TITLE: Bottoms Up
AUTHOR: The Treacle Tart
DISCLAIMER: All Harry Potter related characters and themes belong to JK Rowling, her publishers, and some lawyers.
NOTES: Challenge #115) The two get very, very drunk.
Special thanks to Angelfeather for her wonderful help and Portkey for being so very brave. Any mistakes you find belong to me.
SUMMARY: Snape and Lupin find they share an odd inclination.
By The Treacle Tart
He was fairly certain it was a new day. His neck was sore, his eyes hurt, and his mouth tasted of something rotting and mostly dead, all signs of a standard morning in the life of Severus Snape. Slowly blinking himself into consciousness, he found his assumptions confirmed by the wave of gallingly bright sunlight currently blinding him.
How the hell did sunlight find its way into the dungeon? This was not a good sign. One blood-shot eye opened fully to see blue bedding draped over his naked body.
Blue? Naked? Perhaps not so standard a morning after all.
He shifted in the bed and felt a familiar pain in the lower part of his body. Were it not for the pair of house elves presently tap dancing on his skull, he would have been more irritated that not only was he most assuredly not in the dungeons and was instead nursing his hangover in a strange bed with the evidence pointing to an evening of debauchery, but that he had bottomed as well. Those facts aside, his priority at the moment was ascertaining where he was, who he was with, and if he needed to perform a memory charm -- on his partner or himself.
He lifted his head as high as he could, before the vertigo set in, and had a look around. There was something familiar about the room, but he couldn’t focus enough to determine what. He saw enough to know that he had been in this room before, and fairly recently.
Damn. So much for hoping this was an anonymous encounter.
He tried to remember whatever he could about the night before. Two or three …or twelve glasses of Hagrid’s home brewed eggnog at Albus’s blasted staff Christmas party apparently did him in. So it was probably not a student. Thank Salazar for small favors; he didn’t have to go through that again. But who? There weren’t that many males at the party and chances were slim that he went home with a female. Just then, the mass of bedclothes next to him stirred and a rather hairy and muscled arm emerged and found its way across his midsection, pulling him close to an equally hairy and muscled chest.
Then they both froze.
Severus slowly turned as a tousled head surfaced from beneath the bedspread. A pair of irritated black eyes locked with a pair of bewildered amber ones. The werewolf?!? Did it have to be the werewolf? He should have seen this coming the minute he heard the beast was going to be employed at Hogwarts again. Lupin’s presence anywhere within a five mile radius of the Potions master could only mean Snape was going to suffer. There would be pain -- in one form or another.
The pair of house elves had now progressed into an entire theatrical troupe complete with orchestra, chorus line, and heckling audience. Ignoring the pounding in his skull, he tried to think of the quickest way to get out of the room, hopefully before the werewolf attempted to talk his way out of the situation.
“G’morning,” rasped a coarse, sleep filled voice.
No such luck. Oh, how he hated the morning-after banter.
“Whether or not this is a good morning is entirely up to interpretation, Lupin. Personally, I have my doubts.”
Snape watched as Lupin carefully lifted his arm away from his torso, much in same way a gazelle might slowly back away from a lion -- a rather jittery gazelle and a rather irate lion. When he was a safe distance he scanned his bedroom, or more accurately, what was left of his bedroom. The furniture was overturned, books and clothes were scattered about, and a long trail of claw marks was scratched into the wooden bedroom door. Lupin’s eyes mirrored the bewilderment that Snape felt. Whatever else last night was or wasn’t supposed to be, it was at the very least, one enthusiastic encounter.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” the werewolf murmured dropping his head into his hands. Snape thought that summed up the previous evening activities most efficiently.
“Why does this always happen?” Lupin continued. “You’d think I'd have learned my lesson after the last time.” He stretched his thumb and forefinger over his temple and pressed small circles into his brow.
“This has happened to you before?” Snape asked incredulously.
Lupin looked up quickly and the pained expression on his face showed this was probably a poor course of action. Snape found gratification in Lupin’s contorted face and took some solace in the fact that they both felt like hell. The grimace, however, didn’t stop the blush that colored Lupin’s cheeks as he began to stammer out a response to Snape’s previous question. “Interpersonal relationships are not really a luxury for my kind, Severus. I…I try to maintain a life of celibacy. Alcohol seems to bring out my baser tendencies.” This earned him what was sure to be only the first raised eyebrow of the morning.
“It seems every time I drink I end up in a … a similar situation. Truth be told, were it not for the alcohol, I most likely wouldn’t have any sex at all.” He seemed humiliated by the admission, which pleased Snape, but only slightly as the fact remained that the werewolf wasn’t alone in that bed -- and he was not the one who bottomed.
“How about you?” Lupin asked cautiously. “Has this happened to you before?”
Severus was prepared to tell the beast to keep his snout out of matters that did not concern him. Then he remembered he was naked in said beast’s bed, and perhaps this wasn’t the most opportune time to piss said beast off as he still had no clue what happened to his clothes -- and it was a very long walk to the dungeons. “It seems you and I do have one thing in common,” he admitted begrudgingly. “Normally, I am not one to purposely engage in the exchange of bodily fluids…but alcohol seems to have a similar effect on me.”
“Need a bit of liquid courage to warm you up, eh?” Lupin remarked with a lopsided smile.
Snape scowled. “I fail to see the humor in this situation, Lupin.”
“Come on Snape, even you can appreciate the irony in this,” he said, laughing at Snape’s obvious annoyance. “Besides, from what I can recall last night was…enjoyable. We are adults. I’m sure we can deal with this in the way most adults do.”
“And pray tell, how have you dealt with your passed liaisons?” Snape sneered.
“I find complete denial works best,” Lupin answered with a full grin.
“Ah… further proof of your superior mental faculties. Ingenious really. Why hadn’t I thought of that?” Snape took this moment to gather the comforter around his exposed chest and shoot several angry glares at his bedmate.
“Good old fashioned denial can work wonders, Severus, but I suppose I probably have had more practice than you,” Lupin remarked, shifting his eyes to watch Snape’s reaction.
“I doubt that,” the Potions master answered with a snort.
“Do you now? So, I gather this has happened more than just a few times?” Snape only shrugged. “Shall we compare notes, Severus?” he asked with a smirk. Apparently there was still a lot of Marauder left in Lupin.
“I am not up to a game of drunken dating disasters, thank you kindly,” Snape drawled.
Lupin lay back on his pillow, the bedspread slipping down his torso and stopping precariously low on his hip, just below a rather inviting line of hair trailing down his abdomen. He smirked again. “What sort of game are you up to, Severus?”
Snape’s eyes slowly perused Lupin’s frame. Some games were more dangerous than others. “Fine,” he finally answered, “but you go first.”
Lupin smiled, if somewhat dejectedly, and began: “As you can imagine it started in school, I took my first drink at 16 - Graphorn Vodka and I woke up morning next to Aaron Pogerbin-“
“You seem surprised.”
“I …well, I just assumed…the whole school assumed -”
“Sirius? You thought it was Sirius, right? I told you I don’t enter into physical relationships willingly, Severus. I certainly wouldn’t risk one of the few friendships I had for one night. Besides, Sirius wasn’t my type.”
“From what I recall he was the type of two thirds the school’s populace.”
“That’s just the point, isn’t it?”
Snape stared at Lupin for a moment, with a look of incomprehension on his dark features. The revelation was a startling one, changing everything he considered to be fact and history. Suddenly nothing made sense. What next: male wizard’s getting pregnant, a Weasley and a Malfoy secretly dating, perhaps Potter was really his son. He was struck mute until Lupin interrupted his thoughts. “Your turn to speak now, Severus. That’s how the game is played.”
Snape paused briefly to purse his lips and roll his eyes. “Fine. I learned of my predilection during my school days as well,” Snape began, his tone of disinterest laced with boredom. “Celebratory revelry after a Gryffindor/Slytherin Quidditch Match. Geoffrey Nott had several bottles of lager. After two and a half bottles I was decidedly sociable -- and apparently an avid fan of the sport.”
“Geoffrey Nott,” Lupin said appraisingly. “I remember him -- good looking, really broad shoulders. You did spend a lot of time with him, didn’t you?”
“Yes. Good looking, broad shoulders and in possession of an inordinate amount of lager. It made my school days tolerable.”
“Ah, a repeat offender.”
“We won the Quidditch and House Cup that year. There were a lot of…celebratory revelries.”
Lupin laughed just then, a thick rich laugh coming from deep in his belly. It was a sight to see; mostly naked, hair in complete disarray, a spark in his eyes, full pink lips stretched in a broad smile over white straight teeth.
This was not going well, not for Snape who couldn’t seem to remember what they were talking about. He tried to recall how this conversation started. Lupin. Head in hands. Murmuring, ‘Fuck, fuck, fuck….Why does this always happen?.. You’d think I’d learned my lesson after the last time…’
“Out of idle curiosity, Lupin,” he began, his customary drawl firmly back in place, “Who was the last time that you should have learned your lesson from?”
Lupin stopped laughing, but not smiling, and answered with a small shrug. “Oliver Wood. Harry’s eighteenth birthday party at the Burrow. There was an impromptu Quidditch game. Oliver had injured his arm during a game the previous day and was relegated to sideline duty with me. A few glasses of the Twin’s Special Formula Butter Beer later, Oliver and I barely made it to the pantry closet in the kitchen, which was the first room we could find. It was actually great until he called me Professor and I sobered up as quickly as if I’d seen a naked Dumbledore. I felt like a letch…a very old letch. Former students are the worst, Severus.”
“Current students are not much better,” Snape replied derisively.
“A student, Severus. I’m shocked,” he said, wide eyed.
“He was of age and flaunting 50 year old Macallan.”
“Promising start, I suppose. But he hoped for more?”
‘Perceptive werewolf,’ Snape thought, almost impressed. “The last six months of his schooling were spent avoiding his declarations of love. Flowers, chocolates, sonnets, scented bath salts - “
“No more Macallan?”
“Unfortunately, Mr. Zabini’s talents did not include cognitive thought or rudimentary logic. He never made the connection.”
“Moron, aye,” Lupin said, sympathetically.
Severus nodded. “Married a Hufflepuff and is currently raising a Weasley-sized litter. Merlin help me if I am still teaching when they mature.”
That earned him a chuckle. “Weasley-sized litter,” he muttered laughingly while giving Severus a calculated look. ”I’ve had a Weasley, you know,” Lupin said with a challenging grin.
“I’ve had two,” Snape countered. Check and mate. Lupin seemed to be enjoying the game, and much to his chagrin, so was Snape.
“Charlie Weasley,” Lupin began. “We got into a discussion about taming dark creatures, a few pints later we were in the alley way behind the pub. He showed me some of his more effective techniques. Quite a capable young man, very…dynamic. What about you?”
“William brought me a very fine bottle of bourbon when visiting the school during the Tri -Wizard Tournament several years ago. We nearly missed the second challenge.”
“More recently, Percy and some vintage scotch he was interested in sharing.”
“Percy? I thought he was straight,” Lupin remarked, surprised.
“He is for the most part. He has a certain penchant that his fiancÚ doesn’t know about.”
Snape just smiled, a more wolfish smile than Lupin had ever seen.
“I think that’s enough information,” Lupin said while waving his hands in the air. “I’m not sure I’m prepared to know about your fetishes.”
“Coward,” Snape commented, the beginnings of a less lecherous, more genuine smile on the corners of his lips.
There was a growing sense of comfort between the two and air was getting a bit easier to breathe. Snape still had no idea where his clothes were, but he was not in such a hurry to leave. He guessed this is what the others referred to as having fun. He wondered if the rest of the staff would be so quick to tell him to relax if they realized the lengths needed to reach that goal.
“Ever ended up with a woman?” Lupin asked, eager to continue the game.
Snape nodded. “A bottle of shiraz lead to an encounter with Maura Hooch.”
“Maura Hooch? I though she was-“
“She is. But after a bottle of wine and a few years of celibacy she was willing to try anything…including men.”
Lupin gave a wicked grin. “How was she?”
“In charge,” Snape answered truthfully. “For the most part, I laid back and she took things into her own hands -- so to speak. Really, it was all I could do to keep up. Riding brooms all day gives her very formidable thigh muscles. When she decides to take control you would do well to just hang on for dear life and go along for the ride.”
”Hold on and pray for mercy.”
“Basically,” Snape agreed. “It was oddly… educational.”
Snape nodded. “She likened it to riding a Firebolt and barked out instructions and coordinates. She was very informative. My flying improved markedly after that.”
Lupin let out another great laugh. “That’s priceless,” he said, grinning, his eyes glistening. “Was she the only one?”
Snape thought for a moment. “Chablis with Minerva McGonagall one Easter. Cabernet with Irma Pince one Halloween. Chianti with Rosmerta when I was chaperoning a Hogsmeade weekend.”
Snape paused in contemplation before giving a quick nod. “McGonagall purrs when if you stroke her neck and Pince shouts when she climaxes,” he confessed.
“Wanted a tip.”
“You don’t say. Did you tip her?”
“She did provide admirable service.” Snape did smile fully then and let the blanket he was clutching fall to his lap.
“You do realize that wine makes you straight,” Lupin observed.
“I have noticed the pattern, yes.”
“For me it’s brandy,” Lupin returned. “For some reason brandy makes me seek out the fairer sex. Mulberry brandy with Analese Vector after final exams, Blackberry brandy with Sybil Trelawney on the Summer’s Solstice, and Apricot brandy with Fleur Delacour at a Ministry function.”
“Delcour? The French tart?”
“The very same. Nice to look at but not worth the hassle. She didn’t move much and called me for weeks afterwards. In all honesty, that accent is grating when not muted by copious amounts of liquor. It was nearly enough to drive me to cast an Unforgivable if only for the pleasant sounds of Azkaban.”
“How was Trelawney?” Snape asked, curiously.
“Surprisingly good, actually. She has thing for silk scarves and burning herbs, made for an interesting time, though at a few points I was left wondering if I was supposed so be the evening’s sacrifice.”
Snape noted the hesitation and pounced. This would be good. “Well what?”
“There was Nymphadora Tonks, but I’m not sure she counts.”
“Why wouldn’t she count?”
“Well, she’s a Metamorphmagus...”
“And?” Severus was waiting to see where this was going.
“She could change her body…”
So, that’s where it was going. “Go on,” Snape encouraged.
“Well she …she fashioned herself a …a rather impressive…”
“You bottomed didn’t you?”
Lupin buried his face in his hands and muttered, “Peach brandy.”
It was Snape’s turn to laugh aloud. It was an odd sound, quite foreign to his own ears. His laugh was deeper than Lupin’s, but just as rich. “I’ve had a few more…unusual encounters myself, Lupin,” he managed to say but was unable to keep the amusement out of his voice. “It’s to be expected when one has the propensities that we share.”
“Like who?” he asked.
Snape shook his head. “Some information is not meant to be shared, Lupin.”
“Oh, come on. Can it be any worse that what I just told you?”
Snape hesitated but decided that Lupin could never really talk of this without damning himself -- and no one really liked Snape all that much anyway -- well, at least not sober -- so what did it matter.
“There was Ollivander,” he admitted.
“I was getting a replacement wand. He plied me with absinthe and told me in order to get a second wand he had to take special measurements. I only started to suspect he had ulterior motives when I was naked and bent over the counter and…well, at that point I thought I might as well finish what was started.”
“Very diligent of you.”
“I do believe in following through.”
They smiled at each other, a knowing smile that said, ‘I have something on you.’ But there was no malice or spite, just amity and understanding. There was something almost gentle in Lupin’s gaze; eyes the color of a rich honey, which Snape never really noticed before. He also noticed how Lupin’s hair was too long in the front and touched his eyelids, nearly tickling his long lashes.
Once again the werewolf interrupted his train of thought as he sought to continue the contest. “That is a good story, Severus, but I see your Ollivander and raise you one Flitwick.”
“You and Flitwick?” Snape couldn’t hide his surprise.
“Lots and lots of Firewhiskey,” Lupin justified.
“I don’t think there is enough liquor in the world-”
“No, really, it wasn’t that bad.”
“How does that work…logistically?” Snape asked despite himself.
“He’s a charms master,” Lupin answered, straightforwardly. “He levitated himself.”
“You don’t say,” he replied, impressed.
“Really it was fascinating, and for a little man he is surprisingly well-”
“Don’t say it,” Snape interrupted. “I beg of you. Don’t continue that description.”
“Fine, fine. Who’s the coward now?” Lupin mocked. “It’s your call.”
“I see your Flitwick and raise you one weekend at the Malfoy’s,” Snape said plainly.
“Ah, which Malfoy.”
“All of them.”
“Well that would be a full house, wouldn’t it?” Lupin gave a crooked smile.
“Most definitely,” Snape retorted. “Narcissa and a bottle of Merlot on Friday, Lucius and several glasses of cognac on Saturday, and Draco and an undetermined amount of vodka mixed in with my orange juice after Sunday brunch.”
“Mentally more than physically. They look so bloody similar I was afraid of calling out the wrong name. It’s difficult enough to tell them apart when sober, and I spend most of that weekend in varying states of intoxication. But I digress, I do believe it is your turn.”
“That is a tough one to beat. How about a bottle of spiced rum and Kingsley Shacklebolt?”
“Shacklebolt. What makes that an unusual encounter?”
“Nothing really. I was just bragging.”
Now both men were laughing. Their voices mingled in the air and blended together. It felt…natural.
“Your turn, Severus,” Lupin said, softly.
Snape looked at Lupin through narrowed eyes before continuing. The game was fun, but a Snape played to win, and it was time to pull out his trump card. “Hagrid.”
“Hagrid?” Lupin’s expression was one of fear and awe.
“Not my responsibility,” Snape was quick to add. “I had no idea the pumpkin juice fermented.”
“Is your hearing impaired, wolf?”
“How is that even possible, Severus. I mean it’s got to be…”
“We didn’t go that far, Lupin, as is evident by the fact that I am still able to walk. He used his hands and -”
“It was more than sufficient. Have you ever seen his hands?”
“And I’ll never be able to look at them again thanks to you.”
“You asked. I was more than willing to keep the information to myself.”
“Good God, Man…Hagrid…dear Lord in Heaven.”
Oddly, Snape liked being able to shock Lupin into incoherent babbling. It was nice to be able to ruffle that veneer. Everyone kept trying to get Snape to unwind and be more approachable. Few people realized that Lupin was just as reserved and just as private. It was easier to accept from the werewolf because he was so cordial and kind. No one found his demeanor abrasive, so no one sought to change it. In actuality, there was really little difference in the two men. They were both secretive and both lived behind masks. One mask always smiling, one mask always frowning, but both always on...performing.
“I take your inability to form a coherent sentence to mean I’ve won.”
Lupin--still stunned--turned to face Snape directly. “I can’t beat that one, Severus,” he said. “Was it…was it enjoyable?”
Snape looked thoughtful for a moment. “They are all enjoyable to a point, I suppose. It feels good throughout, I can’t deny that. It’s the afterward that seems most troublesome.”
“Like now,” Lupin said in almost a whisper.
Snape was slightly confused by the timbre in Lupin’s voice. “As surprised as I am to say it, this hasn’t been as tedious as most encounters,” he admitted.
“I’ll take that as a compliment, Severus,” Lupin replied, all too pleased with himself.
“That is your choice, Lupin.” Snape looked down and brushed something from the comforter covering his legs, trying to ignore Lupin’s eyes upon him.
“I have to admit this was probably one of the best ‘morning afters’ I’ve ever had,” Lupin remarked. “Usually there is a lot of apologizing, promises no one intends to carry out, dates that never occur…most I’d just like to forget.”
“Most?” Snape asked, softly.
Lupin looked away, choosing to stare out his window rather than face the Potions master. “There was one that stands out in my memory. The irony of it all is that the one I want to remember most is the one I can barely remember at all.” He looked oddly sad at the admission.
“It was last year, just after Voldemort’s defeat. There was lots of people and lots of liquor and lots of …everything. I don’t remember who it was, but I do remember it was really wonderful. I remember feeling sad when I woke up alone because I thought...I hoped…anyway he left. I still think about that night now and again. He whispered the most…” Lupin paused. His shoulders slowly began to drop and he turned to face Snape. He narrowed his eyes as he scrutinized his bedmate. “You were there weren’t you? At the Cask and Flagon,” he finally said.
“Yes,” Snape answered, slowly.
“But you didn’t drink that night.”
He stiffened slightly. “No. No, I believe I didn’t.”
“You said…you said you didn’t want to remember the occasion through a drunken haze. That it was too important for that…”
“That’s sounds like something I might say.”
“So you were sober that night,” Lupin said, carefully.
“It was you,” Lupin alleged in a breathy whisper.
“What was me?”
“That night…you were the one I spent the night with.”
“Lupin,” Snape uttered, “Perhaps you are not as sober as you’d like to think -“
He smiled out of the corner of his mouth. “You like to talk during sex, Severus. You whispered things to me last night. The same things you whispered-“
“Lupin, when hallucinations set-in it is time to seek medical attention. This has been pleasant, but I’m not interested in your delusions. If you would kindly tell me where my -”
Before he could say another word, before he could leave, Lupin was on top of him and had him pinned to the bed, his knees restraining Snape’s thighs as he straddled him. He leaned forward, his hands holding down Snape’s arms.
“Don’t even think about it, Severus. I’m not letting you walk out again. It was you and you can’t blame it on the alcohol. You can claim last night was the result of too much drinking, but not last year. Last year you were stone cold sober, you knew exactly what you were doing. You were there because you wanted to be…you wanted to be with me.”
“Kindly remove your paws from my person, Lupin,” Snape nearly shouted, twisting underneath the surprisingly strong grip of the werewolf.
“Not until you admit the truth.” Lupin nearly pleaded.
“What does it matter?” Snape nearly growled.
“It matters to me. It matters because it was the one time in my sordid sexual history that I wanted more than just the one night. The one time that felt like …that it felt like making love.”
Snape stopped struggling and looked into the amber eyes fixed on him. There was no anger or disgust, the emotions he thought would result from the revelation of the one night he had abandoned his senses. There was some confusion there, some understanding, and the slightest glimmer of affection…of hope. His resolve melted away.
“It was a very important night for me, Remus,” he began softly. “I don’t think you can could comprehend what I was feeling. I’ve spent decades paying for one youthful indiscretion, for one moment of recklessness and selfishness. To free myself from one master I had to pledge myself to another. One would see me drawn and quartered, and then resurrected to have it done again. The other would allow him to do so in the name of the greater good.”
Remus’s grip on his arms lightened as he spoke, but his eyes never left Snape’s.
“That night was the first time I was truly free since I was eighteen - from any master. That one moment erased twenty years of pain. Against reason, I had survived, my debts paid. For the first time in my life I actually knew the meaning of joy. I was positively drunk with it already, I needed nothing more. I wanted to remember every second of that night. I wanted it to be clear and unclouded in my memory as the night my life truly began. And you were there…and laughing…and flirting…and I wanted to be eighteen again for just one moment.”
“Why did you leave?” Remus asked, his voice tight, tears pooling in his eyes.
“Why would I stay? You were obviously intoxicated and I took advantage of that. I thought it was what you would want.” Snape looked away.
Remus grasped Snape’s chin with his thumb and forefinger and gently turned his head so they were faced to face once more. He ran a knuckle across Snape’s jaw and gave a little smile. “Since when do you care what I want?”
“What do you want?” Snape asked, his voice barely a whisper.
Lupin tucked a stray lock of hair behind Snape’s ear. “To start again.”
“You want to court me, Lupin?” Snape thought that should have sounded more absurd than it did.
“You already called me Remus so we can dispense with this surname nonsense, Severus,” he said with fondness. “I want to start from the beginning. Dinner this evening. Just the two of us. Fully clothed.”
“A bit backward, isn’t it,” Snape replied, raising his eyebrow because he felt the occasion called for it.
“Probably, but I believe that’s how it’s done. Not that I have much personal experience in the matter, but it makes sense when one is looking to build something to last.”
“You’re serious.” Severus allowed himself a bit of a smile he would be sure to reprimand himself for at some later point.
“Quite,” Lupin answered, sincerely.
“Aren’t you afraid you won’t find me appealing without the benefit of inebriation?”
“I might,” Remus said grinning sheepishly, “if I had actually drank anything last night.”