|skitty_kat (skitty_kat) wrote,|
@ 2009-03-30 08:00:00
|Entry tags:||fic, red serpent, remus lupin, severus snape, snupin|
Fic: Red Serpent (7/12)
Title: Red Serpent (7/12)
Warnings: death, destruction, sex, violence, torture and a gratuitous explosion or two. Yikes.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and associated characters belong to JK Rowling. James Bond was created by Ian Fleming.
Word Count: 2947 (31881 overall)
Summary: Remus Lupin is a spy, one of British Intelligence's finest, and this may be his most deadly mission yet. Armed with only his native wit and courage and assisted by the enigmatic and magnetic Severus Snape he must penetrate deep into Communist Russia to bring down the powerful Lord Voldemort.
A/n: This fic contains illustrations, set in the appropriate places within the text. Love to drachenmina for the fabulous beta.
Chapter One: M's Man - Chapter Two: A Bar With A Reputation - Chapter Three: Dinner For Two - Chapter Four: Small Spaces and Close Encounters - Chapter Five: The Howl Of The Wolf - Chapter Six: To Travel Lustfully...
The dungeons of Hogwarts Castle had not been designed with illumination in mind. Brackets for torches, long disused, stuck out from the walls as nothing more than grim decoration. Fluorescent strip lights had been affixed to the ceiling, their wires haphazardly tacked across dark stone to gather into a bundle that ran out of the door. The bleak artificial lighting touched everything with bleaching whiteness but showed the photographs in Riddle's hand with horrible, stark clarity.
They were black and white and decidedly grainy but to Lupin it was all too clear what they showed. They were of his hotel room and were taken, judging by the angle, from the bedside lamp. Lupin cursed himself for not checking more carefully for hidden cameras. He hadn't thought he would be up to anything suspicious in there, let alone anything as monumentally stupid as screwing another man.
It was this act, or rather acts that were being shown to Lupin now in grainy photo print. Naked bodies entwined in creased sheets; artless in shape, awkward in posture and tawdry by their very nature. Even given the relatively poor quality of the photographs Lupin could see Snape's skinny limbs and the scars on his own body. Some of the images were too dark to be of any obvious use but Lupin recognised their content anyway. Two black figures against only slightly paler bedclothes; the one splayed on top with back bowed was Snape, riding Lupin in the darkness. Even chained in the cold dungeon as he now was, Lupin still felt an unaccountable warmth at the memory.
'Of course, this is my favourite,' Riddle sneered, picking one out and holding it directly before Lupin's gaze. 'Just look at his face. Anyone would think he wasn't used to having a cock up his backside and we all know that isn't true, don't we?'
Lupin's face heated. The photograph was from the first morning they had been together; in it Snape had just been wakened by Lupin rather forcefully giving into his inconvenient masculine urges. Lupin squashed down the pity Snape's expression evoked in him. The man was a good actor; that was rapidly becoming apparent. If Riddle was to be believed (Lupin was prepared to believe he was lying, he supposed, but the Russian was damned convincing and Lupin could never allow himself to fully trust a deviant like Snape) the whole thing had been a complete set-up from the start. The apparent defection of one of Riddle's men was bait to lure an English agent over to Russia where he could be picked off at ease, Lupin presumed. But the seduction? A clawing feeling set to work on Lupin's stomach as horrid ideas began to occur to him.
'So you've got me,' he addressed Riddle, affecting an air of calm that he definitely did not feel inside. 'What's your plan from here? Keeping those photographs for your own little private collection, are you?'
Riddle laughed humourlessly. 'In a manner of speaking I suppose I am, though not in the filthy way you are attempting to imply.'
He walked away from Lupin, smart shoes tapping on ancient stone. He had dropped some of the photographs onto the floor where they lay in a paper mess of faces and limbs and sheets. Lupin refused to look down at them, instead watching Riddle's progress across the cell. The smooth head gleamed under the fluorescent lights.
'Yours is a proud country,' said Riddle eventually. 'Your secret service is one of the best in the world.' He turned to fix Lupin with his compelling eyes. 'And your reputation for stuffiness and prudishness unparalleled.'
Lupin said nothing. Riddle's gaze really was transfixing, hypnotic even.
'Imagine the fuss that would ensue should some awful scandal within your oh-so-efficient, above-all-questions secret service be spread across all your newspapers. Think of the consternation at the revelation that you secret agents are a group of deviant fools too busy fucking around with the enemy to remember their duty.'
The claws in Lupin's stomach ripped and tore with abandon. His ears rang and his face felt bizarrely, awfully hot. The fears that had half-formed in his mind had just been candidly realised. His body would be discovered - somewhere squalid, no doubt - and the photographs too. The international papers would have a field day. He had faced death a hundred times but this was somehow worse. This was death with ignominy.
'It may not end up public, of course,' continued Riddle, a small smirk touching the thin-lipped mouth with reptilian coldness. 'That rather depends on what your government is prepared to offer me. A passport, perhaps, and the freedom of your beautiful country? It’s something for you to think on, anyway. Enjoy your accommodations.' He exited the cell with the flair of a man who had got what he wanted.
Lupin, left alone, seethed. So that was how the cunning snake was planning to worm his way into the British bosom. Blackmail! A wretched and cowardly practice that no decent person would ever involve themselves in. Fury raged through Lupin. He cursed Riddle for his neat, twisted scheme and himself for being so easily duped. The lure had not even been an attractive one; it would probably be difficult to find a man as obviously ugly as Snape without resorting to a circus freakshow. Lupin's rage burned hotter at the thought of Snape. He had thought that ... well, damn it, he had trusted the man! He had even - curse the thought - started to like him, for all his sharp edges and difficult traits. And the whole time Snape had been obeying Riddle's disgusting orders. Lupin had met clever bitches in his time, those who had used their bodies to bend men to their evil purpose, but Snape had trumped them all.
The anger fuelled Lupin, though it took him a few minutes to clear his head enough to concentrate on getting free. Whenever the greasy countenance of Snape nudged itself into his mind a red mist came down and the wolf growled in his chest. He pushed it away, saving its jaws for a later confrontation. His watch had been left around his wrist, apparently thought harmless. More fool them, he thought, turning the knob the wrong way until it dropped into his hand. Q - old Flitwick - was an absolute genius at these charming little devices and with his assistant Minnie McGonagall - who could turn anything into anything - provided an assortment of gadgets for every agent. Lupin wasted no time in picking the locks on his chains.
Freed from them, but still holding onto the cold links, he looked around the cell carefully. There were no obvious security cameras and no apparent places where they could be concealed. Bare stone walls hide few secrets, after all. Satisfied that he was unobserved, Lupin stood and placed the chains quietly on the chair. He picked up the awful photographs from the floor, intending to destroy them properly later. Riddle undoubtedly had the negatives somewhere safe but the less incriminating evidence left around the better. The door, he discovered, was unlocked. Riddle had great faith in his chains, apparently, unless he had some strange hidden agenda that Lupin had not yet fathomed. He hurried down the empty corridor.
As fate would have it, the first person he came across was Snape. The man was seated in the last cell on that corridor, hands folded on his lap and eyes darting nervously. He leapt to his feet in a startled motion as Lupin burst through the door but a punch to the jaw immediately sent him to the floor in a flailing mess. He attempted to push himself up but Lupin kicked him down again, repeating the action a few times for good measure. Fury was gripping Lupin in tight, vengeful fingers.
'S-s-stop!' Snape managed to gasp, curling around himself.
Lupin hooked his foot into Snape's middle, flipping him onto his back and sending him sprawling. He knelt across the man, smacking him across the face before leaning his left forearm across the skinny throat.
'You bastard,' he hissed. 'You traitorous, twisted bastard!'
Snape, breathing in awkward pants that made his throat move oddly against Lupin's arm, blinked in apparent confusion. Blood had started to run from his nose, streaking down his cheeks as his head was pushed back. He opened his mouth to talk but Lupin leaned down harder on his neck. They remained like that for some minutes, Snape gasping for breath and Lupin too furious to form words. Finally, once Lupin's pulse had stopped pounding in his ears like a tribal drumbeat, he eased back a little. Snape drew in great whoops of breath, though Lupin still did not release him fully.
'What do you think you are doing?' Snape demanded. His face was angry and red. 'Get off –'
'You're working for Riddle,' Lupin ground out, not bothering with any niceties.
Snape blinked at him. 'I was,' he said, 'but you knew that. I don't want to anymore, which is why I've been -'
'Leading me along like a dog on a string straight into the mad bastard's clutches,' Lupin interrupted. Fury boiled up inside him again. 'And didn't I just follow on like a blind fool!'
'I don't know what you're talking about,' said Snape. He tried to push Lupin's arm away but the other man pushed down harder again, barely controlling himself from strangling the man outright.
'You've been following Riddle's orders to the damn letter!' Lupin spat. 'Lured me over here, dragged me on a wild goose chase around Moscow and even seduced me into your own little brand of perversion.'
'You were willing enough,' Snape managed to hiss out, 'and you can't deny that you enjoyed fucking me.'
'Takes away the savour when I know you were only prostituting yourself for Riddle.'
Snape went still below Lupin, his only movement the rapid and shallow heaving of his chest.
'Is that what you think I was doing?' he said finally, voice low and quiet. 'Do you think I am that cheap? That I only slept with you because he told me to?'
'Can you prove it to me otherwise?' Lupin asked.
Snape regarded him for a minute, his gaze finally settling on the furious pale eyes. Lupin saw the black eyes flicker before something went out of them.
'Probably not,' Snape whispered, 'since you seem to have decided what you think of me already.'
Lupin suddenly did not want to be touching Snape anymore. He stood abruptly, shoving Snape's head to the stone floor before striding across the cell. He stared at the wall, rage rising again as he heard Snape slowly getting up behind him. The man's act of hurt innocence was too much to be believed. He whirled around. Snape was on his knees, wiping blood from his face with the back of his hand. He looked up at Lupin as the other man walked back towards him. Lupin threw the photographs at Snape's face, watching them flutter to the floor. Snape bent to pick one up, almost dropping it as he saw the image properly.
'What're these?' he asked hoarsely.
'What do you think?' snapped Lupin. 'Your boss ... your master intends to blackmail the British government into letting him stay. But you know that, I'm sure.'
Snape grabbed at the other photos, staring at them in disbelief. 'No,' he protested, 'I don't. And I had no idea about these. Do you think I would risk my own exposure in this way?' He started to get to his feet. 'What the hell do you think I am?'
Lupin grabbed his shoulder and pushed him down to his knees again. 'I thought I made myself clear on what I think you are,' he growled. Snape went quiet. 'It's fairly obvious that you've been in on this from the start, you lying little deviant. Every step of the way was planned, wasn't it? Each sick little detail meticulously plotted.'
'No,' said Snape quietly, 'none of it, not on my part anyway. I've only told you the truth. The only lying here is what he has told you. Do you really expect him to tell you the truth? I had more respect for you than that, Remus.'
Lupin looked down at him. Snape seemed to be genuine, but trapped in this nest of vipers Lupin was not prepared to trust anyone outright. It was possible that Snape really did not know about the photographs at least, or perhaps he was an innocent dupe in the whole affair. But it was equally possible that he was knowingly and willingly part of the whole plot and it would serve Lupin best to leave him behind. He wanted to, wanted to punch Snape to the floor and make good his escape, but some absurd impulse made him want him to take Snape with him. He scowled fiercely, squashing that particular notion as hard as he could.
'Of course, there is another piece of lying going on here,' Snape continued, holding Lupin's gaze firmly. 'The little matter of you lying to yourself.'
Snape smirked. 'I think you're rather intent on blaming me because you don't wish to admit to yourself how much you enjoyed our time together. Heaven forbid a nice, respectable middle-class Englishman enjoy a homosexual dalliance with a depraved Russian! It simply must be some diabolical plot!' He stood up, never breaking stare with Lupin even as his eyes grew cold. 'Having numerous affairs with women - oh, that's fine. Just part of the job, naturally. But fuck another man and it must be that other man's fault. For sleeping with just you and your apparently fragile heterosexuality I am the one who is labelled a prostitute.' He jabbed at Lupin with his forefinger, not stopping his diatribe even as Lupin grabbed his hand to stop him. 'You should take a look at yourself before accusing me of this sort of thing!' He glared fiercely at Lupin, breathing heavily.
There was a slow handclap from the doorway. Both men turned.
'Bravo, Severus,' said Riddle. 'Quite the impassioned speech. But then you always have had a flair for the dramatic. I can't help but think that the stage would have suited you well; spending your nights convincing your audience that everything you say is true. Don't you agree, Mr Lupin?'
Lupin said nothing. Riddle stepped into the room, followed by several of his Death Eaters. There were too many of them for Lupin to even think of attempting escape. He and Snape were quickly seized hold of, arms twisted in black-clad hands.
'Of course, Severus is right,' Riddle continued, nodding at the man, 'if you and he had not had your little thing then perhaps you would have been less hasty to distrust him. You were wonderfully gullible there, Mr Lupin. It made for entertaining viewing. You do go impressively off at the deep end when roused. I expect Severus would have the bruises for a week, if I were to let him live that long.'
Lupin's stomach twisted. Riddle had been the one lying, not Snape. Lupin had believed him and it had all been for some sort of sick enjoyment on Riddle's part. Snape had been telling the truth; maybe even his diatribe on Lupin's hypocrisy had truth in it, Lupin admitted to himself. He clenched his jaw in fury.
'That was really just a little entertainment for myself, you understand,' Riddle went on, 'a little fun before we kill you. I was thinking we should use the lake for that, by the way. A lover's suicide pact; it has such a lovely ring to it.'
'You'll never get away with it!' spat Lupin.
'Ah, I was waiting for you to say something like that.' Riddle's mouth curved into a tight little smile. 'I have every faith in getting away with it, actually. Never let it be said that your great British press lets the facts get in the way of a good story.'
A female Death Eater, her hair wild and eyes dark with mental instability, tugged at Riddle's sleeve. He looked down at her as one would at a pet.
'You promised us,' she rasped in Russian, 'before you have them killed ... we get him.'
'Of course, Bella,' Riddle assured her, patting her shoulder.
Lupin blinked. So that was the woman who had been responsible for Black's death. Her eyes were mad, that was certain. Lupin had met psychotics in his time and he knew the look. He still saw it glowing from wolfish eyes in his nightmares some nights, accompanied by howls and remembered pain.
Riddle had moved to stand before Snape, cupping the man's chin in one hand.
'It seems a shame, Severus, but I did promise her.' He turned his head to look at Lupin. 'Severus's colleagues were most aggrieved by his betrayal. I promised them they could have a chance to demonstrate that to him.'
Lupin glanced across at Snape. The man was pale - true, he had strangely sallow skin anyway - and looked a little ill. He was glaring at Bellatrix, however, and she was glaring straight back. A gleeful little grin was stretching across her wide mouth.
'We're going to have such fun,' she burbled with a little cackle.
'Demented harpy,' Snape spat back as he was pulled out of the door.
'He was such a promising young man,' said Riddle. 'Return Mr. Lupin to his cell and I think we'll lock the door this time.' He nodded to Lupin. 'Until we meet again - which won't be too long.'
Chapter Eight: 'You Damn Traitor!'