Pairings: JP/SS, SB/RL.
Rating: Hard R/NC-17
Disclaimer: JKR owns the Potterverse
Summary: James is overwhelmed by guilt.
Beta: The amazing and lovely minnow_53
For kabeyk for her birthday. I hope you enjoy this
A/N: This is my first posting to this community. *waves*
Moony bares his teeth and growls before lunging. James is two seconds too slow, and watches helplessly as Moony sinks his teeth into the sallow flesh. Snape screams as he's torn apart and James just stares, unable to move, and suddenly Sirius is there too, laughing. Bile rises in his throat as he watches Padfoot join Moony in tearing the boy apart. They both look up at him, begging him to come and help them. He doesn’t want to. He opens his mouth to refuse but he can’t speak because the taste of blood is too strong, and he screams…
James’ eyes shoot open in terror. He looks around the room for minutes that feel like hours before he realises that he’s alone and safe, and Severus Snape is alive and greasy as ever. He glances over to the next bed and sees Remus and Sirius wrapped around each other. James is surprised that Remus was so quick to forgive what Sirius did. But, then again, Remus doesn’t remember what happened. He was only told, and this disassociation makes all the difference in the world. It was only two days--two--before Remus forgave Sirius and they shagged all night long: something James would wholly like to forget, but can’t, because they were just so loud.
Remus may have forgiven Sirius, but he hasn’t. He doesn’t want to. The guilt and nightmares plague him, and he wonders how Sirius seems to be free from any remorse. Perhaps it’s all the shagging. Perhaps it’s something else. Perhaps it’s why, even though Sirius would kill him if he knew, Sirius crawls into Remus’ bed every night, not to shag, well, not just to shag, but to be held. Moony, my bed is rather drafty, do you think we could, erm, move closer together? Remus, of course, knows what Sirius wants but can’t ask for, and he smiles and obliges him, responding in kind. Padfoot, I’m rather cold myself. Come here and make me warm.It may start off sounding like a ploy for sex, but after a few lingering kisses they're asleep, entwined with one another.
Peter isn’t any help either. He looks back and forth between Sirius and James and shrugs, then looks at Remus, helpless, unable to decide whose side he should be on. James and Sirius used to be a set, a package. Peter usually just followed them, but there isn’t a “them” anymore. If there is, it is now RemusandSirius, which irritates James no end, because Sirius, after the shit he did, doesn’t deserve to be a part of any “them” ever again.
James closes his eyes, rubbing them, and all he can see is the shocked, ashen face of his Slytherin nemesis, frightened, paralysed and close to death. Snape doesn’t bother hexing them any more. He’s been avoiding all of them. No more following them around; no more lying in wait for one of them to break a rule. Sirius broke Snape, and James feels nothing but guilt and shame. When did Snivellus ever matter enough for him to care? He doesn’t know how to answer that. He simply wants the nightmares to end. He wants Sirius to suffer, even if only a fraction of the amount he’s suffering. He just wants some peace.
James decides that he should just get up and get ready for the day. He isn’t doing any good by glaring at the peacefully sleeping Sirius, especially since, within fifteen minutes of waking, he’s usually happily shagging Remus. And James just doesn’t see Remus as the shagging type.
James frowns and heads to the showers, hoping that his rotten mood will disappear with the water down the drain.
Under the near scalding spray, James’ mind wanders again. He thinks of the day after. He was in the infirmary, in the bed between Remus and Snape, and he felt suffocated. After saving Snape, he was almost as panicked. He dutifully drank the mandatory calming draught and fell asleep, wishing that it was all a dream. When he woke up, it was mid-day and Remus was in the next bed, bandaged and bruised, but breathing. Sirius was sitting next to the bed, Remus’ hand in his. He was rubbing soothing circles on the back of it as he confessed his sins and murmured apologies. James felt like an intruder.
He should have known then that Remus would forgive Sirius. It was all too obvious from his posture. Remus, for all he pretended to be asleep, wasn’t. He silently basked in the glow of the affection that Sirius was bestowing. He face was a mixture of pain and peace and James is sure that he’s never seen such an expression before, and likely never will again.
Remus tried to explain it to him days later, when he walked in on Sirius and him snogging in the common room. I know I should be mad at him, Prongs, and I am. But, since I was bitten, Padfoot’s the only one that ever said... Remus trailed off. The only one. His amber eyes pleaded with James to understand the spell that Sirius has cast on him. No matter what the circumstances, Sirius will always have a part of Remus’ heart and soul, even if it’s to Remus’ detriment and demise.
James half-heartedly punches the wet tile in front of him. He hates feeling powerless. He should be happy, proud. He saved someone’s life, goddamnit, two lives, in fact, and all he can do is drown himself in self-loathing. A nasty part of his brain keeps supplying insidious phrases like You wanted to be too late and You wish you hadn’t helped him and, worst of all, You wanted him to die.
James turns off the water, towels himself and comes to a decision. What was it Sirius said to Remus? I’ll do anything, just, please, forgive me.
James gets dressed, solely focused on a lonely figure deep in the bowels of the dungeon. He remembers to retrieve the map and the Invisibility Cloak before he leaves. He’s so preoccupied that he doesn’t notice Peter looking at him oddly as he tries to ignore the muffled groaning in the bed across from his.
Snape is easy enough to locate. He’s in one of the old Potions labs. No one else ever comes down here, which, James belatedly realises, is probably why Snape has chosen this particular place to work.
Taking a deep breath, James walks into the room, hoping that Snape won’t realise how nervous he is. Snape’s head jerks up and he glares at James before he speaks. “Potter, get out.”
James stares at Snape for a moment, mustering the courage that he suddenly needs to talk to this boy. “No, Snape. I need to talk to you.”
Snape moves away from his cauldron. “Why would I want to do that? Are you here to finish the job? Kill me when no one’s around to see?”
James forces himself not to roll his eyes or throw up all over the floor. He hates how there are now two competing forces in his body, one that hates Snape and one that hates himself. “Please, Snape, just listen to me.”
It’s the please that does it. No matter what tactics the Marauders have used to trick the Slytherin, James has never been so direct and polite.
Snape just stands there, and nods, almost imperceptibly.
“I-I can’t stop thinking about what happened. I can’t sleep and I can’t eat and I want to kill my best friend. I didn’t know what he was going to do, but I’m sorry. Sorry. Just forgive me. Please.” James wonders if his words sound as lame to Snape as they do to him.
Snape looks at him disdainfully and asks in an even tone, “Why should I forgive you?”
James suddenly wants to hit him. He apologised, didn’t he? Then he remembers what Sirius said. I’ll do anything, just, please forgive me.
Snape is silent for a moment. There’s some strange, indefinable emotion in his eyes. He gestures for James to come closer.
Snape sit down in the chair and looks at James for a moment, then orders him to strip.
James gapes at Snape. He can’t possibly want that.
“Strip,” Snape repeats, just as calmly as the first time.
Every fiber of his being tells him to leave, but James stays and obeys. He removes his robes, shoes, socks, and pants and stands stoically in front of Snape, anger coursing through his veins.
Snape pats his knee, and James looks at him oddly before he understands. He lies down across Snape’s lap, arse in the air and waits.
“This is for calling me Snivellus.” A sharp thwack across his arse cheek jolts him. The pain is unexpected, and James fights not to flinch.
“This is for hexing me ever since we’ve been here.” Another swat comes down, on his other cheek. His cheeks burn red as a different part of his body begins to respond to Snape’s ungentle touch.
“For tormenting me.” As the hand comes down, he clenches his eyes closed, hoping that Snape wouldn’t notice his erection. The spanking is embarrassing enough.
Another five swats and another litany of sins later, and James has silent tears falling down his cheeks, a throbbing hard-on, and is squirming away from that menacing hand. His arse is on fire, red and pulsing. He gasps as he comes into contact with Snape’s cock, and discovers that he’s just as hard.
Snape’s hand comes down again, but this time it stays there. James remembers back in Fourth Year when he speculated to Sirius about what it would be like to kiss Remus, and Sirius looked at him strangely. He never brought it up again, but two weeks later he discovered Sirius and Remus snogging in the empty Transfiguration classroom.
He wants to feel this. Somehow. Some way. He arches up, slightly, and Snape knows he’s just been given permission.
He can feel the slight rustle of fabric as Snape removes something from his pocket, then shimmies out of the top half of his robes. Cold, wet fingers shock his battered skin, but it feels good and James doesn’t want this to stop. He tenses only a little as the finger breaches him. It’s odd, but he relaxes a bit more. He knows that this can feel good. A second finger enters him, and it burns, but he wants it anyway. Suddenly, his nerves are on end because Snape’s fingers are touching somewhere and it doesn’t make the pain go away, but it makes it worthwhile. He thrusts back on those long digits and decides that he wants more. He needs more. He needs the pain and the pleasure and the release and he needs it all from Snape, and no one else.
Snape removes his fingers and James maneuvers so he is sitting astride Snape’s lap. He rests his forehead on Snape’s shoulder as he feels Snape preparing his cock. Cold fingers grab his hips and he is only vaguely aware that he is being positioned. As Snape enters him, the burning comes back, only more so. It hurts. Hurts so fucking much and he doesn’t know why anyone would give this a second chance. Why would Remus let Sirius do this again and again, but then he thinks that Remus would let Sirius do this even if it never got any better. Snape is fully inside of him and the burning is slowly receding and he bites at Snape’s shoulder to distract himself. He can feel his sins drip away from him like the sweat on his face. He moves and then that feeling is back. That pleasurable jolt is so damned good and he is moving faster and harder and he can hear Snape moaning.
When he comes, he feels the shame and guilt exit his body with his semen. Snape filling him is his redemption, and he knows he’ll be able to sleep that night. He winces as he stands up to dress, and he doesn’t look at Snape until he’s at the door. He turns back, and there is once again something forbidding in Snape’s expression. The hexes will be back now. Everything will be as it once was, and this will never happen again.
He turns to leave and he hears Snape’s cold voice. “I don’t forgive you, Potter. I never will.”
James frowns only momentarily before smiling, “Wouldn’t expect you to, Snivellus.”