|skitty_kat (skitty_kat) wrote,|
@ 2009-04-13 13:10:00
|Entry tags:||fic, red serpent, remus lupin, severus snape, snupin|
Fic: Red Serpent (9/12)
Title: Red Serpent (9/12)
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: 2365 (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... - Chapter Seven: Arrival At The Truth - Chapter Eight:'You Damn Traitor!'
Two of the Death Eaters bound them together under Riddle’s precise orders. It was a parody of an embrace: one of Lupin’s arms was looped over Snape’s shoulder while the other passed under Snape’s armpit on the other side and Lupin’s wrists were bound to hold them in place. The same pose was mimicked on Snape until they were well and truly locked together. Lupin could feel each exhausted tremble that ran through the other man and felt rather than heard the pained groans against the side of his neck as Snape’s broken wrist was yanked roughly into place. Their feet were bound together too, suddenly making balance awkward, and attached to the ball and chain Riddle had had brought up from the dungeons.
Snape was swaying a little now, relying on Lupin’s hold to stay upright. Lupin grimaced. He needed Snape to stay awake for this.
‘It’ll be all right,’ he whispered directly into Snape’s ear.
Snape looked up, catching Lupin’s gaze with a quizzical eyebrow. Lupin kissed him, opening his mouth and guiding Snape’s tongue to feel the Stanley knife concealed in the side of his cheek. Hope flickered in Snape’s eyes as they pulled apart.
‘Make sure you take a deep breath,’ Lupin whispered, ‘but I think we can make it.’
Riddle walked across the deck towards them. ‘Isn’t that romantic?’ he said snidely. ‘One last kiss before the cold embrace of death claims you both. At least I’m allowing you eternal rest in each other’s arms.’
There was a dull thump as the rope was cast off and a roar as the engine was pushed into life. Lupin couldn't help but think that the boat was rather too flashy and large for its peaceful surroundings. It was like buying a panther to catch a few mice. His train of thought was knocked off course as the boat began to move, its surge forward throwing him and Snape to the deck. Lupin rolled them to lie on their sides, face-to-face and uncomfortably close. Snape was breathing awkwardly, jerky exhalations washing over Lupin's cheek.
'That crazy bitch,' Lupin muttered, pressing a hand against Snape's back in lieu of being able to help.
'Told you she was,' said Snape. His tone was still cold.
The boat roared on, heading for the centre of the lake and leaving a straight white line of foam behind it. Ducks splashed up in alarm when it did not deviate its course to suit their floating whims. The night was already fully spread across the surroundings, the moon clear and bright above. Lupin huffed out a breath. He couldn't leave things this constrained.
'Listen, Snape, I'm sorry about believing Riddle earlier and not you. And about everything else: calling me out on my hypocrisy. You were right.'
Snape said nothing but a slight nod of his head indicated that he had heard.
'Looks like it could be a little too late for us though,' Lupin continued.
Snape snorted. 'I wasn't expecting a relationship.'
'What?' Lupin blinked, confused, for a moment. 'Oh, I didn't mean...'
The tiniest trace of a flummoxed expression flickered in Snape's eyes. 'It was a joke.'
Lupin watched Snape's gaze twist away to look anywhere but at him. Not just a joke then. Lupin wasn't quite sure how he felt about that. He had attempted the relationship route with several women; none of whom had ever stayed with him longer than a year. It wasn't as if homosexual relationships were socially acceptable either.
Not that this was the time for internal debate. The boat was slowing, her engines quietening. Riddle strolled back over towards them. He smiled down at them, charisma showing even in his murderousness.
'I suppose this must be goodbye,' he said, inclining his head a little. 'A shame we have had such a short acquaintance, Mr. Lupin, though I feel I have known you longer. Dedicated research will do that, I find. Never mind, Mr. Lupin, you may eternally rest assured that you will still be helping me and my cause.' He walked around their prone forms to slide a shoe under Snape's cheek and tilt his head up. 'And as for you, Severus ...' He smiled and steel came into his eyes. 'I couldn't have caught him so easily without you, you traitorous little worm.'
He walked away, waving Crabbe and Goyle forward with a casual hand. The two thugs grabbed the chain at Lupin and Snape's feet and dragged them across the deck. The wood scraped unpleasantly; the rough edges of the planks tugging at their clothes. Seconds later they were lifted and heaved over the side of the boat.
The cold water exploded around them as they dropped straight down towards its depths. The cheers of Riddle’s men disappeared and the dull rush of water surrounded them instead. Snape struggled for a moment but stopped at a squeeze from Lupin. Neither of them could afford to panic if they wanted to get out of this alive. With a reassuring smile he did not quite feel, Lupin got to work.
Pulling his arms around and half-crushing Snape against his chest he was able to get one hand to his mouth to grab the knife. With his fingers already numbing with cold it was a struggle to get the blade out - a long enough struggle to set his heart racing with a dull drumbeat in his ears - but he managed it and immediately began sawing at the ropes on his wrists. The awkward angle made it slow, too slow; the already dark water was darkening around them as they slid inexorably deeper. The ropes gave, finally, and Lupin pulled himself down Snape’s body to reach their feet.
There were more ropes here, tightly wrapped, and Lupin worked as fast as he could. He was getting colder and colder, the feeling leaching out of his hands but there was no chance he would give up. It was not just himself he was trying to save; there was Snape too. And the safety of England, of course.
Lungs burning, he barely felt the ropes slide free and the heavy weight fall from their feet. As their downward momentum stopped he kicked himself upwards. Allowing Snape’s still-bound arms to loop around his neck he began swimming towards the surface, pulling them both towards the waiting air. Snape, still apparently conscious, tipped his head back to look up. The moon glazed the surface in rippling green-grey save for the dark bulk of Riddle’s boat. Snape tilted his head towards it and Lupin understood. Riddle was probably still looking out in case they surfaced, waiting with his wand in hand most likely. The only place to hide before the water conquered them was under the edges of the boat. Lupin silently blessed Riddle for his choice in ostentatiously large marine vessels.
They broke the surface as quietly as possible, noticing gratefully that the engines were still running with enough noise to mask their frantic gasping for breath. There was a ladder fixed to the side of the boat nearby and Lupin grabbed it, pulling himself and Snape under the side of the boat as much as possible. They waited. Lupin's arms were trying to tremble with fatigue but he gritted his teeth and forced them to stop. Not yet, he told himself, not yet. There was still far too much to do.
It was ten minutes before they heard Riddle's voice above them.
'They're dead! Let's get back to my castle. I believe a celebration is in order. These British are as good as ours.'
A cheer went up from the Death Eaters on board before the engines roared into activity. Lupin tightened his numbing grip as the boat started for the shore. Holding on got harder as the boat picked up speed and its wake sloshed up around them. Thank God it wasn't far!
It still felt too long, though, before the engines sank down to a purr and the wake settled around them. Snape saw the wooden jetty coming up on their side and muttered a warning to Lupin. They tucked themselves under the edge of the boat as best they could to avoid the slimy wooden supports. As the boat slid in alongside the jetty Lupin detached his hands awkwardly from the ladder and forced his arms to pull through the water under the wooden structure. The shore was a few feet away but it felt like miles. A coot splashed out of their way, flapping its way to hide in the reeds further round the lake edge. Clinging weeds ran insubstantial fingers along their legs and pulled at their boots.
Lupin finally hauled them from the water and onto the shore underneath the jetty, both of them shaking from exhaustion and cold. They lay together panting. Feet thundered above them, making them both start in alarm, but it was just Riddle and his Death Eaters leaving the boat. It was soon silent, though both of them knew better than to take it for granted that they were safe. Snape's head grew heavier on Lupin's shoulder and Lupin twisted to look at him. The black eyes were closed and Snape's lips were looking alarmingly blue.
‘Snape!’ Lupin hissed, patting the man’s cheek. ‘Stay awake, damn you!’
Snape moaned. ‘T-t-too c-c-c-cold,’ he managed.
'Damn!' Lupin cursed.
He needed to recuperate for a little while and let his body recover from the trial he had just put it through but it was too cold for them to just lie there. It was winter and they were soaking wet. If he allowed hypothermia to strike they were done for. Groaning, he struggled to sit up and slipped Snape's arms from his neck. Snape grunted and grabbed at Lupin weakly.
'I'm going to see if there are any blankets on the boat,' Lupin told him. 'Try to stay awake.'
He staggered to his feet and pushed the numb appendages into walking him to the end of the jetty. He raised his head carefully. No one seemed to be on board. Riddle had seemed certain of his victory and besides, he wouldn't be expecting anyone trespassing on his boat all the way out here in the wilds of Scotland. Confident in the darkness, Lupin crept aboard. The door down to the cabins was locked but he found a few blankets in a storage locker on deck. They were made of rough, scratchy wool but felt warm. He carried them back to where Snape was curled up and shivering.
'Snape? Snape?' He knelt by the man. 'Severus?'
That got a response. Snape blinked up at Lupin, shifting to accommodate as the other man pulled him close and wrapped the blankets around them. Lupin lay back on the sandy ground with Snape on top of him, allowing the man's cold face to rest against Lupin's neck. They lay like that for some time, Lupin gently rubbing Snape's back until the shuddering and trembling died down. Eventually the man lay still in Lupin's arms.
'This is cosy,' he said quietly, a faint chuckle vibrating against Lupin's chest.
'I can think of more comfortable places,' Lupin told him. 'Warmer ones, certainly. At least it isn't snowing.'
'I thought Britain was more famous for its rain.'
They laughed, though it wasn't really funny. It was more cold-induced, bordering on hysteria. There were worse things to do than laugh and laughing, at least, meant they were warm and alive. Snape was almost sobbing against Lupin's shoulder before he managed to calm down. They lay quietly, breathing together for a while. Eventually, Snape pushed his bound hands against Lupin's arm.
'Are you ever going to untie me?'
'Maybe.' Lupin smirked, pulling the blanket tighter around them. 'Maybe I like having you bound and at my mercy.'
Snape laughed and pecked a kiss at Lupin's chin. 'Not tonight, darling. I've got a headache.' He sighed. 'And what about Riddle? Do we not have something to do?'
Lupin grinned. 'I've got someone to do right here, haven't I?'
Snape made an exasperated noise. 'I thought you English were all stiff upper lips and seriousness. Now I find you're all stiff elsewhere and full of terrible puns.'
'Shame you never went to public school.'
Snape snorted. 'That was not exactly an option. I can tell you were a public schoolboy though. Where did you go?'
'Eton. Not for very long though. There was an ... incident.' Lupin pulled a face reminiscent of a naughty schoolboy. 'With a chambermaid.'
This set Snape laughing again. 'Started as you meant to go on, did you?' he said. 'You and your famous parade of women. I feel quite honoured.' His laughter died down and his tone became more thoughtful. 'There is this series of books I have been reading - very difficult to get hold of in Russia, for obvious reasons, but I like my books - by a man called Fleming. He writes these spy stories - quite ridiculous, of course - about an English spy. They're quite fantastic; wish-fulfilment if ever I read it. I can't help but be reminded of them by you.'
Lupin smiled. 'Well, we have met a few times. And chatted about ... things.'
'So this spy of his,' Snape questioned, amusement in the deep tone of his voice, 'is he based on you?'
'Maybe a little,' Lupin admitted, feeling a little embarrassed to say it. 'Though with a great deal more wish-fulfilment on his part.'
Snape's response was to laugh again. It didn't take long to settle down, though, and he curled up tighter against Lupin and closer into those arms.
'So,' he said eventually, breath warm across Lupin's throat, 'are you going to tell your Mr Fleming about this adventure?'
Lupin chuckled. 'Oh, yes. I expect he will quite enjoy it. I may have to fudge a few of the details, of course. I could suggest a title too: how about The Spy Who Loved Me?'
Snape stilled, stiffness creeping into his body. 'It's love then, is it?' he asked quietly.
Lupin stroked his back gently. 'Well, look how far you came,' he teased. 'All the way From Russia With Love.'
Chapter Ten: Gunpowder Against Curses