phoenix ashes
the path of the serpent (chapter 3)



Severus arrived at Malfoy Manor at half past five and was greeted by a smug Lucius.

"Severus! So glad you could come." As if he had any doubts he would not come, Severus thought.

"Always a pleasure." He greeted him with the same smooth lines. "How is Narcissa?"

"Very well. Unfortunately she can't join us as she has other engagements."

"Did she know she had?" Severus just couldn't resist. He and Narcissa had declared war on each other a long time ago and avoided one another as much as they could. Lucius shook his head in mock sadness .

"Let's just say that you two can make ice freeze when youre in the same room. Or shall I say house?" He stroked one of Severus cheeks with a finger and took him to the study where they started off with a glass of brandy and some small talk. Which meant that Lucius complained about his workload at the Ministry and the extremely poor judgements being made there.

"So why stay there?" Severus asked, already knowing the answer.

"You know me, always trying to save what can be saved." Lucius smiled.

"Thats one way of putting it." Severus felt if the little vial was still in his trouser pocket. Best to drink it after dinner, he decided. "I see you purchased a new painting?" His eyes fell on a small landscape next to the desk. It looked familiar somehow. A Dorean! Well now, can't let people think we are poor, now can we?

"The Dorean! Yes!" Lucius looked quite thrilled with his new asset. "The nerve that man had daring to ask 250 Galleons for it!"

"But you still bought it."

"Only after some negotiating" Lucius smirked meaningfully. "He eventually agreed that 130 Galleons was a very fair price. But I just had to have it. It's a painting from here, before the Manor was built. Historically accurate and really a fine piece of art."

A knock on the door stopped the conversation.

"Dinner is ready to be served, Sir," mumbled a nervous looking house elf, avoiding Lucius's eyes as much as he could.

"Excellent. Severus?" Lucius stood up, shooed the elf away, and escorted his friend and lover to the dining room. "You'll be pleased to know we are having game. I know how much you like that."

"And truffles?" A poorly concealed tone of eagerness in his voice.

"And truffles." Lucius chuckled. "Although I still don't understand how you can appreciate two such distinct and strong tastes in one dish."

Severus took his place at the table and shrugged. "Bad habit, I guess. Or maybe I'm just spoiled."

"Mmm, I like spoiling you..." Lucius purred and gave him a very meaningful look.

"Eat, Lucius," snapped the Potions Master, looking at the glass of wine in front of him that had just been filled. His host obeyed with a theatrical sigh but no further comment. One of those things only he could get away with, Severus knew. Lucius would not tolerate such tone of voice from anyone else. So nice to have these little privledges...

The wine and dinner were of outstanding quality. They always were when Severus was there. Lucius would go all the way to make sure of that because Severus was one of these few people who could and would actually taste the difference between good quality food and excellence and perfection.

His lover was a lot of things, and some not nice so say the least, but he also was without doubt the perfect host--his guests could always be assured that they would get the best of the best. The best of what Lucius thought they were worth, anyway. He knew that he was the only one knowing about this subtle little game his lover liked to play. On one occasion, for example, when he had to dine with Lucius and Narcissa, he couldn't help but notice that his quality of escargots were significantly better than the ones Narcissa was eating. Hers were still very good and they looked exactly the same, but even without tasting them he could smell the difference. One quick look at Lucius had confirmed that suspicion.

"Perfection as always." Severus felt very relaxed and smiled contentedly. "Is there any more wine?"

"There will be in my other study--I have something to show you there."

The other study. Another one of those little privledges. Even Narcissa and Draco were banned from it. Too many secrets hidden there.

Knowing that asking would not give any enlightment, the Potions Master just stood up and followed.

Once in the forbidden study, Lucius shortly disappeared behind a bookcase, only to return a few moments later holding a small item in his hand. He handed it over to Severus who looked at the little stone sculpture in silence. A snake with its fangs buried in a dying lion. Slytherin versus Gryffindor perhaps? He asked.

"Precisely. Such a beautiful metaphor, don't you think? Reminds me of the good old days at school..." He very obviously choose to ignore Severus indignant snorts "...but mostly, it reminds me of you." He walked up to Severus and whispered softly in his ear. "Your hungry eyes after a bit of fondling in the library, your beautifully swollen red lips after some serious kissing behind one of the greenhouses, your flushed and sweaty face after I shagged you..." Lucius rubbed against him and pushed Severus against the desk. "For example in that little storage room next to--"

"Lucius, stop! Please, I..." How could he be so cruel? How could he dare to remind him of those days? The memory was torture! All of it! Always! And he still had to be there and relive it day by day! And Lucius knew that, knew how he felt about it all. Those were the days he had felt truly happy for the first (and only) time in his life. Happy that he was living his dream; being with the one he loved. Only to have the illusion taken away, destroyed. Once and for all. It was during those schooldays after all that he learned that his lover had to get married, that he would have to share him, lose him.

"You look so gorgeous when you're incredibly gorgeous..." Soft warm lips tenderly kissed his neck while familiar hands slowly started to unbutton Severus shirt. He shivered in spite of himself. A hungry bite in the neck. Severus hissed and shivered again. Damn.

Lucius's delicious lips slowly moved upwards, making sure that every inch of skin was greeted with a lick and a kiss, not necessarily in that order.

"No, LuciusI...not..." His lover's mouth caught his and smothered the protest while a tongue slid towards his, inviting it to come and play. The invitation was accepted. No! Why was he doing this? Why wasn't his own tongue listening to him? Hands and nails were caressing and marking his shoulders and back...teeth now grazed a nipple...a hand firmly grabbed his ass...Severus moaned and let himself be swept away for a moment...oh, bloody good, so tempting...

NO! The vial! He hadn't taken the potion yet! He had made it for this moment, it was supposed to make him feel numb to touch and right now, he certainly felt a lot but NOT numb! Not even close to it! His hand went down to his pants. His pants! Where had his bloody pants gone?

"If you are having second thoughts about this, I suggest you ignore them. It's a bit late for that, don't you think?" As to underline his words, Lucius bit him in the chest. Hard. And again. A hand closed around his rapidly growing cock and stroked him expertly. Another moan escaped from Severus's lips. Damn, this was not the wa...oh gods...oh no..ohn--yesyesyes!

He gasped and moaned even louder yet when Lucius kneeled and his cock suddenly was surrounded by hot, wet, silky heat. Oh gods, this was good! This was soooooo good! This was...ohhh...he was, ah, good at this...oh yes oh yes...oh gods...

NO! He couldn't afford to lose control. Not this time!

By sheer force of will, Severus managed to push Lucius away and in a split second changed his plans and immediately took over himself. If anyone would have control, it would be him! He couldnt afford any emotions now! He roughly pushed Lucius down to the floor, stripping him of his clothes in the process and attacked him. There really was no other word for it. The look in his lover's eyes was a mixture of utter disbelief, bewilderment, and something else he could not define but he wasn't fighting him off or shoving him away. On the contrary, he was more than willing to let Severus be the dominant one for once. Unusual and remarkable, but extremely useful for his change in plans. Which he executed with an all consuming passion and dedication. He kissed, licked, nibbled and sucked every piece of skin he could get his mouth on while his hands were caressing, groping, teasing, daring, scratching and bruising. It didnt take him long to have Lucius begging for more, gasping, moaning, writhing, cursing, crying out in frustration or ecstasy and completely forget everything. Everything except his desperate need for a climax...

By the time Severus had him on all fours and without ceremony shoved his cock into his pleading ass, Lucius could only hoarsly scream and whine. Showing absolutely no mercy, Severus roughly pounded into him as hard and as long as he could. Shouting Severus's name, Lucius came crying. Really crying. The feeling of all those muscles tightening around his own throbbing hard cock, Severus couldn't postpone his own climax any longer and also came. He collapsed upon a unconscious looking Lucius, before he rolled off and closed his own eyes for a moment.

"Oh Merlin...oh dear Merlin..." Lucius lay splayed on the floor, completely wasted, devoured, eyes closed and still trying to get his breathing back under control. Severus smiled and kissed his lover softly on his lips a few times, suppressing a chuckle. Without false modesty he knew that Lucius just had had the best lay of his life. He had made bloody sure he had.

"I must go now," he whispered, placing another kiss on Lucius lips. He could feel him smile and grinned. "I'll let myself out then"

He got up, dressed, and covered his friend with the plaid from the couch. Lucius still did not move and just mumbled something unintelligible. Severus laughed and swiftly left the room and the Manor.

Only to see Narcissa walk up towards the house. Oh great. Just what he needed.

"Ah, Narcissa...back so soon?" He smiled a very false polite smile and nodded his head curt.

"Yes," she gave him a contemptuous stare, "but undoubtedly you already got what you came here for?"

"That I have. Indeed." His mouth formed a provocative little smirk. Oops.

"How...nice for you, Severus. I hope you enjoyed yourself during this little rendezvous. But don't fool yourself to think otherwise, because that is all you are getting from him. He still is mine, you know. He gave me his name, he shares his house with me, he shares his meals with me, at the end of the day he comes home to me and I gave him a son. What can you give him that he hasn't already got?"

"I, my dear, can make him whimper, whine, moan, beg, shiver, scream, howl, cry and break him down to nothing more than a boneless glibbering mess. Can you?"

"You bastard!" Furiously, Narcissa tried to smack him in the face, but Severus was already several steps away, knowing what would come. Narcissa and Lucius did not have a sex life. They had only slept together until she got pregnant with Draco and that had been that. Lucius had refused to touch her ever since. Until this very day that was something Lucius wife could not accept and was desperate about.

Perfect. All went perfect. Happily Severus took his place in the waiting coach and went back to school.


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