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"You--! How--? What--? Get out!" Maybe it was in him to stammer, Severus thought stupidly. At least when he was caught with his finger up his bung and his prick still twitching in his hand.

"Having some trouble talking there, Sniv?" Black's voice was a trifle breathless, as if he were having some trouble himself, and there was an enormous bulge in the front of his pants. "Maybe you should take that finger out of your bum; it seems to be distracting you."

Severus's face flamed. He slipped his hand free as unobtrusively as possible and tried to sneer at Black's erection. "You enjoyed it, you fuck."

"Bet your arse," Black winked. "Actually, I want an encore." He sauntered over with that ridiculous Muggle-gunslinger's walk of his and hunkered down, putting himself eye-level with Snape's crotch. "Touch it," he said.

Severus gave him a wary look. "What?"

"You heard me. Touch yourself. But don't wank. Just grab your prick and hold it in your hand without moving it."

"I don't think so." Severus wasn't about to take any orders from Sirius Black, least of all step-by-step instructions on How To Jack Off For An Audience.

Still smiling, still squatting, Black brought his wand up and planted the tip hard under Severus's jaw. "You want to do what I say, Snivellus."

Snape twisted his head away. "No! I'm not afraid of you, Black." And he wasn't. Not tonight. Not anymore. Whatever else Black wanted here, Black didn't want to harm him. Hurt him, maybe, but not harm him. "And it's Severus, you shit-for-brains faggot."

He tried to get out of the chair; Black planted a hand in the center of his chest and shoved him back, hard. "Do you know what a pensieve is, Severus?"

Severus frowned. Of course he knew what a pensieve was; they'd learned about pensieves just this year, in both Charms and Magical Runes. But what did that have to do with the price of pumpkin juice?

Apparently mistaking his silence for ignorance, Black went on. "It's a little bowl you put your thoughts into, so you can look at them later. Hell, you can even jump in and walk around in them, which is really a trip. Like walking around in a dream." He paused, giving his next words a peculiar emphasis. "I have one."

Severus was still staring at him blankly. What the hell was he on about? So he had a pensieve. No surprise there. Pensieves were relatively rare and very expensive, but the Blacks, like the Potters, were filthy rich, and Black probably had many pricey and useless toys. And a pensieve would likely be the most useless of all, as Severus couldn't imagine what thoughts a guffawing goon like Sirius Black could possibly have that would be worth preserving.

"And the most brilliant thing about pensieves, Severus," Black continued, "is that you're not the only one who can look at them. You can show them to other people, too. Let them look at your memories. Let them see everything you've seen, just as it was. Everything, Severus. Right down to the last detail." He ran a hand up one sticky thigh, thumb just brushing the tip of Severus's cock; the Slytherin flinched, and Black's smile returned, jolly and jeering and sly. "Do you get it, Sniv? Do you get what I'm telling you, you snarky little git?"

And just like that, Severus did.

Oh, shit.

He looked in the mirror again, where the gaunt, ghost-eyed boy now lay sprawled in a sweaty heap. Lips bitten red. Hair all over the place. Legs spread wide, one flung over the arm of the chair, everything he had most lewdly on display. It was the look of a boy unmistakably and utterly well-fucked - and it was no doubt nothing compared to how he'd looked just minutes ago, wanking and buggering himself like the world's horniest contortionist, coming all over his own belly in a fountain.

You can show them to other people, too...Let them see everything you've seen, just as it was. Everything, Severus. Right down to the last detail.

He Reached into Black's mind, trying to see if Black really did have a pensieve or if it was just a clever lie. He doubted it - Black didn't actually have that kind of cleverness - but he dared to hope. He Reached but got no real thoughts, just shades of emotional color: small pulses of impatience like winks of red light, scornful amusement, a sharp-edged pewter-grey. Overlaying it all was lust, thick and velvety and purple. It was the best he could get; he didn't have his wand and he was in a highly emotional state, as was Black. The most Severus could determine was that Black was perfectly willing to share what he had just seen with the rest of the school, and Severus had no reason to doubt he could.

Avoiding Black's eyes, jaw clenched so hard it ached, he slid his hand back down and closed his fingers loosely around his cock. He remained still, as he'd been instructed, feeling not only humiliated but rather stupid, sitting here holding a prick as limp as a dead snake in his warm, sweating grasp.

His lack of arousal didn't seem to bother Black; the Gryffindor's face was intent and well-pleased as he settled forward on his knees between Severus's legs and began to play. He stroked up both thighs this time, spreading them wider, rubbing his thumbs along the grooves at his groin. He palmed Snape's sac, rolling the heavy balls in his fingers, and Severus, still extraordinarily sensitive from his orgasm, could not hold back a cry. Black smiled. He thumbed the head of Severus's cock again, toying with the slit, and Severus gasped, his prick jerking in his hand.

"Stop that," Black warned. "No squeezing."

Severus opened his eyes - when had he closed them? - and loosened his grip. He eyed Black warily, half-expecting some reprisal, but Black, characteristically, was already onto something else.

"What's this?" He had found the jar and was holding it up, turning it this way and that in the dim light.

"It's a jar, fuckhead, what does it look like?"

"Oh, you're so cute, Snivvy. All that cock and witty, too." He closed his other hand over Severus's, squeezing both sets of fingers on the Slytherin's hardening prick until he winced. "What's in the jar, arsehole?"

"Medicine." Curt. Somewhat strained. "I made it."

"Medicine?" Black looked at it curiously. "Doesn't look like medicine. It looks like lube, or--" His face cleared with sudden understanding. "Oh. Oh, I get it now." He grinned and tossed the jar aside, tracing a finger down Snape's crack and circling his anus, prompting a squirming little shiver. "Did ickle Snivvy-kins have a sore wittle bummy last night?"

Rage nearly made him blind. "You'd be sore, too, you sick fuck, if some mangy Gryffindor raped you!"

A strange look crossed Black's face. It was at once surprised, puzzled, and exasperated - a here-we-go-again look. "I didn't rape you, Snape."

"Oh, of course not," Severus sneered. "What does a Gryffindor call forced sex?"

"Forced, my arse." Black laughed. "You wanted it, lovey. You begged for it. You came and you came hard, and I never fucked a wilder bitch in my life, so spare me the damsel-in-distress bit. You wanted it just as much as I did."

And he believed it, Severus saw; the dippy prick obviously believed that binding someone hand and foot, spanking him raw, and shagging him without so much as a "Mother, may I?" was not rape, so long as the attacker was sufficiently attractive and the victim was, at some point or other, aroused.

Or the attacker was a Gryffindor and the victim, a Slytherin.

"You're deranged," Severus muttered. "You're bloody delusional."

"Whatever." Black shrugged. "If it makes you feel better to think that, go ahead. Play the little drama queen. Tell yourself how I wrested away your virtue, how I forced you to submit to my vile animal lusts, how I...Christ, you're slick." He was still playing with Snape's hole, stroking the flaring muscle, tickling over the fine little hairs; he slid a finger in and twisted it, pumping gently. "Mmm. Like silk. Nice job, Snivvy. My cock could float into you on lube that fine."

"I told you," Severus ground out, "it's medicine." He was struggling mightily not to clench around that finger.

"Oh. Right. Medicine." Black rolled his eyes and removed his finger. "So what do you need 'medicine' for? Haven't you ever heard of healing spells?"

Severus didn't answer. Of course he'd heard of healing spells, and he'd used them more times than this ignorant shitbag could ever guess, but he preferred the salve. It was safe, it was comfortable, it was what he was used to...and it was his mother's. He had very little left of his mother as it was, and--

He cut the train of thought off abruptly. He just preferred the salve. That was all.

"Is it poisonous?"


"That gunk, that...medicine," Black chuffed impatiently. "Is it toxic?"

"Yes." Damn! Severus could have kicked himself. He had answered much too quickly; not even Black would fall for that.

Nor did he.

"Um, I didn't think so," Black snickered. "Still...you can never be too careful, eh?" He picked up his wand again and dragged it lightly along Severus's perineum; the lingering tingle from the salve blossomed into the unmistakable deeper vibration of magic. "There we go. Nice and tidy now."

Severus swallowed hard. Tidy. He knew what that meant, all right, and his stomach gave a strange little twist, part lust, part dread.

"Since I'm the one responsible for your discomfort, I reckon I should do something about it." Black leaned forward between Severus's thighs again, glancing up at him from beneath his shaggy forelock. "Grab your arse."


A sharp slap stung the inside of one thigh. "Did you take a Stupid Potion tonight, Sniv? I said, grab your arse. Spread your butts. Show your hole. It isn't so hard, you know. Two hands, two cheeks - I think you can figure it out."

Severus just looked at him, flame-faced and stricken. Black sighed.

"Merlin, Snape, this bashful-virgin rot is getting old, and I'm horny as a goat. Do what I say, or I'll tie you to that bloody chair and fuck you raw, and I don't care how sore you are." Another sharp slap. "And then I'll sell tickets to the show."

"Show? What do you--?" Oh. That show. "I don't believe you even have a fucking pensieve!" Severus burst out. Even to his own ears, he sounded childish, desperate.

Black put a hand under Severus's chin and turned his head, forcing him to look into the mirror. "Do you really want to take that chance?"

Severus looked. Swallowed. Caught his breath. Wished he had his wand, and imagined how good Black would look with an evil second head growing out of his ear and gnawing on his face.

Did as he was told.

"There you go! See? That wasn't so hard." Black smiled encouragingly and stroked the red splotch on Snape's thigh. "Now pull them apart."

Severus obeyed. Barely.

"Oh, come on, Sniv, you can do better than that. Let me see your hole, I want - No, dammit, don't shake your head, I want you to do this. Yes, you can...don't make me ask you again. That's it. Oh...yes, that's...Wider. Wider. Oh, that's got it now, Sniv. That's lovely, that is. Look at that little hole just open right up for me. Poor little thing. Looks like it hasn't eaten in a week."

Severus nearly choked. "You disgusting--you filthy--uhn!"

The first swipe of Black's tongue sent a shock all the way up his spine. He jumped, his thighs jerking in Black's hands, his buttocks bunching in his own. Black licked him again, tracing a slow path from his anus all the way up to his balls; the wetted skin cooled as the air hit it, and the shiver that passed through him was exquisite.

"Goosebumps," Black mused. He blew a soft stream of breath over the glistening pucker, and Severus shivered again, to Black's obvious delight. "I didn't know you could even get goosebumps there."

He moved on. Back up the perineum. Over the swollen sac. Around the base of the cock. Severus felt a quick brush of lips across his scrotum; then Black licked a stripe the length of his cock, tracing the vein, swirling over the head and probing the creaming slit. Severus stiffened, fingers digging into his own flesh as he fought the urge to arch up into that touch. Black probed again, wiggling the tip of his tongue into the tiny opening, and it took every scrap of self-control Severus possessed not to wiggle right along with it.

He was not going to let Black do this to him again. No matter what Black did to him, he was not going to respond. He was strong. He could resist. He had to resist. He would not give Black the satisfaction of drawing pleasure from him; he would never give Black that kind of power over him again. He'd kill the Gryffindor first.

Or himself.

But it was a fight he just couldn't win. Black was relentless, the bastard, the heartless prick, and relentlessly inventive. And he was everywhere, from the tip of Severus's prick to the backs of his knees, nipping and licking and nuzzling every inch of flesh he could find. Every touch was a tease, just enough to arouse, never enough to satisfy; every touch created a different, distinct sensation, and every sensation was magnified by the fierce control Severus was struggling to maintain. The hot shiver in the pit of his stomach; the delicious rise of the hairs on the back of his neck; the spastic flutters of his anus and the painful tightening of his balls, his nipples, and the root of his cock - all were heightened by the knowledge that the release he refused to seek was literally inches from his grasp.

What the hell was wrong with him? Not even the fact that Black was forcing him to participate in his own debasement could quell his excitement. Just the opposite: every time he looked over Black's bobbing head and saw the shameless, slutty way the boy in the mirror was holding himself open, offering himself like an eager whore, a dirty thrill uncoiled low in his belly, leaving him weak and shaky and hot.

And even when he did manage a feeble attempt to resist, Black just gave him more of that maddening mouth and a reminder - some awful, obscene reminder - that they were putting on a show, a reminder of why he was submitting to this ignominy in the first place.

When he tried to push Black away. "I love how you look with your legs spread, your cock bouncing around, your arse cheeks laid open," Black sighed, nuzzling between them to place sharp little bites along their insides.

When he tried to move his hands. "Did you know your hole turns pink when it's excited?" Black asked, licking warm circles over the hole. "All flushed and wet, like a little pink mouth - it looks like it's trying to kiss me back."

When he tried to cover himself. "Look how your bollocks pull up at that," Black chuckled, suckling ever-so-lightly on Severus's balls. "Gods, they're hard as bludgers, they are. Look at them trying to crawl up around your prick, trying to get away from me."

Look at this. Look at that. Look, look, look. Even with most of his brain melting, even through a sensation that felt like a cross between the world's most brilliant blow job and virtual castration, Severus got the message. Part of him even admired it. As a strategy, the pensieve threat was actually rather brilliant, and the corner of his mind still capable of real thought was astonished; he never would have guessed Sirius Black had the cunning for such Salazarian mind games.

And where was the prick getting the patience for this? Certainly Black had the requisite cruelty for such measured, deliberate torture, but the self-control? The bastard hadn't even come yet himself, and the fly-front of his jeans still looked like it was going to burst.

Severus wished it would. He could think of no worse humiliation than to come before his rapist did - especially when said rapist had pranced in here already waving a stiffy that could cut glass - and he was rapidly losing his own control. He was panting now, sweating, writhing with every lick. His cock was swollen, flushed a dark pink; a trickle of pre-come ran from the tip, down the shaft and into his crack. The urge to bring himself off was unbearable. Now Black was sucking lightly on the head of his prick, just the head, and Severus ached to push deep into that delicious mouth until he exploded.

He was squeezing his own buttocks, kneading them, his fingers slipping further and further into the cleft. They brushed his hole; it twitched and opened readily, and he stroked it without thinking.

"Oh, that's it," Black crooned. The voice appeared in his ear, sudden and husky and hushed. "That's it, Snivvy. Fuck yourself for me. Stick it in. Stick it in and bring yourself off for me. Make yourself come for me."

Quite suddenly, it sounded like one hell of an idea.

He slipped his finger into his own heat; he felt Black grin against his belly, and the tongue dipped into his navel, swirling and pressing and tasting. The combination of sensations was alien and intense, almost too intense: it made him want to hump and cringe and laugh and sob, all at the same time, and he convulsed as his body tried to accommodate the wildly conflicting signals from his misfiring brain.

"Gods, stop, stop," he managed to gasp. His free hand scrabbled for Black's head, twining in the thick short hair, trying to push the mouth away. "Gods, I can't...just stop, just stop..."

Black allowed himself to be pushed, though not far; Severus could feel the warmth of his breath as he spoke. His eyes roamed restlessly over Severus's body before fixing again on the slender finger working in and out of his ass.

"Christ, you look so fucking hot like this," he muttered hoarsely. "I wish I really did have a pensieve, so I could see you like this again and again."

It took several seconds for the words to penetrate. When they did--

"GET OFF ME!" Severus snarled. He wound his hands in Black's hair again and shoved with all his strength, sending the bigger boy sprawling. "Get off, get off, get off, get off!"

He scrambled up and out of the chair, blindly, frantically, not thinking of his wand on the bed stand across the room, or his clothes, or even the door. He wanted only to get away, to get Black's hands off him and Black's mouth off him and Black's leering face as far away from his as possible.

He almost made it. It was the jar that tripped him up; he stepped on it and it rolled his foot out from under him, putting him flat on his face, knocking the wind out of him. Before he could even catch his breath, Black was on top of him, overpowering him easily, half-dragging, half-carrying him back to the chair and throwing him down. Severus struggled fiercely, perhaps more fiercely than Black expected: twice he almost got away. Then he heard the "Relaxus" spell and saw the shimmer of magic around him, and he collapsed in the chair, unable to move, his body drugged and limp, his limbs heavy and useless.

He could do nothing but glare helplessly as Black arranged him in the chair like an oversized doll. He spelled Severus's arms, crossing his wrists and pinning them behind his neck; he lifted the long legs over the arms of the chair, spreading them until Severus felt some of the intense strain on his thighs even through the magic. Once he seemed satisfied with Snape's position, Black leaned forward and cupped his chin once more.

"Gods, you're really something, Sniv," he said. "What a cheap little Muggle romance novel you're turning this into." He chuckled - chuckled! - and his grey eyes sparkled with mirth. "Now this is the part where I'm supposed to say, 'You're such a little hellcat, Snape.' Right? Or, 'Oh, how I like a wench with spirit'?" He leaned closer still, his breath warm and moist on Severus's lips. "Well, you know something, Snivvy? You are. And I do."

The kiss was hard, and messy, and almost painful, but Severus would not have fought it even if he could. It was delicious. No one had ever kissed him the way Black did – not Lucius, not Bellatrix, not anybody. He could taste the whole perplexing range of Black's emotions in his kiss, from anger and contempt to warm desire, a Gryffindor's need to conquer warring with a Gryffindor's need to play the hero, to pamper and protect. Severus still couldn't move his body, but there was nothing wrong with his mouth, and he returned the kiss as well as he could, licking Black's teeth, sucking on his tongue, the low moan it pulled from Black making him moan in response.

When neither one of them could breathe at all anymore, Black pulled away. His handsome face was flushed, his eyes almost dreamy. He traced Severus's bottom lip with his thumb. "Gods, what a mouth," he whispered. "I can't wait to get my cock in that mouth."

"Then let me go." The words burst out before he could stop them. Black's answering laugh made him blush, but he gritted his teeth and plowed ahead. "I mean it. If you let me go, I'll-I'll suck you. I'll suck you dry."

"You'll do that anyway, soon enough," Black agreed. "But not tonight. Tonight is special, Severus. Tonight is all about you." He flicked Severus's half-hard cock and shook his head. "Looks like I was a bit too keen with that spell, eh? There are parts of you I don't want relaxed; don't really fancy fucking a corpse. Finite Incantatum."

The spell released him, and the tension seemed to slam into his tautly-presented body: instantly, his shoulders were aching, his thighs were on fire, and his groin was splitting. He felt like a wishbone in the hands of two gleefully sadistic children.

He opened his mouth to protest - then the tip of Black's wand slid smoothly into him, and he forgot all about his tortured muscles in a wash of sudden, sick terror. His mouth went dry, his head went fuzzy, and for a terrible moment, he thought he might faint.

Black's wand. His wand, sweet Salazar, and what the fuck was the crazy bastard thinking? A wand was a weapon, an instrument of vast and unpredictable power, and a rational wizard would no more insert one into another human being than a Muggle would a knife, or a gun.

He would have said all this - would have outright begged, if he had been able - but his ability to speak seemed to have abandoned him. He opened his mouth again and emitted nothing but a faint whimper. Black smiled broadly at the sound.

"Like that, do you? I thought you might. Mmm. I love that squeezing, clenching thing you do with your hole. Look at that little pucker grab hold...Can every bottom do that, Severus, or are you just gifted?" He glanced down at Severus, who was shaking his head frantically back and forth, and his mouth quirked. "Merlin, Snape, calm down. It's a rhetorical question."

He pushed the wand deeper. It seemed to hum inside Severus; he could feel the power crackling through it like lightning through a rod.

"Please," he managed to croak. His throat was tight, and dry as dust. "Please--I--please--"

Something of his terror must have shown in his face; Black's brows came together in a puzzled frown. "What the hell is wrong with you?"

"Please. Take it out. Take it out. I'll do anything--" Severus was barely aware that he was begging; he was too busy bracing himself for the agony of magic ripping through him, an agony he imagined he could already feel.

"Oh, for Merlin's sake." Finally - finally! - Black understood, and he looked both amused and exasperated. "Jesus, Snape, I thought you were smarter than that. You don't really believe all that rot about wands going off inside you, do you?"

Severus was silent, afraid to speak, afraid to move, afraid even to breathe.

"It's just what they tell us so we won't fuck ourselves with them." Black was clearly trying to be patient, as if talking to a dim-witted child, and his tone was almost kind. "It's a myth, Severus. Like...like telling kids they'll go blind if they wank too much. Believe me, this is perfectly safe." He laughed. "Peter practically uses his arse for a scabbard, if you know what I mean."

Severus still looked skeptical. Black frowned impatiently.

"For gods' sake, Snape, maybe I don't give a shit about you, but do you really think I'd risk damaging this?" He grabbed a handful of ass and squeezed, hard. "Look, there's nothing you can do about it anyway, so just relax. Enjoy it. From what I've heard, it's supposed to feel brilliant."

Severus swallowed again. Black looked utterly sincere - which meant zero as far as Severus was concerned, because Sirius Black was an amazing fucking liar - but his words did make a certain sense. He did seem to enjoy Severus's body. And he certainly seemed fond of his ass. And even though he was a nasty, bullying, sadistic prick, Severus didn't think he was a total homicidal maniac. And--

And it did feel brilliant.

Almost half of it was inside him now, twisting and probing, stretching him gently. It was thinner than Black's prick, but longer - and much, much harder. There was no give to it when he tightened around it, none at all, and every squeeze produced a faint but oddly pleasant ache. And the magic! It was unlike anything he'd ever felt, glowing inside him, sparking, tingling, quivering. He was rapidly getting hard again, his fear dissipating in a warm surge of arousal.

"Oh, yes," Black murmured. He had his head back and his eyes half-closed, his hips moving slightly, mimicking the thrusting motions of his hand. He seemed to be getting as much pleasure from the act as Severus was; he was reacting as if it was his cock buried in the Slytherin boy instead of his wand. As Severus watched, Black murmured something slithery-sounding - "Simpaticus" - and twisted another two inches of wand into him. Severus arched, pressing down hard with his thighs against the arms of the chair, and Black shuddered and hissed, "Oh, yes!" once more, clutching blindly at Severus's ass.

Severus fell back, panting. Simpaticus, eh? Oh, very clever, and he tried not to smirk as he shoved himself abruptly upwards, impaling himself on the remaining few inches of wand, tightening every muscle south of his navel until the bruising hardness seemed to bite into his flesh. Take that, arsehole.

"Fuck!" Black's eyes flew open, shocked and glaring. For a moment he looked blank; then his eyes narrowed. "Oh, Snivvy wants to play, does he?"

His hand stole down to the wand now buried in Severus's hole and touched it lightly. Severus threw back his head with a cry as the quiver deep inside him became a hard, steady vibration, the wand pulsing deliciously against his prostate. He fought with his body, trying not to hump helplessly, trying to get away from the intense sensation, yet trying to get more.

Then Black's head ducked down between his thighs again, and Severus felt the moist heat of Black's mouth envelop him, taking half his impressive length in a single gulp. The wand twisted in and out of him, shuddering deep up into his gut, and Black was sucking him hard enough to make a stone twitch, and all at once it was all too much. He came without warning: there was no buildup, no spiral, no climb, just a dazzling explosion of pleasure that made his ears pop and his head spin and his body seize and his breath stop dead in his throat. And there was no fall, just a buzzing darkness as, this time, he blacked out for real.


He awoke shortly before dawn. He was no longer in the chair, but tucked into his own bed, three quilts deep and feeling wonderful - warm, sleepy, peaceful, sated. He felt no trace of the pains and strains such vigorous sex usually produced, and he wondered, for a few fuzzy moments, if he might have dreamed the whole thing.

A languid stretch and a slight shift against the sheets cured him of that misconception instantly. A tiny moan escaped him, and he flipped quickly onto his side. Good gods, it felt like Black's wand was still up there. And his prick...his prick was incredibly sore. Severus touched the head gingerly and grimaced. For an obvious beginner, Black did give great head, but someone needed to tell him to watch the bloody teeth.

Black. Black had done it to him again. Had assaulted him in his own room. Had wrung levels of pleasure from his body that he hadn't known were possible. Had restrained him and humiliated him and subjugated him and made him thoroughly enjoy every single minute of it and, as an encore, had fucked him into oblivion with a surrogate cock.

Then had carried him to his bed and tucked him in and wrapped him up, as cozy as a newborn babe. Or as carefully as a favored toy.

It was enough to drive a sensible Slytherin mad.

Was that what he was? Snape wondered. A toy? A game? Something Black wanted by simple virtue of the fact that he could not have it? Knowing Black, it made a twisted sort of sense. Black was popular, a good student, a good athlete, almost ridiculously pretty (and he knew it); the stupid slut had fucked easily half the school, and he had the other half mooning about after him with their tongues hanging out at any given time. And how had it made him feel all these years, knowing that an ugly little outcast like Severus Snape wouldn't give him a second look unless there was a hex behind it? Severus didn't know, for sure - but he would've bet a year of his life that it had galled the big-headed moron to his core.

He hoped it had, anyway.

He burrowed deeper into the covers. The movement sparked another little flare of pain from below, and his small smile faded. No matter how Black had felt before, it was a moot point now. The prick had won. He had gotten what he wanted, as rich Gryffindors always seemed to get what they wanted, whether they deserved it or not and on a platter besides. Yes, he had taken it by force, through extortion and trickery and emotional blackmail, but - to paraphrase the immortal Salazar Slytherin - what did facts matter in the face of results? Sirius Black, heartless heartthrob of Hogwarts, could now add Severus Snape to his long list of conquests. He had won again.

So why did he come back?

Severus thought about it. It was a reasonable question. Black had taken him two nights ago, had achieved his conquest then - what was the point of returning last night?

He was horny, that's all. Horny, and the school's half-empty.

True, the school was almost deserted, but there was still a smattering of viable partners from which the Gryffindor could have chosen...and no doubt none of them would have required threats and incapacitating spells to ensure their participation. Yet Black had come to him. Moreover, he intended to return - he had implied that quite clearly. You'll do that anyway, soon enough, he had said. But not tonight.

Not tonight. Some other night. But why? What more did he want? He had taken Severus's body, taken his dignity, denied him control of his own body. Fear, punishment, abject humiliation - what else was left?

I want you to like me, Severus.

Black had said that as well, two nights ago. I want you to like me, Severus. I just want you to like me. I'm going to make you like me.

Bollocks, Severus snorted to himself. There weren't enough days in a dozen lifetimes for that. If Sirius Black was trying to get Severus to fall for him - if Sirius Black was truly that blind and greedy and vain and stupid - he was going to be waiting until Hufflepuff won the House Cup and the dead rose singing from their graves. Severus couldn't like him if he tried.

He sighed and shifted again. He freed an arm from the covers and threw it carelessly across the pillows. One thing house elves were good for, anyway - lots of thick quilts, lots of nice fat pillows. He pulled them closer, burying his face in their softness. They were warm despite the dungeon chill, warm as fresh bread, and they smelled nearly as good, the faint scent of laundry soap mixing with newer, earthier smells. Musk. Leather. Skin. Sweat.



Severus stared into the dark, sleepy no longer.

"Lumos," he whispered. The torches flared into life, and he went up on one elbow, squinting in the sudden brightness. The other side of the bed was as sleep-messy as his own; the pillows were rumpled, and still indented slightly in the middle. He slid his hand across them, savoring the traces of Black's body heat; several short black hairs came away on his fingers, and he looked at them wonderingly.

It couldn't be. Couldn't. Not even Black was that stupid.

But - apparently - he was. He had stayed. He had stayed most of the night, judging by the warmth still clinging to the bedding; had stayed and slept beside a boy who loathed him, a boy whom he had raped twice in as many nights, a boy who could, and gladly would, hex his balls off and replace them with hot toffee apples without so much as drawing a deep breath.

Forget stupid. Black was downright crazy.

He had stayed.

Severus wondered what Black had done. What Severus had missed. Had he slept at all? Or had he played with his new toy, caressing and exploring Severus in the same maddening, almost-tender way he had the night before? Had he kissed Severus? Had he held him? How long had he stayed?

Why had he stayed?

Severus Noxed the torches and fell back against the pillows. His head was spinning. Why, why, why. Gods, it always came back to "why" with Black, didn't it? To questions with no answers - or, worse yet, questions with answers he didn't quite dare to contemplate.

The answer. To your question. To your 'why.' It lies much more in what you feel than what you think.

Easy enough for Dumbledore to say - Severus was willing to bet he'd never been burned in all his hundred-plus years as often as Severus had in sixteen. And it was easy enough for Severus to feel that Black had given him a kind of power this night, a power he had never dreamed of having over anyone, let alone the high and mighty Sirius Black...but it was impossible to ignore the harder voice of reason. The voice that told him not to be a fool, not to get his hopes up, not to let his guard down.

The Dumbledore voice persisted. You should learn to trust your instincts, Severus. They are good and true, as true as any I have ever seen, and well worthy of your trust.

Well. Every instinct he owned told him that those squashed pillows and stray hairs meant that it was Black who was in over his head here, that it was Black who might end up on the wrong end of the joke for once. That Black was more obsessed with him than either of them would have ever guessed.

Yes, instinct told him all of that, quite clearly. But the voice of reason told him flatly that Severus Snape just didn't have that kind of luck, never had, never would - and the voice of reason was also the voice of long, hard experience. Almost impossible to ignore.

Still...it was a beautiful thought, wasn't it?

He closed his eyes. The bed was snug; the room, in all its lovely, shadow-draped silence, was all his. The day was all his. No classes, no homework...he could lie in all morning if he wished. Have breakfast in bed. Read. Doze. Dream, even. Lie in and luxuriate in the warm soft stillness.

And in the possibilities.

Severus drifted off, his smile as untroubled as a child's.

Chapter 3