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[personal profile] westernredcedar
And, for the record, here's part two. The other fest I participated in this year was my dear old Snupin Santa. This little something was based on the prompt, "Remus and Severus attend the symphony," and it just evolved from there. Also, I'm very out of practice writing smut. And action. Also also, [livejournal.com profile] aunty_marion helped me crack this one into shape. Much love.

Title: My Promising Career in Espionage
Summary: Remus needs the work, and Dumbledore has a new contact for him, a young Death Eater who has just started passing information.
Rating: NC-17
Length: 5500 words
Other pairings: Sirius/Remus (past)
Warnings: None
Notes: The title is part of a quote by Q. Thank you to the fabulous Aunty Marion for the beta help!
Your prompt category and number (Example: DDO #6 or Story #78): DDO #9 Snape and Lupin attend the symphony.

"A dinner jacket, Moony? Really?" Sirius was reclined on the bed in the Potters’ spare room, where he had taken up residence again after a brief, failed attempt to find his own flat. "You really are determined to look like a prat, aren't you?"

"It’s for work, Sirius." Remus was on a tight schedule, but he couldn’t tell Sirius that. He'd stopped by hoping to grab some formal gear and leave quickly, but, well. Sirius. He'd hardly seen him for weeks, and then only at Order of the Phoenix meetings. Remus leaned back against the chest of drawers and folded his arms. "Besides, look who's calling me a prat. What happened to your hair?"

"What?" Sirius ran a hand through his shorn locks, a blonde streak newly bleached down the center. He rose up on his knees to grin at his reflection in the mirror across the small room.

Remus could only stare and shake his head. "Nothing."

"Oh come off it, Moony. Get with the times. You like it. No, you don't like it. You love it." He grabbed Remus's hand and forced him to pet the fine stubble at his neck.

Remus removed his hand. "You look like a skunk."

Sirius paused for a moment and looked at Remus, then back at the mirror. "I don't."





Remus grabbed Sirius by the shoulders. "Just get me your dinner jacket, you mad skunk."

Sirius made a face. "At least I don't smell like a skunk, which is more than you can say. Where the fuck have you been off to, anyway?" Sirius pulled himself off the bed and made a final check of himself in the mirror before heading towards his cupboard.

Remus took a covert sniff. He hadn't been home to shower since leaving Grayback's pack. "Order shite." He approached the cupboard door.

"Ooo, top secret, I suppose?"

Remus swallowed. "Yeah. Actually, it is."

It was quiet for a little too long before Sirius continued. "So what job do you need this for? Weren't you made redundant?"

Remus felt his heart speed up and a flush form on his neck. "Yeah, not really a job, just something for Dumbledore. Don’t know much about it yet." He had to get out of here, he couldn't last if Sirius really started to pry. The sod knew all of his secrets. At least, he used to.

"But you need to dress as a penguin?" Sirius emerged from the packed cupboard with a plastic garment bag.

"Yeah, suppose so."

"Well, here it is." Sirius unzipped the garment bag, revealing aging but still passable Muggle formal wear. "Bought it for the school dance that Muggle bird Myra invited me to."

"I remember." He did. Remus remembered blinding jealousy. Fucking Sirius, willing to shag anything. But he was past all of that now.

Sirius zipped up the bag and handed it, hanger-first, to Remus. "What about later? I'm going out dancing. You could come with. You know, like old times."

A little knot formed in Remus's gut. It had been such a long time. "I can’t, Sirius. The job goes late."

"Oh. Yeah, sure."

Remus gathered up the trailing garment bag in his arms. "Sorry. Maybe another night?"

Sirius had retreated across the room to check his streaked hair again, his back to Remus. "Or we'll just see each other at the next meeting."

The knot pulled tight. "Okay." Remus opened the door and then turned back. "I really appreciate this, Padfoot. You're saving my arse."

Sirius didn't turn around. "Who're you shagging now, Moony?"


"You must have someone better on offer. Who is it?" Sirius still had his back to him.

Remus swallowed hard. "The job goes really late, Sirius. Honest."

After a moment, Sirius turned around, his gray eyes soft. "Yeah, okay. Sorry, I just…don't work too hard, you pillock."

"You either, lazy sod," Remus replied.

The pillow Sirius threw after him bounced off the door-frame as Remus dashed away.


Back at his flat, dripping from a shower and fighting with the bowtie, Remus ran the details of the night's operation in his head.

This one was a dark artifact recovery. Their informant had been very specific about the time, place, and dress code for the rendezvous. The informant, working as Remus's partner, would be meeting with the dealers, and he and Remus would contrive to take the artifact back before it could fall into Voldemort's hands – all this without giving away who'd leaked the information to the Order.

Remus had run three successful operations like this for Dumbledore over the last month, but his heart was hammering in anticipation all the same. His wide fingers fumbled over the cuff links, and he wished, for a moment, that he'd stayed and had Sirius help him to dress.

No, poor idea. And not even what he really wished. Remus turned the links himself and settled his lapels. He took a deep breath, and set out.


The Royal Festival Hall was brightly lit and full of the dense murmuring of hundreds of voices. Remus tugged at his cuffs. His arms were longer than Sirius's and the sleeves of the jacket kept creeping up and showing his wrists.

From his perch, alone in an upper box, Remus could see and hear everything: musicians discordantly warming up, well-dressed patrons finding their seats, even better dressed patrons filling the boxes. But mostly, he kept his eye on his partner for this job, dressed in a trim and fitted suit himself, now settling into an aisle seat in the main auditorium and giving Remus the all-clear signal, a single tug on his ear.

Remus's heart hammered in his chest. His cheeks burned. A couple, the woman wearing an enormous fur, joined him in the box. He gave them a weak smile, settled himself, and tried to breathe evenly.

Remus looked down again and casually eyed the two people sitting next to his partner, an older man and woman, both dressed smartly, the woman in purple, the man in a dark blue business suit. Impressive, Remus thought to himself. No one around them would ever guess they were anything but music appreciators out for a night at the symphony.

The slight, dark-haired man, Remus's partner, leaned over and whispered something to the man in the blue suit, who laughed and settled back into his seat to read the programme for the night. Remus pulled his programme out as well. Chopin, then Beethoven, ending with a modern piece. Ugh. Remus hoped that they would be finished with the job and cleared out long before then.

Remus sat back, trying to stay calm as the lights dimmed and gentle applause began for the concertmaster. Just as the lights fully blinked out, he caught the eye of his partner and gave a slight nod, his pulse slamming in his ears. With a deep scowl, Severus Snape gave an almost imperceptible nod back.


Dumbledore had sent a Portkey to Remus's flat a month before. Remus had just been made redundant, and had nothing to lose by hearing what the headmaster had to offer.

"We've had someone turn, m'boy, a Death Eater willing to pass us information on Voldemort's plans."

"A double agent?" Remus had asked. He'd just spent a long empty week watching James Bond films at the cinema down the road from his flat.

Dumbledore had grinned. "Yes, I suppose so. I've told him I will try to help him if he tries to help us. It is a touchy situation. I believe you are the person most likely to be able to work well with this particular informant."

Remus had shifted in his chair. Even at twenty, sitting in the Headmaster's office still made him feel like a first year. "Me? Why me, sir?"

"I believe you and this person have a history, and last I was aware you parted on good terms. I'm afraid that cannot be said for several other members of the Order. You are my best hope."

Remus's stomach had hollowed out. "Who is it, sir?"

"Severus Snape."

Oh gods. Severus. Coming back to them. Remus could hardly breathe.

"Will you take the job?"

There was only one answer he could possibly give. "Of course, sir. What do I do?"


Snape. As the first notes of the piano concerto filled the hall around him, Remus breathed out his name. Severus.

Back at school they'd been, what? Uncomfortable enemies, uncomfortably attracted, then uncomfortably snogging in stairwells and cupboards for two fantastic years. It had all ended horribly the day Severus had found out he was occasionally a werewolf, and ended further when Remus learned Severus was a Death Eater, but damn, the attraction had never subsided. Sitting in the dark of the concert hall, eyes fixed on Severus's shadowy form far below, Remus realized he had no idea if his heart rate was due to the danger, the music, or simply to Severus.


As the first movement came to a close and the stillness settled in, Remus checked his watch and then slipped out of his own seat. Below him, he could see the dim shadow of Severus also moving up the aisle. He must have made an excuse, probably the restroom.


Remus came out into the empty foyer and made for the mezzanine. He turned into a small, dead-end nook beyond the bathroom, along the railing overlooking the back staircase. To prepare for this job, he had joined a sightseeing tour of the building two days before, and had scoped out this secluded spot, perfect for a clandestine meeting.

Remus leaned onto the railing and glanced around. No one in sight.

After a moment, someone joined him, several feet away, someone who also leaned against the railing and clasped his long, familiar fingers together. Remus didn't dare look over.

"Clear?" Very soft.


Remus let his breath return for a moment, but still kept his eyes fixed ahead. Just two strangers standing by the railing at the symphony.

"What have you got so far?" Remus asked, his voice an airy whisper.

"He has it with him, in his left coat pocket. A smooth, glassy stone, about the size of a walnut."

"What's it do?"

"Opens Tereboth's Want, some ancient chest. If you put this stone in and do the proper switching spells, you can call up any object you want to replace the stone. Means…he…could get hold of any artifact he desires."

As with the many times Severus had spoken to him this past month, Remus couldn't read his tone, a studied and painful neutral.

"All right, so we don't want that. Plan?"

Severus paused before responding.

"You won't like it."

Remus finally dared a glance at Severus. Even in profile, his deep frown and drawn brow were clear.

"Try me."

Severus looked over, and their eyes locked. Remus swallowed hard. Severus's thin face was taut with tension, his large features and wide mouth made prominent by the deep shadows in the nook. His suit was new and stylish, slim to his waist, thin lapels, fitted trousers. His stormy expression only highlighted the crisp lines of the tailoring. Remus couldn't breathe.

Then Severus wrinkled his nose and looked away, and the moment was over. "Whose suit are you wearing?" he asked.

Remus sighed. "A friend's. Don't change the subject."

"It doesn't fit."


"Very well, then." Severus stared straight ahead. "Then the plan is I give you up. I tell them there's an agent of Dumbledore's here to foil the sale."

"Shit, Severus, who bloody cares where I got my suit!"

"Keep your voice down, you idiot. I'm telling you the plan."

"You…?" Remus took a moment to let the blast of fear subside. "Go on."

Remus listened as Severus outlined his plan, his blood rushing. It was a good plan. Dangerous and scary as shite, but good.

"Of course, then you'll have to stun me," Severus finished.

Remus grinned. "I'll be gentle."

Severus looked at him again, eyes dark. "Don't joke, Lupin."

Remus met Severus's gaze and let his face fall serious again. "I'm not."

Severus nodded once, then turned his attention back to the spot of air in front of him. "We should get back. I've been gone too long."

Taking a chance, Remus moved closer to Severus along the railing. He let his little finger rest alongside the edge of Severus's wrist for a moment. In the faintest of whispers, he said, "I want to see you after."

Severus drew his hand away abruptly and straightened his cuffs, stepping back from the rail. As he turned to walk away, he whispered back so low and soft that Remus had to strain to hear. "You know where."

Left alone, Remus smiled.

Severus's plan required Remus to appear to be a rapt audience member for the remainder of the Chopin concerto, a task Remus found to be completely impossible once he returned to his box. He managed to keep his eyes on the small figures on stage holding violins and cellos and clarinets, but he couldn't hear the music, not really. It was a soothing white noise in the background of the utter terror he felt over his next move.

As his eyes readjusted to the darkness of the hall, Remus could see that Severus was leaning over to whisper to the two dark artifact dealers, no doubt informing them that he'd just encountered a known associate of Dumbledore's. Easy enough. Severus wouldn't even have to lie, Remus thought.

The next bit was all in the timing.

It took Remus's preoccupied brain several seconds to notice when the white noise of music transformed into the white noise of applause. The man and woman next to him were on their feet even, enthusiastically shouting bravos at the soloist. Remus shook off his daze and then clapped heartily himself. As soon as the applause started to fade, he nodded and smiled at the couple, who were resuming their seats, and made his way quickly out of the box and dashed towards the lobby.

He paused near the bottom of the stairwell to listen. He could hear a few other patrons already in the foyer above him, exiting for the brief intermission. He had to hurry.

If the dealers had bought Severus's story, then at least one of them should be round the corner, lying in wait for Remus in exactly the wrong spot, completely unprotected from behind. If they had bought Severus's story. Remus took a steadying breath, grabbed his wand from his sleeve, and peeped around the edge of the stairwell.

The man was there in the lobby, the man in the blue suit. Remus looked around quickly to confirm that the other dealer, the woman in purple, was not there as well. Severus had predicted that they would not want to leave him alone once they knew the job might be compromised. It appeared he was correct.

The man's back was to Remus, and he was waiting at the bottom of the far staircase, wand out, obviously ready to attack the first person to come around the corner. Remus crept forward. The man was much taller than he had appeared from above, and his suit was much more shabby than Remus had been able to make out. The seam at the shoulder was giving out.

Remus breathed in. The voices on the stairs were very close now. "Petrificus Totalis," he whispered, and the spell hit the unguarded back of his victim. The man in the blue suit collapsed stiffly to the floor just as a group of well-dressed women emerged into the lobby.

"Help!" Remus shouted at them, crouching at the side of the man in the suit, rolling him to his back. He was stiff as a pine board. Remus bit his lip so as not to grin. The man's dark eyes drilled into Remus as he leaned over his prone body, but the spell held. The man neither moved nor spoke. Remus grabbed at his lapels, fingers searching. "Help! This man just collapsed!"

A crowd had gathered now as Remus mimed checking pulse and heart beat, listening at the man's chest.

"Move back, I'm a doctor!" was shouted at last from the growing crowd, and Remus stepped back to allow the unfortunate Muggle doctor in to try and puzzle out this medical mystery. Hiding his prize in his trouser pocket, Remus eased backwards and allowed himself to be swallowed up by the crowd.

Part one, accomplished. The rest was easy.

Remus trotted back up the stairs, trying to remain calm and steady. Just a patron at the symphony. The bell was ringing to call everyone back to their seats, and the lobbies started to empty. If Severus had been able to do his part, then the woman in purple should be knocked out in her seat, hopefully appearing to any curious Muggles as if she'd simply fallen asleep during the Chopin, and Severus should be making his way to their rendezvous point now. Almost out.

Remus dashed around the corner, back into the deserted hallway just outside his box, and ran headlong into the woman in the furs, the one he had shared the box with earlier.

"Sorry, so sorry," Remus stuttered, brushing past her.

"No worries," she replied, in a silky clear voice. "But why the rush, Mr. Lupin?"

"I was just…"

Oh gods.

"That is your name isn't it? Or has our intelligence failed us?"

Remus froze, his blood turned to ice, and he turned slowly back. The woman had her wand out, a beautiful, polished yew, he noticed, pointed right between his eyes.

She was young, and there was something very unsettling about her eyes, as though they couldn't quite focus in the same direction. Shit, Remus had hardly spared her a glance in the box earlier. "You are a difficult man to track, but not difficult enough, it seems. You caused us no end of trouble last week with your little stunt." Last week he and Severus had nabbed a shipment of cursed idols from a dealer in Knockturn Alley. Shit.

The door to their box opened and the man accompanying her stepped out. He was tall and his handsome face was marred only by the deep downturn of his mouth. Remus hadn't even looked at him before, he'd been so distracted by her enormous fur coat. Shit shit shit.

"Excellent work, my dear. Now we have two prizes to bring back to…"

Remus could guess what the man's next words were going to be, but he didn't have a chance to say them. A sharp, clear, "Stupefy," rang through the hallway, and the woman and man fell to the ground at Remus's feet. Behind them, like a blazing fury, stood Severus.

Remus's knees went out under him like jelly and he sat down on the floor. In the distance, he could hear Beethoven.

Blinking, Remus realized Severus was grabbing at the man's sleeve and yanking it up, then doing the same to the woman. He didn’t like what he saw there, apparently, because he let fly a stream of curses under his breath, and Remus felt the very odd impulse to start laughing hysterically.

"Did you know you were followed?" Severus asked, now probing through the pockets of the two figures on the floor.

"You stopped them."

"Yes. Did you know? Have you seen them before?" Severus had come over and grabbed Remus by the shoulders, and was now inches away from Remus's face. His eyes were wild and his nostrils flaring, and all Remus could think to do was to lean forward and kiss him, hard on the mouth.

Severus shoved him back. "Not now. Lupin. Think."

Severus held his gaze, eyes boring into him. Remus's brain finally kicked back in and he shook his head. Shit. He'd had no idea. "Last week. The job with the idols."

"Do you think they knew I was with you?"

Remus stared at the two bodies in front of him. "I don't know. Maybe."

Without a pause, Severus flipped his wand around, focused his gaze, and shot a firm, "Obliviate," at first the man and then the woman. Their still forms twitched and then fell still again. Severus's breathing slowly returned to normal and he sank down on the floor next to Remus.

"Did you retrieve it? The stone?"

Remus nodded and patted his trouser pocket. "While I was pretending to check his heart. Left coat pocket."

Severus nodded and looked at Remus like he was about to say something else, but then Remus heard voices in the corridor. Severus stopped and stood.

"Do it now, before somebody comes."

Remus's head hurt and he was suddenly so tired he didn't know if he could stand up.

"Lupin, now. Do it!"

Remus stood up, looked at Severus and whispered, "You know where," a moment before pointing his wand at Severus's chest and shouting, "Stupefy!"

As Severus crumpled to the floor, Remus was already Apparating away, the fine strains of Beethoven in his ears.


The Green Man pub was hidden away in the far corner of Hogsmeade, well-off the beaten track and therefore rarely discovered by students. It was in the cellar of a milliner's shop that provided antiquated fashions, and the whole place smelled of felt and glue and ale. During the thrilling and short few months during school that Remus had thought he and Severus might actually be something, they'd gone there three times together.

"You know where," Severus had said. The Green Man. After their first operation together a few weeks earlier, Remus had returned to the pub, some odd mix of nostalgia and longing drawing him there, only to find that Severus had done the same. They'd stared at each other in disbelief for a long moment before they gave in and collapsed into one of the pub’s dingy rooms together, ignoring all of the many reasons to be apart in favor of necking all night. Maybe they were making up for all the stupidly lost time, maybe assuming their time now was short. Who cared, Remus thought. He would take what he could get.

Exhausted and still shaky, Remus Apparated first to the gates of Hogwarts to leave the retrieved stone at the drop point for Dumbledore, then to the Green Man. Sirius's suit was wrinkled and stale. Remus had pulled loose the bowtie, unbuttoned the shirt at the neck, and at some point he'd sweated through it at the back. It seemed a million years ago Sirius had asked him to go dancing tonight, almost like a scene he'd imagined.

He'd get the suit dry-cleaned. He owed Sirius that.

He knew Severus would be a while, even if everything went smoothly. He'd have to wake up with the Death Eaters and artifact dealers at the Royal Festival Hall, concoct a story to explain how they'd all been bested by one man, and most likely have to go in and explain his failure to Voldemort. If he was lucky, he'd escape to meet Remus in a few hours, and hopefully in one piece. Remus didn't care. He could wait.

He was halfway through his second pint when he heard a tapping at the window by his elbow. By the time he turned to look, all he could see was a faint movement heading away from the pub and into the dark shadows of the hillside behind the village.

Remus swallowed the rest of his pint in one go and tossed a few sickles on the table as he dashed out the door, pulling his coat on over the wrinkled suit. He was wobbly still, his knees not yet recovered from his brush with capture at the symphony, or maybe it was the ale, or maybe, again, it was just Severus. He grappled his wand out of his sleeve just in case, and headed off into the darkness.

It had been just like this the past few times as well, dashing off after Severus into the night, and Remus's blood pounded with the memory of it.

He was trotting past a small copse of trees when he was grabbed from behind, wiry arms around his waist and his shoulder, iron hand over his mouth to keep him from shouting out, pulling him back into the shadows of an old oak.

Remus shook his head and the hand was pulled away from his mouth. "Shit, Severus. Christ. What are you doing?" But then a hot mouth was on Remus from behind, fingers pulling back Sirius's shirt and sucking and biting at the curve between shoulder and throat, and Remus stopped talking.

Remus grabbed at the hand Severus had locked on his hip, and loosened it enough to rotate himself around to face his captor and grab his thin face in his hands. It was too dark to see if he was wounded, but his skin was warm, and his arms were locked on with his usual iron grip, and Remus allowed himself permission to hope that all had come off without further incident.

Severus didn't seem inclined to debrief the operation, however. He ground himself into Remus, all brittle, sinewy body and sharp bones. His mouth was hot and hungry against Remus's. Remus didn't hesitate, pouring all the tension and stress of the last few hours into the connection between them. Severus had fought for him, saved him, been his partner. Remus couldn't kiss him deeply enough, couldn't rut hard enough, or grapple at clothing fast enough.

Gods, being a spy made him horny.

Severus finally pulled back and started in on the buttons of Remus's shirt. "Whose suit is this?" he asked again as he licked and sucked his way down Remus's chest, one button at a time.

Remus tangled his fingers into Severus's long hair. "Borrowed," he managed to mutter. He did not want to think about Sirius right now.


Shit. "Why do you care?" Remus breath shuddered as Severus reached his belt and started to open the buckle.

"I don't."

Remus leaned back hard against the tree as Severus sank down to his knees and took his cock down his throat. Remus made his best effort at remaining upright. Severus's fingers dug into the backs of his thighs, even through the stiff fabric of the trousers. Gods only knew what Severus had just been through; it must have been bad. In the last month of this, this whatever it was between them, the only clues Remus could glean about Severus's emotional life came from the intensity of his fucking. And he was fully in it now.

Severus's mouth was hot on Remus's cock, nibbling and sucking, and doing something with his tongue that sent shockwaves through Remus's toes. The rough bark bit into Remus's shoulders but he couldn't have moved if he'd wanted to. Sirius's trousers sank down around his thighs as he bucked up into Severus's mouth.

He was hovering on the precipice, just about to come, when Severus pulled away and stood up, spinning Remus around so he had to catch himself against the tree and lean in to keep from falling. Remus was about to complain and try to regain some control when Severus's body pressed in against him and he reached around and grappled hold of Remus's cock, continuing on in a steady pace that was going to make Remus fly into a million pieces in short order. Severus had freed himself from his trousers at some point and now Remus could feel him pressed against the back of his thighs, slipping in between them and rutting in and out. Remus held his legs tight together, pumping back against the body behind him, while Severus stroked and pulled at his cock, dragging Remus up and over the edge.

It was filthy and gorgeous. The night air was cool on Remus's arse and hips, and he was making sounds, loud sounds, and he couldn't begin to care. All the pent up tension and worry of the night, of all of it, was pouring out of his body. Through the shakes and shudders of his orgasm, Severus's pace against his arse and thighs increased, and Remus bucked against him, knocking him back and taking the momentary advantage to turn around and crawl in between Severus's thighs to suck him in, hard, just like he knew Severus liked it. Severus pulled at his hair, so Remus grabbed his balls and tugged and Severus was coming with a shout, right into Remus's mouth and down his chin and all over Sirius's lapels.


They ended up on the ground next to each other, sitting up against the rough bark of the old oak, panting and hot in the cool night air.

Remus wiped his mouth against his sleeve and leaned back. "How did you get away?"

Severus was quiet, just leaning slightly against Remus's arm.

"You did get away, didn't you? No one is coming after you?" Remus felt a chill for the first time, and pulled his shirt back around his chest.

"I managed it." Severus's voice was quiet and deep.

"You aren't hurt, are you?"


"What did you tell them?"

Severus remained quiet, and Remus knew better than to press him for an answer. Finally Severus spoke into the darkness.

"The second two…the spell was effective. They don't remember anything. I told them I had no idea what had happened to them. Neither of them even remembered why they were at the symphony."

Remus breathed a sigh; they wouldn't be bothering him again.

"I told the other two, the artifact dealers, that you must have had a partner who got the drop on us all."

"Ah, so you told the truth?" Remus grinned, but that wasn't really what he'd been asking. "And what about…you know…him. What did you tell him?"

Severus breathed in and out and settled more firmly against Remus's shoulder. "Nothing. I gave the Dark Lord the stone he'd requested."

Remus was quiet in the dark, puzzling out what Severus wasn't telling him. "You gave him a fake?"

Severus was silent.

"He'll come after you."

"No, he won't blame me." Severus's voice was cool and quiet. "I know how to…conceal the truth from him. And I gave up some names. He trusts me."

Remus recognized the tone, the secrets and risk, the amount Severus was not saying. He could tell, by the pinched thinness of his voice, what it cost him to even say this much.

"He'll go after those dealers, that couple you sat with," Remus said. "You set them up."

Severus was silent.

"Shit." Remus shivered again and pulled Sirius's jacket more firmly onto his shoulder. "I hate this war."

Severus didn't reply, but he did let his arm relax and his hand drop against Remus's, fingers touching but not quite holding on.

Remus leaned over and grabbed Severus by the chin, pulling him into a soft, lingering kiss.

Severus didn't resist, even let the kiss deepen when he might have ended it. Remus breathed into it, into the soft feeling of peace he had at the meeting of lips and teeth and tongue, held onto it for as long as he could.

It had to end though. "I should go. I'm meant to check in after," Remus said at last into Severus's skin.

Severus pulled back. "Yes. Go," he said, standing up abruptly and brushing himself off. He reached for his long black cloak, lying discarded behind him.

"I have to," Remus said, also rising.

"Indeed. You'll need to return the suit, of course." Severus was now entirely sheathed in his dark cloak and buttoned up against all human contact. Remus reeled with the suddenness of his transformation.

"Later, yes. It needs to be cleaned." Remus gathered the parts of Sirius's formal wear from where they had scattered on the ground, reassembling himself. "I hope…" No, try again. "We'll work together again soon, I think."

Severus's gaze did not leave the ground. "I don't know," he said.

Remus shoved his hands in his pockets. He could play this game just as well as Severus. "All right then. See you." He turned and started off down the slope towards the lights of Hogsmeade.

"Wait. Remus."

Remus. He turned back, surprised.

"I had hoped to hear the Beethoven."

Remus smiled, and hoped Severus could see him in the dim moonlight. "Me, too."


"Yes?" Again.

"How is Lily?" Severus was just a voice from the darkness, all Remus could see beneath the oak tree was a deep shadow.

"Lily? She's well. Busy, I think, with the baby. But good, happy."

There was no movement under the tree, only a long deep breath that Remus could sense in his gut. When Severus spoke, Remus could hardly hear him. "She'd better be," he said, and then there was a flurry of movement and a crack and Severus was gone.

Remus stared into the darkness for a moment longer, wondering. Then he turned and set off towards the glowing lights of Hogsmeade, humming a few bars of Beethoven and trying not to consider the lonely days until Dumbledore needed his services again.

Date: 18 Jan 2014 01:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magnetic-pole.livejournal.com
*shivers* I love the contingent quality to all of this--nothing is quite certain, everyone's in the middle of doing something else, partly in the present but not entirely. I hate the romanticizing of violence that come with war stories (sorry, that's not even about your story, I just feel like have to say it), but this captured what it must have felt like to be a pawn in someone else's chess game. Enjoyed! M.

Date: 18 Jan 2014 08:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] westernredcedar.livejournal.com
Aww, thanks for reading m'dear! Yes, these poor teenagers just completely trapped by weird emotions and loyalties in this horrible mess. It's what I love about the first HP war as a setting.
Interesting thought about the romanticizing of violence in war. I have accepted for years now that I love war novels and war stories, far more than any of my friends who I regularly read with. I think I like the high stakes and the shared intensity, both elements I look for in anything I read. But you are right that there is also something disturbing about enjoying reading about it so much, especially violence in war as a catalyst for sex or romance. Hmm. Do you know the movie "Hope and Glory"? One of my faves, and has all of this great mingled sex and war, people falling together just needing to feel something besides the horror. I think that's what I like and wish I could write.

Date: 18 Jan 2014 08:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magnetic-pole.livejournal.com
No across-the-board denigration of war stories intended! You know that, right? I can totally see the appeal of the genre--it gives you a moral (or amoral) universe in which to place your characters and a set of circumstances with which to test them. (I think it might be comparable to why I like detective stories--how do you go about understanding the world and people's motivations) There's just a certain sensibility to some war stories that puts me off enough I felt I had to mention it here, despite the fact that your fic didn't raise that set of issues.

Haven't seen Hope and Glory. Should I?

Meanwhile, have you finished up the latest Sherlock episodes? I'm so curious about your reaction! M.

Date: 18 Jan 2014 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] westernredcedar.livejournal.com
Hope and Glory, yes! Such a wonderful film, kid's POV on the Blitz, with all sorts of complex adult relationships seen but not understood. It has some of my favorite scenes in any movie.

No, I know you are not anti war stories as a genre! Your comment just got me thinking (again) about why it seems to be my favorite genre to read and write. Odd, and I wonder sometimes about how much I personally might romanticize. However, I believe I 'm not a big fan of romanicizing anything, even romance! Heh.

Perhaps I can watch Ep 2 of Sherlock this afternoon. I am laid out with a cold and trying to parent and rest is not working very well. I think SO might take the kid away for a while and then I can watch and react. I also have a Sherlock fic that is one good writing session away from finished (end of an old one, not a new one). So Sherlock something or other shall happen if I get a time-out from parenting. :) I'll keep you posted. *hug*

Date: 18 Jan 2014 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magnetic-pole.livejournal.com
I should give it a try, then. I love the disjunction between a kid's perspective and the adult world.

No, you're not a romanticizer (why I felt safe starting this fic). :) I think I've just run across one too many references to fetishized scars and wartime angst in fanfic. You know how it goes.

Meanwhile, rest up and feel better! Hope you get a bit of time to yourself. *hugs and tea* M.

Date: 23 Jan 2014 01:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inkgeist.livejournal.com
This fits in with canon beautifully and I'm convinced this is exactly how it happened and saddened because everything goes so terribly wrong later. Severus being all sex and shadows but wanting to hear Beethoven gives me hope for them, even if its just for a little while.


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