Title: Too Late For Apologies
Summary: Set during the time frame of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Blood, velvet, bruises, bad memories and an apology that comes far too late.
Pairing: Severus Snape/Sirius Black, Severus Snape/Bellatrix Lestrange.
Rough word count: 1450
Warnings: Sexual situations between underage characters, rape, cutting.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, I did not create them and I do not profit from their use in any way.
Thanks to likehottness for beta reading
Snape had seen this chair before. It had been at Hogwarts, years ago, when he was still a student. It was a vast chair--almost a chaise lounge -- upholstered in deep purple velvet and gold nails. Sirius Black was sprawled on it shirtless, completely unaware that Snape had entered the room. His attention was focused on carefully etching a web of thin lines into his exposed flesh with the sharp point of a knife. There was already a network of bright red scratches across his arms, shoulders and chest. Here and there was a dark bead where the blood had gathered.
“Sirius,” Snape spoke up, intentionally sharp and abrupt. “What are you doing to yourself?”
At the sound of his voice the knife went clattering to the floor and Sirius jumped to his feet looking for something to cover his bare, bleeding arms and chest with. Then he registered exactly who it was that had interrupted him and his panic dissipated. He sank back down onto the purple chair, laughing bitterly.
“You might knock, Snape,” he said.
“You might lock the door if you’re going to be indulging in… questionable diversions,” Snape shot back. “Your charming house elf urged me to see myself in. He’s apparently eager for you to be discovered, presumably by someone who would be upset by this. Your beloved godson, perhaps or your pet wolf. He’d be aghast.”
“He would be, wouldn’t he,” Sirius muttered broodingly. “I’m fortunate my privacy was invaded by someone who couldn’t care less.”
“Should I care?” Snape snapped. “I think that would be very uncomfortable for both of us. However, with the best interests of the Order in mind, I suppose I should ask you exactly what you think you’re doing.”
“I can’t handle this waiting,” Sirius sighed. “Hanging around this mausoleum with the ancestors, doing nothing. It’s unbearable. I’ve got to do something even if it’s only to myself.”
“I see, so you’re bleeding away your nervous energy,” Snape said with disdain. “You never did have any patience. Is this tendency toward self-mutilation something you picked up in Azkaban?”
“It is as a matter of fact. When you spend years living in intimate proximity with Dementors you learn to do whatever it takes to keep from losing your mind. You can’t imagine what it was like there, Snape… what those things do to you day after day... It’s like they’re raping your soul.”
Snape smiled tautly, humorlessly. “I’ll be leaving now,” he said.
“No, you’ll stay,” Sirius ordered. “There are some things we need to talk about. In the best interest of the Order, as you’ve said.”
“Fine. Say what you have to: but would you please at least have the courtesy to put on some clothes?”
Sirius groaned. “You don’t make anything easy, do you Snape?” He asked. “You make me want to beat you as much now as you did when we were fifteen years old.”
“Then I should warn you that I’ve acquired considerable resources since I was fifteen,” Snape said. His voice was cold and even but there was the faintest crack in it. Black got up from the chair, pulled on a shirt. It was white, but began to show red stains almost at once. He looked at Snape, and then looked away.
“When I was arrested,” Sirius said, “Everyone believed I’d killed Peter and betrayed James and Lily, didn’t they?”
“There was considerable evidence,” Snape said.
“Dumbledore, Remus, everyone in the order. They all believed I’d killed my best friend. I was very angry about that for a long time but when it came down to it I couldn’t blame them. They could believe I’d killed James and all those other people because they knew that I was capable of …” he paused, looked at Snape again, and drew in a breath. “They knew that I was capable of deliberately inflicting pain, that I rather enjoyed it. They knew I could be violent.”
“I never said a word,” Snape said automatically in a flat, dead voice.
“Remus figured it out on his own. Anyone who was paying attention probably would have realized what was going on. Besides I never kept it a secret, it was nothing to me at the time.”
“That’s very good to know.”
“I don’t feel that way any more,” Sirius protested. “I was a different person when I believed that. Twelve years in prison with the damned Dementors, losing James, losing everything. I’m not what I was any more. I know now what I did to you.”
“Do you,” Snape said. His voice had gone even deader then before and his black eyes were turned away from the other man. He was remembering the first time it happened. Some remote place near the woods, Snape was good at finding places far away from everyone else. He had never expected this to work against him. He’d never expected Sirius to find him there.
He remembered Sirius knocking his wand from his hand, hitting him. The two of them on the ground, struggling. He’d said something; he always had something to say. It had made Sirius angry, angry beyond any semblance of control. “You think you’re better then everyone else,” Sirius had snarled at him. “You’re nothing, nothing you filthy half breed. You stuck up, ugly git, you’re worthless.”
He was bleeding, bleeding from his forehead. He’d hit his head on a rock or had Sirius hit him in the head with a rock? The grit of earth between his teeth, Sirius’ hands around his throat as the other boy pounded into him. That was the first time.
It happened half a dozen more times over the course of their remaining year at Hogwarts. That was where he remembered the chair from, Sirius’ room in Gryffindor. Being pinned against the purple chair biting into its velvet to keep from screaming as Sirius moaned and thrust behind him. Why hadn’t he screamed? Why had he gone to Sirius’ room, knowing what would happen? Because it would have happened anyway.
“You know now what you did to me? What did you think you were doing before?” Snape asked. Sirius turned away to give his answer.
“All those things James and Peter and I used to do to you,” he said. “It just seemed like the next step. I thought it was a game, I assumed you liked it. I thought if you’d really wanted me to stop you would have done something, told someone. You didn’t.”
“Who would I have told? I was, as you so frequently reminded me, nothing. I had no parents, no friends.”
“Dumbledore would have done something, any one of the teachers.”
“You were Sirius Black,” Snape said flatly. “I was nothing. I couldn’t have told anyone.”
He remembered a day near the end of his final term at Hogwarts. He was sitting on the wide stone steps of Slytherin house. There were bruises on his face; his classmates were rushing past him. Then they were gone and he was alone except there was someone standing over him. Not a girl but a woman he recognized as one of Slytherin’s more distinguished alumni, Bellatrix Lestrange.
She was breathtakingly beautiful, her long dark hair loose in a gown of blues and purples fading into black that matched the bruises on his face. And to his shock this great lady had knelt down beside him, gently touching those bruises. “Someone’s hurt you,” she had said softly. “My horrible little cousin I suppose? No, you don’t need to answer. This school doesn’t teach the things you really need to know but I can help. I can teach you.”
It was the first step of his seduction into the Death Eaters, into unbearable pain, unspeakable horror, and the darkest shadows of the soul. Still, that day she had seemed like an angel.
“Why did you have to bring this up Sirius,” Snape demanded. “After all these years why did you feel the need to dredge this up? What do you want from me?” Sirius turned to face him. “I don’t expect you to forgive me,” he said, “but I had to tell you I was sorry.”
“Don’t be,” Snape said sternly. “Do not be sorry. Whatever you did to me, I’ve done worse to you. I deserved everything you did to me. Not at the time, but I came to deserve it.” He started towards the door.
“Wait Snape,” Sirius called after him. “I don’t understand.”
Snape stopped on the threshold, turning.
“I don’t expect you to forgive me,” he said. “I killed your younger brother.”
“Regulus? What did you do to Regulus? Wait…”
It was too late. Snape had slammed shut the door and was gone.