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Handcuffs at Night

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"In the store there's a teddy,
With little straps like spaghetti
It holds me so tight,
Like handcuffs at night
Walking 'round in women's underwear"


"Morning, Sunshine!"

The obnoxiously cheerful voice cut through the fog obscuring his thought processes, and Severus Snape managed to assemble enough brain cells to enable him to open his eyes a sliver and snarl, "Do not call me 'sunshine'!"

He heard Lupin chuckle and felt the bed shift as his lover crawled up on it. Damp hair dripped on Snape's face, and he pulled the covers over his head.

"Having a little trouble waking up this morning?" Lupin murmured, dragging the covers down so he could kiss Snape's cheek.

"Entirely your fault."

"You didn't seem to mind last night when you were begging me to fuck you harder." Warm lips nuzzled his neck, and Snape couldn't help moaning and arching under his lover's touch. "You're a complete slut, Severus."

"Lucky for you," Snape retorted. The warm lips vibrated with laughter against his skin.

"Very lucky," Lupin agreed.

The vibration made Snape moan again. "Keep doing that and you could get lucky again."

"As delightful as that sounds, I have a lot to do today. None of which includes doing you."

Snape felt the bed move again as Lupin got up. He opened his eyes and arched an eyebrow. "For example?"

"I need to discuss my class with Albus. And I really should find Harry. He'll be wondering where I am. After all, it's been three days."

Snape regarded his lover over the edge of the covers. Had it only been three days since Lupin had followed him down to his dungeon rooms, worried about his close call with Dobby's fireworks at Potter's birthday party? Only three days since the other man had so thoroughly seduced his way into Snape's bed (and heart, though Snape would die before admitting that)? Only three days that they had spent lost in the pleasure of each other's bodies? Surely it had been longer than that -- and yet, not nearly long enough.

A disquieting thought occurred to Snape. He sat up in bed and watched Lupin gather his scattered clothing and run a quick cleansing spell over them. "Are you planning to tell him...Potter...about us?"

Lupin turned and gave him a considering look. Snape's face wasn't revealing anything, and their relationship was too new for him to be able to read his lover clearly. He hazarded a question in return. "Do you want me to tell him?"

Snape's eyes narrowed. "I asked you. After all, I'm not the one whose reputation is going to be shredded when your friends find out you've taken up with the despicable Potions master, not to mention former Death Eater."

"No," Lupin said agreeably. "You're the one whose reputation is going to be shredded when your friends find out you've taken up with a disreputable werewolf."

"I don't have friends," Snape said shortly.

"I think you have more than you know," Lupin said softly.

Snape raised an eyebrow in patent disbelief but forbore further comment. "So that's the extent of your plans? Was it really necessary to wake me at such an ungodly hour?"

Lupin grinned at him. "It is not an ungodly hour, you lazy git. If you haul your arse out of that bed, you can come with me to the Great Hall for breakfast."

"I am not going to eat in the Hall with you," Snape said decidedly. "Everyone will be staring at us, sniggering and wondering where we've been and what we've been up to."

Lupin grinned, relieved to return to the familiar teasing. "Afraid you won't be able to wipe that smile off your face?"

Snape snorted. "You have entirely too high an opinion of your sexual prowess, Lupin."

"That sounds like a challenge," Lupin said, crawling back on the bed. "One I'd love to undertake, but I really do have a lot to do today. I have to Apparate home. Packing and all that rubbish."

"Surely that won't take long. You'll be back tonight, won't you?" Snape said, lying back down and making himself comfortable. Lupin remained silent and avoided his eyes. Snape felt his throat tighten, and the world seemed to go grey. Strange how short forever turned out to be. "Oh. I see. Sorry to presume." Snape turned on his side, facing away from his erstwhile lover.

Lupin sighed and reached over to turn Snape back, silently damning the fact that he'd pricked a sensitive nerve in their new relationship without meaning to do so. "You aren't presuming, Severus," he said quietly and firmly. "I want to be with you, truly I do, but I can't be with anyone tonight. Full moon."

"Oh." Snape drew in a deep breath, feeling like a bit of an ass for kicking up a fuss. He wasn't good at this sort of thing, at negotiating land-mines with a lover, and felt uncomfortably out of his depth. Falling back on the one thing he was certain of, he said, "Your Potion is ready, and I'll prepare two more doses to take with you."

Lupin nodded. "I would appreciate that."

"You could remain here. While you're taking the Potion, you're safe."

Lupin shook his head. "I still change, Sev, and I don't want anyone I love to see me like that. You understand, don't you?" There was a shuttered look on Snape's face, and Lupin's heart sank. This didn't look good. "Sev..."

"You must not think much of me if you think I would spurn you after witnessing that," Snape said harshly, pushing back the covers and starting to get up.

Lupin pushed Snape back down on the bed, pinning him and making him meet his eyes. "Severus, I think very highly of you. I love you."

Snape snarled, "If we are to have any kind of future together -- and I was under the impression that you desired that as much as I -- then we must needs accept each other's...quirks...completely."

Lupin snorted. "Sev, dressing up in women's lingerie is a quirk. Turning into a werewolf three nights a month is something else entirely, not to mention dangerous to anyone around me."

Snape's eyes locked on his, refusing to give an inch, and Lupin sighed. "I'm not going to debate you, Severus, and I won't risk your safety. If you don't want to undertake a relationship with me because of this, I understand." He sat up again, reaching for his threadbare robes. "I'd better go," he said standing up and heading for the door, wondering as he did so whether he would ever be back in these rooms again. "I have to arrange rooms with Albus, and -"

"You can share mine."

The words were so quiet that Lupin wasn't sure he'd actually heard them, or if he just wanted to hear them. He knew that Severus had difficulty sharing and had resolved not to push the issue, no matter how much he wanted it. He turned to look at Snape, and found the other man absorbed in studying his fingernails. "What?"

"You can share mine," Snape repeated, glancing at him briefly before looking away. "If that's agreeable to you."

"If that's -" Lupin laughed and pounced on the bed, pinning Snape under his body again. "It's very acceptable," he said, his voice thick with passion, and proceeded to kiss Snape senseless. "To hell with breakfast...."

The next time Snape drifted into consciousness, he was aware that the bed -- and the room -- was empty. For a long moment, he considered pulling the covers over his head and waiting for Lupin to return, but Snape had never been one to shirk his duties. He had Potions to make, and a class syllabus to complete. The...distractions of the past three days had put him seriously behind schedule.

He dragged himself out of bed, mentally regarding the sheets as a total loss, beyond even the house-elves' help. Considering the way he'd clawed at them as his lover pounded into his helplessly ecstatic body, he wasn't surprised. Naked, he padded into the bathroom and absently considered whether a Strengthening Potion could be mixed in with the soap powder for the next set of sheets as he climbed into the shower. And then he let all thoughts flow away from him as he luxuriated under the cascade of hot water.

He pulled on his towelling gown as he went about the mundane chores of brushing teeth and shaving, then walked back into the bedroom in search of clothes. And as he reached into the wardrobe for a clean set of robes, he nearly had a heart attack.

There was no reflection in the mirror.

Terror struck Snape for a blinding moment, and then his rational mind clicked into place. He'd been with a werewolf, not a vampire, so the lack of reflection had to mean something else.

"Mirror?" he asked, puzzled. "Is something wrong?" There was the faint sound of an indignant huff, and he frowned. "Are you sulking?"


The reply was the shortest he'd had from the mirror since moving into the rooms fifteen years earlier. He crossed his arms.

"Oh, really? Then what would you call it?"

"You lied to me." The mirror's tone was definitely sulky.

"Oh, for the love of...what about?"

"You said you weren't tarting yourself up for anyone."

"I wasn't."

"Then what was that incredibly good-looking man doing in your bed?"

Snape smirked. "Just about anything you could imagine."

The mirror blew a raspberry at him. "That is not what I meant!"

Snape sighed impatiently. "I don't recall being required to submit my social calendar to you."

"If it weren't for me, you wouldn't have a social calendar!" the mirror said indignantly.

"What the bloody hell are you going on about?"

"I introduced you to lingerie, didn't I? You'd never have gotten him into your bed without those stockings. He seemed quite taken with them."

"Remus was taken with more than my stockings," Snape said, irritated by the mirror's smug attitude.

"Re-mus," the mirror purred. "I like the sound of that name. Tell me more. I couldn't see much of the bed from over here."

Snape glared at the mirror, not the least bit mollified by the fact that he was now glaring at his reflection. "If you think I'm telling you a word, you can think again, you disgusting voyeur."

His reflection changed to one of him wearing a hideous dress. "How would you like to see this every time you look in a mirror?"

He scowled. How dare his own mirror try to blackmail him! "How would you like to be turned into a pocket mirror and then given to Mr. Goyle?"

"Oh, all right," the mirror said huffily, changing back to his true reflection. "I expect I'll get another chance. You didn't scare him off, did you? He's coming back, isn't he?"

"I hope so," Snape murmured, then mentally shook himself. He didn't have time for idle daydreaming now. There were lesson plans to complete and potions to brew.

Snape dressed in his usual high-necked clothing, covering the prominent love-bite at the join between his neck and shoulder, and pulled on his robe. He then paused to look at himself for a moment. Not too bad, he admitted, although he hadn't the slightest idea what Lupin saw in him. Not that it mattered, as long as the other man remained interested for as long as the fates granted him, before happiness was snatched away from him once again.

Remus Lupin Apparated outside the small cottage he'd called home from time to time since finishing school. Set in an isolated area where he could be of little danger to people during his changes, the house was one of the few things his parents had left him. He relished the feeling of coming home, even if his critical eye noted that it was more than a little worn around the edges. A steady income would remedy that, however, and his heart lifted at the thought of puttering about, fixing the place up. Idly, he wondered if he could persuade Severus to spend a few days here with him, maybe just before the new term began, and smiled at the thought.

"You're looking terribly pleased with yourself, Moony."

Lupin whirled about, wand in hand, and then relaxed as he realized it was his friend, Sirius Black, sitting in the open window of the cottage. "Sirius, you shouldn't startle me like that. I wasn't expecting you, was I?"

Sirius shrugged. "No, but I was in the area, and I didn't think I needed an invitation. Although I was about to give up on you. I've been here two days. Where were you?"

"Hogwarts," Lupin said briefly.

"Seeing Harry, eh?" Sirius said, climbing out the window with cheerful disregard to the plants he trampled under foot. Lupin sighed and mentally shrugged; remonstrating with Sirius would do no good. The man was as careless as a child about such things.

"I did see him, and Harry sends his love. But that wasn't the reason I was there. Albus offered me a job as Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor."

A wide smile broke out on Sirius' face. "That's wonderful news," he said, sweeping his friend into an exuberant hug. "You accepted, didn't you?"

"Of course," Lupin said, then smiled wryly at his friend. "It's not as if I have a string of offers to pick and choose from."

"Moony," Sirius said, almost hesitantly. "You know that if it's a question of money..."

"No, Sirius," Lupin said firmly, walking past Sirius to the front door.

"It's not as if the money's doing me a bit of good, sitting in Gringotts'," Sirius said persuasively as he followed his friend into the house. "You could call it a loan, just until you get back on your feet."

"I said no," Lupin said sharply, then he sighed as he saw the hurt look on Sirius' face. "Sirius, I appreciate the offer, but I'll be fine. I'll be going back to Hogwarts in two days, and I'll have very little in the way of expenses while I'm there. And Albus was good enough to give me an advance on my pay packet, so that should take care of any incidentals."

"All right, Moony," Sirius said reluctantly.

Lupin relented slightly. "I'll let you take me to dinner, if you'd like."

Sirius brightened considerably. "I get to choose? Even if it's somewhere really expensive?"

"It'll have to be Muggle," Lupin said warningly. "I don't want you arrested before the bill arrives. And we have to be back here before moonrise."

Sirius readily agreed. After swapping wizard robes for Muggle clothing, Sirius swept Remus off to a little Italian restaurant that looked like a hole in the wall. The owner welcomed Sirius with delighted cries and embraces, showing them to the best table in a room that was surprisingly full of customers. Wine arrived and, after the first sip, Lupin realized that the restaurant's appearance was deceptive. And if the food was anything like the wine, it would be very good and very expensive. He didn't even want to know what the bill was going to be.

"You've been here before," Lupin hazarded when Sirius ordered for them both, in Italian, without even glancing at the menu.

Sirius nodded. "My mother's people were from the area, and I used to spend summers here when I was a boy. Some of the best memories I have are of this place. When I got out of -- you know -- I came back here, to relive them."

"Sorry I -" Lupin began, but Sirius cut him off.

"It's all right, Moony. I don't mind talking about it, not with you." Sirius played with the tablecloth for a few minutes, then looked up with a trace of his old mischief in his eyes. "But, if you don't mind, let's change the subject. You won't believe the girl I met the other day..."

Lupin sat back, grinning at his friend, encouraging him to tell his story. He was delighted to see the carefree Sirius he'd known as a youth emerge. Sirius was in a very good mood and, since it had been months since they'd last seen each other, had a lot to tell Remus. His breezy disregard of the discomforts and dangers associated with his recent activities for Dumbledore were oddly soothing and so completely Sirius that Lupin felt years younger. Somehow, Sirius always managed to make desperate danger sound like an amusing romp, and his droll humour made Lupin laugh. Considering that he had expected to spend his evening hours alone and missing Severus, this was an improvement. Even if he still missed Severus.

A hint of wistfulness must have crossed his face because Sirius paused in the middle of an improbable story about being trapped in the cellar of a pub by an amorous bar maid (not that it appeared Sirius had put up much of a struggle).

"Remus? Are you all right?"

Lupin managed a smile. "I'm fine, Sirius."

Sirius' eyes narrowed as he studied his friend intently, and then a grin broke out on his face. "You're in love!"

The waiter sidled up the table, almost apologetically presenting the bill. Sirius glanced at it and piled what looked like an appalling amount of Muggle money on the tray, then turned his attention back to Lupin.

"So spill, Moony. Who's the delectable young man who has caught your fancy?" Sirius said, leaning forward. Although Sirius was enthusiastically heterosexual, he'd accepted with equanimity Lupin's admission during their Fifth year that he preferred boys. What he hadn't accepted was the focus of those youthful longings. Severus Snape. Somehow, Lupin didn't think he'd take it any better now.

Evasively, he asked, "What makes you think I'm in love?"

Sirius snorted. "Come on, Remus! I'd know that in-love-and-missing-my-lover look anywhere. And it's about bloody time. You haven't been with anyone in the past three years. Or if you have, you've been keeping too quiet about it."

Lupin sighed. "We're not all as young and randy as you."

"Good thing, too, or all the boys in the area would be walking funny," Sirius said, leering at his friend. "Remember the young lad you picked up in Soho that time? He was a looker, that one. Well, you always did have an eye for the young and lovely. And that time in that many of them did you have eating out of your hand?"

"I've changed a lot over the years, Sirius," Lupin said quietly. "My shallow days are long past." Sirius looked sceptical, and he sighed. He knew that Sirius wouldn't let go of the matter until his curiosity was fulfilled. "Can we discuss this at home?"

Sirius nodded assent, but Lupin could feel the intent eyes on him as they left the restaurant and found a quiet place to Apparate from. And they were barely in the door before Sirius pounced on him, knocking him to the floor.

"Tell me, Moony, or I swear I'll tickle it out of you," Sirius demanded, grinning down at Lupin as he tried to catch the breath that Sirius knocked out of him.

"Sirius! Get off! You weigh a ton."

Sirius ignored him as he ran tickling fingers over Lupin's abdomen. Lupin shrieked with helpless laughter, squirming under his friend's determined attack. Sirius grinned even wider.

"Talk," he demanded, then chuckled as he caught sight of a spectacular love-bite under the collar of Lupin's shirt. "Why Moony, you sly wolf, you! Already bedded the lad, have you? And recently, by the look of it." Sirius suddenly frowned, and he drew back, letting Lupin sit up. "Didn't you say you've been at Hogwarts the past couple days?"

Here it comes, Lupin thought, drawing in a breath. He shifted into a sitting position and looked Sirius in the face. "Three days," he said quietly.

"So, this guy lives in Hogsmeade?" Sirius asked. Lupin shook his head. "In Hogwarts itself?" Lupin nodded. "'s not Harry, is it?"

Lupin's eyes narrowed. "No, it is not, and I can't believe you asked me that. I remember you telling me that Harry was infatuated with some girl, besides being underage -"

"No, he's not. Just turned sixteen, didn't he?" The frown was intensifying. "So if it wasn't Harry or one of the other students..." Lupin shook his head. "Oh. My. God. Tell me it was Hagrid or Flitwick or -- or Dumbledore. Just don't tell me it was -"

"Severus Snape."

"God damn it! I told you not to tell me that!" Sirius roared. He pushed himself off the floor. "That greasy, razor-tongued, immoral bastard! I'll kill him for touching you, I swear I will!"

"No, you will not," Lupin said calmly, pushing himself off the floor in a seemingly-effortless movement. His internal clock told him it was nearing moonrise, and he began carefully unbuttoning his shirt. "In the first place, I was the one initiating the touching. In the second place, Sev isn't a "greasy, razor-tongued, immoral bastard"." He paused. "All right, I'll give you 'razor-tongued'. What exactly do you have against Severus?"

Sirius told him. In detail. In a half-hour rant at the top of his lungs, covering every subject from Snape's questionable ancestry to his suspected sexual perversions. Lupin listened to him silently as he went about the tasks of stripping off his clothes, securing the cottage doors and windows, and taking his Potion. He had to admire Sirius' sheer inventiveness, not to mention his lung capacity, and wished that Severus were there to hear it for himself. He bit back a grin as he pictured his lover coolly returning point-for-point, and the ache in his heart over their separation was nearly tangible.

When Sirius finally ran out of steam, Lupin said, "You forgot the most important thing."

Sirius frowned at him. "What's that?"

Lupin spoke with quiet authority. "Severus is my lover. If you want to remain my friend, I expect you to respect that fact."

Aghast, Sirius stared at him. "Didn't you hear anything I said?"

"Sirius, everyone within ten miles heard you," Lupin said wryly. "And I heard it all twenty years ago. Except that your phrasing is a bit more...colourful than when we were boys. I hope you're not teaching Harry those words."

"I'm not joking here, Remus," Sirius said angrily.

"Neither am I," Lupin said, meeting Sirius' eyes squarely. Sirius was reminded again of the deceptively frail-looking young boy who was tougher than any of his larger, more boisterous, friends and had refused to let them push him around. "You're my friend, Sirius, and I hope that we can remain friends for the rest of our lives. But I'm in love with Severus, and he has to come first."

"You're not going to give me any of that 'werewolves mate for life' shit, are you?" Sirius scoffed.

"I don't know if we do or not," Lupin said seriously. "There is a dearth of scholarship on the subject. I have been with other men. But Severus was the first boy I fell in love with, and I still love him, so maybe those old wives' tales are true."

Sirius digested that for a moment. " isn't a fling for you, then?"

"No, it isn't."

"But what about Snape? How do you know he's not just fucking you over?"

A hint of a smile touched Lupin's lips. "To be precise, I'm the one doing the fucking. And yes, I believe Severus is as serious about this as I am. He's asked me to move into his rooms."

"Shit," Sirius said, dumbfounded yet again. Even when they were young, Snape had been reticent about sharing with others. It had been one of the things they'd teased him unmercifully about. It just wasn't natural not to share with your chums. Not that Snape had had any. So if Snape had asked Remus to share his rooms, it was as good as a bonding declaration.

Before Sirius could say anything else, Lupin gasped in pain and hugged his chest. "If you have anything more to say, it will have to wait till morning. And if you feel...uncomfortable around me now, you don't have to stay. I'll understand."

"I'll stay," Sirius said hoarsely and changed into Padfoot to watch his friend's agonizing transformation. Although the Potion allowed Remus to retain his human mind, it didn't ease the pain of changing his body structure and Sirius winced as his friend howled with pain. Then it was over, and a panting, exhausted wolf stood before him.

Padfoot crossed to the werewolf and nudged his snout with his nose, then licked him. The werewolf allowed the show of affection and let the large black dog herd him toward the fireplace and the rug in front of it. Padfoot curled up protectively around the wolf, resting his head on the other animal's flank. The werewolf gave a weary sigh and closed his eyes, and Padfoot settled down to guard his friend. Guard, and try to think of a way out of this mess.

"You won't be able to do that with Snape, you know."

Lupin looked up blearily from his breakfast. Despite the rest he'd got the previous night while in wolf form, this morning's transformation back had drained him again. Right now, he wanted nothing more than to crawl back in bed and pull the covers over his head. He did not want to go another round with Sirius over his choice in lovers.

"Do what?" he asked wearily.

"Last night," Sirius said, gesturing toward the hearthrug where werewolf and animagus had spent the night. "I don't expect Snape'll be too keen on curling up with a werewolf."

Lupin winced. "That was cruel, Sirius."

"Sorry, Moony," Sirius said apologetically. "You know I wouldn't hurt you for the world. But Snape -"

"Enough!" Lupin said sharply. "I don't want to hear another word against Severus."

"Fine," Sirius said tightly, standing up. "I'll just be running along, then. I do have errands to run for Albus."

Lupin sighed as he watched Sirius throw his napkin on the table and stalk towards the door. He knew he couldn't let Sirius leave like this, not when he had no idea when -- or if -- he would see his friend again. "Sirius," he said softly. "Thank you -- for keeping me company last night and for caring. I appreciate it more than I can say."

Sirius turned and looked at him, and a reluctant smile tugged at his lips. "Damn it, Moony. You ruined a perfectly good sulk." He returned to the table and pulled his friend into a hug. "You take care of yourself, do you hear me?"

Lupin nodded. Sirius released him and, whistling a cheerful tune, departed.

Lupin glanced down at the breakfast dishes, then over at his empty travelling case, and finally at his bed. Deciding he'd behave responsibly later, he crawled into bed and pulled up the covers.

Snape tapped on Dumbledore's door and, receiving his cheerful summons, pushed the door open. He was in a rather cheerful mood himself, having completed his class syllabus on time despite his interrupted week. All he had to do now was finish a few potions for Pomfrey's infirmary stock, and then the rest of his summer holiday would be free. He refused to consciously think about why he was clearing his schedule.

"Albus, I have my required class -- oh, hell." His eyes fell on Sirius Black, slouching in one of the chairs in front of Dumbledore's desk. "If I'd known you were here, I'd have sent them by owl."

Sirius bared his teeth at Snape. "The feeling is mutual, Snape. For your information, I'm only here to deliver my report to Albus."

Snape set his rolls of parchment on the Headmaster's desk, aware of the way the older man's eyes went back and forth between the two of them. "I'll just leave these and get back to my work."

He turned and was out the door before Dumbledore could say anything, although he was certain he heard his name called out. He was surprised when he heard it called again, this time by Sirius Black.

"Snape! Wait a moment. We need to talk."

Snape paused and turned, raising his eyebrow. "I doubt there is any subject in this world we need to discuss."

"What about that, then?" Sirius said, gesturing towards his neck.

Snape reached up and touched the spot, wincing as he realized he'd forgotten to wear a high enough neck to cover the mark this morning. He glared at Sirius. "I fail to see that this is any of your business, Black."

Sirius hated that smug, superior tone in Snape's voice. Always had, always would. And although he'd only intended to corner Snape for a serious talk about what he would do to him if he broke Remus' heart, a new and better idea burst into his head. And it would work -- he knew it would. Sirius had always been able to push Snape's buttons when they were in school, and Snape couldn't have changed that much in the past twenty years.

His plan forming in his mind, Sirius glanced around quickly to make sure they were alone, then smirked and leaned against the wall with apparent casualness. "Moony told me it was quite a spectacular marking, and I wanted to see it for myself."

Snape's eyes narrowed. He'd become aware three years prior of the silly names the Marauders had called themselves, so he knew it was Lupin to whom he was referring. What he didn't know was just exactly what Black's game was.

"Of course, it's nothing compared to the one he gave to that beautiful boy we shared last summer at Brighton -- what was his name?" Sirius said, a reminiscent tone in his voice. "No matter. He was a nice bit of fluff. Good looks but empty upstairs, if you catch my meaning. Remus used to prefer that type, but I suppose he's gone in for bigger challenges." He smirked again.

"I haven't the slightest idea what -" Snape said frostily.

Sirius ignored him, looking up and down Snape's body in a way that made him distinctly uncomfortable. "You're walking better than I would have expected after three days with him. Been to Pomfrey about it, I expect. No, you'd have taken a Potion, wouldn't you?" He winked at Snape. "Best keep it to hand. Our Remus is insatiable in bed. I've known him to wear out two or three young studs and go looking for more. I can barely keep up with him."

Snape's throat felt as if he'd been drinking sand. He'd trusted Lupin, believed him... "Remus said that...that the two of you...that you didn't..."

"Explained it, did he? Good. He tends to gloss over that bit. Likes to tell his new toys that we're 'just friends' or that I'm straight, just 'til he's sure they won't rabbit." Sirius grinned broadly. "You should see the look on some of their faces when I show up, ready for a bit of slap and tickle, and them all unknowing."

He laughed, his sharp eyes aware of the draining colour in Snape's skin and the convulsive swallow. It was going better than he had hoped, and he recklessly decided to take a shot in the dark. He winked at Snape, saying, "I've heard all about your collection from Remus, and I'm looking forward to seeing it."


Dead centre, Sirius thought with satisfaction. Snape's voice had a sharp edge to it, and Sirius wished he had a chance to toss Snape's rooms. Whatever kinky toys Snape had collected, they must be something to produce that reaction. Sirius felt a surge of satisfaction at the thought that he was protecting Remus from this bastard's depravity.

He grinned broadly. "Come now, Snape! We're men of the world. Surely you didn't think I'd hold it against you. Rather amusing, in fact. I expect none of the rest of the staff know, do they?" Snape swallowed convulsively, and Sirius' regret at not knowing increased. Maybe he'd borrow Harry's cloak and have a bit of a look-about later. For now, there was the final twist of the knife.

"And, being so open to kinks yourself, you no doubt appreciate Remus' little...eccentricities."

"Eccentricities?" Snape's voice sounded thin, unlike his normal self.

"Especially at this time of the month. Remus always wanted to let the animal side of him out for a bit of fun. I really should thank you for making that Potion for him -- last night was one of the best nights we've ever had."

Snape's face went even paler, if possible. "Last night?"

"Mmm. Remus' blood always runs hotter on nights of the full moon. Fortunately, James and I could keep up with him." Sirius let a deep, lustful laugh escape. "As for last night...we never even made it to the bed, just collapsed on the rug in front of the fire to sleep it off. I expect he's still sleeping. Oh," Sirius said, as if a sudden thought struck him. "But you're not an animagus, are you? I expect you'll have to watch -- unless you're into bestiality. What d'you think, Sevvie? Fancy being buggered by a wolf?"

That seemed to be the final straw, and Sirius didn't even try to hide his triumphant grin as Snape swept past him, heading swiftly towards the dungeon stairs. That would put paid to that little romance, he thought with satisfaction. And the best part was that Snape, proud bastard that he was, wouldn't even confront Remus about what he'd said. He'd shield himself behind a wall of ice that Remus wouldn't have a hope of breaching, and that would be that.

Satisfied with his morning's deed, Sirius changed into Padfoot and went in search of Harry and his friends.

Snape almost hurtled down the steps to the dungeon, an odd ringing in his ears. It couldn't be -- Remus couldn't possibly have -- he certainly wouldn't want -- His mind kept going in circles, repeating the same half-phrases over and over. But how could Black have known about his 'collection' if Remus hadn't told him?

He slammed the door behind him, forgetting for once to set the wards back up, and headed for the whisky. He poured a healthy shot with shaky hands and downed it, then poured another.

"Whew! A bit early in the day for that, isn't it, love?"

"Get stuffed," Snape muttered, not even looking over at the mirror. He bolted back the second drink, then took the bottle and the glass and sank into one of the chairs. "I've had a perfectly beastly morning." He poured another glass. "I ran into an old...acquaintance."

"Not a friend, I take it?"

Snape snorted. "Hardly! Sirius Black and I have never been friends. All our lives, he's done his best to hurt and humiliate me." He threw back the whisky. "And by Merlin, he's really done it this time."

"What's he done?" the mirror asked curiously.

Snape rubbed the back of his hand over his eyes, not noticing that he was still clutching the empty glass in it. "He and Remus..." he began, then swallowed against the surge of bile in his throat. "Remus -- oh Merlin!"

Snape surged out of the chair and into the bathroom, throwing up the contents of his stomach. He was shaking by the time his stomach was empty and barely managed to drag himself to his feet to wash his face and rinse his mouth.

"Are you all right?" the mirror demanded as he made his shaky way back to the bedroom.

"No," Snape said bleakly, collapsing into the chair. "I believe that I'd be better off dead."

"It'll take you that way sometimes," the mirror said sympathetically. "Too much whisky, not enough food -"

"It's not the alcohol," Snape growled, sloshing another glass full of the stuff. "It's that bastard Black and that thrice-damned werewolf! Dammit, I knew it was a bad idea, letting him into my bed!"

"That sweet, sexy man you had in here yesterday?" the mirror asked, in shocked tones.

Snape laughed, a low, empty sound. "I'm the one who was had -- in more ways than one. I cannot believe I actually took him at his word! 'We're just friends', he said. 'Sirius is straight. There's nothing between us.' Hah!" Snape took a healthy swallow of the scotch.

"So you break it off with the young man," the mirror said. "A pity, I'm sure, but not worth dying over."

"Remus told Black!" Snape snapped. "About me, about the, the underclothes. My 'collection', he called it. And Black has never been able to resist humiliating me. He'll tell Potter, and Flitwick -- that man's the worst gossip in the school. And Sybil... I swear he was shagging her when he was at school, and she despises me as much as I despise her. It'll be all over the school by tomorrow."

"So what do you intend to do about it?"

"Do?" Snape asked, pausing with the glass halfway to his lips. He stared blankly at the mirror for a long moment, then finished off the glass and stood up determinedly. "The only thing I can do."

Remus woke from his nap and realized that sometime during his sleep he'd made up his mind. He wasn't going to stay here for the next two days, missing Severus and puttering about aimlessly. He'd pack the few things he needed and Apparate back to Hogwarts, and then he'd have a good, long talk with Severus. If his lover was determined to have him around during his transformation, he'd take the chance that Snape really meant it and spend the evening with him. If it turned out that Snape really couldn't handle it once it came to the sticking point, he could always Apparate back here or lock himself into his new office till morning. In either case, he needed to decide this with Severus, not for him.

As Severus had said, their future depended on trust and acceptance.

He pulled out his old, battered suitcase and quickly packed his clothes, then tucked in a few books and mementos he'd want with him at Hogwarts. Then he carefully locked and warded the cottage and Apparated back to the Hogsmeade.

The school seemed empty when he entered it, and he realized he'd rarely seen it without students running about the place. He smiled to himself, thinking that Severus must love it like this, and the thought of his lover was enough to send him hurrying for the stairs to the dungeon.

The wards were down on the doors and Lupin frowned at that. Severus was paranoid about protecting his privacy. He knocked on the door but, getting no answer, opened it and entered the living room area. And nearly fell over a box. Looking around, he saw there were other boxes, mostly half-full, scattered around the sitting room. He frowned; what on earth was Severus up to now?

He went into the bedroom, also littered with boxes. The room's occupant came in from the bathroom, his arms full of odds and ends, which he dumped haphazardly into an open box with complete disregard for their safety. His lip curled when he saw Lupin, and he staggered slightly. Lupin's eyes widened as he realized that Severus was drunk.

"Finally got out of bed, did you?" Snape sneered.

Lupin's frown deepened; Severus had to know how much his transformations took out of him and it was unkind of him to snipe at him because of that. "Sev, what in bloody hell are you doing?"

"Packing," Snape said shortly. "You should be proud of yourself. Between the pair of you, you've managed to drive me away from the only real home I've ever had."

Lupin would have never suspected that Severus got maudlin when drunk, nor that he lost complete control of his senses. "I can see that you're packing," he said patiently. "The question is why."

Snape waved a hand towards the table, where a quill and a piece of scribbled parchment lay, and staggered towards the bookshelf. Lupin picked up the paper and read the barely legible words scrawled on it.

Albus. I quit.

"Not up to your usual epistolary standards," he said, "although I suppose it's miraculous that you were able to hold a quill in your condition." He looked over to find Snape dumping an armload of books into a box in a way that was going to make the other man very unhappy when he came back to his senses. "Are you going to tell me why you resigned?"

"No. I. Am. Not." Snape stalked over to his desk and began rummaging in the drawers.

"Well, since I've been gone, it can't be anything I've done," Lupin hazarded. "Unless that's why you're brassed-off. Still, that's a bit overly-dramatic, resigning because I was gone for two days, isn't it?"

Snape snorted but didn't say anything as he began throwing things from the desk into a box. Lupin sincerely hoped there wasn't anything valuable in the desk.

"He's been stroppy since he ran into an old acquaintance this morning," the wardrobe mirror said helpfully. "He started drinking right after that, and the idiot just can't hold his liquor."

Lupin didn't even need to ask who the visitor was or what his errand had been. He knew immediately. He drew in a deep breath and let it out to give him time to control his temper, uncertain at the moment if he was more furious with Sirius or Severus.

"What is it about Sirius Black that makes a highly intelligent and extremely gifted man like you act like the world's biggest arsehole?" he demanded.

Snape looked over at him and sneered, "Clearly one of his many charms, but then, you'd know all about that."

"All right, that's it!" Lupin snapped. He stormed across the room, grabbing Snape by the arm and swinging him around so they were facing. "You listen to me, Severus Snape!" he snapped. "I don't care what Sirius told you! And why the hell you believe him when you can't stand him is beyond me! But no matter what he said, you don't just go running off without talking about it with me!" He flicked his wand at the same time, casting a quick sobering spell over Snape. "Is that clear?"

Snape winced at the abrupt return to sobriety and the headache that accompanied it. "Crystal," he said faintly.

"Good. Now just what did Sirius tell you? The usual, I expect. How you're not good enough for me, what he intended to do to you if you hurt me, and so forth?"

Snape carefully lifted a pile of books out a chair, then sat down, not looking at Lupin for fear that he would hex him where he stood. "Oddly enough, those subjects never came up. Black was too busy telling me about the boy at Brighton, and your bestiality kink, and last night. Oh, and how he is looking forward to seeing my 'collection', not to mention sharing my favours with you."

Lupin frowned, trying to decipher the tumble of words. "Brighton? I've never been to Brighton in my life."

"My mistake," Snape said dryly. "Maybe he said Bristol."

"And what about last night?" Lupin asked. Snape dropped his head so he was staring at his hands knotted in his lap and muttered something Lupin couldn't catch. "Would you mind repeating that? And look at me instead of your hands, please."

Snape lifted his head and met his lover's eyes. "He said he spent last night with you."

"He did," Lupin said automatically, then blinked. "He told you we shagged? Did you forget that last night was a full moon and that I was in wolf form all night long?"

"He was very clear on that point," Snape said, his voice even colder than previously. "He kindly offered to let me watch next time, unless I was interested in a bit of bestiality myself."

Lupin drew in a sharp breath. "I'm going to kill him," he growled, grinding his teeth together. "And then I'm coming back here and killing you! How could you possibly believe that tripe? Dammit, Severus, didn't you learn anything from the shack incident? Sirius knows how to push every one of your buttons, and you let him!"

"Then," Snape said, his voice uncertain and unsteady, "then you didn't...?"

Lupin sighed and crossed the room to crouch by his lover's chair. "Oh, Sev. Of course I didn't. Sirius and I are friends, just friends, and we've never been anything but." He gave Snape an amused look. "If I even kissed him on the cheek, I wager he'd run screaming from the room. Not that I intend to kiss him on the cheek, or anywhere else for that matter."

"Good," Snape said, his voice a little stronger. "But he knew about the, er, clothes."

"Did he say so specifically, or did he hint at it?" Lupin asked, and grinned as he saw the realization dawn in Snape's eyes. "Clever boy, our Sirius. Says just enough to give you ideas, to trap yourself."

Snape's eyes blazed, and Lupin was pleased to see the spark of life return. "I'll kill him."

Lupin caught his arm. "I already called it. You'll have to wait your turn."

Snape sighed and sank back down in his chair. "He was right about one thing, though," Snape said, and the bleak tone returned to his voice. "You spent last night with him, and you wouldn't spend it with me." There was a defeated tone in his voice, and it reminded Lupin of the way Severus had looked so many years ago, right after Sirius had played his nearly fatal trick.

"Sev," Lupin said gently. "It doesn't matter...."

"Of course it matters!" Snape snapped at him. "He was gloating about how he could be with you like that, something I'll never be able to do. Transformation was my worst subject in school. I'd never manage enough control to be an animagus. Besides, you told me to my face that you refused to spend time with me while you were in wolf form." Bitterly, he added, "You didn't seem to mind Black seeing you that way, but I suppose that's to be expected."

Lupin sighed and reached up to stroke Snape's cheek. "Sev, love, it's not any failing of yours. It's...well, I suppose it's vanity. Mine. I don't want you to see me in such...reduced circumstances."

Snape's head jerked up and he glared at Lupin. "Are you out of your mind?" he snapped. "We're going to be living together! Seeing each other first thing every morning, before showers and teeth brushing! What could possibly be more hideous than that?"

Lupin laughed and moved so he was straddling Snape's lap. "Well, when you put it that way...."

Snape sighed and wrapped his arms around Lupin. This felt so good, and he'd missed the other man more than he'd admit, even under torture. He nuzzled Lupin's neck. "I'm not above resorting to emotional blackmail. Give me at least what you give Black."

Lupin frowned and leaned back. He'd almost forgotten that he was angry with both men for acting so childishly. "I won't be used in a tug-of-war between you and Sirius," he warned, pushing himself off Snape's lap. "This jealousy you harbour towards Sirius is completely unjustified. I told you there was nothing romantic between us. Or don't you trust me?"

Snape was inclined to snap back as much as you trust me, which doesn't appear to be much! But the look on Lupin's face, the hurt in his eyes, made him bite his tongue. Instead he said, quietly but truthfully, "I find it...difficult to trust anyone, Remus."

Lupin's face softened, and he caressed Snape's cheek again. "I know, Sev. But you should know by now that I always keep my promises." He leaned forward to kiss Snape hard, biting at his lower lip. He heard Snape's low groan and, knowing how much his lover liked him being the "alpha" in their new relationship, he growled, "I'll be back after I deal with Sirius, and you'd better be here."

Before Snape could reply to that, Lupin was stalking out of the room with the predatory prowl that aroused Snape so much. Snape felt his body respond to that in a predictable way, and looked about for something to distract him from his suddenly hard prick.

As he glanced around the room and took in the boxes scattered about, he winced. Definitely not one of his better ideas. And, considering that there had been an underlying tone of anger as well as hurt in Lupin's voice, it would probably be best if the other man didn't find evidence of Snape's momentary insanity on his return to their rooms. Fortunately, returning things to their proper places by magical means took very little time, and he only had to repair a half dozen things damaged in his drunken and non-magical packing attempt. Which left him with entirely too much time on his hands.

Changing the sheets from standard Hogwarts issue to ones he'd altered with a strengthening Potion took up a few more minutes, but there was still no sign of Lupin returning. He prowled around the room, searching for anything out of place to occupy his time, and came across an unfamiliar and battered suitcase near the door. The peeling label identified it as Lupin's and, after a moment's hesitation, Snape carried it into the bedroom.

Telling himself that he was performing a service for his lover, not snooping, he opened the suitcase. There wasn't much in the way of clothing inside: a pair of worn winter-weight robes, a cloak that had seen better days, assorted socks and underclothes, a velour dressing gown with most of the fuzz rubbed off, and some Muggle jeans and shirts made up the bulk of it. Snape carefully disposed of the garments, making room in his dresser and closet, as he pondered the social niceties of upgrading his lover's clothing. He knew without a doubt that Remus would refuse anything smacking of charity. Having come from a family with limited means himself, he understood that feeling all too clearly. True, there were natural occasions for giving presents, like Christmas and birthdays, but the first was too far away and the second unknown. Although lovers could be allowed some leniency in dispensing tokens of affection upon their partners, but he doubted Lupin would accept a complete wardrobe under that guise.

No matter, he decided as he tucked away the last of the clothing. He was Slytherin, and he would find a way.

The rest of the contents of the suitcase turned out to be personal possessions: photographs of family and friends, mementos, and books, including a small book of poems that he'd given Remus during those brief months when they'd been courting back at school. He cleared the bedside table on what he already thought of as Remus' side of the bed and set out the pictures. The books and mementoes he set on shelves about the room for Lupin to sort out later.

Closing the suitcase, he stored it on the top of the wardrobe for now and looked around for something else to do. Lupin was taking a damnably long time to return, and Snape found himself pacing the floor anxiously. His lover had been very hurt, as if he had really expected Snape to trust him completely. Snape had the uncomfortable feeling that Lupin expected him to apologize, and he didn't do apologies. Well, not verbal ones, at any rate.

Perhaps there was another, non-verbal way he could express his regret. Something his lover would appreciate, before Lupin decided Snape wasn't worth the effort. Remembering their first night together, Snape thought that Lupin would possibly appreciate another such display. There were other items in that box, other stockings and intimate apparel, and there was sure to be something "festive" and appropriate for the occasion.

Snape hurried to the wardrobe and opened the drawer containing his "special" garments. He looked at them carefully, considering and discarding the black satin bustier with its tiny jet-black baubles as too gaudy for his mood. A "figure former" designed to transform his angular body lines into curves and create pseudo-cleavage was also set aside -- Remus might find that amusing at some future time, but "amusing" was not what he had in mind for this afternoon. Next was a French Basque that was similar to the corselet he'd worn that first night and, while it might help to recreate that scene, he didn't want Lupin to think he was a one-trick pony. So to speak. Besides which, the interminable hooks up the front and lacings down the back would be hell to get out of in a hurry, and he hoped he'd need to do that. No, what he needed was something simple. Elegant. Sexy. Not for the first time, he mourned the passing of that black satin camisole.

His hands lingered on the next item, one he'd ordered from the catalogue out of sheer curiosity. They had called it a "teddy", whatever that was supposed to mean. It was light in his hands, made of a special kind of silk that tingled with the feel of magic, and was supposed to mould to him like a second skin. The body of it was black with hints of red in the trim around the edges, and he held the teddy up to examine it more critically. Yes, this would do very nicely, and there was a pair of thigh-high stockings to go with it. Setting them aside, he carefully set everything else back in the drawer and took the items into the bathroom.

Lupin wearily made his way down the dungeon corridor towards the rooms he would be sharing with Snape. He'd run Sirius to ground at last and found him talking to Harry and his friends in one of the unused classrooms. Harry must have known that something was up, because he quickly excused himself and the three went off together. Lupin had set a silencing spell on the room, then turned back to his friend and proceeded to give him a thorough carpeting. Sirius had tried to bluster his way out of the situation, then had tried the hurt-puppy look that had worked so well on Lupin when they were younger, but Lupin had somehow achieved immunity to that look during the past fourteen years.

In the end, Sirius had given in reluctantly, promising to leave Snape alone and not interfere in their relationship. It was the best Lupin could realistically hope for - the idea that they would become one big, happy family was patently ridiculous.

The "discussion" had taken far longer than he had anticipated and drained his energy reserves. Two more nights of the full moon lay before him, and he desperately needed to rest for a few hours before he locked himself in somewhere to wait out the night. He sincerely hoped that Snape was over his sulk; the last thing he needed was another argument.

When Lupin opened the door to the main living area, he was surprised to find it empty. He knew Snape liked to spend quiet afternoons, when he wasn't working on a potion, reading in front of the fire. He was encouraged to see that the boxes were gone, and a quick glance at the shelves told him that everything was back in place, but the rooms seemed empty and that was a bad sign.

He had better be here, Lupin thought grimly, and called out, "Severus?"

"In here."

Lupin could hear the desire in those deep, smoky tones, and his prick indicated that it recognized the sound as well. Maybe he didn't need a nap after all, but something a little more strenuous and infinitely more satisfying to release his pent-up tension.

He locked and warded the main door behind him, then pushed open the bedroom door and stepped inside. The room was shrouded in darkness relieved only by a few candles flickering on the nightstands and tables. He looked around and saw a shadowed figure stretched out on the bed. Severus, he thought with amusement, I do believe you are trying to seduce me.

He decided to tease the man a little by ignoring him in favour of prowling around the room, looking over everything. The boxes had been cleared in here as well, and it appeared that his suitcase had been unpacked. His books and other items had been set out on the shelves, integrated with Snape's own possessions, and the thoughtfulness of the gesture made his throat tighten.

"I see you've been doing a bit of clearing up."

"Lupin," Snape growled. "My housekeeping abilities are not what I want you to focus on at the moment."

"And what would you like me to focus on, Snape?" Lupin asked, turning to look at Snape, feigning innocent puzzlement.

"If I have to spell it out to you, Remus..." Snape snapped, and Lupin couldn't help laughing softly.

"No, I don't think you need to do that," Lupin agreed, slowly walking towards the bed as he shed his worn robes. He hadn't felt like putting on much after waking from his morning nap, so he was left in boxers and footwear as he approached the bed. As he got closer, his breath caught in his throat and he thought he might faint from lack of oxygen.

Snape was stretched out on the bed, arms above his head as his hands loosely gripped the headboard, while one knee was slightly bent to show his long form in all its perfection. And what he was wearing...Lupin was certain he had never seen anything so erotic in his life.

It was a single-piece outfit that stretched over Snape's body, the V-neckline repeated in the reverse V over his crotch and disappearing into the shadow between his legs. The black material shot with red accents looked like lace, but the fabric was obviously spelled because he didn't recall lace ever concealing and yet revealing so much at the same time. A slight movement of his lover's body, and the fabric rippled before his eyes, offering him tantalizing glimpses of flesh before disappearing again. The material clung to Snape's body, outlining each sexy line of his lover's slender frame, including the bulging mound between his legs.

Lupin's eyes travelled down his lover's long legs, drinking in the sexy silkiness of black stockings wrapped around the finest set of legs he'd ever seen in his life. He loved those legs, particularly when they were pressed back and wide apart under him, and he noted with approval that these stockings seemed to cling to Snape's legs without benefit of garters. While garters and the sexy little belt Snape had worn that first time had been erotic as hell, he'd discovered there were certain inherent problems involved in trying to remove panties with the damn stockings still attached to the garters. He'd shredded the delicate panties in exasperation...which reminded him that he owed Snape a replacement pair.

He grinned wolfishly. Red ones, he thought. Just as soon as he found that catalogue Severus was hiding from him.

Well, he corrected, as Snape shifted slightly again, and the fabric shifted and shimmered with him, maybe he'd take care of a few other matters first.

He kicked off his shoes, then leaned over to place twin kisses on the bare area of each thigh. Glancing up at his lover's face for the first time, he caught a look of smug satisfaction, and couldn't help grinning. So Severus thought he'd gotten the upper hand here, did he? Lupin would be only too glad to show him the error of his ways.

He muttered a quick spell, and leather cuffs lined with soft fur wrapped themselves around Snape's wrists, securing him to the headboard. Snape looked up, startled, and Lupin took the opportunity to climb on the bed and straddle his lover's hips.

"You've been a naughty boy," Lupin said, giving Snape a mock-severe look.

Snape rolled his eyes. "Really, Lupin."

"Hush," Lupin said, touching his fingers to Snape's lips. "You trust me, don't you?" Snape nodded without hesitation. "Then I want you to trust that I know what you need. What we need." Snape hesitated, then nodded. "Good." Lupin leaned down to reward him with a devastating kiss, then sat up.

"Now what was I saying?" Lupin asked.

Feeling more than a little ridiculous, Snape said, "That I've been a...a naughty boy."

"That's right," Lupin said. Ticking points off on his fingers, he said, "You didn't trust me, you were going to disappear without talking to me, you were trying to manipulate me with sex," he grinned at Snape's smirk, "even though I do appreciate the effort. And let's not forget you got pissed off your arse at a positively indecent hour of the day. It seems to me that you need to be punished."

Snape felt a frission of heated desire mixed with worry run up his spine. Mouth dry, he asked, "What are you going to do to me?"

Lupin leaned down to take his lover's earlobe between his teeth, then released it and murmured. "You will stay perfectly still unless I tell you otherwise. You will not speak unless I give you permission to speak. When you do speak, you will call me 'sir'. You may moan and groan and whimper as much as you like."

Snape glared up at him. "I do not whimper."

Lupin teased the earlobe again, then moved down the neck and used teeth and tongue on a spot he knew was especially sensitive to Snape. Snape moaned, arching his neck to give Lupin better access. After a few minutes, Lupin pulled back.


Lupin grinned down at him. "That was a distinct whimper, Sev."

Snape gave him a half-hearted glare; it was hard to summon a full glare when his body was humming like a wand in the hand of a master wizard. "Bastard."

"Ah-ah-ah. That's three penalty points you owe me now." Snape opened his mouth to protest and Lupin said, "Do you want to make it four?"

"No," Snape said then, as Lupin raised an eyebrow, grudgingly added, "sir."

"Better, although your tone of voice is questionable. I think a half-point for that." Before Snape could protest further or question what the penalty was, Lupin swooped down for another devastating kiss. He thoroughly explored his lover's mouth, re-familiarising himself with each contour, then moved down to feast on Snape's neck. The marks he'd made a few days earlier had started to fade, and he renewed them with a single-minded dedication that left Snape gasping and writhing under him.


Lupin raised his head and looked at him sternly. "Did I say you could speak?"

Something in the tone of voice sent delicious shivers up Snape's back. "No, sir."

Lupin hid a smile at the changes in his lover's attitude: from reluctance, through embarrassed irritation, to submission. He knew Severus needed to let someone else take charge for a little while, that he craved release from the heavy responsibilities he carried. And Lupin needed to be in charge, to take control of something in a life that was governed by so much beyond his ability to manipulate.

"That's another penalty," he growled at Snape, and saw him shiver as his eyes grew darker with lust. "If you can't be quiet, I'll have to gag you." There was no response, either vocally or from Snape's body, and Lupin dropped his head so that he could lightly bite one of the nipples just barely visible through the wondrous fabric. Snape arched under him, biting back an ecstatic cry, and Lupin asked, "Well? Do you want me to gag you?"

"No, sir," Snape said, breathing hard, eyes dilated even more. "Please."

"Very well, I won't. I do enjoy the sounds you make, but no more talking."

Snape nodded and Lupin returned to the pleasurable task of toying with the nipples, teasing moans out of his lover. He could feel Snape's erection pressed between their bodies, could smell the lust and arousal coursing through his lover's body, and lifted his head to growl, "If you come without my permission, I shall be very displeased with you."

"Oh, Merlin!" That was all it took. Lupin could feel the wetness spreading through the layers of cloth separating them, and he couldn't help grinning in satisfaction. Snape didn't notice; he was too busy shuddering through his climax, biting his lip to keep from speaking. Lupin sat back on Snape's thighs, watching his lover come down from the heights and schooling his face into a stern expression.

With a last shudder, Snape collapsed into the mattress and cautiously opened his eyes to gauge his lover's response. The severe look he saw there made his spent cock twitch.

"What did I just say to you, Severus?" Lupin demanded. He performed a quick clean-up spell so that Snape's outfit wouldn't be damaged, deliberately letting the magic tingle along his lover's prick, made his own remaining clothes disappear, and then set his wand on the nightstand. "It appears that I must punish you severely."

He moved up the bed until he was straddling Snape's chest, and his lover's mouth automatically opened for him to push his prick inside. "That's it," he said as Snape's mouth eagerly closed around him. "Can't get enough of it, can you, my little bitch?"

His mouth quirked up at a corner as he caught Snape's glare, but he didn't allow himself to laugh. Severus wasn't letting go, wasn't giving into his submission, and Lupin knew he'd have to try something else to get Snape to where he needed to be. Just as soon as more blood returned to his brain. For now, it was enough to pump in and out of his lover's mouth, feeling the talented tongue caress him as Snape worked over him, swallowing him deep, and taking everything he had to give.

With a last shudder, he spent himself down Snape's throat and then pulled out, scooting down so he could devour the slightly puffy lips. Snape moaned and arched up against him, his prick recovering nicely from earlier, but Lupin lifted up just enough to prevent him from finding anything to rub himself against. Frustrated, Snape opened his mouth to protest, only to find himself abruptly spun so that he was facing the bed.

"Remus!" he complained.

Lupin took a moment to admire the picture Snape made like this. The...whatever it was called...had a low cut back with narrow black straps that stood out vividly against Snape's white skin. There was no bottom to speak of, just a narrow strip of material continuing over the groin, running up the cleft, and then arching to the left and right over the firm arse.

Seeing the cheeks framed so nicely, Lupin couldn't resist smacking Snape on each. He heard Snape's sharp intake of breath and could smell the increased musk from his lover's body. No surprise there; he'd learned on their first night together that Snape liked being playfully swatted. In fact, though they hadn't had a chance to explore the subject yet, he suspected that Snape had a serious kink for erotic spankings. Not that this was the time to explore that, either, but a little warm-up might help Snape let go.

"You still owe me several penalties," he growled, slapping the firm arse again. "I'm going to warm up this pretty arse, then I'm going to fuck you through the mattress."

He applied a steady stream of smacks to the temptingly displayed cheeks, watching with satisfaction as they pinked up. By the time he judged them to be just the right sensitivity, Snape was moaning with each slap and rocking back into them.

Snape let out a frustrated sound when Lupin stopped. "Remus, please...more..."

Lupin grinned but leaned down so that his chest pressed against Snape's back and murmured, "You're still forgetting the rules."

Snape wriggled under him, trying to get his lover's prick closer to where he needed it to be, but Lupin wouldn't let him. "Sir...please...fuck me."

"That's better," Lupin said and rewarded Snape by sucking on one of the sensitive places on his neck. "Such a good pet, aren't you?"

"Yes," Snape panted.

Lupin straightened and ran his hands over Snape's back and down his heated cheeks. The fabric of the outfit rippled under his fingers, to Lupin's surprise and delight. He slid down so he could apply his tongue to the pink cheeks, laughing softly as his lover eagerly pushed backward for more attention.

"You really are a slut, Severus," he said affectionately. Snape didn't have a chance to reply -- not in any intelligible language, at any rate -- as Lupin pushed the flexible fabric aside and fluttered his tongue against the wrinkled hole. Snape howled and pushed back hard for more. Lupin laughed and replaced his tongue with his finger, delighted to find that Snape had already prepared himself. He summoned to hand the jar of lubricant sitting on the nightstand and slicked himself up, then placed his cock against the entrance.

"Now for your final penalty," he said. "I want you to push yourself back slowly on me. As slowly as you can. If you push back too fast, I'll pull out, finish myself, and leave you like this."

Snape groaned at that but obeyed, pushing back with excruciating slowness. Lupin had to restrain himself from disobeying his own edict, from grasping Snape's hips and thrusting himself in to the hilt. He bit his lip and recited a list of the most obnoxious items he could think of, mostly Potion ingredients. Finally, he was seated fully, and he held Snape in place for a few minutes as he breathed in deeply and tried to calm himself.

Feeling he was finally under control, Lupin pressed a kiss against the base of his lover's neck and reached around to free him from the confining fabric. Snape groaned at the feel of his lover's hand around his prick, but resisted the urge to move against it.

"Very good, pet," Lupin murmured. "Would you like me to fuck you now?"

"Yes, sir," Snape moaned. "Please, fuck me, sir."

Lupin straightened up and pulled nearly all the way out at the same time. He thrust in, hard, and heard his lover's relieved sigh at the movement. He set up a steady pattern, thrusting in and out.

Snape loved the sensation of being filled and emptied, and the warm hand pulling him felt wonderful, but the thrusts were never quite against the internal pleasure spot and he writhed in frustration.

Lupin knew what the wriggling was about and he could feel himself nearing his own peak, so he pulled back out and adjusted his thrusting so that he hit the spot. Snape screamed and came hard, and the tightening around his prick triggered Lupin's own climax. Resisting the primal urge to set his teeth hard into Snape's neck, he pressed his forehead down instead, growling as he rapidly thrust into the delicious tightness, spending himself until he slumped wearily onto Snape's back, bearing them both down to the bed.

They both lay there for a long moment, catching their breath, then Snape grumbled, "Lupin, you may be too thin, but you're still heavy. Not to mention the fact that I'm still cuffed."

Lupin snorted and carefully eased out of his lover's body, then flopped down on the bed beside him. "You are the least submissive sub I've ever been with."

Snape summoned enough energy to cock an eyebrow at him. "Regrets?"

"Not a one," Lupin trailed a lazy finger along Snape's spine, seeing him shiver. "And before you ask, yes, there have been a number of lovers before you, more than a handful and less than a dozen, but there will be no more."

Snape's throat felt tight with emotion but he only said, "In case it has slipped your attention -- which, being a Gryffindor, I'm sure is limited in duration -- I am still cuffed to the bed."

Lupin chuckled. "Maybe I plan to keep you this way." Snape glared and Lupin released the cuffs. Snape gingerly rolled onto his side, acquiescing when Lupin pulled him down for a kiss. He fingered the fabric of the outfit Snape was wearing, noticing it had once again settled against his body like a second skin, the line marred only by the prick lying exposed. Lupin rather liked that look.

"What is this?"

"It's called a teddy."

Lupin nearly choked. "A what?"

Snape glared at him. "I didn't name it. Some stupid Muggle did. The fabric is spider silk."

Lupin raised an eyebrow. "Costs a bomb, doesn't it?"

Snape shrugged. "It isn't as if I have an extravagant lifestyle or many demands on the generous salary Albus allows me."

Lupin leaned forward and kissed the spot where the fabric made a "V" on Snape's chest. He knew why Snape indulged himself with expensive clothing and books, just like he himself hoarded every spare sickle that came his way, but now wasn't the time to discuss their pasts. "I like it, but right now I'd like to be naked and snuggled up against you for a nap."

Snape gingerly sat up and peeled off the teddy and stockings, saying quietly, "Do you have time for this?"

Lupin met his eyes. "I'm not planning to go anywhere tonight."

A hint of a smile touched Snape's lips. "In that case, may I direct your attention to the bedside table?"

Lupin glanced over and saw a goblet sitting there. "I do like a man who's prepared for any contingency."

Snape settled back down on the bed. "Loath though I am to lessen myself in your eyes, I must admit that the most I thought you would allow is for me to remain with you until shortly before the change."

Lupin reached out to brush Snape's hair back, tucking it behind one ear. "You can never become less in my eyes, Severus, no matter what you do or say. Do you know how incredibly overwhelmed I am that you can accept this part of me?"

Snape shrugged and looked bored, but Lupin was sure he detected the hint of a blush in the pale cheeks. Lupin kindly ignored it as he turned to pick up the goblet, drained it, then made a face. "Although I'd be indebted to you forever if you could find a way to make it more palatable."

Snape snorted, already drifting toward sleep, and Lupin chuckled at the absurdly-delightful sound. He lay down and wrapped himself around Snape's body, adjusting them until his face was buried against Snape's hair.

"I'll try not to wake you when I change," he murmured.

"I don't mind," Snape mumbled sleepily.

Lupin felt a delicious warmth in his belly that had nothing to do with physical satiation or the Potion coursing through his bloodstream. My mate, he thought dreamily. Maybe it was time for someone to do a definitive study on the familial habits of werewolves. Perhaps from the point of view of a werewolf, involved in a committed relationship with a certain Potions master for a long, long time.