The Intentions of Others Posted originally on the Archive of Our Own at http://archiveofourown.org/works/19844863.

Rating: Explicit

Archive Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply Category: M/M

Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling Relationship: Remus Lupin/Severus Snape

Character: Severus Snape, Remus Lupin, Alous Dumbledore, Aurora Sinistra, Filius Flitwick, Pomona Sprout, Rolanda Hooch, Harry Potter, Hermione

Granger, Ron Weasley

Additional Tags: Book 3: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Attempt at Humor, POV Severus Snape, Explicit Sexual Content, Sexual Tension, Porn with Feelings, Getting Together, Comedy, Humor, Eventual Romance, Porn With Plot, First Times Published: 2019-08-13 Completed: 2019-08-30 Chapters: 8/8 Words: 29078

The Intentions of Others

by BunnyBopper

Summary

Severus Snape knows Lupin is hiding something, but he can be guilty of jumping to conclusions.

Notes

This is my first fic. Hope you enjoy! Comments very much appreciated.

WARNING: homophobic language once

Chapter 1

It was 2pm on Tuesday the 4th of J anuary when Severus Snape found himself in one of the dullest

staff meetings he could remember. The post-Christmas slump (that even he was not immune to) had made most of them struggle to focus on today’s agenda. Even the most irritatingly passionate among them such as Flitwick and Sprout were displaying a lack of enthusiasm. The important topic had been covered school security; protective enchantment duty was assigned, issues surrounding the dementors were addressed, Sirius Black’s most recent sighting was confirmed to be simply Fang having a particularly bad hair day, and, of course, the extra measures to ensure the safety of Harry Potter were put in place. Severus was met with the usual sighs and poorly concealed eye rolls when he made his (now bi-weekly) argument that no one student should be singled out for such special treatment. After that, he had slipped into his usual passive-aggressive silence.

They had now moved on to individual issues the professors wished to raise about their own subjects. As headmaster Dumbledore calmly explained, for the third time that afternoon, why divination was not considered ‘the very foundation of magical education’ and would not be rolled out to first and second years to ‘hone their talents from a young age,’ Severus felt his mind straying. His thoughts turned to the man he had the misfortune to be sitting across from. The man who had grown from the boy who had literally ran with the pack of his childhood tormentors. The man responsible for the triggering of over a hundred painful memories (memories that Severus had somehow managed to repress) since he arrived to teach the position he was so very underqualified for. Remus Lupin.

Now Severus knew that, for better or worse, he was a quick judge of character. Of course, his natural talent in the art of legilimency made it easy for him to understand the thoughts and intentions of others, though it rarely took the use of this for him to decide that most people were self-absorbed idiots. However, Lupin was one of the few people he had trouble understanding his feelings over. Oh, he hated him obviously, he just wasn’t sure if he hated him more or less than the rest of his teenage associates. Technically Lupin had never directly wronged him but neither had he possessed enough Griffindor bravery to call out the repulsive behaviour of his friends which he so clearly disagreed with. There were not many things Severus hated more than cowardice.

He allowed himself a moment to study him. The years had definitely not been kind. His face showed an unhealthy pale slackness, his thinning and prematurely greying hair was threatening to recede and Severus thought he could see more age lines by the day. Not to mention the new facial scars he had acquired. Severus wondered briefly what the rest of his body looked like under his tattered robes. Though despite all this he had to admit that Lupin still retained some of the soft handsomeness he had possessed in his youth. His elbows rested on the table, palms pressed together as if he was thoughtfully listening though Severus very much doubted he was.

Lupin’s eyes flicked briefly towards his as he became aware of Severus’ gaze. The man had only ever afforded him the briefest of eye contact during their stiffly polite and only-when-necessary interactions which made Severus certain he had something to hide. He realised he had begun to stare when Lupin shifted and crossed his arms over his lap defensively, betraying his discomfort. Well, what did he care if he made the werewolf nervous? In fact, he actively encouraged it.

Seated to Lupin’s right was Professor Sinistra. The pair had certainly become very friendly since Lupin had started in the position that, by all logical reasoning, should be his own. As he watched he observed her lean over and whisper something into his ear. Severus felt a sting of irritation at the way she made his eyes crinkle in amusement and the breath exhale from his nose in discreet

replacement for laughter. This quickly turned to a hot anger as Sinistra patted his elbow and

allowed her hand to rest there a moment too long. Wait. Were they actually fucking?! Oh, one certainly did not need legilimency to determine HER intentions. Those were blatantly obvious in the way she played with her dark hair and batted her even darker eyes whenever Lupin was around. But would they really both be so....so....unprofessional?!

His indignant stare must have become too intense as Lupin gave him a rare moment of full eye contact. Severus didn’t mean to enter his mind but the intensity of what Lupin was feeling was so strong it practically radiated through to him. Desire. Arousal. Merlin, how was the man managing to maintain his composure enough to actually sit through this meeting? Severus was already finding himself hot-under-the-collar just being exposed to it. Lupin looked away before Severus could see any formed thoughts but the object of his feelings seemed pretty clear.

They were fucking then. Why did that piss him off so much? He’d certainly never held any feelings for Sinistra though she was undoubtedly an attractive woman. Hypocrisy. That was something he hated more than cowardice. How could Lupin have the fucking audacity to sit there, in the position that was rightfully Severus’, and instead of paying attention he was lusting over a colleague and sporting an absolutely raging

"No objections from you Severus?"

The sound of his name from Albus Dumbledore snapped him out of his thoughts. He has no idea what he was talking about. Shit.

"Pm sorry?" All eyes were on him now.

"I asked if you had any objections to Madam Hooch’s proposal," Albus repeated with that familiar twinkle in his eye. Fuck.

"Ah of course no none at all." A collective confusion spread among the teachers. Oh Merlin, what had he just agreed to?

"Well that’s agreed then!" Albus beamed. "The Slytherin quidditch team will give up one of their weekly practice sessions to accommodate Madam Hooch’s new outdoor yoga and mindfulness sessions to help students who are struggling with the extra pressures of this difficult year."

Shitfuck.

Severus’ rage had reached new heights as the meeting drew to a close and Rolanda took him aside to express her gratitude and offer him ‘a private session any time’ now she was aware he was ‘open to alternative practices’. As he made to swoop from the room the sound of Sinistra’s voice made him stop in his tracks.

"Would you be free right now Remus?" "Well ah...."

Oh no. This was NOT happening. Not in the middle of the day. Certainly not on school grounds. Granted no student had returned from Christmas break yet but that did not give them the right to

"Tm so excited to see this grindylow of yours...." I'll bet you are, Severus thought as he glided over to them.

"Oh, Severus!" Sinistra acknowledged him with surprise. "It's commendable of you to sacrifice

some of your team’s practice time. I think it's so important to make room for new things that may help our students."

"Quite."

Lupin cleared his throat. "I have to confess I’m surprised you feel that way, Severus," he said with mildly concealed amusement, all while still avoiding any eye contact.

"Yes, well we all possess hidden depths don’t we?" he snapped irritably. "[’m afraid I must steal Lupin away from you Aurora. I have an important matter to discuss with him."

"Couldn’t this wait until after dinner Severus?" Lupin asked uncomfortably.

"Tm afraid not. The matter is urgent and rather delicate," Severus stressed the final word before stepping between them and ushering Lupin towards the door. He couldn’t resist turning to Sinistra before leaving and saying in a lower tone "Don’t worry; I’m sure there will be an opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with his grindylow another time."

"Um....?’m sorry what do you mea..." Sinistra began, looking stricken, but Severus was already walking away. He strode ahead of Lupin who didn’t appear to have heard. As they walked towards the dungeons he made sure to remain a few steps ahead so the man would be unable to attempt any kind of small talk. Stopping as they reached his classroom door, Severus opened it swiftly and indicated for Lupin to go inside. After they had both entered he took a moment to savour the anxiety in Lupin’s face. They were in his domain now.

"Yes Severus, what do you need to speak to me about? Are there problems with the Lycanthropy potion?" Despite his obvious concern Lupin still spoke with the calm and quiet confidence that had begun to so infuriate him over the past few months. Lupin liked to play the role of the caring, compassionate teacher. The one students could sip tea with and spill their worries to. But Severus knew from experience that, when it counted, Remus Lupin could not be relied upon to step up. That’s who he truly was. A coward who bent to the will of others purely to satisfy his desperate need to be liked.

"Oh no, that is quite within my skill set," he replied with a cold smile. "I’m afraid this is about a different delicate matter. One that nonetheless concerns me greatly."

"Go on." Oh, he would.

"You see I’ve heard rumour that people with your —ah- condition can experience certain secondary effects in the week leading up to transformation."

"Which ‘secondary effects' would you be referring to?" Lupin asked, "The anxiety? The sleeplessness? The increased urge for rare meat?" smiling as he tried and failed to deflect the tension with humour.

"Well, if you wish me to be blunt Lupin, what I’m referring to is increase in sexual drive," Severus put on his silkiest voice and dialled up the malice a notch. It was true that Severus had heard this rumour. Although he did have cause to doubt its validity as it came from the drunken boasting of one of Greyback’s lackeys during a death eater celebration many years ago. But Severus knew the shame Lupin felt about his werewolf status so equating that to his sexual feelings seemed a sure way to break him. He stepped in closer. "I hear some people can find this difficult to control."

Lupin’s eyes widened as he unconsciously moved back away from him.

"Hah, well I’m afraid what you’ ve heard is exactly that rumour," he laughed nervously as he touched the back of his long neck before rubbing his steadily reddening ear.

"Really? Because I would hate for anything to affect the ability to do your job....or your conduct here."

Lupin stiffened. "My con-? N-Now wait just a minute!"

"You did seem rather distracted by a certain someone during today’s meeting," Severus taunted as he advanced further. He was fully enjoying himself now. He paused again to take in the flush that had risen up Lupin’s neck. The pale scar tissue patterned there becoming more prominent by contrast.

Severus would have time to psychoanalyse why he was getting hard later. Right now, he was completely focused on his need to torment the other man. Make him squirm. That way at least he would have some shame when he went running off to Sinistra.

"And I assume you’ ve been hoping they could provide you with some ah relief from your difficulties," he continued.

Lupin stopped his retreat and gazed at him. "You looked inside my mind," he stated.

"One has to use the talents one has to confirm the intentions of others, especially when the school’s reputation is at stake. I mean, we’ve had our fair share of scandals, but I think this one would take the cake, don’t you? Two teachers caught up in an affair involving rampant lunar-induced sex?"

"So what are you saying?"

"[’m saying that I want you to know that I know....and that the other party is more than willing....despite the significant risk."

Time to get him spooked. The fear that Severus might go to the Daily Prophet might just be enough to render him unable to perform tonight.

"But I thought....I didn’t think you...." Lupin stuttered out between increasingly rapid breaths. He had backed up so his ass hit the front of the dark oak desk that Severus taught from and he could go no further. Severus wasn’t sure what he was babbling on about. Perhaps he was becoming incoherent from stress. Severus squared up to the taller man.

"Well, that..."

When his face was mere inches away from Lupin’s he summoned up the cruellest smirk in his arsenal.

"Is where you are sorely mistaken."

It was happening before Severus could register it. Lupin’s mouth was on his. His arms wrapped fiercely around his back pulling him into a tight embrace. And Severus was responding to the kiss before he knew what he was doing. His hands had somehow wrapped themselves in Lupin’s short, pale hair as the other man’s own hands had slid down to his lower back to pull Severus’ hips forwards to feel his now impossible-to-conceal erection.

"I didn’t think you liked men," Lupin managed to pant out the end of his earlier sentence as they

broke for air. Severus was hardly in the position to deny that now, not even to himself. "I could feel you watching me all through that meeting and I got so fucking worked up..." Lupin continued before kissing him again. Severus could then only watch in stunned shock as Lupin began undoing the many fastenings of his robes "...I thought I was going to have to make my excuses right then and there." Abandoning the last few in frustration he glided his hands over Severus’ smooth chest. "But I thought you hated me too much to even..." Lupin’s words trailed off as he began to kiss his neck. Severus could only respond in gasps and the occasional stifled moan as the kissing turned to tongue and teeth.

"I —uh-w-wait!" It was Severus’ turn to stutter as Lupin spun him by the shoulders so he was the one now pressed up against his own desk. He had to grip the wood with both hands to avoid toppling backward from the force. By the time he’d steadied himself Lupin was already on his knees in front of him. Without pausing from unfastening Severus’ trousers Lupin looked up at him and let out a groan before saying-

"Please don’t make me wait any longer Severus. I’ve wanted to do this for so long."

If there was a time to stop this Severus knew it was now, but the moment passed and he let it. It was then too late to protest even if he wanted to as Severus Snape was, possibly for the first time, rendered speechless as he felt the wet heat of Lupin’s mouth around his cock. He remained so as the man began to move his head to create a friction that was glorious beyond words. He was not silent however as Lupin began to elicit from him an extremely uncharacteristic chorus of moans.

Amazing what a rush of dopamine could do to a person, Severus reflected as he looked down at

the man he had wanted to destroy ten minutes ago. Now he was gazing at him in awe. And was that a swell of affection in his chest? Merlin help him. Lupin’s eyes were closed as he worked him using his hands and mouth with a technique that was bordering on erratic. Like he was more focused on the sheer pleasure of the act he was performing than what Severus was feeling. That wasn’t a problem though because it felt so fucking good. Someone showing such raw desire for him was, until now, an alien concept for Severus. Dear god, this was going to be over humiliatingly quickly.

Perhaps Lupin had sensed he was on the brink because all of a sudden, he stopped. Severus let out a sound somewhere between a whimper and a whine that he had no idea he was capable of making. He would have worried about his reputation if he had been able to worry about anything other than his need to come right-fucking-now. But Lupin was standing up now. For one ridiculous moment, Severus began to think this had all been some Marauder prank that had finally come to fruition after years of planning. He imagined a teenage Potter, Black and Pettigrew were going to appear from beneath their invisibility cloak laughing and jeering with disgust about how they always knew he was a “fucking fag’. The irrational fear caused Severus to flinch away from Lupin as he was moving in to touch him again.

Then those amber eyes sought his black ones and he saw them - flashes of Lupin’s memories. First, his own intense stare looking at him across the staff table not thirty minutes ago. Then a flash of him tucking a strand of dark hair behind his ear as he leaned over his cauldron to perfect the wolfsbane potion the day Lupin came to collect his first dose. Severus hadn’t realised how much of his pale collarbone was exposed when he undid the top two buttons of his robes to combat the heat of the rising steam. Better not do that in company again. And then further back still as he saw himself as a teenager laughing at something Lucius had said to a gang of Slytherins in the Great Hall. The accompanied emotions of jealousy and sadness were definitely not his own.

Now they were back in the present. Lupin no Remus (he supposed he should think of him in first name terms now) was clasping his hand and studying his face with concern in an attempt to

discern what was wrong. Before he could open his mouth to ask. Before the inevitable ‘Sorry, this was a mistake...” Severus quickly leaned in to initiate a kiss for the first time that afternoon. Lupin’s mouth was still wet and as Severus tasted himself on another person for the first time, he briefly reflected that the experience was less repulsive and far more erotic than he’d ever anticipated.

The time for reflection passed as the passion between them was rekindled almost instantly with Remus responding even more enthusiastically than before. As he moved to kiss the collarbone he was apparently so enamoured with, Severus heard himself speak before the words could register.

"I don’t hate you." Remus snickered softly into his neck making Severus shudder at the warmth of his breath.

"Well I’m certainly glad to hear that," he responded before turning to look at Severus again. He smiled his kind smile at him as he moved his hand up to brush away the hair that had fallen in front of Severus’ face before running a thumb over his bruised bottom lip. Something seemed to snap in Remus then as one hand began frantically undoing the lower half of his robes while the other that was still holding Severus’ own began pulling him south. "Oh fuck, please touch me, Severus...I need you to..."

Severus hesitated again for a moment. It wasn’t a lack of willingness. Right now he wanted nothing more than to make Remus feel as good as he himself had just felt. He WANTED to touch him, it was just, well....nobody would win any prizes for guessing that Severus Snape didn’t get laid very often. Ok, he didn’t get laid at all. Oh, he’d had his fair share of sexual debauchery in his death eater days. Lucius used to take him to a specific ‘gentlemen only’ establishment in the seediest part of Knockturn alley where the women there seemed only too happy to accommodate the will of two of the highest-ranking members of The Dark Lord’s inner circle. Self-preservation on their part he later supposed, but at the time it felt like the validation he so desperately craved after a childhood shaped by rejection. Things, as they so often did when Lucius was involved, sometimes turned to the borderline macabre, and being exposed to that kind of sex at such a young age had, of course, shaped Severus’ feelings towards it. The result being that he now associated it with the worst parts of himself.

Then after the war after he lost Lily Severus had had no interest in pursuing anyone or anything of that nature. He told himself it was beneath him but deep down he knew it was because he felt unworthy. The biological urge arose of course but Severus took care of it with the same attitude he took towards maintaining any other part of his body. His very real fear now was that he wouldn’t possess enough skill or passion to make Remus feel what he wanted him to. Not to mention he’d never been with another man before....

Stop overthinking, Severus chastised himself, just let something good happen to you for once!

His fears proved unfounded as he grasped Remus in his hand. Something clicked into place as he felt the man’s hard length, so like him and yet so different. Severus soon adjusted to the unfamiliar angle and built a rhythm so he was able to focus on Remus’ reaction. Surely this was disproportionate to what he was doing? He was writhing and sighing and kissing and moaning Severus’ name along with a string of expletives. It wasn’t long before Remus was thrusting into his hand uncontrollably. Perhaps Severus had managed to pass off his earlier nervous hesitation as a more characteristic cruel teasing. Speaking of....

Severus slowed things down to a torturous pace and carefully avoided the most sensitive part of Remus for now. He smirked as he was rewarded with frustrated groans, repeated begging, and more curse words that were beginning to sound really fucking sexy coming from the normally so

composed man. They kissed again and while he was distracted Remus moved in to resume his hold on Severus’ cock. All thought for teasing disappeared as Severus began to unconsciously move the hand on Remus faster due to his own desperate need to climax. Pretty soon it was happening. Each man moaning into the other’s mouth as they rode the intense pleasure of their release.

Neither of them possessed enough blood in the muscles of their legs to remain up right now. Severus placed his full weight back against his desk and Remus slumped on top of him. He reached his arms up around Remus’ back to support him in a close embrace as he listened to him let out a string of ‘thank-you’s and “so good’s. They stayed like that for some time. Severus’ mind was finally free of introspection and filled only with closeness and connection.

The calmness didn’t last for long however as the enormity of what they had both done hit Severus and Remus at the same time when they finally pulled away from each other. There they stood in an unprotected, unsilenced classroom in the middle of the day hair dishevelled, lips bruised, clothes half-on-half-off. He hadn’t even locked the door! Severus realised as they quickly fumbled themselves back in the confines of their robes and vanished the evidence of their deed that was covering them both. Lupin turned from him and quickly walked straight out the door. Standing alone Severus was surprised to find the cold sense of dread in his stomach quickly turn to the intense yet familiar pain of rejection. So that was it, he thought. Now it was over Remus was done with him and he was too disgusted to even give him a parting look.

But after several moments he was back, stuffing some parchment into his back pocket and pointedly locking the door behind him before looking at Severus with an embarrassed grin.

"[’m pretty sure we got away with it. The dungeons are completely deserted. Even Peeves is up in the astronomy tower."

Severus wasn’t sure how Lupin would have had the time to discern that or how he could be so certain that the howler announcing their instant dismissal wasn’t about to come sliding under the door. He decided not to question it though as he wasn’t sure whether the relief he was feeling was due to the fact they seemed to be safe or that Remus had returned. As Severus began to reflect on his feelings yet again Remus casually strode up to him and placed a chaste kiss on his lips. One that felt incongruent to the kind they had just been doing.

"Next time we do this we’ll be more careful," Remus said, his hand resting on Severus’ waist, "and I'll take it slower."

Next time! The arrogance! Did he just assume this was going to be a regular thing between them? Well OK yes that is exactly what Severus had unintentionally implied when he dragged Remus into his classroom earlier. He opened his mouth to set the record straight and take the werewolf down a peg or two for good measure. So he was again surprised when all that came out was a single word.

"Tonight?"

Remus smiled that lopsided easy smile of his, a smile which no longer sparked rage in Severus but an entirely new though just as intense feeling, and laughed.

"I think I can summon up the energy. Never imagined you to have such an insatiable nature, Severus," he said slyly.

Well, Remus wasn’t the only one discovering new things about him, Severus thought in a daze. It took a while to shoo him out of his classroom between Remus pulling him in for ‘just one more’ kiss and muttering about all the things he would do to him later that evening. When he was finally alone Severus leaned against the back of his door and let out a long exhale as he slid down onto the

floor. Placing his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands he sat down to process. This could take some time.

Chapter 2

Chapter Summary

Severus and Remus have their first night together after a slightly awkward dinner.

Chapter Notes

This was going to be a stand alone fic but I was having way too much fun with this pairing as well as this whole fanfic writing business. Thanks to everyone who read so far and who left kudos! More chapters to follow.

Even during the holidays, Headmaster Dumbledore insists that all the teachers take their evening meal together whenever possible. The ‘whenever possible’ does not apply to Severus Snape however as Albus insists he always dines with the rest to combat his ‘natural tendency for isolation’. That evening Severus tried every excuse in the proverbial book to get out of it but eventually, the headmaster’s serene smile no longer reached his eyes and he knew from experience it was unwise to argue. That was the reason he now ended up in the slightly awkward position of eating dinner next to his boyhood enemy, workplace rival, and (as of two hours and forty minutes ago) lover.

"No appetite Severus?"

The sound of Minerva’s clipped voice made Severus look up from pushing beef stew around his plate. Well, he hadn’t actually done much eating of his dinner. Every mouthful seemed to take an age to chew and the tightness of his throat was making swallowing near impossible so he had admitted defeat several minutes ago.

"It seems to have left me I’m afraid."

Could he make some excuse about being unwell and get out of there? No, one look from Albus told him he was in it for the duration. Minerva was also looking at him with a sternly furrowed brow that Severus knew was her version of concern. All the teachers were used to him being quiet during meals but he could usually be counted upon to make a sarcastic comment or complain about the overdone carrots. The reason he had not done so this evening was due to him being too focused on ensuring that no part of his body touched Remus Lupin’s to make any attempt at joining the conversation. Why couldn’t the man have bloody well got here earlier so that he could have sat somewhere other than the only remaining seat which was, as always, next to Severus.

He allowed himself a brief glance at Remus who appeared to be managing just fine as he piled an extra helping of potatoes on his plate. Perhaps he knew he would need the extra energy for whatever he was going to do to him later. Oh God.

The other reason was that Severus couldn’t shake the feeling that everybody knew exactly what he and Remus had got up to following the earlier staff meeting. Although he knew the conversations always steered to more adult topics when the students were gone he was starting to think it was happening tonight to deliberately raise his blood pressure. Particularly when it began to steer towards suspected past dalliances between faculty members.

"Oh, they definitely were. Remember when I saw them sneaking out of the supply cupboard on the second floor?" Flitwick was gleefully recounting his story of the time he almost caught Professor Kettleburn and Madam Pomfrey in the midst of a heavy petting session. He was ruddy-faced and glassy-eyed and Severus knew the small man had overindulged in a third glass of mead as he often did on such occasions.

"Well you do know all the good places, Phineus," Sprout jibed playfully, causing an uproar of laughter throughout the table. She and the charms professor’s on-off relationship was well-known and a frequent source of mirth for the teachers. The reason Severus had to suppress a smirk, however, was that he had noticed Sinistra trying and failing- to catch Remus’ eye at the comment. He still could not believe that Remus wasn’t infatuated with the beautiful witch. The one with grace and style and in possession of a personality not tinged with bitterness and a wit not dripping with sarcasm. He was infatuated with him. Severus Snape! The man who could clear the staff room during morning coffee break with the right glare and reduce first years to tears when he misjudged a remark and cut too deep.

None of it made any logical sense and Severus had always relied on logic to understand both himself and others. Perhaps that had something to do with his lack of relationships platonic or otherwise. Up until now, that is. Severus felt his stomach flip and the heat rise in his face as his mind went back to the events of that afternoon. And he’d asked him to come back tonight! What on earth had he been thinking?

"Are you sure you’ re feeling alright Severus? You’re looking a tad flushed." "Tm fine thank-you, Minerva. Just a little under the weather."

"What about Slughorn and Merrythought? The students in my year always suspected something between them." Now Remus had finished his mountain of stew and potatoes he was apparently ready to join in. Severus caught his eye before giving him the briefest of warning looks.

"Don’t be ridiculous Slughorn is as gay as a pygmy puff!" Flitwick guffawed loudly. "Really? I had no idea," Remus responded thoughtfully.

"Me ‘either!" piped Hagrid looking astounded. The half-giant’s cluelessness was no surprise to anyone causing another burst of boisterous laughter from the table.

"Guess some of you need to tune your gaydars," remarked Hooch using the muggle term which had somehow entered the wizarding world despite half of the population never having heard of radar in the first place. Her preference for witches was also well known to the others. Oh no. The last thing Severus needed was his colleagues to start contemplating people's orientations. He hadn’t even had time to fully contemplate his own yet!

"Honestly Severus you look dreadful! You’re pure white now." Why had Minerva picked tonight to fuss over him?

Remus swiftly reached over and placed the back of his palm on Severus' forehead. The unexpected touch caused him to leap from his chair as though he had been hit with a stinging hex. Everyone

turned to look at him in surprise.

"You are rather hot Severus," Remus said with an acting skill Severus never knew he possessed. He was loving this, the bastard.

"Yes —uh- I think [ll take my leave. Goodnight everyone. Headmaster." He nodded to Albus without meeting his eye.

"Goodnight Severus. I do hope you feel better soon. There are only a few more days to engage in frivolity before the students return!"

He could never tell if Dumbledore actually knew everything or just acted like he did.

It was 9:20 pm and Severus had been pacing the length of his quarters since 8. He had been doing a lot of thinking. Thinking thinking thinking. His already quick mind was running at top speed since the events of dinner and he was going round in circles. He tried to keep those thoughts far from Lily as thinking about her now after having engaged in mutual masturbation with one of her closest friends felt like the worst betrayal of his life. But no matter how much he pushed them away they would return as she was the key piece in the puzzle that was his sexuality.

If he was gay what did that mean for his feelings for her? He knew he loved her. Completely. Always would. But had he mistaken the love of the closest of friendships for something else? She was a girl, he was a boy. That was how he should have felt. His father would certainly have thought so. Or was he simply bisexual? Knowing Severus he would later spend hours determining where exactly he fell on the Kinsey scale complete with graphs and charts.

What he has managed to conclude was that he had always been attracted to members of his own sex. Everything made sense now. From the way he had to fight down his own arousal whenever he heard the muffled moans and excessive duvet moving from behind the closed curtains of one of his dorm-mates’ four-poster late in the night, to why he’d so enjoyed being potions partners with that geekily handsome Ravenclaw Rodney Higgins. Wait, had Rodney liked him too? Severus contemplated the way the boy used to flush and look away whenever he complimented the way he cut up his shrivelfig or added his salamander blood. The way he would jerk away from him when their hands brushed awkwardly when reaching for the same ingredient.

But Severus wasn’t a teenager anymore. So why on earth was he acting like one? After dinner, he had bathed to within an inch of his life in preparation for whatever was about to unfold. He’d never spent more time fussing over his appearance and he had become increasingly frustrated by what he saw reflected back in the mirror. He had then agonised over what to wear. Why did all his clothes have so many bloody buttons? He settled on a loose white undershirt and hoped it wouldn’t wash out his pasty, sallow complexion too much. Why was he so concerned about impressing him anyway? Severus thought as he dismantled his extensive personal library in hope of finding any reading on sex between men. What he had found had only caused his anxiety to threaten to push into full-blown panic so he abandoned his task and had now confined himself to pacing and waiting.

9:45 pm Maybe Remus wasn’t coming? The small amount of relief he felt at the prospect was overshadowed by worry. Why wasn’t he coming? Was he sick? Was there some kind of emergency? Had he finally come to his senses and realised he could do so much better than Severus Snape? Just then he was dragged out of the rabbit hole of possibilities by a quiet knock on the door. Severus froze. Oh Merlin this was it.

He needed more time to prepare! He needed to brew some kind of confidence-boosting potion. But all of those took days! Before he could talk himself out of it Severus rushed forward to open the

door. Remus was standing there looking almost as nervous as he was, all post-coital bravado apparently forgotten. As they looked at each other Severus instantly pictured that face contorted with pleasure as it had been earlier. Remembered the feel of his mouth, his tongue, his-

"Ah- can I come in?" Remus asked, smiling a shy awkward smile.

"Oh-uh-yes! Yes of course," Severus stepped aside to allow the man to enter. He too seemed to have put some extra effort into his appearance. He had on his least threadbare shirt and his only well-fitting pair of dark brown trousers. A wasted effort for now as Severus firmly kept his eyes anywhere other than Remus’ trouser region. He also seemed to be carrying something at his side.

"Sorry, it took a while for all the rambunctiousness to quieten down," Remus said apologetically as Severus turned to ensure the door was double-locked and all extra cloaking enchantments were still in place. He chose not to respond to that as he was unsure if he had forgiven Remus for his earlier behaviour yet and was still slightly unnerved by the man’s ability to maintain his own composure. As Severus turned back to face him he was able to see that what Remus was carrying was a bottle containing what looked like a very good quality red wine. "I wasn’t sure whether to bring anything but I -er- thought you would like this," he continued before shyly handing it over. "But we don’t have to drink it tonight of course."

Severus didn’t know what was more cliché Remus’ offering or his own giddy feelings that were sparked by how accurately the man had judged his tastes. Yes! This was exactly what he needed, Severus realised as he whisked himself over to his drinks cabinet, Dutch courage! He was grateful to have something to do as he selected two wine glasses (silently thanking Merlin that he even possessed two as he certainly didn’t make a habit of inviting people down to his quarters very often) before slowly making his way back to the pair of dark green armchairs in one of which Remus now sat. Severus placed the bottle and glasses on the low table between them and sat down lightly in the adjacent armchair that he had spent at least ten minutes arranging into the perfect position earlier that evening.

After Remus had uncorked the bottled and poured out the dark burgundy liquid (taking charge already apparently) Severus drank deeply but resisted the urge to down the entire glass. It really was remarkably fine wine. After some obligatory conversation about it "Goblin made." "Fascinating." they slipped into painfully awkward silence. Severus really needed to snap out of this. Where was his razor-sharp wit? He was certainly capable of using charm to manipulate others when he wanted to. He needed to say something. Something that would knock Remus off his feet. But the other man got there first.

"So, do you make a habit of seducing the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher every year

Severus couldn’t hold in his laughter and the tension eased between them. Remus couldn’t keep the triumph from showing on his face at his achievement.

"Oh yes," Severus responded in his go-to sarcastic drawl. "The man who had Voldemort on the back of his head made things particularly interesting." Wait, was that joke too dark for Remus? Severus’ usually perfect filter seemed to be faulty. But Remus was exploding with laughter allowing Severus to sit back with relief.

"At least Lockhart was a handsome man."

"I prefer someone who can string a sentence together without referring to that fact. Anyway, I’ve never actually asked you what you thought of the position."

The brief look of confusion on Remus’ face betrayed the fact that his mind must have first gone to an altogether different definition of the word ‘position’ before coming to his senses. He coughed into his hand before answering.

"Well, teaching is still relatively new to me but I think I’ve been able to bring a certain level of insight to the subject. And I enjoy working with young people, that part is very rewarding."

Severus couldn’t help but roll his eyes at that before taking another large sip of wine. He was beginning to relax now but he still needed to loosen up a lot more before Remus pounced on him again, and who knew when that would be?

"I take it you don’t agree?" Remus asked, one eyebrow raised in mock surprise.

"Perhaps I would have ten years ago, but if you end up teaching as long as I have you may find yourself forming the opinion that Hogwarts would run far better without it’s students."

"Possibly, I don’t imagine it would be as interesting though."

"Really? How about I tell you some of the more interesting situations I’ve encountered. If only to prepare you for what’s to come."

The conversation turned into Severus relaying some of the more idiotic things his students had done over the years leading to various mishaps and some outright catastrophes. Severus had just finished his story about an incident six years ago when a fourth-year Griffindor boy tried to impress a Hufflepuff girl by adding double the amount of powdered griffin claw to his strengthening solution. The resulting explosion caused a massive fight to break out due to the unwanted side effect of high aggression. He’d had to immobilise the entire class but not before said Hufflepuff girl got in a well-aimed punch to his face.

"It’s not funny. She broke my nose!" he chastised with exaggerated indignance as Remus let out his low, hoarse laugh. He reached to pour them the last of the wine before adding "and no comments about it being an easy target thank-you." Severus was beginning to think Remus was simply enjoying listening as he gazed at him with an easy smile on his face, his eyes lingering occasionally on Severus’ mouth as he spoke.

"Well I suppose teenagers can be a little overbearing at times," he said, still chuckling softly. His laughter trailed off and he stared into his glass before continuing. "Listen, Severus, I’ve been wanting to apologise to you...for the way we treated you in school....It wasn’t....I shouldn’t have let-"

"Please let’s not do this." Great. Just as he had begun to contemplate making the first move Remus had to go and verbally punch him in the gut. Of all the insensitive-

"No, please. I was a coward. When I said earlier I thought you hated me I never meant that you didn’t have good reason to."

Severus felt a flair of anger. Where had this sudden self-awareness come from? Did Remus only feel the need to alleviate his guilt now he’d gotten some?

"Well I’m willing to re-evaluate my stance if you don’t drop this," he said in a dangerous tone. Remus looked taken aback and slightly panicked as he apologised and told Severus to forget he said anything. Severus couldn’t bring himself to respond for fear of saying something he’d regret and kept his eyes firmly on the floor.

First you’re primping like a teenager and now you’re sulking like one, he angrily told himself,

what’s next? Writing his name in love hearts all over your desk?

After several moments, Remus appeared to admit defeat. He stood up mumbling something about having had a ‘pleasant evening’ before turning to leave. Severus just had time to rise and grab him by the forearm before pulling the man back towards him. The wine made the words and emotion behind them come easily.

"Don’t go."

That was all it took. They were on each other now. Hands digging in so they left marks, mouths pushed so hard together it was blissfully painful. Severus was tugging at Remus’ shirt. He obediently lifted his arms to allow it to be pulled over his head. Severus took a moment to take in his scarred torso which triggered feelings of sympathy and desire in equal measure. He listened to Remus gasp as he buried his face in his shoulder and bit down while moving his hands up to feel the smooth curve of his shoulder blades.