|undunoops (undunoops) wrote in lupin_snape,|
@ 2008-04-29 20:47:00
|Entry tags:||family fest|
Family Fest Fic: Love and a Hard Place - R, Parts 7 and 8
Title: Love and a Hard Place
Rating: R (mature/adult content)
Pairing(s)/character(s): Remus Lupin, Severus Snape, Nymphadora Tonks, Hermione Granger, et al.
Challenge: lupin_snape's Family Fest
Summary: Remus would do anything to be a father.
Disclaimer: Not-for-profit fan creation.
Warnings: I hate warnings. I don’t think anyone dies…
Notes: This story was started before the release of Deathly Hallows and is therefore non-compliant with that storyline. I leave it to the reader whether they judge it to be AU. Beta was gifted to me by the extraordinary Dillis. Thanks to lore for running the fest!
How could you do this, Moony?
Remus turned over in his sleep, a small frown forming on his forehead.
How could you abandon my cousin for that greasy bastard?
He wanted to cry out, to defend himself against Sirius’ charge.
No, it wasn’t like that! I think I loved you, Sirius…
Well, of course you did, and I loved you too! After James was gone you were all I had left, my last true friend, Moony. But that has nothing to do with treating Tonks like this! With taking it up the arse for Snivellus, of all people! I can’t believe what a pathetic shit you are!
He shook his head from side to side, moaning in distress. His hand hit the headboard when he flung his arm out to ward off a blow.
Stop cowering! You’re as bad as he is! I wouldn’t waste my time and energy beating you up: you’re just a dumb animal.
Sirius, you don’t understand! I really loved you. Not just as a friend. I was just too fucked up to admit it, even to myself!
The voice in his head remained silent as he blinked at the ceiling, completely and shockingly awake.
“Come back to my house,” Snape said softly.
They’d just left a muggle restaurant in London. Snape had led him into cold, dank alleyway to apparate, but then they’d been distracted by a heated kiss, which had led to another, and then to serious snogging and grinding out of sight of the main road. Snape’s breath was hot and urgent against his neck, a delicious contrast with the frigid night air.
“Come back with me and let me debauch you,” Snape insisted, grabbing Remus’ arse firmly on the most important word.
“Oh, Merlin,” Remus muttered. His thought processes had dwindled to ‘bare minimum needed to maintain crucial systems’. There was a reason that he shouldn’t follow Snape’s instructions… if only he could bloody remember it!
“Unless you would rather I bugger you right here?” Snape whispered hoarsely. He ground a very firm groin against Remus’ hip to emphasise his question.
He had to wrench himself away in order to form a complete sentence. He still wasn’t used to being so thoroughly dominated. While it was quite true he enjoyed it immensely, it was also true that Snape had a habit of depleting his level of autonomy to an alarming degree on occasion.
He was panting, trying to work out exactly how he could feel so annoyed and so aroused at the same time. He looked at Snape wondering how to tell him that, yes, he did want to fuck, but no, not right at this minute, thanks very much.
“You don’t want to sleep together tonight?”
Snape had made his task a whole lot simpler. The man’s voice had gone worryingly cool though.
“I do! God, I do,” he tried explaining. “But I shouldn’t, Severus. I’m sorry,” he added, shaking his head then brushing back his flopping fringe of hair. “I need a haircut,” he commented with complete irrelevance. He half expected Snape to hex him for his feeble-mindedness.
“Don’t you dare!”
Snape stepped up to him, closing the distance once more. He tangled his fingers into Remus’ hair, brushing it back and kissing him lightly on the forehead. “I like it just the way it is, idiot.”
He sighed in relief. And wasn’t it just like Snape to make the epithet ‘idiot’ into a term of endearment?
Snape frowned at him. “Something is bothering you,” he observed. “Do you regret our… arrangement?”
He snorted as Snape demonstrated, yet again, his inability to use the word ‘relationship’ in a sentence that described the two of them.
“No,” he answered quickly at Snape’s dangerous look. “No, this is something that I need to work out alone, I’m afraid.”
Snape tilted his head, lifted one eyebrow, the combination of body language that all but shouted ‘Explain yourself!’
Remus took a deep breath. “Maybe we need to talk,” he said.
“Every time that has ever been said to me has been an occasion of deep disappointment.”
“Merlin! I’m sorry, Severus!” he hastened to reassure the man. “Believe me when I say that I am still in this with you. I just… have some issues. With the past, specifically,” he explained as best he could.
Snape stepped back slightly. “Perhaps we should have coffee at your hovel then,” he suggested.
“Alright. But I will throw you out at midnight,” Remus said. It was almost a question.
“Agreed.” Snape nodded slightly and Apparated.
Remus stood alone for a moment, examining the sense of loss he felt at Snape’s departure.
“This is stupid,” he finally muttered to himself, and, retrieving his wand, followed Snape to his so-called hovel.
He held up the document for Snape to read. The man’s brow furrowed, but his only comment was, “She’s quick.”
Remus nodded in agreement and wordlessly re-rolled the parchment; only the title showed: ‘Dissolution of Marriage’. He didn’t know why he thought showing it to Snape was important, even necessary.
“I’ve been having dreams,” he blurted, again wondering why he was sharing these things with Snape.
The man was still frowning, apparently at a loss for the right response. He cleared his throat and asked, “Nightmares?”
“No! Goodness, no.” He knew what real nightmares entailed and these had been paltry by comparison. Still, they had… hurt.
“Disturbing dreams then?” Snape queried, moving to sit at his tiny kitchen table.
The kitchen was just an area at the far end of the combined lounge room and entryway. Snape was right: it was a hovel. But it was cheap and, after a fortnight’s work, it was clean. The main reason Remus had bought it had been the pot-bellied stove smack in the middle of the lounge room. It kept the place warm as toast and provided him with much-needed heat during the nights of the full moon.
He sighed and seated himself opposite Snape at the table. “Yes, disturbing would describe them well,” he admitted. “I don’t know why I’m telling you this,” he added in mild confusion.
“I’m glad that you are telling me,” Snape said, then cleared his throat again – the very picture of someone caught in an uncomfortable situation.
“Really?” He couldn’t help the snort of disbelief that accompanied his question.
Snape’s gaze sharpened. Remus shivered, though, with stove burning, it wasn’t cold in the Hovel.
“Yes, I’m bloody glad, you cretin!” he hissed in annoyance.
It was so wonderfully normal of him that Remus smiled broadly in response. “Well, good, I suppose.”
“What do you dream about?”
This could be even more awkward, he thought. “About Sirius. But not Sirius alive. Sirius dead, but not dead exactly.” He was stunned at his own level of incoherence.
Though it was obvious to both of them that he really didn’t. Remus tried again–
“That suppression theory that you discussed with me… Well, I… with Sirius, and…”
“You were in love with the mongrel and have only just realised the truth after shagging me for a while.”
Snape had a way of cutting through to the heart of the matter. His heart thudded. How would Snape feel about his confession?
“And now you’re plagued with nocturnal visitations from the idiot through the medium of your dreams.”
“Well, I know it isn’t really him,” he objected.
“Don’t be so sure. I wouldn’t put it past the petty, interfering, self-righteous prick, even if he is dead!”
The man seemed to collect himself. Remus watched as he struggled to rein in his ire.
“I don’t suppose that helped at all,” Snape asked grumpily.
Remus shook his head slowly.
“Then why are you grinning at me like the village idiot?”
“Because, for some reason, I want to throw you down on the rug and fuck you?”
Snape look at him with a quizzical expression. “I thought you’d given me notice to vacate at midnight?”
Remus laughed. “I know. My best intentions don’t stand up to you very well, do they?”
“Perhaps they should, just for tonight.” Snape stood and stared down at him, his expression inscrutable.
Remus stood up and moved closer to the man. “Perhaps,” he agreed, feeling illogically bereft. “But…”
Words failed him at that point and he moved his arms to embrace the man.
“Remus,” Snape whispered into his ear.
“That’s torn it,” he gasped, and dragged Snape’s lips around to meet his. His kisses were just a little desperate, and he knew they shouldn’t do this tonight.
“Are you certain?” Snape’s hoarse whisper broke into his desire.
“Yes, and no,” he said. He searched for, and found, access to Snape’s neck. Enough talk.
Snape groaned with pleasure. “Do you know,” he began, then gasped as Remus bit down at the juncture of shoulder and neck. “Ah!”
Remus rubbed his crotch into Snape’s hip, placed a hand over Snape’s groin to toy with the hardening shape there.
“Lupin, eight weeks ago, four weeks ago, even two weeks ago I would have let you do this,” Snape gasped out.
“Hmm?” He had a mouthful of Snape’s neck and was loath to give it up for mere talking.
“Remus, we have to stop.”
That finally got through the haze of arousal. He licked Snape’s neck in farewell and lifted his eyes to Snape’s face feeling vaguely ashamed.
Snape cupped his face with hands that trembled minutely. He placed a chaste kiss on Remus’ mouth.
“I’m going now,” he said, his voice strained.
Remus nodded. His throat closed around words of farewell. I’m too needy.
“Severus,” he called just before Snape opened the door.
“There was one other thing,” he said.
“What is it?” Snape turned back from the door.
He swallowed. “How do you feel about children?”
Snape walked back to the table and dropped his coat over the back of the chair. Remus looked at him, a question on his face.
“No need to leave now, Lupin. All thoughts of an amorous nature have just been eliminated from my mind.”
“Harry! Good to see you!” Remus said in greeting. “It’s been ages si…”
He ground to a startled halt when Hermione stepped out from behind Harry. The lad was big enough now that she had been completely concealed.
Well, he isn’t exactly a boy anymore, is he?
“Oh! Hello, Hermione.”
“Hi, Remus,” his two visitors chimed in unison.
Remus was immediately suspicious of their fixed smiles. He stepped back to allow them inside, a little warily. “Come in. It’s so nice to see you both.”
Harry and Hermione made their way inside, looking around with unconcealed curiosity.
“My humble abode,” he commented with amusement. “Where’s Ron?”
“He’s still at the Ministry,” Hermione answered.
“Working on a Saturday? That’s a little tragic, isn’t it? I’ll wager he’d rather be watching Quidditch,” Remus said, heading for the kitchen.
“Too right,” agreed Harry and Hermione sighed in fond exasperation.
“I know it’s warm but would you like some tea?” Remus asked, filling the kettle with water.
‘Love some’ and ‘yes, please’ greeted the question and he lit the stove to boil the water.
“Take a seat,” he called. He pulled the tealeaves and cups down from the cupboard and clattered for a while as he tried to work out why the two of them were visiting unannounced. Had Tonks sent them to check up on him? He thought he could resolve that question right away. He turned to face them where they sat stiffly side by side on the sofa.
“So, have you seen Tonks lately?”
“Er, we had lunch last week,” Hermione answered.
Remus thought she looked a bit awkward but saw no sign of guilty twitching. He switched his attention to Harry.
“Um, last week I think. She looks okay,” Harry answered. “Her hair is pink again.”
Oh. That’s good I suppose.
Completely distracted from his purpose, he was surprised by the pang in his chest at the evidence that Tonks had been able to get over their break up so quickly. How long had been? He realised with a quiet sense of shock that it had been over six months since they’d gone their separate ways.
“Great,” he said over-heartily. “That’s great.”
You bloody great hypocrite! You didn’t want to leave her in pain and yet you want her to pine after you indefinitely? Make up your fucking mind!
“Yes, she’s dating someone from Magical Law Enforcement. I don’t remember his name though,” Hermione added.
Remus nodded, not trusting his voice for the moment, and poured the hot water into the teapot. He placed the cups and pot on a tray and took them into the lounge room to deposit on the small coffee table. He didn’t have another chair, so a sturdy wooden crate was positioned on the opposite side of the table.
“So,” he began, “Why are you both here today?”
Harry ticked his head to one side and rubbed his hands together. “We were worried about you,” he said.
Hermione nodded. “We heard that Snape had been involved in your marriage break up, Remus.”
There was a definite but unspoken question in both those statements. Remus tamped down his irritation and poured tea into the cups. He supposed he should be grateful that Tonks hadn’t been telling all and sundry about Snape before now.
Hermione frowned down at the tray. “Who’s that one for?” she asked, pointing at the fourth cup.
“Oh, that’s for Severus,” he answered mildly. He finished filling the cup and stood to carry it outside. “Why don’t you both come and say hello?”
He led his bemused guests out through the back door to the yard. Cleared ground with posts and strings presented an arcane picture, and Snape stood with a quill and parchment, rather fetchingly sweaty and with his shirt open to the waist.
“Tea, Severus,” Remus called.
Not looking up, Snape called back, “I’ll want more than that by tonight – payment in fellatio, thank you very much.”
Remus cleared his throat. Snape looked up, betraying no surprise at all upon seeing their two guests.
You bugger! Remus fought down equally powerful urges to laugh or hex him.
“Ah! I see you’ve brought me minions, Lupin.”
“Here – take your tea. And don’t go drafting Harry and Hermione; they didn’t come here to work,” he admonished.
“Extension?” asked Hermione, looking over the ground.
“Oh, right!” Harry said, walking around to inspect. “Yeah, it’s a bit of a hovel back there,” he nodded.
Remus laughed at the same time as Snape snorted, startling Harry so much that he slopped some of his tea.
“If you addressed a letter to me, ‘Remus J Lupin, The Hovel’, it would be delivered here, Harry,” he explained, smiling.
Hermione was studying the parchment Snape had left on a stack of bricks. “Two more bedrooms, a new kitchen and laundry room… Oh, that playroom looks lovely!” she exclaimed.
Harry looked over her shoulder. “No potions lab?”
Remus looked at Snape, who was staring right back at him. He stepped closer, the other two fading into insignificance. “Where’s the lab?” he asked.
“It wouldn’t be safe to have it so close to the bedrooms,” Snape responded, his eyes darting to the side to observe their proximity to Harry and Hermione. “Can’t this discussion wait?”
“No! It can’t,” Remus said. “And you can’t mean to stay here without a lab – which means that you don’t want…”
“I said I would! I’m simply going down, you moron!”
“Down,” he repeated. “Oh! Underground?” He felt like a right fool.
“Yes,” Snape confirmed.
Remus stroked the man’s warm shoulder. “Sorry?”
“Hmmm, my fee just went up,” Snape sniffed haughtily.
“Not in one night, Severus! I’ll strain something,” Remus objected.
“I’m sure we could arrange a payment plan.”
Remus suddenly remembered they had an audience. He looked back at Harry and Hermione standing just a few paces away. His face flamed and he gave a strangled laugh. He wasn’t surprised that it was Hermione who broke the awkward silence.
“Are you planning to adopt?”
“That blasted fool!”
Remus looked up to see Snape throw his bag on the kitchen table. The man’s mouth had a pinched, tight look.
“Of all the damned idiotic, asinine, moronic…”
“Careful,” he commented mildly, “I’ve never known you to run out of insults and I shouldn’t like you to start now.”
“Blathering, wittering,” Snape continued.
“Who is this unfortunately less than gifted intellectual that you refer to?” he asked with an indulgent smile.
“Bloody Potter,” Snape fumed.
Remus dropped the spoon into the pot he’d been stirring on the stove. “What?”
“Damned imbecile waylaid me in Diagon Alley.”
“What did he want? What did he do?”
Snape reacted to Remus’ shift from complacent to distressed with a dismissive wave of his hand. “He’s playing the overprotective father, and rather missing the point that we are both old enough to be his father, having attended school in the same year.”
This statement rendered a small and awkward silence; the specifics of their school years still held uncomfortable territory in their memories and, as if by some unconsciously taken decision, they had not spoken of those experiences since beginning their relationship.
Remus spoke first, determined to find out just what Harry had been about today. “He questioned you about our… arrangement?” He reckoned that Snape was still not ready for that word.
Snape sniffed. “The brat interrogated me,” he declared dramatically.
Remus felt his eyes bulging. “In public?” he almost squawked.
Harry and Hermione had seemed a little too accepting during their visit last week. Harry’s encounter with Snape put a new complexion on that apparent calm: Harry, at least, had been civil because of Remus’ presence. He turned back to the stove, fuming and consequently slopping the stew he’d been cooking as he stirred with too much vigour. “This is completely unacceptable!”
“There were no witnesses to the debacle,” Snape sighed gustily. “Calm down, Lupin,” Snape dropped his cloak over the chair and edged closer. “The brat did me no harm and, despite being a numbskull and an inconvenient delay to my schedule, he does care deeply about your welfare.” The man leant in to inhale the fragrant steam from the pot Remus stirred haphazardly.
“Besides, if you splatter any more of our meal over the kitchen in your agitation we shall be forced to lick it all up,” he intoned, demonstrating the action by licking behind Remus’ ear.
“Don’t do that – I’m angry!”
“I know,” Snape agreed, wrapping his hands around Remus from behind.
“Severus,” he began, dropping the spoon in the saucepan and waving the flame down. He turned in Snape’s embrace. “I’m sorry for what Harry did, what he must have said. I don’t understand why he thought such action necessary!”
Snape’s hands rose to push his ragged fringe away from his forehead. “It is not your apology to make, Lupin. Perhaps he will make his own amends, in time.”
Realising that Snape’s outburst had actually purged his displeasure completely, Remus attempted to find his own calm acceptance. He couldn’t quite manage it but Snape provided enough distraction that he did manage to dismiss it from his mind for an hour, after which he was fully occupied trying to reliquefy a rather overcooked stew.