that was only the rust in the pipes.
He shut the door quietly and stepped back. He could not tell what time it was, only that it was not yet morning. The house was cold. He supposed he was awake. He went downstairs with the aim of making himself a cup of tea and stopped to look out the front window. Nothing was on fire, at least nothing here. He put the kettle on and sat down. Upstairs, the water eventually stopped. The rain stepped in to fill the silence. Then came the ugly, broken sound of sobbing.
Aberforth paused in spooning out the tea leaves. Two poisonings and a hanging--that was the tally for his tenure at the Hog's Head. Some people preferred to kill themselves at an inn. It was a comfort, he supposed. You knew it wouldn't be your family who found you. You knew someone would clean up the mess you'd made. He rubbed his wrist absently against his hip and waited for the water to boil.
Come winter, most everyone agreed that You-Know-Who was gone for good. Albus had retrieved the book and the phial, but the boy remained on loan. He returned for the Christmas holiday, his room and board paid up for the week. They never stayed at the school all year, the younger teachers. It was something about the wards--gave them the anemia if they didn't leave now and then. Aberforth, however, imagined that Albus preferred to keep his problems neatly in one place.
It snowed heavily that December. The town lay beneath white blankets and a sky the calm grey of dishwater. The pines swayed on the horizon when the wind blew in from the west. Aberforth was sitting at the kitchen table in the middle of the night, peeling oranges, when he heard footsteps on the stairs. He looked away from the window and the falling flecks of white in the blackness to find the boy slouching in the doorway.
"What are you doing?" the boy asked.
He could have asked the same thing. The boy had his cloak on despite having made noises about going to bed two hours ago.
The Hog's Head was not the place for merriment. People went to the Three Broomsticks if they wanted singsongs and good will this time of year. There was no holly on the mantel, no Christmas tree hung with candles. In the festive season, he took it as his solemn duty to maintain his inn as a bastion of lonely misery for those lost souls who preferred to drink themselves ill over the holidays, even in the wake of a victory.
Nonetheless, there were worse things to get drunk on than wassail.
"As long as you're up," Aberforth added, "you could core those apples."
The boy scowled and picked a piece of lint off his robe. "I'm a guest, not the hired help."
Aberforth said nothing. The boy loitered a moment longer. He then hung his cloak up over the back of a chair and slunk over to the butchering block. He picked up the paring knife and proved quick-handed with it. He would have to be, Aberforth supposed, teaching Potions. In went the blade. Around went the apple with a wet, pulpy sound. There was nothing idle about him, despite the late hour. He frowned seriously down at his work and yet seemed to relax as he found his rhythm.
He was a sheep dog, Aberforth decided. That was the way of families like the Princes. They turned out sheep farmers and sheep dogs: the stolid and the sharp. But someone had gone and raised the boy in a town, penned up indoors with too little to do. Small wonder he had become a worrier.
"I was told you didn’t celebrate Christmas," the boy said.
"Were you?" Aberforth asked, flicking stray bits of pith off his fingers. "And who told you that?”
There had been enough of a pause that he knew his brother and the boy were not actually on a first-name basis, or at least not mutually.
"Oh yes? You've been having some nice chats about me, have you?"
"Why not?" The boy glanced at him sourly. "I expect you talk about me."
Aberforth returned the look impassively. "Less than you'd think."
The boy's expression curdled further. "Did you tell him?"
Laughter buoyed up in Aberforth’s chest, but he kept it stifled. His gaze slid down for a moment to the boy's mouth.
"About you sucking my cock? No."
The boy didn't appear to believe him.
Aberforth shrugged. "Why would I? It’s me he’d look down his nose at for taking advantage."
"'Taking advantage'?" The boy’s eyebrows rose.
Aberforth’s mouth twisted. It was nearly a smile. "He believes in true love, my brother."
He expected the boy to smirk. But the look that crossed his face was worse than that.
Aberforth finished stripping the last orange. He stood up and tossed the peel onto the table, where it landed in a coiled ‘s’ amongst the others. He walked slowly up behind the boy, who tensed. A pale hand tightened visibly around the handle of the knife, knuckle bones pressing against the thin skin over top. It was none of Aberforth's business what a boy of twenty-one knew about true love. Or cold-blooded murder, for that matter. He was warm enough when Aberforth touched him. Flesh and blood.
"What are you doing?" the boy asked, rigid.
Aberforth's fingers curled around the corner of a sharp hipbone.
“I was going to offer to wank you off for your trouble. Any objections?”
The boy's shoulders drew together. Aberforth was standing close enough to feel the wave of rage that shook them.
"I don’t need your pity," the boy spat.
"I'm not offering pity. I'm offering a hand job. Take it or leave it."
He was prepared for the boy to push him away, maybe even take a swing at him or draw his wand. What was the season for but getting rebuffed after a sad grope in the kitchen? There was only wary silence for a long moment. Then the boy slowly nodded. His breathing paused as Aberforth got a hand in his robes and down his pants. His cock was soft, cupped in Aberforth’s palm. Whether from nerves or disinterest, it took a fair bit of fondling to get hard, but once it was up, the rest of the business was quick.
The boy hung his head. His back bowed, pressing against Aberforth’s chest. He breathed loudly through his nose, and Aberforth could hear him lick his lips and swallow.
He made no comment when the boy started shivering. He adjusted his grip, his hand moving steadily. His nose brushed the boy’s hair. His own excitement wasn’t much more than a trickle of heat. The hour was too late and his leg was paining him. But it felt good to hold onto someone.
The knife fell from the boy’s slack hand when he came. It thumped dully onto the block and flipped over. The boy finally gave in to his voice, moaning softly, and rocked back on his heels. Aberforth steadied him. His arm looped around the boy’s middle and there it remained for what felt like a while too long, and then a while longer still until the boy squirmed against the contact and drew away.
Afterwards, he washed his hands and got back to work. To his surprise, the boy stayed, peeling and grating the ginger while the apples baked, and then stirring the brew like it was any inebriating draft: four circles widdershins to every eight clockwise, taking care to gently dredge the bottom of the cauldron.
The kitchen soon filled with the smell of warm spices as the wassail simmered, and when Aberforth sat down at the table with a deck of cards, the boy joined him. A few hands of All Fours and a round of Piquet took them through the cold hours and into the dawning of Christmas Day.
The boy returned on the first morning in April that the wind lost its bite. He had an agitated look about him, a reluctant touch of color in his sallow cheeks. Spring made a man feel alive, but that wasn't always a welcome feeling. Aberforth followed him upstairs, carrying his trunk for him, and they spent most of the next three days fucking. There was no real joy in it--only the scratching of a terrible itch as the spitting drizzle turned warm and the heady smell of damp earth got into everything.
On Easter Monday, his girls went into labor. Dahlia first, followed by Primrose and then little Rosemary. They bore three sets of twins, one after the other, in just as quick a succession as they had aborted stunted singletons for the last two years running. The boy sidled up to him in the yard while Rosemary was straining with her second in the goat shed.
The boy sat down on the bed, his knees apart, looking up at Aberforth through the veil of his hair.
Though the sun was only a pale disc behind the cloud cover, the boy was squinting. He looked hung over but smelled of nothing but sweaty sheets. The boy left a few feet between them as he leaned the fence. He looked at Rosemary and the blood-streaked little doe already sitting up in the straw. The second kid was crowning. The boy tilted his head, peering at it, and subsided when saw the two front hooves appear in good order.
Aberforth glanced his way.
"What?" the boy asked sharply.
Aberforth shrugged and returned to watching Rosemary. "Had livestock on the family estate, did you?"
The mockery did not fly so far over the boy's head this time as upon their first meeting, but it still failed to land. From the corner of his eye, he could sense the boy peering at him, obviously trying to suss out if he was being made sport of.
It was all teeth and tangled clothing. The boy left bruises as he pulled at him. Left a bloody crescent where he bit down on Aberforth's shoulder. Left Aberforth's cock chafed from screwing between his thighs.
"I holidayed on a farm once, when I was young," the boy finally said.
When he was young, he said, as if he wasn't still soft-skinned and hardly able to grow a beard even after three days of idling in bed. Aberforth was old enough to want to smile at such a thing, and not enough of a knob to actually do it.
"Goats?" he asked.
The boy shrugged. "How should I know? Big black-faced ones. Dalebreds. Something like that."
The boy curled up under him, tugging brutally at himself. Bastard, he called him--no, that was later, lying on the kitchen table with his gawky legs around Aberforth’s waist. Up in the bedroom, he had only groaned. An anguished sound.
"I was conscripted to deliver one of the lambs," the boy confided, frowning. "The farmer needed someone with small hands."
"Breech?" Aberforth asked.
The boy nodded. "I had to pull it out by its hind legs. It was still in the caul. The farmer held the mother's head, but she kicked me hard enough to break my leg."
Aberforth pictured him as he must have been: a wisp of a thing in a borrowed, oversized work shirt. Straw stuck to his little bloody hands. His jaw set against blubbering as his grandfather swung the lamb to clear out the waters. A broken leg would have to wait until the new arrival was breathing and the ewe had given suck.
Panting. Sweat. A handful of come wiped off on the sheets.
The kid finally dropped. It was a good-sized little buck, maybe nine pounds. It landed hard in the straw and lay still.
"Is it dead?" the boy asked.
There was nothing but flat curiosity in his voice. Nonetheless, it rooted out the faded memory of a broken songbird cradled in soft, delicate hands. A rabbit kit, dead of fright. Crushed butterflies. Ariana had been tender-hearted enough to weep every time, but he supposed the boy could likely slit a lamb's throat just as dispassionately as he could deliver it. The thought was comforting, and he felt a stirring of fondness. There was nothing a man like him could do to hurt a boy like this.
"No," he replied as the little buck rallied. "Sometimes it just takes them a while to get over the shock."
The bite mark was still throbbing, refusing to heal even three days later. It didn't quite feel like it was infected, but it broke open and started bleeding again as the kids wobbled to their feet and sought out their mother's teat. He felt a wet bead trickle down to his collar bone.
"Bloody hay fever," the boy mumbled, rubbing at his red-rimmed eyes as Aberforth climbed off him.
In the summer, the boy came and went as he pleased. Sometimes he was gone for hours, and sometimes he was gone for days. Aberforth supposed he was meant to mention this to his brother, but he didn't. Not when the boy came back smelling of the seaside, and not when he came back smelling of the city--of cigarette smoke and petrol. They had an arrangement, after all, and the war was as over as it was going to get.
On the morning the honeycomb was finally full, Aberforth looked up from the yard and caught sight of the boy at the upstairs window. He hadn't been there at breakfast, his door locked and the room behind it silent. It was a clear day, and most of the colony was out foraging, taking advantage of the break in the rain. Aberforth's pipe hung from the corner of his mouth, gently wafting smoke before him. The homebodies swarmed him peaceably when he opened up the hive. They wove around him and settled on his arms and shoulders, their tiny legs tickling the backs of his hands. They hummed, and he murmured in tune with them until they stood still.
It was a good harvest. The colony had been at the lavender this year, and a hint of rich, thick sweetness perfumed the air. He removed two frames for himself and left the colony the rest of their bounty.
"Shoo," he whispered. "Shoo."
The bees took flight and drowsed their way back to the hive.
"You too," he ordered, and a straggler crept out from beneath his shirt collar.
Inside, the kitchen was cool and dark by contrast. The pipes were making a nuisance of themselves, with the particular rattle-and-gulp that usually accompanied an attempt to run the shower head. Aberforth sat for a time, uncapping beeswax from the comb with his knife. The frames were propped up over the honey-catch to drain, dripping amber into the jars below. The clatter of the plumbing eventually stopped.
Aberforth was halfway up the stairs when the boy emerged from the bathroom. He wore only a towel knotted around his narrow waist, and his hair was sodden. His eyes were tired, but not exhausted. He had slept somewhere last night, Aberforth decided, or at least for part of it.
"Why is it so hot in here?" the boy grumbled. "This is supposed to be Scotland and it's only ten o'clock."
"It isn't hot," Aberforth said, joining him on the landing and reaching out to press the back of his hand to the lukewarm dampness of the boy's neck. "London was hot and you haven't cooled down yet."
London had been a guess, but the shadow of annoyance that crossed the boy's face confirmed it. Aberforth smiled. He was too easy sometimes.
The boy sniffed and carried on to his room, but not without a glance over his shoulder. He shut the door behind him but didn't turn the latch. Aberforth took it as an invitation, and when he followed him inside, he found the boy face-down on the bed with his head pillowed in his arms. His towel lay on the floor.
Aberforth looked him over slowly, interest rousing, and then went to the window and opened it up to let the breeze in. "Is that better, your highness?"
The boy gave Aberforth an ill-tempered look from one eye. "No."
Despite this, a line of goose bumps had risen along the backs of the boy’s arms and thighs by the time Aberforth sat down on the bed. He traced them, and then walked his fingertips down the boy's knobbly spine, stopping at the hollow made by the small of his back. He warmed up as he thought of the chalk, of milder summers in the south. Wet spots formed on the pillow from dripping hair. He licked a droplet from the boy's shoulder.
"Fine," the boy sighed. He managed to sound rather put-upon for someone already fidgeting to accommodate a hard-on.
"Fine," Aberforth echoed.
He stroked the boy’s arse and then spread his cheeks apart. He caught a glimpse of a blotchy flush spreading from collarbone to cheek. The boy stopped glaring over his shoulder and hid his face in his arms. His arse was the only part of him with any meat to spare. Not even the thriftiest butcher could find a good chop on him, but he had enough to grab on to in back. Aberforth squeezed a cheek, leaving a pink mark that was slow to fade. The cleft in between was dark, and the boy swallowed audibly when Aberforth drew his thumb along it.
He leaned down and put his mouth there. The boy sucked in a sharp lungful and made to protest, but then seemed to think better of it. He squirmed against Aberforth's tongue, his breathing growing thicker and his hips grinding down against the bed. Aberforth pushed a hand under him and gave him his palm, rubbing his cock as he licked him.
The boy swore quietly into the pillow, his back arching.
He took his time. The inn wasn't due to open for another hour, and even the sort who patronized the Hog’s Head likely had better things to do on a morning like this than get an early start on their drinking. He gave the boy a good seeing to, working him up until he was twitching back there and moaning--if those creaking, low sounds from deep in his throat could be properly called moaning.
There was a jar of ointment tucked away under the bed. Strictly speaking, the boy had stolen it from him. One day it had been in the medicine cabinet and the next it was here, aiding in the occasional bout of buggery and the boy’s nightly habit. It was from the apothecary, and he could have billed Albus for the loss if he was that petty. Today, he decided he wasn't. He reached for it when his jaw was starting to ache and his neck was on the edge of a crick.
The boy panted softly. His legs spread further apart. One naked foot pushed restlessly at the rumpled counterpane.
Aberforth undressed and folded his clothes over the end of the bed. He scraped the bottom of the jar for the last smears and then stroked himself until he was hard. The boy sighed at the first push of his fingers, and then muttered something that might have been "Finally" when Aberforth got his cock in him.
Despite his claims about the weather, he had no complaints at having Aberforth draped over him. His back was cool and damp against Aberforth's chest. He smelled of birch tar soap, and somewhere behind it, clinging to Aberforth's abandoned shirt or rising up from the kitchen was the scent of honey. The bed shifted beneath them as they rocked together unhurriedly, as lazy as the faint breeze that was nudging the wispy clouds home from their temporary holiday. Outside, the bees droned in the remaining sunshine, gorging themselves on the wild roses and clover as the day moved on, slow and golden.