In the Pursuit of Apathy
Warnings: Torture, rape, sex, in that order.
Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns, I don’t, and I’m not making money off of this.
Summary: In response to challenges: 31 “I must rape you,” and 192 “RL/SS is broken, RL/SS must teach the other that their body can also bring pleasure.”
A/N: Of course all the Death Eaters are out of prison. They did it once and they can do it again.
Archiving: Please do, but please ask.
It was a breezy March night, and it was unusually dry for this time of year. Remus Lupin was walking home from work (head of the wait staff at a small Italian restaurant within walking distance of 12 Grimmauld Place), and pulled his shabby brown overcoat closer to keep out the chill. He was off in his own world, as he so often was these days, so he didn’t hear the scuffling noises from the alleyway until he was on top of it.
He froze as five Death Eaters walked out of said alleyway. He was clearly outnumbered, but he wasn’t going without a fight. He pulled out his wand, and barely managed a blocking spell as one of them sent a petrificus his way. Another one hurled a stunning spell, but it bounced off of him and struck a nearby light pole, sending a reverberating E flat ringing down the street.
“Fool!” one of them yelled, “you can’t stun him with one spell!”
Remus didn’t have time for a blocking spell before all five of them raised their wands and threw five stunning spells at him. He was lifted off his feet and slammed backwards into a parked car, which skidded three meters when he hit it.
The colors of the dark street swam in front of him, and the Death Eaters’ voices sounded like a badly tuned radio. Everything turned gray, and faded to black as the radio shut off. Remus was unconscious when a Death Eater hauled him off the ground and disapparated with him.
* * *
A radio was playing in the background. It didn’t sound like it was tuned properly—the voices kept fading in and out. He really wished someone would turn it off. Remus shifted slightly, and was surprised to find that he was lying on a stone floor. And he was cold.
His eyes snapped open and the voices came into clear focus as Remus remembered the ambush. That had been a lot of stunning spells. He rolled over onto his back, and the cold began to seep through his white oxford and into his spine. His overcoat had been removed. A Death Eater stepped forward to lean over him, and Remus immediately recognized him as Dolohov. Remus had a brief moment of panic when he saw that Dolohov wasn’t wearing a mask. ‘They must be planning to kill me if I can see their faces,’ ran through his mind, but he relaxed when he remembered that every wizard alive knew Dolohov was a Death Eater and would have little cause to hide his face. He drew in a deep breath as Dolohov leered at him.
“Welcome back to the land of the living.” Remus glared at him, and said nothing.
“Mr. Lupin,” a cold drawl came from somewhere to his right, “I’m glad you’re awake. We need to talk.” Strong hands gripped Remus’ arms and stood him up to look Lucius Malfoy in the face. He looked very calm, and the torchlight flickered menacingly off of his white-blond hair. Remus didn’t reply, and tried to think about how he could possibly get out of here.
Remus looked around the room. It was rather small for the number of Death Eaters, masked and unmasked, crowded into it—only 25’ by 20’ at the most. It was stone all round, with torches at intervals along the walls. There was only one door, and it was guarded.
“Look at me when I’m talking to you, wolf!” Remus jerked his head around; he hadn’t realized Malfoy was still speaking. How many times had they stunned him, anyway?
“I was saying,” continued Malfoy, “that we can do this one of two ways. You can cooperate, or we can hurt you. The choice is yours. The question is simple: what do you know about the Order of the Phoenix?”
Remus didn’t answer the question, but asked one of his own, “Where’s Voldemort?” The reaction was instantaneous. Several men made noises of outrage, and he heard an indignant shriek he was sure was Bellatrix Lestrange.
“How dare you speak his name with your filthy half-breed mouth!” hissed Malfoy, and he backhanded Remus as hard as he could across the face. Remus felt Malfoy’s knuckles leave a deep bruise on his cheekbone. No one else spoke; there were no mocking laughs that might have come from Voldemort seeing this little temper tantrum, so Remus assumed he was busy with something else. Or he was just sitting somewhere, waiting for his automatons to bring him information. Wherever he was, he wasn’t here. It looked like he was going to spend the evening chatting with Lucius.
“Let’s try this again, shall we?” asked Malfoy, in a thin attempt to control his temper. “What do you know about the Order of the Phoenix?”
Remus remained silent. Malfoy hit him again. Remus spat a tooth out on the floor, and felt a drop of blood run down his chin.
“All right,” Malfoy said smoothly, “you had your chance to take the easy way out.” He reached for Remus’ waist. He unfastened Remus’ belt, and slid it out of the belt loops one-by-one. He handed it to a masked Death Eater on his left, and began unbuttoning Remus’ shirt. He tossed the shirt carelessly behind him, and took back the belt.
“Tie his hands in front of him.” Another masked Death Eater walked over from a nearby table on Malfoy’s command. He and the two Death Eaters already holding Remus tied his hands tightly in front of his stomach. Remus felt a vague dread, and wondered if he could disapparate. He tried to focus, but a sharp prickling on the back of his neck told him it was useless—there were wards. Big surprise.
Remus didn’t really want to face what was happening, but he’d known all along that it was a possibility. He mentally steeled himself (as much as one can prepare oneself for torture) and prayed that Severus knew he was here, or that someone had noticed he was missing and had alerted Dumbledore.
The two Death Eaters spun him so that he was facing the rest of the room instead of Malfoy. From behind him, Malfoy commanded, “On your knees, wolf.” While Remus was trying to figure out how he was supposed to get on his knees without using his hands, a swift kick to the back of his left knee made his legs buckle and he hit the floor. Several Death Eaters laughed, and Remus felt his fear step up a notch so that it was now a coiled lump in his stomach rather that fluttering insects.
“What do you know about the Order of the Phoenix?” Remus didn’t answer, desperately trying to think of any way he might be able to stall them. Stall until Dumbledore came—if Dumbledore came. Once again Remus prayed that someone had noticed he was missing. His thoughts were brought up short by the sharp slap of leather on his bare skin. He felt a long welt rising on his back. It was the first of many.
Blow after blow landed, until his back was a mass of raw pain. The metal tip had left long scratches that burned and smarted. He supposed he could lie, and make up some story about having minimal duties for the Order, but it was far too soon. Malfoy wasn’t even getting warmed up—he wouldn’t believe a word Remus said if he started talking now.
He was suddenly aware that Malfoy had stopped hitting him. Remus was panting with pain, and he heard a metal buckle hit the floor behind him. He watched as Malfoy walked over to the table, and walked back. There was the sound of a lid being unscrewed, and then a powdery substance was being poured on his back, which immediately caught fire. Or at least that’s what it felt like. As the grains tumbled over his scratches and began to sting, Remus knew they were using—
“Salt. Hurts, doesn’t it? Start talking and I’ll put it away.” Remus didn’t say anything, and Malfoy upended the jar again. Fresh fire licked his back, and Remus bit his tongue, waiting for the burning to subside. He breathed heavily through his nose and willed himself not to yell.
“What do you know about the Order of the Phoenix?”
Again Remus remained silent, and waited tensely for more salt. But at that moment the door at the end of the room opened, and three people walked in. There was one masked Death Eater and two unmasked ones. MacNair, and…Peter. Remus snarled as Peter walked by him.
Peter stopped, and stared condescendingly at him. “Why Remus, you do seem to be in a bit of a tight spot, don’t you?”
Rage boiled up inside Remus, and he used a word he hadn’t used since he was twenty-one. “You SICK FUCK!” he bellowed. Several people froze in surprise at the volume of his voice.
Peter’s face hardened and his eyes narrowed in anger, before he spoke again, “No, Remus, a sick fuck is waking up at two in the morning to hear you and Sirius going at it. That’s a sick fuck.” The room went absolutely silent at Peter’s words. Remus could feel every eye focused on him. The masked Death Eater who had come in with Peter inched carefully toward the door, and slipped out unnoticed by the others, who were still watching Remus. It seemed like an eternity that everyone stood there, silent; but it couldn’t have been more than thirty seconds.
Malfoy spoke first, “Really?” a note of delight (?) in his voice. “Well, let’s show him what we do to queers.” The two Death Eaters who had been restraining him earlier came forward and untied his hands. They jerked him to his feet and dragged him toward the table. His mind had gone completely blank, as if deciding of its own accord that it wasn’t going to think about what was happening. He remained calm as they dragged him past Malfoy, who was smiling that evil smile he was so rarely without. Other Death Eaters were whispering to each other, and a few were laughing. The ones whose faces he could see looked eager. The ones whose faces he couldn’t see unnerved him.
Remus felt his upper thighs hit the edge of the table, and he had barely registered this fact before he was slammed facedown on the table, still bent over the edge. More fire seared his back. His mind ground back into action, and there was an odd ringing in his ears as his head started to spin. The Death Eater he had seen leave came back in silently. As far as Remus could tell, no one had noticed he had gone. Fear constricted his chest as he struggled to breathe through the awkward position. When his arms were wrenched above his head and a muttered conjuring spell chained his hands to the table, he fought to keep his fear from turning into panic. Reality blurred and he clenched his jaw against the retching. ‘Don’t vomit. Don’t vomit, you can barely breathe as it is. Just keep your mouth closed.’ He tried to calm himself; panic wouldn’t help anything.
He slowly adjusted to his position on the table. At least his chains weren’t silver. He was grateful for that right up until MacNair grabbed his hair, jerked his head back, and hissed in his ear, “I’ve always wanted to fuck a werewolf.”
This time Remus couldn’t stop the panic that crawled into his throat and choked him. MacNair was breathing on the back of his neck, the Death Eaters leered, and Malfoy looked smug. Remus did his best to ignore them and focused on controlling his breathing. It didn’t work very well.
“What do you know about the Order of the Phoenix?”
“I don’t know anything.”
“Of course you don’t.” Malfoy gave the slightest of nods to MacNair.
A hand reached around Remus’ front, between his waist and the table, and unfastened his trousers. The panic flared again as his pants came down, along with his boxers. Remus felt hands on his hips, holding him still—forcing him open. He heard a whispered incantation… a protection spell? A moment later MacNair pushed in, and for one horrible minute Remus couldn’t breathe at all. His insides stretched, and tore. Surely there had never been pain like this before. He couldn’t think around the pain; he had no existence other than the pain.
MacNair pulled out slightly before shoving back in. As soon as Remus could breathe he started screaming.
He kept screaming as MacNair kept thrusting. There was no room in his mind for any thoughts other than the pain. He was going to talk, he was going to vomit, this kind of pain simply wasn’t bearable. He knew with a sick certainty that MacNair was going to pull his intestines out through his rectum.
As abruptly as it began it stopped, and Remus felt MacNair hold still for a long moment. The withdrawal was significantly less painful than the penetration. Remus lay panting on the table, slack against his restraints, with his eyes closed. He didn’t want to be reminded of how many people were listening to him scream—how many were watching the blood trickle down his legs.
He knew it was Malfoy who stepped up beside the table next. He would know that nauseating after-shave anywhere. “What do you know about the Order of the Phoenix?”
‘Just tell them something! Anything! Lie! For Merlin’s sake you know how to lie!’ Remus opened his mouth and tried to think of something to say, but his mind refused to help him. Then it was too late. Malfoy had already taken his silence for obstinacy and had called a masked Death Eater to him. It was the same Death Eater who had come in with Peter and MacNair. The one who had left.
Remus forced his fractured attention back to Malfoy, who had started talking again. “Surely you would like a chance to get even? And while you’re at it, if he suddenly decides to talk you can use Legilimency to tell if he’s lying.”
Get even? Legilimency? Oh God no.
“Of course, Lucius. I’ll do what I can.” Remus knew that voice. Could have told you it was coming. He knew who was under that mask before Malfoy reached over and yanked it off—forcing Remus to face his attacker. It took Remus every ounce of energy he had left to fight the panic. Not over Severus—whatever Severus did now was for the good of the Order and to keep his cover—but because of what Malfoy had done. If he allowed Remus to see Severus’ face, then he meant to kill Remus. He wouldn’t let Remus see a previously unexposed Death Eater and then let him run back to Dumbledore to tell all about it. At this point Remus knew that unless by some miracle the Order managed to find him, he was a dead man.
Severus removed his robe, leaving himself in his shirt and trousers. He leaned forward so that his face was beside Remus’ left ear, and licked him. Remus was afraid. He’d seen Severus leave the room, but that didn’t mean anything. Had he tried to contact the Order and failed? There was no way to know. But Severus didn’t tell him to hold on or give any sign that help might be coming. Remus was stranded, and who knew what the Death Eaters would do to him before they killed him. Remus made a half-hearted attempt to stop the sick swooping feeling in his stomach.
Severus was behind him, and was acting the Death Eater. Remus didn’t hate him for what he was about to do. If he showed Remus any mercy he would die right along with him, and the Order couldn’t lose both of them. Remus knew what was coming. He tried to relax his body as much as he could to make penetration easier, but the knot of despair refused to uncoil.
He wasn’t surprised to hear the same protection spell MacNair had used, but he was surprised to also hear a lust spell. He supposed it was some small relief to know that Severus didn’t find any of this arousing.
He once again felt hands on his hips, and Severus hissed, “Tell us what you know, Lupin,” before thrusting into him roughly. The same terrible pain filled Remus, and he started screaming again. His fingernails left gouges in the tabletop. He somehow knew that Severus must be tearing him in half. He didn’t think anything else could hurt so badly.
Severus was talking again, but not in the hiss he had used before. Remus struggled to listen through the fog of agony that was surrounding him. “Tell us, Lupin. Tell us what you know and I can make this stop. I’ll heal the tearing; I’ll use lubrication. Just start talking.”
‘Lie! Lie!’ His mind shouted, and this time Remus was ready. “I’m a decoy.” Severus pulled out of him at these words.
“Keep talking,” he instructed.
“I’m a decoy. I don’t know much. My main job is to keep an eye on Harry—make sure he doesn’t go too far from school,” now that Remus was talking, the story was coming easier, as if he had rehearsed it all before. “I’ve never been to headquarters. I have meetings with Dumbledore and other members regularly in random locations so that anyone spying on me would think I was important. Our hope was that I would be a target rather than someone who knew everything being a target.” Remus stopped, and waited for a question that would prompt a continuation of his lie. Severus didn’t disappoint.
“What other members do you know of?”
Remus ran down a mental list of members he knew Voldemort would already know of. He spoke quickly, trying to hide his pause. “Minerva McGonagall, Alastor Moody, Molly and Arthur Weasley. Bill Weasley, Charlie Weasley, Sturgis Podmore and Rubeus Hagrid.”
“I don’t know.”
“What about battle plans?”
“I’ve never seen any battle plans, or reports, or anything else. All I do is watch Harry and look important. That’s it, I swear.” Remus didn’t have to try for the note of desperation in his voice.
He decided it didn’t matter as Severus muttered a healing spell and the pain inside him eased. He then heard a lubrication spell, and Severus penetrated him again, but this time it wasn’t nearly so agonizing. He was uncomfortable, but it wasn’t unbearable. His back still hurt, but that wasn’t so bad now that the dry, scraping, tearing pain inside of him was gone. Severus came, and pulled out of him.
Severus moved away, and Remus expected someone to step up and take Severus’ place. For several long moments he waited, but no one did. Everyone was instead focused on a fiercely whispered argument between Severus and Malfoy, which despite being whispered carried to everyone in the room.
Malfoy didn’t sound happy, “What are you doing?!”
“He’s telling the truth.”
“Are you sure, Severus?”
“No, I’m lying to you.”
“If he doesn’t have any useful information we should just kill him.”
“No. Just because his information doesn’t help us doesn’t mean he’s useless.”
“I’m listening.” Although to Remus, Malfoy sounded like this was the last thing he wanted to do.
“Lupin is important to Potter. The Order would go to great lengths to get Lupin back because of this. I think we should set a trap put him somewhere easy enough for him to be found, but not so obvious that the Order would suspect a trap. We wait until someone comes for him, and them we can catch an Order member who does have useful information.”
“All right, a trap. That doesn’t explain why you’re healing him.”
“I thought that would be obvious, Lucius, even to you. I did it because Dumbledore will have little incentive to rescue a dead man. In order for the trap to work, Lupin can’t be dead of shock or infection. If you want to continue with him, do. But take care not to spoil the plan.”
Remus’ spirits took a tentative move upwards. Did this mean Severus had a plan? Remus thought that Severus had done a marvelous job with the “plan” he outlined for Malfoy. He had used his most condescending voice, the one he usually reserved for Neville. Severus sounded most sincere when he used that voice. Remus just hoped that Malfoy wouldn’t be so offended that he would kill Remus out of spite. Remus strained his head as far to his left as he could to try to see Malfoy’s face.
He had been right. Malfoy was furious at having been shown up by Severus. But he couldn’t deny Severus’ logic. This resulted in the rather frightening consequence of Malfoy being both inclined to follow Severus’ plan and determined to exact some payment for being talked down to.
“All right, Severus, we’ll do it your way. I’ll make sure he’s still… alive when we set all of this up.”
Remus really, really, really didn’t like the expression on Malfoy’s face when he said that. That expression told Remus that while he was going to be alive, he was going to be in a great deal of pain.
Not that he wasn’t in pain right now. His back was raw, and his insides ached from being violated—twice. Remus took advantage of the brief lull to try to ease some of the strain on his shoulders. It didn’t work, but he needn’t have tried. Someone quickly released the chains holding him to the table. Not expecting the sudden freedom of movement (and too tired to catch himself even if he had been), Remus simply hit the floor beside the table.
Remus didn’t look around him, even though he was now able, and he couldn’t figure out why that would be. Maybe he didn’t want to see who was walking up behind him.
“Turn around, wolf. Don’t get up,” Malfoy added as Remus started to rise, “stay on your knees.” The spirits that had risen when Remus heard Severus come up with a way to keep him alive sank again, because he knew whatever Malfoy was going to do next would be worse than before. Remus had half a mind to stay put just to spite Malfoy, but he had neither the energy nor the will to risk Malfoy’s wrath. He turned around.
“Tie his hands behind his back.”
Earlier, Remus’ mind had gone blissfully blank. Remus wished he could have that feeling back. He wished he could just not think about it. His hands were forced behind his back, and his already scraped wrists were bound tightly with heavy rope. Every instinct cried out for him to struggle, to try to get away from this. But he knew it would only be worse if he did, and he was already too tired to fight.
“Open your eyes, wolf.”
Remus opened his eyes, not having been aware that he had closed them. He found himself staring at Malfoy’s belt. Malfoy had an erection, as well. Remus wasn’t surprised. He’d always known that Malfoy was one sick bastard.
Malfoy unfastened his belt and trousers to pull out his penis. He stroked it a few times before running his thumb through the precome gathered on the head. He smeared the precome on Remus’ lips. Remus froze, the familiar hot flood of panic throbbing in his chest. ‘No no no not that anything but that.’ He had been right—this was much worse. This was so much more personal than someone shoving their cock up his arse. This was Malfoy fucking his face.
“Open your mouth.”
Remus reacted before thinking about it. He clenched his jaws, and kept them clenched even as Malfoy tried to force his mouth open. He didn’t care what else they did to him, he couldn’t suck Malfoy.
Malfoy became angry and frustrated that Remus wouldn’t comply. Remus noted this as his head began to pound from the tension in his teeth.
After some minutes of trying to force Remus to open his mouth, Malfoy let go of his jaw and Remus hoped that Malfoy would settle for his arse. Remus was still thinking this when a fist connected with the left side of his face. He hit the floor, jarring his right shoulder. Malfoy took a handful of his hair and hauled him upright again. Remus still had his teeth clenched.
Remus chanced a look up, expecting to see fury and hot determination on Malfoy’s face. The bottom dropped out of his stomach when he saw that Malfoy was wearing a confident, knowing smirk. ‘Not good’ flitted in his mind as Malfoy reached out and pinched Remus’ nose, cutting off his air supply. And all Malfoy had to do was stand there.
Remus held his breath as long as he could, but eventually instinct won out and he opened his mouth in a loud gasp. Malfoy hooked his thumb between Remus' teeth, and wrenched Remus’ face around so that it was three inches from his own.
“Bite me and you’ll wish we weren’t planning to keep you alive.”
Remus thought for a brief second that whatever they would do to him would be worth seeing Malfoy in unbearable agony, but if there was any chance he could get out of here he would need to be conscious and able to walk. He doubted he would remain so if he bit Malfoy.
Remus knew he was defeated. Malfoy kept his thumb between Remus’ teeth, and Remus didn’t bite. He pulled Remus’ jaw down and forced his cock into Remus’ mouth. He let go of Remus’ jaw, and fisted his hand in Remus’ hair as he started to thrust.
It seemed like forever that Malfoy was fucking his mouth. Remus’ neck hurt from Malfoy holding his head at an awkward angle, and his jaws ached from not being able to close. He just wished it were over.
Malfoy reached one hand around to the back of Remus’ head, forced his cock as far down Remus’ throat as it would go, and came. Remus’ throat was flooded with semen, and it was either choke or swallow—so he swallowed.
Malfoy let go of his head. And Remus took a few deep breaths through his mouth to keep from vomiting.
“Severus,” Malfoy called over his shoulder, “why don’t you try it? He’s really quite good.”
Remus couldn’t stop the tears that began to streak down his face as Severus stepped forward. It was going to happen again. He knew Severus couldn’t refuse, but it was going to happen again. He wanted to crumble. He wanted it to end. He didn’t care how it ended so long as it ended. Help wasn’t coming. He wasn’t getting out of this. His only hope was that no one from the Order would think that they stood a chance of getting him back.
Severus moved toward Remus, and he hoped that Severus had at least cleaned himself off after fucking him the first time.
Severus opened his trousers, and Remus let Severus open his mouth, knowing it would be useless to fight. Severus had cleaned himself off, and Remus was absurdly grateful for that one small mercy.
Unlike Malfoy, Severus didn’t hold his head or shove his cock down Remus’ throat. He said “Suck,” and left Remus to it. Remus felt both grateful and humiliated, and held still for a second too long. Severus’ hand fisted in his hair, “Do it,” but let go again. Remus took the implied threat that Severus would hold his head and force it if he had to. Remus decided it was easier to just do it, so he did.
Severus rested his hands on Remus’ bare shoulders. Remus sucked, sure that his jaw would break from the strain at any moment.
The tightening of Severus’ hands on his shoulders told him that Severus was going to come. He still didn’t hold Remus’ head, or move to make Remus do anything. Apparently Remus had a choice. He could keep sucking, and let Severus come in his mouth, or he could pull off, and let Severus come in his face. Remus decided that swallowing was a degree less degrading than a face full of semen, so he kept sucking. Severus came, and Remus swallowed.
As Severus pulled back, Remus tried to work the kinks out of his jaw. Tears continued to drip down his face. He sensed someone else behind him, and the rope binding his hands behind his back was cut loose. He was on his hands and knees before he knew it. His shoulder muscles screamed in protest at the renewal of circulation to his arms.
He could feel bruises forming on his knees. He didn’t know who was spreading his legs apart this time, and he didn’t want to know. He was hoping that whoever it was would come quickly; he was hoping that they would just be finished with him soon. He was stretched yet again as another slicked cock impaled him.
Remus was beyond even the idea of fighting. He wanted this over. He closed his eyes and concentrated on not thinking as he was pounded. He had no idea how long it was until Death Eater number-you-pick-one was swearing and panting and coming inside him.
Death Eater number whatever pulled out, and Remus seriously debated whether to try to be more comfortable for a few seconds, or just stay where he was and save himself the trouble of being dragged back into position by his hair.
The decision seemed to be stalled as a murmur began to spread around the room. Remus looked up. The murmur was followed by a small commotion that seemed to be coming from just the other side of the door. The commotion grew steadily louder. Hope shot through Remus like a search light through the darkness.
Dumbledore had found him. Remus forced himself to his feet, and did his best to get his trousers up. The only thing worse than Dumbledore seeing him like this would have been Harry seeing him like this.
By the grace of Merlin Remus was on his feet and decent when Dumbledore and the Order blew the door to pieces. They rushed in hurling spells; hexing Death Eaters left and right. The next instant Kingsley was beside him—grabbing his arm, stunning a Death Eater, and disapparating.
They reappeared on the sidewalk in front of twelve Grimmauld Place, and Remus—who had been sweating in the overly hot room—began to shiver as Kinglsey hurried him up the steps and into the house. He flew past twin Weasleys who were guarding the door. Fred stood ready to shut the door, and George was apparently watching for the other members to return before telling Fred to lock the door. It was much warmer in the house, but Remus continued to shiver.
Remus heard raised voices from inside the house. There was a distinct “Let me go!” followed by a muffled reply that might have been “Not bloody likely!” but Remus was distracted by several more figures that apparated in the middle of the street. Before he had time to put names to faces his attention was diverted again as someone came flying out of a side room on the second floor hall and down the stairs. Another someone, this one with neon-green hair, came chasing the first someone.
The first someone turned out to be Harry, and there was a “Wotcher, Remus,” as Tonks stumbled down the last few steps behind him.
Remus was now facing Harry, and found that he had an uncontrollable urge to run. He couldn’t do this right now. He didn’t want to talk to Harry, or Tonks, or anyone else. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Severus, still in his Death Eater robes, coming up the walk. He definitely didn’t want to be a part of any confrontation between Harry and Severus, so he gave into the temptation to run.
He turned and bolted up the stairs just as Severus came through the door. Remus knew Harry must have seen his back, because he let out a bellow of rage that was obviously directed at Severus.
Harry’s roar of “WHAT DID YOU DO TO HIM?!” rang through the entire house, waking all the portraits. Remus thought he heard Severus yell over the shrieking, “I assure you that whatever I did, I did to keep you from losing yet ANOTHER parent! Think about that before you start shouting accusations, Potter!” And then Severus was on the stairs, and Remus knew Severus was coming to talk to him. He ran for his room so he could shut himself in privacy. At least for a little while. He could face the world later. Right now he needed a shower, and he had never been so thankful that there was a bathroom attached to his bedroom.
As he stood in the shower, Remus let the hot water wash everything away. He ignored the banging on his bedroom door, and let the residue of the night’s events flow off of him. The semen, sweat, and humiliation swirled around his feet and were sucked down the drain. The water made his back itch and sting, but in a cleansing sort of way that he really didn’t mind.
When Remus felt he was finally clean, he turned off the shower and searched for a fluffy towel. He went back to his bedroom relatively dry, and put on his favorite soft cotton pajamas before climbing into bed. The pajamas felt good against his abused skin, but the comfort they usually held wasn’t there. Nothing was, really. A vague numbness had settled on Remus, and it didn’t matter because right now all he wanted was sleep. It seemed that he was asleep almost as soon as he hit the pillow, the numbness lulling him into unconsciousness. It wasn’t so bad, actually.
* * *
But the numbness didn’t go away. For a few days everyone had let him be (obviously under Dumbledore’s orders) and the numbness hadn’t bothered him. He figured it was a shock reaction to the trauma of rape. But slowly people started talking to him again, asking him how he was. He didn’t know how much any of them knew, but he said he was fine. No one seemed to believe him. He wondered why that would be, because he certainly didn’t feel broken or ashamed. What they’d done to him hadn’t been his fault—he knew that. He actually didn’t feel much of anything. He was glad to have gotten out with his life, but beyond that his emotions were little more than a faint mist at the back of his mind.
In between people telling him everything was going to be all right, he wondered how much they either knew or had guessed. He doubted very much that Dumbledore had told them flat out that he had been raped, but Dumbledore must have told them that Remus was attacked; everyone would have known anyway. If they put that together with the comments of the people who had been there when he was rescued—people who’d seen his back, his wrists, and how he’d fled from the hall—they were sure to figure out that the Death Eaters had done more to Remus than beat him. Remus found that he didn’t much care what they knew. He went on writing and reading reports just like he always had (perhaps without the same dogged determination), and with his constant affirmation that he was fine, people eventually stopped asking. After two weeks, there was only one person he hadn’t talked to about the attack.
He got his chance on a Friday evening as he was sitting in the library, reading Charlie’s latest report on contacts he’d made in Romania. Severus walked in just as Remus was opening a fresh scroll so he could summarize the report for Dumbledore.
“Severus. May I ask what warrants your use of my given name?” Remus said this without venom, but Severus ignored it anyway.
“How are you feeling, Remus?”
“I’m fine, Severus.”
“That’s not what I asked.”
Remus was puzzled. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, you might be fine, but that’s not how you feel.”
“And how do you know how I feel? I feel fine.”
“No you don’t. You couldn’t. No one could go through what you went through and feel fine. It’s not humanly possible. And regardless of what anyone says, you are human.”
Remus was shocked that Severus would voice such a sentiment.
“So, how do you feel?”
“You want the truth, Severus?”
“Of course not. I’ve always believed that lies are preferable.”
“Fair enough. I don’t blame you. I know you didn’t want to do those things, but if you hadn’t they would have found you out and killed us both. I know that you did what you did to keep us alive. I’m grateful that you came up with such an ingenious plan—one that saved my life. Thank you.”
“You still didn’t answer my question.”
“I did. I’m grateful.”
“All right, but how do you feel about the attack—aside from my part in it?”
“I’m relieved they didn’t kill me.”
“For God’s sake Lupin if you don’t give me a straight answer I’m going to smash your head against the wall out of sheer frustration!”
“Back to ‘Lupin’ are we? Pity.”
Severus snarled, “Aren’t you angry at all? Hurt? Vengeful? Any of those things normal people would be feeling?”
“Would you care to elaborate?”
“No, I am not feeling any of those things. You want to know how I feel? Fine. I don’t feel. Mild things like gratitude to you for not letting me die, but beyond that I don’t feel much of anything. It’s all blank. Are you happy now, Severus?”
“No. Anger would be better than apathy.”
“I don’t see how.”
“Because anger fades. You can only be angry for so long before it burns itself out. Apathy doesn’t fade, because there’s nowhere for it to fade to. You have to demolish apathy—you have to destroy it with feelings.”
“Well that does seem to be the problem, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, it does.” With that, Severus swept out of the room, leaving Remus confused but not particularly concerned over the whole situation.
And Remus wasn’t really all that concerned. Well, not much at first. He had considered the apathetic haze a blessing at the beginning, but after a month it did bother him a bit. He’d thought that Severus was wrong, that it would wear off in time, that eventually he would just start feeling again.
But he didn’t. He didn’t have any painful feelings like anger or shame or worry, but he didn’t have any good feelings either. When Harry received a note from McGonagall saying that he would be Quidditch Captain next year after Katie Bell graduated, he wasn’t as happy for Harry as he perhaps should have been. He realized that something was wrong.
He considered fleetingly that he might be in denial, but quickly dismissed the idea. He wasn’t denying anything. He knew what had happened; he just didn’t feel anything about it.
Then there was one event which made him absolutely positive that what he was experiencing needed to stop. The Ministry had finally put out a leaflet telling people how best to fight the Imperius curse. This was excellent news for the Order, because if more people knew how to fight it, fewer people would fall victim to it. Remus knew that this was a huge step, yet he felt nothing. Not happy, not enthusiastic, not a renewed sense of mission—nothing. On that night he didn’t want to be apathetic anymore. He wanted to be happy and celebrate with everyone else. Instead, he shut himself in his room with some work, in order to hide his lack of excitement.
And the worst part of this situation was that he didn’t have the first clue as to how he could make this emotional void go away.
“You aren’t going to join the party?” came a low, derisive, and mocking tone from his doorway.
“Surnames again, Severus?”
“Unfortunately, no. For some asinine reason you still insist on calling me ‘Severus.’”
“I’m sorry I can’t bring myself to be so cold as to call you ‘Snape.’”
“That’s a shame. It might simplify things.”
“What kinds of things?”
“All kinds of things, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Besides, I’ve grown accustomed to you calling me ‘Severus’ and I don’t see why you should change now.”
“I wasn’t going to.”
“Excellent. Now, about why I’m here. Do you finally see what I mean?”
Remus didn’t need to ask. “Yes.”
“And what do you think we should do about it?”
“Yes, ‘we.’” He paused briefly, then laid aside his sneer for a moment, and Remus was shocked at the words coming out of his mouth. Words of regret and guilt he knew Severus possessed but he had thought Severus would never utter. “I’m part of the reason this happened. I know you said you don’t blame me. I was trying to keep my cover, for the sake of our lives and the success of the Order. But the fact remains that I helped them. I helped them hurt you; I helped them do terrible things that no one should have to experience. I am partly to blame for how you feel now. Or rather how you don’t feel now. And as much as I hate to admit it,” the sneer slid back into place, “I miss you moping about and being your usual disgustingly optimistic self.” His voice dropped again, “I think everyone misses that.”
Remus sat, completely still. On the upside, he was shocked into silence. Shock was good, wasn’t it? He wasn’t shocked that Severus would feel that way, but because Severus actually admitted to it. Remus considered how best to reply, and figured that commenting on any of Severus’ revelations would only lead to Severus being defensive and horribly snarky. He decided to pick up the conversation where it had been before. “So what do you think we should do about it? I don’t have any ideas.”
“I’ve already used my first idea.”
“Yes. Do you really think I would tell you about all of my emotional nonsense if it weren’t to startle you?
“Good point. And you did startle me. Any other ideas?”
“A few? Care to share them with me?”
“Not at the moment.” And Severus walked out without another word. Remus wished he would stop doing that. It was very off-putting. Which was of course the whole idea, and Severus was very good at it.
It had been a week since the party, and Remus had to admit that not only was Severus good at it, he was very very good at it. Remus had mulled over his conversation with Severus, and his curiosity was piqued on the subject of Severus’ other ideas. He was even putting more energy into his reports, trying to pull together enough information to warrant a full Order meeting. He wanted to talk to Severus again, but he didn’t dare set foot in Hogwarts. It would look very suspicious to be seen talking with Dumbledore in such a setting—why would Remus come to Hogwarts just for a chat? And walking down to the dungeons would be nothing short of complete and unrivaled stupidity, not to mention disregard for Severus’ life and position. No, he had to bring Severus here. He set to his reports with feverish intensity. He really wanted to talk to Severus.
And it must have been his lucky day, because he didn’t have to wait for the next meeting to see Severus. He was eating dinner alone in the kitchen on a perfectly ordinary evening when the fire turned green and out stepped Severus, still in his teaching robes.
“Severus,” Remus said, putting down his chicken leg. “I’m glad you’re here.”
“Really. I think I’ve figured out one of your plans. You walked out, leaving me full of questions, knowing that I would be curious to the point of insomnia. By putting the idea of plans in my head, you started one of them in a most interesting manner.”
“Did you figure that out all by yourself?”
“Yes, and I’m rather proud of it.”
“You would be.”
“So that was your plan?”
“Obviously, as you have already figured out that it was.”
“Just making sure.”
Severus sneered and sat down.
“So what are your other plans?” Remus continued.
“I thought one of them would be as obvious as the first. That pile of scrolls?” he asked, pointing to Remus’ right elbow.
“Work; my reports.”
“You’ve been putting in extra time on them?”
“You see? That wasn’t so hard.”
“Do you want to know why I’ve been putting in extra time on them?”
“I imagine you wanted to talk to me.”
“Yes. You were trying to get me back into my work, in other words.”
“I believe I already said that.”
“You really can be infuriating, Severus.”
“I know. That’s the whole point.”
“Another one of your plans?”
“Yes.” Remus sighed. If that man were any more complex he would have people paying rent on the different rooms of his mind. “How are you feeling, Remus?”
Remus sighed again. “Irritated, hungry, and damnably still curious.”
“You want to know about other ideas I might have?
“You aren’t going to just walk out again, are you?”
“No. That’s already served its purpose. I’ll tell you something else.”
“Shut up and let me talk, Lupin.”
“There’s no need to be rude.”
“What did I just say?” Remus stayed silent, as he was obviously supposed to do. “That’s what I thought. I want you to think about the attack.” Remus was on the verge of interrupting with ‘I have thought about it’ but closed his mouth when Severus gave him a look. Severus continued. “I don’t believe you’ve really stopped to think about it. Oh, you know it happened. Part of you accepts it in a clinical, detached way. But another part of you refuses to see it for what it was—a violation of your body and spirit. Part of you refuses to examine it; that part of you is hiding, afraid to come out and go through what people go through when they suffer such a violation. But you need to face it, Remus, even if it means feeling pain. Think about what you were feeling when you were in that room, chained to a table, surrounded by Death Eaters. You should feel anger, humiliation, shame, despair, hope, vengeance, anything connected with that night.”
“I can’t feel that.”
“Yes you can.”
“I can’t. I did feel all of that. But it wore me out. I can’t feel it anymore.
“You can, you just won’t. You should cry. You should hate them for raping you, and you should hate me for taking part in it. You should swear revenge on the people who caused you that pain.”
“Then maybe we should start smaller.”
Remus blinked at the hair-pin turn of direction, having been quite caught up in Severus’ spiel about emotions and trauma. He shook his head slightly, trying to brush off the nagging thought that maybe all of that hadn’t just been a plan—could Severus have meant it? Remus pushed this thought to the side for the time being as Severus got up and started to pace. Or Remus had thought he was going to pace. But Severus came around the end of the table and sat down again, right beside him. Remus had to turn to his left to look at Severus. “We’ll have to start smaller?”
“And what is smaller?”
But Severus didn’t say anything. He leaned forward and placed the tiniest of kisses on Remus’ mouth. Out of all the things Remus had expected, that hadn’t been one of them. Severus leaned forward again, this time tentatively pressing his tongue against Remus’ lips. Remus opened his mouth, and Severus’ tongue snaked in, tasting him. Severus put his hands in Remus’ hair, bringing their faces closer together. Remus couldn’t place what Severus tasted like, but it wasn’t unpleasant. It was actually quite nice. He moaned when Severus wrapped one arm around him and pulled their chests together. The other hand moved to the back of his neck to hold him there, and the hand that had drawn him closer dropped lower. Remus gasped as Severus began rubbing his swelling erection through his pants.
“How do you feel now?” he asked in a tone that Remus had never, ever thought he would hear coming from Severus Snape. It was low and inviting, but not completely un-Severus-like.
“All I feel now is horny.”
“We can work with that,” and before he knew it he was crushed against Severus, chests and groins touching, Severus’ tongue in his mouth and Severus’ hand down his pants. The other hand was still in Remus’ hair, holding them together, although quite unnecessarily. Remus let out a guttural groan and wound his arms around Severus’ neck.
They kissed for several more moments before Remus broke off and gasped, “Bedroom!”
They were on the stairs, they were in the hall, then in his room, and Severus was kicking the door shut and locking it and casting a silencing charm. Remus was working on Severus’ robe, silently cursing the man for wearing so many damned layers. Severus began working on Remus’ trousers. They were naked in no time, and Remus was on his back on the bed; Severus was sucking on his throat, biting his nipples, and oh, oh! His mouth sank down on Remus’ cock, and Remus was trying to pull him off, trying to get on with it so he wouldn’t cum before they got to the best part.
Severus turned Remus over on his stomach and began kissing his back. He cast a quick lubrication spell, and he had one slick finger inside Remus, who pushed back on it, wanting more. Another finger followed, and Remus let out a sob and begged Severus to do it now. Severus didn’t listen, but carefully worked in a third finger before slicking his own cock. He laid more light kisses on Remus’ back, and stroked Remus’ cock a few times before spreading his legs and slowly entering him. Remus moaned, and Severus drew out before slowly pushing back in. Remus clutched the sheets and whispered, “Please, please…” asking Severus to go faster.
Severus did, and before long he was thrusting full-force. Remus was keening; rocking wildly as Severus fucked him senseless. Fiery pleasure lanced through him as Severus hit his prostate again and again. The friction soon became unbearable, and Remus lunged desperately for release. Severus pounded him harder.
“Yes! Yes! Oh fuck yes!” Remus started yelling. He kept yelling without words as his back arched and his muscles seized, and all of the liquid fire inside him exploded out through his cock. Severus came immediately after him, not able to stand the pressure of Remus’ muscles squeezing his cock. He cried out loud as he came.
They both slumped on the bed, panting. Severus pulled out and rolled onto his side, still breathing heavily. He wrapped his arms around Remus and held him close. Their breathing evened out, and they both dozed in the endorphin rush of orgasm.
Remus abruptly woke some time later; how much later he couldn’t say. The room was chilly and he shivered, feeling the aches and strains of lovemaking as he did so. He couldn’t help but think of it as lovemaking. As aloof and cold as Severus could be, he wasn’t into casual sex. Remus didn’t know exactly what this was, but he knew it wasn’t a meaningless fuck.
Remus stretched again, and the dull ache in his arse brought a wave of bad memories. He sat up too quickly, and had to plant both feet on the floor to keep himself from toppling off the bed. He was sitting in the memories, as if something had been removed and now allowed these memories to touch him. His mind was filled with thoughts he wasn’t sure he was ready to face. The half-formed thoughts that were chasing themselves around in his mind made his head swim and his stomach turn.
He managed to make it to the bathroom before he vomited. It wasn’t as if everything was trying to get to him all at once, but everything was much closer than it had been. He retched again, and the bathroom door opened as Severus came in to kneel beside him. Absurdly Remus felt as if he owed Severus an explanation.
“This isn’t because of you… I mean us…it’s just…all those other things. I like this—us. But…”
“It’s all right. Breathe.” Remus realized that he actually hadn’t been breathing, and took a few slow breaths. “Here.” Severus wiped his face with a cool rag, and gave him a small glass of cold water. “Spit,” he commanded. Remus did.
He opened his mouth to say something else, but no words came out. He settled for more deep breaths and another drink of water. He tried again. “It’s—“
“All right. I know. It has to get worse before it gets better.” He held Remus to him and kissed his temple.
“Don’t go,” Remus whispered.
“I have classes to teach.”
“That’s not what I meant.” The protest sounded weak, even to Remus.
“I know. I’m not going anywhere.” Remus briefly wondered who this man was that had replaced Severus, but the thoughts clouding his mind didn’t let him dwell on it. Severus had certainly helped. He felt many things, but nothing wasn’t one of them.
It wasn’t apathy.
And that gave him hope.