After what he came to refer to as “the crumpet incident,” Snape forced himself not to look at Jane at all, and to treat her with even more derision than before. It did not help things that Jane seemed slightly amused by his contemptuous inattention to her. The following Friday in the faculty lounge, as he was going about his business of dourly ignoring her, she even referred to him as “Professor Frostybritches,” which seemed to please Albus’ ghost no end.
The mockery, though it infuriated him, unfortunately did not quench his desire. In fact it rather inexplicably reinforced it, as he was suddenly stricken with the overwhelming urge to shut her pert little mouth by kissing it until she could no longer breathe, let alone speak.
Instead, he growled “I am surrounded by idiots,” and swept out of the room as angrily as he could manage, considering the fact that he could actually feel himself becoming physically aroused. He headed immediately for his study, the only real place he felt safe anymore.
“Damn her, damn her damn her…” he seethed under his breath, slamming the door to his study behind him. Then, cursing his own weakness, he sank into his office chair, parting his robes. As he had work to do, and thus no desire to spend the next hour in his office waiting and hoping for his erection to diminish, he chose the quickest cure. For the first time in what had to have been years, Severus Snape masturbated.
Long wank sessions had not been his style, even as a teenager, so it was a furtive business, and he didn’t last long. As his hand pumped he vowed he would not think of her. He would think of someone else. Rosmerta, she would do, yes…
But at the end, as he arched up towards the inevitable, Jane’s face came to him unbidden, the teasing, damnably affectionate smile she wore when she had made such inexcusable fun of him. Then, again unbidden, a vision of her under him, arching her back in expectant pleasure as he…as she…as they…
Damn her damn her damn her! The last coherent thought before he groaned and came.
The violence of his climax shocked him. But then, it had been a long time. Snape had actually forgotten how good it felt. His body had no doubt been aching for such pleasure, aching for it without Snape’s mind even quite acknowledging it.
Snape’s mind, however, had never approved of ecstasy.
“Damn her,” he said again, his voice thick in his own ears, as the climax began at last to recede. Then he forced himself to stand (albeit wobbily) and utter the required cleaning charms. He had rather unforgivably ejaculated on practically everything in sight, including (most horrifyingly) Blaise Zabini’s parchment on Chinese Chomping Cabbage.
“Good lord…” Snape breathed. But at last everything was clean, and he moved slowly to his bathroom, leaning on the doorframe for a bit before he had the strength to wash his hands and splash some water on his face. His legs were jelly under him, and though it wasn’t yet time for the evening meal, he found himself longing for bed, wanting nothing more than to sleep.
“This was why I stopped wanking,” he muttered. “It solves nothing.”
Snape finally sat down at his desk again, willing himself to recover, but no more than three minutes passed before there was a knock at his door. A distinctively chirpy knock. Lupin.
“Go away!” Snape shouted.
“Open up, Severus, it’s Friday…”
To this Snape did not reply at all.
There was a pause. Then, “Severus, unless you open this door immediately I am going to share what’s left of this lovely scotch with Minerva.”
“I am going to hex that blasted werewolf into next week…” Snape hissed. But he did so want the Macallan, especially now. So he stalked to the door and opened it, quite dramatically, even for him, and then merely stood there, glaring.
Lupin seemed about to say something both self-effacing and self-satisfied at the same time (which was, Snape knew, Lupin’s strong suit), when suddenly the werewolf’s nostrils flared, and he looked away, a slight blush creeping across his face.
He knows what I’ve been doing…Snape thought, horrified. Even after the charms and the soap, he can smell it.
There was a moment of blind panic. But then Snape recognized that his own efforts at self-pleasuring could certainly not be any more potentially shameful than the sex life of a gay werewolf, so finally he rolled his eyes and stood aside.
“Oh for the love of Christ, come in,” he said, at last.
And Lupin, thankfully, had indeed brought the Macallan, which actually was a lucky thing for him since in the mood Snape was in if Lupin had been lying about that he would have been turned into a Blast-Ended Skrewt.
Lupin sat himself down, setting out the glasses, and no doubt as a result of his embarrassment began babbling inanely about some third-year’s boggart, which happened to take the form of a seemingly inoffensive coat tree.
“Plenty of psychiatry bills there to find the root of that,” Lupin said, “the oddest one since Greta Charmskine’s boggart turned out to be a box of peppermint humbugs.”
Severus remembered Greta Charmskine—but that was more than twenty years ago—what was Lupin chattering about anyway again?
God, he was getting a headache.
Then, with one quick motion Snape downed the entire contents of his glass.
Lupin suddenly stopped talking and frowned. “Oi, Severus…careful there. I get this stuff from Winslow on the cheap now, but that’s no reason to…”
“More…” Snape said, eyeing the scotch.
Lupin poured, looking at him warily. “What is it, Severus?”
Snape downed the second glass, then simply glared.
Snape summoned the most dignified voice possible. “Mind your own business.”
Lupin raised one curious eyebrow and proffered a half-smile. “Well, I should think your reasons for inhaling my expensive scotch without so much as a polite sniff is my business.”
“You are a meddlesome prat, Lupin.”
At this Snape’s companion merely huffed. “You’re only just noticing?”
Snape glared again, and a good minute passed as the men stared at each other.
“Don’t be obstinate,” Lupin said softly. “Something’s bothering you.”
“You are bothering me.”
“I mean something new…”
Lupin’s eyes gleamed as unbidden he poured Snape another scotch.
Snape eyed it warily for a moment, then took it. “You are trying to get me intoxicated.”
“I’m trying to improve your mood.”
“You are not capable of that,” Snape said, instantly regretting his emphasis on the second person singular pronoun. Any idiot would immediately interpret that as a hint that someone else could.
“Ah,” Lupin said, looking up, “so someone else might be able to improve your mood, not me. Potter?”
Snape literally stared daggers at him. “Only if he plans on setting himself on fire.”
“Who then?” Lupin prodded, averting his eyes, and Snape realized in an instant that somehow he already knew.
“Your theatrics are insulting,” Snape said.
“No, you idiot.”
“Poppy? Madam Pince?”
“No and no…and I would appreciate it if you would stop pulling names out of the air…”
Snape had lost all patience, now, and he pounded his fist on the table. “It’s that blasted Flintrammel woman!” he blurted. “As if you didn’t know!”
Lupin gave him an apologetic smile. “Yes, I know. That business at breakfast…”
Snape put his head in his hands.
“Oh, don’t be embarrassed, Severus. If it makes you feel any better, I’m quite sure she’s had more than a bit of an itch lately for you as well. But my guess is you know that already.”
Snape felt an odd squirming in his chest, but whether pleasant or unpleasant he could not quite tell.
“Has she…said anything?” He was actually half hoping Lupin would say that she had, because Snape was sure that if she were proven to be a gossipy little fool, his desire for her would quickly abate.
But Lupin shook his head. “Of course not. I’m not sure she even is willing to acknowledge it to herself.”
Snape refrained from asking how Lupin had found out. He didn’t have to. “That nose of yours…” Snape said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
“Why are you so upset? You’re attracted to her, obviously, an attraction that she most definitely requites.”
At this Snape took another healthy swig of his scotch, draining his glass again. “I do not appreciate that attraction one tiny bit, on either side.”
Lupin poured. “Have another drink. Perhaps then you’ll abandon this thoroughly illogical determination to be furious with her.”
“I am not furious with her, Lupin. I am furious with myself for allowing myself to become affected by her when it is not a tenable situation.”
Lupin shook his head. “I fail to understand what the problem is. Jane’s unattached, she’s intelligent, and she smells bloody wonderful. Doesn’t any of that appeal to you?”
Snape looked at him matter-of-factly. “Lots of things appeal to me,” he said, “however I have discovered that the most appealing of them are usually far more trouble than they are worth."
Lupin tipped the last drops of the Macallan into his glass, as Snape continued to brood.
Finally Lupin frowned. "Well if you're just going to sit here and pout about it, I’m leaving. Prattling about a boggart seems rather silly now.”
Snape smiled thinly. “Yes, head to Hogsmeade and prattle to Oxbox, won’t you? No doubt he’ll be endlessly entertained. Not that you’d be able to tell, of course.”
At this the werewolf was suddenly smug. “Entertaining Winslow is not as daunting as all that. He’s a simple man, with very simple needs. And as we are spending the night in I intend to see to every one of them.”
Snape made a disgusted noise. “You can spare me the innuendo, Lupin.”
“No innuendo? That does limit me somewhat, Severus. Would you prefer that I draw you a likeness of Winslow’s engorged privates and slide it under your door?”
Snape believed that Lupin was joking, but he wouldn't put it past him. “You will do nothing of the kind! And wipe that smile off your face,” Snape added, “and don’t come back unless you bring more scotch!”
“Farewell, besotted fool, farewell!” Remus Lupin said, clutching at his chest as he flung open the door.
To the shock of both men, through it flew a great black owl. It trilled, dropped a rolled parchment on Snape’s desk, and then quickly flew out the open door again.
Remus Lupin merely blinked as Snape poked at the scroll with a long finger, as if he thought opening it might induce it to explode.
“Shove off,” said Snape at last.
“Of course,” Lupin replied with a knowing half-smile on his face. Then, bowing, he left Snape’s office and closed the door softly behind him.
Snape looked at the scroll with some degree of apprehension. The paper was a silvery grey, and as he took it in his hands he knew even before he began unrolling who it was from.
“Malfoy,” said Snape softly, bracing himself for the inevitable. “Lucius Fucking Malfoy.”